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House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was debt.

Topics

Parkinson's DiseaseStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Liberal Lambton—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, April is Parkinson's Awareness Month as proclaimed by the Parkinson Foundation of Canada.

Since its formation in 1965 the foundation has been devoted to the support of research into the cause, treatment and cure of Parkinson's disease, a chronic brain disorder suffered by approximately 100,000 Canadians.

Through the various chapters of the Parkinson Foundation of Canada, a number of fundraising events are being planned across Canada to raise money for research, to promote public education and to develop patient and family support services.

Each April the beautiful red and white Dr. James Parkinson tulip, the official symbol of Parkinson's, is sold to the general public and businesses. One of the selling days coincides with Secretary's Day on April 24. Other fundraising events include a national cut-a-thon on the last Sunday in April in which hair salons across Canada offer their time and talent for a small donation.

I encourage all Canadians to do their part in contributing to the search for a cure for Parkinson's disease.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Reform Swift Current—Maple Creek—Assiniboia, SK

Mr. Speaker, on March 1 the Minister of Foreign Affairs praised my position in the Haiti debate, but a few days later when I questioned his ministerial actions with respect to Haitian peacekeeping and aid to China he reverted to form and accused me of isolationism. I do not know which I find most offensive: praise from that particular minister or his personal attack.

The minister should understand that Canadian support for the UN in Haiti does not mean being a doormat and that Canadian trade with China does not require an annual foreign aid bribe of $162 million. Nor do relations with China require our Export Development Corporation to provide financial assistance for the Three Gorges project, a grandiose boondoggle which will displace 1.25 million people.

National UnityStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ronald J. Duhamel Liberal St. Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, after more than three hours of debate, the rank and file of the Liberal Party of Canada in Quebec passed a very important resolution on national unity and cohesion.

This resolution reaffirms with great conviction and sensibility our government's main commitments on national unity. Among other things, federal Liberals in Quebec stated in clause 1.4 of the resolution that the Liberal Party of Canada supports enshrining in the Constitution the principles recognized in the December 1995 parliamentary resolution defining distinct society.

This shows once again the great synergy and ideological cohesion between the rank and file of the Liberal Party of Canada in Quebec and the Liberal government on issues as fundamental as Quebec's place within Canada.

Textiles MontereyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the announcement that the Textiles Monterey mill will reopen is another indication of the vitality and entrepreneurship of the people of Drummond. Last September, 270 jobs were lost after the company declared bankruptcy. In just six months, a group of former employees, both managers and workers, came up with a business proposal to acquire the company's assets and to specialize the new company's production.

The reopening of Textiles Monterey is the fruit of the collaborative efforts and great determination of all stakeholders: the employees, the union, the financial institutions, the FTQ solidarity fund, and the three levels of government. The success of this operation stems from the establishment of a financial network and, above all, a dialogue between local resources.

On behalf of all my fellow citizens of Drummond, I wish every success to the shareholders of the new Textiles Monterey company.

Publishing IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Audrey McLaughlin NDP Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has said it wishes to support small businesses, but wishes are not policies.

The performance of Canada Post in the north continues to make it more and more difficult especially for publishing businesses which are a small but a vital part of the economy both in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

In December publishers were notified one week before a price change occurred. Certainly promotional material could not be sent out and the publisher was left to absorb extra costs. Also in December Canada Post put ads in a number of newspapers but not in the north regarding mandate review. Finally, publishers have recently been informed by Canada Post that there will be a substantial price increase in the coming years.

Clearly publishing is extremely important to the north as a vital business. I call on the minister responsible for heritage to meet with the minister for Canada Post to save this emerging northern cultural business.

St. Norbert Arts And Cultural CentreStatements By Members

April 15th, 1996 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Reg Alcock Liberal Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to recognize the efforts of a large number of volunteers who support the St. Norbert Arts and Cultural Centre.

The centre is built in an old Trappist monastery that was the centre of the Metis culture during the Red River rebellion. The centre has now been completely refurbished. Thanks to the activities of a large number of people in my riding, it has become home to an international arts and cultural centre. Artists from all over the world are invited to live in residence and work on projects that are enriching the cultural life of this country.

I simply wish to recognize the efforts of these many volunteers.

The Gakhal FamilyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today in memory of the nine members of the Gakhal family of Vernon, British Columbia whose lives were taken in the brutal and senseless massacre on April 5.

As a young and energetic couple filled with hopes and dreams, Mr. and Mrs. Gakhal came to Canada in 1970 with their two eldest daughters. They had lived in Vernon for over 20 years. The Gakhals

were contributing members of society and active participants in community life.

This Canadian family was well liked and respected. On Saturday more than 2,000 people attended their funeral service to pay their last respects.

Like many other Canadian families, the Gakhals worked hard to create a good and comfortable life for their family. Karnail and Darshan Gakhal were loving and devoted parents. They dedicated themselves to raising their six beautiful children. They taught their children appreciation of values, principles and the importance of contributing to their community. The Gakhals were close and loving.

Today I ask all my colleagues to stand in a moment of silence in memory of the Gakhal family, the second worst tragedy in Canadian history.

Kenworth CompanyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Bloc Blainville—Deux-Montagnes, QC

Mr. Speaker, more than a week ago, Kenworth's management announced its decision to shut down operations at its truck manufacturing plant in Sainte-Thérèse. More than 850 directs jobs are jeopardized by this announcement.

As we speak, almost all concerned are actively trying to prevent the closure of this important plant and to save 850 jobs. But the federal government has yet to take positive steps in this important issue.

Time is of the essence, and I might remind the government that it takes more than wishful thinking to prevent the 850 jobs at Kenworth's from moving to Mexico or to the U.S.

In its speech from the throne and its budget, the government boasted about putting job creation first. It should therefore get directly involved in the Kenworth matter and co-operate with the Quebec government in finding a solution, thus preventing the plant's closure.

Krever CommissionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Sharon Hayes Reform Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, we have recently learned of exorbitant amounts paid by the Red Cross to Krever Commission witnesses. The Red Cross is supported in part by taxpayer dollars.

We have also learned that the federal government is providing free legal representation for two former ministers involved in this tragedy, while a mere pittance is thrown to the legal requirements of the victims.

These revelations further darken a shadow cast by a growing legacy of mismanagement. This shadow continues to obscure the truth. Sadly, similar scenarios are all too much a part of the continuing Ottawa inquiry process.

And where is the health minister? Instead of safeguarding the mandate of the inquiry, along with others he challenges its legitimacy. Instead of protecting the health of Canadians through an improved blood system, he protects the interests of those who are part of the system that failed.

Two fundamentals are at stake here: the principle of government accountability and the goal of assured health for all Canadians. The minister must change his course of action to safeguard both this principle and this goal.

Raw Milk ProductsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, during their discussions this past weekend, the members of the general council of the Liberal party of Canada in Quebec decided to support the claims of those who promote the consumption of raw milk products.

Moreover, the LPCQ is asking the federal government to withdraw its proposed regulations to prohibit the import and export of raw milk products. These products represent a new and very promising market for Quebec's agricultural sector.

It would be a pity not to let Quebec producers of raw milk products develop their full potential merely because of fear. This is why I join the militant wing of the LPCQ in asking the withdrawal of these draft regulations.

Presence In GalleryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Mr. Qiao Shi, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China.

Presence In GalleryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

New MemberStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Colleagues, I have the honour to inform the House that the Clerk of the House has received from the Chief Electoral Officer a certificate of the election and return of Mr. Gerry Byrne, member for the electoral district of Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte.

Mr. Gerry Byrne, member for the electoral district of Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte, introduced by the Right Hon. Jean Chrétien and the Hon. Fred Mifflin.

New MemberStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I have the honour to inform the House that the Clerk of the House has received from the Chief Electoral Officer a certificate of the election and return of Mr. Roy Cullen, member for the electoral district of Etobicoke North.

Mr. Roy Cullen, member for the electoral district of Etobicoke North, introduced by the Right Hon. Jean Chrétien and the Hon. David Collenette.

New MemberStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I have the honour to inform the House that the Clerk of the House has received from the Chief Electoral Officer a certificate of the election and return of Mr. Stéphane Dion, member for the electoral district of Saint-Laurent-Cartierville.

Stéphane Dion, member for the electoral district of Saint-Laurent-Cartierville, introduced by the Right Hon. Jean Chrétien and the Hon. Marcel Massé.

New MemberStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I have the honour to inform the House that the Clerk of the House has received from the Chief Electoral Officer a certificate of the election and return of Mr. Lawrence D. O'Brien, member for the electoral district of Labrador.

Lawrence D. O'Brien, member for the electoral district of Labrador, introduced by the Hon. Jean Chrétien and Hon. Fred Mifflin.

New MemberStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I have the honour to inform the House that the Clerk of the House has received from the Chief Electoral Officer a certificate of the election and return of Mr. Pierre S. Pettigrew, member for the electoral district of Papineau-Saint-Michel.

Pierre S. Pettigrew, member for the electoral district of Papineau-Saint-Michel, introduced by the Right Hon. Jean Chrétien and the Hon. Alfonso Gagliano.

New MemberStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I have the honour to inform the House that the Clerk of the House has received from the Chief Electoral Officer a certificate of the election and return of Mr. Stéphan Tremblay, member for the electoral district of Lac-Saint-Jean.

Stéphan Tremblay, member for the electoral district of Lac-Saint-Jean, introduced by Mr. Michel Gauthier and Mrs. Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral.

Distinct SocietyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to see the Prime Minister in this House, because things are going badly for the government. Parallelling the unprecedented scandal in the Canadian army, which we will return to later, is the scandal involving the Prime Minister who reneges on his promises.

This weekend, at the meeting of the Liberal Party, the Prime Minister made an about-face. He changed the commitments he made in Verdun only a few days before the referendum. His

promise to recognize Quebec as a distinct society was trampled underfoot, tossed out with a wave of the hand after a night of work and the undebated passing of a resolution on the floor of the meeting.

How can the Prime Minister justify not keeping his word to the people of Quebec and once again reneging on the commitments he made in Verdun?

Distinct SocietyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we made a commitment to have the distinct society recognized in this House and we met it in December. All the members on this side of the House voted in favour, and the members of the Bloc voted against. This is the fourth time they have voted against a distinct society.

We support the distinct society. We support having all Canadians recognize that the French fact, French culture and French civil law have special significance for Quebec. And we will continue to fight for this. It would be very helpful to have the support of the Bloc in having this fact recognized. However, today, as always, those who voted against the Meech Lake accord are weeping crocodile tears. And yet, when you yourself were a member in Quebec City, you voted against the distinct society in the Charlottetown accord and you voted against the distinct society as late as last December.

If the Leader of the Opposition is serious, I issue him the following challenge: let him propose a vote in this House on the distinct society, and we will support him.

Distinct SocietyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, as a simple resolution at a meeting of the Liberal Party is enough to overturn the resolution passed in this House, of which the Prime Minister was allegedly so proud, and since a simple resolution of the meeting of the Liberal Party is enough to void the commitments made in the throne speech, are we to understand that the government and the Liberal Party consider the commitments not worth the paper they are written on?

Distinct SocietyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the Bloc Quebecois and the Parti Quebecois want to help us enshrine the distinct society in the Canadian Constitution, I am sure we can do it. But, how can we insist on or hold a federal-provincial conference on the distinct society when the leader of the Parti Quebecois, the premier of Quebec, asks us not to put it on the order paper before the Canadian premiers?

Distinct SocietyOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is not going to alter the debate. It was he, at his meeting, who reneged on the commitments he made as Prime Minister. He cannot shift people's attention today.

I will say simply that, once again, our fine Prime Minister has managed to turn all of Quebec against him.

How can he reconcile his new constitutional position with the remarks made this very morning by his referendum ally, Daniel Johnson, who said on behalf of Quebec federalists that he is totally opposed to the position the Prime Minister is now taking?

Distinct SocietyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would simply like to read clause 1.4 of the resolution passed this weekend by party officials in Quebec and the members of the Liberal Party in Quebec who want the fact incorporated in the Constitution. Here is the text that was passed and that the Leader of the Opposition has obviously not read: "The Liberal Party of Canada supports the enshrinement in the Constitution of the principles recognized in the Parliamentary resolution passed in December 1995 defining the distinct society".

There is the answer for the hon. member, who, if he were a little more honest with himself and with the people of Quebec-

Distinct SocietyOral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.