February 14, 1997

?

The Deputy Speaker

The member may finish after statements by members.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Divorce Act
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LIB

Len Hopkins

Liberal

Mr. Leonard Hopkins (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is with pride that today I congratulate the 52 members of the Canadian forces who were recently honoured by the Governor General of Canada with the Order of Military Merit. This order was established in 1972 to recognize the exceptional service of men and women in both the regular and the reserve forces.

I believe these 52 honoured members of the Canadian forces are truly representative of the kind of people who make up our Canadian forces today. These individuals demonstrate the dedication, honour and courage of the Canadian forces.

They serve Canada in many ways, from providing services to Canadians at home to representing Canada abroad with pride and in often difficult circumstances. They come from all parts of Canada, including my riding of Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke and from my home community of Petawawa.

We salute them for their outstanding contributions to the Canadian forces and to Canada over the years.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Order Of Military Merit
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REF

Jack Ramsay

Reform

Mr. Jack Ramsay (Crowfoot, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, on January 8, 1997, Reverend James Browning of Drumheller, Alberta lost his dear and lifelong friend Lynn Larose of Kingston, Ontario. Miss Larose died suddenly and brutally at the hands of a woman with a murderous past.

I would like to repeat the words of Reverend Browning: "Another headline, another murder, another statistic, another victim but this time it is different, very, very different. This time the victim is an old friend, she was like an adopted sister, not another faceless victim-No, it's true you won't remember Lynn Larose's name among the mighty honour roll of this world's powerful and popular icons like John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King or John Lennon, but she did have something in common with them. She too was brutally murdered. God bless and keep you `Short stuff'. This world is poorer without your presence. I remain your friend".

Lynn Larose died at the hands of a person who had murdered before. Our justice system must change for the sake of us all.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Lynn Larose
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BQ

René Laurin

Bloc Québécois

Mr. René Laurin (Joliette, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the next world school championships will take place from March 2 to March 7, in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Fifty per cent of the Canadian delegation will made up of ten young students registered in the studies-sport-excellence program of the Thérèse-Martin secondary comprehensive school, in my riding of Joliette.

The team will compete in a cross country ski race with the best school athletes of 12 other participating countries. These young teenagers are primarily motivated by the pursuit of excellence, through intensive physical and intellectual development.

They will be led by one of their teachers who is also their coach, Jean-Pierre Sansregret, and who, for some 20 years now, has been constantly urging young people to meet academic and athletic challenges.

Their common determination deserves our admiration. Their personal commitment is an excellent example to help fight the problem of school dropouts as well as other problems that our young people currently face.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   World School Championships
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NDP

Nelson Riis

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nelson Riis (Kamloops, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, while thousands of corporations like Bombardier receive huge federal handouts and families like the Bronfmans receive unbelievable tax holidays, somebody has to pay for all of this. Today the Liberals will announce who that will be. It will be future seniors, the disabled, widows and the working poor. This is nothing short of outrageous.

In a cruel and mean act, the Liberals will cut pension benefits to widows and the disabled. Pension exemptions will no longer be fully indexed, which will hit low income workers. The poor will pay more yet receive fewer pension benefits.

One can tell a great deal about a society as to how it provides for its elderly, its poor and its disabled. To introduce this regressive legislation that victimizes these individuals in our society says that Canada has turned its back on those most in need.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Pensions
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LIB

Sue Barnes

Liberal

Mrs. Sue Barnes (London West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the federal government is now working hard in its commitment to young people in this country with the youth employment strategy announced Wednesday by the Minister of Human Resources Development.

The youth employment strategy is the result of consultations with youth, educators, parents and the private sector to determine how best to serve the needs of Canada's young people in today's newer and new economy. Each of us recognizes that youth unemployment is unacceptably high and that there is nothing as frustrating as wasted potential.

The strategy consolidates over $2 billion in new and existing funding for programs and services that young people need to make the transition from education to our workplace. One of the strategy's highlights is the new internship programs that will provide work experience to young people in the crucial areas of science and technology, the environment, international trade and development.

I call upon those concerned to work together to accomplish what we need, a society that is good for all Canadians starting with our youth.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Youth Employment Strategy
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LIB

Mac Harb

Liberal

Mr. Mac Harb (Ottawa Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Canadian banks continue to contribute greatly to the Canadian economy.

In 1996 alone, banks paid $4.9 billion in taxes and levies to government and paid over $2.3 billion to their shareholders, the people of Canada. Unions, businesses and the general public own over 90 per cent of bank shares. Since most bank shares are owned by the people, when banks make a profit, the people profit.

Banks have recently introduced initiatives such as implementing a code of conduct, offering alternative dispute resolution and appointing both internal and national ombudsmen.

Banks in my community have contributed to university funds, have supported charities such as the Snowsuit Fund and have helped many youth organizations to name a few.

As you can see, banks are not all bad.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Banks
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LIB

Jesse Flis

Liberal

Mr. Jesse Flis (Parkdale-High Park, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Saturday, February 15 is National Flag of Canada Day. The tradition of celebrating our national flag began last February and was promoted throughout the year by the Canadian Heritage One in a Million Flag Challenge.

I have also taken an interest in acknowledging this newfound tradition as I am searching for a song to commemorate the pride and glory of our Canadian flag. Over the last few months I have issued a challenge to students and artists in my constituency to compose new lyrics to the "Maple Leaf Forever" that reflect the significance of our Canadian symbol.

On the occasion of this year's flag day celebration, I would like to issue the same challenge to all Canadians to come up with a song that will capture true Canadian sentiment.

We have been represented by the red and white maple leaf since 1965. I feel the best way to honour this symbol would be to accompany it with a musical tribute.

It is my wish that as Canadians don their million flags with pride, they also have a song to commemorate the celebration of national unity.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Flag Of Canada Day
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REF

Val Meredith

Reform

Ms. Val Meredith (Surrey-White Rock-South Langley, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, today this House will once again be looking at Bill C-41. Maybe this time government members will actually listen to the Reform Party's concerns.

Earlier this week I had the occasion to hear a number of government members talking about how they were unaware of the full consequences of Bill C-41. One suggested that they should just acknowledge their mistakes and accept the amendments.

This is quite typical of how the Liberals have managed this Parliament. They just accept the notion that their cabinet ministers create perfect legislation so they put their brains in neutral. Independent thought is not welcome in the Liberal caucus.

I encourage members opposite to actually think for themselves and listen to the Reform Party's amendments in this House rather than rely on the patronage appointed hacks from the other place.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Divorce Act
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BQ

Monique Guay

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, for the sixth consecutive year, the Quebec Department of Education, in co-operation with the provincial ministry of culture and communications, is organizing the Quebec arts week, which began on February 9 and will end on the 16.

In order to mark this unique event, the whole Quebec school system was invited to organize activities under the theme "Sans mots pour le dire". This means that over one million Quebec students at the elementary and secondary levels are currently exploring the various facets of an artistic project or creation process that includes dance, music, plastic arts, communications and performing arts.

While some may claim, wrongly, that Quebec never spent a penny on its culture, it is not by spending millions of dollars on flags that we will make our young people aware of arts and culture, or that we will give them an opportunity to develop their creativity and their imagination.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Quebec Arts Week
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LIB

Andrew Telegdi

Liberal

Mr. Andrew Telegdi (Waterloo, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, seven national associations in the post-secondary education sector jointly proposed the student assistance reform initiative which, if enacted, would make higher education more accessible. I urge all members to study the proposal. As an active member of the caucus committee on post-secondary education, I applaud the groups involved in preparing and releasing this document.

Right now Canada's student loans can be a problem, not only for those trying to pay them off but also for those charged with trying to collect on defaulted loans. We can address this situation and acknowledge the realities faced by graduating students by establishing an income contingent loan repayment plan. This is especially relevant to those in the early stages of their careers after graduation.

Education is of vital national interest to Canada. When we invest in Canadians we strengthen our economy and improve our competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Student Assistance Reform Initiative
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LIB

Robert Bertrand

Liberal

Mr. Robert Bertrand (Pontiac-Gatineau-Labelle, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the LanSer company of Westmount, Quebec, was on the last trade mission led by our Prime Minister, and came back from Thailand with very good news for the future.

This company, which specializes in wireless communication equipment research and development, signed a letter of understanding with a view to setting up a joint enterprise with a Bangkok company.

LanSer already has a staff of 75. Thanks to this letter of understanding, it could soon be starting to market a wireless credit card payment system to meet the demand from financial institutions, merchants and consumers in Thailand. This bold project is estimated at $52 million.

This is another example of the extraordinary benefits and fallout for business and the economy in Quebec and in Canada resulting from the Team Canada missions.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Team Canada
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BQ

Maurice Dumas

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Maurice Dumas (Argenteuil-Papineau, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, last Wednesday, the Quebec Superior Court handed down an important decision prohibiting the transfer of international flights to Dorval. Forty-eight hours later, the Minister of Transport still did not wish to comment on the decision. Instability continues. As a result, the economy of Montreal and the Lower Laurentians has suffered, is suffering and will go on suffering.

But it would not have come to this if the federal government had listened to the Bloc Quebecois. A year ago, we asked the government to conduct public consultations quickly and make public all the studies done on this transfer.

The federal government, which got us into this mess, cannot now try to sidestep the issue and hide behind ADM. The decision brought to light the government's true colours. Instead of sitting back while the train, or should I say the plane, passes it by, it should be moving quickly to resolve this problem, which is largely of its own making.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Aéroports De Montréal
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LIB

John English

Liberal

Mr. John English (Kitchener, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a constituent in my riding of Kitchener, Mr. Edward James.

Yesterday, Mr. James had the honour of receiving the Prime Minister's award for teaching excellence in science, technology and mathematics. His dedication and enduring commitment to the teaching profession is truly admirable.

Mr. James was recognized for his particular attention devoted to the challenges facing young women interested in science. Among his many accomplishments, he organized a math and science program for young women at Eastwood Collegiate and helped prepared learning materials for the women inventors project.

His work to introduce more young women to science and encourage them along the way stretches back 10 years. This commitment has resulted in a significant number of women graduating with backgrounds in mathematics and science.

I wish to congratulate Mr. James for this special award. He is truly a leader in his community.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Edward James
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REF

John Duncan

Reform

Mr. John Duncan (North Island-Powell River, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, in 1993 the Prime Minister overrode 15 Liberal associations to appoint pet candidates. This year the Prime Minister is again sanctioning pet candidates.

In Nepean the retiring MP has expressed her disgust. In Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke the Liberal Party banned Hec Cloutier from the party for five years in 1993 because he ran as an independent against the Liberal appointee. In Edmonton North national Liberal officials twisted the rules so that the PM's anointed candidate would be unchallenged. An executive has been excommunicated for their continued support for the incumbent ousted Liberal MP.

This should be no surprise. The Prime Minister ensured his own election victory in 1972 and 1974 by setting up a patsy as his PC opponent.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Liberal Party Nomination Process
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LIB

Rey D. Pagtakhan

Liberal

Mr. Rey D. Pagtakhan (Winnipeg North, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we are in the midst of the "Canada-Take it to Heart" program, a week long celebration of our Canadian citizenship, symbols and heritage.

Tomorrow, February 15, we celebrate Canada flag day to remind us of the symbol of our national soul and to rededicate ourselves to the ideals that define our country. Let us take pride that the Canadian flag is respected and loved throughout the world.

On Monday, February 17, I will have the honour to participate in a Winnipeg celebration of the historic Fort Gary-Fort Edmonton Trail, a living reminder of the settlement of the three prairie provinces.

These commemorations are an opportunity to show pride in our country and to think about the things that make us unique: our symbols, our values and our heritage.

The better we know our country's past, the better we can envision the future with confidence.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canada-Take It To Heart
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REF

Bill Gilmour

Reform

Mr. Bill Gilmour (Comox-Alberni, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Post mandate review completed last fall made a number of specific recommendations regarding the operation of Canada Post.

Upon release of the review the public works minister stated that Canada Post must operate with fairness, transparency, openness and accountability. Yet the minister still refuses to open the books of Canada Post, a crown corporation, to public scrutiny.

The minister promised she would table a report with proposals for Canada Post after the financial review was completed in January. That timeline has passed, yet Canadians have heard nothing from the minister.

The mandate review stated that the corporation is currently beyond any effective control by the government. None of the authorities entrusted with supervising Canada Post currently have the resources to provide the strong ongoing supervision needed to safeguard the public interest. Unfair competition and abusive practices continue unchecked every day.

Canada Post is a corporation in chaos. It is time for the minister to do her job, take responsibility for Canada Post and hold it accountable.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canada Post
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LIB

Mauril Bélanger

Liberal

Mr. Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa-Vanier, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, nomination meetings were held in three ridings, namely my own, that of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and that of the hon. member for Brome-Missisquoi.

Yesterday the three of us celebrated the second anniversary of our 1995 byelection victories. On the same day two years later, we were chosen by the members of our respective associations to run in the next election as Liberal candidates.

I wish both my colleagues the best of luck in the upcoming election. I congratulate them on a job well done in the first two years as members of the Parliament of Canada.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Nomination Meetings
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LIB

Wayne Easter

Liberal

Mr. Wayne Easter (Malpeque, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as we get closer to budget day I again call on the ministers involved to reconsider CAPC funding. The program is funded under the Minister of Health and funds family resource centres. It has proven to be very successful in terms of assisting families and individuals.

These family resource centres, seven of which are on Prince Edward Island, are a great success and are in great demand by many parents on Prince Edward Island. I believe they decrease dependency on government services and government personnel and set up a system where individuals support each other within a community of communities.

I call on the minister to reconsider funding.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Family Resource Centres
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?

The Deputy Speaker

Before proceeding to oral questions, the hon. Minister of National Defence has a brief point of order.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Family Resource Centres
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February 14, 1997