House of Commons Hansard #265 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was institutions.

Topics

Bank Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec-Est, QC

Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak on Bill C-100.

I feel obliged to say that this is yet another unfortunate federal initiative which, despite some slight impression that they are willing to help small business and create employment, is only intended, when it comes right down to it-at least in the eyes of a member from Quebec-to increase the powers of control and centralization over certain of the country's financial institutions.

The truth at the heart of the matter is that assigning powers to a superintendent of financial institutions under Bill C-100 increases his powers. It also allows Ottawa to take action more promptly when financial institutions are in difficulty, and here again, in the eyes of a member from Quebec, this is merely a move to increase the power in the hands of the federal government, since we in Quebec already have institutions in place which do the job and, what is more, do it very efficiently.

The Commission québécoise des valeurs mobilières is already in place and working very well. We have an inspector general of financial institutions who carries out the same duties Bill C-100 now wants to give to a superintendent at the federal level.

The game is therefore, of course, once again to beef up the federal government's power, the power of centralization, unfortunately at great cost, since once again there is overlap and duplication. Duplication is part and parcel of the history of Canada, the waste of having a federal department doing something, and a provincial department doing the same thing. There is a virtually endless list of examples of this fundamental problem of Canadian federalism, which essentially seems to me to want to monopolize powers in Ottawa, although there are already competent institutions on the provincial level.

This bill is, I repeat, not the sole example of this logic, or political attitude, within the federal government.

I could easily recall from memory some six or seven other bills brought before this House recently, since the election of the Liberal government. Without going into them in great detail, I could mention Bill C-52, which once attempts to add to federal power in areas that are not only under provincial jurisdiction but also concern the private sector. Then there is Bill C-95, which attempts to establish national health standards, often contrary to the interests and powers of the provincial governments.

We have C-96, which addresses human resources and also gives increased powers to the minister in applying the department's legislation. We have Bill C-91, which grants broader powers to the Federal Business Development Bank, we have Bill C-88 on interprovincial trade, which quite openly gives the federal government residual powers, including the power to intervene in agreements between the provinces. And there are many more examples. I could go on all day about this.

This government is quite simply intent on increasing its powers to guarantee a certain level of centralization and to keep the provinces well under control. We have this enormous deficit in Canada because the federal government in Ottawa has far too much power and, as a result, is wasting money left and right. It is the same old sad story of this country. As a system, Canadian federalism has been wasteful, and the federal government has failed to learn from its past mistakes. Even today, government members tell us, in speeches that are hypocritical and make no sense at all, that they are helping small business and will find ways to give them more money.

We are already doing the job in Quebec. We have agencies that are perfectly capable of meeting the requirements of small businesses. In Quebec, we have set up a number of creative initiatives to meet these requirements, in large municipalities and also in the regions. Our financial institutions work very well. We have all the resources and agencies we need to supervise these institutions. And it works.

So why bother today with Bill C-100, which would establish at the federal level a series of activities and institutions that already exist at the provincial level? Again, and we keep repeating this all the time, this is what is fundamentally wrong with the federal system. I could go on and on about the disease, as it were, that exists here in Ottawa, which is-perhaps unfortunately-not only due to a lack of political will on the part of the government but is reflected in the very survival of the whole bureaucracy established in Ottawa for so many years, which is very invasive and whose resistance to decentralizing powers to the provinces is ingrained, although across the country, people keep asking for decentralization.

The federal government has now tabled a bill that is a complete contradiction of these repeated requests for decentralization. The government cannot or will not listen. This is irresponsible, especially considering the deficit, which is cause for serious concern. It is extremely disturbing when a government tables bills like the one before the House today.

Bill C-100 is purely and simply another tiresome and costly duplication gimmick. In Quebec, we know what this means. We have problems with this, and perhaps this is one major reason for Quebec's wanting to leave and its wanting to change the way negotiations are conducted with the federal government. We want to negotiate as equals, because, it would seem that English Canada is unable to give the federal government a wake up call.

It will take Quebec's sovereignty to wake up the other provinces, and it will be in their best interests, because they will be able to reorganize themselves in more effective terms. When I talk of duplication and the costs of the waste it entails, we know what that means in Quebec. We have done a lot of studies on this. There have been commissions and studies, including the Bélanger-Campeau study in 1990, which gathered a lot of information. There was also the study by Mr. Fortin, a Quebec economist, who said that, in all, some $3 billion had been wasted due to federal and provincial duplication-and this was only as far as Quebec was concerned.

In other words, Quebec as a province could save some $3 billion if there were not this duplication. Three billion dollars; that is a lot of money. You will agree that $3 billion a year is a substantial amount. If the Government of Quebec had this money to create jobs, to lend it to small and medium businesses, jobs would be created.

It is time the government stopped kidding us about wanting to be more efficient and to create jobs, when, in fact, the only thing it wants to do is increase its power. There are examples of duplication. I tell you: all the latest studies show that Quebec alone is losing $3 billion. If we were to look only at the matters essential to Quebec's development, we could point, in the case of manpower training for example, to another study showing that, because of duplication between the federal and the provincial governments, Quebec loses $250 million a year. There is no training and the reason is that the federal government is trying to do the same job as the province. Often the federal government implements initiatives that run contrary to Quebec's interests.

Bank Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

My dear colleague, you will be able to continue the debate after question period. It being two o'clock p.m., pursuant to Standing Order 31, we will now proceed to statements by members.

Lakefield, Ont.
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, last summer I attended Civic Pride Day in the village of Lakefield, Ontario. This was the home of Margaret Laurence and before her of two other famous authors, Catherine Parr Trail and Susannah Mordy.

On this day, the village was celebrating no less than four anniversaries. It was the 75th anniversary of the Lakefield Hydroelectric Commission and Memorial Hall. It was the 100th anniversary of the library and it was the 120th anniversary of the first village council meeting.

The celebrations were organized by the LACAC, Lakefield Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee, with the support of council and many volunteers and sponsors. Past and present reeves and councillors were present. A historical booklet was produced.

We do not take enough time to celebrate our rich and diverse heritage. We need to think more about Canada as it really is today. My thanks to the village of Lakefield for setting such a fine example.

The Barrhead Two-Buck
Statements By Members

November 27th, 1995 / 1:55 p.m.

Reform

Cliff Breitkreuz Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the town of Barrhead started off with an idea and watched it produce fame and fortune. The idea, producing its own version of the $2 coin. The fortune, raising enough money to beautify the downtown core.

How does it work? The Pride in Barrhead Association representing over 100 local businesses minted the Barrhead two-buck. The coin features two deer on one side and on the other side the town's mascot, the blue heron. The two-buck is local tender in Barrhead until the end of 1996.

Collectors from all parts of Canada are clamouring to get their hands on this gold coin. The demand is so high that thousands more had to be minted.

If members want more information on this unique fundraising idea they could call my office. Better yet, they could purchase the two-buck. They had better hurry; they are going like hotcakes.

Forestry
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Len Taylor The Battlefords—Meadow Lake, SK

Mr. Speaker, this morning I had the pleasure of participating in a presentation to the Governor General at Rideau Hall.

Our small group presented the Governor General with a Christmas tree, a white spruce, the provincial tree of Saskatchewan, on behalf of the town of Meadow Lake which was Canada's forestry capital in 1995 and on behalf of the Canadian Forestry Association of which the Governor General is the honorary patron.

I take the opportunity to thank the people of Meadow Lake and the Meadow Lake Forestry Capital Society represented today by Donna and Barry Aldous for the fine job that they have done on behalf of forestry communities throughout Canada in 1995. Meadow Lake's efforts during the past year will be fondly remembered for many years to come.

I congratulate the people of Meadow Lake, their representatives and the members of the Canadian Forestry Association for making the forestry capital program such a success.

I wish the Governor General, his wife and staff an enjoyable Christmas season with that fine white spruce in their lobby.

Katimivik
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Murphy Annapolis Valley—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend in my riding of Annapolis Valley-Hants I met with a group of young people involved with Katimivik.

Katimivik is an Inuit word meaning meeting place. The project being funded under Youth Services Canada brings youth between the ages of 17 and 21 together to acquire work experience, become involved in their communities and discover Canada.

Through exchange programs such as Katimivik, Canada's young people have an excellent opportunity to travel and learn about all regions of our great country. By promoting this wonderful program the government is helping to bring young people together to achieve common goals, build lifelong friendships and to help break down regional barriers that often divide us.

I urge the government to continue to promote Katimivik and other similar exchange programs as a valuable means of building stronger ties among all parts of Canada.

Panacom
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Monday, Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Ltd. announced that it had purchased a 12-acre site in Waterloo. Construction will begin immediately on the new plant that will be occupied by the Panacom automation division. The 75,000 square foot facility will be ready by September 1996. Panacom designs, develops, markets and manufactures network terminal devices for the worldwide market.

Since Panacom began in 1984 it has been a leader in its field. Panacom is the number one supplier worldwide of X-stations, which are network display devices that allow users to access simultaneously multiple applications running on work stations. Panacom is a genuine Canadian success story.

The people of my riding are delighted that Hewlett-Packard has decided to invest in Waterloo. The new plant adds to the growing, vibrant information technology sector in Waterloo riding. The new plant will mean more research and development in my riding and more jobs for the people of Waterloo.

To Hewlett-Packard and to the Panacom automation division we send our congratulations and best wishes for continued success.

Gala Des Masques
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Gala des Masques, a moving event underlining the richness of Quebec theatre was held last night. Today, we in the Bloc Quebecois wish to pay tribute to the Quebec theatre actors, producers, directors and technicians, whose art lights up the stages of Quebec, Canada and the world.

As Jean-Louis Millette, one of the most talented theatre actors in Quebec, pointed out, we can be very proud of Quebec theatre. We have no cause to be jealous of any other country in the world.

We are all honoured by the creativity, talent, artistic research, and mastery of both classical and modern plays shown by these artists from every region of Quebec.

All Quebec plays performed around the world are a source of pride in and recognition of our cultural strength and vitality. Congratulations to all our artists and creators.

Crime Prevention
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the holiday season is a busy time for shoppers and criminals alike.

The Peel regional police and police all across Canada have compiled lists of suggestions to help people reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime. Among other things they suggest that shoppers avoid carrying large amounts of cash and lock their purchases in the trunks of their cars.

They remind people that empty cartons from high value products such as televisions, computers and stereo equipment may cause a thief to add their home to his post-Christmas shopping list. They suggest that gifts and valuables be kept away from windows to keep criminals from window shopping.

These crime prevention tips may keep thieves from stealing the joy from our holidays. I am sure all members will join me in commending the police on their fine work.

Gun Control
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Lisgar—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, Liberal and Tory senators put a lump of coal in the Christmas stockings of legitimate gun owners when they passed a flawed gun bill last week.

Again it is obvious that the concerns of law-abiding gun owners do not count in the House or in the Senate. The Liberal government ignored these concerns and rammed through legislation which will do nothing to reduce crime but will establish an extensive bureaucracy and give the justice minister unprecedented powers.

When Liberal backbenchers voted with the wishes of their constituents, the government gave them a swift kick to keep them in line. It is the front benches that need a swift kick in their egos, one that will propel them to the back and out the door.

Liberal, Tory, same old story. Tories out in 93. Liberals next, just wait and see.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Erie, ON

Mr. Speaker, A. K. Wigg Elementary School of Fonthill in my riding of Erie took the first place award out of approximately 80 entrants in the Niagara Environmental Technology Exposition.

The parents, students, staff and members of the community have embarked on a unique environmental project to transform the school property of six acres into an environmentally friendly green space.

The environmental nature area will include trails, wildlife, habitat facilities including a butterfly garden, plantings of Carolinian forest trees and shrubs, as well as woodland wildflowers and ground cover, thereby returning the area to its natural habitat.

The outdoor educational classroom and amphitheatre will have weather station features, compass, sundial, sculptures of cloud formations and windmills. Environmental education will be taught from the natural habitat right outside the classroom window.

I know, Mr. Speaker, you will appreciate A. K. Wigg's plan for enhancing the environment, increasing environmental stewardship, augmenting environmental education and positively involving the community in an excellent project. It is innovative and demonstrates the proactive approach that all Canadians should take to the environment.

The Constitution
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Deshaies Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, the constitutional changes contemplated by the Prime Minister during the referendum campaign are stirring up feelings of déjà vu.

We are still waiting for government proposals, and what is emerging is not very encouraging: a recognition of distinct society through a meaningless resolution of the Canadian Parliament that falls far short of the Meech Lake agreement, and a right of veto over any constitutional change that will be contingent on the federal government's goodwill.

The Prime Minister has clearly taken the path recommended by the Globe and Mail by giving Quebecers the impression that changes will be made when, in fact, there will be nothing meaningful for Quebec. The Prime Minister's proposal is meaningless, period.

Violence On Television
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, during this period leading up to December 6 when Canadians are focusing on the issues of violence in our communities it would serve all of us well to review last June's Josephson report on "Television Violence: A Review of the Effects on Children of Different Ages".

Dr. Wendy Josephson's research produced a useful reference guide for broadcasters, producers and parents to help determine age appropriate programming for Canada's children.

All the research from Canada, Japan, Europe and the United States clearly demonstrates a correlation between television violence and aggression at very young ages. Our children are subject to positive and negative role models in the media.

We must ensure that television companies serve all Canadians well, particularly our youngest Canadians. For safe communities, safe streets and safe homes this is a critical issue.

Casino Windsor
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Shaughnessy Cohen Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, December 12 is the grand opening of Windsor's second casino location, the Northern Belle Riverboat. With this event the total number of casino jobs created in Windsor will rise by 950 to a total of 3,000. Ninety per cent of these jobs are from the Windsor-Essex county area.

The Northern Belle will entertain 2 million patrons on top of the 5.5 million that already visit the existing site. Eighty per cent of those visitors are U.S. residents. That means 80 per cent of the dollars spent are foreign dollars.

One of the major competitive advantages to Casino Windsor over its American counterparts has been the safety factor which will be further strengthened by the recent successful passage of the government's gun control legislation. The legislation will not only increase the safety of Canadians in Windsor. It also means good

economic sense in Windsor because it leads to an environment in which job creation thrives.

Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Comox—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, I address some comments to Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, currently the Bloc Quebecois supported by the Liberals, with specific reference to the words loyal and opposition.

According to the Oxford dictionary loyal means faithful, trustworthy, true, steadfast in allegiance and devoted to the sovereign or government of one's country. In the House the Bloc is certainly not loyal to Her Majesty or to Canada and is openly plotting against the government to set up a separate Quebec.

Turning to the word opposition, according to Beauchesne's the official opposition is the largest minority group which is prepared in the event of the resignation of government to assume office. How can we have an opposition party that has no intention of becoming government, at least not in Canada, and is attempting to set up a separate independent state?

Clearly Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition in this 35th Parliament is neither loyal to Canada nor is prepared to fulfil the role of official opposition. It is time for the Bloc to step aside to make room for the real opposition to the Liberals, the Reform Party of Canada.