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House of Commons Hansard #268 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Constitutional Amendments ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I think the question has been put. The hon. member has one minute to respond. We will give him the chance.

Constitutional Amendments ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Bernier Bloc Mégantic—Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would ask my colleague from Ottawa-Centre to sit down and go back to sleep, like he did the night of the referendum, since he obviously did not listen until the end to what the Leader of the Opposition said. Not only did the Leader of the Opposition, who will become Quebec's Premier, say that he would respect the results of the October 30 referendum by making sure to deal with the problems facing Quebec, that is, public finance, he also said that the federal government was expected to act and to propose real changes.

So, what do we have here? I said it earlier: trickery and deceit. The next time we will talk about the Constitution in Quebec, it will be about Quebec's Constitution in an impending referendum.

Unemployment InsuranceStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, in the 1994 budget the government announced cuts to UI, which hit Atlantic Canada the hardest. Of the $2.4 billion that was cut, $634 million came from Atlantic Canada. Our region, with 8 per cent of Canada's population, suffered 27 per cent of the UI cuts. Now we hear it is going to happen to us again.

A large portion of the Atlantic Canadian economy has a seasonal nature. I agree that we have to implement measures that allow the region's economy to grow and evolve, but what the government is proposing will not do that. Even the Liberal premier of New Brunswick has called the proposed UI plan devastating for our region. He has also said that he believes it will merely push people from UI to welfare.

I support thoughtful measures to get our deficit under control. We need to help people to help themselves. I fear this is what the government's UI plan will not do. I urge it to reconsider. In fact, this plan is one I would expect from the Reform Party.

Unemployment InsuranceStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Davenport.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, Environment Canada recently charged the Noranda forests mill in Thorold, Ontario, with 150 apparent violations of the Fisheries Act and pulp and paper effluent regulations.

If we are to have sustainable development we need regulations and their enforcement to protect water, fisheries and health from damaging activities. This example shows the importance of Environment Canada in maintaining properly monitored and enforced federal environmental regulations.

Same Sex CouplesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal cabinet is giving rights to same sex couples that members of the House have not approved and the public do not support.

I rise today to condemn a Liberal Treasury Board directive leaked last week which extends a number of spousal benefits to homosexual and lesbian partners who are not formally recognized as being legally married.

During the debate and a free vote on Motion No. 264 in the House last September members refused to grant legal recognition of same sex couples, defeating the motion decisively. Treasury Board officials have defied the will of members of the House by giving homosexual and lesbian couples the same rights as legally married men and women.

On behalf of the majority of my constituents, the majority of Canadians and the majority of MPs in the House I demand the Liberal government bring any extension of government benefits to same sex couple relationships to the House for a free vote.

Ripples Internment CampStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Liberal Fredericton—York—Sunbury, NB

Mr. Speaker, last week I attended a ceremony marking the site of the Ripples Internment Camp near Fredericton. This camp was originally constructed to accommodate Jewish refugees during the second world war and was later used as an internment camp. The organizing committee hopes eventually to rebuild the camp along with a museum to keep the camp's memory alive.

Canada has a long history of accommodating refugees, a history of which it can be proud. However history tells us that mistakes have been made. We must learn from them, grow and make sure we recognize our international obligations to those oppressed around the world.

It is important to remember what happened during the second world war because history must live. I commend Ed Caissie and the rest of the committee for reminding all of us of the horror of the Holocaust.

SevecStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Ivan Grose Liberal Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish today to recognize the achievement of one of my constituents, Miss Amy Kaufman. Tomorrow Miss Kaufman and five others from across Canada will present themselves at Government House to receive the 60th Anniversary Award of the Society for Educational Visits and Exchanges in Canada.

SEVEC is a not for profit association run by teachers that organizes educational visits and exchanges. Its aim is to create and promote enriching educational opportunities within Canada for the development of mutual respect and understanding.

Miss Kaufman spent two weeks in Quebec last year as a participant in a SEVEC program. She was struck by both the similarities and the differences between our two peoples. She was

especially impressed by the depth of friendship and understanding that can be achieved in so short a time, an interesting observation.

I ask all members to join me in recognizing Miss Kaufman, a proud Canadian.

Ftq ConventionStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bloc Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday the Leader of the Opposition and I attended the opening of the 24th convention of the FTQ, Quebec's largest labour federation.

I think it is significant that there were 1,500 delegates at this historic convention, which was focussed on employment. For the first time, the presidents of the CSN and the CEQ were invited to attend. In an extremely courageous speech, FTQ president Clément Godbout spoke of the major challenges to the trade union movement now and in the years to come. The labour federation wants to fight against the emergence of an increasingly powerful right and in support of labour legislation reform, union-employer partnerships, and increased power over the way work is organized.

It is therefore important to congratulate those behind such an initiative aimed at enabling Quebec decision makers to undertake an in depth examination of tomorrow's Quebec.

I would also like to wish FTQ past president Fernand Daoust a prompt recovery; he was injured in an automobile accident the day before yesterday.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the environment minister's decision to sign an interim order banning the export of PCBs to the U.S. defies logic, especially since the EPA in the U.S. has recently reversed its decision to allow PCB imports for destruction.

This reversal enables Canadian companies to safely dispose of their stockpiled PCB contaminated waste at the lowest possible price and in the safest possible manner. The minister ought to be elated. Unfortunately she has decided to ban PCB exports to the U.S. despite the fact that Canada exports over 100,000 tonnes of waste to the U.S. each year.

The distance now that the PCBs have to travel are much greater when shipped across Canada than when shipped to the United States. Canadian companies are also paying an extra $150 million to do this.

Considering the overwhelming information in support of allowing PCB exports to the U.S., I urge the minister to reconsider her government's position, do the right thing, and stop pandering to the protectionist stance that does little to help the overriding goal of PCB removal.

Global VisionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Wood Liberal Nipissing, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to inform the House of the completion of the global vision program for 1995 and the release of the annual report.

As parliamentary chair I am pleased to announce that this non-profit organization was able to conduct cross Canada regional seminars involving over 800 students. These young people met with industry and government experts to discuss issues involving science, trade and technology, and to acquire the skills needed to compete in the new global economy.

In addition, the junior trade corps program allowed 18 participants to visit Taiwan in the Republic of China in August. I thank the many sponsors of the global vision program. These include Canadians Airlines, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Canadian Heritage, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, FEDNOR and Western Star Trucking.

I personally thank Mr. Jason Yuan and his staff at the Taipei economic and cultural office. Without his assistance and the co-operation of the Republic of China's foreign affairs department and the China Youth Corps, our trade mission to Taiwan would not have been possible.

International Hiv-Aids DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, December 1, is International HIV-AIDS Day. On the same day last year our Prime Minister was one of the cosignatories of the Paris declaration.

I would like to draw the attention of the House to the fact that Canada followed up on this summit by creating a task force on Canada's international response on HIV-AIDS.

On this day, the theme of which is "Share rights, Share responsibilities", I would like to acknowledge the important role played by nongovernmental organizations such as the International AIDS and Development Coalition, the International Council of ONGs against AIDS, the Canadian AIDS Society, the Canadian Public Health Association, the Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, the réseau international francophone d'intervention SIDA and the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS.

Sovereignist ArtistsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal and Reform members of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage have openly declared a witch hunt. The representatives of Canadian unity are against sovereignist artists, like Marie Laberge, getting federal funding.

Obviously, ridicule has never killed anyone. Quebec sovereignists still continue to send their tax money to Ottawa. Each year, the federal government collects $30 billion from Quebecers. Do the members of the committee seriously think that the federal government could deny access to its programs to 50 per cent of Quebec's population? As Franco Nuovo put it so well in the Journal de Montréal , Canada Council grants are not given out to ``serve the allegiance and political stripe of artists, but to recognize and support talent and excellence in the arts world in Canada''.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Jan Brown Reform Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are astounded to learn that our human rights commissioner feels it is inappropriate to comment on human rights abuses in China. His tolerance of forced abortions and his inability to pass judgment on the execution of political dissidents show shameful disdain for women's rights, equal rights and human rights.

We must tell China that this policy is wrong. As Canadian Human Rights Commissioner it is his responsibility to lead, not to follow. He has a moral obligation to help bring about change in areas where the humane treatment of people is rejected. He must do this by showcasing Canada as a model of democratic tolerance, a champion of human rights and a defender of the exploited.

We cannot sit idly by, as women, children and others suffer abuse at the hands of inhumane governments. Instead of resigning himself to indifference, Max Yalden should resign, himself. If he refuses, the government must remove him from office as he clearly lacks the courage to promote and represent Canadian values internationally.

Csn PresidentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the sovereignist's sovereignist Gérald Larose, president of the CSN, delivered a hefty blow to the Quebec Premier's economic strategy, labelling it devastating. He went on to say, and I quote: "We have the vague impression that, having failed to control all our levers during the referendum, the Government of Quebec wants to take the shortest route and throw itself wildly on spending to avoid sinking like the Titanic".

The union leader's barrage against the PQ government has failed, however, to wound the claimant to the throne, whom nobody wants to upset. The union leader's whole strategy reeks of opportunism and should be condemned, given the benefits his organization has always enjoyed from its affiliation with the PQ.

Diabetes Awareness MonthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Kraft Sloan Liberal York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to remind members of the House that November has been proclaimed Diabetes Awareness Month by the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Over one million Canadians including many members of my own family have diabetes, a major cause of premature death, blindness, kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, limb amputation and other significant health problems. The chances of having diabetes increase with age. It affects more than 13 per cent of Canadians between the ages of 65 and 74.

The Canadian Diabetes Association supports diabetes research and provides a wide range of services for and on behalf of persons with diabetes and their families. I am proud to say the federal government also plays an important role by supporting diabetes research, with the Medical Research Council of Canada being the country's largest contributor to diabetes research.

I ask the House to join with me in wishing the Canadian Diabetes Association and its many volunteers a very successful Diabetes Awareness Month.

Renewal Of Canadian FederalismStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is the dawning of a new age. During the referendum campaign, the government promised change. Now, change is under way. First, the members of this House are to vote on recognizing Quebec as a distinct society with its own language, culture and legal tradition.

Also, we have before us today a bill granting a veto to Quebec, to the people of Quebec, and to the other regions of Canada. This makes for a great start. That is what I call delivering the goods. And we must continue to ensure that the changes contemplated also apply to our way of doing things. In the context of these changes, I urge all hon. members of this House, regardless of their political

affiliation, to work at making this country of ours, Canada, the country of all Quebecers and all Canadians.

Peter JacobsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, Peter Jacobs has lived almost all his life in Kahnawake. He was adopted at the age of three weeks and has contributed to this Mohawk community for 40 years. Even though he is a status Indian under the Indian Act, Mr. Jacobs has now been excluded from the register by a Kahnawake band council resolution that in effect has stripped him of his status as a member of this band and of entitlement to all related rights.

Without prejudging a highly technical issue currently before the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the members of the Bloc Quebecois would like to express their strong disagreement with this act of discrimination and exclusion, which would appear to be based on race and ethnic origin.

Leader Of The OppositionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bonaventure—Îles-De-La-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Patrick Gagnon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it seems that Quebecers will once again have to pay for the lack of courage and conviction of the person who let them down almost one month before the failure of Meech. In a speech befitting a never ending soap opera, the leader of the opposition said once again yesterday that he will not support the recognition of Quebec as a distinct society.

The Bloc Quebecois leader refuses to accept Canada's offer to co-operate, preferring to concentrate on his emotional speeches, in which he keeps crying over old stories of humiliation and rejection. Quebecers are discovering, regretfully and somewhat late, that the person who is asking them to put their confidence in him is only interested in his career and imminent crowning as Quebec's Premier. Unfortunately, he refuses to acknowledge the consensus among Quebecers to be recognized as a distinct society and to have a veto power within the Canadian federation.

Unemployment Insurance ReformOral Question Period

November 30th, 1995 / 2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in an all out attack against the federal government, Premier McKenna of New Brunswick, a faithful ally of the Canadian Prime Minister, strongly condemned the UI reform proposals.

Mr. McKenna warned that by directly targeting workers in Eastern Quebec and the Atlantic provinces, these reforms will create what he referred to as "an unprecedented political backlash". Mr. McKenna's scathing attack is similar to the stand of the official opposition on the new cuts in unemployment insurance Ottawa is about to make.

Does the Minister of Human Resources Development agree that, as stated by the Premier of New Brunswick, these new cuts will come down hard on seasonal workers in Eastern Quebec and the Atlantic provinces?

Unemployment Insurance ReformOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, once again the Leader of the Opposition, as he has done so many times in the past, is exaggerating the comments.

We had a very useful meeting with the Atlantic premiers. We were able to deal with many of the concerns they raised. If the hon. leader of the opposition were more careful in his research and analysis he would know that when they came out of the meeting they actually said they found the approach we are taking to be quite praiseworthy and one they wanted to support.

I would like to quote Premier McKenna directly: "Several features of the reform will be very positive in terms of making it worth while to work and there are a number of elements of the reform that we find praiseworthy". Mr. McKenna, after having had the opportunity to find out the real direction and approach we want to take, as opposed to all the suppositions, allegations, and paranoia the leader of the opposition puts forward, actually finds this to be something he finds praiseworthy.

Unemployment Insurance ReformOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I have not met Mr. McKenna recently, but I saw reports in the newspapers this morning that he condemned the minister's reforms and warned they would create an unprecedented political backlash. And I am fully aware of the fact that Mr. McKenna is a Liberal like the minister himself, so he cannot be accused of being soft on policy.

I want to ask the minister whether he realizes that young people and women will be the main victims of his reforms, since these will tighten UI criteria by substantially increasing the number of hours and weeks worked.

Unemployment Insurance ReformOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. Leader of the Opposition once again totally contradicts himself.

When he made his announcement that he would become leader of the Parti Quebecois and the future premier of Quebec, he said he had one major ambition, jobs, and he wants to work with people to do this. That is our ambition as well, to transform a system that has been around for 50 years and over the years has developed a number of problems in terms of giving people the tools and the opportunities and the encouragement to go to work. That is why we are changing the system, so we can help people go to work.

I say to the hon. Leader of the Opposition if he believes, as he said he did during the referendum campaign, in "partnership", I am prepared to be a partner with the hon. Leader of the Opposition when he becomes premier. I would like to work with him to create jobs for Quebecers. I ask him, is he prepared to be a partner with us in creating good, serious jobs for Quebecers once he becomes the premier of Quebec?

Unemployment Insurance ReformOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the minister tells us his reforms are intended to create jobs. Would he agree that, in fact, his reforms are intended to get people off unemployment insurance so they will have to go on welfare, all of which will add to the bill the provinces will have to pay?

Unemployment Insurance ReformOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, in fact they will not. There will be a number of initiatives that will help people who now find themselves without the tools or resources to get back into the workforce. They will be given that opportunity.

I would point out that unlike the minister of social security in the Government of Quebec, who cut back welfare payments and took away the very incentive, the very resources, the very income being used to help people on social assistance to go back to work, we are attempting through the reform and modernization of the employment insurance system to give those tools back to people so they can go back to work.