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House of Commons Hansard #18 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Debt Recovery BondsStatements By Members

February 9th, 1994 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Dianne Brushett Liberal Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, during World War II the Government of Canada issued victory bonds as a means to pay for our war effort. Patriotic Canadians bought the bonds and thereby saved their children and grandchildren a legacy of heavy debt.

Today a new generation of patriotic Canadians is offering its financial support to pay down this country's debt.

This government could issue a debt recovery bond and sell it domestically to Canadians. We could set an attractive rate of interest and use the entire subscription proceeds to pay down the debt. Our first priority would be the discharge of our foreign debt obligations.

We owe it to our children to give them a debt free Canada. A debt recovery bond will appeal to both the patriotism and financial self-interest of Canadians. It will have the added benefit of providing taxes on the bond's interest for our federal treasury.

Éco-Équipement Inc.Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Terrebonne, QC

Mr. Speaker, Éco-Équipement Inc. is a company that was recently established in my riding. It is preparing to do research in wastewater treatment.

This study, which is conducted in co-operation with Agropur, the École polytechnique of Montreal as well as two government agencies, the Department of Environment of Quebec and the Centre québécois de valorisation de la biomasse, is aimed at developing wastewater treatment in the agri-food industry.

This biological dephosphorization project at the cost of $860,000 over two years will allow, among other things, to reduce discharges of phosphorus, thereby complying with the new environmental protection standards.

I commend the instigators of this major initiative, who are showing a strong desire to develop a more performing technology while remaining aware of environmental laws and responsible towards them.

The Goodman FamilyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Reform Okanagan—Similkameen—Merritt, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to a prominent family in the Okanagan-Similkameen-Merritt riding. With today's rapid development and technological advances we rarely stop to think about those people who shaped our communities in their formative years.

Each year the South Okanagan Historical Society awards the pioneer award to a family that has made a great contribution to the development of the Okanagan. This year the Goodman family of Osoyoos, B.C., was recognized for service to the community that dates back to the early years of this century.

Decades ago Les and Dais Goodman were involved in farming, road building, education, development of parkland and other activities of leadership and involvement. Still today their children and grandchildren carry on this family tradition of dedication to the community.

I ask the House to join me in congratulating the Goodman family for its invaluable contribution to the development of the south Okanagan and this great nation.

Sexual AbuseStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Liberal Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I recently received a letter describing a Guelph constituent's ordeal of sexual abuse. Surviving sexual abuse is a day to day struggle often faced with pain, guilt and grief. Fortunately many have the support of family and friends. All survivors need our support.

Survivors of sexual abuse who decide to pursue their ordeal through the courts should be treated with compassion and respect.

All Canadians pay a great price when we deal with the effects of sexual abuse. For example, many young offenders are victims. Unfortunately too often it is a cycle that continues from generation to generation. Our justice system must recognize and respond to the needs of both the victim and the offender.

I urge the Minister of Justice to recognize that our decisions must reflect a system that is just and fair.

1994 Winter Olympic GamesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Stan Dromisky Liberal Thunder Bay—Atikokan, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my constituents in Thunder Bay-Atikokan and all the young Canadians who aspire to achieve levels of superior performance in their respective athletic endeavours, I wish to congratulate Thunder Bay's John Lockyer on becoming Canada's champion ski jumper, an outstanding athlete who has earned international respect and acclaim.

However as the only member of Canada's national ski jumping A-team John will not be competing in the winter Olympics in Lillehammer, the first time in winter Olympic history that Canadian ski jumpers will not be participating.

The Canadian Olympic Association must be encouraged to re-examine its new regulations which without doubt will prevent many of our champions from entering future games and which also give the appearance that the true purpose and spirit of the Olympic Games are lost.

Greg JoderyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Murphy Liberal Annapolis Valley—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, in the peaceful Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, Greg Jodery was brutally beaten to death. His killer was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to a mere four years.

Supposedly the court found that actions of Jodery's killer were mitigated by the victim's own violent behaviour. These charges were unsubstantiated and it was too late for Greg Jodery to speak for himself.

A community is hurt and outraged. This crime still cries out for justice. As representatives of the people we cannot be silent. Justice must be done for Greg Jodery. If not, our system will not deserve Canada's respect.

Celanese Canada Inc.Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, on January 7 of this year, Celanese Canada Inc., a textile company which has its plant in Drummondville, in my riding, announced a $2.5 million investment to reduce by 25 per cent its emissions of acetone into the atmosphere.

It should be noted that Celanese Canada Inc. was already complying with all government standards for environmental protection and that this initiative resulted solely from its health, security and environmental protection policies.

Celanese Canada Inc. is an example to be cited when talking about sustainable development and companies which are responsible within their community. I take this opportunity to congratulate the company.

1995 Canada Winter GamesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Reform Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, from February 19 to March 4, 1995 the city of Grand Prairie will host the Canada Winter Games. I am proud to say that Grand Prairie is in my riding and is the most northerly city ever to host the Canada Winter Games.

This important event will bring together more than 3,200 athletes, coaches and officials who will participate in 21 different sports.

The games are held every second year, alternating between winter and summer. They are a training ground for future Olympians. The games are also a celebration of culture and for this reason Grand Prairie will be proud to display the many facets of our Canadian and northern heritage.

The theme of the games is Iskoteo, which is a Cree word for fire. The fire is in our sky with the northern lights. It is also in the spirit of the people who rise to challenge the climate and the power of the land.

Soldiers Missing In ActionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, the peace process in the Middle East is promising for all those advocating peace and normalcy. Families with soldiers missing in action on both sides dare to hope.

Mrs. Miriam Baumel, one such parent charged with renewed vigour when Messrs. Arafat and Rabin shook hands last fall, has been pressing the issue of soldiers missing in action with foreign governments and international organizations. Today she met with Canadian parliamentarians.

Her son and other Israeli soldiers have been missing in action in Lebanon since 1982. British parliamentarians have committed to raising the matter with Syrian and Iranian officials. A U.S. congressional delegation has gone on a fact finding mission in the area. Mrs. Baumel has just come from a meeting with members of Congress in the United States.

I note the Geneva convention makes the country where MIAs were last seen in action responsible for their whereabouts. That country, Syria, is a signatory to that convention.

I urge the Minister of Foreign Affairs to address the issue vigorously with Syrian authorities and with Mr. Arafat himself so as to make the return of MIAs part of the peace package.

Winter OlympicsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Steckle Liberal Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to wish all of the country's athletes, especially two young and talented Canadians in the figure skating pairs discipline, the best of luck in the 17th Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

Lloyd Eisler and Isabelle Brasseur are the reigning world pairs champions and are looking to become the first gold medal winners in pairs figure skating since Barbara Wagner and Bob Paul in 1960.

Here we have an example of two Canadians, Lloyd Eisler born in my riding in the town of Seaforth, Ontario, and Isabelle Brasseur, born in Kingsbury, Quebec, in the riding of Richmond-Wolfe, working together to become the best they can be.

As much as Eisler needs Brasseur, Canada needs Quebec. Instead of trying to divide the country, let us work together to make a strong and united Canada.

I invite the member for Richmond-Wolfe to come to my riding after the Olympics to meet the people and take part in what hopefully will be a gold medal celebration.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to suggest to the Minister of Finance to try to keep tax increases to the absolute minimum.

Canadians are losing faith in their taxation system and are protesting by refusing to pay. The underground economy and refusal to pay GST and income tax are indications that Canadians are being taxed to death.

The last federal administration steamrolled public confidence and left the economy flat.

The Minister of Finance has shown he is very sensitive to the wishes of the Canadian taxpayer. I urge the minister to keep taxation to a minimum to help small business and Canadians as a whole.

The SenateStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Bloc Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, in addition to all the horrors mentioned in the last report of the Auditor General, we learned last week that the operation of the other House cost Quebecers and Canadian taxpayers more than $43 million last year. Moreover there were only 47 days of proceedings during the session and, of that total, 29 days over a four-month period, from February to May 1993.

This means one million dollars per day of work or $150,000 per federal riding and these already have representatives in the House of Commons.

If we were to ask the constituents of Richmond-Wolfe if such spending of public funds is appropriate, I can say right away what their answer would be. They tell us, their representatives, that those funds should be invested in the economic recovery and in job creation.

It is the duty of all members of this House, and especially those of the Official Opposition, to examine all votes and appropriations of the other House in order to put an end to this shameful waste.

Child AbuseStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Allan Kerpan Reform Moose Jaw—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, last week, after the longest criminal trial in Saskatchewan history, two defendants were acquitted of 32 charges related to sexual abuse involving 15 children in the town of Martensville. Another defendant was found guilty on eight charges.

There is a lot of anger right now, but stronger than that anger is the determination our neighbours hold on to, a resolve to do whatever we can to prevent these violent injustices from occurring.

The ugly reality of child abuse in our society demands a response from us as leaders. We must discover and expose the roots of this moral flaw.

Victims' rights must receive a much higher priority in our justice system. Nothing can ever compensate for the pain inflicted on all those concerned, but we can and should always strive to protect our innocent from destructive elements in society. We must challenge the ugly face of such anti-social behaviour.

Anti-Smuggling ProgramStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, reading the various reactions from across the country to the anti-smuggling program announced yesterday by the federal government, one might tend to believe that it is a regional problem affecting only Quebec.

I would like to point out that these measures, which we very reluctantly accepted in view of their health implications, had become unavoidable and necessary. I do believe that the other Canadian provinces should learn from Quebec's unfortunate experience, stem the emergence of civil disobedience and prevent the accompanying criminal activities.

With a contraband rate of 33 per cent, some provinces can ill afford to ignore this plague which is no longer a regional problem.

National Infrastructure ProgramStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Patrick Gagnon Liberal Bonaventure—Îles-De-La-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to stress an important measure undertaken to ensure economic recovery in Quebec. Last Monday, the Minister responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development and the President of the Privy Council, along with their Quebec counterparts, signed a federal-provincial agreement on the National Infrastructure Program.

Pursuant to this agreement, our government will be able to renovate local infrastructures. This is a positive step towards jobs creation and economic recovery. Needless to say, it will help to promote economic development in Quebec and throughout Canada.

The projects to be undertaken under this agreement, worth almost $1.6 billion in Quebec only, will give new confidence to our business people, our workers and all Canadians.

Ever since it was elected, the Chrétien government has worked relentlessly to create the right economic climate in our country.

The agreement signed this week with the Quebec government is evidence of our commitment to a sustainable economic recovery. As you can see, Mr. Speaker, federalism does work.

Softwood LumberStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis NDP Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, it has been well known for years that American lumber producers want access to our raw logs so those logs can be processed in the United States. They plan to harass and hassle our softwood lumber exporters until we cave in to their demands.

We were told that the FTA would end this continual harassment. It did not. We were then told that NAFTA would end this harassment. It did not. We were told that special Canada-U.S. trade panels would rule on these disputes in an effort to settle any differences. The panel ruled but ruled in favour of Canada.

Now Mickey Kantor, the U.S. trade representative, says the U.S. will launch an extraordinary challenge to this ruling because the Americans think the panel decision was wrong. They plan to attack the credibility of the panellists.

The previous government caved in to virtually every American initiative. I wonder if the new government will now act differently.

Will the Minister for International Trade tell the Americans to back off? The panel ruled, the U.S. lost. Surely the Minister for International Trade will not stand by as Americans push us around in one more step toward eventually getting full access to Canadian raw logs.

BosniaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Prime Minister. Five days after the massacre at Sarajevo's central market, the 16 members of the NATO council are meeting today in Brussels to examine an American proposal that would force the siege of Sarajevo to be lifted within ten days. Just now there was a news release announcing: "Today NATO member countries agreed to send an ultimatum to the Bosnian Serbs, threatening them with airstrikes if they fail to withdraw their heavy artillery from the region around Sarajevo within the next 10 days".

I want to ask the Prime Minister whether this information is correct. And also, since these decisions must be made unanimously, whether Canada supported sending an ultimatum to the Serbs.

BosniaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we agreed with the proposal to create a 20 kilometre zone around

Sarajevo, within which any arms controlled by the Bosnian Serbs and the Bosnian Muslims would be under the control of the United Nations. We agreed with this ultimatum.

According to the last reports I saw, Mr. Rose, the military officer in charge of the forces in Sarajevo, said that an agreement had been reached a few minutes ago with the Serbs, who agreed to place their arms in the Sarajevo area under the control of the United Nations. I understand that the Muslims will do likewise, which means that if the ultimatum is accepted, there will be no need for airstrikes in the region.

BosniaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I see that it is not quite clear what steps were taken by the Serbs following this ultimatum.

May we ask the Prime Minister what the terms of the ultimatum are? Exactly what will happen to the Serbs should the ultimatum be rejected?

BosniaOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in resolutions that were passed in August and renewed on January 11, we said-and we supported this condition-that if the siege of Sarajevo were to continue, airstrikes could be used to help liberate the city.

After the terrible carnage on the weekend, the 16 NATO allies decided to send an ultimatum and create a 20 kilometre demilitarized zone around Sarajevo. Apparently both the Muslims and the local Serbs are prepared to accept this condition, which means that airstrikes would be unnecessary, if what I saw in the report is true.

BosniaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this means there has been a major change in Canada's position regarding airstrikes, because I understand that until now, Canada had accepted the principle of airstrikes at close range only for self-defence, to guarantee the safety of its peacekeepers. I understand that in this case, the government has decided to support the principle of an airstrike against a belli-gerent force in order to lift the siege of Sarajevo.

In that case, I would like to ask the Prime Minister what guarantees he obtained to ensure that Canadian peacekeepers would not be adversely affected as a result of the ultimatum.

BosniaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when we were in Brussels a month ago we were very concerned about the Canadian troops that were on the other side of the line in Srebrenica. The situation has evolved naturally there. The Bosnian Serbs have accepted the Canadians being replaced by the Dutch before the end of this month.

The situation there is progressing normally. According to the news I heard a few minutes ago, the Serbs have agreed to accept the ultimatum in relation to Sarajevo so there will be no need for a strike. We have accepted to protect the civilians in Sarajevo and, in order to avoid a repetition of the massacre of last weekend, we gave that ultimatum to the military forces in the area.

DeficitOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, an official spokesman for the finance department was quoted in today's newspapers as saying that it would be difficult for his department to bring the Canadian government's annual deficit down below $40 billion. We now understand why they inflated the budget deficit forecast before the holidays.

My question is for the Prime Minister. Does this surprising statement mean that the government has admitted its impotence and does not intend to tackle spending or tax evasion by corporations and wealthy taxpayers?

DeficitOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member should be a little more patient. He will get his answer in a few weeks when the finance minister tables his budget.

DeficitOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, I got an unsatisfactory answer, as I often do during question period.

Instead of letting his finance minister make irresponsible statements on Canadian and American interest rates that led to his being called the stand-up comic of Canadian politics by the Globe and Mail , would the Prime Minister tell us what his government's intentions are? Would he tell us if his government will deal with extravagant spending and the scandal of family trusts and other loopholes?