This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ukrainian.

Topics

2:05 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 Don Valley East.

[Members sang the national anthem]

International Year of PhysicsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, the UN designated 2005 as the International Year of Physics in recognition of the 100th anniversary of Einstein's papers on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion and the size of molecules and the theory of relativity that led to the famous equation E=mc

2

The Canadian Association of Physics will celebrate the year through a lecture tour on the theme “Einstein's legacy”, a string quartet composed in honour of the year and a Herzberg lecture entitled “Was Einstein Right?”. These and other activities can be found on http://www.cap.ca/wyp2005.html.

Canada has a fine record in physics. For example, physics research has helped us deal with challenges related to the development of a sustainable society, including environmental conservation, clean energy sources, public health and security in this 21st century.

I congratulate the Association of Physicists on its fine work and wish its members well during this special year.

AgricultureStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, a cold summer night may be an inconvenience, but for grain producers sub-zero temperatures in August are a nightmare. In one night bumper crops became worthless fields. No one could have predicted such a natural disaster, but the August 20 frost that hit Saskatchewan was just that, a disaster.

Our producers, still struggling to pay this year's farming bills, do not know where they will find the money to plant their 2005 crop. The CAIS program is only an income stabilization program, not a disaster relief program. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has admitted as much.

Our producers need an avenue of financial support. It is high time the federal government recognized the plight of producers by designing true disaster relief programs that meet the needs of producers caught in desperate situations beyond their control.

The 2004 crop has become known among our farmers as the best crop there never was. Without proper support from the government, it may also be their last.

Hepatitis CStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week the Government of Canada announced its intention to enter into discussions on options for financial compensation to people who were infected with hepatitis C through the blood system before January 1, 1986 and after July 1, 1990.

The ravages of this disease and its effect on the individual and families involved has been immeasurable. The disease has stripped away health, careers, home and has caused unspeakable anxiety.

At one time, Canada's blood scandal made for daily headlines. However, even after it disappeared from the news, victims have continued living with the consequences every day.

I applaud the measures taken by the government to build upon its previous commitment to ensure that those people infected with hepatitis C before 1986 and after 1990 are attended to. They have asked us to re-examine the options for compensation. Their voice has not been forgotten. We are listening and we hope and believe that this is the right and the responsible thing to do.

An accountable government such as ours engages its efforts not exclusively in determining the vision for a healthier future, but also ensuring that the needs of Canadians across the country are attended to.

Léa JobinStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, we cannot let winning seven Quebec titles in athletics go unheralded, and that is exactly what Léa Jobin, a young track and field athlete from Drummondville has just done. Léa was recently named athlete of the year at the Athlétas gala.

This tiny and self-effacing dynamo really made a name for herself over one summer. Among her achievements: a javelin record, with an amazing 28.86 metre throw, and a prodigious long jump of 4.40 metres.

Like her fellow athletes, Léa needs considerable financial support to advance in her career. Quality equipment, training and competing in the various meets all run up huge bills.

It is therefore important for the government to make a commitment to support developmental athletes.

Congratulations to Drummondville's Léa Jobin, Quebec athlete of the year.

Child PovertyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the month of November marks the anniversary of an all party resolution in the House of Commons to eliminate child poverty. On November 24, 1989, the House of Commons unanimously resolved to seek to achieve the goal of eliminating poverty among Canadian children. Despite consecutive years of economic growth, more than one million children, or almost one child in six, still lives in poverty in Canada.

As government representatives gather to develop a national child care plan, my constituents call upon them to build a solid foundation that supports a universal, high quality public program.

As members of Parliament we can help guide Canada toward a quality, universal, accessible, developmental and inclusive child care system.

Public SafetyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, the government has failed to provide sufficient resources for the RCMP in the province of Manitoba.

One of the major policing issues in rural Manitoba is that 35 of the 65 designated highway patrol officers have been transferred out of highway patrol, leaving only 30 RCMP highway patrol officers for the entire province. This often leaves accident scenes without police attendance and long stretches of major highways and the border without regular patrols.

At the same time there are also fewer officers to deal with other policing issues such as violent crime.

On behalf of the people of Provencher and across the province of Manitoba, I call upon the federal public safety minister to work with Manitoba's minister of justice to increase the number of police officers in the province to meet the demands of public safety.

AgricultureStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Liberal Middlesex—Kent—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, agriculture and agrifood production is a key driving force of Canada's economy, which produces $25 billion in agrifood exports annually.

Canadians enjoy an affordable and safe food supply that is the envy of the world. GrowCanada's partners contribute to our regional and national economy, producing industrial raw materials, finished products and many other markets beyond food and fibre.

Tangible benefits from plant science innovations are vital to our evolving agri-economy. That is why I am proud to sponsor this evening's reception, in the Commonwealth room, entitled, “Canada: Where Innovation Takes Root”, hosted by CropLife Canada and its GrowCanada partners, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Grain Growers of Canada and the Canola Council of Canada.

I urge all hon. members to attend this event and support innovation and Canadian agriculture. If we ate today, let us thank a farmer.

Association du cancer de l'Est du QuébecStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Matapédia—Matane, QC

Mr. Speaker, this Friday, November 26, from 7 p.m. until midnight, the people of my region will have an opportunity to again show their generosity and solidarity for a good cause.

This will be the 15th annual Télé-Info for the eastern Quebec cancer association, a live broadcast from the studios of CFER-TV in Pointe-au-Père.

With this information and fund-raising activity, the association expects to collect some $115,000 with which to continue providing its many services. Télé-Info will feature testimonials from people affected by cancer and information on the services that are available.

The telethon will be hosted by none other than well-known TV personality Suzanne Lapointe, who has had a bout with cancer herself.

When we know that, within a few years, one person in two will experience cancer at some point in their lives, it is more important than ever to be informed and to take immediate action.

The theme of this 15th annual telethon will be “United for life”. I invite my fellow citizens to listen to their hearts and get out their cheque books, and unite for life.

Music IndustryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Savoy Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to inform the House that Music in Canada Coalition, or MICC, is in Ottawa today for the first time, meeting with all parties on matters of great economic and cultural importance. MICC unites, with one voice, more than two dozen associations representing the more than 46,000 Canadians working in all aspects of the music industry.

The Canadian music industry continues to grow new talent and increase its presence on the domestic and international music scenes, due in large part to the Government of Canada's support through the Canada music fund which expires at the end of this year.

Canadians from every province, territory and constituency have benefited from the Canada music fund, and all Canadians benefit from its success.

The Department of Canadian Heritage, in its latest report on plans and priorities, clearly speaks of the fund's success when it states, “Continued, stable investment in sound recording through the Canada Music Fund is essential to continued growth and success”.

I urge all members of the House to support MICC in its call to renew the Canada music fund with long term stable funding to help the Canadian music industry address ongoing challenges, new technology and an increasingly competitive landscape.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bradley Trost Conservative Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, while all Canadians are already experiencing a winter without NHL hockey, the finance minister is doing his best to end junior hockey in Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan Jr. Hockey League is the only junior hockey league in Canada where the players, through their sponsors, are taxed on the room and board per diem that they receive.

For two years the Minister of Finance has done absolutely nothing to help teams in his home province. It is a disgrace that he has done nothing to help the SJHL. It includes teams like the Humboldt Broncos, a team in my constituency which is the heart of the town of Humboldt, a team which demonstrates the best of Canada and a team which is stuck with a $10,000 discriminatory tax bill.

Fortunately, the member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands has presented Bill C-285 to protect the SJHL.

While the Minister of Finance has done nothing to help protect Saskatchewan hockey, all other Saskatchewan MPs do support the bill and will support Saskatchewan hockey.

Taekwondo Association of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Godbout Liberal Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, last September I visited the Demers Taekwon-Do in my riding to speak about the importance of supporting our young people and to present the Canadian flag to the junior boys and girls of the Taekwondo Association of Canada's national team. At that time they were preparing for the taekwondo world championships in Daejon City in South Korea. The championship was held in October.

Five members of the Canadian junior team live in my riding. Two members of the junior girls team brought home gold medals. Today I would like to recognize them: Annik Laferrier, 1st Dan, age 17; and Jessica Ford, 1st Dan, age 17.

I would like very much to pay tribute to the determination and devotion shown by these young people.

Finally, I wish to recognize their coach, Michel Demers, Vth Dan; coordinator, Mr. Harry Burke; and, most important, the parents, Mrs. Diane Laferrier and Mr. John Ford.

Congratulations to Annik and Jessica. Ottawa—Orléans and Canada are very proud of them.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the work of the women's committee of the Canadian Labour Congress and their postcard campaign “15 Days, 15 Ways to End Violence Against Women”.

From now until December 6, Canadians can send a postcard a day to remind the Prime Minister his government needs to do more than just make promises to help end violence against women.

This December 6 will mark 15 years since 14 young women were murdered at Montreal's École polythechnique because they were women.

This month is also Family Violence Awareness Month, a sad reminder that violence also comes not just from strangers but often from those closest to us.

It is time to act. The Canadian Labour Congress has shown us 15 ways to make it happen. Now the government must show us it has the will to end violence against women.

Our thanks go out to the Canadian Labour Congress for its vision and its campaign to end violence against women.

British ColumbiaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gurmant Grewal Conservative Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, British Columbians are fed up with the Liberal Prime Minister's empty rhetoric on western alienation. We want action.

The Liberals have mismanaged the Fraser River salmon fishery, failed to open the U.S. border to live Canadian cattle, mishandled avian flu, are permitting the softwood lumber crisis to continue, and have done little to save our forests from the pine beetle.

They closed CFB Chilliwack, turned off Pacific lighthouses and foghorns, and ripped the heart out of the Pacific Coast Guard. They provide inadequate emergency preparedness, under-resource the RCMP, and allow marijuana grow ops and crime to flourish.

Our streets and highways are congested, while cities wait for gas tax money. Hospitals are underfunded and university tuition is skyrocketing. Federal jobs and contracts are moving east. B.C. is under-represented in the Senate.

The Prime Minister talks the talk but does not walk the walk. British Columbians will not be fooled by the Liberals.

Swine ProductionStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to highlight the opening of a research and training centre for pork production at the Ferme-école Desjardins de Lanaudière, in Saint-Thomas-de-Joliette.

The region of Lanaudière and Quebec is expecting good things of this centre, which will test alternative manure management techniques incorporating sawdust that are more environmentally friendly and will improve quality of life and production efficiency.

The pork industry generates nearly 30,000 direct and indirect jobs in Quebec, some 2,000 of them in Lanaudière.

Lanaudière also gains a research centre that will promote pork production techniques using thin bedding, which is later composted, reducing odour problems by 80% both in the barns and on the fields.

This new research and training centre is unique in Quebec and will also be used to train students in agricultural techniques, train workers in pork production, and promote the use of this technique.

I congratulate the chair of the board, Gilles Martineau, and all the partners who have created this wonderful project.

UkraineStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, the people of Ukraine have been cheated out of democracy and freedom by widespread irregularities and corruption in their recent election. These transgressions have been well-documented by observers from Ukraine and from around the world, including observers from Canada.

All Canadians, especially those of Ukrainian backgrounds, are deeply upset by this unfair election and expect that Canada will take tough and direct action by sending a clear message to Ukraine that we will not recognize the results of a bogus election. These people are counting on the Liberal government to take real action and to take a real position for a change to have this bogus result overturned.

So far the Prime Minister's actions have been weak and indecisive. Canadians, especially those with close connections to Ukraine, deserve more.

When will the Prime Minister take a stand on their behalf, clearly condemn this corruption and demand the democratic will of Ukrainians be honoured?

UkraineStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Liberal Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, the situation in the Ukraine is critical.

Glasnost and perestroika, which the world celebrated 15 years ago with the destruction of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain, is under siege.

The will of the Ukrainian people to choose their own government must be respected. The Russian government must not interfere in Ukraine's internal affairs.

I call upon the Canadian government to use all international forums, such as OSCE, NATO, the European Union and the United Nations to defend the right of the Ukrainian people to democratically elect a government of their own choice.

UkraineOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, millions of people are on the streets of Ukraine and elsewhere to protest irregularities in that country's elections. There is a real danger that these irregularities could result in an illegitimate regime in Kiev.

Is the government willing to tell Ukrainian Canadians and all Canadians that it is willing to take action and willing to send signals that it will withhold recognition or even assistance to ensure that after a century of struggle against Soviet communism, Ukraine will never again return to undemocratic rule?

UkraineOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I rise this afternoon on behalf of the Prime Minister, and, I know, everyone in the House, and the people of Canada.

Considering the allegations of serious and significant electoral fraud from international and Canadian election observers, the Government of Canada cannot accept that the announced results by the central election commission reflect the true democratic will of the Ukrainian people. Therefore Canada rejects the announced final results.

The Government of Canada calls for a full, open and transparent review of the election process. Canada will have no choice but to examine its relations with Ukraine if the authorities fail to provide election results that reflect the democratic will of the people of that country.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I thank the government for that answer and I look forward to the government working with Secretary of State Powell and our other allies to ensure that this situation changes course and returns to democracy.

In the meantime, I am obliged to return to irregularities in Canada.

I want to ask the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to confirm that she today dismissed her chief of staff, and, if that is true, to divulge to the House the full reasons for that dismissal.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, since when are we supposed to be discussing personnel issues of our staff on the floor of the House of Commons?

When I came to Ottawa it was my understanding that the House of Commons was a place that was respected and where we had proper debate on issues and matters of overall importance to Canada.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am in disbelief with an answer like that. I do not know how the minister thinks the goings on in her office are not her responsibility in the House. It is yet another non-answer to a question.

If her chief of staff is gone, if it was not good enough for him to wait for the report from the Ethics Commissioner, why should we wait for her report from the Ethics Commissioner? Should she not be gone as well?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, as I have said a number of times in the House, there is a process in place.

The minister has made it absolutely plain that she wants to be transparent and she will be held accountable. In fact we have a process, which is an independent Ethics Commissioner.

The Ethics Commissioner is investigating this matter. The minister has indicated that she is happy to have the report of the Ethics Commissioner made public.

I think we should all await the outcome of that process before prejudging circumstances and calling into question the good character and reputation of members of Parliament.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government's dance of a thousand veils on the exotic dancer file continues.

The minister, in her answer, says that she respects the Privacy Act, but she has allowed the casual examination of confidential files, not only in her campaign office, but also in a strip club.

It turns out that the minister's potentially former chief of staff carelessly discussed immigration files in her campaign office and a strip club.

The only thing thinner than the minister's adherence to privacy is perhaps some of the costumes in that club. When will she resign?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

York West Ontario

Liberal

Judy Sgro LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I think opposition members are getting pretty desperate. They never let the facts get in the way of anything. As long as it is a good story, they are going to throw it out. There are clear media reports, since they believe everything they read in the media, that the critic herself acknowledged that she did not actually receive any information. There were no violations of the Privacy Act.