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House of Commons Hansard #28 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

Department Of Human Resources Development ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Colleagues, with your permission I will call it two o'clock.

Department Of Human Resources Development ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Canusa Foods LimitedStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Harold Culbert Liberal Carleton—Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the president of Mountain View Packers, Mr. Byron McGrath, and his company directors who have accepted a new challenge to join forces with Tri-Winner Irving Acres Inc. of Presque Isle, Maine. Together these two companies last Friday announced the creation of a new company, CANUSA Foods Limited in Centreville, New Brunswick.

This merger will signal the new company to begin construction this spring on a value added processing plant providing an additional 25 jobs for the region.

Last Friday's announcement proves once again that confidence and good aggressive business management, coupled with strategic government support, helps to create more jobs for Canadians and in this case in the riding of Carleton-Charlotte.

Official LanguagesStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Paul Marchand Bloc Québec-Est, QC

Mr. Speaker, in an issue of Entre parenthèses , Impératif français reminds us that in the federal government, English is the real working language.

It says that 22.8 per cent of management positions are held by francophones whereas 32.8 per cent of support positions are filled by francophones. In other words, the higher you go on the salary scale, the less room there is for francophones.

Impératif français also points out that the federal government is more bilingual in Quebec. While the English minority in Quebec forms only 10 per cent of the population, 52.7 per cent of positions in the federal public service are bilingual.

Moreover, according to the most recent statistics issued by the Treasury Board, in 1994-95, 88 per cent of translation done in the federal government was from English into French, or roughly the same proportion as 10 years ago. Impératif français is quite right: in Canada, 25 years after the coming into force of the Official Languages Act, English is more official than French.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Reform Party and all Canadians, I would like to express my sorrow and shock that a UN base sheltering refugees was shelled by Israeli forces today resulting in many deaths and injuries.

This tragic occurrence must be condemned by everyone. Although Israelis said it was an accident, this does not make it acceptable. Civilians being sheltered by the UN must not only avoid being targeted but combatants must avoid them in all circumstances.

This tragedy points to the futility and destructiveness of the recent violence. I urge Israel, Lebanon and Syria to immediately begin around the clock negotiations to solve this conflict. Humanity demands that they act now to sort out their differences and make sure such tragic events never happen again.

CubaStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Stan Dromisky Liberal Thunder Bay—Atikokan, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadian book publishing companies have been more than generous with university students in Cuba.

Recently I sent requests to approximately 600 publishing companies across Canada for donations of Canadiana. These books are for the library at the recently established department of Canadian studies at the University of Havana.

The response has been tremendous. On a daily basis we are receiving eight to ten boxes of books. These donations are a clear example of the sympathy that Canadians have for the struggle faced by the people and students of Cuba. We should continue to do all that we can to help this island nation overcome the hardships imposed upon it by the unjust embargo.

I congratulate the Canadian book publishing industry for its gracious support. The people of Cuba are truly grateful. They are once again reminded of the generosity and humanity for which Canadians are known worldwide.

Portage ProgramStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Liberal Fredericton—York—Sunbury, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the House the Portage program currently operating in Lac Echo just north of Montreal. This program is a therapeutic community based treatment program for young people between the ages of 14 and 19 experiencing substance abuse problems along with significant difficulties in their personal growth.

The community supports the individual's efforts in living up to personal obligations and encourages progress. This is done in the context of a series of groups where achievements are reviewed and new challenges set.

Portage is widely recognized as one of the most successful and cost effective programs in existence for rehabilitating substance abusers. Globally the program boasts that 85 per cent of graduates remain drug free.

Atlantic Canada is in need of this kind of therapy program as many of those in need of treatment have been travelling to the U.S. for rehab.

I am encouraged that Portage will soon be bringing its expertise to Fredericton. I urge the Government of Canada to support it in that effort.

Speak Out CanadaStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville—Milton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Gloria and Harold Williams who reside in my riding of Oakville-Milton.

Motivated by the events of the October referendum in Quebec, Mr. and Mrs. Williams along with 24 of their friends founded Speak Out Canada, a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots community group dedicated to keeping Canada united.

Since December 1995 their organization has grown considerably with over 200 volunteer members. It is encouraging and assisting the formation of other unity groups across the country.

They have adopted an extensive agenda for the immediate and long term future, including planning unity oriented events and organizing discussion quorums. Their ultimate goal is to reach out to their fellow Canadians through links with other grassroots organizations to promote an increased awareness of our country and the benefits of working together to keep us united and strong.

I commend Mr. and Mrs. Williams for their efforts and I wish them ongoing success.

The ConstitutionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean H. Leroux Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite the commitment and the promises made by the Prime Minister of Canada to renew the Canadian Constitution to better take into account the traditional and legitimate claims of Quebec, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is proposing various constitutional pas-de-deux to repair the damage made in 1982 by the present Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister's promises, which all in all do not amount to a great deal, are already too much for some premiers. Trial balloons, reversals, spectacular parades, such is the agenda proposed by the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs to please English Canada. Does the minister believe that Quebecers are so blind that they cannot see through his real game?

The people of Quebec are not fooled by the minister's trickeries and will not let him pull wool over their eyes.

Alberta FrancophonesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

John Williams Reform St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 1861, the St. Albert mission was created by Father Albert Lacombe and about twenty Metis families. Together, they built the first school, the first bridge and the first hospital in Alberta.

Still today, francophones in Alberta enrich our communities. In 1994, the franco-albertan newspaper Le Franco received several awards from the Association de la presse francophone. Everywhere in Alberta, French teaching through immersion programs is a remarkable success.

I am proud to have among the St. Albert constituents an active francophone population that follows Father Lacombe's tradition and fully participates in the development of our community.

Alberta FrancophonesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

Congratulations!

FisheriesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis NDP Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, today there are representatives of 500,000 coastal British Columbians on Parliament Hill. They have come here because they feel their Liberal MPs for British Columbia have let them down, have betrayed them, have turned their backs on them.

The so-called Mifflin plan will destroy coastal communities and take jobs out of thousands of British Columbia households. It will do nothing for conservation of the stock. It will do nothing to enhance the salmon and other fisheries on the west coast. Yet the minister is determined to continue with a program that will destroy the communities and the lives of people.

I say to my Liberal British Columbia friends opposite, is it not time that you stood up for British Columbia as opposed to the government centred here in Ottawa?

FarmingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, today I want to recognize a P.E.I. farm leader who has given much of his life to the farm movement.

Urban Laughlin of Sherbrooke, P.E.I. was elected last week for his 20th one-year term as district director of district one, region one of the National Farmers Union.

Urban's dedication and that of his wife Mary to the concerns of primary producers and the family farm in my opinion is unsurpassed.

Mr. Laughlin has always taken a very principled position on farm issues within his organization and in farm policy circles. The motto "Farmers are Important" is emphasized time and time again. His voice has been important in providing focus to debates and alternatives to the open market approach to marketing, thereby forcing policymakers to keep farmers in mind in their decision making.

I offer my congratulations and his continued success as a farm leader.

International Monetary FundStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the International Monetary Fund expects that the growth of the Canadian economy should continue to improve in the next two years, reaching an annual rate of 2.9 per cent in 1997.

Among the G-7 countries, only Japan would outmatch this performance. So, Canada's economic situation has greatly improved since our government was elected.

The IMF also points out, and I quote: "Following the October referendum in Quebec, the level of confidence improved and interest rates went down significantly."

The people of Quebec and Canada had long felt what the IMF is telling us. Quebec separation has extremely negative impacts on the economy. It is high time for the PQ to put this option aside if it really wants to contribute to the economic recovery.

TelecommunicationsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Liberal Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, Normex Telecom, created almost 25 years ago by its president, Jacques Coutellier, has just been acquired by an Alberta company called In-Flight Phone Canada Inc. Following this acquisition, the company will be in a better position to become the leader in the communication cable installation industry in Canada.

Normex revenues, which totalled $7 million in 1995, are expected to exceed $60 million in three years because of this transaction and to help create more than 300 new jobs in the high technology industry in Montreal itself.

We are very pleased about this transaction, which confirms Montreal's leadership in the North American telecommunications industry. We hope that Canadians from all over the country will follow the example set by this transaction and continue to work together to develop a more prosperous and dynamic economy for all Canadians.

AgricultureStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Cliff Breitkreuz Reform Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, on April 10 at 5.30 a.m., armed men surrounded and stormed the Manitoba farm home of the Desrochers.

One wonders, was the family harbouring foreign criminals, was it engaged in smuggling activities or was it in Canada illegally? No. Norman Desrocher had dared to do the unthinkable. He sold his barley to the Americans without obtaining permission from the granddaddy of the prairies, the Canadian Wheat Board. It took 14 state employees, one-third of them well armed, to seize a legally owned grain truck.

Compare this action to the border south of Ottawa where smuggling is a 24-hour a day business. Is this equality of the law? On the Dakota border a family is terrorized by government agents. On the New York border the government does nothing. When will this cowardly government begin to apply the law equally and fairly?

Reform Party Of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Liberal Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have bad news for the House today. A recent poll commissioned by the member for Edmonton Southwest shows that even in Alberta Canadians think the ideas of the Reform Party are too extreme. How can that be?

Is it possible that Canadians see the study of caning as too extreme? Could it be that supporting the dismantling of health care by the Reform Party is a bit too harsh? Interestingly enough, 64 per cent of the people surveyed were impressed with our Prime Minister. The poll was strangely silent on what people felt about the leader of the Reform Party. I wish they had asked that question.

I have bad news for Reformers. Polls are not very good for them. Perhaps they will be smiling more if they read them less.

Unemployment Insurance ReformStatements By Members

April 18th, 1996 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the Council of the regional county municipalities of Rivière-du-Loup, Témiscouata, Kamouraska, Des Basques, Rimouski-Neigette, Matane, Pabos, Côte-de-Gaspé and Bonaventure have all sent a request to the federal government, asking for nothing less than the withdrawal of the bill concerning the unemployment insurance reform.

The RCMs point out the negative impact the reform proposed by the Minister of Human Resources Development will have. They are referring to the measures affecting seasonal workers. They think that the rules restricting the workers' eligibility or requesting 910 hours to become eligible to UI benefits for the first time will only help to promote the underground economy.

These people are not professional agitators, as the minister has suggested, but rather the mayors of these various regional county municipalities, speaking on behalf of the people who elected them.

I think that the minister should realize that the regions affected by the reform will not accept token changes. The government will have to go back to the drawing board.

Minister Of National DefenceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Bob Ringma Reform Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, those proudly serving in the armed forces are disgusted at the way the defence minister has disregarded the principles of integrity, duty, respect and decency. I remind the minister and Liberal MPs that these are the trademarks of every man and woman serving in

uniform, not the litany of irresponsibility, contempt and cover-up which plagues the Somalia inquiry for which this minister refuses to accept responsibility.

As a retired soldier with service in many areas, I have seen cowardly actions but usually it is by Canada's enemies and not Canada's own. I cannot condone the cheap shots from the defence minister as he questions the loyalty of Reform MPs to our military merely to deflect criticism of his own incompetence.

Until the minister puts on a uniform, he has no right to lecture me or any member on principled behaviour, integrity or even on being un-Canadian.

Earth DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Kraft Sloan Liberal York—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, Monday, April 22 is Earth Day. Millions of Canadians will take part in grassroots celebrations and events from St. John's to the Gulf Islands to Cambridge Bay.

Earth Day is an international event. It is the largest celebration of environmental awareness and action in the world. Earth Day is a day of hope, action, responsibility and celebration.

The best example of celebration and hope is the Ekokids Club. This year Earth Day Canada hopes to see 1,000 Ekokids Clubs across the country. Thousands of Canadian children have shown leadership in environmental action. As parents we must stand with our children. A clean environment today ensures the health of future generations.

I urge all Canadians to join in local Earth Day celebrations and renew our commitment to the preservation of the planet.

Research And DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, historically, Quebec has always been penalized when it came to federal research and development spending. The proof of this is that, from 1979 to 1991, Quebec received only 18.6 per cent of federal funding in this area, while Ontario received 50 per cent. These funds create many jobs and are highly stimulating to the economy.

This is an area in which Quebec would like to have its fair share. It is certainly more positive on the economic level for our tax dollars to come back to us for research and development instead of unemployment insurance.

My question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. How, under these circumstances, can she justify her department's choice of priorities in cutting off funding for the Tokamak project in Varennes, when this adds to the inequity from which Quebec has suffered far too long already in R&D?

Research And DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton Northwest Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated in this House before, this government confronted with a significant fiscal crisis has been forced to make very difficult choices. We have to set priorities as a government.

We are an energy rich nation and I am sure the hon. member appreciates that fact. In this energy rich nation, unfortunately fusion research is not a priority. Therefore, when asked to reduce my department's budget by some 60 per cent over three and one-half to four years, we had to set priorities. We set priorities and unfortunately fusion was not one of them.

Research And DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, how can the minister justify her decision to end investments in the Tokamak project without any consultation with her partners, including the Government of Quebec, despite the fact that they funded 50 per cent of the project?

Research And DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton Northwest Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I come back to the point that we have to make choices and we have to set priorities. In this country we have done that in relation to energy research.

I am not suggesting that fusion research does not have a place. I am sure that the people who do this work do good work. Unfortunately it is not a priority when we look at the other energy sources this nation possesses.

Research And DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I feel obliged to tell the minister that everyone in Quebec is opposed to her decision and would offer as proof the unanimous resolution by the National Assembly condemning her decision. That makes it twice this week that the federal government has managed to turn Quebec unanimously against it.

How can the minister persist with her decision to cut off her $7.5 million involvement in the Varennes basic research project, in which she is involved with other partners, while last June she added $15 million to the TRIUMF project in B.C.? This is also a basic

research project, and one in which the federal government is the sole investor. Why cut back in Quebec, where there is already anR&D deficit, while stepping up investment elsewhere?