House of Commons Hansard #154 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was privacy.


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10:20 a.m.

An hon. member

On division.

(Motion No. 2 agreed to.)

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10:20 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario


Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved that the bill, as amended, be concurred in.

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10:20 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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10:20 a.m.

Some hon. members


(Motion agreed to.)

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10:25 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

When shall the bill be read the third time? By leave, now?

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10:25 a.m.

Some hon. members


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10:25 a.m.


Allan Rock Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

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10:25 a.m.


Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I just spoke on report stage and was happy to detail some of the broad concerns I have with the justice system and some of the emphasis I would like to see changed within the whole application of justice in Canada.

All too often I am hearing a very disturbing trend in coffee shop talk that they are going to take matters into their own hands. It is our job as parliamentarians to make sure that does not happen. Vigilante justice is not the answer to injustice in the land. A proper justice system is the answer.

I have been a member of a party that has raised the mantra of victims rights to a new level in Parliament. We have talked about the need for that change in emphasis. The emphasis should not be on the rehabilitation of criminals. It should be on the rights of victims.

I find myself time and again having to calm people down. I could inflame the situation easily in my riding. I could go over the deep end. It is easy to do. It is easy to get angry. There are any number of cases in which I can do that. I find myself trying to calm people by saying vigilante justice is not the answer. They will get themselves in trouble. This is not the wild west. We have to move past that. However they are right to be annoyed with the system.

The other day Clifford Olson was asking for some changes to his situation. He wanted more access to the media and so on. The ruling of the judge in denying the application was that he felt it was in the best interest of Mr. Olson's rehabilitation that the right not be extended. That was his concern in the ruling. He said it was best for the rehabilitation of Mr. Olson that he not have access to the media because it gets him into a kind of demagoguery situation and all that.

The rehabilitation emphasis in the system has gone a bit overboard. Clifford Olson will never see the light of day. He is in there forever. He will die in jail. He will not get out. That is not the concern. The concern of the judge, because of the guiding principles that have come through the justice system in the last 20 years or so, was rehabilitation of the guy: what kind of education he needed, what kind of courses he could take and so on.

Mr. Olson will not get away with it. He will not be able to manipulate his way out of jail. We all have seen cases of people who go to their case workers and ask what hoops they have to jump through to get out. They are not concerned about rehabilitation. They are concerned about their access to the outside. They will work down the list. They will go to peer counselling. They will join AA. Many people in jail say they will become religious-and I am of the Christian faith-if it means a red star or a green star. They do not care much what religion it is. Sometimes they are very insincere, but they will do what they can to jump through the hoops.

It is very sad to watch, when we are hoping for true change and true rehabilitation not only of their actions but of their hearts, them manipulating the system to see if they can please enough parole officers and enough boards to get themselves out the Pearly Gates or through the Pearly Gates depending on their stage of life. The emphasis has to change because society demands it.

Recently I saw a documentary on a South American country about the middle class suburbs. Every single one had bars on the windows, a wall around the house, the broken shards of glass embedded in the concrete on the top, spools of wire and so on.

In my community there are alarm systems, there is a community watch, people are putting extra locks on their windows and so. It is now incremental at an incredible rate what people are doing to protect themselves.

In North America private police and private security firms now outnumber government paid police officers. There are more people paying privately for protection than we can provide to them through the federal provincial systems. They are saying they cannot trust the government to do the job anymore. When they protect themselves charges will be pressed against them.

Three or four weeks ago in British Columbia there was a case where an elderly Kelowna man was in his house with his wife and a young man in his twenties came to the door and proceeded to try to kick the door in. The elderly couple in their seventies were about to become the victims of a house invasion. Do we tell the man to dial 911 and put his chin strap on his bike helmet and sit there and get ready to take it? That is what the justice system says.

This man stepped out and said "I am not going to take it. My wife is here, she cannot run. I am 72 years old". He got the baseball bat out and he took it to this guy. We all say let the police do it, try not to be alarmed and sit in your easy chair and hope he does not kill you in your retirement. Enjoy your retirement years.

He did not do that. This 72-year old man said he was not going to take because this guy was coming in to his house in broad daylight to beat the ever lovin' snot out of him and his wife. And so he took a baseball bat to the guy, and good for him. I do not encourage vigilante justice but what are we suppose to tell people when their lives are in danger?

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10:30 a.m.

An hon. member

Then he is charged with assault.

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10:30 a.m.


Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

That is right. Then he is run through the wringer of the justice system and people say "maybe this guy is a bad apple and we have to prosecute the guy who is protecting his home and his wife from a 20-year old home invader".

I have another case in my riding, and I am sure all members deal with these. A lady and her father came in to see me. She is about 30 years old. An ex-husband, common law relationship, stalked this lady for two years after the break-up of their relationship. For two years he sent threatening letters. He said: "I'm going to get you. I'm going to kill you. You'll never see the light of day". He kidnapped her once, took her down to the river to shoot with a gun he had in his hands and he took the rifle butt to her. She wrestled the gun out of his hands and flung the gun into the Fraser River. So he just beat on her for a while. I am sure he was going to shoot her and throw her corpse in the river. He was convicted and he is doing time and he may be getting out next month.

While he was stalking this lady he phoned her, threatened to kill her and followed her around from work. That is terrifying to any person and especially to a single woman. At night he would come to her home with a butcher knife and tap on her plate glass window. She opens the drapes and there is this guy tapping on the window with a butcher knife, smiling at her.

This went on for two years. She reported every incident to the police. Nothing happened. The police said that until he actually assaulted her they could not do anything. The police tried. I will give them credit, but the laws are so weak that they could not do anything about the situation.

After the assault, the man got out and caught her again going to work. Thankfully her children were at their grandparents' home. He chased her around and around the car, in front of 50 witnesses. She was screaming for her life. He caught her and he stabbed her repeatedly. The onlookers did not know what was going on. He

stabbed her until her body went limp. The onlookers finally jumped the guy and wrestled him to the ground.

He was charged with attempted murder. The charges were dropped. They could not prove that he had tried to kill her because he only stabbed her seven times. She lived through the attack. I do not know how she lived. He must have missed all of the vital organs.

Imagine this. The woman and her father came to see me in my office. She had her act together surprisingly well. She could talk about the incident. She told me the story. I did not know what to say. I was without words. The justice system had not protected the woman. Worse than that, I did not know what to say to her father. He was a regular guy. He was about 55. He was a regular Joe. He was a nice guy off the street. He sat across from me and he said: "Mr. Strahl, in July this guy is going to get out. When he gets out he is probably going to assault my daughter again. When he gets out and taps on my daughter's window with a butcher knife, I will kill him". I said: "Sir, if you do that you will spend 25 years in jail. It is malice aforethought. You have threatened him. You said you would do it. You will go to jail for 25 years". He said: "That is fine. What am I supposed to do, Mr. Strahl? He is going to kill my daughter". I said: "I would do the same thing".

The system has to change. Victims rights should be more predominant. It has to change. I have to be able to go back to that lady and say "we are going to change it and we are going to fight in this place until it is changed".

They might issue press releases from the other side which say there is not a problem, but I am not going to change my mind. I am going to attempt to help that lady and too many others like her.

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10:35 a.m.


Jack Ramsay Reform Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-17 for the last time. It is unfortunate that there are two amendments which are completely unrelated to Bill C-17 which have been piggybacked on to the bill. That was done with the unanimous consent of the House because all members of the House supported the amendments which were brought forward. Bill C-17 was the medium through which those amendments were put forward, but the amendments are totally unrelated to the bill. I am going to direct most of my comments to the original bill.

Bill C-17 contains a significant number of updates and improvements to the administration of law which are long overdue and which we support. The efficiency of our police officers and our courts will be aided through a number of the amendments contained within Bill C-17.

Sections 4(6) and 4(7) of Bill C-17 will allow a peace officer to provide a statement of service without having to seek out a justice of the peace or notary to have the service sworn.

This change will improve police efficiency, reduce the workload of justices of the peace and redirect their expertise to where it is needed.

Similarly, section 145(5) and a number of subsequent sections of Bill C-17 will permit any peace officer to release an accused on a reconnaissance. Currently only the officer in charge can do so.

This amendment improves police efficiency by negating the necessity to bring in the officer in charge for a mere procedural action.

We fully support the changes in this bill that would enhance the way police would be able to conduct their business. We also support the portion of the bill which strengthens the proceeds of crime legislation by ensuring that criminals do not retain the profits of their crime.

Initially we opposed Bill C-17 because, as most Canadians are aware, Reform is vehemently opposed to measures that lessen rather than strengthen penalties for serious offences.

Today, however, we are reluctantly providing our support because we have confidence in the provinces that support these measures and confidence, as it has so indicated, that the crown will in the most serious of cases proceed by way of indictment by following a sentencing protocol.

We believe the justice minister was less than forthright with Canadians about the full impact of Bill C-17. The minister has touted the merits of this bill in that it modernizes the law and streamlines court proceedings but he has been noticeably silent about the reduction in penalties for certain very serious offences.

Although Reform supports the administrative changes contained within Bill C-17 I mentioned earlier, I would be remiss if I did not say this bill is a nebulous inconsequential piece of legislation which will be of little significance to the enhancement of the safety of Canadians, their children and their property.

Canadians are very concerned about their personal security and that of their families. These administrative changes will do nothing to protect Canadians from murderers, rapists and other sadistic criminals who roam our streets and enter our homes.

Bill C-17 cannot prevent serial child killer Clifford Olson from playing out his charade. Bill C-17 does not deny killers the right to early release.

Only a bill repealing section 745 from the Criminal Code can deny Clifford Olson and others from seeking early release, but the minister did not bring in a bill of this nature. Instead, he brought in Bill C-45 which still grants Clifford Olson and other first degree murderers an avenue for early release.

By doing so, the justice minister with the support of his Liberal colleagues, has forced the families of murder victims to relive their terror over and over again.

Bill C-17 will not stop Robert Noyes from sexually molesting another child. The former Ashcroft teacher admitted to abusing more than 60 children. As a dangerous offender, he was sentenced to an indefinite period of incarceration on 19 sex related charges.

Now the justice system has turned him loose. In June the National Parole Board granted Noyes escorted temporary leave and if that went well, Noyes was to be eligible for unescorted leave with day parole in February 1997. To date I have not heard whether he has been successful.

Only a bill like the one proposed by my colleague from Surrey-White Rock-South Langley requiring the examination of sex offenders by two psychiatrists will keep Noyes locked up where he belongs.

Bill C-17 will not alleviate the fear of Canadian parents that their children could be abducted, sexually molested or killed in any of our communities or on our streets.

The justice minister's news release at the time of the introduction of this bill stated that these amendments illustrate further progress on the government's safe homes, safe streets agenda. This is absolute nonsense. It is simply not true.

How does someone make safer streets and safer homes by reducing the penalties for crimes such as the forcible confinement of individuals and being unlawfully in their homes?

Canadians want substantive change within the justice system. They want pieces of legislation that effectively enhance public safety. They want legislation that sends a clear message to criminals that if they do the crime they must do the time. Canadians want legislation in the hope that it will deter ruthless thieves from entering and destroying the sanctity of their homes.

Canadians want a bill which repeals section 745 of the Criminal Code. They want the justice minister to vote in favour of victims and victims rights. They do not want a minister that upholds and protects the rights of criminals to the detriment of the law-abiding, peace-loving citizen.

In 1995 the minister voted against private member's Bill C-226, which would have extinguished the right of first degree murderers to a parole ineligibility hearing after serving only 15 years of a life sentence. Canadians do not want the minister giving killers a glimmer of hope. They want killers behind bars and they want them there for a minimum of 25 years: not 15 years, not 20 years. Canadians overwhelmingly want murderers behind bars for the full length of their sentences.

What is the value of a human life to the justice minister, the Prime Minister and the Liberal government? Is it just 15 years? That is what they are telling the people of Canada. They are telling Canadians their laws are enhancing public safety. Nothing could be further from the truth.

On August 12, Clifford Olson was eligible to apply for a parole ineligibility hearing and in March, thanks to this government, this multiple child killer gets his day in court at the expense of taxpayers. The minister saw on the day that Olson once again made the national news how Canadians truly feel about his tough on justice amendments to section 745. The justice minister just recently witnessed the horror all Canadians experienced on March 11 when Clifford Olson once again was granted, courtesy of the Liberals, the opportunity to flaunt his sadistic crimes.

Olson is not the only eligible murderer. On July 10, Ralph Ernest Malcolm Power applied for early parole on his first degree murder conviction. In 1981, the 28-year-old Power, an ex-con out on mandatory supervision beat 20-year-old Sheryl Gardner's face to a bloody pulp with a hammer. He confessed he was attempting to stun her just a little so he could rape her. Power was caught and arrested for the murder of Sheryl after attempting to kill another woman.

The Minister of Justice should have brought in a bill that would keep Clifford Olson, Ralph Ernest Malcolm Power and many others behind bars. Why is the Minister of Justice not listening to the victims of violence and the Canadian Police Association? Why has the minister not repealed section 745? The Minister of Justice should be dealing with crime first and then administrative matters, not vice versa.

In the wake of the horrific crimes against Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French, capital punishment is resurfacing as a major issue with Canadians. The evidence is growing that if Canadians were given the opportunity to vote in a binding referendum on capital punishment, an initiative the Reform Party supports, Canadians would choose to sentence our most ruthless and sadistic killers like Paul Bernardo and Clifford Olson to death. The Liberal government refuses to give Canadians this opportunity.

Canadians welcome Bill C-55, the dangerous offender legislation, but they want it strengthened and they want the minister to end statutory release. They want to end the automatic release of prisoners after serving only two-thirds of their sentence, even when science indicates these people will commit further crimes. Malanie Carpenter who was kidnapped, raped and murdered is one of the latest victims of this kind of Liberal mentality.

The minister promised to bring in an omnibus bill encompassing these two initiatives which would significantly enhance public safety. Instead we got Bill C-55, which falls short of Canadians' expectations. All Canadians have been given in the last year are half measures or bills like Bill C-2 and Bill C-42 which amend the Judges Act, Bill C-9 which re-instituted the law commission and now Bill C-17. Bill C-27, which we do support because it deals with child prostitution and stalking should have pre-empted all of

these bills. All Bills C-2, C-42, C-9 and C-17 do is make life a little easier for those involved in the justice system. They do not and will not make Canadians safer.

In fact Bill C-17 may give Canadians more reason to be concerned about home invasions because the Liberal government through Bill C-17 has lessened the punishment for this Criminal Code offence. That is why we give our support reluctantly to this bill.

Bill C-17 reduces maximum sentences and changes strictly indictable offences to dual procedure offences. The redesignation of offences from indictable to dual procedure permits and encourages judges to consider those offences as less serious and therefore permissive of a lesser punishment to include mere financial penalties.

While most of these offences are non-violent, with the exception of forcible confinement, they do involve intrusion into the sanctity of our homes and forgery which may deprive our most vulnerable citizens, our seniors, of valuable financial assets.

According to Statistics Canada, in 1994 break and enter accounted for 15 per cent of all Criminal Code offences while 25 per cent of all Criminal Code offences were for property offences. Eighty-one percent of break and enters involved forced entry. Property was damaged in 71 per cent of the cases and property stolen in 81 per cent of the cases.

Instead of expressing concern and outrage over these figures, the Liberal government is now saying these offences deserve a lesser penalty. These offences, which infringe on the financial and mental security of Canadian citizens, are going to be dealt with more leniency because of Bill C-17.

Unbeknownst to Canadians, the Liberal government has been slowly moving in this direction over the course of its mandate, a direction we are opposed to because not only has it not been sanctioned by Canadians, it may very well lead to an increase in crime, not a reduction, which is what we in this party seek as do most Canadians.

A shift of this magnitude in how we punish or-should I say in a politically correct manner-how we hold criminals accountable for their actions should be reviewed and then approved by the public.

Bill C-41, which has now been in force for a number of months, introduced alternative measures: alternatives to incarceration, alternatives in fact to a court hearing. This portion of Bill C-41 was overshadowed by the hate crime part of the bill which gave added protection under the law to a category of citizens including those classified by sexual orientation, an undefined term.

If asked today, I am confident very few Canadians know that the Liberal government has provided the means for a whole host of criminals, including sex and other violent offenders, to do community work rather than spend time in jail.

It is most unfortunate Canadians were not aware of the full scope of Bill C-41 which was described by the Canadian Police Association in the following manner: "Bill C-41, with few exceptions, is unwieldy, complicated, internally self-contradictory, duplicitous and what is worse, all of it completely unnecessary for anyone of any knowledge of or use for the common law heritage of Canada".

We would not have objected so vehemently to the alternative measures section of Bill C-41 if the government had specified which offences may be applicable to alternative measures. We could support the use of alternative measures for specific non-violent offences, to reduce expensive court procedures and incarceration. However, no such specifications appeared in Bill C-41.

The Reform Party submitted an amendment to Bill C-41 that would have exempted violent offenders from alternative measures. However, the Liberals on the justice committee killed that amendment.

Since the proclamation of Bill C-41, which also encouraged the courts to use conditional sentencing, at least two convicted rapists and others are walking free on conditional sentencing while their female victims are afraid to leave their homes. That is unacceptable. I hope the minister will bring in an amendment to the Criminal Code that will restrict conditional sentencing to non-violent offences so that rapists do not walk free like the two in British Columbia.

I would like to draw to the attention of the House the sections of Bill C-17 which concern us. The present law dealing with forcible confinement of a human being makes this offence an indictable offence with a maximum sentence of 10 years which classifies this as a very serious offence.

Under Bill C-17 the severity of this offence will be lowered significantly. The maximum penalty will still be 10 years but it will become a dual procedure offence which may be processed by either indictment or summary conviction. This means that under a summary conviction procedure, this offence can be reduced to a maximum sentence of 18 months or only a fine of up to $2,000.

Section 348.1(e) of the Criminal Code regarding breaking and entering for places other than a dwelling house is also changed to a dual procedure offence and the maximum sentence will be reduced from 14 years to 10 years under indictment. Not only that, but it can be tried by summary conviction with a maximum penalty of 18 months or simply a fine. What does this say to society? What does it say to the criminal?

The offence of being unlawfully in a dwelling house, Criminal Code section 349(1) has also been changed to dual procedure with imprisonment of up to 10 years or processed by summary conviction. Currently, unlawfully being in a dwelling house is an indictable offence with a maximum imprisonment of up to 10 years.

Similarly, section 367 of the Criminal Code regarding forgery and section 368(1), uttering forged documents, will be amended to dual procedure offences with imprisonment of up to 10 years or processed by summary conviction, whereas the current punishment is indictable only with imprisonment of up to 14 years.

It is these sections which initially had us opposed to Bill C-17. As stated earlier, we remain concerned that these Criminal Code amendments will signal to the courts that these types offences are to be treated in a less severe manner than is currently the case. As we know, the decision on whether to proceed by indictment or by summary conviction is made by the crown. It is with this fact in mind, and following consultations with some provinces which provided us with the assurance that in most of these cases the crown will still proceed by way of indictment, that we reluctantly provide our support today for Bill C-17.

Canada is facing rising crime rates, particularly violent crime, raising fears regarding personal safety, escalating costs to administer justice and to house prisoners and to top it all off a growing debt which severely limits spending.

The task of the federal Minister of Justice to deal with these problems in unison will be difficult but not insurmountable. Bill C-17 is not at this time part of the answer. It does not address the increase in crime in Canada and it does absolutely nothing to confront the causes of crime.

Therefore, we will support Bill C-17, an inconsequential piece of Liberal legislation, but we do so regrettably for the reasons given.

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10:55 a.m.


Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak on Bill C-17. I am encouraged by the statements that my colleague from Crowfoot has made in reference to this bill concerning its shortcomings and the fact that we will be supporting it reluctantly. I too have very deep concerns about some of the provisions of the bill.

I have paid some attention to the shortcomings in the area of the reduction in maximum sentences. That really concerns me. As as a police officer for 20 some years in the city of Calgary police department I have experienced what reductions of sentences actually do in the courts. There seems to be a trivializing of sentences that are delivered when parliamentarians start tinkering around and reducing the maximum terms allotted to some offenders.

I look in particular at section 279(2) which deals with forcible confinement. When is the section on forcible confinement often

used? What kind of offender is charged with such an offence? For the most part it deals with the rapist, the sexual abuser, the person who has intent to kidnap or to hold against his or her will someone. It is most often a female or a child that the offender has attacked or is attacking.

In Bill C-17 the government introduced a reduced sentence lowering an indictable offence which had a provision of 14 years to one of 18 months and making it a dual procedure. A minimum sentence of 18 months can be delivered if the courts proceed by way of summary conviction.

Rape or sexual assault is a very serious offence. Yet the government has trivialized a good portion of the number of charges of forcible confinement laid in sexual assault offences.

Another provision in Bill C-17 comes under section 348(1). Breaking and entering a place other than a dwelling house is now considered a dual procedure offence with a maximum of 10 years. Again it has been decreased.

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11 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member will have the floor immediately after question period when we resume debate on this matter.

Maple Syrup SeasonStatements By Members

11 a.m.


Larry McCormick Liberal Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox And Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I invite my colleagues in the House to visit my riding of Hastings-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington during the maple syrup season.

The sap is running and communities right across the three counties are transforming this liquid into the most delicious syrup ever tasted. Everyone who is tired of the sloppy sidewalks and dirty snows of the urban streets in March and April is invited to the pristine outdoors of Hastings-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington to tour a sugar bush, watch the syrup being made, and taste the flavour of spring on pancakes or in the form of maple candy.

The maple leaf is our symbol. Maple sugar is the ultimate flavour of Canada. Although members might suggest my opinion is biased, I invite them to take the taste test. They will receive a warm welcome from my constituents. They should come and taste the

best of nature's treats. They should come to Hastings-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington this season.

Polyvalente Charles-GravelStatements By Members

11 a.m.


Maurice Godin Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, Le Gravillon , a newspaper published by the polyvalente Charles-Gravel in Chicoutimi, is among the winners of the merit award for French in education. The paper received the award from the conseil pédagogique interdisciplinaire du Québec in the secondary school category. Le Gravillon has become well known for the quality of French in its articles and editorials, all of which are written by students at the Charles-Gravel secondary school.

Under the supervision of teacher Martin Tremblay, Le Gravillon has over the years become a tool for promoting the French language, while mobilizing the school's resources and energy to offer a quality product.

Three cheers for Martin Tremblay's team and for the students at Charles-Gravel.

Health SupplementsStatements By Members

11 a.m.


Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

Mr. Speaker, many of my constituents practise preventive health care using herbs and other natural health supplements, but the Liberal government wants to criminalize these law-abiding Canadians by arbitrarily reclassifying herbs and natural health foods as drugs. This sets in motion an expensive and time consuming testing process that will remove access to health supplements for many Canadians.

Health food stores are being raided, products confiscated and stopped at our borders, and consumers are denied access to products they have enjoyed for years. That happens even though there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that the products have ever produced harm and there is no reason for these actions.

The burden of proof should be reversed for these products. Health Canada should be required to demonstrate that they harm human health and well-being before it imposes restrictions in their trade or consumption. Reformers say call off the Liberal government's health police and give Canadians freedom of choice in health care because foods are not drugs.

Meredith Doyle RinkStatements By Members

April 11th, 1997 / 11 a.m.


Dianne Brushett Liberal Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Meredith Doyle Rink arrived home in Truro last week boasting a bronze medal from the World Junior Curling Championships in Japan. Every country set their sights on Canada. The Canadian team was the team to beat. Although Canada lost to Scotland in the semifinals, the girls played extremely well and defeated the United States team five to two to bring home the bronze.

The team produced a number of all star players and was considered a model of youth sportsmanship on and off the ice. Members of the Meredith Doyle Rink served as excellent ambassadors for Canada.

I ask all members of the House to join with me in thanking and congratulating the team on its excellent performance and its awesome world victory.

Magdalena FilipowichStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.


Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was April 16, 1897 in a small village in Austria when a little girl was born to Pauline and Thomas Kowalchuk. They named her Magdalena.

Magdalena sailed to Canada with her family in 1903 and they settled in Tiny, Saskatchewan. In 1915 Magdalena married Michael Filipowich. The couple built a small, two-bedroom home in Swan Plain, Saskatchewan, where they had 10 children. The little house still stands as a reminder of the hard work and dedication of one of this country's great families.

Magdalena has lived in my riding of St. Catharines since 1956. She now boasts 37 grandchildren, 85 great-grandchildren and 24 great-great-grandchildren.

This Sunday, Magdalena Filipowich and her many friends and family will celebrate her 100th birthday. I want to join with them in this special celebration and say to Magdalena happy birthday, congratulations and God bless.

Toys Promoting ViolenceStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.


Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, one of my constituents, Martine Ayotte, is putting together the world's biggest puzzle. This is a very special puzzle where each piece in fact consists of a petition to ban toys that are an incentive to violence.

So far, this initiative by a mother of five children has resulted in 26,000 signatures, and there are more to come. The purpose of this courageous initiative is to prevent the manufacturing, importation, marketing and advertising of toys which carry instructions that are clearly an incentive to violence.

Next month, Mrs. Ayotte will be at the House of Commons to put together all the pieces of this impressive puzzle. On this occasion,

she hopes to make the government aware of her initiative to push for appropriate legislation.

I fully support Mrs. Ayotte's initiative, and I would urge members of all parties to do the same. On behalf of my colleagues in the Bloc Quebecois, I want to commend this woman on the imaginative way she is trying to improve our society.

New Liskeard CubsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.


Ben Serré Liberal Timiskaming—French-River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I take great pride in extending my sincere congratulations to the New Liskeard Cubs, a AAA midget hockey team that captured the Ontario title on April 6, 1997. I am proud of these young hockey players for their hard work and team spirit. It is the second consecutive year that the Cubs won the Air Canada central region championship.

The Cubs have a long tradition of excellence in hockey. Residents of the tri-towns in my riding are proud this team will represent Ontario at the Air Canada Cup National Championship Tournament which will be held in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, later this month.

I am proud of the success of the New Liskeard Cubs, one of the hockey teams in our riding. I am sure the team will make all Canadians proud when it participates in the national championships.

AquacultureStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.


John Duncan Reform North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, B.C. produces 5,000 tonnes per year of oysters. This provides high paying jobs.

France imported 100 tonnes of oyster broodstock from B.C. 15 years ago and is now producing 150,000 tonnes per year or 30 times greater than the production of B.C.

The aquaculture industry continues to be bogged down by counterproductive federal rules and bureaucracy. Shellfish production needs to be moved to an advocacy ministry such as agriculture. The federal aquaculture development strategy of 1995 has never been adopted by DFO. The current attitude and practices of DFO and DOE are costing west coast jobs, jobs, jobs, big time.

This has led to calls for provincial jurisdiction. This is probably the only answer unless there is a federal attitude transplant.

I ask the respective ministers to get with the program to allow the industry to prosper.

Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.


George Proud Liberal Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, there seems to be some confusion over the impact of the new employment insurance system. I just want to set the record straight.

The government has acted in a responsible and prudent manner. Seasonal workers have not been compromised. The Atlantic Liberal caucus ensured that seasonal workers were protected.

Unfortunately after EI went fully into effect in January a problem surfaced which affected all Canadians. Again the government acted on recommendations that would protect seasonal workers.

The solution will work. Small weeks are counted for eligibility but are bundled for calculating benefits. This change gives claimants the best of both worlds.

I doubt there are many who would argue that reforms were not needed. The changes implemented help Canadians. Every hour counts. More people will be covered and many will qualify quicker. More important, they are better active measures to get Canadians back to work. The new system is good news.

Co-Operative HousingStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.


Judy Bethel Liberal Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, Edmonton East is home to six vibrant healthy co-operative housing communities. Each is unique. Each serves a valuable social purpose. Each provides an economic benefit to all Edmontonians.

Edmonton East co-operatives provide stability, safety, independence, privacy, affordability, diversity, equality and dignity to both advantaged and less advantaged families.

At a recent public forum someone expressed these benefits beautifully:

For the first time in my life I belong to a place I feel safe, know my neighbours, make a positive contribution, live in a community where there is space to grow a family, to have a yard, to have a pet and to be protected from adverse market forces.

Artspace provides our disabled with cost effective independent living.

Acoxual provides newcomers to Canada with the language, skills and job training needed to positively contribute to Edmonton's economy.

Sundance and Riverdale provide safe affordable communities to raise happy, healthy children.

It is imperative that our government ensure the long term viability of co-operative housing.

Gun ControlStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.


Ivan Grose Liberal Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I will raise an issue close to my heart, gun control.

Having just returned from Europe where I was repeatedly congratulated on our government's courage in enacting a bill to restrict the ownership of firearms, I am utterly amazed at the flip flop of the New Democratic Party on the issue.

I have always had grudging admiration for the party of M. J. Coldwell and Tommy Douglas and its reputation as the conscience of the Canadian nation. It is with extreme sadness that I see its descent into political expediency.

I beg members of this old and formerly honourable party to rethink their attitude on this issue at their upcoming convention. My plea applies not only to members of the House but to aspirants for election to the House including the candidate in my home riding.

Let us preserve our distinct society as opposed to our neighbours to the south. In Canada guns are bad. In the U.S.A. guns are good.

Mirabel AirportStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.


Maurice Dumas Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, Bloc Quebecois members from the Lower Laurentians, including myself, are disappointed, but more determined than ever to continue the fight for the long term survival of Mirabel airport, following the appeal court decision concerning ADM.

All the efforts and energy invested by people from that area over the past weeks will not have been in vain. The public is rallying strongly in favour of Mirabel. It is up to us to do everything we can to find solutions.

In Quebec City, work has already begun, with the creation of the joint commission on the future of Mirabel airport, and we should be pleased. The Liberals, who have landed us in this mess, should get moving as well.

The region's Bloc Quebecois MPs urge the public not to give up, but instead to redouble its efforts to have traffic transferred back to Mirabel. People in the Lower Laurentians should not be held hostage by the Liberal government.