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House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was impaired.

Topics

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have no problem referring any motion from the House to the committees for action.

Very shortly in the House there will be an amendment to the motion, which has been agreed to by all parties, to have some action on a bill by a certain deadline.

To answer the question the best I can, it is incumbent upon all of us in the House to make sure it is a consolidated, comprehensive bill that is not watered down, and that it is brought back to the House early in the spring or later this winter.

In that way all of us can be proud of the actions we take, notwithstanding any opposition from any individuals in cabinet or any other place.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a short question for my colleague. I listened to his remarks very closely. I never want to refer to it as the justice system because it is viewed across the land as injustice, which seems to be inherent in our legal system today. He was driving at the fact that in today's judicial system there is a lack of holding people responsible and accountable for their actions.

Could he elaborate a little more on where he was going with that reference to drunk driving and to all people who commit horrendous crimes when we do not yet have a victims bill of rights in place in the country to address the victims of crimes?

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, indeed I refer to what was once a justice system as a legal industry. I believe that wholeheartedly today.

The way to hold the criminal and the legal system responsible is by implementing rights for victims. We have to stop putting the rights of criminals before the rights of victims. Once we get into that frame of mind and on that track we will be much better off as a country.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Reform

Jake Hoeppner Reform Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, it has been an interesting morning. I am also one of the hon. members on this side of the House who is supporting the motion very strongly.

It is time for an all-party decision and to get the House to agree on something. I do not think that will only enhance the bill. It will also improve the stature of the House of Commons throughout the country.

I have been involved in a number of legal cases in the last while. I have been astounded by the issues judges do not have to address or look at. If they make a mistake they cannot be held accountable. Maybe that is one of the reasons for the problems in our justice system.

We used to look at judges as being almost infallible and as making decisions that people could support. When we look at a lot of the judgments being made, we wonder whether criminals dictate or influence the courts. Do they have more rights before the courts than victims? That is what it seems to me.

Some drunk driving charges are almost unbelievable. Neighbours in my area through no fault of their own, and not due to alcohol, lost a daughter and two grandchildren in an accident about 15 years to 20 years ago. The suffering the family is going through today is unbelievable. We as a House sometimes cannot look at situations jointly or transparently to see the suffering in communities.

I will not make my speech too long today because other member want to participate. I wish the House could support the hon. member's motion so that we are addressing it from the point of view that it is affecting families.

I will be splitting my time with another member, so do not let me go beyond the 10 minutes, Mr. Speaker.

Often we look at tragedies as something that only happens to other people. In the speeches today I have heard of incidents involving families or MPs that I never imagined or had known before. They have probably affected every member of the House in some way, even if we do not know it or see it visibly. When I look back at the emotional stress caused in families that lose a mother or a father, I am hurt to think of the neighbours I deal with on a daily basis whenever I am home.

These accidents, these drunk driving incidents or episodes, could have been easily avoided. In the case I am talking about the issue was that probably the father who was impaired had some problems at home not because of drinking but because of emotions and finances he could not handle.

Often we are not aware that families or certain people suffer before they turn to the bottle, as we say. When that happens they become disillusioned and try more or less to drown their problems by taking off in a vehicle to go to see somebody or to go to the next bar. That has bad effects.

It is very sad we only realize the hurt of the tragedy after the fact. We should somehow measure the incidents or the beneficial effect prevention would have on the emotional strains faced by families and on the financial side at times. Often when the drinking problem becomes prevalent in a home mismanagement occurs. Usually it culminates in some kind of an accident, whether it is drunk driving or something else.

It has been a privilege to say a few words on the issue before the House. As I have done before, I urge the House to be non-partisan, to look at the motion and support it, and to make the country a better place to live.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

It being 2 o'clock, we shall now proceed to statements by members. The hon. member for Mississauga South.

Emergency PersonnelStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week the International Association of Firefighters convened its sixth annual conference in Ottawa. As in the past a vital part of its visit was to meet with parliamentarians to discuss issues of mutual interest.

Of particular note was a request that consideration be given to establishing a registered charitable trust fund for the benefit of families of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.

Canadians are well aware of the risk public safety officers face on a daily basis as they serve our emergency needs. When one of them loses their life in the line of duty, we all mourn that loss.

The establishment of a registered charitable trust fund could provide a tangible opportunity for all Canadians to honour courageous service and to assist their loved ones in their time of need.

I therefore encourage all hon. members to give due consideration to such an initiative in support of Canada's police officers and firefighters, our everyday heroes on the front lines from sea to sea to sea.

FirearmsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Jim Pankiw Reform Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, this Liberal government has decided to take yet another pot-shot at law-abiding gun owners in Canada.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs has publicly stated his desire for an international treaty to register, control and restrict the use of small arms.

Once again the Liberal government is way off target. Rather than cracking down on the use of firearms to commit crimes, and rather than strengthening enforcement measures along our borders to stop the illegal flow of handguns, the minister would prefer to continue to harass ordinary law-abiding Canadians, even going so far as to deny them use of their own private property.

The word is that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is upset because he did not win the Nobel Prize for the landmine treaty. He should not worry because he is a shoo-in for the booby prize for trampling on the rights of law-abiding Canadians. It is a disgrace.

Child LabourStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week in Oslo at the International Organization of Labour Conference, Canada joins with 39 countries, children's right activists, labour representatives and leaders of multilateral agencies who have come together to draft an agenda for action on what steps the international community can take to protect children world-wide from harmful and exploitive forms of child labour.

Canada's goals are clear. We are committed to full respect for children's rights, improving children's health through clean water and sound nutrition, improving the quality of, and access to, basic education, especially for young girls. And we are committed to providing protection for children against abuse, exploitation and violence.

Our CIDA funding approach to child labour targets preventive measures by focusing on schooling, child care and strengthening the role of women in society.

Second Anniversary Of Quebec ReferendumStatements By Members

October 30th, 1997 / 2 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, two years ago today a referendum on sovereignty was held in Quebec. An unprecedented 93% of Quebeckers voted in the referendum without any incident being reported. Quebec serves as an example of democracy to the whole world.

While it was almost a tie between the yes and the no sides, we in Quebec have respected the will of the 50.6% of our fellow citizens who chose to give the Canadian federal system one last chance.

Canada's response to this final request for change from the people of Quebec was Plan B, threats and blackmail, and the ludicrous and meaningless recognition of Quebec's unique character in the Calgary declaration.

After such a display of cynicism and contempt, rest assured that next time will be the right time. Quebeckers will get their own country and they will do so democratically, peacefully and with respect for the various components of Quebec society.

Population And DevelopmentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is an important day in our parliamentary history. The Canadian Association for Parliamentarians on Population and Development is launched on this day.

This association will give parliamentarians in Canada the unique opportunity to raise the national awareness of population and development issues and to influence and shape policy decisions consistent with commitments made at international conferences and in Canadian foreign policy.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank you, officials and parliamentarians from the U.K., Bolivia, Asia, and all the NGOs who have participated and assisted to make this effort come alive.

Tamara OkeynanStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Dale Johnston Reform Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, today in my constituency of Wetaskiwin baby Tamara Okeynan will be laid to rest in the ancestral burial grounds of the Hobbema Indian Reserve.

With Tamara's birth imminent, her parents who do not own a car or a telephone, attempted to walk the five kilometres to get a ride to the hospital. There would be no hospital delivery for baby Tamara. Time ran out for mother and daughter and the baby was delivered not in sterile surroundings but on the shoulder of the gravel road. Throughout the two-hour ordeal the plight of Tamara's mom and dad were ignored by passing motorists.

We pride ourselves on being a caring nation, on the cutting edge of technology. Yet despite her parent's valiant efforts a young life slipped away before she had a chance to experience the things we all take for granted.

I would like to offer my sympathy and that of all members of this House to Tamara's parents, Paul and Lorna, and their families who have been denied an opportunity to know this infant.

Brockville Rowing ClubStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Jordan Liberal Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past summer five young women from the Brockville Rowing Club took on the world and won at the prestigious women's Henly Regatta in England. In the gallery today is the junior women's coxed four crew of Jocelyn Swift, Caroline Vavro, Danielle Ker, Tami McBratney the coxswain Crystal Bois D'Enghien, along with their coach Mr. Chris Marshall.

This championship crew not only carried on the proud and successful tradition of the Brockville Rowing Club, but also brought honour to the city of Brockville, the riding of Leeds-Grenville and to the sport of rowing in Canada.

These young women can serve as an excellent example of team work to all youth. It is an honour to congratulate these fine young athletes and wish them well in future competitions, as well as any other challenges they choose to take on.

René LévesqueStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, on November 1, 1987, René Lévesque passed away, leaving behind not only the love of an entire people but also a great void.

With his plan for government takeover of the hydro sector, he gave French Canadians, who had little hope for a future, reason to hold their heads up high. “We can do it”, he said repeatedly as a Liberal and federalist minister at the time.

He turned the independence movement into a popular political party, the Parti Quebecois, which he lead to victory in 1976 and, while in office, gave Quebec some of its most forceful legislation, including legislation on public financing of political parties and on agricultural zoning, Bill 101 and legislation on occupational health and safety.

He suffered the pain of losing the referendum in 1980, but had the nobility of soul to respect the democratic choice made by Quebeckers, convinced that they would eventually get their own country.

To paraphrase Félix Leclerc, he will be, for us and forever, on the short list of liberators of people.

Bloc QuebecoisStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, there were questions this week by the Bloc that I find rather disturbing.

I am referring of course to the questions concerning Mr. Deslauriers and the unfounded allegations of his relations with a biker gang.

I congratulate the solicitor general for the integrity, the wisdom and the caution he showed in answering the questions. Canadians are in good hands with him.

I also congratulate the Bloc member for Chambly, who has shown that he has deep convictions and that he is a man of principle. He did not get caught up in the unfortunate tactics of his leader, who tried once again to do anything he could to get noticed. I agree with the member for Chambly who said, and I quote “I am saddened that at times reputations are destroyed by questions we need not ask and by doubts we need not have”.

I congratulate him for his courage. He saves the face of his party today and I invite the leader of the Bloc to consult the hon. member for Chambly more often.

Reform Party Of CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, ten years ago a small group of Canadians concerned for the future of their country assembled, debated, voted and formed a new political party, the Reform Party of Canada. Less than a year later it gained 275,000 votes and went on to great success the following year with the election of its first MP from Beaver River and Stan Waters, Canada's first elected senator.

Like a prairie grass fire, the Reform message spread as Canadians sought better government. Leading the fight for government to live within its means, for a plan to unify the country, for a strong justice system, for more accountable politicians, the party gained over 2.5 million votes and 52 seats in the 1993 election. Now serving as Her Majesty's loyal opposition, dedicated to building a new and better Canada, Reformers look to the future with pride, confidence and determination. Today we salute the hard work and commitment of hundreds of thousands of—

FonorolaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, Fonorola from Montreal invested $100 million in optical fibre equipment to proceed with its 12,000 kilometre telecommunications network project.

With this investment, 150 new jobs will be created at Fonorola in Montreal. This type of investment is the result of the confidence shown by our industries in Canadian society. I hope that this has a snowball effect and convinces other companies to take an active part in the economic recovery.

I am pleased to acknowledge the important contribution by the chairman of Fonorola, Jan Peeters, who lives in Bolton-Est in my beautiful riding of Brome—Missisquoi. I would like to congratulate him for his dynamism and for his great efforts to implement by 1998 a system that will link the whole of Canada from sea to sea.

He is a fine example of the people we have in Brome—Missisquoi.

Pay EquityStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Gordon Earle NDP Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, equal pay for equal work sounds obvious. It is not, at least not to this government, which continues to deny and defy its own law.

Today in Halifax women from my riding have joined women from across the country to insist that government put its words about equality into action. Women in the public service have long been due under human rights and pay equity legislation back pay to ensure that the work they have done when of equal value to work done by men is of equal pay. The government should have done this before deciding to dole out $12.1 million in bonuses to senior civil servants.

Rosemary Brown wrote in 1973: “Until all of us have made it, none of us have made it”.

Until the government settles this debt, it continues to deny equality to all Canadian women. Now is the time, today, maintenant, aujourd'hui. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Senator Jean-Robert GauthierStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, today marks 25th years of life in Parliament for the Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier.

Elected to Parliament for the first time on October 30, 1972 as the member for Ottawa—Vanier, Jean-Robert Gauthier was re-elected six consecutive times, before being appointed to the Upper House in 1994.

A champion of Franco-Ontarians and of the French language, Mr. Gauthier has left his mark on a community which has nothing but respect for him.

It is to mark his contribution that, yesterday, the Fondation franco-ontarienne created the Fonds Jean-Robert Gauthier, which will award scholarships to Franco-Ontarian students who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in French.

I take this opportunity to congratulate a man for whom I have a great deal of admiration, the Hon. Jean-Robert Gauthier, Senator.

SeniorsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise Progressive Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, this Liberal government has stripped our seniors of their dignity. This Liberal government thinks it is okay to decrease benefits for OAS, GIS and CPP. This Liberal government, cheered on by their pals in the Reform Party, thinks it is okay to cut transfer payments to the provinces that result in hospital closures and downsizing.

Over the past four years seniors have witnessed unprecedented funding cuts while the cost of living continues to rise. In addition to this, seniors in Nova Scotia are now faced with the blended sales tax, which significantly increases the cost of every day necessities such as home heating fuel, electricity, phone service and gas.

On June 2, Nova Scotians told the Liberal government that it was not okay to treat our seniors with such contempt. It is time for the Liberals to stop their cutback contest with the Reform Party and start recognizing the plight of a rapidly growing group of Canadian society.

On behalf of the seniors of West Nova, please stop the cuts.

MiramichiStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Hubbard Liberal Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, the 1994 budget announced that base Chatham was to be closed. This was a loss to the Miramichi community of 1,000 jobs, and more than $50 million in annual government spending. It came at a time when the Miramichi was facing an unemployment rate of 25% and the community was seriously affected by other federal cutbacks.

I am glad to report today that the Miramichi has refused to bow down to this loss. Community leaders, the province of New Brunswick and our former premier, Frank McKenna, have worked hard to overcome the difficulties that have besieged us.

Today, Skypark Miramichi, the former base Chatham, is the home of more than a dozen struggling new industries. This past summer, the married quarters have been converted into a retirement living complex. People are coming from all across Canada to enjoy the recreational aspects of the Miramichi and the many amenities that our community has to offer.

The people of Miramichi will strive to over the misfortunes of the past few years and will press on to achieve an even greater economy for our area.

Drunk DriversStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, each day in Canada tragedies are caused by drunk drivers. According to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving more than four Canadians per day are being killed by alcohol-related crashes.

While an individual's decision to consume alcohol is a private matter, driving after taking alcohol or other drugs is a public matter. Nobody is safe from the harm drunk drivers can cause families and friends. We saw that last August when the world witnessed the tragic results of a car crash in Paris that claimed the life of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Finally, I would like to ask my fellow parliamentarians to make this issue an immediate priority.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week the Liberals said that their greenhouse gas emission plan would “incur costs”. In today's Globe and Mail government officials say that those costs could in fact eat up any budget surplus that there may be.

How is the prime minister going to pay for Kyoto, raise taxes or raid the surplus?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have a position that keeps in mind every element of the proposition. There is no way that we will have a policy that does not deal with the problem of the environment which is threatening the world.

Every country has been invited to make a contribution and Canada believes that it has to make a contribution, and we will do it in a responsible way. I am sure that Canada can grow and at the same time protect the environment.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the prime minister says we need to make a contribution, and we do. However, the countdown to Kyoto is on. There are only 32 days before the conference starts and Canada is the only country in the G-7 that has not released a position yet. Maybe the reasons the Liberals will not make the plan public is that then we will find out exactly how much Kyoto will cost.

I ask the prime minister again will the jump at the pump be 10 cents, 20 cents or 30 cents a litre?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the researchers of the member for Edmonton North are very well known to be very incompetent. I want to say again that it is typical of the Reform Party that it just wants to dress up a straw man to shoot at, or perhaps a straw woman, who knows?

We are saying that we will be responsible because we have to make our contribution to the protection of the world environment and at the same time make sure that Canada will grow, as Canada has grown since the Liberals came to power.