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House of Commons Hansard #152 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was code.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesdays, we will now sing O Canada. We will be led by the hon. member for Gatineau-La Lièvre.

Award Of MeritStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Liberal Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the people of Cambridge, I am delighted to congratulate Cambridge lawyers Milena Protich and Robert Pettitt, recent recipients of the Law Society of Upper Canada's 1997 Bicentennial Award of Merit. To celebrate its 200th anniversary, the Law Society of Upper Canada introduced this special award which recognizes the incredible contribution lawyers make to their towns and cities through community work. This award of merit was bestowed on Ms. Protich and Mr. Pettitt for their powerful sense of community giving and exemplary dedication to public service.

Again, I congratulate these two community spirited lawyers for their ongoing voluntarism.

Guide De Montréal-NordStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bloc Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to call attention to the 40th anniversary of the Guide de Montréal-Nord , which was founded on January 1, 1957 by publicist Paul Trudeau and journalist Yves Ryan, the present mayor of Montréal-Nord.

This weekly, delivered to every home in Montréal-Nord, is part of the Groupe Transcontinental, which owns some 100 weeklies in eastern Montreal and the lower Laurentians region. It has been edited for some years now by Jean-Claude Banville, a man with a great commitment to his community. I will be attending the gala evening event which will mark the start of these celebrations on May 23.

My congratulations to the management, the journalists, the support staff and all of the readers of the Guide de Montréal-Nord, a weekly with an essential role in the social, cultural and community life of my riding of Bourassa.

JusticeStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Reform Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, two years ago a young woman from my riding named Tammy Fee was brutally assaulted, raped and threatened with death in her own home after being stalked for weeks.

The man who perpetrated this vicious attack, Rick White, was immediately apprehended, charged and convicted. Now, after only two years of incarceration, he is scheduled for parole on May 23.

Tammy Fee is so afraid that this man is going to come after her that she is seriously planning to change her name and identity and relocate somewhere else in Canada so that Rick White cannot find her. In other words, she fears for her life so much that she is going underground to hide.

Surely this is appalling testimony to the lack of concern the criminal justice system and this Parliament have shown for the rights of victims in this country.

Tammy Fee is not just a victim of violence, she is now also a victim of this justice minister's policies.

Via RailStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, VIA Rail is reducing the level of maintenance on railway passenger cars assigned to service in northern Manitoba.

VIA bulletin C-100 makes it very clear that the company has approved "a reduction of the level of preventive maintenance" on cars used in northern Manitoba. These cars "will not be allowed to run in any other service".

The creation of such a second class passenger rail service in northern Manitoba is ridiculous and unacceptable. The highest standards are required, given the adverse track conditions, greater distances and cold weather.

Canadians do not want a two-tier passenger rail system any more than they want a two-tier health care system. The NDP calls on the Liberal government to tell VIA Rail to reverse this decision.

Community ExchangeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Liberal Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, my riding is being honoured by the visit of a municipal delegation from the city of Rafah in the Gaza strip headed by Mayor Saied Zourab. They are returning the visit to Rafah by Waterloo Mayor Brian Turnbull and city official Paul Eichinger.

During their stay they are doing as our delegation did in Rafah: observing the operation of water and landfill facilities, social services and civic administration.

Through this exchange we can learn from one another ways of improving life in our respective communities. The ties of friendship that are established between our communities so far apart will contribute to peace and understanding.

This exchange is jointly sponsored by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and the Canadian International Development Agency. As Canadians we can be rightly proud of our role in participation and in the promotion of understanding and co-operation between ourselves and other countries on a community to community basis.

Navy League Cadet CorpsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise in the House today to praise the navy cadets and seamanship drill teams of the Navy League Cadet Corps Glorious in London, Ontario.

Both the navy and seamanship cadet drill teams won their area drill competition and will be heading to the provincial competition in London on April 26 and 27.

For the past six months these young people, aged 10 to 13, have given up their Saturdays and Sundays to train for these competitions. Through hard work and dedication they have made their city and their corps proud.

At a time when we hear many negative things about young people, it is encouraging to hear of young people with commitment, fervour and honour for the country's military heritage.

To the cadets and their officers, I offer my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes as they prepare for the finals. I encourage all of my colleagues in the House to do so also.

University Of ManitobaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Reg Alcock Liberal Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, great universities are a reflection of the communities from which they come, the faculty that teaches there and the students that attend them.

As I have often said in the House, the University of Manitoba is one of the greatest universities in the country, if not the world.

I rise today to honour two students, Claudia Hudspeth and Lisa Smirl who were recently awarded Rhodes scholarships. Claudia Hudspeth is a third year medical student who plans to pursue a program in developmental studies while at Oxford. Lisa Smirl is now a fourth year honour student in political studies and will study international relations at Oxford.

I wish to congratulate the two of them, their families, the faculty that taught them and the people of Manitoba.

Liberal Party Of CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, the last Liberal Party of Canada publication, Women Working to Win , leads us to make the following remark.

What is the difference between men and women candidates for the Liberal Party of Canada? For women, the package is as important as the contents. For men, neither has any importance.

Who will go and pick up the kids from daycare during the campaign? Nobody, because the Liberals have not created the 150,000 daycare places promised in 1993.

What will the theme song of the ideal Liberal female candidate be? "Do my laundry for me now, honey, and I promise to do yours after the election".

It is all very fine to laugh at these funny remarks, but it is sad, and annoying most of all, to see the lack of confidence this party has in the political potential of women, whom they consider as either Superwoman or Miss Universe. With the year 2000 less than 1,000 days away, there is still work to be done on the situation of women in Canada, particularly where the Liberal Party of Canada is concerned.

Prince George CougarsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Reform Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, Prince George, B.C. is the greatest hockey town in Canada, maybe the whole world.

I would like to draw the attention of the House to the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League. A second miracle on ice is happening and it is happening in Prince George. It is not the result of divine intervention but the result of the heart, the determination and the drive of the players of the Prince George Cougars as they have success after success in the Western Hockey League's divisional playoffs.

After grabbing the last spot they have just smoked the other teams as they passed through the second round of playoffs, heading for the top.

Here's to the Cougars and the great hockey mecca of Prince George. I want to congratulate the Cougars organization, the players, the coaches and the fans of Prince George.

Look out, Memorial Cup, here we come.

Victoria CrossStatements By Members

April 9th, 1997 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mary Clancy Liberal Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, four Canadians won the Victoria Cross at Vimy, three on the first day of battle 80 years ago today.

Private William Milne crawled on his hands and knees to reach an enemy gun and took the post out. He then located a machine gun in the support line and put the enemy out of action again. He saved the lives of many of his comrades, but he was killed shortly thereafter.

Sergeant Ellis Sifton charged a machine gun post single-handed. Met by a small party of enemy soldiers, he held them off until our men had secured the spot. He was shot moments after his relief arrived.

Captain Thain MacDowell of Lachute, Quebec, entered an enemy dugout and tricked 77 Germans into surrendering by pretending he had a large force behind him. This force consisted of two soldiers. Wounded, he held the position in heavy shell fire for five days.

Private John Pattison jumped from shell hole to shell hole to hurl bombs at an enemy machine gun. He then rushed forward and overpowered his opponents. Pattison was killed two months later.

These are the brave Canadians of Vimy. We will remember them always.

Canadian Cancer SocietyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to remind the House that April is the Canadian Cancer Society's fundraising campaign month.

The mission of the Canadian Cancer Society is to eradicate cancer and to enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer. The society, in collaboration with its research affiliate, the National Cancer Institute of Canada, achieves its mission through research, education, patient services and advocacy of health public policy. These efforts are supported by volunteers in communities across Canada.

Cancer takes an enormous toll and most Canadians have been touched by cancer in some way. 1997 will see an estimated 130,800 new cases of cancer and 60,700 deaths from cancer this year. The most frequently diagnosed cancers will continue to be breast cancer for women and prostate cancer for men. Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death for both sexes.

Please join me in wishing the Canadian Cancer Society and its many volunteers success in fundraising activities during the April campaign month.

Battle Of Vimy RidgeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, today we commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. This battle, involving over 97,000 Canadian volunteers, was a turning point in the 1914-18 war and left an indelible mark on Canada's history.

This, the first battle in Canada's military history, took the lives of over 11,000 of our valiant soldiers. However, it served to instill in Canada the notions of pride and belonging previously unknown to it.

English and French Canadians discovered what bound them together as they offered up their youth and their courage in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Neither time nor the vagaries of politics will change the love they discovered for their country on the other side of the Atlantic.

On behalf of the people of Brome-Missisquoi, I thank them for what they did for our country, Canada.

CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Philippe Paré Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, fate is always kind, especially when it is given a helping hand. Thus the polling firm of Angus Reid released on Monday, a few weeks before an election is called, the results of a survey on Canada's

image abroad commissioned by the government and paid for out of the public purse.

Over the course of the election, the Liberal Party of Canada will present this idyllic portrait to screen out Canada's reality: 1.4 million children living below the poverty line, 5 million poor people, 1.4 million unemployed, native populations living in squalor, francophones outside Quebec being assimilated by the majority at a phenomenal rate, and the people of Quebec living under constitutional law that was never approved by their National Assembly.

This is the Canada the Bloc Quebecois will describe to Quebecers during the election campaign.

[English]

AgricultureStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Reform Vegreville, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals say they are going to win the election on their record. Let us see how their record has served farmers.

When farmers and Reform MPs proposed amendments to the Canada Transportation Act, the CN privatization act and the bill eliminating the Crow benefit, all which affect grain movement, the Liberals said no.

These amendments would have built a more competitive rail system which would deliver on time. Reform amendments would have put in place a system of incentives and penalties to encourage on time delivery and a final offer arbitration process to give grain shippers some clout. The Liberals said no.

As a result, little grain has been sold. Ships are waiting and farmers are paying demurrage. Customers have been kept waiting and Canada's reputation as an unreliable shipper is being reinforced.

Sales lag as prices drop. Farmers are squeezed once again as they go hat in hand to bankers to get a loan to seed this year's crop. When Liberal candidates ask farmers for their vote, farmers should say no.

ZaireOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, every day, we get distressing news from Zaire. Because of the civil war, the country is now cut in two, and thousands of refugees continue to flee as the troops advance. The Zairian state is on the brink of chaos.

This morning, for instance, we heard that President Mobutu just fired his newly appointed Prime Minister, Étienne Tshisekedi, and appointed a general in his place. Martial law has been proclaimed throughout the country. In other words, Africa's largest country is on the brink of anarchy.

Could the Acting Prime Minister tell us the official position of the Canadian government on the situation prevailing in Zaire?

ZaireOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalSecretary of State (Latin America and Africa)

Mr. Speaker, Canada is very concerned about the situation in Zaire today, as it has been in the past months and years. The situation has deteriorated even further today.

Canada believes that there has to be a peaceful resolution to the chaos which exists in Zaire at this time, a situation which puts in jeopardy the security of so many Zaireans and others.

We are asking for all parties to sit down and discuss a peacefully negotiated resolution to this. We believe that the Africans themselves must find a solution to this problem.

ZaireOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this morning we heard that the White House was urging President Mobutu to relinquish his post and go into exile. This would be essential to guarantee stability in Zaire.

Does the Canadian government also intend to ask President Mobutu to leave his post and his country for the sake of his people?

ZaireOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalSecretary of State (Latin America and Africa)

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada is not asking the president to leave the country at this time.

Canada believes that Africans have to resolve their problems. Obviously western imposed solutions in this area of the world have not succeeded in the past. We are trying to urge not just the Zaireans to resolve the problem but with the help of regional Africans to resolve this very serious problem.

ZaireOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe BlocLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, everyone agrees that the country is on the brink of anarchy, and every day at least 120 refugees are dying in the camps.

Still on the subject of Zaire, my question is directed to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Considering that a number of Zairian nationals have been ordered deported to that country and that this may happen very shortly, will the minister

declare a moratorium and suspend deportations to Zaire, considering the situation prevailing in that country?

ZaireOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Henri—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Official Opposition must have missed the news. Deportations to Zaire have been suspended.

Linguistic School BoardsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Bloc Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Yesterday, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs continued to deny the democratic legitimacy of Quebec's National Assembly, which was elected by the people of Quebec, anglophones and francophones, and to require the agreement of certain pressure groups before taking any action with respect to the linguistic school boards issue.

Does the minister realize that, by setting himself up as the sole judge of what constitutes a consensus in Quebec, he is confirming that the 1982 Constitution did indeed undermine the authority of Quebec's National Assembly and that it allows Ottawa to deny the collective will of the people, as expressed by their government?

Linguistic School BoardsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, first of all, it is because of section 43 of the 1982 Constitution that it is even possible to make such an amendment bilaterally.

Second, I am in complete agreement with the statement made by my counterpart, Mr. Brassard, last February 12, and I quote: "The unanimity of the National Assembly in itself is not proof of consensus, but it is certainly of more than passing interest".

And he added: "Consensus does not mean unanimity, I agree, but it is obvious that the consensus must include the anglophone community".

Linguistic School BoardsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Bloc Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the minister that it is the Government of Quebec that is responsible for finding a common ground with all stakeholders in the education sector.

Why does the minister continue to refuse to recognize that the only judge of what constitutes a consensus in Quebec is and must be the National Assembly of Quebec?

Linguistic School BoardsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Because, Mr. Speaker, it happens that we too are elected representatives of Quebec, because all elected representatives in this House consider Quebec part of their country, and because this is therefore a matter of concern to all Canadians and to all Quebecers.

I believe I am defending a value of great importance to Quebecers when I say that there should be no constitutional amendment until we can be sure that there is a consensus that includes the minority concerned, when the amendment concerns the minority in question.