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House of Commons Hansard #28 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada , and we will be led by the hon. member for Edmonton East.

Winnipeg Boys And Girls ClubStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Reg Alcock Liberal Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House today to the Winnipeg Boys and Girls Club and its Floodbusters program.

After the flood that Winnipeg suffered this summer, the department of human resources and the Winnipeg Boys and Girls Club got together and organized a program that hired 193 students. They worked all summer long cleaning up properties and helping homeowners repair their homes. They removed some 400,000 sandbags. They ran a summer camp for kids displaced by the flood so their parents could work on their properties. When the Red Cross was having trouble getting relief out, 12 members of the Floodbusters team worked with the Red Cross to ensure people got the compensation they needed.

The program was run by Mike Owens, executive director of the Winnipeg Boys and Girls Club, and Heather Popoff who actually directed the program. They did a superb job. I would like all members of the House to congratulate them.

SportsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, why strike a subcommittee to study sports in Canada? Is it because our national passion, hockey, is going south? Do we need a study to know the NHL is a multi-billion dollar, multinational business funded by $80 tickets, special viewing box seats and TV revenue from mass markets?

NHL owners and players are pricing hockey out of its cradle, our home, Canada.

The committee mandate, with an emphasis on hockey, will also touch on other sports, both professional and amateur, in 30 meetings and will table a report by June 1998. This is completely unrealistic, resulting in either a lightweight study having no real value or worse a request to expand the hearings tenfold. The study is either a waste of time or a blank cheque.

Why are we doing it? Donovan Bailey, Silken Lauman, Nancy Green, Kurt Browning, Sylvie Frechette and of course Paul Henderson. Need I name more? Canadians are proud of their athletes but this study will do nothing to support—

SportsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Parkdale—High Park.

EnvironmentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, on October 30 I held the first of a series of pre-budget consultation meetings with the constituents of Parkdale—High Park. The message I received is that they are proud of the hard work done by the government that has resulted in today's healthy economic environment.

Canadians in my riding want the government to stay the course and continue the process of debt reduction and fiscal restraint. We are all looking forward to the elimination of the deficit during this Parliament.

My constituents have told me that we should reinvest any surplus dividend in health care, education, youth employment and the environment. As well, my constituents would like to see continuing support for small business.

It may interest my hon. colleagues across the floor to learn that we did not talk about sweeping tax cuts. Canadians, especially those in Ontario, know too well the real costs of these tax cuts borne by them in the areas of the health care system and the education of their children. They are not willing to pay this huge price for political pandering.

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, today the Bloc Quebecois expresses its thanks to all those who served in the army, navy, air force and merchant marine, all the nurses and all of the other men and women who risked their lives, or gave their lives, to enable us to overcome tyranny.

As the years pass, and the veterans of that time get older and pass on, each new generation has a duty to perpetuate the memory of their sacrifice and courage.

On behalf of the Bloc Quebecois, I honour the women and men who gave their lives to defend freedom and democracy during the two world wars, the Korean war and the numerous UN peacekeeping missions.

We salute you all.

Korean War VeteransStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

George Proud Liberal Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, this year's Remembrance Day poster honours our Korean War veterans. Today on the first day of Veterans Week I think it is appropriate that we pause and give some thought to the sacrifices made by these veterans.

For those who fought in it, the Korean War was as bloody and dreadful as the two world wars that preceded it. Perhaps, happening so soon after the second world war, Canadians just wanted to put the war out of their minds and so Korea has not had the same attention as other wars.

We should remember that when we joined 15 other nations to resist enemy aggression, Canada was the third largest contributor to the multinational force. In all, over 26,000 Canadians served in Korea, 1,558 became casualties, of whom 516 died.

In the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower hon. members will find the names of those 516 Canadians in the Korean Book of Remembrance. It is our great loss that they did not make it home. May they rest in peace.

Lest We ForgetStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lynn Myers Liberal Waterloo—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, on November 6, 1997 a resident of my riding, Margaret McKenna, will make a trip to Belgium for what is truly a sober reminder of the sacrifice made for us during World War II.

Margaret McKenna's eldest brother, Jack Summerhayes, was a gunner on a 426 squadron Halifax bomber, which was shot down on the night of May 12, 1944 over Belgium.

Thanks in part to the efforts of the Canadian and Belgian governments and the Belgium Aviation History Association, on September 6 of this year Pilot Officer Jack Summerhayes was found in a Belgian swamp still at his post. Jack Summerhayes and two other crew members also trapped in the bomber will be buried alongside the five other other crew members who perished that night in 1944.

As we approach Remembrance Day, may the pilgrimage of Margaret McKenna and the other Canadians travelling to Belgium to bury their loved ones some 53 years after their deaths serve as a statement that we as Canadians will never forget the supreme sacrifice they made.

Lieutenant Colonel Billy BarkerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Inky Mark Reform Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, we can tell much about a country by its heroes and how it treats them.

This forgotten Canadian hero shot down 53 enemy aircraft during World War I. This forgotten Canadian hero received the Victoria Cross, the DSO, the Military Cross, the French and Italian military honours, six gallantry awards from King George V and others. Billy Bishop called him the deadliest air fighter who ever lived. This forgotten Canadian hero was the first president of the Toronto Maple Leafs and first acting director of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Some 50,000 people joined or watched the mile long cortege at his funeral in 1930, yet his grave is marked as Smith in a family crypt with no indication of what he did for Canada.

Canada, it is time to give Lieutenant Colonel Billy Barker, VC, this Canadian hero from Dauphin, Manitoba, the recognition he deserves.

Premier Of Nova ScotiaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Liberal Egmont, PE

Mr. Speaker, it is my great pleasure to congratulate the Premier of Nova Scotia, Russell MacLellan, on his election yesterday in the riding of Sydney North. Russell was the choice of his party and the people to be Premier of Nova Scotia.

Russell is an 18 year veteran of this place where he made his mark as a parliamentarian noted for his honesty and integrity, a great representative of his province and as a man of the people in all his deliberations.

We wish Russell well on his victory and that of his colleague Dr. Ed Kinley in Halifax Citadel. These victories bode well for a re-election of the Liberal government in Nova Scotia in the next few months.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, at a Liberal fundraising dinner at $325 a plate, the Prime Minister emphasized that Ottawa would not be arriving in Kyoto empty-handed.

But what is going on, really? Canada is the only G-7 country without a specific target to propose at the Kyoto conference.

Has the Prime Minister forgotten that Canada made the commitment at the Rio Summit in 1992 to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000? His government has, moreover, maintained that commitment, particularly by inaugurating a set of voluntary measures in 1995. The outcome: the Royal Society of Canada estimates that, by the year 2000, greenhouse gas emissions will be 9.5% over the 1990 reference level.

This wait-and-see attitude, backed up with virtually no strategy whatsoever, contradicts the Prime Minister's statement that “If we are really concerned about the next century—”

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Vaudreuil—Soulanges.

Quebec PremierStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Liberal Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again we have a fine example of the “Do as I say not as I do” politics of the sovereignist government of Lucien Bouchard.

This is how Le Devoir put it in its headline “Quebec City imposes its aid on Montreal”. Lucien Bouchard is very good at accusing others of meddling, but I would like to know what his government is up to if it is not meddling in the management of the City of Montreal.

His government is going back on its promise in the financial agreement and is now telling the mayor of Montreal how to manage his city. Montreal is, to all intents and purposes, under protection.

The separatists do not think this is meddling in Montreal's jurisdiction. They are calling it a partnership. I put the question again: should we not look askance at any partnership Mr. Bouchard might propose to Canada?

EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Rick Casson Reform Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 1966 the Liberal government rushed the sale of nuclear Candu reactors to China without following the rules laid out in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Back then the Liberal government showed a complete lack of respect for the safety of citizens.

The Liberals have done it again. Now they are trying to push another Candu sale, this time to Turkey.

The Liberal government is kidding itself if it thinks that setting up a sham of a shallow assessment will stop the lid from blowing sky high on this issue. It is another sneaky backroom political deal.

The recent decision by Ontario Hydro to shut down seven operating reactors proves that safety concerns better be addressed before we sell these things to other countries.

To add even more insult to Canadians the Liberal government is using taxpayers' money to finance these deals. So much for the public input just mentioned on how best to spend Canadian tax dollars. The government has once again allowed a business deal to take precedence over the environment.

Contaminated EarthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Liberal Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, PCB contaminated earth from Toronto is on its way to the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean area with the permission of Lucien Bouchard's PQ government but without the permission of the people there and the people of Quebec, who were not consulted.

Fifty thousand tonnes amounts to some 2,000 trucks a year or 10 trucks arriving every work day in Saint-Ambroise with a load of contaminated earth after passing through a number of towns and villages in Quebec. The danger facing the people of Saint-Ambroise is that tomorrow it could be 100,000 tonnes of earth and 4,000 trucks a year.

It is a former minister of the environment in Ottawa who is responsible for the shipment of contaminated earth from Toronto to the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean area without complying with the Quebec regulations on holding public hearings.

Rights Of ChildrenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Oslo conference on child labour reflects a growing concern about the urgent need to end the economic exploitation of children.

Speaker after speaker at this conference identified the liberalization of trade agreements as a key cause of the escalation of this worldwide problem. Statistics show there are 250 million child labourers in the world. Many work in conditions that jeopardize their health, their safety and their social and moral development.

Our party believes that governments and consumers in developed nations can and should use their influence to put pressure on those who exploit child labour. We believe the Canadian government should pass legislation similar to the Harken bill in the United States which would ban the importation of goods made by child labour.

Canada should join the other nations of the world in signing ILO convention No. 138 which limits the minimum age of workers entering the workforce. Canada should not enter into any international trade agreements that do not clearly outline acceptable labour standards.

Smelting IndustryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Progressive Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, earlier in the week, Magnola, a smelting company and a subsidiary of Noranda, announced the construction of a $720 million magnesium smelter in Asbestos. This project will create 1,000 jobs during the construction phase and 350 once the smelter is in operation.

As a result of this announcement, Quebec and Canada will become the second largest magnesium producer in the world.

Having held the office of mayor of Asbestos until June 2, I hasten to congratulate the people at Magnola, as well as all the players in the social and economic development of Asbestos.

This very good news does credit to the people of my hometown of Asbestos, my riding, my province, Quebec, and the country as a whole.

Reform PartyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Bonwick Liberal Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the past several weeks I have listened to my Reform colleagues make accusations about financial contributors to my party. I listened to them challenge the credibility of the prime minister, who happens to be the most respected politician in Canada. I have also listened to my Reform colleagues tell the government that it needs to take advice from western mining consortiums.

Reform members tell us to listen to western mining companies when setting targets for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. They tell us to listen to these mining companies regarding the transition of authority of the Mackenzie River Valley.

Fund-raising, mining. Fund-raising, mining.

I wonder if Canadians realize that many thousands of dollars donated to the Leader of the Opposition came directly from these same mining companies. Talk about representing a special interest group.

Reformers should be ashamed. There is no end to their hypocrisy.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, for weeks now the Liberals have refused to reveal what their position is on greenhouse gas emissions. The countdown to Kyoto is just 26 days now and yet the Liberals have resorted to empty rhetoric, saying and pretending they are the only Canadians who really care about mother earth. Yeah, right.

I would like to ask the prime minister this question. Why did the government ignore its own environmental laws and sell reactors to China and Turkey without the proper environmental assessments?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the affirmation of the hon. lady is not true. We have followed Canadian regulations. The law permitted us to do what we did.

We believe that exporting Candu reactors is very important for the Canadian economy. It is extremely important for countries which will use the electricity generated by nuclear power to replace coal, which is causing a lot of climate problems.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, this government bypassed the entire process. The only environmental assessment that the Liberals are doing for these nuclear plants is some meaningless shadow assessment. The deal has already been approved for these reactor plants. It does not matter what the government does.

No nuclear reactor would ever be allowed in Canada with this meaningless, shallow shadow assessment. What a double standard.

Why does the prime minister pretend to be Mr. Green Thumb at home here in Canada and yet around the world he is known as Mr. Uranium?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, again the Reform Party is up in the House of Commons. When this bill was before the House of Commons Reform members voted against it. They did not want to have anything at all. This bill called for assessments to be done according to the laws of Canada and they voted against it.

Now they dare to get up in the House. They are not serious, they are just laughable.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am dead serious about quoting from the second Liberal red book: “Domestic action alone is not enough to protect Canada's environment. Ensuring a healthy environment for Canadians is a major foreign policy goal”. There is no such thing with nuclear reactor plants in China and Turkey.

I want to ask the prime minister once again, can he stand in his place here today and say that he is proud of being known as Mr. Recycle in Canada when he is actually known as Mr. Radioactive in China and Turkey?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to know that they are against nuclear energy. I am happy to know that members of the Reform Party do not appreciate the fact that we have developed in Canada the safest system in the world for nuclear energy with the Candu reactor.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the prime minister stood in the House and made the ridiculous claim that he gives a damn about the environment.

Let us take a look at his damn, China's Three Gorges Dam.

While in opposition the current environment minister condemned Canada's involvement in the project, calling it “the world's largest disaster”, but his own government is financing at least $153 million in loans for the Three Gorges Dam.

Can the prime minister explain his own government's damn hypocrisy?