House of Commons Hansard #77 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was registration.

Topics

Semaine de la Francophonie
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak of some of the high points of the Semaine de la Francophonie in Saint-Boniface.

On March 13, the Minister of Heritage and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs chose Collège Louis-Riel as the venue for announcing the first component of the Action Plan for Official Languages: education.

On March 18 and 19, I had the privilege of welcoming to Saint-Boniface His Excellency Boutros Boutros-Ghali, accompanied by the Secretary of State for the Francophonie and the Minister of Veterans Affairs. Their tour included a meal at Fort Gibraltar and visits to Maison Gabrielle-Roy and the Maison des artistes francophones de l'ouest, and culminated with inauguration of the Ronald J. Duhamel scholarship at the Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate two prize winners from Saint-Boniface who were honoured at the Montfort awards gala. Charles Laflèche of Momentum Healthware was the winner of the “Communications/New Technologies” award for his enterprising spirit. The warmth of welcome of the Festival du Voyageur was recognized in the “Rapprochement” category.

At the gala for small and medium businesses, Franco-Manitoba was ably represented by four notable finalists: Émeuville, les Fermes Vielfaure, JOGO Canada and Momentum Healthware.

I am proud to say that Saint-Boniface is doing its share on behalf of the Canadian francophonie.

Justice
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Police Association and the Police Association of Ontario represent thousands of front line police officers across Canada. They should be congratulated for their admirable leadership role in advancing public safety by calling on the federal government to institute a national sex offender registry, to reform the youth justice system, to toughen up our laws against organized crime and to reform our parole system.

The Canadian Alliance hopes that the police associations will also stand with the opposition in supporting today's motion calling on the federal government to determine the total costs of the firearms program, to provide a comprehensive cost benefit analysis for the program and to reduce funding to that program until this analysis has been completed.

Regardless of where Canadians stand on this important issue, it is important that all of us hold the Liberal government accountable for its spending of taxpayers' money.

75th Annual Academy Awards
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, this past Sunday, amid all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Canadians once again proved we could compete with the best in the entertainment industry. Canadians featured prominently in several significant categories, including Nia Vardalos' nomination for best screenplay for the hugely successful, filmed in Toronto, My Big Fat Greek Wedding .

Canadian winners include parts of the team from the acclaimed picture Chicago , again filmed in Toronto. The academy gave nods to Chicago 's Gordon Sim for set decoration and David Lee for his audio work.

For me, the big win was Michael Donovan and his team at Salter Street in Halifax. This amazing company produced this year's best picture documentary, the critical and box office smash Bowling for Columbine .

Well deserved congratulations to one and all.

Wilfred Lebouthillier
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today to highlight the participation of one of my constituents, Wilfred Lebouthillier of Tracadie-Sheila, in the Star Académie contest on TVA television. Since he was named to the team of finalists, his great talent as a singer and his stage presence have not gone unnoticed.

Wilfred is a terrific example of the fact that there is huge potential in New Brunswick and that with determination, dreams can come true. So, congratulations to Wilfred on his interpretation of Jean Batailleur by Zachary Richard.

May he take advantage of each moment at the academy and know that we cannot wait for his return in Acadia.

We are all very proud of him and want him to know that the riding of Acadie-Bathurst and New Brunswick are behind him all the way.

He is already a star to us. Good luck, Wilfred, and many thanks.

Dairy Industry
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's ice cream industry is suffering due to inaction by the federal government. In just seven years, this industry has seen its production drop by 86%.

Mass imports of a cream substitute, butter oil and sugar to be specific, from the United States and New Zealand, have dealt this industry a hard blow. And it is Quebec's dairy producers who are being hurt the most.

The chair of the Fédération des producteurs de lait du Québec, Jean Grégoire, estimates that Quebec farmers specializing in milk production are losing $300 million per year, due to this butter oil and sugar mixture.

In light of this situation, the federal government must amend the regulations so that this mixture is subject to tariffs as requested by members of the Fédération des producteurs de lait du Québec.

Greece
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, March 25, 2003 marks the 182nd anniversary of the independence of my country of origin, Greece.

I invite all members of the House to join all Hellenic Canadians in celebrating this anniversary in their respective ridings.

I am pleased and honoured that today's anniversary coincides with the first ever commemorative stamp issuance by Canada Post honouring Hellenism and celebrating the 75th anniversary of the American Hellenic Educational and Progressive Association, AHEPA, in Canada. This commemorative stamp will be unveiled in West Block this evening and I invite all members of the House to come and participate with our right hon. Prime Minister. There will be over 400 Canadians and Americans of Hellenic origin at this historic event.

I am proud of my Hellenic heritage, just as I am proud of being Canadian. Here in Canada, my second patrida , we uphold the very same ideals born from Greece, my country of birth: the ideals of freedom, democracy, justice and the promotion of peace worldwide.

Mr. Speaker, I wish everyone:

[Editor's Note: Member spoke in Greek as follows:]

Zito i Ellas! Zito o Kanadas!

Firearms Program
Statements By Members

March 25th, 2003 / 2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, today the Liberal members have an opportunity to right an eight year wrong. Those members of the Liberal caucus, along with members of our party, whose principles led them to oppose gun registration in 1995 are proven correct.

Since its inception, the gun registry program has been ineffectual, unenforceable and wasteful. It is time to stop the bleeding. Gun registration has already cost Canadian taxpayers $1 billion and will cost another $1 billion over the next number of years. Many Canadians feel this money could have been better spent.

The Liberal member for Nipissing stated today, “I think we are just in too far; you get in so far then you can't get out”. He is wrong. They can get out.

Do not throw good money after bad. The next $1 billion should pay for nurses, MRIs and marine patrol helicopters, not a Liberal policy black hole.

Also, Mr. Speaker, please join me in wishing my very dear friend and colleague, the member for St. John's West, all the best today on his 60th birthday.

Middle East
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Colleen Beaumier Brampton West—Mississauga, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the world's attention is turned to Iraq, an Israeli member of parliament is promoting the transfer or expulsion of Palestinians out of the West Bank and Gaza into Jordan.

MP Benny Elon is promoting the idea in a glossy brochure distributed to the U.S. Congress. Mr. Elon appeared at the annual convention of the Christian Coalition where he promoted the relocation of Palestinians.

Over 100 Israeli academics are circulating a letter warning about talk of transfer, a sanitized term for ethnic cleansing. The current ruling coalition government in Israel includes Mr. Elon's National Union Party which actively promotes the idea of transfer.

There is concern that the Israeli army might use a U.S.-led war on Iraq as a cover to expel segments of the Palestinian society from their homes. The international community must ensure that crimes against humanity will not be tolerated and that the fourth Geneva convention is not breached.

Canada-U.S. Trade
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is fortunate that despite the outbreak of war in Iraq and increased security at the border, Canadian commerce still flows across the border to the United States.

The importance of our trade with the U.S. cannot be underestimated. Despite a slight drop in exports last year, one-third of our economy is still based on Canada-U.S. trade. That equates to over five million jobs.

Our reliance on the U.S. as a trading partner continues to grow. Without our trade surplus with the Americans, Canada's $54 billion surplus would have been a $40 billion deficit.

What is truly astounding about these economic numbers is that they come at a time when the Canadian government's influence on Washington is at a historic low. Meanwhile, ministers and members opposite think that it is acceptable to bad-mouth the American people and the American government.

Our trade disputes over the last few years are just the tip of the iceberg. It should come as little surprise to Canadians that when decisions are made by the Liberal government, they will come back to haunt us.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last week the Prime Minister said he was against regime change in Iraq from the outside. Yesterday the foreign affairs minister said, “We as a government are supportive of the United States' desire to get rid of Saddam Hussein”.

What is the government's position today on Saddam Hussein?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I always said that we went to the United Nations because since 1991 Saddam Hussein did not comply with the obligation that he took at that time to destroy the armaments of massive destruction. That was the purpose of resolution 1441 that we supported and that we were working on with the United Nations. That was the way that it had to be done, through the United Nations with the support of the United Nations. Those who have decided to go to war at this time have used 1441 as a reason.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister failed to answer my question. Canadians want Saddam Hussein removed and the Prime Minister should stand with them.

I will give the Prime Minister one more chance to answer this question clearly. Does the Prime Minister hope to see the allies remove Saddam Hussein?

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when he is threatening me I am very frightened. I am shaking in my boots.

I stated the position of the government clearly last week. I said, and I repeat, that the intervention there is to ensure that Saddam Hussein is disarmed. The question of changing regime is not a policy that is acceptable under the United Nations charter because it is a position that has been stated by this government and by the previous government, the Conservative government of 1990-91, and other leaders in the past.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, these flip-flops will not go unnoticed. The anti-American remarks from the government have not gone unnoticed, neither has its failure to stand by our friends and allies.

Today, the American ambassador stated that the United States would stand behind Canada in a crisis without debate and without hesitation, and he asked why we are not doing the same for our friends now.

When will the government do the right thing and back our American friends and allies because, frankly sir, you are embarrassing us.

Iraq
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.