House of Commons Hansard #49 of the 37th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was benefits.


Government Orders

1:55 p.m.


Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I think it is because the Liberals need to make two changes per election to get elected and to buy votes. If they make all the changes today, come the next election they will not have any changes to make to buy the votes of the poor workers who lost their jobs and who were robbed by the federal government. This is what the Liberals have done in recent years.

Let us not forget that it will take eight elections to implement the 17 recommendations made by the parliamentary committee and agreed to by all the political parties. This is the only answer I can provide.

Otherwise, the employment insurance fund would have to revert to what it was and the benefits would have to return to where they belong. This is the real measure to take. It is called job creation. In the meantime, we should be able to give to these people what belongs to them. This is what should be done.

Back home, we call it putting the cart before the horse, and this is what the Liberals have done. But it is not a cart that they put before the horse, it is a carrot and they wanted to eat it. That carrot was the money with which they eliminated their deficit and balanced their budget, at the expense of workers.

The current Prime Minister said in the House: “I put that money to good use. I transferred money to the provinces. I invested some in health care.” Workers do not contribute to the EI fund just to balance the government's budget or to transfer money to the provinces. They contribute in case they need benefits.

The hon. member for Madawaska—Restigouche supported the recommendations because he knows what is going on in New Brunswick, and the problems associated with seasonal jobs. I am proud that he stood up in the House and supported these motions. The hon. member for Beauséjour—Petitcodiac voted in favour of 15 changes to the EI plan, but when a motion was introduced in the House to recognize seasonal workers, he voted against it.

What the Liberals did in recent years is a shame. They used the elections, and they used the EI fund to balance their budget and to buy votes. It is a shame. I am sure the electors that are listening now and all Canadians will see through this scheme that has been going on for all those years.

Makivik Corporation
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.


Guy St-Julien Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has announced a five-year moratorium on import duties for oil drilling platforms, in order to help the east coast region.

I rise today to encourage the government, and in particular the Secretary of State for Financial Institutions, to immediately extend this program to the eastern Arctic, in order to help that region develop its economy and thus improve the future for people in the communities of Nunavik and Nunavut.

The Makivik Corporation was a key partner in the historic importation of the MV Umiavut , the first and only Inuit-owned class 1 ship. The partners have asked for the duty they paid on this ship to be reimbursed.

Purchasing and importing the MV Umiavut represents a major step toward greater economic and political self-sufficiency for the north.

By immediately announcing a retroactive moratorium on taxation for vessels operating in northern waters, including the Makivik Corporation's MV Umiavut , the government will show that it wants its economic development policy to be fair and equitable in the north.

Edmonton--Sherwood Park
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, these days a number of our colleagues are giving their final farewells because they are not running again, but I am still ready for the fight. I am running again and will be working hard to win the new riding of Edmonton--Sherwood Park.

I believe that the work of reforming Parliament cannot be left to this Liberal crew. They use the words, but the words have no meaning. I am truly interested in making MPs more accountable to the citizens we represent, in reducing waste and mismanagement in government, in getting rid of corruption and unaccountability in fiscal management, and in having laws that protect law-abiding citizens and our innocent children.

I have been frustrated in the past 10 years watching this bumbling Liberal government go nowhere on these important issues. It is time for change. It is time Canadians get an honest and trustworthy government. It is time we demand better.

Elizabeth Fry Week
Statements By Members

2 p.m.


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

Mr. Speaker, this week we are celebrating National Elizabeth Fry Week. All the Elizabeth Fry societies in the country will be organizing activities to raise public awareness about the situation of women in conflict with the law.

National Elizabeth Fry Week is held in the week preceding Mother's Day as most women in prison are mothers and most were their family's sole supporter before incarceration. When mothers are sentenced to prison, children are sentenced to separation.

By focusing on women's needs and alternatives to prison, Elizabeth Fry Societies encourage community responses to addressing criminal justice matters and build support for community based options for women.

Congratulations to all the Elizabeth Fry societies across the country for organizing this week.

Statements By Members

2 p.m.


Paul MacKlin Northumberland, ON

Mr. Speaker, I lost a dear friend to lupus, a disease that attacks the body's immune system.

My friend was not alone, since more than five million people worldwide suffer the effects of this disease and each year over a hundred thousand men, women and children are newly diagnosed with lupus.

Many physicians worldwide are unaware of the symptoms and the health effects of lupus. As a result, many people suffer for years before they obtain a correct diagnosis and medical treatment. There is an urgent need to increase awareness and educate our communities worldwide about the debilitating impact of lupus.

Therefore, let us resolve that the World Health Organization recognize and declare May 10, 2004, as World Lupus Day and that we call for increased funding for medical research and education on this significant public health issue.

Road Safety
Statements By Members

2 p.m.


Gurbax Malhi Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the number of traffic accidents within the Brampton area has reached an average in excess of eight per day. This totals a staggering number exceeding 3,000 accidents annually. This has led to safety advocates in the region seeking the advice of the local residents to find ways and means to better the safety of our roads.

I believe this is a serious issue that requires federal, provincial and municipal governments working in tandem to bring about tangible results.

Last month, the World Health Organization identified road safety as the focal point of World Health Day. This stems from the fact that 1.2 million people are killed worldwide as a result of traffic accidents and 50 million more are injured annually. Moreover, approximately three-quarters of accidents occur in clear weather conditions.

Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, given that this may be one of the last opportunities I have to rise in the House during this Parliament to make a statement, today I would like to say thanks and farewell to a very significant part of my riding.

It is with a very heavy heart that I bid adieu to the County of Flagstaff and the Municipal Districts of Wainwright and Provost. Unfortunately, due to the electoral boundary changes, after the election I will no longer represent the good people of: Sedgewick, Daysland, Forestburg, Killam, Lougheed, Strome, Alliance, Provost, Hardisty, Hughenden, Heisler, Chauvin, Edgerton, Wainwright, Daysland, Irma, and Amisk.

Fortunately for me, however, over the last four years I have traveled extensively into these parts of Crowfoot and I have had the privilege of meeting many fine people. It has been a real pleasure to attend or participate in so many events and celebrations in these truly rural Alberta communities.

To the County of Flagstaff and the Municipal Districts of Wainwright and Provost, I say thanks for making my first term as the member of Parliament for Crowfoot such a memorable one.

Sikh Community
Statements By Members

2 p.m.


Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scripture, is a compilation of the divine revelations to the Sikh gurus and saints of other faiths, reaffirming the fundamental unity of all religions. The Sikh scripture embodies the universal message of truth, compassion, peace, equality and service toward all humankind.

The fifth guru of the Sikhs, Guru Arjan, compiled and consecrated the Sikh scripture, giving self-determination to the Sikh community that originated the Sikh homeland of the Punjab.

Sikhs have been part of our Canadian society since 1899. They are a very vibrant community and they contribute significantly to the economic, social and cultural well-being of our country and its citizens.

As this year marks the 400th anniversary of the first installation of the Guru Granth Sahib, I would like to congratulate the Sikh community in my riding and across Canada.

National Mental Health Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Réal Ménard Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of National Mental Health Week, from May 3 to 9, is to remind us of the importance of helping our fellow citizens detect the early signs of distress or mental illness and to provide them with the tools they need to deal with such crises.

In order to help these people, Quebec has strengthened front-line care, particularly by establishing family medicine groups and local service networks. These approaches facilitate better case management and continuity of care for people affected by mental illness.

This week is also an opportunity to express our appreciation of all those who contribute to the well-being of persons affected by mental illness and their friends and families.

Our sincere thanks go to the employees of the health and social services network, as well as to the volunteers and community organizations that offer support, assistance and advocacy.

Member for Vancouver--Kingsway
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Eleni Bakopanos Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to my dear friend and colleague, the member for Vancouver--Kingsway.

As a community activist, she served as an executive member, sitting on the board of directors with over 30 arts, business and community organizations. Her work has not gone unrecognized here or in her community. She has been the recipient of many community and government awards, including the Order of Canada in 1994.

In 1997, she was the first Asian woman to be elected a member of Parliament in Canada. Since her election, economic issues, immigration, western alienation, human rights, and justice for all are but a few of the issues she has raised as a tireless advocate for her constituents, for her community and, on the international level, for Canada.

The people of Vancouver--Kingsway, her community and her Liberal colleagues are proud of her accomplishments and the invaluable role she has played during her seven years as a member of Parliament. Her presence will be missed and her contribution never forgotten. Zhu Ni Cheng Gong . We wish her success in all her future endeavours and a good retirement.

Olds College
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to Olds College in my riding of Wild Rose, which is celebrating its 91st anniversary as a teaching institution.

Over the years the college has watched the agribusiness industry grow dramatically, and this year it is more concerned than ever about the future. To this end, the college encouraged its students to participate directly in the USDA public comment period regarding the border closure and our livestock trade with the United States.

Every member of Parliament received their formal submission this week. The college took an innovative approach by collecting impact statements from 30 of their students across Canada and compiled them as a CD-based video and a webcast that is accessible through the college's home page.

The impact of their submission has been tremendous. I would encourage every member of Parliament to take a moment to view these heartfelt messages.

Those students know that if we do not do everything possible to get the border open soon, there may be no future for them in agribusiness in Canada.

Mental Health
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, Sunday, April 18, was the Fondation Pierre-Janet's fifth edition of the “En espadrilles pour la santé mentale” event.

This annual event held at the Aylmer race track raises funds to help people with mental health problems. Nearly 1,000 sponsored participants ran laps around the track each at their own pace. The fundraiser brought in $65,210 to implement telemedicine for mental health in the Outaouais.

Mental illness, and depression in particular, is a growing concern. Hence the need to demystify it now, to eradicate the stigma attached to it and to improve access to quality services.

I want to congratulate everyone who took part, the dedicated volunteers, the honourary president of the 2004 event, Alain Raymond, and particularly the president of the Fondation Pierre-Janet, who instigated the event, Dan Gay, as well as the foundation's board of directors.

Mission accomplished, job well done.

Mental Health Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, this week, May 3 to May 9, is National Mental Health Week in Canada.

Good mental health is essential to everyone's well-being and to the strength of our communities. Too often, people suffering from mental illness and other brain disorders are discriminated against and stigmatized. We have to work together to find better means to decrease the stigma associated with mental illness so that it becomes as easy and acceptable to speak about as any other disease.

For that to happen, we need to start providing stable, long term funding to mental health care and its research and treatment. I was very disappointed that there was no mention of mental health in the recent budget presented by the government even though programs all over the country are facing cuts.

For the one in five Canadians affected by mental illness, and for their friends and families, this is truly a public mental health emergency.

Hearing Awareness Month
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, every year in May, I make a point of drawing attention to Hearing Awareness Month and the fact that, in Canada, some 3 million people, including more than 750,000 in Quebec, have a hearing problem.

As parliamentarians, it is critically important that we make sure that the deaf and the hearing impaired have equal rights when it comes to communications.

In this respect, captioning of television programs is essential, and I would like to acknowledge the great work done by the Centre de recherche informatique de Montréal, which has developed an automatic speech recognition system.

This technological advance which will provide real time transmission of information was recently introduced to both houses of Parliament and would allow, among other things, the captioning of proceedings in the House of Commons in French; at present, captioning is only available in English and only during oral question period.

The technology is there. All we need now is the political will to make it accessible as quickly as possible, not only to Parliament but also to all broadcasters.

RAI International
Statements By Members

May 6th, 2004 / 2:10 p.m.


Clifford Lincoln Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, in August 2003, a petition with 100,000 signatures and over 330 letters were sent to the CRTC by Canadians, including some from my riding, asking to have access to the Italian television network RAI International.

Today, I wish to reaffirm my support to these citizens, particularly the members of the Italian community, who hope that the CRTC will approve the application filed on September 15 by RAI International. A CRTC licence would give them 24 hours a day access to this network, which is broadcast in most countries of the world, but not in Canada.

I would also like to mention the work of the hon. member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel and of several Liberal colleagues who, from the outset, supported and continue to support the initiative of these Canadians of Italian origin, who are demanding to have access to RAI International.