House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Economic Policy
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, once upon a time there was a highway robber who lurked in the woods to relieve passersby of their gold. He accumulated ill-gotten gains of 1,000 gold coins in this way.

One day, he decided to give back 500 of these gold coins to his victims. Foolish fellow that he was, he thought he could buy back their friendship by doing so.

The robber's cronies were greatly impressed by this magnanimous gesture. They were indignant that the victims showed no gratitude and shouted at them “You could at least say thank you”.

No connection with this little fable, of course, but yesterday our Minister of Finance played Santa, yet he neglected to tell us that this money he is redistributing so magnanimously came from our own pockets, the pockets of the unemployed, the workers, the employers, the pensioners.

I hope, for our minister's sake, that he is not naïve enough to expect a thank-you from the voters, who will cast their votes in favour of the Liberals. Despite what he seems to think, people are not that dumb.

That was my last statement in the House, Mr. Speaker.

Brain Tumour Awareness Month
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, the month of October has been designated Brain Tumour Awareness Month in Canada.

Each year approximately 10,000 Canadians of all ages are diagnosed with brain tumours. More than 100 different types of brain tumours have been identified. Brain tumours are the second leading cause of cancer death in children under the age of 20 and the third leading cause of cancer death in young adults between the ages of 20 and 39.

The mission of the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada is to collect funds for research, to provide support services to people with brain tumours and their families, and to provide information to the public.

I would like to quote for members the words written by a young woman, Krista, age 19, who understands better than any of us the devastation of cancer:

I look into the sky and what do I see? A castle, a rainbow, and dreams for me,

An end to this battle which I must fight, To rid my feelings of depression and fright.

An end to cancer is not far away, It will be here soon...Someday.

Let us hope and pray that the someday—

Brain Tumour Awareness Month
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Timiskaming—Cochrane.

Mining
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ben Serré Timiskaming—Cochrane, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to express my congratulations to the finance minister for his outstanding economic statement. The mining industry is thankful for the introduction of a federal tax credit for flow through share investors. It will stimulate the upfront financing of junior mining exploration projects all over northern Ontario and Canada.

Exploration spending will result in the discovery of new mines, which in turn will create jobs and result in billions of dollars in new investment and export revenues. The constituents of Timiskaming—Cochrane, the mining industry and I all believe natural resources will continue to be the building blocks of our economy in the 21st century. I thank the finance minister for his support.

Member For Vancouver Quadra
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will not be a candidate for a third parliamentary mandate in the forthcoming general election. When the Prime Minister invited me to become a candidate in 1992, I said I would limit myself to two terms at most. I see no reason to depart from that today.

In leaving the House, I am not entering on early retirement. I am resuming my work in other national and international arenas like the Institut de Droit International, of which I am the current president.

Thank you to the electors of Vancouver Quadra for their kind support and warm encouragement through two successive terms.

I want to thank MPs of all political parties for their friendship, co-operation and goodwill.

Home Support Workers Week
Statements By Members

October 19th, 2000 / 2:15 p.m.

NDP

Gordon Earle Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, while the Canadian Alliance is ignoring the health concerns of Canadians while wining and dining and wooing votes from their rich corporate friends, and while the Liberal government did nothing in its economic statement to ensure a comprehensive health care system, the people in Nova Scotia recognize the need for an integrated and complete health care system.

Nova Scotia is celebrating Home Support Workers Week. Home support workers help thousands of Nova Scotians get the quality care services they need in the comfort of their own home and close to family and friends. Home support workers are an essential part of the fabric of health care in Canada.

As we look to reshape health care in Canada and to hopefully begin to undo the damage wrought by years of health care cuts administered by Liberal and Conservative governments, we need to ensure that home care is properly funded and that workers are properly paid and work in decent conditions. The financial support for those needing home care must be made available.

Home care workers offer experienced care, support, compassion and dignity to many people in our community. Thank you to all home care support workers for their ongoing efforts.

National Co-Op Week
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to National Co-op Week being held this week between October 15 and 21 and to recognize the important economic and social role co-operatives and credit unions play in many communities in Canada. Credit Union Day is being celebrated today, October 19. The theme for this year's celebration is “Co-operatives and credit unions—investing in Canadian Communities”.

I would particularly like to pay tribute to co-operatives in Manitoba such as Credit Union Central of Manitoba, Federal Co-Operatives Ltd. and Agricore.

Co-operatives play a major role in the Canadian economy, with over 150,000 people working in the industry. Co-ops and credit unions are an integral part of our economy, accounting for over $167 billion in assets.

Whether it is in agriculture, financial services, insurance or housing, co-operatives are growing, adapting and changing to help shape a better world for all of us.

Speaker Of The House
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I realize that today there have been a few members I have not been able to recognize in standing orders. There are a few reasons for this.

I too wanted to take a minute. There is no single word in French to say goodbye. In French, we use expressions such as “À la prochaine, au revoir, adieu”. Today, it is my turn.

I will take just a few moments to say goodbye to you. I do not know if there will be an election but if there is, most of you will be standing again to come back to this beautiful place, this institution, the House of Commons of Canada.

If I may quote Laurier, he said that this was his home for 40 years. This was my home for 22. It is a home where I have enjoyed working with you and your predecessors. In 22 years it has been an adventure, surely with ups and downs, but for every down day that I have had there have been 100 up days.

You have paid me one of the greatest honours that any member of parliament could receive and that was to choose me on two different occasions to be your Speaker. It is an honour which very few of us could ever aspire to and one which I consider a great gift and a great privilege.

Over the last few days I have thought about how I would say the words in this place that I have spoken a number of times, like you, in my maiden speech and like you, on votes that were particularly interesting and important for me.

During the time I presided over the debates of the House of Commons, I sometimes had to make difficult decisions. I made them. It was my duty to do so.

I thank the people who voted for me over the years and sent me here six times. Once they decided they loved me so much that I should stay with them in the riding for four years. For those other six times I thought they were the most intelligent voters in Canada. Even when they kept me home, I thought, well, there was a reason for that too.

I wish you well, my colleagues, you who have served and you who will serve in the years ahead in this House of Commons.

May I gently remind you of who you are, of who we are. We are the representatives of the people of Canada. When they send us here, they expect from us the best that we have to give. Sometimes in the heat of battle we use words that in hindsight we would have preferred to leave unsaid, but we get through that one way or another.

I am told that there was a scratch on a stone after the battle of Thermopylae, a little saying. If I had anything to ask you to say about me, if indeed you ever do say anything, perhaps you would consider these words. My colleagues, go tell the Canadians that their Speaker, their servant, is leaving his post. His watch is over.

I am ready to pass all of this on, as it should be, from one Speaker to the next.

I hope that you will always cherish this place, as I have. No greater honour could I have received. I thank you for this honour you have given to me.

Speaker Of The House
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Speaker Of The House
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think all members share the sadness I feel because you are about to leave your position as Speaker of the House.

You were among the first elected speakers of the House. You are probably the longest standing elected speaker. You have established a very important tradition.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, we have been colleagues in the House for all these years and I can tell you that you have been a wonderful colleague for me and for all those here. You have always been a very committed member of the House of Commons. You have represented your constituents with great honour and determination.

When you came to this job you honoured the House of Commons and the job. It was not easy. A few times I found that you were cutting me off a bit quickly, because the Leader of the Opposition can prepare his question but I cannot prepare my answer.

The spirit that prevails today, the fact that the Leader of the Opposition and myself and all the members of the House can smile and talk about recollections of you in the Chair and be in such a good mood, is a reflection of the quality of the job you have done.

As leader of your party, because all these times you were elected under the Liberal flag—there was one year that it was not flying properly and a lot of us had to do something for a few years until they decided to take us back here—I just want, on behalf of everyone, to say thank you for a job well done and to wish you the best of luck in future endeavours.

You will always have the affection of all the members of the House and you will always have the reputation of a man who has served his country very well, and particularly the House of Commons.

Good luck, Mr. Speaker.

Speaker Of The House
Statements By Members

2:25 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on one of the rare times when the Prime Minister and I will be in agreement, I would also like on behalf of my colleagues to extend our gratitude and respect to you, Sir, for the job you have done.

I know how difficult it has been at times for you, and we have seen you rule in a very even-handed way. We have sensed that when you have ruled, as the Prime Minister said, against unruliness on that side, and occasionally on this side, that there is that moment of glare from your own colleagues that you have to live with. You have done that with honour and distinction and with even-handedness. We appreciate that and respect that.

It is not an easy job, as Canadians who watch question period must entertain, somewhat like herding cats at times, which is not a negative, pejorative statements on cats. It must be somewhat like that, yet in the short time I have been here the even-handed approach you have taken has been very well noticed, remarked on and respected by us.

Thank you for, as the Prime Minister said, the good mood that prevails now, for a very few moments. We know how quickly that dissipates.

Sir, you have served well. You have served with distinction. We are honoured to have served with you. Thank you on behalf of the people of Canada.

Speaker Of The House
Statements By Members

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I too wish to express our gratitude. You will leave Bloc Quebecois members with fond memories.

Like all members in this House, we have on occasion disagreed with your decisions, but it was your duty to make these rulings and you carry out that duty well, often under trying circumstances, particularly when we first arrived here in 1993. It was the first time that there were so many sovereignists, so many in fact that we formed the official opposition. In that context, you treated us with the same respect as other members.

I have fond memories of the numerous negotiations that we had in the Board of Internal Economy, which you chair, and of how you always made yourself available to members. We could always meet with you when things were not quite clear, and also to discuss in a democratic fashion issues on which we disagreed, in an attempt to find solutions and to find a way to agree on how to disagree.

You have performed this role with honour and I thank you for that.

Speaker Of The House
Statements By Members

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I think we know that from time to time most of us have tried to sneak a point of order past the Speaker in order to have a word on something we felt strongly about. On behalf of my colleagues I want to say that we appreciate your allowing us some latitude in speaking to this issue.

It has been well understood and much appreciated by all the members of the House of Commons how much you love this place and what it means to you to preside over parliament. No matter what our differences, it has been very much your view and the tone that you have set for debate in the Chamber that we are here as the representatives of Canadians to try to make Canada a better place.

I wish to thank you on behalf of my colleagues. During this mandate, 15 of us were newcomers and we had a lot to learn about the rules and traditions. You were always helpful.

I am sure I also speak on behalf of the five veteran members of the NDP caucus. We appreciate the fact that you have always been fair. From time to time, even though you have a very good ear and a very quick eye, you have overlooked the odd transgression, muttering under our breath words that might not be entirely in order.

On behalf of the New Democratic Party I extend our warmest good wishes and our heartfelt thanks for your generosity of spirit and for the role model you have been in terms of expressing the love for the Canada we are all here to work together to improve.

Good luck, and thank you very much.

Speaker Of The House
Statements By Members

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if, as one of the newer members of the House, I might be permitted to extend my great appreciation to you for your service to the country and more particularly to the Chamber in a way that has enhanced the reputation of Canada.

While I have only served occasionally under your guidance as Speaker, I fondly recall the years in which we served together in the House before you took that post. We tend to have a slightly different evaluation of the election in which your constituents kept you home. You will not take this at all personally, but Sir, I rather wish there had been more of those.

All of us in the House know that the office of Speaker is not an easy one. This is a House that can often edge to the borders of being out of control. It requires not only firmness in the chair but the kind of geniality in the chair you have demonstrated and the kind of respect that everyone in the House knows that you hold for parliament.

I know, Sir, that you are a hockey fan. You have seen a little bit of high sticking here. You have called a few misconducts or certainly a few offsides. You have maintained the capacity to maintain the order and respect of the House and the respect for the rules and the game that make it essential.

If I might add one thing, it is that part of your success as Speaker of this House is, I believe, because you are more than just an MP. You are also a teacher, someone with a background in education. I believe it has always been important to you to communicate to our fellow citizens the essence, the very nature, of this House of Commons.

The skills you brought as a communicator, as a lover of the institutions of Canada, as someone who wanted to ensure that our institutions are well known in the country, have added to the high regard in which you are held by all members of the House. Thank you for your service et bon chance.

Speaker Of The House
Statements By Members

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.