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House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was mai.

Topics

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1:20 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis NDP Kamloops, BC

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I might be pushing my luck a little bit, but I do have a whole lot more to say about the MAI. I wonder if I could seek unanimous consent from my colleagues to allow me to continue for a few more minutes.

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1:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

Is there unanimous consent?

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1:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

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1:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time.

In our party we have fought very hard over the past several weeks prior to the compilation of the report on the MAI from the subcommittee to ensure that culture is protected. I want to clarify for this House that it was a Progressive Conservative intervention which made as part of the recommendations of the report that culture would achieve deal breaker status. We intervened and fought for and strengthened seven of the recommendations of the report and we are very proud of that intervention.

Philosophically our party has been consistent in its support for free trade. Many of the members opposite, including the chairman of the subcommittee who was elected in 1988, fought vociferously against free trade, that free trade was not a good idea because it was brought forward by Brian Mulroney. However, now they are big proponents of free trade.

When the hon. member from the New Democratic Party said this issue was not raised by Conservatives in the House, he was wrong. We raised this issue several times in question period in the last House. We asked the minister of trade why the Minister of the Environment introduced Bill C-29 which led to the litigation from Ethyl Corporation against the Canadian government in the amount of $350 million, and why should we now trust him as minister of international trade to negotiate on behalf of Canada in the MAI when his leadership in the ministry of environment led to that lawsuit.

We did raise that issue and I would clarify it for the hon. member. I certainly would not want to accuse him of having omitted that on purpose or oversimplifying a very complex issue, although that may be a reasonable accusation in this case.

The success of free trade since 1988 is fairly unequivocal. Like any other sound economic policy, it takes a long time for the impact to be felt.

The chairman of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council told me recently that any job growth that has occurred in Atlantic Canada has occurred as a result of free trade. When I speak with the member for Saint John she tells me how Saint John has benefited from free trade.

We recognize that the basic principles of free trade are sound and we support free trade. However, we do not support any deal at any cost without any consultation with Canadians.

This government's inaction and vacuum of information has provided an opportunity for people who are opposed to free trade philosophically to fill that vacuum with some misinformation. Like any issue, there is some information out there from the opponents of MAI that is very sound and deserves debate and discussion. This government has not provided Canadians with that opportunity.

It is the same as the Kyoto agreement and the lack of discussion on it. Effectively the Kyoto position was written on the back of an airplane vomit bag on the way to Kyoto. The Canadian position was basically reached without any consultation with ordinary Canadians.

And this government wonders why Canadians reject liberalized trade philosophically when they are essentially provided with a final deal.

The minister of foreign affairs for Australia in May 1996 introduced the Australian model for treaty negotiations. When Alexander Downer was in Ottawa on his last trip, I met with him and discussed this. In fact, the leader of our party met with Alexander Downer to discuss this important model.

One of the things the Australian model provides is that any treaty Australia signs will be submitted to and tabled before parliament for 15 days of debate prior to ratification. That is one of the recommendations we fought for at the committee level to try to get in the final report and we were shot down.

One of the other components of the Australian model and one we were successful in achieving at the committee level, and I am very proud of this, is that there will be an impact analysis. The government should undertake an impact analysis on current federal, provincial and municipal programs in Canada to understand fully the impact of MAI on the current programs.

Our subnational governments have not been consulted on MAI. Something we have to ensure is that the provinces, municipalities and all Canadians have an opportunity to voice their concerns on MAI, Kyoto or any other international treaty.

In closing, we welcome more debate in this House. We want to fight to ensure that there is a full debate in this House on this very important international agreement prior to ratification.

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1:25 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Reform Peace River, AB

Madam Speaker, it is very rewarding to hear the Conservative Party supporting this motion in that we need a fuller debate across the country and in this House.

The hon. member talked about the need for a broad cultural exemption and the support the Conservative party would have for that. Consider NAFTA, the free trade trade agreement with the United States that his party negotiated. We also have an exemption for culture, but the Americans have the right to retaliate in kind.

Considering that most of the pressure for culture would probably come from the United States, I am wondering how the member would see the MAI moving that process forward, considering that we have an exemption which essentially has a counter balancing part under the NAFTA.

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1:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Madam Speaker, this is one of those issues which helps our party to define itself as being different from the other party to which it seems to be compared periodically, that being the Reform Party.

We were unequivocal in our support for a cultural exemption and we will fight to ensure it.

The importance of protecting culture in a national unity context boils down to this. We need to preserve the ability for Canadians to speak with each other as Canadians. We need to preserve institutions such as the CRTC and the CBC when we are living next to a cultural elephant. We need to ensure that all Canadians can communicate fully. We need to ensure that there is systemic protection for culture within Canadian institutions.

Under the NAFTA and the free trade agreement Canadians are protected against their biggest cultural risk, that being the U.S. There is a bilateral right to retaliation, but that is a part of any trade agreement, providing a double edge sword.

The most important thing to recognize is that we are expanding the chapter 11 provisions to 29 countries. That is why due diligence is ever more important. There will be an unprecedented level of exposure to Canadian culture and we must ensure that our cultural interests are protected. That is why, when the Reform Party was equivocal about its support for a cultural exemption, the Conservative Party fought hard to ensure that it was there.

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1:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Progressive Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise to speak to the issue of the MAI.

I would like to provide a little background very quickly. My government colleague said that the MAI is on the Internet and that people have only to call to have a copy sent to them, but someone who is not familiar with this matter may not understand.

What first has to be done is to express the MAI in simple terms so that people will know right off whether it is worth further consideration.

My colleague from Peace River said that it was up to the Liberal government to make it better known. I am sorry. In this corner—since we cannot talk about this side—of the House, we think it is the job of the members of Parliament to meet Canadians and Quebeckers and explain the MAI. It is not just the responsibility of the Liberal government. We know this government too well. If we give it too much responsibility, we already know what will happen. The effect may well be negative.

So it is up to us as parliamentarians to explain the MAI to people. It is not new. Essentially after the second world war trade began to be carried out on a global scale as the result of various agreements and reconstruction agreements.

The Marshall plan in Europe and the massive influx of American capital in Japan in essence established different sorts of free trade systems. That was the start and it progressed very slowly. In the 1960s, things picked up. Unfortunately, there was a Liberal government in power. When investment began circulating, the Prime Minister of the time, Mr. Trudeau, created an agency.

The ultimate aim of this agency was to block foreign investment, to control it. Thank God, a Conservative government followed and changed this agency into Investment Canada, which still exists today and has a much more active role seeking investment abroad and directing it to Canada.

The party of which I am a member has a history of globalization, no matter what, but the same cannot be said for our friends across the way, or our friends next to us. I would be curious to know what the position of each of the Reform MPs was in 1988, when there was an election on the issue of free trade with the U.S. Today, they are all for free trade, but what were their individual positions in 1988?

As we know, our friends across the way wanted to tear up the free trade agreement. Had there not be a free trade agreement to speed up exports, Canada would have had an economic downturn in the past five years. That is as clear as it can be.

I would be very curious to hear the change in their tune. International credibility with respect to globalization belongs to this part of the House, and I would like to share the credit with our friends who were here from the Bloc Quebecois in 1988 and, let us recall, supported free trade along with the majority of Quebeckers and were not afraid to face a world reality.

That said, yes people must be informed. True, but the information must also be given in layman's terms. Our actions must be explained. Investments have already begun, and there are all kinds of agreements. Agreements with the U.S., agreements with Mexico, and one part on investments with Chile. There are many bilateral agreements in place. There is no end to them.

So why is there an agreement? So that light may be cast on a specific aspect of the bilateral agreements: investment. Canada has an important role to play, but it must also protect its culture for, contrary to what Reform may think, culture is also part of our national identity. Such things as environmental standards must be put in place, as well.

We are going to support the Reform Party's motion, which calls for a greater government presence. I will make one very important point in closing. When the free trade agreement was negotiated with the U.S., there were no consultations coast to coast, true. There was something more—an election. Would the government be prepared to call an election today on the MAI? This may be the challenge we are issuing to them.

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1:35 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Madam Speaker, I listened very carefully to the member's speech, as I have done all morning on this very serious matter, and I am left with one overriding question. How are we in this House and how are the Canadian people supposed to tell the difference between the Liberals, the Conservatives and the Reformers in this House of Commons?

All three, based on the speeches today are clearly, I hate to use the word in terms of some sort of collusion, operating from the same premise, joining forces in this House to force the government to fire up its propaganda machine in order to convince Canadians that their concerns about the MAI are unfounded.

Is there anybody in this House who will join the NDP and convince the federal government that the MAI is not a good deal for Canadians and that there are serious flaws in the draft agreement that will have very significant ramifications for the future of important programs like medicare and public education, unique cultural programs in this country? Who is going to stand up and join us in this House fighting the MAI?

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1:35 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Progressive Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Madam Speaker, the difference between us, the Liberal Party and the Reform Party is that we are consistent in terms of our international policy. This is my first point.

We are also consistent in saying that Canada is ready to face what is going on at the international level, while the NDP does not agree because it thinks that only our internal economy can solve the problem.

The motion before us today should be supported by the NDP because it asks specifically that Canadians be consulted more extensively. The New Democrats should support the motion. We are not asking them to support the MAI. We are asking them to support the idea that there should be more dialogue, and that this dialogue should include more people.

The New Democratic Party should support the motion. It would not mean it supports the MAI. It would simply mean that it is in favour of having discussions, because the government did not bother to properly inform Canadians, even parliamentarians, on this issue.

You should be ashamed for not supporting at least the idea of an open and honest dialogue between parliamentarians and Canadians.

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1:40 p.m.

Reform

Gary Lunn Reform Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with my hon. friend from North Vancouver.

It is a pleasure to speak on the Reform Party opposition day supply motion which concerns the famous multilateral agreement on investment. I also refer to it as the MIA, which is what we are really talking about, missing in action. We are talking about transparency and I want to bring the debate back to this. We are focusing on transparency, on public disclosure and on making sure the government knows what is going on. I will focus on those issues in my remarks.

This government has failed to talk to the Canadian people. Some people on the government side have said that they consulted with the provinces in 35 meetings over two years. Is that not amazing? I will read a recommendation from the committee which had a very short time to debate this issue: “The government should continue to increase its effort to inform Canadians of the merits of the MAI while addressing the concerns brought forward to the committee at public hearings”. The next recommendation is: “The government should pursue a process that fully involves the provinces”.

This is a recommendation made by the committee and signed off by the majority of the committee members, Liberals. Yet those members stand up so proudly saying they have been informing Canadians.

The problem with this issue is that nobody knows what is going on. Why are those members so secretive about it? They have been negotiating this agreement for over two years. Yet during the election campaign last April nobody had heard of it. They are absolutely silent. I suggest they are ashamed of it. Why will they not talk about it?

Then there is the red book. Do we see this in the red book? No, by golly there is not even a word about it. There is not one word after negotiating an agreement with 29 countries. Imagine that. I wonder why. And then there was the throne speech. Did we hear about this wonderful, exciting multilateral agreement on investment? No, not a word, zero.

My friend from Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant went through the committee's recommendations. I emphasize that these recommendations were made by a majority of Liberals and this member was the chair of the committee. These are his words in defending the government's position against our motion: “The government should pursue a process that fully involves the provinces and that will allow sufficient time for the text time available at that time to receive the benefit of further parliamentary examination by this committee prior to the signature of any negotiated agreement”.

That is their recommendation and the only thing he can say is that we have had 35 meetings with the provinces. I point out that The provinces are now bailing.

His next recommendation is that the government should consider undertaking a full impact analysis that will note the reason Canada should take part in the MAI. What the member said about this is shocking and unbelievable. He said it is not practical to have a full impact so early on in negotiations. Imagine saying that it is not practical early on. We have been negotiating this for two years. The government is supposed to sign this in April 1998.

I must remind the government that we are now almost in March 1998. What is he thinking when he says that we cannot have an impact analysis early on? It is absolutely unimaginable. What are they ashamed of and what are they trying to hide?

The next recommendation, and this is the chair of the committee defending these recommendations, is: “In future negotiations regarding matters of as widespread importance”, they acknowledge that as the MAI, “the government should undertake an open and transparent process so that public disclosure and consultations can be carried out in a timely manner”. Imagine that, public disclosure and consultations.

I must look at my notes because I cannot believe what he said about that. He said it is not practical. Can you believe that, coming from this government, that it is not practical to consult with the public? “In a timely manner”, that is what we are talking about.

I have a copy of this wonderful agreement. This is the official copy given to me by the government which it is so proud of it. What is the very first word on it? Confidential. Imagine that. The first word on the top left corner of the agreement is confidential. What is it worth? Why will Liberals not talk to the public about it? They are screaming about this. What are they hiding? I have concerns about it. I can say right now I will not support the MAI because I do not know what members opposite are hiding.

I support free trade agreements. We need free trade agreements. They are good. We need more investment in Canada. Our investors need to be protected. What is the government doing? Why is it so secretive? It is an absolute disgrace. It is shameful.

I do not know what government members are up to, but there is no question they are embarrassed about it and not proud of it. They are so secretive it is incredible.

If the Liberals really care about or really believe in the agreement, why are they not talking about it? They are not proud of it. There is no question they do not believe in it, or they would be telling us about it.

I ask government members to look at what the motion says. It is asking them to be transparent with the people of Canada, to tell them what is in it.

What is the minister's idea of transparency? It is a luncheon at the Chateau Laurier about two blocks away, having a group meeting at lunch and talking to some investors. Those are his consultations with Canada five minutes from parliament. That was his B.C. meeting. It is amazing.

They accuse me of not speaking. I have meetings planned in the greater Victoria area. I have had three or four of them and I have another one next week, a very large one.

Will we see anybody from British Columbia? Will we see their senior member? Will I see Mr. Anderson there? No.

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1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Kilger Liberal Stormont—Dundas, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. We have just come back from the weekend and some members may be on a roll, but we still want to maintain the parliamentary traditions of not referring to ministers by name and directing our comments through the Chair.

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1:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

I must remind the member of that.

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1:45 p.m.

Reform

Gary Lunn Reform Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, I was on a roll and all excited. I did not mean to use the minister's name. I apologize.

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1:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Thibeault)

Very well.

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1:45 p.m.

Reform

Gary Lunn Reform Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, the committee has been given only three weeks. The Liberals are proud and talk about consultation. All I have heard the minister say in the House is that it has been sent off to committee.

That is the consultation process; it is sent off to committee. Even worse, the idea of the parliamentary secretary on how to communicate with the people of Canada was “We sent a memo to all members of Parliament. Can't you send out a message in your householder?”

Is that how the government will rely on getting a message out, by suggesting to members of Parliament that they use their householders to sell its message? I could not believe those words when they came out of his mouth. It was incredible.

I wonder what the government is doing. This is about transparency. This is not the first time I have prepared speech after speech for the House and the government shut down debate. We could go back to Bill C-2. Time and time again it brought in closure and shut down debate.

The Liberals have to allow for democracy. I will conclude right now by saying that this is about transparency. It is about informing the public and openness. Right now the public is not informed. The government is hiding behind a missing in action agreement we know nothing about. It is time the government came out of the closet and told Canadians what is in the agreement.

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1:45 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Madam Speaker, no one in the House disagrees with the idea of having a consultation on an issue as important as the MAI.

What concerns those of us at this end of the House is the motives of the Reform Party in presenting the motion. It appears to be arising out of panic stricken fear that progressive forces in the country are winning the debate and its side is not being heard.

I ask the member a specific question around a statement made by some friends of the Reform Party. Maybe it is a front for the Reform Party. A representative of the Fraser Institute, Mr. Owen Lippert, appeared before the health committee where the NDP forced a debate on the impact of MAI on health care. He said:

Why don't I believe, then, what the Council of Canadians and Mr. Appleton are saying? Because the government, the Liberal government, tells me it ain't so. They tell me that the reservations in fact properly protect public monopoly, so I'm going to take them at their word.

Is this the problem the Reform Party is now finding itself in? Debate has not been allowed to happen in the country. Public discussion has been stifled by friends of the Reform Party, by the collusion between the Liberals and Reformers in parliament.

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1:50 p.m.

Reform

Gary Lunn Reform Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, I do not know what the member is going on about. She raised a hidden agenda. Here is the agenda. It is about open and transparent government.

Members of the New Democratic Party had supply days. If they felt this issue was important they could have talked about it. We are on the eve of this year's budget. The Reform Party has committed an entire day of debate, a supply day, the day before the budget, to talk about the issue. That will show the commitment and the dedication of this party.

We have grave concerns about the government's unwillingness to talk about it, why it is hiding it. It is not in the throne speech. It is not in the Liberal red book. The Liberals did not talk about it in the campaign. What are the Liberals hiding? That is what we are pushing them on. That is the only way.

The NDP claims to be wonderful; it will save everybody in this multilateral agreement. Where are NDPers? They could have talked about it. The reality is that the Reform Party made it a priority and did something.

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1:50 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Madam Speaker, I listened to the member from the Reform neck of the woods. He talked about speaking out on the MAI and devoting a whole day to it.

The NDP has gone a lot further than one day of hype. We have been pursuing the issue, the failure of the government to address the MAI and bring it to Canadian citizens, since well into the election campaign of last year. As a matter of fact in a public debate in Flin Flon during the campaign I was able to take the Liberal member to task and he knew nothing about the MAI.

We have not stopped debating the issue. We have not stopped pursing the issue for six to eight months. Where has Reform been? It has finally been forced to be an opposition party by the New Democratic Party.

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1:50 p.m.

Reform

Gary Lunn Reform Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, we know that the Council of Canadians is a front for the NDP. We know the NDP's position on the agreement. What we do not know is the government's position. That is what we are here for.

I have to save a few comments for the NDP. We can talk about investment. We have an NDP government in British Columbia. We have no investment. The NDP premier of British Columbia is placing ads in the Financial Post asking for investors to invest in British Columbia.

I support free trade agreements. We need to protect investors. This debate is about what is in there. We want to make sure that our social programs are not trampled on. We want to make sure health care is protected and that the right exclusion clauses are in place.

That is what we are asking the government to do. It has to become open, go to the people and talk about it. Right now there is no question the government has not talked about it with Canadians. It has talked about it behind closed doors. It will send it off to committee. It will have luncheons with some of the big players. However it is not talking with Canadians and that is what it needs to do.

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1:50 p.m.

Reform

Ted White Reform North Vancouver, BC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak to the motion.

Coming as I do from a small business background and a small business community in North Vancouver, it should not be surprising that I am personally supportive of the concept of the MAI. I think it is a good idea. Frankly the intent of a multilateral agreement on investment is shared by the majority of my constituents as far as I can determine at this time. That does not mean there are not some people opposed, but at the moment it appears the majority are in favour.

The big problem is that the government has not been speaking clearly and forcefully in conveying its position in the Vancouver area. If an MAI can be negotiated, which truly levels the playing field for investment between the participating countries, thereby making it easier, less expensive and more efficient for small businesses to expand and create jobs by servicing those new markets, it would be an excellent deal. The government would be well congratulated if it could achieve such a thing.

Our support in principle does not mean that we do not have some tough questions for the government on the issue. The government and the minister in particular have put on a disgraceful display in connection with the MAI. People have been begging for information for just about the entire time it has been negotiated. There simply has not been enough public presence out there.

Why has the minister not been out in public debating the Maude Barlows and Paul Hellyers of the land. If he has such a good deal he should be involved in intelligent debate and be able prove to Canadians that it is a good deal.

Before posing questions of the government provided to me by some of my constituents, I would like to put on record my position regarding the MAI once it comes before the House if there is enabling legislation.

First, as soon as the MAI is signed in principle by the government, I will advertise in my local newspaper for people to come forward who are opposed to and in favour of the MAI. I will split them into two groups and with research assistance from my office we will create a written position against and a written position for the MAI. Equal space will then be given to each side in a householder that will go to every house in my riding.

Then, as the letters and calls come in, the material from the opposing side will be used to answer those letters and calls. In that way we will facilitate a widespread exchange of ideas, opinions and criticisms. People will get a chance to see the other point of view. I will also hold public meetings according to the demand.

Finally, before the House comes to a third vote on any enabling legislation, I will do a scientific poll in my riding and that is the way I will vote in the House. My constituents have that commitment from me.

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1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

That seems to be a good spot to interrupt the member. He still has in excess of seven minutes of his allotted time and will have the floor when we return to the supply motion debate.

Volunteer FirefightersStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Murray Calder Liberal Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, volunteer firefighters provide a vital and essential service to Canadians. In most communities across Canada they are the only firefighting resource. In Ontario alone there are 17,000 volunteer firefighters in 566 departments. These volunteers save Ontario taxpayers more than $1.4 billion a year.

Fire departments are now finding it increasingly difficult to find volunteers who meet their high standards and who are willing to donate many hours of their time.

To recognize the importance of the volunteer firefighters, I call on the Minister of Finance to raise the tax exemption on their allowances from $500 to $1,000.

Every day in Canada volunteer firefighters donate their time, talent and energy for the good of their communities. Every day they risk their lives to protect their fellow citizens.

Disaster AssistanceStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Tuesday the minister of agriculture announced an ad hoc relief program for part time farmers who are not eligible under the regular rules of the federal disaster financial assistance arrangements.

Part time farmers in Ontario and Quebec who suffered ice storm damage will be getting some much needed help. However, the government has forgotten full time potato farmers and grain producers in B.C. whose crops were destroyed by record rain storms and flooded fields. The government has also forgotten maritime farmers devastated by a long draught.

It seems like Liberal disaster assistance is allocated according to the level of media coverage and mud on Peter Mansbridge's boots.

It does not matter if a dozen farm families are affected or 1,000, the pain is exactly the same. When will the government learn it cannot continue to treat eastern and western Canadians like second class citizens. If it is to change the rules for central Canadians then it should change them for all Canadians.

1998 Winter OlympicsStatements By Members

February 23rd, 1998 / 1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Kraft Sloan Liberal York North, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada won more than gold in Nagano.

By all accounts the Japanese fell in love with the Canadian team. They love our fierce competitive style, our strength and endurance, our courage against all adversity, our sense of fair play and, most of all, they love the Canadian nerve.

Our Olympic athletes made us very proud. In particular I would like to recognize two Olympians from York North, Veronica Brenner and Curtis Joseph Cujo. Brenner is the world cup grand prix champion in freestyle aerial skiing and Curtis is an NHL goaltender. They represented York North with distinction.

Congratulations to all our athletes. They represented Canada with pride and we thank them.

Quebec Minister Of Intergovernmental AffairsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Liberal Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to welcome Mr. Brassard to the club of the misquoted.

Over the weekend, the Quebec intergovernmental affairs minister finally admitted chaos could result if the Quebec government were to unilaterally declare Quebec's independence.

This is quite an admission, especially since the sovereignists and the Bloc have been trying for weeks to make us believe they could ignore the law of the land with complete impunity.

Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard quickly distanced himself from his minister's comments on the chaos that could result from a unilateral declaration of independence by Quebec, emphasizing that Mr. Brassard had been misquoted.

If Mr. Brassard keeps it up, I bet he will be part of the next Bouchard government shuffle, just because he is starting to aggravate the separatist troops.