As is our practice on Wednesdays, we will now sing O Canada, which will be led by the hon. member for Nanaimo-Cowichan.
Mr. Denis Paradis (Brome-Missisquoi, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, the House has resumed sitting but there is one person missing from our Brome-Missisquoi team.
One month ago, my assistant Stéphan Brodeur died of cardiac arrest. He was 32 years old. He was working in my riding but was supposed to move to our Ottawa office in September. A tireless worker, party man and team player who was always cheerful, Stéphan left us much too soon.
I join with the whole Brome-Missisquoi team, his family and friends and Benoît Corbeil in paying him the posthumous tribute he deserves.
On behalf of all members of this House and of all Canadians you served so well, I wish to pay homage to you, Stéphan.
Subtopic: The Late Stéphan Brodeur
Mr. Pierre de Savoye (Portneuf, BQ)
Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois wishes to congratulate the winners of this year's Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.
Among those honoured for their contribution to Canadian and Quebec culture were songwriter Luc Plamondon, folk singer and songwriter Joni Mitchell, film director Michel Brault, costume designer and teacher François Barbeau, actor-director Martha Henry, and choreographer Grant Strate.
The remarkable career of each of these winners shows not only their huge talent but also the extraordinary creativity that drives our performers.
The Bloc Quebecois commends in particular Mr. Plamondon's decision to donate his prize money to a bursary for young artists who want to write musical comedies or improve their skills in this area.
Subtopic: Governor General's Performing Arts Awards
Mr. Paul Forseth (New Westminster-Burnaby, Ref.)
Mr. Speaker, winning a world championship is an amazing feat. Winning two in a row is unprecedented, but that is what Burnaby's Simon Fraser University Pipe Band did recently at the elite world competition in Glasgow, Scotland.
I ask that all members of this House join with me in congratulating each of the band members for their outstanding achievement and first class representation of Canada, with special mention to 13-year old Arran Campbell, the youngest musician ever to compete at the world's.
Pipers: pipe major Terry Lee, pipe sergeant Jack Lee, manager Rob MacNeil, Alan Bevan, Dani Brin, Allan Campbell, Colin Clansey, Darran Forrest, Dave Hicks, David Hilder, Shaunna Hilder, Anthony Kerr, James MacHattie, Robert MacLeod, Bruce McIntosh, Bonnie McKain, Derrek Milloy, Pat Napper, and Adam Quinn.
Drummers: lead drummer Reid Maxwell, Brent Anderson, Blair Brown, Arran Campbell, Callum Hannah, Samantha Hanna, Scott MacNeil, Kathy MacPherson, Andre Tessier, John Nichol, Colin Nicol, and Christine Rickson.
Canada is proud of these world champions.
Subtopic: Simon Fraser University Pipe Band
Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg Transcona, NDP)
Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has disappointed the international community again by deciding not to send any ministerial representation to the
UN's review of the new agenda for Africa, a UN program that past Canadian governments played an instrumental role in establishing.
At the same time that they are distancing themselves from the UN action, the Liberals have decided to take a leading role instead in the Global Coalition for Africa, a private, undemocratic, unaccountable, American dominated organization linked to the World Bank's structural adjustment program and the global corporate agenda, both of which are at the root of so many of Africa's problems.
So much for the Liberal rhetoric on the UN. They love to parade the UN when it declares Canada to have the highest standard of living in the world, but sit on their hands when the UN tries to do something for those in sub-saharan Africa who have the lowest standard of living in world.
Mr. John Maloney (Erie, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to one of my predecessors, Dr. Samuel Victor Railton, Liberal member of Parliament for the riding of Welland who passed away this summer on July 23 in his 91st year. I was privileged to know Vic and his first wife Ruth and their family.
During his seven years as a parliamentarian, Dr. Railton was deputy whip, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and chair of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, serving with distinction in every capacity.
Vic Railton was a member of Parliament who regularly brought the concerns and achievements of his Welland constituency to this House. His Hansard record shows numerous excellent interventions on the issues of energy policy, veterans affairs, industry policy, health, welfare, social security and the very important St. Lawrence Seaway.
Doctor Railton's maiden address to the House of Commons was made during that great emotional debate on the abolition of capital punishment and illustrates a man with great personal convictions and principles. He said: "I do not think members of Parliament should vote in any way except for that in which they believe-we must stand up for our personal principles, no matter how they may be received".
Vic Railton served his country in peace and in war as a kind family physician, a talented surgeon and finally, as a dedicated parliamentarian. Canada has benefited from this hard working conscientious servant to the public. All of us-
Subtopic: The Late Samuel Victor Railton
The hon. member for Timiskaming-French River.
Subtopic: The Late Samuel Victor Railton
Mr. Benoît Serré (Timiskaming-French River, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, Timiskaming mourns today the death of one of its most distinguished citizens, Mr. Arnold Peters, who devoted over 20 years of his life to public service as MP for Timiskaming. Not only did Arnold Peters serve the riding of Timiskaming in the House of Commons from 1957 to 1980, but he was first and foremost a grassroots politician and a people's person.
As the present MP for Timiskaming-French River, I wish to express my personal appreciation for the valuable service and selfless dedication he provided to the citizens of Timiskaming. He will be sadly missed. On behalf of all the constituents of Timiskaming-French River and all my colleagues in the House of Commons, I wish to extend our deepest sympathy to his family and friends.
Subtopic: The Late Arnold Peters
Mrs. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ)
Mr. Speaker, I am proud to tell this House that the Service d'entraide Basse-Ville is celebrating 25 years of community work in my riding.
The record of this not for profit organization is simply remarkable. In 25 years, volunteers have distributed approximately three million pieces of clothing, cooked hundreds of thousands of meals, and repaired, remodelled and patched all sorts of things.
Hundreds of organizations like this one can be found in my riding. This level of involvement reflects how generous the community is, of course, but also, and more importantly, how extensive the needs are.
The government absolutely must reconsider the restrictions recently imposed by Human Resources Canada on socioeconomic organizations. Hiring personnel to support the work of volunteers will be extremely difficult in the future, as these organizations will be denied access to HRC programs because of the new criteria. This is yet another sign of this government's insensitivity.
Subtopic: Not For Profit Organizations
Hon. Roger Simmons (Burin-St. George's, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, my good friend and colleague the fisheries minister has announced in St. John's a limited food fishery for Newfoundland and Labrador and for the lower north shore of Quebec.
I welcome that announcement. A food fishery has long been an integral part of the Newfoundland way of life and a staple of our diet, which explains why we are so much smarter than you mere mortals.
At the same time I applaud the minister's caution. He says it is going to be a limited fishery, closely monitored and that abuses will not be tolerated, which is exactly as it should be.
We cannot lose sight of the overall objective here, which is the reopening of a commercial fishery, the economic mainstay of the people of coastal communities.
Mrs. Diane Ablonczy (Calgary North, Ref.)
Mr. Speaker, tomorrow the Fraser Institute will be releasing a study calculating the cost of regulation on businesses and families in this country.
Although we will have to wait until tomorrow for the exact figures, allow me to whet members' appetites. If the Liberals were to eliminate government red tape, every Canadian family would have thousands of dollars more to spend on the things they need. More often than not, government red tape is nothing more than a hidden tax.
The choice is clear. The Liberal government will continue to burden us with its big government vision of the country and its tax and regulate policies. The Reform Party is committed to giving Canadians a smaller, more efficient government and to slashing job-killing red tape.
Subtopic: Liberal Government Policies
Ms. Colleen Beaumier (Brampton, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to draw the attention of the House to the fact that last week Dr. Maxwell Yalden, Canada's chief human rights commissioner, was elected to the UN human rights committee.
This UN committee is a select body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the international convention on civil and political rights, one of the central pillars of the international human rights system.
Dr. Yalden's election in the face of strong competition reflects both his strong personal credentials as a candidate and international respect for Canada's leadership on human rights issues.
Dr. Yalden has extensive experience in the field of human rights both in Canada and abroad. I believe he will make an outstanding contribution to the work of the UN human rights committee. The presence of a Canadian expert in this important body represents another contribution by Canada to the promotion of international human rights, an issue which is at the heart of Canada's foreign policy agenda.
I hope that you will join me in offering Dr. Yalden congratulations.
Subtopic: Human Rights
Ms. Jean Augustine (Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, this summer I spent a lot of time talking and working with many of the companies and businesses in my riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore. Their message was clear: Our local economy has shown encouraging signs of sustainable recovery and economic growth and we must continue to work together.
By providing programs designed to improve infrastructure, support youth initiatives and enhance access to information and high technology, this government is assisting key sectors of the economy to create a climate that encourages job creation.
My constituents are taking advantage of expanding Canadian exports, better training for youth, the greater emphasis being placed on our innovative technological expertise. These partnerships will not only create more jobs for the people of Etobicoke-Lakeshore, but will contribute to the strong economic growth taking place in Canada.
Subtopic: The Economy
Mrs. Eleni Bakopanos (Saint-Denis, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I rise in this House to offer my sincere congratulations on behalf of all my colleagues to Mr. Luc Plamondon, one of three Quebec recipients of the 1996 Governor General's Performing Arts Award.
At the press conference where the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards were announced, Luc Plamondon commented that he looked on this award he was about to receive as an attempt to bring Canada's two solitudes closer together.
Like him, we feel that bringing the French Canadian and English Canadian communities of this country closer together will, needless to say, promote the preservation and development of our cultural identity as Canadians.
We share this vision of cultural development in Canada and are striving to promote the talents of all Canadian artists who are a credit to this country.
Subtopic: Governor General's Performing Arts Awards
Mr. Philippe Paré (Louis-Hébert, BQ)
Mr. Speaker, the annual report of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development will be tabled in this House today. This
public body, set up in 1988, truly reflects the traditional values that make Quebecers and Canadians proud.
However, since March 1996, when it was announced that Mr. Broadbent, the president of the Centre, would leave at the end of his term, on September 1, 1996, the government has not found the time to appoint a full time successor, preferring to give to the new chairperson of the board, Maureen O'Neil, the additional responsibility of serving as acting president for a period of three months. Moreover, five of the thirteen positions on the board are vacant, pending a government decision.
This obvious laxness truly shows how little this government cares about the protection of human rights and democracy. What is the government waiting for to fill these positions?
Subtopic: The International Centre For Human Rights And Democratic Development
Mr. Keith Martin (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, Ref.)
Mr. Speaker, today marks the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that shot down the ban on tobacco advertising. Tragically it also marks the one-hundred thousandth death from smoking related illnesses since the 1993 election.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in Canada and kills over 42,000 people per year. This government has lowered cigarette taxes, allowed tobacco companies to advertise and has produced a 29 per cent increase in smoking rates among our youth. There are over 6.5 million smokers in this country. The government's legacy to Canadians is inaction on legislation which has committed thousands of children to a lifetime of addiction and illness.
Taxpayers, health care workers, parents and teachers demand that this government institute effective measures to decrease tobacco consumption in Canada.
The cost of inaction is the pain, suffering and premature death of children in this country.
Mr. Maurizio Bevilacqua (York North, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, today over 100 Canadians from all regions and backgrounds will arrive in Ottawa to take part in the National Conference for Youth hosted by the Minister of Human Resources Development.
The conference, entitled "Taking Responsibility in the New Economy: Challenges and Choices", is about challenging employers, labour, educators, governments, youth serving organizations and youth themselves to define their roles in the new economy. It is also about identifying the choices these stakeholders can make to improve our prospects for the future.
To achieve this, we have invited young people from as far away as Vancouver and St. John's, from Yellowknife to Ste. Julie. We have invited representatives from the high tech sector, agriculture, mining, the learning community, labour, youth service organizations, all working together to devise a plan of action that will allow all Canadians to participate fully in the new economy. It will allow Canada to lead the way into the 21st century.
Subtopic: National Conference For Youth
Mr. Bernard Patry (Pierrefonds-Dollard, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, in reaction to the ADQ proposal to impose a 10-year moratorium on sovereignty, Bernard Landry said yesterday that a moratorium could not be imposed on the destiny of a people.
Earlier this week, Quebec's three central labour bodies got together to state their position regarding the socio-economic summit that will take place this fall. The theme of their campaign is that jobs are the priority.
It is clear that no one in Quebec, except the nostalgic and the power mongers of the PQ, wants to hear about these issues. The destiny of a people, Mr. Landry, is to be able to live, to develop and to prosper as a community, in the dignity that employment provides.
Your sovereignty project is outdated, Mr. Landry. Concentrate on employment; after all, this is the reason why Quebecers are paying your salary.
Subtopic: Quebec Sovereignty
Mr. Michel Gauthier (Leader of the Opposition, BQ)
Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister had some rather harsh and somewhat critical comments to make on the Somalia inquiry. He accused it of "grilling public servants as if they were almost criminals". Those are the exact words of the Prime Minister. He also complained of the slowness of the process, and its cost.
My question is for the Prime Minister. Can he explain why he has criticized the inquiry so harshly, considering that all it is doing is seeking to cast some light on the behaviour of the Armed Forces in Somalia and the role of General Boyle in the cover up?
Subtopic: The Somalia Inquiry
Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, we want to find out the truth, and that is precisely the reason we set up such an inquiry. We want the results as soon as possible.
Why? Because the Armed Forces and the Department of Defence are somewhat on hold, as long as the inquiry is still going on. We would like to have the inquiry's conclusions as promptly as possible, so we may take the appropriate remedial action.
This commission was set up in order to determine what happened during the former government's involvement in the Somalia operation. We are most anxious to find out whether changes need to be made in the command process in order to avoid a repetition of such incidents.
Subtopic: The Somalia Inquiry