House of Commons Hansard #29 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

The Budget
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

The Budget
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order, please. It appears that the generosity of the Chair may not always be the wisest way to proceed. I would simply like to remind the hon. member on the government side that when he is speaking to his colleagues, all interventions must be made through the Chair.

If we want to continue our debate in a proper parliamentary manner, it would be wise to conform to the usual practices and make our interventions through the Chair.

We will now proceed with members' statements.

New Horizons Program
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, QC

Mr. Speaker, for many years now, I have been fighting to restore the New Horizons program, which granted subsidies to seniors' groups for projects, thereby contributing to their well-being. This program highlighted volunteer initiatives by seniors for seniors, which also encouraged them to get involved in activities to stay physically fit.

On numerous occasions, during Quebec and national caucus meetings, I had indicated my desire to create a program to better meet the needs of seniors throughout Canada with additional funding.

In closing, I am pleased that budget 2004 also allocates $8 million in 2004-05 and $10 million annually thereafter to the New Horizons program. These funds will help our seniors take part in social activities, lead an active lifestyle and contribute to their communities.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, the avian flu is in my riding of Abbotsford. I have met with our provincial minister of agriculture and our province's chief veterinarian to further understand the problem.

I have also met with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to assess the damages. For three hours last night I listened while producers asked many questions of the CFIA. It is important for everybody to know that this flu affects birds and not people. I want to applaud the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for such a thorough investigation of the issue.

I also want to say that the government will be reimbursing farmers for destroyed birds, but we want the government to understand that there are other costs, such as cleanup, lost production time and lost birds due to the flu, that have to be looked at. We will be back to the government on that issue.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Algoma—Manitoulin, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the federal member of Parliament for the large northern Ontario riding of Algoma—Manitoulin, soon to be renamed Algoma--Manitoulin--Kapuskasing, I have had the opportunity to become very involved with our first nations. I have often said that we have much to learn from our aboriginal citizens and neighbours. Foremost, I find the natural spirituality of our first peoples to be inspirational.

It is important that Canadian society at large help to protect and preserve Canada's aboriginal heritage by working in partnership to support local initiatives to preserve aboriginal culture. If we do not act now, then many of the languages and stories of Canada's original inhabitants may be lost forever.

I want to commend the Kinnomaadoog project of the M'Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island. By working to preserve the stories and languages being passed on by community elders, this project is doing us all a great service.

I want to thank the leaders and participants in this excellent project.

Gérard Paradis
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, Gérard Paradis, a Canadian from Laval-les-Îles, has gone to Colombia under the auspices of Canadian Executive Service Organization, CESO. This organization contributes to activities as part of Canada's contribution to stimulating development in economically disadvantaged countries through the efforts of highly qualified volunteers.

Mr. Paradis' expertise will help a chemical company improve the distribution of its products and develop a strategy for marketing new and improved products. Volunteer work has a profound cumulative effect on nearly all sectors of our society by encouraging their growth and development.

I join the people of Laval in thanking Mr. Paradis and the millions of volunteers working throughout the world to improve the lives of those most in need.

Ordre de la Couronne
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to announce that two Oblate Fathers, who have spent their lives in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, Father Charles Choque and Father Josephee Meeus, have been awarded the Ordre de la Couronne.

This special recognition from King Albert II of Belgium was awarded to Father Choque and Father Meeus for their long and exceptional commitment promoting the culture, values and spirituality of the Inuit with whom they ministered.

The Ambassador of Belgium, Mr. Daniel Leroy, will confer the order upon the two fathers in Rankin Inlet at the end of May.

I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating the new knights.

Renfrew County
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the innovative way to assist eastern Ontario in bringing diversity to our local economy would be to designate Renfrew County with northern status. It has been recognized on both sides of the House that eastern Ontario needs more effective economic development.

The people of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke share many of the challenges of a resource based economy with their neighbours in northern Ontario. In the past, the decision to extend northern status south of the French River was based on politics. From border closures to ruminants, the softwood lumber dispute, SARS, West Nile virus and rising energy prices, the people of Renfrew County and the city of Pembroke need a break.

I call upon the Prime Minister to cherish his Ottawa Valley roots and rise above petty partisan politics to grant Renfrew County northern status before an election is called. It is all about Canadian jobs.

Dominic Agostino
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Canada lost a great parliamentarian and a great Canadian. Dominic Agostino, MPP for Hamilton East, died leaving a gaping hole in our political landscape.

Over the years, Dominic served as a school board trustee, a city and regional councillor, and at Queen's Park since 1995. A fearless fighter, Dominic was energetic, passionate about his community of Hamilton, his province and his country. He dedicated his entire adult life to fighting for the underdog.

Along the way, he earned the respect of his political allies and his opponents, described by one as Mike Harris' worst nightmare. His huge family of friends will miss him greatly. I will miss seeing Dominic at political events where he always had a huge crowd of admirers around him enjoying his ideas, his humour and his loyalty.

I know all colleagues will join me in sending our thoughts and prayers to his family. Those of us who knew him will have many fond memories to cherish of a wonderful person we were lucky to have had enrich our lives.

Jean Vigneault
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week Saint-Hyacinthe and area lost a major figure, when Jean Vigneault, editor in chief of the Courrier de Saint-Hyacinthe , editorial writer, radio personality and voice of conscience, died more quietly than he had ever lived.

Jean Vigneault loved a good fight, particularly a political fight. I have more than once been the victim of his tongue and pen, and they were always sharp. Yet I knew him to be a man of unfailing social commitment, well aware of his influence and making admirable use of that sharp pen to bring about improvements for the common good.

Our last battles on the same side were about employment insurance and keeping the faculty of veterinary medicine. We were at least partially victorious.

Although we did not share the same point of view about the future of Quebec, I kept hoping to be able to convince Jean Vigneault of my views, and as a result of all our discussions we just naturally came to be friends .

My sincere condolences to his wife and family. We will long remember Mr. Vigneault, and our best memories will be of his powerful jibes in the print media.

Greece
Statements By Members

March 25th, 2004 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, this weekend more than 300,000 Canadians of Greek origin will be celebrating the 183rd anniversary of Greece's independence.

My constituents of Hellenic origin and all members of the greater Hellenic community of Montreal and across Canada have contributed to building this great nation by upholding the very same ideals of democratic principles, liberty and individual rights held by their ancestors and shared by all Canadians. These concepts and values originating from Greece have been the basis of the democratic system of government of all modern nations including Canada, my second “patrida”.

I am proud of my Greek origins, as I am proud to be a Canadian. Canada offers an excellent example of a country pursuing the ideals of Hellenism: freedom, democracy and justice.

Today and over the weekend, I invite all members of the House to join their constituents of Hellenic origin in the numerous celebrations, such as receptions, parades and wreath laying ceremonies that will take place across Canada and proclaim:

[Editor's Note: Member spoke in Greek and provided the following translation:]

Long live Greece. Long live Canada.

Greek Independence Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada, the official opposition, I would like to extend to all members of the Greek Canadian community our most heartfelt wishes of support in celebrating Hellenic culture in Canada today, on this Greece's independence day.

On March 25, 1821 Greece declared its independence after 400 years of being under the siege of the Ottoman Empire. I commend all those who gave their lives for peace, justice and equality. I pay tribute to all the brave men, women and children who put their country ahead of everything else.

Canadians of Greek origin remember this day as the day of their independence. It is in this spirit of independence exemplified by the many Greeks in Canada today that makes this country stronger.

I invite all members of Parliament to join in congratulating the Greek community in Canada today.

Arts and culture
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, on May 2, 2001, a major investment in Canadian culture was announced: more than $500 million over three years, in a program called “Tomorrow Starts Today”.

I am pleased to confirm that this investment is renewed for a fourth year, that is, for 2004-05. There will be an additional $207 million invested in 2004-05 in the arts, in book publishing, in heritage and historic sites, in electronic content, in sound recording and in cultural export.

This investment is being used to train a generation of young artists who are more representative of Canada's diversity; strengthen local cultural infrastructure across the country; make Canada's municipalities more aware of the great potential of local culture, using various means; improve the infrastructure needed to preserve Canada's historic sites; and provide on-line access to Canadian culture in both French and English—

Arts and culture
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre.

Racism
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week began with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at a time when new incidents of racism pose a serious challenge.

Parliament has risen to this challenge and so have communities everywhere. I think about the outpouring last night in Toronto against horrible anti-Semitism. I think about amazing developments in my own community of Winnipeg North.

The students at Shaughnessy Park School just won an award for their video What's Wrong With This Picture? in the “Racism: Stop It!” national video competition.

The Unity Group from Maples Collegiate has been awarded the YMCA Youth Peace Medal in recognition of outstanding anti-racism efforts.

Grades 4 and 5 students at Prairie Rose School recently completed an incredible project centred on the Holocaust inspired story Hana's Suitcase . I am especially inspired by one student's line, “The important thing about Hana's Suitcase was that we learned children have the power to change the future”.

I look at these achievements and the spirit they represent and I know we will win this battle against racism.