House of Commons Hansard #163 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

Trade
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Please do not use our names in the House.

Trade
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, as members know, Canada is now the most trade intensive country in the G7. One in three jobs is devoted to export sales of goods and services. In manufacturing alone,60 per cent of output is exported. One Canadian export expert described this dramatic shift as the most abrupt in Canadian history and one of the most significant since World War II.

This information is well understood in Burlington, Ontario. Our economy is leading the way in the emerging innovative economy. Whether it is environment, water, robotics or information technologies, Burlington business is competitive in the global marketplace.

I am proud of my record working with Zenon, CRS, Geomatics and many other Burlington companies to help them succeed and to bring jobs to our community.

Armenian Genocide
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Don Valley North, ON

Mr. Speaker, 82 years ago today, on April 24, 1915, the religious and intellectual leaders of the Armenian community in Constantinople were taken from their beds and imprisoned, tortured and killed.

Armenians in the Turkish army were all killed. Men over 15 years of age were gathered in cities, towns and villages, roped together, marched to uninhabited locations and killed. After a few days the women and children and remaining men were marched from Anatolia to the Syrian Desert where they were left to die. On the way they were attacked by Turkish mobs.

As a result of these atrocities over 1.5 million Armenians were massacred. We must never forget these crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Turkish authorities in 1915.

I call on my fellow members of Parliament to honour the victims of the Armenian genocide. If the killing of 1.5 million Armenians is not a genocide, then I do not know what a genocide is anymore.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Vic Althouse Mackenzie, SK

Mr. Speaker, this government leaves the impression of being on the side of farmers when it discusses the need for supply management of dairy products.

Recently the agriculture minister agreed to a scheduled phase out of the consumer subsidy, but now he assures dairy farmers that the $12 million agreed upon to delay the price pass through until February is off because he was "unable to persuade his cabinet colleagues". We could blame the minister. Once again he has failed in a commitment made to farmers. But is the problem not really greater than the minister himself?

It was the Liberals who were going to protect supply management, then they signed it away in NAFTA. It was the Liberals who were going to keep the Canadian Wheat Board, but negotiated it away at the World Trade Organization talks. It was the Liberals who were going to keep the Crow benefit, but they eliminated it 18 months after gaining government.

It is true that the minister has a fatal character flaw: his word means nothing. But hey, he is only a Liberal.

Member For Simcoe Centre
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Simcoe Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, with an election call likely hours away, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for having had the privilege of serving in this 35th Parliament and to say a few thank yous.

First to you, Mr. Speaker, and your deputies, I want to say how much your patience and understanding has meant to a rookie MP. To my leader and Reform colleagues, my thanks and best wishes in this coming election to those seeking another term. And thank you to my staff who have served me so well.

While I have always enjoyed the love, understanding and support of my family, it has been of great comfort to me during this term. To my wife Rosemary, daughter Sandra, son Brian, son-in-law Bradd, and grandchildren Jessica and Nicholas, my thanks for that love and understanding.

In leaving, it is my hope that I have contributed in some way to a better Canada for future generations. While we have different game plans, I am certain this is a goal we all share. I wish the best for those who will be privileged to serve in the next Parliament.

Minister Of Finance
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, what we have learned this morning in Le Soleil about the federal finance minister is more disturbing than anything we could have imagined. According to this newspaper, the trust which is managing the minister's assets has established no less that seven branches in Barbados, for a total of 13 branches in various tax havens.

On several occasions, the Bloc Quebecois urged the finance minister to stem the growing use of tax havens. We even made recommendations to him that would have made these tax havens less attractive.

It is with sadness that the Bloc Quebecois realizes that the Liberal finance minister would much rather cut billions in social programs and take money out of the unemployment insurance fund than eliminate tax loopholes that are very useful to him.

That is the perfect example of a finance minister who says: "Do as I say, not as I do".

Member For Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Len Hopkins Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, from the time I was 14 years old I wanted to be a member of Parliament. This goal in life was achieved on November 8, 1965 when the voters of Renfrew North first elected me to the House of Commons.

I thank my wife and family for all they have done for me over the years. Today I want to thank all the people I have represented consecutively through nine parliaments, from the Right Hon. Lester B. Pearson down to the present; seven prime ministers in nearly 32 years as an MP. I am very grateful to all my constituents and to all those people who have worked hard on my behalf.

I love public life because it is a calling and not just a job. I love my country because it is a valued and caring institution. My thanks go out to the wonderful friends I have made over the years.

It is not what you do in life that matters, it is your purpose in life that counts. I will be working toward a continuing unified Canada as long as I live.

Member For Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I will call you Lenny for the first time but I speak for all colleagues because after 32 years of service to your country you have made us very proud and you have done a great service to this great country and I thank you very much.

Member For Nepean
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Beryl Gaffney Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I too rise in the House today with a profound sense of privilege, regret and anticipation, for in a short time my role as the MP for Nepean will come to a conclusion.

I feel privileged to have had the honour to serve the people of Nepean in this House since 1988. It is to the Nepean constituents that I have always felt the greatest responsibility and obligation. They have been my first priority as a member of Parliament.

I feel privileged to have been instrumental in moving many issues forward in this House, issues affecting women, children and health as examples. I believe I have succeeded in speaking out for the rights and freedoms of individuals. I feel privileged to have been member of a government that also upholds these ideals.

That is why I feel regret to be leaving the seat of our democracy. I wish farewell to you, my colleagues, on both sides of this House. It has been an honour to serve in Parliament along with you. While our viewpoints may have differed, I have always respected your dedication to your constituents and to the elements of democracy.

And so to my constituents, my caucus colleagues and especially to the Prime Minister and members on the other side of the House, I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. It has been the greatest honour of my life to serve as the member of Parliament for Nepean.

Member For Moose Jaw-Lake Centre
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Allan Kerpan Moose Jaw—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, over the past three and half years it has been an honour for me to represent the wonderful people of my riding. I will have the dubious pleasure of being the last member of Parliament for Moose Jaw-Lake Centre.

I want to thank all the people in my riding for their support, thoughts and input. I will never forget you.

With the calling of the election I will turn my attention to my new riding of Blackstrap. I am looking forward to the challenge of meeting the current Liberal member for Saskatoon-Dundurn in what I am calling the showdown for Saskatoon.

There is no doubt that this government has a lot to answer for in the province of Saskatchewan. Its lack of action on many issues and its heavy handed approach on many others are something we will bring before the people in the next 40 days or so. It is time to pay the piper.

We have been fortunate in this country that at least every four years or so we as Canadians can and must evaluate the record of our politicians. It is high noon. The streets are quiet. Let the showdown begin.

Auditor General
Oral Question Period

April 24th, 1997 / 2:20 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie
Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I always thought it was the opposition in a Parliament which had a shadow cabinet, not the party in power.

On a more serious note, yesterday, the auditor general had much to say about how the government fiddles its financial statements, but the Liberals turned a deaf ear. They preferred not to hear his comments. It is understandable that, with the elections approaching, the government would want to avoid hearing anything that might cast light on the way the Liberals have managed the public funds. As they say on the Hill, and how appropriate it is: "When the going gets tough, the Liberals go into hiding".

By skipping a meeting with the auditor general on the government's accounting practices, what are the Liberals trying to hide, to cover up? What are the Liberals trying to hide, when we see that the auditor general told them yesterday that their accounting practices were dubious?

Auditor General
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Scarborough East
Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the government has nothing to hide from the auditor general. The auditor general looked over our books and he gave us a clear statement that they were in good shape. The hon. member should be well aware that there was no reservation by the auditor general on the accounts.

Auditor General
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie
Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a statement like that is surprising, when we know that the Liberals did not want to hear it yesterday. It is a bit surprising when one knows that what the auditor general would have said, if he had the chance, is: "I fear that the credibility of the government's financial statements and of the budget is questionable". That is pretty clear.

The Liberals did the same thing last year. They are repeating the same dubious accounting practice of cooking the books, fiddling with the deficit, in order to look better on the eve of an election. That is what they are trying to do.

If they are repeating the same offence and continuing to thumb their collective noses at the recommendations of the auditor general, are we to conclude that the government has now acquired the habit of playing with the figures to its heart's content, ignoring the most elementary principles of accounting?

Auditor General
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Scarborough East
Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I remind the hon. member that he should read the auditor general's statements. Take a look at them.

The auditor general gave us a clean opinion on his audit statement of the government accounts.

Auditor General
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie
Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I have read the French version, and I have read the English version; they both said the same thing. It could have been debated yesterday with our honourable colleague, if he had deigned to show up at the Public Accounts Committee, which he did not.

And the Liberals are going to seek another mandate by saying that they have managed our taxes well, while the auditor general says the opposite, that the Liberals have been manipulating the figures in order to make their financial statements look better, adding expenditures that will not even be made until after the election onto the deficit of previous years.

Let us take the example of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, which is used to hide $800 million this year. What confidence and what credibility can we have in a government which treats comments made by the auditor general in a totally flippant and irresponsible manner?