April 8, 1987

STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 21

FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL RELATIONS QUEBEC

LIB

Jean-Claude Malépart

Liberal

Mr. Jean-Claude Malepart (Montreal-Sainte-Marie):

Regretfully, Mr. Speaker, Quebecers are again being led down the garden path by the Conservative Government. Having been led down the garden path with respect to the Montreal East refinery, the shipyards, and the international banking centre, this time Quebecers are being led down the garden path by the Conservative Government in the case of the space agency.

Mr. Speaker, we can still hear the echo of the solemn Throne Speech promise made by the Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney), one hand over his heart and the other on the Bible: a space agency shall be established. Under pressure from various provinces vying for the agency, the Prime Minister, as Le Droit journalist Alain Dexter pointed out, repeated the old slogan of the 1960s: When time comes there will be no commercial, there will be no space agency.

Mr. Speaker, I conclude by saying what Quebecers will reply at the next election: There will no longer be any Conservatives in Quebec.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 21
Subtopic:   FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL RELATIONS QUEBEC
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DISASTERS

PC

Gilles Bernier

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gilles Bernier (Beauce):

Mr. Speaker, last week the Beauce region was struck by disaster. Several hundred families were affected by flooding caused by the Chaudiere River. A number of our industries have also suffered the effects of the flooding, and several villages and towns, especially Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, have suffered damages estimated at several million dollars.

Our Government has announced that provinces affected by these disasters can apply to the federal Government for assistance after making an accurate estimate of the damages, and that we could then go ahead and spend the money.

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to suggest that this Government consider some way of compensating the victims of these disasters. Why not provide for a mechanism by which part of the losses incurred by private individuals would be tax deductible both at the federal and the provincial level?

I visited the people of Beauce after the flooding occurred, and I can say that many of these families will be faced with considerable financial problems.

Mr. Speaker, I am convinced that the Mulroney Government, in co-operation with the provinces, will take steps to deal fairly and equitably with those concerned.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 21
Subtopic:   DISASTERS
Sub-subtopic:   FLOODS IN BEAUCE-REQUEST FOR NEW COMPENSATION MEASURES
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ABORIGINAL RIGHTS

NDP

John Edmund Parry

New Democratic Party

Mr. John Parry (Kenora-Rainy River):

Mr. Speaker, last December the federal Government released its long awaited comprehensive land claims policy. After years and in some cases decades, the Government promised to improve the existing claims process. For native people in British Columbia, this new policy now appears to have a price tag attached to it.

The Tahltan Tribal Council, the Nishga Tribal Council and the Taku River Tlingits have had their claims research funding cut by a total of $705,000. The reason given by D1A officials for this is that there is an absence of a formal tripartite negotiating process. In plain English, that means that B.C. claimants are being penalized because their Premier refuses to recognize the legitimate claims of aboriginal people.

The much touted comprehensive land claims policy specifically commits the federal Government strongly to encourage the provinces to negotiate. The policy claims that a fair and equitable resolution of such claims is a major priority of the Government of Canada. Finally, the new policy acknowledges that land claims negotiations are more than real estate transactions. I must agree with the spirit of such a commitment, but those commitments must be kept.

April 8, 1987

I call upon the Minister responsible to get the B.C. Government to the negotiating table and to stop penalizing claimant groups for that Government's insensitivity.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 21
Subtopic:   ABORIGINAL RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   GOVERNMENT'S COMPREHENSIVE LAND CLAIMS POLICY
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CANADIAN ARMED FORCES

PC

W.R. (Bud) Jardine

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. R. Bud Jardine (Northumberland-Miramichi):

Mr. Speaker, exception must be taken to the comments of the Hon. Member for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke (Mr. Hopkins) concerning the Government's efforts to reverse the harm inflicted on the Canadian Armed Forces and the damage done to Canada's image since the 1960s. Since when are press reports considered substitutes for official party or government policies? When he referred to three newspaper articles, the Hon. Member implied that they contained mention of, to use his words, promises and commitments. These words are nowhere to be found in direct connection to anyone involved with the Government.

The Hon. Member conveniently cites a real growth percentage figure in the defence budget for the period between 1980 and 1984. When real growth in the late 1960s is calculated, it shows that Liberal Governments had an abysmal track record. In the early years of the Trudeau administration, the defence budget was frozen outright for three years. The effective strength of the Armed Forces was cut drastically. Our NATO effort was halved. The percentage of the defence budget dedicated to capital acquisitions was in the low teens.

Now Canada's stock with its NATO allies is at an all-time high. This is a direct result of this Government's efforts. Unfortunately, it is the Hon. Member who suffers from amnesia. It is he who is in a fog, and it is he who should bear the shame for his Party's neglect of our men and women in uniform.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 21
Subtopic:   CANADIAN ARMED FORCES
Sub-subtopic:   EXCEPTION TAKEN TO MEMBER'S COMMENTS
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS


Hon. Warren Allmand (Notre-Dame-de-Grace-Lachine East): Mr. Speaker, 1 did not heckle the President of the United States when he was here as our guest on Monday but I want to tell the President today that I totally reject his policy on Nicaragua and Central America. The revolution in Nicaragua was not, as the President alleged, the result of the East-West struggle, the struggle between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, but rather the result of 50 years of Somozan dictatorship, exploitation, and corruption. That was the basis of the Sandinista revolution. It is unfortunate that the U.S. Government does not understand that. How much better if the U.S. helped this small country with its economic development rather than destroying it through Contra forces. We welcome foreign leaders in this country to discuss national problems, but when we disagree with them we should say so at the proper time, directly and formally.


FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

PC

Rob Nicholson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rob Nicholson (Niagara Falls):

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to say that this past week the Standing Committee on Justice and Solicitor General tabled its report on the review of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. I think it is important for a number of reasons, is in the spirit of open government and freedom of information, and has long been a platform of the Progressive Conservative Party.

The report makes 108 recommendations dealing with shortcomings in both Acts and in their administration. It stems from a belief that all Members of Parliament, indeed all Canadians, would agree that open government is good government, and that while Canadians expect their right to privacy to be fully protected, they also want their Government to be open.

The report proposes that the waiting period for information be reduced and that application fees be eliminated. It will prohibit the unauthorized use of social insurance numbers, and it will mean that all exemptions for information will be discretionary and subject to a significant injury test. I believe the report is a landmark in opening up government institutions and it should receive careful consideration by all Members of Parliament.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 21
Subtopic:   FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
Sub-subtopic:   PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE'S RECOMMENDATIONS
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AGRICULTURE

NDP

Stanley J. Hovdebo

New Democratic Party

Mr. Stan J. Hovdebo (Prince Albert):

Mr. Speaker, at this time of crisis in agriculture most farm families have at least one person earning off-farm income to help pay for farm losses. This off-farm income is often required simply to stave off immediate bankruptcy.

The Conservative Government was elected in part on a commitment to make some changes to Section 31 of the Income Tax Act to allow more than $5,000 of farm losses to be written off against off-farm income. That is one more Tory election promise unfulfilled. I call upon the Minister of

April 8, 1987

Finance (Mr. Wilson) either to follow the standing committee's recommendation to double the loss limit in Section 31 of the Act, or revoke the section entirely.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 21
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
Sub-subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT-PROVISION AFFECTING OFF-FARM INCOME
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PARLIAMENT

PC

Gabriel Fontaine (Chief Government Whip's assistant; Deputy Whip of the Progressive Conservative Party)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gabriel Fontaine (Levis):

Yesterday in the Soviet Union, Mr. Speaker, the Tass news agency reported that Canadian Members of Parliament had heckled the President of the United States throughout his address to the House of Commons of Canada.

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians are offended to be identified with a small group of socialists who, unfortunately, happen to be temporary Members of this House.

The abuse which the socialist comrades heaped upon the American President in the House last Monday constitutes an affront to this Parliament and to our nation. The socialist leader heard it and tacitly approved, and he stealthily left the House without saying a word after the President had concluded his remarks.

However, fearful of retaliatory reaction by the electorate, the socialist leader now admonishes his troops, his House leader among others.

If the socialist leader is serious, if his admonishments are forthright, he must at once replace his comrade the House leader.

It is only by taking immediate action that the leader of the socialist Party will prove that he is an honest man.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 21
Subtopic:   PARLIAMENT
Sub-subtopic:   BEHAVIOUR OF NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY MEMBERS DURING ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES-CONSEQUENCES
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THE ADMINISTRATION

LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Mr. Don Boudria (Glengarry-Prescott-Russell):

Mr. Speaker, last Friday the House was in fact the victim of a malicious Government attack against the parliamentary Opposition. The insults proferred by certain Ministers are recorded in Hansard. Here are some of them: McCarthy-Turner. Sleaze. Out of the gutter. Gutter politics, and so on.

Yet at the same time as the Government was taking this holier-than-thou stance, certain Ministers on the other side knew full well that the Liberal Opposition was not alone in expressing doubt about the Government contract awarding policy. As a matter of fact, the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Mclnnes) himself knew that an RCMP investigation was under way at the very moment when the Minister was making

accusations against the Opposition in the House of Commons. Earlier today the Minister did admit that the investigation has now been going on for several months already.

Fortunately, Mr. Speaker, truth has prevailed. Once again Canadians have been able to witness the hypocrisy of the Conservative Government.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 21
Subtopic:   THE ADMINISTRATION
Sub-subtopic:   CONTRACT AWARDING POLICY
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POLITICAL PARTIES

April 8, 1987