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House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was organized.

Topics

Arts And CultureStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, last night in Venice two Alberta artists, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, won a special prize at the prestigious Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition.

This is the most recent example of the world class art being produced by Canadians and supported by the Canada Council. Funding went to Cardiff and Miller for the creation of “The Paradise Institute” and to Winnipeg's Plug In Gallery for the presentation and promotion of the work. Only weeks ago Inuit filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk won the Camera d'Or at the Cannes International Film Festival.

In an increasingly globalized environment it is crucial that Canadian artists have the opportunity to find audiences. They would not be able to do this without public funding and, in particular, the Canada Council's support.

Like public investment in science and technology, public arts funding is an investment in Canadian creativity, paying off many times over in enhancing our reputation as a dynamic, vital and above all passionately artistic nation. I salute our Canadian artists.

Games Of La FrancophonieStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois is proud today to be able to encourage Quebec's athletes who, when they take part in the Games of La Francophonie, to be held from July 14 to 24, will do so for the first time as representatives of Quebec.

At long last, Quebecers will have the pleasure of seeing the fleur-de-lis hoisted high for victories and will be able to share their pride in the performance of our Quebec athletes.

We all know how talented those athletes are. Now they will be able to show that they are a magnificent, resounding force that is here to stay.

This is only the beginning for our athletes from Quebec. Soon, as ambassadors of our sovereign nation, they will be able to display Quebec's colours, anthem, and flag. One day, they will wear the fleur-de-lis as a symbol of victory over adversity and of hope.

We salute them all and wish them good luck.

Geneviève JeansonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, for the second time in her young cycling career, Lachine's Geneviève Jeanson was named personality of the week by the daily La Presse .

On June 3, Geneviève Jeanson won a spectacular victory in a women's world cup road cycling event held on Mount Royal. She took off and rode alone for 75 kilometres, crossing the finish line with a lead of 7 minutes and 26 seconds over her closest competitor.

At barely 19 years of age, Geneviève Jeanson is one of the best among the world's elite female cyclists. On my behalf and on behalf of the residents of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, I congratulate this young athlete who is an example of perseverance for us all, and I wish her other great victories.

Health CareStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Canadian Alliance Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, in Surrey, Surjit Goraya's husband told me that his wife was a healthy pregnant woman until she lost her baby because of overcrowding at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Canada's fastest growing cities are unable to keep pace with the demands made on our hospitals and emergency medical services because of the massive cuts in federal health care spending. The government is responsible for tearing $26 billion out of Canada's health care system. This weak Liberal government has created bed shortages and equipment shortages in our hospitals. These shortages have caused unnecessary suffering and even death.

This massive cut in federal health spending has also caused brain drain and labour problems with nurses, doctors and support staff going on strike.

What can the health minister tell the people of Surrey? What can the Prime Minister say to a 25 year old grieving mother who lost her baby? She and her family were helpless.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

June 11th, 2001 / 2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, this past Saturday I had the honour to join with cadets from the 219th Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps from New Glasgow who were participating in a national environmental initiative entitled “Cadets Caring for Canada”. In conjunction with cadets from 750 communities across Canada, 1,100 corps of squadrons took part in this extraordinary event.

At home the local project involved 30 fine, keen young cadets who under the able direction of Ross Bland and Don Hussher undertook to clean up the Lansdowne outdoor recreational park by expanding and enhancing upon this beautiful site. LORDA is operated by a great Canadian, David Liese. It provides senior citizens, mentally and physically challenged individuals and others, who rarely have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, to participate in various events such as fishing, camping and recreational activities.

Events held annually at LORDA include the children of Chernobyl fund day, the Pictou county mental health day, the commercial travellers picnic for the disabled and the war veterans picnic.

Max KeepingStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to pay tribute an extraordinary Canadian citizen.

Journalist Max Keeping of CJOH television has been a cornerstone in our community and the recipient of numerous awards, including the Order of Canada, the Ontario Good Citizenship Award and the key to the city of Ottawa, to name a few.

Through the Max Keeping Foundation, thousands of children in our community benefit from life skill programs, such as Child and Youth Friendly Ottawa, and his tireless efforts working for sick children and CHEO. Just name the cause, call Max Keeping and he is there to help.

Max Keeping is an outstanding citizen, compassionate, committed, determined, hardworking, an achiever, courageous, a planner, consistent, patient and a true leader.

On behalf of all my colleagues in the House and all Canadians, I want to say thank you to Max Keeping.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, one of the most respected investment banks in the world is now predicting that Canada may sink into a recession later this year. Other economists are predicting some planning deficits. We now know that the government is actually indulging in the sharpest spending increases since the Trudeau era.

We all want to be optimistic, and we should be. Prudence, however, demands that these voices of concern be heard. We should not just reject them out of hand.

To calm the waters of concern, will the government please abandon its present plan to go two years without a full budget and commit today to tabling a budget as soon as possible?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, perhaps it is too much to ask the research department of the Canadian Alliance to go beyond the National Post , but rather than simply reading the headlines, at least members opposite ought to read the article. The article states that Canadian indicators remain healthy, that employment levels are stable, that trade continues to be standard, that tax is steady and that tax rates and interest rates have fallen.

I just do not see the weakness that would lead to a recession. Peter Duncan from the Rotman School of Management in the very same article.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, he is not dealing with the question of this unprecedented possible two years without a budget.

The level of lack of accountability is extraordinary. We need to see this happen to address these concerns that we are hearing and also to address the concerns that we see with the United States moving ahead aggressively on its tax and debt reductions.

Last year was a record year for Canadian investment out of Canada into the United States. As the United States moves ahead with a reduction in its income tax, in its marriage penalty and in its elimination of death taxes on family savings, we will continue to see a record investment out of the country.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. members knows, in the October statement we brought down the largest tax cuts in Canadian history.

The hon. member ought to know that in the spring update we announced the largest debt reduction in Canadian history.

If the hon. member wants to take a look at the numbers what he can see is that while Canada is currently creating employment, the United States is losing employment.

The fact is that we are weathering the storm, and those are the real facts.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government must show Canadians that it will take the necessary measures to protect them against a recession and against the United States.

My question is on behalf of all Canadians. Is this government prepared to speed up the tax reduction process to protect Canadians against an anticipated recession, possibly, and also against the United States?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition should look at what we just did.

Not only did we lower the Canadian debt by a record $33 billion over a four year period, including $15 billion just for last year, but at the same time we helped our economy with $17 billion in tax reductions and $7 billion in spending. This far exceeds what the Americans have done.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister is ignoring what credible economists are saying and the signals of concern they are raising. Today George Vasic said that a mild technical recession through the second and third quarters of 2001 is a credible prediction.

The finance minister talks about being tax competitive with the United States. Taxes as a percentage of our gross domestic product are 42% versus 31% in the United States. How can the finance minister stand up here day after day and tell us that we are becoming more competitive with a nation whose total tax burden is nearly a third lower than ours?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, given the fact that it is the same preamble, let me give the hon. member exactly the same answer in case he missed it.

The fact is that the chief economist of the Rotman School of Management has given the numbers on why we are doing very well. The majority of economists, as referred to in that article, have said that we are not in a recession. In fact one economist does not a recession make and the hon. member ought to stop fearmongering.

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is the minister who is fearmongering. Whenever reasonable voices of concern are raised about the direction of our economy he accuses those voices of fearmongering. Instead of doing that, why does he not bring forth a responsible budget which would accelerate tax relief and debt reduction and restore absolute confidence to the markets? Or, is he happy with the fact that disposable incomes are 30% less than the United States, that we have a 65 cent dollar and that our tax burden is a third as high as in the United States? Is he happy with those facts? Does he think those fundamentals are right?

The EconomyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, what I am happy about is the fact that Canadians' real disposable incomes are now at a record level. I am happy about the fact that the Canadian economy is creating jobs. I am happy about the fact that it is projected that the Canadian economy will have one of the strongest growth rates of any of the economies of the world.

If the hon. member wants to see us cut taxes, why did he take such pride a couple of months ago in stating that he specifically voted against the government's tax cuts?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the tabling of the unanimous report by the standing committee on human resources two weeks ago, the Bloc Quebecois has been asking day after day for the government to follow up on the committee's recommendations before the end of this session.

On each occasion, the government has refused to commit, when Bill C-2, which has just been passed, is clearly insufficient for the unemployed.

Can this government explain its unwillingness to help the unemployed by following up now on the unanimous report by the standing committee on human resources?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I again remind the hon. member that it is this government that has on many occasions updated the Employment Insurance Act to reflect the specific needs of Canadians.

By asking these questions over and over again, as the hon. member has, it is becoming clear that what all the Bloc members are trying to do is cover up for the fact that they made a mistake last fall in voting against Bill C-44 and again this spring by voting against Bill C-2.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it was not even voted on, they pulled it. But we stand against organized crime.

The unanimous Human Resources Development Canada report bears the title “Beyond Bill C-2” which means, in case the minister does not understand, that the government must go beyond it so that young people, women and seasonal workers are no longer penalized by the eligibility rules; so that older workers may be retrained; so that the self-employed, who are not covered at present, may benefit from it.

Are we to conclude that she has just turned a blind eye to all the recommendations of the standing committee on human resources development, recommendations—

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The Minister of Human Resources Development.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member should understand is that this government works very closely with Canadians to ensure they have a system in place that will support them when they find themselves through no fault of their own between jobs.

The hon. member needs only to look at what we are doing in the province of Quebec with that government in support of older workers where together we have pilot projects that focus specifically on the needs of that part of the labour force.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the standing committee on human resources development, which is recommending significant changes to employment insurance, is the product of an election promise the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and the Secretary of State for Amateur Sport made to the unemployed in an effort to defuse a demonstration by unemployed persons in Shawinigan in the middle of the election campaign.

With the government's successive refusals to act on our request for a thorough revamping of the employment insurance system, are we to understand that the recommendations of this committee will join the unfulfilled election promises of this government and that the unemployed will have been misled by this government once again?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, the government committed to Canadians that immediately upon returning to the House it would reintroduce the amendments that we tried to pass last fall.

I would remind the hon. member that when the member for Rimouski—Neigette-et-la Mitis was asked about supporting our motion last fall, she said the following:

We conveyed the message to this government that we would not support the motion, even though it really saddens us to do so, considering all the positive measures, however temporary, that the bill may provide for, among others, seasonal workers.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, can we call the fact that, in the middle of the election, two ministers promised a committee to look into the employment insurance system never intending to act on its recommendations after the election, anything other than a game of political cynicism played out on the backs of the unemployed?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, we promised to deliver the amendments that have now been passed in the context of Bill C-2. We are working in communities in the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick with workers and employers because for us it is not only about providing benefits through employment insurance but it is also about finding real jobs. When will members of that party figure that out?