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House of Commons Hansard #5 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

AgricultureStatements by Members

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a tremendous sense of responsibility and hope for the constituents in my riding of Palliser.

First of all, I wish to thank the citizens of Palliser for the great honour they have bestowed upon me in voting for me to represent them in this House.

The BSE crisis impacts my constituency of Palliser as much as it does any area in this great country. The beef industry is a huge economic driver in my riding, and not just in the rural areas. The spinoff is definitely felt in Moose Jaw and Regina.

Producers have faced incredible stress since the border closed in 2003. This government has promised relief to those in the beef industry, but promises alone cannot sustain families in Moose Jaw, Mossbank, Caron, Avonlea, and communities throughout my riding of Palliser.

Today I call on the Liberal government to immediately deliver the cash it has promised to these families. The people of Palliser continue to have hope. They deserve a government that will act quickly to restore their confidence.

Mental IllnessStatements by Members

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, an unfortunate accident 14 years ago forced North Bay resident Dave Gallson, now the program director for the National Network for Mental Health, to face new realities, work through mental health issues and change his profession.

He created the BUILT Network: Building Up Individuals Through Learning and Teamwork. BUILT is a seven week program designed to assist people with mental health issues to overcome their employment barriers by enhancing their customer service skills.

BUILT Network is an innovative flagship program created and piloted in North Bay, Ontario. It is a project of the National Network for Mental Health and funded by Social Development Canada.

As we celebrate Mental Illness Awareness Week in Canada, I would like to recognize Dave Gallson and his colleagues for developing a project that has such a positive impact on people's lives. Their hard work and dedication demonstrates once again that the people in northern Ontario have the ideas, skills and expertise that can be translated into meaningful community development activities across the country.

Labour RelationsStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, as it has for six years now, National PEP Your Workplace Week, a creation of the Institute for Business Technology, will take place in early October.

The Government of Canada is one of the institute's major clients and consequently invests a considerable amount of money in training its employees to enable them to improve their personal efficiency and productivity, or PEP, in the workplace.

This same government could save a good deal of money, taxpayers' money, merely by showing some respect for its employees who are members of the Public Service Alliance. How so? By negotiating fair and reasonable conditions based on conciliation board reports from the various negotiating tables.

Negotiation is the best way to settle labour disputes and to better serve taxpayers. The result would be 130,000 employees who are motivated and “peppy” employees instead of depressed and on strike.

Paralympic GamesStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I pay tribute to Kirby Cote, a swimmer from Winnipeg, on her impressive achievements at the recent Paralympic Games in Athens.

Ms. Cote is a 20 year old legally blind swimmer who trains in my riding of Winnipeg South Centre. Her determination and her commitment to her training and her sport are indeed an inspiration to us all.

Ms. Cote won a medal in every event she entered at the Athens Paralympics. She completed the games with five gold medals and two silver medals, a remarkable achievement indeed.

It was exciting to watch a young athlete from Winnipeg win the first gold medal of the games for Canada. Kirby started off the games with a gold medal performance in the 100 metre butterfly and she did so by clocking her personal best time and a Canadian record.

On behalf of all Manitobans and all Canadians, I would like to extend our congratulations to this outstanding athlete.

General Amherst High SchoolStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the people for electing me as the first Conservative MP to serve the riding of Essex in 46 years.

As I rise today in my first official role in this chamber, I wish to commend the students of General Amherst High School for their outstanding contribution to the Canadian Cancer Society's walkathon held in their hometown of Amherstburg last week.

Seven hundred and fifty of 770 students participated in the walkathon. They raised over $72,000 in only five days of canvassing.

Truly noteworthy, however, is the spirit of service exemplified by these students.

As we embark on this new session of Parliament with all its uncertainties, my hope is that this stellar example of service by these leaders of tomorrow will inspire us, the leaders of today, to remember our call as MPs to humbly serve our constituents.

Tibetan Youth DayStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to inform the House of the Tibetan Youth Congress's 35th anniversary of the Tibetan Youth Day. The celebration is being held at the historic Palais Royale in my riding on Sunday, October 10.

The Tibetan Youth Congress was founded in India on October 7, 1970, and the Dalai Lama delivered its inaugural address. It is a non-profit organization with over 76 branches around the world whose main purpose is to promote Tibet's culture, traditions and religion under the guidance of the Dalai Lama.

The Toronto chapter of the Tibetan Youth Congress was established in 2002 and has grown quickly as increasing numbers of Tibetan Canadians have made the historic neighbourhood of Parkdale their home.

I salute the organizers and participants of this year's Tibetan Youth Congress event and I am delighted to be joining them this Sunday.

Nobel Peace PrizeStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Louise Thibault Bloc Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan woman who has been telling people for the past quarter-century that every time we plant a tree we plant a seed for peace, has just been announced as the Nobel Peace Prize winner for 2004.

She is the twelfth woman to receive this honour since the inception of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, and the first African woman.

Kenyan's Deputy Minister of the Environment, Wangari Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977. Since its inception, this tree planting program has seen more than 30 million seeds for peace planted in Africa.

The purpose of this ecological project is to promote diversity, and it has created numerous jobs for women in decision-making positions while raising their position in society.

By growing trees for peace, she gives hope to humanity.

Algonquin CollegeStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Marlene Catterall Liberal Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to congratulate Algonquin College in my riding on the official opening yesterday of its new transportation and technology centre.

For almost 40 years, Algonquin has trained skilled technicians in transportation. The new centre, with 31,500 square feet of space and the most up to date equipment, will expand the college's ability to train new technicians and to keep skills in this trade at the leading edge. This is important not only for the students but for an industry that is experiencing a shortage of skilled technicians.

I wish to extend congratulations to Algonquin and to its partners in industry, the province of Ontario and the sector councils. All have collaborated to bring this project to completion.

AgricultureStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to address the devastation felt by ranchers and farmers across Canada.

BSE has negatively affected farm and ranch families and has impacted all the towns and small businesses in my riding of Selkirk--Interlake. Producers have not been able to keep up with bill payments since the BSE crisis began and many face bankruptcy if prices do not rise.

I would like to pay tribute to those trying to improve the situation. I would like to thank the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association for its work on the BSE file. I would especially like to thank the board of directors of Rancher's Choice Beef Co-op, which has worked diligently to establish a new beef packing plant in Manitoba.

Finally, I would like to thank the Leader of the Official Opposition for talking to agriculture lenders and urging them to have patience and understanding in this time of crisis on the farm.

JusticeStatements by Members

October 8th, 2004 / 11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Tom Wappel Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, on September 20 Salim Choueiri, a businessman and father, was convicted of obtaining the sexual services of minors on four occasions. The court imposed the lenient penalty of a six months suspended sentence, one year probation and a $500 fine.

Do the courts protect our children? The answer is sadly evident when we compare Choueiri's case to that of Chris Geoghegan's. Geoghegan was convicted of hitting Alberta Premier Ralph Klein in the face with a pie. Provincial Court Judge Terry Semenuk sentenced him to 30 days in jail, three months probation, 40 hours of community service and a $50 victim surcharge.

Had Geoghegan been given the choice, I am certain he would have been more inclined to choose the punishment granted to the child abuser over his own.

What kind of a society protects its children by giving a suspended sentence to a child abuser, yet gives jail time for throwing a pie?

This statement is the beginning of a series examining how courts are sentencing child abusers and pedophiles.

Elizabeth WeirStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, today New Democrats are celebrating the political career of an extraordinary woman. I would like to pay tribute to the fantastic contribution Elizabeth Weir has made to political life in New Brunswick and Canada.

Elizabeth Weir received her honours degree in sociology from the University of Waterloo and her law degree from the University of Western Ontario. In 1978 she was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada.

A former teacher at the University of New Brunswick, she went on to become the leader of the New Democratic Party in New Brunswick in 1988 and became the first woman to be chosen as leader of a political party in New Brunswick.

She was the first woman leader elected to the New Brunswick Legislative Assembly and the first elected leader of the provincial New Democratic Party. She was first elected to the legislative assembly in 1991, and was re-elected in 1995, 1999 and 2003.

We are very pleased to see that, even though she decided it was time to pass on the torch as leader, she will continue to serve the people of her riding of Saint John Harbour.

Breast CancerStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Betty Hinton Conservative Kamloops—Thompson, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today for the first time in the 38th Parliament on an issue that has affected myself and my family very personally.

Breast cancer is an insidious disease that claims the lives of many thousands of women every year. It is estimated that 21,200 women will develop breast cancer this year and of those, 5,200 will succumb to it.

My sister, Doreen Buss, dedicated her life to teaching children. Her legacy lives on in two generations of residents of Trail, B.C. who benefited from her talent.

In my riding of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, women are given hope and research funds through the efforts of the Salituro family who organize the annual Pink Ribbon Ball, and to others, like Kathy Roberts, who dedicate their time to raising funds through fashion shows.

Finally I would like to pay special tribute to every Canadian woman who is now fighting, or has in the past fought, this disease. We will beat cancer.

World Congress Against the Death PenaltyStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Roger Clavet Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, from October 6 to 9, Montreal is hosting the 2nd annual World Congress Against the Death Penalty. The Bloc Quebecois wants to acknowledge the event and particularly to reiterate its full support for the abolishment of the death penalty.

This week, hundreds of people, activists, diplomats, academics, NGO officials, parliamentarians and celebrities descended on the city to debate strategies for encouraging more countries to remove the death penalty from their penal code. Numerous debates are on the program, as are artistic, cultural and educational events.

Even though the death penalty has been abolished in Canada since 1976, Amnesty International has made it clear that the global fight is far from over; it reported 1,146 executions in 2003.

The Bloc Quebecois wishes to add its voice to all the participants at the congress and calls upon the international community to say no to the death penalty.

We wish the congress much success and join with all those who oppose capital punishment.

Chicoutimi

HmcsStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Barry Devolin Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week a tragic story jumped off the front pages of the national newspapers and into my constituency office in Lindsay, Ontario.

Yesterday I learned that Peter Bryan, brother-in-law to my executive assistant, Jamie Schmale, and older brother to his wife, Julia Bryan, is aboard HMCS Chicoutimi as its executive officer. Like so many other families, the Bryans have been awaiting word ever since that Peter is safe.

Last evening we were relieved to hear that HMCS Chicoutimi is being towed back to port and that the worst of this catastrophe may be behind us. Unfortunately this will be scant relief to the family of Lieutenant Chris Saunders who lost his life while serving his country.

This week's tragedy reminds us of the dangerous work that our armed forces perform daily on our behalf.

It should also remind the government of its solemn responsibility to provide our men and women in the armed forces with both modern and safe equipment.

Internet PharmaciesStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, last month first ministers met and developed a 10-year health plan for which congratulations are in order. However, one important issue was not addressed and that is the problem of Internet pharmacies.

People living in the United States can buy prescription drugs in Canada over the Internet. I believe this practice is unethical. First, it can deplete Canadian prescription drug supplies. Also, patients receiving the medication have never seen a Canadian doctor nor pharmacist, thus increasing the chance of misdiagnosis.

Media reports inform us that one practitioner alone signed tens of thousands of these forms over a six-month period at a considerable profit.

Finally, there is no way of accurately preventing that medication being prescribed has not been counterfeited.

I ask the Minister of Health, along with his provincial counterparts at their meeting very shortly, to be seized of this issue and to take the necessary measures to stop it.

Victor BoudreauStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the new provincial MLA for Shediac—Cap Pelé, Victor Boudreau.

Victor won a very important byelection in New Brunswick this week. The Liberal Party and its leader, Shawn Graham, prevailed despite the sustained efforts made by Conservative ministers and MLAs.

Victor Boudreau's strong victory shows that the people of Shediac--Cap Pelé recognize his energy, integrity and commitment to the citizens of this riding.

Victor will be an outstanding MLA and will represent Shediac--Cap Pelé in an exceptional way for many years. I congratulate Victor, his wife Michelle, and their daughters, Dominique and Gabrielle, as they begin their new life in provincial politics

MarriageStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Supreme Court of Canada held its hearings this week on the government's reference on same sex marriage. The government argued in support of lesbian and gay marriage and the minister has said clearly there is no ambiguity, so why the reference?

It is time to quit stalling. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees equality to all Canadians. Denying lesbian and gay couples the equal right to marry is a denial of our full human rights.

At this moment 82% of Canadians live in jurisdictions with equal marriage. I urge the government to respect the right of loving, committed lesbian and gay couples to celebrate our relationships in marriage.

It is time for the government to respect the charter and change the law. The Minister of Justice must demonstrate the courage of his convictions and table legislation immediately.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, HMCS Chicoutimi is now being towed to port.

Can the Prime Minister update the House on the health of the 54 submariners and conditions on board? When can we expect the submarine to return to port and what is the condition of the injured crewmen?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member has just pointed out, the Chicoutimi is now being towed toward Scotland. We have been informed that although things on board are not very comfortable, all is well. I should also say that the two injured sailors in hospital are in stable condition. As the hon. member undoubtedly knows, one of them is in fairly serious condition.

I can also report that plans for returning Lieutenant Saunders' remains are being finalized. In accordance with his family's wishes, there will be a military funeral. We expect the body to arrive on Sunday.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, we appreciate the Prime Minister's updated information. My question is for the Minister of National Defence.

An internal review from his department of the submarine project noted that the purchase and reactivation was “wrongly” considered a “low risk”. It goes on to state that the risks associated with this procurement have been underestimated.

The government has known this for over a year and the alarm bells were ringing, yet the government ignored those warnings. What was done to mitigate the risks before the HMCS Chicoutimi was cleared to leave port for Canada and cross the north Atlantic unescorted?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, what was done, as the chief of maritime staff has told me, was that the ship was put through extremely rigorous tests in predeparture sea trials, both within the vicinity of the harbour and then longer trials where everything was checked, both with the British suppliers and with the naval staff on board.

This ship would not have left port if it had not been determined by a competent captain and by superior officers that it was fit to make the traverse across the Atlantic. It never would have left port in the first place if it had not been considered fit.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the HMCS Chicoutimi was not fit.

The litany of problems with the submarine project have been highlighted for years. A defence department memo notes that it would have been faster to build new ones. The recent problems of the Chicoutimi appear to have been class wide. The delays and additional expense have hurt naval operational capacity for years.

How did the government so badly underestimate these problems and costs associated with the submarine purchase? When will we see a full inquiry on all aspects of the purchase and repairs of these submarines in the House of Commons?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that there have been problems with these submarines, but we have always been advised by the naval staff that they are capable of managing these problems and that these were the best submarines they could get for the purposes they wanted them. We needed submarines. These are therefore what the navy wanted. This is what the navy is pursuing to make work for the capacity of our armed services.

If the defence committee or any other committee of the House chooses to investigate all circumstances around the purchases of these submarines, of course the government will cooperate completely with parliamentary committees, as we always do.

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, during the last election the Prime Minister dismissed the need for substantial investment in defence. This ongoing attitude toward the military is seen in the mismanagement and underfunding of a range of defence capabilities. The most recent example is the sad state of our submarine fleet, which has unresolved fleet-wide problems.

Will the Minister of National Defence assure the House that until he knows that the electrical fire problem does not apply to all submarines, the safety of the crews will be paramount and the fleet will stay in port?

National DefenceOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, in the first case, the premise of the question ignores entirely that since the Prime Minister came into office, he has committed to spending some $7 billion on improving the equipment to our armed services, updating some of the best equipment we could possibly have.

In its electoral platform, this party agreed for the first time that we are going to increase our forces by 5,000 regulars and 3,000 reservists, giving us greater capacity. In so far as whether these submarine fleets are put to sea, I rest my case and put my faith in the maritime command who are the professionals that make these decisions.