House of Commons Hansard #145 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Excise Tax Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I know that consumers, as I, will wait with bated breath for the end of your speech. You still have four minutes and the floor will be yours if you wish at the end of question period today.

It being almost 2 p.m., we will proceed to Statements by Members.

Recognizing Members
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Stan Dromisky Thunder Bay—Atikokan, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are thousands of Canadians who do not know the name of the member of Parliament who is speaking from in Chamber at this very moment.

Currently, Mr. Speaker, you address members according to ridings. My name and riding are printed for a few seconds in small letters at the bottom of the TV screen.

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind and severely visually impaired Canadians have indicated that this practice is unfair, given that blind persons cannot read members' names and province of origin as printed on the screen.

I recommend that it would be more appropriate to have members addressed by their name, riding and province. This would only pertain to the manner in which the Speaker addresses members and not to the manner in which members address each other in the House.

In the name of fairness I pray that this recommendation be given serious consideration.

Francophonie
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, 1997 is a banner year for la Francophonie. This year we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Charte de la langue française, the 10th anniversary of the Semaine du français, the 5th anniversary of the Semaine internationale de la Francophonie and the 7th anniversary of the Journée internationale de la Francophonie in Quebec. These various events have now been combined in the Francofête, being held for the first time from March 16 to March 23, with the author Marie Laberge as honourary chair.

The Francofête is an event marked by pride and excellence. At the heart of this event we find the French language, the official and common language of Quebecers at work, in communications, business, culture and education.

To quote Yves Duteuil: "It is a beautiful language with magnificent words that expresses its history through its many accents". This week is a wonderful opportunity to speak, write, read, sing and love this language of ours.

Justice
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Reform Party's fresh start for justice has the Liberal Party's spin doctors scrambling for answers.

An access to information request clearly points to the Liberal failure to deal with hardened criminals who make a career out of hurting or killing innocent Canadians. The Liberal justice minister believes that capital punishment and truth in sentencing are "buzzwords" and are an act of revenge.

The Liberal idea of a safer society is to release violent offenders earlier because it is cheaper to do so, all under the name of rehabilitation. Liberals do not believe that the punishment should fit the crime. Neither do they believe that criminals are responsible for their actions. They say that you and I and society are to blame.

The bottom line is that the Liberal government continues to support criminals with its weak laws. On the other hand, innocent citizens are victimized and to the Liberal mind this is good.

The Liberal government is deluded. Fresh start for justice is the only answer to law and order in this country.

The Economy
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Vic Althouse Mackenzie, SK

Mr. Speaker, for more than a decade this government and the previous one have pursued the same economic policies: deregulate, cut spending, lay off workers.

Both business and government have sung the same tune. Has it worked? We have 45 per cent more child poverty in the country than in 1989 when this House passed a motion to do away with it. Today's Globe and Mail reports that the working poor are now6 per cent worse off than 10 years ago.

University of Saskatchewan economists tell us that realized net farm income for their province was $315 million in 1996, or about $5,000 per farm. The projections are that it will be lower in 1997.

Bankruptcies hit record levels in 1996 under these policies. Real income for most Canadians is declining as are living standards. However, big business profits are up and so is the stock market. But for ordinary people, nothing but harder times.

The Budget
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Harold Culbert Carleton—Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, there is financial light at the end of the deficit tunnel, as we heard from the Minister of Finance during his recent budget presentation.

Canadians have a right to be proud of the accomplishments toward deficit reduction: proud of moving from being referred to as a third world country financially in the early nineties under the previous administration to today, once again, being the envy of the industrialized countries of the world.

Canadians are proud also that the deficit reduction accomplishments have provided the flexibility for financial investment in health care, student education, children and families, rural Canada, the tourism industry, the infrastructure program extension and programs to foster small business, economic growth and jobs.

This is responsible government. Canadians have a right to be proud of their accomplishments. God bless and long live Canada.

Foreign Aid
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I recently attended the 46th parliamentary seminar in the United Kingdom. Participants included legislators from all corners of the globe: Malawi, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Uganda. The seminar coincided with Commonwealth Day, March 10.

Canada is held in high esteem abroad and is well served by its commitment to multilateral organizations such as the Commonwealth and la Francophonie.

One of the lasting impressions I will have will be the importance of our country's foreign aid to the well-being of fellow Commonwealth and la Francophonie citizens. I urge all members, as legislators in one of the richest and most senior members of both organizations, to recognize and promote the value of foreign assistance.

I call on the government during la semaine internationale de la Francophonie, specifically the Minister for International Co-operation, to continue our foreign aid activities so that we may look forward to a time when we will be members of organizations such as la Francophonie and the Commonwealth where wealth is indeed-

Foreign Aid
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Kenora-Rainy River.

Transfers To Provinces
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Nault Kenora—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, as an Ontario MP I have been hearing a lot of whining from Mike Harris and his chorus line in the Reform Party. They are trying to blame every cut in Ontario on the federal government.

They are tossing out accusations that Ontario's transfers have been cut by over 40 per cent. The fact is, when this government assumed office, total transfers to Ontario, cash and tax points, amounted to $10.3 billion. This year it is $9.1 billion.

The real reduction is 11 per cent, which only represents 2.5 per cent of provincial revenues. The 1996 budget includes a plan to start increasing transfers once again.

How much has Mike Harris cut? More than $6 billion from hospitals, schools, municipalities, social assistance and shelters for battered women. And why has he had to make these cuts? To pay for an irresponsible $5 billion tax cut for his rich friends.

Reformers can say what they like, but my constituents do not buy their sudden belief in medicare. I look forward to pitting our record and commitment to social programs against these right wing relics of the past.

St. Patrick's Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday thousands of Quebecers filled St. Catherine Street to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, when all Quebecers become O'Quebecers, as Cardinal Turcotte pointed out.

St. Patrick's Day is a time to remember when this community came to Quebec from its country of origin some 150 years ago to escape the potato famine. The conditions for these immigrants on board ship and subsequently in quarantine on Grosse-Île remain painful memories that testify to the courage and determination of the Irish.

In his sermon yesterday in St. Patrick's Cathedral, which was founded 150 years ago, Cardinal Daly recalled the warm welcome extended in the past by Canada's francophones who, together with the Irish already established in Montreal, worked so hard to alleviate the suffering of these Irish newcomers.

St. Patrick's Day has become a tradition in Quebec. We all celebrate this day and hope that this tradition will be maintained for many years to come.

A happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone.

Endangered Species
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Philip Mayfield Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, the people of Cariboo-Chilcotin support the protection of endangered species but they oppose Bill C-65, the federal government's endangered species protection act.

Bill C-65 threatens the rights and livelihoods of thousands of responsible ranchers, miners, foresters and landowners in the B.C. interior. It gives federal authorities the power to dictate to responsible landowners and users how they will use their land. It offers no compensation to landowners and users who are forced to leave productive land dormant, and Bill C-65 allows activist groups to go to court solely to stop resource development. This bill is an unfair, unbalanced and unsatisfactory piece of legislation.

Fortunately there is a better way. The Reform Party has proposed 42 amendments that would ensure fair compensation, co-operation by all concerned and a commitment to the preservation of all endangered species. If the government refuses to pass these amendments I will vote against Bill C-65 on behalf of the people of Cariboo-Chilcotin.

Ports Canada Police
Statements By Members

March 17th, 1997 / 2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, Friday's announcement by the Minister of Transport abolishing Ports Canada Police bypasses the democratic process in this House. Bill C-44, the Canada marine act, is presently before the House. There are provisions in that bill that deal with ports police. It is confusing that the minister would abolish ports police before Bill C-44 is passed.

In the announcement the minister has placed access control in the hands of the ports and municipal police forces to ensure standard police services at the ports. But the minister made no reference to the present ports police officers. What are the minister's plans for these dedicated and specially trained people? And what is he going to do about continued funding for such services?

The ports police officers are specialists in their field. They are trained and knowledgeable in national and international crime. Why is the minister subjecting our communities to the possibility of increased crime? I urge this minister and this House to reconsider what came out on Friday.

St. Patrick's Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Shaughnessy Cohen Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, 150 years ago the great potato famine was devastating the Irish countryside and Irish tenants were fleeing their homeland.

Today Canada, while celebrating St. Patrick's Day, also celebrates the great migration of those people who became the backbone of so many of our communities. Whether it is corned beef and cabbage at the historic Victoria Tavern in Windsor or a green beer at the Knights of Columbus in Tecumseh, the people of Canada are all Irish today.

However, as we enjoy the fun, let us not lose sight of the historical fact that so many came here out of such a great tragedy and that they joined with others to build one of the great free democracies of the world.

Health Care
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Tony Valeri Lincoln, ON

Mr. Speaker, health care continues to be a priority for my constituents in Lincoln, and they are worried about its future.

As the Ontario government continues to pursue its plans to restructure hospitals like the West Lincoln Memorial in Grimsby and St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton, let me share with the House what my constituents are saying. They want a health care system that is focused on patient care and wellness and not one that offers fewer services at fewer locations.

Let us be clear. Premier Harris has decided to close hospitals in Ontario. That is his choice and no one else's. The National Forum on Health stated that Canadians want the federal government to continue to play a strong role in protecting our publicly funded medicare system. The government has demonstrated that support through the recent budget which invests in the delivery of health care services.

Clearly we will continue to ensure that our universal health care system is protected and meets the needs of all Canadians.

Montreal's East End
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, for too many years, the east end of Montreal has been associated with factory closings and unemployment. As of today, this unfortunate perception will change and there is new hope for the east end of Montreal.

At a press conference this morning, the Minister of Human Resources Development announced a $8.1 million subsidy to Iris Inc., a sock manufacturer. This financial assistance comes out of

the 30 per cent of the transitional job fund which has been earmarked for Quebec.

Thanks to this partnership between the Government of Canada, the municipality of Ville d'Anjou and the private sector, an expansion plan worth an estimated $63.7 million will create more than 3,000 permanent full time jobs in the east end of Montreal over the next three years.