March 15, 1994

LIB

Christine Stewart

Liberal

Mrs. Stewart (Northumberland)

Mr. Speaker, I am sure development assistance, foreign aid, and in particular the role of CIDA in providing development assistance and aid around the world, will be very large subjects in the foreign policy review process in general.

The government in its history has kept CIDA closer to its day to day operations of foreign policy. Through the instrument of CIDA and foreign aid there was the desire to supplement other political foreign policy initiatives by keeping them close to the government rather than legislating CIDA at arm's length from the government, as we have done for various other institutions such as the International Development Research Council and the International Institute on Democratic Development and Human Rights.

At this point I would not like to conjecture on how CIDA should progress into the future. I know I want to see these issues discussed very fully in our foreign policy review so that we hear from Canadians how they feel the aid development assistance instrument can be best used in our whole foreign policy package.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canadian Foreign Policy
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?

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

I have taken notice of the member standing. Unless there has been a reassignment of seats he might seek to return to his seat while I am on my feet and I might recognize him.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canadian Foreign Policy
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REF

Keith Martin

Reform

Mr. Keith Martin (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for her excellent speech. I would ask for her opinion on whether or not she sees any role for Canada utilizing the United Nations and bringing together the international community to employ economic levers against countries that may be abusing the foreign aid they get, or even in the context of gross human rights abuses within their countries.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canadian Foreign Policy
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LIB

Christine Stewart

Liberal

Mrs. Stewart (Northumberland)

Mr. Speaker, the government is committed to working very closely with the United Nations in trying to strengthen it, in order that the United Nations can be better able to meet all complex situations that exist in our global world. Right now the United Nations is dominated by a security council with a very limited membership which reflects in many ways a cold war era rather than the era we now exist in.

It is very difficult for the United Nations because of its current structure to respond, as the member suggests, to some of the difficulties existing in the world today. As I said, Canada is very interested in not only continuing to support the United Nations but to help it to reform itself in many ways so that it better reflects the global needs of the world.

Certainly Canada as a nation in its bilateral relations with other countries of the world is very concerned about issues of corruption and misuse of funds provided for development purposes to other nations. We do everything we can. We use every bilateral instrument we have at hand to try to encourage governments that may be practising corrupt activities to stop.

I can say from my own experiences as a minister travelling throughout Latin America and Africa that our own country's initiatives in that regard have had some good effect. Countries are now coming forward voluntarily to tell me about measures they are taking to overcome problems. Many countries through regional approaches are beginning to police each other.

There is great hope about what we can do to face the difficulties the member raised which are serious for us. There are things we can do bilaterally as a nation, but there is more we can do through helping the United Nations to reform itself and reform its institutions so that it can help in the process of addressing these issues.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canadian Foreign Policy
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?

The Speaker

There being no further questions and it being two o'clock, pursuant to Standing Order 30(5), the House will now proceed to Statements by Members, pursuant to Standing Order 31.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canadian Foreign Policy
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LIB

Eleni Bakopanos

Liberal

Mrs. Eleni Bakopanos (Saint-Denis)

Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss if I did not mention Mélanie Turgeon's incredible performance at the World Junior Alpine Championships in Lake Placid, New York. This Canadian athlete, who is only 17 years old, dazzled the crowd of onlookers and journalists when she won her fifth medal yesterday.

During the entire week of competition Melanie has shown the world what extraordinary talent she possesses. She won a gold medal in the giant slalom, another in the combination, a silver medal in the Super G, a bronze medal in downhill, and another in the slalom.

This remarkable young athlete is the first skier to have won five medals at the World Junior Alpine Championships, a feat which no doubt foreshadows a brilliant career.

Mr. Speaker, I join all Canadians in congratulating Mélanie Turgeon and telling her how proud we are of her and how much we admire her. She is truly a credit to our country. Well done, Mélanie!

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   World Junior Alpine Championships
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BQ

Benoît Sauvageau

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Terrebonne)

Mr. Speaker, recently a constituent in my riding wrote to inform me that it was impossible to get through to a federal telephone service, Revenue Canada's 800 information number on child tax benefits.

Nearly three million people are affected by the failure of this service. These are the same people who are asked to pay their taxes without delay, while being deprived of a quality information service that could allow them to claim a deduction to which they are entitled.

This situation is intolerable and shows a total lack of respect for taxpayers. I do hope that corrective measures will be taken as soon as possible so that our fellow Canadians do not have to put up with such a frustrating situation any longer.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Revenue Canada
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REF

Randy White

Reform

Mr. Randy White (Fraser Valley West)

Mr. Speaker, media seekers have recently jumped on the euthanasia issue with little regard for the risks down the road.

In my riding the non-partisan public advisory group which has a direct say through me in all issues has overwhelmingly said no to legalizing euthanasia. The same response was expressed by a vast majority of people attending our recent town hall meeting in Aldergrove, British Columbia.

However sometimes we need to listen to children to bring us back to reality.

In the words of nine-year old Dustin Chadsey of Clearbrook, B.C.: "I don't think people should be able to kill each other or themselves. Only God can decide if we live or die".

Before the media seekers do more damage, I urge all members to ask all their constituents their opinions on this important issue.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Euthanasia
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IND

Gilles Bernier

Independent

Mr. Gilles Bernier (Beauce)

Mr. Speaker, National Defence is making cuts. The government has no choice, and I support the difficult decisions it has to make. I sympathize with the communities in Saint-Jean, Victoria, Cornwall and Nova Scotia, but we sometimes have to sacrifice symbols and monuments in order to put our finances back on track.

It is possible to reach a compromise on the future of the Royal Military College in Saint-Jean. The Canadian government, in collaboration with the Government of Quebec, has offered to find another use for the college so that the local community will not suffer undue economic hardship. The present debate is emotional and almost irrational at times. It is being turned into a language war.

In the budget, none of our regions has been spared. We are here to make decisions, and I hope the government continues to act firmly. By the way, how about marching to Victoria in British Columbia with Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, to try and save the Royal Roads Military College?

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Collège Militaire Royal De Saint-Jean
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LIB

Gurbax Malhi

Liberal

Mr. Gurbax Singh Malhi (Bramalea-Gore-Malton)

Mr. Speaker, human rights violations continue to plague the modern world.

Media reports of atrocities in Bosnia, Punjab, the Sudan, South Africa and elsewhere should shock every citizen around the world.

It is too simple to dismiss these atrocities because they take place so far away, but these horrific events do touch Canadians.

A crime committed against an individual is a crime against all of humanity.

For this reason I would like to voice my support of the recent appointment of a High Commissioner for Human Rights to the United Nations.

It is up to those of us who thrive on freedom to protest human rights violations wherever they occur.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Human Rights
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LIB

Ovid Jackson

Liberal

Mr. Ovid L. Jackson (Bruce-Grey)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on a very sad note on the passing of one of my councillors, Dave McComb.

I still call him my councillor even after being away from the mayor's chair for four months in this House.

Perhaps I can best sum up Dave's accomplishments and his contributions to my community by saying that he gave to politics, as he gave to play and to any other purpose he pursued, a warm integrity, a graciousness of spirit, a kindling touch which enriched all things he did for the lives of the people in our community.

He proved, and that proof is much needed, that all communities need vital individuals and all individuals are most vital when they serve their communities.

I am sure that members will join with me in offering his wife, Nancy, and his family our heartfelt condolences as they are bereaved by his death.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Late Dave McComb
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BQ

Jean H. Leroux

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Jean Leroux (Shefford)

Mr. Speaker, as you know, Quebec anglophones enjoy rights they are guaranteed under the British North America Act. Quebec has always respected the rights of its minorities.

For the benefit of the members of this House and Canadians who are watching, I would like to name some of the benefits

enjoyed by the anglophone community in Quebec. First of all, Montreal, where most of the anglophone population lives, has a complete network of hospitals that function in English. They also have two major universities in Montreal-McGill and Concordia-and Bishop's University in the Eastern Townships. They have their own school system at the primary, secondary and college level, entirely subsidized by Quebec.

Quebec has always treated its minorities well, because we know what it means to be a minority, Mr. Speaker. I invite all members from the other provinces to come and visit Quebec to see for themselves.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Linguistic Minorities
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REF

Jan Brown

Reform

Mrs. Jan Brown (Calgary Southeast)

Mr. Speaker, it has come to light that a Montreal researcher fabricated information that has been used to shape treatment of breast cancer for the past decade. The same researcher also used patients who had not consented to participate in the study. We hear today that the Quebec Medical Association may have known about this for as much as three years.

The research determined that lumpectomies save just as many lives as the removal of the entire breast, and that the drug Tamoxifen can in some cases prevent the return of breast cancer.

Can women be certain that the conclusions from this study are valid?

How could such a thing happen? Last November the government received the final report of the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies. The report emphatically stated that the unethical use of knowledge is not permitted. This applies equally to all areas of medicine.

I strongly urge the government to investigate this serious incident to ensure the medical safety of women all across this country.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Breast Cancer
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LIB

Ron MacDonald

Liberal

Mr. Ron MacDonald (Dartmouth)

Mr. Speaker, I wish to draw the attention of the House to the situation at the port of Halifax.

Atlantic Container Lines was ready to guarantee 8,000 new containers per year of cargo bound for Chicago, simply because the port of Halifax provides the most competitive entry location for midwestern U.S. cargo.

The Halifax Port Corporation and the longshoremen's union both agreed on major cuts in handling fees and surcharges to attract this business and keep it there. However, last week the Maritime Employers Association, a board dominated by interests competing with Halifax, voted to reject the union's offer to lower benefits. Only after public outcry did the board decide to accept a revised offer.

However, I remain astounded that any supposedly responsible employer's group could have considered rejecting an offer of concessions from its union, an offer of lowering operating costs and increased competitiveness.

For now, the port of Halifax may have escaped permanent damage, but this incident forces me to question the system through which the port of Halifax can be hampered in its drive for success by a board made up of its competitors.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Port Of Halifax
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LIB

Pat O'Brien

Liberal

Mr. Pat O'Brien (London-Middlesex)

Mr. Speaker, today is World Consumer Rights Day, declared by the International Organization of Consumer Unions.

Throughout the world consumers are marking this event by taking part in activities stressing their contributions to the marketplace in our society. Consumers have a vital role to play in maintaining the wealth and competitiveness of this country; over 60 per cent of Canada's GDP is attributed to consumer demand.

Consumers' voices should be heard and their rights recognized. The IOCU defines eight basic rights of consumers as given in the UN guidelines: the right to satisfaction of basic needs, the right to safety, the right to be informed, the right to choose, the right to be heard, the right to redress, the right to consumer education, and the right to a healthy environment.

We Canadians are fortunate that many of our basic rights as consumers are already acknowledged. We have good consumer protection legislation in place and businesses that for the most part are concerned with producing high quality goods and services using fair marketing practices.

Consumers in prosperous countries such as Canada are lucky to be able to choose from a wide variety of goods and services.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   World Consumer Rights Day
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LIB

Tony Ianno

Liberal

Mr. Tony Ianno (Trinity-Spadina)

Mr. Speaker, in the Toronto Star of Monday, March 14 I read about a visit by two members of the Reform Party to my riding of Trinity-Spadina. In their travels they visited Chinatown and Kensington Market where they felt they would encounter Canadians of origins other than English and French who would share with them their opinions of slashing immigration to Canada.

In the process they discovered that the majority of those with whom they spoke looked favourably on the government's immigration policy. One respondent business person, Mr. Danny Tran, a recent immigrant who creates jobs himself, said that more immigrants meant more jobs.

Because of these responses the title of the article was "Reformers Get An Education". To no one's surprise, least of all my own, they discovered that the multicultural mix of Trinity-Spadina positively contributes to the dynamic nature of Toronto.

If the hon. members had ventured around the corner to the Alexander Park Community Housing complex, they would have also learned of how three years ago a determined group of residents, multicultural in character, led by Mr. Sonny Atkinson, banded together and drove out the drug problem.

In conclusion, I would like to extend an invitation to all Canadians to visit Trinity-Spadina to discover these well kept secrets of the success of multiculturalism. In particular, however, I would like to extend an invitation to more of the members of the Reform Party so that they too may benefit from these lessons.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Immigration
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BQ

Francine Lalonde

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Francine Lalonde (Mercier)

Mr. Speaker, an unprecedented event took place Saturday in Montreal, namely the Forum de la solidarité sociale du Québec. For the first time ever, over one thousand representatives of citizen and community groups as diverse as the Assemblée des évêques and unions from all regions gathered together to embrace a common goal and to wage war on unemployment and poverty through joint social action.

After painting an alarming picture of poverty in Quebec, the forum levelled the blame squarely at the federal government's anti-inflation policy which has led to a 50 per cent increase in the federal debt, prompting governments to slash social programs every further.

Above all, forum participants agreed on the need to take action so that Quebec stands solidly behind a job creation policy that encompasses job sharing, a reaffirmation of the role of the state, taxation reform, maintenance of social programs and a broadening of democracy.

This approach represents hope for Quebec.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Forum De La Solidarité Sociale Du Québec
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REF

Paul Forseth

Reform

Mr. Paul E. Forseth (New Westminster-Burnaby)

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to congratulate Rick Folk and his B.C. rink for capturing Canada's highest prize in men's curling.

After a week of stiff competition from other provincial rinks, Folk duelled Ontario's Russ Howard to an eight to five win in the Briar in Red Deer, Alberta on Sunday. Not since Lyall Dagg 30 years ago in 1964 has British Columbia captured the Canadian Curling Championship.

I am sure that all of my colleagues from British Columbia will join with me in congratulating B.C. skip Rick Folk and his rink of Gerry Richard, Bert Gretzinger and Pat Ryan.

We wish them the best as they will now represent Canada at the World Curling Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canadian Curling Championship
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LIB

Sue Barnes

Liberal

Mrs. Sue Barnes (London West)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to applaud the establishment of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame was announced in November 1993 in London, Ontario and the induction of the first laureates will take place May 27, 1994 in London.

Housed in London's new convention centre and sponsored by the Medical Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame will provide an enduring tribute that will publicize the accomplishments of Canadian men and women who have made important contributions to the understanding of disease and the advancement of health everywhere.

Laureates inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame will be selected annually in the categories of clinical medicine, basic medical research and applied medical research.

Canadians should be proud of the establishment of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, an important national initiative celebrating discovery and innovation in medical science.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canadian Medical Hall Of Fame
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LIB

Anna Terrana

Liberal

Mrs. Anna Terrana (Vancouver East)

Mr. Speaker, a number of Vancouver East constituents have written to ask for the Canadian government's intervention in a very serious infringement of human rights.

Twelve Buddhist nuns in Tibet have recently been sentenced to prison terms for participating in a demonstration to which there are no witnesses. A 15-year old girl is among those arrested. Those women are going to prison without proper trial and are in grave danger of torture and possibly death.

My constituents appeal to the Canadian government to use its authority and ask for the immediate and unconditional release of these women and for international monitoring of the situation in Tibet.

The situation is urgent and for the sake of such people human rights must be protected.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Human Rights
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March 15, 1994