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House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Canadian Alliance Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I do not want veteran status. Veteran status is not wanted by every Tom, Dick or Mary who ever wore a uniform, who ever peeled potatoes in Trenton, who ever spit-shone shoes in St. Jean or who ever pumped gas in Cold Lake.

What is expected, what is long overdue and what is respectfully called for is full war veteran status for those who served in war zones; for those who saw death and destruction; for those who witnessed the abysmal depth of man's madness in the gulf war, in Bosnia and Rwanda; for those still serving today; and for those who came home scarred by their experiences. Let us give our true veterans the respect they are due and recognize them as war veterans.

I renounce my unwanted veteran label. This status belongs only to those who deserve it.

AgricultureStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Claude Duplain Liberal Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to draw the attention of the House and of Canadians to an important initiative by the federal government in the area of agriculture.

A Liberal task force on future opportunities in farming has been created. It will consult with and learn from farmers, processors and other stakeholders. The consultation will enable the Liberal task force to deliver a report on the long term opportunities and challenges facing the farm economy.

This sector is integral to our quality of life. Our farmers and processors provide Canadians and customers worldwide with high quality, safe food.

The striking of this task force is clear evidence of our Prime Minister's concerns for the future development of this sector.

Université Du Québec À RimouskiStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, in September of 2001, the Université du Québec à Rimouski will be the only Quebec university to offer an undergraduate degree with a major in maritime shipping and a minor in administration, as well as the only North American university providing this course in French.

The program will be available to graduates of the Institut maritime du Québec who are interested in working in maritime shipping administration and hold a master mariner or marine-engineer officer certificate.

The objective is to ensure a supply of well-trained replacements in a sector where the workers are ageing. The course fits in with the true shipping policy to be adopted by Quebec between now and May.

Congratulations again to the Université du Québec à Rimouski for its leadership and sense of initiative.

Prospect High HeadStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canada's ocean playground just got a little more environmental protection from the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Prospect High Head, a craggy stretch of coastline east of Peggy's Cove, is a favourite spot for residents and tourists alike.

From an ecological standpoint it is a valuable and vulnerable region. It is one of only two areas in the province known as the granite barrens.

The uniqueness of the region makes it an important migratory stopover for birds such as the rare whimbrel and the blue heron and a feeding area for osprey. A stewardship plan will be developed by Prospect Peninsula residents and the Friends of High Head.

Congratulations to the area's residents on achieving this important environmental protection and preserving the area for the enjoyment of Nova Scotians and visitors alike.

YouthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, UNICEF Canada had an interesting consultation just over a year ago. It consulted with the youth of Canada to find out what they thought were the most important rights for them. They brought in Elections Canada, and although the results have not been well publicized, I think they are very interesting.

Here is what the kids said were the most important things: first, family; second, food and shelter; third, health; and fourth, education. Then they went on to things like rest and play, protection from harm and non-discrimination.

However number one by a huge majority was the family. I think this deserves to be celebrated. While adults may push in other directions, the youth of Canada have the important rights figured out and in my view in the proper order.

We as adults can learn a lot from our kids. I applaud them. From the maritimes to B.C. youth are our future.

Slobodan MilosevicStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, last weekend, Serbian police arrested Slobodan Milosevic.

Milosevic has been indicted by the international criminal tribunal for war crimes and crimes against humanity and has been charged by the Yugoslav government with corruption and abuse of power.

This move by the Yugoslav government signals the beginning of a commitment to the principles of democracy and the rule of law.

For its part, the Canadian government is urging Yugoslavia's leaders to facilitate the work of the international criminal tribunal.

Our Prime Minister said that “The authorities in Belgrade have an obligation to cooperate fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, including the handing over of Milosevic. In the interest of justice, and as a decisive step in the improvement of Yugoslavia's international standing, we hope that this takes place soon”.

HousingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for housing said it loud and clear. “We are not going back to social housing”, he was reported as saying in the Toronto Star of April 1.

Could we imagine a country as wealthy as Canada, where a million Canadians are experiencing severe housing insecurity and homelessness, and the minister comes out with this outrageous position?

Many dedicated groups have campaigned for the 1% commitment for housing, for the right to shelter and decent housing, but the government says no, a shameful response if ever there was one.

To add insult to injury the only new initiative the government will undertake is a subsidy program for market housing. Why on earth would we be lining the pockets of developers?

The government's proposal is based on the theory that if we help people at the top, eventually that will trickle down to those at the bottom of the economic ladder. This kind of market driven ideology will only increase the gap between the rich and the poor.

We reject the government's private subsidy approach. Community based social housing makes good economic sense. It creates good jobs and it helps the people who need it. We need social housing.

Free Trade Area Of The AmericasStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois has great confidence in the ability of our artists to make their mark in Quebec and internationally. We believe that the signing of the FTAA agreement will result in even greater cultural exchanges between Quebec and Latin American countries.

However, sight must not be lost of the fact that Quebec's culture did not spring up unassisted. The Government of Quebec has used its authority to step in and assist cultural growth. This has been done by all the governments of Quebec, regardless of political affiliation.

It is for this reason that the Bloc Quebecois is insisting that any continental trade agreement should preserve the Government of Quebec's present and future authority to take such action.

Culture is our soul and our roots. It is how we speak and do things. It is therefore important that Quebec be able to speak on its own behalf and to protect its interests.

Agricultural ProductionStatements By Members

April 2nd, 2001 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Liberal Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to stress the openness and the flexibility displayed by the federal government toward farm producers.

A few days ago, the government announced it would be doubling the amount of interest-free loans under the Spring Credit Advance Program. The maximum amount will go up from $20,000 to $50,000 for spring 2001.

This is a timely measure, since producers are adversely affected by the increase in the costs of fuel and fertilizer.

In the past, that program has proved very useful to farmers. It has allowed them to get funds in time for spring planting.

A number of income support measures are being put in place by our government. I urge it to continue to work with the agricultural industry to ensure long term stability in that sector.

Softwood LumberStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the United States has formally filed a countervailing duties application to seek tariffs of up to 40% on Canadian softwood lumber. This would cost Canadian producers $4 billion per year.

Having had years to prepare, the Liberal government has again been caught flatfooted with 45 days to go, only now realizing that a common, uniform trade policy for softwood lumber is not possible as regional circumstances are too different.

Most Atlantic Canadian woodlots are privately owned. The owners have enjoyed free trade in softwood lumber for well over a century, with exports totalling almost $1 billion last year. Export taxes and countervailing or anti-dumping duties would prove disastrous for the Atlantic industry. I call on the international trade minister to ensure that free trade in softwood lumber continues in our region.

I object to Liberal statements that the government will force Atlantic sawmills to comply with Canada's export monitoring system, possibly resulting in an export tax on maritime lumber. Coupled with a harsh winter, this would devastate the region. It is absolutely unacceptable to Atlantic Canada.

When will the Liberal government get its act together on this and other important trade issues?

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House and Canadians of major environmental initiatives in the Yukon.

First, the federal government and the Yukon Development Corporation have announced that they will each invest close to $525,000 over a three year period, in an energy solution centre based in Whitehorse.

Second, a new heating system reducing emissions by 1,600 tons has been installed in several buildings in the town of Watson Lake. The federal government invested $75,000 in that project, through the technological component of the Climate Change Action Fund.

Canadians living in the north have to pay for energy costs and they will suffer the effects of climatic changes. The federal government's actions show that it cares about this reality.

Hepatitis CStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Canadian Alliance Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, Tuesday, March 27, marked the third anniversary of the Liberal failure to compensate all hepatitis C victims. The settlement is no closer to reaching victims than it was three years ago. With each day, month and year that go by, more hepatitis C victims die and others lose their quality of life.

One of these individuals, Steve Harrison, wrote to me:

I haven't worked since 1996 and my wife is near exhaustion trying to keep us from bankruptcy. Every month we seem to accumulate more debt, while trying to keep life decent for my two boys. Meanwhile, the government is using money owed to me to build up their compensation fund. I reckon at a modest 5% rate, they have made 30,000 dollars with my money.

Even if they paid me my compensation tomorrow my problems aren't over. If I sound frustrated it is because I am. Everyone I talk to thinks this issue is over and I'm living happily ever after.

The Liberals think this issue is over but to the Harrison family it is all too real.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on March 26, the Prime Minister wrote that there are no financial connections between the golf club and the adjacent Auberge Grand-Mère.

This weekend, the daily Le Soleil wrote that Yvon Duhaime confirmed, under oath, that “agreements, downpayments and contracts were made between the Auberge and the clients of the golf club”. He added that “this accounts for the major part of the Auberge's revenues”.

My question is simple. Who is telling the truth? The Prime Minister or his friend the innkeeper?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no contradiction. According to my information on Mr. Duhaime's testimony, he did not say that there were financial connections or property connections between the auberge and the golf club during the period of time at issue. So there is no contradiction. The Leader of the Opposition misquoted Mr. Duhaime.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it seems that there are more ties and close promotions between the golf club and the auberge than there are between the Prime Minister and his Minister of Industry.

We see in Yvon Duhaime's testimony under oath that he is saying there are contracts between the golf club and the hotel for golf tournaments booked more than a year in advance.

How could the Prime Minister pretend that by sending money to the hotel he was not also advancing the interest of his golf course?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member has not accurately quoted the testimony of Mr. Duhaime. I will translate freely from the French.

It says there are contracts between the auberge and its “clients”. Obviously there are clients, golfers, who go to the auberge from all the golf courses in the area.

The fact of the matter is that the Prime Minister did not have any financial interest in the golf course during the time he made inquiries about a loan by the Business Development Bank to the auberge, so the hon. member ought to withdraw his unwarranted allegations. He is just embarrassing himself by continuing them.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister should have finished the quote because Mr. Duhaime said under oath that actually these represented the majority of the business. He should finish his sentences.

It seems that every week, every day, there are new revelations that contradict what the Prime Minister has said. Now we have Justice William Parker, who conducted the Sinclair Stevens inquiry, and many other experts in government ethics calling upon the government to call an independent inquiry.

Along with the majority of Canadians, will the Prime Minister acknowledge what the majority of Canadians want and call this independent inquiry?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, will the Leader of the Opposition acknowledge that 82% of Canadians say that the opposition is wrong in pursuing these questions and that it should get on with other things?

Why does he not listen to Canadians who say that they want real questions on real issues of concern to real Canadians. Where are the questions about softwood lumber? Where are the questions about agriculture? Where are the questions about the economy?

Nothing is there on those real questions. The official opposition is derelict in its duty to Canadians and it ought to apologize to them.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith Canadian Alliance South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a good thing that the Deputy Prime Minister is not our finance minister.

Not even a week ago the Prime Minister claimed that there was no financial or legal relationship between the golf course and the auberge but the owner of the auberge swore on the Bible that:

—agreements, accounts and contracts were made between the auberge and the (golf course's) clients. You can understand that this represents a major part of the (Auberge's) receipts.

Once again an assertion by the Prime Minister has been shown to be inaccurate. How is it possible that we can believe anything the Prime Minister has to say on this file?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, my understanding of the testimony of Mr. Duhaime is that he did not make reference to golf course clients with respect to the golf course at Grand-Mère. He spoke of clients generally.

If the hon. member wants to keep the respect of the House, which with her questions she lost a long time ago, she ought to quote accurately because the facts are that the golf course and the hotel had no legal, financial or ownership links between them from a period six months before the Prime Minister assumed his responsibilities and the procedure at the relevant time—

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for South Surrey—White Rock—Langley.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith Canadian Alliance South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is respect for the Prime Minister's Office that he should be concerned about.

Jonas Prince sold his hotel chain for $90 million. He could have paid for the golf course out of pocket change, but for six years he refused to do so. While the Prime Minister said that he sold the shares in November, Mr. Prince obviously believed that he did not buy them.

Why would a successful businessman like Mr. Prince risk the wrath of the Prime Minister of Canada and not honour what was supposed to be a so-called bill of sale?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the first thing the hon. member ought to do is look at the agreement of September 29, 1999, between Mr. Prince's firm and the person to whom he sold the shares, Mr. Michaud and his firm.

Mr. Prince says that he received legal advice that Akimbo, his firm, retained legal title to the shares since November 1, 1993. This is what Mr. Prince said in a document dated November 1999 confirming that he owned the shares all along, contrary to what my hon. friend says, who once again is embarrassing herself by her inaccuracies.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, another statement by the Prime Minister in the golf club and Auberge Grand-Mère affair has been contradicted.

In the Prime Minister's letter to the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party dated March 26, the Prime Minister said that the Auberge Grand-Mère was in competition with the adjacent golf club but the auberge's owner, Yvon Duhaime, said quite the opposite in a statement made under oath on November 2, 2000.

How can the Deputy Prime Minister deny the financial link between the two entities, when Yvon Duhaime swore under oath that most of the auberge's income came from golfers at the adjoining club?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the simple truth is that, long before the Prime Minister became Prime Minister, the legal financial links of ownership had been completely severed and, during the period in question, Mr. Prince owed the Prime Minister money, but had no interest himself in the golf club. That is the truth. Those are the facts.