This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was education.

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 Mississauga South.

FinanceStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

John Williams Reform St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker,

Have you heard that the Pied Piper is back? But this time he has a new tack, No pipes or sweet tunes, Instead tales of great boons, Yet where is the relief from tax?

Zero deficit is his sweet call, But he is still not divulging all, For while the call is to play, Canadians must still pay, And hope in vain for their windfall.

While he sings of finance reborn, St. Albert is still so forlorn, “No new toys” are their cries, “Tax relief, not new buys, Mr. Piper, won't you listen to Reform?”

And so, I bid you beware, Of the piper of finance, if you dare, His song is so nice, But you had better look twice, Or you may end up in tax despair.

David ShannonStatements By Members

February 18th, 1998 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Stan Dromisky Liberal Thunder Bay—Atikokan, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was a moment of great pride for me and the citizens of Thunder Bay when David Shannon, a quadriplegic lawyer from Thunder Bay was bestowed with the King Clancy award by the hon. Hillary Weston, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, on behalf of the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons.

In Toronto approximately 1,500 guests donated $650,000 to the foundation, a record amount added to the $7.5 million raised in the past 13 years.

David Shannon was recognized for his courageous 9,000 kilometre journey from coast to coast on his electrically powered wheelchair and for raising over half a million dollars to establish an endowment fund for disabled persons.

King Clancy awards were also given to Joan Mactavish, for her development and delivery of specialized services for deaf-blind people, and Amy Doofenbaker, a dedicated veterinarian and international wheelchair athlete.

Ford Motor Company of Canada and Bell—

David ShannonStatements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for St. Paul's.

Marion Powell AwardStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow evening I will be attending the tribute to the late Dr. Marion Powell and will present the Marion Powell award at the launch of the screening of the film Passing the Flame: The Legacy of Women's College Hospital at Roy Thompson Hall.

During her illustrious career Dr. Powell established the Bay Centre for Birth Control at Women's College and advocated contraceptive choice for women.

The famous five worked to get women the vote. Dr. Powell worked to get women control of their own bodies. She is considered a pioneer among her peers and was a beloved member of the Women's College Hospital family.

Tomorrow I will have the honour of presenting the Marion Powell award to Dr. Penny Ballem of the Children's and Women's Health Science Centre of British Columbia. Dr. Ballem has devoted her career to establishing innovative state of the art programs and women centred services. She represents the passion, commitment and vision that Dr. Powell would have applauded.

I applaud Women's College Hospital and Organon Canada for the creation of this award. I hope the recognition of Dr. Ballem's work encourages her and others like her to continue to spearhead innovation in women's health.

Harold GodfreyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, it is with sadness that I rise today to inform the House of the passing of a truly great Canadian.

On February 11, 1998 Harold Godfrey of Cornwall, P.E.I. passed away. Mr. Godfrey was a leader within the farming community and Canada as a whole.

Harold started farming at the early age of 14. He and his son Donald have a beef and potato farming operation with a cow-calf operation specializing in purebred Simmental cattle.

Harold Godfrey was a strong and active supporter of farm organizations. He served as president of the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture, a director of the CFA and many other maritime organizations, including the P.E.I. Potato Marketing Board.

In addition to these roles, Mr. Godfrey served as a member of the Atlantic Veterinary College Advisory Board. In 1989 his lifelong contribution to agriculture was recognized when he was appointed to the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Harold was an active member of his community and his church. We thank Harold for his life's work.

Alcohol And Drug AbuseStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Liberal Algoma—Manitoulin, ON

Mr. Speaker, on February 25, 1998 former Canadian heavyweight boxing champion George Chuvalo will bring his crusade against alcohol and drug abuse to the town of Blind River in my riding of Algoma—Manitoulin.

Mr. Chuvalo will speak with students of W.C. Eaket and Jeunesse Nord high schools to impress upon them the dangers associated with substance abuse and addiction.

Mr. Chuvalo is an impassioned advocate who has lost three children and a wife to drug abuse. His emotional presentations on this subject have been successful in changing many lives and have led to a greater understanding of the importance of speaking frankly about the dangers posed by drugs and alcohol, especially for our youth.

I wish to congratulate Tim and Joanne Caddel, constituents of mine from Algoma Mills who have been instrumental in building the community support necessary to welcome George Chuvalo to Blind River.

While in Blind River, Mr. Chuvalo will be presented with special recognition for his efforts in raising awareness of the national problem of drug and alcohol abuse.

I ask all hon. members to join me in saluting the efforts of George Chuvalo and those of Tim and Joanne Caddel of Blind River.

The SenateStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Reform Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I was in Toronto for the unveiling of an Ontario senatorial selection act at Queen's Park. Both Alberta and British Columbia already have senatorial selection acts that allow the people to choose their senators. Now Ontario has joined the movement for democracy in government.

The message is clear. Over half of this country has indicated its willingness to modernize the upper house. Government by appointment is clearly outdated, undemocratic and unacceptable. Canadians want effective, elected and accountable representation.

The Prime Minister has told Canadians on many occasions that he supports an elected senate. Now Canadians are calling on the Prime Minister to respect the will of the people and allow the provinces to choose their representatives through democratic elections.

Senator Thompson's second hearing is tonight. It is time for the Senate to say adios Senor Thompson, and for this Prime Minister to say Senate election.

Reference To Supreme CourtStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, in connection with the reference to the supreme court, the ad hoc committee of Canadian women on the Constitution will be coming to tell the justices that Quebec is not entitled to unilateral secession.

This marginal group, some of whose members are Liberal MPs, does not speak on behalf of women's groups in Quebec or in Canada. It is not, therefore, surprising that their proposal is more in line with the government's position than with the women's position, particularly when we see that one of their representatives, Mary Eberts, was also the Treasury Board chief negotiator in the wage equity issue, which is still not settled, moreover.

All of the women's groups in Quebec believe that only the people of Quebec are entitled to decide their future. In solidarity with Quebec, these women believe in freedom and democracy. They know that Quebec's right to be the only one to decide its future does not in any way encroach on their own rights.

Quebec sovereignty will not be achieved at the expense of women, but rather along with women.

Gordon TappStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of Burlington residents it is my pleasure to rise today to congratulate Order of Canada recipient Gordon Tapp.

For more than five decades Mr. Tapp has entertained us as a comedian, musician and scriptwriter on radio, television and on the stage. His unique down-home charm has tickled the funny bones of people of all ages.

Mr. Tapp gives generously of his time and talent by raising funds for volunteer organizations such as the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Easter Seal Society and local Burlington organizations.

He has thrilled world leaders and brought cheer to our troops overseas.

Colleagues, please join me in congratulating Gordie Tapp. A great Canadian and a fine citizen, he brings honour to our community and our country.

Nagano Winter OlympicsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Reform Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is with tremendous admiration, pride and respect that I rise to congratulate all of our Canadian athletes participating in the Nagano Winter Olympics.

There is no doubt these athletes in Nagano are there not only because of their personal achievements but thanks to the training provided by dedicated coaches and the support of their families. However news coverage also shows coaches and parents holding fundraising events. Why? In an attempt to raise dollars to join their athletes in Nagano.

Now some Canadian politicians are attempting to justify their own participation in a $75,000 all expense taxpayer funded VIP junket to Nagano. The heritage minister is accompanied by Conservative, Bloc and Liberal members of Parliament. These politicians say they are going to Nagano to show solidarity and support for our Canadian athletes.

It seems to me that Canadian athletes would garner far more solidarity and support from their coaches, parents and teammates than from politicians acting as VIP cheerleaders.

Nagano Olympic GamesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Liberal Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a few minutes away from the usual business of the House, if I may, to speak of Canada's athletes, who continue to aim for their best ever performances in the atmosphere of intense pressure of the Olympic Games.

In recent days, we have seen such athletes as Jean-Luc Brassard, Stéphane Rochon, Ann-Marie Pelchat, Ryan Johnson, Tami Bradley, Mélanie Turgeon, Kristy Sargeant, Kris Wirtz, Marie-Claude Savard-Gagnon and Luc Bradet staunchly defending the Canadian colours in competition. For them, effort and perseverance were more than mere words. Are they not champions merely by making it to the Olympics?

Of course we wish victory to all our athletes, since that is what all of their efforts are focussed on, but we owe them particular thanks for putting us in touch with the most human aspects of ourselves: love for one another, pleasure in one anothers' achievements, and solidarity in effort.

We wish each and every one of our athletes good luck in the pursuit of their Olympic goals. They are the pride of our country.

Human DeficitStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has the gall to talk about dealing with the human deficit. What chutzpah.

This is the government that created the deficit with $7 billion in cuts to health, education and social service. It created it with cuts to employment insurance, training, pensions, the environment, child care and housing.

The results of this inhumane Liberal agenda is a crisis in health care, education, family incomes and communities everywhere.

In Winnipeg today nurses are saying emergency rooms are unsafe with IV bags going dry, vital signs not being checked, health aides working 24-hour shifts and patients waiting long painful hours for treatment.

In the face of these bleeding cuts to the provinces, the health minister is playing politics on hepatitis C compensation instead of showing leadership.

Canadians are sick to death of the human deficit created by this government and some have even given their lives for it. That is too high a price to pay.

Ice StormStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada announced yesterday in Saint-Hyacinthe an additional $40 million for farmers particularly hard hit during the ice storm.

The sovereignists can say what they like. Our government did not act unilaterally, but only after consulting the Government of Quebec, which did not deign to respond to the invitations of the federal government.

The fact of the matter was that farmers and the heads of small and medium size businesses could not wait any longer for a quick and positive response from political leaders.

The fact of the matter is that the Government of Quebec decided to play petty politics with all these issues, blaming Ottawa for all the problems.

While Quebec might not appreciate the goodwill, and particularly the quick action and positive response of the Government of Canada in this matter, the people, SMBs and farmers will remember that the Canadian government did not drag its feet. It took action throughout the storm, from start to finish.

Canadian Women's Olympic Hockey TeamStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Steckle Liberal Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week at the Nagano games the Canadian Women's Olympic Hockey Team won silver after completing an action packed final game against the United States.

Shortly after the emotional medal presentations had concluded, one of our players remarked that she and her teammates regretted that they had let Canada down by not claiming gold.

Canada boasts a very long and distinguished hockey heritage. From the first Stanley Cup game to the Canada-Soviet summit series, this truly Canadian sport has provided us with countless positive and uplifting memories. Indeed Canadians have come to expect nothing less than the best from our hockey heroes.

I had the opportunity to view portions of this gold medal game. What I saw was our girls fiercely competing against the U.S. amid a swell of national pride, waving Canadian flags, and cheers. Even when the last whistle had sounded, the pride felt by spectators in their homes and in the stands was not in any way diminished.

The effort put forth by our Olympic women's hockey team more than exceeds the high expectations held by Canadians. This team has made us all proud.

Éric BédardStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Réjean Lefebvre Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Tuesday, February 17, Éric Bédard, a speed skater from Sainte-Thècle in the riding of Champlain, won the bronze medal in Nagano in the men's short track 1,000 metre.

I am very proud to pay tribute to the courage and determination of our first Quebecker to win a medal at the Nagano Olympic Games.

My congratulations to Éric Bédard for an exceptional performance. I also offer my congratulations to his parents Gaétan and Claire Bédard and to his family and to the people of Sainte-Thècle.

This is the first time an Olympic medal has been awarded to an athlete from the Mauricie. Éric Bédard's success brings honour to his region and to all of Quebec.

Congratulations, Éric, and good luck in the relay.

EmploymentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle Progressive Conservative St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, as I have indicated many times in the House, unemployment is Newfoundland's biggest problem. Therefore I believe government should not be shocked if I say I was outraged when I learned that Newfoundland has taken the biggest percentage hit in federal job losses.

On March 31, 1995 Newfoundland had 6,440 federal employees. As of June past we have 4,836 federal employees, for a loss of 24.9%. That compares with the 18.4% loss in Atlantic Canada and the 14.6% loss nationwide. I am told that Newfoundland will have lost nearly 30% of its federal employees by the end of March 1998. By the end of the fiscal year the province with double the national unemployment rate will have taken double the national rate of federal job losses.

The government came to power on a promise of jobs, jobs, jobs. What has that cost Newfoundland? Jobs, jobs, jobs.

Canadian SocietyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations has honoured Canada for several years by acknowledging that our country is the best country in the world. That honour has been sustained because of our commitments in a number of areas.

In the area of justice and security we commit to promote a peaceful, just, tolerant and civil society governed by respect for the rule of law and for our fellow human beings.

We commit to a universal, accessible, portable, comprehensive and publicly funded health care system.

We commit to the provision of a compassionate social safety net for the benefit of the unemployed, the disabled, the aged and those who live in poverty.

We commit to the protection and promotion of the health and beauty of our natural and manmade environments.

Finally, we commit through our example and our initiatives to always promote international peace and co-operation.

These are the kinds of commitments that make Canada great, not only in the eyes of Canada but also in the eyes of the world.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on page 29 of the Prime Minister's 1997 red book it says this: “We will allocate every billion dollars of fiscal dividend so that one-half will go to a combination of reducing taxes and reducing the national debt”. It was a clear-cut debt reduction and tax reduction promise for every billion dollars of surplus.

Yesterday the finance minister told the CBC he is not going to apply that formula to the 1998 budget.

The finance minister is breaking the Prime Minister's promise. What is the Prime Minister going to do about it?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will read from the red book. We will allocate our budget so that over the course of our mandate one-half will be spent to improve programs—and a lot of people agree with that—and one-half will go to tax cuts and reduction of the debt. That is the Liberal program which we ran on during the last election.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Official Opposition will read from the red book: “We will allocate every billion dollars of fiscal dividend so that one-half will go to a combination of reducing taxes and reducing the national debt”.

Now the finance minister is breaking that promise and the Prime Minister is agreeing with him. It is just like the GST promise.

Will the Prime Minister tell us how this broken promise differs from the broken GST promise?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I could read from the Speech from the Throne where it was said that one-half of the surplus would be used to address the social and economic needs of Canadians. That is something the Reform Party does not want to do. The other half will go toward a combination of reducing taxes and the national debt. It is very clear, very simple and very Liberal.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition will read from the sermon on the mount. “We will allocate every billion dollars of fiscal dividend so that one-half will go to a combination of reducing taxes and reducing the national debt”.

Liberal candidates went door to door making that promise and less than a year later it is being broken by the Minister of Finance.

If the Prime Minister will not keep his debt reduction and tax reduction promise this year, why should Canadians ever again trust him on anything he says about debt reduction and tax relief?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canadians watch members of the Reform Party. One day they are for debt reduction. The next day they are for tax reduction. They change all the time. They do not know.

For us it is very clear. Over the term of our mandate, because we have provided Canadians with good government, because there will be a surplus, we will do it the Canadian way, the reasonable way. Half will be used for solving economic and social problems and the other half for reducing taxes and the debt. It is very simple.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is amazing what can sneak up on you in a mandate.

The Prime Minister told the country in 1993 that he would scrap the GST, but he was just crying wolf. Last year he said that 50% of any surplus would be split between tax relief and debt reduction. Now he has just admitted that he is crying wolf again. The finance minister also says “No problem. We don't really need to keep our word”.

Let me ask the Prime Minister what happened between the promise and the present.