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

Topics

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the International Joint Commission has identified 15 hot spots in the Great Lakes region yet to be cleaned up, plus the phenomenon of infestation by zebra mussels and other foreign species.

The Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy presented yesterday to the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development a number of recommendations for the Government of Canada.

Prominent among them were: first, the conversion of tax incentives to promote sustainable instead of unsustainable practices in the Great Lakes; second, the requirement of pollution prevention plans for industrial discharges to waste water treatment plants, also in the Great Lakes region; and third, the restoration of funds to ensure the cleanup and monitoring of the remaining 15 heavily polluted areas of the Great Lakes by the year 2015.

I urge the government to act on these recommendations without delay.

National Poetry MonthStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, April is National Poetry Month. Established in 1999, the month is an opportunity for poets, publishers, educators and the general public to promote poetry in Canada, and Canadian poetry beyond our borders.

This April the League of Canadian Poets will celebrate its first ever baker's dozen, a list of 13 must-read Canadian poetry books made available to booksellers across the country as a guide to readers exploring Canadian poetry. The baker's dozen is meant as a starting place from which we promote Canadian poets and their poetry. It is important to the League of Canadian Poets to communicate the richness and depth of poetic talent in this country.

The League of Canadian Poets has also created youngpoets.ca, a website designed for young people and educators to help introduce poetry to Canadian youth in and out of the classroom.

Poets across the country will celebrate National Poetry Month's 2004 theme “Poets in our Communities” by reading in some unusual, community-inspired venues.

Old Tyme Heritage FiddlersStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate a group of 13 musicians in my riding of Lambton--Kent--Middlesex, the Old Tyme Heritage Fiddlers. They volunteer their time and talents to play for events in Melbourne and surrounding area. The musicians have never accepted cash for their service, but simply ask that a donation be made to a charity of the event's choice.

On May 6 the Old Tyme Heritage Fiddlers will be proudly celebrating the fact that through their entertainment, $50,000 has been raised for charities. The charities that have benefited are: the Canadian Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation, and the Canadian Diabetes Association.

The 13 individuals that I am proud to recognize today are: Bernice Cross, Albert Aitken, Cherry Chupa, Christine Welch, Madeline Forbes, Bill Dougal, Shirley Dann, Harold Stuart, Bob Reid, Stuart Lee, Paul Vanderploeg, Roger Vanderploeg, and Jack Roemer.

I wish to congratulate the Old Tyme Heritage Fiddlers on this accomplishment. Their music not only brightens people's spirits but helps to make a difference in all the lives they touch.

Bill C-250Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Vic Toews Canadian Alliance Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to express my concern at the decision of the Liberal majority in the Senate to invoke closure on Bill C-250 and to pass the bill into law. Bill C-250 broadens the hate propaganda provisions of the Criminal Code.

Former Prime Minister Diefenbaker warned that enacting these kinds of laws could have an adverse effect on fundamental Canadian freedoms, such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of expression. His concerns are directly applicable to Bill C-250.

Unfortunately, most of the Liberals in both the Senate and the House of Commons rejected Conservative efforts to amend the bill in order to address these concerns, while at the same time ensuring that Canadians were properly protected against criminal action.

I would like to thank concerned citizens across Canada, including those in my riding of Provencher, for their ongoing efforts and dedication to prevent this ill-conceived bill from becoming law.

RAI InternationalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to reaffirm my support for Canadians of Italian heritage in my riding of Pierrefonds—Dollard and elsewhere in Canada who are calling for access to Italian digital television, RAI International.

Many of my Liberal colleagues have addressed the House recently to show their support for the application initially made to the CRTC by the member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel in support of their request.

I want to join with them because I believe that this action is totally justified and I hope, for the sake of Canadians of Italian origin in my riding and throughout Canada, that the CRTC will respond favourably to this legitimate request, which is supported by a petition containing more than 106,000 signatures as well as over 330 letters.

RAI International is already available in 238 countries, but not in Canada.

TradeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Bras D'Or—Cape Breton, NS

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week I had the pleasure of joining my colleague, the Minister of Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and 27 businesses from across Atlantic Canada on the Team Canada Atlantic trade mission to Washington, D.C.

Trade missions such as these help Atlantic companies increase their contacts, and lead to new relationships and new sales. The mission also provided the opportunity for us to highlight to the greater Washington business community that Atlantic Canada is a great place to do business.

This is the ninth such trade mission for Team Canada Atlantic. These missions have enabled more than 300 Atlantic Canadian firms to meet with over 2,300 buyers, agents and business owners from across the U.S., generating over $100 million in short and long term sales.

I want to congratulate all those who participated in this recent mission. The reports I received on the ground were that this trade mission will bring further good news for companies from around the region.

HealthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the federal Liberal government has been so busy attempting to undermine the Conservative Party of Canada by demonizing our position on health care that it forgot to come up with a policy of its own.

It is now blatantly clear to all Canadians that Liberal health care policies ultimately depend upon whom we ask and when. Ask the health minister one day and he tells us that he supports a greater role for the private sector in public health care. The next day, he is not so sure and neither is the Prime Minister.

In the budget, the government said there would be no more money for health care; now the Liberals say there will be. First they were committed to last year's health accord with the provinces; now they are not so sure. Is it any wonder that rural northern communities in Canada continue to endure what has become a day to day struggle to access essential health care services?

In my constituency of Prince George--Peace River, many residents cannot even get in to see a doctor. The waiting lists continue to grow and access to specialized care is difficult, bordering on the impossible.

Canadians will remember who is to blame for our failing health care system. It will be the Prime Minister himself.

Premio AwardsStatements By Members

April 29th, 2004 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Montreal chapter of the Canadian Italian Business Professional Association had its biannual Premio awards last April 17 in Montreal, which I had the great honour of attending.

The Premio is awarded to individuals of Italian origin or descent who distinguish themselves in business, humanitarian work and creativity, and have had great success in their respected fields.

I would like to extend my congratulations to the recipients of the Premio awards: Mr. Salvatore Parasuco, president of Parasuco Jeans Inc., winner of the Premio business award; Gemi Giaccari, assistant general manager of La Caisse Populaire Canadienne Italienne, winner of the Premio humanitarian award; and Nicola Ciccone, author, composer and singer, winner of the creativity award.

These outstanding individuals and their achievements in our society, be they social, economical or political, reflect the exceptional contribution made by the Italian community in my riding of Saint-Léonard--Saint-Michel as well as in the rest of the country.

Bill C-250Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Senate passed Bill C-250 by a vote of 59 to 11. This private member's bill was first introduced by the member for Burnaby—Douglas almost 15 years ago to include sexual orientation in the Criminal Code hate propaganda section along with race, colour, religion and ethnic origin.

Too often gay and lesbian people are targeted for violence, hatred and even death as in the tragic case of Aaron Webster. This bill, supported by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and attorneys general in Canada, is long overdue.

NDP leader Jack Layton and New Democrats join in paying tribute to those who made passage of the bill possible, including the member for Burnaby--Douglas and his staff, Corie Langdon and Dan Fredrick; Inspector Dave Jones; the bill's sponsor in the Senate, Senator Serge Joyal; and members of the House and the Senate who voted for it.

Together we are sending a powerful message that there is no place in our Canada for hatred and violence targeting gay and lesbian people.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Quebec Liberal caucus is expressing concerns about the lack of arguments to use against the Bloc Quebecois in the upcoming election campaign.

What is more, at last Tuesday evening's Liberal Party meeting, the documents submitted for discussion purposes were available in English only. So much for any pretensions of Canadian bilingualism and the distinct character of Quebec. Quebec Liberal MPs are once again being played for fools.

It is, moreover, somewhat curious that the Quebec Liberal caucus leader, having been asked question after question by the Bloc Quebecois for more than three years, is now admitting that the ministers' reactions are unsatisfactory and that a response to the concerns of Quebec is now needed.

The Liberal strategists are busy concocting ways to justify to the public the use of tax havens by the present Prime Minister, his refusal to pay his fair share of taxes to the country he is in charge of, and his amnesia about the sponsorship scandal. They also need to find excuses for fiscal imbalance and the raids on the EI fund orchestrated by the former finance minister.

In short, they will have to explain their decision to serve their friends rather than the public.

Father Anselme Chiasson and Léone Boudreau-NelsonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, Acadia has lost two great figures in as many days. This past Sunday we learned of the death of Father Anselme Chiasson, and on Monday of the passing of Mrs. Léone Boudreau-Nelson.

Both were passionate about history. Father Anselme founded the Société historique acadienne, and Mrs. Boudreau-Nelson was its president for over 18 years.

In addition to her involvement with the historical society, Mrs. Boudreau-Nelson was well known as an educator for over 50 years in the public school system of the province and at the Université de Moncton.

Memories of this exceptional educational pioneer and all of her accomplishments will long be held in the Acadian collective consciousness.

As for Father Anselme, this modest Capuchin, a native of Chéticamp, a historian and ethnologist, has also left an indelible mark on Acadian culture and history.

For over 60 years, he tirelessly promoted his culture, and gained particular recognition for his extensive research and numerous publications on Acadian folklore. Father Anselme accumulated a most impressive Acadian folklore collection, particularly a collection—

Father Anselme Chiasson and Léone Boudreau-NelsonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Gander—Grand Falls.

Canada-U.S. RelationsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rex Barnes Progressive Conservative Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise today on behalf of the Knights of Columbus, Notre Dame Council No. 2053 in Grand Falls-Windsor, to thank Ambassador Paul Cellucci for providing the Knights of Columbus with an American flag to be flown alongside the Canadian flag in remembrance of the events of September 11.

It was also a great pleasure for me to meet Ambassador Cellucci and present a photograph of this flag presentation, and a personal letter to him and President George Bush on behalf of the Knights of Columbus.

Because of the events of September 11, many stranded passengers had developed special relationships with people in Newfoundland and Labrador. Two such individuals were Nick Dobi of Lakeworth, Florida and Walt Loflin of Fort Collins, Colorado. These retired Continental Airline pilots presented the American flag to the Knights of Columbus on behalf of all Americans.

We would like to thank them from the bottom of our hearts for once again returning to show their appreciation. These individuals are true ambassadors for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Canadian Human Rights CommissionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Pankiw Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, in undemocratic countries people who justly criticize their governments are targeted by political witch hunts that punish and censor free speech.

In Canada, the instrument of coercion used to intimidate and silence those who disagree with failed government social policy is the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

This kangaroo court is headed by a patronage appointee. It recently recommended that an elected member of Parliament be dragged before a tribunal of jesters because I publicly criticized the government's apartheid scheme. Even worse, it turns out that this politically motivated, malicious persecution is as corrupt and morally bankrupt as the commission itself.

The so-called investigator for the Canadian political thought police was a candidate for a political party and member of the shadow cabinet. Also, the self-professed communications expert turned out to have been contracted by an Indian band to produce reports mimicking the Liberals' racist approach to Indian affairs.

In my own defence, the truth is not a crime and should not be censored, in spite of wishes by the Canadian political correctness commission.

EducationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Judi Longfield Liberal Whitby—Ajax, ON

Mr. Speaker, access to a high quality education is important to help Canadian women achieve economic progress and individual opportunity. That is why the Liberal government has improved access to students, created the Canada study grants, enhanced the education tax credit and created the Canada education savings grant.

The Canada study grants are particularly helpful to women pursuing doctoral studies. All these measures contribute to the government's goal of fostering an environment of lifelong learning. The amount of $1.3 billion yearly in tax relief is provided to students and the families who support them. The Canada student loans program provides $1.6 billion in loans and other financial assistance to almost half of all full time post-secondary students, many of them women, each year.

The Liberal government is firmly committed to helping women and indeed all Canadians who want to learn and achieve the skills required for this knowledge based society.

Bill C-250Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Canadian Alliance Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Senate may have seen fit to pass Bill C-250 yesterday, but that brings little reassurance to the hundreds of Canadians who have contacted me with their concerns about the legislation. They are worried that Bill C-250 will be used to attack legitimate forms of opinion and expression, rather than as a means of protecting minorities in Canada. The Owens case, in which a Saskatchewan man was declared guilty of a hate crime for advertising passages from the Bible, proves there is validity to their concern.

With so much of this soon to be law left open to interpretation, there is a definite opportunity to misuse and abuse. On behalf of my constituents in Blackstrap, I can only express my hope that the spirit of this law will prevail over its potential as a gag on our freedom of speech.

CancerStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, April is the Canadian Cancer Society's Daffodil Month. This year 146,000 Canadians will develop cancer and 68,000 will die, making it the leading cause of premature death in Canada.

Today the chances of survival for many cancers has improved dramatically. I am proud to say that my province of British Columbia has been a leader in this field. By combining prevention, screening, clinical care, research and patient support under the single administration and budget of the B.C. Cancer Agency, a unique, integrated model was created.

There are 13 tumour groups, each dealing with a different type of cancer, that meet regularly to share information and best practices so that there is an equal quality of care across the province. There is targeted funding for early screening programs in each group. B.C. was the first in Canada to have a province-wide Pap smear program. Today, over 700,000 women are tested annually.

The B.C. Cancer Agency can now track the outcome of every patient diagnosed with cancer. As a result, B.C. has the lowest cancer mortality rates in Canada. Perhaps a national cancer agency based on the B.C. model would create similar outcomes across Canada.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, while the Prime Minister is in Washington tripping the light fantastic, his government continues to trip over itself.

The Prime Minister was plotting his ascent to the top job for years, yet after he took office in December it took him 112 days to file his own personal assets. This is understandable given the complicated web of tax evasion that he wove and the millions that he--

EthicsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough is a very experienced member and he knows that suggesting that members engaged in crime would be highly improper and he would not want to proceed with that kind of question.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, given the tax avoidance that went on and the millions that went in contracts to his own company from his own government, I can understand why it took that time but the Prime Minister has to file those forms.

Why have members of his own government not done so and when can we expect to see that happen?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the rules are in place and the rules will be followed. All members of the cabinet will comply.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Well, they have not thus far, Mr. Speaker. The ethics counsellor, the Prime Minister's alter ego, lists on his website that there are a number of ministers who have not filed their declarations of assets.

Yesterday the Prime Minister told us that members have been given an extension by that champion of democracy and protector of the government, the ethics counsellor. When was that extension granted? How long will it be? When were these details going to be made public? Is it again a case of being caught before they give the truth?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, all the applicable rules will be followed with care. Obviously the hon. gentleman knows that he is perfectly at liberty to direct his questions to the ethics counsellor.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, this is question period. It is funny how the government continually waits to get caught before reacting.

The Prime Minister feigned outrage over the sponsorship scandal when information went missing. Well, information is missing. Canadian taxpayers have to file their tax forms on time or the government comes knocking.

If the information was readily available at the time of the appointment, which presumably it had to be, where is it now? Why has the Prime Minister not acted and what is he hiding?

EthicsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, obviously the Prime Minister and the cabinet are hiding nothing at all. The rules are in place to make sure there is full disclosure and there will indeed be full disclosure.