House of Commons Hansard #157 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ports.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesdays, we will now sing O Canada. We will be led by the hon. member for Calgary North.

National Volunteer Week
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

George Proud Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, this week is National Volunteer Week and communities across the country will pay tribute to their volunteers and the countless ways in which they help individuals, organizations and causes.

Volunteer week exemplifies the motivation and dedication of the millions of people across Canada whose efforts improve the quality of life for us all. Volunteers are a crucial component of every community.

This year's theme is "Volunteers, our greatest natural resource". I invite all members of Parliament to help make National Volunteer Week a success in their constituency by donating a few minutes of their time to a local organization or cause. In doing so, we are helping to ensure that volunteerism in Canada will continue to survive into the 21st century.

Congratulations and a huge thank you to all our volunteers.

Social Housing
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Gilbert Fillion Chicoutimi, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation just woke up and realized that federal and provincial overlap is nothing but a waste of time and money.

At the signing of a Canada-Saskatchewan social housing agreement, the minister stated that having a single level of government in charge of administering social housing would maximize the use of taxpayers' money by simplifying existing arrangements and encouraging the development of a single window concept.

When will we see powers transferred to the provinces in areas like forestry, tourism and mining? After three and a half years, it is time this government recognized that the Bloc Quebecois was right about the need to eliminate overlap.

Human Rights
Statements By Members

April 16th, 1997 / 2:05 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, China is repeatedly jailing dissidents like Wei Jingsheng and student leader Wang Dan for speaking out on human rights. It has violated its joint declaration agreement on Hong Kong and its basic law by appointing its own legislative council, introducing laws on subversion and rolling back Hong Kong's bill of rights.

Our government's response is not to support the UN declaration condemning China for its human rights abuses, a complete flip-flop. China is a superpower but it can also be a great nation. China and Canada need to realize that a stable business environment is conditional on human rights, democratic principles, freedoms and the rule of law. To ignore this is to imperil not only people but economic stability. The government must stop its continued silence of the lambs and must speak out for human rights.

Miller High School
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

John Solomon Regina—Lumsden, SK

Mr. Speaker, most young people are law-abiding citizens concerned about the safety of others and who deplore crime and violence in any form. I have worked with many who excel and who are working within their communities to bring about changes for the better.

I want to congratulate one of these groups, the students of Miller High School of Regina who came to Ottawa this week with a petition to improve the Young Offenders Act. They have shown initiative by preparing recommendations that would make the act more effective and workable for offenders and their victims.

In Regina crime is a serious concern. Most crimes of theft and break and enter are committed by repeat offenders who are already subject to the provisions of the Young Offenders Act because of past offences.

The Miller High School students recommend reducing the age in the Young Offenders Act to 16 years to correspond with the responsibilities youths take on when they obtain a driver's licence. They also recommend mandatory restitution to victims. The students suggest that young offenders work off their crimes with community improvement work.

These Miller High School students know it is time to get tough on crime and hope the Liberals get serious about it too. I applaud their initiative.

National Volunteer Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague from Hillsborough said, this week is National Volunteer Week, an opportunity to celebrate the tremendous contributions of volunteers to our communities across Canada.

Millions of Canadians give freely of their time to support non-profit, voluntary and charitable organizations. Their generosity and participation builds and maintains the quality of life in our towns and neighbourhoods. Every year Canadians contribute over $13 billion to charities and non-profit organizations. Approximately 13 million people volunteer their time each year in Canada. In my hometown of Hamilton, more than 100,000 volunteer their time and money every year.

On behalf of all my colleagues in the House of Commons, I want to thank all the volunteers for giving us some of their time.

Seniors Benefit
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien London—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the member of Parliament for London-Middlesex I have received considerable input from my constituents about the new seniors benefit which begins in 2001. I also had the recent opportunity to meet with the London Council for Seniors to discuss this important new program.

Based on the input I have received, the vast majority of my constituents who are seniors support the new seniors benefit. They understand that it is fairer and that 75 per cent of Canadian seniors will receive the same or higher benefits.

One area of concern raised was a possible discrimination against married senior couples as compared to single seniors who cohabit. Senior married couples want to know that the rules about combined incomes will be applied the same way in both cases.

I call on the government to review this concern carefully and to ensure a fair and just application of the new rules as they apply to the income of all seniors.

Salmon Fishery
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the agreement on the management of salmon issues to be signed today by the Prime Minister and the Premier of British Columbia vindicates former Prime Minister Lester Pearson's concept of co-operative federalism.

Intergovernmental relations in a federal system should be based not on confrontation and a rush to the law courts but on pragmatic accommodation and administrative partnership. Today most major issues transcend the problem-solving capacities of any one level of government and require a melding of decision making, not a fragmentation of power into watertight compartments of constitutional competence, federal or provincial.

We all have everything to gain by this highly pragmatic, empirically based approach to the regulation and conservation of a great national resource on the west coast.

It is to be achieved not by the frustrating processes of formal amendment of the Constitution, but by consensus of the respective heads of government, concretized in a legal agreement based on the constitutional principle of good faith and on mutual benefit.

National Volunteer Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, April 13 to 19 is National Volunteer Week, which has been celebrated since 1943.

Eleven million Canadians and Quebecers generously devote their time, energy and talents to helping others. These volunteers express their love and generosity through a wide range of actions.

I am proud to represent the riding of Bourassa, where dozens of community organizations are active. I want to praise the thousands of volunteers in my riding and everywhere, who generously work to enhance their fellow citizens' quality of life. I would like to draw special attention to the work of the Centre d'action bénévole de Montréal-Nord, Fondation La Visite, Coup de pouce Jeunesse, CAMÉE, Entre-Parents, Chez Frédéric and Ignace Bourget.

Finally, I encourage all Canadians and Quebecers to show even greater support, generosity and dedication toward the most disadvantaged members of our society.

Parks Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Cliff Breitkreuz Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, this Liberal government has the power to improve the safety of Canadians. In criminal law the government chooses to do little or nothing to make our streets safer. But in Parks Canada the heavy hand of the government is shutting down the Jasper airstrip, for no good reason.

The Jasper airstrip does not cost taxpayers' money. There is not one incident in the airstrip's 70-year history of environmental damage or injury to animals. However, there are many instances of the airstrip being used for emergency landings by pilots.

While door knocking in Jasper, of the scores of people I talked to, all but one wanted the airstrip to remain open.

In the future when an emergency landing is needed in Jasper, will the heritage minister accept responsibility for any personal injuries or deaths? When will the government listen to the common sense of the common people to do what is right for Jasper residents and Canadians everywhere?

National Volunteer Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mary Clancy Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today during National Volunteer Week to honour all volunteers but most particularly women volunteers.

Every day countless numbers of women give their time to work in our hospitals, schools and nursing homes, on boards and fund raising committees, with literacy programs, rape crisis centres and more. These women come from a wide cross section of society and bring a great range of skills and expertise to the cultural, political, social and economic fabric of the country. In fact our paid economy could not function without the unpaid work of volunteers.

As a nation we cannot afford to take our volunteers for granted. They are without a doubt the heart and soul of our country and on behalf of all of us I say thank you.

Spar Aerospace
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, a few days ago Prime Minister Chrétien announced that Spar Aerospace located in my riding of Bramalea-Gore-Malton will develop the space shuttle's Canada Hand, thus creating at least 125 local jobs.

Everyone in the riding is pleased that our highly skilled local workforce has once again helped sustain and create local jobs. In fact, an even larger impact on local companies is expected due to the manufacturing and marketing of commercial spin-offs resulting from the Canada Hand robotic technology.

I want to thank the Prime Minister for his ongoing efforts to create as many jobs as possible, despite the current tough economic climate. Though the government cannot be satisfied with the current level of unemployment, its efforts to date are still commendable.

Having said that, I want to point out that I plan to pursue additional job creation until everyone-

Spar Aerospace
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I remind you gently, hon. colleagues, not to use our names but our titles or our ridings.

Mayor Of Thetford Mines
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Frontenac, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to pay tribute, here in this House, to the first magistrate of Thetford Mines, who is also the president of the asbestos economic development corporation, Mayor Henri Therrien who, last week, was named personality of the year for 1996 by the chamber of commerce of the asbestos region.

This honour follows a long list of achievements by Mayor Therrien, in the economic, cultural, sports and municipal areas, among others. For ten years now, the citizens of Thetford Mines have been proud to be able to rely on the dynamism and generosity of their mayor.

Congratulations Henri, and thank you.

High Tech Industry
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Lethbridge
Alberta

Reform

Ray Speaker Lethbridge

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Reform Party I would like to recognize the tremendous accomplishment and entrepreneurial spirit of the high tech industry in the Ottawa-Lanark-Carleton region, better known as silicon valley north.

In just a few short years these pioneers of the 21st century have grown from an idea, to a dream, to a reality.

Last Wednesday our leader, Preston Manning, and the Reform candidate Darrel Reid held a breakfast meeting with the Canadian Advanced Technology Association to discuss the role of government in assisting in their success. Prominent industry leaders such as Denzell Doyle came to let Reformers know what they feel has to be done.

Topics discussed included their hunger for highly skilled workers, the need for better high tech training, the damage taxes do to high tech ventures, and their number one priority, a reduction in the capital gains tax to encourage entrepreneurs and risk takers.

These are the leaders of tomorrow. Like the Edisons, Fords and Rockefellers who fashioned a world from concrete and steel, they will build a new one of fibre optics, copper wire and silicon chips.