House of Commons Hansard #69 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cloning.


Assisted Human Reproduction Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I believe it is very appropriate that we take the time to wish the men and women of the Canadian navy from the HMCS Iroquois well following the tragic crash into its deck this morning of a Sea King helicopter. I hope they arrive back in Halifax soon to be with their friends and their families. Our wishes and our prayers are with them too.

Defending Canada's interests and freedoms has a toll, the price of peace can be very high. This should remind us all of the increased cost as lives and health are at risk in dated equipment. Today it is a 40 year old Sea King helicopter. Yesterday it was an under armoured and under gunned Sherman tank put up against Tiger tanks in World War II.

Perhaps this bill being discussed today has relevancy to this. Imagine the injured, the wounded, the high toll of World War II and what advances will be made by stem cell research over the next years, and how that could have aided our past generations of wounded from World War II.

I am pleased to speak to Bill C-13 today. It should be noted that we support a number of aspects of the bill. We fully support bans on reproductive and therapeutic cloning, animal human hybrids, sex selection, germ line alteration, the by and selling of embryos and paid surrogacy. We also support, with changes, an agency to regulate the sector.

We oppose human cloning as an affront to human dignity, individuality and rights. We have repeatedly spoken out against human cloning urging the federal government to bring in legislation to stave off the potential threat of cloning research in Canada.

In September we tabled a motion at the health committee calling on the government to immediately ban human reproductive cloning. The Liberals deferred a vote on the motion. The preference was to deal with cloning in a comprehensive reproductive technologies bill. However Motion No. 13 seeks to clarify the bill's current cloning prohibition.

What the bill says is that the health and well-being of children born through assisted human reproduction must be given priority. Human individuality and diversity and the integrity of the human gene must be preserved and protected. We support the recognition that the health and well-being of children born through assisted human reproduction should be given priority.

In fact the health committee came up with a ranking of whose interest should have priority in the decision making around assisted human reproduction an related research: children born through assisted human reproduction; adults participating in assisted human reproduction procedures; and researchers and physicians who conducted assisted human reproduction research.

While the preamble recognizes the priority of assisted human reproduction offspring, other clauses of the bill fail to meet this standard. Children born through donor insemination or from donor eggs are not given the right to know the identity of the biological parents. The bill's preamble does not provide acknowledgement of human dignity or respect for human life.

The bill is intimately connected with the creation of human life and yet there is no overarching recognition of the principle of respect for human life. This is a grave deficiency.

Our minority report recommended that the final legislation clearly recognize the human embryo as human life and that the statutory declaration include the phrase “respect for human life”. We believe that the preamble and the mandate of the proposed agency should be amended to include reference to the principle of respect for human life.

We have several concerns with stem cell research. The first would be that embryonic research is ethically controversial and divides Canadians. Embryonic stem cell research inevitably results in the death of the embryo, early human life. For many Canadians this violates the ethical commitment to respect for human dignity, integrity and life. An incontestable scientific fact is that an embryo is an early human life. Complete DNA of an adult human is present at the embryo stage. Whether that life is owed protection is what is really at issue here.

Embryonic research also constitutes an objectification of human life, where life becomes a tool which can be manipulated and destroyed for other even ethical ends. Adult stem cells are a safe, proven alternative to embryonic stem cells. Sources of adult stem cells are umbilical cord blood, skin tissue, bone tissue, et cetera. Adult stem cells are easily accessible, are not subject to immune rejection and pose minimal ethical concerns. Embryonic stem cell transplants are subject to immune rejection because they are foreign tissues. Adult stem cells used for transplants are typically taken from one's own body.

Adult stem cells are being used today in the treatment of Parkinson's, leukemia, MS and other conditions. Embryonic stem cells have not been used in the successful treatment of a single person. Research focus should be on this more promising and proven alternative. Our minority report called for a three year prohibition on experiments with human embryos corresponding with the first scheduled review of the bill.

Bill C-13 states that embryonic research can be undertaken if the agency is satisfied that such research is necessary.

During its review of draft legislation, the health committee recommended that such research be permitted only if researchers could demonstrate that no other category of biological material could be used for the purposes of the proposed research.

During the committee's review of Bill C-13, members tried to restore the spirit of this recommendation with an amendment specifying that healing therapies should be the object of such research. No embryonic research should be done for the development of cosmetics or drugs or for providing instruction to assist human reproduction procedures. The committee rejected this amendment and the Speaker rejected it coming forward for the report stage debate.

Bill C-13 specifies that the consent of the donor of human embryos is required in order to use a human embryo for experiments. The bill leaves it to the regulations to define donor. There are two donors to every human embryo, a woman and a man. Both donors, parents, should be required to give written consent for the use of a human embryo, not just one. Motion No. 17, put forward by our party, calls for a complete prohibition on embryonic research.

National Homelessness Initiative
Statements by Members

February 27th, 2003 / 1:55 p.m.


Raymonde Folco Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to point out today the importance of the National Homelessness Initiative introduced by the Government of Canada to find local solutions for local needs and problems related to homelessness.

All the major cities are dealing with youth homelessness. Thanks to this initiative, in Laval, the Bureau de consultation jeunesse and Oasis received financial assistance from our government to build a shelter with 10 transitional housing units. This assistance will fund the purchase of a mobile intervention unit to more effectively reach and serve youth living in isolation on the streets.

I am convinced that the purchase of a new vehicle for Oasis and the new transitional housing will greatly improve the quality of life of homeless persons in Laval.

Statements by Members

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have had enough of the government's lax attitude toward violent crime.

A woman was handed a conditional sentence of two years less a day for killing her partner in 1993, even though crown said that she was likely to reoffend.

Now, 10 years later, she is charged with allegedly attacking her new partner with a hammer.

Earlier this month two street racers were convicted of criminal negligence causing death for killing a pedestrian. One was even caught speeding while prohibited from driving as a condition of bail. Their punishment: two year conditional sentences.

A man who caused brain damage to his own baby gets house arrest.

Child pornographers regularly get house arrest.

A 58 year old man rapes a young girl he gets house arrest.

Abusers who traumatize their victims for life get the equivalent of a time out for punishment.

Any remaining confidence in our justice system was shattered last week when a man got five years for his part in the killing of 329 people with a bomb.

Canadians are not impressed.

National Engineering Week
Statements by Members

2 p.m.


Bryon Wilfert Oak Ridges, ON

Mr. Speaker, National Engineering Week is a national celebration of engineering excellence. This year engineering week will be from March 1 through to March 9.

Without engineers and their ingenious inventions there would not have been the Canada as we know it today. We must inform our youth that engineering is an exciting, fun and rewarding career choice.

The mandate of National Engineering Week is to raise public awareness of the importance of engineering and technology in our daily lives and encourage young people to consider careers in engineering and technology.

National Engineering Week activities give Canadians of all ages a chance to explore, discover and appreciate how engineering, science and technology contribute to our quality i life. The emphasis is on activities for youth that show how math and science can be fun and that demonstrate real life applications of engineering.

When we drive across a bridge, make a telephone call, fly in a plane or use a computer, we experience firsthand the work of engineers.

This is a young person's chance to explore engineering, to consider it as a career and to discover the impact it has on all our lives. Engineers prove every day that anything is possible.

Jeune Chambre de commerce de Québec
Statements by Members

2 p.m.


Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, Quebec City's junior chamber of commerce held its Gala de la jeune personnalité d'affaires, an event attended by the Secretary of State of Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions. This is an occasion for selecting the top finalist from among the eight selected over the year by the governors of the junior chamber of commerce.

At this event, a high point in the year for young entrepreneurs from the Quebec City region, Sylvain Parent-Bédard, CEO of Québécom, won the Jeune personnalité d'affaires de l'année award.

We want to congratulate Mr. Parent-Bédard, as well as point out that youth entrepreneurship is a priority for the Government of Canada. Our objective is to help young Canadians confidently take their place in society.

Congratulations to Sylvain Parent-Bédard.

Fred Rogers
Statements by Members

2 p.m.


Tony Tirabassi Niagara Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are saddened today to hear about the death of a long time childhood icon, Mr. Rogers.

Fred Rogers, whose show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood aired from 1968 to 2000, was a part of so many of our neighbourhoods as we were growing up.

What many Canadians do not know is that his program got its start as a 15 minute show here in Canada on the CBC before he took the program back to his native Pittsburgh.

Mr. Rogers had a special way of soothing and entertaining. His love of children and his simple messages taught important life lessons, while leaving us feeling as though a friend had just come over to visit.

Fred Rogers was a Presbyterian minister who studied early childhood education and did most of the puppetry for the show himself.

Indeed, it is a sad day in the neighbourhood this morning. Many of us have lost a cherished figure from our childhoods. He will be remembered fondly.

Lieutenant Governor of Alberta
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to send a big “get well soon” hug to our lieutenant governor in Alberta, Lois Hole. She was recently diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing aggressive treatment. The news came as a shock to us all and was met with a collective resolve to cheer her on, pray for her and to offer her as many hugs as it takes to see her through this.

Lois Hole, “the gardening lady”, has been nothing short of fabulous in her role as our lieutenant governor. Her presence brings delight to all, young or old, sick or well, military or civilian. Her warm nature, love for people and incredible sense of duty are appreciated by all Albertans.

Lois is known as the “queen of hugs”. Thousands of people have been the recipients of one of her hugs and they remember it always.

Lois needs our hugs now. We think fondly of Ted and her. All Albertans wrap their arms around her today and until she is back to full health.

God bless Lois. We love her.

The Environment
Statements by Members

2 p.m.


Peter Adams Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, 300 people from 12 countries will meet in Ottawa at the northern contaminants program symposium on Arctic contaminants, a key environmental and public health issue for people in Nunavut, Nunavik, Labrador, the Northwest Territories and Yukon.

Established in 1991, but scheduled to sunset in 2003, the northern contaminants program is managed by four federal agencies, three territorial governments, Dene and Yukon first nations, and Inuit.

An acknowledged success, this program generated the data that made the case for international agreements to reduce polluting emissions globally, emissions that threaten the health of indigenous people, especially women and children.

Canada assumed important monitoring and assessment obligations of the program in 2001 when it signed and ratified the global Stockholm convention on persistent organic pollutants. This program exemplifies Canada's renewed commitment to Arctic research stressed in the recent budget.

I congratulate the Government of Canada for its support of this fine work and urge a renewal of the northern contaminants program.

Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Gilles-A. Perron Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate a student of Polyvalente Deux-Montagnes, Marie-France Phisel, who took it upon herself to circulate a petition for peace and has gathered 1,162 signatures of young people opposed to the prospect of war on Iraq and any potential participation by Canada in such a conflict.

The petition was handed over to me last Friday to be passed on to the Prime Minister, which I have done.

The wording of the petition is a reflection of the great wisdom of today's youth. It reads as follows:

Peace and freedom are fundamental values. If we are to have a better world, there must be peace and unity among the nations. The world we want to live in is one that promotes peace, freedom, justice and equality, and we wish to express our total disagreement with any armed and violent intervention in Iraq. We wish to express our support for peace between peoples.

This shows the great social conscience of our youth.

Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, nearly every 22 seconds someone in the world steps on a landmine. Each year between 15,000 and 20,000 new victims are claimed by landmines and, of those, over 20% are children.

Today I am pleased that the youth mine action ambassador program and Mines Action Canada are organizing an event at Ottawa City Hall called the Save Our Soles Shoe Project. This important event is to symbolize Canada's role and our youth's effort in the international campaign to ban landmines.

I am proud of the fact that our youth are following up on the work of the former foreign affairs minister, Lloyd Axworthy, and others to eliminate the threat of landmines once and for all.

Canadian Forces
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Alliance has long taken the position that lobby groups and special interest groups should look to their own membership for funding. Yet the government is all too willing to fund lobby groups which support its political positions while it completely cuts funding to other groups, like the Conference of Defence Associations.

Why is this? Could it be because the CDA is too effective in pointing out the government's slashing of our Canadian Forces and the neglect of our military personnel? Could it be because this organization, which has over 600,000 members, too effectively points out the underfunding of our military?

Does the government really believe it is okay to fund only groups that take the same positions as it does? I do not, and I say that most Canadians do not either.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Steve Mahoney Mississauga West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I remember the outpouring of sympathy and affection toward Americans by all Canadians following September 11. That relationship was not built because of the tragedy, it has existed for many years.

Canadians and Americans have much in common. They are not just our closest neighbour, they are our friends and even family. Even though most, if not all, Canadians do not want the United States to launch war against Iraq, we still respect and cherish our relationship with America and Americans.

These are very tense times in the world, but Americans need to know that even if Canadians disagree with going to war we will continue to live in harmony and peace with them. We share the values of freedom and democracy. We share the longest undefended border in the world. We share hopes for our families and our futures.

Canadians do not hate Americans. We pray for them, we care for them, and we respect them as a nation. May God bless America.

Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, on February 22, the Bathurst and Campbellton areas of New Brunswick welcomed the 2003 Canada Winter Games. Hundreds of athletes from all over Canada are focussed on giving the best of themselves and doing their province proud.

Since the games began, I have had a number of complaints from people in my riding. They are extremely surprised and disappointed that Radio-Canada is not giving this national event the same amount of coverage as the CBC's English network. Only RDS, TSN and CBC are covering the games.

If people want to watch RDS, they have to be subscribers to extra cable channels, and most people have only basic cable.

A public broadcaster like Radio-Canada has a duty to cover such a great national event. Radio-Canada is not just for Quebec, but for all Canada's francophones.

Ckrl Fm
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, on February 15, 1973, the first francophone community radio station began broadcasting on 89.1 FM in Quebec City.

A young and determinedly different radio station, CKRL FM is noted for its diverse music and quality programming.

CKRL FM is a true training ground for all those working in culture and communication. More than a hundred people got their start there before pursuing their professional career in major electronic or print media, here and elsewhere.

On the occasion of this 30th anniversary, I would like to pay tribute to the many volunteers and others who, through their involvement and dedication, have contributed to making CKRL a dynamic and original radio station that continues to delight us today.

Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's ambassador to the United Nations, Paul Heinbecker, put it very well to the Security Council when he said:

History will judge the United Nations and this Security Council on how well you manage the Iraq crisis. Around the world, people are speaking out, asking that this crisis be resolved peacefully. No one wants a war. The government and people of Canada are fully prepared to accept the judgments of the inspectors and the decisions of this council.

It is therefore clear that Canada wants to prevent a war in Iraq, preserve the United Nations, avoid military action, and support a political solution. A war in the Middle East will only create newer and bigger problems, as repeatedly stated by Canada's foreign affairs minister.