House of Commons Hansard #116 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was police.

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 Winnipeg North Centre.

Education
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, for the 10th year in a row Maclean's magazine has ranked the University of Waterloo as the best overall university in the national part of its reputation survey, as well as number one in its comprehensive category which comprises four areas: best overall, highest quality, most innovative and leaders of tomorrow.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has singled out the University of Waterloo as the leading source of spinoff companies in the Canadian high tech sector. This is a key factor in improving Canada's competitive position internationally and a great benefit to the economic growth of the country.

My riding of Kitchener--Waterloo is also the home of Wilfrid Laurier University, which is ranked by Maclean's in the top third of the primary undergraduate category. Furthermore, Waterloo has the campus of Conestoga College, the number one college in the province of Ontario.

Congratulations are due to the universities of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier and Conestoga College for their pursuit of educational excellence.

Immigration
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Maurice Vellacott Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Alliance Party recognizes that Canada is a nation of immigrants that has always been enriched by new arrivals to our shores. We also affirm our international humanitarian obligation to receive our share of genuine refugees.

However we believe that the best way to keep Canada's doors open to immigrants and genuine refugees is to improve the system so that it expeditiously processes applications and effectively screens out those abusing the system.

To do this, new arrivals must be required to produce verifiable documentation so that security and background checks can be done. Those without documentation should be detained until declared safe or deported. Failed refugee claimants and illegal entrants must be deported and those who organize abuses of the system for profit must be vigorously prosecuted.

To make the system work for those we want to welcome we must get tough on those who abuse the system and put it in jeopardy for everyone.

Estelle Chamberland-Gobeil
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to extend sincere congratulations to Mrs. Estelle Chamberland-Gobeil, to whom the Simone-Monet-Chartrand award for 2001 was presented last Tuesday evening.

The award is given by the Centre des femmes de Montréal to recognize the exceptional accomplishments of a mother whose life perpetuates the values of Simone Monet-Chartrand.

Like this great Quebec woman, who died in 1993, Mrs. Chamberland-Gobeil is a woman of many talents. An ardent feminist, and an enthusiastic volunteer, she has made a name for herself in the region of Mégantic and Haut-Saint-François through her efforts, which have been mainly focussed on youth and seniors, as well as women's issues.

Once again, my congratulations. Frontenac—Mégantic is proud of you.

Women's Rights
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, the name MATCH International Centre may not immediately ring a bell with all members of parliament, but I stand here today to salute the small organization on its 25th anniversary.

MATCH is known as one of the key organizations that has strengthened the global women's movement. To achieve this recognition MATCH has supported women's groups offering frontline services to women and their children and has spearheaded many achievements that Canadian women now cherish, such as enhanced legal rights for women victims of violence and the growth of women's shelters Canadawide.

I urge members of parliament not to stand by and watch the deterioration of Canada's social network that helps women victims of violence. The undoing of such gains by the women of Canada, and indeed by MATCH and its partners in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and South America, will not go unchallenged by the thousands of Canadians who uphold the rights of women to live free from violence.

MATCH stands with every woman and child that has experienced violence in Canada, and today we congratulate MATCH International Centre and its dynamic team for the work they are doing in raising awareness on women's rights around the world.

Highway Infrastructure
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week we learned that an agreement has been reached on the matter of Highway 50 in the Outaouais region.

The Government of Quebec and the Union des producteurs agricoles have reached agreement on the route the highway will take between Montée Laurin, at Lochaber, and Montebello. This new route will preserve the environment of the region and its arable land, as the farmers' union had demanded.

This is a step in the right direction for the development of the economy and tourism in the Outaouais area. I would remind hon. members that the federal government has invested $100 million in Highway 50 over the past 30 years. I cannot wait to see this project completed.

I hope that the outcome of this issue will lead to the completion of other highway projects in Quebec.

Pensions
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the arrival of the first Canada pension cheque should be a joyous occasion. After years of hard work it is time to sit back and enjoy the rewards of retirement.

Last week one of my constituents reached that milestone, but instead of joy he felt shock and disgust. Those were the emotions he experienced. I am not referring to the size of the cheque but to the letter that was enclosed soliciting donations for charities.

Most of us avoid telemarketers like the plague. We especially dislike those who target vulnerable seniors. Enclosed was a letter saying just sign and $18, $16 or $14 will be automatically deducted monthly from his cheque, or if a little extra money was needed for groceries, perhaps he could afford $12.

Who would victimize our seniors like that? Who is the fox in the hen house? Members have guessed it; it is our own Canadian government. Pensioners are already victimized by the size of the cheque and when it comes to solicitation it should be done another way.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Bonwick Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am requesting the support of the House of Commons on behalf of the Conservation Authorities of Ontario. Over the past 50 years the Conservation Authorities have been charged with the responsibility of maintaining the delicate environmental balance in our Great Lakes Watershed Basin. They have done this by creating unique partnerships with all levels of government as well as the private sector.

It is also worth mentioning that in fulfilling their mandate they have saved our government over $3.5 billion annually. I should also state that these same Great Lakes Watershed Basins contribute over $7 billion annually to our economy.

However, to contend with the eroding environmental conditions facing our Great Lakes, the Conservation Authorities have brought forward a two-part plan: the healthy Great Lakes program and the fish habitat endowment fund. Not only do we have a constitutional obligation to support these initiatives, but, greater than that, we have an obligation to our environmentally sensitive Great Lakes.

On behalf of the Conservation Authorities of Ontario, I respectfully request everybody to join in supporting these initiatives.

Amnesty International
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, last weekend, the annual youth convention of Amnesty International was held in the riding of Joliette.

More than 600 young Quebecers came together for the occasion in the municipality of Assomption. In a great gesture of solidarity, they took a magnificent step in support of the hundreds of thousands of Afghani refugees affected by the war that is raging in their country. They signed a petition in a tent that was symbolic of the only shelter available to refugees fleeing violence and persecution.

In this petition, which I shall be handing over to the Prime Minister, the 600 youth members of Amnesty International call for the countries bordering on Afghanistan to open up their borders to those who are fleeing the bombing in that country and for a program to be put in place to support these countries, along with a refugee resettlement program. As well, they wish to see Canada maintain its laws and policies guaranteeing that all refugee claims will undergo a fair and proper examination, regardless of country of origin.

Well done, you young people!

Jean Tanguay
Statements By Members

November 21st, 2001 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, on November 2, Bernard Michael Watson, a former teacher at North Bay's Algonquin Secondary School, passed away. I extend my condolences to his family and friends.

Today, a second former Algonquin teacher, Jean Tanguay, was buried as well. I well remember Jean Tanguay, his ever-present bottle of Pepsi and his knowing smile.

Franco-Ontarians will remember Jean from his four years as President of the ACFO, from 1990 to 1994. During those two complete mandates, he worked unceasingly to get RDI broadcast Canada-wide.

He also expended a great deal of effort on obtaining manpower training for Ontario's francophone community.

His other preoccupation was to ensure that Ontario francophones could live and die in French.

The best tribute we could pay to him is to continue his battle to ensure that health services are made available to all Ontario's francophones.

Whistleblowers
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, our national security is only as strong as its weakest link. Knowing, exposing and correcting wrongdoings can only strengthen it.

I want to draw attention to those civil servants who, in good faith, have alerted Canadians to corruption, waste, mismanagement and wrongdoing in government departments and who are repaid with harassment and personal and professional ruin. Rather than investigating the wrongdoing they exposed, the government investigates them.

Yesterday, the leading U.S. advocate on whistleblower protection told us during a panel discussion I hosted that Canada lags behind, not only the U.S. but also many other countries. The culture of cover-ups and secrecy in government must end and the protection for whistleblowers must be put on a statutory footing.

I call on the government to heed this call for more accountability and transparency in government operations. When will this arrogant government introduce an effective whistleblowers legislation and perhaps keep one of its red book promises?

International Year of the Volunteer
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to have recently presented 10 citizens of Vancouver Kingsway with International Year of the Volunteer Medals. They are: Bernard Bellinger, Bill Chan, Fran Grant, Edmond Lee, Kerr Lin, Harvey and Theresa McAuley, Man Che Tam, Mary Thompson and Roberta Yee.

Those outstanding individuals have contributed their time and energy to make Vancouver Kingsway a better place to live. They are an example of the best of Canadian society, and I congratulate them on their well deserved honour. I am very proud to have those outstanding Canadians in my riding.

Devco
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, by mid-December the Devco operated coal mine will close its doors after 26 years of operation.

Since 1975, Devco mine has been one of the most important industries of the north shore of Cape Breton. Prince mine will officially cease coal production this Friday, ending more than 100 years of undersea coal mining on the east coast.

The 500 workers currently employed at Devco mining will soon be left without work. Some of them have spent their entire lives working in the mines, some of them have even lost their lives and others, their health.

Now the government has to take responsibility and make sure these workers, who are left behind, get good jobs in the near future.

To these miners and families, we thank them for all their devotion to the coal mining industry. We wish them the best for the year 2002.

History of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Heritage Minutes paid for by the federal government trace an idyllic portrait of Canada's history. But this history has known less glorious moments, such as the burning of the parliament of the united province of Canada in 1849 by a horde of English-speaking Montrealers, the very ones who claimed to be so attached to democratic institutions.

As Normand Lester reports in Le livre noir du Canada anglais , these fanatics did not approve of the duly elected government compensating the Quebec victims of the destruction wrought by the army when it put down the rebellions of 1837 and 1838. Yet the people of Ontario were compensated for this same destruction.

The fact that this crime went unpunished has been interpreted by author John Ralston Saul as evidence of the restraint shown by the Canadian government. When the army fired on Acadian deportees, on patriotes, on Metis, on those who opposed conscription, it showed no restraint.

The Heritage Minutes presented one side of the coin only.

Aecl
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is budget time, an opportunity for the government to focus on significant cost saving items such as the annual subsidy to Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. Since its inception, AECL has received over $16 billion in subsidies. Last year's subsidy was $156 million.

The original plan of AECL was to sell 10 new nuclear reactors in 10 years. However, there is currently no prospects for nuclear reactor sales.

The auditor general has repeatedly criticized this crown corporation for poor accounting practices because it does not include in its balance sheet the cost of nuclear waste disposal and decommissioning of nuclear power plants.

The government could save a large sum of money by cancelling this subsidy, intended to promote elusive nuclear reactor sales, and invest this sum instead in social, health and environmental programs.