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House of Commons Hansard #107 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was employees.

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 Edmonton North.

[Editor's Note: Members sang the national anthem]

MulticulturalismStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Savoy Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, as a native of western New Brunswick I am proud to announce the success of the second annual Gathering of the Scots Festival in my home town of Perth-Andover.

The festival celebrates the rich cultural heritage and tradition shared by the residents of the region whose ancestors came from Scotland. Their ancestors contributed greatly to Canada's culture while maintaining values and traditions of their native land. The festival celebrated this contribution by featuring musical performances, dance, workshops and athletic competition that brought together Scots from all over Atlantic Canada.

The Gathering of the Scots Festival is just one of many festivals taking place in Canada every day that celebrate our citizens' rich heritage. I believe that these festivals emphasize Canada's commitment to multiculturalism and unify our country in celebration.

Softwood LumberStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Reed Elley Canadian Alliance Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, one of the problems I have with this government is that it will not make decisions until it is absolutely necessary.

We remember the last minute intervention of the Prime Minister during the Quebec referendum. Only when it looked like the referendum was all but lost did the government take any real action. Then the government promised to replace the Sea King helicopters. The Prime Minister's handling of the issue cost taxpayers $500 million and today we are still without replacements. During the Iraqi crisis, the Prime Minister waited until the eleventh hour to make any decision, then, aided by hateful comments from his caucus, he alienated our neighbours to the south.

Now there is softwood lumber. It has devastated my riding and home province of British Columbia. The government knew that this agreement was expiring. For five years it did nothing to ensure its continuance in favour of our Canadian industry.

Sadly, the Minister for International Trade cannot tell us what the plan is so that this kind of situation does not occur every five years, putting the softwood lumber industry in peril. My constituents and Canadians alike deserve and expect better.

TransportationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadian firms are truly part of the global economy, so I am pleased to rise today to congratulate Alcatel, a business in my riding of York West that was recently awarded a contract in China worth $40 million U.S.

Alcatel will supply automated control systems for the province's metro line that will serve seven million people. Already a supplier of automated controls for trains in China, Hong Kong and Korea, Alcatel's contract is a continuation of its presence in Asia, which has given it millions of dollars worth of business.

Alcatel is the world's largest telecom infrastructure provider and has a worldwide reputation for its leading edge technology and expertise in automated train control systems. Urban rail systems are fast becoming the most advanced form of transportation in cities around the world and I am proud that a Canadian company is leading the way in a significant area of research and development. This is a win for Canada.

I wish to extend my congratulations to Alcatel on its continued success.

Catholic Education DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pat O'Brien Liberal London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is Catholic Education Day, which is a celebration of those individuals who teach in the various Catholic educational institutions across Canada. This year's theme is “Catholic Education: Rooted in Christ”.

Catholic education teaches and promotes Canadian values and instills in young people the principles and ethics that help them grow to be responsible and caring citizens.

I was honoured to serve for over 20 years as a Catholic educator. My wife is a teacher in the Catholic school system in London, Ontario, and my children were educated in the system as well. I have seen first-hand the positive impact Catholic education has on the lives of young people in Canada.

Since Confederation, Catholic education has been guaranteed to Canadian citizens in our Constitution. It serves as a legacy and remains an important part of this country's heritage.

Today I wish to thank and congratulate everyone who is involved in Catholic education in Canada.

IsraelStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 55th anniversary of the State of Israel should be seen as a cause for celebration and for hope.

For Israel is not just a CNN clip or what passes for the Internet image of the day. Rather, Israel has to be seen and understood as a first nation of humankind; the reconstitution of an ancient people in their ancestral homeland; the juridical embodiment of the Jewish people as an aboriginal people, partaking of an aboriginal Abrahamic religion together with Christianity and Islam, and living in the aboriginal land of Israel, shared with another indigenous people, the Palestinian people.

In a word, the Jewish people are among the only peoples in the world today who still inhabit the same land; embrace the same religion; study the same bible; speak the same aboriginal language, Hebrew; bear the same name, Israel; and dream of the same peace, as they did 3,500 years ago.

While anti-Semitism has been an enduring hatred, almost as old as the Jewish people itself, the Jewish people have been an enduring aboriginal people. That is a cause for hope as well as celebration and for the enduring peace for which Israel still dreams.

World Health OrganizationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian Alliance Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday a majority of 167 members of all parties in this House followed the dictates of their hearts and consciences and voted in favour of the Alliance motion supporting Taiwan's observer status with the World Health Organization.

The ramifications of this vote will be far reaching. This Parliament supported democratic Taiwan and in doing so sent a message to other democracies and democratic groups who strive for freedom.

Our hope is that the Prime Minister will take this signal and begin to consistently speak up for courageous people who face tyrannical forces in other places such as Iran, Syria and Lebanon.

We must also stand with other vibrant and emerging democracies in Southeast Asia, where they face violent groups from within who deprive men, women and children of their natural rights to freedom and prosperity.

May yesterday's vote reignite what should be a shining light of our foreign policy, securing our place in the world once again as a country on the side of the individual rights and freedoms of people everywhere.

Dean Larry TappStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Fontana Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring to the attention of the House a significant milestone in my riding of London North Centre.

Dean Larry Tapp, from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, is retiring on June 30. Larry Tapp is renowned for leading Canada's pre-eminent business school in its rise to international prominence.

The November 25 issue of Time Magazine named him as one of Canada's top business leaders. Under his leadership, the business school took on the global market and expanded into Asia with the founding of a Hong Kong campus.

Larry takes a keen interest in teaching the importance of corporate responsibility to Canada's up and coming business leaders.

Numerous Canadian companies are fortunate to have Dean Tapp sit on their boards where he serves as chair or as a director.

It is my privilege on behalf of the students and the faculty of the Ivey School of Business and the constituents of London North Centre to offer our sincere thanks and best wishes to a great Canadian.

Conseil du statut de la femme du QuébecStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, what an unforgettable evening we had on Friday, May 23, when nearly 1,000 people—mostly women—gathered at the Spectrum in Montreal to celebrate each other and the 30th anniversary of the Conseil du statut de la femme du Québec.

Created in 1973 as an advisory body to the Quebec government, the Conseil has made a huge contribution to women's progress toward equality, and women clearly demonstrated how much they think of their Conseil.

In a celebration involving humour, song, dance, poetry, theatre and beauty, 27 women—and 3 men—of all ages and origins spoke, read and sang words written by women from Quebec honouring the successes of the past 30 years and the work of all those who have travelled this long road together.

Joyous and moving, full of creativity, openness, joie de vivre and confidence in the future, this evening was a fine reflection of the spirit that characterizes the women's movement in Quebec these days.

Congratulations. Long live the Conseil du statut de la femme du Québec.

Prime Minister's AwardStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Pillitteri Liberal Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, on May 15 Ms. Pamela Blanchfield, from the Boys and Girls Club of Niagara, was awarded a 2002-03 Prime Minister's award for excellence in early childhood education.

The award honours outstanding early childhood educators who excel at fostering, the early development and socialization of the children in their care, and help build the foundation that children need to meet every day's life challenges.

In the words of praise by the parents whose children are in Ms. Blanchfield's care, “Pam never inhibits the children from being the individuals that they are, but at the same time encourages and teaches them to be part of the team”.

Canada's communities and their children are the beneficiaries of the experience and excellent work carried out by committed educators such as Ms. Blanchfield.

I am sure that all hon. colleagues will join me in congratulating her on this great achievement.

Canadian Forces DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to honour the brave men and women of our Canadian military.

This Sunday, June 1, is Canadian Forces Day, an opportunity to celebrate the work that our military does on our behalf. Whether responding to domestic crises or international conflicts, these men and women serve our country with pride. Every day these dedicated and disciplined individuals put their lives on the line for the benefit of all Canadians.

On Sunday I ask the House and Canadians everywhere to think about the contributions that our military personnel make to our safety, security and sovereignty. We remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice as part of their jobs, those killed and injured in combat, on peacekeeping missions, in accidents or in training.

Especially at this time, our hearts go out to the family, friends and colleagues of Capt. Kevin Naismith who was tragically killed in an CF-18 crash in northern Alberta on Monday.

We salute him and all members of the Canadian Forces and thank them for their commitment to our nation.

Kitchener RangersStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to invite the House to join me in congratulating the Kitchener Rangers on winning the Memorial Cup to become the Canadian Hockey League champions.

On the road to the Memorial Cup, the Rangers triumphed over Canada's finest junior hockey teams. The Rangers entered the playoffs hungry for a sip from the cup that they had not tasted since 1982. This inspired the team from Kitchener to a hard fought victory over the Ottawa 67s to capture the Ontario Championship. The next to fall were the league's best: the Quebec Remparts, the Kelowna Rockets and the Hull Olympiques. The Rangers entered the championship tournament with one phrase on their lips, “C'est le temps”, and this Sunday past belonged to Kitchener.

I ask all hon. members to join me in welcoming the Memorial Cup back home and congratulating the Kitchener Rangers, Canadian Hockey League champions.

River GuardiansStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Progressive Conservative Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, protection of our rivers across the country, especially in Newfoundland and Labrador, is one of many important issues facing our country today. River guardians are the conservation officers who are contracted out by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to assist full time DFO officers in the protection of our rivers.

When are we going to learn from our mistakes? Are we prepared to make the same mistakes we made with our cod stocks and other species? When are we going to stop cutting back in the areas that directly affect our most precious resources? River guardians protect our rivers from poachers who have no desire to abide by the law and in turn destroy our fish stocks.

This year river guardians will be further reduced by one week. DFO should not be cutting back in this area. These cutbacks are unacceptable and should not be tolerated. More guardians are needed on the rivers for longer periods to ensure that our rivers are protected from poachers. This will result in better management of our fish resource.

Noëlla ChampagneStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Bloc Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Noëlla Champagne, the new Parti Quebecois MNA for the provincial riding of Champlain, who is known as a determined, passionate, competent and efficient woman.

In recent weeks, everyone in Quebec has had a chance to get to know her because she ran in two back-to-back election campaigns, due to a tied vote on April 14 in the Quebec general election.

Voters in the riding of Champlain came to understand that it was better to have a member who is ready to defend their interests than a member who sits on the government benches.

I would like to pay tribute to this extraordinary woman, her dynamic team, and her party with solid roots in Quebec, which will one day lead the people of Quebec to achieving its full potential.

Congratulations, Noëlla Champagne.

Shaughnessy Cohen PrizeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Gallaway Liberal Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to draw attention to and congratulate this year's finalists for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.

Sponsored by the Writers' Trust, this year's finalists, Stephen Clarkson, John Duffy, Colin Perkel, John Sayell and Daniel Stoffman are representative of excellence in Canadian political writing. At noon today, John Duffy was named this year's winner.

This award, named in remembrance of our late colleague, Shaughnessy Cohen, is especially meaningful to those of us who were in this House with her. Shaughn lived politics and loved to be part of any scheme, plan, mischief or gossip in and around the Hill. She always stated that any publicity or press story must be all about her.

Nearly five years after Shaughn departed this chamber and this life in her typically fast and, I can now say, dramatic style, I specifically and warmly congratulate the winner John Duffy. He has deservedly the right today to say, in matters of Canadian political writing, that it is indeed all about him.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Auditor General reported that the federal government is continuing to drag its feet on bringing in a new gender neutral system of job classification and evaluation for its employees, and, in fact, seems to be heading backward. Women in the public service are left for the foreseeable future with a 40 year old system that discriminates against them.

According to the Auditor General, “Canadians should be very concerned”.

The federal government sets the tone and the pace for all of Canada on ending wage discrimination against women and its pay equity message has been appalling.

Unions even had to drag the government to the Canadian Human Rights Commission for a pay equity settlement that it resisted all the way. The government's pay equity message to other employers is to resist and delay.

Canadian women expect leadership but are getting hostility.

With the Auditor General and the United Nations already on its case, what will it take for the Liberal government to get pro-active and out front on the vital issue of pay equity and discrimination against women and begin setting a positive tone for the rest of Canadian society to follow?

Artopex PlusStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Diane St-Jacques Liberal Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec awarded the Mercuriade in the New Investment Project-Large Company category to Artopex Plus, a company whose head office is in Granby, in the riding of Shefford.

The winner of this award is a family business that specializes in the manufacturing of office furniture. New work processes have been introduced, with a focus on a greater involvement of the company's 350 employees. Plants were retrofitted and investments were made in equipment. Management and employees share a firm commitment to innovation and quality.

The success of this company, owned and operated by the Pelletier brothers, is based on sound values, hard work, a close management-employee relationship, and outstanding products.

Congratulations to Artopex Plus.

Kenn Borek AirStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay a very special tribute to Kenn Borek Air and its founder.

Kenn Borek was a true pioneer from my riding of Prince George—Peace River. Twenty-three years ago he had the vision to launch a small charter airline in addition to his very successful oil patch construction company and his farm in Dawson Creek, B.C.

In 2001 Kenn Borek Air received international acclaim for completing a 2,100 kilometre journey to the Antarctic to rescue a gravely ill physician.

Yesterday we learned of yet another daring rescue of a British adventurer off the North Pole. I want to congratulate the two flight crews: Captain Stephen King and Flight Engineer Paul Pitzner performed the rescue while Captain Scott Lippa and First Officer Miles Grandin crewed the backup aircraft.

In December of last year I was honoured to award Kenn Borek, posthumously, a Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for all his achievements.

His legacy lives on.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, instead of representing Canadians' interests abroad, the Prime Minister, the petty little guy from Shawinigan, once again seems to be engaging in a war of insults with President Bush.

There are the duties on softwood lumber and wheat. There are the travel advisories over the SARS outbreak. There is the ban on the importation of Canadian beef. On the issue of mad cow disease, which the Prime Minister forgot whether he even discussed it with the President, can the government report whether the President and the Prime Minister have had any useful discussions that might result in the lifting of the ban on the importation of Canadian beef?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa South Ontario

Liberal

John Manley LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the hon. member knows that there is additional work being carried on by the authorities at both the federal and provincial levels. Once the appropriate information is available, then of course we will immediately urge that the ban on imports to the United States be lifted. That will be done at all appropriate levels.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Deputy Prime Minister can have this laid-back tone, but this is costing the industry millions every day that it is in effect.

The government waived the EI waiting period for workers directly affected by SARS in Toronto. On Monday I asked the Prime Minister in the House if he would do the same thing for beef industry workers. He appeared to say yes. A day later the human resources minister appeared to have said no.

When will the government be fair to beef industry workers and eliminate the EI waiting period?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I first want to say how much we appreciate the difficulties that may be associated to those who are working in the meat processing industry.

Let us be clear that the waiving of the two week waiting period in Toronto was for those who are directly affected by quarantine. We waived that two week period to support the quarantine for individuals who had no choice of going out to work, and could stay at home and have income for their families.

By working with the employers and the employees as we are doing every single day, we want to make sure that employment insurance work sharing opportunities and all the aspects of the employment insurance program are there for those who need it.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that kind of hair splitting is not acceptable. Workers in the industry are being directly affected because of the outbreak of mad cow disease. When EI waiting times were eliminated because of the Toronto SARS crisis, they were eliminated for those who were “prevented from working because of an outbreak”. Beef industry workers are also prevented from working because of an outbreak.

How can the government explain this double standard toward the working conditions of rural Canadians?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Brant Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart LiberalMinister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, there is no double standard. I would implore the hon. member to understand the circumstances around which waiving the two week waiting period was undertaken. It is precisely for those who are quarantined, who cannot leave their homes, who cannot go to work and who have to have the opportunity to have income support for their families.

There are other aspects of the employment insurance system that are there. They are working and working well. My officials are working with employers and employees to ensure they understand all aspects of the program and have the full benefit of those programs.

HealthOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, SARS has now spread outside the hospitals and we hope that the health workers are able to contain this outbreak. We can only imagine the stress that they are under as they walk into their workplaces every day.

SARS having spread outside the hospitals makes screening at our airports even more urgent, but the government still has not fully implemented the promised screening measures. When will these measures be put in place?