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House of Commons Hansard #39 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cpp.

Topics

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleague, that is precisely what we want to hear about and we will give you the floor right after we come back from question period. We are now going to go to Statements by Members.

EnvironmentStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Kraft Sloan Liberal York North, ON

Mr. Speaker, protection of the environment begins in our communities. In that respect Environment Canada launched its Action 21 Network program earlier this year to identify Canadians undertaking successful environmental initiatives.

I am very proud to announce that the town of Georgina in my riding of York North has recently received a certificate of environmental citizenship from Environment Canada. The town of Georgina was the first town in the greater Toronto area to implement a full user pay for garbage program. They charge $1.00 per bag.

Georgina soon discovered that people think much differently about what they are discarding when they have to pay for garbage disposal. Within one month of implementation there was a 50% increase in recycling and a 40% decrease in waste going to landfill. Overall there has been a 40% decrease in the amount of waste.

I commend Mayor Grossi, the council and citizens of Georgina for their achievements.

Year 2000Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Gurmant Grewal Reform Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, I warn the Liberals that Canadians do not accept the government's failure to guarantee that the computers of federal departments will work properly and not crash in the year 2000.

The Canadian public will suffer when programs and services are seriously disrupted.

Most computers use two digits to represent the year and do not recognize 00 as the year 2000. The Liberals have not properly budgeted for billions of dollars to fix this problem. Only one-third of federal departments have a strategy for dealing with the crisis.

The Liberals should prepare and table in parliament a contingency plan to address possible failure. The Liberals have not addressed the long term legal implications of failure. The slow and haphazard planning of the Liberals is interfering with the year 2000 compliance.

The auditor general has already lambasted the Liberals for their tardiness. Canadians are watching the Liberals fudge the year 2000 project.

Jacques ParizeauStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, former separatist premier Jacques Parizeau had more to say about what he called ethnic communities and the defeat of his sovereignist option at the last referendum. Such remarks are unacceptable. We do not have different classes of citizens in Quebec, at least not in my Quebec.

I would like to quote a few comments made by Lucien Bouchard about his predecessor, Jacques Parizeau. He called him “A man of integrity and great conviction”. “We have been very happy allies so far”. “Few politicians act on the basis of a philosophy”. “This honest, intelligent, determined and experienced leader that Quebec needs”.

What the people of Quebec need is certainly not to have disgraceful, disparaging remarks made about them, their friends or their neighbours. Lucien Bouchard—

Jacques ParizeauStatements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Manicouagan.

Bc Mine WorkersStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development showed unacceptable contempt for the BC Mine workers.

It is unacceptable to keep saying that these workers should take advantage of employment programs because, as the minister knows, having met with their representative, 82% are over 50 years old of age 36% are 55 and over.

After working 20, 25 and even 30 years in the mine, workers need a program that will guarantee a reasonable minimum income before they become eligible for a pension.

The federal government will be judged on its sensitivity to the situations experienced by these workers and their families. So far, its behaviour has been dangerously similar to what the Reform Party advocates in its ideology.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night the Leader of the Official Opposition asked Canadians to put their heads in the sand and ignore global warming as defined by over 2,000 scientists.

In a further display of crass ignorance the Leader of the Official Opposition engaged in scaremongering and waved the flag of taxes, ignoring over 2,000 economists who say reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency, energy innovation and other measures is a win-win situation.

It has become quite evident that the Leader of the Official Opposition is being dragged reluctantly into the 21st century and has precious little to contribute to the climate change debate.

Seaforth HighlandersStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Reform Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Asian Pacific Economic Co-operation conference has wrapped up in Vancouver. Canadians are asking what the government achieved.

Somehow the Liberals managed to insult a proud army regiment based in Vancouver. The Seaforth Highlanders were rejected for honour guard duty in favour of the Vandoos from Quebec. The reason given was that the Seaforth Highlanders uniform did not look Canadian enough.

In October 1944 the Seaforth Highlanders spearheaded an attack in northern Italy. They were suddenly set upon by three German tanks and about thirty infantrymen.

A one man army, Smokey Smith won the Victoria Cross for his amazing acts of bravery during this battle. Smokey Smith wore his medal proudly on a very Canadian uniform in a very real war far from his home in British Columbia.

The Liberal government should be ashamed for rejecting the Seaforth Highlanders at the APEC conference.

Jacques ParizeauStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Devillers Liberal Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and comment on the remarks made by Jacques Parizeau during a university tour in Alberta Tuesday.

Although he has an unfortunate habit of blaming the ethnic communities for the defeat of the separatist option in 1995, Mr. Parizeau was astonishingly frank when he clearly stated that francophone communities outside Quebec would have trouble surviving if Quebec were to separate.

I for one am delighted at Mr. Parizeau's frankness. I must, however, point out the blatant contradiction between Mr. Parizeau's frank remarks and the remarks of Bloc Quebecois members, who are, after all, in the same political camp.

According to the Bloc Quebecois, francophone communities outside Quebec would be better off if Quebec separated. Would one of the members of that party be so good as to explain this contradiction to us?

Child Tax BenefitStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for the child tax benefit is hoarse from telling us how wonderful his government is and that we must invest in our children.

In 1997 dollars, the federal government invested $6.7 billion in 1984, compared to $5.1 billion this year. The Caledon Institute and anti-poverty groups have estimated that an additional $2 billion annually would be the minimum to launch the fight against poverty.

The Bloc Quebecois adds its voice to that of hungry children and urges the government to put an additional $1.2 billion into the child tax benefit program, without infringing on provincial responsibility in this sector. We are far from the $850 million announced by the government.

Jacques ParizeauStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, the former leader of the yes side during the last referendum campaign in Quebec, Jacques Parizeau, once again accused the Greek, Italian and Jewish communities of being responsible for the sovereignists' loss, in 1995.

The former PQ leader and Quebec premier decided to treat us to more of what he said on the night of the referendum, when he claimed that the yes side had lost because of money and because of the ethnic vote.

Such comments from someone who claimed he could lead a nation are irresponsible and unbefitting. Today, I ask all sovereignists to dissociate themselves from the comments made on Tuesday by the former leader of the yes side. I feel personally insulted by Mr. Parizeau's remarks. Regardless of our origin, we chose Canada as our country and, as citizens of Canada, we take very seriously our duty and our responsibility to express our views on the future of our country by exercising our right to vote.

Canadian FlagStatements By Members

November 27th, 1997 / 2:05 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, Tuesday night I watched one of the most disrespectful acts that could ever be conducted, the burning of our Canadian flag.

This took place in Verdun where Raymond Villeneuve and a band of thugs wearing bandannas over their faces burned the Canadian flag and shoved and kicked elderly people as they entered a council meeting.

Politics aside, these people should be charged for such a vile act. Tens of thousands of people died defending this flag and the values it represents. What kind of a message does it send when we see young people burning our flag?

Are we moving toward a culture of mass cowards? This is simply not the Canadian way. We are a tolerant people who have fought for our freedom both here and abroad. The Canadian flag is one of the most respected symbols of peace around the world.

We are allowing these hooligans to ruin the reputation Canadians fought and died for on foreign soil. Is the government so weak that it will allow their assault on our heritage? If the country is to remain united we must take a stand now before it is too late.

Jacques ParizeauStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jacques Saada Liberal Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers from all over the province have expressed their outrage following Mr. Parizeau's latest remarks, which are along the same line as the comments he made on the night of the referendum.

As a Quebecker, I do not recognize myself in the picture the former premier drew. Mr. Parizeau's comments are dangerous but, given his refusal to vigorously and strongly condemn these remarks, Mr. Bouchard's attitude is even more dangerous.

Mr. Bouchard is not an ordinary citizen. He is the premier of all Quebeckers. In our democracy, he is my premier. I would had hoped that he would represent me.

I am not speaking as a federalist condemning the independentists, but as a man who is looking for inclusion and who opposes those advocating exclusion. I am speaking as a man who deplores the missed opportunity, by his premier, to make an unequivocal appeal for tolerance.

Alternative Service DeliveryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, alternative service delivery is a Liberal government initiative aimed at obtaining goods and services in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

Government employees, for example in the Halifax area, have been forced to prove that they can do the job better and more cheaply than a private company, and they have. In Halifax and across the country these workers have successfully proven they are far more cost effective than the private sector.

I have a document from the defence management committee that uncovered the government's change in plans. The Liberals want to fast track ASD by bundling bids. This simply means that all contracts will be awarded on a national basis. Local work units will not be able to bid effectively. Only big corporations with the resources to bid will get the contracts.

Why is the government changing the rules? Have public sector workers been too successful under ASD?

We believe the real goal of the Liberal government is to privatize at any cost, no matter what the impact is on our workers and our communities.

Quebec PremierStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, so Lucien Bouchard, the Premier of Quebec, has refused to distance himself from the words of the former leader of the yes camp, Jacques Parizeau, who said that the referendum loss was attributable to ethnic groups such as the Greeks, the Jews and the Italians.

These words are offensive for all members of cultural communities who have always felt that they are Quebeckers in their own right.

We expected the Premier of Quebec to state loud and clear that he disagreed with such statements by Jacques Parizeau. On the contrary, and I quote one of the answers by Lucien Bouchard yesterday in the National Assembly: “Mr. Parizeau is a prominent citizen. He has the right to express himself and he went to speak directly to the people in English Canada—Mr. Parizeau is a great democrat”.

Since Lucien Bouchard supports these offensive statements, we take note that Mr. Parizeau's message now constitutes the official position of the PQ government in the area of cultural communities in Quebec.

Pharmaceutical IndustryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Charest Progressive Conservative Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, a few days ago, I wrote to the Premier of Quebec, Mr. Bouchard, and to the Leader of the Official Opposition, Daniel Johnson, asking that they take action on the issue of Bill C-91 and that they state clearly to the Government of Canada the position of the Government of Quebec.

Yesterday, Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, MNA for Saint-François, tabled the following resolution, which was unanimously adopted, and I quote:

That the National Assembly demand that the Federal Government not amend Federal Statute C-91, which refers to the pharmaceutical industry, in such a way that would weaken the said Statute and its rules, and this, in compliance with the international agreements reached with our commercial partners regarding the protection of intellectual property, and ascertain that Québec's pharmaceutical industry remain strong and competitive.

I hope that the Minister of Industry, the Minister of Health, the Prime Minister and everyone in the Liberal government are listening, because if they are not, the pharmaceutical industry will suffer everywhere in Canada, including Quebec.

Quebec SovereigntyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, in May 1963, in its Speech from the Throne, the Pearson government recognized that Canada was a bilingual and multicultural country. In order to promote national unity, it called for co-operative federalism with the provinces. In the same breath, that government implemented a series of programs coming under provincial jurisdiction.

Thirty-four years later, in 1997, the Liberal government reiterates that Canada is still a bilingual and multicultural country. To enhance national unity, it is promoting a new orientation for federalism based on partnership with the provinces. Yet, we are faced with a new series of encroachments on programs under provincial jurisdiction.

History repeats itself. Flexible federalism means rigid status quo, it means going backwards. In Quebec, we want to go forward, we want real change. That is why we want sovereignty.

The Late Justice John SopinkaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Tony Valeri Liberal Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week as Canadians we have been reflecting on the remarkable life and accomplishments of one of Canada's finest legal minds, Supreme Court Justice John Sopinka.

Spending many of his younger years living in Stoney Creek, John Sopinka attended Salt Fleet High School between 1946 and 1951. There he excelled both as an athlete and as an academic student, graduating a valedictorian.

His leadership abilities were evident through his work as student council president, while his capacity for excellence took shape through his membership on Salt Fleet's football team and playing the violin with the Hamilton Symphony Orchestra.

Justice Sopinka brought his considerable talents to bear in all of his pursuits, whether it was in professional sports as a CFL athlete or within Canada's legal system. His reasoned legal opinions and his many insights on Canada's legal system will remain his legacy not only to his colleagues in the legal profession but to all Canadians.

As the son of hardworking parents who showed so much promise in those early years at Salt Fleet High, John Sopinka rose to the very heights of our society and enriched us all. Truly he will missed.

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for 10 solid days now Canada's post office has been paralyzed by a strike. The CFIB says this strike is costing the average small business $240 a day or more than $2,000 lost per business since the strike began.

I just received a letter from a small outfit in Manitoba that has laid off four of its six employees. Its business is down 60% and the owner is remortgaging his house to pay the bills.

Will the prime minister legislate the post office back to work today?

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the parties are in negotiations at this moment. We hope they will find a solution. The mediator is doing his work. He is asking for more time and we have given him more time.

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we and Canadians have been waiting for mediation to work for months. This is the fourth strike at the post office in 10 years. These negotiations have been going on for over seven months. It is the third federally appointed government conciliator who has become involved in this thing. The strike is costing up to $2 million to this point.

I ask the prime minister again why will he not legislate the postal workers back to work?

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Parliament of Canada decided a long time ago that public service employees working in the post office have the right to strike. They are exercising the right that Parliament has given to them at this moment.

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, getting nowhere with the prime minister, I wonder if we could ask the last question to the minister of public works.

Every now and then he pops up and says something about legislating the post office back to work. Then he goes back in his hole. It is like groundhog day, he pops up, sees his shadow and goes back in his hole.

I am wondering if the minister of public works, rather than whispering about back to work legislation, will stand up in the House today and introduce that legislation which he obviously has in his files.

Canada PostOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that my hon. colleague has to continually talk about legislation. He is well aware that all this does is hurt the process. We have appointed a highly qualified mediator. Let the mediator do his job and help us come up with a collective agreement, not trying to harm it by making it public.

Krever ReportOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Krever report on tainted blood clearly indicates that the federal government played a major role in the tragedy.

Its first recommendation was to compensate victims immediately. When will the Minister of Health announce that this compensation will be paid? When?