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36th Parliament, 1st Session


EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 243

CONTENTS

Friday, June 11, 1999

VGOVERNMENT ORDERS

. 1005

VFIRST NATIONS LAND MANAGEMENT ACT
VMotion that debate be not further adjourned
VHon. Don Boudria

. 1055

(Division 563)

VMotion agreed to
VSecond reading and concurrence in Senate amendments
VBill C-49. Second reading and concurrence in Senate amendments
VMr. Mike Scott

. 1100

VBUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
VHon. Don Boudria
VMotion
VSTATEMENTS BY MEMBERS
VSEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
VMs. Beth Phinney
VCULTURAL EVENTS
VMr. Inky Mark

. 1105

VINTERNATIONAL ORDER OF THE KING'S DAUGHTERS AND SONS
VMr. Mac Harb
VTHE LATE SARAH NINGIURUVIK
VMr. Guy St-Julien
VTHYROID DISEASE
VMr. Bernard Patry
VUNITED ALTERNATIVE
VMr. Ken Epp
VAIR AND ARMY CADETS
VMr. Lou Sekora
VSOUTH AFRICA
VMrs. Monique Guay

. 1110

VHOUSING
VHon. Charles Caccia
VVIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
VMr. Jay Hill
VTHE ECONOMY
VMr. Stan Keyes
VCHILD POVERTY
VMs. Libby Davies
VROCH NAPERT
VMrs. Pauline Picard

. 1115

VGOVERNMENT OF QUEBEC
VMr. Robert Bertrand
VREFORM PARTY OF CANADA
VMr. Gerald Keddy
VUNITED ALTERNATIVE
VMr. Randy White
VFOREIGN AFFAIRS
VMs. Elinor Caplan
VORAL QUESTION PERIOD
VGOVERNMENT GRANTS
VMr. Randy White

. 1120

VHon. Herb Gray
VMr. Randy White
VHon. Herb Gray
VMr. Randy White
VHon. Herb Gray

. 1125

VHEALTH
VMr. Gurmant Grewal
VHon. Allan Rock
VMr. Gurmant Grewal
VHon. Allan Rock
VSOCIAL UNION
VMr. Michel Gauthier
VHon. Stéphane Dion
VMr. Michel Gauthier
VHon. Stéphane Dion
VMr. Stéphane Bergeron

. 1130

VHon. Stéphane Dion
VMr. Stéphane Bergeron
VHon. Stéphane Dion
VAGRICULTURE
VMr. John Solomon
VMr. Joe McGuire
VMr. John Solomon
VMr. Joe McGuire
VAIRBUS
VMr. Peter MacKay

. 1135

VMr. Jacques Saada
VMr. Peter MacKay
VHon. Herb Gray
VIMMIGRATION
VMr. Grant McNally
VMr. Andrew Telegdi
VMr. Grant McNally
VMr. Andrew Telegdi

. 1140

VMILLENNIUM SCHOLAARSHIPS
VMr. Bernard Bigras
VHon. Pierre S. Pettigrew
VMr. Bernard Bigras
VHon. Pierre S. Pettigrew
VJUSTICE
VMr. Chuck Cadman
VMr. Jacques Saada
VEXPORT DEVELOPMENT ACT
VMr. Deepak Obhrai
VHon. Sergio Marchi

. 1145

VWORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION
VMr. Benoît Sauvageau
VHon. Sergio Marchi
VMr. Benoît Sauvageau
VHon. Sergio Marchi
VROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE
VMr. Bill Gilmour
VMr. Jacques Saada
VMr. John Duncan
VMr. Jacques Saada
VWORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION
VMr. Serge Cardin

. 1150

VHon. Sergio Marchi
VHOMELESSNESS
VMr. Gurbax Singh Malhi
VMrs. Brenda Chamberlain
VABORIGINAL AFFAIRS
VMr. Mike Scott
VHon. Jane Stewart
VMr. Derrek Konrad
VHon. Jane Stewart

. 1155

VEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
VMr. Yvon Godin
VHon. Pierre S. Pettigrew
VCANADIAN FORCES
VMr. Gordon Earle
VHon. Arthur C. Eggleton
VACCESS TO INFORMATION
VMr. Jim Jones
VHon. Pierre S. Pettigrew
VAUDITOR GENERAL
VMr. Jim Jones
VHon. Herb Gray

. 1200

VKOSOVO
VMs. Sarmite Bulte
VHon. Diane Marleau
VDIVORCE ACT
VMr. Paul Forseth
VMs. Eleni Bakopanos
VANTI-GANG LEGISLATION
VMr. Michel Bellehumeur
VMs. Eleni Bakopanos
VVIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
VMs. Louise Hardy

. 1205

VMs. Eleni Bakopanos
VCANADIAN COAST GUARD
VMr. Mark Muise
VMr. Wayne Easter
VCANCER
VMrs. Carolyn Bennett
VHon. Ronald J. Duhamel

. 1210

VROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
VINTERPARLIAMENTARY DELEGATIONS
VHon. Charles Caccia
VPRIVILEGE
VSenate Security
VMr. John Solomon
VHon. Don Boudria
VThe Speaker

. 1215

VSALES TAX AND EXCISE TAX AMENDMENTS ACT, 1999
VBill C-88. Introduction and first reading
VHon. Jim Peterson
VPETITIONS
VMarriage
VMr. David Pratt
VChild Pornography
VMr. Paul Forseth
VMarriage
VMr. Paul Forseth
VThe Constitution
VMr. John Duncan

. 1220

VQUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER
VMr. Peter Adams
VPRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
VPOLITICAL PARTY ADVERTISING
VMr. Dick Proctor
VMotion

. 1225

. 1230

. 1235

VMr. Ken Epp

. 1240

. 1245

VMr. Mauril Bélanger

. 1250

. 1255

. 1300

VMr. Scott Brison

. 1305

VMr. Stéphane Bergeron

. 1310

. 1315

VROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
VCOMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE
VOfficial Languages
VMr. Peter Adams
VMotion
VAmendment

. 1320

VPRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
VPOLITICAL PARTY ADVERTISING
VAppendix

(Official Version)

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 243


HOUSE OF COMMONS

Friday, June 11, 1999

The House met at 10 a.m.



Prayers


GOVERNMENT ORDERS

 

. 1005 +

[English]

FIRST NATIONS LAND MANAGEMENT ACT

MOTION THAT DEBATE BE NOT FURTHER ADJOURNED

Hon. Don Boudria (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, with regard to the motion regarding the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-49, an act providing for the ratification and bringing into effect of the framework agreement on first nations land management, I move:

    That the debate be not further adjourned.

The Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Some hon. members: Agreed.

Some hon. members: No.

The Speaker: All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Some hon. members: Yea.

The Speaker: All those opposed will please nay.

Some hon. members: Nay.

The Speaker: In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

The Speaker: Call in the members.

 

. 1055 + -

[Translation]

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Division No. 563

YEAS

Members

Adams Alcock Assadourian Augustine
Axworthy (Winnipeg South Centre) Baker Bakopanos Beaumier
Bélair Bélanger Bellemare Bennett
Bertrand Bevilacqua Blondin - Andrew Bonin
Boudria Brown Bryden Bulte
Byrne Caccia Calder Cannis
Caplan Carroll Catterall Chamberlain
Chan Charbonneau Coderre Collenette
Comuzzi Copps Cullen DeVillers
Dhaliwal Dion Discepola Drouin
Duhamel Easter Eggleton Finestone
Folco Fontana Gagliano Gallaway
Graham Grose Harb Harvard
Hubbard Ianno Iftody Jackson
Jennings Jordan Keyes Kilger (Stormont – Dundas – Charlottenburgh)
Knutson Kraft Sloan Lastewka Lee
Leung Limoges (Windsor – St. Clair) Lincoln Longfield
MacAulay Malhi Maloney Manley
Marchi Marleau Massé McCormick
McGuire McKay (Scarborough East) McLellan (Edmonton West) McWhinney
Minna Mitchell Murray Myers
Nault O'Reilly Pagtakhan Paradis
Parrish Patry Peterson Pettigrew
Phinney Pillitteri Pratt Proud
Redman Reed Richardson Rock
Saada Scott (Fredericton) Sekora Speller
St. Denis Steckle Stewart (Brant) Stewart (Northumberland)
St - Julien Szabo Telegdi Thibeault
Torsney Ur Valeri Wilfert
Wood – 117


NAYS

Members

Bellehumeur Bergeron Bernier (Bonaventure – Gaspé – Îles - de - la - Madeleine – Pabok) Bigras
Brison Cadman Cardin Crête
Davies Desjarlais Desrochers Dubé (Lévis - et - Chutes - de - la - Chaudière)
Dumas Duncan Earle Epp
Forseth Gauthier Gilmour Girard - Bujold
Godin (Acadie – Bathurst) Grewal Guay Hardy
Hart Hill (Prince George – Peace River) Hoeppner Jones
Keddy (South Shore) Konrad Lowther MacKay (Pictou – Antigonish – Guysborough)
Mark McNally Morrison Muise
Obhrai Perron Picard (Drummond) Power
Proctor Scott (Skeena) Solomon White (Langley – Abbotsford)
Williams  – 45


PAIRED

Members

Anderson Asselin Bachand (Saint - Jean) Barnes
Bonwick Brien Canuel Cauchon
Chrétien (Frontenac – Mégantic) Clouthier Dalphond - Guiral de Savoye
Debien Dromisky Duceppe Finlay
Fournier Fry Gagnon Godfrey
Godin (Châteauguay) Goodale Guarnieri Guimond
Karetak - Lindell Lalonde Laurin Lavigne
Loubier Marceau Ménard Mercier
Mifflin Mills (Broadview – Greenwood) Normand O'Brien (Labrador)
O'Brien (London – Fanshawe) Peric Pickard (Chatham – Kent Essex) Plamondon
Provenzano Robillard Rocheleau Serré
Shepherd St - Hilaire Tremblay (Lac - Saint - Jean) Tremblay (Rimouski – Mitis)
Turp Venne Volpe Wappel


 

The Speaker: I declare the motion carried.

[English]

Hon. Don Boudria: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. In order to enable us to conclude some government business, I would ask that you seek consent not to see 11 o'clock for five minutes or so, to permit us to pass a certain number of motions and things I think the House would agreed to do. I would ask that you delay question period by five minutes.

The Speaker: At this time of the year my eyesight does get a little bad. Is there agreement to proceed in such a fashion?

Some hon. members: Agreed.

SECOND READING AND CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS

 

The House resumed from June 10 consideration of the motion in relation to the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-49, an act providing for the ratification and the bringing into effect of the Framework Agreement on First Nations Land Management.

Mr. Mike Scott (Skeena, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, I will conclude my remarks from yesterday because I did not get a chance to finish then.

I find it rather reprehensible that the government would not see fit to try to pass a motion for emergency debate on a number of very serious issues like grain handling and other matters which we thought to be of an urgent nature.

However, government members saw fit last night to try to pass a motion to start an emergency debate because they wanted to go home eight days early. I find that very unacceptable.

The Speaker: Is the House ready for the question?

Some hon. members: Question.

 

. 1100 + -

The Speaker: Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Some hon. members: Agreed.

An hon. member: On division.

(Motion agreed to, amendments read the second time and concurred in)

*  *  *

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

Hon. Don Boudria (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I wish to seek unanimous consent for the following. I move:  

    That, immediately after Routine Proceedings, the House shall proceed to private members' hour, during which time the Chair shall not receive dilatory motions or quorum calls; and

    That, when the House adjourns this day, it shall stand adjourned to Monday, September 20, 1999, provided that, for the purposes of sections (3) and (4) of Standing Order 28, it shall be deemed to stand adjourned pursuant to section (2) of the said standing order and provided that if, during the adjournment, any standing committee has a report ready for presentation to the House, the said report may be deposited with the Clerk of the House and there shall thereupon be deemed to have been tabled in the House.

The Speaker: Does the hon. government House leader have permission to put the motion to the House?

Some hon. members: Agreed.

The Speaker: The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Some hon. members: Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)



STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[English]

SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

Ms. Beth Phinney (Hamilton Mountain, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the vast majority of the world's population is made up of young people who will come of age in the next millennium with little or no information about their sexual and reproductive health.

Annually two million people between the ages of five and fifteen are introduced into the global commercial sex market, the majority of them adolescent girls. Annually an estimated one in twenty adolescents contracts a sexually transmitted disease.

The United Nations Population Fund Report on the State of the World and the International Conference on Population and Development have said both developed and developing countries must work to remove legal, regulatory and cultural barriers to sexual and reproductive health so that adolescents are able to have better access to the information and services about their health.

Since July 11 is World Population Day, I call upon CIDA and colleagues on both sides of this House to use this occasion to support initiatives that promote the sexual and reproductive health needs of young people.

*  *  *

CULTURAL EVENTS

Mr. Inky Mark (Dauphin—Swan River, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, as we break for the summer, all members will have the opportunity to attend cultural events in their ridings.

Canadians are proud of their culture. Canada is a very rich and diverse multicultural society. We are the envy of the world. Canada produces some of the best in the world, like Céline Dion. Canadians consider her as Canadian as the maple leaf. Canadians want to learn more about their heroes, heroes like William Barker, Billy Bishop, Dr. George Mackay and many other Canadians.

In closing, I would like to invite all members to my riding of Dauphin—Swan River to attend these cultural events: Canada's National Ukrainian Festival in Dauphin; the World Lily Festival in Neepawa; the Classic Rock Music Weekend in Minnedosa; Dauphin's Country Music Festival; the Northwest Roundup and Exhibition in Swan River; and the Jesus Manifest Christian Music Festival in Dauphin.

Mr. Speaker, to you and to all members, have a great cultural summer.

*  *  *

 

. 1105 + -

INTERNATIONAL ORDER OF THE KING'S DAUGHTERS AND SONS

Mr. Mac Harb (Ottawa Centre, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would like to offer my congratulations to the International Order of the King's Daughters and Sons who just celebrated their 110th anniversary on Saturday, June 5.

This organization has performed countless charitable acts within the community. They have encouraged many young Canadians through their distribution of scholarships and bursaries to students every year. They have also assisted the senior community of Ottawa Centre by developing and providing a meals on wheels service, the first to appear in the area.

Congratulations to the King's Daughters and Sons who have enhanced our community with their kindness.

*  *  *

[Translation]

THE LATE SARAH NINGIURUVIK

Mr. Guy St-Julien (Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, today we are mourning Sarah Ningiuruvik of Kangiqsujuaq in Nunavik. She was well known and very involved in her community.

In an accident on June 1 at a fishing camp, she received third degree burns from head to toe. She suffered for more than 20 hours before receiving proper care for serious burns because of transportation regulations. Six airlines were unable to get to Kangiqsujuaq because of these regulations.

The Nunavik leaders, Pita Aatami, Johnny Adams and Jean Dupuis, are asking the governments of Canada and Quebec to establish new regulations for flight times and an emergency medical intervention service on a 24-hour-a-day basis for remote and northern regions in Quebec and Canada.

In the name of Sarah Ningiuruvik and her family and the people of the northern regions, we must find a solution to this very serious problem in the far North.

*  *  *

THYROID DISEASE

Mr. Bernard Patry (Pierrefonds—Dollard, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that June is Thyroid Disease Month in Canada.

More than a million Canadians of all ages suffer from some sort of thyroid disease, which strikes five to ten times more women than men. Undiagnosed and untreated, thyroid troubles can often lead to serious physical and emotional problems.

The Thyroid Foundation of Canada, through its 22 chapters, works to promote public awareness of thyroid disease through publications and information meetings at the community level right across the country.

I take this opportunity to honour the remarkable work done by the Thyroid Foundation of Canada and its many devoted volunteers and to wish them every possible success during Thyroid Disease Month.

*  *  *

[English]

UNITED ALTERNATIVE

Mr. Ken Epp (Elk Island, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, Canadians want a government that listens to the people and reflects their views on issues like pornography.

They want a government that actually supports health care instead of just talking about it.

They want a government that provides real protection for law-abiding citizens and not just window dressing with concurrent sentences for multiple offenders.

Most of all they want lower taxes, lower taxes, lower taxes. They are sick and tired of being taxed to death. They are tired of a finance minister bombarding them with empty words while they are in the crunch with empty wallets.

They want a government which gives new opportunities for economic independence and prosperity. They want a government in which their representatives, the MPs that they elected, are effective and not just the Prime Minister's robots.

Last night's vote shows Canadians that they do have an alternative to this ineffective, arrogant, tax loving Liberal government. I invite everyone who is like minded to get on board. The train is leaving the station and Joe Clark is not on it.

*  *  *

AIR AND ARMY CADETS

Mr. Lou Sekora (Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I recently attended ceremonial reviews for the air and army cadet squadrons in my riding. I came away tremendously impressed with the level of training displayed by these young Canadians. The precision with which these cadets carried out their assignments reflected their dedication to the military.

I congratulate the 754 Phoenix Air Cadet Squadron and the 2893 Seaforth Highlanders Army Cadets. These fine young people are setting an example for all of their colleagues and making their parents and their peers proud of them.

Well done, cadets.

*  *  *

[Translation]

SOUTH AFRICA

Mrs. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ): Mr. Speaker, last week, South Africa held its second multiracial democratic election. I wish to congratulate Thabo Mbeki, Nelson Mandela's successor, on his victory.

The high turnout and the peaceful staging of this election are a tribute to the people's determination to pursue their fight for democracy. South Africans have set an example for Africa and people the world over in their quest for justice, equality and reconciliation.

The challenges facing the ANC are many and daunting. Tackling the problems of AIDS, unemployment, crime, discrimination and the inequitable distribution of wealth are some of the first items that will have to go on the new government's agenda.

 

. 1110 + -

Bloc Quebecois members congratulate the candidates of all parties. Thanks to them and the people of South Africa, renewed democracy in this country holds out strong hope for the future.

*  *  *

[English]

HOUSING

Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Canada's housing crisis requires action by all levels of government. On a typical night, 300 people crowd into homeless shelters in Vancouver, 700 in Calgary, 400 in Ottawa and 4,000 in Toronto.

There are other signs the poor are having a tough time making ends meet in our cities. The use of food banks is up. There is more panhandling. The waiting lists for subsidized housing are long and getting longer. In Toronto it is estimated the waiting period for admission to social housing is well over five years. It is estimated that 490,000 social housing units are urgently needed.

There is something basically wrong when more and more people cannot afford to live in Canada's richest cities. It is time to make social investments in housing. It is time for a national housing program.

*  *  *

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George—Peace River, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, terror struck the town of St. Jean-sur-Richelieu yesterday when Ginette Samson was murdered by her husband as she slept in a women's shelter.

Shelters are supposed to be secret havens for women and children escaping abuse. Yesterday was the ultimate violation. How did this happen? How did he find his wife? Most important, what can we do to provide the needed protection for abused women?

Spousal homicides are far too common in our society. There are on average 100 spousal killings a year in Canada. This is horrendous. We have a duty to provide the necessary protection to the most vulnerable in our society.

I have introduced Private Member's Bill C-494, the new identities act, which would bring those spouses and their children in life threatening situations under the services of the witness protection program. I urge all members to support this important cause.

I only hope that the tragic death of Ginette Samson is the last time a person is murdered in this country trying to flee an abusive spouse.

*  *  *

THE ECONOMY

Mr. Stan Keyes (Hamilton West, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as we return to our constituencies today we can all pride ourselves on having made Canada yet a better country in which to live. We have adopted legislation to invest in children, to rebuild our economy, to strengthen our health care system and to reduce taxes.

Make no mistake, our efforts are paying off. Canadians are seeing the benefits of our government's sound fiscal and social policies. This morning's Hamilton Spectator reports that Canada's economy has grown at an annual rate of 4.2% in the past three months, well ahead of our U.S. neighbours. Fueled by the news of our outstanding economic performance, the Canadian dollar rose by nearly half a cent yesterday.

Thanks to the sacrifices made by my constituents and all Canadians, thanks to the leadership of the right hon. Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and to this government's policies of balanced budgets, low inflation, low interest rates and job creation, we all benefit from our strong economy.

*  *  *

CHILD POVERTY

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Mr. Speaker, in 1989 the House of Commons unanimously passed a resolution to end child poverty in the year 2000. As we approach the 10 year anniversary, are we any closer? Are children in poverty any better off?

The answer is a resounding no. Kids are worse off. Families in poverty are worse off and the number of people and the depth of poverty is increasing. What a disgrace. And what an absurdity and insult that the Liberal government speaks about ending child poverty yet every action, program and cutback has taken us in the opposite direction.

There is one sign of hope. The report from the subcommittee on children and youth at risk is raising the issues that need to be addressed and is questioning government policy. As we end this session, I want to thank all the witnesses and the organizations who spoke boldly and plainly about the deficit of social policy in regard to children.

Addressing inequality and growing poverty in a rich country like Canada must be our priority. I look forward to the committee continuing its work.

*  *  *

[Translation]

ROCH NAPERT

Mrs. Pauline Picard (Drummond, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to congratulate Roch Napert, a retired teacher, on the publication of his second collection of poetry.

His first collection, Partir est ailleurs, was published in 1997. I will read just a few lines: “He was a man contemplating the emotion of living: first, a young man reconciling authority with his search for meaning; then, a man looking to the object of his love for his own and the other's identity; and, finally, a man overtaken by Time, and robbed of his dream”.

 

. 1115 + -

The collection is a snapshot of life, the language a melange of the reticent and the bawdy. His most recent collection, La nuit voyage seule, is a universal tapestry rich with experience. Inspired by the collection's title, painter Denis Nadeau stopped off at Lac Saint-Pierre to create the cover page.

Through his poetic endeavours, Mr. Napert is helping to enrich the culture of Quebec and we thank him.

*  *  *

GOVERNMENT OF QUEBEC

Mr. Robert Bertrand (Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is official: two days ago, the Bouchard government kicked off Quebec's referendum campaign in good Le Hir style with a series of partisan studies on social union.

Not surprisingly, the overall solution proposed was the separation of Quebec from the rest of Canada. Anything less would have been a bombshell. As in the 1995 referendum, the public will obviously be left to pick up the tab for these studies, which comes to approximately $66,000.

Clearly, the PQ government has no intention of working to improve the Canadian social union. Once again, the separatists would rather launch Quebec on a path of political uncertainty, which does not augur well for the coming months. It is a sad road ahead.

*  *  *

[English]

REFORM PARTY OF CANADA

Mr. Gerald Keddy (South Shore, PC): Mr. Speaker, moments ago in the House I heard the word “reprehensible”. I can tell the House what reprehensible is. Reprehensible is the misinformation and innuendo spread by the hon. member for Skeena about Bill C-49.

The hon. member for Skeena yesterday railed against the 25% benchmark required for first nations to approve their land codes. He misled parliament by omitting the fact that a 50% approval rating is needed on the first vote. That is what reprehensible is and it is time that it stopped in the House.

Let us look at the Reform's own record. It has 70,000 members and 32,000 members voted in the UA process. That is 46%. The first nations need 50%. Of the 46% of Reform members who voted, 27% approved the UA. It would seem that 27% is good enough for Reform, but 25% is not good enough for first nations. That is what reprehensible is.

The Speaker: I advise hon. members to please be very judicious, especially in the use of “misleading”.

*  *  *

UNITED ALTERNATIVE

Mr. Randy White (Langley—Abbotsford, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, did you ever hear such fear in your life over there?

Last night Canadians saw a remarkable display of democracy in action as the Leader of the Opposition announced the results of the first united alternative vote.

While the results of the ballot will no doubt be the focus of the media and political pundits, to me the real winner last night was the democratic process. This was not a top-down, backroom deal forced on the grassroots members of our party. This was an open, honest debate followed by a free vote for every Reform member from coast to coast, and boy do they not like it in this place.

The membership has spoken and given the leadership a clear mandate to explore a new principled alternative to the governing Liberals who were elected by default with a meagre 38% of the vote in the election.

Canadians want change and the Reform Party is leading the way once again.

I might add that the fear with the status quo people in the House is obvious today, is it not? Here we come from the Reform Party.

*  *  *

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Ms. Elinor Caplan (Thornhill, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, recently 13 Jewish Iranians were arrested in Iran on charges of espionage.

They are accused of working on behalf of Israel and the United States, charges which are denied by both countries. I understand that charges of espionage in Iran, particularly related to Israel, carry the death penalty.

The arrests include a number of rabbis and leaders in the Jewish community in Iran. The arrest of these individuals is unwarranted and unacceptable. I believe that because of their religion, the accused will not receive a fair trial.

Canada must do everything within our power to assist these falsely accused prisoners. I would ask that the Minister of Foreign Affairs immediately investigate the situation and add Canada's voice to others around the world in demanding the release of these political prisoners.



ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

[English]

GOVERNMENT GRANTS

Mr. Randy White (Langley—Abbotsford, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, it is almost silly season again in Shawinigan, is it not? The summer is coming and the Prime Minister will be travelling to do his rubber chicken barbeques and giving rubber chicken speeches. The Prime Minister will be wandering around the ridings shouting, “Grants, come and get your grants”, or “We take your cheques”.

 

. 1120 + -

In an effort to aid the citizens of the coincidence capital of Canada in their summer budgeting, I would like to ask the Prime Minister what this year's price is for a $1 million dollar grant, including the GST.

The Speaker: Because the hon. Deputy Prime Minister is on his feet, I am going to permit the question. I do not know how that was exactly connected to administrative responsibility, but I will permit the Deputy Prime Minister to respond.

Hon. Herb Gray (Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's question is unworthy even of the Reform Party.

I think they want to deflect attention from the good economic news that in the first quarter of 1999 real GDP rose at a 4.2% annual rate for the first quarter of 1999. Exports of goods and services increased by 2.1% while personal income also grew. Consumer spending showed renewed strength while the housing market grew at an incredible pace.

If the hon. member was serious about serving Canada, he would ask me about this himself and not wait until I gave these facts.

Mr. Randy White (Langley—Abbotsford, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, we would have better economic news in the country if these guys would stop giving grants out to all their buddies.

The Prime Minister has done it all wrong in the past. His current chief salesman is under investigation by the RCMP. I think it is time he enlisted the help of a real marketing professional. Oh no, he cannot do that because he will be in Milan on another patronage job. Perhaps the heritage minister could help us out? She is making a career out of spending millions of dollars of taxpayers' money selling Canadians a culture they already own.

Why will the Prime Minister not just change the focus of this summer's campaign to truly help his constituents by giving them better health care and lower taxes?

Hon. Herb Gray (Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is so immersed in his desperate attempt to prevent the disintegration of the Reform Party that he has missed the fact that we are already working with $11.5 billion to give Canadians better health care. We are already working toward general tax reductions by giving Canadians $16.5 billion in tax reductions over the next three years.

I know the hon. member is desperate to prevent a revolt among his Reform Party members, but why does he not ask me about this instead of waiting for me, again, I say, to give these facts?

Mr. Randy White (Langley—Abbotsford, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, it would not matter what I asked them, I would not get answers to it anyway.

In fact, if they asked the young people today how good a job the government has done, they would say that it was pathetic, quite frankly.

The Prime Minister has been excellent at raising money for himself and his cronies. He has even managed to boost the value of his own company using his little marketing scheme.

Some hon. members: Oh, oh.

The Speaker: Order, please. I would ask the hon. opposition House leader to go directly to his question, please.

Mr. Randy White: Mr. Speaker, why will the Prime Minister not do what really creates jobs in the country and cut taxes for his constituents who, by the way, are suffering from an unemployment rate of better than 12%?

Hon. Herb Gray (Windsor West, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there is an inaccurate and misleading premise to the question. The Prime Minister has no shares in the company in question. As the ethics commissioner told the parliamentary committee, “This is a done deal. It was over. There are no connections and no financial connections regarding the Prime Minister in either the auberge or the golf course”.

The premise of the question is wrong and the hon. member is wrong in saying the Prime Minister has not been helping his constituents. He has been doing so and doing so properly. If the hon. member was not trying to hide the fact that the united alternative referendum was an abject failure—only 32% of the members voted—then he would not try to—

The Speaker: Especially on this day, my colleagues, would we stay away from the word “misleading”.

*  *  *

 

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HEALTH

Mr. Gurmant Grewal (Surrey Central, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, Canada's blood system has failed us again.

Mr. Joel Pinon lied about his history when he donated blood, but his lie is only part of the problem. Someone was given Mr. Pinon's blood before it was properly screened. Canadians are told that their blood system is safe but we now know it is not.

How can the health minister claim that our blood system has been fixed, when we now know that simple screening processes are being ignored?

Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Health, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, when people give blood they are asked questions to identify and eliminate risk. In the case the member refers to, someone was asked the right questions. The appropriate and safe procedure was followed. Apparently the man was dishonest in responding. As a result, the regulatory agencies have acted. They have traced the blood. They have tested it and it has tested negative. The regulatory agencies are doing everything they can to respond in an appropriate way.

Mr. Gurmant Grewal (Surrey Central, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, the health minister is making light of a very serious situation. This decision became public only because Mr. Pinon was trying to make a point.

Unfortunately, another point was made: The blood system has a problem with its screening procedures.

What specific measures is the health minister taking to protect the lives of vulnerable Canadians?

Hon. Allan Rock (Minister of Health, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I assure the House and all Canadians that Health Canada and all of those involved in the blood system are doing everything possible to ensure a safe supply.

One thing that is not helpful is for people, like this member and his colleague yesterday, to stand here and try to fearmonger for political purposes about the blood system in the country. This is nothing less than shameful.

*  *  *

[Translation]

SOCIAL UNION

Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ): Mr. Speaker, Claude Ryan, the former leader of the Quebec Liberal Party, judges social union very severely.

He says, and I quote “This is the third time in the past 20 years that, after committing to a joint undertaking with the other provinces and territories, Quebec has been abandoned in mid-stream by its partners.”

How can the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs consider that social union is the eighth wonder of the world, when even Quebec federalists consider it one more step toward a highly centralized Canada?

Hon. Stéphane Dion (President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we share Mr. Ryan's opinion on the objective, which is to affirm the specific nature of Quebec within Canada.

We have differing opinions, however, on the consequences of social union. In our opinion, this agreement is going to reinforce affirmation of the specific nature of Quebec within Canada, and if the unique character of Quebec society is not explicitly mentioned in the agreement, which Mr. Ryan justifiably regrets, that is very much contrary to the wishes of the Government of Canada.

Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the nation builders in Ottawa are determined, in the name of an abstract and doctrinaire vision of individual and provincial equality, to introduce asymmetry into our federal system.

When is the minister going to quit playing with words and concepts and tell Quebecers clearly that his vision of the federalism of the future is an even greater centralization than we have at present, which does not correspond to what Quebecers, even federalist Quebecers, want?

Hon. Stéphane Dion (President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, no one can seriously claim that Canada is a centralized federation. Even Mr. Parizeau, the shadow leader of the Bloc Quebecois, has acknowledged that it was the most decentralized.

I shall take the hon. member literally, however. He is calling for clear questions to be asked of Quebecers. If he asks Quebecers clearly whether they want to renounce Canada in favour of Quebec as an independent state, what the Prime Minister of Canada said in 1995 to the then Leader of the Opposition and leader of the Bloc Quebecois is really extremely true “If you ask a clear question, you will take quite a beating”.

Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ): Fine opening message, Mr. Speaker.

The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is impressed by authoritative arguments. Yet, he quoted Claude Castonguay this week in defence of the social union. Here is what Claude Ryan thinks of Mr. Castonguay's remark, and I quote “He is the only one to express such a favourable opinion”.

My question is for the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. Does the minister realize he does not have many friends left in his camp to share and defend Ottawa's centralizing vision of Quebec?

 

. 1130 + -

Hon. Stéphane Dion (President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is not a centralizing vision. The Government of Canada now has additional constraints on the exercise of its spending power.

I do not like authoritative arguments, but since the hon. member has invited me, I want to point out that the leader of the official opposition in the National Assembly said “Today's agreement is more than the status quo. It represents improvements in areas that are vital and sensitive to Quebec's interests”.

I would like to say as well that I have an Angus Reid poll here that shows 42% of Quebecers supporting the agreement, 26% of them opposing it and 21% undecided.

Quebecers are not sheep. They have varying opinions. They must be given good arguments, something the Bloc never does.

Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the minister may put on fancy airs here in the House, but he must consider it very disappointing to find himself isolated in his abstract and doctrinaire concept of nation building, according to the words of Claude Ryan himself.

Could the minister admit for once that apart from a few ultra federalists, no Quebecer supports the centralizing and unitarian vision of Canada his government is pursuing?

Hon. Stéphane Dion (President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, since we are talking about Mr. Ryan, I would like to stick to arguments, so it is difficult to discuss with the member.

I would like to point out that, although we can disagree with Mr. Ryan, there are points on which we do agree.

Some hon. members: Oh, oh.

The Speaker: Order. Please. The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Hon. Stéphane Dion: Mr. Speaker, all the Bloc does is hurl insults.

An hon. member: You are the one hurling insults.

Hon. Stéphane Dion: I would like to say one thing. When the Bloc leader was the member for Roberval, this sort of thing did not occur, all to his credit.

Back to the argument now. Mr. Ryan did say things we agree with. If I may—

An hon. member: He is saying any old thing.

Hon. Stéphane Dion: —I will quote him, with respect to federal spending power.

[English]

I am not inclined to question this power in principle for two reasons. First, the spending power is an essential power of sovereign states. Second, in the past this power was necessary or very useful, to say the least, in situations of serious economic and social difficulty in the promotion of equal opportunity for all Canadians.

*  *  *

AGRICULTURE

Mr. John Solomon (Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the agriculture minister is set to tour southeast Saskatchewan and southwest Manitoba later today.

If the minister were serious about understanding the real conditions faced by farmers, he would already know that more than two million acres of farmland are under water. Farmers are not interested in the media splash. What they really need is urgent cash.

When will the government stop persecuting western farmers and start helping western farmers?

Mr. Joe McGuire (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, yesterday hon. members were saying that they wanted to see the minister of agriculture beyond the borders of Ontario. Now that he is going beyond the borders of Ontario, they do not want to see him. They cannot have it both ways.

The minister is going out to talk to producers to see firsthand what the problems are and he will take steps to solve those problems.

Mr. John Solomon (Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, farmers have been facing one disaster after another: depression level commodity prices and then the slashing of domestic subsidies like the Crow benefit which led to last year's farm income disaster. Now flooding is causing a natural disaster. In response to these disasters, we have another man-made disaster, the government's AIDA program.

Will the government listen to prairie farmers who have spent about 30 hours each filling out their AIDA application forms, only to find out they are not eligible? Will the government fix the AIDA program and truly help western farmers? Or, will farmers be facing a third man-made disaster from the Liberal government by themselves?

Mr. Joe McGuire (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the government has responded to every disaster that has occurred in western Canada. It has responded with a $1.5 billion program to help those farmers.

What we ask the farmers to do and what we ask hon. members opposite to do is to spend their summer helping their farmers fill out their application forms, because every other farmer in Canada is doing it and they are getting money for it.

*  *  *

AIRBUS

Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, PC): Mr. Speaker, serious allegations of wrongdoing involving private holdings, campaign donations and questionable use of taxpayer money continues to plague the Prime Minister. As evidence mounts and the plot thickens, the grey fog rolls in to present the Liberal spin to cloak the facts and cover the tracks.

 

. 1135 + -

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, when will the government withdraw this spurious letter of baseless allegations against Mr. Mulroney sent to Swiss authorities and call an end to the ill-founded airbus investigation?

[Translation]

Mr. Jacques Saada (Parliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my colleague opposite has a hard time understanding the answers we give day after day to his questions, which are always the same.

I will repeat for the 51st or 52nd time the same answer: the federal government has no intention of meddling in the decisions of the RCMP, of conducting an inquiry or of stopping an inquiry. It is not our role. Ours is a legislative role. The RCMP's is an investigative role.

We have no business meddling, especially since this investigation was recognized in the agreement reached with Mr. Mulroney at the time. I really do not understand why my colleague opposite cannot comprehend that.

[English]

Mr. Peter MacKay (Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, PC): Mr. Speaker, Canadians have come to expect stonewalling and delay every time they come in conflict with the Liberal government. When issues arise citizens face a barrage of government lawyers intent on foot dragging and legal manoeuvring.

A second named party in the airbus debacle now has a $50 million lawsuit pending against the Canadian government. My question is for the architect of airbus, the Deputy Prime Minister. Does the Liberal government intend to settle this matter the way it did with Mr. Mulroney, or does it intend to be dragged kicking and screaming through the courts before facing a final costly, humiliating verdict?

Hon. Herb Gray (Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the lawsuit to which the hon. member referred that was settled involved Mr. Mulroney absolutely dropping his claim for damages. Second, what was paid was simply the legal costs.

In the written minutes of settlement signed on behalf of Mr. Mulroney, he recognized that the RCMP had a perfect right to begin the investigation and to carry it out.

The hon. member ought to read the minutes of settlement and pass on to some other matters of real concern to Canadians.

*  *  *

IMMIGRATION

Mr. Grant McNally (Dewdney—Alouette, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, the immigration minister continues to use refugees as a revenue source. The minister claims that in the fall she will examine the $975 right of landing fee which she forces refugees to pay when they apply for permanent residence status.

The Canadian public, all opposition parties, and indeed members of the Liberal cabinet, are calling for the elimination of this fee now. Why will the minister not act today to stop taxing refugees, vulnerable people who are seeking the protection of Canada?

Mr. Andrew Telegdi (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me say that the member is wrong again. He seems to be a rather slow learner. We went through the same process in the House last night.

If we take the question of the refugees, particularly the ones from Kosovo right now, let me inform the member that the government has no fees for any of the refugees coming in. As a matter a fact the government has put forward $100 million to take care of these refugees.

For the member to stand in the House to try to create an issue where there is none does a disservice to the generosity of Canadians.

Mr. Grant McNally (Dewdney—Alouette, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, if there is anybody who is wrong it is members of the Liberal government. They are the ones that continue to impose the head tax on refugees. In fact, they had an opportunity to remedy the situation yesterday in committee and instead voted down a motion to remove the head tax. They continue to tax refugees and they know it.

In 1996 the Liberal Party called for the elimination of the head tax. Why is the government intent on ripping off refugees? Why does it not do the right thing and eliminate the head tax here, now, today?

Mr. Andrew Telegdi (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me categorically say that there is no head tax in the country.

For the member to stand and trivialize a very tragic time in the history of the country when Chinese Canadians suffered is despicable. I understand that the Reform Party has an identity crisis. It does not know if it is coming or going. However this party is for refugees and this party is for immigration, unlike the Reform Party.

*  *  *

 

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[Translation]

MILLENNIUM SCHOLAARSHIPS

Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont, BQ): Mr. Speaker, as an example of doctrinaire and rigid nation building, it would be hard to improve on this government's approach to the millennium scholarships.

After a battle in parliament and in the media, the minister has given way a little and is talking with the Quebec minister of education, but just on the phone as he refuses to meet with the Quebec minister.

With this obstinacy and rigidity, has the Minister of Human Resources Development not just demonstrated that Quebec is doomed to a never-ending battle to protect its constitutional areas of jurisdiction from a system which—

The Speaker: The hon. Minister of Human Resources Development.

Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I can assure the House of one thing: our government is very vigilant about not encroaching on areas of Quebec jurisdiction. We have been saying that for a year now.

We have negotiated agreements with Alberta and Ontario, and now all of Quebec is calling for them as well, the students and the universities, to such an extent that the Government of Quebec has finally agreed to sit down and negotiate based on the Gautrin resolution.

Here I see the Bloc Quebecois trying to play petty politics at a time when we are trying to serve the students of Quebec who will at last be able to take advantage of Canadian government assistance in funding their studies.

They are our priority, not those people over there.

Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development is still doggedly insisting on defending the indefensible and at throwing out meaningless slogans and platitudes.

Is the Minister of Human Resources Development, Claude Ryan's former chief of staff, not moved by the words of his former guru to reflect on the severe judgment his former boss has made on his behaviour, his government and the evolution of Canadian federalism?

Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I would encourage the members of the Bloc Quebecois to read my book Pour une politique de confiance. They were not willing to engage in a true substantive debate. I think they would notice that there is a consistent thought and a constructive proposal, which young people throughout Quebec are beginning to appreciate considerably, because it opens up their futures.

We are not proposing the status quo. We are not proposing the Quebec model of the 1960s. We are proposing an open society. The narrowness of the past, which is the obsession of the Bloc members, holds no interest for young Quebecers. We are helping them finance their studies in a dynamic society that is not stuck in the past.

*  *  *

[English]

JUSTICE

Mr. Chuck Cadman (Surrey North, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, the solicitor general claims to be getting serious about drugs in the prisons.

Three inmates from the women's prison in Kitchener were recently convicted for conspiring to traffic in the penitentiary. One got nine months and the other two got one day each to be served currently with sentences already being served.

If the solicitor general is so serious about the prison drug problem, I ask the parliamentary secretary if his boss considered speaking with his colleague, the Minister of Justice, about mandating sentences for drug trafficking in prisons to be served consecutively to sentences already being served.

[Translation]

Mr. Jacques Saada (Parliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to point out briefly that the inmates who tried to bring drugs into the penitentiary were prevented from doing so by the institution, which is a tribute to the work that has been done to keep drugs out of the penitentiary.

Second, I thank my hon. colleague for raising the issue of drugs in prison, because I would like to bring something important to his attention. The following are currently in place to try to eliminate the drug problem in prisons: prerelease program for addicts, random urine testing, the ALTO program in Quebec, the CHOICES program pretty well all over the country, the national awareness program designed—

The Speaker: The hon. member for Calgary East.

*  *  *

[English]

EXPORT DEVELOPMENT ACT

Mr. Deepak Obhrai (Calgary East, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, the Minister for International Trade is mandated to conduct a review of the Export Development Act.

All indications from his department and the law firm contracted to perform the review were that the report would be presented to parliament by the end of May.

I ask the minister where is this report.

Hon. Sergio Marchi (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): It will soon come, Mr. Speaker.

*  *  *

 

. 1145 + -

[Translation]

WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION

Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Repentigny, BQ): Mr. Speaker, on the eve of the 1995 referendum, this government passed a distinct society resolution. If it wants to do more than pay lip service to this resolution, now is its golden opportunity.

My question is for the current Minister for International Trade. Does the minister intend to give Quebec a spot on the World Trade Organization delegation?

[English]

Hon. Sergio Marchi (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, at the last federal-provincial conference for ministers of trade, not only did the minister of trade for the province of Quebec agree with the entire agenda, he actually complimented the federal government on how it had been able to consult, not only with Quebec, but with all of the provinces.

“If it ain't broken”, the Quebec minister said, “don't fix it”.

[Translation]

Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Repentigny, BQ): Mr. Speaker, yesterday, we learned that the government intends to abandon the principle of cultural exception—for the Minister of Canadian Heritage, I repeat that that was cultural exception—at the next WTO negotiations. This confirms what Quebec feared, namely that it cannot count on others to defend its special character.

Does the current Minister for International Trade not think that this is one more reason that Quebec should have a spot at the WTO negotiations?

[English]

Hon. Sergio Marchi (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Human Resources Development said moments ago, there are two reasons that the Quebec culture has flourished. First, it is because of Quebecers themselves and, second, it is because they have been able to live in the best country in the world which promotes diversity and uniqueness.

*  *  *

ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE

Mr. Bill Gilmour (Nanaimo—Alberni, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Nanaimo—Alberni the RCMP are being short funded by the federal government. The province, on the other hand, is paying its fair share.

The RCMP cannot operate the coastal boats on a regular basis, the drug squad has been shut down and officers have been moved on to general duty. All of this is occurring because the federal government is not holding up its side of the bargain.

When will the solicitor general reinstate core funding for the RCMP?

[Translation]

Mr. Jacques Saada (Parliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member is a bit out of touch. In the budget just brought down, an additional $37 million was set aside for the RCMP. The British Columbia division received an additional $10 million and $115 million was earmarked for the CPIC.

A study is under way to ensure that the RCMP's funding levels are adequate. An independent firm is helping us carry out this study. The member opposite is fearmongering and he does not have a leg to stand on.

[English]

Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, of the $10 million that was given to the RCMP, this government clawed back $8.5 million.

The federally run RCMP DNA testing lab in British Columbia has a six month backlog of investigations, for some of the most serious crimes committed in the province, due to lack of funding. DNA testing is the most effective, contemporary crime fighting tool that we have.

Why is the government spending millions on bogus grants and handouts rather than fully funding DNA testing?

[Translation]

Mr. Jacques Saada (Parliamentary Secretary to Solicitor General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, since I could not finish earlier, I will do so now.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by the solicitor general, the RCMP and the Treasury Board to ensure that all new contract positions with the RCMP are filled by the Treasury Board and not by the RCMP. The member neglects to mention this.

As for the DNA bank, I am happy to report that the backlog in British Columbia has been reduced by 30% in the last six months.

If the member opposite had bothered to consult his own colleagues, and find out what is happening here at RCMP headquarters with respect to the DNA bank—

The Speaker: The hon. member for Sherbrooke.

*  *  *

WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION

Mr. Serge Cardin (Sherbrooke, BQ): Mr. Speaker, on October 8, 1987 the current Minister of Foreign Affairs demanded that the Progressive Conservative government obtain the agreement of the provinces before signing the free trade agreement because, as he put it, this agreement affected areas under their jurisdiction.

 

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The minister even said that when they formed the government they would be happy to conduct all negotiations with agreement of the provinces.

Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs keep his promise and obtain Quebec's agreement on anything it negotiates with the WTO?

[English]

Hon. Sergio Marchi (Minister for International Trade, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that on the federal-provincial scene, when it comes to international trade, this deal and partnership works harmoniously well.

The Government of Canada, in the case of asbestos, has had more telephone conferences, more meetings and more get togethers with the industry in Quebec and with province of Quebec officials than on any other issue. There has not been one complaint registered to me by the Quebec minister for trade concerning asbestos or any other interest.

There is a national interest within which the provinces certainly participate, consult and advise.

*  *  *

HOMELESSNESS

Mr. Gurbax Singh Malhi (Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour.

The Peel Regional Task Force recently completed its final report and recommended ways to deal with the problem of poverty and homelessness. Can the parliamentary secretary reassure me that this important report and others like it will be looked at by the federal facilitators co-ordinating programs for the homeless?

Mrs. Brenda Chamberlain (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Labour, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that the Minister of Labour will review all of the recommendations of the Peel Regional Task Force.

*  *  *

ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS

Mr. Mike Scott (Skeena, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, Wing Construction is out $2 million and is on the verge of bankruptcy because of the fraudulent actions of Sagkeeng Chief Jerry Fontaine.

I asked the minister about this in the House a few days ago and she said that what precipitated it was when a partnership between the Sagkeeng Indian Band and Wing Construction was dissolved. What she did not tell us was that the partnership was dissolved on the instructions of her department.

Why did the minister's department instruct the Sagkeeng Band to dissolve its partnership with Wing Construction?

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I must say that I am confused by the line of questioning of the hon. member. In fact, I find it bizarre and absurd that the so-called defenders of accountability are asking me to bail out a private sector company for a contractual relationship it has with a first nation, in which I have no legal obligation or partnership, and for work that was undertaken outside the accountability measures of my department.

This just does not seem to be consistent with what they believe to be important and what we believe to be important, which is to ensure that there are fair and accountable activities and practices between the federal government and first nations. That is really what we are focusing on.

Mr. Derrek Konrad (Prince Albert, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, that department is good at leaving people hanging out to dry.

The Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development has remained aloof from the dispute between the Musqueam Band and the non-Musqueam leaseholders who now face lease rate increases of over 7,000%.

Yesterday the standing committee finally received a recommendation. It came from one of the Liberal members and it called on the government to get involved in settling the dispute.

A previous Liberal government was present at the birth of this flawed deal. Is this Liberal government going to abandon the parties to the lease at the end of its life?

Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I find it very strange indeed that the opposition is asking for us to get involved in circumstances in which the federal government has no partnership.

An hon. member: You broke your word.

Hon. Jane Stewart: These contracts are private arrangements, whether it be a lease arrangement or whether it be a construction arrangement.

Let me say that on this side of the House today we are celebrating the passage—

Some hon. members: Oh, oh.

The Speaker: Order, please. We are getting close to the end. Please be very judicious.

Hon. Jane Stewart: Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to recognize that today, on this side of the House, we are celebrating the passage of an extremely important piece of legislation, Bill C-49. We are joined by every other party in the House, save the Reform. Again we see them standing alone against the first nations people of this country, standing against progress for aboriginal people, for jobs, growth and development. The first nations have always known that the Reform Party is against them, but now all Canadians know.

*  *  *

 

. 1155 + -

[Translation]

EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

Mr. Yvon Godin (Acadie—Bathurst, NDP): Mr. Speaker, 800,000 unemployed workers do not qualify for employment insurance because of cuts by this government and the previous Conservative government.

After touring the country to assess how people were affected by the changes made to the EI program by the Minister of Human Resources Development, I made 13 recommendations to the minister.

I ask this minister whether the government will make changes to employment insurance, yes or no, and when will it do so?

Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in reforming employment insurance, we wanted to adapt an extremely important social system.

We are aware that adaptation is sometimes difficult for certain communities and certain individuals. However, the NDP member is asking pretty much the same thing of us as the Bloc does—

Some hon. members: Oh, oh.

Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew: They keep wanting us to turn back the clock. They want us to go back to the 1960s model. This is the essence of what Premier Bouchard wants.

As the government, we want to help people with active measures to enjoy a better future, rather than stay put with passive support.

*  *  *

[English]

CANADIAN FORCES

Mr. Gordon Earle (Halifax West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the way backward is the Liberal government's response thus far to the 200 page report entitled “The Way Forward” given to the Minister of National Defence by Canada's new Canadian forces ombudsman. Over 135 days later the minister sits silent.

With well over 350 complaints waiting and over 8,000 expected, when will the government respond to the report and let the ombudsman begin his work? Or is the minister being silenced by the top military brass?

Hon. Arthur C. Eggleton (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this is a pioneering effort in our department and within the context of a military organization for us in Canada. We want to make sure that we get this office set up so it is able to do an effective and good job and that we get the terms of reference right.

When the ombudsman came forward with a set of recommendations, many of them involved other departments and other areas of jurisdiction outside the control of the Minister of National Defence. It has taken some time to process that through. I think we are getting to the end of that discussion and I expect to have that office up and operating very shortly.

*  *  *

ACCESS TO INFORMATION

Mr. Jim Jones (Markham, PC): Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Deputy Prime Minister. Yesterday the Liberal government hid behind legal technicalities to avoid releasing 363 pages of documents withheld by HRDC to my access to information requests on Yvon Duhaime and Pierre Thibault. I have appealed to the information commissioner.

If the government abides by the Access to Information Act, will it respect the information commissioner's decision on my appeal, yes or no?

Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the premise of the question is absolutely wrong. The government respects the laws of this land concerning access to information. All documents have been released in compliance with access to information guidelines, which of course protect commercial confidences and the privacy of third parties. That is what the law says and we respect it.

*  *  *

AUDITOR GENERAL

Mr. Jim Jones (Markham, PC): Mr. Speaker, today will likely be the last day the House sits and we are still no closer to the truth on Shawinigate. Yesterday the Prime Minister refused to admit that he has the power under section 11 of the Auditor General Act to independently investigate specific projects. The Prime Minister claims he is innocent but offers no independent corroborating evidence.

Why will the government not take politics out of this affair and use section 11 of the Auditor General Act to get to the bottom of these projects?

Hon. Herb Gray (Deputy Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we are taking politics out of this matter by leaving the role of the auditor general to the auditor general himself, to exercise his independent authority in the way he sees fit. The Canadian people and this House are rejecting the call of the Conservative Party for political interference in the matter involving the role of the auditor general. I think that is quite appropriate.

The hon. member should bear in mind that the comments he has made about innocence are totally contrary to the premises of Canadian and British justice which say that he who asserts must prove. There are no charges that demand a response from the Prime Minister with respect to innocence.

 

. 1200 + -

He has acted with the utmost integrity. He has answered every question clearly, carefully and fully. The ethics commissioner has appeared before the parliamentary committee and confirmed that the Prime Minister acted in a perfectly proper manner.

*  *  *

KOSOVO

Ms. Sarmite Bulte (Parkdale—High Park, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister for International Cooperation.

All Canadians are gratified that a peace agreement has been reached in Kosovo. However, there are still hundreds of thousands of refugees in neighbouring countries and still more actually inside Kosovo. Many homes and villages have been destroyed and crops have not been planted for next season.

Will the minister tell the House how Canada will be assisting the Kosovars to return to their homes?

Hon. Diane Marleau (Minister for International Cooperation and Minister responsible for Francophonie, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, much needs to be done.

The internally displaced people must have access to supplies and medical attention as they have received nothing so far. The externally displaced, the refugees, need organizational support to return. They all need help to get ready for next winter.

To meet this challenge, I have allocated $5 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from the original moneys earmarked for Kosovo.

*  *  *

DIVORCE ACT

Mr. Paul Forseth (New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Justice mailed a rather incredibly insulting document flogging the government's strategy on child custody in the Divorce Act and urging MPs to use it in their summer householders.

It said the best interests of children must be the highest priority, but nowhere is there mention that the minister will delay this so-called high priority well into the next millennium. That is the real story.

Why is the minister willing to wait three more years? Why is she willing to let thousands of children suffer in needless custody disputes? The joint committee gave the plan. Where is the legislation?

Ms. Eleni Bakopanos (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, custody and access are very complex and difficult questions which require complex solutions.

The report by two Queen's University law professors emphasizes how difficult, complex and challenging the issue is. We want to take the time to do it right, not to do it quickly, as the Reform Party is suggesting.

*  *  *

[Translation]

ANTI-GANG LEGISLATION

Mr. Michel Bellehumeur (Berthier—Montcalm, BQ): Mr. Speaker, for several months now, the Bloc Quebecois has been working to strengthen the anti-gang legislation and make it more effective. This is a good thing too, because the police in Quebec is concerned about new biker wars.

My question is a very simple one. Can the minister tell us whether the government is prepared to work with us and, more importantly, whether the Bloc Quebecois can count on the government's support in introducing more effective and enforceable anti-gang legislation that would take effect before the end of the year?

Ms. Eleni Bakopanos (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question.

I will simply remind the House that the present government, under the former justice minister, passed anti-gang legislation in 1997. This legislation was greeted warmly by the legal community. If any amendments to this legislation are necessary, the minister and this government would be very pleased to examine suggestions from the Bloc Quebecois or from members from other parties in the House.

We are anxious to improve the legislation we ourselves introduced, precisely in order to do something about this serious problem in our society.

*  *  *

[English]

VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Ms. Louise Hardy (Yukon, NDP): Mr. Speaker, women in the country are facing increasing violence. There is the case of a woman whose children were kidnapped, smuggled into the country and stay here on a minister's permit.

Women are killed. They are abducted from their workplace. Now they are even killed in women's shelters. Women are most likely to be murdered when they try to leave a marriage.

Will the minister responsible make sure women's shelters are secure? Will the minister responsible make sure that the kidnapped children go back to their mother? Will the minister also make sure that a murderer cannot use the defence of provocation to excuse murder?

 

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Ms. Eleni Bakopanos (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, violence against women is a very serious matter. The government has in fact taken measures.

Obviously the problem has not yet been alleviated. We will continue to make progress on the government side of the House through our gun control legislation and through measures by the minister responsible for the status of women.

Violence against women is unacceptable and has zero tolerance in terms of our society. We will continue working with all departments of the government to ensure that this type of scenario does not continue.

*  *  *

CANADIAN COAST GUARD

Mr. Mark Muise (West Nova, PC): Mr. Speaker, on Monday, I asked the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans whether the Canadian Coast Guard was considering removing Yarmouth's emergency helicopter service as a means of cutting costs. The response suggested that the department was indeed concerned with the safety of our fishers.

Will the minister demonstrate this concern by agreeing here and now to keeping the emergency helicopter service fully staffed and operational in Yarmouth?

Mr. Wayne Easter (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, with reference to the helicopter, no specific decision has been taken on it. I can assure the hon. member that search and rescue are definitely a priority of the government.

The Canadian Coast Guard has a proud Canadian heritage. We have tried to build on that heritage by making better use of limited resources and ensuring they are more efficient. The bottom line is ensuring safety for boaters and fishers in the country.

We as the Canadian government want to build on the strong Canadian Coast Guard heritage.

*  *  *

[Translation]

CANCER

Mrs. Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul's, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we are all aware of the devastating effects of cancer, and we all have a relative, friend or colleague who has been affected by this disease. Research has a definitive part to play in beating cancer.

Could the Secretary of State for Science, Research and Development tell us what the government of Canada is doing to encourage research in this area?

Hon. Ronald J. Duhamel (Secretary of State (Science, Research and Development) (Western Economic Diversification), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there are numerous initiatives throughout Canada, in our universities and in our hospitals. However, I would like to particularly mention a partnership agreement signed yesterday between Pasteur-Merieux-Connaught Canada, along with its worldwide network, the private sector, and the National Research Council representing the government.

They are focusing their unique expertise on what I believe is the greatest challenge of our time, namely to beat cancer, breast and prostate cancer in particular.

This initiative shows that Canada has the brains, the expertise and the knowledge to do leading-edge research comparable to what is—

The Speaker: I am sorry to interrupt the hon. secretary of state.

Dear colleagues, it is very possible, if not probable, that this will be the last day of sitting.

[English]

It gives me a chance, since I missed it the other day, to wish all of you a safe and profitable summer in whatever ways you can make it, but especially in terms of spending some time not only in your ridings but with your loved ones.

I hope we all come back here in good health and well rested for the fall session.

I have notice of a question of privilege which I will hear. However, a member has asked that we shift the rules so that he can present a report from the committee on a pressing matter.

 

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Is there unanimous consent for the member to present the committee report before we go to the question of privilege?

Some hon. members: Agreed.



ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[Translation]

INTERPARLIAMENTARY DELEGATIONS

Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to table in the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canada—Europe Parliamentary Association, which represented Canada at the meetings of the second session of the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly from April 26 to 30, 1999 in Strasbourg.

[English]

The Speaker: I will now deal with the question of privilege and then we will revert to Routine Proceedings.

*  *  *

PRIVILEGE

SENATE SECURITY

Mr. John Solomon (Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I rise today on a question of privilege to invoke your judgement and that of those in the House on a matter which I believe infringes our privileges as members of parliament and threatens our ability to dutifully carry out and fulfil our obligations to represent our constituents.

It has come to our attention that the management of the Senate security circulated a memorandum to the security guards earlier this week featuring the picture of the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle and five other members of the House. The memo includes photographs of the following members: the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle, the member for Sarnia—Lambton, the member for Calgary West; the member for Matapédia—Matane, the member for Charlevoix, and the member for Québec East.

The question is why these members were singled out from all other members. It is true that none of them has offices in Centre Block or East Block or the Senate buildings. However, that is also true for many other members of parliament.

Why then are they being singled out? We can assume that such a memo was not circulated as the lead-up to a beauty pageant. No, I understand that in the realm of security protocol such a memo featuring the photographs of selected individuals serves as a warning to security staff.

It is my contention that these members are being singled out because of their activities this week in a rally that was held on the hill on Tuesday, June 8, 1999, to raise publicly issues surrounding the other place and the modernizing of parliament. These members were involved in this rally and have been involved in other activities surrounding the Senate.

It is a serious matter when certain members are singled out for different treatment because of their activities or beliefs. It is also extremely serious when the security force of the other place, indeed parliament's own security, suggests that certain members of the House should be treated differently for whatever reason.

I submit that the sending of this memo of photographs of certain members to the Senate security is wrong and puts into question the privileges of the members in the memo. Furthermore, I submit that the singling out of these members because of their activities works to undermine the duty and privilege of all members to freely represent their constituents.

If you find that I have a question of privilege, Mr. Speaker, I would be prepared to move the appropriate motion to refer this to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

Hon. Don Boudria (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I investigated this issue earlier this morning and received the following explanation for the action. It is that the administration of the Senate wanted to be certain that all members in question would be treated with particular courtesy if they appeared in the precincts of the other place.

It is entirely logical and rational that they would do this since the last member of the House of Commons who regularly voted against the Senate estimates later experienced a remarkable conversion and was himself appointed to the Senate. I am referring to Senator Eugene Whelan.

I take it then that Senate authorities wish to get off on the right foot with future prospective senators such as the member for Regina—Qu'Appelle. I wish him good luck in his appointment to the Senate in the future.

The Speaker: We have an allegation and we have an apparent explanation for it. This is not a debate. This is a question of privilege that has been raised and I think both sides of it were presented.

I do not know who issued the particular memo. However, it is the end of the session and I will take it upon myself to look into the matter and, if it is necessary, I will get back to the House of Commons.

In the meantime we will revert to Routine Proceedings.

*  *  *

 

. 1215 + -

SALES TAX AND EXCISE TAX AMENDMENTS ACT, 1999

 

Hon. Jim Peterson (for the Minister of Finance) moved for leave to introduce Bill C-88, an act to amend the Excise Tax Act, a related act, the Cultural Property Export and Import Act, the Customs Act, the Excise Act, the Income Tax Act and the Tax Court of Canada Act.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Mr. Peter Adams: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There has been consultation among the parties with respect to a travel order for the Standing Joint Committee on Official Languages.

I should explain to members of the House that this consultation took place some days ago. All parties except one agreed to it. My understanding is that the party concerned has also agreed to it. This is not some trick or anything of that sort.

I would ask that you seek unanimous consent for the following motion:

    That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(4)(b), and specifically to the study of part VII of the Official Languages Act, that the Standing Joint Committee on Official Languages, six members of the committee and the necessary staff, travel to Moncton, New Brunswick; Summerside, P.E.I.; St. John's, Newfoundland; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Gaspé in the fall of 1999 in order to hold public hearings, visit sites and meet with officials and that the necessary staff do accompany the committee.

The Deputy Speaker: Does the hon. parliamentary secretary have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Some hon. members: Agreed.

An hon. member: No.

*  *  *

PETITIONS

MARRIAGE

Mr. David Pratt (Nepean—Carleton, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is my honour and privilege to present a petition for 50 of my constituents from Nepean—Carleton dealing with the concept of marriage as a voluntary union between a single male and a single female.

CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

Mr. Paul Forseth (New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions that I am presenting on behalf of my colleague from Medicine Hat. The first one asks that parliament take all necessary measures to ensure that possession of child pornography remains a serious criminal offence and that federal police forces be directed to give priority to enforcing this law for the protection of children.

MARRIAGE

Mr. Paul Forseth (New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, the second petition is that parliament enact legislation such as Bill C-225 so as to define the statute that a marriage can only be entered into between a single male and a single female.

THE CONSTITUTION

Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, on behalf of constituents from the riding of Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca I present a petition on behalf of 3,500 Victoria area residents who want God left in in the preamble of our constitution.

The petitioners from Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca humbly petition parliament to oppose any amendments to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or any other legislation which will provide for the exclusion of reference to the supremacy of God in our constitution and laws.

These 3,500 signatures were collected readily on June 6 and 7.

*  *  *

 

. 1220 + -

[Translation]

QUESTIONS ON THE ORDER PAPER

Mr. Peter Adams (Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

The Deputy Speaker: Agreed?

Some hon. members: Agreed.

[English]

Mr. Ken Epp: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. With all these questions being allowed to stand, does that mean we do not get to hear any answers at all until the fall?

An hon. member: Yes, that is correct.

Mr. Ken Epp: That is incredible.



PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

[English]

POLITICAL PARTY ADVERTISING

Mr. Dick Proctor (Palliser, NDP) moved:  

    That, in the opinion of this House, political parties should in their advertising or promotion refrain from using the name or the likeness of any individual without having first obtained the written consent of that individual.

He said: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to be here in the last hour of the last day of what will certainly end the spring session. Probably, as most people assume, there will be a prorogation and a new speech from the throne in the fall.

There is a certain closing of the circle on this motion. I presented it for consideration on the first day I had the privilege of sitting here as a member which was September 23, 1997. I want to take the House through what the developments have been since then.

To get into what has transpired and what led to this motion, one has to go back to December 1998 when the Prime Minister of Canada participated in a town hall debate on CBC television. People from various parts of the country were flown in to put questions to the Prime Minister.

One of those questioners turned out to be someone who is a resident of the city of Regina and the federal constituency of Palliser who asked a question on unemployment. The answer from the Prime Minister triggered a lot of interest and controversy for several weeks. As a result, a clip of that was seen on national and regional television. There were pictures in the paper and so on for several weeks thereafter.

Then we move forward to the election campaign that was called on April 27, 1998. About two-thirds of the way through that campaign, the individual was astonished to be told that her image and a voice-over of the question she had asked of the Prime Minister was being used in television ads by a particular political party. She immediately went to the party and was told that the ad would be withdrawn in a couple of days. She wanted to know how they had managed to run her likeness in their advertising without first obtaining any consent from the individual in question. Her name is Lori Foster.

Without putting too fine a point on it, it is fair to say she felt that she was given the runaround. There were commitments made that the ad was going to be withdrawn in a couple of days, that it was only running in western Canada and some other places, all of which proved to be untrue.

The ad ran right up until the end of the campaign, the last day of advertising prior to the June 2 election. It was certainly running nationwide because Ms. Foster was getting phone calls from her friends and acquaintances who live in Atlantic Canada. They said that they had seen her on television and had seen her picture in newspaper ads.

She had contacted the party in question. It was the Reform Party that ran that ad. She thought she had received assurances that the ad was going to be withdrawn immediately or very quickly. It was not true.

 

. 1225 + -

After the election on June 2, Lori Foster was one of the first individuals to contact me in my new role as member of parliament for Palliser. She said that she did not want what happened to her to happen to anyone else ever again. She thought it was a terrible invasion of her privacy. She had not been consulted in advance by the party in question before her likeness and her words were used in a television ad. She came to her new member of parliament and I took the matter to the House of Commons on September 23.

I want to quickly go over the technicalities. It is true that Ms. Foster did not sign a release at the time of the news broadcast on CBC television. She was advised by the corporation that segments of the program might be rebroadcast for news purposes as they subsequently were.

In her letter to me following the June 2 election, she wrote “By using my likeness and identifying me by name and city, the implication was that I was a supporter of the Reform Party. I do not want what happened to me to happen to others”.

I agree entirely with the sentiments expressed by Ms. Foster in her letter. But I also want to say very clearly to the House that I do not want this to be interpreted as an embarrassment of one political party at the expense of all the others.

In my lifetime I have worked in the backrooms of my political party, the New Democratic Party. I know that in the life of an election campaign things happen extremely quickly. One party presents an attack ad. The focus on the party that was attacked in that ad is to get out a counter message as quickly as possible. Shortcuts are taken. I do not think we can take shortcuts when it comes to the privacy of ordinary Canadians. I would make a differentiation between what Ed Broadbent called ordinary Canadians and people who choose to run for elected office, once they have entered the theatre, have put on the greasepaint or whatever.

This motion is not to suggest that if a political party wishes to run a picture of a rival and show him or her in a poor light that that is a judgment that should not be accorded to them. That is a right that they should have and this motion therefore should not apply.

For example, if somebody wanted to run an attack ad against the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Official Opposition or the leader of our party, that comes with the territory. It does not come with the territory to single out or give the impression that someone who is in a clip on a news broadcast is identified in an ad, in this case a female whose likeness was identified in an ad, and singled out for fame or infamy as the case may be, at least not without the consent of the individual.

One of my purposes in addition to bringing this to the attention of the House today is to appeal to all of us as practising politicians. We have an obligation to work with our political parties and with the folks in our backrooms, all five parties in this instance, to ensure that certain rules and procedures are followed. Lord knows that political parties and politicians are not exactly at the top of the social scale these days. We need all the help we can get in terms of doing our job to the best of our ability without infringing on individual people's rights and privacy.

 

. 1230 + -

I am pleased that the chair responsible for House procedure is here and I believe will be participating in the debate. Following Ms. Foster's notice to me and advice on this matter, I did manage to have a hearing with that committee in January 1998. This is the committee that oversees Elections Canada and would be, I suppose, the committee that would be charged with making any changes to our electoral laws.

I stand to be corrected, but I do not believe that committee has reported on its deliberations since the 1997 election and in anticipation of the future general election. I hope the debate today will focus attention on this particular issue. If the committee has not seen fit in its draft report to do something, that it would take this under serious advice and bring it forward at the earliest opportunity.

As far as I am aware, this is the only time that this particular issue has been raised in this parliament. It has certainly not been discussed in any way, shape or form here.

As I have tried to explain, I believe the matter is of significant public interest because the privacy of all Canadian citizens could well be at risk during election campaigns if we do not do something about this and do it quickly.

It is certainly true that electronic media are becoming more and more prevalent, some would say invasive, in covering election campaigns. The media, in the course of a day's work, approach thousands of ordinary citizens seeking opinions on electronic town hall meetings, news clips, streeters, full interviews and participation in documentaries. For the most part, citizens agreed, as Ms. Foster did in this instance, to participate in news programming, but would be surprised, as deeply surprised as Ms. Foster was, to learn subsequently that their image and likeness appeared on an advertisement for partisan purposes.

What is involved is indeed the question of privacy of citizens, the faith in the impartiality of the media and trust in the political process itself.

The issue is of importance in Regina. It received a lot of publicity just days before the June 2, 1997 election. Obviously what happened in Palliser could happen anywhere in the country.

I was pleased that when I appeared before a committee that looks at motions and considers whether they are deemed to be votable or not, I did receive a good hearing. I am very pleased that this motion has been deemed votable. It is my understanding that since this is the last day of this session that we will be bringing the motion back in the fall and there will be other members of parliament who will participate in the debate.

I want to report on what Canada's privacy commissioner had to say last year with regard to privacy matters. He said:

    Yet we so take our privacy for granted in a democracy; it is so self-evident it has almost ceased to be evident. Respecting one another's privacy is an integral ingredient in the glue of mutual respect which helps hold a free society together.

I agree entirely with the privacy commissioner's remarks in this instance. I believe that we as politicians should apply his description and dicta to our own behaviour and that of our political parties.

I am appealing to the House and to the sense of honour and fair play that exists among members, to send the signal that they believe the privacy of our fellow citizens is something worth protecting especially during election campaigns.

 

. 1235 + -

My intention, which is embedded in the motion, is to protect individual citizens, ordinary Canadians, against the invasion of their privacy, in particular during campaigns.

I am aware that no one or no political party is forced to act on a private member's motion, and of course we accept that reality. However, I would ask members from all sides of the House in all five parties to admit that surely a citizen's right to privacy should not be invaded in the way in which it occurred with Ms. Foster in the spring of 1997.

I have, to the best of my ability, deliberately refrained from attempting to turn the debate into a controversial and partisan political issue, aside from stating the obvious facts. I have had an e-mail or two from the party in question asking why I was picking on them. That is not my intent. I think we do have to state the historical facts. We cannot rewrite history. That is what happened in May 1997 and that is what we are dealing with here today.

In February, I appeared before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, which was looking at whether to make this a votable item or not, and I did feel that I received a sympathetic hearing at that time. I am anxiously waiting for the committee's report on this issue.

The report from the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs stated:

    While concerns were expressed by some members of the Committee about the enforceability and limits of such a provision, other members supported this proposal.

I have accepted that trying to get changes to the act may be a rather long and perhaps futile process. It is for that reason that, rather than attempting a legislative change, I have prepared the motion.

Privacy to me is not political correctness. It is not a flavour of the month. It is a bedrock human value, which a former Canadian supreme court justice described as “at the heart of liberty in the modern state”. It is also not an individual right enjoyed at the expense of society as a whole. “Respecting one another's privacy is an integral ingredient”, said Commissioner Phillips, “in the glue of mutual respect which helps hold a free society together”.

Whether to reveal or conceal the details of our lives are decisions for us to make, not for others, and certainly not for the state, except in the most limited and exceptional circumstances.

Never has the matter of privacy been more vital to an individual's free existence, nor more threatened, than in the technologically advanced societies in which we live.

Political parties can respond to attack ads in a matter of hours. They often take shortcuts that do not include obtaining a waiver from the individual to use his or her photograph, likeness or voice in a particular ad. People will say that there is nothing in the rules so it can be done and the devil take the hindmost. I do not think that is good for political parties, politicians or for democracy in general.

I would appeal to the House to support this resolution which I firmly believe is as non-partisan as it can be.

Mr. Ken Epp (Elk Island, Ref.): Mr. Speaker, yesterday when I rose in the House I hesitated to say that I was glad to speak because democracy was being trampled on in the House. I was ashamed to stand in the House in those circumstances. Today, however, I am indeed proud to stand on behalf of the people of my riding of Elk Island, the most wonderful riding in the whole country, notwithstanding your riding, Mr. Speaker. I represent my constituents and all Canadians in what I am going to say right now.

 

. 1240 + -

I believe that in Private Members' Business we come closer to democracy here than in any other part of parliament. The rest of it, unfortunately, is too often just a total sham.

I want to first congratulate the member from Saskatchewan, the province where I grew up and received my good start in life, for bringing the motion forward for debate. I am also very pleased that it is votable since I am one who believes that every time a private member brings a motion it is because he or she feels it is important to him or her and it should be voted on. I am in favour of that. I am also anticipating that democracy will again work and the members here will soundly reject the motion.

I do not think this is a very well-founded motion at all, and I will give the House my reasons. I want to first assure the member that I am not reacting in a partisan way, even though in the letter he sent to all members of parliament he used about two-thirds of the letter to describe the occurrence with Lori Foster and the Reform Party's use of her likeness in its advertising. He then put a little disclaimer at the end and said that the example he used was not about the Reform Party, that it was just an example. I will take his word that he just used that as an example, and in the good spirit of parliament's last day, I will show him that I am not going to respond in a partisan way either.

However, I am going to speak against the principles of the bill because I think they are really not well-founded. It is important for us to hear once again what the motion is. To all of those Liberal members listening, to all of the other fellow members on the opposition side here and to those millions and millions of Canadians watching on CPAC, whose services we so appreciate, I want to again read the motion.

It states:

    That, in the opinion of this House, political parties should in their advertising or promotion refrain from using the name or the likeness of any individual without having first obtained the written consent of that individual.

Some of the words that I have spoken show the basic flaw in the motion. Without the exclusion of members of parliament and others who have deliberately chosen to be in the public domain, the words “using the name or the likeness of any individual”, unfortunately, if this were passed, would include them.

The first thing this motion would need is an amendment to say that any of us who dare to stand for public office, who dare to stick our faces in the cameras or our mouths into the microphones, are open game. I accept that. Having run for public office, I know that my constituents are going to hold me accountable. I know that I am going to be held accountable in this place. I know from time to time I am going to be on television.

I am not on television very often because I have a problem with not saying enough controversial stuff. Unfortunately, the media only likes to pick on controversy and seems to somehow avoid the hours and hours of debate that we in the House engage in, which is sound, solid and based on good reasoning and good analysis. Consequently, I personally am not on television very much.

However, I certainly expect that, whether it is on television or radio, in our own ads promoting the Reform Party, that even some of my political opponents will want to say, “Guess what”, and then they will use my name. My opponents will say, “Guess what the hon. member for Elk Island said” and they will then use my name and maybe my picture. I think that is fair game.

I would love the exposure that the Liberals and, if there are any left, the Conservatives and the NDP would give in my riding or elsewhere across the country by saying “This is what the hon. member said”, because if I said something, I hope I meant it. I hope I do not say things I do not mean.

If the opposition is going to give me additional exposure for having said something that I believe, I would want thank them for the free advertising. The hon. member over here is objecting.

 

. 1245 + -

I repeat what I said. If I have said something that I believe in, and hopefully I will not say things I do not believe in, then if somebody else quotes me and says this is what this member believes, and if that enters into political debate and helps Canadian voters make choices on whom to support, then let them use it. Maybe that is why they never use my particular statements.

We need the amendment so that we do not say any individual. Unfortunately, those of us who are in public life should not be excluded. It is part of fair debate. He mentioned that, but his motion does not reflect what he said in his speech.

What happens if we do make an amendment? Who draws the line? What about one of my staffers? What if he or she says something? I personally think that is okay because I hope my staffers also honestly reflect the things that are coming out of our office and our basic philosophical framework. If there is an inconsistency, it deserves to be exposed. I have no problem with that.

What about my wife or my family? I have a little more of a problem with that. Yet sometimes people's families say things or become involved in certain functions or activities which are perhaps in the public interest if the other member of the family is running for public office.

I would speak against this motion because it is unworkable. First, it is too inclusive. Second, it is unworkable. Who is going to determine where the line should be drawn?

We are engaging in an exercise to reduce debate, communication and dialogue, which is unfortunate. I really think that as Canadians we are strengthened by dialogue.

Every year we have young people coming from other parts of the country on student exchange programs. Quite often they come from Quebec, but they also come from eastern Canada. One thing I have observed is that when these young people move across the country and dialogue is increased, we get a much better understanding of each other. Any motion such as this, which would say that we cannot use a person's name or likeness in a debate or in fair comment, would reduce communication. Therefore, I again urge members of the House to vote against the motion. We have to have as much communication as possible to come to a fuller and better understanding of each other.

The last thing I want to say relates specifically to the case of Lori Foster. I know she was upset because what she said she obviously believed in. However, her statement was used in the promotion of a political party in which she did not believe. I respect her for that. I think I understand why she would be disheartened by this use of her likeness. However, the fact of the matter is that I do not believe she was misquoted. I do not believe she was in any way misrepresented.

I really wish that we could get away from this prejudice, and I am not applying that statement to her. I am speaking of us as individuals. We sometimes prejudge things, not by what is said, but rather by who says it. That is judgmental and prejudicial. I wish we could move away from that. I wish we could get down to debating ideas and avoid personal attacks. I really wish the message that was given that day on the CBC program would have simply been used as factual information in the case of the debate. Very frankly, I and my colleagues were among that group which wanted to address the questions that Lori Foster opened up on that particular occasion. We did that in all sincerity and in all honesty.

I am looking forward to the day when unemployment in this country is reduced dramatically, because we have a government on the other side that does real things in this country to solve that problem.

Mr. Mauril Bélanger (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I had not planned initially to speak to this motion, but I have been asked to express my thoughts. They are my thoughts and not the thoughts of anyone else.

 

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I think the intention of the motion put forward by the member for Palliser is honourable. I can relate to it personally. In the 1997 general election I was at the receiving end of some unsavoury practices used by the NDP candidate in Ottawa—Vanier. I am not photogenic at the best of times. I recognize that. He used a less than flattering picture of me, as well as my name. As a matter of fact, in one of his brochures he used my name more often than his own. That alone should give me reason to support this idea.

I can refer to the recent election in Ontario when the Tories used McGuinty's photo and name perhaps more often than they used Harris' name and photograph. That too should give me reason to support this idea.

I can also refer to the famous TV ads that the Reform Party ran in the dying days of the last campaign with pictures of four Canadians whom they thought did not qualify to be prime minister because they came from a certain province.

I sense what the hon. member is trying to accomplish and I would be tempted to support it, but I will not, for three different reasons. I think that even the member for Palliser might agree that what he is trying to do needs some work.

The first reason is that I think it is incomplete and somewhat superficial because he is dealing with the visual only, or the audio. He does not also deal with incomplete quotes. I had that done to me by the very same NDP candidate in the 1997 general election in Ottawa—Vanier. Something which I had said was taken totally out of context and was incomplete to try to paint a picture that was not a reflection of what I had said. It had been taken out of context. Not only was it out of context, it was incomplete. He took half a sentence. That kind of thing would have to be dealt with in the member's motion.

The second reason I will not support this motion is because of its angle of approach. The second half of his motion reads: “refrain from using the name or the likeness of any individual without having first obtained the written consent of that individual”. It is a restrictive and negative type of approach, as opposed to a positive one.

If the member had said something like “for all political parties and their representatives, their candidates, the people who work for them as volunteers, or paid individuals, to encourage civility, fair play, decency and common sense”, and real common sense, not the kind we are exposed to sometimes, “to encourage honour”, to take a positive approach to what he is trying to get us to support, then I think he might have a bit more success in obtaining support.

Too often we forget that these are very basic matters which are involved in all of our interpersonal relations and in society in general. The values that we too often demean or forget, that are too often left aside by the sensationalism, or the crass, or the rhetoric and so forth, are the things we should perhaps be encouraging in the arena of public policy, in the arena of politics.

Instead of refraining from doing this and that, and obtaining, if the member had suggested that we encourage all political parties to tend toward decency, honesty, civility and fair play, he would have a much greater chance of getting my support.

The third reason I will not be supporting his motion in its current state is that when the crunch comes and we have some people who do things that they should not be doing, such as was done in the example he used—and I believe that he is right—there is a great levelling factor, the electorate. I have tremendous respect for the intelligence of the electorate. It will see through things like that.

 

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We have seen time and again attack ads which have been so outlandish they have actually caused the people to turn against those who generated those ads or that literature or the preposterous documentation that might be prepared.

I go back to my example of the 1997 general election in Ottawa—Vanier. I really believe that the poor showing of that NDP candidate was due in part to his kind of campaign. The brochure he put out left a very bad taste in many people's mouths. As representatives of the electorate, we have to rely on its intelligence to be able to see through some of the stuff which some people unfortunately put out.

The member for Elk Island has made an interesting point in that if a person is an incumbent, for instance, it will be rather difficult for the other candidates not to use that person's name and what he or she said. It is a matter of understanding how the system works. Yes, I would expect that at some point in campaigns the other parties might want to refer to something I said. If it is on the record of the House of Commons, Hansard, I cannot see why they should not be able to do that, and even use it in their literature or propaganda. The member for Elk Island made an interesting point.

Having said that, the bottom line is the electorate, the people who cast their vote, who have taken some time to look at what has been put out by some people, either on radio, on television or at the door, through the mail system or delivered by volunteers. Those people who have looked at it tend to be very sophisticated, much more so than we sometimes think they are, and they make decisions based on the tone of what has been put out.

To summarize, I believe that the intentions of the member for Palliser in putting forward Motion No. 97 are very valuable and very supportable, except that it is not complete in that he only covers visuals. He does not cover a distortion of someone's statement to an end that is obviously not fair to the person whose statement is being distorted. He fails to cover that. He fails to cover other things which I am sure other colleagues will mention.

The hon. member's attempt to correct a wrong is too far-reaching in the sense that he is covering things which others will bring up, and he is also failing to include certain things that should be included, such as the use of words; the content which is twisted to satisfy the ends.

Second, it is what I categorize as a negative as opposed to a positive approach. He should be appealing, in my sense, to fair play, to decency and to honour. To be able to represent people in this House is an honour. Politics is an honourable profession. We forget that at times and we let too many people slander this profession without fighting back. I think we should be fighting back.

I urge the hon. member to use a very positive approach. Let us call on the good and the decent among us, as opposed to restricting this and this because of this and that. Then I think he would have much more success in getting our support.

Finally, I think that when the crunch comes, we all should be very respectful of the intelligence of the electorate in determining what is true and what is twisted and what has been shamelessly used to reach one's end.

I think that members of this House all have sufficient experience in their own ridings to know that people in the end understand really what is going on and that they can tell the difference and do not have to be instructed otherwise.

 

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Mr. Scott Brison (Kings—Hants, PC): Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak to Motion No. M-97. The intent of this motion is to encourage political parties to refrain from using the likeness or name of an individual in advertising without first obtaining the written consent of the individual.

While this motion is fraught with some flaws in terms of implementation and enforceability, the wording of the motion is nebulous enough that it can serve as a means to encourage parties to refrain from that type of negative action. It would not constrain unnecessarily or create some sort of regulatory burden that would be excessive, oppressive and unenforceable.

The use of someone's likeness in an advertisement is an issue far larger than political parties and should be addressed with some study relative to advertising regulations and marketing in general. It raises some ethics questions. Someone's name or likeness should not be used in an advertisement not just for a political party but for virtually anything without their written consent. This is something the House should consider.

The motion focuses solely on political parties and on political advertisements but I think there are wider and broader issues involved. Companies that manufacture any product should not use somebody's name, image or likeness without some type of written approval first. The reference to a person's likeness is vague in the motion and I have some concerns about that.

In my opinion the motion is vague. It basically urges parties in this House to refrain from this type of advertising. We would do well to support the motion because it sends out a message.

There is a more fundamental issue relative to political advertising as it has evolved, particularly over the last 10 years. There is an ever increasing level of nastiness and negativity in political advertising. Much of it emanated from political campaigns in the U.S.

The first example was when George Bush beat Mike Dukakis for the U.S. presidency. At that time Willie Horton ads were used. Willie Horton was released from the Massachusetts penitentiary system. He committed murder, rape or some other heinous crime. The ad was used against Mike Dukakis and had a significant impact. This was the first use of such overtly negative advertising. Since then there has been an ever increasing level of negative ads.

In the last federal election many Canadians were appalled, shocked and disappointed with the ads that one party ran. The ads showed the faces of Quebec political leaders with crosses marked over them. This implied that in some way one's origin in this great country should have an impact as to whether or not others should vote for that individual. These were very negative ads, particularly in the national unity context which is so precarious. In the national unity context, for a party to run those types of negative and incendiary ads that were aimed purely at political leaders from Quebec I thought was very inappropriate, irresponsible and unfair.

 

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A broader issue that is not addressed in this motion but perhaps should be in the future would be the negativity of political advertising. The motion could be broadened to look at other products as well. I do not want to make political parties commodities any more than I fear they already have become, but we should be looking at something to that effect.

We should also be cognizant of the trends that are occurring in political advertising and organizing. Increasingly political consultants and organizers are becoming almost corporatized. There has been a growth in the political organization industry. Ultimately that will come at a cost. The cost will be the level of authority and power that traditional grassroots organizations have. In the future it is going to be more and more difficult for political parties and individual constituency associations to run the campaigns.

In the whole electoral process it seems that increasingly elections are being fought more by consultants, spin doctors, pollsters, media advisers and less by constituency organizations, poll captains and the like as was traditionally done in the past. That is not without its risks in terms of the strength of the grassroots democracy we all value.

I commend the hon. member for having brought forward this motion. I do not see a downside to supporting the motion. It sends out a sound message to political parties. It does not unnecessarily constrain political parties with any sort of oppressive regulatory burden or sanctions. It sends out a worthy message. I believe the motion should be supported.

I wish all members of the House a very enjoyable, safe and restful summer. I look forward to seeing them in the fall as we continue the important deliberations of building a Canada that will be prosperous and fair for all Canadians into the 21st century.

[Translation]

Mr. Stéphane Bergeron (Verchères—Les-Patriotes, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I do not want to cast a shadow on the enthusiasm of our colleague from Palliser, who was saying he was honoured to be among the last speakers in this final hour of this last day of this session, which, it seems, will end today and, in all probability, will be prorogued.

Right off, since he will not unfortunately be the last speaker in this last hour of this final day since fate decrees that I will probably be the last speaker, I must unfortunately tell him that the Bloc Quebecois will not support his motion, not because it is not a good one, not because the reasons for it are not praiseworthy or reasonable, since they are. The reasons underlying this motion are totally credible, reasonable and honorable under the circumstances.

 

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However, I think it is appropriate to clarify things to some extent and to explain why the Bloc will unfortunately not support the motion.

In terms of provisions, there seems to be a problem in the text of the motion itself which provides “Political parties should refrain”. First, they use the conditional, which means that the motion as such will not truly be binding. Second, there is the choice of the verb “refrain”. This is not a very strong verb and does not say that we must not do so but rather that we must avoid doing so. In my opinion, this motion is not as rigid and restrictive as it ought to be.

Furthermore, I can well understand that the hon. member drafted this motion in response to a problem that arose in the last election campaign. A lady was greatly surprised to find not only her image but her words as well being used without her authorization in an advertisement. The political advertisement was for the Reform Party.

After this rather particular case, we came to realize that, for our fellow citizens, being used in a campaign can indeed cause a problem.

I should state right off that there is a distinction between ordinary citizens and public figures. When men and women decide to get involved in public life, they are agreeing to the widespread use of their picture, their name and their words, and to some extent this cannot be controlled.

It must be acknowledged that during an election campaign it goes without saying that we can use the image and words of public figures. This motion does not take that into account.

Nor does it take into account the fact that in an election campaign there are frequently photographs or videos with a scan over a crowd or of us standing in front of large numbers of people behind us. It is virtually objectively and logistically impossible to ask each and every one of those persons to authorize their inclusion in a promotional photo or video for the party in question.

I think that where we see eye to eye with the member for Palliser is when he tries to ensure that we cannot use the image or the words of individuals as promotional tools, such as making them appear to say things they did not actually say or take a stand they did not necessarily take. We could agree with him on that.

Unfortunately, as it now stands, the motion before us does not allow this sort of distinction. It is too general. It is not sufficiently enforceable. For all these reasons, therefore, as I pointed out earlier, we will be voting against the motion.

I would like to point out that the Bloc Quebecois is opposed to this motion not because we feel that it is legitimate to take the images or words of our fellow citizens and, as I mentioned earlier, have them appear to be saying things they did not necessarily say, or take stands they did not necessarily take.

 

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That is not the case. During the last election campaign, the Bloc Quebecois obtained written authorization from everyone who appeared in any of its campaign advertising. So it is not because we oppose the actual principles underlying this motion. As I said earlier, those principles are entirely laudable and legitimate.

The problem is that the wording of the motion does not remove this obligation in the case of public personalities who have allowed their image and words to be broadly disseminated without requiring authorization, nor does it remove it in the case of people who might be included in a crowd scene, and it is virtually unfeasible to seek the authorization of each and every member of a crowd.

For all these reasons, and with a certain twinge of regret, I must tell the member for Palliser that we are unable to support his motion but that we find the underlying principles entirely laudable.

Like other members, I would not want to fail to wish all of my colleagues a fine summer. Contrary to what our fellow Canadians may think at times, when we say that the work of the House adjourns in mid June or at the end of June when they think “You are on holiday”, we know full well that we have a lot of work ahead of us in our individual ridings.

We will be spending an enormous amount of time with our constituents, which unfortunately we do not have the time to do between September and June. Over the summer, we will have an opportunity to meet them, to travel around our ridings, to take part in events there and to be with these people who have put their trust in us and deserve an opportunity to discuss a whole series of current event issues with their representatives in this House.

I wish a fine summer to each of you. Perhaps during this period, we will each find a few days to spend with our near and dear ones.

I wish you all a good vacation and especially, a fine summer in your ridings.

[English]

Mr. Peter Adams: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would be grateful if you would seek unanimous consent to return to motions under Routine Proceedings.

The Deputy Speaker: Is there unanimous consent to revert to motions?

Some hon. members: Agreed.



ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

[English]

COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE

OFFICIAL LANGUAGES

Mr. Peter Adams (Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, since I last spoke there have been further negotiations with the parties, and I would ask you to seek unanimous consent for the following motion:  

    That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(4)(b), and specifically, to the study of Part VII of the Official Languages Act, the Standing Joint Committee on Official Languages, six (6) members of the committee and the necessary staff travel to Moncton, New Brunswick; Summerside, P.E.I.; St. John's, Newfoundland; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Gaspé, Quebec; Sudbury and Toronto, Ontario; Sherbrooke and Montreal, Quebec; Vancouver, B.C.; Edmonton, Alberta; Regina, Saskatchewan; and Winnipeg, Manitoba in the fall of 1999 in order to hold public hearings, visit sites and meet with officials, and that the necessary staff do accompany the Committee.

Mr. John Duncan: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. If the motion were to include a statement that we are approving a sum not to exceed $117,700 that would be agreeable.

Mr. Peter Adams: Mr. Speaker, I notice that the figure in the documents is $116,466 and that the hon. member has rounded it off, but I certainly would accept that point.  

The Deputy Speaker: To be clear, I gather that the motion is being amended to provide that some words such as “provided that the sum to be expended for travel shall not exceed $117,700”.

 

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Does the hon. parliamentary secretary have unanimous consent of the House to propose the motion?

Some hon. members: Agreed.

The Deputy Speaker: I presume the Table will provide words that will cover the amendment, since we do not have it in writing, to limit the expenditure to $117,700. Does everyone agree on the figure?

Some hon. members: Agreed.

The Deputy Speaker: Is the amendment agreed to?

Some hon. members: Agreed.

(Amendment agreed to)

The Deputy Speaker: Is the motion, as amended, agreed to?

Some hon. members: Agreed.

(Motion, as amended, agreed to)



PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

[English]

POLITICAL PARTY ADVERTISING

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

The Deputy Speaker: It being 1.21 p.m., the time provided for consideration of Private Members' Business is now expired and the order is dropped to the bottom of the order of precedence on the order paper.

[Translation]

It being 1.21 p.m., the House stands adjourned until Monday, September 20, 1999 at 11 a.m., pursuant to Standing Orders 28(2) and 24(1).

I wish all members a fine vacation.

(The House adjourned at 1.21 p.m.)