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House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was iraq.

Topics

Peacekeeping Service MedalStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Tony Tirabassi Liberal Niagara Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to my constituent, Harvey Beauvais, who has been awarded the Canadian peacekeeping service medal.

Harvey began his career with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency in 1982 after a 23 year career in the Canadian military, where he served in Europe working in intelligence.

During his career with customs, Harvey held positions that included customs inspector, acting customs superintendent and intelligence officer. Harvey is now retired and lives with his wife in Thorold, Ontario.

I congratulate Harvey for having done Canada proud.

IraqStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gary Lunn Canadian Alliance Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a heavy heart. I have always supported diplomacy as the first answer in ending the Iraqi crisis. However, in the last few days before the war began, it was apparent to me that diplomatic efforts had been exhausted. The Iraqi regime wilfully subverted every single UN resolution, despite numerous opportunities to comply. Saddam Hussein caused this war.

One hundred years ago, John Stuart Mills stated:

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest thing. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.

Closer to home, an Iraqi Canadian named Abdul stated the following in my local paper over the weekend:

If you have to choose between Saddam Hussein and anything else, you would choose anything else.

People like Abdul desperately want an end to the evil of Hussein's regime. It is time the government stopped sulking--

IraqStatements By Members

2 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Halifax West.

George ChristieStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, on February 16 of this year the community of Bedford lost one of its shining lights. George Christie was a community pillar for almost 70 years.

Although Mr. Christie's list of accomplishments and contributions is far too long to enumerate here, a few items demand recognition.

A first lieutenant with the Halifax Rifles during World War I, George Christie returned to Bedford and took very active roles in his church and community. He was an honourary life elder at the Bedford United Church and helped countless young people become good citizens and community leaders through both the Air Cadets and Scouts Canada.

I want to express my appreciation for the life of George Christie and my sincere condolences to his family and friends. He will be surely missed.

Parental LeaveStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, mothers in Canada and Quebec are very pleased with the parental leave program introduced by the Government of Canada. They are now staying at home twice as long as they did two years ago after giving birth. Fathers are also doing their share, with 10% of them temporarily trading their jobs for the pleasures of caring for the baby.

The Minister of Human Resources Development, who was behind these reforms, said that having a good start in life is wonderful for children. The federal Liberal minister and member for Brant said she was very touched to receive letters and pictures from new parents thanking her for this extra time they can spend with their children.

Settlement and Integration Services OrganizationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, March 21, leaders from the corporate sector, service organizations and all levels of government in Hamilton joined together at Liuna Station to mark the 10th anniversary of the Settlement and Integration Service Organization known as SISO.

SISO is the leading provider of settlement and integration services in Hamilton. It is a community based, client centred organization that provides language appropriate programs and services. It advocates for equity and change, and facilitates empowerment through improving access to knowledge and information.

SISO breaks down the barriers that often prevent immigrants from reaching their full potential as participants and contributors to Canada's prosperity and growth.

I commend SISO for the excellent service it has provided Hamiltonians over the last 10 years and wish it continued success in the years to come.

Rob SivellStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Larry Spencer Canadian Alliance Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, Rob Sivell, only 44, was a constituent of mine. Last week his life ended prematurely when a co-worker went on a shooting rampage in Yemen. The lives of an American and a Yemeni were also taken.

We send our prayers and condolences to his wife Lisa, his one year old twin daughters and his teenage son. Our nation grieves with this special family in their time of great loss.

His young daughters will forever miss the love and admiration of their father so important to the development of young and tender lives. His teenaged son will miss his guidance and support in his own struggle for manhood. His wife will miss his care, provision and support. His friends will miss his smile, his laugh and his easygoing manner.

The world struggles with the tragedy of war raging in Iraq. The death of Rob Sevill is a tragedy too. To his family, to his friends and to his neighbours in Buena Vista, Saskatchewan, it is a tragedy of enormous proportions when, not from war, but from simply providing for his family, Rob's life was lost.

Ben FranklinStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Liberal Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I rise in sadness to mark the passing this weekend of former Nepean mayor, Ben Franklin, who was a colleague and friend.

Ben Franklin was dedicated to building a great community. First elected to Nepean council in 1973, he served as mayor from 1978 until his retirement for health reasons in 1997.

Ben Franklin left an enormous legacy of achievement. He took a highly indebted and highly taxed bedroom community and transformed it into one of the most dynamic and best managed municipalities in Ontario, if not all of Canada.

However, Ben Franklin's accomplishments were so much more than simply the bottom line. He touched many lives because of his friendly manner and his desire to help people. As someone who served on his council for six years, I experienced firsthand how much Ben Franklin loved Nepean and how much Nepean loved Ben Franklin.

On behalf of all my constituents I would like to extend my deepest condolences and support to Ben's wife, Sherry, his daughter, Suzanne, and son, Brent.

Geneva ConventionStatements By Members

March 24th, 2003 / 2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the weekend, strikingly horrific pictures were broadcast by most major television networks. We saw footage of American prisoners of war being interviewed and pictures of bodies of dead soldiers. The night before, it was footage of Iraqi prisoners that was broadcast. Such are the horrors of war, and none of us wants to witness anything like that again.

I trust, therefore, that all the players in this conflict will abide by the 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, of which the two warring nations are signatories; it provides that prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.

Yesterday, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the depositary of the Geneva conventions, denounced the broadcast of pictures of American and Iraqi prisoners, pictures which are in violation of the convention.

We therefore urge the government to do everything in its power to ensure that both parties to the conflict apply and abide by the convention.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gérard Binet Liberal Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, the environment is an integral part of our life and affects many aspects of our health, work and leisure. To ensure a healthy environment for our children, it is imperative that we preserve our forests.

The Agence régionale de mise en valeur des forêts privées de la Chaudière fully understands this and has developed a project to identify exceptional forest ecosystems on the territory of the Agence Chaudière and to put in place a program of voluntary conservation agreements with the owners in question.

Through the Ecoaction financial assistance program, this project received $18,000 from the federal government and also received support from the Amiante RCM, the Government of Quebec, the Agence régionale de mise en valeur des forêts privées de la Chaudière and its accredited forestry advisers, including the Groupement forestier Beauce-Sud and the Groupe AgroForestier Lotbinière-Mégantic.

Cooperation between the three levels of government—federal, provincial and municipal—and of course the forest owners, is the key to success for any such project.

PassportsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, last month members of Parliament received a letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs indicating that the passport process would be streamlined and that the lengthy delays experienced since September 11 would be minimized.

To date there has been little or no improvement. My staff must deal with ever increasing casework on passports that now represent over 40% of my constituency work.

Frustrated constituents are anxious as to whether they will have their passports or have to forfeit their vacations. In many cases, passports only arrive the day before or the same day of travel. This creates considerable stress for all concerned. My office is also having difficulty accessing accurate information on these files.

Enough is enough. This situation is unacceptable and must be improved.

Environment CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Liberal Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, I was extremely disappointed to hear the news that Environment Canada intends to move its forecast centre from Fredericton to Halifax. This will remove from the New Brunswick Weather Centre its primary function: providing weather forecasts and severe weather warnings for New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

In addition to providing that service, the New Brunswick Weather Centre provides 24 hour a day bilingual service, not only for New Brunswick but for the entire Atlantic region.

While I am pleased that the portion of the weather service that addresses environmental protection and conservation will remain in our province, I regret the extent of personnel change that the move from Fredericton will involve. I feel New Brunswickers are entitled to a more comprehensive service from within.

For those reasons I will continue to work with my colleagues, who represent the other eight offices affected, to convince the minister and Environment Canada to reconsider their position and keep the forecast centre in New Brunswick.

World Tuberculosis DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, today is World Tuberculosis Day. On this important day the World Health Organization has announced the achievement of a major milestone in global efforts to fight the resurgent epidemic of tuberculosis.

Over 10 million TB patients have now been successfully treated under DOTS, the internationally recommended TB control strategy. Of these, more than 90% live in developing countries where the disease causes the most suffering, economic loss and death.

I would note as well that the TB epidemic is growing unabated in sub-Saharan Africa, where it is closely linked to HIV-AIDS and poverty, and in many of the newly independent states arising after the breakup of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, where it is exacerbated by poverty and social disruption. In some high HIV countries of sub-Saharan Africa, TB rates have quadrupled since the mid-1980s and threaten to overwhelm well established control programs.

Today I am calling on the Canadian government to put more resources into the global fight against tuberculosis and also to recognize that aboriginal communities in Canada and northern communities have rates of tuberculosis that are in many cases devastatingly high.

Action Week Against RacismStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was the last day of Action Week Against Racism. Created in March 2000 by a group of some 20 Quebec organizations, the aim of this week is to demystify racism and raise the level of understanding about this problem to better fight the phenomenon.

These days, racism is particularly noticeable in the work force. It is mostly women and visible minorities who are still the targets of discrimination. The latest statistics from Statistics Canada prove this. Recent immigrants earn much less than their Canadian-born counterparts, even ten years after they have been here. This is as much a problem for immigrants who are not well educated as for those who have a university degree.

Quebec has the most innovative policies to address all forms of racism. The Bloc Quebecois would like to congratulate the Government of Quebec for the inclusive measures it has put in place.

Achievement in GeographyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure and privilege to stand in the House and recognize outstanding Canadians and their achievements. Today I rise to acknowledge one such remarkable individual, Dr. Barry Wellar, professor of geography at the University of Ottawa.

The Association of American Geographers recently awarded Barry Wellar the James R. Anderson Medal of Honour in Applied Geography in recognition of a lifetime of achievement in applied geographic research and implementation.

For over 40 years Barry Wellar has pioneered research into projects ranging from satellite imagery and remote sensing to rural and urban development. I am proud to have had Barry Wellar contribute to the work of the Prime Minister's caucus task force on urban issues last year. He has brought the science of applied geography into public policy. His knowledge and expertise is sought the world over.

I ask members to join with me in congratulating Professor Barry Wellar on his special medal of honour.

InfrastructureStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Loyola Hearn Progressive Conservative St. John's West, NL

Mr. Speaker, the government is becoming famous for its downloading. The government downloads on the provinces, the provinces download on the municipalities, and the municipalities are left with the horrendous debts.

In relation to the infrastructure program, in the recent budget we heard an announcement of $3 billion for infrastructure. It sounds like a lot of money until we are told that $1 billion goes to special projects and $2 billion is spread over ten years; ten years spread across the country does very little.

Again, it is a government of downloading and downsizing. Let us hope that the people of Canada take a lesson and start downsizing the government opposite.

Canadian Firearms ProgramStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierrette Venne Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the beginning, the application and management of the firearms program has been nothing but a comedy of errors and administrative blunders. The negligence of the Minister of Justice and the officials who report to him could only have led straight to the financial disaster that was revealed last fall by the Auditor General.

Instead of trying to make changes to the program, changes that are cosmetic, the government should instead suspend it immediately in order to thoroughly clean up the mess and finally put an end to this waste of public money.

I therefore invite all members, government and opposition alike, to vote against granting an additional $59 million to the Canadian firearms program tomorrow.

Sports AwardsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this occasion to congratulate St. Catharines Athlete and Sportsperson of the Year recipients Liz Earley and Joe Corrigan.

In July 2002 Liz Earley won the Whirlpool Canadian PGA Women's Championship tournament at the St. Catharines Golf and Country Club, a course where she had been a member for 23 years, and in front of her friends and parents, Dave and Glenda Earley. Liz is a former scholarship golfer at the University of Central Florida and has been a professional golfer for 10 years. She finished the year at 14 on the Futures Tour money list, made 17 of 18 cuts and had three top 10 finishes.

Joe Corrigan has worked tirelessly to promote boxing in the St. Catharines community. Joe is a coach at the St. Catharines Boxing Club and worked to ensure an average of 25 boxing cards each year on the provincial, national and international levels. He also organized the 2002 Canadian Men's and Women's Boxing Championships, which were held for the first time in St. Catharines last year.

On behalf of the House of Commons, I wish to commend both Liz Earley and Joe Corrigan on their fine achievements and for being recognized for those accomplishments by my community, St. Catharines, Ontario.

Child PornographyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, society is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable members. Nowhere is the Liberal anti-family policy more evident than in its defence of child pornographers.

The Canadian Alliance joins with the Canadian Police Association in calling for laws that protect our children from exploitation by older persons, including raising the age of consent to 16 and the need for a national sex offender registry to track all convicted sex offenders released into our neighbourhoods.

It is a tragedy that concerned Canadian parents have to call a U.S. government tip line to report child pornography and other suspicious activities on the Internet when people like Rebecca Warren and David Ellis at BytesCanada Incorporated, from Pembroke, and their tracking team have assisted in 131 arrests in spite of the federal government and could provide a made in Canada service.

It is clear that only a Canadian Alliance government will protect our children.

IraqOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on Friday the Minister of Foreign Affairs did not rule out participation in the allied military campaign in Iraq. The government has now had the weekend to reflect on subsequent events and to reconsider its position. Is the government now prepared to stand with our American and British friends for the end of the rule of Saddam Hussein?

IraqOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our position has always been that we believe very strongly that our American colleagues should be engaged in this activity through a multilateral process, which we urge. We continue to urge that conduct. We continue to maintain our policy. We will continue to act in a way which will strengthen the multilateral system because we believe strongly this is the best way that we will have a long term result, which is the benefit for the world and for Canadians.

IraqOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we do not believe in sacrificing our friends and our interests to a veto of Jacques Chirac.

A reason the government should reconsider its position is that it appears some allied POWs may have been executed by Saddam's soldiers. It is certainly clear that Saddam's treatment of allied personnel is a blatant violation of the Geneva convention. Given these realities, does the government now regret that it is not standing with our American and British friends in the fight against Saddam?

IraqOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the very principles the Leader of the Opposition has raised here are principles of international law and those are the very principles that have guided our conduct here today.

One cannot maintain on the one hand that certain behaviour must be in conformity with the international regime and not at the same time work on the multilateral system to make that regime apply. We will continue to work on that. We totally disapprove of any violation of the Geneva conventions. We have always taken and will continue to maintain that policy. We totally disapprove of any conduct that would violate the Geneva conventions.

IraqOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, two world wars demonstrated that principles do not matter unless one is prepared to fight and stand for them.

Saddam is not just killing allied personnel. He is threatening his own people. He has placed military buildings inside residential areas. We have documented evidence of him using women and children as human shields. These are also violations of the Geneva convention.

When will the government reverse its decision to abandon our allies and fight Saddam?

IraqOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the conduct of Canadian men and women in the field in two world wars demonstrated that this country and the people of this country are willing to fight for their principles and have never shied away from a fight, but we are willing to fight under terms which are supported by the Canadian population and which we believe are appropriate in the circumstances, and we will continue to have that conduct in spite of all these attacks from the opposition.