House of Commons Hansard #106 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of Zimbabwe's opposition movement, the MDC, and two others are on trial in Harare on trumped up charges of treason, a violation that carries the death penalty.

Our government has information that will exonerate these three men. Indeed, in the House the government said that it had released this information. However, that is not the case. Instead, the government released whited-out pieces of paper with nothing on them.

Why does the government not release this information? If it does not, Mr. Tsvangirai and two others will go to the gallows and we will have allowed three innocent men to be executed, knowing full well we had the information to save their lives.

Furthermore, our utter unwillingness to speak out against Mugabe has allowed a dramatic upsurge in sexual violence against women and girls, the withholding of food aid from the starving, and anarchy to destroy the former breadbasket of Africa.

What kind of a foreign policy do we have when we sit on our hands in the face of genocide, state sponsored rape and state sponsored murder?

Legion of Honour
Statements By Members

May 27th, 2003 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, during a visit to Canada that will also see him presiding at the ceremonies commemorating Champlain's first voyage to Quebec, the Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honour and General of the Air Force Jean-Philippe Douin, presented the insignia of Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour to our former Governor General, the Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc.

General Raymond Hénault, Chief of the Defence Staff, received the decoration of Commander of the Legion of Honour.

In addition, Commissioner Giulianno Zaccardelli of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Lieutenant-General Michel Maisonneuve, Chief of Staff, Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic, were made Officers of the Legion of Honour.

Membership in the Legion of Honour is one of the highest honours awarded by the Republic of France; consequently, the Government of Canada is very pleased with this announcement and extends congratulations to the new members.

Steel Industry
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently John Mayberry retired as chairman of the board and CEO of Dofasco Inc. in Hamilton. Mr. Mayberry joined Dofasco in 1967. Following a 21 year career in sales and marketing, he held the position of chief executive officer for 10 years.

Throughout his career, Mr. Mayberry has participated in numerous industry related associations, including the Canadian Steel Producers Association and the International Iron and Steel Institute. He was also the first non-American to chair the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Despite the crises and multi-million dollar losses in the steel industry over the last decade, Mr. Mayberry and his team led his company to recovery by using a blend of homegrown smarts and global best practices. With Mr. Mayberry at the helm, Dofasco Inc. has innovated its way to becoming one of the most profitable steel companies in the world.

I am sure members will join me in recognizing John Mayberry for his valued contribution to the steel industry and the Hamilton community and wish him all the best in his retirement years.

International Development
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week I had the pleasure of announcing, on behalf of the Minister for International Cooperation, $400,000 in financial support to the Collège de la région de l'Amiante for a development project in Tunisia.

This funding from the Canadian International Development Agency's Canadian College Partnership Program is intended to support the development of new mineral technology and geo-environmental programs.

The Collège de la région de l'Amiante will provide the Higher Institute for Technological Studies in Gafsa, Tunisia, with technical, human and educational resources to train technicians to better manage water, which is a rare commodity in Gafsa, Tunisia.

Gafsa is a mining and industrial region not unlike Amiante. Consequently, this type of initiative can benefit both countries. I would like to applaud everyone who combined their efforts to make this great expertise development opportunity possible.

Thank you and vive le Canada.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is just so unlike the government to ignore a western issue, but the unlikely has happened.

The Prime Minister's Office has let it be known that yesterday the Prime Minister broke the ice and called President Bush. We can imagine how thick that ice must have been. But when he finally called, did he talk about mad cow disease and the closed U.S. border, the single biggest crisis to face Canadian agriculture in a generation? No. Or at least not that he can remember. He does remember talking about the Montreal Expos but he is drawing a blank when it comes to the Alberta Angus and the Saskatchewan Charolais.

Maybe that is appropriate. The Prime Minister might as well end his reign in the same way as he started it. In his 40 year career he has never made an attempt to try to understand western and rural issues or apparently even to take them seriously.

Does it matter to him that thousands of farm families and entrepreneurs may lose everything they have worked for their entire lives? Based on what he remembers about his call to President Bush, I guess the answer is no.

Foreign Affairs
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, this month Sri Lanka experienced a devastating flood which killed and injured hundreds of people and made many homeless. This is just one more disaster for the people of Sri Lanka.

As we know, the people of Sri Lanka have experienced civil war for the last 20 years, which has been disastrous for the tiny island nation. Currently there is a tenuous ceasefire and a fragile peace process.

For those who care about Sri Lanka and its people, it is very important that supportive nations step forward. It is important that Canada be not only at the peace table but also at the donors conference next month and also be seen to be helping in ways beyond the $100,000 pledged for disaster relief. It is important not only for the people of Sri Lanka; it is also important for those Canadians of Sri Lankan origin.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, historian Camil Girard reminds us how Samuel de Champlain and a French delegation were welcomed with respect and deference by the Innu in Tadoussac 400 years ago. On May 27, 1603, Grand Chief Anadabijou and François Gravé du Pont, representative of the King of France, forged an alliance. From that time forth, the First Nations and the French decided to develop equal partnerships based on mutual respect.

History has not always respected the spirit, let alone the letter, of this alliance with the aboriginals. However, it must be recognized that four centuries later, out of concern for redress and respect for the original treaty, Mr. Lévesque, Mr. Bourassa, Mr. Parizeau and Mr. Landry negotiated the James Bay Agreement, the Braves' Peace, and the Common Approach.

The same cannot be said of the Prime Minister of Canada, who seems never to have noticed this major event and continues, with the Indian Act, to betray the sacred alliance by imposing legislation on governance that no one wants. It is not too late to withdraw the despicable Bill C-7 and allow room for true negotiations on First Nations self-governance.

I am making a solemn appeal to the Prime Minister of Canada to scrap Bill C-7 and come up with better provisions.

Youth Employment Strategy
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 21, it was my honour to announce the Argenteuil in Bloom II project under our youth employment strategy program.

The purpose of this project is to enhance the employability of youth at risk, promote their social integration and lower the dropout rate. These ten young people, between the ages of 18 and 24, will help to beautify the main streets of the regional county municipality of Argenteuil, as well as improve the quality of the environment. They will help showcase the municipality's rich architectural heritage and make the community aware of how important the environment is.

This project was made possible thanks to the work of Argenteuil's chamber of commerce and industry. Its mission is to improve the health, well-being and economic development of businesses and residents of the Argenteuil RCM.

Congratulations to the chamber of commerce and industry, which is working to make it easier for young Canadians to enter the labour market, and good luck to the young participants.

Kevin Naismith
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, we were deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Canadian Forces pilot Captain Kevin Naismith.

Captain Naismith's CF-18 crashed while he was participating in Operation Maple Flag, a military exercise held annually in northern Alberta for Canadian and allied pilots.

Captain Naismith was an experienced pilot. He had been with the Canadian Forces since 1991 and had logged more than 2,000 flying hours.

This tragic event drives home to us the fact that our armed forces personnel are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect and defend our freedom.

The great Athenian leader Pericles said it best: “Where the rewards of valour are the greatest, there you will find also the best and bravest spirits among the people”.

On behalf of the Canadian Alliance and all parliamentarians, I would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to Captain Naismith's family, his wife and three children, his friends and his colleagues.

Speed Skating
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Bras D'Or—Cape Breton, NS

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House today to pay tribute to one of Canada's all time greatest athletes on her retirement from active competition.

Saskatoon's Catriona LeMay Doan has dominated the world of 500-metre races and long-track speed skating, winning thirty-four world cup races and two world sprint championship titles.

In 1998 at the Olympic games in Nagano, she won Olympic gold in the 500 metres. Four years later in Salt Lake City, she became the first Canadian Olympic champion to successfully defend her Olympic title by winning gold again in the 500 metres. During her impressive career, she set eight world records and she is the current Olympic record holder.

A three-time winner of the Female Athlete of the Year at the Canadian sports awards, twice named Canadian Press Athlete of the Year and winner of the Lou Marsh trophy, Catriona LeMay Doan has been an inspiration to Canadians both on and off the ice. To quote Speed Skating Canada, Catriona “has inspired many young people in Canada by her athletic and personal achievements as well as her sportsmanship”.

I am sure all members will join me in congratulating Catriona and wishing her continued success in all her endeavours.

Poverty
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations calls poverty the planet's greatest threat to political stability, social cohesion and environmental health.

According to the G-8 Global Poverty Report, poverty encompasses economic, social and governance dimensions. Economically, the poor are deprived not only of income and resources but opportunities as well.

The Global Poverty Report at the G-8 summit in Okinawa in July 2000 also said that the lives of poor people are more affected by actions at the national level. This is borne out by our own statistics here in Canada, which reveal that one in eight people live in poverty. Putting it in perspective, 13% of Canadians, almost four million people, are poor.

Impoverished children come from impoverished families. We here in the House of Commons passed a resolution back in 1990 to abolish child poverty by the year 2000. Why have the Liberals not kept that commitment?

Better Speech and Hearing Month
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, each May, I make a point of finding a special way to celebrate Better Speech and Hearing Month.

This year, I had the pleasure of meeting various organizations and learning about ongoing initiatives, particularly at St- Jude school in my riding, where the oral method is taught to deaf children, among other things.

However, despite the remarkable work of the school staff, the problem remains, since these children cannot hear. Not all television programs are close captioned, so that they may read what we hear.

I also met with people from CRIM and the Regroupement québécois pour le sous-titrage, which are collaborating on a research project to develop a real-time captioning system using voice recognition technology.

Although this cutting edge technology will soon be available, the key is obviously financing. Therefore, I invite all members, as well as the government, to remember the House's unanimous commitment to provide the necessary tools to ensure the full integration of the deaf and hard of hearing in our society.

We must turn our words into actions..

Kevin Naismith
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to say a few words in memory of one of our best and finest, Captain Kevin Naismith, who was tragically killed during a military exercise in Alberta yesterday.

The brave men and women of the Canadian Forces participate in regular allied war exercises to constantly improve the readiness and interoperability of our troops.

Monday's air exercise involved aircraft from Canada, the United States, France and Belgium. Sadly, it also came with a loss for Canada. These war games try to be as realistic as possible and thus are not without risk.

Captain Naismith joined the Canadian Forces in 1991 and was based at the 416 Tactical Fighter Squadron in Cold Lake. He had a wife and three young children.

Let us remember Captain Naismith as a friendly and exceptional pilot who loved going to air shows and sharing his love for aviation and his aircraft with young people.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Kevin's family and his squadron.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is not just the Assembly of First Nations that rejects the first nations governance act. Fully 95% of the presenters to the standing committee, including many non-aboriginal representatives from civil society, vigorously oppose it.

All of the mainstream churches, many respected academics, law professors, bar associations, and even a former minister of Indian Affairs, testified that in their opinion Bill C-7 infringes upon constitutionally recognized aboriginal and treaty rights, section 15 of the charter and international conventions regarding the right to self-determination.

Reasonable people who have studied the bill have legitimate concerns about changing the legal status and capacity of first nations and about enhancing rather than reducing the discretionary authority of the minister, but whether we accept or reject these concerns, the only justification I need to oppose this piece of legislation is that first nations from coast to coast have told the standing committee in no uncertain terms that they do not want it.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government announced today its plans to decriminalize marijuana, but apparently it wants to go further and actually encourage its use among young people. It calls for fines for possession, but will actually bring in lower fines for young people. This would be like offering a discount on a pack of cigarettes with a student ID card.

What kind of message does the government think it is trying to send?