House of Commons Hansard #155 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was port.

Topics

Fisheries
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the March issue of Treaty News , a publication of the Federal Treaty Negotiation Office, tells us that treaty negotiators must come to terms with some basic questions about the B.C. fisheries resource, including the types of access First Nations should have to fish and in general how fish should be allocated.

These questions have been settled by the Supreme Court of Canada. The court has acknowledged an inherent right to fish for food and for ceremonial and religious purposes. It has denied an inherent right to a commercial fishery unless it can be proven that sales were an integral part of a band's culture prior to contact with Europeans, something neither group participating in the pilot salmon sales projects was able to establish.

The court has ruled that the right to sell does not exist in isolation. Others, non-aboriginals, also have rights.

Questions about the allocation of fish have already been answered by the courts. They should not be renegotiated behind closed doors by federal bureaucrats operating under a secret mandate which ignores the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Election
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jag Bhaduria Markham—Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians will be taking a long hard look at the Prime Minister's record in the June election. They will remember his failure to eliminate the dreaded GST. They will remember his failure to initiate an effective job creation program. They will remember his failure to bring real unemployment down.

According to a Statistics Canada report 50 per cent of Canada's youth are presently unemployed. This is almost four million Canadians between 15 and 24 years old who have been left out of the job market. Added to the 1.5 million adult Canadians who are unemployed, the total is a staggering 5.45 million Canadians with no job.

The Canadian dollar is down, long and short term mortgage rates have been increased. On top of this, Canadians have seen the unemployment rate remain at over 9 per cent for 78 straight months.

This is a dismal performance and Canadians will give the Prime Minister and his government a failing grade in the upcoming election.

Jacques Villeneuve
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Bernier Mégantic—Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I was absorbed in Formula 1 racing and its professional drivers.

We had a wonderful show yesterday during the retransmission of the Formula 1 Grand Prix from Argentina. After an exciting and challenging race, this young 26-year-old Quebecer, Jacques Villeneuve, climbed the podium for the second consecutive time when he won this Grand Prix.

With his sixth win in 19 Grand Prix races, he not only managed to equal the record of his late father, Gilles, he also showed us all that he is a real Villeneuve, a real champion. He has now become the racer to beat.

I want to congratulate Jacques Villeneuve on his win and I hope he will go on to win the first championship of his young career.

Flooding
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Bethel Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the floods threatening Manitoba today are a tremendous concern to all western members of Parliament.

As a child living in Winnipeg, I can remember the 1950 flood along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, and I can assure members it was a terrifying experience for me and my family.

Last summer all Canadians witnessed the economic and social devastation to Quebec communities along the Saguenay. While we hope Manitoba's experience will not be as severe, our government is supporting the efforts of the province of Manitoba and the Manitoba emergency management organization.

An interim contribution of $1.5 million has been made. The federal emergency preparedness co-ordinating committee has been reviewing emergency plans and procedures to ensure that all possible federal support is provided when necessary. While the province has the ultimate responsibility for emergency operations, a co-ordinated effort by federal organizations is already under way.

The Canadian Wheat Board has taken steps to move grain out of the threatened areas. The department of fisheries in Manitoba has prepared its fleet of small boats for use by municipalities. The coast guard is doing ice assessment on the rivers.

Flooding
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke.

Vimy Ridge
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Len Hopkins Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, historians have stated that Canadian nationhood was born on the battlefields of Europe. Those of us who had the privilege this past week of attending the 80th anniversary ceremonies of Canadians having captured Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917 know this to be true.

Those who fought in places like Vimy, Passchendaele and Ypres wrote Canadian history by their actions. Because of them and thousands like them, Canadians became known for their courage, their determination and their cohesiveness in helping each other both on and off the battlefield. Six first world war veterans were there representing the nearly 1,500 who are still living. Canada's youth were there.

Thank you to all the other veterans who attended and many thanks to Veterans Affairs Canada personnel who did a super job. Because of what visitors see and hear at Vimy and other locations, we as Canadians can never allow the past to become our future. We must all learn from real history.

Member For Québec-Est
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ben Serré Timiskaming—French-River, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was disconcerting to say the least to see the Bloc member for Québec-Est last week on the RDI expressing concern about francophones outside Quebec as he promoted his book.

This separatist member should have given a thought first to the events at his party's last convention.

Members voted in plenary session against a resolution by which the Bloc Quebecois committed itself to, and I quote: "criticizing in specific terms the abuses and infringements of the rights of francophone and Acadian communities and promoting parallels with investments and commitments made by the Government of Quebec in these areas and thus the Quebec model in this regard".

The separatist member should first try to change attitudes within the Bloc Quebecois that have no time for francophones outside Quebec, before he tries to give lessons on the treatment of language minorities-

Member For Québec-Est
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

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

Michèle Lemieux
Statements By Members

April 14th, 1997 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, author and illustrator Michèle Lemieux has just been awarded the Grand

Prize of the Bologna book fair for her highly illustrated book entitled Nuit Blanche , published by a German firm. Nuit Blanche relates the questions of a nine year old girl who cannot get to sleep because of a storm in the night. She wonders about infinity, about what guides her life and takes it one way or another and about where her ideas come from.

The book is intended for readers between the ages of 9 and 15. It is 240 pages long in black and white and will be published this fall in French with Éditions du Seuil.

It is always refreshing to be able to give our children something besides Disney publications. We are therefore awaiting impatiently the French version of this book for our children.

The Bloc Quebecois congratulates Ms. Lemieux on her work and the international award she has received.

Distinct Society
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, old line politicians still do not get it. Canadians do not like and they do not want distinct society entrenched in the Constitution. A recent poll shows that only 34 per cent of Canadians outside Quebec think distinct society will work and will solve the national unity problem.

Any concept that appears to promote the inequality of citizens or provinces or appears to give special status to any province will be rejected. The defeat of the Meech Lake accord by the provinces and the Charlottetown accord by the people attest to that.

"A vision for the Future of Canada", the Reform Party's 20:20 proposals, promotes equality through a better balance of power between the federal government, the provinces and the people through a combination of decentralization and democratic reforms. These reforms address Quebec's concerns within the confederation.

These changes can be accomplished without federal-provincial constitutional wrangling. What is needed is a federal government that is willing to initiate them.

What part of no do these guys not understand?

Volunteers
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Hickey St. John's East, NL

Madam Speaker, April 13 marks the first day of national volunteer week when communities across the country will pay tribute to their volunteers and reflect on the many ways they help individuals, organizations and causes.

On behalf of all my colleagues in the House I would like to make a special point of thanking all the volunteers who help us as MPs, whom we rely on to assist us in our offices on a daily basis and whom we will be depending on heavily in the days to come and the months to follow.

Volunteers give us more than just their time and efforts. They are responsible for getting us where we are today and we are counting on them to play a vital role in shaping our future.

As the heart and soul of our communities I would like to applaud the volunteers of our country, thank them and congratulate them on volunteer week.

Canadian Armed Forces
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

John Murphy Annapolis Valley—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to support our Canadian Armed Forces, particularly the personnel stationed at CFB Greenwood, 14th Wing and Camp Aldershot in my riding of Annapolis Valley-Hants.

As Canadians we are privileged to have one of the finest armed forces in the world. I have had the opportunity to meet with many of the personnel stationed in my riding and I am always struck by the high levels of professionalism and dedication they show in their work and in serving Canada. Whether through peacekeeping, search and rescue missions or military exercises, Canadians and citizens from countries around the world know they can count on the Canadian Armed Forces.

Although we have seen some negative attention focused on the armed forces in recent years, let us not forget the excellent work being done every day by our armed forces personnel.

Canadian Economy
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie
Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a poll was released today confirming that a majority of Quebecers and Canadians feel they are worse off now than when the Liberal Party came to power in 1993.

I will remind the Prime Minister that his 1993 red book talked about a country facing hardship, with 1.6 million unemployed, millions more on welfare, a million children living below the poverty line and a record number of bankruptcies. What is the situation today? Well, there are almost as many people unemployed as in 1993, and there are still millions on welfare, more poor children and a record number of bankruptcies in 1996.

Is the Prime Minister aware that he is leaving Canada and Quebec in a worse situation than the one he described in his red book in 1993?

Canadian Economy
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, everyone agrees that we have made great progress. Our interest rates, for example, are the lowest they have been in 40 years.

There is no doubt that unemployment is still too high, but the fact is that, when we formed the government, unemployment in Canada stood at 11.4 per cent, and it is now down to 9.3 per cent. This is not satisfactory, but it is enormous progress.

The Canadian economy has created 750,000 new jobs over the last four years. This is not perfect, but it is more than two, three or four European countries put together, with a total population much greater than ours.

We had a deficit of $42 billion when we first took office, and that this deficit has been cut by more than half, even exceeding the objectives we set ourselves in the red book. There is no doubt that, when you form the government, no situation is perfect and we will continue to try to make improvements. For example, we are trying to reduce poverty as much as possible. This is why, in the finance minister's last budget, and in co-operation with the provinces, we gave additional tax credits for poor families in Canada.

The work never stops. I think we have made enormous progress, but people naturally want us to do more. That is why we are continuing our efforts to improve the situation.

Canadian Economy
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie
Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is the opinion of the National Council of Welfare that poverty is likely to increase in 1996 and in all subsequent years.

So when the Prime Minister talks about satisfactory results, is he aware that the situation is terrible for the public, particularly for the most disadvantaged, for women and the one million poor children in Canada?