House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was broadcasting.

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 Fraser Valley.

[Editor's Note: Members sang the national anthem]

Volunteers
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, volunteers play a special role in the riding of Fredericton. Their contributions were recently recognized at a special year of the volunteer ceremony at which 50 people and organizations were presented with certificates and 10 were awarded medals.

Congratulations to the 10 medal recipients: Erin Cooke, Margie Cummings, Dr. Bill MacGillivary, Peter Thomas, the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, the New Brunswick Film Co-op, Ted Gaudet, Ann Passmore, Arthur and Patsy Kitchen, and the Multicultural Association of Fredericton. Special thanks to Monika Zauhar and her selection committee, the Greater Fredericton Economic Development Corporation, for their support and in particular the lieutenant-governor for hosting the event at Old Government House.

I thank the Royal Canadian Mint for its initiative in producing the beautiful medals in this special year. Congratulations to all volunteers for the value they add to Canada.

Community Heroes
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, today I speak about Canadian heroes like Vincent Northrop, who won the CCA 2001 bull riding title. He showed his community that dedication can realize a dream.

Heroes like Kelly Wormsbecker, who volunteers with the CESO in the Philippines, showed how giving created community ties throughout the world. There are organizations of heroes such as the CWL of St. Frances Xavier Church. These women ambitiously participated in a ribbon campaign against pornography and showed their community how to speak up and be heard.

It is also with sorrow that I say goodbye to heroes in my community: Gary Beckie, former U of S basketball player who succumbed to cancer at age 41. By example Gary's life showed his community that living to its fullest was living a life of service. I also say goodbye to Francis Matovich, who was a pillar in both his church and first responder volunteers. His sudden passing showed his community how precious time is and how to make every moment count.

I urge everyone to look for the heroes in their communities and when they find these people learn from them and thank them for their dedication to making our communities a better place to live.

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the federal branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association hosted the inaugural session of the Canadian Parliamentary Seminar. Twenty-two Commonwealth parliamentarians from around the world joined Canadian members of parliament and senators to discuss the theme of strengthening democracy.

Workshops included the examination of equality and inclusiveness, engaging women in the political process, representation in a multicultural society, parliament and the media, and electoral representation.

One of the many highlights of the week was a keynote address from His Excellency John Ralston Saul probing the current state of representative democracy. The Canadian Parliamentary Seminar illustrates that Canada should and can take the initiative to strengthen representative democracies worldwide.

Our commitment to democratic principles provides a guiding light for fledgling democracies and an excellent forum for the exchange of ideas and best practices. We look forward to continue doing our share as an association engaging parliamentarians to benefit their respective societies. We thank everyone for their help.

La Catapulte Theatre
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, for two years now, a wonderful theatre facility called La Nouvelle Scène, at 333 King Edward Street, in my riding of Ottawa--Vanier, has been operating successfully.

The Théâtre du Trillium, the Théâtre de la Vieille 17 and Vox Théâtre are all located within this facility, as is another group. This is the group that I would like to mention today.

It is a creative theatre group that has been in existence for not quite 10 years. It will be celebrating its 10th anniversary next year. It was catapulted, if I may use the expression, to the artistic pantheon when it received a $10,000 award from the lieutenant governor of Ontario.

I would like to congratulate its artistic director, Joël Beddows, for the excellent work that the Théâtre La Catapulte has been doing for nine years now. I wish them many more successful years.

Canadian Stage Company
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the Canadian Stage Company, one of 18 recipients of the 2001 Lieutenant-Governor's Awards for the Arts which were presented on Tuesday, November 27 in Toronto.

These esteemed awards, which are Canada's largest monetary prizes for arts organizations, recognize Ontario based organizations for demonstrating exceptional private sector and community support.

The Canadian Stage Company was founded in 1970 and is one of the largest not for profit theatre companies in Canada. It is dedicated to creating and producing the best Canadian theatre and Canadian interpretation of international works. The Canadian Stage Company is also the producer of CanStage TD Bank “Dream in High Park” in my riding.

I congratulate the Canadian Stage Company for its outstanding contributions to Canada's arts and culture.

Bill C-36
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Philip Mayfield Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, access to information is a cornerstone of democracy. The right to know ensures transparency and accountability in government and a healthy democracy. The government recoils at the level of accountability that transparency brings.

With Bill C-36 the government would weaken Canada's access to information laws in its zeal to provide us with anti-terrorism legislation. It would give the attorney general the power to issue certificates that would exclude information now allowed. It would prevent the information commissioner and the courts from reviewing unjustifiable government secrets.

There would be no meaningful independent review of these secrets. The government would not have to prove that disclosure would cause injury and there would be no end to this period of secrecy. We would no longer have the right to protect our property and loved ones through democratic transparency and accountability.

The government is gutting the access to information we now enjoy and taking away the freedom of information from Canadians.

World Aids Day
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, Saturday, December 1 is World AIDS Day. The theme of this year's AIDS awareness campaign is “I Care...Do You?” and aims to involve individuals, especially young men and politicians, more fully in the fight against the HIV epidemic.

Today more than 36 million people worldwide are living with HIV infection. Last year alone three million people died from AIDS, 95% of them in developing countries. One of the many challenges faced by developing countries in fighting HIV-AIDS is access to affordable, life saving medicine.

Two weeks ago in Doha more than 80 countries agreed that TRIPS, Trade-Related Aspects of International Property Rights, should be interpreted and implemented in a manner supportive of WTO members' rights to protect public health. This decision will have an impact on the global response to the epidemic.

It is in everyone's interest to ensure the TRIPS agreement is seen as an instrument that reinforces--

World Aids Day
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Sherbrooke.

Shah Ismatullah Habibi
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, as part of the Quebec citizenship week, which took place from November 19 to 23, a citizen from the riding of Sherbrooke was honoured for his contributions to the community.

Shah Ismatullah Habibi received the Jacques Couture award from Quebec's minister of citizen relations and immigration for his work bringing cultural groups closer together.

Mr. Habibi came to Sherbrooke in 1993 with the first wave of Afghan refugees. Since then, he has become actively involved in our community and has occupied a number of important positions, such as on the new immigrant welcome committee, with the world traditions festival, on the family advisory committee, with the transcultural educational association and the support program for new Canadians, to name but a few.

On behalf of all of the residents of the riding of Sherbrooke, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Mr. Habibi for this prestigious award.

Ken Hechtman
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to indicate the concern shared by all members of this House for the safety of the Canadian journalist, Ken Hechtman, who is currently being held prisoner in a Taliban area of Afghanistan.

Mr. Hechtman was reporting for a Montreal newspaper when he was kidnapped. We understand he is being held with his hands bound in a tiny cell, while his kidnappers are making ransom demands. His life is in danger.

Mr. Hechtman's plight underscores the dangers journalists willingly run in order to cover the fighting in Afghanistan. Indeed, so far eight journalists have died. Yet we need such independent news coverage if we are to understand events that could profoundly affect the lives of all of us. We know the government will do anything it can to free Mr. Hechtman. His danger is great. We earnestly hope for his release.

The Winter Olympics
Statements by Members

November 28th, 2001 / 2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is indeed a pleasure to stand in the House of Commons to express how proud my community of Abbotsford, British Columbia is to congratulate Alana Kraus on her successful qualification to represent Canada in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

Alana is known for her hard work and dedication to the sport of speed skating and we all know she will be the very best she can be. Alana sets high standards for herself and is a role model for others to follow. She is a young 24 and has many more successful years ahead of her. We will all be cheering for Alana in the Olympics in Salt Lake City.

I also would like to congratulate all the people who have helped Alana over the years, her coaches, friends and family. Together they have all contributed to the character and personality of a world class competitor, Alana Kraus.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Jordan Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, people say that Texas is not a state but a state of mind. This morning The Dallas Morning News provides some insights into what is on the minds of the people in Texas these days. It states:

If today you see an outgoing man, with a gravelly French accent...go over and shake his hand. He is...prime minister of Canada. Be sure to thank him for Canada's contribution to the U.S.-led war against global terrorism, for it is not acknowledged enough.

Canada didn't just condemn the atrocious attacks on the United States. It unhesitatingly enlisted to defeat the people and countries that perpetrated them. It offered troops and treasure.

When its very existence was threatened, there was Canada, and in a big way. The 100,000 Canadians who sang the U.S. national anthem on Ottawa's Parliament Hill amply testified to the strong bonds between the countries.

The United States and Canada sometimes disagree, but that's to be expected in a relationship so rich and complex. On the rare occasion of his visit, Texans should welcome and thank [the right hon. Prime Minister of Canada].

Bill C-36
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, in recent days we have been treated to the kind of gap between rhetoric and reality that causes Canadians to have a lot of cynicism about Canadian politics.

The leader of the Conservative Party has said that Bill C-36 is about shutting down the information commissioner, that it is a power grab, that it is muzzling a parliamentary watchdog, that it represents a culture of secrecy, that it is an assault on Canadian civil liberties, that it is comparable to the War Measures Act and that it must be stopped.

If that is the case, why is it that the Conservative Party voted for Bill C-36 when it could have joined New Democrats and the Bloc in opposing Bill C-36?

It is one thing to approve of a bill and suggest how to improve it, but to denounce it in its final form and then vote for it is the height of cynicism.

Radio-Canada
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, Radio-Canada television receives approximately half the funding of its English-language counterpart, the CBC.

At a session of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, the Liberal member for Simcoe--Grey stated that he found it normal for francophones to get half the public funding that anglophones do.

Is not one of the objectives of the Broadcasting Act the respect of both of Canada's official languages? And was not a motion stating that the House of Commons must be guided by the principle that Quebec forms a distinct society passed by the members of this government? Fine talk with no substance.

Consideration of francophones solely according to their numerical representation, treating them as a minority rather than an equal nation, is intensifying their assimilation and cultural impoverishment. Why should francophones have to settle for half the funding to produce programming? English Canada's parliamentarians would appear to need a major change in attitude.