House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was promise.

Topics

Veterans
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Colleen Beaumier Brampton, ON

Mr. Speaker, next week is Veteran's Week, when we honour the sacrifices our veterans made for our freedom. These brave soldiers selflessly fought for a free Europe and for the freedom which Canadians enjoy today. Now it is our turn to protect them.

Recently, Allied veterans living in Canada had their pensions revoked. They came to depend on their pensions for survival, and rightly so. These were hard earned pensions awarded because they fought side by side with Canadian soldiers.

It is unfair to revoke these pensions now that Allied veterans are in their most vulnerable years. These defenders of freedom deserve the security of the pensions they were promised. I ask all members of this House to take an active role in advocating the restoration of pensions for Allied veterans.

Seniors
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, single persons between the ages of 60 and 74 are being discriminated against in that they are not eligible to a seniors benefit like their fellow citizens of the same age who receive spouse's allowances.

Such discrimination on the basis of marital status goes against the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Minister of Human Resources Development argues that Canada cannot afford to make changes to its program to correct this injustice. But the minister must see reason and decide to implement fair and equitable measures.

Right now, he is hiding behind the new seniors benefit, which is not slated to take effect before the year 2001.

Our society must not put up with this kind of discrimination any longer.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Elwin Hermanson Kindersley—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, in keeping with the spirit of this week, I rise today to commend the minister of agriculture on his amazing Halloween performance. He has truly given new meaning to the term "trick or treat".

The minister has tricked farmers by failing to deliver three-quarters of the actual agriculture promises in the red book, keeping only 7 of 28. Specifically, the minister has cut agriculture research, failed to defend agriculture aggressively in trade relations with the Americans, quickly abandoned his commitment to preserve and strengthen article XI of the GATT and has fallen short of creating a national whole farm safety net.

When the minister attempts to treat farmers with the promise of reforms, he tricks them again by not following through, as most recently demonstrated by his unspectacular announcement of Canadian Wheat Board reforms. The minister is pushing costs into farmers' laps through his cost recovery schemes. Reform thinks it would be a real treat if the minister would make some of the cost disappear, starting with the oversized Pest Management Regulatory Agency.

If the minister does not start to perform soon, farmers may wave their magic wands and turn him into a pensioned pumpkin. That trick would be the greatest treat of all.

Trans-Canada Highway
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

John Solomon Regina—Lumsden, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal's elimination of the Crow benefit and rail abandonment will have a devastating effect on western farmers' pocketbooks and on our road system.

The Trans-Canada Highway system is already overloaded with tourist traffic. Increased traffic compromises safety and efficiency on our national highway system. The Liberals have a responsibility to ensure that the Trans-Canada Highway meets these growing demands.

The Trans-Canada No. 1 West Association, headed by Regina Mayor Doug Archer, presented a transport brief outlining the importance of twinning the Trans-Canada from Kenora, Ontario to Vancouver, B.C. The Trans-Canada West Association makes the point that investing in Canada's Main Street will pay for itself in job creation by bringing more trade and tourism dollars to the west.

The Liberals have handed out an $87 million interest free loan to profitable Bombardier in Quebec. The New Democrats challenge this government to invest in twinning the Trans-Canada west to bring jobs and growth to the west. This can be done in the next budget by dedicating 2 cents a litre for one year of the 14 cents a litre in gas taxes the federal government collects in excise and GST in gasoline sales.

Law Of The Sea
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the establishment of the United Nations tribunal on the Law of the Sea, with its seat in Hamburg, completes the conflict resolution machinery under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 which has now finally entered into force.

From the United Nation conferences on the Law of Sea of 1958-1960, on to the most recent 1970 to 1982 marathon, Canadian diplomats have led in successfully arguing the case for third party dispute settlement, especially judicial settlement. It is to be hoped that when Canada finally ratifies the 1982 convention we may be able to secure the election of a Canadian judge to the new court.

Child Labour
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John English Kitchener, ON

Mr. Speaker, each year the United Nations and the International Labour Organization announce statistics on the number of children exploited in the world's labour forces. This year's figure places that number in excess 100 million boys and girls under the age of 16.

Canada has long supported efforts to counter exploitive child labour, as demonstrated recently by a $700,000 commitment to the ILO's international program for the elimination of child labour. I applaud the government for this and look forward to continued efforts in this regard.

As Canadians we are proud of institutions like CIDA and its overseas development assistance programs which pursue integrated approaches while taking into account culture, education, poverty and other variables in this complex issue.

Moreover, at the Liberal Party's recent biennial conference the party adopted a resolution on protecting the world's children, further confirming the party's commitment to these pressing issues.

As chair of a subcommittee that is currently studying the topic, I look forward to the continued support of my colleagues and that of

the Minister of Foreign Affairs in recommending improved ways to protect the most treasured and vulnerable in society, our children.

Leader Of The Bloc Quebecois
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc leader is upset because the Liberal convention was such a success. His frustration is understandable; after all, his party was never able to develop, let alone put forward, a meaningful electoral platform.

He feels frustrated looking back on the Bloc's convention in April 1995, where delegates spent most of their time developing strategies to change the temporary status of their party instead of developing party policy and direction.

The separatist member for Roberval can shout and threaten all he wants, the fact remains that he heads a party that has lost its relevance since Lucien Bouchard left to run the government in Quebec.

The Bloc's separatist blueprint no longer meets the people's expectations, as they will be told loud and clear in the next election.

Immigration
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, a survey released yesterday by the Quebec minister responsible for relations with the public shows that Quebecers are increasingly tolerant and open to ethnic and cultural diversity.

A majority of people believe that immigration promotes economic development, with 72 per cent regarding it as contributing to the province's cultural richness. Young Quebecers are the ones who have the most positive and dynamic attitude in this respect. This bodes well for the future of Quebec.

Comparisons with the rest of Canada are striking. While only 29 per cent of respondents in Montreal consider that there are too many immigrants in their city, in Toronto and Vancouver, that percentage rises to 46 per cent and 49 per cent respectively.

This goes to show that the people of Quebec have the most positive attitude toward immigration in Canada. I can personally attest to that. Newcomers who choose Quebec as their new home can expect a warm welcome.

Liberal Party
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Ian McClelland Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, a memo from the Prime Minister's office is instructing Liberals to tell Canadians lies about the Reform Party. This is known politics as a fax attack.

The Liberal memo is full of misleading and dishonest statements. It is an abuse of power of the Prime Minister's office to smear Reform. Is this the Liberal way?

Reform launched its fresh start platform to encourage debate on the serious issues facing Canadians today. The Liberals resort to slander. Is this the Liberal way?

The Liberals' pre-election strategy is to slander Reform. They offer no policies of their own. They hurl invective because they have no vision. Is this the Liberal way?

Gutter tactics resorted to by the Prime Minister's office demean the political process, insult Canadians and confirm that the Reform Party is indeed the Liberals' chief political opponent.

Quebec's Economy
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, is it a coincidence? Is it a well organized strategy?

In any case, the timing could not have been better for the Mouvement national des Québécois and the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste of Montreal to launch their regional tour to mobilize people against Bill 86.

The announcement was made on the eve of the socio-economic summit, during which Lucien Bouchard will try to rally participants around common objectives relating to job creation and economic recovery.

Are these two organizations attempting to thwart the reconciliation efforts of Premier Bouchard? The Bloc Quebecois should answer this question and tell us officially on whose side it stands regarding the linguistic issue.

As for me, the member for Brome-Missisquoi, I said it before and I will say it again: Quebec's National Assembly must put the idea of a referendum on hold for 10 to 15 years, in order to revitalize Quebec's economy.

Helen Newton
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John O'Reilly Victoria—Haliburton, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise today and congratulate Helen Newton from Minden, Ontario.

Mrs. Newton was selected to receive one of three TV Ontario teaching awards from a long list of teachers from across the province.

Children across Ontario often read the delightful book Flat Stanley . Mrs. Newton's class makes its own Flat Stanleys to swap with classrooms around the world in a project that blends old-fashioned writing and geography with surfing the Internet.

Since the school does not have access to the Internet, Mrs. Newton takes the kids' adventures home to her personal computer and sends them to classrooms in Hawaii, Texas, France and the rest of the world via her modem.

Congratulations, Helen Newton.

Liberal Party
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jag Bhaduria Markham—Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is desperately trying to convince Canadians that he has kept his promises.

Well, Canadians will not be fooled by his twisting of the facts. Let us look at the major promises.

Fact No. 1, the Prime Minister promised to eliminate the GST. This empty promise has not been kept.

Fact No. 2, the Prime Minister promised to create employment opportunities for Canadians. This empty promise has not been kept. The reality is that this government has created fewer jobs than the previous government over the same period of time in office.

I could go on and on, for the list of empty promises is long. Canadians will remember that the Prime Minister has not met his commitments to the people and they will grade him much lower than his self-serving 78 per cent.

Federal Investments
Oral Question Period

October 29th, 1996 / 2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government's investment policy discriminates against Quebec and has done so since 1981. The fact remains that the federal government does not invest enough in Quebec, considering its demographic numbers.

The figures are there to prove it. Thousands of jobs have been lost in Quebec because the federal government does not distribute its investments equitably. Over a period of 15 years, , Quebec has obtained only 16 per cent of federal investment and 14 per cent of investments by Crown corporations.

How can the Prime Minister blithely insist that all is well, when his own government refuses to deal fairly with Quebec in the matter of structural spending that creates jobs?

Federal Investments
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has invested money in the whole country, in every province of Canada.

Unfortunately, sometimes the Bloc Quebecois does not realize this. For instance, in the National Capital Region, the Bloc Quebecois tends to count all federal investment as being on the Ontario side, without considering the fact that one third of the Canadian government's operations are on the Quebec side. Besides, if we exclude the national capital, I still think the distribution is pretty fair.

We have a system that establishes a certain balance in our society. We have equalization payments that go to the weakest sectors in the Canadian economy. We have a formula under which last year, we were able to send an additional $500 million to Quebec because Quebec's revenue fell far short of the forecast, and also because of interest rate levels.

For instance, because the government took charge of the country's finances in a very systematic way, the Quebec government over the past 18 months was able to save $625 million in interest rates alone, which represents an enormous amount for the people of Quebec. However, the leader of the opposition is afraid to mention these positive aspects.

Federal Investments
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has just admitted quite frankly something we have reproached him with for a long time. The money is invested on the Ontario side, leaving Quebec with transfer payments, unemployment insurance and transfers for social assistance. That is the government's policy.

Will the Prime Minister admit that by concentrating federal investment in Ontario and paying unemployment insurance and making social assistance transfers to Quebec, he is practising a policy of pauperization, which is the kind of policy we do not want any more in Quebec?