House of Commons Hansard #151 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendment.

Topics

Quebec
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, in March, Quebec alone created 27,000 jobs, more than Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba and New Brunswick combined. What is more, since the beginning of 1997, Quebec has created 18 times more jobs than all of the other provinces in Canada combined.

Just recently, the Minister of Human Resources Development and the Prime Minister were strutting about in Montreal, proclaiming to all and sundry that the sovereignist project was harmful to the Quebec economy.

Yet, the Quebec economy is progressing, despite the ambushes laid for it by federalism and the numerous inequities of which it is a victim: reduced government spending on research and development, harmonization of the GST, I could go on and on.

Imagine, for just one moment, what Quebec would be capable of if it were sovereign.

Tourism
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week in my riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka small business owners and tourism operators had a chance to meet directly with the Canadian Tourism Commission.

The Liberal government established the CTC in 1995 as a public-private sector partnership to help keep tourism business and tourism jobs in Canada. That is exactly what is happening.

About 90 people took part in the various local workshops we held. On the first day we conducted a panel discussion on access to capital for tourism industry businesses.

On the second day we explored the U.S. and Canadian leisure markets and talked about how the CTC could help rural Canada's smaller operators better access these markets through partnerships.

It was a productive two days. My constituents and I appreciate both our government's commitment to tourism in Canada and the willingness of the CTC to help smaller tourism operators like the ones in my riding.

The Austrums
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a heavy heart on this cold April day. Last night the riding of Crowfoot lost two citizens, one so very young, and two more lay in the hospital.

Mr. Brian Austrum, administrator for the country of Camrose, a candidate for the federal Tory nomination and a valuable member of our constituency, was involved in a fatal car accident. The accident claimed the life of his wife Beverly and the life of his 15-year old daughter Melissa. The condition of Mr. Austrum and his 17-year old son Calvin is unknown at this time.

I know all members of the House will join me and my family in extending our most heartfelt condolences to Mr. Austrum, his son Calvin and daughter Elizabeth in their time of enormous grief and sorrow. Our hopes and prayers are with them.

Bloc Quebecois
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, the home page of the new Internet web site of the Bloc Quebecois bears the unfortunate imprint of the double standard of this party and its leader.

French-speaking surfers are welcome to the site, which offers all kinds of information about the party, its members of Parliament and their ridings.

However, if you happen to be English-speaking, be prepared for a rude awakening. First of all, the word welcome applies only to "Dear friends from Quebec". Anglos from the other provinces will please refrain. Second, the tone is brittle and brutal, to say the least. The emphasis is on the mission of the Bloc Quebecois and its ultimate objective, the separation of Quebec.

The new leader of the Bloc has been quick to instil in his party his new philosophy of provocation. Considering the initial results, we will soon think back with regret to what the Bloc Quebecois used to be before his leadership.

Éric Charrier
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 28, I witnessed a unique event: a new record for skin diving under ice, set by French diver Éric Charrier.

Mr. Charrier, who is 33 and hails from Porto-Veccha in Corsica, went down to 70 metres in the icy waters of Lake Témiscouata, in one minute and 59 seconds.

This exclusive event has attracted the attention of the international media. This dangerous sport also contributes to the advancement of scientific knowledge in the aerospace sector. As they collect data on Éric Charrier's heart rate, experts may develop new methods for training astronauts.

Mr. Charrier gave us a chance to share a fascinating experience and discover a sport that is strange and mysterious to us North Americans.

My congratulations and best wishes to Mr. Charrier, a man for whom water has no secrets.

Job Creation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, after Bas Iris announced several weeks ago that it was creating

about 3,000 new jobs, it seems Household Canada is also getting involved in creating jobs in Montreal's east end.

The company has just announced that it will hire 592 new employees for its call centre. With these new jobs, the Household call centre will be the largest centre in Quebec, with more than 1,000 employees.

We would like to point out that the bilingual capabilities of the workforce were also a factor in attracting this investment to Montreal. The federal and provincial governments will invest, respectively, $2.8 million and $2 million in this project.

We are delighted with this excellent news for our economy, which again confirms Montreal's leading position in the financial services sector.

Rural Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Cowling Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, small town Canada is on the move. Soon after we took office we took steps to make Canada's rural communities grow and prosper. This has greatly benefited my constituents of Dauphin-Swan River.

We established the rural secretariat. We started the family farm loan plan. We launched the national biomass ethanol program. We have extended the Canada infrastructure works program by one year, recognizing that good infrastructure is vital to rural life and will benefit every region in Canada.

We gave the Farm Credit Corporation a $50 million boost in the 1997 budget. We increased our community access program by $10 million. We are ongoing supporters of the 4-H program and we started the Canadian rural information service.

Our Liberal government is listening to the concerns of small town Canada and coming up with solutions that work.

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

April 8th, 1997 / 2:15 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie
Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in the matter of the linguistic school boards, the Government of Quebec and the Liberal Party of Quebec, both democratically elected by the people of Quebec, jointly call on Ottawa to amend section 93 of the Constitution. Standing in the way of Quebec's clear wish, however, is the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, who has set himself up as the judge of consensus in Quebec and is refusing to make the amendment.

How could the minister say that he would refuse to act on Quebec's demand if, according to him, the anglophone community does not support the Quebec government and the official opposition, which jointly call for an amendment to section 93?

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the government has said the same thing since the outset in this. First, a bilateral amendment is possible between the National Assembly and the Parliament of Canada.

Second, a consensus is required and must, obviously, include the linguistic minority in the province. Third, a debate must be held in the National Assembly before it is held in Parliament.

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie
Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the minister made the following statement to the daily Le Soleil on April 5, and I quote: ``This is not my project; it is not my jurisdiction. I have no authority in educational matters''.

Today, if the debate were held in Parliament, in the National Assembly, is the minister saying that, if the parties, the Liberal Party, the Parti Quebecois and the Action Démocratique, sought an amendment to section 93 he would comply with the request of the National Assembly of Quebec and all the parties represented there? Is that what he is telling us today?

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, on those specific points, I am saying the same thing as my counterpart, Mr. Brassard, the Quebec minister of intergovernmental affairs. He said, on February 13: "I think we consider that the consensus includes the English community. I think it is obvious that the English community must be a part of a consensus on a change of this nature".

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie
Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if the Quebec National Assembly, comprising the Liberal Party of Quebec, the Action Démocratique and the Parti Quebecois, considers a consensus has been reached in Quebec, will the minister block it? Will he deny the request?

I remind the minister that in 1993 the McKenna government managed to have the Constitution amended in New Brunswick without the approval of the province's official opposition. Today, in the case of Quebec, with the official opposition and the party in power in agreement, is there a double standard? Without a consensus in the New Brunswick legislature, we acted here on the request of the Government of New Brunswick. When there would appear to be a consensus in the National Assembly, is the minister going to take it upon himself to decide whether it is sufficient? Is that what he is telling us today?

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec premier, Mr. Bouchard, felt on February 21 that the official opposition would oppose his plan and asked us to act even if the official opposition did not agree, because, as he put it, when they vote like that, it does not preclude a consensus.

So all that is missing now is the consensus. I presume my counterpart, Mr. Brassard, is working closely with the anglophone community to find out exactly the source of the problem and reason for the community's reticence in approving the project. This is his job, and we are following with considerable interest. As soon as there is a consensus, we will be delighted to move on this, in the House of Commons.

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 27, 1997, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs said on RDI that there had to be reasonable support by religious and anglophone groups for amending section 93, before there could be said to be a consensus in Quebec. But some groups opposing this amendment are calling for a constitutional guarantee of the language rights of anglophones in Quebec, a guarantee that does not exist at all for francophones outside Quebec.

Will the minister admit that, by refusing to go ahead with the amendment requested, he is in actual fact supporting the groups calling for additional constitutional protection for Quebec's anglophones, while francophones are ignored?

The Constitution
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I never mentioned a constitutional guarantee. I asked for guarantees that, in a democratic society, can take other forms. They can be guarantees of a legal or regulatory nature, or moral commitments.

As things stand now, the Government of Quebec has included a number of "whereas" clauses. Some could be amended, some could be added. There are lots of things that could be done without necessarily altering the Constitution. This is just as true in this situation as in many others, by the way.