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House of Commons Hansard #139 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was national.

Topics

National DefenceStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Fitzpatrick Canadian Alliance Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, the dark shadow of the Liberals continues to loom over the Canadian armed forces. First the Liberals eradicated the army, navy and air force with an ill-conceived policy of unification. Then they took the word armed out of Canadian armed forces. Now they want to get rid of the Canadian identification and just call it forces.

Is there a Liberal in the House who can tell Canadians and our men and women in uniform what this is all about? Apparently this accelerated assault on our Canadian military heritage is being driven by a desire to connect with young people.

When the Liberals learn that our Canadian military heritage is what attracts young people to the military we will be accomplishing something. Renaming or disguising the armed forces will not attract new recruits; it will only further tarnish the image of a once proud institution.

Member for Calgary EastStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to extend my best wishes to the hon. member for Calgary East who underwent successful heart surgery yesterday.

I had the privilege of getting to know the member for Calgary East before my election to the House when we were on the same trip to Africa in 1999. I was with him when he made a triumphant return to his old high school in Arusha, Tanzania. I learned much about this country from him.

I am sure all hon. members join me in wishing the member for Calgary East a speedy and full recovery, and a quick return to the House.

Research and TechnologyStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Paul MacKlin Liberal Northumberland, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise in the House to pay tribute to the members of my research, innovation and technology advisory committee which just presented me with their final report.

Last January, when I first gathered this group together, I asked them to look at my riding of Northumberland and work with stakeholders to form a vision for the technological future of my riding. It was my feeling that as a rural riding we faced unique challenges in the new economy that needed to be addressed quickly.

The hard work done by all members of this group has had long lasting effects right across my riding. In the coming months I look forward to working with the many stakeholders to implement many of the recommendations in the report.

I wish to express my sincere thanks to chair Susan Hale and the committee members for their great spirit of volunteerism that has lead to this report.

Boreal ForestStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada is home to the world's largest remaining wilderness forest. Our boreal forest is a beautiful wilderness area with millions of square kilometres of sensitive woodlands, wetlands, fast flowing rivers and deep lakes, which protect caribou, wolves, bears, migrating birds, et cetera. Canada's boreal forest is increasingly under threat from logging, mining, oil exploration and hydroelectric dams.

Let us remember that the boreal forest played a vital role in our nation's history. Native peoples, and later voyageurs, used its mighty rivers to travel and discover this country.

Canada's boreal forest is a great legacy. Governments, federal and provincial, must ensure its protection. I ask Canadians to let their elected representatives know how strongly they disapprove of the heavy logging of the boreal forest. Future generations deserve the protection of this most valuable common good.

CambodiaStatements by Members

February 5th, 2002 / 2:05 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, February 3, Cambodia held its first local elections. Over 1,000 foreign observers were present for this historic event, which represents one more step towards the introduction of real democracy in this country, which has been ravaged by more than two decades of dictatorship and civil war.

Cambodia's local elections are a step in the direction of increased representation of the rural population, which accounts for almost 85% of the country's 11 million inhabitants. Preliminary results indicate that Prime Minister Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party won a majority in the 76 communes.

However, these results are disputed by human rights defence groups, which have noted irregularities. In addition, the election campaign was punctuated by violence, with eight candidates and a dozen activists losing their lives. The Cambodian government will therefore have to work to improve the safety and transparency of the next elections.

For its part, the international community must pursue its efforts to help the Cambodian people build a modern and democratic state.

PovertyStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, what is the cost of poverty? There is a terrible human cost in our local communities and in our economy overall, but how does one measure the cost of hopelessness when individuals know they have no future and no dignity?

The National Council of Welfare report released today is evidence of another nail in the coffin of failed public policy and a Liberal government that has failed to address the growing crisis of income inequality. Why does Canada have a poverty rate of 25% for single mothers compared to a low of 3% in Sweden? Because the government sacrificed its social agenda for tax cuts and a fiscal agenda that actually widens the gap between the wealthy and the poor.

Canada is a wealthy country, with adequate resources to ensure that Ed Broadbent's 1989 resolution to eliminate child poverty is realizable. While the Prime Minister says he has a vision to eliminate global poverty, and we support that, let us make it a political and economic priority right here in Canada today.

Arts and CultureStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the widely held assumption that Cape Breton Island remains the heart and soul of the east coast music industry was reaffirmed this past Sunday night in Saint John, New Brunswick, at the 14th annual East Coast Music Awards. This reaffirmation came not once but twelve times.

It is not just the sheer number of awards picked up by Cape Breton artists but the scope and diversity of the artists acknowledged. From the alternative rockers, the Jimmy Swift Band, to the traditional sounds of Mary Jane Lamond, as well as the outstanding songwriting abilities of Gordie Sampson, this event allowed Cape Breton artists to showcase their talents.

Two of Canada's most prolific singer-songwriters, Jimmy Rankin and Bruce Guthro, picked up three awards each and the reigning queen of Celtic music, Miss Natalie MacMaster, was crowned ECMA entertainer of the year.

It gives me great pleasure to congratulate all the 2002 ECMA winners. Cape Bretoners are very proud of their accomplishments and wish them all continued success.

Equilization FormulaStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, during the last federal election the equalization formula was a major political issue in Atlantic Canada. The clawback allows the federal government to cream off 80% of all provincial revenues that we get from new resource development.

For too long Atlantic Canadians have been hewers of wood and drawers of water in our own nation, in exchange for the half a loaf that we call equalization. In Newfoundland and Labrador today the Hibernia and Terra Nova oilfields are up and running and the White Rose oil development will be our next project.

These days Atlantic Canadians may be pumping oil but as long as the lion's share of the financial benefits ends up in Ottawa we are no better off than we were before we started these projects. It is time the Liberals stopped talking about the equalization clawback and actually did something about it.

Golden JubileeStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, 50 years ago tomorrow the 25 year old Princess Elizabeth was awoken in a safari lodge in Kenya to learn that her father, King George VI, had died. She ascended to the throne as the 40th monarch since William the Conqueror and as the fifth sovereign of Canada since Confederation.

Since that moment she has dedicated herself unswervingly to her duty as the head of state of dozens of countries, the head of the Commonwealth, the patron of hundreds of organizations and regiments and, of course, as our Queen of Canada.

Her Majesty, to whom each of us in the House has sworn allegiance, opened parliament in 1957 on her first of 20 official visits to Canada. As we prepare for her golden jubilee visit in October, it is my hope that she will again be invited to do so in a concrete demonstration that the crown remains an integral element of parliament, what Eugene Forsey described as “the first principle of Canadian government”.

We as members of this place will come and go depending on the political fashions of the day. But the Crown goes on as the ultimate symbol of order and continuity in our constitutional monarchy. Queen Elizabeth's 50 years of selfless service have personified our crown with dignity and grace.

Long may she reign. God save the Queen. Vive la reine.

Thérèse DaviauStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I rise to pay tribute today to Thérèse Daviau, who passed away on February 1.

She will long be remembered for her great energy, both on the Montreal political scene, where she was active for many years, and in her professional life.

As well, Thérèse Daviau suffered the terribly tragic loss of her daughter Geneviève, who was among the 14 victims of the École Polytechnique massacre on December 6, 1989. In its aftermath, Thérèse Daviau courageously devoted a great deal of her energies and generosity to the December 6 Victims Foundation Against Violence and worked tirelessly on behalf of gun control.

For all these reasons and more, Thérèse Daviau was an outstanding model for countless women wishing to get involved in public life. Her commitment and devotion to the many causes dear to her were a striking example of what women can do to make the world a better place.

I offer my sincerest condolences to Thérèse Daviau's family and friends. She will be truly missed.

Montfort HospitalStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday marked the final verdict in the Montfort hospital case. As we had hoped, the Ontario government agreed to accept the decision of the Court of Appeal of Ontario, which recognized the indispensable role of Montfort Hospital in allowing francophone communities to achieve their full potential.

I extend the congratulations of the Bloc Quebecois to all those who have stood up for their beliefs over the past five years and have been involved to any degree in battling for the survival of the sole French language teaching hospital west of Quebec.

My thoughts go out particularly to Gisèle Lalonde, a lady whose strong convictions inspired the vigorous resistance and spirit of an entire community. She had a large part to play in this final victory.

Calling to mind the origins of this lengthy battle, the hugeness of the task to be accomplished, and the strength of the adversary, we must acknowledge today that from the very beginning the great symbols of communities have always been built upon the exceptional perseverance, convictions and effectiveness of a handful of extraordinary men and women.

Madame Lalonde deserves our congratulations and our gratitude for this great victory.

William PoyStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I rise today to pay tribute to William Poy, who died on Sunday at the age of 94.

Mr. Poy was a great source of inspiration for his daughter, Her Excellency Adrienne Clarkson, the Governor General of Canada, and his son, Dr. Neville Poy. He was also a model of courage and perseverance for all Canadians.

Mr. Poy, who was self-educated, went to work to help support his family at the age of 12. He fought alongside the Allies in Hong Kong and received a military medal for his bravery. In 1942 he, with his wife and two small children, immigrated to Canada, where he became a successful businessman and lived to see his daughter become governor general.

His is a story of trials and tribulations but also one of great hope and possibilities open to those who make Canada their home. Mr. Poy once said “I have been in many countries, but this is the best country in the world”. I believe that this great country has been made richer because of individuals like William Poy.

I ask the House to join me in sending my condolences to the Governor General and her family at this time of loss.

National DefenceStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the decision by the Liberal government to even question the national identity of our armed forces as Canadian has shocked patriotic Canadians and angered our veterans. No wonder the confusion by the Minister of National Defence when he saw a newspaper picture of Canadian soldiers that he mistook for Americans.

Interdependence, the Liberal code word for surrender, and the issuing of generic uniforms with no national identity accelerate the process of assimilation of Canada's military with that of the United States. The low Canadian dollar policy of the Liberal Party means our country is for sale cheap; Liberal water export policy sells our birthright to a thirsty southern neighbour.

Liberal policy to underman, underequip and underfund Canada's military means we no longer have the means to defend ourselves as an independent nation. In the words of one Canadian newspaper, the Minister of National Defence is famous for blustering his way through questions with sly misinformation.

If Canadians love their country, Canada, they should look beyond Liberal propaganda and listen to the official opposition before it is too late.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the junior minister of Indian Affairs is trying to make his mark in his new portfolio through hyperbole and fearmongering.

The secretary of state for Indian Affairs and Northern Development compared Canada's native youth population to young Palestinian militants, calling our native communities a “tinderbox” ready to blow if treaties are not resolved.

The junior minister does a tremendous disservice to aboriginals in this country through such inflammatory comments. The vast majority of aboriginal Canadians are peaceful people and he knows it. Alarmist rhetoric from the governing party can only hinder the already tenuous relationship between the federal government and our native peoples.

The secretary of state would be well advised to focus on constructive solutions to the problems facing Canada's aboriginal population rather than relying on this cheap, headline grabbing nonsense.

Why should Canada's aboriginals trust a government that whips up fear and suspicion against them. Shame.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government did not give proper camouflage uniforms to our troops in Afghanistan but it has lots of camouflage for the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence.

The committee investigating the minister's statements must find out when the Prime Minister was told about the capture of al-Qaeda agents and their handover to the United States. Yesterday the government House leader said that the committee would not look into when the Prime Minister or his office were informed.

What do the Prime Minister and his staff know about the capture of al-Qaeda terrorists that they want to hide from the committee?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations

Mr. Speaker, we have been through this for a number of days now.

The Prime Minister made it clear when he learned about the capture of prisoners by Canadian soldiers. The minister of defence has explained at length when he obtained knowledge and what he did with it. The committee has every opportunity to ask the minister of defence further questions about it.

The point is that it is ministers who are accountable to the House, not officials.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government's camouflage for the Prime Minister is not forest green or desert sand, but a little more grey fog.

Last Monday, a full week after the minister of defence was informed about the handover of al-Qaeda terrorists to the U.S., the Prime Minister called the issue hypothetical. How could a week have gone by with the entire apparatus of the PMO, the PCO and foreign affairs not knowing about this significant international incident?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as has been said many times in the House over the past few days, the JTF2, for purposes of national security, is not talked about in terms of its operations or in terms of the individuals involved.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Deputy Prime Minister said that we should not be on a witch hunt for civil servants, and we agree. The Prime Minister himself must be accountable for his staff and his department.

Will the Prime Minister stand in his place and tell us that for a full week after the prisoners were handed over to the United States nobody in his office or the Privy Council had been informed?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was informed on Tuesday at cabinet. The Minister of National Defence has explained when he learned and when he informed the Prime Minister. Those are the two people, the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence, who are accountable to this House to answer those questions.

The point still remains that at a time when we have Canadian soldiers representing us in a difficult and tense situation in Afghanistan, they are doing the job they are supposed to be doing. They acted in accordance with their instructions and they are acting in accordance with international law. Those are the key points.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, they are doing the job in spite of this government.

Yesterday, the minister said that he would not table the chain of command for incidents regarding JTF2, but we are demanding that the House determine whether the minister misled the Commons as to the exact moment when he was informed of the incident.

If he refuses to table the chain of command, how can we determine exactly what happened?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations

Mr. Speaker, they are doing the job because of the government's confidence in them and because we know the job they have to perform. We see the role they are there to do. They are doing it professionally and they are doing it well.

It is not necessary for the hon. member to obtain the chain of command. We already stated very clearly the dates on which the ministers received the information. This is all the information they need.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister knows full well that we are not asking for confidential information. We are asking for who knew what, when.

By his own admission, he presented two contradictory versions of what happened to the House. We cannot take the minister's word for it and now the minister will not tell us what the proper reporting procedure was.

How can we evaluate which of the minister's stories were true if he will not inform us of the protocol as to how he is kept informed?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Crown Corporations

Mr. Speaker, the opposition will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions in committee about when the minister knew what. He has already explained that he made a mistake. He has explained his embarrassment, but the opposition feels it has to keep repeating this day after day.

There is no further embarrassment to be had. The minister has admitted his mistake. Now is the time for us to voice our solidarity with our men and women who are in a dangerous situation risking their personal safety on our behalf.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on January 29 the Prime Minister stated in the House that Canada had concluded an agreement with the Americans on the transfer of prisoners captured in Afghanistan, an agreement under which the United States apparently made a commitment to respect the Geneva convention. This is what he said.

Can the Deputy Prime Minister tell us today exactly when this agreement was concluded with the Americans regarding the Geneva convention?