House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was leader.

Topics

Speech From The Throne
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are many of us on this side of the House who have great sympathy with the comment of the member for Winnipeg—Transcona when he said that the fuel rebate should not be tied to the GST.

I too am receiving many calls in my riding and it is a very divisive issue. The finance minister would do well to listen to the words of the member opposite and perhaps reconsider how that program is administered.

I would like to pose a question to the member opposite. He was referring to the problem of security at the upcoming summit in Quebec and how that sends a wrong message to young people who want to legitimately protest. All of us on this side agree that young people should protest. There are things to protest about the world trade agreements, and it is good that young people should be involved.

I well remember about a year and a half ago that there was a rally for the homeless just outside the House on the lawn in front of the Centre Block put on by the Coalition Against Poverty. The police were deployed in great numbers and cautioned us in the House to leave by a side door. We went out by a side door, but I was interested and I went and looked at the rally. There were hundreds of people there, mostly burly guys in boots. There were no homeless people there.

When the leader of the Conservative Party tried to walk into that crowd in order to speak to them, they swore at him and roughed him up. There was a similar protest with the Quebec Federation of Labour in which a hired protester tried to get through the security cordon of the Prime Minister.

Is it not true that this type of protest gangsterism spoils it for the young people who do want to legitimately protest? We have to put on security. Is it not true that the people who should really be condemned are groups like the Coalition Against Poverty?

Speech From The Throne
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure whether the hon. member is saying he thinks there are no burly homeless people or no homeless people with boots. I was not there that day and do not have a great deal of knowledge of the particular event. I was very careful in my remarks to talk about peaceful protests.

In Seattle, it was not just violent protesters who were locked up. The police decided they would clear whole areas of the city and make them uninhabitable for peaceful protesters as well as violent protesters. They locked a lot of people up. They seem to be planning to do the same in Quebec City. That is my concern.

There were 50,000 people marching in Seattle: environmentalists, trade unionists and food safety activists. The event was supervised by the steelworkers. There were no police visible. It was all done in a very civilized and peaceful way. That kind of thing will not be possible in Quebec City if a wall is built around it.

The Berlin Wall has come down, but walls are going up everywhere so that people who want to gather together to plot the weakening of democracy through further free trade agreements can meet without having to hear the voices of protesters.

It has something to do with distance as well. Protesters have to be seen and heard, not just on the other side of the Ottawa River. These are legitimate concerns and one can voice them without being put in the position of somehow defending violence or inappropriate responses.

Of course we must have security. There is a need for the protection of delegates to these meetings and the protection of property. There is also a role for government in acknowledging these concerns and dealing with them, which the government has not been willing to do.

I know the government says it had a parliamentary subcommittee and it heard testimony. That is not good enough. We have to open these processes and make some of these negotiating papers public.

Yesterday the Minister for International Trade said that all we had to do was look on the Internet. If we look on the Internet, we will not find the Canadian position with respect to the general agreement on trade and services which is of great concern to many Canadians in terms of what might happen to our health and education services.

The minister stood yesterday and told us to look it up on our website. We did look it up and were concerned about what it says on the website, that Canada has no position in this regard. We know Canada has a position. We know Canadian negotiators are probably in rooms negotiating as we speak. Yet for them to pretend they have no position while at the same time telling us to look it up is somewhat frustrating.

Speech From The Throne
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant McNally Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, congratulations on your recent appointment. We are honoured to be able to have someone of your ability in the chair.

I congratulate my colleague, the House leader for the NDP. Whenever he has an opportunity to speak, he is worth listening to because he makes thoughtful and reflective comments which add to the debate, no matter what the topic. I congratulate him on that.

My question for the House leader of the New Democratic Party would be in regard to the main issue of his speech. He talked about many things, but I am referring to the ability to debate democratically and protest in a peaceful way. I agree with him on that. He also mentioned free trade agreements, the FTA and NAFTA.

Would he provide, with his insight, his solution or the NDP solution in terms of where to go now, the integration of those agreements and the economies that have developed under those agreements? What is his vision or his party's vision to move ahead and make changes, if necessary, in that area?

Speech From The Throne
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the answer to that question is obviously a lot longer than what we have time for at the moment. I would say for a start that one of the things we should not do is move ahead with further free trade agreements until we have satisfied ourselves and the critics of these agreements that they can deal with such problems as labour standards, environment standards, et cetera.

There should be a moratorium on trade and investment liberalization until we are satisfied that we can have agreements which do not inhibit the power of governments to act in the public interest.

Ted Thornley
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, on December 15, 2000, the Waterloo Regional Police Association lost its leader of 12 years. Members of the Thornley family lost a husband, father and son who loved them very much. I lost a trusted adviser, constituent and friend, and my community lost a dedicated and decent citizen.

Known to many as chairman of the Police Association of Ontario and a member of the Canadian Police Association, Ted Thornley worked actively to improve public safety in the country. He worked tirelessly to ensure that police officers in the region and province were always taken care of.

Ted had an ability to be serious, humorous and compassionate. I ask his family, Karen, Vicki, Keri and Jamie, to accept my deepest condolences. Ted Thornley was a great man and he will be truly missed.

Sports
Statements By Members

February 1st, 2001 / 1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, for the third consecutive week the Red Deer Rebels of the Major Junior Western Hockey League have been ranked number one in our nation. The Rebels have worked extremely hard to obtain this number one ranking and should be very proud of themselves.

The Rebels solid work ethic starts from the top with their coach, Brent Sutter. Brent and his assistant, Dallas Gaume, have done a fantastic job in bringing out the best of these talented players.

The Red Deer Rebels are an outstanding organization. The hockey club is very active in central Alberta and supports many worthwhile causes. These young people work with the youth in our community and truly are excellent role models for the next generation.

As the member of parliament for Red Deer, I am proud of the Rebels in our community. Obviously the ultimate goal for the Rebels is a trip to the Memorial Cup in Regina this spring.

By continuing their excellent play we are confident they will succeed. They have many best wishes from the entire community for the achievement of this goal.

Citizens Of The Year
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, last month the city of Hamilton paid tribute to three outstanding citizens in the 63rd annual Distinguished Citizen of the Year awards.

Aimee Evans won the Community Service Award, Laura Donahoe received the Youth Volunteer Award, and Morgan Firestone, a well-known philanthropist in our community, was named Citizen of the Year.

The winners of these awards did not become active in our community to win awards. They did so to make Hamilton and Canada a better place to live. They all contribute to the community in different ways but with the same goal: a desire to improve our community and continue Canada's tradition of helping those in need.

I am sure all hon. members will join me in congratulating these three outstanding citizens and in wishing them continued success in the future. At the same time, I would also like to recognize all Canadians who make a difference in their communities through public service.

Frontenac-Mégantic
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, on November 27, the voters of Frontenac—Mégantic expressed their confidence in me by electing me to the House of Commons, and I would like to thank them most sincerely.

This confidence is the product of a vision of courage resolutely turned towards the future, which, in turn, will motivate me to work on behalf of the men, women and children of the four corners of the riding of Frontenac—Mégantic.

I intend, in all humility and with unwavering conviction, to strengthen our ability to work together to develop a vision for Frontenac—Mégantic.

I am therefore very proud to be part of a team with a vision for success, a most exciting challenge. Thank you again to my electors.

Sports
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, on November 26 the BC Lions defeated the Montreal Alouettes and brought the Grey Cup home to British Columbia. It was a special time for many of my constituents who watch the Lions practise and scrimmage on a regular basis, since the team office and training facility are located in Surrey North. Fans have waited a number of years for this and, after an incredible late season kick, the Lions delivered the ultimate prize.

While on the subject of kicks, I pay a warm and special tribute to Lui Passaglia who, after gracing the gridirons of the CFL for 25 years as kicker for the Lions, hung up the cleats for the last time. How fitting it was that the final field goal of his long, illustrious career provided his team with the winning margin for the Grey Cup victory.

Congratulations to the front office, the coaches and especially the players of the BC Lions, and a special thank you to Lui for his quarter century of commitment to the game. The Lions will continue to roar, but one thing that will be missed will be the thousands of voices chanting in unison, “Lu, Lu, Lu”, as another three points go up on the scoreboard.

Black History Month
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, February, Black History Month, aims to raise awareness of the contributions of black Canadians to the fabric of Canadian society.

An effective tool is the annual Black History Month poster. This year the poster is entitled “Contributions Worth Remembering and Sharing”. It features: members of the No. 2 Construction Battalion, the first and only all black battalion in Canadian military history; William Peyton Hubbard, Canada's first black alderman; Delos Rogest Davis, Canada's first black lawyer; the Brown Bombers, an all black Canadian hockey team; and Portia White, Canadian soloist extraordinaire.

Today the poster will be presented to the Prime Minister and other dignitaries. I would like to congratulate Teresa Valladeres, the designer, and Stephan Taylor, the artist, as well as Rick Gosling, the city of Toronto, Toronto Fire Services, the North York Race Relations Committee, the RCMP and the Toronto Police Services for supporting and participating in this venture.

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have just returned from heading the Canadian delegation to the Stockholm International Forum, whose purpose included the legal, educational, media and community strategies needed to combat racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and related forms of intolerance.

In particular, the conference concluded that, first, this growing intolerance constitutes a threat to democratic societies and a variety of legal remedies is needed to combat it. An international commission of what the Swedish prime minister called “global legal talent” is being set up to draft model legal remedies.

Second, hate on the Internet, particularly the cyber hate targeting and recruiting of children, has proliferated from one hate site in 1995 to over 2,500 today, requiring creative responses.

Third, racist, xenophobic and exclusionary attitudes toward immigrants, refugees, migrant workers and minorities, as well as the discrimination and denigration of l'étrangère, need to be combated.

Fourth, an educational strategy to combat intolerance is needed, organized around holocaust, anti-racist, multicultural and human rights awareness.

The time has come, concluded the forum, to move from words to deeds.

International Aid
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of the official opposition caucus to send our condolences to India and El Salvador. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families impacted by two devastating earthquakes.

I would like to acknowledge the work of countless volunteers involved with local relief efforts as well as the Government of Canada's contributions.

My office in Calgary, in conjunction with local societies, is organizing fundraising efforts for victims in India. I urge Canadians today to contribute generously to ongoing relief efforts and give whatever they can for victims in India and El Salvador. Your generosity can make a difference.

Heart Disease
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Yvon Charbonneau Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House and the people of Canada that February is heart disease awareness month.

We are proud of the Canadian heart health initiative, a multi-level collaboration encouraging Canadians to adopt healthy lifestyles and to create working and living conditions conducive to healthy choices.

Each year, some 79,000 Canadians die from heart disease or stroke. This is a huge loss for Canada.

Great progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go in the fight to reduce the major risk factors, such as smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes.

The quality of life of a myriad of Canadians will be enormously improved, but we as Canadians must choose to invest in heart health by mobilizing society as a whole.

Lucien Bouchard
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, recently the Premier of Quebec, Lucien Bouchard, announced his decision to retire from politics. Quebec is losing a politician of inestimable value and a great visionary.

His political career was marked by charisma and a great talent for defending a cause; this is what made him a great statesman.

Mr. Bouchard was the incarnation of modern Quebec. He demonstrated to us that one could govern with passion, intelligence and audacity. He was never afraid to act according to his political convictions.

With his knowledge of the Canadian system, he understood that Quebec needed to become sovereign. It is to him we owe the founding of the Parti Quebecois, and it is thanks to him that Quebecers are now represented and defended here in the House of Commons.

On behalf of the Bloc Quebecois MPs, thank you, Mr. Bouchard, for your commitment and your contribution to the development of Quebec society.

Foreign Affairs
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, last December 29, a young Canadian of Burundian origin, Arthur Kabunda, was killed in an ambush in Burundi. This tragedy got no Canadian media coverage whatsoever, nor did the government speak out against this attack.

On January 24, his fellow students at the community college in Bathurst, New Brunswick, paid tribute to Mr. Kabunda.

I wish to pay tribute to a peerless student and a citizen of this country who was a victim of war.

I call upon representatives of the government, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister, to extend sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Kabunda and to make a greater commitment to restoring world peace.