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House of Commons Hansard #110 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was countries.

Topics

PrivilegeGovernment Orders

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Kilger Liberal Stormont—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is not up us to decide whether the Speaker's ruling is right or wrong. We must accept what the Chair in its wisdom has decided. Speaking for the government, I believe the ruling handed down by the Speaker of the House is fair.

Also, I think that when members say they will withdraw "on condition", we are on a slippery slope. I believe that members on both sides of the House should never question the authority of the Chair. We want to deal with this subject with all the respect due to the Speaker and the Chair.

PrivilegeGovernment Orders

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the same point of order.

PrivilegeGovernment Orders

11:05 a.m.

The Speaker

I do not want debate. This is the last time.

PrivilegeGovernment Orders

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

René Laurin Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, far be it from us to question the authority of the Chair. We believe that the ruling you gave this morning was given with a great deal of wisdom.

However, Mr. Speaker, perhaps you could explain, with an eye to future proceedings, how we should respond to false allegations made by a member other than by appealing to the Chair and asking for a withdrawal of comments that were very inaccurate, to say the least? Otherwise, anyone in this House could avail himself of the same procedure-accuse someone of not saying the truth-without penalty, and give the public the impression that we have done something wrong.

Mr. Speaker, tell us how we could prevent this from happening again. Otherwise, we must conclude that we can use the same strategy to accuse members opposite of other irregularities.

PrivilegeGovernment Orders

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Kilger Liberal Stormont—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, I do not want to start a debate, as you yourself pointed out. I simply want to say that we are actually getting into a debate. Facts presented yesterday by other members are a matter for debate. I do not think this is a point of order.

Like the hon. member for Joliette, we respect your ruling and your wisdom, Mr. Speaker.

PrivilegeGovernment Orders

11:05 a.m.

The Speaker

I appeal to the House that we should stay away from any personal attacks on other members. I never know exactly where you, hon. members, are going when you begin your statements. That is why I give you so much room. Sometimes we come very close but the House has a way of regulating itself.

I would agree in the sense that there can be no conditions on the decision that a Speaker will take. I am your Speaker. You put me here. I am the embodiment of the rules of the House. Many times you have given me quite a bit of room in here. I do not know if I could ever accept that any member would withdraw unparliamen-

tary language on condition that something else happen, that I do something else.

When I dealt with unparliamentary language, it was something that was dealt with between myself as the spokesperson for this House of Commons and another member directly. In the sense of the rules, what one person says or the other person believes does not affect me. We look at facts. It is the old story: Is the glass half full or half empty?

I would appeal to all hon. members to be very judicious in your choice of words when you are making statements in the House. My only recourse if I feel that the statement is going in a certain direction would be for me to intervene, cut off the member's statement and go to the next member.

I would hope that in this decision I have made like all of the others in the House you would receive it in the spirit with which it is given. First and foremost this institution is a place where we do have freedom of speech. It is not incumbent upon your Speaker to ever decide on the veracity of statements. When one member says something is true, I accept it and when the other member says something is true, I accept that. That is the only way we can function.

I would leave that decision where it is. I will be very vigilant in listening to all of the statements by members. I want to let this rest where it is now and I want to proceed to Statements by Members.

L'Odyssée Elementary SchoolStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Eugène Bellemare Liberal Carleton—Gloucester, ON

Mr. Speaker, Wednesday we celebrated the official opening in Orléans of a new public elementary school for young Franco-Ontarians in the area.

The École L'Odyssée will start with nearly 450 pupils in classrooms that will let them use the environment as a learning tool. For instance, there is a glass wall that provides a view of water pipes and conduits, there are protractors on the doors, trees representative of the regional flora and hallways named after famous Franco-Ontarians.

The school's ultramodern equipment will help prepare young Franco-Ontarians for the world that will be theirs, the world of high tech, computers and science, as reflected in the booming technological sector in the national capital region.

The fact that École L'Odyssée has come to Carleton-Gloucester proves once again that francophones are capable of making their way in a country full of opportunity, by developing their potential in their own language and culture, of which they are so proud.

Bravo and many thanks to the principal of the school, Anne Quevillon, to the parents, the teachers and the Conseil scolaire public francophone d'Ottawa-Carleton.

High Speed TrainStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the decision to go ahead with plans for a high speed train in the northeast corridor between New York and Boston will have important economic benefits for Quebec and for the Lower St. Lawrence, thanks to the dynamism of the Pocatec company and its president and general manager, Carl Casista.

With the initiative of teachers from the Collège and the Cégep de La Pocatière, this SME has, over the years, built up a synergy with Bombardier, and has met the challenge of high tech development outside major centres.

The company won a $7 million contract to design and build communications equipment for the high speed train. This is a wonderful example of the economic benefits to be derived from implementation of the high speed train project in the Canadian corridor.

Let us hope that the preliminary feasibility study by Bombardier and its five partners, recently confirmed by Bombardier's chairman and CEO, Laurent Beaudoin, will make this dream a reality.

Gun ControlStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Reform Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, constituents in my riding of Peace River are fair and reasonable people. When it comes to government they only ask that this federal government be fair and reasonable also.

They want government to spend their tax money wisely and they want their government to be honest. But these days many constituents in Peace River are seeing red and in this case it is not the government's flag program.

They ask: What will making farmers, ranchers and hunters register their rifles and shotguns do to reduce crime in this country? They believe this Liberal government is not being honest with Canadians. They see this as a half baked measure that will waste taxpayers' money, tie up the police force in paperwork and achieve little in reducing a growing crime problem.

I agree with the constituents of Peace River. I believe most fair minded Canadians do also.

Blind Lawn BowlingStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

John Richardson Liberal Perth—Wellington—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to pay tribute to Mr. Norm Green, a constituent of mine, who is proving that with the right attitude obstacles in life can be overcome.

After an accident caused him visual impairment, Norm brought his trademark enthusiasm to the sport of blind lawn bowling in 1994. Today the St. Clements resident bowls several times a week at the Elmira Lawn Bowling Club where he not only challenges members with sight, he often shows them how to play.

In 1995, only one year after taking up the sport, Norm entered the Canadian National Blind Lawn Bowling competition and finished a respectable fourth. That same year he finished first for his class in the Ontario Lawn Bowling Championship. Then in only his second year of competition, Norm won the National Blind Lawn Bowling Championship in September 1996. Now Norm is entitled to compete and represent Canada in the World Lawn Bowling Competition in New Zealand this February.

I congratulate Norm on all of his achievements. I know that all Canadians join with me in wishing him the best of luck.

Welland CanalStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the city of St. Catharines celebrates the birthday of the Welland Canal.

On November 29, 1829 the first Welland Canal was born. One hundred and sixty-seven years ago, 40 wooden locks built over the Niagara escarpment opened the transportation route into the heart of this country.

On this special occasion we honour the builder of the canal and Canada's father of transportation, the Hon. William Hamilton Merritt.

Today the Engineering Institute of Canada will memorialize this work with the unveiling of a plaque recognizing the achievements of Canada's professional engineers in the construction of the Welland Canal.

The Welland Canada is Canada's oldest active transportation route. Over the years the canal has been enlarged three times to accommodate Canada's growing transportation needs. It is a vital part of the St. Lawrence Seaway and provides thousands of jobs and great economic benefit to the country. It also attracts hundreds of tourists who visit St. Catharines to watch huge ships climb 100 meters to carry cargo between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

I know members of the House of Commons join me in celebrating the great achievements of Canada's engineers on this the birthday of the Welland Canal.

Martin StreefStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

John Finlay Liberal Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, last May I congratulated Martin Streef from my riding for being named the Ontario region's outstanding young farmer for 1996. Today I would like to congratulate Mr. Streef for winning the Canadian championship for the best young farmer of the year at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.

Mr. Streef and his family operate Streef Produce in Princeton and at the Toronto Food Terminal. Having started from scratch while still in high school, Martin has led his company to become one of the largest potato producers in Ontario. Streef Produce currently operates five farms on 1,500 acres in Oxford and Brant counties.

Like any business, the agricultural industry is constantly in need of new blood. We can be assured that Canada's agricultural sector will stay competitive with young farmers like Martin Streef leading the way.

Canada Labour CodeStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Maurice Bernier Bloc Mégantic—Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Labour recently said, and quite rightly, that the best collective agreement is still one that has been negotiated.

However, the media have informed us that Air Canada is now hiring strikebreakers in case of a strike. The company is brazenly placing job ads offering $10 an hour, $1,400 for a training program, and an $800 bonus for crossing picket lines.

When he tabled his reform of the labour code, the minister said that an anti-scab provision was unnecessary, given that he was convinced of the parties' good faith.

The Bloc Quebecois feels that there needs to be an amendment to the Canada Labour Code prohibiting replacement workers. The situation shaping up at Air Canada proves our point beyond all doubt.

Gun ControlStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Reform Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, this government continually talks about promoting Canadian unity but its actions do not follow its words.

The justice minister's gun control regulations are just one more example of this double talk. Instead of uniting Canadians in the

common cause, they seriously divide Canadians against each other. These regulations divide province against province by arrogantly discounting the concerns of some duly elected governments. They divide rural citizens against urban citizens because of traditional lifestyles.

Worst of all, they divide Canadians by race: aboriginal against non-aboriginal. While these regulations will be enforced vigorously in most of Canada, the exemptions for aboriginal people ensure that no aboriginal will ever be charged under the act, for the same reasons that little effort is being made to stop the flow of illegal weapons on Indian reserves straddling the Canada-U.S. border. This law is unfair for aboriginal people. It is unfair for all Canadians. We must be treated equally under the law.

MimicoStatements By Members

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today to applaud the members of the Mimico business community who this year re-established the Mimico-by-the Lake Business Association in my riding.

For many years now the retail district in this community has been in decline. The actions of local small business leaders, the residents and City Councillor Mr. Peter Milczyn have proved that when the community comes together it can produce positive results. Already businesses like Universal Bakery and Pekao Travel have changed the retail landscape. These improvements will move in step with the plans for the waterfront motel strip development.

For almost five years there was no construction in the area. We see that these changes and the fruits of this government's infrastructure plan for the waterfront motel strip are turning the economy around. The Mimico Business Association will join the New Toronto and Longbranch Business Associations-

Toronto Separate School BoardStatements By Members

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—Woodbine, ON

Mr. Speaker, a constituent in my riding of Beaches-Woodbine has informed me that the Toronto Separate School Board is seriously considering selling off 38 schools to private companies. The private sector consortiums would then depreciate these buildings for tax purposes the way any owner of a private office or apartment builder can. The depreciation of these buildings will be calculated at 5 per cent under the federal tax rules.

Although the private sector would initially pay millions for these schools, it would more than recoup their investment through rents, tax write-offs and the subcontracting of services.

This is a totally unacceptable way of financing our educational system in Ontario or anywhere else in Canada. This uploading of educational costs to the federal government by province of Ontario is not acceptable.

Taxpayers have already paid for the construction of these schools and are continuing to pay high educational taxes to maintain the excellence of our educational system. By selling off these buildings millions of tax dollars will go into the pockets of private businesses at the expense of services to children. This abuse must be stopped.

Snowy Owl FoundationStatements By Members

November 29th, 1996 / 11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Liberal Ottawa West, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 1993 as Louis Turpin lay dying of AIDS complications, a snowy owl landed in view of his window. Later that day, surrounded by his loving family, Louis died but his illness and death inspired the Turpin family and friends to dedicate their efforts to conquering AIDS.

Yesterday the Snowy Owl Foundation was launched to support AIDS education, prevention and services to persons living with AIDS. Look Beyond was released, a book that captures in words and photographs the faces and spirit of Canadians living with AIDS.

One of those courageous Canadians is Billy Jo, a seven-year old girl with AIDS. She spoke about her family and the joy of living every day to the fullest.

To the Turpin family, to all those who have created and contributed to Look Beyond and to the Snowy Owl Foundation we owe our gratitude for inspiring life and hope.

Candu ReactorsStatements By Members

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, in spite of constant human rights violations in China, in spite of the pressures exerted by environmental groups and the danger posed by the export of nuclear technologies, the Government of Canada has just entered into a contract with China to build two Candu nuclear power plants.

Sure, we have to create jobs. However, the Bloc Quebecois believes that this contract should have been accompanied by strict conditions regarding the use of this nuclear technology.

Liberal government members already boast about having signed the contract of the century. We should remind them that, while the total value of the project is $4 billion, its spinoffs in Canada will only reach $1.5 billion, since $2.5 billion will go to American and Japanese companies.

We should also remind Liberals that Quebec will only get $275 million, or a mere 18 per cent of the total economic impact in Canada. Once again, Quebec is not getting its fair share in this federation.

Canada PostStatements By Members

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Reform Comox—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Post mandate review recommends that the government appoint to the board of Canada Post only individuals with the expertise and stature to be directors of a similar sized corporation in the private sector.

However, like most recommendations in the report, it appears this one will be ignored as well.

Last month Gilles Champagne, a long time Quebec Liberal fundraiser, was appointed to the Canada Post board of directors. Mr. Champagne is well known for the $1,000 a plate fundraising dinner he organized for the Prime Minister.

Last week Brian Steck was appointed to the Canada Post board of directors. Mr. Steck's qualifications appear to be that he works for Nesbitt Thomson, a company that gave over $197,000 to the federal Liberal Party since 1993.

When will the Liberal government end the despicable practice of rewarding party supporters and appoint only qualified members to boards as recommended in the Canada Post revue and promised in the red book?

DiabetesStatements By Members

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Liberal Saint-Denis, QC

Mr. Speaker, November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Nearly 1.5 million Canadians have diabetes. It is a major cause of premature deaths, blindness, kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, limb amputation and other significant health problems.

The chances of having diabetes increase with age and it affects more than 13 per cent of Canadians between 65 and 74 years of age.

The Canadian Diabetes Association supports research on diabetes, protects the rights of diabetics and their families, and provides them with a wide range of services. I am proud to say that Health Canada also plays an important role in the fight against diabetes, by subsidizing research through the Medical Research Council, by promoting the smooth functioning of the Canadian multisectorial council for diabetes, and by conducting health-related monitoring activities.

Please join me in wishing the Canadian Diabetes Association and its many volunteers are very successful Diabetes Awareness Month.

ChinaStatements By Members

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to stress the innovative and effective approach used by our Prime Minister to promote human rights, during his recent visit to China.

It is important to know that Asian countries are very sensitive to anything they perceive as a form of interference in their domestic affairs. Far from avoiding his responsibilities, our Prime Minister chose to raise the issue from the angle of "good government and the rule of law". Any society which, like China, is beginning to open itself to the world, soon realizes the importance of conforming to a number of universal rules.

Our Prime Minister used wisdom and intelligence to get his message across to his Chinese hosts. We are convinced that this approach will help increase China's awareness of the international values we endorse.

ChinaStatements By Members

11:25 a.m.

The Speaker

Dear colleagues, since the period for members' statements began 11 or 12 minutes late, question period will be extended until 12.12 p.m.

Canadian AirlinesOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

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

When questioned before leaving for Asia, the Prime Minister said that the only solution for Canadian was to restructure the company rather than look to the government for assistance, because the company's problems were the result of bad management, and an infusion of federal funds would not help resolve this problem. The Minister of Finance took a similar line Wednesday.

Since the Prime Minister has already made his government's position plain, can the Deputy Prime Minister tell us who authorized the Minister of Transport to open the public purse and come to the assistance of Canadian by offering a rebate on fuel tax?

Canadian AirlinesOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, this government has taken a great deal of interest in the

case of Canadian Airlines, because many of the company's employees and clients have been deeply affected by the events of the last few weeks.

I would point out to the member that 1,273 employees of Canadian Airlines International live in Quebec. I think it important for everyone that a bit of interest be shown in finding solutions to these problems.

It was therefore necessary for airline management, creditors, governments and employees to draw up together a plan that could work. This step has almost been completed. Since the Prime Minister's departure, all groups have tried to work together, except for one union. Now all the interested parties have come together with a common plan.

Canadian AirlinesOral Question Period

11:30 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would point out to the hon. minister that what is important is that we follow the example of other countries. All the major countries in the world, including France, England and Germany-with the exception of the United States, which has a population of 300 million-have only one national airline. We are enjoying the luxury of having two. Therein lies the problem. If we really want to save jobs, we must accept a long term solution and have just one national airline.

We know that a number of airlines, besides Canadian International, are now experiencing financial difficulties. Others, like Air Canada, have made it back to the profit side of the ledger, but only after many years in the red. What criteria will his government use to decide which carriers will be entitled to the fuel tax rebate and which will not? What will be the determining factor?