House of Commons Hansard #112 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pension.

Topics

Species At Risk Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member will still have seven minutes of questions and comments when we return to debate after question period, if he so wishes.

The Environment
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, since it took office the Ontario government has slashed the budget of its ministry of the environment by 42.5%.

Regional enforcement staff were cut from 2,400 to 1,500. Water quality monitoring facilities in the province were reduced from 700 to 200. The closing of three regional labs further reduced the ministry's analytical abilities.

Furthermore, the Ontario government cancelled 400,000 tests it had been conducting yearly, downloading this service to municipalities. The axe of the Ontario government also fell on the drinking water surveillance program which reported regularly on municipal drinking water quality.

The result is that the network of water testing laboratories, water scientists and laboratory technicians who knew how to manage clean water in Ontario has been broken up. What a shame.

Prostate Cancer
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday morning I participated in the second annual Vancouver run and walk to raise funds in support of prostate cancer research.

I am rising today to thank members of parliament from both the Canadian Alliance and the Liberal caucuses, as well as some of our staff members, who through their generous contributions helped me to raise the third highest amount in pledges for that event.

One man in eight will get prostate cancer during his lifetime while the number of men who die from prostate cancer each year is about the same as the number of women who die from breast cancer. Yesterday's event was an important part of the countrywide effort to raise public awareness about prostate cancer and to raise more money for research.

Once again I thank everyone on the Hill who contributed to the total on my pledge sheet, with a special thanks to those who put aside their partisan differences when they dropped their cheque in the mail. Together we can make a difference.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Yvon Charbonneau Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House and all Canadians that June is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, awareness month.

This form of sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rapidly progressing neuromuscular disease that leads to total paralysis and eventual death, generally within three to five years of diagnosis. In Canada, some 2,000 people have this devastating disease.

Since 1977 the ALS Society of Canada has been supporting research, developing and distributing educational materials, promoting public awareness, and in partnership with regional units providing ALS patients and their families with medical equipment and support.

Today the ALS Society of Canada is concluding its annual conference in Ottawa. I encourage members to welcome the society and hear its message.

I pay tribute to this volunteer society.

Transportation Of Goods
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, a study on the transportation of goods in Quebec conducted in the context of the work being done under the aegis of Transport Canada will take stock of the Canadian transportation network.

Canada is divided into six regions, one of which is Quebec. Two thirds of the funding for this study comes from the federal government and one third comes from Transport Québec. There were two main findings.

The road network in the Montreal area is incomplete, which is probably the most acute problem right now for the Quebec transport industry. The railway in Quebec is underutilized and therefore could transport goods. Intermodal rail transport is used little in Quebec, whereas it is growing rapidly elsewhere in North America.

The governments of Canada, Quebec and municipalities will have to give priority to the funding of conservation projects and developing of rail and road networks, which could be done in conjunction with the private sector.

Als Society Of Canada
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, June is ALS awareness month. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a fatal neuromuscular disorder that kills two to three Canadians every day. Ninety per cent of ALS patients die within five years of their diagnosis and most rely on family members for care.

The ALS Society is here today on the Hill to ask the government to ease the pain by investing in home care and granting compassionate leave to caregiving family members. It hopes that the new CIHR will mean increased funding for ALS research to ensure that we build on recent breakthroughs and find a cure for this devastating disease.

Syria
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Gurmant Grewal Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have sympathy for the people of Syria during these days of mourning following the death of their president Hafez Assad. Bashar Assad, son of the late leader, will be faced with the task of bringing stability to his country and the region in the event he assumes the leadership of Syria. We hope he has the strength and vision to reform and modernize his country's government and economy.

We want to encourage Syria to go forward with economic, political and social reform. We wish all the parties well and urge all the countries involved in the region including Syria to be realistic and generous in the peace process.

At the onset of the 21st century the world is looking to strengthen efforts to eliminate terrorism. There is an opportunity for the new leader of Syria to help make major strides in this regard. The world will welcome such efforts and the rewards will be plentiful, not only for Syria but for the international community in coming years.

Cadets
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a few comments about the efforts and enthusiasm of thousands of young people in hundreds of communities across Canada.

On Saturday more than 70,000 cadets, their instructors and supporters actively demonstrated their concern for the environment by working to improve and beautify their corner of our great land. Armed with rakes, shovels and brooms, the cadets showed their appreciation for the communities that have given them so much.

Cadets Caring for Canada is one of the largest activities of its kind. Through their initiative and hard work these young Canadians are making their mark. Despite their youth, or maybe because of it, they understand the importance of good citizenship and co-operation.

I ask all members of the House to join me in congratulating the cadets for their dedication and ingenuity. They are planting the seeds for a proud future.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Finlay Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, I call attention to a bylaw recently passed by the city of Woodstock in my riding. The city has enacted an idling bylaw that restricts non-essential vehicles from idling for more than five consecutive minutes. Woodstock's goal is to reduce harmful air pollution and illness that arise from this pollution while also ensuring that we have a cleaner environment.

It is measures like those taken in the city of Woodstock that will assist Canada in reducing emissions and reaching its Kyoto commitments. I congratulate the city council for those measures and Mr. Doug Steele from the CAW Local 636 for his work on this issue.

I also urge other communities across our country to enact similar bylaws to protect our environment. Woodstock is setting a fine example of how to think globally and act locally in solving our environmental problems.

Prime Minister
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has a certain, shall we say, flair for words. Remember when he joked with the protesters who had been blasted with pepper spray:

Usually it is the rubber chicken dinner, but when we come out west we have beef, sometimes pepper steak.

He left them laughing with that one, so he took his show on the road where he told an appreciative audience:

I don't know if I am in the West, South, North or East Jerusalem right now.

That was a special moment for his media handlers, I am sure. Then there was that very sombre moment when he told those high school kids:

There's one place I go to in Ottawa regularly and every day there is a man who is unfortunately and obviously sick. We just sit with a chair at the corner of the street.

It seemed a little less sombre when we found out that homeless person did not actually exist.

This past weekend the Prime Minister, our very own Ann Landers, encouraged a reporter to get herself pregnant, telling her:

You know, you might have benefited from that. No? Gee, it's time! Because you're a nice girl, you know.

It is up to families to decide when and how many children to have and how to take care of them. It should not be dictated by misdirected government policy, not by unfair tax regimes and certainly not by a prime minister's musings.

Education
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am greatly concerned about parts of the Ontario bill 74, the so-called education accountability act. This omnibus legislation contains sections which seriously undermine good education in Ontario schools. I am shocked by the parts which make extracurricular activities like sports, arts and field trips compulsory teacher duties.

In sports alone this will cost our children thousands of volunteer hours. Think of the time involved in weekend tournaments and fundraising to make them possible. How effective is a reluctant coach? How effective is a reluctant field leader?

Good teaching depends upon enthusiasm and personal commitment. One cannot legislate volunteerism. Bill 74 is undemocratic, draconian legislation by an anti-democratic Queen's Park government.

Hundredth Birthday Of Sister Bernadette Deblois
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary, in Beauport, have a special reason to celebrate, since Sister Bernadette Deblois turns 100 this month.

Bernadette, who was born in 1900 in Saint-George-de-Beauce, became a nun because of her faith and her desire to help her fellow human beings.

In 1920, she decided to spend her life teaching young people. She was a teacher or a school principal for close to 30 years, at the elementary level. Later on, she fulfilled various duties within the congregation, while maintaining a special interest in teaching young people with difficulties. She also spent 10 years supporting the work of the St. Vincent de Paul fathers, at the Patro.

Sister Bernadette is very spry. She swam until the age of 98, she is funny and she faces each day with serenity. Even though she is now more fragile than she used to be, she remains free and liberated, and maintains absolute confidence in the Providence.

What else could we wish you, Sister Bernadette, if not health and the love of those who surround you? You have heard it one hundred times, but I will say it anyway: happy birthday Sister Bernadette.

Women's Rights
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, one step forward, two steps back. That is how women feel today. Just on the heels of the UN special conference on women, where women have been working so hard to move the equality agenda forward, up pops the Prime Minister with his flippant remark about nice girls getting pregnant.

What kind of progress is that? How can the country's highest ranking politician be so cavalier and insensitive to women's daily struggles for basic equality, justice and fairness?

Whether it is the Prime Minister sticking his foot in his mouth or UN officials denying women the right to breast feed at a women's assembly, it is clear that women have a long way to go.

The CLC Women's Conference kicked off today and it is a good thing too. Its theme, rise up, act up, takes on new meaning in the face of the Prime Minister's silly comments. The Prime Minister should head on over to that conference and get a little gender sensitivity training.

As we prepare for the World March of Women 2000, the rallying cry for this event has never rung more true. In more ways than one it truly is time for a change.

National Public Service Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, June 11 to 17 is National Public Service Week. This is an opportunity to celebrate the professionalism and sense of duty of the women and men who chose to be at the service of Canadians, thus contributing to our quality of life.

This week is also an opportunity to pay tribute to the wisdom, skills and talents of the members of the Public Service of Canada.

I am pleased to join the Prime Minister in thanking the members of the Public Service of Canada in each department and organization across the country.

Their dedication benefits us all. Thanks to these competent women and men, Canadians can rely on quality services everywhere in Canada.

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

June 12th, 2000 / 2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today once again to make the House aware of the problems associated with the proposed EI boundary changes. Under the proposed changes people will have to work 595 hours as opposed to the 425 hours currently required. These same people will receive benefits for 18 weeks, a reduction from the present 28 week benefit period.

Seasonal employees and responsible employers will be hurt under the new system as proposed by the minister. I am not for a minute suggesting that we go back to the days when unemployment insurance was a good alternative to working, but I am suggesting that the minister take a close look at what the department is attempting to do and reconsider it. It will cause many difficulties in the workplace.