September 14, 1988

STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 21

DISASTERS

LIB

Robert Phillip Kaplan

Liberal

Hon. Bob Kaplan (York Centre):

Mr. Speaker, a tragedy of colossal proportions is unfolding on the Island of Jamaica as Hurricane Gilbert sweeps across the Caribbean. Early reports on television and what we have heard on the news indicate widespread destruction on the island, including houses, hospitals, schools, and places of employment. Indeed, I heard last night that the airport in Kingston which was built by Canadian engineering and partly by Canadian resources is totally destroyed.

We have to be conscious of Jamaica's problem as a fellow member of the Commonwealth and because the historic homeland of thousands and thousands of Canadian citizens is Jamaica.

So far, perhaps understandably, the Government has taken no action and made no gesture, waiting, I understand, to hear from the Minister's office exactly what type of assistance is required.

As soon as the dimensions of the tragedy are known, and as soon as it is possible to make any offer or any indication, I urge the Government to do so. Canadians will broadly support generosity toward Jamaica in this terrible hour of need.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 21
Subtopic:   DISASTERS
Sub-subtopic:   JAMAICA-DESTRUCTION CAUSED BY HURRICANE GILBERT
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COURT CHALLENGES PROGRAM

PC

James Kenneth (Jim) Jepson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Jim Jepson (London East):

Mr. Speaker, the Court Challenges Program is a federal program that funds human rights cases, and is comprised of a government appointed committee that operates at arm's length from government.

The committee, in its wisdom, has stated that it has money to offer to two homosexual lovers who wish to prove that homosexuals are discriminated against and deserve special protection under the Charter. The committee also awarded $25,000 to an Ottawa-based homosexual rights group, EGAL, to research five areas in the Immigration Act that would lead to other court challenges on gay rights.

The Court Challenges Program recently gave LEAF, a feminist action group, $35,000 to defray its expenses as interventionists in the Borowski trial on fetal rights, yet denied REAL Women the same amount to defray their expenses as interventionists in the same trial. This is not democracy in action, but a clear case of discrimination. I urge the Minister of State to cancel these committee appointments and appoint a new board that will operate in a fair and equitable fashion.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 21
Subtopic:   COURT CHALLENGES PROGRAM
Sub-subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF NEW BOARD URGED
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HOUSING

LIB

Jean-C. Lapierre

Liberal

Hon. Jean Lapierre (Shefford):

Mr. Speaker, a document published yesterday by the Association des constructeurs d'habitations du Quebec and the Canadian Home Builders' Association explains that because of the hidden agenda of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Wilson), and especially to his federal sales tax, the average cost of a house in Canada would increase by $8,000.

Mr. Speaker, this measure is a direct contradiction of the right to adequate housing, and if we analyse the Minister's proposal in greater detail, we find as well that monthly rents will increase by an estimated $65.

Mr. Speaker, tax reform would have the effect of denying thousands of Canadians the right to accommodation, and it would also deny thousands of young couples the right to own property.

Mr. Speaker, I hope the Minister of Finance will have the courage to do what he did in the case of the tax on food and give us the assurance that this tax which puts an extra $8,000 on houses and $65 per month more on rental accommodation will not be implemented and that there will be a special exemption for the housing sector.

September 14, 1988

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 21
Subtopic:   HOUSING
Sub-subtopic:   POSSIBLE INCREASE IN FEDERAL TAX-IMPACT
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WINE INDUSTRY


There are generations growing up under-educated, and they deserve the best.


TRIBUTE TO CANADIAN WINES

PC

Joseph Lloyd Reid

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Joe Reid (St. Catharines):

Mr. Speaker, some people still do not believe that Canadian wines are first-class. They suffer from a wine inferiority complex. If you do not believe me, Mr. Speaker, read the September issue of En Route, a first-class corporate magazine put out by a first-class airline, which contains an article written by a first-class author. He states in that article that Canada does produce world-class wines, and when they are served in downtown Paris that wine inferiority complex might just relax a bit.

If you are still not convinced, Mr. Speaker, I invite you to the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival in St. Catharines, September 23 to October 2, where and when you will have the opportunity to learn first-hand that there is no taste better than the Niagara taste.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 21
Subtopic:   TRIBUTE TO CANADIAN WINES
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INDIAN AFFAIRS

NDP

John Edmund Parry

New Democratic Party

Mr. John Parry (Kenora-Rainy River):

Mr. Speaker, the people of Sandy Lake are today despondent over the closure of their school because of a suspected leak of oil possibly contaminated with PCBs. It is not the first time that that school has had to be closed. Problems with the sewage system and the roof have led to it being closed before. In many communities it would have been closed in any case because of its condition.

The students of Sandy Lake face overcrowding, with 500 plus students in a school designed for 300, 32 classrooms in a space designed for 24, no resource rooms, no shop room, no home economics, a library that is crammed into half a classroom, and a gym that is drastically undersized for the size of the student population.

These substandard facilities are a disgrace, particularly when the Minister has recently published national standards for school space and facilities.

Meanwhile, 25 and 35 miles away, two communities of the Kee-way-win Band suffer even worse problems. They have no school, they have no program, and some of their students are now in their third school year without education.

The Government is failing in its responsibilities and, ironically, if it addressed the problem of no school in Kee-way-win, it could solve some of the pressure on Sandy Lake.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 21
Subtopic:   INDIAN AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   CLOSURE OF SANDY LAKE SCHOOL
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REDUCED TELEVISION COVERAGE

PC

William Lesick

Progressive Conservative

Mr. William G. Lesick (Edmonton East):

Mr. Speaker, it has been more than 10 years since Canadians first saw parliamentary proceedings on television. Unfortunately, since some cable companies across the country have added new specialty services, the House of Commons proceedings have been bumped from basic channels to converter channels.

It has become more difficult for Canadians to watch the House of Commons proceedings without obtaining costly new converter equipment. This directly affects senior citizens who make up a large part of the television audience.

This week the CRTC hears applicants for the Commons broadcast licence. It should require cable companies to put the service on channels that all Canadians can watch without extra cost.

Parliament belongs to Canadians. Let them have access to it.

[ Translation]

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 21
Subtopic:   REDUCED TELEVISION COVERAGE
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

LIB

Marcel Prud'homme

Liberal

Mr. Marcel Prud'homme (Saint-Denis):

Mr. Speaker, the reign of terror of the macoutes has come back to Haiti with the help of the military. On Sunday, Saint-Jean Bosco in Port-au-Prince was burnt down. Yesterday, another church in the capital met the same fate. The CNTU is actively looking at the situation. Mr. Jean-Claude Icart, of the Bureau de la Communuate chretienne des Haitiens de Montreal is looking at the situation. Mr. Pierre Bain of I'Echo politique des regions d'Ha'iti au Canada and Mr. Serge Bouchereau of the Canadian Comite de coordination de la solidarity avec le peuple ha'itien are also analysing the situation.

Mr. Speaker, I think the time has come for Canada to call a meeting of the Club des amis d'Haiti, which includes France and West Germany, and to raise the matter most vigourously at the next session of the United Nations. This evening, together with my colleague from Papineau-Saint-Michel, we will be in my native parish of Saint-Edouard, where the Haitian community of Montreal will be gathered to discuss, pray and meditate on these terrible events.

September 14, 1988

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 21
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   SITUATION IN HAITI
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FREE TRADE

PC

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

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gabriel Fontaine (Levis):

Mr. Speaker, in a few days, Liberals and Socialists will be dithering away against free trade during the election campaign. They will be dithering away against the Province of Quebec, and I would like to remind them of the official position taken by Quebec. The Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement has been analysed from the Quebec perspective, and here is the conclusion. The analysis looks at the main points of the agreement from a Quebec perspective. This is not a macroeconomic analysis or a sectorial study of the impact of the agreement on each industry. Some people feel it is too technical. Others think it is not detailed enough. To me, the important thing is that we can conclude from an analysis of the text of the agreement that the document signed on January 2, 1988 by the Prime Minister of Canada (Mr. Mulroney) and the President of the United States, Mr. Ronald Reagan, is definitely a step forward for Quebec, according to the Minister of External Trade and Technological Development, Mr. Pierre MacDonald.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 21
Subtopic:   FREE TRADE
Sub-subtopic:   QUEBEC'S PERSPECTIVE
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UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

September 14, 1988