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House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fishing.

Topics

Dr. Charles HugginsStatements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

John Murphy Liberal Annapolis Valley—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to an exceptional doctor and an outstanding Canadian, Dr. Charles Huggins.

During his career Dr. Huggins was a leader in the field of cancer research. His accomplishments provided a stimulus for future developments in chemotherapy. It was 30 years ago, in 1966, that Dr. Huggins received the Nobel prize for his work in cancer research. Dr. Huggins developed the first non-radioactive, non-toxic chemical treatment for cancer. Prior to receiving this award, only one other surgeon had ever received the Nobel prize.

Dr. Huggins spent most of his working life in the United States but he is a native of Nova Scotia and a graduate of Acadia University in my riding of Annapolis Valley-Hants. As well, he is past chancellor of that university.

I ask all members of the House to join me in recognizing the efforts this exceptional Canadian.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

December 6th, 1996 / 11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Terrebonne, QC

Mr. Speaker, on this national day of remembrance and action on violence against women, I would first like to address the families and loved ones of the 14 young women killed on December 6, 1989 at the École Polytechnique. All of Quebec and Canada continues to mourn your loss with you.

Such a tragedy must never again be allowed to happen. So that all women can live in safety, not only must we remember the violence experienced by thousands of women every day, but we must also demonstrate a genuine political will to help ensure respect for the integrity of women.

In addition to community action and court challenges, the fight to end violence against women must be added to the political agenda. The safety of 50 per cent of the population concerns everyone. It is up to us to act, and act now.

TaxationStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Reform

Allan Kerpan Reform Moose Jaw—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, recently one of my Reform colleagues introduced a private member's bill extending the child care tax deduction. The key is that the deduction would be converted to a refundable tax credit which would benefit those parents who choose to care for their own children.

Presently a tax deduction can be received if someone else cares for your children but not if you choose to stay home and raise them yourself. As usual, the Liberal government refused to support the bill.

Its solution to helping families cope with the stresses of the nineties is to implement a national day care strategy, a new $700 million bureaucracy. I can well imagine the chaos a program like this will create for families in rural Saskatchewan and indeed in rural Canada.

We all know that an institution is no substitute for the family. In fact, in a Maclean's poll last year, 70 per cent of Canadian families said that if they had the choice they would prefer to have one parent stay home with the children.

Our children are our future and no costly bureaucracy can serve as a replacement for an economically stable and happy family.

Manpower TrainingStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Ben Serré Liberal Timiskaming—French-River, ON

Mr. Speaker, today our government will sign an historic agreement with Alberta, showing that we are keeping our promises to renew federalism.

From the date this agreement takes effect, Alberta will be responsible for all active job measures and job training generally.

In addition, we are continuing to negotiate with the other provinces, and are hopeful that agreements can be signed with them in short order. Our government has set aside a budget of approximately $2 billion to implement this new system.

In our view, what is important is that Canadian workers have access to the best training services possible. Quebec shares this objective with us, and we are certain that we will arrive at an agreement in the very near future.

[English]

Liberal GovernmentStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Stan Keyes Liberal Hamilton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, in a recent poll conducted by Angus Reid, 59 per cent of Canadians surveyed gave the federal government positive marks for its performance in terms of honesty and ethics. This is in sharp contrast to the legacy left by the previous Tory administration which, save two members now in the House, was wiped out in the last federal election. The people cannot be fooled.

It is comforting to know that despite the meanspirited smear campaign orchestrated by members of the Tory old guard in the Senate, people across this great country say the federal Liberal government is doing an honest job.

The Tories in the other place can sling all the mud they like, but the people of Canada see clearly through their thinly veiled, nasty political trickery.

This government has an impeccably ethical record of accomplishment. I know it, you know it and the Canadian people know it.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, Parliament has designated December 6 as Canada's national day of remembrance and action on violence against women. All this day, from dawn to dusk, the flag on the Peace Tower will hang at half mast. Throughout Quebec and Canada, community organizations are involved in programs to fight violence against women.

I would like to bring attention today to the exceptional commitment shown by Le Carrefour des femmes de Lachute, which has developed a number of projects. For instance, the "Colombe noire", the black dove, commemorates the names of women who have lost their lives at the hands of a man.

Their group Vision Plus bolsters women's feelings of security. They also have a therapeutic support group, Liber-Ailes, to help women survivors of incest or other forms of sexual assault.

I salute all of these people for the responsibilities they are shouldering in connection with violence against women.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Margaret Bridgman Reform Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, as today is Canada's national day of remembrance and action on violence against women, I rise today in the House of Commons to offer courage and support to all those who merit recognition on this day.

Women deserve to feel that they are safe in their homes, at work, at school, on the street and in their communities. Women want a country where they can look to the future instead of over their shoulders. Most important, women who are victims of violence want their rights as law-abiding Canadian citizens to be put ahead of those of the criminals.

I assure the House that a Reform government would provide women with safer streets and safer homes and would enact a victims bill of rights that would put the rights of law-abiding women ahead of those of their offenders.

That is not only a fresh start for Canadians, that is a fresh start for women.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—Woodbine, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we remember the many women who have suffered violence in their lives we must also recognize our duty toward them.

Through my community work I have been directly involved with victims of domestic violence. I have seen firsthand the devastation caused by violence.

Fifty-one per cent of all Canadian women have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16. The serious economic, health and social consequences of this violence to individuals, families and society are unacceptable.

The estimated annual cost of $4.2 billion does not even begin to measure the psychological and human costs of violence against women.

Aggressive action is needed now. The justice system must be strengthened and preventive measures such as raising public awareness and funding community based projects must be imple-

mented to stop the scourge of violence that is sweeping across Canada.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel Liberal St. Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, December 6 marks the national day of remembrance and action on violence against women.

Today we honour the memory of the 14 young women who were slain at Montreal's École Polytechnique.

We continue to observe this day because violence against women is still a fact of life in communities across Canada. We know that over half the women in our country have been the object of violence, be it physical, sexual, psychological, financial or spiritual.

Last year there were over 85,000 admissions of abused women and their dependant children to transition houses across the country. Women who are subjected to and suffer long periods of violence often end up with long term health problems. Their physical and mental injuries affect them, their families and their communities.

The cost of violence relating to health and well-being is over $1.5 billion per year.

The next generation of Canadians needs us to build the foundation for a violence free Canada. Violence is totally unacceptable.

Let us all work together to eliminate violence, not only against women, but all violence, wherever present.

Copyright LegislationStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay East, BC

Mr. Speaker, here we have it. The Liberal government is bringing in copyright amendments under Bill C-32. It is going to be putting on a tape levy so that everybody who purchases a tape will be considered guilty before they can prove themselves innocent. Churches are concerned about this. Authors and composers who use tapes in their work are concerned about this.

Under neighbouring rights we are going to be seeing a levy placed on radio stations. They will no longer be competitive with the U.S. stations across the border. By the way, on both the tape levy and on neighbouring rights we can guarantee that there will be a U.S. attack.

Historians and genealogists are not having their balance concerning being able to go after documents in libraries as compared to the rights of authors and composers.

In addition to that, we now have rumours of committee by exhaustion.

The heritage minister is out of control. The Bill C-32 process is out of control. Why does the government not just take it back to the drafting board and make things right?

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, every year, the memories of the death of the Polytechnique students remind us of how blind and insidious violence is. Every year, the memory of their deaths reminds us that we are all both victims and accomplices to such violence.

Victims, because violence is beginning to rule our lives and shape our behaviour. Accomplices, because of our silence, our lack of courage to speak out against it, and our reluctance to take steps to fight it.

More than ever before, we must join together against this violence. On behalf of the victims and their families, I am making an urgent appeal to Conservative and Reform members to give up their pro-firearm lobbying and to support our gun control bill.

Status Of WomenOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Acting Prime Minister.

It has been clearly established that women with a family income of less than $15,000 are twice as likely to suffer physical abuse as women in the general population. In a document establishing the link between violence against women and poverty, the government said that unfortunately, the circumstances of women seemed to be getting worse. Governments are cutting budgets, reducing social programs and eliminating a number of programs and services that help low income women, men and children who are exposed to violence. These changes will probably lead to more poverty and more violence. And once again, women will be the worst off.

Will the Government of Canada admit that by slashing its social programs to the tune of nearly $5 billion by 1998, it is going too far and that instead of helping women, it is making matters worse?

Status Of WomenOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister for International Cooperation and Minister responsible for Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member opposite is right to be concerned about violence against women, as we all are.

However, these accusations against the government are unfair. The hon. member must know that the new system of pensions for the elderly provide nine persons out of ten who live alone, and we know most of them are women, with benefits that are far more generous than under the old system. This is one example of the government's plans to ensure that women living below the poverty line will be better off under the system we intend to implement.

Status Of WomenOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was referring to a government document and to figures that appeared in the government's budget. These are not accusations, these are facts.

I will continue. In the same document, the government said that as a society, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to help women get out of the vicious circle of poverty and violence. This means they must be given adequate resources in terms of child care, housing, training, social assistance benefits, and so forth.

Since the federal government recognizes the link between women's poverty and violence against women, why it is cutting social programs by $5 billion? Why does the government insist on reducing its deficit at the expense of the neediest in our society, the majority of whom are women?

Status Of WomenOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is exactly the other way around. For instance, and I am following up on what my colleague said, the new old age benefit announced in the last budget is intended to deal with the concerns raised in the report.

Seventy-five per cent of elderly persons will benefit under the new system. Benefits will be the same or exceed those now received by the elderly. We announced an increase for those receiving the annual $120 supplement, because we too are concerned about the problem of violence against women, especially older women.

Status Of WomenOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we were treated to another minister, but the same answer. I agree that the measure that was announced is a good one. We did not say all the measures were bad. But it is rather odd we could find only one this morning. Two ministers for the same measure. Two ministers for the same answer.

In the press release announcing the international day of remembrance and action on violence against women, the Secretary of State responsible for the Status of Women said that she hoped that Canadians would renew their commitment to prevent violence.

Does the Secretary of State or anyone in this government realize this statement is contradicted by the decisions the government has been making?

Status Of WomenOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister for International Cooperation and Minister responsible for Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, once again, the hon. member is making accusations. He must be aware of all the measures initiated by our government to deal with violence against women.

The Minister of Finance has just described a number of social reforms that will be beneficial.

I would also like to remind the House of the amendments to Bill C-72 concerning self-induced intoxication used as a defence in cases of assault, especially against women. Amendments were also made to Bill C-68 concerning firearms and to the Criminal Code through Bill C-42. I could also mention sentencing reform and the review of the Criminal Code.

Status Of WomenOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice.

Last December, the Supreme Court of Canada allowed persons charged with sexual assault access to the medical and psychological files of their victims. As the result of this decision, a lot of women will now refuse to lodge a complaint for fear of finding themselves in the prisoner's dock.

Given the Minister of Justice's promise to act quickly in this matter to protect victims of sexual assault, could he explain the delay in having legislative measures passed to ensure fair and equitable trials?

Status Of WomenOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure my hon. friend on behalf the Minister of Justice that this continues to be a priority which engages the minister's attention. He is very conscious of the findings of the supreme court on this matter. Certainly action will be forthcoming before too long.

Status Of WomenOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the government is favourably disposed, I will test its sincerity.

Over two years ago, the justice committee proposed that the provisions for the Criminal Code on obscenity be amended to prevent the exploitation and glorification of horror, cruelty and violence in all its forms.

How does the government justify the fact that no bill has yet been tabled to deal with this problem?

Status Of WomenOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this is something of importance to the government. I think it is clear to people serving in this House that the Minister of Justice on

behalf of this government has had a very heavy legislative program in the area of justice reform, particularly matters of concern to women.

Chief among them is the new Firearms Control Act. This was a major priority. With this act being adopted, we are well on our way to having the most effective gun control system in the world. This is important to prevent violence against Canadians generally but particularly against women.

I thought I heard some grumbling from members of the Reform Party. I wish they would listen to what has been said in the House this morning and change their narrow-minded position and give support to this measure if they are sincere in their wish to fight against family violence, particularly violence against women.

EmploymentOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Reform Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada announced today to nobody's surprise that the unemployment rate for November was stuck at 10 per cent.

For the benefit of the Minister of Finance who seems to love creating lists, here is a list for him created by three years of Liberal government: 1.5 million Canadians unemployed; a youth jobless rate of over 17 per cent; two to three million Canadians underemployed; and 25 per cent of all Canadians worried about losing their jobs. So much for the Liberal promise of jobs, jobs, jobs.

Why will the finance minister not create real jobs by balancing the budget, lowering taxes in this country and making government smaller?

EmploymentOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, over the course of the last year, over 200,000 new jobs have been created in the private sector. Quite clearly one should look at the tendency over a longer period of time. There were 7,000 new jobs created as was announced by Statistics Canada this morning.

It is the overall job creation that is by far most important. When we look at the G-7 countries, outside of the United States, Canada this year and last year has created more jobs than any other G-7 country. This is as a result of the economic climate created by this government and the desire and the ambitions of Canadians for which we should all be proud.

EmploymentOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Reform Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the Minister of Finance is aware that if we compare Canada with what other countries are doing, perhaps we do look good. The fact is we should be considering where Canada could be if we had a responsible government running the country. Let us compare it to where we could be.

The association of Certified General Accountants has said that we could create 108,000 new jobs if the Liberal government would lower taxes by only $4 billion. Just think of the jobs we could create if the government took the Reform Party's lead and lowered taxes by $15 billion. It is obvious that the Liberals' approach is not working because jobs are scarce in this country.

I ask the minister again: Why will he not create real jobs by balancing the budget and lowering taxes?

EmploymentOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is pretty clear that the hon. member opposite has not had the opportunity to read the full CGA report which he has just cited.

Reform members say that they want a faster deficit reduction. They are advocating slash and burn policies. In the CGA report the accountants have suggested slower deficit reduction than what we are engaging in. Furthermore, if I might quote from the CGA report: "To give credit where credit is due, two years ago we could not have even considered entering into this debate on a tax reduction". What the CGA is saying is that it is the policies not of the Reform Party but of the Liberal government that are giving us the success in cleaning up the balance sheet and allowing us to have the debate which we are now engaged in.