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House of Commons Hansard #185 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was public.

Topics

2 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 Yukon.

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

Victory in Europe DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Carmen Provenzano Liberal Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we mark the anniversary of victory in Europe. For almost six years Canadians fought valiantly on battlefields around the world to preserve the democratic ideals that are Canada.

The road to victory was long and arduous. More than one million men and women enlisted in the forces; over 55,000 were wounded, and more than 45,000 of our soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice.

As we pause today to remember those who fought and died on the fields of Europe, our thoughts are also with our armed forces serving in Afghanistan and around the world in order to preserve those same ideals.

To the veterans of World War II, to our current armed forces and to all our veterans, today we remember what they have done and still do for us. All Canadians are truly grateful.

Technology Partnerships CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Fitzpatrick Canadian Alliance Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, at yesterday's industry committee meeting the minister credited the technology partnerships Canada program with rewarding innovation.

However, according to government reports Ontario and Quebec received 86% of all technology partnership funding, Alberta received less than 2%, New Brunswick received less than 0.5% and Saskatchewan received absolutely zero. The government obviously believes there is no innovation in Saskatchewan and this is why it continues to shaft Saskatchewan as well as Alberta and New Brunswick.

Ernest & Young recently completed a report on the Alberta technology sector. It is growing rapidly and it is healthy. However its single biggest problem is raising investment capital. Yet technology partnership has limited Alberta to less than 2% of the funding.

TPC is a failure because it favours one region of the country over another.

Mental HealthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Liberal Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, as this is mental health week I want to draw attention to the terrible cost of depression. Depression is the leading mental health illness, costing our economy over $13 billion a year. Some one million Canadians suffer from depression. This illness is devastating to individuals, families and society.

With the current pace of life and rising demands on workers in our knowledge based economy, depression is expected to rise. The WTO estimates that in 20 years depression will be the second leading cause of disability behind heart disease.

It is time corporate Canada and governments recognized the impact of depression on the domestic and global economy. We must all work to intensify research and treatment efforts to better reflect the impact of this debilitating illness.

Emergency Preparedness WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Judi Longfield Liberal Whitby—Ajax, ON

Mr. Speaker, our country is renown in the world as one of the best places to live and we want to keep it that way.

Recent world events, as well as disasters here in Canada, have raised awareness among Canadians that they are not immune to the risk of having their lives affected by emergency situations, whether natural, technological or deliberately caused by individuals who wish to advance their own agendas.

Therefore it is a pleasure to rise in the House today in support of Emergency Preparedness Week. The theme for this year's week is “Keeping Canada safe--Emergency preparedness begins with you.”

The Government of Canada works in co-operation with provincial and territorial governments, municipal governments, the private sector and non-governmental partners such as volunteer agencies, to ensure that Canada is prepared to respond and recover from virtually any type of emergency situation. To mark this special week a wide range of activities will take place throughout Canada to raise public awareness and encourage our citizens to be prepared for emergency situations.

I ask all members of the House to encourage their constituents to take time during Emergency Preparedness Week to learn what they can--

Emergency Preparedness WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Lambton--Kent--Middlesex.

Red Cross DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Liberal Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that today is World Red Cross Day. This day celebrates the humanitarian work of millions of Red Cross volunteers and staff worldwide.

The guiding principle of all Red Cross work is the rehabilitation of people suffering the consequences of war, violence, natural disaster and malnutrition. Every year countless numbers of victims of conflict and disaster are helped by and through the Red Cross.

I ask all members to join me in recognizing the Canadian Red Cross Society for its work, and in wishing a very successful World Red Cross Day.

Victory in Europe DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, after five years, eight months and six days, the war in Europe ended with Germany surrendering unconditionally in a schoolhouse at Reims, France. May 8 was declared the official Victory in Europe Day, or VE Day, by the allies exactly 57 years ago today.

Canadians demonstrated courage and valour throughout the war in places such as Dieppe, Ortona, Juno Beach and many others. Over one million Canadians served in the war, 45,000 gave their lives and 55,000 were wounded.

Today we remember that the liberation of Europe was brought about by many of our young men who fought so bravely for the freedom we all enjoy. Fighting thousands of miles from home, in places they had never been, many of their bodies remain in the sacred grounds of war cemeteries throughout Europe. It has been said that “dying for freedom isn't the worst thing that can happen, being forgotten is”.

I pray that none of us will forget.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, the decision by Burma's military dictatorship to release Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, an international symbol of freedom and democracy who has been under various forms of arrest for 12 years, is welcome. While the release might presage a new dawn, the test, as Aung San Suu Kyi put it, is whether the dawn will move very quickly to a full morning.

The indicators of that necessary transition which should guide international domestic policy include: the protection of Aung San Suu Kyi's unconditional freedom of movement and political action; the immediate and unconditional release of more than 1,000 political prisoners, including 17 elected members of parliament and one time student leader Min Ko Naing who remains in solitary confinement; an end to the practices of torture, forced labour and forced relocations; respect for freedoms of expression, association, movement and assembly and the right to a fair trial; the protection of the rights of ethnic and religious minorities; and an end to government media censorship.

Release should be seen less as a breakthrough for democracy than a test for democracy.

Television Series

The Last ChapterStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the member for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve in the House of Commons, I had occasion to take an interest in the fight against organized crime. Therefore, it is with great interest that I watched the series The Last Chapter , which impressed me by its realism and its educational content, if I may use that expression, as it impressed many television viewers in Quebec.

This series shows from within not only the internal rules of a criminal biker gang, but also what potential candidates must do to become members. The work of actors Roy Dupuis, Marina Orsini, Michel Forget and Dan Bigras is truly exceptional, and it gives authenticity to a well written text, which, even though it is fiction, seems very real.

Through this television series, Radio-Canada and CBC viewers were able to familiarize themselves with the jargon of criminal bikers, and learn about criminal activities in Quebec and in Canada, from 1997 to 2000.

I thank screen writer Luc Dionne, director Richard Roy and producer Claudio Luca for this fabulous series that will remain an unavoidable reference for anyone interested in—

The Last ChapterStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Pierrefonds—Dollard.

L'@venue-Centre Internet communautaireStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to L'@venue-Centre Internet communautaire, located in the riding of Hochelaga—Maisonneuve. L'@venue is a training centre designed to help young people find work by learning about computers and information and communication technologies.

In 1998, as the federal government official representing Industry Canada, I had the pleasure of meeting the whole team when the centre officially opened its doors. Thanks to the energy of the team members, this project has achieved tremendous success.

In the fall of 2000, L'@venue inaugurated a network of four community access centres to the Internet, thus allowing access to new information and communication technologies, at an affordable cost and on highly performing work stations.

The funds obtained from the federal government through the Internet community access program were properly managed, and the results show it.

Congratulations to the whole team at L'@venue for its exceptional contribution to our community.

Softwood LumberStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Philip Mayfield Canadian Alliance Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has been refusing to launch a specific action plan to defend tens of thousands of Canadian workers from losing their jobs and homes because of the Canada-U.S. softwood lumber dispute.

The government says it is afraid the American lumber lobby will accuse them of subsidizing the industry. This same lobby is a handful of wealthy lumber barons working to pump up the price of wood in the United States. They will lose the case that Canada is bringing against them at both the WTO and NAFTA.

Because the U.S. is using the wrong criteria to judge the threat posed by Canada's lumber, the government should go ahead and protect Canadian workers and their families instead of running scared. The longer the government sits on its hands, the higher the risk that individual provinces will try to work deals with the U.S. saying that Ottawa is making no progress and they cannot wait.

The international trade minister is risking the solidarity of Canada's position by letting softwood lumber communities suffer. The government does not care about the pain, suffering and loss being imposed upon forestry workers throughout British Columbia and Canada.

Jim BradleyStatements By Members

May 8th, 2002 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House of Commons to acknowledge and congratulate my provincial counterpart, Jim Bradley, who will celebrate his 25th anniversary as an MPP on Thursday, May 30.

Jim was a teacher with the Lincoln County Board of Education from 1967 to 1977 and a member of the St. Catharines city council from 1970 to 1977. He served on the St. Catharines transit commission, the public library board and the Niagara district airport commission. Jim worked tirelessly for his constituents since he was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 1977 and after 25 years he is one of the longest serving MPPs.

He presently serves as the environment critic for the official opposition and over the years he has served in numerous roles, most noteworthy as the minister of environment from 1985 to 1990 in the Liberal government of David Peterson. The people of St. Catharines have been extremely fortunate to have someone as dedicated as Jim Bradley serve on their behalf.

As Jim's first campaign manager and MP I wish to congratulate him on his exceptional efforts over the past 25 years. May he have many more.

Workplace SafetyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of the Westray mine explosion that killed 26 miners in my home province of Nova Scotia. Our hearts remain with the families and communities whose lives were permanently changed by that workplace tragedy.

Today we mark a double tragedy. It is sad and shocking that 10 years later there is still no federal legislation to hold corporations and their directors criminally responsible for knowingly putting their employee's lives at risk.

With 800 Canadians killed on the job every single year those are 8,000 lessons that have gone unlearned. For every worker killed on the job devastated loved ones are left behind.

How many thousands more must die before the government heeds the voices of injured workers and grieving families?

Every single member of the House should pledge today to fight for the families of the Westray miners and all others who suffered similar losses to ensure that their loved ones did not die in vain.

World Red Cross and Red Crescent DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, on World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, I would like to draw attention to the humanitarian efforts of thousands of people throughout the world, who bring aid and comfort to the countless victims of conflict and disaster.

WIth its theme “The truth about AIDS. Pass it on”, the Red Cross is reminding us that more than ever it has to deal with the constantly growing HIV-AIDS epidemic.

Raising public awareness of the discrimination and prejudice faced by the more than 40 million people in the world who are affected by this disease is a major responsibility, when we realize that more than 500,000 children are born every year with the virus to mothers who have chosen not to undergo testing for fear of being stigmatized by their community.

Everything possible must be done to do away with taboos and change public perceptions. I call upon all members of this House to take real action to support the Red Cross staff and volunteers in their daily battle to improve the well-being of humanity.

Domenic di Luca SeniorsStatements 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. Fifty-five members of the Domenic di Luca Seniors are visiting Parliament Hill today. This is an event that they and I look forward to very much.

The Domenic di Luca Seniors are one of the largest and most active groups of seniors in York West. Under the leadership of their dynamic president, Julie di Luca, these energetic and lively seniors take part in programs that promote a healthy lifestyle. This includes events such as their visit today to Ottawa, a first for many of them.

I ask members of the House to join me in giving a warm welcome to the executive and members of the Domenic di Luca Seniors from York West.

National DefenceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to an issue that should have been raised last night but was not due to the petty politics of the Canadian Alliance.

In the past month I have been contacted by several families whose sons are soldiers currently serving in Afghanistan. In each case their boys have written home asking their loved ones to send them some food because of a shortage of acceptable rations in the field.

One case in particular is very disturbing because the soldier has lost over 30 pounds since he arrived there in February. We have often condemned the government for not supplying our soldiers with the equipment they need to do their jobs. It would now appear as though they are not even supplying them with food either.

The people of Canada are sick and tired of the government cutting corners and cutting costs when it comes to our military. The time has long passed for us to treat our men and women in uniform with the respect that they so richly deserve and send them the food they need.

Government ExpendituresOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians need to know whether the government is using its advertising and sponsorship programs to fund a kickback scheme.

Let us remember that Groupaction gave over $70,000 to the Liberal Party at the same time that the government was paying it over $1 million for three piles of meaningless photocopies.

Will the Deputy Prime Minister confirm that the police investigation into the government's corruption will examine this potential kickback scheme?

Government ExpendituresOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I cannot confirm what a police investigation will involve because the police do their own investigations.

How do we know whether somebody has made a political contribution in Canada? We know because it is on a public register. It is declared publicly. It is open and transparent.

If one is trying to concoct some kind of illegal scheme it would be unusual to use a public disclosure system to do it.

Government ExpendituresOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if the Liberals are all so clean why did one of their cabinet members have to send back $25,000 after it was brought up?

Groupaction gave tens of thousands of dollars to the Liberal Party and in return received barrels of cash from the government for what? Nothing. That sponsorship program was a sham. Even the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs admitted that it had not done what the Prime Minister said it had done. Why was this money wasted? Perhaps it was because of a kickback scheme.

Why will the Deputy Prime Minister not assure Canadians that this possible cash for contract scheme will be included in the RCMP investigation?

Government ExpendituresOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I am confused by the position of that party. On the one hand it says that the sponsorship program is a sham and on the other hand it writes letters to the government asking for funding under the sponsorship program.

The role of the program is to support community events and, in doing so, raise the profile of the federal government in all parts of the country. I applaud the Leader of the Opposition for seeking funding for his own project.

Government ExpendituresOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast B.C.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I will stand shoulder to shoulder with my 120,000 heroic volunteer firefighters any day and the minister can stand shoulder to shoulder with his tulips.

Time and time again the government has manhandled many inquiries and investigations. Let us not forget APEC, Shawinigan, the Pearson airport inquiry and the wholly baseless airbus investigation.

How can Canadians be sure that this investigation will not be stage managed by the PMO? Why can Canadians not have a fully independent judicial inquiry into this mess?

Government ExpendituresOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, we had a judicial inquiry at APEC because that was what opposition members asked for. The problem is that they did not like the results. The truth is that they want to go on a fishing expedition and that is not warranted in this case.

I want the hon. member to know that I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with his volunteer firefighters as well. I applaud his commitment to them. I am glad he asked the government for sponsorship money to support their event.

Government ExpendituresOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

He gave the money to the tulips not to the firefighters.