House of Commons Hansard #61 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Dragon Boat Festival
Statements By Members

June 13th, 1996 / 1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Anna Terrana Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, next Saturday in my riding of Vancouver East the world championship dragon boat festival will start. For eight days dragons, boats, lions, dances, multicultural food, arts and crafts from around the world and competitions will bring to life the Plaza of Nations and the Concord Pacific Place.

Although dragon boat races have taken place for eight years, this is the first time the world championship will be held outside of Asia, "building bridges of understanding" not only for various people, but for the whole world.

[Translation]

This colourful and exciting festival will make Vancouver, a place where the mountains and the waters meet to create one of the world's most beautiful cities, an even livelier place. Local and international teams will take part in the festival. The whole world will represented.

I would like to congratulate all participants and organizers of this massive event and in particular, Jon Markoulis, the chairman of the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society.

Ten years after Expo '86, Vancouver invites the world once again to celebrate the "world".

Hungary
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Tom Wappel Scarborough West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the year 1996 marks the 1,100th anniversary of Hungary, the homeland of my parents and ancestors.

It was in 896 AD that Arpad, the leader of the most powerful tribe of Magyars, then living on the western steppes of Ukraine, was invited by the Carolingian emperor Arnulf to cross the Carpathian mountains to help the emperor subjugate the Moravian empire.

This federation of 10 tribes, or hordes, was known to its neighbours as the On-Ogur, meaning 10 arrows, from the Slavic pronunciation of which the name Hungary is derived.

Over the course of its 1,100-year-old history, the Magyar nation has sent its sons and daughters throughout the world, including our great country.

I am proud of my ancestry and of my country of birth, Canada. Let us hope that 971 years from now, our descendants will be celebrating the 1,100 anniversary of Canada and that when they do, the 2,071-year-old Magyar nation will be there to congratulate us.

Hungary
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Magyar kac magyrok?

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week a coalition of national and local environmental groups issued its report card on Liberal performance in the area of the environment.

The Sierra Club of Canada blames the government in particular for having flouted one of the few explicit red book promises, to reduce greenhouse effect emissions by 20 per cent by the year 2005. This crucial Liberal commitment will not be fulfilled, quite simply because the government has been unable to achieve a consensus among the provinces.

Finally, this government has reduced the Department of the Environment "to a significantly weaker position and has shown a more hostile position to environmental decision-making than any other government in the 25 year history of the department-The Chrétien government's record on the environment is significantly worse than the Mulroney government record".

What more is there to add to such a damning conclusion?

Sports Fishery
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, despite valiant attempts by the minister of fisheries to dissuade sports fishermen from visiting the west coast, I want fishermen from around the world to know that the regular sports fishery on the east side of Vancouver Island and adjacent inlets continues.

The minister has created a public relations nightmare of confusion and delay in announcing chinook catch and release programs specific to the west side of Vancouver Island. This forced the good municipality of Campbell River and local businesses to institute a $32,000 emergency advertising campaign to minimize the minister's damage to this season.

Two things are true. Campbell River and area's multimillion dollar sports fishery is open for business and the minister sat on his hands for months, rather than make a decision. Then he made a confusing announcement.

When is the rear admiral going to start leading from the front instead of the rear?

March Against Poverty
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, 1996 is the International Year for the Eradication of

Poverty. I rise today in honour of thousands of Canadians currently taking part in the Women's March against Poverty.

Women represent 52 per cent of the population, yet many of them and their children continue to live below the poverty line.

The march underlines the fact that women can only achieve equality in society where the rights of the neediest members of our communities are taken into consideration.

This march is about the kind of society we need to build for our families and our communities.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, fetal alcohol syndrome, or FAS, is a medical diagnosis that refers to disabilities in children caused by the use of alcohol during pregnancy.

Characteristically, a FAS child experiences growth retardation, neurological abnormalities, behavioural dysfunction, learning disabilities, facial and brain malformations to name a few.

Medical research has shown that even social drinking on special occasions can cause birth defects affecting the growth and proper formation of an unborn child's body and brain. Health experts agree that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and alcohol can damage the fetus throughout the pregnancy, not just in the first trimester.

In terms of numbers, 5 per cent of birth defects are caused by alcohol and it costs taxpayers $2.7 billion each year in special health care and social programs needed by FAS children.

FAS is a 100 per cent preventable tragedy and I therefore urge Health Canada to warn expectant mothers of the dangers of consuming alcohol during pregnancy.

Quebec Premier
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, it has not been easy trying to keep up with Lucien Bouchard's political meanderings over the last few months.

After personally asking for a meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada to discuss questions of importance to Quebec, Lucien Bouchard cancels in an unprecedented huff, even threatening to call an early election.

A few weeks later, he says that the reasons he gave for cancelling the meeting were not really important, and turns around and asks for another meeting. Following that meeting, he says he is satisfied with the discussions, but less than a week later, he again lapses into a pique and trots out the usual themes of humiliation and centralization.

The separatist leader should, from time to time, review what he has said the day before, and save all of us the trouble of trying to figure out where he is headed next.

Child Labour
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a recent study released by the UN on social issues, we learned that no fewer than 73 million children are used as cheap labour. Ranging in age from 10 to 14, these children represent 13 per cent of the young people in the age grouping studied. They are exploited in agriculture, domestic services, the carpet and textile industry, and, shamefully, in the sex trade.

On June 11 in Geneva, labour ministers from 173 countries met to look at ways of eliminating child labour, especially forced labour, slavery, exposure to toxic products and child prostitution.

The government must play a leadership role in this issue and must adopt strict measures to keep goods produced by child labour out of Canada. Canada has a duty to demonstrate clearly the regard in which human rights are held by the people of Canada and of Quebec.

Fisheries
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Comox—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday I attended Federal Court in Vancouver to hear the case regarding the native only fishery in the Alberni Canal in my riding of Comox-Alberni.

The plaintiffs sought an injunction to stop the fishery and challenged the fishery minister's authority to grant an opening to one sector of society based solely on race. Rarely has a Federal Court judge been so critical of a minister of the crown.

The judge charged that this was a very serious issue and the courts were dealing with only half the information and half the evidence, and he blamed the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. He said DFO had been negotiating secret deals that had impacts far beyond those which involved the two parties before him in court.

When will this government, and particularly this minister, realize that all Canadians, regardless of race or background, deserve equal treatment and that all Canadians must be treated equally before and under the law?

Klondike Gold Rush
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that the Prime Minister today signed a proclamation declaring the celebration of the centennial of the Klondike gold rush, an event of national significance.

One hundred years ago the Klondike gold rush attracted fortune seekers from all over the planet in search of adventures that captured the imagination of the world.

The discovery of gold shaped the future of Yukon and indeed the future of Canada. This anniversary is part of a decade of centennial celebrations in Yukon. Today is also the 98th anniversary of Yukon as a territory.

These events are being further commemorated today by the unveiling of a series of commemorative Klondike stamps by Canada Post. Earlier this year, the Royal Canadian Mint launched its 1996, 14 carat gold coin "Centennial of the Discovery of Gold in the Klondike".

I am pleased, therefore, to call on all Canadians to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the momentous discovery which launched the Klondike gold rush, a colourful saga of the Canadian north.

Cae
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Finestone Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, the firm CAE in Ville-Saint-Laurent has just announced it will expand its facilities. The project, estimated at some $8 million, will enable the firm to provide an additional 500 jobs over the next two years.

This major expansion of the Montreal plant is due, among other reasons, to the international reputation of its flight simulators. The news comes at a perfect time to reward the efforts of all the employees of this firm, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

This company, with its head office in Toronto, provides work for more than 6,200 people in Canada, including 4,000 in the Montreal area. With a full order book, quality products and highly trained employees, CAE is proving once again the importance and the cost effectiveness of investing in research and development in Canada.

Airbus Aircraft
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice has revealed that, a few days after his appointment as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, he approached RCMP authorities concerning the Airbus affair.

Let us not forget that the minister has admitted that the information he communicated to the RCMP originated with an unidentified journalist.

I am asking the minister whether he advised the Prime Minister of the approaches he was planning to make to the RCMP, before he was appointed Minister of Justice and Solicitor General of Canada?

Airbus Aircraft
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

No, Mr. Speaker, but there is an assumption in the question that is wrong.

The hon. member asserted in his preamble that there has been an omission that I involved myself in the Airbus investigation. That is plain wrong. The choice of language and precision of expression is important in this matter.

The House will know from what has been said that I have made it a matter of public record that after consulting with my deputy minister and the Solicitor General of Canada, I communicated to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in November 1993, or thereabouts, information which I had received with respect to the previous government.

The RCMP then communicated with me after they had looked into those matters and said that there was no basis for investigation.

Subsequently, separately, the RCMP commenced an investigation into what is now called the Airbus affair. I had no knowledge of or involvement in that investigation. My first knowledge of it was derived on November 4, 1995 when one of the lawyers for Mr. Mulroney telephoned me at home.

Those are the facts. In communicating information to the RCMP that I had learned early in November 1993, I was not only acting after consulting with the deputy minister and the solicitor general, but as it appears from reports in the media in recent days, I was doing exactly the same as at least one former minister of justice, John Turner, said he did when he was fixed with information of that kind.

Therefore, I invite the hon. member to be careful in how he expresses himself. I had no involvement in the Airbus investigation, as that is known. That is a matter for the police.

Airbus Aircraft
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister tells us that he communicated information to the RCMP. I an not making any assumptions on the role he played in the affair.

Having this information, however, and intending to communicate it to the RCMP-I am not saying he interfered in the investigation-I am asking him, knowing all this, when the Prime Minister invited him to be Minister of Justice and Solicitor General of Canada, did he not find it appropriate to inform the Prime Minister of his intention to communicate that information to the RCMP because, after becoming Solicitor General and Minister of Justice, he would be the one responsible for the case.

Is this not a lack of judgment? Let us keep in mind, all ministers speak on behalf of the government, commit the Cabinet, commit the Prime Minister. Why then did he not inform the Prime Minister?