House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was genocide.

Topics

Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Ian McClelland Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I take the comments of the member for Willowdale at face value and acknowledge the fact that his comments were heartfelt and genuine as all of the comments in the House have been.

However, there does seem to be some inconsistency here. The Bloc, and prior to that, the Parti Quebecois, has been diligent in facing this issue and trying to bring some recognition to the Armenian genocide since at least 1980. The Government of Quebec and the Government of Ontario both in the early eighties unanimously presented resolutions to that effect. Yet, when the issue comes to the federal government it seems to be watered down. Such is the case again today with the removal of the word genocide by the Liberal amendment. I understand that is to make it palatable today particularly to Turkey with whom we have good and mutually beneficial relations.

Could the member for Willowdale expand on the fact that we have to rob Peter to pay Paul?

Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Peterson Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I cannot respond in a way that is satisfactory to the member or perhaps to any member in this House including myself.

I believe we should take the steps, hopefully in time, to call a spade a spade and a genocide a genocide. Unfortunately governments often move more slowly than we would like, more slowly than reason or feelings would dictate. We cannot always achieve everything we want exactly when we want. I suppose this has been one of the great revelations to me having spent several years in this House. Not only was Rome not built in a day, it was not repaired in a day.

We will measure our progress in this area in terms of steps rather than quantum leaps. It may not be as satisfactory. There may not be explanations which are totally acceptable and square with what we know to be the historic reality. Nevertheless, considering our international obligations, considering our allies, considering international pressures that are brought to bear-

Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, it being 2 p.m., we will proceed to Statements by Members.

National Unity
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Len Hopkins Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, during current times Canadians from all over Canada must never lose sight of the fact that in the years leading up to 1867 the Fathers of Confederation laid the foundation for our Canada with the full intent that the country was to be indivisible and indissoluble. There has never been any change in that intent nor in that purpose. Neither in the Constitution of Canada nor in law is there any provision for the separation or splitting away of a province or territory.

We as Canadians have a moral and civic obligation to maintain the territorial integrity of our country. Let us never sway from our firm conviction toward Canadian nationhood. Let us resolve as a Canadian family to continue to protect each other's culture, language and religion so that Canada will forever be a national dream in the eyes of an envious world.

Tswwassen Sewage Treatment Plant
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is a legal requirement that the sewage treatment facility being constructed by the Tswwassen Indian Band be subject to an environmental assessment pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

The government has refused to confirm such an assessment. This plant is being built on vitally sensitive intertidal salt water marsh. The marsh has been internationally recognized as an extremely sensitive habitat for juvenile salmon, migratory wildlife and the great blue heron, a species unique to this ecosystem.

In spite of enormous pressure from the public, the province of British Columbia and the municipality of Delta, these ministers of the government are apparently denying the people of the country access to their own environmental laws.

I beg the House to join in my demand that the Government of Canada immediately confirm that it has commenced and environmental assessment of this sewage project pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. There must be one law in this land and it must apply to each of us.

Invention And Innovation
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Frontenac, QC

Mr. Speaker, I gives me great pleasure to draw the attention of the House to the third Salon de l'invention et de l'innovation, to be held shortly in Black Lake. This is a fair where inventors display for the general public the new products they have invented.

This fair, which is very interesting for business people and the general public, is a good opportunity to develop new businesses and create jobs.

I want to emphasize the excellent work of those who have organized this event: Benoît Côté, Éric Labonté, Mario Bergeron, Sonia Delisle et Marcel St-Laurent. I also want to congratulate all the volunteers involved in this event.

As honourary president, I personally extend a general invitation to come to the Black Lake fair this weekend, April 26, 27, and 28.

Training
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Audrey McLaughlin Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, the proposed plans to privatize training under changes to the Unemployment Insurance Act and to implement a voucher system have devastating consequences not only for recipients but for educational institutions and for long term educational planning.

This proposal is based on two very dubious assumptions: that every region has a mix of private and public training facilities, and that all applicants can on their own easily access training options.

In many rural and northern areas this is simply not the case. For example, the Yukon College under this scheme would lose $2 million to $3 million a year in stable and assured funding, funding which allows the college to plan ahead for both UI recipients and the general public. Under the government proposal both groups will be the losers.

I urge the minister to review this ill advised change, which clearly undermines training in the north and in rural areas.

Flooding
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Reg Alcock Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, run-off from record winter snow levels and ice jams on the Red and surrounding rivers are causing severe flooding in many Manitoba communities.

St. Andrews, Montaclam, Tache, Morris, St. Clements and North Norfolk have declared themselves to be in a state of emergency, and many more communities are on flood alert as the water continues to rise. The flooding has caused a great deal of damage already and is expected to continue for several more days until the rivers crest.

The good news is that thanks to the foresight of a number of public officials and the hard work of thousands of volunteers the damage has been kept to a minimum. Whole communities began preparing sandbags early prompted by the advice of the Emergency Preparedness Organization.

In my riding city councillor John Angus ran sandbagging workshops and trained volunteers so that when the high water arrived we were able to respond immediately. City and provincial officials made sure the necessary supplies were available.

Volunteers from St. Norbert, Dakota and Fort Richmond Collegiates and the St. Norbert Foundation spent countless hours filling sandbags and building dykes. Local restaurants, churches and service clubs donated food for the volunteers, drivers and helped with child care.

I thank all of the volunteers who have worked-

International Book Day
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, today we celebrate International Book Day. There could be no better time to pay tribute to all the Canadian writers who, over the years, have put Canadian literature in the enviable place it occupies internationally.

This is also the time to become aware of the importance of books and written materials in our everyday lives and to recognize the exceptional contribution of written communication to the history of humanity.

On the eve of the 21st century and the dawning of the high tech era, we must work even harder to preserve the incredible wealth that is written communication.

The generations after us, who will soon replace us, must know and appreciate the merits of reading. This is the reason why our government is so committed to literacy, education and training programs for our children and for Canadians in general.

Gasoline Prices
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien London—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently I have had several complaints from my constituents in London-Middlesex about gasoline prices.

Many Canadians are very upset at what they perceive to be an orchestrated effort by gasoline companies to charge exorbitant amounts for gasoline at the pumps.

Canadian consumers feel they are being unfairly gouged by gasoline companies which routinely raise prices as weekends begin, especially long weekends. They feel these companies are displaying incredible arrogance and that they are both taking advantage of consumers and ignoring any attempt by governments in Canada to help resolve this concern. It is time for the gasoline companies of Canada to become better corporate citizens and to treat Canadian consumers more fairly.

I call on this government and governments at all levels to deliver this message on behalf of Canadians as forcefully as possible.

Rotarians
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Simcoe Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, as a Rotarian I am pleased to rise today and pay tribute to the largest and fastest growing service club in the world, Rotary.

As of this month membership totalled 1,187,509 Rotarians from 27,995 clubs in 154 countries around the globe. In Canada we have 29,183 members in 650 clubs. This year's Rotary international president, Herb Brown, has chosen as his theme: "act with integrity, serve with love and work for peace". In serving with love, Rotary has raised over $400 million toward the polio plus project, a project dedicated to the elimination of polio from the face of the earth.

Visiting today are 18 Rotarians from my home club in Barrie who are here on an exchange with the Ottawa West club. Many members of the House are Rotarians and I ask that they join with me in recognizing Rotarians for their work in communities right across Canada and indeed the world.

Auto Leasing
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Hubbard Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, a major problem in the country today is the concentration of economic power in the boardrooms of major corporations whose sole business is to maximize profits.

We are lobbied today by banks, an industry that has made billions in profits while using automation to lay off thousands of employees to now enter the field of auto leasing.

It is important for our local car dealers that major banks not be permitted to enter the leasing markets. They believe it would be a conflict of interest, as banks are their major source of financing. They are concerned that they will jeopardize their chances of obtaining financing from the banks if they are forced to compete with the banks in the same market.

We cannot afford to have the banks take more jobs away from hardworking Canadians. I ask all members to support car dealers in their opposition to banks' entering the field of leasing.

Flooding
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ron Fewchuk Selkirk—Red River, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of the people of the Selkirk-Red River riding and to commend the valiant efforts of the volunteers of the community of St. Andrews, St. Clements and Selkirk.

These people worked through the weekend to hold back the worst flood in Manitoba history caused by the overflowing waters of the Assiniboine River and the Red River.

The surging water forced some 250 residents to flee their homes. The damage could have been far worse had the ice jam not broken, allowing the water to flow toward Lake Winnipeg. Unfortunately the Selkirk Marine Museum suffered extensive damage during the flood. In addition to damage to the boats, documents such as

original captains logs and 13,000 photos were destroyed in the museum building.

This is a sad loss for the people of Selkirk-Red River riding and for Canadian tourists across this great land of ours.

Partnership
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, most papers announced this morning that the members of the Parti Quebecois will soon be asked to vote on a change to their party's political agenda to formally include the notion of partnership.

Picking up again the highlights of the May 12 agreement, the Parti Quebecois would come back with its myth of partnership after separation. Perhaps the new leader of the PQ does not remember that, on October 30, a majority of Quebecers voted against this project.

When will separatists in Quebec accept to respect the democratically expressed will of their fellow citizens and give up this separation idea which is leading nowhere?

What Quebec needs is not a premier who perpetuates political and economical instability, but someone who would work to eliminate it.

The Armenian People
Statements By Members

April 23rd, 1996 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is the 81st anniversary of the Armenian genocide. This sad occasion commemorates the tragic end of more than one and a half million Armenians. The massacres of the Armenian people by the Ottoman government of Turkey, which lasted from 1915 to 1923, were the first genocide of the 20th century. It is important to condemn these atrocities and to increase public awareness of genocides committed throughout the world.

Any country that uses genocide and violence as an instrument of policy is guilty of a crime against humanity, a crime that will remain forever etched in the memory of those who suffered and that history can never forget.

The purpose of this day to remember the victims of the Armenian genocide is not only to remind us of the pain and suffering endured by the Armenian people, but also to assure us that such atrocities will not be repeated.