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House of Commons Hansard #146 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

The BudgetGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Liberal Don Valley North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have two short questions for the hon. member.

First, the hon. member said that the government took office in 1993 with a $42 billion deficit which it has brought down to$17 billion. She said that was not an achievement. Compared to what?

If we consider the record of the previous government, which was in power for nine years, I am sure the majority of Canadians would agree with me that this was a fantastic achievement. It may not be enough but it was a fantastic achievement to bring the deficit down by about 50 per cent. I ask her to comment on that.

Second, she did not mention that an average Canadian who has a $100,000 mortgage or a bank loan is saving about $6,000 net net on

yearly payments. If we multiply that by a five-year term mortgage it will mean a net net saving of $30,000.

I ask the member to show me a government in the world that provides that kind of opportunity to taxpayers within a 3.5-year period. That point should also be made.

I hope the hon. member replies to those two points.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Daphne Jennings Reform Mission—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his questions.

There is a lot of deceit-and I hate to use that word-in the way the government has manipulated its figures. It is true that it has cut the deficit in half, but that has been done through increased taxes. As I pointed out in my speech, we have had 35 to 36 tax increases. Those increases cannot be denied.

What are the results of those tax increases? We have an unhealthy economy in the marketplace. We have fewer jobs and we have higher unemployment. We cannot get away from those facts.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

It is almost two o'clock. We will now proceed to Statements by Members.

Wireless TechnologyStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Liberal Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, a joint venture agreement between the city of Waterloo and Nexsys Commtech International Inc. has resulted in a device to make our homes the safest in Canada.

It uses a two-way wireless link to a central network which will monitor smoke detectors. This system also reads utility meters. It receives radio signals from the smoke alarms which it relays to the local fire department. It reports a dead battery in a smoke detector and displays water, electricity and natural gas consumption.

Partnership between local government and local industry has produced a highly marketable product using existing wireless technology manufactured by Research in Motion. It will benefit my constituents by saving them money, protecting their lives and strengthening the local economy.

Military SpendingStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the invitation of the Comité de solidarité tiers-monde de Trois-Rivières, some 9,000 people made clear to the Prime Minister of Canada their desire to have the federal government cut its military spending and use the money to keep social programs and fight poverty.

The campaign was supported by many well known individuals from the Mauricie, including the bishop of Trois-Rivières, Mgr. Martin Veillette, and by some 30 boards of directors of popular groups in the Mauricie.

So, while Quebec and Canada have been hit broadside by increased poverty and the number of people who have been left out of the labour market, including young people, is rising alarmingly, these people and organizations have decided to take the Prime Minister to task and have asked me to pass on to him directly these 9,000 signatures and 30 resolutions-which I did last week.

Your move, Mr. Prime Minister.

Motion No. 267Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Daphne Jennings Reform Mission—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remind the House that my Motion No. 267 will be debated on Friday for its second hour.

I put forward the motion to bring accountability to the House for Private Members' Business which is referred to standing committees.

The need for this legislation became obvious to me from my personal experience with my grandparent-grandchildren bill, Bill C-232, which asked that grandparents be given standing in the courts at the time of divorce.

Although unanimously passed by the House at second reading, the grandparents bill was buried in committee, like many others sent to committee by the House, with no apparent reasons given.

It is this lack of accountability to the House, the arrogance of simply dropping an issue raised by the House that Motion No. 267 seeks to rectify by simply requiring committees to report their conclusions to the House.

I want to acknowledge the recognition given to my motion in a subcommittee report to the procedure and House affairs committee this week which recommends just such accountability be established. I hope we will be practising these new changes soon.

Canada's Drug StrategyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Audrey McLaughlin NDP Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, federal funding for Canada's drug strategy will end this month. The program provided thousands of Canadians with the education and prevention tools they needed to battle problems with drug and

alcohol abuse. Across the country youth groups, counselling services and programs for aboriginal people are being closed down.

In Yukon the youth empowerment and success drop-in centre will lose its core funding as a result of this decision by the Liberal government. Youth workers in Carmacks, Yukon and other locations from coast to coast are threatened with losing their jobs. The young people who benefit from these programs will have nowhere to turn.

Ending successful programs for young people is yet one more example of this Liberal government's deficit cutting with no vision.

Successful programs which help Canadians be more self-sufficient and productive should be maintained and not ended. I urge the government to reconsider its decision and make the lives of young people a priority.

Edmonton EastStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Bethel Liberal Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the women of Edmonton East have made a tremendous contribution to good government.

It is their efforts in gathering the collective wisdom of all who live and work in Edmonton East that help our ministers shape effective policies and programs for the benefit of all Canadians. It is their collective wisdom we see reflected in the legislation of this House.

Kate Quinn, a leader with Communities for Changing Prostitution, was instrumental in organizing a forum that helped us understand the impacts of street prostitution on neighbourhoods and on young victims. The recommendations generated at this forum provided clear directions for changes our government made to the Criminal Code.

Sue Olsen is a leader in our inner city communities and an Edmonton police officer. Her collective efforts resulted in amending legislation to provide police officers with the necessary tools to permanently shut down Edmonton's fortified drug houses.

Liz O'Neill in her testimony to the finance committee in Edmonton showed clearly why charging GST on food would harm children who live in poverty. Her wisdom, too, is reflected in our legislation.

These are but a few Edmonton women. They provide good government. They are political women and they help us.

Dr. Keith McIntyreStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Dr. Keith McIntyre, president of Mohawk College, who will be retiring soon after 21 years of distinguished service to the college.

Dr. McIntyre has been president of Mohawk College since 1980. Mohawk College is one of the larger colleges in Ontario with 12,000 full time students and 60,000 part time students in post-secondary, retraining and apprenticeship programs. The college operates five major campuses with an annual budget of $100 million and a full time staff of 800. Dr. McIntyre launched Canada's first co-operative education college program in 1964.

He is active in many community and extracurricular affairs. He is a founding member of the World Association for Co-operative Education and served as president from 1989 to 1992. He is currently chair of the board of trustees of the Ontario Environmental Training Consortium.

I congratulate Dr. McIntyre on his successful career and wish him the best in his retirement.

Co-Operative HousingStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Colleen Beaumier Liberal Brampton, ON

Mr. Speaker, co-operative housing empowers Canadians to build active, participatory communities. The federal government has traditionally played a central role in promoting co-op housing and its very integral function in Canadian society.

The recent decision by the Ontario government to off-load responsibilities over co-op housing to municipalities further threatens its viability. I commend the minister responsible for CMHC for looking into the implications of this move by the Harris government. I urge her to take this opportunity to reconsider the transfer of federal responsibilities over co-op housing to provincial governments.

The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada has put forth a proposal to create a non-profit entity which would assume the administration of the federally funded co-op housing portfolio.

We should seriously consider this proposal. We have the responsibility to ensure that co-op housing remains the viable empowering vehicle it is today.

Let us use this opportunity to make sure that there is a secure co-op housing sector for future generations.

Prix Du Mérite FrançaisStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Bloc Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec minister of culture and communications, Louise Beaudoin, yesterday awarded the prix du Mérite français to three persons at the forefront of the defence of the French language in Quebec: Marc Favreau, Pierre Nadeau and Serge Turgeon.

Marc Favreau is always a delight with Sol, the character that plays with the French language taking a syllable here and a word there and turning the meaning of life on its ear.

Pierre Nadeau was awarded the prix du Mérite français for the quality of language in his reports and was cited as an example to be followed in the field of communications.

Serge Turgeon, the outgoing president of the Union des artistes, deserved this recognition for his support of all the struggles to strengthen and promote French in Quebec.

The Bloc Quebecois congratulates the recipients of the prix du Mérite français and hopes that all francophones in Quebec and Canada will take a few minutes to recognize the value of their language and culture during this, La semaine du français.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I wish every Liberal MP had been in Saskatoon last Thursday night to listen to a speech by Mrs. Marie King-Forest, the wife of RCMP Constable Brian King who was executed in 1978 by two cold blooded murderers.

Here is a sample of Liberal justice. Marie said: "Victims' impact statements are difficult to write and read but worse yet, these impact statements were edited and some were not even allowed because the content would inflame the jury".

Here is part of Ashley King's impact statement which was ruled too inflammatory: "People do not know the feelings I experienced every time I had to cross one of the bridges in Saskatoon and see the South Saskatchewan River, a river stained by my father's blood. To this day I cannot stand to see that river".

Marie King-Forest responded: "How dare the system let the jury hear only what someone deems relevant while Darryl Crook got on the stand and spoke freely".

On behalf of Marie and her family I ask all Liberals where is the justice in section 745?

Crystal Springs United Church WomenStatements By Members

March 18th, 1997 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Georgette Sheridan Liberal Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Crystal Springs United Church Women on their support for the ban of the manufacture, use, exportation or stockpiling of land mines.

In January I received a letter from Daisy Reid, secretary-treasurer of the UCW, in which she urged the government to take a leadership role on this issue, especially in the eradication of anti-personnel mines which are truly nefarious devices that are designed, as Daisy explains in her letter, to injure and maim but not to kill.

Mrs. Reid writes on behalf of the UCW that they wish to join the international campaign to ban land mines: "We feel that Canada should give leadership to the world in this terrible way of using our fellow man".

I am pleased to inform the UCW that our foreign affairs minister has recently been nominated for a Nobel peace prize in recognition of his efforts to rid the world of land mines. Also worthy of recognition are the thousands of individual Canadians like Daisy Reid, Bernice Bird, Evelyn Reid, Maxine MacLeod and Fern Horley of the Crystal Springs UCW who take the time to support these important efforts and to prove that one person can make a difference.

Air TransportStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois severely criticizes the federal government for its inconsistent decisions and its mistakes, as former minister André Ouellet called them, in the matter of the Montreal airports.

As Senator Pietro Rizzuto himself admitted Saturday, for two years now, the federal government has failed to assume its responsibilities in looking for a viable solution to ensure the future of air transport in Quebec, hence the current confusion and the mess we are in.

The Bloc Quebecois condemns the Liberals for trying, once again, to take the people of the Lower Laurentians hostage on this issue by making all sorts of promises on the eve of an election for purely partisan purposes.

The Bloc Quebecois therefore demands that the Standing Committee on Transport hold the public consultations promised on this issue as soon as possible.

In addition, we demand that the committee quickly make recommendations to the Minister of Transport after reviewing the whole matter.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Reform Comox—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, Patrick Kelly, a former RCMP officer, was convicted of murder when his wife fell to her death from their 17th floor balcony. The key witness who convicted Kelly has subsequently admitted that she lied in her testimony.

Finally, after years of mismanagement and stalling by the Minister of Justice, Mr. Kelly's case is coming before the courts for review later this year.

Mr. Kelly has a five day hearing commencing October 7 and a question and answer hearing on December 2. Yet it appears that Mr. Kelly's fight for justice will be blocked once again by the Minister of Justice because the Attorney General of Ontario cannot access records held by the minister.

In the name of justice, the minister must allow the Attorney General of Ontario to access the records of Patrick Kelly held by the minister's department.

All Canadians deserve and must receive fair and just treatment by our justice system.

Journée Internationale De La FrancophonieStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Eugène Bellemare Liberal Carleton—Gloucester, ON

Mr. Speaker, Thursday, March 20 is the Journée internationale de la francophonie. Since 1970, Canada has been a world leader in promoting la francophonie and a founding member of the Agence de coopération culturelle et technique.

Canada holds an enviable position as a member of the major organizations of the international community. Its linguistic duality and cultural richness make it a partner that is in demand in la francophonie, a network of 49 countries and governments that has in common the use of French.

Belonging to la francophonie also means showing the rest of the world the essence of our Canadian culture and giving 8.5 million French-speaking Canadians a chance to reach out to the rest of the world and to exert their influence in many countries.

Happy Journée internationale de la francophonie to all francophones and francophiles in Canada.

Bloc QuebecoisStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Liberal Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, last weekend, having completed the long and tedious process they imposed on themselves, Bloc Quebecois members finally elected a new leader.

In an effort to steer as far away as they could from last year's disappointing experience, when their leader was elected by an electoral conclave, this year, Bloc members went to the other extreme by having their leader selected by universal suffrage.

The sole purpose of the convention that just took place was to confirm what all observers had known for more than four months: that the hon. member for Laurier-Sainte-Marie would be elected leader of the Bloc.

Bloc members have just elected a new president. However, as far as the new leader of the Bloc Quebecois is concerned, they will have to be patient, because Lucien Bouchard is clearly not about to give it up.

International AidStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, the words "duplication" and "encroachment" have symbolic meaning in Quebec. The separatists never miss an opportunity to condemn federal interference.

However, what about when the shoe is on the other foot? Do we hear Bloc Quebecois members asking the PQ government to respect federal jurisdiction? No. They fall silent, as they did last week following Minister Simard's announcement.

Might I remind members that international aid comes under federal jurisdiction and that the minister responsible for CIDA is doing an excellent job in this area.

Sylvain Simard's plan to create a parallel secretariat will simply squander $1.5 million annually in an area that comes under federal jurisdiction.

As a Quebecer, I call on the Government of Quebec to direct its attention to citizens' concerns about hospital cutbacks. Minister Simard has just reminded us of the fable of the frog and the ox.

Ms. Shirley Douglas And Mr. Kiefer SutherlandStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Milliken Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to honour two of Canada's leading thespians, Ms. Shirley Douglas and Mr. Kiefer Sutherland, who are presently the leads in "The Glass Menagerie".

Ms. Douglas plays the mother and Mr. Sutherland appropriately plays her son in the production of this play.

Ms. Douglas is the daughter of the late the Honourable Thomas Clement Douglas. Tommy Douglas, P.C., C.C., LL.D. was elected seven times to this House. He served as premier of Saskatchewan for 17 years and was the former leader of the New Democratic Party in the House of Commons. He led the first socialist government elected in Canada. Mr. Douglas was one of the most eloquent and well liked members of the House.

It is my pleasure to extend my warmest wishes to his daughter, Ms. Douglas, and grandson, Mr. Sutherland, during their stay and performances in Ottawa.

Ms. Shirley Douglas And Mr. Kiefer SutherlandStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, Ms. Douglas and Mr. Sutherland are here with us now in our gallery.

Ms. Shirley Douglas And Mr. Kiefer SutherlandStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister ruled out the Bloc's suggestion that an emergency debate be held on the war between the groups of biker gangs. He washed his hands of it saying that the federal government had nothing to do with this question.

That is not, however, the opinion of those involved primarily. The Government of Quebec and all the municipalities in the Quebec City area trying to deal with these biker gangs are requesting exceptional measures from the federal government for an exceptional situation to help them in their efforts to rid themselves of this scourge.

My question is for the Prime Minister or the Minister of Justice. Given the unanimous desire for action on the part of the Government of Quebec and municipal authorities, including the mayors of Quebec City and of Saint-Nicolas, will the Prime Minister or the Minister of Justice admit finally that the federal government must also act urgently in this matter?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I share the concern expressed by the hon. member. The most important thing is to protect families and communities in Quebec and throughout Canada.

I spoke today with Robert Perreault, minister responsible for public safety in Quebec. We agreed it would be preferable to meet as soon as possible to look at all the possibilities and at all available, valid and constitutional approaches. I plan to meet Mr. Perreault and the mayors of the Quebec City area municipalities on Thursday morning to discuss the situation.

As I said yesterday, I am open to looking at all available strategies, all valid and constitutional measures to improve the Criminal Code and criminal law so as to help the police in their fight against organized crime.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is good news, finally. The Minister of Justice has decided to take on the issue.

I ask the Minister of Justice if he would agree-we could do it unanimously in this House-before meeting minister Perreault and the mayors of the Quebec City area, to hold an emergency debate here in the House and to table the dozen measures he announced yesterday so this House might debate them?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, before we have a debate in the House, I think we have first to identify the specific measures we can take to strengthen the Criminal Code.

We must look at the situation, meet those who are involved in Quebec and then, if possible and desirable, introduce a bill for debate here in the House.