House of Commons Hansard #5 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was new.

Topics

Sports
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know of the great traditions of our athletes in many winter sports, whether it be hockey, skiing, skating or curling.

Canada has an exceptional pool of young athletes and so far in this winter season of 2004, our athletes have been on international podiums on over 80 occasions in 8 different winter sports.

Whether it be our speed skaters, like Jeremy Wotherspoon, our freestyle skiers, like Stephanie St-Pierre, or our junior men's hockey team, Canadian athletes are proudly representing Canada on the international stage.

Today, I wish to congratulate all of our athletes, coaches and the organizations supporting these achievements. As we look to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic games, we know that Canadians, with the continued support from governments and the private sector, will be ready to shine.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gary Schellenberger Perth—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address the House on a matter of great importance to the people of Perth--Middlesex and to all Canadians.

Recently, the Government of Canada has closed the border to U.S. beef due to a single case of an animal infected with BSE. At a time when Canadian farmers are in desperate need of free and unfettered access to the lucrative market of our American neighbours, this is a most harmful step for the government to take.

Science has proven our beef is safe. The science applies to American beef as well. Canadians believe in this science as beef consumption has increased during this crisis.

Trust is a two way street. Canadian beef is safe. American beef if safe. Canada needs to bargain and act in good faith with our American friends. Canadian consumers are doing their part. When will the government do its fair share?

Festival du voyageur
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Festival du voyageur, western Canada's largest winter festival, will take place from February 13 to 22 in the old quarter of Saint Boniface.

In 2004, the festival celebrates its 35th year. I would like to recognize all of its organizers for their invaluable contributions. Thanks to them, this festival has won major national and international awards.

The festival brings over 150,000 visitors and a positive economic impact of over $11 million to Manitoba. It attracts talented artists from all over Canada.

With such activities as the Governor's Ball and the Festin des bourgeois, the festival brings to life the days of the earliest Canadian arrivals in the west, people who played a vital role in the fur trade, all the way from Montreal to Louisiana.

During the Festival des voyageurs, Fort Gibraltar and the other sites will vibrate to the rhythms of the francophone, Métis and First Nations traditions of the 19th century Red River Colony.

Proud of their heritage, Franco-Manitobans invite you to come and share the joie de vivre of their community and warm up the Manitoba winter.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, Health Canada's reckless handling of millions of dollars in funding for the Virginia Fontaine Addictions Foundation is a key part of the government's abysmal accountability record, right along with HRDC, Groupaction, Radwanski, the gun registry and Canada Steamship Lines.

Just like the others, in the face of millions in losses, criminal charges and most important the loss of vital services to aboriginal communities, the Liberal response has been to deny, obscure, delay and avoid. And this is the government that has the nerve to brag about its accountability.

The Prime Minister and the Minister of Health desperately want to move on because the deeper we dig, the more we find.

Canadians demand full answers, not promises.

Why, four years after red flags went up, was Health Canada, under Deputy Minister David Dodge, still a cash cow to all comers, still writing cheques on demand and handing out bonuses to those involved?

If there ever were a need for a public inquiry, this is it, and that is what we are demanding today.

Guaranteed Income Supplement
Statements By Members

February 6th, 2004 / 11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the last two oral question periods, the Minister of Social Development has found a way to praise her government for realizing a savings of several billion dollars at a direct cost to low-income seniors, through the guaranteed income supplement.

How can she support the strategy of the former finance minister which was never to control his government's spending, but rather to take money from the pockets of the most vulnerable?

How can the minister turn up her nose at the Bloc Quebecois proposal that urges retroactive reimbursement of the billions of dollars owed to low-income seniors, and still support the Prime Minister's initiative to exempt his ships from the Income Tax Act when he was Minister of Finance?

This double standard is simply repugnant and shows everyone what a lack of respect the minister, the Prime Minister, and this government have for our senior citizens who have been and continue to be the honoured builders of our communities.

Winterlude
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, every February, Canada's national capital region hosts Winterlude, North America's greatest winter festival. Winterlude is three weeks of amazing activities, such as ice sculptures, concerts, and the fascinating snow playground. Winterlude is a great way to celebrate winter.

Winterlude was founded in 1979 by the National Capital Commission. Eight hundred generous people volunteer in preparing Winterlude, creating economic activity in our region.

I want to congratulate the NCC for its excellent work. I want to congratulate its chairman, Marcel Beaudry, for the excellent work he is doing in this and other areas. May he remain the chairman of the National Capital Commission for years to come.

Immigration
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has refused to grant asylum to Song Dae Ri, a trade official who was posted to North Korea's Beijing embassy before he defected to what he thought was the safety of Canada, with his wife and son, in 2001.

His wife was lured home before she had a chance to make a refugee claim and was then executed by North Korea's Stalinist regime.

Despite a death sentence hanging over his head, the government has ruled that Mr. Ri should not be given asylum here.

Let us contrast this sad case with that of Charles Ng, the serial murderer and rapist who the Liberals sought to spare from capital punishment by refusing to extradite him to face the rule of law in California. However, Mr. Ri has been denied asylum and forced into hiding here to save himself from certain death at the hands of a government respects no law, no human rights and no treaties.

What explanation can the government offer for this moral outrage?

Why does the government extend Canada's shelter to criminals and terrorists, while refusing to save a father from the clutches of a savage Communist regime?

John Cain
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remember John Cain, a well respected photographer who passed away on January 25, 2004.

Born in Australia, John travelled to St. Catharines in 1957. He decided to stay in Canada when he was introduced to Reba, the young woman who would become his wife.

John worked in sales but his passion was photography. About 30 years ago, started photographing weddings in his spare time and then branched out into sports photography. He attended many sports events covering the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta, Brock University and many high school athletic competitions.

This hobby also led to numerous freelance assignments with the St. Catharines Standard and many local photos for my quarterly householder.

John was known to send photographs to many of his celebrity subjects like Ferguson Jenkins and Walter Gretzky. They became his friends.

John Cain's legacy can be found in the wonderful photographs that he took doing what he truly enjoyed. It was my privilege to know John Cain and to call him my friend.

On behalf of the House, I extend heartfelt condolences to John's wife Reba, his children, Randi, John and Michael and his grandchildren.

Ethics Commissioner
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, is it not ironic that this government, when talking about its so-called new ethics regime, is acting in a most unethical fashion? Describing what it is doing would actually require unparliamentary language.

Liberals keep using the phrase “independent ethics commissioner” and yet the bill explicitly says that when dealing with cabinet ministers, the commissioner will provide private and confidential advice to the Prime Minister. That is the same as the Chrétien plan, and it is rotten to the core.

They are hoping that by saying the word “independent” often enough, the people will come to believe it. Sadly, the media is falling for the trap because it has not read the actual wording in the bill.

I am most displeased. How I wish that this Liberal government would own up to its deception in this matter so that people could judge this plan based on truth rather than on the Liberal spin. To quote the Minister of Finance, “Repeating a falsehood does not make it true”.

Canada Steamship Lines
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, Technology Partnerships Canada, an agency with Industry Canada, has a very stringent grant process application. Clause 13 of that process states that no member of Parliament is to benefit from TPC grants.

In June 2003 the Prime Minister's company, Canada Shipbuilding and Engineering, received a $4.9 million TPC taxpayer investment.

Could the industry minister tell us why clause 13 was removed from the Prime Minister's TPC agreement to his benefit?

Canada Steamship Lines
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, this matter was examined by the ethics counsellor, and it is quite clear that neither the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard nor anyone else intervened in the standard Technology Partnerships Canada award process.

So there is no problem.

Canada Steamship Lines
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, that is cold comfort. Any time the corruption approval officer looks at one of these things, it inevitably goes by the wayside.

Clause 13 is clear. It prevents any member of Parliament from receiving a technology partnership grant. It is crystal clear. The Prime Minister's company received $4.9 million while the government was shutting down the Irving shipyard in Saint John, New Brunswick, leaving CSE as the only major shipbuilder in Canada.

Why were the rules broken and ignored to the benefit of the Prime Minister's company?

Canada Steamship Lines
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, no rules were broken. The exact opposite is true. All the rules were followed, the matter was referred to the ethics counsellor and he quite clearly said that the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard had not intervened and that no other individual had intervened in the standard Technology Partnerships Canada award process.

So there is no problem.

Canada Steamship Lines
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister is wrong on all counts, and I am not the only one saying so.

A senior bureaucrat with her department at Technology Partnerships Canada said that the Prime Minister's application should have received a negative recommendation, that it did not meet TPC guidelines. Not surprisingly, the ethics counsellor, who is hand-picked by the prime minister and reports only to him, approved it. He gave it the thumbs up yet again.

Why was the Prime Minister allowed to receive the TPC grants? Why was that allowed to happen when he clearly did not qualify? How does this square, and how is that fair?

Canada Steamship Lines
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Mr. Speaker, again the member is wrong. The former finance minister did not apply to the program. Let us be clear here: this is the company.

The company as such, like any other Canadian company, can take advantage of various programs offered by the Government of Canada. It was quite obvious that clear ethics guidelines were needed.

That is why it was referred to the ethics counsellor, who ruled on the matter and determined that the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard had not intervened.