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House of Commons Hansard #135 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-17.

Topics

Kin-BallStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Christian Jobin Liberal Lévis-Et-Chutes-De-La-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in this House to promote a great but unfortunately little known sport called Kin-Ball.

This sport was invented in Canada, in Lévis-et-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, in 1986. Since 1995, it has become increasingly popular around the world. There are now four million players in over ten countries; this number is expected to triple within five years.

To promote this sport around the world, the International Kin-Ball Federation and a sponsor-advertiser are providing schools with free Kin-balls. Given its unique rules, Kin-ball is an excellent educational tool, for many reasons.

First, the sport encourages teamwork and good sportsmanship in physical education classes.

Second, this is an accessible sport in which players take part and all the teams score.

Finally, this sport was designed to counter the social problems associated with a lack of physical activity, such as obesity and its harmful impact on health.

I wanted to talk about this sport in the House since it was designed and invented in Canada, and we should be proud of it, given its growing international popularity.

Radio Nord CommunicationsStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Liberal Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, QC

Mr. Speaker, Radio Nord Communications intends to cut jobs in Abitibi-Témiscamingue by 25% to 50% by eliminating accounting, technical and TV sound positions, and by eliminating the position of script person for radio.

Radio Nord intends to decentralize its commercial production from Val-d'Or to Rouyn-Noranda and move its administration to Lachute.

I completely disagree with the fact that Radio Nord Communications Inc. is preparing to close, in the medium term, its Val-d'Or office. This means they will stop broadcasting from Val-d'Or. Commercials for businesses in Val-d'Or, Senneterre and Malartic will be produced in Rouyn-Noranda.

There will be a drop in the services offered at the Val-d'Or office in favour of Lachute. It is the beginning of the end for the Radio Nord Communications network in Val-d'Or.

I am calling on all businesses in Abitibi-Témiscamingue to take action to ensure that Radio Nord Communications keeps all its employees and maintains the radio and television services it was providing the people of Abitibi-Témiscamingue before the strike.

Small Business WeekStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to inform the House that the week of October 19 to 25 is Small Business Week in Canada.

A recent survey shows that small enterprises employ close to 4.8 million or 49% of the total private labour force. Between the first quarter of 2002 and the first quarter of 2003, small business created over 163,000 jobs or 39% of net new jobs in the economy.

This year's theme is “You're the power behind the Canadian economy, let's share the energy!”. Small business week is an opportunity to salute those individuals who are that power. They have not only recognized an opportunity and seized it, but have taken the steps necessary to create a business that will continue to grow and prosper in the future.

During this special week, which began as a small event in 1979, Canadian entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to celebrate their innovative ideas and to demonstrate the benefits of nurturing research and development with Canada's small businesses.

Congratulations to all small business employers and employees.

Izzy AsperStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a Canadian icon. Today we heard the sad news of the passing of Izzy Asper, Chairman of CanWest Global Communications Corporation.

Israel Asper devoted his life and passion to excellence and quality in Canadian news. His accomplishments and contributions to Canadian media have been remarkable and he leaves a noble legacy in his beloved field of work.

Mr. Asper's contributions to this country did not rest only in his media pursuits. He gave to society throughout his career as a lawyer, in public life and he gave to his community through his many philanthropic works.

Izzy Asper was a visionary, a patriot, a voice for western Canada and a truly great Canadian. He will be missed.

On behalf of the Canadian Alliance and official opposition, I offer my condolences to his wife Babs, to his children David, Gail and Leonard and to his countless friends and colleagues who loved and admired him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

World Forestry CongressStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Liberal Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, the world's forest community gathered in Quebec City from September 21 to 28, for the twelfth World Forestry Congress.

Canada is proud to have been host to some 4,000 delegates to discuss matters such as partnership opportunities, forest science, economics, and the stewardship of the boreal forests.

The Government of Canada understands that our forest is much more than a source of timber. Notwithstanding the substantial contribution to Canada's economy, our forests provide social and environmental benefits that are vital to our quality of life.

In addition, the World Forestry Congress was an excellent opportunity for Canada to demonstrate to the world that our investments in skills, knowledge and innovation are contributing to a safe and healthy environment, a vibrant economy, the preservation of our natural heritage and an improved quality of life for Canadians and, by extension, for the world.

International Poetry FestivalStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Trois-Rivières, from now until next Sunday, the 19th edition of the International Poetry Festival of Trois-Rivières is taking place. This is a very special event, which will bring together over 130 poets from 25 countries on four continents, in this city where Gérald Godin, Alphonse Piché and Gatien Lapointe grew up.

For 10 days, in the bars and cafés, restaurants and museums, and streets and lanes of Trois-Rivières, some 5,000 people will thrill to the rhythms of the capital of poetry, known as such internationally, and justifiably proud of being the only city in the world to have erected a monument to the unknown poets, as a tribute to all poets the world over.

What can we say about the roughly 300 love poems permanently posted on the walls of our houses and other downtown establishments? The International Poetry Festival of Trois-Rivières, under the guidance of my friend Gaston Bellemare, whom I salute in passing, is in a class of its own, not only for its sheer enthusiasm but also and especially for its originality.

Member for NipissingStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John O'Reilly Liberal Haliburton—Victoria—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is a historic day for the member for Nipissing.

Yesterday he tied the record in his riding for being longest consecutive sitting member. Today of course he is in total possession of that record. He broke the mark set by Mr. Joseph Hurtubeise who served Nipissing from 1930 to 1945.

The member for Nipissing was first elected in 1988 and will make it an even 15 years in November, 2003.

I know I speak for the constituents of Nipissing and all members of Parliament when I say congratulations to the member for Nipissing.

Canadian ForcesStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to two of Canada's fallen heroes who died last week proudly serving our nation in Afghanistan.

Corporal Robbie Christopher Beerenfenger at the age of 29 was a devoted father of three. Sergeant Robert Alan Short, age 42, was the father of a strong military family whose service to our nation was second to none. They were serving with the Para Company, 3rd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment.

On Sunday I was honoured to be present for these fallen soldiers' return to Canada at CFB Trenton. Their sacrifice was not only for the betterment of the Afghan people, but for freedom loving people everywhere.

Today at noon a memorial ceremony near CFB Petawawa took place to allow grateful Canadians to pay their final respects.

I proudly wear the airborne pin today to pay homage to Robbie Beerenfenger's dream of someday becoming a fully qualified paratrooper like Sergeant Short.

Our heartfelt condolences to their families, friends and comrades-in-arms. They will be sorely missed, but never forgotten.

The EnvironmentStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the one hand, the Government of Canada did the right thing in ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. It has also invested nearly $3 billion since the year 2000 toward the implementation of Kyoto goals.

On the other hand, the government is proposing a bill now before the finance committee aimed at reducing taxes on the oil and gas industry, a move which makes no sense because it would stimulate and accelerate emissions of the greenhouse gases we want to reduce to achieve the Kyoto objectives.

Evidently the finance department does not know that this government's major objective is to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Bill C-48, an act to amend the Income Tax Act, should be allowed to die on the Order Paper because it is not in the public interest and because it runs counter to a key government policy.

Health CareStatements by Members

October 7th, 2003 / 2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, today with the release of the Naylor report “Learning from Sars”, this government I hope will learn a valuable lesson.

The report repeats the call from the Canadian Medical Association to add $1.5 billion over the next five years. We are all aware for the last 10 years this government has cut billions from health care. We have heard over and over again from the health care industry and from Canadian citizens that funding must be restored. The report also calls for the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, specifically, a centre that would be arm's length from government.

The Naylor report has challenged this government to take action on health care right away, not tomorrow, not next week, but now. I sincerely hope the government is up to that challenge.

Mental Illness Awareness WeekStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, October 5 to 11 is Mental Illness Awareness Week and this year the theme is “Mental Illness and the Family—Resources for Recovery”.

In Quebec and in Canada, statistics show that one person in five—some six million people—can expect to experience a mental illness sometime in their life. Because mental illnesses remain largely misunderstood, families and organizations play a key role in helping those who suffer from them.

Therefore, it is with great pleasure today that I mention the excellent work being accomplished by the Corporation régionale santé mentale et travail de Laval. This non-profit organization is an umbrella for community and government agencies that offer support and integration services to clients living with mental health issues.

Thanks to the way these organizations in Laval have learned to work together to develop a high-quality network of services with the goal of social integration through work, people dealing with mental health problems can hope to have a better future.

AlcatelStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to congratulate Alcatel on once again winning a significant international contract.

Alcatel Transport Solutions Division, based in my riding, was selected to design and supply major improvements and upgrades to the London underground to meet increased passenger demands on its tube lines. Known around the world, the London underground is that city's major mass transit system. This important contract is worth $650 million and is expected to take more than seven years to complete. It will provide jobs in both Toronto and Burnaby, B.C.

Already a major supplier of automated controls for transit systems in Asia, this contract reinforces Alcatel's reputation as the world's largest supplier and developer of high capacity automated train control systems.

I am proud that a Canadian company is leading the competition in this significant area of research and development. This is a big win for Canada.

Congratulations to the team at Alcatel on its continued success.

Owen BureyStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, on October 2, 2003 a kind and gentle man, Reverend Owen Burey, passed away at the age of 67. Reverend Burey was originally from Jamaica but made his mark in Canada in many ways.

As the Pastor of Sandwich First Baptist Church, Reverend Burey taught and enlightened our community to understand the historical significance the church played in the underground railroad, as many of the bricks of the church were made by slaves escaping through the underground railroad as payment for a meal and safe haven that had been provided by a member of the congregation. It is thanks to Reverend Burey that the church was designated a national historic site, advocating for this recognition even when he was ill with pancreatic cancer.

Reverend Burey volunteered for many other groups including the Red Cross, Kiwanis club and the Children's Aid Society to name a few. It was this record that made him an ideal recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal and other prestigious awards.

On behalf of my colleague for Windsor—St. Clair and the entire New Democratic Party caucus, we extend our condolences to Reverend Burey's loving wife and family.

Reverend Burey's motto was “A winner never quits and quitters never win”. Our thanks to him for never quitting on our community.

VeteransStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Guy Carignan Liberal Québec East, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 12, I attended a training workshop by the Memory Project for war veterans in the Quebec City area with an interest in helping to preserve Canada's oral history.

This project, begun six years ago as the result of concerns about history's waning status on the school curriculum, is now in every province. Last year alone, over 1,000 veterans visited a total of over 100,000 Canadian students all over the country.

The Memory Project facilitates intergenerational dialogue on important historical and contemporary issues. This bilingual educational program brings war veterans and young people together, either face to face or via the Internet. The program was developed by the Dominion Institute, a national not-for-profit body dedicated to the promotion of Canadian history.

I encourage all teachers to invite a veteran to their classroom for a really enriching experience. We thank our veterans, who are our living memory, and our young people, who are making sure that this memory is preserved. We also thank the Dominion Institute, for having found a way to bring the two generations together.

Maher ArarStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, Maher Arar is finally a free man, back where he belongs in Canada, enjoying his first full day with his family in over a year.

I want to thank everyone for their untiring efforts to have Mr. Arar returned safely home, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Prime Minister, members of Parliament, the NGOs and individuals who have worked ceaselessly for his freedom. I want to pay tribute especially to two people, first to Gar Pardy, now retired director general of consular affairs, for his relentless pursuit of justice for Mr. Arar and to the public servants who worked with him on this file; and above all, to Mr. Arar's wife, Monia Mazigh. Her unfailing faith in her husband, her eloquence in defending his rights as a Canadian citizen and her persistence in arguing his case have shown an unbelievable courage.

There are questions to be asked and to be answered, but today is for celebrating and wishing the family our best.

Elk IndustryStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gerry Ritz Canadian Alliance Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, Bob Nelson of Lloydminster, Saskatchewan asks why the Liberals continue to ignore the elk industry while it struggles alone to restore markets unfairly restricted by a couple of cases of chronic wasting disease. Sounds familiar, does it not? A viable industry is being hammered by foreign politics while these Liberals sit on their hands. Bob writes “The industry has lost over $32 million in sales to Korea, as well as around $10 million per year in live animal sales to the United States”.

Both Korea and the U.S. have chronic wasting disease in their own herds, so protection from Canadian animals is not an issue here. Back in March of this year I wrote to the Minister for International Trade to demand an explanation of what his department has done to resolve this issue. So far, there has been no response and no resolution.

The Canadian market for elk and their nutrient rich antler velvet involves 79,000 animals and an annual value in excess of $50 million. Why do the Liberals always let other countries walk all over our producers?

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the new Liberal leader is apparently governing in his own private parallel universe. He travels the country announcing parallel disaster relief programs. He convenes parallel meetings with the first ministers. He is planning a parallel federal budget. Now, apparently for no more of a reason than he wants to stick the current Prime Minister in the eye, he is planning parallel caucus meetings.

Is the Prime Minister prepared to rein him in, or is the government planning a parallel question period so that at least we can hold him accountable for his actions here in the House of Commons?

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that question comes from a member who tried to form his own party and failed. When the question comes from a party that has had four different leaders and three different names, I think after 10 years of good government that we have given to the country, that type of question shows that the Alliance is not ready to form a government in the next 10 years.

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, we all know why he is a lame duck Prime Minister.

This is why it is important. The new Liberal leader has assumed the role of defence minister by promising funding for disaster relief. He acts like the intergovernmental affairs minister by setting up his own federal-provincial conferences. He is a de facto finance minister, announcing billions of dollars in new initiatives. Now he is calling his own caucus meetings because the regular ones are not democratic.

Why with so many ministerial roles apparently available to the new member is there so little accountability for his actions here in the House of Commons?

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, someone was telling me a minute ago that they look like the Keystone Cops from the old days on the other side. They are all bumping into each other and so on. I do not know why they have a problem.

I was a candidate to be the leader of my party in 1984. I had many meetings with my supporters who came to discuss things with me. I was a candidate in 1990 and members of Parliament met with me to discuss what would happen at the convention. I think it is absolutely normal. It would be very undemocratic if there were to be no meetings at all.

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, speaking of bumping, the member for LaSalle—Émard bumped that guy right out of office.

Generally, members of Parliament who are concerned about the democratic deficit do not just talk about it over beer and pizza in a closed door meeting. They take part in debates here in the House. They participate in committee work. They speak out when the government invokes closure and they actually show up when there is a vote.

Would the House leader appoint the former finance minister to a committee, any committee, finance, procedure and House affairs, something, to give him some meaningful work so that he can participate in the democratic process in an open way instead of behind closed doors?

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

I have grave doubts that the question is in order, since it is hardly the administrative responsibility of the government to appoint members to committee. That is the role of the striking committee in the House. Everyone knows the government has very little to say on that, except possibly for the chief government whip.

I think we will move on to the next question.

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, a lame duck with lame answers.

Right now the House of Commons finance committee is going through prebudget meetings. Witnesses have been invited to the committee to present their budget ideas.

My question is for the vice-chair of the finance committee. Why should witnesses bother presenting ideas for the next budget when the new Liberal leader is already running around the country announcing the next budget?

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I know there is very little that the member for Medicine Hat has to offer to the next budget process. That would be similar to what was offered last year by the Alliance Party.

In the meantime, the witnesses that are appearing today, and in the last few weeks and in the weeks to come before the finance committee are providing an important source of input for the government to consider in preparation of the next budget. The member for Medicine Hat dismisses their hard work, their earnest presentations and their serious ideas but I can assure him that the government does not.

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I think that is a hilarious answer coming from a minister who says he has been neutered by the new Liberal leader's parallel government, neutered in his ability to bring forward a new budget. I am sure that is very painful.

My question again for the vice-chair of the finance committee is, would he not agree that one way of closing the democratic deficit would be to have the new Liberal leader appear before the finance committee to answer questions about all of his recent budget announcements? Would he not agree with that?