December 18, 1987

LIB

Jean-Robert Gauthier (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. Gauthier:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I fear that I did not catch the purpose of the intervention that the Minister was making; I was being disturbed by colleagues. I wonder whether he could repeat the proposition so that we all understand what he wants and what he is talking about.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

Douglas Grinslade Lewis (Minister of State (Government House Leader); Minister of State (Treasury Board))

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lewis:

There were discussions with respect to the date of the return of the House, and I just asked the House if there was disposition to seek an amendment to the motion prior to it being put.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

Marcel Danis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

The Hon. Member for Ottawa- Vanier (Mr. Gauthier).

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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LIB

Jean-Robert Gauthier (Chief Opposition Whip; Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. Jean-Robert Gauthier (Ottawa-Vanier):

Mr. Speaker, I am quite open to any proposal which the Government might wish to make to amend its own motion. I wonder what

December 18, 1987

Motions

amendment it has in mind, but 1 am willing to listen to it and perhaps also to accept it.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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PC

Douglas Grinslade Lewis (Minister of State (Government House Leader); Minister of State (Treasury Board))

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lewis:

Mr. Speaker, I would be perfectly prepared, as my colleague knows, to make that amendment, but not without completing consultations with the House Leader of the NDP.

It is my signal from him that there is no point in proceeding any further, so I suggest that the amendment be put, unless he wishes to make a comment at this time.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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NDP

Nelson Andrew Riis (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Riis:

Mr. Speaker, to be very clear about it, there have been extensive discussions between the Parties. We have come to an agreement, and the agreement is reflected on the Order Paper.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
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ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

MOTION TO ADJOURN

PC

Douglas Grinslade Lewis (Minister of State (Government House Leader); Minister of State (Treasury Board))

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Doug Lewis (Minister of State and Minister of State (Treasury Board)) moved:

That when the House adjourns on Friday, December 18, 1987, it shall stand adjourned until eleven o'clock a.m., Monday, January 18, 1988:

Provided that;

At any time before that date, should any bill or bills be awaiting the giving of Royal Assent, the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker shall convene a meeting of the House at a time to be fixed by the Speaker or the Deputy Speaker by notifying the Chief Whip of each party, for the sole purpose of the giving of Royal Assent to any bill or bills;

Upon the completion of the giving of Royal Assent, the Speaker or Deputy Speaker shall adjourn the House until the date specified in this order;

The provisions of Standing Order 5 shall apply during the period of adjournment; and

For the purposes of Standing Order 4, the first sitting day in 1988 shall be deemed to have been January 1 1, 1988.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN
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PC

Marcel Danis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Agreed.

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Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN
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Motion agreed to.


PC

Marcel Danis (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

The House will now proceed to Private Members' Hour.

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Subtopic:   MOTION TO ADJOURN
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PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-BILLS INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND GOODWILL DAY MEASURE TO ENACT

PC

William John Vankoughnet

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bill Vankoughnet (Hastings-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington) moved

that Bill C-238, an Act respecting international peace and goodwill, be read the second time and referred to a legislative committee.

He said: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present to this House for consideration and second reading debate an Act respecting International Peace and Goodwill Day. The purpose of this legislation is to change the name associated with December 26 from Boxing Day to International Peace and Goodwill Day in honour of Canada's commitment to world peace and goodwill among all nations and people.

This Bill is a direct result of my great concern about the world's present situation and what kind of future we are building for ourselves. The recent historic summit between Soviet Leader Gorbachev and President Reagan gives hope and optimism for moving away from the so-called policy of mutual assured destruction by which nations hold each other hostage to nuclear terror and destruction. This is only a small step forward, and it is imperative that we continue to remind the world that we have a long way to go on disarmament and relieving human suffering throughout the world. Hopefully the Government will support this proposal or at least refer the subject material to an appropriate legislative committee for further study.

There is nothing more important that we could discuss here or anywhere than the survival of the human race. I strongly believe that we are masters of our own fate. We, as Members of Parliament, representing peace loving Canadians have an opportunity to stress the importance of international peace and goodwill further by supporting this initiative. Never before in the history of the world has there been a more crucial time to demonstrate the need for peace and goodwill. We are living in a world constantly threatened by nuclear war. We are living in a world constantly threatened by conventional forces. We are collectively held hostage in fear as each new act of terrorism is committed. Acts of terrorism and the building of arms must be stopped.

Nuclear war became a very real threat to the world once the first nuclear bomb was dropped on Japan. No other country has experienced the horrible reality and aftermath of nuclear war. We have a duty to ourselves and the rest of the world to ensure that this does not happen again.

Until recently, instead of trying to stop the growth in numbers of nuclear weapons, we became obsessed with equalling our powers, not limiting them. We have lived in a world where the major global powers have been preoccupied with preparing for nuclear war, not preventing one. There are

December 18, 1987

presently enough nuclear weapons in the world to kill every human being several times over. We have seen some very real and positive steps taken toward limiting the arms race. It was most heartening to see the two superpowers, President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev, come together and sign a treaty scrapping 2,000 U.S. and Soviet medium and shorter range nuclear missiles within the three year period.

Decades ago Canada chose not to acquire nuclear weapons. This was a practical contribution to the control of nuclear arms. We must as individuals continue to encourage and facilitate any meetings or discussions to further the goal of world peace, and I believe that changing the name of Boxing Day would go a long way to remind everyone of the importance of peace and goodwill. I hope there will not be excuses such as minor technical problems used as a smokescreen to discourage serious consideration of this Bill.

As a Member of this Elouse at the time, I remember changing the name of Dominion Day to Canada Day. I suggest this would not be any more of a problem than that change. I objected to that substitution and I would like to have seen that national holiday called Dominion of Canada Day with the short title for those who wished either Dominion Day or Canada Day.

Today the whole world seems to be growing in its awareness of the terror and futility of the arms race. The United Nations continues to promote world peace at a time when all citizens of the world are becoming more and more aware of the need and urgency to seek peace and goodwill and lasting peace. We must redirect our thinking and rid ourselves of any arrogance toward this earth and each other and replace those negative attitudes with respect and love for this planet. It is our home, and we are responsible for the shape of things to come for future generations. Our citizens are crying out for world peace and, as Members of Parliament, we have a duty to seek that which our citizens want.

We are a fortunate country and have long enjoyed benefits of a peaceful and prosperous nation, living in a free and democratic society. Our history shows how often Canada has been in the forefront by helping other countries through troubled times.

We have consistently demonstrated our Compassion and goodwill toward others. We can be proud of our example to the rest of the world. This is another opportunity for Canada to take the lead. Designating December 26 as International Peace and Goodwill Day will demonstrate to the rest of the world that Canada, and Canadians, are committed to the goal of world peace.

Such a change in name will not detract from any of our traditions. No one is more aware of customs than I. My strong belief in our traditions is on record as a descendant of the United Empire Loyalists who carved society out of this harsh Canadian climate. I believe that such a name change will, in fact, enhance our historical view of Boxing Day. The traditional concept of this day being one to honour and celebrate

Peace and Goodwill Day

goodwill toward mankind will be expanded and enriched as we include the whole world with our goal of world peace and goodwill. Unless we recognize the imminent danger that we face, not just as Canadians, but as human beings, we run the risk of losing everything.

Our goal today should not only be to respect our traditions but to learn from our mistakes and make a positive legacy for future generations so that they will have an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate what we so often have a tendency to take for granted.

We must continue to work toward world peace if we are to have a world in which to carry on our traditions. There are many concerns, challenges and battles which face all of us on a daily basis, but without lasting peace this may be our last challenge. It is only fitting that we mark a day of peace directly following the day we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. This can be a concrete reminder to us all where our hope should be placed.

In conclusion, may I again stress that the creation of International Peace and Goodwill Day will demonstrate to the world Canada's commitment to continue seeking world peace and goodwill while maintaining the principles of our traditions. I urge Members of this House once again to support this legislative proposal.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-BILLS INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND GOODWILL DAY MEASURE TO ENACT
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LIB

Bill Rompkey

Liberal

Hon. William Rompkey (Grand Falls-White Bay- Labrador):

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the Hon. Member for Hastings-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington (Mr. Van-koughnet) for bringing this Bill before the House at this time. It is very timely. I had even hoped that peace and goodwill would come to the House of Commons this week, the week before Christmas.

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Subtopic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS-BILLS INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND GOODWILL DAY MEASURE TO ENACT
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?

Some Hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

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LIB

Bill Rompkey

Liberal

Mr. Rompkey:

It has been one of the most pugilistic and intense weeks with more packed into it, not with acrimony but certainly with liveliness, than I have seen in a long while. The motion is timely from that point of view.

Of course, the motion is also timely in terms of what is happening in the world. It comes on the heels of the Reagan-Gorbachev summit and the goodwill that flowed out of that. I believe that that summit conveyed optimism and hope for the future to all of us. I welcome the measure from that point of view as well.

Of course, the very season of the year suggests that this is an appropriate topic to bring forward this afternoon. However, it is worth while pointing out that Boxing Day indeed flows from Christmas Day itself.

Growing up in St. John's, Newfoundland, I can recall when we still had mail delivery. That was before the present Government got into power. As well, other things were

December 18, 1987

Peace and Goodwill Day

delivered to the house. Those who burned coal had coal delivered, those who drank milk had milk delivered and so on.

On Boxing Day, boxes were put together for those who delivered and collected, for the garbageman, the milkman, the deliverer of coal and the like. It flowed out of Christmas Day and the spirit of that day was indeed that which was fundamental and essential to Christmas itself.

The meaning of Boxing Day is that it is a day on which one continues to give and on which the spirit of Christmas continues. That is the tradition in Canada. Oddly enough, I suppose, if I were to continue that line of argument, Mr. Speaker, you could tell me that I was a Conservative. However, some things are worth holding on to.

On the other hand, I see the wisdom of what the Hon. Member has proposed. I think his Bill is laudable. I wonder, though, if we need to express those feelings on Boxing Day, if we actually need to change the meaning of Boxing Day. For instance, there is the practice of Boxing Day sales. How many housewives will be inconvenienced if there is no Boxing Day? I know many people who buy their New Year's gifts, next year's Christmas cards and gift-wrapping paper on Boxing Day at Boxing Day sales. Many people would think that that tradition should continue as well. Certainly the retail community would feel that way.

I wonder if we need to express the thought expressed by the Hon. Member's motion on Boxing Day itself. Perhaps we could have Boxing Day and still express international goodwill.

I think it is very appropriate that we are discussing this today in this Chamber. Historically, Canada has expressed this feeling possibly more than most. The record of this country is one of peace-keeping. We have provided an atmosphere of compromise in which international incidents, issues and problems could be and have been resolved. I think it is appropriate that this topic come up in the Canadian House of Parliament today.

1 want to support the spirit of the Hon. Member's proposal, but I wonder if we actually need to do away with Boxing Day itself in order to achieve what the Hon. Member wants. I think we should focus on it for one day and indeed every day of the year. When the preacher preaches to those who are in church on Christmas morning, he will in all likelihood say that the spirit of Christmas should not simply pertain only for that one day of the year but indeed throughout all the year. While I appreciate that, I still think it would be useful to have one day set aside for that in order to focus people on the issue. Whether the day needs to be Boxing Day is a matter that is open to question.

I congratulate the Hon. Member for bringing this measure forward today. I certainly support in principle what he is trying to do. I would conclude by offering those who are in the Chamber and those who are not all the goodwill for this Christmas season and for when we next sit again.

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PC

Lorne Everett Greenaway (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of State (Forestry and Mines))

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lome Greenaway (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of State (Forestry and Mines)):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to compliment both Hon. Members who have just spoken on this Bill. I think there is very little we can find to say that would not be in favour of what the Hon. Member is proposing. The substance of the Hon. Member's Bill is good. He did mention, however, that there could be some technicalities that might make it difficult. My job is to point out several of these technicalities that would make it difficult for the Government.

Bill C-238 proposes in substance to amend the Canada Labour Code in order to change the name of Boxing Day to International Peace and Goodwill Day. However, I doubt if such a gesture would make any concrete or substantive contribution to international peace and goodwill. Should Canada alone speak for the world community? Would not this laudable effort be best directed to the United Nations?

1 realize that the cause of world peace is not a trivial one. However, with all due respect to the Hon. Member for Hastings-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington (Mr. Van-koughnet), I am afraid that the proposed change is unlikely to achieve the goal it espouses. Even if by passing the Bill we would be promoting world peace, I fear the whole exercise would be beyond the scope of the Canada Labour Code. The Code deals with the rights, safety and well-being of Canadian workers, an issue distinct from the precise matter at hand.

We must also remember that not all workers are subject to the Canada Labour Code. Roughly 90 per cent of Canadian workers are regulated by provincial labour laws and none of the provincial statutes recognize Boxing Day as a paid holiday.

The federal Government and all the provinces and territories have legislation of broad application dealing with paid general holidays. However, the list of holidays and details concerning employees' rights to these holidays vary from one jurisdiction to the next.

Under the Canada Labour Code, Part III, Division 4, nine general holidays in a year are to be observed as paid holidays. These are New Year's Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The Code also provides that under certain conditions, an alternative holiday may be substituted for any of the nine holidays specified. Should a holiday occur on a day on which an employee does not normally work, he or she must be granted a day off with pay in lieu of the holiday either at a time convenient to the employer and employee or by the addition of a day to the annual vacation leave.

If Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Canada Day or Remembrance Day fall on a Saturday or Sunday that is a nonworking day for an employee, the employee must be given a holiday with pay on the working day immediately before or after the general holiday. These provisions regarding alternative days off do not apply, however, to employees covered by a

December 18, 1987

collective agreement that entitles them to at least nine paid holidays a year.

The Code lays down the general principle that an employee in a federal undertaking who does not work on a holiday is entitled to regular pay for the day. If the employee is paid by the week or month, wages must not be reduced by reason of his or her not working on a holiday. If the employee is paid on any other basis, he or she must receive the equivalent of the regular wages for a normal working day.

The regular rate of wages for an employee whose hours of work vary from day to day or who is paid other than on an hourly or daily basis is the average of daily earnings exclusive of overtime for the 20 days worked immediately preceding the holiday. An employee in a federal undertaking required to work on a general holiday is entitled to regular wages for the day and, in addition, to time and one-half the regular rate for all time worked. In other words, the employee is paid two and a half times the usual rate.

Different provisions apply to those employed in continuous operations who are required to work on a holiday. A continuous operation is defined to include any industrial establishment in which, during a seven-day period, operations normally continue without cessation until the end of that period. For example, the operation of trains, planes, ships, trucks and other vehicles, telephone, radio, television, telegraph or other communication or broadcasting services, or any other operation normally carried on without regard to weekends or holidays. An employee who works on a holiday must be paid regular wages for the day and must, in addition, be paid one and a half times the regular rate for the time worked, or must be granted holiday with pay at some other time. This may involve either a day added to annual vacation or another day off where convenient to the employee and employer. Or, where a collective agreement so provides, the employee must be paid for the holiday on his or next non-working day. However, an employee not entitled to wages for at least 15 days during the 30 calendar days immediately preceding the holiday is entitled to one-twentieth of the wages earned during those 30 days.

There are some situations in which an employee is not entitled to holiday pay. An employee is not entitled to pay for a general holiday that occurs in his or her first 30 days of employment with an employer, but if required to work on a holiday he or she must be paid time and one-half the regular rate. If employed in a continuous operation, he or she may be paid at the regular rate for work done on a holiday.

At the provincial level, as I mentioned, none of the labour laws recognize Boxing Day as a paid holiday. Obviously, some collective agreements may provide such a holiday, and in most provinces, provincial or municipal laws oblige retail establishments to close on Boxing Day, although this does not entitle employees to a paid holiday. Therefore, the change proposed

Peace and Goodwill Day

by this Bill would not only be purely symbolic, it would also affect a very small proportion of Canadian workers.

Therefore, I urge Hon. Members not to support this Bill.

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PC

James (Jim) Stewart Edwards

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Jim Edwards (Edmonton South):

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great care to the comments not only of my friend, the sponsor of this Bill, but the Hon. Member for Grand Falls-White Bay-Labrador (Mr. Rompkey). He made a statement that I know was in jest but I believe in the honest record-keeping of this august Chamber, so I would point out that it was truly a previous Government that stopped delivering the mail on Boxing Day. I think Canada Post is more interested in a different kind of boxing these days.

As my hon. colleagues are well aware, not every duty of a Member of Parliament is a pleasant one. It is with considerable reservation that I stand in this House barely a week before Christmas to oppose a Bill whose intention is to promote peace and goodwill. I hope a few months hence I will not be rising, in the second or third week of May, in order to oppose a Bill whose purpose is to promote motherhood. Therefore, at the risk of sounding like the Grinch, I must oppose this Bill. Not because I am any less interested in peace and goodwill than my hon. colleague, but because the change to the Canada Labour Code he is recommending would be nothing but a symbolic change which would make no meaningful contribution to the worthy cause he is advocating.

To begin with, the Canada Labour Code applies to a rather small proportion of the Canadian workforce, that is, employees in industries under federal labour jurisdiction. Such enterprises include interprovincial or international works such as railways, highway transport, telephone, telegraph and cable systems, pipelines, canals, ferries, tunnels, bridges, and shipping, as well as all forms of broadcasting, banking, air transport, grain elevators, and some 40 Crown corporations. Also included are industries declared by Parliament to be for the general advantage of Canada, such as uranium mining.

In addition, the occupational safety and health provisions of the Code apply to the federal Public Service, operating employees in the transportation industry, and workers involved in the exploration for and development of oil and gas in certain Canada lands. As well, the industrial relations provisions of the Code apply to all industries in Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

Generally speaking, all other enterprises fall within provincial or territorial jurisdiction. Therefore, even if we were to pass the Hon. Member's Bill, Boxing Day would become International Peace and Goodwill Day for less than 10 per cent of Canada's workforce. Furthermore, even if we were to change the name of the holiday to International Peace and Goodwill Day, does anyone in this House seriously believe that any substantial number of Canadians would drop the old, familiar and short name in favour of a new, 10-syllable name?

I recall a contest in my own City of Edmonton to find a cute name for the Edmonton Coliseum. "The Igloo" was suggested.

December 18, 1987

Peace and Goodwill Day

Various other cute names were put forward. I think several thousand entries were obtained. Of course, it was called the Edmonton Coliseum.

Let us be realistic. The only practical effect of the proposed amendments would be to create an interesting new bit of Canadian trivia. We could have this question: What is the official name of Boxing Day in the Canada Labour Code? That could take its place next to: How many Canadian provinces do not touch on salt water? As far as I can see, that would be the only practical effect of the proposed change.

In addition, this Bill seems to assume that Canadians will not mind doing away with the fine old traditional name of Boxing Day. On the contrary, I think it is a wonderful name and a great many people in this country would object to doing away with such an interesting and distinctive name which has become part of our Canadian culture.

Although Boxing Day is British in origin, our observance of the holiday and our use of the term is a trait that truly sets us apart from our friends and neighbours to the south. In fact, in light of the debate which immediately preceded this debate today, I think all of us, including those who support furiously and fervently the free trade initiative, want to preserve our Canadian culture. That goes without saying. So let us preserve Boxing Day.

It is true that many Americans have never even heard the term and are slightly shocked that we associate a season of peace and goodwill with fisticuffs. As we know, the term Boxing Day has nothing to do with the sport of boxing, although there is more than one theory as to its origin. The prevailing view is that it is the day on which Christmas boxes are given to errand boys, postmen and those entitled to gratuities. Another theory holds that the day after Christmas was the day on which poor boxes in english churches were opened and their contents distributed to the needy. According to this theory, the boxes were opened the day after Christmas because, hopefully, they had been filled to bursting the day before by generous church-goers filled with the holiday spirit. Still another theory holds that on the day after Christmas rich homes would pack leftovers from their Yuletide celebration into boxes and distribute them to the poor so they could enjoy their own modest feast. Finally, Sir, there is the modern wag who advanced the theory that the term derives from the practice of everyone boxing the gifts they received in order to return them to the stores.

Whichever of the serious theories we accept, it is obvious that Boxing Day is based on concepts of charity and concern for others. Indeed, it is interesting to note that even today in Canada Boxing Day is often the time when people show their concern for others by participating in blood donor clinics. On the other hand, symbolic changes such as this Bill proposes can often be worse than ineffectual. They can give the false impression that something of substance has been done for world peace.

I know that the Hon. Member who sponsored this Bill labours mightily for world peace. It is his top priority. So what I am saying today I say with some hesitation and reservation. It is easy to pay lip service to the cause of peace. It is quite another thing to address the ingrained problems of oppression, injustice, inequality, and human suffering that deny humanity that elusive goal.

We know that Canada is at the forefront of international peace efforts and especially involved in the role played by the International Labour Organization. The ILO is the oldest United Nations agency. Created in 1919 under the Treaty of Versailles, the organization pursues the objective of promoting lasting peace through the reduction of poverty and the improvement of working conditions throughout the world.

In line with the preamble of its constitution, which proclaims that universal and lasting peace can only be established if it is based on social justice, the ILO's main activity since its establishment has been the adoption of conventions, which are subject to ratification, and recommendations, which provide guidance on the formulation of national policies, legislation, and practices.

Over the years the ILO has adopted more than 160 conventions and 170 recommendations which together form the International Labour Code. These conventions and recommendations cover many subjects including basic human rights- such as freedom of association, equal pay, and the elimination of discrimination in employment-labour administration, industrial relations, employment policy, social security, and occupational safety and health. Once adopted by the conference, ILO conventions can be ratified by member states.

Each member state is required to bring the conventions and recommendations adopted by the conference to the attention of its national legislative authorities. When a country ratifies an ILO convention it undertakes to comply with the provisions of that convention and to report regularly to the ILO on the measures taken to that end.

Canada's relationship with the ILO goes back to the very beginning. Indeed, Canada was among the 45 founding countries of the organization in 1919 and has been a strong supporter of the ILO's objectives and programs ever since. An interesting historical footnote is that when the ILO headquarters in Geneva was believed to be threatened during World War II, Canada invited the organization to move temporarily to McGill University in Montreal where it remained from 1940 to 1948. I know you, Mr. Speaker, remember that very well.

Throughout the history of the ILO Canadians representing governments, workers, and employers have actively participated in ILO activities. In many instances, Canadians have been elected to the organization's highest offices.

December 18, 1987

In 1966 and again in 1986 Canada hosted the regional conference of American states which are members of the ILO. This conference meets every five or six years to address issues of common concern to the countries in the region which consists of North and South America and the Caribbean.

Canada's financial contribution to the ILO, which is the eighth largest of any member state, is in the order of $5 million annually, which represents approximately 3 per cent of the organization's budget.

It is through efforts such as these, rather than symbolic changes, that Canada can work for world peace and goodwill. In summary, when the Hon. Member introduced the motion before the House today, he acknowledged that Boxing Day follows the birthday of the Prince of Peace. I submit that it would be fundamental and indeed most fitting to do everything in our power to remember the Prince of Peace on December 25 and to extend goodwill to all. Therefore, I ask Hon. Members not to support Bill C-238.

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December 18, 1987