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House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was benefits.

Topics

Youth Canada DayStatements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Harold Culbert Liberal Carleton—Charlotte, NB

Mr. Speaker, last Friday more than 700 students, teachers and administrative staff of St. Stephen High School in New Brunswick celebrated Youth Canada Day.

With their theme of national unity, these students, led by their student body representatives Heather Estey and Rob Driscoll, held a truly Canadian assembly marked by the harmony of our national anthem, Canadian declarations and the many Canadian flags lining the halls of this school.

With our very large and diverse country, it is heart warming to see today's youth lead the way toward true Canadian unity, representing diversity and truly demonstrating what it means to be Canadian.

Congratulations to St. Stephen High School students and staff. They are truly leading the way for all Canadians. I am proud of their incentives and achievements in this area.

Assisted SuicideStatements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Daviault Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week we grieve the passing of Austin Bastable, a Canadian who had two terrible battles to endure in recent months. His first battle, a hopeless one, was against the disease which finally led to his decision to choose death in order to put an end to his suffering.

His second battle was against the government's lack of action to recognize people's right to die in peace and dignity at the time of their choosing. Unfortunately for him, and for all Canadians and Quebecers facing horrible deaths, his government did not heed him, nor would it even listen to what he had to say.

This Canadian had to seek self-imposed exile in the U.S. in order to get the qualified medical assistance he needed to end his life. Mr. Bastable himself said, only a little while before his death:

"If it had been left to the Canadian government I would have suffered for much longer, perhaps indefinitely".

The debate on this question so often promised by the government must take place.

Gavin MaxwellStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville—Milton, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I congratulate Gavin Maxwell of Oakville who last Saturday won the single man canoe race at the hemispheric qualifier in Gainsville, Georgia.

This convincing victory guarantees Gavin a trip to the Olympic Games in Atlanta this summer. The win was especially satisfying because two of the paddlers in the field, the American and the Mexican, had defeated him last fall at a pre-Olympic regatta.

Gavin Maxwell is a fine young man who not only excels in athletics but is an outstanding example to the youth of our country. His hard work and integrity have made him a model ambassador for sport and for Canada.

I know the people of my riding of Oakville-Milton are extremely proud of Gavin and will be cheering him on this summer in Atlanta.

Land MinesStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, more than 25,000 people worldwide are killed by land mines every year, and thousands more are injured.

On Wednesday the Minister of Foreign Affairs said Canada is one of the few countries that have banned outright the use of anti-personnel land mines. This is simply not true.

Earlier this year Canada declared a moratorium on the production, export and use of land mines. However, a moratorium is not a

ban. Although it is good, we need Canada to take the lead by domestically banning the production, use and sale of these heinous silent killers.

The minister was incorrect in his statement this week. Canada has long been one of leading voices in calling for a total ban. It is now the topic of discussion for a proposal which would establish a land mine free zone in the Americas, which Canada supports.

It is time now for Canada to show bold leadership and send a clear signal to the international community by declaring a domestic ban on the import, use and production of land mines.

Jeux De La FrancophonieStatements By Members

May 10th, 1996 / 11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this morning the cities of Ottawa and Hull, the regional municipality of Ottawa-Carleton and the communauté urbaine de l'Outaouais announced the signing of an agreement of understanding to establish a partnership so Ottawa-Carleton and the Outaouais could bid on the 2001 Jeux de la Francophonie.

There are two parts to these games, which have been held every four years since 1987: the sporting competitions and the cultural competitions. The games also include competitions for young people with a handicap.

The host country welcomes some 2,700 athletes and artists from 49 participating countries for a two-week period. The economic benefits of these games are readily apparent.

I wish every success to those who proposed this initiative and I can assure them of my solid support in the effort to obtain the Jeux de la Francophonie.

Risk Capital FundsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Liberal Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, in March, opposition members tore at their shirts in a public expression of disapproval of one of our budget measures aimed at reducing certain advantages accorded risk capital funds such as those of the FTQ or the CSN.

The leader of the Bloc Quebecois wondered at the time how Ottawa could justify, and I quote: "an attack against a tool as effective in creating and maintaining jobs"

Yesterday the Quebec Minister of Finance vindicated us in this matter, because he decided to follow our lead and cut some of the advantages accorded these funds.

This morning, the Bloc Quebecois members got off with having to stitch up their shirts. The federal and Quebec finance ministers decided in this area to harmonize their policies in order to reach an objective of fairness and justice for all investors.

Mother's DayStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, for nearly 75 years, the second Sunday in May has been a very special day. On that day, whether we are young or old, male or female, rich or poor, we experience special feelings for this unique woman who, day after day, rocked our cradle, wiped our tears, encouraged our efforts.

Because it is through their eyes that we learned to believe in life, we rise today to wish a happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there.

Our wishes are directed especially to those mothers and grandmothers who have been forgotten. Although they may be alone, we want to remind them that the love one lavishes on others is not lost, because it leaves a never-ending legacy of courage, generosity and kindness. For their gift of life and love, we thank them from the bottom of our hearts.

Federal BudgetStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Quebec has announced it will balance its budget by the year 2000, joining the chorus of responsible provincial governments which have either balanced their budgets or announced a plan to do so.

Why is the federal government conspicuously absent from the Team Canada initiative?

If Canadians judge the strength of their governments and their finance ministers by their ability to stop going further into debt, this government and finance minister must be regarded as the most weak-kneed of the bunch.

After two and a half years the federal government has failed to balance its budget as have provinces like Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick. It has not even announced a plan to eliminate the deficit, as have all the remaining provinces.

On this basis it is now clear the federal government is the only distinct society in Canada. Even more leadership threatens the financial security of ordinary Canadians, other levels of government and future generations that will inherit a staggering debt.

TaxationStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Vic Althouse NDP Mackenzie, SK

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general reports that Revenue Canada agreed to let a family trust ship $2 billion out of the country to avoid taxes.

Canadians now have reports the government has known for two years that Canadian banks and other large corporations are systematically evading taxes by illegally transferring their taxable profits into foreign tax havens.

Canadians are wondering how many hospital beds, how many college classrooms, how many pensions could have been saved if these corporations and trusts had paid their taxes.

Canadians ought to be told whether the government has launched any criminal investigations into tax evasion by Canadian corporations and will contributions from those same corporations acting with flagrant irresponsibility continue to be accepted by the Liberal Party. What responsibility do the higher officials bear who approved this deal?

Small wonder we have trouble making our politicians accountable when our highest officials sell us out.

Me/Fm Awareness DayStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Beryl Gaffney Liberal Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, Sunday, May 12 is national ME/FM awareness day.

Imagine overnight changing from a vital, healthy, active person to someone who lacks enough strength to get out of bed.

I refer to Canadians suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and its related illness, fibromyalgia, real and severe diseases which impair their victims and their ability to work.

CFS can take a perfectly healthy person and create a totally dysfunctional individual. Young people are frequent victims; lost jobs, depression and sometimes suicide are often the effects.

Yet Canada has no federal policy framework in place to ensure care and treatment for thousands of these individuals, nor does the federal government undertake to fund laboratory research and control.

The medical professionals must take a more proactive role in diagnosis. The public must be better informed. Health Canada must beef up its research. There are 100,000 affected Canadians who need recognition of these diseases. Petitions bearing 15,000 signatures from all across Canada showing this illness has touched many will be presented in the House today.

In Ottawa this weekend MESH Ottawa will hold a health fair, and in Regina members of the medical profession supportive of CFS sufferers were honoured on May 8.

Maclean'sStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Assad Liberal Gatineau—La Lièvre, QC

Mr. Speaker, I draw to the attention of the House a column written by Barbara Amiel in Maclean's on March 18.

She repeated the most malicious statements allegedly delivered by President Yasser Arafat, full of crude anti-Jewish slurs likely to make any reader abominate the speaker and his people.

The alleged story had been repudiated by Prime Minister Peres of Israel as well as President Arafat. The Economist of March 16 published a very effective explanation of how it was fabricated, and many other papers followed suit.

It is surprising that Barbara Amiel or Maclean's would print such a detrimental fabrication without verification. What is unconscionable and disturbing is that so far neither Barbara Amiel nor Maclean's has had the sense of justice to tell their readers that it is a fabrication and apologize. Otherwise it borders on fostering race hatred in Canada.

Experience Canada ProgramOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Experience Canada is the newest Liberal brain wave for politically influencing Canada's young people. This Year 2000 version of Katimavik proposes work experience, in a form not yet fully defined. The main cause of concern about this program is that the budget will be administered by the Council for Canadian Unity.

How can the Minister for Human Resources Development explain that the administration of a $21 million program supposedly aimed at helping young people is being entrusted to a highly political and extremely partisan organization?

Experience Canada ProgramOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, without addressing all of the details in the hon. member's comments on the Council, allow me to point out that Experience Canada is a partnership. The bulk of the funds to be spent on helping young people everywhere in the country, young people in all provinces, comes from the private sector.

Companies and stakeholders in the private sector are prepared to assume their responsibilities and to contribute to the development

of our youth throughout the country, through exchanges and workplace learning experiences. I trust that everyone will support a partnership of this type between the private sector, the governments, and our young people.

Experience Canada ProgramOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is a motherhood issue; of course we have nothing against partnerships. Quebec is, as the minister well knows, a pioneer in such arrangements. That was not the question.

The federal government is telling us that it will be withdrawing from the manpower field. This was a commitment made in the throne speech, but in practice it is adding another player, the Council for Canadian Unity, a body that is not all that neutral, and one not generally involved in employment.

How can the minister justify one more finger in the manpower pie? How can he justify this, except as an intention to use money earmarked to help our young people for political ends, because the Council for Canadian Unity is a propaganda machine, pure and simple?

Experience Canada ProgramOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, just the day before the announcement, which once again demonstrated the private sector's willingness to help young people everywhere in this country, who are having a really hard time finding work, one of the key stakeholders in the Council made some comments. What he said, in my opinion, ought to clearly demonstrate that there is a fairly wide range of opinions within the Council for Canadian Unity.

Peter White was the person in question, and what he had to say demonstrates, in my opinion, the divergence of opinions about the future of the country and about what ought to done to ensure its survival.

The entire Experience Canada exercise is focussed on young people, and I trust that all those who are interested in doing something to help young people will do so, whether in the private sector or in some coalition or other, and whether they share our vision of Canada or that of the hon. member.

Experience Canada ProgramOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, granted there may be a whole range of opinions within the Council on Canadian Unity but, regardless of their differences, they are all playing the same tune. It is, after all, the Council for Canadian Unity. It is a body involved with Canadian unity, with the Constitution, it is as simple as that.

I would like to ask the minister how the Council for Canadian Unity has suddenly acquired expertise in training young people. Let us face it, that is really a bit far fetched.

Experience Canada ProgramOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I hope the hon. member is not trying to tell us that in my department we ought-and it is the furthest thing from my mind-to go over all of the applications from all of the hon. members in this House, from all parts of Canada, with a magnifying glass. That we should scrutinize all requests to assist organizations working with young people, in order to find out whether these young people belong to a separatist organization or to some organization that is working for Canadian unity?

I have sufficient respect for young people to allow them to do what they have to do, and to gain experience. I trust-and am not in the least hesitant to say so-that all of the young people, whether from Quebec or from elsewhere, will come to appreciate Canada, as so many have before them, for so many decades.

Experience Canada ProgramOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Human Resources Development.

The new federal government initiative called Experience Canada has not done much to eliminate the numerous cases of overlap in the area of manpower.

How can the government justify the fact that millions of dollars officially set aside for training young people have in fact been used to indoctrinate them instead?

Experience Canada ProgramOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, although we managed this year to double the federal funds available to help young people, it was obviously not enough. The demand largely exceeds our resources.

I should point out to the hon. member that, as a result of this initiative, which comes partly under the responsibility of the Council for Canadian Unity, we managed to double these funds in partnership with the private sector. I think the truth is that we receive many more applications than we have resources.

Experience Canada ProgramOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of wasting public funds in this way or financing task forces that are not representative of young people, what is the government waiting for to settle the manpower training dispute between Canada and Quebec, which is the only way to give some real hope to Quebec's young people?

Experience Canada ProgramOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the hon. member that we must all work together to try to find a way to ensure that young people in Quebec and elsewhere have as many opportunities as possible to join the workforce.

That is why I reiterate that we in the Government of Canada are developing a position which, I hope, will be acceptable to the Quebec government. We are currently drafting a proposal that, I

hope, will not only reflect the Quebec consensus on manpower but also benefit young and not-so-young people across the country.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, to get itself out of the GST mess the government has concocted an illusion that would put Doug Henning to shame. It said consumers would be getting a break with the new Liberal GST, but up one sleeve was a billion dollar payout and up the other was a whole arsenal of new tax powers that gave the provinces room to raise taxes in the future.

The Minister of National Revenue said it would be revenue neutral. When is she going to admit that consumers in Atlantic Canada and across the country are going to be paying through the teeth for this broken Liberal promise?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Barry Campbell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question which we have heard over and over again. Maybe at some point members will hear loud and clear that what we have done is good for Canadians, good for consumers. The Atlantic provinces realize and businesses throughout the Atlantic provinces realize that a national harmonized tax as we proposed and as is being implemented is good for Canadians.

TaxationOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a tax grab and it is that simple.

I want to ask the minister about her views on Quebec's plans to present the federal government with a $500 million bill for the costs incurred when Quebec harmonized its sales tax. It is Quebec's opinion that if the government can find a billion dollars for Atlantic Canada, then it can find half a billion dollars for it.

My question is for the same minister. Is it the intention of the federal government to compensate Quebec for its harmonization costs?

TaxationOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Barry Campbell LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows, because he has asked questions before about the formula of adjustment assistance, that it provides assistance to provinces that incur losses in excess of 5 per cent of their tax revenue under their existing PST. That formula applies across the country. That is the formula which has been applied in Atlantic Canada. It would result in adjustment assistance to some provinces and not others. It is a consistent formula.