House of Commons Hansard #60 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

Lithuania
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, February 16 is, and always will be, a significant and meaningful date for Lithuanians. On Wednesday, the people of Lithuania and Lithuanian Canadians gathered to celebrate the independence of the land of their heritage.

This year marked the 87th anniversary of the independence of Lithuania. It is on this day in 1918 that Lithuania declared its independence from Russia and once again redeclared its sovereignty in 1990.

After World War I this small nation achieved freedom and proclaimed itself the Lithuanian Republic. On February 16, 1918 the founders of this great nation asserted their country's independence and commitment to a government based on justice, democracy and the rights of the individual. For decades, Lithuanians have been commemorating this event, during Lithuania's independence, oppression and subsequent independence.

I would like to offer my congratulations to the people of Lithuania on this momentous occasion.

Persons with Disabilities
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, disabled Canadians and their families who care for them need and deserve our support.

The Minister of National Revenue is harassing senior citizens who receive grants from the Ontario special services at home program to care for disabled adults at home. This is a throwback to the days when all developmentally disabled children were institutionalized.

The federal government insists on collecting payroll deductions, and now penalties, from the parents of disabled children for grants that are paid by the province for the support workers. These grants allow disabled children to live at home rather than be institutionalized.

I call on the federal government to stop harassing these disabled adults and their families. Drop the government court actions that are causing undue anxiety in what are already very stressful situations.

Acts of Bravery
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Godbout Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, just recently we heard the story of 10 year-old Kevin Frahani who fell into a frozen pond in his neighbourhood of Avalon.

Kevin was out playing with his cousin when the ice gave way and he fell in. His cousin ran to look for help. At the same time, Mr. Stiles was out with his wife and heard the youngster crying for help. He acted right away.

With the help of another man, Mr. Stiles tied pieces of clothing together so he could safely crawl along the crackling ice. This way the boy was able, after a few attempts, to pull himself closer to Mr. Stiles, who grabbed his hands, while the other man pulled them to shore. The boy was treated for mild hypothermia.

I would like to recognize and congratulate Mr. Todd Stiles, a resident of Orléans, for his presence of mind and unselfish act of bravery. He is now one of our local heroes and we are all very proud of him.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Statements By Members

February 18th, 2005 / 11 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, we learned recently that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has conducted operations against satellite television signal piracy in Montreal and Drummondville.

And so we are still wondering why nine RCMP detachments in Quebec have been closed, including one in my riding and a number near the border, and why the RCMP is bothering with satellite television signals rather than illicit comings and goings at the border.

I do agree that the theft of signals is an offence that deprives the economy—and the companies, particularly—of millions of dollars each year. Nevertheless, our borders have not had any police surveillance since the RCMP withdrew, and that means reduced security for the local population.

As part of its mandate, the RCMP must enforce the law, prevent crime and maintain order and security. The last point is the one I wonder about. The RCMP appears to prefer protecting the incomes of businesses rather than ensuring the safety of Quebeckers.

Paul de Monchaux
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, I wish to congratulate a Quebec sculptor, Paul de Monchaux. He was recently chosen to create a sculpture in honour of Sir Winston Churchill, who, in a contest organized by the BBC, was identified as the most famous Briton of all time.

Mr. de Monchaux's sculpture, called Song , was unveiled in Parliament's historic Westminster Hall on Wednesday, February 9, 2005. It is the first contemporary sculpture ever to be displayed there.

Paul de Monchaux is a former lad from Lachine. It is wonderful that he has been chosen to create the sculpture celebrating the greatest Briton of all time. He is, in my view, a fine example of Lachine's great artistic heritage.

Congratulations to Paul de Monchaux for his remarkable work.

Zimbabwe
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, since Zimbabwe's last election, opposition MPs have been subjected to human rights abuses ranging from destruction of property to detention and police torture.

In response, Amnesty International and Oxfam Canada initiated a twinning program between Canadian and Zimbabwean MPs. Along with 15 other MPs of all parties, I am a member of this initiative, which seeks to protect parliamentarians by drawing enough attention to their situation to cause the authorities to back off.

Sometimes this works and sometimes it does not. Last year my twin, opposition MP David Mpala, died of injuries sustained under police torture.

Given the rise in state sponsored violence which seems likely to occur in the run-up to the March 31 Zimbabwean elections, Foreign Affairs must abandon its hands-off approach to human rights and appoint a special representative to Zimbabwe.

Only a strong response from Canada will prevent my new twin, MDC National Youth Chairman Nelson Chamisa, and other brave opposition MPs from being subjected to the same kind of human rights abuses.

Black History Month
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, February is Black History Month in Canada. It is a time to reflect upon those who have made significant contributions to building the fabric of our society and to the strengthening of our country.

For the past eight years the Community Unity Alliance has recognized the tremendous contributions of distinguished African Canadians. This year the alliance recognized the hon. Alvin Curling, Brandeis Denham Jolly, Bromley L. Armstrong and Delores Lawrence.

As a woman, Delores Lawrence has long been recognized for her business acumen, her commitment to the community, and her philanthropic efforts. She currently sits as a governor of Seneca College and as the chair of the academic and patient care committee of Sunnybrook hospital. Delores has always been an inspiration to all women from all walks of life.

To all four of these distinguished individuals, please accept the heartfelt thanks of the people of Canada.

Sylvain Lefebvre
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate Sylvain Lefebvre, who was recently given the René-Thibault award of excellence, at the official opening of the 42nd edition of the Mousquiri national Atom tournament, in Richmond.

Sylvain Lefebvre is the 11th recipient of this award for, among other reasons, his brilliant 14 season career in the National Hockey League with the Montreal Canadiens, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Quebec Nordiques, the Colorado Avalanche and the New York Rangers.

Sylvain Lefebvre, who was born in Richmond, was himself involved in the Mousquiri tournament, both as a player and a volunteer. Through his perseverance, he is an inspiration to young hockey players from his community and region. To this day, he is involved as a general manager and assistant coach of a hockey team.

This award is given by the tournament's organizing committee, in cooperation with the City of Richmond. It was created in honour of René Thibault, one of the tournament's founders and a great volunteer in the community of Richmond, who passed away in 1994.

Netherlands Liberation
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, in May Canadians will join the people of the Netherlands in celebrating their country's liberation.

I am sure we will all be moved just as we were 10 years ago by televised images of our Canadian veterans on parade cheered on as the heroes they are by the Dutch people. My own father was a member of the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders in 1944-45 during that liberation.

The Netherlands events overseas and the VE-Day celebrations here in Canada will be major highlights during 2005, the Year of the Veteran.

Veterans Affairs Canada is acknowledging Canadian veterans of the liberation of the Netherlands who travel at their own expense to the Netherlands to attend commemorative events between May 3 and May 8 marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation. Already more than 700 veterans have applied to Veterans Affairs Canada for the travel subsidy reimbursement of up to $1,000 toward the costs associated with their travel.

I encourage my hon. colleagues to learn more about the heroic efforts of Canadians in the liberation of the Netherlands and join in the celebrations for our great heroes.

Railcar Reflectors
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week someone in this country died in a car-train collision. The saddest part of that is it could have been prevented.

Every working day in Canada there is a car-train collision. Many of these occur at night because railcars are not properly equipped with reflectors.

My urban colleagues need to understand that over 20,000 crossings in this country, mostly located in rural areas, are uncontrolled. There are no overhead lights, no bells, no flashing signals, no protective arms, no advance warning. There is just the person in his or her vehicle on a quiet snow covered gravel road on a peaceful night and without warning, suddenly out of the darkness a train appears and it is too late.

The Liberal government is fazing in reflectors over seven years. The Conservative Party asks why phase in something that could save lives today? The government should do it now. The cost to equip a train car is less than $200. The tragic cost of failing to do so is eternally higher.

Economic Development
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, from February 25 to March 4, 2005, a Franco-Manitoban delegation will participate in an economic mission to Alsace, France. The Premier of Manitoba, the provincial finance minister and I will accompany 75 delegates from the economic, cultural, research, health and environmental sectors.

Led by the Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Communities, this mission aims to develop business ties with companies in Alsace and encourage commercial immigration to Manitoba. In addition, it aims to position Manitoba as the gateway to western North American and to promote Manitoba's francophone culture.

This is the first time a delegation this size will go to France. This mission is the result of a historic agreement on non-invasive surgery reached between the St. Boniface general hospital and the IRCAD research institute in Strasbourg.

I am proud of the contribution by this group of dynamic francophones living in a minority situation. It is tangible proof of the importance of the francophonie's added value to this country's economic development.

Post-Secondary Education
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights came into force and was signed by Canada in 1976. One of its provisions is that higher education shall be made equally accessible to all on the basis of capacity by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education. The Simon Fraser Student Society in my riding is calling on the United Nations to investigate Canada's non-compliance with this agreement.

The federal Liberals cut over $3 billion to the provinces for post-secondary education. The B.C. Liberals have failed to maintain the NDP's freeze on tuition fees, forcing tuition up by over 70% at universities, and over 150% at colleges.

The time for action is long past. Access to post-secondary education in Canada is threatened. Student debt is way too high. Families are frustrated in the hope to ensure the best education for their children. Post-secondary institutions must be fully funded. The government must act now.

Transportation
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, the traffic conditions on B.C.'s lower mainland have gone from bad to worse. It not only affects the orderly flow of local traffic, but the gridlock impacts on the transport of goods to and from our major ports, railway terminals and the U.S. border.

The delay and inconvenience affects our competitiveness. Residents and businesses, including the Surrey Chamber of Commerce, have been pressing for a south Fraser perimeter road linking the Fraser docks, railway terminals and highways 1, 99 and 15.

Provincial and municipal governments and the GVRD are already on board, but the federal government has not yet committed to its funding. We also need money for initiatives like the twinning of the Port Mann bridge, widening of Highway 1 to Langley, and improved interchanges and overpasses.

I ask the transport minister and the federal government to make that commitment without any further delay and to pay their share now.

Mont Garceau's
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, 40 years ago, a pioneer and true visionary from the village of Saint-Donat cleared several acres on a mountainside so that the young and not so young could have fun sliding on wooden boards on the snow. That pioneer's name was Lauda Garceau and, thanks to him, we have Mont Garceau, which is celebrating is 40th anniversary this year.

The entire team at Mont Garceau, including the owners Marcel and Claudette Gauthier, are extremely proud to celebrate this 40th anniversary with their customers, with the addition of a new quad chair lift, increasing lift capacity to 6,000 skiers per hour.

Since opening in the winter of 1964-65, this small family business has slowly grown into an important and modern intermediate ski resort serving 120,000 skiers each year. It has greatly contributed to the development of tourism in Saint-Donat and the Matawinie region.

Happy birthday Mont Garceau and bravo to its owners and the entire team.

The Prime Minister
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, The Economist magazine has noted that our Prime Minister has earned the nickname Mr. Dithers. Sadly it is true and now he is taking his dithering global. Yesterday he told us that Syria was in Lebanon to keep the peace. Then he said that Syria should get out of Lebanon. Then he said the Syrians should get out of Syria. It is just so hard to decide.

And what of Kyoto? If you ask him, the Prime Minister will say that he is very, very concerned about greenhouse gas emissions. He is probably even mad as hell about greenhouse gases. I expect he wants to get to the bottom of greenhouse gases and will leave no stone unturned. I know he thinks that greenhouse gases will lead to hell or high water, but still he cannot actually decide what to do about greenhouse gases.

I know it is hard being the Prime Minister, what with having to make all those decisions, but if making a decision is too difficult for him, I have a solution. Instead of urging the Syrians to leave Syria, how about the PM leaves the PMO?