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House of Commons Hansard #151 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

Remembrance DayStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Reform

Roy H. Bailey Reform Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, next Wednesday, November 11, Canadians will pause to honour the men and women who fought so bravely to defend Canada and thus preserve our democratic heritage.

I call on all Canadians to remember the sacrifices of our Canadian native soldiers who fought shoulder to shoulder with other soldiers from coast to coast.

Following the war our native Canadian soldiers were denied the recognition and many benefits paid to other veterans. This is a sad and shameful chapter in our military history.

Time is running out. I call upon this government to immediately deal with this national injustice.

The Nisga'A AgreementStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Liberal Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, today is a very important day. The Nisga'a people are beginning to vote on an issue which they have pursued with determination and honour for over a century, the Nisga'a final agreement.

My colleague, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, is currently in northern British Columbia meeting with students, business and community leaders to discuss the importance of the Nisga'a agreement.

The treaty-making process in B.C. is a modern approach to reflecting aboriginal rights that are protected in the Constitution. It also reaffirms the government's commitment to the inherent right of self-government, working in partnership to strengthen the relationship between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people in Canada.

On behalf of the Government of Canada I extend my best wishes as they go through this historic—

The Nisga'A AgreementStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Jonquière.

Semaine Mondiale De La MarionnetteStatements By Members

November 6th, 1998 / 11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, la Semaine mondiale de la marionnette, or world puppet week, an important event that is held every two years in Jonquière, was richly honoured recently when it won nearly a quarter of the La touche magique prizes at the 1998 Sommet des festivals et attractions du Québec. The prizes were won in the category of posters and printed material, and a special jury prize was awarded in the television advertising category.

The Bloc Quebecois would like to pay tribute to the work of Jocelyn Robert, the director general of la Semaine mondiale de la marionnette, and of his close assistants: Sonia Lamontagne, who has been responsible for festival communications since 1994, the Groupe Vision Design and its graphic artist, Marc Gauthier, who designed the 1998 image, and Sébastien Pilote, who produced the TV advertising.

The awards won by the Semaine mondiale de la marionnette testify to the quality and dynamism of this organization in the riding of Jonquière. Its successes—

Semaine Mondiale De La MarionnetteStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Gatineau.

Remembrance DayStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Assad Liberal Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, this weekend, and more specifically on November 11, we have a duty to pay tribute to those who gave their lives and those who came back from war to build the country.

We are the heirs to the courage and determination of all Canadians who defended the values of peace and harmony throughout the world in the Korean War and in the two world wars. It falls to us to honour their memory and to keep alive the memory of their accomplishments.

On Remembrance Day, we tell veterans and their families once again how much we owe them for what they passed on to us.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Reform

Philip Mayfield Reform Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, aboriginal people are speaking up. The First Perspective newspaper recently asked readers on-line “Do you trust your chief and council?”

They received numerous hits with the following results: yes, 13.6%; no, 77.3%; and maybe, 9.1%. The comments are even more illuminating. One example: “At first it was the white man giving us the shaft, and we could point our fingers at them and feel superior. But lo and behold, look behind you. Our own backyard seems to be gathering quite a bit of political garbage”.

An aboriginal lady recently told me “When the business suits talk to us now, all that has changed is that there is brown skin in them instead of white”.

The government has spent a lot of money to enhance the lives and circumstances of people on the reserves. Look at the result. The people most in need are still waiting.

Grassroots native people are fed up with mismanagement by their leaders. This must stop. The Liberal government must ensure accountable leadership which meets the needs of all people on reserves, not just the chiefs and band councils.

Job Creation In QuebecStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again the Liberal prophets of doom across the country must be blushing.

Statistics Canada announced this morning that the unemployment rate in Quebec has dropped once again, and is now under the 10% level for the first time since September 1990. The good management of the Parti Quebecois has resulted in the best performance of the decade.

According to some people, having a federalist government in power would enhance the growth of employment, but that is not what the figures show.

From 1985 to 1994, the Liberals have done nothing but increase the unemployment rate in Quebec faster than the rate for the rest of Canada. The situation was only reversed once the Parti Quebecois came to office in 1994.

We have had enough demagoguery from the Liberals. Quebec is gradually recovering from the ravages caused by a submissive federalist government.

This coming November 30, the people of Quebec will show their confidence in a government that can stand up for itself.

Jacques ParizeauStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, faithful soldier that he is, Jacques Parizeau makes it clear: the separation of Quebec remains the top priority of a separatist government.

Faithful soldier that he is, Jacques Parizeau does not like to see Lucien Bouchard artfully dodge the referendum question.

Faithful soldier Jacques Parizeau reminds Quebeckers that the ultimate objective of the Parti Quebecois is to separate Quebec from the rest of Canada.

For this faithful soldier, a vote for the PQ is a vote for the separation of Quebec from the rest of Canada.

Thank you, faithful Jacques Parizeau, whose candour gives us every reason to vote Liberal on November 30.

Francophone And Acadian CommunitiesStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, linguistic duality is a value that has deep roots in all parts of the country.

The francophone and Acadian communities symbolize these roots. For too long, these communities relied only on their vitality to grow.

The Official Languages Act made them grow faster. These communities have given themselves strong institutions. But the Liberals have cut funding for francophone organizations by 40%.

The Liberals can no longer ignore their obligations. They must reinvest to ensure the development of Canada's francophone and Acadian communities.

Election Campaign In QuebecStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Parti Quebecois has had yet another change of heart.

He now agrees to return to the federal-provincial negotiating table to entrench in the Constitution the right to opt out with full compensation with respect to the social union pact made by the provinces.

How baffling, given that it is well known that separation is PQ leader Lucien Bouchard's top priority. Such expediency on the part of a leader who slurps at everyone's trough. How stylish of someone who boasts about knowing where he is going.

Let us be clear: a vote for the Parti Quebecois is truly a vote for Quebec's separation from the rest of Canada, a vote for another referendum.

Canadian FarmersStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise Progressive Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, farmers in West Nova are experiencing a second consecutive year of drought conditions. Records from the towns of Kentville and Greenwood indicate that rainfall was roughly 100 millimetres less than normal summer precipitation.

First cut yields of hay were down 50% and in many cases second yield was non-existent. These poor yields have resulted in economic hardship for our farming community. Many farmers will have to re-seed in 1999 to produce new growth. The cost of purchasing hay has skyrocketed because of this increased demand.

The recent closure of the Middleton grain elevator has left beef producers without access to a vital facility they use for drying and storing grain. These hardships have forced many producers to cull and sell calves that would normally be replacements. In extreme cases producers have been forced to sell out.

We can ill-afford to lose another farmer in my constituency. It is time for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to recognize the severity of this drought and immediately provide assistance to those most in need.

Remembrance DayStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, on November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m., armistice was sounded along the hundreds of kilometres of trenches in France and Belgium separating the two enemy camps.

As they came out of the mud where they had been living for 50 months, millions of men, thousands of whom were Canadians and Quebeckers, breathed the fresh air of the fields without fearing they had drawn their last breath.

Then, in millions of homes, millions of women, including the woman that would become my mother, could watch the postman arrive without fearing he was bringing the fatal missive “Your husband, your fiancé, your son, died in combat”.

These men returning from hell were convinced this war was the last. However, much later, they were to see some of their sons descend in turn into hell between 1939 and 1945, others in Korea, all defending the same causes—freedom and democracy.

May we never forget or let our children forget that what we take so much for granted, like the air we breathe, we owe to the sacrifice of these men and women.

UnemploymentStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Liberal Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, this morning Statistics Canada issued its labour force survey for October, showing a 2.3% increase in employment. This brings the unemployment rate down to 8.1%, its lowest level in eight years.

New jobs were created in the manufacturing, construction, health and social services, financial, insurance, real estate, transportation, storage and communications sectors.

These latest numbers prove that the Liberal government's fiscal and economic policies are working for the benefit of all Canadians.

EmploymentStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, Port Saxon in Shelburne County will lose 25 jobs in December this year when Acadia Seaplants relocates to Cornwallis Park. This relocation is occurring because of a $1 million loan from the federally funded Cornwallis Park development and a $750,000 interest free loan from ACOA.

When the new plant is operational it will create 32 jobs. However, 25 jobs are already in Shelburne County so the net gain of jobs is only 7. This is a wrong approach to job creation.

It is worth stating that the cost of these seven jobs is $1.7 million. Surely this is not a good investment. Plus the loss of the 25 jobs in Port Saxon, Shelburne County, is a serious blow to the economy of Shelburne County as the economy is already reeling and has been ravaged by the downturn in the ground fishery.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Reform Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is gouging Canadians by overcharging them $350 a year in employment insurance taxes. He is slapping businesses with $500 in extra taxes per year per worker, but the real stunner is that he did not even know if he had been paying that same EI tax himself for the past 35 years.

If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, just which planet is the Prime Minister from? Would it be Pluto?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

The Speaker

I do not know what that has to do with industry, but if the hon. parliamentary secretary wishes to address himself to the comment I will let him.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I remind the House that the hon. member who asked the question does not pay EI premiums either. As far as what planet, I am not sure the question came from anywhere in this stratosphere.

Let me deal with the facts. Since 1994 each and every year we have reduced EI premiums. Our payroll premiums are lower than those in the United States, our largest trading partner. We will continue this debate. No decisions have been made. We will continue to focus on Canadian priorities.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Reform Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was aware that I was not paying EI premiums. I would have hoped that the Prime Minister of the country would have known the same thing.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business, the Canadian Manufacturers' Association and the Retail Council of Canada all say that the Prime Minister's extra EI tax is killing jobs.

Could the Prime Minister or any member of the government name one small business in the country that wants to pay an extra $500 per employee per year?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I will continue to say that we will reflect Canadian priorities. The EI question is part of that mix.

When Canadians come before the finance committee in the prebudget consultations they ask us to take a balanced approach. They ask us to invest in Canadian priorities. They ask us to deal with the tax system we have in the country. They ask us to reinvest in health care.

If what the hon. member is actually advocating is for us to completely reduce EI premiums, as he is requesting, he is really telling us to go back into deficit, and the government will not do it.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Reform Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is quite clear that Canadians are being overcharged with their EI premiums. That is the point we are trying to get across to the government.

Canadian workers are being overcharged by $350 per year and businesses by $500 per year per employee. It is a very simple question that we keep asking and do not get an answer from the government.

Why will the government not consider giving the money back to the people it belongs to, hard working Canadians?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I guess I should also remind the hon. member that the Reform platform is to give the premiums back just to employers. What about the workers?

If we are talking about this mix, if we talk about providing what is best for Canadians and if we are talking about the best bang for our buck, let us not forget that 14 million Canadians benefit from any personal income tax cut. Only eight million Canadians would benefit from an employment insurance cut.

If what we are talking about what is best for Canada, we will continue that debate.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Paul Forseth Reform New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, every year the finance minister meets with the Employment Insurance Commission in mid-November to set employment rates for the next year. Businesses need some time to adjust to the new tax levels.

Why is the minister's announcement of rates now delayed well into December?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, once again the Reform Party has it all wrong. The more I stand in the House, the more I wish we could do something about its research staff.

The Minister of Finance does not meet with the EI commissioners regarding the setting of EI premiums. He has never met with them, has no meeting planned with them and has no intention of meeting with them.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Paul Forseth Reform New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, concerning EI premiums, the government obviously takes far too much at this time for the reasonable future of the plan. Now he will make business spend Christmas worrying about Scrooge, always paying and never getting anything back.

I would ask for a more complete answer. Why is there a delay in the announcement of the rates? Why does he hurt business planning to serve a political agenda? I ask him to justify the choice of one over the other.