House of Commons Hansard #150 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

Juliana Thiessen
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to welcome a very special visitor to Ottawa and to our gallery. Juliana Thiessen was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. To be born in the Queen City was an appropriate start for her. This April Juliana was crowned Miss Canadian Universe and went on to represent our country at the Miss Universe pageant in Hawaii.

Juliana's beauty is much deeper than her appearance. She is using her newfound publicity to promote worthy charitable causes. Here is just one. Juliana is travelling to storm ravaged Nicaragua next month as part of a charitable relief mission with Samaritan's Purse, an organization our own son Brent worked with for several years. Along with many other Canadian volunteers, Juliana will distribute Christmas gift boxes to children who need all the help and hope they can get. It is no wonder Juliana was named as one of Calgary's young women of distinction.

I invite all MPs to join me in welcoming and thanking this remarkable young woman.

Quebec Election Campaign
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, clearly Mr. Bouchard is caught in his referendum.

Before students, he shouts loud and long that Quebec must separate from the rest of Canada. Before another audience, he back pedals away from his referendum on Quebec independence.

The PQ is maintaining a level of confusion, which is costing Quebec dearly. This confusion is breeding uncertainty unhealthy for economic growth and is causing decisions vital to Quebec's development to be put off.

On November 30, Quebeckers will finally be able to decide once and for all by voting Liberal, by voting for economic growth and by voting for an end to the referendum on Quebec separation.

Museums
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday it was announced that the Halifax Regional Museum in Dartmouth will be closing due to lack of operating funding. Recent announcements from the heritage minister do nothing to address the crisis of a lack of operating money facing the 2,000 regional and local museums in Canada. To keep their doors open our museums are now selling valuable artifacts, auctioning off their art, cutting staff and reducing hours. Too many are closing.

These museums play a critical role in maintaining our heritage. Last year there were over 57 million visits to Canadian museums, more visits than to the movies and professional sports. These visitors see an all Canadian product for no or low cost.

I call on the Minister of Canadian Heritage to allocate emergency operating funding now for local and regional museums so that treasures such as the Halifax Regional Museum may remain open.

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, some of the parties to the pre-budgetary consultations organized by the Bloc Quebecois in the Quebec City region minced no words in calling the present government's use of the employment insurance fund surplus immoral, robbery and the injustice of the century.

While one organization in my region has been forced to hire a full-time employee to help people with problems related to employment insurance, the Liberal government is using the contributions of workers to camouflage the fact that it is trying to manoeuvre through a fog with nobody at the helm.

I accuse the Minister of Human Resources Development of being an accomplice of the Minister of Finance in robbing and overtaxing workers. I accuse him of having diverted funds from the employment insurance fund for purposes for which they were not intended. If the minister has a crumb of dignity left, let him make improvements to this poverty insurance employment insurance has become.

Election Campaign In Quebec
Statements By Members

November 5th, 1998 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers have a right to know the true intentions of the Parti Quebecois as far as the referendum on the separation of Quebec from the rest of Canada is concerned.

Quebec must demand transparency of the Parti Quebecois, must demand that Lucien Bouchard admit for once and for all that a vote for the PQ is a vote for a referendum, as the leader of the Bloc Quebecois has admitted to us.

Quebeckers can also count on the Quebec Liberal Party, whose option is clear. A vote for the Liberals means no separation of Quebec from the rest of Canada. A vote for the Liberals means no referendum on separation. A vote for the Liberals means Quebec will be assured of the economic growth it needs. A vote for the Liberals means a government that will work in the true interests of Quebeckers.

My vote will be for the Liberals, and I invite all Quebec MPs to follow my example.

Down's Syndrome
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jim Jones Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, communities across Canada officially recognized this week, November 1 to 7, as National Down's Syndrome Awareness Week.

Down's syndrome is a common chromosomal abnormality that causes delay in physical and intellectual development and affects 1 out of every 700 children born in Canada. Given this fact, every community, including my riding of Markham, has been affected.

The Canadian Down's Syndrome Society is working to raise public awareness of the unique abilities, strengths and contributions of Canadians with Down's syndrome. Its mandate is to enhance their overall quality of life. The society and its 45 affiliate organizations will be holding a variety events this week to honour the many individuals who have Down's syndrome.

These Canadians should be duly recognized for their valuable contribution to Canadian society. Many harmful myths exist about those who are affected by Down's syndrome. It is time to realize that these myths are wrong and destructive. The fact is many individuals with Down's syndrome are productive, happy members of society.

I am honoured to—

Down's Syndrome
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton.

Environmental Science And Technology Alliance Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Gallaway Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, November 9 Environmental Science and Technology Alliance Canada will hold its annual technology day at the Toronto airport Holiday Inn.

This non-profit, industry led alliance funds research at Canadian universities. This research is commercially relevant, highly innovative and consistent with federal government priorities.

Technology day will showcase current research and allow technology transfer between university professors, their students and industry personnel.

We in this place must continue to support this investment partnership between Canadian industry, Canadian universities and the federal government.

Organized Crime
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for justice met in Regina.

Recognizing that organized crime is a serious and growing problem in Canada, the ministers unanimously endorsed a joint statement on organized crime. The statement underscores the ministers' commitment to work together in partnership to combat this problem.

Under the leadership of the federal government the statement builds on work already done to develop an effective strategy. The statement brings Canada one step closer to having a Canada-wide plan against organized crime.

But ministers recognize that no single group can win this battle alone. To win the fight we must work together, pool our resources and co-ordinate our efforts to become more organized than those who prey on our communities.

That is why the principles endorsed last week represent such a milestone for Canada. They represent the resolve of governments, officials and law enforcement agencies to put their differences aside, to work together to make Canadians—

Organized Crime
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Oral questions, the hon. member for Medicine Hat.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister actually told parliament that he pays employment insurance taxes. We are willing to give the Prime Minister the benefit of the doubt. We do not think he was trying to mislead the House. In fact, we just think he happens to be living in a fantasy world. He has imaginary homeless friends. He thinks he is Mark McGwire and now he is pretending to pay taxes that he does not actually pay.

In the real world, Canadian workers are paying $350 too much for employment insurance and it hurts. When will the Prime Minister come back to earth and let Canadians keep that $350?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is the leader of a government which since it has taken office has reduce EI premiums each and every single year. The member opposite belongs to a party that recommended throughout that period that there be no reductions in premiums, except that it would go to the deficit. Then when they did admit to a reduction in premiums, they wanted them to go only to employers and not to employees.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, just like George Bush's amazement at a grocery store scanner, the Prime Minister was amazed to discover that he does not pay EI taxes. Well we have news for him. Twelve million Canadians do pay EI taxes and they are getting pretty sick of it.

When will the Prime Minister wake up and give Canadians a $350 tax reduction? It is their money. They deserve it. When is he going to let them keep it?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, speaking of waking up and smelling the roses, the hon. member ought to take a look at what happened last year. There was a $1.5 billion reduction in EI premiums. Each and every year since we have taken office we stopped them from going to $3.30. We froze them at $3.07. Each and every year we brought them down against the opposition of the Reform.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister is trying to ignore what we are saying here. Three hundred and fifty dollars might buy a couple of rounds of golf for the Prime Minister, but it will buy a lot of groceries for a lot of Canadians. Now he might not feel it, but Canadians feel it right in their pocketbooks.

The Prime Minister is so out of touch with Canadians that he does not understand that $350 is a lot of money. Is that the position of the finance minister and the Prime Minister? Do they not understand that $350 is a lot of money to a lot of Canadians?