This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #238 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was preclearance.

Topics

Tiananmen SquareStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Liberal Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, 10 years ago television cameras revealed to the world horrific scenes of the brutal suppression of civil and political rights on Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

In the early hours of June 4, 1989 the tanks and soldiers were sent into the square by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping to end a pro-democracy student protest. The protest had lasted seven weeks. Martial law had been declared on May 19 by Chinese Premier Li Peng and the troops began to arrive in the centre of the city on June 3.

Reports indicate that the first soldiers arrived in the square at 12.50 a.m. on the morning of June 4. By 4.00 a.m. the troops had crushed the protest in a bloody massacre.

We will never know how many people died that night. Estimates, however, put the number into the thousands. Remarkably, unbelievably, the government of the People's Republic of China stated that the massacre never happened.

We must resist any attempt to rewrite the history of Tiananmen Square and we must never allow the memory of those who died in the quest for democracy to be forgotten.

Children Victims Of AggressionStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.

June 4 is the day designated by the United Nations to draw attention to the tragic lives of thousands of children around the world. We cannot think of the war in Kosovo without thinking of the Kosovar and Serb children, who are the helpless victims of adult evil, violence and perversion.

It is the duty of the elected representatives of Canada and Quebec to speak out on behalf of the most vulnerable and weakest members of society and to come to their defence.

The day we are able to eradicate atrocities involving children victims everywhere in the world will mark a giant step forward for humankind.

To be aware of this reality, to speak out against and to use every means possible to combat it on all fronts must be the daily responsibility of each and every one of us.

JusticeStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week a young man was convicted of raping a toddler and he got six months in jail. A 48 year old woman came forward and finally charged her brother with raping her from the time she was nine. He was convicted, sentenced to five years and served not one day. In the same two day period 11 other victims saw their rapists get virtually no jail time.

Do judges not realize the damage this kind of assault does? I implore the Minister of Justice to address this issue with her provincial counterparts. Otherwise victims will not come forward and we will simply sweep the problem under the rug forever.

Bloc QuebecoisStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, a few days ago we read that certain members of the Bloc Quebecois were sick of the concept of partnership. How terrible.

The truth is that separatists never wanted anything to do with this partnership. They simply do not believe in it.

What the Bloc Quebecois really wants is for Quebec to separate from the rest of Canada. We do not need referendums to understand this.

The exasperation of certain Bloc Quebecois members is therefore easily understood: a die-hard separatist wants nothing to do with any form of partnership or association between Quebec and the rest of Canada.

What separatists really want therefore is to leave Canada, period.

I firmly believe that Quebecers will remember this during the next referendum on the future of Quebec.

Ontario ElectionStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Reform

John Reynolds Reform West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, last night part two of the common sense revolution began. Congratulations to Mike Harris and the Conservative Party. The victory marked the first back-to-back majority government since 1971 and with 59 seats the common sense revolution was a victory for sound fiscal management and tax relief for Ontario.

Is there a message here for the federal Liberals? For those federal Liberals like the member for Burlington, who claimed some sort of moral victory in her comments last evening, may I remind her that the united alternative vote in her home riding of Burlington was double that of the Liberal candidate. For the federal Minister of Health, who said that the Harris health care plan would sink the Tories, maybe he should reflect on what the voters said about health care in their voting patterns.

Ontarians want less taxes, back to basics education, work for welfare and a get tough approach on crime, including a new young offenders act, a sex offenders registry, harsh penalties for drug pushers, drug testing for parolees and making parents more responsible for property damage caused by their children. Yes, there was a message for our Liberals last night from Ontario.

Tiananmen SquareStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, on the 10th anniversary of the massacre at Tiananmen Square the NDP pays tribute to the memory of those who were killed that day and to the courage of the students and others who stood up for democracy.

Since then progress on the all important political and human rights front has been tragically absent in China. The NDP calls on China to realize that while we understand the concern about stability in a country with a history of internal conflict, the reality of the world today is that countries which bottle up dissenting views and squash dissenters are courting disaster. We therefore call on the government of China to release those still in prison.

We also call on China to moderate its views on Tibet, and on the World Bank not to approve a project which would move Chinese farmers into an area used by Tibetan and Mongolian herders for centuries.

We have seen all too recently the ethnic conflict that eventually occurs when the historic population of an area is demographically attacked by an influx of a politically dominant group. The World Bank should not finance such a scheme.

René LévesqueStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Bloc Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in the presence of several dignitaries, including Premier Lucien Bouchard, Corinne Côté-Lévesque and former PQ ministers, a bronze life-size statue of René Lévesque, the politician who played a pivotal role in the history of Quebec, was unveiled.

Mr. Lévesque was one of the principal architects of the quiet revolution and, in 1968, he founded the sovereignty-association movement that would lead to the creation of the Parti Québécois. Elected premier of Quebec in 1976, and returned to office in 1981, he and his government were responsible for major reforms, including the farmland protection legislation, Bill 101 and the electoral reform legislation.

We join with all Quebecers in paying tribute to the force behind the greatest political movement in Quebec; the movement that will carry us to sovereignty.

Despite the referendum defeat of May 20, 1980, René Lévesque never lost faith in the people.

We heard Mr. Lévesque loud and clear and we too say “À la prochaine”.

National Transportation WeekStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Stan Dromisky Liberal Thunder Bay—Atikokan, ON

Mr. Speaker, the week of June 6 to 12 marks National Transportation Week. This annual celebration recognizes the important role played by Canada's transportation system in the social and economic life of our nation, providing hundreds of thousands of jobs and moving Canadians and their products throughout the country and to international destinations and markets.

The theme of National Transportation Week '99, “Transportation: Safe, Reliable, Efficient”, draws attention to the ongoing dedication to the safety and reliability demonstrated by Canada's transportation community and to the sector's continued efforts to maximize its use of the latest transportation technology.

The kick-off is in Moncton today, National Transportation Day. Celebrations include a day-long conference and the annual awards dinner. Other events are planned throughout the week and throughout the country.

It is my hope that Canadians will take time this week to reflect on the central role that transportation plays in maintaining our quality of life and to consider how Canadian innovation can help prepare transportation for the challenges of the upcoming millennium.

Ontario ElectionStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jim Jones Progressive Conservative Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada I congratulate Premier Mike Harris and the Ontario Conservatives for their convincing re-election to government.

Premier Harris and his team have shown that reducing taxes is one of the fundamental tools to create jobs and spur economic growth, economic growth which generates the revenues needed for quality health care and education. Ontario embraced progressive change to get the province back on track, reversing the status quo of failed Liberal and NDP policies.

Voters from my province are also hungry for a similar agenda for change at the federal level. Last week's Gallup poll shows that the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada is the clear choice of 31% of the Ontario electorate. Just as Ontario voters chose the provincial Conservatives yesterday, Ontario voters are starting to choose the federal Conservatives as the only true alternative to the federal Liberals.

Environment WeekStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is the last day of Environment Week, a week set aside each year for Canadians to recommit themselves to environmental action.

Canada's environment is important to all Canadians. The Government of Canada is committed to protect all species at risk, all plants and animals, wherever they are in Canada. We will do so with a holistic Canadian strategy that includes legislation, programs, partnerships and citizen engagement.

Let us be clear. Across Canada we have a long list of laws and regulations put in place to protect wildlife, such as the Canadian Wildlife Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act and the Fisheries Act, just to name a few.

Canadians are concerned about the state of wildlife and its habitat and that support continues to increase. This government and this minister are determined to make the right environmental decisions so we can pass on a proud natural legacy to future generations of Canadians.

Ontario ElectionStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Philip Mayfield Reform Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, common sense prevails. Last night Mike Harris and his team held their heads high and claimed the first back-to-back Conservative majority in Ontario in 30 years.

What makes this victory all the sweeter is knowing that the federal health minister declared all-out war against Mike Harris and proved to be as influential in provincial politics as he is at the cabinet table. Unfortunately for Dalton McGuinty, his greatest handicap was neither himself nor his platform, but the high tax, soft on crime, unethical spending and health care gutting policies of the federal Liberals.

Not only were the hapless Liberals soundly rejected, but more importantly from a B.C. perspective, the socialist, protectionist NDP was relegated to non-party status. History does repeat itself. Its meagre nine seats is a carbon copy of its 1993 federal failure.

The people of Ontario have spoken. They want lower taxes, safer streets and a sound commitment to education and health care spending. They want Mike Harris.

Chantale TremblayStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I am proud to pay tribute to the exceptional work done by Chantale Tremblay, a nurse in the riding of Jonquière and recipient of 3M's innovation clinique award.

Mrs. Tremblay was the leading force behind a program introduced in the fall of 1998 at the Résidence Georges-Hébert to ease the transition of new residents to the long term care facility. Activities were set up for the pre-admission period, the day of admission, and the post-admission period.

Mrs. Tremblay liked to say that she did not invent the wheel, but she played a key role in supervising, co-ordinating and assessing each stage of the program in co-operation with the 50 or so employees at the facility.

We wish Mrs. Tremblay, good luck as she joing the list of candidates for the Grand Prix Innovation clinique to be awarded next fall at the Congrès des infirmiers et infirmières du Québec.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canada claims to welcome new Canadians to our country. In fact we rely on immigration to grow our population. Yet the road to becoming a Canadian is fraught with barriers, roadblocks and pitfalls.

First, there is the landing fee head tax of $975, plus $500 of other fees and charges. This is a huge barrier to people from poor and developing nations.

The head tax is bad enough, but even more and more frequently landed immigrants wishing to reunite their families are being forced to produce DNA evidence to prove they are related. The cost of over $1,000 per person in advance is absolutely prohibitive and completely unfair.

On behalf of the Somalian community and other ethnic groups that are disproportionately inconvenienced by these harsh and punitive measures, I urge the government to change its policies regarding the DNA testing and stop deterring those who seek to make Canada their home.

Halifax RiflesStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, this summer is the 250th birthday of the city of Halifax and would be an apt time to reactivate the Halifax Rifles.

This regiment began in 1749 when the city of Halifax was founded. Historically, among the distinguished Nova Scotians who served with the Halifax Rifles were a father of Confederation, two prime ministers of Canada, five premiers of Nova Scotia and five lieutenant governors of Nova Scotia, along with numerous mayors of the city of Halifax.

The defence minister has consistently refused to reconsider reactivating the Halifax Rifles, using the excuse that he would have to deactivate another unit. This is simply not true.

It is time for the Minister of National Defence to recognize the importance of the Halifax Rifles to the city of Halifax and Canada by reactivating the Halifax Rifles. It would make a terrific 250th birthday gift to the city of Halifax.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

June 4th, 1999 / 11:15 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister defends his Shawinigan spending spree by saying that he was just doing good for Shawinigan. That sort of depends on whether one is a long suffering taxpayer or one of the lucky beneficiaries of a government grant.

The $6 million CIDA contract to a man who donated $10,000 to the Prime Minister's campaign, bought a half million dollars of land from the Prime Minister's company and then received an untendered contract to pave the driveway to the Prime Minister's cottage is just a bit coincidental.

Can the Prime Minister not see that doing good for his riding also means that he should have been a mile away from these obvious conflicts of interest?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister had no contact whatsoever with the process of deciding on the CIDA contract in question. The decision was made by an arm's length committee, with the majority of voting members being part of the Government of Mali.

Is the hon. member suggesting that these people are part of some Malian branch of the Liberal Party? No wonder the hon. member's party is losing all credibility. What he is saying is totally ridiculous.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, if the Liberals could make it an arm of the government they probably would.

It is kind of him to be the human shield for the Prime Minister, but the Prime Minister has allowed himself to get into an obvious conflict of interest and then justified it by saying he was just doing something good for his constituents.

The unemployment rate in that region remains at over 12%. It does not matter how many grants, loans, political contributions and election rhetoric come from the Prime Minister. That rate has remained chronically high for far too long.

Why did the Prime Minister allow himself to get into this obvious conflict of interest, a mess that has left his constituents with chronic high unemployment?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the hon. member's question is totally wrong and inaccurate. There is no conflict of interest. Yesterday the member for Calgary Southeast when referring to the Prime Minister said:

—he accuses opposition members of having benefited from HRD grants going into their ridings when no one has presented a shred of evidence of a personal financial benefit on the part of a member of the opposition from a grant made in their riding.

No one in that party or in the opposition has presented a shred of evidence against the Prime Minister of any wrongdoing. They should apply to the Prime Minister the same standards they want applied to themselves.

There is no conflict of interest. This is evident from anything that has been said. The Prime Minister has acted perfectly properly.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, if it was just a shred it would be one thing, but there are too many coincidences to be believed. The Prime Minister says, for instance, that he does not own his shares in the Grand-Mère golf course any more.

The dictionary defines sold or sale as “the exchange of a commodity for money”. The Prime Minister defines sold as “I still own them and I am trying to exchange them for money, but while I own them it is okay if the value of that property goes up because of some taxpayers funds”.

Which definition will the Deputy Prime Minister choose?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has said in the House that he sold the shares in the company in question in 1993 before he became Prime Minister. He does not own the shares.

I would like to ask the hon. member why he keeps raising this matter. Is it, as I said the other day, to hide the disintegration of the Reform Party, to hide the failure of the united alternative concept, and to hide the revolt of Reform members against their leader? Is that not what is going on?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, our questions are designed to uncover the truth. As the Deputy Prime Minister just stated, the Prime Minister told the House that he sold his shares in the Grand-Mère golf course in 1993.

However, in a public interview just this year the Prime Minister's lawyer, Debbie Weinstein, said she had been trying to sell these shares since 1996. How can the Prime Minister sell shares he does not even own?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as far as the Prime Minister is concerned the shares were sold in 1993. There may be a debt owing to the Prime Minister through his blind trust, but the Prime Minister does not own the shares.

If the hon. member is interested in uncovering the truth, the truth is there. All she and her party have to do is listen to the answers of the Prime Minister.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Reform

Diane Ablonczy Reform Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, is the Deputy Prime Minister trying to tell us that the Prime Minister's lawyer, his legal agent, is trying to sell on the Prime Minister's behalf shares that the Prime Minister does not even own?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would like to check the accuracy of the language that she attributes to the Prime Minister's trustee. That is the first step.

We often find out that what the Reform Party asserts in the premises of their questions do not turn out to be exactly connected with the facts. That is the first step I want to take before answering further because, as I said, the credibility of the Reform Party becomes less and less the more it goes into this matter.

KosovoOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning the French President clearly indicated that Serbia would not get aid to rebuild as long as Slobodan Milosevic remained in power.

Mr. Chirac said “It is perfectly legitimate for us to help a country on the condition that it makes the efforts necessary to establish institutions and a government that respects human rights requirements”.

Could the Deputy Prime Minister tell us whether his government shares this point of view?