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House of Commons Hansard #77 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was registration.

Topics

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Well, time has run out. Resuming debate.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for St. Albert.

Mr. Speaker, first of all I congratulate the government for demonstrating, in actions, a contempt and display of arrogance through the $1 billion Liberal gun registry that we in the official opposition could never put into words. There is the out of control spending, the blatant disregard for Parliament, so blatant that even members of the government party are pulling at their leashes because of the abuse the party puts on them, the abuse of the Commons using the Senate for a money bill, and the times that closure has been used. The list goes on and on.

Now I know why the government has been slowly disbanding our military. It fears the soldiers will join the protestors when the revolution finally comes, which brings us to the purpose of the Liberals' gun control policy, which is to disarm law-abiding citizens.

I shake my head in disbelief at the parliamentary proceedings before us today. The government is driven to trample on the rights of ordinary Canadians. There are no cost savings in BIll C-10A.

The government has admitted that the gun registry is not about cost. If it were, it would not be planning to throw another $1 billion, $2 billion, or $3 billion-plus down the same hole that it threw the first $1 billion. This is not a gun control issue; it is a government out of control issue.

Bill C-10A is being proposed as a partial fix to the severely flawed Bill C-68. The problems with the gun registry are beyond fixing. The gun registry must be scrapped. Try as the Liberals might, this issue is not going to go away.

In February I hosted a gun rally at a town hall meeting. It was to give information to the public on the gun registry. With minimal advertising and scarcely a week's notice, word spread quickly in a rural riding that relies on personal contact to spread the message. I stood in awe as the huge Renfrew armouries filled with people from Arnprior, Calabogie, Hardwood Lake, Quadville, Wilno, Griffith, Barry's Bay, Foymount, Eganville, Douglas, Renfrew, Pembroke, Beachburg, Palmer's Rapids, Cormac, Combermere, Dacre, Killaloe, Westmeath, Golden Lake, Madawaska and every place in between.

Hunters represented their camps, which means they went back to the 12, 15 or 20 members of their group to report on the meeting. Just that one meeting represented thousands and thousands of Canadians. With the hon. members for Yorkton--Melville and Blackstrap in attendance, we witnessed grassroots democracy as the crowd swelled. Angry citizens were upset with the tired and out of control Liberal government that insists on treating law-abiding citizens as criminals.

Speaker after speaker got up to vent their frustrations with a government that attacks rural Canadians and our way of life. Rural people are smart. We see right through shallow people and we will not forget. The Sam Slick, fast talking Liberal city slickers may be able to fool the docile urban herds about the government's gun registry, but rural Canada is not buying their story.

Guess what? Urban Canadians are waking up. It will be interesting to see how they respond to the national identity cards with which the government plans to register all citizens. It will be interesting to see the shoe on the other foot. Only then will they realize what rural Canadians have had to put up with regarding the gun registry.

I do not feel sorry for the justice minister. If he had dealt with the mess left to him by the first two ministers in a forthright manner, Canadians might be forgiving. It used to be that the justice portfolio was considered to be the glamour portfolio. Now the justice portfolio is the kiss of death. Just ask the health minister and in particular the industry minister what it has done to their political careers.

Speaking of dashed political careers, ask the former MP for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke what his docile, slavering defence of Bill C-68 got him. Defeat. Defeat will come to the rest of the Liberal caucus on this issue too. Rural people are smart and we do not forget.

The industry minister has given rise to a new political phrase that should be added to the dictionary in its next revision. It is called gun registry math. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, the definition of gun registry math is where a government program is stated to cost one amount when in fact it costs 500 times more. When the term gun registry math is used, it will apply any time the government makes a promise on the cost of a particular program. When looking up the meaning of gun registry math, people are advised to look under the section government screw-ups.

Our town hall meeting asked me to take a message to the Liberal government in Ottawa. It asked me to deliver it loud and clear: scrap the gun registry.

Government members in rural ridings in Ontario, such as Haliburton—Victoria—Brock, Parry Sound—Muskoka, Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, Nipissing, Leeds—Grenville and Prince Edward—Hastings should take note that their constituents called me about the rally. Those who were not able to attend begged me to arrange a town hall meeting in their ridings because their own members refused to speak out against the gun registry. They assured me that anywhere I went across rural Ontario, and this is particularly true in northern Ontario, huge crowds similar to the one we had in Renfrew would come out to protest the Liberal gun registry.

Constituents will be watching the gun registry amendment vote very carefully. A no show for the vote will not cut it either.

The Minister of Justice and his colleagues want to push the fantasy that opposition to the gun registry is being driven by the official opposition. Nothing could be further from the truth. Opposition to the Liberal gun registry is being driven by the people.

If I am not speaking against Bill C-68, I receive hundreds of calls urging me to speak up on it again. On no other issue do I receive more encouragement to fight the government than on the issue of the $1 billion wasted on the gun registry. We are listening to Canadians.

Recently the Solicitor General visited my riding to attend a party function. He was warmly greeted on a frosty valley night by a spontaneous demonstration. The protesters outnumbered the party supporters 10 to 1. They let him know how they felt about him, his party and his leader: scrap the registry.

The Solicitor General even had the nerve to tell some of the demonstrators that he agreed with them on the registry, that it was a colossal waste of money, but he refused to say what he would actually do about it.

Honour and integrity mean saying the same thing in public that one whispers in private. If the government truly feels it has the support for the registry, it should prove it by allowing a free vote. Let the power of logic rather than the threat of the whip determine the outcome. Above all, do not bully the members on how to vote.

Members of the government party are many things but they are not tools of the opposition. Why is it so hard for the government to believe that its own members' opposition to the registry is genuine and heartfelt? Members of Parliament were elected to take a stand on the issues of the day and I look forward to the vote.

While the government House leader will bluster and push the gun registry amendments, I hope he realizes that the people of Glengarry—Prescott—Russell hate the government's gun registry as much as rural Canadians in the rest of Ontario and Canada do.

I am truly surprised that the Prime Minister has taken such an ideological stance on this issue. In the past he has been quite adept at stealing Canadian Alliance policies when it suited his purpose, as adept as he has been at stealing the woolly headed ideas of the NDP. A pragmatic politician would have dropped the registry long ago.

I have to thank everyone who has called, written, come to the rallies and otherwise let their opposition be known to the Liberal gun registry. We will continue our opposition. We will have as many rallies as it takes to scrap the gun registry.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the constituents of the member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke care deeply about tough and effective gun control. I am also sure her constituents would want to ensure that screening of applicants for guns, providing safety training, offering an online registry to help the police do their jobs, efforts to combat gun smuggling, provide stiff sentences for those who commit crimes using guns, efforts to promote safe storage of firearms and individual accountability for gun ownership are promoted through the program.

However, what the Canadian Alliance is suggesting in its motion is that every penny of money that goes toward the gun control program, not just for the registry but funds that go toward licensing and the screening of gun applicants who may have a history of violent crime or a history of domestic violence, the Canadian Alliance wants to cut off all that funding as well. That is what the Alliance Party is suggesting to Parliament.

Members are agreeing that we should take away the tools from the police to screen gun applicants who may have a history of violence. I say that is an outrageous attack on public safety in this country. That would be the effect of the Canadian Alliance motion. It ignores the pleas of groups like the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, the Canadian Police Association, the Canadian Public Health Association, the Canadian Medical Association and many others.

My question for the hon. member is the following. Why is it that the Canadian Alliance later today is seriously suggesting that we take away every penny of money that the police would have to ensure that those who apply to use lethal weapons do not have a history of violent crimes or domestic violence? Why that abandonment of her constituents and the constituents of Canadian Alliance members?

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there were consultations a few moments ago with all parties in the House and I believe if you were to seek it you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding any standing or special order or usual practice, immediately after the division on government order, Ways and Means Proceedings No. 6, a minister of the crown may proceed with the introduction and first reading of the bill based thereon immediately thereafter.

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

An hon. member

Why?

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Someone has asked why. This is to permit all members, particularly opposition members, to see the bill one day earlier, because we are debating it on Thursday, and it would permit them to see it today as opposed to tomorrow.

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Does the House give its consent to the motion?

Business of the HouseGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member who asked the question helps the government perpetuate the myth that gun control did not exist prior to the Firearms Act. The people of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, the people in the Canadian Alliance, the people who oppose the gun registry do want the safe storage and safe use of firearms.

Prior to Bill C-68, and then the Firearms Act, laws were already in place to screen people who were purchasing firearms. Rules were in place for the safe storage and use of firearms.

What people are against is the waste of money on a useless database of people, which the police cannot use because it is 90% wrong. It does not even include the vast number of people who actually own firearms.

In fact, the gun registry, if anything, requires people who have not answered the questions correctly or who the government just does not want to have registered to turn in their firearms. It is not helping from a safety standpoint whatsoever. It is just having the people give up.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Jordan Liberal Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, throughout the course of the debate today we have had a tendency to sometimes get emotional, myself included. I want to ask this particular member a very specific question.

It is easy to sometimes oversimplify the issues. I will read back to her what she said on September 21, 2000, when she addressed a sportsman's club in Pembroke. She said “Are we going to go like lambs to the gas chamber?”

She talked about integrity and honour. Does she really want to say to Canadians that this is the greatest atrocity that has ever happened to mankind, or will she admit that perhaps she went over the top and will take this opportunity to apologize and distance herself from those remarks that she made?

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, the gun registry does nothing to stop the criminal element whatsoever. People from the member's riding of Leeds--Grenville are calling our office because they cannot get any help whatsoever in terms of dealing with this. I look forward to going to his riding and hosting a rally just like we had in Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke so democracy can be brought to his riding as well.

ATS Automation Tooling SystemsStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Liberal Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, ATS Automation Tooling Systems, a very successful company in my riding of Cambridge, was named business leader by the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce.

Founded by Klaus Woerner in 1978, ATS makes automated production systems, precision components and solar powered products, and employs close to 2,000 people in Cambridge and Kitchener.

Klaus and his wife Anna were both recognized for their extensive community involvement, including support of local hospitals and Conestoga College.

ATS recently launched a new subsidiary, Spheral Solar Power, and is moving aggressively to make solar power more practical.

I want to congratulate ATS and the Woerners for their economic leadership and philanthropic contribution to the greater community.

The Prime MinisterStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Canadian Alliance Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, today we watch a leader humiliating his own people, a leader who will go to any length to maintain iron fisted control.

We watch him threaten his own people, intimidating them until they break and submit.

We watch as he uses those already brainwashed to roust out disloyalty and to hunt down dissidents.

We watch as he forces people to set aside what they know is right and to go against their own consciences.

We watch them acting against their better judgment, contradicting their own words.

We watch as untold millions and indeed billions are spent on a delusion.

Unfortunately, I am not talking about a foreign dictator. I am speaking about the Prime Minister in Canada today.

At 5:30 we will witness once again the spectacle of Liberal backbenchers quietly falling into line to support the ongoing disaster that is the gun registry.

Canadians must resolve now to change the government, to put members of Parliament in place that will stand for freedom, rights and responsibility. The Alliance stands ready to fill that void.

Niagara Peninsula Conservation AuthorityStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Tony Tirabassi Liberal Niagara Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority that is located in my riding of Niagara Centre. Its mandate is to further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources.

With the assistance of the federal government, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority has, and continues to, restore the ecological health of the watersheds in the Niagara region, that being only one of the many rehabilitation projects it has undertaken.

It also maintains conservation areas that offer spectacular views, sparkling waterfalls, unique trails, fascinating rock formations and rare plants and wildlife.

I want to congratulate Andy Burt, Mary Stack, Andrew Mack, all the staff and tee board of directors. I ask that they keep up the excellent work.

The environmentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Liberal Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, New Brunswick residents are ready to act on climate change. Fifty-nine per cent, nearly two-thirds of respondents to a recent poll, said that they would be likely to buy a more fuel efficient vehicle in the next two years.

The Government of Canada, as part of its commitment to achieving its emission reduction targets under the Kyoto protocol, is helping these and other Canadians by working with the auto industry to make vehicles 25% more fuel efficient by 2010.

Even if a new vehicle is not in the picture, there are lots of ways to reduce emissions from transportation: drive less, use public transit, walk or bike whenever possible, when driving do not idle. It takes more fuel to idle for 10 seconds than it does to stop and start a car. Always check the tire pressure.

There are simple actions to reduce emissions and help Canadians reach our Kyoto targets.

Health ResearchStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate two professors at the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Dr. Alastair Cribb, professor of Clinical pharmacology and Dr. Laurie McDuffee, professor of equine surgery, are the latest recipients of a federal government investment in health research from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Between the two individuals, these professors received over $758,000 to fund their research projects.

Dr. McDuffee will use this money to continue her research in a cell based strategy to promote proper bone healing in horses. The outcome of her research will, hopefully, be applicable to human beings as well.

Dr. Cribb, who is also a Canadian research chair, will investigate why certain animals and people have adverse reactions to various drugs and chemicals. He hopes to help discover how safer drugs can be developed in addition to assessing the risk of chemical exposure. Much like his colleague, the results of this research will also be a benefit to human beings.

The recent support of the CIHR, coupled with the money set aside for the veterinary colleges in last week's budget, means that the Atlantic Veterinary College will be able to move forward with this kind of top notch, highly valuable research.

Peggy EngenStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Art Hanger Canadian Alliance Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate my constituent, Peggy Engen, who this past Sunday was presented with the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award. This award recognizes the contributions of Canadians such as Peggy who give so much of their time to their fellow citizens through volunteer work.

Peggy has devoted over 50 years of service to the community of Tuxedo Park. She and her late husband coached several hockey, baseball and lacrosse teams. Peggy remains an active participant in the Tuxedo Park Community Association where she has volunteered in many capacities. Today she is serving her third term as president of the association.

Peggy has also helped to establish a youth shelter and has lent her support to several group homes for people with disabilities. Her sense of caring and community involvement have helped make Tuxedo Park an outstanding community in which to live.

Congratulations to Peggy for giving so much of her time and energy to her community. Her courageous leadership and unselfish service is an inspiration to all of us.

Elizabeth GrandboisStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past Friday, March 21, I had the honour to host the Seventh Annual International Women's Day Breakfast in Burlington. Over 200 people, including some 20 high school students, joined me in celebrating the contributions and accomplishments of women in Canada and around the world.

Our guest speaker, a woman of incredible courage and strength, Elizabeth Grandbois, inspired everyone. Diagnosed with ALS in 1997, Elizabeth has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about this terminal neuromuscular disease which affects some 1,000 Canadians each and every year. Elizabeth's Concerts of Hope have raised over $750,000 for research and support for those who are afflicted.

Elizabeth's story reminded all of us that courage and unrelenting determination can bring hope to others. Each of us can make a difference.

I thank Elizabeth. She inspired everybody.

Les Patriotes de Trois-RivièresStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Rocheleau Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, all of the Mauricie is deliriously happy, particularly its hockey fans, because the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Patriotes won their fourth university hockey championship this past weekend in Fredericton.

Coach Jacques Laporte was able to instill in his team an extraordinary competitive drive that no doubt made it possible for each member of the team to give his all.

What more can be said about the merits of goalie Éric Desjardins, who was selected best player of the championships, which pitted them against our Nova Scotian friends from St. Francis Xavier University?

Or about Alexandre Tremblay, last season's top player in Canada?

Throughout the season, assistant trainers Sylvain Beauchesne, Olivier Denis and Dominique Ducharme all worked tirelessly to get the best performance from each and every team member.

Bravo, Les Patriotes, and long may you reign. Your team is fully deserving of its name.

Semaine de la FrancophonieStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak of some of the high points of the Semaine de la Francophonie in Saint-Boniface.

On March 13, the Minister of Heritage and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs chose Collège Louis-Riel as the venue for announcing the first component of the Action Plan for Official Languages: education.

On March 18 and 19, I had the privilege of welcoming to Saint-Boniface His Excellency Boutros Boutros-Ghali, accompanied by the Secretary of State for the Francophonie and the Minister of Veterans Affairs. Their tour included a meal at Fort Gibraltar and visits to Maison Gabrielle-Roy and the Maison des artistes francophones de l'ouest, and culminated with inauguration of the Ronald J. Duhamel scholarship at the Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate two prize winners from Saint-Boniface who were honoured at the Montfort awards gala. Charles Laflèche of Momentum Healthware was the winner of the “Communications/New Technologies” award for his enterprising spirit. The warmth of welcome of the Festival du Voyageur was recognized in the “Rapprochement” category.

At the gala for small and medium businesses, Franco-Manitoba was ably represented by four notable finalists: Émeuville, les Fermes Vielfaure, JOGO Canada and Momentum Healthware.

I am proud to say that Saint-Boniface is doing its share on behalf of the Canadian francophonie.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Police Association and the Police Association of Ontario represent thousands of front line police officers across Canada. They should be congratulated for their admirable leadership role in advancing public safety by calling on the federal government to institute a national sex offender registry, to reform the youth justice system, to toughen up our laws against organized crime and to reform our parole system.

The Canadian Alliance hopes that the police associations will also stand with the opposition in supporting today's motion calling on the federal government to determine the total costs of the firearms program, to provide a comprehensive cost benefit analysis for the program and to reduce funding to that program until this analysis has been completed.

Regardless of where Canadians stand on this important issue, it is important that all of us hold the Liberal government accountable for its spending of taxpayers' money.

75th Annual Academy AwardsStatements By Members

March 25th, 2003 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, this past Sunday, amid all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Canadians once again proved we could compete with the best in the entertainment industry. Canadians featured prominently in several significant categories, including Nia Vardalos' nomination for best screenplay for the hugely successful, filmed in Toronto, My Big Fat Greek Wedding .

Canadian winners include parts of the team from the acclaimed picture Chicago , again filmed in Toronto. The academy gave nods to Chicago 's Gordon Sim for set decoration and David Lee for his audio work.

For me, the big win was Michael Donovan and his team at Salter Street in Halifax. This amazing company produced this year's best picture documentary, the critical and box office smash Bowling for Columbine .

Well deserved congratulations to one and all.

Wilfred LebouthillierStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today to highlight the participation of one of my constituents, Wilfred Lebouthillier of Tracadie-Sheila, in the Star Académie contest on TVA television. Since he was named to the team of finalists, his great talent as a singer and his stage presence have not gone unnoticed.

Wilfred is a terrific example of the fact that there is huge potential in New Brunswick and that with determination, dreams can come true. So, congratulations to Wilfred on his interpretation of Jean Batailleur by Zachary Richard.

May he take advantage of each moment at the academy and know that we cannot wait for his return in Acadia.

We are all very proud of him and want him to know that the riding of Acadie-Bathurst and New Brunswick are behind him all the way.

He is already a star to us. Good luck, Wilfred, and many thanks.

Dairy IndustryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's ice cream industry is suffering due to inaction by the federal government. In just seven years, this industry has seen its production drop by 86%.

Mass imports of a cream substitute, butter oil and sugar to be specific, from the United States and New Zealand, have dealt this industry a hard blow. And it is Quebec's dairy producers who are being hurt the most.

The chair of the Fédération des producteurs de lait du Québec, Jean Grégoire, estimates that Quebec farmers specializing in milk production are losing $300 million per year, due to this butter oil and sugar mixture.

In light of this situation, the federal government must amend the regulations so that this mixture is subject to tariffs as requested by members of the Fédération des producteurs de lait du Québec.