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 #16 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Health Care SystemGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for his question. First, I would like to clear something up. Our party is not calling for and never has called for a parallel two tier system. My reference to the patient paying was as a taxpayer. We all collectively pay. That is a Canadian value that we adhere to and that we support 100%. We asked for a timely, quality, sustainable system regardless of one's financial means. I want to make that very clear. I hope that answers that part of the question.

When it comes to prevention he is absolutely right. We have major problems in the country with the amount of obesity or cigarette smoking. The way to curb that is in the school system. The earlier we can catch the problem, the earlier we can educate our youth, and the better off we would be. Prevention is one of the fundamentals that we must do more about than just talk about it. We have talked about it for the last 20, 30, 40 years. It sounds really noble. It sounds like a wonderful thing, but if we are just going to talk about it and not really do anything about it, we are going nowhere. We must do more than that.

Health Care SystemGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, as we know the private sector has its hand in car insurance. I would like to take the example of New Brunswick, the province I come from. Car insurance companies are saying that the people who insure themselves have too many accidents and now they have to double the price of premiums to make profits. What is the Canadian vision for the private sector that would make money on the backs of people who are sick? Would it not be better to have a public sector take care of it in order not to profit off of sick people?

Health Care SystemGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the member may be referring to profit as being a dirty word. That is something we must careful of. When it comes to a single entity, whether it is a monopoly by the public system or private system, it is inefficient and does not work. We need competition to keep it healthy. Our health care system right now is 31% private. Whether it should be more or less, that is a provincial jurisdiction, but it should have some freedom to be able to explore that.

What we are saying is that if the private sector can do it and provide the efficiencies to do it for the same price, it should have the freedom to do it. Patients do not care who is providing the service. They are more concerned that the service is there for them when they need it. That is where we must go as Canadians because that is a Canadian value.

Health Care SystemGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, I along with many MPs have talked to Canadians about the health care system. My colleague as health critic has probably talked to more Canadians than most of us.

People have a real anxiety about the fact that often when they or a family member are ill they cannot get the tests that they need quickly. Sometimes they cannot even see a doctor because the doctors are so overworked. When they do go to hospital they find nursing staff that are stretched to the limit and do not have time to respond to them on a timely basis. They do not feel that if they need health care that it is there. I hear this more and more. Some people are happy with their experience when they become ill or their family member becomes ill but a lot of people are not happy and they do not find that they receive the kind of service, and the kind of response that they feel is appropriate.

Would my colleague address the fact that under the Liberal government this has become a bigger problem? How can we fix it so that when people get sick they will receive the care they need and deserve?

Health Care SystemGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the member is absolutely right. This is one of the things I said earlier and that is why when we did a poll last year we found that 77% of Canadians were prepared to reform the system. They were not reforming the system because it was comfortable, they were reforming the system because it was not doing what they expected it to do.

We also see that when two-thirds of our general practitioners are so swamped and overworked that they are not accepting any new patients. I talked to one individual from just down the street here who said he was going over to Hull to get an appointment to see a doctor. When I asked what the problem was he said it was not a problem he was just going to see if he would be accepted as a patient. That is a big problem when we see that happening in Canada.

We need to understand that $100 million was spent by Canada on approved procedures for health care in the United States in the last two years. These were approved. We sent patients there because we could not provide the health care. That is nothing. There are many individuals who go down and access services there because they cannot get it here in a timely way. That number may reach $2 billion a year. When we see those kinds of things happening we get a sense that the cracks in the system are wide and deep and will continue unless something is done.

TaxationStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is much talk these days about oil sands companies such as EnCana and Syncrude. This oil sector alone generates 22% of the greenhouse gas emissions by the fossil fuel industry. In addition, the extraction of petroleum from tar sands depends on the use of billions of litres of precious water every year.

Furthermore, the oil sands industry enjoys generous tax concessions amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars. In other words, our tax system presently increases the production of greenhouse gas emissions and the depletion of water which in turn disturbs habitat. Handouts of this magnitude are in conflict with a free enterprise economy and with Canada's efforts to reach the Kyoto goal.

This practice should be stopped, hopefully in the next budget, by phasing out perverse tax subsidies to the oil sands industry.

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Canadian Alliance Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, is the former finance minister running a leadership campaign for the Liberals or the Canadian Alliance? I know he was elected as a Liberal but he seems to be walking our walk and talking our talk.

Our party spent years developing policies which are now part of our platform. We would think that he would at least give us some of the credit. In any other field, what he is doing would be plagiarism. Free votes, making more private members' bills votable, independent ethics counsellors, and electing chairmen of committees by secret ballot, are but a few of our policies and we have had them for years.

Now we find that the former finance minister believed in these policies or has he been recently converted? If we look at his record and what he is saying now, it looks to me that we have ourselves a modern day Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Human RightsStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have been witness for some time to a revolution in human rights, where human rights has emerged as the new secular religion of our time. The whole inspired by a revolution in international human rights law where, in particular, more has happened in the last five years in international humanitarian law than in the previous 50, and where the United Nations, whose founding we commemorate, has been the linchpin of that revolution. Regrettably, however, the refugees of humanity, the agony of Africa, the brutalized child, the preventable genocide in Rwanda, each can be forgiven if they think that this human rights revolution has passed them by.

It is important now that we reaffirm the founding principles of the UN, of the equality of all states, large and small, so that no states are singled out for discriminatory treatment while major human rights violators enjoy exculpatory immunity; of the universality of human rights so that economic, social and cultural rights, the rights of the disadvantaged are seen as authoritative norms; of the guarding against undue politicization of the UN wherein the UN becomes an arena for the waging of conflict rather than for conflict resolution; of gender mainstreaming within the decision making of the UN; and of the protection against mass atrocity organized around a culture of prevention rather than belated intervention.

FarmersStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Diane St-Jacques Liberal Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to acknowledge the extraordinary campaign of solidarity that was conducted in the Eastern Townships to help those farmers in western Canada who had nothing to feed their cattle due to the prolonged drought.

Generous farmers from my riding, Shefford, and that of Compton—Stanstead rallied and pulled together to arrange transportation, while in the riding of my colleague from Brome—Missisquoi, more than 1,300 bales of hay were collected. This campaign was a success. I am very proud to live in a region where people get involved in their communities and roll up their sleeves to help other Canadians.

We too received help during the ice storm and we know how much comfort and hope this kind of sharing can bring.

I want to stress the outstanding work of numerous volunteers and the generosity of our farmers. They have just given us a fine example of solidarity and altruism.

Nunavik Marine RegionStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Liberal Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, QC

Mr. Speaker, representatives of the Makivik Corporation, namely President Pita Aatami, Johnny Peters, and several Inuit people from Nunavik, as well as the hon. Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs and Liberal member for Kenora—Rainy River and the team of negotiators met on October 25, in Montreal, to sign the preliminary agreement concerning the Nunavik marine region.

This agreement in principle deals with an offshore region claimed by the Inuit of Nunavik and known as the Nunavik marine region.

The area is under the jurisdiction of the governments of Nunavut and Canada. It includes part of the islands and waters of Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay. It covers an area of 250,000 square kilometres.

This marine region is of vital importance to the Inuit of Nunavik, because nearly 85% of the wildlife harvesting takes place in that region.

DiwaliStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deepak Obhrai Canadian Alliance Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, on November 4, Hindus across the world will celebrate the festival of lights, popularly known as Diwali. This day signifies the victory of good over evil. All those whose ancestry goes back to the subcontinent will light their homes and in the spirit of warmth share sweets and best wishes with all fellow human beings.

As one from the Hindu faith it is my pleasure to invite my colleagues from both sides of the House to celebrate the festival of lights with fellow Canadians in Room 200 West Block this evening at 6:30.

This is the third annual Diwali festival and this year it is jointly organized with the India-Canada Association of Ottawa. Aside from a small pooja, there will be cultural performances as well as a reception put on by the members of the India-Canada Association.

I wish to encourage all members to attend the Diwali celebrations in their own ridings. Let me and the executive of the India-Canada Association wish each and everyone in Canada a happy Diwali and a prosperous new year.

Booker PrizeStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, Trent University alumnus Yann Martel has been awarded the prestigious Booker Prize for his novel Life of Pi. Other distinguished finalists included Carol Shields and Rohinton Mistry. Previous winners of the Booker included Solomon Rushdie, Michael Ondaatje and Margaret Atwood.

Martel graduated from Trent in the 1980s with a degree in philosophy. He now lives in Montreal where he divides his time between writing, yoga and volunteer work at a care centre. His novel is about a young man stranded in a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra and a Bengal tiger. This sounds like something that members of Parliament could easily relate to.

We wish to congratulate Mr. Martel on his remarkable achievement. He has brought honour to himself, Canada and Trent University.

Jean-Luc BrassardStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleagues from the Bloc Quebecois join me in paying tribute to an internationally renowned athlete from Quebec.

Freestyle skier, Jean-Luc Brassard, of Valleyfield, has just announced his retirement from competition. We would like to thank him for his exemplary involvement in Quebec's sporting world. He laced up skis for the first time at the age of seven. From then on, he made his mark with a mix of optimism and courage.

In 1991, when he was only 18 years old, Brassard was the youngest skier ever to win the World Cup.Crowned world champion in 1993 and 1997, Jean-Luc also won the World Cup on three occasions, 1993, 1996 and 1997.

Throughout the world, this decorated athlete always served as a well-known ambassador for Quebec. Jean-Luc has given us the desire to excel, the taste of victory, but most importantly, the desire to have fun.

Bravo and thank you, Jean-Luc. We are proud of you.

ADISQ GalaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Liza Frulla Liberal Verdun—Saint-Henri—Saint-Paul—Pointe Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, last night, the 24th annual ADISQ Gala awards took place. Once again, the event was a great success. The audience and television viewers enjoyed the top-notch show masterfully hosted by Guy A. Lepage and the diverse talent being showcased by our artists.

Canada's French language recording industry is overflowing with talented performers and writers. This was clearly reflected in the calibre of the nominees. A few examples include Garou, Isabelle Boulay and Daniel Bélanger, who were chosen as performers of the year by the general public, not to mention the special tribute award that went to Plume Latraverse.

My colleagues join me in congratulating all of the artists who went home with a Félix, as well as all the nominees.

I would also like to highlight the excellent professional work done by the Association québécoise de l'industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo in putting the gala together.

The Government of Canada is proud of its contribution to the music industry, including establishing the Canada Music Fund, an initiative whereby the federal government will invest $81 million over three years and to strengthen the Canadian sound recording industry, “from creator to audience”. The fund—

ADISQ GalaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for St. Albert.

Canada Pension PlanStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams Canadian Alliance St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Public Accounts of Canada indicate that a wrongful dismissal suit brought by the former actuary of the Canada pension plan, Mr. Bernard Dussault, has cost the taxpayers $365,000.

What was Mr. Dussault's crime? He told the former Minister of Finance, the member for LaSalle—Émard, that the CPP premiums might have to be hiked in order to save the system. Instead of acting to fix the problems in the CPP, the former Minister of Finance's grand solution was to fire the actuary because the actuary dared to tell the truth. Obviously the former Minister of Finance was in the wrong, since his actions have cost taxpayers over one-third of a million dollars.

Taxpayers should be outraged that they were forced to pay $365,000 just to keep the former Minister of Finance's numbers rosy. Perhaps he should reimburse Canadian taxpayers from that bottomless pit of his leadership campaign.

Arts and CultureStatements By Members

October 28th, 2002 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Pillitteri Liberal Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently in Niagara-on-the-Lake, in the riding that I have the honour of representing federally, ceremonies were held marking the 190th anniversary of the death of the hero of Upper Canada, General Sir Isaac Brock.

It was General Brock who led local Niagara troops against American soldiers in the battle of Queenston Heights on October 13, 1812. The general led his troops into heavy enemy fire and pushed back the American invaders. He was shot in the chest and died during the pitched battle along the Niagara frontier. However, his leadership and victory showed Canadians that they could successfully defend their land. This was an important first step toward the birth of Canada.

I want to congratulate Colonel Bernard Nehring for his work in organizing this special event commemorating the memory of General Brock, the hero who helped guide our once-British colony into nationhood.

Paul WellstoneStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, last week Americans lost a truly great humanitarian, Senator Paul Wellstone, who was killed along with his wife Sheila, his daughter Marcia and members of his campaign team in a plane crash on his way to a former steelworker's funeral.

Paul Wellstone was a committed fighter for social justice. He was a man with a huge heart and he could light up a room. This I experienced firsthand when I heard Mr. Wellstone speak two years ago to 3,000 union members at the International Steelworkers' Convention. He received many standing ovations for his passionate vision for working people everywhere.

Paul Wellstone was someone who had the courage to speak his mind on issues such as his opposition to President Bush's aggressive attack on Iraq. This dedication to principle will be missed on the American political scene. I and my colleagues in the NDP wish to offer our condolences to the surviving members of Paul Wellstone's family and to the people of Minnesota.

The HomelessStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, in mid-October, La Maison de Lauberivière released an album that brings hope to the homeless. The recording is the work of a group of homeless people and was made to restore a positive image in people's minds of what those on the margins of society are capable of.

André Vézina is the force behind the project and the author of everything on this first CD, which is titled Le temps d'un café . He commented that “This CD must be seen as a means of showing what we are capable of as well as a means of raising the funds to do more”.

My congratulations to Aube et Rivières for this significant project. I would also like to draw attention to the work la Maison de Lauberivière does every day to fight poverty and social exclusion.

Congratulations, and I hope that this recording will be a real hit and lead to a performing tour.

International CooperationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Liberal Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to welcome women delegates from Afghanistan and to speak on Canada's commitment to the rebuilding of Afghanistan.

Although the war in Afghanistan is long over, the battle to rebuild the nation has only just begun. In particular, the needs and rights of Afghan women, who under the Taliban faced many hardships and deprivations, is an area in which Canada has taken a lead role. Canadian organizations such as SUCO, or Solidarité Union Coopération, Development and Peace, and other Canadian-Afghan associations have been working together with groups in Afghanistan to ensure such things as women's participation in the reconstruction process and commissioning the building of orphanages.

In the last year through CIDA, Canada has distributed over $58 million to support emergency relief and reconstruction in Afghanistan and to improve the lives of Afghan women and provide quality basic education to Afghani children. In September of this year, the minister announced that CIDA had fully allocated the $100 million for Afghanistan pledged by the Government of Canada at the Tokyo donors conference in January. The--

International CooperationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for South Shore.

Volunteer FirefightersStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, during Fire Prevention Week I had the great honour to recognize one of rural Nova Scotia's outstanding volunteers, Donald DeLong of the North Queens fire department.

Donald received special recognition for 60 years as an active firefighter with the North Queens fire department. Fire Chief Scott Hawkes, Deputy Mayor Wayne Henley and members of the public and I, along with the North Queens fire department, were all there to congratulate Donald on this remarkable milestone. Donald DeLong joined the department in 1942 and, 60 years later, at the age of 78, still drives truck number 5. It is this kind of unselfish community activism that makes volunteers such as Donald DeLong the true inspiration that they are.

Perhaps no group of volunteers exemplifies volunteerism better than our volunteer fire departments. They are there for us during the good times and the bad. They not only risk their lives to save others and protect property but also contribute on a daily basis toward the betterment of our communities. I wish to express congratulations to Donald and his family and to say thank you on behalf of all of us.

Women's History MonthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, on October 3, Women's History Month had its kickoff at Saunders Secondary School in London. This year's theme is “Women and Sport--Champions Forever!”. The Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and Status of Women was joined at the event by female athletes Sami Jo Small, Janice Forsyth and Tara Hedican, students and guests.

More than ever before, women and girls are now free to participate in a variety of sports and physical activity at all levels of participation. With pride, our female athletes brought home numerous medals from the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games and also from the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

From the pioneers of the past to the legions of young women now active individually and as team members, sport has truly evolved to provide increased access to all. Young girls are now active on soccer fields, in ice rinks and gymnasiums and other facilities, from the recreational level onwards.

The theme this year recognizes these and other successes. I wish to express congratulations to the participants, the coaches and the families who work hard to pave the road ahead from a proud history of accomplishment.

Queen's Jubilee MedalStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise and recognize individuals from my constituency who, as a result of their distinguished contribution to their communities, have been awarded the Queen's Jubilee Medal.

They are: Geoffrey Ballard, Geraldine Braak, Jack Warren Cameron, Owen Carney, Terence Rae Fellows, Gwen Harry, Shirley Henry, Rosemary Hoare, Wendy Holm, Betty Keller, Laverne Kindree, Frank Kurucz, Agnes Labonte, Kay Meek, Kenneth Moore, Charles Seton Parsons, Geraldine May Parsons, David Roberts, Peter Speck, Frederick Titcomb, Kathy Weiss, Roy Weiss and Allan Williams.

I wish to extend congratulations on behalf of all parliamentarians to these very deserving Canadians and British Columbians.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, provincial support for the federal position on Kyoto appears to have totally collapsed. The coalition of provinces demanding a delay to the ratification of the accord is now unanimous. Today in Halifax the provinces and territories issued a joint declaration calling the federal government's plan inadequate, and they have demanded a first ministers conference.

My question, for whoever is speaking for the government today, is whether the Prime Minister will seriously consider this request for a first ministers conference on Kyoto before the vote on ratification in the House.