February 4, 1994

LIB

Rose-Marie Ur

Liberal

Mrs. Rose-Marie Ur (Lambton-Middlesex)

Mr. Speaker, as budget time approaches I would like to remind the finance minister that the previous government increased taxes to individuals 34 times, while the level of corporate income taxes have remained virtually the same over the past 10 years.

It is time that the hard-working people of this nation, Canada's workers, farmers and small business people received a break.

I hope the finance minister will at least retain if not improve programs such as home ownership and agricultural income maintenance programs such as GRIP and NISA.

By closing the corporate loopholes that have cost the treasury billions of dollars each year in lost revenues more equity and fairness can be established in our tax system and Canadians can continue to rely on programs which have given them at least a fighting chance in improving their lives.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Taxation
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LIB

John Maloney

Liberal

Mr. John Maloney (Erie)

Mr. Speaker, I wish to express my concerns about the current restructuring the Department of Human Resources Development is proposing for Erie riding with respect to Canada employment centres.

It is my understanding that staffing at these centres in my riding is to be reduced by approximately 50 per cent, with this personnel to be relocated to larger urban centres in neighbouring ridings. This void is to be filled by the use of computers to be used by a basically computer illiterate clientele. This is not a realistic or practical trade-off.

I respect and compliment the department in its efforts to streamline and reduce costs overall. However with an unemployment rate in the Niagara region at approximately 15 per cent, such cutbacks in our area are inappropriate and unacceptable at this time. The blind slash of the pen must be reviewed.

The problem is further complicated by the lack of a regular public transportation system between the respective communities and the incidence of long distance phone calls at a time when the financial resources of the unemployed are greatly diminished. At a time when our riding needs more support the bureaucrats are dictating less. Bigger is not necessarily better.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canada Employment Centres
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LIB

Beryl Gaffney

Liberal

Mrs. Beryl Gaffney (Nepean)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to a Nepean based firm, Northern Micro, an innovative computer manufacturer. This company is a model of what small business can accomplish.

As a Canadian manufacturer and network integrator, Northern Micro began supplying its extraordinary combination of performance and service in 1985. In 1993 business demands required that Northern Micro triple its office space. Now it is positioning itself for even greater success in 1994, doubling its plant capacity and hiring 28 new staff.

At a time when the economy was at a standstill Northern Micro used a creative mix of marketing moxy and aggressive client services to boost sales to over $20 million, selling 10,000 computers and getting international recognition.

The federal government must work with Canadian business to provide the proper supports and to create a positive climate for economic growth and entrepreneurial spirit.

I put forth Northern Micro as both a model and a challenge for all Canadians to reach for the stars and strive for that success. We need that in this country.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Northern Micro
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BQ

Gaston Péloquin

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gaston Péloquin (Brome-Missisquoi)

Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the House and all Quebecers that next week will be the third International Development Week. Its purpose is to increase our awareness of the living conditions of people in Third World countries.

All across Canada, various activities will show Canadians the economic and social situation of Third World countries and what kind of work our non-governmental organizations are doing all over the world, particularly in Africa.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to all the volunteer workers from Quebec and Canada who remind us of the needs of the underprivileged. They accomplish a commendable task and deserve our gratitude.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   International Development
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REF

Deborah Grey

Reform

Miss Deborah Grey (Beaver River)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to make reference to the recent proposal by the federal Electoral Boundaries Commission of Alberta. It was released last Monday and suggests adding one new riding to Calgary. To facilitate this it proposes enlarging the Vegreville, Crowfoot, Athabasca and Elk Island ridings and totally eliminating the riding of Beaver River, which has only been in existence since the 1988 election.

What were its population projections? The numbers show our population has increased by some 4,000 people since then so why would it be eliminated so soon? Are we drawing lines between urban and rural Canada again? Are we going to demand that MPs travel even farther than they are now if Beaver River is dismantled and segmented out to other ridings?

I encourage all my constituents to attend the public hearings to be held in St. Paul, Lac la Biche and Redwater later this spring. Phone 1-800-522-4125 for dates and times.

Beaver River lives.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Beaver River Constituency
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LIB

Eleni Bakopanos

Liberal

Mrs. Eleni Bakopanos (Saint-Denis)

Mr. Speaker, as an MP and the mother of two daughters, Athena and Vasilike, who are here today, I would like to draw the House's attention, as many members have done already, to the International Year of the Family.

It is a very significant event and I would encourage all members to organize events in their ridings to promote the UN efforts in favour of the family unit. Contrary to a commonly held belief, regardless of its make-up, the family is alive and well. It remains the corner-stone of society.

If we are here today, it is thanks to our families' efforts and sacrifices. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family for its support: my father Ioannis, my mother Vasilike, my sister Anastasia, my brother Bill, and last but not least, my husband, Constantinos Geropapas.

I call upon my colleagues to do their part in organizing events like single parent family support groups, family picnics and other activities to ensure that the International Year of the Family is celebrated throughout our country.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The International Year Of The Family
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LIB

Sue Barnes

Liberal

Mrs. Sue Barnes (London West)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to raise again in this House the subject of the RRSP home buyers plan in order to emphasize its importance to many in my riding and the Canadian economy as a whole.

The extension of the RRSP home buyers plan benefits will allow thousands of Canadians to withdraw existing funds of up to $20,000 from their registered retirement savings plans to finance the purchase of their principal residence without having to pay tax on the withdrawal.

The program also recognizes the importance of the housing market to economic growth. Its extension will stimulate residential real estate and job creation. The program also recognizes that a paid off principal residence is for many the cornerstone of their retirement plan.

I encourage all members of this House to support the extension of the RRSP home buyers plan which will allow additional time to re-evaluate the program and continue its important contribution to economic recovery.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Home Buyers Plan
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LIB

Paul Devillers

Liberal

Mr. Paul DeVillers (Simcoe North)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell the House today about an important concern in Simcoe North that is indeed a major problem across the country. I am referring to the closure of railway lines and rail spurs which are critical to industry and economic development.

At a time when we should be investing in railways because they make good economic and environmental sense, Canada is allowing its railway system to be dismantled.

I implore the government to review Canada's transportation policy to ensure that railway spurs feeding into main lines are preserved. This will be good for industry, good for the environment and will assist the government in creating new jobs for Canadians.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Railways
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BQ

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral (Laval Centre)

Mr. Speaker, unlike the position on immigration put forward by the Reform Party earlier this week in response to the speech by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration on immigration levels, we wish to emphasize in this House that the Bloc Quebecois is open to immigration. We recognize the major contribution made by immigrants to Quebec and Canadian society. In fact, we have been welcoming people from every part of the world and from every socio-economic background for over 300 years; they have contributed greatly to our collective wealth and helped make our country what it is.

However, we want to make it clear that we will keep an eye on the government to make sure that it does not weaken the principles of the 1978 Couture-Cullen agreement, which were reinforced by the 1990 Gagnon-Tremblay-McDougall agreement-

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Immigration
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?

The Speaker

I am sorry, but I must interrupt the hon. member.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Immigration
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REF

Chuck Strahl

Reform

Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley East)

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government threw Canada's financial dice for nine years, taking a terrible gamble with our tax money. It bet heavily on a rising economy hoping that the economy would outgrow the deficit and the problem would just somehow go away. As we know the economy did not grow fast enough and the result is today's fiscal disaster.

In the budget to be brought down this month let us hope the government realizes that good intentions, wishful thinking, or hoping that somehow the right cards will turn up will never put anyone to work. Governments should learn from the mistakes of the past.

Reformers have been warning for years that high deficits and high unemployment are directly related. We will seal the fate of our unemployed by allowing deficits to balloon out of control.

Any budgetary plan that trusts in luck as a basis of its fiscal policy will keep the unemployed out of work and that, you can bet on.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Social Policy
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LIB

Murray Calder

Liberal

Mr. Murray Calder (Wellington-Grey-Dufferin-Simcoe)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the athletes who will be representing Canada at the winter Olympic games at Lillehammer, Norway. These young Canadians deserve our recognition and full support for their hard work and commitment to their sport.

I wish to mention one athlete, Michelle Ruthven, a resident of Orangeville, a town in my riding. I wish to extend to Michelle congratulations on behalf of myself and the residents of Wellington-Grey-Dufferin-Simcoe on her great accomplishments as a Canadian athlete.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Winter Olympic Games
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LIB

John Bryden

Liberal

Mr. John Bryden (Hamilton-Wentworth)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to express my deep satisfaction with the debates that have taken place here over the past two weeks.

We MPs on all sides of this House represent the people who elected us. The various points of view have helped me to better understand this great country.

I especially congratulate my hon. colleagues across the floor, the Bloc and the Reform. They have spoken with conviction and passion. I doubt if there is a country in the world that would permit such a free exchange of ideas, ideas sometimes that call into question the very fabric of this nation.

We have heard here and felt the strength that is Canada. We do not pay lip service to freedom of speech, we live it. We should be the envy of the world.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   House Of Commons
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?

The Speaker

Perhaps my hon. colleagues will permit me an observation. I notice that it is 14 minutes after the hour and all of the statements we had for today have been delivered. May I with respect to all hon. members compliment you, because we seem to be getting our work done in time now. I think it is great we are doing this.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   House Of Commons
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BQ

Gilles Duceppe

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier-Sainte-Marie)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister.

While it refuses to divulge its plan of action to put a stop to cigarette smuggling, the government expressed its intention to enforce the law everywhere in Canada, including on Indian reserves. In fact, the Deputy Prime Minister herself said that living on a reserve does not give the right to violate Canadian laws.

Mr. Speaker, my question is: Will the Deputy Prime Minister reiterate in this House her intention to enforce the law, and will she promise to take necessary action to ensure that the law is indeed enforced everywhere, including on Indian reserves, in spite of the reservations expressed to that effect by the Solicitor General?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Cigarette Smuggling
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LIB

Sheila Copps

Liberal

Hon. Sheila Copps (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment)

Mr. Speaker, these days, the members opposite keep repeating that smuggling we do nothing about cigarette smuggling.

The Leader of the Official Opposition was a Cabinet member in the previous government for 781 days, but he did not act. We have been in office for less than 100 days. We will have a plan of action next week, and this is what I call true action and real governing.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Cigarette Smuggling
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BQ

Gilles Duceppe

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier-Sainte-Marie)

Mr. Speaker, are we to understand that the government will intervene everywhere, including in Akwesasne, to ensure that the law is respected even though the Mohawk authorities in Akwesasne declared yesterday that the RCMP had no right to intervene on the reserve territory?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Cigarette Smuggling
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LIB

Sheila Copps

Liberal

Hon. Sheila Copps (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment)

Mr. Speaker, the problem of contraband smuggling is not limited to reserves. It is an unfortunate mistake on the part of the member if he leaves the Canadian people with the impression that this is strictly a problem on reserves.

The problem of contraband smuggling is one that involves organized crime. It is a problem that is spreading with rapidity throughout major parts of the country. It is also a problem that his leader sat in a cabinet for 781 days and did nothing about.

We have been in cabinet for less than 100 days. We have been working very hard on a concerted plan which will respect and indeed ameliorate the health conditions of Canadians and at the same time deal with the enforcement issues.

I would say that is a government that is not about talk, it is about action.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Cigarette Smuggling
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BQ

Gilles Duceppe

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier-Sainte-Marie)

Mr. Speaker, it is strange to hear this government talk about action, considering that to this day only one minor bill was tabled, but we did hear a lot of lip service.

I am also surprised to hear the Deputy Prime Minister complain because we raise the issue of smuggling on reserves, since she herself made a statement yesterday on national television, regarding that problem.

Since other statements were also made on the national networks yesterday, does the Deputy Prime Minister intend to follow up the request for an urgent meeting made by Mohawk officials? As you know, some of their spokespersons have threatened to stage a major confrontation if the RCMP tries to enforce the law on their reserves.

Will the government meet with Mohawk officials from Akwesasne, Kanesatake and Kahnawake to discuss cigarette smuggling? Yes or no?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Cigarette Smuggling
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LIB

Sheila Copps

Liberal

Hon. Sheila Copps (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment)

Mr. Speaker, what I said yesterday and what the Prime Minister mentioned repeatedly, is that we are asking all Canadians to respect the law, whether it is in a convenience store or on an Indian reserve.

I am somewhat surprised by the member's question, because on the one hand he claims that this problem strictly concerns Indian reserves, while on the other hand he wants us to negotiate with those who created the problem.

In fact, we have already initiated a dialogue with all the stakeholders, including provincial governments. I know that the minister responsible for aboriginal issues is meeting with all our Cabinet colleagues to come up with a solution by next week. This is what I call action and I am surprised to see the Bloc Quebecois tell us about enforcing the law when it was precisely a member of that party who was bragging about prevention-

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Cigarette Smuggling
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February 4, 1994