House of Commons Hansard #56 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senate.

Topics

Black History Month
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Quebec East.

Flangers Rock Group
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Québec East, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is with pride that I pay tribute today to the performance of Flangers, a group of four young rock musicians from the Quebec City area.

Fred Asselin, Serge Poulin, Julien Martre and P. O. Gosselin were a knockout in California's Battle of the Band 3, placing second in the finals on February 3.

The only Canadian group to make it to the finals since this event first began, they scored a perfect 100% in the Dallas semi-finals. With some 4,000 Canadian and American groups entered in this prestigious rock music competition, the largest of its kind in the world, their achievement was all the more impressive. In addition, a number of international celebrities told them that they were very talented and predicted that they would go far.

I congratulate the members of Flangers on their talent and their determination. All Quebecers—

Flangers Rock Group
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Niagara Falls.

Human Resources Development
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Pillitteri Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, for weeks and weeks we have listened to the accusations by the opposition of mismanagement regarding the administration of HRD programs.

Maybe the time has come to say it as it really is. A recent letter from the regional chair of the municipality of Niagara states:

HRDC support to programs like Trade Niagara and the Niagara Investment Marketing Initiative has contributed in no small measure to the renaissance that is now underway throughout the region.

Furthermore, its commends and pays special tribute to Jim Williams and all the people at the HRDC regional office for their professionalism.

The letter also stated that the economic recovery the Niagara region now enjoys would not have been possible without the support and partnership of the HRDC office.

Let us set the record straight—

Human Resources Development
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Drummond.

Chechnya
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked a sad anniversary indeed.

On February 23, 1944, Stalin ordered the deportation of the Chechen people. Exasperated by this unsubdued people's constant rebellion against Russia and threat to its territorial integrity, Stalin decided to impose on them his “final solution”. He meted out similar treatment to other peoples, including the Qatari people, who never recovered from it.

On the pretext that the Chechens were collaborating with the enemy, 450,000 people, mostly women, children and the aged, were deported and spread through central Asia and Siberia. The men were at war with Germany. The international community kept quiet out for fear of damaging relations with Russia.

Truly, history repeats itself. The Chechen people, accused of terrorism today, are once again the victims of a dirty war. Although it has very politely raised its voice, the international community continues to put its own interests ahead of—

Chechnya
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Compton—Stanstead.

Refugee Identification
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

David Price Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, in early winter, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration announced a pilot project whereby all refugee claimants would be issued identification cards. These cards would allow better access to social services.

There are advantages to this initiative, but I am perturbed the minister did not reveal this project to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. She had ample opportunity to do so when she appeared before the committee on November 24. That was just under a week before she announced this initiative. I find it hard to believe that the minister was not informed of the plan when she was at committee.

The identification of refugees could be a costly measure for taxpayers. I find it strange that the minister said nothing when she had the opportunity to do so.

When will the minister be informing the House on the progress of this pilot project?

Federal Government
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, since their re-election in 1997, the Liberal members have banished democracy from the House of Commons. Elected representatives of this country no longer have freedom of speech.

There have already been 62 gag orders in the House. This is a sad record in the annals of Canadian political history. Of these, three were for the purpose of preventing Quebecers from expressing their views on the future of democracy in Quebec.

Every effort was made to ram through, without consultation, Bill C-20, a bill with no other purpose than to subjugate Quebec, as Claude Ryan has pointed out.

Democracy in this parliament has given way to arrogance and scorn, the trademark of the Prime Minister and his henchmen, including the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

In the next referendum, nothing will prevent the people of Quebec from making the break once and for all with this federal government, and they will do so by means of a democratic vote. That is clear.

Gasoline Prices
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadian truckers are facing a crisis as rising fuel costs are causing many to actually lose money every time they put their rigs on the road.

When questioned about the truckers' plight, the Prime Minister responded that it was not his problem, despite the fact that the federal government is collecting 15 cents on every litre of fuel.

Last year the federal government collected over $4.5 billion in fuel taxes, yet it only put $150 million back into Canada's highways.

Despite this massive surplus, the federal Liberals are refusing to provide any tax relief to our struggling truckers, even on a temporary basis. The Prime Minister would rather build fountains in his riding and give grants to companies like Wal-Mart and Videotron than provide tax relief for our truckers. Why? Because tax relief does not give the Liberals the opportunity for a photo-op.

Hopefully, the government will come to its senses before Canada's truckers—

Gasoline Prices
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

February 24th, 2000 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Gruending Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, thousands of farmers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba are in dire straits this winter due to circumstances beyond their control. There are international subsidy wars going on and while our federal government has not supported our farmers, the Europeans and Americans have supported theirs.

This morning the federal Liberal government took a baby step in the right direction. After months of lobbying by the premiers of Saskatchewan and Manitoba and by our federal NDP caucus, the premiers and the Prime Minister announced $400 million in additional assistance to agriculture.

I want to welcome this announcement. Every bit helps. But having said that, it will not solve the farm income problem. What our farmers need is a long term program which will kick in and support their income every time it drops disastrously, as it has in the last two years.

We welcome this morning's announcement, but it does not get the federal government off the hook. There is a lot more to be done.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government would love to distance itself from the billion dollar bungle at the Department of Human Resources Development, but unfortunately it is the government which gave it the money.

Since the government was elected the auditor general has repeatedly expressed concern about mismanagement of grants and contributions by this department.

After all of these revelations of mismanagement, waste and political interference, does the government still support spending millions of taxpayer dollars on the discredited Canada jobs fund?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government supports programs that help disabled people. The government supports programs that help students. The government supports people who need training and job experience. We support those programs, unlike the NDP.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.