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House of Commons Hansard #101 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was mission.

Topics

Ordre Des Infirmières Et Des Infirmiers Du QuébecStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Ordre des infirmières et des infirmiers du Québec held its annual convention in Montreal on November 4 and 5. Under the theme "Daring to Provide Care in a Uncaring Society", more than 1,200 nurses from across Quebec gathered to discuss the future of their profession.

On behalf of my colleagues of the official opposition, I want to acknowledge the work and dedication of these women and men whose working conditions are becoming increasingly difficult.

While skill and expertise is required from these health professionals to rapidly adjust to the move toward ambulatory care, we recognize that they play a unique role in maintaining values that our society cherishes as regards the health and well-being of Quebecers.

EthicsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, exciting news-exciting news. We have found the 10 most important ethical guidelines for the Liberal government.

No. 10. When in doubt call Paul Desmarais.

No. 9. Little white fibs do not count.

No. 8. Whatever you do, do not get caught.

No. 7. You can fool some of the people some of the time, and all of the people some of the time. And remember, you should certainly try to fool all of the people all of the time.

No. 6. Remember, there is a sucker born every minute.

No. 5. For ethical advice after office hours call JoJo.

No. 4. If JoJo does not answer, call the Prime Minister's imaginary friend.

No. 3. When asked to produce or follow an actual set of guidelines, look either stunned or puzzled or act offended and indignant.

No. 2. Government credit cards, don't leave home without them.

The most important ethical guideline of the entire Liberal Government, No. 1. Remember, when dealing with Liberal contributors or family members, there are no rules.

Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Independent

Gilles Bernier Independent Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, the new employment insurance legislation requires 26 weeks of insurable employment in the case of workers who did not claim benefits in the past two years. This is unfair.

The construction industry, among others, has experienced particularly difficult years, and workers who were not able to qualify last year because they had not worked long enough will be even less able to do so this year, since they will be deemed to have been out of the workforce for two years. In other words, they will need 26 weeks of insurable employment in the past year.

Their only option is to go on welfare. The situation is urgent. A solution must be found to avoid penalizing even more an industry which, in Quebec, has had more than its share of problems in recent years.

Marjorie LavalleeStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Bernie Collins Liberal Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mrs. Marjorie Lavallee, my constituent, an astounding volunteer who recently travelled to Bolivia on an assignment with the Canadian Executive Services Organization.

CESO volunteer advisers are professionally skilled men and women, usually retired, who willingly share their years of experience with needy businesses and organizations in developing nations.

Mrs. Lavallee's job was to assess the Bolivian government's indigenous peoples education review program. She used her own experience as an active participant in reforming Canada's aboriginal educational system.

I am proud to have a constituent who takes an active part in Canada's efforts to stimulate development in disadvantaged economies.

JusticeStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Bethel Liberal Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, there is great value to community action at a national level. In Edmonton East we developed an effective partnership between residents, students, agencies, police and yes, even our justice minister. By working together we have made great gains in creating safer streets and safer neighbourhoods.

There is cause for celebration, taking and sharing credit. Our powerful partnership has eliminated the legal use of a deadly weapon intended for use by violent, aggressive youth against others. This weapon, marketed as a comb, is 8 1/2 inches long and splits open in the middle. Once opened, the handle has an attached 4-inch steel knife blade.

Thanks to Partners for Youth, for working together, to staff and students at Eastglen High School, to Constables Rick Cooper and Aaron Nichols for identifying the weapon and bringing it to our attention. And of course, to the Minister of Justice for his efforts in making changes to section 84 of the Criminal Code.

Because this dangerous weapon is now out of the hands of youth, we are preventing crime and violence.

Wife Assault Prevention MonthStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the last 12 months in Ontario alone 18 women have been killed by their partners. Along with those women three other victims, including two children, lost their lives. In the last 12 months in the Halton region 2,000 telephone calls were received on the wife assault help line and countless families sought shelter at Halton Women's Place.

November is wife assault prevention month, an opportunity to reflect on these lives and to refocus Canadians on the issue of domestic violence. Communities, schools, service clubs, individuals and governments must dedicate resources to ensure that women and their children are safe from violence. It is especially important to break the cycle and allow young Canadians the chance to grow up to be healthy, non-violent adults. Cutbacks to social services in favour of short term tax breaks are not the answer. Violence costs all of us in the long run.

OntarioStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Marc Jacob Bloc Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs asked Ontario to help him have Quebec recognized as a distinct society. The minister seems to have forgotten that, as long as Ontario will not respect its French speaking minority, that province cannot be a credible voice in the constitutional debate.

Ontario still refuses to comply with section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, thus denying the educational rights of its minority. Moreover, the Harris government made deep cuts in services to francophones. It reduced by 27 per cent the budget of the Office of Francophone Affairs. It also eliminated the Council for Franco-Ontarian Education and a number of other services provided in French.

Ontario has become an anglicizing ground for francophones: 38 per cent of Franco-Ontarians speak English at home. This figure says it all about the assimilation of Franco-Ontarians.

LiteracyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Daphne Jennings Reform Mission—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, Wednesday is national child day and there is no better gift to give children than literacy.

Canada's children are among the most fortunate of the world and yet they may be facing an ever-increasingly complex world with a false sense of security. More than 40 per cent of Canada's current adult population do not have the literacy skills for today's information based economy and worse, many of these Canadians do not recognize that this is a problem. Young people are getting mixed messages on the home front about the value of education and may not understand that high level literacy skills can bring a personal joy as well as economic prosperity.

Although it is a life-long process, literacy begins at birth and flourishes, we know, when reading is encouraged in the early years by parents in the home. It certainly does not help that the government is still forcing Canadian consumers to pay high GST on books for the family.

We cannot change attitudes but we can change circumstances. Children are the key to this country's future and right now parents need to purchase books for their homes without punitive taxes. We can give the gift of literacy, the best tool for our future prosperity, a fresh start by helping parents read to their children.

Child PovertyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Vic Althouse NDP Mackenzie, SK

Mr. Speaker, in 1989 the House unanimously voted to end child poverty by the year 2000.

Today's report card shows that not only is the government not keeping to its commitment, it is making the situation worse. Since 1989 the child poverty rate has increased by 46 per cent, bringing Canada's total of poverty-stricken children to 1.4 million, the second highest rate in the industrialized world.

Clearly the Liberal government is not providing the solutions that Canadians need and want. Poor Canadians need jobs that pay a fair wage. They need universal child care and other resources to help them break free of the dependence cycle. Canadians need adequate and affordable housing and educational opportunities that are not biased against the poor.

In 1993 the Liberals said they wanted to give children the best possible start in life. Why have they not done so?

Small BusinessStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Liberal York North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government recognizes the importance of small businesses in our economy.

Over 660,000 jobs have been created since October 1993. Small businesses have created 88 per cent of these new jobs. As a responsible government we have dedicated ourselves to creating a healthy economic environment which fosters jobs and economic

growth. Deficit reduction targets have been met consistently, interest rates have declined and inflation is under control.

Red tape has been cut, administrative burdens have been reduced and government programs have been simplified and focused so that they serve the clients efficiently and effectively. This type of partnership is the reason why Canada is projected to rank first in economic growth among the G-7 countries.

Infrastructure ProgramStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's infrastructure program has been a great success in the riding of Peterborough. In the city and county it helped fund almost 100 valuable projects.

I urge the government to build on the experience of the first program to design another even better one.

For example, the new one might deliberately set out to bring in private sector funds. Or it might be designed differently in different parts of the country to meet special regional needs. Or again, special priority could be given to projects which create jobs for young people. Yet again, a portion of the funds could be reserved for special national projects such as research and development.

We need a new redesigned program that builds on the strengths of the national infrastructure program, and we need it soon. If provinces such as Ontario do not support it, the federal government and the municipalities should continue without them.

Montreal EconomyStatements By Members

November 18th, 1996 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the governments of Canada and Quebec have decided to coordinate their efforts to help Montreal's economic recovery.

A new organization will be set up today to coordinate efforts to promote Greater Montreal's international development. This organization, which will be called Montreal International, will welcome foreign investors, provide information to them, and also seek foreign investments.

It will have a budget of $10 million. The governments of Canada and Quebec will provide $4 million, while $5 million will come from the private sector and $1 million from the municipalities that are part of Greater Montreal.

Montreal International is proof that we can accomplish great things when the various levels of government and the private sector work in close co-operation.

ChileStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased, on behalf of the Bloc Quebecois, to welcome the President of Chile, Eduardo Frei.

It has been over 50 years since a leader of the Chilean government visited Canada. This is therefore a landmark occasion.

I am delighted that negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement between Canada and Chile have been successful and that President Frei has just signed the agreement. This will make it easier for Chile to join NAFTA. This is a very important step in the process of continental economic integration.

I hope that this visit by the Chilean president will enhance the already excellent relations Chile has with Canada and with Quebec.

British ColumbiaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Reform Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is time for a fresh start for the next tiger on the Pacific rim, British Columbia. But predicted growth for B.C. this year is a sum total of zero. This can be directly attributed to the Liberals' high tax, high regulation and big government attitude toward one of Canada's most economically successful provinces.

The government is choking one of the strongest regional economies in this country due to its unwillingness to listen and respond to the concerns of British Columbians. Generations of Liberals and Tories have sought to deny British Columbia its rightful status as an international trading power. They view B.C. as a hinterland which must fend for itself during the bad times and be exploited during the good times. Take from British Columbia and spend somewhere else.

British Columbians know that electing Reformers to the House of Commons in the next election is in their best interests: people who are committed to delivering tax relief and who have a vision of British Columbia as Canada's economic tiger, the next tiger of the Pacific rim.

Canada's Economic GrowthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel Liberal St. Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have reason to be confident about the future. Last week, the OECD and the Royal Bank of Canada issued their economic forecasts for Canada.

According to the OECD, Canadian economic growth should rise to and hold at 3.25 per cent annually, compared to 2.5 per cent for all other industrialized countries. In addition, experts predict that the unemployment rate will drop to 8.7 per cent over the next six

years, while inflation will continue at approximately 1.5 per cent annually.

For its part, the Royal Bank of Canada is not hesitating to predict that Canada's economic growth will exceed that of all other G7 nations in the years to come.

These forecasts and numerous others made public recently confirm that our government has made the right decisions to set Canada back on the road to prosperity.

Crossley Carpet MillsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Dianne Brushett Liberal Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, one of the largest employers in Truro is Crossley Carpet Mills. Last Friday I attended the official celebration of Crossley Carpet Mills receiving certification of its ISO 9002 registration. Crossley is the first carpet mill in Canada to receive this international quality standard certification. Indeed, Crossley is only one of two carpet mills in all of North America to be registered.

With hard work and funding support from ACOA, this 100 per cent Canadian and Nova Scotia owned company is now uniquely positioned to compete in international markets where ISO registration is becoming a prerequisite for contract bidding.

Enabling local businesses to stay competitive is just one way that the government is helping to sustain and create jobs in every region across Canada. I extend my best wishes for continued success to Les Single's management and staff at Crossley Carpet Mills.

Presence In GalleryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I would like to draw to members' attention the presence in the gallery of two members from the United Republic of Tanzania. I refer specifically to the Hon. Matheo T. Qares and the Hon. Bakari Mbonde, ministers of state in the Prime Minister's office.

Presence In GalleryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Air TransportationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the members of the board of directors of Canadian

Airlines resigned en masse on Friday, for fear of being held financially responsible in the event of a bankruptcy.

The crisis at Canadian is blatant proof of the government's mistake in maintaining two international carriers in Canada with public funds. The Bloc Quebecois, it will be remembered, proposed the amalgamation of Air Canada and Canadian to ensure we would have a solid air carrier in Canada and to save as many jobs as possible.

Can the Prime Minister assure us today that his government is not intending to inject more money in Canadian, as his Minister of Transport has said on several occasions in recent weeks?

Air TransportationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have nothing to add to what the Minister of Transport has said in the House. He is following the situation at the moment. The company, the union and other groups have held negotiations. The government is watching the situation, but I have nothing to add to what the Minister of Transport had to say ten days ago.

Air TransportationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport had a bit more to say. I see that things are changing perhaps somewhat. The Minister of Transport told us that there was no question of more money being injected in the current situation. To my knowledge, the situation has worsened with the resignation of the board of directors.

The Globe and Mail also pointed out on the weekend that the government was prepared to help Canadian if employees agreed to the company's restructuring plan, which included a salary cut of 10 per cent.

Could the Prime Minister also assure us that his government is not getting ready to provide renewed assistance to Canadian should the employees agree to the restructuring plan?

Air TransportationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Hamilton West Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

No, Mr. Speaker, the government has no intention of putting money into Canadian in this particular situation.

The hon. member opposite spoke of the employees at Canadian. I think it is important for the House to know that the Minister of Transport had this to say to the Air Transportation Association of Canada in Montreal just a couple of hours ago. He said:

I know it requires very difficult decisions from the employees-employees who have sacrificed much already. I have always been impressed by the dedication of Canadian Airlines employees, their commitment to quality, their commitment to service, and their belief in their airline. That dedication, and that spirit, will be just as crucial to Canadian's future as to its past.

Structural problems require structural solutions. The president of Canadian Airlines has brought them forward. We hope that Cana-

dian Airlines is successful and remains another one of our proud airlines in this country.

Air TransportationOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have to assume that there is some slight problem, since the entire board of directors resigned. I would assume something is awry.

The federal government has also, we think, made a mistake in allowing American Airlines to acquire a significant number of Canadian shares. This did not enable Canadian to become cost effective, as we have seen. On the contrary, this decision gives rise to concerns over American control of the air transportation industry.

Would the Prime Minister make a commitment to not change the legislation and the regulations in the air transportation sector, which would have the effect of allowing greater foreign, especially American, involvement in this sector?

Air TransportationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Hamilton West Ontario

Liberal

Stan Keyes LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Canadian Airlines has not come forward to this government with any proposal to increase foreign investment.

Air TransportationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

In the event that Canadian, a major air carrier in Canada, goes bankrupt, the government would havet to decide on the redistribution of the international routes it currently holds.

Can the Prime Minister guarantee today that he will not allow foreign companies to get hold of these international routes and that he will preserve the Canadian character of this industry?