House of Commons Hansard #27 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was institutions.

Topics

Goods And Services Tax
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

Stanley Knowles Visiting Professorship
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, The University of Waterloo deserves congratulations for establishing the Stanley Knowles Visiting Professorship in Canadian Studies at St. Paul's college, a program that highlights the link between social justice issues and government policies.

This professorship is most appropriate because the life work of Stanley Knowles has been the epitome of individual freedom, democracy, justice and a sense of community and internationalism. It is timely because these issues continue to challenge the world community, including our diverse Canadian society.

Indeed I am honoured to be serving as the member of Parliament for Winnipeg North which includes part of his former riding. Mastering parliamentary procedures and placing people before partisanship, Mr. Knowles was a very strong voice of social justice in this House for decades. He is a living model for all parliamentarians.

Alone, it would be difficult to reach his heights. Together, we can succeed in advancing the cause.

Royal Visit
Statements By Members

April 17th, 1996 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Bethel Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I quote: "It would be worth the money if it was for Princess Di, but it is not worth a dime for Prince Charles. Let's give him a chocolate bar and tell him to stay home".

That crude remark from the member for Edmonton Southwest is about the time honoured tradition of covering the cost of a royal visit when a member of the Royal Family accepts Canada's invitation.

That crude remark speaks volumes about Reform's commitment to cleaning up its extremist image, to equality for all people, to respect for Canada's monarchy and to restoring civility to politics in Canada.

I challenge the leader of the third party to tell Canadians if Reform's respect for women goes beyond the physical. Tell us if these kinds of public attacks on Canada's monarchy are a reflection of Reform policy.

Quebec Referendum Act
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Bernier Mégantic—Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec Referendum Act is one of the most forward-looking public consultation legislation in the democratic world, and there is no equivalent legislation at the federal level.

Several Liberal members knew full well that, when federalist forces from outside Quebec showed up for their illegal rally in Montreal on October 27, they were breaking the law. Instead of condemning this legislation, the government whip should use it as a model to enhance the democratic process at the federal level.

Liberal members seem to think they can do anything they please in the name of national unity. They break the law, act like martyrs, play holier than thou or complain of harassment when Quebec's director general of elections calls them to account for their rally activities in Montreal.

The whip and his accomplices should be reminded that, on October 27, their illegal tactics gave millions of Quebecers the feeling of being besieged.

Distinct Society
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on Monday in this House, the new Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs said, and I quote:

-bilingual or trilingual democracies have measures to ensure that their language communities will live together in harmony. It is what we have in Canada. We are very proud of it.

In the flurry of attempts to come up with a vocabulary more suited to Canada's constitutional reality, are we to understand that he thinks the concept of a Quebec people to be nothing more now than a language community?

Distinct Society
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the official opposition seems to want to play dictionary games. What counts, and I have been saying this since I arrived in this House, is substance. Substance is what counts.

And the substance that Quebecers want to keep for the most part is a Quebec identity and a Canadian identity; a Quebec pride and a Canadian pride; a Quebec solidarity and a Canadian solidarity.

Distinct Society
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if the minister wants to play, I am going to talk scrabble. There is a six letter word in scrabble, spelled "verity". This is what we in the opposition are after.

The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs said himself that there is a reality beyond words. Would he tell us whether, in reality, he thinks, as the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, that Quebecers constitute a people?

Distinct Society
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition, whom I thank for his questions, seems, surprisingly enough, not to understand one thing.

It is an extraordinary opportunity in today's world to be born a Quebecer and a Canadian. I am a Quebecer and a Canadian and I would fight with every means democracy puts at my disposal anyone who tried to take away my Canadian identity.

Distinct Society
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, you will understand that, through my dealings with the minister, I will certainly pass politics 101, but I am not so sure about him.

Shifting from the reality of a Quebec people to the concept of a distinct society-Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport would learn something too if he listened. Would you ask him to be silent?

Distinct Society
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Distinct Society
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

An hon. member

It is the Minister of Human Resources Development.

Distinct Society
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

I am sure all members would like to hear both the question and the answer.

Distinct Society
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I apologize to the Minister of Transport. It is the Minister of Human Resources Development who never listens and never understands anything in this House.

Let me get back to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, who, while he does not answer, at least listens. I would ask the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs if he would acknowledge, after switching from the reality of the Quebec people to the idea of a distinct society, to that of the homeland of the French language and culture and finally to that of linguistic community, whether the Liberal Party of Canada's search for new terminology continues to be with the intent of diminishing the status and the role of the people of Quebec within Canada?

Distinct Society
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to finally be able to express the truth about the status and the role of the people of Quebec, because it is not being expressed by the opposition and never will be.

The people of Quebec enjoy the greatest possible autonomy within Canada as regards their own institutions. Of all the federations in the world, it would be difficult to find one more decentralized than Canada. Canada's provinces have a higher status than American states, Swiss cantons or German l«nder. This is what Quebecers enjoy. They also enjoy Canada.

We are not saying that everything is perfect. Things have to be improved. The reality of Quebec in Canada and in North America must be recognized, but to move from that fact to endlessly describing Quebec as suffering to the point where only such an extreme solution as secession will suffice is stretching the truth to the breaking point.

Distinct Society
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

There seems to be a lot of energy on both sides of the House. This is fine, but, I would ask for everyone's co-operation in making questions and answers a little shorter.