October 2, 1996

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The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesdays, we will now sing O Canada, which will be led by the hon. member for Calgary North.

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LIB

John Cannis

Liberal

Mr. John Cannis (Scarborough Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, this past Sunday, September 29, the spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church of Canada, His Grace Bishop Soterios was elevated to the ranking of Metropolitan by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Holy Synod. In addition, I am proud to say that our Diocese of Canada will now, as a result, be recognized as a Metropolis.

It is a very proud moment for all Orthodox Canadians of Hellenic descent to have this honour bestowed on us. As the spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Church of Canada, His Eminence Soterios has worked diligently with zeal, compassion and understanding to improve our lives spiritually within a united Canada.

Over many years of dedicated service to the Lord and to the congregations, His Eminence Soterios has worked tirelessly, initiating programs to address the needs of both young and old, such as family counselling, women's issues, senior services and youth programs.

To this end I wish to express my heartfelt congratulations, wishing His Eminence good health and longevity. May the good Lord give him strength to continue his excellent work.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Greek Orthodox Church
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BQ

Maurice Dumas

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Maurice Dumas (Argenteuil-Papineau, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, when the construction work on the new Perley Bridge between Grenville, Quebec, and Hawkesbury, Ontario, was begun this past June 10, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services indicated that 50 per cent of the workers would come from Quebec, and 50 per cent from Ontario. Yet, on the construction site, the majority of workers are from Ontario.

Dufferin Construction apparently hired its workers through the Hawkesbury Employment Centre. Unfortunately, the Lachute employment centre does not offer the same service as its Ontario counterpart. In Quebec, workers have to contact the Commission de la construction du Québec, the CCQ. The only problem is that the employer, in this case Dufferin Construction, has not contacted the CCQ for a list of potential workers.

I am therefore asking the minister of public works to intervene so as to ensure that Quebec workers may enjoy the same opportunities as their Ontario colleagues, as promised by the Minister last June.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Perley Bridge
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REF

Garry Breitkreuz

Reform

Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton-Melville, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the House the Liberal member for Souris-Moose Mountain made grossly inaccurate statements. He alleged that I was telling people in his riding to not respect the law. That is totally false. In fact it was the opposite.

The audience of over 200 was clearly told they should work to defeat the Liberal government so that Reform could repeal Bill C-68 and farmers and shooters would not have to register their guns.

The member did not come or even send representatives to this most important meeting in Moosomin. For over 200 farmers to show up at this meeting at harvest time shows how important an issue this is. They are frustrated with a government that does not listen and runs roughshod over the fundamental rights of people. Useless laws cause people to lose respect for the law.

Is this member telling his constituents to immediately run out and register their guns? Has he done an about face and decided that gun registration is a cost effective way of controlling crime?

I request that he immediately withdraw his statement. It is totally unacceptable for the member to blatantly misrepresent my words and Reform policy.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Gun Registration
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PC

Elsie Wayne

Progressive Conservative

Mrs. Elsie Wayne (Saint John, PC)

Mr. Speaker, where are the Atlantic Liberal MPs? Why will they not speak up for their constituents?

Last Friday I challenged all Atlantic Liberal MPs to sign a motion that would require the House to debate the new EI fisheries regulations. As of today, not one Atlantic Liberal MP has agreed to sign the motion that would allow proper debate.

These new regulations, which were quietly tabled, will see the employment insurance benefits for fisheries reduced by $33 million. The savings will come from lowering benefits, shortening the duration of benefits and penalizing repeat users.

Today I challenge my colleagues from all parties to rise above partisan politics, to preserve the quality of life and dignity of our fishing families. With these new EI regulations, the government is unfairly punishing our fishers.

I ask all my colleagues to sign. I only need about 30 signatures and it will be debated in the House. Atlantic fishing families are waiting for Parliament to do what is right, to stand up and protect their livelihood.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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LIB

Mark Assad

Liberal

Mr. Mark Assad (Gatineau-La Lièvre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Robert Bourassa was a man who represented Quebecers throughout Canada, and his political career was devoted to promoting the collective prosperity of his fellow citizens. He was, in brief, one of the architects of modern Quebec and he had a vision of Quebec of the future.

Everyone who has known Mr. Bourassa has been struck by his strong democratic values and his particular sensitivity to the most disadvantaged in our society.

Throughout his entire career, his prime objective was the economic development of Quebec, but he was also concerned about social justice. Robert Bourassa was a real human being and easily approachable. No matter how busy he was, his door was always open.

All of his colleagues and activists in the Quebec Liberal Party liked Mr. Bourassa and had the utmost confidence in his leadership.

Our most sincere condolences to Mrs. Bourassa and the family.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Death Of Robert Bourassa
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LIB

Marlene Cowling

Liberal

Mrs. Marlene Cowling (Dauphin-Swan River, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as a member of Parliament and a lifelong farmer, rural economic development is at the top of my priority list. As the fall harvest is upon us, I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to all Canadian farmers who help make the Canadian economy strong by their hard work and determination, particularly those farmers from my riding Dauphin-Swan River.

We can be proud that Canada's farmers produce the safest and highest quality food products in the world. Our farmers make a valuable contribution to the Canadian economy. Agriculture accounts for 8 per cent of the GDP and 15 per cent of all employment in this country.

Hats off to Canadian farmers. Their efforts and hard work will continue to help Canada remain the best country in the world. Let us not forget that rural economic development initiatives of the Liberal government ensure that all Canadians, rural and urban, benefit from strong economic growth.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Farmers
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BQ

Louis Plamondon

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Louis Plamondon (Richelieu, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, with the passing of Robert Bourassa, today Quebec has lost a great defender of Quebec's interests. A man of principle, brave, tenacious and dedicated both to his family and to Quebec. He has put his mark on our history.

Throughout his life he fought for Quebec with conviction, determination and skill, always showing the greatest respect for allies and opponents alike. He leaves an impressive political legacy, as reflected in his economic policies as well as in his repeated demands for broader powers for Quebec.

On behalf of all my colleagues in the Bloc Quebecois, I wish to extend our most sincere condolences to his wife and children.

Robert Bourassa, thank you for your great contribution to democracy in Quebec and Canada.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Death Of Robert Bourassa
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REF

Ted White

Reform

Mr. Ted White (North Vancouver, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, most Canadians thought that the previous minister of immigration was hopeless, but the new one is even worse. She has failed to get rid of more than 1,300 bogus and criminal refugee claimants in the Vancouver area alone.

In March I wrote the minister about one of many in my riding, a man who has been forging passports so that other criminals could get into Canada and join him. It was a profitable home based business. He paid no income tax on the proceeds. He had no business licence and he remitted no GST.

For passport forgery he got three paltry month's probation at home. He even qualified for Canadian citizenship after entering Canada for a second time after lying to immigration officials about his past. Now he is accused of sending someone else in his place to the citizenship ceremony.

When will this failure of a minister start earning her salary by ridding us of these criminal refugees and taking some meaningful action to put a stop to them getting into the country in the first place?

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Immigration
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LIB

Jerry Pickard

Liberal

Mr. Jerry Pickard (Essex-Kent, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, today there is good news in Chatham, Kent county for the economy, farmers, workers and the environment. Commercial Alcohols Inc. has announced the construction of an ethanol plant. The $153 million facility will generate 400 direct and indirect jobs, provide a new market for 15 million bushels of corn, and create additional jobs in trucking.

Once the operation of the plant is under way, it will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, producing 150 million litres of fuel ethanol and industrial alcohol. It is a truly Canadian success story.

This announcement demonstrates that investors are confident in the Canadian economy and they are confident in the government's alternative fuels policy. This announcement also demonstrates that we can achieve great things in partnership with the private sector.

I wish to thank Commercial Alcohols Inc. and all those who helped this plant to succeed. I urge my colleagues and all Canadians to share in the success. Think Canadian and fill up with Canadian ethanol blended fuels.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Ethanol
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LIB

Clifford Lincoln

Liberal

Mr. Clifford Lincoln (Lachine-Lac-Saint-Louis, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I was very sad to hear the news this morning of the death of Robert Bourassa. Although I campaigned for one of his opponents during the leadership campaign in 1983, Mr. Bourassa did me the honour of appointing me to his cabinet in 1985.

Even after our political paths diverged, Robert Bourassa showed me and my two colleagues, Richard French and Herb Marx, the understanding and courtesy that imbued all his personal relations.

In paying tribute to his memory, I would like to take the few moments I have to talk about a side of his character that is less well-known. He was, above all, a very warm individual. Seemingly cool, he was simply a very nice man. Behind that stern face sparkled a great sense of humour. He was, above all, unfailingly cordial and sympathetic in his dealings with all his colleagues. He never took himself seriously. His door was always open, and the most junior member would always feel welcome and find a sympathetic ear.

I therefore wish to express my loyalty to and respect for the man who was, more than a leader-he was a friend. To Mrs. Bourassa and her family I wish to extend our profound and most cordial sympathy.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Death Of Robert Bourassa
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LIB

Bernard Patry

Liberal

Mr. Bernard Patry (Pierrefonds-Dollard, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Canada's Minister of Industry announced that more than $20 million would be invested in the Biotechnology Research Institute in Montreal.

This institute, which is part of the National Research Council of Canada, works in close co-operation with the private sector. Since it opened in 1987, the BRI has helped businesses as prestigious as Ibex Technologies, Medicorp, Immunocorp, Quantum Biotechnologies and BioSignal get off the ground.

The money will be used to expand existing facilities by 50,000 square feet and create over 200 specialized jobs. This Canadian investment in Montreal's economy was made possible by FORD-Q, the National Research Council of Canada and private sector developers.

This major investment confirms the Canadian government's unfailing support for Montreal's global leadership in the area of biotechnology.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Montreal Biotechnology Research Institute
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LIB

Eleni Bakopanos

Liberal

Mrs. Eleni Bakopanos (Saint-Denis, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise sadly today to pay tribute to a man with whom I had the honour and privilege to work for over 10 years as an organizer and political adviser for the Quebec Liberal Party.

He was a man who believed in a strong Quebec inside a strong Canada. I remember a man who believed in the full and strong participation of all Quebecers in the political process, regardless of their ethnic origin.

But I rise not to speak of his political accomplishments, which are many, but to remember the human side of the man we call Robert Bourassa.

I remember he would rather drink a glass of milk than anything else. I remember he loved Chinese food. I remember he always started off his days by swimming laps in the pool. I remember he always had vegetables in his car.

I remember the first time I met him and we spoke. He was crammed with his feet up to his chin in a used car that I used to drive around as a political organizer. In that position he made a commitment to me and to other Quebecers that night-I was a novice at the time-that he had a deep commitment to public service and to ensure that members of Quebec's cultural communities continue to play a strong role in Quebec's future development.

I extend my sympathies to his family and his wife-

In short, I remember.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Late Robert Bourassa
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NDP

Bill Blaikie

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg Transcona, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I am sure all Canadians breathed a sigh of relief when the comprehensive test ban treaty was signed at the United Nations just a few days ago, but at this time I think we need to reflect on what now needs to happen.

The Canadian government needs to work now to abolish nuclear weapons entirely. It is not enough just to talk about getting other countries who have not signed the treaty yet to sign on, like India. The fact is that countries like India, while I wish they would sign the treaty, have a point when they say that the countries who now possess nuclear weapons should be working to abolish those weapons faster than they are.

I urge the government to break out of the NATO mindset and to work toward the abolition of nuclear weapons, weapons which I have always regarded as a blasphemy, given that we would even think, in the name of anything, of destroying all creation.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Nuclear Weapons
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REF

Grant Hill

Reform

Mr. Grant Hill (Macleod, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, chief electoral officers represent Elections Canada in every constituency in Canada. They are supposed to be unbiased and impartial.

When I found out that the Liberals were breaking another campaign promise by systematically turfing out the old officers and replacing them with their pals, I did some checking.

All the old officers were fired. None had been offered the job and none saw the position advertised. The new officers had no special skills and were just well connected to, guess who, the Liberals. This breaks another red book promise to return integrity to politics.

Reform's solution is simple: advertise openly and make sure you hire the best person. The chief returning officers should not be political hacks, period.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Elections Canada
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LIB

Colleen Beaumier

Liberal

Ms. Colleen Beaumier (Brampton, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, several months ago the Coalition for the Safety of Our Daughters distributed a videotape to some members of the House called "Reel Hatred". This video contains clips from so-called slasher films which depict horrible acts of violence against women and girls.

The distributors and retailers of these videos hide behind the principle of free speech which is the foundation of a free and democratic society. However, all good democrats know that the freedom to commit an act ends when that act causes another individual harm.

This is the case with slasher films. Just as movies can inspire us to do great things, they can also inspire individuals to commit horrible acts of violence, a fact which is demonstrated by so-called copycat crimes.

In our zeal to protect free speech, we should not protect the right to produce and distribute such rubbish.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Violence Against Women
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BQ

Laurent Lavigne

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Laurent Lavigne (Beauharnois-Salaberry, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, we were saddened to learn of the death this morning of former Quebec premier Robert Bourassa. Elected four times to the

position, Mr. Bourassa was Quebec's youngest premier ever at the age of 36.

All the people of Quebec recognize the tremendous efforts he put into giving Quebec the tools it needed for its economic future. Throughout his life, Mr. Bourassa treated his fellow citizens with respect and compassion and listened to what they had to say.

His oft-repeated desire to secure Quebec's rightful place within the Canadian federation was one of his greatest challenges. We will all remember this great democrat, this man of conviction and conscience.

Today Quebec lost a great man and, on behalf of my colleagues and the people of Quebec, I wish to convey my sincere condolences to Robert Bourassa's family and friends.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Death Of Robert Bourassa
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BQ

Michel Gauthier

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Gauthier (Leader of the Opposition, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, in his testimony before the Somalia commission this morning, Roberto Gonzales, the former director of public affairs at National Defence, made a shocking revelation, stating that not only was General Boyle, the chief of defence staff, aware of a plan to tamper with information to be released but that he had actually approved this plan.

In light of the fact that Mr. Gonzales states unequivocally that final approval for the cover-up operation came from General Boyle himself, how does the Minister of Defence intend to react to such a damning revelation?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Somalia Inquiry
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LIB

David Collenette

Liberal

Hon. David M. Collenette (Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we have made the same argument a number of times over the last few weeks. We have a process that is now working and that is the commission of inquiry. All people are free to come to the inquiry and give their evidence and facts as they see them.

It is inappropriate for anyone's testimony, anyone's set of facts, anyone's set of circumstances that is being raised at the inquiry to be debated in the House of Commons. Let the commissioners do their work. Let them issue a report and the government will respond.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Somalia Inquiry
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BQ

Michel Gauthier

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Gauthier (Leader of the Opposition, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Gonzales testified he met with General Boyle in person to get his approval to tamper with the information, which is no insignificant matter.

My question is for the Minister of Defence. I can see that he wants to keep General Boyle in his position at all costs, but in the light of the numerous allegations condemning the chief of defence staff, does he not consider he should be relieved of his duties at least-and I think people would consider this the minimum-until the investigation is complete?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Somalia Inquiry
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October 2, 1996