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House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was self-government.

Topics

Law Of The SeaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, straddling the 200 nautical mile limit there is a fish stock which is of great importance to the existence and well-being of many coastal communities in Atlantic Canada.

Designed to avoid crisis in the fisheries, the law of the sea affirms the responsibility of all nations to co-operate in conserving and managing fish in the high seas. It is in the interests of Canadians that the Government of Canada ratify the law of the sea convention.

Canada should join the other 60 nations in the sustainable management of fish and bring destructive overfishing to an end. I call on the Government of Canada to ratify the law of the sea in 1994.

Disabled AthletesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, National Access Awareness Week is an excellent opportunity to remind this House of the extraordinary performance of our disabled athletes at the last Winter Olympics for the disabled.

Unfortunately, their outstanding achievements did not receive the attention they deserved. In fact, the nine medals won by Canada were mentioned only in a 30-minute television presentation by CTV. That is hardly enough to acknowledge the courage and perseverance of these athletes, for whom life itself is an achievement.

The Summer Olympics will be held two years from now, and I am confident that the Minister of Canadian Heritage will demonstrate that, in Canada, integration of the disabled is a fact and not merely wishful thinking, and urge the CBC to provide adequate television coverage of our disabled athletes at the next Summer Games.

In doing so, we will express the admiration and respect which their exceptional achievements deserve.

Bills C-33 And C-34Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan Reform North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we had the introduction of Bills C-33 and C-34 which would ratify land claims and self-government agreements in Yukon. Last week we were told the government wished to have these bills introduced later in June with the understanding that MPs would have time to prepare properly.

These bills represent the culmination of 21 years of mostly behind closed doors work without the involvement of federal parliamentarians. Today, 24 hours after tabling, Parliament is being asked to debate these bills at second reading.

This is an obvious abuse of power. The Liberal red ink book speaks of the integrity of Parliament. Surely assimilating over nine inches of text overnight with a rushed departmental briefing this morning does not speak well for the integrity of Parliament or the interests of all Canadians. This action is a travesty of Parliament.

Vancouver CanucksStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Anna Terrana Liberal Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to congratulate the 1993-94 NHL western conference champions, the Vancouver Canucks, for reaching the Stanley Cup finals for the second time in their history.

Coach Pat Quinn has done a remarkable job, as have the rest of the Vancouver organization and the players. In particular, goal tender "Captain" Kirk MacLean, Pavel "The Russian Rocket" Bure, and Captain Trevor Linden have shown great leadership and poise throughout the playoffs.

In getting to the finals, the Canucks upset their long time rivals, the Calgary Flames. They handily defeated the Dallas Stars and then beat the Toronto Maple Leafs. Last night they won their first game with the New York Rangers, the best team in the regular season.

With their talent, hard work, determination and the support of all Canadians, I know they will meet the challenge and ultimately succeed in keeping Lord Stanley's cup here in Canada.

On behalf of all Canadians, I would like again to wish the Vancouver Canucks, the players and the organization who play-

Vancouver CanucksStatements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Waterloo.

National Research CouncilStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Liberal Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House of the Prime Minister's appointment this morning of Dr. Art Carty as president of the National Research Council.

Dr. Carty is a highly appropriate choice for this position. He has nearly 30 years experience as a professor and researcher at the University of Waterloo since 1967. His experience and leadership in the domestic and international scientific community are a fitting match with Canada's foremost research facility, the National Research Council.

Dr. Carty has been a director on various boards and has been a consultant to companies. Dr. Carty is therefore a model of the type of co-operation between the private sector and academia the government wants to promote.

Dr. Carty's appointment demonstrates the government's commitment to applied research which serves as one of the pillars of Canada's economic strategy in the new economy.

Show Off East HantsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

John Murphy Liberal Annapolis Valley—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to extend my congratulations to the organizers and those who participated in Show Off East Hants. It was a two-day trade fair which was recently held in Lantz in my riding of Annapolis Valley-Hants.

The trade fair drew 3,500 people from throughout the riding and other parts of the province. People came to see over 100 local businesses show off their first class products and services.

The bringing together of these local businesses to achieve a common goal provides an important link between economic development and job creation. All participants should be proud of their efforts in promoting East Hants as an excellent place to do business.

I ask all members of the House to join me in congratulating those who added to the overwhelming success of Show Off East Hants.

Quebec's Credit RatingStatements By Members

June 1st, 1994 / 2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is now public knowledge. Moody's, the U.S. bond rating agency, judged yesterday that Quebec's economy was sound and confirmed the province's credit rating.

This is a far cry from the apocalyptic scenario described by the Prime Minister, who is trying to scare Quebecers by claiming that the economy is suffering as a result of the political instability caused by the Bloc Quebecois. Mr. Speaker, the real cause of instability in Canada is the Liberal government's failure to cope with the deficit and unemployment.

While Quebec's credit rating has been maintained, Ontario's rating has gone down, and Canada's rating is being reassessed. If Quebecers want economic growth on a sound and stable basis, they must opt for sovereignty, not for maintaining ties with a weak and irresponsible government.

D-DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Reform Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, 50 years ago on the first day of June there was frenetic activity in England. Final preparations were being made to launch the largest military force ever embarked on, for at dawn on Tuesday, June 6, 1944 D-Day, the invasion of Nazi occupied France, would commence. In May 1945 victory in Europe would be declared and freedom returned to the continent.

In commemorating the longest day we pay tribute to the thousands of our military killed or wounded in battle and the hundreds of thousands of Canadian families who sacrificed here at home during the war.

It is also appropriate that we consider how the course of history can be affected for the better by people and nations determined to fight evil.

Just prior to that war there was some wavering of resolve and failed attempts at appeasement. In the end, it was only through determined effort that freedom and democracy triumphed.

History teaches us that it is not easy to stand up to tyranny. We salute those who did.

Rideau CanalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Jordan Liberal Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, on May 22 I had the pleasure of assisting at the opening of the Rideau Canal for another season.

Completed in 1832 to give access to the Great Lakes from the nation's capital, the canal today offers 202 kilometres of clear, pristine waters through a total of 47 locks. Hundreds of pleasure craft annually move leisurely along through the canal and pages and pages of Canada's history.

As the holiday season starts in Canada in a few weeks I encourage Canadian boaters who are looking for a relaxing holiday to try travelling the Rideau this summer. It is not a fast way to get to Kingston from the capital, but it is one which will take them through a beautiful part of Canada and one they will always remember.

Royal Canadian LegionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Royal Canadian Legion members voted against allowing turbaned Sikh veterans and Jewish veterans to enter legion halls. I applaud the resignation of Dominion Command Chairman Robert Ford over the issue.

Turbans are not hats; they are very important religious symbols of the Sikh faith. Sikh soldiers fought and died wearing their turbans. Therefore Sikh veterans and Jewish veterans should be allowed equal access to Canadian legion halls to honour their fallen comrades.

Yesterday was a sad day for religious tolerance and racial understanding in Canada.

National Access Awareness WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

David Iftody Liberal Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week marks the seventh anniversary of National Access Awareness Week in Canada.

It is important as legislators in the House to be aware of the needs of the disabled community. When planning community events we must support the establishments that are accessible so that handicapped people can be included.

Inclusion is what National Access Awareness Week is all about: from the ramps to Braille, to traffic lights that alert the blind, to the sign language interpreter who covers question period on the parliamentary channel. We must as legislators always be responsible and aware of the needs and concerns of those who have special requirements, for without those tools we shut out a significant part of our citizenry.

The Late Reine JohnsonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Reine Johnson passed away yesterday in Montreal. As the wife of one Quebec premier and the mother of two others, she was the heart and soul of a family that has made a major contribution to politics. Widowed in 1968 upon the death, while in office, of Premier Daniel Johnson Sr., she saw admirably to the education of her two daughters, Diane and Marie, and her two sons, Pierre-Marc and Daniel to whom she passed on the torch of public commitment.

On the death of this great lady whom I had the honour of meeting, how can we not have a moment's thought for the spouses of those who enter the political arena. Every day, they play a vitally important role behind the scenes. They share the trials and experience the harsh blows of political battles, but very rarely do they get the credit they deserve.

Speaking personally and on behalf of the members of the Bloc Quebecois, I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to the current Premier of Quebec, Mr. Daniel Johnson, to my friend Pierre-Marc, and to their sisters, Diane and Marie.

Royal Canadian LegionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Sharon Hayes Reform Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, this morning's news carried reports of the Royal Canadian Legion rejecting the proposal to allow turbans. Of the several commentaries I have heard, most condemn this action and once again we hear divisive accusations being hurled by each side.

As a member of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration I have spent many days now listening to the varying opinions of experts and non-experts alike. What is our mandate as we review the Citizenship Act? Indeed, what is the mandate of every Canadian citizen as they identify with Canada?

The strength of our country lies in the agreement of all citizens to come together. That is, we ask no citizen to forsake their cultural inheritance but that each accept and give equal value to the cultural freedom of others.

The legion controversy is two sided. No matter what their cultural or religious background, all Canadians should be confident that their values are respected by others.

In this month of the 50th anniversary of the supremely noble sacrifice by many Canadians, let us recognize the freedom to identify and maintain our respective traditions.

The Late Reine JohnsonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Liberal Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, with great regret I mention the passing of Reine Gagné-Johnson, who died yesterday after a long illness. Her contribution to political life is important, since she was the wife of a Quebec Premier and the mother of two Quebec Premiers, including the present one, the Hon. Daniel Johnson. We remember her as a lady of great dignity.

On behalf of my colleagues and myself, I would like to offer her whole family, her many friends and all the people of Quebec our sincere condolences.

French Language MediaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Milliken Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, the sleazy tactics of the separatist element in the Quebec media have been exposed.

Mme Ginette Johnson, chair of the French language section of the Kingston, Frontenac-Lennox and Addington County Roman Catholic Separate School Board, was contacted by media outlets concerning the French language secondary school in Kingston. She indicated to the media: "I told them I felt this was not a language issue. After that they were not interested in talking to me".

There are separatists in the French language media in our country who have aligned themselves with the Bloc Quebecois in an effort to poison relations between Canada's two largest linguistic groups.

Mrs. Johnson also let the office of the Leader of the Opposition know her position when she was called earlier this week.

The situation in Kingston is clearly a controversy over planning between the city council and the school board. It is not a dispute about language rights but the right to establish a French school in our community.

The attempts by some elements of the media to suggest otherwise are dishonest. The use of this material by the Leader of the Opposition and his colleagues is deceitful.

Criminal JusticeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Reform Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Mr. Speaker, on May 16, 1994 someone said: "An effective criminal justice system, one that holds people accountable for harmful conduct, simply cannot be sustained under conditions where there are boundless excuses for violent behaviour and no moral authority for the state to punish. If people know that they are not going to be held accountable because of myriad excuses, how will our society be able to influence behaviour and provide incentives to follow the law? How can we teach future generations right from wrong if the idea of criminal responsibility is riddled with exceptions and our governing institutions and courts lack the moral self-confidence? A society that does not hold someone accountable for harmful behaviour can be viewed as condoning-or even worse, endorsing-such conduct".

These words were not spoken by a Reformer but by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Would the Minister of Justice please take note.

Scout And Guide ParadeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Liberal Hamilton—Wentworth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a riddle for you. What city has the longest annual parade in North America, if not the world? Mr. Speaker, your share of my minute is up. The answer is Hamilton in my riding.

Last Saturday it hosted its 56th annual scout and guide parade: 9,500 children and leaders took part, 230 guiding groups, 220 scouting groups, cubs, scouts, brownies, sparks and beavers. It took two and a half hours to pass the reviewing stand, a colourful procession of boys and girls as far as the eye could see.

This event, unique to Hamilton, was inspirational. I wish all my fellow MPs could have been there to witness it with me. It would serve to remind us all that our duty to Canada is to its future, to its children.

Scout And Guide ParadeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I might tell the hon. member I knew the answer.

National Forum On HealthOral 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. Criticized by the provinces that refuse to be excluded from the National Forum on Health considering that they are the ones primarily responsible for health-care organization, the Prime Minister confirmed yesterday that the National Forum on Health would be postponed. This postponement, which comes on the heels of the delay in social program reform, was explained by the fact the Prime Minister wished to examine the situation of the provinces.

As chairman of the National Forum on Health, will the Prime Minister commit to seeking the direct participation of the provinces, as equal partners of the federal government, as requested by Quebec and New Brunswick among others?

National Forum On HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is a national forum in which we want stakeholders to participate in order to determine what exactly the long term goals are for the people of Canada in the area of health. We are presently consulting with the provinces, but we do not want this forum to turn into a federal-provincial squabble. There is a health ministers' meeting scheduled, to deal with day-to-day

problems. We do want the provinces to participate, but above all, we want all other stakeholders who want to make their views known to participate in the forum. This conference must not be confused with the meeting of federal and provincial health ministers, who get together on a regular basis.

Five provinces made recommendations in anticipation of their participation. The Minister of Health said she had approved some of these proposals. The provinces then submitted more proposals, which we are currently examining. But the fact remains that this process cannot replace the health ministers' meeting.

National Forum On HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, are we to understand that the federal government is refusing to clearly authorize the formal and direct participation of the provinces in the forum to avoid having to debate publicly with them the consequences of its decision to withdraw from free, accessible and universal health care?

National Forum On HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Absolutely not, Mr. Speaker, because there is a clear and unequivocal commitment on the part of this government to free and universal health care across the country. More and more -and even the provinces recognize this- Canadians want this health system which is the envy of the Americans and others to be maintained.

We spend 9 per cent of our gross national product on health care, as compared to 14 per cent in the United States. We want to make sure that the objectives of this system, which has been working well but has developed a number of problems like any other system after a few years of operation, are maintained in the interest of all Canadians.

National Forum On HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, how can the leader of the government try to make himself look good by imposing national standards on the provinces, while his government is reducing its contribution to health care, which puts the provinces in an impossible situation?

National Forum On HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we did not reduce our funding at all. No cuts in transfers to the provinces were made in the Minister of Health's budget.

The position which we put forward during the election campaign and the Minister of Finance adopted in his budget is that we are going to maintain transfer payments at the level they were when we came to power.