House of Commons Hansard #35 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was finance.

Topics

Huguette Plourde
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the dedication of someone who is very involved in my riding of Madawaska—Restigouche.

Recently, Huguette Plourde of Saint-Léonard received the Racine provincial and regional award as intervener of the year in the field of cultural development.

The Racine award in the intervener of the year category is awarded to professionals or volunteers from a member organization who stand out for their exceptional dedication to cultural development within their community. The recipient of the provincial title of intervener of the year is selected from among the recipients from each region.

Huguette Plourde is actively involved in the Association culturelle du Haut-Saint-Jean and works tirelessly to promote cultural development.

Obviously, any individual who is as involved as Ms. Plourde plays a key role in the development of our communities and deserves our most heartfelt congratulations and our support.

This is why I wanted to acknowledge in this House today the valiant efforts of Huguette Plourde.

Tommy Douglas
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are few human beings whose particular mix in qualities make us all stand and say “This is greatness”. Such was the incredible Tommy Douglas.

First for the people of Saskatchewan, then for all Canadians, he brought to public life integrity, courage, humour and most of all, to use a phrase appropriate to his generation, a passionate commitment to the common man.

More than any other he led in transforming a nation. Tommy showed how political power in a democracy should be used, not to keep the people down but to raise them up. His political firsts were many, among them: workers' rights, pensions, and of course health care as a right of citizenship.

As premier and then here as leader of the New Democratic Party, his respect for the dignity of others brought him the affection of his political opponents. It earned him the admiration of all Canadians. Last night, on the CBC, a grateful nation paid homage to his greatness.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the people of Essex extend a warm welcome to George Bush, President of our friend and greatest trading partner, the United States. We look for solutions to problems at the Essex-Windsor border, the busiest crossing in the world with $1 million per minute of trade.

This Liberal government has mismanaged our critical trade relationship, jeopardizing Canadian jobs with anti-American insults, lax marijuana laws and a Prime Minister who has failed to build border infrastructure and get our borders opened to Canadian exports.

The people of Essex have paid a steep price as a result: major seed contracts, lost; suppliers to local businesses, lost; auto jobs, lost; and major investments in our region, lost. The Prime Minister must seize upon the visit of President Bush to make amends and set a new course for healthy relations with the U.S.

If he will not, then let him step aside and a Conservative government will do it for him.

Visit of U.S. President
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, we welcome U.S. President George W. Bush and his wife to Ottawa and wish him a successful term of office following his re-election.

Winning freedom and building peace represent the essence of humanity. The people of Quebec denounce and strongly condemn terrorism as well as attacks on human rights in any form, but we are also firmly opposed to the unnecessary use of weapons and the militarization of space.

We hope that the President's visit will pave the way for the resolution of the Canada-U.S. disputes concerning softwood lumber and the mad cow crisis, among others. Tens of thousands of families across Quebec and Canada are suffering and paying the price for these disputes every day.

The American people are our neighbours as well as our natural allies, and the people of Quebec reiterate their friendship for them.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, today is a great day in the relationship between two good friends, the United States and Canada.

Although Mr. Bush may encounter many protesters today, I am confident that he realizes they do not represent the views of all Canadians. I also hope that the protesters understand that our democracy allows them the freedom to protest. Before the U.S. coalition brought democracy to countries such as Afghanistan, a protest like this would have never been tolerated there.

I know the President understands that democracy often comes at a cost and is paid for by the members of our military. My family is extremely proud of my youngest son, Dennis, who is currently serving in the U.S. Army and has just recently returned from Iraq.

I stand with many Canadian military parents who have children serving in the Canadian, U.S., Australian and British militaries. I want them to know I share in their sacrifice and support them 100%.

Sikh Community
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Carr Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in this House to convey my heartfelt greetings and good wishes to the members of the Sikh community on the auspicious occasion of Gurpurab, which the community celebrated this past weekend across Canada. It marks the celebration of Guru Nanak Dev Ji's birthday. He was the founder of the Sikh religion and one of the greatest spiritual teachers known to humanity.

He preached that all religions were a different path leading to the same destination and therefore deserved the respect of all. His message reached all sectors of society and thus became the foundation upon which Sikhdom developed. The teaching of the guru served as an inspiration not only to Sikhs but to all humankind.

This historic event in the Sikh religion draws families and friends together in a spirit of goodwill, peace and preserving our community's legacy of cultural diversity upon which Canada is founded.

I ask the Sikh community across Canada to please accept my best wishes along with those of my parliamentary colleagues for a most meaningful celebration.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

November 30th, 2004 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, Thomas Axworthy, former aide to former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, says that “while Americans continue to like us, they no longer respect us”.

Among other things, Canada shares with the United States the defence of North America and a commitment to fight terrorism. Yet Mr. Axworthy notes that the government's under-spending on the military has now reached a crisis level and that within five years we will have no usable armed forces left.

How does the government expect Canada to positively influence our American neighbours when we continually fail to pull our weight in continental and world affairs?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I can only wish that the hon. member and all hon. members had been in the room with us just a couple of hours ago with President Bush. He looked across the table and said to me, when we were talking about the defence of North America and what we were doing around the world, “Your troops are among the most admired in the world. Our generals admire them. We work with them. We absolutely want more of you”.

They do not want that sort of rhetoric. They want more real assets, not words.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, no one is disputing that, least of all the Conservative Party of Canada. We have to support our armed forces.

The American border has been closed now to Canadian cattle for over 18 months. Farmers are desperate. The best assurance program that the government can give would be to announce a firm date when the border will be open.

On Sunday the Minister of Foreign Affairs told us that President Bush would be proposing a timetable with clear commitments to open the border. Later, the minister's aides tried to retract that commitment.

Could the Prime Minister affirm whether there is in fact a fixed timetable to reopen the Canadian border so that cattle can get in to the United States?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Liberal

Andy Mitchell Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, there was no retraction. The reality is that a week ago the Americans announced that the rule had moved from the USDA to the OMB. The OMB process is one that has a time-specific timeline on it of 90 days. It is that clock that has begun to run. We were pleased to see that particular progress. I was pleased to hear the President today make a commitment to move that process along as expeditiously as possible.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, in spite of the WTO and NAFTA decisions in our favour on the softwood issue, the Liberal government has failed to get the borders reopened. John Manley said that a good relationship is essential in order to resolve disputes.

Did the Prime Minister succeed in convincing Mr. Bush to put an end to protectionism?

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, let me reassure the hon. member that the Prime Minister and the President had a very good set of meetings this morning. I was honoured to be present at two of those meetings.

Let me reassure the hon. member that this is in fact a very positive relationship. It is a strong relationship. Each of us as ministers works with our counterparts to deliver on our shared objectives. Let me reassure the hon. member that the Canada-U.S. relationship is not only unique, it is strong, and we are proud of our relationship with our friends.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Belinda Stronach Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of International Trade. Yesterday at the standing committee the Minister of Foreign Affairs suggested that he did not need face time in Washington to build that critical relationship. He actually suggested that some dinners at international meetings, some telephone calls and BlackBerry messages would suffice.

The BSE border closure has cost Canadian industries $5 billion, and almost $4 billion in softwood money lies threatened by the Byrd amendment. Obviously BlackBerry messages are not good enough. Beyond the President's visit today, what are the minister's plans to build a more productive political relationship with the U.S.?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Willowdale
Ontario

Liberal

Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, first of all, the Prime Minister announced on April 29 that we would open an advocacy secretariat in Washington. That secretariat is now open.

Second, we have the enhanced representation initiative of the Government of Canada. We have opened seven new consulates in the United States and have upgraded two in status. I attended at the Miami opening two weeks ago. In addition, we have appointed 20 honorary consuls. We take this relationship very seriously.

Softwood Lumber
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Belinda Stronach Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. President is making his first official visit to Canada only after four years in office. This is nothing for the government to crow about.

On the Byrd amendment, consulting Canadian business will not help to repeal it. Had the Liberal government implemented a high level political strategy for the U.S. a long time ago, we might not even be facing Byrd.

The European Union and six other countries are in the same boat with us on Byrd. Could the Minister of International Trade tell Canadian softwood producers why he is not taking the lead in organizing ministers from these other like-minded countries to push as a group for the repeal of Byrd?