House of Commons Hansard #99 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements By Members

May 5th, 1998 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the $350 million community based healing strategy, announced in “Gathering Strength: Canada's Aboriginal Action Plan”, was formally launched by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and the federal interlocutor for Metis and non-status Indians. The foundation is a non-profit organization that will be set up and run by aboriginal people to work with those who tolerated abuse in the residential school system.

The next few years will be an important time for teamwork between both the federal government and community groups. As the member of parliament for Nunavut, I ask for co-operation for all concerned as we take these important first steps in recovering the past so that we may move successfully into the future.

This is our chance to truly create the new partnership the federal government promised in its response to the RCAP.

I also take this opportunity to wish the chair of the foundation, Mr. George Erasmus, and other members like Inuit Tapirisat of Canada every success as they begin to implement this important initiative.

Families
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, as elected representatives, all of us in this House are aware of the increasing stress on our families. This stress takes many forms.

Families are stretched to the limit worrying about their jobs or in some cases worrying about trying to find a job. They are worrying about caring for their families, their children, sometimes aged parents and looking after their homes. Many have money problems. Some are deeply in debt. All of them are stretched to the limit.

It is because this government has an insatiable appetite for more and more revenue from hardworking Canadians.

Reform has proposed a solution to this stress on families. It is to increase significantly the basic personal exemption, the spousal exemption, to index again to inflation the earnings of Canadians and the tax levels of Canadians so that they will not be eaten away by stealth taxes. Also, to extend the—

Families
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford.

Youth
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to address the House on the importance of youth week, a celebration to which we should give the highest priority as Canadians.

We must invest in our young people if our society is to prosper. The best investment we can make as a government and as a society is in learning.

The Government of Canada believes that we must not only build a country on opportunity, jobs and growth but we must make sure we are building a society where every Canadian has equal access to those opportunities.

That is why the government introduced the youth opportunity employment strategy which helps Canada's young people make the transition from school to work, to getting that first job.

The important question of access was also behind the Prime Minister's announcement last fall of the Canadian Millennium Scholarship Foundation.

Through these measures, we are ensuring that Canada's young people have the opportunities to benefit from the great opportunity facing Canada—

Youth
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Repentigny.

Asbestos Industry
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, on April 22, the plenary session of the Council of Europe adopted the highly regrettable recommendation that asbestos be banned.

Canada did not do enough to convince the European parliamentarians that crysotile asbestos can be used in a controlled manner. Canadian parliamentarians were, in fact, absent when the report was adopted on January 7, 1998 at the commission on social affairs, the family and health.

It is important that energetic efforts continue in order to allay the fears of the European parliamentarians concerning asbestos. This fibre, which is responsible for the economic health of an entire region of Quebec, is completely safe when used in accordance with the appropriate rules.

It is high time for the Canadian government to finally shoulder its responsibilities by filing an official complaint with the WTO.

Emergency Preparedness
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, as this is emergency preparedness week, it is a perfect opportunity for Canadians nationwide to increase awareness and to learn best how to plan and prepare for the risks they may face in their community.

Recent history has shown us that disasters can happen to anyone, anywhere, any time, the ice storm being the latest example.

I am pleased to note the presence in the gallery today of the provincial and territorial winners of the 1997 emergency preparedness week drawing contest.

Over 1,000 students across Canada between the ages of 9 and 13 entered the drawing contest. The students were asked to illustrate what they perceived as the dangers in their community.

I know my colleagues join me in congratulating and commending these young Canadians for their excellent work. They set an example for us all.

Canadian Hockey Teams
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, our Canadian NHL teams face economic disadvantages when competing with American teams because their cities and states give them huge subsidies, allowing them to pay huge salaries to the league's biggest stars. There is certainly no disadvantage on the ice. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Contracts, tax breaks and subsidies are a problem for our teams but those are superseded by grit, determination and heart, demonstrated by our teams in the first round of the playoffs. There were countless heroes but none more important than the fans who provided the enthusiasm and passion driving our teams to play as champions and upset the American titans.

On behalf of the official opposition and all Canadians I want to congratulate the Edmonton Oilers, the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators. As these David and Goliath battles proceed, Reform will even be rooting for that team called the Senators.

Mental Health
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, May 4 to 10 is Canadian mental health week, during which a number of special events will be held to promote public awareness and education about mental health.

One of these events involves two young Canadian women who are challenging the waters of Ontario this summer by canoe.

Erin McKnight of Mississauga and Marie Roberts from Kingston have teamed up to paddle for mental health. On April 25 they launched their trip from Lachine, Quebec, and made their way along the St. Lawrence, arriving in Ottawa on May 1. Their voyage will reach The Pas, Manitoba and on to Hudson's Bay in August and next spring they will continue on to Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories on the Beaufort Sea.

Both Erin and Marie are here with us today in the gallery. On behalf of all hon. members, permit me to extend our sincere congratulations and best wishes for a safe and successful voyage to promote mental health awareness.

The are a tribute to Canada's youth and we salute them for their important health initiative.

Millennium Scholarships
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the millennium scholarship fund is a flagrant example of the federal government's obsessive attempts to interfere in areas of provincial jurisdiction.

In 1953, the Liberal Prime Minister, Louis Saint-Laurent, tried to subsidize Canadian universities. Quebec blocked the proposal and, in 1957, got the support of Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

In 1964, Lester B. Pearson proposed offering loans to students and paying the interest. Jean Lesage was opposed, because the repayment of interest became a sort of direct federal subsidy of education.

The third try was by the current government. After cutting $3 billion from education in Quebec, the Liberals are creating a private foundation to serve their purposes.

This time around, Quebeckers with a single voice are demanding the federal government return the amount in question so the Government of Quebec can manage it according to its priorities.

Fresh Water
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Ontario government has recently indicated that it supports a private company's application to sell Ontario fresh water for export to Asia.

This is the beginning of a host of private entrepreneurs applying to export and sell fresh Canadian water in bulk. They view water as a commodity to be exported just like oil or timber.

Fresh water is different. It is the nation's lifeblood. It is part of life itself. Proponents of bulk water exports view Canada as having a fresh water surplus. This is simply not so. Water plays a crucial role in our nation's ecosystems and is there for a reason. It is not a surplus commodity to be sold to the highest bidder.

NAFTA poses a threat to our ability to stop this sale. A good first step would be for Canada's Minister for International Trade to say simply no to any future bulk sale of Canada's fresh water.

The Late Robert De Coster
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, we were sad to learn of the death April 30 of Robert De Coster, following a long illness.

Mr. De Coster was a high ranking and respected official in the Quebec public service in the 1960s. Among other things, he was the deputy minister of industry and trade in the 1970s and responsible for setting up the Quebec Régie des rentes and the Régie de l'assurance-automobile.

More recently, Mr. De Coster had the job of analyzing the work of the Montreal urban community police and of Urgences santé as a consequence of the tragic events at the École Polytechnique in Montreal. He served as chairman of Sidbec-Dosco and honourary chairman of the board of the Laval University hospital.

An accountant by training, he also served as vice-president of the Caisse de dépôt et placement and he will leave his mark in the annals of Quebec public administration.

We extend our condolences to his family, his relatives and his friends.

Finance
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week the auditor general released his latest report on the government's financial statements and the finance minister and this government received a failing grade from the auditor general for the third year in a row.

Why? Because for the last three years the finance minister has cooked the books by retroactively allocating funds from the previous fiscal year to pay for upcoming spending programs. First came the HST buyout, then the innovation foundation and now the millennium scholarship foundation.

What is the reason for this shoddy bookkeeping? To keep Canadians from seeing a surplus.

The fact is the finance minister is afraid to show Canadians a surplus and afraid to show his own government members a surplus. He is conveniently delaying this debate of what to do with the surplus when he should be giving Canadians what they deserve now, fair compensation for all hepatitis C victims and a millennium tax break now, in 1998.

Canadian Unity
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 1867, the two linguistic communities, the anglophones and the francophones, decided to unite to form a confederation whose existence is now firmly established and must continue to exist.

Other communities also made an essential contribution to our development and helped Canada become what it is today, that is a country which is the envy of the world.

Canadian unity is our strength and our pride. It is also a guarantee of stability and of a better future for all Canadians.

As a member representing an anglophone riding in the heart of southwestern Ontario, I want to say that my Canada includes Quebec.

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, under pressure from the premiers, the health minister finally started to change his position toward the victims of hepatitis C. After weeks of belligerence and excuses the minister has finally started to sound a bit conciliatory. But he still did not answer one critical question, so I would like to put that question to the Prime Minister.

Does the Prime Minister now agree that all those who contracted hepatitis C through government negligence should be compensated?