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House of Commons Hansard #271 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was jobs.

Topics

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, first of all, I agree with some aspects of what the previous speaker said. Canadians have every right to criticize the present Liberal government because it was elected on a platform of jobs, jobs, jobs, but in the end it is just coasting. It creates jobs piecemeal, while just as many are being lost, so that net job creation is zero.

This government plays a lot with words, and I think that is significant. Instead of unemployment insurance it now says employment insurance, but for heaven's sake, the contents should be what it says on the label. There should be something to help evaluate the impact in terms of job creation and helping us to get out of this mess.

We in the Bloc Quebecois are concerned about job creation. We see in these reforms a lot of measures that will have a negative impact on job creation, including the fact that young people who come on the labour market and fail to accumulate 910 hours will remain dependent, will go back on welfare and well become part of the welfare cycle. This is wrong and lends further credence to the fact that this is a lost generation, and that we cannot accept.

We in the Bloc Quebecois have a different perception of employment. We agree with the Reform Party in some respects. There is also a structural and organizational problem in Canada.

We have developed a system in which one government has the power to collect taxes and spend money in jurisdictions it does not know and does not control, and has developed a fantastic bureaucracy to be able to function. This has created a lot of public service jobs but today, at the operational level, we realize this no longer works. Yes, we have a problem with the plumbing. We will have to deal with a number of things, but we also have a problem with the architecture: I am referring to the fact that governments do not have clearcut jurisdictions.

From the federalist point of view, which I do not share, one could say it is entirely normal that in Canada international relations come under the jurisdiction of a federal Parliament. However, manpower is a not an area in which the federal government can be effective, and this is borne out by unemployment rates that are unacceptable, that are much too high and that show a significant spread. There are marked differences between the regions in central Canada and around the federal government, and more distant regions.

The maritimes, Quebec and other regions outside larger urban centres always seem to have higher unemployment rates than the metropolitan areas. The system puts the regions at a disadvantage, which means that young people must look for employment elsewhere. If we keep the 910-hour standard, you will see a large number of young people between the ages of 18 and 23 who may have managed to get summer jobs in their own regions but will have to leave to get jobs in the city, and we are just going to aggravate this exodus.

Yes, the Bloc is concerned about employment, but as far as the solutions are concerned, we think it is also a matter of the structure and management of manpower training and also the fact that it should be more closely related to the needs of the people concerned and integrated with our educational resources.

When we have a government like the one in Quebec that is responsible for the Labour Code, for occupational health and safety legislation and for labour standards, and we have another government that is going to introduce five measures dealing with issues such as wage subsidies and income supplements, this will further complicate the system. Someone somewhere in the Department of Human Resources Development will then be able to say he is an expert on something no one else understands.

This means he can justify his job, but this is not efficient, and in North America we can no longer afford to operate this way. If we want to be competitive on international markets, decision making must be brought as close as possible to the people. That should be

the government's objective. If the federal government does not adjust and act accordingly, it will be swept away.

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1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Georgette Sheridan Liberal Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, things are becoming more and more curious as I listen to my colleagues from the Bloc and the Reform Party.

I listened to Bloc members saying they agree with Reform. Then I listened to Reform members asking why government is not creating more jobs. That sounds a lot like the NDP. Then when we have the Reform and the NDP voting together against the government on issues like gun control, voting against the veto power, perhaps there is a reason for the hon. member's confusion.

Speaking of confusion, I would like to touch again on a point of confusion my friend from the Bloc seems to have. He seems to be suffering from the same affliction as the member for Yorkton-Melville in that he thinks the government was elected on jobs, jobs, jobs. Again, there is probably confusion there given the close relationship between the former government, which did promise that, and the Bloc Quebecois whose members tend to be a lot of recycled Tories.

I am wondering about the comment the member from the Bloc made with regard to what should have happened. This is not a world of should have but a world of what has happened. The people of Quebec rejected what was put to them by the members of the Bloc Quebecois.

The member has made a strong statement that there is not going to be any agreement. I regret that because it seems the package put forward by the Minister of Human Resources Development goes a long way in allowing the federal government and the provincial government to work together to achieve exactly what we have been hearing from the member from the Bloc all year long. I encourage him and his party to co-operate with the government rather than destroy the country.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the government member is surprised that the opposition parties have similar views on certain things, this is perhaps the time to twig to the fact that, when you make campaign commitments, the decent thing to do is to honour them.

When you say you are going to create jobs, you are supposed to have corresponding policies. When you defeat a government like the former Conservative one by saying that its policies were unacceptable, you have to meet the commitments you made subsequently. The idea is not to win elections, but to carry out mandates you have been given. This is the goal and what must be achieved.

There is a lesson for the government in this. For two years the Liberal government said there was no problem in Quebec. It told Canadians that there was no problem in Quebec, that, if it did its job right, there would be no more Quebec problem. But then they found themselves with 49.4 per cent of the people of Quebec saying yes to sovereignty. The Prime Minister is the intermediary between Canadians and Quebecers. Canadians realized that he had lost touch with reality and should perhaps be removed so people could talk directly.

I think it important that the message be understood. Our objective should be effective government. On this point a number of parties could agree, why not have the same idea? Federalists should basically promote very broad decentralization if they really want this country to continue to function.

In any case, throughout the world today, the solution lies in small groups, which have the tools to develop and do so successfully, controlling the course they want to take and making their own choices.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. A Liberal member misrepresented the position and the statement I was making. I made it absolutely clear that I was not expecting-

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member is not making a point of order, he is getting into argument. He will have an opportunity in debate to deal with what has been said.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I understand Liberal members have been splitting their time and I have been asked not to split my time. I will be using the full 20 minutes, plus the 10 minutes allotted for questions and comments.

I rise today with some reluctance to speak on this motion. I hope to have an opportunity to speak on the bill and on the many good points in the legislation. However, today we are debating the Bloc opposition motion condemning the government's employment insurance legislation for maintaining overlap and duplication in labour market training. I will try to confine my comments to that motion and to the aspects of the bill which relate to that motion. However, I would like to speak about the many good things the bill will do and I hope to have the opportunity to do so in the future.

If the hon. member and her colleagues in the Bloc had taken the time to give thorough consideration to the new employment insurance legislation they would see it does not maintain overlap and duplication in labour market training. After all, the Minister of Human Resources Development tabled the legislation only last Friday. It is a comprehensive document which deserves serious consideration by all members of the House.

The people of Quebec would be better served if the Bloc spent more time trying to understand this bill.

Instead they are conjuring up fallacies about its implementation.

To address the hon. member's motion directly, I suggest she refer to page 19 of the just published employment insurance guide. I know the hon. member has not seen this document. If she had she would not be wasting the valuable time of the House with this motion.

On page 19 of the guide, under employment benefits, the last paragraph of the first column states: "The legislation also proposes a new partnership with the provinces in order to eliminate duplication and encourage governments to work together to foster employment". It says the federal government will work in partnership with the provinces to eliminate duplication. That also means eliminating overlap; they are, after all, the same thing.

I do not know how much clearer the government can make it. It has been spelled out in the EI guide. I hope that by elaborating I can assist hon. members opposite, who still seem confused, to understand exactly what this means.

The labour market training initiatives under EI are not the one size fits all programming approach taken by previous governments. The federal government will work with each province individually, including the province of Quebec, because Quebecers are Canadians and are entitled to the same considerations under this legislation as are all citizens of the country.

We will work with each provincial government to help it deliver a federal program if it desires to do so or, and this is a key point, where a province is operating a program which will equally serve EI clients we will support that program. I do not know how much clearer I can make it for the members of the Bloc.

If the provincial government of Quebec agrees or if it has an employment initiative which meets the employment benefits criteria of this legislation, we are fully prepared to work with the Government of Quebec to use that initiative to help unemployed Quebecers get back to work as quickly as possible. The same thing applies in every province and territory of the country.

My colleague has already mentioned, but it bears repeating, that the good news is the Government of Quebec has passed a resolution that says it is willing to discuss labour market training with the federal government. Like my hon. colleague, I can assure members opposite the federal government welcomes this opportunity to work in partnership with the Quebec government for the benefit of Quebecers. The same philosophy will apply when the government is dealing with other provinces.

Atlantic Canadians are very concerned about the impact EI will have on their lives. We understand we cannot deal with Nova Scotia the same way we deal with Saskatchewan. I should know since my grandfather and my mother are from Saskatchewan. My grandfather was an MP from Saskatchewan and spoke often of its concerns. They are not the same problems, they are not the same situations as they are in Atlantic Canada.

We are all Canadians but there are different circumstances in the labour market and they call for different approaches in different parts of the country. That is the beauty of the employment benefit measures under EI. They provide for local decision making and ensure appropriate accountability in local areas. Also, they emphasize individual responsibility and self-reliance. All of these things are much needed in this area.

Media reports on this topic keep talking about cuts to UI as if that is all there is to this legislation. There is so much more. I look at this legislation as a Robin Hood response to a program badly in need of change and modernization. We are doing everything we can to maintain the benefits for those who need them most. We are helping out. We are providing a low income supplement for low income families with dependants so they will be better off in the future than they have been in the past. They will get more employment insurance than they would under the old UI system. They will get more now under this system.

We are aiming at those. It is true we are cutting from people who make $70,000 or $80,000 a year and collect UI on top of that. People in my riding have been telling us to do that for a long time. They have been saying people who make $60,000 a year cannot keep taking out $10,000 or $20,000 on top of that in UI year after year, and after only paying in a few hundred dollars. They cannot keep drawing out when they already have high incomes. They will have to learn to spread those high incomes over the full 12 months of the year. That is only fair.

People have been complaining in Atlantic Canada about that, in my riding certainly for a long time. We are hitting those people who really should not be taking UI every year, those with really high incomes. We are preserving it for those who need it most. That is a very important point. That is why I call this a kind of Robin Hood response to this problem.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleague, I think I caught you before your next sentence. That is what I wanted to do so I could take you back there right after question period. It being 2 p.m., we will now proceed to Statements by Members.

National Safe Driving WeekStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Stan Keyes Liberal Hamilton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, as mentioned yesterday by my colleague, the hon. member for London East, this is National Safe Driving Week.

As chairman of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, I am mindful that last year over 40 per cent of automobile fatalities involved a drunk driver. That startling statistic underlies the theme of this year's National Safe Driving Week, the hidden face of impaired driving.

In addition to supporting public awareness campaigns, several provinces and territories are either currently implementing mandatory rehabilitation programs and administrative licence suspensions or plan to do so in the very near future. These measures will prohibit those charged with impaired driving from operating a motor vehicle while awaiting criminal court proceedings.

Through ongoing initiatives such as National Safe Driving Week and the strategy to reduce impaired driving I am confident we will reduce the level of drunkenness, death and injury on our roads.

Air TransportationStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 30, the second largest Canadian carrier stopped flying from Montreal to overseas destinations. Canadian International has decided to concentrate its international operations in Toronto, thus depriving Montreal of a direct link to Rome.

It is inconceivable that a major carrier such as Canadian International could stop providing international flights from a city as big as Montreal. This situation shows how flawed the transport minister's international route allocation policy is. In fact, Air Canada offered to provide regular flights between Rome and Montreal. The minister's policy, however, prohibits designating a second carrier for this market.

Through his policy, the minister undermines Montreal's development and helps erode its traditional role as a Canadian transportation hub. The minister must stop putting Montreal at a disadvantage by changing his international route allocation policy and reviewing all routes already allocated.

Distinct Society MotionStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians from sea to sea do not like the distinct society motion. A recent poll shows that only 37 per cent of Canadians outside Quebec support it.

Albertans rejected this notion in the Charlottetown accord. They reject any concept that promotes the inequality of citizens or provinces or gives special status to any province.

The arrogance shown by the Liberal Party during the referendum turned to panic and confusion when status quo federalism was rejected by nearly 50 per cent of Quebecers. The result is this ill-conceived motion. Surely the members opposite can see that this motion is ill-advised and it will further embitter and fracture this nation.

Why are the Liberal members from Alberta mute on this issue? Why do they not speak out on behalf of Albertans? Can they not persuade their colleagues and their leader of the miscalculation of this motion? Too much is at stake to be silent. Canadians should debate this issue fully and not get closed off in the House of Commons. No, nervous nellies in the government invoked closure and are ramming it through. They seem proud of it.

The people will speak. If they do not get a chance to speak now, they will speak later in Edmonton East at the ballot box in 1997.

TaxationStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Independent

Gilles Bernier Independent Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, after watching a report on Radio-Canada's program Enjeux last week, I was outraged by the extent of tax fraud in the trade of paintings and works of art.

I have a duty to urge the government to deal a major blow to tax evasion and to the tax shelters depriving federal coffers of millions of dollars in revenue.

We must axe bogus donations to museums by the wealthy and other tax shelters the average citizen cannot benefit from. What is the government waiting to make companies availing themselves of too many tax shelters pay their taxes? And why not end GST refunds to foreign tourists who make purchases in Canada?

Those are serious ways to eliminate the deficit without hurting social programs too much.

Symbols Of Canadian NationalismStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Alex Shepherd Liberal Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Leader of the Opposition, who recently recognized the importance of the symbols of Canadian nationalism by supplying my office with Canadian flags. I dutifully handed these out to hundreds of our citizens in Christmas parades across Durham. I can assure the member that the deep expression of love for our country and each other was reflected on the faces and in the hearts of all of these communities.

There are other symbols we should change in order to reflect the reality of all the people of Canada as we approach the 21st century. Our currency should reflect the true Canadian traditions rather than foreign monarchs. The head of our state should be truly elected by Canadians for Canadians. Finally, here and across the land, when people take the oath of office or oath of citizenship they should swear allegiance to our great nation, Canada.

Hmcs CalgaryStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, late Friday 29 Romanians and one Greek man were plucked from the stormy seas of the North Atlantic by Master Corporal Rob Fisher from Greenwood, Nova Scotia.

HMCS Calgary and a Sea King helicopter were on their way back to British Columbia from the Persian Gulf when they responded to the sinking of the Mount Olympus , racing 900 kilometres in 18 hours to reach the sinking carrier. Amid frightful conditions, Master Corporal Fisher spent four hours pulling the crew members from the sinking ship to safety.

I know all hon. members will join me in thanking the crew of the HMCS Calgary , particularly Master Corporal Fisher, for their heroic efforts, the kinds of efforts we have come to expect from the men and women who serve Canada with dedication and distinction.

The Late Phil GivensStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Barry Campbell Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to praise the late Phil Givens, who passed away last Thursday in Toronto at the age of 73.

Mr. Givens personified public service. He served the people of Toronto first as councillor and then as mayor from 1963 to 1966. He served the people of Canada as an MP from 1968 to 1972 and the people of Ontario as an MPP from 1972 to 1977. Appointed to the Metro Toronto Police Commission in 1977, he became its chairman, serving until 1985. Most recently, he served as a provincial court judge. His was truly a life devoted to serving the community.

Phil was also a man of culture. He will always be remembered as the driving force behind bringing Henry Moore's sculpture "The Archer" to Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square. That bold initiative contributed to Henry Moore's later extraordinary gift of sculpture to the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Phil touched many people's lives and will be sorely missed. He is an example to all Canadians. I am sure members of the House will join with me in sending our condolences to his wife Min and his family.

Member For Brome-MissisquoiStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean H. Leroux Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, according the December 2 issue of the newspaper La voix de l'Est , the member of Parliament for Brome-Missisquoi helped a group, which includes one of his good friends, obtained a CIDA grant of close to half a million dollars for an eight-month business trip to Hungary.

We also learned that this good friend, Daniel Barbeau, was selected as one of the eight lawyers who will participate in the project by one of the minister's associates in his Bedford law firm, who sat on the selection committee.

Assuming this information is true, how, given the current budget situation, could the member for Brome-Missisquoi manage to help his friends benefit from such a sweet grant?

Member For Brome-MissisquoiStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Dear colleagues, when making statements, members must avoid impugning motives, as is also the rule when asking questions in the House. I recognize the member for Calgary North.

Trans-Labrador HighwayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the so-called Trans-Labrador Highway is a 500-kilometre stretch of gravel road running from Labrador City to Churchill Falls to Goose Bay. For half that distance the road is only good enough to allow travel at 70 to 80 kilometres an hour. The rest of it is almost impassable.

For years the people of Labrador have fought with one government after another, demanding what most Canadians take for granted: a decent, passable road between major centres.

Imagine the earful I got from Labradorians as Reform's Atlantic issues critic when they picked up Saturday's newspaper and saw the Prime Minister opening a stretch of road in West Africa built with Canadian money.

Labradorians deserve to know how this Liberal government can spend millions of dollars in Africa when our own citizens go begging for one decent road between Goose Bay and Labrador City.

MedicareStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, today I was glad to join with the Moderator of the United Church, Dr. Marion Best, and the member for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in supporting the drive by CAW retirees and the Congress of Union retirees to save medicare.

We played a take-off on the TV game of Jeopardy, answering questions about health care in Canada. At the end we were presented a T-shirt with a caricature of the Prime Minister on it dubbed "Medicare Nightmare".

The Liberals are slowly starving medicare and with it the ability to maintain or enforce national standards. They have reneged on the commitment to repeal Bill C-91 and do something about the spiralling cost of drugs and what those costs are doing to our health care system.

The NDP congratulates the Canadian Health Coalition and the CAW retirees and the Congress of Union retirees for the creative way in which they have sought to educate the public and the Liberals about the threat federal cutbacks are posing to medicare.

Victims Of ViolenceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, approximately one woman is killed by a weapon in Canada every six days. She is often killed in a private home. She is often killed by someone she knows. If she is killed by her partner, chances are she has been killed with a gun.

The victims of violence are often those who suffer in silence. They are our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, and our partners.

The national day of remembrance and action on violence against women is very important. It is a day for us to remember the victims of violence, those who suffer from abuse or from the loss of a loved one who has been taken from them. It is also a day of action. It is a day to promote the rights of victims, victim impact statements, the family violence initiative, more effective peace bonds, harsher sentences for offenders. These are initiatives to empower the victims of violence.

We must also continue to work locally in our neighbourhoods and communities to promote awareness and openness in helping the victims of violence. Working together, we can make our communities a safer place.

Victims Of ViolenceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Kraft Sloan Liberal York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow marks the sixth anniversary of the Montreal massacre.

At the Women's World Conference in Beijing, it was agreed that violence against women is not a private issue and that states must exercise due diligence to make sure violence does not occur in the home or elsewhere. At the same conference, Canada introduced and passed a motion that reaffirms rape as a war crime, a crime against humanity. It introduces rape as an act of genocide.

Advances are being made, but there is still much to do, still many barriers to cross, still more awareness to raise, and unfortunately more shelters to keep open.

It is with the memory of the 14 women killed in Montreal on December 6 that we continue to pursue a just society and a better tomorrow.

Manpower TrainingStatements By Members

December 5th, 1995 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in spite of the strong opposition of all Quebec stakeholders in the labour market, the Minister of Human Resources Development is going ahead with his bill, which, in his own words, seeks to decentralize manpower training to individuals, rather than to the provinces.

It is obvious to all Quebec stakeholders that this so-called decentralization is only a farce and does not in any way follow up on the Quebec consensus regarding this issue. On the contrary, it is clear that the minister's project is aimed at allowing Ottawa to keep control over its programs, while trying to make us believe that a decentralization is taking place. Once again, this government is acting in bad faith and is showing contempt for the provinces. Moreover, it shows that is still has not understood the meaning of the results of the October 30 referendum.

BalkansStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the foreign affairs minister is so hard-working and dedicated to his job it is scary.

Do members remember yesterday when the government promised it would carefully listen to everything the opposition had to say before it made a final decision on the Bosnia mission? Well, the debate went on until nine last night, which is three in the morning in Brussels, where the Minister of Foreign Affairs is. The fact that he was able to stay up watching the debate that late is great. Then he worked the rest of the night away to fully incorporate the opposition's ideas into the final Canadian plan he agreed to this morning.

It is simply amazing. After staying up all night, this hard-working minister was able to put the final stamp of approval on the Bosnia mission first thing this morning, and all this with the comforting knowledge that he had taken fully into account all the views expressed here yesterday. I never would have believed it could be done. But since the government always tells the truth, it must have been what happened. Right, Mr. Speaker?

Royal Arms Of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure I draw the attention of the House of Commons to the recent improvements to the Canadian Coat of Arms. These improvements highlight the motto of the Order of Canada, our country's highest honour. Interestingly, they were proposed by a member of the press gallery, Bruce Hicks, over a decade ago. The motto, "To build a better country", is something every member of the House should be trying to do.

In 1987 the Queen approved this change for limited use in Canada. In fact everyone who has been to Rideau Hall will have seen this new coat of arms in the stained glass window near the entrance. Last year the Queen authorized its general use and slowly it is being introduced so as to not cost the taxpayers any money.

Last year I sent a copy of these arms in electronic format to every MP and encouraged them to start using them on their letterhead and publications when they reorder. The Minister of Canadian Heritage drew attention to it last month when he unveiled the latest edition of symbols of Canada.

As Canadians, we do not wave our flag. But I for one am proud of my country and its symbols. I applaud the Governor General for this change.

Manpower TrainingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Liberal Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning, the daily La Presse mentions that the Quebec government is prepared to launch formal discussions with Ottawa on the transfer of federal funds earmarked for manpower training. This is good news, particularly since the Quebec employment minister herself, Louise Harel, asked that a meeting be held as quickly as possible to discuss the issue.

This development seems very encouraging. I do hope that it reflects the will of the PQ government to finally recognize the choice made by Quebecers in the referendum, as well as its willingness to turn the page and co-operate with the federal government to promote Quebec's well-being and prosperity.

Provided these discussion are conducted in good faith and in good will, I am convinced that good things will result, both for the workers and the unemployed.

Bloc QuebecoisStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Bonin Liberal Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, Quebec daily newspapers were reporting this morning that the next leader of the Bloc Quebecois will be an acting leader and that only the party's general council members will be voting in the election.

How do you like that, a leader who will be there only on a temporary basis, a leader selected by members of the party's establishment, who were themselves appointed by the retiring leader before he accedes to the throne in Quebec? As a result, party members who militated in good faith find themselves excluded from a process as fundamental as the selection of a new leader, with a leader who is leaving but at the same time wants to keep on controlling what happens in his Ottawa branch.

The Bloc Quebecois has not stood the test of time, and this prearranged exercise in democracy does not bode well for Quebec when the new king finally accedes to the throne.