House of Commons Hansard #242 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was culture.

Topics

Parliamentary Internship Program
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today not only as a member of parliament but also as a former parliamentary intern.

Thirty years ago, inspired by Alf Hales and James Hurley, this House passed a motion creating the parliamentary internship program. The program is now run by the Canadian Political Science Association and gives young people an inside look at our parliament.

Today there are 300 alumni across the country and around the world. They are leaders in government, academia, business, law, advocacy and diplomacy.

A Parliamentary Internship Alumni Association was launched on May 13 to promote strong connections among current and ex-interns. The event took place in the house where Sir John A. Macdonald lived and was attended by 100 ex-interns. It was a great success thanks to help from the British High Commission and the Institute on Governance.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank you for agreeing to serve as the association's honorary patron.

Cyprus
Statements By Members

June 10th, 1999 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 25th anniversary of the division of Cyprus.

Cyprus has been in a constant state of conflict for the past quarter of a century. Currently there is no political settlement in sight. A peaceful, just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem is necessary for the security, political, economic and social well-being of all Cypriots.

The United Nations has reaffirmed its position on the parameters for a diplomatic resolution and in December 1998 called for the reduction of tensions on the island, including the de-mining along the buffer zone as initially proposed by Canada.

The Cypriot community in my riding of Kitchener Centre has indicated its wish to see peace for Cyprus, and for Canada to play a leadership role. I am pleased this matter will be on the agenda of the G-8 meeting later this month.

As chair of the Canada-Cyprus Friendship Group, I believe it is important to recognize this anniversary and for all members of this House to be aware of the political problems that Cypriots face each and every day.

Juvenile Diabetes
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in the House to pay tribute to Dr. Alex Rabinovitch and the University of Alberta.

As part of the partnership between the Medical Research Council of Canada and the Diabetes Research Foundation, Dr. Rabinovitch was chosen, along with Dr. Diane Finegood from Simon Fraser University, to lead a network of health research experts in the area of juvenile diabetes.

Dr. Rabinovitch has been the recipient of numerous honour awards for exceptional medical research, and because of the outstanding work of individuals like him, the University of Alberta will soon be indisputably recognized, both nationally and internationally, as one of Canada's finest universities in amongst a handful of the world's very best.

On behalf of the official opposition, I wish Dr. Rabinovitch and his team the best of luck in their efforts to tackle the crippling disease of juvenile diabetes.

Forest Research
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the exceptional work being done by the Consortium de la recherche sur la forêt boréale commerciale, of the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, which was selected by the Conseil de la recherche forestière du Québec for the Méritas 1999 award. This award highlights the role and work of the consortium, the activities of which are co-ordinated by researcher Réjean Gagnon.

The consortium, which is involved in very important work, such as research on the boreal forest and sustainable development, is seen in Quebec as a model of co-operation and rapprochement between the research community and users.

The new soil protection and recuperation method developed by the consortium will change reforestation practices and approach throughout Quebec. The presence of such organizations in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region can only further spur the growth of this already very dynamic region.

We wish you much success in this groundbreaking work—

Forest Research
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

We will now proceed to oral questions.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, all members of the House welcome the news that NATO and the Yugoslav generals signed an agreement last night, since ratified by a UN resolution today, that clears the way for implementing a peace plan in Kosovo.

The bombing has been suspended. Yugoslav security forces are withdrawing from that province and hopefully hundreds of thousands of refugees will soon be returning to their homes.

Is not today an appropriate time for the House to formally extend its congratulations to our Canadian Armed Forces that have done us proud once again and to our NATO allies for this great achievement, but also to extend our goodwill to those moderate Serbs who have demanded that their leaders accept this peace agreement?

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his question. That is exactly the reason I wanted the occasion at 3 o'clock to make a statement extending congratulations to our soldiers who have done an excellent job there and to the Americans.

I talked with President Clinton and Prime Minister Blair earlier this morning. There will be more to say when I give my statement.

I take this occasion to thank the parties in the House of Commons for the support they have given to the position of the government. Despite the differences we might have, when there is a question of principle like this we have shown that we can be united and stand strong and firm in defence of the values which are so dear to Canadian people.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the maintenance and enforcement of the Kosovo peace agreement, including the protection of returning refugees, is very much dependent on the success now of the peacekeeping operation which must take place.

The peacekeeping forces, now under a UN mandate, will roll into Kosovo within days and Canada will be among them. Canadians would now like to know the details of what our troops will be doing.

I ask the defence minister what specific role our troops will be called upon to fulfil and how long we can expect them to be in Kosovo.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the initial group that will go into Kosovo, hopefully tomorrow, will involve approximately 100 Canadians who will accompany the British fourth brigade. They will be the engineers who will go in to help clear the roadways and routes for the troops who will follow them.

We also have a reconnaissance contingent. Part of them are already in Macedonia. Some of them are leaving Greece where they picked up the equipment, the Coyotes, the helicopters, et cetera, and will now be moving them in.

I expect the full contingent of 800 will be there in just a matter of days. They will stay there until the peace and security for the people of Kosovo are secured and the refugees can return to their homes safely.

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the estimated number of peacekeepers required to enforce the Kosovo peace agreement continues to increase.

The defence minister has talked about sending more than the current 800 Canadian ground troops to Kosovo, despite warnings from the chief of defence staff and other military experts that say our forces are already stretched to the limit and that any further commitments are unrealistic.

Will the defence minister now confirm whether or not he intends to make further commitments to Kosovo and, if so, where he proposes to get those resources?

Kosovo
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that matter is still under consideration. There are a number of aspects of it that require examination, including what would fit in with the team in Kosovo.

There are many countries contributing to the NATO core UN authorized team. They need to provide complementary skills and roles. We are looking to see what is possible in that regard.

Let me at the same time say that those who have been there to this point in time, particularly those who have contributed to task force Aviano, have done an absolutely superb job. They have done Canada proud.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister threw quite a bash last night for his biggest contributors. The so-called Laurier Club showed up at 24 Sussex yesterday for a gabfest that no doubt included just a little seminar on how to be discreet when doling out money to the Prime Minister.

Want a contract? Hold off on that real estate deal until after CIDA has said yes.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister just how many government contracts were handed out last night as door prizes.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I was delighted to receive some Canadians who came from across the land to tell me and my colleagues how happy they are with the good government that we are providing.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, it must have been just like the Shawinigan hotel convention. I am sure the Prime Minister's shindig was just fabulous, particularly for him.

'Twas the night before recess, they snacked on sweetbreads When visions of contracts just danced in their heads

Gales of laughter were heard while the Prime Minister told jokes about this—

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. Under the circumstances, I would ask the hon. member to go to her question.