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House of Commons Hansard #141 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was riding.

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 Pontiac--Gatineau--Labelle.

Mohan RaoStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my great pleasure today to recognize an outstanding resident of Burlington, Ontario. Mr. Mohan Rao is one of hundreds of retired Canadians to donate his time and expertise to the Canadian Executive Service Organization, CESO.

Mr. Rao recently returned from Almaty, Kazakhstan where he assisted a project management group in the planning and integration of the design and procurement of contracts. The company he assisted will now be in a position to respond to bid invitations more realistically and with greater success.

Mr. Rao is part of a great Canadian tradition. For 36 years CESO has been providing highly skilled volunteers to help stimulate development in disadvantaged economies and in our aboriginal communities.

Colleagues, join me in congratulating Mr. Rao for volunteering his time and expertise and for his fine representation of Canada.

Ray SpeakerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Canadian Alliance Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, October 18 the best university in Canada, the University of Lethbridge, honoured one of our own, bestowing an honorary doctor of laws degree on Ray Speaker.

Born in Enchant, Alberta and raised on the family farm, Ray began his public service career when he was elected to the Alberta legislature for the first time in 1963. In total he was elected as a member of the legislative assembly eight times.

He was elected as a reformer to the House of Commons in 1993, serving as the member of Parliament for Lethbridge until 1997.

In 1999 he was appointed a member of the Privy Council and placed on the Security Intelligence Review Committee. In 2001 he received the Order of Canada.

While enjoying time with his lovely wife Ingrid, their children and grandchildren, Ray continues to work for a better Canada, as we have witnessed in the recent agreement to bring conservatives in Canada together.

So colleagues, next time you see former member of Parliament Ray Speaker, remember that from now on it is Dr. Speaker.

Women's SoccerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this month Canada's women's national soccer team made an impressive showing at the World Cup tournament.

The team won their way past the strong teams of Argentina, Japan and China into the semi-final match. After losing tough games to Sweden and the United States, Canada's World Cup team finished a very impressive fourth overall.

Members of Parliament would like to let the team know that their country will be cheering for them in February when they compete in the Olympic qualification tournament in Costa Rica.

The team has made Canada proud. I am sure my colleagues in the House will join me in wishing them good luck next year.

Citation for Citizenship AwardStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, each year Citizenship and Immigration Canada awards the Citation for Citizenship Award to 20 persons or organizations who, through tireless work and generosity of spirit, have helped in the successful integration of newcomers to this country.

Last Friday I had the honour of representing our minister in presenting the Citation for Citizenship Award to Joe Byrne of Charlottetown.

Joe started working with newcomers 20 years ago when he was a volunteer for World University of Canada at the University of Prince Edward Island. He has never stopped since. He lived and worked in the Dominican Republic between 1987 and 1993 and upon returning to Prince Edward Island with his wife Rosa, began working tirelessly in helping newcomers to Canada integrate into Prince Edward Island society. They truly made each and every one of them feel at home.

On behalf of the House and on behalf of all Canadians, I want to thank both Joe and Rosa for their dedication and their commitment and congratulate Joe on receiving this well-deserved award.

Antarctic Environmental Protection ActStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure I note that the Antarctic Environmental Protection Act received royal assent on October 20. This new act requires the Government of Canada to oversee Canadian activities in the Antarctic to ensure there is no pollution or harmful interference with wildlife in that region.

The Antarctic Environmental Protection Act gives us the legislative basis needed for Canada to ratify the protocol on environmental protection to the Antarctic treaty, commonly called the Madrid protocol.

I look forward to the coming into force of this act which will provide Canada with the tools we need to do our part in global efforts to protect the vulnerable Antarctic ecosystem.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, well, our so-called Prime Minister has once again failed Canada miserably on the international stage.

In response to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's recent anti-Semitic remarks that “Jews control the world by proxy”, our Prime Minister remained silent. While other world leaders reacted immediately to condemn such hateful rhetoric, our Prime Minister shook his hand and said nothing. Later our Prime Minister reported that he had told Mr. Mahathir only that his speech was not “well received” in Canada, but then went on to say that the Malaysian prime minister gave an explanation and invited everybody to read the whole speech, as if that would help. Is our Prime Minister suggesting that this is simply a matter of words taken out of context?

After two days of pressure, all our Prime Minister could muster up was “I regret today to have to use such strong words against you”. They were not strong enough. Shame.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Colleen Beaumier Liberal Brampton West—Mississauga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Mr. Bhupinder S. Liddar on his appointment as Canadian consul general in Chandigarh, India.

Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Mr. Liddar came to Canada and made an immediate impact on the diplomatic community in Ottawa. He is widely respected for his knowledge and analysis of international affairs.

His regular newspaper columns and television commentary have made the world of diplomatic politics accessible to all Canadians. As publisher and editor of Diplomat and International Canada, he has provided a valuable news journal to Canada's international community.

With this appointment, Mr. Liddar becomes the first Canadian consul general to Chandigarh, as well as the first Canadian Sikh to head a diplomatic mission. His appointment is an important act of recognition for the Canadian Sikh community.

I would like to offer my best wishes to Mr. Liddar on the occasion of this historic appointment. I am confident that through his customary hard work and dedication he will succeed in this posting.

Isabelle CôtéStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, Isabelle Côté, a young woman from l'Épiphanie in the Lanaudière region, made an excellent showing in the 37th WorldSkills Competition held in Switzerland in June. Along with her teammate, Jonathan Baulne, Isabelle picked up the bronze medal in the landscape gardening category.

This was an outstanding achievement, since there were 37 nations competing in 42 trade categories, making this the largest world competition for youth in skilled trades.

Thank you, Isabelle, for representing the Lanaudière region and Quebec in this competition, where more than 700 young people showed off their professional know-how.

This competition is well noted around the world, with more than 180,000 people attending and 300 journalists reporting live on the event.

With such talent, now recognized worldwide, Isabelle Côté has a fine career ahead of her, and her region and Quebec are very proud of her.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to extend sincere congratulations to Bhupinder Singh Liddar, a well-known household name on Parliament Hill.

He is editor in chief and publisher of Diplomat magazine. He is also a regular columnist in the Hill Times and on the CPAC TV program Diplomatic World .

He has been appointed as Canada's first consul general in Chandigarh, Republic of India. He is also the first Canadian Sikh to head a Canadian diplomatic mission.

The Canadian Sikh community feels proud of this milestone and its century of presence in Canada.

The Chandigarh office, which the Prime Minister will open on Saturday, October 25, 2003, will now provide full consular services to residents of Punjab and Haryana.

I congratulate the government for this significant initiative.

26th Field Royal Canadian ArtilleryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders Canadian Alliance Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the 26th Field Royal Canadian Artillery commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Dave Fraser for allowing me to participate in their exercises this past weekend.

The 26th Field is a reserve artillery unit based out of Shilo, Manitoba. What was so special about last weekend was that it was the first time in a year that these troops got to fire live artillery. Imagine if our police force only got to practise shooting their guns once a year.

The government has shortchanged our military to the point that reserves are not able to get proper training. Prior to this Liberal government, our troops held live fire exercises on a monthly basis.

In a time when we are relying heavily on reserves to supplement our commitments overseas, we should be giving them the proper tools to do the job.

Jordin TootooStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, another great Canadian has made history again, and I am proud to make this statement on October 22, which is usually his sweater number. Our very own Jordin Tootoo of Nunavut became the first Inuk ever to play for the National Hockey League when he skated onto the ice on October 9 for the Nashville Predators in their first season game against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

It was evident how much support Jordin received from family and friends as close to 50 people flew all the way from Nunavut to Tennessee for this historic moment.

The Rankin Inlet resident has worked very hard to achieve his dream. Jordin credits his family for his success, but I know personally how hard he has worked and his determination and inner strength have been rewarded.

On behalf of all my constituents of Nunavut, I congratulate Jordin and wish him the best of luck in his new exciting career. We are very proud of him, as are his family and friends, as he makes Canadian history.

Newfoundland and Labrador ElectionStatements By Members

October 22nd, 2003 / 2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the PCs under leader Danny Williams rode a Tory tide to victory.

The people of Newfoundland and Labrador elected the PCs in 34 out of 48 seats in the House of Assembly. They demonstrated their confidence in the ability of the new government to bring about effective change in Canada's youngest province.

This election was about sending a clear message that the people of Newfoundland and Labrador want a new approach to economic development in the province.

It was also about the continuous giveaways of our natural resources. I believe the new government now has a strong mandate to take a tougher stand on negotiating new resource revenue deals for the province.

Again, our congratulations to premier-elect Danny Williams and his PC team as they take up the challenge of building a better future for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Noëlline MénardStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, Noëlline Ménard, of L'Avenir, near Drummondville, was recently elected farm woman of the year, in the Centre-du Québec region.

A member of the Syndicat des agricultrices du Centre-du-Québec since it was founded, Ms. Ménard has taken part in many regional activities to promote and restore the image of women's work in agriculture.

Since March 2003 she has been the representative of the Drummond-Sud area on the regional development and environmental committee of the Fédération de l'UPA Centre-du-Québec.

Ms. Ménard and her husband are currently active in pork production. In addition to taking part in the agro-environmental plan of the Fédération des producteurs de porcs du Québec, their business has been recognized by the Canadian Quality Assurance Program since September 2000.

Therefore, I congratulate Noëlline Ménard, farm woman of the year in Centre-du-Québec, for her contribution to the development of agriculture in Quebec.

Holocaust Memorial DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it was with great pride yesterday that all parties voted unanimously to create a national day of remembrance of the Holocaust. The Holocaust Memorial Day will ensure that Canadians always remember that six million Jews lost their lives.

In 1939, Canada joined the second world war. Over one million Canadians served in uniform, fighting against the Nazi army, fighting against the persecution of innocent people. The Canadian people were shocked by the horrors of the Holocaust and, to this day, we stand up against intolerance and small-mindedness, both at home and in missions abroad.

Next April on Yom Hashoah, the annual day of the Holocaust, Canadians will commemorate the millions of lives lost and reaffirm our nation's commitment to tolerance and justice.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, 37 women's centres in B.C. are facing closure because of a decision by the B.C. Liberal government to eliminate 100% of their funding.

Violence against women is on the rise, more women are facing poverty, women are denied access to legal aid and day care is being cut too by the meanest and most vicious provincial government that has targeted the most vulnerable in our society. The question is, why is the federal government not doing anything?

As the report on Canada's lack of compliance with the UN convention on the elimination of discrimination against women points out, the federal government must step in and protect women's equality. It must make it clear that what the B.C. government is doing is unlawful and unjust.

It has been 30 years since the royal commission on the status of women, yet women are falling behind, especially poor, disabled and aboriginal women.

The former finance minister is the architect of that failure, and we demand that the government live up to its international commitments for dignity and equality for women. The federal government must support these vital centres and not let them die by political neglect.

Public Library MonthStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, October is Public Library Month and I am pleased to rise today to pay tribute to the importance of libraries and the work of librarians.

Libraries provide free and easy access to resources and information for lifelong learning, creativity and culture. They are the gateway to global communication and electronic information networks, and form an integral part of our social and intellectual infrastructure. Canadians are using libraries in ever increasing numbers.

The Toronto Public Library has the largest per capita circulation of library books in North America. Its reference section is one of the largest in Canada and it has the most comprehensive collection of theatre materials.

Libraries partner with governments to enhance information services and they lead the way on literacy programs. They bring the world within reach of ordinary Canadians and, by doing so, promote responsible citizenship and personal growth.

I ask all members to join me to salute the wonderful work of Canada's libraries in building strong and healthy communities.

B.C. FloodsStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant McNally Canadian Alliance Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, the recent floods in British Columbia have resulted in the loss of life and millions of dollars of damage. Communities, such as Pemberton, Victoria and Hatzic Lake, in my riding have been hurt by these floods.

We have been warning the government for years that its water course management plan is ineffective and could result in this kind of disaster. For years my colleagues and I have pleaded with the fisheries minister and the government to take the preventive measures necessary to ensure that dikes are properly maintained, that appropriate levels of gravel extraction be permitted, and that local municipalities be allowed to clean out their waterways.

Why does the government care more about fish than the safety of thousands of citizens?

The minister must now take immediate action to prevent future flooding in communities like Agassiz in my riding. The minister has continually refused to allow appropriate levels of dredging.

Instead of putting up roadblocks, the government should allow our communities to implement the tools necessary to solve this problem and prevent future flooding.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the industry minister told me in the House that he was required to co-sign a $55 million deal for Irving after the ethics counsellor had told him he was subject to a blackout. However, under the Financial Administration Act, the minister clearly had the authority to delegate this signing authority.

The minister apparently chose not to delegate. This is yet another attempt by the minister to provide an explanation for his conflict that simply does not hold water.

Will the Minister of Industry resign?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, what I also told the member yesterday was that the document for the Treasury Board was months after the decision in this matter. It was to implement a decision that was made by others. After I disqualified myself from this file, the matter was led by the Prime Minister's Office to Privy Council Office that dealt directly with officials in my department. I had no involvement in the decision that was made and contained in the budget of February.

The Treasury Board document, months later, was to implement that decision. I understood it was necessary for the Minister of Industry to sign it and it was signed under those circumstances.

I might say that the ethics counsellor has been asked to examine this as well.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the minister knows he should have delegated this signing authority. He had been subject to blackout on the Irving files. He has entered into a conflict or apparent conflict of interest more than once during this blackout. The minister has all but admitted this to the House by going back to the ethics counsellor and asking for retroactive permission.

Having failed to clear even the very low bar set by the ethics counsellor, would it not be appropriate for the minister to at least step aside while the ethics counsellor invents new reasons to get him off the hook?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I think that it is--

EthicsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I know all hon. members want to hear the answer from the Deputy Prime Minister.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

John Manley Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Apparently they do not, Mr. Speaker. Sometimes the facts are inconvenient for the opposition.

In this case, the issue of dealing with a restructuring at the Irving yards was something that commenced quite a few years earlier. In fact, I was the industry minister at the time. It came to a decision at the time of the budget in 2003. That was a budget decision taken by the Minister of Finance in consultation with the Prime Minister. That was the end of the matter. The money was authorized in the budget and voted on in the House while the recusal period was being respected by the minister.