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House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is the practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by the hon. member for Saint John.

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

SeniorsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Liberal Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to bring to the attention of the House that in October we recognize the International Day of Older Persons and in November we recognize National Seniors Safety Week. I also want to restate our collective obligation to prevent the neglect of our nearly four million Canadian seniors.

As announced in the February 2003 budget, the federal government has established compassionate care employment insurance benefits for workers who have to be away from work temporarily to provide care to a member of their family who is gravely ill. Further, to help identify the challenges we may face in achieving quality of life for our elder persons, the life they deserve, the Prime Minister announced on September 17 the creation of a Liberal caucus task force on seniors. The task force will examine and report on issues including abuse, poverty alleviation, disability supports, housing and home care.

The contributions made to Canada by our seniors are well recognized, but we must be mindful of the various forms of neglect to which seniors are exposed. I would like to take this opportunity to urge all Canadians to continue their support of the efforts--

SeniorsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member of North Vancouver.

Election CampaignsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ted White Canadian Alliance North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, on June 27 the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the government's mean-spirited 50 candidate rule, a rule designed to prevent small parties from participating in elections. The government House leader wasted tens of millions of dollars on legal fees after he refused to accept the realistic 12 candidate rule I had negotiated for him with Canada's small parties more than three years ago.

It is time the Liberals stopped wasting taxpayer money on frivolous court cases like their hugely expensive and ongoing defence of their election gag law, or will they wait yet again for the highest court in the land to tell them that it is unacceptable and unconstitutional to try to limit freedom of expression during an election campaigns?

Unfortunately, the minister is a walking disaster for the taxpayers of Canada. Every bill he has ever brought to the House has ended up costing taxpayers their freedom to participate in election campaigns, tens of millions of dollars in legal fees, or both.

International Day of Older PersonsStatements By Members

October 1st, 2003 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Yolande Thibeault Liberal Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, as Chair of the Prime Minister's caucus task force on seniors, I am pleased to rise to pay tribute to the millions of Canadian men and women who are celebrating the International Day of Older Persons today, October 1.

Our government believes that no older person in Canada should suffer from a lack of services or support. The Liberal task force on seniors was created in order to focus more attention on health care and poverty, and to ensure that older persons obtain the services they need, when they need them, and that they take an active part in community life.

By creating favourable conditions for them, we will continue to benefit from their experience and their significant contribution to Canadian society.

Hike Canada WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to invite all hon. members to participate in the inaugural Hike Canada Week and to encourage participation of others in this fun and fast growing recreational activity.

From October 3 to 12, all across Canada hikers and walkers will be on the trails that link people, places and heritage of Canada, Canada's tremendous system of footpaths winds from the rugged coastline of Newfoundland, across the Bay of Fundy, through the Appalachian and Laurentian Mountains, over the Canadian Shield and the Niagara Escarpment, through the prairie grasslands and across the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean.

Our nation's varied geography, history, environment and cultures are all reflected and showcased through our network of trails. From heritage sites to historic paths and from fishermen to farmers, our trails link Canada and Canadians.

Having more Canadians aware of and connected to their natural heritage and environment through hiking and walking will help produce a population that is healthier, more protective of their environment, more likely to travel within Canada, and more respectful of our mutual heritage as Canadians.

Our government has made a strong commitment to foster the Canadian mosaic and I am pleased to trumpet the efforts--.

Hike Canada WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Vancouver Kingsway.

B.C. FiresStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sophia Leung Liberal Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, we all watched in horror this past summer as fire burned parts of Kelowna, McLure, Louis Creek and Barrère, but out of the ashes has emerged a community spirit full of generosity and caring.

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a fundraising dinner organized by the Chinese community in Vancouver that raised over $250,000 to assist people who were affected by the fires in B.C.

I want to congratulate co-chairs, Mr. Johnny Fong and Mr. Patrick Wong, MLA for Vancouver Kensington, for the hard work and leadership that made this donation possible from our Chinese community to show our caring spirit for the fire victims.

Young OffendersStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, in February 2001 a drunk 17 year old crashed his $70,000 BMW at 140 kilometres per hour street racing in West Vancouver. His passenger, 17 year old Payam Yaghoobi, died.

On Monday, convicted of criminal negligence causing death, he was sentenced to eight months open custody, followed by four months of house arrest; statutory release at two-thirds for young offenders.

Prosecutors complain they cannot get serious consequences for violent young offenders.

In 1993, long before coming here, I met with the member for LaSalle--Émard over coffee as he campaigned in British Columbia and I was left believing that he shared my concerns about the lenient treatment of violent young offenders. Now his government has given Canadians the flawed Youth Criminal Justice Act under which police hesitate to charge, prosecutors are frustrated, the hands of judges are tied, victims do not get justice and violent young criminals laugh for the TV cameras.

What happened to the 10 year old Liberal promise to get serious with violent young offenders?

Stéphanie DuboisStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to salute the perseverance and talent of Stéphanie Dubois, a young woman from Laval for whom 2003 has been an impressive year in tennis.

She has played brilliantly in recent months, moving up in the International Tennis Federation ranking from 110th in the world in the junior category before the season began, to her present position of 68th.

Along with the people of Laval, I want to congratulate Stéphanie Dubois who, through her talent, has earned a berth among Canada's best under-18 tennis players. I am convinced that we will be hearing about her accomplishments in this sport for some time to come.

Violence on TelevisionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Quebecois welcomes the initiative of partners in education, health, social services and municipalities, which launched a campaign to counter violence on television.

In today's papers, CRTC spokesman Denis Carmel noted that, over the past few months, broadcasters have definitely let their standards slip.

The Bloc Quebecois can only wonder about the indifference of the federal government which, since the first campaign against violence on television, has always refused to take action and continues to state that this falls under the CRTC. Since the CRTC is a federal agency, the federal government is responsible for providing it with the necessary means to take action in this matter and implement measures to counter violence on television.

The federal government must stop denying its responsibility and take immediate action in support of parents and educators, in order to protect our children from violence on television.

Kirk MagarianStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to pay homage to the late Mr. Kirk Magarian.

Born in Armenia in 1914, Mr. Magarian came to Canada in 1923 as one of the Georgetown Boys. Orphaned as a result of the Armenian genocide of 1915, the boys represent the first wave of Armenian immigration to Canada.

Mr. Magarian was an outstanding member of the community of Campbellford, dedicating himself to many charitable and social issues in his neighbourhood. His efforts on behalf of the community will be remembered and sorely missed.

I ask my fellow members of Parliament to join me in passing on our condolences to his wife, Marjorie, and in celebrating the life of Mr. Kirk Magarian.

Government ContractsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, almost daily it seems that new evidence is uncovered of a culture of corruption, cronyism and mismanagement that is flourishing under the Liberal government.

Yesterday another former senior official was arrested by the RCMP in the growing Virginia Fontaine scandal. The accused stands charged of giving preferential treatment to the Fontaine Treatment Centre for a payback of almost $1 million in government contracts to a company owned by his wife. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

He is the seventh person charged in an all too familiar tale of kickbacks, junkets, bogus travel claims and lucrative government contracts.

Problems at Health Canada were allowed to fester for years before the infamous Caribbean cruise story broke in October 2000.

This is another example of Liberals acting only when a scandal become public. Clearly the Liberals are incapable of managing taxpayer funds and undeserving of the public trust.

Parc Industriel Roger-LefebvreStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Liberal Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Black Lake industrial park is being renamed after Roger Lefebvre, in recognition of his contribution to our community.

Mr. Lefebvre was the provincial justice minister in 1994, and deputy speaker of the National Assembly for three years. He was elected for three consecutive terms as the MNA for Frontenac.

Mention Roger Lefebvre and two words come to mind: admiration and affection. Admiration, because he was an organizer par excellence and also because he put his talents to work for his community.

He deserves this honour for his community involvement and outstanding contributions. His success in mobilizing others is a daily source of inspiration to me as member for Frontenac—Mégantic. I want to publically pay tribute to him in this House.

Mothers Against Drunk DrivingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Progressive Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House today to congratulate Ms. Karen Dunham as the new president elect for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

For those who are not aware, the mission of MADD Canada is to stop impaired driving and support the victims of this violent crime.

Ms. Dunham has been an active member of the MADD Saint John and Area Chapter since 1997.

On September 8, 1998, Ms. Dunham's involvement in MADD Canada became more than just a membership, it became her reality. Her oldest son, Jonathan, and his best friend, Mike Green, were victims of an alcohol related crash. Having suffered serious injuries, today Jonathan is considered to be a miracle.

The strength, the courage and the selfless dedication Ms. Dunham has demonstrated in the face of adversity will no doubt ensure that she will serve as an excellent president elect of MADD.

I ask all members in the House to join me in congratulating MADD Canada's new president elect, Ms. Karen Dunham.

International Music DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, on this International Music Day, let us recall the history of music: from Gregorian chants to troubadours, from classical to contemporary, let us listen to music from all around the world and of every type.

Let us acknowledge that music has a constant presence in our lives, whether at a restaurant, in the car, at the shopping mall, at the dentist or anywhere else. Music is part of our daily lives and behind this music, first and foremost, are the artists who contribute to the musical wealth of Quebec's society.

To all you musicians, teachers of music at all levels, instrumentalists, and composers, thank you for allowing us to appreciate your art. You know how to touch our hearts and awaken our senses. Your harmonious melodies help us to discover our inner spirit and, to some extent, our spirituality.

Happy International Music Day.

LiteracyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year, Canada Post announced 32 winners of its Literacy Awards. These are the country's only national awards dedicated to recognizing grassroots literacy initiatives and to celebrating the achievements of learners and the people who help them along the way.

Recently, one of my constituents, Francine Guindon, won such an award. Ms. Guindon won the 2003 Individual Achievement Award in the French category in Quebec. She overcame social and economic obstacles by participating in the literacy program offered at the Centre d'éducation de base de l'Outaouais.

Congratulations to Francine Guindon. Her hard work is an example of courage and determination.

Women's History MonthStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, October is Women's History Month. Through the hard work and determination of our foremothers, women in Canada today have access to higher education. They can work, earn money and own property. They have the right to vote and run for elected office.

Today when women stay home they do it by choice knowing they are valued at home or at work. We should never take these rights and liberties for granted.

Women's History Month is a time to encourage us to look back on our past and see how far women in the country have come. It is also a time to acknowledge that we still have far to go.

Today women represent 44% of income earners in Canada, yet continue to struggle with issues of equity. Women make up more than 50% of the population, yet hold only 21% of the seats in the House of Commons.

This year's theme, “What Do You Mean Women Couldn't Vote”, reminds us that gaining the right to vote must not be the final chapter in Canadian women's history. We must continue to ask: What is the most effective way to use that vote?

I ask all members to join with me this month as we celebrate the achievements of Canadian women. Let us keep up the fight.

Cancer ResearchStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to announce today that in my riding on Sunday, October 19 an amazing 10 year old student named Zoe Wreggitt is holding her fifth annual walkathon for cancer research.

In the last four years, Zoe has raised over $6,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society, of which $3,000 was raised last year. Her goal this year is to surpass the $4,000 mark. She has invited children from her community to join her in this extraordinary fundraising activity. The walkathon begins at her home and the participants walk around the block for one hour.

She is certainly an exceptional individual and was recognized as such by the Manitoba Teacher's Society which this past spring awarded Zoe the Young Humanitarian Award.

It is an honour for me as the member of Parliament for Saint Boniface to recognize this remarkable person who at such a young age has demonstrated the true art of giving.

I ask everyone to join me in congratulating and supporting Zoe in this unique endeavour.

Coast GuardStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Canadian Alliance Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, a fishing vessel out of Caraquet, New Brunswick went down early Monday morning. Two fishermen are presumed dead. The vessel was out in 50 knot winds and 20 to 30 foot seas near Anticosti Island.

The vessel's distress calls went unanswered because there was little or nor search and rescue coverage in the area at that time. Two search and rescue stations, Rivière-au-Renard and Saint-Pierre on Quebec's north shore, were not open as they had no staff and no vessels. This region has five relatively large vessels on the books. However three of the vessels were in the Arctic, one was in lay-up and the other was in dry dock for repairs.

Why was there no Coast Guard rescue capability in the area when it was obvious to everyone that a hurricane was on its way? Does the government not know that lack of coverage means no chance to save a life? It means loss of life.

The Liberal government has decimated the once proud Canadian Coast Guard search and rescue service since it came to office in 1993 and has put the lives of everyone on the water at risk, whether on the east or west coast.

Member for LaSalle—ÉmardOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we know that identity theft is a serious problem with the government. We have seen the problem in the revenue minister's department.

However we have a more serious example of identity theft. We apparently have someone running around the country saying that he is the prime minister and organizing first ministers meetings.

Does the Prime Minister think it is right that the new Liberal leader, someone he calls a mere backbencher in his government, would be setting a full first ministers conference for November 16?

Member for LaSalle—ÉmardOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, apparently there will be a number of them watching a football game and I hope it will be good. I hope the Alouettes will win but if it is Saskatchewan I might have second thoughts about it.

If he meets with the first ministers, it will be an occasion for the first ministers to show their shopping list for the budget of February 2004.

Member for LaSalle—ÉmardOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am more concerned about the political footballs that are being pushed around.

The government has told us that the member for LaSalle—Émard is a mere backbencher. Now he is acting as the intergovernmental affairs minister, setting up his own federal-provincial conferences. He is not a minister, not the prime minister and he should not be doing this.

If this individual wants to act like the prime minister why is he not in the House of Commons answering questions on government business?

Member for LaSalle—ÉmardOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we had a vote yesterday and he voted with members of Parliament.

Other members of Parliament are not in their seats today. It is the right of members of Parliament to work at the same time when we have question period. I do not know why the member is so excited.

The problem is I know how disturbed the Leader of the Opposition is and I am about to become a marriage counsellor for him very soon.

Member for LaSalle—ÉmardOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I think the better marriage counsellor might be Aline but I will leave that to the Prime Minister's judgment.

The new Liberal leader might meet with the premiers. Yet according to the Prime Minister, the new leader is nothing more than a government backbencher.

Can the Prime Minister tell us whether he was invited to this meeting and whether, as Prime Minister, he intends to be there?