House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, led by the hon. member for St. John's West.

Gabrielle Bertrand
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, today the City of Cowansville is preparing to pay tribute to an admirable woman who has made a great contribution to public life and to the people of Brome—Missisquoi: Gabrielle Bertrand.

From now on, the Cowansville library will bear her name, and will be known as Bibliothèque Gabrielle Giroux-Bertrand, in honour of this woman who has given so much of herself to the life and culture of the community.

Having the honour of knowing this great lady, I will never forget her determination, humanity, dignity and integrity.

I congratulate the city of Cowansville for this initiative and I have no doubt that Gabrielle Bertrand will continue to be a source of inspiration for all those who have had the privilege of contact with her.

The Liberal Party Of Canada
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, as we apparently get into an election campaign after less than three and a half years since the last election, let us look at the Liberals' record on keeping promises.

On taxes, they promised to cut, to scrap, to abolish the GST. They did not. They did deliver 50 tax increases in the last five years alone. For the past three years they have promised tax relief, but have members looked at their pay stubs lately?

On the environment, they promised legislation to protect endangered species and they failed three times.

On agriculture, they promised farmers $1.9 billion to compensate for losses due to unfair trade. They have delivered 42%.

On crime, they promised to overhaul the Young Offenders Act. After seven years they have failed again.

In fact, the biggest crime of all is that this government thinks Canadians will believe their hollow promises again.

Government Of Quebec
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, “Le barrage de la honte”, or “Dam of Shame”, is the heading journalist Robert Ménard of the Journal de Montréal gave to his article of October 15, 2000, in which he described how the government of Lucien Bouchard, through its ministers Paul Bégin, Rémy Trudel and Jean-Pierre Jolivet, gave permission to the American company Bowater Pulp and Paper to demolish the Sugar Loaf dam. This dam, “Pain de sucre” in French, was in the Clova sector of the Vallée-de-l'Or RCM and was demolished without public consultation.

Now the Clova River is a total ecological disaster, a graveyard of logs that were being floated down river and are now just stranded there.

Such is the accomplishment of these three PQ ministers on the payroll of the multimillionaire company Bowater, which does not give a damn about Quebec's environment.

Health
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Tony Ianno Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the leader of the NDP for all the mail she has recently sent me and my constituents: two letters and a brochure.

She has sent thousands of pieces of mail to my neighbours. Many have complained about it.

I know that the NDP is scurrying but it should be honest in dealing with the dilemma it faces. Her junk mail claims that privatization of health care threatens Canadian families. We agree. How can the NDP leader claim that an additional $21 billion from the federal government will privatize health care?

The three NDP premiers strongly supported the health care agreement. In fact, they demanded it. Is she accusing her NDP colleagues of threatening Canadian families? If the NDP leader is going to send junk mail, she should at least make sure that she does not trash a health care agreement that all three NDP premiers enthusiastically support. She should be consistent and responsible. She should decide whether to stand with her NDP premiers or stand for opportunism.

Canadian International Development Agency
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Gurmant Grewal Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general has again slammed the Liberal government for its mismanagement of CIDA.

It has been the same old story about CIDA since 1993. Half of the contracts over $100,000 were non-competitive. There was an $8.5 million sole source contract for the Ivory Coast without the approval document signed by the minister. There was a $6.4 million sole source contract for the Chinese dam project. No other Canadian firms were allowed to compete. There was a contract for $13 million to reform Mali's income tax system without the required conditions and expertise in place, and a $4.7 million non-competitive contract in Mali, again without the needed reforms in place. CIDA gave 3,000 contracts of over $25,000 to individuals, including pensioned public servants, lacking treasury board approval.

The weak, arrogant Liberal government has no credibility when it comes to managing Canadian tax dollars. Canadian workers will hold the Liberals accountable at the ballot box. The Liberals cannot be trusted to help the poorest of the poor.

The Late Right Hon. Pierre Elliot Trudeau
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Hec Clouthier Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, today would have been the birthday of perhaps Canada's greatest political icon, Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

I am proud to say that Mr. Trudeau and I share the same birthday, October 18. I am also proud to say that I am a strong believer in Mr. Trudeau's value system. He cared about all people. He cared about their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties.

Pierre Trudeau believed that we could not grow as a country if we were burdened by old conflicts and old antagonisms of race against race, region against region, language against language and ego against ego. He inspired us to build a free, fair, just and responsible society. His hope and confidence, his compassion and decency, his understanding and compromise, his style, his intellect and his passion lifted his people and Canada to a higher destiny, a new plateau of excellence.

Thank you, Mr. Trudeau. You are one of the brightest stars in this country's firmament.

Vincent Martel
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be the host, today and tomorrow here on the Hill, of the MP for a day from Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, Vincent Martel, who will be with us for 24 hours.

Vincent was the big winner in the third MP for a day contest in the riding of Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier. He won out over nearly 1,200 secondary IV students.

During his time in Ottawa, Vincent will have an opportunity to get acquainted with what MPs do and to see first hand the hectic lives we lead here on Parliament Hill.

Vincent, who is accompanied by his friend Sably Gagnon, will have the honour of meeting with our leader and all of the members of our caucus.

Mr. Speaker, you will also have an opportunity to speak with this young man tomorrow, before oral question period.

Vincent, on behalf of all of my colleagues in the House of Commons, welcome to Parliament Hill.

Governor General's Award
Statements By Members

October 18th, 2000 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I rise to congratulate this year's recipients of the Governor General's award in commemoration of the Persons case: Yvonne Bourgeois of New Brunswick, Sonia Bitar of Alberta, Elizabeth Mackenzie of the Northwest Territories, Sabine Sonnemann of Ontario, Cherry Kingsley of British Columbia, and Bindu Dhaliwal of Ontario, who received the youth award, a new award this year.

This past weekend I met with one of the recipients, Ms. Kingsley. She recounted how through most of her young life she lived with addiction, abuse and exploitation. At the age of 22 she reconnected with her first nations roots, taking action by spreading her story and encouraging other young women and youths to tell their stories. In addition to holding conferences, Ms. Kingsley now works as a consultant for the Ontario government on policy matters concerning youth and sexual exploitation within the province. Her efforts are but one example of how to make a positive change for women in our communities.

I thank all those remarkable women.

The Famous Five
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Reform

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, 71 years ago today it became official that women were officially persons.

As the monument is unveiled today on Parliament Hill for the Famous Five, I am sure that Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, Nellie McClung and Irene Parlby would appreciate the irony of Ottawa as the home of this tribute.

For a dozen years the Famous Five battled Ottawa to get recognized as persons. While the Alberta government ruled that women were indeed persons, in Ottawa five successive Liberal and Conservative federal governments refused to change the law. When the Famous Five got to the supreme court in 1928 they were turned down there as well. It took a 1929 decision from the British privy council to finally declare that women were persons.

As we celebrate the Famous Five's accomplishments today, we need to remember that they achieved what they did despite the federal government, not because of it.

The Famous Five
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, today is an important anniversary for the women of Canada. Seventy-one years ago five formidable women won their long fight to have women recognized as full persons in this land. The Persons case is a landmark victory in the fight for women's equality.

That the achievements of the Famous Five be recognized on Parliament Hill through the dedication of a fabulous monument is fitting. However, the Famous Five would have regarded it as an even more fitting and lasting tribute for the federal government to fulfil the 13 feminist dozen demands to end poverty and violence against women.

This week tens of thousands of women from across Canada marched on Parliament Hill calling for urgent action. Nellie McClung once said “No nation rises higher than its women”. It is my hope that this government will heed that message and finally take steps to advance true justice and equality for all of the women of Canada.

Member For Laval East
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maud Debien Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, I told voters in Laval East that I will not seek a third mandate at the next election.

I thank the people from my riding for having put their trust in me twice. I believe I carried out my mandate by representing them with dignity, by expressing their concerns and by protecting their interests and those of all Quebecers.

I also wish to pay tribute to my party, my leader and my colleagues. I can assure them of my support in the process that I am sure will lead to Quebec's sovereignty.

My time in this House gave me an opportunity to meet members from all parties and to have fruitful discussions and debates with them.

To you, Mr. Speaker, who tried to keep our debates civil, I say thank you.

To my family, whom I really missed and without whom I would not have been able to pursue this demanding vocation, I say “Faites du feu dans la cheminée, je reviens chez nous”.

Member For Northumberland
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Christine Stewart Northumberland, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank you for recognizing me in the House today for what I believe might well be my last opportunity. I want to tell the House today what a privilege and honour it has been to serve in this place over the last 12 years, to serve the constituents of my constituency, Northumberland, and in fact to serve all of the people of this wonderful land, my beloved Canada.

My prayer is that all of my colleagues here today, and those who come here in the decades ahead, will have the wisdom, the charity and the generosity of spirit to continue to serve all of the people of this country and all regions of this country.

Everyone here knows that members of parliament do not come here on their own merit but with the support of many others. I wish to take this opportunity to thank, first and foremost, all of my constituents. I want to thank all of my loyal staff who have served me so well over the years. Of course I want to thank all of my colleagues and the Prime Minister here in this House. Most of all, I want to thank my dear family, some of whom are present in the House today, my children, Douglas, John and Catherine, and of course my beloved and very loving husband, David.

The Famous Five
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, on this day 71 years ago, the privy council of Great Britain made an historic decision that women were in fact persons under the law.

This decision was the result of the tireless efforts of five Canadian women: Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney and Irene Parlby.

As the House is well aware, this morning we honoured these Canadian heroes with a monument of statues benefiting the importance of their contribution to this great country, but perhaps the greatest tribute to these courageous patriots is that today we have a woman governor general, a woman chief of staff of the supreme court and many women in the House of Commons and the government's cabinet.

I am proud to serve with the right hon. member for Kings—Hants who, as prime minister, made it a priority to continue and enhance work which these brave women began 50 years before him.

In remembering the great accomplishments of the famous five, we must never forget to thank those who have followed in their footsteps.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general's report, one of the most scathing in recent memory, talks about one department alone wasting and mismanaging something like $3 billion per year.

In one year, $3 billion would hire 4,000 doctors, 4,000 nurses and purchase 500 MRIs.

The auditor general goes on to say that apparently whatever has been put in place to supposedly fix the problem in fact is probably not adequate.

If the Prime Minister will not even fix the problem, will he at least apologize to Canadians for this?