House of Commons Hansard #40 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was foreign.

Topics

World Book and Copyright Day
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, “Lire, un plaisir qui se partage”, is the theme Quebec has chosen for World Book and Copyright Day.

The Bloc Quebecois wants to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the authors whose works, often a critical view of society in the form of novels, short stories, poetry or other genres, immortalize thoughts, eras, and epochs. Through their works, these writers inspire reflection, feed our imaginations, and allow us to dream.

If literacy is the sword of emancipation of individuals and peoples, reading is what keeps that sword sharp and instills a taste for escape and freedom.

But if literary works are to blossom, there must be protection for authors and respect for their creations. That is why the Bloc Quebecois is fighting to have these rights recognized and has, for years, proposed the abolition of all obstacles to the democratization of reading. In fact, its first move was to call on the federal government to eliminate the GST on books.

This day is an opportunity for the Bloc Quebecois to encourage—

World Book and Copyright Day
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

The Speaker

The member for Lanark—Carleton.

Health
Statements By Members

April 23rd, 2004 / 11:10 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, six years ago the federal and provincial governments signed agreements to provide care, not cash, to those who contracted hepatitis C through the blood system before 1986 or after 1990.

Under this agreement, $55 million was given to the Ontario government. However none of these funds have yet been allocated to the delivery of health care services. Instead, the Ontario government insists that it is still studying the problem. As a result, some people, who have been disabled with hepatitis C and can no longer work, are being forced to pay out of their own diminished income for health care.

I would invite Health Canada to investigate this lack of cooperation and, if it cannot induce the province to act on its word, to claw back the transfer and instead provide the funds directly to hepatitis C victims.

The fact that Canadian citizens contracted hepatitis C through the blood system is a national tragedy. The fact that 15 years later there is still no enforceable national standard for assistance to these victims is an embarrassment and a shame.

Health
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a well-known fact that our national health care system is a cherished legacy that the Liberal government will never abandon.

Through its ongoing support of our national health care system, the Liberal government helps women maintain and improve their health. For example, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research bring together the best researchers from across Canada to study the issues of concern to women. We also provide stable, ongoing funding to the Canadian breast cancer initiative and provide funds to improve pre-natal nutrition, food safety, food supplementation and to support referral and lifestyle counselling.

In areas of concern to Canadian women, such as primary care, home care and access to drug coverage, the Liberal government is helping to accelerate changes to the health care infrastructure.

In budget 2004 the Prime Minister committed an additional $2 billion in funding for health care, bringing the annual federal contribution to public health spending in Canada to $36.8 billion, about 40% of the total.

The Liberal government is proud to support health and health care and women issues as a priority.

High School Graduations
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, during the graduation season I would like to share with my colleagues the lessons I share with the students during the ceremonies. It is entitled “Everything they need to know about life I learned from Noah's Ark”. The lessons are as follows:

Number one: Don't miss the boat.

Number two: Remember that we are all in the same boat.

Number three: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.

Number four: Stay fit. When you're 600 years old someone may ask you to do something really big.

Number five: Don't listen to the critics, get on with the job that needs to be done.

Number six: Build your future on high ground.

Number seven: For safety sake, travel in pairs.

Number eight: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.

Number nine: When you're stressed, float a while.

Number ten: Remember the ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals.

Number eleven: No matter the storm, when you're with God there is always a rainbow waiting.

I send my congratulations to all the grade 12 students who will be graduating this summer.

The Environment
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, Earth Day was celebrated yesterday and let me present a bright and simple idea for this occasion. It is called the compact fluorescent light bulb.

Last month our government launched the one tonne challenge. It is a campaign to directly engage Canadians in making environmentally friendly choices and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs are an ideal solution to reducing energy consumption. One such light bulb will use only one-quarter of the electricity required by a standard bulb. It will also last up to 10 times longer.

If we replaced just one regular light bulb in every household in Canada with one of these compact fluorescents, we would save $73 million in energy costs and reduce greenhouse gases by almost 400,000 tonnes. This would be equivalent to taking 66,000 cars off the road. This is literally a bright idea.

I urge fellow parliamentarians to lead by example and install one fluorescent light bulb in every house in the country.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, what a tangled web we weave. First, the Prime Minister pretended to be as clean as the driven snow when it came to government contracting, advertising and polling, but the testimony from Chuck Guité today and yesterday at the public accounts committee confirms yet again, along with documentary evidence, that this Prime Minister was up to his neck in political interference to steer government contracts for polling and research to his friends at the Earnscliffe Group.

How can Canadians trust this Prime Minister to get to the bottom of the ad scam when in fact, going back 10 years, he was so clearly involved in breaking the rules to benefit his political friends?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth.

I think that first of all we need to clarify the record. This has nothing to do with sponsorship. What we are talking about here is an issue around advertising in the Government of Canada at a period of time between 1994 and 1995. In fact, if we look at the document, if we look at the record, nobody interfered on behalf of Earnscliffe. Nobody interfered on behalf of anyone.

If hon. members have read the documents I have, it is pretty clear that during this period of time, anyone working for the then minister of finance was arguing for a more competitive process, a--

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary Southeast.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

That is utterly ridiculous, Mr. Speaker, a more competitive process that ended up with only one firm putting in a bid: Earnscliffe. Why? Because it was a rigged contract. Why? Because the Prime Minister and his buddy the finance minister wanted to make sure that tax dollars got steered to their shadow leadership campaign over at Earnscliffe.

I want to know, why is it the Prime Minister can pretend to be completely innocent of the wrongdoing that happened in ad scam when he was into it up to his neck, steering government contracts and violating government rules in order to do so?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

I can only say again, Mr. Speaker, that nothing could be further from the truth. Let us in fact look at the record. First of all, this has nothing to do with the sponsorship program. Everybody should keep this in mind.

Then, again, when I look at these documents from 1994 that people keep referring to, all these documents speak to a desire on the part of those working for the then minister of finance to open up the process, to have a more competitive process. In page after page of copies, nowhere is Earnscliffe mentioned in any of these documents. In fact, one of these documents goes so far as to say that if there are any other firms that have indicated--

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary Southeast.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

That is just plain wrong, Mr. Speaker. Documents tabled by Mr. Guité do refer to Earnscliffe Research, and of course the documents we tabled earlier this week show that the Prime Minister was up to his neck in trying to break the rules.

Is it not interesting that yesterday we heard testimony that Terrie O'Leary, the then finance minister's chief of staff, called Mr. Guité and met with Mr. Guité at the finance minister's office? Scott Reid, the Prime Minister's spokesman, denies that these meetings ever happened. Where did Mr. Reid come from? Earnscliffe Research. Why is the Prime Minister's own denial man denying his connections to the very firm that he came from?

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Edmonton West
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, again let me clarify the record. No one in the Prime Minister's Office has ever said that Terrie O'Leary did not meet or speak with Mr. Guité, but what the Prime Minister's Office has made clear is that at no time--no time--did Terrie O'Leary intervene on behalf of Earnscliffe.

Government Contracts
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, if the Prime Minister was so innocent, why did Public Works rap his knuckles? Why did public works say his actions were completely unacceptable? The fact is that the Prime Minister did try to intervene in the process and it was improper, and he did get his knuckles rapped because it was improper. How does the Prime Minister's supposed anger over ad scam square with his direct interference in advertising contracts?