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 #89 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was technologies.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesdays, we will now sing O Canada, which will be led by the hon. member for Saanich-Gulf Islands.

Constable Philip FrancisStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Liberal Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, this summer Constable Philip Francis, a member of the Peel Regional Police who lives in my riding of Cambridge, was awarded the Medal of Bravery.

On September 21, 1994, Constable Francis, with the help of Mr. Robert Fitzgerald, pulled two people from a burning tractor trailer whose fuel tank had ruptured following a collision with a vehicle on Highway 401 near Milton, Ontario.

As the tires of the rig exploded, Mr. Fitzgerald hoisted Constable Francis on to the cab of the truck. The constable smashed the window and pulled two passengers to safety just moments before the rig was completely in flames.

Through his example, Constable Francis has shown that bravery and concern for others are not outmoded virtues.

On behalf of the people of Cambridge, I congratulate Constable Francis on being awarded the Medal of Bravery.

Quebec's EconomyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, like Saturne Solutions, Quintiles and Ericsson recently announced major investments in Quebec. Highly sought by other provinces, not to mention other countries, these companies chose to invest in Quebec. This testifies to Quebec's ability to compete at the international level.

But how to explain that, every time a business decides to rationalize its Canadian operations, as CIBA did, Quebec gets the short end of the stick. It is not because Quebec is not competitive, as everyone recognizes its expertise in the pharmaceutical area. There must be other reasons.

We, for our part, feel that federal comments maintain an unhealthy climate for the Quebec economy. These comments, which were probably inspired by the famous plan B, hinder the Quebec government's efforts. Clearly, renewed federalism is not a panacea for Quebec. The time has come to move on to sovereignty.

PeacekeepingStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, two years ago I brought forward a votable motion to extend the Access to Information Act. Although many Liberal members supported it, they voted against it because they were assured by their party brass that improving access to information was high on the government's agenda and that legislation was just weeks away.

Today, we all know that was not true, so I hope they have learned their lesson: Do not trust the party brass to do in the future what we can do for ourselves today.

Later today we will begin the first hour of debate on a new votable motion on Canadian peacekeeping. Many Liberal members will also want to support this motion because if it is passed, it will give the members the right to speak out and represent our troops when we send a large contingent abroad. Motion No. 31 also gives final approval for large peacekeeping missions to members of Parliament through a free vote.

When the time comes, members should use their votes to make a difference. Help support our troops and empower members of Parliament by supporting Motion No. 31.

Neighbouring RightsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-32, an act to amend the Copyright Act, will have a serious impact on the private radio broadcasting industry if the neighbouring rights

provisions are permitted to proceed. Many people from the radio industry in my riding have told me they are very very worried.

Dr. Arthur Donner conducted an economic impact analysis for the Department of Canadian Heritage. This study clearly showed that higher copyright payments would seriously hurt most and put some radio stations out of business. It also showed that only 2 per cent of neighbouring rights fees would go to new Canadian talent, so why are we doing it?

The U.S. just passed a similar law, however it exempted the radio industry from the neighbouring rights fees. They felt that the value of air play was considered payment in full.

This government continues to renege on its election promise of creating jobs. It continues to eliminate this country's infrastructure of long term jobs. I urge the minister to amend Bill C-32 to exempt all radio from neighbouring rights.

Small Business WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Liberal Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to salute small business in this country and to recognize Small Business Week.

Today in Canada all but approximately 2,000 of the more than two million businesses fall within the self-employed or small and medium size business categories. Ninety-nine per cent of the new businesses started up in the last decade have been SMEs.

Today in my riding the CFDC, in partnership with the BDC, local chambers and others, is conducting a conference for existing and new entrepreneurs. I applaud this community initiative to help the small business community adapt and take advantage of market opportunities.

On a national level, our federal government is working to help small businesses compete by streamlining regulations, improving access to capital and enhancing export opportunities. Canada is a great place to do business. Today I salute the small business men and women across this country for their entrepreneurial spirit.

Persons CaseStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Georgette Sheridan Liberal Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, October is Women's History Month. What better time to recall the historic Persons case of October 18, 1929. On that date the British Privy Council overturned the decision of the Canadian Supreme Court which excluded women from public office, pursuant to its interpretation of the British North America Act.

Having decided women were not persons, the court said that women could not be appointed to the Canadian Senate. Dismissing this interpretation as "a relic of days more barbarous than ours" the privy council opted for a more modern view that women were "people too".

If we do not remember our history, we shall be condemned to repeat it. In the telling of this tale we can be encouraged by the increased numbers of female parliamentarians, over 50 MPs and more than 20 senators. While it is an improvement over 1929, the lesson of the Persons case is that we can do better.

I look forward to a time when the proportion of female representation in government is a true reflection of the general population and like the privy council, we can look back on today's modest numbers as a relic of days gone by.

The Montreal Centre D'Entreprises Et D'InnovationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the members of this House of an excellent initiative taken by our government in the Montreal area.

On October 11, the Secretary of State responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development-Quebec announced a $500,000 federal subsidy to the Centre d'entreprise et d'innovation de Montréal or CEIM, to set up a new program aimed at helping small businesses at the start-up or expansion stage carve out a solid position for themselves in the year 2000 economy.

The CEIM will provide training services to 15 new businesses in the high-tech health care industries, thus helping to create over 200 jobs in areas that are vital to our prosperity.

This support for the CEIM shows that our government is still a partner of Quebec's small business sector. It also demonstrates the major role we intend to play in the development of the greater Montreal area so it may remain an economic, technological and cultural powerhouse essential to the future of both Quebec and the rest of Canada.

Child PovertyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, a study conducted by the Bread for the World Institute shows that Canada has the second highest percentage of children living below the poverty line after the United States.

According to this study, 14 per cent of children in Canada live in poverty, compared to only 3 per cent in Finland, Norway, Denmark and Switzerland, and 7 per cent in Germany and France.

In spite of these disturbing statistics, the Canada Information Office continues to distribute fact sheets stating that Canada is the best country in the world. This is chloroform for steadfast Canadian nationalists.

Canada is a country where the gap between the rich and the poor is widening and child poverty is growing. There is no valid reason for the child poverty rate to be higher in Canada than in European countries.

The government must act on its 1989 commitment and eliminate child poverty by the year 2000, otherwise too high a price will have to be paid and the human deficit will be out of control.

Reform Budget PlatformStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Herb Grubel Reform Capilano—Howe Sound, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance often talks nonsense about the Reform budget platform. For him and the media, here are the facts made simple.

Spending cuts of $15 billion plus $24 billion in revenue increases in four years will produce a surplus of $39 billion. This money will be used to eliminate the deficit of $14 billion, provide tax relief of $15 billion, raise spending on medicare and education by $4 billion and pay down the debt by $9 billion.

This spending program uses exactly $39 billion in the revenue surplus. Our fiscal program does not produce deficits. We first balance the budget and then use only money in the bank to finance tax cuts and spending increases. The debt reduction money is our contingency reserve. Simple, eh?

Small And Medium Size Business WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Liberal Saint-Denis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the week of October 21 to 25 is Small Business Week. Small and medium size business is the driving force behind the Canadian economy. It is also the driving force behind job creation. That is why our government is committed to supporting the small business sector to ensure its growth.

In Quebec, the Federal Office of Regional Development speaks for the federal government to small business. Through a network of 13 regional offices across Quebec, it works in partnership with Quebec entrepreneurs.

Small and medium size businesses, often run by families or young entrepreneurs, are the key job creators in Canada, particularly in my riding of Saint-Denis. There are also those who seek markets outside this country and the federal development office of Quebec provides them with the expertise to help enter those markets.

I salute all the people in the small and medium size businesses in Saint-Denis and throughout Canada for their contributions to Canada's economic development in this week dedicated to them.

Revenue CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Assad Liberal Gatineau—La Lièvre, QC

Mr. Speaker, Revenue Canada strives to offer its services directly to small businesses, provided they have modest means.

The main services already in place include the electronic filing system, the payment of the GST and the transfer of funds.

Eventually, customs processing will be made possible through the use of Internet and the implementation of an electronic system as simple as the sending of a fax, as well as the release and reporting of goods, and the payment of duties and taxes, without having to go to the customs office.

Canadians want less paper but more services. This is what Revenue Canada is in the process of achieving.

Montreal's EconomyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, socio-economic stakeholders, Montrealers and Quebecers in general were very optimistic and pleased following the speech delivered yesterday by the Prime Minister to the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal.

The participants greatly appreciated the call for Canadian solidarity by the Prime Minister, to help put Montreal back on its feet and get ready for the next century.

They were also pleased to see the Canadian Prime Minister hold out his hand to Lucien Bouchard and invite him to co-operate to find a solution to the real problems experienced by real people.

The threat of another referendum on separation remains the last major obstacle to Montreal's economic recovery. Let us hope the PQ government leader will soon remove this threat, which hinders

Montreal's economic development. We need political and economic certainty.

The Member For VaudreuilStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard St-Laurent Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the House resumed this fall, the Liberal members from Quebec are using the period for statements by members to launch petty attacks on the Quebec government and all sovereignists.

Yesterday, the member for Vaudreuil took this anti-Quebec offensive one step further. The Liberal member attacked an article in Montreal's La Presse .

The article, which appeared in the arts and theatre section, dealt with a film about the referendum and noted that, in it, the federalist option was essentially defended by anglophones and new Canadians. This brief comment in a review of an NFB film was not to his liking.

We know all about these Liberals, who for years have been trying to control the CBC. Now they want to control all print media, silence the sovereignist opposition and turn our media into branch offices of the federal Liberal Pravda . How sad and how cynical.

Persons CaseStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Daphne Jennings Reform Mission—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today because I believe in the strength, the capability and the equality of women.

This week is the anniversary of the pivotal Persons case where Canadian women against all odds finally won the basic right of equality: the recognition of women as persons in law and the equal right to vote.

I feel it is most fitting for me to encourage women of today to honour the memory of Nellie McClung and her compatriots by embracing our freedom and exercising our equality by denouncing special status. Special status is divisive. It is the very issue that Nellie McClung fought against.

Today we can honour those women whose struggle was against true inequality and who gave us all the ability to participate equally. We can recognize that they would not have sought further protectionism in the guise of affirmative action.

Our charter of rights and freedoms clearly states that we are all equal before the law and I believe that would have been enough for Nellie McClung.

I thank the women of the Persons case for their legacy. I am proud to say again, women are persons and equal today, without distinction.

The Leader Of The Bloc QuebecoisStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, as was to be expected, the leader of the Bloc Quebecois was quick to trot out his old separatist arguments in reaction to the speech delivered yesterday by our Prime Minister in Montreal.

The Bloc Quebecois has painted itself into such a tight ideological corner that it is losing sight of what is important, as was again brought home to us yesterday by the comments of its leader. Montreal, first and foremost, and Quebec as a whole are being crushed under the weight of the separatist threat. We all have a huge uphill battle ahead of us to put Montreal and Quebec back on the road to prosperity.

It is certainly not by blaming others for the political instability of Quebec that the leader of the Bloc Quebecois will help Lucien Bouchard, on the eve of the socio-economic summit, to convince his partners that sovereignists are acting in good faith.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

October 23rd, 1996 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Erie, ON

Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to environmental health and protection and knows that the most efficient way to ensure environmental health is through pollution prevention.

Canadians are no longer willing to accept inaction on the part of government when there is potential for more damage to the environment or their health could be affected.

Transportation, including the automobile, is the single leading source of air pollution in Canada and it is the automobile industry itself that has told us that the fuel additive MMT compromises the efficiency of the newest emissions control technologies. That is why this government is moving to ban MMT.

Clean air is a priority for the government. In banning MMT we are moving quickly to restore the Canadian birthright to breathe clean and healthy air.

Some voices oppose the MMT bill, but doing the right thing is not always popular. Some people do not like the fact that this government is not afraid to make the hard decisions.

But then there is the voice of the Canadian people who know what it takes to protect their health and environment. They want their governments to be leaders on health and environmental issues. This government demonstrates yet again its full commitment to health and environmental protection.

Tax HarmonizationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis NDP Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals in Prince Edward Island have called an election and remain the only Liberal government in the Atlantic provinces not to sign into the GST/PST harmonization scam.

The P.E.I. Liberals know that the people of P.E.I. oppose harmonization. The people of Prince Edward Island know that a harmonized tax will actually cost them more since all sorts of goods and services presently exempt from the PST will now be fully taxed under harmonization. They also know it will cause confusion for businesses that operate in different provinces since there will exist one consumption tax in Nova Scotia and a different tax in most other provinces.

Also, the people of Prince Edward Island remember the Prime Minister's quote in the Globe and Mail when he said: ``I am opposed to the GST. I have always been opposed to it and I will always be opposed to it in the future. It is a tax that is both regressive and discriminatory''.

Based on this quote, maybe the people of Prince Edward Island should not trust the Liberals' promise not to impose a harmonized GST/PST.

Montreal's EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister went to Montreal to tell business people that he wanted to work together with the Quebec government and local stakeholders to deal with the real problems of real people, as he put it.

For many years, federal initiatives have had a crushing impact on Montreal's economy. To mention a few: the Borden line, which killed the petrochemical industry in Montreal; decisions in the air transportation sector, which, following the opening of Mirabel, compromised the viability of this airport; federal procurement policies, which penalized Quebec and Montreal; the way federal spending on research and development is directed, which penalizes Montreal's economy. These are all decisions that over the years have undermined Montreal's economy.

If the Prime Minister means what he says about wanting to help Montreal's economy, why does he not review his government's decision to put a stop to federal participation in the Tokamak project in Varennes, which provides the greater Montreal area with quality jobs in the high tech sector? That is a big help to the economy.

Montreal's EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government was forced to make cutbacks in this area, and we had to-

Montreal's EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Montreal's EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Liberal Saint-Maurice, QC

Yes, cutbacks were made in Quebec, in Ontario and all Canadian provinces. It was felt this particular program was not a priority at this time. Other cuts in the same sector have affected similar scientific projects elsewhere in Canada.

We would probably have preferred to keep it, but the Minister of Natural Resources indicated many times here in the House that she could no longer keep this program because there were other priorities.

Montreal's EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister goes to Montreal, speaking to all Quebecers, says he is willing to give Montreal's economy a boost. People suggest certain projects that will help Montreal's economy, improve the job situation and provide for a better future, but he says no. He refuses to invest $7.5 million in these projects.

I will give him a second chance to show his good faith regarding Montreal. We know that Atomic Energy of Canada is a Crown corporation that refers its important decisions to the minister responsible.

Why did the government approve the transfer of the office of AECL to Toronto, which may eventually deprive Montreal of high tech companies in this sector, another area where the Prime Minister could help Montreal if he were so disposed?

Montreal's EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton Northwest Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, let me point out to the hon. Leader of the Opposition that in fact the crown corporation AECL has not closed its office in the city of Montreal. In fact, it retains an office in that city. I remind the hon. Leader of the Opposition that it is because of AECL and the sale of Candu reactors that there is a nuclear industry, a private sector industry, that employs thousands of people in the Montreal area.

Montreal's EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister had nothing to tell the people of Montreal. Today, he has nothing to say to the official opposition. I will give him a third chance.

In recent years, the Liberal Party of Canada was fiercely opposed to Bills C-22 and Bill C-91, which encouraged the development of pharmaceutical industries in Montreal, a sector that is in good shape. I may recall that the entire Liberal Party voted against Bill C-91, except perhaps for the Minister of Finance, who was absent

at the time. Under constant pressure from the Ontario caucus, the government recently wanted to review the regulations of Bill C-91.

If the Prime Minister really wants to help Montreal develop its economy, will he promise today that he will not in any way change Bill C-91, which his party voted against but which is a godsend to the pharmaceutical industry in Montreal?