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House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Holocaust Memorial DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was a moment of great historical significance for this country. It was the first ever national Holocaust Memorial Day held on the occasion of Yom ha-Shoah.

For me it was a particularly emotional moment to see an idea which had come from the Winnipeg Jewish community actually come to fruition. It became a reality thanks to the work of members of all parties in this house, particularly the member for Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier.

It was an emotional moment for me to be at the ceremony at the Etz Chayim synagogue in Winnipeg. It was also a moment of great significance for the member for Halifax who was in Halifax for the ceremony and for our leader, Jack Layton, who was here in Ottawa for the official national Holocaust Memorial Day service.

We were all reminded yesterday of the need to honour and respect the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust, as well as the survivors of the Holocaust and to rededicate ourselves to ending growing anti-Semitism in our society today and conflicts everywhere in the world, including Rwanda and the Balkans.

Holocaust Memorial DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday for the first time, we marked Holocaust Memorial Day—Yom ha-Shoah. Indeed, on November 7, Bill C-459 received royal assent after being unanimously passed by the House.

The Shoah is the culmination of a degrading policy to exterminate clearly identified groups, including Jews of course, but also Gypsies and homosexuals. During their domination, the Nazis and their allies imprisoned, tortured and killed six million people.

The Shoah is also an episode that could have been avoided, had it not been for the complicit silence of the populations of the time and the indifference of democratic governments, which should have acted sooner to stop Hitler and his servile followers.

Unfortunately, the lessons of the Shoah were not fully learned, as we were reminded with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, where 800,000 people were massacred over a period of 12 weeks.

In light of the resurgence of anti-Semitism all over the world, it is everyone's duty to fight intolerance, racism and anti-Semitism everywhere and always. Let us hope that this first Holocaust Memorial Day will allow us to reflect on this and, more importantly, will convince us to take immediate action.

Organ DonationStatements By Members

April 19th, 2004 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, April 19 to 25 marks National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week.

In 2000, Annik Presseault, one of my constituents, died in tragic circumstances, but because of the fact that she had signed her donor card prior to this unfortunate event and advised her family of her wishes, eight Canadians continue to live because of her gift.

Some 4,000 Canadians are on waiting lists for the gift of life.

As we enter National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week, I encourage all Canadians to do as Annik Presseault did by completing and signing their donor cards.

The gift of life is one that has the greatest rewards of all and Annik gave that gift.

Sponsorship ProgramStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Canadian Alliance Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, in the past two weeks I spoke with hundreds of my constituents at two trade fairs in my riding. What is their number one issue? It is the blatant misuse and abuse of their hard-earned taxpayer dollars in the shameful ad scam scandal.

At first the Prime Minister feigned outrage and anger at this, but the President of the Treasury Board is trying to make Canadians believe it is no big deal. He challenged the Auditor General's number of $100 million, and then backtracked. He cited Ernst and Young, and then backtracked. He promised details on Mr. Chrétien's unity slush fund, and then backtracked. Obviously, the Liberals want to keep Canadians in the dark until the election, but they want to be seen as clean and transparent.

I say the time for truthfulness and honesty is now. Election or no election, Canadians deserve better.

Holocaust Memorial DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Oak Ridges, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Canadians were able to commemorate our first national Holocaust Memorial Day. Yom ha-Shoah has been commemorated by communities and governments across Canada for many years, but was formally recognized as Holocaust Memorial Day by Parliament last year.

As members may know, “Shoah” is the Hebrew word for “whirlwind”, the whirlwind of hatred that swept six million Jews to their deaths under the Nazi sponsored policy of hatred and genocide during the second world war.

Yom ha-Shoah provides an opportunity for all Canadians to be educated on the universal lessons of human rights and to reaffirm our commitment to protect Canadians from those who would commit crimes of violence, racism and hate.

It is my hope that on Yom ha-Shoah, Canadians of all religious and cultural backgrounds would take a moment to recognize this day and reflect on what religious and racial hatred can do to an individual, a community and a country.

Hepatitis C VictimsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, the treatment of hepatitis C victims from tainted blood still haunts the federal Government of Canada.

I will summarize the sorry events. One, the blood system infected about 10,000 Canadians with hepatitis C. Two, the federal government agreed to compensate only those with infection from transfusion between 1986 and 1990. Three, the expert in this area, Judge Horace Krever, asked that there be help given to everyone infected. Four, the federal government refused, while some provinces agreed to give compensation to every victim.

Of the $1.1 billion set aside, only about one-third has been used. There is money available for the forgotten victims.

Fairness suggests Judge Krever's recommendation be followed. When will every victim of tainted blood from hepatitis C be helped?

Atlantic Canada TourismStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, thanks to the marketing efforts of the Atlantic Canada tourism partnership, millions of potential visitors are reading about the Atlantic provinces in publications around the world.

The partnership invests approximately $100,000 in media relations annually. As a result, in 2003 it generated media coverage worth an estimated $11.7 million.

The ACTP brings together the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the tourism departments and tourist industry associations of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Atlantic Canada has a great story to tell. Thanks to ACTP, it is a story that we are sharing with millions around the world. As a result, this coverage will encourage more visitors to explore our Atlantic provinces.

We are all very proud of our rich Atlantic Canadian heritage and traditions. We are very pleased to be able to share them with visitors from around the world.

Government AdvertisingOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the last time the government had an advertising plan, $100 million was lost or stolen and Canadians are still trying to find out the truth. Yet this weekend we learned of a PCO plan to give the government another $120 million for an advertising program.

Why is the Prime Minister preparing to hand out another $120 million in advertising money when the investigation on the first scandal still is not over?

Government AdvertisingOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, in fact the article was in error. There is no $120 million advertising strategy. The $120 million is the average price spent in the last three years on advertising activities government wide.

On March 15 I introduced a moratorium on all new government advertising, other than on emergency and safety issues, until June 1. We look forward over the next year to having a substantial reduction of about 15% in the advertising budget.

Government AdvertisingOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister did tell us that advertising would be cut and Communication Canada would be disbanded. What we are finding out through the PCO plan is it is just being moved to another department, one more under the direct central control of the Prime Minister.

Is this not just the beginning of another Liberal scheme that will funnel money to advertising firms?

Government AdvertisingOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, quite to the contrary, government advertising informs Canadians on issues of health and safety, produces government notices and deals with issues that are important to Canadians in terms of services that they need and deserve.

As I announced on March 15, the government advertising budget and new placements were frozen until June 1, and for the next three years going forward there will be a 15% per year reduction in advertisement placement spending.

Government AdvertisingOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Of course, Mr. Speaker, this advertising, this information just happens to be the same as the government's own election platform.

This government now wants to waste another $120 billion on partisan advertising. The Privy Council plan targets several government priorities—as the minister has already said—the same priorities the Prime Minister mentioned in his speech on Friday.

Will the Prime Minister explain this curious coincidence?

Government AdvertisingOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Vancouver Quadra B.C.

Liberal

Stephen Owen LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the issues made recently by the Prime Minister in his speech were the same issues raised in the Speech from the Throne, the same issues raised in the government's budget and the same issues that are of importance to Canadians.

I wonder if the hon. member would like to tell Canadians which of the government priorities in advertising for their benefit he would like to cut, such as anti-tobacco use, health and safety. These are issues that are of critical importance to Canadians. They need to know what services are available from the Government of Canada to address them.

Government SpendingOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I think the wing of government he would like to cut off is the Liberal Party.

It is a new Prime Minister and the same old Liberal pre-election pork-barrelling. It is the first two weeks of the fiscal year and the government has already handed out a billion dollars in loot bags to its buddies, including a quarter of a million dollars in a minister's riding for an archeological dig. Grandma cannot get a hospital bed but she is welcome to go to that minister's riding and dig for spoons.

Exactly when did the Prime Minister morph into Jean Chrétien?

Government SpendingOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would refer the hon. gentleman to today's edition of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix which deals with this issue in its editorial and condemns the opposition for its ridiculous accusations.

Government SpendingOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Canadian Alliance Medicine Hat, AB

Maybe, Mr. Speaker, it is not such a bad idea. Maybe the Liberals will uncover more ideas from the 1970s, more ideas like handing out pork to their buddies.

The Prime Minister coveted the Prime Minister's job for 13 years. Yet when he got there, why is it that the only thing he could do was parrot the ideas of Jean Chrétien, ideas like handing out pork to their buddies?

Government SpendingOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, included in the list that the opposition is referring to is for example $20 million being provided by the Government of Canada over the next six or seven years to support the operation of the largest science project ever undertaken in this country at the synchrotron facility in Saskatoon.

The accusations of the opposition also include such things as $1 billion for Canadian farmers to help them deal with BSE.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, while campaigning in the Lower St. Lawrence and the Gaspé, the Prime Minister stated that seasonal work is a priority for his government, but did not offer any solutions to the unemployed who today are demonstrating in the streets of Forestville. The Liberals are using the same strategy they did in 2000. They make promises to the unemployed before the election, but they let them down afterwards.

Will the Prime Minister finally realize that 6 out of every 10 people who lose their jobs are not eligible for employment insurance, and that changes are needed now?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Liberal

Paul Bonwick LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Student Loans)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that quite simply that is not the truth.

The hon. member will recognize that the Prime Minister has been fully engaged in solutions to address this, as has the minister, not the least of which, of course, is the appointment of a task force. In that regard, there will be some very timely recommendations coming forward and I am sure the minister will act as he sees fit.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Exactly, Mr. Speaker; the Prime Minister tells us that a Liberal committee will consider the issue. Well, a committee of this House, the Standing Committee on Human Resources Development, has issued a unanimous report.

Why is it that the Prime Minister, who says he wants to wipe out the democratic deficit, does not apply the solutions that have already been agreed to unanimously? Unanimously—that means that the Liberals voted in favour, as well, back in 2001. The solutions are well known. The answers are well known. The unemployed are still waiting, while promises upon promises are being made and nothing gets done.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Liberal

Paul Bonwick LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Student Loans)

Mr. Speaker, the member would lead the House to believe that the Prime Minister has done nothing. I would suggest that there has been over $2 billion redirected as a result of the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister has taken this issue very seriously. He has been very clear in his instructions in cooperation with the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and when the appropriate recommendations come forward, they will act.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, while he toured the North Shore, Jean Lapierre, the Prime Minister's Quebec lieutenant, urged those who want to see thorough changes in the employment insurance system to trust the government.

How can the government keep telling people to trust it when the same promises were made to the same people before the last federal election, by at least two government ministers and many MPs and candidates? How can we trust a government that has not kept its promises even though it has had three years to do so?

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Liberal

Paul Bonwick LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Student Loans)

Mr. Speaker, this is simply not true. The hon. member would suggest that the program is not working. The member should recognize that 88% of paid employees that become eligible to collect EI actually get an opportunity to do so. Facts are what are necessary, not rhetoric from the Bloc.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Bloc Rimouski-Neigette-Et-La Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 88% who become eligible are part of the 40% who receive benefits. There are still 60% who do not receive benefits. He ought to quote the correct figures instead of misleading the public. We have had enough of that.

How can the government justify the fact that, even though it has had a unanimous committee report in hand since 2001, it has not acted? Where was the person answering our questions? Probably in another committee. Although the necessary changes to employment insurance have been recommended, the government has done nothing to honour the commitment it made to the jobless.

Employment InsuranceOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Liberal

Paul Bonwick LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development (Student Loans)

Mr. Speaker, there is just no need for this type of rhetoric. The fact remains that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development have remained very committed to making the necessary changes that need to be made in order to address some of the challenges that not only Quebeckers, but people all across this country, are facing.

The minister has stated time and time again, as the recommendations come forward he is not opposed to making changes to the act. The Prime Minister has clearly stated that he is going to support the necessary initiatives to address these challenges. It is time for fact, not rhetoric.