House of Commons Hansard #136 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by the hon. member for Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore.

[Editor's Note: Members sang the national anthem]

Mental Health
Statements By Members

October 8th, 2003 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge the dedicated work of Robert MacKay of Grand Barachois, New Brunswick, in promoting awareness and compassion for those Canadians who suffer with mental illness. Robert has shown much courage and determination in addressing the many difficulties facing Canadians who live with mental health challenges.

He has appeared at the New Brunswick legislature to call for stronger client-run and family-run programs and he has campaigned for an end to the many discriminations faced daily by people with these illnesses.

Robert MacKay is a man of courage and determination. I salute his devotion to these people who are in such need of our support and compassion.

Infrastructure Funding
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, under the regime of the former finance minister, Canadians pay $7 billion in federal gasoline taxes each year. This averages out to $222 per Canadian, of which only $9 is directed back to infrastructure funding.

For years the Canadian Alliance has attempted to get the former finance minister to treat municipalities with respect. He changed the meaning of the phrase “all politics is local” by attaching federal and provincial strings to municipal infrastructure spending.

Now that he is one of two prime ministers in Canada, he has been embarrassed into supporting the Canadian Alliance motion calling on the federal government to initiate new discussions with provinces and territories to provide municipalities with a portion of the federal gas tax.

Last month the Liberal leader was very vague and noncommittal when he announced he would consider such a transfer. In contrast, the Canadian Alliance is specific. We would give annually $2 billion of tax room to municipalities so they could make intelligent local decisions about their infrastructure requirements.

World Sight Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the worldwide economic cost of blindness and low vision has been estimated to be $25 billion U.S., according to Vision 2020. A major object of Vision 2020 is to prevent the world's blind population swelling from its present level of 45 million to the projected total of 72 million.

All of Canada's World Sight Day organizers support this goal through ongoing programs.

Christian Blind Mission International provides funds and personnel to restore and save sight and enable those who are permanently disabled. ORBIS operates the world's only flying eye hospital. The Canadian National Institute for the Blind provides Canadians who are blind, visually impaired and deaf-blind with a variety of services, including orientation and mobility training, vision rehabilitation, technical aids, counselling and referral, and career development and employment.

I would like to invite all my fellow MPs to mark World Sight Day on Thursday, October 9, at 12:30, with a gathering outside on the steps in front of Centre Block.

World Sight Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Oak Ridges, ON

Mr. Speaker, World Sight Day will be celebrated on October 9 in over 100 countries, including right here on the steps of Parliament Hill.

With vision loss affecting 180 million worldwide, organizers of this year's World Sight Day on Parliament Hill are asking for greater support in combating the tragedy of avoidable blindness. It is estimated that 80% of the world's blindness is avoidable: either preventable or curable. In fact, both the causes and cures are known and we are even aware of what steps to take.

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind and its sister blindness organizations, both in Canada and worldwide, require our resources to ensure that blindness treatment and prevention are indeed a part of national health programs.

In Canada, the leading causes of blindness, which are macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts, are all age related. As the Canadian population ages, there will be a higher demand for resources to meet the needs of blind, visually impaired and deaf-blind Canadians.

I would therefore invite all of my colleagues to participate in World Sight Day activities planned for Thursday, October 9. Activities begin outside on the steps of Parliament Hill at 12:30 and are followed by a reception in the Commonwealth Room.

Robert Short
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, everyone in Canada was saddened to learn of the tragic deaths of two of our Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan on Thursday, October 2. One of the soldiers, Sergeant Robert Short, was from Charters Settlement, just outside Fredericton.

This tragic event has affected people across our country. Yesterday, in Pembroke, Ontario, more than 3,000 civilians and soldiers paid tribute to Sergeant Short and Corporal Robbie Beerenfenger. This Saturday, approximately 400 members of Sergeant Short's battalion at CFB Gagetown will gather at a graveside ceremony.

Not only was Sergeant Short a soldier, he was a friend, a father and a husband. I offer my sincere condolences to his family and friends. The community of greater Fredericton and in fact the entire country share in their sorrow.

Canada's military personnel make an invaluable contribution to help ensure that our world is a safer place. Their sacrifice is immense. I pay tribute to all of them.

Pope John Paul II
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, October 16 will mark the 25th anniversary of the election of Karol Wojtyla to the papacy as Pope John Paul II, making him the third longest serving pope in the 2,000 year history of the Catholic church.

Since that time, he has been perhaps the most active apostle of the Christian message of hope and human dignity ever, travelling on over 100 foreign missions and testifying in person to hundreds of millions, on every continent.

A personal witness to the great horrors of totalitarianism in what he calls the “century of tears”, the Pope has fearlessly spoken truth to power. His message of solidarity and freedom was the spiritual spark that led to the fall of the Iron Curtain, and it energized the spread of democracy from Latin America to the Philippines.

He has continued to preach his message of the divine origin of human dignity against post-modern distortions of freedom, the excesses of materialism, and the culture of death.

Now coming to the end of his service, he offers a heroic witness. Burdened by crippling infirmities, he is a sign of hope to the elderly and the disabled.

On behalf of all Canadians, let us offer to John Paul II our gratitude, our prayers and our congratulations on this, his anniversary.

Oktoberfest
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to extend an invitation to all Canadians to visit my community of Kitchener to celebrate Oktoberfest. This is North America's largest Bavarian festival and it celebrates Kitchener's German heritage.

People can come and polka the night away at one of the city's festhallen , join in the spirit of gemütlichkeit at the Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day parade, and enjoy numerous cultural events. We are especially proud this year to host a Canadian great, Stompin' Tom Connors, as part of this year's festival.

The past 35 years have seen Oktoberfest host thousands of visitors from around the world. This year over 700,000 people will enjoy the festival and $18 million will be injected into our community.

It is a demonstration of Canadian hospitality of which Kitchener is very proud. I invite all hon. members to join me as we tap the keg and welcome everyone to this great Canadian festival. Ein Prosit .

Breast Cancer Foundation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Today I am proudly wearing the pink ribbon of the Breast Cancer Foundation which recently announced at a press conference I attended some facts about its most important fundraising activity. For seven years now, the foundation has organized the CIBC Run for the Cure in a number of cities, including Quebec City for the first time this year. This event gives thousands of people an opportunity to walk or run to raise funds for this cause.

Because each week 100 women in Quebec are diagnosed with breast cancer and 28 die, and because everyone is affected, the foundation deserves our support for its mission to finance research, develop prevention programs, and offer various support services to women with breast cancer.

Last Sunday, the Quebec City Run for the Cure was a great success with 1,200 registrants and over $113,000 raised. The Bloc Quebecois congratulates everyone associated with this event and sends its wishes for a speedy recovery to all women with breast cancer.

Izzy Asper
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I rise today to pay tribute to Israel “Izzy” Asper. His death marks the passing of a remarkable man.

He was a man of great empathy and compassion who was passionate about his city of Winnipeg, and he gave to it with his time, energy and money. Izzy was a visionary who believed in Winnipeg and he leaves his fingerprints all over it. An amazing philanthropist, Izzy was a patron of the arts, sports and education. He gave to them all and challenged others to do the same.

However, the legacy that he leaves with us is not only his philanthropy but his spirit, humanity and friendship. Izzy Asper was a champion of the west, a talented businessman and a clever attorney. He was a proud and loyal Liberal, but perhaps above all, a loving father and husband.

Izzy was a man who never forgot where he came from and never compromised on where he was going. His death is stunning. Winnipeg and Manitoba have lost a giant of a man whose legacy is almost everywhere in the city of Winnipeg. He will be greatly missed.

On behalf of my colleagues, I offer my condolences.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, add another well-heeled Liberal to the growing list of ACOA Atlantic innovation fund recipients.

John Bragg, uncle to former Nova Scotia MLA Ross Bragg and well known Liberal Party supporter, recently received an innovation fund grant for his company, Oxford Frozen Foods.

In addition, Mr. Bragg has been listed by Canadian Business Magazine as one of Canada's hundred richest people.

On top of that, Mr. Bragg recently contributed $50,000 to the next Liberal leader's campaign.

Corporate welfare is alive and well in Canada and the Liberals are responsible. Why are taxpayer dollars being exposed to a risk that should be shouldered by one of the wealthier businessmen in Canada?

While the government does play a part in promoting economic growth, that role should not be picking winners and losers through grants.

Izzy Asper
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday one of my constituents passed away. I know I speak for all Winnipeggers when I say we profoundly mourn the passing of Israel Asper, one of the most ardent supporters of Winnipeg.

Izzy was an unusual constituent. His support was constant. His comments and his advice were pithy, forthright and always wise. I shall miss our conversations about his vision for Winnipeg and Manitoba. For Izzy truly loved and championed his hometown. His legacy is everywhere, in the arts, in education, in sports and in his beloved Jewish community.

What an extraordinary life he led, a lawyer, a media tycoon, a businessman, a politician, a jazz aficionado, a builder of Israel, a philanthropist, a devoted family man and most recently, the champion of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights to be built at the historical Forks in Winnipeg.

He will be profoundly missed by his family. I offer my deepest sympathy to Babs, David, Gail and Leonard.

Pesticides
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the environment commissioner warned of a major environmental health crisis over government mishandling of pesticides. The government has ignored the commissioner's call for an overhaul of the way pesticides are handled in this country, an appeal that she has made four times since 1993.

The Liberal government has failed to ensure that current pesticides meet basic standards. It has only re-evaluated 2% of the current pesticides, leaving well over 400 that need to be addressed. In each case the pesticides that have been reviewed either have been pulled off the market or have had further restrictions added to them. What is more, the government is irresponsibly registering over 50% of all new pesticides with temporary permits, skipping critical steps in their evaluation.

The Prime Minister is leaving a toxic legacy that he should be very ashamed of. His legacy will not be one of protecting the health and safety and the environment of Canadians.

Congregation of Sisters of Sainte Anne
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Gaudet Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to a decisive event in the history of the municipality of Saint-Jacques de Montcalm.

It was 150 years ago, on August 23, 1853, that Mother Marie-Anne and her 27 followers arrived in Saint-Jacques de Montcalm, after a long and perilous two-day voyage from Vaudreuil, where the Congregation of the Sisters of Sainte Anne had been founded in 1850 by Esther Blondin, who later took the name Marie-Anne. This exceptional woman was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 29, 2001.

A dinner in honour of the anniversary of the arrival of the Sisters of Sainte Anne was held on September 6. More than 400 people attended this event to commemorating the congregation's 150 years of history.

The Saint-Jacques boarding school, founded in 1853, eventually grew into the Collège Esther-Blondin in 1996, a private secondary school offering an international education to girls and boys, at last fulfilling Mother Marie-Anne's dream of coeducational schools for poor rural children.

In recognition of this great religious figure—

Congregation of Sisters of Sainte Anne
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for St. Catharines.