House of Commons Hansard #210 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was languages.

Topics

Environment
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently the United States Senate passed legislation allowing oil and gas development on the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd in the Alaskan wildlife refuge. This action contravenes a 1987 agreement recognizing Canadian and American joint responsibility to protect the habitat of the Porcupine caribou herd and the Gwich'in people who depend on it.

I urge the government to ensure both the continuation of the U.S. government's commitment and the right of the Gwich'in people to their traditional food source and longstanding way of life. We owe this action to our aboriginal people.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to inform the House that the appeal challenging the wearing of turbans by Sikh RCMP officers has been summarily dismissed in the unanimous decision made by the Federal Court of Appeal in Calgary.

The measure of a strong and just society is its ability to weave our differences into the fabric of our national identity. The dismissal of this challenge has once again proven that Canada is a strong and just society.

These decisions reaffirm that the wearing of articles of faith by a Sikh police officer in no way impedes their ability to perform their duties with impartiality and fairness.

Let this decision be a wake up call for the Reform Party. Its opposition to Sikhs in the RCMP is out of line with the Canadian legal tradition and demonstrates an intolerance to cultural diversity. When will the Reform Party realize the 1930s are over? It is 1995 and the time has come for it to support the religious freedom of all Canadians.

Violence Against Children
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, each year over 225,000 Canadian children are abused. According to the committee on sexual offences against children and youth, 53 per cent of females and 31 per cent of males have been victims of one or more unwanted sexual acts.

Approximately four in five of those incidents happened to victims when they were children or youths, and one-third of all assaults against children occurred within the family. In addition, at least one million children in Canada have witnessed violence by their fathers against their mothers.

Children who witness violence by one parent against another are often considered children at risk by child welfare authorities because of the lasting emotional and psychological consequences for the child. In many cases the children grow up to be abusive themselves, thus perpetuating the cycle of violence.

I appeal to all levels of government and to all Canadians and organizations that we must do a better job related to violence against children.

Sharing Of Federal Debt
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the sovereignists have always maintained that a sovereign Quebec will negotiate sharing the federal debt with the Government of Canada on an equitable basis. A study conducted by the Institut national de la recherche scientifique and released yesterday shows that a sovereign Quebec's share of the federal debt would have to be reduced by $24 billion on account of the fact that, over the years, Quebec has paid more than it has received from the federal government. The INRS study concludes that a sovereign Quebec should therefore be responsible for 17.4 per cent of the federal debt.

It is important to note that in the present federal system, Quebecers currently assume 23 per cent of the federal debt with the $30 billion in taxes that they pay each year to the federal government. Hence the INRS conclusion that the total debt burden of a sovereign Quebec would amount to 103 per cent of GDP, as compared to 108 per cent for Canada at the present time.

According to the INRS study, a sovereign Quebec would therefore have a lower debt level than Canada now has.

Health
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Reform

Philip Mayfield Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, the time has come to give Canadians freedom of choice in health care.

Every year Canadian taxpayers put tens of billions of dollars into health care premiums to pay for our medicare. Yet many of these same Canadians make the conscious decision to drop out of the conventional health care system, choosing alternate forms of health care.

One of my constituents, Mrs. Margaret Wiens, recently wrote to me: "A change in the way we deliver health care is long overdue. It is discriminatory to only cover and recognize conventional drugs. I and hundreds of thousands of others in Canada faithfully pay our medical premiums, and therefore we should have freedom to choose our preferred type of treatment".

I am confident that Canadians are capable of making intelligent decisions on how they will care for their bodies. It is time for the government to share this confidence. The Canada Health Act must be changed to return to Canadians the freedom of medical choice they are calling for.

Health Care Reform
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the PQ government refused to support an opposition motion on health care reform. It read as follows: "That this Assembly support the proposal by the Leader of the Bloc Quebecois, Lucien Bouchard, to broaden the scope of the ongoing consultations on health care reform in Quebec".

This failure of the PQ government to accede to this legitimate request by their separatist friend and partner clearly shows that the coalition in Quebec City has two faces. They are partners for promoting sovereignty but when it comes to health, they are on opposite sides of the issue.

Does this contemptuous rejection of their Bloc friend's proposal a sign that, this time, the PQ will not let him dictate a new "virage" or change in direction?

Ontario Election
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, ten good reasons to vote Liberal in Ontario:

(1) With the Liberals you know you are always safe.

(2) Bob Rae and the NDP have done enough damage.

(3) The Liberals always care.

(4) Mike Harris is harmful to your health with his foolish tax proposals.

(5) In one way or another, if you are a single mom, youth, middle class, senior, or own a small business, you can be certain that Harris is after your pocketbook.

(6) You could not sleep at night knowing that there are Tories in Ontario.

(7) If you are injured, disabled, sick, or looking for your annual check up, Harris will be waiting for you to add salt to your wounds and do more damage to you.

(8) You have fooled with the Tories federally and with the jacuzzi socialists provincially and you were badly wounded.

(9) In the blink of a eye, Tories will suck the blood and money out of the most vulnerable in Ontario.

(10) With the Liberals, you will not take a chance. Your satisfaction will be guaranteed.

Sharing Of Federal Debt
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Saint-Denis, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Quebec minister responsible for restructuring released the findings of another study. According to the minister, the results of that study, which focused on the proportion of the national debt that would have to be assumed by an independent Quebec, are very positive.

Of course these results are positive. Do you think for a moment that the Quebec minister "responsible for propaganda" would have agreed to release a study which would not serve the separatist cause of the PQ government?

Rather than continuing to spend Quebec taxpayers' money with impunity, in an attempt to give some credibility to a project which does not have any, the PQ government should concentrate its efforts on job creation and economic recovery.

Otherwise, at the rate it is spending public money, there will soon be nothing left but the debt to share in the PQ and BQ kingdom.

Aboriginal Nations
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

André Caron Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, we were very disappointed by the editorial of free lance writer Gilbert Oskaboose in The First Perspective magazine.

His disparaging remarks on Quebecers and sovereignist leaders do not in any way reflect the feelings expressed by the First Nations chiefs and members with whom we meet as part of our work. Our differences of opinions usually do not keep us from having civilized discussions. Unfortunately, the tone used by the editorialist does not reflect the respectful attitude which we are used to in our contacts with members of the First Nations.

Quebecers, including a sovereignist government which was the first one in Canada to recognize the existence of aboriginal nations, have, for a long time, been more open minded toward these people than Canadians have in general.

The Bloc Quebecois hopes that aboriginal leaders will denounce the comments made by Mr. Oskaboose, so as to promote, on both sides, the open-mindedness which will lead to agreements such as the ones which were recently signed by Quebec and the Crees and which will foster peace and co-operation between our peoples.

Infrastructure
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have been down this road before: Liberal, Tory, same old story.

If the minister of public works is not too busy pork barrelling or designing a statue of himself for his memorial parkway he might want to take a Sunday drive down the scenic 104 highway, where he will find a message on a billboard unveiled today by the Reform Party and concerned citizens of Wentworth Valley.

Up until this point the minister has refused to listen to the people. Maybe this message will get through to him. Diversion of $26 million so that the minister can buy votes in his riding is simply unacceptable behaviour, and taxpayers are not going to take it any more. Nova Scotians and all Canadians are sick and tired of the despicable political practices of the Conservatives and now the Liberals, especially of the minister from Cape Breton.

What does the sign say to the minister? It says "$26 million is highway robbery. Give it back to highway 104".

Transportation
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Stan Keyes Hamilton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is national transportation day and next week is national transportation week in Canada.

Organizations have scheduled a variety of transportation related activities and seminars in major cities around the country, including Hamilton, Ontario, where the ninth annual international Great Lakes-St. Lawrence mayors conference will discuss, among other matters, transportation issues.

The theme of national transportation week is "Careers in Transportation: Opportunities, Training, Skills". As the Minister of Transport has said, the coming century will bring new pressure to increase Canada's productivity. This pressure will have an enormous impact on the skilled professionals who design, build, operate, and maintain our transportation system.

Today's dedicated transportation workers are expected to be skilled in technology, management, administration, and public relations. As we pay tribute to the skilled and dedicated people who keep our transportation system running, we must also ensure that those who succeed them have new skills needed for the 21st century.

I also want to congratulate Mr. Geoffrey Elliot, the national transportation person of the year. Without his timeless efforts Canadians would not have the many benefits resulting from the recent open skies agreement with the United States.

Atlantic Fishery
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Francis Leblanc Cape Breton Highlands—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, the snow crab fishery in the Gulf of St. Lawrence has emerged as one of the real success stories in the Atlantic fishery.

This year it will generate more than $275 million in economic benefits in a few short weeks. Success presents a tough policy challenge for the minister of fisheries, who has to set the rules for managing this resource. He must ensure that (a) the snow crab stock is not overfished; (b) the number allowed to fish this resource can make a reasonable return; and (c) the economic benefits from this common property resource are shared equitably.

Determining how many fishermen can participate in the snow crab fishery and what the size of their individual quotas should be has proven to be among the thorniest aspects of reconciling these policy objectives. This year the minister has adopted a novel and ingenious approach for dealing with this difficult problem. He has allocated a portion of the total allowable catch of snow crab to a number of fishermen's associations and has challenged them to find a way to fish their allocation safely and responsibly and to share the benefits fairly among those who do not have regular snow crab licences.

The fishermen are rising to the challenge. They have formed companies and worked out harvesting and processing strategies to share the benefits of this temporary allocation.

Bosnia
Oral Question Period

June 2nd, 1995 / 11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, a week after the latest escalation in the conflict in Bosnia, when 370 peacekeepers, including 55 Canadians, were taken hostage by Serbian forces, there has been a flurry of statements and meetings which failed to produce any concrete results leading to the release of the hostages. This morning, the International Red Cross said that the Bosnian Serbs told them they would release the hostages unconditionally, either today or tomorrow.

Could the Deputy Prime Minister confirm the statement by the Red Cross that the Bosnian Serbs will release the 370 peacekeepers who are being kept hostage sometime during the next few hours, although Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic said yesterday that no hostages could be released without guarantees that all air strikes would be suspended?

Bosnia
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we received communications mentioning that a few hostages might be released today, but at 11.13 a.m., we were unable to confirm whether that was the case.

Bosnia
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence confirmed yesterday that Canada was negotiating with the Bosnian Serbs to allow a rotation of the 45 Canadian peacekeepers being held hostage at their observation post. Meanwhile, in Europe the Minister of Foreign Affairs was saying, with Canada's allies, that there would be no negotiations with the Serbs regarding the hostages.

That being said, who speaks for the Canadian government? Is it the Minister of Foreign Affairs or is it the Minister of National Defence, who said that conducting negotiations would be tantamount to saying the Bosnian Serbs have the right to take hostages? Who is telling the truth?