House of Commons Hansard #139 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was young.


Tobacco ActGovernment Orders

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An hon. member


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David Dingwall Liberal Cape Breton—East Richmond, NS

I know the hon. member opposite does not like to hear what I am saying. He wishes to avail himself of the opportunity to heckle. I would encourage him to participate so that we can have an intelligent debate of the subject.

Tobacco ActGovernment Orders

10:35 a.m.

An hon. member

You are asking for too much.

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David Dingwall Liberal Cape Breton—East Richmond, NS

Perhaps I have gone too far in suggesting the hon. member might be able to engage in debate of the subject matter in an intelligent way. I will reflect upon my earlier assertion and perhaps at the end of the debate I will have a few words to say to my friends opposite.

Young people are sophisticated enough to understand the purposes of tobacco company marketing tools. Health Canada's 1994 youth smoking survey found that 85 per cent of young smokers and 83 per cent of non-smokers agreed that advertisements for events

sponsored by tobacco companies were a means to directly advertise cigarette brands.

I recognize many of my colleagues opposite have expressed concern about the link between sponsorship and youth smoking. I would like to take a few moments to discuss that issue.

The National Cancer Institute of Canada has issued a report entitled "Tobacco Marketing and Youth: Examination of Youth Attitudes and Behaviour on Tobacco Industry Advertising and Sponsorship". This is Canada's premier cancer research organization. It concluded an exhaustive review of the available science not only in Canada but indeed beyond our borders.

The institute found there was substantial evidence that young people are aware of and respond to cigarette advertising. Advertisements present images that appeal to youth and are seen and remembered by them.

The United States will be implementing a full ban on sponsorship promotion in August 1998. I would like to share the following points from the federal registry of August 28, 1996.

The FDA has found that image based advertising is particularly effective with young people and that the information conveyed by imagery is likely to be more significant to young people than information conveyed by other means in advertisement.

The FDA also pointed to studies showing that children are exposed to substantial and unavoidable advertising, that exposure to tobacco advertising leads to favourable beliefs about tobacco's use, that advertising plays a role in leading young people to overestimate the prevalence of tobacco use, and that these factors are related to young people's tobacco initiation and use.

In essence it is a way in which to present an image and an environment that smoking is okay, that smoking some how is sexy, and that smokers should not worry about getting some form of disease in the future. It is a very well carved and focused strategy by the advertisers but in particular the tobacco companies.

The FDA also looked at sponsored events and found that the effect of sponsored events on young people who attend such events was enormous. Advertising affects young people's opinion of tobacco products, first, by creating attractive and existing images that can serve as a badge of identification; second, by utilizing multiple and prolonged exposure in a variety of media; and, third, by associating the product with varied positive events and images.

The World Health Organization also recognized the link between tobacco sponsorship and consumption. It has found that the tobacco industry uses the sponsoring of sports and entertainment to complement and/or replace other marketing activities to reach large audiences and to associate their products with positive images.

I am not standing here today to tell adults how to live their lives. I am not telling them to quit smoking although I would hope they would. I am not banning tobacco in this country.

Some have suggested that only a ban on tobacco would really address this public health challenge. There are seven million addicted smokers in Canada. If we were to ban this product, can we imagine the chaos and smuggling that would take place? They are addicted to a substance which according to scientific reports is more addictive than heroin. They are addicted to a product that would be prohibited if introduced on the market today. It is a product that kills when used as directed.

It is not a new product. It is a product with generations of use and an insidious hold. To be reasonable and to be responsible we have to make every effort to prevent youth from beginning to smoke. Experts on tobacco generally agree it is far more productive to discourage young people from experimenting with smoking than trying to place several legal restrictions on adult smokers. Our strategy must be to reduce and ultimately eliminate tobacco use.

We introduced a blueprint in December 1995 whereby numerous consultations took place. We consulted widely with provincial and territorial governments, the health community, tobacco manufacturers, collateral industries, sports and cultural groups, and concerned Canadians. There were over 2,700 submissions in response to the blueprint. Now, 15 months later, I stand before the House at third reading of Bill C-71. The bill contains reasonable measures that will restrict advertising and sponsorship promotion.

Let me make it perfectly clear that we are not banning advertising. We are not banning sponsorship promotion. Instead the bill will place restrictions on these promotional activities which will reduce the exposure of cigarettes in Canadian society.

The government has taken into consideration the concerns of the arts and sports events that rely on tobacco company sponsorship. We have set an implementation period for the sponsorship restriction provisions. We will bring them into force in October 1998. This is effectively a two-season adjustment period.

Let me remind the House that the completion of the implementation period equates to a banning of sponsorship or sponsorship promotion. I challenge some of the national media outlets and their spokespersons to stop acting in a grossly negligent manner in pursuing a track of misinformation about the bill and about the effects of the bill. It is just not so.

The coming into force of section 24 in October 1998 will mean the implementation of restrictions on the extent to which sponsorship activities can be promoted.

I have seen the various legal opinions that the tobacco industry has circulated about Bill C-71. One interpretation asserted that the bill would prohibit persons under 18 years of age from being hired at retail locations where tobacco products are sold. The bill creates no such prohibition and does not deal with criteria for vendors and employees in any way. The bill focuses on the ages of the purchasers. It focuses on sales to minors. Other interpretations have alleged that maximum fines and imprisonment will automatically ensue for any contravention of the act on the day following its coming into force.

In reality, such interpretation ignores the establishment of an enforcement policy in my own department. This policy deems prosecution as a last resort to achieve compliance. It includes warning letters and consultations prior to any consideration of legal action. If members opposite are asking me to do the exact opposite, I will reflect on that.

I could probably stand here all day and talk about the various legal opinions tobacco lobbyists have circulated. We know they are the heart and soul of members of the Bloc Quebec, the lobbyist. I find that the unholy alliance of the Bloc Quebecois and the tobacco lobbyists is rather insidious. For every 15 minutes that this debate continues, one more Canadian will join the role of those who died sooner than they would have otherwise, all because of tobacco use.

Let me add one comment regarding those legal opinions. I have publicly offered a voluntary preclearance mechanism. What I have proposed is that when individuals or groups are apprehensive about possible prosecution under this legislation, when they want to ensure that their advertising or their sponsorship promotion fits within restrictions, they can come to my department and discuss it with our officials.

Before event organizers start making unfounded allegations about what they can do and cannot do, I encourage them to review the restrictions with my department.

It is important not to lose sight of the strong support for Bill C-71 which comes from every region of the country. The Canadian Medical Association supports the legislation: "We are looking for expedient passage of Bill C-71 because we know that the future generation of Canadians must be protected from the number one cause of preventable death and disease in the country".

The president of the Canadian Cancer Society also wrote: "I am writing to express my support for Bill C-71 and to urge you and your ministry to do everything possible within legal frameworks to help end the tragedy of death by tobacco".

I have also received the endorsement of the Coalition québécoise pour le controle du tabac. It represents over 561 organizations across the province of Quebec. The number includes 238 towns and municipalities across the province of Quebec. It includes the Association of Cardiologists of Quebec, the Quebec Dental Association, the Quebec Association of Family Physicians, the Pathologists Association of Quebec, the Quebec Paediatrics Association, the Quebec Medical Association, the Quebec Public Health Association, the Quebec Lung Association and the Quebec division of the Canadian Cancer Society.

My friends opposite on one hand supported Bill C-71 and the principles at second reading and have now done a major flip-flop, the hypocrisy of the Bloc Quebecois. They must be accountable for this flip-flop. They must be accountable to those 561 organizations that support the provisions of Bill C-71.

To the hon. members opposite, their day of reckoning is coming and it is coming fairly soon. They will pay the price for their opposition to the health of the Quebec people, particularly the young people of the province of Quebec.

It falls to my colleagues opposite with the same force that it falls to me as the Minister of Health. We cannot, as members of Parliament, overlook the unavoidable toll of tobacco.

In Quebec alone, the members of the Bloc Quebecois, in their unholy alliance with the tobacco companies and the lobbyists, are saying to 76,000 young people who will begin smoking this year they do not care about the health of les enfants des quebecois. That is what they are saying by their opposition to Bill C-71. This is 30 per cent of the beginning smokers in the country as a whole. Smoking is more common in the province of Quebec than in other parts of Canada and the hon. members know it. They reject outright the efforts of the hon. minister of health in the province of Quebec, one of their own, Jean Rochon.

It is a flip-flop today. Why? It is to get the media headlines each and every day in order to save their political skins in the next federal election.

Thirty-eight per cent of Quebecers are smokers. In the rest of Canada the rate is 31 per cent. They are both unacceptably high. As many as three million people alive today in Canada will die from tobacco related diseases, and one million of those are in the province of Quebec. That is far too many. These are reasons enough to do all we can to reduce tobacco consumption in this country.

I know a number of my colleagues are waiting to speak to this bill. They share my concerns about reducing tobacco consumption in Canadian youth. However, let me take a few moments to

acknowledge the efforts of some of the people who have helped get us this legislation here today.

I refer of course to my parliamentary secretary. The member for Eglinton-Lawrence certainly deserves a lot of praise and a lot of recognition. He has brought his experience and judgment to this bill and I wish to thank him for it. I also want to thank the hon. member for Burin-St. George's who chairs the Standing Committee on Health. I want to thank all members of that committee regardless of their political affiliations.

I would be remiss in my remarks if I did not single out one member. In this House we have differed on many issues and I would suspect that we will continue to differ on many other issues. However, I must give credit where credit is due, to the non-partisanship demonstrated by the hon. member for Macleod. He has stood in his place time and time again and attacked me on a variety of different issues, but when it comes to this issue of smoking, tobacco and the control of tobacco use in this country, he has not stood with the Minister of Health; he has stood with the young people and I think he is deserving of praise from all of us in this Chamber.

I want to thank the members of the Bloc Quebecois, in particular the member for Lévis. I know they have concerns with the bill but I am confident that at the end of the day they will put the health of Canadians and, yes, the health of Quebecers first and foremost.

I say to members of the Bloc I know that many of them who are over there are very uncomfortable with the decisions that have been made by the leadership of the Bloc Quebecois. I know that. I say to my hon. friends opposite that it is never too late to change one's mind and do the right thing. I am sure that the children in the province of Quebec will be forever indebted to members of the Bloc Quebecois if they were to exert the kind of leadership that others in the province of Quebec have exerted in terms of supporting children and supporting the health of those children in the province of Quebec.

Finally, I wish to say a few words about the other place. Hopefully later this day this bill will receive third reading. It will leave this Chamber and go to another chamber. I would suspect, having the respect that I have for the other chamber and its members, they will examine this bill in an expeditious way, but in a comprehensive way, and that they too will see the purposes of what this bill is about. It is about the health of Canadians. It is about the health of children. It is about the health of children in the future.

I want to thank all members of the House who have participated in this debate. I know at times it has been acrimonious, but I want to say to all members that we can be a part of something which is very important to the country. I enjoin all members to join with me in that act.

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Antoine Dubé Bloc Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health asked us to reconsider our decision to vote against the bill at third reading.

Before he leaves us, I would urge him to be as intelligent as he would like us to be and make his bill more flexible. It would then be possible to achieve the objectives we in the Bloc Quebecois supported at second reading, because the objectives of this bill are admirable, except in the case of devices like taking away sponsorships. Sports and cultural events so dear to the hearts of Quebecers are being deprived of these sponsorships, including the Montreal Grand Prix and all the international festivals such as the Just for Laughs festival and the jazz festival.

Vancouver also has a jazz festival. Fireworks attract thousands of people from Canada and Quebec. As you know, international events attract many tourists as well. These events give Quebec and Canada international visibility.

The Montreal Grand Prix is the third biggest sports event broadcast throughout the world, after the Olympic Games that are held once every four years and the World Cup. The Formula I Grand Prix comes right after these two. This country is lucky to have a Grand Prix event, to be seen throughout the world and to say to the people of the world: "Welcome to our country".

This country is supposed to be renowned for its quality of life, although, unfortunately, Canada's child poverty rate is one of the highest among Western countries, among the G-7 countries. That is not something to be proud of.

When the minister explained his objectives, we agreed with him, as you know. That is why we voted for the bill at second reading. The minister is an experienced parliamentarian, as you are, Mr. Speaker, and knows that at second reading the debate is on principles and objectives. That is why we supported the bill at second reading.

However, the minister should take the time to read the only speech by the only opposition member authorized to speak in the House at second reading. The hon. member for Portneuf also wanted to speak at second reading, but the hon. member for Macleod, after only a few minutes, a few seconds, called the previous question.

This caused some confusion in the House and, as a result, there was only one speaker for each party at second reading. The minister, after hesitating for months and months, as his predecessor had done, tabled this bill before Christmas. The debate at second reading was on December 5.

This is a venerable parliamentary strategy. A government that wants to pass controversial bills will table them at the end of a session, either in December or in June. They know that, at Christmas time, people are busy with their Christmas shopping. The minister purposely tabled his bill at that time because he did not want this bill to give rise to debate.

The Reform Party also did not want a debate, to the point that, when the minister announced that the bill would be tabled on December 5 at his news conference of December 1, the spokesperson for the Reform Party, who had not read the text, as no one had a copy at that point, immediately agreed in principle to ensure that the bill was passed as quickly as possible. That takes the cake. An opposition party that gives its approval before even reading the bill and its clauses.

When the Minister of Health uses a member of the third party who takes such positions, I think he is putting his credibility on the line. It makes no sense. How can you support a bill if you have not read it? In any case, we in the official opposition do not make a practice of doing so and we are not going to start now. We take the time to read the bills.

We supported the minister's objectives, but had reservations about sponsorship. I said so in my speech as the official opposition critic on tobacco. This week the Prime Minister quoted my remarks, noting that I had said we supported the minister's objectives.

That is true, but the Prime Minister should have finished reading and mentioned that we had reservations about the restrictions imposed on the sponsorship of sporting and cultural events and that, if none of the changes proposed were accepted by the Minister of Health or the government, and I said it even then, we would oppose the bill at third reading. We did not reverse our position, as the minister suggests, we did not do an about-face under the influence of the tobacco lobby.

I suggest the Minister of Health look to see who gives the most to the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party is funded by the tobacco companies, and is not bothered by the fact-rather interesting behaviour. On one hand, it is acceptable for the Liberal Party to receive contributions from tobacco companies and, on the other hand, we are being accused of being the tobacco companies' accomplices. We are nobody's accomplices.

The Bloc Quebecois supports cultural and sports events. To this extent, we are their allies because their very survival is at stake. This is what we support. The government side is implying all sorts of things. No matter how calm the minister sounds in appealing for common sense on this health issue, we will not let him pull the wool over our eyes.

Who is the most opportunistic, the minister or us? Who, as he said, is being hypocritical, when the Liberal government while waging a war against tobacco products does not dare put them on the list of dangerous and illegal substances? And why not? Because the federal government alone stands to make $2.6 billion from taxes on tobacco products, as the budget reveals. The other jurisdictions in Canada will reap another $2 billion, for a grand total of $4.6 billion.

They will not recognize tobacco as a dangerous and illegal product; that would be the logical thing to do but no, they want the revenues from that dangerous but nonetheless legal product.

We can very well hold a debate on the risks associated with smoking. At the second reading stage, during the speech I made as the official opposition critic in this area, I did admit that tobacco was a dangerous product, as demonstrated by scientific studies. The most serious study on the subject was conducted by scientists at the University of Texas and the Beckman Institute in California. They found a direct link between lung cancer, some other forms of cancer, and smoking.

That study refers to a carcinogenic substance and to the P-53 gene, which weakens the body's immune system, its resistance to illnesses that may cause cancer in the long term. We do recognize that. Statistics show that, every year, 42,000 people in Canada, including 12,000 in Quebec, die of cancer or lung diseases related to smoking. We do admit there is a problem.

But should we proceed within a legal framework on this issue? Yes, we could establish a legal framework for a government initiative, program or policy. But then again, that legislation would have to be enforceable, balanced, well designed, sensible. It would have to provide for a well structured implementation over time so it can be enforced. Because a law people do not comply with is unenforceable as it would require much more than the 40 inspectors we now have to make sure it is implemented. At present, in all of Canada, only 40 federal inspectors supervise the enforcement of the existing legislation. There already is a legislation providing for the monitoring of convenience stores to ensure they do not sell tobacco products to young people under 18. This legislation is not new; it already exists. We are adding a few details like the identity card, but the law already exists.

Yet, a serious study shows that, in Canada in general, it is not being enforced in 25 per cent of cases, while in Quebec the rate is almost 50 per cent, apparently because federal inspectors do not go there much. Why should we pass a new law when we know that the existing one is neither enforced nor enforceable? Why?

Why is this legislation unbalanced? I will give you an example. The government does not appeal enough to the accountability of citizens, young people and parents. For instance, for corner stores

and other retailers who sell tobacco products, this legislation provides for significant fines that I find excessive, while the offender himself would not be fined.

Let us take the example of the legislation on alcohol. How does it work? Of course, fines are imposed on those who serve alcohol to minors but, at the same time, minors are also penalized: they are arrested and must go to court. You will tell me that it is a youth court, but they still have to appear before the judge. And parents who do not abide by the legislation on alcohol, at least in Quebec, are also questioned.

But that is not the case here. Yet, according to the health minister and the parliamentary secretary and many others, tobacco is more dangerous than alcohol. However, we know that drinking and driving may create problems; many accidents are caused by alcohol. Why this inconsistency?

Here is another inconsistency. In the health committee, of which I am a member, we see there is some responsiveness. I am not taking a final stand on this, because it has not been discussed in our caucus yet. For example, there are some who think that marijuana and hashish, which are soft drugs, should be legalized. Why? Because, these people are saying: "If they were legal, they would be better controlled. The government could better ensure the quality of the products and they would be less dangerous for young people".

Does making drugs illegal reduce the use of so-called soft drugs and even harder drugs? On the contrary, make them illegal and use increases. Is legislation effective enough in itself to prevent increased use of tobacco, alcohol or any other substance?

We could go back in time and look at what happened when alcohol was made illegal. In the United States, in the 1930s, they had something called prohibition. Being my senior, Mr. Speaker, you will recall the incredible impact banning alcoholic drinks had, the resulting increase in contraband and crime for instance. I am a baby boomer, but my parents often told me stories about those days.

Without getting into Al Capone in Chicago and all that, we all remember stories about that era; there were even movies made about it. A purely legal or legislative approach is not enough to fight something that may be bad in itself.

Before sitting on the health committee, I was the official opposition's critic for youth and training. That is the line that should be developed, that should have been developed. It was suggested earlier that the Bloc Quebecois had somewhat ambiguous, hypocritical and paradoxical positions. I have a figure here showing that, when he announced he was imposing a special surtax on tobacco two years ago, the Minister of Finance told us it would bring in $180 million in additional revenue, which would be used to fund this great prevention campaign and ensure better control. How was this $180 million used? In fact, $40 million was spent.

I am looking over the figures for this year. But, this year, what is the government doing? It is legislating. With this legislation, given how concerned the minister, his parliamentary secretary and the Liberal members are about public health, we would have thought the government would have used at least that $180 million. Yet, only $10 million was spent on prevention and another $18 million on control and inspection, for a grand total of $28 million. That is far from $180 million. What did they do with the rest of the money? Where have these millions gone?

I will tell you what happened to these millions. There were spent, among other things, to promote Canadian unity, to the tune of $23 million for flags, sweaters and all kinds of gadgets. I can tell you about it, because a provincial final is currently being held in my riding, as part of the Quebec Games. I try to attend this extraordinary event as often as possible, and I urge people to the same and go to my riding of Lévis, because it is the first time these games are organized by a RCM, a group of municipalities getting together to put up a major event.

What did the federal government do? The heritage minister came barging in and, pretty well at the last minute, announced a $100,000 subsidy, but with one condition: the Canadian flag would have to be up there and the athletes would have to wear sweaters that promote the flag and Canadian unity. We are talking about the provincial finals of the Quebec Games. Can you believe it? The heritage minister has some nerve.

With the $63 million that it is spending, hers is the only department that got a budget increase this year, when the government was cutting elsewhere, including in transfer payments to the provinces for health, the notorious Canada social transfer, which now also includes post-secondary education and social assistance. The government is indeed making deep cuts in these areas.

On the other hand, it spends on things like that. Oddly enough, this $63 million is roughly the same amount that sports and cultural events will lose, those $60 million in sponsorships, if the bill is passed this evening and if the Senate then gives it approval.

Given that difference of only $3 million, the heritage minister, who is just as convinced as her colleagues are, that is the health minister and the parliamentary secretary, should have taken that $63 million to compensate organizers of sports and cultural events, since the amounts are basically the same.

But no, they put Canadian unity ahead of health in this case. When Bloc Quebecois members talk about the survival of cultural

and sports events, we are told that we are putting culture and the promotion of sports ahead of national health objectives.

The government, however, promotes its flags, handing them out for free, and we in the Bloc Quebecois are expected to say nothing. Do not count on it, Mr. Speaker. Perhaps not you personally, you have an objective, non-partisan role, but through you, those members who make appeals to us, the minister who speaks from the heart, who says to the Minister of Canadian Heritage: "Listen, if you are as concerned about the health objective as I am, take part of the $63 million, if not all of it, and apply it to that".

First of all, the health minister should be consistent. Let him take the $180 million set aside for prevention, promotion and education. Let him so something constructive. Then we would take him seriously when he talks about our judgment, our humanity and the health objectives. Then we would take him seriously.

The minister should himself get serious and spend the money accordingly on sports and cultural events, and at the same time, in addition-because he is apparently sure of his objectives concerning young people-he would then take an important dimension seriously.

A number of studies show that, in 80 per cent of cases, young people decide whether or not to take up smoking around the age of 15 or 16. The main reason young people smoke is not because they have seen a logo for tobacco products on a car racing at speeds of 200 kilometres an hour and up; that is not the reason at all. It is not because of a logo seen at the site of a sports or cultural event, for these events draw more adults than young people. This is not why they smoke. The primary reason, in over 50 per cent of cases, is because their friends smoke. They want to copy what their friends are doing. They want to be one of the gang, so they start smoking. That is the main reason they start.

If the minister were serious, he ought to accept our recommendations. During the clause by clause examination, we said "If it is peer pressure that gets young people to start smoking, why not make use of this real social fact and provide funding for youth centres and other youth organizations that are so much in need of funding?" These organizations have had their funding cut, federal funding in particular. There could be programs focussed on prevention, young people speaking to others in the schools, telling them not to smoke, for young people are very much aware of the issue.

I have had experience with youth-related issues. Before I was an MP, I always worked in youth organizations, and I have a fairly good idea how young people think about certain things. I am not worried, not pessimistic. I think our young people are becoming increasingly aware about certain things; we could even learn a thing or two from them.

Who has more influence on today's young people than other young people? Sometimes I revert to an old habit, and throw out a piece of paper. How do young people react to this most of the time? They say: "No, no, not there. It goes for recycling". Our children make themselves responsible for recycling at home, but they also talk about it at school, and they talk to us about the environment. The environment is important to our young people, and smoke is an environmental contaminant.

Since the minister is no longer here, I shall now address the parliamentary secretary. Why does he not encourage his minister, if he is serious about this, to put the planned $180 million, at least that much, into programs for young people?

Why not give more money to anti-tobacco groups? I have personally met representatives of all groups and all lobbies, whatever you want to call them. The Bloc Quebecois, unlike the minister, took the time to listen to everyone. Not just one group but everyone, including representatives of anti-tobacco groups. There are intelligent people in those groups, people with sincere convictions.

Far be it from for me to insult people who have done a wonderful job telling young people about the dangers of tobacco use. Unfortunately, although the minister tried to avoid this debate by putting the matter before Parliament at a time when the public's attention was elsewhere, it happened just the same. The debate was there during our Christmas parties. The subject was discussed at family gatherings. And after the holidays, people started to realize what was at stake and that they might lose the Montreal Grand Prix and other major cultural and sports events that were very popular, and they started to demonstrate their opposition, as we saw in Montreal this week.

If there had been a healthy debate, properly set up, and if there had been consultations conducted properly, well planned and unbiased, not this steamroller approach so Quebecers and Canadians would not realize what hit them. If instead of this inappropriate approach to lawmaking, the government had shown a spirit of transparency and openness and respect for different opinions.

Those who support tobacco company sponsorships of cultural and sports events could have talked to the public. People I spoke to personally, in private, said they were appalled at what was happening to cultural and sports events. They are appalled. They have nothing against those who promote culture. Of course, when they defend a position, opinions tend to crystallize, and finally no reconciliation seems possible. But what do you expect? The minister talks to only one side, he hears only one side of the story and will not allow any consultation.

When you want to draft a bill, you organize forums, you have consultations and meetings in the provinces, you ask the provinces whether they agree, to get their co-operation, because the subject we are talking about today is our health. Incidentally, I may remind you, and I am sure you know, but it seems we often forget what it says in the Constitution about health. Perhaps the Minister of Heritage should have the Constitution printed in pamphlet form so Canadians across the country will know what is in the Constitution. Those who read them would see that health is a provincial matter. Where does the word "province" appear in the bill?

With my colleague from Drummond, in committee, when the bill was being studied clause by clause and on many occasions, I tried to say: "Include at least `in co-operation with the provinces"'. But no, the Minister of Health wanted to be the defender of health and take his place in history as the man who had an extraordinary anti smoking bill passed. He wanted credit for it, so much so that, seeing the consternation it caused in his own caucus and in cabinet, the minister said, in public, before anti smoking lobbies, that, if this bill were not passed before the elections, he would put his liberal beliefs, his convictions and his membership in the Liberal Party on the line. He even suggested to people that they vote against the Liberal Party in the next elections.

In doing so, he put pressure on the other members of cabinet. There are people on the other side, members from Quebec, including the member for Outremont, the Secretary of State responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development in Quebec, who said suddenly: "Hang on, I am powerful, influential, I will get the minister to change his position. You will see". He listened to the representatives of sporting and cultural events, because, several months later, he discovered the economic importance of it all: $200 million in economic benefits for the Montreal region, 2,000 jobs.

A few months later, after the holiday season, he discovered that it could adversely affect him in his own riding. He had not thought of it before, but he must have been told so in some Christmas parties. So the Secretary of State responsible for the Federal Office of Regional Development in Quebec finally realized that.

The president of the Liberal caucus in Quebec realized that, but as he could feel the heat, he suggested that an election be held. Now, another president of the Liberal caucus is making promises. The extension was one year, he asked for it to be 18 months, and he won. After that, he thought he might just as well ask for a five-year period, but he was turned down. The Minister of Health told him it was enough.

Of course, even if he is from Quebec, from the riding of Saint-Maurice, the Prime Minister himself then had to support the decisions of his Minister of Health. He was compelled to state that the most important thing for him was Canadians' health. Come on. We know him well. We saw him in action during the referendum campaign. He said he would make changes and he did try a little, but as soon as the provincial premiers did not agree, that was the end of his efforts. A little motion was moved in the House of Commons.

Oh yes, we know him. He is the one who, when he was Minister of Justice and acting on behalf of former Prime Minister Trudeau, imposed patriation of the Constitution from London and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Today, he tells us that Canadians and Quebecers' health is what counts the most as far as he is concerned and that he will make this issue a plank in his electoral platform.

The Minister of Health reminded us of that when the Liberal Party agreed to delay application of some restrictions for 18 months. He will hear about it during the electoral campaign. The voters will talk about it, the official opposition too.

The bill is so imprecise and deliberately confused that it leaves room for all kinds of interpretation and speculation. Everybody is confused. For example, the organizers of the Grand Prix de Montréal claim that, according to this bill, if passed, people could not even watch the Australian Grand Prix this weekend on television.

Sponsorship of events such as the Grand Prix is a package deal. I have no respect for tobacco companies who use blackmail but, because of this bill and because of the anxiety caused by its adoption, Quebecers may not be able this weekend to watch Jacques Villeneuve race in the Australian Grand Prix. He is the son of Gilles Villeneuve, and the potential world champion driver this year.

This morning, the plane I took from Quebec City was delayed due to a terrible storm. People recognized me and told me they were hoping I would rise and speak about this, because they want to see Jacques Villeneuve compete in the Australian Grand Prix over the weekend. They absolutely want to see him.

It is not a totally sure thing. This is a very particular event, very current, and it just goes to prove that the 18-month extension proposed by the president of the caucus applies only to clause 24. The parliamentary secretary knows quite well that it applies only to clause 24 and not to clause 31.

What is in clause 31? It deals to retransmission. The 18-month adjustment period does not apply to that clause. I am sure that some Liberal members are not aware of that. Therre are not many of them, but maybe they are listening.

I urge them to do as the member for Outremont did, even if it is a bit late; I urge them to read clause 31 of Bill C-71 which they will pass tonight. It deals with retransmission. They will see that the 18-month adjustment period does not apply to clause 31. Clause 31

is really special, it means a tobacco company's logo cannot appear on a car.

If this is allowed, if a tobacco company's logo or name appears on the car, TV networks will have to distort the image. It would be somewhat similar to what is done in a news report when witnesses want to remain anonymous for whatever reason. Their image is then distorted to ensure they are not recognized.

Imagine the next formula 1 race with TV cameras trying to distort only the cigarette company's name appearing on the car so that it cannot be recognized. Imagine that Gilles Villeneuve is sponsored by a tobacco company, we will not be able to see him. If he comes first, I imagine they will go to the runner-up, but since most racers are sponsored by tobacco companies, the only one they might be allowed to show will be the one who came in last. This does not make sense. Usually people are interested in the driver who comes in first not last. This is rather odd.

But it is the truth. The member who is grinning should look at clause 31 and ask a lawyer to review it. If he is of the opinion that what I am saying is wrong, the member should have his health minister make a solemn statement to that effect in this House before we adjourn, as he did the other day, with good reason.

The job of the opposition is to criticize, but sometimes we have to recognize that the minister does set the record straight. For example, some people in Quebec, and perhaps elsewhere, are saying that it would prohibit persons under 18 years of age from being hired at convenience stores. Indeed, it was not clear.

We wondered, we asked questions and so did Reform members. In a solemn declaration, the minister said: "It is not in the bill. It is not in, but I commit myself to not prohibiting it by way of regulations". He said it would not make any sense. He took that solemn pledge. We are asking him to do the same for the broadcasting of Grand Prix auto races. We want him to say: "Section 31 is so convoluted that you could read into it one thing and its opposite".

That is saying quite a lot. If I had more time, I would prove to you that this bill has been put together in such a way that some sections are totally incomprehensible. Nobody can understand them.

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11:30 a.m.

An hon. member

Not even the minister.

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11:30 a.m.


Antoine Dubé Bloc Lévis, QC

The minister wants to go to the Supreme Court with that. We are in this situation because parts of previous legislation dealing with sponsorship was struck down by the Supreme Court. From my office in the Confederation Building, I can see the Supreme Court. Maybe I am prejudiced, but it seems to me that it is always leaning to the west. But I may be over-reacting.

First, the Supreme Court is in Ontario and most of the judges come from Ontario. Most of the time, when there are decisions involving Quebec, we are in the House. We have become rather suspicious when it comes to relying on the Supreme Court to interpret a piece of legislation. It is not that we are suspicious by nature, it is because we have facts. There is a lot of evidence which prove that Bill 101 was badly tampered with by the Supreme Court. But that is not what we are dealing with this morning.

For a minister to be this tentative on each and every aspect of a bill is unusual indeed. I asked my colleague, the hon. member for Chambly about this, since he sits on the committee that deals with the scrutiny of regulations and the administration of legislation. He told me that they have rarely seen an act worded the way this one is, where the minister is so afraid his act will be thrown out of court that he reserves the right to regulate each and every aspect of the issue, instead of mentioning his power to make regulations only once, as usually is the case. The word "may" is used over and over again, all over the place, regarding sponsorships, sales, the way the product should be regulated, and so on.

The minister is so concerned that he will be making regulations on just about everything. But at the same time, it has to be said that the minister is grabbing a great deal of power in an area which, in theory, is none of his concern, since this is a health issue. Again, the provinces are not even mentioned.

The minister has arranged it in such a way that he will be pulling all the strings and retaining full power through regulations. The thing is, we would like him to table his regulations in this House. We would have liked him to do so while the bill was before us, but at least he should do so very soon. In fact, we have moved an amendment to that effect.

The official opposition has acted constructively, proposing a series of regulations at the clause by clause review stage of the bill. We succeeded in having one agreed to, regarding vending machines with remote controls. We had to negotiate long and hard for this and we were quite proud of ourselves. We won this point in committee, but now, at report stage, what do we see? The words got changed around to read only vending machines with locking devices. That is what would be allowed, even in bars where customers under the age of 18 are not admitted. They want to put tobacco into the category of illegal and dangerous substances and treat it as such, requiring that it be kept under lock and key, even in places where children are not admitted.

I am running out of time. I will not go into histrionics, I will simply encourage the members across the way to do their duty as lawmakers and, unlike the hon. member from the Reform Party, not to rush into supporting a bill before getting a copy of the bill and reviewing it thoroughly, particularly clauses 31 and 53, where the presumption of innocence is reversed and the onus or burden of

proof that should be on the accused is on the victim instead of the other way around.

I will conclude on this: read your bills, as it is your duty as Liberal members, before voting for or against them.

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11:35 a.m.


Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I stand in the House today as a parliamentarian who truly believes that we should have small government with as few rules and regulations as possible and that personal responsibility is very important. I try to judge every piece of legislation by those yardsticks.

On this issue I could be and have been accused of forgetting freedom. I could be accused of forgetting the fact that individuals who decide to smoke should have that ability and that responsibility. Therefore I would like to explain to my colleagues in the House and those people in Canada who are interested in this issue why I have chosen to support and vote for Bill C-71.

I do not often trust statistics, especially statistics that are gathered by those on the various sides of an issue. I made my own graph of cigarette consumption per capita for Canada and the United States between 1970 and 1994. I used figures that are completely independent of any side on this issue.

The graph illustrates that over the past 20-plus years the incidence of smoking in Canada and the U.S. has been declining, and declining considerably, in lock step in fact. The graph is fascinating. Since I cannot show it in the House, I can only demonstrate with my hand that the graph is like a toboggan hill with both Canadian and American per capita consumption rates in lock step coming down.

For the previous 15 years there had been no interruption in that downward slope. However, in 1993 the Canadian smoking rate went up while the U.S. smoking rate did not. The increase in the Canadian smoking rate makes the slope of the graph look like the lip on a ski jump.

Two things have happened in Canada during the time I have spent in this House: a tobacco tax rollback, where the price was reduced in some provinces; and the supreme court striking down the Tobacco Products Control Act, which was designed to prevent smoking.

I also independently found the figures on overall Canadian tobacco consumption which include cigarettes sold over the counter, roll your own cigarettes, non-smoke tobacco like snuff and so on, the contraband market, smuggled cigarettes. I kept the grouping together as much as possible. I found that between 1990 and 1991, overall consumption went down in Canada by 6 per cent. It then dropped almost half a per cent. The next year it dropped 3.49 per cent. This verifies what was in the other figures, that there was a downhill trend. However, in 1994 consumption went up 9.2 per cent.

These are very new statistics available through access to information. The results show what happened the first year after advertising of tobacco products was re-legalized.

After the Tobacco Product Control Act, which affected the legality of advertising, was struck down in 1996, advertising could resume and the results were powerful. Brand switching did not significantly take place during that year when advertising was re-allowed.

It is fascinating to look at what happened in the high tax provinces and the low tax provinces. When the tax rollback took place some provinces did not lower their taxes. In those provinces where taxes stayed high, the increase in smoking in 1996 was 1.72 per cent. In the low tax provinces it was 2.32 per cent. That demonstrates to me a price sensitivity in tobacco consumption, especially for youth.

Overall per capita consumption in Canada went up 2.32 per cent during the year when advertising was allowed. Those figures say to me that advertising sponsorship has an effect on youth.

Another tidbit of information that is not commonly known is that chewing tobacco was on its way out. Chewing tobacco was very popular around the turn of the century. We have all seen the pictures of the cowboy and the spittoon. Chewing tobacco is another form of nicotine consumption. There were only two groups who continued to use chewing tobacco in North America: rodeo cowboys and baseball players.

The consumption of chewing tobacco can be very clearly graphed and then an advertising program took place. We hear that the main factor in tobacco consumption is peer related. There was no peer relationship with smokeless tobacco. An advertising program was undertaken by one of the young, new chewing tobacco companies. It is fascinating to see what has happened. I will not mention the name. I do not want to give these companies an advertising presence in the House, but I have watched the name of chewing tobacco appear on race cars. I have watched chewing tobacco advertisements occur at drag races. I have watched chewing tobacco appear at rodeos.

Do you know, Mr. Speaker, that chewing tobacco consumption has gone up? It is much more prevalent today than it was. That says to me that an advertising campaign completely independent of any peer group pressure can change human behaviour.

I consequently said that my responsibility on this bill was to be non-partisan since I actually started out believing that this approach was nonsense, that there was no way to change human behaviour, that government intervention in this area was worthless. Having changed my mind, I went to my colleagues and said:

"I believe this bill will have an effect on youth". As a group we decided to do whatever we could do to make sure no roadblocks were put in the way of the bill.

Why did we decide to expedite it? I found that Jake Epp, who was mentioned before, took 13 months, plus or minus, to get his bill through the House of Commons. Because 10,000 kids a month take up smoking, and if it took 13 months to get the bill through the House, I felt it would be unconscionable. How did we decide to expedite it? We made sure there were no procedural wrangles that could lengthen the time interval that this bill would stay in the House.

Consequently, when I made my speech at second reading I asked for the question to be now put. What happened was fascinating. There was confusion in the House. All that needed to happen was for a member to stand and say debate and the debate would have gone on, but there would be no chance of procedural wrangling. It was interesting that the debate collapsed. My colleagues were ticked off at me because they said they did not get a chance to speak. I had members opposite speak to me.

I want Canadians to know there was not a Liberal on the other side of the House who had a clue what I was going to do. Not a member of the Bloc had a clue what I was going to do. I simply decided to prevent procedural wrangling. It was very effective, effective beyond my wildest dreams.

On the issue of sponsorship and job losses, my colleagues in the Bloc feel as strongly about this issue as I do. I have an interest in race cars and racing. I have raced on the same track on the same day as Jacques Villeneuve's father, Gilles Villeneuve. I still own a race car and I still race although my political job has messed it up quite royally.

I am fearful of anything that threatens the Grand Prix de Montréal. I very carefully looked at what has happened with tobacco sponsorship in other countries, with a view toward protecting my hobby, my interest, my avocation and the value of my race car.

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11:45 a.m.


Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

It was pretty well self-interest.

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11:45 a.m.


Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

It was self-interest for sure.

France sought to ban all tobacco advertising effective in 1993. There was a huge outcry from sponsorship groups. FISA, the group that governs motor sport throughout the world, organizers of the Grand Prix circuit, announced the French Grand Prix of 1993 would be withdrawn.

The French Grand Prix is the longest running grand prix in history. To those people in France the grand prix is extremely important. The threat occurred before the law was passed in 1993. The sponsorship ban in France went through. The 1993 French Grand Prix was held. The 1994 French Grand Prix was held. The 1995 French Grand Prix was held. The 1996 French Grand Prix was held. The 1997 French Grand Prix will be held devoid of tobacco sponsorship.

Exactly the same argument was made about jobs for advertisers and the advertising industry, that there would be a huge withdrawal of funds to the advertising industry and jobs would be lost. My colleague in the Bloc is concerned and rightfully so for jobs in the advertising industry. I have testimony saying that 22 per cent of the labour force working directly in the outdoor advertising industry would be lost. It is a big deal.

The president of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Canada wrote to a marketing magazine. Tobacco advertising had been banned in Canada and he wrote:

The ad ban under the Tobacco Products Control Act was arguably one of the best things to ever happen to our industry. It drove our members to develop other advertising categories so that today packaged goods, not tobacco, are our largest spending group. The loss of tobacco revenues has been completely recouped and then some.

We are being given a bill of goods from self-interest groups. Let me refer to the issue of the shopkeeper bearing all the onus. When a youngster goes into a shop to buy cigarettes and is sold cigarettes the shopkeeper is fined. I have listened to the shopkeepers at home. They are quite concerned that their businesses will be wrecked and that there will be cigarette inspectors throughout the country.

I tried hard to amend the bill to put some onus of responsibility on the youth who broke the law. I wanted a small fine for the 15-year old who went into the shop to buy cigarettes. It would be a slap on the wrist: "Don't do that. It is illegal". That was my one attempt to amend the bill. I was not looking for procedural wrangling. I tried to make that little attempt but it was unsuccessful.

Another big issue for my party and me was the regulations which put meat on the bones of the act. Over and over again I have lobbied for the regulations to be scrutinized by the whatever committee would be appropriate, which in this case was the health committee. I put those proposals, ideas and thoughts forward. I had hopes the minister would hear me out on the issue and the regulations would be scrutinized.

As it turned out, a Liberal member put forward such an amendment which through design or mess up was passed. I was told the scrutiny of regulations was against parliamentary tradition.

This is an historic occasion. It will not be noticed by the press or by those worried about tobacco. However as a health committee we

will receive the regulations, may do a study of them and make changes. I circle the word may. I sincerely hope the member who put forward the amendment gets huge credit for having done so. The scrutiny of regulations will take place by elected representatives and not just by order in council. That little one is great for me; it is my smile on the tobacco bill.

I must say a few words to my smoking friends, those people whom I tried all my life in my capacity as a physician to convince not to smoke. I hope they can stop. I have expressed words of advice. I know how tough it is. To that end I have looked at the cancer statistics.

I see the ads for cigarettes which try to convince young women: "You've come a long way, baby". I will talk about cancer of females for now. From 1970 to 1995 colorectal cancer has dropped somewhat. Ovarian cancer has stayed reasonably level. Stomach cancer has come down. Cervical cancer has come down. Cancer of the uterus has come down slightly. Melanoma has stayed static. However there is one cancer that has taken off like a rocket ship, cancer of the lung. It has gone from less than 10 per 100,000 to almost 35 per 100,000. It is the only female cancer that has taken off.

There is only one reason for this in our female population, in our young women, in our wives and in our daughters: "You've come a long way, baby. You've learned how to smoke". It is a shame. I hope this will be very evident to the young women.

The bill will soon go to the other place. I will watch with great interest certain of the individuals there, three very prominent senators: Michael Kirby, William Kelly and Roch Bolduc, all of whom are very intimately involved in the tobacco industry. They are on the boards of these big companies. I will watch them very carefully to see whether or not they will vote on these issues. If ever there has been a conflict of interest on a voting issue, there it is. I will watch with profound interest to see what happens. Will they abstain?

Before I came to Parliament I made a little promise to myself that if I were ever offered compensation for changing my mind on something I would not do it. That is a nice way of putting what I would like to say very strongly. I cannot say the word that I would like to say because it is inappropriate to use it in the House.

One night not so long ago I received a phone call. The person on the line said: "Doc, if you change your mind on this bill it will mean something to you personally in a financial way. If your party changes its mind on this bill funds will flow". I am making that announcement in the House of Commons today. I as a member of Parliament was offered compensation for changing my mind on this issue.

I have a lighthearted but not so lighthearted request for the tobacco companies. They are looking for things to sponsor. They are looking for areas to put their money. What if they sponsored funeral parlours? What if they put a little sign on every hearse saying that it is sponsored by the tobacco company involved?

I considered the approach taken on the bill. I thought it was the wrong way to go. I am still not sure the bill is perfect. I find flaws and holes in it.

When I went to Parliament the people at home said that I should try to be as non-partisan as I could and try to support legislative measures that would make a difference. For the 10,000 children per month who are taking up tobacco, half of whom will die prematurely, I say that the bill is imperfect but it is better than a vacuum.

I will reflect back on the first patient I had as a medical student. The fellow was a veteran. He was my very first assignment. I was a green, untrained medical student in the Mewburn pavilion at the University of Alberta. He had emphysema. He had smoked all of his life. He was dying; he was literally at the end of his life. He was on oxygen. I went to visit him day after day after day. I was getting to know what it was like to deal with a patient, to listen to somebody in distress and to watch him slowly slip away.

His last words to me were: "Doc, don't let the young kids smoke". He did not last much longer. I will never forget him. I will never forget his advice to me. In my judgment this legislation will help in the quest not to let the young kids smoke. Let me close by saying with memory of my first patient: "Don't let young kids smoke".

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11:55 a.m.


Clifford Lincoln Liberal Lachine—Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is a most important debate. We are debating a social issue: our society's values. What will be the future of our young people? Should we try to reduce the number of smokers and, if possible, eliminate smoking completely? On our side of the House, we think so.

I strongly support Bill C-71, even more so because I had the honour to introduce, in the Quebec National Assembly, the first legislation in Canada protecting non-smokers, Bill 84. I have heard the opponents of this bill.

Bloc members claim that it is almost as an attack against Quebec, against freedom of expression, and even that Montreal's economic future is in jeopardy. True to form, members of the PQ and the BQ said that it was Quebec against the rest of Canada, the rest of Canada against Quebec. Those who vote for the bill are against Quebec and against Montreal's economic future.

The media opposed to the bill even called those who support Bill C-71 ayatollahs, and now the Bloc's big guns have adopted the term. There are goodies and baddies, and yet, I wonder if this is such a clear cut issue in Quebec.

Let me name just a few of the hundreds of organizations that support Bill C-71, as I would not have the time to name them all: the Association des cardiologues du Québec, the Association des médecins de langue française du Canada, the City of Montreal's public health branch, all the hospitals in the Montreal region and across the province, all the CLSCs, l'Association des étudiants du Département d'éducation physique de l'Université Laval-these people definitely have an interest in sports-the Association régionale du sport étudiant de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue, the Association régionale du sport étudiant du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, the Association régionale du sport étudiant Laurentides-Lanaudière, the Gouffre school board, in school board, the Fédération québécoise du sport étudiant, the Maison des jeunes d'Amos Inc., the Maison des jeunes de Desbiens, l'Illusion, the Maison des jeunes de Saint-Jovite, the Maison des jeunes du Bas-Saguenay, the municipality of Lotbinière, the municipality of Saint-Bruno-de-Kamouraska, the municipality of Saint-Simon-de-Rimouski, the regional county municipality of Rivière-du-Loup, the City of Deux-Montagnes, the City of Rimouski, the City of Roberval, the City of Saint-Félicien, and hundreds of other cities, CLSCs, sports organizations, etc. Are these people ayatollahs of tobacco?

Are the countries that are taking similar measures, and those that have already done so, ayatollahs of tobacco? France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland and, in 1998, the United States with much stricter legislation than the bill before us, are these countries also ayatollahs of tobacco? Do they not understand?

On December 10, 1992, the Fédération internationale du sport automobile (FISA) stated unequivocally that the French Grand Prix was over, that it was going to be cancelled. Four years later, the French Grand Prix is still going strong and, in 1997, Jacques Villeneuve will definitely try to win it. The Grand Prix will still be there in 1998-99, in the year 2000 and well beyond that.

In 1988, officials of the Canadian open golf championship said that if Du Maurier withdrew its support, it would be the end of that event. Yet, this golf championship will be held in Montreal this year, with the support of Bell Canada. The Virginia Slims women's tennis tournament is still going strong, even though Virginia Slims was replaced by Corel. At one time, the Australian world tennis tournament was sponsored by Marlboro; now, it is sponsored by Ford.

It has been said that Bill C-71 would deal a deadly blow to Montreal. It has been said that the economic future of Montreal will be brought down by Bill C-71. But when the big guns in the Bloc Quebecois' who are condemning Bill C-71 because of its economic impact on Montreal are told that political instability in Quebec is weakening and hitting Quebec hard, they tell us that this

is a figment of our imagination. We have referendum after referendum. We just had a referendum at a cost of several millions of dollars that divided Quebecers and caused political instability, and what is the Quebec government doing to reshape the economic future of Montreal? They are talking about a third referendum, maybe for next year or the year after.

The mayor of Montreal, who should know something about it, said himself that political instability is hitting Montreal hard, that we cannot go on like this with our never ending quarrels from referendums to language battles. That was the mayor saying that, and he should be in a position to know about it.

We were also told that there is no link between advertising and young people starting up smoking. Yet, there are studies about that. I will quote only a few of them for lack of time, but I could send our colleagues from the Bloc seven boxes full of studies, hundreds of them, showing a link between the two. I will quote only a few. The team of Pollay, Siddars, Siegel, Haddix, Merritt, Giovino and Ericksen studied this issue over a 14-year period, from 1979 to 1993. These people are experts in marketing, social sciences, health sciences, etc. They concluded, and I quote:

Because brand shares of advertising voice are significantly related to subsequently realized market shares, cigarette advertising appears to influence the smoking behaviour of adolescents. Notably, the effect is substantially larger amongst adolescents than among adults by a factor of about three. The battle of the brands for market share is waged largely among the young, for it is a brand's success among the young that leads to greater brand sales and profit in the long term.

A 1996 U.S. study by Evans, Farkas, Gilpin, Berry and Pierce comes to the same conclusion. These studies have extensive references.

"Our results support the hypothesis that tobacco marketing may be a stronger current influence in encouraging adolescents to initiate the smoking uptake process than demographic characteristics, than perceived school performance or exposure to other smokers in a peer or family network. The cumulative evidence supports the need for effective strategies to prevent adolescents from starting to smoke".

In his book entitled Smoke & Mirrors: the Canadian Tobacco War , Rod Cunningham quotes an Imperial Tobacco chairman, who said: ``If we keep at it long enough, we can get tremendous benefits by sending to the public a longer-lasting message''. He also quotes a vice-president of marketing at Imperial, who thinks that even the

less privileged smokers can choose a brand because it conjures up a comfortable lifestyle.

Also mentioned is a project carried out by a marketing research company from Ontario in 1977 on behalf of Imperial Tobacco. It was called "Project 16 years old". The report stated and I quote: "The purpose of this project was to learn as much as we can about smoking uptake, about how high school students feel when they start smoking and what they forecast will be their future tobacco consumption".

In another of its documents entitled "Media Plans 80", Imperial Tobacco describes the groups it is targeting in 1980 for its various brands. The target groups are defined according to demographic characteristics such as age, sex and education. Some of the ads were aimed at boys and girls from 12 to 17 years of age.

The "National Media Plan 81" Imperial Tobacco prepared the following year contained a similar market analysis strategy for comparable target groups. For some brands, the 12 to 17-year old smokers still represented the major target group. They were given the highest weighting used.

In La Presse of March 5, 1997, Normand Turgeon, a marketing professor at the École des hautes études commerciales who did a study showing that tobacco companies sponsor events because it boosts their sales, is quoted as saying: These results contradict what manufacturers have been saying. What they keep telling you is not the truth''. In <em>La Presse</em> of March 5, 1997, Vincent Fischer, a champion of sponsorship in Quebec, said:If tobacco companies invest $60 million in sponsorships, it is not because they want to be nice, but because it pays''.

We have been told that Montreal would be losing the Canadian Grand Prix. I wonder if Bloc members are not a bit worried that, if their fondest dream ever came true and Quebec became a sovereign country overnight, Montreal would lose the Canadian Grand Prix. Would the Australian Grand Prix still be held in Australia if it became the Victoria Grand Prix overnight? I doubt it very much. But they do not worry too much about that.

In the March 4, 1997 edition of the Journal de Montréal , Jacques Duval, a former president of the Montreal Grand Prix exposed the odious blackmail that is going on, saying: ``One does not have to be a rocket scientist to realize that what is going on is a rather clumsy conspiracy by people who are primarily concerned about their own interests''.

The Canadian Grand Prix will survive if it deserves to survive, and I think it will, because it does. We are also being told that arts and artists in Quebec will be affected by the loss of sponsorships. It is as if the whole artistic community in Quebec were opposed to Bill C-71. However, the Artistes pour les commandites sans tabac represent 300 Quebec artists such as Claude Meunier, Serge Thériault, Marc Favreau, Gilles Pelletier, Plume Latraverse, Édith Butler, and talk show hosts Gregory Charles and Marc-André Coallier. One of their spokespersons said: "These sponsorships sell cigarettes. One cannot try to enrich people's life while contributing to the shortening of their existence. We cannot keep silent while the tobacco industry uses the addictions it creates to stop a piece of legislation as crucial as this one in the area of health".

We have to know exactly how much the tobacco companies contribute to Quebec arts: at the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal, 1 per cent of total revenues; at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal, 0.4 per cent; at Ballet Jazz de Montréal, 2 per cent; at the Centre du Théâtre d'aujourd'hui in Montreal, 1 per cent; at Montreal's Orchestre de chambre I Musici, 0.3 per cent; at Montreal's Place des Arts, 0.1 per cent; at the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, 0.3 per cent; at the Montreal Opera, 0.3 per cent.

Except in one case, no percentage is higher than 3 per cent.

It is said that in Quebec all movements, political or otherwise, are against Bill C-71. And yet, here is what Minister Rochon said in the November 27, 1996 edition of La Presse : ``We will go as far as we can. Sponsorship is subliminal advertising. It is a very strong means to promote consumption of a product, especially among young people. Some events have become as addicted to tobacco as the smokers themselves''.

In La Presse of November 11, 1996, Rémy Trudel, the minister responsible for sports and recreation, expressed his concerns about the close links between tobacco manufacturers and a sports facility: ``There are priority values a government should not give up''.

In Le Soleil of November 28, 1996, Louise Beaudoin said: ``I agree that Quebecers' health must come first''.

Allow me to quote clause 22 of Minister Rochon's tobacco bill. This bill, now in draft form, is the fifth version to be discussed by the Government of Quebec, and is expected to be introduced in June 1997.

Clause 22 of the bill says: "Any direct or indirect funding of sporting, cultural or social events or facilities whose purpose is to promote tobacco in any way is prohibited".

To those who are opposed to this bill, particularly my colleagues from the Bloc, I ask this: what would they have said if Minister Rochon had introduced a bill before the federal minister did? Would they have condemned Minister Rochon publicly? I am talking about a bill supported by the Parti Quebecois government itself, a bill that exists, a bill whose clause 22 I read, a bill I have a complete copy of here, a bill that goes much further than Bill C-71.

What would they have said then? What would they have said if the bill at issue came from the Quebec government?

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12:15 p.m.

An hon. member

I will tell you.

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12:15 p.m.


Clifford Lincoln Liberal Lachine—Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

You see, Madam Speaker. They cannot accept any debate.

We listened to their colleague a few minutes ago. We did not attack him, but they cannot accept any debate. They cannot accept it because, according to them, something is either black or white. You are either for or against it. There is nothing in between. They cannot accept another view.

This is why, whenever we speak, they feel the urge to interrupt us. Well, let them. What I would like is to see them ask Mr. Rochon where he stands, why a pequiste minister at their headquarters in Quebec has come out with a bill that goes much further than the federal bill and said they wanted to go further.

What would they have said then? Would they have attacked the federal government? Would they have called Mr. Rochon an ayatollah? Would they have called Mr. Trudel an ayatollah? Would they have called Ms. Beaudoin an ayatollah? Of course not. They turned it into politics, petty politics at that.

Their line now is that it is the rest of Canada against Quebec. It is Mr. Dingwall, the health minister, against all of Quebec. It is everyone against Montreal. But this is simply not true.

This impressive list of 560 organizations-

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12:15 p.m.

An hon. member

Céline Hervieux-Payette is on our side.

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12:15 p.m.


Clifford Lincoln Liberal Lachine—Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Madam Speaker, he is interrupting again to tell me: "Céline Hervieux-Payette". You see the difference between us and the Bloc Quebecois. We are not a monolithic block; we Liberals can think for ourselves. Some of us are in favour of the bill, and some have reservations. Perhaps the senator has reservations. That is her business, that is her fundamental right.

We are not like them, caught in a stranglehold, unable to move, unable to accept that anything could depart even slightly from their monolithic view of things. What distinguishes the Liberal way of thinking is that individuals think for themselves, arrive at their own decisions. If anyone in our party wishes to say otherwise, let him or her do so. That is what democracy is all about. Our hands are not tied. We are human beings first and foremost.

I for one, as a Liberal living in Quebec, am 100 per cent in favour of Bill C-71. When we passed Bill 84 in the National Assembly, smoking was allowed in hospitals, clinics, restaurants, everywhere in Quebec. Today, progress has been made. Things are certainly not perfect, but smoking is far less prevalent or practically non-existent in hospitals and clinics. Even in restaurants, there are areas set aside.

The legislation Mr. Rochon is proposing, and that I would dearly love to see passed, will mean the end of smoking in restaurants and public places. It is smoking we are battling. We are battling for a future concept, a social value. I therefore strongly support Bill C-71.

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12:15 p.m.


Pierre De Savoye Bloc Portneuf, QC

Madam Speaker, my Liberal colleague asked a number of questions of the Bloc Quebecois and I had trouble refraining from giving him the answers since he was so insistent about it.

First of all, I would like to tell all my Liberal colleagues that the Bloc Quebecois agrees with the principle of Bill C-71. It agrees with the content of the bill, barring a few exceptions. However, when a bill includes the use of means that should not be used because the end never justifies the means, it is our duty as the official opposition to point out those aspects of the bill.

You will recall that, unfortunately, debate was cut short at second reading. We probably could have drawn these aspects of the bill to the attention of Liberal members and of all Canadians if that debate had taken place. But it did not, and we are forced to raise these issues now.

So, the first major irritant is the reverse onus, which means that people will be considered guilty until they can prove their innocence. This is totally new in our justice system, and that is why it is a major irritant. As the official opposition, the Bloc Quebecois cannot accept such a change of rules in our justice system.

The second irritant concerns sponsorships. It may be desirable that tobacco companies stop sponsoring various events some day, but it is not something that can be done overnight. That is the problem. The minister is telling us that if young people do not see any tobacco advertising at sporting and cultural events, they will not start smoking. I admit that it may influence them a little, but it is not their main motivation.

When I was young, many people smoked and I, myself, started to smoke. Thank God, I was able to quit later on. However, there were no sponsorships on television. This was at the beginning of television. We had black and white screens only, and there were just a few programs. But did we ever smoke. Therefore, there must be other factors that lead young people to smoke.

In fact, if the health minister is so convinced that sponsorships are one of the important factors that lead young people to start smoking, why then does he not provide a transition period in order to help sponsored events to find other sponsors? How can we

believe a minister who is not ready to invest a single penny to support his principles?

This is not grandstanding, we are only looking at the facts as they are. Without a transition period, the direct losses will amount to $60 million. As for indirect losses, they will amount to $200 million for the Montreal area, an area where there are more poor people than in all the maritimes. We are not grandstanding, we are looking at the facts. If the losses are that high, it will cause unemployment. Unemployment means poor families. Poor families mean poor children, malnutrition, a high dropout rate, health problems.

Even worse, studies show that poor families smoke more. By refusing to provide a transition period, the minister will endanger the health of those same young people he claims he wants to protect. This really is a measure the minister did not foresee the possible perverse effects of.

In fact, we must realize that the sponsored events proposed some interesting compromises to the minister but it seems that he prefers going to court, because this is sure to happen. Sponsored events and sponsors will go ahead and force the minister to go all the way to the Supreme Court and once again, in five years or more, the problem will still be with us.

I want to tell my Liberal colleague that in the health committee I myself proposed active measures aimed at the young, for example, an awareness campaign where stars popular with young people would tell them that they do not smoke to preserve their health.

Last November, I had the opportunity to discuss the bill with Mr. Rochon and I expressed my concerns. You will know that Mr. Rochon's bill has not moved a bit since then. His bill will be reviewed by cabinet because good intents are one thing, but negative impacts are another and they must also be taken into consideration. That is one of our main points. We want the bill to have maximum efficiency and we want full protection for the health of Canadians and Quebecers.

However, the clauses on sponsorship will have the effect of replacing a problem with another which might be even worse.

I have a twofold question for my colleague. First, could it be that the minister is more stubborn than convinced? Is the Minister of Health sick? Why does he not invest the money in his own budget to finance a transition period? Finally, and I would really appreciate an answer from my colleague, is the minister not afraid that the right he is assuming to decide what can or cannot be seen on television might be declared unconstitutional? Other countries tried to decide for their citizens what could and what could not be seen and we know what happened to them. I ask the member across the way if, out of sheer stubbornness, the minister is not losing sight of what is best for the health of Canadians and Quebecers?

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12:25 p.m.


Clifford Lincoln Liberal Lachine—Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Madam Speaker, first of all, if the minister is really losing sight of the health objectives of Canadians, then why is he getting support from all health organizations across Canada, including Quebec? Hospitals, Local Community Service Centres, doctors, in fact everyone supports the minister. If he is against health, why would all these groups give him their unqualified support?

They say there was no debate on this issue. This is an issue that has been discussed for years. For years we have been debating this question. Every time a bill is introduced. In fact the Conservative government introduced one, and there was endless debate on the subject. There is a debate in our society between the pro-tobacco groups and the anti-tobacco groups. This has been going on for years. All the facts are known.

I told the hon. member for the Bloc Quebecois that if he wanted to go and see them, I would show him seven boxes full of documents that prove there is a connection between tobacco sponsorships and smoking, especially among young people. There are studies, and I quoted two of them, but there are hundreds more that prove this fact.

And if it were not true, why would France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Scandinavian countries, and so forth, have done the same thing we are doing? Even if Minister Rochon's bill is being revised in cabinet, the fact is that he and the Quebec government said quite clearly they wanted to go further.

They talk about unemployment in Montreal, where I come from. Montreal is in bad shape today. But I think there is something wrong when they talk about the connection between sponsorship and unemployment and never mention the connection between political instability and unemployment in Montreal. Why is Zellers leaving? Why did Canadian Pacific leave? Why are we losing 5,000 Quebecers more per quarter than we get, including immigrants? Why is this happening?

They do not want to face the facts. They do not want to face the consequences of this endless debate that has been going for years. They had the first referendum, but that was not enough. They had a second one, it was still not enough. So they will have a third one. Even the hon. member for St. Hubert, who is running for the leadership of the Bloc Quebecois, said the other day: "After a third referendum, no more, because people are fed up". She herself admitted this had to stop someday in order to provide some political stability. That is what we need.

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12:30 p.m.


Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Madam Speaker, I will respond immediately to the hon. member for Lachine-Lac-Saint-Louis who said my colleague had mentioned Mrs. Céline Hervieux-Payette.

I believe it would be a good idea to start off with two little paragraphs the hon. member is, no doubt, not aware of. I will also remind him that this lady is the chief organizer for the next elections, or one of those who will be helping him get elected in his riding. I trust she will be on the platform with him to defend this stand.

What she said is this: "In my opinion, restricting advertising and sponsorships has a minimal role to play in overcoming this scourge. If sporting and cultural activities in Quebec are earmarked as the testing grounds for a policy that will not have the desired effects, I say no way. Give me your support to stop Montreal from being the major victim of this policy, when it is already nearly crushed by unemployment".

The person speaking here is not a separatist but a good Liberal, one rewarded by the government across the way with an appointment to the other place, the other House. Yet she does not support the colleague we have just heard in any way. Do you know why there is a difference between what the Liberals on the other side here and the Liberals in the other place have to say? It is because in the other House they were not elected, while here the Liberals across the way are, and they want to look good on the campaign trail. They want to look like the good guys in a matter as vital as health.

What did the Liberals do in the area of health in 1993? Nothing, or next to it. I will give you only a few examples, because my time is limited. And I will take this opportunity, Madam Speaker, to tell you that I will be sharing my time with the member for Joliette.

The Department of Health did major studies on raw milk cheese. In the end it was shown beyond a doubt that the whole thing was totally absurd, and the Liberals backed off.

There was the national forum on health where the government spent $18 million, and yet health is a provincial jurisdiction. There was no reason for this forum. It was so unpopular that the provinces did not even take part in it, although it is under their jurisdiction.

Then there was the Minister of Health, who, in the first years, went to war. She went to war against tobacco with her famous plain cigarette packaging. The packages were beige and were supposed to stop young people from smoking.

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An hon. member

They were drab like the minister.

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12:30 p.m.


Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Indeed, they were just as drab as the minister and that is why it was stopped at that point. It was said that it did not work.

Now, on the eve of elections, the Minister of Justice realized that voters will be wondering what the Liberals have done in the area of health. They needed a noble cause. They found it among the young people, in the health of the young. They latched on to the idea that they would protect the health of young people and intervene in the issue of smoking.

If the government really had the courage of its convictions, it would prohibit what it says is dangerous. Tobacco seems to be dangerous, it must be prohibited. I heard the health minister and the parliamentary secretary telling us that the effects of tobacco use, particularly among young people, cost our society several billions of dollars. He estimates at $3.5 billion health care costs directly related to smoking.

But I did not hear the same health minister or the same parliamentary secretary telling me and the House that indeed it costs us $3.5 billion, but that the federal and provincial levels of government make at least $5 billion in various taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products. Sure it is no laughing matter when you consider people suffering from lung cancer or other diseases related to tobacco abuse, but we live in a free country. Why is the government insisting on wiping out this industry?

If it had raised the real issues regarding tobacco use, we would not have ended up with this hypocritical piece of legislation which is before the House today. Moreover we have been gagged at second reading of this important bill. It was read very quickly. We were gagged in committee as we were reviewing the bill clause by clause. Again today at report stage and at third reading, the government is applying closure. We will not be able to discuss the bill at leisure. Why? Because the Liberals opposite do not want to discuss it.

Earlier, the member for Lachine-Lac-Saint-Louis said there are seven boxes of documents proving there is a direct link between smoking and diseases. I can tell you that on the other side, there are also seven boxes of documents to prove the effect is not as immediate as they claim. There are also studies that show that just because young people go to the Du Maurier open does not mean that, when they go home, they want to go out and buy a package of cigarettes.

As the Leader of the Opposition said, the young person who watches a game of tennis and sees "Du Maurier" at the back during the whole game is far more interested in getting a new tennis racket when he comes home than a package of cigarettes. There is no immediate effect. No studies have been able to prove this.

Furthermore, quite frankly, we are not 100 per cent against Bill C-71, the anti-tobacco bill. We support most of the bill, and we said so to hon. members opposite. We even proposed as many as 32 amendments to improve the bill and provide more active ways of educating young people, for instance, if we really want to protect them. But no, the government ignored our comments and continues to do so because it is the sole repository of the truth. When you gag the opposition, it is because you do not want to listen to the

opposition. You do not want to listen to them because you think you are right. That is the problem.

That is why when I listen to a speech like the one made this morning by the Quebec member for Lachine-Lac-Saint-Louis, I can hardly take it seriously. It is really too bad. He is here to defend the interests of Quebec, but for 20 minutes he defended the interests of Ottawa, not like us, the members of the Bloc Quebecois, who have the interests of Quebec at heart.

For instance, the part of bill that we cannot accept, that no one in Quebec can accept, is the part that concerns sponsorships. If this bill is passed, we will not be able to have a number of sports and cultural events which the people of Montreal and people from other parts of Quebec are accustomed to having.

I will name a few that are at risk because the government opposite will not listen to reason: the jazz festival, the Benson & Hedges fireworks, the Just for Laughs festival, the summer festival in Quebec City, the Montreal Grand Prix, the Trois-Rivières Grand Prix, plus the whole domino effect of banning sponsorships. The loss in Montreal alone will be $240 million plus more than 2,000 jobs. This is not counting the domino effect on the regions.

In Berthier-Montcalm we have the Gilles Villeneuve museum. If there is no Grand Prix in Montreal, you can bet that the 10 or 15 per cent who visit the museum during the Grand Prix will no longer come. These are people from Europe, Japan and United States. These tourists bring money into Quebec. If there is no Montreal Grand Prix, no Trois-Rivières Grand Prix, they will never come to Berthierville to visit the museum. They will not make a special trip from Japan to come and visit the Gilles Villeneuve museum.

You must understand this, Madam Speaker. Try to make them understand. In concluding, if it is so important to the government opposite, it should make this part of its election platform and let the Secretary of State for the Federal Office of Regional Development in Quebec go on the hustings in Quebec to sell Bill C-71, and the people will decide whether or not they want this bill. In Quebec, the answer will be no, we do not.

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12:40 p.m.


Ronald J. Duhamel Liberal St. Boniface, MB

Madam Speaker, I think you know the respect I have for all my colleagues in the House and of course for a great many of the official opposition members.

However I find ironic and contradictory-

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An hon. member


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12:40 p.m.


Ronald J. Duhamel Liberal St. Boniface, MB

"Surprising" does not go far enough. Their attitude, the reaction they have of saying that the member for Lachine-Lac-Saint-Louis was not looking out for Quebec or for Quebecers, what utter nonsense.

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12:40 p.m.


Ghislain Lebel Bloc Chambly, QC

The truth hurts.

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12:40 p.m.


Ronald J. Duhamel Liberal St. Boniface, MB

It is not the truth, it is complete nonsense.

The last member who spoke, the one before last, is an hon. member with a reputation that far surpasses that of most members of the Bloc Quebecois.