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House of Commons Hansard #66 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Allan Rock Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, the government has already stated its position on this. We have stated our commitment to be there over the long term to fund the health care system with the provinces. We have already stated our commitment to be there to take part in the changes necessary in the delivery of services in order to support the provinces in introducing the necessary reforms.

I cited Bernard Landry, who said himself a few days ago that it is a question not just of more money but also of how our health care system is run.

Responsibility for the delivery of services is in the hands of the provinces, and the Government of Canada also has a role to play in co-ordinating the changes and supporting the provinces in their efforts.

In reply to the questions put by the hon. member for Jonquière, we have already stated our intention to honour our responsibilities in this regard.

SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, my questions are simple. How is it that the health minister is not able to come forward with a legal opinion after four months since Ralph Klein introduced Bill-11 and two weeks since he has known about the actual contents of the bill?

If he is now saying “wait for the regulations”, is the Minister of Health in fact saying that he is waiting until Ralph Klein puts the last nail in the coffin of public health care before he acts?

SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Allan Rock Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have had this exchange before. Let me remind the hon. member what I said to her. I said that if she has a legal opinion with respect to Bill-11, I wish she would share it with us.

The second thing I said to her was to wait until we found out what the bill is all about. The premier himself is speaking about amendments. We do not have the regulations. Let us find out what the bill contains before we pronounce a final position.

Finally, I have not been shy about expressing the government's grave concern. We do not agree with the policy of private for profit clinics. It will not help with costs. It will not help with waiting lists. We have urged the premier to reconsider, as he has done twice in the past.

SupplyGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, on several occasions the minister has asked us to table the documents containing legal opinions. Yesterday his House leader refused the unanimous consent necessary to do so.

Will the Minister of Health now agree and assure that unanimous consent is achieved for the tabling of these—

SupplyGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

The Speaker

Let me understand. The Minister of Health would not make this decision; the House would. Does the hon. member have unanimous consent to table the document?

SupplyGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

SupplyGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Some hon. members

No.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Liberal Algoma—Manitoulin, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to commend our government for its commitment to preserving and promoting the environmental integrity of the Great Lakes. I am from the north shore area of Lake Huron, so I appreciate how important all of the lakes are to those communities which depend on marine tourism and commercial fishing.

In the latest federal budget a new commitment of $8 million per year for three years was made to assist in the clean-up of 16 areas of concern identified by the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

Further, the latest report from the International Joint Commission, entitled “Protection of the Waters of the Great Lakes”, supports the government's action contained in Bill C-15, which will prohibit the bulk removal of water from Canada's major drainage basins, especially the Great Lakes.

While Canada recognizes the need to ensure safe, clean water for all citizens of the world, simply removing water in bulk from the Great Lakes is not the answer. Simply put, the ecology of the Great Lakes Basin is too fragile.

These are firm actions by the government to protect the Great Lakes—

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

11 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan.

Via RailStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Reform

Jim Gouk Reform West Kootenay—Okanagan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that the federal government's official subsidy of VIA Rail was reduced from $212 million in 1997 to $178 million in 1998. The bad news is that VIA's losses went from $253 million in 1997 to $261 million in 1998. Who picks up the difference? The Canadian taxpayer. Perhaps that is why the Minister of Transport went to cabinet and asked for the subsidy to be increased from $500,000 a day to almost $2 million a day.

The good news is that the Rocky Mountaineer, a private sector rail tour company, installed sewage containment units on all of its rail cars years ago. The bad news is that VIA Rail continues to dump raw sewage on the tracks wherever it goes. CN and CP workers have to work on these tracks, which make for unbelievably bad working conditions and possible health risks. If VIA is forced to make the same change as the private sector voluntarily did, the Canadian taxpayer will be asked to pick up the bill.

When is the government going to stop wasting the taxpayers' money and privatize VIA Rail?

Henderson HospitalStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Harris government continues to claim that the federal government contributes only 13% to public health care spending in Ontario, when in fact the real number is 33%. That government still has half a billion dollars in federal health care cash from last year in the bank. That money could be used to enhance health care in Ontario. Rather, it is contemplating the closure of Henderson Hospital, the only hospital on Hamilton Mountain.

The constituents of Hamilton Mountain have spoken. They want and need this hospital. Twelve hundred people attended a rally last week to tell the Harris government to use the health care cash and keep Henderson Hospital open.

I congratulate the provincial Liberal member for Hamilton Mountain, Marie Boutriani, for her efforts to keep this hospital open.

The federal government has shown its commitment to health care. Now it is time for the provincial government to do the same and keep Henderson Hospital on Hamilton Mountain open.

The BudgetStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Liberal Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Vancouver Kingsway last week I met with local small business owners to discuss the federal budget. I am very proud to report to the House that those business owners were very positive toward the government's budget provisions and tax reductions for the business sector. They will go a long way to support not only businesses but also the communities in which they operate.

This action by our government proves that Canada is on the right track to support our economy and business development in Canada.

Liberal Party Of CanadaStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Claude Drouin Liberal Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the member for Joliette once again displayed his ignorance. He is so nervous about losing his seat in the next election that he has already started attacking our party.

I would like to point out in this House that the Liberal Party of Canada has invited young people between 14 and 18, with the permission of all their parents, to savour a unique experience—participating in the political process of a major party. Nothing was done unbeknownst to anyone.

Allow me, however, to salute the young people of Joliette, who are here in this House and who have revealed their desire to learn, their interest in the future and their wish to assume their place in society. Welcome to Ottawa.

It would be appropriate for the member from Joliette to make a public apology and inform the people of Joliette that the incompetence and irresponsibility are not ours.

The members of the sovereignist party want the voting age lowered to 16, so long as the voters are separatist, I imagine. The member should be ashamed of worrying their parents and especially of implying that the young people had no idea why they were here in Ottawa.

The Family FarmStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the people of Toronto saw a strange sight this week. Motorists travelling the infamously congested highways around Canada's largest city found a big red Massey-Ferguson combine in the lane next to them. That combine is named Prairie Belle, driven by my constituent Nick Parsons from Dawson Creek, B.C.

Nick set out on February 1 from the small rural community of Farmington, British Columbia on a 3,000-plus kilometre odyssey to Ottawa. The purpose: to raise awareness for the family farm income crisis which is forcing western producers into bankruptcy.

To welcome Nick to Ottawa I am hosting a rally on Monday, March 20 at 11 a.m. in front of the centennial flame on Parliament Hill. I invite all those interested in showing their support for Nick or welcoming him to the nation's capital to come out on Monday morning.

The Irish PeopleStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien Liberal London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the coat of arms of Canada bears among its symbols the Royal Harp of Tara and the Shamrock of St. Patrick to recognize the outstanding contribution of the Irish people in the formation of our blessed nation.

The Irish began to arrive in a trickle as early as the 17th century in Newfoundland. That trickle became a river during the 18th and early 19th centuries. That river became a great flood of Irish refugees during the tragic years of the great famine in Ireland.

By the time of confederation in 1867 fully one-third of the people of Canada were of Irish origin, including the visionary Father of Confederation, Thomas D'Arcy McGee.

Today some four million Canadians are of Irish ancestry. Former prime ministers Lester B. Pearson, Louis St. Laurent and Brian Mulroney all shared Irish ancestry. Some 70 MPs in the House of Commons are of Irish ancestry, by far the largest cultural representation after French and English.

Today I wish the people of Canada and Ireland a very happy St. Patrick's Day.

Bill C-20Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-20 is undemocratic. We already know this and have said so on many occasions. Now it is the turn of the French political community to point out that this bill is an affront to democracy.

“If this bill is passed, Quebecers will lose, within Canada, their right to self-determination” says Jacques Julliard, in the weekly Le Nouvel Observateur . “There is an inexorability about the Anglo-Saxon steam roller. Hegemony is not enough—it wants the other to disappear”.

The Bloc Quebecois echoes Jacques Julliard, who is calling on French parliamentarians to come to the defence of democracy by “pointing out publicly that passage of Bill C-20 would an affront to the francophone community”.

In the land of liberty, equality and fraternity, democracy involves respect for the people. Bill C-20, unfortunately, proves Canada's lack of respect for the people of Quebec.

3Rd Battalion Of Royal 22Nd RegimentStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am certain that all members of this House will join with me in expressing our gratitude and admiration to the 250 or so military personnel, most of them members of the 3rd battalion of Valcartier's Royal 22nd Regiment, who will soon be returning from East Timor.

Despite the dangerous conditions to which they were frequently exposed, despite numerous natural and man-made hazards, our soldiers have established and maintained a sizeable peace zone. They have also affected the lives of thousands of East Timorese by providing them with the basic necessities of life: medical care, food and drinking water in particular.

We acknowledge the exceptional job that our military personnel have done in this distant part of the world, with the support of their family members back in Canada. We congratulate both them and their families and wish them a safe journey home to their loved ones.

Highway Accident In Saint-Jean-Baptiste-De-NicoletStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the pictures of yesterday's tragic highway accident near Nicolet are horrifying and terribly sad. Seven young children lost their lives in this terrible accident and others are in serious condition.

Accidents like this, particularly when the victims are so young, remind us just how precious life is.

There is nothing more painful for a parent than to lose a child and nothing can fill the void left within the family. Our prayers and thoughts are with all the survivors, as well as with the families and friends of the children who lost their lives. We extend our deepest sympathies to them all.

Lord Byng Secondary SchoolStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Ted McWhinney Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, next Monday, March 20, a group of talented young musicians from Lord Byng Secondary School in my riding of Vancouver Quadra will offer a noon hour concert in the Hall of Honour from 12 noon to 12.45 p.m. Their performance on Parliament Hill is part of a millennium tour across Canada organized by the group for March 16 to March 24.

I invite all members to drop by and take part in this special concert by one of Canada's finest secondary school orchestras.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

March 17th, 2000 / 11:10 a.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, today I call the attention of the House to a growing concern on the part of many Canadians that the issue of compensation for aboriginal victims of the residential school system is not being dealt with adequately by the government.

In their view, the government should be showing more leadership and more willingness to share the cost with the churches. Surely it is important to make sure that the churches involved do not go bankrupt or are so severely economically damaged that much of their social service and social action work will have to be eliminated just to survive.

It is also important that justice be accomplished swiftly for those who have legitimate claims. This cannot be done if this issue drags on for years, claim by claim.

The churches must and will take their share of the responsibility, but let us not forget that they participated in this social and cultural tragedy at the behest of and in co-operation with the federal government.

St. Patrick's DayStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, this is St. Paddy's Day and it is a very special day. I come from the most Irish city there is in Canada. That is why I am wearing the green.

St. Patrick's DayStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères, QC

Mr. Speaker, St. Patrick's Day is a time to remember that many Irish people left their country over 150 years ago to escape famine.

After a long and difficult voyage across the Atlantic ocean, during which several of them died, these courageous men and women found in our country a generous new land where they settled, and a friendly new community which they joined.

Far from being indifferent to the debates that were taking place in their new community, the Irish generally espoused the political aspirations of that community, as witnessed by the participation of a number of them in the noble cause of the Patriotes, in 1837-38.

While maintaining a very strong emotional link with the land of their ancestors, that far away Ireland that achieved political independence or that is still on the way to emancipation, Quebecers of Irish origin, and I am one of them, have developed very deep roots in America.

Because of history, these people are now in a unique position to see how similar the situations of the Irish and Quebec people are.

St. Patrick's DayStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

The Speaker

Yesterday we had a Standing Order 31 and today we had a Standing Order 31 by the member for Macleod. I understand that there has been at least some cursory questions about the next standing order that we are going to hear, at which time I will take an action that for us is not regular, but I know that all members will want to hear this standing order.

Highway Accident In Saint-Jean-Baptiste-De-NicoletStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I pay tribute to the seven young children who died yesterday morning in a tragic traffic accident, in Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-Nicolet, a small town on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, across from Trois-Rivières.

Two other children are still at the Centre hospitalier in Trois-Rivières, and one of them is in critical condition. We wish to offer our sincere condolences to the families struck by that terrible tragedy. Our prayers are with them in this time of great suffering.

I now ask the members of this House to observe one minute of silence, out of respect for these seven young victims.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Reform

Jay Hill Reform Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, for five weeks we have been repeatedly asking the Minister of Human Resources Development to justify her billion dollar boondoggle. For five weeks she has stonewalled with non-answers, conflicting lists and image consultants.

There are now 19 police investigations, three in the Prime Minister's riding, that we know about. She has dodged this before, but let us try again. How many cases, as of today, have been referred to the police for further investigation?