House of Commons Hansard #152 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-19.

Topics

Remembrance Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, when I look around the House today, I see my colleagues proudly wearing and displaying their poppies.

What I see is much more than just a bit of red and black. What I see are the freedoms that we as Canadians hold so close and dear to our hearts.

What I see are the freedoms that were fought for and won during the two world wars and in Korea.

I see the contributions and sacrifices made by those brave men and women, some of whom made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.

What I see are the dedicated men and women of today's Canadian military, serving with pride and professionalism here and abroad.

This poppy is a symbol of that and so much more. I would like to thank the thousands of veterans and Legion volunteers who keep the poppy campaign alive.

My message to all Canadians is to wear a poppy, to thank a veteran, but above all, on Tuesday, November 11, Remembrance Day, to take time to appreciate our country and reflect on our freedoms that we so often take for granted.

And when Canadians take off their poppies, I ask them not to put them in a box, but to put them out where they can be seen so that we can always remember.

Lest we forget.

Bill Sampson
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have among us today Mr. Bill Sampson, who was here to appear before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade about his more than two years of detention in hellish Saudi jails. This is his first visit to Canada since his release, in August. This is also the first opportunity I have had to see him since I visited him during his imprisonment, in March of 2002. Today's events understandably bring back strong emotions in me.

He survived during all that time because of his uncommon courage and strength. In his cell, thousands of kilometres away from home, he was isolated, tortured and awaited death by beheading. I want to pay tribute to him for being an example of courage and tenacity to us all. I also want, on his behalf, to thank the people of Canada and Quebec for their unrelenting support.

The evidence he gave this morning was extremely unsettling, especially with respect to the attitude of members of the Canadian foreign service, who apparently presumed he was guilty rather than innocent. Canadian citizens must be able to rely on their government to protect them against this kind of abuse abroad. This evidence makes an independent public inquiry into this matter all the more necessary.

Maher Arar
Statements By Members

November 6th, 2003 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, the compelling testimony of Maher Arar has reinforced the argument for an independent public inquiry to address the following unresolved issues.

First is the precipitous role of the United States, which breached international law and its own domestic law in deporting Maher Arar to a country where the U.S. acknowledges that a detainee cannot get a fair trial, and is routinely tortured.

Second is the role, if any, of Canadian security and intelligence agencies in facilitating Maher Arar's deportation.

Third is the review of the character and efficacy of Canadian public policy respecting both the U.S. and Syria, particularly during the period of Maher Arar's detention and torture in Syria.

Fourth is the clearing of Maher Arar's name from false and prejudicial allegations, such as that he was a member of al-Qaeda or had visited Afghanistan.

Fifth is the Jordanian transit connection.

Such an independent public inquiry is not mutually exclusive from the pursuit of other remedies, such as the RCMP Public Complaints Commission and Security Intelligence Review Committee oversight.

Justice delayed is justice compromised or denied.

Government of Saskatchewan
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, all members will want to congratulate the NDP and Premier Lorne Calvert on winning a fourth consecutive mandate yesterday in Saskatchewan.

Scared by skyrocketing auto insurance in other provinces and a significant power failure in Ontario, Saskatchewan voters made sure that their phone, power and auto insurance are not going be privatized but will remain in the hands of the government and the party that created them. Yesterday's victory was strongly assisted by workers and their representatives who campaigned vigorously on a progressive platform of keeping these crown matters in public hands.

The NDP and its forerunner have now governed Saskatchewan for 45 of the past 60 years.

The Saskatchewan Party, a facsimile of what the new federal entity will resemble once the Alliance has finished digesting the Progressive Conservatives, campaigned on “time for a change”, and they were right. It is time for the party to change its leader and replace Elwin Hermanson, whom the electorate has concluded is clearly not up to the task.

As for the Liberal results, there is absolutely nothing to say.

Remembrance Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, next week Canadians will pause for a moment to remember all those who gave their lives in defence of their country.

Canada is a champion for peace and justice around the globe and we have committed our best and our brightest to this noble goal. From the world wars to Korea and Afghanistan, we have paid the price in blood for that peace.

I grew up in a free country because my father fought in the RCAF and many other young people from Kitchener fought to guarantee my future. My children live in a free country because a new generation continues to make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that peace.

My father and my grandfather came back from two world wars, but many thousands did not. I would like to pay tribute to the 1,500 veterans who reside in Kitchener.

Let us never forget their sacrifice.

Diwali
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, Diwali, a festival of lights, is celebrated by a large segment of the South Asian community around the world. It commemorates the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom after completing 14 years in exile. Streets and homes are brightly lit with rows of lights.

The festival symbolizes the victory of righteousness over evil, light over darkness. Hindus join with their families and friends in celebrating it with prayers, sweets, exchanges of gifts and fireworks. This occasion also marks the Hindu New Year.

On behalf of the South Asians in Ontario organization, I extend my personal invitation to all members of the House to attend a Diwali celebration tonight at 6 p.m. at the Hindu Temple at 4835 Bank Street. Let me say Happy Diwali.

Municipality of Saint-Ambroise
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Sébastien Gagnon Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, QC

Mr. Speaker, allow me to point out to the House today that the municipality of Saint-Ambroise, in my riding, is celebrating its 100th anniversary of municipal life.

Many activities are taking place this week to commemorate this important milestone in the democratic municipal life of Saint-Ambroise.

The organizing committee also wants to mark the courage and vitality of the women and men who, throughout the past century, shaped Saint-Ambroise and gave it its unique colour and joie de vivre, which has been passed down from generation to generation.

I give congratulate everyone in Saint-Ambroise, wish them a great 100th anniversary of democratic life, and invite all the residents of the Saguenay and Lac-Saint-Jean to take part in this important celebration.

Transport
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, before our Prime Minister lifts off, I would like to remind him that the airport in Red Deer, Alberta is open 12 months and it has over 40,000 flights per year. It has made requests for funding but it has received nothing. In contrast, the airport in Charlevoix is closed for more than half the year and has fewer than 1,500 flights, yet it received over $5 million in government funding, compliments of the former finance minister.

Could the government tell us why it is flying Charlevoix in first class and the west in coach?

Transport
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we have in place across Canada regional development agencies. Of course when we look at the programs, because they are flexible, we have programs that could vary from one region to another.

On the question of Charlevoix, it is clear to me that tourism development is key. Of course when we look at what we have there, the golf courses, Le Manoir Richelieu, as well the casino, it is just normal to get involved in such a fantastic project for economic development there.

Transport
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, for corn's sake, we have a little tourism out west ourselves.

Red Deer is only one example of western airports that have been virtually ignored by the government. Swift Current, Tofino, North Battleford and Yorkton have received precious little funding despite growing needs.

The Prime Minister's understudy laments about western alienation, but cheating these airports certainly is not the way the west is won. Looks like he has been caught with his flaps down. How can the Liberals claim to care so much about the west, yet leave the airports running on empty?

Transport
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Liberal

Claude Drouin Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, what the hon. member does not understand is that the region has an unemployment rate of 16% and that 30% of the jobs in the region depend on tourism. It is an important tool for development in the region. Transport Canada had issued a warning that this was a dangerous runway. We have acted in the interests of the people of the region and faced up to our responsibilities.

Member for Edmonton North
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, the very hon. member for Edmonton North might not have another opportunity to rise in the House again. I have a question for all members. Will they ever forget her first appearance in Canada's Parliament as the advance guard for the Reform Party?

The answer is we will never forget. She will never forget either, because her caucus today has purchased her chair to take back to Edmonton so she can sit and watch question period every day.

Who will join me in standing and applauding the hon. member for Edmonton North for her service to Canada, her constituents and her country?

Member for Edmonton North
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Member for Edmonton North
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for South Shore.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, William Sampson's testimony at committee this morning was poignant and damning. It clearly demonstrated the abject and sorry failure of the Department of Foreign Affairs to protect Canadian citizens abroad and further underlined the ineffectiveness of Canadian soft power diplomacy.

Ministerial platitudes did not save William Sampson. British strong-arm diplomacy did.

Will the minister commit today to a public inquiry before another Canadian is tortured in another Saudi jail?