House of Commons Hansard #153 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Vimy Ridge
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Richardson Perth—Wellington—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise today to pay tribute to the proud Canadians who put their lives on the line in the name of justice and liberty in Vimy some 80 years ago.

Vimy was the most remarkable of battles. Within three days, the Canadians captured and controlled the entire ridge and had captured more ground, prisoners and guns than any previous British offensive. In fact, the assault turned out to be the swiftest and most complete victory of the war.

Anyone who watched yesterday's news coverage of the anniversary commemorations will not forget the emotions on the faces of the Canadian veterans who had returned to Vimy. From the sorrow in their eyes, you could appreciate the pain of loss of their comrades who died serving their country.

Many veterans view events such as these as their last hurrah. Who will be around to celebrate the next anniversary, they question. But the celebrations will continue.

While those who made history will leave us, time will never erase the memories of their courage, their valour and their patriotism. May we remember them always.

Battle Of Vimy Ridge
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean H. Leroux Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, from April 9 to April 12, 1997, we are commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Vimy Ridge victory by the Canadian expeditionary force, which included the 22nd Regiment.

That impregnable fortress had resisted for over two years. Canadian troops distinguished themselves by winning one the greatest victories. However, this was achieved at the cost of 11,000 human lives.

Today, in this House, I want to pay tribute to the courage and fighting spirit of the soldiers who took part in the Vimy battle. I want to remind everyone that their sacrifice was not made in vain. The road to the greatest victories is always paved with tombstones.

All of us remember the heroism of these soldiers and have learned a lesson from their sacrifice. Our ultimate objective must be, now and forever, to achieve a lasting world peace.

Michael Cuccione
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Sharon Hayes Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, today it is a privilege for me to applaud the courage of a young boy from my riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam.

Michael Cuccione, age 12, has experienced personal hardship that few of us have known in his battle through two bouts of Hodgkin's disease. Throughout his ordeal, music has been a source of strength. Now Michael shares his inspiration with young people across North America through his CD called "Make a Difference". His story will be told to many more through the book There are Survivors: The Michael Cuccione Story .

We salute you today, Michael, as you raise more than $100,000 for cancer research.

We salute you today, Michael, as you demonstrate the survival of hope and community to individuals and families across Canada.

We salute you today, Michael, as you communicate that hope to young people particularly, and challenge them to look beyond difference and disability.

We salute you today, Michael, because through the lyrics of your songs you remind us all that "if we do our part we can make a brand new start to make a difference to this world".

The Prime Minister
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Graham Rosedale, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week Canadians watched with interest and pride as our Prime Minister made his first official visit to the United States.

The spirit of this visit demonstrated that balance the Prime Minister has achieved in our relations with the United States: an independent Canada asserting its interests when faced with excessive U.S. power; yet a good neighbour able and willing to co-operate with our ally and most important trading partner when in our interest.

Indeed, Canadian initiatives internationally, such as our free trade agreement with Chile and our domestic fiscal success, enables our Prime Minister to provide useful examples for our American friends.

The value the American president places in the special relationship that our Prime Minister has developed was in turn reflected in his firm statement about the importance of Canadian unity.

The agreements signed will be useful to everyone. We can all be pleased with the success of a visit whose outcome and timing show the special nature of the relationship that the Prime Minister was able to establish with our powerful neighbour.

Défi-Emploi 18-25
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, young people in my riding of Vaudreuil want to find their place on the labour market. Youth unemployment is one of our government's main concerns.

I am therefore pleased to mention a new partnership initiative designed to promote the hiring of young people aged 18 to 25, in the greater Montreal region.

The Défi-Emploi 18-25 program is a partnership between the Department of Human Resources Development, the SQDM, the Quebec department of income security, the chamber of commerce of metropolitan Montreal, and other local stakeholders.

That program was set up to promote the hiring of young people aged 18 to 25 by contacting various businesses. Young people represent the future. Under the program, young people will be able to take part in free seminars on employment, which will include employers, employment experts and other young people.

Given last year's success with the Défi-Emploi program, we are proud that this initiative is being repeated this year.

Member For Mission-Coquitlam
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Daphne Jennings Mission—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, when I was first elected to come to this House I promised my constituents that if elected I would work with all members to pass good legislation. I believe I have kept my word.

When each of my bills and motions was chosen I asked each and every one of you for your help. The result is I have had the good fortune to have been instrumental in keeping lacrosse as a national sport and I received unanimous consent at second reading for our grandchildren's right to visit their grandparents.

Last night I am happy to say my third motion on reporting private members' business from committee to the House was passed. This completes the cycle begun in 1994 when we passed my freer votes motion and enacted free votes on private members' business.

I was pleased too that before Christmas I was able to present Reform's motion for recognition of the family which this House supported.

I will not be with you next session so I must thank all of the members of this House who have proved to me and to my constituents and my students of 30 years that democracy can work in this House. My colleagues, I thank you.

Quebec Representatives In Government
Statements By Members

April 10th, 1997 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, a journalist from the Journal de Montréal wrote the following, in a column entitled The Usual Suspects'':For the federal Liberals, this should be all the easier, given that Quebec is still somewhat under-represented in the cabinet and that there is still some room''.

How can one claim that Quebecers are under-represented in the cabinet when the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, the President of the Treasury Board, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the President of the Privy Council and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, the Minister of Human Resources Development, the Minister of Labour and the Secretary of State for the Federal Office of Regional Development are all from Quebec?

Quebec is already very well represented in the cabinet, and chances are that this representation will be supported by the substantial number of new Liberal members, following our victory in the next election.

Linguistic School Boards
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie
Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday members of all political parties sitting in the National Assembly, the PLQ, the ADQ and the Parti Quebecois, agreed to ask Ottawa to amend section 93 of the Constitution so as to permit the introduction of linguistic school boards.

Given the unanimity of the National Assembly, which was elected by all Quebecers, will the Prime Minister agree to move on the amendment requested by Quebec, which concerns an area of provincial jurisdiction and complies fully with section 23 of the Canadian Constitution?

Linguistic School Boards
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as our Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs said, we are waiting for a resolution from the Government of Quebec. When it comes, we will be very happy to examine it and to take appropriate action.

We were faced with a similar problem just a few months ago in the House. A resolution to amend the Constitution as it applies to Newfoundland and Labrador and their education system was introduced, and everything turned out fine.

I am very confident that things will go just as well when we receive the resolution from the Government of Quebec, but we must wait for people to express their views before we can proceed.

Linguistic School Boards
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie
Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister knows very well that Mr. Mulcair introduced a resolution that received the unanimous approval of all members of the National Assembly. He also knows that the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs said yesterday that the will of the National Assembly was not enough.

Just today, the Prime Minister was speaking about hypothetical opposition from church representatives, when the bishops have never, throughout this longstanding debate in Quebec, opposed the introduction of linguistic school boards.

Why refer to hypothetical opposition from church representatives when, in the case of Newfoundland, in fact, we know that church representatives were opposed, and the Prime Minister agreed to the request from the Newfoundland legislature, even though church representatives were opposed, but the elected representatives of the people of Newfoundland wanted to go ahead?

Linguistic School Boards
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the minister responsible said, a broad consensus is required. I am very happy to see that a consensus seems to be taking definite shape in the National Assembly. But I also know that people may wish to make representations to us, as they did in the case of Newfoundland. We listened to them, and then took action.

This is how the democratic system works. A resolution must be passed here, in the House of Commons, and in the Senate. It took several months before Newfoundland's problem was sorted out, because of holdups that occurred in fact in the other Chamber. In any case, we shall see. We shall have to wait to see the resolution. And if it is unanimous, so much the better.

Linguistic School Boards
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie
Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I ask the Prime Minister if, given the resolution passed unanimously by all members of the National Assembly, he will agree to move quickly. The official opposition in this House will give him its full support. Will he agree, on behalf of his party, to ask the Liberal and Conservative senators to do likewise, so that this amendment may be passed before the upcoming election?

Linguistic School Boards
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we will receive the resolution, we will examine it as required, and we will introduce it in the House of Commons. At that time, we will ask members to proceed as quickly as possible.

Sometimes, people object to unanimous situations in the House, and the Standing Orders of the House must be observed. As for the Senate, we shall see. First of all, the House of Commons must vote on it. When we have seen the resolution and it has been approved by cabinet, we will then introduce it in the House as soon as possible.

As for the date of the election, nobody knows what it is yet, so until then it is not possible to say whether or not the other objective can be met.

Linguistic School Boards
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

In acting as they are with the linguistic school board situation, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs are demonstrating exactly why all of the governments of Quebec, whether sovereignist or federalist, have denounced or rejected the Canadian Constitution which was imposed on Quebec 15 years ago.

Will the Prime Minister admit that he is once again making use of the 1982 Constitution to intervene directly in a matter which falls under the jurisdiction of the National Assembly, in order to dictate to Quebecers how they are to handle their own affairs?

Linguistic School Boards
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is but one Constitution in Canada and we respect it. There is an obligation for the House of Commons to receive resolutions from a provincial government, to study them and to vote on them.

As I have just said, it is all the better if there is a broad consensus in Quebec and a unanimous vote in the Quebec National Assembly. That will, I hope, facilitate the debate here. Everyone's point of view must be heard, however, for this is a democracy.