House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada.

The Late Marcel Pepin
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Yvon Charbonneau Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 6, Marcel Pepin, a giant of the contemporary trade union movement in Quebec, passed away.

Marcel Pepin began his union career in 1948. He was president of the CSN from 1965 to 1976 and also held the position of president of the World Confederation of Labour. He was, without a doubt, one of the most talented union leaders Quebec has ever produced. In his own way, Marcel Pepin was one of the key architects of Quebec's quiet revolution.

For close to 50 years, he energetically defended the principles of equity, justice and dignity on which our society is based. He had strong beliefs and never hesitated to take a stand on prevailing trends and practices. In short, Quebec has lost a great worker and a great trade unionist.

On behalf of all Canadians, I wish to pay tribute to Marcel Pepin for his great contribution to improved labour conditions and the progress of Quebec and Canadian society.

Human Resources Development
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have seen only the tip of the HRDC financial mismanagement iceberg.

Last week the Surrey Aboriginal Cultural Society complained to me about mismanagement of HRDC funds. The Sto:Lo nation receives HRDC funds to provide services in Surrey. Its apparent failure to honour contractual obligations has left aboriginals living in Surrey without employment and training programs since 1998. The society is now considering legal action.

Previous to that a member of the B.C. Metis community and a former provincial Metis compliance officer came to me with complaints of waste and favouritism, for example, HRDC money for a university law course for a council director and a trip to India for the son of another director. The complainants want nothing less than a full forensic audit.

We know of 19 police investigations into the government's mismanagement. It could be 20 but the RCMP told the Metis that it lacked the resources to investigate. I hope the solicitor general is listening.

The Minister of Human Resources Development is aware of both complaints, so why is there no investigation?

Tara Leigh Sloan
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Reg Alcock Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian national swim team lost one of its leading members this weekend as Canadian Tara Leigh Sloan succumbed to serious head injuries suffered in a car accident on March 3. She died on March 11 at Foothills Hospital in Calgary. She had been en route to visit her grandmother in Swift Current, Saskatchewan when her car left the road.

Twenty years old, she was a national team member for four years and is currently the Canadian short course record holder in the 100 metre breaststroke. She was a five time national champion and won 17 international medals.

She competed in the Pan Am Games in Winnipeg last summer, placing eighth in the 200 metre breaststroke. She was currently training and preparing the Canadian Olympic qualifying trials which are in late May in Montreal, with a dream of qualifying for the Olympics. She was a member of the University of Calgary swim club and was coached by Mike Blondal.

She is survived by her parents Gayle and Fred Sloan. Our condolences go out to them.

Quebec Finance Minister's Budget
Statements By Members

March 15th, 2000 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, Bernard Landry wrote that Quebec's budget reflected the strong increase of 16.3% in federal transfer payments in 2000-2001.

This probably means that he will cash the money set aside in the trust put in place by the Liberal member for LaSalle-Émard, the federal Minister of Finance, for Quebec's share of the CHST, thus helping to maintain the growth in federal transfer revenues for Quebecers.

In its recent February 28 budget, the federal government announced a $2.5 billion increase in Canada. In the case of Quebec, this translates into a $600 million increase in its share of federal funding.

With these extra amounts, Quebec can expect the trust to provide several additional millions of dollars for the health needs of Quebecers.

Human Genome
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, within the next few months the ability of our species to guide its own destiny will progress significantly as the first draft of the human genome is published.

In essence the human species will have drawn the first map of its genetic makeup. The sequencing of our genome and of the genome of other species will revolutionize our world.

Basic scientific knowledge such as is contained in the periodic table, such as the laws of physics, and such as the human genome belong to all of humankind, not just to a select few.

Yesterday the British prime minister and the U.S. president stated their views that no one should be allowed exclusive ownership of information about the human genome. They affirmed that such information belongs to all. They are right. I congratulate them for taking this position and encourage the Government of Canada to do the same.

Weyburn Fowl Supper
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to announce to you, to the House and indeed to all of Canada that the city of Weyburn has now received recognition that can be found in the Guinness Book of Records .

Part of the autumn tradition of western Canada is for groups to hold fowl suppers. This tradition is carried on by church groups as well as charitable organizations to raise funds for community causes.

The Weyburn Performing Arts Society on October 10, 1999 set a new record for the world's largest fowl supper with 1,641 people attending.

Weyburn is known for many things, for its hospitality, its cleanliness and having the largest inland grain facilities in Canada. And now, thanks to the community and the support of the performing arts society, it is known throughout the world for this event.

Congratulations to the hundreds of volunteers who in true western spirit volunteered to make this record possible.

Quebec Finance Minister's Budget
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Bernard Landry, the Quebec Minister of Finance, delivered his budget for 2000-2001.

Speaking on my own behalf, as well as that of my colleagues of the Bloc Quebecois, I would like to congratulate him for this budget, which gives Quebecers what they had hoped for.

Quebec's budget, with its more limited resources, includes investments in health and in education that are far greater than those announced in the last federal budget. What is more, the tax cuts announced by Minister Landry are immediate, and 33% higher than those announced for Quebec by the federal government.

Yesterday's Landry budget demonstrates one thing: if Quebecers had total control over the $31 billion in taxes they send to Ottawa every year, the Government of Quebec would clearly be more efficient in managing it according to its real needs and aspirations. That is what Quebec sovereignty is all about.

Air Cadets
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Pillitteri Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to welcome on behalf of my colleagues from the Niagara region the 35 young people from the Royal Canadian Air Cadets 126th Optimist Squadron who are visiting the national capital region. They are here today in parliament.

The aim of the air cadet program is to promote in our youth the attributes of good citizenship. Our cadets have recently completed studies on the Canadian government and democratic society. Today their visit to Canada's parliament will reinforce the training they have received in this area.

Each year more than 55,000 young Canadians participate in the nationwide cadet movement, an important part of Canada's defence team. I would like to take this opportunity to reflect the feeling of our entire community and thank the cadet movement for the highly commendable work they carry out on behalf of the community.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, on February 24 the federal government shortchanged Alberta producers because the agriculture minister did not feel that their politicians had lobbied hard enough.

Yesterday the Alberta government showed it cared more about helping farmers than about playing political games like the Liberal government. In direct contrast to this government, which cares more about cheap photo opportunities than helping farmers, Alberta agriculture minister Ty Lund announced $145 million in new funding for struggling Alberta farmers and demanded Ottawa contribute its fair share.

The federal government must take this opportunity to demonstrate fairness and equality to farmers in all provinces. It can start by responding to Alberta's challenge and contributing its $103 million share.

The Liberals need to realize that farm income problems do not stop at provincial borders. They need to immediately reform farm safety net programs to ensure the long term success of agriculture in this country and eliminate the need for these emergency programs.

It is time the agriculture minister stood up for farmers and quit being a pawn—

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Mississauga West.

Citizenship And Immigration
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Mississauga West, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week I travelled with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the member for Compton—Stanstead to Nairobi, Kenya to meet with staff working with refugees and visa applicants. These people work long and emotionally draining hours. They risk their lives. This is a very dangerous part of the world.

Kate O'Brien interviews refugees in a camp in the Sahara desert. Security requirements are very serious. Kate is at risk every day. Michel Dupuis interviewed one woman who had seen her husband and son murdered and endured two months in prison where she was tortured and raped.

Keith Swinton, Christopher Hazel, Lynda Bowler, Michel Dupuis and Kate O'Brien give hope and new life to people who could well be dead.

Our High Commissioner, Gerry Campbell, leads a team of true heroes along with Bob Orr and Dr. Jeremy Brown. On behalf of all Canadians I want to thank them for their dedication and their bravery.

Rendez-Vous With Our French-Canadian Heritage
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to draw hon. member's attention today to Rendez-vous with our French-Canadian Heritage in connection with International Francophonie Day. It is an opportunity for all francophones and francophiles in Canada to express their love of the French language and culture. This celebration of the French fact in our country is clear evidence of the vitality of the Francophonie.

Rendez-vous with our French-Canadian Heritage is a showcase not only of our francophone heritage, but also of a dynamic Francophonie in which strong ties are increasingly being forged.

This year's theme, “Notre francophonie en personne”, is an invitation to acquaint or reacquaint ourselves with those instrumental in the expansion of the Francophonie.

Royal Oak Giant Mines
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the history of the Royal Oak Giant mines in Yellowknife has been nothing short of tragic in every sense of the word. It has been an unfortunate legacy of bad management and a poisonous and hostile labour relations environment that resulted in nine people being killed. A whole community was torn apart.

Royal Oak went bankrupt in 1999. The new owner has paid no severance pay and now to add insult to injury the pensioners who worked at Giant mines are having their pensions slashed.

To draw attention to the plight of these workers at Giant mines, Mary Kosta is on her 16th day of a hunger strike. She is putting her own health at risk to fight for justice for these workers, workers that the government has turned its back on.

The Government of Canada played a role in both the bankruptcy and the subsequent purchase of Giant mines. The Government of Canada failed to defend the interests of the workers and pensioners. The Government of Canada now has it within its power to end the long and tragic history that is Giant mines.

Will it act and act now to make these workers whole and to represent their interests before the interests of—

Bill C-20
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the past few days, the members of the Bloc Quebecois rose 401 times in defence of Quebec. Four hundred times we stood up to block the undemocratic attack of the Liberal government against Quebec. Four hundred times we stood as a block in defence of Quebec democracy.

At the same time, the members of the government majority voted 400 times in favour of a law intended to limit Quebec's right to alone decide its future, 400 times they confirmed their complicity in this unprecedented attack on Quebec.

All the more serious is the fact that these 400 votes mark an irremediable break between Quebec and Canada. Historians will note that the members from Quebec largely opposed this bill, while the members from Canada supported it.

Bill C-20 will join the 1982 Constitution. It will have no legitimacy in the eyes of Quebecers, who, whatever happens—