House of Commons Hansard #77 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was private.

Topics

Health
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we have now brought the policy of this country in line with that of many others with which we compare ourselves.

The policy recommendation we have made to the minister of immigration is simply that we have mandatory testing for HIV and certain other diseases for anyone who would immigrate to Canada.

If persons are HIV positive they are counselled, informed and provided treatment if it is required. It is non-discriminatory. It is in the interests of public health in Canada and we have confidence that we have given the right advice.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Inky Mark Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, conservative estimates state that the annual cost of caring for a Canadian HIV patient is about $200,000. There were some 200 HIV positive immigrants allowed into Canada last year. That is $40 million a year.

How does the minister of immigration expect the already overburdened health system to cope?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, let me clarify the policy for the member opposite. There will be mandatory testing for all of those who want to come to Canada as immigrants. That testing is important because it leads to counselling and treatment. However we are working with the provinces to determine who will be admissible to Canada. Those decisions will be made on a case by case basis.

I want to point out to the member opposite that just as the Minister of Health said, consistent with other countries that accept refugees, there will be no inadmissibility bar for refugees, spouses, partners and dependent children. That is the right thing to do.

Revenue Canada
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, a taxpayer from my region filed his income tax return in French, as usual, but received a notice of assessment that was in English only. He was told that this was because he had omitted to check off the box to specify his preferred language.

Could the minister responsible for official languages tell us if his new policy is to consider all Quebecers as anglophones unless they clearly identify themselves as francophones?

Revenue Canada
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of National Revenue and Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, as we know, all the departments must comply with the Official Languages Act.

Of course, the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency provides services in both official languages, but mistakes can sometimes occur. If this is the case, I would ask people to contact the agency to correct the situation.

However this works both ways, because I personally once received a notice in English from Revenu Québec.

Rural Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Murray Calder Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Secretary of State for Rural Development. Yesterday the secretary of state attended a conference in Thunder Bay with community futures development corporations.

As a rural member I am very interested in the outcome of that conference yesterday. Could the secretary of state tell us of any new initiatives that were announced?

Rural Development
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Secretary of State (Rural Development)(Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, I was pleased to meet with the community futures organizations from across Ontario and to celebrate with them their work with small business in creating wealth and creating jobs.

To that end we are undertaking a number of new initiatives, including a pilot project to increase their lending limit from $125,000 to $500,000, a new common identifier so that businesses will be better able to access community futures and, in order that community futures across the country can learn from best practices, we are establishing a national network of community futures.

On behalf of the Minister of Industry and the secretaries of state responsible for the regional development agencies, I am pleased to announce $600,000 to that end.

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Pankiw Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources recently stated that the solution to the agricultural income crisis was that farmers must diversify. However, for years he has steadfastly refused to end the monopoly of the Canadian Wheat Board which is an impediment to diversification. In one breath he tells farmers to diversify and in another refuses to remove the impediment to diversification.

The minister should either stop speaking out of both sides of his mouth or end the punitive monopoly of the Canadian Wheat Board. Which will it be?

Canadian Wheat Board
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, in fact the Canadian Wheat Board works very hard with farmers and others to encourage diversification and value added.

I think the hon. gentleman's criticism is a little bit off base. He is speaking as if the Canadian Wheat Board were the worst abomination in Canadian public life. According to his good friends, that position is already occupied.

Air Transport
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, airline pilots are falling asleep in the cockpit, thus endangering the safety of their passengers, because Canadian rules governing the number of hours pilots can spend at the controls are among the least restrictive in the world.

Is the minister waiting for a disaster to happen before taking steps to ensure that in the calculation of the maximum number of hours pilots may work a distinction is made between time at the controls and overall duty time as is done in other countries, including the United States?

Air Transport
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I have to remind the hon. member that Canada's safety standards in aviation are unparalleled in the world. We run the safest aviation system and that is recognized by other countries in the world.

I would caution my friend to not get the wrong impression from one set of newspaper articles which interviewed a number of people. Who knows what the agenda is?

Airline travel in this country is safe. Pilots do their job. I would ask the hon. member to look at the facts and not at the rhetoric in this case.

Presence In Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I draw the attention of hon. members to the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Adrian Severin, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Presence In Gallery
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Nelson Mandela
Private Members' Business

June 12th, 2001 / 3 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham, ON

, seconded by the hon. members for Windsor West, Medicine Hat, Laurier—Sainte-Marie, Winnipeg—Transcona and Calgary Centre, moved:

That this House, recognizing the great moral leadership provided by Nelson Mandela to South Africa and to all humanity, agree that he be declared an honorary citizen of Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I rise with a sense of both pride and humility, pride to be part of this process but also humility because I think the more one learns about Nelson Mandela the more one realizes that one is not worthy to so much as gather up the crumbs from under his table.

In defence of such admittedly extravagant language, if I had to defend it in a sentence I would say that he forgave his tormentors. Who in this House, in this country and on this planet would do likewise? He forgave his tormentors and those of his people.

With respect to the hon. member for Calgary West, talking about going from one extreme to another, all I would say is that I believe Mr. Mandela himself would agree that in a democracy everyone has the right to his or her opinion, however off the wall that opinion might be.

In our time I know of three leaders who were sent to prison and whose causes inspired the world.

There was Mahatma Gandhi, who was assassinated before being able to reach his goal of democracy. There was Martin Luther King, who reminded his mighty nation that there were two classes of Americans, separate and unequal. He too was assassinated. And then there was, and still is, Nelson Mandela, who led the people of South Africa on a long march to freedom.

At that time, while many other countries were indifferent, Canada, and all political parties in Canada, beginning with the Progressive Conservative Party of John George Diefenbaker, supported Mr. Mandela.

Only once before in our history have we honoured a foreigner with our own citizenship, and that was Raoul Wallenberg, the great Swede who saved the lives of 100,000 Jews during World War II.

Now, in his sunset years, Mr. Mandela's long trek has only one more objective outstanding, and that is the children of Africa who he will help through his Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, to help give to them what we in this country take for granted: food, medicine and education.

It is my fervent hope that when Nelson Mandela comes to Canada in the fall, hordes of children from across the country will meet him and greet him and we will have a huge fundraising event to raise money for his children's fund.

As a Canadian, I am very proud that Canada will be the first nation in the world to grant this honour to Mr. Mandela.

Mr. Speaker, I commend to you, citizen Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela
Private Members' Business

3:05 p.m.

Windsor West
Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray Deputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to second my colleague's motion to grant honorary Canadian citizenship to an extraordinary figure in the history of the 20th century, Nelson Mandela.

Yes, it is a true honour to rise in this House today to second the motion of my colleague to make Nelson Mandela, an historical figure of the 20th century, an honorary citizen of Canada.

Why are we taking this extraordinary step to honour this great man, a step taken only once before to honour Raoul Wallenberg? This is because Canada has stood with Nelson Mandela and the causes of freedom, justice and equality to which he has devoted his life. In return, South Africa, Canada and the entire world have been given something very special through that life.

When he visited Ottawa in 1990, Nelson Mandela had just been released from 27 years of unjustified imprisonment by a system that oppressed its people because of their colour, because of their origin, and denied them justice, equality and freedom.

He accepted an invitation to speak to a joint session of the House and the Senate, seeking our support as Canadians in his struggle against apartheid and for the ending of the odious apartheid regime in his country.

In that year I was the leader of the opposition and I had the honour of meeting and talking with Mr. Mandela privately. On that occasion, in his presence I could sense his determination to build a country based on freedom and equality for all its people, regardless of colour or origin, in the spirit not of revenge but of reconciliation and forgiveness. That was in 1990.

In 1998 we again had the pleasure of welcoming Nelson Mandela, then president of a fully democratic South Africa, to Ottawa. It was during this visit that we again bestowed upon him the honour of a rare joint address to both of our Houses of Parliament. At that time he was hopeful for the future yet cautious and very grateful for the support given to his nation by Canada. He stated:

We are all too aware of the great deal that remains to be done. What is important is that we are united as a nation as never before and determined to succeed, and that we have friends like Canada who are working with us as partners.

I also heard Mr. Mandela in Pretoria on the occasion of the inauguration of his successor, Thabo Mbeki. What struck me during that visit was the gratitude of South Africans of all walks of life and origins toward Mr. Mandela as father of their new South African state based on freedom and equality for all.

I would like to think that Canada is also grateful to Nelson Mandela for his role in history, for opposing injustice and for striving to right an enormous wrong and thus setting an example for the rest of the world.

As he said at his own trial by the apartheid regime for opposing its prejudiced laws in 1964:

I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination, I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and achieve. But if needs be, it is an idea for which I am prepared to die.

Fortunately for us and for the world and South Africa, it was and is an ideal which he lived for and achieved.

I want to conclude by quoting our Prime Minister, who said about Nelson Mandela:

...he is a living symbol of the two historic movements that have defined the 20th century: equality and democracy..few people in our time—or any century—have so symbolized the spirit of freedom that lives within every human being.

It is for these reasons that at the start of the 21st century the House should honour Nelson Mandela unanimously by voting in favour of the motion now before us. In doing so we confirm the values that we as Canadians hold dear: values of inclusiveness, equality, justice and freedom, values which provide the foundations for the fabric of our great country.

In doing this we show this parliament is worthy of honour by honouring a great man of this 21st century and every century, Nelson Mandela.