House of Commons Hansard #222 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was horses.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by the hon. member for Kelowna.

National Fitness Month
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, May is National Fitness Month.

May is a special month, the month of flowers, the month of good weather and the month in which we celebrate Mother's Day. Yet, there are some among us who are seen as unreachable or as someone else's child. They are the sexually exploited youth who exist in a world of shadows invisible. The voice of these sexually exploited children and youth must be heard and strategies must be devised to meet their specific needs.

A special program “Out from the shadows and into the light” was brought to my attention today. That special program is using a community development approach beginning with the youth themselves, the youth who tell their stories and the youth who make recommendations.

I encourage all of my colleagues, as the Minister of Foreign Affairs has said, to express support for this program and to combat the sexual exploitation of children.

Penticton Airport
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Jim Hart Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the people of Okanagan—Coquihalla who are concerned about the future of the Penticton airport. Negotiations for the transfer of the airport to the city of Penticton have been ongoing since 1996. Here we are three years later and the process has been halted for the eighth time.

The Penticton airport injects over $12 million into the economy of the south Okanagan. The airport manages over 44,000 air movements per year. To lose this important link in transportation infrastructure would be economically devastating.

The people of the south Okanagan are taking direct action to keep the airport open by signing a petition demanding that the federal government appoint a mediator to bring the parties back to the negotiating table.

The closure of the Penticton Regional Airport will clearly be the responsibility of the Liberal transport minister who has mismanaged this file from the beginning. What will it take for the Liberal government to appoint a mediator to finalize this vital agreement?

Bridgeview Public School
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Gallaway Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday, May 1, students and teachers, present and former, gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bridgeview Public School in the village of Point Edward in my riding.

Hundreds of people from as far away as British Columbia and Florida gathered to renew friendships and reminisce over times past.

Despite school board centralization and closures, Bridgeview school has forged its identity as the heart of the community. After all, communities are built on institutions which are open to all and Bridgeview school is certainly a place that welcomes students, parents and indeed everyone from the community.

For 50 years students have been educated within its four walls and for 50 years the community of Point Edward has been strengthened by the friendships formed within the school. Clearly schools are essential to our future but schools are equally important to our community identity.

Canadian Armed Forces
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Hec Clouthier Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, being a member of parliament for the great riding of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke and having Canadian forces base Petawawa in my riding, I believe I know what kind of men and women wear the Canadian forces uniform. Their duty is to defend, protect and, if necessary, engage in the field of battle.

They are proud of this distinction and have never ever failed to follow that path. They have set high standards in the field of battle and have set high standards in conducting peacekeeping duties. They show tenacity and determination in defence just as they are intrepid in attack.

Above all else, their success is attributed to that superlative spirit found in every fibre and fabric of their being. Courage is the human quality which guarantees above all others. All Canadians must be proud of our courageous custodians of freedom, our military men and women, especially as the world watches events continue to unfold in Kosovo.

Job Creation Programs
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the request of the people of Quebec and of Abitibi, the Government of Canada transferred several of its Canadian job creation, training and internship programs to the Government of Quebec in 1998.

Since that transfer, the staff of the Emploi-Québec centre at Val d'Or have been doing an excellent job of finding solutions for users of these employment programs.

At this point in time, the Val d'Or Emploi-Québec office is already short of money to meet the needs of the people of the Val D'Or region. It is already $2 million short.

Why such a lack of budget planning by the government of Lucien Bouchard, at the very beginning of the 1999 budget year? Program recipients in Abitibi are waiting for an answer from you today, Mr. Bouchard.

Taxation
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the taxodus continues. Last week the CEO of Nortel told the government that high taxes were driving Canadian talent south. Over the weekend the industry minister agreed with him, but the tax minister does not think we have high taxes and he does not believe that Canada is experiencing a brain drain.

Allow me to give the government a very real example. Dr. Kurt Ellenberger, a constituent of mine and a respected musician and university professor, just accepted a position at Michigan University. He told me that he is leaving because he is tired of seeing the lion's share of his wage “arrogantly gobbled up by this government's increasingly voracious appetite for the money it did not earn”.

He is tired of his pay raises being rendered virtually meaningless as CPP premiums skyrocket. He is leaving because Canada no longer is, in his words, “the land of opportunity”. Because of this government's high tax policies, Canada has lost a talented citizen.

When I asked Kurt if I could use his quotes, he wrote:

Dear Rick: Thanks for this opportunity—it is a delight to know that (Prime Minister) and his cronies will have to listen to me for a change...

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate all parties of the Nisga'a final agreement signed yesterday by the Government of Canada.

After decades of negotiation, the Nisga'a will finally be able to participate in society, to speak their language, to teach their traditions and to govern themselves.

Non-aboriginal British Columbians will also benefit from this settlement. The infusion of new funds will provide a boost to the economy surrounding Nisga'a lands and business will be able to invest in the region with confidence.

This is a fair and honourable agreement which balances the interests of all Canadians.

Bernard Voyer
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois salutes the courage, determination and perseverance of Quebec adventurer Bernard Voyer, a member of the first team to reach the summit of Mt. Everest this year.

This long climb, undertaken with two Americans, two Swedes and nine Sherpas, was completed last night. One can well imagine the great feeling of accomplishment being experienced by Bernard Voyer at this time.

Mr. Voyer is the second Quebecer to have accomplished this exploit, which serves as a reminder that fidelity to one's objectives allows one to attain the loftiest of summits, and that tenacity, constancy and energy can overcome all obstacles and make all things possible.

Reaching the roof of the world is an accomplishment few others can equal. Mr. Voyer, we are proud of you and hope you can now enjoy a well-deserved rest.

Intercede Diversion Program
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Judi Longfield Whitby—Ajax, ON

Mr. Speaker, everyone says it is an exceptional program, but it is fighting a daily battle to stay alive.

It is called the Intercede Diversion Program and its goal is to break the cycle of crime that young people get pulled into. The program works.

A pilot project that led to intercede, an alternative to the court system, shows fewer than 9% of participants have gone on to re-offend, much lower than statistics coming from the court process.

It also saves the taxpayers a substantial amount of money. The average cost of putting a young person through intercede is $500 as compared to $2,500 to send them through court.

Intercede serves my riding and the entire region of Durham and has the support of nine provincial court judges in the area. Intercede reinforces the idea that every act has a consequence. It is a very valuable program and deserves our support.

I encourage my government to work with the provincial government in a expeditious manner so as to guarantee the future of intercede and similar programs across Canada.

Ontario Budget
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is a great day for the taxpayers of Ontario.

Yesterday provincial finance minister Ernie Eves unveiled the last instalment in a tax cutting, job creating economic miracle of the Mike Harris common sense revolution.

Yesterday's budget completed the remarkable turnaround experience by a province which suffered a lost decade of economic decline under the tax and spend mania of the Liberal and NDP governments.

Mike Harris has kept his word to Ontarian voters by cutting taxes for working families by 30%, eliminating the huge provincial deficit by next year, creating over 850,000 new jobs and introducing a taxpayer protection act with teeth, all while increasing health care spending and absorbing the huge transfer cuts of this Liberal government.

Now the Harris team is set to keep Ontario's economy in high gear by delivering a further 20% cut in both property and income taxes.

Even Liberals are joining the common sense bandwagon, with Liberal MPP Annamaria Castrilli crossing the floor to join the Harris team today.

She understands what these Liberals never will: real tax relief leads to hope, growth and opportunity. Four more years of tax cutting government in Ontario, that is what is going to happen in this election.

Member For Québec East
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, there comes a point in life when it is time to fight injustice and vicious attacks. Our role is to knowledgeably inform and serve the public.

I could have remained insensitive to this rubbish. With the Bloc, as with the Parti Quebecois, we have become used to personal attacks. Their flawed arguments and especially their constant crises over their identity force them to haul out all sorts of tricks and gimmickry.

How should we react when a member of the House of Commons asks a service he is entitled to use, doubtless, for information, paying for it, I would point out, with our taxes, and when the information attacks individuals et certain members of parliament.

We can debate the continued existence or the abolition of a House. We can use a tool put at our disposal to attack certain ideas, but we cannot viciously and wrongly attack certain members of parliament.

Insults are for the weak. I would ask the member for Québec East to offer a public apology, withdraw his publication on the Senate and rectify the facts.

I would remind the House—

Member For Québec East
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member. The hon. member for Dartmouth.

The Late Terry Riordon
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, Terry Riordon, 45, former marathon runner, dedicated husband, father of two and a Canadian veteran of the gulf war, died in his sleep on April 29.

I met Terry last May in Halifax, his body and mind wracked with pain as he tried to put forward his case for fair compensation for his condition, which he believes was caused by vaccines administered to troops and chemical exposures during the 1991 war.

Terry had no idea that his battle for a disability pension, assistive devices and appropriate housing would take up the rest of his life on earth.

His wife, Susan, a fierce fighter for justice for our enlisted soldiers, has said “What this country must learn from this is to take care of those who care for them”.

Or, as the president of the Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association said “Terry's passing is another failing grade to a country that asks its service personnel to give all but gives little in return”.

May Terry Riordon rest in peace and may we never forget the sacrifice that Terry and all of our peacekeepers make to this country.

Maryse Coziol-Lavoie
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure today to welcome to Parliament Hill the member for a day from Longueuil, Maryse Coziol-Lavoie, the grand prize winner of the first “member for a day“ competition in the riding of Longueuil and a fourth year high school student at Jacques-Rousseau. Maryse was the best of 45 students in the national history course taking part in the competition.

I must say the choice was not easy, because the 11 finalists I had the pleasure of meeting all had fine qualities. I would like to congratulate the 10 other finalists on their excellent performance and all the students taking part in the competition.

During her visit to Ottawa, Maryse, who is here with her mother, Suzanne Coziol, will have a chance to see what members of parliament do.

With this competition, I wanted to get young people interested in and familiar with the world of politics, because they are tomorrow's decision makers.

Maryse, on behalf of my colleagues, I welcome you and hope you have a good time here.