House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Yes, I would imagine. I know you meant that in sort of an oblique sense. At least I hope you did, my colleague.

In any case, I am going to save all of us because it is almost two o'clock. If we are ready we will proceed to Statements by Members.

Member For PeterboroughStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

John O'Reilly Liberal Victoria—Haliburton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to draw to the attention of the House the fact that a very talented member of Parliament has won the Elected Officials Ploughing Championship at the recently held 79th annual Peterborough County Ploughing Match.

Yes, the member for Peterborough has accomplished something quite unique. He won the title last year for the first time, the first for any member of Parliament to win this event.

Now he will officially be known as Re-Pete, not just Pete. I congratulate the member for Peterborough and send out this notice. Next year the member for Victoria-Haliburton will end this reign of the member for Peterborough. There will be no Three-Pete.

Liberal PartyStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Jim Gouk Reform Kootenay West—Revelstoke, BC

Mr. Speaker, from time to time members search for acceptable words to use to describe blatantly inaccurate statements by other members. Well, the Prime Minister has kindly provided us with a new one.

On a recent trip to the west, the Prime Minister made numerous statements of very questionable accuracy. When challenged, his response was that he was using linguistic shorthand. That explains a lot.

When the Liberals claim they have fulfilled their red book promise to create jobs in the face of unemployment figures which show that unemployment is still just as high as when they took office, it is linguistic shorthand.

And when the finance minister claims to have fulfilled the red book promise to break the back of the deficit while increasing our debt by $111 billion and increasing our debt servicing costs by more than the total transfers to provinces for health care, that is linguistic shorthand.

The next federal election is coming soon and Canadians will get to decide whether they want more linguistic shorthand from the Liberals or a fresh start from Reform.

Small BusinessStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Dianne Brushett Liberal Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, this week is Small Business Awareness Week. With more than 1 million small businesses in Canada, they are the engines driving the economy and creating the jobs, and women are the leaders in business today. Before they used to be behind the scenes. Today they are front and centre.

In fact, business firms led by women entrepreneurs are creating jobs in Canada at four times the average of all other firms. Between 1984 and 1990 in Atlantic Canada the percentage of women owned business employing five or more full time employees increased from 16 to 28 per cent. This is extraordinary growth and women are indeed succeeding in business.

I urge the government to develop programs to help small businesses that are particularly sensitive to the economic potential of women entrepreneurs.

Industries Manufacturières MéganticStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Bernier Bloc Mégantic—Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week being small business week in Quebec, I am happy to inform the House that, recently, a man from my riding, Gilles Pansera of Industries manufacturières Mégantic, was awarded the Grand Prix de l'entrepreneur du Québec for 1996 in the business recovery category.

Mr. Pansera is well known in the Eastern Townships for his dynamism and his keen sense of entrepreneurship.

Efforts made since 1990 by management and employees of Industries manufacturières Mégantic have not only helped this business recover, but it has ensured its success for the future.

This is another concrete example of the positive results that can be obtained, particularly in the area of job creation, when all the partners work together to ensure the economic vitality of a region.

Congratulations to Mr. Pansera and to all his associates who gave us another good opportunity to celebrate the pride of the Eastern Townships.

Bradson Mercantile Inc.Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Audrey McLaughlin NDP Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, as all members of Parliament know, security officers employed by Bradson Mercantile Inc. are locked out by their employer. The security officers, represented by the United Steelworkers Union, are picketing the House of Commons today.

The security guards currently earn an average wage of $7.25 an hour. All these employees are asking for is a fair contract, one similar to other agreements being agreed to by the competitors of Bradson.

Instead of negotiating in good faith, the company is challenging the United Steelworkers' right to represent these workers. They have forced the workers to train replacement workers who are now on the Hill.

I urge all members of Parliament to support these workers' legitimate demands. I urge all members to speak with these people and hear their case. And I urge the Prime Minister to prevent scab workers from replacing contracted employees on Parliament Hill.

Indexable Cutting ToolsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, a company in Niagara is the regional award recipient of the Canadian Airlines Foundation's Small Business International Expansion Program.

Indexable Cutting Tools of Canada Limited received this honour earlier this year. The Canadian Airlines representative said: "Our selection team was very impressed with not only your entrepreneurial spirit but also your international expansion initiatives to your unique business. We are delighted to support your pathway to continued success".

Indexable Cutting Tools is on the path to success. It is a reputable and exemplary company that has been expanding because of demands for their high quality products.

This week we are celebrating small business in Canada. It is important for us to congratulate the many small Canadian firms that support jobs and growth in our economy.

I would like to congratulate the president of Indexable Cutting Tools of Canada Limited, Mr. John Precious, and the employees who make this company a great Canadian success.

Small Business WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, this is Small Business Week, a very important week when we celebrate the contributions the small business sector is making to the economic well-being of Canada.

The small business advisory committee, which was created by Revenue Canada, is working to assist the very same businesses and business people we now celebrate.

The committee, made up of private sector members, advises Revenue Canada and provides feedback to the department on policies and procedures to help the sector prosper, grow and to be competitive. This committee has been an important part of Revenue Canada becoming a positive force in the development of small business in this country.

As we celebrate Small Business Week, let me also say to Revenue Canada: Bravo.

Canada PostStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Reform Comox—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Post mandate review was recently made public yet when I was in Winnipeg last Tuesday, Canada Post officials refused to meet with me to discuss the Radwanski report. The Canada Post review is a public report but the Post Office refuses to discuss allegations made in the report.

This government promised more open government yet it could not even get in the doors of the Winnipeg post office. Why is this? What is this government trying to hide? The red book says that if government is to play a positive role in society, as it must, honesty and integrity in our institutions must be restored.

According to the Radwanski report on Canada Post, Canadians presently own a crown corporation which has a complete monopoly on first class mail, that is faced with serious allegations of unfair competition and cross subsidization in the courier business, and is seriously under performing in its delivery of mail. However, when I asked to meet the Winnipeg postal officials to discuss the allegations in this report, they refused.

So much for the red book promises.

World Development Information DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, October 24 is World Development Information Day. This day is most important, especially in light of the fact that a United Nations development program report published last week showed a dramatic increase in the poverty level worldwide.

While extreme poverty is growing at an alarming rate, official development assistance is being cut repeatedly everywhere in the world, including in Canada. The government must respond to the United Nations' invitation because development is the antidote against poverty.

Considering how important it is for Canadians and Quebecers to be better informed on these issues, the official opposition is asking the Liberal government to reinstate CIDA's public participation program to support non-governmental organization initiatives in this area.

Sugar IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian sugar industry's access to the United States continues to be restrained by unfair trade restrictions by the U.S. government. Canadian sugar exports to the U.S. were drastically reduced last year when the Americans lowered our export quota. As a result, the Lantic Sugar Refinery in my city of Saint John has had to lay off employees.

These tariffs are estimated to cost many hundreds of Canadian jobs in the sugar industry. The U.S. has refused to respond to its NAFTA obligations to terminate its re-export of sugar-containing products by October 1, 1996.

The all-party sugar caucus, of which I am a member, has just passed a unanimous resolution. The resolution calls for measures to protect Canadian jobs and investment. As a member of the sugar caucus I call on the Minister for International Trade to immediately challenge these unfair trade restrictions and request formal consultations under NAFTA in order to preserve our sugar industry and save hundreds of Canadian jobs.

National Capital RegionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Liberal Ottawa West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the entire national capital region is ever so grateful to the leader of the third party for coming to Ottawa to turn us from a cliquey one industry town into a high tech powerhouse.

We learned that lesson a quarter of a century ago and for 25 years the businesses and municipalities in this community have been working to develop a vibrant and diverse economy.

Perhaps the leader of the third party has heard of companies called Nortel, Corel and Newbridge, local companies that have gone international and are developing jobs by the thousands. They are one of the reasons our unemployment rate has dropped from 11 per cent last August to just over 7 per cent this past month.

Perhaps the Reform leader needs to give himself a fresh start, get out of his office and his hotel room and find out about this nation's capital.

Canadian UnityStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel Liberal St. Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw attention to a program organized by the Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface, the Société franco-manitobaine and the Saint-Boniface Chambre de commerce francophone, all in my riding.

Official partners in operation "Let's Talk", these organizations are encouraging dialogue among Manitobans in order to promote understanding of the cultural, linguistic and ethnic differences of Canadians and of their founding peoples.

A series of articles on francophonie in the Winnipeg Free Press are giving people an opportunity to send in written questions to a panel, for later reply. This dialogue provides a more balanced view of Canada and of Canadians.

Operation Let's Talk permits Manitobans to learn about the history of Canadians and how best to deal with our differences.

I applaud this initiative and the action taken by this group to promote unity in our country.

Best of luck to operation Let's Talk.

Liberal Party Of CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Laurent Lavigne Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, another member from Montreal wants to speak today.

The Liberal Party convention, which began today, will be the scene of some very important debates on a host of subjects of interest to all Canadians. The issues of job creation, social programs, tax reform, research and development, the fight against poverty, assistance to small business, and measures to promote exports are all subjects that our delegates will be addressing.

Our party has always listened to the legitimate concerns of all Canadians, including those living in Quebec, and particularly in Montreal.

Unlike the Bloc Quebecois, the Liberal Party of Canada does not wait for summits and splashy media events to begin thinking about the issues of concern to Montreal. We are tackling these issues on a daily basis, and it is time the Bloc Quebecois gave us a hand, rather than continuing to hold its threat of separation over people's heads.

Federalist ForcesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Tremblay Bloc Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow the federalist forces will celebrate what is known as the love-in of October 25, 1995 in Montreal. A year ago, faced with the popularity of the sovereignist option and having nothing tangible to offer Quebecers, the hard-core federalists, today's supporters of Plan B, organized what the senior editorial writer of La Presse , Alain Dubuc, qualified as a declaration of love that was too little, too late.

This demonstration and the celebration of its anniversary are a good illustration of the position of Canadian federalists. Quebecers are not a people. Quebec has no right to determine its future, and its aspirations regarding its status in Confederation will be given no consideration. The government prefers to appeal to the courts and support extremists like Guy Bertrand and Howard Galganov.

Tomorrow's demonstration will once again reflect the intellectual vacuum that exists in the federal camp.

Deputy Prime MinisterStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Reform Simcoe Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, since this is red book revival and review week, let me quote from "Governing With Integrity", page 91:

If government is to play a positive role in society, as it must, honesty and integrity in our political institutions must be restored.

A response by our Deputy Prime Minister during question period on Monday strained both of these.

The Deputy Prime Minister said I received a letter which I never had. The letter she referred to was not a letter but a fax addressed to her and I was not shown as receiving a copy, nor did I. She claimed the letter she had was from a member of the Reform Party. In fact this person is not a member of the Reform Party and never has been.

Earlier the Deputy Prime Minister attacked some of my colleagues for faxing her office on behalf of constituents. Now she attacks me for not doing that. Rather than answer the question about where the $23 million for flags is coming from we get doubletalk and distortions.

The Deputy Prime Minister bragged that she kicked butt on January 17, but it is clear she did not learn a thing.

Montreal EconomyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Bonin Liberal Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, this sudden interest in Montreal shown by the Bloc Quebecois yesterday is surprising and even suspicious. It was not until our Prime Minister took the initiative and invited the Quebec government to collaborate on the development of Montreal that the Bloc Quebecois realized that action was urgently needed.

Bloc members whose sole objective is to separate Quebec from Canada suddenly realized they were interested in Montreal. Yesterday they claimed not enough was being done for Montreal.

The Bloc Quebecois and its separatist platform have probably done more harm to the economy of Montreal than all other factors combined. They should stop complaining and stop talking about separation. That would be the best thing that could happen to Montreal.

The Late Colleen PetersonStatements By Members

October 24th, 1996 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with much sadness that I rise in the House today to pay my respects to Colleen Peterson.

Colleen, a treasure of Lakefield, Ontario, had a tremendous career in country music. In 1977 she won a Juno as the most promising female vocalist. She moved to Nashville for more than a decade, writing hundreds of songs for such talents as Anne Murray and Roger Miller.

Returning to Ontario in 1992, she pursued her true love, singing. In 1991 her solo song "No Pain, No Gain" was the number one country song in Canada. She was also an integral part of the group Quartette which won a Canadian country music award.

Her other love was animals. Besides owning numerous horses Colleen helped establish the Lakefield Animal Welfare Society.

Colleen Peterson was a beautiful person and a beautiful singer. To her family and friends I extend our condolences.

Small Business Awareness WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Reform Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, this being Small Business Awareness Week I rise today to express my deepest congratulations to the winner of the small business award in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

The winner this year is 2000 Plus, a maintenance service company that performs work for Syncrude Canada and other oil and gas operators. It has only been in operation for five years and in that short time it has grown from a tiny enterprise to a $4.5 million annual operation. It has grown from six employees to 70 full time workers, 90 per cent of which are aboriginal.

Not only has 2000 Plus won this award but they have been nominated for the Candu award for economic development. The secret of its success is flexibility in planning and a high degree of attention to safety, reliability and quality with a great record of customer satisfaction.

My caucus colleagues and I would like to congratulate the employees of 2000 Plus and, in particular, Ed Courtoreille, president of 2000 Plus and Mikisew Cree Chief Archie Waquan for winning this award.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the time has come for the Liberal government to meet with its party faithful this weekend, in order to look at the commitments it has made to the Canadian people. The Prime Minister claims he has kept his commitments but, essentially, his record has been a big fat zero.

The Liberal government got itself elected with its slogan of "jobs, jobs, jobs", which it repeated high and low in order to convince the public that employment was its top priority.

What can the Prime Minister say today to the million and a half Canadians who are not working, still not working, despite the Liberal promises, while the unemployment rate still hovers around the 10 per cent mark? What can the government and the Prime Minister say to these people, except to admit that they have not met their commitment?

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I would like to reassure the leader of the opposition and to tell him that the Government of Canada will be extremely proud to meet the Liberal Party faithful during this weekend's magnificent convention.

Of course, while the unemployment level is still too high to satisfy us, it has nevertheless improved considerably since 1993. We have made a magnificent contribution through three of the finance minister's budgets, which have left interest rates at 3.75 per cent, lower than they have been in 38 years, three points lower than the level in the U.S. The investment climate in Canada has never been better.

Transition toward the new economy is sometimes hard, but there are 600,000 more jobs in Canada today than there were in 1993. In the next few weeks, moreover, we are going to announce some extremely interesting youth employment initiatives, since we are concerned with the employment future of our young people.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, one more who feels everything is just going fine. This government is totally clueless.

The new Minister of Employment-I do not know if the former one has clued him in completely-must know that we would need more than 870,000 jobs to get the economy back to the way it was in 1989. He tells us everything is fine, yet we are 870,000 jobs short of the way things used to be. Clueless.

In the red book, in 1993, the Prime Minister said, and I quote-and I hope the other side is listening properly, for it is their Prime Minister speaking: "Today, after nine years of Conservative government, Canadians are facing hardship: 1.6 million unemployed, millions more on welfare, a million children living below the poverty line, record numbers of bankruptcies and plant closings".

Does the Prime Minister realize that three years later, he could write that same thing again, exactly, for their next campaign platform?

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Papineau—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I realize that the leader of the opposition has a problem: he is very hard of hearing. I never said everything was fine, and I am not in the least proud of the unemployment situation at this time.

What I said is that we still have a lot to do, but we have done an enormous amount of work in putting public finances in order, with the result that we are saving millions, billions of dollars as a society at the present time in interest rates, because the international markets have confidence in our government. That creates jobs.

That is reality, an extremely important reality and one in which we shall continue.

We shall have an even more interesting program for young people within a few months. As for the 800,000 jobs referred to, many jobs were lost. That is reality. That is normal. We are undergoing an economic transition which means that jobs are constantly changing. If jobs had not been lost, we would be in even more trouble, because the economy has changed. I am very much aware that the opposition does not realize that we are in a period of evolution, but we are in the process of adapting our programs in order to help get workers back to work. And the 600,000 jobs are in addition to the 800,000 which were-

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sorry to interrupt the minister. The Leader of the Opposition has the floor.

EmploymentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Do not worry, Mr. Speaker, he will eventually learn.

The former teacher in me would mark his oral presentation as follows: "A" for the number of words, "Z" for the number of ideas.

The red book, which will be discussed this weekend, contains these words: "Whose job will go next? For the first time in decades, Canadians are seriously concerned that children will be less well off than their parents". That is what the Liberal Party wrote in its red book in 1993.

What can the Minister of Employment say to young Canadians without jobs, when Statistics Canada shows that the Liberal regime brought a decrease of 25,000 jobs for 15 to 24 year-olds? What does he have to say now?