House of Commons Hansard #242 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was culture.


Foreign Publishers Advertising Services ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Gurmant Grewal Reform Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, I heard the hon. member preaching about what Canadian culture is and how it should be dealt with. She mentioned imposing culture on all Canadians. She should commend the Reform Party which believes in the equality of all citizens. We believe that every community has the right to promote their culture, but it is not up to the government to promote Canadian culture.

I ask the hon. member if taking God out of the constitution is the culture she wants to promote, as an hon. member from her party is trying to do.

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1:50 p.m.


Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the member for Surrey Central said I was preaching. I certainly feel as if that is what I am doing today. I am preaching to people who have yet to be converted to just what it means to have an expression of who we are as a nation, to be able to share that with the world, to be able to pass it on to our children.

I do not understand the gist of the question as posed. To do anything but what we are proposing today would be to say let American culture rule the day; let us stamp out all of our unique expressions.

When it comes to the whole question of economics, we are not talking about wasting money and causing taxpayers extra burden. We are talking about the opposite. The member should know that the largest subsidy to the cultural life of Canada comes not from government, corporations or other patrons, but from the artists themselves through their unpaid or underpaid labour. When creative activity is diminished because many artists are unable to earn a decent living, something is lost to all of us and our entire culture fails to fulfil its promise.

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1:50 p.m.


Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to correct the record. We support museums and we support various groups around the country promoting their culture.

My question for the member is, are we not Canadian and do we not have a culture without government trying to get involved in shaping it?

Foreign Publishers Advertising Services ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.


Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier to the member for Surrey Central, I think the members of the Reform Party by their words are suggesting that we give it up and allow the American culture to dominate everything.

As I said earlier we are simply trying to create the climate with every tool possible provided by government to support the unique aspect of Canadian culture, to ensure that we can express what is unique about being Canadians to the rest of our society and to the world. I cannot think of a more noble objective if we are truly interested in preserving any sense of nationhood and allowing our children to understand exactly what it means to be Canadian and all of the history that has been before us.

Foreign Publishers Advertising Services ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

In the event the House does not sit beyond today, I wish to thank all members for the way in which they have co-operated with me in my role as Speaker of the House in recent months.

I know that all chair occupants appreciate the co-operation of hon. members and since I may not be sitting again this afternoon, I wanted to tell all members to have a very pleasant summer.

Member For Burnaby—DouglasStatements By Members

June 10th, 1999 / 1:55 p.m.


Paul Steckle Liberal Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the years I have been faced with numerous situations that have tested my personal convictions and beliefs. Despite this, nothing could have adequately prepared me for the most recent attack upon one of the key moral foundations of this nation. Sadly this unprecedented attack originated here.

Earlier this week the Ottawa Sun ran a disturbing headline. The said article quoted the member for Burnaby—Douglas as saying God “is offensive to millions of Canadians”. As if these ridiculous comments were not bad enough, this member continued throughout the week to advance these outrageous and inflammatory notions.

Few should argue that we are in this place to provide leadership and representation to the people of Canada. This country has existed and flourished for over a century in part as a result of our pluralistic society's moral and spiritual foundations under God.

Make no mistake: as a Christian member of this House I will defend the reference to God in the charter, in the constitution, in our national anthem and in all acts adopted by this House. I applaud the NDP leader for her party's strong public religious reaffirmation and in light of recent events I urge all hon. members to do the same.

Child HungerStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.


Deepak Obhrai Reform Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, “Feed the Children, a Report on Child Hunger in Calgary” identified there are at least 14,500 children who experience persistent or intermittent hunger in the city of Calgary.

The effects of child hunger are wide ranging and include psychological, economic and behavioural consequences. A number of community based programs designed to combat this problem are currently in place. However, despite their strengths and the dedicated work of many volunteers, gaps in the system continue to exist.

The federal government must take a proactive role in eliminating child hunger by providing tax cuts to low income and single parent families. The costs of leaving the issue of child hunger unaddressed are simply too high to be ignored.

55Th Anniversary Of D-DayStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.


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

Mr. Speaker, I was honoured on June 6 to take part in the rededication ceremony of the town of Wallaceburg's cenotaph to commemorate the 55th anniversary of D-Day. Royal Canadian Legion Branch 18 president Velda Green led the solemn proceedings.

The event was held to recognize those veterans who fought and died for our freedoms and in particular to honour those veterans whose names have been added to the cenotaph with the research done by local historian Al Mann. It was truly a community effort.

We commend Tymen Hopman and Councillor Chip Gordon for ensuring that the cenotaph was revitalized for all generations to appreciate. Reverend Hugh Appel, Chatham-Kent Mayor Bill Erickson and Walpole Island First Nation Chief Joe Gilbert also joined me at the cenotaph.

Congratulations to the legion's superb efforts in the community to memorialize our fallen veterans.

Sommet De La FrancophonieStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.


Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, next September, the Prime Minister of Canada will be hosting the 8th Sommet de la Francophonie.

The city of Moncton, New Brunswick, will be welcoming 52 heads of state and of government who have the French language in common. As a new millennium fast approaches, this summit represents a major event for all francophone communities throughout the world.

It is important to know that the francophone community in Canada ranks second in the world, after France. Our country has seven million citizens who speak, write, sing, work and live in French. Of that number, one million live outside Quebec.

This summit also constitutes an important event for our youth, who will be the focal point of the debates and actions of the summit. They are the future of the Francophonie. The summit will place them in the forefront and we will be attentive to what they have to say.

In September all eyes will be on Moncton. I invite all Canadians to celebrate our francophone community.

Livingston CentreStatements By Members

2 p.m.


John Finlay Liberal Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, Tillsonburg's Livingston Centre has received a certificate of excellence from the Public Sector Quality Council of Ontario and the National Quality Institute.

The Livingston Centre is a partnership of service and education providers serving the tri-county area of Oxford, Elgin and Norfolk. The centre houses the Tillsonburg and District Multi-Service Centre, the Tillsonburg and District Association for Community Living, the local office for HRDC, the Thames Valley District School Board and Fanshawe College.

In addition, the Livingston Centre has been asked to be one of only 30 exhibitors at the Public Sector Quality Fair '99 taking place in Toronto June 15 and 16. The quality fair will increase awareness of quality principles and practices in the public sector within Ontario and showcase achievements of public sector quality teams.

I am very proud to see the Livingston Centre's tremendous success is now being recognized across the province.

Firearms ActStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Garry Breitkreuz Reform Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, congratulations to Bernard Lord for bringing about the spectacular end to the Liberal's 12 year reign in New Brunswick.

Part of the Conservative Party's election platform included the promise to join the other provinces in the court challenge of the federal gun control law. This despite the fact that it could mean the end to 200 or 300 federal jobs in the Canadian Firearms Centre in Miramichi.

New Brunswick joins the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and the three territories in their opposition to the Liberal government's gun registration scheme because it intrudes on its exclusive jurisdiction over property and civil rights granted them in the constitution.

That is half the provinces and more than 57% of the population. When will this democratic reality finally hit home? What will it take for the government to realize that it made a grave mistake by ramming Bill C-68, the Firearms Act, through parliament in 1995 without proper consultation with the provinces?

Aging PopulationStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Yvon Charbonneau Liberal Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

Mr. Speaker, in October 1999, the world's population will pass the six billion mark. This is of major importance to our country, for the changing demographics will result in a greater number of seniors in the coming century.

The aging of the world's population will present us with a major challenge, to strengthen intergenerational ties and to provide health and social services to those of all ages.

We must start preparations right now for addressing that challenge. A strategy of adaptation to population changes requires collaborative efforts in all areas of human activity to make our society senior-friendly.

This strategy must include a public recognition of their contribution, the creation of a senior-friendly environment, and the promotion of the role older people play in the family and in society.

In this International Year of Older Persons, I encourage all my colleagues to support any initiatives to that end.

Therapeutic Use Of MarijuanaStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, as of yesterday, two individuals may now grow and smoke marijuana for therapeutic use without infringing the Canadian Criminal Code.

Two weeks ago, 87% of members voted in favour of motion M-381, which I introduced here in the House of Commons. This historic vote underlies the research project unveiled yesterday.

Public commitment by doctors such as Réjean Thomas and Don Kilby, the support of the Canadian Aids Society, the COCQ-sida, the Canadian Hemophilia Society in Quebec, the Compassion Club in Vancouver, Canadian and Quebec seniors' federations and the generous involvement of lawyer Allan Young have enabled Jim Wakeford and Jean-Charles Pariseau to win their fight for patients' right to dignity.

Their efforts have now paid off. Many patients will finally be entitled to a better quality of life through the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes.

YugoslaviaStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Ted McWhinney Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, we welcome the military ceasefire in Yugoslavia on the basis of the G-8 countries' recent peace proposals.

We welcome the UN security council's vote today by 14 to nil with one abstention, authorizing immediate peacekeeping and peacemaking activities under the aegis of the United Nations and in full compliance with the United Nations charter.

These are objectives which the Canadian government had actively pursued from the beginning of the conflict.

Our Canadian Armed Forces should become fully engaged in the specialist peacekeeping activities, including clearance of landmines, in which they have excelled in past UN missions.

Canadian involvement in the return of refugees, in rebuilding infrastructure destroyed or damaged in recent military operations and in restoration of economic and social stability on a larger regional basis should follow.

The Late Gordon TowersStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, this week Alberta lost one of its most prominent sons, Gordon Towers, who died at the age of 79.

Born in Red Deer, he devoted his life to the people of Red Deer and Alberta. We were neighbours south of Red Deer, and I have known him for a long time. We did not always agree, but I always respected his sense of community and his loyalty to the people of Alberta and Canada.

Towers, a strong supporter of the Progressive Conservative Party, was a five time member of parliament for the Red Deer riding. In the course of his career as a MP, he served as a parliamentary secretary to the solicitor general and later to the minister of science and technology. Towers ended his public career as the lieutenant-governor of Alberta, but at heart he was always a constituency man.

I am sure that the people of Red Deer will always remember him for the model that he set. Central Alberta has lost a favourite son and he will be deeply missed by his family, friends and former constituents.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Louise Hardy NDP Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development often mentions her “Gathering Strength” document and recently allocated $1.6 billion for employment training, with $100 million going to the three northern territories.

The Yukon has one of the largest aboriginal population bases and a 15% unemployment rate. Our population is equivalent to that of the other two territories. The department does not fund trades training at all, but the Yukon will receive only $3.9 million of the $100 million. This is blatantly unfair. It is an unjustifiable division of resources, less than 4%.

It appears the minister will allow only two territories to gather strength, while starving the Yukon of desperately needed training dollars.

Harbour DuesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Antoine Dubé Bloc Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, we learned this morning that the Minister of Transport will be announcing in July a significant increase in access fees for the ports he wants to transfer to local officials.

This is fairly incredible news, since today is probably the last day of the session, so that we will not be able to put any more questions to him. What fine transparency.

With the airports transferred, the railroads dismantled and bus transportation deregulated, this decision may well further empty the regions and have a major effect on shipping.

Let the Minister of Transport take it as read: despite the parliamentary recess, he will find members of the Bloc Quebecois in his path if he maintains this decision. He is not dealing with any ship of fools.

KosovoStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


John Maloney Liberal Erie—Lincoln, ON

Mr. Speaker, peace in the Balkans, here at last, thank God.

All members of the House and Canadians everywhere most enthusiastically welcome the signing of a peace accord in Kosovo and its approval by the United Nations security council. The pathway of peace will lead to the safe return to their homes of nearly one million Kosovar Albanians.

The international community now faces the formidable challenge of reconstruction of a war-scarred, devastated land; of ensuring a secure, democratic and self-governing Kosovo; and of stabilizing the entire situation in southeast Europe. It will be the most complex peace implementation operation in modern times.

We acknowledge, with pride, the contributions of our Canadian Armed Forces in this theatre of war and wish them well as they enter into a perilous peacekeeping deployment.

Peace in the Balkans is here at last, thank God.

Fundy—RoyalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Progressive Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, as summer nears, I would like to send out an invitation to all Canadians to visit my constituency of Fundy—Royal this summer.

Fundy—Royal straddles the beautiful and scenic Bay of Fundy which has the largest tides in the world. In fact, tourists from around the globe come to the region to witness these record tides and, of course, to enjoy down-home maritime hospitality.

Fundy—Royal has so much to offer: the beautiful Fundy Trail, the waterways, fishing, cycling, boating and camping. Fundy—Royal has it all. We have picturesque covered bridges and lighthouses adorning the shores of our communities.

Throughout the summer, Fundy—Royal communities host fairs and festivals, like the Sussex Balloon Fiesta and the Rothesay Craft Festival. For a special historical perspective on the region, one can visit the coal mining museum in Chipman.

No one leaves New Brunswick without enjoying some maritime cuisine like lobster, salmon and fiddle heads.

I invite one and all to visit Fundy—Royal this summer.

Government Of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has a presence in Laval. These days, two important events testify to this.

First, our government is contributing financially to the volleyball trials for the Paralympic games in Sydney, Australia, in the year 2000. These trials will be held in Montmorency cégep in Laval between June 16 and 18. Eight international teams are participating, and the finalists will represent their country in Sydney next year.

In addition, I would draw your attention to next Monday's inauguration of a pilot project funded by $527,000 from the health care services adjustment fund, with the aim of assessing the implementation of integrated geriatric, respiratory and oncology services at the Laval Centre hospitalier ambulatoire.

Laval thanks the federal government.

Parliamentary Internship ProgramStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today not only as a member of parliament but also as a former parliamentary intern.

Thirty years ago, inspired by Alf Hales and James Hurley, this House passed a motion creating the parliamentary internship program. The program is now run by the Canadian Political Science Association and gives young people an inside look at our parliament.

Today there are 300 alumni across the country and around the world. They are leaders in government, academia, business, law, advocacy and diplomacy.

A Parliamentary Internship Alumni Association was launched on May 13 to promote strong connections among current and ex-interns. The event took place in the house where Sir John A. Macdonald lived and was attended by 100 ex-interns. It was a great success thanks to help from the British High Commission and the Institute on Governance.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank you for agreeing to serve as the association's honorary patron.

CyprusStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 25th anniversary of the division of Cyprus.

Cyprus has been in a constant state of conflict for the past quarter of a century. Currently there is no political settlement in sight. A peaceful, just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem is necessary for the security, political, economic and social well-being of all Cypriots.

The United Nations has reaffirmed its position on the parameters for a diplomatic resolution and in December 1998 called for the reduction of tensions on the island, including the de-mining along the buffer zone as initially proposed by Canada.

The Cypriot community in my riding of Kitchener Centre has indicated its wish to see peace for Cyprus, and for Canada to play a leadership role. I am pleased this matter will be on the agenda of the G-8 meeting later this month.

As chair of the Canada-Cyprus Friendship Group, I believe it is important to recognize this anniversary and for all members of this House to be aware of the political problems that Cypriots face each and every day.

Juvenile DiabetesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Rahim Jaffer Reform Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in the House to pay tribute to Dr. Alex Rabinovitch and the University of Alberta.

As part of the partnership between the Medical Research Council of Canada and the Diabetes Research Foundation, Dr. Rabinovitch was chosen, along with Dr. Diane Finegood from Simon Fraser University, to lead a network of health research experts in the area of juvenile diabetes.

Dr. Rabinovitch has been the recipient of numerous honour awards for exceptional medical research, and because of the outstanding work of individuals like him, the University of Alberta will soon be indisputably recognized, both nationally and internationally, as one of Canada's finest universities in amongst a handful of the world's very best.

On behalf of the official opposition, I wish Dr. Rabinovitch and his team the best of luck in their efforts to tackle the crippling disease of juvenile diabetes.

Forest ResearchStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the exceptional work being done by the Consortium de la recherche sur la forêt boréale commerciale, of the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, which was selected by the Conseil de la recherche forestière du Québec for the Méritas 1999 award. This award highlights the role and work of the consortium, the activities of which are co-ordinated by researcher Réjean Gagnon.

The consortium, which is involved in very important work, such as research on the boreal forest and sustainable development, is seen in Quebec as a model of co-operation and rapprochement between the research community and users.

The new soil protection and recuperation method developed by the consortium will change reforestation practices and approach throughout Quebec. The presence of such organizations in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region can only further spur the growth of this already very dynamic region.

We wish you much success in this groundbreaking work—

Forest ResearchStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

We will now proceed to oral questions.