House of Commons Hansard #210 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was vote.

Topics

Vaisakhi
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, today a special stamp honouring the 100th anniversary of the Sikh community in Canada will be unveiled by the Prime Minister.

The stamp is in honour of the achievements of Sikh Canadians who have made their community such a valuable part of Canada's rich social fabric. As successful professionals, business people and political leaders, their contribution to Canada is an example to all of us.

I am pleased that Canada Post has chosen to honour them in this way in the year that also marks the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Sikh faith. On April 13 Sikhs in Canada and around the world celebrated Vaisakhi which commemorates the most central event in the Sikh faith.

Today, April 19, Canadian Sikhs can celebrate again as they receive this much deserved honour from Canada Post.

Canadian Wheat Board
Statements By Members

April 19th, 1999 / 2 p.m.

Reform

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, finally the Canadian Wheat Board has agreed to an audit of its books by the auditor general.

The Reform Party member for Portage—Lisgar has been calling for an open audit of the Canadian Wheat Board since 1993.

Farmers have a right to know how effectively the Canadian Wheat Board is marketing their grain. The audit will provide an independent and public opinion on the performance of the board.

In addition to examining the primary mandate of the Canadian Wheat Board, which is orderly marketing, the auditor general must also determine if the board is maximizing returns for wheat and barley farmers.

This audit must not be used simply to build a defence of state trading enterprises like the Canadian Wheat Board for the next round of World Trade Organization negotiations.

The Auditor General of Canada must be given the authority to audit the board on a regular basis. The Reform Party will continue to pressure for legislation that will allow this to happen.

Rashpal Dhillon
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Reg Alcock Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce Mr. Rashpal Dhillon to the House.

Mr. Dhillon is a resident of Richmond, British Columbia. He was born in 1938 in the Punjab, India and came to Canada in the 1950s. He has a wife, Surinder, three children and three grandchildren.

Mr. Dhillon has a long and distinguished history in law enforcement, initially as the first Indo-Canadian peace officer in Canada. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police stationed in the B.C. interior. He went on to become a prison guard at Oakalla Penitentiary and then a deputy sheriff in Vancouver.

Mr. Dhillon is now the owner of several agri-food companies and a golf centre on the lower mainland. He also serves the community on many boards of directors, including the Farm Credit Corporation and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. It is for his work as a pioneer and a philanthropist that we honour him today.

On behalf of all members, on the day the Government of Canada officially commemorates the first 100 years of Sikhs in Canada and 300 years of the Khalsa, I would like to recognize Mr. Paul Dhillon as an outstanding member of the Indo-Canadian community.

National Textiles Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week marks National Textiles Week in Canada, which is organized by the Textiles Human Resources Council, to focus and acknowledge the innovation and excellence within the Canadian textile industry.

In my riding of Ahuntsic, there are two dozen textile manufacturing firms, including Silver Textiles, Doubletex and Montreal Fast Print, to name but a few.

Since 1988, exports have tripled, capital investments have reached unprecedented levels and, in the past five years, the number of jobs has increased steadily, from 53,000 in 1993 to 56,000 in 1997.

The programs established by Human Resources Development Canada such as the Canada jobs fund and programs aimed at youth as well as Industry Canada's initiatives focusing on science and technology and the federal guidelines defining professional standards are but another example of the way the government helps the Canadian industrial sector to compete on an international scale.

I would like to congratulate the Canadian textile manufacturers, especially those in my riding, for their important contribution—

National Textiles Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Lévis-et-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière.

Volunteers
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the occasion of national volunteer week, I want to pay tribute to all those who generously give some of their time for the well-being of our society.

While we acknowledge their contribution during this week, our volunteers do not make a contribution for a day or a week, but throughout the year. In an august 1998 study, Statistics Canada indicated that 16.7 million Canadians, or seven people out of ten, are engaged in volunteer work.

These volunteers are involved in every possible area, including health, education, co-ops, the poor, culture, sports, unions and even politics.

This year's theme in Quebec, “Building tomorrow together”, accurately reflects what volunteer work means, and it is also fitting, as we are about to enter a new millennium.

On behalf of the Bloc Quebecois, I thank all the Quebec and Canadian volunteers for their invaluable contribution.

Wayne Gretzky
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, like most Canadians, it is with mixed feeling that I pay tribute to Wayne Gretzky today.

Now that he has retired from our national game, it is time to celebrate an amazing talent, an incredible ambassador of hockey and a great Canadian.

Wayne Gretzky rewrote the hockey record book and literally changed the way the game is played. His Canada Cup achievements produced some thrilling moments. His 894 regular season goals and his 1,963 assists will never be touched.

A statue of Wayne Gretzky with the Stanley Cup hoisted proudly above his head adorns the city of Edmonton, which I proudly represent. It serves as a monument of Wayne's contribution to our city, our history and our eternal bragging rights of hockey supremacy in Alberta.

Wayne is retiring the same way he played: with class, humility and appreciation. Today, Canadians across the country are proud to see one of their own get world recognition.

Good luck Wayne, and thank you for the memories.

Persons Case
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Winnipeg North—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, 83 years ago today the Alberta Liberal government granted women the right to vote, joining Saskatchewan and my own province of Manitoba, which earlier that same year had that right of suffrage extended to women.

Much of the credit for ensuring that Canada led the world in women's suffrage must go to Nellie McClung, who headed the campaign. She, along with Emily Murphy, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby and Henrietta Edwards, known as the Famous Five, won legal equality for all Canadian women in the Persons Case of 1929.

May we in this House join today's generation of Canadians in saluting these early activists for their life-long determination to end discrimination in whatever form it takes.

What these visionary activists secured for Canadian women, they secured for democracy; indeed an historic legacy.

Judy Cook
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, in December last year, Manitoba lost a great person. Judy Cook died while awaiting a heart transplant. She had dedicated her life to social justice and to improving the lives of others.

In December a steelworker from Leaf Rapids was given a new lease on life when a friend from Leaf Rapids donated one of her kidneys.

It is well established that the organ donation situation in Canada is serious with our organ donor rate among the lowest in the western world. Currently, there are more than 3,000 Canadians waiting for solid organ transplants, yet less than half of these will get an organ they need before the year's end. Lives are being lost and the costs related to waiting are increasing, and federal regulations are at the heart of the problem.

The need to increase the organ donation rate in Canada is an urgent priority. It will not happen by focusing only on public education and improved hospital systems. It requires innovative and proactive approaches starting with a national registry of organ donors to increase the pool of potential donors and a clear simple mechanism for expressing wishes.

It is important to give Canadians the opportunity to say, “Yes, I want to donate”.

Bloc Quebecois
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, at its latest convention, the Bloc Quebecois tried to redefine what a true Quebecker is.

What a discovery it made this past weekend: a Quebecker is a person who lives in Quebec; an Ontarian is someone who lives in Ontario; an Italian is someone who lives in Italy; a Spaniard is someone who lives in Spain.

So, once again the Bloc Quebecois continues with its notion of exclusion.

Fine—vive le Canada.

Bloc Quebecois
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois did indeed hold a general assembly this past weekend in Rivière-du-Loup, one which will mark a milestone in the history of our young party.

I wish to draw attention to the open-mindedness and vision of our leader, and to congratulate him for launching this exercise of direction-seeking and debate on the future of Quebec. I also congratulate the members of our four focus groups for the extremely high quality of their work.

The members of the Bloc Quebecois will be involved in this vast undertaking of reflection in the months to come. I also invite all Quebeckers, and all Canadians as well who may wish to look into the matter of partnership, to peruse the documents we released this past weekend, for I am sure they will find in them valuable potential solutions for the political problems being faced by Quebec and Canada.

One thing is becoming increasingly clear in Quebec: the sovereignists are discussing fundamental issues that affect our future: partnership, globalization, citizenship, democratic practices—

Bloc Quebecois
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough.

Wayne Gretzky
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Wayne Gretzky retired from the National Hockey League marking the end of an amazing era. While redefining the game using his skills to reach new heights, he brought teammates, fans and a nation closer together.

True to his roots, he represented his country in international play and made Canadians proud each time he donned the Maple Leaf. The Great One improved Canada's hockey image and shaped the game's style.

As an ambassador for hockey and for Canada, his class leadership defined a remarkable career.

There is an element of humility to Wayne Gretzky's stardom which sets him apart. His love for the game and commitment to excellence made him a true role model, a responsibility he never shunned. To the end, Gretzky downplayed his endless personal accomplishments and records.

Our hockey cards, the No. 99 and tucked in sweaters provide wonderful warm memories. Our parents had heroes like Joe DiMaggio. We had Wayne Gretzky.

In his last NHL game, the scoresheet will show one final assist, fitting, for he always emphasized team first.

In a complicated world he allowed us to escape for many precious moments.

The hall of fame and new challenges await you. We wish you and your family a lifetime of happiness. Thank you, Wayne Gretzky, for all you have given our country and our game.

Volunteers
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to report that the Prix Hommage bénévolat-Québec was awarded to the Société de l'autisme et des troubles envahissants du dévéloppement, T.E.D., de Laval as part of the National Volunteer Week.

The Société de l'autisme et des T.E.D. de Laval is a non profit organization for families of people with autism or severe developmental problems.

Thanks to the unstinting work of its volunteers, the Société provides a camp, “Le Chat botté”, known for its programs of early, intensive and systematic intervention. “Le Chat botté” helps people with pervasive development problems improve their living conditions, often very dramatically. The devotion of the Société de l'autisme et des T.E.D. de Laval speaks of the best in every Canadian.

Congratulations and a vote of thanks to the volunteers.

Wayne Gretzky
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Before beginning our question period today, I wonder if I might, in the name of hon. members and in the name of parliament, send our respects, our congratulations and our thanks to one of our outstanding citizens. I refer of course to Mr. Gretzky.

[Editor's Note: All hon. members rose and applauded]