House of Commons Hansard #186 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-55.

Topics

Forests
Statements By Members

May 9th, 2002 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, from May 5 to 11, Canadians can get together and celebrate National Forest Week, the theme of which this year is “Biodiversity”.

The great biological diversity of our forests depends on our careful use of resources. Thanks to sustainable development based management methods, the Government of Canada is helping to improve the quality of life of all Canadians.

Not only do our forests contribute to our high standard of living, but they also play a vital role in keeping our air and water clean. In addition, their majestic trees and natural vistas provide Canadians with recreational opportunities.

Beyond our borders, Canada is contributing to the vitality and sustainability of the world's forests by developing and exporting its know-how and its innovative high-tech tools.

Westray Mine
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, I want to honour Lawrence McBrearty and Verne Theriault, who are on the Hill today to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Westray mine disaster in Plymouth, Nova Scotia.

Today we honour the memory of John Bates, Larry Bell, Bernie Benoit, Wayne Conway, Ferris Dewan, Adonjus Dollimont, Robert Doyle, Remi Drolet, Roy Feltmate, Charles Fraser, Myles “Sparkie” Gillis, John Halloran, Randolph House, T.J. Jahn, Lawrence James, Eugene Johnson, Steven Lilly, Michael MacKay, Angus MacNeil, Glen Martin, Harry McCallum, Earl McIsaac, George Munroe, Danny Poplar, Romeo Short, and Peter Vickers.

They were fathers, grandfathers, husbands, lovers, brothers and friends. They were workers who died in a mine that the management knew was unsafe. They are victims for whom the law has failed. Let us fix the law in their memory.

Taxation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his last budget, Canada's Minister of Finance estimated the surplus at $1.5 billion.

We now learn that, after all the end of year accounting adjustments, there will still be a surplus of $10 million to $12 billion for fiscal year 2001-02.

It is indecent that the Minister of Finance is unable to do the math properly and that he is unable to properly forecast the surplus for the current year. He was out by almost $10 billion. With a surplus like this, he could easily afford a calculator.

Yet all the Minister of Finance had to do was listen to the Bloc Quebecois and immediately make the necessary monies available to honour the promises made during the last election campaign to invest in highways 175, 185, 30, 35 and 50 in Quebec.

In addition to reneging on the promises made by his colleagues, the Minister of Finance is just plain thumbing his nose at people by deliberately deceiving himself about the size of the budgetary surplus.

Asian Heritage Month
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the second annual Asian Heritage Month celebrations in Calgary. Calgary has the third largest Asian community in Canada. It is a truly multicultural city.

It was my pleasure to lead a forum with over 300 in attendance to discuss the future of the Asian youth and their community in Calgary.

I would like to extend my congratulations to the Calgary Chinese Community Service Association for all its hard work in organizing a firstclass program in celebration of Asian heritage and culture.

Westray Mine
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, 10 years ago today, May 9, 1992, at 5.18, a terrible rumbling shook the ground. A violent explosion ripped from the depths of the Westray mine. The lethal gaseous Foord seam had again claimed the lives of miners: 26 men whose names were read beside the eternal flame this morning and today in this House and whose lives were commemorated today in Pictou county, Nova Scotia.

While we remember the heroic efforts of the draggermen, the fire rescue workers, the police and the paramedics, and give condolences to the family, now is the time for action.

Let us recommit as lawmakers to protect citizens in the workplace. The chilly message of Westray and the report of Justice Richard was clear: company executives and directors must be held accountable for failing to provide a safe workplace. No words of condolences can comfort the families of the Westray miners more than those printed in legislation.

I close with the poignant words of Jennifer MacDonald of Stellarton who, at the age of 15, wrote:

Beyond the heavens light above, We think of you with all our love. Pictonians feel beyond the dreams, Of the men who's spirits are in the seams.

Westray Mine
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, at 5.18 a.m., on May 9, 1992, 26 coal miners lost their lives in the deeps of the Westray mine in Pictou county, Nova Scotia. Wives lost their husbands. Children lost their fathers. Parents lost their sons.

There is a long history of mining in Nova Scotia. Cape Breton, Springhill and Pictou county were all once sources of coal exported around the world. Now they are silent. Also silent are those who died in search of coal. They are gone but not forgotten.

Let us remember those 26 miners who died on this day a decade ago.

Westray Mine
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

In honour of the 10th anniversary of the Westray mine disaster, I would ask that the House stand for a moment of silence.

[Editor's Note: The House stood in silence)

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, as the auditor general said, Canadian taxpayers deserve better than this. All the Liberals want to do is reward their friends. It is not about good government. It is not about the priorities of taxpayers. It is all about the Liberal gravy train.

The RCMP will look into criminal aspects of this. The auditor general examined business practices. Who will expose the Liberal cultural corruption? Why not a full independent judicial inquiry?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general's report was tabled in the House yesterday as the hon. member knows. The issue has now been referred to the RCMP as was requested by a number of members of this House, including members of his own party.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let me quote another wise woman who wanted the government to root out corruption. She said:

If the Criminal Code stopped everyone from robbing a bank, we would have no bank robbers in Canada. Anybody who expects...to absolve this Government of a litany of corruption, a litany of scandals and a litany of self-aggrandizement and self-benefit--

--it will not.

That was said by the present Minister of Canadian Heritage in 1988.

If a criminal investigation was not good enough for the Liberals in opposition, why should Canadians accept anything less than a full public inquiry to root out the culture of corruption in this government?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated to the hon. member a moment ago, it was members of his own party who asked for an RCMP investigation. The matter has been referred to the RCMP by the auditor general, and the hon. member said that was part of it.

The auditor general, who is an officer of this House, has undertaken a full review as part of her work and will present a report.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast
B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I have an another quote that was made on November 24, 1992 by the member for Glengarry--Prescott--Russell when he said to the Tory government at the time:

Therefore, I would ask the minister the following: when will this old and tired government learn that the taxpayers' money does not belong to the Tories and that they cannot use it to reward their friends?

This government had the Shawinigate boondoggle and smelly land deals. When will the government call an independent judicial inquiry into this issue?

Government Contracts
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 across wants to quote. Let me give him a quote, “Why not have an RCMP investigation at the same time”. That was said by the member for Edmonton--Strathcona, if he was himself that day.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, let us say again that the RCMP investigation is just fine for criminal matters and the auditor general, an independent officer of this House, has done a real good job with the accounting and business practices. What about the culture of corruption that we see across the way? Who will look after the culture of corruption?

Government Contracts
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 said that the RCMP is just fine. Yesterday his leader said in an interview on national television that the RCMP could not be trusted to do this work because the commissioner of the RCMP, according to him, was tantamount to a deputy minister. That is how much he knows of how this place works after having been here for three decades.