April 11, 1997

REF

Chuck Strahl

Reform

Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley East, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, many of my constituents practise preventive health care using herbs and other natural health supplements, but the Liberal government wants to criminalize these law-abiding Canadians by arbitrarily reclassifying herbs and natural health foods as drugs. This sets in motion an expensive and time consuming testing process that will remove access to health supplements for many Canadians.

Health food stores are being raided, products confiscated and stopped at our borders, and consumers are denied access to products they have enjoyed for years. That happens even though there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that the products have ever produced harm and there is no reason for these actions.

The burden of proof should be reversed for these products. Health Canada should be required to demonstrate that they harm human health and well-being before it imposes restrictions in their trade or consumption. Reformers say call off the Liberal government's health police and give Canadians freedom of choice in health care because foods are not drugs.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Health Supplements
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LIB

Dianne Brushett

Liberal

Mrs. Dianne Brushett (Cumberland-Colchester, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Meredith Doyle Rink arrived home in Truro last week boasting a bronze medal from the World Junior Curling Championships in Japan. Every country set their sights on Canada. The Canadian team was the team to beat. Although Canada lost to Scotland in the semifinals, the girls played extremely well and defeated the United States team five to two to bring home the bronze.

The team produced a number of all star players and was considered a model of youth sportsmanship on and off the ice. Members of the Meredith Doyle Rink served as excellent ambassadors for Canada.

I ask all members of the House to join with me in thanking and congratulating the team on its excellent performance and its awesome world victory.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Meredith Doyle Rink
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LIB

Walt Lastewka

Liberal

Mr. Walt Lastewka (St. Catharines, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it was April 16, 1897 in a small village in Austria when a little girl was born to Pauline and Thomas Kowalchuk. They named her Magdalena.

Magdalena sailed to Canada with her family in 1903 and they settled in Tiny, Saskatchewan. In 1915 Magdalena married Michael Filipowich. The couple built a small, two-bedroom home in Swan Plain, Saskatchewan, where they had 10 children. The little house still stands as a reminder of the hard work and dedication of one of this country's great families.

Magdalena has lived in my riding of St. Catharines since 1956. She now boasts 37 grandchildren, 85 great-grandchildren and 24 great-great-grandchildren.

This Sunday, Magdalena Filipowich and her many friends and family will celebrate her 100th birthday. I want to join with them in this special celebration and say to Magdalena happy birthday, congratulations and God bless.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Magdalena Filipowich
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BQ

Pierre Brien

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Pierre Brien (Témiscamingue, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, one of my constituents, Martine Ayotte, is putting together the world's biggest puzzle. This is a very special puzzle where each piece in fact consists of a petition to ban toys that are an incentive to violence.

So far, this initiative by a mother of five children has resulted in 26,000 signatures, and there are more to come. The purpose of this courageous initiative is to prevent the manufacturing, importation, marketing and advertising of toys which carry instructions that are clearly an incentive to violence.

Next month, Mrs. Ayotte will be at the House of Commons to put together all the pieces of this impressive puzzle. On this occasion,

she hopes to make the government aware of her initiative to push for appropriate legislation.

I fully support Mrs. Ayotte's initiative, and I would urge members of all parties to do the same. On behalf of my colleagues in the Bloc Quebecois, I want to commend this woman on the imaginative way she is trying to improve our society.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Toys Promoting Violence
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LIB

Ben Serré

Liberal

Mr. Benoît Serré (Timiskaming-French River, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I take great pride in extending my sincere congratulations to the New Liskeard Cubs, a AAA midget hockey team that captured the Ontario title on April 6, 1997. I am proud of these young hockey players for their hard work and team spirit. It is the second consecutive year that the Cubs won the Air Canada central region championship.

The Cubs have a long tradition of excellence in hockey. Residents of the tri-towns in my riding are proud this team will represent Ontario at the Air Canada Cup National Championship Tournament which will be held in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, later this month.

I am proud of the success of the New Liskeard Cubs, one of the hockey teams in our riding. I am sure the team will make all Canadians proud when it participates in the national championships.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   New Liskeard Cubs
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REF

John Duncan

Reform

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

Mr. Speaker, B.C. produces 5,000 tonnes per year of oysters. This provides high paying jobs.

France imported 100 tonnes of oyster broodstock from B.C. 15 years ago and is now producing 150,000 tonnes per year or 30 times greater than the production of B.C.

The aquaculture industry continues to be bogged down by counterproductive federal rules and bureaucracy. Shellfish production needs to be moved to an advocacy ministry such as agriculture. The federal aquaculture development strategy of 1995 has never been adopted by DFO. The current attitude and practices of DFO and DOE are costing west coast jobs, jobs, jobs, big time.

This has led to calls for provincial jurisdiction. This is probably the only answer unless there is a federal attitude transplant.

I ask the respective ministers to get with the program to allow the industry to prosper.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Aquaculture
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LIB

George Proud

Liberal

Mr. George Proud (Hillsborough, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, there seems to be some confusion over the impact of the new employment insurance system. I just want to set the record straight.

The government has acted in a responsible and prudent manner. Seasonal workers have not been compromised. The Atlantic Liberal caucus ensured that seasonal workers were protected.

Unfortunately after EI went fully into effect in January a problem surfaced which affected all Canadians. Again the government acted on recommendations that would protect seasonal workers.

The solution will work. Small weeks are counted for eligibility but are bundled for calculating benefits. This change gives claimants the best of both worlds.

I doubt there are many who would argue that reforms were not needed. The changes implemented help Canadians. Every hour counts. More people will be covered and many will qualify quicker. More important, they are better active measures to get Canadians back to work. The new system is good news.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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LIB

Judy Bethel

Liberal

Ms. Judy Bethel (Edmonton East, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Edmonton East is home to six vibrant healthy co-operative housing communities. Each is unique. Each serves a valuable social purpose. Each provides an economic benefit to all Edmontonians.

Edmonton East co-operatives provide stability, safety, independence, privacy, affordability, diversity, equality and dignity to both advantaged and less advantaged families.

At a recent public forum someone expressed these benefits beautifully:

For the first time in my life I belong to a place I feel safe, know my neighbours, make a positive contribution, live in a community where there is space to grow a family, to have a yard, to have a pet and to be protected from adverse market forces.

Artspace provides our disabled with cost effective independent living.

Acoxual provides newcomers to Canada with the language, skills and job training needed to positively contribute to Edmonton's economy.

Sundance and Riverdale provide safe affordable communities to raise happy, healthy children.

It is imperative that our government ensure the long term viability of co-operative housing.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Co-Operative Housing
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LIB

Ivan Grose

Liberal

Mr. Ivan Grose (Oshawa, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, today I will raise an issue close to my heart, gun control.

Having just returned from Europe where I was repeatedly congratulated on our government's courage in enacting a bill to restrict the ownership of firearms, I am utterly amazed at the flip flop of the New Democratic Party on the issue.

I have always had grudging admiration for the party of M. J. Coldwell and Tommy Douglas and its reputation as the conscience of the Canadian nation. It is with extreme sadness that I see its descent into political expediency.

I beg members of this old and formerly honourable party to rethink their attitude on this issue at their upcoming convention. My plea applies not only to members of the House but to aspirants for election to the House including the candidate in my home riding.

Let us preserve our distinct society as opposed to our neighbours to the south. In Canada guns are bad. In the U.S.A. guns are good.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Gun Control
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BQ

Maurice Dumas

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Maurice Dumas (Argenteuil-Papineau, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, Bloc Quebecois members from the Lower Laurentians, including myself, are disappointed, but more determined than ever to continue the fight for the long term survival of Mirabel airport, following the appeal court decision concerning ADM.

All the efforts and energy invested by people from that area over the past weeks will not have been in vain. The public is rallying strongly in favour of Mirabel. It is up to us to do everything we can to find solutions.

In Quebec City, work has already begun, with the creation of the joint commission on the future of Mirabel airport, and we should be pleased. The Liberals, who have landed us in this mess, should get moving as well.

The region's Bloc Quebecois MPs urge the public not to give up, but instead to redouble its efforts to have traffic transferred back to Mirabel. People in the Lower Laurentians should not be held hostage by the Liberal government.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Mirabel Airport
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REF

Mike Scott

Reform

Mr. Mike Scott (Skeena, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, fisheries management in Canada has reached a new low. In spite of massive expenditures by DFO the Atlantic groundfishery is in ruins, capelin stocks are dangerously low, Pacific salmon stocks have fallen dramatically, and now the Bay of Fundy scallop beds are all but wiped out.

It is getting so bad that the portfolio of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans will soon be changed to just the minister of oceans because we are fast running out of fish.

Digby scallop fishermen who have families to feed and mortgage payments to make want to know what the minister will do for them. Is the minister prepared to shoulder his responsibility and make responsible and rational management decisions?

Scallop fishermen in Digby who have been occupying DFO offices for the past eight days want answers. They want to know that they will be able to earn a living in an industry that they pioneered 75 years ago.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Fisheries
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LIB

Andy Mitchell

Liberal

Mr. Andy Mitchell (Parry Sound-Muskoka, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House and all Canadians that April has been designated Parkinson Awareness Month by the Parkinson Foundation of Canada. In addition, April 11 marks World Parkinson Day.

Parkinson is a chronic brain disorder. It is the most prevalent movement disorder and one of the most common neurological disorders affecting some 100,000 Canadians.

The Parkinson Foundation of Canada was established in 1965. It is made up of more than 100 chapters and support groups nationwide.

The foundation is dedicated to funding research into the cause, treatment and ultimate cure for Parkinson; providing training, counselling and workshops for patients, caregivers and health care providers; developing and distributing material; and heightening public awareness about Parkinson.

I invite the House to join me in wishing the Parkinson Foundation of Canada and its many volunteers a very successful Parkinson Awareness Month and World Parkinson Day.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Parkinson Awareness Month
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BQ

Michel Bellehumeur

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Bellehumeur (Berthier-Montcalm, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Yesterday, before the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Canada refused to co-sponsor a Danish resolution condemning human rights violations in China. Yet, since the massacre in Tiananmen Square, Canada had never failed to co-sponsor

similar resolutions. Canada has apparently given up defending human rights internationally.

In light of the fact that China is systematically, blatantly and continually violating human rights throughout its territory, and particularly in Tibet, can the minister tell us why the Canadian government did not support Denmark's action, which condemns the failure to respect human rights in China?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Rights
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LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Hon. Lloyd Axworthy (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we have not refused. The hon. member is totally wrong in his statement.

A resolution was tabled by Denmark with a number of co-sponsors. We are still looking at the question of whether we would be a co-sponsor but we have not refused in any way. It is a matter under consideration.

The Prime Minister already said a few days ago, if the hon. member had paid attention, that they would be examined by a meeting of cabinet ministers probably at the beginning of next week.

In the meantime we have also indicated our intention to vote for the resolution. The Prime Minister said that in Washington in his speech Wednesday. The hon. member should check his facts.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Rights
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BQ

Michel Bellehumeur

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Bellehumeur (Berthier-Montcalm, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, for the past seven years, China has succeeded in blocking any vote concerning its human rights violations. But the real vote, the one he is talking about, is when a country sponsors a resolution.

Is the minister telling us that, with all these changes, these things he will be deciding about in the future, and so on, Canada has caved in to the blackmail and threats of political and trade reprisals from this country?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Rights
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LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Hon. Lloyd Axworthy (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I repeat what I said. We were faced, as was everybody else, with a decision by the French to break the consensus established by the European Union, the major sponsor of the resolution.

That certainly changed the circumstances in which one would want to look at the resolution. Because of the trip to Washington and other activities, we did not have the opportunity to have a cabinet meeting on the matter. The Prime Minister indicated that there would be a meeting at the beginning of this week at which time we would make a decision.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Rights
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BQ

Michel Bellehumeur

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Bellehumeur (Berthier-Montcalm, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, it has only been going on for seven years, so I can understand that the minister has not had the time to hold a meeting of his officials.

I find the responses of the government and of the minister this morning most puzzling. If I understand the minister correctly, Canada seems to have abdicated its traditional role as defender of human rights. Otherwise it would have cast its real vote by now, and we would know where it stands. As things are now, we do not know where it stands and are still waiting, despite the importance of the issue.

By refusing to stand up to intimidation by China and by putting the defence of international human rights on the back burner, does the minister agree that Canada is a party to the imprisonment of Chinese political prisoners, and to the detention of the 11th Panchen Lama, the chief spiritual adviser of Tibet?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Rights
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LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Hon. Lloyd Axworthy (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I know the hon. member is trying to inflame and to exaggerate his position. Unfortunately the hon. member is basing his premise on sheer ignorance.

If he had paid attention rather than to a headline but to the facts, he would know that last week I was in China. I met with Chinese officials. I raised the issue of human rights. I raised the issue of political prisoners. We put them on the table.

Canada maintained a continual constant opinion that we would raise those kinds of issues directly with the Chinese and we did. It is too bad the hon. member does not have the fortitude and the resolve to make the same kind of commitments we are prepared to make.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Human Rights
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BQ

Maud Debien

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Maud Debien (Laval East, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, my question as well is directed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

We know that Canada played an important role in the world movement of sanctions against apartheid in South Africa. At the beginning of this month, the UN Human Rights Commission published a report in which it urged the international community to take steps to combat violence against women, such as rape and trafficking.

Can the minister tell us the measures he intends to take in response to the publication of this report, which reminds us that violence against women is still considered a form of entertainment or a normal practice in a number of countries?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Violence Against Women
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LIB

Lloyd Axworthy

Liberal

Hon. Lloyd Axworthy (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we certainly share very much both the spirit and the intent of the resolution in Geneva. There are several ways of follow it through. Certainly one would be to ensure that in our domestic situation we take all steps possible. The Minister of Justice has already indicated in the House several times this week that we have a number of initiatives to combat violence against women, in fact violence against all people.

I think the commitment made by the minister is a clear example of the way we want to act domestically.

A second initiative we can take is to work internationally to ensure that there are covenants and that through the work of CIDA and other groups we work within those countries to provide assistance and programs that will assist women and combat violence against women.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Violence Against Women
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April 11, 1997