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House of Commons Hansard #250 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-7.

Topics

Youth Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Liberal Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, I understand there has been an evaluation done on Youth Service Canada. Can the Secretary of State for Training and Youth provide us with some of the highlights of this report?

Youth Service CanadaOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Lloyd Axworthy LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development and Minister of Western Economic Diversification

Mr. Speaker, normally I would want the secretary of state to give the answer because she has done yeoman's service in ensuring that the young people of this country have been provided with new opportunities for employment. However, in her absence, as it comes under my general responsibilities, I would like to answer.

At this time we have over 200 projects operating in the country in which young people have been given an opportunity for community experience as well as being able to earn a stipend so they can return to school. Over 80 per cent of the young people involved in the first year have indicated that they will be using the experience they have gained plus the honorarium they have earned to return to school, to start their own businesses, or to gain further employment.

It shows that when we give young people a chance in this country, they are not the problem; they are the solution.

Aboriginal Land ClaimsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan Reform North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, according to polls the number one issue in British Columbia is aboriginal issues. Among the provincial political parties there is a growing divergence of views on aboriginal issues.

With the current lame duck NDP administration in the waning days of its mandate, will the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development assure the House that he will not entertain completion of any comprehensive agreements, such as the Nisga'a claim, until there is a new administration with a fresh mandate?

Aboriginal Land ClaimsOral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Sault Ste. Marie Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, this government is prepared to entertain anything on which there has been consultation, which looks feasible, which will result in something better than when we started, and which takes into consideration the history of the aboriginal people. I see nothing in the proposal of the Reform Party that suggests that it has adhered to any of those four criteria.

The Nisga'a have been waiting almost 80 years for justice, and now the Reform member is saying do not do anything until the non-Nisga'a government changes in British Columbia. To do the honourable thing, we should move ahead.

I want to point out that the native people in this country have expressed their love for Canada in the last week by the Montagnais voting 99 per cent no, the Inuit voting 95 per cent no, and the Cree voting 96.3 per cent no. Do we treat them and their sense of feeling for this country by saying do not deal with them, but wait for the next provincial election? My answer to the hon. member is no, absolutely not.

Aboriginal Land ClaimsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan Reform North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, this month the B.C. Minister of Aboriginal Affairs publicly stated that settling B.C. land claims will cost $10 billion. The federal minister's department this month estimated costs of $5 billion. My numbers tally with those of the provincial minister.

When there are radically different estimates on such a critical issue, does the minister not agree that the public deserves financial transparency and a cost-benefit analysis on this issue?

Aboriginal Land ClaimsOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Sault Ste. Marie Ontario

Liberal

Ron Irwin LiberalMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, what the public needs is some straight talk from the Reform Party.

The member for Athabasca, who sits on the Reform Party's policy committee, said: "The Europeans came to this country 300 years ago, opened it up and settled it. Because we did not kill the Indians and have Indian wars does not mean we did not conquer these people. If they were not in fact conquered then why did the aboriginal people allow themselves to be herded into little reserves in the most isolated, desolate, worthless parts of this country?" That is what has happened in B.C., Mr. Speaker.

The hon. member now says we should not do anything. Well now is not the time to take that position. I wish the Reform Party would support the BCTC legislation, which they may, so we can start negotiating and doing the job we were elected for: to support the very people the Reform Party represents. This hon. member has half a dozen to a dozen First Nations in his riding. It is about time he realized that they are Canadians and voters and they have grievances that we must begin to resolve.

MedicareOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

The Deputy Prime Minister talked earlier about fighting for medicare. I do not doubt the Deputy Prime Minister's commitment to medicare. However, I would like to ask her a question. Do she and the government not see that if this government continues the trend toward unilateral withdrawal of the federal government from the fiscal partnership that medicare also was-it was not just a partnership with respect to standards and services-they will be unable to maintain national standards because they will lose the critical moral edge they need and the Reform Party will win by default?

We have to fund medicare as well as fight for it. When will this government start funding medicare so that we can save it?

MedicareOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Sudbury Ontario

Liberal

Diane Marleau LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we have stated unequivocally that we would continue to fund medicare in this country with stable, ongoing funding.

There are many myths out there, and one has to do with the decrease in funding by the federal government. Since we have been in power, we have not decreased the funding at all.

Let me give the member an example of what is happening in Alberta in terms of our share of funding for health care expenditures. When we took office, the level of federal funding in Alberta was 33 per cent of their health care expenditures. The following year it rose to 37 per cent of their health care expenditures. This year federal funding for health care in Alberta, as our share of their spending, will be 40.6 per cent.

EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Paul Forseth Reform New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is on the environment. On Friday we were assured in the House that the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment draft environmental framework would be released for public discussion.

Can the government inform us of this discussion schedule and the implementation time frame that will make this agreement a reality instead of another paper proposal?

EnvironmentOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the ministers agreed unanimously at the meeting in Whitehorse to release the document. We are ready at the federal level. We are speaking with our provincial colleagues and hope it will be released within a few days.

PensionsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Liberal Ottawa West, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Secretary of State for International Financial Institutions.

Ninety per cent of the neediest senior citizens in this country are women. Because of their traditional roles and the fact they were

usually paid lower salaries, many women can expect to receive little or nothing in the way of pensions in their old age.

What does the minister intend to do to enforce the principle of equity between men and women with respect to pension reform?

PensionsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Scarborough East Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Ottawa West for raising the issue.

Canada is world renowned for having one of the best retirement systems in the world yet one disadvantaged group in our country is single, elderly women. In recognition of that fact, Liberal governments have, in successive years, improved the security of low income elderly women. The result is that retirement incomes for elderly women have been drastically improving over the last 10 or 20 years. The proportion of low income elderly women has declined significantly.

That is in contrast to the proposal on pensions from the Reform Party which would have the opposite effect of making the single, elderly woman less well off.

PensionsOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, this brings this question period to a close.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, I would like to draw your attention to the presence in the gallery of Dr. Antje Vollmer, Vice-President of the Bundestag of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I raise a point of order to seek the consent of the House for a small amendment to the Standing Orders which I think every patriotic member will support.

All of us participated enthusiastically today in the singing of "O Canada". Many of us, if not all of us, would like that to become a regular feature of the House just like the flag.

Eighteen months ago an amendment to this effect was referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs but nothing came of it.

I, therefore, seek the unanimous consent of the House for the following motion:

That Standing Order 30(1) be amended by adding immediately after the word "upon", the following:

On Wednesdays, immediately after Prayers, the Speaker shall cause Canada's national anthem to be played or sung in the House.

That Standing Order 30(2) be amended by deleting all the words after the word "prayers" and substituting the following:

Or on Wednesdays after Canada's national anthem has been sung or played, the business of the House shall commence.

And that the clerk be authorized to make any consequential amendments to the Standing Orders in this regard.

If this was the only piece of business we did on this particular day, I think it would be a good piece of business for Canada.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Kingston and the Islands Ontario

Liberal

Peter Milliken LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the hon. member on his very helpful suggestion.

I can indicate to him that having given me some notice this morning of the fact that he intended to raise the matter, although I did not have the specifics of the motion he had planned I spoke with the chief government whip who, as he knows, is a member of the procedure and House affairs committee which I have the honour to chair. The chief government whip indicated to me his enthusiasm for the suggestion and he is quite prepared to consider it in committee. While I am happy to take the hon. member's motion under advisement, it would be inappropriate to make changes to the standing orders of the House here on the floor without notice.

Normally notice is given of these motions if they come at all through other than the committee. I think it appropriate that the committee take the matter under advisement and report to the House and I will undertake to see that the committee does study it at an early date.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

There is not unanimous consent.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, I asked the House if we had unanimous consent to proceed with the motion. The House has refused it. Therefore this particular matter is set to one side.

If the hon. member has another point of order, I will gladly hear it but if it is on the same subject the House has decided.

The hon. member, for clarification.

Points Of OrderOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is the very same motion I brought to the procedure and House affairs committee a year and a half ago.

Can we have two motions the same? It seems ludicrous to me that it was already sent there. How could we then send the very same motion back again? Let us just do it.