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

Union Station
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the regional minister from Winnipeg or for whomever else might answer for the proposed sale of Union Station in Winnipeg.

The minister will be aware of allegations made in the local media that a proposed sale of Union Station was not only not tendered but that Liberal insiders were given privileged information with respect to the building.

This deal fell through. However, can we have assurances that if this building continues to be for sale, although I do not think it should be, it will be for sale in an openly transparent tendered way so that everybody is given the same information? Will the government be asking the auditor general to investigate what happened the first time the place was put up for sale?

Union Station
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Portage—Interlake
Manitoba

Liberal

Jon Gerrard Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is making a whole series of largely unfounded accusations.

The government has set up a number of instruments for economic development and we are using these in the most independent and impartial way possible to make sure Canadians have jobs and that our young people are better off. The hon. member will see those results.

Presence In Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I draw to the attention of the House the presence in the gallery of Mr. Roberto Pedraza Martinez, President of the Commission of Indigenous Affairs of the United Mexican States and accompanying delegation.

Presence In Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Presence In Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I also draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of the hon. Dr. Ron Stewart, Minister of Health of Nova Scotia.

Presence In Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Electoral Boundaries Commissions
Routine Proceedings

3 p.m.

The Speaker

It is my duty, pursuant to section 23(2) of the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, to lay upon the table certified copies of the 1994 reports of Electoral Boundaries Commissions for the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

These reports are deemed referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

Indian Affairs
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Sault Ste. Marie
Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, copies of the first annual report of the Gwich'in land claims agreement implementation committee.

Federal Elections, Fees, Tariff
Routine Proceedings

March 4th, 1996 / 3:05 p.m.

Fundy Royal
New Brunswick

Liberal

Paul Zed Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, in accordance with subsection 198(3) of the Canada Elections Act, and pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I wish to table, in both official languages, copies of recent amendments to the Federal Elections, Fees, Tariff. Pursuant to Standing Order 32(5), this document should be deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

Government Response To Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Fundy Royal
New Brunswick

Liberal

Paul Zed Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's responses to six petitions presented during the first session.

The Middle East
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre
Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in the last eight days we have witnessed with horror and heartache repeated acts of terrorism in Israel.

Today in the heart of downtown Tel Aviv a terrorist yet again carried out an attack against innocent individuals. Worse still, many of the casualties appear to be children.

All Canadians vigorously condemn these acts of terrorism. We are with the people of Israel at this tragic time. The Prime Minister has written to Prime Minister Peres. I have also written to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Barak, to express our support.

Today, the Prime Minister of Canada asked the other heads of state meeting in Grenada to condemn the attacks in Israel and they agreed to.

Later this afternoon I will be meeting with members of the Israel committee to discuss their concerns. I will also be writing directly to PLO chairman Yasser Arafat to urge him to take all steps within his power to prevent further acts of terrorism.

I acknowledge very clearly, as we all must, that Canada must also do its own part. I will be speaking to my colleague, the solicitor general, and to other ministers to review what steps can be taken by Canada to ensure terrorists find no home here.

The issue of terrorist funding was raised in question period regarding the extent of the problem in Canada. We do not know how far, how modest or how great, but whatever the amount we know they can be important to groups themselves. Therefore we are committed to doing all we can to deprive terrorists of this funding.

We will also be discussing with our counterparts in the P-8 group of nations what further actions we can take to root out terrorism.

There is no doubt the terrorists who carried out these attacks had in mind one basic target, the Middle East peace process. It is tragic in today's world that the bad drives out the good and the extremists can force what was a positive, constructive development to turn this way.

We should remind ourselves today of all that has been accomplished in the peace process. Israel is at peace with its neighbours Egypt and Jordan. It has with PLO chairman Yasser Arafat found a partner. Now these partners must work together to defeat those who seek to destroy all the peace process has accomplished so far.

We think that the peace process must continue. It is the best response to terrorism.

Mr. Peres has carried on Yitzhak Rabin's peace efforts with courage and determination.

We have learned that there are people who believe they can achieve acts of change by the sword. I think all of us in the House are of the opinion that it really is through words, discussion and dialogue that peace is brought about. The events that so deeply penetrate our hearts, just as the shrapnel and weapons penetrated bodies, we have to continue to ask why such senseless acts. We are a generation that has witnessed far too many such acts of violence and terrorism and have seen so many cut down.

I am reminded of the words of Robert Kennedy when his brother was assassinated: "What has violence ever accomplished, what has it ever created? No martyr's cause has ever been stilled by an assassin's bullet. No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper or a terrorist is only a coward, not a hero. An uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of the people".

We are reminded this day of how fragile our societies are and how vulnerable to extremists, fanatics and true believers each of us really is. Even in our own country we receive some overtones of this.

We offer our great hope for the continuation of that peace process. We offer to the people of Israel and to all the Middle East a great hope that this terrorism can be brought to an end and that we can all work together to bring lasting peace and stability to this very tortured and troubled region.

It is my understanding that my parliamentary secretary has discussed matters with members of the opposition and they would be prepared to entertain a unanimous motion condemning the acts in Israel and offering our support for the peace process. We will circulate those for consideration during the period of motions. We ask the House to join us in expressing our deep concern.

The Middle East
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the official opposition, I wish to condemn this new terrorist attack against the Israeli people, which threatens the Middle East peace process.

This bombing, which killed or wounded dozens of innocent victims, is the fourth one in Israel in less than 10 days.

The Bloc Quebecois wishes to express its profound sympathy to the families of the victims, to the people of Israel, and to all Jewish people around the world, including the Jewish community in Quebec.

This gratuitous violence threatens not only the long and difficult road to peace but also the negotiations on the eventual status of the Palestinian territories. We want to stress the need to resist provocation. The peace talks must continue. The fight against violence must prevail over the fight against peace.

We cannot let Yitzhak Rabin's tragic death take with it the hope of a lasting peace between Israel and her Arab neighbours. The best response to radicalism is to continue and strengthen the peace process.

The Bloc Quebecois hopes that these tragic and violent events will not hamper the pursuit of Messrs. Arafat and Peres' diplomatic efforts to establish a peace plan in the region. The process initiated must prevail over the radical currents that flout democratic values and promote violence.

We were therefore happy to hear the PLO chairman state, and I quote: "Today's crime reinforces our determination to pursue our policy of fighting terrorism here and abroad. We must work with Israel to destroy their structure and eradicate terrorism".

Chairman Arafat's Sunday announcement banning the military wings of the Muslim fundamentalist movements in the West Bank and Gaza also demonstrates this commitment.

The Canadian government must offer its full co-operation in thwarting the efforts of those who seek to destroy the peace process. It can count on the official opposition's support in this regard.

Mr. Speaker, I seek the unanimous consent of the House to observe a minute of silence in memory of the innocent victims of the fundamentalist movement Hamas.

The Middle East
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, what can I say that would give meaning to the senseless bombing of civilians that has taken place in Israel for the third time in the last week? Friends and families of victims have once again had their hearts broken by despicable terrorists.

These cowardly acts are inexcusable and, while the vast majority of people throughout the world will condemn them, I would like to address those people and those countries who do not. To all those who make excuses for the bombers or who sit on the sidelines and give silent approval, you should look in the mirror. Do you like what you see? Do you not realize that you are the moral accomplices in the murder of women and children? We must hold these people accountable.

The time has come for the international community to take strong, unequivocal steps to crush terrorism worldwide and severely punish those individuals and countries that finance terrorism.

We all know that bombs, guns and supplies are not cheap. The money has to come from somewhere. Often it comes from abroad. If the world community can work together to cut off this financial backing, then hopefully many terrorist organizations will wither.

Therefore I urgently request that the Minister of Foreign Affairs take a leadership role in punishing those individuals and countries that support terrorism worldwide. The Reform Party will support him in this measure and so will all Canadians. There is no time to waste. The victims of terrorism are demanding action now, and it is through our decisive action that we will create a deserving memorial in their honour.

Once again, I would like to send my deepest condolences to the people of Israel and the Canadian Jewish community. I assure them that we will work with them to find justice for the victims and punish the terrorists who never should be allowed to hide and get away with their crimes.

The Middle East
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the federal NDP caucus, I would like to express our outrage at this series of events, the most recent one being a few hours ago. I would like to express our condolences to the people of Israel and say that we share with them that sense of powerlessness that sometimes comes over us in the face of this kind of terrorism, in the face of radical evil, in the face of extremism.

At the same time as we share that sense of powerlessness, we want also to share with them a determination to see the peace process through and to make sure that the terrorists do not succeed in derailing it.

We say to the Israeli people, do not be divided by this event. Do not turn on each other. Let us not hear any cries of Perez next or the kinds of things that we have heard from certain elements in Israeli society. In spite of the pain, in spite of the terror, we want to see an Israeli people united and determined to see the peace process through.

I think there is a special place in hell reserved for people who use children as hostages and who make children the objects of terrorist attacks. I do not care whether it is a Muslim hell, a Christian hell or a Jewish hell. It is a special place in hell that is reserved for people who do this.

We ought to reflect perhaps on the way in which we are all part of the same mentality when we consider the way in which we held each other's civilian populations, including children, hostage to the nuclear deterrent for 40 years. It is part of the modern age and it is something we all have to shake. When we see it in its raw, brutal, obvious form we condemn it. Let us condemn it wherever we find it.

The Middle East
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

My colleagues, the House has heard the motion put forward by the Leader of the Opposition in the House. Does the House give unanimous consent for the motion to be tabled and adopted?