House of Commons Hansard #27 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was countries.

Topics

Toronto Jewish Community
Statements By Members

March 23rd, 2004 / 2:05 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of my New Democrat colleagues to condemn in the strongest possible terms the recent anti-Semitic attacks in the Toronto area.

It is an outrage to witness anti-Semitic hate messages and swastikas sprayed on Jewish homes, synagogues and schools, and the desecration of Jewish graves. I call on all parliamentarians to support the recent OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Berlin Declaration condemning all anti-Semitic violence in the OSCE space and seeking aggressive law enforcement by local and national authorities.

There must be zero tolerance for hatred and violence targeting all vulnerable groups in our society, including on the basis of race, colour, gender and gender identity, religion, sexual orientation and ethnic origin.

B'nai B'rith has documented an alarming increase in anti-Semitic attacks in Canada in recent years. These despicable and cowardly anti-Semitic acts must be denounced by all Canadians.

As Senator Jerry Grafstein recently said, “...words of incitement against Jews are always followed by discrimination against the 'other'. This is the pathology of hate. This is the oxygen of violence”.

Pay Equity
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Employment Equity Act requires employers within the federal jurisdiction to develop and implement equity programs in an effort to achieve a fair and representative work force.

The 2003 annual report indicates that women are still under-represented in a number of fields; that they earn on average 78 cents for every dollar earned by men; that the salary gap between women and men working full-time continues to widen; that women are still limited to clerical positions; and that the representation of women in the workforce under the act dropped by 5,000 in 2002.

For years now, the federal government has been taking only superficial action, while the situation of women has been deteriorating. The Bloc Quebecois is outraged at the federal government's inaction as far as the status of women is concerned, and urges it to take action and show some equity.

Festival du film de l'Outaouais
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind hon. members that they still have a few days to enjoy the Festival du film de l'Outaouais.

The sixth edition of the Festival du film de l'Outaouais includes some 40 movies from about 15 countries. These include Quebec films such as Seducing Doctor Lewis , In the Eye of the Cat , The Far Side of the Moon , Gaz Bar Blues , and the co-production, The Triplettes of Belleville .

This year, the Canadian production has enjoyed exceptional success and I want to pay tribute to all those who work in the film industry. It is also thanks to the determination of cultural promoters such as Didier Farré, the festival's director, if Canadians have access to such a variety of interesting films.

I urge my colleagues to not miss this major event in the Outaouais region.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, this government introduced the Youth Criminal Justice Act with much fanfare, but it has failed to impress my constituents living in Saskatoon's Caswell Hill area.

These residents support finding constructive, rehabilitating alternatives to prison, but point out that this government has failed to provide the necessary support. Without supporting alternatives to prison with adequate funding and services, the new act will not help our youth find proper direction.

As the members of the Caswell Community Eyez-Crimewatch Network have requested, I am calling on the government to properly fund and support the services needed to make the new Youth Criminal Justice Act work. Saskatoon already has crime challenges. Our youth and our community cannot wait any longer.

I wish to extend thanks to Jeanne, Stephanie, Kelly and Constable Kerry Ruddick for meeting with me on behalf of their community.

Sara Corning
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to recognize the life and accomplishments of Ms. Sara Corning, a native of Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. Ms. Corning was born in 1872 and her story reflects Canada's legacy of compassion and international humanitarianism.

In 1921, Sara Corning arrived in a small Turkish village to take charge of an orphanage. Longstanding conflict between the Turks and Armenians had resulted in hundreds of thousands of homeless and starving children.

In 1922, fighting erupted in the Turkish port city of Smyrna. As the city began to burn, Corning assisted in delivering more than 5,000 mostly Armenian and Greek children from an orphanage to the harbour, where they were transported to Greece aboard American destroyers. Upon arrival in Greece, Corning established an orphanage for these young victims of war, famine and disease.

For her courage and dedication, King George II of Greece awarded Corning the Silver Cross Medal of the Order of the Saviour. Upon retiring, Sara Corning returned to Yarmouth County, where she lived until her death in 1969.

I wish to thank the member for Brampton Centre for bringing this story to our attention.

Bell Island
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, today is budget day and the people of Bell Island in St. John's East are wondering what the Minister of Finance has in store for them.

For the benefit of my colleagues, let me say that Bell Island once had the largest iron ore mine in the world. It was one of the few places in North America directly involved in World War II, when ore carriers were torpedoed at the dock.

The mine closed in 1966. As a result, the population was considerably reduced. Tourism is now a local growth industry, with tours and theatre groups putting the old submarine mine tunnels to good use once again.

I want to remind the Minister of Finance that small rural communities like Bell Island are still in need of economic development. Bell Island stood on the front lines during one of the darkest periods of our history and I urge the Minister of Finance to remember this when he brings down his budget so that communities like Bell Island can have a secure future as well.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last week before the public accounts committee we saw some pretty strong evidence that a Liberal witness was lying.

My deputy leader tabled the motion before that committee asking that Mr. Gagliano release all documents pertaining to his testimony, yet today Liberal members of the committee voted unanimously against that motion.

If the Prime Minister is serious about getting to the bottom of this matter, will he intervene directly and tell his members to make sure all this information is available immediately?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government's position has been from the very beginning that all such information, all information that is pertinent, should be made available. That is why we went to the unprecedented step of furnishing the opposition and the committee with cabinet minutes, cabinet minutes which have never been made public before 30 years were up.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Liberal witnesses are not telling the truth. Liberal members are softballing questions. They are running out the clock. Now they are blocking motions requiring information to be released.

I am going to ask the Prime Minister again. Is he prepared to intervene directly and tell the Liberal members to reverse their vote and require Mr. Gagliano to release all of his documentation to the committee?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

In fact, Mr. Speaker, the reason that so much information has been provided, the reason that unprecedented numbers of recent cabinet minutes have been made available, is precisely that Liberal members have exercised their function responsibly. I am very proud of the Liberal members on this committee. They want to get to the bottom of it and we are going to get to the bottom of it.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today they are blocking getting to the bottom of it and the Prime Minister should be responsible, get in there and tell them to stop doing that.

Mr. Speaker, a Liberal member of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts has said that we will never know who is at the bottom of this scandal.

By rejecting the motion in committee today, is this not precisely what Liberal members are achieving?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I did not attend the committee meeting this morning, but I can assure the Leader of the Opposition that Liberal members who sit on the committee will assume their responsibilities and that they will do so the way they should, which is by being open and transparent.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, this Liberal cover-up continues. If the Prime Minister really wanted to get to the bottom of this, he would probably recognize that it is going to lead to the top.

Last week I moved a motion in committee to simply have the briefing notes of Alfonso Gagliano tabled at the committee so we could test the veracity of his statements there.

Is this the way to openness and transparency or is this a way to continue a cover-up before an election? When are we going to get those briefing notes?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member opposite should know that we have no control over the committees. However, if he wants to get some information from Mr. Gagliano, all he has to do is to ask him to appear before the committee.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, these committees are supposed to be a fulsome examination of facts. The Prime Minister has to recognize that his “mad as hell” tour is over. It has been a sham. It has been exposed.

The Prime Minister's promises of transparency and accountability are pretty thin gruel when we look at what happened in the committee today. Liberal members voted down an attempt to get to the truth. Why did the Prime Minister instruct Liberal members of the committee to cover up the truth about what Mr. Gagliano was doing at Public Works?