House of Commons Hansard #148 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was competition.

Topics

Highway Infrastructures
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations

Mr. Speaker, I believe that the fiscal plan is based on a sound foundation.

We are confident that such large projects are necessary for a strategic program and that, during the first few years, expenditures will be more or less of the magnitude anticipated by the Minister of Finance.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, my constituency is home to many people displaced by the conflict in Sri Lanka. For over 20 years Sri Lanka has been racked by a bloody civil war pitting the government of Sri Lanka against the Tamil Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

On Friday, the government of Norway announced that the leader of the Tamil Tigers and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka had signed a formal cessation of hostilities, paving the way for face to face peace talks.

What are the views of the Minister of Foreign Affairs on this breakthrough? Is Canada willing to offer any assistance to the parties? Can my constituents hope for peace?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his question, which interests hundreds of thousands of Canadians. We welcome the peace initiative in Sri Lanka and we welcome the initiative of the government of Norway.

I want to tell the House that we will do everything we can in this country to ensure that there is a lasting peace in Sri Lanka which will respond to the legitimate concerns of all citizens of that country.

I am proud of the fact that CIDA has engaged in a program in Sri Lanka over the last couple of years searching to find solutions to conflict resolution, solutions to federalism. In fact, the Secretary of State for Western Economic Diversification was made a part of that team. We are proud of our efforts to date and we will continue those efforts.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, this question is for the Prime Minister. The minister of agriculture is planning a trip to Washington next month but he will get a cold reception. Senator Kent Conrad, chair of the U.S. senate finance committee, has written a letter to the president to protest the minister's visit.

The agriculture minister simply does not have the clout to protect the Canadian interest in the United States. That job belongs to the Prime Minister, but the Prime Minister seems to be too busy to deal with Canada-U.S. trade issues. Just ask the softwood lumber workers.

Will the Prime Minister take time out of his globetrotting to lead an agriculture mission to Washington and personally lead the fight against rising U.S. subsidies?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am always defending the interests of the farmers when I meet with the president of the United States. It is always on the agenda.

I say that it is counter to their interests to keep subsidizing the way they are. They are depressing the prices internationally and it is hurting farmers not only in Canada but elsewhere.

However, I am surprised at the beginning of the hon. member's question. Let me put it this way: I think he was wrong. If Senator Conrad said that, it is because he is afraid that my minister of agriculture is very competent.

Highway Infrastructures
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, if, after March 31, the government wants to allocate part of the year end surpluses to something other than the debt, it must pass a bill, otherwise it will be too late.

Does the Deputy Prime Minister intend to introduce a bill to recover part of the surpluses and allocate them to the highway infrastructure program, so as to fulfill the Liberal promises made during the election campaign?

Highway Infrastructures
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. Speaker, the government will pay off part of the debt as it has done in the past, including $17 billion last year. The interest saved on the reduced debt will be used for these infrastructure projects.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's commitment to the Kyoto accord has come under continued attack from Premiers Campbell and Klein yet the Liberal government has done nothing to counter these baseless attacks.

Does the industry minister have any concrete data on what the real cost would be to Canadian industry of not proceeding with our Kyoto commitment to reduce those harmful emissions? If he does have that data, has he given it to the environment minister and will he share it with the House today?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Kitchener Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Karen Redman Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the opposition parties talk like the cost of acting is something that we know, and we do not know, quite frankly. We are still working it out.

However, what is more relevant is what is the cost of not acting. To date, Canadians currently spend over $1 billion per month managing the effects of increasing extreme weather. Climate change is something the government takes very seriously.

Gun Registry
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice said that the government would outsource the information on the gun registry. Perhaps he should give it back to the Minister of Industry who invented this debacle.

The Minister of Justice is a smart man. Could he answer a simple question: How will this work and how will it save taxpayers money?

Gun Registry
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we are proud of the gun legislation in Canada. It is a question of privilege, it is not a right. We are a different society. We are pleased with what we have done.

The gun registry works well. Licensing has been terminated. At this point in time we are proceeding with registration. Indeed, in order to provide good service to the population we are outsourcing as we have done with other departments. Privacy concerns will also be addressed.

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

February 25th, 2002 / 3 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 five petitions.

2002 Winter Olympics
Routine Proceedings

3 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the first group of men and women of the most successful Canadian Winter Olympic team is returning home today. For all Canadians the last two weeks in Salt Lake City have been unforgettable. It was marvellous and incredible to see the class of Jamie Sale and David Pelletier.

It was also marvellous to watch Marc Gagnon's incredible speed and the fact that Catriona Le May Doan proved wrong that it is impossible to be the flag bearer and win a gold medal.

The other day the women's hockey team won. It was unbelievable.

Yesterday the nation stood still. I do not know how many millions of people were watching the game but it was marvellous. Winning this game was very important because for the first time in 50 years our hockey team was coming back to Canada with a gold medal.

These are truly moments that we will never forget, seeing all these people who come from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the South to the North Pole, together on the ice.

They were skating, carrying the Canadian flag, shoulder to shoulder, people of French origin, British origin, many first and second generation Canadians, singing the national anthem and waving Canadian flags. All Canadians were so proud. The streets of Canada were filled with people who were joyful. There were probably not many homes in Canada that were not celebrating.

It was a day of great fraternity and solidarity, seeing these young men and women who have spent years preparing themselves, who wanted to be the best and who firmly believed that when you set your mind to it, you can do it. They have all overcome tremendous obstacles. Often, back home, people made fun of these athletes, because they were different.

I know some of these young people who took part in speed skating a few years ago, like Gaetan Boucher. People used to wonder what he was doing, as he was the only one in his sport. Now, in the space of ten years, Canadians dominate speed skating, because of pioneers like him. Yesterday was a day of glory.

Yesterday was a great day for all Canadians. It was a day of pride, a day of achievement, a day of brotherhood and a day where we stood side by side singing O Canada and being proud to be Canadian.

2002 Winter Olympics
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I join the Prime Minister in congratulating Team Canada, the on ice and snow version. Canada's men's and women's hockey teams did us proud in bringing the gold back to Canada. Overall this was Canada's most successful winter games.

Canadians will never forget the amazing success of Jamie Sale and David Pelletier who accepted silver with class and without complaint. The whole world knew that they deserved gold that they eventually won.

We will never forget Marc Gagnon and Catriona LeMay Doan who were golden in speed skating; Clara Hughes, the first Canadian to win medals in both the winter and summer games; Haley Wickenheiser, who led our women's hockey team to victory; and so many other Olympians.

We will always remember Sakic, Lemieux, Iginla, Yzerman, Fleury, that great goaltender Brodeur, and the rest of the star-studded men's hockey team ably led by Pat Quinn and Wayne Gretzky. They brought back to Canada, after 50 years, what is rightfully ours. I hope the Prime Minister is sitting here 50 years from now waiting for the next one, maybe on the opposite side.

Yesterday's event was probably the greatest sporting moment in Canadian history since Paul Henderson scored his famous goal against the Soviet Union 30 years ago.

Canadians are a winter people, living in a land that Voltaire called quelques arpents de neige, a few acres of snow, and Bob and Doug McKenzie called the great white north. The ice and snow of a Canadian winter cannot chill our hearts and spirits for we have learned how to warm ourselves with the thrill of winter sports.

The only thing that could possibly surpass the thrill of these games would be to repeat these same successes again on home ice so to speak at the Vancouver Whistler Olympic Games of 2010.

2002 Winter Olympics
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games are over and several images come to mind.

Like the Prime Minister, I would like to congratulate all the athletes for their hard work and their determination, not just those who made it to the podium. We should extend our congratulations to the athletes from all over the world we have not heard about because they did not win, as they did not get to hear their national anthem and are going back home in anonymity.

Our thoughts are with their families, their friends and all those who supported them while they were working hard and dreaming about stepping onto the podium, a goal they have not been able to reach. What we should bear in mind is that thousands of young athletes throughout the world are using sport to push their limits and do their best.

Congratulations to all the winners, of course, to whom victory brings honour, glory and fame. But let us also be proud of the efforts made by the athletes who did not win and are coming back home a bit disappointed. Let us show them that their hard work makes their families, their friends and their communities very proud. These are the people for whom it is important to invest time and money in amateur sport.