House of Commons Hansard #233 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was victims.

Topics

Astronaut Julie Payette
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, like many Quebecers, it was with much pride and emotion that I watched the space shuttle Discovery head skyward yesterday with Quebec's first female astronaut, Julie Payette, on board.

Space has fed the imaginations of many adolescents. Like many others, I dreamed of seeing a launch.

By taking her place on board Discovery , the astronaut from Quebec is not just realizing her dream, but is ensuring that her name will go down in history.

Over the next ten days Julie will help to assemble the international space station.

Yesterday morning, I relived the strong emotions I felt 17 years ago, on June 27, 1982, when I had the opportunity of being at the Kennedy Space Centre for the launch of the fourth Columbia mission.

Bravo Julie. All of Quebec is behind her and our thoughts are with her in this adventure which transforms imagination into reality.

Windsor And Essex County
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Rick Limoges Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to tell everyone a little about Windsor and Essex county. We are the automotive capital of Canada and the birthplace of Hiram Walker's and Canadian Club whiskey that has made Canadian distillers respected the world over.

We boast the busiest border crossing in North America and enjoy a larger GNP than seven of Canada's provinces.

Casino Windsor has not only turned into one of the area's largest employers, it is also Canada's biggest tourist attraction.

Visitors can enjoy a “Two Nation Vacation”, by taking the 10 minute drive across our friendly border. Visitors can experience major league sports or world class arts and entertainment and easily return to Canada for an evening stroll in our lovely riverfront parks or a meal in one of our numerous and delightful restaurants and bistros.

I could go on and on. Suffice it to say that we welcome visitors from all over to join us in Windsor and Essex County for a vacation they will not forget even if they do not win big at the casino.

Port Authority Boards
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, patronage appointments to the new port authorities are getting completely out of hand. We are not naive on this side of the House. We do expect a little bit of this stuff. However, there must surely be somebody out there, who is not a Liberal, who could chair one of the new port authorities. He does not have to be a well known Liberal operator like Mel Woodward or Merv Russell for example.

I have a news flash. Patrick Wong, former member of the Fraser River Harbour Commission and an executive of the B.C. Liberal Party, has been appointed to the Fraser River Port Authority Board and is now the chairman. In 1996 and 1997 he and his accounting firm donated $5,380 to the Liberal Party.

The creation of new port authorities was supposed to take politics out of the ports, but the slimy dance continues.

Riding Of Brome—Missisquoi
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, big things are happening in Brome—Missisquoi.

In the last election campaign, I made a commitment to promote cross-border shopping in our area by our American neighbours. A new magazine, The Shopper , will be distributed in Vermont twice a month to encourage shoppers to come to Brome—Missisquoi.

Vermont, which is located right next to my riding, offers a highly attractive market for our businesses. I thank Economic Development Canada for its contribution to this extraordinary project.

Congratulations to all the people in Magog, Bromont, Farnham, Bedford and Knowlton who have made this shopping guide possible. It will be launched officially at the end of this month.

Welcome to all the U.S. shoppers who will be coming into our area. Welcome to Brome-Missisquoi, fellow Americans.

The Balkans
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the humanitarian crisis in the Balkans has escalated to the breaking point. In recent days the Yugoslav army has stepped up its cleansing activities and ethnic Albanians are again flocking to seek refuge in neighbouring countries.

I have just returned from Macedonia where as many as 10,000 people a day, 500 people per hour, are flooding across the border and into refugee camps that are already bursting at the seams. Imagine a fenced gravel compound no bigger than the parking lot of a shopping centre housing 30,000 people or more with no cooking facilities, the barest of sanitation and as many as 20 people to a tent.

The very old and the very young are already at risk from the extreme heat of the summers in that region and relief workers are even more concerned at the prospects this winter.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees is calling for donor countries to host many more of these refugees in a humanitarian evacuation program. Canada is hosting 5,000 currently. There is an urgent need in the Balkans to do much more. I believe we could double or triple our commitment.

The Environment
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, we now have the first portrait of the agro-environmental situation on Quebec farms.

The participation rate of 88%, representing 20,360 operations, makes it an extensive and valuable survey. This project, an initiative of the Union des producteurs agricoles made possible through the co-operation of many partners, is a first in Quebec and in North America.

The high rate of participation by farmers is an indication of their wish to help protect the environment and to make changes in their daily practices.

The next step will be to analyse the data collected and produce regional and sectoral portraits, which will give us a baseline and help identify future priorities.

I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the agricultural sector and all stakeholders in Quebec's agri-food sector on this initiative aimed at building a healthy environment for sustainable growth.

Premier Of Ontario
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Eugène Bellemare Carleton—Gloucester, ON

Mr. Speaker, with an election campaign in full swing, Ontario's premier, Mike Harris, says that Franco-Ontarians in the Ottawa region are living in the past in their efforts to keep the Montfort hospital open.

This is the same Mr. Harris I ran across in Montreal during Quebec's last referendum. He was there to show that he cared about Quebec's francophones. Today he is bent on destroying the only French language teaching hospital in his province.

This is a strange way of promoting the future of Franco-Ontarians and Canadian unity.

Industry Canada
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, HRDC is not the only department running afoul of the information commissioner. For over three years Industry Canada has refused to explain why it ignored its own published rules in the awarding of digital PCS licences.

One of the unsuccessful bidders, TeleZone Inc. of Toronto, tried to find answers through the Access to Information Act. Industry Canada's stonewalling led the information commissioner to conclude that the department had wrongfully denied TeleZone's request for information.

Consequently, the Federal Court of Canada is now reviewing the industry minister's refusal to act upon the recommendations of the information commissioner.

Meanwhile TeleZone has launched a $250 million civil lawsuit against the Government of Canada which will no doubt result in lengthy litigation.

If PCS licensing decisions in 1995 can bear public scrutiny, why is the Minister of Industry refusing to listen to the information commissioner? Is there a political angle? Will taxpayers be left holding the bag for Liberal incompetence again and again?

Gasoline Pricing
Statements By Members

May 28th, 1999 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, constituents of mine are contacting me to complain about gasoline prices and their wild fluctuations in our region.

Earlier this month, the people of Ottawa went to bed with gasoline retailing at 46.9 cents a litre. The next morning when they woke up pretty well every station was retailing gasoline at 57.9 cents a litre, an increase of 11 cents overnight.

Good morning, Ottawa, compliments of your favourite retail or wholesale gas company.

What on earth could possibly happen during the night to cause all gasoline retailers in this region to increase overnight their prices in the same amounts? With examples such as this one, how can one not think that they are on the losing end of unsavoury practices?

My constituents and I would be curious to hear the explanations of the gasoline retailers or the large gasoline companies. How do they explain these overnight massive increases?

Public Works Canada
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca Public Works Canada, through this Liberal government, is ripping off the taxpayers of Esquimalt.

Public Works has deliberately changed the values of government lands causing them to be undervalued deliberately. This is causing a great deal of problems in my riding. They are saying that CFB Esquimalt is going to be closing in three years. That is news to everyone but the people in my riding.

This has resulted in an increase in municipal taxes of 8% within one year by virtue of the government yanking away grants in lieu of taxes, which it did within a couple of months. This is grossly unfair. It has resulted in an 8% increase in municipal taxes. The municipality cannot balance its budget in that period of time.

The feds need to give the municipalities at least a one year notice. It needs to value the land fairly on the basis of what the B.C. assessment has done and stop trying to rip off the taxpayer in another way.

Centre De Recherche En Infectiologie
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw attention to the excellent work done by the Quebec research team under Dr. Michel Bergeron, the director of the microbiology division, and the Centre de recherche en infectiologie at Laval University.

Through recent discoveries, such as DNA based tests permitting the identification of bacteria in under an hour instead of 48 hours, we have entered a new age in medicine.

We are therefore now able to process in record time and very precisely a vast number of analyses and create new, very specific tests.

By way of example, in veterinary medicine they are now able to identify very quickly the bacteria causing mastitis in cows, do transgenic tests and xenogeneic grafts. In the near future, a standard kit that will quickly indicate whether an infection is of a bacterial origin will be one of the instruments developed by this team.

Congratulations to all the researchers and to the directors of the Centre de recherche en infectiologie at Laval University, a real jewel in international medicine.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, evidence continues to pour in that Canadians are getting to keep less and less of their hard earned income. Today Statistics Canada says once again this year that their take home pay has been reduced because the finance minister continues to gouge more and more tax dollars out of their pockets.

It is even worse when we compare it to an American family. The average Canadian family takes home $28,000 less than its American counterpart. Why does the finance minister think that he has the right to demand more from Canadian families than ever before?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again one might ask the Reform Party member to quote from the entire study.

It also showed that average hourly earnings for employees is up 1.4% from last March. It showed that employment increased this March as employers added 38,000 additional workers to their payrolls. I would suggest that the whole study be examined.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I wish we could get some good news from that, but regardless of those facts average families get to take home less money than they did a year ago. Their savings accounts are cleaned out. They are cashing in their RRSPs. They do not get to take home as much money as they used to.

The president of the chamber of commerce says that politicians have a keen interest in muddying the debate on tax relief just to justify their increased spending. That is what the finance minister is doing.

Why do the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance think the money of Canadian families is better off in the government coffers than in their own pockets to look after their own families?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in his preamble the hon. member said that Canadians want some good news. Well, let us give them good news.

Retail sales in the month of March were up 1.1%. Nominal merchandise exports are up. The fact is our trade surplus is up. The OECD expects Canada to have the second highest growth in 1999 and the highest growth of all G-7 countries in the year 2000.

I will go on, but I know you may cut me off, Mr. Speaker. Manufacturing shipments were up 2% in March. There is a whole list of good news and that is a—