April 3, 1998

REF

Peter Goldring

Reform

Mr. Peter Goldring (Edmonton East, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, members of Canada's armed forces have paid with their lives and health in service to our great country. How well we attend to our veterans' concerns is a measure of our national conscience and is the expression of the will of our nation. Some of our veterans' concerns still sit, as they have for over 50 years, gathering dust as we prepare to leave for another two week break.

Hong Kong veterans' enslavement compensation by Japan has not been resolved despite assurances. Merchant navy requests for full war veteran status have not been given in spite of recognition by other allied countries. Our gulf war veterans suffer ailments of the gulf war syndrome which has not been recognized as an official disease.

Most of these issues have existed for over 50 years. Most of the veterans have little time left to enjoy restitution. The veterans of Canada want our government to listen now and not later. Our veterans' concerns should not be a new millennium project.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canadian Armed Forces
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LIB

George Proud

Liberal

Mr. George Proud (Hillsborough, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the 1998 NORAD Top Scope air control competition was held on March 31 at Tyndell Air Force Base in Florida, involving American and Canadian personnel. I am proud to note the impressive performance of two Canadian members.

Corporal John Lynch of 22 Wing North Bay, a native of Dartmouth, won the title of Best Weapons Director Technician following six days of intense competition.

Captain John Woodbeck, a native of Peterborough, won the title of Best Airborne Warning and Control System Surveillance Officer following fierce competition from his Canadian and American peers.

NORAD is respected worldwide for its radar technology, but the utility and performance of this technology is only as good as the experts controlling it. That is why this biennial competition is so important.

Again I salute these two men on behalf of all Canadians and congratulate the armed forces for continuing to produce such high calibre personnel.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Norad
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BQ

Gilles-A. Perron

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gilles-A. Perron (Saint-Eustache—Sainte-Thérèse, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, 30 years ago General Charles de Gaulle visited Quebec and shouted his famous “Vive le Québec libre” from the balcony of Montreal's city hall. France will be issuing a commemorative medal, which was unveiled at a ceremony at Institut de France.

Originally, the plan was for France to issue not a medal but a commemorative stamp. However, pressured by the English-speaking majority, the Prime Minister of Canada phoned French President Jacques Chirac and stopped the project. Such interference is absolutely outrageous.

We are pleased with the French initiative. In the words of Pierre-Louis Mallen, president of the association for the commemoration of the general's historic visit, “Fewer medals will be awarded, but they will last much longer. Thanks to this medal, people will still remember General De Gaulle's visit to Quebec a hundred years from now.”

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   General Charles De Gaulle
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LIB

Beth Phinney

Liberal

Ms. Beth Phinney (Hamilton Mountain, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the theme of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine's open house in Toronto tomorrow is “The Road To Wellness”.

This college offers Canada's only four year full time program, educating doctors of naturopathic medicine, the integration of scientific knowledge with traditional healing wisdom.

Naturopathic doctors use non-evasive therapies such as clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathic Oriental medicine, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, lifestyle counselling and prevention to assist the whole person in maximizing the body's inherent self-healing capacity.

The tremendous increase in enrolment in the college reflects the increasing demand for naturopathic doctors in Canada. We wish the college a very successful open house.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canadian College Of Naturopathic Medicine
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REF

Diane Ablonczy

Reform

Mrs. Diane Ablonczy (Calgary—Nose Hill, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, the Canada pension plan is $485 billion in debt and rising. To repay this debt the government has decided to tax young Canadians through premiums that are over two times what they should be. Canadians know that it is unfair to place so much of the burden of past Liberal mistakes on future generations. Many measures will be required to remedy the financing problems of the CPP.

The Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce has proposed some measures that would help, the most important of which is that the limit on the CPP investment fund to invest in a diverse international portfolio be raised from the current 20% to 30% over five years.

Why did our finance minister turn his back on this sensible proposal, one that would have increased the fund's performance by as much as 1.5% per year? Why does our finance minister turn his back on future generations, many too young to vote or even to speak for themselves?

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canada Pension Plan
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LIB

Nick Discepola

Liberal

Mr. Nick Discepola (Vaudreuil—Soulanges, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, this morning I am calling upon all the sovereignists to dissociate themselves as quickly as possible from the words used by one of their group, the president of the Montreal Saint-Jean-Baptiste society. Guy Bouthillier is calling for the creation of a media monitoring agency to ensure fair coverage of the views expressed during the next referendum campaign.

Words like this are not only evidence of a form of total intolerance, they are also a perfect example of undemocratic behaviour that is both threatening and worrisome to the quality of life of citizens in a sovereign Quebec.

This sovereignist notion was also in the air during the 1970s. The Parti Quebecois government of the day had to move quickly to dissociate itself from it.

One might have expected the leader of the Bloc Quebecois to stand up at the first opportunity in order to speak out against such remarks coming from a sovereignist with whom he has crossed paths on numerous occasions, but there has not been so much as a peep out of him since these shocking words by Guy Bouthillier.

The silence from the sovereignists is a source of concern.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste
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NDP

Yvon Godin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Yvon Godin (Acadie—Bathurst, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, the situation in Cape Breton is becoming desperate. Today more layoffs were announced at the Cape Breton Development Corporation in addition to the more than 500 men who are already off the job.

The government says there is no Devco without Phalen, so Devco is now on a 15 month plan.

This government denied the 15 month plan existed and it denied that the cabinet memo existed.

Why will the government not be honest with Cape Bretoners and tell them that, yes, the government has failed to make Devco commercially viable and is now in the process of pulling the plug on industrial Cape Breton?

Honestly, that is all we are looking for. Is that too much for the people of Cape Breton to ask?

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Devco
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LIB

Ivan Grose

Liberal

Mr. Ivan Grose (Oshawa, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I wish to recognize a group of students from my riding who are in Ottawa today. These students are members of O'Neill Collegiate's intermediate chamber choir. Members who saw and heard them yesterday as they performed in the rotunda will acknowledge that they are fine.

O'Neill Collegiate bands and choirs have represented Oshawa and Durham region at music festivals and concerts across Canada and in Europe. One of the reasons for this recognition is the efforts made by their teachers to provide their students with outstanding quality opportunities to work with the best clinicians and hear the finest ensembles on the continent.

I am proud to tell the House that in Oshawa we not only make the finest cars in the world, we also turn out quality people.

We were not sure whether the O'Neill choir could be here because its fame has spread even to Ottawa. They were invited to perform at Gloucester High School.

To the members of this House I present some of the finest young people in this country from Oshawa.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   O'Neill Collegiate Choir
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PC

Scott Brison

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Scott Brison (Kings—Hants, PC)

Mr. Speaker, last month Nova Scotia lost one of its favourite sons, Rob Thompson. Rob was 23 years old when he died of cystic fibrosis in a North Carolina hospital on March 17.

I first met Rob when I was a student at Dalhousie University, working as a lunch monitor at LaMarchant School where he was a student. Even then his optimism and his sense of humour were very evident. These were the traits that helped him in the face of adversity. His long fight with CF did not stop Rob from contributing to Halifax, Nova Scotia and to Canada as a student, an athlete, a journalist and, most importantly, a leader. In the words of Rob himself, “The more you put into life, the more you get out”.

On behalf of this House I would like to express our sincere condolences to Rob's family, his friends and his community.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Late Rob Thompson
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LIB

Stan Dromisky

Liberal

Mr. Stan Dromisky (Thunder Bay—Atikokan, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of the Environment announced an action plan to manage toxic substances released from the electric power generation sector. This plan is the result of consultations with key stakeholders, including the industry, the provinces and environmental groups.

The action plan includes the development of environmental standards and performance agreements with the provinces and the utilities in order to reduce the release of toxic substances from the sector.

The action plan will reduce emissions of harmful particulate matter and toxic metals from oil and coal fired power plants by more than 100,000 tonnes annually by the year 2003. This represents a reduction of up to 85% of total emissions from the electrical power generating sector.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Environment
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REF

Jason Kenney

Reform

Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Supreme Court of Canada launched an unprecedented attack on democracy and on our constitutional order in what can only be described as an exercise of raw judicial power.

In the name of the charter of rights and freedoms the court ruled that Albertans do not have the right or freedom to govern themselves. In the name of the Constitution the unaccountable justices created a law that had been explicitly rejected by Alberta's elected officials and they did so basing this judgment on a right that cannot be found in the Constitution and one which was explicitly rejected by this parliament and the legislatures when the charter of rights was ratified.

In the name of protecting basic rights, the court has violated the rights of people to freely associate around common values in a private religious institution.

The Vriend decision was not about interpreting the Constitution. It was not about protecting rights. It was about unelected and unaccountable justices taking upon themselves the position of elected legislators and legislating from the bench.

Abraham Lincoln said that the candid citizen must confess that if—

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Human Rights
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?

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Laurentides.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Human Rights
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BQ

Monique Guay

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, when the former Conservative leader announced he was in the running for the leadership of the Quebec Liberal Party, he said he was ”fed up with the endless squabbles cultivated and maintained by the sovereignist leaders, which are sapping our energies”.

Between 1960 and the present, the sovereignists have been in power about 12 years and the federalists more than 25. Did Fulton-Favreau fail because of the “nasty separatists”? Did Victoria fail because of the “nasty separatists”? Was the 1982 patriation and Pierre Elliott Trudeau's rejection of the Quebec Liberal beige book the fault of the “nasty separatists”? Were the failures of Meech and Charlottetown the fault of the “nasty separatists”?

If we have been up to our ears in squabbles since 1960, this is because the federalists are incapable of getting along together. That is why the only solution left is sovereignty.

The former Conservative leader claims he is going to succeed where all those before him have failed. We are anxious to know exactly how he will go about this, because at the moment we are simply faced with a big black hole.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Member For Sherbrooke
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REF

Preston Manning

Reform

Mr. Preston Manning (Leader of the Opposition, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, the health minister has used the word “compassion” dozens of times this week when he was asked why he abandoned thousands of hepatitis C victims.

The arguments he advances for justifying the government's position are legal arguments, accounting arguments and political arguments. There is no real compassion in either the government's position or in the minister's deeds.

Where is the compassion in abandoning tens of thousands of victims of poisoned blood who were infected through government negligence?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hepatitis C
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LIB

Herb Gray

Liberal

Hon. Herb Gray (Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the government does have compassion. The government is concerned. It is expressing its compassion and concern in a practical way by putting forward $800 million aimed at helping tens of thousands of victims of this tragic situation.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hepatitis C
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REF

Preston Manning

Reform

Mr. Preston Manning (Leader of the Opposition, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, it is a reflection on compassion. Just a few weeks ago this is what the health minister was saying to victims of poisoned blood.

He said “We have to remember what this is about. It is not about fiscal federalism. It is not about politics. It is about providing compassionate and fair and appropriate compensation to people who were injured through no fault of their own and we have to keep our eye on that goal”.

Why did the health minister take his eye off that goal?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hepatitis C
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LIB

Allan Rock

Liberal

Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Health, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, all governments in the country that worked together on this difficult problem kept their eye on the goal of doing the right thing in accordance with sound public policy. All governments, all ministers of health, worked together toward showing compassion as the Deputy Prime Minister has said.

We have now created an offer of $1.1 billion for the direct benefit of over 22,000 victims of this tragedy. That, in the judgment of every government in the country of every political stripe, is the appropriate response to this tragedy.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hepatitis C
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REF

Preston Manning

Reform

Mr. Preston Manning (Leader of the Opposition, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, there used to be a day when ministers would actually resign rather than violate the principles.

If the health minister actually believes that this decision should have been based on compassion and morality rather than on legal or accounting arguments, why did he not go in to the Prime Minister and say “these are the principles I am committed to. If you can't accept them and if the cabinet can't accept them, then find someone else to do your dirty work?”

If the minister is really committed to compassion and morality, why did he not resign rather than violate those principles?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hepatitis C
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LIB

Herb Gray

Liberal

Hon. Herb Gray (Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, is the Leader of the Opposition saying that Premier Ralph Klein of Alberta lacks compassion and morality when he said about this deal, referring to Premier Clark of British Columbia, “Without wanting to sound critical of Premier Clark, it seems to be sort of late in the game to start to change the rules and to express concerns?”

Is he saying that Premier Klein of Alberta lacks compassion?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hepatitis C
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REF

Grant Hill

Reform

Mr. Grant Hill (Macleod, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, during the health minister's meetings with victims of hepatitis C he said that he would be their guardian. He said in fact that he would be their champion.

Today those victims ended up here on Parliament Hill and the minister somehow did not meet them. They ended up pounding white crosses into the lawn in front of his office to tell him what they think of him.

Did the minister fail to meet with those victims because he is ashamed to look them in the eye?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Hepatitis C
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April 3, 1998