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House of Commons Hansard #112 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was banks.

Topics

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Algoma—Manitoulin.

Distinguished Service AwardStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Liberal Algoma—Manitoulin, ON

Mr. Speaker, two days ago on June 3, former parliamentarian Aideen Nicholson was honoured by her peers. The Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians presented to Aideen the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her service to Canada, to Parliament and to her former constituents of Trinity whom she so capably represented from 1974 to 1988.

Ms. Nicholson is now a northerner living in Elliot Lake, Ontario, in my riding of Algoma--Manitoulin. We feel blessed to have her living among us.

Aideen, in a fashion typical of her lifelong service to others, has jumped right into our community. It is clear that she has thrived in our wonderful social and natural environment having become a hospital trustee and a board member for the White Mountain Academy, the Women's Crisis Centre, St. Peter the Apostle Anglican Church and the list goes on.

During her parliamentary career, Aideen distinguished herself on both the government and opposition sides of the House as a committee chair and parliamentary secretary in numerous portfolios.

However, for all her accomplishments, we still like her best for her heart and her soul. I congratulate Aideen.

Middle EastStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Liberal Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot, ON

Mr. Speaker, I invite my colleagues to join me in congratulating United States President George Bush for his efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.

As we are all aware, the conflict in the Middle East is an old and deep-rooted one. Yesterday, President George W. Bush attended what may very well become an historic meeting for peace by joining Mahmoud Abbas, the new Palestinian prime minister, and Israel's leader, Ariel Sharon, in the Jordanian city of Aqaba.

This meeting represents the first cautious steps taken along a road that is designed to lead to a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

I am sure the House shares my optimism toward this renewed effort to resolve the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. I join my colleagues in support for the U.S. president in building the confidence on both sides that is crucial to the success of achieving peace in this troubled region of the world.

Democratic Republic of CongoStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to sound the alarm, to warn against an impending genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo, such as occurred in Rwanda in 1994.

In one sense the unspeakable has already occurred. War in the Democratic Republic of Congo has lasted four years, involves six African states in Africa's world war and more than 3 million people have been killed. The “never again” rings hollow in the face of “yet again”, again and again.

What is needed, therefore, is a multi-layered diplomatic, defence, political and humanitarian intervention in which Canada can take the lead. In particular, the United Nations force, as authorized by the UN Security Council, is too limited both in numbers and mandate to do what is needed; stop the killing, end the flow of weapons and disarm the militias.

Canada should also seriously consider contributing a significant force to the UN position.

Political: Canada should join the U.S., European countries and South Africa to increase the pressure with respect to a political solution.

Humanitarian: A massive humanitarian relief effort is needed.

Most important, we need someone, some country, to sound the alarm, to place wake-up calls to the international community to ensure that “never again” means exactly that.

AgricultureStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Leon Benoit Canadian Alliance Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadian cattlemen and the cattle industry are facing the most devastating situation I have seen in my lifetime. Many are my friends and neighbours, and I know they ask for very little from the government. They ask only for the removal of unfair trade restrictions so they can have free and fair trade. They ask for lower taxes. They ask for unnecessary regulations to be removed so they can spend more time running their business.

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association has been an incredibly responsible organization when it comes to representing the views of cattlemen. Last year when cattlemen faced the most serious drought in history, they asked for no special help at all. Now, in their time of need when cattlemen need action on the part of government to do what is necessary to ensure the border is reopened, what do they get? Very little.

What is the government's plan to deal with the crisis in the cattle industry? It does not have one.

In this time of need our cattlemen, who ask for so little, deserve an awful lot more from the government.

Juno Beach CentreStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Speller Liberal Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow the Prime Minister and many Canadian vets are taking part in ceremonies to open the Juno Beach Centre in France.

As we watch the ceremonies unfold tomorrow and the Prime Minister honours the bravery and valour of all those who served in the second world war, all Canadians should be proud.

What the Prime Minister and my colleagues in the House should know though is that $7,000 of the millions it took to build this memorial was raised by the 2853 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps in Simcoe, Ontario. This is a group of 20 young individuals who went door to door around my riding explaining to people the need for such a memorial.

I want to show our appreciation here today in the House of Commons for the work that these 20 young individuals did. Also I hope my colleagues will join me tomorrow in celebrating the 59th anniversary of D-Day and to salute the efforts of over a million Canadians who served in the second world war.

World Environment DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleagues in the Bloc Quebecois, I would like to point out that World Environment Day reminds us that water, land and air are not to be taken for granted.

Each and every one of us must do our share to protect our environment every day. Moreover, people should be able to expect that governments will take the necessary steps to protect our resources.

The UN sees this day as an excellent opportunity to ratify international conventions on the environment. Of course, there is the Kyoto protocol, which represents a step in the right direction when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions. However, much work remains to be done, particularly on problems related to global warming, which may end up being 30% greater than forecast by UN experts.

In Quebec, there are the sites contaminated by the federal government, the St. Lawrence and lakes whose water levels are dropping, and the impact on the atmosphere.

Finally, I would like to remind members that our everyday actions, as individuals and as a government, will determine whether we succeed in protecting our environment, and as a result, our health.

BurmaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, in respect of Dr. Cynthia Maung, who joins us in Ottawa today, I stand before the House to bring to the attention of my fellow colleagues the shameful situation in Myanmar or as most people prefer to call it, Burma.

In 1948 Burma was one of Asia's most promising young democracies, buttressed by a growing free market and well educated population. Today it is Asia's most backward country. It is a police state, ruled by a medieval military dictatorship, plagued by five violent insurgencies. Consequently, the majority of its population languishes in abject poverty.

This past weekend, Burma's ruling junta attacked the convoy of Aung Sun Sue Chi, Nobel prize laureate and winner of Burma's last free election. Between 70 and 100 pro-democracy activists may well have been murdered. Aung Sun Sue Chi was arrested with 19 of her colleagues and has not been seen since. There are reports she has been seriously injured and there are rumours she may have been killed.

Enough is enough with this regime. It has pillaged Burma and its people for too long while playing the rest of us for fools. Canada has rightly cut off most of its ties with that government. Following this shameful display on the weekend, we and our allies must, with one voice, tell Burma's generals this will not stand.

Environment WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, like my colleague from the Bloc, we are glad to celebrate World Environment Day. Our environment is one of our greatest assets. It is our duty to be good stewards of our environment and to make certain that we do all we can to keep it healthy.

The government's report card would include many failures: smog days continue to grow in our cities; asthma cases rise yearly; boil water orders grow across Canada; no action on major transborder pollution issues which occur in southern Ontario and the Fraser Valley; invasive species increase in our great lakes; contaminated sites are not prioritized and no cleanup plan is in place; and sewage is dumped into our oceans in Victoria, Halifax and St. John's.

The Liberals, for all their talking about the importance of the environment, have done very little to help our environment. These issues are serious and must be dealt with soon. When our environment deteriorates, the health of our people deteriorate.

How much longer will the Liberals neglect our greatest asset? How much longer will they neglect what is good for the health of all Canadians?

Environment WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, as we celebrate Environment Week, I am delighted to inform the House that the Halifax Regional Municipality has become a leader among Canada's large urban areas by adopting an advanced municipal solid waste management strategy that has significantly reduced the amount of waste that goes to landfill.

Greenhouse gas emissions from the municipality's landfill site have been reduced by approximately .5 megatonnes per year, or about 1.4 tonnes per resident, compared to 1995. These reductions are among many environmental benefits of a system that has helped achieved a 61.5% reduction in the amount of waste per person sent to landfill between 1989 and 2000.

I invite all members of the House to join me in congratulating the Halifax Regional Municipality for its significant contribution to combating climate change.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

June 5th, 2003 / 2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gary Schellenberger Progressive Conservative Perth—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the PC Party launched a website to collect stories from the thousands of Canadians who have had serious problems registering their guns. This site can be found at www.gunregistry.ca, and it has already had 50,000 hits in less than a month. We have collected hundreds of submissions from every province of Canada, and so far, no crash. At a peak time we had 2,500 hits in one hour, and guess what, no crash.

The website comes at a total cost of $20 a month. Meanwhile the government spends $1 billion on a system that works poorly and rarely. We in the Progressive Conservative Party are getting more bang for our buck.

On May 6 the Solicitor General said in the House that he wanted to hear from all Canadians who had difficulties registering their guns. We are here to help. By visiting www.gunregistry.ca, people can fill out an online form outlining the problems they have had with the system. We will personally put them in the hands of the Solicitor General.

Semaine québécoise des personnes handicapéesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, across Quebec, the Semaine québécoise des personnes handicapées is in full swing and this year's theme is, “Together, everyone is a winner”.

Across Quebec, from Gaspé to Gatineau, including Laval, people are seeing how far we have come on the issue of fundamental rights for people living with functional limitations.

Through June 7, a variety of activities will be held in Laval, and one of them seems particularly symbolic to me. Today is the opening of an art exhibit entitled “Visages d'art” at city hall. The exhibit contains works by 17 artists from Laval's regional recreational association for persons with a disability and it shares the artists' vision of reality with the public. It is located in the Hall des Arts and runs until June 27.

I am happy to salute this initiative, which gives these artists a space worthy of their work and talent. I urge people to come and see it, because together, everyone is a winner.

Operation Blue StarStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week marks the 19th anniversary of Operation Blue Star in which the Indian army stormed the golden temple in Amritsar. The Indian army on the same day also attacked some 34 other historic Sikh gurdwaras, places of worship.

These attacks all took place on a very religious day when innocent worshippers had come for prayers. As a result, thousands of innocent children, women and men were killed. The Sikh community around the world felt wounded and many tragic incidents resulted.

As Sikhs around the world mark the anniversary of the attack on the Sikh holy shrines, we must remember the victims of Operation Blue Star and ensure that such a tragedy never happens again.

Environment WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, as this is Environment Week I want to commend a group of Moose Jaw students who have just proven that young people can indeed change the world.

Andrea Fenton found out that the Saskatchewan Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre in Moose Jaw had run out of money and would have to close its doors. Andrea put out the call to some classmates from St. Margaret Elementary School, Kandice Hébert, Stephanie Montpetit, Valerie Paquette and Keaton Doig. Together they drafted a petition and took it door-to-door in Moose Jaw. They also solicited donations. Within a few days Andrea and her friends had collected more than 400 signatures and raised $2,600.

As a result of their actions, they also secured the attention of the government and some private sector donors. Glenn Hagel, the Saskatchewan minister of community resources, and Moose Jaw Mayor Al Schwinghamer are both committed to keeping the centre open. The federal government contributes through the environment department, and we have asked the federal government to pay special attention to the centre.

Andrea Fenton and her young friends have reminded all of us what it means to care deeply, and to do something positive about it.

Environment WeekStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, this week is National Environmental Awareness Week. The theme of this week is “Give Earth A Chance”. The objective of this week is to focus public attention on environmental issues to increase awareness and stimulate action at the local level.

There is an organization on Prince Edward Island which indeed has taken action this week. This Sunday afternoon, June 8, the Prince Edward Island Environmental Health Co-op is sponsoring the first annual Dandelion Festival. The event will be held at Victoria Park in the city of Charlottetown, and will be a family fun day with games and crafts for the kids, music, displays and informal workshops.

The Prince Edward Island Environmental Health Co-op is concerned about the unnecessary use of domestic pesticides and decided that the Dandelion Festival would be a fun way to encourage people to think a little differently about this little yellow flower that most people consider to be a weed. It promises to be a great event.

I would like to congratulate this group on its positive efforts as well as encourage as many people as possible to participate in this event.

Ethical Foreign AidStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders Canadian Alliance Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, the right to practise religion is something that most Canadians take for granted. Our religious decisions are between us and our God.

Unfortunately in some countries, the government abuses its power and persecutes religions. In Vietnam, Sudan and China, citizens are imprisoned and killed because of their beliefs. In one case in China, a practitioner of Falun Gong was sexually assaulted in public by the police because of her beliefs.

Yet the Canadian government rewards these states with foreign aid. Taxpayers' money is spent propping up these despotic regimes. In the last three years, these three states alone have raked in over $400 million in CIDA funding.

We cannot control the domestic policies of foreign nations, but we can make the decision not to reward them. That is why I have introduced my private member's bill, Bill C-414, the ethical aid bill.

I call on Canadians watching on television to call their MPs to urge them to support this bill and to stand up for what is right.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I again asked the government for the details of a compensation package for the beef industry and yesterday the government again refused to answer those questions.

We are approaching an animal health disaster of epic proportions in this country. We have hundreds of thousands of cattle in feedlots. Those feedlots are within days, if not within hours, of going bankrupt.

When will the industry get some details of the government's compensation package for dealing with this dire situation?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. Leader of the Opposition has a talent for stating the obvious. Everyone knows how dire the situation is and that is why the Minister of Agriculture was in Alberta yesterday, working with people in the beef industry to find a lasting solution to this problem.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I may have a talent for asking about the obvious, but the government sure has a talent for not answering.

The government has apparently indicated that it is only prepared to look at this problem within existing programs. The existing APF is not designed to deal with the special circumstances of natural disaster. The WTO allows for special programs and the APF operates at glacial speed.

Will the government commit to a compensation package that deals with the special circumstances of the natural disaster and the animal health disaster that we are facing here?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, there are a number of ways in which we can help the industry. One way the hon. Leader of the Opposition could help is to encourage the provinces and the farmers in those provinces to sign the implementation agreement so that there is a disaster program for farmers for this year. I have authority to sign that on behalf of the federal government. The provinces need to do that.

We are also discussing with the industry, as I did yesterday and today, ways in which we, for example, can help it with interest-free cash loans and those types of things in order to help it work through the situation in which we are all involved today.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is a trade problem. Trade is the federal government's responsibility and it cannot pass the buck to the provinces.

Let me move on to a detail I asked about yesterday. We all know that Canadian beef is the best beef in the world, but we know the damage this crisis is doing to our reputation. Yesterday I pointed out that the delay in solving this problem will do long term damage to the market share, permanent damage to market penetration of Canadians products.

Will the government consider a compensation package to advertise, promote and market Canadian beef around the world?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member has said, the quality and safety of Canadian beef speaks for itself.

We had a system that worked. We had one cow, which did not get into the food chain. The world is recognizing that. We need to complete the science so that we can clearly demonstrate not only to our biggest customer, the United States, but to the rest of the world that it was one isolated cow. That science is proceeding. We are not destroying any more animals than necessary. We need to complete that science and that is the only way we will solve this problem.

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Canadian Alliance Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government is not prepared to deal with this issue. Now the minister is trying to blackmail the provinces into signing the APF and is using this issue to do that.

We have been patient. Producers have been patient. The beef industry has been patient, but that patience is running thin and frustration is rising. We want some specifics. Since there is no compensation plan, what conditions must be met to clear our Canadian beef for export?

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I do not know how many times we have to explain it to the opposition. We have technical briefings every day. We need to complete the science.

We had an approach and had an 85% expectation on the lineage of where the one cow came from. We have nearly completed the science. Out of 1,300 tests, 1,100 are back and they are all negative. Negative is good. We did not want to destroy any more animals to prove this science is necessary. Unfortunately, starting yesterday, we had to continue on another track in order to double-check and make sure, as is indicated so far, that--

AgricultureOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands.