House of Commons Hansard #153 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parties.

Topics

The Economy
Statements By Members

November 7th, 2003 / 11:05 a.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again Canadians are seeing the results of the government's wise fiscal management. The unemployment rate fell again to 7.6% and the Canadian economy created over 65,000 jobs last month. This is five times as many jobs as economists were predicting. Most of these jobs are full time jobs.

In particular, we see considerable growth in employment in British Columbia and Quebec. In British Columbia, the unemployment rate dropped from 9.1% to 7.8% in just one month. In Quebec, 26,000 jobs were created last month.

Ten years ago, when the Liberal government came to power, we promised to get Canadians working. Since then, three million jobs have been created. This is three million more Canadians who are working today since the government first took office.

I am sure my colleagues in the House will join me in celebrating the continuing success of the government and the benefits that 10 years of good government have provided for Canadians.

Remembrance Day
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, next week we will remember those who fought and served us in the great world wars. All of them were heroes.

One of the great heroes was a young Newfoundlander, Tommy Ricketts, who lied about his age and at 15 joined the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

In 1916, in Belgium, they came under heavy fire. He and his commander outflanked the German gun. They ran out of ammunition. He circled back, found ammunition, came back to his platoon and they drove back the enemy. He was the youngest soldier ever to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

We owe a debt of gratitude to people like Tommy Ricketts and all those who served. On November 11, let us remember them all for what they have done for us. Let us never forget that great sacrifice they paid for this country.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, November 19 is World Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease Day. According to the Canadian Lung Association, this family of diseases, often known as COPD, affects about 8% of Canadians, or some 2 million people, half a million of them Quebeckers.

In recent years, one of my constituents, Claude Lanthier, who suffers from pulmonary dysfunction himself, has moved heaven and earth to get the government, particularly Revenue Canada, to recognize the disability caused by COPD.

My statement today is intended not only to demonstrate our solidarity with our fellow citizens who suffer from these terrible diseases, but also to pay tribute to those who, like Mr. Lanthier, spare no effort to improve the well-being of others.

I invite all members of this House to find out more about the devastating effects of these diseases and to support current and future medical research initiatives.

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Carole-Marie Allard Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was a big day for the Liberal Party and this government's administration.

Finally the truth comes out. The Superior Court of Quebec made it clear to Bloc Quebecois MPs that they are exaggerating when they accuse the Liberal government of mismanaging the employment insurance fund.

I will quote from the ruling:

—in light of the evidence presented, the court is unable to conclude that the federal government used or appropriated the surplus accumulated pursuant to the legislation illegally. This surplus is still posted to the employment insurance account.

What a victory.

Will the members of the Bloc Quebecois finally understand that the people of Quebec are not stupid and that one day they will be unmasked? This only shows that truth always triumphs.

Westray Mine
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, today Bill C-45 will gain royal assent.

The Westray bill is a victory for working people across Canada and culminates 11 years of work by New Democrats in solidarity with families of mine disaster victims, Westray survivors, steelworkers and other trade union partners.

This brings us one step closer to ensuring that corporations are held liable for irresponsible working conditions that end up costing workers their lives.

Justice Peter Richard, who presided over the Westray public inquiry, described Westray, as, “a story of incompetence, mismanagement, bureaucratic bungling, deceit, ruthlessness, cover-up, apathy, expedience and cynical indifference”.

Bill C-45 will ensure in future that corporate managers and employers are held criminally responsible for endangering the lives of workers. Let there not be another Westray.

Arts and Culture
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot, ON

Mr. Speaker, soon Canadians will have the great pleasure of seeing and enjoying 13 late18th century watercolours of exceptional scenes from Quebec City, Montreal and other parts of eastern Canada.

These water-colours by Benjamin Fisher, a British painter and officer of the Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers, had been forgotten for 150 years in the basement of an English university.

Through the collaboration of both the National Archives of Canada and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, and with financial assistance from the Department of Canadian Heritage, these rare and magnificent works will be returned to Canada.

Camp Borden
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, in 1917 the Royal Flying Corps constructed a string of 17 purpose-built military aircraft hangars at Camp Borden, north of Toronto.

By the end of the first world war, 1,184 pilots had trained there. Again, during the second world war, this base was used to train not only Canadian pilots, but airmen from allied countries around the world.

Since that time these historic aircraft hangars have been so neglected they have fallen into a complete state of disrepair. Sadly, only eight hangars remain standing today.

Considered the birthplace of the Royal Canadian Air Force, these hangars were designated a national historic site in 1989. Yet the government has done virtually nothing to preserve this national treasure. Unbelievably, the Minister of National Defence has now authorized the destruction of three more hangars.

As usual his timing is impeccable. Despite Remembrance Day next Tuesday, he continues to support the destruction of these irreplaceable military heritage buildings.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, countries on the African continent need help fighting HIV-AIDS. They need medication and they need it now. Cabinet ministers put on a big flashy show yesterday when Bill C-56 was introduced. Now we want action to back up those flashy words.

Will the government commit to passing the bill today at all stages?

International Aid
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, several questions were asked on the floor of the House yesterday. This issue has been raised by a number of groups, NGOs, pharmaceutical companies, and a number of them have asked to testify before the parliamentary committee, which would be prepared to grant such a request.

A number of members on all sides of the House and I have had discussions today, and we certainly are prepared to have second reading go through today and to allow witnesses who want to appear before committee to be heard.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister just about wrenched his shoulder yesterday patting himself on the back with regard to the bill, and the government would have us now believe it is still committed to the bill.

When countries are facing a crisis situation, why is the government now dragging its feet on this issue?

International Aid
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. Yesterday we took an enormously important step on a matter of humanitarian importance. We introduced legislation as the first developed country to implement this international agreement to make drugs available on an affordable basis to the developing world.

We are committed to that. We are the ones behind it. We want to get it through second reading today and in front of committee to ensure that every group, the NGOs and the drug companies, have their chance to speak to the bill. If it can be improved, it will be improved.

Let there be no doubt about our commitment to this humanitarian bill.

International Aid
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, such outrage.

Led by the Leader of the Opposition and all parties on this side of the House, we have agreed to immediately pass the bill. The minister has not done his homework. The industry wants to have regulations before committee. It wants the bill passed.

Why did the government not do its homework and get the bill here so we could pass it immediately and help the people in Africa who need help now?

International Aid
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Etobicoke Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, he has the facts wrong. We have done our homework for the last two months. After the August 30th agreement, we prepared the bill. We were careful with the way we prepared it. We believe it is the right way to go. We are very proud of it.

The bill was introduced in the Prime Minister's name, and reflects his commitment to Africa and humanitarian causes. We are anxious to see it become law. We want it at second reading today so it can get to committee and ensure that the bill will do the job.

Let there be no doubt about the government's commitment. The bill is ready. Is the member ready to work with us in committee to ensure that it is ideal?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, Premiers Hamm and Lord were in Washington last week fighting to protect the interests of Atlantic Canada's softwood lumber industry. The main issue of discussion was the reinstatement of Atlantic Canada's longstanding exemption from countervail.

What has the government done to support Atlantic Canada's interests at the bargaining table in Washington?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Papineau—Saint-Denis
Québec

Liberal

Pierre Pettigrew Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, let me be very clear. It has been the government's point of view that remanufacturers should have always been out of this contestation and the challenge by the Americans.

Atlantic Canada's exemption has lasted for 25 years. We have been promoting the exemption of the Atlantic provinces from any measures. As far as I know, we have been very successful at exempting Atlantic Canada from the 18% duties that are imposed on the rest of the country. The government should be congratulated for that.