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House of Commons Hansard #55 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was public.

Topics

Étudiant OutaouaisStatements by Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of attending the Étudiant Outaouais gala, during which journalism awards were given and tribute was paid to artists whose work was near professional in calibre. These young people are all high school students. In addition to the journalism awards, an academic scholarship and scholarships for emerging young talents in the cultural sector were awarded for the first time this year. Étudiant Outaouais is a newspaper published by students, for students. This initiative illustrates the energy and creativity of our young people. We can rest assured: there are many good young journalists in the Outaouais who are ready to take over.

The newspaper Étudiant Outaouais is the initiative of the Transcontinental weeklies, which enlisted the participation of many major stakeholders in the area. I want to particularly thank the regional director of Transcontinental weeklies, Jacques Blais, and also Martin Godcher and Sylvain Dupras, as well as their whole team for implementing this great project.

Congratulations to one and all. We will see you next year.

Foreign AffairsStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Lunney Canadian Alliance Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, just days from now, on May 17, the World Health Assembly will convene in Geneva. On the agenda will be the admission of new and associate members. At issue is Canada's response to Taiwan's request for inclusion with observer status.

On May 27 of last year, members in the House passed a motion by a vote of 163 to 67 supporting the admission of Taiwan and recommending that Canada use its influence with other member states and NGOs to support this goal.

Taiwan is a democracy. It has stood as an autonomous society for 55 years. Thousands of Taiwanese students visit Canada yearly to study English and pursue higher education. As our seventh largest trading partner, there is a huge flow of persons and commerce between Canada and Taiwan. With the worldwide rapid spread of communicable diseases, only the most ignorant, arrogant or wilfully blind would deny Taiwan's request for inclusion.

Parliament has examined this issue and decided to act. If the government does not deliver a strong case for Taiwan on May 17, the government and its leader will have demonstrated to Canadians and the world the most blatant violation of democratic process. Democracy deserves better, Canadians deserve better, and so do the Taiwanese.

Research and DevelopmentStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, researchers at the University of Western Ontario, and at universities and teaching hospitals across the country are performing groundbreaking health research. This research is more than likely funded by the Government of Canada through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Equally important, it would not have been possible without the efforts of nearly 1,000 women and men who volunteer countless hours as members of CIHR's peer review committees.

Each year thousands of funding applications are sent to the CIHR for consideration. Applications are then sent to peer review and grant committees comprised of expert researchers. Committee experts discuss whether each application meets internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence, ensuring taxpayers' money is spent wisely and that only the best and brightest researchers are funded.

The dedication of CIHR peer reviewers supports innovative health research that strengthens our health system and improves the health of all Canadians.

HealthStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, when he was in Finance, the current Prime Minister claimed health as his priority. Yet in every budget he refused to reinvest in transfer payments for health services.

In his coronation speech as leader of the Liberal Party, and in the throne speech as well, he again referred to health as a priority. After all this fine talk, the government brought down a budget that contained not one red cent for health. Nothing at all.

When he assumed control of the federal coffers in 1994, his government was paying 2.8 cents out of every dollar of federal government revenue in transfer payments to Quebec for health. Ten years later, there has been a 40% drop, down to a mere 1.7 cents. Some priority, that.

Thanks to the sponsorship scandal, the Prime Minister's real priorities have been revealed. Over the years, he has been so untrue to his word that we know if he puts on a left turn signal he is sure to go right instead. That is how those in need of health care got run over. Really, this man is the poster boy for the Liberals' false promises.

Member for Madawaska—RestigoucheStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, I have had the honour to serve my country as the representative of the people of Madawaska—Restigouche since 2000, and I thank them for that privilege.

I salute all my colleagues in this House who are also here to serve their fellow citizens, too often to the detriment of health and family life.

To my colleagues on the various committees on which I have served, thank you for the opportunities you have given me for personal growth. As you know, enlightenment comes when ideas collide.

To all those who work behind the scenes to help us accomplish our jobs here on the Hill, and in particular my assistants Diane, Marlyne and Rita, my sincere thanks.

Lastly, my thanks to my family, my wife Sylvia and our children Roger, Julie and Marc-André, for their unconditional support during my time here as the member for Madawaska—Restigouche.

Thank you all, and goodbye.

Prime MinisterStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, our very talented research team has compiled a comprehensive file on Norway, and it is information to share with the Prime Minister. We do this because there are rumours he might travel all the way across Sussex Drive to Rideau Hall in the very near future.

The Prime Minister should inform his navigator that he does not wish to visit the Governor General at Norway Bay. It is a very pleasant community, but lacks an air strip to accommodate the Challenger.

He could, however, agree to meet her for breakfast at the Norway Spruce Bed and Breakfast in Ontario.

He should avoid travel to New Norway, Alberta, because he would not be welcome there.

We would advise him to avoid Norway House for the same reason.

While he is touring, he might want to study some Norway spruce trivia. It is the fastest growing member of the spruce family.

He should know that in Norway there is a Society for Barefoot Living. It boasts a national membership of six, but only four members are listed publicly. He should be come the seventh member of the Society for Barefoot Living because after the next election, he will discover that he has been knocked right out of his boots.

Member for OutremontStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Martin Cauchon Liberal Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, having decided not to seek re-election, I wish to take this opportunity today to thank all the voters in the riding of Outremont who have put their trust in me three times in a row. Because they have supported me, I have been able to make a contribution to Canadian public life and the growth of our democracy, which is unique in the world, for the past 10 years.

I also take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the right hon. Jean Chrétien, who not only entrusted me with significant ministerial responsibilities, but also, through his vision and his leadership, helped make Canada a “cool” country in the eyes of the world.

I would also like to underline the work of the political staff and the public servants who I had the chance to work with during my years as secretary of state and minister. They faithfully accompanied and supported me, and for that I thank everyone.

I want to thank my wife Dorine and my children, Charles, François and Catherine, for their support throughout all those years.

I would also like to tell our young people that their active involvement in the political process is one of the keys for change.

In closing, I want to wish every success to the Liberal team of Paul Martin in the next election.

Hamilton EastStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—St. Clair, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the voters in the provincial riding of Hamilton East elected Andrea Horwath as the NDP member for that riding. They did it overwhelming, by a 63% vote. They sent a message to the provincial Liberals that they cannot break their promises and that they cannot be mean-spirited in denying the party official status.

They also sent a message to the federal Liberals about how disgruntled they were with the shoddy treatment of the current federal member for Hamilton East. I was in the riding a number of times and they were very clear with those messages.

Yesterday was Andrea's day and her supporters. I want to extend my congratulations to all of them for a job well done.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have heard about a new reality television concept, which could turn into a show called Scandal Academy. As part of the faculty, Liberals renowned for their great patronage skills would be recruited as mentors, as well as mere operators who will be left holding the bag in the end.

What is unique about this concept is that, instead of eliminating one participant every week, the public would be asked to vote for the one that will be facing charges and thus joining the Academy's faculty.

Already, a long list of prospective contenders, all struck with amnesia, are just waiting for the production to start, and selecting a single culprit in any given week will not be easy.

There will also be a musical theme for the show. After consultation, it would appear that, however appropriate Stéphane Venne's song about things not being over because they are just beginning may have seemed, “Fulsom Prison Blues” is a better choice.

No doubt about it, the Liberal Party of Canada is on shaky ground. It is up to the public to decide.

Hamilton EastStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Sheila Copps Liberal Hamilton East, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is pretty hard to summarize 20 years in one minute, but here I go.

I came to this place knowing little about myself and less about my country. I leave today having experienced an incredible journey of discovery. Discovery of myself, my beloved Hamilton and Canada. That journey could not have happened alone.

Today, I especially want to thank those people who believed in me and supported me, even in the GST byelection; the steely people of Hamilton. We are tough. We make steel. It makes a person tough. I know my community will weather the challenges ahead.

I want to thank my colleagues on all sides of the House. Critics, and I have had a few, members of our caucus, parliamentary secretaries, Liberals, public servants who made our jobs easier, staff and leaders of all political parties, but especially the right hon. Jean Chrétien who gave me a chance to do my best for Canada.

I especially and mostly want to thank my family: my husband, my lover, my sailor, my partner in life, my daughter Danelle, who at 17 has never known a day when I was not in politics, my stepchildren, who have always been there for me, my mother, my deceased father, my family who have seen the pain of politics and also experienced the joys, the highs and the lows.

I turn the page today at peace that we have built a stronger Canada.

I would also like to thank the women of Canada, who have always believed that being here was important for each and everyone of them. Today, I am saying goodbye, but not forever.

Member for Fraser ValleyStatements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, during the past few days many retiring members of Parliament have taken advantage of their final speeches to thank their constituents for their confidence, their trust and for the honour of representing them here in Parliament.

While I am not exactly retiring, I am losing almost half of my riding under redistribution. I want to thank the citizens of Abbotsford for their support and kindness, as I have done my best to represent them and their interests since 1993. The people of Abbotsford are simply the salt of the earth. It has been a privilege to get to know and work with so many of them during the past 10 years.

For the new riding of Chilliwack--Fraser Canyon, the ballot question for the upcoming election has yet to be settled. I have a couple of suggestions for consideration. This election is their opportunity to judge the conduct of federal Liberals who have been mired in scandal, who are ignoring the democratic wishes of British Columbians, who are wasting their hard earned tax dollars and have offered little in the way of vision on how to improve their health care or their standard of living.

This election Canadians can demand better by voting Conservative.

Ford Motor CompanyStatements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I pay tribute to the Ford Motor Company of Canada, as 2004 is Ford's 100th year of operation in this country. It was established in Windsor in 1904, making it the country's longest established automaker. Since 1904, Ford has produced approximately 25 million vehicles.

Over the last 10 years, Ford has invested $9.5 billion in its Canadian operations. It is one of the largest employers in our country with 16,000 employees, 11,000 retirees and 500 dealers who employ another 22,000 Canadians.

Last year Ford produced over 460,000 vehicles and 1 million engines, products that were exported to 24 countries in the world.

The head office of Ford is in my riding of Oakville. I want to congratulate everyone in the Ford of Canada family on their 100th anniversary.

Member for Cypress Hills--GrasslandsStatements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Canadian Alliance Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, in 2000 I had the privilege of being elected to the House of Commons. The first session is still a blur. There is no apprenticeship program for this job, which is akin to stepping onto a 100 mile per hour treadmill.

The three and a half years have gone quickly. For two and a half years I worked with the member for Selkirk—Interlake primarily on our agriculture team. He was the mentor that this rookie MP needed.

For most of the last year I have been privileged to be intimately involved with the question period team as director for the official opposition. I have had the enjoyment of sharing that position for the last few months with my capable colleague and seatmate, the member for South Shore.

I want to recognize the tremendous sacrifice my family has made. Before we were elected, not one of us knew the price our families would pay. I want to recognize my wife Sheila, daughter Amy and son Andrew. Many time they have gone the extra mile and paid the price so that I could be here.

I want to recognize the great folks of Cypress Hills—Grasslands, the best riding in this country. I hope I have met their expectation. I look forward to the opportunity of returning and continuing to represent them.

Order of CanadaStatements by Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, one of the country's best known, best loved labour activists and feminists is at Rideau Hall this morning to become an Officer of the Order of Canada. A rich honour for Nancy Riche, sharp witted, fearless and forever colourful.

I had the privilege of working with Nancy when she was elected secretary-treasurer of the National Union of Provincial Government Employees in 1984. Two years later Nancy became executive vice-president of the Canadian Labour Congress and rose to the position of secretary treasurer.

During these years, she has advocated numerous causes, such as women's rights, health care, employment insurance, occupational safety, fair trade and, always, social justice.

Nancy was also president of the Women's Committee of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions representing 157 million workers worldwide.

Warmest congratulations today to Sister Nancy Riche.

HealthOral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, we learned today that Canada Post and the Business Development Bank of Canada, both crown corporations, pay to send their senior managers to private clinics for basic health services. Let me repeat that. Senior public servants who are already covered under a generous public health care plan receive care from private clinics for basic exams and services.

Will the Minister of Health confirm finally whether or not the government endorses this practice and the use of private clinics to deliver health care in Canada?

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Health Act requires that all medically necessary services are provided to all Canadians regardless of their ability to pay. Indeed the types of services covered by these so-called executive health plans are not considered medically necessary and therefore fall outside the Canada Health Act.

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week the Deputy Prime Minister said that this clinic is open to the public. Yet when we checked into it, initial consultations are not covered by public health cards. Users have to pay. This clinic even offers air miles as an incentive for repeat business. It seems as if the government endorses the private system for those who can pay.

My question again for the government is, is this the Liberal Party policy? What is the government's position on delivering health services through the private system?

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the position of the government is very clearly expressed in the terms of the Canada Health Act. The provision of services must be provided in compliance with all of the provisions of the Canada Health Act.

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, why is the government letting these people from the crown corporations go to this private clinic? That is the question the government has to answer.

The fact is the Liberals are treading a very fine line. The Prime Minister has been caught using private clinics. Now senior civil servants have been caught using these private clinics. Yet the government expects every other Canadian to wait in line and use the public health care system with waiting lists that grow day by day. It is a clear double standard in health care.

Why do the Liberals qualify for one standard of care and every other Canadian has to wait in line for his or her standard of care? Why the double standard?

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in that welter of accusation and innuendo, let me make it very clear. When the Prime Minister sees his doctor, he uses his health card to pay for the treatment, like anyone else.

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, we now know that the Prime Minister and senior executives of two crown corporations enjoy special access to private health clinics.

The Prime Minister claims he pays with his health card. Guess what. I called the Prime Minister's clinic today to ask if I could get an MRI. I was told that absolutely I could get one in two weeks for $585 with a referral. The catch is my health card does not cover it.

Why is the Prime Minister deliberately misleading Canadians?

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, this is again a baseless and groundless allegation.

When the Prime Minister acquires health services, he acquires them with his health card, consistent with the conduct and the practice of every other Canadian. Incidentally, he has never paid for an MRI.

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy Progressive Conservative South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, just before we leave this place for an election, it would be nice if the Liberals would come clean on health care. The truth is they have no position at all on private clinics. They are willing to turn a blind eye if it suits the Prime Minister's lifestyle.

My question is simple. Are there any other senior civil servants or cabinet ministers who are using the services of private clinics?

HealthOral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, again, it is a groundless and a baseless allegation.

The fact of the matter is that when the Prime Minister acquires his health care, he does so like every other Canadian, using his health card for the services that are medically insured and covered by the Canada Health Act.

Public ServiceOral Question Period

May 14th, 2004 / 11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, after having diverted $100 million from the sponsorship program to friends of the regime and their party, the Liberals did not hesitate to dip into the general revenue again by asking public servants to write the Liberal election platform.

It is all well and good for the Prime Minister to claim that things are going to change, but with him, do we not always get more of the same? Are the Liberals not incorrigible when it comes to appropriating public money?