House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was dna.

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 Edmonton North.

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

Hybrid Fuelled Vehicles
Statements by Members

May 12th, 2004 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, a few days ago in Edmonton a new diesel electric hybrid bus was tested to reduce fuel consumption and pollution. It is a hybrid engine driven bus which combines electric and diesel power with fuel savings of 35% compared to a traditional diesel powered bus. Emissions reduction includes a 50% drop in smog-creating nitrogen oxides and a 90% cut in particulates and carbon dioxide.

Hybrid buses require less brake maintenance, store energy in their batteries, are quiet, and accelerate faster than conventional diesel buses. With the rising cost of fuel, hybrid buses can help reduce pollution, improve air quality and cut the incidence of respiratory diseases.

Governments at all levels would be well advised to adopt hybrid fuelled vehicles.

Cattle Industry
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dale Johnston Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, May 20 will mark the first anniversary of the discovery of BSE in one Alberta cow.

From the outset the government failed to grasp the enormity of this problem and the poor political relations between Canada and the United States made a bad situation even worse.

When the new Prime Minister finally arrived, farmers hoped that mending fences with our most important trading partner would be a top priority. Some bone-in products under 30 months of age were moving across the border, but now that the Prime Minister is back from his long awaited Washington photo op, that market is again closed.

For all his dithering, they have not opened up any new or old markets. All cattle producers have to show for a year of devastation is a flawed compensation program.

If the Prime Minister thinks that he can buy farmers' votes with a few pieces of silver, he is in for a rude awakening. If he really wants to address western alienation, get the border open to live cattle exports pronto.

Polish Second Corps
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, May 9 I had the honour of attending the commemoration of the formation of the Polish Second Corps and the 60th anniversary of their successes on the battlefield in May 1944 at Monte Cassino, the turning point of the allied campaign in Italy.

This event was organized by the Polish Combatants' Association of Canada, the Canadian Polish Congress and the Kresy-Siberia Group, an organization whose members are children of the families deported to Siberia by the Soviets.

The history of the Polish Second Corps was documented by a display on loan from the Józef Pilsudski Institute. The display contains a wealth of unique photos documenting the experiences of prisoners of war in the Soviet Union as well as rare photos of the allied effort to form the Second Corps from those who survived the gulags.

I wish to thank and congratulate the organizing committee for this important commemoration.

Marine Security
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Christian Jobin Lévis-Et-Chutes-De-La-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Canadian government on its marine security initiative. On May 7, the government announced a contribution of $115 million through the Marine Facility Security Contribution Program. These funds, which will be allocated over a three-year period, will assist Canadian ports and port facilities in their efforts to modernize and strengthen marine security programs and systems.

This partnership will greatly help Canadian ports to maintain their competitiveness in the coming years by helping them ensure that their port facilities comply with the new international requirements on marine security.

This new program will strengthen the security of communications for civil and naval fleets and will increase cooperation with the United States on marine security.

This is a sound investment on the part of the Government of Canada, which clearly illustrates a desire to promote the economic development of the marine industry and to improve the security of all Canadians.

Member for Halton
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Julian Reed Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, since this occasion may be the last time I rise in this place, it would be appropriate to point out that our tenure here is the result of the enduring support of many: our constituents, who vote; our loyal party workers, who keep the dream of democracy alive; our loyal staff, who have made it all work so well; and most of all, our families.

I would like to express my appreciation to my bride of 44 years, Deanna, and our three grown children, Christopher, Robert and Melanie.

To Deanna who regularly endured the loneliness of an absentee husband and who often filled in when I could not be in two places at once, to our three children who often endured political commentary, some of it unsavoury and uncalled for, I thank them all for giving me 10 productive and satisfying years of service to Canada.

Health Care
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gary Lunn Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, despite the federal government's claim that it has pumped billions back into our ailing health care system, the fact is it is more dysfunctional than ever. Among the many problems, there are longer waiting lists, lack of access to important diagnostic tests, and many others.

The government spent the last month trying to demonize the Conservative Party on health care issues through negative messaging. Canadians will not be fooled by this tactic. They want and deserve constructive ideas to address the future of medicare in this country.

The leader of the official opposition has announced a measured responsible approach to meeting this challenge and the future of medicare. Above all, it recognizes the Conservative commitment to universal public health care insurance regardless of the ability to pay. Unlike the governing party, we also recognize the need to work cooperatively with the provinces in their area of jurisdiction and not just dictate to them.

Now the government is discussing a new 10 year health plan, details of which have been sketchy at best. Frankly, I am not holding my breath. As the leader of the official opposition said, we have already seen the 10 year health plan and it--

Health Care
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Ottawa South.

Member for Ottawa South
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Manley Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to say farewell.

Might I say that I have never lost the sense of awe and privilege that I felt the very first time that I entered this chamber.

I came here with the conviction that a good government can be a force and a constructive tool for Canadians, and that our country can provide a unique example to the world. My view has not changed.

I have served in this place as Minister of Industry, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Finance, and as Deputy Prime Minister, great privileges bestowed by a prime minister to whom I shall always be grateful. But the greatest privilege was bestowed by the voters of Ottawa South who on four occasions entrusted me to take my seat in this place.

There is a time for every purpose under the heaven and I have other purposes to fulfill. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their sacrifice and commitment, and my family for their love, encouragement and tolerance.

May God continue to bless Canada.

St. Lawrence River
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite repeated calls by myself and several of my fellow citizens to the ministers who have been responsible for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans since 1995, the problem caused by shoreline erosion is constantly getting worse.

The government tried to lull us with empty and falsely reassuring replies. We were told that the speed of the ships that travel through the most sensitive areas was monitored and that the industry had in fact implemented voluntary measures to reduce the speed of its ships.

However, thanks to the vigilance of a Contrecoeur resident, Dr. Jacques Desrosiers, who conducted a systematic check of the speed of the ships that went by Saint-Ours island between mid-March and April 2004, we know that this is not at all the case. Indeed, 25% of the 100 ships checked were travelling at a speed deemed acceptable under the standards set, while 75% were cruising at a high or very high speed.

What is the government waiting for to implement more strict and effective measures to monitor the speed of ships on the St. Lawrence River? The federal government has a responsibility regarding shoreline erosion, and it must assume that responsibility before the damage becomes irreversible, which is almost the case already.

Member for Vancouver Kingsway
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have had the honour to serve two terms as the member of Parliament for Vancouver Kingsway. It has been a special privilege for me to work closely with many colleagues here.

For the past seven years I have travelled between Ottawa and Vancouver weekly. I have gained many Aeroplan points while gaining many pounds.

My life has been completely controlled by House duties, meetings, voting bells and junk food, but it has been a most rewarding and challenging experience for me. I would not have traded it for anything else.

Above all, I want to thank my son, Ken, and my many supporters and friends for their support. I also thank members for their friendship and support and salute them all for their commitment and dedication to this land, the nation and the people of Canada.

[Editor's Note: Member spoke in Chinese]

Public Service of Canada
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians who do not live near Ottawa are not even allowed to apply for half of the jobs posted on the government's employment website www.jobs.ca.

Under the heading “Who Can Apply”, most postings list only those people who have a postal code beginning with K1 to K7 or K0A to K0J, et cetera can apply. This is unfair and it is also bizarre.

In my new riding of Lanark--Frontenac--Lennox--Addington for example, people who live in Napanee can apply for jobs because their postal codes begin with K0J. On the other hand, people from Roblin, Camden East, Yarker, Selby, Newburgh, Centreville, Tamworth and Marlbank are ineligible because their postal codes begin with K0K. The fact that Yarker, for example, is closer to Ottawa than Napanee, or that Selby is part of the town of Greater Napanee, is somehow treated as if it is not relevant.

In the name of fair play, I urge the government to abolish all geographic restrictions on public service hiring.

Member for Don Valley East
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to express appreciation to the hon. member for Don Valley East and acknowledge his outstanding 25 year long contribution to public life as an MP.

We have all won or lost our share of elections. The member for Don Valley East contested seven federal elections, winning five of those. He was first elected to the House in 1974 in the Trudeau government and went on to serve under four different prime ministers. During his time in office, he distinguished himself as minister of national defence, minister of veterans affairs, minister of transport and minister of state for multiculturalism.

The House of Commons and this great country of ours will miss the member for Don Valley East as he leaves the political arena. Please join with me in applauding the hon. member, who in addition to his exemplary service, will be receiving his master of arts degree from York University this weekend.

New Democratic Party
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is the custom of the NDP caucus on Wednesdays to make a statement to the House on issues of concern to women. Today, on behalf of the NDP caucus, I pay tribute to two particular women who have contributed greatly to the life and work of the NDP on Parliament Hill and who will each soon be leaving here for new challenges.

The hon. member for Dartmouth has been a valued member of our caucus and the House, and we give thanks for the quiet depth, the courage and the playwright's eye that she has brought to her work on behalf of Canadian culture, the disabled and the cause of social justice in general.

Sharon McLaughlin, originally from Transcona, Manitoba and long time assistant to NDP House leaders, came to the Hill over 10 years ago and has been a devoted, competent and caring compatriot of the NDP caucus. We give thanks for her organizational talent and the political enthusiasm that she brought to her job in the opposition lobby and to caucus events.

We affectionately wish both Sharon and the hon. member for Dartmouth all the best in their future endeavours.

International Aid
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, joined by rock star Bono, who had come to Ottawa to attend an international symposium on HIV and education, the Prime Minister took pride in stating that the decision to increase the international aid envelope by 8% a year was made when he was finance minister.

Bono was quick to react by saying that, “In fact, 8% a year is not enough. We would prefer 15% starting this year”.

If Bono seemed disappointed when the Prime Minister bragged about his good deeds, then imagine how he would have reacted if he had known the whole story.

When the Liberals came to power in 1993, Canada devoted 0.44% of its wealth to development assistance. By the time the current Prime Minister left the Department of Finance, the figure was down to a mere 0.27%, which is a 40% decrease.

In fact, if the government continues to increase its budget for development aid by 8% a year, it will reach the UN objective only in 2033, 65 years after Lester B. Pearson's proposal.

Bono's reaction—