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House of Commons Hansard #137 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Tobacco ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Bloc Lévis, QC

moved:

Motion No. 5

That Bill C-71, in Clause 12, be amended by replacing line 2 on page 5 with the following:

"that is activated before each transaction or that is in a place to which young persons are not permitted by law to have access."

Tobacco ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

moved:

Motion No. 30

That Bill C-71 be amended by adding after line 33 on page 17 the following:

"45.1 Every young person who contravenes section 8.1 is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $75."

Mr. Speaker, let me reiterate that this bill is not perfect. Reformers strongly object to time allocation. There is no way that anti-democratic action should take place in this House.

I have a couple of other objections for the record. The regulations that will follow this bill will not be subject to parliamentary scrutiny. I object to that. I also object to the fact that there was a way to make cigarettes a drug delivery system and to have nicotine restricted in that vein.

My third objection is reflected by my amendments. The law states that it is illegal to sell tobacco to youths, and so it should be. The fines are substantial. However, the onus is all on the shopkeepers. They must check for identification. They take all the flack. They must police our kids for us. Who actually intends to break the law? The shopkeepers in this situation are innocent.

The youth who comes into the store and who looks 17 does not get very much time from the shopkeeper, but the youth who comes in and who looks 22 but is actually 17 puts the shopkeeper in jeopardy. I believe, as do most shopkeepers, that there should be some onus placed on the youths who break the law. They are the individuals who come to the shops to break the law.

It is done with alcohol. The underage youth comes in to buy a beer. Do we charge the vendor? Of course not. We charge the youth for doing something illegal. The youth gets charged with illegal

possession, and we certainly do not go after the individual who sold the beer to the youth.

This amendment recognizes that a youth under 18 purchasing tobacco is the culprit in the equation and suggests a small fine for the youth breaking the law. Obtaining and attempting to obtain should be discouraged by a penalty. Those are the amendments I put before the House.

Tobacco ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to have the opportunity to address this motion. Maybe I can address a few issues that have been raised so far in the debate. I draw members' attention to the motions before the House which I will comment on briefly.

Motion No. 2, moved by the member for Macleod, suggests that it become a criminal offence for young persons to possess or attempt to possess a tobacco product in a public place. Creating such an offence of possession would be contrary to the government's policy approach. As the member indicated, the onus is on the vendor.

We are trying to focus control into the commercial activities of retailers so the onus would rest and vest with the retailer. I suggest that making it illegal for young people to possess tobacco products would subject hundreds of thousands of young people to potential criminal prosecution. That may be the intended objective of some members, but at this stage we want to focus on the commercial relationship that is initiated by the retailer offering this product for sale.

Motion No. 4 has been proposed by the Minister of Health to clarify an amendment put forward in committee. Clause 12 was originally amended in committee to allow the use of vending machines with locking devices to be continued. The amendment now before us clarifies that vending machines with locking devices will be permitted only in a bar, tavern or a beverage room. Cigarette vending machines have been restricted to these locations since the coming into force of the Tobacco Sales to Young Persons Act in 1994 and we want to continue that practice.

The reference to a prescribed security mechanism is preferred to the phrase that is currently proposed "that is activated before each transaction" as expressed in the amendment adopted by the Standing Committee on Health. In this way the government can determine through consultation the most appropriate types of security mechanisms with a view to advancing the objective of limiting youth access.

Motion No. 5, moved by the member for Lévis, would also amend clause 12. The member suggests that vending machines be allowed to remain in places where youth do not have access, which is one of the venues where prescribed tobacco advertising and sponsorship promotions will be permitted. This amendment should be rejected on the grounds that on occasion youth do gain access to places where they are not permitted to be by law. Obviously the availability of tobacco products through unsupervised transactions poses a more immediate peril than does the appearance of tobacco promotions.

Finally, Motion No. 30 is proposed by the member for Macleod. It would set a maximum fine for young people who are acting as retailers and selling cigarettes illegally to other youth. The member's concern that young persons not be subjected to harsh penalties is addressed by Bill C-71. The bill sets maximums rather than minimum fines. Furthermore, a young offender between the ages of 12 and 18 years of age would be dealt with according to the Young Offenders Act, which provides for the use of alternative measures such as community service.

Mr. Speaker, in my remaining time I would like to address some of the comments made by members opposite on Friday, February 21, during the first part of report stage debate on the bill. On that date the member for Lévis stated that the Bloc shares the objectives of the Minister of Health on the issue. However, both he and his colleagues made statements which point to an opposite position. By the way, it is a position which was raised again earlier this morning in debate.

I believe I am quoting the member for Lévis correctly when he said "that the government shows no compassion, no willingness whatsoever to deal with the issue of sponsorships". The government has proposed an implementation period, so clearly this is incorrect. He said that without the regulations nothing in Bill C-71 can be implemented. This too is clearly wrong and, in fact, false.

The House will be surprised to learn that the member for Drummond is the health critic. She talked about the economic benefits of cultural and sports organizations. She is correct, there are benefits. She forgets that the government has not banned tobacco sponsorship. She overlooks that the government has proposed an implementation period. But more seriously, she and others on her side of the House have ignored the fact that there are 12,000 tobacco related deaths in Quebec each year.

They ignore that there are 38 per cent of Quebecers who are smokers. That average is higher than anywhere else in the country.

Members on this side of the House would like to hear those members' justifications for ignoring that there are 76,000 Quebec youth who take up smoking each and every year. They urge us to do nothing about that statistic.

There is a cost. Members will appreciate this in its appropriate context. There is a cost of some $530 million to the Quebec health care system each year because of tobacco related illnesses. How do members opposite from the Bloc justify their opposition to Bill C-71 in the face of these facts?

On Friday, February 21 the member for Trois-Rivières tried to convince himself that sponsorship promotion does not affect attitudes toward smoking. Obviously he did not consult with the minister for health in Quebec because he has an entirely different view.

He and his colleagues ignore an extensive and growing body of international evidence confirming that young people are aware of and susceptible to promotional practices. It also confirms that it is not possible to promote the brand of cigarette without simultaneously promoting tobacco products and their use.

Members will know that 85 per cent of smokers and 83 per cent of non-smokers in the 10 to 19-year old age group see sponsorship promotion as a way of advertising cigarettes. This is the age group in Quebec starting to smoke at a higher rate than in any other province in the country. Furthermore, sponsorship promotion has been the predominant form of tobacco products promotion in Canada since the advertising ban in 1988.

On February 21 the member from Timiskaming criticized the provisions of Bill C-71 which limit the access of youth to cigarettes. The Bloc must now answer regarding whether or not it is advocating the sale of tobacco products to youth. Let us address that issue.

The member for Anjou-Rivière-des-Prairies stood in this House on February 21 and said that everybody recognizes that smoking is not healthy. Great. He said that we must do all that we can to prevent our young people from starting to smoke, but not this.

The member for Berthier-Montcalm said that Quebecers will suffer most from this bill. Quebecers are already suffering the most. If they accept the figures that I have given, in terms of the health component, they should answer their own rhetorical question.

Quebecers smoke more and are dying faster than people in any other region of the country as a result of tobacco induced illnesses. Right now in Quebec there are up to a million citizens who will eventually die of tobacco related causes. The members opposite want to defend a continuation of the status quo. That same member said that cigarettes are good because they put $3.5 billion into the government's treasury but he did not appreciate that they take out some $15 billion in direct and indirect costs.

The member for Argenteuil-Papineau said that the government did not take into account the testimony heard before the health committee. How false a misrepresentation that would be.

The committee recommended that the Minister of Health consider an implementation period for the sponsorship promotion restriction. That is before this House today.

The same member reminded the House on February 21 that the Bloc voted for the bill on second reading because it recognized the validity of the government's objectives.

If it did, are the principles of Bill C-71 today less valid than they were in December of last year? Are there fewer Canadians being affected by tobacco than there were last-

Tobacco ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I regret the hon. member's time has expired. The hon. member for Lévis.

Tobacco ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Bloc Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have to acknowledge that the parliamentary secretary is quite brave. He at least has the decency to show up in this House. On the Liberal side, he is among the very few who stand up for this bill, or at least try to do so. He is having quite a hard time, because even though we support the objectives aimed at in the 80 per cent of the bill that is justifiable, including the fight against smoking among young people, there are some provisions that are unacceptable and not applicable.

I realize that it is still useful to speak up in this House. The parliamentary secretary did not like certain things the official opposition, Bloc members, said and he is giving us a piece of his mind, and I appreciate this debate we are having. However, I would like for more of his colleagues to show the same courage.

We are dealing with Group No. 2. What is the purpose of these motions? Let me focus more specifically on the amendment we put forward. It is Motion No. 5 concerning clause 12. What does clause 12 say? It deals with vending machines that have a security mechanism.

In the clause by clause consideration of this bill, we managed to convince the parliamentary secretary to approve an amendment and to recognize the fact that, in some public places, a security mechanism with a remote control could be used. It was accepted by the Department of Health, but everything has changed all of a sudden. A wind of change has been blowing on the Department of Health since the arrival of the new minister. They want to regulate everything and they no longer accept what used to be accepted.

In this case as in many others, Quebecers showed some ingenuity, as they often do. They thought of using the same kind of remote control mechanism that is used for a television set. Those who use these remote control mechanisms are called zappers. The same principle was applied to vending machines. An employee could block access to a vending machine and, using this remote control,

could allow the client to buy cigarettes himself by inserting the right amount of money in the machine.

What was the purpose of the bill initially? It was designed to have these vending machines kept in a place to which the public does not have access. Maybe this would not have been a problem in a large restaurant or in a large bar, but imagine what the situation would be in a small country bar with only one employee. According to this bill, if a client asked for cigarettes, the waiter would have had to leave the restaurant or the bar unattended to get cigarettes from a place to which the public does not have access. That is what the bill was designed to do initially.

By putting forward arguments and explaining our point of view, we finally succeeded in making the parliamentary secretary understand that an amendment was necessary. Of course, it seems very difficult for the Liberal Party to accept an amendment proposed by the opposition. They do not think the opposition can be right sometimes. And on the rare occasions where they have to agree with us, they cannot admit that we are completely right. That is why we are raising this issue again in the House at report stage, in front of the television cameras, to say that we may have won on the principle of security by remote control, but let us look, for example, at the situation in a bar where liquor is sold, but it cannot be sold to people under 18 years of age.

The purpose of the bill is to make access to tobacco products more difficult for young people under 18 years of age. Since only people 18 years of age and older are allowed into establishments restricted to adults, why would there be any need to activate the safety mechanism on a vending machine?

In a restaurant, this would be understandable, because young people may go there, accompanied by their parents. But if they have some money tucked away and their parents momentarily lose sight of them, they could buy cigarettes. So, it is understandable in a restaurant, but in a bar where it is prohibited anyway by law, by regulations, by fines or whatever, for a young person under the age of 18 to enter and consume alcoholic drinks, there is therefore less of a need, in our view, for this provision to be included because, ultimately, it departs from the purpose.

We have tried to make the government, the parliamentary secretary, understand this, without success.

When the parliamentary secretary broadened the discussion to include other provisions, reacting to comments from Bloc Quebecois members in particular, it is annoying, because we realize we were right. Members will recall that the government wanted to rush this bill through before the holidays. It put off consideration of the bill for months and then, just before Christmas, a couple of weeks before Christmas, it wanted to ram the bill through.

The Reform members went along with it. They even gave the bill their approval before it was printed, before they had read it.

Imagine. After a member from each party had spoken, the member who had introduced the amendment rose to speak for 30 seconds, after asking that the House pass the bill quickly, before the holidays, with no study or debate.

We in the official opposition suggested that some witnesses be heard by the committee, with the result that the bill was not passed before the holidays. What happened? There was a debate and public pressure made itself felt, with the result that the minister felt obliged to table certain amendments that are an improvement, that spread out the effect, but that shifted the problem. We are used to seeing this government dump things onto the provinces, but now it is dumping-

Tobacco ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

My dear colleague, you are entitled to two more minutes for your speech, if you wish to use them after oral question period.

It being 2 p.m., we will proceed to statements by members.

CurlingStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bernie Collins Liberal Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate my constituent, Jim Packet of Estevan, Saskatchewan, for winning the Saskatchewan Pool Tankard Men's Curling Championship on February 9, 1997, with a 7-6 extra end victory over his opponent.

Mr. Packet, along with third Jeff Mosley, second Dallas Duce and lead Ken Loeffler won the Saskatchewan tankard with a dramatic finish in a thrilling extra end. This means that Packet and his team will be competing at the Labatt Brier in Calgary on March 8, 1997.

I know I speak for all my constituents as well as all the people from the province of Saskatchewan when I wish Jim Packet, Jeff Mosley, Dallas Duce and Ken Loeffler the best of luck at the upcoming brier competition.

Small BusinessStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary North, AB

Mr. Speaker, small and medium size businesses are creating the majority of new full time jobs in Canada. The Liberal government acknowledges that this is true.

Small and medium sized businesses in a recent survey say the conditions necessary for them to hire more people are increased consumer demand and lower taxes. Lower payroll taxes were cited

by over 40 per cent as a necessary condition for them to hire more workers.

Why then did the finance minister not listen to these views with respect to payroll taxes? He not only failed to reduce payroll taxes. He increased them. A whopping 73 per cent increase in CPP premiums will overwhelm the minuscule reduction in EI premiums. In 1998, for example, CPP premium increases will take three times as much out of the pockets of small business and workers as EI cuts will leave there.

This was a bad budget decision by the Liberals, bad news for job creators and bad news for the unemployed.

Tobacco LegislationStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, the more one looks at the Liberal government's tobacco bill, the more one realizes the perverse effects of a piece of legislation which will obviously not attain the intended objective, unless that objective is to damage the Quebec economy.

On top of the millions of dollars Montreal will lose as a result of this hypocritical legislation, there is the domino effect of the Canadian health ayatollah's policy, which will impact upon all regions of Quebec, including Berthier-Montcalm, unfortunately.

During the Montreal Grand Prix weekend, tourists from Japan, Europe and the southern United States come to visit the Gilles Villeneuve museum in Berthierville. The museum, and the local economy, will lose those thousands of tourists from other countries, for if there is no Grand Prix sponsorship, there will be no Grand Prix, no high-profile drivers, no foreign visitors.

Who could possibly believe that there could be any beneficial effects for Montreal and other areas of Quebec when they lose thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefits?

This minister needs to be put back on the right track, for he most certainly is not on it at present.

World Trade OrganizationStatements By Members

March 4th, 1997 / 1:55 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis NDP Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, the United States has served notice that it will invoke section 20, the national security clause of the World Trade Organization, to keep the regulatory body from adjudicating a European Union challenge to the controversial Helms-Burton law.

The Americans argue they fear a Cuban invasion and that their national security is threatened. Therefore they will boycott a World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel struck to examine the trade legitimacy of the Helms-Burton legislation.

If the Americans can use section 20, why does Canada not invoke section 20 to maintain a secure supply of food as a national security issue? Why not invoke section 20 to keep an American attack on our cultural industries at bay, or to ward off an attack on our generic pharmaceuticals, or perhaps most important to protect the eventual invasion by the United States to direct our water from our rivers and lakes into the United States mid and southwest?

If Americans can use section 20 of the World Trade Organization to protect the most powerful military nation on earth from a Cuban invasion, surely we can use the same argument to protect our cultural industries, our food supply, our Canadian-

World Trade OrganizationStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Fredericton-York-Sunbury.

Sky's The Limit Snow ChallengeStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Liberal Fredericton—York—Sunbury, NB

Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased to act as honorary chair of the 1997 Sky's the Limit Snow Challenge a few weeks ago at Crabbe Mountain near Fredericton. The snow challenge was a huge success with 44 teams of eight taking part in a day of activities that ranged from snow golf to inner tube races.

While the fresh air, exercise and camaraderie were all wonderful, the best part of the snow challenge was that it raised more than $50,000 for the New Brunswick Association for Community Living.

The New Brunswick Association for Community Living is a voluntary organization dedicated to advocacy around the interest of persons living with an intellectual disability. It provides training and information and works to change policies and programs to better meet the needs of a range of individuals.

I extend congratulations to all team members, volunteers and organizers for such a successful challenge. It was well done.

Armenian CommunityStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Liberal Don Valley North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the year 1887 saw the arrival of the first Armenian immigrants in Canada at Port Hope, Ontario. It is an honour to rise in the House today to recognize the 110th anniversary of the Armenian community in Canada.

Canadians of Armenian origin continue to contribute to the life and vitality of this great nation. Congratulations go to all Armenians on 110 years of building their future in Canada.

My ancestral homeland, Armenia, was a victim of a horrible earthquake in 1988. I trust Canadians will rise to the occasion today as they did then in response to the tragic loss of innocent lives and the horrible destruction caused by the recent earthquakes in Iran and Pakistan.

Canadians from all walks of life are witness to the pain and sorrow of the victims of this horrible tragedy and wish them a rapid recovery.

Canada Infrastructure Works ProgramStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ovid Jackson Liberal Bruce—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, March 1, I had the pleasure of attending the official opening of the new civic hall and library in the town of Hanover.

The new civic centre and library was made possible through the Canada infrastructure works program which is driven by local priorities and involves all three levels of government.

We have extended the program adding $425 million to the $175 million to be spent in 1997, for a total of $600 million this year.

For those few who question the program may I suggest they examine the quality of life in those countries and communities that have ignored infrastructure. It is not a pleasant sight.

Infrastructure is more than a program to create jobs in the short run. It is an investment in the fixed assets of a country for its long term economic viability. Infrastructure is a bridge to the future.

I congratulate the town of Hanover for its forward looking vision and its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for its citizens.

Tobacco LegislationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, every year thousands of tourists flock to the Témiscamingue region for the Ville-Marie international regatta, and of course to visit our magnificent region at the same time.

This event has a major economic impact on our region, not to mention the redistribution of profit among local organizations in order to improve the quality of life there.

Alas, the Liberal government is going at it hammer and tongs, threatening the survival of events of this type with its Bill C-71. This bill, in doing away with tobacco company sponsorships, will deprive the international regatta circuit of a major financial partner. And what lies behind such a decision? A desire to encourage young people to smoke less, or a desire to get at Quebec's sporting and cultural events, the focus of 50 per cent of the tobacco companies' sponsorships?

This is, in fact, just window-dressing, a measure by a government which wants to give the impression that it is concerned about the health of Canadians, and to make people forget the billions of dollars in cuts to health care funding.

I wish to make it clear to the people of Témiscamingue that the Bloc Quebecois will continue its battle against this bill and will keep on demanding that the Liberals explain themselves to all parts of Quebec when the next election is held.

Patent DrugsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker,

When Liberals sat in the opposition bench They fought both day and night To keep the dreaded free trade bill From ever seeing light

They also wanted cheaper drugs While in their opposition role And so they howled that patent drugs Should be under tight control

What a shock the public got When the drug review came up To find new spin since NAFTA's in That drug patents can't be touched

Liberals believe we don't notice But voters think a lot There is one thing they won't forgive And that's the old flip flop!

The public are fed up with this There really is no doubt And when it come election time They'll throw these rascals out.

A Toonie For CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in recognition of A Toonie for Canada, a student driven unity initiative in my riding of Burlington.

On February 14 of this year the Hon. Jane Stewart, the Minister of National Revenue, and member for Halton-Peel, Julian Reed, joined with me to celebrate and officially launch this project.

With Burlington resident, Tom Dykes, the staff and students of Notre Dame Secondary School have developed an innovative approach to educating and exciting other young Canadians from coast to coast to coast about national unity.

The Chrétien government has placed a great deal of importance on demonstrating our confidence in Canada and in Canadians, especially young Canadians.

Clearly the students of Notre Dame Secondary School have given us every reason to be confident that young Canadians are more willing than ever to take an active role in reshaping Canada's future.

I ask colleagues to join with me in congratulating these fine young Canadians on their dedication to our wonderful country.

A Toonie For CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I remind members not to use the names of any member of Parliament. While I am on my feet, I might mention that the word ayatollah in certain contexts might not be too favourable.

Gerry DonoghueStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John O'Reilly Liberal Victoria—Haliburton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to salute Mr. Gerry Donoghue, a veteran of Hill TV journalism who is in the gallery today.

Mr. Donoghue is no stranger to these halls. He has been a cameraman on Parliament Hill for 37 years and has had an admirable career with several news companies.

Having worked in this place since 1959 he has observed the work of eight Prime Ministers and has watched history unfold. He represents the men and women who work with the press in this country. They are the eyes and ears of Canadians in our political institutions and a pillar of our democracy.

Well done, Gerry Donoghue.

Status Of WomenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Liberal Vaudreuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the 1993 elections, we campaigned on a number of issues and concerns of particular interest for women.

In our red book, we made a commitment to women's health, and I quote: "A Liberal government will add a Centre of Excellence for Women's Health, aimed at effective and equal treatment of women's health issues in the Canadian health care system".

On June 25, our government announced the establishment of five centres of excellence for women's health. These centres are being set up to remedy the grave failures of our research efforts with regard to women's health and of a health care system which does not pay enough attention to the particular needs of women across Canada.

This is only one of our government's many achievements in favour of Canadian women.

Tobacco ActStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, hundreds of citizens in Trois-Rivières have shown their opposition to the bill aimed at regulating tobacco sponsorship, and attempted once again to bring to its senses this Liberal government which is jeopardizing the very existence of the Trois-Rivières Grand Prix.

SIDAC members, stores and businesses, suspended their activities for 15 minutes in a show of solidarity because the Saint-Maurice area cannot allow this government to cause the loss of $10 million in economic spinoffs, of hundreds of jobs, and the loss of international exposure due to the broadcasting of the Trois-Rivières Grand Prix in 141 countries.

Under the guise of public health, a concept it abuses, this government is making a mockery of the freedom of expression and showing its intolerance and shortsightedness by leading people to believe that the disappearance of tobacco sponsorship will be synonymous with an improvement in public health.

This is the reason why people in greater Trois-Rivières are once again condemning the stubbornness of the Prime Minister, although he is from our area, and the fundamentalism of the Liberal government.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Jack Ramsay Reform Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, a man sexually assaulted his stepdaughter for 12 years beginning when she was a child. An impaired driver caused an accident that killed his friend. A British Columbia man was convicted of abducting and sodomizing a single mother. None of these criminals are serving time in jail, courtesy of the Liberal government's Bill C-41 which has resulted in case after case of criminals walking free.

Now the Liberal's sentencing law is on trial in three provinces. In Alberta nine cases involving conditional sentences have been brought to the top court on both crown and defence appeals; crown prosecutors in B.C. are considering an appeal; and the Attorney General of Ontario has asked for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, all on matters dealing with conditional sentences.

Had the justice minister accepted the advice of the Canadian Police Association, Victims of Violence, the attorneys general and the Reform Party to clearly limit conditional sentencing, he would not once again find his legislation in court.

Tobacco ActStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, tobacco companies are using sponsorship of cultural and sports events to blackmail us in order to prevent the passage of our tobacco legislation.

However, this tactic did not stop more than 300 artists from getting together to form the ACST, which stands for Artistes pour les commandites sans tabac, or artists for tobacco-free sponsorships. The purpose of the group is twofold: first, while the tobacco industry would have everyone believe that the entire artistic community opposes the bill, they are there to prove it wrong. Second, they want to draw attention to the utilitarian side of tobacco sponsorships. Their records show they have much more far-reaching implications. Sponsorships actually sell cigarettes.

These artists realize that, as far as public health is concerned, sponsorships will never take precedence over the health of our young people.

[English]

Women's InstituteStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Liberal Lambton—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, if anyone knew about the day to day concerns and hardships of farm women, Adelaide Hoodless did. She was born on a farm near Brantford, Ontario, in 1857, one of 12 children.

Throughout her life she maintained her close connection with the Farmers' Institute. In 1897, at a meeting in Stoney Creek, Ms. Hoodless proposed the organization of a sister group to the Farmers' Institute and a few days later formed the first Women's Institute. The idea spread rapidly and by the early 1900s there were many chapters right across Canada.

The designated day for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Women's Institute in Ontario was February 19, the day Ms. Hoodless was made honorary president 100 years ago in Stoney Creek.

Women's Institutes in the riding of Lambton-Middlesex and in the rest of Canada should be very proud of their achievements. I take this opportunity to extend my heartiest congratulations.

Tobacco ActOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Roberval Québec

Bloc

Michel Gauthier BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today in Montreal thousands of people are demonstrating their disagreement with the federal government, which is getting ready to wipe out major sports and cultural events with the anti-advertising provisions contained in the bill.

Although everyone shares the same anti-smoking objectives, it must realize that many people, restaurant owners, hotel operators, taxi drivers, are convinced they will lose a large part of their earnings if Quebec's cultural and sports events are attacked.

Is the Prime Minister aware that in Montreal alone, I hope the ministers from Quebec across the way are listening closely, $240 million in spinoffs will disappear because the government is refusing to listen to reason concerning tobacco company sponsorships?