House of Commons Hansard #33 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by the hon. member for York South—Weston.

[Editor's Note: Members sang the national anthem]

David Strangway
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, David Strangway retires as president of the Canada Foundation for Innovation this week. Dr. Strangway is an officer of the Order of Canada, a former president of UBC and a distinguished geologist who worked on moon rocks retrieved by the Apollo missions.

Since 1998, under his leadership, the CFI has transformed the research landscape in Canada. It has helped change research and development in institutions in every province. Some 3,208 projects in 115 institutions in 56 municipalities have benefited from CFI support. Its investments have helped recruit 3,000 new faculty, retain 3,000 more and attract about 9,000 graduate students.

In a very short time Dr. Strangway strengthened institutions large and small, and decentralized research across the country. He helped research institutes, universities and colleges. I particularly appreciate his support of smaller research centres, as well as larger ones, and his recognition of the importance of linkages between such centres.

On behalf of all members, I thank David Strangway for his service to Canada and wish him well with the Sea to Sky University project in Squamish, B.C.

Volunteer Emergency Workers
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, a provincial inquest into the deaths of three Manitoba residents has determined that many rural Manitoba communities lack an acceptable level of resources to protect residents from the threat of fire. This ruling further underlines the need for the House to consider amendments to the Income Tax Act, such as the proposal to allow volunteer emergency workers to deduct $3,000 from their taxable income, as the Conservative members of Parliament for Lethbridge and South Shore have long advocated.

This move would not only recognize the importance of volunteer men and women in emergency services and Canada's dependence on their services, but it would go a long way in helping communities attract and retain volunteers. In a small way, it would compensate those courageous individuals for their important service to their community.

Insurance Industry
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, many people across Canada have found the dramatic increases in insurance premiums to be quite debilitating. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, insurance claims costs in Ontario were more than 50% higher during the last quarter of 2000 than during the last quarter of 1999. Last April, Statistics Canada reported that auto and home insurance premiums had risen 26.3% and 6.7% respectively.

In addition, there has been considerable coverage in the media addressing the great increase in the insurance industry's profits, which exceeded $2.6 billion in 2003. This is calculated to be almost 675% higher than the previous year.

Taking these numbers into consideration, I ask my colleagues in the chamber to become involved in working together federally and provincially in addressing this issue.

Arts and Culture
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that the Minister of Canadian Heritage has confirmed that the Government of Canada will continue to pursue its efforts in building the capacity of Canadian arts organizations through the renewal of the government's investment in arts and culture, known as “Tomorrow Starts Today”, in the new fiscal year. After just three years, we are seeing extremely positive results of this initiative.

Through this program, the government is awarding an amount exceeding $9 million this year to qualified arts organizations across the country, matching every dollar raised from the private sector and deposited into an endowment fund. In three years Canada will have invested more than $20 million for that purpose, which leveraged $26 million from the private sector.

Together we can ensure that the organizations that contribute so much to the cultural life of our communities have the means to continue to do so.

User Fees Act
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Fontana London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, democratic reform is alive and well in the House of Commons.

Today Bill C-212 will receive royal assent. This bill represents what can be achieved when MPs from all sides of the House and ministers collaborate to help great ideas become good government policy. The bill represents the long and hard work of the Liberal member for Etobicoke North, of whom we should all be proud.

The bill will bring greater transparency, accountability and parliamentary oversight to federal government departments and agencies when they attempt to recover costs through user fees. It will provide greater parliamentary oversight; greater stakeholder participation in the fee setting process; improved links between user fees and performance; and the requirement that a more comprehensive stakeholder impact and competitiveness analysis is done when new user fees, or fee increases, are contemplated.

Who says an individual member of Parliament cannot make a difference in this place?

Gertrude Crosbie
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the late Gertrude Crosbie of St. John's, who died on Saturday at age 78.

Mrs. Crosbie and her late husband Bill formed a local Cerebral Palsy Association in 1961 and opened Virginia Waters School for Children with Cerebral Palsy in 1968.

Gertrude Crosbie was a tireless volunteer with many causes: CNIB, YWCA, Meals on Wheels, the Newfoundland Historic Parks Association and the Maritime History Archives at Memorial University.

In recognition of her efforts on behalf of the community, Mrs. Crosbie was awarded an honorary doctorate from Memorial University and the Order of Canada.

I am sure all hon. members join me in passing on our condolences to her family and friends and our thanks for a life well lived in the service of her fellow citizens.

Wilbert Keon
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Eugène Bellemare Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to salute one of Canada's top visionaries and top cardiologist.

Dr. Wilbert Keon is the heart and soul of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. Dr. Keon saved my life in 1996 when he performed emergency triple bypass surgery on me.

As a surgeon, a senator, a builder and an administrator, he consistently put people first.

Tomorrow, Dr. Keon hands over the reins of the internationally reputed Ottawa Heart Institute. It is a day that he will leave others to continue in his footsteps to continue to build on the research and administration of one of the world's top heart institutes.

The heart institute provides extraordinary care to Canadians, and does so in the country's two official languages.

Diane Descôteaux
Statements By Members

March 31st, 2004 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, for Diane Descôteaux, a poet from Bon-Conseil, the past few months have been quite memorable, with 10 of her poems winning awards on the other side of the Atlantic.

To name a few, she received the award of merit for unpublished works, won the Apollon d'or French literary competition, an honourable mention in the 2003 poetry competition, first prize in the classic, neo-classic sonnet category of the Millen'Arts Journal , the first Robert-Jolly award from the Société des poètes et artistes de France, and the bronze medal in classic poetry from the Académie européenne des Arts-France.

For 2004, the poet hopes her two new collections will be picked up by a publisher. For the rest, she will continue to write and keep writing for a long time.

I congratulate Diane Descôteaux for her excellent work and for the well-deserved recognition she has been given.

New Horizons Program
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Serge Marcil Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes the importance for Canadian communities of the so-called “social economy enterprises”. Not only do we recognize the importance of these organizations, we also follow up with concrete action.

Indeed, in the 2004 budget, our government pledged to allocate $8 million in 2004-05 and $10 million annually thereafter to the New Horizons Program.

The New Horizons Program provides funding to seniors' groups for various projects that are dear to them. In so doing, it helps maximize the impact of the volunteer work done by our seniors across Canada.

Our country can take great pride in the fact that it can count on a large number of volunteers for whom retirement is not synonymous with inactivity and social disengagement. It is critical that our government support their initiatives.

Salvation Army International Staff Band
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, today I have the distinct honour of welcoming, on behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada, an elite musical group to Ottawa.

Parliament Hill will soon resound to the resplendent brilliance of brass and stirring percussion of the world renowned Salvation Army International Staff Band.

The band, visiting Parliament Hill from London, England, will entertain and inspire all assembled at 3:15 today on the very steps of our House of Commons.

Formed in October 1891 by Commissioner Bramwell Booth, the band promotes the highest standards of the Salvation Army band excellence and spreads the message of the Christian gospel by presenting the best musical ministry.

I want to congratulate the bandmaster, Stephen Cobb, and all the members of the band who give freely of their time in addition to their commitment to their local church where many are involved in a leadership role.

I want to welcome them to Ottawa.

Kyoto Protocol
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, a Compas poll of over 500 senior corporate executives found that almost three-quarters of those interviewed in November and December 2002 supported Canada's commitment to the Kyoto protocol. Clearly, these business leaders understand that environmental challenges can be turned to advantage through leadership in green technologies, through more energy efficient transportation and housing, and through non-polluting industrial processes. This will stimulate new innovation, new market opportunities and cleaner communities.

In fact, since we ratified Kyoto, Canada's employment numbers rose by 334,000, the highest employment rate in Canadian history. The dollar rose from 64¢ to the 75¢ range. In the oil patch, drilling levels rose to an all time, high while profits were also at record levels.

Canadians are proving that what makes good sense for the environment is also good for the economy.

Violence Against Women
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, on April 7 we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. One million men, women and children, entire families, were brutally slaughtered while the world stood by.

Canada must do more to ensure that the world never forgets the Rwandan genocide.

Amnesty International's “Stop Violence Against Women” campaign points out that every day in our world women and girls particularly are assaulted, threatened, raped, mutilated and killed.

That is why the Canadian Committee on Women, Peace and Security, established to advance UN security resolution 1325, is important. It will increase women's participation in conflict prevention, peace processes and peace-building.

Violence against women is a global human rights crisis. We must end the silence that faces these women and girls when they attempt to seek justice, peace and genuine security.

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Charlevoix, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, we will vote on a motion that I presented and which seeks to create a special status for seasonal workers, regardless of the economic region in which they live. Right now, many families from the North Shore and Charlevoix regions are without any income because the employment insurance program put in place by the Liberal government does not provide support to them.

Despite repeated requests to this effect, the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development is still refusing to meet with officials representing the Sans-Chemise and the Mouvement Action-Chômage, who are in Ottawa today to try once again to explain to the minister that the current situation is cruel and unacceptable for the unemployed, who are starving.

I am urging those hon. members who care about the plight of seasonal workers in their ridings to set aside their political differences and to support this motion, rather than abandoning the unemployed, who need their support more than ever.

In so doing, members will show that they are not complicit with the misappropriation of the employment insurance fund, and they will also show that their decisions are based first and foremost on the people whom they represent.

House of Commons
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Clifford Lincoln Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the eighth soccer tournament between pages and members of Parliament was held last night at the Ottawa police centre. The MPs won by a score of 5 to 3.

So far, the MPs have won six times and the pages twice.

I would like to begin by thanking the hon. member for Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, the outstanding social director of the House of Commons and superlative organizer of the soccer tournament.

The pages team was led by highly skilled players like Mbimangil, Guillaume, Sabrina and Brent.

We would like all the pages to know how much we appreciate their sense of fun and sportsmanship but, above all, their untiring efforts on our behalf here.

For me it was also a nostalgic event. It was the last time I dragged my ancient bones onto the soccer field on the MPs team. It was also the last time I played defence along with my esteemed friend, the MP for Davenport. Together we represent some 1,000 years of life on this earth, or close to it.

Finally, but not least, Mr. Speaker, your presence was especially welcomed and appreciated. Thank you on behalf of all of us.