House of Commons Hansard #12 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liberal.

Topics

Charlevoix Lamb
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, widely recognized by epicureans, Charlevoix lamb long ago acquired nobility status in Quebec. Considered a high-end product, Charlevoix lamb is different from other meats available on the market because of its original taste and distinctive flesh.

I recently learned that some 10 producers from Charlevoix have been selected to take part in a pilot project in Quebec to establish the first reserved designation of the type “protected geographical indication” for Charlevoix lamb.

I sincerely hope that the pilot project will open new doors for recognized Quebec producers. Like Charlevoix lamb, local products from Île d'Orléans are refined and sought after. Promoting reserved designation products will no doubt benefit both producers and consumers.

I therefore call on the federal government to take the necessary steps to harmonize its positions with that of Quebec, as recommended by the working group on reserved designations and local products. This would promote greater access to international markets for these products.

Canadian Urban Transit Association
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to welcome the executive of the Canadian Urban Transit Association to Parliament Hill.

Today CUTA released a study announcing that transit systems across Canada need $21 billion over the next four years to renew and expand infrastructure to meet the needs of our growing cities.

Without making these critical investments in transit, tackling transit traffic congestion, improving air quality and meeting Canada's Kyoto commitments will be impossible.

A reliable and sustainable infrastructure program that recognizes the benefits to be gained from improving transit is the logical next step. The government's new deal for cities is providing a down payment to transit systems and shows the government's commitment to transit as an overall investment in the lives of Canadians.

The government is to be congratulated for following CUTA's lead in recognizing the overall role that healthy cities play in Canada's economic and social success.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the moment we have all been waiting for, we have in our hands this year's nominees for our very own “Parliamentary Academy Awards”.

Nominated in the category of the white knuckle, podium clenching press conferences: the Prime Minister of Canada for his ongoing starring role as “The Pirate of the Caribbean”, a swashbuckling political adventure that starts in the Barbados and ends up in the office of the Auditor General.

Nominated for his supporting role in the horror film, “The Day the Liberals Imploded”: Alfonso Gagliano. While not yet rated, taxpayers with blood pressure problems are warned not to watch this film without medical supervision.

Nominated for the best theme: the Liberal Party of Canada for its long running money laundering soap operetta, “Mister, Can You Find It in Your Heart to give Me a Dollar”, or in this case $100 million.

Nominated for the full-length flick: “Cheaper by the Dozen”, the RCMP for the number of files they have opened on the federal Liberals.

And, the winner is, and there are no surprises here, the Liberal Party of Canada for its recent screenplay: “If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What am I Doing in the Pits?”

The losers are Canadian voters who unfortunately have to put up with these bad Liberal actors for another general election.

Identity Theft
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Julian Reed Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we approach tax season, Halton regional police have issued a warning to the residents of Halton riding, particularly those in rural areas, which should be a concern to all members.

With a large number of sensitive documents being mailed out from employers, financial institutions and government agencies, citizens are at risk for identity theft. Criminals target the mail because it contains valuable personal and financial information.

Common sense measures are helpful. People should always use a locking mailbox, approved as secure by Canada Post. Mail should be removed from the box promptly, or if people are out of town, they should have the post office hold their mail. Police should be notified if someone is seen tampering with a mailbox.

Black History Month
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, as many know, February is Black History Month, a month in which we officially acknowledge the important contributions black Canadians have made and continue to make to the national mosaic.

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the 2004 Black Community Leadership Award banquet in Windsor. This year, the award, sponsored by the Windsor and District Black Coalition, honoured the contributions to the community of Dr. Charles Quist-Adade, a former professor at the University of Windsor.

In Windsor and across the country Canadians of black heritage have made significant contributions in the fields of academics, law, medicine and government. My predecessor and fellow New Democrat, Howard McCurdy, was one of the first black members of Parliament.

Indeed, in all walks of life, the black community has helped to make our communities and our country better places to live.

Middle East
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I recognize that Israel is within its rights to construct a security barrier on its own territory. However, the Sharon government is constructing the provocative security wall on territories occupied by Israel in direct and deliberate contravention of international law.

Again today, I join my voice to that chorus of voices, including many Israeli citizens and security experts, who are demanding that the Sharon government stop its unilateral and counter-productive action.

This wall denies basic human rights to the Palestinian people and further reduces the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to the status of concentration camps. The deplorable impact on the daily lives of Palestinians is unconscionable. The Government of Canada must not just speak against this atrocity, it must take concrete action to impress on the Sharon government our grave concerns.

It is neither anti-Israel nor anti-Semitic to criticize the inflammatory actions of the Sharon government. Like most Canadians, my hope is that Israel and its Arab neighbours will agree to coexist peacefully and build bridges of justice, not walls of desperation.

Softwood Lumber
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, between May 23, 2002, and January 23, 2004, the softwood lumber crisis has affected more than 10,000 jobs in Quebec alone. In the week of January 23 alone, more than 1,676 jobs were affected. Regions that rely on the forestry industry are running out of steam and the current attitude of the federal government fuels this sense of despair.

Jobs are lost by the thousands and Quebec sawmills cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel, yet there is no news from the federal government about implementing a real plan for supporting the industry in the affected regions.

The case is not closed. Forestry, industrial, regions and the workers in the lead feel like they have been sent to the front line without being given the means to cope with a prolonged crisis. The federal government has to announce the budget soon for its strategy so that, once free trade resumes, the forestry industry in Quebec will not be death's door.

What we need is loan guarantees for companies, aid for the affected workers, and renewal of the economic diversification program for the affected regions.

Foreign Affairs
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, governing in general by the federal Liberal government is finally being exposed as the disaster we have always known it to be. Now the Governor General herself, who personally fulfills her duties honourably, is being tainted with the Liberal broad brush of overspending and lack of focus.

The questionable direction given by the Minister of Foreign Affairs has cast a pall over her office. If the Minister of Foreign Affairs had been transparent last year at the launch of the 59-person circumpolar trot, the $5 million dollar travelogue would probably have been stopped in its tracks before the public got railroaded. However, as usual, we had to discover the true cost of this Liberal overrun after the fact.

While Canadian ranchers and grain farmers face extinction because of failed foreign trade negotiations with the United States and Japan and when our foreign policy on national defence underfunding raises questions among our NATO partners, it is not the time to waste money and credibility on questionable super sized foreign junkets.

It is time we had a government that got the country back on track with sound policy and respect for taxpayers dollars.

Sponsorship Program
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Larry Spencer Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, there are big scandals and then there are big, big scandals. A big scandal was the Enron disaster that was about cooked books and altered assets. Millions of dollars disappeared and people went to jail. This sponsorship scandal is a big, big scandal. It is hurting Canadians.

The Prime Minister says that he is madder than hell. I can tell him that Canadians are madder than he can imagine. After all, they are not putting their heads down on a silk pillow at 24 Sussex. They are going to bed at night wondering where they will be getting the next month's mortgage payment.

While the Prime Minister was minister of finance, he authored CPP increases for the largest tax increase Canadians have ever experienced. He slashed billions of dollars from the health care budget. He took money out of the pockets of Canadians and out of their hospitals. He overcharged workers by billions of dollars in EI funds, and all the while he kept writing cheques for bogus sponsorship deals.

Canadians are mad and they will let the Prime Minister know just how mad they are when he decides to call the next election. I say, bring it on.

Ray Lewis Elementary School
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the trustees of Hamilton--Wentworth District School Board recently named Hamilton Mountain's newest elementary school Ray Lewis Elementary School.

Ray Lewis passed away last year at the age of 93, but his legacy will last a lifetime. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Vivienne Lewis. Raised in Hamilton, Ray attended Hamilton Central Collegiate, and went on to become the first Canadian-born black athlete to win an Olympic medal. As a member of the 4x400 relay team, he brought home a bronze medal for Canada.

Ray spent considerable time talking to school-aged children about racial prejudice and overcoming adversity. Ray has been immortalized on the Hamilton Wall of Fame, and received the Order of Canada in 2001.

I am proud to announce that 700 students will be entering this new school in September, with Ray Lewis as a constant reminder and example of how all challenges can be overcome.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to share a nightmare being lived out daily by farmers and ranchers across our country. While the government tries to cover up its scandals, these people are struggling just to get through each day.

Mr. Brian Patron, a young cattle producer from my riding, is on the verge of losing everything he owns. He needs financial help to keep his cattle but is being told no by lending institutions. If he were to sell his cattle today, he would lose $600 per calf. On a herd of just 75 animals, that is a loss of $45,000.

The bank advised him to just give up and look for work on the Alberta oil fields. Without support from the government, that will be his only option. He, like countless other farmers, will be forced to leave his home, his family and his livelihood.

The food providers of this country are desperate for financial aid now. When will the Prime Minister get serious about governing this country?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

February 17th, 2004 / 2:15 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been in his job now for 67 days. He has had time for a big media blitz and a cross-Canada tour to try and do damage control, but apparently he has not found time yet to pick up the phone and ask his cabinet ministers what they knew and when they knew it about the sponsorship scandal.

Why has he not done that?

Sponsorship Program
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 I said yesterday, what this government is committed to doing and what this Prime Minister is committed to doing is getting to the bottom of this situation and making sure Canadians have the opportunity to know what happened.

That is why we are having a public inquiry. That is why the public accounts committee, chaired by the hon. member for St. Albert, is hard at work. That is why we are introducing whistleblower legislation. That is why we are conducting a review of the FAA. That is why we are conducting a review of the relationship between crown agencies and the government.

We are committed--

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if the polling numbers are any indication, they will get to the bottom pretty soon indeed.

The Prime Minister has said that he wants to get to the bottom of the scandal and to leave no stone unturned. Cleaning this up could start right here. Why has the Prime Minister not simply let his fingers do the walking and his cabinet do the talking on the issue of the sponsorship scandal?