House of Commons Hansard #255 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Business Of The House
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The Late Yitzhak Rabin
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, humanity has lost a peacemaker of extraordinary courage. Israel has lost a leader of extraordinary devotion. Mrs. Rabin and her family have lost a husband, father, and grandfather.

On behalf of the Prime Minister and the Government of Canada, I wish to pay tribute to Yitzhak Rabin.

A man of great bravery was struck down by an act of cowardice. Through their prayers all Canadians are with Mr. Rabin's family and the people of Israel. Let us hope that these prayers will bring peace to the souls of all of us who are mourning today.

Prime Minister Rabin dedicated and finally gave his life to the service of his country and his people. As a soldier and war hero, Yitzhak Rabin fought for the survival of Israel.

As Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin pursued a future of peace and prosperity for Israelis and for all people in the Middle East. The pursuit of peace became Yitzhak Rabin's mission.

When Prime Minister Rabin was assassinated on Saturday, he had just spoken with a great sense of joy and accomplishment. What he accomplished is truly remarkable. Will any of us ever forget when Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat shook hands-a simple act of reconciliation, a profound act of destiny.

As Prime Minister Rabin said, "Our land of milk and honey has flowed with blood and tears for too long. Enough, enough." With incredible dignity and enthusiasm, Yitzhak Rabin has allowed the world to dream of the day when Israel will be at peace with all of its neighbours.

The history of Israel stretches back to the beginnings of humanity. In that struggle, we have witnessed both the barbaric acts in the history of humanity and some of the most noble aspirations of which we are capable as human beings. Prime Minister Rabin died pushing all of us to speak and to act for the better side of human nature.

The death of Prime Minister Rabin should be an inspiration to us to let our thoughts, words and actions reflect the best in our human nature. As we emphatically reject the act of cowardice that took his life away, we also have an obligation to embrace the cause to which Yitzhak Rabin was dedicated.

As we act today, let us remember the history of time as Yitzhak Rabin understood that history. Let us reflect Prime Minister Rabin's understanding that it is up to us as individual human beings to shape the forces of destiny.

As we grieve for the man, let us pursue his dream. As we pay tribute to Prime Minister Rabin with our words, let us pay tribute to him with our actions.

Canadians continue to extend the hand of friendship to the people of Israel. We shed our tears of condolence for Mrs. Rabin and her family and we pay honour to Yitzahk Rabin for the nobility of his spirit and his actions.

Shalom, Yitzahk Rabin. Shalom, Israel.

The Late Yitzhak Rabin
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we were all astonished and deeply saddened by the news of the assassination on Saturday of the Prime Minister of Israel, Mr. Yitzhak Rabin. Today, we want to pay tribute to a man who dedicated his life to the defence of his people and his ideals.

A joint recipient of the Nobel Peace prize, Yitzhak Rabin believed in the reconciliation of the Israeli and Palestinian people and struggled to find ways to bring them closer together. The peace accord signed by both nations shows that his efforts have borne fruit and brought hope to this part of the world. We are convinced that he did not sacrifice his life in vain and that the road to reconciliation now taken by his people and the people of Palestine will lead to a better future for all who believe in peace in the Middle East.

We earnestly hope that his violent death will not halt the diplomatic negotiations he initiated with Yasser Arafat to establish a plan for peace in the region. We firmly believe that the process started by these two leaders will prevail over radical movements that are oblivious to democratic values and condone violence.

On behalf of my colleagues in the Bloc Quebecois, I wish to express our condolences to the family and relatives of Mr. Rabin, the Jewish people, the international Jewish community including that in Quebec, and to show that we share the grief of losing a unique human being. Shalom Yitzhak Rabin!

The Late Yitzhak Rabin
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my leader and our party I rise this afternoon to pay tribute to the late Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzahk Rabin.

Rabin earned his reputation with Israelis as a soldier and then as a politician. His first hand knowledge of the military and his deep commitment to preserving Israel's security, first through arms and later through peace, made him undeniably one of the world's greatest statesmen.

It is well known that Mr. Rabin earned his credibility on the battlefield. However, Rabin's greatest honour and truest victory came through his pursuit of a lasting peace with his former enemies.

He sought peace not through fear but through courage, seeing it as the only hope for the future. He understood that true peace is not the absence of all differences, but genuine goodwill and the putting aside of those differences for the common good. Of the necessity for peace, Rabin said: "We should not let the land flowing with milk and honey become the land flowing with blood and tears".

Yitzahk Rabin truly believed that "the majority of people want peace and are ready to take a chance for peace". He himself took that chance and paid recently with his life.

Just six weeks ago, King Hussein of Jordan, President Mubarak of Egypt, Chairman Arafat, and Prime Minister Rabin signed a peace agreement on the White House lawn. In words that seem almost prophetic today, Prime Minister Rabin said: "Only poets have dreamt of this moment, and to our great pain soldier and civilian went to their deaths to make this moment possible".

He was soldier and civilian both, as well as one of Israel's greatest leaders. We hope and pray that his death, although tragic and untimely, will leave a legacy for lasting Middle East peace, for which he sought so valiantly.

Our sympathy and prayers are with Mrs. Rabin and her family. Shalom, Prime Minister Rabin.

The Late Yitzhak Rabin
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, Yitzahk Rabin was a soldier in war who became a soldier in peace. He fought as hard to achieve peace as he did in war. His greatest victory will unfortunately come only after his death.

The proof of the strength and durability of the move toward peace that Prime Minister Rabin created is that there can be no doubt this peace process will continue. It will continue until we reach the comprehensive peace that Mr. Rabin so eloquently lauded in the speech he gave before hundreds of thousands of Israelis demonstrating for peace last weekend, just shortly before his tragic death. There remains much to be done, but Mr. Rabin has made a start possible.

Together with two other New Democrat members of Parliament, Howard McCurdy and Ian Deans, I had the privilege and opportunity to meet with our Labour Party colleague, Yitzhak Rabin, in the mid-1980s. We had a vigorous exchange of views and certainly some profound disagreements, but there was a sense of openness and mutual respect.

Since his election as Prime Minister in 1992, I have been enormously impressed by his courage and determination to bring a just and lasting peace to the Middle East. As others have noted, we were all profoundly moved to see Mr. Rabin and Yasser Arafat shake hands on the White House lawn. That handshake symbolized the partnership in peace that has been forged between Israel and the Palestinians.

The member for Beaver River and the Deputy Prime Minister both quoted some of the words spoken that historic day. I would like to quote some others. He said in prophetic words: "We the soldiers who have returned from battles stained with blood, we who have seen our relatives and friends killed before our eyes, we who have come from a land where parents bury their children, we say today in a loud and clear voice: Enough of blood and tears. Enough."

On the evening of his death, Mr. Rabin made a passionate plea against violence. "Violence, he said, undermines the foundations of democracy in Israel. It cannot be condoned and must be condemned." During the weeks and months that preceded the tragedy on Saturday night, statements made by certain politicians and citizens of Israel in the course of the debate on the peace accords were not only filled with anger but showed undercurrents of violence. Yitzhak Rabin has proven that in a civilized society,

political debate, however deep its roots, must be based on respect for every individual.

In closing, I would like to extend condolences on behalf of myself and my colleagues in the New Democratic Party of Canada to Mr. Rabin's family, the people of Israel, and the Jewish community in Canada and around the world. We share your profound sense of anguish and loss. Remember that the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, is an affirmation of the power of faith and hope in the midst of despair.

The Late Yitzhak Rabin
Oral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, like millions of people in Israel and around the world, I was shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of Yitzhak Rabin Saturday afternoon.

I was shocked because his death came just after he had spoken and sung for peace at a rally of 100,000 Israelis. I was shocked because his murder was completely inconsistent with the way of life in Israel, where this kind of violence has not been a means of dealing with political differences. It has not been a part of the life of that democratic country. I was shocked and also saddened that Prime Minister Rabin's own life, so filled with achievement and service, had been cruelly ended before his main work could be completed: the work of making peace between Israel and all its neighbours.

Yitzhak Rabin proved he could be successful as a leader in making war. He was proving he could be equally successful as a leader in achieving peace. He had made war to protect his country, but he wanted and preferred peace for Israel and all the peoples of the Middle East.

It has been said that Yitzhak Rabin was a martyr for peace. Therefore, the best way to honour his life and his memory is to make sure that his work for peace continues and is successfully concluded.

Just after this government took office, two years ago last week, its first official visitors were Yitzhak Rabin and his wife. I, together with my wife, had the honour of officially welcoming them to our country. At that time, in talking with him all too briefly, I was struck and impressed by his mixture of firmness, resolve, personal modesty, and his commitment to achieving his goal of peace for Israel with its neighbours.

There is a word in Hebrew that is used as a greeting. It is also used to say goodbye and at the same time it signifies peace, that most sublime of human conditions. Unfortunately we cannot extend a greeting to Yitzhak Rabin on this earth again, but we can say goodbye by using that word which had come to mean more to him than almost anything else. We can say shalom. Shalom Yitzhak.

The Kaddish prayer said by Jewish mourners concludes with these words: "He who maketh peace in his high places, may he make peace for us and for all Israel".

I want to express my since condolences to Mrs. Rabin and the family of Yitzhak Rabin.

To Mrs. Rabin, to her family, to the people of Israel and to all people of goodwill everywhere, I conclude with the traditional Hebrew words of sympathy and condolence:

Hamakom y'nahaim etkhem b'tokh sh'ar availai tziyon veeyerushalayim.

May the Lord comfort you with all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

The Late Yitzhak Rabin
Oral Question Period

3:15 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to send our deepest condolences to the family of Yitzhak Rabin and the people of Israel.

Although Mr. Rabin has fallen, he leaves behind a tremendous legacy of peace and a lifetime of work for the people of Israel.

As a soldier, Mr. Rabin learned to meet adversity with courage and determination, and as a statesman this courage continued as he dared to make peace with the Palestinians and with Jordan, even in the face of bitter criticism from the opponents of peace.

In a world filled with conflict and strife, Mr. Rabin did not despair or allow anger to move him. He chose instead to dedicate his life to laying the groundwork for a peace that will be enjoyed by his children and grandchildren and by all the children of the Middle East.

On this sad day, though the torch must be passed, Mr. Rabin is gone but the need for hard work in the name of peace endures. As Mr. Rabin said, we will continue the peace process. There is no alternative to that regardless of what the enemies of peace might do.

We must remember these words. In so doing I join with all Canadians in hoping that others will step forward to finish the peaceful battle so well fought by Mr. Yitzhak Rabin, an example for us all.

Government Response To Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Kingston and the Islands
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Milliken Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to three petitions.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Environment has completed its consideration of Bill C-83 and is now ready to table its report. Bill C-83, an act to amend the Auditor General Act, establishes the position of Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. I have the honour to table this report.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

November 6th, 1995 / 3:15 p.m.

Lethbridge
Alberta

Reform

Ray Speaker Lethbridge

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions to present.

The petitioners on the first, out of respect and concern for the sanctity of human life, pray and request that Parliament continue to prohibit euthanasia and assisted suicide. The petition bears 135 signatures.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Lethbridge
Alberta

Reform

Ray Speaker Lethbridge

Mr. Speaker, the second petition, which bears 56 signatures, prays and requests that Parliament act immediately to extend protection to the unborn child by amending the Criminal Code to extend the same protection enjoyed by born human beings to unborn human beings.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Lethbridge
Alberta

Reform

Ray Speaker Lethbridge

Mr. Speaker, the third petition, which bears 208 signatures, requests that Parliament not amend the human rights code, the Canadian Human Rights Act or the charter of rights and freedoms in any way which would tend to indicate societal approval of same sex relationships or homosexuality.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present 209 signatures of my constituents asking that Parliament urge the government to review the Young Offenders Act in an open and accountable process which addresses the following principles: deterrence of the offender, the accountability of the offender, and the rights of the victim.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I present a petition which has been circulating all across Canada. This petition has been signed by a number of Canadians from Ancaster, Ontario.

The petitioners draw to the attention of the House that managing the family home and caring for preschool children is an honourable profession which has not been recognized for its value to our society. They also state the Income Tax Act discriminates against families that make the choice to provide care in the home to preschool children, the disabled, the chronically ill or the aged.

The petitioners therefore pray and call on Parliament to pursue initiatives to eliminate tax discrimination against families that decide to provide care in the home for preschool children, the disabled, the chronically ill or the aged.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Kingston and the Islands
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Milliken Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, Question No. 195 will be answered today.

Question No.195-