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House of Commons Hansard #118 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was antarctic.

Topics

Middle EastStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Progressive Conservative Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, with Hamas promising an earthquake and Israel's reactions, violence in the Middle East continues.

The road map presented by the Unites States is being severely tested and the countries of the world must now join together to reinforce this strategy before it is destroyed by extremists who just do not want peace no matter what.

Part of the road map calls for monitors and the U.S. and Europeans have already committed. Yesterday senior Palestinians called on Canada to join in providing monitors to ensure that the road map has the best possible chance to succeed.

Now is the chance for Canada to re-establish ourselves at the very least as a junior partner in an attempt to find peace in the Middle East.

I support the call for Canada to supply monitors, and I urge the government to move quickly and announce the participation of Canadians in this role.

Governor General's Medal of BraveryStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Tony Tirabassi Liberal Niagara Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to my constituent, Dennis J. Rogers, who has been awarded the Governor General's Medal of Bravery.

On February 18, 2002, Mr. Rogers risked his life to rescue a woman from a burning house in Welland, which is in my riding of Niagara Centre.

Mr. Rogers was driving by with his family when he noticed flames and thick smoke billowing from the house. He immediately pulled over and ran to the back door where an 11 year old boy told him that his mother was trapped inside the home. Getting no response to the calls to the woman, Mr. Rogers raced inside. Crouching and groping around under the blinding smoke, he followed the sounds of the victim's voice until he located her frozen with fear in a corner of the bathroom. As he gasped for air, he carried her outside moments before the House was fully engulfed in flames.

Congratulations Dennis. He truly is a hero.

Public ServiceStatements By Members

June 13th, 2003 / 11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, between 1998 and 2002, the Liberal government spent $40 million on the Employment Equity Positive Measures Program. According to the report, which is posted on the web site of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, this program has contributed to building a modern public service. However, none of the recommendations in this report are found in Bill C-25.

Each year, Status of Women Canada spends $11 million on a gender-based analysis. However, some parts of Bill C-25 completely disregard employment equity measures.

Nor is the government introducing legislation to ensure the well-being of its employees. Some 21% of federal public servants claim to be victims of harassment. However, Bill C-25 makes no mention of concrete measures to counter harassment when, clearly, the Canadian government, as an employer, has the obligation to ensure the psychological well-being of its employees.

The Bloc Quebecois reprehends this government, which continues investing heavily in beautiful reports, without applying them or acting as an employer responsible for its workforce.

National Aboriginal DayStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, June 21 is National Aboriginal Day. It is a day for us to honour and celebrate the aboriginal people and cultures who have blesses this land and who have contributed so much to our country.

It is also a day for us to reflect on the history of aboriginal people in Canada, a history filled with mistakes, tragedy and genocide perpetrated against the aboriginal people by colonial powers and the Canadian government.

While this history is tragic, it saddens me even more to see this Liberal government of today continuing some of those mistakes. Aboriginal people in Canada continue to have the lowest living standards, the worst housing, the least access to clean drinking water, the worst health care and the fewest educational and job opportunities of any group in Canada.

The Liberal government's failure to live up to treaty promises, to provide opportunity and hope to aboriginal communities is a disgraceful legacy for a tired, sad, arrogant government. What is more, with initiatives like the first nations governance act it continues to impose misguided, made in Ottawa policies on aboriginal communities.

I hope the Liberal government will take some time this National Aboriginal Day to reflect on this and remember that the treaties were supposed to be about partnership and sharing.

Churchill Women's InstituteStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Liberal Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Thursday, June 12, the Churchill Women's Institute celebrated their 100th anniversary. Adelaide Hoodless founded the first branch of the Women's Institute in southern Ontario in 1897.

The Women's Institute is now an international organization. Its motto, “For Home and Country”, provides an educational forum for women with an emphasis on civics.

This is a time when government and organizations throughout North America are searching for ways to get people together to discuss means of enhancing the quality of life in their communities, to increase opportunities to bring people together for companionship and support and social cohesion. This is one of the primary ways to prevent isolation and fragmentation.

I wish to congratulate the Churchill Women's Institute for 100 years of strength and leadership.

Kyoto ProtocolStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, in the Liberal leadership debate last Saturday, the front-runner, the former finance minister, told the party faithful that he would have held off adopting Kyoto targets until there was a plan on how Canada could reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

This former minister also told the Edmonton Journal editorial board that:

What they did was to simply ratify Kyoto without a plan, then start to work on it. You see where we are four months later, we still don't have a plan.

What a revelation. The Canadian Alliance has been raising concerns for years that there is no implementation plan.

The industry committee has been studying this issue and has had no details provided to it by the environment minister, national resources or finance.

Canadians deserve answers. They deserve principled leadership. If the member for LaSalle—Émard believes that there was no plan then and there is no plan now, then he should have exercised leadership by voting against Kyoto last December.

The Canadian Alliance will continue to exercise leadership and push the government to start working with Canadian businesses and consumers to reduce emissions and allow our economy to grow.

Glen HillsonStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I along with my colleague from Burnaby—Douglas, all members of our NDP caucus and our leader Jack Layton hear of the death of Glen Hillson, one of the greatest AIDS activists in B.C. and indeed the world.

The people of B.C. and Canada are indebted to Glen's heroic and tireless work for people with HIV-AIDS and his relentless advocacy for government action, research, support and dignity for persons with HIV-AIDS.

Glen Hillson, as the chair of BCPWA and one of the longest surviving people to live with AIDS, was much loved, enormously respected and inspired all of us to work for human rights, accessible health care and dignity for all people.

He will be deeply missed. I am sure that all members of the House join us in offering our sincere sympathy to his dear partner Gerald, his family and all who have known him and his profound presence in our lives.

Canadian Multiculturalism DayStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Carole-Marie Allard Liberal Laval East, QC

Mr. Speaker, diversity in Canada is increasing. Cultural diversity has become one of our strengths.

This year, Canada is officially launching Canadian Multiculturalism Day on June 27. As the most multicultural country in the world, Canada will celebrate, on June 27, our confidence and tolerance, and we will tell our stories.

Let us celebrate June 27 and be proud of the contribution of our communities of all origins.

Canada Customs and Revenue AgencyStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rahim Jaffer Canadian Alliance Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency has been having a hard time doing her job.

Just as she denied the problem of the stolen billion dollars in GST rebates, she denies the problem of people illegally crossing the border from the U.S. into Canada.

She has said that because we have licence plate readers at our high-volume crossings in Canada, we know the licence plate of any car that tries to the run the border.

That however is wrong. According to the Auditor General's May 2003 report, licence plate readers work properly only 70% of the time.

She also has said that we also at our borders have licence plate readings and that the Americans do not have that on their side. In fact the 2002 annual U.S. customs report states that the U.S. has installed 50 licence plate readers on their side of the border.

If the minister continues to misinform the public, instead of checking licence plates, she will be in the big house making licence plates.

Liberian PresidentStatements By Members

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Liberal Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the special court in Sierra Leone announced the indictment of Liberian President Charles Taylor for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Taylor was visiting Ghana at the time.

Unfortunately, although Ghana was given advanced notice of this indictment, they allowed Taylor to leave Ghana rather than arresting him.

Now President Taylor is attempting to link the success of the Liberian peace process to the lifting of the indictment against him. Under no circumstances should the Sierra Leone special court indictment against Taylor be lifted.

Charles Taylor has a long history of using peace processes to buy time, to rest and re-equip his fighters with the hope that the international community will forget his record of aggression and terror. Between 1989 and 1997, for instance, Taylor negotiated and broke 13 separate peace agreements.

If we are ever going to end the culture of impunity, we must support this special court and others in the future whose objective is to bring to justice those charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Liberian PresidentStatements By Members

11:20 a.m.

The Speaker

Hon. members will appreciate that as at Christmastime, sometimes the Chair is a little generous with time, and we have been today on Standing Order 31 statements because of the unusually large number of requests.

Liberian PresidentStatements By Members

11:20 a.m.

An hon. member

Ho, ho, ho.

Liberian PresidentStatements By Members

11:20 a.m.

The Speaker

Ho, ho, ho, as the hon. member says.

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, the WHO has voiced concern over Canada's handling of SARS. A North Carolina man who had visited a Toronto area hospital was allowed to slip through. The WHO has expressed concerns that exported cases of SARS could lead to another travel advisory.

We have been asking for months for face to face interviews of outgoing passengers at airports. The government has refused. Will the government admit that comprehensive interviews could have prevented this exported case?

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the Minister of Health, I would like to say that this continues to be a very serious situation for all Canadians, not just those of us from the greater Toronto area. The particular case in point is something that is being investigated by Ontario health officials because the individual who went to North Carolina had no visible symptoms and there is some degree of perplexing evidence in this particular incident.

I do not think we should jump to conclusions. We should continue to support the efforts of our health care workers and of the Ontario government in dealing with this very difficult situation.

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, the economic damage caused by the first WHO travel advisory has been very devastating to Toronto as well as other cities in Canada. It is impossible to estimate the economic damage that a second advisory could cause to Canada and certainly to Toronto.

Considering the economic fallout of another advisory, could the government explain why Canada does not have the strictest screening procedures possible?

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as I understand it, what is happening in Geneva is that there is a continual watch going on on Canada and there has been no new travel advisory issued for Toronto.

The Minister of Health has been quite forthcoming in the House in talking about the very strict measures that are in place in Canadian airports in dealing with people who leave and who may be suspected of having some problem that could end up to be SARS.

Again I do not think we should jump to conclusions. I do not think we should be precipitous. We should just continue to do the work in a very methodical way to contain the problem.

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, nobody is jumping to conclusions. We want the strictest procedures possible to make sure all Canadians and people visiting us and leaving here are under good care.

SARS has caused a health crisis in Toronto. The WHO travel advisory has resulted in an economic disaster, as I said before. Yet the Liberal government fails to admit that there is an emergency and we see that from the answers from the acting prime minister.

The Ontario government has already spent millions and millions trying to cope with this outbreak, with very little help from the federal government. How can the government justify its position that this is not an emergency?

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the answers that have been given by the Minister of Health and the Prime Minister obviously show the degree of concern the Government of Canada has. Contrary to what the hon. member has said, the federal government has been very supportive of the Ontario government, not just with the provision of personnel but with the provision of moneys.

As the hon. member should know, we are in discussions with the Ontario government. My colleague, the Minister of National Defence, will be meeting his counterpart next week to deal with the matter. We certainly are very cognizant of the damage that is being done. There is one thing that is certain. Unless the health issue is dealt with, then the economic damage will continue, and that is where the priority--

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Peace River.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, I do not think bringing in the Rolling Stones is going to solve that problem.

It is estimated that by next week, losses to the livestock industry will be over $1 billion due to the BSE scare. The beef industry has rejected the government's latest proposal, saying loans simply are not the answer. As they say, “You cannot borrow yourself out of trouble”.

Now it appears the government is using this disaster to blackmail the provinces into signing its agricultural policy framework. I ask the minister, will the government introduce a comprehensive compensation package outside of the APF?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, once again the opposition does not have the facts. There has been no proposal put on the table because the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is meeting with his counterparts in Vancouver today to discuss this very issue and what can be done.

Certainly ministers on this side of the House have been working on this particular matter under the leadership of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food for the last number of days. I am certain that the discussions in Vancouver will help the situation and help deal with the very terrible crisis that is faced by producers and others in the country.

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Charlie Penson Canadian Alliance Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is part of the problem. No proposal will be put on the table. It has been almost a month since this scare started to affect beef producers and it is an economic loss to the livestock industry.

The president of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association says the minister's BSE compensation plan for loan guarantees is like throwing a rock to a drowning man. The industry needs cash, not more debt.

I ask again, will the government commit to an immediate cash injection for the feedlot industry that is losing millions of dollars a day?

AgricultureOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, all of these issues are under discussion today in Vancouver.

The hon. member should recognize that the preoccupation of the Government of Canada and the provincial governments and especially my colleague the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is to deal with the science in this case to ensure that people are well aware that there is no hazard from other animals being infected. The science is now conclusive and is now being analyzed by our friends in the United States. This leads us to some optimism that the border will be opened in the near future.

Government ContractsOral Question Period

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Public Works and Government Services said he did not see what the problem was concerning the access to information request from the La Presse reporter who was trying to get some details on the amounts of contracts awarded to TNC Médiacom. The minister's defence was that he did not even see the access to information requests.

How can the Minister of Public Works and Government Services explain that all the difficulties in his department—regardless of who the minister is—are, by sheer chance, related to the sponsorship program and, by sheer chance, always benefit cronies of the regime?