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House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was justice.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesdays, we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by the hon. member for Dauphin—Swan River.

Glendale CollegiateStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

John Finlay Liberal Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, Tillsonburg's Glendale Collegiate was recently profiled in the Globe and Mail .

Glendale, under the leadership of Principal Martin Wylie, is pursuing educational opportunities with local businesses. Using funding from the federal and provincial governments and corporate donors, Glendale has invested $200,000 in a makeover of its machine shop. This makeover allows high school and college students, as well as workers from corporate sponsors to retrain and to learn on state of the art computer assisted design machines.

Glendale has also used HRDC funding to set up a computer facility in the guidance department which provides high speed access to the Internet, not only for Glendale students but also for all of Tillsonburg's elementary school students through wireless links. Additional funding from private sources has been the result of a partnership between the school, the community and local businesses.

I congratulate all those in Tillsonburg, both at Glendale and in the community.

Tax Freedom DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Reform Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, each year Canadians across the country celebrate tax freedom day. This is the day when an average wage earner has earned enough to pay taxes for the year.

This year tax freedom day will occur in July and later than ever.

By contrast, as a result of the efforts of Canadian farmers we have a much more encouraging date to celebrate: food checkout day. This is the day when the average wage earner has earned enough to pay for food for the year.

Unlike tax freedom day which occurs in July, Canadians can celebrate food checkout day in February. It takes less and less of our income to pay for our food each and every year.

It is time the government learned a thing or two from farmers. If farmers mismanaged food production the way the government mismanages taxes, Canadians would all be starving.

Industry CanadaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Liberal Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that next Saturday, April 4, my riding, Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford, and the riding of Simcoe North will host an Industry Canada information fair.

This is an excellent opportunity for Industry Canada to showcase its impressive array of products and services. Even more important, the fair offers one-stop shopping for small and medium size businesses to meet with the consultants and experts from Industry Canada. It is a good opportunity for them to check out the programs in one of the many booths at the fair, pick up program material and indeed discuss the issues with the Minister of Industry himself who will be honoured to be in our riding this weekend.

Camp IpperwashStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Liberal Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, a small piece of history was made in my riding yesterday concerning Camp Ipperwash issues.

A milestone meeting of the round table was held at Stony Point hosted by Kettle and Stony Point First Nation Chief Irvin George.

For the first time in decades the chief, the mayor of the town of Bosanquet and myself sat down at the same table to discuss mutual concerns with a spirit of trust, tolerance and understanding.

With the support and strong leadership of our minister of Indian affairs progress is being made at Ipperwash; progress through partnership and discussion, not blockades and cynicism.

By working co-operatively, Chief George, Mayor Bill Graham, myself and the federal government can achieve the future economic prosperity and social well-being of the community as a whole.

My thanks to all participants for setting a new and positive course.

NunavutStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, today marks the first day in the final leg of our long journey toward the creation of Nunavut which began many years ago. The dream of our people, through the tireless work and perseverance of numerous dedicated Inuit politicians with the help of many others, will soon become a reality.

We are now entering into the final stage of becoming an official territory of Nunavut.

One year from today an historic event for Canada will take place and I hope all Canadians will help us to celebrate the long awaited moment next April 1, 1999.

TaxationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Jim Pankiw Reform Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government needs to be condemned for its relentless attack on the cornerstone of our society, Canadian families.

Our current tax system discriminates against families who choose to have one parent stay at home.

A one income family earning $60,000 pays $7,000 more in taxes each year than a family with the same total income but both parents in the workforce.

Despite the fact that the majority of parents prefer family care to day care, one parent cannot stay at home because of the huge tax hit they face.

My private member's motion, M-369, addresses this very issue and calls for taxation fairness for families. Clearly, Liberals do not understand taxation fairness. They have raised taxes 37 times and hiked payroll taxes, all contributing to a $3,000 annual pay cut for the average family.

By contrast, Reform policies are family friendly. Our priority is the well-being of families, not larger tax grabs.

Lévis ShipyardStatements By Members

April 1st, 1998 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Claude Drouin Liberal Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, an important decision has been made by the Canadian government on the issue of the shipyard in Lévis.

The dry docks in Lauzon are being sold to Davie Industries Inc. as part of the government's strategy to transfer assets to the private sector, which is in a better position to manage such facilities.

In this case, the facilities include the land, two dry docks and all the systems required to operate them. The Canadian government will pay $20 million to cover the costs of urgent repairs and the forecast net operating cost.

Members should note also that the repairs will have a direct impact on job creation in this community. Payments for the dry dock repairs will be made according to the terms and conditions negotiated with Davie Industries, and the company is required to operate the facilities for the next ten years.

This is a step in the right direction to boost the economy in the city of Lévis and the Chaudière-Appalaches region.

Ontario ConservativesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Liberal Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, it must be April Fool's Day. Today in the Toronto Star I read that Mike Harris is telling members of his own Tory caucus to sign a candidate's agreement for the next election.

Conservative members of the Ontario legislature are being told they must sign or they cannot be a candidate for the next provincial election.

If they do not affirm statements on family values, ethical and accountable government and a commitment to not run if they lose a nomination battle, the members of caucus will disqualify themselves. Mike Harris and his cabinet must be paranoid.

I know the Tories do not trust the people of Ontario. I know they do not trust the unions. I know they do not trust the teachers and I know they do not trust the public service, but not to trust their own members is unbelievable.

Mike Harris is now trying to keep his caucus in line by using the same draconian, top down, heavy-handed measures that he used against the people of Ontario.

The members of the Ontario Tory caucus and the people of Ontario will not be fooled. They know—

Ontario ConservativesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Dewdney—Alouette.

Xa:YtemStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Grant McNally Reform Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize Xa:ytem in my hometown of Mission, B.C., which is one of the oldest habitation sites in North America. Xa:ytem is one of the first native spiritual sites in Canada to be formally recognized as a national historic site.

Today Xa:ytem conducts numerous tours and programs, and as a teacher I took my own classes to visit the site. This year over 12,000 school children are expected to visit Xa:ytem.

I would like to congratulate Linnea Battel, Gordon Mohs and the Sto:lo people for working to preserve Xa:ytem. I applaud the vision and drive of those who are developing the site with an eye to the future by focusing on a private and public sector partnership to develop the site.

Xa:ytem is an important spiritual and cultural landmark to the Sto:lo people of the Fraser Valley. I ask all members to join with me in congratulating the excellent work being done by the board and staff of Xa:ytem.

Quebec Finance Minister's BudgetStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, in delivering his budget yesterday evening, the Quebec finance minister chose to play petty politics. As a matter of fact, it was like attending a meeting of sovereignist supporters.

The minister talked about everything but the kitchen sink: millennium scholarships, the health system, transfer payments and what not. He poured his heart out, as in a therapy session, to justify a dull budget, lacking in aggressive measures that would reassure economic stakeholders. Quebeckers need more than the Quebec finance minister's political therapy sessions.

They need lower taxes. They need economic conditions that are not tied to the political will of a government whose sole objective is to create insecurity. They need a government that will guide them in making their collective decisions by providing the optimum economic and political conditions to—

Quebec Finance Minister's BudgetStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Louis-Hébert.

Budget Of Quebec Finance MinisterStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Quebec finance minister Bernard Landry tabled an excellent budget. With the little leeway available to him, he has shown the transparency and ingenuousness his federal counterpart has not.

The only fly in the ointment is that the President of Treasury Board's testy reaction to it was to call Bernard Landry petty and ungrateful. What next!

In 1996, the President of Treasury Board told us “When Bouchard has to make cuts, those of us in Ottawa will be able to demonstrate that we have the means to preserve the future of social programs.” Then, a few weeks ago, the Prime Minister was boasting that the federal government would be assuming 90% of the costs of the ice storm, when in fact it will barely pay 40%.

Here we have a glowing example of the federal government's cynicism, pettiness and ingratitude. The President of Treasury Board had nothing to say about the Bernard Landry budget, and preferred a personal attack over congratulations for his excellent work under the circumstances. Now, that is pettiness—

Budget Of Quebec Finance MinisterStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Sackville—Eastern Shore.

The Atlantic Groundfish StrategyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, today representatives from the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters are meeting with all political parties to discuss the end of the Atlantic groundfish strategy in August.

Close to 25,000 people will be affected and the greatest impact will be on Newfoundland where two-thirds of the recipients reside.

The government refuses to say what will happen when the program ends in just four months.

With 3,000 people about to be taken off of TAGS in May and the rest in August these people need an answer now.

The government has two reports in front of it that emphasize support for early retirement and licence buy-out programs, self-employment assistance for younger fisher people, community economic development assistance and an extension of TAGS until at least the end of May 1999.

We need a financial commitment from the government today.

This is Newfoundland's ice storm. The lights are still off and the need is just as great.

World Health DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, next Tuesday, April 7, is World Health Day. It is a day that is observed by 191 member countries of the World Health Organization, including Canada.

World Health Day aims to encourage everyone to think globally and act locally on a specific issue of global importance for public health.

This year's theme is “Safe Motherhood”. Around the world every minute of every day a woman dies of pregnancy related complications, nearly 600,000 each year. Every year nearly 3.4 million babies die within the first week of life. These women and babies die for the same reasons, poor health and inadequate care during pregnancy and childbirth.

As part of the campaign to build greater public awareness of maternal mortality the Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development along with the Canadian Society for International Health and CIDA will be commemorating World Health Day with a forum on “Safe Motherhood” on Parliament Hill.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, as we welcome in the spring season I think it is time we join the government in celebrating this golden economic age.

Our unemployment figures are half those of the United States. Our youth unemployment rate is at its lowest in years. Young Americans are lining up at our borders to seek greater opportunities in Canada. Our neighbours in other G-7 countries are paying higher taxes than we are in Canada. Our hospitals are being flooded by doctors who are coming here from the U.S. seeking greater opportunities. Our Canadian dollar is trading at record high levels. There are fewer people on welfare than ever before.

This government should be commended on its stalwart economic record. Never before have Canadians seen such a golden age.

Oh yes, happy April Fool's Day.

Bill C-28Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, since February 5, the Bloc Quebecois has been trying in every way possible to cast light on certain nebulous aspects of Bill C-28, and on an apparent conflict of interest involving its sponsor, the federal Minister of Finance.

As everyone knows, the Minister of Finance is actively involved in this field, and owns an international shipping company which could take advantage of certain tax advantages contained in this new legislation.

In order to eliminate any doubts concerning the integrity of the Minister of Finance, we are again asking the Prime Minister to defer passage of Bill C-28 at third reading and to strike the special board of inquiry all opposition parties have been calling for.

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, tens of thousands of innocent Canadians contracted hepatitis C when they received transfusions from the government's blood system. Many are slowly dying.

The Prime Minister has authorized the health minister to compensate some of these victims but he has told the health minister to abandon the rest. He has created a two tier system for dealing with victims of government negligence.

Why will the Prime Minister not do the right thing and compensate all victims of poisoned blood?

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as we said in the House, there was a period where the responsibilities of the government were well established.

We have been dealing with the provincial governments. The provincial governments of all political stripes and the federal minister of health have agreed to a scheme to compensate the victims of that period, as it is our obligation to do so.

The decision represents $800 million from the federal government and $300 million from the provincial governments. I think it is a very generous program.

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is not an administrative issue. This is a moral issue. It is morally wrong for the government to abandon these victims of its own negligence.

The Prime Minister is concerned about his place in history. He wants the millennium fund to be a monument to himself and to his administration, but if he allows this decision to stand he will have his monuments all right, 40,000 of them in the graveyards of the country.

I ask him again. Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and compensate all the victims of poisoned blood?

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, this terribly difficult decision was made by 13 governments in the country. All the provincial governments joined with the federal government in coming to the conclusion that for the period 1986 to 1990, when something could and should have been done, government should accept responsibility to compensate.

As a result, as the Prime Minister has said $1.1 billion is being offered as assistance to the victims who were infected during that period, as well as those who were infected by those people.

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we have heard this cold-hearted rationalization before. It does not address the moral issue that is involved here.

There is no excuse for doing the wrong thing. There is no legal excuse. There is no administrative excuse. There is no accounting excuse. There is no political excuse.

I ask the Prime Minister again why he will not do the right thing and compensate all the victims of this tragedy.

Hepatitis COral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition uses high sounding phrases but he does not come to grips with the dilemma facing governments in this situation, a very difficult dilemma.

We are dealing with a medical and health system in which there are sometimes risks. Before 1986 the risk of infections through the blood system was well known. After 1986 it was known and there was something that could have been done about it. That is the difference.

Where do governments compensate? Do they compensate women who have high risk deliveries and babies delivered with brain damage? Do they compensate the people who have anesthetics and suffer adverse reactions? Mr. Speaker, this is—