House of Commons Hansard #151 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was legislation.

Topics

Judges Act
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

Judges Act
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Pursuant to Standing Order 45, the vote is deferred until Monday, November 16 at the ordinary time of adjournment.

The House resumed from November 5 consideration of the motion that Bill C-49, an act providing for the ratification and the bringing into effect of the framework agreement on first nation land management, be read the second time and referred to a committee; and of the amendment.

First Nations Land Management Act
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Reform

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I will continue my delivery from yesterday. I was discussing some of the many injustices that have taken place in the past. I will deal specifically with the land claims agreement in Saskatchewan and how it continues to fail daily in terms of the obligation of this government. It drives the wedge, a feeling of inequality, between rural Saskatchewan and this government. I am talking about a debt owed by this government to the rural areas of Saskatchewan.

Let us go back 10 years.

A promise was made to the rural governments of Saskatchewan that when the natives would acquire Indian land, the RMs would be paid 22.5 times the assessment for the land taken out of the assessment role.

In other words, the deal was that they would get 22.5 years of taxes in lieu of services they provided. When this government came into power, it changed this so that the rural municipalities of Saskatchewan get a mere 5 years taxes.

That is an injustice. The debt owed to the RMs is owed by the government and the people of Canada. It is a national debt.

How does the government think that 200 or 300 people left in a rural municipality can pick up the entire debt of losing 20% of the assessment of their land forever? It has gone into reserve. The RMs are not quarrelling about the acquisition of land. The quarrel is with this government.

What happens to the remaining farmers in that area? They have to have their taxes raised considerably in order to provide the same services.

The previous minister of Indian affairs flatly refused to meet with the delegation from Saskatchewan. I throw this question out to the minister of Indian affairs now. Would that hon. member now, in her new position, not meet a delegation from Saskatchewan hoping to correct the unfair decision the government has made? That is key to the survival of rural Saskatchewan.

When I want to have an understanding how my rural municipality is doing, I have the right to go down to the office, ask for a financial statement and it would provide that for me.

Since King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta at Runnymede, we have progressed in the democratic way so that we have a type of government, both at the municipal level right to the federal level, in which Canadians are demanding they have accountability.

As we deal with the bill, why are we denying the right of fellow Canadians, grassroots people who live on our native reserves, the same type of accountability we have?

Would any one of us here want to turn back the hands of time to an autocratic way of government? Would we want to go back to even before this century where we did not have the necessities laid out and spelled out of how we have to handle people's money?

I was 20 years on local government. What did we have to do? We had to prepare a financial budget. When that was completed and sent to a superior government, which is the province, we then every year had to have an annual financial statement done by a registered auditor. That had to be returned.

Why are we trying to operate any differently in all of Canada from the privileges that members of this House enjoy as citizens? That is the big question. That is the question the bill does not address.

If a group of us want to go into business, there are guidelines in legislation, both federal and provincial, which require certain things to take place. There are certain checks and balances.

Why would we not, as the senior government, the Government of Canada, ask for the same procedures in business and accountability no matter where people live in Canada? That is the question. We would not want to turn back the hands of time. I would not want to live in a town where I could not get information as to how my tax dollars are being spent. I would not want to live in a municipality where the reeve and the councillors made sure they did not have to report to the people. Why are we accepting this? That is the big question facing Canadians.

In Saskatchewan our local government did not have the right to pass legislation which belonged to the province, just as the province cannot contravene legislation that belongs to the federal government. This is a problem facing all Canadians at this time. When we say natives in Canada are to have a type of municipal government, that simply is not true in the light of how we define municipal government in Canada.

Let us be honest with Canadians. That is not true. With any group of people given sovereign powers within a province, if that is the intent of this legislation, we are creating something which our grandchildren will have to deal with as we will have sovereign areas in an area where sovereignty does not belong. How will we handle this? What are we doing with the series of legislation bills which will be forthcoming?

The people in northern B.C. today are voting on a referendum as it relates to the Nisga'a treaty. I am very much at home there. My wife and I spent our first year of married life in a village with the Nisga'a people. We were both teachers there. Our roots go a long way back. We note that there are positive and negative votes coming in the referendum today. I got back to some of the people I still know there. They are saying they will vote against the treaty because they want the same right as I have as a Canadian citizen to know exactly the amount of money coming in, how it is being spent and how the distribution is taking place.

Can this House not honestly say that we must not deny the grassroots people the same rights we have fought for in two world wars, that we have fought for through the ages since the Magna Carta in having reliable, honest and open government?

It is time for us not to proceed any further in land negotiations. While I admit we are not arguing in Saskatchewan that the land belongs to them, everybody admits that, what I am saying is that we have to—

First Nations Land Management Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

The Speaker

I hate to interrupt you in midstream. You still have over five minutes and if you wish to resume after question period, you will be recognized at that time.

As it is 11 o'clock we will now move to Statements by Members.

Island Of Kos
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I rise today to welcome a delegation from the Island of Kos in Greece.

Each year individuals whose roots stem from the Island of Kos gather to exchange ideas and put forth suggestions with a notion of making our world a better and safer place to live in.

This year they chose Canada. They have visited Quebec. They are now with us in the capital and will be in Toronto later on.

The Island of Kos historically is known as the birthplace of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine. The delegation is lead by the three mayors of the island: the Mayor of Kos, Mr. Konstandinos Kaisarlis, his Deputy Mayor, Mr. Ioannis Vogiazis; the Mayor of Pili and Asfendou, Mr. Vasilis Hatziakoumis; and the Mayor of Antimachia, Kardamena, and Kefalo, Mr. Konstandinos Papanikolaou.

My paternal grandfather was born in Pili on the island of Kos and for me it is indeed an honour that I have the opportunity to welcome this delegation here today.

I say on behalf of yourself, Mr. Speaker, and all of my colleagues, welcome to Canada, kalos ilthate .

Terrorists
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Reform

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, recently CSIS director Ward Elcock sounded a distressing alarm. Appearing before a Senate committee, director Elcock stated that Canada was home to more terrorist organizations than any country in the world except the United States. Our reputation as a peaceful, constructive world player is at stake.

Just today we hear of a trained Iranian assassin who has been living in our country as a refugee since 1991. There is also a report that two Canadians are being tried for the murder of the founder of Bangladesh. One wonders how they became Canadians in the first place.

CSIS reports that there are currently over 50 organizations and 350 individuals under investigation for suspected terrorist links.

The most effective counter-terrorism measure we can take is to keep terrorists out of the country and to remove those who are already in Canada.

I call upon the government to give CSIS all the tools it needs to ensure we do not become a haven for terrorists.

Dr. Harpal S. Buttar
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Eugène Bellemare Carleton—Gloucester, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I recognize the scientific talent and achievement of one of my constituents.

Dr. Harpal S. Buttar, a scientist working for Health Canada, was recently selected by the International Federation of Teratology Societies to become a member of an international committee responsible for harmonizing the descriptive and comprehensive glossary of common human malformations.

As the only Canadian scientist on this prestigious international committee, composed of eminent scientists and pediatricians from around the world, I would like to congratulate Dr. Buttar for having been recognized around the world for his scientific achievements.

Canadian Film Centre Lifetime Achievement Award
Statements By Members

November 6th, 1998 / 11 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the establishment of the Canadian Film Centre Lifetime Achievement Award as part of its 10th anniversary celebrations. This biennial award will honour an individual who has made a significant contribution to the art of film, television or new media and who has served the community as an outstanding leader and humanitarian.

On Monday, November 9 the first Canadian Film Centre Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented by His Excellency the Governor General to director Norman Jewison in recognition of his remarkable film career, including five Oscar nominated films, his extraordinary contribution to developing and advancing emerging Canadian film talent through the creation of the Canadian Film Centre and his generous spirit of giving through the Norman and Margaret Jewison Charitable Foundation.

When the Canadian Film Centre opened in 1988 Mr. Jewison remarked: “Film has become the literature of this generation. With the current explosion in global communications, Canada's cultural distinction and survival depends on its ability to master the medium and command a place on the screens of the world”.

I am pleased to rise today to congratulate Mr. Jewison on his award.

The Parliament Of Canada
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Reg Alcock Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, today is the anniversary of the first session of parliament. On November 6, 1867 a process began which has made Canada one of the greatest democracies in the world.

Working together, debating policies, making laws, holding the government accountable for its actions, challenging orthodoxy and defending rights, each of those who came before us has played a part in the building of a truly extraordinary country.

A country founded on mutual respect, a country flexible enough to accept all differences, a country that draws its strength from its diversity, a country that has transformed this diversity into a model for the entire world.

Over the past 131 years, thousands of Canadians have passed through this House and we who are now passing through must continue this work in progress. We must continue to show the rest of the world that a diverse people can work together.

Remembrance Day
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Reform

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, next Wednesday, November 11, Canadians will pause to honour the men and women who fought so bravely to defend Canada and thus preserve our democratic heritage.

I call on all Canadians to remember the sacrifices of our Canadian native soldiers who fought shoulder to shoulder with other soldiers from coast to coast.

Following the war our native Canadian soldiers were denied the recognition and many benefits paid to other veterans. This is a sad and shameful chapter in our military history.

Time is running out. I call upon this government to immediately deal with this national injustice.

The Nisga'A Agreement
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, today is a very important day. The Nisga'a people are beginning to vote on an issue which they have pursued with determination and honour for over a century, the Nisga'a final agreement.

My colleague, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, is currently in northern British Columbia meeting with students, business and community leaders to discuss the importance of the Nisga'a agreement.

The treaty-making process in B.C. is a modern approach to reflecting aboriginal rights that are protected in the Constitution. It also reaffirms the government's commitment to the inherent right of self-government, working in partnership to strengthen the relationship between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people in Canada.

On behalf of the Government of Canada I extend my best wishes as they go through this historic—

The Nisga'A Agreement
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Jonquière.

Semaine Mondiale De La Marionnette
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, la Semaine mondiale de la marionnette, or world puppet week, an important event that is held every two years in Jonquière, was richly honoured recently when it won nearly a quarter of the La touche magique prizes at the 1998 Sommet des festivals et attractions du Québec. The prizes were won in the category of posters and printed material, and a special jury prize was awarded in the television advertising category.

The Bloc Quebecois would like to pay tribute to the work of Jocelyn Robert, the director general of la Semaine mondiale de la marionnette, and of his close assistants: Sonia Lamontagne, who has been responsible for festival communications since 1994, the Groupe Vision Design and its graphic artist, Marc Gauthier, who designed the 1998 image, and Sébastien Pilote, who produced the TV advertising.

The awards won by the Semaine mondiale de la marionnette testify to the quality and dynamism of this organization in the riding of Jonquière. Its successes—

Semaine Mondiale De La Marionnette
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Gatineau.