House of Commons Hansard #205 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nato.

Topics

The Late Jacques Girard
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we were saddened to hear of the death of Quebec's chief electoral officer, Jacques Girard, at the age of 41, following a long illness.

Mr. Girard succeeded Pierre-F. Côté as director general and chairman of the Commission de la représentation électorale du Québec. He was a talented individual known for his conscientious and rigorous performance of his duties, whether in the legal services of Quebec's chief electoral officer, or in Quebec's Department of Revenue.

Mr. Girard was devoted to the democratic process. He knew that our electoral process guarantees the legitimacy of our political system and he ensured the full integrity of that process. In person, and through his position, he therefore epitomized the most noble instincts of every Quebecker and Canadian.

We extend our deepest condolences to the members of his family.

Grand River
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the fifth anniversary that the Grand River was named a Canadian heritage river.

Community efforts under the guidance of the Grand River Conservation Authority have improved the health of the Grand River watershed, increased heritage awareness and fostered a greater understanding of ecotourism.

The GRCA provides technical assistance to landowners, community groups, schools and municipalities through workshops, volunteer events, information products and logistics.

Since 1990 visits to the Grand River have increased 30% with 1.1 million visitors in 1998 alone. This has led to new jobs and economic benefits to communities all along the Grand River, including my riding of Cambridge.

I congratulate the GRCA on its ongoing success.

Kosovo
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, very few people want war and most would avoid it at at almost any cost.

In the case of Kosovo, most Canadians agree that our involvement with NATO is a better option than allowing killing and persecution of Kosovar Albanians to continue and accelerate.

Most of us take our position more as observers than as participants, but the men and women of the Canadian forces are involved in a very direct and real way. As of yesterday we have close to 200 pilots and support personnel from 4 Wing, Cold Lake, which is in my riding, serving out of Italy. This means that families are separated for long periods of time, leaving spouses and children of pilots and ground crew wondering if their husbands, fathers, wives and mothers will return safely.

At the same time as we take pride that our personnel are among the world's best, we are also very concerned for their safety. I know that my heart and my prayers are with our members and their families as they serve this noble cause.

I have a special message to the personnel serving out of Cold Lake: “serve well and come home safely”.

Western Provinces
Statements By Members

April 12th, 1999 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Charleswood—Assiniboine, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report to the House that the Prime Minister's task force on the four western provinces, which I chair, spent the Easter break meeting and consulting with Manitobans.

The response to this initiative was overwhelming. Over three days, task force members met with over 60 individuals and organizations across the province. Manitobans spoke to us about issues as diverse as the plight of our aboriginal peoples, the need for another infrastructure program, immigration issues and social programs.

This initiative was announced to complement the work of our western caucus and give western Canadians another opportunity to shape the national agenda as the government nears the middle of our second mandate.

The response we had throughout Manitoba proves one thing, western Canadians welcome opportunities to have input into the government's decision making process. I look forward to our future visits to Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C.

On behalf of the task force members, I would like to thank all those Manitobans who took the time to come and speak to us.

Nouvelle Scène
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, after ten years of hard work and a lengthy fundraising campaign, a great dream has been realized today.

Today, a theatre for Ottawa's French speaking community is opening up on King Edward Avenue. The Nouvelle Scène will now house, under one roof, the Théâtre du Trillium, the Compagnie Vox Théâtre, the Théâtre de la Vieille 17, and the Théâtre de la Catapulte.

The Nouvelle Scène will also host francophone theatre companies from the region, Canada and French speaking countries throughout the world.

I wish the Nouvelle Scène every success and I urge my colleagues to pay it a visit and enjoy some great theatre. Break a leg, as they say.

The Late Jacques Girard
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec and Canada lost a great shaper of democracy.

On April 10, at the early age of 41, Jacques Girard, the directeur général des élections du Québec and head of the Commission de la représentation électorale, died of cancer.

Appointed to these duties by the National Assembly last July 13, Mr. Girard earned the respect and admiration of all the members of his team, and all political parties, with the high degree of competency and enthusiasm he put into this work, and his big heart.

Not only was Jacques Girard appreciated in Quebec, of course, but he was also greatly appreciated in Canada, where he occupied the position of Director of Legal Services at Elections Canada from 1992 to 1998. He also made a name abroad with his participation in technical assistance and observation missions in elections in many countries such as Russia, Haiti and Mexico.

I have warm memories of this likeable, warm, competent, always approachable man, with whom I had the pleasure and privilege of working. May I extend my sincere condolences to Mr. Girard's family and friends on behalf of the Bloc Quebecois.

Yugoslavia
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, today we will have what is called a take note debate in the House of Commons about what is happening in Yugoslavia.

The details of the procedure have yet to be finalized, but what is absolutely clear is that many Canadians feel that parliament has not adequately dealt with this issue, that somehow our way of dealing with such issues is not commensurate with their importance.

Indeed, when we think of the fact that we have votes on all kinds of less important things in this place and debate matters longer, it is clear that such take note debates on general motions with no votes do not create a parliamentary mandate. Instead they run the risk of being treated like a blank cheque and being held up as parliamentary approval for future actions when no such thing took place.

This government's record on meaningfully consulting the House of Commons when it comes to NATO matters is not a good one. For example, we were the only NATO country whose parliament did not formally debate the expansion of NATO.

The NDP calls on the government to be open to more meaningful debate and urges that at the very least the Minister of Foreign Affairs make a ministerial statement in the House tomorrow after he comes back from Brussels.

Montfort Hospital
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, in this Année canadienne de la francophonie, Gisèle Lalonde and SOS Montfort are in court today to achieve recognition of the rights of Ontario francophones to their health institutions, and to the maintenance of the only francophone hospital west of the Ottawa River.

The Bloc Quebecois has been pleased to provide its support to the efforts of Ontario francophones on behalf of the survival of this health care facility, which is also a French language teaching hospital.

It is unacceptable that francophones in the rest of Canada must go to court in order to gain recognition of their most essential rights, to receive an education and health care in their language, at a time when the French speaking community in Canada is more fragile than ever, as the latest census data prove.

The Bloc Quebecois wishes to assure Gisèle Lalonde, the Montfort Hospital board, and the franco-Ontarian community, of Quebeckers' support in their efforts to gain respect for their fundamental rights.

Member For Whitby—Ajax
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Judi Longfield Whitby—Ajax, ON

Mr. Speaker, fellow members of parliament, I am back.

I want to thank the hundreds of you who sent get well wishes to me in Germany during my 27 day stay at the Johanniter Krachenhaus hospital in Bonn, and then upon my return to Canada in mid-February.

I am pleased to report that I am well on the way to a full recovery.

I return to parliament with a renewed appreciation for our health care system without which an episode such as I have recently experienced may well have bankrupt both me and my family.

I also want to express my deepest appreciation to Professor Moebius and his medical team, to the staff of the Canadian embassy in Bonn, and most particularly Ambassador Gaetan Lavertu and Dennis Lance who made daily visits to my bedside with news from home.

I want to send a very special thank you to the residents of Whitby—Ajax who kept both florists and card companies flourishing.

I also take this opportunity to publicly thank my staff here and in the riding for their tremendous efforts on behalf of my constituents during my time of illness.

Member For Whitby—Ajax
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

Welcome home, Judi.

National Post
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jim Jones Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, fine whine was the highlight of the commentary section in Saturday's National Post .

Readers were subjected to the same tired excuses from the Prime Minister as to why a convicted criminal and an admitted embezzler under investigation got $2.3 million in federal grants and loans for hotel projects in his riding.

Pathetic protests from the Prime Minister do nothing to restore public confidence, especially when Liberal cabinet ministers and backbenchers do much to prevent Parliament from uncovering the truth.

Instead of writing a four page missive to the National Post , why will the Prime Minister not prove his integrity by tabling all documents in the possession of his office on his involvement in the Duhaime and Thibault projects? Better yet, why will he not invoke section 11 of the Auditor General Act to direct that office to conduct an independent audit of both deals? Anything less makes the Prime Minister's whine of integrity taste very sour.

Toronto Lodge 1600
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, March 19, I had the honour of attending the grand opening of Toronto Lodge No. 1600 of the Loyal Order of Moose. Toronto Lodge 1600 has been in existence for 84 years but this occasion marked the first time that the lodge has owned its own building.

During the evening's festivities, certificates were presented to those members of the community who helped make this grand opening possible. The following people and organizations were honoured for their contributions: Torbram Electric, Lawrence Cohen, Tom Campagnolo Construction, Trevor Gabb, Canada Cartage, Mike Mastrotucci, Al McWhirter, Larry Huard, Ken McCalla, Innovative Securities, Vera-Ann Kalbol and Dennis Packer of Unistar Communications.

Organizations such as the Toronto lodge have made community service a cornerstore of their every day life. They are hard at work giving their time and effort to make our community a better place to live by supporting both local and international charitable organizations and programs.

I offer my congratulations to all members of the Toronto Lodge No. 1600 of the Loyal Order of Moose. I welcome them to the riding of Parkdale—High Park.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians across the country generally support Canada's involvement in the NATO campaign to stop Serb aggression in Kosovo. They want to see ethnic Albanians resettled to live in peace and democracy in Kosovo.

Today in Brussels, NATO foreign ministers are gathered to assess the best means of obtaining that peace. I wonder whether the Prime Minister would tell the House what message our foreign minister took to that meeting in Brussels on behalf of Canadians.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to say thanks for the support that all the parties have given to activities of the Canadian Armed Forces in NATO.

This morning when the minister was in Brussels he took the message that has been the same since the beginning. We want to make sure that it is possible for the Kosovars to go home safely, that the ethnic cleansing Mr. Milosevic started more than a year ago is terminated as quickly as possible, and that we maintain the plan which was agreed to by all members of NATO some weeks ago.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen and other senior American officials called Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic a war criminal. The American president's chief of staff called for his removal from office as a necessary precondition of Serbia's regaining its status as a democratic nation.

Does the government support these statements? If so, how do we negotiate for peace with a leader who has been labelled a war criminal?