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House of Commons Hansard #147 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was report.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

Every Wednesday we sing our national anthem and today we will be led by the hon. member for Beaver River.

John PahapillStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to pay tribute to my constituent John Pahapill. Mr. Pahapill recently returned from a mission overseas with the Canadian executives service organization.Mr. Pahapill was in Estonia advising the government's ministry of justice on developing an efficient work program to rehabilitate prisoners.

CESO volunteers are professional men and women, usually retired, who share their wealth of knowledge and experience to aid businesses and organizations in developing countries, emerging market economies and Canadian aboriginal communities.

CESO is supported by CIDA, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and hundreds of Canadian corporations and individuals.

We applaud the volunteer work that Mr. Pahapill and the CESO organization are doing in eastern Europe to help those economies make the transition from the old Soviet state run system to a freer market system. Bravo, John.

Municipality Of Grosse-ÎleStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

François Langlois Bloc Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, 1997 marks the 150th anniversary of the Great Famine in Ireland. Thousands of Irish men and women fled their country only to be decimated by cholera and typhus epidemics at the Grosse-Île quarantine station, which is located in the riding of Bellechasse-Etchemins-Montmagny-L'Islet.

Grosse-Île will be the site of a number of major events this year to commemorate the sad fate of those men and women. The Corporation de la Grosse-Île, inspired by its chairman, Dr. Jean-Marie Dionne, has been working for more than 15 years to remind the general public that the people of the South Shore responded with hospitality, and a spirit of brotherhood, to the struggling new arrivals who had fled the famine in their homeland.

I invite the people of Canada, and elsewhere, to put Grosse-Île at the top of their list of places to visit during 1997, and in the years to come.

This summer, special commemorations will also be held in the city of Montmagny, and the parishes of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, L'Islet, Berthier-sur-Mer and Saint-Édouard-de-Frampton.

Come one, come all, the welcome mat is out for you.

FamexStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Paul Forseth Reform New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of Mary Mercier and 16,000 other Canadians, I am protesting the use of the FAMEX survey by Statistics Canada. The intrusive content and threatening manner of the survey is objectionable to Canadians and violates our fundamental sense of fairness of what governments should do.

This survey certainly is unaccountable bureaucracy gone wrong. Such detailed information about one's personal income tax form, how much they spend on toilet paper in a whole year or how much interest they accumulate on their credit cards per year is of no business to a government collector.

Governments should not be threatening people with legal penalties for non co-operation to fill out a three hour long survey when the private sector can collect for itself what it needs from volunteers and then pay them for it.

Criminal legal sanctions of government should not be used to enable private market economy work.

I call on the minister responsible, if indeed there is one at this point, to ensure that Statistics Canada stop this objectionable survey which violates mainstream Canadian values.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the minister of immigration recently announced changes to Canada's immigration policies, but unfortunately the Liberals have left untouched those policies most in need of change.

They have left a head tax on immigrants in place, a regressive tax that penalizes immigrants with no regard to their financial resources, inflicting needless hardship on new Canadians and their families.

The Liberals have also left in place refugee policies that require some legitimate refugees to return to countries from which they are fleeing in order to obtain documents. These policies have threatened the lives of refugees from such countries as Iran, which has an atrocious record on human rights.

Many new Canadians and those concerned about the plight of refugees and immigrants are feeling betrayed by the immigration policies of this Liberal government.

JusticeStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Morris Bodnar Liberal Saskatoon—Dundurn, SK

Mr. Speaker, the issue of section 745, the faint hope clause, should be dealt with without trying to capitalize politically on the misfortune of the families of victims. Section 745 needs constructive discussion.

In my opinion section 745 should be eliminated and discretion returned to the sentencing judges. This would eliminate injustices and would allow judges leeway in sentencing. A judge could rule that an Olson or a Bernardo would never be paroled and they would never darken the door of the parole board, not even after 25 years. Someone who has committed murder under extenuating circumstances could be ordered eligible for parole in a much shorter time.

Let us eliminate section 745, return discretion to our judges and return to making good laws, rather than politically capitalizing on the misfortunes of victims' families.

LiteracyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Reg Alcock Liberal Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of national literacy action day. In doing so I wish to honour two outstanding teachers who live in Winnipeg South and who are recipients of the Prime Minister's award for teaching excellence in science, technology and mathematics.

Emanuel Sylvester, a teacher at Jameswood school, is dedicated to preparing his students for the future. He provides extra help for his students through a homework club and is constantly looking for new techniques for teaching science.

Judith Lawrence teaches math at Phoenix school in Headingly, Manitoba. She took on the challenge of not only introducing the province's new math curriculum but conducted special math nights for family members.

A lack of basic literacy and numeracy is a problem which holds back thousands and thousands of Canadians. Our colleague, Senator Joyce Fairbairn, Minister with special responsibility for Literacy, is working closely with provincial, corporate and community partners to address this serious problem.

With teachers like Emanuel Sylvester and Judith Lawrence it is a battle we can win. Today I salute the outstanding contributions of these individuals and their commitment to teaching excellence.

Canada CouncilStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate the Canada Council for its excellent work over the years.

Today, we are celebrating its 40th anniversary and the contribution Canadian artists, publishers and artistic organizations have made to the culture of Canada.

Artists express the essence of our society, its very soul. Their artistic expressions are rooted in their imagination, their emotions, their ideas. They tell us who we are, and show us what we can become. It is important to recognize the true value of their contribution to our society.

Over its forty-year history, the Canada Council has been a remarkable source of support to the production and dissemination of culture in Canada. The founders of the Council, including Father Lévesque who is with us here today, probably had no idea how much their new organization would accomplish.

We hope that the Council-

Canada CouncilStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sorry but I must interrupt the hon. member. The hon. member for Québec has the floor.

Family ViolenceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Fondation Jamais Plus invites the men and women of Quebec to take a stand against domestic violence by going out on Friday and purchasing a pin in the form of a purple cross, which is the symbol of the struggle against family violence.

Through the sales of this pin, the Fondation hopes to collect $100,000, which it will invest in research projects, particularly with respect to children who have witnessed family violence. The federation includes 32 shelters in Quebec. We all wonder what we can do in response to the tragedies of this world that we see depicted on the television news night after night. The Fondation Jamais Plus is offering one positive and practical way.

The Bloc Quebecois encourages Quebecers to act on Friday and buy a purple cross and help build a society free of domestic violence.

HealthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Reform Okanagan—Similkameen—Merritt, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the constituents of Okanagan-Similkameen-Merritt to warn the Liberals against allowing the United Nations Codex commission to outlaw, restrict and control the sale of herbs and vitamins to Canadian consumers.

Consumers of these products do not want the Liberals to increase the price, cut the selection and force them to get prescriptions for these products.

The Liberals are once again killing jobs, jobs, jobs. They are turning the control of this industry over to an international body.

The reclassification and the imposition of a restricted list for these products will put small manufacturers out of business. Large pharmaceutical firms will take over as health food stores across Canada shut down.

A Reform government would encourage Canadians to use vitamins, herbs and other health supplements in order to improve their overall health. The Reform Party is offering Canadians a fresh start so that consumers come first and have the right to safe, low cost health products.

Official OppositionStatements By Members

March 19th, 1997 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jag Bhaduria Liberal Markham—Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

Mr. Speaker, for more than three years it has been evident to Canadians across the country that they have not had a strong and effective voice representing them in the official opposition benches of this House.

Canadians realize that the official opposition is nothing more than a single province party, committed to breaking up and destroying our great country.

It is time for the opposition members in this House to consider a parliamentary coalition of political forces to replace the separatist party from the official opposition benches. To this end, I offer my consent and support to the formation of a political coalition for the purpose of recognition of a group of 51 or more members as the official opposition. I invite my colleagues from the opposition side to join this coalition for the sake of keeping our country together.

Canadians need a strong and effective voice in the official opposition to challenge the Prime Minister and his government on their dismal record.

The Late Murray FraserStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mary Clancy Liberal Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, Murray Fraser was a lawyer, a law teacher, law reformer, law school founder, law dean, university administrator and university president.

He was a husband, a father, a grandfather, a son, a brother, a friend, a colleague and a mentor. He was a diplomat, a wit, an intellectual and a scholar. He was a comforter, a consolidator, a builder and an inspiration.

He could calm a class of hysterical law students, play a wicked game of charades and charm an auditorium full of people, all effortlessly and with true warmth. He was a stellar member of his profession in every aspect of that profession.

With his wife Anne he formed a team that made the places where they lived and worked in Canada, Halifax, Ottawa, Victoria and Calgary, immeasurably better and they did it with much grace.

We lost Murray Fraser last week, far too young, far too soon.

To his wife Anne, his three sons, all his family and to the larger community that mourns him across our nation, we send our sympathy and our tribute to a truly wonderful man. We loved him.

War CriminalsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Finestone Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, Friday, March 21 marks the international day for the elimination of racial discrimination, an important time for all of us to reflect on and rejoice in the values inherent in living with respect and understanding for the diversity of our people in both official languages.

Our charter speaks to non-discrimination as a goal yet to be reached in our evolving history of growth and development. There have been many breaches in the contract of fairness, equality and tolerance that must be challenged and overcome.

Today, on the 10th anniversary of the Deschenes commission report, I met with private investigator Steve Rambam on the issue of Nazi war criminals fraudulently making a home in our country. While 12 such cases are presently being reviewed, other criminals must also be pursued, for he presented a very disturbing portrait of

the RCMP's lack of serious pursuit and investigative tactics against these perpetrators of horrific crimes.

It was a damning criticism of our respect for the value of our own humanity, our own citizenship, and this is a matter of international justice and human rights, not revenge.

War CriminalsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Parry Sound-Muskoka.

Gravenhurst CubsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Liberal Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour one of our great Canadian traditions, the game of hockey, and a fine young team from my riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka.

Today I salute our league champions, the Gravenhurst Cubs junior C hockey team from my home town, which won the mid-Ontario junior C championship series and is in the midst of the all-Ontario playdowns, a best of seven series.

So many of our young people take up the game of hockey and so many are inspired by our hockey greats, those who have gone on to become national heroes: Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and from my home riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka, Bobby Orr.

It takes a lot of hard work and even more commitment and skill to play hockey well. It takes teamwork and tremendous personal drive. It takes the dedication of parents, volunteers and coaches. It takes the loyalty and enthusiasm of the countless fans.

I join with those fans in wishing our Gravenhurst Cubs the best of luck as they skate, shoot and score their way to the championships.

Quebec EstimatesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Bélisle Bloc La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the president of the Quebec treasury board tabled the 1997-98 estimates. Next year, the province's health, education and social assistance expenditures will be cut by $1.6 billion.

For the same year, federal cash transfers to Quebec in these areas will be reduced by exactly the same amount as in 1996. The painful cuts now facing the Government of Quebec are, make no mistake, the sad result of decisions by Canada's finance minister and this Liberal government.

In making such cuts in the social transfers to the provinces, the federal Liberals are condemning them to paying the political price of improving federal public finances, all the while unfairly claiming credit for managing the country well.

The next election will provide an opportunity to remind Quebecers that the Liberal government must bear most of the blame for the closure of hospitals and cuts to education in Quebec.

Copyright LawStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay East, BC

Mr. Speaker, oh what a tangled web we weave has never been more true than the heritage minister's attempt to cobble together an updated copyright law.

On Monday in this House Liberal backbenchers, like cloned sheep, rose and offended such organizations as the Canadian Alliance of Students Association, the Association of Colleges and Universities, the Canadian Restaurant and Foods Association, Canada's radio and television broadcasters, church organizations, charities that depend on telethons, consumer groups, genealogists, archivists, and the list goes on and on.

Canada's hardworking private broadcasters should pay particular attention to the vote of their local members of Parliament. Certainly Canadian students and university associations have noted that the Liberal government, while talking the talk of supporting them financially, has walked the walk of ripping off each student an average of $1,600 by the Liberal ill conceived shutdown of easy access to used study texts.

The precedent set by this minister's tangled web of copyright revisions phase II is a pattern which will be carried into phase III. Confusion, concern, consternation, what a cop out.

Rehabilitation Of Contaminated SitesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the secretary of state for regional development in Quebec has just announced an investment of up to $30 million to establish a centre of excellence in the rehabilitation of contaminated sites in Montreal.

The centre's concept is both simple and promising. During an initial five year period, researchers at the NRC's Biotechnology Research Institute will work in co-operation with authorities in Montreal to develop a technological platform for the rehabilitation of contaminated sites.

They will develop an expertise that will lead to the effective and economic rehabilitation of contaminated sites and the transfer of

technology to the private sector. Many firms have already indicated considerable interest in the project.

This is another of our government's achievements for Montreal and Quebec.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in response to pressure from Quebec's Minister of Public Security, Quebec City area mayors, police forces and official opposition members, the Minister of Justice finally realized that urgent action was required with respect to the biker war. The minister agreed to meet with stakeholders from the Quebec City area who are grappling with the war between the Rock Machine and the Hell's Angels.

In his meeting in Quebec City tomorrow with area mayors and the provincial Minister of Public Security, what concrete proposals does the minister intend to put forward?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time the Government of Canada has expressed its views and shown an interest in this situation.

We have already met with police forces from Montreal and elsewhere to discuss possible amendments to the Criminal Code in order to resolve this matter.

But, as I said yesterday, I intend to meet with Mr. Perreault and others tomorrow to discuss all the possibilities and strategies open to the Government of Canada in order to work with the Government of Quebec, with municipal governments and with police forces in order to deal with this difficult situation.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, of course there is interest, I would hope so, but interest is not enough. I do not imagine the minister is going to Quebec City to put on a show for the media. He is going there to intervene, at least I would hope so.

I ask him if, when he is in Quebec City tomorrow, he intends to propose exceptional measures to resolve this exceptional situation, as area mayors and the Quebec Minister of Public Security are requesting him to do.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, because of the wording of the hon. member's question, I must repeat that we have already taken action as a government and passed concrete and effective measures to improve the Criminal Code as it relates to organized crime. For example, in Bill C-17 we proposed and are now adopting valid measures in this regard.

Once again, as I said, at the meeting we will be holding withMr. Perreault in Quebec City tomorrow morning I intend to discuss and examine with him and other individuals involved all the approaches open.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the means decided on to date, the amendments made so far, are not enough. The police do not have all the tools they need to go after biker gangs.

Quebec City area mayors and the Quebec Minister of Public Security have certainly pointed out to him that more substantial amendments to the Criminal Code are required. What does the Minister of Justice intend to reply to Mr. Perreault, who is calling for urgent amendments to the Criminal Code to deal with the Hell's Angels and the Rock Machine?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Perreault also said there was no magic or simple solution, such as an anti-gang law.

We must work together, in good faith, setting aside partisan politics. We must work together constructively in the search for solutions. Of course, police forces want tools to help them in their work.

But as I said, we have already taken action, and if it is possible to identify other approaches, I am prepared to take action again.