House of Commons Hansard #150 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was accused.

Topics

Criminal Code
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question. It is a very good point.

I was informed very late last week that the justice committee will be discussing the victims bill of rights tomorrow from 3.30 to 5.30. I will have an hour to make a presentation and the justice committee will have part of that hour to ask questions and so on, and victims will have an hour to make a presentation; one hour in front of a committee to talk about victims and that is it.

There are more victims in the country than the government understands. Why are we not asking for input on this important issue? The answer is the government has no appetite for it. That is why I say to people in Ontario, where a good part of this election is going to fought, young people, some who know victims and are asking why this or that does not happen, this is important. Let us do it and do it right. But under no circumstances should we insult victims by giving them one hour in the House of Commons, less questions, so probably 40 minutes, to discuss this merely so that the Minister of Justice can say "we dealt with victim rights" during the election. That is what this is about. It is wrong and misleading.

This has not gone unnoticed. Exactly as my colleague stated, this is where it is at. The government is bringing in all kinds of amendments to bolster up the sagging image of the Minister of Justice before the election. What the public really does not understand is that these pieces of amendments to legislation have to go through committee, come back to the House for second and third reading, and on and on it goes, but it will not go anywhere. When the election is called it will be dropped.

We have to live with the future, and the future is with kids and victims and our seniors, many of whom are victims of crime.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

It is almost two o'clock. We will now proceed to Statements by Members.

Forum For Young Canadians
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ron Fewchuk Selkirk—Red River, MB

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure today to rise to congratulate the participants in the Forum for Young Canadians.

Since 1976 the forum has provided over 10,000 young Canadians and teachers the opportunity to speak with key decision makers, to watch government work and to re-enact government procedures. In brief, this project is all about learning about Canada and what it means to be a Canadian.

On Wednesday, March 19, I had the pleasure to meet and dine with Rebecca Ann, a participant from my riding of Selkirk-Red River. I congratulate her and her fellow Canadians for their interest and their drive in becoming the future leaders of our nation.

Baha'I Community
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the past 17 years, the Baha'i of the Islamic Republic of Iran have been systematically persecuted, harassed and discriminated against, solely on the grounds of their religious convictions.

The official document in which the Iranian government sets out its co-ordinated policy for dealing with the Baha'i question is still in effect.

The economic and social repression of this community is progressing rapidly. It appears that the pressure is constantly being stepped up, and that the Iranian government is in the process of gradually and systematically implementing restrictions and limitations on the life of the Iranian Baha'i community.

The Baha'i community does not pose any threat whatsoever to the authorities of the country, since the tenets of its faith call for obedience to one's government and abstinence from partisan politics, and forbid violence in any form. What, then, is the present Liberal government waiting for to denounce this unacceptable situation?

Rights Of Victims
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, many in the legal industry object to victims of crime participating in the courts on the following bases.

First, it opens up another front against which an offender must defend.

Second, it compromises judicial independence. Judges cannot resist emotional and political pressures.

Third, it yields evidence irrelevant to the offender's case.

Fourth, it prejudices offenders because victims may encourage special sentences.

Fifth, I understand they say it is unfair to offenders because some victims may be eloquent speakers.

The rights of victims are not a privilege we have to beg for from any government. These are rights, rights like being informed in a timely fashion of the details of the crown's intention to offer plea bargaining before it is presented to the defence and the right to choose between giving oral and written victim impact statements.

It is the rights of victims first, not criminal rights.

Rights Of Victims
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

I notice the hon. member has a new haircut.

World Championships
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Don Valley North, ON

Mr. Speaker, Brampton's Firefighter Combat Challenge Team are 1997 world champions. Under the guidance of Coach Doug Comeau, the team of Captain Peter Reid, Mark Evans, Dan Rowland, Garry Wilton, and Rob Wolfeld brought home the top honours to Brampton.

The firefighter combat challenge is one of the most gruelling and demanding tests of a firefighter's skills, strength and endurance. The life saving skills demonstrated by the Brampton team prove its ability to thrive and excel in one of the most dangerous occupations in existence.

Congratulations to Brampton's World Champion Firefighter Combat Challenge Team for a job well done.

I also congratulate the members of the Canadian Women's Hockey Team on their gold medal performance winning the world championship for the fourth consecutive time. It is a job well done. We look forward to continued success.

Immigration
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to share with my colleagues some good news about recent agreements between the province of British Columbia and the federal government.

Last month both parties settled the residency requirement dispute. British Columbia will be refunded $26.6 million in transfer payments. In the spirit of co-operation the province will abolish its three-month residency requirement.

The agreement will alleviate fiscal pressures placed on B.C. resulting from the arrival of numerous Canadians from other provinces across Canada. In addition B.C. will receive a total increase of $67.2 million in immigration settlement funding over the next three years in recognition of the province's substantial immigration settlement costs.

These two initiatives are evidence of the strength of the partnership between B.C. and Ottawa and the fact the federal government is responsive to the needs of British Columbians.

Health Care
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Parrish Mississauga West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House today to announce the formation of a partnership between the Hospice Association of

Ontario and Glaxo Wellcome, a pharmaceutical company located in my riding.

Ontario's 78 hospices give people with life threatening and terminal illnesses the opportunity to be cared for at home. The demand for community based care continues to grow. It is estimated that hospices are the largest providers of direct services within Ontario's voluntary health care sector.

The survival of hospices in Ontario depends on the support and partnership of companies like Glaxo. Glaxo's commitment to hospices is in keeping with the recommendation of the National Forum on Health that private sector sponsorship is an important resource for communities.

[Translation]

Women's Success In Sports
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Deshaies Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, today the Bloc Quebecois warmly congratulates the Canadian women's hockey team, for yesterday's victory in the Women's World Hockey Championship, in Kitchener, Ontario.

With this championship win, the Canadian team remains unbeaten, having won four tournaments in a row.

Our warmest congratulations to all of them, and to Nancy Drolet in particular for scoring a hat trick goal at 12 minutes, 59 seconds of overtime, to bag the championship.

The Bloc Quebecois also wishes to call attention to the performances of Nathalie Lambert, Isabelle Charest, Christine Boudrias, Annie Perreault and Catherine Dussault for their silver team medal at the World Short Track Speedskating Championships in Seoul.

The Bloc Quebecois salutes all of these women, whose success in sports is the result of the many years of long, hard training they have put into it.

Team Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Sharon Hayes Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, Team Canada scored the winning goal against Team U.S.A. in overtime last night in Kitchener, Ontario, thus securing the women's world hockey title for Canada.

We join with all Canadians in congratulating Team Canada, a team of young women who have displayed tenacity, spirit and true sportsmanship in attaining their objective.

After receiving their gold medals the Team Canada players stood at the blue line with their arms around each other's shoulders and sang O Canada, a tribute to their country from a team of young women who have made us proud and united us in these golden moments.

May we continue to celebrate their success as they move forward to the Nagano Olympics tournament next year.

Prime Minister
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's nephew who is Canada's ambassador to the United States is quoted in this morning's paper as saying that there are no big disputes between Canada and the United States to complicate the Prime Minister's visit to Washington. "Things are very, very smooth", he said.

I guess the Pacific salmon treaty negotiations which have been deadlocked for years and which show no sign of coming to a conclusion as we approach the fishing season is not a big deal for the Liberals. I guess the Americans flagrant infringement of Canada's sovereignty and their refusal to back down from the Helms-Burton law is not a big deal to the Liberals. I guess the ongoing attack by the Americans on our forest industry is no big deal as well.

We know for sure that the American attack on Canada's cultural policies under international trade rules is not a big deal to the Liberals because the Prime Minister's nephew described the dispute which threatens Canada's entire magazine industry as simply peanuts.

I hope the Prime Minister finds the time between pre-election photo opportunities to actually do his job of promoting Canada and Canadian interests in Washington.

Team Cornwall
Statements By Members

April 7th, 1997 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Kilger Stormont—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, welcome back. We are all aware of the tremendous success of Team Canada. In my riding of Stormont-Dundas the Team Canada concept has been adopted to help promote economic growth in the city of Cornwall and the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry.

The Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, local business people and community leaders have united to form Team Cornwall. Imagine 150 private and public sector professionals working together as a marketing force telling the real, positive story about Cornwall.

The main objective of Team Cornwall is to introduce and encourage future investors to consider Cornwall as an economically healthy environment for investment and for starting up a business.

I recently attended the official Team Cornwall kick-off. The energy, enthusiasm and commitment demonstrated by team members were invigorating and encouraging. I am proud to be a Team Cornwall member. Together we are on a mission to bring growth and development to Cornwall and Stormont-Dundas and Glengarry.

Go Team Cornwall, go.

World Health Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is World Health Day. I rise to applaud the efforts of the government in the area of health for Canadians.

We promised a National Forum on Health and the national forum recently announced its recommendations which saw light in the 1997 budget. We stabilized Canada health and social transfers to the provinces with $25 billion annually. We committed $300 million over the next three years for new health initiatives. Of that, $150 million are devoted to helping the provinces put in place new approaches to areas like home care, drug coverage and other innovations.

We have put $100 million into community action programs for children and the Canada prenatal nutrition program. The government remains committed to the values and principles of the Canada Health Act. We will not jeopardize the system with some broad based tax cuts like the opponents would.

There is no question that our publicly funded system is one of the greatest achievements. There is no doubt the government is working to keep it so.

Let us commit ourselves to it today on World Health Day.

Bloc Quebecois
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Assad Gatineau—La Lièvre, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is absurd for separatists to be shocked at the amounts spent by the federal government on national unity, co-operation between the provinces and bilingualism when we know that Ottawa must spend tens of millions of dollars on salaries and on staff, office, research, travel and other expenses so that 50 Bloc Quebecois members of the House of Commons can promote separatism 24 hours a day.

It is the same as if the Catholic community were financing and maintaining at great expense and with much fanfare a congregation of atheists.

These supposed guardians of Quebec's greater interests are merely taking cynical advantage of Canadian democracy. Voters will, I hope, put an end to this state of affairs in the upcoming election.