House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

Valigia D'oro
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the seventh annual Valigia D'oro Awards. Eight constituents of mine, Mr. and Mrs. Bo-ke-keo, Mr. and Mrs. Catapano, Mr. and Mrs. DiMarco, Mr. and Mrs. Martini, and Mr. and Mrs. Dalimonte received awards honouring their years of dedication to building a strong Canada.

The Valigia d'Oro or Golden Suitcase was established by Vaughan regional councillor, Mario Ferri, for the purpose of recognizing the sacrifices and contributions made by Italian Canadians who have immigrated to Canada. Their determination to succeed has been a true demonstration of courage and vision.

I want to thank the Italian Canadian community who together with many other communities have made such a significant difference to the lives of many Canadians.

It is now up to our generation to maintain and promote these values of hard work and dedication to ensure future generations enjoy the legacy of those who have given so much.

Health
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, public medicare is one of past minority government's proudest achievements and now forms a cornerstone of Canadian identity. We need a government to protect and improve it, reasserting a federal role to stop privatization and pursue the solutions that can control costs, improve care and keep medicare public.

Public health care attracts billions of dollars in investment. Public health care provides Canada with a competitive advantage vis-à-vis our neighbours to the south.

In the U.S., General Motors' health care bill runs about $1,500 per car produced. In Canada that figure is only a few hundred dollars. In the U.S., GM's health bill for current and retired workers is expected to reach $5.6 billion and it expects to slash 25,000 jobs in the next four years.

CAW estimates that it costs $4 or $5 more an hour per employee to build a car in the U.S. than in Canada, a 10% labour cost advantage for the Canadian auto industry. Public health care is a good part of the reason.

This year Canadians selected Tommy Douglas as the greatest Canadian. Keep our public health care for the prosperity and wellness of all Canadians in our economy.

Child Care
Statements By Members

June 13th, 2005 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, in an interview published in today's edition of the Globe and Mail , the social development minister has made a number of interesting revelations regarding the government's two tier child care plan.

In the interview the minister began by saying that he had no idea how much the government's proposed child care program will cost Canadian taxpayers. Then, despite months of telling parents his child care plan would be universally and widely accessible, the social development minister acknowledged that the Liberal plan would “never be truly universal in scope”.

With the minister now acknowledging the Liberals' child care plan is restrictive and will not address the needs of Canadian families, particularly those living in rural areas of the country, like many families in my riding of Selkirk—Interlake, I call on the government to support the Conservative Party's plan for a truly universal program, a plan that puts money directly into the hands of parents so all Canadian families can make their own child care choices.

Rock Banville
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, we were greatly saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Rock Banville in Terrebonne at the age of 74. Dr. Banville was a staunch defender of workers' rights.

Dr. Banville was a native of Saint-Octave-de-Métis, and was extremely active in the labour movement, particularly as the co-founder, with well-known union leader Michel Chartrand, of the Fondation d'aide aux travailleurs accidentés du Québec.

His 1999 book La peau des autres spoke out against dangerous working conditions in the construction industry and on construction sites.

In the 1970s, he played a hand in the founding of the Front des travailleurs unis de Sept-Îles.

Dr. Banville remains a source of inspiration to us all and will live on in our memories.

The members of the Bloc Québécois join with me in extending our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Rock Banville.

John Lynch-Staunton
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to honour a fellow colleague who I have had the great pleasure of getting to know. On June 19, Senator John Lynch-Staunton will be turning 75 and thus retiring from his seat in the Senate.

Senator Lynch-Staunton is a member of the Conservative Party of Canada for the province of Quebec in the Grandville senatorial division. He was first appointed to the Senate on September 23, 1990 by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. From September 1991 to November 1993, he was Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate. In addition, he was elected leader of the opposition in the Senate in December 1993.

In 2004, Senator Lynch-Staunton served as the first leader for the new Conservative Party of Canada on an interim basis.

Today I am honoured to stand and speak of such an esteemed senator and Canadian. I thank Senator Lynch-Staunton for his hard work, dedication and service to Canada. I wish him all the best for a very happy retirement.

Fight against Cancer
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, on June 4, Edmunston held its third annual Relay for Life. This is an activity held Canada wide by the Canadian Cancer Society to raise funds for the fight against cancer.

I would like to recognize all the volunteers on the relay organizing committee for their contribution to this event. Cancer is a disease of such concern to us all and I am sure that activities like the Relay for Life help raise public awareness of the need for cancer research.

The Edmunston Relay for Life collected more than $140,000, which will be used for funding promising research projects, information and support programs, defending the public interest as far as cancer prevention policies are concerned, and improving the quality of life of people living with cancer.

Finally, I wish to acknowledge the efforts of all the Relay for Life participants in Edmunston and elsewhere.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I have reviewed last week's health care decision by the Supreme Court of Canada. It did not question the public health care system in our country. However, it did question how the government has managed that system. In particular, it has pointed out that the health care wait times are at an all-time high under the Liberal government.

Could the Prime Minister tell us why, after 12 years in office, there are no national benchmarks for wait times in the country?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is a realization which the government expressed to the Canadian people during the election campaign. It is a realization which the hon. member opposite did not seem to understand at the time.

This is why we convened the federal-provincial conference in September. This is why we set out an accelerated plan to deal with the issue of wait times, along with the provinces.

I am delighted that the Leader of the Opposition has finally come to the understanding of what the situation is. This is the issue. How do we reduce wait times? That is why we set out the plan. That is why we are working with the provinces.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians will wonder why there were no wait times standards all those years the government claimed it was defending the system.

On May 31 and June 1, the government categorically denied in the House that it had concluded a secret agreement with Mr. Chrétien. However, the day before, the government had in fact signed a written, official and secret arrangement with Mr. Chrétien's lawyers.

Why did the Prime Minister allow his government to mislead this House?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, let me be clear. There was no offer, no arrangement and no deal made between Mr. Chrétien and the Government of Canada.

There was a letter from lawyer to lawyer that simply restated the law and described how the law applied in this case. The letter reaffirms Mr. Chrétien's right as an individual to bring action forward based on perceived bias if he chooses.

Let us be clear. The Government of Canada has consistently supported the work of Justice Gomery and will continue to support the work of Justice Gomery.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the House will recall that the minister denied there was any arrangement of any kind between Mr. Chrétien and the government.

Now he admits, because we have all got it, that an exchange of letters between lawyers has taken place that does constitute an arrangement, an arrangement that Justice Gomery was apparently unaware of and is quite concerned about.

Why did the public works minister not divulge the details of this when he was asked about it? Why did he cover it up?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the letter from lawyer to lawyer states the fact that Mr. Chrétien has a right as an individual to pursue a course of action as an individual.

The Government of Canada also has the right and has made the decision to consistently support the work of Justice Gomery. We will continue to do exactly that.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, earlier this month, Mr. Chrétien concluded a secret agreement with the government, under which the government would not oppose a right to a future challenge to Justice Gomery. In fact, another challenge could delay the Gomery commission.

Why did the government sign an agreement that could delay the tabling of Justice Gomery's final report and the election promised by the Prime Minister for months?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Kings—Hants
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, once again, the letter from lawyer to lawyer simply states the legal fact that Mr. Chrétien has the right as an individual to pursue a course of action to defend himself as an individual. Beyond that we have acted consistently in defence of Justice Gomery.

The only party that I am aware of that sought to delay the work of Justice Gomery by trying to change his mandate in the final days of testimony was the Conservative Party with its opposition day motion which would have delayed and destroyed much of the work and progress made by Justice Gomery.

This is why no other party in the House supported that ridiculous, poorly worded, poorly thought out motion.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, as a paint salesman, the member obviously would not understand the legal implications of the arrangement discussed in the letter.

The government denied that anything of the sort even existed. Now we know there was a secret deal, including a commitment that the federal government would not oppose a right to a future challenge by Mr. Chrétien to Justice Gomery.

The Gomery report is due in December. The Prime Minister promised an election 30 days after. Another judicial challenge to Justice Gomery will delay that final report. Is this the Prime Minister's secret agenda to get out of his post-Gomery election commitment?