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House of Commons Hansard #189 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was life.

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 Edmonton North.

[Editor's Note: Members sang the national anthem]

Atlantic Journalism AwardStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Liberal Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to two people from my riding who have been awarded the prestigious 2001 Atlantic Journalism Award.

Shaun Waters of CBC Radio Fredericton won the top award in the category of enterprise reporting for Two Southeast , an investigative report which examined a number of suicides in the psychiatric ward of the Chalmers Hospital. The gold winner in the photojournalism spot news television category was Ed Hunter, also of CBC Fredericton, for Tents Court which dealt with coverage of a Fredericton protest against a city plan to pipe a stream underground to make way for an apartment building parking lot.

The Atlantic journalism awards honour journalistic excellence and achievement in Atlantic Canada. This year is no exception to CBC's history of strong showings in this vigorous competition.

I ask all members to join me in congratulating Shaun Waters and Ed Hunter of CBC Fredericton on this significant honour.

Mining IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Andy Burton Canadian Alliance Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week was National Mining Week, a time when we recognize this industry for the outstanding contribution it has made to this great country. I am proud to rise today to pay a well-deserved tribute to our Canadian mining industry.

Many may not know that this industry directly employs over 400,000 Canadians, that there are 235 major mines and that this sector is responsible for 12% of Canada's total exports. What an outstanding record of contribution. Whether one is a hard rock miner, works in an open pit mine or uses a personal computer every day, mining plays an important role in our everyday life. That is the power of this industry.

On behalf of the Canadian Alliance I wish to express our heartfelt thanks to the Canadian mining industry and ask that all Canadians join in the campaign to keep mining in Canada.

World Conference on Women and SportStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Hélène Scherrer Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am extremely pleased to congratulate the Government of Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage and the International Working Group on Women and Sport for the success of the third conference on women and sport.

More than 550 people from 97 different countries attended the third World Conference on Women and Sport, held from May 16 to 19, 2002 in Montreal.

The conference identified the obstacles women face, while celebrating the change for the better that has taken place for women in sport over the past four years.

Conference participants pooled their experience on the contribution sport makes to enriching individuals, communities and nations. They learned how to use sport to promote the advancement of women, co-operation, social animation, understanding and peace and to develop self-esteem and self-confidence. These represent the foundation of health and accomplishment for girls and women.

I wish to congratulate the organizers on this highly successful event.

Maison de ballet-théâtre RefletStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year, for the 14th year in a row, Francyne Themens and the pupils of the Maison de ballet-théâtre Reflet are preparing for their end of year performance.

The latest creation of Ms Semens,

Rendez-vous à la gare n

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, will be presented at Laval's Salle André-Mathieu on May 25. This recital will suit all tastes, ranging from jazz to classical ballet and modern dance.

It is very important to focus attention on such initiatives with the youth of our communities. This event involves over 150 young and not so young people, and offers them an opportunity to excel in music and dance.

Events such as this provide young people with the opportunity to take part in group activities and to have fun in an atmosphere that allows them to learn and develop their talents.

I extent best wishes to all for a great show.

Listowel District Secondary SchoolStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Richardson Liberal Perth—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to recognize the Listowel District Secondary School in Listowel, Ontario. On Monday, May 13, a revolutionary electronics facility named E-Lab was officially opened. This facility is unmatched by any other high school in Canada.

This $450,000 project was made possible through the generosity of the business and high tech sectors which contributed more than $300,000 in cash and equipment donations. The E-Lab allows students the opportunity to take advanced technology courses, such as electronics and computer engineering, using the same up to date technology that is used in industries across Canada today. The Listowel District Secondary School has already produced two gold medal champions in the electronic competition sponsored by Skills Canada.

I wish to congratulate Listowel District Secondary School and the constituents of Perth--Middlesex for making this learning opportunity available.

Disability Tax CreditStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, I had the privilege last week to meet with members of various disability advocacy groups who voiced their concern over the government's treatment of the disabled in Canada.

I was presented with a petition containing over 3,600 names. This petition calls for the immediate reinstatement of those individuals who were deemed ineligible for the disability tax credit. A recent project undertaken by CCRA led to the exemption of thousands of Canadians. Over 100,000 disabled Canadians received letters telling them they were no longer deemed disabled. The tone and implications of these letters were both insulting and frustrating to the thousands of Canadians who rely on the disability tax credit.

The mandate of the CCRA states: “We are committed to provide fairness to our clients and to protect their rights through our fairness policies.” Disabled Canadians deserve a better government.

2002 Winter OlympicsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada continues to be a leader in the international fight against doping in sport.

Members will recall that at the recent Salt Lake City Olympics two Russian cross-country skiers tested positive for doping but retained their gold and silver medals ahead of the bronze medalist from Canada, Beckie Scott.

On May 7, 2002, the International Ski Federation announced that Ms Lazutina, one of the Russian skiers, had indeed tested positive for a doping infraction in December 2001 prior to the Olympic games. This revelation now makes it possible for both the International Ski Federation and the IOC to remove all Olympic medals from Ms Lazutina.

We should acknowledge the continued pressure that both the Government of Canada and the Canadian Olympic Association have kept on this issue and encourage a continuation of their efforts in light of the recent doping revelations.

Société Radio-CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is happening with the Radio-Canada dispute?

First, the Bloc Quebecois would like to appeal to Radio-Canada management to resume negotiations and ensure that a breakthrough is achieved on the issue of the permanent status of employees in the cultural sector.

We would also like to hear what the president of Radio-Canada has to say regarding the future of the French section of the public broadcasting corporation, in order to find out if SRC is in the process of preparing to privatize one or more sectors of French language radio or television in Quebec and New Brunswick.

Thanks to the employees at SRC, the public is used to quality programming and current affairs coverage, something it has been missing for two months already.

A petition was signed by over 30,000 people and complaints have been received by most of the members' offices. The petition calls for regular Radio-Canada programming to resume immediately in Quebec and New Brunswick.

We are urging SRC management to ensure, for the sake of the public, the employees and themselves, that this dispute does not turn into a nightmare.

Quebec City's SynagogueStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, imagine the dismay and horror of Canadians who awoke on May 19, a Sunday morning, to the news that the Beth Israel Synagogue in Quebec City had been the target of a violent act of anti-Semitism. Imagine our collective relief and joy at the news that, by happenstance, the rabbi and his family were in Montreal and thus unscathed.

This act of hatred, intolerance and pure anti-Semitism cannot pass unnoticed. Peace loving Canadians, leaders of all religious faiths, be they Christians, Muslims or other, must denounce this hate crime. After the tragedy of September 11 when here in Canada our Muslim and Arab communities became victims to acts of hatred and intolerance, we all spoke out vigorously and applauded our Prime Minister's public call for mutual respect and peace. Now is the time for another such public statement.

I urge all my fellow parliamentarians to join me in denouncing this repugnant act of anti-Semitism and in reaffirming our pride and respect of all diversity that makes this country great.

Police Officer of the Year AwardStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, on May 8 the Surrey Chamber of Commerce hosted the sixth annual Police Officer of the Year awards ceremony. Awards were presented in six categories after being chosen from 40 nominations.

This year's recipients were: Staff Sergeant Rick Deets for the Arnold Silzer Community Policing Initiative Award; Langley Chrysler for the Police and Business Partnership Award; Margaret Pattyson for Policing Volunteer of the Year; Janice Spraggs for Police Municipal Employee of the Year; Constable Mike Petrilli for Police Officer of the Year, as nominated by members, employees and volunteers of the Surrey detachment; and Constable Mike Wilson for Police Officer of the Year, as nominated by the community at large.

I wish to offer our congratulations to this year's awards recipients, as well as all those nominated. I also wish to extend our deepest gratitude to all those involved in the policing of our community for their dedication and commitment.

Fondation Paul Gérin-LajoieStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Serge Marcil Liberal Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to highlight the anniversary of the founding of the Fondation Paul Gérin-Lajoie, an organization that, for 25 years now, has contributed to the basic education of children in the poorest countries in addition to raising awareness of international realities among primary school pupils in Canada.

Yesterday in Montreal, a conference was held on the right to education and globalization, and on the challenges and choices with respect to literacy.

A delegation of 50 stakeholders in education and international development, together with Paul Gérin-Lajoie, the president of the foundation, will submit today to the Government of Canada a brief that summarizes the work of the conference.

The Fondation Paul Gérin-Lajoie is currently operating in Senegal, Mali, Niger, Haiti and Canada, where everyone is familiar with the foundation's popular spelling bee.

I wish to congratulate the founder and president, Paul Gérin-Lajoie, and all of the foundation's staff.

RailwaysStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, at a time when Canadian jobs are being lost to the not so friendly fire of American actions on softwood lumber and farm subsidies, another form of Canadian job loss to Americans is happening courtesy of the CNR, which is increasingly only a Canadian shell run by Americans. The latest such insult was manifested at the derailment in Firdale, Manitoba, a derailment which made national news.

What should also make national news is the fact that Winnipeg railroaders were forced to idly watch while an American outfit called Hulcher from Minneapolis was called in to deal with the derailment, ending decades of fine capability on the part of Canadian railroaders to deal with such derailments. Not only did this threaten jobs, it took some 12 hours to have this American crew get there.

Shame on the CN and shame on the Liberals for allowing CN to behave in this way.

Matane River SalmonStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, in mid-July, an innovative project will provide visitors at Montreal's Biodôme with a virtual link to the Matane River salmon.

Through the use of three cameras connected through fibre optics, visitors will be able to witness the migration of Atlantic salmon live from the Matane River observation post, three times a day, from mid-July to early September.

Visitors will also be able to put questions to naturalists, who will also act as interpreters. Congratulations to Bernard Beaudin, the chief executive officer of the Fondation de la faune du Québec, for this wonderful initiative.

Tourisme Québec, the Société de la faune et des parcs du Québec, the Lower St. Lawrence region, the Fédération québécoise pour le saumon atlantique, the local development centre, the Société d'aide au développement and the Cegep of the Matane region are active partners in this initiative.

The Bloc Quebecois congratulates the Société de gestion de la rivière Matane, its director general, Réal Soucy, and its president, Daniel Blanchard.

York WestStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise to recognize a very special group of people from my riding who are visiting Parliament Hill today. They are 55 members from the North Islington Seniors group. This is an event which they and I have looked forward to very much.

The North Islington Seniors are a very active group of seniors in my riding. President Vince Scida and the executive organize many activities in and around Toronto. Today the group's trip to Ottawa was a first for many.

I wish to ask the Prime Minister and members of the House to join me in giving a warm welcome to the members of the North Islington Seniors from York West.

Un grande benvenuti a tutti.

Softwood LumberStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, once again I rise to question the effectiveness of the Minister for International Trade in the most important softwood lumber negotiations with the United States.

The government is now trying to paint the decision to refund Canada's $760 million in bonds as an achievement when in fact the new charges went into effect yesterday and will cost billions of dollars to the industry. The president of Doman Industries, a major player in the softwood business, says:

--governments should be embarrassed by their lack of progress in negotiating a settlement...

Even worse, the U.S. trade representative, Ted Zoellick, said this week:

The sense I've gotten from the Canadian government is they're not interested in further discussions...

I hope the government can explain that to the thousands of workers who face unemployment. The long term solution to this crisis will be a negotiated agreement. A great start would be for the minister to pick up the phone, call Mr. Zoellick, and tell him we are interested in negotiations.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the Prime Minister to table a complete list of the government's advertising and sponsorship contracts. With each new document and with each new piece of information we learn more about how the government is abusing, squandering and wasting taxpayer dollars.

It is not acceptable to wait until an auditor general's report in late 2003 to get some answers. Canadians deserve better. I ask again, will the Prime Minister table the list and, if not, why not?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is legislation called access to information. If someone applies under that legislation, according to the law the department is obliged to give the information requested.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we expect open and honest information here, not to have to make 58,000 access to information requests.

Canadians deserve to have the air cleared. One Quebec based advertising executive said that he was told he lost out on government business because his donations to the Liberal Party were not generous enough. Another Ottawa based advertising executive said that he was pressured for donations and free ad work for the Liberal Party.

In order to assure Canadians that he is not running some kind of cash for contracts policy, will the Prime Minister provide the list and show that he has nothing more to hide?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have said that there are hundreds of access to information requests and we comply with them all the time. That is the process. I do not have the list here in front of me. However if there is an application for these contracts it should be done.

We have a program and, I want to repeat, the auditor general is looking into that. If there was some wrong in the administration of the program and people received money they should not have received they will be obliged to pay it back. If some of them acted in a fashion that was against the law they will have to face the courts.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I provided a request right here and a straightforward Prime Minister will provide me with the information.

I have a last supplementary question. During an interview, Claude Boulay, the president of Groupe Everest, said that it definitely helps to be a Liberal when negotiating with this government.

Since it is Mr. Boulay who rented a cottage to the public works minister, will the Prime Minister agree that all discretionary spending for advertising must be frozen during the auditor general's investigation?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious that, in Quebec, there are many more Liberal supporters than Canadian Alliance supporters.

If the Canadian Alliance wants to make accusations, I will simply repeat that the auditor general is reviewing the matter. We asked her to look at these files. She will report on her findings.

If administrative mistakes were made, they will be corrected. If money was paid for nothing, it will have to be refunded. If some people stole money, they will have to face the courts.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, Daniel Boudria was a senior adviser to Alfonso Gagliano in public works. Mr. Gagliano's watch in public works has proven to be rife with bogus contracts, inflated payouts and financial benefits to, surprise, surprise, the Liberal Party.

How could the current public works minister not recognize the conflict of ethics prior to his free night's lodging at Claude Boulay's chalet when his own son was in the middle of these controversial contracts?

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, a member of my family, namely my daughter-in-law, rented a chalet for our family for a weekend in March.

I appreciate that colleagues have a right to ask these questions and they have a right to doubt. However I have in hand a sworn affidavit from the priest of the parish who received the money. The priest signed the affidavit stating that on April 21 he was offered the cheque by Mme. Diane Deslauriers. There was no freebie. I think this document vindicates me.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, the carpet these guys sweep everything under is getting pretty lumpy so now they are starting to hide things in the church.

It is not what you know but who you know. Groupe Everest president, Claude Boulay, admitted that it helps to be a Liberal to get these fat contracts. The spider's web of friends, relatives and associates is blurring the lines of accountability for taxpayer money.

How do these guys justify this type of thing to taxpayers when they keep abusing the system like this?