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House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ocean.

Topics

Oceans ActPrivate Members' Business

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Ah, ah.

Oceans ActPrivate Members' Business

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bloc Gaspé, QC

What I wish to emphasize here, and what I have already stated this morning, is that, with respect to part II of this bill, I am in agreement with the creation of an ocean management strategy. But-and I shall be as brief as possible here, returning after the question period-in order to protect against the return of the Conservative party, may I just ask the hon. member for Gander-Grand Falls whether he remembers how the Liberal premier of Newfoundland and the Conservative Prime Minister in Ottawa used to be at each other's throats?

When Brian Peckford made his pilgrimage to Ottawa, no one would listen to him. How will things be any better for his successor, if the powers of the provinces are not protected in this bill? That is the question.

We are very much aware of the situation with the capelin, and the mackerel, that the cod are after them, but what are you after?

Oceans ActPrivate Members' Business

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleague, I know if I could ask for a yes or a no answer, I would be all right. However, I want to give you every opportunity to answer this member. We will now go to statements, but if you will only come back after question period, I will stay here to see what you have to say.

Prince Edward IslandStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

George Proud Liberal Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, these are hard acts to follow. However, I am pleased today that the 1996 annual conference of the Transportation Association of Canada is to be held in my riding.

Delegates arrived in Charlottetown yesterday for the conference, which continues until Wednesday. This year's theme is cost effectiveness through innovation. I find it very fitting that this conference is taking place on the island.

As many already know, the fixed link, which has recently been named Confederation Bridge by the hon. minister, will significantly alter the transportation industry of Prince Edward Island.

As an island, P.E.I. is greatly affected by any small change in that industry. Further to next year's opening of the bridge, islanders are analysing the situation surrounding our four major seaports in light of legislation before this House.

I welcome the delegates to the island. I trust that they will enjoy their stay in the birthplace of Confederation.

Unemployment InsuranceStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Bloc Charlevoix, QC

Mr. Speaker, this past July, several areas of Quebec, including the Charlevoix region, were struck by torrential rains and unprecedented flooding.

Thousands of people had to be evacuated, some as a preventive measure, and others because their lives were really in danger. A number of lives were lost in this tragedy, and many saw what they had worked for all their lives carried away by the wild flood waters.

There has, however, been other devastation as well. A number of seasonal workers face significant reduction in their chances of drawing employment insurance, in some cases, their chances are nil.

I am requesting, personally and on behalf of the Bloc Quebecois, that the new Minister of Human Resources Development proceed as quickly as possible with measures to make employment insurance more flexible for workers in the regions affected by the disaster of this past July 19 and 20.

FisheriesStatements By Members

October 7th, 1996 / 2 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Reform Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the new fisheries act allows the minister to do an end run around recent decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada.

The justices ruled that the right to sell fish can only be extended when it can be proved that the sale or barter of fish took place on a regular basis prior to European contact and was central to the band's life and culture.

The new act allows the minister to defy the Supreme Court of Canada and pull fish for his friends out of the Liberal pork barrel.

The new act allows the minister to continue racially divisive native only commercial fisheries in defiance of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The new act allows the minister to keep his pork barrel activities to himself, as he is not required to publish details of the agreements.

The new act removes the public right to fish, a right guaranteed in law since the signing of the Magna Carta. The public loses its right of access to fish. The minister gets the right to give fish to his Liberal friends and do it in secret.

This government is not only willing to defy the will of the people of British Columbia, it is also prepared-

FisheriesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Yukon.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Audrey McLaughlin NDP Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I have with me today hundreds of letters which supplement the many phone calls I have received from Yukoners with regard to the cuts to CBC.

As we know, in the north in particular the CBC provides a national, international and local window for northerners on events as they occur. It also provides a voice for northerners that is obviously seen to be very much threatened.

Probably in my 10 years as a member of Parliament I have not received as many letters and as many phone calls as I have about the proposed cuts to CBC in the north.

The Liberal government in its red book stated clearly that it would provide stable multi-year funding for the CBC. It is a promise it must keep. The cuts to CBC north are particularly severe. We have already dealt with a $1.9 million funding cut by this government. CBC north is essential to the unity of this country and to the options for voices for northerners and for the information to be clearly seen from coast to coast.

The FamilyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Liberal Lambton—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, October 7 to 13 is National Family Week in Canada and the theme this year is rediscovering family strengths.

Building on the 1995 theme, families are forever, this year's National Family Week theme urges Canadians to celebrate the strengths and capacities of our families.

Where would we be without our families? For many Canadians there is no simpler or more fundamental question to answer. The guidance and the love that our families give us are essential to finding our own path to the future.

Rediscovering the many ways in which families support and help their members through life's changing circumstances, life's joys and sorrows brings us all back to the basics of what families are all about: caring, nurturing, supporting and developing the potentials of all their members.

During this National Family Week and all year long let us all pledge to rediscovery and celebrate the strengths and achievements of our own families and the families in our communities right across Canada.

Communities In BloomStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Glen McKinnon Liberal Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, not one, not two, but three, yes three, communities from the Brandon-Souris constituency were chosen as finalists in the 1996 Communities in Bloom contest. Brandon, Boissevain and my home town of Virden, Manitoba were selected to represent three different categories at the national awards ceremony in Ottawa earlier this fall.

All three municipalities displayed their strong commitment to community green spaces, to environmental awareness which best represented our exciting Manitoba heritage.

Speaking from firsthand experience, Communities in Bloom has had an incredible effect on building community spirit throughout southwestern Manitoba.

Congratulations to everyone involved in organizing this program and in particular to the town of Virden, which was chosen national winner in its category.

HousingStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Liberal Winnipeg—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, today is World Habitat Day, a day to reflect on shelter and its importance in our lives.

The conditions under which people live determine to a large extent their health, productivity and sense of well-being. We in Canada are fortunate to be among the best housed people in the world. We owe that enviable status to the efforts of such organizations as Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Working with the industry and a host of governmental and non-governmental organizations, CMHC strives to encourage the development of more affordable and appropriate housing through such programs as affordability and choice today.

We also recognize the importance of helping people help themselves and are working with other organizations to develop the capacity of Canadians to meet their housing needs with their own resources.

I encourage my fellow colleagues and indeed all Canadians to join the United Nations in observing World Habitat Day.

Gun ControlStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Philip Mayfield Reform Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, we all know that the Liberals have no respect for the personal rights and freedoms of Canadians.

But thank goodness there is hope on the horizon. The Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Yukon governments will challenge the constitutionality of the federal government's universal gun registry.

These five governments will ask the courts whether the registry violates the civil and property rights of Canadians. They will also argue that the registry will be an ineffective means of reducing crime, an inappropriate use of scarce tax dollars and will unfairly penalize lawful gun owners and users.

If it is clear to five different governments and if it is clear to most every Canadian that a universal gun registry will not reduce crime and will waste millions of dollars, it should be clear to the Liberal government. But it does not seem to care.

I challenge the Liberal government today to repeal its plan for universal gun registration. I challenge the British Columbia government to join with other provincial governments to help protect the personal rights and freedoms of Canadians.

The Charles-Lemoyne Hospital FoundationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Bloc Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the past 12 years, the Charles Lemoyne hospital foundation has hosted a Grand Prix Formula I hospital bed race known as the Ral-lit.

This rally attracts approximately 20 teams, each with 30 to 50 competitors racing in their mattressed racers.

Each runner must cover two kilometres of a total of 20 kilometres. For some the goal is to win, for others to participate. Some even try to beat the Guinness record of one hour, 9 minutes et 9 seconds set by a Longueuil team in 1989.

The 1996 edition was chaired by none other than André Viger, a wheelchair athlete widely admired for his courage.

The purpose of this event is to raise money for research and to buy medical equipment. It gives those who like unusual activities the opportunity to have fun on the south shore.

I wish to thank and congratulate the Charles-Lemoyne hospital foundation for organizing such a novel event.

Public ServiceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ovid Jackson Liberal Bruce—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, October is National Quality Month and I want to pay tribute to the men and women in the federal public service who are focusing on the needs of our most important clients, Canadians, and are thus contributing to getting government right.

Canada's public servants are achieving this goal by ensuring that federal programs and services are delivered promptly, dependably and accurately; providing services that are courteous and which respect the Official Languages Act; ensuring that the services provided are of good value for the tax dollars spent; and improving the services wherever possible, based on suggestions by Canadians.

This government is committed to innovation, to cutting red tape and unnecessary delays, and to delivering to Canadians the best possible services for their tax dollars.

October is National Quality Month and as such the Government of Canada salutes the efforts of our public servants to make quality management a cornerstone of our day to day activities.

Nelson HouseStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Beryl Gaffney Liberal Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, time and time again the government has expressed concern and has initiated many measures to protect women and children from violence. Yet Nelson House, a shelter and refuge for abused women and children in Nepean, is in danger of closing its doors at a time when it is needed more than ever.

The seed for Nelson House was planted by me and a group of community members in 1989. A tireless group of volunteers nourished this seed and Nelson House opened its doors five years ago. Doors which have welcomed, a roof which has sheltered and walls which have protected from fear and violence must stand. These constitute a true home providing hope, strength and opportunity for a new life to those in need.

I thank the volunteers who have given of their time as subsequent board members of Nelson House and I urge all the players, the ministry of social services, the regional government, the staff, the committed volunteers in the community to work together to

ensure that Nelson House survives and continues to play the important role it has played over the past five years.

Bosnia-HerzegovinaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Parrish Liberal Mississauga West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to share my ongoing and deep concern for the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Despite the efforts of Canada and many other countries, the devastations of war remain: four million anti-personnel land mines in a country of two million people, 85 per cent unemployment and entire communities of destroyed homes and buildings. The lack of clean water, medical and dental care, electricity and basic sanitation is dehumanizing. I particularly mourn the young people who will never have the opportunity to finish school and hold a job, an entire lost generation.

I encourage this government to maintain our peacekeeping commitment. I also encourage more organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and most especially dental practitioners to continue their generous work over there. When the fighting stops the real human needs begin.

Breast CancerStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, October is breast cancer awareness month. In Canada, over 17,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. On average, every day 49 Quebec and Canadian women must face this shocking piece of news. Breast cancer kills over 5,400 women every year. Today, October 7, 15 women will succumb to it.

Groups such as the breast cancer society are working hard to find a cure to this disease. The causes of it are not well known, the treatment of it is all too often ineffective and hopes of surviving it come at the cost of severe mutilation, for some women.

Basic research in this area must go on. Treatment effectiveness must keep on improving to give hope and courage to the thousands of women faced with this terrible disease.

The FamilyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Sharon Hayes Reform Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, today marks the beginning of National Family Week and, on behalf of the Reform Party, I want to commend all Canadian families for the vital role they play in the stability and survival of Canadian society.

Without question, the family is our most valuable institution and the heart of our social order. It is the place where children are brought into the world and cared for. It is where they learn, or ought to learn, trust, love and security as well as the values and behaviour that will make them good citizens and in turn good parents themselves.

The family is where our most deeply held beliefs are passed on to future generations. It is where social stability and prosperity begin.

That is why since its inception the Reform Party of Canada has recognized the importance of strong family units in building a successful society. The party's constitution states:

We affirm the value and dignity of the individual person and the importance of strengthening and protecting the family unit as essential to the well-being of individuals and society.

Put simply, families represent the future of Canada. It is in the best interest of us all to make sure they are healthy and thriving.

Robert BourassaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Milliken Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, we are paying our last respects to a man who, as Premier, governed Quebec for almost 15 years.

Robert Bourassa was and remains one of the prominent figures of the political scene in Quebec and Canada. He played a very fundamental role in the development of modern Quebec, a source of pride for all of Canada.

Robert Bourassa was a proud Canadian and a proud Quebecer. He worked harder than anybody else to re-establish and maintain the dialogue between Quebec and the other Canadian provinces.

This great man had an endless respect and affection for his province and his country. Today, in this House, we are adding our voices to those of millions of Canadians in order to say, with deep emotion: "Thank you, Mr. Bourassa".

Robert BourassaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel Liberal St. Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, over the weekend, countless people went to the Quebec National Assembly to pay their respects to Robert Bourassa.

He devoted his whole life to politics in Quebec and Canada and deserves a place in the history of our country. He was an open, accessible premier, a ardent proponent of consensus and consultation. More than anybody else, he made entrepreneurship flourish in Quebec and provided his province with a solid economic base. He

saw big and far and his vision of a modern and dynamic Quebec has since become a model to be followed.

In respectful silence, the Canadian people are now paying homage to this great man, who played such an important role in the history of Quebec and Canada.

Canadian Armed ForcesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the new Minister of National Defence said, when he was appointed, that it was important to send a clear message to members of the armed forces in order to ease the distress in the ranks.

Will the Minister of National Defence not admit that the situation within the armed forces cannot be changed as long as General Boyle is chief of defence staff?

Canadian Armed ForcesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in the last few days the Department of National Defence has undergone considerable changes. I had an opportunity this morning to meet with General Boyle and the deputy minister of the department.

I can well understand the hon. member's remarks regarding the distress that exists within the armed forces. We will do everything possible to make adjustments within the existing system in order to restore the confidence of the men and women working in the armed forces.

That may take a while. Furthermore, it is my view that my predecessor did a remarkable job. I am very sorry to see him go. We will proceed in a reasonable and responsible manner.

Canadian Armed ForcesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Yes, Mr. Speaker, let us talk about responsibility. Members will recall that the former defence minister resigned because he had signed a compromising letter, even though he could not recall doing so. He took full responsibility. He refused to blame his staff.

General Boyle did the exact opposite. Having himself given the order to release falsified documents, he blamed his staff, whom he said did not inform him of the ramifications of this action. He concluded that he could not be held responsible.

I ask the minister why the rules of accountability applied to the former defence minister are not applied to General Boyle?

Canadian Armed ForcesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that the member has described a situation that was very difficult for my predecessor, the former defence minister. He was, however, in a situation where he was advised that the rules were clear and that what he had done was not consistent with the existing rules. He decided to hand in his resignation, and I am sorry to see him go.

As for the situations being looked at in the Somalia inquiry and the allegations that have been made, the commission is still hearing testimony, and we will respect the conclusions of this inquiry.

General Boyle, however, was in a situation that was rather different from that facing my predecessor.

Canadian Armed ForcesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have trouble seeing how the rules can be clear for a minister, but not for General Boyle. These are not allegations. The general has admitted this himself in his testimony. We do not have to ask the judge whether or not he believes General Boyle's testimony. The general has admitted it himself.

Does the minister realize that the morale of the troops will remain low as long as General Boyle continues to hold his position, for he no longer has the confidence of his troops, or of Canadians? He only has the confidence of a government that continues to protect him in the face of all logic.