House of Commons Hansard #63 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.


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 Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.

Insurance Industry
Statements By Members

2 p.m.


John Cannis Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to talk about an issue that is being discussed in almost every household in Ontario, and I am sure across the country. It has to do with insurance rates, auto, business, et cetera.

Although the parliamentary secretary earlier on very eloquently talked about it being a provincial jurisdiction, nevertheless, as the Insurance Bureau of Canada and other insurance companies, for example, come here to talk to us about their issues, I feel compelled to represent the voices and concerns of my constituents, and to express those concerns.

It has nothing to do with profits, but everything to do with the exorbitant rates that have been going up and up. Many people are saying, with this so-called reduction, that they are seeing nothing. We have to come to grips with this industry because it has a trickle down effect in terms of purchases, whether it be cars, expanding businesses, homes, et cetera.

I ask the insurance industry as a whole to get smart, wake up and do the right thing.

Renewable Energy
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


David Tilson Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past November, Centre Dufferin District High School in Shelburne became the first high school in Ontario to install a solar and wind powered renewable energy system.

Phase one of the project is now complete. Phase two of the project is to be completed for Earth Day, April 22, with the wind tower increasing the capacity to two kilowatts.

Canada's future must involve the rapid growth to renewable forms of energy generation and significant reductions in our energy use. The green power project offers us as citizens a fantastic opportunity to learn about our future energy technologies, energy choices and methods of energy conservation.

Teacher Jeff Wellman and the students and teachers at the school have assisted in a partnership with the Power Up Renewable Energy Co-Operative, the Fairfield Group, the Upper Grand District School Board, Canadian Hydro Developers and Hydro One.

Please join me in commending this group on a project that is sure to be a big success for the future in our environment.

Aircraft Industry
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Nancy Karetak-Lindell Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that Nunavut hosted a successful cold weather flight testing of a new EC-725 helicopter in January, an Airbus A-318 and a Hawker Horizon in February.

The flight test program of the EC-725 commenced in early January and lasted for over three weeks.

The Airbus A-318 aircraft, with its new generation engines, was tested at Iqaluit International Airport earlier this month. A team of twenty personnel travelled to Iqaluit to support this mission.

This is the third consecutive year that new generation helicopters have been flight tested in Nunavut. NATO Helicopter Industries flight tested the NH-90 military helicopter in 2003 and Eurocopter tested the EC-155 police helicopter in 2004.

Nunavut is the premier cold weather testing centre for the European aircraft manufacturing industry. There is a considerable economic spin-off generated for Nunavut as a whole by virtue of these testing missions taking place in the territory. Planned expansion of the Iqaluit International Airport will help promote these unique economic opportunities in my constituency.

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada recently told us that the number of jobs in the Eastern Townships decreased during 2004. This drop is, in large part, due to the difficulties experienced in the manufacturing sector.

Manufacturing jobs are being lost in all regions of Quebec, and the current government's inaction is largely to blame. The closure of mills in Huntingdon is a sad example of this.

If the government does not want to support these jobs, I hope it will at least have the decency to help these workers, once their jobs are gone. The government must improve access to employment insurance. I am asking all my colleagues in the House to support the bills introduced by the Bloc Québécois to improve employment insurance.

I call on the Prime Minister to change his approach in today's budget and finally do something nice for the unemployed by creating an independent employment insurance fund and by paying back the money it raided from the EI fund.

Rotary International
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Raymond Bonin Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, today members of the Rotary Club of Sudbury and the Rotary Club of Sudbury Sunrisers will join thousands of Rotarians in clubs around the world to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Rotary International.

Founded on February 23, 1905, in Chicago, Illinois, Rotary International is the first and one of the largest non-profit service organizations in the world, with over 1.2 million Rotarians from 31,000 clubs providing service above self in more than 165 countries.

Mayor David Courtemanche has proclaimed February 23, 2005, as Rotary International Day in the City of Greater Sudbury in recognition of Rotary International's 100 years of service to improving the human condition in local communities around the world.

I invite all members of the House to applaud the valuable contribution of Rotary International.

Rotary International
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Barry Devolin Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to pay tribute to Rotary International

Rotary began 100 years ago today when Paul Harris met with three colleagues to create a professional club that would serve their community. They called it the Rotary Club of Chicago after the early practice of rotating weekly meetings among members' offices.

To say that Harris' idea took off is quite an understatement. Today's celebration will be marked by more than 1.2 million men and women, belonging to more than 31,000 clubs worldwide. What a success story.

My family has experienced the benefits of Rotary firsthand.

My father, Doug, participated in a Rotary group study exchange to India in 1974 and was a member of the Haliburton Rotary for many years, serving as its president in 1982-83.

As for myself, I spent a year of high school in the Netherlands as a Rotary exchange student. For this experience I am profoundly grateful. I have also been a member of the Haliburton club.

To Rotarians in this House and across Canada, I wish them all the best on this celebration of their 100th anniversary.

East Coast Music Awards
Statements By Members

February 23rd, 2005 / 2:10 p.m.


Mark Eyking Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, the member for Cape Breton—Canso and I, along with other members in the House, had the pleasure of attending the East Coast Music Awards held on Cape Breton Island last weekend.

Cape Breton was all fired up with musical talent from all parts of the east thanks to the organizers and volunteers who helped make it possible.

With options of country, aboriginal, new age and Celtic, there was not a dull moment as Cape Breton rocked the waters. Cape Breton topped the charts with winners such as Natalie MacMaster and J.P. Cormier. Big Pond native, Gordie Sampson, has always been known for his musical versatility but sure proved his talent, walking away with a whopping five ECMAs. I congratulate Gordie.

The highlight of the evening was the Helen Creighton award in recognition of Cape Breton's ambassador, Rita MacNeil. She has put Cape Breton and Big Pond on the map and we, members of Cape Breton, feel the tribute is well deserved.

We welcome all Canadians to stop by her tearoom in Big Pond for a good old Cape Breton cup of tea.

Government of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Robert Vincent Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have not been a member of the House for one year yet and, now more than ever, I am ashamed of the federal government, ashamed of the image it is projecting abroad.

I am ashamed of this government, which signed the Kyoto protocol in 1998 without having, even now, an effective plan for its implementation.

I am ashamed of this government, which is abandoning our textile companies, to the point where they are deserting Quebec and Canada.

I am ashamed of this government, which is trying to reinvest in the armed forces and security by purchasing old and dangerous submarines.

I am ashamed of this government, which is unable to ensure the unconditional transfer of funds to the day care program in Quebec.

This afternoon, the Minister of Finance will table his budget. Will it contain anything for the traditional demands of Quebec?

More than ever, I want Quebec to have its own voice at the table of nations.

More than ever, I am proud to be a Quebecker and proud to be a sovereignist.

Association of Family Economy of the North
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Eleni Bakopanos Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year the Cooperative Association of Family Economy of the North celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Montreal's Cooperative Association of Family Economy of the North is a not for profit agency that helps consumers with problems related to budgeting, credit, debt, and other consumer related issues.

Over its 30-year existence, Montreal's CAFEN has helped many families and individuals in financial distress. Thirty years of action, education and intervention with the public, thirty years of budgeting advice, training workshops and consumer advocacy.

On my behalf and on behalf of my colleagues, I want to thank them for their work, encourage them to continue and wish them happy 30th anniversary.

Budget Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Bradley Trost Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, today the finance minister will tell Canadians what he wants for them. He will give Canadians what his priorities are but what are the priorities of Canadians?

Let me tell members about the priorities of one Canadian, my good friend Andrew.

Andrew is 30 years old, farms for a living and also works at a feedlot. He has two small children who his wife Vikki stays at home to look after. His priority is a child tax credit so Vikki can afford to stay home to look after the kids.

His priority is a tax cut on his EI premiums, income taxes and fuel taxes so he can afford to finish the house he is building.

His priority is a realistic agriculture disaster relief plan so he can afford to seed his crop this year.

Those are not unrealistic priorities and they are the priorities which I, as the member for Saskatoon—Humboldt, support because they are the priorities of the people of my riding, my province and my country.

Canada Post
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Paul Zed Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my extreme frustration with Canada Post's plan to close postal station B on the west side of Saint John on March 4.

I have been working with Mayor Norm McFarlane, councillor court of Saint John, and west side MLA, Abel LeBlanc, and the city's west side business association to keep our post office open.

Large crowds have turned out for public meetings and more than 3,000 people have signed petitions. This much is clear: The citizens of Saint John are united in their opposition to the closing of postal station B. At the very least, we are asking for a moratorium on the closure which would provide the community with a chance to present Canada Post with a business plan.

Canada Post should be investing in our community, not cutting back services. I am not going to stand by and watch our community lose more federal government services. This is simply unacceptable.

I ask today the minister responsible for Canada Post to show some leadership on this file and demonstrate that the Government of Canada is committed to investing in Saint John.

Status of Women
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the recent report, “Canada's Commitment to Equality: A gender analysis of the last ten federal budgets”, reveals that the budget measures over the past decade have disproportionately hurt women.

Whether it was employment insurance cuts that made it hard for new mothers to qualify for benefits or CPP regulations that left senior women in poverty, the government has been blind to how policies have affected women.

The Minister of Finance recently stated in the House, “I will do my very best to respect the principles of gender equity in the preparation of this budget and indeed every budget going forward”.

Respecting the principles of gender equity requires more than words. It requires action.

After 10 years of waiting, Canadian women are expecting in today's budget an allocation of resources that will actually make a difference to programs for women and children.

Correctional Service Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Darrel Stinson North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, the community of Vernon in my riding and the men's shelter known as Howard House go back many years together.

After an earlier shelter burned, community members bought an old hospital, cut it into five pieces and moved it on to a new first floor at the present site. That took widespread support.

But then the Liberal government and Correctional Service Canada changed policies about who could be released from prison. Parole boards let offenders out after serving a fraction of their sentence, even when one of the board members judged an inmate likely to re-offend.

Several murders were committed by Vernon Howard House residents. The public learned too late when offenders disappeared. Too few police were hired to protect the innocent and many people got scared and angry.

Now, on February 28, at 7 p.m., local people are invited to the Vernon rec centre to learn more and finally have their say about Howard House. I urge Correctional Service Canada to finally listen.

Ingrid Betancourt
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is the third anniversary of the kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt, senator and former presidential candidate in Colombia. This woman of courage and conviction is a source of inspiration and hope to all those who aspire to live in a peaceful and open world.

Ingrid Betancourt risked her life and family to challenge the corruption and violence that plague her country, where more than 4,200 citizens are being held or arbitrarily denied their freedom.

In the name of these democratic values that are so dear to us, I again urge the federal government to pressure the Colombian authorities to use a peaceful approach in settling this conflict. A humanitarian accord, the first step in freeing all the detainees, is the only acceptable choice.

I call on all hon. members in this House to do something significant in order to ensure that this anniversary is the last. If everyone works together, peace, justice and freedom will triumph.