House of Commons Hansard #3 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Roland Veilleux
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

François Langlois Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Roland Veilleux, the spokesperson for the no committee in Beauce and owner of Groupe RGR, is at it again. Last fall he threatened to pull out of Quebec if the no side won. Now he is justifying the closing of his factory in Saint-Georges-de-Beauce by blaming it on the fact that the results were too close.

But, as it happens, Mr. Veilleux is currently negotiating with his workers, and that is what brings about the threat of closure. He has used the same tactics in previous negotiations. It seems therefore that his blame keeps switching from one guilty party to another, sometimes the sovereignists, sometimes the union, as it suits him. This is strangely reminiscent of the good old industrialists of the 19th century.

Impaired Driving
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I draw to the attention of the House the serious issue of impaired driving.

In 1994, 1,414 people were killed as a result of impaired driving, three times the number of murders.

Those who end up killing someone while impaired routinely are given excessive light sentences, generally between one and four years.

This morning I introduced a private members' bill which would see a minimum of seven years imposed on those convicted of impaired driving causing death. Those who drive impaired must be held responsible for their actions. They choose to be impaired, they choose to drive. We are all potential victims and we must do everything we can to deter impaired driving and keep impaired drivers off our streets.

Cuba
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the American decision to punish everyone who does not hold to their view on Cuba is truly objectionable, if not laughable in some respects.

When it comes to the issue of using property confiscated in revolutions, are they suggesting that whatever property in the U.S. which might have been lost by United Empire Loyalists should be similarly treated? Hardly. Nor are they suggesting that countries like China and a host of others with lousy human rights records should be sanctioned like Cuba is. Why not?

Could this hypocrisy be possibly related to the fact that Cuba, like Canada, is in the so-called American sphere of influence and is supposed to behave like a good little neighbour. However, when it comes to Cuba Canada has shown a streak of independence that we do not always show on other issues.

I urge the Minister of Foreign Affairs to carry on this tradition which goes all the way back to John Diefenbaker and resist in every political and diplomatic way possible this latest manifestation of the bully in the American psyche aided and abetted by some electoral domestic politics.

At the same time the Cuban government might reflect on how wrong it was politically and morally to have shot down those planes the way it did.

Robert Sutherland
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Milliken Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, in commemoration of black history month, I am pleased to acknowledge Robert Sutherland, Ontario's first black lawyer and one of Queen's University's earliest benefactors.

Robert Sutherland graduated from Queen's in 1852 with an honours degree in classics and mathematics. He later studied law at Osgoode Hall and was called to the Ontario bar in 1855.

After being called to the bar, Mr. Sutherland settled in Walkerton, Ontario and practised law until his death in 1878 at age 48. On his death he left his entire estate of $12,000, a considerable sum for that time, to his Alma Mater, Queen's University. It was to date the largest single bequest Queen's had ever received.

Robert Sutherland's commitment to academic excellence at Queen's stands as a reminder to us all of the limitless potential all people possess regardless of racial or ethnic origin. His early accomplishments and subsequent generosity are another proud reminder of the substantial contribution black people have made to Canada.

Speech From The Throne
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel St. Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, we heard the throne speech this week, so once again I decided to poll a group of constituents. They applauded the government's initiative for the next session.

For instance, they were delighted to hear that the government had promised to help young Canadians develop their full potential and to double the number of federal summer student jobs. They ask the private sector to do likewise. They support the federal government's plan to work together with the provinces and health care intervenors in order to preserve and modernize medicare and make it responsive to the needs of future generations.

My constituents also endorsed the concept that Canadians will be consulted on the available options and the changes that are necessary to preserve the Canada pension plan.

This throne speech is straightforward and it is also important because it provides a clear indication to Canadians of what the government intends to do.

Black History In Canada
Statements By Members

February 29th, 1996 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Saint-Denis, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is the last day of black history month in Canada. This initiative, which gave rise to a host of activities across the country, was for us an opportunity to get better acquainted with the children of Matthew Da Costa who have chosen to make our destiny theirs as well.

Thanks to this event, we are now in a better position to understand and appreciate the role of these Canadians, their motivations and the contribution they made towards building Canada and Quebec.

The activities and celebrations during black history month help to dispel many myths about visible minorities and provide us with a better understanding of our fellow Canadians.

Like other communities across Canada and in Quebec, the children of Matthew Da Costa and Martin Luther King chose to live in this country because they shared in our values. Above all, they, like other communities, will continue to contribute to the growth of this country, their Canada, so that it remains prosperous and united.

Emergency Preparedness
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the weekend of January 20, 1996, the waters of the Châteauguay river flooded its banks, which caused flooding in a residential area of the municipality of Châteauguay and made it necessary to evacuate 1,200 people. The damage is estimated at nearly $3 million.

An additional problem was the fact that the only hovercraft posted in the Laurentian region by the Canadian Coast Guard was in for annual repairs and was therefore not available.

At a time when the federal government is about to waste millions of dollars on purchasing submarines, we do not have enough emergency preparedness equipment to protect ourselves and our property. The office of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans who is responsible for the Canadian Coast Guard refuses to provide a response to the elementary questions we asked about the hovercraft.

I can assure the flood victims that we will not let the matter rest.

Justice
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Similkameen—Merritt, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the constituents of Okanagan-Similkameen-Merritt to challenge the Minister of Justice to attend the victims' rights rally tonight in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

Yesterday the Minister of Justice gave us fine words about his concern for victims of crime. Tonight the minister could talk the talk and walk the walk by attending the rally and reinforce his support for the rights of victims of crime.

Canadians are demanding the Liberals take immediate action to place the rights of victims ahead of the rights of criminals. The Liberals and the Minister of Justice are ignoring the fear and outrage of Canadians because of how little security they feel on their own streets and in their homes.

That is why my Reform colleague, the hon. member for Fraser Valley West, has proposed a national victims' bill of rights. We call on the Minister of Justice to join us and be an advocate for victims and participate in the victims' rights rally tonight in Abbotsford.

Speech From The Throne
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Finestone Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a very real country, diverse and world renowned. Everyone must have a fair chance to participate in its daily life.

The throne speech reinforces our commitment to social and economic equality as a basic Canadian value. It opens the dialogue to partnership and flexibility for an evolving federation as it sets out the terms and conditions for change. It harnesses the energy of Team Canada to create hope and opportunity.

English speaking Quebecers, skilled and bilingual, are a vital part of this team. They must have guarantees of fair access as an official language minority community to health care and social services, education, jobs and cultural institutions to ensure our collective prosperity.

Visiting with parliamentarians today are over 200 members of Alliance Quebec who work diligently to inform, enlighten and ensure intercultural and linguistic harmony in our multi-ethnic communities and provinces.

Good luck in the continuing dialogue both inside and outside Quebec, and congratulations to all on your efforts toward unity and understanding for all peoples.

Grammy Awards
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Ottawa West, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night the Grammy Awards belonged to Canada's outstanding women performers.

Alanis Morissette from my home town of Ottawa won awards for best rock song and best performance by a female vocalist in the rock field. There is more. She also won best rock album of the year and best album of the year.

That is still not all. Shania Twain, the new queen of country music, won the Grammy for best country album, and Joni Mitchell won the best pop album.

The four best albums, best rock song, best rock performance, what a way to begin the Canadian celebration of international women's week. What a way to show Canadians can perform with the best and win.

Grammy Awards
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Perhaps the hon. member could intervene on behalf of the House and ask her constituent to come to the House so that we can all meet and praise her.

Grammy Awards
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Cross Canada Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, at 10:10 this morning, a Canadian Press release revealed the following:

Stéphane Dion, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, has reiterated that a cross Canada referendum is not out of the question. In a telephone press conference, Mr. Dion said no means of consultation had been ruled out. He did say that the government did not want a referendum with all the trauma it would entail.

We will remember that, on Wednesday morning, the Deputy Prime Minister completely ruled out the possibility and did not answer my question yesterday afternoon during question period.

My question is for the Prime Minister. I would like to know from the Prime Minister, because it is he who set match to kindling by raising the possibility of a cross Canada referendum in the throne speech, and because even his ministers are confused by his remarks-two of his ministers are contradicting each other-, whether he would be kind enough to clarify the issue once and for all so we can get on with other things and tell us, yes or no, whether he intends to hold a cross Canada referendum on the future of Quebec?

Cross Canada Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the minister expressed what we are all thinking, which is that we do not want another referendum. No one wants a referendum.

I hope the hon. Leader of the Opposition does not want a referendum and that he subscribes to the theory of Jacques Parizeau, who, on the night of the referendum, was going to tell Quebecers and Canadians that the result was irreversible, that democracy had spoken, that the page had to be turned and that everyone should rally behind the choice made. We are rallying behind the choice Quebecers made, we are going to stay in Canada.

Cross Canada Referendum
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, needless to say the Leader of the Opposition is rallying and does not want a cross Canada referendum, because it is up to Quebecers to decide their future.

The official opposition feels it is up to Quebecers to decide their future, does the Prime Minister share this opinion?