House of Commons Hansard #177 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nafta.

Topics

Supply
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Clifford Lincoln Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out to my colleague from the Bloc Quebecois that I find it most unfortunate that he would once again be so narrow-minded in his interpretation of this rather broad motion, which encompasses the federal government and the provinces. I would like to inform him that, when there was a major federal program on cleaner water for Canada, in the 1970s, Quebec was the only province that did not take advantage of this program.

Quebec was the last province—and I know what I am talking about, having been the Quebec minister of the environment—to establish a water purification program. To start telling us that this is a purely federal, or purely provincial, affair, that Quebec is as pure as the driven snow in this matter, and that the federal government has full responsibility for this, is to once again start up this business of picking quarrels, blaming the other guy, without even looking at one's own faults.

This is most unfortunate, because the question of water goes far beyond narrow-minded parochialism. It is a question that defines the cycle facing us. We should look at the far bigger picture, and try to associate ourselves with a motion that refers not only to the federal government but also to the association of federal and provincial governments in the development of a shared water policy. This, I feel, is the key to everything.

Supply
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Portneuf, QC

This is not narrow-mindedness, Mr. Speaker. The motion before us is very clear. It states that the government should place an immediate moratorium on the export of bulk water shipments. It goes on to say “in co-operation with the provinces”. Such co-operation ought to precede the motion. It ought to be verified with the provinces, and with Quebec, whether the moratorium is necessary and desirable.

They are putting the cart before the horse, and yet when we protest about this happening, we are told that we are being too narrow-minded. No, we are not, but we are capable of reading between the lines and capable of protecting Quebec.

Injury Prevention
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Pillitteri Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, a recently published study is telling Canadians that the economic and social costs of unintentional injuries in Canada are staggering.

From this study we learned that each year these injuries leave 47,000 Canadians partially and permanently disabled. For example, in the Niagara area alone we had more than 30 deaths this year all due to vehicle accidents.

The officer in charge for the Niagara region at the public health department wrote to me, saying that citizens of Niagara Falls should find this figure totally unacceptable, especially when it is known that 90% of these deaths are both predictable and preventable.

There is a need to acknowledge and seriously address the magnitude of this staggering health and economic problem. Today I am adding my voice in support of those who are calling for a national injury prevention strategy to be established. We must take action so as to cut costs for all Canadians and ultimately save lives.

Taxation
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have just received the following e-mail message: “Fraud alert. Persons receiving an envelope from an organization calling itself Revenue Canada should treat the contents with great suspicion.

“This group appears to be operating a scam in which it claims the recipients owe it money to pay for the essential operations of the Government of Canada. The money is actually used to fund an endless list of inefficient and pointless social engineering programs.

“Revenue Canada also has ties to a shady outfit known as the Canadian pension plan, whose paycheque deductions have been known to end up financing the same type of wasteful government boondoggles supported by Revenue Canada.

“If a solicitation for funds is received from Revenue Canada, keep in mind that the entire annual taxation scam originates not with it but in the office of the Minister of Finance. It is time that he was held accountable for bilking so many hard working Canadians out of billions of dollars every year”.

Co-Operative Housing
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Recently the minister responded to the strong and united voice of the Ontario Liberal caucus by ensuring that co-op housing funded by the federal government will not be part of a transfer of the management of social housing resources to the Government of Ontario.

As a result, some 21,000 individuals and families in Ontario will have their homes preserved in federal hands.

In my riding of Etobicoke North, members of the Comfort Living, Summerlea Park and West Humber Community Co-operatives are fiercely proud of their community lifestyle and applaud the minister for protecting their co-operative.

They, like other co-op members from across the province, will now sleep better knowing that their housing is in safe hands.

Economic Development
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, on February 2, the Canadian government announced an investment of close to $1 million in the regions of Quebec, under the Canadian Rural Partnership Program. Of that amount, $475,000 will got to 11 regional projects in Quebec.

Our government is committed to strengthening rural communities and helping rural citizens take advantage of new economic development and employment opportunities.

This type of governmental action has a direct impact upon the communities concerned. We hope to continue this partnership with as many rural communities as possible, in Quebec as well as in the rest of Canada.

Calgary And Quebec City Information Exchange
Statements By Members

February 9th, 1999 / 2 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend I had the pleasure to attend le Carnaval in Quebec City. I would like to report to this House that it is possible for friendly people and good cheer to overcome chilly temperatures.

One thing I noticed this past weekend was that there were a number of Calgarians attending the Quebec carnival. I later found out that Calgary and Quebec City signed a new agreement to co-operate in promoting the exchange of information in the areas of science, technology, economics and tourism.

The two cities also renewed an agreement on the youth exchange program. This agreement has all the elements of improving the prospects for national unity in this country: goodwill, direct communication and above all else, keeping the federal Liberal government out of the process.

House Of Commons Interpreters
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Parrish Mississauga Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, 40 years ago, on January 16, 1959, the House of Commons took the innovative step of providing simultaneous interpretation in English and French thereby giving Canadians an opportunity to follow the debates in the language of their choice.

Today I would like to pay tribute to those individuals who have been our partners ever since.

I urge all members of the House to join with me in paying tribute to the invaluable contribution of our interpreters. They make it possible to share our ideas and everything we feel most passionate about in both official languages as well as in sign language.

Public Works and Government Services Canada and the Translation Bureau can take pride in having such professionals on their staff. Their work does parliament proud.

Congratulations to all of our interpreters. Félicitations.

Government Expenditures
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, there is something wrong with the government when the Department of National Defence spends $1,000 on a tricycle. That is one sample of the insane spending in my latest waste report. It shows that there is plenty of rot in the system. Taxpayers deserve better than this.

Taxpayers' blood will boil when they hear that foreign affairs spent $113,000 on Royal Doulton china and that an admiral had a $120,000 hotel bill while some of our sailors were standing in line at the food bank.

Finally, the government is spending $4,000 on the provincial flags unity project. The concept is to express national unity, which is quite appropriate because if it keeps spending money like this, Canadians will all be in the poorhouse together.

Publishing Industry
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Dennis Mills Broadview—Greenwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-55 is imperative for the continuing success of the Canadian magazine industry.

Advertising revenues represent the single most important source of revenue for Canadian periodical publishers. These revenues have allowed them to nurture the careers of some of our most important literary figures and social commentators.

Without Canadian magazines, how would the first works of future Canadian authors and poets find their way to Canadian readers? Would large foreign publishers print the poetry of a future Margaret Atwood or the historical commentary of a future Jacques Lacoursière?

Advertising revenues allow Canadian publishers to provide a venue for thousands of Canadian photographers, journalists and editors. These revenues help pay the salaries of many creative Canadians.

Allowing foreign publishers unlimited access to the Canadian advertising services market would mean the death of a vital cultural industry, an industry that has played an essential role in the cultivation of Canadian literature, photography and political thought. This is what is at stake in Bill C-55.

Homelessness
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday community members in Toronto held a vigil in memory of a homeless man known only as Al who died on a heating grate across from Queen's Park.

In January I travelled across Canada and saw for myself the devastating impact of this government's deliberate policy to kill social housing. How many more people will have to suffer? How many more people will have to die before the Prime Minister responds to this crisis?

Ten mayors and more than 400 organizations have endorsed the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee's urgent call to recognize this as a national disaster.

A few hours ago, busloads of homeless and poor people left Toronto for Parliament Hill to demand a meeting with the Prime Minister. His response? He turned them down flat. This is an outrage.

I want to know, will the Prime Minister have the guts to meet with the poor and homeless people who are coming here tomorrow? Will he visit the sites of this national disaster and see the devastation firsthand? Does this government have any compassion?

Year 2000
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Whelan Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week is Year 2000 Preparedness Week. Yesterday I had the pleasure of tabling the 13th report of the Standing Committee on Industry outlining Canada's state of readiness in several key industrial sectors.

The committee found that most Canadians and Canadian companies and institutions are well aware of the year 2000 problem. However, many small and medium size enterprises have not yet addressed the issue. Firms should begin testing now if they have not already done so. Businesses must realize they could be fully accountable for failure to act. Firms need to prepare contingency plans and business resumption plans to ensure that their business thrives in the new millennium.

There is help for those organizations that do not know where to begin. The year 2000 first step program is a joint Industry Canada and CIBC initiative to give Canadian SMEs access to an affordable customized first step for preparing for the year 2000 challenge.

If we all plan for the worst and hope for the best, we will be able to ring in the new year and millennium with a small sigh of relief.

Justice
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Charleswood—Assiniboine, MB

Mr. Speaker, an article in a weekend newspaper has left me with a feeling of deep concern.

In the article Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Antonio Lamer indicated that judges may avoid making unpopular decisions in cases of heinous crimes rather than suffer severe public criticism. I can empathize with Justice Lamer's comments. No one likes to be publicly vilified. However, I urge our judiciary not to succumb to the kind of bullying that we often hear from Reform Party members.

An essential part of our judicial system is the independence of judges to make decisions according to their understanding of the law. There can be no compromising of that, even in the face of irresponsible acts by the Reform Party.

The recent controversial decision on child pornography offended many Canadians, myself included, but there is an appeal process to deal with that. This is not the time to lose faith in our judges. The rule of law must be respected.

Sisters Of Charity Of Quebec
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, our history books often forget or minimize women's contribution to society's development.

For this reason, I would like to honour the very significant contribution to society made by Sister Marcelle Mallet, who, 150 years ago, founded the Congrégation des Soeurs de la Charité de Québec, and 140 years ago, the Couvent de Lévis, now the Marcelle-Mallet school.

The Congrégation's history was marked by all the women who, in Lévis and elsewhere, taught our daughters and, in recent years, our sons. We owe them thanks for that, but they did more. They also visited prisoners, supported victims and helped the sick. They fed the poor, protected orphans and sheltered the aged.

As the member for Lévis-et-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, I would like to thank the Sisters of Charity for all they have done for us and for what they continue to give us.

Government Expenditures
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, tonight we resume debate on Bill S-11. It will add “social condition” to the Canadian Human Rights Act and will help put an end to the discrimination faced by our most marginalized citizens. The Liberals have indicated that they will not support this bill.

While many Canadians do not have the luxury of maintaining adequate housing or the ability to open up a bank account, the PMO last year spent a whopping $7.5 million federal tax dollars on travel expenses, making the much criticized $465,000 Mulroney trip to Russia seem like mere pocket change.

An examination of the public accounts reveal that the Prime Minister spent $1.3 million for a trip to Italy last May with 58 personnel tagging along. An overnight trip to New York took just over $175,000 out of the coffers to accommodate the PM and 18 advisers.

This blatant disregard for taxpayers must end. I urge this Prime Minister to rethink how he spends our money.