House of Commons Hansard #147 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Task Force on Seasonal Work
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Algoma—Manitoulin, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this afternoon, several colleagues and I officially launched the Prime Minister's task force on seasonal work.

We have been mandated to examine the important seasonal economy by listening to seasonal workers, their employers, and seasonally dependent small businesses and communities. Task force members look forward to this challenge and encourage Canadians to contact us via our website at www.liberal.parl.gc.ca/seasonal.

Canadians at large depend on Canada's seasonal economy for many goods and services such as tourist destinations to visit, the food that we eat, wood for our homes, furs to wear, agricultural commodities, construction of our homes and buildings, and much more.

At the same time, the true value of seasonal work is often undervalued. We should not take our seasonal economy for granted. As a society, we should recognize the value, strengths, weaknesses and gaps in the seasonal economy, and together do better.

The task force will soon be visiting a number of communities across Canada which will provide us with a good cross-section of witnesses in areas of tourism, fisheries, forestry, construction, the oil industry, retail and others.

Government of Canada
Statements By Members

October 30th, 2003 / 2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Canadian Transportation Commission condemned the government's decision to purchase used rail equipment for VIA Rail, another $35 million and equipment still not in full service.

Yesterday, the 40 year old Sea King helicopter fleet was put out of service because it cannot fly safely.

Yesterday, the Minister of National Defence committed half a billion dollars for mobile guns that appear to compromise the needs of the military.

Yesterday, a Senate committee reported that our coasts are vulnerable because we do not have the ships nor the personnel to do the job. The costs of the used substandard submarines continue to escalate.

Yesterday, Canada dropped from 9th to 16th place in business competitiveness due to a perceived drop in the quality of its public institutions. Canada fell off the list of the top 10.

Yesterday, bargain basement decisions have come home to roost. This is the legacy of the Prime Minister. This will be the legacy of the member for LaSalle--Émard.

City of Drummondville
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, a Statistics Canada study on the industrial diversification of Canada's major cities shows that between 1992 and 2002 Drummondville was the leader among census agglomerations under 100,000 inhabitants. This is proof that the recovery strategy in effect since the mid-1980s has yielded dividends.

Drummondville's performance is all the more exceptional because its index surpasses those of larger agglomerations such as Ottawa, Calgary, Victoria or Windsor. Drummondville's growth rate remains steady. The year 2002 was the 11th consecutive year in which we succeeded in creating more than 1,000 industrial jobs.

Finally, the strength of Drummondville is the diversity of its economy. Few regions in Quebec or in Canada can boast of an industrial structure with so many strong sectors.

I congratulate Martin Dupont, the industrial commissioner, and his entire team for making Drummondville a place that can attract large-scale projects.

Food For All Walk
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to applaud the efforts of two constituents of mine, Betty and George Zondervan.

George is a retired Canadian army captain and a resident of Barrie who has walked across Canada from Vancouver to Halifax to help the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a Christian organization that helps provide food and development assistance to people in need. George, at the age of 69, started his journey in Vancouver in March 2002 and was followed closely behind by his wife in the van.

The Food For All Walk finished in Halifax on October 25 and has helped to raise awareness for world hunger as well as raise funds for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

CIDA provides $16 million annually to match Canada Foodgrains Bank shipments on a 4 to 1 basis, and this greatly enhances the amount of food and assistance that can be provided to those in need globally.

I ask all members to join me in congratulating Betty and George on their monumental cross-country journey and their dedication to such a worthy cause.

Paul Moist
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today, on behalf of the New Democratic Party, to congratulate my friend, neighbour and constituent, Mr. Paul Moist, who was elected yesterday the national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees at its convention in Quebec City.

CUPE members elected Paul to succeed Judy Darcy as the national president of Canada's largest union. We look forward to working with Paul in representing the interests of some 535,000 public sector workers who are members of CUPE.

I have every confidence that Paul will build on his union successes by supporting members at the bargaining table, building strong local unions, stopping privatization, pushing for increased funding of medicare, and other public services.

Mr. Moist has a long history with CUPE and the labour movement. He joined his union at age 19 in 1975 as a greenhouse gardener in Winnipeg's parks and recreation department. A well respected union leader in Manitoba, a province with deep roots in the labour movement, Mr. Moist has dedicated his life to elevating the standards, wages and working conditions of the people he represented.

Our party wishes to congratulate him in his new role.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Julian Reed Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, environmental assessment helps us make wise choices about the environment before projects are constructed.

This is why I am pleased that amendments to strengthen the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act take effect today.

The Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development diligently worked on this legislation to increase transparency and to close loopholes. These amendments will help safeguard our environment through a process that is more predictable, certain and timely. We will see the quality of assessments improve through measures to promote compliance and ensure better follow-up programs for projects.

By strengthening the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act the government is once again demonstrating its commitment to protect our fragile environment.

Okanagan--Coquihalla
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege for me today to highlight two notable initiatives from the Okanagan--Coquihalla constituency along with a request to the government on behalf of each.

On October 3, Westbank First Nation hosted a remarkable signing ceremony to celebrate the achievement of a self-government agreement seen as positive by all parties concerned, native and non-native. Many say this agreement could be a Canadian model.

It is an honour to have Chief Robert Louie here today, and I echo his request that the government make sure the enabling legislation to deal with this comes before the House before we adjourn or prorogue.

Also, I want to acknowledge one of Canada's most active service clubs, namely Kin Canada. In a time of great need this summer as destructive forest fires raged in the Okanagan and other parts of B.C. and Alberta, Kin Canada wasted no time in pledging $50,000 and 40,000 pounds of beef toward aid and relief to those affected by these fires.

I especially acknowledge the good work of the Westbank Area Association of Kin Canada and Regional Kinette Governor Michelle Apps for their tremendous service to our community.

I ask the federal government to delay no longer and be as forthcoming with financial aid and relief as the good Kinspeople have been.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, of all the embarrassing legacies of this government, perhaps the worst is in national defence. Today we have the entire Sea King fleet grounded. This is 10 years after the Prime Minister eliminated the replacement program with the stroke of a pen, and after 10 years of budget cuts by the new Liberal leader and 10 years without a contract to get new helicopters.

Is the Prime Minister not embarrassed to be leaving office after a decade with no replacements for the Sea Kings?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am not embarrassed at all to have been in a position to make sure that we would have six consecutive balanced budgets in Canada.

Yes, the helicopters were not replaced, but the same type of helicopter is used by the President of the United States to go from the White House to Camp David, so I presume that if it is a good enough helicopter for the President of the United States, it should be a good enough helicopter for Canadian soldiers.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I do not say that our soldiers may be facing heavier combat than the President of the United States, directly, but we have our Sea Kings grounded, two-thirds of the Hercules aircraft grounded, tanks and Iltis jeeps that are worn out, and inadequate replacements.

Can the Prime Minister explain why it took him only one day to get new Challenger jets for himself when he wanted them but after 10 years our military people do not have the helicopters they need?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is always the accusation of the opposition that the army is not well equipped. I was in Kabul a few days ago and the general in charge said that we are the best equipped troops around Kabul at this time. In the army in the United States, too, there are people who think they should have new equipment and so on. I think our troops are very good. They are excellent soldiers and they are equipped properly to do their job.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, after two of our soldiers died in inadequate equipment, the Prime Minister should be embarrassed to make that kind of statement.

Another embarrassment for the Prime Minister has been the World Economic Forum's declaration that one of our greatest problems is favouritism in the decisions made by government representatives.

Will the Prime Minister finally admit that the ethics deficit is harming our country?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to state very clearly that the soldiers who died were in a jeep like all the soldiers have there, and it was over a mine that would have blown up a tank. It was a big one. These people were the victims of terrorists in Kabul and to try to score political points against the government with false statements like that is completely unacceptable.

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, according to the World Economic Forum, Canada has dropped off the world's top ten in growth competitiveness, with countries like Singapore, Iceland, Norway and the Netherlands all surpassing us. In 1994, Canada was ranked third. In 2000, Canada was ranked sixth. Today Canada is ranked sixteenth.

How can the Prime Minister explain this dramatic drop? And why should we expect anything better from his replacement, the man who presided over the decline as finance minister during the past 10 years?

The Economy
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that was a survey that was taken during the time that we had some problems with SARS, with mad cow disease, and so on.

There are many surveys. For example, a month ago, the Economist Intelligence Unit report said that Canada will be the best place to invest for the next five years. The 2003 World Competitiveness Yearbook ranked Canada number three. In 2002, KPMG said Canada has the lowest business costs among advanced industrial countries. There are other very good statements made by everybody about Canada.