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 #103 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was transport.

Topics

Division No. 1327Government Orders

6 p.m.

Moncton New Brunswick

Liberal

Claudette Bradshaw LiberalMinister of Labour

moved that the bill be concurred in.

Division No. 1327Government Orders

6 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Kilger Liberal Stormont—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, I believe you would find consent to apply in reverse the results of the vote just taken to the motion now before the House.

Division No. 1327Government Orders

6 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there agreement to proceed in such a fashion?

Division No. 1327Government Orders

6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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

Division No. 1328Government Orders

May 30th, 2000 / 6 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried.

The House resumed from March 30 consideration of the motion that Bill C-205, an act to amend the Income Tax Act (deduction of expenses incurred by a mechanic for tools required in employment), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

6:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Pursuant to order made on Monday, May 29, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-205 under Private Members' Business.

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

Division No. 1329Private Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the bill is referred to the Standing Committee on Finance.

(Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

The House resumed from May 29 consideration of the motion that Bill C-16, an act respecting Canadian citizenship, be read the third time and passed, and of the motion that the question be now put.

Citizenship Of Canada ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the previous question at the third reading stage of Bill C-16. The question is on the motion that the question be now put.

Citizenship Of Canada ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Kilger Liberal Stormont—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the House would agree I would propose that you seek unanimous consent that members who voted on the previous motion be recorded as having voted on the motion now before the House with Liberal members voting yea.

Citizenship Of Canada ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is there unanimous consent to proceed as described by the chief government whip?

Citizenship Of Canada ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Citizenship Of Canada ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

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

Division No. 1330Government Orders

6:25 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I declare the motion carried.

The next question is on the motion for third reading. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Division No. 1330Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Division No. 1330Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Division No. 1330Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Division No. 1330Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Division No. 1330Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

All those opposed will please say nay.

Division No. 1330Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Division No. 1330Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

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

Division No. 1331Government Orders

6:35 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I declare the motion carried.

(Bill read the third time and passed)

Division No. 1331Government Orders

6:40 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

It being 6.40 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business as listed on today's order paper.

Samuel De Champlain Day ActPrivate Members' Business

6:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative Charlotte, NB

moved that Bill C-428, an act establishing Samuel de Champlain Day, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, this is an interesting bill that we will be debating. I have had a lot of support from my colleagues on both sides of the House. To begin, I want to go through exactly what the bill really does.

This is a bill to establish what we would call a day for Samuel de Champlain. What would happen is that beginning in the year 2004, June 26 from then on would be known as Samuel de Champlain day.

I know that raises a number of questions in the minds of everyone here and some of those listening, particularly those back in Quebec. There has been a lot of interest in the province of Quebec on this bill for obvious reasons. Champlain is known as the founder of New France and has been recognized as a significant part of their history for many years. The question that I often get asked is why an anglophone member from New Brunswick would come up with the idea of recognizing Champlain.

Champlain first settled on a little island on the St. Croix River in the year 1604. Just as a note, it was the first European settlement on the north Atlantic coast. If you are a historian, Mr. Speaker, this might be of interest to you. It preceded both Jamestown in 1607 and Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620. There is a lot of history on this little island on the St. Croix River, the island being situated about halfway between the town of St. Stephen and the town of St. Andrews, New Brunswick. It has international implications as well.

The Americans have taken a great interest in this little island called St. Croix Island because it is actually American property. The island itself now belongs to the United States government. Although we are more closely associated with it, the Americans recognize it as a piece of their territory. They themselves have been doing a number of things to commemorate this event, marking just slightly short of four years from the 400th year celebration of the founding of this little settlement by Champlain. The United States is getting ready to celebrate the historical significance of the settlement on this island in a big way.

I want to quote an editorial from the St. Croix Courier that was written on this very topic. It is entitled “It's time for Canada to move on St. Croix Island's 2004 celebration”.

The editorial goes on to say:

Congratulations to the Maine Delegation in the U.S. Congress. It is taking major steps to celebrate the heritage of our area and Saint Croix Island. Maine Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe are co-sponsoring The Saint Croix Island Heritage Act, legislation which will help develop a heritage centre in Calais.

Most Francophones pronounce Calais the French way but the Americans have anglicized it. It is a little border town that is across from St. Stephen, New Brunswick.

The people in the United States are making moves to recognize the importance of this island. What I am suggesting to the House is that we do the same thing, hence, the idea of recognizing a Champlain day. The date that is mentioned in my bill identifies June 26 as being the most likely date for this.

I have talked to some of my friends in Quebec, and in particular René Lévesque, a historian and archaeologist in Quebec City, who many of my colleagues from the Bloc will know. The last time we met he suggested to me that we might consider altering the date. In other words, I am suggesting June 26, because that is the likely date in the year 1604 that Champlain settled on that island, but he has said that because July 1 is Canada Day and July 4 is the American Independence Day, where they celebrate their birth as a country, that some date in between might be better. He has suggested that July 3 might be the date because it has historical significance in Quebec. I am very open to that.

I am very open to any changes that have to be made in this bill to make it work. We are not fixed on anything that cannot be changed to make the bill better.

The trick now is to make this bill votable, which it obviously is not at at this time. Therefore, I will call on my colleagues from the Bloc and the other parties to help me expedite the passage of this bill. We must make this bill votable and get the attention of the government on it.

When I met with the heritage minister she told me that she was anxious to help. She recognizes that as Canadians we do not acknowledge our heroes as much as we should. She has suggested that we do something for the schools so there will be pamphlets and historical reference to Champlain, et cetera, so that when we get to the year 2004 our children and teachers will know a bit about him and the historical significance of this man who has played such a huge role in the development of what we now know as Canada and whose early beginnings was on that little island in the St. Croix River.

Aside from giving credit to my colleagues on the American side, Senators Snowe and Collins, I want to acknowledge the work that the mayor of the town of St. Stephen has done on this issue. He is a bit of an amateur historian and is really working hard to get this date recognized and get some celebrations on the Canadian side of the border in recognition of this date. That would be Mayor Allan Gillmor of the town of St. Stephen, New Brunswick. St. Andrews is also working on this, but I wanted to single out the work of the mayor of St. Stephen, New Brunswick, in particular.

St. Stephen has also hired or commissioned a young lady for this project, so that by the time we get to the year 2004 we will have something for which we can be proud. This is little bit of history that we simply do not want to lose.

I hope I will get support from my colleagues tonight. I hope that in their remarks they will suggest ways we can improve the bill.

I did hear one complaint about the bill. We often hear of Champlain and de Monts. Mr. de Monts is sometimes credited with being the leader of the expedition. I think that is legitimate but I want to point out that de Monts went back to France and left Champlain basically in charge of the outpost. It was Champlain who was buried in Quebec City.

When I was in Quebec City not too long ago, René Lévesque, who has done a lot of work on this file, actually took me to the gravesite which is considered the gravesite of Champlain. It is in the basement of one of the older buildings in the historic section of downtown Quebec City. It was quite a moment to get into the building and witness firsthand what is considered to be the gravesite of Champlain.

I think the argument on the de Monts side is worthy of comment, discussion and debate, but the true historical character who has to be recognized is Champlain. It is important that we do that simply because we can also have be a day for de Monts if we wish. We do not have to limit the scope of the bill or limit the possibility of bringing other names before the House in terms of discussion on a day of recognition.

I am certainly not trying to diminish the role of de Monts. He obviously is a very important part of this picture. At some point some of the other members can stand on their feet and introduce a bill that would in some way honour his contribution to the country as well. I am not against that at all.

One of the points that the heritage minister made to me was that maybe we should have a day honouring our first prime minister, or perhaps Sir Wilfrid Laurier. I think that is all credible and worthy of discussion, but the point I go back to is that we do not do enough to recognize our own heroes in this country.

Most of us know who Davy Crockett was but a lot of us never paid attention to Champlain. I have because when I leave my door I am looking at this little piece of history in my backyard. It is significant I guess that I should do something in the House, as opposed to any other member, but I am going to count on the generosity of the members in the House, which we often see in this place, to help me get this through the system. It is very seldom that we get a private member's bill through here.

This is actually the start of the process. I know it is not votable at this point, but I am going to ask my colleagues to help me get this votable. I have even suggested that if the government, in its generosity, wants to take control of this file and introduce the bill itself, I have no difficulty with that. I do not care who gets credit for it, I just want it to happen.

The Bloc members can also introduce it if they wish. If there is some way they can introduce the bill to make it votable, they will have my support. In fact, a senator in the Senate of all places, to show just how nonpartisan it is, told me “Greg, I can introduce it in the Senate and we will bring it over to the House”. That is a possibility as well.

What we are attempting to do is use the generosity of this place to pay tribute to someone I think is important to this country. I do not think there is anyone any more important than Champlain. The discovery of New France, the settlement in Quebec, is a rich part of our history and we do not want to lose that.

Mr. Speaker, I would appreciate any suggestions from you, because I know you are somewhat of an amateur historian. I hate to use the word amateur because you are a professional in your own league. However, if there is any way in terms of the rules and procedures of the House that we can use to expedite this bill, please let me know because I am open to suggestions and I certainly need help to recognize Samuel de Champlain in the way that we should.

The date that we have in mind is June 26 but that date can change subject to debate in the House. The year we are looking at is 2004. For once we are doing something ahead of time. We have a four year lead on this project. The way things move around this place, four years might not be enough to make it happen but I am certainly hoping it will.

I would like to ask for unanimous consent to make this bill votable?