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House of Commons Hansard #11 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was kimberley.

Topics

Export and Import of Rough Diamonds ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Bloc Lévis-Et-Chutes-De-La-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to address Bill C-14, an act providing for controls on the export, import or transit across Canada of rough diamonds.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the hon. member for Nepean—Carleton. While it was the minister who introduced the bill today, everyone knows that it was the hon. member who raised this issue last year.

I also want to congratulate the hon. member for Manicouagan, who addressed this issue earlier today. He gave an excellent speech and presented the various and very important aspects of this activity, while also stressing the need to do this properly, using controls. There is the whole issue of certification, among other things. The hon. member for Manicouagan is right when he says that, when it comes to protecting the interests of his region and of Quebec, he does so vigorously, as he did this morning, for which I congratulate him.

As members know, this is a very important activity. The rough diamond industry is a US $7.5 billion industry. It is said that 70 million jewels are created every year in the world, for a value in excess of US $58 billion. So, this is a very important issue.

The point raised by the hon. member is that part of what was done within the Kimberley process by NGOs and others has identified a minimum of 4% of this economic activity as going to purchase weapons. In one specific region, Africa, the three countries mentioned most often are Angola, Sierra Leone and the Congo. Trading is done through neighbouring or other countries.

Africa may seem far away, but what goes on there concerns us all. I do not see it as a waste of time to debate this subject today. The more debates there are in the House, and the more press coverage there is, the greater public awareness of the importance of this issue will be.

If I may draw a parallel here, last Friday I was with a secondary school class studying Amnesty International. These young people are very much attuned to what is going on in the rest of the world. They were quick to ask “What can we do?” People may feel helpless, but there is a lot that can be done, particularly public education so that people can be better informed and take action indirectly, even if this only means making their opinions known publicly.

The debate was raised by NGOs and by MPs, but many people took an interest, resulting rather quickly in pressure which culminated in the Kimberly process. There have been 12 international debates on the topic, some here in Ottawa, and things got moving pretty quickly.

It is urgent for this bill to be passed in order to ratify Canada's commitment in connection with this process. We in the Bloc Quebecois are in favour of this bill. We acknowledge the impact it will have. That impact has already begun to be felt, even if it has not yet been implemented, but it is a step in the right direction.

Many other things should be done. For example, over the last ten years, 500,000 civilians have been victimized by weapons and human rights violations in the three countries that I mentioned. I am referring to civilians who have died, but there are also civilians who have been injured. Other members have mentioned this. There have been atrocities and we must do something.

However, in terms of a broader policy, we must also consider the sale of weapons. There are countries that continue to sell weapons to groups and even to armies from certain countries, sales that are not always made under proper trade conditions.

There is also another way. I am referring to international assistance. There has been much talk of late of the crisis in Afghanistan and in Africa. Now the possibility of a conflict with Iraq looms. All too often, we forget about civilians.

I do not wish to be partisan, because not all issues are matters for partisan comments, but we have to face certain facts. In 2001, of 22 countries in the world that provided assistance, Canada ranked 18th. The country that ranked last, in 22nd place, was the United States. When it comes to aid, Canada must not view the U.S. as a model, because they may be the least generous country in terms of international assistance.

However, there are other countries that could serve as better models. For example, Denmark, in that same year, gave more than 1% of its gross domestic product; Norway gave 0.83%; Holland also gave 0.83%; the little country known as Luxembourg gave 0.8%, Sweden gave 0.76%. In the end, these are the only countries that reached the standard set by the United Nations, the famous 0.7% of GDP in international aid contributions.

With these conflicts, the reality is that the victims are people who have been displaced, people who are hungry, and there are health problems. We must keep this in mind.

As I said, we support the bill. Naturally, it is a step in the right direction, and is was urgently needed. We are therefore in agreement. We will make no attempt, either in the House or in committee, to slow down the passage of the bill. On the contrary, we will be very cooperative.

Pending ratification, people are still dying because of diamonds. In this respect, I will draw a parallel with the impact of oil around the world. Where there is oil, there are often conflicts. Oil fuels conflicts. It may not be the root cause, but it fuels conflicts around the world. That is number one.

There is also illicit drugs—let us not forget them—in Colombia, in some Asian countries and elsewhere. The diamond, however, because of its small size, combined with enormous value, is easy to market, especially under the current conditions.

Incidentally, I wish to respond to the question raised by students from the group representing the Commission scolaire de Lévis with whom I met on Friday about what young people can do. Of course, they must raise their own awareness. And often, interested young people are in a position to influence their parents at home.

I would add another element here, namely ethical investment. Sometimes, people unwittingly contribute to activities in certain countries which are more or less dubious from an ethical point of view, whether they concern oil or other economic goods such as diamonds.

One must be very aware of this possibility. One can ask questions at one's mutual fund managers' meeting: Where are we investing? It would seem that large corporations are increasingly aware of this. The impact is extremely important. There are also our actions as consumers.

Let us take the example of diamonds. In Canada, buying diamonds is probably done properly, but again the Kimberley process must be more closely followed. We often hear people say that, when they visited certain countries, they were able to buy goods—I am referring to jewels—for such and such a price, but that they did not pay any tax. They probably got these jewels on the black market. First, it is a risky thing to do. Also, not only are these people not sure of the quality of the diamonds, they are also contributing to an underground economy that can serve non-humanitarian purposes.

Today, I would like to bring my small contribution to this debate. After hearing our party critic and the other hon. members who have spoken on this issue today, I can see that that the House is off to a good start this week. I heard reasonable, intelligent and useful comments. This is an issue on which every citizen should reflect. As we know, not everyone listens to the debates of the House of Commons. However, most members of Parliament can use the various means put at their disposal by the House of Commons to convey to targeted groups information on important issues such as this one. This is a very relevant issue, one that is of real interest to our constituents. Even though the bill was introduced by the minister, I congratulate the hon. member who, through his initiative, helped ensure that all parliamentarians support the Kimberley process.

I remind the House that the Bloc Quebecois supports the bill. We will be very cooperative regarding similar initiatives that relate to human rights and to humanitarian issues around the world. We should ask the public to do the same.

Export and Import of Rough Diamonds ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to take part in the debate on the bill today, Bill C-14. I think it is a positive step and one we can embrace as doing something positively as a partner in the international community to eradicate the possibility of continuing this horrible torment of conflict diamonds.

We only have to see the effects of what has happened in some of these African nations to realize how important it is for Canada to advocate the Kimberley process and to be on side with our legislation in time to have a simultaneous process start in January of next year.

I say that for a number of reasons . First let us go to the international reason. Canada has been at the forefront. I, along with my colleague from across the way, wish to congratulate the member for Nepean--Carleton for his work and advocacy on this issue. However we have also been working at it through UN resolutions during Canada's time at the security council. We have been involved in all the ministerial meetings leading up to the process of implementation.

A lot of Canadians do not understand what this process means. It means good economics for Canadians. We have in our north and throughout the provinces a nascent diamond cutting, mining, polishing industry. Recently we have heard that Tiffany wants to polish diamonds in Canada. This is great news. Hundreds of people are currently employed in the diamond industry and we could be employing thousands more.

I was very pleased to hear my colleague from the Bloc being positive and on side with this process. It is one that will help us with our economy nationally and one that will help us as a playing partner. We know that 48 nations are currently involved. Those 48 nations represent 98% of the world's diamond producing nations. We have the players around the table. I know we are heading into further meetings in November. Hopefully this Parliament can show that it can work efficiently to move things along.

I believe that members of the House from time to time do have legitimate concerns. I want to address my interpretation of the process, which I hope is the right interpretation, but we will work this out at committee stage to convince those members who have concerns.

I have heard a concern from the member for Elk Island. As a lawyer in my former life before this place, my knowledge is that when a bill does not have a process in place about search and seizure, then the Criminal Code process is utilized. I believe the Criminal Code process of warrant and search and seizure will be used with all the safeguards we have under the Criminal Code.

Therefore I think the hon. member's interpretation of the two clauses in question, clauses 23 and 24, will be straightened out in a way that addresses the concerns of my hon. friend. I have worked with him many times in the House and in many committees. I know it is an honestly felt concern about privacy and property. I believe that is something with which the member should not concern himself.

The bottom line is that we are trying to place an international certification on the import and export of diamonds. If we want to be a player in this part of the economy, we have to be part of this process. There is the morality issue of not wanting to purchase or be trading in any conflict diamonds.

I was in Sierra Leone for a week last year training potential female parliamentarians who had come out of a decade of civil war. I and a former member of the House, Audrey McLaughlin, visited Sierra Leone with other parliamentarians from Nigeria and Ghana. We spent a week in Freetown and helped train some of the women to take their place in their parliament. In fact in the elections held within months after our visit the female members of parliament went from six to sixteen. It was a successful intervention.

While I was in Sierra Leone I saw the results of the conflict. If they say a picture is worth a thousand words then members would be impacted as immensely as I was to see many children with their limbs cut off as a format of the civil war that went on. What was the cause of that civil war? It was the guerrilla actions that revolved around an illicit industry on the wealth of a nation, a wealth that went underground and by illicit means out of the country as opposed to legitimately raising the value of the economy for the whole population to share in the wealth as it grew.

Let us help all the people in those countries right now, get involved in a conflict resolution situation where they can export what they have underground in their alluvial rivers, where they can mine the diamonds. I congratulate South Africa, the Congo and all the other players that have worked so hard to put this process in place.

Let us be a participant. Let us not bicker along partisan lines. Let us do something that is right for Canadians, the Canadian economy and all of us around the world who want to get these international resolutions of problems done in a manner that helps everyone. Let us not do it two years from now, but let us do it so we can be a player and go forward with the process of certification for our diamonds leaving Canada and for all the diamonds in transit that we receive from other countries. Let us do something right and let us do it expediently.

Export and Import of Rough Diamonds ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, they are picking on me because I pointed out a serious flaw in the bill. The member said that I should not be concerned about search and seizure. I am concerned about it. There is no compensation. She said that if it is not covered here, it is covered by the Criminal Code. Well the Criminal Code is wrong too.

I know a young man, a fine, clean shaven guy who showed up at the border in a nice car. He is a hard worker and earns money. At the border his car was ripped apart. The dash was wrecked, the door panels were taken off, and the trunk was ripped apart. There was a whole bunch of damage. He did not receive compensation. He is totally innocent. He does not smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol and it was thought he was carrying contraband. It was a false accusation and he is entitled to compensation.

Those people over there just do not get it.

Export and Import of Rough Diamonds ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, sometimes when we try to help in a situation it is not always perceived as help. There is nothing I can do about that.

In my opinion the Criminal Code search and seizure provisions would apply in this situation. There are no search and seizure provisions in Bill C-14 so we do use all the due process that we normally have in this country. That being said, after the bill leaves this place, it will go to committee where all members can assert themselves in the manner they deem most appropriate.

Export and Import of Rough Diamonds ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

There will be approximately eight minutes remaining in the period for questions and comments for the hon. member for London West after oral question period.

Canadian Centre for Ethics in SportStatements by Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Bras D'Or—Cape Breton, NS

Mr. Speaker, I wish to acknowledge the recent announcement by the Government of Canada to provide $2.4 million for the fiscal year 2002-03 in support of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.

The centre is Canada's independent anti-doping organization mandated to deliver the Canadian anti-doping campaign which includes programs of education, testing, research and international compliance.

Canada continues to be a world leader in the fight against doping in sport. Such leadership is essential to ensure that sport for our children is built on a foundation of fair play and ethical values.

I commend the Government of Canada on its recent funding announcement and the leadership it continues to show in the area of anti-doping.

TerrorismStatements by Members

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, on October 12 terrorists murdered nearly 200 people, mostly Australians, in Bali. This event should be a wake-up call for those in our country who think we are safe, yet what is our government's response? Nothing.

Our government still allows terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and others to raise funds in Canada. It has gutted our security and intelligence services. It has grossly underfunded our military to the extent that our minimum military needs for a domestic emergency cannot be met, nor does it fund our international military obligations, preferring to chant that we are the best country in the world while holding on to the coattails of our allies to protect ourselves and others.

The government's vacillating uncoordinated approach to the terrorist threat puts Canadian lives at risk. What is the government's response? Another Bali bombing here in Canada?

YWCA Week Without ViolenceStatements by Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, this week is the YMCA Week Without Violence, an occasion for all Canadians to become more aware of the consequences of violence in our society.

A variety of themes will be addressed in the week's activities, including eradicating bullying and creating more peaceful communities.

Canada may not be one of the most obviously violent of countries, but according to Statistics Canada, there are more than 300,000 violent crimes annually. As well, family violence drove close to 90,000 women and children to emergency shelters last year.

The federal government has taken several steps to help eradicate violence in all of its forms, in particular the legislation against organized crime, firearm registration and the prevention of delinquency.

I encourage all of my colleagues to join in this movement to find lasting solutions to violence, for the good of our communities.

Royal 22nd RegimentStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

David Price Liberal Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, 88 years ago, on October 21, 1914, one of the most illustrious of the Canadian Forces Infantry Regiments was born: the Royal 22nd Regiment.

Among the regiment's 21 battle honours are Flers-Courcelette, Mont-Sorrel, the Somme, Ypres, Vimy, Sicily, Northwest Europe and Korea.

The blood shed by its valiant members on the battlefields of Europe and later in Korea has helped forge its reputation for excellence, a tradition handed down for the past 88 years to each member of the regimental family.

Last September, the 1st battalion of the Royal 22nd Regiment was the recipient of the first Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendation awarded by the Governor General of Canada for its reopening of the Sarajevo Airport in July 1992.

I invite all hon. members to join with me in expressing to the Royal 22nd best wishes for a happy anniversary and for many more such anniversaries.

Canadian Accredited Insurance BrokersStatements by Members

October 21st, 2002 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

R. John Efford Liberal Bonavista—Trinity—Conception, NL

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to ask the House to join me in recognizing the accomplishments of four of my constituents, Kelly Smith, Renée Batten, Dianne Parsons and Daphne Dawson, who have recently earned the Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker professional designation through the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada. These individuals are recognized by their peers and colleagues throughout the insurance industry as having achieved a very high standard of professional competence and integrity.

The CAIB is a national education program involving four challenging courses of study covering both technical and applied knowledge, each of which concludes with a comprehensive final exam. IBAC is the national trade association that brings together and represents Canada's 11 provincial and regional associations of property and casualty insurance brokers.

I ask the House to join me in congratulating these individuals and wishing them further success and achievements.

Prairie FarmersStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, October 4 the editorial board of the Ottawa Citizen said that the government should eliminate the Canadian Wheat Board or turn it over to the farmers themselves with membership entirely voluntary. I am quoting from the Ottawa Citizen editorial:

It is offensive that anyone is required to sell his production and skill to one buyer, namely the federal government, at the price it determines in secret. When the federal government defends the existence of the wheat board, it is defending the expropriation of farmers' property. Virtually no other profession in this nation--and that includes grain farmers in Ontario and Quebec--is forced to give up the efforts of its own production to a government monopoly. It's time we put to pasture the notion that farmers shouldn't be allowed to grow their business like any other.

All Canadians should be very concerned about the use of government force to expropriate private property from prairie farmers because next time, it might be the Liberals coming after their property.

Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons CaseStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House today to acknowledge the occasion of Michele Landsberg's receipt of the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case. Awarded annually to six Canadian women in recognition of their outstanding contribution to society, these awards commemorate the Famous Five, the women who fought to guarantee recognition of women as persons.

Passion, fearlessness and determination are all words used to describe Michele Landsberg as a writer, a speaker and a person. A resident of St. Paul's and a columnist for the Toronto Star , she works tirelessly to bring a human side to her columns and provides a strong voice for women and children both through her writing and in public. She works hard behind the scenes as well, volunteering her time as an advisor and an activist to feminist, anti-poverty and social justice endeavours.

I congratulate Ms. Landsberg, as well as the other five women who received this honour.

Fédération des agricultrices du QuébecStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year, the Fédération des agricultrices du Québec is celebrating its 15th anniversary. In 1987 a group of women came together to develop a true community and meaningful professional strength in the evolution of agriculture in Quebec.

For the women involved, the challenge at hand was to have the agricultural sector recognize their invisible contributions. In 15 years, these women have established structures giving them access to power and ensuring their right to property. The actions by the women farmers of Quebec have led to significant changes and have eliminated the discriminatory clause that made the spouses of farmers ineligible for grants.

The Bloc Quebecois would like to publically thank the women farmers of Quebec, recognize their merits and encourage them in their work to affirm the place of women in agriculture.

Communities in BloomStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Liberal Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to applaud the efforts of the city of Barrie which, along with the Parish of Saint Hellier, capital of the island of Jersey in Great Britain, took first place in the international challenge category of the 2002 Communities in Bloom competition. This competition is a national municipal beautification contest with a focus on flowers, landscaping, gardens and environmental awareness.

The city of Barrie entered 320 gardens, competing with gardens from Ireland, England and the United States. It was its first time competing in the international category. Many thanks to city of Barrie alderman Patricia Copeland, and Mona Boyd, the city's horticultural supervisor who supported the city's participation in this event.

Congratulations to the city of Barrie for its bloomin' success.

TerrorismStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay my respects to the victims of Bali's horrifying nightclub bombing. With close to 200 dead and over 300 wounded, the attack is the worst act of terror in Indonesia's history. It struck in the heart of an island that has been renowned as a vacationer's dream. On October 12 that dream turned to a nightmare.

Many of the people killed in the blast were young. Among them were travellers, surfers, rugby players and newlyweds. As we know, many of those killed in this incident were believed to be Australian. Our thoughts are with that country which has suffered such an enormous loss.

Four Canadians were injured in the blast. Mervin Popadynec, a Calgary rugby player and oil industry engineer, is still missing and presumed dead. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and teammates at this difficult time.

This bombing was a senseless act of terrorism targeted at the values of freedom and liberty.

On behalf of the Canadian Alliance, I offer our sincere condolences to the families of all the victims of this horrible tragedy.

Parliamentarians against CorruptionStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, for two and one-half days last week, parliamentarians from 60 countries gathered in this chamber to discuss ways and means to combat corruption. They formed the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, an action oriented global network to help parliaments and parliamentarians in fighting corruption. Governments will benefit from this parliamentary initiative made possible by the determination and commitment of the member for St. Albert. He deserves applause and support.

The fact that 168 parliamentarians from all continents participated sends a clear signal to governments and business that corrupt practices are coming under close scrutiny and will be dealt with. The organization will meet again in two years to measure progress and adopt new measures to fight corruption in its many forms.

Congratulations to the hon. member for St. Albert.

TerrorismStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my NDP colleagues, and I am sure I speak on behalf of all members here, I express our deepest sympathy to the people of Australia as they mourn the loss of so many of their fellow citizens in the senseless act of barbarism that took place in Bali and which also took the life of a fellow Canadian, Mervin Popadynec, from Wynyard, Saskatchewan.

We share the horror and sadness of Australia and of all others whose lives and families have been scarred by this act of meaningless violence, particularly, of course, the Popadynec family in Saskatchewan.

Let those of us who practise politics rededicate ourselves to finding political solutions to the world's problems. Let those who practise such terrorism be caught and brought to justice and let others who contemplate such violence cease and desist: They are a discredit to our common humanity.

Highway InfrastructureStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, the residents of my riding and all of Montérégie are disappointed by the evasive comments made by the federal Minister of Transport regarding highway 30.

He recently announced that the agreement to extend would be ratified soon. However, we learned that he was still at the stage of all kinds of studies. When this government says soon, it most certainly does not mean soon, and that is disappointing.

Already, back in January 2001, the federal Minister of Transport said that highway 30 was a priority. Apparently the word priority does not mean anything for this government. In the end, all the federal Minister of Transport is trying to do is appease the people of Montérégie and put off indefinitely signing the memorandum of understanding with the Government of Quebec, which has been ready for a long time now.

The residents of Montérégie have been waiting for this highway for a long time now. The words soon and as soon as possible and priority no longer mean anything, and this is cannot go on. How long will it take for a priority to become a reality?

Autism MonthStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, October is Autism Month. Autism brings many challenges to children and families. Autism spectrum disorders appear at birth or very early in a child's development. They affect essential human behaviours such as social interaction, the ability to communicate ideas and feelings, imagination, and the establishment of relationships.

The Government of Canada is committed to improving the health and well-being of all Canadians and will continue to support efforts by provinces and territories to provide services for those affected by this disorder. Included in these initiatives are the federal disability strategy, the Centres of Excellence for Children's Well-Being, and the community action program for children. The government also supports the UN convention on the rights of the child.

We must continue to strive to support families and children of all ages, including those with disabilities such as autism. I wish to congratulate and thank the Peterborough chapter of the Autism Society for its fine, caring work.

Member for CardiganStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, despite allegations of corruption and political patronage, the Solicitor General has feebly maintained that the good people of Prince Edward Island have benefited from his patronage contracts. The Solicitor General would have us believe that the patronage contract to his brother, the patronage contract to the president of the P.E.I. Liberal Association and the patronage untendered contract to his personal friend are in the best interests of all. How can the benefit to a few be so advantageous to the P.E.I. masses?

It is the Solicitor General's blatant unethical behaviour that gives all politicians a black eye. When we put our names forward to the public, we are expected to fulfill our duties with the highest of integrity. Those who hold public office know that if something has any scent of impropriety it must not be done. The Solicitor General has not passed this litmus test. The Prime Minister must replace this minister right now and he must do it for the good of the government, for his party and for this country.

BiofuelsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Erie—Lincoln, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada must develop a biofuel industry quickly and aggressively. Biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel offer us cleaner, greener, renewable energy resources.

We forget that fossil fuels have huge hidden environmental, medical and social costs. We fail to realize that the biofuel industry will stimulate the rural economy, creating employment and investment opportunities while helping farmers to diversify into new markets. Most important, the use of biofuels will help us reach our Kyoto commitments in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Canada's biofuel industry cannot go it alone. It needs support for greater innovation and infrastructure. I encourage the government to support new ethanol and biodiesel processing plants, establish renewable fuel content targets and reduce excise tax on biodiesel. I urge the government to lead the way by increasing the use of biofuels in federal government vehicle fleets.

This issue is of critical importance to Canadians. The government must respond now.

Grain TransportationStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Canadian Alliance Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, grain terminal workers at the Port of Vancouver have been locked out for eight weeks. The situation is becoming desperate for the transportation of this year's crop, which already has been doomed by summer drought.

Agreeing that the grain handling system is inefficient, many farmers feel the situation could be improved if transportation of grain becomes the responsibility of the buyer. This would remove some of the risk farmers face when moving their product by channels plagued by problems such as the grain workers lockout in Vancouver.

There are no winners and a lot of potential losers in this current dispute. Grain handlers were locked out on August 25. The government has done nothing to solve this two year dispute. No one benefits from strikes and lockouts when final offer selection arbitration is an option. I urge the government to intervene in this grain handlers dispute by compelling the parties to seek immediate third party arbitration.

Women's History MonthStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to recognize that Women's History Month 2002 is celebrated during this month of October. This year the theme for Women's History Month is “Women and Sports--Champions Forever!”.

In October 1992 the Government of Canada launched Women's History Month to encourage greater awareness of women's contributions to Canadian society and to recognize the achievements of women as a vital segment of our Canadian heritage.

In the Speech from the Throne the government stated that it will work with its partners to develop a national strategy for healthy living, physical activity and sport and will convene the first ever national summit on these issues in 2003.

Recently I decided to become physically healthy again. I quit smoking, and our colleague, the Minister of Health, took part this month in the CIBC Run for the Cure, to find a cure for breast cancer.

October is a great opportunity for all members to set an example, show leadership and become physically healthy again.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today was supposed to be the day the government showed the provinces its implementation plan for the Kyoto accord, but there is still no plan and province after province is dropping its support.

The Ontario government has warned that for Ontario the accord will mean “huge job losses, a huge drag on the [economy] and billions of dollars in lost revenue”.

Will the government now admit that it should not ratify Kyoto until it has a plan and until it has built consensus around that plan?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the delay in the meeting is so that we can take advantage of the consultations that are taking place.

It also allows us to take advantage of the very important work done by the Alberta government, which presented a paper only two or three days ago. In addition, the province of Quebec has made representations in the last few days which are very valuable to us as we assess what we should do on the 28th of this month.