House of Commons Hansard #150 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was young.

Topics

Equalization Payments
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec minister of industry said Wednesday, at the hearings of the North Shore regional commission on Quebec sovereignty, that equalization payments represent only $500 per person annually, or a twelve-pack a week.

I would point out to Mr. Paillé that equalization payments, that is the amount the federal government transfers to Quebec annually, are on the order of 3.7 billion dollars.

To describe the contribution made by the Canadian government to redistributing the collective wealth of this country to those in greater need, the minister has used an image that reveals the growing obsession of the members of the Parti Quebecois and the Bloc with concealing any positive initiative by Canada.

Francophone Minorities
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Prime Minister is strutting about telling everyone that Canada is the best country in the world, according to the United Nations, the quality of life of Franco-Ontarians is comparable to that of citizens in the Third World. This was the finding of a study made public yesterday by a group promoting the development of French in Ontario.

It also revealed that if the UN were to take the rate of functional illiteracy among Franco-Ontarians into consideration in calculating the human development index, Canada would be a long way from first place.

How can the Prime Minister crow about a superficial rating and close his eyes to the despicable treatment of the French speaking minority by English Canada? If Statistics Canada were to supply the UN with the real figures on illiteracy among francophones outside Quebec, the Prime Minister might be more circumspect.

Forestry
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

John Murphy Annapolis Valley—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge the federal government to renew the federal-provincial woodlot development program with the province of Nova Scotia.

In my riding of Annapolis Valley-Hants there are many private woodlot owners who have worked extremely hard to develop a feasible and financially viable industry. This agreement plays a key role in promoting a sustainable, economically sound forestry industry.

By renewing our commitment to this program we can help ensure more long term jobs through better use of all the resources in our forests, a healthier and more productive forest through improved methods of harvesting and better trained, more entrepreneurial woodlot owners.

I believe through this agreement our government can play an important role in promoting economic growth and environmental sustainability in Nova Scotia's forestry sector.

Social Programs
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development continues to call attention to a quote attributed to me regarding the thoughtfulness of Reform's dissenting opinion to his committee's report. I make no apology for the content of our report. I wholeheartedly endorse Reform's dissenting opinion.

Our response to the committee's recommendations was hastily written only because we were given two days to craft a response, a little less than the four months the minister's office had to write the report for the committee in the first place.

If the minister would think through his own recommendations and come to grips with reforming Canada's social programs without spending more money, especially borrowed money, Canadians would not be so worried about their personal security. If there were ever a time for leadership it is now.

I say to the minister rather than distorting the position of your critics, you would serve citizens better by crafting a position of your own; not one for your own political purposes, but one that is in the best interest of Canadians.

Durham College
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, Durham is home to Durham College, which from 1992 to 1994 was the fastest growing community college in Ontario. It now has over 42,700 students learning technical skills which will ensure that Durham and Canada will be world class competitors in the future.

Durham College is very much community based. I am pleased to say that I have used its facilities to bring constituents together to discuss issues dealing with government. The most recent was

a forum on the future of Canada's social programs hosted by the president, Mr. Polansky.

A number of weeks ago the students started a protest with respect to a possible rise in tuition fees which may result from program changes regarding federal funding of post-secondary education. Instead of throwing macaroni and being generally disruptive, these students raised money for a local food bank, making a positive contribution to their community while getting their point across.

I have received their initial petition of over 600 signatures. I am sure more are on the way.

I would like to thank the students of Durham College and assure them that I appreciate their mature attitude and I further assure them I will be relaying their concerns directly to the Minister of Human Resources Development.

Members Of Parliament Pensions
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 1993 Liberals campaigned on the promise to reform MPs' pensions. We committed in the red book to end double-dipping and the Prime Minister has effectively done that for all appointments he has made; witness Romeo LeBlanc and Ed Broadbent.

We told Canadians we would change the age at which MPs could collect their pensions. No more Perrin Beattys should leave this House.

All Canadians are going to be asked to share the pain equally in the next budget. Members of Parliament must show leadership. Let us join with men and women, our constituents of all parties. Now is the time for pension reform.

Marine Transport
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Stan Keyes Hamilton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Transport has embarked on a comprehensive study of the Canadian marine sector. The study is being conducted to assist the Minister of Transport with a broad review of the marine sector.

The marine study will include an examination of the port system, pilotage services, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Canadian Coast Guard. The marine sector plays a vital role in the Canadian economy. Consequently it is incumbent upon us to ensure that Canadian marine policy is conducive to enhanced levels of safety, efficiency, environmental protection and global competitiveness.

Furthermore it should be noted that the Canadian marine sector contributes almost $2 billion a year to Canada's gross domestic product and moves over 225 million tonnes of international trade every year.

As chairperson of the Standing Committee on Transport, I encourage all members to inform individuals and organizations involved in marine operations of the public committee hearings to be conducted on marine issues.

Quebec Referendum
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

André Caron Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the members of the official opposition were not in the least surprised this morning to learn that the office of the Prime Minister has set up a special referendum unit, just for referendum activities. History is repeating itself. In 1980, the Liberal government, as the great defender of Canadian unity, used its spending power to fight Quebec sovereignists.

As usual, the federal government is not playing by the rules. As it did in 1980, it is quietly pouring considerable financial and human resources into the Prime Minister's political machinery, away from prying eyes and embarrassing questions. However, in 1995, the people of Quebec will not be fooled by these typically Liberal tactics. We have seen this before; it does not bother us any more.

Small Business
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a fact that our debt and taxes have soared over the last 20 years, but those are simply numbers.

What is really important is how the debt and taxes have affected the lives of men, women and children across the country. It would be a mistake to limit our calculation of the damage to the numbers of people who have been forced out of work because of business closures and plant shutdowns, as tragic as those things are.

What we do not see are the jobs that were never created in the first place because people who had dreams of starting their own business were greeted by a government created business environment that was hostile to business. High taxes, regulation and big government; these three have conspired to crush the incentive of thousands of Canadians who are desperately searching for a sign that their hard work will be rewarded.

While many people ingenuinely claim victim status these days, the real victims are the great silent majority who have done their best while successive governments have done their worst.

No new taxes, cut spending is their message.

Justice
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Jack Iyerak Anawak Nunatsiaq, NT

Mr. Speaker, many of my constituents are alarmed by the Supreme Court ruling on extreme drunkenness as a defence. A petition signed by several concerned people was recently sent to me and I would like to draw it to the attention of this House and the government.

The implication of this ruling for communities which suffer from significant alcohol and drug abuse is extremely worrisome and the impact on women and children is particularly serious.

My constituents do not believe that our legal system should accept drunkenness as an excuse for violence and I agree. The Status of Women Council of the Northwest Territories is also urging a government response. It is asking the Minister of Justice to take action.

Last November the Minister of Justice put out a consultation paper on reform of the general part of the Criminal Code. The paper asks for the public's views on many issues, including the defence of intoxication. Extreme drunkenness as a defence is not acceptable.

Patronage Appointments
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Paul Forseth New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, patronage appointments are alive and well within the Liberal Party.

When the Conservatives were appointing from within the Liberals called it unethical. The Liberals said they would open it up and make merit the main operating principle. Opening it up is exactly what they did if you belong to the Liberal Party.

The Liberals again have appointed one of their own, Marian Robson, a former appointee of the Vancouver Port Authority, to a comfy six figure salary job at the National Transportation Agency, albeit with a bit of a twist: she did not even compete for the job.

Other qualified candidates applied through the front door, through The Canada Gazette . What a shame for these qualified candidates that it did not say in The Canada Gazette that they had to be a Liberal Party member.

The Liberals now feel guilty. They do not want to be known as unethical, so they have changed the notice in The Canada Gazette . It now reads: ``This notice has been placed in The Canada Gazette to assist in identifying qualified candidates for the position. It is not intended, however, to be the sole means of recruitment''.

This is not unethical, it is flat out political corruption.

The Late Yvon Deveau
Statements By Members

February 10th, 1995 / 11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Francis Leblanc Cape Breton Highlands—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, January 13, the Acadian village of Cheticamp and in fact all of Acadia lost a giant of a man in the person of Yvon Deveau, who lost his life in a highway tragedy.

Teacher at the NDA school, frontline fighter for Nova Scotia Acadians, manager of the Coopérative des pêcheurs-he wore all these hats and many more. I worked with Yvon on a number of occasions-on the thorny question of monitoring fishing practices and on the importance of crab fishing. He was always concerned for the development of his community and the welfare of other people.

On the day he died, he was coming from a meeting in Moncton in another effort to rescue the fishing industry from crisis and to save jobs in his native village.

On Wednesday, another Acadian, the Right Hon. Roméo LeBlanc, Governor General of Canada, paid tribute to the extraordinary courage of Canadians.

Yvon Deveau's devotion and community spirit were examples of such courage.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians from coast to coast had a chance to view two videotapes showing particularly offensive behaviour on the part of members of the Airborne Regiment in Petawawa.

The Minister of National Defence ordered an internal investigation. He obtained a report from the chief of defence staff which referred to the existence of a third videotape, and he subsequently ordered that the Airborne Regiment was to be disbanded.

Considering the particularly vivid scenes contained in the two first tapes, what explanation does the Minister of National Defence have for the fact that he decided to disband en entire regiment against the recommendations of his chief of defence staff, a decision with far reaching consequences, without taking the elementary precaution of personally screening the third

videotape that was mentioned in the report from General de Chastelain?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned yesterday, in the report that was given to me a couple of weeks ago mention was made of a video taken last August of what was described as a beer welcome party where officers were present. Compared to the earlier video it certainly was innocuous.

Obviously had I had the information I received just before question period yesterday, the existence of that video and some of the untoward things on it, I would have made that public two weeks ago. Obviously things in the video were unacceptable. They were an infringement of the National Defence Act.

The report which I received two weeks ago was incomplete. I want to know why it was incomplete. I want to know why the chief of defence staff was not informed of the electric shock experiments and why the head shaving was not in the report. These all infringe the National Defence Act.

An investigation is under way to find out why we were not informed. As soon as I have that information I will make it available to my colleagues in the House.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of dumping the responsibility for keeping this information from him on all levels of command in the military, would the minister not agree that he only has himself to blame, since he did not even take the trouble to screen the evidence that was available, evidence of which he had been aware since January 23 and to which he had access? Is he not the author of his own misfortune?