House of Commons Hansard #116 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

Journalist Jean V. Dufresne
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, with the death of Jean V. Dufresne, Quebec has just lost one of its greatest journalists after a remarkable 45 year professional career with several newspapers, as well as on radio and television.

Once Jean V. Dufresne had carried out a careful investigation and checked his facts, he provided his readers with articles written in a finely honed language, always beautifully expressed, in a French of as fine a quality as it is possible to have.

He was self-taught, with a passion fuelled by his great curiosity, which gave him a very broad knowledge in a great variety of areas. When another journalistic great, René Lévesque, was at the start of his political career in 1960, he recognized Dufresne's talent and sought him out as his private secretary.

It did not take Jean V. Dufresne long, however, to return to journalism and to his cherished freedom. What was most important to him was to serve the public, and the means he chose was the essential democratic function of understanding and passing on that understanding, of informing people.

My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Commemorative Stamp
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on May 16, 2000 I wrote to Hon. André Ouellet, P.C., Q.C. to request that Canada Post create a stamp in recognition of the Armenian community's 1,700th anniversary of Christianity as a state religion.

I am proud to inform the House that Canada Post has officially announced that the stamp will be issued in 2001 to mark this important milestone in the history of the Canadian Armenian community.

Canada is the first country to issue such a stamp highlighting our government's commitment to inclusiveness and multiculturalism.

I thank the many ministers, members of parliament and members of the Canadian Armenian community who expressed their support for this stamp initiative by writing to me and to Canada Post. The beautiful stamp illustrating traditional Armenian religious art will be enjoyed by everyone around the world.

Airline Industry
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, today is day 47. On August 3, Air Canada CEO Robert Milton made a 180 day commitment to improve customer satisfaction as a result of his chaotic merger with Canadian Airlines. He certainly has his work cut out for him.

For air travellers this has been a summer of discontent plagued by repeated cancellations, numerous delays, lost luggage, a reduction in service and a threatened pilots strike. Even the transport minister and his luggage arrived at different destinations.

It takes more than a glossy public relations campaign to fix what is wrong with Canada's airline industry. While the Canadian Alliance encourages Mr. Milton's initiatives, we are steadfast in our commitment to competition and fair business practices. On that note, I encourage the Competition Bureau to resolve the allegations of predatory pricing and unfair competition against Air Canada.

I call on the transport committee to invite Mr. Milton to appear at the end of his 180 day campaign to present his progress to Canadians through their elective representatives. Then Canadians can present their verdict.

2000 Olympic Games
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Oak Ridges, ON

Mr. Speaker, together with all residents of my riding of Oak Ridges I want to wish all our athletes at the Olympic Games in Sydney good luck and best wishes for success.

I know that these members of our Olympic team will represent Canada and their hometowns with pride: Garret Pulle of Markham in the 4x100 metre freestyle; Rob Rusnov of Richmond Hill in archery; Carl Georgevski, an assistant coach in athletics; Tammy Sutton-Brown of Markham in basketball; John Pearce of Stouffville in the equestrian events of team and individual jumping, backed up by the efforts of Donna Peacock, a groom from Stouffville; Mathieu Turgeon of Unionville on the trampoline; and Colleen Smith of Markham in softball. I know they will be aiming for personal bests and giving their best efforts in the first games of the new millennium.

Australian athletes are certainly benefiting from performing in front of their home crowds. I hope we can look forward to the same benefit if Toronto succeeds in hosting the 2008 Olympic Games.

Fuel Costs
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Louise Hardy Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, winter is coming and soaring fuel costs mean that Canadians spend more money on energy and transportation than on food and clothing combined. In northern Canada one community has been forced to lay off staff in order to pay for heating fuel. Transportation has always been expensive in the north but with rising fuel costs it will become impossible.

The Liberal government no longer regulates energy prices or even monitors gasoline prices. This allows unaccountable oil companies to set prices with no concern for the hardship they inflict. In an emergency resolution, the NDP federal council called on the Government of Canada to ensure that the cost of home heating, transportation and electricity remain affordable for all Canadians.

I would like to take a moment to welcome a page from the Yukon, Jamie Furniss. His mom phoned and asked us to welcome him.

Sydney Olympic Games
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Sydney Games are in full swing and the Canadian delegation has already made its presence felt.

We have seen the magnificent win by Simon Whitfield, the first-ever gold medal winner in the men's triathlon, and the performance of swimmer Curtis Myden, who won the bronze in the 400 metre individual medley.

The young people on our delegation have sacrificed years out of their lives to earn the honour of representing Canada in this landmark event.

We wish them the best of luck and thank them for all of the efforts and sacrifices that have brought them so far.

Thanks are also owing to those who have been behind them throughout their careers—their coaches, their parents, and their friends. Their contribution also deserves recognition.

Good luck to all our wonderful Canadian athletes. We are anxiously awaiting their return home.

Organized Crime
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the escalation of violence is a sign of the powerlessness of the police to do anything about organized crime, which is growing faster than our efforts to come up with a means of stamping it out. This is why, for years now, the Bloc Quebecois has been calling for real anti-gang legislation which would give the police the tools they need to combat this form of crime.

On September 14, the Bloc Quebecois accordingly gave notice of a motion calling on the federal government to introduce anti-gang legislation before October 6, 2000.

We believe that the House must make it very clear that it does not intend to yield to criminal groups' attempts at intimidation. Members of the House must join forces, stand firm against the actions of members of organized crime and demand that the federal government amend the legislation immediately.

Wharves
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, last year when the Liberal government decided to divest itself of the Digby wharf, the PC Party expressed concern that local stakeholders would no longer have any input in the management of their wharves.

Already our fears have come true. Since the federal government transferred responsibility of the wharf to the Maritime Harbours Society, docking fees have increased significantly and services such as garbage removal and water delivery appear to have been eliminated.

The federal government has given Maritime Harbours Society, a supposedly non-profit organization, over $3 million to operate the wharf yet our local fishermen are refused entry into the society.

If the purpose of the divestiture was to give local communities greater input into the future of their wharves, the Digby experience shows it was a complete and utter failure. Wharves are the lifelines of all coastal communities.

By failing to recognize their importance the Liberal government puts at risk the livelihoods of all Atlantic Canadians, a prospect I refuse to accept.

The Late Mel Smith
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the late Mel Smith served as constitutional adviser to the government of British Columbia through a number of different premiers.

B.C. constitutional positions included the notion of the province as a distinct society, a constitutional idea accepted and confirmed by the present federal government in a joint resolution of both Houses of parliament recognizing B.C. as a fifth region within the federal constitution.

His book Our Home or Native Land? aroused lively debate as to the constitutional status of aboriginal land claims and the Nisga'a treaty in particular. The federal government expressly provided in the federal legislation enacting the Nisga'a treaty that it is legally subject to the constitution and the charter of rights.

Stockwell Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a new day in Canada. There is a new guy in town and his name is Stockwell Day.

He is the conductor of the new Canadian Alliance political train that is sweeping across the country picking up passengers from all parts of Canada and from all walks of life. His destination is the House of Commons. He is bringing with him a new agenda, an agenda of respect for the House of Commons, for tax dollars and for all Canadians.

Stockwell Day is a truly national leader with a genuine national vision, a proven policy track record and a love for Canada.

Canadians young and old are looking for change, hope and a new political home. They are finding it in the Canadian Alliance.

It is too bad the government has been derailed by its old style Liberal politics, its old style Liberal governing and its old style of Liberal leadership. In other words, the old Liberal Party is parked on a siding and the new Canadian Alliance Party is picking up speed.

On behalf of all Canadians and the House of Commons, we welcome the new Alliance leader. He is ready to govern. He is ready to go. He is the new Leader of the Opposition and the next prime minister of Canada, Stockwell Day.

Gasoline Taxes
Oral Question Period

September 18th, 2000 / 2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North
Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we are excited to have our new leader in the gallery today, but we are more thrilled that he will be on the floor of the House of Commons tomorrow.

Since he was the Alberta treasurer our new leader has been asking the finance minister to cut gas taxes. We are headlong into a fuel crisis now and the government is still inflating the price at the pumps.

Why has the Prime Minister not cut the gas tax?

Gasoline Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to thank the member from Pickering who raised this subject a lot sooner than any member of the Alliance or Reform.

We have made it very clear that if there is going to be a cut in gas taxes it must go into the pockets of Canadians, not into the pockets of oil companies. That means the size of that cut must be substantial which will require federal-provincial co-operation.

I have said that we are quite prepared to sit down with the provinces at any time to see if this is where their priority lies.

Gasoline Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North
Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I bet the member from Pickering does not like that in his pocket. In the finance minister's 1995 budget he upped the gas tax by a cent and a half every litre. He said he did that to help reduce the deficit. The deficit has been gone for two years now but the tax is not.

Canadians are worried about their heating fuel and filling up their cars and truckers are threatening to strike, but the government keeps on taxing and coming up with excuses.

Why did the finance minister not keep his word?

Gasoline Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for pointing out that we have eliminated the deficit. That has certainly changed a great deal of the particular debate.

I would also like to point out for the hon. member that we have cut taxes substantially. If you take a look, Mr. Speaker, we as the federal government have cut taxes more for Albertans than has the Alberta government.

Gasoline Taxes
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North
Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in fact people from coast to coast are not taking any heart from this finance minister when they are filling up their gas tanks.

This Thursday the official opposition will put forward a supply day motion which will call for lower gas taxes. The government charges GST on its own tax on gas. We want that to stop. The government upped the gas tax to lower the deficit. We want it lowered again. These are common sense ways to bring relief to Canadians.

Will the Prime Minister allow a free vote by all his members on our motion? Yes or no.