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House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

National FamilyStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, this week is national family week. The October issue of Reader's Digest said it received an enormous response to a July article and that the vast majority of letter writers agreed wholeheartedly that it was unfair for the government to tax a single income family more than a double income family making the same amount.

Some families with one parent at home pay thousands of dollars more each year than their double income counterparts. Sheila Donovan from New Brunswick commented that staying home to raise children is a real job: “Not only are we not valued by society but our government does not value us either”. Rhonda Pomeroy of Carrot River, Saskatchewan wrote: “I find it appalling that families who have a full time parent at home are at a disadvantage compared to homes where both parents work”.

Strong families are the fundamental building block of Canadian society. We need policies that support parents as they raise their children not which put them at a disadvantage. Canadian families are not asking for special treatment. They are just asking for equal treatment.

DenturistsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House and all Canadians that October is national denturist awareness month. Denturists received legal recognition as a profession in Canada in 1961. Since that time Canadians of all ages have benefited from improved quality of life and health care that denturists provide.

The Denturists Association of Canada seeks to promote nationwide standards and common legislative treatment in all provinces. As part of denturist awareness month denturists are seeking to encourage and facilitate the standardization of education among their colleagues and to make the public more aware of their commitment to providing the best services available to Canadians in need of oral health care.

For our part the federal government continues to co-operate with the provinces and territories, as well as non-government organizations, to ensure that the health care needs of Canadians, including oral health care needs, are addressed in a cost effective but efficient fashion.

Foundation For InnovationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the February 1997 budget, there has been talk of the Foundation for Innovation and its magnificent $800 million budget.

Yet we do not know when the Foundation will be truly operational, nor what it has planned for the world of research. According to the information we have available, the funds will be used solely for infrastructure expenditures.

Universities and hospitals are already having to cope with budget cuts, imposed by the cuts in transfer payments in particular. The Minister of Industry must realize that they will have difficulty finding partners who could make contributions equal to 50 percent or 60 percent of the funding from the foundation.

I am therefore inviting the minister to sit down with the Government of Quebec to find the best way to get the most out of these funds while respecting the respective governmental jurisdictions.

Fire PreventionStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Liberal Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I remind all hon. members that October 5 to 11 is fire prevention week. This special week reminds us all of the dangers of fire and promotes messages of safety and prevention.

As the Minister of Labour stated at the official launch last Friday, we should never take for granted that we and our families will not be affected by fire. People need to know how to respond in an emergency. That involves education, planning and practice. Every family should have a smoke detector, a home fire escape plan, conduct fire drills and learn to react quickly and decisively. It could make the difference between life and death.

I thank all firefighters in Lambton—Kent—Middlesex and across Canada and recognize the vital service they provide in our communities.

Communities In BloomStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Jordan Liberal Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend Merrickville, a community in my riding, was a participant in the Communities in Bloom national finals. I had the honour of attending the third annual competition in St. John's, Newfoundland.

This competition was created to honour Canada's most beautiful municipalities in their efforts toward community and environmental improvement. Participating municipalities were judged on the quality of their green spaces, the diversity and originality of their landscaping, general tidiness, environmental awareness, heritage conservation as well as the level of community involvement.

There was representation from all the provinces and territories. All were winners as they experienced people, plants and pride growing together.

I congratulate Mr. Raymond Carriere and the Communities in Bloom organizers, the judges, participants as well as the sponsors on the tremendous success of this program and I encourage all municipalities to get involved in projects that improve quality of life through participation and help build a sense of community.

Small BusinessStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Rahim Jaffer Reform Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, as this House is aware, October 19 to 25 is small business week. I take this opportunity to make a tribute to the businesses that enrich the constituency of Edmonton—Strathcona.

There is a merchant in my constituency who trades in rare artefacts from around the world. He came to me frustrated because despite his constant and meticulous attempts to obey thousands of rules governing trade, he was still in violation of customs laws. As a consequence, his merchandise was held in a sterile city warehouse while his business suffered.

I am also familiar with a small, family owned restaurant whose owners find themselves unable to hire the staff they need because payroll taxes are too high.

In the spirit of the upcoming small business week, I urge this government to pursue policies that would lower taxes and deregulate the economy. Let us eliminate this monkey business and give Canadian small businesses the fighting chance they deserve.

Apec '97Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Liberal Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to bring to the attention of my colleagues that our prime minister visited Vancouver last week to launch Canada's hosting of the Asia-Pacific economic co-operation forum, also known as APEC '97. As a B.C. member of Parliament, I was honoured to join him at various functions.

British Columbia will host APEC meetings for 18 world leaders and their ministers in beautiful Vancouver. To use the prime minister's own words, Vancouver is Canada's gateway to Asia-Pacific. It is also my home town and I can assure this House that the people of Vancouver are honoured to be hosting this important event on November 24 and 25.

As chair of the APEC '97—

Apec '97Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Champlain.

Parish Of Saint-Rémi De Lac-Aux-SablesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Réjean Lefebvre Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to express my warm congratulations to the people of the parish of Saint-Rémi de Lac-aux-Sables, in the riding of Champlain. They are celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding this year.

When the parish began in 1897, Saint-Rémi had 59 families. It now has 1,512 residents. Saint-Rémi de Lac-aux-Sables is an outdoor tourism centre of great attraction to boaters and sport fishers.

I wish to pay tribute to the founders of Saint-Rémi de Lac-aux-Sables and to all those contributing to the success of the festivities surrounding this 100th anniversary.

Land MinesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, Robert Kennedy once said each time a person stands up for an ideal, strikes out against injustice, they send forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of resistance.

Last year those ripples gathered enormous speed when our Minister of Foreign Affairs issued a challenge to governments around the world to sign, this December in Ottawa, a treaty that unambiguously bans land mines.

Land mines are indiscriminate killers that too often, long past the end of the intrastate conflicts, kill or maim children playing or men and women trying to grow food and gather firewood.

Non-governmental organizations, soldiers, survivors and witnesses have been pushing for years to ban land mines. In December 1997 we will ride that current together. Much work will stand before us to implement the treaty, but December 1997 will be a time of celebration, a time of hope.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, one of my constituents, Brenda MacDonald, points out the absurd application of section 232 of the Criminal Code, the defence of provocation.

Brenda's sister, Susan Klassen of Whitehorse, was strangled to death by her estranged husband Ralph Klassen. In January 1997 he was given a five year reduced manslaughter sentence by successfully arguing the defence of provocation, that Susan had provoked him such that he could not contemplate the consequences of his own violent actions.

This defence of provocation blames Susan for her own death. It legitimizes violent spouses' attempts to control and dominate. Manslaughter is death resulting from accident. Susan's death was no accident.

Experts say this defence should be abolished.

Susan Klassen may be just a name to us, but she was Brenda's sister, a friend, an aunt. How many more spouses need to die before action is finally taken by this government? Abolish the defence of provocation.

Acadian ArtistsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Liberal Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, them Acadian artists had to go to Montreal to find work. It's kind of like them poor sovereignists what went to Ottawa because there weren't no jobs in Quebec City.

TradeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, 10 years ago the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement was concluded. The passage of time has taught us a few things. First, hundreds of thousands of jobs did disappear and many such jobs disappeared from the ranks of the large corporations that said in 1987 that free trade meant more jobs.

Second, there is no question that the FTA and subsequently NAFTA and the WTO have all contributed to downward pressure on wages and the standard of living of ordinary Canadians, not just in terms of wages but also in terms of deteriorating social programs and social harmony. Although I am sure there are Canadian exporters who have done very well, it is also true that we do not know to what extent the low value of the Canadian dollar is really the key determinant in much of this success.

Furthermore we continue not to have free trade with the U.S. On softwood lumber, on durum wheat, on sugar, and in a variety of other ways the U.S. appears to have it both ways.

Now we have the MAI, with still more protection for investors than that provided by current free trade agreements. When will we get agreements to protect workers, the environment and the public interest? When we get an NDP government.

Quebec By-ElectionsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government of Lucien Bouchard, our designated premier, took quite a beating last night. The Liberal Party of Quebec won three out of four by-elections in the province.

First of all, I would like to congratulate the winners: Michelle Lamquim-Éthier, MNA for Bourassa; Denis Chalifoux, MNA for Bertrand; Claude Béchard, MNA for Kamouraska—Témiscouata; and I have to hand it to the Liberal candidate in the riding of Duplessis, Daniel Montambault, who turned in a wonderful performance and almost carried the day.

The message Quebeckers were sending to Lucien Bouchard and his followers was loud and clear: “Enough about your special interests. Enough of your colonialist junkets on the backs of taxpayers to promote the partition of Canada. Enough of worrying Quebec's business community with talk of partition”. It is time you took care of real problems and—

Quebec By-ElectionsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Chicoutimi.

Free Trade AgreementStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Harvey Progressive Conservative Chicoutimi, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week marks the 10th anniversary of the signing of the free trade agreement.

What did the Liberals say back then in order to win the election? They said, “The Americans are going to take our water”, “seniors are going to lose their pensions”, “we are going to lose control over gas, oil and electricity”.

What do we have to show for the free trade agreement ten years later? We have a 140 percent increase in our exports to American markets. But economist Alain Dubuc said it best in one of his editorials, which is worth a second read: “When the Chrétien government boasts about economic results that are beginning to look up, it does so as a government that owes much to the Conservatives, as a government that is acting on strategic decisions taken by its—

Free Trade AgreementStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member. The hon. member for Davenport now has the floor.

Candu MoxStatements By Members

October 7th, 1997 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian nuclear industry's CANDU MOX proposal would involve the importation of up to 150 tonnes of weapons grade plutonium from Russia and the U.S.

Canada would mix the plutonium with uranium oxide for use as nuclear reactor fuel. Canada would then be responsible for the “disposition” of the spent fuel. Since plutonium with its immense radioactive longevity and carcinogenic qualities cannot be disposed of, “disposition” is used to mean moving plutonium from one place to another without actually eliminating its danger. If implemented, this initiative would also impose high long term costs on Canadians.

I therefore urge the government to reconsider its support for the Candu MOX initiative and instead have Russia and the United States dispose of their own plutonium within their national boundaries.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, today the auditor general released his report. In it he condemns the waste in the fisheries department in some of the strongest language he has ever used. In particular he shows how the government has squandered $3.5 billion on the TAGS program.

The TAGS program was supposed to help lift up Atlantic fishermen after the collapse of the fishery. Instead it has made more Atlantic fishermen dependent on the federal government for income.

How does the Prime Minister explain the complete and utter failure of the program and the damage it has done to Atlantic Canadians?

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not think it was an error for the government to help fishermen who were in a very difficult situation because of problems in the fishery.

The TAGS program helps people in Newfoundland adjust to the situation. They were asked by the government not to fish any more because the stocks had decreased and there was a need to give the resource time to replenish itself.

Of course it was a program that—

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, when TAGS was created, members will remember the former Minister of Fisheries and Oceans stood in the House to say that only one-third of the expenditure was to go to income support. That was the basis on which parliament gave the money.

According to the auditor general's report today, fully 76% of the TAGS money went to income support and none of the program objectives were achieved.

Now that the auditor general has exposed TAGS as a costly failure, will the Prime Minister pledge to the House that he will not extend this wasteful, dependency creating program?

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, to call giving money to poor fishermen who cannot go to sea a waste of money is completely unacceptable.

One of the benefits of living in a federation is that we can help those people who live in areas where there are problems. Everyone recognizes that the fishermen in Newfoundland and in other Atlantic provinces have faced very difficult problems over the last few years.

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Preston Manning Reform Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, what the fishermen of Atlantic Canada wanted and what parliament voted on when it voted to support the program was money for training and restructuring of the industry, and they got neither of those through the TAGS program.

The auditor general said that the government started implementing the program before it had finished the planning, that parliament was not given accurate progress reports, that the department did not have reliable data, and that other alternatives which would not have created dependency were not even considered.

How could the House regard the government's claim to be accountable as anything other than a big fish story?

Auditor General's ReportOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is very sad when a leader of an opposition party makes fun of a difficult problem.

I do not think I should comment further when the Leader of the Opposition has no consideration for the misery suffered by anyone in the land.