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House of Commons Hansard #225 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was development.

Topics

Fourth World Conference For WomenStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Audrey McLaughlin NDP Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, the Fourth World Conference for Women has ended in China amid conflicting claims of great success and monumental failure.

As Canadians we have much of which to be proud. We have a reputation world wide as a country which supports diversity and equality. Canada's contribution to the United Nations' discussions and Canada's non-governmental organizations played a large role in promoting human rights and social and economic justice for women on all continents.

However there are those who choose to present the results of the conference as anti-family and to make outrageous claims about the intent of the platform of action. I challenge those who choose to manipulate the facts to Canadians to answer why it is anti-family to condemn female genital mutilation of the girl child and neglect of girl children; why it is anti-family to condemn rape as a war crime; why it is anti-family to take measures to combat the feminization of poverty; and why a platform of action which recognizes the family as a basic unit of society that should be strengthened is anti-family.

I now call on the government to put some force behind its words and to have an action plan for implementation.

Quebec ReferendumStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Devillers Liberal Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Leader of the Opposition showed us how much he scorns democracy. According to him, a yes vote would clearly reflect the opinion of Quebecers while a no vote would only give separatists the excuse to impose referendum after referendum to Quebecers, until sovereignty finally wins.

The words of the Bloc leader reveal a paternalistic attitude and are an insult to the intelligence of Quebecers. People of Quebec are often victims of such partiality because whatever separatists cannot obtain with truth, they will try to obtain through cheating and deception. In spite of all the PQ and BQ schemes-

Quebec ReferendumStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, we should not use such hard words. Words like cheating seem too harsh to me. I would ask you not to use words of that nature please.

Antidrug VideosStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, young people in the Matane region just discovered another aspect of the intolerance of separatists. Last June, students at the Matane secondary comprehensive school joined forces with the local community service centre of that municipality to produce a video against drugs. Since the beginning of the school year, that video has been shown on the Radio-Québec channel in eastern Quebec.

The director of the yes committee in Matane, a separatist, protested against that video which underlines the courage of young people who say no to drugs. There, I have said the n word, no to drugs. The separatists put so much pressure on the LCSC that it decided to withdraw that publicity from the air until the end of the referendum campaign.

Obsession and paranoia have prevailed over the initiative of a group of young students who had decided to do something worthwhile for their community. No to drugs was for their future, that of our youth. No to separation is also for their future.

DemilitarizationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, in exchange for a pseudo-commitment on the part of France to recognize an independent Quebec, the leader of the PQ and his faithful lieutenant, the leader of the Bloc Quebecois, have refused to condemn France for resuming nuclear testing.

Until recently, the PQ had always advocated peace and demilitarization. The PQ's political program published since 1970 states that Quebec will have to gain recognition within the international community as a pacifist people by favouring disarmament over war as a way to settle international disputes and by opposing the testing and use of nuclear and bacteriological weapons.

René Lévesque, the founder and former leader of the Parti Quebecois, would be ashamed to see his so-called heirs make this kind of shady deal.

Military SpendingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Jean H. Leroux Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, by awarding to GM, in Ontario, the $2 billion armoured vehicle acquisition contract, the federal government is once again making it clear that Quebec does not get its fair share of defence contracts.

In addition, with total disregard for correct procedure, Chatham, New Brunswick, was awarded the contract to refurbish old tanks as compensation for the closure of the base.

On the other hand, in Saint-Jean, base operations were reduced and the college was shut down. Why was Oerlikon not even considered as a potential supplier of turrets for the new armoured vehicles? Talk about a double standard!

It is clear now why the Minister of Defence stated, referring to Quebec, that they could not afford the luxury of being totally fair. That is what Canadian federalism is all about: while jobs are created and R and D funds invested in Ontario, Quebec is left with measly maintenance contracts.

JusticeStatements By Members

September 18th, 1995 / 2:10 p.m.

Reform

Margaret Bridgman Reform Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I call attention to the need for appropriate sentencing in order to prevent habitual offenders from victimizing communities.

The tragic death of Melissa Deley in my riding of Surrey North so horrified my constituents that they were moved to march spontaneously in the streets of Surrey. The police were vigilant and swift in their pursuit and capture of the man accused of ending this innocent child's life.

However, my constituents were horrified to learn that previous to this, the accused stood before a judge and a crown attorney pleaded with the judge to incarcerate this man because of his record. He had attacked a guard while he was in custody. Instead the accused was released by the judge with a $500 fine.

Melissa's parents and my constituents refuse to believe this is the way our justice system should operate. They refuse to believe the crown is powerless to protect law-abiding citizens from habitual criminals. Surrey North wants criminal justice reforms that work and it wants them now.

Robert CharleboisStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Liberal Saint-Denis, QC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the PQ and the Bloc Quebecois would have us believe, not all Quebec artists are sold on separation. In an interview carried by almost every major newspaper in Quebec, singer-brewer Robert Charlebois expressed very little enthusiasm over the prospect of Quebec separating.

His fear is that it will divide Quebecers, the end result being a royal mess, with bitterness and jealousy on both sides, since the whole process was based on hate and frustration; nothing great is to be expected.

Like most Quebecers, Robert Charlebois would rather have governments focussing on job creation and the economy instead of wasting time on futile quarrelling.

Robert Charlebois believes, and our government shares his view on this, that the real solution for Quebec is an economic solution. His way of helping Quebec, he says, is by providing employment.

Quebec ReferendumStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Liberal Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday, we heard the news that the Bloc Quebecois will not accept as final a No vote in the referendum. The Leader of the Opposition said it in so many words: "It is a non ending issue as long as it would not be resolved by a Yes".

Please allow an English speaking Quebecer to teach some French to Mr. Bouchard. The Robert dictionary says-

Quebec ReferendumStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I would ask hon. members to refer to each other by the names of their ridings. I will permit the member to continue.

Quebec ReferendumStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Liberal Vaudreuil, QC

Please allow me to ssuggest that the Leader of the Opposition check in the Robert dictionary, which says that No is a negative adverb expressing a negative answer or refusal. It certainly does not mean "maybe", "some other time" or "next time".

Will we ever be done with the "indépendantistes"? They generate this economic instability and they are really costing us.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last year, Quebecers elected a sovereignist government with a mandate to hold a referendum as soon as possible on Quebec's accession to sovereignty.

Acting on its electoral promise, the government presided by Jacques Parizeau triggered the referendum mechanism in the National Assembly.

Recently, the Minister of Labour and federal minister responsible for the Quebec referendum was called to order by the Prime Minister for having said, and I quote: "We have always said that Quebecers had the right to express themselves on the future of Quebec, either within or outside Canada. We live in a democratic country, so we will respect the vote-".

My question is directed to the Prime Minister: What was so wrong about the minister's statement, which reflected the most elementary principles of democracy, that would justify the humiliating retraction he inflicted on her?

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Quebecers will be able to express their opinion on October 30 in a referendum.

As far as I am concerned, the country has other problems to deal with as well, and I will not spend my time answering hypothetical questions from the Leader of the Opposition who says that if it is yes, it is yes, and if it is no, it is not the right answer.

So I do not need any lessons from him.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Liberal Saint-Maurice, QC

I will be able to answer the Leader of the Opposition if he tells me if it is supposed to be a play-off, two out of three, three out of five or four out of seven.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I think someone put on the wrong record, because the question was about whether the Prime Minister could tell us why he called his minister to order.

I would like to ask him whether we are to understand that taking the same line he took with his minister, he also intends to call to order the chairman of the No Committee, Daniel Johnson, who last Tuesday in Quebec City recognized the right of Quebecers to decide on their future and promised to respect their decision.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have always said they had the right to have a referendum in Quebec. Quebecers can be consulted and can explain their point of view.

However, we on this side of the House are convinced that Quebecers, if they are asked an honest question about the separation of Quebec from Canada, not a trick question, no clever twists and turns but an honest question: Do you want to separate from Canada? If the leader of the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Parizeau, was truly intellectually honest, he would have asked Quebecers: Do you want to separate? And Quebecers would have answered: No, never.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, with respect, I deplore the fact that at the very beginning of this fundamental debate, we are hearing applause for a prime minister who has just impugned the intellectual honesty of Mr. Jacques Parizeau, who certainly does not need lessons from this prime minister.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

If I understood the Prime Minister's answer correctly, he sees the outcome of this referendum merely as a point of view to be expressed by the people of Quebec. I think we should consider this from the legal point of view, and I may remind the Prime Minister that the National Assembly and the Quebec Gov-

ernment based their referendum strategy on the right of peoples to determine their own future in a peaceful and democratic manner. I want to ask the Prime Minister whether he recognizes the right of Quebecers to do so.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the Leader of the Opposition wants to ask me about the legal aspect, he already has an answer from the Quebec courts, and I am not going to get involved in that, but I can answer his question. When the Leader of the Opposition says that the right to self-determination does not apply to aboriginal people in Quebec, he is contradicting himself. So if he wants to have that kind of debate, we can have one.

As far as I am concerned, I simply want to say that I am surprised at the attitude taken by the opposition, which is hiding things from the people. They did not want to ask an honest question. The Leader of the Opposition told the Americans: "I am a separatist" and when he is in Quebec, he is afraid to say he is a separatist. As for what is happening in Quebec right now, when his own economist, Mr. Mathews, prepared honest studies, the leader of the government, the leader of the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Parizeau, said he was incompetent. Does the Leader of the Opposition agree with Mr. Parizeau that his own economist is not competent?

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, it will be noted that the Prime Minister is carefully trying to avoid answering questions on the recognition of the right of Quebecers to make decisions on their own future. He is also creating confusion by censuring his minister responsible for the referendum in Quebec because she made the terrible mistake of saying frankly that the government should respect the wishes democratically expressed by Quebecers.

My question to the Prime Minister is very clear and simple, and I want an answer. Given the important consequences for all the people in Quebec and in the rest of Canada, can the Prime Minister tell us clearly whether or not he will respect the choice expressed by Quebecers in the upcoming referendum?

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would like the opposition to tell the government that they will respect a No vote. We won the referendum in 1980 but they did not respect the wishes of Quebecers.

They are doing the same thing again today. The Leader of the Opposition says that he does not want the No side to win and that he would not regard a No vote as final. When will he stop playing with the future of the people, who want their governments to deal with the real problems, look after their interests, create jobs and provide sound public administration. That is what the people want and what the opposition refuses to do.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, they have very short memories. Quebec sovereignists have always respected the results of the 1980 referendum, as shown by the fact that, 15 years later, we are still in Canada discussing the Constitution because two things have occurred since the referendum. The situation has changed, Mr. Speaker. He unilaterally repatriated the Constitution-