House of Commons Hansard #11 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Immigration and Refugee Board
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in Toronto I met with Korean refugee Song Dae Ri and his young son, Chung Il.

Mr. Ri fled to Canada with his family from the terror of the brutal North Korean regime in 2001. Both his wife and his father were executed in North Korea, and now a Canadian officer of the Immigration and Refugee Board has ordered that Mr. Ri be sent back to North Korea even though he faces certain death himself.

I call on the immigration minister today to immediately reverse this outrageous, cruel decision and allow Mr. Ri to remain in Canada with his beloved son. It is cruel to keep him waiting any longer.

The minister should also reprimand Bonnie Milliner, the officer who made this incredible decision, and change the blatantly political IRB appointments process.

Song Dae Ri is not a war criminal. I join with thousands of Canadians in appealing to the minister to show compassion and humanity and grant Song Dae Ri and his son permanent residence in Canada today.

St. Lawrence Seaway
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in my riding of Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, more than 150 people attended a conference on the U.S. Army's plan, which is supported by the federal government, to widen and deepen the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Speakers Alain Saladzius from Rivers Foundation, Luc Bergeron from Stratégies Saint-Laurent, and Nicolas Milot, a Master's student in environmental science, talked about the environmental impact the U.S. project would have on our St. Lawrence. The erosion of banks, toxic sediment resuspension and an increase in invasive species are just a few examples of the likely consequences to our ecosystem.

I call on all Quebeckers to join the coalition started by the Bloc Quebecois and six environmental groups to oppose the expansion of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Let us send a clear message to the federal government to keep its hands off our river.

Canadian Heritage
Statements By Members

February 16th, 2004 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Serge Marcil Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, every year in February, Canadians from coast to coast recognize our culture, our history and our values by celebrating Black History Month, National Flag Day and Heritage Day.

Today, to mark Heritage Day, the Heritage Canada Foundation has chosen the theme “Defending Canada: Our Military Heritage Sites and Buildings”. We can all take part in that theme by preserving personal objects and public collections that symbolize our military heritage. Let us never forget.

Canadians can celebrate by accessing the virtual exhibits on New France and Dieppe through the National Archives site, or by viewing masterpieces depicting the battlefields of Europe in the Canadian War Museum collection. It is also possible to discover stories in our communities, through our public libraries, historical associations and dedicated volunteers.

Proceeds of Crime
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, the great Canadian dream is to own one's own home after years of hard work to pay the mortgage. I want to tell Canadians what is really going on so I will use just one example of many.

Phu Son came to Canada in 1994. He was 38 years old and had no money when he arrived. He has been on welfare from the time he arrived 10 years ago. He recently got busted for drug dealing. Now I find he owns three homes, not one but three: one in Abbotsford, another in Aldergrove, and yet another in Langley, British Columbia.

How does a person come to Canada and stay on welfare for 10 years? How does a person living exclusively on welfare come to own three houses? Why are these houses not seized as proceeds of crime and used for rehabilitation of drug addicts?

I do not know the answers, but the government of British Columbia and the federal Liberal government have a lot of explaining to do. This situation is becoming all too common in this country.

Liberal Task Force on Seniors
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yolande Thibeault Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that, last week, the Liberal task force on seniors tabled its report on the means through which seniors' lives could be improved.

As chair of this task force, I wish to point out the excellent work of my colleagues, who have held consultations across the country and who have met with over 325 stakeholders, including local groups, experts on issues relating to seniors and, of course, the general public.

The concerns of our seniors can be summed up in these words: health, dignity and safety. As citizens, we have a duty to see that the rights of all those who have built our country are respected. We hope that this report will help decision makers ensure that seniors obtain the services they need, when they need them, and are able to take an active part in community life. It is by creating favourable conditions for them that we will continue to benefit from their contribution—

Liberal Task Force on Seniors
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Edmonton—Strathcona.

CISN Radio
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate CISN radio in Edmonton. CISN radio has been a pillar of support in our community, contributing to numerous charitable and local projects.

Among the many honours it has received were the president's award from CORUS Entertainment, and afternoon DJ Chris Scheetz's nomination for “on air personality of the year” from the Canadian Country Music Association.

The crowning achievement was the awarding of the Canadian Country Music Station of the Year.

For the community, Chris Scheetz lived in a tractor for five days to raise over $103,000 for struggling farm families. CSIN's efforts with the “Mad Dash to the Border” rallied Canadians to support Alberta's beef industry.

Most recently, CISN raised over a million dollars during a radiothon for Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation.

I am proud CISN FM is located in Edmonton. I congratulate the station on a very successful year.

The next time members are in Edmonton I ask them to remember to turn their radio dial to 103.9 FM.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has launched his pre-election damage control tour. Who is paying? The taxpayer, of course.

However it would be nice if we could clean up some of the scandal here at home.

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. Has the Prime Minister asked all his cabinet ministers who sat at the table what their involvement was in this scandal?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the government have been absolutely clear. We want to get to the bottom of this matter for the Canadian public. That is why we have instituted what can only be described as the most comprehensive action plan that probably any government has ever put in place: a public inquiry; a public accounts committee; the work being undertaken by my colleagues, the Minister of Public Works and the President of the Treasury Board.

This is a government and a Prime Minister committed to getting to the bottom of this situation.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, did anybody in Canada hear the answer to my question, which was pretty specific?

The Deputy Prime Minister sat on the cabinet's unity committee and communication committee. In those positions, she had to have precise knowledge of what was going on with the sponsorship program in Quebec.

I am asking her specifically now. When did she know about the sponsorship problem and why did she not speak up?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as has been said in the House on many occasions by any number of us, of course we were aware of the sponsorship program. However none of us were aware of the details, the allegations put in play by the Auditor General last week.

That is why we called for a public inquiry. We want to get to the bottom of this. We all want to know what happened here. We believe that is what the Canadian public deserves to know.

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I note again: no response to the specific question.

We have $250 million, a quarter of a billion dollars worth of taxpayer money, and $100 million of that went for commissions and fees with absolutely no benefit to the Canadian public.

My question once again is: What will it take for the Deputy Prime Minister to get up and tell us when she knew? Does she have to go kicking and screaming to a public inquiry under oath?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I think any number of us have been very clear. As a matter of the existence of the program, of course we knew there was a sponsorship program. However, did we know the details in relation to how the program was being operated? No.

In fact it was a former minister of public works who called in the Auditor General to review this program. It was my colleague, now the Minister of Finance, who froze the program. And in fact it is this government and this Prime Minister who have put in place a comprehensive response to--

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, getting to the bottom is a great idea because that is where they will find all those Liberal Party bottom-feeders. However it will leave a big oil slick on the surface.

Yesterday the Prime Minister told Canadians that spending oversight was not his job; that, he said, was the responsibility of the Treasury Board president.

Perhaps the former president of the Treasury Board could tell us how $100 million could be ripped off from taxpayers right under her nose? How could she stand the smell?

Auditor General's Report
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Winnipeg South
Manitoba

Liberal

Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board

Mr. Speaker, I think we can start with the changes that were undertaken in, I believe, June 1993, by the then Kim Campbell government who removed the comptrollership program, the second line of oversight, something that this Prime Minister has offered to restore.