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House of Commons Hansard #50 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was smoking.

Topics

International Astronomy DayStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Yolande Thibeault Liberal Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is International Astronomy Day. It will be an opportunity for all Canadians, young and not so young, to develop an interest in this exciting science.

Stars have an importance for all of us. For some, they point the way to the future or to the past. For others, they explain our time. And for others still, they represent a mystery, the stuff of dreams.

Whatever the stars mean to you, I suggest you go as far as your curiosity will take you. Many activities are being organized in celebration of this pleasant day, including at museums and astronomy clubs.

Be on the lookout for what is happening in your community and take up the invitation science is extending. You will discover a new hobby for sure and even a new passion, perhaps.

Prime MinisterStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the press conference held at the end of the summit of the Americas, the Prime Minister of Canada remained true to himself when he made another unbelievable statement in responding to those who were opposed to the free trade of the Americas. He told these people that the best way to oppose free trade was “to run for office”.

That was his message to the tens of thousands of young people, women and citizens who marched in the streets of Quebec City to express their will to be respected in the negotiations of agreements that directly affect them. With answers like that, it is no wonder that politicians generate distrust, and anger the public.

How can the Prime Minister, who wants to leave his mark as a champion of democracy, have the nerve to tell people to get elected to be heard, when members of this House were excluded from the negotiating process that preceded the Quebec City summit?

With such a champion, Canadian democracy has a long way to go.

HeroismStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Liberal Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I too wish to extend congratulations on behalf of all Canadians to Peter Brown, Mark Cary and Sean Loutitt. These three brave pilots were successful in their heroic attempts this week to rescue an ailing American doctor from a research centre at the South Pole.

Using expertise and skills developed during their training with Kenn Borek Air Ltd. of Calgary, Mr. Brown, Mr. Cary and Mr. Loutitt became Canadian pioneers in their Twin Otter aircraft as they undertook an 8,000 kilometre flight from the southern tip of Chile to the South Pole.

Landing on a runway of solid ice during Antarctica's period of 24 hour darkness and minus 50° temperatures, these three Canadians were able to translate skills learned in their work in Canada's far north to bring the American doctor home for desperately needed medical attention. A flight to the South Pole at this time of year, under these extreme conditions, had never before been undertaken.

Once again the world has seen a demonstration of Canadian ingenuity, expertise and determination. I ask all hon. members of the House and all Canadians to join me in offering our congratulations, our thanks and our best wishes to these brave pilots.

LiteracyStatements By Members

April 27th, 2001 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the January Speech from the Throne the government committed to improving Canadians' literacy skills and to reinforcing life long learning. This is a cornerstone of our skills and learning agenda.

That is why I welcome the government's announcement that Alberta Senator Joyce Fairbairn is being reappointed as the special adviser for literacy to the Minister of Human Resources Development.

This decision coincides with the government preparing to invite provincial and territorial governments, as well as the private and voluntary sectors, to launch a new national literacy initiative. There will be a series of round table discussions with representatives from business, labour and academic communities on issues relating to literacy and skills development.

Raising literacy levels is critical to our future economic growth. The government's commitment to literacy is evidence of our commitment to a better quality of life for all Canadians.

Stock MarketStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, with our stock markets so volatile these days, here are 10 new definitions for stock market terminology.

Momentum investing: the fine art of buying high and selling low.

Value investing: the art of buying low and selling even lower.

Broker: poorer than you were in 1999.

P/E ratio: the percentage of investors wetting their pants as this market keeps crashing.

Standard and Poor: your life in a nutshell.

Bull market: a random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.

Bear market: a 6 month to 18 month period when the kids get no allowance, the wife gets no jewellery and the husband sleeps on the couch.

Stock split: your ex-wife and her lawyer split all your assets equally.

Profit: a religious guy who talks to God.

A 64 cent penny stock: what it now costs a loonie to buy.

Day Of MourningStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, every year across Canada workers are killed on the job and many more are injured or disabled.

People living in ridings such as the South Shore where much of the workforce is dependent on primary industries such as forestry, fishing, agriculture and the offshore are too often faced with the news of another worker being killed or injured on the job.

April 28 is the Day of Mourning for persons killed or injured in the workplace. All Canadians should recognize this important date and work toward zero deaths or injuries in the workplace.

We should not forget the fact that too often in the primary industries those accidents involve youth. Farm accidents, for instance, often involve children under 10. A farm is not only a workplace, it is a home.

I know of far too many people who have been killed or injured on the job. I ask all parliamentarians to recognize the importance of April 28 as a day to remember and to hopefully work toward reducing all accidents in the workplace.

Day Of MourningStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, April 28, marks the 10th year Canada officially commemorates workers who have been injured or died on the job.

The National Day of Mourning was the result of a private member's bill, Bill C-223, in the name of Rod Murphy, the former MP for my riding of Churchill, and was passed by parliament in 1991.

Three Canadian workers are killed every working day. Over 800,000 injuries occur every year. The pain and suffering caused by occupational accidents and hazards in the workplace affect everyone.

On April 28 we remember: the grocery store clerk who cannot carry her baby because of repetitive strain injury; a 19 year old blinded from a mix of chemical compounds he knew nothing about; the friends and family of the 14 year old construction worker killed in Alberta; and the father of three killed in a smelter explosion in Flin Flon whose co-workers are still recovering from seeing him burn.

Today for the first time parliament will hold a moment of silence to renew our commitment to not only mourn for the dead but to fight for the living.

I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, and all parties for agreeing to join together as a parliament in a remembrance today.

National Day Of MourningStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. It was agreed that this House would observe one minute of silence to commemorate the National Day of Mourning and honour the memory of workers killed or injured at work. Editor's Note: The House stood in silence .]

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the job news in Canada this week is not that great. JDS Uniphase just cut 2,500 jobs. Bell Canada proposes to lay off 1,800 workers. Cisco Systems will chop 250 jobs. This morning we learned that TD Waterhouse will cut 800 employees. These are thousands of hardworking, taxpaying citizens who will be looking for work.

How can the minister say with that record that all the fundamentals are in order?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that whenever any job is lost in Canada it is of great concern to the government in terms of the families involved.

At the same time, I think we need to recognize that we are going through a situation where there is extreme volatility. There has been a slow down in the United States and we are all aware of the situation in Japan. Those things will have an effect in Canada.

It is important, when we look at the job numbers, that we understand, for instance, that in the last eight months Canada has had twice the amount of job creation as the United States, which means that we are coming through this well. That does not mean that we are not very concerned about any job loss.

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, we just learned that the help wanted index in the United States has reached a record low.

The labour market south of the border is experiencing very serious problems. Economists tell us that the same situation could occur in Canada.

Will the minister leave the rhetoric aside and tell Canadians what the government will do to improve the situation?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the situation is very clear.

But it must be said that the current growth figure in the United States is much higher than what economists expected.

We can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel, but this is not to say that there is not a slowdown in the United States that is affecting us.

This is why our efforts to reduce taxes for instance are worth mentioning. Our figures in relation to debt reduction are very impressive.

Again, the job creation rate in Canada is twice that of the United States.

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is all well and good for the minister to talk about how well Canada is doing in relation to other countries. However, I just mentioned that almost 5,500 jobs are being lost. These are high paying jobs that taxpayers had before the government messed up our economy.

The IMF's own chief economist warned yesterday that the U.S. and Canada must act more responsibly with their economies or risk a recession. Those are very plain words. Will the government take the first step toward responsibility and bring in a new budget?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I certainly do not know where the hon. member is getting his information. The chief economist of the IMF has said that Canada's tax cuts were fortuitous and very well timed. The chief economist also said that the policy actions taken by the government are exactly what were required. The chief economist also pointed out that the amount of stimulus in our economy is virtually double that of any other major economy.

What economists around the world are saying is that the policy actions that have been taken by the government are exactly the actions that were required.

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, our economic growth is continuing slowly, while the American growth rate is about three times as high as ours. Our dollar is languishing around 65 cents and eroding the assets of every Canadian. Why? It is because our tax rates are still too high and there is no legislated plan for debt reduction.

Will the Minister of Finance respond to these concerns and table some concrete plans to address these issues?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is very difficult to understand the Alice in Wonderland from which the Alliance members happen to come. The fact is that their numbers are wrong. Our growth rates compare very favourably with those in the United States.

I will go back. I raised this the other day in terms of legislated debt paydown. The problem with it is that as soon as governments get into trouble they amend it. They welsh on the deal. If the member wants an example all he has to do is go back and take a look at what the Leader of the Opposition did when he was the treasurer of Alberta. Six months after he brought in legislated paydown he welshed on the deal.

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister keeps saying that our fundamentals are all right. If that is true, then why are we losing jobs? This is actually happening. My colleague just mentioned that. Why is the rate of growth of our economy less than the Americans by one-third? This is true. I do not think the minister should be denying that.

Our growth rate is increasing but at a very slow rate. The Americans' growth rate is increasing at a higher rate. Why is that? It is because of a lack of a tax plan that would give aggressive tax rate cuts to our citizens. When will he do it?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is very hard to deal with a firm that spends most of its research money on spies and not doing basic economic research. The fact is that he is wrong in terms of growth. If he looks at the job creation rates, last month our job creation numbers were substantially higher than any economist expected across North America.

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1999, the Bloc Quebecois filed a complaint with the commissioner of official languages regarding the place of French in amateur sport.

Of the 16 recommendations made by the commissioner, 9 were to be implemented before April 1 of this year and three others when the report was tabled. It is now April 27 and nothing has been done.

I ask the head trainer for official languages what action he intends to take vis-à-vis his colleague at amateur sport so that the commissioner's recommendations are acted upon and so that French speaking athletes do not have to leave their mother tongue at the door in order to make it to the podium.

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, first, we are glad that the Bloc Quebecois wants to see its athletes on the podium because, until last week, it did not even want to talk about athletes from everywhere in Canada.

Second, we have a very specific policy on official languages. If a national sports organization does not meet the rules on recognizing both official languages, it will not receive any funding from the Government of Canada.

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, the official languages commissioner's report concluded that French speaking athletes are governed by a system which, most of the time, operates exclusively in English, to the detriment of their development as athletes.

On this first day of the national summit on sport, will the new official languages standard bearer—not the Minister of Canadian Heritage—tell us what he intends to do to end the discriminatory and unequal treatment to which French speaking athletes are subject?

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, today, Quebec's minister responsible for sport is saying that governments should not play politics with sport.

We do not want to play politics with sport. That is why today, tomorrow and Sunday we will be trying to reach a consensus with all Canada's athletes. It is a given that athletes must be able to train in their own language, in French, throughout Canada, and that is Canada's policy.

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government's inaction over the years in connection with the official languages issue in amateur sport has had a negative effect on the efficiency and performance of francophone athletes. They are being discriminated against on the basis of language, not performance.

Now that the summit on sport is over, what concrete actions do the minister responsible for official languages and the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport intend to take to eliminate the obstacles faced by francophone athletes within the Canadian sports system?

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Hamilton East Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, just for once I would like to see the Bloc Quebecois capable of setting petty politics aside in order to work along with all of Canada's athletes who have come to establish a consensus for sports on behalf of all the athletes of Canada.

Official LanguagesOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, how can there be any consensus when the phrase “Building Canada” is already there? Forget this policy.

Instead of making use of the national summit on sport as a propaganda tool focussing on Canadian unity, will the minister ensure that the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport reviews the summit discussion document and immediately implements the recommendations of the commissioner of official languages?