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 #114 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was impaired.

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 Nanaimo—Cowichan.

Solicitor GeneralStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Reform Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have all heard about the circle of life, well I will introduce you to the circle of patronage in the Department of the Solicitor General.

To reward his voters, the solicitor general builds a multimillion dollar research facility in his riding. Old fashioned Liberal politics at its finest. In turn, the Commissioner of Correctional Service Canada uses his facility as a meeting place for his international corrections; good for the local economy and good for the solicitor general. In return, the commissioner's reward was absolute authority. He does not have to answer to anyone.

This is where the story gets bizarre. To reward the solicitor general for staying out of his way while he paves his golden road to retirement, Ole Ingstrup has created an award in the name of the minister.

With the commissioner buttering up to the solicitor general this blatantly, we had better steel ourselves for the next bombshell to come. What could it be, a private plane for Ole? No, he has that. A driving range for inmates? No, he has that too. A boat cruise on a coast guard ship? He has done that.

Hang on taxpayers, it's going to be an expensive and dangerous summer.

Sault College And Algoma UniversityStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Carmen Provenzano Liberal Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, our educational institutions have consistently provided Canadians with the knowledge and skills essential for success in the global economy. In Sault Ste. Marie, 35 years ago the first 80 graduates accepted their diplomas from Sault College of Applied Arts and Technology. Thirty-four years ago Algoma University was founded.

Today, Sault College offers general and expanded programs in such fields as aviation, engineering technology, health sciences and natural resources. Algoma University offers degrees in arts and science, as well as business administration and computer science.

This spring, 951 students graduated from Sault College. Algoma will grant 134 degrees to its graduating class. These are the first graduates from each of these institutions in this exciting new century. All have successfully completed another phase in their continuum of learning. May each be successful in applying their skills in the fulfilment of their aspirations. May Sault College and Algoma University survive into the next century.

Les Braves Du CoinStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 20, the members of a Hull sports and social association, Les Braves du Coin, got together to recognize excellence in sports and in voluntarism.

Today I would like to congratulate the organizing committee of the 27th gala of excellence, under the direction of Alain Forest, as well as all the volunteers who make the evening such a great success.

Congratulations as well to all the awards winners, who included Denis Desjardins, Pierre Chartrand, Robert Chartrand, Norbert Roy and Léo Martin, and to the guest of honour, Jean Labonté, a member of the national sledge hockey team.

Since 1962, Les Braves du Coin have been involved in the Hull community, through their big provincial peewee hockey tournament and other events. Such devotion to their community would never have been possible without the devotion of the association's 450 members and the able leadership of Gilles Parent.

Congratulations to all and best wished to the Braves du Coin for a long life.

Parental LeaveStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Liberal Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the last negotiations with the Government of Canada, the premier of Quebec, Lucien Bouchard, never wanted any change in parental leave available under the employment insurance program.

Only one province in Canada offers a program of preventive withdrawal from the workplace, and that is the province of Quebec. When he was a Canadian MP here in Ottawa, Lucien Bouchard never did anything about such program for expectant mothers.

Today, the Government of Canada has doubled the duration of parental leave, effective December 31, 2000, while Lucien Bouchard wants his own program, but only in the year 2002. This is a program that will $10 million to workers, $14 million to employers and $20 million to the self-employed.

The federal government has been administering parental leave for close to 30 years. Thanks to those years of experience, all of the mechanisms are in place to ensure that parents benefit from this improved federal program, starting December 31 of this year, not the year 2002.

What is essential today is that Canada and Quebec work together to find the real solution to making more resources available to mothers.

Ovarian Cancer MonthStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, many of us here today have had our lives touched in some way by cancer. With Ovarian Cancer Month just over, I wish to draw the attention to this important form of cancer.

Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of death among cancers in women and causes more deaths than any other cancer of the reproductive system. It affects women of all ages, particularly those over 30.

The survival rate with early detection is 95%. Unfortunately, only one-quarter of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are in the early stages. Most of these cancers are detected at a stage where the survival rate drops to 28%.

The survival rate of women with ovarian cancer can be improved by raising public awareness and by patient and physician education.

On their way into the Chamber, fellow members of parliament may have noticed the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Canada information booth. Further facts on symptoms, treatments and support can be found there.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Reform Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the people of Okanagan—Coquihalla to inform the House that the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development is negotiating a flawed self-government treaty with the Westbank Indian Band.

The B.C. treaty commission process, though far from perfect, allows for some third party input and includes the B.C. government. These secret negotiations between the minister and the Westbank Indian Band excludes any input from the citizens of British Columbia.

The Union of British Columbia Municipalities along with concerned landowners are troubled that the federal government is negotiating a treaty in a veil of secrecy that will ultimately entrench preferential rights for certain Canadians at the expense of others. Not only that, it will arbitrarily assign resources, tax dollars and crown property to a distinct group.

Given the concern expressed in B.C. over the Nisga'a final agreement, it is essential that the remaining negotiations be opened to all concerned parties in B.C. and then be put to a British Columbia referendum.

Bromont InternationalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Attractions Canada awards were given out, Bromont International won top honours in the sports event category.

I would therefore like to congratulate all those involved in organizing this equestrian competition, which has become over the years one of Quebec's most prestigious sporting events.

I want to pay tribute to the extraordinary work done by the person who might easily be called the father of these events, René Deslauriers. All of these honours are the product of 25 years of work and perseverance.

Bromont International has achieved extraordinary renown over the years. Last year alone, there were over 600 horses and riders from eight countries. Over 40,000 people attended the competitions.

This great Canadian award confirms the fact that Bromont International is a member of the very select club of exceptional events, marked by the quality of their organization.

Congratulations, again.

Canadian HeritageStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, we all know now that former journalist Robert-Guy Scully will have to pay the price of lost professional credibility for his conflicts of interest. As we say commonly, he was looking for it.

However, those who want to put this situation down to a quarrel in Quebec between sovereignists and federalists are really missing the point of the issue and simply repeating the spin put on it by National Public Relations Inc.

What this unfortunate story reveals is the scope of the federal government's propaganda operation, which goes so far as to make use of a few of its rich Liberal friends as figureheads in order to whitewash and hide its budget.

Let us not forget Option Canada and the Council for Canadian Unity. When the Minister of Canadian Heritage tells us that she will be delighted to display the maple leaf when her department spends more millions of dollars in “federal communications” operations, we do not believe it for a minute. Secrecy and concealment are key elements of the success of propaganda.

Parental LeaveStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are proud of the national program for maternity and parental leave.

This program has demonstrated its value for 30 years and is now in the process of being enhanced. The revised program will be ready this year. Indeed, as early as at the end of the year 2000, parents will receive a bigger cheque and, more importantly, lower income families will be eligible for a supplement under that program.

We invite the Quebec government to build on the national foundations to provide an even better program if it so wishes.

National ParksStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan Reform Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, Kejimkujik National Park is the most heavily infested gypsy moth area in Nova Scotia. The moth destroys our forests because it is not native to North America and has no natural predators. The spread of this insect threatens the forest industry.

The federal government has a mandate for forest health and the responsibility to act but is lacking the will. The root of the problem appears to be a philosophical resistance to the control of an introduced pest in a national park.

One observer, who has managed local gypsy moth control measures, told me that if he had the federal money to eradicate this moth that has been spent on travelling around to study the problem, there would not be a problem.

The province is taking firm control measures for the brown spruce longhorn beetle in Point Pleasant Park in Halifax. When is the federal government going to do the same thing to control the gypsy moth in the national park?

Quebec PremierStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Claude Drouin Liberal Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not only as the member for Beauce, but also as the president of the Quebec Liberal caucus and on behalf of its members that I condemn the offensive remarks made yesterday by Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard on the Right Hon. Prime Minister of Canada.

In a democracy, it is normal to have disagreements, but it is unacceptable to have a head of government make such low personal attacks as those made yesterday by Premier Lucien Bouchard.

For the quality of the public debate, and considering the example parliamentarians are expected to set for the public and for young people in particular, Premier Lucien Bouchard must apologize and withdraw his remarks.

HealthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, today is the National Day of warning for Medicare. Thank goodness frontline health care workers are sounding the alarm bell, because our health minister sure is not. All we get are empty words and flowery speeches.

In speeches, the minister says he will come up with cash. In reality, there is $24.7 billion less.

In speeches, the minister says he hates for profit hospitals. In reality, he allows them.

In speeches, he promises action on reproductive technology. In reality, 10 years after the royal commission, there is still no legislation.

In speeches, he boosts about health safety. In reality, the health protection branch is gutted.

In speeches, he cares about drug prices. In reality, there is no action on patents.

In speeches, he drips sincerity about hepatitis C victims. In reality, it has been two years and three months and not a penny paid.

No wonder the finance minister and provinces are not listening to the minister. Maybe words are not what we need. How about some action?

Parental LeaveStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the Government of Quebec is offering young Quebec families flexible parental leave suited to their needs, the Prime Minister continues to live in the past and reject the National Assembly's unanimous call for greater flexibility and openness with respect to the needs of Quebec families and Quebec's jurisdiction over family policy.

Instead of applauding the originality and the necessary generosity of Quebec's parental insurance plan, the Prime Minister has once again preferred to adopt the confrontational attitude of a reactionary and run the risk of derailing a plan that meets with the solid support of Quebecers.

If the Prime Minister refuses to listen to the repeated requests from the National Assembly, the Bloc Quebecois and the Quebec people, could he at least listen to his Liberal organizers in Quebec who are calling on him to reverse steam and bow to the legitimate requests of the Government of Quebec?

Hull Human Resources CentreStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, it was with great pleasure that I and the member for Hull—Aylmer took part in this morning's official ISO 9002 certification ceremony for the Human Resources Centre of Canada in Hull.

This centre is part of a very select group, for there are only three other ISO 9002 certified centres in Canada, one of them being the Laval human resources centre.

This ISO 9002 certification points up the exceptional work being done by the employees of the Hull human resources centre under the direction of Bertrand Duclos.

On behalf of the House and all my constituents who benefit from the excellent service being provided by the devoted staff of the Hull human resources centre, I extend our sincere congratulations and thanks for a job well done, something which too often goes unnoticed.

Social BenefitsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gilles Bernier Progressive Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, there are many Canadian women between the age of 50 and 60 who find themselves displaced in society. They cannot work because they are seriously ill. Their EI sick benefits have run out. They cannot qualify for CPP disability. They are widowed or divorced and have no savings and no family to help them. They are not old enough for old age security or spousal allowance. They cannot exist on the small welfare benefits they receive.

These women in my riding are calling me to tell me they cannot pay their rent. They have no money for food. They have no hope and they do not know where to turn. They have worked for years and paid into the EI and the CPP, yet they are left destitute by this government.

Women are living longer today and there are bound to be more of them in this situation. It is a real shame that the Liberal government and the HRDC minister are not ready to take concrete steps to help these individuals.

Ronald ReidStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Devillers Liberal Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the privilege and pleasure today to honour Mr. Ronald Reid, a Canadian volunteer from my riding of Simcoe North.

Mr. Reid is a member of the Canadian volunteer advisers to business, and recently returned from working on assignment in Kyrgyzstan. Mr. Reid worked with the youth ecological movement, an organization that focuses on the preservation of the environment and the development of ecological activities.

Mr. Reid helped to develop a business plan and a fundraising strategy to expand the work of the organization. He held meetings with five potential lending agencies and, as a result, the organization has reworked its submission to the World Bank small branch programs.

I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Mr. Ronald Reid on his outstanding efforts, and a special thanks to all volunteers who have committed time, energy and talent to this successful project.

Public Service WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

John Williams Reform St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Canadian Alliance, I am pleased to rise today in the House and offer my sincere best wishes and congratulations to the hundreds of thousands of public servants who are celebrating Public Service Week from June 11 to 17.

Canadians are well served by highly professional and dedicated public servants who are ready to meet the challenges of governing as we enter the 21st century.

Through the dedication of people like our public servants, Canada has become one of the leading nations in the world. For this, all Canadians can be proud.

As treasury board critic for the Alliance, I want to thank all public servants who work hard on behalf of Canada and for all our citizens. They can be truly proud of the work they do for our country.

Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance PartyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom NDP Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, the other day I was reading the Hill Times and I could not believe my eyes. Tom Long, the leadership candidate for the Canadian Alliance, had a little picnic up in cottage country in the Muskokas. Over 100 people attended.

What did they charge for the tickets? Was it $10 like the old Reform Party, or $20, or was it $500? It was $5,000 per ticket for caviar and champagne. It was some grassroots party.

The old Reform Party has come and it has died. It has changed its spots and moved from Main Street to Bay Street. Now it is a party of the rich, a party of Bay Street, a party of backroom boys, a party that is trying to imitate Brian Mulroney. That is the long and short of it. It is a party that calls democracy catering to the rich. It is a party that calls democracy catering to Bay Street.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I guess I ain't nobody's backroom boy.

There is more proof today, though, that something fishy is going on over at HRDC. Serge Lafrenière got $15 million even though his resumé is filled with multimillion dollar failures. He was a Liberal campaign manager before he hatched his own fish breeding scheme. His company, Scotia Rainbow, has donated thousands of dollars to the Liberal Party.

Why is it that every time the government gets a whiff of a Liberal HRDC spawns a cheque?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Gander—Grand Falls Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

George Baker LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, the chartered banks put in four times as much as ACOA and HRDC put together.

The leadership contenders in Nova Scotia said recently “We want to replace it with a support system similar to that in the United States”. That is where one needs a credit card to get into a hospital. We will fight this anti-Canadian attitude on the part of the official opposition right to the ballot box.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I do not think it is un-Canadian to ask the government to keep its hands in its own pockets, not in ours.

Media Express donated $10,000 to the Liberal Party and then it got a $1 million return from HRDC to set up a call centre in the riding of the President of the Treasury Board. She put out a press release saying “We ought to announce this”. I am sure it did not mention the ten grand they got because that might just bother those pesky little constituents that believe in principle and merit.

Why does a donation to the Liberal Party always open the floodgates to these HRDC cheques?

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Gander—Grand Falls Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

George Baker LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, one of the leading contenders for the leadership of that party said in Nova Scotia recently “In spending programs from this government they have three versions of vanilla. I am selling chocolate ice cream here and it tastes better”.

The reform alliance will campaign on chocolate ice cream in the next election and Canadians will say “Where is the meat?”

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we would hate to think the meat was right between his ears.

The past several months have brought nothing but trouble to the HRDC minister and the entire government. The HRDC minister is responsible for a billion dollar bungle. HRDC cut cheque after cheque to friends in the Liberal Party. She led the charge. She has botched every attempt, sadly, to cover her tracks.

I would like to ask the Prime Minister, hello, if it is true that he is planning on having a cabinet shuffle as early as Friday.

Human Resources DevelopmentOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, cabinet shuffles are supposed to be my job. I know that the Leader of the Opposition will lose her job very soon, but I do not intend to invite her to become a minister in my cabinet.