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House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was armenians.

Topics

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Ian McClelland Reform Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I take the comments of the member for Willowdale at face value and acknowledge the fact that his comments were heartfelt and genuine as all of the comments in the House have been.

However, there does seem to be some inconsistency here. The Bloc, and prior to that, the Parti Quebecois, has been diligent in facing this issue and trying to bring some recognition to the Armenian genocide since at least 1980. The Government of Quebec and the Government of Ontario both in the early eighties unanimously presented resolutions to that effect. Yet, when the issue comes to the federal government it seems to be watered down. Such is the case again today with the removal of the word genocide by the Liberal amendment. I understand that is to make it palatable today particularly to Turkey with whom we have good and mutually beneficial relations.

Could the member for Willowdale expand on the fact that we have to rob Peter to pay Paul?

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Peterson Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I cannot respond in a way that is satisfactory to the member or perhaps to any member in this House including myself.

I believe we should take the steps, hopefully in time, to call a spade a spade and a genocide a genocide. Unfortunately governments often move more slowly than we would like, more slowly than reason or feelings would dictate. We cannot always achieve everything we want exactly when we want. I suppose this has been one of the great revelations to me having spent several years in this House. Not only was Rome not built in a day, it was not repaired in a day.

We will measure our progress in this area in terms of steps rather than quantum leaps. It may not be as satisfactory. There may not be explanations which are totally acceptable and square with what we know to be the historic reality. Nevertheless, considering our international obligations, considering our allies, considering international pressures that are brought to bear-

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, it being 2 p.m., we will proceed to Statements by Members.

National UnityStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Len Hopkins Liberal Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, during current times Canadians from all over Canada must never lose sight of the fact that in the years leading up to 1867 the Fathers of Confederation laid the foundation for our Canada with the full intent that the country was to be indivisible and indissoluble. There has never been any change in that intent nor in that purpose. Neither in the Constitution of Canada nor in law is there any provision for the separation or splitting away of a province or territory.

We as Canadians have a moral and civic obligation to maintain the territorial integrity of our country. Let us never sway from our firm conviction toward Canadian nationhood. Let us resolve as a Canadian family to continue to protect each other's culture, language and religion so that Canada will forever be a national dream in the eyes of an envious world.

Tswwassen Sewage Treatment PlantStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Reform Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is a legal requirement that the sewage treatment facility being constructed by the Tswwassen Indian Band be subject to an environmental assessment pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

The government has refused to confirm such an assessment. This plant is being built on vitally sensitive intertidal salt water marsh. The marsh has been internationally recognized as an extremely sensitive habitat for juvenile salmon, migratory wildlife and the great blue heron, a species unique to this ecosystem.

In spite of enormous pressure from the public, the province of British Columbia and the municipality of Delta, these ministers of the government are apparently denying the people of the country access to their own environmental laws.

I beg the House to join in my demand that the Government of Canada immediately confirm that it has commenced and environmental assessment of this sewage project pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. There must be one law in this land and it must apply to each of us.

Invention And InnovationStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Bloc Frontenac, QC

Mr. Speaker, I gives me great pleasure to draw the attention of the House to the third Salon de l'invention et de l'innovation, to be held shortly in Black Lake. This is a fair where inventors display for the general public the new products they have invented.

This fair, which is very interesting for business people and the general public, is a good opportunity to develop new businesses and create jobs.

I want to emphasize the excellent work of those who have organized this event: Benoît Côté, Éric Labonté, Mario Bergeron, Sonia Delisle et Marcel St-Laurent. I also want to congratulate all the volunteers involved in this event.

As honourary president, I personally extend a general invitation to come to the Black Lake fair this weekend, April 26, 27, and 28.

TrainingStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Audrey McLaughlin NDP Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, the proposed plans to privatize training under changes to the Unemployment Insurance Act and to implement a voucher system have devastating consequences not only for recipients but for educational institutions and for long term educational planning.

This proposal is based on two very dubious assumptions: that every region has a mix of private and public training facilities, and that all applicants can on their own easily access training options.

In many rural and northern areas this is simply not the case. For example, the Yukon College under this scheme would lose $2 million to $3 million a year in stable and assured funding, funding which allows the college to plan ahead for both UI recipients and the general public. Under the government proposal both groups will be the losers.

I urge the minister to review this ill advised change, which clearly undermines training in the north and in rural areas.

FloodingStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Reg Alcock Liberal Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, run-off from record winter snow levels and ice jams on the Red and surrounding rivers are causing severe flooding in many Manitoba communities.

St. Andrews, Montaclam, Tache, Morris, St. Clements and North Norfolk have declared themselves to be in a state of emergency, and many more communities are on flood alert as the water continues to rise. The flooding has caused a great deal of damage already and is expected to continue for several more days until the rivers crest.

The good news is that thanks to the foresight of a number of public officials and the hard work of thousands of volunteers the damage has been kept to a minimum. Whole communities began preparing sandbags early prompted by the advice of the Emergency Preparedness Organization.

In my riding city councillor John Angus ran sandbagging workshops and trained volunteers so that when the high water arrived we were able to respond immediately. City and provincial officials made sure the necessary supplies were available.

Volunteers from St. Norbert, Dakota and Fort Richmond Collegiates and the St. Norbert Foundation spent countless hours filling sandbags and building dykes. Local restaurants, churches and service clubs donated food for the volunteers, drivers and helped with child care.

I thank all of the volunteers who have worked-

International Book DayStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Liberal Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, today we celebrate International Book Day. There could be no better time to pay tribute to all the Canadian writers who, over the years, have put Canadian literature in the enviable place it occupies internationally.

This is also the time to become aware of the importance of books and written materials in our everyday lives and to recognize the exceptional contribution of written communication to the history of humanity.

On the eve of the 21st century and the dawning of the high tech era, we must work even harder to preserve the incredible wealth that is written communication.

The generations after us, who will soon replace us, must know and appreciate the merits of reading. This is the reason why our government is so committed to literacy, education and training programs for our children and for Canadians in general.

Gasoline PricesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien Liberal London—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently I have had several complaints from my constituents in London-Middlesex about gasoline prices.

Many Canadians are very upset at what they perceive to be an orchestrated effort by gasoline companies to charge exorbitant amounts for gasoline at the pumps.

Canadian consumers feel they are being unfairly gouged by gasoline companies which routinely raise prices as weekends begin, especially long weekends. They feel these companies are displaying incredible arrogance and that they are both taking advantage of consumers and ignoring any attempt by governments in Canada to help resolve this concern. It is time for the gasoline companies of Canada to become better corporate citizens and to treat Canadian consumers more fairly.

I call on this government and governments at all levels to deliver this message on behalf of Canadians as forcefully as possible.

RotariansStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Reform Simcoe Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, as a Rotarian I am pleased to rise today and pay tribute to the largest and fastest growing service club in the world, Rotary.

As of this month membership totalled 1,187,509 Rotarians from 27,995 clubs in 154 countries around the globe. In Canada we have 29,183 members in 650 clubs. This year's Rotary international president, Herb Brown, has chosen as his theme: "act with integrity, serve with love and work for peace". In serving with love, Rotary has raised over $400 million toward the polio plus project, a project dedicated to the elimination of polio from the face of the earth.

Visiting today are 18 Rotarians from my home club in Barrie who are here on an exchange with the Ottawa West club. Many members of the House are Rotarians and I ask that they join with me in recognizing Rotarians for their work in communities right across Canada and indeed the world.

Auto LeasingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Hubbard Liberal Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, a major problem in the country today is the concentration of economic power in the boardrooms of major corporations whose sole business is to maximize profits.

We are lobbied today by banks, an industry that has made billions in profits while using automation to lay off thousands of employees to now enter the field of auto leasing.

It is important for our local car dealers that major banks not be permitted to enter the leasing markets. They believe it would be a conflict of interest, as banks are their major source of financing. They are concerned that they will jeopardize their chances of obtaining financing from the banks if they are forced to compete with the banks in the same market.

We cannot afford to have the banks take more jobs away from hardworking Canadians. I ask all members to support car dealers in their opposition to banks' entering the field of leasing.

FloodingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ron Fewchuk Liberal Selkirk—Red River, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of the people of the Selkirk-Red River riding and to commend the valiant efforts of the volunteers of the community of St. Andrews, St. Clements and Selkirk.

These people worked through the weekend to hold back the worst flood in Manitoba history caused by the overflowing waters of the Assiniboine River and the Red River.

The surging water forced some 250 residents to flee their homes. The damage could have been far worse had the ice jam not broken, allowing the water to flow toward Lake Winnipeg. Unfortunately the Selkirk Marine Museum suffered extensive damage during the flood. In addition to damage to the boats, documents such as

original captains logs and 13,000 photos were destroyed in the museum building.

This is a sad loss for the people of Selkirk-Red River riding and for Canadian tourists across this great land of ours.

PartnershipStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, most papers announced this morning that the members of the Parti Quebecois will soon be asked to vote on a change to their party's political agenda to formally include the notion of partnership.

Picking up again the highlights of the May 12 agreement, the Parti Quebecois would come back with its myth of partnership after separation. Perhaps the new leader of the PQ does not remember that, on October 30, a majority of Quebecers voted against this project.

When will separatists in Quebec accept to respect the democratically expressed will of their fellow citizens and give up this separation idea which is leading nowhere?

What Quebec needs is not a premier who perpetuates political and economical instability, but someone who would work to eliminate it.

The Armenian PeopleStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Bloc Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is the 81st anniversary of the Armenian genocide. This sad occasion commemorates the tragic end of more than one and a half million Armenians. The massacres of the Armenian people by the Ottoman government of Turkey, which lasted from 1915 to 1923, were the first genocide of the 20th century. It is important to condemn these atrocities and to increase public awareness of genocides committed throughout the world.

Any country that uses genocide and violence as an instrument of policy is guilty of a crime against humanity, a crime that will remain forever etched in the memory of those who suffered and that history can never forget.

The purpose of this day to remember the victims of the Armenian genocide is not only to remind us of the pain and suffering endured by the Armenian people, but also to assure us that such atrocities will not be repeated.

Springtime In OttawaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Fraser Valley West, BC

Well, folks, it is springtime in Ottawa. Recently the solicitor general sprang into action by apologizing and offering compensation to rioting prisoners.

The justice minister is helping Clifford Olson spring out of prison after August by allowing section 745 to stay as law.

The Prime Minister is springing from country to country because his absence keeps him out of trouble in Canada.

The finance minister is springing yet another fiscal trap by disguising the GST instead of scrapping it. Veteran Liberal MPs spring-no, they are bounced-out of the party for voting their conscience.

Yes, it is springtime in Ottawa all right, but fall is coming in the next federal election for the federal government.

The Late Clara SmallwoodStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Hickey Liberal St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, on April 14, Mrs. Clara Isabelle Smallwood, wife of the late Hon. Joseph R. Smallwood, premier of Newfoundland and Labrador from 1949 to 1972, passed away at the age of 94 at the Interfaith senior citizens home near Carbonear, Newfoundland.

Mrs. Smallwood witnessed some of the most crucial turning points in the history of Newfoundland. She saw the transition of politics from the commission of government in the early 1930s, ran from the Houses of the British Parliament in London, England, to the birth of the 10th province in Canada at midnight on March 31, 1949, an event that truly united our country from sea to sea.

She stood by her husband through six successful provincial elections and watched as the province made its mark in Canadian society as it brought with it unique heritage, culture and lifestyle which have not altered over generations.

Mrs. Smallwood will be missed by not only her large circle of family and friends but by all Newfoundlanders who remember the day we joined Canada and by future generations which, through history books, will learn of the indelible contribution made to this nation by the Smallwoods.

The Late Clara SmallwoodStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Simmons Liberal Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, the late Joey Smallwood in his autobiography

I Chose Canada

wrote: "My marriage to Clara was one of the most fortunate events of my life. I do not know what I would have done without her".

Clara Smallwood passed away last week. It had been my privilege over many years to observe the special chemistry between Clara and Joey Smallwood. Clara Smallwood avoided the limelight but still distinguished herself in many dignified ways. She was a marvellous human being, kind hearted to the core. She was a very talented musician, intelligent and well read. She was a great family woman who showered her three children, Ramsey, William and Clara, and her many grandchildren and great grandchildren as well as countless others with much affection.

Her support for her husband was unwavering, indeed legendary.

I salute her today for her wonderful contribution, behind the scenes but significant nevertheless, to Newfoundland and Labrador and to Canada.

CopyrightsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Bloc Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, UNESCO has designated today as International Copyright Day.

The Bloc Quebecois wishes to take this opportunity to remind the Minister of Canadian Heritage that authors are eagerly awaiting phase II of the copyright legislation review.

Like them, we are ready to roll up our sleeves and work to better protect their rights, to obtain not just symbolic but real recognition of neighbouring rights, as well as royalties on data storage and recording devices.

We would be dismayed to see the minister use the legislative review process as an excuse to undermine copyrights by introducing a series of exemptions.

Copyrights allow originators to retain ownership of their work and to authorize its use. They must not be restricted but adapted to the technological realities.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

April 23rd, 1996 / 2:15 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance this morning announced that he had reached an agreement on the harmonization of the GST with the provincial sales tax.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, Hear.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, you will have noted that the Liberal members and ministers applauded the fact that the GST remains, but will be hidden in the future.

Will the Minister of Finance acknowledge that, in his admission to journalists this morning of having been wrong in thinking he could replace the GST with another tax, he was confirming that the GST will stay, but will be hidden in the future?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, what we announced this morning was a major reform in the Atlantic provinces. Now we really do have a tax that will eliminate overlap and duplication, and I am sure the member opposite will agree. The tax will be harmonized, as it is in Quebec.

As most consumers, small and medium businesses and retailers have asked, the tax will be visible in the purchase of a dress, for example, but it will be transparent at the same time, because the tax itself will appear on the bill.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, everyone, including his Liberal colleagues, will have seen that the minister is in no rush to comment on his own remarks to the effect that the GST will indeed remain in place.

Will the Minister of Finance confirm that the $1 billion or nearly that in compensation paid to the Maritime provinces to encourage them to go along with his system will mean that the rest of Canada will be paying about $1 billion of their taxes in compensation to the Maritimes for a sales tax they will no longer be paying because the provinces agreed to the minister's deal?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Not at all, Mr. Speaker. What we did was arrange a formula to compensate provinces wishing to harmonize their sales tax but facing a loss in revenues, that is, the four Atlantic provinces. The offer was made to Saskatchewan and Manitoba as well. Other provinces, like Quebec in 1990, suffered no loss. This is true as well for Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

It is in fact a well established practice in Canada, when a region undergoes a major restructuring or faces some hardship, as in the case of the payments to western farmers in the 1990s, for the federal government to provide assistance, because Canada is built on the principle of regions helping each other. This is in fact what we have done here.