House of Commons Hansard #28 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by the hon. member for Portage--Lisgar.

[Editor's Note: Members sang the national anthem]

University of Guelph
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week Maclean's magazine released its annual university edition. The magazine evaluates Canadian universities according to three categories: primarily undergraduate, comprehensive, and medical doctoral.

I am pleased to say that Maclean's this year has ranked the University of Guelph as the number one university in its comprehensive category. However, I must say that many of us in Guelph--Wellington have known for a very long time that our university is indeed number one. Maclean's states:

What distinguishes Guelph is a strong sense of community... it places a high priority on ensuring students' academic success... and ensures that students have a chance to become involved.

I am pleased that the values of my community are reflected in our university. The University of Guelph is an outstanding institution and I applaud it for receiving this recognition.

Senate of Canada
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Fitzpatrick Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, one of the cornerstones of Canadian Alliance policy remains our commitment to an elected Senate. At the convention that gave birth to the Reform Party our members saw the need to overhaul an institution that was detached, unaccountable and obsolete. Fifteen years later the Senate is even less relevant to Canadians. That must change.

In an elected Senate we have the opportunity to reinvigorate Canadian political life by better representing Canada's regional diversity. An elected Senate would provide a much needed source of opposition to the expanding power in the Prime Minister's Office.

Canadians deserve no less; they certainly should not have to pay for and support an organization that often resembles little more than a retirement home for Liberals.

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, the recent Human Rights Watch report entitled “All Our Hopes are Crushed: Violence and Repression in Western Afghanistan”, and that of Afghan-Canadian women decrying the absence of security and justice, even in Kabul, particularly for Afghan women, are ominous signs of a “re-Talibanization”.

It includes: first, the division of Afghanistan into provincial fiefdoms presided by warlords complicit in war crimes; second, a pattern in western Afghanistan of widespread political intimidation, arrests, beatings, torture and extortion, and complete denial of any freedom of expression or association; third, a continuing violation of women's rights with the reinstallation of Taliban-like departments of vice and virtue; a fatwa against Dr. Sima Samar; the rocketing of four schools for girls; and women denied access to health, employment and other basic human rights; fourth, the targeting of the Pashtun minority for special abuse; and fifth, a climate of fear and insecurity.

The Canadian government should: reaffirm principles of justice and accountability as the basis for human security in Afghanistan; ensure no development aid be funnelled through warlords; ensure that the ISAF presence extends throughout the country; and protect women's rights as a test of the new Afghanistan.

Science and Technology
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to bring to the attention of the House the work of the National Research Council's Institute of Biodiagnostics in downtown Winnipeg. The work of the institute is under the leadership of Dr. Ian Smith, the Director General and Dr. Roxanne Deslauriers, the Director of Research.

The research teams at the Institute are involved in leading edge research in the field of magnetic resonance imaging or MRI. In groundbreaking research they are developing a one-stop multimodal procedure for the detection of breast cancer which includes identifying a lesion undetectable by traditional x-ray methods.

As well, another of the institute's research teams is conducting research in the area of colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer related deaths among men and women. Again using magnetic resonance spectroscopy the team is developing an early detection procedure that is non-invasive and will provide a biochemical fingerprint.

The research teams of the institute are to be congratulated for their world class research in non-invasive medical diagnostics.

National Child Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the Speech from the Throne the Prime Minister noted that Canada's future rests in the hands of our children. We must therefore provide families with the tools they need to plan for our children's future.

November 20 is National Child Day. I would like to review with my colleagues the steps the federal government has taken to support children and families.

We have committed $2.2 billion to the early childhood development agreement with the provinces to focus on healthy pregnancy, birth, parenting, family support, and early childhood development. We have doubled the length of maternity leave from 6 to 12 months, and increased parenting benefits to give fathers more flexibility in helping to raise a family. In addition, the federal government has continued to increase the Canada child tax benefit to help poor and middle income families, but sadly, there are still too many children who go to bed hungry at night and much more remains to be done.

The investments we make today will make a better tomorrow for all of our children.

National Child Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Larry Spencer Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, today we celebrate National Child Day. On this special day we honour our country's most precious resource, our children. I rise to speak on their behalf.

Often it is easy for elected officials to ignore those who do not exert direct influence on the democratic process. Since children do not vote, often their opinions are not valued.

Today, in the name of all children of divorced parents I want to plead with our justice minister to heed the call of thousands of children across this country who want to access both parents and both sets of grandparents. For too long the adversarial winner-take-all model of our family law justice system has robbed children of their right to access both parents. Most children of divorced parents could care less about their mommy's and daddy's squabbles, but they love mom and dad in spite of their differences.

Today I ask the justice minister, for the sake of the children, to ensure that the concept of shared parenting becomes the premise on which all judgments in custody and access disputes are based.

National Child Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, November 20, is National Child Day, proclaimed in 1993 by the Government of Canada to mark the adoption of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In 2001-02, some 2.6 million children of low-income families benefited from the national child benefit. This was a reiteration of our commitment to help children and families.

The government released two reports, one on Government of Canada activities and expenditures for early childhood development and the other a Government of Canada report on child welfare, 2002.

National Child Day is an excellent opportunity to remind us that we need to honour our children, who are Canada's future.

I trust that mebers will join with me in marking this important day.

Vanessa Bilodeau and Catherine Mongeau
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to welcome to Parliament Hill today and tomorrow the MPs for a day for Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, Vanessa Bilodeau and Catherine Mongeau.

These two young ladies tied as winners of the fifth edition of the MP for a day contest, winning out over close to 1,200 other fourth year secondary school students in a test of general political knowledge.

During their stay in Ottawa, they will have an opportunity to find out more about what MPs do in Parliament and to have a closer look at the exciting life here on the Hill. They and their mothers will have the honour of a private meeting with the leader of the Bloc Quebecois and will also have the opportunity to meet the members of our entire caucus.

You too, Mr. Speaker, will have the opportunity to meet and talk with the two of them after question period this afternoon.

On behalf of all my colleagues here in the House, welcome to Parliament. Enjoy your time among us.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Statements By Members

November 20th, 2002 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Oak Ridges, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 1998 I stood in the House to call for a national day of recognition for Sir Wilfrid Laurier's birthday. Today is his birthday and the House has passed a bill of recognition.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier was a true Canadian, a skilful and pragmatic politician with a charismatic personality. He was the dominant political figure of his era. In 1900 Laurier declared that the 20th century would belong to Canada. His vision created the country that emerged over the next hundred years, the country of which we are so proud of today. Under his leadership Canada continued its industrialization and urbanization, and was strengthened by the addition of two provinces and two million inhabitants. Laurier's vision and his determination was that Canadians, regardless of their ethnic or linguistic background, could work together toward a common goal, that of nationhood.

There is no greater gift we can give to future generations than to honour our history by leaving them a memory of our past.

Young Offenders Act
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant McNally Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Tuesday, in Maple Ridge, Colleen Findlay, an active member of the community and a mother of three children, was tragically murdered in her own home. The family's car and other items were stolen before the house was set on fire. A 15 year old boy has been charged with first degree murder. This young offender has reportedly had brushes with the law and is well known to local police.

This preventable tragedy once again highlights the need for the Liberal government to make substantive changes to the Young Offenders Act. The system has failed Mrs. Findlay, it has failed her family, and it has failed our community. Those offenders who refuse to take responsibility for their actions must be held to account and communities must be protected from individuals who are a danger to our safety.

On behalf of all my colleagues I wish to offer our prayers and thoughts of sympathy to Jim Findlay and his family at this most difficult of times.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is Sir Wilfrid Laurier Day. Born in Quebec on November 20, 1881, Wilfrid Laurier became the seventh Prime Minister of Canada, and the first French-speaking Prime Minister.

A man of obvious vision and leadership, the right hon. Wilfrid Laurier was one of the great architects of national unity in this country. Of course, the most important legacy that he left us was the bridge he built between English Canada and French Canada.

Admired by the people, Laurier was a member of Parliament for 45 years, and holds the longest unbroken tenure as Prime Minister. Respected by his colleagues, Laurier was also the Prime Minister who led his party for the longest period.

Let us honour his memory.

National Child Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, this past May Canada signed a UN declaration, A World Fit for Children, to eradicate poverty and put children's needs first. In 1989 Parliament also declared it would eliminate child poverty by the year 2000. Since then food banks have become a growth industry, child poverty has increased 39% and the Liberal showpiece, the national child tax benefit, reaches only 36% of poor families while welfare incomes have dropped 20%.

This National Child Day the Liberals should hang their heads in shame. The Liberal record and the former finance minister's sheer contempt for alleviating poverty is breathtaking. Forty-six billion dollars to bankers is where the former finance minister put his budget surpluses, while promises for universal child care and affordable housing became mere shadows and papered in fancy press releases for Liberal PR.

Their record for children is appalling and embarrassing and it needs to be said loud and clear on this National Child Day.

National Child Day
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is Universal Children's Day, proclaimed by the United Nations to promote the rights of children as well as the respect they deserve.

Despite the Prime Minister's compassionate speeches abroad, when it comes to child poverty, the promises made by the Liberals to wage war on child poverty and poverty among families have yet to be kept.

By slapping programs together haphazardly, without effective mechanisms to implement them and without the jurisdiction to do so, this government must acknowledge that it has abandoned our children and used the money that should have gone to them to improve its own visibility.

Although Quebec is held up as an example when it comes to family policies, the Prime Minister continues to try to prevent young families in Quebec from benefiting from a parental leave program that is better suited to their needs.

The Prime Minister should applaud Quebec's family policies and use this day dedicated to children to say “YES” loud and clear to children and their families.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, on this, the birthday of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the first since we passed the Macdonald-Laurier bill, we are reminded in this morning's Globe and Mail by J.D.M. Stewart of Sir Wilfrid's eloquence. Quoting him on the subject of a railway bill, I kept thinking that we could use Sir Wilfrid for Kyoto. This is what he had to say:

To those who urge upon us the policy of tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow, to those who tell us, wait, wait, wait; to those who advise us to pause, to consider, to reflect, to calculate and to inquire, our answer is: No, this is not a time for deliberation, this is a time for action. The flood-tide is upon us that leads on to fortune; if we let it pass it may never recur again. If we let it pass, the voyage of our national life, bright as it is today, will be bound in shallows.