House of Commons Hansard #88 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the constituents of Okanagan—Coquihalla who are concerned about the multilateral agreement on investment.

Canadians have only received information from the alarmists with some groups going as far as instilling fear in our senior citizens. The tactics of such groups as the Council of Canadians I find deplorable. They say to seniors that the MAI has chilling implications for Canadians. They say it will undermine the sovereignty and will trample our social programs. The official opposition will not support any agreement if our social programs and sovereignty are not protected.

Canadians want an agreement that will protect our investments abroad and provide a level playing field. Canadians want the benefit of jobs that foreign investment will bring and the opportunity to compete in new markets.

The Liberal government has failed Canadians by following a policy of secrecy and top down decision making that is jeopardizing an agreement that could be beneficial to all Canadians.

Canadian Flag
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lynn Myers Waterloo—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate Pierre Roy, Joe Bilocq and Raymond Carrier, who have persisted in ensuring that the Canadian flag is flown at city hall in Quebec.

For almost two and a half years these three people would arrive early each morning to raise the Canadian flag. Finally on April 7 of this year Quebec City council agreed to officially fly the Canadian flag once again outside city hall.

I along with the residents of Waterloo—Wellington and all Canadians who believe in our great flag salute these great Canadians for their loyalty, commitment and dedication to their country. They are heroes. They set an example for us all. Merci beaucoup.

Ethos Radio
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, an official launch will occur this Friday in my riding of one of Canada's first volunteer based community Internet radio stations.

The Strathroy Community Resource Centre, with funding from human resources development, is co-operating with Fanshawe College and the United Way to set up Ethos Radio.

A new website and broadcast facility have been established with a mentoring program for 15 local youth participants. This is a unique achievement.

As the statement of principles developed for Ethos Radio says, community is not a place but an attitude of mind. It is a process, a flowing river and not a frozen structure. The important features of the community are its inclusiveness, commitment and consensus.

I congratulate the Strathroy Resource Centre for taking this initiative and enabling the youth of rural Ontario to access the world.

The Senate
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, now is the opportunity for the Prime Minister to honour his promise for Senate reform.

The Nunavut bill introduced in the House today proposes to amend the constitution to create a new Senate seat for Nunavut. Instead of dictating to the people of Nunavut, the Prime Minister has the opportunity to allow the people to choose their own representative in the Senate.

After more than 28 straight patronage appointments to the Senate, the new territory of Nunavut should reflect the modern democratic ideals to which most developed nations aspire, not the outdated principles of the Liberal Party which still clings to Senate appointments stemming from the last century. The old style of Liberal paternalism is no longer credible in this age of democracy.

I challenge the government to amend the Nunavut bill to allow the people of Nunavut to elect their Senate representative, giving them responsible, accountable government, not patronage politics.

Fernand Labrie
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Hélène Alarie Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, Professor Fernand Labrie, Director of the Laval University hospital research centre, has been awarded the Killam prize in health sciences. This prestigious $50,000 award honours eminent world-class Canadian and Quebec researchers working in the private or public sectors.

Fernand Labrie is one of Quebec's most distinguished scientists and most eminent ambassadors in the field of science. He is recognized by his peers throughout the world as a role model for young people embarking upon a career in science.

Dr. Labrie's work on a number of sex hormone-dependent diseases has contributed greatly to the development of knowledge. It is worthy of mention that his clinic at CHUL has become the most important centre in the world for prostate cancer, having treated over 2,000 patients in the past 15 years.

On behalf of the Bloc Quebecois, I wish to congratulate this great Quebecker, whose scientific efforts have contributed to improving the lives of many.

Parti Quebecois
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the least that can be said is that the PQ government is having a hard time with its third referendum on separating Quebec from the rest of Canada. There will be one, there won't be one, nobody knows how, why or when. One week they want one, the next, they no longer want one.

The PQ whip, Jacques Parizeau himself, had to call the sovereignist troops to order and to remind them that Quebec independence remains the priority on the separatist agenda.

The real problem with the PQ is that one never knows what to expect. This political uncertainty creates a climate of insecurity. It creates confusion as well, as the focus of the separatist agenda keeps on being reopened to question, with a thousand and one different stunts that do not hold up to scrutiny.

The fact of the matter is that the separatist government is rudderless and blows wherever the wind takes it as it tries convince Quebeckers that independence is the remedy to all their ills.

So, Mr. Bouchard, will there really be a referendum, or will there not, should the PQ get back in power? People are entitled to know.

Hepatitis C
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, today Canadians heard about the heroic fight of hepatitis C victims in Ireland who after years of fighting finally won a fair compensation package from their government. Sadly it took the death of a prominent activist to bring enough shame on that government to act.

The Canadian government has the opportunity now to act with compassion and end the battle being fought by the wounded, the sick and their loved ones.

Instead of acting with fairness and justice the government has drawn an arbitrary line separating those who would be compensated from those who would not.

Today the victims of hepatitis C stood united on Parliament Hill refusing to be divided by government motivated by cost rather than compassion.

I call on the government to ease the suffering of all hepatitis C victims and to offer a fair and just compensation package for all now.

There must be justice for all the victims of hepatitis C. By showing some compassion, the federal government would avoid forcing the victims to suffer through lawsuits.

The Senate
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Wentworth—Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the weekend the Leader of the Opposition released to the press the text of the speech he just made today condemning Senate patronage appointments.

A story in this morning's Ottawa Citizen told us that the member for Calgary Southwest was to quote from Oliver Cromwell “Ye have grown odious to the whole nation—are yourselves become the greatest grievance”. That kind of thing.

My picture appears among the 10 who are the target of the member's 17th century rhetoric and I would like to set the record straight. I am the commoner, not the senator. Thus I am sensitive to the context of Cromwell's remarks which the member called “one of the hotest speeches of denunciation ever made in parliament”. What Cromwell was in the process of doing was abolishing parliament. The speech that the Leader of the Opposition saw fit to celebrate today was the maiden speech of England's first and only dictator.

It is not the Senate that is the danger to democracy around here. It is the Leader of the Opposition.

C.D. Howe Institute
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the C.D. Howe Institute recently published two studies that should make all federalists, especially those favouring a hard-line approach towards Quebec, sit up and take note.

The way the federalists tell it, the sovereigntist offer of partnership is nothing more than a nasty separatist trick to hoodwink the public. According to the C.D. Howe Institute, the sovereigntist offer of partnership is a legitimate proposal and the Institute recognizes that agreements will be signed between Canada and a sovereign Quebec.

The way the federalists tell it, the federal government is a cash cow for Quebec. According to the C.D. Howe Institute, even with equalization payments factored in, Quebec families pay, on average, $652 more in taxes to the federal government than they receive in transfers and services.

There are therefore people in English Canada giving serious thought to Quebec's sovereignty proposal. This is an indication that common sense will prevail following Quebec's accession to sovereignty.

National Volunteer Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jim Jones Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, from April 19 to 25 Canada celebrates National Volunteer Week. Far too often people who volunteer in our community are forgotten. These people work tirelessly to help others with no compensation aside from their own feelings of giving back to their neighbours.

It is with pleasure today that I thank all volunteers across the country who devote their time and energy to helping out.

In my riding of Markham alone there are numerous groups and individuals who deserve public mention and recognition for their services to our town.

I would like to show my gratitude to all those who volunteer their time for charities, youth, sports, organizations, coaches and teachers who stay after school to help students.

Many of us in the House owe our being here to all those who volunteered on our campaigns. Dedicating one's time to make our communities better is a most precious gift. All volunteers from coast to coast help make Canada the great country that it is.

National Organ Donor Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House and all Canadians that this week is National Organ Donor Week, a time for us to focus and to recognize the special generosity of those who donate organs and tissues.

During this week professional and voluntary organizations encourage families to discuss and make decisions about organ and tissue donation. In addition, health professionals are urged to examine ways in which they might participate in the organ and tissue donation awareness process.

All levels of government are working together to enhance Canada's organ and tissue donation and distribution system. I invite Canadians to consider organ and tissue donation and to sign a donor card or the consent portion of their driver's licence if they have not already done so.

I would like to thank the thousands of Canadian organ and tissue donors and their families for their selfless gift of life. I would also like to salute the many volunteer and professional organizations that promote and support organ and tissue donations during this week and throughout the year.

Correctional Service Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, where there is smoke there is fire. That is a fact. Where there is a violent criminal there is danger. That is also a fact, unless you work for CSC where smoke might be fog and a repeat violent sexual offender is your gardener.

Eric Wannamaker, jailed for assaulting young girls, denied parole 60 days ago, reported by the Calgary Sun to have been caught twice outside the fence with a young girl, and who had a shrine of pictures of young girls in his cell, was considered a low-risk by CSC. Again they were wrong.

Wannamaker and his buddy Gordon Kennedy, also a convicted sex offender, who had recently been granted day parole, drove away from the Bowden Institute in the Kennedy family car and kidnapped Kennedy's 14 year old stepdaughter.

My constituents in Bowden are afraid. As their MP I want to be able to tell them something that will allow them to sleep at night. Knowing how CSC functions there is nothing I can say. As long as CSC continues to give repeat violent offenders a fourth and fifth chance, while pointing to stats to prove its success—

Correctional Service Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Oral questions.

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Reform

Preston Manning Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, parliament has been recessed for two weeks. The health minister has had two weeks to contemplate the fate of thousands of hepatitis C victims who are suffering because of government negligence.

Hundreds of these victims came to parliament today to ask the minister, to plead with the minister, to beg the minister to compensate them for the harm which the government did.

I have a simple question. Will the health minister now do the right thing and compensate all these victims?

Hepatitis C
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I have already made clear to the hon. member and to the House how difficult this decision was.

I can assure the hon. member that there is no less sympathy on this side of the House than on that side of the House for those who are suffering from the illness, no matter when they became ill.

The health ministers of Canada, when they dealt with this difficult decision, did so in light of the implications of the decision on the health system in general. Indeed, we confronted the question as to whether governments should pay cash compensation to all of those harmed by the health system. We concluded that it would not be possible to sustain Canada's public system of health care if we took the—