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House of Commons Hansard #205 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was lead.

Topics

Pest Control Products ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to take part to the third reading debate on Bill C-53, an act to protect Human Health and Safety and the Environment by regulating products used for the control of pests.

At the outset, I wish to congratulate my colleague, the member for Rosemont--Petite-Patrie, for the excellent work he did throughout the study of this bill and also congratulate several opposition colleagues for putting their arguments so forcefully and, by so doing, getting the health minister, who introduced the bill, to really protect human health by including the precautionary principle in the bill.

It must be recognized, as my colleague from Richmond--Arthabaska said earlier this afternoon, that this bill is cobbled together, or leaning on crutches, if I can put it that way. Now, when people move around on crutches, they often go hobbling along, unsure of their footing, and move cautiously to protect themselves. This is the case of the bill as it now stands.

With this bill, we will never be able to meet the expectations raised by the study by the former environment committee on the impact of pesticides on the health of children, women, pregnant women, as well as on the health of vulnerable people like seniors or people who are in poor health, in particular those with asthma.

The former committee did the work and produced an excellent report under the leadership of the Liberal member for Davenport. I am pleased to say it, because he did a good job. As my colleague from Lac-Saint-Louis said, I believe this was the best report tabled in the House in many years.

The health minister had everything she needed to finally draft legislation that would allow us to go forward. However, today, even if my colleagues from the opposition, the member for Rosemont--Petite-Patrie and myself, believe that there are many flaws in this bill, we will support it even if it is cobbled together, leaning on crutches and represents a feeble and uncertain step forward.

This is unfortunate, because since 1969, we have not taken the necessary steps to bring about environmental changes adapted to today's and tomorrow's needs.

I do not know what kept the health minister from adopting this approach, but it is certainly sad to discover that fact in the House today. We are convinced that the government had a good momentum at first. We went to committee hearings and the government adopted broad principles. However, the more the committee sat and the more we debated, the government backed down. This is unfortunate, because the government had everything it needed to act. I do not know what made it back down.

Today, I can say that the new minister of the environment for Quebec, André Boisclair, decided to act on pesticides. He created a committee, which made some recommendations, and he said he would eliminate the use of pesticides on lawns for cosmetic purposes.

That is what this report suggested to the health minister. However, she was not there. Fortunately, this is legislation concerning a jurisdiction shared by the federal government and the provinces. I must admit that, for once, the bill does not infringe upon provincial jurisdiction. It is important to point this out. In fact, the provinces will have the opportunity to act in their own area. However, the federal government should have taken steps to make its own area ironclad and should have said “we are moving in a new direction”.

Let us just talk about the PMRA. The government keeps saying that the basic principle of the PMRA should be the regulation of pest control, with the sole objective of protecting health and the environment. However, we know that, since 1965, with the Pest Control Products Act, which controls registration, marketing and standards on product labelling, there are 6,000 products, and the government refuses, under the new Bill C-53, to ensure that all these products that were registered before 1965 are re-evaluated. No deadline is set. We know that today, as the Canadian Alliance member was saying, there might be products that are less harmful to the environment and human health. They cannot be registered because all the other products must currently be re-evaluated and the government has not established a deadline. The fact that there is no deadline in this bill is a major shortcoming.

This bill also has very serious shortcomings regarding the registration process. Nowhere in this bill it says that the PMRA will expedite the registration process. This is very important. Some people came to testify on this during our study on pesticides and told us “We would really want to act, but products that are very harmful to the environment are still on the list. Our hands are tied”. As we can see, these products are very harmful to health.

The bill does not propose alternatives to current pesticides either, as recommended by all the reports, focus groups and the standing committee on the environment.

The Minister of Health should have acted to ensure that, finally, Canada has legislation based on the principle of human health. In the report from the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development entitled “Pesticides: Making the Right Choice”, we stated very good reasons for taking action with regard to the vulnerability of children.

Most of the public health and environmental protection organizations received by the Committee, in particular the Canadian Institute of Child Health, the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada, the World Wildlife Fund, the Canadian Environmental Law Association and the Ontario College of Family Physicians, denounced the Canadian pesticide management system because it does not specifically address the vulnerability of children, and emphasized the importance of correcting this deficiency. In the view of the Canadian Institute of Child Health, and I quote:

Most regulations and policies are designed to protect adults and refer to the healthy 70-kilogram male, and not the 7-kilogram child.

May I remind members that, in the summertime, when children go outside to play when the weather is nice, when it is not raining—unlike the weather we had for most of this week— they come in contact with people's lawns. When pesticides are used, it is the children who come in close contact with these very harmful products who are the most vulnerable.

We know that children are in close contact with pesticides; credible studies prove it. The Minister of Health should come to the defence of Canadians' health. She had the authority to prohibit, in the bill, within three years, the cosmetic use of pesticides. She did not do so, even though we had credible studies showing that there has been a spectacular increase in asthma and allergies over the last few years.

Also, statistics show that in Quebec and Canada women have fewer children for reasons directly linked to the environment. We know how pleasant it is to have children and grandchildren. I am a grandmother and it makes me very happy. Our children are our future. Studies show that everything in the environment has a direct impact on the health of pregnant women. The minister was given reports showing the link between health and pesticides and hazardous products, but she did nothing about it.

I am thinking that maybe this bill should not have been entrusted to the Department of the Environment. The government introduced the bill, put forward some proposals, rejected every single amendment the Bloc Quebecois introduced regarding registration and restricting the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes, and to accelerate the registration process and the review of the current list. The government rejected all these amendments and did not include the precautionary principle, which should have been the basis of this bill.

This bill is an unfinished piece of work. Some people might like to buy unfinished pieces of work. Health and the environment are too important to allow just anyone to play around with concepts that are so important for the people we serve.

We have to say that the bill before us today is unfinished. People are way ahead of the minister and her bill. People are attuned to the environment.

In 1991, the municipality of Hudson in Quebec introduced a bylaw banning the cosmetic use of pesticides. It is now 2002, and the minister has not reached that point yet. Does that mean that she has forgotten an important step in the evolution of the municipalities and provinces that are directly affected by bills that do not go far enough?

I think that she has not finished her homework. When we visit our ridings, we meet a lot of people who are very attuned to the environment. How many seniors, parents, children and young people tell us “Why is nothing being done at the federal level for the environment? Why is your legislation is so obsolete?

A short while ago, in my riding, I witnesseded a primary school pilot project promoting the environment.

I was amazed. These children were nine and ten years old. They were so attuned to the fact that the environment had to be central to their life. They knew that previous generations, their parents and their grand-parents' generations, were directly responsible for what is happening now in the environment because of what they did.

These children were aware of that. They told me and their parents that something had to be done, that corrective action had to be taken, that we had to go green to give people the feeling that the environment is both the alpha and the omega of life on our planet.

We have to admit that we have done things that have resulted in the elimination of a good part of our forests. Let us think about acid rain. Let us think about all the pollution we released into the atmosphere without a second thought. We were under the impression that everything was eternal and renewable.

When we know and think that something is renewable, at some point we have to face the facts and say “We must protect what we have. If we lose that, it will be very difficult to make up for lost time and for natural assets that have resulted from a certain way of doing things”.

In Bill C-53, the Minister of Health has greatly disappointed me. Being the Minister of Health, she should take the health of Canadians and Quebecers to heart. I see that she did not.

This is unfortunate because, what is more, she is a woman. Women are very much aware—we bear children and take care of them—of the fact that more and more children are very fragile and quite affected by their immediate environment. They suffer from a many allergies, have problems with asthma, sleeping disorders and are hyperactive.

This would have been a way to solve a lot ofhealth problems for children, pregnant women and the elderly. The population is aging. People can expect to live longer, but they are more and more fragile.

Instead of being sick for the rest of their lives, they must be allowed to lead a very good life, in a healthy environment that will allow them to be in contact with their children, to be healthy and to say “Life is beautiful. Perhaps we have been a little irresponsible, but today's laws will protect our young people, our children and, consequently, will protect us too”.

I would have liked to congratulate the minister, but I cannot. I say that she has taken a step forward, but I encourage her to go further and to speed things up so that we can finally have legislation that it is truly designed to protect health and the environment.

Pest Control Products ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleagues, the hon. member for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie and the hon. member for Jonquière, who did excellent work on this extremely important committee.

I am also disappointed that the health minister did not go far enough on such an important issue. I had the opportunity to do exactly the same study on pesticides in the standing committee on agriculture. I think that the members of that committee were ready to go further. We thought the health minister would go further.

I would also add that it has become extremely important to stop releasing poison into the atmosphere, especially around homes. An important mayor in my riding said “In my city, I am ready to pass a bylaw tomorrow; my seven year old son has cancer because of pesticides spread around the house”. Similar examples are to be found everywhere.

Can my colleague from Jonquière explain why more research is not being conducted on natural products, among others, which could replace chemical products and would be less dangerous? Could she also explain what lobby, what power is stopping the minister from doing more on this issue?

We know that chemical products used in the maintenance of lawns, golf courses and so forth cause more pollution than the same products used in the whole agriculture sector.

I would like my colleague to explain what, in her opinion, is stopping the minister from doing what she ought to be doing to protect human health.

Pest Control Products ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Champlain.

I hope no lobby is powerful enough to prevent the health minister from taking action to protect health and the environment. If such a lobby does exist and she is influenced by it, I think she has a big problem. I think it would be a big problem, and I hope it is not true.

Moreover, I think that in the riding of Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, a local business has indeed come up with a natural product for spraying on grass for cosmetic purposes. Its product was registered by Quebec authorities. Right now this new business is marketing its product and is urging people to use it.

Some research has been conducted, and products are now available to replace pesticides. I urge Quebec municipalities to make bylaws banning the use of pesticides. I think that they will have to assume this responsibility to make up for what the minister has failed to do with Bill C-53.

Pest Control Products ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Progressive Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, I compliment the hon. member for Jonquière on her commentary. I worked side by side with her on the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development when we put out the report on pesticides.

I have two questions. First, does the hon. member not think it is a major shortfall that the precautionary principle would not be made operational throughout the legislation as we had recommended in the committee report? If the PMRA uses a precautionary approach why would it not want to enshrine it in the act?

Second, is it not also a shortfall that the bill would not incorporate non-active ingredients with more clarity by giving full disclosure of the potential toxic effects of formulants?

Does the hon. member not agree that these are two shortfalls--

Pest Control Products ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I regret but I am going to have to intervene and start with members' statements. The hon. member for Jonquière will have the opportunity in the last five minutes left in her intervention to respond after question period.

Millennium ScholarshipsStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate 15 Hamilton and area students recognized by the federal government for academic achievement and community service.

Established by the government three years ago, the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation excellence awards are divided into local, provincial and national levels and give students either a one-time gift of $4,000, an annual scholarship of $4,000 for four years, or $4,800 annually for four years.

These scholarship awards ensure that the best and brightest of Canadian students receive recognition for their hard work, academic excellence and community involvement.

Sidra Abid, Danny Auron, Catherine Kates, Adrian Brook, Krista Cranston, Julian Tam, Bikramjit Nahal, Anna Chew, Sarah Muller, Lindsay Scott, Julie Strychowsky, Brynne Stainsby, Megan Bauer and Leslie Allchin have all been rewarded with--

Millennium ScholarshipsStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Kootenay--Columbia.

Government ContractsStatements By Members

June 13th, 2002 / 1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Abbott Canadian Alliance Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are disgusted as they hear report after report about millions of their tax dollars being handed out to sponsor phantom events, millions more being paid for reports never received, and still more millions being blown on questionable government advertising.

The government is out of control and out of touch when it promises it will return some federal tax dollars to pay for important projects that affect the well-being of small communities. The Liberals promise project money for safe drinking water, health care facilities and safe highways, then withhold the funds even when they are approved.

Better yet, the federal Liberals say there is money for important projects like the expansion of the Cranbrook airport in my constituency, but the Liberals cannot decide on the rules because the Prime Minister and his cabinet are at each other's throats over the leadership issue.

It is phantom money for real projects, yet for their Liberal cronies it is real money for phantom projects. It is vacuous Liberal promises. The reality is that there is little money for community projects because it went to Liberal buddies and golfing friends.

Millennium ScholarshipsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

John Finlay Liberal Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada created the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation in 1998 to assist Canadians in pursuing their post-secondary education goals.

Each year through its bursary program the foundation awards over 90,000 bursaries to Canadian students based on financial needs. Furthermore, through its Excellence Award Program the foundation recognizes academic achievement, community service and interest in innovation with grants to hundreds of Canada's top students each year.

As a former principal and as member of parliament for Oxford I am pleased that two students from my riding have been chosen to receive millennium excellence awards this year. I congratulate Justin Deluca of College Avenue Secondary School and Catherine Hignett of Huron Park Secondary School, both in Woodstock.

On behalf of the Government of Canada I wish Justin and Catherine continued success as they move on to post-secondary studies for the next important step in their lives.

HealthStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, many of us, of our friends or relatives are living in hope that new medications will be found to treat the disease they suffer from.

New drugs that are the outcome of research must, however, go through an entire system of review and approval before they can be marketed.

Unfortunately, however, the deadlines for approval are not always met, for a variety of reasons, the consequence of which is intense worries for a number of patients.

One of the ways of attaining this objective is to create a mechanism to ensure that the deadlines for new drug approvals are really improved and adhered to.

Finally, all stakeholders must work together in the patients' interest.

Disability ProgramStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today with great pleasure to invite everyone to explore the new website of the Subcommitee on the Status of Persons with Disabilities at www.parl.gc.ca/disability.

We want Canadians to become more aware of, and involved in, our work as parliamentarians and as members of this subcommittee.

We hope that this website will become a way for citizens to participate in our study of the Canada pension plan disability program. Why is this site important? One can use the site to get information and resources about the subcommittee's study.

For us it is vital that people have information about what we are doing so they can understand more about the CPP disability program, the largest federal disability income program, how it works and what can be done to improve it.

We want Canadians to understand the challenges that exist with this program and to participate in our search for ways to deal with them.

We are putting a broad range of information on the site: evidence and minutes, the presentations that the subcommittee has heard, and previous reports and how the government has responded to them.

As we move through our study of the CPP disability program the website will--

Disability ProgramStatements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for St. Catharines.

Winemaker of the Year AwardStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House of Commons today to offer congratulations to Ms. Sue-Ann Staff, the wine master of Pillitteri Estates Winery, who was the first woman to be voted Winemaker of the Year at the Ontario Wine Awards.

Ms. Staff's family has deep roots in the Niagara region. Her ancestors settled in the region in the late 1700s and the Staff family started farming grapes in 1895. Sue-Ann studied winemaking at the acclaimed Roseworthy wine university in Australia and remained there for several years to perfect her craft by making wine for Simon Gilbert Wine Services.

Winning the prestigious Winemaker of the Year Award at a relatively young age and after only six years as a winemaker is certainly a testament to Sue-Ann's skill and craftsmanship.

I congratulate Sue-Ann Staff and Pillitteri Estates Winery, and I say well done.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Pallister Canadian Alliance Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The first nations governance act is another in a series of well meaning federal government initiatives that would not work.

The species at risk legislation would not work to protect species because it does not show respect for landowners. The animal cruelty act would not protect animals because it does not show respect for farmers. The first nations governance act would not work either because it does not respect Canada's aboriginal peoples.

The consultation process was designed to circumvent democratically elected first nation leaders, and the participation rates were abysmal. The act would not address the principal concerns of the Canadian Alliance and aboriginal peoples such as health care, poverty, housing and economic development.

The Liberals love bureaucracy, and if one loves bureaucracy one will love this act. However if one is really interested in building a partnership that respects the priorities of aboriginal Canadians and non-aboriginal Canadians alike, this act is a road to nowhere.

Government of QuebecStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Government of Quebec once again demonstrated its lead position in North America as far as social policy is concerned, by introducing an anti-poverty bill and action plan that reflect the wishes of a determined community.

Having cleaned up public finances and passed anti-deficit legislation, the Parti Quebecois government has completed the cycle of the collective and profound wish of Quebecers to live in a society that is financially healthy, one with equal opportunity for all, and compassion for its least advantaged members.

Quebec can be proud of the steps it has taken to battle the deficit and create this safety net: $5 a day daycare, indexed social assistance. Now it can be prouder still of this masterpiece: a stringent and stimulating anti-poverty bill.

Congratulations to Bernard Landry, who committed himself to battle poverty as far back as his Verchères speech. Bravo to Linda Goupil and the Parti Quebecois government.

First Capital DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, as you so well know, when tracing the history of our great nation one of the key dates that deserves attention is June 15, 1841, the day on which the first parliament of the united provinces of Canada was opened by Governor General Lord Sydenham in Kingston, Ontario.

One hundred and sixty-one years later Canada has given Kingston this attention by recognizing it as Canada's first capital, and June 15 is officially celebrated in Kingston as First Capital Day.

Shortly after the union of Canada in February, 1841 a large building originally commissioned as a hospital was rented out to the new Government of Canada to house the legislative council and the legislative assembly. Eventually, however, Kingston's insufficient number of office buildings forced parliament to move to Montreal where it opened on November 28, 1844.

I congratulate Kingston on this celebration and invite all Canadians who take pride in our past to visit this historic first capital on June 15. I expect to see you there, Mr. Speaker, leading the parade.

Government ContractsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

The Shawinigan sidewinder strikes again.

Early in 2000 when decent Canadians were embracing the new millennium and their promises of self improvement it was bad business as usual for the Liberals. An internal audit of public works revealed the next 1,000 years would be like the last 100 with Liberals bilking taxpayers to enrich cronies and supporters.

Red flags went up and the Prime Minister sent his most trusted advisers to bury it. A sanitized version went on the Internet and the Prime Minister breathed easy knowing he could campaign with no worry about a scandal with his fingerprints all over it. He could have put an end to that terrible waste of public money. He could have said “Stop, because it stinks to high heaven”. Instead he scuttled for cover and let the torrent of dollars continue to flow to cronies and supporters.

What are we witnessing today? A government in meltdown led by a Prime Minister who had plenty of opportunity to do the right thing but chose not to.

Distinguished Canadian Retailer of the Year AwardStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to recognize the award winning efforts of Mr. David Margolis of Winners Canada in Mississauga.

As this year's winner of the Distinguished Canadian Retailer of the Year Award this retailer has demonstrated outstanding leadership in both the business and public sectors. The Retail Council of Canada presents the award annually to a retailer who has a key role in the local community.

Giving back to the community has always been a personal and corporate priority for Mr. Margolis and Winners Canada, so it is with great pleasure that I rise today to congratulate both Mr. Margolis and Winners Canada on their accomplishments.

Disability Tax CreditStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I would like to reiterate to the House before it rises that one of the most despicable acts the government has ever performed on the people of Canada is the attack on those most vulnerable in our society: people who claim the disability tax credit.

Last September over 106,000 Canadians received a shock in the mail when double amputees, people who are deaf, people who are blind and people with severe disabilities were told they had to go back to their doctors to prove that indeed they were missing their legs, they were still blind or they were still deaf so the government would not take away their small disability tax credit that is a maximum of $960.

Shame on each and every Liberal government member for attacking the most vulnerable in our society.

Award Winners at Gala des MercuriadesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the recent gala des Mercuriades, two municipalities from my riding particularly distinguished themselves.

I want to congratulate the City of Boisbriand for being named the 2002 City of the Year. Mayor Robert Poirier, his administrators and the residents of Boisbriand have every reason to be proud of this honour.

Even though they are very affected by the upcoming closure of the GM plant, all are making huge efforts to maintain their town's excellent financial situation and to ensure an enviable quality of life.

I also want to mention that the town of Rosemère distinguished itself by winning the “Coup de coeur” award for its taxation system.

Mayor Deschênes was able to manage efficiently the municipality's finances, thus maintaining one of the best taxation levels in Quebec.

The Bloc Quebecois sends its warm congratulations to those who are responsible for these successes, and it is very honoured to represent them in the House of Commons.

Windsor, Nova ScotiaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Progressive Conservative Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, as early as 1800 the game we now know as hockey was played in Windsor, a town in Canada's oldest province of Nova Scotia.

The Kingston, Ontario based Society for International Hockey Research which meets annually in that central Canadian city released a report yesterday to refute Windsor's legitimate claim as hockey's birthplace. It is wrong, and its anger at Windsor's legitimate claim is a poor reason to issue a study that the organization itself concedes is both unfinished and does not represent the full story.

Windsor residents Mayor Anna Allen, historian Garth Vaughn, and hockey enthusiast Howard Dill welcome all Canadians to visit their town and the Windsor Hockey Heritage Centre to view for themselves the substantial evidence supporting Windsor's claim.

From Canada's first college to the oldest continually operating agricultural fair in North America, to the home of the father of North American humour himself, Thomas Haliburton, Windsor is the town of big firsts including the birthplace of Canada's number one pastime: hockey.

Firearms RegistrationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, access to information documents show that the justice minister has already privatized the gun registry and has spent more than $17.6 million in the process.

Documents show that BDP Business Data Services Limited has been processing firearms licences for two years and gun registrations for at least the last six months. This despite the fact that the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has still not completed his investigation into the privacy implications of the government's privatization plans for the Canadian firearms program.

The justice minister said privatization would improve services, but since BDP became involved in July of 2000 the number of firearms licences issued with the wrong photograph increased from zero in 1999 to hundreds in the last two years, a dramatic increase.

What happened to the justice minister's claims that the gun registry was working well and his promise of offering very good services through privatization? That is certainly not happening.

Figure SkatingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Hélène Scherrer Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, I want to pay tribute to the Canadians who proposed changes to the figure skating judging system. These changes were approved by the International Skating Union, at its congress meeting in Japan, from June 2 to June 6, 2002.

Major questions were raised regarding the judging of figure skating competitions, and we are pleased that Canadians played a key role by proposing solutions that will improve the sport and allow all Canadians to compete in a fair and just context.

We all remember the incident at the Salt Lake City Olympic Games, which resulted in medals being awarded to Canada following protracted appeals, and in response to public outcry over the conduct of figure skating judges.

We hope that, following the most recent proposals adopted by the International Skating Union, our athletes and all the athletes of the world will be able to take part in fair competitions and be judged on their sport achievements.

Once again, I congratulate the Canadian Figure Skating Association for the key role that it played in proposing such solutions.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the ethics counsellor was surprisingly candid today in committee. He plainly stated that he is powerless, that the Prime Minister's actions when he contacted the BDC president were outside the new guidelines and that these new guidelines had no impact whatsoever on the ethical problems that the government has been under for the last two months.

Why is the Prime Minister paralyzed and cannot give us an ethics commissioner who reports to parliament which he promised?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that the first words out of the hon. member's mouth are not an apology for the outrageous accusations made yesterday that somehow or other the property at Harrington Lake was misused. After a cheque, I might add cashed, has been made public for $20,000 to compensate the NCC for the use of that property, I cannot believe the deafening silence from the Alliance Party for not getting up and apologizing. Day after day they make these outrageous--