House of Commons Hansard #5 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was vice-chair.

Topics

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Simmons Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, the government's new employment insurance package has the support of the majority of Canadians, and so it should because the old UI was desperately in need of reform.

However, certain measures in the new plan, including the intensity rule and the divisor method, must be changed, as the new HRD minister has agreed. Without that change the very people who are most in need of our assistance will be hurt. People such as seasonal workers, substitute teachers and others who live in areas of high unemployment would rather be working full time, year round but cannot through no fault of their own.

I support their cause. The long standing Canadian practice of fairness and equality for all must prevail as the government puts its finishing touches on its new employment insurance reforms.

Gateway North Marketing Agency
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Elijah Harper Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, in January the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs announced the launching of a new agency to promote the port of Churchill, the Gateway North Marketing Agency.

The launching of this agency is good news for the port and good news for Canadian farmers. For the first time we have an agency devoted to connecting shippers and producers with the cheapest way to ship from the prairies to Europe and Latin America. The launch of Gateway North will help to make our northern ports self-sufficient and save western farmers money.

Gateway North is good news for all of us.

Cuba
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jesse Flis Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, nine days ago Canada condemned Cuba for shooting down two civilian aircraft. It was an unwarranted act resulting in the tragic death of two U.S. citizens.

Without question the United States has the right to respond to this incident, but the passage of the Jesse Helms-Burton bill, which poses a direct threat to Canadian companies doing business with Cuba, is itself an excessive use of force.

The United States has every right to determine its own trade policy with Cuba, but the Helms-Burton bill oversteps legal boundaries and violates the purposes and principles of the UN charter. It furthermore infringes on the sovereignty of Canada and that of other friendly trading nations in the Caribbean basin.

The Prime Minister of Canada speaks for all Canadians when he says: "Friends are friends and business is business". However, the Helms-Burton bill is no way to do business nor is it a way to treat your friends.

Therefore I urge the U.S. Congress to kill such an irresponsible piece of legislation.

Justice
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will read from an article that appeared in the Toronto Sun referring to Paul Bernardo and the mollycoddling of other sadistic criminals in this country:

In our society, it's the criminals who really count. Violent criminals get an inordinate amount of our attention. They are celebrities, and so they have all the trappings of success. For them, room service and cable. For them, counselling, university education, exercise equipment, health care, clothing, mail service, hot showers and central heating.

Commit something big enough and get your own room away from the other riff-raff, which will ensure that you are not subjected to the same sorts of abuse you have been shelling out to others.

The bottom may drop out of the social safety net for the rest of us but one sociopath and many other criminal deviants will be safe and warm.

I commend my colleague from Fraser Valley for his initiative in introducing a motion calling on the government to draft a victim bill of rights.

Highway 50
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, on March 1, the Quebec minister of transport announced the second stage of highway 50, between Mirabel and Lachute. The work, over a distance of 11 kilometres and estimated at over $19 million, will be completed over the next three years. We are taking the trouble to point out this good news because we feel it important to stress the fact that this work is being done as part of the Canada-Quebec agreement on highway improvement.

The government of Canada has long been the favoured partner of communities in the Outaouais and in eastern Ontario. We are delighted that the Government of Quebec has finally decided to back us in our efforts to provide the appropriate tools for economic development to this important region of Quebec.

Economic Recovery
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Vaudreuil
Québec

Liberal

Nick Discepola Parliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Prime Minister of Canada appealed for solidarity and co-operation from all Canadians. Our country's economic recovery requires a concerted effort by all stakeholders to help make the various government initiatives efficient and cost-effective.

We must all do our part to set our country back on the road to growth and prosperity. Governments across Canada are working hard to address the problem of our crippling debt and deficit. Governments are shrinking to an acceptable size and becoming more efficient. Citizens, business and labour must in turn support our efforts to create jobs and stimulate the economy. The Prime Minister is holding out his hand to all our Canadian partners. Together, let us grab it so that all Canadians can be better off.

Status Of Women
Statements By Members

March 4th, 1996 / 2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance picked international women's week as the time to table his new budget. It is therefore with great confidence that women are waiting to see what the minister has in store for them in the future. As you may recall, the upcoming budget comes only a few months after the fourth international conference on women, where Canada made a formal commitment to continue to help women in their efforts to achieve equality.

What women want from their government are concrete and positive measures that will improve their situation and that of their children. The Bloc Quebecois supports all women's groups in Quebec and Canada. We hope that the minister, especially during international women's week, will honour his government's commitments and show some initiative. Given his track record, he has a lot of catching up to do.

International Women's Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—Woodbine, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure for me to commemorate International Women's Week. Its origins can be traced to labour strikes in both 1857 and 1908 in New York city. Workers were protesting the dangerous working conditions and exploitative wages of women employed in the textile industry.

Later, women's rights and suffrage also became issues of concern. In 1911 the first International Women's Day was celebrated to acknowledge women's struggles.

March 8 marks a global celebration of women's accomplishments and of advancements toward gender equality. It is also a time to focus on issues that affect women's lives. The government is determined to address these issues. I stand proud of our efforts to counter violence against women, inequality in the workplace and gender discrimination.

Imagine a world in which true equality is no longer a distant dream.

Israel
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, today another suicide bombing occurred in Israel, murdering over 20 people and injuring countless others. We deplore this atrocity in the strongest possible terms and our deepest sympathies go to the victims of this terrible crime.

This is the second attempt in two days to derail the Israeli peace process and I urge the Israeli and Palestinian people to continue to pursue the path to peace, for by not doing this will only lead to war.

To Mr. Arafat, bring the murderous element of Hamas to swift justice. Work with the Israelis to supplant the social organization of Hamas and build up the economic situation of the Palestinian people, for by doing this you will cut the legs out from Hamas' support.

Those who commit these crimes are the enemies of peace. Their intention is the pursuit of war, pit person against person and neighbour against neighbour. You must not let this happen. You must not let the dove of peace be slain by its enemies for the sake of all the people in the Middle East.

Middle East Peace Process
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Bloc Quebecois, I want to condemn the new terrorist incident that has struck hard at Israel's population today, and jeopardized the peace process in the Middle East.

The bombing in Tel-Aviv, for which the Hamas fundamentalist movement has claimed responsibility, is the fourth such incident to occur in less than ten days in Israel and it has claimed several dozens more innocent victims.

This senseless violence not only jeopardizes the long and difficult peace process, but also adversely affects negotiations on the eventual status of Palestinian territories.

We wish to express our deep sympathy to the families of the victims and to the Israeli people.

The Bloc wishes to stress the need to resist the temptation to retaliate, and to carry on the peace talks. It is the fight against violence, and not the fight against peace, that must prevail.

Manitoba Medical Association
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, the committee on alcohol and pregnancy of the Manitoba Medical Association is to be recognized for its healthy baby month project aimed at increasing public awareness on the ill effects of alcohol during pregnancy.

During this special month, which ends March 15, many community groups throughout Manitoba are volunteering their time and expertise, holding panel discussions, displaying posters and making public service announcements to further this cause.

Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is the leading preventable cause of mental retardation. Hence, this project by the multi-disciplinary committee under the chairmanship of Dr. Oscar Casiro merits the support of the House.

Preventive strategies such as this one will help reduce the occurrence of fetal alcohol syndrome and thereby help ensure the well-being of our youngest Canadians, the future of our nation.

Impaired Driving
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, in December Statistics Canada reported the rate of people charged with impaired driving dropped in 1994 for the 11th consecutive year. More important, over the last decade there has been a steady drop in the number of alcohol related deaths.

Statistics Canada attributes the decrease mainly to a slow change in social norms brought about by government campaigns and the involvement of community groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Many of the people involved with Mothers Against Drunk Driving are volunteers who have lost relatives and loved ones to the senseless carnage of drunk drivers. The efforts of these volunteers are most praiseworthy and laudable.

Impaired driving is the most frequently committed violent crime in this country. It has a far greater impact on society than any other crime.

We are still losing four Canadians a day because of impaired driving. These are preventable deaths.

We must continue the campaign until all Canadians know that impaired driving is not acceptable in Canada.

Crime Prevention
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate this opportunity to pay tribute to two Mount Royal College criminology students, Marino Mihoc and Sean Mulligan. These two individuals have developed a community oriented policing program which aims to build a stronger community by establishing innovative crime prevention projects in the middle schools and ultimately to teach kids how to become better citizens.

This is a unique project in that it has not been tried anywhere else in Canada. I strongly encourage all members of Parliament to become advocates of this project in their own constituency and to begin by contacting my office for further information.

This could be a project that would provide a reduction in crime throughout Canada. Crime prevention must begin at an early age. This program provides the guidance necessary to those children leaning toward destructive behaviour.

Best wishes to these two young men for this community oriented police program in Airdrie, Alberta.

Status Of Women
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel St. Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, today marks the beginning of International Women's Week. I encourage all Canadians to join with the international community to emphasize women's achievements and to reflect on the initiatives that need to be taken in the coming years.

I also want to point out that Canada was awarded the world prize for greatest progress made in the last decade, regarding the status of women. The prize is awarded by the International Federation of Business and Professional Women.

We are making significant progress in the promotion of equality for women. However, we must pursue our efforts, particularly as regards violence against women. We must recognize that violence against women violates human rights, something which is unacceptable in Canada.

Governments, media, businesses, communities, families, as well as social, educational and religious institutions all have a role to play in making our world a safer place.

Unemployment Insurance Reform
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in Quebec and in the maritime provinces, a growing number of demonstrations are being held to oppose the reform of the unemployment insurance system, whose net result will be to exclude thousands of workers from the scheme. In the middle of an employment crisis, the government is cutting benefits to the unemployed and, in order to reduce its annual deficit, is creaming off the surplus from the UI fund although it has not contributed to it since 1990.

My question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development. Could the minister, whose role should be to protect the unemployment insurance system, tell us whether, on the eve of the budget, he has received guarantees from his colleague, the Minister of Finance, that he will stop using the fund surplus to artificially lower his deficit?