House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was driving.

Topics

Supply
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have no problem referring any motion from the House to the committees for action.

Very shortly in the House there will be an amendment to the motion, which has been agreed to by all parties, to have some action on a bill by a certain deadline.

To answer the question the best I can, it is incumbent upon all of us in the House to make sure it is a consolidated, comprehensive bill that is not watered down, and that it is brought back to the House early in the spring or later this winter.

In that way all of us can be proud of the actions we take, notwithstanding any opposition from any individuals in cabinet or any other place.

Supply
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a short question for my colleague. I listened to his remarks very closely. I never want to refer to it as the justice system because it is viewed across the land as injustice, which seems to be inherent in our legal system today. He was driving at the fact that in today's judicial system there is a lack of holding people responsible and accountable for their actions.

Could he elaborate a little more on where he was going with that reference to drunk driving and to all people who commit horrendous crimes when we do not yet have a victims bill of rights in place in the country to address the victims of crimes?

Supply
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, indeed I refer to what was once a justice system as a legal industry. I believe that wholeheartedly today.

The way to hold the criminal and the legal system responsible is by implementing rights for victims. We have to stop putting the rights of criminals before the rights of victims. Once we get into that frame of mind and on that track we will be much better off as a country.

Supply
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, it has been an interesting morning. I am also one of the hon. members on this side of the House who is supporting the motion very strongly.

It is time for an all-party decision and to get the House to agree on something. I do not think that will only enhance the bill. It will also improve the stature of the House of Commons throughout the country.

I have been involved in a number of legal cases in the last while. I have been astounded by the issues judges do not have to address or look at. If they make a mistake they cannot be held accountable. Maybe that is one of the reasons for the problems in our justice system.

We used to look at judges as being almost infallible and as making decisions that people could support. When we look at a lot of the judgments being made, we wonder whether criminals dictate or influence the courts. Do they have more rights before the courts than victims? That is what it seems to me.

Some drunk driving charges are almost unbelievable. Neighbours in my area through no fault of their own, and not due to alcohol, lost a daughter and two grandchildren in an accident about 15 years to 20 years ago. The suffering the family is going through today is unbelievable. We as a House sometimes cannot look at situations jointly or transparently to see the suffering in communities.

I will not make my speech too long today because other member want to participate. I wish the House could support the hon. member's motion so that we are addressing it from the point of view that it is affecting families.

I will be splitting my time with another member, so do not let me go beyond the 10 minutes, Mr. Speaker.

Often we look at tragedies as something that only happens to other people. In the speeches today I have heard of incidents involving families or MPs that I never imagined or had known before. They have probably affected every member of the House in some way, even if we do not know it or see it visibly. When I look back at the emotional stress caused in families that lose a mother or a father, I am hurt to think of the neighbours I deal with on a daily basis whenever I am home.

These accidents, these drunk driving incidents or episodes, could have been easily avoided. In the case I am talking about the issue was that probably the father who was impaired had some problems at home not because of drinking but because of emotions and finances he could not handle.

Often we are not aware that families or certain people suffer before they turn to the bottle, as we say. When that happens they become disillusioned and try more or less to drown their problems by taking off in a vehicle to go to see somebody or to go to the next bar. That has bad effects.

It is very sad we only realize the hurt of the tragedy after the fact. We should somehow measure the incidents or the beneficial effect prevention would have on the emotional strains faced by families and on the financial side at times. Often when the drinking problem becomes prevalent in a home mismanagement occurs. Usually it culminates in some kind of an accident, whether it is drunk driving or something else.

It has been a privilege to say a few words on the issue before the House. As I have done before, I urge the House to be non-partisan, to look at the motion and support it, and to make the country a better place to live.

Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

It being 2 o'clock, we shall now proceed to statements by members. The hon. member for Mississauga South.

Emergency Personnel
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week the International Association of Firefighters convened its sixth annual conference in Ottawa. As in the past a vital part of its visit was to meet with parliamentarians to discuss issues of mutual interest.

Of particular note was a request that consideration be given to establishing a registered charitable trust fund for the benefit of families of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.

Canadians are well aware of the risk public safety officers face on a daily basis as they serve our emergency needs. When one of them loses their life in the line of duty, we all mourn that loss.

The establishment of a registered charitable trust fund could provide a tangible opportunity for all Canadians to honour courageous service and to assist their loved ones in their time of need.

I therefore encourage all hon. members to give due consideration to such an initiative in support of Canada's police officers and firefighters, our everyday heroes on the front lines from sea to sea to sea.

Firearms
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Jim Pankiw Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, this Liberal government has decided to take yet another pot-shot at law-abiding gun owners in Canada.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs has publicly stated his desire for an international treaty to register, control and restrict the use of small arms.

Once again the Liberal government is way off target. Rather than cracking down on the use of firearms to commit crimes, and rather than strengthening enforcement measures along our borders to stop the illegal flow of handguns, the minister would prefer to continue to harass ordinary law-abiding Canadians, even going so far as to deny them use of their own private property.

The word is that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is upset because he did not win the Nobel Prize for the landmine treaty. He should not worry because he is a shoo-in for the booby prize for trampling on the rights of law-abiding Canadians. It is a disgrace.

Child Labour
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week in Oslo at the International Organization of Labour Conference, Canada joins with 39 countries, children's right activists, labour representatives and leaders of multilateral agencies who have come together to draft an agenda for action on what steps the international community can take to protect children world-wide from harmful and exploitive forms of child labour.

Canada's goals are clear. We are committed to full respect for children's rights, improving children's health through clean water and sound nutrition, improving the quality of, and access to, basic education, especially for young girls. And we are committed to providing protection for children against abuse, exploitation and violence.

Our CIDA funding approach to child labour targets preventive measures by focusing on schooling, child care and strengthening the role of women in society.

Second Anniversary Of Quebec Referendum
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, two years ago today a referendum on sovereignty was held in Quebec. An unprecedented 93% of Quebeckers voted in the referendum without any incident being reported. Quebec serves as an example of democracy to the whole world.

While it was almost a tie between the yes and the no sides, we in Quebec have respected the will of the 50.6% of our fellow citizens who chose to give the Canadian federal system one last chance.

Canada's response to this final request for change from the people of Quebec was Plan B, threats and blackmail, and the ludicrous and meaningless recognition of Quebec's unique character in the Calgary declaration.

After such a display of cynicism and contempt, rest assured that next time will be the right time. Quebeckers will get their own country and they will do so democratically, peacefully and with respect for the various components of Quebec society.

Population And Development
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is an important day in our parliamentary history. The Canadian Association for Parliamentarians on Population and Development is launched on this day.

This association will give parliamentarians in Canada the unique opportunity to raise the national awareness of population and development issues and to influence and shape policy decisions consistent with commitments made at international conferences and in Canadian foreign policy.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank you, officials and parliamentarians from the U.K., Bolivia, Asia, and all the NGOs who have participated and assisted to make this effort come alive.

Tamara Okeynan
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Dale Johnston Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, today in my constituency of Wetaskiwin baby Tamara Okeynan will be laid to rest in the ancestral burial grounds of the Hobbema Indian Reserve.

With Tamara's birth imminent, her parents who do not own a car or a telephone, attempted to walk the five kilometres to get a ride to the hospital. There would be no hospital delivery for baby Tamara. Time ran out for mother and daughter and the baby was delivered not in sterile surroundings but on the shoulder of the gravel road. Throughout the two-hour ordeal the plight of Tamara's mom and dad were ignored by passing motorists.

We pride ourselves on being a caring nation, on the cutting edge of technology. Yet despite her parent's valiant efforts a young life slipped away before she had a chance to experience the things we all take for granted.

I would like to offer my sympathy and that of all members of this House to Tamara's parents, Paul and Lorna, and their families who have been denied an opportunity to know this infant.

Brockville Rowing Club
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Jordan Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past summer five young women from the Brockville Rowing Club took on the world and won at the prestigious women's Henly Regatta in England. In the gallery today is the junior women's coxed four crew of Jocelyn Swift, Caroline Vavro, Danielle Ker, Tami McBratney the coxswain Crystal Bois D'Enghien, along with their coach Mr. Chris Marshall.

This championship crew not only carried on the proud and successful tradition of the Brockville Rowing Club, but also brought honour to the city of Brockville, the riding of Leeds-Grenville and to the sport of rowing in Canada.

These young women can serve as an excellent example of team work to all youth. It is an honour to congratulate these fine young athletes and wish them well in future competitions, as well as any other challenges they choose to take on.

René Lévesque
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, on November 1, 1987, René Lévesque passed away, leaving behind not only the love of an entire people but also a great void.

With his plan for government takeover of the hydro sector, he gave French Canadians, who had little hope for a future, reason to hold their heads up high. “We can do it”, he said repeatedly as a Liberal and federalist minister at the time.

He turned the independence movement into a popular political party, the Parti Quebecois, which he lead to victory in 1976 and, while in office, gave Quebec some of its most forceful legislation, including legislation on public financing of political parties and on agricultural zoning, Bill 101 and legislation on occupational health and safety.

He suffered the pain of losing the referendum in 1980, but had the nobility of soul to respect the democratic choice made by Quebeckers, convinced that they would eventually get their own country.

To paraphrase Félix Leclerc, he will be, for us and forever, on the short list of liberators of people.

Bloc Quebecois
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, there were questions this week by the Bloc that I find rather disturbing.

I am referring of course to the questions concerning Mr. Deslauriers and the unfounded allegations of his relations with a biker gang.

I congratulate the solicitor general for the integrity, the wisdom and the caution he showed in answering the questions. Canadians are in good hands with him.

I also congratulate the Bloc member for Chambly, who has shown that he has deep convictions and that he is a man of principle. He did not get caught up in the unfortunate tactics of his leader, who tried once again to do anything he could to get noticed. I agree with the member for Chambly who said, and I quote “I am saddened that at times reputations are destroyed by questions we need not ask and by doubts we need not have”.

I congratulate him for his courage. He saves the face of his party today and I invite the leader of the Bloc to consult the hon. member for Chambly more often.

Reform Party Of Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, ten years ago a small group of Canadians concerned for the future of their country assembled, debated, voted and formed a new political party, the Reform Party of Canada. Less than a year later it gained 275,000 votes and went on to great success the following year with the election of its first MP from Beaver River and Stan Waters, Canada's first elected senator.

Like a prairie grass fire, the Reform message spread as Canadians sought better government. Leading the fight for government to live within its means, for a plan to unify the country, for a strong justice system, for more accountable politicians, the party gained over 2.5 million votes and 52 seats in the 1993 election. Now serving as Her Majesty's loyal opposition, dedicated to building a new and better Canada, Reformers look to the future with pride, confidence and determination. Today we salute the hard work and commitment of hundreds of thousands of—