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House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreed.

Topics

R-2000 ProgramStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, an hon. member stood in the House last week and blamed the federal government's National Building Code and its R-2000 program for the so-called leaky condo crisis in British Columbia.

The R-2000 program is not to blame. There is absolutely no evidence to indicate that the use of air vapour barriers is a problem in the lower mainland or elsewhere in Canada. There have been no wall failures reported in R-2000 certified buildings in British Columbia.

The R-2000 program provides a basis for the design and construction of new homes which are more energy efficient. All R-2000 homes must comply with local and provincial building codes. CMHC, NRC, key stakeholders and the B.C. community are working together to come up with appropriate technical solutions that can be applied to repairs of affected buildings.

I am pleased also to inform the House that, based on research done by NRCan scientists, new seismic hazard information will become part of the year 2000 national building code.

AbitibiStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of Abitibi's annexation to Quebec.

On June 13, 1898, the area around Abitibi, which had belonged to the Northwest Territories, joined Quebec following 25 years of discussions between the governments of Canada and Quebec.

An organizing committee under the aegis of the Abitibi-Témiscamingue cultural committee is co-ordinating an impressive number of commemorative and other activities, which will be taking place throughout the summer and continue until next winter. In addition, the committee plans to organize a conference in the fall on Abitibi's annexation to Quebec.

I congratulate the Abitibi-Témiscamingue cultural committee on this venture and I would like to point out that the people of Abitibi and my region are proud to belong to Quebec now and for always.

Happy celebrations.

Canadian Centre For Emergency PreparednessStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Monday the Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness will be hosting its eighth annual world conference on disaster management in Hamilton.

Every year leaders in the field of emergency response examine lessons learned from the past year's worse natural and man-made disasters.

This year's conference features the eastern Ontario and Quebec ice storms, the Alberta fires and the Red River flood.

Emergency Preparedness Canada administers the joint emergency preparedness program and the disaster financial assistance arrangements program on behalf of the federal government.

This Liberal government has given tremendous support to ice storm victims and to those affected by the Alberta fires and the Red River flood victims. This emergency preparedness program is simply another way the Liberal government is helping Canadians in time of need.

The SenateStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Reform

Derrek Konrad Reform Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, we have now been working together in this House since September and I must say it has been a pleasure working with everyone here over this period of time.

But as I say this on what appears to be our last day in this House before a three month recess, still nothing has been done about Senate reform. The Reform Party has remained committed to the idea of a triple E Senate and will continue to push for Senate reform.

The Prime Minister said that he is in favour of Senate reform, but yet just last night he snuck in five new senators. Shame. A whole session has gone by and still the Prime Minister has done nothing on the matter.

The vast majority of Canadians want Senate reform and want to be able to have a say in who represents them in the upper chamber, no matter how popular they may be. Canadians must have a voice.

Mr. Speaker, I think you will agree that it is time for the government to start listening to Canadians and to get real.

The SenateStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Liberal Mississauga West, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday parliament welcomed its newest left winger, the hon. “big M” Frank Mahovlich.

Over an illustrious career, Frank Mahovlich scored 626 goals, was selected to nine all-star teams and was on 6 Stanley Cup winners. He has been a hockey hero in the two historic hotbeds of the Canadian game: Toronto and Montreal.

He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1981, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 and received the Order of Canada in 1994.

He has the kind of talent we need here in Ottawa: someone who knows how to stick handle, how to win in the corners and how to finish the play.

Indeed, we would put our “big M” up against the official opposition's “little M”, Preston Manning, any day of the week.

The SenateStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

If hon. members could restrain themselves somewhat, it would be easier for the Chair to hear breaches of order that are committed by members such as the hon. member who just mentioned a member of this House by name. I urge all hon. members to comply with the rules and only mention the title of the member or the constituency name, rather than the name of the member.

FirefightersStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Rick Laliberte NDP Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to thousands of men and women across northern Canada who are fighting forest fires. All Canadians owe a great debt of gratitude for their courage, discipline and resourcefulness.

In Churchill River hundreds are fighting fires in northwestern Saskatchewan communities such as Île-à-la Crosse, Buffalo Narrows and La Loche. In northern Alberta they protected Swan Hills. In the Yukon they are fighting fires around Haines Junction and Whitehorse.

The federal government should recognize the valuable resources available across Canada to meet the challenges of natural disasters. As a nation we have faced many tragedies, like the Manitoba flood and the ice storms of 1998. These disasters could be addressed by the firefighters of northern Canada.

Today I extend thanks to all the firefighters in northern Canada for protecting our communities.

ChiapasStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Bloc Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, we were distressed to learn of the resignation of Mgr. Samuel Ruiz as the head of the national mediation commission in Chiapas.

With 40 years' service to the Indian communities in Chiapas, the Bishop of San Cristobal was acting as mediator between the Zapatistas and the Mexican authorities. His departure and that of all the members of the commission heighten fears of further military intervention in Chiapas.

The pressure, insults, attacks and criticism from as high up as President Zedillo sabotage every effort by Mgr. Ruiz to bring peace.

We regret the departure of this man of peace, especially since we heard reports this morning of a number of deaths in Mexico.

We hope that the Government of Mexico will express its intention to reach a negotiated solution in stronger terms. According to the recommendations of the Mexican national human rights commission, relocating the military would be a first step.

House Of CommonsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, this has been a successful year for parliament. We introduced 56 government bills into the 36th Parliament, compared with 45 in the last year of the previous parliament and we did this in a much more complex political environment in the House of Commons.

Bills passed by the House of Commons since February include the 1998 budget legislation which established the Canadian Millennium Scholarship Foundation, amendments to the Canadian Wheat Board Act and the Canada Labour Code, and legislation to create a new parks agency. These issues were complex and controversial and involved intensive work by MPs on the floor of the House and in committee.

We succeeded in moving forward on a large and difficult agenda because of the hard work of members of parliament, improved planning by the House leaders and better co-ordination between the House and the Senate.

Youth UnemploymentStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gilles Bernier Progressive Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, according to figures provided by human resources development, the minister has cut funding for summer career placements in New Brunswick by over $300,000 from last year.

On Wednesday the minister mistakenly suggested that the funds were cut because the unemployment rate for youth has dropped in New Brunswick. The minister needs to check his facts. His department's own numbers show that youth unemployment in New Brunswick is up 2% from last year to 21%.

Finding a summer job is the only way many New Brunswick students can afford to pay for the skyrocketing costs of education. Many small businesses, non-profit organizations and municipalities can only hire students with the help of government programs. Unfortunately, because of the minister's cuts to summer job programs there are students across New Brunswick who will not be able to continue their education this fall.

Last year the Liberal Party lost two-thirds of its seats in Atlantic Canada and it seems to me it has learned nothing.

Accueil BonneauStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, at this very moment, the funeral ceremonies for the three victims of the accident at Accueil Bonneau are being held in Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica.

I join with all my colleagues in the House of Commons in offering our most sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

Accueil Bonneau makes a magnificent contribution to the lives of thousands of disadvantaged Montrealers. The three victims can never be replaced, but many courageous and determined volunteers have already rolled up their sleeves to ensure that these good works will continue.

Our thoughts go out at this time to the three who lost their lives in this terrible accident, to whom we must be grateful for their unceasing devotion to humanity.

Fortunately, however, thanks to the great solidarity shown by so many Quebeckers in the hours since the tragedy, the work of Accueil Bonneau will go on.

Liberal PartyStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Reform Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is the end of the semester and it is time to give this Liberal class its evaluation.

For fulfilling the election promise to elect a senator, f . The Prime Minister makes appointments and makes excuses.

For fixing the Young Offenders Act, f . The assignment is now over one year late.

For providing hope to victims of crime, f . They only talk but nothing has been done.

In basic accounting, f . They are listing items in the expenditures column that should not be there according to the auditor general.

For cutting government spending, f . They cut mostly in transfers to provinces.

For caring and compassion, f . For fixing up the problems in the military, double f . For planning to reduce the debt and interest payments, f . For attendance in the House, d . For respect and deportment, f .

With ten f s and one d they fail. The next class, the Reform class, will pass.

National DefenceOral Question Period

June 12th, 1998 / 11:15 a.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, it took a lot of courage for Private Ann Margaret Dickey to come forward and tell her story of abuse in the military, but what has been the reaction of the minister of defence? He blames the victim. Instead of following up on Private Dickey's complaints, the minister has the nerve to come forward and question her credibility.

Why should any woman ever come forward with allegations of sexual assault in the military when she knows she will be put on trial by the minister, his department and the media? Why is that?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the head of the national investigative service, Colonel Patricia Samson, confirms that an investigation is under way into the allegations referred to by the hon. Reform member.

This investigation is carried out by a body at arm's length from the chain of command. I suggest we let the investigation take its course and not raise it in the House of Commons in a way that may prejudice its appropriate and successful outcome.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, we would love to let the investigation take its course, except the minister spoke out and talked about zero tolerance and how terrible it is for any sexual assault to occur. Then he had the nerve to come forward and taint that investigation by saying that her whole story is not credible.

I want this minister to answer the question. Why should any woman ever come forward with allegations of sexual assault when she will have to go on trial by the minister, his department and the media?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not accept the insinuations and premises of the hon. member's question.

The minister said on behalf of the government that we want to have a professional and harassment free atmosphere for all members of the Canadian armed services.

That is why, following the recommendations of the Somalia commission and former Chief Justice Dickson, the government set up the arm's length national investigative service which is actively looking into the allegations in question.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the biggest barrier to women coming forward with these kinds of allegations is absolute fear that they will not be believed, and the government knows it.

Dickey has run up against this problem at every turn for two years. First of all it was her commanding officer. Then it was the military investigators. Now it is the minister himself who is blaming her and asking about her credibility.

When will one of these so-called defenders of human rights over there stand and tell the minister that he cannot deal with sexual assault victims by blaming the victims?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not think we can accept the insinuation of the hon. member that the minister is saying we should blame the victim.

It is not my understanding of what he said at all. In fact the minister is very interested in making sure the investigation is carried on properly under the leadership of Colonel Patricia Samson, head of the national investigative service at arm's length from the chain of command.

If the hon. member believes that there should not be interference in an investigation in a way that harms those who make complaints, she should not be raising it wrongly in the way she is in the House of Commons today.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Reform Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, I frankly do not believe what we are hearing hear today.

The Deputy Prime Minister is saying that he cannot comment on the case because it is under investigation. Yet the minister is commenting on the case to all the media right across the country and he is blaming the victim.

How could Private Dickey ever get a fair hearing when the minister is questioning her credibility through the media right across the country?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not agree with the hon. member's interpretation of the minister's words that he is blaming the victim. I do not think he is doing that at all.

In any event, the minister is not directing or running the investigation. It is being carried on at arm's length by the national investigative service under the command of the chief provost marshal, Colonel Patricia Samson, herself a member of the same sex as the complainant.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Reform Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, maybe the minister ought to read the newspapers today. The headlines say that the minister is blaming the victim, and the minister is blaming the victim.

The minister has prejudiced the case. He has questioned Private Dickey's testimony in public. Now Private Dickey cannot possible get fair treatment within the military system.

I want to ask the government what specific plans it has. What will the government implement to give Private Dickey a fair hearing outside the military justice system?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, at this stage an investigation is under way at arm's length from the chain of command of the armed services. The investigation is not completed.

My hon. friend's questions would make more sense if they were asked once the investigation was completed. He wants to play this out in the headlines. I do not think that is fair to the complainant or any complaint of this kind.

Canada Information OfficeOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, recently, the Prime Minister gave the Minister of Public Works, the chief Liberal organizer in Quebec, responsibility for the Canada information office, the CIO.

This morning we learn in the papers that the minister intends to use the CIO's considerable resources to get involved in the upcoming election campaign in Quebec.

Will the Minister of Public Works confirm what we learned from the Canadian Press agency this morning, namely that the CIO will be hugely involved in the upcoming election in opposition to the current Government of Quebec?

Canada Information OfficeOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Québec

Liberal

Alfonso Gagliano LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, what I said in the interview to one journalist is that, first of all, the upcoming election in Quebec is a provincial one, not a federal one, and that, if the Government of Quebec or any other political party were to misinform people about the Government of Canada, we would be there to provide the facts. That is all.

However, I am surprised the member is asking the question, because her leader said all Bloc members would be canvassing door to door in the fall as part of the election campaign. So they can get involved, but we cannot—

Canada Information OfficeOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Rimouski—Mitis.