May 13, 1999

REF

Rob Anders

Reform

Mr. Rob Anders (Calgary West, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the St. Andrew Caledonian Society to ask for recognition of Tartan Day every year on April 6.

April 6 has special significance, for on that day in 1320 Scottish nobles gathered in the Abbey of Arbroath and pledged to defend their land from persecution and foreign dominance.

Swearing even to cast aside their King, Robert the Bruce, if he should falter from the principles of self-determination and freedom, this declaration is one of the earliest expressions of the rights of humanity to a peaceful, productive and secure life.

From the first contracts granted in Nova Scotia, or New Scotland, in 1621 to the present day, the Scots have played a major role in the founding of this nation.

The declaration of April 6 as Tartan Day will recognize not only the events of history in supporting the right of people to be free from oppression, but will also recognize the significant contributions of the Scottish people in the exploration and foundations of Canada.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Tartan Day
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LIB

Roy Cullen

Liberal

Mr. Roy Cullen (Etobicoke North, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, this is National Mining Week, a time when we recognize the major contributions of Canada's minerals and metals industry to our quality of life.

With its some 1,500 mining and exploration companies in over 100 countries, Canada is a recognized world leader in the sustainable production of metals and minerals.

We rank among the world's top five producers for some 16 major mineral commodities. Canada's industry is environmentally friendly, socially responsible and a major user of high tech products and services.

The mining industry currently offers highly specialized jobs to women and men throughout Canada, especially in its remote and rural regions.

Last year the Canadian minerals and metals industry contributed over $26 billion to our economy, employed more than 360,000 Canadians and generated some $45 billion in export earnings for Canada.

I invite hon. members to join with me in celebrating the accomplishments of this important sector and to salute the men and women who have helped to make the Canadian mining industry a world leader.

LÉGENDES FANTASTIQUES

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Mining Week
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BQ

Pauline Picard

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Pauline Picard (Drummond, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, last Friday evening at the annual Quebec tourism award gala where the Grands Prix du tourisme québécois were handed out, the gold Lauréat national award in the category of tourist development and innovation went to Drummondville's Légendes fantastiques .

In its first season, this production involved the efforts of 300 volunteers, 150 of them as extras, and entertained a total audience of 43,000. This is one more example of the artistic contribution to the already exceptional economic boom in our region.

On behalf of my fellow citizens, I would like to thank all those who took part in this outstanding production, whether behind the scenes or in the spotlight. I would invite everyone to drop by Drummondville this summer and enjoy Légendes fantastiques in its second season.

My congratulations to its directors, and best wishes for a good summer.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Drummondville's
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LIB

Sheila Finestone

Liberal

Hon. Sheila Finestone (Mount Royal, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the first meeting of state parties to implement the convention on the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel land mines and on their destruction took place last week in Mozambique.

Tribute was paid to those countries which spearheaded this humanitarian security cause and Canada was noted for its courage of true leadership.

Experience warns us that it can take decades to remove these life destroying mines once conflicts have ended. I have seen firsthand the excruciatingly labour intensive procedure that demining entails, prodding every square metre of soil 600 to 700 times. There are tens of millions of these mines to remove worldwide.

Casualties in war are 80% civilian. Too many are land mine victims, even after conflict ends.

We must free this world of these abominable, evil weapons so that we can limit the suffering of civilians, make the world a safer place and enable those affected areas to become liveable and productive once again.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Land Mines
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REF

Diane Ablonczy

Reform

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

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to wish Canada's next astronaut a successful voyage.

Julie Payette, Canada's newest star in the sky, will blast off on May 20 in the space shuttle Discovery , bound for the new international space station.

A mission specialist, Julie will be using her engineering and technical skills to assist in building the new orbiting facility. She will be part of a crew of seven who will add a pair of cargo doors to the station as it orbits 400 kilometres above the earth.

Julie, a native Montrealer, is a most outstanding individual. An award winning engineer who speaks several languages, an accomplished classical soprano, an athlete, a trained jet pilot and a sparkling personality, she exemplifies the best that Canada has to offer.

I say good luck and bon voyage.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Julie Payette
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LIB

Lou Sekora

Liberal

Mr. Lou Sekora (Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, once again the Reformer on the opposite side has his facts all wrong.

This week the member for Dewdney—Alouette incorrectly stated that I asked for an audit of the RCMP. That is hogwash.

The fact is that it was the mayors of the greater Vancouver regional district who requested the audit.

I have a suggestion for the member for Dewdney—Alouette. He should form a new party that is neither Reform nor the united alternative. He should be the founding member of the huff and puff party.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Royal Canadian Mounted Police
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NDP

Bev Desjarlais

New Democratic Party

Ms. Bev Desjarlais (Churchill, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, nurses recognize their part in creating and maintaining quality health care.

Nurses traditionally and even today are predominately female. As a result, they have had to fight for wages that truly reflect the value of the service they provide.

Nurses are not personal care hostesses, as Premier Ralph Klein suggested a few years ago. They are professionals, dedicated and committed to the well-being of human kind.

Nurses everywhere have been made to suffer as a result of government cuts to health care. They suffer from workload fatigue and are stressed from worry over how to deliver quality care with limited resources. They are denied job and economic security by the casualization of nursing positions. Is it any wonder we are facing a nursing shortage?

Governments and employers have a responsibility to foster environments and work conditions that promote a quality of life for nurses. That is a sure way of increasing entrants into nursing programs, of enticing nurses back into the profession, of recruiting nurses and, finally, of retaining nurses.

Let us begin to repair the damages by offering nurses decent wages and working conditions.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canadian Nurses
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BQ

Francine Lalonde

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Francine Lalonde (Mercier, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, we were saddened yesterday to learn of the untimely death of Mr. Marcel Pépin, ombudsman for the CBC French network.

After an illustrious career at Le Droit , La Presse and Le Soleil , Marcel Pépin gained still more recognition as the first chairman of the Commission d'accès à l'information du Québec.

After heading Radio-Canada's radio news services, he went on to become vice-president of French-language radio, and then ombudsman in 1997.

Just recently, Ombudsman Marcel Pépin gained attention for his painstaking report in response to a complaint against Radio-Canada by the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada concerning the events surrounding the Asia-Pacific summit in Vancouver.

Marcel Pépin was passionately interested in politics and an independent soul. He was a staunch and untiring defender of the freedom to inform and the right to be informed, as well as a great believer in the importance of maintaining a relationship of independence and non-interference between journalists and those in power.

Marcel Pépin, you will be greatly missed.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Late Marcel Pépin
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LIB

Raymonde Folco

Liberal

Ms. Raymonde Folco (Laval West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, this week, the Canadian and Quebec governments met and put aside their old jurisdictional quarrels to properly welcome Kosovar refugees.

For over a month now, these refugees have been experiencing the pain of having been forced out of their homes, villages and homeland. Deprived of shelter and exhausted, thousands of people still managed to reach refugee camps. Canada then invited some of them to settle here, and quickly provided humanitarian and material assistance.

This week, the Quebec government announced the concrete measures that it will take to welcome Kosovar refugees. These efforts on the part of the Canadian and Quebec governments make all Quebeckers proud.

We wish a warm welcome to these women, men and children, and we hope they can resume a normal life here, in peace and serenity, while waiting to go back to Kosovo.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Kosovar Refugees
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PC

Diane St-Jacques

Progressive Conservative

Ms. Diane St-Jacques (Shefford, PC)

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, I am pleased to recognize Quebec family week.

The purpose of this week, whose theme is “My family, my roots: a lifelong strength”, is to invite Quebeckers from all origins to celebrate the strength of their family network, to renew privileged relations with their close ones, and to cultivate family spirit.

In this international year of older persons, let us rediscover the value of intergenerational contacts and relations. Whether we are talking about adoptive or natural families, the family remains a powerful lever, an infallible denominator to which we go back at one time or another during our life, to find strength, love and support, and to give back some meaning to our life.

I encourage all families to celebrate the strength and richness of the family unit, and I hope that this week will be one of harmony, mutual support and solidarity between generations.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Quebec Family Week
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LIB

Ted McWhinney

Liberal

Mr. Ted McWhinney (Vancouver Quadra, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce the election of Milton Wong as Chancellor of Simon Fraser University. He is the first Canadian of Asian origins to be elected to that post. He follows closely Bob Lee, who recently completed his mandate as Chancellor of the University of British Columbia.

Milton Wong's career as an investment counsellor, a founder of the Laurier Institute, Science World, the Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival and the World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention has involved co-operative action with all of Vancouver's cultural communities.

His election as chancellor reflects the values of cultural diversity and the creative dynamism of the new pluralistic society that has emerged in British Columbia.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Milton Wong
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?

The Speaker

I have been requested to save the last statement for one of our colleagues, the member for Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Milton Wong
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NDP

Chris Axworthy

New Democratic Party

Mr. Chris Axworthy (Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, with these, my last words in this House, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the constituents of Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, and before that Saskatoon—Clark's Crossing, and the hundreds of workers in election campaigns who granted me the privilege of being a member of the House for almost 11 years. It truly has been a privilege to be one of the 301 members who come here to serve the people of Canada.

I also extend my thanks to the House of Commons support staff, people like Tom, J. P. and Ray, who really make this place work, to my own staff over the years, and to my present staff, Mike, Adrian, Doris and Erika, in particular.

I thank members on all sides of the House for their many courtesies over the years and for their many friendships.

Lastly, I want to thank you, Mr. Speaker, and each and every member of the House for the privilege of working with them, as we all, each in our own way, strive to make Canada an even better place in which to live.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Resignation Of Member
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REF

Deborah Grey

Reform

Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, drunk driving kills thousands of Canadians every year, twice as many as homicides. Thousands more are injured. Yet the government is introducing only half measures to deal with this tragedy.

Reports indicate that the government is against the police using hand held sensors to detect drunk drivers. Apparently it would rather stick to the good old usual smell your breath, walk a straight line approach that is not exactly science.

Why is the justice minister against police using this reliable tool to fight drunk driving?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Impaired Driving
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LIB

Anne McLellan

Liberal

Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member undoubtedly is aware, the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights has been studying the issue of impaired driving for some time.

In fact I anticipate a thoughtful and detailed report in which members of the official opposition have participated. When I receive that report I will review it and I will respond.

As I said earlier in this week in the House, all of us understand the scourge of impaired driving and we will do what we can to prevent it.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Impaired Driving
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REF

Deborah Grey

Reform

Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, studying and reports will not save lives. We are going into summer and we know that is a horrible time for carnage on our roads with drunk driving.

Unless the government acts now we will probably continue to see the death rate rising as a result of drunk drivers. There is no time for political delay. We need tougher laws now. We have studied and we have reported long enough.

Will the justice minister commit now to passing new tough anti-drunk driving legislation before the House rises for the summer?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Impaired Driving
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LIB

Anne McLellan

Liberal

Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as I have already indicated on this matter, I await the report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

I understand members of the official opposition have been working on this report. I actually think it would be somewhat contemptuous of me today to pre-empt the work of that committee. I look forward to receiving it.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Impaired Driving
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REF

Deborah Grey

Reform

Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, we were asking for a commitment before the House rises.

Another thing we talked about in that report, and one of my colleagues brought it forward in the first place, was that we needed to lower the blood alcohol level from .08 to .05. That is the standard in 10 European countries and Australia. It seems to be working. Transport Canada said that if we lowered the limit to .05 it would save more than 500 lives a year. I dare say that would be worth it.

Let me ask a question of the justice minister again. Why will she not take the advice of her own government officials and the standing committee and commit to getting this thing done before summer so we would save lives?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Impaired Driving
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LIB

Anne McLellan

Liberal

Hon. Anne McLellan (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as I have already said twice today, I look forward to receiving the report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. I will take very seriously that which is recommended by the standing committee.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Impaired Driving
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REF

John Reynolds

Reform

Mr. John Reynolds (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, Ref.)

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to hear the minister. She said three times that she anticipates the report, that she awaits the report.

When we were asking some reporters this morning about where they got the leaked report, they said they received it from the minister's office. It was a senior Southam reporter who said it was leaked from the minister's office.

The minister's staff has seen the report. They know we have a unanimous report of the committee. All parties have agreed. We do not totally agree with everything that is in the report but we said we would compromise. A half a loaf is better than no loaf at all. We want the report to be in the House.

Will the minister commit to tabling a bill, when we come back after our recess next week, which we will pass quickly in the House?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Impaired Driving
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May 13, 1999