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House of Commons Hansard #130 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesdays, we will now sing the national anthem and we will be led by the member for Surrey Central.

Privacy Commissioner

December 12th, 2001 / 2 p.m.

The Speaker

I have the honour of laying upon the table the report of the Privacy Commissioner for 2000-01.

This report is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

Oil Museum of CanadaStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Liberal Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, it may come as a surprise to some in the House of Commons as to where oil was first discovered in Canada. Some may think it was in western Canada but that is not the case. The truth is it was discovered in my riding of Lambton--Kent--Middlesex.

The North American oil industry began in Oil Springs in 1858. James Miller Williams, who was a coachmaker from Universal Exhibition in Paris, dug the first well in 1858. Although the original boom at Oil Springs was short lived, it had a dramatic impact on the fledgling oil exploration, production and refining industries.

In 1958, 100 years after oil was first discovered, Oil Springs became the home to the Oil Museum of Canada, which was designated an official oil heritage site. The museum was opened to the public on August 12, 1960, with over 7,000 people visiting it each year. Family members are pleased to donate old artifacts to the local museum to ensure history is preserved.

I welcome and encourage members in the House and visitors across Canada to visit this great landmark in my riding of Lambton--Kent--Middlesex.

National MemorialStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Canadian Alliance Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, since September 11 the prime ministers of Australia, New Zealand and Italy have held memorial services for their citizens killed at the World Trade Center.

Britain held a national memorial service for British victims of the attack and is planning a permanent memorial. New York City plans to present an urn to the family of each victim. Canadians came out in the hundreds of thousands to memorial services across the country.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's ultimate response has been to send letters of condolence to the families of victims. There are no plans for a permanent national memorial and the government appears uninterested.

Canadians expect Canada to do no less than our friends and allies to honour Canadian victims. A permanent national memorial is essential. Why is the government waiting for someone else to do it?

Natural DisastersStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on December 7 each year Armenians around the world take time to recognize the anniversary of the tragic earthquake of December 7, 1988. Over 25,000 lives were lost and hundreds of thousands of Armenians were left homeless and injured on that sorrowful day.

Each year Armenians reflect on the crippling effect of nature's fury and share with the victims of natural disasters everywhere the common bonds of human suffering, human courage and human resolve to overcome and persevere.

I urge my fellow members of parliament to join me and the Canadian Armenian community in mourning the victims of the 1988 earthquake and to contribute to the efforts to provide relief to the victims of natural disasters wherever they occur.

Remote RegionsStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Liberal Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to an article by Hélène Baril that appeared in La Presse on December 9, 2001, Professor Fernand Martin of the University of Montreal believes that remote regions and the rest of the country are definitely not on the same wavelength.

The resource rich regions supply the big cities. Wood from the regions provides work for people in the cities: 67% of the secondary processing of wood is done in Montreal.

Savings from the remote regions are invested in large part in the big cities. The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec gets $20 million from Abitibi-Témiscamingue and invests none of it there. The Fonds de solidarité of the FTQ gets $14 million in savings, and it invests barely $1 million there.

There is still a future in the remote regions and this future can be found in the quality of life and pure air of Canada's north.

Medals of BraveryStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, I recognize two of my constituents who are both neighbours and friends of mine on receiving medals of bravery this past week.

John and Mary-Rose MacLeod were visiting the beautiful Inverness beach on Cape Breton Island where they discovered two brothers in danger about 100 metres out in the gulf of St. Lawrence. Not concerned about their personal risk, they swam out to the boys. They handed a piece of driftwood to the stronger of the two and instructed him to swim to safety. They then turned the other boy on his back and headed for shore.

While Mr. MacLeod struggled to keep the victim's head out of the water Mrs. MacLeod attempted rescue breathing several times along the way, but the high surf and strong riptide made it very difficult. They managed to save one boy but sadly the second victim could not be revived.

I commend John and Mary-Rose MacLeod on their selfless act and the example they are setting for all Canadians to make us a more caring society.

HealthStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, there is not one penny more for health care transfers in the budget. The Liberals are refusing to admit that health care is sliding into a crisis. Seventy-five per cent of our physicians refuse to accept more patients. Operating rooms are being shut down because there are no nurses. People are dying as wait lists grow longer.

The budget ignores the rising costs of drugs, new technologies and an aging population. The federal government's contribution is less now than it was in 1994. Canadians are pleading for some relief for health care.

What they got was the cold shoulder from the finance minister and the sorry sight of the health minister waving a newspaper prop to attack another premier to deflect his own failures.

In the last decade the government spent $242 million studying health care, but when it comes to actually helping the provinces deliver health care it is not up to the task.

YmcaStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, in November the YMCA celebrated its 150th anniversary in Canada. It has played an enormous role in the lives of Canadians during the time of its existence.

A good example of a lifelong member is 91 year old Les Chater from Hamilton Mountain. Mr. Chater has been a member of the Y since he was eight. During the second world war Mr. Chater spent three harrowing years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp and credits his survival to what he learned at the Y. The Y not only helped him learn the importance of physical fitness but also instilled leadership skills and respect for his fellow man.

Today more than ever it is important that we recognize the positive mark the YMCA has left on the minds and spirits of countless Canadians, young and old.

Canadian ForcesStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to pay tribute to the ongoing and courageous work being done by the 3rd battalion of the Royal 22nd Regiment, which is now in Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of Operation Palladium.

I had the pleasure of spending time with these troops during a training exercise in Valcartier last summer and was honoured to be deployed with them from November 20 to 30 in Bosnia.

Colonel Brazeau and Lieutenant-Colonel Mattern, who head this 1,500-member contingent, are ensuring the security of Bosnian citizens in southwestern Bosnia.

I was impressed by their professionalism and their devotion to their NATO mission.

Their presence and warm contacts with the civilian population are so completely typical of Quebecers and are greatly appreciated. Although their assignment is a tough one, I know that they will meet the challenge.

I wish to congratulate the troops. We will see them in Valcartier when they return from their mission.

SeniorsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand in the House to recognize an outstanding facility in my riding of Scarborough Centre, the Birkdale Seniors Community Centre. I recently attended its 25th anniversary open house which was a celebration of its great achievements.

In December 1976 the centre opened its doors to the seniors of the community and provided activities such as woodcarving, oil painting and billiards. Since then its programs and activities have evolved to provide seniors with essential services support and continued recreational activities.

I commend all the volunteers and members of the Birkdale Seniors Community Centre for their dedication and effort in making the centre such a tremendous success.

To the past presidents and executive boards, to the current president and executive board, and to the hundreds of volunteers let me say congratulations and thanks for providing such an excellent venue for our seniors.

Robert TherriaultStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the memory of retired Brigadier General Robert G. Therriault.

Born in Quebec City, General Therriault was commander of the 2nd batallion of the Royal 22nd Regiment, the celebrated Van Doos. He was also commander of Canada's airborne regiment.

He enjoyed a distinguished military career spanning 35 years. After joining the permanent forces in 1949 he served in Korea. His military postings took him around the world, including Germany, France, Cyprus and Washington, D.C., as military attaché and senior liaison officer. In Canada he was stationed in Valcartier, Quebec City, Kingston, Edmonton and Ottawa.

Brigadier General Therriault was a past honorary colonel of the Canadian Airborne Regiment. He was past chairman of the St. Vincent's Hospital Foundation, a director of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires and NCE Petrofund.

I join Robert Therriault's family and former military comrades in saluting his contribution to his country.

Montfort HospitalStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Eugène Bellemare Liberal Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, Friday, December 7, is a memorable date for all Franco-Ontarians. On that day, the Court of Appeal of Ontario unanimously upheld the decision of the Divisional Court in the Montfort Hospital case.

The French speaking community of eastern Ontario need no longer defend the importance of this institution as a French language university hospital. The Montfort has also earned the distinction of being one of the best performing hospitals in the province.

This ruling therefore marks an historic moment in the delivery of French language health care services for minority language communities by confirming that they have quasi-constitutional rights.

I take this opportunity to congratulate all stakeholders who have been directly or indirectly involved in the Montfort Hospital cause over the past five years.

The MediaStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, diverse voices across Canada are being silenced. Southam journalists are condemning CanWest Global for narrowing debate and corrupting both news coverage and commentary to suit corporate interests. CanWest's owners now dictate editorial policy, control TV commentators and tell Aislin what cartoons will be published.

At the same time CBC is cutting again. Saturday radio shows like The House , Basic Black and DNTO are on the chopping block while CBC management locks out its technicians because they want meal breaks on a 12 hour shift.

The government has to bear responsibility for silencing these voices. The cabinet put its seal of approval on the Aspers' media empire a few weeks ago when it renewed its licence. This week's budget leaves the CBC a couple of hundred million short of what it had before the cuts of the last decade.

Our democracy can only survive if there is a free exchange of many views in our newspapers and over our airwaves. Without it, all the security in the world will not make one whit of difference.

Éric LucasStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, our champion is still undefeated.

For the first time in the history of boxing in Quebec, a Quebecer has defended his title as world champion before local fans. In Montreal, on November 30, Éric Lucas successfully defended his WBC World Super Middleweight title.

Once again, his immense talent was evident in his decisive victory over the South African, Dingaan Thobela, in a match stopped by the referee in the eighth round. He totally dominated the match from start to finish, assailing his opponent with a skillfully delivered and rapid fire series of combinations, while at the same time holding his ground against the South African's punches. The brilliant victory of this native of Sainte-Julie confirms that he is the best boxer in the world in his category.

This young man is admired by Quebecers for his courage, determination and tenacity, as well as his great generosity. I therefore take pride today in joining with people in every corner of Quebec in celebrating his great performance and in assuring him of our support in future successes.

Good for you, Eric.

Mathieu CussonStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Diane St-Jacques Liberal Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to a very young hero from the riding of Shefford, Mathieu Cusson.

Last Thursday, Her Excellency the Governor General presented Mathieu with the Medal of Bravery for a heroic act he performed on July 5, 2000.

During a fishing trip, Mathieu, his father and a friend were returning to shore with their catch when their canoe was capsized by two large waves. As they fought the waves and the coldness of the water, hypothermia began to set in.

Although weak himself, the young hero managed to swim with his father and friend in tow to a large rock.

He and his father survived their five hour ordeal; sadly, his friend Jared, despite a courageous struggle, did not.

I am proud to draw attention here in the House to the courage of this heroic 13 year old, who has proven that a person's worth is not measured by his age.

Bravo, Mathieu.

Employment InsuranceStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the recent recession has resulted in numerous layoffs throughout the country. The Trenton steel works plant in Nova Scotia has been hit especially hard. Many workers have been laid off since last May leaving only a skeleton crew at the plant. As Christmas approaches their EI benefits are coming to an end leaving angst and apprehension for the new year.

In the United States President Bush has been extending EI benefits to help workers affected by the downturn in the economy. Yet in Canada the Liberal government prefers to use the EI fund for its own special interests.

The Liberal budget failed to address the crippling EI and CPP premiums which are a tax grab and devastating to employees, employers and businesses like Trenton Works.

There is a $36 billion surplus in the EI fund that continues to be exploited for a purpose that it was not intended for. If the government refuses to lower EI and CPP premiums, it should at least return some of the surplus to the workers by extending EI benefits and programs for those who have lost their jobs in this economic downturn.

It is disturbing. It is terrible to be without work and certainty before Christmas.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

I am sure, Mr. Speaker, the warmth will last all of about 35 seconds.

This budget was a wasted opportunity for the government and, unfortunately, for Canadians.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The Leader of the Opposition is new and everyone will want to hear his question.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, with a 9.3% increase in spending, this is the largest increase in spending since the Prime Minister was finance minister.

The government has not cut waste. It has thrown money away to pet projects of the Liberal leadership candidates and has neglected the real priorities of Canadians.

Could the Prime Minister explain to Canadians and to the auditor general how the government could not find one cent in wasteful spending to cut?

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the member for West Vancouver--Sunshine Coast. I know it is sunshine for us to see him there. I have known him for a long time and I am very happy that he is my seventh Leader of the Opposition.

However, something is very unusual. Never in the history of Canada has a Prime Minister gone to a fundraiser to help the Leader of the Opposition. He was a speaker in British Columbia but since he did not like the Tories any more he needed a speaker to raise money and he asked your humble servant to do the job.

We are so tight with money on this side that I went there. He made $20,000 and he paid me no money.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I might ask him again some day but I want to tell him that he is not the first Liberal Prime Minister I have ever faced and I can assure him that I will do my best in this role to make sure he is the last one I face.

This year the government will spend $1.9 billion more than it collects in revenue. By U.S. accounting standards, we are already in a deficit.

The auditor general identified $16.3 billion in poorly managed grant programs.

Could the Prime Minister not have found ways to cut rather than pushing us to the brink of a deficit?