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House of Commons Hansard #151 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was police.

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 Saint John.

Ellen PortchStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Stan Keyes Liberal Hamilton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Hamilton and area political family lost a very special woman last night. Ellen Portch passed away in her sleep. She was 86, but we would not have known it. She led the life of a woman half her age.

Ellen was a Liberal. She was committed to the democratic process. She was always trying to help someone else. Municipally, provincially, federally, Ellen was an invaluable asset to any campaign.

In my four federal election campaigns she was the first at election headquarters and I was always greeted with the mandatory hug. Ellen was always there when I needed her. She worked hard. She had fun. I am privileged to have had her as a friend.

Outside of the political world, she associated herself with the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Arthritis Society.

The proud mother of two, grandmother of six, great-grandmother of fourteen, on behalf of all who knew and loved her, we send our deepest sympathies. We will miss her. We ask God to bless Ellen.

Member for LaSalle—ÉmardStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Canadian Alliance Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, the new Liberal leader has been promising everything to everyone. One day it is spending cuts and the next it is new programs. These add up to a $96.5 billion price tag.

If everyone wants to know what is in store from the new Liberal leader they need look no further than his record as finance minister when he wrote the cheques.

We have the HRDC billion dollar boondoggle, another billion for the gun registry, $100 million for executive jets, $40 million in federal sponsorships and $4 billion annually in corporate welfare and regional development. He devastated our military and cut $25 billion from health and education transfers.

The new Liberal leader raised or created taxes over 75 times. Canadians work harder for less money. Our competitiveness and net incomes have plummeted.

However he knows how to push the Prime Minister by staging a slow coup.

What we have is another tax and spend Liberal; a mirror image of the current occupant of 24 Sussex Drive. We are simply trading a 69 year old lawyer for a 65 year old lawyer.

Broadband ServiceStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gilbert Barrette Liberal Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 24, in Rouyn-Noranda, I had the pleasure of announcing on behalf of the Minister of Industry financial assistance of $4.3 million for the broadband pilot program.

Broadband refers to high-capacity Internet connections that would bring service to unserved first nations, northern, rural and remote communities. It will greatly enhance health, education, and business communications throughout the entire Abitibi-Témiscamingue region.

With contributions from governments and the community, and the involvement and tenacity of partners, broadband service is attainable for a large number of communities and organizations in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, despite the distances and sparse population.

Hockey Canada WeekStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, Hockey Canada Week is November 8 to 15 when hockey will be promoted and celebrated at the national, provincial, territorial and local levels.

Hockey is at the heart of our Canadian identity, forging a link between Canadians from sea to sea to sea.

Nineteenth century explorer, Sir John Franklin, saw ice hockey played as early as October 1825 on Grey Goose Lake on the outskirts of Deline in the Northwest Territories.

A small aboriginal community of 700, Deline currently boasts several hockey teams.

In Canada there are over four million amateur hockey volunteers teaching our youth important values like team work, perseverance and courage.

Hockey helps build communities.

Hockey Canada delivers hockey development programs in Canada aiming for an ongoing supply of amazing hockey players for Canadians to cheer and be proud of.

I ask everyone to enjoy Canada Hockey Week.

The EnvironmentStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wonder how many members know that most of our provinces are leading the way on the recovery and recycling of empty beverage containers. In fact, almost every province recovers at least 73% of containers, saving municipalities millions of dollars per year.

However, in Ontario, Manitoba and for some containers in Quebec, recovery is much lower. In my own province of Ontario it is estimated that one billion aluminum pop cans end up in a landfill site; a huge cost to consumers, manufacturers and the environment.

As we move toward our Kyoto commitment, throwing away so much embodied energy is a wasted opportunity.

All provinces should be following the example of British Columbia, Alberta and New Brunswick where a unique version of deposit return is funded in part by the consumer who can choose not to redeem the container and forfeit the deposit.

I encourage all provinces to implement a similar deposit return program so that we can have a harmonized system.

Veterans WeekStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Canadian Alliance Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, Veterans Week is November 5 to 11 and I rise today to pay tribute to Canada's veterans who fought so valiantly to preserve our rights and freedoms.

However it is a sad day for me because not all of our war widows can rejoice in that their sacrifices and the sacrifices of their spouses are not recognized by the government before Remembrance Day of this year. Not all war widows will be included in the veterans independence program before November 11.

I would encourage all members of the House to keep up the good fight to ensure that all widows are included in the veterans independence program.

I also encourage all members of the House to participate in their local Remembrance Day ceremonies to honour those who have given so much for this country.

NursingStatements by Members

November 5th, 2003 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

André Harvey Liberal Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, CIDA and the Canadian Nurses Association recently signed a contribution agreement for the joint initiative of Canadian and South African nurses in the fight against AIDS, which aims to support, over the next five years, the development and implementation of a national nursing strategy to fight this scourge. Nurses are the first to care for AIDS patients at all levels.

CIDA is also funding another five year program to support nurses and strengthen their associations so that they can meet their numerous challenges.

Further to the partnership on international health, we have with us today members of this esteemed profession hailing from Latin America, Asia and Africa. It is my pleasure to bid them a warm welcome.

Radio Nord CommunicationsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, October 25 was a sad anniversary for the employees of Radio Nord Communications, who have been on strike for one year and have been watching strikebreakers steal their jobs.

As if that were not enough, the Liberal government refused to correct this injustice, voting against my anti-scab bill based on the progressive legislation Quebec has in this respect.

Members from Quebec, regardless of political affiliation, voted massively in favour of my bill, recognizing that such legislation is needed, especially as the former finance minister, who brought in strikebreakers at Voyageur and whose ships were the first to cross the picket lines at Cargill, is about to become the prime minister.

The result of this vote is one more illustration of the fact that it is impossible for Quebec to flourish within the current federal framework.

We understand the difficulties the workers at Radio Nord Communications are facing on a daily basis. That is why we are keeping up the fight for anti-scab legislation, both for them and with them.

Blue Water Duty Free ShopStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Gallaway Liberal Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week in Cannes, France, the Blue Water Duty Free Shop located at the Blue Water Bridge in Point Edward was named the worldwide duty free industry's retailer of the year.

Competing against duty free shops from Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, and Hong Kong, this Canadian store was judged by the industry review panel to be the best in the world. The judging panel noted that this store turns “browsers into buyers”, creating a facility which is a “must stop”.

Operated by the Lee family of Point Edward, the Blue Water Duty Free Shop is the world leader for both airports and land border facilities.

Canadians often believe retailing was perfected outside our country. I am pleased to draw the attention of members of the House to a Canadian family who has created a centre of retailing excellence for duty free stores throughout the world.

Health CareStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, we have a medical manpower crisis in Canada. As we age, our need for nurses, technicians and physicians will increase.

However, for physicians in training, although enrolment in medical schools has increased somewhat, the number of residency positions has not. This is disastrous as it will worsen the shortage of fully trained doctors, especially specialists; waste money in training students who cannot practice; and will lead our medical students to move to the United States to complete their training where they too often remain after finishing their training, contributing to the southern brain drain.

We urgently need more residency positions in Canada to ensure that we will have an adequate number of physicians in the future.

Compounding this crisis is the fact that as we age so too does our physician population. Unless this situation is remedied now, Canadians will be unable to get the medical care they need in the future, and in this, we all lose.

Teachers InstituteStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Erie—Lincoln, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I welcome participants from the Teachers Institute on Canadian Parliamentary Democracy to Ottawa.

Launched in 1996 by our former speaker, Gib Parent, the Teachers Institute is a unique professional development opportunity for teachers of social studies and related subjects from grades 4 through 12 at CEGEP.

Each November the program brings approximately 70 teachers from across the country together for an intensive week on Parliament Hill. The program is based on the principle that in order to successfully convey the issues and intricacies of modern Parliament to their students, teachers need opportunities to develop and sustain a creative, critically engaging curriculum.

I hope that as a result of this week participants will gain an insider's view on the workings of government and the legislative process, the key players, their functions and activities. We also hope that this opportunity to connect with other educators will produce creative ideas and useful tools for teaching young Canadians about citizenship and parliamentary democracy.

I am particularly proud this year that my daughter, Megan, is among the participants.

Softwood LumberStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, the recent proposal by the U.S. lumber lobby is being turned down flatly by many members of the softwood lumber industry in Canada.

The Alberta Softwood Lumber Trade Council says there is no basis for continuing discussions. Atlantic Canada, sawmills in Ontario and the Canadian Lumber Remanufacturers Alliance are all against it.

Only after the minister has formal discussions with the entire industry should he continue with negotiations with a position that reflects all of Canada, not just one region or one province.

Yesterday the Minister for International Trade assured me that the Government of Canada would not move forward unless the Atlantic Canadian industry was comfortable with any proposal.

The current U.S. proposal eliminates the hard fought Atlantic Canadian exemption and does not acknowledge the plight of the lumber remanufacturers in Canada.

We will be holding the minister to his word that no agreement will go forward until there is a comfort level as promised.

Jean-Baptiste MeilleurStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, Jean-Baptiste Meilleur is recognized as one the main founders of Quebec's public education system.

Founded in 1963, the Jean Baptiste Meilleur high school in Repentigny was among the first public composite high schools established as part of the educational reform. Both were precursors in their own way, in their own time.

Thousands of young people had the privilege of studying in this leading institution of our region. To mark this 40th anniversary, staff and students of this educational institution are invited to a big reunion.

Organized by a dynamic team led by Gilles Bélisle, himself an institution within the institution, this event is overseen by the new director, Jacques Ménard.

As the honorary president of this reunion, it is with pride and pleasure that I extend to all former students of the school an invitation to attend this great celebration on Sunday, November 9.

Judith Longpré and Shae ZukiwskyStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today in the House to acknowledge the success of Longpré and Zukiwsky in figure skating.

This young couple, Judith Longpré of the Laval skating club, Les Lames d'Argent, and her partner, Shae Zukiwsky, achieved eighth place ranking in senior ice dance at the Nebelhorn Trophy competition in Oberstdorf, Germany, thisSeptember.

On behalf of all the people of Laval, I wish to congratulate Judith Longpré and Shae Zukiwsky on their superb performance in Germany. I am sure that we will be hearing about their skating successes for many years to come.

Monia MazighStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Canadians heard Maher Arar's heart wrenching testimony about his 374 days of torture and hardship. His ordeal would have been even more horrendous but for the efforts of his courageous loving wife, Monia Mazigh.

Today we pay tribute to this remarkable woman. She has inspired Canadians with her unrelenting efforts to raise awareness of what happens when the rights of citizens are trampled in the name of so-called national security.

In her typically humble way, she insists that the credit belongs to her mother and to Mr. Arar's loving family, calling them true heroes for their support while she struggled against incredible odds to bring Maher home to safety, to justice and to his family.

Monia Mazigh dared the unknown forces who violated the rights of her husband and for 374 days robbed her children of their father.

We are all deeply indebted to Monia Mazigh for her devotion in fighting for the rights and freedoms that her family should enjoy and that all Canadians prize so dearly.

Toyota Training and Development CentreStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Liberal Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, the HRDC minister, Conestoga College president Dr. John Tibbits and Toyota Motor Manufacturing president Ray Tanguay officially launched a new training and development centre in my riding of Cambridge.

Toyota's new 6,000 square foot centre introduces workers to TMMC's world famous production system and provides training in computer skills, vehicle functionality, core manufacturing skills, use of hand tools, safety training and other work related skills.

Conestoga College courses or any other accredited Canadian college or university course can also be taken.

To create an innovative country, we need to produce innovative approaches to training. The partnership between an industry leading company like Toyota and a world class educational institution like Conestoga College is a good example of efforts that all levels of government need to encourage in order to make Canada a leader in innovation.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, watching the Liberal caucus goings-on this morning, I thought the Prime Minister might not have a seat but I am glad to see he has found a place to put himself. However, I do have a serious question.

Maher Arar was imprisoned and tortured in a Syrian prison. Canadian officials may have been involved in his deportation. Yesterday in an all party committee of the House, members of all parties basically unanimously demanded that the government hold a public inquiry into this situation.

Why is the government refusing to have a public inquiry to lay to rest some of these allegations?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think it is completely unacceptable and deplorable what happened to this gentleman who is a Canadian and who was sent to Syria rather than to his country of Canada. We have protested. This morning I asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Deputy Prime Minister to get in touch with their counterparts. A few minutes ago Secretary Powell said that he would try to find out if there is in reality one Canadian involved in that. The name will be given to Canada if there is one and we will act accordingly.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is completely acceptable that we would get the facts from other countries but we should be getting the facts from our own government of its role in this case.

Consular officials visited Mr. Arar in New York and Syria, yet somehow the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Solicitor General all refused to accept any responsibility. What is the government hiding? Why does the government refuse to disclose all of the facts of its role in this case?

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have revealed all the facts that we know about it. There is nothing the government knows that has not been made public.

I find it very hypocritical from the opposition because on the 18th of November, 2002 the Leader of the Opposition criticized us for having “participated in high level consultations to defend a suspected terrorist”. The same day the hon. member for Calgary--Nose Hill criticized us for “chastising the U.S. for sending Arar back to Syria”. What a bunch of hypocrites.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on this side we are prepared to have a public inquiry to get to the bottom of the truth. The government should be prepared to do exactly the same thing.

Mr. Arar, members of the opposition and members of the government are asking for a public inquiry. The Prime Minister's own whip says that no stone should be left unturned. I believe the Prime Minister's successor will hold a public inquiry if he does not, so will the Prime Minister, for the benefit of all of us--

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is just another fishing expedition. The people who are responsible for the deportation of the gentleman to Syria are in the government of the United States, not the Government of Canada. I cannot understand why the opposition wants to blame the Government of Canada for the actions of the Americans. This gentleman should have come to Canada. He should not have been sent to Syria.

Foreign AffairsOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, the investigations of allegations of wrongdoing and Canadian complacency in the Maher Arar case are very troubling. Evidence warrants a full and open public inquiry which would include the Department of Foreign Affairs, CSIS and the RCMP. A public complaints commission will not have a wide scope, nor will it be transparent, nor does it preclude a full public inquiry.

Given the widespread support on both sides of the House, before the Prime Minister steps out of public life, will he step in and initiate a full public inquiry into the Arar case?