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STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[English]

FIREFIGHTERS

Mrs. Karen Kraft Sloan (York-Simcoe, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this past weekend I attended a retirement celebration to honour the 45 years of service by Gord Rolling and 32 years of service by Arnold Smith, more commonly known as Smitty. Both served with distinction and dedication as firefighters on the Mount Albert volunteer fire department.

In celebrating their retirement, it gives us the opportunity to reflect on the contribution of all of our firefighters, particularly the volunteers.

We are all thankful and grateful for the crucial service they provide our communities. However, we may not be fully aware of the hours taken away from families in fighting fires, assisting at accidents, on training courses and other community activities. Nor can any non-firefighter understand what it is like to respond to a call in the middle of the night knowing the potential risk.


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We should all remember the extraordinary service these men and women provide our communities and be mindful of the sacrifices their families have made to support their good work.

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[Translation]

LISE BROUILLETTE

Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Terrebonne, BQ): Mr. Speaker, today I wish to pay tribute to a business woman in my riding, Lise Brouillette. Ms. Brouillette, who has been Director General of the Société régionale de développement économique des Moulins since 1991, recently received the 1996 Prix Professionnelle en développement économique du Québec in appreciation of her contribution to the economic development of the des Moulins region.

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As a woman very involved in the development of our region, she managed, with her dynamic approach, to create several thousand jobs and attract $50 million worth of investment since the beginning of her mandate at the SORDEM.

Last year, Ms. Brouillette was awarded the Assiette d'argent de l'Association des professionnels en développement économique du Québec. This woman is an outstanding example of how to succeed and a symbol of excellence for everyone.

Ms. Brouillette, the people of Des Moulins and the House of Commons salute you. Congratulations!

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[English]

WEST COAST MARINE SAFETY

Mr. Jack Frazer (Saanich-Gulf Islands, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, Liberals' words sound great but their actions differ: $87 million in questionable corporate welfare to Bombardier; millions of dollars in a questionable flag giveaway program; and more millions of dollars on a questionable information office in Ottawa.

Meanwhile back on the west coast we see cuts; information limited; automated light stations replace reliable manned stations; coast guard vessels and operations are reduced, as are hatcheries needed to rebuild endangered salmon stocks.

An unusually heavy October storm resulted in the failure of several automated light stations leaving mariners and others who rely on vital weather information to fend for themselves.

The decision to postpone closure of the Ganges coast guard station was welcome but apparently has not changed the ultimate Ottawa intention to relocate the station to Victoria. To replace a fast, proven vessel located at the hub of maritime activity in this very busy region with a slower vessel substantially removed from much of that activity simply does not make sense.

This Liberal decision places west coast public safety and lives at risk.

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NATIONAL 4-H WEEK

Mrs. Rose-Marie Ur (Lambton-Middlesex, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this week marks National 4-H Week, a time to reflect on the important work that 4-H does in developing one of our greatest resources, our rural young people.

For nearly a century, 4-H has been giving young Canadians the education, skills and support they need so they can grow up to be contributing members of our society. Rural communities are a wellspring of our economy providing the people and the resource base that underlies much of our success as a trading nation.

One of rural Canada's leading industries, agriculture and food, will create jobs and growth for our economy well into the 21st century. The foundation for this growth is people who have a wealth of creativity, ability and self-confidence to build our farms and businesses. 4-H has a proven track record developing those skills in our young citizens.

The Government of Canada will contribute $300,000 over three years to 4-H activities. It is not only an investment in our young people, it is an investment in the social fabric of our country and the future prosperity of Canada.

I congratulate all 4-H participants.

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MERCHANT NAVY VETERANS

Mrs. Elsie Wayne (Saint John, PC): Mr. Speaker, today I had the honour to speak at a Remembrance Day ceremony for the merchant navy war dead at the war memorial here in Ottawa.

During the second world war the government named the merchant navy the fourth arm of the armed services and for good reason. The merchant ships formed the lifeline to the free world. They carried vital supplies of food, munitions and fuel. The merchant navy became the designated target of the enemy and its losses were the highest of all the war services.

Now in their seventies and eighties, only 2,900 remain of the 12,000 who went to war. They are veterans in name only without equality of entitlement for disability pensions, health care and other benefits.

I was disappointed that the Secretary of State for Veterans Affairs was not able to attend the memorial service today. I call on


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him and the government to finally recognize the merchant navy veterans as equals and to correct this injustice.

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CANWORKNET

Mr. Maurizio Bevilacqua (York North, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, information is power. Yesterday through an innovative partnership of the federal and provincial governments, the private and not for profit sectors, Canadians were given a powerful tool.

New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Brian Tobin and I launched CanWorkNet, a new world wide web site to help Canadians find and secure the jobs they want.

CanWorkNet will connect Canadians in all parts of the country to information about jobs, planning their careers, upgrading skills, accessing financial assistance and locating community services.

Whether I am talking with someone in Whitehorse or in York North the message is the same. Information is a key element in the decision making process. People need to know where the jobs are and what the requirements are to get them.

CanWorkNet celebrates what is right with Canada: strong partnerships, new technology and an ever growing modern economy. Together we are working to ensure that tomorrow is indeed better than today.

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TRADE

Mr. Roger Gallaway (Sarnia-Lambton, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, talk of increased exports is taking on visible meaning in my riding of Sarnia-Lambton.

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Tomorrow morning hundreds of feet above the St. Clair River, the iron workers of local 700 will put in place the final beam joining the two halves of our second Bluewater Bridge in Point Edward.

This new international crossing is clear evidence of the growth of trade between Canada and the United States, and in particular, Ontario and the Great Lakes states. With approximately 5,000 trucks crossing each day on the existing bridge, this second span will be open for the anticipated surge of 10,000 trucks daily by the millennium.

I look forward to joining with Councillor Barbara Horner, the Commissioners of the Bluewater Bridge Authority and the thousands of proud area residents in celebrating this new link.

Increased trade is not just a statistic, it is tangible in Sarnia-Lambton, now the gateway to the NAFTA superhighway.

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[Translation]

THE QUEBEC SOCIO-ECONOMIC SUMMIT

Mr. Yvan Bernier (Gaspé, BQ): Mr. Speaker, last week a socio-economic summit was held in Quebec, which has led to an unprecedented mobilizing of resources for job creation and economic renewal in Quebec. The vast majority of the principal actors on the Quebec scene have reached a major consensus on ways to stimulate economic growth and investment in Quebec.

Participants in the summit approached a host of subjects that are important to Quebec society, including job sharing, family policy and social economics. Furthermore, dozens of job creation projects were presented, totalling more than $2.6 billion in investments, which will create about 40,000 jobs in Quebec.

This summit, which did not forget the most vulnerable among us, is a first step towards employment expansion and economic recovery in Quebec.

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[English]

SENIORS

Mr. Randy White (Fraser Valley West, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, Les and Evelyn Browett from Langley, British Columbia, both in their eighties, came to me the other day most distressed. Their total income is from old age security and the Canada pension plan. It is not much to live on these days thanks to the pathetic overspending of Liberals and that other party.

Evelyn must have her teeth fixed because she is in terrible pain. She and Les have been saving for several years to get the work done and they now have some money but not enough. The interest from that savings has just been wiped out retroactively because health care premiums have been charged to them.

Why are Les and Evelyn treated worse than criminals in prison? Why do Liberals and separatists and other MPs gorge on their own lavish pension scheme while Les and Evelyn border on poverty? When will Ontario and Atlantic Canada kick these Liberals out of office so our seniors can live with dignity?

Please, are there any dentists in Langley, British Columbia listening? Who can help Evelyn? This government will not do it so let us do it ourselves.

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POSTAGE STAMPS

Mr. Simon de Jong (Regina-Qu'Appelle, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the classic children's character, Winnie the Pooh, often de-


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scribes himself as ``a bear of very little brain''. Well, Canada Post has entered into a campaign of very little brain.

In promoting its series of Winnie the Pooh postage stamps, Canada Post is also promoting the 25th anniversary of Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom in Florida. Caps, T-shirts and stamps with Winnie the Pooh in front of Disney World are available at your local post office outlet as well as entry forms for a free trip to Florida.

Countries around the world use postage stamps to promote what they are proud of: national heroes, historic events and natural beauty. So what is Canada Post promoting? Disney World. What is next: McDonald's or Coca-Cola?

To use the much loved Winnie on Canadian postage stamps to promote a commercial enterprise outside the country is exploitive and demeaning. Is there no national dignity left? Can space be bought on postage stamps to the highest bidder?

It is about time this Liberal government took our national image more seriously.

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VETERANS WEEK

Mr. Ian Murray (Lanark-Carleton, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, last year and over the previous five years, Canadians marked the 50th anniversaries of the events of the second world war. The anniversaries led to unprecedented media coverage of the commemorative ceremonies for such historic events as the Battle of Britain, the Dieppe landing, the Italian campaign, D-Day and the end of the war. Across the country veterans organizations helped communities stage special ceremonies and celebrations that brought to mind the way of life of a different time, and the spirit of dedication of those who served Canada.

We must not let go of that sense of respect for the generation of the second world war now that the 50th anniversaries have passed. I invite all Canadians to take time this Veterans Week, November 3 to 11, to reflect upon the contributions of those Canadians who brought our nation through some of its most trying times and gave it some of the proudest moments in our history.

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CANADA LABOUR CODE

Mr. George Proud (Hillsborough, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Bill C-66 which amends the Canada Labour Code is in my view a fair and balanced piece of legislation. There are several reasons for this.

The first has to do with the process to produce the legislation. Labour and management participated fully in the review process. The second has to do with the contents of the bill. Unquestionably, the most contentious issue to address was the replacement worker issue and here we came up with a reasonable compromise.

The bill does not abolish the right of employers to use replacement workers, however employers will not be able to use replacement workers to undermine the union. It is the board that will determine if an employer action constitutes an unfair labour practice, not the union.

Collective bargaining is widely accepted in Canada by both labour and management. This bill will improve the efficiency with which the law is administered and enhance the effectiveness of the collective bargaining process. It does nothing to alter the balance of the labour-management relationship. In fact, it ensures a balance will continue in a world of rapid change.

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[Translation]

JEAN-LOUIS ROUX

Mr. Paul Mercier (Blainville-Deux-Montagnes, BQ): Mr. Speaker, from 1940 to 1944, Belgium, where I was living at the time, suffered under the brutality and pillaging of the Germans. When I was 18, I went underground for more than a year to avoid being arrested by the Gestapo, because I had refused to go to work in a company that worked for the enemy.

I then worked as a volunteer in operations conducted in Germany to crush nazism and bring about its fall.

I mention these facts to illustrate my astonishment when I heard yesterday that the lieutenant-governor of Quebec, a man who symbolizes the supreme power in our province, walked around at the time with a swastika on his chest.

I also want to express my indignation when I heard the Deputy Prime Minister give another demonstration of her lack of judgment when she justified this behaviour. Common sense dictated that she should have said she was going to recommend that the Prime Minister relieve him of his duties.

Fortunately, Jean-Louis Roux, who was more aware of the seriousness of his action than the Deputy Prime Minister, has just handed in his resignation.

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[English]

ATLANTIC CANADA ECONOMY

Mrs. Diane Ablonczy (Calgary North, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, over the past 30 years dozens of Tory and Liberal politicians kept promising Atlantic Canadians prosperity and economic growth.

This goal was to be achieved by politicians spending billions of tax dollars on regional subsidies. Not only have these programs failed to work, but as a new study by the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies has proven, they have actually hurt Atlantic


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Canada. They have slowed growth in the Atlantic economy and increased unemployment.

Furthermore, regional development programs like ACOA have been used as political slush funds by Liberal and Tory governments alike. That is why Reform would end ineffectual regional development programs and instead would offer Atlantic Canadians tax relief, a policy that has been conclusively proven to create jobs and stimulate the economy.

This may mean fewer photo ops for Liberal cabinet ministers but it will mean more real jobs for Atlantic Canadians.

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MERCHANT NAVY VETERANS

Mr. John Richardson (Perth-Wellington-Waterloo, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House during Veterans Week to salute the great veterans of our merchant navy, the merchant seamen.

During World War II the merchant navy served under some of the most dangerous conditions and hostile weather. Through their efforts they maintained the supply routes which played a crucial role in ensuring victory for our soldiers abroad.

However, these brave men paid a high price for their heroics. During the course of World War II some 1,500 merchant seamen were killed. In fact, approximately one in ten died on the high seas.

In light of their contribution to the war effort, the merchant seamen will be participating in the remembrance ceremonies as part of the VIP group which includes the army, the air force, the navy and the merchant mariners.

We thank them all for their deeds. I salute these brave Canadians who risked their lives so that we could live in freedom.

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[Translation]

THE QUEBEC SOCIO-ECONOMIC SUMMIT

Mr. Robert Bertrand (Pontiac-Gatineau-Labelle, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, on the day after the socio-economic summit from which they came back practically empty handed, the people of the Outaouais are totally justified in questioning the PQ government's attitude toward them.

In fact, PQ minister Sylvain Simard accused the people of the Outaouais of being responsible for their lack of success at the summit. He stated that they could not accuse Quebec of not doing its share in the Outaouais while remaining uninterested in Quebec and not getting involved, that if they did not adapt to Quebec, they would miss the boat because the federal state would no longer be there to compensate, that they should stop complaining and start acting.

The minister's scorn for our region is unjustifiable. The PQ government must stop its referendum vendetta against the Outaouais and agree to give our region the same benefits as those enjoyed by separatist regions.

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[English]

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB SCHOLARSHIPS

Mr. John O'Reilly (Victoria-Haliburton, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, today I would like to congratulate the Boys and Girls Club of Ontario for raising over $90,000 toward scholarship funding for 90 youths across Ontario.

The Boys and Girls Club started a scholarship program in 1992 to cover the rising costs of post-secondary education faced by many of their youth members. From an initial $4,000 and four awards the program has grown to over $40,000 and 41 awards in Ontario in 1996.

Within the riding of Victoria-Haliburton two youth members have benefited from this scholarship program. Tracey Medina hopes to one day work with children who have social and emotional disabilities. She will be attending George Brown College. David Stubbs has chosen to study recreational leadership at Humber College and one day hopes to pursue a career with the Boys and Girls Club. Both individuals are invaluable members of the Lindsay club.

I would like to thank the Boys and Girls Clubs across Ontario for raising the funding for these and other accomplished youth.

I wish Tracey and David all the best in their future endeavours.

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