October 16, 2000

LIB

Stan Keyes

Liberal

Mr. Stan Keyes (Hamilton West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are watching developments in the Middle East with great alarm and dismay.

We are witnessing the worst violence seen in recent years, with casualties mounting on all sides. It appears that the prospects for a meaningful peace between Israelis and Palestinians may be in jeopardy.

All Canadians are holding their breath in the hope that today's emergency summit meeting in Egypt will bring an end to the violence and a return to the negotiating table.

Canada's role should not be to lay blame. Canada's role should not be to support inflammatory, lopsided resolutions. Canada's role should be to live up to our well earned reputation as a peacekeeper and an effective negotiator on the world stage.

We ask the people of the Middle East to exercise restraint and place reason over passion in their march toward peace.

Here in our own communities, we must also remember to hold true to the Canadian values of equality, tolerance and compassion.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Foreign Affairs
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NDP

Michelle Dockrill

New Democratic Party

Mrs. Michelle Dockrill (Bras d'Or—Cape Breton, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, 60,000 women and men took to the streets in this capital. Their aim was to demonstrate to the government that women's issues cannot and will not be ignored any longer.

They were demanding an end to poverty and violence against women, and support flooded in from across the country.

Thirteen immediate demands were presented to the Liberal government, such as: the restoration of federal funding to health care and the enforcement of the rules against the privatization of our health care system; an additional 1% of the budget to be spent on social housing; an immediate contribution of $2 billion for the promised national child care fund; the supporting of women's organizing for equality and democracy through a variety of methods; the establishment of a national system of grants based on need, not merit; and the adoption of a proactive pay equity legislation.

We in the NDP wholeheartedly support these demands and will stand in solidarity with Canadian women to force the government to act upon this.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Women's Rights
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BQ

Suzanne Tremblay

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Suzanne Tremblay (Rimouski—Mitis, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois salutes the courage, determination and solidarity with which the women of Quebec, of Canada and of the entire world are attacking the violence and poverty of which they are victims.

The impact of the March of Women will be a permanent one, for it sets out the parameters of our political action for a number of years to come.

The March of Women concerns all people, women, men and children, who are the victims of poverty and of violence. It also involves all those who are no longer able to tolerate the fact that one in five people lives below the poverty line.

With a surplus assessed at more than $160 billion over the next five years, the Bloc calls upon the Prime Minister to acknowledge the wrongs his government's social policies have done to women and to get on side with our party's motion, investing the necessary funds over the next five years to meet the legitimate demands of the women of Quebec and of Canada.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   World March Of Women
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LIB

John Cannis

Liberal

Mr. John Cannis (Scarborough Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, today I am delighted to pay tribute to a special group of young men and women who have joined us on Parliament Hill today. They are the winners of this year's young entrepreneur awards.

The awards, which are sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada, are designed to honour Canada's most successful young entrepreneurs, 30 years old and younger. There are a total of 13 winners representing each province and territory. They provide an excellent example of what can be achieved through the entrepreneurial spirit and innovative approach in business. These men and women embody what it takes to succeed in today's fast moving world of commerce. In short, they represent the new generation of Canadian business leaders.

As such, I congratulate them and wish them continued success.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Young Entrepreneur Awards
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PC

Jean Dubé

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Jean Dubé (Madawaska—Restigouche, PC)

Mr. Speaker, I am please to rise to speak today on behalf of the women of the riding of Madawaska—Restigouche.

This past Sunday I took part in a very important march, a march to raise awareness of the problems women in this country and throughout the world are faced with. Women everywhere in Canada are coping with the problems of poverty and abuse.

Often the ones having to deal with poverty are single mothers with young children. The priority for this government, and for this parliament, should be to put an end to poverty for the women of Canada and women throughout the world, particularly those with young children.

I encourage all members of parliament to get involved. It is up to us to take action. I would like to congratulate Yvette Bourgouin for all of her efforts, as well as the Dames d'Acadie in my region.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   World March Of Women
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LIB

Robert Bertrand

Liberal

Mr. Robert Bertrand (Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, October 16 is World Food Day.

This day draws attention to the creation of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Quebec City on October 16, 1945.

This year's theme in the celebration of world food day is a millennium free from hunger. At present, over 800 million people in the world, or 13% of the world's entire population, have no access to food.

In 1996, at the world food summit, Canada and 186 other countries made a commitment to halve the number of people who are underfed, by 2015. Canada's action plan for food safety comes out of this commitment.

However, despite Canada's vital contributions to world food safety, we cannot rest on our laurels.

Food security is a complex issue and has a variety of facets requiring the co-operation of—

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   World Food Day
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?

The Speaker

The member for Vancouver Quadra.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   World Food Day
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LIB

Ted McWhinney

Liberal

Mr. Ted McWhinney (Vancouver Quadra, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, world renowned scientist Michael Smith died of leukemia on October 4, 2000 at the age of 68.

From England he came to the University of British Columbia in 1966 as a graduate researcher. His professional life was associated with UBC from that time onward.

In 1993 he was awarded the Nobel prize in chemistry for his research on DNA. A modest man, he gave away all of his Nobel prize moneys to scientific research and to the development of future scientific leaders.

His influence is apparent in several of the revolutionary ideas present in the last several federal budgets: the millennium scholarship fund, the 2000 chairs of research excellence and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Late Dr. Michael Smith
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REF

Deborah Grey

Reform

Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, if you were approached by someone asking for $5 million and you knew that the guy was under investigation for fraud and theft, you would probably be a little hesitant to hand over the cash, but not with this government, not in the Prime Minister's riding. It handed over five million more dollars to Mario Pépin in spite of an ongoing RCMP investigation for fraud and theft.

Why would the government give millions of taxpayer dollars to a suspected fraud artist?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
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LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, with reference to the individual and the circumstances the hon. member is bringing to the House, there are RCMP investigations under way. She knows full well that it is inappropriate for me to comment on this further in the House.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
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REF

Deborah Grey

Reform

Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, there was already an RCMP investigation under way and it would seem to me pretty highly appropriate not to give them five million more dollars while the investigation was going on.

Do not let the investigations discourage you, Mr. Speaker, if you want to get your hands on the public purse; in fact maybe just move to the Prime Minister's riding.

Mario Pépin and his Groupe Forces were under RCMP investigation already for fraud and theft, but the government thought nothing of handing him five million more dollars of taxpayer money.

I would like to know: Do all fraud suspects qualify for millions of dollars of taxpayer money, or just those who live in the Prime Minister's riding?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
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LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, let me say again that it would be inappropriate for me to comment on circumstances surrounding investigations.

The hon. member knows full well that it is inappropriate for me to comment upon it, as it is inappropriate for her to ask about it.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
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REF

Deborah Grey

Reform

Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, let me just say again how highly inappropriate it is of the minister to okay funds of $5 million to go to someone who is already under investigation. Talk about secrecy.

With a nudge and a wink, and may the Groupe Forces be with you, the Prime Minister handed five million more dollars to a suspected fraud artist, and now the minister says that she has to hide behind a cloak of secrecy. She cannot talk about it.

It was okay for her to okay a cheque. Why does residency in the Prime Minister's riding qualify even suspected fraud artists and thieves access to the public purse that she okays?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
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?

The Speaker

We are going a little further than we should be going. We would hope that the words used in our questions would be a bit more judicious. If the hon. Minister of Human Resources Development wants to address herself to the question, she may.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
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LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as I listened to the hon. member's question, first, she seems to be presuming guilt and I think that is highly inappropriate.

Second, I remind her that when it is clear that things are under investigation it is not only inappropriate for me to be commenting but it is inappropriate for her to be asking such questions.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
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REF

Chuck Strahl

Reform

Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, we have heard answers from the minister and the government before. They say they cannot comment because there is a police investigation and blah, blah, blah. They keep going on like that but they could at least answer this.

While they were twiddling their thumbs and the police were doing their investigative work, doing the good work they are supposed to, why did the minister not at least ensure that no more money went to people who were already charged with theft and fraud?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
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LIB

Jane Stewart

Liberal

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, again I would suggest the hon. member is presuming the outcome of an investigation.

Let us be clear. As I said on a number of occasions, the government takes very seriously the investments we make in communities right across the country, but if there is ever any evidence of misuse of Canadian tax dollars we send it to the appropriate authorities for investigation.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
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REF

Chuck Strahl

Reform

Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, eventually, in July 2000, Mr. Pépin was actually charged with fraud and theft. He had been investigated all spring.

We could ask ourselves why. Why would the government give another $5 million grant, this time from Industry Canada, to a guy who has been charged with fraud and theft?

The better question is not why. The question is where. Where did it take place? It took place once again in the Prime Minister's riding. Why is it that whenever the Prime Minister's riding is involved, even if someone has been charged with theft and fraud, the money just keeps getting ladled out by the federal government?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
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LIB

John Cannis

Liberal

Mr. John Cannis (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Industry, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the member is just not listening. I think the minister not once, not twice, but three times has said repeatedly that with the situation and the position it is in it is inappropriate to answer. Hopefully they are professional enough to understand that.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Grants And Contributions
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BQ

Gilles Duceppe

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, we all know that the government is enjoying huge budget surpluses, including a surplus of over $30 billion in the employment insurance fund, something which the Bloc Quebecois has been condemning for months.

In the context of the World March of Women, is the government prepared to make a formal commitment and follow up on women's claims by ensuring that the surpluses in the employment insurance fund are used only for employment insurance purposes and that women will finally get what they deserve?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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October 16, 2000