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House of Commons Hansard #27 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was institutions.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

As is our custom, we will now sing O Canada, which will be led by the hon. member for Saanich-Gulf Islands.

[Editor's Note: Whereupon members sang the national anthem.]

Teenage SuicideStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Liberal Don Valley North, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's teenage suicide rate is alarmingly high compared with other industrialized countries. From 1979 to 1991 suicide by young people from 15 to 19 doubled to 13.5 per 100,000, making Canada third behind New Zealand and Finland. When this occurs in a nation that is constantly rated as the world's best, we must ask ourselves what has gone wrong.

I urge my fellow members of Parliament to become more aware of this problem and to support the efforts of this government to turn this tragic statistic around. Our efforts must reflect the need to communicate a message of hope to Canada's youth. We must not fail in our commitment to create jobs and to create a society where hope for a better tomorrow is the trademark of our efforts.

Académie Des Grands MontérégiensStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, on April 26, the Académie des grands Montérégiens will pay tribute to five personalities of our great region, including someone who is well known in Saint-Hyacinthe, Claude Marchesseault.

In the last three decades, Mr. Marchesseault has been involved in areas as diversified as economic development, recreation, exceptional children, the agri-food industry, the arts, philanthropy and municipal affairs, while at the same time holding an important position at the Fédération des caisses populaires Desjardins.

Since its founding, the Académie des grands Montérégiens has honoured a number of outstanding people from our region, including Raymond Lévesque, Arlette Cousture, Juliette Huot, François-Albert Angers, Yves Beauchemin and Louis Laberge.

I salute the invaluable contribution made to our community's development by the indefatigable Claude Marchesseault, who cannot be ignored and who has now joined the ranks of the great men and women honoured by the Académie.

1996 CensusStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, one month from now Canadians will be asked to identify themselves by race in the 1996 census. We have the option of classing ourselves as white, Chinese, Asian, black, Arab, Filipino, Latin American, Japanese, Korean, or other. We do not have the option of skipping the question.

If an employer or a landlord demanded to know a Canadian's race, they would bear the full weight of the human rights law which prohibits racial discrimination and so they should. Yet incredibly the federal government requires the very same racial identification by law.

I would urge all Canadians to send a message to the federal government that in Canada we believe in the equality of all Canadians regardless of the country of their birth or the colour of their skin. Identifying our ethnic origin as Canadian on question 19 of the census will tell this Liberal government that Canadians want to be known as Canadians, nothing more and nothing less.

Census by race, what a disgrace.

Gasoline PricesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, gasoline prices in the region recently soared to their highest level since the gulf war. The average price in Ontario last

Friday was over 58 cents per litre. That amounts to an increase in just one week of as much as three cents a litre.

No doubt an unusually cold winter and low inventory at refineries are contributing to the price hike. Yet most of the price fluctuation at the pumps seems to have little to do with the wholesale price of gasoline.

Even though there was no increase in gas taxes in last month's budget, the price of gas is rising out of control. We must do something to stop it.

Expro Of ValleyfieldStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week, Expro Chemical Products of Valleyfield signed a major contract with the U.S. firm OEA Inc. The value of this contract lies not only in the amount of money Expro will receive but mainly in its new mandate.

This company, which used to specialize in the manufacturing of explosives used mostly for defence purposes, has just been awarded its first contract for a civilian application. Expro is now responsible for supplying a propellent used in the air bag release mechanism for 1997 American car models.

This is a great example of the sense of innovation and initiative that drives Canadian businesses. Expro's example shows it is possible to convert defence industries to civilian and peaceful uses.

World Curling ChampionshipsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadian curlers are the best in the world. They proved this in Hamilton last month.

On March 30 the Canadian women's team won the women's World Curling Championships. The high powered and charismatic women's team skipped by Marilyn Bodogh from the St. Catharines Curling Club with vice Kim Gellard, second Corie Beveridge and lead Jane Hooper Perroud did Canada proud.

On March 31 the Canadian men's team won the men's World Curling Championships.

Friends, family and Canadian curling fans cheered our teams on and shared in the joy of winning the worlds for Canada.

I know my colleagues in this House join me in congratulating these outstanding Canadian athletes. Their talent and determination are exemplary and we are proud of them as proud Canadians.

EntrepreneurshipStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Bloc Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, last fall, two Saint-Hubert residents decided to do something on their own and start a business without asking for any government assistance.

Ginette Piché et Colette Gagné took advantage of the change from hospital care to ambulatory care to launch a company called "Beau ménage, bons soins".

Their company provides personal care and housecleaning services to seniors and those who are convalescing or incapacitated, according to their needs and their means.

The range of services offered helps people with health problems to remain in their homes. In the current context, such a resource is indispensable. The business is about providing good and diversified services, which is a great way to improve the quality of life of the elderly.

Initiatives such as this one are always welcomed. This is why I want to congratulate Ginette Piché and Colette Gagné and urge them to persevere in their endeavour.

Council Of CanadiansStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Daphne Jennings Reform Mission—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday a senior citizen in my riding came into my office very concerned and anxious about a letter he had received from the Council of Canadians. Basically this letter was nothing short of a scam and fear mongering against one of our most vulnerable groups in society, our seniors.

By distorting and misrepresenting the true facts, this Council of Canadians plays on the fears of our seniors and attempts to extort money from them. This group wants the seniors of Canada to pay for what they are entitled to get for nothing: a petition presented to the government on behalf of seniors. Every member of Parliament provides that service free of charge. I know from the past three years in this House that we all present all constituents' petitions on a regular basis.

This group, which professes to care about seniors' lack of money, asks for money 10 times throughout its letter. And if they cannot commit to paying monthly contributions to this group, then $35, $50 or $75 now will protect their hard earned pensions.

The confidence men of old were pikers compared with this group.

The Late Justice David McDonaldStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Loney Liberal Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the Hon. Justice David McDonald, a great Canadian from Alberta who died on April 8 in Edmonton.

Justice McDonald's life was committed to the highest ideals of public service. He served in the courts as a practising lawyer from 1957 to 1973. He was appointed to the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta in 1974 where he served until his appointment to the Court of Appeal of Alberta in November 1995.

He was chairman of the Commission of Inquiry into Certain Activities of the RCMP from 1977 to 1981. He also served as president of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice from 1974 to 1977.

A Rhodes scholar and a jurist of uncommon intellect, Justice McDonald was a humanist who influenced all those who had the privilege to work with him.

We extend our sympathies to his wife Dorothy, his children Jacqueline, Jonathan and Catherine.

Please join with me in honouring a great Canadian, the Hon. Justice David McDonald.

Sir Wilfrid LaurierStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, on April 16, at 2.30 a.m., in this House of Commons, the government of the day yielded to pressure from the Liberal Party. The date was April 16, 1896. That was 100 years ago yesterday.

Nine days later, a general election was called for June 23. Today, it is important to remember that, for Canada, the 1896 election marked the beginning of a new era.

Wilfrid Laurier, who was born in Saint-Lin-des-Laurentides, spent all his life in Arthabaska. He was the Leader of the Opposition at the time. Two months later, he became Prime Minister of Canada, the first of many Quebecers to do so.

At the time, Laurier said that Canada could accommodate more than one race. He was referring to French and English Canadians. Nowadays, would we talk about peoples instead of races?

However, Laurier also added-

Mike HenryStatements By Members

April 17th, 1996 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Liberal Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, after 20 years of service to the people of Guelph-Wellington, Mike Henry is retiring as general manager of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce.

To say that we will all miss Mike is an understatement. As the Guelph Tribune recently said: ``He was a dedicated and sociable ambassador for Guelph, who was also a diplomat in co-ordinating the efforts of volunteers toward the chamber's many goals''.

Mike Henry has served our community well. His retirement is well earned but I know his work throughout Guelph-Wellington will be missed.

Mike, you have earned our respect, appreciation and gratitude. May your retirement be as fulfilling and wonderful as was your work for all of us in Guelph-Wellington.

International Child AbductionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Tremblay Bloc Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, on January 17, 1993, Mrs. Micheline Tremblay, who resides in the riding of Rosemont, learnt that her son Karim, then three and a half years old, had been abducted by his father and illegally taken to Egypt, his father's country of origin.

In spite of three years of relentless efforts, Mrs. Tremblay never saw her son again. Every legal recourse undertaken proved virtually ineffective, because Egypt has not signed any international convention or bilateral agreement with Canada on international child abduction.

But Egypt could enter into such an agreement with Canada, as it did with France. What is missing is Ottawa's political will to act on this fundamental civil rights issue. I call upon the support of all members of this House to demand that the Canadian government remedy this situation and make sure that Karim is reunited with his mother as soon as possible.

Clifford OlsonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week Clifford Olson sent several members of this House, myself included, a sneering note which detailed the child killer's intent to seek early release under section 745 of the Criminal Code.

Olson's note to my office reads as follows: "I'm coming back Art. Quick, get section 745 repealed. Smile, sucker". This note was signed in type, Clifford Robert Olson, the beast of British Columbia.

Section 745 allows criminals sentenced to life imprisonment the eligibility for early release. Olson will make formal application for his judicial parole review this August. In addition, police killer Roy Glaremin will apply a second time this May for early release.

Fifty of the 60 murderers applying for early parole thus far have had their eligibility period reduced, at least 18 of whom have had their parole eligibility reduced to 15 years.

I call on the Minister of Justice to wipe the smirk off Olson's face. End this insanity, repeal section 745 without delay.

Goods And Services TaxStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, we were told by the Prime Minister in August 1993 that he would honour all of his promises within two years. We were also told by the new heritage minister that if the GST were not abolished she would resign.

The GST remains in place and we are still waiting for both to keep their promises. Now the government says that harmonization will honour an election vow to scrap the GST, but a few years ago at least one member of the current cabinet saw harmonization as a barrier to replacing the GST.

The exact words of the finance minister when he was running for the Liberal leadership were:

There is some possibility that when we take power in 1992, the provinces will have entrenched the GST in their sales tax regimes. It would be extremely difficult to undo in that instance, but-I am committed to scrapping the GST-

This is from De Novo , a publication that was circulated at the Liberal leadership convention.

Goods And Services TaxStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

Stanley Knowles Visiting ProfessorshipStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, The University of Waterloo deserves congratulations for establishing the Stanley Knowles Visiting Professorship in Canadian Studies at St. Paul's college, a program that highlights the link between social justice issues and government policies.

This professorship is most appropriate because the life work of Stanley Knowles has been the epitome of individual freedom, democracy, justice and a sense of community and internationalism. It is timely because these issues continue to challenge the world community, including our diverse Canadian society.

Indeed I am honoured to be serving as the member of Parliament for Winnipeg North which includes part of his former riding. Mastering parliamentary procedures and placing people before partisanship, Mr. Knowles was a very strong voice of social justice in this House for decades. He is a living model for all parliamentarians.

Alone, it would be difficult to reach his heights. Together, we can succeed in advancing the cause.

Royal VisitStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Bethel Liberal Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I quote: "It would be worth the money if it was for Princess Di, but it is not worth a dime for Prince Charles. Let's give him a chocolate bar and tell him to stay home".

That crude remark from the member for Edmonton Southwest is about the time honoured tradition of covering the cost of a royal visit when a member of the Royal Family accepts Canada's invitation.

That crude remark speaks volumes about Reform's commitment to cleaning up its extremist image, to equality for all people, to respect for Canada's monarchy and to restoring civility to politics in Canada.

I challenge the leader of the third party to tell Canadians if Reform's respect for women goes beyond the physical. Tell us if these kinds of public attacks on Canada's monarchy are a reflection of Reform policy.

Quebec Referendum ActStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Bernier Bloc Mégantic—Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec Referendum Act is one of the most forward-looking public consultation legislation in the democratic world, and there is no equivalent legislation at the federal level.

Several Liberal members knew full well that, when federalist forces from outside Quebec showed up for their illegal rally in Montreal on October 27, they were breaking the law. Instead of condemning this legislation, the government whip should use it as a model to enhance the democratic process at the federal level.

Liberal members seem to think they can do anything they please in the name of national unity. They break the law, act like martyrs, play holier than thou or complain of harassment when Quebec's director general of elections calls them to account for their rally activities in Montreal.

The whip and his accomplices should be reminded that, on October 27, their illegal tactics gave millions of Quebecers the feeling of being besieged.

Distinct SocietyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on Monday in this House, the new Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs said, and I quote:

-bilingual or trilingual democracies have measures to ensure that their language communities will live together in harmony. It is what we have in Canada. We are very proud of it.

In the flurry of attempts to come up with a vocabulary more suited to Canada's constitutional reality, are we to understand that he thinks the concept of a Quebec people to be nothing more now than a language community?

Distinct SocietyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the official opposition seems to want to play dictionary games. What counts, and I have been saying this since I arrived in this House, is substance. Substance is what counts.

And the substance that Quebecers want to keep for the most part is a Quebec identity and a Canadian identity; a Quebec pride and a Canadian pride; a Quebec solidarity and a Canadian solidarity.

Distinct SocietyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if the minister wants to play, I am going to talk scrabble. There is a six letter word in scrabble, spelled "verity". This is what we in the opposition are after.

The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs said himself that there is a reality beyond words. Would he tell us whether, in reality, he thinks, as the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, that Quebecers constitute a people?

Distinct SocietyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition, whom I thank for his questions, seems, surprisingly enough, not to understand one thing.

It is an extraordinary opportunity in today's world to be born a Quebecer and a Canadian. I am a Quebecer and a Canadian and I would fight with every means democracy puts at my disposal anyone who tried to take away my Canadian identity.

Distinct SocietyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, you will understand that, through my dealings with the minister, I will certainly pass politics 101, but I am not so sure about him.

Shifting from the reality of a Quebec people to the concept of a distinct society-Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport would learn something too if he listened. Would you ask him to be silent?

Distinct SocietyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.