House of Commons Hansard #112 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was report.

Topics

Firearms Registry
Statements By Members

June 5th, 2003 / 2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gary Schellenberger Perth—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the PC Party launched a website to collect stories from the thousands of Canadians who have had serious problems registering their guns. This site can be found at www.gunregistry.ca, and it has already had 50,000 hits in less than a month. We have collected hundreds of submissions from every province of Canada, and so far, no crash. At a peak time we had 2,500 hits in one hour, and guess what, no crash.

The website comes at a total cost of $20 a month. Meanwhile the government spends $1 billion on a system that works poorly and rarely. We in the Progressive Conservative Party are getting more bang for our buck.

On May 6 the Solicitor General said in the House that he wanted to hear from all Canadians who had difficulties registering their guns. We are here to help. By visiting www.gunregistry.ca, people can fill out an online form outlining the problems they have had with the system. We will personally put them in the hands of the Solicitor General.

Semaine québécoise des personnes handicapées
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, across Quebec, the Semaine québécoise des personnes handicapées is in full swing and this year's theme is, “Together, everyone is a winner”.

Across Quebec, from Gaspé to Gatineau, including Laval, people are seeing how far we have come on the issue of fundamental rights for people living with functional limitations.

Through June 7, a variety of activities will be held in Laval, and one of them seems particularly symbolic to me. Today is the opening of an art exhibit entitled “Visages d'art” at city hall. The exhibit contains works by 17 artists from Laval's regional recreational association for persons with a disability and it shares the artists' vision of reality with the public. It is located in the Hall des Arts and runs until June 27.

I am happy to salute this initiative, which gives these artists a space worthy of their work and talent. I urge people to come and see it, because together, everyone is a winner.

Operation Blue Star
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week marks the 19th anniversary of Operation Blue Star in which the Indian army stormed the golden temple in Amritsar. The Indian army on the same day also attacked some 34 other historic Sikh gurdwaras, places of worship.

These attacks all took place on a very religious day when innocent worshippers had come for prayers. As a result, thousands of innocent children, women and men were killed. The Sikh community around the world felt wounded and many tragic incidents resulted.

As Sikhs around the world mark the anniversary of the attack on the Sikh holy shrines, we must remember the victims of Operation Blue Star and ensure that such a tragedy never happens again.

Environment Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, as this is Environment Week I want to commend a group of Moose Jaw students who have just proven that young people can indeed change the world.

Andrea Fenton found out that the Saskatchewan Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre in Moose Jaw had run out of money and would have to close its doors. Andrea put out the call to some classmates from St. Margaret Elementary School, Kandice Hébert, Stephanie Montpetit, Valerie Paquette and Keaton Doig. Together they drafted a petition and took it door-to-door in Moose Jaw. They also solicited donations. Within a few days Andrea and her friends had collected more than 400 signatures and raised $2,600.

As a result of their actions, they also secured the attention of the government and some private sector donors. Glenn Hagel, the Saskatchewan minister of community resources, and Moose Jaw Mayor Al Schwinghamer are both committed to keeping the centre open. The federal government contributes through the environment department, and we have asked the federal government to pay special attention to the centre.

Andrea Fenton and her young friends have reminded all of us what it means to care deeply, and to do something positive about it.

Environment Week
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, this week is National Environmental Awareness Week. The theme of this week is “Give Earth A Chance”. The objective of this week is to focus public attention on environmental issues to increase awareness and stimulate action at the local level.

There is an organization on Prince Edward Island which indeed has taken action this week. This Sunday afternoon, June 8, the Prince Edward Island Environmental Health Co-op is sponsoring the first annual Dandelion Festival. The event will be held at Victoria Park in the city of Charlottetown, and will be a family fun day with games and crafts for the kids, music, displays and informal workshops.

The Prince Edward Island Environmental Health Co-op is concerned about the unnecessary use of domestic pesticides and decided that the Dandelion Festival would be a fun way to encourage people to think a little differently about this little yellow flower that most people consider to be a weed. It promises to be a great event.

I would like to congratulate this group on its positive efforts as well as encourage as many people as possible to participate in this event.

Ethical Foreign Aid
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, the right to practise religion is something that most Canadians take for granted. Our religious decisions are between us and our God.

Unfortunately in some countries, the government abuses its power and persecutes religions. In Vietnam, Sudan and China, citizens are imprisoned and killed because of their beliefs. In one case in China, a practitioner of Falun Gong was sexually assaulted in public by the police because of her beliefs.

Yet the Canadian government rewards these states with foreign aid. Taxpayers' money is spent propping up these despotic regimes. In the last three years, these three states alone have raked in over $400 million in CIDA funding.

We cannot control the domestic policies of foreign nations, but we can make the decision not to reward them. That is why I have introduced my private member's bill, Bill C-414, the ethical aid bill.

I call on Canadians watching on television to call their MPs to urge them to support this bill and to stand up for what is right.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I again asked the government for the details of a compensation package for the beef industry and yesterday the government again refused to answer those questions.

We are approaching an animal health disaster of epic proportions in this country. We have hundreds of thousands of cattle in feedlots. Those feedlots are within days, if not within hours, of going bankrupt.

When will the industry get some details of the government's compensation package for dealing with this dire situation?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. Leader of the Opposition has a talent for stating the obvious. Everyone knows how dire the situation is and that is why the Minister of Agriculture was in Alberta yesterday, working with people in the beef industry to find a lasting solution to this problem.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I may have a talent for asking about the obvious, but the government sure has a talent for not answering.

The government has apparently indicated that it is only prepared to look at this problem within existing programs. The existing APF is not designed to deal with the special circumstances of natural disaster. The WTO allows for special programs and the APF operates at glacial speed.

Will the government commit to a compensation package that deals with the special circumstances of the natural disaster and the animal health disaster that we are facing here?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, there are a number of ways in which we can help the industry. One way the hon. Leader of the Opposition could help is to encourage the provinces and the farmers in those provinces to sign the implementation agreement so that there is a disaster program for farmers for this year. I have authority to sign that on behalf of the federal government. The provinces need to do that.

We are also discussing with the industry, as I did yesterday and today, ways in which we, for example, can help it with interest-free cash loans and those types of things in order to help it work through the situation in which we are all involved today.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is a trade problem. Trade is the federal government's responsibility and it cannot pass the buck to the provinces.

Let me move on to a detail I asked about yesterday. We all know that Canadian beef is the best beef in the world, but we know the damage this crisis is doing to our reputation. Yesterday I pointed out that the delay in solving this problem will do long term damage to the market share, permanent damage to market penetration of Canadians products.

Will the government consider a compensation package to advertise, promote and market Canadian beef around the world?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member has said, the quality and safety of Canadian beef speaks for itself.

We had a system that worked. We had one cow, which did not get into the food chain. The world is recognizing that. We need to complete the science so that we can clearly demonstrate not only to our biggest customer, the United States, but to the rest of the world that it was one isolated cow. That science is proceeding. We are not destroying any more animals than necessary. We need to complete that science and that is the only way we will solve this problem.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government is not prepared to deal with this issue. Now the minister is trying to blackmail the provinces into signing the APF and is using this issue to do that.

We have been patient. Producers have been patient. The beef industry has been patient, but that patience is running thin and frustration is rising. We want some specifics. Since there is no compensation plan, what conditions must be met to clear our Canadian beef for export?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I do not know how many times we have to explain it to the opposition. We have technical briefings every day. We need to complete the science.

We had an approach and had an 85% expectation on the lineage of where the one cow came from. We have nearly completed the science. Out of 1,300 tests, 1,100 are back and they are all negative. Negative is good. We did not want to destroy any more animals to prove this science is necessary. Unfortunately, starting yesterday, we had to continue on another track in order to double-check and make sure, as is indicated so far, that--

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands.