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 #203 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was milk.

Topics

Climate ChangeStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien Liberal London—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we have the very special honour of having the presence in Ottawa of Western Samoa's High Commissioner to Canada, the permanent representative of Western Samoa to the United Nations, His Excellency, the distinguished Neroni Slade.

His Excellency has just returned from Haines Junction where he addressed federal, provincial and territorial ministers of the environment on the real threat climate change poses to the very existence of Western Samoa and other small island states.

Later this afternoon he will also speak at a joint meeting of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources and the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development about this critical issue.

Hence it is with great pleasure that I take this opportunity to welcome to Ottawa our distinguished guest on behalf of all members of this House.

Professor Pierre DeslongchampsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Bloc Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like today to honour chemistry professor Pierre Deslongchamps of the University of Sherbrooke and offer him our warmest congratulations on his appointment to the Académie des sciences in Paris.

Known for his work on organic synthesis and on the concept of stereoelectric effects, Mr. Deslongchamps has been a professor at the University of Sherbrooke since 1967. The Académie des sciences in Paris is one of the world's most prestigious societies in the world and brings together top researchers in the fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry, natural sciences, biology and medicine. Its members are the 20th century's greatest scientific minds.

A highly respected scientist, Mr. Deslongchamps has been a fellow of the John Simmon Guggenheim foundation in New York since 1979, a member of the Chemical Institute of Canada since 1980, a member of the Royal Society in London since 1983, and a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 1988.

Professor Deslongchamps' international reputation brings honour to the University of Sherbrooke, the Eastern Townships and the Province of Quebec as a whole.

Royal Roads Military CollegeStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, Royal Roads Military College located in my riding is closing this week and is being gutted.

In this House the Prime Minister assured me that Royal Roads would become an educational facility and would receive the same deal as Collège militaire royal in Quebec. The reality has been completely different.

CMR received $25 million over three years. Royal Roads received the same, but had $5 million promptly removed. Conditionality was linked to the deal on Royal Roads but not to CMR. Most appalling of all, ministers of this government are having secret negotiations with developers to sell up to 300 acres of pristine old growth of Royal Roads property for a condominium development.

The treatment of the staff at Royal Roads has been nothing short of reprehensible. Previous educational facilities purchased by the college, including the school's oceanographic teaching vessel, have been removed. No such parallel exists at CMR.

This government, in collusion with the province, is destroying this superb educational facility. Despite what the Prime Minister says, CMR in Quebec has been given preferential treatment and Royal Roads and the people of B.C. have been shafted.

Interest RatesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jag Bhaduria Liberal Markham—Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again we are seeing the Canadian dollar fluctuating on any given week. Last week the dollar surged to a half year high of more than 74 cents U.S. This week the dollar has lingered near the mid-73 cent level.

The Bank of Canada's response is to once again jack up its rate for the first time in almost two months. High interest rates are having a devastating effect on our economy.

For more than a year and a half I have consistently been emphasizing that we must have lower interest rates. The interest rate must come down even if we are faced with a slight increase in inflation. The bogeyman of inflation did not succeed before; it killed the growth of our economy.

A country that is fully employed with some inflation would be better than what we have now. We have a 9.4 per cent unemployment rate that does not include 700,000 part time workers who cannot find full time jobs. We have a triumvirate of destruction of the economy in this country namely-

Interest RatesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Ontario.

``The Magic And The Mystery''Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Ontario, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to draw to the attention of the House the case of Ms. Susan Shewan. Ms. Shewan, who is a constituent of mine, is also a musician and songwriter of considerable talent.

Unfortunately she is involved in a protracted dispute with Canadian Airlines International and the Government of the Yukon Territory over the alleged unauthorized use of a future album cover drawing, lyrics and music related to Ms. Shewan's song "The Magic and the Mystery".

The drawing, lyrics and music from this song about the beauty of the Yukon are similar to items used in certain advertising and promotional material by both CAI and the Yukon government.

As a single parent with limited finances, Ms. Shewan does not have the resources to pursue a lengthy and protracted legal action to protect her copyrighted material.

I call upon the Yukon government and Canadian Airlines International to respect the intellectual property laws of Canada and Ms. Shewan's copyrights to her original works and resolve this outstanding matter forthwith.

Missing ChildrenStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Liberal Lambton—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, each May, Child Find Canada holds its Green Ribbon of Hope campaign. The aim is to increase public awareness about Missing Children's Day on May 25.

Community members are asked to show their support of the missing children's issue by prominently wearing a green ribbon. Proceeds generated by the green ribbon campaign will enable Child Find Canada to continue its mandate of assisting in the search process for Canada's thousands of missing children and the education of children and adults about abduction.

The concept of the green ribbon of hope was originated by the students of Holy Cross Secondary School in Ontario following the abduction and subsequent murder of one of its students, Kristen French. In memory of this tragedy, the students and faculty have generously directed that their idea for the green ribbon be used exclusively by Child Find Canada.

Child Find Canada receives no government funding, depending entirely on the corporate community and the Green Ribbon of Hope campaign. For the sake of our children, I ask all members to support this very worthwhile program.

B'Nai Brith CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Peterson Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, B'nai Brith Canada is our country's senior Jewish advocacy organization with a 120-year history.

Through its lodges, regional offices, League for Human Rights and Institute for International Affairs, it has built a national and international reputation for service to the community, promoting human rights and fostering tolerance and respect among all Canadians. It has been a world leader in the fight against racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination.

A grassroots membership organization, it has served the Jewish community and Canada with distinction on issues such as immigration and refugee policy, law enforcement, international human rights, the treatment of Jewish communities overseas, intergroup relations in Canada, as well as a host of charitable activities and voluntary action.

On the occasion of its annual meeting in Ottawa this weekend, I urge all members of the House to join me in applauding the work of B'nai Brith and in wishing it future success.

Information HighwayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Bernier Bloc Mégantic—Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister offered Canadians direct access to him through Internet.

Unfortunately, in order to reach him, Canadians must subscribe to and use the services of an American company, CompuService, located in Ohio.

Why did the Prime Minister not use a Canadian network, which, in the opinion of experts, does exist and is currently available at no charge?

How can we believe a government that tells us it gives priority to Canadian content on the information highway when information on members and the House of Commons is being broadcast on the Internet from Switzerland?

The Prime Minister's electronic photo op yesterday sent a disquieting message to Canadians: in order to talk with their Prime Minister, they have to pay user fees to the Americans.

Minister Of The EnvironmentStatements By Members

May 17th, 1995 / 2:05 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Reform Comox—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the environment minister said: "It is the first question on the environment in a year and a half".

We are now seeing why this minister has been such a failure as Minister of the Environment. She simply does not recognize an environmental question when she hears it.

How quickly the minister chooses to forget my recent questions regarding the clean-up of Canada's worst environmental disaster, the Sydney tar ponds in Nova Scotia, or my colleagues' questions regarding MMT.

When is the Minister of the Environment going to take charge and quit whining that her failures are due to the opposition? When is the minister going to take charge of her own department and pass some meaningful environmental legislation?

It is little wonder that the Prime Minister will be shuffling this minister off into oblivion come this summer. She is simply ineffective.

HighwaysStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, some controversy has arisen relative to the diversion of public funds originally slated for the development of Nova Scotia highway 104.

This funding has now been redirected to a tourist trail in the riding of the minister of public works. In lieu of the original federal-provincial funding agreement for the upgrading of route 104, a toll funded highway is now being envisaged.

This is unacceptable. There have been 40 tragic deaths since 1986 in death valley. People's lives are far more important than developing a tourist trail.

Yesterday in this House the Minister of Transport told us that his government had permitted this diversion of public funds at the request of the Government of Nova Scotia.

Given that the highway improvement program calls for a written agreement in these cases, I call on the Minister of Transport to table all correspondence and documents relative to this backroom deal.

Public ServiceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Simmons Liberal Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, the proposed public service cutbacks are causing quite the stir across the country, particularly in Newfoundland, where the jobless rate remains unacceptably high.

In my riding for example, there is concern about the restructuring and downsizing proposals for Canada employment centres, and about the workforce adjustment policy, job security, seniority rights and the desirability of making departure incentives available to all employees.

Although the government has taken a step forward with its job swap offer, there still is a great fear that the level and quality of badly needed services will suffer at the worst possible time. I share those concerns.

With any changes in the status quo, the government must do everything in its power to ensure that fairness and equity prevail.

Canadian Tulip FestivalStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, from today until May 22, the national capital region will again host the Canadian Tulip Festival.

To mark the opening of the festival, Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands took part in a midday ceremony at Major's Hill Park to launch the 1995 edition of the festival. The festival also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands by Canadian troops.

This is a good opportunity to remember the thousands of Canadians who fought on Dutch soil and all those who died in the liberation effort. Again this year, the Canadian Tulip Festi-

val will probably stand out as one of the highlights of the national capital's tourist event calendar.

I wish the princess a most enjoyable stay in Canada, the organizers more clement weather than today, and a very good time to all those who will participate in the many activities scheduled.

I would also like to congratulate all the organizers and invite my colleagues to visit the festival in the coming days.

Jesse DavidsonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this Saturday a young man from my riding of London West will begin a remarkable journey. On May 20 on the TransCanada Highway at the Ontario-Manitoba border Jesse and John Davidson will set out together for the Quebec border on a route covering over 2,000 miles. They intend to arrive in September.

Jesse cannot walk. He is afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder, and is wheelchair bound. John Davidson has vowed to wheel his son across the entire province of Ontario.

This remarkable undertaking is sponsored by the Foundation for Gene and Cell Therapy. The journey will raise public awareness about DMD as well as money so desperately needed for medical research.

Young people with DMD seldom live to see their twenties. Jesse is 14.

I urge all members of the House, particularly Ontario members, and all Canadians to get involved. I am proud to acknowledge the efforts of individuals who take action to make a difference not only for themselves but for all of us. It is now time to show our support for them.

National Marine StrategyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, the anti-worker attitude of Liberal members is reflected in every page of the report on the national marine strategy tabled by the Standing Committee on Transport.

The report contains many negative comments on the supposedly excessive salaries and on job security. On the basis of two recent disputes, the committee recommends that a commission of inquiry be made responsible for reviewing all aspects of labour-management relations. The Liberals are set to call into question a smoothly operating negotiation system in order to resolve a problem that exists only at the Port of Vancouver.

May I remind you that, since 1975, only 27 working days have been lost as a result of strikes or lockouts at the Port of Montreal, out of a total of more than 7,000 working days.

The official opposition strongly urges the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Transport to reject this recommendation by the transport committee, which calls into question the basic rights of workers in Canada and Quebec.

Trough Night In CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday night Canadians saw a great game on TV. It was trough night in Canada. The game featured the Liberal pork patrons against the overburdened taxpayers. The Liberals were clutching and grabbing for their coveted MP pension trophy.

In the first period Liberals were given penalties for boarding, the gravy train that is. Another penalty was given for charging the taxpayer. The Liberal pork patrons went offside with Canadian voters. The overburdened taxpayer delayed the game and got five minutes for fighting and ten minutes for drawing blood. They will get the final score in the next election. When that comes the Liberal pork patrons will lose, the coach will be replaced and the team will be dismantled.

This game was brought to the people by greed incorporated, manufacturers of pork and patronage.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Liberal Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Quebec minister responsible for restructuring released a new study, this time on taxation.

In his press release, the minister claims that merging the two tax systems would permit Quebec to, I quote: "-reap many benefits". The minister stressed that taxpayers would have only one tax return to fill out, that they would have fewer officials to deal with, and that taxation measures would be harmonized and streamlined.

What is surprising is that the authors of this study made the conscious decision not to mention that Quebecers could already be reaping all of these benefits if the Quebec government would only agree to the changes already proposed by our government.

All of these changes could be made very easily within the current federal system and at a much lower cost to Quebecers

than those that would result from breaking away from Canada. But these are the kinds of things that separatists avoid mentioning.

Ontario ElectionStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, Premier Bob Rae said today that Ontario has 38 per cent of the population but is being hit with 54 per cent of federal government cuts. This is deliberately misleading.

When we subtract the equalization payments to the poorer provinces, which Mr. Rae has frequently said he supports, Ontario's share of federal budget cuts is 39 per cent for 38 per cent of the population.

Bob Rae should stop whining, take a few Rae days and get out of the way so Lyn McLeod and the Liberal Party can put Ontario's House in order.

Unemployment Insurance ReformOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, although somewhat late in the day, the Minister of Human Resources Development finally used some common sense and decided to give up his two-tier unemployment insurance system, with one tier for the seasonally unemployed, with reduced benefits, and the second tier for the rest, with more substantial benefits. However, there is still cause for concern, since the minister said he still wanted to make frequent claimants less dependent on unemployment insurance and planned to submit new proposals to cabinet very shortly.

Will the Prime Minister confirm that his government has definitely abandoned the minister's baby, and I am referring to the unemployment insurance reform proposal for a two-tier system, and is he prepared to make a commitment that the new proposals will not penalize frequent claimants, although the minister seems to be saying that he still has the same objective in mind?

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, I thank the hon. member for the question.

As the member knows, we had a wide variety of representations, studies and examinations. It was certainly recognized that the primary objective of UI reform must be to help people get back to work. We can use that system not simply to pay basic benefits but to also enable people to get the tools they need to restore themselves back in the labour market. That is still the primary function of our intention on unemployment insurance.

We saw with the various options we presented, one of which was the two tier proposal, that it would add complexity to the system and probably additional cost. I think we can find a much better alternative which will simplify the system and at the same time provide a much better set of work incentives for people to get back in the workforce.

We are still very much on target and on aim to enable Canadians to get away from unemployment and get into employment, the whole purpose of our reform.

Unemployment Insurance ReformOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to what the minister said in his answer, and after trying very hard, I think I understood the minister was giving up his plan. I want to commend him for doing so, since a minister who admits his mistakes gains in stature. Would that others followed his example.

Unemployment Insurance ReformOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Unemployment Insurance ReformOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

My question is directed to the Prime Minister, and I hope to get an answer from him. Since the government is about to review its unemployment insurance reform, will he promise to stop using the Unemployment Insurance Fund to finance new intrusions by the federal government in provincial jurisdictions, especially in manpower training?

Unemployment Insurance ReformOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development will table a bill this fall that covers all aspects of the question asked by the Leader of the Opposition.

Unemployment Insurance ReformOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, since the Minister of Human Resources Development claims he will stay the course, in other words, restrict access to unemployment insurance for frequent claimants, does this mean, and my question is directed to the Prime Minister, that the government's real objective is not to make the system more effective but to reduce costs by restricting access and reducing benefits, which means it will again be hitting hard at the unemployed?