This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #130 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was defence.

Topics

Auditor General's ReportGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order, please. I have the honour to lay upon the table the supplementary report of the Auditor General of Canada to the House of Commons, volume II, for October 2000.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(e), this document is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

Miss India-Canada PageantStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past summer the 10th annual Miss India-Canada pageant was held in Toronto. It gives me great pleasure to rise today to congratulate the winner, a resident of Ottawa Centre, Miss Ritu Jalhan.

The Miss India-Canada pageant provides young Canadian women of Indian origin a platform to display their grace, talent, community contribution and knowledge.

Miss Jalhan, a 20 year old student who is currently studying anthropology at York University, was encouraged to enter the pageant by her friend.

I am sure my colleagues will join me in offering congratulations to Miss Jalhan.

Federal ElectionStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Derrek Konrad Reform Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, it appears that the momentum for an election has gathered a life of its own and that a fall election is now inevitable.

I may not be here after the election to take part in the debates in the House but I do want to go on the record as saying that it has been a meaningful experience.

When I ran for election in 1997, I believed that some of the most important things I could do would be to fight for equality among all Canadians and work toward an egalitarian society, one that did not categorize its people on the basis of race. I also believed that it was necessary to restore respect for all human life from conception to natural death.

I leave without having accomplished either goal, but when I was campaigning I made only one promise, which was to be faithful and to make a good effort. I believe that I have honoured that commitment by contributing to the debate.

Aside from those two larger issues, I have enjoyed serving the people of Prince Albert. I thank them for entrusting their federal affairs to me over the past three and half years. I look forward to what the future holds for me. I wish you well, Mr. Speaker, and all of my colleagues as well.

Performing Arts AwardsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, on October 12, the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation announced the award winners for the year 2000. This is the ninth year these awards have been given in recognition of an illustrious career in the arts.

Each of the recipients has left his or her own individual mark and continues to inspire generations of Canadians. This year's winners of the Governor General's awards for the performing arts are: Janette Bertrand, Fernand Nault, Teresa Stratas, Stompin' Tom Connors, Christopher Newton and Donald Sutherland.

Two other prestigious awards were also announced last Thursday. The Ramon John Hnatyshyn award for volunteerism in the performing arts was awarded to Mr. Walter Carsen.

The National Arts Centre award went to the Cirque du Soleil.

I would hope the House will take this opportunity to thank all of the winners for their remarkable contribution to the growth of the arts in Canada.

The FrancophonieStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, the secretary general of the Organisation internationale de la francophonie, His Excellency Boutros Boutros-Ghali, is visiting Quebec from October 16 to 18.

He will give a speech on the new political, economic and cultural dimensions of the Francophonie. Later in the week, he will address the theme of the Francophonie and democracy.

By placing emphasis on this important visit, Canada and Quebec are strengthening their ties with other parts of the world that share the same ideas on the protection and growth of the French culture. In addition, we are continuing in our determination to share the wealth that comes of living in French with the people of the Francophonie.

We therefore extend a welcome to His Excellency Boutros Boutros-Gali in the knowledge that Quebec will continue to take the lead in its role as home of the Francophonie in North America.

Desjardins WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw attention to the fact that October 15 through October 21, 2000, is Desjardins week. It was launched officially yesterday.

This event constitutes one of the high points in the Desjardins movement's centenary celebrations. Among other things, the names of the recipients of the 25th edition of annual Desjardins awards will be announced, and the Fondation Desjardins bursaries awarded. It is the foundation's 30th birthday.

Through numerous activities both within the movement and in the communities, the event organizers are underscoring its economic contribution to the various regions of Quebec.

Thanks to its ability to unite the talents of Quebecers in all fields, the Desjardins movement has been able to innovate throughout its history.

Happy Desjardins week.

Darrell And Anthea ArcherStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Reed Elley Reform Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, where is the Liberal government's heart? It is certainly not with entrepreneurial men and women on the family farm.

In my riding of Nanaimo—Cowichan, the Archers, Darrell and Anthea, recently wanted to add to the agricultural diversity of Canada. They determined there was a growing market for water buffalo milk and cheese in Europe and that the trend was shifting to North America. They wanted to be a part of it. It made sense agriculturally and economically.

One year ago they bought and began the importation of their herd from Denmark. Agriculture Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency gave approval at every step. The herd was in quarantine in Denmark and now is in Canada.

Now after an outbreak of BSE in one cow in Denmark, the Archers face the loss of everything. They have invested everything into this enterprise and the CFIA has demanded the herd be destroyed.

I understand the need to protect our beef and dairy markets, both domestically and internationally. However through no fault of their own, the Archers face the loss of everything. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has failed to offer this family any compensation. This is not acceptable.

The Archers and the people of Canada need a change. It is time for a government with a change. The Canadian Alliance will be—

Darrell And Anthea ArcherStatements By Members

2 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Vaughan—King—Aurora.

Canadian Federation Of Independent BusinessStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Liberal Vaughan—King—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has undergone an economic renaissance known internationally as the Canadian miracle. Over two million jobs have been created since 1993, the vast majority by a determined, focused, visionary group of individuals who embody the very best of human qualities.

They pursue their goals with passion and commitment. They persist through obstacles even when they appear insurmountable. In a world of constant change, they stay ahead of the curve. They are innovators, risk takers and job creators. They strive for excellence. They take pride in their products and services. They contribute to their communities and, yes, they are nation builders.

I am referring to small business entrepreneurs, the engines of Canada's economy.

A strong voice for Canadian small businesses is the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. This well known national organization today has reached an important milestone in its history. The CFIB has reached a membership of 100,000.

On a personal note, I want to express my gratitude and congratulations to the CFIB on this important and very meaningful event.

Information Commissioner's ReportStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the report tabled yesterday, the information commissioner made an unequivocal attack on this government's culture of secrecy, which deprives the people of Canada and of Quebec of their right to access to information.

According to the commissioner, the highest government levels are involved. The Prime Minister's Office, in an unprecedented act, has refused to allow the commissioner access to its files. The Privy Council Office is involved in a court challenge of the constitutionality of the commissioner's right to carry out investigations. Both Treasury Board and the PCO are creating procedures to delay the publication of embarrassing internal audit reports.

This should not come as any surprise. A government that looks out for its friends, who then repay the favour through the party's election coffers, has no choice but to conceal information from the public. Secrecy is one of the things that characterizes nepotism. In a country that claims democratic practices, this is totally unacceptable.

Thames RiverStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jerry Pickard Liberal Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the legacy continues. In 1984 Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau initiated the Canadian heritage river secretariat to recognize the great natural and human heritage of Canada's rivers.

On August 14, 2000, the Thames River in southwestern Ontario was officially designated as one of Canada's 28 Canadian heritage rivers.

Over its 11,000 year history, the Thames River has played a key historic role. Natives, hunters, explorers, fur traders, settlers, soldiers and former slaves have all travelled this natural highway.

Today, the river and its watershed are home to great diversity of plants, birds, fish and animals, some of which are endangered and found nowhere else in Canada.

Last month, at the annual Heritage Day Festival, I was pleased to join with provincial and first nation representatives to unveil a plaque recognizing the heritage river.

Congratulations to the many volunteers who made this dream a reality.

Canadian Federation Of Independent BusinessStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Reform

Monte Solberg Reform Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Canadian Alliance, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Canadian Federation of Independent Business on having recently passed their 100,000 membership mark.

A number of the members of its national management committee are in Ottawa today to celebrate this important event. I was honoured to meet with them earlier today.

Small businesses produce most of the new jobs created in Canada. They provide most of the new inventions and innovations and, yes, they pay a ton of tax to the federal government.

Until the CFIB came along, the interests of small businesses were largely ignored when important policy decisions were made in government. All that started to change after the CFIB came into existence. Twenty-nine years later and 100,000 members strong, the CFIB has grown in size and influence to now become the big voice for Canada's small businesses.

On behalf of the Canadian Alliance, congratulations to the CFIB on reaching this important milestone in its history and may it and its members continue to grow and flourish.

A Week Without ViolenceStatements By Members

October 17th, 2000 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Murray Calder Liberal Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to give my support to the A Week Without Violence programs being promoted by the community YWCA of Grey-Wellington in Mount Forest, Ontario.

In past years, the community “Y” of Grey-Wellington raised awareness of violence by holding competitions for T-shirt designs in local schools, having the clergy dedicate prayers against violence, sending letters to the newspapers, handing out anti-violence literature and holding discussions.

In designating October 15 to 21 as A Week without Violence, the YWCA asks us to be aware of our own attitudes and negative behaviours as we pledge to spend seven days without committing, condoning or contributing to violence.

I would like to thank the YWCA for the work it does and for designating October 15 to 21 A Week without Violence.

Canadian Federation Of Independent BusinessStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Nelson Riis NDP Kamloops, BC

Mr. Speaker, when I was a new member of parliament, I was given the critic area of small business. One of my first duties was to meet with John Bulloch, the founder of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. He was an enthusiastic and outspoken advocate of the small and medium business sector and I learned much from his wise counsel.

Now 20 years later, the CFIB and I are still going strong and still speaking out on behalf of small and medium sized Canadian businesses.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business currently has over 100,000 members across the country, the largest individual membership business organization in Canada. One of its strengths has been the direct input from its members in the form of surveys which are sent to all members of parliament to assist us in our decision making.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has done an outstanding job advocating for small and medium sized Canadian enterprises. Today is CFIB's first official day on the Hill. The government would do well to listen to them.

International Anti-Poverty DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, October 17 has been set aside as international anti-poverty day.

I share in the cry of Centraide-Québec, which, in its open letter to people who are not concerned about poverty and to everyone else, said “Over the past several years now, we have come to believe that poverty and social inequality involve costs and consequences that result in our society's shooting itself in the foot because of its failure to sufficiently or properly invest in the fight against poverty and inequality”.

On the eve of the economic statement, I encourage the Prime Minister to show a modicum of compassion by re-evaluating his priorities and by recognizing his government's seven years of social deficit. This would be a fine opportunity to act on the demands by the women who are continuing their walk for a fairer and more humane world.

This is an appointment with equity the Liberal government is not allowed to miss.

World March Of WomenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Liberal Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 11, a group of approximately 250 women and men of Ahuntsic walked in solidarity to fight poverty and violence against women.

I would like to thank all those who contributed to the success of our march, especially Mireille Belisle, the founder of the Fondation Mélanie Cabey, a not for profit organization to support the disappeared; SNAC, a food and community action service; the Ahuntsic CLSC, which manages Réseau justice et foi; the Centre des femmes italiennes de Montréal, which organized the event; the municipal housing office; Courrier Ahuntsic; Amitié n'a pas d'âge; Stations Nos. 27 and 28; La Resource; various elected representatives and a number of private citizens.

We on this side of the House have worked closely and co-operatively for the last seven years with all local groups to ensure that all women in Canada and elsewhere receive justice and equality, and that there is zero tolerance for violence against children and women.

Congratulations on a successful march to all those who participated in Ahuntsic and all across Canada.

Atlantic Tourism IndustryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Angela Vautour NDP Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Mr. Speaker, on October 16, ACOA announced a new $19.5 million marketing measure for the tourism industry in the Atlantic provinces.

While the federal government continues to promote tourism in New Brunswick, certain rural communities are suffering as the result of poor environmental decisions made in their regions.

Kent county, in my riding of Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, was the victim of the construction of a huge pig barn in Sainte-Marie.

The Liberal government in office at the time failed to consult the public and refused to do an environmental impact study.

The people of Kent county, who work so hard to promote tourism, are now discouraged by the smell and the negative impact of this facility.

I wonder how this Liberal government can expect the people of Kent county to attract tourists to their region when they are up to their neck in manure.

World March Of WomenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Whelan Liberal Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, with a population of nearly six billion on our planet, we should be aware that two-thirds, or approximately four billion, live in relative poverty, while 1.3 billion live on one American dollar a day. Seventy per cent of those living in poverty are women. These conditions are in part what has prompted the organization of the World March of Women.

Canada also faces poverty issues. Children who live in low income families made up 13% of all children under the age of 18 in 1997. Of that number, 40% were living with a single female parent.

Homelessness, often equated with the extreme side of poverty in Canada, is affecting young women at an earlier age. Women and men from countries all over the world have signed a petition that will be presented to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, along with a list of demands to help eliminate poverty and, in particular, the feminization of poverty.

Let us add our voices to those calling for an end to poverty for women in Canada.

Brain Tumour Awareness MonthStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Reform

Grant Hill Reform Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, October has been set aside as brain tumour awareness month. This is an opportunity to talk about the tragedies and the triumphs of those who have suffered from brain tumours.

As a medical practitioner, my life was touched by a brain tumour but nowhere more than five and a half years ago when one of our colleagues in the House was struck down by this disease. Thankfully she was diagnosed early and treated quickly and today her health is excellent. She retired from politics just before the last election. I had an opportunity to talk with her and she is advocating brain tumour awareness.

I give my congratulations to the medical workers in this field, to the scientists, to the people who treat brain tumours, and to Beryl Gaffney, retired MP, for her work on this cause.

Information Commissioner's ReportOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the report of the auditor general today and the report of the information commissioner, which was blocked from question period yesterday, cataloguing the Prime Minister's disrespect of public funds and the democratic process, were interesting.

The commissioner's report in bold type has the words “Mayday—Mayday”, the international call for help. The report in question says that the action of the Prime Minister's Office is “undermining the democratic process”.

The Prime Minister needs to stand right now and do one of two things. He should tell us the information commissioner is not telling the truth or apologize to Canadians for undermining democracy. Which one is it?

Information Commissioner's ReportOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have a law on freedom of information and we are obliged by the law. Yes, there are requests. We have to analyze every request to see if it is within or outside the law. Of course some information has to remain privy to the offices of the Prime Minister and the ministers for the proper administration of government.

When we have a disagreement there is a mechanism in the law that exists. The commissioners can go to court and ask for a ruling. When they go we oblige, but at the same time we have to protect the responsibilities of ministers to have the right to communicate among themselves for the betterment of the government. We have the right to have some—

Information Commissioner's ReportOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Information Commissioner's ReportOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister missed the point. It says he is undermining democracy.

It is no wonder that we have such a hard time getting information from the HRD commissioner on wasting $3 billion a year when the information commissioner says that the future careers of the commissioner's staff have been threatened, and that if members of the public service come to believe that it is career suicide to do a good job for the information commissioner, the effectiveness of the office is in grave danger.

If the Prime Minister is refusing to apologize to the public for undermining democracy, will he at least apologize to the information commissioner's staff for any threat to their livelihood?

Information Commissioner's ReportOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if any threat has been made by anybody, I hope these people will make specific accusations about it. It is completely unacceptable if their jobs were threatened.

I will see that proper action is taken, if somebody did it, but we want to have the facts, not a statement.

Information Commissioner's ReportOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

They did, Mr. Speaker, very specifically, and the Prime Minister thinks he can win an election on those values.

The information commissioner makes other rulings, directly to the Prime Minister's Office, that no other minister, in 17 years, has refused to co-operate with the information commissioner's investigations, and that the Prime Minister's Office may be sending a message to other ministers to cease co-operating with investigations.

No other minister in 17 years has had such a poor performance as the Prime Minister, undermining democracy, threatening public servants and encouraging cabinet ministers not to co-operate with investigations. If the information commissioner is not telling the—