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House of Commons Hansard #130 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

Youth Employment StrategyStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the federal government is now working hard in its commitment to young people in this country with the youth employment strategy announced Wednesday by the Minister of Human Resources Development.

The youth employment strategy is the result of consultations with youth, educators, parents and the private sector to determine how best to serve the needs of Canada's young people in today's newer and new economy. Each of us recognizes that youth unemployment is unacceptably high and that there is nothing as frustrating as wasted potential.

The strategy consolidates over $2 billion in new and existing funding for programs and services that young people need to make the transition from education to our workplace. One of the strategy's highlights is the new internship programs that will provide work experience to young people in the crucial areas of science and technology, the environment, international trade and development.

I call upon those concerned to work together to accomplish what we need, a society that is good for all Canadians starting with our youth.

BanksStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadian banks continue to contribute greatly to the Canadian economy.

In 1996 alone, banks paid $4.9 billion in taxes and levies to government and paid over $2.3 billion to their shareholders, the people of Canada. Unions, businesses and the general public own over 90 per cent of bank shares. Since most bank shares are owned by the people, when banks make a profit, the people profit.

Banks have recently introduced initiatives such as implementing a code of conduct, offering alternative dispute resolution and appointing both internal and national ombudsmen.

Banks in my community have contributed to university funds, have supported charities such as the Snowsuit Fund and have helped many youth organizations to name a few.

As you can see, banks are not all bad.

National Flag Of Canada DayStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Jesse Flis Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, Saturday, February 15 is National Flag of Canada Day. The tradition of celebrating our national flag began last February and was promoted throughout the year by the Canadian Heritage One in a Million Flag Challenge.

I have also taken an interest in acknowledging this newfound tradition as I am searching for a song to commemorate the pride and glory of our Canadian flag. Over the last few months I have issued a challenge to students and artists in my constituency to compose new lyrics to the "Maple Leaf Forever" that reflect the significance of our Canadian symbol.

On the occasion of this year's flag day celebration, I would like to issue the same challenge to all Canadians to come up with a song that will capture true Canadian sentiment.

We have been represented by the red and white maple leaf since 1965. I feel the best way to honour this symbol would be to accompany it with a musical tribute.

It is my wish that as Canadians don their million flags with pride, they also have a song to commemorate the celebration of national unity.

Divorce ActStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Reform Surrey—White Rock—South Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, today this House will once again be looking at Bill C-41. Maybe this time government members will actually listen to the Reform Party's concerns.

Earlier this week I had the occasion to hear a number of government members talking about how they were unaware of the full consequences of Bill C-41. One suggested that they should just acknowledge their mistakes and accept the amendments.

This is quite typical of how the Liberals have managed this Parliament. They just accept the notion that their cabinet ministers create perfect legislation so they put their brains in neutral. Independent thought is not welcome in the Liberal caucus.

I encourage members opposite to actually think for themselves and listen to the Reform Party's amendments in this House rather than rely on the patronage appointed hacks from the other place.

Quebec Arts WeekStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the sixth consecutive year, the Quebec Department of Education, in co-operation with the provincial ministry of culture and communications, is organizing the Quebec arts week, which began on February 9 and will end on the 16.

In order to mark this unique event, the whole Quebec school system was invited to organize activities under the theme "Sans mots pour le dire". This means that over one million Quebec students at the elementary and secondary levels are currently exploring the various facets of an artistic project or creation process that includes dance, music, plastic arts, communications and performing arts.

While some may claim, wrongly, that Quebec never spent a penny on its culture, it is not by spending millions of dollars on flags that we will make our young people aware of arts and culture, or that we will give them an opportunity to develop their creativity and their imagination.

Student Assistance Reform InitiativeStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Liberal Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, seven national associations in the post-secondary education sector jointly proposed the student assistance reform initiative which, if enacted, would make higher education more accessible. I urge all members to study the proposal. As an active member of the caucus committee on post-secondary education, I applaud the groups involved in preparing and releasing this document.

Right now Canada's student loans can be a problem, not only for those trying to pay them off but also for those charged with trying to collect on defaulted loans. We can address this situation and acknowledge the realities faced by graduating students by establishing an income contingent loan repayment plan. This is especially relevant to those in the early stages of their careers after graduation.

Education is of vital national interest to Canada. When we invest in Canadians we strengthen our economy and improve our competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Team CanadaStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the LanSer company of Westmount, Quebec, was on the last trade mission led by our Prime Minister, and came back from Thailand with very good news for the future.

This company, which specializes in wireless communication equipment research and development, signed a letter of understanding with a view to setting up a joint enterprise with a Bangkok company.

LanSer already has a staff of 75. Thanks to this letter of understanding, it could soon be starting to market a wireless credit card payment system to meet the demand from financial institutions, merchants and consumers in Thailand. This bold project is estimated at $52 million.

This is another example of the extraordinary benefits and fallout for business and the economy in Quebec and in Canada resulting from the Team Canada missions.

Aéroports De MontréalStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Wednesday, the Quebec Superior Court handed down an important decision prohibiting the transfer of international flights to Dorval. Forty-eight hours later, the Minister of Transport still did not wish to comment on the decision. Instability continues. As a result, the economy of Montreal and the Lower Laurentians has suffered, is suffering and will go on suffering.

But it would not have come to this if the federal government had listened to the Bloc Quebecois. A year ago, we asked the government to conduct public consultations quickly and make public all the studies done on this transfer.

The federal government, which got us into this mess, cannot now try to sidestep the issue and hide behind ADM. The decision brought to light the government's true colours. Instead of sitting back while the train, or should I say the plane, passes it by, it should be moving quickly to resolve this problem, which is largely of its own making.

Edward JamesStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

John English Liberal Kitchener, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a constituent in my riding of Kitchener, Mr. Edward James.

Yesterday, Mr. James had the honour of receiving the Prime Minister's award for teaching excellence in science, technology and mathematics. His dedication and enduring commitment to the teaching profession is truly admirable.

Mr. James was recognized for his particular attention devoted to the challenges facing young women interested in science. Among his many accomplishments, he organized a math and science program for young women at Eastwood Collegiate and helped prepared learning materials for the women inventors project.

His work to introduce more young women to science and encourage them along the way stretches back 10 years. This commitment has resulted in a significant number of women graduating with backgrounds in mathematics and science.

I wish to congratulate Mr. James for this special award. He is truly a leader in his community.

Liberal Party Nomination ProcessStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

John Duncan Reform North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, in 1993 the Prime Minister overrode 15 Liberal associations to appoint pet candidates. This year the Prime Minister is again sanctioning pet candidates.

In Nepean the retiring MP has expressed her disgust. In Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke the Liberal Party banned Hec Cloutier from the party for five years in 1993 because he ran as an independent against the Liberal appointee. In Edmonton North national Liberal officials twisted the rules so that the PM's anointed candidate would be unchallenged. An executive has been excommunicated for their continued support for the incumbent ousted Liberal MP.

This should be no surprise. The Prime Minister ensured his own election victory in 1972 and 1974 by setting up a patsy as his PC opponent.

Canada-Take It To HeartStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, we are in the midst of the "Canada-Take it to Heart" program, a week long celebration of our Canadian citizenship, symbols and heritage.

Tomorrow, February 15, we celebrate Canada flag day to remind us of the symbol of our national soul and to rededicate ourselves to the ideals that define our country. Let us take pride that the Canadian flag is respected and loved throughout the world.

On Monday, February 17, I will have the honour to participate in a Winnipeg celebration of the historic Fort Gary-Fort Edmonton Trail, a living reminder of the settlement of the three prairie provinces.

These commemorations are an opportunity to show pride in our country and to think about the things that make us unique: our symbols, our values and our heritage.

The better we know our country's past, the better we can envision the future with confidence.

Canada PostStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Reform Comox—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Post mandate review completed last fall made a number of specific recommendations regarding the operation of Canada Post.

Upon release of the review the public works minister stated that Canada Post must operate with fairness, transparency, openness and accountability. Yet the minister still refuses to open the books of Canada Post, a crown corporation, to public scrutiny.

The minister promised she would table a report with proposals for Canada Post after the financial review was completed in January. That timeline has passed, yet Canadians have heard nothing from the minister.

The mandate review stated that the corporation is currently beyond any effective control by the government. None of the authorities entrusted with supervising Canada Post currently have the resources to provide the strong ongoing supervision needed to safeguard the public interest. Unfair competition and abusive practices continue unchecked every day.

Canada Post is a corporation in chaos. It is time for the minister to do her job, take responsibility for Canada Post and hold it accountable.

Nomination MeetingsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, nomination meetings were held in three ridings, namely my own, that of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and that of the hon. member for Brome-Missisquoi.

Yesterday the three of us celebrated the second anniversary of our 1995 byelection victories. On the same day two years later, we were chosen by the members of our respective associations to run in the next election as Liberal candidates.

I wish both my colleagues the best of luck in the upcoming election. I congratulate them on a job well done in the first two years as members of the Parliament of Canada.

Family Resource CentresStatements By Members

February 14th, 1997 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, as we get closer to budget day I again call on the ministers involved to reconsider CAPC funding. The program is funded under the Minister of Health and funds family resource centres. It has proven to be very successful in terms of assisting families and individuals.

These family resource centres, seven of which are on Prince Edward Island, are a great success and are in great demand by many parents on Prince Edward Island. I believe they decrease dependency on government services and government personnel and set up a system where individuals support each other within a community of communities.

I call on the minister to reconsider funding.

Family Resource CentresStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Before proceeding to oral questions, the hon. Minister of National Defence has a brief point of order.

Point Of OrderStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick

Liberal

Douglas Young LiberalMinister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in question period I referred to a document. My understanding was that I was not allowed to table it during question period. I am certainly more than pleased to table it now for the benefit of members of the House.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, there will be no objections to the tabling of a document from National Defence. For once, something is forthcoming and we are extremely pleased. One down, at least.

Today, in Quebec City, Montreal, Rimouski, Chicoutimi, Sept-Iles, Matane and Moncton, CBC audiences and staff are demonstrating to remind the government of its promise to provide the CBC with stable funding.

Another coalition, the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, has pointed out that the government's $10 million to CBC radio fulfils only 3 per cent of its promises, while laying the CBC's independence open to question.

My question is to the government as a whole. How can the government explain that it has imposed cuts $14 million higher than what the Reform Party proposed in their taxpayers' budget? How can the government claim to be defending culture, when it has pulled $414 million from CBC and found millions for publicity schemes of all kinds, from kites to flags to who knows what?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister for International Cooperation and Minister responsible for Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is committed, as the minister said again last week, to long term funding for the CBC. All departments of our government have undergone cuts, and the CBC is no exception.

The hon. member across the way knows very well that the CBC will be the only government agency to be exempt from cuts for the next five years, so its funding will be stable in the long term.

What is more, the CBC will receive some $900 million annually from the public purse. That is nothing to sneeze at. It is a considerable amount and one that is ensured for the long term, of course.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that I heard that already sometime in 1993, regarding 1993-94. That is a recycled promise.

The Friends of Canadian Broadcasting; the mayor of Quebec City, Jean-Paul Lallier; Tony Manera, who resigned from the presidency of the CBC because of this government's policies; Pierre Juneau, another former CBC president; Margaret Atwood; Pierre Berton; Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, and many others question the government's true intentions toward the CBC.

Why has the government opted to weaken an independent institution, and to transfer funds into agencies which are not answerable to government, such as the cable production fund?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister for International Cooperation and Minister responsible for Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, when the hon. member claims that this fund is not answerable to government, he is surely aware that part of this fund will go to the CBC. He cannot be unaware of this. I believe that his accusation is totally off the mark.

Second, he is also surely aware that the government is committed, I repeat, to long term funding for the CBC, to the tune of some $900 million annually-$800 million in special credits, plus part of the fund-as I have just indicated.

Finally, the government has again just recently announced additional funding, over and above the amounts I have just referred to, for Radio Canada International.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is an old ruse, taking everything away and then giving a little bit back. Then they can say: "See how generous we are. Look at what we have just given you".

They have played the same game with transfer payments. They cut something like $1.3 billion, and then they come along with $215 million. This is a government that is an expert at giving out trifling amounts.

Is the government aware that the recycling of old promises from the dead book, to which the Prime Minister does not even refer any more, is just the old shell game, for this same government has, since 1993, chopped the CBC budget like no other government has ever dared do?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister for International Cooperation and Minister responsible for Francophonie

Mr. Speaker, I believe the Bloc Quebecois and their friends in Quebec are in a very poor position to give any sermons on this matter. Radio-Québec has also cut its staff by close to 50 per cent.

Let us also keep in mind the words of the hon. member for Rimouski-Témiscouata. On March 16, 1995, she said, and I quote: "If any cuts are needed, there are big ones to be made at CBC".

No such big cuts were made, and we have ensured that there is long term funding, after making some cuts, of course, which were required. But, contrary to the Bloc Quebecois, we have not made, nor do we intend to make, big ones.

CultureOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Bloc Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Mr. Speaker, we should remember that the cuts the hon. member suggested were to be made at headquarters, not in the lower echelons. The government understood the message perfectly. It cut $414 million and 4,000 jobs. That is what happened.

My question is directed to the government, to anyone who can answer. After the Minister of Canadian Heritage, we now have the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the national unity bandwagon. With his new rules for awarding grants, from now on the minister will only fund projects that will promote Canadian unity abroad.

CultureOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Douglas Young Liberal Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Hear, hear.

CultureOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Bloc Richmond—Wolfe, QC

The Minister of National Defence says hear, hear, but what he is saying is "get out" to Quebec culture and Quebec artists. That is what it means.

Since this funding policy is discriminatory and antidemocratic, will the minister, so as to refrain from all political interference, remove this criterion from the objectives of the foreign affairs cultural relations program?