House of Commons Hansard #170 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was defence.

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 Nanaimo--Cowichan.

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

National Horse of Canada
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Murray Calder Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, as you know, the House is reviewing a bill that aims to recognize the Canadien Horse as Canada's national horse.

The Canadien Horse is a perfect symbol for Canadians. It is tough. It has infinite stamina for its small size but is very gentle by nature. Like all immigrants to this great land, throughout its long history in Canada it has adapted to Canadian conditions.

I understand that many of our colleagues have not had the opportunity to meet an example of this little iron breed of horse. I am pleased to announce that outside Centre Block this afternoon Canadien Horse carriage rides are being offered to all interested parliamentarians and their staff. All are welcome to join me for “Canadiens on the Hill” and come out and see this fine breed of Canadian horse.

Tourism Industry
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, for many years now Canada has been experiencing a growth in its economy and an increase in the number of working Canadians. Much of this success is a direct result of the significant work of the Canadian tourism industry and its 159,000 businesses.

Currently 99% of tourism businesses meet the Statistics Canada definition of a small or medium sized enterprise. A full 97% of these are small companies. The Canadian tourism industry is a major pillar of the national economy, outperforming the general economy both in terms of revenue generated and employment growth over the past decade, an impressive record.

I congratulate the tourism industry on its contribution to the Canadian economy and commend the tourism representatives present here in the House today for their dedication to the viability and sustainability of this dynamic industry.

Grands Prix du tourisme
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Diane St-Jacques Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week marked the Grands Prix du tourisme de la Montérégie, and the city of Rougemont in my riding of Shefford did very well for itself. The Cidrerie Michel Jodoin and the Théâtre de Rougemont both came away with awards in the tourist attraction category.

The cider makers, Cidrerie Michel Jodoin, added one more award to the many they have collected over the years for their work, their quality products and the touristic visibility they bring to the region.

As for the Théâtre de Rougemont, they have brought us six years of entertainment with the top quality plays they stage, and their audiences are constantly growing.

I would suggest a trip to our area along the cider route, with a visit to the Cidrerie to taste their delicious nectar, followed by one of the productions of the Théâtre de Rougemont.

In closing, my sincere congratulations to the award winners. I also wish them good luck in Hull on May 10, when they will be competing in the Grands Prix du tourisme for all of Quebec.

Tourism Industry
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Stan Keyes Hamilton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the tourism industry has a significant impact on the Canadian economy. Last year tourism spending, despite having the worst quarterly decline in 15 years due to the tragic events of September 11, continued to grow from the previous year and totalled $54.6 billion.

The tourism industry employs more that 500,000 Canadians directly. In fact, from a government perspective the tourism industry produces estimated revenues of almost $17 billion in taxes.

Today the Tourism Industry Association of Canada is hosting a Talking Tourism Symposium whereby tourism representatives from coast to coast to coast have come to Ottawa to discuss their dynamic industry. As a member of parliament who recognizes the positive effects of tourism in my riding of Hamilton West and across the whole country, I welcome the tourism industry to Ottawa and encourage it to keep up the great work.

Grantham Lions Club
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House of Commons today to acknowledge the Grantham Lions Club of St. Catharines which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding on Saturday, May 4, 2002.

The Grantham Lions Club has always accepted the challenge of turning concern for others into active assistance. Since its inception in 1952 hundreds of volunteer members of the Lions Club have given unselfishly of their time and talents to such worthwhile programs as Camp Trillium for children with cancer, Camp Dorset for dialysis patients, Lake Joseph Camp for the blind as well as numerous sports programs at the Grantham Lions Sports Park.

On behalf of all members of the House I congratulate the Grantham Lions on their 50 years of tremendous work within the St. Catharines community, and may their spirit of caring and commitment continue for another 50 years.

Norm Ovenden
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Edmonton Journal 's long serving Ottawa scribe, Norm Ovenden, bids us farewell.

Fifteen years lathering in the Journal 's editorial harness, still unbroken of spirit, back yet unswayed and relatively unscathed by the ravages of the shrill Hill drill, now the seaways of our nation beckon as Norm Ovenden slips the surly bonds of Parliament Hill.

Unfettered, newly unbuckled of a media mogul's tack, embarking on a new voyage of discovery and conquest, trading national broadsheet news for fisheries and oceans muse, Norm now sets sail for an oceanic career, ready to reel in new whoppers, board new challenges, plug new lines and set new barbs, all to troll for Canada's aquatic gain.

I say bon voyage to Norm. May the seas be calm, the winds be true and the rewards be bountiful. Maybe now at long last I will get some decent ink in Edmonton.

Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, today marks the anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The last two decades have been an exciting time for Canada; it has come of age.

The charter, which is displayed on the walls of our homes, schools and offices, sets out our rights and our freedoms, our responsibilities and our democracy. It has contributed to defining who we Canadians are, and is the means for expressing our identity, our shared convictions and the values we hold dear.

Every day, parliament and the various legislative assemblies and courts fine tune its meaning and its effects on us as individuals and as members of society.

As we mark these 20 years under the charter's protection, we need to pause a moment, reflect on its influence and celebrate together one of the greatest of Canadian achievements.

The Constitution
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, on April 17, 1982, the Government of Canada patriated the Canadian Constitution unilaterally, excluding Quebec.

Twenty years later, the consequences of this patriation, and particularly Quebec's exclusion, are still being felt. What is worse is that ,based on this constitution, Canada—mostly the Liberal government—has since disregarded Quebec consensus on numerous occasions.

Canada has decided to build itself by ignoring the aspirations of the Quebec nation, by creating a strong central government and by refusing to recognize Quebec as a nation.

This is why no political party recognized in the National Assembly, no Quebec government, regardless of its political stripes, has wanted to sign this constitution.

Quebec is a nation. It respects other nations and their citizens. We would ask for the mutual respect of Canadians in turn.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, today marks a very significant anniversary. Twenty years ago the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a piece of paper that enshrined our fundamental rights as Canadians, became a reality but not many Canadians realize the battle women and men of our nation had to fight in order to ensure equality for all.

After one long week of negotiations with provincial leaders, women's organizations and Canadians, section 28 guaranteeing that rights and freedoms apply equally to male and female persons was included in the charter in 1982. It took three years, thousands of petitions from Canadian women and a group of female politicians who crossed party lines to ensure these rights were guaranteed to all Canadians regardless of their race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, mental or physical disability, or sex.

It is because of this battle that the Government of Canada remains committed to the principles stated in the charter relating to equality for women. Canadians should celebrate not only the inclusion of this section in the charter but also the power of all Canadians to make an impact on their nation in a very positive way.

Child Pornography
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, last night some 30 members of parliament from across party lines met with representatives of law enforcement. The reason was to discuss the fallout from the recent B.C. Supreme Court decision which acquitted John Robin Sharpe of possession of child pornography. The court found that Sharpe's writings of violent sexual fantasies involving children, although repugnant, did not counsel offences against children and had some artistic merit.

Participants in the roundtable discussion were shown a very short but extremely graphic slide show of young children including infants being subjected to the most degrading acts of perversion imaginable. Experts in the field maintained that writings such as Sharpe's, far from being artistic, actually contribute to the sexual abuse of children.

Many of us in this place anticipated this decision immediately following the initial ruling in January, 1999 and have fought since then for change. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice attended last night. Perhaps he can convince his boss that Canada's children need our protection now.

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, today marks a rather remarkable historic convergence. It is the 54th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel and the 20th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Each have generated their own revolutions: the founding of the state of Israel as a revolutionary event in Jewish and human history with the reconstitution of the ancient Jewish people in their aboriginal homeland; and the Canadian charter of rights with its revolutionary impact on the promotion and protection of human rights in this country and its rayonnement internationally.

Indeed, there is one generic right in the charter, article 7 which speaks of the right to life, liberty and security of the person, that also underpins the right of the Jewish people to self determination, a foundational international human right, and to individual and collective security. It underpins the corresponding right of the state of Israel to live within secure and recognized boundaries free from any threats or acts of force, at peace with her neighbours.

In Hebrew numerology the number 18, chai , means life. The number 54, connoting the 54th anniversary of the state of Israel, means life as a threefold blessing. May the right to life, liberty and human security in charter law and international human rights law resonate as a blessing for Canada, Israel and peoples everywhere, and may the prayer for peace so urgently yearned for be realized.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Statements By Members

April 17th, 2002 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, today we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Throughout this period of reflection around the 20th anniversary much will be said about former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, and rightly so.

As he himself was not unwilling to acknowledge, one of his formative influences was Frank Scott, a McGill University law professor and one of the founding members of the CCF, the predecessor of the NDP. Indeed, a constitutional charter of rights was a continuing demand of the CCF and the NDP in the decades leading up to the adoption of the charter.

As one who was in parliament 20 years ago and who was privy to much of the dialogue between the NDP and the Liberals at that time as the charter proceeded from draft to reality, I give credit to my leader at that time, Ed Broadbent, and to the NDP caucus of that parliament.

The political fact of the matter, as you may recall, Mr. Speaker, was that Prime Minister Trudeau wanted our support and was prepared to make changes in his proposals to get that support and keep it. As I remember it, the NDP among other things wanted changes to the charter including stronger language with respect to equality of women and recognition of aboriginal rights.

In any event, the charter is with us and the supreme court has delivered an interesting variety of judgments on it. Canadians it seems are attached to the charter.

The Constitution
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the federal government is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, for most Quebecers, April 17 is the sad anniversary of the unilateral patriation of the Canadian constitution.

This patriation struck a blow to Quebec, weakening its rights and sapping the powers of its government and its National Assembly, and propelling it into a constitutional system to which it never agreed, nor will it ever agree.

The federal government knows all this and that is why it is omitting any mention of the unilateral patriation of the Constitution without Quebec's consent during the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the charter. This is a black mark on the history of Canada.

From two founding peoples, Canada became one Canadian nation, based on the principle of equality of the provinces, yet Quebec has never been a province like the others, but a nation with its own unique cultural, economic, and political heritage.

The Prime Minister
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night the Prime Minister was awarded the 2002 Statesman of the Year Award by the prestigious East-West Institute.

From time to time, we realize that the international community holds Canada and Canadian values in great respect. The Prime Minister provided us with a fine example.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister said “By honouring me tonight you are really honouring Canada. [I have used] my office to put forward on the international stage values that are profoundly held by all Canadians: tolerance, democracy, internationalism, peace-building, respect for human rights and the rule of law”.

All Canadians can feel justifiably proud about the progressive role that we play internationally. I congratulate the Prime Minister for projecting our unique voice and values on the world stage.