This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was flag.

Topics

Teaching ExcellenceStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Ron Fewchuk Liberal Selkirk—Red River, MB

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence in Science, Technology and Mathematics in Ottawa.

It was an honour to attend this ceremony and to witness my constituent Denise McWilliams receive this award, the highest honour in the teaching field.

On behalf of the people of Selkirk Red River riding, I rise today to thank Denise McWilliams for her hard work and teaching excellence.

Teachers play a critical role in shaping the attitudes of students and in equipping them for future careers in the global economy they face. The hard work of teachers today will mean a better Canada for all of us tomorrow.

Minister Of Intergovernmental AffairsStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, again this week, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs gave us evidence that the federal government is like the Leaning Tower of Pisa; it always leans the same way, toward Alliance Quebec.

When the minister was questioned on his government's intentions concerning the organization of school boards along language lines, the minister launched an all-out attack against Quebec's language policies, accusing the Quebec government of dividing its francophone and anglophone communities.

How can we understand a minister from Quebec's constant attacks on the Government of Quebec, when he never has the courage to speak out against the failure of provincial governments to provide services in French to francophones living in their province?

Such behaviour clearly illustrates this government's complicity in the anglicization of francophones by closing its eyes to a number of facts, including the fact that the federal public service is one of the key tools in the anglicization of Quebec and Canadian francophones.

National Heritage DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mark national heritage day.

Heritage day, established by Heritage Canada in 1973, is an opportunity for Canadians from coast to coast to coast to celebrate, discover and share our rich and diverse heritage.

The diversity of our country and of its people is expressed in many ways and makes us unique among the nations of the world. Whether we were born here, or came to Canada later in life, together we have built a great nation, a country recognized by the United Nations as the best country in the world in which to live.

Today we should all take the opportunity to remember with pride the contributions of all of those who have helped form this great country, celebrate the diversity which makes up our heritage and strengthen the multicultural fabric of Canada.

I call on all members and all Canadians to join me in celebrating national heritage day.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are congratulating themselves and expecting applause because tomorrow's budget, they say, contains no major new spending cuts. What hypocrisy!

The real story is that in the fiscal year starting April 1, there are $11.9 billion in new spending cuts by federal departments, all announced in the 1995 budget.

For example, when the Minister of National Defence appeared on CTV with Mike Duffy this past Sunday, he said defence funding has stabilized. Some stability: beginning April 1, 1997, $1 billion in further cuts will be inflicted on national defence. This will bring the total cuts at DND over the three-year period to $1.9 billion. The list goes on.

All these cuts do not include the cutbacks to the federal cash transfers to the provinces for health and education.

Somalia InquiryStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Ed Harper Reform Simcoe Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in shutting the Somalia inquiry, the defence minister is once again showing his lack of respect for due process. His interpretation of justice was clearly established when he was Minister of Transport responsible for the shameful Bill C-22 cancellation of the Pearson airport contract.

While no one disputed the right of the government to cancel the deal, this bill would have denied Canadian citizens their day in court. They would have no opportunity to defend their contract or their reputations. Even Clifford Olson was not denied his day in court.

Great Northern ExhibitionStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Murray Calder Liberal Wellington—Grey—Dufferin—Simcoe, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with a great sense of pride that I am pleased to share with the House the news that the Great Northern Exhibition in Collingwood has received at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions in Saskatoon the Local Fair of the Year award for 1996.

Additionally, Jim and Donna Fraser of Collingwood received the 1996 Industry Achievement Citation. Jim and Donna have been involved as volunteers in the fair industry for 35 years, Jim as an associate director, director and president of the Canadian National Exhibition, Donna as a volunteer and director of the Great Northern Exhibition.

This is a great tribute to the town of Collingwood, its surrounding communities and the many volunteers that have made the Great Northern Exhibition an annual event that draws visitors from all over Ontario.

I would like to remind one and all to set aside September 26, 27, and 28 for the 1997 Great Northern Exhibition.

Youth UnemploymentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphan Tremblay Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I wish to express my deep disappointment in the Minister of Human Resources Development concerning the announcement of his new youth employment strategy.

After a wait of over three years, instead of presenting an innovative strategy aimed at helping young people find jobs, the Liberal government is still exhibiting its total lack of understanding of the hard reality faced by young people in Quebec and Canada, preferring once again to meddle in areas of provincial jurisdiction.

Where are the new measures to address the 17 per cent unemployment level among young people aged 15 to 24? Where are the new measures to help high school dropouts find a job? Where are the new measures to give a boost to the 500,000 or so young people who are looking for work?

I will close by reminding the Liberal government that organizing media events and inviting publicity-hungry ministers is not the way to improve the situation for young people. What is needed instead is to transfer the money which is being blatantly wasted over to the provinces, who are in a better position to understand my generation and to respond to its expectations.

National Heritage DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, today, February 17, is national heritage day in Canada, a moment to rediscover and appreciate the things that make our country a unique part of the world.

Newfoundland and Labrador is a proud partner in the Canadian Confederation. On Saturday, February 15, people from all over Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte gathered to demonstrate the pride and the hope that they share in Canada through our national flag day. People gathered in numerous community celebrations to fly proudly the maple leaf on its 32nd anniversary.

Approaching the new millennium, we are in the position to reinvent our future and strengthen our federation for generations to come. A strong nation is one that is confident. And, as Canadians, we are confident of the road ahead.

Celebrating national heritage day and flag day helps to strengthen our future. It is my pleasure to extend an open invitation to all Canadians to come and visit our province and explore the tremendous heritage that Newfoundland and Labrador has to offer as we celebration Cabot 500.

Marian SweetnamStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John O'Reilly Liberal Victoria—Haliburton, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise today and inform the House of an award winning coach from Lindsay, Ontario.

Marian Sweetnam was presented recently with her second Ontario female coach of the year award at the 29th annual Ontario sports award ceremony in Toronto. The first time she won the award was in 1989, the same year she was selected Canadian swimming coach of the year.

Marian's swim club, the Lindsay Lightningbolts, won the division 3 team championship last year. Her most successful student is her daughter Nancy who has won 13 national championships while setting 7 national records.

Congratulations on your recent achievements, Marian.

Canadian FlagStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the One Million Flags Operation came to an end this week-end, in a most surprisingly understated fashion.

What could possibly have urged the minister to show such restraint, for she is known for her extravagant statement? Here are at least three reasons.

First: At a time when the federal government is applying unprecedented cuts to our social security net and our culture, this operation is a shameful waste of public funds.

Second: During this operation, 10 per cent of the flags were distributed in the province of Quebec and 40 per cent in Ontario, another unequivocal proof that there are two countries within Canada, two nations: Quebec and the rest of Canada.

Third: Last year, the Prime Minister of Canada put a damper on Flag Day when he grabbed a demonstrator by the throat. This very worrisome image is etched in our memory.

Canada Pension PlanStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Randy White Reform Fraser Valley West, BC

Mr. Speaker, let me get this straight. The Liberals and Conservatives have squandered funds going into the Canada pension plan for many years. Now they want average Canadians to pay as much as $1,300 more per year out of their pockets to pay it back.

Most of us know that the MP pension plan is the best in the world, with exorbitant benefits after just two terms in office, more than any Canadian could ever get from the Canada pension plan.

I ask: How much are the Liberals, the separatists and other MPs paying in additional premiums to the MP pension plan, just like they asked the rest of us to do into the Canada pension plan? Nothing. That is right, nothing.

What comes to mind? Gimme. Gimme. "Please, sir, can I have some more. It's good for me but it is not good for you". Elitists at the trough, that is what this is all about.

Team CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Liberal Saint-Denis, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's small and medium size businesses are so taken up by the various trade missions that were led by our Prime Minister that they are asking for more.

This is essentially what emerges from a recent survey by the Everest company for La Presse and the National Bank. Most of the 301 small and medium size businesses surveyed wished to be part of future trade missions, preferably in Asia, Eastern Europe and Central America.

Ninety-six per cent of respondents considered Team Canada missions important for the economic development of the country; 94 per cent of small and medium size businesses felt these missions contributed to the enhancement of Canada's image abroad; and 88 per cent felt there were significant spin-offs.

Team Canada missions are a success, as Quebec's small and medium size businesses can attest to.

TransportationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Warren Allmand Liberal Notre-Dame-De-Grâce, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was absolutely shocked last week when I learned that the Superior Court stopped the transfer of all commercial air flights from Mirabel to Dorval airport.

Several moths ago the government and Aéroports de Montréal decided that all of Montreal's scheduled flights should use Dorval and that Mirabel should be used for charters, cargo and other miscellaneous operations. This was done because many international airlines, especially European airlines, were abandoning Mirabel and were using Toronto only. Montreal passengers had to first fly to Toronto if they wished to go to certain European cities that had always been served from Montreal.

Dorval is only 20 minutes from downtown Montreal while Mirabel is at least 45 minutes. The cost of taxis, transfers, shuttle services and time to Mirabel is uneconomic and an unnecessary nuisance. I urge the government and the Montreal authorities to get the Dorval consolidation back on track quickly.

EducationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, while respectful of provincial powers to education under section 92 of the Constitution Act, the federal government recognizes its

leadership role in advanced education and research in leading edge science and technology.

This means providing essential infrastructure and financial support for the outstanding teachers, researchers and students who will achieve and maintain competitive world standards in these fields.

We lead North America in areas such as biomedicine, pharmacology, solid state and particle physics, with a demonstrated highly successful correlation and application of such endeavours in new industries, both domestic and export, and also in the many highly trained professional jobs that come with that.

Federal leadership in higher education and advanced research in science and technology is the key to an economically prosperous Canada as we enter the 21st century.

Capitol Theatre AssociationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rex Crawford Liberal Kent, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate all those involved with the Chatham Capitol Theatre Association in my riding. This historic theatre was slated for demolition to make way for a parking lot.

Local citizens got together to save it, and they are now trying to raise $2 million for renovation and restoration. The dream is to turn the building into a performing arts centre led by chairman Kevin McMillan, a world renowned baritone and Grammy award winner.

I am also proud of the federal government's efforts. It contributed $216,500 for job creation to help the theatre become a tremendous economic and cultural boost to the downtown area while preserving an important part of Chatham's history. The federal government is investing in communities and people. Bravo to the Capitol Theatre Association and its foundation of fantastic volunteers.

Farm IndustryStatements By Members

February 17th, 1997 / 2:10 p.m.

Reform

Elwin Hermanson Reform Kindersley—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canada's farm industry is fighting mad over the Liberal government's Pest Management Regulatory Agency, the PMRA. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the Prince Edward Island Federation of Agriculture, the Ontario Soybean Growers and the B.C. Horticultural Coalition are just a few to be named. Producers are angry too.

Producers are angry that the PMRA's bloated bureaucracy has ballooned by 100 per cent. Producers are angry that it takes 11 PMRA bureaucrats to register one product in Canada. Producers are angry that the government's own studies show that almost one-third of currently registered pesticides will be withdrawn under the PMRA. Producers are angry that the PMRA proposes to re-register all of the 900 farm pesticides now on the market, and do so every three to five years.

Once again the Liberal government is putting bureaucracy ahead of common sense. What the PMRA should really stand for is "producers made really angry".

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's finance minister is asking the federal finance minister for $1.9 billion in compensation for having harmonized that province's sales tax with the federal GST, so that Quebec will be given the same treatment as the maritime provinces, which will be receiving almost $1 billion in compensation for having agreed to harmonization.

Quebec is backed in its demands by Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, which also find it unfair that this deal was only offered to the maritimes.

On the eve of his budget, does the federal finance minister intend to do anything about this unfair treatment of Quebec?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we have provided the Government of Quebec with all the necessary information, the figures and how the calculation was arrived at. As the Leader of the Opposition well knows, the formula said that a province that lost more than 5 per cent of its revenues was entitled to compensation after the harmonization of sales tax.

The four Atlantic provinces and Manitoba and Saskatchewan are eligible, but Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia are not. Quebec has not lost any money; under harmonization, in fact, Quebec has made money.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance of Canada is considered a reliable authority on public finances, and he should hang on to his reputation.

Will the Minister of Finance of Canada admit that the losses incurred by the maritimes through harmonization with the GST are the result of fiscal decisions that, in the past, were made by those who set fiscal policy for these provinces, making it possible now, for example, for New Brunswick to woo Quebec businesses by offering much lower payroll taxes than in Quebec?

Will the Minister of Finance not admit that, in fact, the reason sales taxes are as high as they are in these provinces is because different fiscal decisions were made?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

No, Mr. Speaker. First of all, if we look at the formula, we see that Manitoba and Saskatchewan would have been eligible, and they still are. But their tax bases are very different from those in the Atlantic provinces.

So no, really, we looked at the financial ability of provinces; there is a formula, but it does not apply to Quebec, Ontario, Alberta or British Columbia.

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, what is unfortunate about the calculation of this compensation is that it only came to everyone's attention after Quebec demanded the same treatment as the maritimes. Then, the minister came up with might be called the McKenna formula.

But in refusing to grant Quebec fair treatment, despite the repeated demands of the provincial finance minister, is the federal finance minister not forcing Quebecers to foot the bill for Frank McKenna's poaching expedition, when he tried to woo Quebec businesses with the more advantageous tax situation in New Brunswick? Is the finance minister not forcing Quebecers to foot this bill?

Goods And Services TaxOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the only consideration was the figures of the other provinces. We asked the other provinces if they had supplied them.

The formula, however, was known in advance. It is very simple. It says that if you lose more than 5 per cent of your revenues after harmonization, you are entitled to compensation. That is very clear. It does not take an accountant or an economist to work it out.

There is no doubt that each province has its needs. When it comes to the various treatments given other provinces, the member is well aware that Quebec is receiving 45 per cent of federal equalization payments. At the same time, Quebec, with 25 or 24 per cent of the population, is receiving 31 per cent of federal transfer payments. I must say Quebec has been treated very fairly.

PovertyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance.

Again this morning, the newspapers were telling us that the Minister of Finance, thanks to the leeway provided by his exceeding his deficit reduction objectives, intends in tabling his budget tomorrow to announce measures-

PovertyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

PovertyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

If I were they, Mr. Speaker, I would hold my applause, for what is coming is not all that worthy of applause. Tomorrow, the minister intends to announce measures to combat child poverty and to improve the health care system.

Are we to understand that these measures the Minister of Finance is preparing to announce, in two areas of provincial jurisdiction, are intended to make us forget that the child poverty and health care situations have deteriorated as a result of his own cuts of $4.5 billion to social and health programs?