House of Commons Hansard #143 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

Every Wednesday before the doors are opened it is our custom to sing the national anthem. Today we will be led by the hon. member for Cambridge.

Dna Data Banking
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Steckle Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to speak on a very important issue, DNA data banking.

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting with members of the Canadian Police Association who expressed the importance of a national DNA data bank. The purpose of a DNA data bank is fundamental to investigations and prosecutions of the most serious crimes in Canada. A DNA data bank would act as a national information system for law enforcement.

I fully support the concept of DNA data banking and ask that my colleagues also defend its significance to society. I feel that bringing this legislation to the forefront is long overdue. Perhaps we should consider the motto that the Canadian Police Association so adamantly believes in: Register criminals before firearms. After all, it is our responsibility to ensure public safety.

Alberta Election
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Lethbridge
Alberta

Reform

Ray Speaker Lethbridge

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the people of Alberta spoke and here is what they told us.

Their first and loudest message was that Albertans respect politicians who say what they mean and mean what they say. Albertans recognize that Ralph Klein kept his election promise to eliminate Alberta's deficit, and they rewarded him with 63 seats out of 83.

The people of Alberta told us that they expect politicians to be responsive and listen to their voters. Albertans appreciate that the Klein government listened to the people on such issues as health needs and budget surpluses.

Finally, the people of Alberta told us they will never again let the banks and the bond traders control the province's destiny. By an overwhelming majority, they rejected deficit spending in favour of fiscal stability and accountability.

I salute Ralph Klein and the people of Alberta for their courageous efforts of the past four years. Our reward? The lowest tax rates and the highest job creation of any province in Canada.

Liberal Party
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative leader, who dared solicit the support of the Quebec Liberal delegates assembled at last weekend's convention by slipping provocative literature under their doors, was roundly condemned by both the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Immigration.

According to the Minister of Labour, the Conservative leader has gone too far. As for the Minister of Immigration, she said it was totally inappropriate.

Liberals are really not very thick-skinned. How would they have described the stealthy crusade of the own leader, a backstage skulker, during the night of the long knives in an Ottawa hotel in 1982?

These one-way democratic ministers hid their hats in their pockets at the time of their leader's incredibly despicable act during that night dedicated to quashing Quebec's legitimate demands.

Mr. Speaker, "Je me souviens" and I am not about to forget.

Railways
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have in my hand a letter from Mr. R. J. Fish, director of engineering, railway safety directorate to an official of the CPR in which the government official from the railway safety directorate says that

he is quite interested in the possibility of the railway's contracting out the entire crossing improvement project.

"We would be very interested in hearing the railway's views on this and will be contacting you shortly to set up a meeting to discuss the above".

Many of the people in my riding and other ridings across the country who work for the signals department of the CPR and the CNR are very concerned that the government is encouraging the railways to contract out this kind of work.

It is bad enough that the companies they work for should be considering contracting out their work, but when the Liberal government is actively encouraging major private corporations to contract out work, to bust unions, to look for cheaper wages for people doing the same job, it ought to be absolutely ashamed of itself.

Hungary
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Lambton—Middlesex, ON

First, Hungary will be celebrating its national day on March 15, marking the Hungarian revolution of 1848-1849. Being the longest and most heroic fight against feudalism in the 1848 "Spring of Peoples" movement in Europe, the Hungarian revolution became the symbol of the fight for freedom and human rights all over the world. Second, Hungary is becoming more important to Canadians because it is expected to be invited to join NATO in July of this year. We, the members of the House of Commons, will be asked to express our opinion on the enlargement of NATO membership for Hungary and its political and security alliances with Canada.

On these two occasions, let us keep in mind the small and newly democratic country in the heart of Europe whose people and government will soon be important contributors to European and world security.

Kusunom.

St. Catharines Jaycees
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently the St. Catharines Jaycees celebrated their 60th anniversary as a Jaycee Junior Chamber organization. The St. Catharines Jaycees serve the community by developing tomorrow's leaders through training programs and community involvement. Projects include raising funds for the Niagara district airport, the Garden City Arena and two local swimming pools.

The Jaycees have also sponsored the soap box derby, the Easter egg hunt, the mayor's invitational grape stomp, Jaycee Garden Park and the development and dedication of the Kristen French Memorial in Jaycee Gardens. Three presidents of Canada's national Jaycees have come from St. Catharines and I had the honour and pleasure of serving Junior Chamber International in 1976.

I salute all present and former members of the St. Catharines Jaycees and extend every good wish for success in the years ahead. Congratulations and happy 60th anniversary.

Commonwealth Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel St. Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, Monday was Commonwealth Day.

This year's theme "Talking to One Another" is closely linked to modern day technology as we celebrate the countless ways we now have to communicate.

This high technology enables Commonwealth citizens to exchange ideas in various ways, including distance education and exchange programs.

Of course, having more ways of communicating does not automatically bring improvements. Talking to one another is not a one way process. We can explain our own points of view but we must also listen to the views of others, something that all parliamentarians should do, including myself.

Whatever the method of communication we choose, we must keep speaking and listening to one another so that Canada and the Commonwealth, and the whole planet of course can prosper.

Quebec Teachers' Colleges
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's first teachers' colleges were inaugurated on March 12, 1857, when the Jacques-Cartier and McGill teachers' colleges opened their doors.

These institutions were established following a Quebec act designed to improve the quality of education. They had the mandate of preparing young people to work with children and teenagers.

Several generations of Quebecers, including myself, benefited from a training and apprenticeship experience that they would later pass on to those who followed in their footsteps.

Sister Simone Colpron, who is now almost 90, was a great educator who had a strong influence on me. Through her, I want to pay tribute to the men and women who paved the way to excellence, and who continue, to this day, to make Quebecers better educated and more qualified.

Rights Of Victims
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary North, AB

Mr. Speaker, this week Canadians have witnessed one of the sorriest episodes in the judicial history of Canada. Clifford Olson taunts the victims of crime, mocks the justice system, but the responsible minister dismisses any protest as just playing politics.

Shame on the minister for trying to dismiss attempts to give victims and their families a platform. The pain and suffering of innocent victims deserves a voice. It is about time the rights of victims take precedence over the rights of criminals. It is about time this country had a victims' bill of rights. This would give victims the right to much more information, the right to notification of significant events in the judicial process, the right to compensation from the offender and the right not to be harassed or intimidated by the perpetrator of a crime.

Why does the Liberal government continue to ignore the rights of victims of crime?

Health Care
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Whelan Essex—Windsor, ON

Mr. Speaker, on February 27, 1997, the legislature of the province of Ontario passed a resolution introduced by Sandra Pupatello, the provincial member for Windsor Sandwich. The resolution calls on the provincial government to "stop cutting base funding of hospitals and to allow communities to determine how to restructure their hospital services and find efficiency savings based on their needs".

Our local communities and hardworking doctors and nurses know the best way to reduce health care costs. Their expertise and priorities should be recognized. The federal government's priorities were clearly stated in the 1997 budget announcement that it would be reinvesting $300 million in health care over the next three years by investing in a health transition fund, a Canada health information system and increasing support for children's health under two programs, the community action program for children and the Canada prenatal nutrition program.

In recent weeks, the premier of Ontario and others have claimed the federal government cut transfers to Ontario by 40 per cent. This is not the case. The reductions in transfers was $1.2 billion or11.4 per cent. Next year Ontario will receive a total of $9.1 billion in transfers.

The federal government has made health care a priority and it is time the Government of Ontario did also.

National Unity
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is as a federalist member of Parliament from Quebec that I rise in the House today to denounce the strategy of the Conservative Party and its leader, the member of Parliament for Sherbrooke.

For some weeks now the leader of the Conservative Party has been travelling through the anglophone provinces promising that a Conservative government would resolve the issue of national unity and put an end to the separatist threat in Quebec.

In Quebec however, and again last Monday in his own riding of Sherbrooke, the Conservative leader has relentlessly attacked Quebec federalists and said almost nothing against the Bloc Quebecois and their separatist allies.

Canadians have not been fooled by this double talk in the past. The Conservative leader had better realize it soon, if he does not want to lose the two seats he has in the next election. He had better start talking the talk.

French Postal Service
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, we sometimes see strange coincidences. At a time when the federal government is asking the Supreme Court to rule on Quebec's democratic right to achieve sovereignty, without the prior consent of Prince Edward Island, France is about to print a stamp commemorating General de Gaulle's visit to Montreal, in 1967, and particularly his famous "Vive le Québec libre".

The Prime Minister, who is a long-time stamp collector, hurriedly made a few suggestions to the French postal service, asking them, above all, not to show the general, the Quebec flags, or the city hall balcony. In other words, according to the Prime Minister, the best stamp to commemorate this page in history would be "no stamp at all".

Could it be that this knee-jerk reaction is dictated by a noble intention to protect young Quebecers' health?

After regulating tobacco company sponsorship in such a fanatical way, the Prime Minister may have decided to go after this other major threat to our young people's health: French stamps.

Taxation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Derek Wells South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, concerns have been expressed over the last number of months regarding the harmonized sales tax about to go in place in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. It has been a major topic at my town hall meetings and my visits to businesses where consumers and businesses have expressed concerns.

Because of concerns expressed by both small business and consumers, tax included pricing is being delayed until provinces representing 51 per cent of the Canadian people agree to blend their sales taxes with the federal goods and services tax. This is a victory for us in Atlantic Canada.

There are major benefits to a harmonized sales tax with the elimination of $700 million in hidden provincial sales taxes in the Atlantic, $280 million of this in Nova Scotia alone, one sales tax regime, a reduction in tax from almost 19 per cent to 15 per cent on most items, and in Nova Scotia a lowering of the personal income tax rate by 3.4 points.

With the changes recently announced I am confident that we can now move forward on April 1 with the new harmonized sales tax which will benefit Atlantic Canada-

Biotechnology Centres
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec now ranks tenth among biotechnology centres in North America.

In less than three years, Quebec went from 13th to 10th place among the most important centres in North America. The number of biotechnology companies has more than tripled, and revenues have increased tenfold, from $25 million to $280 million.

The federal government actively supports this industry in Quebec. In recent years, we have invested more than $20 million in helping to create and maintain hundreds of specialized jobs.

Canadians have developed the skills and expertise that allow them to compete with the world's great economic powers, and our government is delighted to be a part of this development.