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House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Chrysler CupStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Liberal Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, from April 12 to 16, the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region will be hosting hockey teams from throughout Quebec as part of the Chrysler Cup tournament.

Some 226 teams will be taking part in these provincial ice hockey championships in 13 cities in the region. The organizing committee chaired by Louis Blanchette from Malartic has put almost two years of work into making this event a success.

My thanks to the organizing team: Louis Blanchette, Robert Meunier, Robert Larochelle, René Boucher, Pascal Pelletier, Régis D'Amour, Jean-Gilles Racicot, Gilles Laperrière, Joël Lacelle, Pierre Dupuis, Marc Moreau, Daniel Asselin, Serge Demers, Laurent Demers, Mariette Brassard, Audinette Gagnon, Jean-Claude Babin and André Lalonde.

My thanks also to the 2,000 volunteers, 4,436 athletes and 932 escorts and visitors. And we thank the Government of Canada for taking part and helping young Quebecers.

Fullarton Book LaunchStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

John Richardson Liberal Perth—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, as part of this year's ongoing millennium celebrations, I want to congratulate and thank everyone who participated in the Fullarton history book launch this past weekend. Entitled Water under the Bridges: The Story of Fullarton Township , this 950 page book examines the significant people and events of the last 150 years that helped define the area.

Participants to the book launch were entertained by guest speakers and local performances, including bag piping, gospel singing, solo violin and theatrical performances.

My special gratitude goes to the 22 member history book committee, especially the chair, Jean Park, who for the last three and a half have been working extremely hard to see that this project was a smashing success. Congratulations to all.

HealthStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Bob Mills Reform Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, this government has received a failing grade on its health care spending. The finance department conducted a survey that found nearly 70% of all Canadians feel that not enough money was put into health care funding in the last budget.

The provinces have pleaded with Ottawa to restore funding levels. The federal government countered with a lame tax point strategy that is deliberately confusing and causing irreparable damage in federal-provincial co-operative relations.

The federal government talks about solving the problems of health care but no plan has been put forth. The provinces have programs in development. The provinces have programs in effect. What they need now is a funding commitment which will allow them to proceed with assurances that health care funding will be stable.

This government's actions have done little to assure Canadians that this is something they can count on.

HealthStatements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

I ask hon. members to stay away from the word deliberately. It always causes a reaction.

Investor Education WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, if our young people are to be educated consumers of financial services, it is important they have access to the most up to date Canadian information about today's financial world.

To meet this need, the Canadian Bankers Association spearheaded the development of YourMoney Network, an integrated network of websites that contains neutral information for Canada's youth. This initiative was developed in a partnership among the Canadian Bankers Association, the Bank of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint, the Investment Funds Institute of Canada, the Ontario Securities Commission and the Toronto Stock Exchange and was launched last year.

As part of this year's Investor Education Week, the YourMoney Network is introducing a new online resource guide with over 800 financial topic resources and five new partners.

This is an outstanding initiative of Canada's banking industry that will ensure Canada's youth are well prepared to make wise decisions about their own financial futures.

Fondation Québécoise Du CancerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute today to the Fondation québécoise du cancer, a non-profit organization whose main mission is to improve the quality of life of those with cancer, and their families.

The foundation has developed a comprehensive approach to the problems cancer causes for families. It has therefore developed training and awareness activities for health professionals, and it provides cancer patients and their families with information, support, documentation, and accommodation while they are receiving treatment.

The foundation has been in existence for 20 years now and has taken on a lead role in the battle against cancer, with decision makers, the media, the health system and the general public.

The Fondation québécoise du cancer never hesitates to make public statements and make its position known on any matter relating to the fight against cancer. My greetings to the foundation and my thanks to all of its volunteers.

Via RailStatements By Members

April 13th, 2000 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Lavigne Liberal Verdun—Saint-Henri, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister of Transport on the occasion of his announcement of a new set of measures providing $400 million to revitalize VIA Rail over the next five years.

By offering a transportation option that is stable, safe and environmentally friendly, the enhanced passenger service will contribute to lessening highway congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.

As well, VIA has the largest rail maintenance shop in Canada, providing employment to more than 400 people in my riding of Verdun—Saint-Henri, which encompasses Pointe Saint-Charles, an area where unemployment is still very high.

The announcement of this investment brings a ray of sunshine to a still snowy area.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Reform Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is shocking that the Prime Minister would place the safety and security of Canadians at risk to cover up his own diplomatic foul-ups.

The auditor general's recent report makes it clear that the government is currently incapable of dealing with 15,000 refugees from Palestine without seriously compromising the safety and security of Canadians. He says “We noted serious deficiencies in the way it applies admissibility criteria related to health, criminality and security”.

The current mismanagement of the immigration department virtually guarantees that serious criminals, terrorists and people with dangerous health conditions will continue to enter Canada. Decisions to help refugees must be based on the capability of the immigration department, firm recommendations from the United Nations and sound CSIS information, not on the whim of a bungling Prime Minister.

Canadians want to help genuine refugees but they are tired of having their generosity abused by queue jumpers, by people smugglers and, now, by our very own Prime Minister.

Prime MinisterStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, having committed a blunder in Jerusalem offending the Palestinians, our Prime Minister, ever eager for balance, was careful to commit one in Gaza, a second one, which, this time, offended the Israelis.

On the subject, the next day, of the lake of Tiberias where Christ walked on the waters, this tireless blunderer, tiptoeing on the eggs of an ultra sensitive matter, went in up to his neck, this time offending Syria before the dumbfounded gaze of international opinion, which did not really consider him capable of such a singular hat trick.

Now the world waits with bated breath to see how Egypt will inspire our Prime Minister. Will he, like Moses, who descended Mount Sinai bearing the tablets with commandments, before a hundred journalists, descend the steps of his hotel brandishing a peace plan for the Middle East that will cause everyone distress? Or, as is his wont, will he deliver his plan B in order to revive the conflict? Anything is possible with this man. But one thing is sure. He will oblige us to drink the cup of ridicule before world opinion to the lees.

Telephone CommunicationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, the arrival of the new millennium was the subject of much celebration. We also seized the moment to sing the praises of the great achievements, especially the technological ones, of the past century. Right now, I feel very far removed from the 21st century and more as if I were in the middle of an episode of Green Acres . In my riding of Brome—Missisquoi, there are people having to share a phone line. There can be as many as four parties on a line. I remind you that my riding is 40 minutes away from Montreal.

There are people, on this April 13, 2000, who have to pay attention to the telephone ring to know whether the call is for them. So, forget the Internet, the fax machine and the many services most of us take for granted.

I find this situation unacceptable and I find the attitude of Bell Canada, which has still not rectified the situation, most irritating. In two weeks, my riding will host the national rural conference, where the subject of discussion will be rural development. I think Bell Canada would do well to take part.

National Poetry MonthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, to mark National Poetry Month, I would like to read a poem entitled “Aliénor” written by Herménégilde Chiasson, who lives on the Acadian peninsula and has a Governor General's Award for poetry. It goes as follows:

I will be with you. You will be with me. I will look ahead. You will look behind. And together we will see how far our world stretches, How great our riches are. No more will what is ours be taken from us, No more will lies be told about us. We will not be sold like slaves. We will willingly go into the forest And emerge bathed in light.

And my children will walk in that light. Will play in that light. And their lives will be their own. For ages. Forever. Their own. Life is all we will share now, All that we possess, our only revenge. I will forget the forest, yes, The rain, the cold and the snow, yes, But do not think that I will forget the beating of your heart,> The words you breathe, The warmth of your arms.

HealthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Liberal Winnipeg North—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, constituents of Winnipeg North—St. Paul would like to know what the Canadian health care system will look like in the future and how Canadians, through their federal, provincial and territorial governments, will pay for the system.

We have yet to hear whether all health ministers in the country, at their recent meeting, came to an agreement. My constituents are not interested in federal-provincial disputes, but cry out for co-operative leadership.

Medicare remains the number one priority of all Canadians. They would like to be assured that the five principles of universality, portability, comprehensiveness, accessibility and not-for-profit public administration will continue to prevail.

We owe our constituents a duty to state where we stand on the issue. Let additional new federal funding be coupled with home care and pharmacare as vital components of a renewed medicare, to ensure its sustainability in the future. This let us pledge to Canadians.

Senator Ron GhitterStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to one of our great senators who entered into public life with great dignity and integrity, and has left with those same attributes intact after more than 30 years in the public eye.

I speak of Senator Ron Ghitter. True to his character, the senator defended his good name in a defamation suit that began in October 1998 against the member of parliament for Calgary West and a senior advisor of the former Reform Party leader.

True to Reform's crass tactics, the two individuals slandered the senator but, thankfully, justice prevailed this past week. I want to quote from the apology that was elicited from these two members. It reads:

Our attack on Senator Ghitter was unfounded and we now admit having defamed Senator Ghitter. We further acknowledge that some of our statements were based on facts that were false and on out of context interpretations.

We regret preparing and sending the letter and wish to apologize to Senator Ghitter—

I thank Senator Ghitter for standing by his principles. He is a class act.

NunavutStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, this morning the Nunavut coat of arms sculpture was unveiled in the Parliament Building's rotunda.

I was very happy that this historic event was attended by so many Inuit and friends of Nunavut, including the new commissioner of Nunavut.

It gave me great pleasure that the Nunavut Sivuniksavut students who are studying in Ottawa from all over Nunavut and a group of visiting students from Rankin Inlet were there to see the Inuktitut syllabics carved into the stone in that historic place where all the other territorial and provincial coat of arms are displayed.

It was another historic moment for Nunavut and a very moving ceremony. It would like to thank all those who attended and participated.

A “Canadien” AfieldStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker,

A “Canadien” afield Far from his hearth and home Through foreign land and weald Blundering he did roam. Through foreign land and weald Blundering he did roam. Pensive and serious, Sitting along the shore Of Lake Tiberias Did he the waves implore: Of Lake Tiberias Did he the waves implore: “Should you my country see, my country all in dread, Please inform all my friends That 'tis on eggs I tread. Please inform all my friends That 'tis on eggs I tread.” These days the gaffes abound, Out there for all to see, My party at this frowned, Will have no more of me, And my dear home, oh zounds, Is quite upset with me.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is overseas and every single day he has been there he has embarrassed Canadians as well as himself. His comments have been unwise and indefensible. Everyone across the world knows that.

Our Prime Minister is unable to manage his government here at home. He is unable to manage his words. He has been stumbling from one mishap to another every single day that he has been gone.

For Canada's reputation, if not his own, will somebody please bring him home?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the hon. member's question is totally faulty and not based on fact.

The Prime Minister has had very successful talks with the leader of Israel, with the leader of Egypt and with the leader of Lebanon. He signed important agreements in Israel and Egypt. The Prime Minister's trip is going very well and the hon. member is totally wrong in criticizing it.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the only thing I find more difficult than the Prime Minister saying the things he is saying over there is to have a Deputy Prime Minister defending him back home. It is unbelievable.

The Prime Minister is clearly out of his league. We know that he is endangering very fragile and tenuous diplomatic relationships. In four days we have seen four gaffes. He is igniting a controversy with practically every word that comes out of his mouth.

I ask again, is it not time that he just came home?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, is it not time that the hon. member stuck to the facts and did not bad mouth the very active and successful efforts of the Prime Minister to help advance Canada's interests and to help bring peace to the region, efforts which have been praised by the President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who knows a lot more about what is going on there than the hon. member ever will?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure how much it benefits to start calling other people names and defending—

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lynn Myers Liberal Waterloo—Wellington, ON

Look whose talking.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Deborah Grey Reform Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, let me say again that I am not trying to bad-mouth anyone. The Prime Minister seems to be doing that very well on his own. It is a travesty.

We have seen that there are concerns today in the international news that one of the countries that is supposed to be hosting the Prime Minister is very concerned and might put it on hold. They can laugh and yuk it up all they like over there, but things have gone from bad to worse and the government should know it.

When will the government cut the losses of the Prime Minister and bring him home before he does any more damage?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member has said about another country not receiving the Prime Minister is totally false and she should admit it. Now she is saying that she knows more than the President of the world renowned Hebrew University of Jerusalem about the Prime Minister's efforts. The President said:

—it is due to your personal leadership and courage, Mr. Prime Minister, that Canada is a major player in trying to create a world in which nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they know war any more.

Those are the words of someone who knows what he is talking about, unlike the hon. member opposite who does not know what she is talking about.