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House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

World Teachers DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Bloc Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, October 5 is World Teachers Day. The Bloc Quebecois is pleased to join with all Canadians and Quebeckers in paying tribute to the vital role teachers play in our children's lives.

Teaching means awakening a taste for knowledge, guiding learning, encouraging reflection, independence and freedom. It also means helping our young people acquire the tools to become responsible and competent citizens in a constantly and rapidly changing world.

Today the profession of teaching, of which I was once a member, is undergoing upheaval as a result of changing technologies and dwindling budgets. The federal government must restore transfers to the provinces, so that they may reinvest in education and thus contribute to building the foundations for a better world.

Right Honourable Ellen FaircloughStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Stan Keyes Liberal Hamilton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Women's History Month gives us the opportunity to recognize the contribution of great women who played a vital role in our national heritage.

I have the distinct privilege to take this opportunity to pay tribute to a great Canadian, my predecessor as the MP for Hamilton West, a personal friend and constituent, the Right Honourable Ellen Fairclough.

First elected in 1950, Mrs. Fairclough was only the sixth woman to sit in this Chamber. On June 21, 1957 she became Canada's first woman cabinet minister. First as secretary of state, then as citizenship and immigration minister and finally as Postmaster General, she came to be one of the Diefenbaker cabinet's most resilient ministers.

Mrs. Fairclough is credited for such initiatives as introducing legislation to give status Indians the right to vote and reforming immigration policy to eliminate racial discrimination. Having no role models for guidance, Ellen Fairclough always made her own rules and chartered her own course. She was a pioneer in virtually everything she did and today she is a model for parliamentarians and all Canadians.

FisheriesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

John Cummins Reform Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, on September 25 native commercial fishermen from Campbell River, B.C. were refused a meeting with the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

A statement from the native fishermen says in part: “Pilot sales of salmon under the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy must stop. Pilot sales are unenforceable and unmanageable. Harvests of salmon on the Fraser River from which pilot sales occur are completely out of control”.

Native fishermen claim that pilot sales are an extremely serious threat to all the salmon resources in B.C. and do not provide effective control over fishing. They noted that aboriginal and non-aboriginal people alike are suffering.

Native fishermen demanded that the minister put a stop to the pilot sales program. They stated that not only does the pilot sales program threaten the management of the salmon resource, but it is also crippling the businesses and families who cannot access available harvests.

Native fishermen are angry and incensed that the ministry keeps telling them that this misguided program will continue.

Breast CancerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lou Sekora Liberal Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate the 5,000 Vancouver area residents who participated in Sunday's run in support of a cure for breast cancer.

They raised more than $200,000 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Society's largest special event.

I want to extend personal congratulations to residents in my riding of Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam for producing the largest team, 223 friends neighbours and colleagues who ran in support of breast cancer sufferer Dulce Huscroft. Dulce could not participate. She is far too weak.

Mrs. Huscroft is a wife, a mother, a school trustee, a community leader in Port Moody and a very brave person.

The run for the cure took place in 23 communities across Canada. Breast cancer is the largest cause of death among women in Canada between the ages of 34 and 54.

More people join the run each year because cancer knows no boundaries.

Labrador Helicopter AccidentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Gordon Earle NDP Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, once again Nova Scotia has been visited by an air tragedy.

A month ago it was Swissair Flight 111. This time a search and rescue Labrador helicopter returning to its home base at Greenwood, Nova Scotia crashed in Quebec, killing all six of the crew.

Some of the victims of the crash had been part of the Swissair rescue mission. They were angels of mercy. It is very sad. I wish to extend my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the victims.

The CH133 helicopters are old. They have had a long history of engine related problems and a string of accidents over the last six years. Experts say that these copters are now too risky to fly.

As defence spokesperson for the NDP, I deeply regret the delay that has been shown by the government in replacing these helicopters. A number of replacement helicopters could have been purchased off the shelf for emergency use. Instead we must wait another two years before delivery of a new fleet.

I call upon the government to ensure that no more lives of our search and rescue squadron are risked in the meantime.

Quebec EconomyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the Globe and Mail , Quebec ranks first in Canada for the vigour of its economy.

Quebec's rapid recovery from the ice storm is a good illustration of the ability, flexibility and determination of the province, and of its people.

We were quickly able to transform a disaster into a catalyst for economic growth. As Minister Landry said at the time, “This ice storm ranks as a catastrophe, of course, but we are trying to make the best of it by ensuring that Hydro-Québec's reinvestments in equipment generate as many economic benefits as possible”. And that is just what the people of Quebec have done.

Let us hope that the federal government will not undo all the efforts made by the Government of Quebec by maintaining its dangerous do-nothing attitude, which is liable to plunge the Canadian economy into a recession.

Gun RegistrationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Liberal Wentworth—Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently in the House, Reform and Conservative members vigorously spoke against gun registration, arguing that licensing firearms was a massive intrusion on individual rights. Some MPs even raised the spectre of a police state, suggesting that registering guns was a prelude to their seizure by a government fearful of citizens with arms.

Later the same Reform and Conservative MPs spoke equally vigorously in favour of DNA sampling of individuals on arrest by police. In the interests of efficient law enforcement, these same MPs argued that police should be enabled to force individuals to surrender the most intimate physical data possible without their consent, without their being charged with any crime and without them having been convicted by any court.

This is big brother big time. The opposition wants to take away the most fundamental liberties of Canadians: the right to privacy and the right not to have to submit to arbitrary arrest.

No wonder Reformers and Conservatives like their guns. In their world they need them.

Labrador Helicopter AccidentStatements By Members

October 5th, 1998 / 2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise Progressive Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of all members of the Progressive Conservative caucus I would like to express my most sincere sympathy to the families of the six brave military search and rescue officers who were killed on the weekend while on their way back to their home base at CFB Greenwood.

Captains Darren Vandencilche and Peter Musselman, Master Corporals Glen Sinclair, David Gaetz, Darrell Cronin and Sergeant Jean Roy were members of our elite Nova Scotia based search and rescue squadron.

These brave individuals often ignored their own personal safety by rushing to the scene of an emergency, often in very adverse weather conditions, in the hope of being able to save a life. Their selfless devotion for the safety of others deserves the respect and appreciation of all Canadians.

The tragic loss of these six individuals is obviously devastating for their families and friends, as well as for the people of Greenwood and surrounding areas.

I join with all members of the House in remembering these six brave men.

YugoslaviaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Liberal Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is elementary to state that Canada as a country respects the rule of law and guarantees human rights and fundamental freedoms to all who live here. In the republic of Yugoslavia both of these basic principles are being violated daily. The situation has deteriorated beyond a level that can be tolerated by Canadians.

While the UN security council deliberates and waits for the Annan report, the New York based human rights watch yesterday blamed the international community for failing to take any serious actions to stop the killing of Albanian civilians.

The chances of finding a political solution to this rapidly deteriorating situation are fast disappearing. Pressure is mounting for military intervention with its all attended risks. The free world has no appetite for a repeat of Bosnia yet we continue to remain transfixed and inert.

Search And RescueOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were deeply saddened to learn of the deaths of the Canadian Forces airmen killed in the line of duty.

Our members in the Canadian Forces deserve safe, reliable and up to date equipment to do their jobs effectively. Now that the Labradors have grounded and the new Cormorant search and rescue helicopters will not be in service for another two years, what safe rescue alternative will the forces use to pick up the slack should another emergency arise?

Search And RescueOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I know all members of the House join with me in expressing our sincere sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of the six crew members who lost their lives and to the 413 squadron which has been part of the provision of this service out of Greenwood and has done so with great distinction for a great many years.

We want to let the investigators get on with determining the cause of the crash so that the appropriate action can be taken.

Search And RescueOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I asked the minister what alternative plans he has if another emergency arises.

The Labradors are grounded, the main thrust of our search and rescue efforts. There are other helicopters, other aircraft available, but they are all flawed. They all have problems either mechanical, communication or whatever.

With all these problems plaguing the present search and rescue aircraft we have, will the minister consider an urgent lease of helicopters even if it means going beyond our borders to find them?

Search And RescueOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we will not fly flawed aircraft. We will fly only aircraft that is certified as being safe to be used.

We have a very extensive inspection program, maintenance program and overhaul program to ensure we are putting aircraft in the air that are safe.

We have grounded the 12 Labradors but they can be used in the case of life threatening conditions. There are Hercules, Griffons and other aircraft used in search and rescue missions. We will continue to provide Canadians with that service.

Search And RescueOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Art Hanger Reform Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister talks about life threatening conditions. Obviously these helicopters do pose a life threatening situation for the crew. There are search and rescue needs in this country which have to be met.

The Labradors are grounded. The Griffon helicopters with some search and rescue capability have some communication problems that are very serious. The Hercules have a limited capacity.

Again I ask the minister what alternative plan does he have for search and rescue equipment should an emergency arise.

Search And RescueOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, we have a number of assets to be able to provide search and rescue missions. We will continue to do so.

There are many reasons aircraft crash. Sometimes they are new aircraft as well as ones that have been in service for a number of years. The one thing we make absolutely sure of is that we do our utmost to make sure that all aircraft in the air are safe.

We will continue to provide a search and rescue service with our personnel across this country and with the various aircraft we have.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, this morning the chairman of the public complaints commission said they will follow the APEC fingerprints wherever they lead.

So far those fingerprints seem to lead directly to the doorstep of the Prime Minister's office.

Why wait for the subpoena? Why does the Prime Minister not just volunteer to appear before that commission immediately?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the commission has not asked the Prime Minister to appear. The member's question, as usual, is totally hypothetical and besides, the commission is just beginning its hearings today.

Let the commission do its work. This is what the protesters want. Let the hearings take place in an active and thorough atmosphere. Why does the hon. member not want to support that sensible approach?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the sensible approach is that this commission seems to be going a little further than just checking into RCMP activities. I think the Canadian public is looking forward to that. If our Prime Minister refuses to appear before this commission if he is subpoenaed, Canadians will never know what the truth of this story is.

I would like the Deputy Prime Minister to answer my question for a change. Why will the Prime Minister evade this? Will he voluntarily appear before the commission or will he let Jean Carle be the fall guy for him?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the weakness of the assertion in the hon. member's question is shown by her admission that a former senior staff member and a current senior staff member in the Prime Minister's office are going to appear before the commission.

Let us allow the commission do its work. Why does the hon. member want to hamper the commission before it even begins its work? Let the work continue. Let us see what happens as a result.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to the Minister of Finance, the United States and Japan are the key players in the economic crisis we are currently experiencing. Nothing new there. What matters is that everyone here knows that all economic levers necessary to effectively counter the threat of a recession are available to the government.

Does the Acting Prime Minister not realize that, when all indicators point to a downturn in the economy, the government has a duty to take action to boost the Canadian economy and avert a recession?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think the figures are pretty good. Two hundred thousand new jobs have been created since the beginning of the year. Our interest rates are low. There is no inflation. We have a balanced budget.

We are in a good position to ward off the effects of the international crisis. Our prudent policy must be recognized as a good policy for the future of our country.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

We are doing very well indeed, Mr. Speaker. The Canadian dollar is worth 65 cents US; the GDP has dropped for four consecutive months. But all is well.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

An hon. member

We are doing very well.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

The king is happy.

As I said, we must act and act now. Does the Acting Prime Minister not understand that action is urgently required because taking immediate action, as we suggested, will produce positive results in the long term? Does he not agree action must be taken now to ensure the results are not postponed indefinitely?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, one thing is certain. The Bloc's proposals would certainly plunge us back into a deficit which would be the worst possible signal that we could send to the financial markets.

Here are the straight goods. Immediate tax cuts would have no short term effect on the economy. Heavy spending on social programs is what got Canada into our fiscal troubles in the first place, and a return to that practice would leave us even more vulnerable. It is nothing but bunk coming from the Bloc.