House of Commons Hansard #110 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was mines.

Topics

Privilege
Government Orders

11:05 a.m.

The Speaker

I appeal to the House that we should stay away from any personal attacks on other members. I never know exactly where you, hon. members, are going when you begin your statements. That is why I give you so much room. Sometimes we come very close but the House has a way of regulating itself.

I would agree in the sense that there can be no conditions on the decision that a Speaker will take. I am your Speaker. You put me here. I am the embodiment of the rules of the House. Many times you have given me quite a bit of room in here. I do not know if I could ever accept that any member would withdraw unparliamen-

tary language on condition that something else happen, that I do something else.

When I dealt with unparliamentary language, it was something that was dealt with between myself as the spokesperson for this House of Commons and another member directly. In the sense of the rules, what one person says or the other person believes does not affect me. We look at facts. It is the old story: Is the glass half full or half empty?

I would appeal to all hon. members to be very judicious in your choice of words when you are making statements in the House. My only recourse if I feel that the statement is going in a certain direction would be for me to intervene, cut off the member's statement and go to the next member.

I would hope that in this decision I have made like all of the others in the House you would receive it in the spirit with which it is given. First and foremost this institution is a place where we do have freedom of speech. It is not incumbent upon your Speaker to ever decide on the veracity of statements. When one member says something is true, I accept it and when the other member says something is true, I accept that. That is the only way we can function.

I would leave that decision where it is. I will be very vigilant in listening to all of the statements by members. I want to let this rest where it is now and I want to proceed to Statements by Members.

L'Odyssée Elementary School
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Eugène Bellemare Carleton—Gloucester, ON

Mr. Speaker, Wednesday we celebrated the official opening in Orléans of a new public elementary school for young Franco-Ontarians in the area.

The École L'Odyssée will start with nearly 450 pupils in classrooms that will let them use the environment as a learning tool. For instance, there is a glass wall that provides a view of water pipes and conduits, there are protractors on the doors, trees representative of the regional flora and hallways named after famous Franco-Ontarians.

The school's ultramodern equipment will help prepare young Franco-Ontarians for the world that will be theirs, the world of high tech, computers and science, as reflected in the booming technological sector in the national capital region.

The fact that École L'Odyssée has come to Carleton-Gloucester proves once again that francophones are capable of making their way in a country full of opportunity, by developing their potential in their own language and culture, of which they are so proud.

Bravo and many thanks to the principal of the school, Anne Quevillon, to the parents, the teachers and the Conseil scolaire public francophone d'Ottawa-Carleton.

High Speed Train
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the decision to go ahead with plans for a high speed train in the northeast corridor between New York and Boston will have important economic benefits for Quebec and for the Lower St. Lawrence, thanks to the dynamism of the Pocatec company and its president and general manager, Carl Casista.

With the initiative of teachers from the Collège and the Cégep de La Pocatière, this SME has, over the years, built up a synergy with Bombardier, and has met the challenge of high tech development outside major centres.

The company won a $7 million contract to design and build communications equipment for the high speed train. This is a wonderful example of the economic benefits to be derived from implementation of the high speed train project in the Canadian corridor.

Let us hope that the preliminary feasibility study by Bombardier and its five partners, recently confirmed by Bombardier's chairman and CEO, Laurent Beaudoin, will make this dream a reality.

Gun Control
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, constituents in my riding of Peace River are fair and reasonable people. When it comes to government they only ask that this federal government be fair and reasonable also.

They want government to spend their tax money wisely and they want their government to be honest. But these days many constituents in Peace River are seeing red and in this case it is not the government's flag program.

They ask: What will making farmers, ranchers and hunters register their rifles and shotguns do to reduce crime in this country? They believe this Liberal government is not being honest with Canadians. They see this as a half baked measure that will waste taxpayers' money, tie up the police force in paperwork and achieve little in reducing a growing crime problem.

I agree with the constituents of Peace River. I believe most fair minded Canadians do also.

Blind Lawn Bowling
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

John Richardson Perth—Wellington—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to pay tribute to Mr. Norm Green, a constituent of mine, who is proving that with the right attitude obstacles in life can be overcome.

After an accident caused him visual impairment, Norm brought his trademark enthusiasm to the sport of blind lawn bowling in 1994. Today the St. Clements resident bowls several times a week at the Elmira Lawn Bowling Club where he not only challenges members with sight, he often shows them how to play.

In 1995, only one year after taking up the sport, Norm entered the Canadian National Blind Lawn Bowling competition and finished a respectable fourth. That same year he finished first for his class in the Ontario Lawn Bowling Championship. Then in only his second year of competition, Norm won the National Blind Lawn Bowling Championship in September 1996. Now Norm is entitled to compete and represent Canada in the World Lawn Bowling Competition in New Zealand this February.

I congratulate Norm on all of his achievements. I know that all Canadians join with me in wishing him the best of luck.

Welland Canal
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the city of St. Catharines celebrates the birthday of the Welland Canal.

On November 29, 1829 the first Welland Canal was born. One hundred and sixty-seven years ago, 40 wooden locks built over the Niagara escarpment opened the transportation route into the heart of this country.

On this special occasion we honour the builder of the canal and Canada's father of transportation, the Hon. William Hamilton Merritt.

Today the Engineering Institute of Canada will memorialize this work with the unveiling of a plaque recognizing the achievements of Canada's professional engineers in the construction of the Welland Canal.

The Welland Canada is Canada's oldest active transportation route. Over the years the canal has been enlarged three times to accommodate Canada's growing transportation needs. It is a vital part of the St. Lawrence Seaway and provides thousands of jobs and great economic benefit to the country. It also attracts hundreds of tourists who visit St. Catharines to watch huge ships climb 100 meters to carry cargo between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

I know members of the House of Commons join me in celebrating the great achievements of Canada's engineers on this the birthday of the Welland Canal.

Martin Streef
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

John Finlay Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, last May I congratulated Martin Streef from my riding for being named the Ontario region's outstanding young farmer for 1996. Today I would like to congratulate Mr. Streef for winning the Canadian championship for the best young farmer of the year at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.

Mr. Streef and his family operate Streef Produce in Princeton and at the Toronto Food Terminal. Having started from scratch while still in high school, Martin has led his company to become one of the largest potato producers in Ontario. Streef Produce currently operates five farms on 1,500 acres in Oxford and Brant counties.

Like any business, the agricultural industry is constantly in need of new blood. We can be assured that Canada's agricultural sector will stay competitive with young farmers like Martin Streef leading the way.

Canada Labour Code
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Maurice Bernier Mégantic—Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Labour recently said, and quite rightly, that the best collective agreement is still one that has been negotiated.

However, the media have informed us that Air Canada is now hiring strikebreakers in case of a strike. The company is brazenly placing job ads offering $10 an hour, $1,400 for a training program, and an $800 bonus for crossing picket lines.

When he tabled his reform of the labour code, the minister said that an anti-scab provision was unnecessary, given that he was convinced of the parties' good faith.

The Bloc Quebecois feels that there needs to be an amendment to the Canada Labour Code prohibiting replacement workers. The situation shaping up at Air Canada proves our point beyond all doubt.

Gun Control
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, this government continually talks about promoting Canadian unity but its actions do not follow its words.

The justice minister's gun control regulations are just one more example of this double talk. Instead of uniting Canadians in the

common cause, they seriously divide Canadians against each other. These regulations divide province against province by arrogantly discounting the concerns of some duly elected governments. They divide rural citizens against urban citizens because of traditional lifestyles.

Worst of all, they divide Canadians by race: aboriginal against non-aboriginal. While these regulations will be enforced vigorously in most of Canada, the exemptions for aboriginal people ensure that no aboriginal will ever be charged under the act, for the same reasons that little effort is being made to stop the flow of illegal weapons on Indian reserves straddling the Canada-U.S. border. This law is unfair for aboriginal people. It is unfair for all Canadians. We must be treated equally under the law.

Mimico
Statements By Members

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today to applaud the members of the Mimico business community who this year re-established the Mimico-by-the Lake Business Association in my riding.

For many years now the retail district in this community has been in decline. The actions of local small business leaders, the residents and City Councillor Mr. Peter Milczyn have proved that when the community comes together it can produce positive results. Already businesses like Universal Bakery and Pekao Travel have changed the retail landscape. These improvements will move in step with the plans for the waterfront motel strip development.

For almost five years there was no construction in the area. We see that these changes and the fruits of this government's infrastructure plan for the waterfront motel strip are turning the economy around. The Mimico Business Association will join the New Toronto and Longbranch Business Associations-

Toronto Separate School Board
Statements By Members

November 29th, 1996 / 11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—Woodbine, ON

Mr. Speaker, a constituent in my riding of Beaches-Woodbine has informed me that the Toronto Separate School Board is seriously considering selling off 38 schools to private companies. The private sector consortiums would then depreciate these buildings for tax purposes the way any owner of a private office or apartment builder can. The depreciation of these buildings will be calculated at 5 per cent under the federal tax rules.

Although the private sector would initially pay millions for these schools, it would more than recoup their investment through rents, tax write-offs and the subcontracting of services.

This is a totally unacceptable way of financing our educational system in Ontario or anywhere else in Canada. This uploading of educational costs to the federal government by province of Ontario is not acceptable.

Taxpayers have already paid for the construction of these schools and are continuing to pay high educational taxes to maintain the excellence of our educational system. By selling off these buildings millions of tax dollars will go into the pockets of private businesses at the expense of services to children. This abuse must be stopped.

Snowy Owl Foundation
Statements By Members

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Ottawa West, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 1993 as Louis Turpin lay dying of AIDS complications, a snowy owl landed in view of his window. Later that day, surrounded by his loving family, Louis died but his illness and death inspired the Turpin family and friends to dedicate their efforts to conquering AIDS.

Yesterday the Snowy Owl Foundation was launched to support AIDS education, prevention and services to persons living with AIDS. Look Beyond was released, a book that captures in words and photographs the faces and spirit of Canadians living with AIDS.

One of those courageous Canadians is Billy Jo, a seven-year old girl with AIDS. She spoke about her family and the joy of living every day to the fullest.

To the Turpin family, to all those who have created and contributed to Look Beyond and to the Snowy Owl Foundation we owe our gratitude for inspiring life and hope.

Candu Reactors
Statements By Members

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, in spite of constant human rights violations in China, in spite of the pressures exerted by environmental groups and the danger posed by the export of nuclear technologies, the Government of Canada has just entered into a contract with China to build two Candu nuclear power plants.

Sure, we have to create jobs. However, the Bloc Quebecois believes that this contract should have been accompanied by strict conditions regarding the use of this nuclear technology.

Liberal government members already boast about having signed the contract of the century. We should remind them that, while the total value of the project is $4 billion, its spinoffs in Canada will only reach $1.5 billion, since $2.5 billion will go to American and Japanese companies.

We should also remind Liberals that Quebec will only get $275 million, or a mere 18 per cent of the total economic impact in Canada. Once again, Quebec is not getting its fair share in this federation.

Canada Post
Statements By Members

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Comox—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Post mandate review recommends that the government appoint to the board of Canada Post only individuals with the expertise and stature to be directors of a similar sized corporation in the private sector.

However, like most recommendations in the report, it appears this one will be ignored as well.

Last month Gilles Champagne, a long time Quebec Liberal fundraiser, was appointed to the Canada Post board of directors. Mr. Champagne is well known for the $1,000 a plate fundraising dinner he organized for the Prime Minister.

Last week Brian Steck was appointed to the Canada Post board of directors. Mr. Steck's qualifications appear to be that he works for Nesbitt Thomson, a company that gave over $197,000 to the federal Liberal Party since 1993.

When will the Liberal government end the despicable practice of rewarding party supporters and appoint only qualified members to boards as recommended in the Canada Post revue and promised in the red book?

Diabetes
Statements By Members

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Saint-Denis, QC

Mr. Speaker, November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Nearly 1.5 million Canadians have diabetes. It is a major cause of premature deaths, blindness, kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, limb amputation and other significant health problems.

The chances of having diabetes increase with age and it affects more than 13 per cent of Canadians between 65 and 74 years of age.

The Canadian Diabetes Association supports research on diabetes, protects the rights of diabetics and their families, and provides them with a wide range of services. I am proud to say that Health Canada also plays an important role in the fight against diabetes, by subsidizing research through the Medical Research Council, by promoting the smooth functioning of the Canadian multisectorial council for diabetes, and by conducting health-related monitoring activities.

Please join me in wishing the Canadian Diabetes Association and its many volunteers are very successful Diabetes Awareness Month.