Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was women.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Liberal MP for Cumberland—Colchester (Nova Scotia)

Lost her last election, in 2004, with 26% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Criminal Code May 30th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I please to speak in the House today and support Bill C-205, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Copyright Act to prevent criminals from profiting by selling stories of their crimes.

One of the first lessons we learn in life is that crime does not pay. We are taught that justice always prevails and criminals are always punished. As we grow into adulthood we realize this is not always so. We learn that crime sometimes does pay and that justice does not always prevail. This is wrong. That is why we need legislation like Bill C-205 which will ensure crime does not pay.

This bill is based on two principles, the first being that no criminal should ever profit from telling the story of his crime. This is not an outrageous statement. This is the common law that societies have existed on for centuries. This is why a man who murders his wife cannot collect her life insurance, even as the named beneficiary. However, should that same man make a movie or write a book about killing his wife and make profits from that sale, there is no law that prohibits this. This is unjust. Surely receiving payments for writing a book is as much profiting from the crime as collecting the insurance money.

This bill will put a stop to profiting from authorship respecting a crime. Bill C-205 amends the Criminal Code to include in the definition of proceeds of crime any profit or benefit gained by a person or a family member from the creation of a work based on the indictable offence for which that person was convicted. Therefore the government would be able to seize such profits under the current Criminal Code provisions respecting search for and seizure and detention of proceeds of crime.

This alone would not help if as an example a criminal sells his or her story to a movie or book producer in the United States who then deposits the criminal's payment into a U.S. bank account. In order to deal with such a possibility Bill C-205 will amend also the Copyright Act to provide that the sentence for an indictable offence is deemed to include an order that any work based on this offence is subject to a new section in the Copyright Act.

The bill amends the Copyright Act to provide that in such a work the copyright that would otherwise belong to the criminal becomes and remains the property of the crown forever. This would permit Canada to bring action in any country of the world which is a signatory to the Berne Convention on Copyright to enforce its rights, including seizure of funds paid to the criminal or injunctions to halt the sale of books, movies, videos and the like.

Many people will say the bill goes against society's belief of freedom of speech. This is not so. The second principle of the bill is based on the fact that criminals have the right of freedom of speech and expression provided they do not profit from it. The bill is not imposing a gag order on criminals. It is saying they cannot make money from their criminal activities.

The province of Ontario recently became the first Canadian province to pass a law similar to that of Bill C-205. Under the law criminals and people wishing to capitalize on crime must notify the province's trustee of any deal struck. All profits going to the offender must pass through the trustee's office. The trustee will ensure the money is first used to satisfy awards to the victims. The state of California also recently passed such a law following the notorious Simpson case.

Bill C-205 will also provide much needed protection for victims of crime and ensure their pain and suffering are not exploited. Imagine dealing with the grief of losing a child, a loved one, only to be revictimized by the killer's making stories and profiting from his activities. The effect of such exploitation on victims is overwhelming and unacceptable. Canada must do more to protect victims of crime. This bill will ensure victims' rights and freedoms are respected as well.

We live in a sensationalist society where criminals are quickly elevated to almost a hero status. Even the most horrendous crimes are considered glamorous. One need only remember the Jeffrey Dahmer case in the United States. In 1991 Jeffrey Dahmer was convicted of the deaths and dismemberment of 17 men and boys. While serving his time in prison Mr. Dahmer received over $100,000 from his so-called fans around the world. Even today, after Mr. Dahmer's death, there are several web sites dedicated to him on the Internet. How tragic.

One does not need to look south of the border to find another example of this type of sensationalism. In Canada one need only look at the infamous Clifford Olson. Mr. Olson has managed to provoke publicity over the past 14 years since he pleaded guilty in 1982 to murdering 11 young people in British Columbia. He has established a network of pen pals and groupies around the world and has written stories about his crimes. Recently he has made videotapes entitled "Motivational Sexual Homicide Patterns of Serial Child Killer Clifford Robert Olson". Mr. Olson has even gone as far as to register a copyright on the videos. My heart goes out to the families of these victims. How horrible it must be to relive the crimes through these videos. These families are being victimized over and over again.

Bill C-205 will not stop Clifford Olson from telling his story and seeking more publicity. However, it will certainly prevent Mr. Olson from ever making a cent from these tapes. Perhaps that alone is enough to help ease the pain of the families.

I urge all hon. members to support the bill. It will help to ensure victims and their families are not further victimized by criminals. It will also reaffirm the principle inherent in the Canadian criminal justice system that crime does not pay. It is of paramount importance that this bill become federal law in Canada.

The Environment May 29th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, this year Environment Week is being celebrated from June 1 to 9. Next week is our chance to reflect on our successes and renew our commitment to a healthy environment.

I would like to take this opportunity to applaud the work of the Cumberland County River Enhancement Association which began in 1987. Its mission is to protect and enhance the aquatic systems as well as to raise community awareness of the value of inland waterways.

The Maccan River will be the focus of a new project including tree planting, erosion controls and river clean-up. Currently all along Nova Scotia's vast coastline, natural marshlands are being used in the purification of waste water.

Nova Scotians recognize the value of their environment. They are committed to protecting it, making the province of Nova Scotia a wonderful place to live.

Canadian Human Rights Act May 9th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I am here to consider legislation. The church has a role in society and we as members of Parliament have been elected to serve all people in the country as fairly and with as much human dignity as possible. I prefer not to comment on the question because it is not part of my decision.

My decision was to look at the legislation, to see its value to society, to all people. I have a deep sense in my heart. I want to vote for the bill because I do not want to see discrimination. At the same time, I do not want to be part of legislation which I feel is not

progressive, not part of what will take this great country into the 21st century.

I have been before young people in high schools. They are so wise, as most young people across the country are. They think this legislation is almost obsolete at a time when our country is moving forward. We are all people in this great multicultural country with race and language differences. This is Canada. Let us speak for all people.

Canadian Human Rights Act May 9th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for London West.

There are two primary ways Canadians are protected from discrimination at the federal level, the charter of rights and freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act. Bill C-33 amends the human rights act by adding the words sexual orientation as well as a preamble to the act.

The purpose of this act is to prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and the provision of goods and services in federally regulated businesses. The act lists grounds or characteristics of discrimination that are against the law.

For two weeks I have been struggling with this bill. I have listened to many debates and I have asked many questions. Since I have no legal background, I must trust the judgment of those who do.

I was quite satisfied last week when the Minister of Justice included the preamble which recognizes the importance of family. However, I have been advised that a preamble preceding the body of legislation carries no weight in a court judgment. Therefore the preamble does not provide the level of confidence in the legislation I had hoped for.

In no way do I endorse discrimination. It is my belief that the human dignity and respect of all people goes far beyond the level of debate we can bring to the House.

I also believe no one has the right to judge the beliefs or lifestyle of another. A Canadian is a Canadian regardless of race, religion, gender, language or sexual orientation. They should be treated with the dignity and respect that all people deserve.

Last Saturday I spoke at an event to promote racial unity held in Truro .In my constituency office in a very prominent place over my desk hangs an award presented by the local Baha'i community. It acknowledges my efforts to promote racial unity and the oneness of mankind. I value that plaque as the greatest recognition ever bestowed on me.

A modern multicultural country like Canada, the best country in the world in which to live, has no need for lists or categories that prohibit discrimination. It is my belief that Canada needs a new

human rights act, an act which states that discrimination will not be tolerated in Canada and that every person is equal under the law.

Lists are a thing of the past. They take us back to the 1960s and 1970s. Lists themselves inadvertently create discrimination.

Already I have constituents asking me to include more words in the list, words such as poverty. Is there anyone who would vote against discrimination because a child is poor? I think not. I have constituents who would feel more confident about the human rights act if we added the words HIV positive to the list as a prohibited ground for discrimination.

This country has progressed far beyond the need for lists. Lists are never ending. As most people assume, a human rights act must protect everyone. It must be all inclusive, something that a list or a category will never be. Categorizing Canadians and pitting one group against another will not protect citizens against discrimination but will instead promote divisiveness, anger and resentment.

We must work toward better legislation that encompasses all citizens equally and ensures individuals are judged on their merits and not by the colour of their skin or their sexual orientation.

My riding of Cumberland-Colchester is a large rural riding in northern Nova Scotia. Four Fathers of Confederation were from this area; some claim five because an extra one lived there sometime. The constituents in this riding have expressed their views on virtually every piece of legislation before the House, and Bill C-33 is no exception.

In their first breath, many constituents tell me there should be no discrimination against anyone for any reason. In their second breath, they tell me all legislation must protect traditional family values. I am the only voice these taxpayers have. There is no paid lobby group representing them and very few of them belong to a national organization with political influence.

I was elected by these people who have reservations that with the passage of Bill C-33 their traditional family values will be eroded. There is a fear that courts in the future may interpret Bill C-33 differently from what is intended today.

It is naive to believe this legislation will not be tested by the courts to define broader implications of the words sexual orientation. The fear is that sexual orientation, to be included in the act as a prohibited ground of discrimination, will be used by the courts to alter the traditional meaning of family.

A new human rights act which would clearly protect every person from discrimination yet leave no room for broad interpretation by the courts would be more appropriate legislation at this time.

I praise the Prime Minister for his wisdom, for his love of this country and for his immense capacity to care about people. He has given his team a free vote on this bill. He understands the diverse geography of Canada as well as the diversity of its people. Because he has great confidence in the future of the country and because of his great respect for the dignity of all people, he is deserving of the respect I give to him in the House today.

In the final hour of this debate, because this legislation is not constructed in a manner that serves society without creating mistrust and fear, I cannot endorse it.

Employment Insurance Act May 6th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to support Bill C-12, an act respecting employment insurance.

The proposed employment insurance system is the result of more than two years of consultations with Canadians. This legislation will help Canadians get back to work. It will strengthen work incentives, ensure fairness and help workers adjust to economic change.

Today I will focus my remarks on the effects of the legislation, the effects it will have on women in the workforce and on seasonal workers.

The idea that women will be penalized by changes to employment insurance has become a familiar refrain from the opposition benches, but do not believe it. One of the two overriding goals of the new system is to make it more inclusive than the old one.

Employment insurance legislation recognizes the importance of the participation of women in the workforce. Women make up nearly 70 per cent of Canada's part time workforce. Many of those women are not insured for UI or maternity benefits. Only those women who work for one employer 15 hours a week for 20 weeks are ensured for UI and maternity benefits. Many women hold two or three part time jobs but together they do not have the benefits, but they make work 30 or 40 hours a week or more.

Under the new system, however, an additional 270,000 Canadian women who work less than 15 hours per week at any job or who juggle several jobs at once will finally be eligible for employment insurance and maternity benefits.

Employment insurance provides opportunities for women to increase their employment by lifting the 15 hour glass ceiling. Under the UI system many employers restricted part time workers, particularly women, to less than 15 hours a week in order to avoid paying premiums. With the new EI system all hours count toward a claim. This means men and women who hold down several jobs will now be fully insured if they take sick leave, maternity or paternity leave or if they should lose one of their jobs for any reason.

Employment insurance also guarantees that anyone who earns $2,000 or less a year will have their premiums refunded. This initiative alone will benefit 1.3 million young Canadians. An hour based system ensures all workers are treated equitably and that non-standard workers are brought into the system.

More important, the hour based system will benefit seasonal workers. Under the current UI system it makes no different whether a person works 15 hours a week or 50, the result is the same. The hour based system is a better measure of work effort and therefore provides greater incentive for seasonal workers to remain employed as long as they can.

A good example are the workers in the fishing and forestry sectors who work long hours during the weeks of available employment. Under the current system there is no incentive to work longer than the minimum number of weeks required. More often than not someone has come into my office and told me: "I worked 14 weeks and I thought I was qualified. I learned that this month I need 15 weeks because the level of employment and jobs available are a little higher". They have worked to jerk the system around to what would meet their needs. This no longer will be acceptable. The more hours worked, the more available the benefits will be.

It is important to remember that 96 per cent of current UI claimants will continue to be eligible for benefits. Furthermore, all claimants start with a clean slate on July 1, 1996. That is, they will not be penalized for previous use of the UI system.

Three recent amendments to the legislation to ensure that Atlantic Canadians and seasonal workers are treated more fairly have been brought forward. The first amendment answers concerns about gaps or breaks in employment. This amendment will allow claimants to count back 26 weeks to find the minimum number of work weeks specified by the divisor in their area. In these cases claimants will be eligible to ignore weeks of no earnings and instead have only weeks of actual employment. This amendment

alone will bring $246 million into certain regions where there is more difficulty with employment and more seasonal work, and it will be spread evenly across the country.

The second amendment modifies the divisor to calculate those weekly benefits. This amendment will also benefit high unemployment areas and result in $95 million extra coming into those poorer regions.

The third amendment addresses Atlantic Canadians' concerns about the intensity rules. This will exempt those families of low income, less than $26,000 a year. Those people who receive a reduced benefit as a result of working while on claim will be given a credit for the purpose of the intensity rule.

There are additional assets and benefits to this new legislation; the family income supplement, the wage subsidies, the self-employment assistance program and the skills and loans grants as well as earning supplements. Additionally, child care support will be available for women receiving employment benefits.

This legislation is an enhancement to encourage work, to encourage longer periods of work and to ensure a fair, equitable disbursement of wages throughout our system. It will actually create work for Canadians. The government promised to create jobs for Canadians and this legislation is part of that commitment.

For more than two years now I have been holding town hall meetings. I have sat with labour leaders in Nova Scotia, as well as the membership. I have travelled to the rural coastal communities throughout my riding to hear from seasonal workers. Some of those workers said "the system has been there and we have used it, perhaps even abused it".

One fisherman said to me: "I earn $40,000 to $50,000 a year as a lobster fisherman and my wife helps out so we both are eligible for benefits. Therefore through the winter months, after a two month lobster season of earning that much money, we go on to the UI system and we have a steady income coming all year. I am ashamed to tell you that because the kid over on the gas pump who is earning $5.15 an hour pumping gas pumps gas all year long, 52 weeks a year. That kid is subsidizing me; he on minimum wage and me taking $50,000 out of the system as an employer, as a fisherman, plus UI benefits.

"I am ashamed to say it, but it has been the system and I have continued to use it. I am glad to see you are correcting these inequities so that our young people, women and those who have not had as much opportunity will now have a sense of fairness and part in the system where they can work".

My constituents want this bill passed. They have been part of the discussions and part of the debate. I congratulate the minister for his sense of fairness, his determination, as well as the committee for listening because we have brought amendments forward and we have listened to those people, in particular where there are more seasonal workers and where there is a higher rate of unemployment.

The legislation is long overdue and we have spent too long actually discussing it, almost up to two years. I have no problem with suggesting all members support this bill and I encourage their support to pass it as quickly as possible.

Missing Children May 1st, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today in honour of Child Find's Green Ribbon of Hope month.

Thousands of children go missing in Canada every year. Each time a child is abducted, a family and a community is devastated. They suffer a loss that is unbearable. Together they hope and pray for the child's safe return. The reality is that many children are never found and many others lose their lives to their abductors.

Our children must be protected. It is the responsibility of this government and indeed of all Canadians to guarantee that protection.

Members of this House can help Child Find in its search by printing pictures of missing children in their householders and by supporting recent initiatives to have missing children posters displayed in our government buildings.

Today I encourage all hon. members to wear the green ribbon of hope throughout the month of May to raise awareness and support for this very urgent cause, our missing children.

Taxpayers Bill Of Rights April 30th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to stand and support Bill C-215, an act to appoint a taxation ombudsman and to amend the Income Tax Act to establish certain rights of taxpayers. It is very appropriate to speak on this bill tonight as millions of taxpayers are working diligently to get their taxes in by midnight.

Our hon. colleague from Durham has spent a great deal of time and research on this matter in the interest of ordinary citizens, ordinary taxpayers across this country.

In the past two days we have debated victims rights, gay and lesbian rights, but tonight I want to speak for all people on the issue of taxpayer rights.

I get dozens of letters a week from my constituents who feel they have no rights when it comes to Revenue Canada. These constituents tell me they are helpless to protect their income and assets from Revenue Canada. They tell me they often feel intimidated by the bureaucracy and the collection tactics of Revenue Canada.

Between individual personal tax filers, corporations, importers and exporters, small and medium size business, Revenue Canada serves close to 140 million customers. In 1996-97 Revenue Canada will process 23.1 million income tax returns, 36.6 million child tax benefit payments and 32.4 million GST credit payments. Revenue Canada audited over 70,000 individuals and corporations during 1994-95. With such a tremendous mandate this department needs to be much more accountable to the Canadian taxpayers. Bill C-215 will ensure that accountability.

This bill will enact the taxpayers bill of rights. We presently have a declaration of taxpayers rights but it is one page and eight paragraphs of absolute vagueness. The taxpayers bill of rights in Bill C-215 is in part based on the American example of taxpayers rights from the United States senate in 1988.

The taxpayers bill of rights put forward by the member for Durham will allow Revenue Canada to enter into instalment agreements and restrict the department's right to cancel such agreements.

The bill will provide taxpayers the right of consistency. Major changes to a taxation system may only occur once in every 10 years. Any single change to the taxation system would not affect more than 1 per cent of taxpayers. Cumulative changes for a whole year would not affect more than 3 per cent of total taxpayers. Taxpayers will also have the right to be protected from retroactive legislation.

The taxpayers bill of rights will establish an ombudsman who will act as an intermediary between taxpayers and Revenue Canada in settling accounts and enforcement of the bill. As we heard earlier, perhaps this is a step that cannot be integrated into the bill of rights because of an additional layer of bureaucracy or extra costs.

However, I am the ombudsman for taxpayers in Cumberland-Colchester. I see so many people in my office regarding Revenue Canada issues. I intervene on their behalf, I write letters, I make telephone calls and I go to appeal courts. I am the ombudsman. Is that the role of a member of Parliament? Perhaps it is, but somehow I think there is a better way when we have a department that is as large as Revenue Canada. There should be more accountability in the tax system.

Where it is clear that enforcement of standing orders would result in bankruptcy, the ombudsman would be able to negotiate a settlement based on an assessment of the remaining assets to be paid on an instalment basis. The ombudsman again would be required to prepare an annual report and submit it to both the Senate and the House of Commons.

Many countries have such an ombudsman. The United Kingdom has had one since 1974. The system has been a great success in the U.K. Between 1974 and March 1987 the English commission received more than 30,000 properly referred complaints and the Welsh commission received over 2,500.

I believe this bill is good for the taxpayers of Canada or I would not be standing here speaking on it tonight. Taxpayers have the right to be treated with respect and to know their rights.

It is my hope that all hon. members will give this bill serious consideration and that their full support will come forward not tonight but at another time when we have the opportunity, as the hon. member for Calgary Centre has proposed, for parties through-

out the House to bring together collectively a private member's bill that can be votable and enacted as legislation.

It is imperative for the citizens of Canada. With the tax rate which we have in this country, the bureaucracy administering that tax rate should be held more accountable. We in this House must take swift action to ensure that we give Canadians a bill of rights which provides a sense of respect, fairness, appeal and the many mechanisms which the United States Senate has brought forward in its bill. I believe it could be somewhat reflected and copied in part.

Supply April 29th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the hon. member and her party, as did the Minister of Justice today, for using their opposition day correctly and positively toward the service of all Canadians with this important topic of victims rights. In the red book we promised Canada safer streets, safer communities, a better and fairer society.

The hon. members of the Reform Party spoke of two aspects of victims rights. One aspect is to have tougher legislation. The other aspect refers to counselling, the benefits criminals have through legal aid, mental health services or what other institutions there might be available. Reformers would make these services available to the victim as well, including counselling, support services, financial assistance if required, the opportunity to prepare impact statements and so on.

How far would the hon. member take that suggestion in this legislation? Who would pay for such services?

I am pleased to support the efforts they are putting forward today.

Budget Implementation Act, 1996 April 25th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to add my voice to those of my hon. colleagues to strongly endorse the budget implementation bill before us today.

In the next few minutes I will focus on one key theme of the budget. The focus will be on youth, on what government is doing to invest in Canada's future through education and youth employment programs. Everyone knows the government is committed to deficit reduction and the positive spinoffs of lower interest rates and economic growth. At the same time, we must have the vision to sustain our social programs and build a future for our youth.

There are some areas in which additional funds must be invested while we cut back in others. One such area concerns the youth of Canada. Young people are Canada's most important resource but sadly youth unemployment is about 50 per cent higher than the national average. Young Canadians are not looking for handouts, but for a chance to lend a hand. They need enhanced educational opportunities and an extra hand up to attain their very crucial first jobs.

There is no question about the importance of education. It is the underpinning of this country's progress and accomplishments. Everything we have as a country and as individuals rests on the skills, abilities and talents that have been developed and polished through education.

In today's changing world, education is a lifelong endeavour. During our time in this House we continue to learn more about the

Canadians we serve, about their needs, their expectations and their hopes for this country's future.

It is for Canada's young people that education holds a very special place. The greatest asset a person has is his or her own self-resourcefulness. No one can take your education from you. What they learn now they will use for the rest of their lives. During their lives they will see that the Canada of the future, how it lives, how it works and how it interacts with the broader world outside its borders, will change and grow beyond anything we see today. It is education that will take our young people there.

All of this is well recognized by the government and with this budget we are taking durable, meaningful steps forward. One significant step is the new learning package. It delivers real help to Canadian students. The education tax credit is being raised from $80 to $100. The limit on the transfer of tuition fees and education amounts to those who support students is being raised from $4,000 to $5,000. The annual limit on contributions to the registered education savings plan is being increased from $1,500 to $2,000, while the lifetime limit is being increased from $31,500 to $42,000.

We are also helping parents who are full time students. Single parents and family parents who both attend school will be allowed to deduct child care expenses against all types of income. Parents who attend high school full time will also be allowed to claim this deduction. These new measures will deliver an extra $165 million in tax assistance over the next three years to students and their families.

The new money in the learning package tells only part of the story. It supplements the considerable sums we already target to students. I am sure hon. members are familiar with the Canada student loans program. Currently we budget some $556 million to this program, money that will allow some 360,000 students to negotiate over $1 billion in loans this year. To help students, this year's budget announced the removal of the 10-year ceiling that was imposed on the repayment schedules of students who borrowed money under the Canada Student Loans Act.

Under the new rules lenders will have more flexibility to match the repayment period to the financial reality of borrowers. Not only will this measure help the students who borrow the money, but it will also benefit the government as we will not have such a high default rate on loans.

These changes follow on major reforms of the Canada student loans program made last August. At that time the government announced that it would provide special grants for disabled and high needs students and expand interest relief for borrowers who encounter difficulty in repaying their loans. Loan ceilings were increased and the efficiency of the program was improved through new arrangements with the financial institutions. Under this arrangement it is the lenders who take on the risk and the costs of loan defaults.

Formal education is a necessary foundation that all students seek, but there is something equally important that complements it and that is work experience. I am sure hon. members understand fully the challenge involved in making the transition from schools, colleges and universities to the workplace. Given the difficulty that this transition represents in today's fiercely competitive job market, which is evidenced by the youth unemployment numbers that I mentioned earlier, the government had to take action.

Before the 1996 budget the government had already earmarked some $705 million over the next three years for programs to promote youth employment. These include Youth Service Canada, Youth Internship Canada and the Student Summer Job Action program. Now we are doing more. Funding will be increased with $315 million of new money reallocated from other areas of the budget. Some of this reallocated funding will be used to facilitate summer employment. Government support will double to $120 million for this fiscal year. This action recognizes the value of on the job experience to students, not to mention the money it provides to help them with their education.

Most of the remaining money will be used to assist young people who have left school to find jobs. Individuals with lower levels of education will be a special target group, and to fully fund and to fully understand the particular needs and difficulties they face.

When the new funding for the learning package in youth employment is added to the existing employment programs, the total support for the next three years will be more than $1.2 billion.

When I was a young girl growing up in rural New Brunswick in the 1950s, few young women went to university. Most were encouraged to get married. It was almost like a career. I was always an eager learner and I can remember my mother saying to me: "Diane, do not get too smart or no one will want to marry you". That was a particular and prevailing attitude of the times.

I went to university and I am still enrolled today in the masters program at St. Mary's University at Halifax. I encourage young women and young men to look at education as the greatest asset they will ever attain. You can never have too much of it, it will be the greatest gift that you ever give yourself and it will last a lifetime.

I recognize this and as a working person all my life I am still being educated through a lifelong process. The government recognizes this. Education is a foundation for all successful employment and for successful citizens.

I have a young man in my constituency who encountered drug and alcohol abuse throughout his education at university. He was a failure and dropout. He came to see me in great disgrace in his community. Having been considered a complete failure by family

and friends he asked for my help to get back to school. My message to him was: "I will help you when you are prepared to help yourself".

Over the past two years he has called on me every few months. I am so pleased to say that these last few months he has taken control of his life, he is back on track and he is now enrolled in an education program in the Halifax area.

If I do nothing else through this next period as a member of Parliament, I will feel very satisfied that I have been able to encourage and help one young person take control of his life and get back on track to get his education. It is education that opens the doors to successful young people who become successful adults not only in the workplace but as mothers in our society, as providers, as givers in the community and as very successful Canadians that will take this country into the 21st century.

Taxation April 23rd, 1996

Mr. Speaker, today the Minister of Finance announced the harmonization of the sales tax system in Atlantic Canada with the federal sales tax.

We hear that business will benefit by improved competitiveness from further export opportunities and a reduced tax burden. How will the average consumer in Atlantic Canada benefit from the reform of the sales tax system?