House of Commons Hansard #236 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-54.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by the hon. member for Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam.

Environment Week
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Ovid Jackson Bruce—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is Environment Week, a week set aside for Canadians to recommit themselves to environmental action. This week Canadians have an opportunity to act to meet our climate change goals and commitments. The federal government wants to help.

In last year's budget $150 million was committed to the climate change action fund. The fund includes a public education and outreach program. This program builds public awareness and informs and engages Canadians on climate change. It encourages partnerships between governments, communities, the private sector and other organizations in early action measures.

We do know this: we must act; we can act; we are acting. Only by acting now can we protect the environment for today and for future generations.

The Debt
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is about two and one-half years ago since I gave a statement in this House welcoming little Noah, our new grandson. Members may recall that I bemoaned the fact that the Liberal and Conservative governments of the past 30 years had loaded him with a debt of around $20,000.

I am proud to announce that Noah now has a little sister, Hannah, born on May 15. She too was born crying. Like her brother, her share of the debt is almost $20,000. Our four grandchildren, Dallas, Kayla, Noah and Hannah, collectively owe $75,000. I am very unhappy about leaving that legacy of debt to our grandchildren.

I say to little baby Hannah, welcome. We assure you that you are and will be greatly loved. I assure you too that your grandpa and his Reform colleagues will continue to demand debt reduction and lower taxes from this high-flying Liberal government.

Women Entrepreneurs
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate a fellow member of the Women Entrepreneurs of Canada, Rossana Magnotta, executive vice-president of Magnotta Winery and president of Festa Juice for having been selected to represent Canada as one of the leading women entrepreneurs of the world.

As the only Canadian honouree, Rossana was one of 50 women business owners selected to attend the third annual gala and celebration in Monaco. The concept of an annual gala and celebratory events in a different international city each year was created to highlight the accomplishments of women business owners worldwide, their effect on the global economy and to showcase these women as role models.

Rossana Magnotta is certainly one of those role models. In eight years Magnotta Winery has become Ontario's third largest winery in terms of volume and sales. It has also been awarded over 800 medals in adjudicated competitions. With increased capacity Magnotta is taking on the international markets with exports to the United States, Japan, Taiwan and China.

This truly is a Canadian success story. We congratulate Rossana.

Télébec Mobilité
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, continuous cell phone service has been available in La Vérendrye wildlife refuge since May 19, thanks to the perseverance of the President of Télébec Mobilité, Richard Hélie, and his employees.

Under this $2 million project, five cellular sites were installed along the nearly 200 kilometers of Trans-Canada Highway 117.

This service is an important safety factor for car and truck drivers, as well as for fishers and hunters. It provides technological, economic and tourist advantages to the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region and the wildlife operations of the Société des établissements de plein air du Québec.

We thank the Télébec and Télébec Mobilité team in Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

Seniors Month
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to rise today in recognition of June as Seniors Month.

On this occasion as well as throughout the year it is important to remember the tremendous contribution that our senior citizens have made and continue to make to the social and economic well-being of Canada. In my own riding of Guelph—Wellington, senior citizens are a vibrant part of our community through their work and volunteerism.

The United Nations has declared 1999 as International Year of Older Persons. The Government of Canada is proudly participating in this event through activities that help raise awareness of the important role that seniors play in society.

During Seniors Month let us reflect on the rich gift that we have inherited from Canada's seniors. By emphasizing the need for consideration and respect between all generations, Canadians can contribute toward giving our senior citizens the honour that they deserve.

Nelson Mandela
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, members regularly unite in recognizing political greatness. One such leader who deserves this unity is Nelson Mandela. Taking the helm of his country after nearly three decades in prison, he has acted as a moral compass for a deeply divided society.

The bitterness of apartheid could quite easily have erupted into a violent and extremely bloody civil war. However, it did not and today it is one of the few functioning democracies in Africa. South Africa is now holding its presidential election.

In pursuing retirement he now seeks peace and quiet to contemplate his life's work and the future of his country. But it is his leadership and his moral purpose that characterized his term in office that have made these elections possible.

This House will not be sitting when his successor is sworn in. Nevertheless I think that this House will join me in extending to Mr. Mandela our very best wishes and our admiration for what he has accomplished as President of South Africa.

Windsor And Essex County
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rick Limoges Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to tell everyone a little bit about Windsor and Essex County as a summer vacation destination.

We enjoy festivals such as the Carousel of Nations where we join together to celebrate our multicultural society. Each of our cultural groups proudly shares their foods and customs with their neighbours who tour from village to village.

The International Freedom Festival, a two nation birthday celebration, has turned into a two week party over the last 30 years. It showcases talent and fires off the most elaborate and exciting fireworks display on the continent.

The International Blues Fest each year attracts world class performers and music enthusiasts to this outdoor weekend of fun and street partying.

Festival Epicure shows off the talents and cuisine of our finest restaurants and bistros, while the International Busker Fest celebrates the talents of street performers from around the world.

Mr. Speaker, I could go on, but you had better come to Windsor and Essex County to see for yourself.

Gilles Dostie
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday the Société national des Québécois de L'Amiante paid a rousing tribute to Gilles Dostie, a true nationalist of unshakeable convictions, who has remained a simple and modest man while being involved in all manner of humanitarian causes.

The ceremony, held before over 400 people at Club Aramis, with Guy Bouthillier as the honorary chairman, afforded the people of L'Amiante an opportunity to say thank you to this man who has committed his life to serving his community.

Gilles Dostie will leave his mark on our region, among other things as a co-founder of the Comptoir familial de Thetford and the Centre communautaire Marie-Agnès-Desrosiers.

I join with all the people of L'Amiante in congratulating and thanking Gilles Dostie, who is and will continue to be a source of inspiration for the entire population.

Thanks are also due to his wife, Pierrette Gagnon, for her unfailing support over the years.

Space Mission
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank Canadian astronaut Julie Payette for sharing with Canadians her experiences during the current space mission.

Nunavut students in Rankin Inlet were among those Julie touched as she answered their questions. I know they will be along with other young Canadians inspired to reach for the stars themselves.

Canadians watched Sarah Wheaton of Iqaluit, winner of the Canadian Space Agency's nationwide contest, proudly wave the new Nunavut flag at the launch at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. I know she and her family will not forget this experience.

I applaud the opportunities my constituents have had to participate in yet another historic moment for Canada.

Canadian International Development Agency
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's question period brought back fond memories of when the current Minister of Human Resources Development was minister in charge of the CIDA cesspool and I was the critic.

The Prime Minister makes much of the fact that there were three bidders for the infamous Mali contract. He has apparently forgotten that those three companies, all from the same region, were hand-picked by the minister, who then told the House, “I have no recollection of only three Quebec firms having been kept on the short list”. Other competitors including at least one better qualified than Transelec were not even allowed to bid.

The bad odour from that saga forced CIDA to rewrite its rules for tendering.

It was well known that at that time the prime qualification for a large CIDA contract was a substantial donation to the Liberal Party. What was not well known until recently was that doing business with the Prime Minister was much more useful.

Long live pork barrel politics.

Road Safety
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Lavigne Verdun—Saint-Henri, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week is road safety week.

We can never stress enough how careful both children and drivers must be on roads and in public places.

Too many Canadian children are lost to the road, unfortunately, every year. The years in which the statistics are lower never compensate for the pain these tragedies bring to all of us.

The government can come up with all sorts of laws and regulations, but without greater community and individual responsibility than we are seeing now it will be to no avail.

Repression will not put an end to all the carelessness on our highways. How many more victims will it take before we recognize that this responsibility is essential in order to spare the lives of our children?

Youth Unlimited
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, since 1974 Youth Unlimited of Regina has been helping address problems for the city's young, problems many Canadians incorrectly assume exist only in the third world.

In the past decade the federal government has helped with the summer day camp. The federal government has advised however that it is not funding this year's camp. There was no consultation and no alternative sources of funding, just a plain no.

Clearly Regina MPs are not in the same league as the fabulously successful member of parliament for Saint-Maurice who was able to secure multiple grants and loans for Shawinigan enterprises often before a plan was submitted.

The Regina day camp has helped keep children off our streets. Also off the street this week is the executive director of Youth Unlimited in Regina. Maurice Kovatch is atop a flagpole on Albert Street trying to attract attention and secure donations to aid this worthwhile cause. It is a shame the government by its heartlessness forces this kind of bread and circuses on to causes which desperately need and deserve public support.

Pay Equity
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, between May 31 and June 11 the federal court will hear the appeal by the government of the decision made by the Human Rights Tribunal on pay equity.

The scorn heaped by the President of the Treasury Board on his employees is shameful, and becoming more apparent daily. While he spends millions of taxpayers' dollars in legal costs of all sorts, he has the gall to cite excessive costs as the reason for his refusal to comply with the latest decision by the tribunal on pay equity.

The President of the Treasury Board should be ashamed of treating his employees this way. The worst of it is that pay equity is not an isolated incident; nothing of the sort.

Although they have the legitimate right to strike, these employees are being forced to return to work by a government that dared do so with special legislation passed behind closed doors.

It also passed legislation allowing it to brazenly dip into the surpluses of the public service employees' pension funds.

What bounds are there to the government's scorn for the legitimate rights of its employees? It ought to take a look to see whether the President of Treasury Board is not at war with his employees.

Canadian Economy
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the economy, the Liberal government chose to take concrete measures to promote economic growth. The results accurately reflect our efforts to improve the quality of life of Canadians.

For example, since 1993 the job creation and economic growth strategy of the Liberal government has been made possible by a policy promoting investment, tax reduction and debt reduction.

Since October 1993 1.6 million new jobs have been created and economic indicators are generating optimism among Canadians.

The Liberal government is also helping young people. To help regions with high unemployment we invest $110 million each year in the Canada jobs fund.

These are concrete measures taken by the Liberal government to ensure sustained economic growth in all regions of Canada.