House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was board.

Topics

Supply
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Vancouver Centre
B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Secretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women)

Madam Speaker, I rise to speak against this motion for two reasons. The first is that it offends the fundamental principles of democracy. Second, it is in fact a very discriminatory motion because it completely goes against all Canadian principles of equality.

I want to speak first to the issue of how it offends the principles of democracy. The balance in a democracy between an elected body like the House of Commons and the supreme court of the land or the courts of the land is to find a way in which justice can be served through the law and the interpretation of the law. That is especially true in our country right now.

We have to look at the charter, the Canadian Human Rights Act and all of the legislation that has come about which talks to the equality of persons and recognizes the fundamental distinction that people are not all the same. Equality is not about treating people the same. Equality is the fundamental bedrock on which Canadian society has been built. It is one of the common values which we all believe in as Canadians, regardless of where we live, where we come from or what colour we are.

It is really important to recognize in the Canadian Human Rights Act and in our charter that when we speak of equality we speak of equality as recognizing the diversity of people. That is what this motion is trying to undo.

If in this democracy parliament undermined the decisions of the supreme court of our country, decisions that are based on our Constitution and fundamental justice, then we would have removed democracy from Canada and replaced it with dictatorships.

It is in countries where the governments of the land and the parliaments of the land seek to override fundamental justice and the law that dictatorships occur. Is this what the hon. members, when they bring this motion forward, are trying to suggest?

Let us look to the past when governments have sought to muzzle the courts of their land. Let us look at the more recent example of South Africa where governments set about making laws that were fundamentally discriminatory to the people of that country. They gave rights only to certain people and took them away from others. These rights included: the right to walk down the street; the right to be out after dark in any of the cities of South Africa; the right to work; the right to education; and the right to interracial marriage. In South Africa the government of the day, through its parliament, decided that if there was an interracial marriage in South Africa it was not legal in the eyes of the law.

Is that what we are trying to do? Are we saying that governments are always right, that houses of parliament are always right and that they alone have the right to decide how our people will live and what is essential to fundamental justice and equality in our country? Is that what we are trying to do? Are we trying to undo democracy? Do we want Canada to become a dictatorship? That is exactly what the fundamental principle of this motion is about. It is about dictatorship. It is about what we call the tyranny of the majority.

The members of that party have always talked about how they represent the people. Do they represent only one type of people, or do they represent all Canadians, including gay Canadians, lesbian Canadians, black Canadians, Canadians of different religions, Canadians who live in isolated areas of this country, Canadians who cannot find work in the maritimes, and Canadians who are aboriginal? Are Reform members suggesting that they represent all of these people? Because members of the Reform Party have stood up in the House day after day and have slam dunked Canadians who do not belong to the group which they say they represent, the grassroots.

It offends me, Madam Speaker, to have to stand here to debate a motion that is so fundamentally retrogressive and so distasteful.

I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, I did not mean to call you Madam Speaker, but I did not notice that you had come into the Chamber.

Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

These robes sometimes fool people when they look at me, but I am still Mr. Speaker.

At this point I think we are at just the right spot to let you have a little rest. You can come back full steam after question period and we look forward to hearing from you again. But it is almost 2 p.m., so we will proceed to Statements by Members.

Ayden Byle Diabetes Research Foundation
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Steckle Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the devoted community spirit of one of my constituents.

Mr. Ayden Byle, an individual from the north end of Huron—Bruce, has undertaken to establish the Ayden Byle Diabetes Research Foundation.

This organization, under the direction of Ayden's father, Marshall Byle, will collect public and corporate donations for diabetes research.

In addition to the creation of this foundation and in an effort to drum up awareness for the cause, Ayden has recently devised the Canada challenge.

The Canada challenge is a simple concept. Ayden challenges Canadians from coast to coast to coast to contribute financially to the eradication of this terrible disease.

To assist in achieving this goal, starting June 1 Ayden is running across Canada in an effort to raise money and awareness for diabetes research. His journey began on the west coast and is expected to end later this summer.

I would encourage all of my hon. colleagues to take note of this effort and to join with me in wishing Ayden Byle our best wishes for every success.

Hepatitis C
Statements By Members

June 8th, 1998 / 1:55 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the hepatitis C issue has been kind of tough on the Liberal government.

We went through, with Krever, shredded documents. We went through fighting in court. We went through a withholding of cabinet proceedings.

Finally, when we got the Krever presentation, I thought the battle was over. But the government decided to compensate only a small proportion of the victims. It says it is because the ALT test was not available, available to me in 1970 in my practice for hepatitis. It was not available because federal regulators chose not to use it for that purpose. The decision was a decision made by regulators.

For the victims, all they want is fairness and those victims are going to go to every single event this summer of Liberal politicians, to the parades, to the ribbon cuttings, to the speeches, everything that they do. They are going to wave a little flag that says “hepatitis C, don't forget us”.

I would not want to be in that position. I would not want to go through the long hot summer of the Liberals on hepatitis—

Hepatitis C
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Abitibi.

Val D'Or Kiwanis Club
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Val d'Or Kiwanis club came into being on September 17, 1947. Since its inception, this club has had but one goal: to help young people.

The Kiwanis club is involved primarily in the Atom and Pee Wee levels of minor hockey. Through the exceptional devotion of its members, the club has helped in other community ventures in Val d'Or and piloted the project to erect the statue of the miner in carré Lapointe.

In 1976, Kiwanis members joined with volunteers to establish the committee to fund a second rink. The city of Val d'Or is now calling the building the Kiwanis arena.

The hundreds of volunteers and donors who tirelessly support the members of the Kiwanis club and their work deserve our recognition. Today more than ever the commitment, camaraderie and pride of our members mean successful projects for young people.

Municipalities
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Inky Mark Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, at the 1996 Federation of Canadian Municipalities convention we heard the Prime Minister acknowledging that it was time to recognize the municipal governments in their own right.

At the FCM meeting in Regina today the Prime Minister said nothing about the role of municipalities. If he really wants to connect with Canadians let him listen to municipal concerns brought on by federal funding cuts and downloading of services.

The Prime Minister talks about the information highway. Municipalities are stuck figuring out ways to pay for streets and roads. Municipalities already have the smarts. What they need is a voice and a seat at the table.

Let the government heed section 5 of Reform's new Canada act: “The Government of Canada hereby recognizes municipal governments as the first level of government in Canada, and agrees to ensure municipal government representation at federal-provincial conferences dealing with the provision and financing of essential services.

Cancer
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was the 11th annual national cancer survivors day in North America. Events were held across the country to raise awareness of this day, this disease and to celebrate the courage of the survivors.

I think what is most important to remember is that since 1969 cancer mortality rates have been steadily declining for Canadian men and women in all age groups under 60. Even though one in three people will get cancer, 50% of those will survive.

National cancer survivors day is about recognizing those who have survived as well as their families, friends and care givers. We must also remember the volunteers and researchers who have helped make their survival possible.

Through organizations like the Canadian Cancer Society cancer patients have learned to articulate their concerns and through communication with their physicians and other health care workers they have helped us identify the gaps in the health care system and have helped medical professionals reorganize our priorities so that we can move toward a more patient centred approach.

I welcome this opportunity to thank and congratulate everyone on their outstanding achievements and effort.

Ajax Home Week
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Judi Longfield Whitby—Ajax, ON

Mr. Speaker, the town of Ajax in my riding has a special asset, the volunteers. Where once there were hundreds, today there are thousands.

After starting in 1971, Ajax now celebrates its 28th annual home week through the efforts of volunteers and service and community minded organizations. The theme of this year's home week is “celebrate being a kid”. Events include athletes in action, beach volleyball, lakeside kiddy carnival, the optimists family picnic and fun fair, culminating in a giant fireworks display.

The original goals of Ajax home week are still very much in place. They are to say thank you to the wonderful people Ajax, to provide activities for everyone regardless of gender, religion, race, age or personal means, to promote the town of Ajax which so many call home and to encourage former Ajax residents to return to Ajax for a visit.

Canpass
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Pillitteri Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Friday my riding of Niagara Falls saw the launching of CANPASS, the whirlpool bridge dedicated commuter crossing.

The new smart border, on which Revenue Canada has been working for some time, will benefit the residents of Canada, all the travellers using the Niagara border crossings and Niagara Falls as a whole.

The CANPASS program expedites the clearance of preapproved low risk travellers into Canada and has been made possible by a fruitful partnership between the federal government and the public sector.

I thank the local customs officers who have played such a major role in the development of the operating procedure specific to the CANPASS whirpool initiative. Canada Customs has a long history of providing an effective and professional customs service, another example of how the Liberal government is helping to ensure that Canada has safe streets and safe communities.

Olivar Asselin
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to one of Quebec's finest journalists, Olivar Asselin.

A strong nationalist, a brilliant and sarcastic satirist, he had, throughout his career, a profound impact on French Canadians in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Mr. Asselin ardently defended the rights of Franco-Ontarians. He was one of the pillars of the movement by Ontario francophones to fight the ignoble Regulation 17, along with Marie Gérin-Lajoie—mother and daughter.

Even today, many Quebec journalists claim with pride to belong to the Asselin school, and it is not just by chance that the grand prize for journalism offered by the Saint-Jean-Baptiste society of Montreal bears the name Olivar Asselin.

In closing, I would like to pay tribute to the work of Hélène Pelletier-Baillergeon, who with great talent paid homage in her biography of him to a legend of Quebec journalism, and I look forward to reading the second volume of this biography in the near future.

Auto Pact
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the auto pact is the most successful trade deal Canada has ever signed and the most beneficial for Canadians.

Member companies employ in well paying full time jobs more than 65,000 workers. The suppliers of auto parts employ another 90,000 Canadians.

In 1996 auto pact companies exported vehicles totalling $45 billion. Last year Canada enjoyed a trade surplus of $13.5 billion with the United States. The automotive sector is Canada's number one export industry.

In my riding of Oakville the Ford Motor Company of Canada has its head office. Since 1990 Ford has invested almost $6 billion in production facilities in Canada. This large investment is concrete evidence of Ford's commitment to Canada

With worldwide overcapacity in the automotive industry looming and with mergers already announced, now is not the time to change our finished vehicle tariff regime and threaten the auto pact.

The Senate
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, there are seven vacancies in the upper house, one in Nova Scotia, one in Newfoundland, one in Manitoba and four in Ontario. The Prime Minister's phone must be ringing off the wall with Liberal hacks trying to collect political on IOUs.

There must be plethora of good Liberals who have organized a dinner, delivered a brochure or, most important, cut a cheque to the party who have not received a supreme court seat or an appointment to the IRB or the parole board.

The Prime Minister has surpassed Brian Mulroney's levels of patronage, travel and of course closure. But there is one that Mr. Mulroney did that the Prime Minister has not done and that is appoint Canada's first and only elected senator, Reformer Stan Waters.

The Prime Minister is renowned for ignoring the will of Canadians. He has the opportunity to follow through on his promise to reform the Senate or he can continue to appoint Liberal hacks. Whatever the Prime Minister decides there is one thing for certain. His announcement will take place after the House rises because the Prime Minister cannot take the heat because he will not elect those seats.

Reform Party
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week the member for Edmonton—Strathcona journeyed to Quebec City along with his close and personal Blocquistes friends. Once there he waxed eloquently in French about how the Reform had a new plan, une troisième voie, that will attract all sorts of Quebeckers to the Reform Party.

Just how interested would Quebeckers be in Reform's way of thinking if they knew that just two days after visit to Quebec that same member proposed a motion to eliminate the budget of the office of the commissioner of official languages?

The answer is that Quebeckers have no interest in Reform's plan to dismantle French language services within the federal government. That is why Reform will continue to fail miserably in all its attempts to win favour in Quebec no matter how many separatists it befriends.

Oceans
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, June 8 marks the international day of the oceans. Coming from Nova Scotia, this day is very special indeed.

The ocean represents 75% of the earth's surface and unfortunately the human race and our government are systematically trying to destroy this very precious resource. By pollution, dumping of nuclear waste, overfishing and sloppy oil and gas explorations their track record is not very good.

Even today many of our fish stocks are in peril and the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people who live along coastal communities are in jeopardy. I urge this government and all nations to take action now to protect our oceans so that future generations may benefit from what our seas have to offer.