House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was debt.

Topics

The Budget

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec-Est, QC

Mr. Speaker, perhaps I should have spoken English, because I do not seem to make myself understood in French. Of course it is obvious. You would have to be nearly blind not to recognize that the government is using the money from the unemployment insurance fund fraudulently. In other words, this money is not being used for unemployment insurance but for federal deficit reduction. It is a fraud. It is dishonest-there is no other way to put it.

When they say, as my colleague has just pointed out, that the Bloc has not proposed practical measures to reduce the deficit, I would point out that, on the matter of family trusts, the Bloc suggested they simply be abolished. Some $100 billion is in family trusts in Canada. This money is not taxed. It is set aside for the wealthiest families, the super rich, which includes the Minister of Finance. That was one of the suggestions we made. In fact, I made eight this morning the government has not acted on.

So, the hon. member's repeating the Liberal government's harebrained, hypocritical and dishonest ideology does not stop me from seeing clearly that unemployment insurance funds are being used fraudulently and that the Liberal government has neither the backbone nor the guts to resolve its finances as it could have done had it really wanted to.

Mackenzie
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, 1996 is a watershed year for the town of Mackenzie in my riding.

Unfortunately it is not positive. Due to the inaction of the government, the residents of this small, isolated community nestled in the Rockies have lost their northern living allowance. Why are the residents of Mackenzie discriminated against while thousands of people living in cities further south still qualify?

1996 also marks the 10th anniversary of spring weight restrictions for trucks travelling the Alaska highway to Yukon. The continued imposition of the 75 per cent load restriction is unfair and costly to trucking companies and northern residents.

Millions of resource dollars flow out of our region and little is put back. Like the Trans-Labrador highway, the Alaska highway is not even finished yet. Northerners in my riding are fed up with their needs being ignored by the government.

When will the government recognize that the north is a vital part of Canada's economy?

Learning Disabilities
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Dianne Brushett Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, last month was designated as Learning Disabilities Month. There is not a lot of recognition paid to learning disabili-

ties even though one in ten or 2.9 million Canadians have this type of disability.

Learning disabilities are permanent disorders which affect the way individuals with normal or above normal intelligence receive, store, organize, retrieve and use information. These difficulties show up in five distinct areas: visual, auditory, motor, organizational and conceptual. Such difficulties extend to school, work, social functions and employment and can impede learning to read, to write or to do mathematics.

We can help to increase public awareness of learning disabilities by talking about them whenever there is an opportunity and educating the public to help these individuals live a fuller more productive life.

Pensions
Statements By Members

April 15th, 1996 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge and thank the many constituents in my riding who took the time to take part in a public pension forum I held in Rosseau last week.

Close to 70 people turned out to provide me with their comments, concerns and ideas about how to improve Canada's public pension system so that it will be affordable, fair and sustainable for future generations of Canadians.

My constituents invested their time and energy to learn about options to change the Canada pension plan and the details of the proposed new seniors benefit. They considered and suggested potential solutions. They participated in round table discussions with their peers and put forth recommendations that I will in turn forward to the ministers of finance and human resources development for consideration in future deliberations.

I thank my constituents for their valuable interventions on the subject of public pensions. I encourage them to keep coming forward with their thoughts and ideas.

Distinct Society
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, even after being distorted and robbed of any meaning in an attempt to sell it to English Canada as a meaningless concept that would give Quebec no additional powers, the concept of distinct society is still too much for federal Liberals.

This became obvious last weekend when the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party of Canada tried to kill the distinct society concept and replace it by stating the obvious and recognizing Quebec as the principal homeland of French language, culture and legal tradition in North America.

The Liberal Party of Canada, led by the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, is acting in an arrogant and provocative manner toward the people of Quebec by proposing nothing more than a simple acknowledgement of a fact that has been recognized since the 1760 conquest.

If this is the proposed reconciliation plan, the government is not taking the people of Quebec seriously or treating them with respect. It is reneging on the promises made in Verdun during the last referendum and, when the time comes, the people of Quebec will remember.

Parkinson's Disease
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Lambton—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, April is Parkinson's Awareness Month as proclaimed by the Parkinson Foundation of Canada.

Since its formation in 1965 the foundation has been devoted to the support of research into the cause, treatment and cure of Parkinson's disease, a chronic brain disorder suffered by approximately 100,000 Canadians.

Through the various chapters of the Parkinson Foundation of Canada, a number of fundraising events are being planned across Canada to raise money for research, to promote public education and to develop patient and family support services.

Each April the beautiful red and white Dr. James Parkinson tulip, the official symbol of Parkinson's, is sold to the general public and businesses. One of the selling days coincides with Secretary's Day on April 24. Other fundraising events include a national cut-a-thon on the last Sunday in April in which hair salons across Canada offer their time and talent for a small donation.

I encourage all Canadians to do their part in contributing to the search for a cure for Parkinson's disease.

Foreign Affairs
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Swift Current—Maple Creek—Assiniboia, SK

Mr. Speaker, on March 1 the Minister of Foreign Affairs praised my position in the Haiti debate, but a few days later when I questioned his ministerial actions with respect to Haitian peacekeeping and aid to China he reverted to form and accused me of isolationism. I do not know which I find most offensive: praise from that particular minister or his personal attack.

The minister should understand that Canadian support for the UN in Haiti does not mean being a doormat and that Canadian trade with China does not require an annual foreign aid bribe of $162 million. Nor do relations with China require our Export Development Corporation to provide financial assistance for the Three Gorges project, a grandiose boondoggle which will displace 1.25 million people.

National Unity
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel St. Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, after more than three hours of debate, the rank and file of the Liberal Party of Canada in Quebec passed a very important resolution on national unity and cohesion.

This resolution reaffirms with great conviction and sensibility our government's main commitments on national unity. Among other things, federal Liberals in Quebec stated in clause 1.4 of the resolution that the Liberal Party of Canada supports enshrining in the Constitution the principles recognized in the December 1995 parliamentary resolution defining distinct society.

This shows once again the great synergy and ideological cohesion between the rank and file of the Liberal Party of Canada in Quebec and the Liberal government on issues as fundamental as Quebec's place within Canada.

Textiles Monterey
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the announcement that the Textiles Monterey mill will reopen is another indication of the vitality and entrepreneurship of the people of Drummond. Last September, 270 jobs were lost after the company declared bankruptcy. In just six months, a group of former employees, both managers and workers, came up with a business proposal to acquire the company's assets and to specialize the new company's production.

The reopening of Textiles Monterey is the fruit of the collaborative efforts and great determination of all stakeholders: the employees, the union, the financial institutions, the FTQ solidarity fund, and the three levels of government. The success of this operation stems from the establishment of a financial network and, above all, a dialogue between local resources.

On behalf of all my fellow citizens of Drummond, I wish every success to the shareholders of the new Textiles Monterey company.

Publishing Industry
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Audrey McLaughlin Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has said it wishes to support small businesses, but wishes are not policies.

The performance of Canada Post in the north continues to make it more and more difficult especially for publishing businesses which are a small but a vital part of the economy both in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

In December publishers were notified one week before a price change occurred. Certainly promotional material could not be sent out and the publisher was left to absorb extra costs. Also in December Canada Post put ads in a number of newspapers but not in the north regarding mandate review. Finally, publishers have recently been informed by Canada Post that there will be a substantial price increase in the coming years.

Clearly publishing is extremely important to the north as a vital business. I call on the minister responsible for heritage to meet with the minister for Canada Post to save this emerging northern cultural business.

St. Norbert Arts And Cultural Centre
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Reg Alcock Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to recognize the efforts of a large number of volunteers who support the St. Norbert Arts and Cultural Centre.

The centre is built in an old Trappist monastery that was the centre of the Metis culture during the Red River rebellion. The centre has now been completely refurbished. Thanks to the activities of a large number of people in my riding, it has become home to an international arts and cultural centre. Artists from all over the world are invited to live in residence and work on projects that are enriching the cultural life of this country.

I simply wish to recognize the efforts of these many volunteers.

The Gakhal Family
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today in memory of the nine members of the Gakhal family of Vernon, British Columbia whose lives were taken in the brutal and senseless massacre on April 5.

As a young and energetic couple filled with hopes and dreams, Mr. and Mrs. Gakhal came to Canada in 1970 with their two eldest daughters. They had lived in Vernon for over 20 years. The Gakhals

were contributing members of society and active participants in community life.

This Canadian family was well liked and respected. On Saturday more than 2,000 people attended their funeral service to pay their last respects.

Like many other Canadian families, the Gakhals worked hard to create a good and comfortable life for their family. Karnail and Darshan Gakhal were loving and devoted parents. They dedicated themselves to raising their six beautiful children. They taught their children appreciation of values, principles and the importance of contributing to their community. The Gakhals were close and loving.

Today I ask all my colleagues to stand in a moment of silence in memory of the Gakhal family, the second worst tragedy in Canadian history.

Kenworth Company
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Blainville—Deux-Montagnes, QC

Mr. Speaker, more than a week ago, Kenworth's management announced its decision to shut down operations at its truck manufacturing plant in Sainte-Thérèse. More than 850 directs jobs are jeopardized by this announcement.

As we speak, almost all concerned are actively trying to prevent the closure of this important plant and to save 850 jobs. But the federal government has yet to take positive steps in this important issue.

Time is of the essence, and I might remind the government that it takes more than wishful thinking to prevent the 850 jobs at Kenworth's from moving to Mexico or to the U.S.

In its speech from the throne and its budget, the government boasted about putting job creation first. It should therefore get directly involved in the Kenworth matter and co-operate with the Quebec government in finding a solution, thus preventing the plant's closure.

Krever Commission
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Sharon Hayes Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, we have recently learned of exorbitant amounts paid by the Red Cross to Krever Commission witnesses. The Red Cross is supported in part by taxpayer dollars.

We have also learned that the federal government is providing free legal representation for two former ministers involved in this tragedy, while a mere pittance is thrown to the legal requirements of the victims.

These revelations further darken a shadow cast by a growing legacy of mismanagement. This shadow continues to obscure the truth. Sadly, similar scenarios are all too much a part of the continuing Ottawa inquiry process.

And where is the health minister? Instead of safeguarding the mandate of the inquiry, along with others he challenges its legitimacy. Instead of protecting the health of Canadians through an improved blood system, he protects the interests of those who are part of the system that failed.

Two fundamentals are at stake here: the principle of government accountability and the goal of assured health for all Canadians. The minister must change his course of action to safeguard both this principle and this goal.

Raw Milk Products
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, during their discussions this past weekend, the members of the general council of the Liberal party of Canada in Quebec decided to support the claims of those who promote the consumption of raw milk products.

Moreover, the LPCQ is asking the federal government to withdraw its proposed regulations to prohibit the import and export of raw milk products. These products represent a new and very promising market for Quebec's agricultural sector.

It would be a pity not to let Quebec producers of raw milk products develop their full potential merely because of fear. This is why I join the militant wing of the LPCQ in asking the withdrawal of these draft regulations.