House of Commons Hansard #129 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firefighters.

Topics

Supply
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, for seven straight years the government has used the excuse of the deficit for breaking practically every single promise that it made in two election campaigns that might have positively impacted on the suffering of women.

The hon. member should not talk to me about fiscal responsibility. The reality is that the jig is up. The government can no longer use the excuse of the deficit for continuing to turn its back on home care, on child care and on pharmacare, on the things that would really make a difference in the lives of women.

Yes, that member is correct. When it comes down to what we would do with the surplus, we would make no apology for the fact that we would overwhelmingly spend that surplus to deal with poverty, with violence, with homelessness and with the hunger of children.

If members opposite want a debate over whether the emphasis should be on driving more people to food banks, which is what Liberal policies are doing, or giving yet another freebie to the bankers, we will fight every time to give women and children what they need so they are not forced to depend upon food banks. Let us have a debate.

Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, after listening to the speech by the hon. Secretary of State for the Status of Women, I could not help but notice how full it was of incredible contradictions.

The hon. secretary of state was saying that to eradicate poverty among women we would have to somehow reduce the capital gains tax for the wealthy; that to eliminate poverty among women we would have to give bankers another tax break; that to eliminate poverty among women we would have to change the EI system in a structure where still only 30% of unemployed women will qualify for EI.

I wonder if the hon. leader of the New Democratic Party could clarify some of the inherent contradictions in the attitudes held by the hon. secretary of state.

Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I can try to clarify but I sure will not make excuses for the Liberals. What is so astounding about this is that they do know better. They know that when a federal government eliminates its commitments to social housing it is bound to increase the number of homeless people and the number of people living in substandard housing.

The Liberals do understand that if they provide no leadership on child care they will have more and more families at risk and more and more children who do not have the benefit of affordable quality child care.

What makes this so pathetic is when one of those members stands up, as he just did, and says “Why are you not congratulating us for our head start program?” I have worked with the head start movement for 33 years. What the government knows is that the vast majority of Canadian children are being robbed of getting the kind of head start in life they need because the government has completely abandoned its commitments to universal affordable child care.

Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Since it is almost 2 p.m., we will now move on to Statements by Members.

Jim Stone
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Devillers Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to extend my congratulations to Mr. Jim Stone, a constituent in my riding of Simcoe North, who recently donated his time and talent overseas in the service of the Canadian Executive Services Organization.

CESO is a non-profit, volunteer based organization which brings Canadian expertise to businesses, communities and organizations in Canada and abroad. Mr. Jim Stone volunteered in Lima, Peru where he used his expertise to advise on the management of the paper and textile industry. He also provided technical assistance and made recommendations on production quality and cost.

On behalf of all Canadians, I wish to congratulate Mr. Stone and the many highly skilled Canadian volunteers. It is because of the efforts of people like Mr. Stone that Canada enjoys a strong international reputation.

The Liberal Party Of Canada
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, evidently the Prime Minister had to scour the countryside to find new cabinet material.

Is there no one over there whom he already trusts? Or maybe they are already so divided that he cannot build a cabinet out of wood, hay and stubble.

What about this one, Brian Tobin? Mr. Speaker, you know him. He is the guy who promised to serve a full term as the premier of Newfoundland. He said “I intend to put in a full day every day for the full term that I have been given”. That was in the Montreal Gazette on February 10, 1999. What a short term it has been. It is another example I guess of how promises by Liberals at election time mean diddly-squat.

After 93's flip and 97's flop, Canadians will reject the Liberal government campaign of negativity and attacks in the year 2000. We will have no part of it. One strike, two strikes, three strikes, well, the government may be out. It is a new game and a new day in Canada.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Réginald Bélair Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was very disappointed and outraged that the city of Toronto has approved a contract that would allow tonnes of Toronto's waste to be shipped to Kirkland Lake. The situation demonstrates a total lack of respect for the residents of the Timiskaming area and by extension the whole population of northern Ontario.

Will this decision create a precedent for similar projects in other larger centres in southern Ontario? Will the mine sites in the city of Timmins be targeted next?

How could the proponents ignore the reports completed many years ago warning of deep cracks in the bedrock of the Adams mine site? How could they ignore the pleas of thousands of protesters who only want to protect their environment, their health and their quality of life?

There is no reason to use the citizens of northern Ontario as guinea pigs for the disposal of their waste. The problem was created in Toronto and should remain in Toronto.

Fiji
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on an issue of great concern to many citizens around the world.

On May 19, 2000 an anti-government demonstration was held by civilian rebels in Suva, the capital of Fiji. At that time, Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry and members of his government were taken hostage and a military government was established.

Following the release of the hostages and the toppling of the military government, Fiji fell into a period of anarchy in which an interim civilian government was undemocratically established. The interim government has announced that it will not hold elections for three years. It plans to rewrite the constitution of Fiji within one year in order to place further restrictions on the basis of racial origin.

I rise today to ask members of the House to support the commonwealth ministers' action group in its desire for free elections in Fiji as soon as possible and to ensure that a new constitution is written, free of restrictions on the basis of racial origin.

World March Of Women
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am extremely pleased to rise in the House and announce that the World March of Women was a knockout success here in Canada.

Some 30,000 women, men and children took part in the march held on October 14 in Montreal, and approximately 20,000 people gathered here on Parliament Hill yesterday, October 15.

In addition, representatives of the Canadian Women's March Committee met yesterday with the Prime Minister for approximately three quarters of an hour. The Prime Minister reaffirmed our government's commitment in the fight to end poverty and violence against women.

I would point to the $30.7 million set aside by the government to eliminate domestic violence and the $20.5 million reinvested in the status of women.

Young Offenders Act
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Werner Schmidt Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a picture I cannot look at, this photograph of an 89 year old Kelowna woman who was beaten savagely. Around each bewildered blue eye the bruises are red and painful. Her face is swollen and discoloured. She has suffered terribly. Her assailant was a 17 year old. It is disturbing.

It is disturbing to learn that this offender will not be tried in adult court as befits his crime but in youth court where the sentence will be much less severe.

Because of that there is no healing. The bruises are gone but not the fear, a fear that has spread and has robbed the people of my community of a sense of safety. Surely the justice minister can see that the Young Offenders Act is not an effective deterrent against youth violence but a weapon being used against our society.

Violence Against Women
Statements By Members

October 16th, 2000 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, violence can take on many forms. It can be physical, psychological and sexual. Although violence can affect everyone, violence against women, particularly physical violence against women, is a predominant reality. The UN estimates that around the world one-quarter of the female population is severely abused at home. Battery is the world's leading cause of injury among women aged 15 to 44.

A report about violence against women, a focus on women, from the UN in 1995, reports that because of custom two million girls experience genital mutilation every year. That works out to five young girls every minute.

In Canada in 1997, 88% of all spousal violence victims reported were women and 65% of those women reported more than two instances.

The World March of Women brings attention to an important area of concern for all members of society, of all genders. Women and men have to work together to get at these causes and get the solutions on the table.

World March Of Women
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, I took part in last week's World March of Women.

My reason for doing so was quite simply that I think that we should all take an interest in this global event to fight against poverty and violence.

If we had watched women march with complete indifference and without feeling that we were in any way concerned, this extraordinary demonstration of solidarity would have been in vain.

I have a three and a half year old daughter and I hope that she will be able to grow up in a society where there will truly be equality of opportunity, in a society where she will never have to worry that she might end up living in poverty or suffer physical or psychological violence.

I would like her to be able to grow up in a sovereign Quebec, a Quebec that wants to change things, that will be allowed to build not just a prosperous society, but a society where I hope racism, sexism and violence will have no place.

World March Of Women
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, delegations from over 5,000 international women's groups from 157 countries will participate in the World March of Women in front of the United Nations building in New York. There, 200 of these women hope to meet with the heads of the security council, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and many of the other delegations.

The World March of Women was launched on March 8 of this year. Postcards were sent to various offices. We know that women rallied in Brussels. Canadian women came to Parliament Hill and went to other major cities across Canada, while the main focus, a rally in Washington D.C., took place over the weekend.

I rise to ask all hon. members to take the time to look at the platform, to look at the issues that these women have brought before us and to give consideration to the women—

World March Of Women
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake.

World Food Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, today is World Food Day. It is the day that Canadians are asked to focus on the goal of delivering adequate food to everyone in the world.

The United Nations has defined food security as existing when “all people, at all times, have safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs for an active and healthy life”.

We have enough food in the world today to meet this goal. Tragically, because of war and political interference, millions of people are suffering from malnutrition. More must be done to get the food to the people who need it.

I need to end my statement by highlighting the difficult times facing our food suppliers, our Canadian farm families. Farm families all across this country are being forced into bankruptcy by international interference in the market.

Their plight is being made worse today by the inept Liberal agriculture policies. Farmers are in an impossible squeeze. At the same time that the price they receive for their commodities is being forced down, their cost of production is being forced through the roof.

I call on the government to act today, on World Food Day, on food safety and also to support our farmers who are part of the solution to feeing the world's hungry.