House of Commons Hansard #209 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreement.

Topics

Canadian Hemophilia Society
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that April 17, 1999 is World Hemophilia Day.

This year in Canada approximately 50 newborns will be diagnosed with hemophilia, an inherited blood clotting condition caused by deficiency of two blood proteins.

The impact of hepatitis C and HIV-AIDS on the hemophilia community has been devastating, bringing many challenges. The Canadian Hemophilia Society provides support and services to Canadians who live with the disease. The society has responded to the increased challenges with programs and services that endeavour to meet the needs of all persons living with hemophilia and those also infected with hepatitis C and/or HIV-AIDS.

Please join me in congratulating the Canadian Hemophilia Society and its compassionate volunteers for their work and dedication.

Nisga'A Treaty
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Reform

Jim Gouk West Kootenay—Okanagan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Nisga'a treaty is winding its way through the B.C. legislature. The NDP government is ramming it through using something the Liberals are well familiar with: closure. The federal Liberals have indicated they intend to ram it through parliament, likely using closure as well.

Are these two governments right or wrong? I guess that depends on your point of view. If these governments are dictatorships, then I guess they can do whatever they want. However, if they are a democracy, they have to listen to the people, a rather bothersome concept for both of these parties.

What are the people of B.C. saying? Three regional plebiscites on the Nisga'a treaty have all rejected it by over 90%. The 25 public meetings I held in my riding indicate the same level of rejection.

British Columbians want aboriginal issues settled, but in a manner that works for all. A treaty that places aboriginal assets and powers in the hands of a few does not benefit most aboriginal members. A treaty that provides special benefits to a few on the basis of race does not resolve past differences for anyone. If the Liberals want to end western alienation, they had better start listening to the people of the west, all of them.

International Year Of Older Persons
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations has designated 1999 as the International Year of Older Persons. Canada has one of the most rapidly aging societies in the world. In 1951 less than 10% of the population was over 65 years of age, but 30 years from now, we can expect one in five Canadians to be over 65.

However, our seniors are vital participants in all walks of life. In Canada 69% of seniors provide some kind of support or help to spouses, children, grandchildren, friends and neighbours. An estimated 23% of Canadian seniors contribute some time each week to unpaid volunteerism and the value of that volunteerism is estimated to be as much as $2.3 billion per year. Seniors are also the largest per capita donors to charities.

These are but a few of the reasons why it is appropriate for 1999 to have been designated the International Year of Older Persons. This is our year and our special opportunity to honour and thank our seniors for their special contribution to the lives of all Canadians from sea to sea to sea.

China
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Reg Alcock Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, whenever a Chinese leader visits Canada there is always the public discussion of human rights in China.

This is an important issue and needs to be discussed. However, the debate often obscures another reality in China.

This was brought home to me last week when I visited a small rural village in the mountains of Guangdong province in southern China. There I met a young woman who told me a story about Premier Zhu Rongi, when he first became premier, who, when he saw the poverty that so many Chinese live in, said, with tears in his eyes, “What kind of premier am I that our people live in such poverty”.

As a result, Premier Zhu is working hard to bring decent health care to rural China. He insists that all children get an education and he strives every day to create the conditions that will give those children a better future.

This is a perspective that is not often heard in North America and one that we should consider when we rush to condemn.

United States Customs
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Erie—Lincoln, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have very serious concerns on the U.S. administration's proposed fee for the use of the U.S. customs' automated system. Canada moves by truck. Close to 80% of merchandise trade with the United States is by road. Members in the Chamber appreciate that this fee, being considered to help fund a much needed upgrade of automated commercial operations, would increase the cost of Canadian exports to the United States.

We acknowledge the need for and efficiency of upgraded automated commercial operations. Indeed, it has become an essential and vital component of international trade. Goods and the information associated with them must travel quickly to respond to the needs of just in time inventory management systems and the pressures of global competition.

I suggest the proposed new levy would be a customs user fee of the type that is prohibited by Article 310 of NAFTA and therefore inconsistent with U.S. obligations under NAFTA.

I commend the Minister of International Trade and the Canadian ambassador in Washington for registering our strong opposition and urge them to vigorously continue this challenge. Canadian traders deserve nothing less.

Saskatchewan Nurses
Statements By Members

April 16th, 1999 / 11 a.m.

Reform

Jim Pankiw Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, as a former health care practitioner and now as a member of parliament from Saskatchewan, I am appalled by the undemocratic and arrogant action taken by NDP Premier Roy Romanow to end the nurses strike in our province.

While refusing to represent the interests of health care workers, the Saskatchewan government has rammed through back to work legislation in just six hours. Now the NDP is threatening the provinces nurses with fines and jail time if they do not comply.

The actions of Saskatchewan's NDP premier are causing hospital closures and forcing patients to seek treatment out of province. This is because the NDP will not bargain in good faith with nurses and the government refuses to enter binding arbitration. Consequently, nurses are being forced to accept unfair wages. As a result, the nursing shortage and poor working conditions will continue.

Hopefully Saskatchewan voters, just like their counterparts did in Ontario and as they will soon do in British Columbia, will vote to remove yet another out of touch, socialist NDP government.

Sechelt First Nations
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

David Iftody Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, today our government marks another important milestone in Canada's history with a treaty signing with the Sechelt First Nations in British Columbia.

In the short time since we began charting a new course with the aboriginal people under our initiative called Gathering Strength, we have concluded landmark treaty agreements with the Sechelt and Nisga'a in British Columbia, and we have witnessed the birth of a new territory called Nunavut. These historic events reflect the spirit behind Gathering Strength.

Each agreement reflects solutions that are uniquely suited to the needs and aspirations of various aboriginal communities, respecting the diversity of our country that is a hallmark of Canadian federation.

This government has demonstrated its dedication to fairness and justice through the negotiation of honourable treaties. We are determined to reconcile the past so that we can plan for a brighter future.

Today, with aboriginal people in Canada, we share our common future with pride and dignity.

Bilingualism
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

René Canuel Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian federal policy on bilingualism is a failure.

Out of one million francophones who were living outside Quebec in 1996, 350,000 have been assimilated by English speaking Canadians in their daily activities.

This is not the opinion of Quebec sovereignists, nor even of representatives of Canada's francophone minority, but of Neil Morrisson, who was the secretary of the royal commission on bilingualism and biculturalism, 30 years ago.

In spite of the superficial changes made over the past 30 years, there has never been a concrete and effective plan of action to reverse this tendency, which leads directly to the integration of hundreds of thousands of francophones in Canada.

Quebec, through Bill 101, which was sponsored by the late Camille Laurin, passed effective legislation to ensure that French would thrive in Quebec. Will the federal government have the courage to take concrete action before it is too late?

Equality Day
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford, ON

Mr. Speaker, April 17 is equality day.

This day marks the 17th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is a remarkable initiative taken by the government of the Right Hon. Pierre Trudeau.

The Liberal government and the Prime Minister are committed to the principles in the charter and the resultant jurisprudence, just as we are dedicated to the linkage between human rights and economic prosperity with our trading partners.

The charter of rights and freedoms guarantees freedoms already enjoyed by Canadians and formulates new rights. The charter broke new constitutional ground respecting mobility rights, equality rights, minority language educational rights, gender equity and multiculturalism.

Since 1982 courts at all levels have dealt with thousands of charter cases, some decisions seriously impacting public policy debate. All Canadians can be proud that this is a country which celebrates equality and human rights.

Wayne Gretzky
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Reform

Cliff Breitkreuz Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, December 30, 1981. I will never forget that night.

Wayne Gretzky took to the ice with seconds remaining on the clock. The Great One was only one point away from scoring 50 goals in 39 games. My sons were cheering. I, along with thousands of fans were chanting, “Come on, Wayne, let's go. Come on, Wayne, let's go”.

The puck found Wayne's stick as if by magnetic attraction. The Flyers could only watch as Wayne made that memorable shot.

He shoots, he scores and the fans went wild. Single-handedly, Wayne Gretzky brought finesse back to hockey. With it, he brought untold delight and sheer wonder to millions of fans in North America and throughout the world.

Wayne is in a class by himself. Wow, what a Canadian. There will never be another like No. 99. Now his records belong to the ages.

On behalf of all Canadians, thank you, Wayne, thank you very much.

Benny Farm Veterans Housing Complex
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to recognize and congratulate three heroes in my riding of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine.

At about 9.30 a.m. on Thursday, March 11, 1999, residents of one of the new buildings in the Benny Farm Veterans Housing complex were alerted to a fire in a ground floor apartment at 3500 Benny.

Janitor Deszo Bogdanyi; co-ordinator of technical operations, Patrice Bouvette; and maintenance man, Robert Gadbois, all members of the maintenance staff of Canada Lands Corporation, were able to guide everyone to safety.

While one woman was left with severe burns and many apartments were flooded, residents were quick to credit these three men with the prevention of further injuries and damage, thanks to their quick, efficient and selfless actions. The new building's cement walls and extensive sprinkler system were also instrumental in helping to contain the fire.

For these three men to enter that burning apartment in total darkness and dense smoke to rescue a wheelchair bound woman and her unconscious husband is truly a deed of heroic proportions.

I congratulate them.

Wayne Gretzky
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, today is Wayne Gretzky day in Canada.

Today all eyes are on the Great One, Wayne Gretzky, the most outstanding hockey player ever, as he agonizes as to whether he should continue to play professional hockey for another year or not.

We, as representatives of the citizens of Canada, wish to acknowledge that no single player has done so much to elevate the status and quality of Canada's national sport as has Wayne Gretzky.

Wayne Gretzky symbolizes what is best about hockey and about sports generally. Not only is he an outstanding hockey player and athlete, but he is also an outstanding citizen of Canada.

As he deliberates on his future at this hour, we wish him well. In the event he decides to retire, we urge the Government of Canada to consider appointing Wayne Gretzky as Canada's permanent ambassador of hockey.

Social Inequality
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to Statistics Canada, between 1970 and 1995, wealth has gradually been concentrated in fewer hands.

This confirms the statement that “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer”.

During this period, the share of the aggregate income going to families at the bottom of the income ladder diminished somewhat, while the share of families at the top increased.

Statistically speaking, between 1970 and 1995, the increase in the actual average family income varies from 19.4%, in the case of families at the bottom of the income ladder, to 37% for families at the top. The result is that 30% of the families held a greater share of the aggregate income in 1995 than they did in 1970, while 70% of all families had to do with less.

Do we still need to remind the House that this even greater concentration of wealth calls for a comprehensive review of our ability to reduce social inequality, in this era of globalization? When will we have the courage to do such a review?

Bloc Quebecois
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the sovereignists' violons are not always in tune.

On the weekend, in Rivière-du-Loup, the Bloc Quebecois will be voting on proposals that may give their cousins in the Parti Quebecois some food for thought.

The Bloc members will be asking the Quebec Premier, Pierre Bouchard, sorry, Lucien Bouchard, to cut the focus on his personal views on Quebec's partnership with the rest of Canada.

In fact, the Bloc wants to cut Pierre Bouchard, oh, sorry, Lucien Bouchard's power to decide the next referendum.

Perhaps Jacques Parizeau, the new Bloc Quebecois researcher, has something to do with this. We will see on the weekend whether Jacques Parizeau or Pierre, oops, Lucien Bouchard wins at arm wrestling.

Perhaps Premier Pierre, or rather, Lucien Bouchard will wonder just what the Bloc is doing in Ottawa, as others are doing.

Fisheries
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I recently received a fax from a constituent, Phylys Wolfe, who wonders just how many more hare-brained scams the government can think up to drive fishermen crazy and into the poor house.

This time it is a MED and safety and firefighting survival course on board fishing boats. This law was supposed to be in effect since 1997 but no one thought to tell the fishermen about it until this winter.

There are 3,200 licences in the Scotia Fundy region, representing about 10,000 fishermen. The government expects all these fishermen to take this course. This will cost every fisherman $700 out of their own pockets for this five day course. There are only five people in all of Nova Scotia to teach this course and they can handle only 24 people per course. Those who do not have a certificate for this course are liable to lose their boat, their licence or receive a fine.

If a skipper hires a crew for one week, one month or two days, that person is supposed to have this course. Now—