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House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nato.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by the hon. member for Saint John.

Gemini AwardsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend the 30th annual Gemini awards were held in Toronto. These awards honour all aspects of English language television production in Canada. On behalf of this House I would like to congratulate all nominees and award winners.

I would especially like to recognize the CBC for its outstanding achievement and commitment to excellence in Canadian television. Of the 67 Gemini trophies awarded, a total of 41 went to CBC shows and an unprecedented 11 went to TVOntario. This year the majority of prizes for the best and most innovative Canadian television programs were awarded to publicly funded broadcasters.

The Gemini awards are a wonderful tribute to the talent that exists both behind and in front of the cameras.

Once again, my congratulations to all nominees and award winners for their dedication to providing Canadians with excellent Canadian television.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, allegations of abuse against aboriginal people by their own councils abound. Native people have been trying for years to get answers as to where money they have earned or been given has ended up.

Their councils have dismissed them and the department just sticks its head in the sand, unwilling to help them in blatant violation of its duty to these people. While this is occurring, aboriginal people are living in third world conditions where violence, sexual abuse, substance abuse and diseases ranging from tuberculosis to diabetes tear away at the very fabric of their society.

People of the Pacheedaht and Kwicksutaineuk bands and others are pleading for answers. The minister of aboriginal affairs must get her head out of the sand. She must do forensic audits on some of these reserves so these people can get the answers they deserve. She must stop the thuggery that is taking place on some of the reserves. She must do her job to help these people to help themselves.

Merrickville, OntarioStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Jordan Liberal Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the aftermath of the ice storm that hit eastern Ontario only eight short months ago, it is an honour to stand here today and congratulate the village of Merrickville which has been recognized as the prettiest village in all of Canada. The village of Merrickville won this award through the Communities In Bloom program which was launched in 1995.

This program is committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community participation and the challenge of national competition. I know how hard the people in this community had to work to get their village in shape for this competition. Their community spirit and determination has certainly paid off.

I commend the organizing committee which consisted of Gary Clarke, Rhoda Drake, Joan Spencer and Doug Struthers, as well as the countless volunteers who supported this initiative.

Here's to Merrickville, the best bloomin' village in all of Canada.

International Rural Women's DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Liberal Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 15, women the world over will celebrate International Rural Women's Day.

In Canada, women living in rural communities make a large contribution to the diversity and the excellence of the Canadian agricultural sector. They have shown us how vital their role is by playing a direct role in farm operations and management.

In Canada, over 25% of farms are run by women and 30% are run by married couples. Rural women play an important role in keeping communities going and sustaining rural life, through the long hours they devote to volunteer and community activities.

On behalf of my colleague, the Secretary of State for Agriculture and Agri-Food and Fisheries and Oceans, the member for Bellechasse—Etchemins—Montmagny—L'Islet, who is responsible for this file, I encourage all rural women to continue to be active in agriculture, and I thank them for the tremendous contribution they are making to the cultural, social and economic life of our country.

Bernadette McCannStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Hec Clouthier Liberal Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.

The name Bernadette McCann has been a shining symbol of hope for abused women and children in Renfrew county who have sought the comfort and solace of the institution which bears her name.

Bernadette McCann raised 11 children in Pembroke, Ontario, including the colourful former mayor Terry McCann. Bernadette was a humble and unassuming woman who went to church every day. When she died, over 30 priests attended her funeral. She was a tireless worker with a strong commitment to her family, to her friends, to her God, to her church and to her community. She left behind a legacy of caring and compassion that remains to sustain us in this altered world of ours.

It is with great pride that I say thank you to a great Canadian and great woman, Bernadette McCann.

AgricultureStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prairie Pools reported: “In 1997 total net farm income in the prairies has dropped by 35% in Alberta, 40% in Manitoba, and 84% in Saskatchewan. Farm cash receipts for the first six months of 1998 are significantly lower than last year”.

The minister of agriculture says that current government programs are sufficient to address this looming economic crisis on the prairies. The minister is burying his head in a stubble field. Using off-farm income figures to hide from this western crisis will not protect the minister for long.

He knows the average NISA account will not adequately cover the needs of most western producers. Some farmers had to withdraw cash from their NISA accounts this year just to buy seed to plant their crops. Next year will be worse.

Is the minister going to let prairie farmers blow in the cruel winds caused in large part by almost three decades of mismanagement by Liberal governments? Do something now.

Electronic CommerceStatements By Members

October 7th, 1998 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Eugène Bellemare Liberal Carleton—Gloucester, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development are hosting this week in Ottawa a ministerial level conference on electronic commerce entitled “A Borderless World: Realizing the Potential of Global Electronic Commerce”.

Electronic commerce makes goods and services from around the world or around the corner available, literally at the click of a mouse. It allows people to connect with each other. It facilitates the improvement and delivery of government services, reaching citizens where they live.

This leads to the growth of new industries, while meeting market requirements in a more timely and effective way.

Once again, Canada, like many countries, knows that it must play a leadership role in E-commerce.

DiscriminationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, here we thought the fight for equality had been won. We thought discrimination in all its forms was a thing of the past. Men and women were equal before the law. Long before that, race equality was established in our country. And before that, the poll tax was eliminated.

Indeed, rich and poor, white and black, men and women, we thought we were at last all equal, not only before the law, but in the eyes of our employers. That is, until another head of the hydra of inequality appeared, in the form of the so-called orphan clauses in collective agreements under which, in situations where skills, seniority and education are equal, children will earn less than their father.

So we will fight this latest battle too, to ensure that discrimination on the basis of sex, race and income is not followed by the latest incarnation of the monster, discrimination on the basis of age.

Sacred Walk For HealingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Nault Liberal Kenora—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to rise today and recognize the efforts of Bishop Beardy from Muskrat Dam in my constituency. He is the first aboriginal bishop in the Anglican church. He is the spiritual leader of over 50 parishes scattered over 800,000 square kilometres in northern Ontario and Manitoba.

In August, Bishop Beardy and community members began the second Sacred Walk for Healing. They began in Lac Seul and have today reached their destination of Ottawa.

The purpose of the sacred walk is to raise awareness of past abuse in First Nations communities, to foster reconciliation between aboriginal peoples, non-aboriginal people and the church, and to raise money for community based healing initiatives.

As Bishop Beardy himself has said “You can't witness so much pain and do nothing. This is something we all can do, everyone together”.

I hope members of this House will join me in recognizing and applauding the contribution Bishop Beardy is making toward a more positive future for all Canadians.

KosovoStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, recently the foreign affairs minister said that we cannot allow the humanitarian desecration in Kosovo to continue.

I want this House to go beyond a sense of concern. Obviously, Canadians are outraged over the horrors being endured by civilians in Kosovo.

As winter approaches, almost 275,000 ethnic Albanians are homeless while Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic continues to disregard the idle threats of NATO and the United Nations. This hurts the people of Kosovo and the people of Serbia.

The slaughter in Kosovo is finally forcing the western world to take bold action against Milosevic.

We have been discussing the murder of civilians for almost a year, and we must now stop the killing. Instead of remaining on the fence, it is time for Canada to act with its NATO allies to stop the slaughter.

It is time for NATO to use strategic strikes if necessary to break the chain of violence that is going on in this troubled land.

Sacred Walk For HealingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us pay tribute again to Gordon Beardy, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese in Keewatin, and his companions.

Bishop Beardy is in the House today completing his Sacred Walk for Healing '98.

Two years ago Bishop Beardy led his first walk to show solidarity with survivors of abuse of aboriginal children in residential schools in the 1950s and 1960s.

Last year the walk involved him and people from 25 communities in a trek of 3,000 kilometres.

Bishop Beardy began these walks to raise awareness, promote healing and raise funds for victims of abuse.

This year Bishop Beardy has again carried his message from the Lac Seul First Nation near Sioux Lookout through northwestern and northeastern Ontario to the nation's capital. Along the way Bishop Beardy stayed overnight in Peterborough riding and visited the Curve Lake First Nation. He attended a reception in his honour hosted by All Saints Anglican Church.

It is said we cannot judge a man until we walk a mile in his shoes. The actions of Bishop Beardy and his companions speak for themselves.

Merchant Navy VeteransStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Gordon Earle NDP Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, Thérèse Casgrain, former president of Voice of Women, once said “the only defence is peace”.

I am appalled at this government's callous attitude toward the Canadian merchant mariners who risked and often gave their lives during the second world war. It is time for this government to make peace with these veterans instead of waging a war of defensiveness and time.

In February the minister responded to an urgent letter of mine by writing “Canada is a world leader in the area of veterans benefits and that is a source of pride to our country”.

I am ashamed that this government finds a source of pride in denying justice to our merchant marine veterans. This government could and should finance a just benefit settlement instead of playing its heartless waiting game hoping that this issue will fade as our merchant mariners decline in numbers each year.

PovertyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, this coming October 17 has been set aside as the International Day for the Elimination of Poverty.

On September 24, 1997, the Prime Minister said, and I quote “Poverty is the factor that interferes most with a good start in life”. He went on “We will invest in children, our most important resource”.

In keeping with their tradition, the Liberals did exactly the opposite. They took billions of dollars from the pockets of low income families, by refusing to index the child tax benefit, income tax tables and GST credits.

In addition, they pushed the parents onto the welfare rolls because they were not entitled to employment insurance benefits. Since 1989, the number of children living in families receiving welfare has increased by 68%.

On behalf of the children arriving every morning at school without breakfast, on behalf of their parents, these men and women in despair because of the Prime Minister's political choices, I ask him to put people at the centre of his priorities.

Merchant Navy VeteransStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the merchant navy vets are on the ninth day of their hunger strike to get compensation and equality with other vets for their role in World War II. The vets on the hunger strike have already lost approximately 12 pounds and there is still no response from this government.

In April the minister promised to introduce legislation by June 1998 to make merchant navy vets equal with other vets in the regular armed forces. He has broken that promise. That is why these brave individuals who put their lives on the line for peace and freedom that we enjoy today began this hunger strike.

Merchant navy vets were denied many of the benefits afforded World War II vets. All they seek is fair compensation and equal treatment. They gave the Minister of Veterans Affairs the benefit of the doubt. They approached him in good faith and unfortunately he has not extended them the same courtesy.

It is our hope and the hope of all Canadians and other vets that the government will do the right thing and offer the vets—

Merchant Navy VeteransStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Brome—Missisquoi.

International Eastern Townships Duck FestivalStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, from October 2 to 31, 1998, the municipalities of Bromont and Lac-Brome are hosting the third International Eastern Townships Duck Festival.

This is a high quality gastronomical event that is already well-known abroad. The international duck festival received the award of excellence in the tourist event category at the recent Quebec tourism awards.

The Government of Canada contributed $128,000 to support the promotion and marketing of the festival on foreign markets, and to promote the development of international tourism in the Eastern Townships.

Given the current rate of exchange for the Canadian dollar, we must take advantage of every opportunity to attract tourists from abroad. This is what the riding of Brome—Missisquoi is doing, with the greatly appreciated support of the Government of Canada.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the solicitor general is supposed to be the nation's top cop. He is supposed to enforce the law, not prejudge it or jeopardize investigations that are ongoing like he did last week.

Why is the solicitor general still sitting in cabinet?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Fredericton New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear, as I said on Tuesday, that the allegations which have been made are unfounded. I denied them. The person I was speaking with supported my position.

The hon. members are joining in this story when in fact there is no reality in it.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a funny thing that a Liberal lawyer might just agree and corroborate with him.

Last week the solicitor general publicly bragged to his long time Liberal pal on the airplane what a hot rock he had become in Ottawa. Yet he bragged at the same time about the secret Airbus investigation and about who the fall guys might be for APEC.

These petty boasts have betrayed sensitive government business. When will the Prime Minister demand the solicitor general's resignation?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would like to refer the hon. member to what was said because she referred to Airbus in the scrum by the member for Palliser, the famous member we have to watch for all the time.

“There was absolutely no reference per se to Airbus. I do not recall the solicitor general ever saying the word Airbus in the course of the remarks that were made”.

Again the hon. member does not have her facts right, as usual.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a funny thing. If a lawyer betrayed his client he would be disbarred. If a doctor revealed sensitive information about a client he would lose his practice. However the solicitor general discusses sensitive government business about Airbus or individuals connected with it or APEC, and what does the Prime Minister do? He defends him, supports him and brags him up.

How could the Prime Minister defend behaviour that would have other Canadians disbarred, banned, fined or fired?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I just said to the hon. member that the member for Palliser said the word Airbus was never used or heard by anybody or discussed.

That is the best proof coming from that member. She knows it. She is bringing it up, repeating it, having no respect for what is known in the House, that there is some respect for the truth.

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, until now it has been a sacred parliamentary rule that solicitors general do not talk about cases that are under their jurisdiction.

Yet this solicitor general felt at ease discussing Frank Moores and Karlheinz Schreiber who are principals in the Airbus affair, if not by name at least by implication. He was comfortable discussing the outcome of the APEC inquiry, and he did all this with a fellow passenger on a public commercial airline. That is a public forum.

Does the Prime Minister not see that the solicitor general has compromised the integrity of his position and that he must ask for his resignation?

Apec SummitOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely no respect for the truth. There was no discussion of Airbus in that discussion.

It is not only the solicitor general or the lawyer; it is even the member for Palliser who said that the word Airbus was never mentioned in relation to any of this.