House of Commons Hansard #202 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was compensation.

Topics

Species at Risk Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a sad day that we are standing to speak to the last group of motions. The government has chosen to use closure to shut down consultation with the grassroots people and frontline soldiers the minister talks about: the farmers, ranchers, people in the forest industry and all those who pay taxes to allow the country to exist. On this dark day I will speak briefly to the motions in Group No. 5.

It is interesting that the government has totally withdrawn clause 109 which may have someday put compensation into the regulations. I defy any rural member across the floor here to go home and say “Guess what, guys? Now you will not get any compensation for sure”. I dare them to stand on the election platform and justify that one. I wonder how they would handle it.

We see what the Liberal government is really about. It brought its rural caucus onside by saying it would change the word may to will. It has now cancelled the whole thing. That is pretty shocking. It is shocking to find out about it in the House in the 11th hour. Under the current bill there would not be compensation or fair market value. It does not even contain the term fair and reasonable which is what the committee finally agreed on. Real estate people and lawyers who were consulted said it had to be fair market value because fair and reasonable could mean anything. Now the bill contains nothing, not even fair and reasonable. That is pretty shocking.

We talked earlier about the issue of mens rea. This means if farmers who plow the fields, ranchers who put cattle into the pastures or miners who exercise property rights do not do environmental impact studies to find out if an endangered species or habitat is present they would be guilty before even entering a courtroom. What kind of justice system is that?

Why would the government not want to consider the socio-economic issues? The possibility of losing 10,000 jobs, 20,000 jobs or whatever should be a factor in considering whether to save habitat or species like the wart toad, liverwort or whatever. It seems only reasonable that the government consider these things.

The process of consultation and co-operation is a farce. It is a lie. It is nowhere in the legislation. Landowners need to be involved in the consultation process, yet they would not be. Bill C-5 would be exactly what the American legislation is. Americans experts who have been looking at this type of legislation for close to 30 years have said the Endangered Species Act in the United States has yet to save a single species although it has been in effect 27 years. They have predicted SARA would be equally ineffective in Canada.

The money would be used for litigation. It would be a great time for lawyers but not for landowners and those who care about species. Bill C-5 would endanger the species it is trying to save. We hope it will endanger the party across the way in the next election when the Canadian people find out what it really means.

I have spoken to a number of environmental groups which say if we do not compensate people on the ground they will not co-operate. That should be common sense. However the government does not realize that. The withdrawal of motion 109 further emphasizes how bad the legislation would be.

Co-operation is what it takes. I will tell the House a story about a time a long time ago when I worked for the Canadian Wildlife Service. I had some money and my job was to go out and protect habitat. We would go to farmers and say they had marsh land we wanted to protect. The farmers might say they had planned to drain it or do something else with it. However when we offered compensation for the land there was not one person who did not sign the agreement. That is what co-operation is all about. That is how to protect habitat.

Farmers and ranchers across the country are already preserving habitat and species. Bill C-5 would do nothing but antagonize them and make them stop doing what has been normal practice for them up to this point.

What does the government not understand about getting the co-operation of landowners? How does it hope to work with the provinces when it is putting in a safety net proposal that says federal legislation would rule? If the federal government deemed that provincial governments were not doing an adequate job it would come down on them with overriding legislation. That would mean court action and more court action. It would mean lawyers and more lawyers. It would put more money in the pockets of lawyers and less in the hands of the front line workers the minister talks about.

I could go on about all the amendments put forward and the hard work of the committee to try to make the legislation better. For the first time since I have been in the House we had co-operation among all members on the environment committee. We really cared.

Today we voted for some motions put forward by an hon. member regarding aboriginal issues. We co-operated because we knew the members would co-operate on some of our big concerns. We worked hard on it. What did the government do? It came in and reversed all the things we fixed in the legislation. It did not listen to members from all parties. Five parties worked together to make the legislation better. The government then had the nerve to come in at report stage with all these amendments and reverse everything we did. It makes one wonder why we bother to get involved in committees or do any work. We worked hard on the legislation for 9 or 10 months to try to make it work.

It is a sad day. The government has used closure. Under the bill there would be no compensation. It would make landowners and users guilty until proven innocent. We are slapping the provinces in the face. Bill C-5 would do nothing to save species at risk. We should be disgusted with this piece of legislation and what we have seen today. The government should pay a big price for using closure to pass Bill C-5 and ram it down people's throats.

Species at Risk Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak again on Bill C-5, which we are addressing again today.

We have got to the fifth group of motions of this major bill, which has stirred up opposition, not just on this side of the floor but also some considerable opposition leading to a crisis on the government side. This bill runs counter to what the protection of Canada's endangered species is all about.

A bit of a historical review will remind us that Quebec and some other provinces decided as early as 1996 to sign the national accord for the protection of species at risk in Canada. This was a commitment by the provinces to protect the species and habitat within their territory in order to provide greater protection to our ecosystems and to the habitat, which is where the endangered species are to be found.

At that time, the accord represented an important federal initiative. It set out a number of principles relating to co-operation and collaboration with the provinces. As far back as 1996, Quebec had presented the federal government with a number of initiatives and legislation that had already been enacted by the Bourassa government.

I have a very clear recollection of this endangered species legislation. It took effect in Quebec in 1989. It was adopted and sponsored by members on the other side of the national assembly, even Quebec Liberal MLAs voted in favour of this legislation which protected endangered species on Quebec territory.

Species at Risk Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order, please. I am going to interrupt the hon. member for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie. He will have more than seven minutes left should he wish to continue speaking after oral question period.

Now, we will proceed to statements by members.

National Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Awareness Month
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House and all Canadians that June is National Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Awareness Month in Canada.

The effects of spina bifida range from severe physical disabilities and developmental delay to problems that can be corrected by surgery. The most common effects are limited use of the lower limbs and bowel and bladder limitations. Since its inception in 1981 the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Canada has been providing information and support for affected families, promoting public awareness and supporting research on spina bifida.

In March, 2002 Health Canada launched a campaign to help prevent spina bifida and other neural tube birth defects. The campaign promotes awareness among Canadian women of childbearing years and their health care providers of the importance of taking folic acid before conception and in the early weeks of pregnancy to reduce the risk of spina bifida and other neural tube birth defects.

Let us all support that campaign.

National Defence
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Philip Mayfield Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, since 1994 the Liberal government has denied Canada's military the helicopters it needs to carry out dangerous missions. The Canadian Press has obtained a defence department report detailing the effects of this political foot dragging.

Our pilots asked for warning equipment that would alert them when enemy radar locked onto their Sea Kings. They were denied. Our pilots asked for flares and chaff that would throw missiles off their Sea Kings. They were denied. They asked for a device that would alert pilots if their Sea Kings were targeted by enemy lasers. They were denied.

Instead of buying our troops this defensive equipment to protect them in battle the government bought $100 million in luxury jets for the Prime Minister and his cabinet, not because they were needed but because they were nicer.

It is no wonder 69% of Canadians think this government is incompetent. The Prime Minister and his Cabinet should be ashamed. Canadians deserve better, a lot better.

Charles Daudelin
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Diane St-Jacques Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I had the great honour of unveiling the postage stamp commemorating “Embâcle”, the work of the great Canadian sculptor, Charles Daudelin, from Granby located in my riding.

Charles Daudelin had exceptional talent, unparalleled vision and unflagging creativity. This man who hailed from my region had a phenomenal career as an artist both here and abroad.

He was ahead of his time and contributed more than anyone else in giving new impetus to sculpture in Quebec by creating grandiose, even gigantic sculptures for public areas, which blended in marvelously with the urban landscape.

I am extremely happy that Canada Post is paying tribute to the work of this unique pioneer. This stamp provides us with another opportunity to appreciate the talent of this artist who left his permanent mark not only on the wonderful world of sculpture, but also on all of the arts community in Quebec and Canada.

Girl Guides
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate a resident of Hamilton Mountain, Amanda Charlebois, on receiving the prestigious Lady Baden-Powell Award for achievement in the girl guides.

The Girl Guides of Canada was founded in 1910 to help young women become responsible citizens, able to give leadership and service in the community, whether local, national or global. The girl guides work to inspire an ethic of co-operation while encouraging leadership potential, giving girls opportunities to experiment with various roles, allowing them to develop diverse skills and a sense of pride and confidence that will stay with them throughout their lives.

Amanda personifies this ethic, having earned 72 community badges through participation in volunteer work and camp. She has experienced activities from snowshoeing to photography, to aviation and first aid.

I wish to congratulate both Amanda on her achievement and the Girl Guides of Canada for their good work in organizing and encouraging young girls and women like Amanda to develop their potential.

Millennium Scholarships
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the residents of my riding, I am very happy to congratulate the five winners of excellence awards.

They are: Geneviève Carrier, of the Collège de l'Outaouais; Vicki Da Silva-Casimiro, of Collège Saint-Joseph in Hull; Maïté Garcia Gonthier, of the MultiCollège de l'Ouest du Québec; Pamela R. Ledoux, of Heritage College; and Maude Schneider, of the Petit Séminaire de Québec.

The excellence awards recognize, support and encourage students who have set themselves apart by their academic results, leadership and community involvement.

The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation was created by the Liberal government by an act of parliament by which all Canadians invest and express their confidence in the future leaders of this country.

I congratulate to the winners from my riding and wish them much luck with their studies.

Health
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Larry Spencer Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, at this moment we have thousands of Canadians on surgery waiting lists. One of my own constituents has been waiting for surgery for a year and has been told to expect to wait another six months. This is on the priority list.

There are burdensome costs to these patients on waiting lists. Many continue to endure much pain and suffering, bear the financial burden of more prescription drugs, endure decreased physical ability and suffer the loss of income because of additional sick days off work. This is unacceptable.

We are not living in a third world country. We live in one of the most progressive countries in the world and yet we do not provide adequate health care for our own people. This is one more issue the Liberal government has failed to address. Liberals are caught up in the defence of their own corruption and are bogged down with endless studies.

Canadians are left with a government incapable of responsible action. How can it defend its virtual inaction in dealing with the health care crisis when it is costing our constituents on a daily basis?

Millennium Scholarships
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Serge Marcil Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate Jean-Michel Leduc, who attends the École secondaire des Patriotes-de-Beauharnois and lives in the riding of Beauharnois—Salaberry, on winning an award of excellence from the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation.

The Beauharnois—Salaberry area is privileged to have among its students a young man whose excellence is being recognized in this way. This scholarship will make it possible for him to learn, to develop personally, and to contribute to the betterment of his community.

On behalf of all my fellow citizens, I wish him every success in the attainment of his academic goals.

Lise Waters
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, a recent article by Pierre Jury in Le Droit caught my attention. It was about an exceptional resident of the Outaouais, Lise Waters, a retired teacher and a volunteer for over 30 years with youth in sport.

As Pierre Jury wrote, Lise Waters is a woman who works for absolutely nothing, for the pleasure of giving, for the pleasure of staying young at heart.

President for the past 12 years of the Unité régionale de loisir et de sport de l’Outaouais, each election finds her hoping that she will be able to make way for someone younger. Unfortunately, but fortunately for the clientele, when no candidates step forward, the sexagenarian generously takes on the job, anxious not to leave a gap.

The Bloc Quebecois joins with me in paying tribute to Lise Waters and wishes her many more years of success among the young people of whom she is so fond.

Economic Development
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week the Greater Halifax Partnership released a report on the economic future of the Halifax region and indeed Nova Scotia in general.

As many members will know, the oil and gas sector of Nova Scotia is booming. While it would be wrong to hang our hopes on a single industry, our offshore resources have the potential to give the people of Nova Scotia what they really want, sustainable, long term economic growth. The numbers look good: a possible GDP growth of 72%, 52,000 new jobs and growth in the housing and service sectors by 2020. The end result of all this is clear. More young Nova Scotians will be able to stay in their home province.

Like all Atlantic Canadians, Nova Scotians want to become contributors to equalization, not recipients.

Veterans Affairs
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Betty Hinton Kamloops, Thompson And Highland Valleys, BC

Mr. Speaker, on August 12, 1944, Lieutenant Colonel Al Trotter was shot out of the sky on his 44th mission over enemy territory. He was captured, tortured and interned for more than 300 days.

Due to communication errors with veterans affairs, the prisoner of war was unaware for 14 years that he was entitled to compensation for his pain and suffering. Now, after 10 years of appeals, the government still refuses to honour the retroactivity of this distinguished veteran. The government has unlimited funds for the Prime Minister's Challenger jets and is embroiled in controversy over contracts paid in full for services not rendered.

This distinguished veteran did honour his contract, but Canada does not recognize his service and POW status due to bureaucratic red tape and miscommunication. Lieutenant Colonel Trotter does not mince words. He asked me to wear his medals today but I cannot. He instructed me in very unparliamentary language as to where I should place them should the government continue to be unresponsive.

Surely there is a more dignified resolution.

Portugal Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, today many of my constituents and others across Canada will be celebrating Portugal Day.

The Portuguese presence in Canada extends back 500 years when they braved the Atlantic to reach our shores. Portuguese sailors fishing off the Grand Banks helped lay the foundations of the cod fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Waterloo region has the highest percentage of Portuguese in Canada, with my riding of Cambridge being home to over 20,000 Portuguese Canadians. Portuguese Canadians have helped to build our great nation. Today they are contributing to every occupation and profession. Their contributions to Canada and my riding of Cambridge are immense.

As they reflect with pride on their heritage and their accomplishments, I wish to extend a happy Portugal Day to all Portuguese Canadians. I wish to say Viva Portugal, especially after it won 4-0 against Poland.

Philippine Heritage Week
Statements By Members

June 10th, 2002 / 2:05 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, today marks the beginning of Philippine Heritage Week in Manitoba. It is a time for all Canadians to reflect on the richness of our multicultural mosaic and to take pride in being the most spectacularly diverse country in the world. Nowhere is this fact more celebrated than in Winnipeg.

This week we commemorate the proud achievements of our Filipino community who number more than 40,000 and contribute in outstanding ways to Manitoba's social, economic and political life. The festivities held in conjunction with the 104th anniversary of Philippine independence convey a message of universal significance that transcends cultural and linguistic barriers.

This week the Filipino community in Manitoba will celebrate and share with the whole community expressions of joy for the freedom and independence of Filipino people everywhere. It is a time for all of us to pay tribute to the nation building efforts of Filipino Canadians and to rededicate ourselves to the priorities of intercultural understanding, mutual respect and universal acceptance of Canada's cultural diversity.