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

Topics

Equalization PaymentsOral Question Period

Noon

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would inform the hon. gentleman that the anomalies identified in the equalization formula were presented by Professor Courchesne from Queen's University. We examined his material in that critical period between 1999 and 2001 and found that indeed there were some corrections that needed to be made. We have made those corrections and $120 million is on its way to Saskatchewan.

Interestingly, every member of the opposition voted against sending the money to Saskatchewan, but we are going to send the money to Saskatchewan and we are looking to see if there are any other mistakes and we will correct--

Equalization PaymentsOral Question Period

Noon

The Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre.

HealthOral Question Period

Noon

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, here is some Liberal public health policy. First Liberals tell us it is okay to put toxic trans fats in our food as long as it is properly labelled. Now they are slashing the budget of the national anti-smoking campaign and instead the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is forking out $71 million to tobacco farmers to help promote their product in the third world.

How can this government defend the hypocrisy of cutting funding to the anti-tobacco strategy while suddenly finding $71 million for the tobacco industry to promote itself?

HealthOral Question Period

Noon

Haldimand—Norfolk—Brant Ontario

Liberal

Bob Speller LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has recognized that governments over the past number of years have taken action to reduce tobacco smoking across this country. We recognize that those actions have had an impact on rural farm families and rural communities in both Ontario and Quebec.

The Government of Canada has taken responsibility for its actions that it signed on to under the international protocol on the reduction of tobacco and to fulfill that protocol by doing what the international community told us to do to ensure that these people can adjust.

HealthOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would request unanimous consent of the House to make a brief statement celebrating the commitment of our colleague, the hon. member for Hamilton East.

HealthOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

The Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

HealthOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Member for Hamilton EastOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the hon. federal member for Hamilton East, a true steel town fighter, a passionate partisan, a devoted wife, mother and daughter, and a ferociously patriotic Canadian.

When she presented legislation to protect gays and lesbians, a rock was thrown through her office window but she did not back down. When her hometown steel companies were angry about her outspoken support of widowed pensioners, she did not back down. When she was under fire from Mulroney's Conservatives, the rat packer did not back down, although she did jump over a chair or two.

When her critics, among them New Democrats, forced her resignation over the GST, she did not back down, although I backed down from running against her in Hamilton East because I knew that would be folly.

When her own party conspired to oust her, she did not back down.

The hon. member for Hamilton East launched her leadership campaign in Canada's first Tim Horton's to demonstrate her commitment to speak for ordinary people.

In her beloved hometown of Hamilton, she is best known for her devotion to new Canadians, always seizing the opportunity to lobby for family reunification, to amend Canada's arcane immigration laws and to open doors to employment and education opportunities. For this alone, her presence on the national stage will be sorely missed.

I know the member for Hamilton East loves this place, and she should leave knowing that more members than she knows, love her, will miss her and celebrate her compassion, her chutzpah and her devotion to our Canada.

Member for Hamilton EastOral Question Period

12:05 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let me say, on my own behalf and on behalf of colleagues on this side of the House, that today is a very significant day in the history of our country as it may be the final appearance, for now, of the hon. member for Hamilton East in this Chamber.

She has been associated with many vital causes over the course of a very long career in public life, both provincially and federally. I think of her role in defending the steel industry, perhaps not one that one would naturally associate with a member of her kind, but she took that issue and every issue related to it on with great verve and determination.

Her defence of Canadian culture is something that must stand out in a very colourful career. She took on all comers in terms of making sure that Canadian culture was defended and promoted, not just within Canada but internationally.

She always argued for inclusion, for making people of various backgrounds, cultures, languages and heritages feel at home and included in her country.

The member also spoke with passion about her love for Canada. That is a love that she wore on her sleeve everywhere and all the time. She was always able to mount a passionate public speech at the drop of a hat in the defence of her country. She was always anxious to find the practical tools and vehicles by which all Canadians could tell our colourful Canadian stories to each other and to the rest of the world.

Most recently, in terms of cabinet roles, the hon. member was the minister of Canadian Heritage. I can think of no other legacy that would be more important or perhaps more appropriate to her than to be associated in a lasting and very profound and memorable way with Canadian heritage. She has been a defender of it and a promoter of it every minute of her life. We are proud of her.

Member for Hamilton EastOral Question Period

12:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is also my pleasure to rise to pay tribute to the member for Hamilton East today in case this is her last appearance in the House.

I arrived here in 1993 and already the member for Hamilton East was an icon in Liberal circles at the time and certainly was a focus of attention.

I will tell a quick story, if I may. In those days there were no time limits on the responses that ministers gave in the House. While we were all kind of new, sitting down at that end of the House, I remember she got up and tore a long strip off all of us in the Reform Party and told us all what was wrong. At the end of it all, most of us were kind of shaken and upset. Herb Grubel, a member at the time, turned to us and said “You know, I like her, she's feisty”. It was a great moment, and it is true.

If I could summarize from my perspective the things that I remember about the member's career it would be feisty, fighter and passionate. Although sometimes we had disagreements on this side of the House with some of the policy initiatives, we never doubted her commitment to Canada or to her constituents of Hamilton East. That was never in doubt.

We thought we had the first example of a publicly driven recall campaign when the hon. member resigned her post and then had to run for re-election in a byelection in Hamilton East. We thought that was our moment but it ended up being another lesson for us to learn at that time, which was that one does not take on the member for Hamilton East at the drop of a hat and that one does not do it lightly.

I know we have not seen the end of her public involvement and her public commitment but we will miss her in this place. She added a certain dynamic that is not here in spades. We appreciate her commitment to Canada, especially her passionate defence of women's issues, ethnic minorities and Canadian culture.

I wish her well in whatever may come. I know her family will appreciate seeing her a little bit more but we will be the lesser for not having her in this place.

Member for Hamilton EastOral Question Period

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, I would like to pay tribute to the hon. member for Hamilton East, whom I did not know before being elected here, in 1993. For the 10 years that I have known her, she has shown, through her work, that she could face all kinds of challenges.

I remember that when I first came here, I was my party's critic on environmental issues. She must also remember it. She showed me how energetic a person she was. She is a tremendous fighter. I learned a lot from working with her. Even though we do not necessarily share the same vision regarding Canada, colleagues still respect one another.

I want to congratulate her on her work in promoting the cause of women, in ensuring that more women enter politics. I hope that, even if she does not sit in this House, she will continue her work, because there should be more of us women here. I know that she cares a great deal about this issue.

Again, I congratulate her for her work in this area and I wish her good luck and a happy life.

Member for Hamilton EastOral Question Period

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, let me thank the member for Halifax for her thoughtful initiative today. I want to add my words of thanks to the member for Hamilton East for the fine contribution she has made to Parliament and to the development of good laws for Canada and the global community.

In her role as minister of the environment, I cannot think of a more exciting period in the last 10 years on the Hill because of the measures that she introduced at that time, particularly the one that dealt with the removal of manganese from gasoline.

She then went on to become the minister of Canadian Heritage. I would like to thank her for the tremendous work that she did in strengthening Canadian identity, in strengthening cultural policies and for the respect that she had for all of us at UNESCO in Paris by putting Canada on the map on culture.

I join my colleagues in this tribute to pay homage to her and I want to say how glad I am that in her remarks today she said “au revoir” and not “adieu”.

Member for Hamilton EastOral Question Period

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, thank you for recognizing me. I sent you a little note and I said I would like to speak on behalf of the rat pack caucus.

I was elected at the provincial level in 1981, at the same time as the hon. member for Hamilton East. As luck would have it, we shared the same office at Queen's Park and the same facilities. My children grew up with their drawing books on the corner of the desk of the hon. member for Hamilton Centre, as the riding was then called at the provincial level. In a way, we grew up all together. My children grew up, but she and I also grew up. I have only one sister, but I feel as if, over the past 25 years, I have had two. I also feel that I will still have two in the future.

The people of Glengarry—Prescott—Russell and all those who represent minorities in Canada, whether it is linguistic minorities or any other minority, were well served by the hon. member. Whether it is the Alfred College in my riding, which was threatened with closure following certain measures taken by the then Harris government, or other groups which needed her help, she was there. And I am only referring to one riding.

It was the same thing from coast to coast. The minister, and now hon. member, always had time for these minorities. Groups were never too small or unimportant. She was always there for them.

As she begins these next years, I for one, on behalf of my entire family and my constituents, wish her our best. She left once before and came back. Members may recall that on the day of her return I put a bouquet of flowers on her desk. I have a feeling I will do that again.

Canadian Forces Housing AgencyRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Compton—Stanstead Québec

Liberal

David Price LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, two copies of the 2002-03 annual report of the Canadian Forces Housing Agency.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Leeds—Grenville Ontario

Liberal

Joe Jordan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to one petition.

Report of Team Canada Inc.Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Elgin—Middlesex—London Ontario

Liberal

Gar Knutson LiberalMinister of State (New and Emerging Markets)

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2) of the House of Commons I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the Team Canada Inc. annual report 2003.

Report of Team Canada Inc.Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations amongst the parties and I believe if you seek it you would find unanimous consent for the following motion, which reads, “that this House of Commons recognize that anti-Semitism and other forms of religious intolerance are destructive social forces that threaten the multicultural fabric of our nation; affirm that the wilful incitement of hatred toward an identifiable group is a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada; and, therefore urge the Government of Canada to ensure that the Saudi cleric Sheikh Abdal-Rahman al-Sudayyis, who has abused his religious authority to publicly promote hatred and call for the destruction of the Jewish people, not be permitted to enter Canada”.

Report of Team Canada Inc.Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the hon. member for Calgary Southeast have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?

Report of Team Canada Inc.Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Report of Team Canada Inc.Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

May 14th, 2004 / 12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Murray Calder Liberal Dufferin—Peel—Wellington—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36 I have three petitions that I would like to present. The petitioners ask Parliament to pass legislation to recognize the institution of marriage in federal law as being the lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to table this petition on behalf of several hundred constituents in my riding. They are concerned about the situation on the Fraser River with regard to the salmon fishing that takes place there and the reluctance of the federal government to either give the resources necessary or to use the resources at its disposal to control the illegal fishing that goes on from time to time on the river.

They are calling on Parliament to use all possible legislative and administrative measures to enforce the Fisheries Act pertaining to the salmon fishery on the Fraser River.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to present three petitions on behalf of the people of Edmonton Southwest and the surrounding communities.

The first petition deals with natural health products. These petitioners call upon Parliament to provide Canadians with greater access to non-drug preventive and medicinal options, as well as information about these options, and to sanction the personal choices of Canadians by clarifying the currently vague definitions of food and drugs in the outdated 1927 and 1952 Food and Drugs Acts.

They also call on Parliament to pass Bill C-420.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, my second petition deals with the Beads of Hope campaign, an excellent campaign across Canada which was spearheaded by the United Church of Canada. These petitioners call upon Parliament to pay down the debt and decrease the amounts of debt outstanding to third world nations.

They also call upon us to deal with the HIV-AIDS situation in these developing nations. They call upon Canada to increase its official development assistance to meet the 0.7% of gross national income, something which was endorsed in a parliamentary committee by all parties. They ask us to double the funding to the federal government's domestic program, the Canadian strategy on HIV-AIDS, to address the situation here in Canada.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the third petition deals with the definition of marriage. It is signed by hundreds of people from Edmonton and the surrounding communities. These people call upon Parliament to pass legislation to recognize the institution of traditional marriage in federal law as being the lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.