House of Commons Hansard #161 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was species.

Topics

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, today we celebrate International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

While we celebrate the multiculturalism and diversity of Canada and acknowledge the history and inherent rights of aboriginal peoples we are also called to speak out against racism, discrimination and injustice.

Recent studies have shown there is growing racism in this nation since the tragedy of September 11. We have also learned that newcomers to Canada, the majority of whom are visible minorities, are twice as likely to live in poverty as a result of the discrimination they face in employment practices.

We in the NDP stand in solidarity with all those who work to ensure that human rights are respected.

On this day we reaffirm our commitment to stop racism, hatred and xenophobia. We call on the government to address the systemic barriers of racism and discrimination that prevent many from participating fully in the social, political, cultural and economic life of Canada.

Highway System
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, I live in Edmunston, New Brunswick, one of the maritime provinces of the beautiful Atlantic region. This region in eastern Canada has much to offer tourists from the rest of Canada and the rest of the world. The people of my region like to visit our cousins in Quebec and in the other provinces in the east, centre, and west of this country, but they also like to welcome them to their part of the country.

If this superb corner of the country is to be able to show off its true worth, and if the tourist industry is to be bolstered, we need to have proper highways available to potential visitors. The roads from Rivière-du-Loup to the New Brunswick border need to be improved, that is highway 185 and the section of highway 2 from the N.B. border, at Edmunston, to Fredericton.

On a number of occasions in the past, the Prime Minister has indicated that this highway project was a priority for his government. The people back home remember this and they feel the time has come to stop talking about the project and to start taking steps to make it happen: a four lane highway from Rivière-du-Loup, in Quebec, to Fredericton, in New Brunswick.

You will always be welcome to visit my part of the country, Mr. Speaker.

Private Member's Motion
Statements By Members

March 21st, 2002 / 2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was an example of the heavy handedness of the Prime Minister's Office when it went to the unprecedented length of instructing every one of its members to vote against a private member's motion in the House, a motion that would have provided documents to individual members of parliament to do their job. It would--

Private Member's Motion
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member will want to be very careful not to reflect on a vote of the House. I know he knows that is against the standing orders. Perhaps he can rephrase his language.

Private Member's Motion
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, I will just shoot from the hip. Why would the Prime Minister enforce certain restrictions on his members of parliament? This has happened over and over again in the House when the Prime Minister has instructed his members of parliament to operate in a certain way.

In other words, we want to rejuvenate parliament and make it stronger so that individual members of parliament can do their job without being shut down by the powers of the Prime Minister's Office. That is the point. Let us renew this institution. Let us make it better. Let us make it stronger.

Johnny Lombardi
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Betty Hinton Kamloops, Thompson And Highland Valleys, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a second world war veteran and a son of Italian immigrants who died Monday in the city where he brought multiculturalism to new levels of awareness.

Johnny Lombardi, long time broadcaster and a prominent Torontonian, started out by convincing CHUM radio that it needed an hour long program devoted to Italian music. That was 36 years ago. The self-made entrepreneur ended up owning CHIN, a community ethnic radio station, that today serves more than 30 cultural communities in Toronto and southern Ontario.

Mr. Lombardi was a Canadian success story. He started life with little but his determination, his heritage and a strong work ethnic. When he did find success he shared it with others through active fund raising on behalf of charities and hospitals. He built bridges with his smiles, his enthusiasm and his love of life.

Mr. Lombardi's life can and should be a role model for all of us who believe that Canada's immigrants and our diversity can be a mix that strengthens us all.

May he rest in peace.

Discrimination
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, today Canada observes the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The Department of Canadian Heritage conducts a national video competition encouraging youth to make a videotape to express their stand against discrimination. This year more than 1,100 students from every province and territory participated.

I am pleased to announce to the House that this morning in Toronto 30 young Canadians received awards from the Minister of Labour and Secretary of State for Multiculturalism in recognition of their exceptional work, which demonstrates a commitment to eliminating racial discrimination.

The March 21 campaign raises awareness of the harm caused by racism and demonstrates Canada's commitment to fostering respect, equality and diversity.

On behalf of the Government of Canada, I congratulate all the winners and participants in this national video competition. They have said there is no place for racism in Canada or anywhere else in the world.

Aféas
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Association féminine d'éducation et d'action sociale, with its membership of more than 20,000 Quebec women, is celebrating its 36th anniversary this year.

The AFEAS has always, throughout its long history, offered us a place where we can get together, be ourselves, with our own words, our own way of thinking, our own way of being, our own way of doing, and has always been the guardian of our rights.

This desire to enhance the autonomy and economic security of women has taken many forms of meaningful action. The voice of women has been expressed through a multitude of means: the luminous artistic works of Marcelle Ferron; the sensitive lens of Anne Claire Poirier; the wonderful language of Marie Laberge; the winning determination of Myriam Bédard.

Each time we speak up, we improve the autonomy, economic security and social conditions, not only for women, but also for men and for children, who are equally in need. This has always been very clearly understood by the AFEAS.

Bravo to all these women, and long live the AFEAS.

Racial Discrimination
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Diane St-Jacques Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, March 21, is International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Here in Canada, we mark this day with the March 21 campaign, designed to heighten awareness of the harmful effects of racism on a national scale.

Canadians from all over the country are taking this opportunity to proclaim together that we will not tolerate racism in our schools, workplaces and streets.

We are a diversified people, but we all share the same respect for this diversity. Canada is a unique nation. We decided a long time ago to take advantage of the numerous benefits of openness to the world. Today, our success shows that we made the right decision.

The March 21 campaign is an opportunity to realize that we must continue to work together to eliminate racism in Canada and around the world.

Norouz
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dick Harris Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, today muslims around the world are marking Norouz, the Islamic new year. This is a very special day of celebration for Muslims everywhere, and a particularly momentous one for the people of Afghanistan who for the first time in 20 years can freely celebrate this joyous day. With the help of Canadian and alliance forces, the Taliban tyrants are on the run, hopefully banished forever from Afghanistan.

There are a billion Muslims around the world and 350,000 resident in Canada. The Canadian Alliance Party is proud that we have Canada's first and only Muslim member of parliament in our midst, the member for Edmonton--Strathcona and our deputy leader.

From all of us in the Canadian Alliance, I extend a happy new year to everyone in the Muslim community.

Education
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has two choices. One is to invest in the education of the youth of our country and the other is to pay the social costs of an uneducated populace down the road.

Young, uneducated individuals draw from the economy. Educated individuals not only contribute to society from an economic point of view but also take less from the public purse. The well educated require less expenditure on health care and other social costs.

The choice should not be a difficult one. Why put off until tomorrow what we can do today, especially if the benefits are much greater this way?

Greece
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, this weekend more than 300,000 Canadians of Hellenic origin will celebrate the 181st anniversary of Greece's independence day.

Greece's Independence Day is the most important anniversary of its history. March 25, 1821, also marks the most influential moment of western civilization.

My constituents of Hellenic origin and the members of the greater Hellenic community of Montreal and across Canada have always upheld here in Canada the very same ideals held by their ancestors. They have maintained a tradition of democratic principles and rights, and with wisdom and courage contributed to the promotion of peace worldwide and to the fight against injustice everywhere. These concepts and values born from Greece, my country of origin, have formulated the direction and structure of our nations, including those of Canada, my second “Patrida”.

I am proud of my Hellenic heritage, just as I am proud of being Canadian, as Canada is the prime example of a country devoted to the ideals of Hellenism: freedom, democracy and justice.

On March 25 I invite all members of the House to wish Canadians of Hellenic origin:

[Editor's note: Member spoke in Greek]

Grants and Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by congratulating all of the Canadian Alliance leadership candidates for their valiant effort, and especially to congratulate our new leader, Stephen Harper. We all look forward to him assuming his responsibilities in the House. I would have had a full report from last night but somehow it has gone missing.

Speaking of missing reports, on Monday the minister of public works assured the House that Groupaction contracts were awarded through a competitive process and were given to the best bidders. However an internal audit conducted in 2000 questioned whether the government got the best price on these contracts and questioned their compliance with treasury board rules.

In light of the phoney photocopied report and the damning statements of his own auditors, does the minister still defend these contracts having gone to the best and lowest bidders?

Grants and Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is just not himself. He is mixing up a number of issues today. What we have is a competitive process that was given to provide the standing offers for all the sponsorship programs. The hon. member knows that. That has been expressed to him.

In the year 2000, my predecessor announced the establishment of a more rigorous system for the awarding of these kinds of contracts. That was announced in the House some two years ago, perhaps at his own questioning or at the questioning of other colleagues. It holds true today. Insofar as the two--

Grants and Contributions
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. deputy leader of the opposition.