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House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environment.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesdays, we will now sing O Canada, which will be led by the hon. member for Cumberland-Colchester.

International Ploughing MatchStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Jordan Liberal Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the International Ploughing Match held this year in Haldimand-Norfolk brought together the best the nation can offer in the art of ploughing the land.

This year a friend of mine, Mr. Lloyd Vandusen, was the clear winner in two categories of ploughing. Lloyd won championship horse ploughman for Ontario and he scored the highest points of the match in the horse competition.

Lloyd is the best ploughman in Canada and probably the best in the world. I want to personally thank him for the leadership he has shown in creating and maintaining a high interest in the art of ploughing throughout this nation.

Congratulations Lloyd, you are truly the champion.

Canada Pension PlanStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canada pension plan is in a crisis.

CPP was originally intended to provide retirement pensions for workers and aged survivors. Disability programs were under provincial jurisdiction.

Since 1970 when the first federal disability cheque was issued, amendments have increased benefits and made it easier to qualify. Now some insurance companies tell clients to apply for CPP disability before they collect any benefits from them. And government payments are deducted before the company plan kicks in. CPP disability is subsidizing private plans and jeopardizing the pension of every working Canadian.

That is not all that is wrong. If your disability claim is turned down by CPP, just appeal it to a tribunal. In more than three-quarters of the cases the original decision is overturned.

Let us save CPP for its original purpose: providing retirement security for our senior citizens. And let us properly address the needs of the country's disabled.

Papineau FamilyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the history of my riding has been marked by the Papineau family, whose most illustrious member, Louis-Joseph Papineau, died 125 years ago this year.

This great man and patriot, who owned the Petite-Nation seigneury, occupies an important place in Quebec history, as his main vocation was to defend the rights of Quebecers. To serve this cause, he became a member of Parliament.

The town of Papineauville in my riding was named in honour of his brother Denis-Benjamin Papineau.

Henri Bourassa, Louis-Joseph Papineau's grandson and the founder of Le Devoir , was the first mayor of Papineauville, which celebrates this year its 100th anniversary.

We are proud of this rich history. The people of Petite-Nation have inherited these great figures' love for their region. Although they died many years ago, Louis-Joseph Papineau, Denis-Benjamin Papineau and Henri Bourassa are still present in the lives of the people of the Petite-Nation region.

Liberal GovernmentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, in response to the B.C. government's imaginative proposals to improve the CPP, the Liberals' only response has been to absurdly

accuse the B.C. government of playing into the hands of the right-wingers at the Fraser Institute.

The Liberals can speak with authority on the Fraser Institute. They have been singing from the Fraser Institute's hymn book ever since coming to power in 1993: deficit cutting at whatever cost to medicare, the CBC and the fabric of our communities; privatizing and deregulating transportation at whatever cost to regions like northern Manitoba; attacking inflation but tolerating depression-like unemployment. It was all there on the Fraser Institute's wish list and the Liberals have delivered.

The Liberals have not delivered on jobs, they have not delivered on child care, on the CBC, on the GST, on medicare, on drug patents, in short on anything that is important to the quality of life for hard working Canadians.

If the Liberals who still have an ounce of attachment to their old tradition of building rather than destroying institutions do not stand up to the Fraser Institute interloper who poses as the finance minister, the Liberals will erode-

Liberal GovernmentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Peterborough.

Land MinesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the ministers of defence and foreign affairs and others on Canada's leadership in the worldwide campaign to ban land mines. I hope we continue to support the efforts of the Canadian Red Cross and Mines Action Canada to develop an effective international ban.

I also urge the government and the armed forces to support de-mining around the world. We should make particular efforts to develop effective techniques and technologies to remove the millions of land mines which kill and maim people around the world every day.

Expertise on these matters is available in Canada. Land mines, like gas and biological weapons, are inhuman and unacceptable in the modern world.

FastballStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Larry McCormick Liberal Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox And Addington, ON

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for this opportunity to applaud the accomplishments of two fastball teams from my riding of Hastings-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington. This summer the Napanee Midget and Junior Express each displaced over 30 teams to win provincial elimination competitions and to earn places in the Canadian championship playoffs.

I am also very proud today to recognize coaches and all the volunteers in this organization who provided youth with the opportunity to develop skills and a winning attitude.

The Napanee Midget Express travelled to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan where they achieved silver medal standing. The Napanee Junior Express came home from their national playoffs in St. John's, Newfoundland with gold.

During the midget eliminations which were held in my riding I commented that while winning is wonderful, the real joy resides in playing the game. Well, winning is sweet too.

I believe that only once before have two of the winning Canadian championship teams come from the same town. Look what can be done when dedicated volunteers and energetic youth combine their talents. Please join me in extending well deserved congratulations.

Port Williams Elementary SchoolStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Murphy Liberal Annapolis Valley—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, Port Williams Elementary School in my riding of Annapolis Valley-Hants was recently named one of the country's five greatest schools by Today's Parent magazine.

This recognition is indeed a great accomplishment. Clearly it is proof that our public education system is a model of excellence. In communities all across this country our public schools are staffed by dedicated professionals and volunteers truly working to make a positive difference in the lives of our young people.

I would ask all members of this House to join me in congratulating Port Williams Elementary School principal Sandi Carmichael, all of her staff, the community, the volunteers and of course the students who help make this school so special. They are truly deserving of this national recognition.

New Agenda For AfricaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, the UN carried out a mid-term review of its new agenda for Africa. This five-year program is aimed at helping the 47 nations on that disaster-stricken continent, including the 35 poorest countries in the world. Canada maintained only a discreet presence at this rather important meeting to deal with the pressing poverty problem.

Eliminating world poverty is one of the priorities of Canada's foreign policy. Despite this and although Canada has always favoured international forums, the government did not see fit to

send a ministerial representative to this meeting to debate these vital issues.

It just so happens that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is in New York this week for the opening of the 51st session of the UN General Assembly. In light of the major differences between the two Canadian delegations, we question the government's real commitment to a priority it set itself. We hope this is only an honest mistake and not a decision to turn away from Africa and even from the UN.

TradeStatements By Members

September 25th, 1996 / 2:05 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Reform Vegreville, AB

Mr. Speaker, many Canadians are concerned that we are being culturally and economically Americanized. Why is this? Could it be because there are fewer obstacles to doing business with the United States than with other Canadian provinces?

This government has talked a lot about its commitment to removing internal trade barriers. That is good. However, its actions have been weak and ineffective. This government's complacency has led to recent conflicts between provinces. New Brunswick and B.C. are fighting over job poachers, Ontario and Quebec over construction jobs, and Quebec and Newfoundland over Churchill Falls.

These disputes which could have been settled with a strong agreement on internal trade are instead pitting province against province and harming national unity.

This government's ineffectiveness in removing internal trade barriers is eroding our national identity and is tearing our country apart.

1997 Francophone GamesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville—Milton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to correct a false impression that was left in the minds of Canadians as a result of an article that appeared in a national newspaper on July 23. The article implied that the government is spending more on the Francophone Games of 1997 than we spent on the Olympics in Atlanta. This is false.

In fact Sports Canada provided $615,000 to send our team to Atlanta, but it also provides $20 million annually toward the athletes' preparation programs and more than $7 million in direct assistance to our carded athletes.

Since 1992 the government has spent almost $115 million aimed at Olympic sports organizations and their athletes. That is over 40 times the amount we are spending on the Francophone Games.

The upcoming games in Madagascar are also an opportunity for our athletes to start preparing for the next Olympics. That is what happened in 1994 in Paris where Bruny Surin won the gold medal in the 100 metres and Donovan Bailey won the silver.

Official LanguagesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon the staff of Green Gables House in Prince Edward Island National Park will be presented with a certificate of merit by the Commissioner of Official Languages on behalf of the Government of Canada.

The managers of this regional office of the Department of Canadian Heritage continue to meet the objectives of the Official Languages Act by striving at all times to maintain adequate bilingual staff. This summer the two regular and 14 seasonal employees hired were all bilingual.

Congratulations to the Prince Edward Island National Park staff for the excellent service they provide to visitors and islanders alike in both official languages.

The Montreal EconomyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Liberal Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec separatists seem determined to do away with Montreal and its people, whom they hold responsible for the successive referendum reverses they have suffered.

Besides appointing the token minister responsible for Montreal and making vague commitments to work toward national reconciliation, the Parti Quebecois has not done a thing for Montreal. It is standing by as the city slowly but inexorably loses its investors, its jobs and its brains.

As if to speed up Montreal's collapse, Quebec separatists have decided to unilaterally re-open the language debate to please a handful of radical militants.

In terms of a strategy for Montreal's recovery, we have seen better, we have never seen worse. The Parti Quebecois and its separatist allies are deluding themselves and other Quebecers with this idea that Montreal has to be weakened for their plan to achieve independence to succeed.

The Member For Pierrefonds-DollardStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Daviault Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, we can understand that, in parliaments, all kinds of views are exchanged and differences in ideas might result in opposing, questionable views being expressed, which may even cause controversy. But we cannot and must not let an elected representative make remarks

aimed at unfairly and wrongfully discrediting another elected representative.

Yesterday, the hon. member for Pierrefonds-Dollard tried to link the leader of the Bloc Quebecois to Raymond Villeneuve, an extremist whose revolting remarks have been unanimously condemned.

How can any connection be made in this Parliament between the leader of the Bloc Quebecois and Mr. Villeneuve, when the hon. member for Roberval was the first political leader to dissociate himself from and condemn these remarks, saying that they did not reflect the views of any member of the sovereignist movement in Quebec.

It is inadmissible for a member of this Parliament to impute motives when they are totally contrary to the facts.

Canadian Forces Search And RescueStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Jack Frazer Reform Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the disabled vessel Alexis le Trotteur declared an emergency in 100 kilometre plus winds and two storey waves off the coast of Nova Scotia. First a Hercules and then an Aurora maritime patrol aircraft arrived but high winds and rough seas prevented rescue. Even a nearby container ship was unable to respond.

When the Canadian forces search and rescue helicopter arrived, the size of the Alexis and the rough seas forced them to abandon their usual procedure. A crewman jumped into the huge waves and swam with a lifeline to hoist four men and women, one at a time, to safety. This 40-minute dangerous rescue left the Labrador at critical fuel levels so they flew to St. Pierre and Miquelon.

This is yet another example of exemplary performance and heroism by a Canadian forces search and rescue team. Their dedicated teamwork, training and bravery made possible their success. Despite ancient and severely limited equipment, their professionalism shone through.

Canadian forces search and rescue units deserve our recognition and praise, but even more they need new tools to help them do their job.

Quebec EconomyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the list of individuals and organizations condemning the separatist threat as a major cause of Quebec's economic instability is getting longer.

Yesterday, it was the mayor of Montreal, Pierre Bourque, who raised the issue of economic uncertainty generated by the sovereignist threat. The mayor said: "It goes without saying that we need stability. We need confidence. The economy is largely based on a climate of confidence".

Montreal, which is still referred to as Quebec's economic engine, can no longer put up with the adverse socio-economic impact of the PQ and the Bloc Quebecois' separatist obsession. Montreal and the province of Quebec need political stability, but as long as the separatist threat hangs over Quebec, no socio-economic summit and no minister from Montreal will be able to put a stop to this sad decline.

Terry Fox RunStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Sharon Hayes Reform Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, on June 28, 1991 Canada mourned the loss of a courageous young man from Port Coquitlam: Terry Fox.

Although Terry's cancer prevented him from finishing his marathon of hope, the legacy of hope he left is one that is carried in the hearts of all who participated in the Terry Fox run this year in Canada and around the world. They have taken up his quest for a cure for cancer.

The spirit of Port Moody-Coquitlam was evident again last Sunday as 5,700 local residents participated in the 16th annual Terry Fox hometown run. This year over $9 million will likely be raised by an estimated 600,000 Canadians at 4,200 run sites, including 2,600 school events. Thanks to the 1,700 volunteers who were also involved.

Shortly before his death Terry said: "You don't have to do like I did-before you take the time to find out what kind of stuff you're really made of. You can start now".

In tribute to this man and the potential in every Canadian and every member of the House, I challenge us all to get involved in a fight to find a cure for cancer.

Raymond VilleneuveStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Finestone Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, the threatening comments made by convicted criminal Raymond Villeneuve particularly against the Jewish community on the eve of their holiest day, Yom Kippur, was an act of hatred and anti-Semitism that cannot be tolerated.

The Montreal police investigation is a welcome first step in this finger pointing vilification of a targeted community group. But this action is not enough.

Where is the voice of the premier of all Quebecers? Where is the voice of denunciation even if this is a marginal group?

For as history has sadly shown us, when political discourse turns to invective, tragedy follows. I believe Villeneuve should be prosecuted under Canada's anti-hate legislation.

And by pointing a finger at the cultural communities, particularly the Jewish community, this former FLQ terrorist is obviously inciting people to violence, and showing a total lack of respect toward all Quebecers.

I call on Premier Bouchard to continue to denounce extremists like Villeneuve, Bourgeault and other subversives in the separatist movement and to put an end to exclusion and hate mongering.

Presence In GalleryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Dear colleagues, I wish to draw your attention to the presence in our gallery of a parliamentary delegation from Quebec's National Assembly, headed by Speaker Jean-Pierre Charbonneau.

Presence In GalleryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

The ConstitutionOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a few months ago the federal government was backing lawyer Guy Bertrand in his bid to have the last Quebec referendum declared illegal by the courts. At the time, the federal government justified its action by saying that the government of Quebec was also taking an active interest in the Bertrand litigation.

Now we learn that the federal government is preparing to go it alone from here on and ask the Supreme Court to rule on what the government calls the legal issues surrounding Quebec's possible secession. In other words, the government is deciding to take up the crusade begun by Guy Bertrand.

Will the Prime Minister admit that, by taking the issue of Quebec's sovereignty to the Supreme court, the federal government is implicitly admitting that it has lost the political battle and is now trying to set up legal obstacles to prevent the people of Quebec from making their own decisions about their future? In a way, the government is trying to get the judges to do its work.

The ConstitutionOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has not officially taken any such decision. When we are ready, we will so inform the House.

A ruling by the Quebec Superior Court raised some very important questions to do with Canadian constitutional law as well as with international law.

Even the Leader of the Opposition said in an interview that the international law aspect should one day be clarified, and obviously one day it will be.

The ConstitutionOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government's whole approach consists in asking the judges of the Supreme Court for a ruling on a Constitution.

So how can the Prime Minister invoke a Constitution that is silent on the rules for entering and leaving confederation, a Constitution that has no political legitimacy in Quebec, because it was imposed-he should know something about that, it was his doing-it was imposed and has never been agreed to or signed by any premier, either federalist or sovereigntist?

The ConstitutionOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should know that the Canadian Constitution dates from 1867 and that it was a law of the British Parliament. So, even back then, parliamentarians were unable to vote.

It has only been since 1982 when we patriated the Constitution, so that Canadians would finally have a Canadian Constitution, that we could change Canada's Constitution to reflect the wishes of the people of Canada. I know that the members of the Bloc Quebecois would have preferred to see us remain a colony of Great Britain, legally speaking.