House of Commons Hansard #160 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was animals.

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 Edmonton North.

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

Bullying
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, it is no great secret that acts of violence occur in our schools although I am sure we all wish that were not the case. Sadly, every day there are children who go home victims of violence at school. It can happen from their first day of kindergarten to their last day of high school. It is a problem we need to address as a nation.

We have seen what can happen when the problem is taken to the extreme. We only have to remember the terrible events at the high school in Taber, Alberta. We also know the tragedy that lesser acts, the ones that are not headline makers, have on Canada's children. It is a terrible thing when a child's biggest academic worry is that of being a victim of violence at school.

For many years we have been ensuring there are consequences of violence. There are many schools with zero tolerance policies. While this is certainly a great step forward it is time we did more. Never resorting to violence should be something that every child knows, but we should go further and teach every child that violence should never even be considered as a resolution to problems.

Prevention of a problem like this is more valuable than just having consequences for it.

Taxation
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, Arcola, Saskatchewan, is a beautiful town located in the southeastern part of the province, one of the many towns that I am proud to represent. Arcola is remembered as the town used as the background for the filming of W. O. Mitchell's

Who Has Seen the Wind?

Recently fire destroyed the community rink. The projected cost to replace the rink is $1.4 million. The GST is a whopping $98,000. A rebate of 57% leaves the town the responsibility of trying to raise $42,000 just to pay the GST. How many hot dogs will kids have to sell, how many pies will ladies groups have to put on sale, and how many quilts will have to be raffled off just to raise the rest of the GST?

At minimum wage approximately 6,000 volunteer hours will be needed just to pay the remaining federal tax. It is just not fair.

Gazette

Halifax
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, 250 years ago on March 23, 1752, a printer in Halifax published the first newspaper in Canada. The newspaper was the Halifax Gazette . The modest one page publication marked the true beginning of the newspaper industry in Canada and became the first draft of our history.

The act of one man, John Bushell, with his small printing press in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has evolved into the publication of dailies and weeklies throughout our great land.

I am honoured today to pay tribute to the Halifax Gazette on its 250th anniversary and to a profession which has become the hallmark of our democratic society, the medium which has witnessed and written our history and the institution which has fostered freedom of expression for all Canadians.

National Pay It Forward Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jerry Pickard Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I invite all my colleagues in the House to join the Municipality of Chatham--Kent to celebrate Canada's first National Pay It Forward Day.

To pay it forward is to do a service or good deed for someone who instead of paying it back pays it forward by giving somebody else a good deed. That does a good turn for everyone.

Today and tomorrow in Chatham--Kent people are paying it forward by doing deeds of kindness. They are volunteering their time, their energy, cleaning up litter, donating money and joining in acts of kindness for all. Paying it forward encourages us to make the world a better place by building bridges of kindness, caring and generosity without the thought of reward.

I congratulate the organizers who have taken a simple idea and turned it into a celebration of generosity and kindness in Chatham--Kent.

Zimbabwe
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday it was announced that Zimbabwe would be suspended from the Councils of the Commonwealth for a period of one year starting immediately. This decision restores faith in the effectiveness and unity of the Commonwealth and demonstrates that the organization continues to be committed to common values and principles.

The decision by the troika and the mechanism established at the CHOGM is in large part due to the pivotal role played by the Government of Canada, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister of this country. The compromise proposed by the Prime Minister in Australia kept observers on the ground including four Canadians. Ultimately their report concluded unequivocally that the conditions in Zimbabwe did not adequately allow for a free expression of will by the electors. This opinion set the stage for the troika to suspend Zimbabwe.

Canada's position supported the right of the people of Zimbabwe to vote for a leader. It bridged a widening divide between members of the Commonwealth and ensured that a mechanism was in place to suspend Zimbabwe based on the observations and factual reports of election observers.

Rights of Children
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Larry Spencer Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, this week my hon. colleague from Kelowna informed the House that the real wealth of young Canadian families declined by 36% from 1984 to 1999. Young families are in an economic battle for survival.

There is another battle out there. It is the battle for the minds, hearts and souls of our children. There are people who see in children an opportunity to change our entire culture. They hate the traditional values originally based on Judeo-Christian beliefs. They want to totally destroy those values. A well known psychologist recently referred to the battle as a tsunami coming our way. He said if they can get control of children and if they can influence children they can change the whole culture in one generation.

Children are often caught in the battle of issues surrounding parental divorce. The government needs to amend the Divorce Act for the sake of the children. When will the government take up these battles for the sake of the children and young families? How can the government stand idly by while children are suffering?

Johnny Lombardi
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, Johnny Lombardi, king of Little Italy, impresario extraordinaire, father of multicultural broadcasting and president of CHIN Radio/TV International passed away yesterday.

Johnny was an integral part of the transformation of urban society in post-war southern Ontario. His radio station, home to broadcasting in 30 different languages, gave voice to the marginalized and served to give newcomers a sense of comfort and familiarity in a new and often strange land. Those programs not only served to acclimatize and integrate people into the Canadian mainstream, but they also helped launch Canadian talent in music and the arts.

His contributions earned him the Order of Canada yet he remained humble and accessible in his success. He was a vigorous participant in any and all community events to which he was invited. He was a good friend to many. His children and family would and should be proud.

My wife and my family join me, as I am sure does the House, in mourning the passing of a great Canadian.

International Day of La Francophonie
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, on this International Day of la Francophonie, the Bloc Quebecois wishes to underscore the vital contribution made by all those who work day in and day out to promote the French language and the importance of the links uniting the various communities with this language in common.

There are 170 million people throughout the world, but mainly in the 55 countries of the Francophonie, using and sharing this important cultural trait, the French language.

The Bloc Quebecois wishes to remind hon. members that, when Quebec becomes a member state of the Francophonie, it will maintain its connections with the various francophone communities and increase its role as key promoter of the Francophonie in America.

In this same vein, I should point out that the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie will today be awarding the Ordre de la Pléiade to Premier Bernard Landry of Quebec, as well as Janette Bertrand, Marie Laberge, Guy Laliberté, Zachary Richard and Bruny Surin.

Our congratulations to them all, and happy International Day of la Francophonie, everyone.

International Day of La Francophonie
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Ajax—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, March 20 is the International Day of la Francophonie. This is not only a day of rejoicing for the 625 million francophones on this planet, but is also an occasion for those whose mother tongue is not French to celebrate this language.

French is one of our two official languages and we must continue to promote it from coast to coast. In a world where borders are no longer as restrictive as they once were, where information circulates freely and culture is an export product, it is vital to keep in mind the usefulness and beauty of this language we share with 53 countries.

As a Franco-Ontarian, may I take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy day of la Francophonie.

Gun Control
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, before the Liberals used closure to ram Bill C-68 through the House in 1995 the majority of aboriginal and non-aboriginal firearms owners were somewhat satisfied with our gun control laws, laws that required safety testing and police background checks before a person could acquire a firearm.

Since then it has been nothing but chaos for all law abiding gun owners and for the government. Open defiance of the gun registry and lack of enforcement by police is so commonplace that it is undermining the Criminal Code of Canada. The territory of Nunavut and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations are challenging the useless gun registry in court. Vice-Chief Greg Ahenakew says:

The treaties say we're supposed to get free bullets. So, we want the bullets.

The Assembly of First Nations is so frustrated with the justice minister's false promises it is ready to join the court challenges.

It is time for the Liberals to steal yet another Canadian Alliance policy. It should repeal Bill C-68 and replace it with a law that makes economic sense and common sense.

International Day of La Francophonie
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Mr. Speaker, today is the International Day of la Francophonie.

In 1999, New Brunswick and the Acadian community welcomed leaders from the 55 members and participating governments to the 8th Francophone Summit.

The theme for that summit was youth, and young Acadians left a lasting impression with their warm welcome and their strong attachment to the French language. We dazzled the entire Francophonie, demonstrating once again the vitality of Acadian culture and the French language in New Brunswick.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Canadians an excellent Journée internationale de la Francophonie, and congratulate French language minority communities, which continue to celebrate and promote our beautiful language.

International of la Francophonie
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that today, March 20, is the International Day of la Francophonie. On this occasion, many countries around the world will celebrate this symbolic day of pride in the French language.

French-speaking people have the right to be proud of their language, when one considers that 500 million people in the world speak French.

Today is an opportunity to celebrate and to continue to hope that it will be as strong in the future as it has been in the past.

I should mention that Canada has hosted a number of large events for the international Francophonie, including the eighth francophone summit in Moncton, as well as the IVth Jeux de la Francophonie held this past summer in Ottawa-Hull.

As a francophone, I am proud of my language and I invite all Canadian francophones to celebrate as well, and to promote and share the pleasure of the Francophonie at the regional, national and international levels with their fellow Canadians.

Salon du livre de l'Outaouais
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, at the Palais des congrès de Gatineau, in the Hull sector, is the official opening of the 23rd Salon du livre de l'Outaouais, which takes place until Sunday, March 24, with Gil Courtemanche, the author of the book Un dimanche à la piscine à Kigali , serving as honorary chair.

Since 1980, the Salon du livre de l'Outaouais has been a major annual event in the Outaouais and Quebec cultural life. It is a meeting place for all the Francophonie's largest publishers and distributors, and a great opportunity to meet authors and honorary guests.

On behalf of the Bloc Quebecois, I congratulate and thank the chair of the Salon du livre de l'Outaouais, Estelle Desfossés, and all those who make this event a success year after year.

As Mrs. Desfossés says, “en vous souhaitant le plaisir de lire aux éclats”.

International Day of La Francophonie
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, on this International Day of La Francophonie, the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie is awarding the Ordre de la Pléiade to the late Jean-Louis Bourdeau and Roger Bernard.

In an editorial article published in North Bay's Le Voyageur , it is said the Mr. Bourdeau was one of the unsung heroes of Franco-Ontario's little history. In addition to being one of the founders of the Caisse populaire in Mattice, Mr. Bourdeau was ACFO's provincial president and he chaired the inquiry commission whose report led to the creation of French language community colleges in Ontario.

As for Roger Bernard, he was a full professor at the University of Ottawa and an expert in sociology. He distinguished himself with his analyses and studies on La Francophonie, and he published and edited many books, reports and articles on the subject. His work became the main basis for the argument used in the Montfort case, which was accepted by the courts.

The achievements of Mr. Bourdeau and Mr. Bernard are not only numerous, but also important to the cultural and social development of the Canadian Francophonie. We are deeply grateful to them for their contribution.