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House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was drugs.

Topics

2 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 Winnipeg North Centre.

[Editor's Note: Members sang the national anthem]

Baldoon BicentennialStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, Wallaceburg is one of the largest communities in my riding. The evolution of Wallaceburg is a Canadian success story.

The community traces its beginnings to the landing of 101 Scottish on the banks of the Chenal Ecarte in southwestern Ontario 200 years ago. The settlement was founded by the fifth Earl of Selkirk.

Baldoon's Bicentennial has many events planned and is an opportunity to tell the whole story of Wallaceburg. It is a community of over 10,000 people in some of the most fertile farmland in Canada. It has been known for its inland port, its glass making, and its tool and dye industry.

In early September events include a highland games and the re-enactment of the Selkirk settlers' landing celebrating the Scottish and frontier roots.

Selkirk's belief in the strength of people who agreed to establish Baldoon was well-founded. For 200 consecutive years, quiet heroes worked to build a better future. The years have not been without struggle but Baldoon survives as Wallaceburg thrives.

I extend a warm welcome to everyone to come and participate and see what the generations of Wallaceburg residents have built and enjoy.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Canadian Alliance Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, have you heard the latest emanation from Ottawa? The government is launching a $50,000 study to find out how much methane is coming out of both ends of Canada's cows. This is not a joke.

This supposedly is to help the Liberals meet their promised greenhouse gas quota in their useless Kyoto accord.

What are they going to do, tell farmers to get rid of their cows if they burp and pass gas too much? Like the Liberal government has not done enough to harm the cattle industry by mismanaging the BSE crisis.

Before the Liberals waste another fifty grand, maybe they should do a study of Ottawa's gaseous output, especially the amount of hot gas coming off the Liberal's front bench when they criss-cross the country spending billions of taxpayer money making announcement after announcement, while at the same insisting they are not campaigning. Now that is a lot of hot air.

Claude PoulinStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gilbert Barrette Liberal Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to inform this House that, on April 25, Claude Poulin, a retired teacher from Abitibi-Témiscamingue, was awarded the 2004 Beppo prize, at Montréal's Biodôme. This prize honours the exceptional work of an assistant of Professor Scientifix of the Club des débrouillards.

I would like to take this opportunity to draw attention to the remarkable work of Mr. Poulin. He has been with the Club des débrouillards as a volunteer for many years, in addition to being one of the creators of the science fair, an activity in which he is deeply involved.

Congratulations to Mr. Poulin.

National Mental Health WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week is National Mental Health Week. I want to take this opportunity to raise awareness about an illness from which none of us are immune and which has devastating effects on the person with the illness, their family and society. The illness is schizophrenia.

One in every 100 Canadians will be diagnosed with some form of schizophrenia in their lifetime. Schizophrenia is a biochemical brain disorder which usually strikes in adolescence. Persons with schizophrenia tend to lose contact with reality and deteriorate in their ability to function.

However there is hope. Schizophrenia can be very effectively managed with early intervention and appropriate supports.

Today it is with great sadness that I offer, on my own behalf and on behalf of my colleague, the member of Parliament for Winnipeg South, our deepest sympathies to the family of Arun Sud. Arun Sud, who had schizophrenia, went missing in Winnipeg a month ago and today his body was found.

I encourage my colleagues to join me in helping to raise awareness across the country in order to help prevent this sort of tragedy from occurring again.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

April 28th, 2004 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval West, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to thank the Canadian government and officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs for their tireless work and commitment in bringing Fadi Fadel, the Canadian aid worker, home safely to his family in Laval.

Today, I have invited Fadi, who is accompanied by his parents and his brother, to meet with members of Parliament.

Fadi, a Canadian of Lebanese-Syrian origin, was kidnapped while working in Iraq with the International Rescue Committee. At the time he was helping Iraqi children. He was held for 10 days, tortured and interrogated by his captors.

I want to assure Fadi and all Canadians that our government will continue to do everything possible to secure the release of other Canadians held captive in Iraq.

On behalf of all the residents of Laval and of all the Canadians who prayed for his safe return to Canada, we welcome Fadi home.

Newfoundland and LabradorStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle Progressive Conservative St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, Newfoundland and Labrador's minister in the cabinet says that he cannot obtain changes in the equalization program that would allow the province to keep its offshore oil revenues.

However, the minister indicates that he can help the province in project specific ways. Given that the federal government is selling its shares in Petro-Canada, now is the time for the minister to make good on his commitment to have the 8.5% federal share in Hibernia dealt with and turned over to the province.

The Atlantic accord promises to make Newfoundland and Labrador the primary beneficiary of its offshore oil revenues. This has not happened, and I look forward to hearing how the minister intends to achieve that goal.

In the meantime, dealing with the 8.5% share of Hibernia would be a good start. We are still waiting for Newfoundland and Labrador's minister to deliver on his promises. He must deliver before, not after, the federal election.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, gun control is central to this government's strategy to protect all Canadians, especially women and children, from violent crime. This investment in public safety is supported by more than three-quarters of Canadians, and with good reason.

Since 1998 over 9,000 firearm permits have been revoked or refused from potentially dangerous individuals. Police and law enforcement officials are using the firearms registry an average of 2,000 times a day.

The public hotline, created for spouses of applicants or others who may have concerns about their safety, received over 26,000 calls between December 1998 and October 2001.

Firearms deaths in Canada are at their lowest rate in 30 years, and rates of murder with rifles and shotguns have dropped more than 60% since 1991.

Our gun control laws are among the toughest in the western world. I am proud that this Liberal government is committed to continuing to protect Canadian women and children.

HousingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, after repeated requests from the Bloc Quebecois and FRAPRU, the federal government finally decided to free up the $320 million already announced in its 2003 budget to fund the second phase of the agreement on affordable housing.

However, we were stunned to learn that this money will not be distributed on the basis of those provinces that need it most. Indeed, the Liberal government stubbornly insists on allocating it on a per capita basis, which means that Quebec, which accounts for 27.4% of families living in core need will only get 23.7% of the $320 million, or $75 million.

This shows how the government is talking out of both sides of its mouth. On the one hand, it boasts about being receptive to the needs of the public, but in fact the amount it is offering falls well short of the estimated $90 million Quebec is asking for.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Claude Duplain Liberal Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to report a happy ending in the case of the municipality of Shannon, located in my riding. It is a case which, as the House knows, is very close to my heart, and on which I have worked for three years.

On April 23, the Minister of National Defence granted $19 million to the citizens of Shannon to develop their drinking water system. For many years, the citizens of Shannon have faced a serious public health problem, the presence of TCE in the town's groundwater, which could cause serious, long term problems. Extending the water system will make it possible to hook up more homes that may have been affected by this contamination.

Once again, I would like to congratulate the federal government on its initiative to make the environment and the health of Canadians a high priority. In particular, I tip my hat to the citizens of Shannon, to Mayor Clive Kelly, and to Jean-Marc Beaulieu, who showed courage, perseverance and patience as they moved toward a long-term solution with the government, in order to safeguard the health of all Shannon's citizens.

Health CareStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gurmant Grewal Canadian Alliance Surrey Central, BC

Mr. Speaker, health services in British Columbia have ground to a halt as more than 40,000 hospital employees have gone on strike. Hospital closures, shortage of doctors, nurses, beds and equipment have resulted in overworked and demoralized staff. Thousands of British Columbians are suffering with operations postponed and appointments cancelled.

Federal cuts are the root cause of this suffering. The Prime Minister wants credit for fixing health care, but he is the one who broke it. As the finance minister, he unilaterally slashed $25 billion in provincial transfers.

Federal spending on health care has gone down from 50% to 16%, with the provinces left holding the bag, while the Liberals run up surpluses and blow money on one boondoggle after another.

Who is to blame when someone dies while waiting to have an operation or to see a doctor? The Liberals have had more than a decade to fix the problems ailing our health care system, but they have only made matters worse.

It is time for Canadians to seek a second opinion. It is time to elect a Conservative government.

Enfants d'ici ou d'ailleursStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak about the excellent work being done by the entire team in the organization Enfants d'ici ou d'ailleurs and how pleased I was to sign my name, as Canada's representative, to the friendship treaty between the young people in the Christ-Roi and Gilles-Vigneault schools in Montreal and those in Benin and Cameroon.

The EIA mandate, accomplished through its educational kits, is to promote the cultural, educational and human development of children in La Francophonie. The organization works with children aged 9 to 14 and tries to introduce tomorrow's citizens to democratic values, the advantages of cultural diversity, and the concept of human security.

A non-profit organization, EIA works in collaboration with the departments of political science, communications and education at the Université du Québec à Montréal and the Université de Montréal.

Since it was created, EIA has had an impact on children from Tunisia, Benin, Senegal, Gabon, Côte d'Ivoire and Canada. Congratulations to the whole team.

Day of MourningStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, today is the 20th anniversary to remember workers killed and injured on the job and demand safer workplace practices and stronger legislation. It began in 1984 because the Canadian Labour Congress launched April 28 as a Day of Mourning. In 1991, thanks to Rod Murphy, the NDP MP for Churchill, the day was also recognized by the Canadian Parliament.

Despite this focus, workplace injuries and deaths continue to worsen. Last year, 953 Canadian workers lost their lives, two-thirds of them young people working in dangerous conditions with little or no safety training.

I know first-hand about a father who goes to work and never comes home, and the trauma and grief for the family members left behind.

While we all remember these fatalities and injuries on this day, it is crucial that we work every day to reduce and eliminate deaths and injuries for people whose only mistake was going to work.

Day of MourningStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, today the flags are at half-mast to acknowledge the International Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace. According to CSST data, 175 people died in Quebec in 2003, half of them in workplace accidents or from occupational diseases.

Over this same period, the CSST received just over 135,700 claims for compensation for workplace injuries.

Behind all these statistics there are men and women who are suffering. The best way to address this problem is to promote prevention and education as they relate to health and safety in every workplace.

The Bloc Quebecois pays tribute to all those who lost their lives on the job. Our thoughts are with their families and those whose quality of life has been affected. Let us be smarter and step up our efforts to make the workplace safer.

Polish CommunityStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate a tragic episode during World War II that is very much alive in the memories of my constituents of Polish origin and the Polish communities throughout Canada: the murder of some 4,000 Polish officers, prisoners of war, in the former Soviet Gulag camps in the Katyn Forest.

Initially, during the Nuremberg trials, the Soviet government blamed the massacre on the Nazis. It took almost 50 years for the Soviets, under Gorbachev, to admit in 1989 that it was the work of the Stalin regime, allied with the Nazis.

With the help of the Canadian government, in 1980 a memorial to the massacred prisoners of war was erected in the heart of my riding. The annual commemoration gathers numerous veterans of Polish origin whose relatives and friends perished in Soviet camps.

The memories of the Katyn massacre serves as a living reminder of the importance of defending human rights wherever they are being violated. For the same reason, memories of Katyn strengthen our resolve to make human rights the cornerstone of our Canadian democracy.

Day of MourningStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Elsie Wayne Progressive Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, 20 years ago the Canadian Labour Congress remembered workers killed, disabled or injured in the workplace with the first Day of Mourning, held on April 28, 1984. It is a tradition that is now observed across Canada and in 80 countries.

Every 20 minutes a worker is injured on the job in New Brunswick. Some will die, as did eight this past year.

In Nova Scotia there have been terrible accidents, such as the Westray mine explosion where 26 men perished.

We must all learn from these tragedies and do everything in our power to improve workplace safety through legislation, through actions and our every thought.

What is more important than preserving life and limb? I ask your permission, Mr. Speaker, to have all the members of Parliament rise today in this House for one minute of silence for those who lost their lives working for you, for me and for Canadians.

Brandon Wheat KingsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Progressive Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, the headlines in the local newspaper said it all: “National Champions”. Indeed it was true of Brandon's own AAA Midget hockey team when it won the 2004 National Midget championship Sunday afternoon in the Kenora recreation centre.

I would like to send my congratulations to the coach, Craig Anderson, and the entire team for their outstanding effort. The Brandon Wheat Kings were clear underdogs, but true to prairie form, they overcame all adversity to clinch an unbelievable 2 to 1 overtime victory upsetting the heavily favoured Riverains du Quebec.

While it was a strong team effort that got the Wheat Kings to the final, it was team captain Taylor Langford's goal with 13 seconds left in overtime, and outstanding goaltending from Tyler Plante that lifted the team to the national championship.

Sunday's win is the first ever AAA Midget championship team from Brandon or indeed Manitoba. Congratulations. Brandon is proud of them.

Day of MourningStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, as is our tradition, we will observe one minute of silence to honour the memory of persons killed or injured in the workplace.

Each year, 900 Canadians die in workplace accidents. One worker in 15 is injured every year.

Government efforts to focus on prevention and workplace safety are starting to show positive results, but we must continue the battle.

Day of MourningStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I invite members to rise and observe one minute of silence to commemorate the National Day of Mourning and honour the memory of workers killed or injured on the job.

[Editor's Note: The House stood in silence]

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has spent the last four years overseeing the expansion of private health care delivery within the public system.

Yesterday the minister said, “If some provinces want to experiment with the private delivery option...we should be examining these efforts”. Today he said it is not his intention to favour private delivery, except that last week he said, “We know the public administration principle of the Canada Health Act already provides flexibility on private delivery”.

Is it not the case that the government is so busy trying to attack this party on health care it does not have a clue on what its own position is?

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Alliance Conservative position on health care is one that is not acceptable to Canadians and is of very little interest to us.

This party, the Liberal Party, brought into being the universal, accessible public health care system. That was our position at the time it was brought in, that is our position today, and that will be our position tomorrow and for the years to come.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, unlike that Prime Minister, this leader does not need a press conference every day to clarify his health care position.

Last year, Mr. Chrétien and the provinces produced a five year proposal for the reform of health care, including a drug plan, home care, primary care reform and a promise of performance measures on things like waiting lists.

Yet the Prime Minister hedged on whether he supported the deal and has done nothing to implement it. Why does the Prime Minister want to scrap a detailed five year reform proposal in favour of a non-existent 10 year agenda?

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, not only did I support the health accord, but I also supported the provision of $37 billion over a five year period to finance it.

Let us be very clear. The fact is that the vast majority of health care experts, including the major provinces, support the idea of a 10 year plan. In fact, they want to see us put in a solution that will last for a generation. We are not here to cast into doubt the basic fundamentals of what is one of the most important parts of the Canadian social fabric and that is the way we take care of our health care: based on need, not on wealth.

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we just had a 10 year plan to fix health care, called the Liberal government, and it did not work out. The Prime Minister said he agreed to fund the commitments made by Mr. Chrétien only after he hedged all through the prebudget discussions over the spring. Then he finally conceded it, but he said in his budget there was no new additional money for health care.

Now he is going around promising the provinces there will be more money. There was not in the budget. Now there is. How can the Prime Minister promise new money for this summer's health care discussions when his own budget said there was no--

HealthOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Health.