This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #135 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was system.

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 Peterborough.

Brain Tumour FoundationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Fontana Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge that this year is the 20th anniversary of the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.

Each year approximately 10,000 Canadians are diagnosed with a brain tumour. Brain tumours are the second leading cause of cancer death for children and young adults. They are one of the fastest growing causes of cancer death in the elderly. In fact, two of my good friends, David Murray and Emilio Grimaldi, passed away from brain tumours.

This national non-profit organization has grown from a very humble beginning in London, Ontario to become a leader with supporters in many parts of the country. It provides support services to several thousands of those affected by brain tumours. To celebrate its anniversary the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada is launching today its virtual support centre website, one more way to connect more patients, families and friends for hope, information and support.

I congratulate all of those people associated with the Brain Tumour Foundation for their hard work and contribution to our nation.

Canadian Wheat BoardStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Canadian Alliance Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr Speaker, it is the end of January and the audit of the financial transactions and operations of the Canadian Wheat Board by the Auditor General of Canada is to be completed any day.

It comes as no surprise that the audit report may never be made public. Only the minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board and it's board of directors will be given a copy. It is up to them whether to release the audit publicly. If the Canadian Wheat Board wants to be accountable to western Canadian farmers, it must finally lift the veil of secrecy surrounding its operations and release the entire audit of the Canadian Wheat Board.

However, even this will do nothing to free farmers from the CWB's restrictive and expensive bureaucracy. Until farmers actually have the freedom to market and process their own grain, they will be unable to develop and strengthen their own communities.

I challenge the minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board to take the unusual step of actually showing initiative by not only releasing the complete audit but also releasing western Canadian producers from an outdated, costly and mandatory grain marketing system.

Tony SeuretStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Comuzzi Liberal Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, in this House we pay tribute to outstanding individuals who make great contributions to our communities and to our lives. One of those people is Tony Seuret of Thunder Bay.

He excelled in education, starting as a professor at Lakehead University, becoming chair of the school of business and eventually being honoured by a fellowship from the university.

After leaving the academic field, he served in broadcasting with distinction at Thunder Bay television and CKPR radio for 25 years during the formidable years of communications.

In the community, Tony has served the Economic Developers Council of Ontario and in every area that has benefited the people of Thunder Bay and northwestern Ontario. Tony Seuret is retiring tomorrow. We wish him and Ann all of the very best.

Mr. Speaker, I have given him a message on your behalf that his contribution should not stop and that he should play a very active role in the community in the future.

ArthritisStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Claude Duplain Liberal Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker,Yesterday, the Arthritis Society was proud to unveil the first ever Canadian Arthritis Bill of Rights. This bill enshrines the basic rights and responsibilities for Canadian arthritis patients, from the right to timely and accurate diagnosis of the disease to the right to quicker access to new medications.

The purpose of this initiative is to raise public awareness of the problems relating to arthritis and to mobilize arthritis patients.

It is estimated that 85% of Canadians are likely to be affected by arthritis before the age of 70. Arthritis is also responsible for 25% of long term disability cases in Canada.

Now that they have this Canadian bill of rights, arthritis patients have a legitimate platform from which to demand their right to be heard.

HockeyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Savoy Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, the first ever World Pond Hockey Championships were held January 19 and 20 in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. I congratulate the organizers, Jackie Hebert, Danny Braun and Tom Chamberlain for their efforts.

Drawing media attention and interest from hockey enthusiasts around the globe, this 38 team tournament raised $5,000 to help fund a new local arena. Played on a postcard perfect lake, the puck party typified Canadian winter at its best, reviving fond memories of open air matches from childhood.

Behind the scenes was a small army of volunteers who spent every night leading up to the tournament shovelling snow and preparing the ice surfaces. Already teams from as far away as Finland are inquiring about next year's championships. The tournament is a shining example of community spirit and Canada's passion for our national sport.

I extend congratulations to everyone involved. I am confident that the World Pond Hockey Championships will become a tradition on the Tobique.

ShipbuildingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government's trade negotiations with the European Free Trade Association are at risk of destroying what remains of our shipbuilding industry.

Canada intends to resume the negotiations broken off in the year 2000, with a view to withdrawing certain duties, the repercussions of which might be fatal to our shipbuilding industry.

Yet, less than a year ago, the government was claiming it wanted to revive domestic shipbuilding. In the absence of any real business support policy, it indicated some good intentions, stating that no tariffs would be eliminated without prior consultation of the stakeholders.

If the Minister for International Trade takes the trouble to carry out that consultation, he will see that a number of them have concerns about countries such as Norway having access to our markets, and thus totally annihilating any hopes the thousands of Quebec and Canadian shipyard workers might have of getting back to work.

Does the Minister of International Trade want to close down these last shipyards in Quebec and in Canada?

PhilippinesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I know that I speak for all members of parliament when I say that we value the warm and cordial relationship we enjoy with the Philippines as a nation and that we are proud to host the president of the Philippines, Gloria Arroyo, in our country this week.

I can also say without any fear of contradiction that we value the substantial contributions made by Filipino people who have chosen to make Canada their home. I need only point to the hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs by way of an example, or my friend and colleague the president of the Philippine Association of Manitoba, Mr. Lito Taruc, who joins us here today.

In recognition of the special relationship between our two countries I urge the Canadian government to give Filipino immigrants the respect they deserve in ways such as recognizing their professional credentials, especially those of domestic workers in the live-in caregiver program.

I further urge the government to ensure that Canadian companies doing business in the Philippines conduct themselves as good corporate citizens and that mining companies like Placer Dome are held accountable for the environmental degradation resulting from its activities on the Boac river.

To my friends in the Filipino community I say mabuhay .

Aga KhanStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, to my friends in the Ismaili community I say Ya Ali Madad .

I ask the House to join me in extending a warm welcome to their leader, His Highness the Aga Khan. The Aga Khan succeeded his grandfather as Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili muslims in 1957. As a religious leader he has promoted a view of Islam as a faith that teaches compassion, tolerance and upholds human dignity.

In keeping with this vision, the Aga Khan has led the creation of the Aga Khan Development Network. This group of institutions has made a significant contribution to peace, stability and social development in poor regions across Asia and Africa. It works to improve living conditions for all people without regard to religion or origin.

The Aga Khan Foundation in Canada was established in 1980. It is a non-profit organization that seeks ways to improve education, health care and rural income around the world.

I am sure that my colleagues in the House will join me in extending the best wishes to His Highness the Aga Khan. Ya Ali Madad .

TradeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Department of International Trade has created a great deal of confusion with the sudden interest in negotiating a free trade deal with Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein. If this deal is completed the Atlantic Canadian shipbuilding industry and the offshore gas and oil industry will face unfair competition from Norway which already has excess capacity in ships and shipbuilding facilities.

Although the deal came out of nowhere and caught the industry completely by surprise, we now know that 15 MPs from Norway are coming to Ottawa next week and that the king of Norway will make a state visit to Canada in May.

I hope that this flurry of trade talks is not just an effort to provide the Prime Minister with a photo-op signing a trade deal with the king. This photo-op will cost hundreds of valuable jobs in Atlantic Canada in the very industry that the Government of Canada said would be for the benefit of Atlantic Canada.

This deal should be shelved and the Prime Minister should go find another photo-op with the king.

LibyaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Canadian Alliance Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, I protest the government's stance on Libya, a country that stands accused of sponsoring terrorism.

On a recent visit to the rogue state the Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific said that the September 11 events show that we are more interrelated than ever. Canada's normalization of diplomatic relations with Tripoli supposedly recognizes improvements in Colonel Qadhafi's actions since the war on terrorism began. Far from seeing it as a step toward improvement, many see this as supporting terror.

Is it the policy of the government to reward countries like Libya by forgetting its role in supporting the Pan Am bombing of the 1980s or of supplying weapons to the IRA? The government must know that whatever blood Libya has on its hands is bound to rub off on us if we get too close.

Does the government stand shoulder to shoulder with terrorist sponsors like Libya and Tamil Tigers or with our allies against terror? The government cannot have it both ways.

Vinko PuljicStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Liberal Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I call upon all members of the House to join me in welcoming to Canada Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop of Sarajevo, Bosnia--Herzegovina. Born in Banja Luka, Bosnia, he became archbishop of Sarajevo in 1981 and cardinal in 1994. Cardinal Puljic's archdiocese once included half a million Croatian Catholics. However as a result of the war that engulfed the region, only some 125,000 remain there.

Since the signing of the Dayton peace accords he has worked tirelessly to encourage the United Nations and the U.S. government to take decisive and credible action to prevent further fragmentation and violence in the region. For his outspoken efforts for a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina and his opposition to partitioning of the country along ethnic and religious lines, Cardinal Puljic received the 1998 Notre Dame award for international humanitarian service.

I applaud Cardinal Puljic for his ongoing peace building efforts in Bosnia-Herzegovina and I wish him success as he discusses circumstances there with Canadian parliamentarians.

Quebec EconomyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to a new international study by KPMG, Montreal is still the best major city in which to locate a business, and the City of Quebec comes a solid second after Edmonton among cities with under two million inhabitants.

This is proof positive, if any is still needed, of the quality of Quebec's tax system, one of the most original and obviously one of the most effective in the world.

Even more noteworthy than its tax system is the productivity of Quebec's labour force. During the last ten years, it has increased by over 25%, twice the average for OECD countries. The result has been a more than 30% increase in the collective wealth of Quebecers in the space of ten years.

These economic successes have not lessened the desire to share. Quebec is still one of the most caring societies. According to Statistics Canada, Quebec has the best distribution of wealth in North America.

I congratulate Quebecers on this decade of success.

Ryan HreljacStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Jordan Liberal Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 1998 Ryan Hreljac, at the age of six, discovered that poor water caused devastating health problems and death to many people in Africa and began a safe water initiative that has generated global results. Through his efforts Ryan has demonstrated the importance of managing our own water in North America responsively and effectively.

Ryan's initiative began by raising $75 to build a well, money he brought to WaterCan, an organization dedicated to raising awareness and providing clean water to developing countries. To date Ryan Hreljac, who is in Ottawa today, has completed more than 125 speaking engagements to over 25,000 people and through CIDA's matching funds program, he has raised over half a million dollars for water and sanitation projects in developing countries.

Ryan Hreljac from Kemptville, Ontario, is proof that young people truly can make a difference in this world.

National DefenceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Canadian Alliance Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence is miscommunicating important information to the Prime Minister on several issues. The shameful 30 year old Liberal lightning procurement odyssey to replace the ancient Sea King helicopters continues.

Does the Prime Minister know just how bad it really is? He tells the Prime Minister that we will get a new helicopter. Does he tell him though that it will not have a searchlight, cargo hook or navigation systems for Allied exercises? Does he tell him that operational standards have been lowered even below that of the 40 year old Sea King?

Liberal interference is watering down and dumbing down military requirements. We have a 30 year politically challenged odyssey of Liberal ineptness and a 30 year Liberal legacy of military cutbacks. A multipurpose long range military helicopter needed for the 1990s will now be a cut rate Liberal chopper for 2010.

Herb GrayStatements By Members

January 30th, 2002 / 2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Progressive Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to thank and pay tribute to a distinguished Canadian, a man who has been regarded as the dean of the House of Commons. I am of course speaking about the Right Honourable Herb Gray.

On behalf of this parliament and this country, I want to thank him for his devotion to Canada and for his almost 40 years of service in this House.

We often disagreed. That is in the nature of democracy. But all of us recognize his skill, his dedication and the courage with which he fought for his convictions.

First elected in 1963, Mr. Gray won 13 elections during his political career. There is not a member of this House who does not know what a feat this represents.

Mr. Gray was effective in both government and opposition. He was at the steady centre of his party, in good times and in turbulence. He will be best remembered by this House for his role as Deputy Prime Minister. Day after day he parried questions from this side of the House with skill, humour and consistent obfuscation that earned him the nickname “the Gray fog”.

We salute the right honourable member. We wish him the best of success in his position as co-chairperson of the International Joint Commission.

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the government refused to say whether it would make Canadian taxpayers pay for the $3.3 billion mistake or take it out of health care transfers to the provinces.

Now the provinces have made it clear that they have no intention of paying for the government's incompetence.

Once again, who will pay for this $3.3 billion boondoggle: the overburdened Canadian taxpayer or the struggling provincial health care systems?

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, government auditors discovered that there was an overpayment made over a long period of time to the provinces. Usually adjustments are needed in circumstances like that every year. For many years because of the reports we have been receiving on income tax levels and so on, we have to make further payments to the provinces. In other circumstances they have to make payments to the Canadian government.

At this time the Minister of Finance and the Minister of National Revenue are in communication with their counterparts at the provincial level to look at the problem. It is this government that discovered a mistake that has existed for 30 years.

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow the Minister of Finance and the Governor of the Bank of Canada will be tripping the light fantastic in New York telling investors to boost our weak Canadian dollar. I can just imagine their pitch: Invest in Canada before we blow $1 billion in HRDC grants. Lose $3 billion in accounting and have the second highest debt load of the G-7. If people liked Enron, they will love Canada. What a pitch.

How does blowing $3 billion on shoddy accounting create investor confidence in Canada?

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the people in New York will be very happy when we tell them that the Leader of the Opposition was a member of a government that created a huge deficit of $42 billion that has now been eliminated. They will be happy to know that when the Conservatives and the Leader of the Opposition were the government, Canada had 11.5% unemployment and that is now down to 7%. They will also know that interest rates were 11.5% and now they are below 5%. We have a lot of good stories to tell them now that Canada has a good government. It is no longer the Conservatives, the party which the Leader of the Opposition served in the past.

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I hate to disappoint the Prime Minister but I was never part of that government. I was part of a government in British Columbia that never had a deficit and had the lowest unemployment rates.

Yesterday international stock markets nose-dived because of fears of shoddy corporate accounting. The government seems to have subcontracted its accounting to Enron whose standards are more like Ken Lay than Ken Dye.

What will the government do to assure Canadians and foreign investors that the government will clean up its incompetent accounting practices?

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, now we have good accounting procedures because we discovered a mistake that existed under previous auditors general. It is a success.

As far as the career of the hon. member is concerned, he was a member of the Progressive Conservative Party but he is the one who runs from one party to another all the time.

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the finance minister said that the government's $3.3 billion mistake could cause the equalization formula to be changed. In other words, not only would the provinces that received overpayments be gouged by the government, but the have-not provinces that receive equalization will get hit too.

Will the finance minister assure the House that he will not claw back money from Canada's poorest provinces to pay for the government's $3.3 billion mistake?

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as I said to the House yesterday and I say again today, we fixed the problem from the year 2000 and forward. We have good data from 1993 to 1999.

The member opposite would be correct to criticize us if we said that we were going to make policy decisions or give finance the information it needs if we did not have all of the information. We are doing the work. We are gathering all of the information back to 1972 with the provinces, with the auditor general and with provincial auditors. Once we have all of that information, then we can make decisions about--

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Calgary Southeast.