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House of Commons Hansard #60 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was mechanics.

Topics

Société Littéraire De LavalStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 4, the Société littéraire de Laval, with its honourary president, Quebec poet Joël Des Rosiers, announced the names of the 11 winners of its second annual literary competition.

This initiative recognizes the talent and work of those who have the writing bug. Through the magic of prose or poetry, they breathe life into characters, set the scene, kindle emotions. We often see ourselves reflected in what they have to say.

This year's winners are tomorrow's writers. Whether they be called Dominic Gagné, Andrée Proulx, Alexandre Piché or Tania Langlais, they are a wonderful illustration of the exceptional commitment of the Société littéraire de Laval, which has had a soft spot for words for the past 16 years.

I am proud to congratulate all the participants in this competition, including the 150 college students. To the winners, I tip my hat, and to the Société littéraire, I offer my thanks for its work in developing vitality and excellence in the French language, at home, in Quebec.

Catholic Central High SchoolStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien Liberal London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to extend my congratulations to the crusaders of Catholic Central High School in London on their 50th anniversary.

As an alumnus I am proud that I attended CCH and I also had the privilege to teach and coach there for 10 years.

Alumni from across the country attended the reunion last Saturday and reminisced about past times. Catholic Central was originally London's only Roman Catholic high school and has produced many outstanding citizens in all walks of life.

Archbishop Peter Sutton, a former teacher at CCH, was the guest speaker.

I was joined by my provincial counterpart, the MPP for London—Fanshawe, Frank Mazzilli. The mayor of London, Anne Marie DeCicco represented city council. Both of these leaders are also CCH grads.

May Catholic Central enjoy a very successful second 50 years.

Middle EastStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are all saddened by the continuing violence in the Middle East. In the past few weeks we saw a four month old Palestinian baby killed by a missile strike and two young Israeli teenagers kidnapped and murdered. The cycle of violence must end.

The Canadian Alliance supports the right of the state of Israel to exist within safe and secure borders and the right of Palestinian people to negotiate for self-government through the peace process. We condemn any terrorism on any side of this complicated conflict.

We also call for the Government of Canada to be more open and transparent in its foreign policy development.

I want to assure all Canadians that this remains my position, the position of our party, and reflects my speech earlier this week.

I also wish to reiterate my great respect and friendship for members of all of Canada's religious and cultural communities with whom I and my party have worked hard to forge common ground on issues such as immigration, tax reform, support for the family and tax relief for parents who wish to educate their children in their own religious and cultural traditions.

We look forward to maintaining and enhancing our relationships with all these groups and individuals.

Canada Health DayStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Yvon Charbonneau Liberal Anjou—Rivière-Des-Prairies, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that tomorrow, May 12, is Canada Health Day.

Canada Health Day is held each year on the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, and is jointly sponsored by the Canadian Public Health Association and the Canadian Healthcare Association.

Together, let us wish an excellent Canada Health Day to the Canadian Public Health Association, the Canadian Healthcare Association, their members, their staff, their volunteers and their associates.

I ask all members to please join me in wishing the Canadian Public Health Association and the Canadian Healthcare Association a very successful Canada Health Day.

National Drinking Water StandardsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, three years ago a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation study concluded that the cost of providing safe drinking water in Canada would be $4 billion a year over 15 years. Canadians are looking to their elected representatives to give them reassurances that the water they drink is safe.

New Democrats across the country are working on this. Last month in British Columbia the NDP government passed the drinking water protection act. It provided an additional $11 million in new funding and enforceable standards, despite the objections of the B.C. Liberal Party.

In Ontario New Democrat Marilyn Churley has introduced a private member's bill to ensure Ontarians that they can trust the quality of the water they drink. Both of these pieces of legislation provide a framework for public disclosure and ensure the public has the right to know the results of water testing.

It is time the government follows suit by providing national standards for drinking water and an adequate infrastructure funding program.

Mothers' DayStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure to remind this House that Sunday is Mothers' Day.

This is a most important day, because it gives each of us an opportunity to show our attachment and our gratefulness to our mother. Our mothers are a source of inspiration. They never fail to display their courage, their love and their organizing skills.

Who has never phoned his or her mother in a panic to get a recipe? Mothers also show their kindness, their determination and their strength. Their contribution to our society is invaluable. On Sunday, let us think about the tremendous influence of our mother in our personal life and let us thank her.

I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to thank my mother, Yolande Bélanger, for the values that she instilled in me. I will be forever grateful to her.

Acadia UniversityStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, Acadia University in my riding of Kings—Hants will graduate 750 students this weekend. These students, along with honorary degree recipients, the Hon. William Hoyt, Reverend William E. O'Grady, Mr. Hector Jacques and Col. Ian S. Fraser, will forever be connected to a university with a reputation second to none.

The Maclean's annual ranking of universities has again declared Acadia the most innovative and once again the best overall undergraduate university in Canada. Acadia has also placed first in the leaders of tomorrow and most innovative categories. This marks the fifth consecutive year that Acadia has been considered the most innovative.

Acadia has been honoured by the Smithsonian, has received the Canadian information productivity award and recently was the only Canadian university to receive a pioneer award, an award that recognizes outstanding commitment to the creation of a successful, ubiquitous learning environment.

The launch of the Acadia advantage program has been a key factor in Acadia's success. This program connects students, faculty and staff to a campus wide network. I hope the Canadian fund for—

Acadia UniversityStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Champlain.

Air TransportationStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of Transport and the very serious Minister of Finance accused the separatists of being the reason for the problems of Mirabel and Dorval Airports. What arrogance.

The federal government is the one responsible for the decision two decades ago to make Toronto the Canadian hub of international flights. That same government penalized Dorval and Mirabel in allocating routes to Asia.

It sure takes a lot of nerve for a Minister of Transport from Toronto, backed up by an aspiring Prime Minister from Montreal, to lecture to us.

There is a response to this arrogance, and it is Quebec sovereignty. A sovereign Quebec will negotiate its own international routes and will do everything possible to make the airports of Quebec a model of cost-effectiveness and efficiency. Quebec sovereignty, that is the answer.

Teaching AwardsStatements By Members

May 11th, 2001 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Ovid Jackson Liberal Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the right hon. Prime Minister participated in an awards ceremony recognizing the teaching profession.

The Prime Minister's awards for teaching excellence recognizes teachers across the country. Some 65 teachers, men and women who teach subjects as varied as Spanish, music and mathematics and using innovative methods to inspire youngsters to learn, received this award yesterday.

An innovative society needs the next generation of youngsters to be educated. I congratulate these teachers. We give them full recognition and appreciation for their work as they go back into the classroom to inspire future generations.

PensionsStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deepak Obhrai Canadian Alliance Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, let me tell Canadians how far the government will go to empty the purses or wallets of Canadians. A senior in my riding cashed in a life insurance policy he had held since 1935 so he could buy a computer.

Cashing in that $3,187 life insurance policy reduced his old age security by $1,400 per year, his Alberta seniors benefit by $648, and increased his federal and provincial taxes by $686. His rent which had been subsidized according to his usual income level increased by $50. The $3,187 windfall set in motion a chain of events that put him $161 in the hole.

I will be introducing a private member's bill that will allow seniors a one time windfall of up to $10,000 that will not be subject to clawback by federal programs.

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we are seeing more reports and assessments which the government has received from outside economists and organizations in recent weeks. These are very disturbing to taxpayers.

One of Canada's most respected economists, Dale Orr of WEFA, is warning today that for the fiscal year just ended federal spending will be about $2 billion more than expected.

How can the government pretend that we are not on track for a deficit or possible higher taxes when its spending is wildly exceeding even the finance minister's own projections? How can it deny we are not on track for a deficit?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have met and achieved our targets in the past. This is evidence that we will meet our targets in future.

Certainly our spending commitments will be carried out in a fiscally responsible manner and in keeping with our usual prudent budgeting process.

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, he is right on one thing. They have grossly exceeded their spending targets. They are way over.

It is very clear, as a former economist and now the member for Markham said as far back as last November, that the government through its wild spending would be eating into its contingency reserve. That account is there to protect Canadians, should there be unexpected downturns.

How can the government justify wild spending plans which cut into the very savings account that is supposed to be there to protect Canadians?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we do not have wild spending plans. We have prudent plans to make key investments in matters of importance to Canadians like health care, research and higher education. Why does the hon. member oppose helping Canadians in these key areas?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, they are wildly exceeding their spending plans. The Canadian Alliance said as far back as last November that there would be a possible deficit within three years. Just this week economists are saying the same.

The finance minister has said he would only bring out a mini update covering the next two years. In November he promised taxpayers everything was fine on a five year projection. He is not talking five years any more, just two.

Is he afraid of what lurks in that three year window, which is a deficit according to economists? Will he bring in a five year plan, not a two year one?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I recall it is customary for the Minister of Finance to successfully make his forecasts on a two year basis. Doing that is not a change from the past.

Speaking of economists, Tim O'Neill, chief economist of the Bank of Montreal in today's Toronto Star said:

I don't think they (the government) are going to have any problems avoiding a deficit for the foreseeable future.

He went on to say, as quoted in the National Post :

The tax cuts and the other measures ended up being perfectly timed—

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, while we are quoting economists, perhaps the Deputy Prime Minister noticed that Dale Orr from WEFA said that things would get pretty tight between 2003 and 2005 and that was why it was very important to make sure spending was well restrained.

The government was more than $2 billion over budget for the last fiscal year. In the month of March, the last month of the fiscal year, the government spent 70% more than the average for the other 11 months of the fiscal year. It was March madness taking over.

How can the government say that it has spending under control, when it threw billions out of the window in the last month of the year to satisfy its political agenda?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our spending is restrained and we are on target. We are exceeding the commitments we are making. We are not over budget.

As evidence of this from an outside source, Craig Wright, chief economist of the Royal Bank is quoted in the National Post today as saying:

Everything this government has done in the past would suggest we don't have to worry about a deficit.

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, the auditor general has repeatedly criticized the government's practice of March madness where ministers and departments blow billions out the door in order to spend it before the end of the fiscal year when the finance minister claws it back.

Could the Deputy Prime Minister tell us why his government continues to ignore these warnings from the auditor general? Why did it announce $16 billion of spending in the last month, in the dying days of the fiscal year just closed? Why did we spend 70% more in March than in any month in the rest of the year? Why is that?

The EconomyOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Windsor West Ontario

Liberal

Herb Gray LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, why does the hon. member not respond to the quote I just gave from the chief economist of the Royal Bank? He cannot do that because the chief economist of the Royal Bank was right when he said:

Everything this government has done in the past would suggest we don't have to worry about a deficit.

Why is the hon. member criticizing our spending to carry out our commitments to Canadians to improve health care, higher education. and research and development? Once again the chief spokesman of the Alliance Party is on the record as opposing these important initiatives for all Canadians.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt about our need for legislation against organized crime. However, support is far from unanimous for the immunity the minister plans to grant to police forces, without judiciary intervention. Both the Quebec and Canadian bar associations find this approach excessive.

Is the minister aware that this aspect of the anti-gang bill can lead to excesses and slip-ups that will lead to a loss of confidence by the public in their police?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am really surprised at this line of questioning from the hon. member. If we want the police to fight crime, we need to give them the tools to fight crime. The member for Berthier—Montcalm was prepared to give the police power to commit murder.

The government will not allow that. What we will do, and we will not apologize for it, is give the police the powers to fight crime in this country.

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice's words yesterday were very disquieting. Today, it is the solicitor general who is not being in the least reassuring toward the population of Quebec and Canada.

Is the Minister of Justice going to acknowledge that, in the case of search warrants and electronic surveillance, the tradition to which she referred is to involve the justice system in the investigation stage, precisely so as to avoid excesses and slip-ups?

Organized CrimeOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalSolicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated a number of times in the House, the bill outlines strict limits and controls on the use of this power and has direct political accountability.

What the government wants to do and what I would think all members of the House want to do is to give the police the tools to do the job.