House of Commons Hansard #59 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

Festival du Voyageur
Statements by Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, beginning tomorrow, February 14, and until February 23, the Festival du Voyageur will take place in historic St. Boniface. It is western Canada's largest winter festival.

The festival welcomes over 150,000 visitors every year and generates economic spinoffs of over $11 million in Manitoba.

The Festival du Voyageur, which has won major national and international awards, draws many performers from all regions of Canada. Through activities such as the Governor's Ball and the Festin du bourgeois, the festival pays tribute to the first Canadian pioneers in the west, who played a vital role in the fur trade, from Montreal to Louisiana.

During the Festival du Voyageur, Fort Gibraltar, the Rivière-Rouge Trading Post and Fort de la Reine will bring back to life the francophone, Metis and aboriginal traditions of the Red River colony in the 19th century.

The friendly Franco-Manitoban community is proud of its heritage and invites everyone to share its joie de vivre and warm up Manitoba's winter.

Winterlude Winners
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the sixth edition of the Canada snow sculpture competition at the Ottawa Winterlude festival was held from February 3 to 9.

I am very proud to say that this year's Alberta team was represented by individuals from my riding of Red Deer. Dawn Detarando, Will Truchon and Brian McArthur, captain of the team, had 43 hours to sculpt their block of snow. It was judged on technical merit and artistic impression.

The Winterlude theme was the spirit of Canada. Dawn's, Will's and Brian's proposal, called “The Magic Canoe”, certainly captured this theme. The sculpting of this unique canoe used by the voyageurs to represent Canada's fur trade history, and many other Canadian depictions, were all part of the presentation.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate team Alberta for being selected to participate in this celebrated event and applaud them for taking second place in the contest. I would like to thank them for sharing their artistic talents so that all Canadians could enjoy them.

Suicide Prevention
Statements by Members

February 13th, 2003 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, suicide is a phenomenon that affects all age groups and social classes and, sometimes, it can strike very close to home.

February 9 to 15 is the 13th Quebec suicide prevention week. The main objective of this event is to convince young people that suicide is neither a solution nor an option.

Quebec has the highest suicide rate in Canada. Suicide is currently the number one cause of death among teenagers, closely followed by accidents.

We must recognize the efforts being made by professionals to prevent these tragedies. To this end, I want to stress the excellent work done by l'Ensoleillée, a mental health community resource centre in Lac-Mégantic, and particularly Dany Couture, for his involvement. Mr. Couture is urging the public to stress the importance of being personally involved in the prevention of suicide. Care and treatment can save lives. Suicide prevention is everyone's business.

François Joseph
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Industry Canada Computers for Schools Program.

Recently, a gentleman in my riding was honoured for his involvement in this program.

François Joseph of the Computers For Schools Technology Centre in Hull received a Top Volunteer of the Year Award, for his energetic and enthusiastic contributions over the past two years or more.

He has repaired some 225 computers and has also been a great help to students.

This program facilitates access by young Canadians to computer technology in a school setting.

Congratulations to Mr. Joseph. Without him, the program would never have expanded as rapidly as it has.

Curling
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

John O'Reilly Haliburton—Victoria—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, at the recent provincial curling championship, the Nokia Cup, held in Mississauga at the Hershey Centre, a demonstration game was held by two special Olympic teams.

I wish to congratulate both teams, but in particular the team from Lindsay, Ontario, skipped by Tim Keenan. His rink consisted of vice Dale Morgan, second Rob Bowins and lead Jason Kilgannon.

Coaches Finni Verbik, Elizabeth Crum, Susan Banks and Lorraine Mullen can be proud of their work with the team known as the Hard Rockers.

Sex Offender Registry
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gary Lunn Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, in March 2001 the government voted in favour of establishing a sex offender registry. Parliament ordered the government to complete it by January 2002. Two years later it finally introduced a bill that does not address the problem.

First, the legislation is not retroactive. Sex offenders have a recidivism rate of 40% but still not a single sex offender currently doing time will be part of that date base, and it is in the thousands. Worse, once an offender is convicted, an application still has to be made at the time of sentencing to even put his name on the list. Even then, an offender can apply to have his name kept off the list if it would cause them “greater harm than public good”.

The last thing we need to do is clog up our already overworked courts with appeals by rapists to respect their privacy. Bill C-23 is a perfect example of how Liberals make policy. It is weak-kneed, it has no direction, and it relies on the courts to make the hard decisions instead of Parliament. They should be ashamed of this bill.

Labrador Winter Games
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence O'Brien Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, from March 9 to 15, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador will host the eighth Labrador Winter Games, held every three years. This is the 20th anniversary of the first games, which were held in 1983.

The winter games are an important institution in Labrador. Athletes come together for friendly competition from every town and village. The games feature indoor and outdoor winter sports, including many competitions with a unique northern and Labrador flavour. There is also a strong cultural element, with entertainers from every region and culture making up the Big Land.

Congratulations go out to the organizers, volunteers, athletes and other participants in the 2003 Labrador Winter Games. I invite everyone across Labrador and Canada to take part in this unique celebration of Labrador community spirit.

Renewable Energy
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Julian Reed Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, with his first budget just days away, I would like to take this opportunity to remind the Minister of Finance and the House of the tremendous potential of biofuels.

Investing in biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel could mean new jobs, improved energy security, rural development, improved health for our constituents and decreased emissions of greenhouse gases. With new technology and falling costs, we must act now to reap the benefits.

We have taken first steps but we can and must do more. Rural caucus members from this side of the House have called for a $400 million investment in a national renewable fuels strategy to provide incentives so that we can produce enough biofuel right here in Canada. I look forward to hearing good news in the budget.

Ice Golf
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, there will be a special event going on in my riding of Rimouski—Neigette-et-la Mitis from February 21 to 23 this year. A golf tournament will be held on the ice of the St. Lawrence River. The first edition, planned for 2002, could not take place because of insufficient ice cover, but this year there is plenty, and then some.

There will be a nine-hole course on the ice at Rimouski, opposite Île Saint-Barnabé. The distance between holes will be 30% less than standard, to reflect the winter temperatures and the surface played on. Since the greens will be white, the game will have to be played with coloured balls.

This original idea will attract about one hundred golfers from the Lower St. Lawrence, Gaspé and Quebec City, offering them the opportunity to demonstrate their skills on an icy surface while getting plenty of fresh air.

I wish to draw attention to this local event and to congratulate the organizers for this opportunity to have a different kind of fun during our Quebec winter.

Member for LaSalle--Émard
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, there has been a sighting. The constituents of LaSalle--Émard had their MP surface in the House of Commons just the other day. He walks, he talks, he votes, but not very often. It is a big old country out there and it keeps a guy busy criss-crossing it, don't you know. He hardly has the time to take a stand, for goodness' sake. In fact, we would like to know where he really does stand.

On the gun registry: set your sights on this, Mr. Speaker. He okayed the cash for that billion dollar boondoggle.

On the health care crisis: he said “I will fix it”. No, wait a minute. He signed all the orders to choke the funding so badly, it is on life support.

On democracy: oh yes, he is the great defender. No, wait a minute, that is, he is the great pretender.

On Iraq: Silence is golden.

On defence: he said “I will raise money for defence”. Oops, I am sure it was he who was the one that drove a tank right through their budget. Well, tanks for nothing.

But in the spirit of the season, let me say to him:

Roses are red, Violets are blue. We need a new Prime Minister, But it sure ain't you.

Canadian Flag
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Yolande Thibeault Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, every year, there are celebrations to commemorate the first time the red and white maple leaf flag was raised, on February 15, 1965.

This day, long awaited by the proponents of a distinctive flag, marked the official adoption of Canada's emblem. The red maple leaf then became the symbol by which Canada was recognized around the world.

The following words, spoken by the Hon. Maurice Bourget, Speaker of the Senate, on February 15, 1965, add further symbolic meaning to our flag:

The flag is the symbol of the nation's unity, for it, beyond any doubt, represents all the citizens of Canada without distinction of race, language, belief or opinion.

So, let us be proud of our Canadian flag.

Federal Electoral Boundaries
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the boundaries commission for the province of New Brunswick submitted its report to the House.

It is sad to note that the concerns of the stakeholders and people of my riding were not taken into consideration.

In fact, upon the appointment of this commission's officers, I objected to how it was done. Three individuals from the southern part of the province, all great Liberal Party supporters, ended up sitting on this commission.

Also, I would like to point out that these officers had been nominated by the Minister of Labour and minister responsible for New Brunswick. As I always said, there has been and still is a conflict of interest within this commission.

The result of the undemocratic process that took place is the following: francophone parishes will be deported, so to speak, to a community with a large anglophone majority. This is the deportation all over again, another slap in the face for the francophones of New Brunswick.

Iraq
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, in an article in Le Nouvelliste , published in Trois-Rivières on February 11, it was reported that opponents to the war in Iraq had a new ally, namely Shawinigan, the Prime Minister's home town.

In fact, the municipal council of Shawinigan passed a resolution stating that the town:

opposed Canada's participation in any military action against Iraq without the backing of a UN Security Council resolution and Canadian law.

Knowing that several municipalities in Quebec, Canada and the United States have already passed resolutions opposing any declaration of war without UN approval, we can only hope that the Prime Minister will finally get with the program, knowing that his own constituents in Shawinigan have joined their voices to those of millions around the world.

The Prime Minister must know that this war can be avoided and that he has a role to play in opposing any unsanctioned military action.

Churchill Heights Public School
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the grade 8 students from Churchill Heights Public School to Ottawa today. The students have travelled to Ottawa from my riding of Scarborough Centre to visit the Parliament Buildings and to better understand how their government functions. I will have the opportunity also to meet with them later this afternoon.

It is very important that all students take the opportunity to visit Parliament to experience firsthand how the legislative process works. As such, I encourage all my constituents to do as the students of Churchill Heights and visit Ottawa in the near future.

Again, I welcome Churchill Heights students and staff and I thank them for visiting us today. I am sure that they will leave Parliament inspired and proud to be Canadians.

Veterans Affairs
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, for several months now I have been asking questions about Canadian veterans who were exposed to mustard gas testing during World War II. The U.S. has just announced that it will compensate its veterans who were involved in these experiments.

Last week the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence stated that he was looking at the American initiative.

While I am pleased to see that our government is finally acting, why must we wait to study the American decision? Did the parliamentary secretary's response indicate that had the Americans not taken this decision the Canadian government would have done nothing? Are we not old enough to stand on our own two feet, admit our mistakes and correct them without guidance from the U.S.? Why not make our own decisions and let the Americans study ours?

After 58 years of frustration, is it not time to compensate these veterans who gave so much for this country during the dark days of World War II? Providing these veterans with compensation is the least we can do, considering what they did for Canada.