House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was iraq.

Topics

Passports
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, last month members of Parliament received a letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs indicating that the passport process would be streamlined and that the lengthy delays experienced since September 11 would be minimized.

To date there has been little or no improvement. My staff must deal with ever increasing casework on passports that now represent over 40% of my constituency work.

Frustrated constituents are anxious as to whether they will have their passports or have to forfeit their vacations. In many cases, passports only arrive the day before or the same day of travel. This creates considerable stress for all concerned. My office is also having difficulty accessing accurate information on these files.

Enough is enough. This situation is unacceptable and must be improved.

Environment Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, I was extremely disappointed to hear the news that Environment Canada intends to move its forecast centre from Fredericton to Halifax. This will remove from the New Brunswick Weather Centre its primary function: providing weather forecasts and severe weather warnings for New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

In addition to providing that service, the New Brunswick Weather Centre provides 24 hour a day bilingual service, not only for New Brunswick but for the entire Atlantic region.

While I am pleased that the portion of the weather service that addresses environmental protection and conservation will remain in our province, I regret the extent of personnel change that the move from Fredericton will involve. I feel New Brunswickers are entitled to a more comprehensive service from within.

For those reasons I will continue to work with my colleagues, who represent the other eight offices affected, to convince the minister and Environment Canada to reconsider their position and keep the forecast centre in New Brunswick.

World Tuberculosis Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, today is World Tuberculosis Day. On this important day the World Health Organization has announced the achievement of a major milestone in global efforts to fight the resurgent epidemic of tuberculosis.

Over 10 million TB patients have now been successfully treated under DOTS, the internationally recommended TB control strategy. Of these, more than 90% live in developing countries where the disease causes the most suffering, economic loss and death.

I would note as well that the TB epidemic is growing unabated in sub-Saharan Africa, where it is closely linked to HIV-AIDS and poverty, and in many of the newly independent states arising after the breakup of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, where it is exacerbated by poverty and social disruption. In some high HIV countries of sub-Saharan Africa, TB rates have quadrupled since the mid-1980s and threaten to overwhelm well established control programs.

Today I am calling on the Canadian government to put more resources into the global fight against tuberculosis and also to recognize that aboriginal communities in Canada and northern communities have rates of tuberculosis that are in many cases devastatingly high.

Action Week Against Racism
Statements By Members

March 24th, 2003 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was the last day of Action Week Against Racism. Created in March 2000 by a group of some 20 Quebec organizations, the aim of this week is to demystify racism and raise the level of understanding about this problem to better fight the phenomenon.

These days, racism is particularly noticeable in the work force. It is mostly women and visible minorities who are still the targets of discrimination. The latest statistics from Statistics Canada prove this. Recent immigrants earn much less than their Canadian-born counterparts, even ten years after they have been here. This is as much a problem for immigrants who are not well educated as for those who have a university degree.

Quebec has the most innovative policies to address all forms of racism. The Bloc Quebecois would like to congratulate the Government of Quebec for the inclusive measures it has put in place.

Achievement in Geography
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure and privilege to stand in the House and recognize outstanding Canadians and their achievements. Today I rise to acknowledge one such remarkable individual, Dr. Barry Wellar, professor of geography at the University of Ottawa.

The Association of American Geographers recently awarded Barry Wellar the James R. Anderson Medal of Honour in Applied Geography in recognition of a lifetime of achievement in applied geographic research and implementation.

For over 40 years Barry Wellar has pioneered research into projects ranging from satellite imagery and remote sensing to rural and urban development. I am proud to have had Barry Wellar contribute to the work of the Prime Minister's caucus task force on urban issues last year. He has brought the science of applied geography into public policy. His knowledge and expertise is sought the world over.

I ask members to join with me in congratulating Professor Barry Wellar on his special medal of honour.

Infrastructure
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, the government is becoming famous for its downloading. The government downloads on the provinces, the provinces download on the municipalities, and the municipalities are left with the horrendous debts.

In relation to the infrastructure program, in the recent budget we heard an announcement of $3 billion for infrastructure. It sounds like a lot of money until we are told that $1 billion goes to special projects and $2 billion is spread over ten years; ten years spread across the country does very little.

Again, it is a government of downloading and downsizing. Let us hope that the people of Canada take a lesson and start downsizing the government opposite.

Canadian Firearms Program
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the beginning, the application and management of the firearms program has been nothing but a comedy of errors and administrative blunders. The negligence of the Minister of Justice and the officials who report to him could only have led straight to the financial disaster that was revealed last fall by the Auditor General.

Instead of trying to make changes to the program, changes that are cosmetic, the government should instead suspend it immediately in order to thoroughly clean up the mess and finally put an end to this waste of public money.

I therefore invite all members, government and opposition alike, to vote against granting an additional $59 million to the Canadian firearms program tomorrow.

Sports Awards
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this occasion to congratulate St. Catharines Athlete and Sportsperson of the Year recipients Liz Earley and Joe Corrigan.

In July 2002 Liz Earley won the Whirlpool Canadian PGA Women's Championship tournament at the St. Catharines Golf and Country Club, a course where she had been a member for 23 years, and in front of her friends and parents, Dave and Glenda Earley. Liz is a former scholarship golfer at the University of Central Florida and has been a professional golfer for 10 years. She finished the year at 14 on the Futures Tour money list, made 17 of 18 cuts and had three top 10 finishes.

Joe Corrigan has worked tirelessly to promote boxing in the St. Catharines community. Joe is a coach at the St. Catharines Boxing Club and worked to ensure an average of 25 boxing cards each year on the provincial, national and international levels. He also organized the 2002 Canadian Men's and Women's Boxing Championships, which were held for the first time in St. Catharines last year.

On behalf of the House of Commons, I wish to commend both Liz Earley and Joe Corrigan on their fine achievements and for being recognized for those accomplishments by my community, St. Catharines, Ontario.

Child Pornography
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, society is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable members. Nowhere is the Liberal anti-family policy more evident than in its defence of child pornographers.

The Canadian Alliance joins with the Canadian Police Association in calling for laws that protect our children from exploitation by older persons, including raising the age of consent to 16 and the need for a national sex offender registry to track all convicted sex offenders released into our neighbourhoods.

It is a tragedy that concerned Canadian parents have to call a U.S. government tip line to report child pornography and other suspicious activities on the Internet when people like Rebecca Warren and David Ellis at BytesCanada Incorporated, from Pembroke, and their tracking team have assisted in 131 arrests in spite of the federal government and could provide a made in Canada service.

It is clear that only a Canadian Alliance government will protect our children.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on Friday the Minister of Foreign Affairs did not rule out participation in the allied military campaign in Iraq. The government has now had the weekend to reflect on subsequent events and to reconsider its position. Is the government now prepared to stand with our American and British friends for the end of the rule of Saddam Hussein?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our position has always been that we believe very strongly that our American colleagues should be engaged in this activity through a multilateral process, which we urge. We continue to urge that conduct. We continue to maintain our policy. We will continue to act in a way which will strengthen the multilateral system because we believe strongly this is the best way that we will have a long term result, which is the benefit for the world and for Canadians.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we do not believe in sacrificing our friends and our interests to a veto of Jacques Chirac.

A reason the government should reconsider its position is that it appears some allied POWs may have been executed by Saddam's soldiers. It is certainly clear that Saddam's treatment of allied personnel is a blatant violation of the Geneva convention. Given these realities, does the government now regret that it is not standing with our American and British friends in the fight against Saddam?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the very principles the Leader of the Opposition has raised here are principles of international law and those are the very principles that have guided our conduct here today.

One cannot maintain on the one hand that certain behaviour must be in conformity with the international regime and not at the same time work on the multilateral system to make that regime apply. We will continue to work on that. We totally disapprove of any violation of the Geneva conventions. We have always taken and will continue to maintain that policy. We totally disapprove of any conduct that would violate the Geneva conventions.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, two world wars demonstrated that principles do not matter unless one is prepared to fight and stand for them.

Saddam is not just killing allied personnel. He is threatening his own people. He has placed military buildings inside residential areas. We have documented evidence of him using women and children as human shields. These are also violations of the Geneva convention.

When will the government reverse its decision to abandon our allies and fight Saddam?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the conduct of Canadian men and women in the field in two world wars demonstrated that this country and the people of this country are willing to fight for their principles and have never shied away from a fight, but we are willing to fight under terms which are supported by the Canadian population and which we believe are appropriate in the circumstances, and we will continue to have that conduct in spite of all these attacks from the opposition.