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House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was columbia.

Topics

Telefilm Canada ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Telefilm Canada ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine)

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Telefilm Canada ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Telefilm Canada ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine)

I declare the motion carried.

(Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed)

MarriageStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Madam Speaker, last week the Supreme Court ruled that the draft legislation referred to it by the Government of Canada upholds the right of same sex couples to civil marriage. As a result, the government can either move ahead with legislation to codify civil marriage for same sex couples or use the notwithstanding clause to take away this right.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a pillar of Canadian society. The rights protected under the charter are the same rights that protect churches, synagogues, mosques and temples from being obliged to perform marriage ceremonies that are contrary to their beliefs. This is not about religion. It is about equality.

The Prime Minister has stated that he will not use the notwithstanding clause to deny rights guaranteed by the charter. I am proud to say that I will be voting with the government and the Prime Minister to acknowledge same sex civil marriage.

We all have a choice. We can either uphold the charter because we believe in it, or we can abandon it. Parliamentarians must now make that choice.

Cornwall Centennial ChoirStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank and congratulate the Centennial Choir from the city of Cornwall in my riding Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry for its excellent concert on the Hill, an event that took place earlier this afternoon. The event raised money for SOS Children's Villages Canada, a charity that provides permanent loving homes for children who have been left homeless due to war, natural disasters and other calamities.

The Centennial Choir takes its name from Canada's centennial year, 1967, the year the choir was founded. It has approximately 65 members from throughout the three united counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry. The choir produces annual spring and Christmas concerts and takes part in special events throughout the year in our community.

I encourage everyone to take any opportunity to attend a performance of the Cornwall Centennial Choir. I promise that people will not be disappointed.

Rhodes ScholarsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Madam Speaker, it is with great honour that I stand before the House to share the news about two students from the University of Manitoba who have received the prestigious Rhodes scholarship, which provides two to three years of study at Oxford University in England. The recipients are chosen on the basis of academic achievement, integrity of character, community service, leadership potential and physical ability.

The first student is Daniel Lussier from my riding of Saint Boniface, a fifth year mechanical and manufacturing engineering student. He is one of only three Rhodes scholarship recipients from the Prairies.

Graham Reynolds, the second recipient, a talented musician and an active volunteer with the Pro Bono Student Association, is currently studying at Dalhousie Law School. He was awarded a Leaders of Tomorrow scholarship in 1999 and earned the Gold Medal when he graduated from arts in 2002 from the University of Manitoba.

I am proud to say that my alma mater, the University of Manitoba, has produced more Rhodes scholars than any university in western Canada and places fourth among all Canadian universities in that category.

Sûreté du QuébecStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Madam Speaker, in the Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec district, the Sûreté du Québec is now led by a woman. Lieutenant Caroline Guay was recently appointed director for the regional county municipality of L'Érable.

Ms. Guay, who has been a police officer for 15 years, has assumed various responsibilities. She joined the Sûreté du Québec in 1991, as a patrol officer at the Témiscamingue police station, in the Abitibi. She fulfilled the duties of public affairs officer and investigator with the organized crime unit, where she also worked as the acting assistant to the director.

In 2001, she was seconded to the École nationale de police du Québec, where she worked as an instructor, and, in 2002, she was placed in charge of the initial training program for patrol officers.

Lieutenant Caroline Guay is the second woman in Quebec to hold such a position within the Sûreté du Québec. We congratulate her.

University of Prince Edward IslandStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Madam Speaker, I would like to share the news that the University of Prince Edward Island has announced that William E. Andrew of Calgary, Alberta will be appointed as the institution's seventh chancellor.

Mr. Andrew, a native of Milton, Prince Edward Island, is the president of Penn West Petroleum Ltd., a leading Canadian energy company. Mr. Andrew has worked with many community endeavours, including the Alberta Children's Hospital and the United Way. He is also involved in the Canadian harness racing industry. He will bring a wealth of experience to this position.

I know that Mr. Andrew's commitment to education and love for Prince Edward Island will inspire him to excel in his new position. Please join me in congratulating William E. Andrew on his appointment as the chancellor to one of Canada's great universities.

Christmas ListStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Gurmant Grewal Conservative Newton—North Delta, BC

Madam Speaker, the holiday season is upon us, and in that spirit my constituents have a Christmas list.

They want a government that recognizes the supremacy of Parliament and lets parliamentarians, not judges, decide issues that matter most to Canadians. They want resources for law enforcement agencies to put a stop to gang violence, grow ops, break and enters, and auto theft. They want a justice system that works with police instead of against them. They want federal funds for vital infrastructure projects such as the South Fraser perimeter road, the Port Mann bridge, and the Fraser port. They want the final 422 acres of Burns Bog bought and protected. They want improved services at Surrey Memorial and Delta Hospitals and an end to waiting lists. They want open borders for the free flow of softwood lumber and beef. They want an efficient immigration system free from political interference. They want jobs and affordable housing for the homeless. They want an end to absurd political correctness that robs Christian holidays of their true meaning.

Merry Christmas, and may everyone's Christmas wishes come true.

LacrosseStatements By Members

December 13th, 2004 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Kawartha-Chrysler Peterborough Lakers won the Mann Cup this year. This revered trophy is emblematic of national supremacy in one of our national sports, lacrosse. After a tough season, the Lakers took on the Victoria Shamrocks and won the final series in six games. I congratulate the team members on their achievement. They gave our community a lift after a summer of floods.

I also congratulate and thank all those who have worked to maintain lacrosse in Peterborough over many years. In particular I thank and congratulate Ted Higgins, the Lakers coaching staff, its board of directors and supporters.

Once again Peterborough leads Canada in lacrosse.

The Governor GeneralStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am rising in this House today to condemn the remarks made by the Governor General of Canada, Adrienne Clarkson.

The Governor General reacted with arrogance to the democratic vote taken in this House to reduce her budget.

Ms. Clarkson stated that the reduction of over $400,000 imposed on her by members of Parliament will result in the elimination of events such as the ceremonies for the Order of Canada, and will have an even greater impact on winter events organized especially for children.

These comments are unworthy of the office held by Ms. Clarkson. She should cut her expenditures relating to official trips and lavish banquets, rather than targeting children. Not all children have the chance to enjoy the luxury to which she is entitled. In fact, more than one million children in Canada are living below the poverty line.

On behalf of children and their families, the Bloc Québécois asks for an apology from the Governor General.

Club Richelieu in DalhousieStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, I want to recognize today the 50th anniversary of the Club Richelieu in Dalhousie, New Brunswick. Founded in 1954, this community organization actively contributes to local development through a variety of fundraisers.

Since its creation, the Club Richelieu in Dalhousie has had nearly 200 members, all truly dedicated. Furthermore, in 50 years, the club has given more than $600,000 to the community through contributions to sports teams, children in need, scout troops, student bursaries and so on.

The hard work of these volunteers helps make our communities proud, and that is why this organization deserves our recognition here today.

MarriageStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has been misleading Canadians, saying that the traditional definition of marriage was unconstitutional. Now we know that the Liberals have been deliberately misleading Canadians. The Supreme Court did not fall for that Liberal trap and has sent the issue of marriage back to Parliament where it belonged. The Conservative Party was right all along.

I agree with the majority of Canadians on the definition of marriage being between a man and a woman. That definition is constitutional, yet the Prime Minister wants to outlaw that definition against the democratic wishes of the majority. He will be tabling his own legislation and has threatened his caucus to vote for it or else.

Will the Prime Minister stop dithering, come clean about his hidden agenda where religious freedoms will be lost, where marijuana will be made legal and supplied by his government, and where child pornography will be considered art? He is wrong. I challenge him to permit a free vote for all members on these important issues.

Rett SyndromeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to pay tribute to a very brave young lady and her parents. Olivia, a constituent of Brant, was diagnosed with Rett syndrome at an early age. Since then, her family has actively petitioned for increased medical funding and has also created a network of support for families affected by Rett syndrome.

Rett syndrome is a unique developmental disorder which begins in early infancy, almost always affecting females. Those with Rett syndrome lose previously acquired hand and verbal skills and remain dependent on care providers for life. Rett syndrome did not come to international attention until 1983. Since then, remarkable progress has been achieved in understanding the clinical history and pathophysiology of Rett syndrome.

I ask all hon. members to join me in commending Olivia and her family for their tremendous courage and determination.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week an Iranian woman, a refugee claimant, was deported back to Iran. She was immediately detained, charged with leaving Iran illegally and could face the death penalty. She had fled Iran because of her activism on student and women's issues.

How could this happen given Canada's position at the UN where just last month Canada again condemned Iran's human rights record and its treatment of women? Has the government forgotten Zahra Kazemi's death?

How could the pre-removal risk assessment process conclude that there was no risk of return to Iran? Only 3% of PRRA reviews are successful, raising serious questions about their effectiveness. That Immigration Canada could be so off base with Canada's foreign affairs policy is appalling.

Two years ago Parliament passed the refugee appeal division, a fact based appeal on the merits of a refugee case. The government has refused to implement it, showing contempt for Parliament and leaving refugees at risk.

Deportations to Iran must stop immediately. Deportations to any country where there is any risk of persecution must end. The refugee appeal division must be implemented now.

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Darrel Stinson Conservative North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Gordon Read, who served in the air force for 32 years, has discovered that his wife of 10 years will not be eligible for his military pension upon his passing. Why? It is because Mr. Read married after the age of 60.

How dare this Liberal government decide if a widow or widower should receive a veterans pension based on the age the veteran marries. This is an atrocity.

Our veterans put their lives on the line for our country. Is this how we repay them, by having them worry about what will happen to their loved ones after they are gone?

ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Council for Refugees comprises organizations concerned with defending the rights of asylum-seekers and refugees.

Recently, this organization held a conference in Victoria at which participants wondered if Canada was still an asylum-granting country. I had the opportunity to talk with these people, who live each day in exile and who want only a safe place to live. I saw their disappointment about Canada's lack of consideration for them.

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the way in which it is currently enforced are inhumane. Since 2002, refugee claims are assessed by only one board member, whose decision cannot be appealed. Although the 2002 legislation set out an appeal process, it has never been implemented.

I remind the government, since it seems to have forgotten, that asylum-seekers have a right to dignity, justice and security. For this reason, the Bloc Québécois demands the immediate implementation of the appeals division for refugee claimants.

Miles SelbyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I rise today to pay tribute to Captain Miles Selby, a member of the world renowned Canadian Snowbirds, who was killed in a tragic accident while on a training exercise south of the Snowbirds' base at 15 Wing Moose Jaw this past Friday.

Captain Selby was in his second year with the Snowbirds and was a 13 year veteran of the air force. He had logged over 2,600 hours of military flying experience and had bravely served his country in combat missions in Kosovo.

Captain Selby's dedication to his country and skill as a pilot embody the tradition of military excellence and national pride which the Snowbirds represent.

I would ask my fellow members to join with me in extending our hearts and prayers to Captain Selby's wife, Julie, and his family. His service to Canada, the Snowbirds team and 15 Wing Moose Jaw will not be forgotten.

International DevelopmentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Lui Temelkovski Liberal Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to bring attention to the important issue of Canada's role in international development.

As one of the globe's most developed and resource and culturally rich nations, there is an inherent responsibility which ethically and humanely requires Canada to continue to enhance its leadership role in funding untied, non-ideological aid and capacity development to lesser developed nations.

As a nation fuelled by cultural, social and political diversity as opposed to archaic and discriminatory religious fundamentalism, it is important for Canada to utilize its immense capacity to show the world that compassion does exist, and universal, tangible results can be had through the spearheading of those fortunate nation states willing to increase the value they place upon the quality of life.

Arts and CultureStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, can we envision culture without arts and letters, theatre, music, dance, literature, art crafts, and visual and media arts? No. Culture is the heart of every people.

In Quebec, the Mouvement pour les arts et les lettres, which represents 15,000 professional artists, has long been campaigning for increased support for artists, the majority of whom are living below the poverty line.

The government must understand cultural issues and the need for more support to our professional artists. Artists and artisans are not free to create. They generally have a double life imposed upon them by the obligation to earn enough to live on.

So that they may have that freedom to create a culture that will be worthy of protection by an eventual convention on cultural diversity, the budget of the Canada Council for the Arts needs to be raised to $300 million this very year, and the program “Tomorrow Starts Today” must be restored permanently, and enhanced as well.

National DefenceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, there are responsible, effective alternatives to Bush's missile defence, alternatives that would accelerate global disarmament instead of fuelling a dangerous arms buildup and weaponization of space. These include: support of a verifiable, negotiated solution between the U.S. and North Korea; formalize and expand the concept of non-interference with verification; urge all space-faring nations to declare that they would not be the first to deploy weapons in space; support a UN code of conduct for prevention of incidents and dangerous military practices in space, which threaten existing space assets; seek consultation with the U.S. under article IX of the Outer Space Treaty, to which Canada is a signatory; and urge all governments with nuclear weapons to agree on decisive measures to reduce and neutralize their nuclear arsenals, and work toward acceptance of these by non-weapon states.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we are rapidly nearing Christmas and I am sure the Prime Minister does not want to be known to Atlantic Canadians as the evil grinch who takes their oil and gas and gives them only a lump of coal in return.

Will the Prime Minister stop dithering and deliver on the deal he promised with no eight year moratorium on prosperity?

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the objective of this government is to achieve permanent and ongoing prosperity for Atlantic Canadians and for all Canadians. The equalization program is part of that. The offshore accords are part of that. The most recent negotiations are also part of that. The work is ongoing at the very highest level and we anticipate success, but it is not over yet.

Natural ResourcesOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if the government's objective is to create a have status in Atlantic Canada, it has failed and continues to fail in that area.

Last week Atlantic ministers were here in Ottawa being stonewalled by federal officials. In Halifax the Atlantic premiers were being stalled by the Clerk of the Privy Council. Surprise, the Prime Minister was nowhere to be found.

This is a promise for the Prime Minister, not for his officials, to keep. My question again is for the Prime Minister. Will he show some leadership, not play Scrooge, and get this deal done before Christmas?