April 12, 1989

STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31

VIA RAIL

LIB

George Albert Proud

Liberal

Mr. George Proud (Hillsborough):

Mr. Speaker, Atlantic Canadians and specifically Prince Edward Islanders will not accept the Tories' agenda of making the rich richer and the poor poorer. The proposed elimination of VIA passenger service is one of the many examples of this agenda.

The constituents of my riding of Hillsborough know what it is like to be cut off from passenger train service. Why? Because we do not have such a service. We have to hop a bus and travel to Moncton. The only tracks left in our red soil are left by the people dragging their feet to the VIA bus.

Aside from the passenger train service, there will be direct and indirect damage done if VIA Rail is canned. Think of the effect on our highways and our tourist industry, and what about the 7,500 Canadians directly employed by VIA Rail? If other industrialized countries can successfully operate such a transportation service, then surely Canada can as well.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Subtopic:   VIA RAIL
Sub-subtopic:   ATLANTIC CANADA-OPPOSITION TO ELIMINATION OF PASSENGER SERVICE
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AGRICULTURE

PC

Arnold John Malone

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Arnold Malone (Crowfoot):

Mr. Speaker, there are only two sources of human food. One is water and the other is soil. Unlike the civilizations of old such as those along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, humanity no longer has the option of relocating after it has destroyed its food-producing resources.

One of the great myths of Canadian society is the commonly-held belief that we have an abundance of agricultural land. We do not. Only 7 per cent of Canada's land mass, situated in climatically favourably areas, has been deemed agricultural. Moreover, a very large percentage of Canada's original agricultural land has now been permanently destroyed. More than 50 per cent of the original farmland of Ontario is lost to urban sprawl and transport systems. On the prairies, vast regions of once productive lands are now marginal or barren because of erosion or degradation.

I want to salute the initiative of the Minister of Agriculture to have a task force to consider new and appropriate approaches to soil conservation and crop management. May this process bring about a greater respect for our soils and the need for their conservation and enrichment.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Subtopic:   AGRICULTURE
Sub-subtopic:   NEED FOR SOIL CONSERVATION
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VOLUNTARY ORGANIZATIONS

PC

Larry Schneider

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Larry Schneider (Regina-Wascana):

As this is National Volunteer Week, I would like to express most sincere thanks to the millions of people across this country who devote their time and talents to voluntary service. I speak not only on behalf of myself and all my parliamentary colleagues but also for all Canadians who take such fervent pride in our tradition of service to others.

Volunteers are men and women from all walks of life. They are retired, employed, homemakers and students- people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, people from all religious, racial and culture groupings-Canadians both young and young at heart.

Canada's volunteers play a strong and vital role in our national life. They deliver much-needed human and social services, they champion worthy causes, and they simply make things happen. Volunteers serve on community and citizen action committees and on the boards of volunteer organizations. They place the needs of others before their own. Thanks to them, a stranger becomes a neighbour and a neighbour is more like a friend. All Canadians owe a debt of gratitude to our volunteers,

April 12, 1989

and we, the Members of this House, are honoured to pay tribute to them.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Subtopic:   VOLUNTARY ORGANIZATIONS
Sub-subtopic:   NATIONAL LIFE ENRICHED BY WORK OF VOLUNTEERS
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HUMAN RIGHTS

NDP

Lynn Hunter

New Democratic Party

Ms. Lynn Hunter (Saanich -Gulf Islands):

Mr. Speaker Canadian policy on international development assistance is to link aid to a country's human rights record. Since 1983, Canada has provided over $13 million in bilateral aid to the Government of El Salvador.

With the presidential elections concluded, government-supported violence and repression are on the increase. Last week, Christina Gomez, a Salvadoran leader of the Women's Popular Movement and mother of four, was abducted by heavily-armed men and summarily executed.

Canadians do not want to be associated with a regime which utilizes human rights violations and murder. Canadians are proud of our record of promoting peace, yet our Government, through bilateral aid, does business with this Government which refuses to negotiate a settlement to the nine-year war.

There are dozens of non-governmental organizations promoting peace and the necessary social reform to ensure peace. I call on the Government to reconsider our bilateral aid program to El Salvador so that the aid is channeled through non-governmental organizations until we see a substantial improvement in the human rights environment.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Subtopic:   HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic:   EL SALVADOR-INCREASE IN VIOLATIONS
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THE HONOURABLE ROBERT C. COATES APPOINTMENT AS HONORARY CHIEF OF MICMAC INDIAN BAND

PC

William D. (Bill) Casey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bill Casey (Cumberland-Colchester):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to a former Member of this House who served here faithfully for 31 years. Of course, I am referring to my predecessor, the Hon. Robert C. Coates, and I am pleased to announce that on April 7, Bob was given a very unique honour by Chief Lawrence Paul of the Micmac band in Millbrook near Truro, Nova Scotia.

Bob was made an honorary chief in a very moving ceremony conducted by the band medicine man. This honour is even more significant when one realizes it has never been awarded to anyone before. The new name bestowed on Bob kind of says it all. They have named him "The Chief Who Kept Many Promises", and this title is indicative of the feelings of the constituents of our riding and at least partly explains why he was elected for 11 consecutive terms.

I do not know if protocol calls for him to be referred to as Chief Hon. Bob or Hon. Chief Bob, but whatever it is, it will probably be just plain old Bob to the rest of us. I know you will all join me in congratulating Chief Bob and wishing him good luck in any future opportunities that may present themselves.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Subtopic:   THE HONOURABLE ROBERT C. COATES APPOINTMENT AS HONORARY CHIEF OF MICMAC INDIAN BAND
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ABORTION


Mr. Francis G. LeBlanc (Cape Breton Highlands- Canso): Mr. Speaker, many people in my constituency of Cape Breton Highlands-Canso and elsewhere in Canada are deeply distressed that for more than than 14 months there has been abortion on demand in Canada. I share their concerns. Legislation to protect the unborn in Canada and to fill the void left by the Supreme Court decision of January 28, 1988, is an urgent necessity and is long overdue. The Government's feeble undertaking to study the implications of the Supreme Court jurisprudence is just not good enough. There has been ample time for study. The time now is for action, and action means the speedy introduction of a Bill that reconciles the legitimate right of the mother with protection for the unborn from conception onwards. The Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney) promised during the Leaders' debates prior to the election that legislation would be introduced upon the return of the House. I urge the Prime Minister to keep his promise to Canadians and indicate to this House when we can expect to consider this important matter. April 12, 1989


UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

PC

Jean-Pierre Blackburn

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Jean-Pierre Blackburn (Jonquiere):

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Employment and Immigration (Mrs. McDougall) unveiled yesterday the government proposals for unemployment insurance reform. Thousands of Canadians across the nation were both surprised and stunned by the news. But for millions of others, it was a clear indication that the government wants to remedy abuses.

Who hasn't heard, at one time or another, of some people who quit their jobs for no reason at all, except to enjoy the good times while living off unemployment insurance benefits? Or of cases of fraud where workers who have a job keep receiving UI benefits?

The proposed reform, Mr. Speaker, must aim at remedy this kind of abuse, but must also give a new direction to Canadians by encouraging them to actively search for new jobs. The reform must give Canadians new hope and means to find work. This reform will guide us, Mr. Speaker! As we enter the era of free trade, we will increase our efforts by directing additionnal funds toward the training of our workers.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Sub-subtopic:   BENEFITS OF SYSTEM REFORM
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UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

NDP

Sidney James Parker

New Democratic Party

Mr. Sid Parker (Kootenay East):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to comment on the impact of the Government's recent announcement of changes to the unemployment insurance system on the people of my riding. Many of my constituents are employed in seasonal occupations such as construction, tourism, forestry and the fruit industry. These people play a vital role in the local economy of the East Kootenays. During the off-season, which differs depending on the industry, many seasonal workers depend on unemployment insurance benefits to make ends meet.

Under the past system I had over 80 inquiries relating to UIC. The majority of them come from women employed in seasonal jobs. It is one of the single biggest issues I have dealt with since my election.

While I have no problems with increased funding for retraining, I object to additional funding to be paid for by the unemployed of my riding and the country as a whole. It is clear that the needs of my constituents and the citizens across Canada will be ignored.

My final observation is that if the Government wants to cut the deficit on the backs of the unemployed, it should be up front about it instead of portraying the new system as a measure to help unemployed Canadians.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Sub-subtopic:   IMPACT OF PROPOSED CHANGES ON CONSTITUENTS OF KOOTENAY EAST
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UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

PC

Gregory Francis Thompson

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Greg Thompson (Carleton -Charlotte):

Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the Minister of Employment and Immigration (Mrs. McDougall) for the announced changes in Canada's Unemployment Insurance Program. In particular, I want to commend the Government for its continuing commitment to worker training programs and job-creation. The future of our country does rest on a skilled and disciplined workforce, and the Minister's priorities are directed to the appropriate areas to achieve this. The fragility of Atlantic Canada's economy was not overlooked.

The announced changes are moving us in the right direction as we prepare to enter the 21st Century.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Subtopic:   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Sub-subtopic:   SUPPORT FOR PROPOSED CHANGES
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CANADA ELECTIONS ACT

April 12, 1989