October 3, 1996

?

The Speaker

You still have another minute and a half, but it being 2 p.m. I will proceed to statements by members.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Criminal Code
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LIB

Gerry Byrne

Liberal

Mr. Gerry Byrne (Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud that the city of Corner Brook and all of western Newfoundland will play host to the 1999 Canada Winter Games. We are very excited about the opportunity.

The Canada games are for all Canadians. Shortly after the 1997 games in Brandon, the people of my riding will be opening up their hearts and their homes for two weeks of great sport and great hospitality. That same year, Newfoundland and Labrador will be celebrating its 50th anniversary within Confederation. As everyone knows, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will be making this quite a celebration.

Let me take the opportunity to thank TSN and RDS for investing in the Canada games and for investing in Canada. Let me also thank the volunteers who so early on in the process are making these games a success.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   1999 Canada Winter Games
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BQ

Maurice Bernier

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Maurice Bernier (Mégantic-Compton-Stanstead, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, 1996 marks the centennial of the municipality of Martinville and I invite the public to take part in the celebrations under way until December 7.

Like Daniel Martin, the municipality's founder who, around 1838, built a dam, a sawmill and a bridge on the rivière aux Saumons, the people of Martinville are known as people who are not afraid to innovate. This fact is evidenced by the exceptionally balanced make-up of the current council, comprised of three aldermen, three alderwomen and the mayor, a position also held by a woman, namely Arlette Champagne-Lessard.

Once again, Martinville has distinguished itself. Smaller than Montreal, maybe, not as well known as Quebec City, granted, but in the hearts of the people of the Eastern Townships and anyone who has ever vacationed there, the municipality of Martinville is nonetheless a pillar of our region's historical heritage.

Long live Martinville.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Municipality Of Martinville
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REF

John Williams

Reform

Mr. John Williams (St. Albert, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Charles Schroeder and Mr. Bob McGinn in my riding believe that the 7 per cent GST is an unjust tax on reading materials and state that a

regressive tax on reading handicaps that development. Their letter was endorsed by 56 other constituents in my riding.

Ordinary Canadians want the GST on books removed. The Minister of Finance has doubled the taxation on books in Atlantic Canada. His GST harmonization policy which has replaced the Liberal red book policy of GST elimination is going to double taxation on books right across the country.

Education is the foundation of our prosperity. An educated mind is the most valuable resource a country has. Obviously this government ignores these realities in order to raise taxes to fund its insatiable appetite for big government.

Mr. Schroeder and Mr. McGinn have demonstrated their commitment to education by the giving of their time to serve on school boards. Will the government recognize that education is important and eliminate the GST-

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Goods And Services Tax
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?

The Speaker

The hon. member for Kamloops.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Goods And Services Tax
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NDP

Nelson Riis

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nelson Riis (Kamloops, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance yesterday closed the infamous Bronfman family tax loophole to much applause and hoopla. But let us not forget that the Bronfmans actually got that $500 million Christmas present from the federal government in 1991 and have kept it.

It took five years before either a Tory or a Liberal Minister of Finance was embarrassed by the auditor general to act. The Minister of Finance has obviously known of this loophole for the past three years but only acted when the auditor general and public and political pressure made him do it.

In yesterday's Toronto Star , the Minister of Industry was quoted as saying that we need more foreign investment and to attract it the federal government will promote the fact that we have very low corporate real tax rates. He pointed out that Canada has the lowest labour costs among the seven leading industrialized nations.

Low corporate taxes and low wage rates; this promotion sounds like it should refer to a poor developing country, not Canada. If low corporate taxes and low wage rates are things the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Industry are bragging about, I say shame.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Taxation
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LIB

Paddy Torsney

Liberal

Ms. Paddy Torsney (Burlington, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise today to recognize the achievements of Telecare Burlington Distress Line. Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary that this volunteer organization has provided crisis care 24 hours a day and seven days a week to Burlington residents.

Under the leadership of Ms. Cheryl Harrison, 160 energetic and compassionate volunteers have listened to and have been supportive of distressed callers. This dedication to fellow citizens, to share the pain of others and to offer sympathy and hope to those in need is the embodiment of the principles of community. These volunteers work without recognition, they work anonymously.

Mr. Speaker and my colleagues, please join me in congratulating this outstanding team of volunteers for their extraordinary commitment to helping others and wish them all the very best for the future. Their work is important. Their work is needed.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Telecare Burlington Distress Line
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LIB

Gurbax Malhi

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I have received many, many phone calls from constituents in my riding and Indo-Canadians from across Canada congratulating the Prime Minister, and in a special way, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, on the upcoming opening of a Canadian liaison office in the capital of India's Punjab state. This makes Canada the only foreign country with a presence in the region.

As the most open-minded, tolerant and inclusive party in Canada, the federal Liberal Party remains the party of choice for most new Canadians.

Having taken part in last January's Team Canada trade mission to India and having worked toward this week's news for years, I wish to express my personal gratitude to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister for this historic step which will be remembered forever in the record books of both India and Canada.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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LIB

Ian Murray

Liberal

Mr. Ian Murray (Lanark-Carleton, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute today to Crosskeys Systems Corporation of Kanata.

This morning the Prime Minister was in my riding to officially open a new building for Crosskeys, which is an affiliate of Newbridge Networks.

In addition, Crosskeys received an award which names it as one of Canada's 50 best managed private companies recognizing its commitment to product quality and a team approach to customer relationships.

Crosskeys, founded in 1992, is a very young company. This is a Canadian company that is a success in global markets. Its software and services are at work in telecommunications systems around the world. In just a little more than four years Crosskeys has gone from being a start up to being an established international competitor in

its sector. As it has done this, it has created jobs with a future. It has helped cement the reputation of our community as a hotbed of new technologies.

This is one more example of how the high tech companies in Kanata, our very own silicon valley north, are changing the face of the national capital region and assuring our position of global leadership in the information age economy.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Crosskeys Systems Corporation
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BQ

Stéphane Bergeron

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute today to a deserving fellow citizen of Verchères, Gilles Gagné, from Boucherville, who recently received the Governor General's award in recognition of his outstanding commitment to the underprivileged.

After retiring in 1989, Mr. Gagné dedicated his time and energy to volunteer work at Accueil Bonneau in Montreal. This man, who is an example to us all, is working untiringly at relieving the distress and hardship of those to whom this admirable institution caters. To top it all, he claims his life is enriched by this experience as a volunteer.

Let me tell you how he puts it in his own words. "I see a lot of misery, but I find great satisfaction too. I feel that my work with transients improves their lives a bit".

Mr. Gagné is, for each and every one of us, an example of courage, self-sacrifice and generosity. In a world that is more and more insensitive and individualistic, he is most deserving of this public recognition for his noble contribution to the cause of the underprivileged in our society.

Congratulations, Mr. Gagné.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Tribute To Gilles Gagné
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REF

Keith Martin

Reform

Mr. Keith Martin (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, over 110 million of these silent killers claim over 25,000 people's lives every year, primarily innocent civilians. Some are designed to look like toys so that when children pick them up they will have their arms blown off. They are anti-personnel land mines.

Calls are coming in from all over the world for an international ban on these devices. Canada has called for an international ban too, but has failed to do so domestically.

There is no reason whatsoever to use these inhumane weapons. This is backed up by over 80 top military officials from around the world, including General Norman Schwarzkopf and our own General Lewis MacKenzie.

Let us get out of the Jurassic age. I call upon the government to show leadership, do the right thing and call for a domestic ban on land mines and anti-personnel devices. Then we can persuasively do the same internationally.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Land Mines
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LIB

Rose-Marie Ur

Liberal

Mrs. Rose-Marie Ur (Lambton-Middlesex, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say how delighted I am with the October 1 announcement by Commercial Alcohols Incorporated that the dream of a $153 million ethanol plant in Chatham, Ontario is now official.

As one of the largest and most efficient in the world, the state of the art, computerized Chatham plant will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, producing over 150 million litres of fuel ethanol and industrial alcohol.

Construction of the plant, which will be operational by next winter, will be a real catalyst for economic renewal in southwestern Ontario. It will provide 400 direct and indirect jobs and a new market for 15 million bushels of locally produced corn each year.

As well, all Canadians will benefit from a renewable, cleaner burning fuel for motorists. It is worth noting that all car manufacturers approve the use of ethanol blends in their warranties.

This announcement is the perfect counterpart to the government's intention to ban the use of MMT in Canadian gasolines, ethanol being the logical replacement as an octane enhancer.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Ethanol
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LIB

Warren Allmand

Liberal

Hon. Warren Allmand (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board has just tabled his annual report on the status of the official languages in federal institutions.

I am happy to see that progress has been made at all levels. The number of bilingual employees in the federal public service more than meets the requirements and shows that one out of five public servants has a superior knowledge of his or her second language.

The capacity to serve the public in both official languages has significantly improved. Further to the recommendations made by the Commissioner of Official Languages on language of work in

the national capital, federal institutions took measures which should result in a major improvement.

Program review has not had a negative impact on the level of bilingual services provided to the public, nor on participation rates of anglophones and francophones.

I am happy to note that we are making progress in advancing official languages in federal institutions.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Official Languages
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LIB

Brent St. Denis

Liberal

Mr. Brent St. Denis (Algoma, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, commercial and sport fishing on the Great Lakes sustains 36,000 jobs and adds $1.5 billion yearly to the economy of Ontario. Uncontrolled, the sea lamprey parasite would decimate many fish species native to the Great Lakes and cause serious economic damage.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Canada-U.S. sea lamprey control program and the 30th anniversary of the Sea Lamprey Control Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Since 1954 the work of the program, the centre and its dedicated staff has resulted in a significant reduction in the sea lamprey population.

The federal government recently announced its renewed commitment to sea lamprey control with a contribution of over $5 million in each of the next two years. Our government will work with concerned stakeholders toward a long term funding arrangement for this program. All beneficiaries of this effort are being called upon to contribute to its continued success.

I commend the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans for his commitment to the sea lamprey control program and trust that those who benefit from healthy fish stocks in the Great Lakes will work together to ensure this good work continues.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Sea Lamprey Control Program
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REF

Jake Hoeppner

Reform

Mr. Jake E. Hoeppner (Lisgar-Marquette, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, on Friday the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food is expected to finally announce if the Liberal government will allow farmers to decide how to market their grain.

An Angus Reid poll commissioned by the minister's own department showed that a majority of farmers supported marketing reforms, including allowing feed barley for export sales to be marketed outside the board. However, in a clearly loaded question, the poll then asked farmers if they supported marketing reforms even if they resulted in a decline in the price they receive for their barley.

Farmers can only cross their fingers and hope that if the minister finally honours his election promise and calls a plebiscite he will frame the question in a manner that is clear, honest and democratic.

I know the minister has trouble making decisions. Let me help him out. The question to all barley growers should be: Do you agree or disagree that participation in the Canadian Wheat Board should be made voluntary?

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canadian Wheat Board
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BQ

Pauline Picard

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Pauline Picard (Drummond, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, lately the Liberal members, especially those from Quebec, have accused the sovereignists of all the evils in the world. We are even being accused of violating human rights. Yet, I have been unable to find any mention of Quebec in Amnesty International's latest report.

However, I noticed that some of the countries mentioned in this report-two of which are England and Greece-have always been considered beyond reproach. The report points out that, in Greece, some 350 prisoners of conscience are in jail, eight people are being sued simply for exercising their freedom of expression in a non-violent way, and there are still cases of abuse and torture.

Some members of this House find it easier to see the mote in their neighbour's eye than the beam in their own.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Human Rights
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LIB

Nick Discepola

Liberal

Mr. Nick Discepola (Vaudreuil, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the death of former Quebec premier Robert Bourassa marks the end of one of the most momentous periods in Quebec history.

The youngest ever premier of Quebec had a dream if not an obsession that led him to devote all of his efforts and energy to Quebec's economic development.

Robert Bourassa saw big for Quebec and, inspired by the wealth of ideas born of the Quiet Revolution, he put in place the conditions needed to turn his province into one of the most prosperous and promising industrial societies ever.

In less than 30 years, this visionary succeeded in getting Quebec to take the giant step separating it from the great economic powers. Today, we pay homage and thank him for his unique contribution to Quebec's economic development.

On behalf of all the people of Quebec, thank you and goodbye, Mr. Bourassa.

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

Denis Paradis

Liberal

Mr. Denis Paradis (Brome-Missisquoi, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Robert Bourassa was both a proud Quebecer and a proud Canadian.

Throughout his life, he strove to find ways to express this dual commitment that most Quebecers share with him.

Despite the defeats and constitutional failures he experienced, he never stopped believing that Quebecers were better off within the Canadian federation.

One day after his death, we join with all the people of Canada in expressing our gratitude and admiration for his outstanding contribution to the development of Quebec and Canada.

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, yesterday, in a ministerial statement, the Minister of Finance implied that he was closing the tax loophole whereby a Canadian family trust was able to transfer $2.2 billion out of Canada tax free. The fact remains that the particular tax loophole is still there.

Will the Minister of Finance confirm that the $2.2 billion transfer that took place in 1991 would still be possible today, despite the announcement made by the minister yesterday?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Tax Evasion
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LIB

Paul Martin

Liberal

Hon. Paul Martin (Minister of Finance, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, no. Unfortunately, the Leader of the Opposition is mistaken. There was a loophole in the legislation, and yesterday, with my announcement, it was plugged.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Tax Evasion
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October 3, 1996