House of Commons Hansard #9 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was speech.

Topics

Municipalities
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, I stand before the House today to boast, shamelessly, about my city, Vancouver. For the last three years the William Mercer Index has named Vancouver as the best city in the world in which to live.

Now, for the second year running, the Economist also rated Vancouver number one, together with Vienna and Melbourne.

To earn the title of the best place in the world, Vancouver scored a perfect rating on all 12 indicators used by the Economist .

However, I will share the glory. Montreal, Toronto and Calgary also ranked amongst the top 16 cities. These rankings reaffirm Canada's reputation as one of the best countries in the world in which to live.

We all know that our cities have problems. This is why our Prime Minister made their rejuvenation a top priority in the Speech from the Throne. Just imagine what the world will say when our cities finally achieve their full potential.

Sports
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada has many talented young athletes. This is not new. We know of our star athletes in many sports whether it is hockey, skiing, skating or curling. So far in this winter season of 2004, Canadian athletes have reached the top of international podiums on over 80 occasions in 8 different winter sports.

Speed skaters like Jeremy Wotherspoon, our freestyle skiers like Stephanie St-Pierre, and our bobsledders like the team of Pierre Lueders and Giulio Zardo or our junior men's hockey team, week in and week out proudly represent Canada on the international stage.

Today I wish to congratulate all of our athletes, their coaches and the sport organizations supporting these achievements. As we look to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games just six years away, we know that Canadians, with the continued support from governments and the private sector, will be ready to shine.

Keskinada Loppet
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, thousands of cross-country skiers from around the world will be gathering in the Outaouais from February 13 to 15 for the Keskinada Loppet.

The Keskinada is one of 14 major cross-country ski races that make up the international Worldloppet circuit. Entrants include elite skiers and entire families.

Participants in this 26th edition include Beckie Scott, who earned a gold medal at the Salt Lake City Olympic Games in 2002.

This world-class event will bring together over 3,000 skiers, representing more than 22 countries, from the four corners of the globe.

The Keskinada Loppet is the largest Canadian cross-country ski event and represents a great opportunity for cross-country enthusiasts of all levels and ages. It is a great winter tradition, a truly Canadian experience.

I invite my hon. colleagues, and all Canadians, to come and have fun outside, celebrating our beautiful Canadian winter in the Outaouais.

Equalization Payments
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, since being elected in 1997, I have pointed out on many different occasions the frustration felt by Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in seeing their natural resource revenues clawed back by Ottawa through reductions in our equalization payments.

Let me put it in perspective. Six years from now the provincial revenues from the Hibernia, White Rose and Terra Nova oil fields will total $1.1 billion. However, the federal government will claw back $900 million of that amount through corporate taxes and reductions in equalization payments.

Simply put, Newfoundland and Labrador will get to keep $200 million, a mere 18% of the $1.1 billion in revenues it will collect in that year. Equalization might be the name of the program, but clawback is the name of the game.

National Defence
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

David Price Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, for several days now, NATO forces in Kabul, Afghanistan have had a new commander.

He is Lieutenant-General Rick Hillier, who is responsible for some 6,000 soldiers, 2,100 of them Canadians, from NATO member countries.

We are all aware of the tremendous risks these soldiers face every day. They deserve our respect and our unconditional support.

The international community is counting on us to help Afghanistan become a country where stability, democracy and prosperity are once again part of daily life. Our country, through its brave soldiers, has an opportunity to leave its mark on history and build a better world. This government will not back away from this challenge.

Cultural Programs
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the federal government abolished the sponsorship program, it announced that the Minister of Canadian Heritage was now responsible for funding the cultural and sports events formerly subsidized by this extremely controversial program.

However, to date, the Minister of Canadian Heritage has not made any announcements. This situation is hardly reassuring for Quebec's cultural communities, which are quite concerned about the future of numerous events.

In fact, the Regroupement des événements majeurs internationaux (REMI), which represents some twenty cultural and sports events, sounded the alarm.

The Bloc Quebecois has always condemned the conditions attached to the sponsorship program. However, the government should not penalize the cultural communities. The minister must tell us where she is going to invest and how much is available.

The money for culture must go to culture, without any strings attached.

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the fourth and final conference of the Stockholm International Forum Series was held January 26 to 28. The Stockholm International Forum 2004 focussed on “Preventing Genocide: Threats and Responsibilities”.

The focus was on the future, underscoring the principle of the international community's responsibility for preventing genocide and discussing the pivotal report on the right to protect, R2P.

The conference discussions centred on how to identify emerging threats, how to react before it is too late, and how to recognize groups identified as potential targets. Using the many avenues available to it, be they diplomatic, legal, economic, military and/or humanitarian, how can the international community better respond to the prevention of the massacre of peoples?

Over 60 countries participated in this forum. The leadership of Canada was evident throughout and members of the House can be proud of this country's leadership role in the efforts to safeguard democratic principles and human rights, most particularly through strengthening the United Nations and the multilateral system.

Scott Tournament of Hearts
Statements By Members

February 12th, 2004 / 2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to announce that Red Deer will be hosting the Scott Tournament of Hearts from February 21 to 29. Ticket sales have been fantastic for this Canadian women's curling championship. Already over 92,000 tickets have been sold for this sporting event.

As always, the volunteers have answered the call in Red Deer. There will be over 600 of them in place to make sure everything runs well during this nine day tournament. I want to say a special thanks to them and to all the organizers, because without them this event could not take place.

The Tournament of Hearts is another feather in the cap for Red Deer and area, and shows what an excellent job we do in hosting a major sporting event. I am very proud of my riding.

I invite all members of the House to Red Deer to this year's Tournament of Hearts and I invite you especially, Mr. Speaker, to attend.

Canadian Athletes
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Christian Jobin Lévis-Et-Chutes-De-La-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada has an exceptional pool of talented young athletes, something we have long known. Our athletes have built a tradition of success in hockey, skiing, skating, curling and other sports. So far this year, Canadian athletes have stood more than 80 times on international podiums in eight different winter sports.

Whether it is our speed skaters, such as Jeremy Wotherspoon, our freestyle skiers, such as Stéphanie St-Pierre, our bobsledders, such as Pierre Lueders and Giulio Zardo, or our junior hockey players, Canadian athletes proudly represent Canada on the international stage, week after week.

Today, I want to congratulate all our athletes, their coaches and the sports organizations for their support in these achievements. With less than six years until the 2010 Olympic and ParaOlympic Games in Vancouver, we can already anticipate the stellar performances of those wearing our colours, with the support of all levels of government and the private sector.

Assisted Suicide
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, 10 years ago today, on February 12, 1994, a remarkably courageous young Canadian woman, Sue Rodriguez, died.

Sue was living with ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, and she led a national legal and political campaign to change the Criminal Code to permit terminally ill adults to choose for themselves the time of their death and to allow a doctor to assist them in dying.

New Democrats, representing a strong majority of Canadians, call upon the government to join countries like the Netherlands and Belgium to change this often cruel and inhumane law. We also call for far more supportive resources for palliative care in Canada.

I urge the new Prime Minister to keep the promise that was made 10 years ago after Sue Rodriguez's death by former prime minister Jean Chrétien to allow a free vote in the House on this important issue. In her final words to Canadians, Sue Rodriguez said, “I hope that my efforts will not have been in vain”. Let us heed the eloquent plea of this brave woman, a Canadian hero, and change this law.

Diocesan Church of Joliette
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the centenary celebrations of the diocesan church of Joliette have just been launched. The theme: Fire up your heart...Dare to hope.

In 1904, the church of St-Charles was made the cathedral of the new diocese of Joliette, which at the time comprised 40 parishes and one mission. Mgr. Joseph-Alfred Archambault was its first bishop. The diocese has had its great moments since then, but its tragic ones as well. These include the fire in 1935 that levelled the convent of the Congrégation Notre-Dame.

Celebrations and activities will fill the coming months as the diocese celebrates this historic event, which will remain engraved in our memories. These will include a youth rally, outdoor activities, a procession through the city, the Lanaudière painting and sculpture exposition, a travelling exhibit, another large rally and a centenary pilgrimage. I invite everyone to come and help mark this joyous yet solemn occasion, as the Diocese of Joliette celebrates its founding on January 27, 1904 by His Holiness Pope Pius X.

My sincere best wishes for a highly successful celebration to Mgr. Gilles Lussier, the president of the centenary celebration committee Réjean Parent, and his whole team of volunteers.

Claude Ryan
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yvon Charbonneau Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

Mr. Speaker, with the passing of Claude Ryan, Quebec and Canada have just lost a remarkable man, a man whose intellectual and political pursuits left an impact on 40 years of our history.

The indefatigable Mr. Ryan was involved in all our social and political debates, from the time of the quiet revolution until very recently. I knew him as an editorial writer and as a minister who did an excellent job, particularly in the educational sector.

A proud Quebecker, he was able to rally around him a broad social and political coalition in his opposition to the October 1970 war measures. I am proud to have been part of that coalition as a member of the labour movement.

Throughout all those years, Claude Ryan never stopped working to have Quebec recognized as a strong society, a respected society taking its rightful place within the Canadian federal entity.

Thank you, Mr. Ryan, for all that you contributed to the public life of our country. Thank you for all your advice to me over the years; it played a large part in my decision to enter politics in 1994 in order to defend the unity of our country, to defend Quebec, and to defend those most often forgotten by the government.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know the devastating effect that BSE border bans have had on our cattle farmers. What many fail to understand is that these bans affect many more producers and types of livestock than just cattle. The current ban affects species that are not affected by BSE, like bison, sheep, goats and cervids. These farm families are desperate, too.

The government has ignored these other livestock farms as well. The government has failed to provide them with any help, direction or hope that their lives will return to normal in the foreseeable future. The government needs to focus on helping livestock producers instead of trying to cover up its corruption. The government needs to remember that farm families provide the engine for our rural economies.

If as much effort was put into solving agricultural problems as was put into the Liberal culture of corruption, Canadians would all be much further ahead.

Skate Canada Junior Nationals
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Devillers Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to congratulate the gold medal winners of the Bank of Montreal Skate Canada Junior Nationals held recently in Ottawa.

The winners in the individual category were: Amanda Valentine of Ontario for novice women; Patrick Chan of Ontario for novice men; Jeremy Ten of British Columbia for pre-novice men; Natalie Kwong of Ontario for pre-novice women; Ronald Lam of British Columbia for juvenile men; and Karel Di Bartolo of Quebec for juvenile women.

The winners in pairs were: Sarah Burke and Eric Radford of Ontario for novice; Kyra and Dylan Moscovitch of Ontario for pre-novice; and Katherine and Alexandre Pigeon of Quebec for juvenile.

The winners in dance were: Andrea Chong and Spencer Barnes of Ontario for novice; Joanna Lenko and Mitchell Islam of Ontario for pre-novice; and Katherine Fenscke and Martin Nickel of Manitoba for juvenile.

These young Canadian athletes have brilliantly struggled to find the support needed to pursue and achieve their goals of athletic excellence.

Also worthy of commendation for their contributions to the competition, along with all volunteers, are Leslie Jeneau, Kay Bierko and coach Christine McBeth.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on the culture of corruption, the Prime Minister's latest mantra is, “It wasn't me, it wasn't me”. Well, I have seven kids and I have heard that excuse a thousand times.

Will the Prime Minister simply stand up and take his personal responsibility for this Liberal scandal?