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House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was riding.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, led by the hon. member for Nanaimo—Cowichan.

Air CanadaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that Air Canada has undertaken a study which might lead to its providing unilingual English counter service as well as service on certain flights in western Canada.

Although Air Canada is a private company, we wish to remind Air Canada of its moral obligation, at the very least, to provide bilingual service on all its flights and those of its subsidiaries within the country.

The Liberal MPs wish to remind Air Canada that both official languages are greatly valued by Canadians in all parts of this Country and we expect Air Canada to respect all Canadians.

Government SpendingStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Pankiw Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, starting tomorrow the city of Saskatoon will be witness to another flagrant and irresponsible waste of taxpayers' money by the Liberal government. In this instance the amount is $20,000, small potatoes compared to last year's scandalous misuse of billions by the Liberal government's human resources minister, but wasteful spending nonetheless.

I am referring to the federal government's cash handout of $20,000 to the Queer City Cinema Film Festival, notorious for playing such films as the one about lesbian bikers who use children as sex slaves.

Taxpayers may not know which is more peculiar, the strange misuse of taxpayers' money in this instance or the Queer City Cinema Film Festival itself. One thing they do know is that both are somewhat at odds with, much less appreciated, by hard working families who pay taxes to the federal government expecting that their money will not be wasted.

Gerry MorinStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Rick Laliberte Liberal Churchill River, SK

Mr. Gerry Morin was sworn in on February 2 as a judge in the province of Saskatchewan. Mr. Morin is a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation and has had extensive experience in northern Saskatchewan. He has served as a probation officer in various communities. His aspirations in the legal profession were realized when he graduated from Saskatoon's University of Saskatchewan.

Mr. Morin started his law practice in the city of Prince Albert and served northerners in the justice circles and as an adviser in major negotiations. He gained national prominence when he was appointed chairman of the RCMP complaints commission.

Mr. Gerry Morin will be utilizing his Cree language to conduct his responsibilities and make his decisions as a judge in our aboriginal communities.

I am honoured to stand today to acknowledge our friend, our partner and our fellow Canadian for such a profound achievement for his family and his people.

Toyota CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Liberal Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada of Cambridge, a leading North American auto manufacturer, recently unveiled the 2003 Matrix. Blending outstanding performance, versatility and affordability, the Matrix will be built at Toyota's award winning plant in Cambridge.

Production of the Matrix will create 300 new jobs and will bring Toyota's total investment in Cambridge to $3 billion. This announcement follows last year's decision to build the new Lexus RX and places the Cambridge plant at the forefront of Toyota's new products and technologies.

The excellence and hard work of team Toyota in my riding of Cambridge has long been recognized. I congratulate Toyota for its ongoing success and its bold vision for the future of the auto industry.

Fulgence CharpentierStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Eugène Bellemare Liberal Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleagues, I wish to express our great sadness to learn of the death of Fulgence Charpentier at the age of 103 years.

A native of Ste. Anne de Prescott in eastern Ontario, Mr. Charpentier was Clerk of French Journals and Chief of Debates and Procedures at the House of Commons.

He was a diplomat, journalist, parliamentary correspondent and president of the National Press Gallery. He will be remembered for his many years with the newspaper Le Droit .

With his passing, Ontario francophones have lost a great man.

Mr. Charpentier has left a great heritage. His professionalism and grace will be greatly missed.

I extend our most sincere condolences to his family, his colleagues and his many, many friends.

Bariya Ibrahim MagazuStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Canadian Alliance Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the Canadian Alliance caucus and millions of Canadians from coast to coast to condemn the brutal caning of teenage mother Bariya Ibrahim Magazu in the Nigerian state of Zamfara on January 22 of this year.

Ms. Magazu had no legal representation at her trial and, according to Amnesty International, the evidence surrounding the allegations, charges and trial of the girl can be brought into serious question.

The young mother received a cruel 100 lashes after having given birth, despite the fact that Nigeria is a party to various international human rights treaties that prohibit torture and inhumane or degrading punishment.

I join with my caucus, party members and all Canadians in denouncing this brutal act and call on the government of Nigeria to ensure that the human rights treaties it signed are respected and enforced.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, our charter of rights says that everyone has fundamental freedoms, two being freedoms of conscience and religion. Almost every bill of rights and the UN charter says the same thing. It is almost universal. The abuses of those freedoms are almost as universal.

The Prime Minister will be on a trade mission to China this month. The abuses of people practising their religious and conscience freedoms are well documented: Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and Falun Gong.

Why is it in Canada's interest to raise these issues? Are these matters not best left to internal Chinese authorities? Is Canada not somewhat hypocritical about raising this issue as opposed to some other issues?

In a word, it is the rule of law. How can Canadian businesses do business if the rule of law is routinely abused? If fundamental rights of conscience and religion are routinely abused, how can a Canadian business person expect that matters of undertakings and contracts be recognized? What are personal undertakings and WTO undertakings worth if these things occur? It is good for business to recognize these issues.

David IftodyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Harvard Liberal Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr. Speaker, members of parliament were shocked and saddened Monday to learn of the death of a former colleague.

David Iftody died as a result of internal injuries sustained in a snowmobile accident near his home at Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba.

David was first elected as the Liberal member for Provencher in 1993. He was re-elected in June 1997. For two years he served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

David was a man of integrity who cared deeply for his constituents of Provencher. He pursued issues that were central to Provencher with passion and conviction, which took him to every part of his riding. He never let disappointment get in his way. He always followed his conscience and did what he thought was best for his constituents and his country.

David will be missed by all who knew him. His life was far too short at only 44 years, but he made the best of what God gave him.

On behalf of my colleagues, I extend sincere condolences to the family.

Fulgence CharpentierStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, Fulgence Charpentier, the dean of journalists, passed away yesterday at the age of 103. A citizen of the world, he achieved his dream of witnessing three centuries of history through which he followed his exceptional career.

This Franco-Ontarian, one of the most prominent representatives of the French Canadian culture, was a source of pride and will remain a model for us all. He said recently that one of the reasons he had wanted to be a journalist was so he could defend the cause of French and speak without restriction of the life of francophones of the region and the country.

In the final years of his life, he felt that things were not really changing and that history was continually repeating itself. Still, he defended the cause of French throughout his life.

We thank him for his secular wisdom and the example of perseverance and integrity he set for us and hope that many of us will draw on it.

On behalf of my colleagues in the Bloc Quebecois, I offer his family and friends our most sincere condolences.

The FamilyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week in New York, the United Nations held a special session on children. This was designed in part to monitor progress of the convention on the rights of the child, which came into force some 10 years ago.

Many citizens have been dismayed by language and practices supported by some delegations to the UN that have diminished the role of the family.

What a treat to read U.S. Ambassador E. Michael Southwick's release in which he stated that we need to be “emphasizing the vital role the family plays in the upbringing of children”. This was good common sense, spoken clearly so no one could misunderstand.

I applaud the U.S. position on the family. This statement is accurate and significant and, in my view, is supported by the vast majority of Canadians. I hope it will be reflected in future UN documents on the rights of the child.

David IftodyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today as chair of the Manitoba caucus. On Monday this week we experienced the sudden and tragic loss of our friend and colleague, David Iftody.

David was more than a member of the House. He was an active member of his community and a kind, caring and dedicated Liberal. David fought tirelessly for his beliefs and brought the voices of not only his constituents but all western rural Canadians to Ottawa.

He was outspoken and persistent but always good-natured. There was never a doubt that David knew his actions were in the best interests of his constituents.

My office in Winnipeg received many calls yesterday and today from people across the province of Manitoba who wished to let me know how much David meant to them and how his seven years as the member for Provencher made their communities better. This is truly David's legacy.

The residents of my riding and members of my staff join me in the mourning of the passing of our friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Iftody family.

Nova ScotiaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia needs to be given equal opportunities under our federal equalization and social transfer regime.

I refer specifically to the need for a temporary exemption of offshore oil and gas royalty revenues in the calculation of equalization payments, similar to the one granted to Newfoundland for Hibernia. This temporary measure has obviously helped boost the economy of that province and Nova Scotia deserves no less.

I also call on the government to increase its support for post-secondary education in Nova Scotia through a bilateral agreement recognizing the extra costs we pay for a high number of out of province students. Our provincial government could use these funds to reduce Nova Scotia's tuition fees, currently the highest in Canada, and to increase the inadequate student aid program.

Now is the time to correct the crippling impact of underfunding on our education and health care, on our schools and hospitals in Nova Scotia.

Now is the time to revisit the equalization formula to ensure that all provinces are afforded an equal level of services and all Canadians an equal level of citizenship.

Saint-Côme Festival De Sculptures Sur GlaceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the honorary patron of the 10th Saint-Côme Festival de sculptures sur glace being held now until February 10, I take this opportunity to congratulate the organizers, volunteers, artists and sponsors who make this event such a success. This festival introduces thousands of visitors to one of the most beautiful corners of the country.

Again this year, there will be over 70 ice sculptures by artists in my riding for the public to admire.

The festival also offers a multitude of activities, including skiing, snowmobiling, sleigh rides and a tribute to lumberjacks.

I extend an invitation to our audience, the members of the House and to you, Mr. Speaker. If you come on the weekend to Berthier—Montcalm, dress warmly, because generally at this time of year, the temperature in the kingdom of Saint-Côme is a lot lower than it is in Ottawa.

Nova ScotiaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia's PC premier is campaigning for fairness. Let us talk about fairness.

What is not fair is that Nova Scotians should have to face the fiscal mess made by a previous PC government. What is not fair is that a party, which promised it could fix health care for $46 million, has not kept its word. What is not fair is that Nova Scotia taxpayers are stuck with a royalty deal made by two PC governments in 1986.

What is not fair is that a party that claimed it could cut taxes 10% cannot do so without outside help. What is unfair is that young Nova Scotians are paying and will pay a terrible price for Tory mismanagement.

Human Resources DevelopmentStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Progressive Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is important to remember certain facts concerning the Prime Minister and Auberge Grand-Mère.

In 1996-97, the Prime Minister made representations to the Federal Business Development Bank on behalf of Yvon Duhaime. The application for the initial $3.5 million loan had been rejected. Later, following the meeting held at 24 Sussex Drive between the Prime Minister and the president of the bank, the loan was approved.

In September 1999, François Beaudoin, the president of the bank, left his position. During the course of legal proceedings, he admitted to having been forced to resign, following his suggestion that the loan granted to Auberge Grand-Mère be recalled.

The Progressive Conservative Party will not be muzzled. The Prime Minister and his government are asking us not to point the finger.

If the Prime Minister conducted himself properly, he will show transparency and ask, among other things, the ethics counsellor to table in the House a complete report on how he conducted his investigation regarding this issue, before drafting his findings.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign the Prime Minister was asked whether immigrant investor funds were invested in the Auberge Grand-Mère as a result of his meeting at 24 Sussex Drive with immigrant investor Gordon Fu. The Prime Minister replied, and forgive my language, “He has not invested a damned cent in that”. That was his quote.

We have now obtained documents, which are available today, that show that in fact immigrant investors put $2.35 million into the hotel after the meeting with Mr. Fu. Will the Prime Minister try to explain this serious contradiction?

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the investor fund is managed by the provincial authorities. I was not aware that there was any investment there.

At that time I received people from my riding. We discussed many things. All the members of parliament from all the provinces were asked to preserve that fund. All provincial governments insisted that the investor program be kept in operation, including the government of Alberta.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

That is not the issue at all, Mr. Speaker. The meeting took place at Sussex Drive. The Prime Minister denied following the meeting that it had anything to do with Mr. Fu, that these investor funds would flow. Yet it is very clear now with the information received that $2.35 million began to flow from the immigrant investors fund alone.

Can the Prime Minister understand that Canadians have a right to ask whether his own involvement with the golf course, and therefore with the hotel, had anything to do with his very serious, intense involvement, and what appears to be financial gain?

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the taxpayers never had to pay a cent because of my errors, as was the case for the Leader of the Opposition.

The member should also know that I receive members of parliament from both sides every day at 3 o'clock and visitors also come to see me. Every day of the week people from my riding or members of parliament visit with me. We shake hands, discuss things for two or three minutes and then they leave. This visit was of the same nature.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we have proof right here that the Prime Minister is not out of the woods as regards the auberge. He hosted meetings that allowed Auberge Grand-Mère to get close to $3 million. Worse still, two of the participants in these meetings were people who had previously been convicted of criminal activities.

Does the Prime Minister realize that he used his office to collect money that benefited a business of which he is a beneficiary? Does he realize that?

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, these are totally unfounded insinuations.

The issue was discussed several times in the House. In fact, the hon. member is saying that he came to 24 Sussex Drive, and that is not true.

The investment fund is managed by the provincial government. In 1996, the provincial government was led by Premier Bouchard. I am pleased to learn now that he tried to help out businesses, probably as a result of representations made by members of the National Assembly.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, one wonders if Mr. Bouchard made these decisions on his own.

The Prime Minister said that not one cent of immigrant investor money went into the Auberge Grand-Mère. He was out a whopping 235 million cents. It was $2.35 million that went into a business, which would increase the value of a golf course that was still owned by the Prime Minister.

Is that not the real reason that the Prime Minister tried to cover it over?

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is another false statement. The ethics counsellor replied very clearly that I had sold my share in the golf club in 1993 before I became Prime Minister of Canada.

Grants And ContributionsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the entire country knows that money was still owed to him in 1996. It was taken care of in 1999.

The Auberge Grand-Mère received, just for instance, $50,000 from economic development for Quebec, $60,000 in HRD wage subsidies, $165,000 in TJF grants, $615,000 in Business Development Bank money, and now a whopping $2.35 million in immigrant investor funds.

The Prime Minister needs to tell the House what impact that had on neighbouring real estate.