House of Commons Hansard #181 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-55.

Topics

Sports
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to recognize Canada's special Olympics athletes and the volunteers and coaches who work with them to provide one of this nation's greatest sport programs.

This month and throughout the summer, special Olympics athletes will be participating in regional and provincial games in varied sports. I am pleased to note that Manitoba will be holding a variety of games including powerlifting, bowling, swimming, soccer, athletics, golf and bocce, one of the most popular sports in the world.

Many of these fine athletes will qualify to represent their provinces at the Canadian Special Olympics Summer Games in Prince Albert from July 8 to July 14. Some may even represent Canada at the World Special Olympics Summer Games in Ireland next year.

I am sure my hon. colleagues will join me in warmly wishing all special Olympics competitors, coaches and volunteers the very best in their endeavours this summer.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, we have tried repeatedly in the House to get the federal government to acknowledge the very difficult situation facing first nations people and the quality of their health care system.

To date the government has chosen to ignore those calls of concern and action. I hope today, given new statistics in a report produced by the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, that the government will choose to listen and choose to act.

The report provides devastating evidence of the appalling health situation faced by residents of first nations communities. Compared to other citizens of this land life expectancy among first nations people is eight years shorter overall, with two to three times as many deaths among young people. The hospitalization rate is twice as high. Diabetes rates are four times higher and diabetes related amputations are 16 times higher.

This is an area that demands federal action. This is an area that falls within federal jurisdiction.

Highway Infrastructure
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning, the Association des camionneurs artisans and the FTQ, which represent close to 100,000 workers, joined with me in demanding that the federal government respect its commitment to pay its share of the construction costs for highways in Quebec.

The federal government must at last announce investments to build highways 175, 185, 30, 35 and 50, and it must sign the memorandums of agreement prepared by Quebec. Ottawa has no excuse, considering that it will have a budget surplus in excess of $9 billion this year.

For many independent truckers and workers, implementing these projects would make all the difference by the end of the year. During the last election campaign, the Liberal Party pledged to invest $3.5 billion in our highways.

These comments reflect those made on Tuesday by the mayor of Ville de Saguenay, to the effect that the federal government is desperately dragging its feet regarding highways in Quebec, including highway 175.

The money that was promised must be allocated this spring, so that workers can have jobs immediately.

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, today the national Inuit association, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, which means “Inuit are united in Canada”, unveiled its new logo illustrating the four Inuit regions of Canada: Labrador, Nunavik in Northern Quebec, Nunavut and the Inuvialuit in the Northwest Territories.

At the heart and centre of the logo is the national symbol of Canada, the maple leaf. Also incorporated in the design is the women's knife, the ulu. The contest to design the new logo generated 228 submissions from all across Canada.

I would like to congratulate the following people whose designs have been used in the final version of the logo: Putulik Ilisituk of Salluit, Nunavik; Chris Dewolf of Fort Smith, Northwest Territories; and Mary Ugyuk of Taloyoak, Nunavut. Honourable mention goes to designs by Sammy Kudluk of Kuujjuaq, Nunavik; John Metcalf of Nain, Labrador; and Chris Eccles of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, this statement is meant as a wake-up call to the minister of agriculture and the Liberal government.

There is a real possibility, even a probability, of a serious drought again this year. One-half of the farmland in western Canada has received less precipitation this year than ever before. In fact five counties in Alberta already have declared themselves disaster areas. Saskatchewan and Manitoba are not far behind.

One would think that with this knowledge the department of agriculture would be looking at a drought program just in case the rains do not come. Not so. I asked the agriculture director of financial programs if he had developed a drought plan. His answer simply was no. I then asked him if he approached the government for additional funding and additional money in case those rains did not come. His answer was no.

To make matters worse, the PFRA spends only $5.5 million on water programs and $15 million is spent on a PR program.

Battle of the Atlantic
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

David Price Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, every year on the first Sunday of May Canadians remember and salute those who lost their lives in the Battle of the Atlantic. Canada played a significant role in the battle, which ran from September 1939 until the end of the second world war.

Starting from a tiny base of ships, aircraft and personnel, Canada grew into one of the foremost allied powers. While Canadian warships and aircraft sank and shared in the destruction of 50 U-boats, the main objective of Canada's Atlantic forces was protection of shipping. The outcome of the war was dependent on the Atlantic convoys reaching the United Kingdom.

However, participation came at a high cost. More than 2,000 members of the Royal Canadian Navy were killed during the war, the vast majority in the Battle of the Atlantic, and 750 members of the Royal Canadian Air Force died in maritime operations. The Book of Remembrance for the Merchant Navy lists over 1,600 Canadians and Newfoundlanders who served.

This Sunday I encourage all Canadians to remember those who lost their lives and to salute the veterans of the Battle of the Atlantic.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, thousands of softwood lumber workers have been thrown out of work due to United States protectionism and the Liberal government's lack of action and foresight.

Another crisis in trade is at hand: Our agriculture sector could be crippled by the new U.S. farm bill that will soon become law. Along with the disastrous increase in production distorting domestic subsidies, the U.S. farm bill also calls for country of origin labelling to be mandatory within two years. For a commodity to be labelled as a U.S. product it would have to be born in, raised in and processed in the U.S. This will cause shock waves to resonate throughout Canada, affecting all sectors of our economy.

Canada's threatened agriculture and agrifood exports are worth $25 billion per year. The sector employs almost two million Canadians.

With NAFTA and WTO appeals taking years to settle, I call on the Minister for International Trade and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to get prepared this time and to challenge this policy the minute it is signed into law.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Veneman is in Ottawa today. She must hear this message loud and clear.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

May 2nd, 2002 / 2:10 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber decision handed down by the United States government is a disaster for tens of thousands of Canadian families who depend on this industry.

We are disappointed and angry today that the Americans have forgotten who their friends are. They have also forgotten they are supposed to be free traders.

We are disappointed with the American ruling but disgusted with the government's mismanagement, negligence and neglect of this file. The Prime Minister brags that he is always on the phone to President Bush, but the phone line on softwood lumber has not been permanently cut. At what time did the Prime Minister phone the president and what assurances did the Prime Minister receive?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:10 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there was a decision that was rendered today. We were not surprised by this decision but we are still of the view that they should not block the coming of Canadian softwood lumber into the American market. We have developed a policy on that with the collaboration of the industry and the provinces. We have worked with them very closely, and we have decided to refer the case to the WTO and to a panel of the free trade agreement that we have with the Americans.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, nothing has worked and we have families out of work.

The government has known for a long time that this decision was coming. Warnings came from everywhere, from forestry communities, the industry, labour groups and many times from the member for Vancouver Island North. The government has not been listening.

We have all learned something, especially the senior minister from British Columbia, the Minister of Natural Resources, who is all talk and no action, but he has learned at the feet of the master, the Prime Minister.

Will the Prime Minister tell the House now what his action plan is and when he will release details of this contingency plan for the people who are unemployed?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, my ministers met this week with the premier of the province of British Columbia and they discussed a plan of action to face this very serious problem.

I have clearly indicated that Canada is a free trading nation. The Americans know that. I have said that to the president of the United States. They cannot have it both ways, to have free trade for oil, gas and electricity and not give us free trade for wood.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canada is in crisis over this issue. Maybe if the Prime Minister had not gone out of his way to support Al Gore during the last election, he might have been on the phone this morning to the president of the United States on this very important issue.

The government has acted with cruel indifference to the plight of thousands of softwood forestry families, and every individual on that front bench has been offering nothing but platitudes to the industry. Nothing is happening.

We have thousands and thousands of families who should not have to wait any longer to find out what the government is going to do. What assurance is the Prime Minister going to give those families before this weekend? Put Canada--

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have worked very closely with the industry and with the provincial government. It is the first time that we have a file of this nature where we have unanimity from the industry, the labour unions, the provincial government and the federal government, all making the same pitch on the situation.

Unfortunately the Americans do not want to respect the free trade agreement that they have signed with us and we have to do what is open to us, which is to take them before the WTO and before a free trade agreement panel, a NAFTA panel on this subject.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, what we do not need today is what we are hearing: government gobbledegook on responding to the U.S. trade commission decision.

Less than half an hour ago our trade minister said that we will make the right decision at the appropriate time. That is perfect Liberal bafflegab. There is no indication that EDC or the Canadian Commercial Corporation has been engaged to develop a tariff payment scheme.

Leadership is required. When can we expect delivery?