September 25, 1997

LIB

Karen Redman

Liberal

Ms. Karen Redman

Mr. Speaker, I will reply to the two questions the hon. member has posed.

The city of Kitchener was able to send a mayor on team Canada to the Pacific rim. The message he brought back was the fact that people in other countries needed to have a relationship built up over time. To look for a quick turnaround and have all government policy be a bottom line ledger is not quite practical. We are looking for long term gains. It is an investment that will accrue over several years.

As far as the internal trade barriers are concerned, I mentioned in my comments about partnership. One thing that a partnership relies on is a relationship between the two parties. While we may have the federal power to impose, it is much better if we can bring the provinces along with us. We have to acknowledge that when we share a vision we have to let the partner help shape it. I have every confidence the government will get where it needs to be.

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Subtopic:   Speech From The Throne
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BQ

Ghislain Fournier

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Ghislain Fournier (Manicouagan, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, once again, I have listened carefully to what the hon. member had to say, and like all her colleagues, she did not mention the people of Quebec's interest.

I think this is important, and I wish to pursue the point, because when I came to Ottawa, to this House, I came with my head held high, because the people of Quebec elected us. We represent 60 per cent of the members from Quebec, and we have a sovereignist government in Quebec City with whom we share the same option and which holds 80 per cent of the seats there.

Those of you who believe the polls, who try to say that we are not legitimate and that the people of Quebec do not want sovereignty, are in for some surprises.

I have two questions for the member who just spoke. I would like to know if she admits that the government's legislative program denies the existence of the people of Quebec and of their culture? Does the member recognize the existence of the people of Quebec? If so, is she prepared to support the amendment presented by the leader of the Bloc Quebecois?

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Subtopic:   Speech From The Throne
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LIB

Karen Redman

Liberal

Ms. Karen Redman

Mr. Speaker, I acknowledge that one of the exciting parts of coming to the House of Parliament and this democratic process steeped in history was to be able to brush elbows with people in all parts of Canada.

My Canada includes Quebec. It is a vibrant, thriving society.

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LIB

John Bryden

Liberal

Mr. John Bryden (Wentworth—Burlington, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague from Kitchener Centre not only on her maiden speech but also on her excellent replies.

It is very difficult to come into the House and suddenly face opposition questions. It will be difficult to follow that act, as it were, but I will try to do my very best.

I will begin by commenting on the speech in reply to the Speech from the Throne by the member for Calgary Southwest, the Leader of the Opposition. I draw the attention of the House to two points he made.

He condemned the Speech from the Throne because it did not state anything about the accountability of MPs. I find this rather confusing because MPs are naturally very accountable. We are one of the most accountable people in the land simply because if the people of Canada, the electorate, do not like us or are not satisfied with us they can fire us every four or five years, or whatever the case may be. They can fire us nonetheless. The Reform Party and hopefully some of the new parties might bear that in mind.

The other point is that the member for Calgary Southwest probably meant we should be seeking more accountability from government machinery. We are all here to try to make government run better and more effectively for Canadians. One of the ways of achieving that is to strive for more accountability within government machinery, all government departments. All MPs on all sides of the House share this responsibility. We express this responsibility by the questions we pose in committee.

I spent some time on the government operations committee when we scrutinized a number of departments and found a number of flaws. Many of the flaws were due to a lack of accountability. I am quite happy to say that the search for better government was not exclusively Liberal. It was predominantly Liberal, but I was assisted by my colleagues, members of the Reform Party and the Bloc Quebecois.

As MPs we are accountable. It is the machinery of government we must scrutinize. Reform Party members certainly have no exclusivity on the desire to bring accountability to government and to reform government. Just because they have the name Reform in their party title does not mean they are the only MPs who seek reform.

The member for Calgary Southwest also criticized the Speech from the Throne because it devolved certain responsibilities that were once federal to the provinces. The member for Calgary Southwest complained this devolution was done purely for administrative means. He said that his party, were it in power, would have passed a bill and made these changes statutory. He is referring to transferring certain responsibilities for forestry, social housing, mining and several other issues to the provinces.

I remind members opposite that Ontario is experiencing the consequences of transferring power, that is the power to control the responsibility for social housing. What happens when it is given to a provincial government that does not have the same spirit of generosity and caring as the federal government?

In Ontario right now there is a controversy. The Ontario government wants to have no responsibility whatsoever for looking after the poor and the disadvantaged people in society who occupy social housing. Now it is devolving it to the municipalities.

The lesson for us is that we ought to make sure that when we transfer federal powers we transfer them in a way in which we can take them back if we need do so. That is the situation in Ontario.

More unfortunate in the remarks of the Leader of the Opposition was that he suggested transfers of responsibilities should be done by statutes. When he says that, because he is talking about provincial and federal powers, he can only mean changes to the Constitution.

All Canadians from sea to sea were fed up with attempts to change the Constitution by a previous party that I would prefer to leave nameless in the House. Canadians do not want to see tampering with the Constitution. It is the last thing Canadians want. I am absolutely amazed the Leader of the Opposition should propose going into the Constitution again.

All I can say is good luck. Look at what happened to a former Conservative prime minister.

I have to come to the Speech from the Throne.

I am sorry, but I found it a bit uninspiring. I think that the throne speech lacked eloquence and inspiration. The ideas are good, they are all good, but the speech did not have what I was looking for.

Fortunately the next day the Prime Minister spoke on the Speech from the Throne, and I found his remarks full of eloquence and ideas. I found him eloquent on the subject of the government's ideas.

I especially like the idea in the prime minister's remarks of supporting young people. I have to tell the House that I wanted to see the Speech from the Throne talk about citizenship, getting rid of the monarchy and a number of other things. Instead I found a Speech from the Throne that was directed to helping Canada's youth. One of the most important points in the prime minister's remarks was the fact that he proposed more exchanges of young people across Canada. He mentioned that when he was young he remembers sitting in kitchens in Saskatchewan, shooting pool in Newfoundland and that kind of thing.

I can relate to that because when I was young I travelled across Canada, the first time out to the Rockies, into Reform country if you will, and saw the Rocky Mountains for the first time. I was inspired. It is beautiful country. Any Reform MP who is from the Rockies or the prairies should be proud of it.

Similarly later I visited Quebec. I visited first Montreal and then Quebec City, actually right at the height of the FLQ crisis.

What I found was a unique and vibrant society, whose language I did not understand. A marvellous society. I have become a federalist with my heart in the mountains and in the province of Quebec, because of that.

I think the prime minister is right on when he said that the new Parliament and the Speech from the Throne, even though it did not express it very well, but he expressed it so much better, should be about the future generation, the new generation of Canadians, Canada's young people.

I would like to conclude with a quote. The prime minister said this part of his speech in English and so with a certain amount of pride and perhaps trepidation I will attempt to say the prime minister's words in French. Here is what he said and I do not think I could say it better.

He said:

We have built that nation and we continue to shape its elements. Our young will do so in the next century. Their architecture will be new but it will be Canadian. Greatness may have a different meaning, but it will still be Canadian.

That is the essence of the Speech from the Throne.

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Subtopic:   Speech From The Throne
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REF

Gary Lunn

Reform

Mr. Gary Lunn (Saanich—Gulf Islands, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the House the member's comments and his criticisms against the member for Calgary Southeast. He was quite critical of the member when he was referring to accountability in suggesting that he has an exclusive on accountability and suggesting that the Liberal Party can be just as accountable and its members can as well.

I would like to remind the member that it is very easy to speak of accountability but the Reform Party has an absolute exclusivity on actions when it comes to accountability. That is the only way he is going to be able to show the Canadian people accountability, through actions like giving up his pension. The Liberal Party has not come through with actions on accountability, but the Reform Party leads the way.

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Subtopic:   Speech From The Throne
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LIB

John Bryden

Liberal

Mr. John Bryden

Mr. Speaker, as an individual member I would like to refer the member opposite to some of my efforts with respect to bringing accountability to charitable organizations which, in a sense, are government organizations in the sense that they receive taxpayer dollars.

Also I think when he gains a bit more experience around here he will discover that there have been many initiatives not just among Liberal colleagues but among Reform colleagues and Bloc Quebecois colleagues that have sought better accountability in government, something we all do as MPs and we all should do as MPs or we certainly ought not to be here. I think the member for Calgary Southwest should have recognized that he was criticizing MPs as MPs rather than criticizing the government. He got a little confused there, if you will.

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BQ

Stéphan Tremblay

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Stéphan Tremblay (Lac-Saint-Jean, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, first I wish to congratulate you on your appointment. You are one of the Reform Party members with whom I have had the opportunity to work. In fact, when we worked together, it was precisely on a youth initiative program, as our colleague mentioned earlier.

What I want to ask the hon. member is whether he admits that the federal government is about to get fully involved in areas under provincial jurisdiction.

Mr. Speaker, you will remember that the national conference on youth and the new economy had young participants from everywhere, including eastern and western Canada, Quebec and other regions of the country. These people from every region of the country told us that these youth initiatives, these employment initiatives must be implemented, to the extent possible, where the problems are, namely in the regions. In other words, we must take measures that are appropriate to the specific problems of the regions.

Listening to the hon. member opposite, one gets the impression that the federal government is the saviour of the world and that the municipalities and provincial governments have no jurisdiction and are not accountable to the public. Upon reading the throne speech, one cannot help but conclude that the federal government is trying to get involved in areas under provincial jurisdiction and to enhance its visibility.

I have a question for the hon. member. What does the federal government have to gain from getting involved in areas under provincial jurisdiction?

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LIB

John Bryden

Liberal

Mr. John Bryden

Mr. Speaker, in my opinion it is simple. The federal government's most important responsibility is to help young people everywhere in the country, including those from Ontario and Quebec. This is a great and most important challenge.

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BQ

Suzanne Tremblay

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay (Rimouski—Mitis, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to start, first of all, by thanking the people of Témiscouata who supported me for three and a half years during my first term. For the information of the hon. member opposite, as a result of electoral reform, Témiscouata is now part of the riding of Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, represented by our colleague, Paul Crête.

I now wish to take this opportunity to thank the people of Rimouski—Mitis for giving me their support. Mr. Speaker, I realize you have already visited our lovely region and enjoyed the beauty of the St. Lawrence and our forests. I happen to live in one of Quebec's many beautiful regions, but this one is particularly attractive, in my opinion.

I will now comment on the Speech from the Throne. The Liberal government could have taken advantage of the initial days of this new Parliament to take some concrete action that would have shown they have a number of answers to the problems besetting Canadian and Quebec society.

Unfortunately, the government is not really working for the people. It would rather perpetuate the doctrine of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who advocated a dominating and centralizing federal government and would not recognize the identity and aspirations of the people of Quebec.

Lester B. Pearson's legacy has completely disappeared. I will remind the House that Mr. Pearson had asked that the Laurendeau-Dunton Commission recommend steps to ensure that the Canadian confederation would develop in accordance with the principle of two equal founding peoples. Those days are really gone now.

Of course, in the eyes of the Liberal government, there is no such thing as a Quebec culture. In fact, the Prime Minister once said there is only one, Canadian culture, which may be of French or English expression. The Speech from the Throne may talk about a “tolerant and highly diverse society”, but the government still fails to recognize the basic historical fact that Quebec is one of the founding peoples of this country.

I will use the rest of my time commenting on how empty this Speech from the Throne, the third one of the Chrétien years, is. It only gets worse. The vacuum is particularly noticeable in the area of cultural development. This lack of vision and commitment is sad for Quebec as well as for Canada. Quebec however has a way out: relaim all its powers and achieve sovereignty in a hurry.

During the 35th Parliament, the government demonstrated that culture was not one of its major concerns. It contented itself with micro-managing seriously reduced budgets. In addition to cutting back funding, it did nothing to encourage culture. It has taken the relentless efforts of the Bloc Quebecois to persuade the Liberals finally to bring in copyright reform.

In its speech, the government says it wants to make it possible for Canadian culture to reach audiences abroad. We can only hope that this intention will take the form of support for creators and cultural industries. We do not want to see a repeat of last year's attempts to force artists to promote Canadian unity, or to judge projects on the basis of political rather than artistic criteria, or to require artists to pay a visit to the member for Verdun, whom they did not know and had never met, in order to collect their cheque.

The government speaks proudly of our films. What it should do is conduct an in-depth review of Telefilm Canada's film policy, which was seriously criticized in an internal report. One of the things this report mentions is an overall lack of funding—cuts of $84 million do not go unnoticed in a budget—as well as shortcomings in marketing, and distribution problems. Telefilm Canada has its work cut out for it.

If the government truly wants to reflect social and linguistic diversity, it should stop censoring artistic projects that deal with the history or culture of Quebec, as it did with Pierre Falardeau's plans for a film about the life of the Patriot Delorimier, entitled Le 15 février 1839 .

The most vital criterion should be script quality. The decision making process ought to be free of any conflict of interest or political partisanship, which was not the case with Mr. Falardeau's production, as we now have all the evidence we need to prove.

The government is boasting about the quality of our books, yet it refused to listen to our suggestions when the Bloc Quebecois came to the defence of the publishing industry. If the government still does nothing in this area, fewer and fewer books with Canadian content will be published, because our entire industry will have been sold out to the Americans. In this area, the anglophone culture is more vulnerable than the francophone.

The government must react to the World Trade Organization decision on split runs of American periodicals. The Minister of Heritage had, moreover, made a commitment to present a plan in support of the magazine publishing industry as soon as Parliament reconvened. Is she going to stick to that campaign promise, or will she be forced to resign a second time? Watch for the next instalment.

The Minister of Heritage will need to find ways of supporting the periodicals and scientific and cultural periodicals which are being seriously threatened by the reduced postal subsidy and the changes in its rules. I must point out that, in this area, there is a particular threat to specialized French language periodicals, given their limited market.

In the Speech from the Throne, there is also a reference to videos. If the government really wants to develop this industry and encourage creativity, it must immediate review the Copyright Act, for the audiovisual sector was excluded from the recent revision of that legislation. A guarantee of receiving the revenues generated by their work would be the best way to stimulate creators and craftspeople in this area of cultural activity.

In the same vein, the $45 million in cuts made by the Liberal government have resulted in the National Film Board's virtually abandoning its assistance to independent film making, and this particularly jeopardizes the careers of the young film and video makers who represent the future of their industry.

We read in the Speech from the Throne that the government, and I quote “will provide increased support to the Canada Council”. Now that is really playing with words to mislead us in this area too. Here as elsewhere, the government will probably be content to give back some of the funding it cut in the past. There will have to be a number of years of Liberal generosity before the Canada Council returns to the level of funding it enjoyed before the Liberals came to power. As Liberal spending power is legendary, the government will announce straight faced and glowing with pride the ever increasing budget of the Canada Council.

Regarding the information highway, the government talks of the urgency of making Canada “the most connected nation in the world”. We have seen how that could help in consultations on certain declarations, because a number of provinces are contemplating using the connection from Industry Canada. Being “connected” is a praiseworthy objective. However, the Speech from the Throne makes no mention of the promise of the second red book to create a $15 million multimedia fund and fails to act on the recommendation of the advisory committee on the information highway that a $50 million, and not $15 million, fund be set up. Will the Minister of Industry be the only one overseeing Canada's information highway, disregarding its cultural and education sides? This is another subject to follow.

We read in the speech that “A connected nation is more than wires, cables and computers”. What a discovery. “It is a nation in which citizens have access to the skills and knowledge they need”. We agree. This is why the Bloc Quebecois has insisted for nearly four years now on the need to develop francophone content for the information highway.

There are gaping holes in this speech. In their first red book, the Liberals were committed to stable multi-year financing for the CBC. Every budget in the past four years has broken this promise, and the corporation has had to absorb $350 million in cuts. Should we be alarmed by the fact that the speech does not mention the CBC? When it was promised stable financing, it actually got cuts. This time, it is not even mentioned. Does this mean that its financing will be maintained, cut, or that it will again benefit from the government's largesse? On this, we will have to wait and see.

Is the government finally going to give equal treatment to the French and the English networks? At present, one hour of programming costs on average $37,500 on the English network and $18,390 on the French network. The government should stop treating francophones as second class citizens, and set up two autonomous corporations with equivalent budgets based on the same cost per hour of programming.

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Subtopic:   Speech From The Throne
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LIB

Pierre Pettigrew

Liberal

Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew

Per hour of programming?

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BQ

Suzanne Tremblay

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay

Yes, sir.

Before the last federal election, the health minister promised amendments to the tobacco control bill to allow sponsorship of sporting events. Since there is no mention of this in the throne speech, are we to understand that the government has already forgotten its promise? What will happen to cultural events in danger of losing their sponsors as a result of this bill? At issue is the potential loss of some $30 million in economic benefits these major cultural and sporting events generate in Quebec, mainly in Montreal. Is the Liberal government once again going to abandon the cultural sector?

One of the few promising aspects of this speech is the federalist propaganda campaign. We are told they are going to rev it up as we approach the new millennium.

After announcing that it will cut health, education and social assistance programs by another $42 billion by the year 2001, the government introduces new programs in areas of provincial jurisdiction so that it can mail directly to Canadians cheques emblazoned with a nice red maple leaf. The government is not interested in how useful or effective these programs will be. What matters to the government is to be visible with its flag.

It must be noted that on July 1, the government did not hesitate to take down our flag from our Parliament to replace it with the Queen's standard to show how dominated we are.

Where does this idea of visibility over effectiveness come from? Again it comes from Pierre Elliott Trudeau, who wrote in a 1967 book entitled Federalism and the French Canadians , and I quote: “One way of offsetting the appeal of separatism is by investing tremendous amounts of time, energy and money in nationalism, at the federal level. A national image must be created that will have such an appeal as to make any image of a separatist group unattractive”.

The Liberals are obviously inspired by this ideology. Contrary to what we heard in previous throne speeches, there is no question of working with the provinces to improve the federation. Now the only thing that matters to the government is to create an image, an illusion. While people are getting poorer and poorer and while the government refuses to recognize Quebec's identity, it will create the illusion of wealth and the illusion of the acceptation of Quebec by the outstretched hand that actually just wants to crush us and bring us down to our knees.

We must remember that the money we receive is our own money. It comes from our taxes. The federal government does not have a penny. It gets its money from the Canadian taxpayers and does not own it, although it may think it does. The federal government can start spending once again only because it keeps on cutting social programs and transfers to provinces and because it diverts the unemployment insurance fund from its intended purpose. The money belongs to us and not to the government. It wants to use it to serve its own interests and improve its visibility, not to ensure our development.

The Bloc Quebecois will never stop calling for the federal government to stop useless and unwarranted spending for propaganda purposes. You will be surprised when we reveal these figures. The sums are really huge. The amounts recovered in these ways should be spent on cultural activities and on promoting freedom of artistic expression.

I can tell you right away that the Canadian heritage minister will soon cheer when she learns that her government has raised her budget by 3 percent. Beware. Take a good look at Statistics Canada's figures. You will see, in black and white, that the increase went to operating expenditures and capital expenditures and that it was used for severance packages given to employees laid off by the department and its agencies and not for the promotion of cultural endeavour.

In fact, transfers to artists and cultural organizations have dropped by more than 5 percent. The only new expenditures will be similar to those made by Heritage Canada over the past 15 months for billboards and flags.

In concluding, the strategies contained in the Speech from the Throne are basically aimed at restoring the tarnished reputation of this federal government and giving it a semblance of relevance. This the government intends to do by using money cut from transfers to the provinces for health, education and welfare and money saved at the expense of ordinary citizens: the unemployed, workers, seasonal workers, the sick, students and welfare recipients.

Instead of concentrating on rebuilding what it had destroyed, the federal government has embarked on new intrusions in areas under provincial jurisdiction. It is triumphant, carefully disguising the fact that we can expect at least $42 billion more in cuts between now and the year 2001.

Concealment is definitely the name of the game for this government. However, Quebecers are nobody's fool. When the time comes for them to determine their future, they will realize there is no risk involved in having one own's country and being sovereign, in exchanging the maple leaf for a fleur de lys, since all the money will stay in Quebec and be used to meet their own needs.

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Subtopic:   Speech From The Throne
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LIB

Dan McTeague

Liberal

Mr. Dan McTeague (Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge, Lib.)

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for recognizing me. I am pleased to have a new riding. I want also to begin by complimenting you on your elevation to that very wonderful post. I hope that we are able to see many more of these emotional discussions.

Instead of ranting and raving for the benefit of the cameras, instead of turning this into a public circus and saying things like the federal government is destroying something it has built, perhaps the hon. member would entertain a constructive suggestion. How about starting on a policy, a movement for the purpose of building a good country, a country like Canada, the best country in the world to live in.

I was interested in the hon. member's comments to the effect that she was very worried about cultural problems. We all know that people who work in the cultural industries, especially in certain provinces, have a political agenda. I am not particularly interested in all that. My interest extends to the work I did in committee last year. The hon. member was on the same committee.

There was $600 million from the cable operators' production fund. We were able to discuss how to use that money, and distribute it to people working in cultural industries.

I find it quite depressing, today, when some talk of not supporting francophones while others speak of preserving their culture in other provinces, to hear the position taken by members of the Bloc Quebecois, including the member who has just spoken. Such a position goes totally against the interests of francophones in Ontario, it is totally divisive, it divides the country and makes things even more difficult for people like me who fight for the preservation of their language outside Quebec.

You are not the only ones who speak French. I find your position interesting, though it does constitute a shift. I find not only depressing but sad that they do not realize the harm they are doing to others, outside Quebec, who do not share their interests.

I would like the member to respond to that, if she can.

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BQ

Suzanne Tremblay

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay

The hon. member opposite has some nerve, Mr. Speaker.

First, I suggest he reread my speech over at leisure. He will realize, after reading his own remarks, that he did not understand what I said. I have never said that we were the only francophones—

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LIB
BQ

Suzanne Tremblay

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay

Mr. Speaker, would you ask the minister to be quiet? He is carrying on.

I think this is an important point. We never claimed to be the only ones who speak French in Canada. I never said such a thing.

We have followed with interest the situation in Ontario. We have seen what happened with Montfort Hospital. We have seen Mrs. Lalonde resign from her position as chair of S.O.S. Montfort. Why? Because the City of Vanier voted in favour of partition. Realizing what they had done after Mrs. Lalonde's resignation, they said: “Oops, this might have been a mistake after all; we will reconsider”.

So they reconsidered their position and decided it was such a mistake to support partition that now Vanier would almost go as far as to support Quebec's sovereignty. You know, the hon. member opposite is in no position to criticize us. He used to be the member for Ontario; that was easy enough to remember, but I forget what his new riding is called.

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?

An hon. member

Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge.

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BQ

Suzanne Tremblay

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay

There is “Ajax” in there and, to me, that is stuff used to clean the sink.

Topic:   Government Orders
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?

Some hon. members

Ha, ha.

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BQ

Suzanne Tremblay

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay

That is the kind of trick I will use to remember the name of his riding in future.

Naturally, we all have our own personality. I for one am a passionate person. He should watch the program on the French network of the CBC this evening, at 7.30 p.m. He would get to know me better because tonight is about who I am really, behind the image. This is an invitation. However, he will realize that I am a passionate person, and I am not about to set this aspect of my personality aside just because it does not please the Liberals. If there is something I intend to do, it is to show passion in this House.

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LIB

Eugène Bellemare

Liberal

Mr. Eugène Bellemare (Carleton—Gloucester, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to comment on the speech by the hon. member for Rimouski—Mitis. First, I must congratulate her for a very passionate and good speech, in which she defends culture.

The hon. member has always been known to defend culture and I congratulate her for doing so. However, in her enthusiasm, she is wearing blinkers and is too focused on herself, on what she calls the people of Quebec. When she talks about the two founding nations, she talks about Quebec. She forgets the francophones from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and even Yukon.

When the hon. member refers to us, francophones from outside Quebec, it is always in a negative way and I deplore that. I do not think she does it out of malice but, rather, out of separatist idealism to try to make a point. She should instead encourage francophones outside Quebec and show what is happening among French Canadians.

The hon. member talked about Quebec's culture. There is a French Canadian culture. There are many cultivated people in Quebec. There is a thriving culture, but francophones living outside Quebec also contribute to that culture.

When she talks about the francophonie, I wish the member for Rimouski—Mitis would include francophones outside Quebec as well as those in Quebec in Canada's French-speaking community. Together, we can make Canada an even better place, with a strong, thriving Quebec in an even greater country and in a world in which we can be proud of our dynamic culture, since the hon. member is always raising the issue of culture. Perhaps I should commend her for her interest in this matter.

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September 25, 1997