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House of Commons Hansard #233 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendments.

Topics

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

The deputy whip has asked for the unanimous consent of the House to proceed to third reading. Is there unanimous consent?

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

We will return to the debate after Oral Question Period.

Jack WellsStatements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Liberal Charleswood—Assiniboine, MB

Mr. Speaker, an institution was buried in Winnipeg yesterday. Cactus Jack Wells, a voice in Winnipeg sportscasting for 58 years, died Monday at the age of 88. His death ended a remarkable relationship between the famed sportscaster and his audience.

He called himself a true and unbiased reporter but he was the first to admit he often did not get his facts straight. And oh how he could flub names that were difficult to pronounce. But that did not matter to his legion of fans. They loved him for what he was, a larger than life personality who brought fun and joy and a whole lot of colour to his work.

One of his buddies, John Robertson, said, “I defy anyone not to smile when he came on the air or when they met him”.

Jack Wells was truly one of a kind and a Winnipeg treasure. He will be long remembered and greatly missed. He leaves his wife, Flicka and three children. To them I extend sincere condolences.

Nanoose BayStatements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Reform

Val Meredith Reform South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, for years the government has bragged about its improved relations with the provinces, but actions speak much louder than words. Let us examine the recent actions in British Columbia.

Two years ago when the B.C. government announced that it would not be renewing the lease for Nanoose Bay, the federal government immediately launched a lawsuit against the province. However, when the federal government found it did not have a legal leg to stand on, it quietly dropped the lawsuit and finally started negotiations two months ago.

After three weeks of negotiations both parties signed an understanding on May 5, but less than 10 days later the federal government proceeded with expropriation.

The B.C. government may have made a dumb decision on this issue, but if dumb decisions lead to expropriation, then this Liberal government would have been expropriated years ago.

Lord Strathcona HorseStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Liberal Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Monday one of Canada's proudest regiments celebrated its rich history. The Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) marked Strathcona Day, the anniversary of its crossing of the Melfa River during the Italian campaign of 1944.

The western based regiment's illustrious history began during the Boer War under the command of Sam Steele, the famous policeman of the Klondike Gold Rush. In fact, Canada's first Victoria Cross of the Boer War was awarded to Strathcona Sergeant Arthur Richardson.

The regiment served with distinction in the Great War before trading its horses for tanks in the second world war. Their successful crossing of the Melfa River was an important contribution to allied success in Italy.

Now based in Edmonton, the Strathconas have also served in Holland, Korea, the Sinai, Cyprus and Bosnia. The regiment is now deploying to Kosovo where they will once again serve Canada in the international community.

I am sure all members of the House join me in wishing them God speed as they head once again to the Balkans.

Medical Research CouncilStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, in a partnership with Wyeth-Ayerst and universities, the Medical Research Council announced recently the funding of four professional clinical research chairs in women's health.

They are some of the largest endowed clinical research chairs in Canada. I congratulate the Medical Research Council and its partners for the groundbreaking research they are setting in motion.

These chairs will facilitate or lead multidisciplinary approaches to study the critical issues in women's health, stimulate research and develop standards for clinical excellence in the study of women's health issues and champion women's health as a field of medical research.

One of those chairs will go to Dr. Harriet MacMillan. She is an associate professor in psychiatry and pediatrics at McMaster University in Hamilton.

Dr. MacMillan is a fine example of the excellence and innovation that exists in the scientific community in Hamilton and indeed right across the Canada.

The FamilyStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Reform

Ken Epp Reform Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, the supreme court M. v H. decision this week is another example of an unelected, unaccountable body redefining the family, the cornerstone of Canadian society.

The Liberals are totally abdicating their responsibility. Why do they not engage in a debate in the House and with the Canadian people on this important issue?

The Reform Party stands alone in this place to defend the family. We stand alone in defending the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a women.

I long for the day when only elected, accountable representatives of the people can change the definition of the family. I long for the day when this totally unprincipled Liberal government is replaced by a governing party which will make these decisions by a free vote, reflecting the will of the people.

Canadians are sick and tired of judge-made law. They are sick and tired of this vapid, cowardly Liberal government.

School Bus SafetyStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Ian Murray Liberal Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday morning this week my younger daughter was waiting for her school bus to take her to Huntley Centennial School in Carp. The bus never arrived.

We learned later that a truck had crashed into the school bus, the driver of the truck had died and several students had been airlifted to hospital.

Among those students was 11 year old Sandrine Craig. On Wednesday we heard the painful news that Sandrine had died as a result of her injuries. Her fellow students and the teachers at Huntley Centennial are grief stricken and our whole community is mourning the loss of this high-spirited young girl.

The tragedy was compounded by the death of the driver of the truck, Mr. Walter Kavanagh of Stittsville. Mr. Kavanagh was well known and highly regarded throughout the Ottawa valley as an honest businessman and tireless volunteer.

I want the families of Sandrine Craig and Walter Kavanagh to know that many, many people share their grief. These were two people who, in the time they had with us, brought joy to those fortunate enough to have known them.

One student, Katie Milliken, remains in hospital with serious injuries. Our thoughts and prayers are also with her and her family as we hope for a full recovery.

Our sympathy goes out to all who have been touched by this tragedy.

Astronaut Julie PayetteStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Bloc Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, like many Quebecers, it was with much pride and emotion that I watched the space shuttle Discovery head skyward yesterday with Quebec's first female astronaut, Julie Payette, on board.

Space has fed the imaginations of many adolescents. Like many others, I dreamed of seeing a launch.

By taking her place on board Discovery , the astronaut from Quebec is not just realizing her dream, but is ensuring that her name will go down in history.

Over the next ten days Julie will help to assemble the international space station.

Yesterday morning, I relived the strong emotions I felt 17 years ago, on June 27, 1982, when I had the opportunity of being at the Kennedy Space Centre for the launch of the fourth Columbia mission.

Bravo Julie. All of Quebec is behind her and our thoughts are with her in this adventure which transforms imagination into reality.

Windsor And Essex CountyStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Rick Limoges Liberal Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to tell everyone a little about Windsor and Essex county. We are the automotive capital of Canada and the birthplace of Hiram Walker's and Canadian Club whiskey that has made Canadian distillers respected the world over.

We boast the busiest border crossing in North America and enjoy a larger GNP than seven of Canada's provinces.

Casino Windsor has not only turned into one of the area's largest employers, it is also Canada's biggest tourist attraction.

Visitors can enjoy a “Two Nation Vacation”, by taking the 10 minute drive across our friendly border. Visitors can experience major league sports or world class arts and entertainment and easily return to Canada for an evening stroll in our lovely riverfront parks or a meal in one of our numerous and delightful restaurants and bistros.

I could go on and on. Suffice it to say that we welcome visitors from all over to join us in Windsor and Essex County for a vacation they will not forget even if they do not win big at the casino.

Port Authority BoardsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Reform Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, patronage appointments to the new port authorities are getting completely out of hand. We are not naive on this side of the House. We do expect a little bit of this stuff. However, there must surely be somebody out there, who is not a Liberal, who could chair one of the new port authorities. He does not have to be a well known Liberal operator like Mel Woodward or Merv Russell for example.

I have a news flash. Patrick Wong, former member of the Fraser River Harbour Commission and an executive of the B.C. Liberal Party, has been appointed to the Fraser River Port Authority Board and is now the chairman. In 1996 and 1997 he and his accounting firm donated $5,380 to the Liberal Party.

The creation of new port authorities was supposed to take politics out of the ports, but the slimy dance continues.

Riding Of Brome—MissisquoiStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, big things are happening in Brome—Missisquoi.

In the last election campaign, I made a commitment to promote cross-border shopping in our area by our American neighbours. A new magazine, The Shopper , will be distributed in Vermont twice a month to encourage shoppers to come to Brome—Missisquoi.

Vermont, which is located right next to my riding, offers a highly attractive market for our businesses. I thank Economic Development Canada for its contribution to this extraordinary project.

Congratulations to all the people in Magog, Bromont, Farnham, Bedford and Knowlton who have made this shopping guide possible. It will be launched officially at the end of this month.

Welcome to all the U.S. shoppers who will be coming into our area. Welcome to Brome-Missisquoi, fellow Americans.

The BalkansStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the humanitarian crisis in the Balkans has escalated to the breaking point. In recent days the Yugoslav army has stepped up its cleansing activities and ethnic Albanians are again flocking to seek refuge in neighbouring countries.

I have just returned from Macedonia where as many as 10,000 people a day, 500 people per hour, are flooding across the border and into refugee camps that are already bursting at the seams. Imagine a fenced gravel compound no bigger than the parking lot of a shopping centre housing 30,000 people or more with no cooking facilities, the barest of sanitation and as many as 20 people to a tent.

The very old and the very young are already at risk from the extreme heat of the summers in that region and relief workers are even more concerned at the prospects this winter.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees is calling for donor countries to host many more of these refugees in a humanitarian evacuation program. Canada is hosting 5,000 currently. There is an urgent need in the Balkans to do much more. I believe we could double or triple our commitment.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, we now have the first portrait of the agro-environmental situation on Quebec farms.

The participation rate of 88%, representing 20,360 operations, makes it an extensive and valuable survey. This project, an initiative of the Union des producteurs agricoles made possible through the co-operation of many partners, is a first in Quebec and in North America.

The high rate of participation by farmers is an indication of their wish to help protect the environment and to make changes in their daily practices.

The next step will be to analyse the data collected and produce regional and sectoral portraits, which will give us a baseline and help identify future priorities.

I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the agricultural sector and all stakeholders in Quebec's agri-food sector on this initiative aimed at building a healthy environment for sustainable growth.

Premier Of OntarioStatements By Members

May 28th, 1999 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Eugène Bellemare Liberal Carleton—Gloucester, ON

Mr. Speaker, with an election campaign in full swing, Ontario's premier, Mike Harris, says that Franco-Ontarians in the Ottawa region are living in the past in their efforts to keep the Montfort hospital open.

This is the same Mr. Harris I ran across in Montreal during Quebec's last referendum. He was there to show that he cared about Quebec's francophones. Today he is bent on destroying the only French language teaching hospital in his province.

This is a strange way of promoting the future of Franco-Ontarians and Canadian unity.

Industry CanadaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, HRDC is not the only department running afoul of the information commissioner. For over three years Industry Canada has refused to explain why it ignored its own published rules in the awarding of digital PCS licences.

One of the unsuccessful bidders, TeleZone Inc. of Toronto, tried to find answers through the Access to Information Act. Industry Canada's stonewalling led the information commissioner to conclude that the department had wrongfully denied TeleZone's request for information.

Consequently, the Federal Court of Canada is now reviewing the industry minister's refusal to act upon the recommendations of the information commissioner.

Meanwhile TeleZone has launched a $250 million civil lawsuit against the Government of Canada which will no doubt result in lengthy litigation.

If PCS licensing decisions in 1995 can bear public scrutiny, why is the Minister of Industry refusing to listen to the information commissioner? Is there a political angle? Will taxpayers be left holding the bag for Liberal incompetence again and again?

Gasoline PricingStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, constituents of mine are contacting me to complain about gasoline prices and their wild fluctuations in our region.

Earlier this month, the people of Ottawa went to bed with gasoline retailing at 46.9 cents a litre. The next morning when they woke up pretty well every station was retailing gasoline at 57.9 cents a litre, an increase of 11 cents overnight.

Good morning, Ottawa, compliments of your favourite retail or wholesale gas company.

What on earth could possibly happen during the night to cause all gasoline retailers in this region to increase overnight their prices in the same amounts? With examples such as this one, how can one not think that they are on the losing end of unsavoury practices?

My constituents and I would be curious to hear the explanations of the gasoline retailers or the large gasoline companies. How do they explain these overnight massive increases?

Public Works CanadaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca Public Works Canada, through this Liberal government, is ripping off the taxpayers of Esquimalt.

Public Works has deliberately changed the values of government lands causing them to be undervalued deliberately. This is causing a great deal of problems in my riding. They are saying that CFB Esquimalt is going to be closing in three years. That is news to everyone but the people in my riding.

This has resulted in an increase in municipal taxes of 8% within one year by virtue of the government yanking away grants in lieu of taxes, which it did within a couple of months. This is grossly unfair. It has resulted in an 8% increase in municipal taxes. The municipality cannot balance its budget in that period of time.

The feds need to give the municipalities at least a one year notice. It needs to value the land fairly on the basis of what the B.C. assessment has done and stop trying to rip off the taxpayer in another way.

Centre De Recherche En InfectiologieStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw attention to the excellent work done by the Quebec research team under Dr. Michel Bergeron, the director of the microbiology division, and the Centre de recherche en infectiologie at Laval University.

Through recent discoveries, such as DNA based tests permitting the identification of bacteria in under an hour instead of 48 hours, we have entered a new age in medicine.

We are therefore now able to process in record time and very precisely a vast number of analyses and create new, very specific tests.

By way of example, in veterinary medicine they are now able to identify very quickly the bacteria causing mastitis in cows, do transgenic tests and xenogeneic grafts. In the near future, a standard kit that will quickly indicate whether an infection is of a bacterial origin will be one of the instruments developed by this team.

Congratulations to all the researchers and to the directors of the Centre de recherche en infectiologie at Laval University, a real jewel in international medicine.

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, evidence continues to pour in that Canadians are getting to keep less and less of their hard earned income. Today Statistics Canada says once again this year that their take home pay has been reduced because the finance minister continues to gouge more and more tax dollars out of their pockets.

It is even worse when we compare it to an American family. The average Canadian family takes home $28,000 less than its American counterpart. Why does the finance minister think that he has the right to demand more from Canadian families than ever before?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again one might ask the Reform Party member to quote from the entire study.

It also showed that average hourly earnings for employees is up 1.4% from last March. It showed that employment increased this March as employers added 38,000 additional workers to their payrolls. I would suggest that the whole study be examined.

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I wish we could get some good news from that, but regardless of those facts average families get to take home less money than they did a year ago. Their savings accounts are cleaned out. They are cashing in their RRSPs. They do not get to take home as much money as they used to.

The president of the chamber of commerce says that politicians have a keen interest in muddying the debate on tax relief just to justify their increased spending. That is what the finance minister is doing.

Why do the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance think the money of Canadian families is better off in the government coffers than in their own pockets to look after their own families?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in his preamble the hon. member said that Canadians want some good news. Well, let us give them good news.

Retail sales in the month of March were up 1.1%. Nominal merchandise exports are up. The fact is our trade surplus is up. The OECD expects Canada to have the second highest growth in 1999 and the highest growth of all G-7 countries in the year 2000.

I will go on, but I know you may cut me off, Mr. Speaker. Manufacturing shipments were up 2% in March. There is a whole list of good news and that is a—