House of Commons Hansard #125 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was inquiry.

Topics

Transport
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Vic Althouse Mackenzie, SK

Mr. Speaker, today I have found out something that has been going on for a few weeks.

The double tracking of Canadian Pacific between Winnipeg and Thunder Bay is being torn up. This was a wonderful infrastructure program that was the pride of many previous governments to speed up the delivery of grain, potash, sulphur and so on. Along with this we are watching the deterioration of the terminals in Thunder Bay and the tearing down of some of them. This was the big infrastructure program the country was so proud of. The seaway has now become redundant. It has been described by transport officials as a wonderful heritage park.

If the government were truly interested in jobs and infrastructure, it would have taken more care with its other policies of deregulation and of signing international trade agreements which have made those infrastructure investments redundant and useless.

International Development Week
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, international development week gives us the opportunity to reflect upon the unique role that Canada is playing worldwide in international development.

The main players in development are the developing countries themselves. It is within their governments, their volunteer organizations, their institutions and their communities that the real development experts are to be found.

However, in co-operating with these partners, Canadians have also done their share. From Peru to Zimbabwe, Canadian technologies and communication equipment have freed many communities from their isolation. By providing legal support, the Canadian program has helped countries such as Haiti and South Africa develop laws to ensure the respect of human rights and of the rule of law.

In our typically Canadian way-which respects countries and cultures and aims at concrete results-we have helped developing countries. International development week is the opportunity to celebrate these achievements and to anticipate future successes.

Ferry Service
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Devillers Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, Christian Island and Georgina Island are home to the Beausoleil and Georgina Chippewa Bands. The islands are the location of cottages belonging to hundreds of non-natives and they are the destination of thousands of visitors.

In 1995, the Governments of Canada and Ontario agreed to jointly fund the replacement of the ferries that provide service to the islands, an improvement essential to economic development. The Government of Ontario, a Conservative government, now refuses to honour its commitments in spite of the fact that transportation is a provincial jurisdiction.

This is not unlike the unilateral and arbitrary decision made by the Government of Ontario to renege on the agreement reached with the First Nations on the distribution of the Casinorama's revenues.

An agreement is an agreement. It is sad enough that our history is littered with agreements we did not honour but it is an outrage that agreements with the ink barely dry are being unilaterally and summarily dismissed.

Parents Of Sick Children
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute today to the parents of sick children. We often forget how courageous and dedicated they are.

The Séguin family, of Saint-André-d'Argenteuil, is a model of love, courage and dedication. Two of the Séguin children, Sylvie and Patrick, have muscular dystrophy. For their parents, caring for them is a full time job. Patrick no longer has the use of his upper limbs. His condition requires constant care and assistance, as spinal muscle atrophy causes severe muscle tissue degeneration.

Sylvie is a bit more independent; still the condition of her lungs is extremely fragile. Mr. and Mrs. Séguin have invested time, energy and money. Without the assistance of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, they would not have been able to buy all the necessary equipment.

To give to the associations and foundations providing assistance to those suffering from this disease is to recognize their courage.

Reform Party Of Canada
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, democracy works only when well informed voters have accurate data about their options. Therefore I deplore the vast amount of misinformation about Reformers. I am deeply hurt when people incorrectly label me, attributing prejudices to me that I do not have.

As an employer I hired people based on ability and merit. Some of these people are called visible minorities here in Ottawa but I did not notice. As an instructor I had students who had different

coloured skin or spoke with different accents but I did not notice. We have members of our family who have different racial backgrounds but we love and care for them and do not notice. My wife and I were especially proud that our son and daughter-in-law worked as volunteers in Rwanda. They looked after 400 beautiful children whose parents were killed in the awful conflict over there.

I joined and became involved in the Reform Party because I was attracted to its policy of equality for all citizens regardless of race. I believe in being charitable and kind. How I wish my colleagues in this House would extend this same charity to me.

Ontario Building Code
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Ontario government is currently examining changes to the Ontario building code whereby the amount of insulation required in new homes would be reduced by one-third. This ill-conceived proposal will increase heating and cooling costs for homeowners and subsequently result in more carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere compounding the problem posed by climate change.

This shortsighted proposal to reduce insulation in new homes is advocated by the Ontario Home Builders' Association. Instead of yielding to this lobby, the Ontario government should act in the interests of future homeowners and the environment to ensure that the building code becomes more energy efficient and respectful of environmental concerns and consumers.

Fisheries
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Derek Wells South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia is Canada's leading fishing province. My riding of South Shore is heavily dependent on fishing and related employment opportunities. I have been working with industry for over a year to document the impact of user fees. This week the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans heard testimony about the cumulative effects of service fees.

Yesterday the President of the Treasury Board announced that a multi-sectoral committee of stakeholders has been formed to study this issue with a view to easing the burden on businesses caused by the imposition of service fees.

I congratulate the minister for making this commitment to review fishing and related fees. He has my full support in this undertaking.

Air Commodore Len Burchall
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Peter Milliken Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, Air Commodore Len Burchall was hailed by Sir Winston Churchill as the saviour of Ceylon for warning the defenders of the island of an imminent attack by the Japanese. On April 4, 1942 his plane was shot down after he spotted the Japanese fleet and radioed his message. He was held as prisoner by the Japanese for the duration of the war.

On Wednesday, Len Birchall received from His Excellency the Governor General the fifth clasp to his Canadian forces decoration. He is the first Canadian ever to have been so honoured. The clasp recognizes 62 years of good service in the Canadian Armed Forces.

As his member of Parliament, I was privileged to witness this event. As Canadians, we salute his service to his community, his patriotism and his valour. Len Birchall is a great Canadian hero.

Goaltender Patrick Lalime
Statements By Members

February 7th, 1997 / 11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the people of Saint-Bonaventure and the entire riding of Drummond, I would like to pay tribute today to a local hero, whose name has become synonymous with courage, talent and success: Patrick Lalime.

On January 15, this goaltender recruited by the Pittsburgh Penguins broke Ken Dryden's legendary record by winning his first 16 games in the National Hockey League, with three shutouts as a bonus.

He pursued his dream without ever giving up hope, putting all his energy into his work. He made his way up the ladder of success one step at a time, with courage and confidence, reaching for his goal. Patrick's feat reminds us that no dream is out of reach for those who put in the time and effort.

I wish Patrick Lalime a long and successful career in the NHL. We are proud of you, Patrick.

Official Languages
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Cliff Breitkreuz Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, over 30 years ago the Liberal Pearson government changed Canada's flag and created the B and B commission. Then for years Pierre Trudeau led the onslaught of the government's divisive language legisla-

tion. One by one they were forced to succumb to linguistic engineering: the civil service, Parliament, the armed forces, crown corporations, and yes, even the RCMP.

Over the years the billions of dollars spent have added $50 billion to the federal debt, all in the guise of promoting national unity. I have not even mentioned the weekly chauffeur driven limousine service between Ottawa and Montreal for the languages commissioner, courtesy of the Canadian taxpayers.

Now the twins from Quebec are talking of granting distinct society to the separatists. My gosh, what else will they give the separatists to keep them in Canada, the rest of the country?

What this distinctly Canadian dilemma deserves is a fresh start, Reform's fresh start.

Team Canada
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Saint-Denis, QC

Mr. Speaker, FRE Composites Inc., a company located in Saint-André-Est, in the Argenteuil region, was part of the last Team Canada mission in Asia.

Team Canada's visit to Thailand turned out to be beneficial to this Quebec business, which currently employs 85 people. The company signed an agreement with a Thai partner to jointly build a production facility in Bangkok. FRE Composites will provide the new venture with its manufacturing technology and its skills. The project is estimated at $4 million.

Team Canada opened the doors for this Quebec company to export its state-of-the-art technology. This, dear Bloc members, is another example of the benefits to be gained from being part of the Canadian team.

Order Of Military Merit
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, Wednesday, Governor General Romeo LeBlanc, Commander in Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces, honoured 52 members of the regular and reserve forces with the Order of Military Merit, reminding us that despite current problems, Canada's military has distinguished itself not only in armed conflicts but in peacekeeping missions and rescue efforts.

Eighty-one year old Air Commodore Leonard Birchall was one of the 52 distinguished with the Order of Military Merit and is the first Canadian to receive the fifth clasp to the Canadian forces decoration, signifying 62 years of honourable military service to Canada.

While on a reconnaissance patrol on April 4, 1942, Squadron Leader Birchall sighted Japanese ships swiftly moving in for a surprise attack on Ceylon. He alerted the British fleet of the impending attack but was then shot down and taken as a Japanese prisoner of war.

As the senior prisoner, he made continual although not always successful efforts to protect his fellow prisoners from brutality. For his efforts he was awarded the British Empire Medal for Gallantry and Winston Churchill dubbed him the saviour of Ceylon.

I am sure this House joins me in congratulating Len Birchall.

Clandestine Work
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Assad Gatineau—La Lièvre, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is time all levels of government start taking measures to address the issue of the underground economy, which is getting worse. This situation is largely due to the over-regulation imposed by the governments themselves, unions and other stakeholders.

All these regulations have a price, which is paid directly or indirectly by the public, mainly consumers, who find they have to pay a lot of money for services. It is obvious that the problem of clandestine work will get worse.

The time has come to implement reforms to make clandestine work unappealing, not only for workers, but also for consumers. One of the first measures should be that all bidders who are awarded government contracts comply with the law and be subjected to a compulsory verification.

Culture
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Twenty-two groups from the cultural sector of Canada and of Quebec, representing 900,000 workers, have unanimously petitioned the Canadian government to maintain and strengthen existing cultural protection measures. This request comes on the heels of the statement by the Minister for International Trade that cultural protection measures that have been around for 30 years are going to be scrapped.

Yesterday, the Deputy Prime Minister told us that cabinet was unanimous on the cultural question. If that is the case, how can she explain the statements by her colleague at international trade, who said that the rules of Canadian ownership and Canadian content are obstacles to the cultural development of Canada and of Quebec?

Culture
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I think that when we respond unanimously to the demands of cultural groups this morning, it is by saying that we wish to do everything we can not just to strengthen existing cultural protection, but to improve it for the twenty-first century.

We know that we are living in a time of turbulent change, and we want to be prepared and to be on the cutting edge when it comes to new cultural possibilities, as we were when we became the first country to set up a CRTC.