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House of Commons Hansard #151 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

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 Timmins--James Bay.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Humanitarian AwardStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge the tremendous honour being given to Marlene Bryenton of Charlottetown. Later this evening she will receive the Canadian Red Cross P.E.I. Region's Humanitarian Award.

Her first volunteer experience came as a teenager, helping others through the Canadian Red Cross. Since then Marlene has touched the lives of many. She has also overcome some obstacles of her own, such as breast cancer, which led to the public awareness campaign that resulted in the purchase of additional mammography machines.

She is an active force in the Lake of Shining Waters women's charitable organization and through it has spearheaded the “Baby Think It Over” and “Wigs for Women” programs, among others. She was very much the driving force behind the development of the Joe Ghiz Memorial Park, located in Charlottetown.

Marlene's tireless efforts have been recognized through such honours as the Order of Prince Edward Island, an honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree from the University of Prince Edward Island, the Senate of Canada Volunteer Award, the Canada Volunteer Award and many others.

I ask all my colleagues in the House to join me in paying tribute to the remarkable achievements of a remarkable woman.

AgricultureStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, farmers in Ontario have begun a campaign called “Farmers Feed Cities”. They want to increase awareness that agriculture contributes to the health and well-being of Ontarians and the province's economy by providing safe and healthy food.

Agriculture is a key component of Ontario's economy as it provides jobs for more than 650,000 people. Trade in agricultural products contributes approximately $30 billion to the province. The industry also helps to feed the 12 million plus people living in the province.

However, Ontario agriculture continues to suffer an income crisis due to international subsidies, border closures, corporate concentration, rising costs and commodity dumping.

Farmers continue to negotiate terms of new risk management and production insurance programs for Ontario, however, if the implementation of the proposed programs is to become a reality, the federal government will become a necessary partner. I encourage the federal government to work with the province to find solutions to the problems that face farmers today.

Agriculture is a fundamental component of our society which we cannot afford to lose. Remember, “If you ate today, thank a farmer”.

UkraineStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, November marks one of the greatest tragedies in human history, when 7 to 10 million members of farm families which had just brought in record harvests, were deliberately starved to death in the breadbasket of Europe by the Soviet regime in 1932-33.

The Stalinist regime perpetrated the Great Famine/Holodomor by making food illegal in Ukraine's countryside. Red Brigades, under the direction of Lazar Kaganovich, seized grain, prevented the starving population from leaving the countryside and then sent the food to the west for export. This was done to eliminate resistance to the forced collectivization of agriculture and to destroy Ukraine's national identity.

On the eve of the 70th anniversary of Holodomor, the UN declared a week of commemoration in memory of the victims of the Great Famine in Ukraine.

I join all members of the House in calling upon the Government of Canada to recognize the Holodomor of 1932-33 in Ukraine and to condemn this genocidal act of inhuman brutality by Stalin and his henchmen.

Marie-Christine CôtéStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Marceau Bloc Charlesbourg, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to welcome to Parliament Hill Marie-Christine Côté the MP for a day from the riding of Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, who will be with us today and tomorrow to learn more about the workings of Parliament.

Winner of the seventh “MP for a Day” contest in the riding of Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, Marie-Christine beat out nearly 1,200 other secondary IV students in an test of general political knowledge.

During her stay in Ottawa, she will have a chance to see what MPs do and to experience firsthand the hustle and bustle of Parliament Hill. She and her father, Michel Côté, just had a private meeting with the leader of the Bloc Québécois a few minutes ago. After question period they will meet all the members of our caucus.

Mr. Speaker, you will also have the pleasure of meeting this dynamic young woman later today.

The Bloc Québécois wishes Marie-Christine and her father a pleasant stay.

Campbell Greenway WrightStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a beloved Manitoban.

Campbell Greenway Wright died on Sunday, November 6, after a lengthy illness, at the age of 45 years.

Campbell was truly a child of Manitoba. He was named for his maternal grandfather and his paternal great, great grandfather, both Liberal premiers of Manitoba in their time.

Campbell, while young, had a full life which distinguished by an unwavering commitment to others. An accomplished lawyer, his volunteer community leadership was widespread and included the Manitoba Theatre Centre, the Canadian Club of Winnipeg, Joceyln House, a community hospice, and the Westminster Housing Society.

A committed political activist, I had the pleasure of working with Campbell on numerous and various campaigns. I have not met a man of greater principle, honour, dignity and courage than Campbell Wright.

Above all, his family was paramount, and I extend my heartfelt sympathy to his wife Lynne and their young sons, Kirk and Thomas, and to the entire Wright family. He will be deeply missed.

Earth WaterStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, most Canadians take clean drinking water for granted, however not everyone has access to this precious resource. Every day there are 6,000 deaths resulting from a lack of clean drinking water. That is one death every 14 seconds, totalling 5 million per year.

While most people choose to ignore this problem, there is one company in my riding of Edmonton--Strathcona that is doing something about it. Earth Water sells bottled water throughout Canada and has teamed up with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to deliver clean drinking water throughout the world. Additionally, Earth Water donates 100% of its profits to the UNHCR.

I wish that more corporations had the heart and soul that Earth Water exhibits on a daily basis. This is a corporation that all Canadians can be proud of.

On behalf of my constituents of Edmonton--Strathcona and the official opposition, I want to thank Earth Water for its contribution to help people drink safe water around the world.

Diabetes Awareness MonthStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Comuzzi Liberal Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, November is Diabetes Awareness Month in Canada and I am sure I speak for every member of the House in thanking the thousands and thousands of volunteers who volunteer so much of their time to enhance the quality of life for all diabetics in Canada. I say a sincere thanks to all of them for the great work they do.

As members know, diabetes is a serious illness and it can cause, if left unattended, blindness, amputations, heart attacks and strokes. The only way we have now to control it is by following a good exercise program, a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, maintaining a good body weight and getting an early diagnosis.

My colleagues and I congratulate the Canadian Diabetes Association for all the good work they do. We urge all those Canadians suffering from diabetes to follow the rules of diet, weight and exercise, and we guarantee that we will do everything within our power to find a cure for diabetes.

Laval UniversityStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Clavet Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I have the opportunity to welcome a group of young men and women who are here to learn more on the workings of the federal parliamentary system.

These students from Quebec and France are currently taking courses toward a specialized degree in public affairs and government, a joint program of Laval University and the institute of political science in Bordeaux, France. I commend these two institutions for their deep belief in internationalizing university training.

The students from this program will have a chance today to meet MPs and public affairs professionals.

The Bloc Québécois welcomes them to Parliament Hill and wishes them much success in their future endeavours.

Detroit River Tunnel PartnershipStatements by Members

November 16th, 2005 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak on the proposed Jobs tunnel and the Detroit River tunnel partnership.

Notwithstanding the short-sighted and politically motivated decision of the binational panel, this innovative and forward thinking Canadian project remains the best option to improve the flow of trucks and trains through the Windsor-Detroit corridor by improving and expanding current infrastructure.

Over 25% of all trade crosses this corridor between Canada and the United States. This figure is expected to double within the next 25 years.

The project will ensure that Canada continues to be an attractive market for trade. It will also create jobs, increase security, reduce pollution and eliminate waiting lines at the border.

I urge all levels of government to respect the integrity of the binational process that they have established and to include the jobs tunnel in its list of practical alternatives and undertake a full and impartial analysis of this project. Canadians and Windsorites deserve nothing less.

International TradeStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I believe the time is right to look at expanding trade opportunities by moving toward a free trade agreement with India.

Canada has a large Indo-Canadian community involved in many of Canada's export sectors. In addition, India's system of government is very similar to ours. India's annual growth is estimated to be around 9% for the foreseeable future and ranks third in the world in terms of purchasing power. Its middle class is estimated to be about 300 million people and growing, the majority of which are English-speaking, making free trade negotiations strategically important.

Based on my experience as part of the Canadian trade delegations to India in 2000 and 2005, I have seen the remarkable growth of the Indian economy and the opportunities that it presents. The time is right to seize those opportunities.

When we come to power, we will give actions to words.

Pat LyallStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, it is with sadness we learned that Pat Lyall of Taloyoak, Nunavut, passed away unexpectedly on October 24, 2005 at the early age of 60.

Son of Nipisha and Ernie Lyall, Pat was born March 12, 1945 to the famous Lyall family that everyone knows in Nunavut.

Pat was one of 10 Lyall brothers and sisters, all known for their commitment to keeping the Inuit culture strong and taking important leadership roles to strengthen our communities. Pat was no exception, especially in his strong defence of our language, Inuktitut.

Pat will be remembered for his compassion, dedication and love of people, evident in the marks he left in his community and the many boards on which he served. He will be missed.

I ask the House to join me in expressing condolences to his wife, Leah, and children, Ernie, Patricia and John, and the whole family. Our thoughts are with them at this sad time.

Natural ResourcesStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing for northern Ontario in the Liberal's election budget, nothing for forestry, nothing for agriculture and nothing for the mining exploration community.

The government had the chance to extend the super flow through program for mining exploration, but instead, it once again walked away on northern industries.

All across Canada our mineral reserves are being depleted. Restoring those reserves is very important for our economy but it is a high risk game with long shot odds. In a global competitive market, we need every player at the table.

I have written to the finance minister and have asked him to work with the mining industry. Instead, he has done nothing. Once again, the resource communities of northern Ontario are being written off the political and economic map of Canada.

For far too long in northern Ontario we relied on backbenchers to tell us what Ottawa wants. The time has come to send some hard-working New Democrats to tell Ottawa what we need, fight for northern communities, fight for northern industries and fight for our northern way of life.

MulticulturalismStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Oda Conservative Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, last December, Canadians and the heritage minister welcomed the CRTC's decision to allow more foreign third language television services into Canada.

Nearly a year later, only one service, RAI television, has been approved, but Canadians of Portuguese, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin are still waiting.

The government promised our multicultural communities greater access to these services and the CRTC chair promised speedy approval processes.

In October, the earthquake in Pakistan claimed an estimated 80,000 lives and left over 2 million people homeless. Pakistani Canadians are desperate for information on the welfare of their families and friends and updates on the rebuilding process, and yet PTV, Pakistani Television, is among the 32 services still waiting for CRTC approval.

Another unfulfilled government promise is standing between Canada's Pakistani community and the vital information they deserve in this time of crisis.

On behalf of the multicultural communities, I--

MulticulturalismStatements by Members

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Drummond.

Parti QuébécoisStatements by Members

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, last night, 29 years to the day after the sweep by René Lévesque's Parti Québécois, the party faithful chose André Boisclair as their leader.

This leadership race, a 149 day marathon, proved beyond all doubt that the idea of Quebec as a sovereign nation is stronger and more present than ever.

The Bloc Québécois salutes all the candidates who campaigned with such determination and loyalty to Quebec during this leadership race.

Thanks to the efforts of all the candidates, the Parti Québécois now has over 147,000 members. The democratic exercise of the past few days attests to the party's strength and health: 76% of all members voted.

With the first step now behind them, sovereignists from all walks of life will join forces to achieve this ambitious and exciting plan for a free Quebec.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements by Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Conservative Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 12 years in power, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development has done a terrible job for aboriginal communities in Canada.

Expenditures over the past 12 years have been astronomical, but with what results? The policies are not working. A number of reserves still have no drinking water, and residential school victims have yet to receive any compensation. In many ways, aboriginal communities live in third world conditions.

How can the Liberal government justify such waste to Canadians?

The first ministers are scheduled to meet next week in Kelowna. The Conservative Party hopes that the Prime Minister will not cancel this important meeting.

Canadians hope that he will not abandon aboriginal Canadians. Canadians have had their fill of the errors of this corrupt and incompetent government. They want real change.

Remembrance Day TrainStatements by Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I want to pay tribute to the organizers and to the veterans throughout Canada who ventured to Ottawa on board the VIA Rail Remembrance Day train.

As young men and women, they took a similar train in the opposite direction. The train of their youth took them into harm's way. It took them away from family and homes in response to a call to duty and to face combat, injury and death.

Veterans and their families, including a contingent of some 20 veterans from Prince Edward Island, boarded train No. 15, the Ocean , in Halifax and Moncton for the journey to the national Remembrance Day observance in Ottawa last week.

I want to extend the appreciation of all members of the House to VIA Rail for providing the train of remembrance, to Atlantic Superstores for providing the meals and to the other contributors and volunteers who helped make this a memorable national event.

I thank them and congratulate them.

AirportsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Torontonians are increasingly upset over the huge fee hikes at Pearson International Airport. The airport says that the fee hike is necessary because the federal government is charging unreasonable ground rent.

Today the International Air Transport Association said that rent is, “the biggest single obstacle to lowering airport fees at Pearson”.

When will the Prime Minister show some leadership, stop punishing Toronto, and lower ground fees at Pearson Airport?

AirportsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the biggest factor that is influencing rent in Toronto is the debt factor which is over 40%. The rent represents 14% of the expenses.

My colleagues have been looking at that with the GTA and we have had discussions with the airport authority. Obviously, we are giving them $5 billion in relief. That $5 billion in relief is coming by 2011.

Perhaps in the short term, we may be able to do something up front to help them because --

AirportsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

EqualizationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, hopefully before that relief is delivered in 2010 there will be a new government.

The Prime Minister is also failing Saskatchewan on equalization. The government promised to reform the equalization program in 2004 for Saskatchewan. The government now says it will not get to that until at least 2006, costing Saskatchewan over $750 million in lost revenue.

When will the Prime Minister overrule his finance minister and make the changes necessary, so Saskatchewan does not lose this money?

EqualizationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the reform process that we launched in 2004 with respect to equalization is going forward. In fact, we expect it to take place during the course of 2006.

In the meantime, there have been floor payments and other arrangements put in place to assist the provinces that are going through various forms of transition. In Saskatchewan's case thus far, that has resulted in payments of $799 million in the last 18 months.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Premier of Saskatchewan does not buy that and no other federal members buy that. In fact, the only person in Saskatchewan who believes that is the finance minister.

It is now 16 days since Justice Gomery made his report public. In it, he says that certain Liberal riding associations in Quebec pocketed stolen money, but the names of those ridings remains a mystery.

Will the Prime Minister be frank enough to make public the names of these ridings that used money stolen from the taxpayers?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition needs only to read Justice Gomery's report. All the points Justice Gomery wished to examine are covered by it. Now, if any investigation is required, that will be the role of the RCMP. I know that all stakeholders are prepared to speak to the RCMP at any time, as every citizen has a duty to do.

It is, however, not the role of either the Leader of the Opposition or the Prime Minister to carry out a judicial inquiry.