House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Sex Offender Registry
Statements By Members

October 2nd, 2003 / 2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the official opposition's demand for a retroactive national sex offender registry has repeatedly met with fierce opposition from the Solicitor General.

The Solicitor General has argued that making it retroactive would be constitutionally impossible. He contended that this argument was based on the best legal advice there is. In fact, on May 15 in the House the Solicitor General emphatically stated:

We do not intend to make our legislation retroactive for very good reasons.

Yesterday however, in the face of mounting pressure from his provincial counterparts, the Solicitor General did an about-face and now apparently is prepared to broaden the registry to include sex offenders currently serving sentences. Quite obviously, those very good reasons and the best legal advice were not so good after all.

Next time, listen to the Canadian Alliance. Our advice is great and it is free.

Alliance Novare
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Université de Sherbrooke and Bishop's University are having an increasing impact on Sherbrooke's economic and social development. Last Monday, the official launch of Alliance Novare was attended by members of the chamber of commerce.

This project bridges the gap between research and industry. Novare Capital will buy shares in companies in this sector, and the resulting profits will fund university research. We are witnessing the birth of a real mechanism to confirm our region's reputation as an academic centre.

We are blessed with entrepreneurs and a dynamic region, top level researchers and a quality research infrastructure and, as Mr. Racine mentioned, the stars are aligned for a successful future.

Congratulations to all the visionaries who contributed to the birth of this project: Bruno-Marie Béchard, President of the Université de Sherbrooke; Jean Nicholas, former Vice-president of Research, Janyne Hodder, Principal of Bishop's University, and Serge Racine, businessman. I thank them all.

Laval in Bloom
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 14, the winners of the Laval in Bloom beautification competition were announced. Every year for the past 18 years the City of Laval is awash in colours.

Again this year, residents, businesses and government agencies got involved in making Laval beautiful. Throughout the city, magnificent landscaped gardens could be admired all summer long.

Congratulations to those who made Laval a wonderful place to live for the eighteenth year in a row.

Performing Arts
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Carole-Marie Allard Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday winners of the 2003 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards were announced. These awards are presented in recognition of a prestigious career in the arts.

The 2003 award recipients are: Pierrette Alarie, internationally renowned soprano; Dave Broadfoot, comedian and writer; Douglas Campbell, actor and innovator; Norman Jewison, movie producer; Micheline Lanctôt, screenwriter, director and internationally renowned actress who captivates audiences; and Ian Tyson, visionary singer and songwriter.

I would like this House to take this opportunity to thank each of these winners for their remarkable contribution to the arts in Canada, the social fabric of our communities and the cultural image of our country abroad.

Canadian Forces
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Forces are among the finest in the world. Our soldiers have always served bravely and selflessly.

The current mission in Afghanistan is a dangerous yet important one. Canadian soldiers are helping to maintain peace while a battered country struggles to rebuild. Today we learned that two soldiers were killed and three others injured when their jeep hit a land mine.

It is never easy being the spouse or family of a soldier. To all the families from base Petawawa who anxiously await news of their loved ones, please accept my personal heartfelt condolences.

Canadians appreciate the sacrifice of our men and women in the military. They chose to defend our country, putting their personal safety at risk. They leave behind parents, friends, children, wives and husbands to protect families in other countries.

On behalf of the Canadian Alliance, I offer our sincere sympathies, thoughts and prayers to the loved ones of those soldiers involved in this tragic incident and pray that the rest of our troops will come home safely.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate the Prime Minister on having received a major award earlier today. The Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy presented the Prime Minister with the award for advancing the environmental agenda.

This is the first time in the 33 years of the institute that this particular award has been given. The Prime Minister receives it for his distinguished record on promoting environmental legislation, for creating new national parks in his early years as Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and for his ratification of the Kyoto protocol last year.

It is fitting that while the Prime Minister was in Toronto to receive the award, he dedicated the first ever urban national park, Downsview Park.

I am sure my hon. colleagues will join me in congratulating the Prime Minister on receiving this prestigious award.

Hurricane Juan
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, last weekend hurricane Juan heavily damaged the Halifax area, Musquodoboit Valley and coastal Nova Scotia. Several days after the hurricane, tens of thousands of people remain without power and more than 2,500 homes are in need of serious repair.

Silos have been toppled, barns can no longer house cattle and timber fell. One early estimate suggested the damage could be as high as $100 million. Many fishermen and coastal businesses have lost thousands of dollars worth of boats, wharves and equipment, losses that will not be covered by many private insurance companies.

The federal government has a responsibility to come to the financial assistance of individuals affected by disaster. Military personnel are on the ground, but promises that financial assistance will come once assessments have been made hold little water. Two years later Nova Scotians are still waiting for federal assistance that was promised after September 11, 2001.

The Progressive Conservative Party urges the government to provide the people of Nova Scotia timely financial assistance and not more broken promises.

Arts and culture
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the greater Drummond area's reputation as an economic force in Quebec is already beyond dispute.

But today, I am pleased to tell hon. members about the numerous excellent cultural activities the region offers. For example, the Centre culturel de Drummondville has been nominated for the ADISQ gala for the fifteenth time in thirteen years. This year's nomination is for top entertainment presenter of the year, in recognition of the excellence of its programming and event marketing.

The centre received the same award in 1989. This year, it is in competition with Rouyn-Noranda's Théâtre du cuivre, Joliette's Centre culturel, Laval's Corporation de la salle André-Mathieu, and Haut-Richelieu's Société pour la promotion d'événements culturels.

Drummondville is also in the running for album of the year--original soundtrack. Michel Cusson has two albums in contention, Séraphin, un homme et son péché and Bunker, le cirque .

My best wishes to all these nominees from my area.

Meteorological Service of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Meteorological Service of Canada is mandated to help Canadians prepare for and mitigate the impact of severe weather events.

With the aftermath of the tragedy of hurricane Juan's destructive fury in Atlantic Canada, we should remember to thank the staff of the Meteorological Service for providing accurate advanced warnings to the citizens of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, and allowing them to prepare to take protective action.

Personnel in the Canadian Meteorological Centre in Montreal, the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Halifax, and other offices across the region continue even now to provide the support required by emergency services.

I would ask that members of the House commend the dedication of these meteorologists, their expertise, their 24-7 vigilance, their constant attention to details, and their professionalism.

Canadian Forces
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, today Canadians mourn the loss of Sergeant Robert Short and Corporal Robbie Beerenfenger, killed by an explosive device on a road deemed clear of landmines.

My colleagues and I extend our deepest sympathy to their loved ones and their military colleagues on this terrible loss.

To Corporal Thomas Stirling, Master Corporal Jason Hamilton and Corporal Cameron Laidlaw, we wish to extend heartfelt wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

This tragedy underscores the need for an even greater persistence by Canada and our landmine treaty partners to eradicate landmines from this earth. Every year the world mourns 15,000 to 20,000 new landmine victims, most of them civilians. Two and a half decades of war have left Afghanistan riddled with 10 million killer landmines, claiming 150 to 300 lives, many of them children, every single month.

In the name of humanity and in the memory of our fallen soldiers, let us redouble our efforts to create a world free of violence, hatred and war.

Search and Rescue Operations
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Georges Farrah Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-De-La-Madeleine—Pabok, QC

Mr. Speaker, this past Monday morning, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Department of National Defence were jointly involved in a search and rescue operation in response to a distress signal from a vessel foundering off Anticosti Island.

Their intervention on September 29 was prompt and effective. Three Coast Guard vessels, the Wilfred Templeman , the Louisbourg and the Québécois were dispatched to the area. The first Canadian Forces plane reached the site at 8:30 a.m. to take part in the operation, followed by the first Canadian Forces helicopter at 10:55 a.m. The captain of the ship in distress was located on shore by the helicopter at 11:25 a.m. Regrettably, the other two crew members could not be found.

Those are the facts. Yesterday, the hon. member for Delta—South Richmond stated that the distress call went unanswered. In reality, rescue operations were set in motion in less than four minutes.

You can see, Mr. Speaker, that Canadian Coast Guard resources were available in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and were put to good use.

It would be a good thing if the hon. member for Delta—South Richmond would look at the facts before using a member's statement to criticize the excellent work being done by the Coast Guard in Quebec.

Firearms Registry
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Fitzpatrick Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government is busy naming institutions and landmarks after Pierre Trudeau. I recommend that the Liberal government officially consider naming the firearms registry after Pierre Trudeau. In so many ways it represents the Trudeau legacy.

Here is a short list. The gun registry is a symbol of arrogance. The gun registry is a symbol of elitism. The gun registry is a symbol of incompetence. The gun registry is a symbol of big government and wasteful spending. The gun registry is a major interference in the day-to-day lives of ordinary Canadians.

If the Liberal government were to name the firearms registry after Pierre Elliott Trudeau, I am sure it would find much support among opposition members. Unfortunately, the legacy will be short lived because the Canadian Alliance, upon forming the government, will repeal the gun registry.

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on November 14 the new Liberal leader will officially take his office. Two days later he will hold his first ministers' meeting.

This continues the pattern that he has had of running a phantom government, being a leader when it is convenient, being a peekaboo Prime Minister, not accountable to Canadians, and not accountable to this House.

My question for the government is really quite simple. Is the government still committed to being here in the House in November after the new Liberal leader is selected?

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa South
Ontario

Liberal

John Manley Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I think all of the House is preoccupied today with the death and injury of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. That will undoubtedly be on our minds for the rest of today.

The government is committed to first of all, tending properly to the affairs of state and ensuring that Canadians receive the government that they deserve and expect; and second, ensuring that the transition to a new government is done smoothly and appropriately.

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the House will note that the Deputy Prime Minister did not answer my question.

The new Liberal leader is hard at work running his parallel government, planning first ministers' meetings, working on the next budget, touring disaster sites and promising funds, and making all kinds of promises to other groups.

In other words, he is taking all of the power of the Prime Minister while refusing any accountability for the powers that go with that office.

I will give the Deputy Prime Minister another chance to answer my question. Is it true that the government will prorogue the House after the new Liberal leader is chosen so that he can continue to avoid questions on his policies?