April 21, 1997

NDP

Simon de Jong

New Democratic Party

Mr. de Jong

Mr. Speaker, the government in the red book in 1993 promised multi-year funding. What kind of long term stable funding results in hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts? How can government members face voters and claim that the red book commitment has been honoured without at least blushing?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
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LIB

Hedy Fry

Liberal

Hon. Hedy Fry (Secretary of State (Multiculturalism)(Status of Women), Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the minister announced recently that there will be stable funding for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. This is an opportunity for the CBC to start looking at how it fulfils its mandate, to look at how it does things more effectively and efficiently.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
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LIB

Jesse Flis

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of International Cooperation.

Some of my constituents are concerned about the lack of food, medicine and affordable energy in Bulgaria. The country recently elected a coalition government to replace the previous unstable communist regime. Can the minister tell me what Canada is doing to help alleviate the humanitarian instability in Bulgaria?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Bulgaria
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria (Minister for International Cooperation and Minister responsible for Francophonie, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, since 1992 the federal government has provided some $2 million of assistance to Bulgaria. As well, a few weeks ago Canada agreed to activate a $10 million untied line of credit which can be used for the purchase of, among other things, Canadian wheat and other commodities. We feel this would be truly beneficial to the people of Bulgaria. Canada has also supplied election observers to Bulgaria and we intend to continue to do so.

As of yet the Government of Bulgaria has not made an international appeal for humanitarian aid. Nevertheless we have extended the line of credit I have just described.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Bulgaria
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?

The Speaker

Colleagues, that brings to a close our question period.

It is a pleasure to welcome to our gallery a group of young Canadians who have done so much for their country.

They are young men and women who have distinguished themselves in many fields. They are talented and very hardworking young Canadians who have made a difference and they are symbols of excellence.

Please welcome the winners of the 1997 YTV Achievement Awards.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Presence In Gallery
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Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Presence In Gallery
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LIB

Marlene Catterall

Liberal

Ms. Marlene Catterall (Ottawa West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the 64th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, on the business of supply.

The work on the business of supply was undertaken by a subcommittee which I had the privilege of chairing. I want to thank the members of the subcommittee for their dedication and hard work on an issue which has very little public profile and not much more in this House but which touches on the very core of Parliament's responsibility to tell the government how and how much money it may raise and spend.

I also want to strongly recommend to the House that this report be brought to the attention of the members of the 36th Parliament for consideration. The procedure and House affairs committee has already agreed to ask House officials to draft amendments to the standing orders based on this report.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Committees Of The House
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REF

Chuck Strahl

Reform

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

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-407, an act to amend the Canada Elections Act.

Mr. Speaker, I am introducing a bill to amend the Canada Elections Act to address the situation I encountered last fall in which a private company tried to launder its corporate contributions to the Liberal Party by asking its employees to donate directly to the party and promising to reimburse the employees the full amount of their donations.

This practice hides the donations of companies which have a lot of influence with the government. It puts unethical pressure on employees who do not wish to support the political party of the company's choice and it rips off the taxpayer because donations from individuals receive higher tax exemptions than corporate donations.

Elections Canada agrees that this practice needs to be prohibited in the act and I hope to receive the support of all members for this proposal.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Canada Elections Act
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REF

Leon Benoit

Reform

Mr. Leon E. Benoit (Vegreville, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present on behalf of my constitutions.

In the first the petitioners are asking for the federal government to remove the GST and other tax on reading materials. They urge Parliament to remove the GST from books, magazines and newspapers. They ask the Prime Minister to carry out his party's repeated promise to remove federal sales taxes from reading materials.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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REF

Leon Benoit

Reform

Mr. Leon E. Benoit (Vegreville, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is from constituents who are upset with some recent court decisions on the age of consent. They are asking that the age of consent be raised to 18. They say the majority of Canadians believe that the age of consent laws are designed to control adults who want sex with minors.

Therefore the petitioners pray that Parliament will amend the Criminal Code of Canada to set the age of consent at 18, with the exception of husband-wife relationships, so as to provide protection from exploitation and abuse.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Peter Adams

Liberal

Mr. Peter Adams (Peterborough, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from almost 50 people in the riding of Peterborough who are concerned about the immigration tax.

Whereas the federal government has imposed an immigration tax of $975, whereas this tax is discriminatory with respect to perspective immigrants from developing countries where the average annual income is sometimes even less than the amount of the tax, and whereas this tax is particular odious when it applies to refugees who are among the most destitute of our immigrants, the

petitioners call on the government to appeal this immigration tax immediately, particularly in the case of refugees.

I know there have been changes in this tax very recently but even so I support this petition.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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The Acting Speaker (Mr. Milliken)

I caution hon. members not to refer to whether they support or oppose a petition.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Paul Szabo

Liberal

Mr. Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the first petition comes from Delta, B.C. The petitioners draw to the attention of the House that our police officers and firefighters place their lives at risk on a daily basis as they serve the emergency needs of all Canadians.

They also state that in many cases the families of firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty are left without sufficient financial means to meet their obligations.

The petitioners therefore pray and call on Parliament to establish a public safety officers compensation fund to receive gifts and bequests for the benefit of families of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Paul Szabo

Liberal

Mr. Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the second petition comes from my riding of Mississauga South.

The petitioners draw to the attention of the House that managing the family home and caring for preschool children is an honourable profession which has not been recognized for its value to our society.

The petitioners therefore pray and call on Parliament to pursue initiatives to assist families that choose to provide care in the home for preschool children, the chronically ill, the aged or the disabled.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Paul Szabo

Liberal

Mr. Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the final petition is from Amherst, Nova Scotia.

The petitioners draw to the attention of the House that the consumption of alcoholic beverages may cause health problems or impair one's ability, and specifically that fetal alcohol syndrome and other alcohol related birth defects are 100 per cent preventable by avoiding alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

The petitioners therefore pray and call on Parliament to enact legislation to require health warning labels to be placed on the containers of all alcoholic beverages to caution expectant mothers and other of the risk associated with alcohol consumption.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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REF

Diane Ablonczy

Reform

Mrs. Diane Ablonczy (Calgary North, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on behalf of my constituents in Calgary North requesting Parliament to affirm the duty of parents to responsibly raise their children according to their own conscience and beliefs and to retain section 43 of Canada's Criminal Code as it is currently written.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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NDP

Simon de Jong

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, I have the privilege of introducing a petition with some 1,700 signatures.

The petitioners point out that effective April 1, 1997 about 33 per cent of CBC radio and TV programming, both national and regional, will be lost. This is because of insufficient financial resources due to the Liberal Party's failure to honour its 1993 red book commitments.

Therefore the petitioners call on Parliament to immediately restore CBC funding to the promised level of financial support which existed as of January 1, 1994 so that the cutbacks and the layoffs at the CBC can be rescinded.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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LIB

Joe McGuire

Liberal

Mr. Joe McGuire (Egmont, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to present a petition on behalf of 60 of my constituents who are concerned about the GST on reading material.

The petition reads that the GST is the first federal tax in Canadian history to apply to the bible and other reading material.

Taxing reading material is unfair and wrong. Literacy and reading are critical to Canada's future. Removing the GST from reading material will help promote literacy in Canada.

Therefore the petitioners urge Parliament to remove the GST from books, magazines and newspapers.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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REF

Sharon Hayes

Reform

Mrs. Sharon Hayes (Port Moody-Coquitlam, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition dealing with section 43. I have in my hand petitions from over 175 individuals from Manitoba, 350 from the New Market-St. Catharines-Beamsville area, 25 from the Calgary area, 125 from Beamsville, Ontario, and another 25 signatures from Calgary.

These people draw to the attention of the House that section 43 recognizes the primary role of parents in raising and disciplining their children, that the federal government is under pressure from various sources including the UN to change section 43, that the removal of section 43 would strengthen the role of bureaucrats and weaken the role of parents, and that the government now continues to fund research by people opposed to its removal.

These petitioners request Parliament to affirm the duty of parents to responsibly raise their children according to their own conscience and beliefs and to retain section 43 in Canada's Criminal Code as it is currently worded.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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REF

Sharon Hayes

Reform

Mrs. Sharon Hayes (Port Moody-Coquitlam, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, as well I have a petition regarding the age of consent.

This is from 185 individuals from Maple Ridge, Burnaby and White Rock in British Columbia. These citizens call on Parliament to amend the Criminal Code of Canada to raise the age of consent for sexual activities between a young person and an adult from 14 to 16.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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April 21, 1997