April 21, 1994

LIB

Roseanne Skoke

Liberal

Ms. Roseanne Skoke (Central Nova)

Mr. Speaker, life begins from the moment of conception and continues until natural death. It is demanded that this Parliament exercise its power, authority and jurisdiction to enact legislation to protect and safeguard the rights and the life of the child dans le ventre de sa mère, the child within the womb.

Be reminded that the preamble of the Canadian Constitution and entrenched charter of rights recognizes the supremacy of God. However, a nation such as ours that condones, facilitates and finances abortion is indeed a nation without a conscience, a pagan nation.

Enact legislation now to guarantee the right to life at all stages from the moment of conception until natural death.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Abortion
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BQ

Roger Pomerleau

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Roger Pomerleau (Anjou-Rivière-des-Prairies)

Mr. Speaker, a few days ago, we learned about violent fires raging on Isabella Island in the Galapagos archipelago. Fire is threatening rare species of plants and flowers as well as the breeding sites of the giant tortoises. Ecuador does not have the equipment required to control these fires, which could ravage one of the most important parts of the world's natural heritage.

The government authorities in Ecuador are calling for help and hope that international aid will come quickly. In particular, they ask Canada to mobilize its Canadair water bombers, which all experts say is the only way to end the disaster.

We ask the government to accede to the appeal from the Ecuadoran government and to send water bombers immediately in order to save this wonderful fauna and flora from the ravages of fire.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Foreign Aid
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REF

Jim Gouk

Reform

Mr. Jim Gouk (Kootenay West-Revelstoke)

Mr. Speaker, the residents of the village of Warfield have a great deal of pride in their community.

Warfield has a village council, a volunteer fire department, a community hall, a swimming pool, local schooling from kindergarten to grade seven and a variety of stores and services to look after the needs of local citizens. Warfield also has an annual parade in honour of family sports, this year held on June 11.

In short, the village of Warfield has everything necessary to justify its civic pride except one thing. The missing ingredient is an address. All mail sent to Warfield is addressed to the neighbouring town of Trail.

The postal codes for Warfield are unique. No change or new costs would be necessary except to have Canada Post recognize the rights of the citizens of Warfield to have their own name on their mail.

In conclusion, I would like to make it clear that people of Warfield are not looking for a post office or any change in service, only their own identity.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Warfield Postal Service
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LIB

Bill Graham

Liberal

Mr. Bill Graham (Rosedale)

Mr. Speaker, this is Earth Week and on behalf of an organization that is very active in my riding of Rosedale I would like to introduce to the House an important environmental education initiative.

The schoolground naturalization program is a national program of the Evergreen Foundation designed to transform schoolgrounds into natural outdoor classrooms. Many schools across Canada are presently landscaped with asphalt and concrete playing fields and are surrounded by institutional fencing. They look more like parking lots or prisons than schools.

These areas provide little educational value, few community advantages and no environmental or health benefits. Schoolgrounds need to be changed. They must become learning grounds by adding natural areas.

We must better understand the importance of creating better learning environments for our children and work to change our schoolgrounds from bleak expanses of concrete to areas of environmental significance and educational value.

This program of the Evergreen Foundation is doing that. I urge other members to support this initiative in their areas.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Evergreen Foundation
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LIB

Roger Gallaway

Liberal

Mr. Roger Gallaway (Sarnia-Lambton)

Mr. Speaker, there is in this country a small number of people suffering from environmental illness, or 20th century disease.

This is a malady thought to have causes from working in contaminated sites or in areas where water and air have been contaminated. At the same time, we know that doctors and scientists have a great deal of difficulty in defining exact causes.

The laboratory centre for disease control at Health and Welfare Canada in 1990 recommended that environmental sensitivities need to be considered on a case by case basis with acknowledgement of disability and compassion for the individual case.

Today, four years after this statement, individuals such as Susan Andersen of Calgary are forced to go to centres in Dallas, Texas to live and be treated in special medical centres.

Unfortunately these individuals are not given any financial help by our health care system notwithstanding the fact that there are no facilities for treatment in Canada.

I call on the Minister of Health, along with her provincial counterparts, to find a solution whereby all Canadians are subject to a health care system which is truly universal and to show the compassion suggested by the health department toward these individuals and their families which they deserve in a country which declares to have a universal health care system.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Health Care
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LIB

Eleni Bakopanos

Liberal

Mrs. Eleni Bakopanos (Saint-Denis)

Mr. Speaker, volunteerism is a well-established tradition in Canada. At this time when human and financial resources are limited, volunteers are even more essential in Canadian society.

On the occasion of National Volunteer Week, I would like to point out the invaluable contribution of organizations like the United Way of Montreal. Thanks to the United Way, many volunteer organizations can develop and continue to provide services to the neediest people in our society.

I wish to take this opportunity to applaud all the volunteers in my riding of Saint-Denis. Organizations like Les Femmes D'ici et D'Ailleurs, the Park Extension Youth Organization, Moisson Montréal, La Maison des Grands Parents de Villeray, to name but a few, have helped to foster a community of caring and co-operation in Saint-Denis.

I ask all my fellow members to support and assist the volunteers in their ridings and encourage them to continue their efforts in helping those most in need.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Volunteers
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BQ

Jean H. Leroux

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Jean H. Leroux (Shefford)

Mr. Speaker, members of the Bloc Quebecois are increasingly concerned that MPs of the other parties are riding a wave of linguistic intolerance. Members from both the Reform and the Liberal parties have presented petitions calling for an end to official bilingualism.

I am shocked and dismayed at this continued use of double-talk by the Liberal Party of Canada. This attitude can only be described as hypocritical. They are saying one thing to their constituents and another when speaking in the House.

Members of the Bloc Quebecois do not support such intolerant and narrow-minded petitions.

Is the Bloc Quebecois the only remaining political party defending the use of both official languages in federal institutions? Is this the new Canada? Do the Liberals have any shame?

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Official Languages
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REF

Paul Forseth

Reform

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

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to give tribute to the late Frank A. Griffiths, born December 17, 1916, who left us April 7 at 77 years. He is survived by his wife Emily, two sons, two daughters and 15 grandchildren.

An accountant by training, he became a business leader in British Columbia. He built a broadcasting network of radio and TV stations, including from my riding CKNW, B.C.'s most listened to station. His Western International Communications Company included BCTV, 11 radio stations, 2 networks and satellite communications. He also purchased the Vancouver Canucks in 1974. He became vice-chairman of the NHL and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Mr. Griffiths worked for community charities and was awarded numerous citations. His companies also had their own charitable organizations: the CKNW Orphans Fund, BCTV Variety Club Telethon and the Canuck Foundation.

Mr. Griffiths was a builder, a British Columbian who led by example, leaving his community a better place for us all.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Late Frank A. Griffiths
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LIB

Ted McWhinney

Liberal

Mr. Ted McWhinney (Vancouver Quadra)

Mr. Speaker, the European union's legal action in the European Court of Justice against the Greek government, because of its non-acceptance of the breakaway Yugoslav republic of Skopje's appropriating the name and symbols of Greek Macedonia, ignores the fact that European union member countries may have contributed to state succession problems in the Balkans by premature recognition of Skopje in conflict with classical international law rules on recognition of new states.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Skopje
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LIB

Paul Zed

Liberal

Mr. Paul Zed (Fundy-Royal)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate three university athletes from my riding on their recent accomplishments.

John Ryan of Sussex, New Brunswick was named male athlete of the year at the University College of Cape Breton. Dennis Lackie of Smith Creek was named most valuable player at St. Thomas University for its soccer team. David Haley of Sussex corner was named top rebounder for the St. Thomas University men's basketball team.

I would like to join with the families, friends and fans of these young athletes in saluting their success. Their dedication and team work make all three of them positive role models for the youth of Fundy-Royal. On behalf of the people of Fundy-Royal I wish them all the best in their future endeavours.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Fundy-Royal
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LIB

John Finlay

Liberal

Mr. John Finlay (Oxford)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate two acting troupes within my riding of Oxford. The Woodstock Little Theatre recently won the Western Ontario Drama League Festival in London. Another of the main competitors in this event was the Ingersoll Theatre of the Performing Arts.

Both groups gave very creditable performances and the Woodstock presentation will now move on to the provincial championships to be held this May in Cambridge, Ontario.

As an amateur actor myself, I know firsthand the amount of work that goes into these productions. There are always a large number of people behind the scenes who do a great amount of work with much less recognition than those who appear on stage. Together these little theatre people provide live theatre to enthusiastic audiences in many towns and cities across this land. They are to be applauded.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Performing Arts
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BQ

René Laurin

Bloc Québécois

Mr. René Laurin (Joliette)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Public Service Alliance of Canada almost unanimously approved the creation of a regional council for Quebec. We must applaud the vision and courage of this Canada-wide union which, unlike the traditional political parties, has recognized Quebec's distinctiveness.

The Bloc Quebecois also salutes the courage shown by the Alliance, which democratically decided to adjust now to the inevitable changes that the political structures of Canada and Quebec will undergo in the near future.

Yesterday's events confirm that grassroots unionism is a powerful instrument for changing and restructuring realities to bring them in line with people's aspirations.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Public Service Alliance Of Canada
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REF

Art Hanger

Reform

Mr. Art Hanger (Calgary Northeast)

Mr. Speaker, our refugee system is failing and the minister of immigration is doing nothing about it.

Our refugee determination system with its many levels and dangerous loopholes cannot distinguish genuine from illegitimate refugees. The UN estimates that 60 per cent of our refugees are bogus. Refugee claims are being heard in Canadian prisons. Thousands of real refugees are forced to languish in camps while economic migrants sneak in through the back door.

Through all this, lawyers win big. Canada spends more money on legal aid for immigrants than it gives to overseas refugee aid programs.

Despite the failure of our refugee system our minister of immigration travels abroad to teach European nations how to manage refugee policy. The minister refuses to sign a treaty with the U.S. that would stem the flow of bogus refugees.

I urge the minister to cancel his next European trip, quit trying to convince the U.S. to adopt our refugee policies and get to work in fixing our system.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Immigration
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LIB

Sue Barnes

Liberal

Mrs. Sue Barnes (London West)

Mr. Speaker, in this National Volunteer Week I applaud the vital contribution of volunteers in our communities.

Volunteering benefits both parties. It provides self-fulfilment for the volunteer. The volunteer performs numerous tasks that otherwise could not be done. Participation by volunteers in our society strengthens the interrelated fabric of our communities.

Over 13 million Canadians are involved in volunteer work either on their own or through an organization. Canadians contribute over one billion hours in time to voluntary organizations, the equivalent of 617,000 full time positions. Translated into a 1990 dollar equivalent, the collective value of this volunteer time is $13.2 billion annually.

It is important to thank these selfless people who enrich and serve our country through their generous sharing of time and talents.

Bravo, fellow Canadians.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Volunteer Week
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LIB

Wayne Easter

Liberal

Mr. Wayne Easter (Malpeque)

Mr. Speaker, I was shocked and angered last night to hear United States Senator Kent Conrad suggest before a United States hearing that the United States should retarget its Minuteman missiles against Canada to deter us from our trade initiatives.

This attitude and threatening rhetoric by the Senator and some of his American colleagues is both out of line and unsubstantiated. The facts are that Canada has been proven four times to have been a fair trader, once by the U.S. General Accounting Office, once by the U.S. International Trade Commission, once by COSTA and most recently by an international audit.

Senator Conrad should look in the mirror and see where the real problem lies and that is with the use of the export enhancement program in which they subsidize prices in the international market, drain their supply short, and naturally when they are short stocked we are going to as fair traders move stock into that market.

Senator Conrad should be wise and refocus his policy.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Trade
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NDP

Len Taylor

New Democratic Party

Mr. Len Taylor (The Battlefords-Meadow Lake)

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, April 22, is Earth Day and although polling experts say that eight out of ten Canadians are deeply concerned about ecological issues the present public policy agenda has been completely taken over by economic concerns, the debt and the deficit, social programs and unemployment.

Although these issues are important their significance pales next to the long term significance of a healthy and sustainable environment.

It is time we acknowledged it is not only the federal deficit that threatens future generations of Canadians. If we destroy the earth's ability to support our way of life there definitely will be fewer jobs and social programs. The economic issues that preoccupy public policy makers now will be completely irrelevant.

Therefore, on Earth Day I urge all Canadians who are concerned about the environment to continue to try to keep it at the top of the public agenda. It is only through constant attention that the environment will be placed high on the government's list of priorities.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Environment
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REF

Chuck Strahl

Reform

Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley East)

Mr. Speaker, the city of Rossland, British Columbia has regularized direct democracy through the use of citizens initiatives.

Rossland has adopted a constitution that gives taxpayers the right to challenge council's decisions. It has energized community participation, protected the public process from interest groups, saved taxpayers money and surprise, it has not resulted in irresponsible decisions.

One hundred and fifty years ago politicians wondered aloud if lay people could be trusted to vote. A century ago they questioned whether women could handle the power of suffrage.

Today some politicians ask the question: Can the average citizen be trusted to make decisions between elections? Well history reveals and the experience in Rossland confirms that the answer is a resounding yes.

Let us put aside our private political agendas and get on with the agenda of the people by giving citizens a way to challenge and even initiate federal legislation.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Direct Democracy
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BQ

Lucien Bouchard

Bloc Québécois

Hon. Lucien Bouchard (Leader of the Opposition)

Mr. Speaker, last night in Toronto, the Prime Minister told his audience what he thought of the unemployed and people on welfare. To him, these are unproductive people who, and I quote, "sit around at home drinking beer". That is how the leader of this government referred to people who feel rejected and insecure because they have lost their jobs and have very little hope of finding new jobs in spite of all their efforts. Coming from anyone else, such comments would be unacceptable, and they are even more so, coming from the Prime Minister.

I want to ask the Prime Minister, who has discredited those who are suffering the most in Canada and Quebec, to withdraw his insulting remarks and specifically apologize in this House today to those he so offended.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Social Program Reform
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister)

Mr. Speaker, if the Leader of the Opposition would read the whole speech, I also said that people on welfare and unemployment insurance have only one desire, and that is to have the dignity of work, and that they do not want to sit around doing nothing. Perhaps the term I used was unfortunate, but I did mention, and that was the theme of our election campaign, "the dignity of work". I said there were people who were at home doing nothing, and I could have said it differently. If this was offensive, I apologize. What I meant and what I said repeatedly during the election campaign

and what I say when I travel across the country today, is that people want all governments and all members of this House to work together to create jobs. They are sick and tired of partisan squabbling. Instead of concentrating on the real issues which are about giving everyone dignity and jobs, they talk about independence, separation and constitutional problems, at a time when people want jobs. These people want to work. If I offended anyone, I apologize. The hon. member should have read the whole speech. It is a reflection of our election platform-dignity and work.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Social Program Reform
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BQ

Lucien Bouchard

Bloc Québécois

Hon. Lucien Bouchard (Leader of the Opposition)

Mr. Speaker, it was not a slip of the tongue, because the Prime Minister also said that he wanted to break the current attitude of the unemployed.

I think the Prime Minister would have gained in stature if he had simply apologized today. The case would have been closed, and we would have gone on to other matters.

How can he stand there and refuse to apologize and withdraw what he said, when in his election campaign, he promised the needy and the unemployed he would give them renewed hope and dignity? His reference to people sitting around drinking beer reflects prejudice and contempt.

Should we be surprised that this government is so insensitive and so intent on attacking social programs-the Prime Minister's strategy to break the attitude of the unemployed?

What kind of message is being sent to potential employers who may want to hire these unemployed workers, when they are told they are lazy and good for nothing?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Social Program Reform
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April 21, 1994