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House of Commons Hansard #19 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was opposition.

Topics

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

TanzaniaStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Liberal Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to draw to the attention of the House a developing conflict between people on the island of Zanzibar, part of the United Republic of Tanzania. The matter was brought to my attention by a Canadian working in Africa and by Human Rights Watch.

On January 27, 2001 police and military on Zanzibar responded to political demonstrations at four locations by shooting and killing 35 persons and wounding 600.

I raise this now because I recall with sadness a human rights conflict question raised with me about 12 years ago involving a certain problem in Rwanda and where we failed to act and which evolved into one of the ugliest genocides perpetrated in the 20th century. We cannot make this mistake again.

I call upon the Government of Tanzania to act on the results of the commission of inquiry it has put in place, and ensure that conflicts based on class, race and religion are not exacerbated. I call on Canada and the Commonwealth partners to collaborate with Tanzania in ensuring that measures are taken that will induce political and racial harmony in that country before the price of neglect becomes more than humanity can pay.

Oil and Gas IndustryStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Andy Burton Canadian Alliance Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, development of the oil and gas deposits off Canada's west coast could be a significant contributor to the economic recovery of British Columbia. Progress to date has been prevented due mainly to provincial and federal restrictions currently in place.

Offshore hydrocarbon deposit developments are safely taking place around the globe: off the east coast of Canada, in the North Sea off Scotland and Norway, in the Gulf of Mexico, even off the coastlines of California and Alaska, just to name a few areas. The technology for safe, environmentally sound, offshore operation of the oil and gas industry is available, as has been proven worldwide.

I urge the B.C. provincial government and the federal Liberal government to move quickly toward lifting their moratoriums thereby allowing this potentially valuable resource the opportunity to proceed to the exploration stage.

James Bay CreeStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the James Bay Cree will be able to deal with governments as equals in the application of commitments under recognized treaties.

This is the result of a ruling just handed down by the Supreme Court of Canada quashing an appeal lodged by Ottawa on September 5, 2001, against a Quebec Appeal Court decision. This was a decision recognizing the right of the James Bay Cree to deal with governments as equals vis-à-vis educational funding.

Grand Chief Ted Moses described this as an important ruling, because it puts an end to a years-long battle by the Cree to obtain the right to deal as equals with Canada and Quebec in decisions affecting Cree rights, in particular their cultural and language rights.

Acrylique WeedonStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Liberal Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, during SME Week, Acrylique Weedon received the Entrepreneurship Award of Excellence at a gala organized by the CLD of the Regional Municipality of Amiante.

Acrylique Weedon, manufacturers of top of the line acrylic tubs and showers, is a company with commitment, imagination, creativity and determination. Using cutting edge technologies, and premium quality raw materials, Acrylique Weedon produces superior products at highly competitive prices.

Entrepreneurs like Richard Couture, Marc Dussault and François Vaillancourt are an example of the entrepreneurial determination and audacity any region needs for development.

Bravo to Acrylique Weedon. Frontenac—Mégantic is proud of you.

Sikh CommunityStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Colleen Beaumier Liberal Brampton West—Mississauga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was shocked to learn recently of a video game on the market called “Hitman 2” published by Eidos Interactive. This video game glorifies violence against Sikhs within a gurdwara, portrays Dalits as followers of an evil cult leader, and links both groups to terrorism.

Since the terrible tragedy of September 11, Sikhs, like other groups, have become victims of intolerance and sometimes violence based on their appearance alone. By connecting Sikhs to terror in this manner, “Hitman 2” is irresponsibly inciting hate and propagating destructive stereotypes.

Members of the Sikh community in Canada have raised money for hospitals and Foster Parents Plan. They organize sporting events and take food and clothing to food banks, all with little or no fanfare. They deserve better from society.

I urge all members of the House to sign the petition on sikhnet.com demanding that Eidos Interactive recall this game from the market immediately.

Noreen Edith ProvostStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ted White Canadian Alliance North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to one of my constituents, Noreen Edith Provost, who passed away on September 21 of this year.

Noreen was best known in a public sense for her work with Citizens United for Safety and Justice, work which won her the respect of police, many politicians and judges, and the victims of violent repeat offenders.

In 1992 Noreen was awarded the Governor General's Commemorative Medal for her significant contribution to her community and to Canada.

Despite all her hard work and the support of most Canadians, violent repeat offenders are still being released prematurely by the government to commit more crimes. Rest assured in Noreen's memory we will continue to hold the government accountable for its failure to protect Canadians from violent repeat offenders. We will insist that the rights of victims and their families are placed ahead of the rights of criminals.

Noreen's work for the victims of crime stands as an example to others. She will be sadly missed.

Eating DisordersStatements By Members

October 31st, 2002 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring attention to an ever growing health problem in Canada, the problem of eating disorders, most prevalent among young women.

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. In fact, the annual death rate associated with anorexia is more than 12 times higher than the annual death rate due to other causes combined for females between the ages of 15 and 24.

Canada does not have enough treatment centres for persons affected by eating disorders. In a recent survey from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, 77% of doctors surveyed said they did not have the skills to treat eating disorders. Sixty-six per cent said that the proper resources were not in place. The survey concluded that the treatment of eating disorders is a complex challenge for primary care physicians.

It is imperative that the Government of Canada through the Department of Health work to educate Canadians and the doctors about the serious and life threatening issue of eating disorders.

Normand DesbiensStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Normand Desbiens, who teaches physics at the Cégep de Jonquière, on receiving the Prix du bénévolat en loisir et en sport Dollard-Morin.

Given annually by the Government of Quebec, this award recognizes the contribution made by volunteers to the organization and development of recreation and amateur sport in Quebec.

Since 1989, Mr. Desbiens has been a member of Expo-sciences régionale. He has been a member of the Conseil du loisir scientifique du Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean since 1991. He was also the founder of the “Science on tourne” project. The Dollard-Morin award therefore recognizes all of the work done by this popular teacher for the past 15 years.

The Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean has always distinguished itself in every field, and the honour bestowed upon Normand Desbiens is further proof of this.

Congratulations to Mr. Desbiens.

Father Michael SmithStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Father Michael Smith, a prominent member of my constituency who passed away last weekend at the age of 91.

Father Smith was not only well known in the Polish Canadian community for which he worked all of his long life, but also in a number of professional circles in Toronto.

Father Michael Smith, born in Alberta and educated in Poland, took care not only of the spiritual needs of his parishioners but also took an active interest in their social and economic well-being. He was instrumental in establishing the Polish Credit Union which serves over 30,000 members today in a dozen branches. He also helped establish the Copernicus Lodge, an exemplary seniors home in our community.

In recognition of his contributions, he was awarded the Order of Canada and the Golden Jubilee Medal.

As His Excellency Cardinal Ambrozic stated at the funeral service yesterday, indeed this week “we lost a giant of a man”.

Prairie FarmersStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Canadian Alliance Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is a sad day today for western farmers.

In Lethbridge 14 farmers are going to jail rather than paying fines for transporting grain across the American border in 1996. These farmers sold their own grain. Some of them simply gave it away. For this they are going to jail.

Sadly the issue is one of unfairness. Eastern farmers may choose whether to sell their products independently or go to a marketing board. Western farmers are not allowed to market their own products. They must go to the Canadian Wheat Board.

Jim Chatenay, one of the 10 elected wheat board directors said, “It is an unbelievable outrage. The Canadian Wheat Board Act applies equally to all provinces in the dominion, yet we are applying the rules to farmers in only one part of the country”.

Western farmers are being treated differently from their counterparts in Quebec and Ontario. As a westerner and a farmer, I object to this obvious discrimination. I ask that the government apply the same rules to all parts of our country.

International UNICEF DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is International UNICEF Day and since 1955, Canadians have opened their doors to trick-or-treating ghosts and goblins asking for candy and donations to UNICEF.

This year two million of those orange and black UNICEF boxes have been distributed to schools across Canada. The UNICEF slogan this year is “Put Your Heart into Halloween”. The money collected by our Canadian children will help to provide clean water, health care, education and good nutrition to children in developing countries.

UNICEF works to protect all children's rights, especially those who are disadvantaged, victims of war, disasters and extreme poverty, among others.

UNICEF is a permanent part of the United Nations system but is entirely dependent on voluntary contributions to accomplish its work.

Tonight when their doorbells ring, I encourage all Canadians to please remember, not only the Halloween candies but also a donation to UNICEF, and to put their hearts into Halloween.

Parliamentary ReformStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, on what can only be called a sad day for democracy, the Liberal government has utilized procedural mischief to block debate on what would have been a small baby step toward improving parliamentary democracy in Canada.

The motion on the floor, should the Liberal government have allowed it to proceed, would have simply allowed standing committees to elect their chairs by secret ballot votes, free from coercion and intimidation of the Prime Minister's Office.

As a former prime minister today cautioned the House, democracy loses its strength gradually by increments and it takes vigilance and a concerted political will to stem the erosion of democracy by those who would seek to concentrate power in the hands of a few.

Never before in the history of Canada has power been concentrated in the hands a few, a small handful of unelected political flaks in the Prime Minister's Office.

Today we had the opportunity to take a step toward a better, fairer and more balanced Parliament. Let the record show it was the Liberal Party that stopped it, with the exception of one courageous Liberal member who had the conviction to vote in favour of parliamentary reform.

IraqStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, a close sparring match is being played out at the UN Security Council between the United States, supported by Great Britain, and the other countries that have a veto, France, Russia and China.

The United States wants one single resolution that would include strengthening the mandate of inspectors, and in the event that Iraq refuses to comply, the clear threat of punitive measures, which the United States could take without going back to the UN Security Council.

Among the 10 non-permanent member states, Mexico, a neighbour of the U.S. and a significant trading partner, supports the French position, which requires a new decision by the security council before an attack is launched against Iraq. Mexico had the courage to defend the primacy of the United Nations, even regardless of the threats expressed by U.S. newspapers. Yet Canada, a NAFTA partner, could only say its position was close to that of the U.S. and that it wanted a strong resolution.

When will Canada have the strength to take a position vis-à-vis the United States that reflects its values and its history?

Performing Arts AwardsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to congratulate the recipients of the Governor General's outstanding lifetime achievement in the performing arts.

This year's distinguished award recipients are: Quebec film and TV director, André Brassard; actor, playwright, teacher and arts advocate, Joy Coghill; the greatest band in Canadian history, The Guess Who from Winnipeg, including founder and singer/guitarist Randy Bachman, lead singer and keyboardist Burton Cummings, drummer Garry Peterson, guitarist Donnie McDougall and bass player Bill Wallace, who lives in my riding; ballerina, Karen Kain; jazz musician, composer and educator, Phil Nimmons; and creative dancer and choreographer, Jean-Pierre Perreault.

I would also like to congratulate Father Fernand Lindsay on his receipt of the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts and Angelia Hewitt for receiving the National Arts Centre Award.

I am sure the House will join me in extending our sincere congratulations to all of this year's award recipients.

IraqStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am sure you will join me in wishing Rosie feels better soon.

Having said that, there is no war in Iraq and there does not need to be one. Iraq has said that it will allow UN weapons inspectors total unfettered access to all sites in its country. The solution is at hand but the UN weapons inspectors are still sitting on their hands while the UN decides what to do.

If Iraq is truly serious about letting weapons inspectors in, I propose that it locate its own interim, credible, international inspectors, bring them to Iraq and put them to work now. Iraq has the right to do this, the same as any other country does.

If Iraq does allow unconditional access to all its sites, it will only be a few weeks before the whole world will know that Iraq intends to keep its commitment and the situation will be diffused. There will be no war.

There is no reason to wait. Iraq should move now to send a signal to the entire world that it is determined to cooperate.

Disability Tax CreditStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, many of my constituents have expressed concerns about what seem to be changes to the way the disability tax credit is being administered. I know the House has been assured by the Minister of National Revenue that no changes have in fact taken place, but Canadians are still concerned about the fate of the tax credit.

It is imperative that the government be accountable for how it spends taxpayer money. It must also be compassionate.

I urge the government to reassure Canadians that the qualifications for its disability tax credit will be thoroughly reviewed and that no one will wrongly lose that credit. It is very important to people in my riding and to people across the country.

Queen's Jubilee MedalStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Reed Elley Canadian Alliance Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, during the recent parliamentary break I was privileged to award 20 outstanding constituents with the Queen's Jubilee Medal in my riding of Nanaimo--Cowichan. These people are: Jessie Anderson, Shannon Breeze, Kathleen Skovgaard, Heather Turnquist, Barkley Logan, Mike Murphy, Major-General Roy Sturgess, Sandra Heydon, Joan Mayo, Brenna MacPherson, Janet Thompson, Alaina Tuba, Mike Caljouw, Robert George, Pat Edge, Kate Hall, Grace Elliot-Nielsen, Pat Barron, Michael Lynch and Albert Uden.

Those worthy recipients were selected by a constituency based committee made up of Marcia Stobbart, Cleone Ratcliffe, Ed and Gwen Melynk, and Merv Unger.

I would like to thank the members of the committee for the excellent work they have done on my behalf. The recipients that they chose are dedicated and hardworking community volunteers who represent thousands all across my riding. All our communities rely on people like these to provide a wide variety of much needed services to Canadians.

I congratulate them all.

Canadian PeacekeepersStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, allow me to acknowledge the exceptional contribution of the Canadians who work every day to help maintain peace around the world.

These people include residents of Laval. Captain Lucie Rosa, Sergeant Mario Gagné, Corporal Francis Lemay and Corporal Angelo Roselli are all many miles away from their families and friends, and are working tirelessly to maintain peace around the world.

Canadian peacekeepers are constantly working to maintain peace, protect people, confiscate illegal weapons and clear large areas still full of landmines that claim new victims every day, all over the world.

I join with all Canadians in congratulating these men and women who fully deserve our recognition for their work. Their task is a considerable one, and it is only through perseverance that, some day, we will succeed in making this situation a thing of the past.

Prairie FarmersOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today some hardworking prairie farmers are going to prison. Why? Because they grew their own wheat on their own land, doing their own work, taking their own risks. Yet this government says they cannot market their own product. It is an industry that is going bankrupt yet the government puts farmers in jail for trying to make a living.

My question is very simple. Why is the government throwing farmers in jail for selling their own wheat?

Prairie FarmersOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. The protesters from 1996, who are facing the difficulty in Lethbridge today, have chosen this particular route to express themselves. They chose this particular method. It was not imposed upon them. They have been seeking to maximize their publicity in this matter. That is their right. However, let us be clear, the choice with respect to the jail proceedings is one that was chosen by them.

Prairie FarmersOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I would like to see that member make the choice, that lawyer make the choice of running in a rural riding in Saskatchewan.

The government chose to make it illegal for prairie farmers to market their own grain. The government chose to change the rules to ensure this was the case. The government chose to have a completely different set of rules for western Canada than for eastern Canada. The government also chose to charge these farmers.

Why is the government refusing to allow prairie farmers the same right to market their own grain that it gives to other Canadian producers?

Prairie FarmersOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the comparison to Ontario, it should be noted that in fact grain is marketed in and from Ontario under the Ontario Wheat Producers' Marketing Board. The flexibilities that have been achieved in Ontario have been achieved by the democratic decisions taken by the directors of the Ontario Wheat Producers' Marketing Board. The act of the Canadian Wheat Board was amended in 1998 to provide directors of the Canadian Wheat Board in western Canada with the ability to make the same decisions in western Canada.

Prairie FarmersOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it blames the farmers. The government is losing a grip on its own caucus. It should loosen its grip on western farmers.

It is hiding behind the board. It is a government that allows child pornographers to go free but jails farmers. It is a government that allows Hezbollah to operate in Canada but denies farmers the freedom to sell their own wheat. Today, farmers will be handcuffs because of the policies and decisions made by the Canadian Wheat Board and the minister.

For prairie farmers and their families, I ask one more time, why are they being locked up for doing what should be legal and is legal in the rest of Canada, selling their own product?

Prairie FarmersOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. If any farmer wishes to export wheat from any part of Canada, it requires an export permit. That applies nationally across the country.

The changes we made in 1998 include these facts: the Canadian Wheat Board is no longer a crown corporation; it is no longer run by government appointees; and it is controlled by a board of directors with a two-thirds majority directly elected by farmers themselves. All the powers of the Canadian Wheat Board are vested in those directors.