House of Commons Hansard #16 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Diwali
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, on November 4, Hindus across the world will celebrate the festival of lights, popularly known as Diwali. This day signifies the victory of good over evil. All those whose ancestry goes back to the subcontinent will light their homes and in the spirit of warmth share sweets and best wishes with all fellow human beings.

As one from the Hindu faith it is my pleasure to invite my colleagues from both sides of the House to celebrate the festival of lights with fellow Canadians in Room 200 West Block this evening at 6:30.

This is the third annual Diwali festival and this year it is jointly organized with the India-Canada Association of Ottawa. Aside from a small pooja, there will be cultural performances as well as a reception put on by the members of the India-Canada Association.

I wish to encourage all members to attend the Diwali celebrations in their own ridings. Let me and the executive of the India-Canada Association wish each and everyone in Canada a happy Diwali and a prosperous new year.

Booker Prize
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, Trent University alumnus Yann Martel has been awarded the prestigious Booker Prize for his novel Life of Pi. Other distinguished finalists included Carol Shields and Rohinton Mistry. Previous winners of the Booker included Solomon Rushdie, Michael Ondaatje and Margaret Atwood.

Martel graduated from Trent in the 1980s with a degree in philosophy. He now lives in Montreal where he divides his time between writing, yoga and volunteer work at a care centre. His novel is about a young man stranded in a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra and a Bengal tiger. This sounds like something that members of Parliament could easily relate to.

We wish to congratulate Mr. Martel on his remarkable achievement. He has brought honour to himself, Canada and Trent University.

Jean-Luc Brassard
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleagues from the Bloc Quebecois join me in paying tribute to an internationally renowned athlete from Quebec.

Freestyle skier, Jean-Luc Brassard, of Valleyfield, has just announced his retirement from competition. We would like to thank him for his exemplary involvement in Quebec's sporting world. He laced up skis for the first time at the age of seven. From then on, he made his mark with a mix of optimism and courage.

In 1991, when he was only 18 years old, Brassard was the youngest skier ever to win the World Cup.Crowned world champion in 1993 and 1997, Jean-Luc also won the World Cup on three occasions, 1993, 1996 and 1997.

Throughout the world, this decorated athlete always served as a well-known ambassador for Quebec. Jean-Luc has given us the desire to excel, the taste of victory, but most importantly, the desire to have fun.

Bravo and thank you, Jean-Luc. We are proud of you.

ADISQ Gala
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Liza Frulla Verdun—Saint-Henri—Saint-Paul—Pointe Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, last night, the 24th annual ADISQ Gala awards took place. Once again, the event was a great success. The audience and television viewers enjoyed the top-notch show masterfully hosted by Guy A. Lepage and the diverse talent being showcased by our artists.

Canada's French language recording industry is overflowing with talented performers and writers. This was clearly reflected in the calibre of the nominees. A few examples include Garou, Isabelle Boulay and Daniel Bélanger, who were chosen as performers of the year by the general public, not to mention the special tribute award that went to Plume Latraverse.

My colleagues join me in congratulating all of the artists who went home with a Félix, as well as all the nominees.

I would also like to highlight the excellent professional work done by the Association québécoise de l'industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo in putting the gala together.

The Government of Canada is proud of its contribution to the music industry, including establishing the Canada Music Fund, an initiative whereby the federal government will invest $81 million over three years and to strengthen the Canadian sound recording industry, “from creator to audience”. The fund—

ADISQ Gala
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for St. Albert.

Canada Pension Plan
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Public Accounts of Canada indicate that a wrongful dismissal suit brought by the former actuary of the Canada pension plan, Mr. Bernard Dussault, has cost the taxpayers $365,000.

What was Mr. Dussault's crime? He told the former Minister of Finance, the member for LaSalle—Émard, that the CPP premiums might have to be hiked in order to save the system. Instead of acting to fix the problems in the CPP, the former Minister of Finance's grand solution was to fire the actuary because the actuary dared to tell the truth. Obviously the former Minister of Finance was in the wrong, since his actions have cost taxpayers over one-third of a million dollars.

Taxpayers should be outraged that they were forced to pay $365,000 just to keep the former Minister of Finance's numbers rosy. Perhaps he should reimburse Canadian taxpayers from that bottomless pit of his leadership campaign.

Arts and Culture
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Pillitteri Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently in Niagara-on-the-Lake, in the riding that I have the honour of representing federally, ceremonies were held marking the 190th anniversary of the death of the hero of Upper Canada, General Sir Isaac Brock.

It was General Brock who led local Niagara troops against American soldiers in the battle of Queenston Heights on October 13, 1812. The general led his troops into heavy enemy fire and pushed back the American invaders. He was shot in the chest and died during the pitched battle along the Niagara frontier. However, his leadership and victory showed Canadians that they could successfully defend their land. This was an important first step toward the birth of Canada.

I want to congratulate Colonel Bernard Nehring for his work in organizing this special event commemorating the memory of General Brock, the hero who helped guide our once-British colony into nationhood.

Paul Wellstone
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, last week Americans lost a truly great humanitarian, Senator Paul Wellstone, who was killed along with his wife Sheila, his daughter Marcia and members of his campaign team in a plane crash on his way to a former steelworker's funeral.

Paul Wellstone was a committed fighter for social justice. He was a man with a huge heart and he could light up a room. This I experienced firsthand when I heard Mr. Wellstone speak two years ago to 3,000 union members at the International Steelworkers' Convention. He received many standing ovations for his passionate vision for working people everywhere.

Paul Wellstone was someone who had the courage to speak his mind on issues such as his opposition to President Bush's aggressive attack on Iraq. This dedication to principle will be missed on the American political scene. I and my colleagues in the NDP wish to offer our condolences to the surviving members of Paul Wellstone's family and to the people of Minnesota.

The Homeless
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, in mid-October, La Maison de Lauberivière released an album that brings hope to the homeless. The recording is the work of a group of homeless people and was made to restore a positive image in people's minds of what those on the margins of society are capable of.

André Vézina is the force behind the project and the author of everything on this first CD, which is titled Le temps d'un café . He commented that “This CD must be seen as a means of showing what we are capable of as well as a means of raising the funds to do more”.

My congratulations to Aube et Rivières for this significant project. I would also like to draw attention to the work la Maison de Lauberivière does every day to fight poverty and social exclusion.

Congratulations, and I hope that this recording will be a real hit and lead to a performing tour.

International Cooperation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to welcome women delegates from Afghanistan and to speak on Canada's commitment to the rebuilding of Afghanistan.

Although the war in Afghanistan is long over, the battle to rebuild the nation has only just begun. In particular, the needs and rights of Afghan women, who under the Taliban faced many hardships and deprivations, is an area in which Canada has taken a lead role. Canadian organizations such as SUCO, or Solidarité Union Coopération, Development and Peace, and other Canadian-Afghan associations have been working together with groups in Afghanistan to ensure such things as women's participation in the reconstruction process and commissioning the building of orphanages.

In the last year through CIDA, Canada has distributed over $58 million to support emergency relief and reconstruction in Afghanistan and to improve the lives of Afghan women and provide quality basic education to Afghani children. In September of this year, the minister announced that CIDA had fully allocated the $100 million for Afghanistan pledged by the Government of Canada at the Tokyo donors conference in January. The--

International Cooperation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for South Shore.

Volunteer Firefighters
Statements By Members

October 28th, 2002 / 2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, during Fire Prevention Week I had the great honour to recognize one of rural Nova Scotia's outstanding volunteers, Donald DeLong of the North Queens fire department.

Donald received special recognition for 60 years as an active firefighter with the North Queens fire department. Fire Chief Scott Hawkes, Deputy Mayor Wayne Henley and members of the public and I, along with the North Queens fire department, were all there to congratulate Donald on this remarkable milestone. Donald DeLong joined the department in 1942 and, 60 years later, at the age of 78, still drives truck number 5. It is this kind of unselfish community activism that makes volunteers such as Donald DeLong the true inspiration that they are.

Perhaps no group of volunteers exemplifies volunteerism better than our volunteer fire departments. They are there for us during the good times and the bad. They not only risk their lives to save others and protect property but also contribute on a daily basis toward the betterment of our communities. I wish to express congratulations to Donald and his family and to say thank you on behalf of all of us.

Women's History Month
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, on October 3, Women's History Month had its kickoff at Saunders Secondary School in London. This year's theme is “Women and Sport--Champions Forever!”. The Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Status of Women was joined at the event by female athletes Sami Jo Small, Janice Forsyth and Tara Hedican, students and guests.

More than ever before, women and girls are now free to participate in a variety of sports and physical activity at all levels of participation. With pride, our female athletes brought home numerous medals from the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games and also from the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

From the pioneers of the past to the legions of young women now active individually and as team members, sport has truly evolved to provide increased access to all. Young girls are now active on soccer fields, in ice rinks and gymnasiums and other facilities, from the recreational level onwards.

The theme this year recognizes these and other successes. I wish to express congratulations to the participants, the coaches and the families who work hard to pave the road ahead from a proud history of accomplishment.

Queen's Jubilee Medal
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise and recognize individuals from my constituency who, as a result of their distinguished contribution to their communities, have been awarded the Queen's Jubilee Medal.

They are: Geoffrey Ballard, Geraldine Braak, Jack Warren Cameron, Owen Carney, Terence Rae Fellows, Gwen Harry, Shirley Henry, Rosemary Hoare, Wendy Holm, Betty Keller, Laverne Kindree, Frank Kurucz, Agnes Labonte, Kay Meek, Kenneth Moore, Charles Seton Parsons, Geraldine May Parsons, David Roberts, Peter Speck, Frederick Titcomb, Kathy Weiss, Roy Weiss and Allan Williams.

I wish to extend congratulations on behalf of all parliamentarians to these very deserving Canadians and British Columbians.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, provincial support for the federal position on Kyoto appears to have totally collapsed. The coalition of provinces demanding a delay to the ratification of the accord is now unanimous. Today in Halifax the provinces and territories issued a joint declaration calling the federal government's plan inadequate, and they have demanded a first ministers conference.

My question, for whoever is speaking for the government today, is whether the Prime Minister will seriously consider this request for a first ministers conference on Kyoto before the vote on ratification in the House.