This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #3 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Speech From The ThroneRoutine Proceedings

1:40 p.m.

Bloc

Gilbert Fillion Bloc Chicoutimi, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is a shame that my colleague took three-quarters of his time to quote some headlines. Of course, he picked those he found most appropriate, because he knew that if he were to go over everything that has been said or written since the throne speech, he would find that 25 per cent of the headlines are for the government and 75 per cent are against.

I will try to get from him an answer to a question I put to one of his colleagues earlier. It is the same question. Given the contradictory statements by ministers on the issue of partition, could my colleague tell the House if he agrees with the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs?

Speech From The ThroneRoutine Proceedings

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel Liberal St. Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, there were several points to be made about the little speech we just heard.

The first is on quotations. My colleague says that 75 per cent of the headlines are against the government and 25 per cent are for the government. It would then appear that I only read from the 25 per cent in support of the government. It is not true at all. The hon. member should prove what he claims. I do not believe him. I am not trying to impugn his motives, but I think he is having trouble with figures this morning for some reason. Maybe it is because of the other questions he asked.

Earlier, he asked what we were doing to create jobs. First of all, we have to ensure that our financial house is in order. The hon. member knows full well that the Minister of Finance, the Prime Minister and the Government of Canada have seen to it. We are gradually making progress, and the problem will be solved. But there is more. Everyone knows that we set up an infrastructure program, which created more than 100,000 jobs. And it is not over yet. Everyone knows that more than 500,000 jobs have been created since 1993. Not by ourselves, but with some help. Everyone knows about the major challenge issued in the throne speech, whereby the private sector is asked to get involved and to help us create jobs.

On the issue of partition, my colleague knows very well what the government's position is. It is very clear and it continues to evolve, as it should.

Speech From The ThroneRoutine Proceedings

1:40 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Reform Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, we listened to the member for St. Boniface and what we have heard is a typical Liberal operation.

The member talked about involving the business community and the private sector in creating hope in the economy and creating hope for the youth of our country. This is just typical Liberal fashion. The Liberals are offloading the responsibilities they have not been able to take over the last two years on to the private sector. For more than two years businesses in the private sector have been telling government to get out of their face. Get out of their face so that they can get on to doing business. If we are to believe what the hon. member for St. Boniface is saying, the Liberals plan on getting back in the face of business in a way that they have never been there before.

Business has been saying, leave us alone. If government wants to do something, lower our cost of doing business, lower the taxation levels so that we can make some more money, so that we can invest, so that we can hire people, so that we can give some hope on our own to the people. What this member is saying ain't gonna work.

Speech From The ThroneRoutine Proceedings

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel Liberal St. Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the question. My colleague's solution is simplistic. Let business take care of the country. Let business pocket the profits. One does not have to care about one's fellow Canadians. Just stuff more and more in and it will all resolve itself.

I am sorry but those simplistic solutions to complex problems have never worked and they will not work in this instance either. The corporate sector has a responsibility to its fellow Canadians. If it is going to make money, let it make darn sure that Canadians are employed. It is those Canadians who are employed who help them make more money.

Point Of OrderRoutine Proceedings

1:45 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Dear colleagues, before recognizing the hon. member for Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup, I must rule on the point of order that was raised the other day. Here is the Speaker's ruling on the point of order raised on February 27 by the hon. member for Laurier-Sainte-Marie regarding the procedural acceptability of government business Motion No. 1 standing in the name of the hon. government House leader.

I also wish to thank the hon. members for Lethbridge and Winnipeg Transcona, the government House leader and the chief government whip for their contributions to the debate.

Reinstatement of business from one session to another is not uncommon in our practice. In our parliamentary experience, there are a number of occasions where bills and other forms of business from one session have been brought forward to another session either by unanimous consent or, more recently, as was the case in 1991 by way of a government motion moved after notice.

The question before us is not whether business can be reinstated from one session to another, but whether Government Business

No. 1 which provides a mechanism where bills from the first session may be reinstated to this session is procedurally in order.

Speaker Fraser noted in his ruling of May 29, 1991-much referred to in the debate-at page 734 of the Debates that he could find nothing in our rules or practices to preclude the reinstatement of bills by way of motion. He therefore permitted debate to proceed on the government motion that had been moved. He was concerned that members would be afforded an adequate opportunity to express their assent or dissent on each item to be reinstated and therefore ruled that separate questions be put on each bill to be reinstated.

The same concern has been expressed most eloquently by hon. members with regard to the proposed government motion. In our current circumstances the motion does not list specific pieces of legislation to be reinstated. Rather it provides a mechanism whereby both private members and the ministry would have an opportunity to revive legislation from the last session. There is nothing procedurally objectionable per se to the adoption of a motion setting in place such a mechanism.

However, as the hon. member for Winnipeg Transcona pointed out, pursuant to Standing Orders 68(2) and 69(1), motions for leave to introduce a bill and for first reading and printing shall be deemed carried, without debate, amendment or question put, that is to say, in the words of Speaker Fraser, without the hon. members of the House having a say in the matter.

I remind hon. members that our proceedings are generally arranged to provide hon. members with the opportunity to express their views on matters that come before the House. While the House would, of course, be able to vote on reinstated bills at subsequent stages of the legislative process, the Chair acknowledges the hon. members' concerns that under the terms of the third paragraph of the motion in issue, hon. members would not be able to take any decision on the bills that had passed all stages in the House and which were under study in the Senate when Parliament had prorogued.

While I do not believe it is within my power to unilaterally amend a motion which is procedurally in order, I would remind hon. members that during the course of the debate on this motion there will be ample opportunity for them to propose amendments to provide the members of the House with the means to express their assent or dissent on the reinstatement of each bill in issue. Of course, members may also choose to vote against the motion.

Both elements of this motion, that is, the first element dealing with the mechanism for the reinstatement of bills and the second element dealing with amendments to the standing orders dealing with supply, specify how certain items of business will be dealt with during the first part of this session. As both elements relate to the business of the House, the motion is not a complicated question. Therefore, one debate will be held on the motion and one question will be put on the motion.

I thank all my colleagues for their contributions to this important matter.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Speech From The ThroneRoutine Proceedings

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, I welcome this opportunity to speak in reply to the speech from the throne because, over the past few months, we were able to get in touch with our constituents and finally stock up on the ideas they want us to put across in this House so that Quebec and Canada will be more in line with what the people of Quebec and Canada want.

The first message that was systematically conveyed to me by every person I was able to contact, which is not reflected in the speech from the throne, is to the effect of rejecting the unfair application of the marketplace rules of the road.

In this speech from the throne, there are many instances where the government gives up exercising its duties as a government.

Take the UI reform for example. On this subject, the speech from the throne says that it will go on as scheduled, that this plan to cut $2 billion will go ahead as scheduled, without any changes to the fiscal parameters. This is in direct contradiction with the first few paragraphs of the speech, in which the governor general speaks of the compassion of Canadians. There is a contradiction between what the government is advocating and the objectives we have always pursued in Quebec and in Canada.

How can the government talk about compassion and honouring Canada's traditional values while at the same time requiring, for instance, that any first-time UI claimant have accumulated 910 hours of work? These 910 hours amount to 26, 35-hour weeks of work, but previously, the unemployed needed only work a minimum of 15 hours a week during 20 weeks, or a total of 300 hours, to qualify for unemployment insurance.

The baseline has now been raised to 910 hours. Might as well condemn every young person and anyone working in a seasonal industry to live off welfare for the rest of their lives. This is clearly and simply an incentive to moonlight. This government is systematically encouraging moonlighting.

Another aspect of the speech from the throne that deals with the UI reform and which will certainly prompt members from the Maritimes to jump to their feet and respond has to do with the rule regarding the number of weeks of work. The current UI reform penalizes seasonal workers because they work in seasonal industries. Does the government intend to maintain this type of situation? Will it stick to the principles underlying Bill C-111, or will it do as it is being asked to by everyone, that is withdraw this legislation and start over again, from scratch, and propose a UI reform that truly reflects the values dear to Quebecers and Canadians? Did the government not get the message? Have all MPs from the maritimes not been told by their constituents that this reform was unacceptable, that it did not at all reflect the values of Quebec and Canada?

Old age pensions are another component of social program reform where the government shows no compassion.

The speech from the throne says that it will be necessary to reform the Canada pension plan so as to maintain its viability. The government no longer talks about ensuring the survival of old people through a minimum income that would allow them to have a decent quality of life. Not at all.

The government is only concerned with the plan's viability. Once again, as with the UI reform, the issue becomes strictly a matter of dollars and cents. The government will do to old age pensions what it did to unemployment insurance, that is make the most vulnerable people pay. Is this what a government which is now half-way through its mandate should do? The government should ask itself why it was elected and where it is headed.

The measures proposed in the speech from the throne do not reflect the demands of Quebecers and Canadians in the least.

There is another issue that my constituents keep referring to. They told us that they expected their governments to create jobs. We have to find ways. I will tell you what a worker told me: "We need to find a way of taxing machines." New technologies have transformed the workplace over the last few years and everyone knows that we cannot stop progress, but as these new technologies are being implemented, as eight out of ten jobs disappear, the government has the responsibility to ensure that quick and effective retraining programs are available, especially for unskilled workers. These people must not become the victims of technology. There is no reason why workers should be pushed aside because of technological change.

We must accept technological change, we must make sure that we are competitive, but we must not act in a way that does not respect the human being and the right of each individual to develop his or her full potential and use it for the benefit of society.

I do not see anything along these lines in the speech from the throne. Have you found, in the speech from the throne, things that lead us to believe that the government will give the highest priority to job creation, to the use of workers and to the development of each individual's skills? Have you seen any of that in the speech from the throne? I have found nearly nothing on that subject.

Yesterday, the Minister of Human Resources Development had to give some clarifications on youth employment. The text says that the government will double the number of federal summer student jobs. The minister has since told us that it will not only be in the federal public service, but everywhere.

Should we believe what is in the text or should we believe what the minister says? For now, according to what we see in the speech from the throne, there will be lots of jobs in every area where there are federal departments, and it so happens that there are lots of them in the national capital region.

But will the measure promised in the speech from the throne have the desired result in the areas where federal departments are less present, for example in La Pocatière where the experimental farm has been closed down, where there are fewer and fewer people in the Canada employment centres and where you can count federal employees on your fingers? Never in a million years!

We will get the opposite effect to what we want if we concentrate jobs where they are less needed and allow for fewer of them where they are cruelly needed. The government must correct its range and adjust to what has to be done.

Perhaps the main point that people everywhere mentioned to me is that they want to be respected. There is nothing like that in this speech from the throne. They say to Quebecers: "We are going to control the way you will be consulted on your own future". Quebecers are told that all Canadians will have their say about Quebec's own future; this shows a blatant lack of respect. It proves that they have completely lost touch with the people of Quebec. It shows that they have in no way understood the result of last fall's referendum.

The government must clearly and definitely change its position on that and say unequivocally that it will respect the choice Quebecers made, just as sovereignists did in 1980 and again in 1995; it must recognize that there is a democratic process to be followed and accept the people's choice.

Quebecers have a right to be respected and expect the Canadian government, the Canadian Parliament to do so.

Mr. Speaker, I will continue after question period.

Speech From The ThroneRoutine Proceedings

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Absolutely, and you will then be recognized.

It being two o'clock, we will now go on to statements by members.

EducationStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was pleased that the speech from the throne focused on youth, the mobility of Canadians within Canada and science and technology. I was also pleased that we will build in a cash minimum in the Canada health and social transfer. All of these emphases will be good for the economy and the future of our nation.

I urge the Minister of Finance to recognize in his budget that our colleges and universities are already involved in all of these throne speech themes and are greatly affected by the block transfers. They are one of the great focuses for our young people. They provide for and encourage the movement of Canadians within Canada and they are the foundation of our science and technology. I hope the minister remembers they are also key beneficiaries of the Canada health and social transfer.

We must do all we can to sustain and strengthen higher education in Canada.

Minister Of JusticeStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard St-Laurent Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice is now a card-carrying member in good standing of the Club to annihilate the right of the people of Quebec to determine its own future. After the irresponsible statements by certain ministers of the government, Stéphane Dion in particular, now we have the Minister of Justice following suit.

Last fall, he was stating that the wishes of the people of Quebec were to be given priority, not the method by which sovereignty was to be decided upon. Now this week we find the minister doing an about-face, contemplating asking the Supreme Court for an opinion on the legality of a future Quebec referendum.

The Minister of Justice believes that Quebec's fate is tied to the consultations that he deems appropriate. He is wrong. Quebecers are the ones who will determine their own fate, regardless of what the minister says.

CurlingStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have some good news for Canadian curling fans. The World Junior Curling Championships are being held in my riding of Red Deer, Alberta between March 9 and March 17.

This bodes well for Canadian success because, as many will remember, last year Red Deer hosted the World Junior Hockey Championship and the best team won: Canada, of course. Now it is time to show the world that we do not just have the best hockey players but the best curlers as well.

Come on out March 9 to 17 and watch the world's best compete for the curling domination. What better way to promote Canadian unity as Canadians from coast to coast gather at the Red Deer curling rink to watch the action.

I am willing to bet that even hardened separatists who come will be converted and will end up pulling for Team Canada, the home team, our team.

Speech From The ThroneStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jag Bhaduria Liberal Markham—Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

Mr. Speaker, Tuesday's throne speech was an attempt by the government to appease Canadians about the deplorable state of our economy, to comfort them about our social programs and to reinforce their vision of a united Canada. Now the government must deliver all the promises in the red book. Canadians will not tolerate any more rhetoric and false promises.

Job creation should have been the number one priority of the government and the impending budget has to address this issue if Canadians are to continue to have faith in the Prime Minister. Throughout the first half of his mandate economic growth has been dismally lacking and job creation has been almost non-existent. Nothing short of full employment can bring national unity and prosperity to Canada.

Reducing interest rates to even lower levels is the only way to stimulate economic growth and job creation. Mr. Prime Minister, the choice is yours.

Black History MonthStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today in honour of the important role black Canadians have played in our nation's history.

During black history month we can all feel proud of the contributions made by black Canadians in every sphere of Canadian life.

In 1793 Upper Canada's first lieutenant governor, John Graves Simcoe, helped to free black slaves living in Upper Canada. In time this brave act would clear the way for people like Lincoln Alexander, Ontario's first black lieutenant governor in 1985.

By honouring the achievements of black Canadians, the House has given all Canadians a greater understanding of the richness of black history.

FisheriesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Derek Wells Liberal South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, for the past several months I have been meeting with fishermen's organizations at round tables to try to reach a consensus on many of the major issues facing the fishery today.

I expressed to them my deep commitment to the inshore fishery and to the small coastal communities that rely on the prosperity generated by this sector of the fishery.

For the past month fishermen in my riding and adjoining ridings throughout Nova Scotia have participated in demonstrations and have occupied Department of Fisheries and Oceans offices across the province in protest of new policies they feel will be harmful to the inshore fishery.

Unfortunately since the occupation of DFO offices which began in Barrington in my riding of South Shore, the lines of communication between the fishermen and the department have not been open. I have met and will continue to meet with the leaders of the fishing organizations.

Last week I attended two round tables in order to maintain an open dialogue. I urge those involved to move beyond the present impasse so that the issues causing this conflict can be resolved by dialogue in a productive and rational manner.

Quebec Chamber Of CommerceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec Chamber of Commerce has reacted very favourably to the speech from the throne presented by our government a little earlier this week.

Its president, Mr. Michel Audet, feels that our withdrawal from areas of provincial jurisdiction bodes well for future co-operation, as well as for some of Quebec's traditional demands in the constitutional area.

The Quebec Chamber of Commerce invites the PQ government to shows good will by establishing "a dialogue with the other provinces and with the federal government to find concrete solutions in areas that will encourage job creation and investment".

Canadians across the country are encouraging us to work together in seeking solutions to our collective problems. We follow the example of the Quebec Chamber of Commerce in issuing an invitation to the Government of Quebec to collaborate with us.

Roland VeilleuxStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

François Langlois Bloc Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Roland Veilleux, the spokesperson for the no committee in Beauce and owner of Groupe RGR, is at it again. Last fall he threatened to pull out of Quebec if the no side won. Now he is justifying the closing of his factory in Saint-Georges-de-Beauce by blaming it on the fact that the results were too close.

But, as it happens, Mr. Veilleux is currently negotiating with his workers, and that is what brings about the threat of closure. He has used the same tactics in previous negotiations. It seems therefore that his blame keeps switching from one guilty party to another, sometimes the sovereignists, sometimes the union, as it suits him. This is strangely reminiscent of the good old industrialists of the 19th century.

Impaired DrivingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Reform Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I draw to the attention of the House the serious issue of impaired driving.

In 1994, 1,414 people were killed as a result of impaired driving, three times the number of murders.

Those who end up killing someone while impaired routinely are given excessive light sentences, generally between one and four years.

This morning I introduced a private members' bill which would see a minimum of seven years imposed on those convicted of impaired driving causing death. Those who drive impaired must be held responsible for their actions. They choose to be impaired, they choose to drive. We are all potential victims and we must do everything we can to deter impaired driving and keep impaired drivers off our streets.

CubaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the American decision to punish everyone who does not hold to their view on Cuba is truly objectionable, if not laughable in some respects.

When it comes to the issue of using property confiscated in revolutions, are they suggesting that whatever property in the U.S. which might have been lost by United Empire Loyalists should be similarly treated? Hardly. Nor are they suggesting that countries like China and a host of others with lousy human rights records should be sanctioned like Cuba is. Why not?

Could this hypocrisy be possibly related to the fact that Cuba, like Canada, is in the so-called American sphere of influence and is supposed to behave like a good little neighbour. However, when it comes to Cuba Canada has shown a streak of independence that we do not always show on other issues.

I urge the Minister of Foreign Affairs to carry on this tradition which goes all the way back to John Diefenbaker and resist in every political and diplomatic way possible this latest manifestation of the bully in the American psyche aided and abetted by some electoral domestic politics.

At the same time the Cuban government might reflect on how wrong it was politically and morally to have shot down those planes the way it did.

Robert SutherlandStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Milliken Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, in commemoration of black history month, I am pleased to acknowledge Robert Sutherland, Ontario's first black lawyer and one of Queen's University's earliest benefactors.

Robert Sutherland graduated from Queen's in 1852 with an honours degree in classics and mathematics. He later studied law at Osgoode Hall and was called to the Ontario bar in 1855.

After being called to the bar, Mr. Sutherland settled in Walkerton, Ontario and practised law until his death in 1878 at age 48. On his death he left his entire estate of $12,000, a considerable sum for that time, to his Alma Mater, Queen's University. It was to date the largest single bequest Queen's had ever received.

Robert Sutherland's commitment to academic excellence at Queen's stands as a reminder to us all of the limitless potential all people possess regardless of racial or ethnic origin. His early accomplishments and subsequent generosity are another proud reminder of the substantial contribution black people have made to Canada.

Speech From The ThroneStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel Liberal St. Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, we heard the throne speech this week, so once again I decided to poll a group of constituents. They applauded the government's initiative for the next session.

For instance, they were delighted to hear that the government had promised to help young Canadians develop their full potential and to double the number of federal summer student jobs. They ask the private sector to do likewise. They support the federal government's plan to work together with the provinces and health care intervenors in order to preserve and modernize medicare and make it responsive to the needs of future generations.

My constituents also endorsed the concept that Canadians will be consulted on the available options and the changes that are necessary to preserve the Canada pension plan.

This throne speech is straightforward and it is also important because it provides a clear indication to Canadians of what the government intends to do.

Black History In CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Liberal Saint-Denis, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is the last day of black history month in Canada. This initiative, which gave rise to a host of activities across the country, was for us an opportunity to get better acquainted with the children of Matthew Da Costa who have chosen to make our destiny theirs as well.

Thanks to this event, we are now in a better position to understand and appreciate the role of these Canadians, their motivations and the contribution they made towards building Canada and Quebec.

The activities and celebrations during black history month help to dispel many myths about visible minorities and provide us with a better understanding of our fellow Canadians.

Like other communities across Canada and in Quebec, the children of Matthew Da Costa and Martin Luther King chose to live in this country because they shared in our values. Above all, they, like other communities, will continue to contribute to the growth of this country, their Canada, so that it remains prosperous and united.

Emergency PreparednessStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the weekend of January 20, 1996, the waters of the Châteauguay river flooded its banks, which caused flooding in a residential area of the municipality of Châteauguay and made it necessary to evacuate 1,200 people. The damage is estimated at nearly $3 million.

An additional problem was the fact that the only hovercraft posted in the Laurentian region by the Canadian Coast Guard was in for annual repairs and was therefore not available.

At a time when the federal government is about to waste millions of dollars on purchasing submarines, we do not have enough emergency preparedness equipment to protect ourselves and our property. The office of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans who is responsible for the Canadian Coast Guard refuses to provide a response to the elementary questions we asked about the hovercraft.

I can assure the flood victims that we will not let the matter rest.

JusticeStatements By Members

February 29th, 1996 / 2:10 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Reform Okanagan—Similkameen—Merritt, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the constituents of Okanagan-Similkameen-Merritt to challenge the Minister of Justice to attend the victims' rights rally tonight in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

Yesterday the Minister of Justice gave us fine words about his concern for victims of crime. Tonight the minister could talk the talk and walk the walk by attending the rally and reinforce his support for the rights of victims of crime.

Canadians are demanding the Liberals take immediate action to place the rights of victims ahead of the rights of criminals. The Liberals and the Minister of Justice are ignoring the fear and outrage of Canadians because of how little security they feel on their own streets and in their homes.

That is why my Reform colleague, the hon. member for Fraser Valley West, has proposed a national victims' bill of rights. We call on the Minister of Justice to join us and be an advocate for victims and participate in the victims' rights rally tonight in Abbotsford.

Speech From The ThroneStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Finestone Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a very real country, diverse and world renowned. Everyone must have a fair chance to participate in its daily life.

The throne speech reinforces our commitment to social and economic equality as a basic Canadian value. It opens the dialogue to partnership and flexibility for an evolving federation as it sets out the terms and conditions for change. It harnesses the energy of Team Canada to create hope and opportunity.

English speaking Quebecers, skilled and bilingual, are a vital part of this team. They must have guarantees of fair access as an official language minority community to health care and social services, education, jobs and cultural institutions to ensure our collective prosperity.

Visiting with parliamentarians today are over 200 members of Alliance Quebec who work diligently to inform, enlighten and ensure intercultural and linguistic harmony in our multi-ethnic communities and provinces.

Good luck in the continuing dialogue both inside and outside Quebec, and congratulations to all on your efforts toward unity and understanding for all peoples.

Grammy AwardsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Liberal Ottawa West, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night the Grammy Awards belonged to Canada's outstanding women performers.

Alanis Morissette from my home town of Ottawa won awards for best rock song and best performance by a female vocalist in the rock field. There is more. She also won best rock album of the year and best album of the year.

That is still not all. Shania Twain, the new queen of country music, won the Grammy for best country album, and Joni Mitchell won the best pop album.

The four best albums, best rock song, best rock performance, what a way to begin the Canadian celebration of international women's week. What a way to show Canadians can perform with the best and win.