House of Commons Hansard #149 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was land.


Species at Risk ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

Order, please. The hon. member for Cypress Hills--Grasslands.

Species at Risk ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Canadian Alliance Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Madam Speaker, I would think the member, who seems to be concerned about rural development, would be interested in hearing about this but perhaps he is not.

Yesterday the Prime Minister actually had the arrogance to suggest that United States senators were afraid of our agriculture minister and that was why he was sending him down instead of going himself. We will see from the results exactly how terrified they are of us.

One of the main concerns I have about the government is that I see so many Liberal members who have lost their spirit and are whipped on legislation like this. We have seen a lot work go into the legislation over the last few months. It came to the House, the government gutted it and the minister presented what he wants as his membership. We have heard from very few government members who have the guts to stand up and say what they actually think about the legislation. We know there are dozens of them who are concerned about it. I would call upon them to step forward, take their places at the plate and call this legislation what it is, which is bad legislation.

As always, we know that the government's reason for being is to expand wherever it possibly can. It certainly is doing so through this legislation. In the past, bureaucracies have used issues like multiculturalism and national issues to stir people up and expand the bureaucracy. We have seen that through the CRTC over the years in many of the broadcasting regulations and fiascos there.

Normally what the government does is it takes the flavour of the day, mixes in a slug of bureaucracy, stirs it with some regulations and it usually ends up with a bad odour that permeates all of Canadian society. We see that once again here using environmentalism. It is taking environmental issues, wrapping them up in urgency, and then wrestling control from the local people who understand the issues and are the ones who could solve the problems, and giving it to people 2,000 miles away. It takes control away from people who need to have it.

Not only is the government without direction but Bill C-5 is definitely without direction as well. As the member for Yellowhead so accurately pointed out yesterday, rarely do we get legislation that is lose-lose. It is a loss for those who are affected by the legislation and it is also a loss for those who will be trying to administer it.

I want to give some suggestions this afternoon as to why the legislation is such a failure.

First, no one has faith in it. How many times have we seen this legislation come forward in the last seven years? We have seen it three or four times and it has failed completely. When it was brought in this time it went to committee. I understand 127 witnesses addressed the committee and 300-plus amendments were presented. The committee worked its way through the whole bill only to have it come back to the House where the minister took it apart and presented what he wanted in the first place.

Why do we bother? Why make such a mockery of the process? Why not just introduce it that way in the beginning and ram it through, as the government seems so set on doing? Who can treat the bill seriously with the minister treating it the way he has chosen to?

I would suggest that one of the other reasons the bill will fail is that there are no fundamentals to it that would make it a success. First, we deal with the assumption that the government knows best. I know it is not very popular in the House but there are some of us who believe that government is probably more of the problem than it is the solution to many of these issues. I would suggest that in this issue it is true.

The second assumption that the legislation makes, which is appalling, is that rural people are either a negative or an evil influence on the environment in which they live. I find that an insult. It is hard to comprehend. Many of us live in areas where our families have lived for a hundred years. The areas are no worse off. In fact they are far better off now than they were years ago.

The bill also makes the assumption that local people should not have a say. This puzzled me the most when I looked through the legislation. What is the government afraid of from the local people who are affected by the legislation?

Strangely, the cost to local people is not considered at all in the legislation. This is the area I want to address. The basis of legislation we make is usually to know how it will affect the people it is intended to affect. It is reasonable to expect that we would address the socioeconomic aspect and impact in the legislation. Surprisingly, the bill does not do that until right at the final process of looking at recovery plans.

The CA introduced an amendment to ensure that would take place and the committee, in its wisdom, agreed to the amendment. However, the government has now taken it out.

Why did the government do such a thing? I will read quotes from the minister that will explain why it chose to do this. The main reason is that it has absolutely no idea what the socioeconomic implications of the legislation will be. I will read from the minister's information supplement of October 2001:

Environment Canada is aware that compensation for restrictions on the use of land is a complex issue that requires careful consideration and innovative thinking. We will need several years of practical experience in implementing the stewardship and recovery provisions of the Species at Risk Act...before we can be precise in prescribing eligibility and thresholds for compensation

What are the people who are affected supposed to do for those several years?

At the standing committee on October 3 he was quoted as saying:

We then got deeper and deeper into this and it became more and more the proverbial swamp, more and more difficult to do, partly because governments...should not pass legislation that is open-ended in terms of funding. We have fiscal responsibilities that, as you can well imagine, are fairly strict on us—$45 million a year is what we've been given to run the process. That's what we can expect, and that's it.

My question is: Does that include the administration of the act, as well as dealing with the compensation issues for which people will have to be compensated?

The legislation will also be very expensive.

I would like to point out that the legislation could have had a positive socioeconomic impact, although the government has not considered that. Many other places, such as the United States, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines, all have private conservation programs. We have a tremendous opportunity for co-operation and for private conservation programs that we have not taken.

In conclusion I suggest that the bill has no future. It is based on coercion. We already have one example of a bill that was based on coercion, Bill C-68, which is now costing us nearly a billion dollars and has not accomplished anything that it was set out to do.

I ask once again why the bill targets rural Canadians. The blizzard in Cypress Hills eventually ended and we were able to travel, but I would suggest that if the government does not withdraw this legislation the storm is only beginning.

Species at Risk ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Madam Speaker, we are involved in one of those debates in the House of Commons that is important to a large section of our society in Canada.

This is not a new debate. The legislation was introduced several years ago and it has kind of stumbled along under the directorship of the Liberal government. From time to time we see a few bright spots in it but then it kind of regresses again. The government has a good objective in mind, protection of endangered species, but, like so much of its legislation, its plan to get there is totally misdirected. It is no different with Bill C-5, the bill to protect endangered species.

When I spoke in the House the other day I asked who in Canada would go against that basic principle. We all want to see the endangered species protected. The only endangered species I see are those on the other side of the House, and we even have some sympathy for them.

All Canadians I know want to see endangered species protected. They do not want to see species become at risk but the method of protecting them is the matter in question.

I made the comment before about the socioeconomic impact of the legislation, meaning that it would fall to the user groups, the people who live and make their livings in rural Canada, to protect these species by themselves.

I also made the case, in terms of agriculture, which represents a large portion of the land base, that there are something like 250,000 landowners in western Canada who will be expected to bear the cost for all Canadians of protecting endangered species. I do not think that is a reasonable approach.

Some 30 million Canadians benefit from having flora and fauna, and birds and animals protected so they do not become extinct. Why should 250,000 landowners in western Canada, a few forestry companies and oil companies, have to bear the total cost of that? It does not make any sense.

Rural Canada is still an important part of the equation. Rural Canada is where these endangered species largely exist, even in their limited numbers. We do not see them in downtown Toronto. Why is that? It is pretty hard for a burrowing owl to dig a hole in the pavement on Yonge Street.

The people who live in the concrete jungles and who have these high objectives, great on them, but they have wrecked their own environment and now they want to put the burden of protecting endangered species on all people in rural Canada. It simply will not work. It will not work from a practical point of view of policing. It will not work from a practical point of co-operation.

We have seen what happened in jurisdictions in other countries. Many of us spoke about what happened in the United States when it had the silly legislation that said that it would use heavy fines and jail terms to beat up on people who do not protect endangered species.

We do know there are better solutions, even in Canada. Ducks Unlimited has had a very creative program for protecting waterfowl in the country and has been very effectual in building up the numbers of ducks and geese in Canada by asking landowners for co-operation, the very people who live their lives in tune with nature and who want to see these species protected. It is not that they do not want to protect these species. It is just that they cannot be expected to bear the full brunt of the cost. They will pay their share but they simply cannot afford to pay it all.

We saw a recent survey showing the number of landowners, in terms of western agriculture, that have disappeared in the last five years alone. It is down by about 25%. There is a huge problem in terms of people being able to make their living off the land. There is a huge social disruption just in people, let alone the number of endangered species that are talked about in terms of birds and wildlife.

I suggest that we need to look for a more creative approach. Britain has a lot of private trusts. Ducks Unlimited is one model. The model in the United States, which goes back 20 years, was the heavy-handed approach but that did not work. Why does the Liberal government not learn from examples of the past? Surely that is what this is all about. Society has a series of building blocks from which we learn and if we do not learn I think we would have to be classified as pretty stupid.

I will talk for a moment about what has worked in the past. When I was growing up in the Grande Prairie area of Alberta we were starting to lose an important species of waterfowl. The trumpeter swan was down to very low numbers. There were less than 50 in the entire world at the time.

A local conservationist named Dr. Bernard Hamm single-handedly undertook to restore the numbers. How did he do it? He did not ask the government to put in heavy handed legislation that would impose severe fines on people for restricting habitat. He went to the people involved. He went to the farmers and ranchers. He went to community groups. He spoke in the schools about the need to build up the numbers of this important species.

Those of us who have had the opportunity to watch trumpeter swans, even the few that existed at the time, know what a magnificent species they are. They fly. They teach their young to fly. They fly with an adult in front, an adult at the back and four young ones in between. They make their circuits, build up their wings and get ready for the big flight they take to Florida and south Texas. They fly 100 feet high. We can hear their trumpet. They are called trumpeter swans. It is a very true sound. All of us have benefited from Dr. Bernard Hamm's approach.

The approach the government is suggesting is much like the approach taken by the United States a few years ago. It would backfire. In the United States landowners were forced to protect habitat and endangered species with no compensation. Many of them got rid of endangered species so they would not have to deal with them or pay the fines. The government of the day was trying to protect species but its legislation had the opposite effect.

Which would be the better approach, that of Bernard Hamm or the current Liberal government? Bernard Hamm single-handedly convinced others to get involved in a co-operative approach to build up the trumpeter swan species so that today there are literally tens of thousands of them and we can all enjoy them.

The Liberal government seems intent on pushing through a heavy handed approach in the House after six years of knowing it would not work. Why does the government not listen to the people? Why does it not take a co-operative approach with landowners, farmers, ranchers, oil companies and lumber people?

The member for Sault Ste. Marie must understand this. He lives in Kenora--Rainy River or one of those ridings. Why does he not convince his counterpart he is bent on a path that would hurt endangered species instead of helping them? It does not make any sense. We need a co-operative approach.

Ducks Unlimited is a perfect model. It pays landowners to keep their fields in stubble and not put them in crop during the year. Baby ducks are hatched there. The numbers have been built up under this successful program. Surely we must learn something from the processes others have used. Otherwise what is society coming to?

I implore the Liberal government not to take the heavy-handed approach of fines and jail terms for landowners who enjoy endangered species and are intent on protecting them the best they can with their limited resources. If we asked landowners for a co-operative approach they would say yes, we would be happy to put our land into habitat to allow endangered species to grow. I have done it myself as a landowner. My family has 2,000 acres in Alberta. We have used the Ducks Unlimited approach. It has asked us to keep stubble in place and not seed certain fields. We have seen a tremendous buildup in waterfowl as a result.

Let us use that model. I implore the government not to use the heavy handed approach. It would not work. The government should learn something from what has happened in the United States. Farmers cannot afford to do it themselves. We need all Canadians to be involved. We need the government to pay compensation to help save the endangered species we all value.

Species at Risk ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Fitzpatrick Canadian Alliance Prince Albert, SK

Madam Speaker, I come from Saskatchewan. In the history of Saskatchewan we have dealt with a lot of problems by using co-operation and respect for one another's rights. We have solved a lot using that approach.

Very seldom does government compulsion work. Governments, particularly the Liberal government, pay little or no attention to the consequences of their policies. The Liberal government demands that other people do expensive studies on the most minor of things to determine the impacts of its policies but does not do it itself.

A conference sponsored by 12 nations was held in Stockholm recently. It was called the Stockholm Progressive Summit. Members of the conference tried to figure out strategies to counter the dangerous trend developing in the world whereby people have been choosing right of centre and free market solutions to their problems. Conference members tried to plot a strategy to deal with the problems. It was quite a list. Thirty years ago they were called socialists. Twenty years ago they were called social democrats. Today they are called progressives.

The conference was called the Stockholm Progressive Summit. Can members guess who one of the 12 sponsors of the convention was? Canada was one of the sponsors. Can members guess who one of the chief speakers at the conference was? It was our Prime Minister. Now I know why the government that rules our country chose the colour of its party. It is clear to me today.

This type of conference leads to this sort of legislation. It is the same mentality. If anything is clear from history it is that socialism is a failed experiment, not an instrument of innovation. The government talks about an innovation agenda. When has the government ever innovated on anything? Some people say the only thing government ever created that was innovative was welfare.

I am not sure what long list of innovation governments have, especially this government. I know one thing. Socialism has created declining economies. It has created poverty. It has destroyed and undermined individual freedoms and property rights. It has undermined the rule of law. Where it has taken root and has strength we see declining countries.

The market system works well when governments create the proper environment. That environment consists of the rule of law, certainty, predictability, simplicity in the law so everyone understands the rules, stable monetary policy, national and personal security at home and abroad, and respect for the rights of the individual including liberty and property rights. This is very important.

There are a number of difficulties with the bill. Chief among them is that there has been no meaningful dialogue with the stakeholders involved, especially at the front end. The government is trying to carry on a dialogue after the decision is made. To me that is a public relations exercise. If we want good policy built on a solid foundation we need to have a dialogue at the front end. That has not been done with this legislation.

Another criticism I have of the government and its environmental policies is that they ignore the human element. We are part of the planet as well. Too many of the government's policies ignore the human element and the economy that must function in our society. If we want first class social services and a strong environment we need a first class economy.

An individual died in 1993 who was known as the equivalent to management circles that Einstein was to physics. His name was Dr. Deming. He was a critic of the way government policy is created. He said governments dictated results and created regulations and laws in a vacuum. He said such laws were totally unworkable and based on a lack of understanding of their impact on the economy.

Dr. Deming was preoccupied with creating quality services and goods and having an economy that produced these things. Any world class organization today that is well managed knows who Dr. Deming was. The Liberal government failed to involve stakeholders in developing its species at risk policy. It went back to its socialistic roots of trying to dictate results using government compulsion.

The government does not have a clue about the economic impact the species at risk legislation would have. The minister does not. He threw out a figure of $45 million at one point but was not sure about it. It sounds like the Kyoto accord. He does not have a clue what the economic impact would be. Before the government shoves compulsory legislation like this down our throats it is high time we had a meaningful economic impact study.

President Reagan once described the Liberal approach to economic problems. He said if the thing is alive, moving and healthy, tax it. If that does not slow it down, regulate it into the ground. When the thing is almost dead, start subsidizing. That is Liberal policy.

Do members know what is missing for rural Canada? It is the third part. The government has been good regarding the first part. It has taxed and regulated rural Canada into the ground. It has been weak regarding the subsidizing part. Rural Canada is dying because of the government's policies.

Using President Reagan's model we must ask what Bill C-5 would do. Landowners would become slave labour to the state. They would have to be the state's stewards and carry out the responsibilities of the act. They would have to give up property rights without proper compensation and due process. It is a typical Liberal approach. I am sure the government learned it at the Stockholm conference. That is the way it does things.

Confiscating a citizen's property is a dangerous concept. Turning people into slave labour without compensation is another problem. What takes the cake about Bill C-5 is that if the slave labourers accidently did something to an endangered species the government would turn them into criminals. One of the principles of the rule of law is that we do not make our citizens criminals without a guilty mind. The government probably learned its approach at the Stockholm conference. It is the sort of thing they teach at those conferences. It is the socialistic or progressive way of doing things.

Maybe people in rural Canada should turn their land over to one of the companies in central Canada the government likes to support. The regulation thing would be resolved. The taxation thing would be resolved. The people would get money from the government. It would not be taxing them. The subsidies would pour in and they would be healthy. Maybe that is what they should do. They should voluntarily turn over their land.

I can name a whole slew of companies that seem to have a direct pipeline to our enlightened leader and dictatorship in Ottawa. Forestry, agriculture and rural industries are not part of that family compact arrangement. They are shut out. The government has a hostile agenda toward them.

In summary, we in my party cannot support Bill C-5 for a whole host of reasons. The bill has little or no regard for the impact it would have on the rural economy and people's livelihoods. It reveals an arrogance and contempt for citizens and property rights. It undermines a simple principle of the rule of law in a democratic society: we do not make criminals out of citizens without a guilty mind.

2002 Winter OlympicsStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.


Andy Scott Liberal Fredericton, NB

Madam Speaker, I rise today in recognition of Canada's outstanding performance at the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

Much has already been said about the success of Canada's men's and women's hockey teams, our speed skaters, figure skaters, aerial freestylers, the fact that so many of our team finished in the top 10 of their sport and that such a large number of our athletes received medals.

I also pay tribute to the United States for its capacity to produce the Olympics with such success in the aftermath of September 11, and to the International Olympic Committee for reminding us what the world was like prior to the tragic events of last September.

In particular and most importantly I commend Canada's Olympic chef de mission, our own Sally Rehorick of Fredericton, New Brunswick who handled the early controversy and considerable expectations of our team with class and great competence and made Canada and Fredericton very proud.

To Sally, congratulations and bravo.

Lorne HendersonStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Madam Speaker, it is with regret that I rise to recognize the passing of former provincial Ontario cabinet minister Lorne Henderson.

Lorne had a long and distinguished career of public service in his community and in his province that spanned 56 years. Though he held a number of cabinet posts in the provincial cabinet of Bill Davis, he is best known for his role as minister of agriculture.

Tribute was recently paid at our local Renfrew county federation of agriculture meeting to Lorne as someone who will be remembered as having the ability to set aside partisan political differences to work in the best interests of all farmers.

At Queen's Park he chaired an unofficial agriculture caucus made up of all rural members with farm concerns. Farmers knew they had a man who would listen and who could understand their business. A farmer by trade and inclination Lorne Henderson loved people and he loved his province. He was the consummate grassroots politician.

A more fitting tribute cannot be made except to recognize Lorne Henderson as the farmer's champion.

2002 Winter OlympicsStatements By Members

2 p.m.


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

Madam Speaker, I take this occasion to congratulate CBC television for its coverage of the Salt Lake City Olympics which concluded Sunday evening.

During the past two weeks millions of people watched, listened to and logged on to CBC's Olympic coverage. Millions of Canadians were connected to CBC last Sunday afternoon alone. Once again CBC brought us together from coast to coast and created a spirit of shared joy and pride at watching our athletes compete with great sportsmanship and skill.

CBC provided insightful commentary for each sport and excellent coverage of all events, in both official languages. This is precisely the role of our public broadcaster which is to bring a uniquely Canadian perspective to the events in our lives.

Please join me in congratulating the CBC for its outstanding coverage of the Salt Lake City Olympics.

Victor HugoStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval West, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to remark to the members of the House of Commons that on February 26, 1802, one of the greatest writers ever was born. Today we celebrate the bicentennial of Victor Hugo's birth.

He was a poet, novelist, journalist, polemicist, historian and politician. His life was richer for all the battles he waged, particularly those in defence of freedom and against the death penalty.

His works are all the more important because they encompass every level of language and every genre. Who has not heard of Les Misérables , Le Dernier Jour d'un condamné or even Notre Dame de Paris ? He set his novels at the time of the struggle for freedom and dignity during the middle ages, or during the July revolution in France, but his accounts remain relevant for the youth of today.

I would like to highlight this special day by reading this quote from Victor Hugo: “Memories constitute our strength... Let us never forget noteworthy anniversaries”.

Drinking WaterStatements By Members

2 p.m.


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

Mr. Speaker, Abitibi has the best tasting water in Canada.

In an international water tasting competition that brought together participants from six countries and 18 U.S. states in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, from February 20 to 24, the Canadian municipalities of Barraute and Senneterre came in first and second place, respectively, in the category for municipalities with the best tasting water.

In Saint-Mathieu d'Harricana, Parmalat is currently building an ultramodern water export plant for Eaux Vives, which represents an investment of $52 million.

ArmotecStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am always pleased to talk about the successes of Quebec businesses, especially those in my riding.

Recently, Armotec, a Drummondville company, was named Quebec's top exporting SMB by the National Bank.

Armotec manufactures hardware for kitchen cabinets and office furniture. It offers 3,089 permutations of the Lazy Susan. Founded in 1980, it employs a staff of 60. Over 60% of its total sales are made outside Canada.

Last year, shareholders François Beaudoin and Guy Rousseau doubled the company's floor area, the eighth expansion in Armotec's history.

Thanks to research and development of new products and top-notch personnel, this SMB has tripled its sales since 1996. This is another example of Quebec's strong entrepreneurship.

Congratulations to Armotec on 22 years of success.

EducationStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the GST the Liberal government's greed knows no limits. I did not think the GST could get any worse but trust the Liberal government to find a way.

Its latest cash grab is targeted at, of all places, schools. School boards took the finance minister to court to make him pay 100% of the GST rebates for busing. The court ruled against the finance minister so he has decided to change the GST act retroactively so he does not have to hand over the rebates he owes the school boards.

How can the government say it cares about education when it is taking millions away from our school boards? That money could go toward more teachers and textbooks, but the finance minister is acting like a schoolyard bully, shaking down our schools for every cent he can get. What is next, the lunch money?

Trust the Liberals. They once promised to kill the GST. They have not just broken that promise, they have broken it, stomped on it and run over it with a bus.

Changing the law to squeeze an extra $70 million out of the school boards? The Liberal government has gotten way too arrogant and it is time to replace it with New Democrats committed to cutting the GST and improving, not taxing education.

Breast CancerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


John Richardson Liberal Perth—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise in the House today to congratulate the diverse group of energetic citizens from Stratford in the ready for a cure 2002 breast cancer dragon boat paddle.

This fundraising campaign began February 14 and will end July 26. It is the first time ever that a 40 foot dragon boat will make its way through the Rideau Canal. The ready for a cure campaign will be the longest dragon boat paddle in Canadian history. The journey will be physically enduring and the participants will paddle approximately 17 kilometres a day from Kingston to Ottawa in the summer. The group's goal is to raise $100,000 in support of breast cancer education, research and treatment.

We congratulate the cure fundraising campaign for taking the initiative to increase public awareness of the impact of breast cancer on the lives of Canadians. We offer best wishes to all participants in this historic event.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle Progressive Conservative St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the government is now tightening up the rules on who qualifies for a disability tax credit. This tax credit allows the disabled to compensate for the extra costs they incur because they are disabled.

MPs' offices are being flooded with complaints from constituents with genuine disabilities who have qualified for disability tax credit for years. They are suddenly being told they no longer qualify.

Since coming to office in 1993 the government has balanced the nation's books by drastically reducing transfers to the provinces, effectively gutting Canada's health care system. The government has also cut back on the EI system to the point where only a third of the unemployed now qualify for benefits while the EI fund has a multi-billion dollar surplus.

First it was the sick and the unemployed and now it is the disabled. Has the government no conscience?

Correctional Service CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Canadian Alliance Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, the priorities of the Liberal government are so backward that we have yet another report that Correctional Service Canada will make life a little bit better for those long-suffering inmates. Driving ranges, horse stables, fly-fishing and big screen TVs were not enough for these misunderstood criminals. We now have to spend $500 million to upgrade the cottage style lodging these inmates have grown accustomed to.

The solicitor general challenged critics to look inside our prison system and stated it was not a great place to be. I visited these facilities and they are better than the barracks our troops live in. These convicted criminals are enjoying a better lifestyle than many of our seniors and fixed income citizens are enduring.

This philosophy began with the past commissioner Ole Ingstrup. Unfortunately this philosophy appears to be alive and well with the new commissioner. When will the solicitor general acknowledge this philosophy does not work?

If the government has a half a billion dollars to spend, the priority should not be Correctional Service Canada and its whiny inmates.

Science and TechnologyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been exactly 40 years since John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth on February 20, 1962. Since then the world has seen new horizons open up in space travel. We are proud of the Canadian astronauts who have participated in these innovations as their contributions to space science and research are so vital.

I take this opportunity to congratulate Steve MacLean. Yesterday the industry minister announced that Mr. MacLean will be the next Canadian in space. He will fly aboard the space shuttle Endeavour in 2003. Steve MacLean, a physicist from Ottawa, first went into space in 1992. This time he will perform a spacewalk from the international space station. He will make all Canadians proud.

The last 40 years have seen innovations beyond anyone's imagination. With the help of the government's assistance to science and technology we look forward with excitement to what the future will bring.

2002 Winter OlympicsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, on February 23, five young men, all of them Quebecers, stood on the top step of the podium after a riveting performance in the 5,000 metre short track speed skating relay. Expectations were high, and our five competitors showed that they were up to the challenge.

Quebec's team consisted of Marc Gagnon, a triple medallist in the Salt Lake City games, Jonathan Guilmette and Mathieu Turcotte, with two medals each, François-Louis Tremblay and Éric Bédard.

This was the first Olympics for François-Louis Tremblay of Boucherville. After having devoted over 17 years to speed skating, he is going home with an Olympic medal around his neck, and a gold one at that! We are proud that he has realized his dream. As the member for Verchères--Les-Patriotes, I pay tribute to François-Louis' courage and determination.

Let us celebrate the magnificent performance of the short track speed skating team, and of all the athletes who took part in the 19th Winter Olympics.

Congratulations, François-Louis, and thank you!

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


John Maloney Liberal Erie—Lincoln, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House of three recent environmental initiatives that will positively impact my riding of Erie--Lincoln.

Under the Great Lakes sustainability fund the Niagara River will benefit from two restoration projects totalling $80,000. The first program is the Niagara River area of concern fish barrier project which will improve fish habitat by eliminating physical barriers to fish migration within the Niagara River watershed.

Under the agricultural diffuse source control strategy implementation landowners will work with conservation authorities to reduce water pollution and soil erosion from rural properties.

Efforts are also being made to save the eastern Massasauga rattlesnake under the habitat stewardship program for species at risk.

I welcome municipal and citizen project partnerships with the government. Protecting our environment is vital to the goal of healthy and sustainable communities. We are all stewards of the environment.

Canadian Wheat BoardStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Canadian Alliance Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government and the minister of agriculture have spent plenty of time congratulating themselves for the recent victory over the United States concerning the Canadian Wheat Board.

However, celebrating this result is nothing short of delusional. The investigation did conclude that the wheat board is an unfair trader because of its special monopoly rights. Now the U.S. administration will certainly launch countervailing duty and anti-dumping complaints against Canadian farm families because of the Canadian Wheat Board.

Canadian farmers will have to continue this fight at the World Trade Organization and through the U.S. commerce department's anti-dumping complaint process. Significant costs will be borne directly by the western Canadian wheat and barley producers who are forced to market their grain through the Canadian Wheat Board. This is despite the fact that many farmers want the monopoly removed. Farmers should not be forced to pay to defend a system that they do not want.

If the Liberals would finally listen to farmers and the Canadian Alliance and make participation in the Canadian Wheat Board voluntary the basis of these complaints would be removed and millions of dollars saved.

SportsStatements By Members

February 26th, 2002 / 2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, everybody loves a winner, especially governments. To hear the Prime Minister talk yesterday one would think that Canadian athletes won 17 medals at Salt Lake City simply because of the few paltry dollars governments put into amateur sport.

The extra funding this year represented $4,500 per team member attending the Olympics. This equates approximately to the price of a ticket to see the hockey game between Canada and the United States. Wayne Gretzky did more for Canadian sport and Canadian patriotism in nine minutes than the Prime Minister has done in nine years.

What our athletes need from all of us, and yes, especially the press, is our support, encouragement and financial assistance throughout their careers, not just when they win.

It is not who wins or loses, it is how one plays the game. Our athletes of whom we are so proud could play even better if we supported them properly.

HealthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, over 45,000 Canadians die every year as a result of illness caused by tobacco. It is the most pressing public health issue in this country.

My constituency of Kitchener Centre and all the communities within the regional municipality of Waterloo require all restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, billiard and bingo halls to be 100% smoke free.

I am proud of the co-operation from businesses and individuals in enabling all regional residents to enjoy our community in a completely smoke free environment. I ask the House to join me in congratulating Waterloo region for achieving a gold standard from the Ontario tobacco free network.

Every year 80,000 Canadians die from heart attacks and strokes. At least 20,000 of these deaths are due to smoking. That is 55 people each and every day.

February is heart month and provides an opportunity for Canadians to increase their awareness of the risks of heart disease and stroke. It is a good time to think about lifestyle changes, such as becoming smoke free to prevent future health problems.

Reproductive TechnologiesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, recent developments underscore the urgent need for reproductive technologies legislation.

Two weeks ago a Kentucky fertility specialist pledged to clone a human being. His team was to begin this work last week outside the United States, in an undisclosed country. He says he has 10 couples willing to participate. If he were to bring this experiment to Canada, there would be no law to stop him.

In January we learned that Industry Canada has been issuing patents on human genes for years. The health committee was under the impression this was not happening and recommended against gene patenting.

Last week in the health committee the minister pledged to introduce legislation by May 10. We hope that she will keep her word. We hope that such legislation will not be introduced only to die with the prorogation of this House. We have seen that game before, with Bill C-47.

Canadians are waiting.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, we understand that the government has abandoned its disastrous plan to ratify the Kyoto treaty before the G-8 summit in Kananaskis in June.

Alberta's environment minister says that the deal will cost the Canadian economy $25 billion to $40 billion per year and that Alberta will pay a disproportionate share. What a gift to Albertans this would be on the eve of the G-8 summit.

Will the Prime Minister confirm that the government will not mar the Alberta summit by ratifying a treaty that would be a death warrant for the Alberta economy?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec


Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has been saying for a long time that climate change is a very serious problem around the globe. The position of the government is that it would like to sign the Kyoto agreement.

We have made some progress in the negotiations, for example, the recognition of sinks, which would help Canadians because we have a lot of land that could be used for that. We want to have recognition for the clean energy we are exporting to the United States. We are still negotiating that. There was a meeting between the provincial ministers and the federal minister yesterday and they have reported progress.

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the government is going to flush the economy down the sink.

For months now the Canadian Alliance has been calling for this government to explain to us how the Kyoto accord will be implemented and how much it will cost.

Yesterday the Minister of the Environment defended his lack of a plan by saying that it would be inappropriate at this time because the work has not yet been done.

My question is therefore a simple one. How can this government commit to ratifying the Kyoto protocol when it has no plan and does not even know what the costs will be?

The EnvironmentOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec


Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that is why we hold meetings between the federal and provincial ministers, in order to have all the facts on the table. The objective of this government, however, is to ratify the Kyoto protocol when we have obtained satisfaction.