From November 6 to November 26
“Mr. Jean-Claude Malėpart (Montreal-Saint-Marie): Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the Members of this House, and especially the Conservative Members, of commitments made by the Right Hon. Prime Minister (Mr. Mulroney) and his Government to our Canadian families.
First of all, on November 5, and I quote: “My Government has a high priority measures to support and strengthen the Canadian family, which is the cornerstone of our society.”
On November 15, the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Epp) said: “It is my role as Minister of National Health and Welfare to put forward signals and initiatives which will strengthen the role of the family and give it more prominence in society than I feel it has been given before.”
In his Christmas message on December 22, 1984, the Prime Minister said: “The family unit must remain the cornerstone of our society.”
And when his fourth child was born, the Prime Minister declared that the family was the most beautiful thing in the world.
Mr. Speaker, I would invite all the Conservative Members of this House to remind the Prime Minister of these words, since he has cut $55 million, over two years, from support programs of low-income families. The only family that has been able to benefit from the largesse of this Government is the Reichmann family, which received a present of $600 million from the Conservative Government.” (November 6).
“Mr. Brian White (Dauphin-Swan River): Mr. Speaker, this week has been designated as Crime Prevention Week in Canada, with the theme being victims. I wish to take this opportunity to address the House on the importance of this issue.
Violence is always tragic, but none so tragic as that violence which occurs within the family. Abuse of children and wife battering are far more widespread than most Canadian imagine. For example, it has been estimated that at least 1 in 10 wives is beaten by her husband any given year.
There are transition houses and crisis centers for victims which provide an invaluable service for abused children and battered wives. However, they are too few and underfunded.
Such a center exists in my riding in Manitoba, the Dauphin Crisis Centre for Battered Women and abused children. The dedicated people involved in this Centre offer counseling, referrals, general information and, in the near future, hope to provide short-term emergency shelter.
The Government has promised that, in consultation with the provinces, it will take action to provide additional assistance to the victims of family violence. It can never be too soon to provide the victims of family violence with somewhere to turn. They need and deserve the support of this House, the provincial Governments, and all Canadians.” (November 8)
“Mrs. Lise Bourgault (Argenteuil-Papineau): For several months now, a group of women have been trying very hard to make the headlines by speaking through their hats on very serious women’s issues, although this Government during the past eighteen months has been making serious commitments on the status of women, as evidenced by the following:
– The extension of the spouse’s eligibility to a pension – close to 85,000 widows and widowers will most of them benefit from that;
– The elimination of discrimination in the Indian Act. Sex discrimination from now on will be prohibited – some 60,000 women will be affected by that amendment;
– Better employment and training opportunities under the Employment Planning Programs;
– The introduction of a new divorce bill with provisions for the enforcement of custody and maintenance orders, and we are now today discussing Bill C-62 on employment equality.
Mr. Speaker, this is but a brief survey of the many initiatives undertaken by this Government to establish equal opportunities for all women. Mr. Speaker, the women in that group are speaking more on their own behalf, and their narrowmindedness and ideology will result in the status of Canadian women being pushed back 15 years and we are not ready to live through that.”
“Mr. George Mitges (Grey-Simcoe): Mr. Speaker, again I am speaking out about the miscarriage of justice perpetrated by the Attorney General of Ontario in allowing Dr. Morgentaler and his associates to continue to murder helpless unborn children at their human slaughter house in Toronto.
The Attorney General has allowed this to happen even though he has appealed the acquittal on an earlier charge of performing abortions on demand.
Each day of delay in settling this matter means that more and more unborn babies have met and will meet a premature and agonizing death.
To compound the matter, the Attorney General of Ontario has issued instructions to the police forces not to interfere in any way to stop this slaughter.
Dr. Morgentaler and his associates are thumbing their noses at the Criminal Code of Canada, which specifically does not allow abortions to be performed on demand. The Attorney General of Ontario is ignoring the law by refusing to exercise his authority to stop any further abortions taking place during the appeal period, as he has the legal right to do.
It is time for the Federal Government to intervene by whatever measures necessary to demand that the Attorney General of Ontario stop pussyfooting around, get off his butt, show some leadership, uphold the law, and close down once and for all Dr. Morgentaler’s wholesale murder factory.” (November 26)
From November 29 to December 19
Mr. John Nunziata, Lib. (York South-Weston): Mr. Speaker, my question concerns the December issue of Hustler magazine…
In April of this year the Minister of State for Finance said that the Government regards the control of obscene and hate material as a matter of utmost urgency. If that is true, and if the Government is serious about stopping the importation of pornographic material into Canada, will the Government indicate what steps have been taken to get this magazine off the shelves? Do Canadians have to wait until the Minister responsible returns from his constituency before action is taken?
Hon. Barbara McDougall (Minister of State Finance): Mr. Speaker, we do regard this as a matter of some urgency. The circumstances were that although the magazine came across the border the two offensive pages were removed before the magazine hit the stands. Personally, I find the entire magazine offensive. However, if the two pages which do not fall under the guidelines were removed before the magazine was on the stands, and if that magazine is still on the stands, then it becomes a matter for the provincial Attorney’s General since the matter falls under Section 159 of the Criminal Code. Once it is in the country it is no longer a Customs matter. However, the Department has looked into the matter and there will be a full report by Monday Morning.
Mr. Nunziata: The Minister is indicating her ignorance of the matter. Customs and Excise indicated that 16 pages were offensive and contravened the Criminal Code of Canada. Notwithstanding that, the magazine was allowed into Canada.
(November 29, 1985)
Mr. W.R. Bud Jardine, PC (Northumberland-Miramichi): Mr. Speaker, the New Brunswick Federation of Home and School Associations has expressed to me its very great and valid concern about the violent and sexually explicit lyrics in today’s so-called music.
My problem, and I suspect it is shared by many parents and grandparents, is that this garbage which passes for music is so atrocious that not only do we not pay attention to the words, we do not listen to it period. However, it is time we did. It is time we listened to the smut coming across the air waves, songs like Darling Nikki, which I understand is about a girl who masturbates with a magazine; or another song called 10 Seconds to Love, about oral sex in an elevator; songs that promote not just rape, torture and rebellion, but even suicide among youth.
Over the weekend I heard Anne Murray, a Canadian superstar in the music industry, decry the lyrics of these songs, saying she does not listen to them and would not degrade herself by singing them.
I bring this to the attention of the House not to shock, although it is shocking, but to plead for a reaction to this moral degradation of our children by entertainers whose credo is that sex and violence sells. If this be culture, it is not Canadian culture. This call to arms was initiated by concerned parents and educators. Should we choose to ignore it, we do so at our peril.
Some Hon. Members: Hear, hear!
(December 3, 1985)
Mr. David Daubney (Ottawa West): Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by 20 residents of Ottawa West who decry the continued operation in the City of Toronto of the Morgentaler clinic and the failure of the Province of Ontario to enforce Section 251 of the Criminal Code.
(December 17, 1985)
Mr. Neil Young (Beaches): Mr. Speaker, Depo-Provera is a hormone drug which can be used as an injectable contraceptive. Among its reported side effects are blood clots, high blood pressure, irregular bleeding, excessive weight gain, severe depression and hair loss. The long-term effects are not known at this time, but animal and clinical tests indicate infertility and increased risk of cancer and heart disease.
The U.S. Federal Drug Administration refused to approve Depo-Provera as a contraceptive in 1974, 1978 and again in 1983. Some 62 groups in Canada have formed a coalition to demand public hearings into this issue which is too important to be decided behind closed doors where the Minister’s officials listen only to the company’ story. I call upon the Minister to release the documents and research on which the advisory committee made its recommendation, and to open up the entire process to the public.
It has also come to my attention that this drug is being used on mentally retarded teenagers and other young people considered to be juvenile delinquents. This is not only unacceptable by any standard, it is immoral. I call upon the Minister to ban the use of this drug in Canada immediately and specifically prohibit its use on young children who are developmentally handicapped or are juvenile delinquents, until it has been proven safe.
(December 19, 1985)
Mr. Hennessy: I have three petitions. The first is to the Premier (Mr. Peterson):
“Henry Morgentaler’s case is still before the courts, yet your government is allowing him to continue to break the law and operate his abortuary. No other person facing criminal charges is permitted to continue criminal activities while waiting for his case to be heard. Close the abortuary and have bail set so that Morgentaler cannot continue his killing business.”
The second petition to government-run community abortuaries or hospitals enforcing therapeutic abortion committees. I understand your government and department of health are considering these actions. Thirty thousand abortions are performed annually in Ontario. There is no need to widen access for our funded killings.”
The third one goes to the Attorney General (Mr. Scott):
“Abortions are rarely, if ever, required for medical reasons. Would any other person facing criminal charges be allowed to continue his criminal activities? I am against government-licensed abortion clinics, which I understand your government is considering.”
I present these petitions, which are signed by about 400 people, to the various ministers I have mentioned.
Mr. Speaker: I was trying to listen. There was a lot of noise. I do not know whether they were addressed to the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
(December 6, 1985)
(Mr. Hennesy is MPP for Fort William, MPP’s are required to present petitions collected by their constituents.)
Access to abortion committees
Mr. Timbrell: “I want to ask the minister what he has done to give effect to the campaign promises of his leader to assure women in all parts of Northern Ontario that they will have the right of access to therapeutic abortion committees, which is their right under the Criminal Code of Canada.
Hon. M. Fontaine: First of all, I am not the Minister of Health. I will refer that to the Minister of Health. I do not know what the honourable member is talking about.
Mr. Andrewes: Very sensitive.
Mr. Speaker: Order. The minister has referred the question to the Minister of Health.
Hon. Mr. Elston: As was indicated earlier, we have started a process that is looking into the question of access and we are dealing with that inside the ministry. We are looking at the question of access as it surrounds the entire province, not just Northern Ontario. I can assure the honourable member that we welcome his input and comments on the question of access as well.
Mr. Timbrell: Will the minister take the immediate step of removing the $75 deterrent fee, which is part of his Northern health care transportation policy, as it pertains to the right of women in Northern Ontario to access therapeutic abortion committees for consideration of their applications?
Hon. Mr. Elston: The question revolves around the Northern travel program, and I can tell the member for Don Mills that the program funds in a granting manner the cost of transportation. It does not necessarily mea there will be a $75 reduction on the basis of that travel cost.
I can tell members we are watching how the policy proceeds in the introduction phase and looking at ways of improving it, but the thing we are looking at most right now is getting it into place for those people in Northern Ontario. I welcome the input of members, such as the member for Fort Will (Mr. Hennessy), who have certain suggestions with respect to Northern travel. We are providing the grants to help pay for medically necessary travel; that is what we have done and that is what we are doing.
Mr. Gigantes: The honourable member who just asked the question knows perfectly well he received the report of a provincial committee on the application of the Badgley review of abortion law as it pertains in Ontario, and he knows there has been an access problem for a long time.
Can I ask the minister when he is going to deal with this question of a Liberal policy on access and what is actually going to happen with abortion policy in Ontario?
Hon. Mr. Elston: I thank the honourable member for the question. I can tell her as well as the rest of the members it is a concern of ours that we review this policy and program thoroughly and that we are able to discuss it thoroughly around the province before a definite position is provided. It is an extremely important issue for the people of Ontario, and we are looking at it very thoroughly and very closely.