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House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was international.

Topics

Karine Dumouchel and Karine VaudevilleStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Serge Marcil Liberal Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to welcome to Ottawa two young women from my riding of Beauharnois—Salaberry, Karine Dumouchel and Karine Vaudeville, of Louis-Cyr high school in Napierville, who won a contest organized by the Secretary of State (Latin America and Africa) (Francophonie).

This contest was aimed at French-speaking high school students in Quebec, including the ones in my riding, and its purpose was to promote the importance of French literary writing.

Today, as part of the Journée internationale de la Francophonie, these young women have been invited to take part in a ceremony highlighting the importance of French around the world.

I congratulate them on their participation and their desire to promote the beauty of the French language through writing.

Member for Calgary SouthwestStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, a year ago today the member for Calgary Southwest was elected leader of the Canadian Alliance.

As the year has unfolded we have discovered just some of the skills our leader possesses. He can multi-task; he is already dealing with his second prime minister and the first one has not even left office yet.

He loves media relations; just ask the press gallery.

He is known as serious, cerebral, a straight talker. On top of all that, he is a family man and a true blue Canadians. If we want to get him really excited, we should ask him how his son, Ben, is doing in hockey.

During the past year the member for Calgary Southwest has been the principled voice for Conservatives and Reformers across Canada.

He is the only leader to stand up against the Kyoto accord. He is the only leader to challenge the wheat board monopoly. He is the only leader who has called for an end to the firearms registry. Finally, he is the only leader willing to stand with our allies against the tyrant, Saddam Hussein.

Under our leader and with our team, the Canadian Alliance is strong, united, debt free and ready to provide the principled leadership Canadians so desperately need.

Comité des jeunes de RosemontStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing fawning about my motion.

As the Liberal member responsible for the riding of Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, I am pleased today to highlight the 50th anniversary of the Comité des jeunes de Rosemont, a hockey organization that does exceptional work with young people.

For half a century, thousands of volunteers have allowed more than 15,000 young people to participate in their favourite sport. Indeed, these volunteers have allowed people to make their mark in national and international hockey. Pierre Lacroix, Michel Bergeron, Richard Sévigny, and even Caroline Ouellet, of the national women's hockey team, are but a few.

In closing, I cannot neglect to mention the involvement of the founding president, Mr. Jean Trottier, whose dedication has been an extraordinary source of inspiration for the next generation.

Thanks to all the volunteers, and long live the Comité des jeunes de Rosemont.

International Day of La FrancophonieStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, today Canada is celebrating the Journée internationale de la Francophonie with 56 other states and governments that also use French.

I would like to welcome His Excellency Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the Secretary General of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, who is on Parliament hill for the Journée internationale de la Francophonie.

March 20 is a day to renew this pride in the French language as an element of identity and solidarity. Several Canadian provinces have used this day as an opportunity to declare their own Semaine de la Francophonie, punctuated with a number of activities to showcase this francophone pride, but also the francophone vitality that exists in our country.

I urge everyone to take part in the activities organized for the Journée internationale de la Francophonie. Get out and discover this rich and exciting world.

Happy Journée internationale de la Francophonie to francophones and francophiles everywhere.

War in IraqStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, the stomp of blood-stained boots in the sand has drowned out the calls for peace. Why did the drums of war win out over the pleas of marchers around the world?

We cannot shape the world as we see fit. Shaping the world is supporting humanity in all of its beauty and fragility. Shaping the world requires us to temper our authority with generosity and openness, to promote our mutual desire for harmonious relations. It is a right we must earn.

There is a future for our world. This future belongs to children, the children of Iraq, the children of the United States of America, the children of Canada and Quebec, the children around the world that belong to us all.

To shape the world is to plant a garden of hope where we will allow our child at heart to lead the way.

Our prayers and tears are the reflection of our hope that love and peace will take root.

International Day for the Elimination of RacismStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yolande Thibeault Liberal Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today to remind everyone that Canada was among the first countries to support the United Nations declaration in 1966, which proclaimed March 21 International Day for the Elimination of Racism.

The campaign to eliminate racism is carried out through conferences, the arts, culture, music, literature and movies. These media are used to describe, expose and denounce racism.

Young people are at the heart of the annual campaign on March 21. They have the energy, commitment and creativity needed to advance the fight against racism. They are the voice of the present and the future and are among those most exposed to racism in their schools, on the street, in small towns and big cities across the country.

The March 21 campaign encourages young people to look beyond race and religion and to embrace diversity.

Canada-U.S. RelationsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle Progressive Conservative St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, as we speak, an American led coalition has begun the business of forcibly disarming Saddam Hussein.

The Government of Canada has decided that we will not participate in this particular conflict, and I have no doubt that it meets with the approval of most Canadians.

However, that being said, now is the time for Canadians in positions of responsibility, including members of the House, to refrain from making gratuitous negative comments about our American neighbours and their leadership. Our economies are tightly intertwined and we are, and have been, allies on many fronts.

We will not always agree with the Americans in international affairs but we do share a continent with them. It is in Canada's best interest to strive for good relations with the U.S. whenever possible.

Let us hope and pray for a mercifully swift war and a peace that brings a better tomorrow for all of us on this planet.

Women of DistinctionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Guy Carignan Liberal Québec East, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 10, 2003, the finalists in the 2003 Women of Distinction contest for central and eastern Quebec were selected. The purpose of this contest is to showcase women who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to the advancement of women in either their personal life or their professional life.

This is a joint initiative by the Quebec City YWCA and the city of Québec.

Two outstanding women from the riding of Québec East, namely Jocelyne Gros Louis and Gérardine Fournier-Morin, made the short list for the May 6 gala.

Jocelyne Gros Louis is a woman of great charisma, passion and determination. Her social involvement started when, under the Indian Act, she was forced to renounce her origin and her rights after marrying a non-aboriginal. This prompted her to become an advocate for the rights of aboriginal women.

Jocelyne Gros Louis is also behind the establishment of the native friendship centre, where aboriginal families can find assistance in an urban setting. She was also the first woman to be elected Grand Chief of the Huron-Wendat nation, in 1992.

A great humanist and activist of conviction from the very beginning of her career, Gérardine Fournier-Morin was, in late 1995, a founding member of the first union in the counties of Montmagny and L'Islet, of which she was the first president. She was also the first woman to head the organization Jeunesse agricole catholique in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli.

Prime MinisterStatements By Members

March 20th, 2003 / 2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister terrorized his own caucus with strong-arm tactics that were an affront to democracy.

The Liberal government will not tell Parliament what the total cost of the gun registry has been so far. It also greatly underestimated the future costs of implementing and enforcing this legislation. Yet we are being asked to approve another $172 million.

Is the Prime Minister proud of his schoolyard bullying tactics? Is he proud that he forced his own MP to burst into tears at the thought of having to ignore the constituents who elected her? Is he proud of his anti-democratic antics?

Taxpayers have been robbed for years to pay for this firearms fiasco but now it has become a symbol of the anti-democratic devices of the government.

The Prime Minister should apologize to his own MPs and Canadians. Better yet, he should take a walk in the snow before it is all gone. A Canadian Alliance government would have the guts and leadership to put an end to this mess.

IraqOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the allied effort to disarm and end the regime of Saddam Hussein has begun. Notwithstanding the Liberal government's abandonment of our closest traditional allies, Canadians will be hoping for a successful end to the conflict in Iraq.

This morning the Prime Minister in his statement hoped that it would be a brief conflict. Would the Prime Minister avail himself of this opportunity to wish our allies a short and successful campaign?

IraqOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we all hope that the war will be as short as possible with a minimum of victims on both sides. I think it is too bad. We have worked very hard to try to avoid a war and unfortunately the decision was made. It was the Americans' privilege and right to make that decision. We respect that.

We made a decision. They have known about it for a long time, and they have respected our decision. I hope that this war will be very short and that there will be a minimum of victims.

Of course I hope that the Americans will do as well as possible.

IraqOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we are not neutral on this side and in this country. We are hoping for the success of the Americans, the British and their allies.

I want to address the anti-American comments that were made yesterday. The Prime Minister was forced to accept the resignation of his communications director for her anti-American statements, yet he refused to censure members of his own backbench for similar statements.

Which treatment will the Minister of Natural Resources receive? Resignation or approval.

IraqOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I said to the Canadian people and I said to the members of my caucus yesterday that in a situation like that, we have to respect the decision of the Americans. They made their decision according to their own judgment. They have respected our judgment that is different from theirs.

We have been in communication with the administration yesterday and today, and it has been very cordial. The Americans knew before the war that wanted to be there, and they are very grateful that we are participating in the war against terrorism with our ships in the gulf and with the troops that will be available in a few months.

IraqOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister should not be vague. He should make it clear that the statement of the Minister of Natural Resources is unacceptable.

This anti-American statement follows a long pattern of such statements from all levels of the Liberal government, from staff, from backbenchers and now from cabinet ministers. Many Canadians and many of our American friends are increasingly convinced that this is not mere sloppiness but Liberal strategy.

Why are remarks like this always targeted at the U.S. administration and never the regime of Saddam Hussein?

IraqOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is not one day that we have not said that we are opposed to what Saddam Hussein is doing to his people in Iraq, since 1991. We were involved in 1991. This time we are not involved because in 1991 there was an approval of the UN and we were participated.

This year we said the same thing to the president, “If you have the approval of the UN, we'll be with you”. Unfortunately, he did not get the approval of the UN with the resolution that was introduced by the President himself a few days ago, and we decided to do what we told them for a year we would do.

IraqOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is now reported that the missiles which Iraq fired today on the people of Kuwait are al-Samoud missiles, missiles which were supposed to be banned in Iraq, missiles which Saddam Hussein swore he did not have.

Will the government now reconsider its position and join the coalition of some 50 nations that support the disarming of Saddam Hussein or do we have to wait until Saddam uses a chemical or a biological weapon, which apparently he does not have, before we will join our allies and take action to disarm him?

IraqOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our position has been clear from the beginning. We have absolutely worked as hard as we can with our American allies, with our British allies and with all communities in the world to bring this to a satisfactory solution at the United Nations process.

We will continue our work in the future with reconstruction and with humanitarian aid, but we do not believe that it is appropriate for Canada to be engaged in a military intervention at this time in these circumstances. We made that clear and we continue that as our strong policy.

IraqOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has said that he has called world leaders related to the Iraq crisis, and I believe he has, but he also admits that he has never personally picked up the phone and told Saddam Hussein that we as Canadians oppose him and oppose his murderous regime.

The Liberals may laugh. It is now too late for the Prime Minister to pick up the phone, as I understand the lines may be down. He could do what the government of Australia has done and expel Iraqi diplomats, send them home to tell Saddam Hussein that he should step down and save his people. Will he consider sending those Iraqi diplomats home?

IraqOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have worked very hard, more than any other nation, to try to bridge the gap between those who are supporting the UN resolutions and those who are not. We said that with a few more days or weeks and a precise target and deadline, we would have probably succeeded in the disarmament of Saddam Hussein and not have a war.

The Americans, British and others have decided that they prefer to attack right now. We have disagreed with them and we still disagree. We respect their decision but we are not part of this war.

IraqOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the war in Iraq is an unjustified, illegitimate and illegal war that could have been averted through the continuation of the inspections, and we deplore this situation. However, despite the fact that the war has begun, the international community still has a role to play. We must now work to help the Iraqi population and to restore peace.

Could the Prime Minister tell us what Canada intends to do on the diplomatic front to ensure that Iraqi civilians will benefit from humanitarian assistance at the earliest opportunity?

IraqOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, we are working with other countries and with the United Nations to get ready to provide humanitarian assistance to the victims of this war. This is a role that Canada has always fulfilled and intends to fulfill again in this case.

IraqOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister repeatedly pointed out that Canada has tried countless diplomatic avenues. Even though the Bloc Quebecois did not always agree with the proposals made, the Canadian government must remain active on the diplomatic front. There are still some options left.

What diplomatic avenues does the Prime Minister intend to explore to strengthen the role of the United Nations, which should be the main architect when it comes to humanitarian assistance?

IraqOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we are currently working with the United Nations. Our ambassador in New York, Mr. Heinbecker, contacted my office this morning to tell me that we are very active and that several countries are very interested in participating in the humanitarian relief efforts to help the civilian victims of this war which, I hope, will be as short as possible.

IraqOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs declared, a few days ago, that the minimum amount needed to ease the suffering of those affected by the war was $123 million US over the next three months. However, to date, only $40 million has been collected.

Does Canada intend to pay its share, set an example and urge others to follow its lead?

IraqOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Essex Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, Canada has responded to the original initial appeal contingency planning by meeting its commitment of 3%. We have just received today an appeal from the Red Cross. We anticipate we will be receiving more appeals on humanitarian assistance. We will evaluate each one of them carefully and will have further news in the coming days.