House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crtc.

Topics

Food and Drugs Act
Private Members' Business

5:45 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

I understand the hon. member voted twice and he is trying to clarify which vote he meant.

Food and Drugs Act
Private Members' Business

5:45 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Exactly, Mr. Speaker.

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #106

Food and Drugs Act
Private Members' Business

5:45 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

I declare the motion lost.

The House resumed from May 6 consideration of the motion.

Citizenship and Immigration
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

5:50 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion to concur in the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #107

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

5:50 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

I declare the motion carried.

The House resumed from May 6 consideration of the motion.

Treatment of Rare Disorders
Private Members' Business

5:50 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on Motion No. 426 under private members' business.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #108

Treatment of Rare Disorders
Private Members' Business

6 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

I declare the motion, as amended, carried.

It being 6:05 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's order paper.

The House resumed from April 8 consideration of the motion.

Doping in Sport
Private Members' Business

6 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak in support of Motion No. 466, which states:

That, in the opinion of the House, the government should continue to engage in the anti-doping movement, encouraging national governments to follow Canada's lead and ratify the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport.

It is a real shame that athletes feel pressure to take performance enhancing drugs in order to remain competitive in their respective sports, but we have seen it time and time again, most notably in sports such as major league baseball, cycling, track and field and others.

In some sports, there continues to be a bit of a “look the other way” culture. It is changing, but there is some of that, and it allows athletes, trainers and coaches to get away with using these illegal drugs. It is important that we eliminate this culture in sport and that those who do practise doping are caught and dealt with.

Every time one of them is revealed to have taken a performance enhancing drug, it destroys the image many young people have of these athletes or, even worse, it makes these kids think that doping is acceptable or necessary to be competitive.

Kids do look up to their sports idols. I have two children. My daughter Emma is a great soccer player. My son Conor is a great hockey player and a tremendous fan of sports. He would be devastated if he knew that some of his heroes had succeeded by breaking the laws and also in going against the ethical standards that we insist on as parents.

I come from the riding of Dartmouth—Cole Harbour. One of Canada's greatest athletes, and in fact I would say the greatest athlete, Sidney Crosby, comes from that area. Now that the Montreal Canadiens are out of the playoffs, I hope he wins the Stanley Cup. A guy like Sidney Crosby is someone we can look up to, and the kids can safely look up to him as a hero worthy of emulating.

I would also suggest that my colleague, the member for York Centre, is another one of those athletes who would not take advantage of anything except hard work and sacrifice in order to achieve his goals.

At a time when we are concerned about the epidemic of childhood obesity and when we are encouraging our kids to be more active, we need to promote the values of honesty and sportsmanship that go with that. We have seen in the United States the major spectacle of congressional hearings on drugs in sport. This is an issue that people are taking seriously.

Professional and amateur sports have to remain accessible to athletes who refuse to dope. Those who do it have to be punished accordingly. Of course, the large majority of amateur and professional athletes do not take these drugs, but there have been exceptions that we all recall.

I recall the Olympic Games of 1988 in Seoul and how excited and how galvanized Canada was as a nation when Ben Johnson won the gold medal, but then how crushing and disappointing it was for Canada when he lost it. Floyd Landis was stripped of his title as winner of the Tour de France in 2006 because he had taken synthetic testosterone. On the women's side, Marion Jones, who won medal after medal in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, was disgraced after she admitted she had used performance enhancing drugs.

These athletes inspired millions of people with their triumphs and then they let them down when their cheating was disclosed.

The Olympics are a world class event and we look forward to having them in Vancouver and Whistler. They bring together elite athletes from around the world. They should be free from the doping scandals that we have seen in recent years.

Dick Pound, of course, has been a champion on this file. The former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency and a former vice-president of the IOC, he campaigned tirelessly for better rules to prevent doping. While at the World Anti-Doping Agency, he oversaw an unprecedented strengthening of drug testing and spoke out against nations that were looking the other way when athletes took performance enhancing products.

Canada played an important role in devising the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport in 2005 and was one of the first countries to sign and ratify it. This convention supports international efforts to stop doping in sport through the World Anti-Doping Agency. It demands that we take a stand to locate and punish those athletes who take performance enhancing drugs and encourage other countries to do the same.

Canada complies with the convention through the excellent work of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, which provides educational programs and research and also administers Canada's anti-doping program.

Canada should remain a leader in this area, not only by continuing with our anti-doping program at home, but by pushing other countries to develop their own programs so that we can protect the integrity of international sport.

I am pleased our colleagues on this side are in support of this. Our member for Vancouver Centre has spoken passionately about this. Our member for Cape Breton—Canso has been very involved in athletics, both as a participant and strongly as a coach, and has pushed kids to be their very best, but to the limits of their ability and not beyond, because they were rewarded by using performance enhancing products.

Canada should be a leader in this. The world looks to Canada in this area as it does in many other areas. We need to push other countries to develop their own programs so we can protect the integrity of international sport.

I congratulate the member for Perth—Wellington for introducing this motion. I am proud to support it and I encourage all other members to do the same.

Doping in Sport
Private Members' Business

6:10 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and participate in the debate on Motion No. 466, which asks the government to continue to engage in the anti-doping movement and encourage other nations to ratify the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport.

Our government takes pride in its commitments to sport in our country.

In this, an Olympic year, our government announced, in budget 2008, $25 million for the torch relay in 2010 to help support its voyage through 350 communities across Canada. In addition, we also announced $24 million over the next two years and $24 million per year ongoing to support the road to excellence program for our summer athletes.

Canada acknowledges the importance that sport must play as a way of promoting education, health, development and peace. We are aware that doping in sport is practised by a minority of athletes, but that it also has a serious impact on the public image and integrity of sport.

The use of prohibited substances and methods designed to enhance athletic performance is a great threat to sport today. It not only destroys the notion of fair play and the pleasure of sport, but also undermines the health of athletes and often does irreparable damage to the credibility of sport.

In March 2003, 51 governments, including Canada, undertook to develop an international convention against doping in sport by adopting the Copenhagen declaration against doping in sport. Since then, 192 governments have signed the declaration. In so doing, those governments, like ours, underscored their desire and commitment to eliminate doping in all its forms, by developing an international convention that would make it possible to coordinate global anti-doping efforts and to offer an international structure for supporting governments' anti-doping measures.

This convention was also designed to recognize and support the World Anti-Doping Agency and thereby the principles of the world anti-doping code and international standards. It was drafted and approved in a little more than two years, and the necessary “30 states parties” to ensure the convention's implementation was reached slightly more than one year later.

According to UNESCO, this convention was implemented sooner after its adoption than most other conventions, which shows just how important anti-doping in sport is to nations around the world.

Canada is particularly proud of the leadership role it has played in the development of UNESCO's International Convention against Doping in Sport, in particular, by chairing meetings of the international expert panel that developed the convention. Canada is also proud that it was one of the first countries to ratify the UNESCO convention.

This speed in ratifying the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport reflects the political effort and commitment of governments around the world to work in close cooperation with the Olympic movement to fight doping in sport.

UNESCO emphasizes that governments and sports organizations have complementary responsibilities for preventing and fighting doping in sport. In particular, they must ensure that sports events are conducted in a spirit of fair play and protect the health of those who take part in them. Canada subscribes to this without reservation.

The UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport also confirms the current practice for funding the World Anti-Doping Agency, through equal funding by governments and the Olympic movement. Canada makes an annual contribution to funding of the World Anti-Doping Agency. In fact, our contribution is the largest of all national governments.

The UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport is the means by which international governments can get involved in the anti-doping movement and show their support for the World Anti-Doping Agency, the world anti-doping code and international anti-doping standards.

To date, 79 countries have ratified the UNESCO convention. Canada was one of the first to do so in addition to being the first country to contribute to UNESCO's fund for the elimination of doping in sport, the voluntary fund, which makes it possible to assist less developed and developing countries.

Canada is one of the international leaders in anti-doping in sport. Our commitment is internationally recognized and our expertise, through the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, is sought after around the world.

The International Convention against Doping in Sport must be a priority for all governments if we want to achieve the ultimate objective of clean, fair, competitive sports around the world. Our government therefore urges non-signatory countries to acquire the necessary tools to join the ranks of convention signatories.

Our nation will play a front line role in encouraging and assisting non-signatory countries in doing so and, in addition, urging other countries to contribute to the Fund for the elimination of doping in sport, the voluntary fund, as they are financially able to do so.