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House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was benefits.

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 Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore.

The Late Right Hon. Pierre Elliott TrudeauStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Kilger Liberal Stormont—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the past five days Canadians were united in their grief over the passing of former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

Canadians felt great sadness and tremendous loss when they heard that the northern magus had left this world. Canadians of all political stripes agreed that in one way or another Pierre Trudeau influenced our lives, so much so that Canadians felt compelled to pay their respects one last time to the philosopher king.

Thanks to the availability of all the men and women working on the Hill, Canadians were able to pay their respects to a great Canadian.

Thousands upon thousands of them came to Ottawa to pay tribute to Mr. Trudeau, and they kept coming until the early hours of the morning.

On behalf of all the members of my party, I wish to thank the constables, the pages and all the House of Commons employees who made our parliament accessible to us during those sorrowful days.

TaxationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Reed Elley Reform Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak on behalf of my constituents of Nanaimo—Cowichan.

While grants and contracts have been awarded to questionable applicants and thriving businesses in the Prime Minister's riding, unemployment rates in my riding are at an unacceptably high level. Under the Liberal government taxes have moved steadily upwards. Liberal mathematicians would have us believe otherwise but nothing could be further from the truth.

My constituents have seen money taken from their pockets and paycheques. There is very little support and respect for small business development. Individual and corporate taxes alike are forcing small businesses to move, downsize or close altogether. The odious softwood lumber agreement and a declining west coast fishery are only two examples of Liberal mismanagement.

The Liberals' kissing cousin, the provincial NDP government, mirrors these same negative traits with high corporate and personal taxes. It has created a climate of economic mistrust that has driven investment out of my province.

The people of my riding can hardly wait for a Canadian Alliance government which will offer real tax relief and create a climate for investment. They want to get back to work and they want to become prosperous again.

Canada Olympic TeamStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to warmly welcome our Canada Olympic team. In all, 311 athletes from nine provinces participated in 24 events; 51% of the athletes were women and 49% were men.

As well, I want to especially congratulate our medal winners. Canada won a total of 14 medals; three gold, three silver and eight bronze. We are proud of our athletes.

Economic DevelopmentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Claude Drouin Liberal Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take advantage of the few minutes available to me to draw attention to the exceptional measures our government plans to put in place to contribute to reviving the Gaspé economy.

The Minister of National Revenue and Secretary of State responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada has this very day announced a special budget of $35 million aimed at revitalizing and diversifying economic activity in the Gaspé and Îles-de-la-Madeleine in the medium and long term. This envelope is in addition to the funding already allocated to the Gaspé by various federal departments with a view to jump-starting regional development projects.

In addition to this special budgetary envelope of $35 million, the minister and secretary of state announced the opening of a new Economic Development Canada office to be located in the Gaspé itself. This is a clear commitment by our government to the future of the Gaspé and Îles-de-la-Madeleine region and to the people of that riding.

Biennale De Montréal 2000Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, September 28 to October 29 are the dates for the Biennale de Montréal 2000, the second Biennale, which is being held to mark the new millennium, with time as the theme.

Visual arts, architecture, performance arts and multimedia will all be represented during this event, which is a tribute to our artists' creativity and talent.

We support this event, which covers the full cultural spectrum, and wish the Biennale de Montréal 2000 great success.

Let us also hope that this type of event will awaken the curiosity of young people and encourage them to explore their culture.

Good luck to all the organizers. We hope that Quebecers turn out in large numbers.

Prostate CancerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Ted White Reform North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, just a few weeks ago prostate cancer took the life of Mel Smith, Q.C. Mel was a talented and well known expert on the Canadian constitution, particularly with respect to section 35 and its impact on rulings by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Mel will be greatly missed, but just like breast cancer, prostate cancer cares nothing about the value of its victim to his family or to society as a whole. Members of this place are not immune from prostate cancer, as witnessed by the death of Pierre Trudeau from the disease last week.

The sad fact is, prostate cancer kills roughly the same number of men each year as breast cancer kills women, yet receives proportionately very little in terms of research funding from the government. All Canadians, regardless of gender, should be lobbying the government to provide more funding for prostate cancer research.

Every man over 50 should be having an annual digital rectal exam and PSA blood test for the detection of prostate cancer. With greater awareness and more funding we can beat this terrible disease.

World March Of WomenStatements By Members

October 4th, 2000 / 2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, from October 9 to 13, along with hundreds of women from 120 cities and towns in Quebec, members of the Bloc Quebecois will be taking part in the World March of Women to call for an end to the poverty of and violence against women.

As we embark on a new millennium, all governments should be making it a priority to get involved in this worldwide movement for the equality of women, which includes 5,000 women's groups from 157 countries.

We invite Quebecers to sign the online card supporting the World March of Women, which can be found on the website of the Fédération des femmes du Québec.

“Our struggle is without borders, so take your sister by the hand; transform life; build equality”, so goes the March of Women theme song.

May this message of hope be heard around the world, so that our daughters and their daughters can look to the future with confidence and serenity.

Ralph ShonkStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the tremendous volunteer efforts of Ralph Shonk of Burlington.

Mr. Shonk was awarded the Order of the Red Cross, Member Level, for his outstanding and exceptional service, the first time in the 61 year history of the Burlington branch that a local member has received such an honour.

Among other contributions during his 41 years of service, Ralph Shonk worked hard to acquire a wheelchair accessible van for the agency, delivered for the meals on wheels program and was involved in international Red Cross efforts.

He represented the Red Cross at award presentations in Burlington schools, is a former member of Canada's air force and a father of four. Ralph Shonk embodies the values of Canadians from coast to coast to coast, a dedicated volunteer and a proud Canadian.

Today I join his wife, Margaret Shonk, and his many friends and family members in congratulating him on his dedication and volunteerism. I am sure all colleagues join me in wishing him many more happy healthy years.

Franco-Ontarian FlagStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Eugène Bellemare Liberal Carleton—Gloucester, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Franco-Ontarian flag is now 25 years old. Unfurled officially in Sudbury on September 25, 1975, this flag symbolizes Franco-Ontarian solidarity and testifies to our desire to occupy our rightful place in Ontario in the economic, political and cultural sectors.

To celebrate this anniversary, the ACFO of Ottawa—Carleton, in partnership with a number of francophone organizations, presented “La francophonie en couleurs 2000” at the Ottawa Civic Centre on September 29 and 30. This celebration brought together over 10,000 francophones from all corners of the province.

I invite all my colleagues to join with me in wishing the Franco-Ontarian flag a long life.

Daniel IgaliStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Reform Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend in Sydney, Australia, Daniel Igali of Surrey, British Columbia won the Olympic gold medal in the 69 kilogram class of freestyle wrestling. He is the first Canadian to win gold in wrestling. It was the crowning achievement for this young man from a family of 21 children. He came to Canada from his native Nigeria in 1994 to compete in the Commonwealth Games in Victoria and opted to remain here and pursue his passion.

He became a Canadian citizen in 1998 which allowed him to compete for Canada internationally. In 1999 he won the world championship and set his sights on the Olympics. He has now realized that dream.

I watched all three of Daniel's matches on Saturday. His skill, his power, his agility and his coolness under pressure combined to take him to victory. Upon winning the final match, he spread our flag across the mat and then knelt to kiss it. This emotional display of unabashed patriotism served to remind all Canadians of the freedoms and the opportunities we enjoy that we all too often take for granted.

Daniel Igali, a true champion in every sense of the word, your community and your country thank you.

World March Of WomenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Liberal Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 11, the women and men of Ahuntsic will march in protest against violence, poverty and discrimination against women.

This march will unite women from all backgrounds and communities in demanding a right as legitimate as respect.

Since the beginning of our mandate, our government has committed resources to assisting women and children. The government has already contributed $800,000 to the international component of the World March of Women, nearly $200,000 to the Canadian Women's March Committee and $7 billion to assist families with children.

We eliminated the clawback from middle and higher income mothers. We contributed $32 million to crime prevention to assure that women and children are a priority. We contributed $22.5 million to the aboriginal head start initiative, as well as $43 million for shelters for women, children and youth.

However, we have more to do. I encourage all my colleagues to join women across Canada, to march with them, to support them in their ridings and on the Hill and support equality across Canada.

BankingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the big banks are at it again, more branch closures, more services cut, more communities abandoned and the Liberal government stands by and lets it happen. Just when we thought the situation could not get any worse, along come the big banks to finish off the job.

Take Winnipeg for example. In the core of the city, the historic north end, entire older neighbourhoods have been virtually deserted by the banks. As we speak, residents in North Winnipeg are receiving letters from the Bank of Montreal announcing yet another closure and a shut down of the last accessible branch for an entire community of senior citizens, low income residents and working families. For this area alone, six branches in just three years are gone. As one senior said “It is as if we do not count”.

It is obscene for the bank to devastate the lives of our seniors while making record profits. What is even more outrageous is for this government to stand by and let it happen. Why do Liberals keep putting the needs of big corporations and banks ahead of the needs of the citizens of this land? Why does the government not hold the banks to account, instead of letting them strip the profits from neighbourhoods and leaving whole communities weakened and vulnerable.

Organized CrimeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, in recent months, the democracy we so cherish and for which we all continue to fight has been under serious threat.

In any society, freedom of expression is a treasure as precious as all the gold in the world. Freedom of the press and freedom of speech are part of the acquired rights we are not prepared to give up.

The elected representatives sitting in this House must unite in a hard line stand against the actions committed by the members of organized crime who have decided to attack our democratic institutions.

These criminals must be made to understand that nothing they can say, absolutely nothing, will stop us from continuing our battle.

No threat, no intimidation, will be stronger than our total determination to take the necessary steps to put an end to the activities of organized crime.

Shipbuilding IndustryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, while this government stands idle, shipyards have been closed, including mine in Saint John, New Brunswick, and shipyard workers have been laid off across Canada by the thousands.

One hour ago, busloads of frustrated shipyard workers from the province of Quebec and beyond arrived on Parliament Hill to protest this government's neglect. These brave men came to ensure that the government does not miss its last chance to do what is right.

Tomorrow, the Standing Committee on Finance will review Bill C-213. The time has come for this innovative legislation and the time has come for the minister to endorse it. The time for the government to defend and promote a great Canadian shipbuilding industry has come.

We on both sides of the House must work together to resurrect our national shipbuilding industry, to give our military the ships it needs and to allow shipyard workers to proudly put food on the table for their families once again.

Social ProgramsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Liberal Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford, ON

Mr. Speaker, my riding of Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford is a growing and prosperous community, but as in all of Canada certain individuals and families are not as fortunate as others. The Liberal government and my community are committed to helping those persons regain their footing.

The women and children's shelter in Barrie is a community resource that helps keep certain of our most vulnerable citizens out of harm's way. Thanks to a grant from the Government of Canada's national strategy on community safety and crime prevention, the twin objectives of protection and prevention may be achieved.

The national strategy has supported more than 1,100 social development projects at the local level across Canada. In this way we address the root causes of crime before it develops further and help reduce the social and economic burden that would otherwise result if we allowed social inequities to go unchecked.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister knows, apparently the auditor general will not be tabling his report which deals with the HRDC disaster until approximately October 17. The problem is that there may be an election call before that date.

This morning our House leader asked the other parties to join with him unanimously to support a very important motion which would allow at least that portion of the auditor general's report, chapter 11 which deals with the HRDC disaster, to come forward before the House immediately. Will the Prime Minister support that motion?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I will even do better than that. I will tell you that we will be sitting on October 17.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate and thank the Prime Minister for listening to our concerns for several days and now responding to that issue.

Pardon me for sounding cynical, Mr. Speaker, but I just want to make sure I got it right. When he said that we would be sitting on October 17, did he mean here in parliament or is he talking about on a bus or a plane somewhere? Is it here?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in the House of Commons, when we are talking about sitting it does not mean in our offices. It is in the House of Commons.

Again, I did not know exactly what to do and I know that the Leader of the Opposition is losing his confidence. A month ago he wanted to have an election. A week after that he did not want to have an election. Last week he challenged me to have an election. Over lunch he got nervous and said he is not sure any more. I want him to gain back his composure before we go out.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am gaining in composure every day and every week because every time we ask the Prime Minister to do something, or most of the time, he is responding on some of the issues. I am gaining confidence in him, I really am.

When the report is tabled will he be giving the government response? Further to the report itself, in the public accounts committee last week it was revealed that on top of the billion dollar boondoggle that has taken place another $344 million have apparently been mismanaged?

Will he be responding to this report and show how he will correct these disastrous things from happening in the future?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have debated all that in the House of Commons. The auditor general agrees with the six point plan that the minister proposed. The controversial program was eliminated.

Yes, if we were to have a debate it would be fun because I have a list of 30 golf courses in Alberta that received money from the Alberta government from 1996 to 1998 when the hon. member was the minister of finance. I have another list of 19 golf courses when he was a member there. I even know that in his own riding at one time that government gave $23,000 to a wet suit rental company. No, no, I am sorry—

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Edmonton North.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, surely it is the Prime Minister who is all wet. He ought to know about RCMP investigations and golf courses.

The public has invested a whole lot, as the Prime Minister should know, in terms of the billion dollar boondoggle and some other things we have seen that have been expensive for the public. The public has a right to know what is in the auditor general's report.

Will the Prime Minister guarantee that the public will see the report before he calls an election? Yes or no.