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House of Commons Hansard #240 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senate.

Topics

Operation Blue StarStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the month of June marks the 15th anniversary of Operation Blue Star, when the Indian army stormed the Golden Temple in Amritsar and 37 other Sikh religious shrines. The 1984 attack resulted in the deaths of many innocent men, women and children.

Religious freedom, which is protected here in Canada, was violated. Canada's attachment to basic religious freedoms is in many ways similar to that of the Sikh faith which upholds human dignity regardless of country of origin, sex, race, skin colour, creed or religion.

We must remember the victims of Operation Blue Star and ensure that such a tragedy and abuse of religious freedom never happens again.

Laval HospitalStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the ceremony for the various Persillier-Lachapelle awards for 1998, Laval hospital, which is located in my riding, was given the award of excellence in the category “Personalization of care and services”, for its respiratory rehabilitation program.

Laval hospital developed a respiratory rehabilitation program for people with chronic pulmonary disease, who cannot obtain any more relief from the standard medications.

A sizeable multidisciplinary team works with program participants, providing them with a variety of services: information for a better understanding of the disease, a medically supervised exercise program, respiratory therapy, and occupational therapy, to name but a few.

Laval hospital was chosen for the Persillier-Lachapelle award because of its strict global approach, its variety of actions, its impact on research, and its multidisciplinary rehabilitation program.

Sincere congratulations.

OceansStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know more about the surface of the moon than about the sea floor. This is curious considering oceans cover 75% of the earth and contain 97.5% of earth's water. With this in mind, the United Nations declared June 8 World Oceans Day. The purpose of this day is to create waves about the life sustaining role of oceans and inspire us to take better care of our salty seas.

About seven million Canadians live in coastal communities, but even people who have never seen the ocean are connected to it. Water is constantly making its way from us and our regions to the ocean through a network of waterways. All water flows to the sea which is why it is crucial to keep these water systems clean and healthy.

Global warming makes oceans even more important. They act as both heaters and air conditioners for our planet.

I encourage all Canadians to become familiar with the Oceans Act passed by the government, to learn more about oceans and to keep in mind that our health is directly related to the health of our oceans.

New Brunswick ElectionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, there is a new government in New Brunswick today. Thank the Lord.

The election really was a horse race and what a finish it was. The winner came in with a message which is that absolutely nothing can stand in the way of people who agree it is time for political change.

Hurray for New Brunswickers who demonstrated their political muscle yesterday. They considered carefully the policies, the parties, the leaders and the candidates. But most of all, they weighed the past against the future, and the future won.

That is what change is. It is a powerful statement of faith in new people and new ideas. It is about letting our children and our youth have their say in their future. It is about hope and energy going in new directions. Change is powerful. And it is on its way to Ottawa. It is going to thunder through those front benches and halls of power. It is coming around the bend now and nothing will be able to stand in the way when it is time to change the government. All I can say is, heads up, your time is coming too.

World Skills CompetitionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebecers have distinguished themselves in the latest Canadian selections for the 35th annual world skills competition to be held in the Olympic Stadium in Montreal from November 11 to 14 this year.

After a series of trade and technology skills tests conducted over four days in Kitchener, Ontario, 25 of the 40 Canadian representatives selected are from Quebec.

This is a continuation of the successful performances by Quebec young people in the Canadian Skills Competitions held in Montreal in 1996 and Vancouver in 1998.

I might point out that, in the last world event, only Quebecers won any medals.

This year in Montreal more than 600 young people from 34 countries are expected to compete. We wish all participants the best of luck, especially the Quebecers who will be representing us.

Family TrustsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is usually the rich and famous who get the Order of Canada but Winnipegger George Harris is a true Canadian hero who deserves it as much as anybody ever has.

In a classic David and Goliath story, Winnipegger George Harris is taking on two giants: the mighty Bronfman family empire and Revenue Canada. In 1991 the Bronfmans moved $2.2 billion in family trusts to the United States. They should have paid $700 million in capital gains tax on that money but incredibly the finance department and Revenue Canada did not go after it. Mr. Speaker, if you or I owed $100 to Revenue Canada, it would hound us into our graves.

George Harris has taken the matter to court. He wants to know why the government is slashing budgets for social programs and will not even try to collect $700 million from its corporate buddies. I think George Harris is a hero for defending our interests. I think George Harris should get the Order of Canada for exposing this obscene loophole and demanding that it—

Family TrustsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Drummond.

DrummondvilleStatements By Members

June 8th, 1999 / 2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, this summer, Drummondville will again be a dynamic and diverse place to be.

For the second year running, the Légendes fantastiques will take visitors on a fabulous imaginary voyage. Over 300 volunteers and actors will dazzle crowds with breathtaking special effects in a charming country setting.

Visit the model of a Quebec village from bygone days and travel back in time for a glimpse of the life and history of our forebears.

From July 8 to 19, the atmosphere will be one of friendly fun and festivity. The dancing and musical performances of the Mondial des cultures are not to be missed.

Drummondville's very fortunate media representatives are here today in the gallery and join with me in inviting members and the public to pay us a visit this summer.

Quebec PremierStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, cracks are already beginning to appear in Lucien Bouchard's government. Mr. Bouchard is beginning not to like what he sees in Quebec.

He is not at all happy that associations and unions are making demands he can no longer meet. He is not at all pleased with criticism of his decisions. And he does not appreciate having entire sections of his administration questioned.

In fact, the Quebec model and identity are not threatened: Quebecers are seeing to that. What in fact seems to be threatened is the PQ model. There is a difference.

New Brunswick ElectionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Progressive Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, what a great day it is for New Brunswick.

Today Bernard Lord and the New Brunswick Progressive Conservative Party form the newly elected majority government. Lord's campaign platform, a new vision for New Brunswick, sent the right signals to voters, and he is ready for the job.

This election gave democracy back to the people. A Bernard Lord government will listen and consult, and change the complacent attitude of the last 12 years of government knows best.

Lord's New Brunswick Tories campaigned on a platform of lower taxes. This victory proves taxpayers liked what they heard. The federal Liberals can learn a good lesson from the New Brunswick and Ontario campaigns. Tax relief is important to Canadians.

On behalf of New Brunswickers, the federal Tory caucus, and particularly Bernard Lord's and my aunt Renie Lord-Herron, I wish to congratulate Mr. Lord and the New Brunswick PCs on their tremendous success.

Today, New Brunswickers embark on the first day of 200 days of change, and it promises to be a great ride.

Parkdale Community Cleanup DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I recently had the honour of attending Parkdale's fifth annual community cleanup day.

The event was organized by Parkdale Collegiate students in partnership with local residents, community groups and elementary school students. On a cool and rainy Saturday morning, over 100 volunteers cleaned up parks, school grounds, back alleys and offered assistance to seniors and the disabled in our community.

This year's event was co-ordinated by Kane Kakar, a young student at Parkdale Collegiate under the leadership and guidance of principal Ken Hanson.

Volunteers and projects such as this give Parkdale its heart and soul. Their efforts to improve our community spirit and our local environment serve as a role model to all constituents.

As the member of parliament for Parkdale—High Park, I am delighted to offer my thanks and congratulations to all those who contributed to the cleanup of our community on the fifth annual Parkdale community cleanup day.

Government ExpendituresStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

John Williams Reform St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, what does Maude Barlow have in common with beds and rats? All are the central characters in movies sponsored by the National Film Board of Canada. The total cost to Canadians for just these three movies is over $670,000. These gems and many more can be found in the latest edition of the waste report released earlier today.

Taxpayers did not only fund absurd movies. We have also spent over $3 million to bail out banks for bad loans to a hot dog franchisee in Quebec. We will continue to spend thousands of dollars on millennium projects such as the grant for $130,000 to 21,000 musicians to try to break the world record for the largest marching band.

I am surprised that the National Film Board did not make a movie called “The Toilet”, a delightful look at how the Liberals can flush taxpayers' money down the sewer.

Sexual Exploitation Of ChildrenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, every year thousands of children, who have been sold by their parents or kidnapped, become victims of sexual tourists cum child abuser.

Although two years ago, Canada passed legislation to prevent the sexual exploitation of children abroad, a human rights defence organization known as Human Rights Internet has criticized its ineffectiveness.

When I tabled my bill, I criticized the limited scope and difficulty of implementing the government's bill. Time has, unfortunately, proven me right. The federal legislation never had the teeth necessary to lay a single charge, and those who tried to do so ran into a veritable wall.

If the government is using the same process to make known and implement its legislation on excision, we have to ask ourselves whether it really wants to comply with its own legislation and its international commitments on human rights.

KosovoOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the House welcomes the news that the G-8 countries agreed today to a draft UN security council resolution which promises to bring us one step closer to peace in Kosovo.

The fact that Russia is now a signatory to the deal clearly adds credibility to the resolution with the Serbs, but to proceed this resolution must also carry the judgment of the Chinese government.

Is the prime minister confident that this UN resolution will in fact proceed and that China will not use its security council veto to block it?

KosovoOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition asks a very good question. If all the steps are followed carefully and if this agreement is implemented in the way that has been agreed, I am pretty sure the Chinese will go along.

As the House knows, there is a series of steps that has to be met before the resolution will be presented at the security council. If those steps are respected by all the parties, I am pretty sure the Chinese will not use their veto on that issue.

KosovoOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, obviously a number of issues need to be ironed out with respect to implementation of the G-8 peace plan, but one of the central problems is the question of how to implement a ceasefire, particularly with the Kosovo Liberation Army remaining something of a wild card.

Will the Prime Minister tell us whether any progress has been made in agreeing to the terms of the ceasefire and whether or not the KLA is being brought into these discussions?

KosovoOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in the resolution that will eventually be adopted by the United Nations security council there is provision for the disarmament of the KLA.

As to the terms of the negotiations, I am not in a position to say with whom people are talking at this time. All the G-8 has agreed that to have peace in Kosovo we have to proceed with the disarmament of the KLA, just as we want the Serb army to withdraw and go back to Belgrade.

KosovoOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, 800 Canadian forces personnel are on their way to the former Yugoslavia. The Minister of National Defence is musing about sending more, even though his chief of defence staff has advised that may be beyond our capability.

It is not unreasonable for Canadians to want to know what our troops will be doing, what role they are assigned to, and whether or not it is within our capability. Canadians want specific answers to these concerns and questions, and not just vague assurances.

Will the Prime Minister tell the House what specific role Canadian forces will play in the implementation of the G-8 peace plan and what resources will be made available to them in order to do the job?

KosovoOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we can tell the Canadian people, as we agreed some weeks ago. Briefings were given to members of the House and to the media about the role of these 800 people.

As to the next group to possibly go, it is being discussed at this time with the NATO commanders. The Canadian government is not in a position at this moment to agree because we do not know exactly to our satisfaction all the details that are needed to make a final decision.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has avoided answering more than 50 questions in the last three weeks about Shawinigate. He and his human shield have done everything possible to hide their shame for the Shawinigan shame, hoping it will just go away. I have news. It will not go away.

The Prime Minister insists that he does not own the shares he is trying to sell. He cannot explain why he is selling something that he does not really own but, gee whiz, it is like we are all just supposed to accept it and go on, right?

We do not and we would like an answer to the question once and for all. Where is the receipt?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not believe I can add to what the Deputy Prime Minister and I have said in the House.

Before I became Prime Minister I sold those shares and I gave the problem or the receivable to my trustee as with my other assets. She is in charge of managing it. Mr. Wilson on May 6 explained the situation in front of a committee of the House of Commons.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is just great that he gave the problem to somebody else. In fact he says that he sold something that he did not really sell, that somebody bought something but he did not really buy it. It is as clear as mud.

This Liberal arrogance, this going to see me through attitude, is just not working. Just ask Camille Thériault and Dalton McGuinty how well that works.

We have asked the Prime Minister to produce the proof that he is not in a conflict of interest and he just tells us that he is being a good little MP. We asked him to show us proof that the shares were actually sold to somebody and up comes the human shield. The question remains. Where is the proof?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am told that the ethics counsellor looked into that, discussed it with my trustees and reported it to the committee on May 6, last month.

I said, and I repeat, I sold those shares. For the rest, I have done my job as a member of parliament helping to create jobs in an area where they have 12% unemployment, as it is my duty. I have been doing what the members of the Reform Party by the big numbers have done for their constituents, making sure that federal programs apply to their constituents as I do for mine.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the apparent conflict of interest involving the Prime Minister and business people in his riding, the Prime Minister could easily remove all suspicion.

The Prime Minister, who says he sold his shares before being sworn in, claims that the sale was final.

I ask him quite simply why he does not table the bill of sale. It seems to me that would resolve the whole mess we are in at the moment.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will repeat the same thing over again. I signed the sale of my shares before becoming Prime Minister, and gave that to the person looking after my trust, as we are required to do.

The person in question is responsible and spoke with Mr. Wilson, who explained what he learned from this person. She is the one who has been handling these matters since November 1993, when I became Prime Minister.