This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

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

National UnityStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Liberal Don Valley North, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is referendum day in Quebec. All Canadians await anxiously the results of this vote.

I have received many letters and phone calls on this subject. I would like to share one such letter from the Canadian city of Montreal.

Canada is a nation made up of numerous nationalities besides French and English, people who left their native countries to contribute their intelligence, energy and talent to their new nation, Canada, to build a better life in peace for themselves and for their children.

When they were separated from their homelands they had in mind a new project of integration because they believed that unity is a strength and to live in a united and strong Canada would bring them both strength and prosperity. After years of contributing to the growth and success of la belle province, it is heartbreaking to see those who would destroy our nation Canada.

As we have built this nation together we must vote to keep this country united.

The letter is signed by the Assadourian family.

I urge all Quebecers to reflect on these thoughts.

National UnityStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Reform Simcoe Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today Canadians are watching and hoping for a strong no vote in Quebec. Reformers believe that no means not only no to the separatists, but no to the status quo as well.

We must all acknowledge the problems that have led us to this point, starting with the top down style of federalism that dictates to provinces and people, instead of bottom up grassroots democracy.

The problems of ever increasing taxes, the enormous debt, unacceptable levels of unemployment and a failing criminal justice system are the result of failed policies of the past.

Reform has recently published 20 proposals for a renewed Canada. Without constitutional change, we would give power back to the provinces in language and culture, in natural resources and manpower training.

We would give Canadians direct democracy through recall, referendum and free votes in this House.

I urge my fellow Canadians in Quebec to vote no today and in doing so, say yes to a renewed Canada.

National UnityStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Murray Calder Liberal Wellington—Grey—Dufferin—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, Monday and Tuesday of last week I had the opportunity to meet with 50 students from Collingwood Collegiate Institute and to be part of their demonstration for national unity.

These students took it upon themselves to show their deep commitment to the people of Quebec by coming here to Ottawa-Hull to talk with and to share their concern and love for this great country with students from Quebec. They implore the people of

Quebec to vote no today and to share their dream of a united Canada that is respectful of their language and traditions, as well as being judged one of the best countries in the world in which to live.

I have with me today a petition from 359 students from Collingwood Collegiate Institute asking Quebecers to keep their faith in Canada and Canadians.

National UnityStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Liberal Lambton—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, people from all over Canada, including my riding of Lambton-Middlesex, gathered by the thousands last Friday in Montreal to show their support for Canadian unity.

The future of this country is for our children. In that vein I am happy to report that some children in my riding have sent a message of support to our Prime Minister and to Canada. It consists of a huge 10-foot unity poster which was put together by the grade 5 and 6 class of Caradoc North Public School in Caradoc township near Strathroy, Ontario.

The idea for this poster which consists of 400 pairs of hands and 400 accompanying signatures came from the children. Its theme of course is unity among Canadians, all Canadians and its message is heartfelt and sincere. Over the top of the 400 pairs of clasped hands is a message in French and English: Ne separez pas. Don't let go.

For the sake of our children, let us keep this wonderful country, our Canada, together.

Quebec ReferendumStatements By Members

October 30th, 1995 / 2:05 p.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Reform Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Mr. Speaker, we Canadians are lucky. Our country's political and democratic institutions are sound and have the confidence of the people. They have served us well in a long history. They were used to resolve some of the most fundamental conflicts any society can face, the role of government in private lives and the power of centralist institutions in conflict with regional aspirations.

The resolution to these and many other conflicts were never supported by all Canadians. Before votes, they were discussed widely and heatedly. They divided families, friends and regions. But after the votes were counted, the democratic decision was accepted. Losers licked their wounds and resolved to fight again by the same rules.

This democratic tradition will be tested severely when the votes are counted today, when the stakes are higher than they have ever been before, when many fear the end of Canada.

I pray that all Canadians and especially we in these chambers continue to follow our successful democratic tradition and accept the people's-

Quebec ReferendumStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Kamloops.

Government PoliciesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis NDP Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second anniversary of the Liberal government of course has now come and gone. Increasingly in the provinces and territories people are very concerned about the future. I wonder why.

The Prime Minister stated that he would tear up the FTA and would only sign NAFTA if major changes were made. No changes were made and the Prime Minister has become the strongest cheerleader of the NAFTA program down south.

The Liberals promised a new Bank of Canada policy. When they assumed office the rate was 4.3 per cent and today it is closer to 7 per cent. Canadians thought that the new policy meant lower interest rates, not higher ones.

The Liberals promised a national child care program. Instead they have cut funding for the existing child care programs across the country.

The Liberals promised to abolish the hated GST. Today the GST continues to be collected and the government now is thinking of only changing the name of the GST.

Looking at the future we see reduced UI payments, we see reduced pension coverage, we see reduced-

United WayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bernie Collins Liberal Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I rise today in the House to pay honour to my city of Estevan, Saskatchewan. Estevan has wrapped up its United Way campaign with a telethon which generated $139,000. This year they reached their objective faster than any other city in Canada. And this is not the first time; they have done the same eighteen times in the last nineteen years.

Estevan was the first city in the country to reach its United Way objective. Estevan is a perfect example of the values that are important to both Canada and the United Way: compassion and

generosity to all Canadians. Let us tip our hats in honour of Estevan, the most generous city in all of Canada.

National UnityStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Hickey Liberal St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today as a Newfoundland MP and a proud Canadian. I speak on behalf of my constituents of St. John's East and the majority of Newfoundlanders. My message is to the people of Quebec and it comes from our hearts:

Today you will vote in a referendum to separate from Canada and the outcome affects us all. It was not that long ago that the people of Newfoundland voted to join Canada. You welcomed us and we have lived together in one peaceful nation.

We may come from different regions and face different circumstances but we share many of the same values and principles.

Like you, I want the best for my family and for my children. I want them to be able to find good jobs, to have the service and programs they need and to live in a generous and compassionate country. These goals are possible in a united Canada. Anything is possible in a united Canada. Let your children inherit the best country in the world, Canada. Vote no.

National UnityStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Lethbridge Alberta

Reform

Ray Speaker ReformLethbridge

Mr. Speaker, after 128 years of nationhood we find ourselves on the brink of massive change. Today millions of Quebecers will be asked to decide whether they want to stay and build Canada or to leave and construct a nation of their own.

Regardless of the outcome of this vote, regardless of whether Quebecers choose to stay or to go, one thing is clear: This country will never be the same again. If nothing else, the referendum has demonstrated the bankruptcy of the status quo.

A narrow victory for the no will not change the fact that millions of Quebecers have voted for fundamental change. Whether to stay or to go is for Quebecers to decide, but on behalf of my Reform colleagues I send the following message to Quebec: If you choose to remain Canadian, you will not be alone. There are millions of reform minded people like you in every province of this country. Join with us. Together we can build a renewed federation which addresses our concerns. Vote no for sovereignty and yes to the new Canada.

National UnityStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Guy Arseneault Liberal Restigouche—Chaleur, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec referendum debate will have had the side effect of encouraging the people of other Canadian provinces to express the heartfelt feelings they harbour toward Quebec.

For more than a week now, hearts in all of Canada beat in time with those in Quebec. This harmony of thoughts and feelings reached its peak with the monster rally last Friday in Montreal.

There was only one message to be delivered at that rally, and I believe that it was: our brothers and sisters in the other provinces understand and love us. They do not want to see their country broken apart, and they cannot imagine a Canada without Quebec.

By voting no this evening, the men and women of Quebec will allow us to continue this great adventure of tolerance and openness. My wish on this October 30, 1995 is: long life to Quebec, long life to Canada.

World Trade OrganizationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, China is now in the process of applying for membership in the World Trade Organization, an application which the Liberal government supports in spite of China's appalling record on human rights and labour rights.

The WTO does not have any rules regarding labour rights, despite the efforts of the NDP working alongside many labour movements, social democratic parties and others around the world. To join, China must therefore prove it will respect foreign investors' intellectual property rights but not the rights of many child labourers, prison labourers and conscript labourers who suffer in China's unregulated labour market.

Trade will improve human rights in countries like China if and only if international trade rules offer the same protection for the human rights of citizens and workers as they do for the rights of investors.

I call on the government to take the lead internationally in making China's membership in the WTO conditional on the respect for basic labour rights.

Immigration And Refugee BoardStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have good news and bad news today.

The good news is that Bounjan Inthavong, that bad guy from Laos who participated in the murder of young Kirby Martin by beating him with a baseball bat has been deported. The minister of immigration assisted me in that deportation and I thank him for that. I hope the next time it will not take a year and a half to get his act in gear.

The bad news is that there are many more to deport, like Karel Kral and Hector Lopez. Standing in the way of these deportations is an inept, incompetent refugee board.

Most Canadians do not know this but these refugee boards are not required to look at criminal convictions of non-Canadians at refugee hearings, only the consequences of sending them back to the receiving countries-

Immigration And Refugee BoardStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Madawaska-Victoria.

National UnityStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Pierrette Ringuette-Maltais Liberal Madawaska—Victoria, NB

Mr. Speaker, my statement today is that of millions of Canadians across this country. It is as follows:

O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command. With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North strong and free! From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

National UnityStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, regardless of the outcome of the Quebec referendum, Canada must go on with important changes in the federal system. The priorities of the Canadian people must be met. The federal debt has risen to over $560 billion. Canadians are staggering under an oppressive tax burden. Our health care system is on the critical list. Canadians are increasingly concerned about their public safety.

My question is for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. Is the government willing to make changes, real changes, in these important areas to prepare Canada for the 21st century?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Thank you, Mr. Manning, for this vote of confidence in Canada.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, we saw on Friday and again throughout the weekend the power that Canadians can exert when they work together. Tens of thousands of Canadians joined together in a common cause and voiced a common concern. They want a united country and a Canada that is open to change. On that point I think I can speak for every member of this House when I say that we love this country and we will fight for change within a united Canada.

Is the government prepared to invite greater public input and greater public participation, like we saw on the weekend, in developing and implementing a Canadian agenda for change?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, certainly we can agree with the Reform Party on one point. The show of strength of Canadians from across the country who converged on the city of Montreal to show their solidarity with Quebecers and to show Quebecers that not only is Canada good for Quebec, but Quebec is a very key part of Canada, with that we can certainly agree.

We look for the continued support of the leader of the Reform Party to implement an agenda where Canadians can feel at home in any part of their country, in any language.

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, in order to address many of the concerns on the Canadian agenda there needs to be a realignment of responsibilities between the federal and provincial governments.

Canadians want the control of the financing of services, like social services that affect their daily lives, to be in the hands of the level of government which is closest to them. They want the federal government to play a co-ordinating role in the establishment of national standards and a stronger role in the area of international trade on which so many jobs and incomes depend.

My question is for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. In the days following the referendum is the government prepared to fundamentally rethink its relationship with the provinces and realign important federal and provincial responsibilities?

Federal-Provincial RelationsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, there was one message which came out very loud and clear from the people who gathered in Montreal from every corner of the country. The message was that they were tired of political fights. This was not a discussion among politicians. It was a heart to heart talk among the people of Canada. I personally spoke to a lady in a wheelchair who came

from Peace River, Alberta with her husband. She met me in the elevator and she said:

"Ms. Copps, I do not speak French, but if you could tell Quebecers their being part of this country is important, tell them, because their Canada is my Canada". And that is the message we must give Quebecers today, not the message that Canada does not work. Canada can change. Canada will change. And it will change with the heart of Canada inside it: Quebec.

[English]

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Reform Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Mr. Speaker, whatever the outcome of the referendum today, Canada's deficit crisis remains. The difference between the government's spending and revenues is nearly $100 million every 24 hours of every week, of every month, at least for this year.

Can the Minister of Finance assure the people of Canada that whatever the outcome of the referendum, he has decisive plans for the prompt elimination of the deficit?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Scarborough East Ontario

Liberal

Doug Peters LiberalSecretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the government has a clear plan to reduce the deficit and to move from 3 per cent of GDP to a balanced budget. We have followed our plan.

Despite the changes in the economic environment, as the finance minister says, come hell or high water we are going to meet our targets in reducing the deficit. The best way of doing that is what we have done, to keep our feet to the fire with rolling two year targets. We have done that and we are going to continue doing it.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Reform Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Mr. Speaker, whatever the outcome of the referendum today, Canada's debt will still be $560 billion. Our generation imposes an irresponsibly high burden on young Canadians.

Can the minister assure young Canadians that he has decisive plans to deal with the burden of the debt on young Canadians?