House of Commons Hansard #250 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-7.

Topics

National Unity
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Murphy Annapolis Valley—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, over the last 128 years Canadians have built a country that is the envy of the world. We have built a land that is prosperous and a country based on shared values such as peace, compassion and tolerance.

We are also a nation profoundly attached to remaining a united country, a nation that includes Quebec. The mutual social, economic and political benefits of a united country or a united Canada have been clearly stated by the leaders of the no campaign.

All Canadians from coast to coast have spoken from their hearts. They have reached out to say loud and clear that we want Quebec to stay. Now is the time for Quebec to look at the facts. When it does so, I believe Quebec will reject confusion, uncertainty and separation.

On this important day I believe Quebec will clearly express its intention to remain in a united Canada.

Quebec Referendum
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Ian McClelland Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, today the people of Quebec are making a decision that will affect not only Canadians living in Quebec but all Canadians. Our country will be profoundly changed regardless of the outcome of the Quebec referendum.

There are two ways to confront change: first, to resist at every opportunity, drawing comfort from that which is familiar; and, second and more difficult but potentially much more rewarding, to accept the inevitability of change, to embrace change and thereby have the opportunity to manage it.

Our country is poised at the precipice of such change. We have an opportunity to put aside past partisanship, past bias, and to look to the future with an open mind.

We have an historic opportunity to fashion a new federation that is flexible enough to accommodate our different visions, strong enough to weather life's storms, and gentle enough to be a beacon of hope to the world.

Health Care
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Chris Axworthy Saskatoon—Clark's Crossing, SK

Mr. Speaker, the health minister has repeatedly stated her government's commitment to maintain the quality of health care. However, with federal government programs cut by a staggering $7 billion over three years and more to come after, the government's commitment to equal and quality health care for all Canadians is simply unbelievable.

The Reform Party wants a two-tier health system, a good one for the rich and a poor one for everyone else. Both will lead to the end of the health care system we all treasure.

The minister should show some leadership on the question of health promotion, which the World Health Organization defines as the process of enabling people to increase control over and to improve their health.

The province of Saskatchewan leads the field in Canada on the front of health promotion and health prevention. Even American insurance companies are more committed to health prevention than the minister is. It is not anything new; we have been hearing this for years.

With the continuing federal cuts, the challenge to continue to provide equal access to quality health care is a serious one. It is surely time for the government to begin looking at concrete methods of saving money and improving health care through a concerted initiative toward preventative health care.

It is time for the minister to show some real leadership and work with provincial ministers, health care professionals and-

Health Care
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Parry Sound-Muskoka.

National Unity
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to provide an example of how much constituents in my riding believe in maintaining the unity of Canada.

Last week in the Parry Sound council chamber, the Canadian flag, flanked by the flags of Ontario and Quebec joined that of the town of Parry Sound. Mayor Cunningham pointed out the inclusion of the Quebec flag, noting its special significance at this point in history. She went on to say: "It represents our tie to Quebec and our wish and hope that Quebec remain a part of Canada, our appreciation of its differences and what it adds to the nation".

The mayor went on to quote a local columnist who had noted that many individuals would feel as if they had lost a substantial part of their identity and their sense of Canadianism if Quebec were to separate.

Mayor Cunningham reflects the vast majority of constituents in my riding who believe in the unity of Canada. They know that Confederation has worked for all parts of our nation and recognize that our unity and prosperity depends on a no vote today.

National Unity
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Don Valley North, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is referendum day in Quebec. All Canadians await anxiously the results of this vote.

I have received many letters and phone calls on this subject. I would like to share one such letter from the Canadian city of Montreal.

Canada is a nation made up of numerous nationalities besides French and English, people who left their native countries to contribute their intelligence, energy and talent to their new nation, Canada, to build a better life in peace for themselves and for their children.

When they were separated from their homelands they had in mind a new project of integration because they believed that unity is a strength and to live in a united and strong Canada would bring them both strength and prosperity. After years of contributing to the growth and success of la belle province, it is heartbreaking to see those who would destroy our nation Canada.

As we have built this nation together we must vote to keep this country united.

The letter is signed by the Assadourian family.

I urge all Quebecers to reflect on these thoughts.

National Unity
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Simcoe Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today Canadians are watching and hoping for a strong no vote in Quebec. Reformers believe that no means not only no to the separatists, but no to the status quo as well.

We must all acknowledge the problems that have led us to this point, starting with the top down style of federalism that dictates to provinces and people, instead of bottom up grassroots democracy.

The problems of ever increasing taxes, the enormous debt, unacceptable levels of unemployment and a failing criminal justice system are the result of failed policies of the past.

Reform has recently published 20 proposals for a renewed Canada. Without constitutional change, we would give power back to the provinces in language and culture, in natural resources and manpower training.

We would give Canadians direct democracy through recall, referendum and free votes in this House.

I urge my fellow Canadians in Quebec to vote no today and in doing so, say yes to a renewed Canada.

National Unity
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Murray Calder Wellington—Grey—Dufferin—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, Monday and Tuesday of last week I had the opportunity to meet with 50 students from Collingwood Collegiate Institute and to be part of their demonstration for national unity.

These students took it upon themselves to show their deep commitment to the people of Quebec by coming here to Ottawa-Hull to talk with and to share their concern and love for this great country with students from Quebec. They implore the people of

Quebec to vote no today and to share their dream of a united Canada that is respectful of their language and traditions, as well as being judged one of the best countries in the world in which to live.

I have with me today a petition from 359 students from Collingwood Collegiate Institute asking Quebecers to keep their faith in Canada and Canadians.

National Unity
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Lambton—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, people from all over Canada, including my riding of Lambton-Middlesex, gathered by the thousands last Friday in Montreal to show their support for Canadian unity.

The future of this country is for our children. In that vein I am happy to report that some children in my riding have sent a message of support to our Prime Minister and to Canada. It consists of a huge 10-foot unity poster which was put together by the grade 5 and 6 class of Caradoc North Public School in Caradoc township near Strathroy, Ontario.

The idea for this poster which consists of 400 pairs of hands and 400 accompanying signatures came from the children. Its theme of course is unity among Canadians, all Canadians and its message is heartfelt and sincere. Over the top of the 400 pairs of clasped hands is a message in French and English: Ne separez pas. Don't let go.

For the sake of our children, let us keep this wonderful country, our Canada, together.

Quebec Referendum
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Mr. Speaker, we Canadians are lucky. Our country's political and democratic institutions are sound and have the confidence of the people. They have served us well in a long history. They were used to resolve some of the most fundamental conflicts any society can face, the role of government in private lives and the power of centralist institutions in conflict with regional aspirations.

The resolution to these and many other conflicts were never supported by all Canadians. Before votes, they were discussed widely and heatedly. They divided families, friends and regions. But after the votes were counted, the democratic decision was accepted. Losers licked their wounds and resolved to fight again by the same rules.

This democratic tradition will be tested severely when the votes are counted today, when the stakes are higher than they have ever been before, when many fear the end of Canada.

I pray that all Canadians and especially we in these chambers continue to follow our successful democratic tradition and accept the people's-

Quebec Referendum
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Kamloops.

Government Policies
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second anniversary of the Liberal government of course has now come and gone. Increasingly in the provinces and territories people are very concerned about the future. I wonder why.

The Prime Minister stated that he would tear up the FTA and would only sign NAFTA if major changes were made. No changes were made and the Prime Minister has become the strongest cheerleader of the NAFTA program down south.

The Liberals promised a new Bank of Canada policy. When they assumed office the rate was 4.3 per cent and today it is closer to 7 per cent. Canadians thought that the new policy meant lower interest rates, not higher ones.

The Liberals promised a national child care program. Instead they have cut funding for the existing child care programs across the country.

The Liberals promised to abolish the hated GST. Today the GST continues to be collected and the government now is thinking of only changing the name of the GST.

Looking at the future we see reduced UI payments, we see reduced pension coverage, we see reduced-

United Way
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bernie Collins Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I rise today in the House to pay honour to my city of Estevan, Saskatchewan. Estevan has wrapped up its United Way campaign with a telethon which generated $139,000. This year they reached their objective faster than any other city in Canada. And this is not the first time; they have done the same eighteen times in the last nineteen years.

Estevan was the first city in the country to reach its United Way objective. Estevan is a perfect example of the values that are important to both Canada and the United Way: compassion and

generosity to all Canadians. Let us tip our hats in honour of Estevan, the most generous city in all of Canada.

National Unity
Statements By Members

October 30th, 1995 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Hickey St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today as a Newfoundland MP and a proud Canadian. I speak on behalf of my constituents of St. John's East and the majority of Newfoundlanders. My message is to the people of Quebec and it comes from our hearts:

Today you will vote in a referendum to separate from Canada and the outcome affects us all. It was not that long ago that the people of Newfoundland voted to join Canada. You welcomed us and we have lived together in one peaceful nation.

We may come from different regions and face different circumstances but we share many of the same values and principles.

Like you, I want the best for my family and for my children. I want them to be able to find good jobs, to have the service and programs they need and to live in a generous and compassionate country. These goals are possible in a united Canada. Anything is possible in a united Canada. Let your children inherit the best country in the world, Canada. Vote no.

National Unity
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Lethbridge
Alberta

Reform

Ray Speaker Lethbridge

Mr. Speaker, after 128 years of nationhood we find ourselves on the brink of massive change. Today millions of Quebecers will be asked to decide whether they want to stay and build Canada or to leave and construct a nation of their own.

Regardless of the outcome of this vote, regardless of whether Quebecers choose to stay or to go, one thing is clear: This country will never be the same again. If nothing else, the referendum has demonstrated the bankruptcy of the status quo.

A narrow victory for the no will not change the fact that millions of Quebecers have voted for fundamental change. Whether to stay or to go is for Quebecers to decide, but on behalf of my Reform colleagues I send the following message to Quebec: If you choose to remain Canadian, you will not be alone. There are millions of reform minded people like you in every province of this country. Join with us. Together we can build a renewed federation which addresses our concerns. Vote no for sovereignty and yes to the new Canada.