April 14, 1997

BQ

Jean Landry

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Jean Landry (Lotbinière, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to Private Guillaume Ouellet of the third battalion of the Royal 22e Régiment of Valcartier, born in Saint-Marc-du-Lac-Long and a resident of the riding of Rimouski-Témiscouata.

Haiti is his second posting as a UN peacekeeper. This time, he is going there for a six-month period to protect the democratic system. In 1995, when he was a militia corporal, he served in Croatia.

I would like to draw your attention to Private Ouellet's courage. While being a leader, he remains compassionate and sensitive to the suffering of people who have been left to fend for themselves.

Although the Canadian Armed Forces are having trouble with their image, we must not forget that most members always perform their duties to the best of their ability.

That is what Private Ouellet does every day on the job, without making a big thing of it. I want to congratulate him and his battalion. I also wish him a happy life and a successful career.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Private Guillaume Ouellet
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NDP

Simon de Jong

New Democratic Party

Mr. Simon de Jong (Regina-Qu'Appelle, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, New Democrats had a very successful and enthusiastic convention in Regina this weekend. From coast to coast to coast New Democrats are ready to fight the upcoming election.

Canadians have grown tired of the neo-conservative agenda that has totally dominated this Parliament and the sharp swing to the right by the Liberals since they won office in 1993.

Our country is in danger of falling apart, yet this government hacks away at those things that keep us together, our shared values like our social programs and medicare, our culture, our CBC. Instead the government gives us flags to wave.

Canadians are tired of broken promises. They are tired of fighting the deficit on the backs of the unemployed, the poor and working middle class Canadians while the powerful can move a billion dollars off shore without paying a cent of tax.

Canadians realize that Parliament needs many more New Democrats to loudly protest the abuses by the very rich and powerful. More New Democrats-

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   New Democrats
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The Deputy Speaker

The member's time has expired, I am sorry.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   New Democrats
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LIB

Ronald J. Duhamel

Liberal

Mr. Ronald J. Duhamel (St. Boniface, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to draw attention to two schools in my riding. From Minnetonka School, a grade six class has taken the time to raise concerns on the environment and the future of forests in Canada. I congratulate it for this worthy and extremely important initiative.

Second, the Guyot school recently received a major award for its environmental work. The Seeds Canada Foundation gave its awards to students at Guyot because they finished more than 1,000 environmental projects that had been started by students over the years.

[English]

Ecole Guyot is the only school in Manitoba to be given this award. These students should be proud of their commitment to a healthier and greener environment.

Congratulations to Guyot and Minnetonka for their dedication to a healthier environment.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   St. Boniface Schools
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LIB

Anna Terrana

Liberal

Mrs. Anna Terrana (Vancouver East, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, volunteerism is very important to all organizations involved in the arts, community work and multiculturalism.

Without volunteers, the work of these organizations would be far more complex and more difficult.

During the 20 years I have done volunteer work, I have met some wonderful people who were deeply involved in their role as volunteers.

This week is national volunteer week and in Canada we have much to celebrate. Not many countries have the luxury of counting on as large a component of volunteers who are skilled, knowledgeable, generous and professional as Canada has.

Today I pay tribute to all those Canadian volunteers I have met and worked with over the years, starting with the seniors of the Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver who look after the grounds under the leadership of Mario Gabriele, a very generous man of 84 years of age. They do it with pride and love.

To all Canadian volunteers, thank you for your work, generosity and dedication.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Volunteerism
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REF

John Cummins

Reform

Mr. John Cummins (Delta, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, the March issue of Treaty News , a publication of the Federal Treaty Negotiation Office, tells us that treaty negotiators must come to terms with some basic questions about the B.C. fisheries resource, including the types of access First Nations should have to fish and in general how fish should be allocated.

These questions have been settled by the Supreme Court of Canada. The court has acknowledged an inherent right to fish for food and for ceremonial and religious purposes. It has denied an inherent right to a commercial fishery unless it can be proven that sales were an integral part of a band's culture prior to contact with Europeans, something neither group participating in the pilot salmon sales projects was able to establish.

The court has ruled that the right to sell does not exist in isolation. Others, non-aboriginals, also have rights.

Questions about the allocation of fish have already been answered by the courts. They should not be renegotiated behind closed doors by federal bureaucrats operating under a secret mandate which ignores the Supreme Court of Canada.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Fisheries
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LIB

Jag Bhaduria

Liberal

Mr. Jag Bhaduria (Markham-Whitchurch-Stouffville, Lib. Dem.)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians will be taking a long hard look at the Prime Minister's record in the June election. They will remember his failure to eliminate the dreaded GST. They will remember his failure to initiate an effective job creation program. They will remember his failure to bring real unemployment down.

According to a Statistics Canada report 50 per cent of Canada's youth are presently unemployed. This is almost four million Canadians between 15 and 24 years old who have been left out of the job market. Added to the 1.5 million adult Canadians who are unemployed, the total is a staggering 5.45 million Canadians with no job.

The Canadian dollar is down, long and short term mortgage rates have been increased. On top of this, Canadians have seen the unemployment rate remain at over 9 per cent for 78 straight months.

This is a dismal performance and Canadians will give the Prime Minister and his government a failing grade in the upcoming election.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Election
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BQ

Maurice Bernier

Bloc Québécois

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I was absorbed in Formula 1 racing and its professional drivers.

We had a wonderful show yesterday during the retransmission of the Formula 1 Grand Prix from Argentina. After an exciting and challenging race, this young 26-year-old Quebecer, Jacques Villeneuve, climbed the podium for the second consecutive time when he won this Grand Prix.

With his sixth win in 19 Grand Prix races, he not only managed to equal the record of his late father, Gilles, he also showed us all that he is a real Villeneuve, a real champion. He has now become the racer to beat.

I want to congratulate Jacques Villeneuve on his win and I hope he will go on to win the first championship of his young career.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Jacques Villeneuve
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LIB

Judy Bethel

Liberal

Ms. Judy Bethel (Edmonton East, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the floods threatening Manitoba today are a tremendous concern to all western members of Parliament.

As a child living in Winnipeg, I can remember the 1950 flood along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, and I can assure members it was a terrifying experience for me and my family.

Last summer all Canadians witnessed the economic and social devastation to Quebec communities along the Saguenay. While we hope Manitoba's experience will not be as severe, our government is supporting the efforts of the province of Manitoba and the Manitoba emergency management organization.

An interim contribution of $1.5 million has been made. The federal emergency preparedness co-ordinating committee has been reviewing emergency plans and procedures to ensure that all possible federal support is provided when necessary. While the province has the ultimate responsibility for emergency operations, a co-ordinated effort by federal organizations is already under way.

The Canadian Wheat Board has taken steps to move grain out of the threatened areas. The department of fisheries in Manitoba has prepared its fleet of small boats for use by municipalities. The coast guard is doing ice assessment on the rivers.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Flooding
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The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Flooding
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LIB

Len Hopkins

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, historians have stated that Canadian nationhood was born on the battlefields of Europe. Those of us who had the privilege this past week of attending the 80th anniversary ceremonies of Canadians having captured Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917 know this to be true.

Those who fought in places like Vimy, Passchendaele and Ypres wrote Canadian history by their actions. Because of them and thousands like them, Canadians became known for their courage, their determination and their cohesiveness in helping each other both on and off the battlefield. Six first world war veterans were there representing the nearly 1,500 who are still living. Canada's youth were there.

Thank you to all the other veterans who attended and many thanks to Veterans Affairs Canada personnel who did a super job. Because of what visitors see and hear at Vimy and other locations, we as Canadians can never allow the past to become our future. We must all learn from real history.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Vimy Ridge
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LIB

Ben Serré

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it was disconcerting to say the least to see the Bloc member for Québec-Est last week on the RDI expressing concern about francophones outside Quebec as he promoted his book.

This separatist member should have given a thought first to the events at his party's last convention.

Members voted in plenary session against a resolution by which the Bloc Quebecois committed itself to, and I quote: "criticizing in specific terms the abuses and infringements of the rights of francophone and Acadian communities and promoting parallels with investments and commitments made by the Government of Quebec in these areas and thus the Quebec model in this regard".

The separatist member should first try to change attitudes within the Bloc Quebecois that have no time for francophones outside Quebec, before he tries to give lessons on the treatment of language minorities-

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Member For Québec-Est
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The Deputy Speaker

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member. The hon. member for Québec has the floor.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Member For Québec-Est
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BQ

Christiane Gagnon

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Christiane Gagnon (Québec, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, author and illustrator Michèle Lemieux has just been awarded the Grand

Prize of the Bologna book fair for her highly illustrated book entitled Nuit Blanche , published by a German firm. Nuit Blanche relates the questions of a nine year old girl who cannot get to sleep because of a storm in the night. She wonders about infinity, about what guides her life and takes it one way or another and about where her ideas come from.

The book is intended for readers between the ages of 9 and 15. It is 240 pages long in black and white and will be published this fall in French with Éditions du Seuil.

It is always refreshing to be able to give our children something besides Disney publications. We are therefore awaiting impatiently the French version of this book for our children.

The Bloc Quebecois congratulates Ms. Lemieux on her work and the international award she has received.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Michèle Lemieux
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REF

Deborah Grey

Reform

Miss Deborah Grey (Beaver River, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, old line politicians still do not get it. Canadians do not like and they do not want distinct society entrenched in the Constitution. A recent poll shows that only 34 per cent of Canadians outside Quebec think distinct society will work and will solve the national unity problem.

Any concept that appears to promote the inequality of citizens or provinces or appears to give special status to any province will be rejected. The defeat of the Meech Lake accord by the provinces and the Charlottetown accord by the people attest to that.

"A vision for the Future of Canada", the Reform Party's 20:20 proposals, promotes equality through a better balance of power between the federal government, the provinces and the people through a combination of decentralization and democratic reforms. These reforms address Quebec's concerns within the confederation.

These changes can be accomplished without federal-provincial constitutional wrangling. What is needed is a federal government that is willing to initiate them.

What part of no do these guys not understand?

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Distinct Society
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LIB

Bonnie Hickey

Liberal

Mrs. Bonnie Hickey (St. John's East, Lib.)

Madam Speaker, April 13 marks the first day of national volunteer week when communities across the country will pay tribute to their volunteers and reflect on the many ways they help individuals, organizations and causes.

On behalf of all my colleagues in the House I would like to make a special point of thanking all the volunteers who help us as MPs, whom we rely on to assist us in our offices on a daily basis and whom we will be depending on heavily in the days to come and the months to follow.

Volunteers give us more than just their time and efforts. They are responsible for getting us where we are today and we are counting on them to play a vital role in shaping our future.

As the heart and soul of our communities I would like to applaud the volunteers of our country, thank them and congratulate them on volunteer week.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Volunteers
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LIB

John Murphy

Liberal

Mr. John Murphy (Annapolis Valley-Hants, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to support our Canadian Armed Forces, particularly the personnel stationed at CFB Greenwood, 14th Wing and Camp Aldershot in my riding of Annapolis Valley-Hants.

As Canadians we are privileged to have one of the finest armed forces in the world. I have had the opportunity to meet with many of the personnel stationed in my riding and I am always struck by the high levels of professionalism and dedication they show in their work and in serving Canada. Whether through peacekeeping, search and rescue missions or military exercises, Canadians and citizens from countries around the world know they can count on the Canadian Armed Forces.

Although we have seen some negative attention focused on the armed forces in recent years, let us not forget the excellent work being done every day by our armed forces personnel.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canadian Armed Forces
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BQ

Gilles Duceppe

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Leader of the Opposition, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, a poll was released today confirming that a majority of Quebecers and Canadians feel they are worse off now than when the Liberal Party came to power in 1993.

I will remind the Prime Minister that his 1993 red book talked about a country facing hardship, with 1.6 million unemployed, millions more on welfare, a million children living below the poverty line and a record number of bankruptcies. What is the situation today? Well, there are almost as many people unemployed as in 1993, and there are still millions on welfare, more poor children and a record number of bankruptcies in 1996.

Is the Prime Minister aware that he is leaving Canada and Quebec in a worse situation than the one he described in his red book in 1993?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canadian Economy
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, everyone agrees that we have made great progress. Our interest rates, for example, are the lowest they have been in 40 years.

There is no doubt that unemployment is still too high, but the fact is that, when we formed the government, unemployment in Canada stood at 11.4 per cent, and it is now down to 9.3 per cent. This is not satisfactory, but it is enormous progress.

The Canadian economy has created 750,000 new jobs over the last four years. This is not perfect, but it is more than two, three or four European countries put together, with a total population much greater than ours.

We had a deficit of $42 billion when we first took office, and that this deficit has been cut by more than half, even exceeding the objectives we set ourselves in the red book. There is no doubt that, when you form the government, no situation is perfect and we will continue to try to make improvements. For example, we are trying to reduce poverty as much as possible. This is why, in the finance minister's last budget, and in co-operation with the provinces, we gave additional tax credits for poor families in Canada.

The work never stops. I think we have made enormous progress, but people naturally want us to do more. That is why we are continuing our efforts to improve the situation.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canadian Economy
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BQ

Gilles Duceppe

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Leader of the Opposition, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, it is the opinion of the National Council of Welfare that poverty is likely to increase in 1996 and in all subsequent years.

So when the Prime Minister talks about satisfactory results, is he aware that the situation is terrible for the public, particularly for the most disadvantaged, for women and the one million poor children in Canada?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canadian Economy
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April 14, 1997