House of Commons Hansard #42 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was transportation.

Topics

Birds Of A Feather
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Reform

Eric C. Lowther Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, at the Calgary Zoo today the environment minister will be pointing out some endangered species that are moving toward extinction, particularly in Calgary. He will likely be pointing out that the dodo bird is gone but a related species, the Joe-Joe bird, is also nearing extinction.

The Joe-Joe bird, sometimes called the Clark, is more comfortable nesting in the capital region, but it has recently attempted a migration to the west. Strange, self-destructive behaviour is unique to this bird particularly in the west. The top down feeding approach of the Joe-Joe bird means it can never contact the grassroots which is so essential for nourishment in the west. The future does not look good for the Joe-Joe bird.

I hope the environment minister does not fail to mention the great similarity between the Joe-Joe bird and the gobbling Grit goose. The Grit goose is like the Joe-Joe bird in that its behaviour threatens its survival. The Grit goose takes from others and overeats to the point where it cannot move and eventually dies from its own weight. Surprisingly, the eggs that are laid by the Joe-Joe bird and the Grit goose are so similar that we cannot tell them apart.

Perhaps some endangered species are not worth saving. The loss of these two might actually help the Canadian environment.

Gm Plant In Boisbriand
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, General Motors of Boisbriand has just been awarded the prix Grande mention in the major manufacturing category. This prize was awarded by the Quebec department of industry and commerce.

To quote the mayor of Boisbriand, “This award is a tribute to the efforts of the 1,500 men and women who work in this plant to provide the consumer with a truly top quality product”.

Yet imagine, these skilled workers are likely to end up jobless before long, because the plant is scheduled to close down within months, despite the efforts of the Government of Quebec.

Will this situation finally strike a chord with the federal government? Given the human and economic aspects of the situation, and the fact that public funds have been invested in maintaining these jobs, I again strongly urge the federal government to assume its responsibilities. Time is of the essence.

Holiday Message
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Erie—Lincoln, ON

Mr. Speaker, the holiday season is a time when Canadians gather to renew the cherished bonds of family and friendship; to look back on the year and indeed the century coming to a close; to look ahead with anticipation to the new year and the next millennium that beckons. Most important, it is a time to reflect on our many blessings as a people and our nation.

Let us be thankful for our prosperity, our matchless natural beauty, our rich diversity, above all, our sense that we are truly a family and that Canada is our home. No matter where we live we care about each other and work together. That is our proud history and our bright future.

May the goodwill of the season inspire us to embrace both the challenges and opportunities ahead with spirit and enthusiasm, to keep a special place in our thoughts for those of our Canadian families who are less fortunate and to reach out to them during the holidays and in the year to come.

House Of Commons
Statements By Members

December 17th, 1999 / 11:05 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the official opposition to thank the staff of the House of Commons for their hard work and dedication to this institution.

We are all charged with the responsibility of protecting and promoting the Canadian democratic process. Each of us plays an important part on that team. I would like to thank the clerks, the librarians, the translators, the cleaning staff, the postal workers, the security guards, the bus drivers and especially the food services staff who try to ensure that we are eating right when we are so far from home and sometimes work such crazy hours.

I would like to make special mention of four ladies from the Centre Block cafeteria who are always out for their morning smoke at 7.15 a.m. when I come in. Lise, Adele, Nicole and Carole never fail to brighten my day with their good nature and cheery dispositions.

I wish all of the staff and their families a joyful and restful holiday season. Their hard work does not go unnoticed. I ask all members to join with me to show our appreciation.

Holiday Message
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Carmen Provenzano Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, today marks the last day of sittings of the 36th Parliament for this century and millennium. This extra special holiday season is therefore an appropriate time to give thanks for our country, for all of the bounty, benefits and privileges of the good life that we as Canadians enjoy.

As the member for Sault Ste. Marie it is also appropriate to give thanks for all of the forces that have shaped my hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, for all of the efforts of the many people who have grown our city into an extraordinary community. I particularly recognize one man, an American, whose efforts grew the population of Sault Ste. Marie from 3,000 to over 30,000 in just eight years. Francis H. Clerke established a steel mill, paper mill, power plant, street car system and much more. These are the industries our town continues to depend on to this day. May his spirit take up permanent residence in our city and may his can do attitude infect the future generations of the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie.

Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noël to all.

Holiday Message
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, on this last parliamentary day of 1999 I would like to share with the House the dream that I and my colleagues have for the new millennium and for the century about to begin.

We have a dream that someday soon and the sooner the better, human beings will abolish all nuclear weapons and indeed all weapons of mass destruction.

We have a dream that poverty at home and abroad will be eliminated and that someday human beings and human community will be valued above all other values and not be always secondary to the profit strategies of multinational corporations and wealthy individuals.

We have a dream that humanity will repent of the ways in which we are now cruising complacently toward planetary ecological disaster and that creation will in fact be preserved for endless millenniums to come.

It is from such dreams that one derives the will to carry on the political struggle and New Democrats commit ourselves to do just that.

Having said that, Mr. Speaker, may I take this opportunity to wish all members of the House a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Let us pray that the Y2K anxiety proves to be unfounded and that all goes well on January 1, 2000.

Bill C-20
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, like all the people of Quebec, the people in the riding of Lotbinière are outraged at this latest attack by the federal government on the democratic institutions of Quebec.

Bill C-20 resembles the unilateral patriation of the constitution in 1982. The same federal politicians have once again decided to thwart democracy in Quebec. But nothing will prevent Quebecers from continuing their pursuit of sovereignty.

In 1918, the Right Hon. Joseph Napoléon Francoeur, the MLA for Lotbinière at the time, already had what the people of Quebec needed. In his now famous motion, he said “This House is of the opinion that the Province of Quebec would be prepared to agree to break away from the Confederation set up in 1867 if, in the other provinces, it is felt that Quebec is an obstacle to the Union, and to the progress and development of Canada”.

Hockey Tournament
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, Wayne Gretzky's recent retirement may have left a significant void in the NHL but there are plenty of Burlington and area youngsters willing to step up and fill his skates. After all, Gretzky made his mark as a skinny 10 year old offensive sensation in Burlington's Golden Horseshoe Invitational Hockey Tournament.

Hotels and restaurants will be packed as Burlington plays host to the 32nd annual tournament this December 27 to 30. With 105 entries, triple A players in all divisions will have a chance to strut their stuff in some tough competition.

Over 200 volunteers have been preparing a wonderful welcome for teams from Canada, the United States and even a team from Finland. Local arenas will be packed with supportive parents, happy fans and joyous children.

And everyone wins. Profits are put back into sponsorship for the teams and participants are eligible for a Golden Horseshoe Invitational scholarship.

This tournament is an important part of the holiday festivities in Burlington. I wish all participating teams the very best of luck in the tournament. Have fun, play safe, play well.

The Economy
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, on this the last sitting day of the House of Commons in this century, it is time to reflect on the issues that face Canadians.

We have an unemployment rate that is 70% higher than that of the U.S., the highest personal income tax in the G-7, the second highest corporate taxes of the OECD, the highest personal debt rates in the history of our country, and the fastest growing personal debt rates of any country in the G-7. Personal disposable income has dropped 8% in the 1990s and has increased by 10% in the U.S.

Why is the finance minister off to Berlin this week to chair the G-20 meetings when there is so much repair work to be done here at home?

Canadian Forces
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Judi Longfield Whitby—Ajax, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to invite all members of the House of Commons to welcome home 1,300 Canadian forces personnel who during the past six months have been making an important contribution in Kosovo. They include members of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, Lord Strathcona's Horse and 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron.

The men and women of these units have worked hard to create a stable and secure environment in Kosovo. They have delivered humanitarian aid, restored public services and helped to re-establish civilian institutions.

Our well-trained professional military has made a significant contribution to international peace and security. CF members have also touched the lives of thousands of Kosovars by building schools, houses, medical clinics, upgrading roads, providing de-mining assistance and helping to provide the essentials of life, such as medical aid, food and fresh water.

I am sure all members of the House join me in offering congratulations on a job well done. Seasons greetings to CF members, their families and Canadians everywhere.

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Amazingly, Mr. Speaker, one-third of all the donors to the Prime Minister's 1997 campaign got federal government grants, loans or contracts.

But the case of Fermco Industries is particularly interesting.

Fermco gave more than $6,000 to the Prime Minister's campaign and to the Liberal's campaign. Even though the company is in a Bloc held riding, the Prime Minister's office intervened to ensure it got a transitional jobs fund grant.

Other than $6,000 in donations, why would the Prime Minister's office intervene in the local affairs of the Bloc member?

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, earlier this morning, the federal government announced almost three quarters of a billion dollars in assistance to alleviate homelessness and help prevent homelessness. The program is working in co-operation with the other levels of government.

I do not know why the hon. member did not get up and congratulate the government for this initiative instead of making these useless insinuations and innuendoes. It just shows how bankrupt his party is of any real interest in helping Canadians.

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are wondering why the Deputy Prime Minister did not get up and answer the question. Let us try again.

Fermco's TJF grant came through despite strong objections by senior human resources officials. The Prime Minister's office did an end run around normal procedures and ensured that a major donor got a just reward.

The Prime Minister, of course, says that he was just trying to create jobs. However, is it the common practice of the Prime Minister to intervene on behalf of all TJF applicants or just when they donate thousands of dollars to his campaign?

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the common practice of the government is to work with communities with high unemployment to ensure that they have the opportunities that the rest of Canada has to benefit from the successes of our great country.

Is it right for us to invest in communities in Quebec to ensure the their citizens have opportunities to work? It is. Is it right for us to invest in communities in Atlantic Canada to ensure their citizens have opportunities to work? It absolutely is.

Is it right for us to invest in communities in northern British Columbia to ensure that citizens of Canada have opportunities to work. It is, and we will continue to do so.

Government Grants
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, two non-answers and the government is asking the questions when it is supposed to be answering them. Let us try again.

The Prime Minister has a pretty impressive investment plan going. If a company wants federal government money, all it has to do is donate to the Prime Minister's campaign. It does not even have to be in his riding. There is a 33% chance that the company will hit the jackpot and, boy, are the rewards sweet.

Fermco donated over $6,000 and ended up with $200,000 in a TJF grant despite the fact that a senior official had strong objections.

I ask the Prime Minister, is there a threshold on the amount a company has to donate or will the Prime Minister bend the rules for any size donation?