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House of Commons Hansard #150 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

First Nations Land Management ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

John Finlay Liberal Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the hon. member's comments. I served on the yes committee in my riding for the Charlottetown accord. I agree that probably for the first time Indian rights, self-government and so on were included in a constitutional type of document.

I think there was an error made in that document, despite my support of it, and in my riding it passed by a narrow margin. I think it said far too much and was very unclear. Many people did not understand what it was getting at.

I remember having some trouble explaining it and having trouble in my own mind. One had to say that it really did not mean what it sounded like, so it had to mean this. Yet we were not able to find out what in fact it did mean. I share the member's concern.

With respect to some of the Reform Party's agenda, its members have hammered unnecessarily and unfairly, saying that there has been a lack of accountability with respect to the moneys used on first nations reserves.

The first nations are going to make the same mistakes and have the same problems running their governments with respect to taxes and money as many of our communities.

We sometimes forget that in every province there is an office which sends administrators and accountants to municipalities if they get into difficulty. They take over the administration of affairs until matters are straightened out. These things do not happen very often because we have been developing our system for a long time, but our native people have not had much time to develop their system.

We have to remember that on April 1, 1999, five months from now, we will have a new territory in which the language is going to be Inuktitut and where 50% or more of all of the employees for government services, including health services, social services and community services are going to be Inuit. They are working very hard with our help now to train the people who are going to be needed for those public administration posts.

We have not heretofore done enough of that with our aboriginal people, but we are doing more. I think with practice, with responsibility, with recognition and a little less emphasis on some of the negatives we will see before too long some real results.

First Nations Land Management ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

We have three minutes before Statements by Members. Perhaps the hon. member for Vancouver Island North could keep his comments very brief.

First Nations Land Management ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan Reform Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is tough to be brief when there has been so much said that reflects on this side of the House. The NDP-Liberal love-in on this file seems to continue.

The member talked about the chiefs not trusting the government. I have news for the member. In The First Perspective , a first nations magazine, a survey was done and in that survey 83% of the band members who responded said they did not trust their own chief and council.

First Nations Land Management ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Finlay Liberal Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would be interested in any factual information the member has on that issue. I am aware that there are problems because individual members of native bands have come before the committee and told us about them.

On investigation, however, some of them proved to be not very well founded. They also proved to be a matter of opinion, just as we have in many of our municipalities regarding whether the mayor did the right thing.

First Nations Land Management ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Colleagues, as it is almost 2 o'clock, we will proceed to Statements by Members and we will take up this very interesting debate after the question period.

National Crime Prevention WeekStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Liberal Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to help celebrate National Crime Prevention Week and encourage crime prevention at the community level.

My community of the Waterloo region has been a pioneer in this area. In 1993 we founded the Waterloo Regional Community Safety and Crime Prevention Council which served as a base for the National Crime Prevention Council, established by the Liberal government in 1994. In April 1998 we celebrated our 20th justice dinner in the Waterloo region.

Crime hurts people and makes them feel unsafe. It decreases quality of life and changes the face of our communities.

The evidence is conclusive. The most effective way to prevent crime is to ensure healthier children, stronger families, better schools and more cohesive communities.

The results are less violence, safer communities and significant cost savings in the justice system and elsewhere.

I congratulate this government and the Waterloo region for their initiatives in recognizing that crime prevention at the community level is the way to go.

Break And Enter CrimesStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Deepak Obhrai Reform Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week the justice ministers of Manitoba and of my home province of Alberta took a leading role in addressing the issue of break and enter crimes.

Proposed changes include a minimum two year sentence for repeat offenders and toughening up parole eligibility.

In my riding of Calgary East 80% of break and enter crimes are committed by the same 4% to 5% of professional criminals. The police know exactly who these criminals are yet are unable to stop them because the justice system slaps them on the wrist and sends these offenders back on to the streets.

Break and enter crimes have emerged as a major concern for the people in my riding and it is clear that a new approach is needed. I urge the justice minister today to work with the provinces on this issue and allow Canadians to reclaim the safety of their own homes.

SikhismStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Sikh community around the world is celebrating the 529th birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first guru of the Sikh religion.

The basic ethical beliefs that Sikhism holds are democracy, non-violence, peace, religious identity, hard work, human equality and justice.

The basic lesson of Guru Nanak's teaching are truthful living, with emphasis on selfless service, tolerance, compassion, love, contentment, equality, humbleness and well-being for all.

The goal of a Sikh is not only a spiritual uplift of the individual but the advancement of all human beings, regardless of creed, colour or race.

National Seniors Safety WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Liberal Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that November 8 to 14 is National Seniors Safety Week.

In Canada injury is a major cause of death and hospitalization among seniors. They account for almost one third of all cases of hospitalization. Injuries experienced by seniors lead to a loss of independence, self-imposed inactivity due to fear and anxiety, admission to an institution and yes, death; not to mention the psychological and social consequences of these injuries to individuals. They are immeasurable.

Seniors want to live in safe and supportive environments that reduce accidental injuries and help seniors maintain their independence.

I urge everyone to join the Canada Safety Council in promoting National Seniors Safety Week and its theme for this year, pedestrian safety, to make living environments safer for all.

I invite you to join me in congratulating the Canada Safety Council—

National Seniors Safety WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Parkdale—High Park has the floor.

Polish CommunityStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Polish Canadians, Poles worldwide and in particular to the Polish community in my riding who will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the rebirth of Poland's independence on November 11.

This day will be celebrated in Poland and throughout Canada by approximately 600,000 Polish immigrants and their descendants.

After the second world war November 11 was commemorated to reflect on Poland's proud heritage and dream of being independent once again. This dream was realized in 1989 with the advent of the solidarity led government. Since then Poland has made great progress toward strengthening its democratic institutions and rebuilding its economy.

Polish immigrants have made significant contributions to our society, especially during the world wars.

Today veterans organizations form the backbone of the Canadian Polish Congress which has its seat in High Park and represents numerous organizations throughout Canada. I am proud to offer my best wishes.

Central AmericaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, since hurricane Mitch ripped through Central American tens of thousands of people have been killed, hundreds of thousands left homeless, infrastructure has been destroyed and crops decimated. One hundred thousand are homeless in Guatemala alone and diseases such as malaria, typhoid and dysentery will ravage thousands of people weakened by starvation.

We must act now to ameliorate this disaster and I challenge Canada, Mexico, the United States, the OAS and the United Nations to provide urgent essentials such as iodine tablets, non-perishable foodstuffs, emergency medical equipment and in particular antibiotics and rehydration supplies.

Helicopters and heavy equipment must be barged down. All must be acted on now. I also implore hospitals and other private sector companies and pharmaceutical companies to donate what they can now.

Act now and we can save lives. Procrastinate and people will die.

VeteransStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Bonwick Liberal Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, as a Canadian, as a father of three young children and as a duly elected member of parliament I want to say thank you to all veterans of the Great War, World War II and the Korean War, to those who paid the ultimate price and to those who came back from these wars and built out great country.

The very fact that we are able to stand in this House, democratically debate and decide the policy and direction of this great country is wholly a credit to the sacrifice of our veterans paid in order to defend our way of life.

My children have grown up in a society that did not have to experience war. Ours and future generations have the privilege of living in a free and democratic country. Over 68,000 lives were lost in defence of these principles. For all these facts and many more I say thank you, thank you to the veterans of Simcoe—Grey and thank you to the veterans of Canada.

Veterans, I pledge to you this. The results of your sacrifice will not be forgotten.

Mario TremblayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, since 1962, the title of professional portrait photographer of the year is awarded to the artist whose work receives the highest marks in the competition organized by the professional photographers of Canada.

A few weeks ago, this prestigious award was given to Laval photographer, Mario Tremblay. From among over 1,000 subjects, an international jury selected four works by Mr. Tremblay, who accordingly won two prizes—in the female portrait and group portrait categories.

This is the sixth time a Quebec photographer has won this honour and it is thanks to artists of their calibre that Quebec photography is famous. Mr. Tremblay's work bears fine witness to the fact that excellence in this area, as in so many others, combines with originality, skill and innovation.

On behalf of the people of Laval Centre, I am proud, Mr. Tremblay, to recognize your talent.

VeteransStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Devillers Liberal Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of all Canadian war veterans I am honoured to underline this year's Veterans Week and Remembrance Day ceremonies. As members know, this is the fourth year the Prime Minister has declared the week leading up to Remembrance Day Veterans Week in Canada. I am proud to participate in Veterans Week. I look forward to honouring on Remembrance Day the men and women who so valiantly served our country during the wars throughout this century.

I draw comfort that all Canadians, including those who reside in Simcoe North, will on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month pledge to honour and remember the selfless sacrifices of our heroes. Today on behalf of all residents of Simcoe North I sincerely say thanks and we will remember them.

Juliana ThiessenStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Reform Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to welcome a very special visitor to Ottawa and to our gallery. Juliana Thiessen was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. To be born in the Queen City was an appropriate start for her. This April Juliana was crowned Miss Canadian Universe and went on to represent our country at the Miss Universe pageant in Hawaii.

Juliana's beauty is much deeper than her appearance. She is using her newfound publicity to promote worthy charitable causes. Here is just one. Juliana is travelling to storm ravaged Nicaragua next month as part of a charitable relief mission with Samaritan's Purse, an organization our own son Brent worked with for several years. Along with many other Canadian volunteers, Juliana will distribute Christmas gift boxes to children who need all the help and hope they can get. It is no wonder Juliana was named as one of Calgary's young women of distinction.

I invite all MPs to join me in welcoming and thanking this remarkable young woman.

Quebec Election CampaignStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, clearly Mr. Bouchard is caught in his referendum.

Before students, he shouts loud and long that Quebec must separate from the rest of Canada. Before another audience, he back pedals away from his referendum on Quebec independence.

The PQ is maintaining a level of confusion, which is costing Quebec dearly. This confusion is breeding uncertainty unhealthy for economic growth and is causing decisions vital to Quebec's development to be put off.

On November 30, Quebeckers will finally be able to decide once and for all by voting Liberal, by voting for economic growth and by voting for an end to the referendum on Quebec separation.

MuseumsStatements By Members

November 5th, 1998 / 2:05 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday it was announced that the Halifax Regional Museum in Dartmouth will be closing due to lack of operating funding. Recent announcements from the heritage minister do nothing to address the crisis of a lack of operating money facing the 2,000 regional and local museums in Canada. To keep their doors open our museums are now selling valuable artifacts, auctioning off their art, cutting staff and reducing hours. Too many are closing.

These museums play a critical role in maintaining our heritage. Last year there were over 57 million visits to Canadian museums, more visits than to the movies and professional sports. These visitors see an all Canadian product for no or low cost.

I call on the Minister of Canadian Heritage to allocate emergency operating funding now for local and regional museums so that treasures such as the Halifax Regional Museum may remain open.

Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, some of the parties to the pre-budgetary consultations organized by the Bloc Quebecois in the Quebec City region minced no words in calling the present government's use of the employment insurance fund surplus immoral, robbery and the injustice of the century.

While one organization in my region has been forced to hire a full-time employee to help people with problems related to employment insurance, the Liberal government is using the contributions of workers to camouflage the fact that it is trying to manoeuvre through a fog with nobody at the helm.

I accuse the Minister of Human Resources Development of being an accomplice of the Minister of Finance in robbing and overtaxing workers. I accuse him of having diverted funds from the employment insurance fund for purposes for which they were not intended. If the minister has a crumb of dignity left, let him make improvements to this poverty insurance employment insurance has become.

Election Campaign In QuebecStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Liberal Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers have a right to know the true intentions of the Parti Quebecois as far as the referendum on the separation of Quebec from the rest of Canada is concerned.

Quebec must demand transparency of the Parti Quebecois, must demand that Lucien Bouchard admit for once and for all that a vote for the PQ is a vote for a referendum, as the leader of the Bloc Quebecois has admitted to us.

Quebeckers can also count on the Quebec Liberal Party, whose option is clear. A vote for the Liberals means no separation of Quebec from the rest of Canada. A vote for the Liberals means no referendum on separation. A vote for the Liberals means Quebec will be assured of the economic growth it needs. A vote for the Liberals means a government that will work in the true interests of Quebeckers.

My vote will be for the Liberals, and I invite all Quebec MPs to follow my example.

Down's SyndromeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jim Jones Progressive Conservative Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, communities across Canada officially recognized this week, November 1 to 7, as National Down's Syndrome Awareness Week.

Down's syndrome is a common chromosomal abnormality that causes delay in physical and intellectual development and affects 1 out of every 700 children born in Canada. Given this fact, every community, including my riding of Markham, has been affected.

The Canadian Down's Syndrome Society is working to raise public awareness of the unique abilities, strengths and contributions of Canadians with Down's syndrome. Its mandate is to enhance their overall quality of life. The society and its 45 affiliate organizations will be holding a variety events this week to honour the many individuals who have Down's syndrome.

These Canadians should be duly recognized for their valuable contribution to Canadian society. Many harmful myths exist about those who are affected by Down's syndrome. It is time to realize that these myths are wrong and destructive. The fact is many individuals with Down's syndrome are productive, happy members of society.

I am honoured to—

Down's SyndromeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Sarnia—Lambton.

Environmental Science And Technology Alliance CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Gallaway Liberal Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, November 9 Environmental Science and Technology Alliance Canada will hold its annual technology day at the Toronto airport Holiday Inn.

This non-profit, industry led alliance funds research at Canadian universities. This research is commercially relevant, highly innovative and consistent with federal government priorities.

Technology day will showcase current research and allow technology transfer between university professors, their students and industry personnel.

We in this place must continue to support this investment partnership between Canadian industry, Canadian universities and the federal government.

Organized CrimeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for justice met in Regina.

Recognizing that organized crime is a serious and growing problem in Canada, the ministers unanimously endorsed a joint statement on organized crime. The statement underscores the ministers' commitment to work together in partnership to combat this problem.

Under the leadership of the federal government the statement builds on work already done to develop an effective strategy. The statement brings Canada one step closer to having a Canada-wide plan against organized crime.

But ministers recognize that no single group can win this battle alone. To win the fight we must work together, pool our resources and co-ordinate our efforts to become more organized than those who prey on our communities.

That is why the principles endorsed last week represent such a milestone for Canada. They represent the resolve of governments, officials and law enforcement agencies to put their differences aside, to work together to make Canadians—

Organized CrimeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Oral questions, the hon. member for Medicine Hat.