House of Commons Hansard #67 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was offenders.

Topics

The Economy
Statements By Members

May 29th, 2001 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government's last economic statement was one of prudence.

The Liberal government can generate surpluses, pay down the debt, lower taxes and deliver on its promises with respect to health, children and innovation despite the economic downturn.

This was the message delivered by the Minister of Finance on May 17. Our government is on target and implementing its plan. Thanks to our foresight, Canada's economy is better equipped to weather global economic ups and downs.

Yes, we are on target. We are introducing the $100 billion in tax cuts announced in October and, thanks to unprecedented tax relief, taxpayers will have more money in their wallets.

Motor Vehicle Safety
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, an editorial published today in the Canadian Medical Association's journal calls for the regulation of cellphones as driver distracting devices that studies repeatedly show as a cause of traffic accidents. Something needs to be done.

I call on the Minister of Justice or the Minister of Transport to convene a meeting of their provincial counterparts to consider all the possible ways of dealing with the issue.

I have a private member's motion calling on the federal government to make driving while talking on a cellphone a criminal offence, but the same effect may well be achievable by means of provincial highway traffic acts. What matters is that action be taken. It is time for the federal government to show some leadership in making sure that one way or another this growing menace to public safety is dealt with.

Bloc Quebecois Youth Forum
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday, the Bloc Quebecois youth forum held its general council at the Cégep du Vieux-Montréal. Some 100 young Bloc Quebecois supporters got together to talk, exchange views and think about the blueprint for a sovereign Quebec.

Globalization, monetary integration, the fight against poverty and a host of other topics, all equally interesting, were among the items on the agenda. There were some very interesting debates, a new departure for the Forum Jeunesse, which is an essential component of our party.

Under the chairmanship of François Limoges, a rejuvenated, dynamic, intelligent and determined team will carry the voice of young sovereignists to the four corners of Quebec.

The parliamentary wing of the Bloc Quebecois salutes the new executive council of the Forum Jeunesse, wishes it good luck and assures it of its support.

Michener-Deacon Fellowship
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, allow me to congratulate Martine Turenne, who won the Michener-Deacon Fellowship. The fellowship was presented to her by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada.

The Michener-Deacon Fellowship was established in 1987 to promote journalism and the public interest through the promotion of useful values to the community.

The $20,000 award will allow Ms. Turenne, a Quebec journalist, to report on the significance of NAFTA on an underdeveloped region of Mexico.

I am also taking this opportunity to congratulate the producers of the public affairs program The Fifth Estate , on CBC's English language network. This program won the prestigious Michener award for meritorious public service journalism in a report or a series of reports.

Public Service Whistleblowing
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, today I introduced a bill entitled the public service whistleblowing act, Bill C-351.

The bill serves three purposes: To educate public service employees on ethical practices in the workplace; to provide a means for public service employees to come forward to disclose wrongful acts or omissions in the workplace; and to protect public service employees from retaliation for acting in good faith by working to create a new level of transparency in government.

I urge all members to support the bill and force the government to honour a promise made in 1993 to pass whistleblowing legislation.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Tony Tirabassi Niagara Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government's sound economic planning is based on careful consideration of economic indicators, such as gross domestic product and unemployment rates.

However, these indicators alone are limited in their ability to assess our progress toward the larger goals of environmental sustainability and health. That is why we are strongly supporting a national round table on the environment and the economy and Statistics Canada in its development of environmental indicators.

These indicators will provide us with hard, quantitative data to ensure a sound basis for economic and environmental decisions. They will show us if we are using our natural resources in a sustainable manner and if our activities are causing irreparable environmental damage.

Most important, environmental indicators will help us ensure that our children will grow up in communities that offer clean air and water, are free of toxic chemicals and are full of open, natural spaces.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, how can we expect the people who provide us with top quality food to live on less than $7,000? That is what the average Saskatchewan farmer earned last year.

Today's headlines show how dismal the government's efforts are in addressing the farm income prices. The Free Press headline blared “Farm income falls for third year”.

Input costs like the costs of fuel and fertilizer are rising every day, making the picture even darker. Keystone Agricultural Producers predicted that eventually farmers would quit. They need to get a return or they cannot stay in business.

These numbers hide the real hardships farm families are going through. Last week a government minister told prairie farmers to start growing potatoes. Two weeks earlier another government minister told P.E.I. farmers to quit growing potatoes.

My question is for the Prime Minister. When can farmers expect the government to take some real action on the farm income crisis and not give out conflicting advice from confused ministers? Does he think $7,000 per year is enough to live on?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, most Canadians know that our nation's military is in dire need of more resources and more attention. An example of this is our maritime helicopter fleet which plays a vital role not just in defence but also in search and rescue.

The Prime Minister casually cancelled the EH-101 contract which the federal Tories negotiated back in 1993. Since then we are learning that his officials have been rewriting the requirements in such a way that some have suggested it is an attempt to exclude EH Industries bid from the process altogether.

Will the Prime Minister assure the House today that all contenders will be dealt with fairly, openly and free from political experience so that we can send the message that—

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Yes, Mr. Speaker, but we want a helicopter that can do the job that is needed at the lowest cost possible.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, apparently no decision has yet been made in terms of the current fleet. However we learned this week that the government is now facing criticism for appearing to politicize the requirements of replacing the new helicopter and actually suggesting that these replacement helicopters will be less capable than the very ones they are replacing which are 40 years old.

We would like to know from the Prime Minister if the decision has actually been made already and will the new helicopters be actually less capable than the 40 year old replacements.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we want a helicopter that will be able to do the job. We are not politicizing this problem. It looks like it is the Leader of the Opposition who is doing that.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, seven years ago in the Prime Minister's own white paper he said that this was an urgent need. Is that his definition of urgency? We believe this is an urgent need.

Will the government send a message to members of Canada's military personnel that we support them in their desire to be all they can be and to be the best they can be? Will he personally take this on and get an immediate resolution of this issue?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, so far we have replaced some helicopters because search and rescues have been contracted at this moment. We are waiting for the helicopters to be delivered. The other part of it is being done at this moment. The bid requests will go out soon.

Of course in 1993 we had a Conservative government which had a $42 billion deficit and we could not afford at that time to proceed. We waited for the government to be in a position to buy the helicopters and we are in the process of buying them right now.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, national defence documents describe our Sea King helicopters as materially obsolete and operationally irrelevant when they do fly. The emergency landing on an Australian warship last week again showed how unreliable they are.

Recently a Sea King kept in touch with the Katie mission by Bell Mobility. The government has now delayed replacements until at least 2006. For the safety of our crews will the government consider looking for interim options including leasing new helicopters before a disaster occurs?