House of Commons Hansard #14 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was missiles.

Topics

Hoops Unlimited
Statements By Members

February 19th, 2004 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to report that this evening in my riding of Etobicoke North we are celebrating an organization called Hoops Unlimited.

Hoops Unlimited is a program that has young people playing basketball: young people who might otherwise be attracted to gangs, violence and drugs. This program is working very effectively to give young people an alternative to those types of activities, an alternative where they get together, where they have healthy minds and healthy bodies, and where they stay away from those other alternatives that are destabilizing our community and causing a lot of grief for our citizens.

We want to have safer streets. We want to have citizens feeling that they can walk around safely in the city of Toronto, and this program is helping to achieve that objective. I applaud their efforts and wish to congratulate them for their event this evening.

St. Clair River
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, two days ago another chemical spill was reported in the St. Clair River, the second in less than a month. There also was a major spill in the spring of 2003. It has forced water intake pipes shut and, once again, the communities along the river have had their health and environment threatened.

After Imperial Oil spilled the 350,000 litres of oil solvent into the St. Clair River two weeks ago, the Macomb County Water Quality Board voted to fine it $8 million, yet no charges have been laid or fines levied on this side of the border.

Under Canadian law, the price for illegally dumping toxins into our water is paid for by the people who live in affected areas. From corporate polluters we get apologies and tax write-offs, and from this government we get inaction.

It is time that the government gets serious with polluters and makes it illegal to write off fines for poisoning our environment.

Highway Infrastructure
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, last December, I sent out a mailer detailing the progress regarding highway 50 and asked my constituents for their opinion on this matter.

To date, I have received more than 680 responses. It is obvious that the people of Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel have given me the mandate to put pressure on the federal government and the Quebec government.

I ask the Prime Minister of Canada to personally intervene in this matter. It is disgraceful in 2004, after 40 years of unfulfilled promises, that the metropolitan communities of Montreal and the Outaouais are not connected by a highway within Quebec.

It is urgent, for the economic, tourism and social development of an entire region, that highway 50 be immediately completed according to the initial plans, meaning, four lanes and no tolls.

Cultural Development
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Carole-Marie Allard Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, for 25 years now, the aim of Music Arsenal has been to encourage the love of music in young people through concerts designed just for them.

Over the years, Music Arsenal has also played an important role as a cultural agency for young people by initiating them to the joy of cultural discovery.

On Tuesday, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announced $30,000 in financial support for this organization, so it can continue its work with young people.

I am extremely proud to mention this financial support, granted by the Department of Canadian Heritage through its Canadian Arts and Heritage Sustainability Program.

This example is a perfect illustration of our government's commitment to cultural development and access to culture and the arts by Canadians.

Goods and Services Tax
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Betty Hinton Kamloops, Thompson And Highland Valleys, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have asked government ministers repeatedly to waive the GST on supplies and services donated to the reconstruction of fire-ravaged areas of B.C.

Many uninsured people in the North Thompson have rebuilt their homes and places of business thanks to volunteers from all over North America.

They and the businesses who supply materials should be exempted from paying GST.

Fuel donated to truck agricultural goods like cattle feed into fire-stricken areas in my area should have also been GST-free.

The brave men and women firefighters sold T-shirts to raise relief funds and this government is charging them GST.

I am sure all members of the House can see the unfairness of forcing good Samaritans to pay tax on their generosity.

I wish to thank and congratulate the many generous people who have donated labour and materials to assist fire victims and I call upon the government to do the right thing: waive the GST on those donations.

Black History Month
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Guy Carignan Québec East, QC

Mr. Speaker, the month of February is officially recognized as Black History Month in Canada.

I am taking this opportunity to stress the significant contribution of our fellow citizens of African origin in the building of today's Canada. In this regard, I would like to mention the remarkable work done by an organization in my riding, the Regroupement des Africains et Africaines Résidant à Duberger-Les- Saules, better known as the REGARDS group.

Considering that the demographic weight of the Quebec City region is constantly diminishing, the arrival of newcomers must now be a core collective priority. More than ever, we must ensure that our residents of adoption get settled under conditions that facilitates their integration, without questioning their skills, values, traditions and intrinsic values.

The approach used by REGARDS helps achieve this dual objective by promoting the union of cultures in a spirit of harmony, tolerance and mutual respect.

The drive of the members of REGARDS and the relevance of their initiatives make them an example of social solidarity while also showing their desire to participate in the building of tomorrow's Canada.

I am pleased to see the positive role played by groups such as REGARDS in the promotion and strengthening of our nation. I congratulate them for their work, and I encourage them to—

Black History Month
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member for Québec Est, but we must now proceed with oral question period.

The hon. member for Macleod.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, faster than a speeding bullet, that is what they say about Superman, but that is certainly not what they say about public inquiries in Canada. The average length for a public inquiry is about two years.

Has the government, has the Prime Minister, put a deadline on this public inquiry into the Liberal sponsorship scandal?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, quite clearly we want the inquiry to complete its task as quickly as possible, but also we want it to do it thoroughly. We want it to go into every single avenue. We want to leave no stone unturned and we are not going to cut it off on that basis.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government actually is acting like it has a one goal lead and there are five minutes left in the third period. It is dragging its feet in the public accounts committee and it looks like it is going to drag its feet as well on the inquiry.

Will the Prime Minister let us know whether or not we will have a result before the next election is called, yes or no?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra
B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the whole point of an independent inquiry is to have the commissioner of inquiry act independently. He will set his own procedure. He will set his own timeline. He will produce interim reports where he thinks that is necessary.

The terms of reference are very broad. They cover all of the questions around sponsorship and advertising that have been raised in the Auditor General's report.

We have the public accounts committee sitting now, as requested by the Prime Minister. They are working. The commission will begin as soon as possible and report to the public as soon as possible.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we hear the terms of reference are really going to be quite broad, but we know it would take an army of lawyers to have the truth on this out before I retire back to my home in Okotoks.

This question is very specific. Will the government promise Canadians that they will have the truth before we go to the polls in the next election?

Sponsorship Program
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, the member said that we are dragging our feet in the public accounts committee. I believe it was the member for Toronto—Danforth today who tabled a motion asking that all ministers on this file be before the committee next Thursday, with unlimited time. How is that dragging our feet?

I also noted that at the meeting this morning the Auditor General said the Prime Minister and the government have taken this issue seriously and have implemented measures along the lines recommended in her report. What is the problem?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, apparently yesterday the Prime Minister found some of the questions in this House despicable. I can tell members one thing Canadians find absolutely despicable: the use of taxpayers' money by this Prime Minister's government in the last 10 years.

Will the Prime Minister commit today to pay back the money that was used for Liberal polling, the millions of dollars used for Liberal polling? Will he pay that back from Liberal Party coffers so taxpayers are not footing the bill and subsidizing this party?

Sponsorship Program
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, what Canadians find despicable is when someone brings into this chamber false information.