February 2, 1994

LIB

Anna Terrana

Liberal

Mrs. Anna Terrana (Vancouver East)

Mr. Speaker, Martin H. Creegen of Kranj, Slovenia, sent the following letter to the European newspaper in January 1994:

The international community has created an impossible situation for itself in relation to Bosnia, especially when the presence of United Nations troops in the country is cited as the reason for not enforcing UN resolutions there. The need for a new approach could not be clearer-I suggest that the following provides the only basis for bringing peace to Bosnia.

Bosnia must be declared a UN protectorate for a specified period and administered by the UN.

All parties must immediately cease all military activity.

A large program for handing over arms and those accused of war crimes must be agreed and enforced.

A large scale program of civil reconstruction should be instituted immediately with the main emphasis being on cross cultural co-operation.

As soon as conditions allow, an all-Bosnia assembly must be elected under international supervision and on the basis of electoral units, not ethnic affiliation.

Pressure must be maintained on neighbouring countries, in particular Croatia and Serbia, to resolve inter-ethnic relations.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Bosnia
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?

The Speaker

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member but her time is up.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Bosnia
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BQ

Maurice Bernier

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Maurice Bernier (Mégantic-Compton-Stanstead)

Mr. Speaker, as the daily La Tribune was reporting today, it is with great sadness that we learned yesterday that Dominion Textile was closing two factories in Quebec. Tremendous international competition and low demand would have prompted Dominion Textile to make such a decision.

The Domil spinning mill in Sherbrooke employed 275 workers averaging 40 years of age and 16 years of service. Losing a job when times are so hard and when you have devoted so many years of your life to it is a traumatic experience. I sympathize deeply with those laid-off workers and assure them of my support.

This new factory closing shows the urgency of initiating retraining measures for the workers in areas more and more affected by foreign competition. Not only is the federal government doing nothing in this regard, but it refuses to recognize that vocational training would be better off under the jurisdiction of the government of Quebec, the only one able to take efficient steps in this area.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Dominion Textile
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REF

Jim Gouk

Reform

Mr. Jim Gouk (Kootenay West-Revelstoke)

Mr. Speaker, I have been receiving a growing number of letters from constituents regarding unemployment insurance premiums and benefits, one of which reads as follows:

As an unemployed person who is required to pay unemployment insurance premiums, I am incensed at the recent government decision to increase premium rates instead of reducing program costs. My after tax dollars are scarce to begin with, I don't need them shrunken further!

Unemployment insurance should provide only benefits for people who find themselves unexpectedly out of work. I cannot afford all the other benefits the government seems to want to build into the system.

The letter lists seven items which the writer thinks should be cut. I will provide a copy of that to the appropriate minister.

The letter concludes:

As the Member of Parliament for my riding, I request your support in making the unemployment insurance system more effective and affordable.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Unemployment Insurance
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LIB

Stan Keyes

Liberal

Mr. Stan Keyes (Hamilton West)

Mr. Speaker, the other day my colleague, the Minister of Human Resource Development, used the term generation x . Generation x refers to young people in Canada who are frustrated with bleak employment prospects and concerned about the value of their education with respect to career opportunities available to them.

In addition to the social challenges facing the youth, generation x finds itself wondering why they must shoulder the burden of the nation's economic woes which were caused by the previous generation. In short they are asking: ``What about us?''

The youth of today are tired of means to no end education and aspire to more than mere part time jobs. It is time to make a change.

The government is committed to the youth of Canada and must certainly reflect that in the next budget through initiatives such as the youth service corps, job training, the national literacy program and increased funding for aboriginal post-secondary education. The government will substantiate its commitment not only to generation x but to future generations as well.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Generation X
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LIB

Rey D. Pagtakhan

Liberal

Mr. Rey D. Pagtakhan (Winnipeg North)

Mr. Speaker, there are those who use the tax on tobacco as an excuse to break the law, and there are those who invoke civil disobedience as an excuse to break the law.

When Henry Thoreau staged civil disobedience, it was to protest the American civil war.

When Mahatma Gandhi staged civil disobedience, it was to free the people of India from colonialism.

When Martin Luther King staged civil disobedience, it was to free the American blacks from racial discrimination.

However when smugglers deliberately violate the law for money and others invoke civil disobedience to protest our tax laws on cigarettes, it is pure greed.

We cannot surrender the supremacy of law to the lawless. We must apply the law of our land to every part and parcel of our country.

Decreasing taxes on tobacco will increase the consumption of cigarettes, causing disabilities, human suffering, a lifetime of addiction and premature death.

The present and future health of the newborn, children, teenagers and adults-all of us-are in the hands of a healthy government public health policy.

Let Parliament rally our citizens and remind them that those who break the law hurt their neighbours, their friends, their families and our nation.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
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LIB

Ovid Jackson

Liberal

Mr. Ovid L. Jackson (Bruce-Grey)

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to speak about one of the residents of my riding of Bruce-Grey, the famous Wiarton Willy. He resides in the town of Wiarton which is a short distance away from the beautiful Bruce Peninsula Park of Tobermory.

Wiarton Willy has a unique characteristic in that he was born on the 45th parallel which is between the equator and the North Pole, and because of this he has the facility of forecasting. Wiarton Willy happens to be a white albino groundhog and this morning the mayor of Wiarton and a group of dignitaries, all dressed in white tuxedos, ventured out to speak to Wiarton Willy at his burrow. They brought with them a space heater and Willy came out and did his thing.

Unfortunately I have to inform the House that he saw his shadow and so we have another six weeks of winter. I visited with Willy before the election and I want to tell the House that his predictions are good nine times out of ten. He predicted that I was going to win the election.

Congratulations to the Wiarton Lions Club for the kickoff of the 38th Groundhog Festival.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Wiarton Willy
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BQ

Michel Guimond

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Guimond (Beauport-Montmorency-Orléans)

Mr. Speaker, I am appealing to the solidarity of the Magdalen Islands people so that they support right now the ferry building project of the MIL Davie shipyard.

The shipyard is capable of responding to the needs of the Magdalen Islands people and of providing a comfortable, reliable and secure ship that will be able to move through the ice in the St. Laurent Gulf. The Bloc Quebecois is convinced that the Magdalen Islands people will see the opportunity of reconciling these needs with the urgency of maintaining 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in the greater area of Quebec City.

Why should we pay for the importation of a ferry from Europe or elsewhere when we have the manpower and the facilities necessary to built it ourselves? In these difficult economic times, it is vital that the decisions that we make reinforce Quebec's economic activity in the interests of all Quebecers.

The Magdalen Islands people are proud and self-supporting. They are well capable of taking charge of their own economic, social and cultural destiny.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Shipyard In Lauzon
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REF

Jay Hill

Reform

Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George-Peace River)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform Canadians of a very special event that will take place in the Prince George-Peace River riding from February 4 to February 6. I am referring to the 20th annual Northern B.C. Winter Games taking place in the city of Fort St. John.

The games provide an opportunity for athletes in the north to compete with one another and form lasting friendships. The Northern B.C. Winter Games encourage participation from competitors of all ages, from youths to seniors. All of them demonstrate the sportsmanship and competitive spirit which have made these games such a great success.

It is particularly appropriate that Fort St. John should host the event this year, as the city is celebrating its 200th anniversary. Please join with me in extending congratulations to my home town of Fort St. John and in wishing these dedicated athletes every possible success.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Northern British Columbia Winter Games
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LIB

Harold Culbert

Liberal

Mr. Harold Culbert (Carleton-Charlotte)

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to pay tribute to the contributions of a courageous leader in the fight against kidney disease. Judy Rose McKay, 46, of Woodstock, New Brunswick, died on Sunday, January 23.

One of the longest survivors of a kidney transplant in Canada, Judy McKay served as the first president of the local and provincial chapters of the Kidney Foundation of Canada. A founding member of the Lorna Morse Chapter of the Kidney Foundation of Canada, Judy was always concerned for the welfare of others and leading the way in the fight against kidney disease.

On behalf of my family and friends, the constituents of Carleton-Charlotte, and my colleagues in the House of Commons I respectfully offer my condolences to the family and friends of a local hero.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Late Judy Rose McKay
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LIB

Derek Wells

Liberal

Mr. Derek Wells (South Shore)

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that steps must be taken to address the issue of tobacco smuggling in Canada. It is my opinion that the government can succeed in substantially reducing it, without rolling back tobacco taxes.

A multifaceted approach must be adopted that includes the reintroduction of the highly effective federal export tax, tougher enforcement measures, restrictions on the amount of tobacco that can be shipped to the United States, measures to prevent manufacturers from shifting production elsewhere in order to supply the contraband market, and increased pressure on the U.S. government to bring their cigarette prices into line with our own.

Relying on a tax rollback is a public health risk that will lead to increased health care costs as rates of consumption rise. The loss in tax revenues will further add to the deficit problems being faced by every level of government in the country.

I feel that the health of Canadians and the health of our economy must be primary considerations in developing a strategy to end tobacco smuggling.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Tobacco Products
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BQ

Pierre De Savoye

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Pierre de Savoye (Portneuf)

Mr. Speaker, the seaplane base on Lake Saint-Augustin, Portneuf county, has been progressively surrounded by residential areas. Its activities are no longer compatible with its location.

I know the Minister of Transport has received pressing requests from the municipality of Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, from the Quebec urban community and from other municipalities in the Quebec region, all asking that the base be relocated.

Cap-Santé and surrounding municipalities would like to have an airport and a seaplane base in their area. What is a problem for Saint-Augustin could very well be an opportunity for Cap-Santé. Therefore, I ask the Minister of Transport to do a feasibility study on such a project and I assure him of my unfailing co-operation in this matter.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Saint-Augustin Lake Seaplane Base
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REF

Jim Hart

Reform

Mr. Jim Hart (Okanagan-Similkameen-Merritt)

Mr. Speaker, the Okanagan Valley ships apples, pears, peaches and fruit of all kinds around the world. Our producers have become world leaders in the industry and strides forward continue to be made.

From January 26 through January 28 the British Columbia Fruit Growers' Association held a major convention in Penticton. It was highly successful and brought many fruit growers together to discuss issues that are important to the industry, such as the impact of the NAFTA, the GATT and advances in new technologies.

Over the last 100 years, B.C. fruit growers have invested their capital, their ideas and their hard work to become a world leader in fruit growing. It is again proof that Canadians can compete and win against the best in the world.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Fruit Growers
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LIB

Peter Adams

Liberal

Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough)

Mr. Speaker, Trent University in Peterborough is the smallest university in Ontario but its students consistently perform well in national and international scholarship programs.

Trent maintained this record of excellence in this year's Canada Scholarship Program.

The Canada Scholarship Program was established to encourage young people, especially women, to undertake careers in science. Trent students have a fine record in the program.

This year 34 students, more than half of them women, won Canada scholarships. They were drawn from academic departments which span the sciences from social and environmental to physical.

A special feature of science at Trent is the flexibility of students in selecting programs which involve creative combinations of disciplines. This flexibility is producing young scientists who are well trained in their specialities but who have a broad range of interests. This approach is going to stand Canada well in the 21st century.

I am sure members of the House join me in congratulating all young Canadians who won Canada scholarship awards this year.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canada Scholarship Program
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LIB

Ted McWhinney

Liberal

Mr. Ted McWhinney (Vancouver Quadra)

Mr. Speaker, I rise on the issue of the Kemano completion project. The previous government's handling of this issue was improper and showed little respect for fishing groups, environmental groups and First Nations.

The government deserves praise, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans in particular, for efforts to improve relations with these constituent groups. To date, the present government has committed to a full public airing of the issue by participating in the British Columbia Utilities Commission public hearing on the matter.

The present government is prepared to make available its expertise, to open its files and to make federal officials available as expert witnesses in these hearings.

I would suggest, however, that if we should find the province's inquiry is too narrow in its scope to cover the balancing of interests involved, the federal government should keep in reserve the possibility of a federal judicial inquiry into the matter.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Kemano Project
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NDP

Len Taylor

New Democratic Party

Mr. Len Taylor (The Battlefords-Meadow Lake)

Mr. Speaker, the federal government announcement yesterday to spend $2.8 million in an effort to eliminate tuberculosis from aboriginal communities by the year 2010 is commendable. The incidence of infectious TB in native communities is alarming and a serious problem that has to be addressed. However, while diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis are important, attacking the root causes is perhaps more important.

The real problems in aboriginal communities of poor housing, water and sewage treatment, problems that contribute to the growing incidence of TB, are still largely ignored by this government.

In recognizing the seriousness of the health related concerns of aboriginal people, I ask the government to take the next important step and implement some of the many recommendations of the 1992 aboriginal affairs committee report on housing appropriately entitled "A Time for Action". Indeed it is time to act.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Tuberculosis
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BQ

Lucien Bouchard

Bloc Québécois

Hon. Lucien Bouchard (Leader of the Opposition)

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Prime Minister.

The protest movement against cigarette smuggling is spreading, but anti-smoking groups are opposed to any reduction in taxes on cigarettes.

Meanwhile, the government procrastinates and does nothing to put an end to the serious social problem cigarette smuggling in particular has become in Quebec. Yesterday, two Liberal members publicly said they were opposed to cuts in cigarette taxes, while the Minister of National Health and Welfare was equally reluctant.

My question is this: Must we conclude that the government is taking such a long time to announce its action plan against cigarette smuggling because of profound divisions within Cabinet and the Liberal caucus on the Prime Minister's plans to reduce this tax?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Cigarette Smuggling
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister)

Mr. Speaker, we have been working on this problem for a number of weeks. We are in touch with the provincial governments. I intend to discuss the problem early next week with the Premier of Quebec, as soon as he gets back from his trip, and also with others who are now absent.

I was speaking to several provincial premiers this morning, and we hope to reach a conclusion on the issue as soon as possible.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Cigarette Smuggling
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BQ

Lucien Bouchard

Bloc Québécois

Hon. Lucien Bouchard (Leader of the Opposition)

Mr. Speaker, for nearly three weeks we have asked the government repeatedly to take some kind of action. And what kind of answer did we get today? One of the people involved is in Europe, others are absent, people are talking and waiting and they tell us there may be a decision shortly.

Does the Prime Minister agree that the high tax on cigarettes, by encouraging smuggling, has in fact made cigarettes available to a class of smokers who are now more numerous than ever before and who on top of that are not helping to finance health care?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Cigarette Smuggling
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister)

Mr. Speaker, it would be very helpful if we could get a clear position from the opposition. The other day, the health critic made it clear to the Minister of National Health and Welfare that he did not want tax rates to be reduced. It would also be very helpful if the Leader of the Opposition asked his members not to join demonstrations with individuals who are breaking the law in Canada.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Cigarette Smuggling
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February 2, 1994