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House of Commons Hansard #133 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was report.

Topics

War on Drug TraffickersStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, five years ago, farm families were living daily with threats from cannabis growers who had taken over fields in the region. Along with other stakeholders, I decided to set up an Infocrime citizens committee in order to break the wall of silence that had grown up during this reign of terror.

Thanks to the determination of individuals like Raymonde Rivard, chair of the school board and co-chair of the Infocrime committee, Sylvain Michon, a farmer, and Claude Denis of the Sûreté du Québec, along with the municipalities and the media, such as Le Courrier in Saint-Hyacinthe and Boom FM, we are now seeing a definite improvement.

Unfortunately, the situation is not as good in all regions and that is why I have asked the Quebec minister of public safety to set up a commission of inquiry in order to get an overall picture of the situation and develop the tools we need to continue the fight.

I would like to point out, however, that the most powerful tool we have in standing up to organized crime is having citizens take responsibility for the future of their community. Do not give up the fight.

Government of OntarioStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Carmen Provenzano Liberal Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been 67 years since a Liberal was elected to represent my riding of Sault Ste. Marie in the Ontario legislature. Yesterday history was made in Sault Ste. Marie when David Orazietti, the Liberal candidate, won a decisive victory over his NDP rival.

I wish to offer my congratulations to David Orazietti, the new MPP for Sault Ste. Marie, and Dalton McGuinty, our new premier, and to the Ontario Liberal Party for these landslide victories. The citizens of the Soo and across Ontario have chosen change. They have chosen a path to better health care and better education. In Sault Ste. Marie they have rejected the politics of negativism and fear.

I look forward with enthusiasm to working with David Orazietti, Dalton McGuinty and our new Liberal government for the betterment of our province and particularly for the betterment of our fine community of Sault Ste. Marie.

Immigration and Refugee BoardStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, today we review a blockbuster Liberal movie. The hero: Yves Berthiaume, veteran Crown prosecutor. He has RCMP evidence that an IRB judge has been taking bribes from organized crime. It turns out the IRB judge is a Liberal cabinet appointee with political ties to the Treasury Board minister.

Enter Mario Bilodeau from the Quebec justice department. He is also a former defence lawyer for organized crime figures. To everyone's shock, he commands our hero to reduce the charge against the IRB judge. Our prosecutor hero resigns, in outrage and disbelief.

The plot thickens. If the IRB judge pleads guilty to the lesser charge, some very interesting wiretap conversations will never come out in court.

Who is the real villain in the movie? Who is behind this corrupt cover-up? Keep watching, folks. We are sure to see more episodes of scandal from these Liberals.

World Forestry CongressStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Gilbert Barrette Liberal Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, Natural Resources Canada is proud to have been the lead federal department hosting the UN-FAO 12th World Forestry Congress last week in Quebec City.

The Congress is much more than a forum for Canada to demonstrate its leadership in sustainable forest management.

For some 4,000 delegates from all parts of the globe, who travelled to Quebec City for the Congress, it was an opportunity to form new partnerships, share information, and learn about the advances being made here and elsewhere in forest practices and research. Some dynamic highlights of Canada's progress were on display at the visually striking and interactive Canada Pavilion.

Canadians can be proud of our leadership in sustainable forest management which has been readily apparent to World Forestry Congress delegates. I encourage all Canadians to learn more about Canada's leadership in sustainable—

World Forestry CongressStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for South Shore.

Government AssistanceStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I met with Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Chris d'Entremont of Nova Scotia, along with Willy Versteeg of Barney Brook Farms in Milford Station and Brian Smith, executive director of agriculture for the Province of Nova Scotia. They wanted to talk about two issues.

The first issue obviously was the effects and after-effects of hurricane Juan and the amount of damage done to barns and silos, especially in the Musquodoboit Valley area. The other issue they wanted to talk about was more federal assistance for BSE. Neither one of those files has been handled very well by the government.

My colleague from Kings--Hants stood in the House yesterday asking for assistance on hurricane Juan. The government gave a namby-pamby answer and in fact did not really give him any answer at all.

The truth is simply this. For the last five disasters that have affected the province of Nova Scotia, dating back to 1999, not one of them has been paid for. Not one cent has been received from the federal government yet.

Greater Joliette Chamber of CommerceStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, October 6, the greater Joliette chamber of commerce will host a dinner to celebrate its 110th years of work to foster the region's economic, civil and social well-being and the development of its resources.

Since the beginning, the chamber of commerce has striven to study, lead and promote, protect and develop the area's economic interests.

In recognition of this commitment, past directors and residents interested in the area's social and economic progress will be invited to this celebration.

The dinner will be a time to remember the past and see archival photos. There will also be an address on the history and role of the chamber of commerce.

With over one hundred years of history behind it, the greater Joliette chamber of commerce can continue to be proud of its efforts to ensure the area reaches its full potential under extraordinary leadership. May the greater Joliette chamber of commerce enjoy another one hundred years as a lever for growth for the Lanaudière region. Happy 110th anniversary.

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Erie—Lincoln, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Veterans Affairs and the government are to be congratulated for their excellent legislation addressing some of the most urgent needs of Canada's veterans and their spouses. Extending health programs for veterans and extending compensation for former prisoners of war, among others, is positive and needed.

There is, however, one glaring inequity that must be addressed now.

Nancy Clark is the widow of a second world war veteran. Her good friend, Joyce McClelland, is the spouse of a second world war veteran. They both reside in their own homes. Should Mrs. McClelland's husband pass away, she is entitled to a lifetime benefit to help with grounds and housekeeping under the veterans independence program. Mrs. Clark and 23,000 other Canadian veterans' widows are no longer entitled to such benefits.

I urge the Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Prime Minister and the government to find the resources to correct this unfair and inequitable position. As difficult as this decision may have been from a budgetary perspective, let us now show what a big heart our government has. There are no second class veterans' widows in our society. We owe so much to so few.

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, in May 2003 the Prime Minister and the Liberal government chose to exclude 23,000 war widows from the veterans independence program, which provided funds to help with things like snow shovelling. The cost to include them would be, at a maximum, $5 million dollars a year, with this amount decreasing yearly as most of the widows are in their most vulnerable senior years.

The Liberal government is saying that these widows are not worth the money. The Liberal government is saying war widows are not a priority. The Liberal government lavished millions on non-repayable grants to Bombardier. The Liberal government blew millions on untendered contracts to Groupaction. The Liberal government approved a half million dollar tax write-off for George Radwanski. The Liberal government allowed millions in trust fund dollars to move tax free to the U.S.

It is time the Liberal government put its priorities in order. War widows are the real VIPs in this country, not Liberal hacks.

Government of OntarioStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Liberal Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was with great pleasure and satisfaction that last night I called up my provincial counterpart in my riding, Liberal Ted McMeekin, and congratulated him on his handy victory over his provincial Tory opponent, who became twice a victim because the delicious irony of Mr. McMeekin's victory last night was that he overcame the same person I defeated 10 years ago.

I would like to add that this gives me the opportunity to congratulate all the provincial Liberals for a very fine campaign and to take note of the fact that one factor, among many other factors certainly, that led to the success of the Liberals in the riding was the terrible attack ads of the provincial Tories, which Canadians, the people of Ontario, rejected absolutely. I hope that is a lesson to all of us that this is not--

Government of OntarioStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Peace River.

AgricultureStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, it has now been over four months since the American border was closed to Canadian beef. Although boneless box beef has been allowed to cross the border for about a month, that only accounts for a very small percentage of traditional exports to the U.S.

One thing is certain. Until the border is fully reopened, Canadian cattle producers and their communities will continue to suffer economic hardship and loss.

Beef is a very big industry in the Peace River country and at this time of the year many people in my riding depend on selling their livestock for cash flow. A reopened border is vitally important to my constituents, as well as many other Canadians right across the country.

I urge the government to renew its efforts to make sure the border gets reopened fully, very soon.

Government AssistanceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, on Monday we asked the government about assistance for the victims of hurricane Juan. The defence minister had no answer.

We have heard the promises of assistance to people in B.C. after the fires, to the prairies after BSE. The government promises assistance but does not deliver.

When will the money begin to flow to those hurt by hurricane Juan?

Government AssistanceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the defence minister did have an answer. Perhaps the hon. member did not hear it. I said that having visited the region and spoken with the premier, we both agreed that the immediate priority was to get the power back and the roads passable. The money will be coming, I have said that several times. A hurricane is a natural disaster and the money will come.

The immediate priority is to get the roads back in order, to get the power back and our soldiers and sailors are helping to do that. That is the immediate priority.

Government AssistanceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, empty promises do not repair boats, buy gear, rebuild homes or farms.

Here is a waiting list for full government assistance: Manitoba flood, eight years; Quebec ice storm, four years; and Saguenay flood, five years.

Can the residents of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island expect the same delays?

Government AssistanceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is the Nova Scotia government has not yet applied. The government of Prince Edward Island has applied.

I have directed my officials to report back to me very quickly as to the feasibility of making advance payments to the provinces afflicted by the hurricane, as well as to British Columbia. I will hear soon from my officials as to the possibility of an advance payment because I am conscious of the priority and the need under these circumstances.

Government AssistanceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the minister said that the area qualified for the disaster financial assistance program. Clear eligibility requirements have not been stated. People need to know if they are covered and to what extent.

What are the requirements and how many people will not qualify?

Government AssistanceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what the hon. member is talking about. I have already said that the provinces of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are qualified. I have said that to the public. I have said that to the premiers. I have said that to members of the opposition who care to listen. They are qualified.

As I have just said, I have directed my officials to let me know very soon as to whether we will be able to make advance payments to these provinces. I understand very clearly the urgency of the situation.

National DefenceOral Question Period

October 3rd, 2003 / 11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the government has known for years that the Iltis jeeps are long overdue for replacement. Yet it sends our troops into a war zone with these unprotected, antiquated vehicles.

We know there are patrols in the narrow rubble strewn streets of Kabul where it is necessary to take the risk of using the Iltis. The real question is this. Why were our soldiers sent out into the foothills, into self-described bad guy country, in unarmoured, rusted out dune buggies, rather than lightly armoured vehicles?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I thought the respect for our fallen heroes would last a little longer than this.

That having been said, General Leslie has said on a number of occasions that it was an extremely big hole, an extremely large explosion and that irrespective of the vehicle, there would have been great trouble as a consequence.

It is also the fact that the commander on the ground takes the decision as to the appropriate vehicle or indeed whether the soldiers go on foot, and the commander--

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Prince George—Peace River.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, what I am suggesting is the government should have given our troops and our commanders over there more lightly armoured vehicles so they did not have to use these damned jeeps.

The minister has said he receives daily briefings on the events in Afghanistan. Has the investigation into yesterday's tragic deaths of two of our soldiers yet revealed if the explosion was caused by a pressure activated mine or a remotely detonated bomb? Regardless of which it was, can he guarantee that our troops on the ground in Afghanistan have all the appropriate protection that they need?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I have said many times that the government will spare neither money nor effort to ensure that the army has what the army deems necessary. The army and the deputy chief of the defence staff have informed me on several occasions that, yes indeed, they are well equipped.

The commander stated at the time that this was a relatively low risk area because the road had been cleared 24 hours earlier. Indeed, vehicles had passed safely on this road two hours before the explosion. Therefore the fact is the commanders deemed this to be a relatively low risk area. Sadly and tragically, it turned out not to be the case.

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, La Presse reports that the Montreal Grand Prix is some $5 to $7 million US short of the $30 million needed to survive.

Normand Legault, all those involved in Formula 1, RDS, and the Government of Quebec are all prepared to make a financial contribution to enable the race to go on without any tobacco sponsorship—everyone, that is, except the federal government.

Since the target figure is so close to being reached, and the private sector is prepared to foot most of the bill, will the federal government listen to us at last and invest the few million still needed to save the Montreal Grand Prix and the $80 million annually in economic spinoffs that go with it?

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

I should begin, Mr. Speaker, by pointing out that the Canadian government made its position very clear concerning the Tobacco Act, and has reinforced its message that it was vital that the legislation apply here, and that it was a matter of public health.

That said, the matter of having a brand-free race has been the issue right from the start of the discussions. As we speak, we are well aware that Mr. Legault has held discussions with the Formula 1 people and Mr. Ecclestone about a funding structure. Let us allow them to finalize that structure, and then we will determine our position.