House of Commons Hansard #197 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

National Aboriginal Achievement Awards
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

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

Canadian Curling Championship
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Charleswood—Assiniboine, MB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of all Manitobans, I take this opportunity to extend sincere congratulations to Manitoba's very own Jeff Stoughton rink on winning the 1999 Canadian Curling Championship on Sunday. They were crowned Canadian champs after defeating Quebec by a score of 9 to 5 at the Labatt Brier in Edmonton.

The Manitoba rink hails from the Charleswood Curling Club in my riding of Charleswood St. James—Assiniboia. It is composed of skip Jeff Stoughton, third Jonathon Mead, second Gerry Van Den Berghe, lead Doug Armstrong and fifth member Steve Gould.

Not only was this the second Brier victory for Jeff Stoughton, it was also the 26th time that a Manitoba rink has won this prestigious event, far more than any other province. The Stoughton victory again shows that Manitoba is the curling capital of Canada.

All Manitobans are very proud of the accomplishments of Jeff Stoughton and his teammates and wish them the very best in their quest for the world crown in Scotland next month.

Health
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Ovid Jackson Bruce—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is an important day for women's health research in Canada. At a ceremony on Parliament Hill this morning, the first professional clinical research chairs in women's health were announced.

These research chairs, which will be among the most significant clinical research chairs in Canada, will be funded by Wyeth-Ayerst, Canadian universities and the Medical Research Council. A total of $4.4 million will be invested in women's health over the next five years.

The four researchers chosen by their peers to fill these chairs will be conducting research in such important areas as cardiovascular health, endocrinology and mental health.

On behalf of all members of the House, I extend my congratulations to these successful researchers who truly are at the top of their fields.

This is another tremendous example of this government's commitment to women's health research and working in partnership with the medical research community to improve the health of Canadians.

Canadian Police Information Centre
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Police Information Centre, CPIC, is operated through the national police service. This system allows police forces across the country to access criminal records. The Canadian Police Association says this priceless tool is in desperate need of resources to update the system. CPIC is 20 year old technology and it is on the verge of collapse.

Sharing information is vital to ensure accurate and complete reports on criminal activity and organized crime.

A revitalized and restored CPIC system would ensure tracking of offenders. An updated national system could include vehicle identification numbers to track stolen vehicles, escaped convicts and parolees gone AWOL.

Last week the Canadian Police Association estimated the cost to upgrade CPIC would be about $200 million. This government can easily find those dollars with one stroke of a pen.

Cancel the firearms registration program that tracks law-abiding citizens. Transfer the funds saved over to CPIC that will track criminals.

Sommet De La Francophonie
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, this being the Semaine de la Francophonie, I would like to remind the House about the Sommet de la Francophonie, an important meeting held every two years and attended by leaders of French speaking countries.

Every two years, they meet for three days of discussions on topical issues.

Canada plays a key role in the Francophonie. This role underscores its commitment to promoting the French fact both at home and abroad.

As there are over 8.5 million French speaking Canadians, Canada's membership in this organization provides it with an international forum for its national views and an opportunity to promote the French language and culture worldwide.

Long live the Francophonie and long live Canada.

Gratien Gélinas
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, today Quebec lost a great artist, with the death from Alzheimer's disease of Gratien Gélinas, at the age of 89. With his passing, Quebec has lost a great pioneer of Quebec theater.

The Bloc Quebecois wishes to extend its most sincere sympathies to Huguette Oligny, and the rest of his family.

This man of great generosity, and an even greater sense of humour, earned a deserved reputation as a master of his craft. He was the first to gain full recognition for Quebec theatre by creating truly Quebecois characters speaking Quebec French.

Many Quebec artists owe their careers to him to this day. His critical view of society was an integral part of all of his work. His characters, Fridolin, Ti-Coq and the like, have left an indelible mark on the history of Quebec.

Yesterday, he made us laugh. Today, his passing makes us weep. We shall never forget him.

Thank you, Mr. Gélinas.

Bell United Way
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate three students from my riding of Parkdale—High Park who have been chosen to participate as allocation and advisory panellists for the 1998-99 Bell United Way program.

Aidan Black-Allen, a grade 8 student at Runnymede Junior/Senior Public School, Kit Fairgrieve, a grade 12 student at Humberside Collegiate, and Ailen Pavumo, an OAC student at Parkdale Collegiate, have been selected to serve as advisers on program operations, reviews and the allocating of funds for project applications as well as assisting with program promotion and public relations.

These three students serve as role models for their peers as they give their time to worthy causes and agencies. Their involvement with the United Way has enabled them to gain solid experience in teamwork, decision making, leadership, organizational and communication skills.

The devotion, support and participation demonstrated by Aidan, Kit and Ailen are very much appreciated by both the United Way and our community. Congratulations and keep up the good work.

Standing Committee On Transport
Statements By Members

March 16th, 1999 / 2:05 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows that under our system standing committees have no power and only limited influence. Some of them, especially the Standing Committee on Transport, are becoming totally irrelevant.

The transport committee has not done anything significant since completing it passenger rail study in June. On December 1 it rubber stamped amendments to the Railway Safety Act. Since then it has met five times and done absolutely nothing.

Twice the committee has winnowed through a long wish list to come up with study topics acceptable to a majority of members. Twice that same majority has voted to reverse the previous decisions.

The first change in direction was due to blatant ministerial interference. Opposition members suspect that committee inactivity reflects the minister's wish that nothing controversial ever be addressed. The committee has not met, not even in camera, since March 2.

Ginette Reno
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to add my congratulations, and those of all Canadians, to Ginette Reno, who is to be honoured this afternoon at the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, with a reception hosted by the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Ginette Reno's career is a good illustration of Canadian cultural richness and diversity. Her success has gone far beyond the borders of Quebec, to English Canada, Europe and the United States. Her recently released album in English has earned her a nomination for the 1999 Juno Awards in the Best Female Vocalist category.

Canada has a number of good reasons to be proud of the exceptional accomplishments of Ginette Reno, and to pay her homage at the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, this week.

Thank you, Madame Reno.

Olympic Advocates Together Honourably
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Dennis Mills Broadview—Greenwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, today in Lausanne, Switzerland, OATH, an organization which stands for Olympic Advocates Together Honourably, was established.

OATH is a global coalition of Olympic athletes and advocates initiated by Canadians committed to restoring and maintaining the Olympic spirit. The coalition was formed in the context of allegations of questionable practices involving the IOC. As trustees of the Olympic spirit, they believe there is a pressing need for systemic reforms.

The basic principles of OATH are that it be an ethical, accountable, transparent, inclusive and democratic organization.

We extend congratulations to Belinda Stronach, Keith Stein, Mark Tweksbury and all the other Olympic athletes and their associates. As Canadians we are proud of them and we salute their initiative.

Poverty
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, it gives me no pleasure to note that over 5 million of our fellow Canadians, 1.5 million of them children, are living in poverty.

That means one in six people in the nation is faced daily with circumstances that generally include insufficient nourishment, substandard or non-existent housing and an increased vulnerability to illness.

The PC party of Canada has set up a task force on poverty co-chaired by my colleague from Shefford. Our first set of public hearings will be held in Saint John, New Brunswick on Friday coming. We will be in St. John's, Newfoundland on April 19 as part of a cross-country tour.

There are no easy solutions to this difficult problem. However, it is necessary to tackle the issue and so I encourage individuals and groups to attend our meetings. Together we can make recommendations to government in the hope that policies will be implemented to close the growing gap between the rich and poor.

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, today the steelworkers and aluminum workers union presented its official response to the federal government's defence in its dispute over discrimination against youth and women under the Employment Insurance Act.

What was the government's response? It avoided them saying that the applicants have no public interest in contesting the law.

It said that the surplus in the employment insurance fund does not belong to contributors.

It mocks pregnant women saying that its actions are not discriminatory, because pregnancy is a fact of nature, a contention contrary to the supreme court's decision in 1989. It continues to discriminate against young people.

The opposition to the changes to employment insurance comes from Force Jeunesse, la Coalition action-chômage, the CSN, the Quebec federation of labour, the Canadian Labour Congress and the thousands of workers that I met in my tour across Canada.

The consensus is clear. It is time the government assumed its responsibilities and changed employment insurance.

Gérald Larose
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, Gérald Larose has announced that he will not be seeking another term as the head of the CSN.

After 25 years of involvement in and devotion to the cause of Quebec workers, including 16 as the president of the CSN, he is and will remain an outstanding figure in Quebec's labour history.

During his long career, he was a part of every struggle for social progress: those of workers, of course, but those too of women, the disadvantaged and society's rejects.

An open and direct man, he always communicated with feeling the faults of a free market society and the need for a more equitable distribution of the collective wealth.

He is also an ardent defender of the idea of a sovereign Quebec, which, for him represents as much the normal democratic and national course of the people of Quebec as social justice.

The Bloc Quebecois salutes this great man and wishes him good luck in his next undertaking.

Impaired Driving
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, impaired drivers kill over 1,400 Canadians every year and injure over 60,000. The cost to our health care system each year runs in the billions of dollars. Millions of Canadians are crying out for us to put a stop to this senseless and 100% preventable crime.

Members of the House unanimously called on the government to put an end to impaired driving by instructing the justice committee to review and amend the Criminal Code to enhance deterrence and ensure the penalties reflect the seriousness of this 100% preventable crime.

For the first time in over a decade we have the opportunity to toughen up impaired driving laws and help stop the carnage on our highways. I urge my colleagues on the justice committee to demonstrate leadership and represent the wishes of millions of Canadians through amendments to the Criminal Code that will truly reflect Canada's zero tolerance attitude to this senseless and 100% preventable crime.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have to speak up and decide if our public broadcaster has a future. Considering the billion dollar expenditure and the historical prominence of this institution, it does not reflect well on us to stand by and watch which limb of the pejoratively named corpse will succumb first.

Lawrence Martin in the Montreal Gazette asks why we are ready to go to the wall with Canadian magazines yet falter at supporting the CBC that tells more Canadian stories in a week than magazines do in a year.

Susan Riley in the Ottawa Citizen points out the debasement of American television news with its persistent scandal coverage and warns Canadians to beware privatizing the CBC or it too will fall victim to ratings and dollars. Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson wrote that CBC management failed to reshape the corporation after the cuts.

I concur with the Calgary Herald that the CBC must stay independent of whatever party happens to be running the government. The CBC is glue to this country.