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House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was industry.

Topics

DemocracyStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec branch of the Liberal Party of Canada is holding its twice-yearly meeting in Hull this weekend.

This will be an opportunity for the federal Liberals in Quebec to reaffirm their belief in democracy. It will also be an opportunity for them to remind certain of their elected representatives in Ottawa that one of the inescapable principles of democracy is one person, one vote.

To question the universally recognized 50% plus one rule is to hand over decision-making to a minority.

In a country where the democratic quality of life should be an example to the international community, creating two classes of voters is to ignore what democracy is all about.

We remind the federal ministers from Quebec that they should take this opportunity to clarify what they understand by democracy. Democracy is the responsibility of all elected representatives. It concerns all citizens.

FootballStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Ovid Jackson Liberal Bruce—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, this weekend we will be celebrating one of the great Canadian traditions, a game invented in Canada. I speak of the game of football.

The best in the east and the best in the west will come together in Vancouver, British Columbia: the Hamilton Tiger Cats versus the Calgary Stampeders. No doubt two political junkies will be there. I speak of the premier of Alberta and the hon. Minister of Canadian Heritage.

FootballStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I am afraid the hon. member is out of order.

Public WorksStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gilles Bernier Progressive Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is time we changed the title of the public works minister to the patronage works minister. Recently he appointed four high profile Liberals to senior positions at Canada Post and the Royal Canadian Mint.

Gilles Champagne of Montreal, who is a member of the Liberal Party of Canada and a regular donor, was just appointed to the board at Canada Post. Also appointed was Terri Lemke who was a tour director for the Saskatchewan Liberals before she got her patronage post.

This week the minister appointed a 30-year veteran of the Liberal trough, André Ouellet, as Canada Post's new president where he will double his salary as Post Office chair.

Most offensive of all, the public works minister just appointed his long time personal friend Emmanuel Triassi as chair of the Royal Canadian Mint. Mr. Triassi got his job even though he never sat on the Mint's board, does not have a degree in finance, has never studied metals and does not have a coin collection.

Nice work, Mr. Speaker, if you can get it.

Canada PostStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians and the government are determined to make Canada a world leader in the field of electronic commerce by the year 2000.

Today the president of Canada Post and the Minister of Industry are in Toronto taking part in an historic occasion, the launch of the electronic post office. Epost will be the single place for Canadians to receive all of their important mail electronically, securely and privately from their home, office, school or wherever there is a computer with access to the Internet.

In a global knowledge based economy, innovative countries that can quickly adapt to the latest technology are the ones that are most likely to succeed. Epost is a major leap in the right direction for Canada Post.

I invite all Canadians to register for their free electronic post office.

Canada Elections ActStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Rob Anders Reform Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-2, the Canada Elections Act, is again weaving its way through the House.

Under this act, an individual will never again have the right to speak as loudly as a political party during an election. He or she will no longer have the ability to spend all he or she wants defending his or her view of what the country should become.

Twice before, these laws have been passed. Twice before, they have been challenged. Twice before, our courts have found these laws unconstitutional.

At great taxpayer expense, the solicitor general will again have the unhappy task of defending this latest incarnation of the gag law. A task that should rightly fail.

It is my sincere hope that I will one day see the end of our government's efforts to muzzle Canadians.

EmploymentStatements By Members

November 26th, 1999 / 11:15 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it sometimes feels like there is a choice between having a job and having a life. Overwork and long hours are epidemic in Canada. In the first four months of 1997 almost two million workers put in overtime, most of it unpaid, while one-third of working Canadians say they are constantly under stress.

At the same time unemployment remains staggeringly high when compared with other countries. There are serious social issues and human costs associated in a society divided between the chronically overworked and the chronically unemployed.

I believe that a reduction and redistribution of work time deserves to be the new public policy priority. A substantial reduction of work time, such as a standard 32 hour work week, deserves to be the target early in the new millennium.

It is time for governments to take up this challenge. If we can achieve a better distribution of work time and leisure, stories about an improving economic situation might start to ring true for the vast numbers of Canadians who are unemployed, underemployed or overworked.

HockeyStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker,

Last night in Ottawa, was a night to remember, Our hockey team beat, every Liberal member.

T'was a sign of the times to come A government left, cold and numb

The Corel Centre...was our rink, Hec, the team yonder really did stink.

Reform and the Tories, the NDP and the Bloc, Sure gave the Liberals quite a big shock.

We scored for the Sea Kings and for the GST... Toward the end, they just scored for me.

The Liberal backbenches were terribly shook, Not so much confusion, since the red book.

Perhaps they'd play better if not on the fence, Out there, like in here, they have no defence.

Although not a psychic, I will make these projections, Liberal defeats in the next three elections.

And for the little member who just wore his hat, I've just got to say...how about that!

When my Saint John Flames score, We let out a big roar.

So Mr. Speaker let's hear that roar... The opposition beat the Liberals...6 to 4!

National UnityOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister spent the past week pretending to be the federalist strongman. Rather than working on ways to make the federation stronger, he paraded around the country talking about tinkering with the referendum rules. He says there has to be a clear majority but he will not define what that means.

I have a question for the Deputy Prime Minister. Why will the Prime Minister not define exactly what he means by a clear majority?

National UnityOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the way the Reform approached this issue in the past few days by personally attacking the Prime Minister does not show that the leader of the Reform Party is the statesman he claims to be and should be as Leader of the Opposition in Canada.

I hope the Reform Party will keep the debate at the level where it should be because our country must be more important than our parties.

National UnityOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would have certainly liked to have been included in the debate rather than hearing about the debate from some caucus meeting.

The Prime Minister should be worried more about heading into the next referendum without positive changes to our federation. He should be more worried about not offering Quebecers an alternative to either status quo federalism or separation.

If the Prime Minister really wants to set the rules straight, why will he not tell us what he means by those rules? Why not?

National UnityOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I will first explain why the Reform Party is nothing in Quebec.

It has never shown any support for bilingualism in the country. It is always attacking the Official Languages Act. It has no sympathy for the national cultural institutions of the country. It does not support the distinct society resolution, the regional veto resolution, the Young Offenders Act, and the modality to accommodate Quebec.

It has spoken against that. It has spoken against the constitutional amendment to Quebec and Newfoundland. For all of this, it must—

National UnityOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Macleod.

National UnityOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, let me make real plain what the Reform Party supports. We support making the federation work better so that there will be no appetite for separation in the country.

The question that the intergovernmental affairs minister is avoiding is a straightforward question.

If clarity on the majority is so important, why will the Prime Minister not tell us here and now what that clarity should be? What is the majority?

National UnityOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the question is legitimate. The issue is why the Reform Party took three days before asking the question. Instead it blamed the Prime Minister for raising the issue.

The Prime Minister raised the issue because the Quebec government is threatening the country with the possibility of a unilateral declaration of independence. This is what the Reform Party should have attacked, and not the Prime Minister for two days.

If the Reform Party is now willing to take the high road and to look at the matter seriously, obviously the Reform Party is right that we need clarity. We truly agree with that.

National UnityOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, at the beginning of the week the brain trusts in the Prime Minister's Office seemed to be perfectly clear. They were adamant at the beginning of the week and now by Friday they say that we will be perfectly clear on the required majority and will do that by not telling anyone the actual number required. That is not a brilliant strategy.

I do not know if they think that separatists will be shaking in their boots over that. Imagine—brace yourself, Mr. Speaker—the Prime Minister will be very clear that he will be very unclear in the days to come.

Does the intergovernmental affairs minister not realize that the Prime Minister is in danger of becoming one of Mr. Bouchard's winning conditions?

National UnityOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, why do Reform Party members not recognize that what they should be doing is standing up for Canada instead of reaching out to the separatists?

They are asking the wrong questions and they are taking the wrong attitude toward maintaining a strong, united Canada. Why do they not get on board in the fight for Canada?

National UnityOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are asking questions. Certainly we have not had a single answer yet this morning.

It reads like the stuff of a cheap teenage novel, the Shawinigan strongman and the mystery majority. You have to picture it, Mr. Speaker. Imagine this week the advisers saying “We'll put the Prime Minister out there. We'll get him to be very blustery. We'll get him to bang on the table a few times and then we'll have him declare: let me be perfectly clear. I have known since a long time that I don't know where to go from here and I have nothing to be more clearer than that”.

That is what has happened this week. More could have been done than reigniting the separatist flame. Why do they not tell Canadians what they mean by a clear majority?

National UnityOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the mystery here is why the Reform Party is making personal attacks on the Prime Minister instead of joining him in his fight for a united Canada and against separatism.

They are reaching out to the separatists. We are reaching out to all Canadians to maintain a united Canada. Why do they not join with us?

ReferendumsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday evening, in Nova Scotia, the Prime Minister said he would introduce a measure in parliament to set the rules governing the decision Quebecers will make about their future.

Can the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs tell us when this measure will be introduced in the House?

ReferendumsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, there are two things here.

First, the idea is not to set the rules for a provincial referendum. The Government of Quebec is absolutely free to ask any question it wants to Quebecers. Rather, the idea is to identify the degree of clarity required for the Government of Canada to have an obligation to negotiate the serious issue of Quebec's separation from the rest of Canada. This is what we are talking about.

It may be that we will never have to do this, if the Quebec government were to say immediately that it will not hold a referendum, because, with a clear question and a clear majority, it will not of course get the necessary support for its separation project.

ReferendumsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, could the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, this great expert on clarity, tell us clearly what meaning his government is giving to the term measure? Just what does the Prime Minister mean by measure?

ReferendumsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalPresident of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows that something can be done officially, in various ways, to set out for all Canadians, in a more precise manner, under which circumstances the Government of Canada would negotiate or refuse to negotiate the end of its constitutional responsibilities toward one quarter of the Canadian population, and the break-up of the country.

We are fully confident that, if there are no tricks or confusion, Quebecers will always choose to remain in Canada and improve our country, along with other Canadians.

SudanOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 26, the Minister of Foreign Affairs announced that he would sever all economic ties with Sudan if an investigation proved that oil operations by the Canadian company Talisman was exacerbating the conflict that is tearing that country apart.

On November 17, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights released a study that in fact confirmed the minister's fears.

How then can the minister explain his inaction?

SudanOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Brome—Missisquoi Québec

Liberal

Denis Paradis LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the government is very concerned about the events in Sudan.

We have done two things. The government has appointed Senator Lois Wilson to head the peace mission as Canada's special envoy.

As well, it has appointed John Harker, a well-known figure in labour circles in Canada in the past, to head a fact-finding commission to Sudan. He is on his way to Sudan as we speak and will be making a report to us shortly.