House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was columbia.

Topics

Telefilm Canada Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Fitzpatrick Prince Albert, SK

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his speech. I understand where he is coming from. He wants to stimulate and encourage the development of Canadian culture both at home and abroad and that is a very laudable goal.

I do want to point out a model that does exist in the world. I think it is showing very promising results. It is a creation of that famous socialist, Tony Blair, the Prime Minister of Great Britain. In his wisdom, he decided to lift ownership requirements on the media delivery system in Great Britain, to free that up and allow foreign investors and broadcasters to enter the British market and compete with the British broadcasters. In exchange for that change in policy, he had basically one requirement. It was that a certain percentage of the broadcasting that would be produced in Great Britain would be British made.

Since that policy has been initiated in Great Britain, British culture has flourished, not only in Great Britain but worldwide. I saw on the People's Network last fall an outstanding series on Churchill in the 1930s. It was a very high class production. Guess who produced that program? Lo and behold, it was HBO. The production was done with British actors, British directors and British producers. The program was being marketed around the world.

Mr. Murdoch, who I am sure is a villain for the NDP, has also flourished in that environment and has produced tons of high quality British broadcasting. I am only throwing this out because I am curious about what the reaction of the NDP would be to this policy of this famous socialist Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Telefilm Canada Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Madam Speaker, I think that is a very interesting suggestion. I would suggest that there are probably two fundamental differences between Great Britain and us. First and foremost would be the difference in terms of volume of audience. We are in some ways in a very difficult situation in Canada because we have people spread out so far across such a vast territory. We do not have the volume of people living in fairly close areas that the U.K. has.

I would have no problem with foreign television coming in here if it would meet a certain standard or a certain quota in terms of Canadian production. I think that would be very interesting.

However, I would question the hon. member about this, because what we have seen is that people do not seem to want to go out into rural Canada. As a member from a northern rural region, I find it very difficult to imagine that HBO is going to be interested in coming in and serving my market. I think that is a travesty. HBO might want to go in and cherry-pick Toronto because Toronto could look like any American city, and it might want to go to Vancouver or Montreal. But who is going to tell the stories of Saskatchewan? Who is going to tell the stories of Newfoundland?

If there were some way of bringing forward some serious bite in the legislation, it would be interesting. When we changed the CRTC regulations to improve to about 30% Canadian content, to allow more stations to start taking control of the market, that was a trade-off we made as Canadians. If the hon. member thinks the direction should be a 30% basic strictly Canadian content rate for Fox TV, I think that would be very interesting.

Telefilm Canada Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Fitzpatrick Prince Albert, SK

Madam Speaker, I have two comments.

The first is on the CBC. A great Canadian cultural institution in this country is curling. Northern Ontario has a rich curling history. Al Hackner was the Canadian curling champion from northern Ontario.

This year, CBC squeezed out a quality private broadcaster, TSN. This curling season we are not going to get any evening draws from the Brier because the CBC does not want to do that. It is carrying American programming in the evening and that is more lucrative. We are not going to get those draws at night. It has a billion dollar subsidy that TSN does not have, so naturally it is going to win those contests. Canadian culture is the loser on that.

On the member's point about selling rural Canada, places like Saskatchewan and northern Ontario, in my riding Brent Butt is from Tisdale, a small community in Saskatchewan. A high quality weekly comedy series called Corner Gas is being done on a private broadcaster. Americans are interested in that program. I understand it might be carried in the U.S. as well. This does not have anything to do with government. It is the private system delivering high quality programming to people. It can do the job if government in some areas would get out of the way.

Telefilm Canada Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Madam Speaker, the Saskatchewan television show the member mentioned is an excellent example of what I have been talking about which is the need to promote art, film and television right across the country.

I have never said that the television and film industries mean the CBC. CBC is one piece of a multidimensional puzzle. That is something we need to move toward on a number of fronts.

As someone who likes Men with Brooms it is too bad the CBC did not come up to, I would like to say the plate, but whatever the term is in curling. I think that does not mitigate the fact that we need to support regional programming. We need to support the people who are innovative and who are doing interesting television because they will be exporting it.

If we have any other programming coming out of rural Canada, it should be marketed around the world because it should be the best.

Telefilm Canada Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine)

Is the House ready for the question?

Telefilm Canada Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Telefilm Canada Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine)

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Telefilm Canada Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Telefilm Canada Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine)

I declare the motion carried.

(Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed)

Marriage
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parkdale—High Park, ON

Madam Speaker, last week the Supreme Court ruled that the draft legislation referred to it by the Government of Canada upholds the right of same sex couples to civil marriage. As a result, the government can either move ahead with legislation to codify civil marriage for same sex couples or use the notwithstanding clause to take away this right.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a pillar of Canadian society. The rights protected under the charter are the same rights that protect churches, synagogues, mosques and temples from being obliged to perform marriage ceremonies that are contrary to their beliefs. This is not about religion. It is about equality.

The Prime Minister has stated that he will not use the notwithstanding clause to deny rights guaranteed by the charter. I am proud to say that I will be voting with the government and the Prime Minister to acknowledge same sex civil marriage.

We all have a choice. We can either uphold the charter because we believe in it, or we can abandon it. Parliamentarians must now make that choice.

Cornwall Centennial Choir
Statements By Members

December 13th, 2004 / 2 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank and congratulate the Centennial Choir from the city of Cornwall in my riding Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry for its excellent concert on the Hill, an event that took place earlier this afternoon. The event raised money for SOS Children's Villages Canada, a charity that provides permanent loving homes for children who have been left homeless due to war, natural disasters and other calamities.

The Centennial Choir takes its name from Canada's centennial year, 1967, the year the choir was founded. It has approximately 65 members from throughout the three united counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry. The choir produces annual spring and Christmas concerts and takes part in special events throughout the year in our community.

I encourage everyone to take any opportunity to attend a performance of the Cornwall Centennial Choir. I promise that people will not be disappointed.

Rhodes Scholars
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Madam Speaker, it is with great honour that I stand before the House to share the news about two students from the University of Manitoba who have received the prestigious Rhodes scholarship, which provides two to three years of study at Oxford University in England. The recipients are chosen on the basis of academic achievement, integrity of character, community service, leadership potential and physical ability.

The first student is Daniel Lussier from my riding of Saint Boniface, a fifth year mechanical and manufacturing engineering student. He is one of only three Rhodes scholarship recipients from the Prairies.

Graham Reynolds, the second recipient, a talented musician and an active volunteer with the Pro Bono Student Association, is currently studying at Dalhousie Law School. He was awarded a Leaders of Tomorrow scholarship in 1999 and earned the Gold Medal when he graduated from arts in 2002 from the University of Manitoba.

I am proud to say that my alma mater, the University of Manitoba, has produced more Rhodes scholars than any university in western Canada and places fourth among all Canadian universities in that category.

Sûreté du Québec
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Madam Speaker, in the Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec district, the Sûreté du Québec is now led by a woman. Lieutenant Caroline Guay was recently appointed director for the regional county municipality of L'Érable.

Ms. Guay, who has been a police officer for 15 years, has assumed various responsibilities. She joined the Sûreté du Québec in 1991, as a patrol officer at the Témiscamingue police station, in the Abitibi. She fulfilled the duties of public affairs officer and investigator with the organized crime unit, where she also worked as the acting assistant to the director.

In 2001, she was seconded to the École nationale de police du Québec, where she worked as an instructor, and, in 2002, she was placed in charge of the initial training program for patrol officers.

Lieutenant Caroline Guay is the second woman in Quebec to hold such a position within the Sûreté du Québec. We congratulate her.

University of Prince Edward Island
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Charlottetown, PE

Madam Speaker, I would like to share the news that the University of Prince Edward Island has announced that William E. Andrew of Calgary, Alberta will be appointed as the institution's seventh chancellor.

Mr. Andrew, a native of Milton, Prince Edward Island, is the president of Penn West Petroleum Ltd., a leading Canadian energy company. Mr. Andrew has worked with many community endeavours, including the Alberta Children's Hospital and the United Way. He is also involved in the Canadian harness racing industry. He will bring a wealth of experience to this position.

I know that Mr. Andrew's commitment to education and love for Prince Edward Island will inspire him to excel in his new position. Please join me in congratulating William E. Andrew on his appointment as the chancellor to one of Canada's great universities.

Christmas List
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Gurmant Grewal Newton—North Delta, BC

Madam Speaker, the holiday season is upon us, and in that spirit my constituents have a Christmas list.

They want a government that recognizes the supremacy of Parliament and lets parliamentarians, not judges, decide issues that matter most to Canadians. They want resources for law enforcement agencies to put a stop to gang violence, grow ops, break and enters, and auto theft. They want a justice system that works with police instead of against them. They want federal funds for vital infrastructure projects such as the South Fraser perimeter road, the Port Mann bridge, and the Fraser port. They want the final 422 acres of Burns Bog bought and protected. They want improved services at Surrey Memorial and Delta Hospitals and an end to waiting lists. They want open borders for the free flow of softwood lumber and beef. They want an efficient immigration system free from political interference. They want jobs and affordable housing for the homeless. They want an end to absurd political correctness that robs Christian holidays of their true meaning.

Merry Christmas, and may everyone's Christmas wishes come true.