House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

2:10 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 Edmonton North.

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

Youth Science Month
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Lynn Myers Waterloo—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to invite all hon. members to participate in Youth Science Month. During the month of March over 500,000 students take part in science fairs all across Canada.

This year's competition will culminate in May at the Canada Wide Science Fair in Calgary. Students are involved with the support of their parents, numerous private sector sponsors and over 8,000 volunteers.

Our government has made a strong commitment to foster a culture of innovation in Canada and I am pleased to trumpet the efforts of the Youth Science Foundation which has been doing just that for over 40 years.

Youth Science Month is the first phase of Youth Science Foundation Canada's national awareness program called “Innovation for the Nation”. The program continues in the fall with the “What's Hot Forum” tour of key cities across Canada bringing young scientists together with academics, researchers and supporters to share and discover the newest challenges and ideas in science and technology.

I look forward to the opportunity to celebrate the future of science in Canada and I invite all hon. members to join me.

Infrastructure
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, last week the Liberal government presented another big city budget that provides virtually no support for rural Canada.

Although there are some provisions for infrastructure development, there are no guarantees to ensure that this money will actually be used for priorities such as water, sewer and roads, particularly in rural Canada where infrastructure is in steady decline.

One of the most disturbing results of this failure to reinvest in rural infrastructure are the “boil water” advisories in many regions across Canada, including Provencher. Water for all domestic purposes, such as for bathing children, for drinking or even for brushing teeth, must be carefully boiled before use.

Many Canadians feel that there are more Walkertons just waiting to happen.

Although investing in cultural centres is important, infrastructure money would be better aimed at ensuring safe drinking water for children. Taxpayer money should be used to improve the lives of ordinary Canadians instead of for pet projects in ministers' ridings.

Bison Industry
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the member for Wascana, Saskatchewan's minister in the Government of Canada, I wish to acknowledge the important contributions being made by the Canadian Bison Association and the Canadian Bison Marketing Council.

From near extinction just a century ago, there are now more than 225,000 head of bison across Canada. In fact, the bison industry is now the fastest growing sector in the Canadian livestock industry. Bison meat is a healthy, natural product with considerable cultural significance and a high international appeal. Canadian sales now exceed $50 million per year.

The Canadian Bison Association and the Canadian Bison Marketing Council have been instrumental in re-establishing the species and making it a viable commercial business. With over 1,200 members nationwide, they are committed to the promotion and development of the bison industry.

I would like to thank the chairmen, directors and executive staff involved for their continued efforts to seek improvements in areas such as trade and commerce, marketing, animal health, and disease surveillance. I wish them every success.

Budget 2003
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Carmen Provenzano Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is so much good news in budget 2003. Billions of dollars have been committed to increased spending in health care, social programs, municipal infrastructure and other important areas, all within the framework of a balanced budget.

What is amazing is that this new spending is occurring at the same time as the largest tax cut in Canada's history. The $100 billion five year reduction plan is being implemented. By the end of 2005 the average income Canadian will enjoy a 21% reduction in personal income taxes.

When this budget is considered in light of the government's firm commitments to balanced budgets and debt reduction, and the unprecedented cuts to personal income taxes, Canadians should view the future with optimism.

When the response to a new budget is delivered to an equal chorus of too much and not enough, the government has probably achieved the balance it seeks in its fiscal programs.

I congratulate the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, the former minister of finance and the entire cabinet for this historic achievement.

Winter Olympics 2010
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, last weekend the people of Vancouver voted to support the city's bid for the 2010 Olympics. The vote of confidence for the games has allowed the bid committee to move forward in planning for a successful bid for the 2010 winter Olympics.

I would like to congratulate all those who participated in the referendum. Whether they supported the bid or opposed it, democracy has spoken and now is the time for all Vancouverites to unite and ensure that Vancouver has the best bid and wins the 2010 games for Canada.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is the story of the Liberal Party and the several dwarfs.

The head of the dwarfs, whose name is Shifty, wanted to retire and many of the other dwarfs were eager to replace him.

One Newfoundland dwarf, named Fishy, was very interested but he had a falling out with Shifty and Fishy left politics.

Then there was this slick Toronto lawyer dwarf, whose name was Oily. But Oily was the author of several policy disasters and Oily withdrew from the race.

The Hamilton dwarf, Scary, is hoping to roll up the rim to win. Lord help us all.

The Ottawa dwarf is Grumpy, and that is his name too. Grumpy recently showed up at a day care and the kids, well, they are in therapy.

Finally there is the shipping magnate dwarf. His name is Richie. Richie is embroiled in an ethics controversy and apparently has entered the witness protection program because no one can find him; either that, or Shifty gave him the Shawinigan handshake and they will never find his body.

But no matter the outcome of the race to replace Shifty, it is an unhappy ending for Canadians.

Scott Tournament of Hearts
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday night Prince Edward Islanders watched with great pride the semi-final game in the Canadian women's curling championship, the Scott Tournament of Hearts.

Prince Edward Island's rookie team, comprised of Suzanne Gaudet and her teammates, Rebecca Jean MacPhee, Robyn MacPhee and Susan MacInnis, played a great game, but unfortunately lost to the Cunningham team from Newfoundland and Labrador.

Although they narrowly missed capturing the semi-final game, they certainly did not fail to capture our hearts. Their presence at the tournament and their record during round robin play was definitely the talk of the province. Gaudet and her team did extremely well in their first year at this level and we will all be watching this team in the future with great interest.

I would ask that everyone join me in congratulating Suzanne, Rebecca Jean, Robyn and Susan, as well as fifth Donna Butler and coach Paul Power for a tremendous effort.

Groupe Soucy
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to highlight a major investment made by a business that was started in Drummondville and that continues to expand there.

Groupe Soucy announced a $60 million investment that will create 630 jobs over the next three years, and protect the 1,100 existing jobs.

Since 1967, Groupe Soucy has specialized in designing and manufacturing parts and accessories for recreational, industrial and military vehicles.

The Government of Quebec provided the company with tax relief and a financial contribution because it has created and protected jobs and because it contributes to economic development and to promoting Quebec's expertise and know-how.

I am still stunned by the fact that the federal government did not want to support this type of project.

Congratulations to Gilles Soucy and to Groupe Soucy for their entrepreneurial spirit and for choosing to do business in one of the most beautiful regions of Quebec, the Centre-du-Québec.

Sri Lanka
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the success of the peace process in Sri Lanka is critical to all of us in the global community but most particular those Canadians originally from Sri Lanka.

There has been some initial success in maintaining an effective ceasefire over a number of months. We can only hope that the hostilities remain dormant while the negotiators do the difficult work of rebuilding the country fiscally and constitutionally. We call on all the parties to be measured and tempered in their language and in their responses to provocations.

Canada has played a significant role financially and has also supported the former premier of Ontario, Bob Rae, and the Forum of Federations.

Hopefully Mr. Rae and his colleagues will help the Tamil tigers and the government of Sri Lanka sort out a federal constitution that would enable a measure of peace and justice for all.

For those who are interested, VisionTV will feature an indepth interview with Mr. Rae tomorrow night at 8 o'clock on its flagship show 360 Vision . He will talk about the difficulties involved in uniting a bitterly divided country.

Canada can make a difference.

Member for Surrey Central
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, all of us in this Chamber work very hard but I want to mention something special about our colleague, the member for Surrey Central.

He became an MP in five years and eight months after immigrating to Canada, 2,005 days, a record in Canadian history. Today he has been an MP for exactly the same period of time.

During his two terms, in addition to serving his constituents well in the second most populous riding in the country, he has made a significant contribution to our Parliament. He not only actively participates in debates, he is in fact one of the most frequent speakers in the House.

He has introduced scores of motions and bills, among them recognizing foreign academic credentials, whistleblowers' protection, disallowance procedure for regulations and eliminating GST on top of other taxes.

He has been our deputy House leader and four times elected co-chair of the Joint House and Senate Committee on Scrutiny of Regulations and, I should say, one of the only two opposition members to chair any committee.

He has broken the Parliamentary record for consecutive voting attendance.

It is no wonder that we call him, on this special day, the “iron man of the Canadian Parliament”.

Black History Month
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, February is Black History Month and I would like to draw to the attention of the House the unique accomplishments of the black Canadians in Nova Scotia.

The black community in Nova Scotia has strong roots. In fact Sydney, Nova Scotia is the site of one of the first black settlements in Canada, Whitney Pier.

The first Nova Scotian to win a Victoria Cross was William Hall, a black sailor from King's county. This is the highest military honour in the British Empire.

The son of freed slaves, William Hall joined the royal navy. He served in India where he was cited for his heroic actions. Hall's ship came to the relief of a besieged garrison and, despite taking heavy enemy fire that killed or wounded the rest of his crew, he continued firing cannons until the walls were breached. For this, he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

The accomplishments of black Nova Scotians is a testament to their vital contribution to our history.

CN Rail
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport has introduced legislation to provide for review of significant merger proposals in transportation services under federal jurisdiction. This is welcome to the extent that it leads to something meaningful but, unfortunately, the horse is already out of the barn when it comes to the CNR. Its merger with Illinois Central has already resulted in the virtual takeover of a formerly Canadian railway, now owned and operated by Americans.

At the CN shops in Transcona there is a plan in place to demolish the only shop left in Canada that can lift a locomotive by crane, thus destroying an industrial capacity that has existed since the shop was built almost 100 years ago, in 1909.

Would a company with a truly Canadian point of view allow such a thing to happen? I think not. I urge CN to change its plans.

In the meantime, shame on the Liberals for allowing the privatization of CN, the conditionless merger with Illinois Central, the silent takeover of our largest railway and the export of jobs. The legislation comes too late.

Peace
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, not long ago there was a march for peace in my riding, in which students and teachers from a dozen elementary schools in Longueuil took part.

To show their support, students from Félix-Leclerc elementary school from grades 2 through 6 created poignant posters, cards and messages for peace.

All of nine years old, Raphaëlle Bouchard presented me with these remarkable projects that are symbols of hope, asking me to voice their concerns to the Prime Minister to make him aware of the type of society in which they want to live, and their fears of an impending war.

As a mother of young children, I must say that the social conscience demonstrated by this peaceful protest and the concrete actions taken by these young people had a profound effect on me. As their representative here in the House of Commons, I am happy to be their spokesperson and to tell them that I stand with them in their call for peace.

Employment Assistance
Statements By Members

February 26th, 2003 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, 2003 marks the 10th anniversary of the self-employment assistance program in Toronto, a unique program that provides opportunities for unemployed Canadians.

Through Social and Enterprise Development Innovations, a national organization based in Toronto that manages the SEA program on behalf HRDC Canada, unemployed Canadians are given support and guidance to set up their own businesses and become self-sufficient.

Since it was established 10 years ago, over 5,000 clients in Toronto have started companies that generate over $130 million per year.

There is no doubt that small business is vital to the health of Canada's economy. The self-employment assistance program serves over 10,000 clients annually across the country. I congratulate HRDC and the Social and Enterprise Development Innovations.