April 21, 1993

STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31

NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK

PC

Fernand Jourdenais

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fernand Jourdenais (La Prairie):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the fact that this week, April 18 to 24, is National Volunteer Week.

This is an opportunity for all of us to express our heartfelt thanks to the more than 13 million Canadians who volunteer their time, skills and energies to enhance the quality of life in their community.

We cannot repeat often enough how much we appreciate their commitment and the services they provide. Volunteers have become an essential and vital part of Canadian society and a major economic resource.

Through their work, volunteers have made a major contribution to this country. We have everything to gain as a society by maintaining this tradition of generosity and caring.

I suggest we take this opportunity to urge people to join those 13 million volunteers across the country. Since this is their week, I think it is appropriate to say how proud we are of what they do, and I want to say: thank you.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Subtopic:   NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK
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YOUNG OFFENDERS ACT

NDP

Ian Gardiner Waddell

New Democratic Party

Mr. Ian Waddell (Port Moody-Coquitlam):

Mr. Speaker, the former Minister of Justice, the current

defence minister, promised additional amendments to the Young Offenders Act. We never saw them. The new minister suggests that some young offenders be publicly identified. However in a letter to a victim's family he says just the opposite, that publication of the young offender's identity may foster an illusion of public safety.

Canadians are tired of empty promises and illusions. They demand substance. The village of Belcarra in my riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam wants a full review of the youth justice system, a national and public gathering of those who have something to say about youth crime and a frank discussion of what is wrong with the act. So far 124 B.C. municipalities agree.

I support this effort. We need to know the full extent of youth crime and what is happening with present youth court sentencing, post-custody supervision and rehabilitative programs before we can make improvements to the act.

I hope the Minister of Justice is listening to the village of Belcarra and the other voices in Canada that are calling for a review of youth crime and our response to it.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Subtopic:   YOUNG OFFENDERS ACT
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POVERTY

LIB

Ron J. Duhamel

Liberal

Mr. Ronald J. Duhamel (St. Boniface):

Mr. Speaker, there are now over four million Canadians living under Statistics Canada's low-income cut-off line.

A woman from my riding is one of those Canadians forgotten and ignored by the current administration. The woman in question was disabled in a car accident two years ago. Since that time she and her son have had to face the horrific reality faced by 47,000 Manitobans, the horrific reality of poverty.

This includes having to make do on less than $20,000 annually for a family of two; being forced, in her case, to cover the cost of medication not covered under Pharma-care, in excess of $1,000 a year; and facing financial

April 21, 1993

barriers to post-secondary education, where she could do more for herself and her son. That is not to mention the emotional problems and stress involved in trying to get by with so little.

On top of that, Tories in Manitoba are blindly imitating their federal counterparts and making irresponsible cuts in programs targeted to the neediest in our society.

It is time Canada and this government showed they are prepared to fight poverty and the very serious problems it generates.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Subtopic:   POVERTY
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EARTH DAY

PC

Stan Darling

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stan Darling (Parry Sound-Muskoka):

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, April 22, is Earth Day. Earth Day reminds us of the precious living treasures we share in our common home, Earth, and that although we have a right to use these gifts there is an equal responsibility to preserve and improve the earth and the quality of life it supports.

Earth Day 1993 is dedicated to a tree planting theme. It is a fitting theme, as the planting of trees is symbolic of environmental awareness and commitment.

In the words of the dedicated individuals of the Earth Day Canada Organization:

The image of putting down roots and contributing to the future

gives us a feeling of well-being and a connection with nature.

In addition, the tree planting theme is a good complement to the government's Tree Plant Canada program initiated under the green plan. The $75 million, six-year initiative is designed to foster and encourage the planting of up to 325 million trees in Canada.

Those involved in making this year's Earth Day theme a reality deserve our thanks and the thanks of generations yet to come.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Subtopic:   EARTH DAY
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THE ECONOMY

LIB

Maurizio Bevilacqua

Liberal

Mr. Maurizio Bevilacqua (York North):

Mr. Speaker, in the very near future the Minister of Finance is expected to present a new budget in the House.

What do Canadians have to show for nine years of Conservative economic management? Thanks to unending tax increases the average middle class family now spends almost $2,000 more per year than it did in 1984. That family now spends 44 per cent of its income on taxes and real after-tax income has declined.

Conservative economic management also gave us the worst recession since the Great Depression. We now have over 1.5 million Canadians unemployed, 2.2 million on welfare and 2 million relying on food banks.

We have lost 325,000 manufacturing jobs since 1989 and over 200,000 people and small businesses have gone bankrupt.

It is clear it is time for change.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Subtopic:   THE ECONOMY
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

PC

Ross Belsher (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Ross Belsher (Fraser Valley East):

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to draw attention to a case of great concern to thousands of Canadians and more specifically to people in the Fraser Valley.

Two young Canadians, Christine Lamont and David Spencer, have been serving time in a Brazilian jail since 1989. These two people were arrested for their involvement in the kidnapping of a wealthy Brazilian businessman. They denied knowledge of the kidnapping but were convicted and sentenced.

I know the government, specifically the minister of external affairs, has maintained a strong interest in this case and made efforts through diplomatic channels on behalf of these two Canadians. As well, a treaty between Brazil and Canada to facilitate prisoner transfers is completed and awaits ratification and implementation.

There have been reports of terrible conditions in Brazilian jails. As well, there are indications that sanitary conditions in some jails are below adequate standards. I

April 21, 1993

realize that information from the media does not give the full picture but it does raise concerns.

Considering the conditions that Lamont and Spencer find themselves in and the unfinished nature of the prisoner transfer agreement I ask if there is any further assistance the minister and her officials can give these people.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Subtopic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
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NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT

?

Hon. Chas. L. Caccia@Davenport

Mr. Speaker, Mexico's lack of financial resources makes it necessary for the government to ensure that NAFTA, if implemented, works to improve the environment through environmental standards that would be enforced in Mexico as well as at home and in the U.S.A.

One approach would be to impose trade sanctions. A better approach would be to launch funding initiatives such as creating a North American development bank. It would provide Mexico with funds to construct sewers, sewage treatment plants and water purification systems as well as finance programs to reduce pesticide use, increase energy efficiency, improve public transportation and reduce pollution.

The bank could trigger private sector financing with the result of substantial benefits in the form of improved human health and quality of life, a clean environment and a healthy economy.

Will the government adopt this approach or accept the indifference shown so far by the Minister for International Trade?

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Subtopic:   NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
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AIR TRANSPORT

BQ

Louis Plamondon (Bloc Québécois House Leader)

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Louis Plamondon (Richelieu):

Mr. Speaker, the National Transportation Agency is now holding public hearings on the acquisition of 34 per cent of Canadian

International shares by American Airlines, the U.S. giant.

By approving this transaction, the government would sign the death warrant of the Gemini reservation system, and any chances of having a genuine Canadian transportation network would be doomed.

In its push to promote competition at any cost, the Tory government is about to turn our Canadian carriers into mere northern arms of major U.S. carriers.

Last summer the Minister of Transport openly sided with PWA against Air Canada, with Calgary against Montreal, by spending enormous sums to subsidize Canadian. He has opted for competition regardless of the cost, to the detriment of the civil aviation industry in this country.

If he really wants to let the market decide, the minister should stop giving in to pressure from the west and allow the creation of a genuine Canadian monopoly with international stature. Most major countries in the world have this kind of system, something they can be proud of.

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Subtopic:   AIR TRANSPORT
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GOVERNOR OF THE BANK OF CANADA

PC

Claude Girvin (Girve) Fretz

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Girve Fretz (Erie):

Mr. Speaker, here is something to crow about.

I quote from an article in The Globe and Mail entitled "Confidence in Mr. Crow". It says:

Mr. Crow has scored an impressive hat trick: low inflation, low interest rates, and a lower exchange rate. He has achieved all three, however, because he had just one goal in mind: low inflation. It is useful to think what would have happened had he not been so single-minded. As inflation rose, Canada's creditors would have sold our bonds, and gone on selling until interest rates rose enough to compensate them. Foreigners dumping their Canadian dollar holdings would have set off a cascading decline in the exchange rate, far overshooting its long-run value. With the prices of domestic and imported goods rising, workers would have demanded higher wage increases, and we'd be off on another inflationary spiral. Without confidence, all is lost.

That is the Crow rate. To the opposition I say: "Let them eat crow."

Oral Questions

Topic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. O. 31
Subtopic:   GOVERNOR OF THE BANK OF CANADA
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MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY

April 21, 1993