House of Commons Hansard #186 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

United Alternative
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Reg Alcock Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, if I were to offer my own comments on the meeting last week that the hon. member spoke about, it might be considered a bit biased but let me use a few of the statements in some of the western papers.

Rick Bell in the Edmonton Sun says the party is over for Reformers. Mike Jenkinson in the Calgary Sun says the Leader of the Opposition will never see Sussex Drive.

The Edmonton Sun says there is a fight on the right. The Edmonton Journal says marriage of Conservatives divided on party lines.

The Vancouver Sun says the new political party will be a hard sell. In the Calgary Herald Catherine Ford says unite the right movement doomed before meeting began.

My own Winnipeg Free Press says the united alternative convention was effectively a shotgun wedding at which the bride did not show up.

The Globe and Mail says the Leader of the Opposition was seen as handicap to the Ontario win.

United Alternative
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Charleswood St. James—Assiniboia.

United Alternative
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Charleswood—Assiniboine, MB

Mr. Speaker, I too attended the so-called united alternative convention in Ottawa and I will share with Canadians a couple of enduring images from that gathering.

The convention was little more than a Reform Party annual meeting. Before it was minutes old up popped David Thomlinson, a Reform Party activist better known as president of the radical National Firearms Association.

If the delegates were trying to remake the image of Reform they failed miserably with the likes of Thomlinson at the microphone. With Reform Party members as the majority of delegates, the new UA is just the same old extremist Reform Party by another name.

The second enduring image left with me was the one of a keynote speaker. A convention supposedly committed to uniting the right invited someone like Rodrigue Biron, a prominent separatist.

The Reform Party will stoop to any level to gain power.

The last time the Conservative Party went to bed with separatists, Canadians ended up with Lucien Bouchard.

Reform Party
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Reform Party is the first political party in Canadian history to vote no confidence in itself while in official opposition. This raises two very interesting questions.

Why would Canadians put their trust in a group so hungry for power that after only two elections it is ready to give up what makes it unique and go crawling back on penitent knee ready to barter its position on Quebec, on the Senate, on moral issues, all for a taste of the fruit of the tree of power in the garden of Canadian politics?

It also raises the question of whether Reform should continue to be the official opposition. In the last parliament the Reform Party argued that the Bloc should not be the official opposition because it was not and could not be a government in waiting as defined by Erskine May.

The Reform Party has now put itself in the same category. It is not even a party in waiting. By admitting it cannot form a government without becoming something other than it is in name and substance, perhaps Stornoway should become empty again. Its current occupant appears to have forfeited the category that qualifies him for occupancy.

United Alternative
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Mississauga West, ON

Mr. Speaker,

It was a weekend to forget And while Reformers did fret The Tories said, “We won't unite” For them, Reform is too far right Canadians agree—you can bet. The pollsters, the pundits all Talked for hours about the call From leader to leader it went But Joe ignored the event On Reform it did cast a pall So it's back to the west Reform sends their best From talk show to talk show Their leader did blow With no success and little zest Now it's back to the board For the motley Reform hoard Who will search on and on For that magic wand To fool Canadians, who are bored. It's the same old crew— A pollster who asks—would you vote for a Jew? Against immigrants, refugees and all Unless of course, they bring money to the ball Reform is Reform—and that's all.

Minister Of Industry
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jim Jones Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, the lights are on at Industry Canada but nobody is home. In the past three months the Minister of Industry sang the virtues of high taxes as a way to improve productivity, turned a blind eye to federal loans to convicted criminal Yvon Duhaime and got caught with his pants down when the WTO ruled that Technology Partnerships Canada was an illegal subsidy.

Now we have news that the big banks, in particular the National Bank of Canada, are often misusing the federal small business financing program, costing the taxpayer hundreds of millions of dollars in bad loans.

What is the minister's response? The status quo. This is unacceptable. While Bill C-53 was a welcome improvement, we need a law and regulations with more teeth, we need penalties on banks that knowingly break the rules and we need a claims process that includes an assessment on whether banks reasonably evaluated loans.

The banks should not get taxpayer dollars to cover bad loans for business projects that clearly were not feasible. It is time for the industry minister to—

Minister Of Industry
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Anjou—Rivière-des-Prairies.

Semaine Internationale De La Francophonie
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Yvon Charbonneau Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the Semaine internationale de la francophonie, which will be held from March 14 to 20, some 75 organizations and associations promoting and protecting the French language will be involved in many activities.

Performances, exhibitions, literary competitions, discussions, organized events and socio-cultural conferences will go to make up an exciting program promoting French, a jewel requiring our constant protection in this very particular North American context.

These activities will take place in various regions in Quebec, and the festivities will be organized under the auspices of the honourary president, Gilbert Lacasse, the publisher of La Presse .

We therefore wish every success to the organizers of the Semaine internationale de la francophonie and thank them for contributing to the increasing awareness of one of our riches, the French language.

The Budget
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, according to the former premier of Quebec now a researcher for the Bloc Quebecois, the Government of Canada has declared war on Quebec. A fine idea. Especially, when we look at the misleading advertising of the PQ.

Here is the truth. Quebec will receive $954 per capita, over the next two years, therefore more than Ontario, which will receive $918. Then, they will both receive the same, $960.

With equalization payments, Quebec will receive $1,495 per capita in 1999-00, compared with $918 for Ontario. The Government of Quebec will receive an extraordinary equalization payment of $1.4 billion over the coming weeks.

Researcher Jacques Parizeau better go back to the drawing board.

The Budget
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Rimouski—Mitis.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the initiative of the Bloc Quebecois member for Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, the farmers of the lower St. Lawrence region have made their expectations known loud and clear as far as the next round of World Trade Organization negotiations are concerned.

They want to see Canada quit doing more than its competitors for the liberalization of markets, and do more to help them by investing heavily in R&D.

They are concerned about the attitude the federal government will adopt at the next round of negotiations of international agreements which are going to tend toward still greater liberalization of markets and they demand full respect for the consensual position of Quebec.

To quote Alain Bélanger, president of the symposium on agriculture and globalization, “I would have preferred to see Quebec at the table as a sovereign state. In the current context, rest assured that the Bloc Quebecois is going to act as a watchdog over the federal government in order to ensure that the interests of the farmers of Quebec are defended”.

Land Mines
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the people of Okanagan—Coquihalla to congratulate Canadians for brokering a treaty banning anti-personnel land mines.

This law takes effect today. But there is still a lot of work ahead. Canada must take a continued leadership role and invite more nations to become signatories to the anti-personnel land mine agreement. Canada must encourage signatories to abide by the treaty provisions and assist in the removal of anti-personnel land mines from war torn countries like Cambodia and Angola.

I congratulate the official opposition member from Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca who first raised the issue in the House. The good doctor spent many years treating land mine victims around the world. He has been a champion for banning anti-personnel land mines in order to save lives and limbs.

Canadians and this House have been well served by the tireless efforts of our official opposition colleague from Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca.

President Of The Queen's Privy Council For Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, most decidedly, the president of the privy council seems to not have been privy to any counsel.

He certainly needs some, for if he continues to blunder about from sea to sea, all of Canada will end up joining forces with the Quebec sovereignists in condemning federalism as it is being served up by this academic who has taken up a new career.

For example, last week in Edmundston, he was preaching the apocalypse to the Acadian minority, warning them of the dangers of Quebec sovereignty. What a fine example of paternalism, arrogance and ignorance.

This same minister, who has already said that Quebeckers needed to be made to suffer in order to learn an appreciation of Canada, is now preaching to the Acadians. He reminds them of their minority situation, agrees that they are suffering, but tells them that they could suffer even more. An editorial in the February 24 edition of l'Acadie nouvelle quite rightly spoke out resoundingly against him.

This is what has become of federalism—

President Of The Queen's Privy Council For Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Dartmouth.

Persons With Disabilities
Statements By Members

March 1st, 1999 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week nine national organizations sent a letter to the Prime Minister demanding an action plan with defined outcomes, with dollar amounts attached, to deal with the crushing problems facing the disabled, a responsibility centred within government to ensure new policy initiatives such as child tax credits for families with children with disabilities, an extension of the opportunity funds, mobility rights assured by national standards and a commitment to the ongoing removal of barriers that prohibit our participation in community life, and an action plan to address issues of aboriginal people with disabilities.

To the Prime Minister, the time is now. Disabled Canadians cannot wait any longer. The disabled are tired of being excluded in this country. It is time to exercise their will to act.