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House of Commons Hansard #137 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-48.

Topics

The EnvironmentStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Julian Reed Liberal Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Friday I had the pleasure of attending a conference at Mount Royal College in Calgary on Canadian Energy Policy and the Challenges and Opportunities of Climate Change.

Some might say that I was a sacrificial lamb entering the lion's den, trying to talk to Albertans about the opportunities of implementing the Kyoto protocol.

I would like the House to know that was not the case. In fact Albertans are embracing the opportunities. One oil company calls itself “Beyond Petroleum”, while another has transformed from the oil to the energy business.

The oil industry sees opportunities in its future. From wind farms, to hydro power, from solar power to bio-fuels, the opportunities are popping up across this great land and Albertans are leading the way.

Please join me in thanking Mount Royal College and all the innovators in Alberta who are moving toward the future.

Hate PropagandaStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, one of the most odious promoters of hatred and bigotry in North America, Fred Phelps, has announced that he plans to spread his disgusting message here on Parliament Hill on October 13.

Mr. Phelps reserves his worst messages of hatred for homosexuals but he has a long list of those he dislikes: Catholics, Jews, anybody with whom he disagrees.

This Mr. Phelps promotes ideas which are not welcome in Canada. His abuse of freedom of expression is a mockery to that right which we all treasure. Mr. Phelps pretends to hold his positions based on religious conviction but he makes a mockery of religious conviction.

On behalf of all members and all Canadians, I would like to say to Mr. Phelps and his tiny minority, that their message of hatred directed at everyone and anyone who does not share their twisted convictions is not welcome here in Canada.

Mental Health WeekStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Liza Frulla Liberal Verdun—Saint-Henri—Saint-Paul—Pointe Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, Mental Health Week is a time to remember that one in five Canadians suffers from mental illness. A study published by Statistics Canada last month confirmed this.

According to this study, as many Canadians suffer from a mental health disorder as from other chronic conditions, such as heart disease and cancer. Mental illness can often lead to long term disabilities and suicide.

This week, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health is recognizing a group of exceptional Canadians who are working to make mental health a national priority.

I ask the House to join me in recognizing the efforts of these Canadian champions: all the members of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology; Dr. Rémi Quirion, Scientific Director of the Institute of Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addictions; Dr. Carolyn Bennett, hon. member for St. Paul; John Hunkin, CEO of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; and Rona Maynard, Editor-in-Chief of Chatelaine Magazine.

Congratulations to all these individuals.

Atlantic CanadaStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have released yet another proposal that seeks to expand oil and gas exploration, build infrastructure and encourage training, research and development in Atlantic Canada.

A nearly identical report released prior to the 2000 election called for the same measures that should have led to a $700 million investment. We are still waiting.

This is yet another empty Liberal promise unveiled close to election time. Atlantic Canadians know that Liberals do not pay their bills. They have failed to pay for health care, education and defence, and as of today they failed to pay for any of the last five disasters that have befallen Nova Scotia.

Meanwhile, the government is demanding equalization repayments from Nova Scotia to the tune of $160 million. It is just incredible. The insult here is that the Government of Canada asked Nova Scotia for money so that it can pay it back as disaster relief assistance.

Nova Scotians know the difference between an--

Atlantic CanadaStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Laurentides.

Employment InsuranceStatements by Members

October 9th, 2003 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, insistent and repeated interventions by the Bloc Quebecois have finally made the Liberal government realize that employment insurance, in its current form, does not meet the needs of outlying regions, where seasonal work is an economic reality for those men and women who experience it daily.

By agreeing to extend the transitional measures until October 9, 2004, to lessen the effects on the unemployed in the Madawaska-Charlotte region of New Brunswick, and the Lower St. Lawrence and North Shore regions of Quebec, the Liberal government is merely confirming the mess it has made of the employment insurance program.

The announcement is a step in the right direction, but it does not go nearly far enough. The government needs to understand that it must do more than provide transitional measures and agree to an indepth review of employment insurance.

The government must promise to never again spend the money of the unemployed by raiding the employment insurance fund.

Official LanguagesStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yolande Thibeault Liberal Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commend the excellent work by the Standing Committee on Official Languages in producing a report called “Immigration as a Tool for the Development of Official Language Minority Communities”.

The government agrees with many of the committee's recommendations, and has already acted on some of them through the Action Plan on Official Languages announced in March.

Linguistic duality is a cornerstone of Canadian society, and the federal government considers the vitality of the official language minority communities to be of major importance.

I am therefore pleased to report that many of the standing committee's remaining recommendations will be addressed in the strategic framework to be released later this fall by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration's Francophone Minority Communities Steering Committee.

Together with our federal, provincial, territorial and municipal partners—

Official LanguagesStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg—Transcona.

Izzy AsperStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Winnipeg—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, many are gathered in Winnipeg today to mourn the passing and celebrate the life of a great Canadian and Manitoban, Israel Asper.

My first impression of Izzy Asper dates back to my student days at the University of Winnipeg when I heard him speak as the engaging and frank leader of the Manitoba Liberals.

I saw him last this summer when I attended the announcement of a new Canadian human rights museum to be built at the Forks in Winnipeg, something that will surely be the crowning achievement of a life already exceptional for its philanthropy.

Most of all, as a fellow citizen of Winnipeg, I want to praise the way that Izzy Asper tried and succeeded in making Winnipeg the centre of an economic success story that others might have taken elsewhere.

I may be a critic of corporate concentration in the media but it was nice to have it concentrated in Winnipeg for a change.

Izzy Asper's loyalty and generosity to Winnipeg will be an enduring legacy. Although we did not share his politics, my fellow NDP MPs from Manitoba and I salute a remarkable Canadian and extend our sincere condolences to his family.

World Sight DayStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate all those who supported World Sight Day today on the steps of Parliament Hill.

Every five seconds someone in the world goes blind. Every minute, a child in the world goes blind. In the next 17 years 28 million people will go blind and of those people, 80% are preventable with good water, with vitamin A and cataract surgery.

As we degenerate in the next hour into political manoeuvring, please just reflect for a moment on what we might achieve if we were to put all that energy into curing and preventing the blindness of those 28 million people.

Canadian Wheat BoardStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Canadian Alliance Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, as if farmers in Canada have not suffered enough loss and devastation as a direct result of government apathy. Now grain producers in western Canada will not likely receive a final payment for wheat and barley sold by the Canadian Wheat Board in 2002-03 because the board pulled out of a lucrative world market and then sold into a depressed world market.

The Wheat Board's lack of competitive drive has resulted in sales so low that the federal government will be required to subsidize its initial payments out of the public purse. What we do not know is how much that subsidy will be. The minister will not tell us and the board's marketing information is locked up tighter than Fort Knox.

It has to be asked. What are they hiding? Was it not just last week that the Auditor General severely chastised the government for its lack of transparency? It is a simple question that I ask. What is the Wheat Board's deficit and how much will it cost taxpayers?

Climate ChangeStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences has awarded funds for further research on climate change in the Arctic.

One of the grants is going to Peter Lafleur of Trent University and colleagues who will be studying carbon exchange in the Daring Lake region of the Northwest Territories. The research is an important piece in the puzzle of climate change which is addressed by the Kyoto protocol. The fundamental question to be addressed is whether the Arctic is a net source or a net sink for carbon. The more Canadians understand carbon exchange, the better we will be able to comply with Kyoto.

I congratulate Professor Lafleur, his colleagues and students and congratulate the foundation for its fine work. I also congratulate the federal government for its wisdom in setting up such a foundation to address climate change.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, as of this morning an all party committee is asking the government to reinstate the VIP benefits to all 23,000 war widows. The government has heard from these widows. The government has heard from the public. The government has now heard from a committee of the House.

When will the minister reverse his position and extend the VIP benefits to all war widows?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Liberal

Ivan Grose LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it was not a case of taking the VIP benefit away from anyone. Actually we added 10,000 to the rolls. Within our budget that was within our capability at the time.

I would suggest that the hon. member opposite wait a while. She may see a change.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government can afford to forgive millions of dollars in technology partnership loans. It can afford to reward its Liberal friends with millions in advertising contracts. It can afford millions of dollars in corporate welfare.

Can the minister explain why his government cannot afford to support Canada's war widows?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Liberal

Ivan Grose LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in reply to the hon. member, the Department of Veterans Affairs operates within a budget. We reapportioned our moneys and managed to look after 10,000 widows who would not have been looked after otherwise, but that is within our budget.

We will have to wait and see what happens in the future with another budget.

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government has millions of dollars for corporate welfare and nothing for widows. It has millions of dollars for the next Liberal leader's private companies and nothing for widows.

Why does the government have millions for millionaires and pennies for pensioners?

Veterans AffairsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Oshawa Ontario

Liberal

Ivan Grose LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I challenge the statement that there is nothing for widows. Ten thousand additional widows are going to be looked after through the rearrangement of funds within the department.

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a big mystery. Lansdowne Technologies was part of the new Liberal leader's blind management agreement in 1994 and 1995 but by 1996, poof, it was gone off the list of declarable assets.

Can the government explain how one of the new Liberal leader's companies did $12 million in business with the government without being included in his declaration of assets?

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first of all, the fact that this matter was brought to the House's attention has led the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard himself to ask the ethics counsellor why this particular company was not listed. In any event, as Mr. Wilson himself said to the press yesterday, the fact that the parent company was listed meant that the blind trust arrangements extended to all of the subsidiary companies, including Lansdowne.

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, that does not answer the question of why it was on there in 1994 and 1995 but not in 1996.

Let us remember that it was the new Liberal leader who had the responsibility for checking and confirming the truthfulness of that declaration of assets. It was his responsibility.

What penalties will the new Liberal leader face for signing a false declaration of assets?

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first of all the member for LaSalle—Émard did not sign a false declaration of assets. Second, the member himself was interested enough in this issue to contact the ethics counsellor, something the hon. member for Medicine Hat did not do, and why is that? It is because all he is interested in doing is not getting the facts or getting the truth but throwing dirt.

What we have is a member who since he entered Parliament much less became a minister has followed not only the letter but the spirit of the ethical rules. In fact he went beyond what the rules called for and the member for Medicine Hat stands up and--

Member for LaSalle--ÉmardOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

CinarOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the CINAR affair, the government keeps saying that it never comments on RCMP investigations or their findings. Yet in the scandals concerning Airbus, Placeteco, Confections Saint-Élie and Groupe Polygone, all the ministers responsible did not hesitate to announce that the investigations were over. They were able to talk about those ones.

Given all these precedents, why, in the case of CINAR, is the government refusing to say whether the RCMP has submitted its report? The RCMP recommendations, the refusal to act—

CinarOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.