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House of Commons Hansard #18 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

2:05 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 St. John's West.

Salvation ArmyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House of Commons to offer congratulations to the Salvation Army's St. Catharines Booth Centre which will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Saturday, November 2, 2002.

The St. Catharines Booth Centre, formerly the Salvation Army Men's Social Service Centre, opened its doors in 1952 to provide for the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of individuals over the age of 18, regardless of origin.

The centre has grown with the community to meet its changing needs. The centre now is a combined halfway house and hostel and offers a total of 33 bed spaces to those in need. It also offers meals, clothing, counselling, referral and recreational services, a volunteer chaplaincy at the Niagara Detention Centre, a court support program at the St. Catharines courthouse and a family tracing service which helps to locate immediate family members who have lost touch and wish to be reunited.

I would like to thank Major Henry Jewer, the staff and all the volunteers of the St. Catharines Booth Centre for 50 years of caring and compassionate service to the community. I know the Booth Centre looks forward to providing its valuable service for many years to come.

Kyoto ProtocolStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government seems to have an agenda to make life difficult for our farmers and now a blow which will be fatal for many. If the government implements the Kyoto protocol it will be a devastating blow for many farmers.

The government has imposed a wheat board monopoly on farmers, only farmers on the Prairies keep in mind, so that some are being sent to jail for selling their own wheat. Drought has hit farmers unbelievably hard over the past few years. The port of Vancouver now has been left closed by the government and nothing has been done about that. Unfair trade in other countries has driven prices down so that farmers are getting paid well below prices paid to their competitors.

Now there is Kyoto, which does nothing for pollution but which would drive up prices for things like fuel, fertilizer and pesticides which our farmers pay. All will go up substantially. How much? The government does not know, yet it is going to ratify. It seems like it simply does not care.

On a related issue, the crew of the HMCS Ottawa has recently returned from the gulf and will be in the gallery today. I think every one of us should thank them.

Synergy AwardStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in my home town of Winnipeg the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council joined with the Conference Board of Canada to award six Synergy Awards for outstanding university-industry-R and D partnerships. These awards salute the success of Canadian companies working with university researchers to leverage this country's innovation strengths.

One of the winners was in my city. The University of Manitoba and Calgary based Canadian Bio-Systems Inc. earned their award for their joint efforts in improving enzymes added to animal feed. The enzymes help animals absorb more nutrients from every kilogram of feed, allowing farmers to raise healthier animals for less money and passing both quality and savings on to the Canadian consumer.

This research, I understand, allows farmers a more natural way of dealing with animal feed challenges, a way that is safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly. I have been told that the long run goal of this research is to phase out antibiotics in the feed with “prebiotics”, natural enzymes that enhance the animal's immune system.

Potato IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Liberal Egmont, PE

Mr. Speaker, the potato industry in Prince Edward Island is extremely important to the island's economy. It is its number one commodity and accounts for about one-third of Canada's potato production.

Two years ago the discovery of potato wart in a solitary P.E.I. field touched off a 10 month severe trade dispute, causing up to $30 million in lost U.S. and Canadian sales to the island's potato industry. Since that time P.E.I. has been chafing under severe export restrictions.

These restrictions are too severe. Both potato wart and the mop-top potato virus are soil borne and if potatoes are cleaned neither virus will spread. Neighbouring farms that are tested and found to be virus free should not have to face trade restrictions.

Canada and the United States need to work together to revise and refine our potato management plan. We need to protect potato producers from unfair trade restrictions while adopting a science based approach.

Women's History MonthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, October is Women's History Month and this year's theme is Women and Sports--Champions Forever.

I would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the achievement of “Canada's Sweetheart”, Barbara Ann Scott from Ottawa. To this day Barbara Ann Scott is the only Canadian ever to win Olympic gold in the senior women's figure skating competition. Her love for the sport, dedication, sheer determination and hard work all helped her to achieve this impressive goal.

Barbara Ann won many skating titles in her short figure skating career. She was crowned senior champion from 1944 to 1948, the North American champion from 1945 to 1948, the European champion in 1947 and 1948, the world champion in 1947 and 1948 and Olympic gold medallist in St. Moritz, Switzerland in 1948.

Her grace, sportsmanship, technical brilliance and modesty, on and off the ice, are still remembered today. I salute Barbara Ann Scott for her great accomplishments.

Prairie FarmersStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow four of my constituents, Jim Ness, Rick Strankman, Rod Hanger and Mark Peterson, all hardworking and honest prairie farmers, are going to jail. These men are paying a huge cost; the loss of their freedom for defending their rights.

These farmers for justice believe that western farmers should not only be able to grow and market their own grain but that they should have the right to turn it into a saleable good.

The minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board is directly responsible for the injustice these prairie farmers face. I call upon the government to show some compassion, to show some common sense and decency and grant these farmers the same rights producers in the rest of Canada have taken for granted. Give them the freedom to sell their own wheat.

It is time to stop making criminals out of our prairie farmers who are simply attempting to earn an honest living for themselves and their families while defending our rural way of life.

Middle Powers Initiative DelegationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Middle Powers Initiative Delegation, a distinguished arms control group visiting Ottawa today, has commended Canada for being the only NATO country to vote yes at the United Nations last week on the New Agenda Coalition's resolution “Towards a Nuclear Free World”.

I wish to join in the commendation of our government and to associate myself, as chair of the Canadian Parliamentarians for Global Action, with six other MPI priorities which are particularly compelling in the new strategic context of post-cold war and post-September 11, including: strategic arms reduction in accordance with NPT commitments; control of missile defences and preventing missile proliferation; reduction and elimination of non-strategic and tactical nuclear weapons; the non-use of nuclear weapons and the commitment of middle power countries like Canada to refuse to support first use of nuclear weapons in security policies; ban on nuclear testing, including respecting the moratorium on nuclear testing and ratification of the comprehensive test ban treaty; and, control of fissile materials, particularly given the threat to terrorist use of nuclear devices and materials.

This agenda is truly protective of homeland security and global security.

BrazilStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 27, the people of Brazil democratically exercised their preference for a progressive government by electing Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, leader of the Workers Party, as their President.

By opting for a left-centre government, the Brazilians are an example of a people which has decided to affirm and assume the sovereignty conferred upon it by its democratic right to choose.

In this era of globalization, more than ever before, a victory for the people constitutes a victory for democracy itself, providing evidence as it does of the power still in the hands of peoples to determine their future.

With the hope that the Lula government will have the support of the international and the financial communities, the International Monetary Fund in particular, I extend on behalf of the Bloc Quebecois our wishes for the best of luck to the Brazilians and their government in their efforts to rebuild their country economically and socially.

AraratStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last evening the National Gallery was the site of the Ottawa premiere of world-renowned Canadian film director Atom Egoyan's film Ararat .

The Minister of Canadian Heritage joined with Telefilm Canada in welcoming the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, members of Parliament and the diplomatic corps to a special screening of the film.

Egoyan's film deals with the question of the recognition of the Armenian genocide and the effects of the continued denial on the ancestors of the victims of the first genocide of the 20th century.

Using the devise of a film within a film, Ararat invites the audience to witness aspects of the Armenian Genocide that the Ottoman Turks perpetrated against the Armenians commencing on April 24, 1915. Ararat calls for the recognition of the Armenian genocide as well as all other victims of crimes against humanity and leaves us with the thought that if we do not remember the mistakes of history we are doomed to repeat them.

I urge the House to act and recognize the genocide.

Canadian Executive Service OrganizationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Maurice Vellacott Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to applaud the outstanding efforts of one of my constituents who recently returned from working overseas for the Canadian Executive Service Organization.

Dr. Kevin Falk went to Lhasa, Tibet to advise the Agricultural Institute of Tibet on improving the breeding techniques and quality of rapeseed.

After touring facilities and meeting with section breeders, Kevin passed on to the Tibetans helpful information acquired from work done at our Saskatoon Research Centre. The success of the program for improvement of breeding techniques and quality hinges on using adapted Tibetan land varieties crossed with canola quality germplasm from the Saskatoon Research Centre. Kevin trained about 20 persons, half of whom were women.

This is the Canadian Executive Service Organization's 35th year of exemplary service. Kevin is typical of their highly skilled volunteers.

We are proud of Kevin's effort to stimulate development in disadvantaged economies, and I commend these efforts by one of my Saskatoon constituents. Congratulations to Dr. Kevin Falk.

Commander Hendry and Lieutenant BélairStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, this past August 17, the Canadian navy's HMCS Ottawa returned from a six-month mission abroad as part of the fight against terrorism.

The ship's crew included Commander Paul Hendry and Lieutenant Sylvain Bélair. Commander Hendry hails from Arnprior, Ontario, and Lieutenant Bélair from my riding of Hull—Aylmer.

I must congratulate them on their accomplishments, ranging from intercepting and inspecting vessels in the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf, to seeking out contraband oil, banned goods, and al-Qaeda leaders and Taliban on the run.

Today Commander Hendry and Lieutenant Bélair are sharing their wealth of experiences with the people of the National Capital Region. They are visiting schools in particular, including Philemon Wright in Hull, in order to share their experiences in Afghanistan with the students.

We salute and thank Commander Hendry and Lieutenant Bélair.

Hopper Rail CarsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, in the 1970s and 1980s there were not enough rail cars to haul western grain to our seaports and Canada lost sales and markets as a result.

The government of the day decided to buy a fleet of hopper cars which were then leased back to the railroads to haul that grain.

Ottawa's intention was twofold: to allow Canada to meet its export commitments and to keep transportation costs down for western farmers.

The government no longer wants the hopper cars but there is a group ready to acquire and manage the fleet. The Farmer Rail Car Coalition includes a wide array of farm and community organizations and it has a business plan ensuring that benefits will flow back to all western farmers.

These hopper cars should be turned over to the Farmer Rail Car Coalition at a nominal cost and without having the cars go up for auction. This is the way to ensure that farmers will continue to benefit from the rail cars that were originally purchased for their use.

Quebec Adult Learners WeekStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, October 27 to November 1 has been designated Quebec Adult Learners Week, with the theme “A Thousand and One Ways to Learn”.

A thousand and one ways to learn for fun, to discover new cultures, to share with others by reading, surfing the Web, getting together in a multitude of shared places that are a part of our everyday life, in every region of Quebec.

This event will bring together numerous stakeholders involved in adult education and thousands of people interested in training. There are close to one and a half million adults taking part in training activities in Quebec.

Over the years, adult education has become an indispensable tool giving those who want it a second chance in life, particularly young people who have dropped out of the system, because it does not always meet their needs.

Celebrating adult learners in all of their diversity is typical of the originality of the Quebec model.

EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Liberal Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, protecting natural vegetation along lakeshores and waterways poses a number of challenges but also provides benefits, both in the city and in the country.

The Association des riverains du lac Aylmer unveiled the Coulombe River aquatic habitat and riverbank restoration and development project on October 18.

The purpose of the project is to restore the bed and banks of the river, which was once a major spawning ground for yellow walleye. A $24,000 grant was given as part of Environment Canada's EcoAction Community Funding Program.

Congratulations to Luc Michel, Richard Chatelain and Pierre Poirier for their leadership in protecting our natural environment. They are true role models and are to be congratulated on their initiative.

Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Progressive Conservative Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, the priorities outlined by the Liberals ignore the challenges facing rural Canadians.

People in Gander--Grand Falls need jobs and they want to work. Every day my office receives calls, letters and petitions from rural Newfoundlanders where hundreds of people are desperate for income to get them through the winter months. However, more than just getting enough hours for this year, what is needed is a long term economic plan for Gander--Grand Falls and rural Canada.

The Liberals have failed to put forth a vision for rural Canada so those who want work are given no hope.

Today I am meeting with officials from HRDC. It is my hope that this will mark a new understanding of the difficulties facing those who live in areas where the will to work is larger than the HRDC job bank.

The EI system must be more supportive of those who want to attend school and retrain so that the cycle of short term employment and EI reliance can be broken. The guidelines on how EI is administered must be consistent from office to office.

It is through dialogue and working together that will enable us to fix the EI system.

Autism Awareness MonthStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Savoy Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, October is Autism Awareness Month. I would like to ask all Canadians to take special care this month to understand autism and its effects. Autism is a disease that strikes 1 in every 268 births today. This is up substantially from previous generations, where autism occurred in about 1 in every 10,000 births.

It is essential that we continue to learn about autism, both so that we can treat it effectively and understand the social ramifications. It is of great importance that not only families understand the disease but society as a whole. The Autism Society of Canada does a remarkable job of getting the message out, increasing awareness and knowledge through an extensive website.

It is time to applaud the Autism Society of Canada and those families who support these individuals daily. This allows people with autism to reach their full potential.

Economic UpdateOral Question Period

October 30th, 2002 / 2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today the Minister of Finance released his economic update and confirmed once again how badly over taxed Canadians are. In fact, since the government balanced the budget, it has raised taxes by $24 billion. That is how much tax revenues have gone up. Yet yesterday in question period, the government refused to rule out further tax increases for health care.

My question is for the Prime Minister. With the government awash in tax revenues, why will the government not rule out further tax increases to pay for health care?

Economic UpdateOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I never expected the Leader of the Opposition to compliment the government at this moment for the great performance on the economy and the fact that we have 2.5 million more people working today than we had in 1993. That is why the economy has grown by 3.4% this year and will continue to grow next year. We did not have a recession like the Americans. The government is in a good position because we have run a good government. I very much thank the Leader of the Opposition.

Economic UpdateOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I was not going to compliment the government, but I will compliment the Prime Minister for having a finance minister with whom he can now work.

The government said yesterday that come hell or high water it would go it alone on the Kyoto accord. The government knows that without the consent of the provinces, the tools available to implement this accord are extremely limited. It can try to interfere in provincial jurisdiction or it can jack up energy taxes.

Since the finance minister did not roll out this possibility, I ask this question about this tax as well. Will the Prime Minister rule out carbon taxes? Will he rule out raising taxes on energy consumption?

Economic UpdateOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have a very good habit of reducing taxes on this side of the House. There is a good chance that, when Kyoto is implemented completely in 2012, I might not be the Prime Minister, so it is difficult for me to conclude that there will be no tax increases in the next 10 years. However, if we keep good Liberal administration for 10 more years, there is a good chance that there will be no more tax increases.

Economic UpdateOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in recent years, this government has increased spending for wasteful grants, for advertising contracts, for the hiring of an army of bureaucrats and for other dubious priorities.

Meanwhile, the provinces are struggling with increased spending for social priorities such as health.

What will the government do to correct this financial imbalance?

Economic UpdateOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no financial imbalance. Under our system, the provinces have the power to levy taxes, and so does the federal government. Because we were good managers, we reduced taxes by $100 billion, over a five year period.

During the same period, most provinces reduced their taxation level. If they are now short of money, perhaps it is because their priorities were wrong.

We succeeded in fulfilling our obligations as a government and also in reducing taxes. If other governments did not achieve the same result, let them draw their own conclusions.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance announced today that the government will be flush with cash, but at the same time the overpayment in the EI account is $30 billion more than is necessary to keep the plan solvent. That explains why the Auditor General absolutely refused to sign-off on this scam in the last public accounts.

Why will the Prime Minister not announce today that he will end the over collection of EI premiums from workers and employers?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the premium was supposed to be $3.30 when we formed the government. Now it is at $2.20, so we have done very well.

To help the hon. member of Parliament on the other side, I would like to quote what the Reform Party said:

To ensure that savings from the reform of UI translate into deficit elimination the Reform Party recommends the establishment of a permanent reserve fund for UI...Funds from this reserve would be applied against the deficit.

This is on page 46 of the taxpayers' budget written by the former leader of the opposition in 1995.