House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was infrastructure.

Topics

Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments and questions posed by my hon. colleague from the New Democratic Party. He raises quite a myriad of questions, although I am not sure that I got them all.

I will take the last one first, the fact that the money could fluctuate quite a bit. Of course governments at all levels must deal with this all the time and I suspect that while it does pose some problems in the sense of ongoing stable funding, government at any level would have to deal with the fact. On any given year the money might fluctuate somewhat.

I think my hon. colleague would agree that the key point here is getting the federal government to recognize for the first time that when a tax is collected on gasoline or fuel, in some cases diesel fuel for trucks and locomotives, there should be a commitment that money is actually spent on infrastructure. That is what we are not seeing.

All the questions that he is raising are quite valid. If this motion were to pass, those are things that could be worked out. This would not be unique in the sense that we already have a number of agreements between the provincial and federal levels of government, indeed tripartite agreements in many cases with municipalities as well.

They are not insurmountable. There should be an agreement on a commitment by the municipalities and the provinces to actually target that tax room to infrastructure, and be held accountable for that spending so that we do not end up in a similar situation that we have at the federal level where that money comes in at less than 2%. Even when the Canada infrastructure program is added in, that the government keeps bragging about, it is still only about 10% of the money that is collected.

What we are dealing with here is, first and foremost, accountability and a recognition by the federal government that it has a responsibility, when it collects these billions of dollars in fuel taxes, to spend them in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure from coast to coast.

Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Oak Ridges
Ontario

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there are lots of questions I could ask this particular member, but I will just ask him one specific question.

The fact is that if dedicated taxes go to specific programs, there is always the danger of overfunding in some programs and underfunding in others. This hon. member has raised issues in the House where he says the government should respond in emergencies. Where would the flexibility be if we were to take the hon. member's advice and simply dedicate taxes to put us basically in a financial straitjacket?

Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, that would be almost hilarious if this were not such a serious issue.

We are talking about a government that has overtaxed Canadians to the tune of some $8 billion. That is the surplus. To suggest that by dedicating some of the gasoline taxes or, as this motion says, to free up that tax room for the provinces and municipalities, would somehow create a straitjacket is absolutely ludicrous. The government has overtaxed Canadians consistently ever since it balanced the budget and eliminated the deficit. It continues to do it today with no prioritization other than to just dole out money to its friends. It has been caught doing it time and time again.

Millennium Excellence Award
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

R. John Efford Bonavista—Trinity—Conception, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Millennium Scholarship Foundation has announced its excellence awards for 2003-04. I am honoured to congratulate students from my riding of Bonavista--Trinity--Conception in recognition of their academic achievement, service to the community, leadership, and interest in innovation.

Jillian Croke, a student of St. Gabriel's All Grade School in St. Brendan's will receive a national level excellence award worth $5,000, renewable for up to three additional years to a maximum of $20,000.

Jonathan White, a student Lester Pearson Memorial High School in Wesleyville, will receive a one-time local award of $4,000.

MacKenzie Young, a student at Heritage Collegiate in Lethbridge, will receive a one-time local award of $4,000.

I am extremely proud that the federal government has been able to support such dynamic young people as Canada's future lies in our youth.

Childrun
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant McNally Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, June 1 marked the 18th annual HSBC Childrun to raise money for children with cancer at B.C.'s Children's Hospital and throughout the province.

The Childrun is a family fun run with individuals, as well as corporate and school team members, running, walking or wheeling around either a one or five kilometre course.

This year, 2,882 participants, including 31 school and 19 corporate teams, raised over $100,000 for childhood cancer. I wish to congratulate all of the participants and teams for their contribution to the fight to cure childhood cancer.

My entire family participates in this annual run to help raise funds for B.C.'s Children's Hospital Oncology Clinic. We would like to thank everyone who sponsored us, including many members of the House. We would also like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at the Oncology Clinic and 3B who help so many families through very difficult times.

Adstock Strongman Festival
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, Adstock's first Strongman Festival will be held from July 10 to 13 under the patronage of Hugo Girard.

Hugo Girard, a police officer from Gatineau and world record holder, is the strongest man in the world, having won, among other things, the 2002 World Strongman Super Series sponsored by the International Federation of Strength Athletes. Since 1998, he has stunned crowds across Canada, the United States and Europe with his feats of strength and immeasurable challenges.

Twelve strong men from Canada and the United States will compete at the Adstock Strongman Festival, and the winners will move on to the provincial competitions.

Since the dawn of time, people have always been fascinated by strong men, from Samson to Cyr to Schwarzenegger. I cordially invite you to come to Adstock to watch the demonstrations of physical strength that are part of our folk tradition in Quebec.

Congratulations and best wishes to the volunteer organizers from the lovely municipality of Adstock.

Immigration
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, on May 31 I had the honour of opening the Multicultural Helping House Society's new centre in my riding of Vancouver Kingsway.

The new facility will provide services such as helping new immigrants: locate a place to live, find a job, learn basic computing skills, and learn about emergency first aid. I am proud that the society will provide an essential service to many new immigrants and their families.

I would like to congratulate President Tom Avendano and Vice-President Eleanor Guerrero-Campbell, and the many volunteers for their contributions to this special project.

Stroke Awareness Month
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to inform members of Parliament and all Canadians that the month of June is Stroke Awareness Month. I speak today not only as a member of Parliament but as a wife of a stroke survivor.

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in Canada. Each year, approximately 16,000 Canadians die from a stroke. There are between 40,000 and 50,000 strokes in Canada each year. Currently, approximately 300,000 Canadians are living with the effects of stroke. After age 55, the risk of stroke doubles every 10 years.

In adults, stroke is associated with risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure or history of strokes in the family. In children, a stroke is usually the result of another underlying disease or condition.

The warning sings of stroke are caused by the sudden interruption of brain function. Some warning signs include: sudden weakness, numbness or tingling in the face, arm or leg; sudden temporary loss of speech or trouble understanding speech; sudden loss of vision, partially in one eye, or double vision; sudden severe and unusual headache; or sudden loss of balance.

Although there has been significant advancement in stroke research, we need to continue our research to understand the reasons why strokes occur and ways to prevent them. Unless the prevention of stroke is improved, the number of strokes across Canada is expected to increase over the next two decades.

Millennium Excellence Award
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that three of my young constituents have been selected to receive one of the 404 millennium excellence awards this foundation provides to outstanding Ontario students entering college or university for the first time in 2003.

Selected on the basis of outstanding academic achievement, community service, and leadership and innovation, they represent the future of our country.

I would like to recognize Crystal Chan, Jenny Yap and Teresa Racco, from Mayfield Secondary School and St. Marguerite Youville Secondary School in Brampton, for their outstanding accomplishments. My most sincere congratulations to these young achievers and my very best wishes for even greater success as they move forward in life and make their mark on the future of our great country.

Daniel Vendette and Bruno Langlois
Statements By Members

June 12th, 2003 / 2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Daniel Vendette and Bruno Langlois, two dockers from the Port of Montreal who, on May 23, did not hesitate to brave the icy waters of the St, Lawrence River to save a mother and her child.

Josée Vigneau, aged 27 and five months pregnant, slipped off the dock into the river with Maude, her two-year-old daughter, in a dangerous space between the dock and a ship that was moored there.

Twenty seconds later, Daniel Vendette, who was working nearby, did not hesitate to dive into the dark waters to rescue mother and child with the help of his colleague, Bruno Langlois, who guided him from the dock. It was not a moment too soon: the child was already a metre under water.

Modest about their achievement, our two heroes did not have much to say when they were questioned by the Journal de Montréal . At the risk of embarrassing them, I want to congratulate them publicly today.

Bravo to Mr. Vendette and Mr. Langlois. Bravo to all the dockers who bring so much life to the riding of Mercier.

Millennium Excellence Award
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Werner Schmidt Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the following young people from our Kelowna constituency who are the recipients of this year's millennium excellence awards.

Based on a national competition, each has been recognized for excellence in academic performance, leadership, community involvement, and interest in innovation.

They are: Andrea Pisesky, Teryn R. Buna, Glen Y. Chua, Ryan T. Dyk, Lindsay N. Maier, and Jenna O'Donnell. I congratulate them on their achievement. May these scholarships take them a step further to the realization of their dreams.

Italian Canadians
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, June 1, 2003, over 3,000 people participated in the festivities for Italy's national holiday “Festa della Republica” as well as for the first anniversary of the opening of the Leonardo Da Vinci Cultural & Community Centre in my riding of Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel.

The Consul General of Italy, COMITES of Montreal, the Leonardo Da Vinci Centre, and the Italian-Canadian Foundation hosted the day's events. Other dignitaries in attendance included the Speaker of the Senate, as well as senators, members of Parliament, members from Quebec's National Assembly, the Mayor of Montreal, and many city councillors and community representatives from across the island.

As my riding of Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel has the highest concentration of Italian-speaking Canadians, the location chosen could not have been any better. The riding continues to be one in which different cultural groups, traditions, and beliefs are valued and maintained.

I am proud to represent a riding that serves as a model for all others across the country. It is a place where people, no matter what their origins, can live together in friendship as a true representation of Canada's diversity.

Health
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Lunney Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, visiting Parliament today is a courageous group of women, the women with the red umbrellas. They came from across the country to share their stories of recovery from the debilitating disease of bipolar depression.

These women lived through tragedy until they discovered a simple vitamin and mineral supplement which helped them to recover their lives and restore them to their families. Over the past year Health Canada has initiated progressive restrictions on their supplement. The simple vitamin and mineral formula has been turned back at the border and people calling Health Canada are being told the product has been banned.

Clinical studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals like the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, and the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology . Unbelievably, research at the University of Calgary which was funded by the Alberta Science and Research Authority was shut down by Health Canada, even though there is no evidence of harm to anyone taking this product. These people are here representing thousands across the country who feel their health and security are being threatened by this Health Canada embargo.

Will the minister ensure access to this product is not impeded and that the right to freedom of choice in personal health care by Canadians is respected?

National Winter Holiday
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the bitterly cold and interminable winter just now barely fading from memory serves as a vivid reminder that Canadians deserve a national winter holiday.

The many long weeks from New Year's day to Easter represent the longest time Canadians endure without a long weekend. There are several worthy possible reasons to create a new national holiday. The latest suggestion comes from a group called the Guinness Party of Canada which, while having some fun, still promotes the serious idea of making St. Patrick's day a national holiday, and some of my colleagues opposite agree. Some 90,000 Canadians recently registered their support for this idea online.

Whether it be flag day, heritage day, St. Patrick's day or some other day, it is time to seriously consider giving Canadians a winter long weekend. To that end, in the fall I will present a private member's bill to create a national winter holiday.

New Brunswick
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, on August 27, 1952, the federal government authorized the expropriation of the 720 square kilometre area in southwestern New Brunswick, now occupied by CFB Gagetown. Three thousand residents, including 720 families in 20 rural communities, were forced to leave their homes.

On December 3, 1952, Colonel A.J. Brooks, member of Parliament for the riding of Royal, rose in the House and stated:

--it came as a great shock to the people in [Western Queen's county] to read in the newspaper that their homes [farms, communities, churches, schools, friends, societies and cemeteries] were to be taken from them and that this was to be a military area.They are splendid people; they are people whose ancestors lived in that section of the country for four and five generations.

Some of those ancestors were my Irish ancestors in that regard. Fifty years later, former residents and descendants will gather to reflect on their heritage and celebrate their once proud communities.

I invite all members of Parliament to join the thousands of former residents and their descendants from all across North America for the 50th anniversary of this tragic event.