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House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

The BudgetGovernment Orders

1:20 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Liberal Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am splitting my time with the member for Kitchener--Waterloo.

I would like to mention that the members for Kitchener--Waterloo and Cambridge are my counterparts and we work on many issues together. I want to publicly thank them for all the good work they do to help me on a continuing basis. We all know that we cannot do this job alone. We need some co-operation. Members of parliament need to help each other.

I am proud of the budget. Having said that, it was not a budget that was planned. Nobody foresaw the events of September 11. Nobody wanted them but we as a government had to respond to those events. There is no doubt about it.

All of us have to be responsible to the country and to our constituents, the people who elect us. The bulk of the budget addresses security issues. There are many other things in the budget. It is not a budget we wanted to have at this time; nobody will say that it was. Nobody wanted to have to spend these kinds of dollars on security. However, there is no doubt that when there is terrorism, the number one issue is to have a safe and secure country to the very best of our ability. Our responsibility as members of parliament is to do so for the country.

In the budget we have allotted $6.5 billion for security. A number of things concern air transport, which is so very important right now. That is what was used in the attacks. Nobody ever thought that airplanes would be used in such a manner but sadly they were. We have new airport security authorities and air marshals. These are good. I supported air marshals right from the beginning. I and every other colleague here travel mostly on planes. I believe in air marshals. They are important. They will make the public feel better as there will be a sense of security.

In order for people to be confident about aircraft, they have to feel they will be safe. Locked cockpit doors, which we have not had until now, are very important. We might ask why. That seems to be a reasonable thing, but having said that, we all thought we were safe. We all thought it would not have to come to this, but it has and we have responded. As a government we have looked at the issues and we have responded to them.

There is better equipment for screening passengers and luggage. I boarded a plane at a small airport, as do many of the members here. I was asked about my luggage. The bags are now matched with the customer which is good. Those are good things which have happened throughout all this.

For us, airport security has been a priority. Immediately the government responded and acted on the wishes of the people. We have tried to do that consistently.

For safer communities, there is $1 billion to improve the screening of immigrants, refugee claimants and visitors. There are better and more accurate screening procedures and more resources for detention and removals.

Recently the member for Cambridge, the member for Dufferin--Peel--Wellington--Grey and I wrote a letter to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration regarding the Guelph Correctional Centre. We have gone to see the minister. We want the facility in Guelph turned into a detention centre. It is a good facility and perhaps it can be turned into one without being too costly.

The right-wing Harris government closed down this good facility. The Harris government came along, disposed of jobs and hurt our community in order to give tax cuts. I can tell the House right now that I do not think any of those unemployed people really care about a $10 tax cut.

In the budget there is $1.6 billion toward emergencies and the military. That is very important. Many constituents have talked about the military. They want us to be prepared. In fairness to that, I ran in the 1993 election, as did you, Mr. Speaker, and many of our colleagues here. I went from door to door. Many people mentioned that any cutbacks should be in the area of the military. Was that a good thing?

In these circumstances we have to ask, should that have been done? At that time cuts were required. That is how we put the country on a sound fiscal platform. Had we not done that, the events of September 11 would have driven the country into a very deep recession. The country was starting to slide. Make no mistake, the economy was starting to slow down before September 11. The events that happened hit the U.S. but they also hit us because we are very dependent on and work with the U.S. Of course we felt the repercussions. However, because of the sound fiscal footing we were able to put the country in, Canada has been relatively stable.

The unemployment rate has risen a bit. Make no mistake that we have lost some jobs. I certainly acknowledge that and I am very worried about it. Having said that, there has been a buffer.

Let me remind everyone that when we ran in the 1993 election, the unemployment rate coming from the Brian Mulroney Conservatives was almost 12%. Right now it is at seven point something per cent nationally. It was much better nationally but it has risen from where it was. That is not a good thing.

As long as there is one Canadian who wants to work but cannot find a job for whatever reason, perhaps because of illiteracy or improper training, it is important that as a government we strive to ensure there are jobs for everyone, that everyone can qualify and that everyone who wants in is in. That is important.

A lot of the budget, but not all of it focused on security. One of the things it included was apprenticeships. We in the Liberal government have long believed in and supported apprenticeships. My colleague across the way talked about EI. There is now a shorter qualification time. People must only wait two weeks and that is it. Someone who is on a five year apprenticeship would only have one qualification time. That is good.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Just give them what you owe them.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Liberal Guelph—Wellington, ON

An NDP colleague is trying to outshout me for some reason. The NDP's philosophy is that we can give everything. Let us make no mistake that we cannot give everything. As a government we know that.

The government has strived for a balanced approach. That balanced approach has worked. The government has honoured its commitments with $23 billion allotted to health care and $600 million for affordable housing. There is money for universities, with much of it going to the University of Guelph.

As a government, we will continue to strive for balance and for the protection of all Canadians. We must do this because it is what we were elected to do.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Abbott Canadian Alliance Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the Liberal who just spoke and couple of things came to mind.

First, I just realized that she felt compelled to get into talking about provincial politics to try to make a point about the federal government. I could not quite figure that out.

Let us talk about the federal government. The federal government, in the area of EI funds, “I” standing for insurance, has generated an absolutely humongous surplus: $20 billion, $30 billion, $40 billion. I think we have lost track. The finance minister himself has said that the EI fund, which is way oversubscribed, in the billions of dollars, has gone into general revenue, that there is no surplus in the EI fund. In fact, employment insurance is not correctly called. It is an employment tax.

I would particularly like to draw her attention to the fact that with the $24 fee that she was touting about making our skies safer, it not only makes the smaller aircraft and the shorter runs far less competitive, literally driving those airline companies out of the sky because it makes them uncompetitive, that money also, like with the employment insurance fund, will be going into general revenue.

How can she say that there have been tax decreases and proper management of the finances of Canada when in fact we have the history of the finance minister putting the money into the general fund?

The BudgetGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Liberal Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for bringing up the EI fund. I wanted to talk about that but I ran out of time.

There is no separate fund for EI. I know, he knows that, the Speaker knows that and the whole Chamber knows that.

We also know that one of the reasons we have that is that it is an insurance program to help us in down times. Surely my colleague would admit that after the terrible tragedies of September 11 we have had some dislocation of employment. Thank goodness the government had the foresight and was smart enough to have a buffer. I know my colleague would like us to simply spend all the money or tax cut it away but we do not operate like that as Liberals.

Let me tell the member that the amount of contribution people paid into EI in 1993 under the Conservatives was $3.07. Today they pay $2.20. That is a huge reduction.

I am very glad my friend mentioned EI because the fact is that there has been a huge tax decrease there, and I know he really loves that.

It is also important to mention that increased programs through EI, such as the apprenticeship program, are paramount. We have put money back into people not just tax cuts.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Bloc Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the comments of the hon. member opposite. I find that a lot of things are being blamed on the events of September 11. Everything tis being blamed on them. We talk a lot about security. People may live in a secure environment, but some will die of hunger, especially in the maritimes. There is some fear about this, but it is almost a certainty now.

What is there in this budget to help children living in poverty, for instance? In Quebec there are 500,000 children who go to school every morning without having eaten anything. They are not going to get hit by bin Laden's bombs, but will they survive? I wonder if the hon. member could comment on this and tell us about the efforts made to cut the fat in the departments, instead of telling us about what they grabbed from the employment insurance fund.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Liberal Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I must comment on the statement made by my hon. colleague from Quebec. He has said that September 11 was used to invoke things like security.

My goodness, if we do not realize that after September 11 that was the number one priority across Canada, including Quebec, then we had better wake up.

As far as social programs, the budget continues to have infrastructure, something again with the balance that I believe has been here. The budget contains money for environment, for education and for universities. My own university, Guelph University, for instance, received $5.3 million this year. We have put money into affordable housing, into health care and into aid for places such as Afghanistan.

We continue to operate in a balanced fashion.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Liberal Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, it seems like only yesterday that I gave my first speech in the House back in 1994. There was a large collection of newly elected members who came to parliament representing our various constituencies.

I remember that our caucus and the House as a whole were fixated on the economic well-being and sovereignty of our nation. We faced the toughest fiscal challenges in our history. We went from a $42 billion deficit, which represented 5.9% of the GDP, to a surplus in the last fiscal year of 1.6% of the GDP. In 1993-94 we had a debt to GDP ratio of 70%. Now it is down to 51%. We had an unemployment rate approaching 12%. Now it is under 8% across Canada and is at 6.3% in my riding.

I remember that in the first throne speech the issue of post-secondary education was not mentioned. It was at that point in time that I, along with my former colleague, John English, from Kitchener and the member for Peterborough got together to start up the post-secondary education caucus.

By having effectively addressed our fiscal reality, we have struck the right balance of investing in health care, investing in families and children, investing in protection of the environment and, most important, investing in research and innovation. We have also invested in our collective security.

As was mentioned by my colleague from Guelph, security requirements following 9/11 have driven much of this budget. One of the areas into which we have put money is immigration, $1 billion to ensure better security of people coming into the country, not just as immigrants and refugees but also the many visitors.

My riding of Kitchener--Waterloo is part of Canada's technology triangle of which the member from Guelph and the member from Cambridge are part. Among us we have three of Canada's top universities and Ontario's number one community college; the University of Guelph; Wilfrid Laurier University; the University of Waterloo, which was designated as number one in the nation; and Conestoga College, the number one college in Ontario.

The economic profile of my riding is based upon insurance, higher education, high-tech companies, many medium sized businesses and the service sector. In the area of insurance we have the head office of Clarica, Equitable Life, Lutheran Life, Economical Mutual and the Canadian headquarters of Manulife.

Since my time is limited I will focus on the importance of post-secondary education and skills training, along with research and development from the perspective of my community and Canada's technology triangle.

I want to share with the House how education benefits my community at the local level and how it contributes to our national well-being. It is our post-secondary education institutions that are the engines of growth in our community and have contributed greatly to the economic output of our local community, the province and the nation.

Let me reflect upon the visionary pioneers who invested their time and effort in starting up our post-secondary institutions that have resulted in such a great contribution to our economic and social well-being.

In 1957 the University of Waterloo started in a farmer's field. It became a book entitled Of Mud and Dreams . The first co-op engineering program was established. The pioneers who started that co-operative program were called heretics. Universities did not take a professional program such as engineering and debase it by introducing a blue collar component, such as a work term.

Co-op education which offers an academic term matched by a work term is now common practice throughout Canada and the world. The University of Waterloo, at its inception, also embraced computerization. It now has the biggest computer and mathematical faculties in the world and is world renowned.

Post-secondary education institutions are equipping Canadians with the cutting edge skills and learning that they will need to prosper. This will enable them to realize their unique potential and through a lifetime of learning to succeed in the new digital economy.

The government's record of supporting achievement in education is reflected in past budgets and in this budget. The investment in Canada education savings grants, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and increasing the education tax credit will build upon the goal of having at least one million more adults being able to take advantage of learning opportunities.

The economic spinoff from our post-secondary institutions are the heart of our economic activity. I recall how in 1994 a group of high tech companies under the umbrella of the Atlas Group first came to Ottawa and was present in the gallery watching our debates. Over 200 of these companies have spun off from these educational institutions; names such as Research In Motion, Open Text, Virtek, MKS, GFI, Dalsa, Automatic Tooling System, Skyjack, Descartes and Mitron are a few of these companies.

I remember visiting a small company with the Minister of Industry in 1994 called Research In Motion. It had less than 50 employees. Under the TPC grants, we invested some $40 million in that company. It did of course produce the world renowned BlackBerry that many members have.

The BlackBerry is carried by every member of the United States congress because it was found at the time of 9/11 that it was the only communication device that worked consistently. Today the company that we invested in through our education institutions and through our government programs has over 1,500 employees.

I mentioned RIM because obviously it is the most high profile of the success stories, but it also dramatically demonstrates how we as a nation can counter the brain drain by providing opportunities for our young people, and we do that through investment.

It is interesting that the more we invest in high tech institutions and the more we invest in education, the more we collectively secure our economic future as a nation. There is no better example than Canada's technology triangle.

As we wrap up with the budget, I would like to mention a further point that relates to immigration. We are investing a billion dollars into screening to ensure that the people who come to this country fit within the framework of our laws. This has to do with the new regulations. I know my colleagues in this caucus and in other caucuses have strong feelings about making sure those regulations will allow people with skills, blue collar workers, to come into this country.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Réginald Bélair)

Before going to questions and comments, let me remind hon. members not to use props in the House.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Randy White Canadian Alliance Langley—Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am interested in a couple of comments made by my colleague from the other side. First concerns the amount of money that is invested in immigration. It is not just the money that is the problem in immigration today. The government must look at the process of dealing with those who are ordered deported.

I spoke on that earlier. That is a major flaw in our system. It is not the individuals coming into the country who are screened, it is the individuals we do not want in this country that we seem to retain. That would be a better use of our time.

I want to ask a question regarding his comment about the right balance in investing in families and children. I note that one of the major problems in this country today is hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. No money has been dedicated toward that in the budget. It has been extremely difficult to get a commitment from the government on anything related to the drug problems in Canada, particularly drug rehabilitation, education and so on.

Where does the hon. member stand on the issue of drugs and where does he stand on the reason why the government has put no money toward the problem?

The BudgetGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Liberal Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, let me say to my colleague across the way that there has always been a danger in terms of deportations. All too often we end up deporting the ones who are most likely to abide by the rules. That is always an ongoing source of debate. Certainly, with the new enforcement function and because of the new security portion in the budget, I am sure he will find that we will be more efficient in deportations down the road, particularly with some of the more undesirable people.

In terms of drugs, let me say to the member that the government, and I know because I played a role in it, started up crime prevention community safety councils right across the country where local communities are encouraged to participate in areas of crime prevention. Last year we added a drug component to that. The issue of drugs is a combination of criminality and addiction, the latter becoming a medical problem. This is one area that the government is trying to come to grips with through the provinces, which are responsible for health care.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the speech of the Liberal member.

He told us about his riding and I say great. However, during his whole speech, I could not help but think that Quebec truly is a distinct society. As far as we are concerned, health and everything that concerns schools come under provincial jurisdiction. But the hon. member seems to think that these areas are under federal jurisdiction. I can see that we really are living in two different countries.

I would have liked to hear the hon. member talk about employment insurance. I would have liked to hear him talk about Canadians living in poverty, including children who are getting increasingly poorer. What did his government do? What should it have done to remedy the situation?

As we know, his government stole $40 billion from the employment insurance fund. What did it do with this money, which belongs to workers? I wish I knew. His colleague, the hon. member for Guelph—Wellington, could not answer the question of my colleague, the hon. member for Chambly. I would like to know what his government did.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Liberal Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure I have time to respond to all the points mentioned by my colleague from the Bloc. In the area of post-secondary education, we have a very important role to play in Canada student loans and in assisting research and development and innovation.

We recently announced in my community a contribution of almost $14 million under the infrastructure program to have high tech research become part of the University of Waterloo. This is going to provide an incredible number of jobs to not only the local community but the national community as well.

I do not have time to address the whole issue of poverty but I know all about it because I lived in poverty. I came here as a refugee in 1957. Every dollar we invest in the young people of this country and in helping our post-secondary institutions is a great way to fight poverty. It is not the total answer, but it is part of the answer.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will be dividing my time with the member for Brandon--Souris. I would remind the member opposite that when he talks about investing of whatever kind, whether health care, education, or business, it also means taxation. It means we must get that money from somewhere and there is only one place to get it and that is from the Canadian taxpayer. I urge him to be temperate in his ideas of investing and investing. While it all sounds good it means we must tax and tax in order to get that money.

It is a pleasure to speak to the budget well after the fact. The budget was presented last fall and we have had a couple of months to see the fallout. We have been able to see whether it had the desired impact and we have seen how people reacted. What the budget did not do in retrospect was to calm the markets and support the Canadian dollar.

Since the budget came in we have hit a new all time low for the Canadian dollar. Some people, including the Prime Minister, who seem to like the low dollar should be reminded that a low dollar means that Canadians will pay a price for that. They pay it in the form of higher costs for imported goods, for machinery, for holidays abroad and many things. A lower dollar is a hit in the pocketbook for everyone. That is not good in the long term for the Canadian economy.

It is interesting that it has not only hit a record low since the budget came in but the government has presided over the actual demise of the Canadian dollar. When the government took power the dollar was 76 cents and since that time it has dropped 20% of its value against the American dollar. It would be one thing if it was just the American dollar but we have lost ground against the pound, the Australian dollar and the peso. Name it, we have paid the price.

It is interesting how the Minister of Finance always takes credit when things look good but the Liberals are running like rats from a ship for accepting the blame for a record Canadian dollar which lands squarely on the economic policies of the government. It has presided for eight and a half years over the economy and what we have as a result is a dollar that has never been weaker and shows no real signs of recuperation.

The budget did nothing to fix the mismanagement of taxpayers' funds. It did nothing to address the concerns of the new auditor general and the old auditor general. They both specified that there is no control system over there. The government consistently outspends the budgeted amounts in every department. It does not seem to have any plan on how to arrest what everyone agrees is widespread and rampant abuse of taxpayers' dollars. That is a major failing of the budget and it has been manifesting itself ever since.

Yesterday I brought to the attention of the House, as did others, the mismanagement of funds by Mr. Gagliano's department, the former minister who has now gone on to greater glory to a taxpayer funded haven across the way. Members will notice that before the scandal rocked the government for his mishandling of taxpayers' funds it got him out of town. The scandal continues. Funds were expended improperly, dollars were wasted and the taxpayer is always on the hook. That has not been addressed and it will not go away because the government shipped him overseas.

The problem remains because it is a systemic problem for the government. It does not seem to understand that a dollar held by it should be a dollar held in trust. It should be something that is used wisely and judiciously as every auditor general begs and demands. As we consistently see, from Mr. Gagliano through to other departments, it just does not get it. It cannot handle it.

We have today's revelation that the government perhaps somehow lost track of $3.3 billion that was sent to the provinces. It is not sure what happened to it exactly but it says not to worry because it was a government to government transfer, not a big deal. The money just plucks off the money tree. No one has to pay for it, it comes like manna from heaven. The government does not know where $3.3 billion has gone. It will do its best to find it but no one will take the blame.

The BudgetGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

I am always reluctant to interrupt the hon. member for Fraser Valley but unfortunately the rules compel this. However he will have a good five minutes remaining to him following question period later this day to conclude his remarks.

Science and TechnologyStatements by Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Liberal Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, the federal budget has allocated $6 million in new funding to Shad International, a Waterloo based youth leadership organization.

Shad International is one of Canada's premier programs for youth in science, technology and entrepreneurship. It identifies some of Canada's top technology talent, matches them up with over 200 of Canada's leading organizations for a five week work term that gives participants a pivotal experience at leading universities across Canada.

This expanded funding will open more doors for Canada's young people who are leaders of tomorrow. The program assists its participants in realizing their potential and at the same time promotes networking among our country's IT, engineering and scientific community.

Shad Valley has 6,865 alumni to date, 12 of whom have gone on to become Rhodes scholars. It has established approximately 160 corporate partnerships. In 1997 Shad was honoured with the Nova Corporation Global Best Award and in 1996 won the Michael Smith Award for Science Promotion. I congratulate Shad International.

CurlingStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, today I am very pleased to congratulate the team of four young men from Manitoba that claimed the Canadian championship title in junior men's curling this Sunday.

Dave and Kevin Hamblin of Morris, Ross Derksen of Winkler and Ross McCannell of Dauphin beat out the Quebec team with a final score of five to four. The third member of the team from the Hamblin family, Lorne Hamblin, coached these boys to victory. I think it is important to note that the three Hamblins are from the great riding of Provencher in Manitoba.

The team will go on to represent Canada at the world junior curling championships at the end of March in Kelowna.

Manitoba is very proud of these dedicated young men who through many chilly hours of training and preparation persevered in their pursuit of excellence. To the team, I wish them the best of luck in the upcoming world championships. Canada is rooting for them.

Frank ShusterStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Tony Tirabassi Liberal Niagara Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with regret that we learned of the death of Canada's pioneer comedian, Frank Shuster, at the age of 85 on Sunday, January 13.

Frank Shuster's stellar career in comedy spanned six decades, from high school in Toronto where he met his sidekick John Wayne to entertaining the troops during World War II and on to radio and television.

Who but the very young cannot recall watching a Wayne and Shuster special, laughing with delight as they gave us snippets of Shakespeare, tips on home management, literary slapstick, or that the world would end at midnight, half an hour later in Newfoundland?

Often scholarly, always zany, Frank Shuster and John Wayne paved the way for a uniquely Canadian brand of humour and a place for sketch comedy in radio and television. They celebrated their Canadian identity, received critical and popular acclaim and received many awards in Canada, the U.S. and abroad.

On behalf of the Government of Canada I thank Frank Shuster for helping to make the Canadian comedic genius known around the world. I offer my sincere condolences to his loved ones.

Alzheimer's DiseaseStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, it gives me pleasure to inform the House and all Canadians that January has been declared Alzheimer's Awareness Month.

Alzheimer's disease is a degenerative disease which destroys vital brain cells. It is one of the primary causes of death among seniors and affects over 300,000 Canadians. Although it strikes primarily seniors, younger people are becoming increasingly worried. Despite the research now being done, no cure has yet been found.

The Alzheimer Society of Canada is working to inform the public about this disease. It is improving the quality of life of all those affected by offering support, providing information about the disease, and funding research.

Please join with me in wishing the Alzheimer Society of Canada and its dedicated volunteers a month filled with success.

Baldur StefanssonStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, on January 3 last Manitoba lost an agricultural mastermind. Baldur Stefansson, otherwise known as the Father of Canola, passed away at the age of 84.

Mr. Stefansson, a plant breeder, developed canola oil, one of the most nutritious edible oils used in the world today, from rapeseed, an industrial oil. Before the invention of canola only a few hundred thousand acres of rapeseed was grown in Canada per year. Today thanks to Stefansson's genius approximately 10 million to 12 million acres of canola is grown annually in western Canada.

Stefansson's innovation created hundreds of jobs at processing plants on the prairies. Furthermore, his crop development is now the dominant crop traded by the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange. In fact, 85% of the exchange's trade consists of trade in canola.

Mr. Stefansson never profited from his innovation which has provided much economic stimulus for western Canada, about $2 billion worth annually, but he did however receive numerous awards including the Order of Canada, the Order of Manitoba and the Order of the Falcon.

JusticeStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, January 22, Karl Toft, a convicted pedophile, was transferred from a psychiatric institution in Saskatoon to a minimum security facility in Edmonton. Already this year there have been successful escapes from this Edmonton facility. It is just blocks from a residential area of Edmonton yet absolutely no notice of his transfer was given to the families living in that area.

This is a man who has been convicted of numerous offences against young boys. Why does this government continue to put the rights of criminals ahead of the rights and safety of Canadians?

Mr. Toft's horrific crimes demand that he be placed in a maximum security facility where escape is less likely. The people of this country entrust their safety to government officials, departments and procedures. Their safety has been ignored in this situation.

Will the solicitor general take immediate steps to right this wrong, put the safety of Canadian children first, and place Karl Toft in a maximum security institution?

CurlingStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Liberal Egmont, PE

Mr. Speaker, the Suzanne Gaudet curling team from the Silver Fox Club in Summerside, P.E.I. continues to amaze. Last year the Gaudet rink won the Canadian junior girls curling title and went on to win the world title in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Last week the Canadian juniors were played in Summerside before record crowds at the Cahill Stadium and Silver Fox Curling Club. The host city and its scores of volunteers are to be commended as they have set the bar of crowd support to the highest it has ever been for this event. The Gaudet rink also raised the bar of achievement in the junior girls curling as they are now repeat Canadian winners, only the second rink in the history of this event to win back to back victories. I predict they will repeat as world champions.

I congratulate Suzanne Gaudet, Robyn MacPhee, Kelly Higgins, Carol Webb and coach Paul Power and wish them good luck at the world event in Kelowna, B.C. in March. I congratulate the city of Summerside for a job well done.

Gala Sports-QuébecStatements by Members

January 29th, 2002 / 2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois is pleased to offer its congratulations to the Quebec athletes who received the Maurice award at the January 24 Gala Sports-Québec ceremony, which I had the honour of attending.

We wish to congratulate skier Mélanie Turgeon and snowboarder Jasey-Jay Anderson, who won Maurice awards for female and male athletes of the year, and ice dance pair, Jamie Salé and David Pelletier, on their excellence in their category.

The award for team of the year went to the Sainte-Foy Gouverneurs, winners of the Air Canada Cup hockey tournament. I am particularly proud of hockey player Kim St-Pierre of Châteauguay, who was named team sport athlete of the year.

I would also like to mention diver Emmanuelle B. Dupuis and hockey player Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who were named best new athletes of the year. Quebec's athletes continue to distinguish themselves and show us in no uncertain terms that they are a force to reckon with on the sports scene.

Good luck and congratulations to all.

CurlingStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I too take the opportunity to congratulate the four talented junior curlers from Manitoba on being crowned national champions. Ross McCannell, Kevin Hamblin, Ross Derksen and their skip Dave Hamblin of Pembina Curling Club in Winnipeg claimed the Canadian junior curling title this past Sunday in Summerside, Prince Edward Island.

The rink, coached by Lorne Hamblin, father to half of the team, went 9-3 during the round robin play, earning them a second place finish. This put them into the semi-finals where they defeated a very capable northern Ontario team to earn a place against Quebec, the top team during the round robin. Steals in three straight ends against this difficult opponent helped Manitoba to a 5-4 victory and the title of national champion. Next is the world junior curling championship in Kelowna, B.C. where they will take on the best from around the world.

I wish them good luck. Most of all, I hope they are able to enjoy their sport as well as bring back the title of world junior champion to Manitoba.

Habitat For HumanityStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Betty Hinton Canadian Alliance Kamloops, Thompson And Highland Valleys, BC

Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys, Habitat for Humanity is building a duplex for two families. Volunteers have been working tirelessly and the families will be moving in soon. I myself look forward to doing my part by painting a room.

Using the talents and skills of volunteers, Habitat for Humanity builds homes for people who might otherwise be unable to purchase a home. Potential homeowners commit to 500 hours of sweat equity. This participation equals pride of ownership.

What makes Habitat for Humanity so special is that it depends on the creativity and generosity of individual citizens rather than grants from government. The habitat program also offers dignity because it offers a hand up rather than a handout.