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House of Commons Hansard #227 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was punishment.

Topics

Orangeville NorthmenStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take the time today to extend my congratulations as well as those of the people of Orangeville and Dufferin county to the Orangeville Northmen, the Canadian Junior A lacrosse champions.

I cannot remember a lacrosse team that has so dominated its competition, winning its second Minto Cup in three years. The Northmen, their coach Terry Sanderson, general manager Bob Clevely climaxed a phenomenal season winning 35 of 36 regular season games and all 16 of its playoff games.

It was a truly astounding 1995 season. I wish to indicate my appreciation to the young men who represented Orangeville, including first year Captain Rusty Kruger who won the most valuable player award for his play during the Minto Cup.

My thanks to the Orangeville Northmen.

Official LanguagesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, this federal government, the one parading about on every possible platform to vaunt the merits of bilingualism in Canada, is totally thumbing its nose at francophones by shamelessly flouting its own language policies.

For example in Beijing the Quebec women participants, although making up one third of the Canadian participation in the NGO Forum and the World Conference on Women, ran up against application of the Official Languages Act. They were invited to the Canadian embassy for an information session aimed at facilitating their contact with China and ensuring their security and then were briefed in English only, not once but twice.

These francophones, like those in the federal public service, know full well that, when we are francophones, our rights exist only on paper and in the speeches of federalist politicians. Is that what this fine great country of Canada is all about, Mr. Speaker?

Reform Party Of CanadaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary North, AB

Mr. Speaker, Atlantic Canadians have had nothing but one bad catch of politicians after another. Both the Liberal and Tory catches have been a miserable failure for Atlantic Canadians but there is hope. There are more than two fish in the sea. There is a new underutilized species that is proving to be a bountiful catch, the Reform Party of Canada.

In Ottawa the Liberal Atlantic Canada MPs have been gutted by their own government and cannot speak out on behalf of their constituents for fear of being left to rot on the docks.

Now there is a new stock of people committed to standing up for Atlantic Canadians. That new voice for Atlantic Canadians is the Reform Party of Canada. The Reform Party wants to hear from all Atlantic Canadians who wish to see the east coast returned to its former prosperity.

The old school is dying and the time for change is now. The catch of the day in Atlantic Canada is the Reform Party of Canada, always fresh and definitely the best choice on the menu.

CanadaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jag Bhaduria Liberal Markham—Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

Mr. Speaker, this summer I had the privilege of visiting eastern Canada after almost 25 years.

My family and I travelled throughout the beautiful province of Quebec, a diamond in the jewel we call Canada. My children were amazed to see all the quaint townships nestled among the rolling hillsides. They will never forget the experience of seeing their geography books come alive.

We continued our travels through picturesque New Brunswick, beautiful Nova Scotia and the pearl of the Atlantic, Prince Edward Island, the cradle of confederation. Unfortunately time constraints did not allow us to visit Newfoundland. These smaller but no less important jewels of our country represent along with Quebec the essence of what makes Canada the greatest country in the world in which to live.

We are all extremely fortunate to live in such a vibrant country. I and all my colleagues specifically those on this side of the House must do everything we can to ensure that Canada stays a united country.

Big Brothers Of CanadaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien Liberal London—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the month of September is Big Brothers Month.

Big Brothers of Canada provides boys from father absent homes with a male role model and a friend. There are 180 Big Brother agencies from coast to coast. Unfortunately, most of them have waiting lists that are almost as long as their list of matched bothers.

Nationally the organization has 9,000 young boys who have been matched with older volunteer brothers and a waiting list of 7,000 boys. In London, Ontario there are 119 matches with a waiting list of 100. That means 100 boys between the ages of 7 and 12 can only hope that they will be matched with an older brother whom they can look up to, spend time with and talk to.

It is today's reality that many children are being raised by single parents but organizations such as the Big Brothers and Big Sisters agencies help to fill the void. During this special month we recognize and thank the Big Brothers volunteers who have helped to make a difference in the lives of many boys simply by giving them the gift of time.

Jesse Davidson's JourneyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Fontana Liberal London East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to a courageous young man from London, Ontario, Jesse Davidson.

We all know that Jesse paid his respects to the House yesterday along with his family. Jesse is afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and is confined to a wheelchair. He, his father John and his family have been travelling across the province raising money for gene research.

Their brave journey began at the Ontario-Manitoba border on May 20, 1995 and ends today, September 20, in Ottawa. They have travelled over 3,300 kilometres and have raised over $700,000 toward scientific research of gene based disorders.

It is through efforts like these that cures are found and dreams are realized. Their days have been long and miles many, but their dedication and commitment has never waned.

This courageous endeavour exemplifies how hard work and devotion can improve the lives of fellow Canadians. That is the mark of a great Canadian caring for others.

I would like to congratulate Jesse and all the dedicated team members behind Jesse's journey for their outstanding efforts and congratulate each and every member who participated.

Child PovertyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Kraft Sloan Liberal York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak for a group of constituents in my riding of York-Simcoe and indeed from across the country who cannot vote. I am standing here today to speak for the children of Canada.

There are 1.5 million Canadian children living in poverty. Children are poor because their parents are poor. Sixty-four per cent of children living with sole support mothers live in poverty.

Canada has been declared the second wealthiest nation on earth. We have the resources in this country to improve the lives of our youngest citizens. I urge the government to turn its attention to the crucial issue of child poverty in Canada.

Use Of Canadian DollarStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Bélisle Bloc La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, economist Bill Robson of the C.D. Howe Institute stated yesterday that a sovereign Quebec could keep the Canadian dollar. He also said that when a country renounces its own currency it accepts having others make its decisions for it.

His position is therefore in the same vein as that of the Prime Minister of Canada who stated on December 9 1994 that "there is nothing to stop a sovereign Quebec from using the Canadian dollar if it so chooses". The Prime Minister went on to say "-but it will have to pay the price and will no have no more say in setting monetary policies". What cynicism.

First of all, it is good to see that Mr. Robson and the Prime Minister have understood Canada could not prevent a sovereign Quebec from using the Canadian dollar. However, what both choose to ignore is that Quebec has no say at the present time in the conduct of monetary policy. If they listened to the Finance Minister of Canada, they would also understand that Canada's huge debt does not leave it much leeway at all in its own monetary policy.

Atlantic CanadaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Reform Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week all 52 Reform members were in Atlantic Canada to spread our vision for Atlantic prosperity.

The Reform vision sees the region's economy thriving again, just as it did at the end of the 19th century, by re-establishing the trade links they once had with the New England states. We call this trading area of 15 million people Atlantica.

Now that we have NAFTA and almost no tariffs at the border, trading opportunities have multiplied. To take advantage of these opportunities Atlantic Canada needs a new approach. We think that tax relief, elimination of internal trade barriers and better north-south transportation and information links will be far more effective than regional development grants.

Let us look at creative ways of giving Atlantic Canada what it really needs, then watch the region prosper and regain its full economic potential. Let us revitalize, not subsidize.

Aboriginal War VeteransStatements By Members

September 20th, 1995 / 2:05 p.m.

NDP

Len Taylor NDP The Battlefords—Meadow Lake, SK

Mr. Speaker, aboriginal war veterans have been seeking recognition and respect for their service to Canada for many years. Earlier this year a special Senate committee studied aboriginal war veterans' grievances and concluded that the federal government owed these veterans something more than the indifference that they have been shown all these years.

This summer the Saskatchewan Indian Veterans Association said it was not satisfied with ceremonial recognition and is intent on securing a satisfactory compensation package to remedy the injustices done to them.

Today I ask the federal government to review the Senate committee findings and to meet with the Saskatchewan Indian Veterans Association to work out an acceptable agreement to the ultimate benefit of Indian veterans and their families.

The NorthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is a time of rapid change in northern Canada. Many of the changes, such as the demise of the Soviet Union and increased pollution are making life tougher for northerners, but some of the changes are more positive.

We now have an ambassador for circumpolar affairs. The presidency of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference serving Inuit in Canada, Russia, Alaska and Greenland has returned to Canada. The new territory of Nunavut is on track. It looks as though the ministerial forum on the Arctic environmental protection strategy will become a full eight nation Arctic council to more effectively co-ordinate polar affairs.

Northerners need the support of the rest of Canada more than ever before. Let us bear this in mind as we downsize and streamline government. The north needs special services. It has special research and environmental needs. Canada has a special obligation to the people of the north polar regions and through them to the globe.

Quebec ReferendumStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Devillers Liberal Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Leader of the Opposition told us about his own concept of democracy, when he said that a yes vote at the referendum will mean yes, whereas a no vote will mean that Quebecers made the wrong decision.

Separatists have the nerve to demand that federalists accept Quebecers' decision, even though they have no intention of doing the same should the no side win the referendum.

The Bloc leader's comments will not be taken lightly, because Quebecers are fed up with hearing about the constitution, while there are other issues and challenges which have to be faced in our country.

In spite of the PQ and BQ shenanigans, Quebecers will not jump in the lobster crate, as Mr. Parizeau would have them do.

Sooner or later, separatists will have to realize that even though their question is confusing, the answer will be clear: it will be no.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister claims he wants to deal with real issues. However, his government refuses to discuss unemployment, job creation and economic growth during the referendum campaign.

Moreover, the Minister of Finance refuses to appear before a committee to explain to Quebecers and Canadians why there has been no net increase in the number of jobs over the last nine months, as well as why economic growth has been stagnating for the last six months, which is the worst performance among all G-7 countries.

Let us talk about the real problems. After originally announcing its intention to reform the old age pension, UI and GST programs, the government has been postponing these initiatives for two years

now. Let us talk about these issues now, because the government is waiting until after the referendum to cut billions of dollars in social programs. What a way to deal with the real issues.

Mr. Speaker, you can count on the Bloc to talk about the real problems throughout the campaign.

Atlantic CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, during my stay as an MP I have been rarely surprised but after returning from the Atlantic provinces I was shocked. I was shocked because in this beautiful country of ours where we uphold democratic rights as a pillar of our society, maritimers told me how these rights are being trampled under the boot of this and previous federal governments.

Through patronage and handouts, the government holds the livelihood of maritimers over their heads. As a direct result of this heavy-handed approach they are afraid to find out about other political parties for fear of losing their jobs, not getting a promotion or being discriminated against. This is the profound impact of years of Liberal and Tory government handouts.

Is it any wonder that a minister from the maritimes is responsible for awarding government contracts? The stench of political patronage hangs high over the maritimes and it must not be allowed to continue. They are looking for a change and Reformers will give them that change.

North American Free Trade AgreementStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Liberal Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, the alleged guarantee the separatists claim to have regarding the automatic inclusion of an independent Quebec in NAFTA just got it in the neck with the release of a study by professor Ivan Bernier, which the secretariat of the minister, Mr. Le Hir, attempted to keep secret.

Hon. members will recall that the PQ deputy premier told Le Soleil on December 24, 1994: ``As Quebecers, we are already covered by NAFTA as it is. And Quebec, taking over from Canada, could contend that it should not be subject to admission procedures but rather succession procedures''.

According to professor Bernier, an expert in these matters, this will not be possible and there will be delays and negotiations. The people of Quebec are finding out once again that the promises made by separatist spokespersons are unfounded and that they prefer to hide the truth rather than face the facts.

Studies By InrsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Liberal Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec separatists are hiding the truth from the people of Quebec on the real economic impact of separation. This is the conclusion one is led to given the PQ government's attitude, that purposely decided not to release three of the studies conducted by INRS researchers because the findings were not to their liking.

The Institut national de la recherche scientifique du Québec, under which these studies were carried out, issued a release stating that while the secretariat may have perceived the revised version of each report as containing certain deficiencies with regard to the mandate, the INRS is of the opinion that the studies carried out by its researchers are valid.

The separatist coalition has just demonstrated that it is prepared to resort to any trick, including hiding the truth, to get a win for the Yes side in the upcoming referendum.

Canadian Chamber Of Commerce PollStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Liberal Saint-Denis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has just released the results of a poll of the business community across the country. This poll indicates, among other things, that two thirds of business leaders in Quebec think that the economic health of the province will suffer if it were to separate from the rest of Canada.

Other major findings include the fact that Quebec businesses consider it more important to be able to deal with other provinces than with foreign countries and expect the interprovincial trade agreement that took effect in July to benefit them even more than businesses in other provinces.

This poll only confirms what everyone is thinking. There is no real economic benefit to separation and Quebec separatists should stop deluding Quebecers with all kinds of promises.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:10 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, to everyone's surprise, the debate that has been going on in this House since Monday is not between sovereignists and federalists.

It is even more fundamental than that, since a line has been drawn between those who respect the democratic right of Quebecers to determine their future and those who deny them that right. Through the fault of the Prime Minister and his irresponsible attitude, Canada is now divided between democrats and those who no longer are democrats. This man, whose career has been dedicated to stoking the fires of discord between Quebec and Canada, has now launched an attack on what united us so far, our common democratic heritage.

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Prime Minister: We knew for some time that, given a choice between Canada and Quebec, he chose Canada, but are we now to understand that, if forced to choose between democracy and federalism, he will choose federalism?

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I answered all those questions yesterday and the day before. I even quoted from René Lévesque's program, in which he mentioned the concept of a referendum as consultation, the need to respect the laws and constitution of a country and the need for a clear majority.

As Daniel Johnson said in the National Assembly, we are not about to divide Canada following a judicial recount to see whether there is one vote more on one side or the other.

Obviously I want a genuine debate on this problem because it is clear that the Leader of the Opposition and his leader in Quebec City, Mr. Parizeau, are hiding the truth from Quebecers. This morning in the National Assembly, they were once again unable to explain why studies by Professor Bernier stating that it was "unrealistic" to have a partnership with the rest of Canada were kept under wraps.

Could the Leader of the Opposition tell me whether he agrees with Professor Bernier when he says: "I think some of my conclusions were not politically acceptable"? He added that it was not his intention to write to please the reader. He said that a partnership was "unrealistic and an illusion".

Does the Leader of the Opposition agree with the tactics of his leader in Quebec City, Mr. Parizeau, which consist in keeping documents under wraps and asking professionals to act less than professionally for the partisan purposes of a lost cause?

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I may suggest that during Question Period we expect some answers as well. That being said, the Leader of the Opposition has the floor.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, perhaps people ask questions when they have no answers.

Aside from that, does the leader of the government not realize that, although he has this anti-Quebec obsession, his first duty as Prime Minister is not only to protect democracy but to set an example by respecting it? I am not optimistic, however, since this is the man who forced a constitution down the throats of Quebecers.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what we expect from the Leader of the Opposition and his leader, Mr. Parizeau, is that during the remaining four and a half weeks, they tell Quebecers the truth.

Why will they not admit that in this document they want to keep under wraps, Professor Bernier clearly indicated that a separated Quebec's accession to NAFTA would not be easy to achieve? Why did we ask this professor to say publicly, to serve the cause, what the facts are: that it will not be easy? In fact, he was not alone. A few months ago, the ambassador of the United States made it clear that the automatic admission to NAFTA of a possibly independent Quebec would be very complex.

So these are the real questions for those who have to prove their case. The Leader of the Opposition and his leader in Quebec City are the ones who want to separate Quebec from Canada, not us. The onus is on them to tell Quebecers the truth, and I hope they will have the courage to do so during the next four and half weeks.

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Bloc

Lucien Bouchard BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is first and foremost about democracy. Coming from someone who came to power with 41 per cent of the popular vote in Canada and 33 per cent in Quebec, it takes a lot of nerve to deny Quebecers the right to determine their future with a majority of more than 50 per cent.

Does he not realize that the people of Quebec do not need his or anyone else's permission to determine their future and that to be rid of this kind of arrogance is one reason why Quebec will vote Yes?

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing arrogant in what I say. I want Quebecers to be informed. How can the Leader of the Opposition give Quebecers the impression they will keep their Canadian citizenship, their Canadian passport, Canadian currency, and an economic and political union with Canada, when studies prepared by their own experts and paid for by Quebec taxpayers tell them this is impossible? Let him tell Quebecers the truth.

Quebecers know me very well. I am a proud francophone-

Quebec ReferendumOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Yes, they know you.