Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was women.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Liberal MP for Halifax (Nova Scotia)

Lost her last election, in 1997, with 22% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Constitutional Amendments Act November 30th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I am absolutely delighted to take part in this debate today.

It is very interesting that I have the opportunity to make my remarks on behalf of the people of Halifax and Nova Scotia in the wake of that impassioned intervention by my hon. colleague from the official opposition. There is no question that this is the best country in the world in which to live. I am not going to argue the whys and wherefores with the hon. member because a universal truth is a universal truth. The universal truth is that Canadians from sea to sea to sea are the most fortunate people on Earth.

I come from what is normally known as a have not part of the country. It is quite true that there are many things that we have not

in Nova Scotia. However, one of the things that we have, one of the things we opted for and one of the things we chose was Canadian citizenship. It is something we hold most dearly and most preciously.

It is not merely because we live in Nova Scotia, which I think is the best place in Canada to live, just as I know my hon. colleague, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, thinks that Toronto and its environs is the best place in Canada. I know that my hon. colleague from St. Boniface thinks that Manitoba is the best place to live and my colleague from London thinks that London is the best place. My colleague right over there from Alberta thinks Alberta is the best place to live. We all look at the rest of the country as the setting for our own particular jewels.

I want to speak today to the passion which came from my colleague from the province of Quebec. I understand that passion as I think we all understand it, but that does not need to diminish our Confederation or our country.

On Saturday I attended a meeting back in my riding. I sat next to a prominent Nova Scotia businessman. He raises money for all sorts of good causes, one of them being the Liberal Party. He told me he had been called upon by the premier and the minister of public works to help raise money to ensure that students and seniors who wanted to go to the rally in Montreal were able to go. He said that in over 20 years of being a fundraiser for various charitable causes and various political causes, he had never raised money so quickly. There was such a good response and such an absolute desire on the part of the people he called to contribute and to help because it was for our country.

In my own family, my father's two surviving brothers went to Montreal after World War II and raised their families there. It is very interesting because my cousins in Montreal are a microcosm of Canada. Some of them have Irish last names, some of them have English last names, some of them even have Italian last names, and some of them have French last names.

In my family while we may not be pure laine, we are purely Canadian. My cousins who live in the greater Montreal area will say that they are Quebecois and they are proud Quebecois. They and their children will continue to be proud Quebecois.

The whole point of this debate, the whole point of this resolution is to follow up on a promise made by the Prime Minister on the responses of Canadians right across the country to the fact that Quebec is indeed a distinct and integral part of the Canadian federation, a distinct and integral part of the Canadian identity. We could no more see Quebec leave our federation than we could as individuals cut off an arm or a leg, or lose an eye.

As we debate this here today and in subsequent days, it is terribly important for each of us to listen to each other and to understand that one region of Canada does not seek and never has sought, at least not in modern times, to defeat or humiliate the other side.

That day in Montreal when I saw 150,000 Canadians converge in that square, I knew I was part of something very special. I knew that approximately-numbers are hard to be absolutely sure about-40,000 Canadians came from the other regions of Canada. There were 150,000 people in the downtown core of Montreal. It is clear that a vast majority of the people in that downtown square were Quebecois. They were people who were saying to their fellow Canadians: "We want to stay. We want to hear from you that you understand we are different".

Whether we are from Quebec, Newfoundland or British Columbia, we do understand that there is a distinctiveness and a difference in our fellow citizens in la belle province. We know their language, although that too is shared with francophone Canadians in almost every other province and territory. We know their culture and the incredible richness that is the ongoing Quebecois culture within the Canadian mosiac is something that every Canadian benefits from, not just those within the borders of Quebec itself. We know Quebec's civil code again makes them different and distinct from the rest of us.

Every single one of us celebrates that difference. We celebrate the fact that we can share. We can build a Canada that is a better place, whether one's language is English or French, whether one's ancestral origin is western Europe, eastern Europe, Africa, the Far East, or whether one is an aboriginal Canadian. None of these things matter in the desire to make a better place for our families, our children and our communities. I do not want my friend over there to be upset or to take this the wrong way. What matters is that this country is the best place in the world to live, whether you live in Quebec or Manitoba or Nova Scotia. Yes, we have problems, problems that those of us here in the House must work together to solve.

Most of us in the Chamber have had the opportunity to go elsewhere. We have seen the Russian federation. We have seen countries of the world where people are clamouring to come to Canada, to Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. We are trying to make them clamour to come to Nova Scotia too. Some day they will find out that is a good place to live as well. They are clamouring to be part of this incredible and unique and crazy idea which is Canada.

I think we all understand the desires for recognition in the hearts and minds of our colleagues from Quebec. We are saying that there are similar desires in different areas for all Canadians. We cannot maintain this incredible and bizarre idea, this federation, this country, by standing back and hurling implications at each other. It cannot be done by being accusatory or by suggesting motives that

are less than applicable in these situations. It is done by reaching out to each other the way we reached out in Montreal on that incredible Friday and the way all Canadians, English and French and allophone continue to reach out to each other.

As many have said, this resolution is a step in that direction. It is something that the federal government, the Prime Minister and those on this side of the House sincerely believe is a response to the things the people of Canada asked us to do, including the people of Quebec.

Renewal Of Canadian Federalism November 29th, 1995


Witness Protection Program Act November 28th, 1995

I want to particularly commend the hon. member for Fraser Valley East.

I am astounded that they even heckle me when I am saying nice things about them. It is probably because they are in shock.

This legislation has been a necessity for some time. The witness protection plan in the past has basically operated under principles and guidelines laid down in RCMP internal policies. There is no question that this kind of activity is much better and much more in the public interest when it is covered by legislation passed in the House.

It is tragic to think that we are debating this bill today in the aftermath of yet another tragic occurrence in our country. I am speaking of the shooting yesterday in Cartierville, Quebec, of the young female police officer who was shot in a community police station. She was the mother of three children and had just returned from maternity leave. The youngest of her three children was only eight months old.

I do not know if there have been more developments today. Last night I watched the news along with our colleague, the member for Saint-Laurent-Cartierville, who is very concerned about this tragedy that has taken place in her riding. There are no known witnesses. This happened in a busy mall, but we all know that things can happen that people may not see or hear.

With a program like this and with the attendant publicity the passage of this bill will create, we can hope people will come forward, even if they are frightened, as many people are, to get involved with the criminal justice system.

Our colleagues from the other party have raised some legitimate points, which they need to have answered. Even with the legislation replacing a mere policy program, it is extremely important, if this program is to work, that access to the information must be very, very limited.

The hon. member for Fraser Valley East talked about victims and the need for victims to know certain things. I believe the victims can well know about the process, about what the policy is and about what the legislation is, but that could be part of a government information program or it could be part of public education that victims rights groups would get involved with. However, in the actual day to day administration of the program itself, common sense must rule. Only a very small number of people can or should be apprised of who exactly is in the program, where these people are located, and all of the attendant facts necessary to make sure the program works.

I take this rare occasion of amity between the government and those on the other side to explain that it is not a question of wanting to deny victims their rights to know; it is much more a question, as is the whole basis of this legislation, that we want to ensure that witnesses come forward and give their testimony in a court of law, which will lead to the conviction of those who have committed offences and will add to the deterrent factor. In other words, it is to ensure that this legislation takes its place as part of the underpinning of our system of justice. This is a very sensitive area. It may well be the most sensitive area in the entire federal realm of legislating vis-à-vis the justice system.

Part of the difficulty, as with many of our developments in the criminal law in this place, is that a lot of people in the public at large garner their information about programs such as this from popular television programs. What happens on popular television

programs and what happens within our various police departments, including the RCMP, is not necessarily the same.

Consequently, as the hon. member for Fraser Valley brought up, there is a lot of misinformation out there. People want to know more. It is the duty of members of Parliament and of government without being patronizing, without attempting to block the public's right to know to get out the message that some things being publicized would be counterproductive to the system of justice and to the system of government.

There is no question that secrecy in many cases is the enemy of democracy, but there are exceptions to that rule. In something such as the witness protection program, we all have to agree that a level of confidentiality in the protection of those witnesses who are doing their very best to help in the protection of the public is absolutely essential.

I do not have a very long time to address this matter but I also wanted to speak briefly on the question of cost in this legislation. Again, what we have here is very much of a bargain, particularly within the normal costs of federal government programs. At the moment, the cost of the RCMP source witness protection program is $3.4 million. No additional costs are expected as a result of introducing this legislation. The average cost per case is $30,000 and in actuality 60 per cent of cases cost less than $20,000.

It is difficult to say how many persons may be in the program at any given time because the numbers do change daily. They change with the expiration of protection agreements and the elimination of threats to safety. At any given time, there are 80 to 100 people, including family members, in the program.

We all realize how important a program such as this is to our justice system. I want to compliment our colleagues in the third party who are supporting this, or in the words of their whip, any of those who wish to support it. We appreciate that support.

This country's criminal justice system is one that works very well. It is the subject of a lot of brick bats, a lot of criticism from time to time but in general as a law professor of mine used to say, under the universal theory of rough justice, in 80 per cent of the cases things work out.

The witness protection program may give us a betterment of those odds. Certainly all of us on this side of the House, as I know all on the other side, are committed to a criminal justice system which is fair and which protects Canadian society at large. This legislation will be a great help in ensuring that end. I support it very strongly. I congratulate members of the third party for their support as well.

Witness Protection Program Act November 28th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to take part in the debate this afternoon. I would like to begin by doing something I rarely do, which is to compliment the members of the third party for their support of the legislation.

Members Of Parliament November 24th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to live in a country that is seen around the world as being kind, compassionate and welcoming as a nation. Over the past few decades we have opened our hearts to tens of thousands of refugees. We have been a safe haven in a world of hunger, death and tribulation.

A key element of our refugee determination system is the Immigration and Refugee Board. The board was established in 1989 to allow refugee claimants the right to an oral hearing. These hearings are usually not open to the public. There are a number of very good reasons for this.

A number of applicants are worried that what they say during their hearing with a view to obtaining refugee status might reach the ears of groups involved in persecution in their country of origin. Even if they are safe here in Canada, they fear that relatives and friends may be exposed to reprisals for their statements.

We may have difficulty imagining that possibility from here in Canada. It is sometimes hard to imagine that there are regimes where you could be arrested, tortured, or killed for your beliefs or for the beliefs of your friends and associates. We must remember this. If we want the truth, and that is what the refugee hearings are all about, we need to make sure the claimant feels that he or she has the full opportunity to be heard.

We are also concerned with having a system that is open to the public. Accountability is a vital and cherished cornerstone of our governing system. That is why we have struck a balance between the right of the public to know and the right of the claimant to protection and security.

It is a principle of Canadian law that judicial and quasi-judicial decision making take place in an open and transparent environment. The hearings held by the immigration appeals division, for example, are held in public. But as I have said, sometimes there must be limits on that openness and transparency. That kind of limit is indeed even enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in section 1, which talks about reasonable limits prescribed by law that can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. The balance provided in the Immigration Act between the rights of the claimant and the rights of the Canadian public was intended to respect the competing charter concerns.

There are two ways in which an individual or the news media can gain access to the hearing: either the claimant can consent to the presence of the individual, or the hearing panel can, in response to an application, declare the hearing open to the public. In the latter case, the burden is on the claimant to establish that the life, liberty, or security of any person would be endangered by a public hearing.

It would be very worthwhile for members to let their constituents know what really goes on in these hearings. It would be very difficult to understand an applicant's objecting to the presence of a representative of the Canadian Parliament, except in very unusual circumstances.

Is an amendment needed to achieve this level of access to the hearing process? Are lawyers and other counsel advising their clients to resist access by parliamentarians to the hearings? Are members of Parliament being left only with the recourse of litigating the issue of access before the refugee division and the courts? No, they are not.

Accountability is a hallmark of good government. The Canadian government has always held the public's right to know to be sacrosanct. It is a principle we will never abandon. Liberty, justice, and freedom demand this. Sometimes the need for individual security demands privacy. An individual's right to safety and protection is another cornerstone of our society. It means we often have to strike a delicate balance. I believe our system does this.

Auditor General For The Family Act November 8th, 1995

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak however briefly on the bill which I do not support.

I am a feminist. I am a very proud feminist. I am very proud of the government's record, particularly at the recent Beijing conference, particularly on supporting the plan of action, and most particularly on the matters mentioned by my hon. colleague with respect to setting the stage for Beijing and gender analysis, a policy which is long overdue.

I do not say that just to be combative. I do not say it just to disagree with my hon. colleague over there, or indeed with my hon. colleague from Central Nova. I say it because I think there is a deep misunderstanding in certain segments of society.

Before I became a feminist and before I became a parliamentarian I was a woman, a daughter and a granddaughter. I am still all those things. I come from an amazingly wonderful family. I was brought up by a single parent. My father died at the age of 39, leaving mother with heavy burdens because there was no medicare. My mother educated herself and she educated me. She brought me up to believe in tolerance and equality for all. She also brought me up within the context of a larger extended family, those aforementioned grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins to the third and fourth degree. It was a typical Nova Scotia and Cape Breton family.

On behalf of feminists across the country I resent the insinuation that we are not family oriented. Because we believe in gender equality, because we believe in freedom from fear and freedom from violence, because we believe in pay equity and employment equity, because we believe women hold up half the sky, I resent the theory that we should be told we are anti-family. We are not anti-family. We are the people who hold the flame every bit as much as my hon. colleague across the floor or my hon. colleague from Central Nova.

On this side of the House there are mothers, grandmothers, married women, single women and divorced women who have children of their own or who are loving godparents, aunts or whatever to many children. We care and we care deeply. No one has the right to equate feminism with an anti-family stand. No one has the right to question the way we feel about our families.

I love my family as much as I love my country and the two are interchangeable. It is shameful for anyone to suggest otherwise.

Auditor General For The Family Act November 8th, 1995

According to whose statistics?

Auditor General For The Family Act November 8th, 1995

Why is it misleading? Finish the clause. Why is it misleading?

Department Of Health Act November 6th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, may I say that it gives me a great deal of pride today to speak in support of Bill C-95 to establish the Department of Health.

My pride lies not just in the federal government's record of accomplishment and achievement in the broad health domain, although I have a great deal of pride in that, but also in a health system that is the envy of the world. On top of that I have pride in the knowledge that the genius of Canada's Constitution is found in the fact that the world's finest health system did not come about at the expense of a fundamental respect for the letter and spirit of our Constitution.

While we are batting around our good and much maligned Constitution I should like to make a slight comment. Members of either the official opposition or the third party who are fond of making comments about the Constitution could perhaps learn a bit if they would read the Constitution. Many of the misapprehensions we have heard from both those opposition sides might be cleared up if they would merely read it. Maybe they need some help in reading it. However they should read it.

We could speculate on how the Fathers of Confederation would have dealt with health care had they any idea of the enormous technological changes that would take place in the first century of our country's history and in the even more profound technological advances that continue to arise each and every day. Perhaps we could speculate on how the Constitution would have been written if anyone in 1867 could have imagined the day when health expenditures would account for about one-tenth of Canada's economy.

Last Thursday the hon. member for Drummond enumerated the various heads of power over health the Constitution assigns to provincial legislatures. She drew particular attention to subsections 92(7), 92(13) and 92(16) which deal with health institutions, property and civil rights, and local matters. The hon. member could have added that subsection 92(2) deals with local taxation and spending and has health implications.

Those listening to the hon. member's stirring defence of Canada's Constitution could have been forgiven for thinking that everything the Constitution has to say about health is encapsulated in subsection 92. The fact of the matter is that other subsections also have considerable relevance. In the interest of peace, order and good government and in the interest of ensuring the people of Canada understand what is actually happening I should like to name some of them.

Subsection 91(27) gives the Parliament of Canada exclusive jurisdiction over criminal law. "Ah", I hear some people cry, "what does that have to do with health?" I will tell them. It is the basis of a number of statutes protecting public health and safety. That is federal jurisdiction.

Subsection 91(2) assigns to the federal Parliament responsibilities for international and interprovincial trade. It again supports the basis for federal regulations, as a small example, in the area of drugs and medical devices. That is federal jurisdiction once again.

Subsection 91(11) gives the federal Parliament explicit power over quarantine and marine hospitals. That is an interesting sidelight. It reveals a good deal of the thinking in 1867 about where matters cease to be local and take on national significance: quarantine and marine hospitals. It is not too big a stretch to see that should be and indeed is constitutionally within the federal domain.

Subsection 91(7) concerns the military and veterans. It is federal. Subsection 91(8) has to do with the federal public service and subsection 91(4) concerns aboriginals and lands reserved for aboriginals.

All these powers account for a great deal of the federal role in health. They account for the considerable array of the duties and responsibilities set out in clause 4 of Bill C-95 and by extension they account for the vast majority of Health Canada's operating expenses.

When viewed from the perspective of federal constitutional responsibilities, health is clearly a great deal broader than my hon. friend's narrow view of health care delivery, important though that is. No one in the Department of Health and no one on the government side is trying to minimize the responsibility of the provinces in health care. It is clearly not my intention to reopen the Constitution on this occasion but to separate myths from reality, particularly as they regard the application of federal spending powers in the health field.

I will again reiterate my earlier comment. The Constitution is a wonderful compilation of documents that has been much maligned both by the official opposition for obvious reasons and by the third party for reasons I can only claim are obscure. Most of their reasons are pretty obscure to me.

The biggest myth is that the spending power broadens the sphere of federal regulation. The reality is that nothing in the Constitution gives the federal Parliament the means to regulate provincial matters in the guise of spending power. Perhaps I could say it again very slowly. It can attach conditions to the funds it makes available to the provinces. However, just as it cannot compel the provinces to accept the funds it offers, neither does it buy jurisdiction when its offer of funds is accepted.

Clause 12 of Bill C-95 makes the limitation clear just as the existing Department of National Health and Welfare Act also makes it clear. It states:

Nothing in this act or the regulations authorizes the minister or any officer or employee of the department to exercise any jurisdiction or control over any health authority operating under the laws of any province.

That is why the Canada Health Act does not forbid user fees. It does not require that provincial legislatures forbid them. It simply makes it clear that any province which decides to finance medically necessary health services through such means cannot count on receiving the full amount of financial assistance the federal government is prepared to offer.

This brings me to the matter that the federal government is intruding into provincial prerogatives. There is an immense distinction to be drawn between intrusion and involvement. The motivation for the federal government's involvement in health financing does not derive from any desire to centralize powers or to colonize a field of provincial jurisdiction.

The federal role in health care has been the exercise of leadership. There are those who would hold that leadership is a dirty word or a symptom of megalomania. I hold differently, as do members on this side of the House. I hold that leadership is a characteristic all Canadians value. All Canadians from all regions of the country expect and demand their federal Parliament to display leadership. It is not a dirty word. It is a great word which we over here absolutely applaud.

It is here that doctors and hospitals cease to have just local significance. The value that all Canadians share transcends being merely local. The importance that all Canadians attach to the principles of universal health care is a defining characteristic of the Canadian psyche. This is who we are. This is what we stand for. This is what we are proud of and this is what we fight for.

How is it possible to overlook this aspect of health care? I do not understand it. It is beyond me. At a time when all Canadians welcome the positive forces of reconciliation and partnership, I cannot understand how we in the House would allow ourselves to ignore the positive contribution that the federal government has made and continues to make to the health and well-being of all Canadians and to the articulation of the spirit of community that hold us in high regard the world over.

Before I close I should like to tell a little story about something that took place in my first session of Parliament in the House when we were in opposition. There had been a debate, again I believe it was an opposition day debate on the question of health care. After the debate was over, I joined two of my colleagues, one from my own region of Atlantic Canada and another from Ontario. We talked about how important medicare and the Canadian health care system was to each one of us.

It turned out that each one of us had had fathers who had suffered and families that suffered because of injury and illness prior to the development of medicare in this country, prior to the Canadian health care system. We came from three different backgrounds, from three different areas of the country, but all three of us remembered what it was like in childhood and how our families had suffered because the Canadian health care system had not yet been put into place, put into place I might add by the federal government, a federal Liberal government.

This is why I am pleased to have had an opportunity to speak in support of Bill C-95. This is why I and my colleagues on this side of the House in the Government of Canada will fight and maintain the Canadian health care system in the face of all odds.

Excise Tax Act October 31st, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to take part in this debate today because Bill C-103 is one of the many measures the government has over time designed to assist in the development of Canada's cultural industries.

It is very important that we ensure Canada's cultural industries develop to their fullest. This is an area I have had a great deal of interest in since I became a member of Parliament seven years ago.

In the last Parliament as deputy critic for Canadian culture, I sat on the relevant committee and worked with the hon. member for Mount Royal, now the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Status of Women, in these areas and with other members on a number of reports that talked about safeguarding our cultural industries.

It is interesting to note with our colleagues from the Bloc today that whatever our differences may be, all Canadians, within and outside Quebec, agree that with our linguistic, regional and geographic differences it is very important that our very special culture in French and English be protected and that our federal government do everything possible to protect that culture.

Public policy for cultural industries has always operated on two premises. The first is that cultural products are important as a transmitter of social identity. The second is that it is difficult for the Canadian market to generate economically viable cultural enterprises.

Nobody knows this better than I. I once said I was going to have a sign made that said "pariah: do not appoint to arts boards". In my small region of Atlantic Canada I have served over the years on practically every arts endeavour and cultural endeavour that has gone belly up because we did not have the people or the money to keep it going.

It is terribly important that the federal government take a hand and ensure cultural industries do not die aborning because of regional disparity, small population, small markets, et cetera.

Policy is focused on supplementing the domestic markets' internal capacity to generate revenues with financial and institutional tools. These tools are an attempt to ensure a minimum choice of indigenous cultural works alongside the overwhelming presence of foreign ones.

In the area of magazine selection, in any store that sells periodicals and magazines Canadian periodicals are overwhelmed by sheer numbers of those that come from our neighbour to the south. It is a fine statement that they are not overwhelmed in content or in standard but merely in numbers.

As our cultural enterprises matured and in many cases became more self-sufficient, the government developed and refined the legislative and regulatory framework, the third set of tools within which these enterprises could further prosper and compete at home and abroad.

The challenge for all of us is for government to monitor and review its policies and make amendments or realignments when these are required. Today clearly, as the explosion of technology takes place all around us here in Canada and around the world, characteristics that define the current environment are challenges that confront our cultural sector.

First, the removal of international barriers to trade generates increased competition in production and distribution of cultural goods and services and global markets.

Second, the vertical and horizontal integration of conglomerates operating on a world scale is having a profound impact on the content of cultural products made available to consumers.

Third, the convergence between information transmitters and the producers of the content they transmit is leading to an explosion of new types of goods and services available to a an ever increasing number of consumers.

Take the first challenge as an example, the removal of trade barriers and increased international competition. In this area the impact cannot be underestimated. Access to production and dis-

tribution networks is paradoxically becoming both easier and more challenging at the same time.

Technological innovation has rendered electronic distribution of content available to increasing number of creators but the costs associated with marketing, promotion and distribution both in domestic and international markets challenged the ability of creators to exploit their new market potential. We cannot underestimate the impact of such issues as control over technology, control over access to distribution networks and the capacity of governments to regulate the flow into domestic markets of cultural products distributed electronically from abroad. Most of us are fully aware of this in our own homes on a daily basis. Sports Illustrated Canada is a case in point. I am sorry my hon. colleague from Prince Edward Island cannot agree with me on this. We talked about Sports Illustrated a few minutes ago. For almost 30 years the policy tool designed to regulate the importation of magazines containing advertising aimed at Canadians worked well but it is technologically specific in that it addresses the physical importation of foreign magazines today. Sports Illustrated is not physically imported but beamed across the border to a printing plant in Ontario.

Our cultural sector has reached a level of economic maturity that will allow it to compete in domestic and international markets but only if it can operate within a legislative and regulatory framework that will encourage its continued development. That is why we have Bill C-103.

The government has reached the point at which it has to update its policy for the magazine industry because of such developments as the beaming of Sports Illustrated to a printing plant in Ontario. It is a logical evolution in our policy instruments and it is a necessity to protect our investment in cultural industry.

The bill demonstrates the federal government's continued commitment to the development of the Canadian magazine industry that is viable, original and dynamic.

Since 1965 there have been two legislative measures in place, section 19 of the Income Tax Act and Customs Tariff code 9958. The objective of both measures was to ensure an adequate flow of advertising revenues to support a vibrant Canadian periodical industry. We need to make sure Canadians have the opportunity to read their own magazines at home, to reflect upon them the ideas that are home grown and home developed in this country, to ensure our culture remains strong, our sense of Canadianism and Canadian identity remains viable.

Until the Sports Illustrated case, the instruments put in place by the federal government were not as successful. However, we have a loophole that needs to be plugged. This loophole has been exploited by Sports Illustrated over the last two years. Tariff code 9958 applies only in cases in which split run editions are physically imported into Canada. As I mentioned before, Sports Illustrated got around this by electronically beaming the magazine to a Canadian printing plant.

I suppose this is a case in which the letter of the law may have been upheld but the spirit of the law was being violated. Fortunately the federal government has made a concerted effort and come forward with these amendments to change the situation so that Sports Illustrated can no longer circumvent the true spirit as well as the letter of the law.

The amendments to the Excise Tax Act take into consideration that the task force on the Excise Tax Act issued its final report in March. Its main recommendation was that excise taxes be imposed on split run editions and periodicals. The tax is designed to encourage original editorial content in magazines containing advertisements primarily directed at Canadians. It will impose a tax of 80 per cent of the value of all advertisements contained in split run editions of magazines circulating in Canada. That encourages Canadian advertisers to place advertisements in magazines which have original content. It reiterates the government's longstanding policy objectives in a manner consistent with our international trade obligations.

The amendment to the Income Tax Act will add an anti-avoidance rule. The purpose of the anti-avoidance rule is to ensure newspapers and periodicals that profess to be Canadian are controlled by Canadians.

Canadians throughout history have formed their own identity, that mosaic unique to this land and its people. In their periodic re-examination of cultural policies, Canadians are continually discovering and defining what Robertson Davies has called our national soul.

In the past couple of days our national soul has gone through quite an experiment but has come through and come out the other side. As we stand here today reaching out to each other and remembering what a joy and a benefit it is to be a Canadian, I am proud that our government is doing the nuts and bolts as well as the emotions to make that possible.