House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Fondation Québécoise Du Cancer
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute today to the Fondation québécoise du cancer, a non-profit organization whose main mission is to improve the quality of life of those with cancer, and their families.

The foundation has developed a comprehensive approach to the problems cancer causes for families. It has therefore developed training and awareness activities for health professionals, and it provides cancer patients and their families with information, support, documentation, and accommodation while they are receiving treatment.

The foundation has been in existence for 20 years now and has taken on a lead role in the battle against cancer, with decision makers, the media, the health system and the general public.

The Fondation québécoise du cancer never hesitates to make public statements and make its position known on any matter relating to the fight against cancer. My greetings to the foundation and my thanks to all of its volunteers.

Via Rail
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Lavigne Verdun—Saint-Henri, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister of Transport on the occasion of his announcement of a new set of measures providing $400 million to revitalize VIA Rail over the next five years.

By offering a transportation option that is stable, safe and environmentally friendly, the enhanced passenger service will contribute to lessening highway congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.

As well, VIA has the largest rail maintenance shop in Canada, providing employment to more than 400 people in my riding of Verdun—Saint-Henri, which encompasses Pointe Saint-Charles, an area where unemployment is still very high.

The announcement of this investment brings a ray of sunshine to a still snowy area.

Foreign Affairs
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is shocking that the Prime Minister would place the safety and security of Canadians at risk to cover up his own diplomatic foul-ups.

The auditor general's recent report makes it clear that the government is currently incapable of dealing with 15,000 refugees from Palestine without seriously compromising the safety and security of Canadians. He says “We noted serious deficiencies in the way it applies admissibility criteria related to health, criminality and security”.

The current mismanagement of the immigration department virtually guarantees that serious criminals, terrorists and people with dangerous health conditions will continue to enter Canada. Decisions to help refugees must be based on the capability of the immigration department, firm recommendations from the United Nations and sound CSIS information, not on the whim of a bungling Prime Minister.

Canadians want to help genuine refugees but they are tired of having their generosity abused by queue jumpers, by people smugglers and, now, by our very own Prime Minister.

Prime Minister
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Mercier Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, having committed a blunder in Jerusalem offending the Palestinians, our Prime Minister, ever eager for balance, was careful to commit one in Gaza, a second one, which, this time, offended the Israelis.

On the subject, the next day, of the lake of Tiberias where Christ walked on the waters, this tireless blunderer, tiptoeing on the eggs of an ultra sensitive matter, went in up to his neck, this time offending Syria before the dumbfounded gaze of international opinion, which did not really consider him capable of such a singular hat trick.

Now the world waits with bated breath to see how Egypt will inspire our Prime Minister. Will he, like Moses, who descended Mount Sinai bearing the tablets with commandments, before a hundred journalists, descend the steps of his hotel brandishing a peace plan for the Middle East that will cause everyone distress? Or, as is his wont, will he deliver his plan B in order to revive the conflict? Anything is possible with this man. But one thing is sure. He will oblige us to drink the cup of ridicule before world opinion to the lees.

Telephone Communication
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, the arrival of the new millennium was the subject of much celebration. We also seized the moment to sing the praises of the great achievements, especially the technological ones, of the past century. Right now, I feel very far removed from the 21st century and more as if I were in the middle of an episode of Green Acres . In my riding of Brome—Missisquoi, there are people having to share a phone line. There can be as many as four parties on a line. I remind you that my riding is 40 minutes away from Montreal.

There are people, on this April 13, 2000, who have to pay attention to the telephone ring to know whether the call is for them. So, forget the Internet, the fax machine and the many services most of us take for granted.

I find this situation unacceptable and I find the attitude of Bell Canada, which has still not rectified the situation, most irritating. In two weeks, my riding will host the national rural conference, where the subject of discussion will be rural development. I think Bell Canada would do well to take part.

National Poetry Month
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, to mark National Poetry Month, I would like to read a poem entitled “Aliénor” written by Herménégilde Chiasson, who lives on the Acadian peninsula and has a Governor General's Award for poetry. It goes as follows:

I will be with you. You will be with me. I will look ahead. You will look behind. And together we will see how far our world stretches, How great our riches are. No more will what is ours be taken from us, No more will lies be told about us. We will not be sold like slaves. We will willingly go into the forest And emerge bathed in light.

And my children will walk in that light. Will play in that light. And their lives will be their own. For ages. Forever. Their own. Life is all we will share now, All that we possess, our only revenge. I will forget the forest, yes, The rain, the cold and the snow, yes, But do not think that I will forget the beating of your heart,> The words you breathe, The warmth of your arms.

Health
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, constituents of Winnipeg North—St. Paul would like to know what the Canadian health care system will look like in the future and how Canadians, through their federal, provincial and territorial governments, will pay for the system.

We have yet to hear whether all health ministers in the country, at their recent meeting, came to an agreement. My constituents are not interested in federal-provincial disputes, but cry out for co-operative leadership.

Medicare remains the number one priority of all Canadians. They would like to be assured that the five principles of universality, portability, comprehensiveness, accessibility and not-for-profit public administration will continue to prevail.

We owe our constituents a duty to state where we stand on the issue. Let additional new federal funding be coupled with home care and pharmacare as vital components of a renewed medicare, to ensure its sustainability in the future. This let us pledge to Canadians.

Senator Ron Ghitter
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to one of our great senators who entered into public life with great dignity and integrity, and has left with those same attributes intact after more than 30 years in the public eye.

I speak of Senator Ron Ghitter. True to his character, the senator defended his good name in a defamation suit that began in October 1998 against the member of parliament for Calgary West and a senior advisor of the former Reform Party leader.

True to Reform's crass tactics, the two individuals slandered the senator but, thankfully, justice prevailed this past week. I want to quote from the apology that was elicited from these two members. It reads:

Our attack on Senator Ghitter was unfounded and we now admit having defamed Senator Ghitter. We further acknowledge that some of our statements were based on facts that were false and on out of context interpretations.

We regret preparing and sending the letter and wish to apologize to Senator Ghitter—

I thank Senator Ghitter for standing by his principles. He is a class act.

Nunavut
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, this morning the Nunavut coat of arms sculpture was unveiled in the Parliament Building's rotunda.

I was very happy that this historic event was attended by so many Inuit and friends of Nunavut, including the new commissioner of Nunavut.

It gave me great pleasure that the Nunavut Sivuniksavut students who are studying in Ottawa from all over Nunavut and a group of visiting students from Rankin Inlet were there to see the Inuktitut syllabics carved into the stone in that historic place where all the other territorial and provincial coat of arms are displayed.

It was another historic moment for Nunavut and a very moving ceremony. It would like to thank all those who attended and participated.

A “Canadien” Afield
Statements By Members

April 13th, 2000 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Turp Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker,

A “Canadien” afield Far from his hearth and home Through foreign land and weald Blundering he did roam. Through foreign land and weald Blundering he did roam. Pensive and serious, Sitting along the shore Of Lake Tiberias Did he the waves implore: Of Lake Tiberias Did he the waves implore: “Should you my country see, my country all in dread, Please inform all my friends That 'tis on eggs I tread. Please inform all my friends That 'tis on eggs I tread.” These days the gaffes abound, Out there for all to see, My party at this frowned, Will have no more of me, And my dear home, oh zounds, Is quite upset with me.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North
Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is overseas and every single day he has been there he has embarrassed Canadians as well as himself. His comments have been unwise and indefensible. Everyone across the world knows that.

Our Prime Minister is unable to manage his government here at home. He is unable to manage his words. He has been stumbling from one mishap to another every single day that he has been gone.

For Canada's reputation, if not his own, will somebody please bring him home?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the hon. member's question is totally faulty and not based on fact.

The Prime Minister has had very successful talks with the leader of Israel, with the leader of Egypt and with the leader of Lebanon. He signed important agreements in Israel and Egypt. The Prime Minister's trip is going very well and the hon. member is totally wrong in criticizing it.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North
Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the only thing I find more difficult than the Prime Minister saying the things he is saying over there is to have a Deputy Prime Minister defending him back home. It is unbelievable.

The Prime Minister is clearly out of his league. We know that he is endangering very fragile and tenuous diplomatic relationships. In four days we have seen four gaffes. He is igniting a controversy with practically every word that comes out of his mouth.

I ask again, is it not time that he just came home?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, is it not time that the hon. member stuck to the facts and did not bad mouth the very active and successful efforts of the Prime Minister to help advance Canada's interests and to help bring peace to the region, efforts which have been praised by the President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who knows a lot more about what is going on there than the hon. member ever will?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton North
Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure how much it benefits to start calling other people names and defending—