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House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was producers.

Topics

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the establishment of a Standing Committee on the Status of Women is an important step forward for women parliamentarians and indeed all Canadian women.

The national Liberal women's caucus has called for this initiative several times over the past years and is extremely pleased to see the request realized. Having a national all-party committee will strengthen and build upon the progress that has been made by the women's movement across the country.

I know that my colleagues on this side of the House offer full support to this committee and look forward to working in a positive manner with colleagues from all parties to further the equality of Canadian women.

Yves TessierStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to a resident of Blainville who has recently returned from Nevada's International Police and Fire Games with a gold medal in shot-put.

This international event brought together more than 600 competitors from 25 different countries. Yves Tessier is considered the best shot-putter in Quebec. A motorcycle policeman, he still finds time to lobby in connection with the lack of facilities for his sport in the region and to act as the spokesperson for the Blainville athletic association.

This 37-year-old policeman won a bronze medal in Indianapolis in 2001, a silver in Barcelona in 2003, and another gold this summer in Calgary at the Canadian Masters Athletic Association championship in Calgary. A role model for the young people of Blainville, Yves' perseverance has earned him the honours we are proud to share with him.

The Bloc Quebecois joins with the residents of Blainville—

Yves TessierStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Malpeque.

Public ServiceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, the threat of a widespread public service work stoppage is of concern to all Canadians. Any work stoppage has a dramatic and negative impact not only on the economy but also on the lives of Canadians in a most direct way.

It is therefore critical that both parties, the Treasury Board and representatives of PSAC, make a renewed and sincere effort on their return to the bargaining table. Both sides, and I emphasize both, must in good faith seek a fair and equitable resolution to the outstanding issues.

Public service workers of Canada perform a key function and have demonstrated a high degree of professionalism in conducting government business.

For collective bargaining to work, both Treasury Board and PSAC must negotiate with the objective of finding a settlement and must stay at the table until they get the job done.

HealthStatements By Members

October 7th, 2004 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, health care in my riding has become like housing in communist Russia: it's free, but there isn't any.

The government has supposedly rescued the health care system. That is not true.

This summer the Saskatchewan government decided to shrink health care in my riding by closing down facilities and removing ambulance service. One affected area involved the communities of Val Marie, Bracken, Climax, Frontier and Claydon, an area of about 2,500 square miles. The government in its wisdom decided to lay waste to the only health care facility in the area and make it an eight hour a day clinic.

The local people have responded. They tried to negotiate with the provincial government. No chance. They have appealed to the federal minister. No response. They have now raised hundreds of thousands of dollars privately to keep their public health facility open. What we need is a commitment from the federal government to protect our right to access and a commitment from the provincial government to keep the facility open.

Is it not ironic that health region number one, the birthplace of medicare, will be using private money to keep the public health system operating?

Lupus Awareness MonthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, October is National Lupus Awareness Month. In recognition of this, I would like to remind the public and the members of this House of the devastating nature of this disease.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that prompts the body to attack its own muscles, kidneys, joints, skin, brain, lungs or heart. Lupus is a potentially fatal disease for which no good diagnostic test exists.

It is estimated that lupus affects more than 50,000 Canadians, of which 90% are women and 20% are children.

I also want to recognize the courage of people with lupus, who must struggle with this disease, and the help provided by their families and friends as they do so.

Finally, I would like to thank the countless individuals and organizations that work toward improving the quality of life for those affected by lupus.

Chris SaundersStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, all Canadians today are shocked and saddened by the death of Lieutenant Chris Saunders, an officer on board HMCS Chicoutimi .

On behalf of my caucus I extend deepest sympathy for this tragic loss to Lieutenant Saunders' wife Gwen, their two young sons and to his family, friends and colleagues.

As the member of Parliament for Halifax, I know the resilience of military families and how supportive they are of one another in the face of adversity. Lieutenant Saunders died serving Canada. For that, his community and his country express deep gratitude and extend our heartfelt sympathy.

We extend to Lieutenant Saunders' injured colleagues best wishes for a swift recovery and our prayers for all HMCS Chicoutimi crew to return home as speedily and safely as humanly possible.

Chris SaundersStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy, NB

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the constituents of Fundy Royal and citizens of New Brunswick, I would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt condolences on the passing of Lieutenant Chris Saunders. His loss of life was the result of a fire aboard the HMCS Chicoutimi .

Lieutenant Saunders was a truly distinguished servant of Canada, who started his military career in the 31st Service Battalion in Saint John while still in high school. As an outstanding student, he received several honours while in school and won a scholarship to military college in Saint-Jean, Quebec.

Earlier today I had the privilege of speaking with Debbie Sullivan, Lieutenant Saunders' mother, who remembered her son as a strongly committed young man dedicated to his job, his country and his family. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Lieutenant Saunders and will not forget the ultimate sacrifice that he made.

Chicoutimi

HmcsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles-A. Perron Bloc Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, when they set out for Halifax from the port of Faslane, Scotland, on their maiden voyage, the 57 crew members of HMCS Chicoutimi could not have imagined the tragedy that awaited them on the first leg of their Atlantic crossing.

The fire on board the submarine on Tuesday turned into a nightmare yesterday when one crew member, Lieutenant Chris Saunders, a combat systems engineer from Saint John, New Brunswick, succumbed while being transported to hospital.

In this time of grief, our thoughts are with the family and friends of Lieutenant Saunders.

We also salute the courage of all the crew members and their families in the difficult times they are going through. Your sense of duty is commendable and exemplary; we are very grateful to you.

EdmontonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the great city of Edmonton on the occasion of its 100th birthday.

In 1795 the Hudson's Bay Company established a trading post on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River called Fort Edmonton. The railway arrived in 1902. It was incorporated as a city in 1904 and designated the provincial capital in 1906.

Edmonton quickly became known as the gateway to the north, a phrase that has held true since the Klondike gold rush when prospectors venturing northward stopped in Edmonton to trade their goods and gather supplies.

Edmonton has long had a diversified economy, historically driven by the fur trade and agriculture.

Then, in 1947, oil was discovered just south of Edmonton at Leduc No. 1. The pipeline and petrochemical industry were established and the economy and population began to boom.

Edmonton is a city whose quality of life is second to none. We have a vibrant arts community and our citizens are renowned for their charitable leadership and community fellowship.

I ask all of my colleagues here in Parliament to wish the city of Edmonton a wonderful 100th birthday.

Breast CancerStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Savoy Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, October is breast cancer awareness month.

I would like to recognize four women from my riding of Tobique--Mactaquac who attended a national golf tournament and helped raise awareness for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation at the same time. Angela Welch, Lisa Thomas, Crystal Brown and Pauline Pelkey of the Woodstock Golf and Curling Club led the 36 teams at the Canadian Ladies Golf Association's Scramble Fore the Cure.

The Scramble Fore the Cure is a major event on the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's fundraising calendar. The event raised nearly $70,000.

Congratulations to the Woodstock foursome on their win and best wishes to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation in its goal of creating a future without breast cancer.

Official LanguagesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am saddened to learn that a group claiming to represent the interests of Canadians, a group called Canadians for Language Fairness, intends to take the City of Ottawa to court to prevent it from providing bilingual services to its residents.

Their spokesman, Sebastian Anders, is none other than the Canadian Alliance Party candidate who ran against me in the 2000 election. That party is now called the Conservative Party. He was also a Conservative Party organizer in Glengarry—Prescott—Russell during the recent election.

On behalf of my constituents, I demand that the leader of the Conservative Party denounce and dissociate himself from the pronouncements of Sebastian Anders and reaffirm his party's commitment to Canada's linguistic duality.

Child CareStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, we now have a Speech from the Throne commitment to a national child care program. This is a benchmark after 20 years of promises from both Conservative and Liberal parties in election campaigns.

I have been across the country over the last month meeting with and listening to the child care community. There is great expectation. Canadian families are all now waiting for the details, timelines, legislative framework and a commitment of money.

We have an opportunity in this minority government to have this promise finally delivered. We New Democrats will be working hard to ensure that it actually happens and is rooted in the principles of quality, universality, accessibility, developmental, inclusive and affordable. We also insist that it be publicly funded and delivered, and that it be enshrined in legislation.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I know you will not mind if I begin by expressing on behalf of the Conservative Party, and I am sure all members of the House, once again our regrets and our condolences to the family of Lieutenant Saunders and also to commend all those on board who continue to show such bravery in the face of adversity, and to assure all those people that our prayers are with them in the coming days.

Yesterday I asked the Prime Minister about the condition of the crew of the submarine the Chicoutimi . The Prime Minister assured this House that the crew was safe and sound. Later we learned that a tragedy had occurred and that Lieutenant Saunders had died.

Will the Prime Minister once again update this House on the conditions on board and assure the House that the rest of the crew is safe?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate very much once again the sentiments that have been expressed by the Leader of the Opposition. I would like to inform the House that I have ordered that the Canadian flag on the Peace Tower and all federal buildings and establishments fly at half-mast immediately in honour of the late Lieutenant Chris Saunders.

I have ordered the national flag of Canada to be flown at half-mast on the Peace Tower in Ottawa and on all government buildings and establishments, effective immediately until further notice, in honour of the late Lieutenant Christopher Saunders.

The information that we have is that one of the two who have been taken off the submarine is in a more difficult health situation than the other. We have been told that the other six are in reasonable condition. Again, I would inform the hon. member that because communications are difficult the information is evolving. I am sure the Minister of National Defence, in response to the next question, will take over.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let me ask the Prime Minister to clarify some things he perhaps would be more able to clarify. There are three other submarines like the Chicoutimi in Canada's fleet. This morning the defence minister admitted that the subs are, “not up to 100% of their performance yet”. We are all aware of the history of problems.

Could the Prime Minister assure us that the Chicoutimi was 100% safe before it was put to sea?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, what I can assure the House is that the maritime command, and in fact all of our military personnel, ensure how equipment works because security is the most important concern for their men. I can assure members of the House that the Canadian navy took all the precautions and professional measures necessary to determine the seaworthiness of this ship before it set to sea. I have had assurance from the chief of the maritime command that all necessary precautions were taken about the security of the ship before it set to sea. That is the procedure in our navy.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I would have preferred a direct answer rather than a different set of wording. Let me put my next question in any case.

We all know the Chicoutimi has a history of safety concerns, and I will list them: cracks in engine valves, plugged turbine pumps, leaks, engine malfunctions, problems with the breathing systems, and rust problems that restrict it from deep dives.

When can we expect a full inquiry into what took place? When will the House receive a full report? When will we know the full truth of what transpired?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is a great strategy on behalf of the hon. member to ask questions for which there is no answer so then he can say that he is not getting a serious answer.

The hon. member knows well enough that the way in which this system works is the military is in charge of these inquiries. They are the professionals who are responsible. The military will determine the inquiry. The navy will do a professional inquiry. When the facts are known, those facts will be made available to the House. I do hope that the Leader of the Opposition does not think the House is qualified to do that inquiry. I leave it for the professionals in our maritime command.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, when the Liberal government acquired four used submarines from Britain, it clearly made an inaccurate assessment of the difficulties and costs involved in reintroducing decommissioned submarines to service. There has been a litany of problems, including leaks, dents, severe corrosion and diving restrictions which should have been anticipated.

Will the Minister of National Defence acknowledge that the submarine fleet and its crews face undue risks which should have been addressed before these vessels were put to sea?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I will certainly agree with the hon. member that there have been problems in the commissioning of these subs and Canadianizing them to the way in which they can fit into our navy. We all know what those are, but I can assure the member these have not been undue risks.

I have been assured by maritime command that these are risks that exist in the normal process of bringing these ships up to speed. They are still in the process of being properly commissioned.

I want to assure members of the House that the ships in question are being run by our naval professional staff under great circumstances and they are going to be of great service to our navy.

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is the responsibility of the government to minimize the risks that our sailors, soldiers and aviators face every day. It is obvious that the government does not have a rescue plan to come to the aid of our submarines when they are in distress even though serious problems plague the submarine fleet.

Will the Minister of National Defence advise the House why HMCS Chicoutimi was not escorted across the Atlantic Ocean by one of our navy surface ships on its maiden voyage to Canada?

National DefenceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is the responsibility of the government to support our maritime command and our competent naval officers in the exercise of their functions. We have done that.

I have perfect confidence that we have supported them. I have perfect confidence in their capacity to make the operational decisions that our navy needs to make and I will continue to support them. That is what the government has always done.

Speech from the ThroneOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Speech from the Throne is not meeting the Quebec government's expectations. Yesterday, Benoît Pelletier, Quebec's intergovernmental affairs minister, made the following statement, “I would like the Speech from the Throne to be amended to explicitly provide for the respect of provincial jurisdictions”.

Could the Prime Minister tell the people of Quebec whether or not Liberal MPs will respect the wishes of the Government of Quebec by voting in favour of the Bloc Quebecois' amendment to an amendment calling for measures to “fully respect the provinces' areas of jurisdiction”?

Speech from the ThroneOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I can almost quote from the speech I made yesterday. I made it very clear that we had no intention of infringing or interfering in provincial jurisdictions.