House of Commons Hansard #30 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parties.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, we are approaching the one year anniversary of an exciting campaign to rebuild Iraq that originated in Edmonton. It is called “Rebuilding Iraq...One Town at a Time”.

Each city in Canada is asked to support a sister city in Iraq. Edmontonians have chosen to adopt Abul Khaseeb, a city of 160,000 people which was on the front line of the Iraq-Iran war and suffered horrible retribution from Saddam Hussein following the 1991 Gulf War.

Last year, a fundraising rally was held in Edmonton's Hawrelak Park to launch this campaign to help the people of Abul Khaseeb. I would like to thank Dr. Yarub Al-Shiraida, an Iraqi native and resident of Edmonton since 1979, for his efforts in leading this campaign.

This is a positive initiative, and I would encourage all Canadians to visit www.liferelief.org to find out how they can adopt a town and help Iraq rebuild.

World Theatre Day
Statements By Members

March 26th, 2004 / 11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Serge Marcil Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, March 27 is World Theatre Day, a day to reflect on the importance of this performing art in the lives of all Canadians who love theatre, particularly our young people.

Theatre allows communities to bring their dreams to life. Its numerous forms respect individual tastes, from classical to avant-garde, popular to abstract.

Energy and diversity are the trademarks of theatre in Canada. It fills us with emotions, laughter and magic. It stimulates our imagination, helps us see the world from a variety of perspectives, and contributes to our country's cultural diversity.

I would like to thank everyone who works on stage and behind the scenes to enrich our lives through this vibrant art form.

I invite my colleagues and all Canadians to take part in organized activities in their regions in celebration of this day.

Jacob Daniel Edelson
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, Jacob “Jake” Daniel Edelson passed away in his sleep on March 24, leaving behind his mother, Miriam, his father, Jim, his sister, Emma, and thousands of people who knew him and were touched by him.

In his 13 years of life this young man made a huge difference in the world. He was born with lissencephaly, a condition which presented challenges every hour of the day to his caregivers, his loved ones and of course, to Jake himself.

His mother, Miriam, fought fiercely and publicly for quality care for her son and for recognition of his rights to a dignified life. She spoke out for the need for strong public policies that support families of children with special needs.

Last summer Jake had his bar mitzvah and it was a jubilant occasion for all who attended.

Last weekend his sister, Emma, and his mother visited Jake at Susie's Place, his home away from home, the excellent group home where he lived in Belleville, Ontario.

Jake gave back so much to the world around him. Today in the House we wish to celebrate his birth and his short precious life.

Official languages
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, recently the Official Languages Commissioner tabled a report that confirmed what the Bloc Quebecois has been saying for years about bilingual services provided by federal institutions in the National Capital Region.

The results of the study show that in Gatineau, telephone and in-person services are exemplary. In Ottawa, however, the results are, and I quote, “disappointing and there is plenty of room for improvement”.

Yet, according to commercial tenants, providing bilingual services has business advantages because it helps increase market share and, in general, the overall advantages outweigh the cost.

The federal government, as the landlord, must comply with the requirements of the legislation and ensure that language clauses are respected in its buildings. The facts are clear. On the Quebec side we obey the law. We expect the same in Ottawa.

International Aide
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has always taken part in peacekeeping efforts throughout the world and with the 2004 budget, this tradition continues.

The budget adds $248 million to the 8% increase in international assistance already allocated for 2004-05 in the last budget. This represents a new increase of 8% for 2005-06.

This money will allow us to provide humanitarian assistance in such countries as Iraq and Afghanistan, and help citizens rebuild their country. Of course, this is in addition to the $50 million to assist with peacekeeping in Haiti, and an extra $250 million to assist with peacekeeping in Afghanistan for two years.

We can continue to be proud of Canada's role on the international stage.

Friendship Hockey Tournament
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, a contest of sporting excellence has taken place in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The Friendship Hockey Tournament between the Brocton Boxers and the Valley Graphics Canadians is international peewee hockey at its best.

Young 12 and 13 year old American hockey ambassadors from Boston met their Canadian counterparts in Fredericton by special invitation of Premier Bernard Lord.

Last year's immature, shameful adult anti-American protestations, learned from Liberal parliamentarians, directed against young American team members are being forgotten by this year's mature 12 year old sportsmen.

Who will win the series is not in question. Both Canada and the United States will win by the much needed renewal of mutual respect and friendship.

Let us thank those responsible for the organization of this international friendship contest and congratulate the real heroes, the peewee players of both countries.

Perdita Felicien and David Ford
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Robert Lanctôt Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to pay tribute to two exceptional Canadians, Perdita Felicien and David Ford, who were named Female Athlete of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year 2003 at the most recent Canadian Sport Awards, held Tuesday evening in Toronto.

Perdita Felicien won world recognition in August 2003 as the gold medallist in 100-metre hurdles at the International Association of Athletics Federations world championships in Paris, at the same time breaking the Canadian record for that event.

David Ford won a silver medal in the senior slalom world championships in Germany and was grand champion of the 2003 World Cup ranking event in kayak slalom.

We will continue to encourage David and Perdita in their quest for gold medals at the Athens Olympic Games this August.

I would also like to congratulate all the other award winners who were honoured for their exceptional performances and their contributions to Canadian sport.

Whistleblower Protection
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Darrel Stinson Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, current hearings being conducted by the public accounts committee into the sponsorship scandal make clear how much government waste could be avoided if we had some way for employees in each department to get their concerns dealt with. Instead, conscientious employees who see things not being done right often must put their jobs on the line to get action.

Canadians and their federal employees urgently need a new law. According to the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation, “Canada is still the only major industrialized democracy without adequate whistleblower protection for public servants”.

This government has proposed Bill C-25 but it needs amendments. I urge the government in the strongest terms to consult with the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the public service integrity officer, Dr. Edward Keyserlingk, to develop the amendments needed for conscientious federal employees to get wrongdoing corrected quickly.

Canadians and whistleblowers deserve no less.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government is out of control and the unity fund is just the latest example. The finance minister cancelled the secret fund because of all of the problems with it. Even the Prime Minister's own official called it a honey pot.

Yesterday the Prime Minister called the fund a normal operating procedure. Who represents the government's position, the Minister of Finance who rejected the fund, or the Prime Minister who is defending it?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, when this government came to power in 1993 there were a number of reserve funds across government which had been put in place by the previous Conservative government. This one was used to fund programs in the interest of national unity, about which the government has been clear, that we intended to take a different approach on those issues.

We are taking a different approach in the new government which was sworn in on December 12. That is why we are doing away with this reserve.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the member for Calgary Centre laid bare that lie yesterday. That just is not so. The Prime Minister is defending this secret fund. He continues to do that.

Eddie Goldenberg, the top aide to the former prime minister, said that the current Prime Minister knew about the fund all along. Even the Auditor General had no knowledge that the half a billion dollars was spent with no rules or program criteria.

Why did the Prime Minister, the former minister of finance, continue to let this fund go unchecked under his watch for 10 years?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman should be a great deal more cautious in his language. The fact is the hon. member for Calgary Centre did not state as the gentleman has stated in the House. The quote is not his.

When we came to power there were a number of reserve funds across the whole government which had been put in place by the previous government, a fact admitted by the former prime minister, the right hon. member for Calgary Centre.

With respect to Mr. Goldenberg's comments, it has been quite clear and was indeed made clear in a response in the House by the Prime Minister some two weeks ago. He responded by saying that he had never used the fund and that in fact--

The Budget
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Peace River.

The Budget
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the old trick of smoke and mirrors is no longer working. Canadians do not believe the government on this issue.

The finance minister cancelled the Prime Minister's secret Liberal fund because it failed to meet sound fiscal management. The Prime Minister knew about the program for the past 10 years yet chose to hide it from the Auditor General and Canadians.

Why did it take him a decade to cancel this fund? Who really speaks for Canadians these days and the Liberal government in the House, the finance minister or the Prime Minister?

The Budget
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, once again the hon. member is not telling the House the true situation. The fact of these funds was well known throughout the government. The Prime Minister responded in the House two weeks ago and made it perfectly clear that the existence of such funds was well known, as it was to the previous Conservative government. What he did say, however, with respect to this particular fund, which he has never accessed as Prime Minister, was he did not see the need for it and to abolish it.

Again, the hon. member should once more check what the Auditor General has said because his comments do not reflect the true spirit of the words she used.