House of Commons Hansard #78 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Temagami
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ben Serré Timiskaming—French-River, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the last week hundreds of prospectors have come to the Temagami region in my riding in what may be one of the biggest prospecting rushes ever.

Not only has the opening of almost 6,000 square kilometres of land for exploration created much excitement for prospectors and mining companies, but it has created great hopes in communities in the area that new, high paying year-round jobs will follow in the future.

Of course, all operations must be environmentally viable. Since the Canadian mining industry is a world leader in the development and implementation of environmentally sound practices, I am convinced that all mining development in the Temagami region will meet Canadian standards.

I look forward to working with local groups, aboriginal leaders and the mining industry to ensure that any development in the Temagami region is managed in a responsible way.

I will gladly work together with local groups, aboriginal leaders and the industry-

Temagami
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sorry, but the hon. member's time has expired.

Confederation Bridge
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, in a ceremony in Borden-Carleton last Friday, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services announced the official name of the bridge which will soon connect Prince Edward Island with the Canadian mainland.

The fixed link will now be known as Confederation Bridge. This name recognizes the important role P.E.I. has played in Canada's rich history which has lead to Canadians calling the province the cradle of Confederation.

For all Canadians the name celebrates our rich past and our promising future, a future based on the kind of ingenuity and hard work that is making the construction of Confederation Bridge a reality.

Canadians from throughout the country participated in naming the bridge. The number of submissions as well as the quality and creativity of the suggestions demonstrate the pride that we Canadians feel not only for this incredible engineering feat but for our great country as well.

I would like to congratulate the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, the advisory committee and all Canadians who participated in the bridge naming process. Thanks to them.

The Olympic Games In Atlanta
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Deshaies Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is with respect that the members of the Bloc Quebecois salute today the Quebec and Canadian athletes who participated in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Atlanta.

We join with all those who spoke before us in saluting your courage and determination. Whether you brought a medal home or not, you are winners. You have made your dreams come true and you are an inspiration to us all.

Some Olympic feats will be forever remembered. For instance, we salute with pride Chantal Petitclerc, who won two gold and three silver medals. Through her efforts and perseverance, she has become an example to all young people, like Donovan Bailey, Annie Pelletier and all the others.

We offer each and everyone of you our deepest thanks for your brilliant performance.

Firearms Registration
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the taxpayers of Canada I would like to thank the governments of Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Yukon for their constitutional challenge of the Liberal government's flawed national firearms registration system.

Last week the provincial justice ministers argued publicly that the registration of rifles and shotguns will not be effective in reducing crime; that gun registration does nothing to reduce crimes involving firearms or smuggling; that gun registration is an inappropriate use of scarce resources right across the country. They said that the federal government has repeatedly failed to produce evidence of a correlation between a firearms registry and reduction in crime. They said it is time to target criminals who use weapons to commit crimes, not penalize law-abiding citizens under the guise of gun registration.

If this court challenge is successful, then the hundreds of millions saved will be able to be redirected to fighting real crime and real criminals by putting more police officers in our communities rather than keeping them back in the office processing useless bits of paper.

The Economy
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jerry Pickard Essex—Kent, ON

Mr. Speaker, under this Liberal government our economy has dramatically improved over the past three years.

Who would have believed in the early 1990s when interest rates were over 10 per cent that today they would be reduced to less than 6 per cent? Mortgage rates have declined 4 per cent putting $3,000 in the pockets of the average Canadian family. Interest rates have helped small businesses and the housing market show great improvements and move forward.

Our monetary policy allowed the dollar to drop from 90 cents to 73 cents. This shift, along with Team Canada trade missions, has

increased our foreign trade by 38 per cent, creating some 680,000 jobs in this country. Unemployment has dropped from 11.2 per cent to 9.4 nationally and under 9 per cent in my area of southwestern Ontario.

The government has and will continue to provide positive leadership.

Breast Cancer
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Lambton—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is symbolized by the pink ribbons worn by some of my colleagues here today.

Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among Canadian women. Approximately 18,600 new breast cancer cases will be diagnosed this year and 5,300 women will die.

In 1992 Health Canada implemented a major initiative on breast cancer totalling $25 million over five years. Our partners in this initiative include the Medical Research Council, the Canadian Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute of Canada, the provinces and territories.

There are other activities under way. Health Canada supports provincial breast cancer screening activities, the development of care and treatment guidelines, research, five information exchange projects, and strategies for the continuing education of health care professionals.

I applaud the efforts of those who are fighting this disease. October will provide us all with an opportunity to support breast cancer initiatives.

The Parti Quebecois
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, the language issue continues to rattle the Parti Quebecois.

Yesterday, minister Serge Ménard plunged into the fray, stating: "I would not want this country we will be building to be a country that does not treat its minorities as we wished we had been treated in Canada".

The minister is in no position to teach anyone anything about how francophones should be treated in Canada. In this respect, I remind him that, in Canada, we have two official languages and, although they are few in numbers, francophones have successfully made their presence felt and done well at every level of Canada's social, cultural and political life.

By the way, Mr. Ménard, when will an anglophone from the West Island become premier of Quebec for instance?

The Italian Community
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 9, 1996, fourteen leaders of Quebec's Italian community representing various political stripes, including the director of Montreal's Italian women's centre, three past presidents of the National Congress of Italian Canadians, the president of the Italian-Canadian business people and professionals, and even Liberal senator Pietro Rizzuto, have signed a manifesto asking, in regard to Quebec's future, that a clear and responsible political debate take place, in keeping with democracy.

These people support the position held by Quebec and they feel that all must accept the majority decision reached democratically. We must be grateful to these leaders for stating a clear position in saying that "Quebec's Italian community will remain an integral part of Quebec, regardless of the outcome of the constitutional debate".

I ask Liberal members from Quebec to follow the example set by Quebec's Italian community and to publicly dissociate themselves from their government's legal action.

The Italian Community
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, I would ask you not to use the names of senators when you make statements in the House.

Olympic Athletes
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Jim Silye Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, to think that when in opposition the Liberals were against free trade.

Today we are honouring Olympic athletes, some of whom are with us today on Parliament Hill. The value of their participation and contribution to Canada should not be underestimated or unrecognized.

In my opinion, athletics are as important in one's life as is academics. In some way or another sports have been or will become a part of every Canadian's life. Athletic competition prepares the individual for life and the real world.

An Olympic athlete reaches the epitome of success by not only striving to be the best in a particular sport, but also in wanting to represent his or her country. Hours of practice go rewarded by making the Olympic team and the height of ecstasy is reached if the athlete manages to win a medal for themselves and their country.

To all who aspire to be an Olympic athlete, to all who dream, past, present and future, and to all those who represent their country, congratulations.

The Bloc Quebecois
Statements By Members

October 1st, 1996 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's history and political tradition have provided few opportunities for a consensus as strong as the one recently reached regarding the issues of employment and economic recovery.

All of Quebec's stakeholders in the socio-economic and political fields share these two objectives. All, except the Bloc Quebecois.

Believe it or not, the party's general council just adopted a plan of action which seeks two objectives: "To allow the Bouchard government to spend most of its energy on the economy", while the Bloc will "tend the flame of sovereignty".

The Bloc Quebecois has just demonstrated that it does not give a hoot about the economic problems of Quebecers. The only priorities of its members are to get re-elected and to achieve separation.

Firearms
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bernie Collins Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians understand and appreciate that law, order and respect for the individual are important components in a free and democratic society. I believe Canadians would react very strongly to anyone or anything that would threaten our quality of life which is based on, among other things, our respect for law and order.

It is true that not all laws are popular with all Canadians. However, by respecting these laws we guarantee order in our society. Anyone who intentionally encourages defiance or disrespect for these laws would be acting irresponsibly and should be denounced.

Last month the Reform member for Yorkton-Melville visited my riding of Souris-Moose Mountain in order to advise people not to respect Bill C-68. I find this action irresponsible and now wonder if the leader of the Reform Party agrees with the member that it is not necessary to respect the law. If not, he should say so.

Reference To The Supreme Court
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has just realized that he is unable to

keep the referendum promises he made to Quebecers, and is therefore hoping to gain time by seeking the Supreme Court's opinion on the question of Quebec's sovereignty.

Will the Prime Minister admit that a reference to the Supreme Court will take 12 to 18 months, until after the next federal election, and that this will gain him enough time to be able to appear before voters without having kept his promises, using the excuse that he is waiting on this opinion?

Reference To The Supreme Court
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I must say that, in December, the House of Commons voted in favour of a distinct society, and I hope that the National Assembly will follow suit as rapidly as possible.

Here, the government has assumed its responsibilities and voted in favour of a distinct society. We also promised that we were not going to amend the Constitution without the consent of Quebec. Parliament assumed its responsibilities in the month of December, and we passed a bill giving a regional veto in Canada, which means Quebec has a veto. But the Constitution cannot be amended without the approval of the government of Quebec.

So, if the Leader of the Opposition wants changes, let him tell head office to pass a resolution on distinct society, and accept the veto which they are being offered and which the government of Quebec is turning down.