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House of Commons Hansard #102 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-16.

Topics

Mosel VitelicOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Bloc Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, Montreal is competing with cities in Ireland and Germany for a new Mosel Vitelic plant.

Investments of over $3 billion and the creation of 1,500 direct jobs are involved.

As the decision is to be made within the next two weeks in Taiwan, could the Minister of Industry confirm for us that he is 100% behind the project and that he will soon announce his government's contribution?

Mosel VitelicOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I visited Mosel Vitelic and started things rolling for its establishment in Canada.

We certainly support such a significant investment and will now work with the group representing the Government of Quebec and the City of Montreal to obtain it. This is a very good thing for Canada, for Quebec and for Montreal.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Gruending NDP Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, today the CBC board announced that it will cut back on all local television newscasts and will lay off hundreds of people to boot. This means the death of local CBC news by stealth, by a thousand cuts and by clear political design. The president has admitted publicly that the CBC is not a priority for the government but it is a priority for millions of Canadians.

Will the Prime Minister finally commit to reinvesting adequate and long term money so that local television news can be protected and improved?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I said last week that we are giving a very substantial amount to the CBC. It has received almost $1 billion from the government.

However, it is the responsibility of management and the board to decide how to allocate the money. It announced today that it has to make some changes to make the CBC more efficient. We have to respect the decision of the president of the corporation and the board.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise Progressive Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, can the Prime Minister tell us if today's announcement by the CBC regarding regional suppertime news is an attempt to systematically dismantle regional news programming? Does he support this type of downscaling?

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I said, the situation a couple of weeks ago was to close down everywhere. The CBC has now come to the conclusion that it will keep them open. It will be in a different way but they will still be open. It is because of the intervention by members of parliament on this side that it has the confidence to do that.

HealthOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health.

This morning's national newspapers report that there is now clear proof that for decades the tobacco industry has been targeting children in the marketing and promotion of cigarettes.

What is the government's strategy to respond to the tobacco industry's relentless attack on our children and youth?

HealthOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, little by little and month by month Canadians are coming to understand the agenda of the tobacco industry to get new customers by focusing on young people. The documents released today indicate that has been going on for some time; that it was a deliberate strategy.

It makes it all the clearer that we have to continue, as we have done, with a strategy against the tobacco industry and against smoking through higher taxes as soon as possible and as much as possible, anti-smoking messages especially for young people and changes in labelling so that we have the attitude that smoking is not cool, smoking kills.

International Co-OperationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Reform

Ted White Reform North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, all the blustering in the world by the finance minister will not change the fact that CSIS and the U.S. state department have identified the Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils as associated with or a front for the Tamil tigers.

Instead of blustering, will the government promise a full investigation into the activities of the Federation of the Associations of Canadian Tamils? Will the government promise that not a cent more of taxpayer money will go into grants and contributions to that organization, not even for tickets for ministers to attend the so-called—

International Co-OperationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

International Co-OperationOral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. Minister for International Cooperation.

International Co-OperationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Beaches—East York Ontario

Liberal

Maria Minna LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the member's question is an event that the Minister of Finance and I attended. The fact that he is equating the Tigers with the whole of the Tamil community including the young woman that was thrown—

International Co-OperationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

International Co-OperationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Yes, that is what he said. Mr. Speaker, it is pure racism.

We attended a cultural event with Canadian born citizens who were celebrating a cultural event. I resent the kind of connotation and the amalgamation the hon. member is putting together. The Tigers are not—

International Co-OperationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

International Co-OperationOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Repentigny.

Michel DumontOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, for three years now, the Minister of Justice has had in her hands the file of Michel Dumont, a resident of my riding, who has been unjustly imprisoned.

Is the Minister of Justice aware of the distress such situations cause and is she prepared to make public her decision on Mr. Dumont's application for pardon before the summer recess?

Michel DumontOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, I have worked with him on a number of different occasions in relation to this file. This file is progressing normally through our section 690 process. As soon as there is a final decision I will be in contact with the applicant as well as the hon. member if he so chooses.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I would like to draw to your attention the presence in our gallery of His Excellency Constantinos Stephanopoulos, President of the Hellenic Republic.

Presence In GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

The Late Maurice RichardOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Government of Canada and of all Canadians, I wish to extend my most sincere condolences to the family and friends of the great Maurice Richard.

I also want to pay tribute to this proud French Canadian who inspired generations to surpass themselves.

If it is true that some people are born to do a specific type of work, then Maurice Richard was born to play hockey. But talent alone would not have been enough to make him one of the best, if not the greatest hockey player in history.

He had to have more than talent. He had to have heart, pride, determination, courage and perseverance. These are all qualities displayed by Number 9 on each shift on the ice. These are also qualities that Maurice Richard, the man, displayed throughout his life.

I remember sitting with my friends around a makeshift radio in the college dormitory on Saturday nights and hearing the descriptions of Maurice Richard as he skated to the net, being pushed and shoved, being thrown on the ice, and he kept going. He got back up and gave it everything he had non-stop until the puck was behind the goalie.

No one ever wanted to win more than he did. That is what made him great. That is what all Canadians will always remember about him.

Maurice Richard was a fierce competitor, but he was also an unassuming man who did not like great honours and endless tributes.

This is why I will only add, to conclude, thank you, Maurice. We will never forget you.

The Late Maurice RichardOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Edmonton North Alberta

Reform

Deborah Grey ReformLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am always moved too when I see the amazing passion we Canadians share for the great game of hockey. I see it in the House of Commons today. Certainly we witnessed it across the country this weekend with the passing of Maurice Richard.

Canadians are reflecting upon and paying tribute to perhaps the greatest player that ever donned a Montreal Canadiens uniform, Maurice “The Rocket” Richard. There is no question that the Montreal Canadiens, the Habs, is one of the greatest hockey franchises Canada has ever produced. It is still the most championship winning team in any professional sport and as an avid Edmonton Oilers fan, that is tough for me to say.

When I think of a player who epitomizes that championship spirit more than anyone else, I think of Rocket Richard. I must admit that I can be passionate about very many things, especially hockey, but I have always felt that my French Canadian brothers and sisters can put me to shame with their passion, zest and enthusiasm for hockey and Maurice Richard.

The Rocket was an unparalleled legend in playing the game he loved. His fiery eyes, his blazing speed, his stamina, his determination and that barely controlled temper just beneath the surface demonstrated that passion for the game he loved. “No, Rocket, you are not supposed to hit the linesmen”.

I do not think there will ever be another player just like him. He is a one of a kind legend, a unique hero. In 1944-45 he was the first player to score 50 goals in 50 games and it would be another 37 seasons before anyone would do it again.

I pay tribute to him today on behalf of all of my colleagues. I extend our sincere condolences to his entire family. I want to thank them for sharing him with all Canadians.

Hockey and politics are a lot alike. When we have given it our best shot, when we have scored our best goals, when we have taken our penalties, hopefully we can all do what the Rocket did. That would be to shake hands and say that hockey is a better game, or politics is a better occupation, or life is a better experience because we have all played well. We owe this to the name and the memory of Maurice Richard.

Thank you, Maurice. We will never forget you.

The Late Maurice RichardOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of all my colleagues, I wish to offer my condolences to all of the family members of Maurice Richard, particularly his children, who had to share their father with all the people of Quebec, of Canada even.

Maurice Richard was not the fastest skater. He did not have the hardest shot. He was not the most elegant player or the best stickhandler. What he was, quite simply, was the best player.

His entire life, he worked at being the best. His only goal was winning. He concentrated all his energy, strength, skill and determination on winning. He taught his generation that it was possible to reach the top. He showed future generations that they had to set their sights high, to aim at perfection.

I saw Maurice Richard play at the Forum, and of course on television. Those are moments that will remain etched in my memory. When he skated full-out, we were there skating with him. When he flew down the ice with the puck, we were with him. When he scored, it was a goal for all of us.

He has left us the example of a simple and generous man who felt that success could be achieved only by doing one's utmost, by surpassing oneself. For that alone, thank you Maurice Richard.

The Late Maurice RichardOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my party and on my own behalf, I wish to offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of the honourable Maurice Richard.

Without diminishing Maurice Richard's stature in Quebec, he was a hero for all Canadians.

For example, to show his longtime adoration, admiration and even friendship for Maurice Richard, a constituent of mine who lives in Pense has a licence plate that simply reads “NHL-9”.

He was considered a second class player during the second world war, and sceptics were saying “Let's wait for our real stars to come back home”.

But during the next decade, not only did Richard break Nels Stewart's record, but he exceeded it by more than 200 goals. As others mentioned earlier, Richard was one of the greatest hockey players in history. His opponents always talked about his glare, especially from the blue line to the net. The Rocket always insisted on saying that he was just another hockey player.

After his father's death on Saturday night Maurice Richard Jr. said, “My father was a simple man”. That may be true, but for a generation of Canadian hockey fans, Maurice “The Rocket” Richard was simply marvellous.

The Late Maurice RichardOral Question Period

3:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Right Hon. Joe Clark and all members of the Progressive Conservative Party, I would like to express our sadness over the passing of Maurice “The Rocket” Richard.

The Progressive Conservative Party wishes to offer its sincere condolences to the whole Richard family.

Born on August 4, 1921 and throughout his 78 glorious years, Maurice Richard was a symbol of excellence and a source of inspiration for many generations of Quebecois and Canadians. The Rocket will go down in history as more than a hockey legend. He was truly a great Canadian whose on ice skills inspired a generation of hockey fans.

Although he was not deemed the most physically gifted athlete, it was his will to win that set him apart from all others. His sheer force of will was something to behold.

Nicknamed “The Rocket” for his blazing speed and hard shot, Richard developed a reputation as an electrifying player from the blue line in. Wearing the number 9 jersey the Rocket dominated the NHL for 18 magnificent years as the centrepiece of professional sports' most successful franchise. His storied career stats combining regular season and playoff goals include 626 goals, 465 assists and 1,091 total points. He was also the first player, as mentioned, to score 50 goals in 50 games in the 1944-45 season, a feat not duplicated until the 1980s.

But it was his performance in clutch situations and his ability to respond in the big games that really distinguished him from those who have played the game of hockey. During his stellar career Richard led the Montreal Canadiens to eight Stanley Cups, including five in a row between 1956 and 1960.

After his career his popularity and legend grew. He continued to be one of the most recognized and beloved figures in Canada. As his health began to decline, the NHL recognized his contributions to the game by creating the Rocket Richard trophy given annually to the league's top scorer, a fitting tribute.

Maurice Richard died on Saturday, losing a ferocious battle against abdominal cancer. His body will lie in state at the Molson Centre on Tuesday, and a state funeral will be held on Wednesday at Notre-Dame Basilica.

There has been an outpouring of public sympathy and condolences from across the country for Maurice “The Rocket” Richard. He transcended the game. Canadians consider themselves honoured to lay claim to the man affectionately known as “The Rocket”, a great hockey player, a great ambassador for the game and country. Canada and the Richard family have lost a true national treasure. Au revoir, Rocket.