House of Commons Hansard #23 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was coast.

Topics

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration denies any involvement in the awarding of a contract by the Department of Public Works to his friend's company, Groupe Everest. Ministerial aides do not wake up in the morning and decide to take it upon themselves to get involved in contract negotiations, especially negotiations with a company owned by the boss's friend.

First, if he attempted a hands-off policy on this contract, why was his aide directly involved in approving an amendment to that contract? Second, would the minister tell the House on whose authority Patrick Doyon was acting when he became involved in the Everest contract?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, again I would point out to the hon. gentleman that whatever activity may have occurred within a requisitioning department, there is nothing legally binding that holds the government until a contract is actually approved and signed, and that is a function that is performed by the Department of Public Works, not by any of the other departments of government.

If a private sector company does something in anticipation, it is on its own responsibility.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of His Excellency Rafael Hipolito Dominguez Mejia, President of the Dominican Republic.

Presence in Gallery
Oral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 10 petitions.

Veterans Week
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Winnipeg North—St. Paul
Manitoba

Liberal

Rey D. Pagtakhan Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of the Government of Canada to reflect on the place Canada's veterans hold in our nation's history.

How fitting that we interrupt the usual business of this chamber to pay homage to our veterans within the walls of this very noble institution, the House of Commons, where we stand on guard for everything Canada stands for.

Yesterday the government launched Veterans Week, which culminates next Monday, November 11 when at the 11th hour a grateful nation once more commemorates Remembrance Day; that we may pause in tribute to them for their sacrifices and achievements in the service of country; that we may reflect on the human values they fought to preserve: freedom, peace and equality; that we may cherish their stories of valour and utter disregard for personal danger.

Whether they went in harm's way to destroy the evils of tyranny or terrorism, or to contribute to the collective security of a people as mandated by the United Nations, they served with passionate dedication and magnificent courage because they knew they were fighting for democratic values, for human dignity.

A first world war veteran, Mike Mountain Horse, would later write:

When duty called, we were there; and when we were called forth to fight for the cause of civilization, our people showed all the bravery of our warriors of old.

During Veterans Week we are called upon to remember all this and to renew our unending commitment to our veterans, to care for them as much as they took care of our nation during its time of greatest need. Forever we shall owe them a debt of gratitude.

They helped build the Canada of today. They gave deeper meaning to the values for which we are known throughout the world: a champion of peace, a defender of freedom and a conscience for equality.

All of them had in mind coming home to a country they loved, to live out the future they were fighting to protect, and to live out the dreams they dreamed before their country called. Many, far too many, would not get to see those dreams become a reality. But it was their service and their sacrifice that gave us our future and our children's future.

This year's theme for Veterans Week as depicted in our poster is “Remembering Our Past, Preserving our Future”. Our challenge is to ensure that their story is shared with all Canadians, especially our youth who will carry the torch of remembrance for future generations.

In pursuit of this challenge, it is my honour to inform the House today of the government's decision to create a new Book of Remembrance that will take its place with the others in the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower of Canada's Parliament.

Currently there exist six Books of Remembrance containing the names of all Canadians who died in battle outside Canada since Confederation. There is one book obviously missing. It is my honour to announce today the need for its creation, a seventh book which will contain the names of peacekeepers and soldiers who have served and died since 1947.

The recent tragic accident in Afghanistan that took the lives of four of our soldiers reminded all Canadians of the ongoing sacrifices asked of our men and women in uniform. All have toiled in the service of peace. Tragically, a considerable number of them have died in duty throughout the decades.

They are equally worthy of a place in a Book of Remembrance tentatively titled “In the Service of Peace”. We anticipate to complete and install it in 2004, during Veterans Week of that year.

It is our duty to remember the supreme sacrifice made by those who served our nation during its time and the world's time of greatest need. It is further our duty to keep our individual memory of them forever alive in our collective memory as a nation, a nation committed to humanity.

May we continue to dedicate ourselves to the human values for which our veterans, old and young, fought so bravely and which today we cherish and protect.

May the words “Lest we forget” continue to be our watchwords in these challenging times.

N'oublions jamais.

Veterans Week
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the first day of Veterans Week 2002, I stated in the House that Canada's veterans are the pride of our country. That is no idle statement. The fact is that is the foundation of our party's veterans affairs policy. Canada's vets are the pride of this country, not just because of their sacrifice and service during the war, but because of their continuing sacrifice to Canadian society, not just after the war but indeed even until this day.

For example, I established 12 zones for the distribution of the Queen's medals. A vet was selected from each zone. I am very proud to say that five of those selections were vets who had not only put their lives on the line, but they have also served their country since. They have yet to receive their medals but that will happen shortly after the Remembrance Day service.

We have many memorials in honour of the sacrifice made by the soldiers, the men and women who died in the world wars. The poppies we wear are the present day testimony to our vets.

I was really proud yesterday, as were all members of the House, to stand and applaud the two gentlemen who were in the gallery. I believe they were both over a century in age. One of the gentlemen had also served time as a prisoner of war. He came here at my colleague from Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys' expense. In my mind we have never properly addressed that veteran's claim to all of the things he deserves as a result of his being a prisoner of war.

This year's theme is “Remembering Our Past, Preserving Our Future”. Ten years ago or maybe more, the theme for Remembrance Day was “If You Can't Remember War, Think of Peace”.

I am sure other members in the House remember, as I do, the dates of September 10, 1939; Sunday morning, December 7, 1941; and August 19, 1942. I was pleased to join the minister and other members to honour the Dieppe raid and veterans on the 60th anniversary of that date. What about June 6, 1944? That 60th anniversary is coming up.

We could not be here today on the foundation upon which we stand without the sacrifices made by our vets in the past. Perhaps the most common of all the slogans for Remembrance Day is “Lest We Forget”. Those immortal words that were penned by a Canadian army officer have rung through all our schools since the echoes of time. Lest we forget.

I remember two decades when in this country people sadly did forget. May that never happen again. I remember fighting this in the 1960s and 1970s. At that time, Canadian television programs that were being aired were stating that Billy Bishop had not really been a good pilot and had not shot down as many planes as had been claimed. Lest we forget. Let us not go down that road again.

What about the RCAF and the program condemning our brave men? They were here yesterday. It was claimed that the Canadian air force simply dropped its bombs wherever it liked and then hightailed it to home base. Lest we forget in this century, that that never happens again.

I am pleased with the minister's announcement and congratulate him and his government. It is great. I am glad to see recognition for the people who served in Korea. It was not a police action, but indeed it was a war. It was a war that took hundreds of Canadian lives.

This is not just rooted in our past. We will in this present day have an ongoing legacy. We are not done fighting for who we are and what we believe in.

No Canadian wants to see another soldier dead. May this day and this week be a constant reminder that the future is not yet written. It is up to us to design that future and begin that future today.

I was pleased that the House saw fit to fly the flag at half mast. I have already received comments from the provinces and municipalities and they also will follow that. I want to thank the people on both sides of the House. May that forever be part of the tradition of November 11.

Veterans Week
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to join with my colleagues in this House on the occasion of this Week to express the appreciation I and all of the Bloc Quebecois have for our veterans.

Before saying a few words about Veterans' Week, I would like to tell the minister that we approve of his intention to create a seventh Book of Remembrance to go with the six others already in the Memorial Chamber here in the Parliament buildings.

Veterans' Week, November 5 to 11, is an opportunity to pay tribute to all the men and women who have served Canada and Quebec in war and in peace. Each year, Quebeckers and Canadians remember the men and women whose heroic efforts have given this country its heritage of democracy and tolerance and have helped our two nations grow. Quebeckers and Canadians are indebted to all veterans for their sacrifices in defending freedom and seeking world peace.

This year we also need to pay tribute to the Quebeckers and Canadians serving their country at this time around the world in various peace keeping missions, and in increasing numbers. We are grateful to them all and to their families.

The theme of Veterans' Week for 2002 is, “Remembering our Past, Preserving our Future”. It focuses on the importance of youth remembering the past for coming generations, and the hope that they will never forget the sacrifices and accomplishments of Quebeckers and Canadians in building our two nations.

Today, I would like to pay tribute to one veteran in particular from Sorel-Tracy, in my riding, who celebrated his 85 birthday on November 4. His name is Léopold Bérard, and he has done so much for the Sorel-Tracy Legion. He is a man who is very involved in his community, and at 85, he is exceptionally dynamic. I wish him the best of health. On behalf of all of the legionnaires from the Sorel-Tracy region, I wish him the best on the occasion of his birthday.

I would like to make a brief aside. Léopold and the whole team at the Sorel-Tracy branch of the Canadian Legion have often told us that the government should look after the needs of our legions. It is all well and good to say that young people must remember, but the legions must have the financial means to educate young people.

The lack of financial support for each of these small legions forces members of the legion to canvass or organize fundraising events to ensure the survival of their small facilities where they can get together. If the government looked after their needs and created a small fund to support these legions, it would be greatly appreciated and very useful in allowing these legionnaires, these people who want to evoke the memory of veterans, to do so without the constant need to ask for handouts to make ends meet.

The purpose of Veterans' Week is to recognize the immense sacrifices made by veterans, including those who have served and continue to serve in the numerous peacekeeping operations around the world.

This week should also serve to remind us of the triumphs and accomplishments of these wonderful people who are working for the wellbeing of our communities. Let us never forget.

In closing, I would like to quote from the minister, who at the end of his speech said:

Mr. Speaker, may the words “Lest we forget”, continue to be our watchwords in these challenging times.N'oublions jamais.

Veterans Week
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in the House today on behalf of the New Democratic Party to reflect on the importance of Veterans Week. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, members of Parliament will join our constituents and other citizens to pay respects to Canada's sons and daughters who paid the ultimate price while serving their country.

In my case, I will participate with armed forces personnel in my community, with members of the Royal Canadian Legion, in particular with veterans and members of Scotia Branch Legion, of which I am honoured to be an honorary member, and other veterans from across Nova Scotia in laying our wreaths and paying our respects to those who sacrificed their lives in service to their country and to the values of freedom and peace.

Whether in World War I, World War II, the Korean conflict, the Gulf war or countless peace missions, we are indebted to our men and women who have risked and who, in many cases, lost their lives to defend democracy.

We take this opportunity to pay tribute to our first nations veterans who fought and died, and who have yet to receive full and proper recognition for their service in Canada's armed forces.

Last week when I placed this poppy on my lapel I walked from this Chamber under the Peace Tower to the National War Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I paused to pay my respects and pledged my continued commitment and the commitment of my party to the pursuit and defence of peace.

However, I did not stop there. I continued down Elgin Street to Confederation Park and repeated this same pledge before our National Aboriginal Veterans Memorial.

No words today can adequately convey our indebtedness to all the veterans of this nation. The poppy I bear on my lapel I wear with humility and with pride.

As we stand together to express our gratitude to our veterans who have served with dignity, we must also express our appreciation to those they left behind, to their mothers and sisters and other family members, to their neighbours who worked to support the war effort on the home front, in the factories, in the fields and in the hospitals while also caring for their families.

On Remembrance Day we make a special point of expressing our heartfelt thanks but throughout the year and throughout our lifetime we must never forget. Parliamentarians and a grateful nation must never forget. It is the only way to ensure that the sacrifices of our veterans were not in vain. It is the only way to ensure that freedom and lasting peace become a reality. Let us never forget.

Veterans Week
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and a privilege to rise today in the House in support of Canada's greatest national heroes. As we begin Veterans Week, our thoughts turn to the brave souls who sacrificed their youthful innocence to fight for King and country.

As a young girl, I watched two of my brothers join the war effort. It was a very different time. There was a sense of duty that extended to all Canadians, a belief that we would not stand idle as the freedom of the world was in peril.

My family was among the luckiest, as both my brothers returned back from the war safe and sound.

Too many families lost their brothers, their fathers and their sons.

November 11 is as much about remembering those fallen Canadians as it is about honouring those who remain with us this day. It is about ensuring that we do everything in our power to preserve peace in the world, while remaining vigilant in the event that our efforts fail.

All in the House have borne witness to the recent horrors of war.

The campaign in Afghanistan, a part of the larger war on terrorism, was costly for Canadians and some of their families. The loss of those brave Canadian soldiers was a terrible reminder of the cost of the war.

Yesterday in the House, Mr. Speaker, you honoured and brought to our attention the presence of Mr. Paul Métivier, the 102 year old World War I veteran, who enlisted in the army in 1917. Also in the gallery was Lieutenant-Colonel Al Trotter who flew 44 missions over Europe during World War II and who was a prisoner of war.

It robs us of our best and our brightest. It asks us as a nation to make the ultimate sacrifice and many of them have.

There is something truly exceptional about a citizen whose love of country is so strong and so unwavering that they are willing to risk their lives for its defence. We must never forget those who were in the Korean war, the Gulf war and our peacekeepers who have done so much around the world.

The men and women of our armed forces, today as always, have offered themselves as the first line of defence for our borders and as the ambassadors of our nation's most cherished values. They are the embodiment of duty and courage. They are the best of their generation and the personification of what it truly means to be Canadian.

It is sometimes difficult for us to look at veterans today as the vibrant young men and women they once were. Many veterans are too modest of their accomplishments. Few will allow themselves to be called heroes. Their view is that they did what needed to be done and that there was no question about it. They do not say “We made sacrifices”. They just say “We did what we could for Canada”. Even those who lost friends or family will say that if they had to make the choice again, they would don their Canadian Forces uniform without hesitation. That is why we honour them.

For many of them it has been 50, 60 or even 80 years since they last put down a weapon, but their ageless courage and love of country still burns inside them.

Each Remembrance Day I have the honour and privilege to participate in our ceremonies in my riding of Saint John, New Brunswick. This Friday, once again I will visit the high schools, and I say this for the Minister of Veterans Affairs, to speak to the students once again about the sacrifices that were made for them and for all of us.

Every year, I regret to say, that there are fewer veterans who are able to join with us, but that said, there is always a proud contingent on hand. Even those veterans who are now waging a private battle against time and age stand in the often harsh Canadian climate to remember their fallen comrades. They stand ramrod straight and their salutes are just as crisp as a new recruit. There is a pride both for what they did and who they became.

Canada was a young nation when we were first called to war and it was our contribution, far greater than a country of our size would have expected to give, that earned the respect of the world.

Still today the nations of Europe remember the brave young Canadians who liberated them from the clutches of the Nazi regime. Still today school children from Newfoundland to British Columbia pin poppies to their jackets and are part of our cadets that attend the services.

Still today we gather in silence at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. We will never stop thanking them for we owe them a debt of thanks that can never be repaid. We will remember them.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade on Bill C-14, An Act providing for controls on the export, import or transit across Canada of rough diamonds and for a certification scheme for the export of rough diamonds in order to meet Canada's obligations under the Kimberley Process, with amendments.

Child Predator Act
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Pankiw Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-298, an act to provide that persons who commit a sexual offence involving a child serve the entire sentence imposed without early release or parole and be found to be child predators, and to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and the Criminal Code.

Mr. Speaker, the child predator act would prevent any unescorted temporary absence, day parole, full parole or statutory release being granted to a person who has committed a child predator offence and would ensure that the full term of the sentence is served in custody in every case of a child predator offence.

Furthermore, this bill, the child predator act, would allow the court to order an offender who is found to be a child predator to be held in custody for an indeterminate period of time, which is where they belong.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act
Routine Proceedings

November 6th, 2002 / 3:35 p.m.

NDP

Lorne Nystrom Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-299, an act to amend the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act.

Mr. Speaker, the enactment amends the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act to provide for the appointment of a nominee of Canadian labour organizations as one of the permanent members of the tribunal.

It is a common sense idea and I am sure members would support it with enthusiasm.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I move that the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs presented to the House on October 30, 2002, be concurred in without debate.

For the benefit of members, I will explain that this is the report dealing with the reform of private members' business.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

The Speaker

Is it agreed.