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House of Commons Hansard #178 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was flag.

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 Wentworth—Burlington.

Election In Newfoundland And LabradorStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Liberal Egmont, PE

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge and congratulate Premier Brian Tobin and the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador on their successful re-election.

Yesterday voters in that province returned a Liberal majority government, a fourth consecutive Liberal majority, the second under Premier Tobin's leadership.

The people of Newfoundland and Labrador have renewed the Liberal government's mandate to continue its agenda of reducing unemployment, balancing the budget and ensuring that the province receives the full benefit of its present and future resources, including mineral exploration, energy production and a rejuvenated and diversified fishing industry.

It is fitting, in the year commemorating the 50th anniversary of Newfoundland joining the Canadian family, that the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador is the victor in yesterday's election.

Joey Smallwood can rest easy. I congratulate Brian Tobin and the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The South Alberta RegimentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Reform Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to inform the House that this afternoon I will be presenting to the Library of Parliament the history of the South Alberta Regiment. The book entitled The South Albertas: A Canadian Regiment at War , is the story of five infantry militia units that together formed the South Alberta Regiment and ended the war as Canada's finest regiment in the Canadian armoured corps.

As part of the 4th Armoured Division, the South Alberta Regiment played a major roll in a number of significant battles, including the Battle of Falaise Gap where Major David Currie of C Squadron won the Victoria Cross. Mrs. Currie is with us in the gallery today.

Removed from the order of battle in 1954, the South Alberta Regiment is a sterling example of Canada's militia and a proud part of our military heritage. With 316 casualties, their unofficial motto was “You've been through the mud and the blood and I hope that you reach the green fields beyond”. Their record indicates that the South Alberta Regiment deserves nothing less.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc.Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Liberal Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada of Cambridge, a leading North American auto manufacturer, recently received the Most Supportive Employer for Ontario award from the Canadian Forces Liaison Council.

As stated by the Minister of National Defence, Toyota was recognized for “performing an important act of patriotism” by supporting its employee reservists who serve with dedication in Canada's Armed Forces.

Toyota has invested $2.2 billion in a state of the art automotive plant in Cambridge, provided 2,700 quality jobs to Canadians and has generously supported local charities and community organizations.

I know that the people of Cambridge and all members will join me in offering Toyota our heartfelt congratulations.

Western DiversificationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Liberal Winnipeg North—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, Manitoba welcomes the Cangene Corporation's decision to open its new health biotechnology research and development facility in Winnipeg, not England, thanks to a $3 million repayable loan from the western diversification program.

This program illustrates the commitment of the federal government to advance the economic prosperity of the western and northern regions of Canada.

It is a facility like Cangene's that ensures the creation of jobs for Manitobans, old and young alike.

Manitobans, therefore, find it difficult to understand that another political party has, as its policy, the dismantling of the western diversification program.

The constituents of Winnipeg North—St. Paul salute the federal government for its commitment to sustain this program for Canada's western and northern regions, thereby strengthening our social union as a federation.

Social Union AgreementStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Liberal Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I commend the Liberal government on reaching a social union agreement with the provinces. The agreement is proof that the provinces and Ottawa can work together to build a stronger Canada.

The social union will ensure that our crucial social safety net is preserved and enhanced for today's generation and for future generations.

The health accord is a perfect example of the social union at work. The accord has renewed the federal, provincial and territorial commitment to the five principles of the Canada Health Act, ensuring that Canadians everywhere will continue to have access to the highest quality of medicare. Together we are working in the best interests of all Canadians.

The fact that this agreement was reached just before Citizenship and Heritage Week serves as a reminder of all that we have and all that we should be thankful for. After all, Canada truly is the best country on earth.

Health CanadaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, Monday's National Post reported that Health Canada is dragging its heels on approving the drug TPA in the treatment of strokes and heart attacks.

This is appalling since it has been proven to save thousands of lives in America, yet it is a gamble for those living without the drug in Canada. If a person is one of the lucky few who are admitted to a teaching hospital in which the drug is used they are guaranteed a fighting chance.

I myself stand here in the House of Commons as proof that TPA saves lives. At midnight on October 6, 1990 I had a blood clot travel to the main artery of my heart. I was declared dead for six minutes until TPA was administered and it brought me back to life.

I give full credit to both my doctor and TPA. I would really encourage Health Canada to make the approval of TPA a priority.

The government should be in the business of saving lives. Here is an opportunity to erase its abysmal record of stripping our health care system dry by giving those Canadians suffering from strokes and heart attacks the gift of life.

Whitecap Dakota Sioux First NationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Reg Alcock Liberal Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, today I am pleased to tell the House about a model new partnership between a Saskatchewan first nations community, the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and the city of Saskatoon. This initiative has resulted in jobs, training and improved fire protection for the community.

This week the Whitecap Dakota Sioux First Nation opened a new fire hall and training centre and signed a fire protection service agreement with Saskatoon. This agreement is the first of its kind in Saskatchewan.

What this means is that Whitecap no longer has to rely on services from 30 kilometres away. Now, with its own fire hall, truck, equipment and trained volunteers, the community has the same basic level of fire protection service that other Canadians have. This is a good example of partnership as outlined in the federal government's aboriginal action plan “Gathering Strength”.

On behalf of the government I congratulate the chief of Whitecap and the mayor of Saskatoon for working together. With the help of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, this partnership is providing tangible improvements to the community.

2003 Canada Winter GamesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that the Chaleurs and Restigouche regions of New Brunswick have been selected to host the 2003 Canada Winter Games.

This announcement was made possible by the relentless work of the local 2003 Canada Winter Games bid committee. The efforts of the committee, chaired by Brian Theede, bore fruit last night with the confirmation of the 2003 Winter Games being awarded to our region.

The economic fallout from the Games, estimated at $30 million, will be most welcome in our area. The publicity generated by an activity of such scope will have major long-term economic impacts on the region.

I am sure the region will exhibit its usual hospitality, and that the experience will be an unforgettable one. We look forward to seeing everyone there in the year 2003.

ColombiaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Bloc Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, in less than a week, there have been reports from Colombia concerning a murderous attack by paramilitaries, the murder of two human rights activists, and the kidnapping of four social workers affiliated with the Canadian Catholic organization Development and Peace.

According to a spokesperson for that organization, the kidnap victims were monitoring the actions of paramilitaries in the regions where land is being confiscated. It appears that they were taken in order to sabotage the peace talks between the Colombian government and the guerrillas.

Twenty-five thousand Colombians have protested in the streets of Medellin against the misdeeds of the paramilitary forces. The Bloc Quebecois joins its voice to theirs in demanding that the four people being held hostage by the paramilitaries be freed and the peace process in Colombia resumed.

Bell CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ben Serré Liberal Timiskaming—Cochrane, ON

Mr. Speaker, last year BCE, the mother company of Bell Canada, realized net profits of $1.6 billion after a raise in basic rates was approved by the CRTC.

The increase was supposed to finance enhanced services in rural Canada. In the meantime, in my riding of Timiskaming—Cochrane, 5,000 customers served by Northern Telephone, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bell Canada, are still on party lines.

Five thousand customers are still living in the fifties with party lines and rotary phones, which means no fax machines, no Internet and consequently no jobs.

Bell Canada, should be ashamed of itself. It benefited from a monopoly but failed to fulfill its responsibilities. Shame on Bell Canada. It made $1.6 billion in profits and instead of increasing services it laid off people.

I say shame on Bell Canada. I will continue to repeat this statement as long as the problem is not solved.

HomelessnessStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Eric C. Lowther Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has created a class of working poor in Canada. Many angry Canadians rallied on the Hill today and their message was loud and clear.

Liberal economics are putting Canadian families and individuals out on the street. When will this government admit that it is wrong to tax a family making far less than $20,000 a year? When will this government stop draining our social system of its resources, preventing Canadians from helping those who need help the most?

The Liberal government does not hesitate to give out millions of dollars to Canada's largest corporations but laughs when it comes to relieving the pressure on those in real need.

The Prime Minister has talked to the imaginary homeless but some real homeless people are outside still waiting to talk to him. The Prime Minister's absence was noted and so is the government's inability to implement economic and social programs that will allow every Canadian to have a home.

For a country so rich in resources, only the regressive policies of this Liberal government prevent every Canadian from having their needs met.

Social Union AgreementStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Discepola Liberal Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to invite the Government of Quebec and the sovereignists to give careful thought to the advantages of the recent framework agreement on social union.

The sovereignists have decided to turn it into an issue, but they must not forget that the people did not give them a mandate to prepare Quebec's independence.

The people of Quebec want their government to look after their interests, without the usual excessive partisanship that is the annoying trademark of the sovereignists.

The social union is nothing less than a new approach to Canadian federalism reflecting change in our social policy and the needs of Canadians.

I invite the Government of Quebec to sign this agreement as soon as possible.

Social Union AgreementStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre De Savoye Bloc Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian social union agreement is entitled “A Framework to Improve the Social Union for Canadians”.

As Sainte-Beuve put it, “Happy lovers adapt willingly to any framework”. This is the way I would describe the unhealthy atmosphere that led nine provinces concerned about us to sign an unconditional surrender, after being starved by the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

The agreement dwelled as well on the obligation to eliminate barriers to Canadians' mobility. “To eliminate” means “to reject“, “to remove”. This is a word that unfortunately goes well with the regrettable attitude of the nine provinces concerned about us, which dropped Quebec without a moment's hesitation.

One word, however, is missing from this agreement, inspired by the minister. It is the word “to eat away” as in “to eat away the powers of the provinces”.

Electric Vehicle ProjectStatements By Members

February 10th, 1999 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, on January 25 was announced an innovative and ambitious project for the acquisition of electric vehicles in the Montreal area.

The purpose of this Montreal 2000 project is to form a network of between 15 and 20 organizations interested in buying 40 electric vehicles that will become part of their fleet and be used on a regular basis.

This two-year project, estimated at more than $3 million, was made possible through concerted efforts by industry and government partners. The $500,000 in federal assistance will come in part from the climate change action fund, which was established to assist Canada in meeting its Kyoto commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This is the kind of action the Canadian government encourages in the Montreal area.

Bell Island FerryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I wish to bring to the attention of this House, and to the attention of the Minister of Transport in particular, a very serious incident that occurred last week on the Bell Island ferry service in the riding of St. John's East.

The ferryboat Hamilton Sound , fully loaded with vehicles and 75 passengers, lost a ramp in heavy seas during what should have been a routine crossing. Luckily the ferry made port without any serious injury or loss of life.

The operation of the Bell Island ferry service is very much a local matter, but the safety of ships at sea is also a matter within the jurisdiction of the Minister of Transport. I call upon the minister to investigate and to act on the incident so the people of Bell Island can be assured they will have a ferry system that can operate safely under local traffic and weather conditions.

Stuart Energy SystemsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Liberal Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, on February 8 the Minister of Natural Resources addressed the ninth annual Canadian Hydrogen Conference in Vancouver. On behalf of the federal Ministers of Industry and the Environment the minister announced an investment by the federal government of $5.8 million in Stuart Energy Systems, a Canadian company developing a system for improving the refuelling of hydrogen fuel-cell powered buses. The total cost of this project is estimated at $17.7 million and will create 250 jobs.

This is a superb example of federal departments working together to support Canadian companies in developing more environmentally friendly forms of energy and technology. It also helps us to meet our Kyoto commitments. Congratulations to Stuart Energy Systems for helping us move in the right direction.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Cliff Breitkreuz Reform Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, let me tell a story from Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous . Picture this: A young woman jetting around the world, testing five star hotels to make sure they are ritzy enough for her uncle's first class vacations. This young woman travelled first class herself when she was lining up luxury suites for her uncle in Italy last year. She spent more than 10,000 loonies on first class airfare.

Who is this jet-setting young woman and who is her uncle with his champagne taste for the high life?

No, it is not the Sultan of Brunei. It is not Bill Gates. We are talking about young Caroline Chrétien jetting around the globe to check out fancy hotels for her uncle. He has come a long way from being the little guy from Shawinigan.

Maybe that is the real reason the Prime Minister did not go to King Hussein's funeral. Bill Clinton already booked the royal suite, so Caroline Chrétien radioed back “Don't bother coming, Uncle. Room service is better at the Chateau Whistler”.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, about one hour ago the chief of defence staff was forced to take the blame for the Prime Minister's poor judgment regarding King Hussein's funeral. What a humiliating day for our military.

Why was the chief of defence staff forced to take the fall for our Prime Minister's mistake?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we wanted to go there. It is very clear that the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of National Defence and my office worked together to try to organize it so that the Prime Minister of Canada could be there. There was an advance team.

Unfortunately I could not be there. I do not want to blame anybody. Everybody did their job. I wanted to go there. I am terribly sorry that I could not be there. If there is any blame to give, I am here to take the blame.

I wanted to go there and I did not make it. I am sorry but it is a fact of life.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, in fact the Prime Minister just said not once but twice I am sorry but and came up with an excuse. The Prime Minister is incapable of saying I am sorry, period.

On APEC, on hepatitis C and on some of these other things the Prime Minister just continues to blame anyone else but himself. Now he is blaming the Jordanians and our Canadian air forces.

I would like him to stand up in his place and simply say the words, I am sorry, period, and not I am sorry but, but, but.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the member had listened she would have learned that I said je suis désolé. I am sorry. I wanted to go there and I am sorry I could not go there.

I said to the ambassador I am sorry I was not there.

I am sorry, in both French and English.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, again there is proof in Hansard forevermore: “I am sorry but it was someone else's fault other than mine”—

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

That is definitely true. It is not good enough.