House of Commons Hansard #150 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

Quebec City Bridge
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Christian Jobin Lévis-Et-Chutes-De-La-Chaudière, QC

Madam Speaker, some say that it was the work of the devil; others claim one of its bolts is made of gold. Although it was the site of two disasters that claimed many lives, the Quebec City bridge is one of the most fascinating monuments in the entire world.

Proclaimed an international historical monument to civil engineering by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering in 1987 and designated as a national historic site by the Minister of Canadian Heritage in 1996, the Quebec City bridge must be given its due.

Today, I want to tell the House about the excellent work done by the Coalition pour la sauvegarde et la mise en valeur du Pont de Québec, an organization that has been defending the interests of this legendary monument for ten years and that is doing everything possible to make the bridge ready for Quebec City's 400th anniversary celebrations.

I am proud that this bridge links the north and south shores of the Quebec region. As the member for Lévis-et-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, I commit to ensuring the bridge repairs will be completed for Quebec City's 400th anniversary.

Veterans Affairs
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Darrel Stinson Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Madam Speaker, Frank Wright of Vernon, B.C. tells about volunteering for a social event at one of the local rest homes.

He served one senior a beverage and rather than accept the 50¢ change due him, that senior said Frank should put the four bits toward a boat. Now the boat in question was intended to be used for touring rest home residents around Okanagan Lake, so Frank Wright went shopping. He found a pontoon boat for sale at Kelowna. Problem, the price was $19,000.

He went back to Vernon and contacted local organizations, including the Legion, and raised the needed funds.

Launched in 1992, the boat called Heaven Can Wait has made many trips on Okanagan Lake, bringing joy to numerous seniors.

This is one of the many stories behind the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendations being awarded to 62 Canadians, including Frank Wright and Hugh Rayment, of Vernon, B.C., and Roland Phillips of Chase, B.C.

A special thanks to them from a grateful nation for their continuing service.

North Thompson
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, we all watched on TV as the North Thompson-Okanagan regions were devastated by forest fires this summer. The North Thompson region was hardest hit since it depended almost fully on the forest industry and the Tolko mill, which was irretrievably lost. Prior to the fires, this region was already economically depressed by softwood lumber problems, pine beetle infestation and mad cow disease.

In the gallery today are representatives of the North Thompson Recovery Task Force, Chair John Ranta, Mayor Mel Rothenburger and John Smith, who are here to present their report, “A Route to Recovery”, to the federal government. They are to be congratulated for taking the initiative with their quick and innovative response.

This report is a made in the region comprehensive plan of action that would require the cooperation of federal, provincial and local governments, the private sector and the community. It focuses specifically on reviving the destroyed beef industry, reforestation, tourism and infrastructure building.

The federal government has already contributed $100 million to emergency relief, but this long term economic plan is essential to this region's recovery.

Liberal Government
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, ten years ago this week, having been elected by the Canadian people, this government formed its first cabinet. With your permission, I shall highlight some of our achievements.

In the last three years, under a Liberal government, Canadians have seen their income taxes decrease and the national debt shrink. They have witnessed the creation of an impressive number of jobs.

They have seen impressive financial commitments for health, ratification of the Kyoto protocol, measures to fight terrorism, and increased aid to international development.

We have a lot to be proud of. Nevertheless, I can guarantee that we are ready to do more, so that our fellow citizens can enjoy a promising future.

National Defence
Statements by Members

November 4th, 2003 / 2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, today we mark an important anniversary in the history of the government.

Ten years ago today the Prime Minister cancelled the contract to buy a replacement for our aging fleet of Sea Kings.

Ten years ago today the Prime Minister cost the Canadian taxpayers $500 million in penalty fees.

Ten years ago today the Prime Minister put our military on notice that it would be neglected while he was in office.

Ten years ago today the Prime Minister put the safety of our Sea King and crews at risk.

Ten years ago today the Prime Minister agreed to put politics over principle.

Ten years ago today the Prime Minister put in place the foundation of his legacy, a legacy of neglect.

We mark the anniversary, but we do not celebrate it.

Crime Prevention Week
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Fournier Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, as this is Crime Prevention Week, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the importance of getting involved in this issue, which affects everyone.

We must pool our efforts in order to support the many devoted individuals working in the field. The legal and health systems are trying to find solutions, but there are also street workers who offer support and comfort, and of course the teachers who have the most important task, providing information to our young people.

I invite the hon. members to reflect on what concrete improvements could be made, in terms of technical and economic programs, job creation and especially new initiatives in order to focus on prevention and thus reduce crime.

It is still true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Let us all get involved.

Liberal Government of Canada
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Erie—Lincoln, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I rise in the House today to congratulate the government on 10 remarkable years of achievement.

It was 10 years ago today that I, along with so many others, arrived here on Parliament Hill to mark the beginning of a new era in Canadian politics. We were entrusted by Canadians to give them a new and better government, and we have more than fulfilled that challenge.

The Liberal government has lowered taxes and brought in six consecutive surpluses. We have invested in the priority of Canadians, in health care, infrastructure, communities, the environment and in Canada's future through the Canada child tax benefit, scholarships and innovation funding.

We built a safer and more just society domestically and we took a leadership role in the world, especially with the landmines treaty and the new partnership for Africa.

I cannot list all our accomplishments in just one minute, however, I ask my fellow parliamentarians to join me in celebrating this triumphant day for all of us.

Multiculturalism
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada is a multicultural nation. In my riding of Windsor--St. Clair, there are over 100 different nations represented.

Despite being a diverse multicultural nation many Canadians, continue to face racial discrimination or are subject to racial profiling on a regular basis.

It is very disheartening that through its inaction and silence the government tacitly condones this discrimination. Regrettably during this session of the House of Commons both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Canadian Heritage have not risen once to speak out against racism.

Over two years ago the federal government held a number of regional conferences across Canada to develop a concrete meaningful and coordinated federal strategy to address racism and determination.

It has been more than two years since those conferences and over 750 days since Canada participated in the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, otherwise known as WCAR in Durban, South Africa.

To date there has been no formal action plan developed by the government for the implementation of the recommendations. With only a few weeks left in the Prime Minister's mandate and likely a corresponding short period remaining for the Minister of Canadian Heritage, perhaps I can make a recommendation on how they can leave a lasting legacy: Act now to adopt a formal action plan to implement the declaration from WCAR and begin to end racial discrimination in Canada.

Foreign Affairs
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, today Maher Arar, recently released from a Syrian prison, spoke for the first time on his terrible experiences of the last year.

Our government must demand explanations and apologies from the American government for his deportation after a hearing with no legal representation. We must demand redress from the Syrians for the torture and inhumane conditions Maher endured. We must investigate leaks from within our own government that has put his and his family's life, including two young children, at danger.

We must leave no stone unturned until he has a chance to clear his name and have his and his family's lives back to normal.

Hockey
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, across Canada our youth have once again taken up the national past time for another winter. Rinks are alive with the sights and sounds of hockey. Our youth are in pursuit of NHL dreams.

Our rising stars and our teams in Saskatchewan are being pursued unfairly by the CCRA regarding taxes on their room and board away from home. Why were only Saskatchewan hockey players and teams targeted? Why are only Saskatchewan's young teenage players and teams being ordered to pay fines? Why do we have to wait for more than a year to get answers to these questions?

The Liberal government has such unfair tax policies that even its new leader has done everything to avoid paying his share. Instead of just honouring hockey on the back of a $5 bill, why do we not let our budding hockey players and their teams keep their money too?

Prime Minister of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I see the Prime Minister is back in the House today and it makes me think of a song:

Start spreading the news,

He's leaving today,

He wants to be a part of it,

New York, New York.

My question for the Prime Minister is, if he thinks he can make it there, I gather he thinks he can make it anywhere, but will he be here until February?

Prime Minister of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, through you, I would like to say thank you to the Leader of the Opposition for the colour of his tie on the occasion of this anniversary of mine.

In answer to his question, I will be alive in February. Where I will be, I do not know, no more than I am sure he will still be the Leader of the Opposition.

Prime Minister of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that is the kind of sharp and clear answer we have come to expect over the past years.

Let me bring it a little more up to date. When I got here the Prime Minister was going to fight another election, then he was going to go, but not for 18 months. Then last week his caucus voted that he was going to stay. Let me try to get a little more up to date. In a week or so, after the break in November, will the House be back here doing the nation's business?

Prime Minister of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there was a vote of confidence last week where the members of my party and other parties voted for me to stay in my job.

Prime Minister of Canada
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Four more years, four more years.