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House of Commons Hansard #48 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

International Centre For Human Rights And Democratic DevelopmentStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's image was built around its participation in numerous peace missions, its efforts to help developing countries and its commitment to the fight for human rights and democratic development.

In this regard, we must remember the important contribution of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development. At a time when several governments, including the Canadian government, have a tendency to build a wall between trade relations and human rights violations in the world, the Centre's mission is all the more vital for people who see their fundamental rights violated by their governments.

I want to salute and thank Mrs. Côté-Harper and Ed Broadbent, who will shortly leave their respective positions as chairwoman and director of the centre.

Thank you, on behalf of human solidarity.

FisheriesStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Reform Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, today the federal government is in court attempting to get fishermen ejected from fisheries offices in British Columbia.

The place for the minister to talk to fishermen is across the negotiating table, not in the court room. Despite infrequent visits to B.C., the minister is imposing a plan on the commercial fishery which will seriously impact the lives of fishermen and the economies of coastal communities. What is even more disturbing is the minister's refusal to go to British Columbia and seriously defend his plan.

The minister's newly appointed adviser has recognized shortcomings of the plan. He notes that the plan contains no support for local communities, no protection against concentration of control of the fleet, and uncertainty about the commercial share of catch in the face of treaty negotiations.

Substantial change without serious consideration of stakeholder input and without genuinely seeking consensus is impossible.

MiningStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Liberal Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, mining is vital to the Canadian economy. The minerals and metals industry provides some 341,000 direct jobs to Canadian men and women and more than $20 billion to our economy.

I am pleased to rise today to draw attention to National Mining Week and to acknowledge the importance of mining to our economy.

Ontario accounts for 30 per cent of Canada's mineral production and contributes more than $4.5 billion to the provincial economy. Some 14,000 people are employed in mining nickel, copper, gold and other minerals in the province.

I am pleased to acknowledge the importance of the minerals and metals sector during this 1996 National Mining Week. I salute those Canadians in Ontario and across our great country who have contributed to building and sustaining this valuable industry.

The New MillenniumStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Glen McKinnon Liberal Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, 1967 was a defining year in our nation's history. At the time of our 100th birthday every province, city, town and village joined together to celebrate Canada's accomplishments. A wave of national pride swept across this country as we took stock of our blessings and our nation's future.

Western Manitoba's wordsmith, Mr. Fred McGuinness, has suggested that we repeat this centennial experience by giving national recognition to the approaching millennium. I agree. We have the leadership, the commitment and the creativity. Let us get on with the show. Let us fasten our attention on the future and let us celebrate being Canadian.

Chinese Canadian Association Of Public AffairsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anna Terrana Liberal Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week in Ottawa we are being visited by 14 young ambassadors from Vancouver.

Every year the Chinese Canadian Association of Public Affairs sends a delegation of young people to Ottawa for them to become acquainted with the political and parliamentary process. This year there are 14 young ambassadors between the ages of 16 and 22. All 14 of them are top students and all-round good citizens.

The Chinese Canadian Association of Public Affairs is a non-profit, non-partisan organization committed to promoting full

citizenship participation by all Canadians. The organization is interested in promoting various initiatives such as the annual trips to Ottawa and seminars on important issues such as health care and constitutional reform.

I was pleased to meet these young ambassadors both last year and this year. I want to congratulate them for their commitment to causes and their outstanding qualities.

I would like to ask my colleagues in the House to help me welcome the Vancouver young ambassadors.

The DisabledStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Bernier Bloc Mégantic—Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Minister of Human Resources Development has shown us his insensitivity, his thoughtlessness and his blindness with his decision to eliminate subsidies to agencies that help the disabled.

Yesterday, in this House, he even had the audacity to state that he considered it more important to help the disabled than the organizations that represent them. In the same breath, he added that these organizations do a good job. Where is the logic? I do not know.

The minister talks about the federal government's willingness to negotiate with the provinces to find a solution. It is one thing to negotiate transfers, but it is another thing to cut subsidies without giving any consideration to the adverse consequences of such a decision on the organizations and the disabled.

"Let us cut and we will see later on what the consequences are". That seems to be the minister's theme song. Yet he ought to know that gagging people will not make them disappear.

AgricultureStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

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

Mr. Speaker, during the last five months I have received a number of complaints that FCC's agri-land division is manipulating land prices in my riding.

I provided the minister of agriculture with two specific examples in which to support my complaints I quoted recent sale prices for nearby land. In each instance I received a robotic ministerial reply stating, without any reference to my evidence, that agri-land does not engage in such practices. If the minister or his buddy Don Jackson make dogmatic statements, they are holy writ regardless of any contrary evidence.

With its huge land base, the FCC is in a better position than any conventional financial institution to raise the price of its asset base by manipulating the price of land. There has to be an investigation into this.

St. Thomas UniversityStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Liberal Fredericton—York—Sunbury, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate St. Thomas University's graduating class which held its convocation this week in Fredericton. The day was the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication by those students who received their degrees. I wish them success in their chosen career paths.

I would also like to congratulate this year's honorary degree recipients: Dr. Louis Dudek of Montreal, Dr. Eric Garland, Mr. Frank McKenna and Mrs. Julie McKenna, as well as Rabbi David Spiro, all of whom have contributed tremendously to their communities.

All of this week's graduates worked hard to reach the goal they set for themselves and I commend them. I applaud St. Thomas University on its selections for honorary degrees. The choices do credit to the university, to our communities and to the recipients themselves.

Optimists In ActionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Colleen Beaumier Liberal Brampton, ON

Mr. Speaker, on June 1 Optimist International will celebrate Optimists in Action Day around the world.

With the motto "Friend of Youth", Optimists strive to set a positive example for youth. In addition to helping youth develop those characteristics which they will require for future success, Optimist clubs provide funding to the community for the purchase of special medical equipment for children with special needs and personal welfare for children in need.

In Brampton the Optimist Club has put over $1.6 million back into the community to service the needs of its young people. Among the programs run by the Optimist Club are respect for law, bicycle safety and oratorical contests. Some of its projects include Canada Day, the audiology room at Peel Memorial Hospital, students against drunk driving sponsorship and other worthy causes.

On behalf of all members I would like to congratulate the organizers and participants of Optimists in Action Day and wish them the best for their future success.

Alliance OutaouaisStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the hand held out by Lucien Bouchard to the members of the anglophone and allophone communities of Quebec was, in reality, only a sham.

That, unfortunately, is the conclusion we are forced to reach this morning after the Bloc Quebecois' insulting refusal to take part in a meeting organized by Alliance Outaouais.

In response to their invitation, the Alliance Outaouais organizers were told by the staff in the Bloc whip and leader's office that he would not be taking part because, and I quote, "all anglophones think the same way, anyhow".

Such an attitude must be decried, for it feeds the discrimination and intolerance present in Quebec society. Once again, with this latest escapade, the Bloc Quebecois has-

Alliance OutaouaisStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sorry to have to interrupt the hon. member, but his time has run out.

Central AmericaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bloc Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, as a member of this House of Latin American origin, I would like to call attention to the visit to Canada of the presidents of Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala, and of the Prime Minister of Belize.

Central America has made great strides in the areas of peace agreements, human rights and demilitarization. Canada has worked actively for peace in that region. Its economic assistance, however, is constantly decreasing, at a time when the region requires outside support to consolidate its process of pacification and democratization.

The Canadian government must step up its diplomatic, trade and cultural relations with our Central American partners, particularly by opening embassies in places where there is no direct representation.

Senores presidentes, bienvenidos a este pais y mucho exito en sus funciones. Gracias.

The SenateStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Beaver River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has thwarted democracy once again. Earlier today he appointed another new senator from Alberta.

The Prime Minister was fully aware that Alberta Premier Ralph Klein intended to hold an election to fill Alberta's vacant Senate seat. Rather than wait for Albertans to elect their own senator under Alberta's Senates Election Act, the Prime Minister has used an iron fist and smashed Alberta's right to have a democratic election. This is tantamount to a dictatorship.

In a recent response to the leader of the Reform Party, the Prime Minister stated in this House: "I will name a senator who I will choose and who will represent my party in the House of Commons". We can only assume this is exactly what the Prime Minister has done in his latest patronage appointment which occurred earlier today. This is aggressive arrogance on behalf of the Prime Minister. It is an injustice to all Albertans and all Canadians.

Allow me to remind the House that the late Senator Stan Waters would be ashamed of this appointment. He was the only truly legitimate accountable senator in Canada's history. I say long live the memory of Senator Stan.

The SenateStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, I appeal to you once again. We should as much as possible refrain from making comments about the other place as such.

Norman InksterStatements By Members

May 16th, 1996 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I wish to take the opportunity to congratulate one of my constituents who was recently decorated with the Order of Canada.

Mr. Norman Inkster of Cumberland, Ontario served as commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police from 1987 to 1995.

He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and joined the RCMP in 1957. His first posting was in Alberta, followed by Montreal and, finally, Ottawa.

During his tenure, Commissioner Inkster provided invaluable services to our national police force and served our country in a most exemplary manner. I have no doubt that many Canadians, indeed all Canadians, would join me in congratulating Norman

Inkster who is more than worthy to have earned the very prestigious award, the Order of Canada.

Lloyd RobertsonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien Liberal London—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night in Ottawa Mr. Lloyd Robertson received the 1995-96 Gold Ribbon Award for Broadcast Excellence. This prestigious award was presented at the broadcast excellence dinner which was attended by over 300 people, including Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.

As vice-chair of the Canadian heritage committee and on behalf of all members of Parliament and Canadians everywhere, may I extend to Lloyd Robertson our warmest and sincere congratulations.

Congratulations, Mr. Robertson, on behalf of all of the members here and all of the people of Canada.

In accepting his award, Mr. Robertson, who is chief news anchor for CTV, praised the calibre of Canadian broadcasting. At the same time he also called for a redoubling of efforts by Canadian broadcasters in telling the story of Canada to all Canadians through every means available.

In congratulating Lloyd Robertson we recognize and salute his excellence and dedication to broadcasting in Canada.

Lloyd RobertsonStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

My dear colleague, I would again ask you to please refrain from using our names in here. The titles that we bear are quite sufficient.

Capital GainsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last week the minister of revenue refused to suspend the decision of Revenue Canada on the taxation of capital gains, which led to the transfer of $2 billion to the United States tax free. In total contradiction with the deputy minister of finance, the auditor general said this morning that action in this matter was urgently needed in order to prevent the loss of millions of dollars in tax revenues.

My question is for the Minister of Finance. Will he acknowledge the urgency of acting to prevent the flight of capital on the basis of the precedent set by Revenue Canada?

Capital GainsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. Leader of the Opposition that even though this decision was one made by a government previous to ours, we have acted in an urgent fashion. We have asked the finance committee to review these concerns the auditor general has drawn to our attention. We asked the committee to do it the very day the auditor general's report came down.

Capital GainsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about billions of dollars, and the minister of revenue talks about the previous government and about convening the Standing Committee on Finance, but not in any hurry. That takes the cake.

This morning the auditor general said action had to be taken immediately, whereas the deputy minister of finance thinks September will be time enough.

My question is for the Minister of Finance. Since this is a matter of urgency and the decision by Revenue Canada has yet to be suspended, who is the Minister of Finance going to listen to: his deputy minister or the auditor general?

Capital GainsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the hon. member that the case is urgent. I would therefore ask him why one of his own members walked away from the committee saying there was nothing important to do there.

Capital GainsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for the past two weeks the opposition finance critic has been calling for the committee to sit, and the government is interested in having it sit only for minor matters.

I do not know if the minister of revenue is aware, but we are talking about dollars leaving the country untaxed, billions of dollars leaving the country untaxed. When ordinary people are involved, there is a great rush to nab them, but when billions of dollars are involved, there is no cause for alarm.

Given the urgency of acting and as a show of good faith, will the minister of revenue, the Minister of Finance or a responsible minister in this government undertake to put a stop to these flights of capital in order to stop billions of dollars going to the United States?

Capital GainsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, I cannot understand why the hon. member would deny that the best place for these questions to be reviewed would be in a very public forum where members who are elected by Canadians

across the country have a chance to look at the law and make recommendations to the Minister of Finance.

Capital GainsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance, who, I hope, is much more familiar with this issue.

On March 16, Revenue Canada made public its advance ruling allowing rich families to move their assets to the U.S. without paying Canadian taxes. This morning, the auditor general reiterated that the government needed to act quickly to avoid losing hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes once again.

Does the minister confirm that, since the decision was announced, it has been possible to move large pools of capital out of the country every day and that this situation will prevail until the minister finally decides to act?

Capital GainsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, indeed this is not the case.

Let me repeat the tax law is very arcane and complex. It needs time to be reviewed, understood and the implications determined not only for Canadians who have $2 billion in assets but for those who may have only $2.