House of Commons Hansard #171 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cbc.

Topics

Taxation
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec

Mr. Speaker, there were two newspaper reports on that meeting, one of which was the indication the member is referring to. The other newspaper report citing the mayor made it very clear the government is not reviewing that decision. It is the second newspaper report that is accurate.

Convenience Flags
Oral Question Period

March 21st, 1995 / 3 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Landry Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transport. On March 17, the minister responded to a question from the official opposition by stating that the privatization of Marine Atlantic Inc. would resolve the matter of this company's foreign flagging of its ships.

Is the minister not aware that, by not bringing all of the ships of Marine Atlantic Inc. back under Canadian flag before the corporation is privatized, he is condoning this practice, which is followed by many Canadian shipowners, contrary to our economic interests?

Convenience Flags
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst
New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that the question of foreign flagging at Marine Atlantic is one we wanted to address once the matter was raised.

We have determined it has been ongoing, depending on the vessel, for a number of years. As I indicated to a colleague of my hon. friend in the House yesterday, we have asked the president of Marine Atlantic and the board to look into the potential for the commercialization of all the activities of Marine Atlantic.

Certainly we will be addressing the question my hon. friend has put to me one way or another. If the commercialization proceeds, we will have to take into account the implications of reflagging the vessels prior to sail. If the commercialization does not go forward, we will review the matter in the light of my hon. friend's question.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Kingston and the Islands
Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, in view that Canadians are continuing to lose their jobs as a result of the rail strike, I ask for the unanimous consent of the House for the following order:

That, notwithstanding any standing order, immediately after the completion of Private Members' Business on this day, the House shall revert to Government Orders for the purpose of considering Bill C-77, an act to provide for the maintenance of railway operations and subsidiary services at second reading stage, in committee of the whole, at report stage and at third reading stage, provided that the House shall not adjourn this day except pursuant to motion by a minister of the crown.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

Is there unanimous consent?

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Elwin Hermanson Kindersley—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to clarify to the House that while the opposition denied consent, it was not the Reform Party that denied consent. We would support any back to work legislation the government introduces.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Supply
Government Orders

3 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Richelieu, QC

Mr. Speaker, due to question period, I was interrupted for an hour since we are to follow Standing Orders, which we agree to do. I was discussing the official opposition's motion concerning funding for the CBC, along with the amendment proposed by the Reform Party.

I recalled my surprise at seeing the Liberal Party renege on commitments it made during the election campaign. I must say it was not an entirely unexpected surprise. Traditionally the Liberal Party has always sung two tunes: one for the election campaign and one for after the campaign, and the two are diametrically opposed.

In my introduction, I recalled the agricultural double talk. For example, when the Liberals were in opposition, they were committed to supporting the dairy producers, defending article XI and maintaining subsidies. Well, once they are in office, what do they do in their budget? They cut aid to farmers and to dairy producers by 30 per cent. They also cut the income support program by 30 per cent.

I also mentioned unemployment. During the election campaign, they said that their priority was to fight unemployment and create jobs. Once they are in office, the language and the

speech change. The latest budget speech contained no job creation measures whatsoever. It has become a joke.

I was at the Sorel and Bécancour employment centres last week. What was the joke of the day? The question went: What is the difference between a Liberal MP and an unemployed person? The answer: The unemployed person has worked in the past.

We have reached a point where people no longer believe in this government. They do not believe the government will make good on its promises. It was the same thing when it came to defending the Acadians and the francophones outside Quebec. We saw francophone MPs from the rest of Canada claiming during the election campaign that they would defend the French fact here in the House of Commons and throughout Canada. But when there is a 5 per cent cut in the operating budget of their association, they say nothing. Not one francophone MP from outside Quebec rose to denounce the policy of the Liberal Party once it took office.

The same thing happened in a number of areas. With respect to copyright, for example, they made a written commitment in a document submitted to the Canada Council to take action to bring copyright under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Canadian Heritage. Once elected, they turned this responsibility over to the Minister of Industry, and gave the heritage minister power to make recommendations only.

The Liberal Party always sings two different tunes: one when it is going after the vote and another when it is in power.

It was the same thing with free trade. They fought against free trade for years and denounced it during the election campaign, but once in office, they were not only all for it, but wanted it extended to other countries. The Liberal Party has always operated this way: it sings one tune before it is elected and another tune after.

I could give other examples. There is patronage, for instance. They criticized the Conservatives for making patronage appointments, but once in office they turned around and in less than six months gave out more than 300 appointments to friends of the party, under the expert guidance of Senator Rizzuto. And I mentioned the example of Michelle Tisseyre, Camille Samson and others.

Supply
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

You are a very experienced parliamentarian; you should always comply with the Standing Orders of the House and avoid identifying members of the other place.

Supply
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Richelieu, QC

Mr. Speaker, I did not refer to the Senate but to one particular senator. I think that the Standing Orders allow me to identify one particular senator but not, as you pointed out, to refer to the Senate, that must be called the other place.

In any case, I will drop the word "senator" and use only the name "Rizzuto". This individual, who made the recommendations regarding patronage, is still the party's bagman and advisor on appointments like those of Camille Samson, Michelle Tisseyre and Jacques Saada, who was appointed to a $100,000 a year post with CIDA.

It is typical behaviour for the Liberal Party to use a completely different language after coming to office. Even though they promised to do away with patronage and political appointments, they have since enthusiastically embraced this practice. The party still engages in double talk, especially its leader who, throughout his years in office in the 1970s and 1980s and since 1993, still says one thing before the election and another thing after. They think voters are fools.

This review of Liberals' unkept promises and double talk is clearly reinforced today by our discussion of the funds allocated to the CBC. In this regard, I would like to quote the red book commitments made by the Liberal Party during the election campaign. The red book says on page 88: "Canada needs more than ever to commit itself to cultural development. Instead, the Conservative regime has deliberately undermined our national cultural institutions".

The Liberal Party said, and I quote: "Funding cuts to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Canada Council, the National Film Board, Telefilm Canada, and other institutions illustrate the Tories' failure to appreciate the importance of cultural development". That is what it said before the election, but after the election, it was the first one to cut, to the tune of $300 million, financing on which the CBC depends, attacking CBC's French network in particular.

Here is what the Liberal Party promised in its red book: "A Liberal government will be committed to stable multiyear financing for national cultural institutions such as the Canada Council and the CBC". This is a far cry from what is going on. Yet, the minister continued to claimed in this House that he did not know exactly how extensive the cuts would be at the CBC; it could not be that much. Perhaps it was a little more than that. He contradicted himself at least five times in the past two months regarding possible cuts at the CBC, when a solemn and specific commitment had been made in the red book to stable multiyear financing. This goes to show once again the difference being in an election campaign or in office makes when you are the Liberal Party.

I will conclude on this as I am almost out of time. I know this will make my colleagues opposite very sad because they would like to hear more-I scan see them hang their heads in shame for sacrificing their principles, the ideals they stood for and their red book to the party line. They will stop at nothing to be in power. They take after their leader. Power at all cost: make all the promises necessary to get there, but once in power, never

mind about making good these promises. Sooner or later, they will face the same reaction they faced in 1984, that is to say complete rejection from Halifax to Vancouver of this kind of behaviour, this double talk they have cultivated.

I will leave you with a recommendation the CRTC made concerning the CBC, stating that it will be imperative that the policy proposals to be developed in the coming months focus on a central and fundamental objective, which is to promote and preserve the identity of French Canadians; at present, our broadcasting system demands from its partners that they allow Canadian content to take up much room, which has encouraged the expression of our cultural identity and made possible the development of audiovisual production in both official languages of this country. It concluded that we should not give up any ground in this respect.

That is what the CBC should focus on, and the current minister is away off the track in refusing to give serious thought to maintaining stable financing, at the expense of the CBC's French network in particular, which is the highest performing. They crack open a bottle of champagne on the English side when they reach one million listeners, while on the French side, this many people listen in daily.

Supply
Government Orders

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the comments made by the Conservative or rather the Bloc member, since he has a tendency to change his mind, who accuses the Liberals of singing two tunes. Coming from that member, and particularly that political party, this is quite a statement.

Mr. Speaker, today we heard the Bloc Quebecois raise an issue with which you are very familiar, namely the situation of French-speaking Canadians outside Quebec. This is the last straw. The hon. member and his colleague, the member for Rimouski-Témiscouata, are now telling us that they are defending French-speaking Canadians outside Quebec who have a right to be heard. However, yesterday, when some French-speaking Canadians outside Quebec made comments which they did not appreciate, they said that these people did not have a right to speak on the issue and should mind their own business.

Have you noticed that those who talk about the Liberals singing two tunes are doing precisely that? Rather than allude to the two different tunes of the Bloc, it might be more appropriate to refer to the two faces of that party. Those who sing two tunes have two-you guessed it, Mr. Speaker.

The hon. member opposite claims to be CBC's protector-and I am pleased to see that Bloc members support anything with the word Canadian in it-and accuses the government unfairly and unreasonably. Is he aware that us French-speaking Canadians outside Quebec, at least where I come from, enjoy RDI, CBC's French-language network, la Chaîne française, and Quatre Saisons? Indeed, French-speaking Canadians from Ontario can listen to all these channels, in a united Canada.

The member opposite, who talks out of both sides of his mouth, wants to deprive us, French-speaking Canadians living outside Quebec, of these bilingual institutions which allow us to enjoy these cultural vehicles to which we are entitled. Why, on the one hand, does the member claim to protect CBC and French-speaking Canadians outside Quebec while, on the other hand, both he and his fellow Bloc members do their utmost to deprive us of what we have gained?

Supply
Government Orders

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Richelieu, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am amazed at the comments made by the hon. member for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, especially when he said I could not make up my mind. He was critical of the fact that I was first a Conservative and that I am now a member of the Bloc Quebecois. Well sir, at least I have the courage-

Supply
Government Orders

3:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

Order. In his previous comments, the hon. member for Richelieu seems to have been right about the other place, and I appreciate his comments, which show his experience, but at this point I must remind him to speak through the Chair.