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House of Commons Hansard #38 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was foundation.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by the hon. member for Saint John.

Canadian Cancer SocietyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Hélène Scherrer Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, one year ago today, Marc Lanthier of south shore Montreal lost his long fight against cancer.

On behalf of his family, I would like to remind my colleagues and all Canadians that the month of April is when the Canadian Cancer Society's campaign for funds takes place.

During that period volunteers will be knocking at your doors collecting contributions for the fight against cancer. I encourage you all to be generous with your donations. Help us to win the battle against this killer disease, which last year alone took more than 65,000 members of our big Canadian family.

I would also invite all colleagues to place a donation in the boxes in the two lobbies. All the funds collected will be added up and sent directly to the Cancer Society at the end of the month.

I thank members in advance for their generosity.

TransportationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Darrel Stinson Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, better highways rank fourth in my riding's federal concerns, right after the big three of health care, lower taxes and paying down the debt.

I recently drove the Trans-Canada Highway from my British Columbia home to Ottawa. I have seen better back roads in our major trading partner, the United States.

In the 1800s Ottawa had a vision to link our huge country by building a railroad. Today the government supports the information highway but virtually ignores highway infrastructure.

Essential goods and services do not move on the Internet. Students may visit virtual museums via the Internet but it is impossible for the tourism industry to provide hotel rooms or meals to electronic tourists. Accidents on unforgiving roads impose needless suffering and overload our health care system.

Why not connect Canadians with modern highways following the same federal-provincial model used for health care and education? During the present review of the Canada Transportation Act, I call on the government to fix our highways now.

Canadian Cancer SocietyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, April is Cancer Awareness Month in Canada. Thousands of ordinary Canadians, volunteers for the Canadian Cancer Society, will be knocking on doors and holding special events to raise money for cancer research, public education activities and support services for people with cancer.

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization whose mission is to eradicate cancer and improve the quality of life of people experiencing cancer and their families. It is the largest funder of cancer research in Canada. Last year it contributed over $42 million to its research partners, the National Cancer Institute of Canada.

It is a cause worthy of everyone's support and we encourage all to be involved in the fundraising campaign.

American Bar AssociationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Liberal Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot, ON

Mr. Speaker, an editorial in yesterday's National Post applauds President Bush for ending the American Bar Association's role in vetting judicial appointments.

The National Post says that this is a good thing because the American Bar Association has become overly political. America's top lawyers, according to the National Post , have committed the deadly sins of endorsing employment initiatives for minorities, of endorsing a woman's right to choose an abortion, terrible, according to the National Post , of endorsing federal funding for the arts and of backing Clinton's failed attempt to bring in public health care; dreadful ideas, according to the National Post .

And if that is not enough, the American Bar Association is further to be condemned for failing to support minimum mandatory sentences and capital punishment.

Well I guess we know where the National Post sits politically. Firmly and absolutely to the right, the American right. National Post ? Yes.

American Bar AssociationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Scarborough—Agincourt.

Ara SarafianStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to call attention to Mr. Ara Sarafian, an established author and historian, specializing in the late Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey.

His multiple contacts in both Europe and the Middle East help the Princeton based journal Armenian Forum bridge the gap between the Armenian scholars on both sides of the Atlantic.

He is here in Ottawa today to promote the launching of his latest book entitled Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-1916 . It is also known as the blue book which compiles dozens of verified eyewitness accounts from different parts of the Ottoman Empire and sheds light on the Armenian genocide.

Mr. Sarafian is one of the founding directors of the Gomidas Institute and has edited several of the institutes publications.

On behalf of the House of Commons, all Canadians and myself, I wish to congratulate Mr. Ara Sarafian on his success.

AgricultureStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, last Tuesday all members from the Liberal Party turned their backs on Canadian farm families when they voted against increased emergency help.

In spite of the fact that the cabinet intends to ignore the farm income crisis, the disaster continues. Just yesterday there was a tragic story from Manitoba. The Farm Credit Corporation held a forced sale of a family farm. More than 1,000 acres of land, several farm buildings and a residence were put up for auction. Not one single bid was made for this farm. There is simply not enough money in farming.

This farmer was driven to bankruptcy by a government that ignored the natural disaster caused by excessive flooding in 1999 and turned a blind eye to disastrously low commodity prices. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Because of the Liberal indifference, we see many forced auctions this year and see that many farmers will lose their life's work.

The Liberal government has left many Canadian farmers with no hope this spring.

Canadian Ski ChampionshipsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Claude Duplain Liberal Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to congratulate the participants in this week's Canadian ski championships.

Yesterday, Jean-Philippe Roy won the giant slalom event of the Canadian Championships at Mont Orford.

Last weekend, at Mont Sainte-Anne, Mélanie Turgeon won her eighth downhill national title, while Anne-Marie Lefrançois came first in Super G. Winner of both the men's downhill and the men's Super G was British Columbia's Kevin Wert.

This successful season puts the Canadian team in a good position to excel in the 2002 Winter Olympics. We are sure that these young athletes will continue to be a source of pride to Canada.

Social HousingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, social housing is, first and foremost, housing belonging to the community as a whole and intended primarily to provide decent affordable accommodation. But Statistics Canada informs us that just over two of every five tenant households are spending more than 30% of their income on accommodation.

It has now been six years since the federal government invested in any new social housing. Groups throughout Canada are asking the federal government to double funding for housing assistance, not for so-called affordable housing, which will serve private interests, but for housing which will rent at below-market rates, and which will provide a better quality of life and access to various services and mutual assistance.

The Bloc Quebecois joins with these groups from Quebec and urges the federal government to reinvest in social housing. It is a question of justice.

Outaouais Tourist IndustryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday evening, representatives of the Outaouais tourist industry gathered at the Canadian Museum of Civilization for the Ouataouais' 16th Grands Prix du tourisme awards.

Congratulations to Robert Bourassa, the owner and chef of Café Henry Burger in Hull, who won Canada Economic Development's international marketing award. Presented to the SMB that made the biggest impact on the international market, the award is part of a series of promotional and communications activities initiated by the Outaouais Tourism Association, in which it has been joined by Canada Economic Development.

My warmest congratulations to all the winners in this great celebration of achievement in the Outaouais, and good luck at the Grands Prix du tourisme québécois awards.

Long live Mr. Bourassa and his team at the Café Henry Burger, and long live the Outaouais Tourism Association, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Pankiw Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, earlier this year I received letters from grade 6 students in the classroom of Miss Bender at St. Volodymyr school in Saskatoon.

Interestingly, a significant number of them asked that parliament lower the price of gasoline by reducing the taxes on gas. Some students cited environmental concerns. Others asked that we do something to help farmers who these children see protesting in the news.

Even though they are just children, they understand that their parents would have more money to spend on their own families if the government would lower taxes.

I suggest to each and every member of parliament in the House of Commons that it is not just the children at St. Volodymyr school who are concerned about such issues, but indeed children across our entire country.

The past practice of exploiting society's wealth and leaving the next generation to pay is unfair. The result is a $565 billion national debt. This represents a mortgage on future generations of Canadians. Therefore, we have a duty to our children to pay the debt off. Doing so would make our country a stronger place in which to live and prosper.

NunavutStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to inform the House that Patricia Angnakak has been appointed the first Deputy Commissioner of Nunavut.

During the years I have known Pat Angnakak, I have been impressed by her commitment to the development of Nunavut. To be appointed the very first deputy commissioner of the newest territory of Canada is a great honour and privilege.

Deputy Commissioner Angnakak will represent Nunavut at events Commissioner Irniq is unable to participate in. I know she will perform her duties with a great sense of history and pride for Nunavut.

I would ask my colleagues in the House to join with me in extending congratulations to Deputy Commissioner Angnakak and in wishing her every success.

Freshwater ExportsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have always been able to depend on our plentiful supply of freshwater but now this precious resource is being threatened by the inaction of the government.

In British Columbia, there is an outstanding chapter 11 action under NAFTA. There are ongoing attempts in the Great Lakes to export bulk water.

Yesterday, Roger Grimes, the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, announced that his government will reopen the issue of the bulk export of water, a move that under NAFTA would eliminate the ability of other provinces to ban the exportation of bulk water.

In fact, the government has brought forward legislation, Bill C-6, which would facilitate the export of our most precious water supply.

It is time the government showed some leadership and accepted its responsibility to protect our supply of freshwater. It is time we have federal legislation that would ban absolutely the bulk export of our freshwater.

Organized CrimeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Bellehumeur Bloc Berthier—Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning, 1,700 officers representing some fifty police forces in Quebec carried out a vast operation across 77 municipalities in order to strike a blow at criminal motorcycle gangs. No fewer than 150 warrants for arrest were issued on various charges from conspiracy to commit murder to gangsterism.

On behalf of the members of the Bloc Quebecois, I want to congratulate all the police forces on their professionalism, courage and determination. This operation shows just how serious Quebec police forces are in putting an end to the criminal activities of these gangs, which threaten public security not only in Quebec but across Canada.

With this fine demonstration by the police forces, I hope the Minister of Justice of Canada will understand and give the police and crown prosecutors real anti-gang legislation, as the Bloc Quebecois has been requesting for a long time.

Arts And CultureStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Liberal Algoma—Manitoulin, ON

Mr. Speaker, I invite all members to join me at the National Press Club after the votes tonight to help celebrate the unique partnership between the Serpent River First Nation and the City of Elliot Lake in my northern Ontario riding of Algoma—Manitoulin.

These partners have come together to create the White Mountain Academy of the Arts, a new fine arts institute dedicated to teaching both aboriginal and mainstream visual arts.

The academy is unique in North America and deserves our full support. It is one of the many creative ideas which have been implemented to diversify the area's economy from the loss of all the mines which happened a number of years ago.

I ask all members to come out tonight to see some of the art, meet the students, community leaders, staff and board members who are working together on an adventure in art which will benefit all of us for years to come.

I want to congratulate all those involved. I ask all members to come out and show their support for this very unique project.

Softwood LumberStatements By Members

March 28th, 2001 / 2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, the softwood lumber issue is coming to a head as we speak and Canada has yet to establish a united position against the impending U.S. trade actions.

The risk to the industry and the country is substantial and the result of countervail and anti-dumping action will be devastating.

Leading members of the softwood lumber industry are today asking the Minister for International Trade to convene a meeting of the managers of the key softwood corporations to establish a unified stand against this threat.

Time is running out and I ask the minister to follow the advice of the industry and call a meeting of the industry leaders now.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Watergate tapes had 18 missing minutes. The Shawinigan papers have six missing years.

On Monday, the Prime Minister said that the ethics counsellor would release all documents. On Tuesday, the ethics counsellor admitted that he had not released all the documents. We want to see the documents that show who owned the shares between 1996 and 1999, the years the Prime Minister was shovelling all that government money into the hotel next door.

Will he release those documents that show who owned the shares between 1996 and 1999?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, anyone who can read, can read the documents. It is very clear that the shares were not mine since November 1, 1993.

I want to repeat that I have complied with the wishes of the opposition. On March 15, the member for Edmonton North said:

The Prime Minister could get over this in a heartbeat by just tabling his bill of sale for those shares in 1993.

It was done by the ethics counsellor yesterday morning.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, he keeps talking about one of the documents we wanted on the table. We also want the ones that are under the table.

Jonas Prince changed his story in 1999 under pressure from the Prime Minister's lawyers. The former owner said that he had made a payment of $40,000 and optioned to get himself out of the agreement. He said that he did not have any more ownership in the Grand-Mère. That was said by Mr. Prince. However, the ethics counsellor did not release those documents related to that transaction in November 1997.

Will the Prime Minister table the documents that reflect on that transaction in November 1997, the transaction that Mr. Prince said brought him out of the shares and left them with the Prime Minister?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor has said, at least 10 times in front of committee or in the press, that the shares had been transferred, that he was satisfied and that there was no conflict of interest.

I think the only thing under the table is the payback that the Reform Party got from the law firm. It changed the books of the law firm. The first cheque was signed by the firm and after that it was an individual who so generously paid $70,000 to the party after the firm gained $400,000 of legal fees.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I would like him to say that outside the House at five past three today.

Mr. Speaker, there are more holes in the Prime Minister's version than there are in the whole Grand-Mère golf course.

The Prime Minister has released a few selected documents. But there is a period of six years between 1993 and 1999.

Will the Prime Minister stop hiding the facts and set up an independent inquiry to settle this scandal once and for all?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I said it before and will say it again, I tabled the documents they asked for. They said if I tabled the agreement of sale, they would ask no further questions.

I know a colleague who was in the House for two terms, Jim Hart, was promised $50,000 if he would resign his seat. He has told some of my colleagues that it was easy to talk to Liberal members but the Leader of the Opposition never returns his phone calls because he does not want to pay.

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith Canadian Alliance South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is hard for us to believe that the Prime Minister would sell one of his most treasured assets by writing out an agreement in longhand, without witnesses and without a deposit.

It is hard for us to believe that it took two years for the Prime Minister to realize that Jonas Prince had neglected to pay him $150,000. It appears to us that the Prime Minister never intended to get paid for the shares, that he intended to take them back after he retired from politics.

Was this originally meant to be a contract of convenience?

Prime MinisterOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bonavista—Trinity—Conception Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Brian Tobin LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, all these matters have been dealt with properly by all the proper authorities.

As I was listening to the Leader of the Opposition, I was reminded that I am somewhat of an expert on endangered species, and there is no doubt that what this leader and a turbot have in common is that they are both hanging on by their fingernails.