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House of Commons Hansard #155 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was producers.

Topics

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are proposing this motion to the House so that it may be passed by all members, because we have no certainty that the federal government will do its job.

It is very important that the government not take any action that will open up our borders and let American and European markets invade ours. It is also very important that it not take any action that will make supply management disappear, as that will put our agriculture in danger.

I would like to repeat the Bloc Québécois motion, because it is being criticized as too restrictive. I will submit that to your judgment, Mr. Speaker, because I do not believe it is. In my opinion, it is ensuring us that the supply management system will be maintained, and we want to ensure that the negotiators defend those sectors subject to that system.

The motion says “that these sectors can continue to provide producers with a fair and equitable income.”

Since I am getting the time-up signal, I will invite my colleague in the Conservative Party to read the Bloc Québécois motion.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, I wish to thank my colleague from the Bloc, the agriculture critic, the member for Richmond—Arthabaska, for his motion today, giving us this chance to again talk about a desperate situation that we have in agriculture and, really, the future of Canadian agriculture as it relates to the World Trade Organization.

As I mentioned earlier in the debate today, the huge concern that we have is that there has not been a Canadian position advocated for Canadian farmers. We do not what our position is regarding supply management. We do not know what our position is for our grain and oilseed producers and our livestock producers, whether hogs, cattle or bison. We are not sure where we are at when we are sitting around the table in Hong Kong, Geneva, Doha, Cancun, or Seattle. We have actually been just sitting in a quagmire of rhetoric, not knowing the true position.

We want more than just verbal support, and that is what we have been getting out of the government. We want real action and a real position advocated. The Liberal government had an opportunity to represent that at ministerials that were held throughout the last few years. Just as an example, back in March, there was a mini-ministerial that took place in Kenya and the government did not even bother showing up. Why? Because Liberals were holding their convention at that time.

I would like to state, Mr. Speaker, that I will be splitting my time with my hon. colleague from Central Nova, who will pick up after question period.

The real key here is that we have to ensure we have a firm Canadian position, so that the industry knows where the government is headed. We want to know what the negotiators are working from as their base when they go into negotiations. We have to remember that the WTO is a negotiation. It is a poker game and there will be give and take, but we want to ensure that the parameters are laid out. That is essentially what we are asking for here, that the parameters are set.

Agriculture has been an integral part of rural Canada. It is an integral part of urban Canada, as well. Spinoff jobs occur in grocery stores, food processing, packing plants, refrigeration companies, and trucking companies. These are all tied to agriculture. Jobs in mills, distilleries and ethanol plants are all based upon agriculture. We have to ensure that we have these opportunities to hold government to account when we start talking about a trade relationship.

I will continue this discussion after question period, so that we can more formalize the discussion around the World Trade Organization talks.

Auditor General's ReportGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

The Speaker

I would like to lay upon the Table the Report of the Auditor General of Canada for 2005.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(g), this report is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

Mining IndustryStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to welcome today representatives of the Canadian mining industry who are in Ottawa to participate in the annual Mining Day on the Hill.

Canada has long been recognized as a world leader in mining and mineral exploration. Recently the Prime Minister said, “Canada's energy and mineral endowment is one of our greatest comparative advantages”.

Mining provides high-paying skilled jobs across Canada and is a major economic engine in many rural and remote communities. Over the next decade the sector will face a labour shortage and estimates there will be 60,000 to 80,000 jobs to fill, and that is not including the oil sands sector. This challenge is an incredible opportunity.

We must enhance aboriginal participation in mining, further develop immigration policies to recruit foreign skilled workers, and continue to improve foreign credential recognition. Canadians stand to benefit. Our government must continue to work with the mining industry to ensure that opportunities are seized.

Happy Mining Day.

Tsunami ReliefStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Schellenberger Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, last year Southeast Asia was hit by a massive tsunami. Since then, over 29,000 Rotarians from across Canada have raised more than $1 million to help rebuild 25 schools in Sri Lanka as part of the Schools Reawaken project.

The Canadian Rotary Committee for International Development informed me recently that its application to the federal government for matching dollars was turned down. Rotary applied for matching dollars because the Liberal government promised to match contributions by Canadians.

It is difficult to understand why Rotary's application was rejected, considering that as of August, the federal government has contributed just $166 million or roughly 40% of the $425 million promised to Southeast Asia. That leaves roughly $259 million still available.

On behalf of Rotarians and all Canadians, will the Prime Minister intervene personally and make sure the federal government keeps its word? It could start with $1 million to the Rotarians so thousands of children in--

Tsunami ReliefStatements By Members

2 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for West Nova.

Order of Nova Scotia RecipientStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge Theresa McNeil's considerable contributions to Annapolis County. I want to congratulate her on her recent appointment to the Order of Nova Scotia. The Order of Nova Scotia is the highest honour bestowed by our province. It recognizes her outstanding contributions and achievements.

As the first female high sheriff for Annapolis County and indeed all of Canada, Mrs. McNeil is an inspiration and a role model. She has spent countless hours volunteering in her community of Upper Granville and always has time for her family and her 17 children.

I want to thank Mrs. McNeil for her invaluable contribution to her community, her province and her country. I congratulate Mrs. McNeil on this the most recent of many accomplishments.

Le Clap CinemaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Clavet Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today with pride in this House to mark the 20th anniversary of the Le Clap repertory movie theatre.

For two decades, film enthusiasts in the Quebec City area have had the chance to see repertory films in their original language.

I have fond memories of that locale and of many interesting post-screening discussions.

The Bloc Québécois congratulates the founders of Le Clap, its management team and the entire staff, who over the past 20 years have stimulated our interest in cinema not only with their program choices, but also with their publication Le Clap .

Any credit for making international cinema popular in Quebec City goes to Le Clap and its team. Congratulations and many more years to Le Clap from my beautiful riding of Louis-Hébert.

Coalition of African Canadian OrganizationsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to advise the House that this evening the Prime Minister will meet with representatives from the Coalition of African Canadian Organizations.

The coalition is made up of many community groups, including the Jamaican Canadian Association and the Jane-Finch Concerned Citizens Organization, both located in my riding of York West. At the meeting, the coalition will present to the Prime Minister its action plan to prevent violence.

I would like to congratulate the coalition on its continuing constructive efforts to keep our community safe, and wish it well on its meeting with the Prime Minister this evening.

Office of the Ethics CommissionerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, November 18 the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs tabled its report on the question of privilege that I raised in reference to the Ethics Commissioner's conduct and to find him in contempt of Parliament.

The committee found the Ethics Commissioner was in contempt of Parliament. Thus, a painful chapter that had no merit to it has come to an end for me and my family. I would like to thank you, Mr. Speaker, and the chair of the committee, the hon. member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, as well as members of the committee from all parties.

I urge all members to read this report as it deals with the Office of the Ethics Commissioner and has severe consequences on all members. I also hope that the Ethics Commissioner will grab the opportunity that the committee has given him and gracefully make his exit and a thorough cleanup is done of his office so public confidence is restored in this office.

Gun ViolenceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, let me take this opportunity to offer our sympathy to the families and friends of so many black young men who have been killed by guns and gun violence.

The entire Toronto community is shocked by the boldness and non-caring attitude of young men who belong to gangs and whose lifestyle, criminal activities and weapons use create havoc and distress in our communities.

As legislators we cannot ignore this continuing crisis which is a manifestation of deep-rooted problems facing African Canadians. As we call for stricter laws and penalties, let us also assist the communities to obtain quality of life for all of our citizens.

Albert BéginStatements By Members

November 22nd, 2005 / 2:05 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want tell the House about Albert Bégin from Saint-Isidore-de-Clifton, a young man from the riding of Compton—Stanstead, who will be celebrating his 100th birthday on December 15.

Mr. Bégin does not dwell on the past, but still enjoys the present. Recently, nearly 230 of us relatives, friends and acquaintances came together to recognize the incredible contribution made by this man who has loved the land. Attached to his region and devoted to his neighbours, Mr. Bégin told us with pride about the high points in his life.

Mr. Bégin did not drink from the fountain of youth, but he might have a magical recipe: he does not drink, he does not smoke and he keeps very active. He spoke glowingly of his card games and outings with his friends from the seniors club.

The Bloc Québécois congratulates Albert Bégin, a man who inspires us to live as long as he has.

UkraineStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, as a light snow fell on my way to the House of Commons this morning, I felt a moment of nostalgia. On this morning one year ago, I stood in Independence Square with Viktor Yushchenko as a light snow fell on a gathering of tens of thousands of people.

The day before massive fraud was committed against the will of the Ukrainian people. Canadian observers documented hundreds of cases of fraud and intimidation reaching the highest levels. All exit polls showed Yushchenko had been chosen by the people, yet the interfering Russian government announced Yanukovych the victor.

In addressing the gathering crowd, I congratulated Yushchenko as being the duly elected president and assured that the people of Canada would stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Ukraine.

During the weeks that followed, the crowds grew to millions. Our Prime Minister provided critical support to the people of Ukraine at key points in time. In the end, the colour orange spread over the snow covered cities of Ukraine like the promising rays of sunshine.

I would like to thank the Prime Minister, every parliamentarian and the thousand Canadian observers, including former prime minister John Turner, for rising to the occasion. Not a single life was lost and the will of the people overcame the forces arrayed against them. As the slogan of people--

UkraineStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Regina—Qu'Appelle.

North Central Family CentreStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, the North Central Family Centre has been improving the quality of life in Regina for several years. Thanks to the dedication of dozens of volunteers and staff, the centre has been able to assist low income and unemployed people live better lives. The centre offers after school activities to students, meal programs, and all sorts of training and educational services.

In addition, the North Central Family Centre has started its own construction company to build and renovate houses in the core area of Regina. The company has already taken 18 people off public assistance by providing them with steady employment. It has also improved the standard of housing for many people in Regina and is working toward bringing the joys of home ownership to more and more families. By providing people with jobs, it has helped workers beat their addictions and taught them responsibility and valuable construction skills.

I would ask all members to join me in congratulating Sandi Wankel, Dr. Irvine Resnik, Dick Champlone, Ben Hernando, and all the staff and volunteers at the centre for their outstanding work in making North Central Regina a better place to live.

Students from Brome-MissisquoiStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to welcome exceptional students from my riding. Some of them took top honours at the regional Bell science fair, including Pierre-Luc Beauséjour of Bedford, Charles Dumouchel and David Lalanne of Cowansville and Francis Holtken of Farnham.

Others graduated from high school with outstanding academic averages. Chloée Bureau Oxton of Magog and Samuel Grenon Godbout of Dunham were awarded the Governor General's Academic Medal.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate them. I am convinced that these awards are merely a prelude to a very successful future. The future is bright, thanks to these young people from Brome—Missisquoi.

I want to welcome them to Parliament Hill and I encourage them to strive for excellence during their entire academic career.

Youth EntrepreneurshipStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, for far too long our young people have been forced to leave their northern homes and families, not because they want to but because there is an overwhelming lack of good jobs and training opportunities. As we send our best and brightest to points south, we also export our future. I have committed myself to helping reverse this trend. Together with key economic partners like the credit unions and community futures development corporations, we have come up with a program intended to encourage our youth to stay and flourish in the northwest of British Columbia.

I would like to talk about Daron Miller, a 22-year-old owner and operator of Clarity Communications, who sells, installs and repairs VHF mobile radios that are critical to safety in the logging industry. Daron was the first winner of the Youth Entrepreneurship Award, which will provide 10 $1,000 awards to young people in communities across the northwest.

The YEA embodies a new sense of optimism that is emerging in northwestern British Columbia and which must be fostered. We are turning the corner and northerners, especially young northerners, need even more programs like the YEA to ensure that they can prosper in their home communities.

GeoscienceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Conservative Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian minerals and metals industry consistently contributes an average of 4% to Canada's GDP, supports almost 400,000 direct jobs and has been a major contributor to our positive balance of trade. Not only that, the mining industry has become the largest private sector employer of aboriginal Canadians.

However, there is a serious challenge due to declining mineral reserves. The solution is new geoscience and exploration investment. The Conservative Party strongly supports this increased investment in geoscience programs and research because it supports exploration, builds mineral reserves and provides valuable data to support public policy decisions.

It is time to invest in geoscience and the future of this dynamic innovative sector of the Canadian economy, which is important to so many Canadians.

Françoise Mongrain-SamsonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to pay tribute in the House to a deserving award recipient. Françoise Mongrain-Samson, from the Abitibi—Témiscamingue region, was named 2005 female farmer of the year at the Saturne gala held during the Quebec federation of women farmers' convention.

Ms. Mongrain-Samson runs a dairy farm with her husband in St-Félix-de-Dalquier, near Amos. The mother of three children, she was the first woman on the Amos farm co-op's board. Since January 2000, she has been board chair. She helped found the Nord-Agri association, which promotes hog farming.

Thanks to her commitment to her community, Ms. Mongrain-Samson is helping to promote agriculture.

The Bloc Québécois congratulates Ms. Françoise Mongrain-Samson on this well-deserved honour.

Government PoliciesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gerry Ritz Conservative Battlefords—Lloydminster, SK

Mr. Speaker, fearing the growing wrath of Canadian voters, the Liberals started their fearmongering campaign earlier this year. The Liberals have always confused the best interests of their party with what is best for Canada, and now they want to confuse Canadians by suggesting government come to a stop during an election. Actually, since the order paper has been bare for months, it would be hard to tell if the government did stop.

Seniors, soldiers and farmers are told that money will not flow unless the Liberals maintain their death grip on Parliament, but in fact the House of Commons passed the legislation to send that money months ago. If the programs are not receiving their funding, it is because the Liberals are still incapable of following through on promises. If the military cannot replace 40-year-old aircraft, how can that be the fault of an election in January?

In 1917 and 1940 Canadians went to the polls at the height of global war. Our parents and grandparents knew that voting is a right, a responsibility and a privilege. Throwing these bums out is our duty and it will be a long overdue pleasure.

Rotary InternationalStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the motto of Rotary International is “Service Above Self”. Its wide-ranging activities include the development of community service projects that address many of today's most critical issues, such as children at risk, poverty, hunger, the environment, illiteracy and violence.

It also promotes ethical behaviour. One of the most widely quoted statements in business and professional ethics is the Rotary four-way test. The four-way test asks the following questions. One, is it the truth? Two, is it fair to all concerned? Three, will it build good will and better friendships? Four, will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Today I am honoured to pay tribute to the men and women of Rotary International for their outstanding service and their ethical guidance in Canada and around the world.

JusticeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, 48 people have been shot and killed this year as a result of increasing gun violence in Toronto.

For years the government and the Prime Minister paid absolutely no attention to the growth in crime in Toronto. In fact, the Deputy Prime Minister laughed when asked about convicts being given day passes to Wonderland.

Now we are on the eve of the election. Why does the Prime Minister wait until his government is on the verge of collapse before paying attention to the growth in crime that has occurred under his watch?

JusticeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice has brought forth an extensive package in terms of mandatory sentences in terms of handling this situation.

I must say that there are also other elements to this. I would ask the Leader of the Opposition why he refuses to deal with community violence, the fact of exclusiveness and the fact that young men and young women who are engaged in these kinds of activities require strong social supports. Why does he oppose every single measure to help the people who live in these communities? Why does he shut his eyes to the reality of what is going on?

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the Prime Minister is getting used to asking questions. What I will tell him is that we support initiatives like that but his soft on crime policies do not work.

We recently learned that David Herle, the Liberal campaign manager, received a $23,000 untendered contract from the government to write the mini-budget.

I wonder if the Prime Minister will come clean and tell the House if he is aware of any other untendered contracts that may have been given to Liberal Party operatives.

Government ContractsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member knows that the contract and other contracts were given exactly in accordance with the rules.

Now the hon. member asked why I ask questions. I am not the only one. Canadians are asking questions. They want to know what the Leader of the Opposition's position is on health care. They want to know what the Leader of the Opposition's position is on the strength of the Canadian federation. They want to know what the Leader of the Opposition's position is on the kind of country that we want to build. They in fact want to know what his agenda is and why he keeps it hidden.