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House of Commons Hansard #61 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was english.

Topics

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Terrebonne, QC

Mr. Speaker, no, I will not talk to him about his frogs.

He gave an eloquent reading of several quotations from Lise Bissonnette. I would like him to comment on the one I am about to read. It goes back to May 28, 1995 and is entitled "A First". In the middle of the page, we find the heading: "The Bloc finally finds the path of the Canadian Francophonie". It was fine to quote from Lise Bissonnette and Le Devoir a while ago, and this is the same Lise Bissonnette and the same Le Devoir . Does anyone have a problem with that? Thank you very much.

"On the other hand, the Bloc has even outdone the federalist parties on this project". She is referring to the Bloc's position at the time on francophones outside Quebec. "The Quebec Liberal Party never had anything approaching a policy on francophones in Canada. And there is nothing to suggest that it ever will. As for the federal Liberal government, it was contributing large, but ever-diminishing, amounts of money to support official languages programs. The last budget continued the cuts introduced by the former Conservative government, and the Prime Minister has just turned down flat a recommendation by the official languages commissioner to raise the status of bilingualism and francophones by assigning responsibility for them to a new organization reporting to the Privy Council. The Prime Minister turned the whole matter over to the minister, Michel Dupuy, who was reduced to admitting that he had no policy on francophones outside Quebec".

So, here is my question for the member for Ottawa-Vanier, who is working very hard to come up with money to challenge Quebec's democratic laws. What does he think of the cuts and of this article by Lise Bissonnette?

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, all I can say is that the article or the editorial from which my colleague has quoted was written and published before the one I quoted. We would perhaps have to conclude that Ms. Bissonnette's thinking evolved.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, before I begin, I would like, first of all, to thank the hon. member for Ottawa-Vanier for the excellent speech he gave in this House a few minutes ago. I also thank the members of the Bloc for also recognizing how excellent it was.

I would like to ask the member if he remembers, as I do, back to what the Bloc members used to say some time ago, before they became holier than the holy. But it was not so long ago, and I do not know if the member for Ottawa-Vanier remembers, as I do, that a certain parliamentarian, from a party I shall not name, said about francophones outside Quebec: "Our message to francophones outside Quebec is clear: let us make our decision and mind your own business".

I wonder if the member for Ottawa-Vanier remembers these words. I wonder if he also remembers that a separatist member, who shall remain unnamed, apparently told francophones outside Quebec that they had engaged in a form of prostitution by accepting grants from the federal government. On that occasion, the MP, whom I shall not name, had said that francophones outside Quebec had been bought.

I wonder if the member for Ottawa-Vanier would agree with me that these insulting remarks represent the true feelings of the Bloc Quebecois toward francophones outside Quebec, as opposed to what we have just heard today.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, I may disappoint my hon. colleague and surprise my friends from the Bloc Quebecois. You know, in the heat of the moment, we sometimes say things we later regret having said. Who knows if I did not say things today that will be thrown back in my face next month or the month after that.

If we go over everything I said since coming to this House, which is not that long ago, we shall notice that I have done my best to make a positive contribution, trying, successfully I hope, to avoid personal attacks. I may have ventured a comment here and there, like the one I made about Hull, which was meant as a joke.

Without repeating what my hon. colleague from Glengarry-Prescott-Russell said-and I am convinced what he claims to have heard was indeed said-I wish we could debate this issue with more rigour, raise the tone of the debate so to speak. I am directing my remarks to our colleagues from the Bloc Quebecois too. Instead of attacking one another, stirring up bad feelings, I would rather we proudly identify ourselves as Canadians. I am not ashamed to say that I am raising funds to protect people, because we are still-

Mr. Speaker, since I am running out of time, I will complete my remarks on this matter at a later time.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

To be fair, I will not recognize any new speaker, as we are merely minutes away from members' statements.

The hon. member for Rosemont, for a brief comment.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Tremblay Bloc Rosemont, QC

Allow me, Mr. Speaker, I want to come back to what I would call the parable of the frogs as told by our friend and colleague, the hon. member for Ottawa-Vanier, who is so proud of the fact that one frog managed to survive. But he forgot to tell us about the one that died. When we look at the situation in Canada, we notice that a growing number of francophones are no longer speaking French. That is the fact they are trying to hide.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

That is right. Showing the same contempt as Suzanne did.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Tremblay Bloc Rosemont, QC

The government whip ought to behave decently.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

He has just shown the same contempt. You are all the same. Shame on you.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, as it is now 2 p.m., we will proceed to Statements by Members.

Agnes BorosStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Georgette Sheridan Liberal Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour the volunteer efforts of Agnes Boros.

Agnes spent six weeks in Panama City with CESO, an agency supported by CIDA, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs and by hundreds of Canadian corporations and individuals.

Agnes had the task of reviewing the expansion plans of an outdated, overcrowded cancer treatment centre.

Her efforts brought about real change. After discovering that the only expansion site was the antiquated laundry facility of an adjacent hospital, Agnes worked out a compromise that will allow both hospitals to share a new laundry. Agnes also provided a detailed cost estimate that facilitated agreement from various authorities for a construction plan. She developed the concept plans for both the bone marrow and intensive care units.

Like other CESO volunteers, Agnes has professional skills and experience that she willingly shares with needy businesses and

organizations in developing nations, emerging market economies and Canadian aboriginal communities. Well done, Agnes.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Terrebonne, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the past, we have sometimes wondered about the judgment shown by some public officials responsible for issuing visitor's visas for Canada. This time, it seems someone really outdid himself.

On Tuesday, June 11, in Le Journal de Montréal , Franco Nuovo told the following story in an article simply entitled ``Rosa'': Three sisters from Ecuador, all wives, mothers and workers in their country, were denied visitor's visas for Canada. Why did these women want to come to Canada for a short stay? Was it a for a good reason or a trivial one?

These women wished to come to Canada because their mother, a Canadian citizen who had been living here for eight years and who was suffering from lung cancer, had reached the terminal phase of her illness. Rosa Saraguro died on May 30, without her three daughters from Ecuador at her side, because some public officials did not deign to use common sense and to show some compassion. This is awful.

Talwinder Singh ParmarStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Reform Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, while members of this House often rise to salute ceremonies taking place in their constituencies, I am using this opportunity to condemn one that is taking place in my riding this weekend.

The Surrey-Delta Sikh Temple will be honouring the late Talwinder Singh Parmar, the founder of the Babbar Khalsa, and the suspected mastermind behind the 1985 bombing of Air-India, which killed 329 people.

In response to this ceremony, the RCMP issued the following statement:

Mr. Parmar's recognition as a hero, despite what investigations have confirmed and what the RCMP believe insofar as Parmar's objectives being furthered by acts of violence and terrorism is-not only disturbing, but totally unacceptable and intolerable.

I add my voice to those of the RCMP and the families of the victims of the Air-India bombing in condemning this ceremony. Perhaps now is the time for an official inquiry so that all Canadians can see just what type of a hero Talwinder Singh Parmar really was.

Freshwater InstituteStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the fate of the Winnipeg's Freshwater Institute and the environmental lakes area hangs in the balance. Manitobans, northwest Ontarians and the international scientific community are waiting to see if the Liberal government is so lacking in vision that it will actually follow through with its plan to destroy one of the jewels of Canadian science and environmental research.

The world renowned institute first established the environmental hazards of phosphates and detergents and its experimental lake program was a key player in research on acid rain.

Honoured by the international scientific community for these accomplishments, scientists at the institute are now being trashed by their own government. They are facing unbelievable cuts of 70 per cent of their budget, cuts so deep that they will effectively kill the institute. The rumoured promise of a small reduction in the cuts would do little to save the integrity of the work done there.

The NDP calls on the government to back away from this self-inflicted wound to the Canadian environment, Canadian science and Canada's international reputation and save the Freshwater Institute.

Sir Wilfrid LaurierStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, the election campaign is well under way. Wilfrid Laurier is just days away from an election which he will win on June 23, 1896.

At the time, the problems were somewhat similar to those of today. Laurier was an staunch Liberal protector of the rights of the provinces, lambasting the centralizing policies of Sir John A. MacDonald, who had a tendency to view provincial governments as subordinate institutions.

Wilfrid Laurier favoured an optimistic and positive approach. While in the opposition the previous year, he had said, in Morrisburg, Ontario: "If it were in my power, I would try the sunny way".

It is in this spirit of openness that I join the hon. member for Québec-Est and all my friends in this House to say, like Wilfrid Laurier did: "Let us try the sunny way".

Dragon Boat FestivalStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Anna Terrana Liberal Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, next Saturday in my riding of Vancouver East the world championship dragon boat festival will start. For eight days dragons, boats, lions, dances, multicultural food, arts and crafts from around the world and competitions will bring to life the Plaza of Nations and the Concord Pacific Place.

Although dragon boat races have taken place for eight years, this is the first time the world championship will be held outside of Asia, "building bridges of understanding" not only for various people, but for the whole world.

[Translation]

This colourful and exciting festival will make Vancouver, a place where the mountains and the waters meet to create one of the world's most beautiful cities, an even livelier place. Local and international teams will take part in the festival. The whole world will represented.

I would like to congratulate all participants and organizers of this massive event and in particular, Jon Markoulis, the chairman of the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society.

Ten years after Expo '86, Vancouver invites the world once again to celebrate the "world".

HungaryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Tom Wappel Liberal Scarborough West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the year 1996 marks the 1,100th anniversary of Hungary, the homeland of my parents and ancestors.

It was in 896 AD that Arpad, the leader of the most powerful tribe of Magyars, then living on the western steppes of Ukraine, was invited by the Carolingian emperor Arnulf to cross the Carpathian mountains to help the emperor subjugate the Moravian empire.

This federation of 10 tribes, or hordes, was known to its neighbours as the On-Ogur, meaning 10 arrows, from the Slavic pronunciation of which the name Hungary is derived.

Over the course of its 1,100-year-old history, the Magyar nation has sent its sons and daughters throughout the world, including our great country.

I am proud of my ancestry and of my country of birth, Canada. Let us hope that 971 years from now, our descendants will be celebrating the 1,100 anniversary of Canada and that when they do, the 2,071-year-old Magyar nation will be there to congratulate us.

HungaryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Magyar kac magyrok?

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

June 13th, 1996 / 2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week a coalition of national and local environmental groups issued its report card on Liberal performance in the area of the environment.

The Sierra Club of Canada blames the government in particular for having flouted one of the few explicit red book promises, to reduce greenhouse effect emissions by 20 per cent by the year 2005. This crucial Liberal commitment will not be fulfilled, quite simply because the government has been unable to achieve a consensus among the provinces.

Finally, this government has reduced the Department of the Environment "to a significantly weaker position and has shown a more hostile position to environmental decision-making than any other government in the 25 year history of the department-The Chrétien government's record on the environment is significantly worse than the Mulroney government record".

What more is there to add to such a damning conclusion?

Sports FisheryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan Reform North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, despite valiant attempts by the minister of fisheries to dissuade sports fishermen from visiting the west coast, I want fishermen from around the world to know that the regular sports fishery on the east side of Vancouver Island and adjacent inlets continues.

The minister has created a public relations nightmare of confusion and delay in announcing chinook catch and release programs specific to the west side of Vancouver Island. This forced the good municipality of Campbell River and local businesses to institute a $32,000 emergency advertising campaign to minimize the minister's damage to this season.

Two things are true. Campbell River and area's multimillion dollar sports fishery is open for business and the minister sat on his hands for months, rather than make a decision. Then he made a confusing announcement.

When is the rear admiral going to start leading from the front instead of the rear?

March Against PovertyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, 1996 is the International Year for the Eradication of

Poverty. I rise today in honour of thousands of Canadians currently taking part in the Women's March against Poverty.

Women represent 52 per cent of the population, yet many of them and their children continue to live below the poverty line.

The march underlines the fact that women can only achieve equality in society where the rights of the neediest members of our communities are taken into consideration.

This march is about the kind of society we need to build for our families and our communities.

Fetal Alcohol SyndromeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, fetal alcohol syndrome, or FAS, is a medical diagnosis that refers to disabilities in children caused by the use of alcohol during pregnancy.

Characteristically, a FAS child experiences growth retardation, neurological abnormalities, behavioural dysfunction, learning disabilities, facial and brain malformations to name a few.

Medical research has shown that even social drinking on special occasions can cause birth defects affecting the growth and proper formation of an unborn child's body and brain. Health experts agree that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and alcohol can damage the fetus throughout the pregnancy, not just in the first trimester.

In terms of numbers, 5 per cent of birth defects are caused by alcohol and it costs taxpayers $2.7 billion each year in special health care and social programs needed by FAS children.

FAS is a 100 per cent preventable tragedy and I therefore urge Health Canada to warn expectant mothers of the dangers of consuming alcohol during pregnancy.

Quebec PremierStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, it has not been easy trying to keep up with Lucien Bouchard's political meanderings over the last few months.

After personally asking for a meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada to discuss questions of importance to Quebec, Lucien Bouchard cancels in an unprecedented huff, even threatening to call an early election.

A few weeks later, he says that the reasons he gave for cancelling the meeting were not really important, and turns around and asks for another meeting. Following that meeting, he says he is satisfied with the discussions, but less than a week later, he again lapses into a pique and trots out the usual themes of humiliation and centralization.

The separatist leader should, from time to time, review what he has said the day before, and save all of us the trouble of trying to figure out where he is headed next.

Child LabourStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a recent study released by the UN on social issues, we learned that no fewer than 73 million children are used as cheap labour. Ranging in age from 10 to 14, these children represent 13 per cent of the young people in the age grouping studied. They are exploited in agriculture, domestic services, the carpet and textile industry, and, shamefully, in the sex trade.

On June 11 in Geneva, labour ministers from 173 countries met to look at ways of eliminating child labour, especially forced labour, slavery, exposure to toxic products and child prostitution.

The government must play a leadership role in this issue and must adopt strict measures to keep goods produced by child labour out of Canada. Canada has a duty to demonstrate clearly the regard in which human rights are held by the people of Canada and of Quebec.

FisheriesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Reform Comox—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday I attended Federal Court in Vancouver to hear the case regarding the native only fishery in the Alberni Canal in my riding of Comox-Alberni.

The plaintiffs sought an injunction to stop the fishery and challenged the fishery minister's authority to grant an opening to one sector of society based solely on race. Rarely has a Federal Court judge been so critical of a minister of the crown.

The judge charged that this was a very serious issue and the courts were dealing with only half the information and half the evidence, and he blamed the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. He said DFO had been negotiating secret deals that had impacts far beyond those which involved the two parties before him in court.

When will this government, and particularly this minister, realize that all Canadians, regardless of race or background, deserve equal treatment and that all Canadians must be treated equally before and under the law?