House of Commons Hansard #138 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was plan.

Topics

Women's Health
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Saint-Denis, QC

Mr. Speaker, International Women's Week gives us an opportunity to honour all those who work to promote equality for Canadian women. It is also a time to reflect on the challenges that were met in the past, and to face current ones, such as women's health.

Breast cancer claims the lives of 5,000 Canadian women each year. Thousands more are diagnosed with the sickness and have to endure countless hours of radiation therapy if they are to survive. Let us not forget the economic and emotional toll on their families.

I wish to salute the Hellenic Friends of the Auxiliary of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal who through donations and activities, such as their annual tea which I had the pleasure of attending, are doing their part to ease the suffering of cancer victims. Through their efforts a patient immobilization system was purchased for the hospital to help cancer patients with their radiation treatment, and particularly women with breast cancer.

During International Women's Week, let us show our support to this cause by wearing a pink ribbon.

Tobacco
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Blainville—Deux-Montagnes, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the same goes for Bill C-71. Indeed, the government's intention to fight tobacco use is a good and even excellent idea.

But what a useless and disastrous mistake it is making by seeking to essentially prevent tobacco companies, which are the only ones willing to do so, from sponsoring sports and cultural events which are part of Quebec's heritage and which are vital to its economy. The major rallies held yesterday, including in Montreal, conclusively show that the public is opposed to the bill.

To be sure, the Minister of Health is ill-inspired when he gets it in his head to protect our health. A few months ago, he wanted to prevent us from eating camembert cheese. Today, he is targeting our merchants, our athletes, our artists, and our cities' finances. What can we do to bring the minister to his senses?

Dangerous Offenders
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, beginning next month the RCMP will be posting its 10 most wanted list on the Internet. But when the premier edition hits the net, only 2 of the 10 most wanted are Canadians, with the majority being American. That is not really surprising, given the government's pathetic record in dealing with illegal immigrants and bogus refugees with criminal records.

Is there any other country that would allow an escaped dangerous offender from another country to claim refugee status and then release him pending his next hearing? Does it really come as a surprise that this escaped convict failed to show up for his hearing? No wonder American fugitives want to get into Canada.

I suggest that maybe the Minister of Canadian Heritage should get involved. She cannot be pleased with only 20 per cent Canadian content. I can assure her that there is no shortage of Canadian criminals, which requires us to import them from the United States.

Seal Hunting
Statements By Members

March 5th, 1997 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jack Iyerak Anawak Nunatsiaq, NT

Last month the International Fund for Animal Welfare released a disturbing video depicting incidents alleged to have occurred during the 1996 Newfoundland seal harvest.

The tape is currently under investigation. Where there is sufficient evidence, violators will be prosecuted.

Inuit and other responsible seal hunters were shocked and disgusted by the video. It was repugnant to see animals treated in such an insensitive and wasteful manner. The Inuit method of seal harvesting entails complete utilization.

I urge Canadians and the international community to avoid stereotyping all seal hunters because of the alleged actions of a few. The great majority of sealers harvest responsibly and humanely.

This video sensationalism of animal rights organizations threatens Inuit and Newfoundland communities who are just trying to survive.

Iran
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, in recent days, major earthquakes have hit northwestern Iran. It is estimated that close to 1,000 people have died, with 2,500 more injured and 40,000 homeless, and the number of casualties keeps increasing.

On my behalf and on behalf of the Bloc Quebecois, I wish to offer our most sincere sympathies to all the bereaved families. We cannot remain insensitive to the hurt and confusion of these people, and to the tragic sights left by these terrible earthquakes.

We deeply sympathize with the Iranian population afflicted by this tragedy. To make things worse, research operations to help victims must be conducted in extremely difficult situations, in snow and intense cold.

We are asking the Canadian government to take the necessary measures to help the victims of this earthquake.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, all the media in Quebec are commenting on the government's anti-tobacco bill, and the majority are definitely in favour of a more flexible approach to sponsorship and the broadcasting of sports and cultural events associated with tobacco companies. Every one is amazed at the unnecessarily rigid stand the government has taken.

Does the Prime Minister not realize he has a perfectly good issue and that this government, because of its unwillingness to compromise, is spoiling everything and even alienating thousands of citizens who are recent recruits to the anti-smoking movement? Does he not understand?

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker the government's main concern is the health of our young people. Everyone knows that tobacco advertising has a tremendous influence on young people who start smoking when they are 13, 14 or 15, and it is worse in Quebec than anywhere else.

When we introduced this bill a few months ago, the Quebec Minister of Health criticized us for not going far enough. I read one of Mr. Rochon's draft bills on tobacco, and I want to quote a passage from clause 22, which goes much further than our proposal. It says that all funding of sports, cultural or social activities or facilities, either directly or indirectly, for the purpose of promoting tobacco in any manner whatsoever, is prohibited. Perhaps our friends opposite should stop playing politics with this issue and take a serious look at the problem.

We have shown some flexibility. The companies asked for a three-year moratorium, and we agreed to a two-year period of adjustment. However, the problem is still there.

We did not do this because we felt like it, but because it is our duty to take steps to protect the health of young Quebecers. I know, the Bloc Quebecois is always more intent on political gain than on protecting the interests of Quebec's young people.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is not very brave of the Prime Minister to use what other people are doing as a shield to justify his own actions. This is hardly a sign of bravery. He is the one on the stand here, not Jean Rochon in Quebec City. The question was put to the Prime Minister.

And the question is this: Why is the Prime Minister being so intransigent, why is he doing such a poor job? Why is he getting everybody up in arms against him and, in the process, undoing any progress made in the fight against tobacco? He does not realize he is sabotaging his own cause.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition tries to please everyone. We act responsibly, and these are very serious responsibilities. When the Quebec Minister of Health speaks, he does so as the person responsible for people who need medical care.

I will read you a letter sent to me by Mario Laurin in Val-d'Or. Mr. Laurin is fighting lung cancer caused by smoking. Here is his letter: "Our children's health is surely the most precious thing in the world; you must protect it, with legislation if necessary. Mr. Prime Minister, I urge you to stand up to the tobacco companies and get Bill C-71, the anti-tobacco bill, through Parliament".

I could quote other people suffering from cancer caused by smoking. As I said this morning, we can tolerate advertising directed at adults who smoke, but not when it goes after young people in their early teens. Those who represent the tobacco companies know that if a person has not started to smoke by the age of 19, he probably never will.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Roberval
Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure whether the following term is parliamentary. May I use the term demagoguery in this House?

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Sure.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

No, you may not.

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, in that case I am at a loss for words that can express what I think of the Prime Minister. But I can tell you that everyone in Canada agrees with the need to reduce our consumption of cigarettes.

However, there are various ways to achieve that objective. Some are more acceptable than others, and some are less effective.

Does the Prime Minister of Canada realize that a young person who goes to the Du Maurier tennis open is far more likely to buy a tennis racket than a package of cigarettes when he goes home?

Tobacco
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.