House of Commons Hansard #149 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

St. John's Harbour
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Hickey St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the hon. Brian Tobin, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, brought down his 1997 budget yesterday. In addition to developing the provinces rich base of natural resources, the budget allots$1.5 million for the clean up of the St. John's harbour, one of North America's oldest seaports.

Its proud and rich heritage will be celebrated this year during the Cabot 500 celebration when thousands of tourists from around the world will visit the city as Cabot's replica sailing ship, the Matthew , makes its historic landing on June 24.

The harbour clean up is slated to begin as quickly as possible. It is something I have been working toward since I first took office. I commend Premier Brian Tobin's efforts to take this vital step toward addressing a growing environmental concern surrounding the future of the St. John's harbour.

Member For Beaver River
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is the international day for the elimination of racial discrimination. The offhand comments about gender equality in the House of Commons made last night at a Reform fund raiser is an example of the type of misinformation and lack of sensitivity that can lead to discrimination, racial or otherwise.

As a legislator and as a woman I take offence at the Reform member for Beaver River joking about gender equality in the House of Commons, that it would spell trouble at certain times of the month. She said: "What would happen if we were all PMSed the same week"? I personally had a hot flash when I read this report and it was not hormonally induced.

Women definitely have a place in the House. We work hard and effectively every day of the month for the betterment of our legislature, our constituencies and society.

I now know what Reform women say. I shudder to think what Reform men think.

Somalia Inquiry
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have heard that the Liberal government has decided to substitute a Senate committee for the Somalia commission of inquiry headed by Mr. Justice Létourneau.

The public will not be fooled. The government is clearly doing everything it can to try to patch up its defence minister's mistakes. In fact, the Senate committee will be both judge and judged. Think of all the attempts to cover up the truth that have been made under the Conservatives and the Liberals.

We will recall that documents were falsified, and others shredded or otherwise destroyed. We also recall the "search day", the big scramble for lost documents. A real farce.

What we want, and all Canadians want, is the truth. Again, the Liberal government, by refusing to extend the mandate of the Létourneau commission, is undermining whatever little credibility it has left.

Member For Beaver River
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Georgette Sheridan Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, I commend the member for Beaver River for bringing gender equity to a sexist remark. I would have thought that as one who describes herself as a woman, the member would avoid using cheap sexist jokes to score a few points in her bid for re-election.

Women in all professions have long struggled against the misconception that they are biologically incapable of performing well in traditionally male dominated occupations, accused of being victims of their hormones or too emotional for serious jobs.

Here we have the House leader for the Reform Party perpetuating this myth with her crude remarks about PMS making women unfit for the House of Commons.

My Reform Party colleagues find this wildly amusing. I hope they find their dismal electoral results equally funny.

Elvis Stojko
Statements By Members

March 21st, 1997 / 11:05 a.m.

Reform

Werner Schmidt Okanagan Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to earlier news reports Elvis is very much alive and has not left the building.

Last night in Lausanne, Switzerland, Canadian figure skating champion Elvis Stojko reclaimed his world championship title, his third in four years. Elvis was in fourth place after the short program earlier this week, but last night he delivered a masterful performance that included the first quad-triple combination to be landed in world championship competition.

Elvis is indeed god of the quad. His performance included not only the quad but eight other triple jumps and a virtually flawless performance that led to his come from behind victory against stiff competition from the reigning U.S. champ and strong Russian contingent.

On behalf of the constituents of Okanagan Centre, all members of the House and all Canadians, I congratulate Elvis.

Quebec Sovereignty
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, the United States would adapt with little disruption to having a sovereign Quebec as a neighbour. This is one of the findings of a study carried out by David Jones, who was until just recently a senior policy adviser at the U.S. embassy in Ottawa.

In his analysis, Mr. Jones also claims that the U.S. anxiety about Quebec's sovereignty is an exaggeration and a thing of the past. For example, a sovereign Quebec would pose no threat to American security, since it would be a democratic state with a sound economy. Moreover, a sovereign Quebec would become the fifth or sixth trade partner of the U.S.; politically, socially and economically, it would look like Austria, Belgium or the Czech Republic.

According to this expert on Canadian affairs, it is time the U.S. got used to the idea of Quebec becoming sovereign. Should it happen, the U.S. government should make its own assessment of the will expressed by Quebecers instead of relying on advice from Ottawa. This certainly bodes well for the future.

Member For Beaver River
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

John English Kitchener, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Thursday evening the member for Beaver River attacked the Prime Minister's efforts to promote gender equality in the House. Women, she declared, are biologically disqualified from achieving political equality in the country. She cheapened the role of our Liberal female candidates by calling them "poor girls at a grade eight sock hop waiting to be asked to dance".

Liberal candidate, Elinor Kaplan, is no poor grade eight girl at a sock hop. She was dancing in public life long before the member for Beaver River learned to creep. In the 1970s Elinor Kaplan founded the North York Business Association. In the 1980s she chaired the Management Board of Cabinet in Ontario. In the 1990s she was deputy house leader and chief opposition whip in the Ontario legislature.

In 1997 she will become a member of the House of Commons, one of dozens of new female members of Parliament who benefit from our Prime Minister's efforts to achieve a full role for women in Canadian public life.

Member For Beaver River
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Winnipeg—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have been a member of the House for almost nine years and seldom have I heard something as offensive as the comments by the member for Beaver River.

This Reform Party member referred to women candidates appointed by the Prime Minister as "poor girls". This member also likened these candidates to "girls at a grade eight sock hop" hoping "if I just stand here he will come and ask me to dance". This is insulting and offensive not only to women candidates but to every woman in Canada.

My colleague from Saskatoon-Humboldt has distinguished herself as an MP. Before her appointment as a candidate in 1993 she served her community as a lawyer, a business woman and mother, hardly a woman waiting for a date.

The member for Beaver River also wondered what would happen if all women MPs PMSed the same week. She might think that is funny, but the extremism so often exemplified by the Reform Party is no laughing matter.

Somalia Inquiry
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Comox—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, the independent inquiry into the Somalia affair was gagged by the Liberal government because it was getting too close to the truth for the key players.

To save face and gain votes before the upcoming election, Liberals and Tories have now come up with a public relations scam they hope will cut off public criticism over the mockery they have made of the public inquiry.

The special Senate committee review of the Somalia mission is nothing more than an election ploy. It is simply a waste of taxpayers' money.

The Senate review of the Somalia affair is hardly independent. How will we get to the truth when Liberal and Tory politicians will

be judged by Liberal and Tory senators? What we are now witnessing is a whitewash of a cover-up.

The public knows about the cover-up. It wants the truth. Canadians will not be fooled by a dog and pony show being led by the Liberals first in the House and now in the Senate.

Mirabel Airport
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Liberal member for Pontiac-Gatineau-Labelle shamelessly accused, in this House, the Quebec government of blocking the development of Mirabel airport.

The fact is that the two airports serving Montreal are federal facilities, that ADM was created by the federal government, and that all the bad decisions which have undermined Montreal's potential in the air transportation sector were taken by the federal government itself. The Viau ruling made on February 12 confirms that the federal government is ultimately responsible for the decision regarding the future of Dorval and Mirabel airports.

If, like me, the hon. member for Pontiac-Gatineau-Labelle does believe in developing Mirabel airport, he should join with Bloc Quebecois members in asking that public hearings be held soon, in order to find the best possible solution to this issue, after 30 years of bad decisions made unilaterally by the federal government, particularly under the Liberals.

Mirabel Airport
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member. The hon. member for Waterloo has the floor.

Member For Beaver River
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am a Liberal and I oppose racism, sexism and discrimination.

The member for Beaver River apparently favours discrimination against women when she stated that gender equality in the Commons would spell trouble at certain times of the month. This statement is worthy of contempt but it is in keeping with the extremist, racist and sexist comments made by some members of the Reform Party.

As the ranking female leader of the Reform Party, the member for Beaver River does a disservice to Canadians by pandering to sexist stereotypes.

Member For Beaver River
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Ben Serré Timiskaming—French-River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was appalled to read the comments attributed to the member for Beaver River in the newspapers today.

Referring to women MPs and candidates, the member for Beaver River said that gender equality in the House of Commons would spell trouble at certain times of the month.

"What would happen if we all PMSed the same week", she was quoted as saying. These are totally unacceptable comments, not befitting a member of Parliament, especially the House leader of the Reform Party.

No wonder women are shying away from the Reform Party. I am sure that women voters will remember her comments at in next election.

We in the Liberal Party believe in gender equality and will take all necessary measures to achieve it, including appointing qualified women as Liberal candidates. I congratulate the Prime Minister for his initiative.

The sad part is that the Reform male MPs are laughing about the whole matter.

Keith Brimacombe
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, Dr. Keith Brimacombe, director of the Centre for Metallurgical Process Engineering at the University of British Columbia, is the 1997 winner of the Canada gold medal for science and engineering.

We all acknowledge that our participation in the world economy and our very high standard of living are directly proportional to success in scientific research. Without the contribution of people like Dr. Brimacombe, we would not have the high quality, safe materials that we have to produce our vehicles, airplanes, bridges and buildings.

We would like to add our congratulations to Dr. Brimacombe. His gold medal is well deserved. We would like to thank him for his efforts over the years. His leadership in research and training is of immense value and is appreciated by all Canadians.

Dawson City Nuggets
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Audrey McLaughlin Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, in 1905 the Dawson City Nuggets hockey team travelled by dog sled,

by train, by boat and by foot to challenge the Ottawa Silver Seven for the Stanley Cup. The team lost those games and today a shameful banner commemorating that Senators victory flies high in the Corel Centre.

As part of the centennial celebrations marking the discovery of gold in the Klondike the Nuggets are back. They are back to revenge those losses.

A new team of Nuggets has retraced the steps of that first team of trekkers. They have travelled by dog sled, train and boat, and on Sunday the Nuggets take on the Ottawa Senators alumni at 2 p.m. at the Corel Centre.

They have been accompanied on the trip by "Dangerous" Don Reddick, author of The Silver Seven book on the original game; Diamond Tooth Gertie; and Earl ``Wrong Way'' McRae.

This team not only has true grit. It has true heart. The profits of the trip will go to the Heart Institute and Special Olympics.

I congratulate the Ottawa Senators for all of their assistance but say that we will show no mercy on Sunday.