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14309


HOUSE OF COMMONS

Wednesday, June 21, 1995


The House met at 2 p.m.

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Prayers

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STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[English]

HIRE A STUDENT WEEK

Mrs. Georgette Sheridan (Saskatoon-Humboldt, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Canada employment centre for students is celebrating its annual hire a student week across Canada, June 19 to 23.

The goal of hire a student week is to gain support from potential employers and to heighten awareness of the services available through the Canada employment centre for students in Saskatoon as well as in other parts of the country.

People will notice the hire a student buttons being worn by students at the events planned to celebrate this week. In Saskatoon we had button day on Monday, flag raising day was yesterday, today is a hot dog sale, fitting for students, tomorrow is job shadowing day and on Friday, most important, is employment appreciation day.

I extend a big thank you to the hard working young people in the Canada employment centre for students office in Saskatoon, in particular Thomasina Burke, for all the hard work they do in helping students find much needed summer employment.

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[Translation]

MINING INDUSTRY

Mr. Bernard Deshaies (Abitibi, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I have to deplore the government's inaction regarding the mining industry. In spite of several initiatives on the part of parliamentarians and the natural resources committee, this government never agreed to provide assistance to this major industry which employs tens of thousands of Canadians and Quebecers.

On June 5, I supported the motion put forward by the hon. member for Timiskaming-French River to implement a mining incentives program. Instead of taking steps to ensure this industry's viability, the government chose to let the investment climate deteriorate.

We must make sure that our mining sector will be able to develop in the future and continue to create thousands of jobs in Quebec and Canada instead of abroad.

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[English]

NATURAL RESOURCES

Mr. George S. Rideout (Moncton, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as the committee on natural resources requested during the examination of the Department of National Resources Act, the Minister of Natural Resources tabled this morning the fifth annual report to Parliament, ``The State of Canada's Forests, 1994''.

Canada's forests continue to be a major engine of economic growth for Canada, particularly in certain regions of the country such as my home province of New Brunswick, but they are also essential to our environment.

The theme of this year's report, ``A Balancing Act'', describes the challenges of maintaining timber for our industry while conserving habitat for wildlife.

As the world's largest exporter of forest products, the eyes of the world continue to watch how well Canada is able to balance its economic and environmental needs.

[Translation]

I would like to take this opportunity to urge all my hon. colleagues to read the fifth annual report tabled in Parliament and to participate in the public debate on the future of the most precious of our natural resources: our forests.

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[English]

CHILD POVERTY

Mr. John Maloney (Erie, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am deeply troubled to address the issue of child poverty, a phenomenon generally attributed to the third world.

Canada is not a third world nation and yet there are nearly 1.3 million Canadian children living in poverty, enough to form the fifth largest province. Think about it: shocking, incredible, terrifying, intolerable; yes, all of these.


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Five years ago the Government of Canada in the House resolved to achieve the goal of eliminating poverty among our children by the year 2000. Resolutions and objectives are not enough. Effective anti-poverty initiatives and immediate action are warranted, indeed demanded.

None will deny the necessity to eliminate the deficit as expeditiously as possible but let us strive to bring this deficit to zero in a compassionate and reasonable way. Let us not forget the children in poverty during this era of fiscal restraint. Our country's future depends on solving both problems quickly and fairly.

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G-7 SUMMIT

Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg Transcona, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I offer an alternative version of the interpretation being put on the G-7 summit by the Prime Minister.

The G-7 summit did not deal in any significant way with a lot of the serious problems facing the international economy. The G-7 summit did not deal with growing polarization between rich and poor within industrialized countries and between industrialized countries and the third world. It did not deal with the international debt problem of third worlds.

Finally and most significantly, because this is what the Prime Minister likes to talk about, it did not deal with the whole question of money speculators.

All it did was provide that the IMF might have more money in the end to bail out economies damaged by speculators. When we bail out those economies in the current context we bail out the speculators themselves.

What we have increased here is the global welfare state for money speculators rather than dealing with the root of the problem which is curbing speculation-

The Speaker: The hon. member for Calgary North.

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CALGARY STAMPEDE

Mrs. Diane Ablonczy (Calgary North, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, on July 7 a western tradition continues and that wild west show, the Calgary Stampede, kicks off its 10-day extravaganza.

I invite all members and Canadians across the country to come and experience all the parades, pancake breakfasts and the rodeos. Try horseback riding, line dancing and all the other fun that marks this favourite time of year for Calgarians and thousands of visitors.

If a Canadian vacation is what you need, come to Calgary this July for the greatest outdoor show on earth. We will be glad to show you our western hospitality.

Two final notes. Liberals who have been disciplined for voting against the party line should pay close attention to the calf roping event. Any MP who is not opting out of the MP pension plan should avoid the greased pig wrestling contest.

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SAFE GRAD

Mr. Glen McKinnon (Brandon-Souris, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, high school graduation time is again upon us. I take this opportunity along with my colleague from St. Boniface to commend the laudable actions of many students across Canada for their participation in the safe grad program.

This year's students from across the country including Manitoba will again take part in the safe grad program. This combines student graduation celebrations with realistic measures to prevent accidents and other problems which could be associated with drinking and driving.

Safe grad is a student run program with input from parents, teachers and police. Safe grad is geared toward the needs and wishes of individual schools and their students.

I am most impressed with the students of our country and their support of safe grad. Along with the member for St. Boniface, I commend them on their actions. On behalf of the House and my colleagues, I wish all students a safe and happy graduation.

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[Translation]

BURMA

Mr. Philippe Paré (Louis-Hébert, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that today is the 50th birthday of an outstanding woman, Aung San Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner who is fighting for democracy in her country, Burma.

After winning the 1990 elections with an 82 per cent majority, Mrs. Suu Kyi was imprisoned by the Burmese military authorities and has been under house arrest for nearly six years.

The Canadian government must take positive action in support of those values set out in its foreign policy statement, should there be any left, and bring pressure to bear on Burmese authorities for her release.

The Bloc Quebecois salutes the courage of this woman and thanks her for fighting for democracy, liberty and human rights under extremely difficult conditions.


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[English]

ROGERS SURREY

Mr. Paul E. Forseth (New Westminster-Burnaby, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, Rogers Surrey community channel has served New Westminster with excellence for many years and now local producers are reaping the rewards of their hard work.

On May 30 in Halifax, Nova Scotia executive producer Catherin Ackroyd and co-producers Jim Reis and Archie Miller were recognized for their documentary ``Lest We Forget: Canadians in Normandy''.

The Canadian Cable Television Association awarded the hour long program as the best documentary in Canada in 1994. The program also won best documentary of the Pacific programmers region for provincial awards of excellence.

From a Canadian perspective ``Lest We Forget'' shows the dramatic events of the D-Day landing with interviews of veterans from the Canadian Scottish regiment and the 1st Canadian parachute battalion.

In the year of the 50th anniversary of the second world war it is important for all Canadians to appreciate what our veterans did on our behalf. I thank Rogers Surrey for its service to my community and its longstanding commitment to excellence in community programming.

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ABORIGINAL SOLIDARITY DAY

Mr. Elijah Harper (Churchill, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, today is aboriginal solidarity day and I call on my colleagues in the Chamber to show their solidarity with Canada's aboriginal people.

I also bring greetings from the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. Last week I attended its assembly in Winnipeg. I can attest to its solidarity as it prepares for the dismantling of the Department of Indian Affairs and for self-government in that province.

Today on this day of solidarity I call on members of the House to work together with the First Nations to implement self-government in Manitoba and across Canada.

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[Translation]

NATIONAL DEFENCE

Mrs. Eleni Bakopanos (Saint-Denis, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to salute, personally and on behalf of the government, the recent appointment of Louise Fréchette as Deputy Minister of National Defence. Mrs. Fréchette's appointment to that important position in the Department of National Defence shows once again the government's true commitment to promote greater participation of women in all lines of activity.

[English]

Louise Fréchette began her career with the Department of External Affairs and has since occupied various posts, including Ambassador of Canada to Argentina and Uruguay and most recently as Canada's first female ambassador to the United Nations.

Prior to her appointment as deputy minister of defence she was the associate deputy minister of finance and G-7 deputy.

This appointment is a testament to Mrs. Fréchette's hard work and perseverance. I wish her much success in her new post on behalf of all my colleagues. Félécitations et merci beaucoup.

* * *

LEADER OF THE REFORM PARTY

Mr. Morris Bodnar (Saskatoon-Dundurn, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, over the past few weeks we have learned the hon. leader of the Reform Party has designs on becoming the leader of the opposition. Apparently the leader of the third party has decided he needs a car upgrade. Chevys are great cars and lately he has found his accommodation not to be to his liking.

Having made these discoveries he felt it was easier to become leader of the opposition than to get the Reform Party to increase his expense account. Therefore he has initiated a feeble attempt to get backbench Liberals to defect to the Reform Party. Such unrestrained political ambition is so blatant it is embarrassingly dangerous.

I have a message for him on behalf of my colleagues. There will not be a stampede, so do not hire the interior decorator for Stornoway just yet.

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[Translation]

SOMALIA

Mr. Michel Guimond (Beauport-Montmorency-Orléans, BQ): Mr. Speaker, as the commission of inquiry into the behaviour of the Canadian Forces in Somalia is about to begin its public hearings, it is increasingly obvious that the measures taken to protect potential witnesses are largely inadequate. Indeed, several members of the armed forces fear reprisals from their senior officers if they tell what they know or what they saw in Somalia.

The Minister of National Defence must immediately reassure these soldiers and encourage them to testify, by publicly promising that no retaliation measures will be taken against them.


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We must shed light not only on the events which occurred in Somalia, but also on the reprehensible behaviour of several other members of the armed forces, including at the Petawawa military base. The government must restore the honour and integrity of the Canadian Forces, which were greatly tarnished following these dramatic events.

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[English]

JUSTICE

Mr. Myron Thompson (Wild Rose, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, we are happy to say this appears to be one time when the justice minister and Reform can agree.

The justice minister needed reminding by Reform that DNA evidence can be a useful tool in determining a suspect's guilt or innocence and that Canadians wanted action on this issue now.

Following that reminder the justice minister stated he will immediately introduce legislation allowing court ordered DNA testing of suspects charged with violent crimes providing he has the support of the House.

We assure the justice minister not only will our members support his initiatives, all Canadians will most heartily support him. As we leave the House for the summer it is encouraging to see the government can act quickly and decisively when an important issue affecting the lives and safety of Canadians is brought to the forefront by Reform.

We trust and hope this spirit of co-operation to enact important legislation wanted by Canadians will continue when the House returns in the fall to conduct the nation's business.

* * *

ETHICS COUNSELLOR

Mrs. Elsie Wayne (Saint John, PC): Mr. Speaker, I appeal to the Prime Minister to have his ethics counsellor investigate the awarding of a contract for legal services for the Saint John Port Corporation to a lawyer in a law firm in Saint John, New Brunswick, which is owned by the brother of the executive assistant to the Minister of Transport and in which a government member of the House continues to practise.

This is a straight conflict of interest. The awarding of this contract calls into question the integrity of the government. It is against the policies of the red book.

[Translation]

QUEBEC SOVEREIGNTY

Mr. Bernard Patry (Pierrefonds-Dollard, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Quebec pequiste government did not wait for the referendum campaign to start squandering public money. The Parti Quebecois has already spent $11.2 million on its propaganda campaign. That amount only includes activities which can be directly related to separatist propaganda.

Imagine what the total amount would be if we were to add the salaries of ministers, members of the legislative assembly and PQ government staff, who did nothing but promote their separatist obsession since the provincial election. It is time for Quebec separatists to stop wasting money on their pet project. Quebecers expect the PQ government to work with us to create jobs and stimulate the economy.

* * *

[English]

G-7 SUMMIT

Mr. Derek Wells (South Shore, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia is still enjoying the prestige and recognition it has received after successfully hosting the G-7 summit.

It was not only Halifax that hosted the events associated with the summit, both Lunenburg and Chester in my riding of South Shore played host to spouses and daughters of the G-7 leaders last Friday.

They were welcomed by the town crier, William Cluett, treated to a guided tour of the historic town and enjoyed lunch in the scenic village of Chester.

The type of hospitality and scenery to which the spouses and daughters were treated is typical of the entire South Shore. Whether visiting Shelburne County, Queens County or Lunenburg County you can be guaranteed a spectacular coastal view and a warm welcome from the residents of this beautiful part of Canada.

I urge all members of the House to visit the South Shore of Nova Scotia this summer and see and experience for themselves the numerous events this area has to offer.

Once again I go on record in the House thanking the many individuals who gave their time and talents, as well as the well wishers who lined the streets of Lunenburg for making the leaders' spouses and daughters' visit a success.

* * *

THOMAS SZAJKO AND JASON SHULTZ

Mr. Jim Hart (Okanagan-Similkameen-Merritt, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the constituents of Okanagan--


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Similkameen-Merritt because last spring two of my constituents, Thomas Szajko and Jason Shultz, put their lives on the line to rescue six people from an intense house fire.

Both these men entered the inferno without regard to their own lives. They managed to awaken five residents of the house and rescue them. They re-entered to seek out the last victim who was crying for assistance. Without their bravery and determination, the final resident would not have survived.

On Friday, June 23 these two heroes will be awarded the medal of bravery, presented by the Governor General of Canada for acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances. Few would dare to do what they have done. I take this moment to pay tribute to these two heroes. They show the true spirit of humanity and compassion for others.

Not only is the town of Oliver proud of these two men but all of my constituents, indeed the country, should be proud of their remarkable achievement.

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I encourage all members of the House to acknowledge the fearless actions of these two great Canadians.

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