House of Commons Hansard #49 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was elections.

Topics

International Co-Operation
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Mississauga West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year the cities of Mississauga and Kariya, Japan, celebrate the 20th anniversary of their twinning.

In March, a 24 member delegation from Mississauga, including Mayor Hazel McCallion and four city councillors, travelled to Kariya for a week long visit. Thousands of Japanese residents joined the delegation to celebrate the official opening of a four hectare park located in central Kariya and called Mississauga Park.

This event also marked the 50th anniversary of Kariya and kicked off a summer long initiative called Think Canada 2001. An initiative of the Canadian government and Japan, Think Canada 2001 is designed to promote recognition and understanding of Canadian culture, technology and business opportunities through seven months and some 200 events and activities.

I congratulate my city of Mississauga and the city of Kariya, Japan, on 20 economically and culturally prosperous years.

Unknown Soldier
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to welcome and pay tribute to Leah McDonald from Elrose, Saskatchewan. Leah is here with her twin sister Abbie, her mother Joan, and her grandparents Helen and Leonard Kutz. I send greetings to her dad Michael, her sister Lorell and brother Joel back in Elrose.

Leah is a 17 year old, grade 12 honour student who recently won the “Who is the Unknown Soldier Writing Contest” sponsored by Veterans Affairs Canada in the prairie region. The contest was held to inspire students to reflect on Canada's wartime past and present and on the ultimate sacrifice made by tens of thousands of our nation's finest.

Leah's poem is a touching reflection on Canada's war dead and is a beautiful tribute to the Tomb of the Unknown Solider just down the street in the nation's capital. It is wonderful to see that our youth are continuing our great tradition of honouring those who served and died for Canada.

On behalf of all my colleagues in the House I offer congratulations and, more important, thanks to Leah for her inspiring work and her tribute to Canadians who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Volunteerism
Statements By Members

April 26th, 2001 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Diane St-Jacques Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are celebrating National Volunteer Week. Altogether, more than 7.5 million volunteers across Canada have a profound influence on virtually every aspect of our society. Through their volunteer work, they are showing the fundamental value they attach to the wellbeing of their communities.

The year 2001 has been proclaimed the International Year of Volunteers by the United Nations. This year, and this week in particular, let us celebrate the devotion, compassion and commitment of all those whose everyday actions make the great Canadian community the strong and dynamic one that it is.

Today on the Hill, a group of 60 volunteers from all four corners of this country received recognition by the Government of Canada on behalf of all their counterparts across Canada.

Special thanks and congratulations to all the volunteers in the riding of Shefford.

Organ Donation
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is National Organ Donor Awareness Week.

Becoming a tissue or organ donor is an important personal decision we need to discuss with family and friends. What we need to keep in mind during that process is that by agreeing to be an organ donor, we can one day provide the gift of life to someone else.

Organ donation has not, unfortunately, always been a tradition here in Canada as it has in most other industrialized western countries. That is why 150 of the 3,500 or so people on waiting lists for organ transplants die every day for lack of an organ. Yet in this country we have access to the best transplantation technologies in the world, and to top-flight surgeons. What we lack is the needed organs.

National Organ Donor Awareness Week is a time for each of us to think about becoming a donor, to learn more about it, and to make a decision—

Organ Donation
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Mississauga South.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week 95% of the members of the House of Commons voted to support health warning labels on the containers of alcoholic beverages to raise awareness of fetal alcohol syndrome.

As we know, this syndrome is incurable but preventable, and therefore it is timely that today the Government of Canada launched a new tool in the fight to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome. The FAS-FAE tool kit has been developed specifically for senators, members of parliament and other government officials so that they may better understand the dangerous consequences of drinking during pregnancy.

It is my hope that all hon. colleagues will take this message back to their constituencies so that all Canadians can work together to eliminate fetal alcohol syndrome in our communities.

Unknown Soldier
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to complete for you and the hon. members what my hon. colleague for Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar said and read the poem

Who is the Unknown Soldier?

He is the one who led the way So the general could make it home; She is the one who saved the child And was left to die alone.

His dreams were cut off by his untimely death; Her innocence shattered by her last shallow breath.

He is the voice that echoes our pride; She is the eyes, that for our freedom, cried.

He is the rain that waters our souls; She is the river holding secrets untold.

He's in the wave crashing Normandy's shore; She's on the wind over Dieppe once more.

He's in the song that Passchendaele sang; She's in the bell from which freedom rang.

His death was a pledge prayers cannot suffice; Her life, a gift, at the ultimate price.

Chernobyl
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, today marks the 15th anniversary of the worst nuclear accident in the world's history.

This is a day to remember the horror unleashed on the people of Chernobyl and the valiant efforts of the radiation containment crews, many paying with their lives in the fight to save others.

The tragic human cost from the explosion at Chernobyl in 1986 is still being felt. Fifteen years later people are still suffering from diseases caused by radiation.

The impact of the disaster was felt not only in Ukraine alone. As radioactive clouds do not recognize international boundaries, there were obviously impacts.

I commend the efforts of one Canadian organization that provides assistance to children in neighbouring Belarus, children who are growing up in an area that received 70% of the fallout from the explosion.

Since 1991, the Canadian Relief Fund for Chernobyl Victims in Belarus has been bringing children to Canada for health respite visits. In the last four years, this organization has enabled over 1,600 children to spend some time away from places that still contain contamination and the vivid reminders of the immense price to be paid for nuclear miscalculation.

Organ Donor Awareness Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to make this statement during Organ Donor Awareness Week. I have the longest living kidney transplant recipient living in my hometown and have seen the lifelong benefits of organ donation.

More than 3,700 Canadians are awaiting organ transplants. Last year alone 147 Canadians died while waiting for organs. Canada has one of the lowest organ donation rates among industrialized nations, with fewer than 14 donors per million people in this country compared to more than 31 in Spain.

A national organ donor awareness program would hopefully increase donations in Canada, but a national organ donor registry would be a further lifesaving measure for those awaiting transplant.

Preventing disease and injury is important. Quality treatment of illness and injury is important. Organ donors and a registry are the key to life for those less fortunate. I urge Canadians to become donors. I urge the government to bring forth a national tissue and organ donor registry program.

Cercle Des Fermières
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the following recommendation of the Cercle des fermières de Rivière-Bleue is one with which I agree:

Whereas 1997 statistics show that 59% of single women aged 65 and older are living in poverty;

Whereas the sole source of income for single women living in poverty is the old age pension and the guaranteed income supplement;

Whereas women have a life expectancy of 81 compared to 75 for men and whereas there are therefore more senior women than senior men living in poverty;

And whereas the income of these senior women living in poverty barely covers their basic living needs;

The Cercles de fermières du Québec recommend to the Department of Human Resources Development that it amend the eligibility criteria for the guaranteed income supplement so that it better meets the needs of senior women living in poverty.

This is a matter of social justice. It is in the government's court.

Official Languages
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, today's Le Droit contained an article written by Isabelle Ducas headlined as follows: “Bilingualism in Ottawa: federal government does not intend to step in”.

First, let me say that I am not criticizing Ms. Ducas; in fact, her reporting was quite accurate.

Unfortunately, the headline has nothing to do with the text. This is not the first time that I have been treated this way by Le Droit .

I therefore urge its board of directors to ensure that the person responsible for making up headlines takes the trouble to read the articles, in order to avoid unwarranted sensationalism.

As for my position, let me be clear. In the past, when I was asked if the federal government should step in, I said “yes”, clearly. I would prefer that the City of Ottawa and the Province of Ontario recognized the merit of guaranteeing services in both official languages of the country.

Where warranted, I believe that the Government of Canada should become involved in order to ensure that its capital city respects and reflects Canada's linguistic duality.

St. John's Harbour
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, 120 million litres of raw sewage flow into the St. John's harbour every day. The physical attributes that make it such a good harbour also make it a very poor sewer outfall. As a result, environmentalists have labelled St. John's harbour the most polluted harbour in Canada.

The cleanup of the St. John's harbour is a priority for city council and the provincial government. To date, $12 million has been spent on that project but only a paltry $1.5 million of that amount has come from the federal government.

On May 8 I will be sponsoring a private member's debate on the harbour cleanup. I challenge Newfoundland's federal minister to take part in that debate and make a federal commitment to funding one-third of the cost of fixing that national environmental problem.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, especially following last weekend's summit, it is very evident that we will increasingly be living in an integrated world with the Americas. That is a positive thing.

The challenge for us however is that the properties, assets and savings of Canadians will increasingly be valued and assessed on an integrated aspect with all the Americas. The present evaluation shows that the homes, assets and savings of Canadians are being devalued because the dollar is so low.

Would the Prime Minister agree with a Canadian economist who said today that we need a much more proactive approach to tax and debt reduction?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian currency is a floating currency and the value is determined by the market. In terms of tax reductions, we have been very aggressive.

On January 1 we provided Canadians with tax cuts that were more than the level of taxes that he proposed for the administration of the government. Every year we have reduced the debt of the government more than any people expected us to do. In fact, some people were complaining that we were undervaluing the surplus so that we could reduce the debt quicker.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the reality remains very different for people who have difficulty paying their mortgage and saving for their future. It is difficult.

The government cannot continue with its head in the sand. It must act now.

Will the Prime Minister stop congratulating himself and tell the people when he will take action to lower taxes and pay off the debt more quickly?