This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #134 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was heritage.

Topics

2003 Canada Winter GamesStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today to announce the results of an economic impact study of the 2003 Canada Winter Games that were held in Bathurst-Campbellton, New Brunswick.

The figures, compiled by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance, are impressive. Economic activity to the tune of $70.4 million was generated in New Brunswick, including $57.6 million for the Bathurst-Campbellton region alone.

This activity created 1,000 jobs in the province, mostly around Bathurst-Campbellton. Apart from the 3,200 participants in the games, some 5,100 visitors drawn to the event flooded into the region.

The economic impact exceeded all expectations and is a true testament to the benefits of the Canada Games movement.

The Government of Canada is a proud sponsor of the Canada Games, which, in addition to promoting the sport development of our athletes, stimulates economic growth in our communities. I am convinced that the major economic impact of the Canada Games will continue to be felt in the Bathurst-Campbellton region for a long time.

Long live the Canada Games.

Women's History MonthStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, October is Women's History Month. It is an opportunity to acknowledge the contribution made by women to history and our society.

All too often, historians ignore the important contribution of women to the advancement of our society. Many women stand out, In 1639, Marie Guyart de l'Incarnation opened an Ursuline convent school for girls in Quebec City. In 1705, Agathe de Saint-Père founded the first textile mill in the country, thereby becoming a very prosperous merchant. In 1893, Joséphine Marchand-Dandurand founded Quebec's first women's magazine, Le coin du feu . In 1900, Dorimène Roy Desjardins, along with her husband Alphonse, co-founded the Mouvement des Caisses Populaires Desjardins.

We must not forget Mesdames Casgrain, Payette, Roback and Monet-Chartrand who, along with many others, made significant contributions that shaped Quebec society.

During Women's History Month, the Bloc Quebecois joins me in paying tribute to these women.

Robbie BeerenfengerStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness and respect that I pay tribute to one of our fallen soldiers, Corporal Robbie Beerenfenger, who lost his life while working on Canada's behalf to bring peace to a very troubled part of the world.

Born in Ottawa in 1974, Corporal Beerenfenger began his military career after graduating from high school. In 1997 he came to the 1st Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment and was employed in Bravo Company, and then in the Mortar Platoon and Reconnaissance Platoon. Still with the 1st Battalion, he deployed for Operation Kinetic in Kosovo in 1999-2000. Most recently, he was attached to Para Company, 3rd Battalion Group, for Operation Athena in Afghanistan.

A dedicated and professional soldier, Corporal Beerenfenger was, just as important, a husband and a father.

On behalf of my colleagues and the community of Ottawa--Vanier, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy to Corporal Beerenfenger's wife Christina and their three young children, Mathew, Kristopher and Madison.

Technology Partnerships CanadaStatements by Members

October 6th, 2003 / 2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, Technology Partnerships Canada is a massive subsidy program that offers less and less accountability.

Despite being billed as a job creation program, TPC no longer distinguishes between jobs created and jobs maintained. In fact, in some cases taxpayers are paying millions to create two or three jobs. According to its own figures, a $1.25 million contribution to Messier-Dowty Inc. of Ajax will create two jobs at a cost of $625,000 per job.

In addition, it cost Industry Canada more money to administer TPC last year than it actually collected in repayments. In fact, TPC has collected less than 1.3% of the money it is owed under its so-called strategic investments.

We do not blame the companies applying for these grants. We fault the government for its corporate welfare policies and its complete failure to properly account for taxpayer dollars.

It is time for the Liberal government to put an end to corporate welfare in Canada.

World Habitat DayStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations has designated the first Monday in October as World Habitat Day, a day to reflect on our communities and their importance in our lives.

This year's theme, “Water and Sanitation for Cities”, reminds us of the urgency to improve human settlements, especially for those individuals living without adequate water, proper sanitation and basic services.

We recognize the key role that good housing plays in the quality of life of Canadians and in the health of both large and small communities. In building strong communities and addressing the housing challenges faced by our citizens, we must have strong and enduring partnerships.

Canada will be hosting the third UN-Habitat World Urban Forum in 2006 in Vancouver. We will play a lead role in consultation UN-Habitat and the international community developing a substantive program and in designing this event. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Western Economic Diversification will lead the government's preparations for the forum.

I encourage members and all Canadians to join the United Nations in observing World Habitat Day this October 6, 2003.

Canadian ForcesStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gary Schellenberger Progressive Conservative Perth—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday it was my sombre responsibility to represent the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, our leader and my constituents from Perth—Middlesex as a delegation assembled at Canadian Forces Base Trenton to formally receive our fallen soldiers who recently were killed in action in Afghanistan.

It was one of the most difficult tasks I have undertaken as an MP, one I hope never to repeat.

The ceremony was one that no Prime Minister or Minister of National Defence would wish to attend. I could sense extreme sorrow in both.

Instead of allowing this tragedy to divide Canadians, it is my sincere hope we may come together during these trying times and unite in our conviction to actively prosecute the war on terrorism, and support our military and their families.

The families of those Canadian soldiers lost and wounded fill my thoughts and the fate of Canadians still abroad, acting in defence of Canadian values, dominates my prayers.

Robert BourassaStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, former Quebec premier Robert Bourassa died seven years ago. The day after the failure of the Meech Lake accord in June 1990, he made a solemn and historic statement:

English Canada must understand in a very clear manner that whatever is said or done, Quebec is today and for all times a distinct society, free, capable of assuming its destiny and its development.

In Vancouver on March 2, 1996, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs made his first speech as minister. In it, he stated that formal recognition of Quebec's status as a distinct society was a crucial step towards reconciliation in Canada.

Are we to believe that the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs feels that the recent and extremely centralist turn taken by Canadian federalism bears any resemblance to Robert Bourassa's notion of federalism, which is based on Canada's formal recognition of Quebec as a distinct society or to what the minister himself stated in his speech in Vancouver?

This is hard to believe now.

Women's History MonthStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, October is Women's History Month when many women will be recognized for the ways they have helped shape Canadian society. I am proud to stand in the House today to celebrate Dr. Emily Howard Jennings Stowe for her contribution in the field of medicine.

Dr. Stowe began her career as a teacher in Ontario and at the age of 23 became Ontario's first female school principal. After her husband's death and with three children to support, Emily pursued a career in medicine.

Barred from medical school in Canada because she was a woman, she trained in the U.S.A. and returned to Canada in 1867 to practice medicine. She became the first practising woman doctor in Canada and went on to crusade for women's suffrage and the rights of women.

Dr. Stowe co-founded the Toronto Women's Medical College ensuring women had equal opportunities in the medical profession.

Today there are over 11,000 female practitioners in Canada, some of whom are members of this House. This figure represents 30% of the nation's total. Women continue to make their mark in the medical field.

Foreign AffairsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, one year and 10 days after being illegally detained, interrogated and then deported to Syria by the U.S., Canadian citizen Maher Arar has been released and will be reunited today with his family.

New Democrats are deeply relieved about his release, no one more so than the member from Halifax who worked tirelessly with Maher's wife, Monia Mazigh, and his family for his release. The support of the community and groups like Amnesty International were critical to keeping up the pressure for his release.

Maher Arar and Canadians deserve answers to tough questions that remain. Why did the U.S. detain him and deport him to Syria despite his Canadian passport? Why has Canada not registered more strongly its objections to the U.S.'s illegal treatment of this Canadian citizen? What role, if any, did our Canadian security agency play in his detention and deportation from the U.S.?

The NDP will continue to demand answers to these questions and affirm our commitment to speak out against the abuse of Canadian citizens' rights.

Fire Prevention WeekStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, October 5-11 is Fire Prevention Week. This year's theme is, “When Fire Strikes--Get Out and Stay Out”.

Because fires can grow and spread so quickly, every second can mean the difference between life and death. Advance planning, which includes smoke alarms, sprinklers, extinguishers and an exit plan, can help families escape a fire quickly and safely.

Residential fires are responsible for 73% of all fire deaths and children and the elderly are the most vulnerable. Fires kill eight people each week and injure many more.

I urge Canadians to contact their local fire department for more information or help with a fire prevention plan.

During this Fire Prevention Week I ask this House to join me in sending this simple message: When fire strikes, every second matters: get out and stay out.

Paul St. PierreStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, 80 years ago on October 14, one of America's greatest gifts to Canada was born in Chicago. He was given the name Paul by his parents Napoleon and Pearl St. Pierre. He will celebrate his 80th birthday on Saturday with family, admirers, and the old ink-stained wretches he calls his friends.

Paul St. Pierre served British Columbia from 1968 to 1972 as the member of Parliament for Coast Chilcotin. It was Paul who wrote the book entitled Tell Me a Good Lie . I mention this because he said he came from a riding where all the fish averaged 16 inches. When the laughter subsided, he added, “That is between the eyes”.

Paul St. Pierre has brought us laughter and comfort. He knows and writes about the Province of British Columbia like the native son he has become.

On behalf of all of us, I want to tell Paul St. Pierre that it is not just British Columbia that is proud to call him one of its own; it is also all of Canada.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I want to follow up on the loss of Canadian military personnel in Afghanistan.

Canada was warned by an American commander over a year ago that the Iltis offered no protection against landmines. So bad was it that the Americans offered to supply their own armoured vehicles and Canadians were instructed not to patrol in the Iltis.

My question for the minister is very simple. Why has the government failed to supply Canadian troops with proper armoured vehicles?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, to paraphrase Major General Leslie, “You cannot win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people as you speed by in an armoured vehicle”.

This can-do attitude of reaching out to hearts and minds and helping people is deeply in the spirit of the Canadian Forces. That is no coincidence because this attitude of helping people is deeply embedded in Canada as a nation.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I will try this quotation, “You can't reach the hearts and minds of the Afghan people through dead soldiers”.

Major General Leslie said something else. He also said that amongst professionals we do not hide our mistakes. Commanders and soldiers are saying that the Iltis is not designed for patrols of this nature. It is an administrative vehicle. It is unfit for the job and has been referred to as an albatross, and as junk.

Will the minister at least admit to the House that the lack of sufficient armoured vehicles for our troops is a mistake?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we have top of the range LAV IIIs, light armoured vehicles.

I will say, as others have, that the Iltis is at the end of its life. It will be replaced as soon as possible by a Volkswagen vehicle. This new vehicle was chosen by the U.S. Marine Corps, France, the Netherlands, and by many other countries.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this vehicle was at the end of its life a decade ago and the government has known it for quite a while.

In 1993 the government was told the Iltis should be replaced because it posed a safety problem. The government refused and instead cut the defence budget. A decade later our military is burdened with decaying, unsafe and antiquated equipment of all kinds of which the Iltis is only one example.

When will the government stop unnecessarily putting the lives of Canadian servicemen and servicewomen at risk?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, there is no one who wants first rate, world class equipment for the Canadian Forces more than I.

With the budget increase of $800 million last year, I have added $160 million to the capital budget. This means that in coming years we will have more money and we will be better equipped to buy that first rate, world class equipment which our members of the Canadian Forces deserve.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, 10 years later the government is still trying to decide what its top priority is.

The world has changed since the first decision to replace the aging Iltis jeeps. The Americans have realized that in this new war on terror the old tactics of traditional armies fighting it out in the open have been replaced with cowardly mine and rocket attacks on vulnerable convoys. In the face of this new reality, our troops need the best protection available.

Given this, will the government reassess its decision for the Iltis replacement and consider the immediate purchase of additional armoured vehicles?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I just responded that the new vehicle has also been acquired by the United States Marine Corps and a host of other allies. It is an appropriate vehicle.

I would also point out to the hon. member that we have radar and unmanned aerial vehicles.

I have made it my top priority to ensure that the army in Afghanistan is very well equipped. One of my very top priorities, as I will make clear in coming days, will be the re-equipping of the army in general.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear about this because lives are in danger. The new vehicle is still unarmoured.

In 2002 while Canadian troops were serving in Afghanistan under American command, Canadian Forces on the ground were provided with U.S. Humvees.

Under the procurement process to replace the fleet of Iltis jeeps, AM General, the makers of the Humvee, dropped out after the government insisted it pay a $10 million performance bond. This despite the fact that Canada's elite counterterrorism force was already using its vehicles.

With the withdrawal of three bids from potential suppliers, does it not indicate a serious problem with the tendering process?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Markham Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the commanders in the field have a menu of choices, such as armoured vehicles or jeeps, and we have many patrols on foot.

What we do not need is play soldiers from the opposition benches giving unsolicited advice, from thousands of miles away, to our very capable professional soldiers on the ground.

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, for weeks, the Bloc Quebecois has been asking Ottawa to do its part to save the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal and the related $80 million in economic benefits, but the government is not budging. Normand Legault is only talking about a small government contribution of $5 million, while the private sector would do the bulk of the work and pick up the lion's share of the tab.

In this context, just 10 days before the final schedule is published, has the Minister of Justice, who opposes all federal financial contributions, no matter how small, finally changed his mind so that the Grand Prix can be held in Montreal in 2004—without tobacco advertising?

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, if there is one political party that truly wants the Canadian Grand Prix to take place in Montreal next year, it is undoubtedly the Liberal Party. If there are members of Parliament working hard to keep the Grand Prix in Montreal, with its economic benefits for Quebec and Canada, they are members of the Liberal caucus.

That said, we have stated our position very clearly with regard to the legislation. The idea of racing without brand names has been raised at various times. That said, let Mr. Legault show us his financial plans, and we will see then what position the Government of Canada will take, since, I repeat, it wants to keep—

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

Canadian Grand PrixOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in order to keep it, we must act. According to Normand Legault, on Grand Prix tickets alone the federal government pockets $10 million in taxes each year, enough to supply the $5 million being requested, while still making a profit and maintaining the $80 million in economic benefits for Montreal and all of Quebec.

In order to save the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, what is the Minister of Justice waiting for before contributing financially and reaping a benefit for his government, for Montreal and for all of Quebec? It is all very well to be favour of it, but a little money needs to be put on the table.