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 #68 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was claims.

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 Essex.

Aurèle FerlatteStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, today I want to recognize the distinction bestowed last week on Aurèle Ferlatte of Dalhousie, New Brunswick.

Mr. Ferlatte received the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation from the Minister of Veterans Affairs. This decoration, awarded to individuals who have performed commendable service to the Veteran community and/or individuals who represent commendable role models for their fellow veterans, was awarded to Mr. Ferlatte for his invaluable contribution to veterans.

I want to publicly thank Mr. Ferlatte today and congratulate him on this exceptional honour.

CurlingStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to stand in the House today to congratulate the Jennifer Jones team from Manitoba on their victory last week at the Scott Tournament of Hearts.

Jones, third Cathy Overton-Clapham, lead Cathy Gauthier, and fifth Trisha Eck, along with a constituent of mine, second Jill Officer, won Manitoba's first national women's title since Connie Laliberte did in 1995.

Behind for most of the game, the pressure was on with Jones' last shot in the 10th end. A virtually impossible shot in front of her, Jones came through and nailed it. One analyst called it “the best game-winning shot” he had ever seen.

In addition to the Scott title, Jones and her rink also won the right to represent Canada at the world championships in Scotland next month.

On behalf of all Manitobans and Canadians, I would like to say congratulations to the Jennifer Jones rink on a job well done. They made us very proud.

Easter Seals CampaignStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, Prince Edward Islanders have a long and proud history of generosity and when the need arises Islanders are prepared to contribute. Last Monday night was a good example. During the three-hour Easter Seals telethon, $132,000 was pledged.

I want to pay a special tribute to this year's Easter Seals ambassador, 12 year old Carolyn Gallant, and to the students and staff of her school, Ecole François-Buote, which raised $1,200. A lighthearted moment occurred when an autographed golf ball and hat donated by former prime minister Jean Chrétien were auctioned off for $720.

The Easter Seals Society of P.E.I. has a proud history of raising funds to assist young people with disabilities. Easter Seals Ambassador Gallant will continue to tour Island schools until Easter.

On behalf of all members I want to express my thanks to all those who have contributed their time and money to make this year's Easter Seals campaign a success.

Patro de JonquièreStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Sébastien Gagnon Bloc Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to acknowledge the extraordinary support provided by a community agency in my riding called the Patro de Jonquière.

This community support and recreation centre for youth has been around for almost 60 years, and hundreds of volunteers have worked there over the years to provide our young people with a wide range of activities to help them develop their full potential.

This centre also offers adults and seniors an opportunity to participate in social and recreational activities. The Patro provides invaluable services to our people.

In acknowledging the excellent work of the Patro de Jonquière volunteers, I want to take this opportunity to underscore the importance of volunteering in the development of our communities and the limited resources we have to support it.

Once again, bravo to the Patro de Jonquière.

Hamilton FirefightersStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in my riding of Hamilton Mountain a memorial service recognized nine fallen firefighters: Wayne H. Murray, Charles Waterman, Alexander Maxwell, Joseph Cheeseman, William Cooke, William Carson, Milton Kindree, Ian Gray and Neil McFadyen. These courageous professionals chose to regularly risk their own lives to save the lives of others.

Unfortunately, they contracted occupational diseases and succumbed to their illnesses during retirement. It is important to recognize that while there is an immediate risk of death in every blaze that is fought, occupational disease is the number one killer of firefighters in Ontario.

The deaths of these fallen firefighters were not in vain and compensation is fortunately now available for many. These nine individuals will forever be remembered for their service and dedication to the Hamilton community.

AgricultureStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, last night we had another emergency agriculture debate in this House. If words were dollars, farming would be profitable by now, but they are not. In fact, we are in a “perfect storm”: a combination of low prices, a weather disaster and serious international trade disruptions.

This government has once again failed agriculture. After 12 years and four terms, it still has no coherent way of dealing with agriculture issues.

One week after the R-CALF debacle there is no plan B. One month before spring seeding there is no plan to help hard hit grain farmers. At the WTO talks we have no clear position that would liberalize trade and make it more transparent and effective.

This government could make a difference. Farm plans do not have to collapse under their own bureaucratic weight. Trade agreements can be reached that are effective. Regulation can be lessened. The markets can work for producers and processors.

However, that would take solid leadership. When will this government quit talking and actually start to bring forward producer oriented solutions?

Colorectal CancerStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, colorectal cancer is one of the least talked about forms of cancer. As a result, many Canadians are unaware of its prevalence and its symptoms.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related death among men and women in Canada.

Regular screening can help prevent over 90% of colorectal cancer by allowing for treatment in the earliest stages. There is also a need for greater access to treatment and faster approvals for new medications.

March is Colorectal Cancer Month. The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada is pleased to invite all members of Parliament and senators to an awareness breakfast tomorrow morning, Thursday, March 10, in the parliamentary restaurant beginning at 7:30 a.m.

I encourage all members of the House to attend this important event.

Immigration and Refugee BoardStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, again yesterday, in the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, the minister repeated that the refugee appeal division was not necessary.

However, this take has been condemned by Amnesty International and the Canadian Council for Refugees, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has voiced strong criticism.

I remind the House it adopted legislation establishing the appeal division. The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration unanimously called for it and the director of the IRB says he is waiting only for a cabinet decision before going forward.

A recent ruling by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights confirms that there is no appeal process for asylum seekers in Canada. Despite everything, there is still no appeal division.

This minister has the responsibility to honour the word of Parliament and protect the human rights of all individuals on Canadian soil.

Martial ArtsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the city of Thunder Bay on its recent designation as the martial arts capital of Canada.

Thunder Bay established a Martial Arts Council in 2000 with the mission of fostering awareness of the benefits of training in these arts, encouraging participation to make the community a healthier place, and generating economic activity.

The Martial Arts Council has been very successful in its endeavours. It hosted a martial arts championship in April 2002 and staged a celebration of martial arts in September 2002. In July 2006 Thunder Bay will host an international forum on Tai Chi with hundreds of delegates from Asia, China, Europe and North America expected to attend.

I ask my fellow parliamentarians to join me in congratulating Thunder Bay on its designation as Canada's martial arts capital.

Age of ConsentStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Randy White Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, once again I see a situation in Ottawa where a young 14-year-old boy was lured into a serious situation by a predator.

Since following the age of sexual consent issue, I have been increasingly aware of the terrible consequences of politicians changing laws with a narrow understanding of the future impact.

How many times must I see 14-year-old and 15-year-old kids in crack houses with 30-year-old and 40-year-old criminals, while the criminals send the children out to sell drugs, prostitute them and use them for sex? Parents anguish at the fact that police cannot remove them from the scene because the age of sexual consent was lowered from 16 to 14.

Politicians must do a better job of defining when a child becomes an adult. The Liberal government wants anyone over the age of 11 to be able to possess marijuana, and a 14-year-old to have sex with a 30-year-old.

The government must get its act together with the age of sexual consent.

International Women's WeekStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to recognize Canada's inspiring, creative and hardworking women.

Canadians are celebrating International Women's Week this week with the theme, “You are Here: Women, Canada and the World”.

Last Friday I was proud to host the eighth annual international women's day breakfast in partnership with the women's leadership committee of the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce.

International Women's Week is a celebration of women's contributions to Canada and the world. Through this breakfast event, women have the opportunity to meet ordinary women who have interesting and extraordinary stories to share.

This year my special guests were Elen Steinberg, an entrepreneur who provides marketing kiosks in airports, and Carolyn Stark, a young woman who has participated in professional HIV-AIDS internships in India and Toronto. Both women shared their experiences, their challenges and their successes.

Canadian women have made tremendous contributions in the home, in the workplace, and in the community to make Canada a better place for all.

TELUS CommunicationsStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, workers at TELUS Communications have been without a contract for four years. These are TWU members who are supporting families in communities like Burnaby and Vancouver, B.C.

The five B.C. NDP MPs are standing up together for these workers because the treatment that they have received from their employer is shameful. They have been without a raise for five years and are being held hostage by unfair labour practices. These workers have the right to be treated fairly. They have the right to a respectful contract that maintains pensions, stops contracting out and ensures that grievance procedures are upheld.

While the Canada Industrial Relations Board has clearly stated that TELUS was guilty of unfair labour practices and in violation of federal law, the board has backtracked on its order that TELUS undergo binding arbitration.

On behalf of these workers and their families, we are calling on the federal government to immediately order TELUS into binding arbitration and to stop this injustice.

Labelling of Alcoholic BeveragesStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Anders Conservative Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, a new poll has just been released which shows that 99% of women know that drinking alcohol while pregnant can cause birth defects, yet the Liberals along with their big government friends want to force costly mandatory labelling on our brewers and distilleries.

Telling people what they already know is a waste of money. What is next, the Liberals forcing mandatory labels on bottles of pepper spray saying, “May irritate eyes”?

This measure will end up costing Canadian businesses millions of dollars with no results. The issue of birth defects is too serious for misplaced government intervention. We should be focusing our efforts on educational prevention programs which have actually proven to be effective.

The only label I am in favour of is a label on Liberal politicians which states, “Electing this politician to office will affect the health of our economy and cost people their jobs”.

EpilepsyStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, March is epilepsy awareness month. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder affecting 120,000 Quebeckers.

Epilepsy is not a disease but a symptom resulting from abnormal, involuntary electrical discharges in the brain, which cause seizures. Most people with epilepsy lead active and productive lives, thanks to medical advances. The greatest challenge that people with epilepsy face is being accepted by a society full of fear, myths and misconceptions about this disorder. Epilepsy does not shorten life span. Epilepsy does not cause brain damage. Epilepsy does not affect intelligence. Epilepsy is not contagious.

I invite everyone to wear a lavender ribbon during the month of March to raise community awareness about the needs of people living with epilepsy, including their need for respect.

RCMP Officers Gordon and MyrolStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Mills Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, two of the victims in the tragic killing of four RCMP officers were from my home city of Red Deer. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the four victims.

Anthony Gordon was born in Edmonton and grew up and was educated in Red Deer. This good-natured man leaves behind his wife who is expecting her second child. He will be buried on Friday.

Brock Myrol and his family are well known in our community. Brock had only been in the force a few weeks and was engaged to be married. He will be buried on Saturday.

The murderer was a troubled and dangerous person. His lawyer knew this. His neighbours knew this. The RCMP knew this. The only ones who seemed not to have paid attention to this work in the justice system. We must protect society from dangerous repeat offenders.

In the words of Colleen Myrol, mother of Brock, “Take a stand on evil. Prime Minister, we depend on you and expect you to change the laws and give the courts real power. Give the RCMP real power”.

Harold CulbertStatements by Members

March 9th, 2005 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Savoy Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to recognize a friend and colleague of many in this House who passed away last week, the late Harold Culbert, former member of Parliament for Carleton--Charlotte from 1993 to 1997.

He held office with distinction and was a committed parliamentarian. Harold will be remembered for his selfless dedication to his church, his community and his country. A civic minded volunteer until his death last week at the age of 60, Harold served four terms as mayor of the town of Woodstock, New Brunswick and was the current national director and provincial president of the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

Harold leaves a rich legacy of untiring service to others. He was a family man and a loyal friend. We will benefit from his contributions to society for years to come.

On behalf of the House I wish to express my deepest condolences to his wife Doreena and children Eugene, Angela and Timothy on the sudden loss of a devoted husband and father.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, as the days pass, more information is coming to light about last week's shooting of four Mounties in Alberta.

This appears to be another example of an individual with a long history of criminal charges, complaints and convictions, but who rarely found himself in prison.

The justice minister has said that mandatory minimum sentencing is not an option for such individuals. I wonder if this opinion is shared by the Prime Minister.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what occurred is obviously a tremendous human tragedy. All of us, the Leader of the Opposition, many members here and I will have the opportunity in Edmonton tomorrow to say to the families just how deeply troubled and deeply sorrowful we feel.

As the hon. member knows, there is an investigation ongoing by the RCMP on this particular matter and we obviously should wait for the results of that.

That being said, it does raise a number of wider issues. Those wider issues are ones that are being addressed by the minister.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, all the information to this point certainly suggests that in this case the individual in question had a long history of dangerous and threatening behaviour.

He was viewed as dangerous not just by the authorities, but he was viewed as dangerous by anyone who came into contact with him, by the entire community and by his own family. At the same time, it appears no one ever considered registering him as a dangerous offender because of the difficulty in doing so.

Is the government prepared to look at dangerous offender legislation to see if it can be made somewhat more effective?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, at the recent meeting of the federal, provincial and territorial ministers of justice, we referred the matter of dangerous offenders to a working group in that regard. They will be reporting back to us in June 2005.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let me ask one final question.

It is self-evident that last week's multiple murder tragedy was not in any way prevented or impeded by the gun registry, although the gun registry was brought into effect primarily to deal with precisely this kind of tragedy.

After spending $1 billion, does the government have any evidence at all that the registry would prevent this kind of tragedy in the future?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, first let me say that obviously this is a very tragic event and there is a criminal investigation ongoing. As well, the RCMP is looking internally at what happened.

It is incumbent upon all of us to await the outcome of those investigations and reviews before we start leaping to conclusions. It is unfortunate that the opposition has chosen at this time to leap to conclusions before we have all the facts.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

We have come to the conclusion, Mr. Speaker, that the gun registry is a colossal failure and does not save lives.

Last week the director of CSIS, Jim Judd, told a Senate committee that the agency was considering recommending outlawing the Tamil Tigers as a terrorist organization in Canada. The United States, Great Britain and Australia have all done so.

Judd says Canada is hesitating because the foreign affairs minister is concerned that listing the Tigers might upset a peace process in Sri Lanka.

Could the Minister of Public Safety tell us what is more important, shutting down a terrorist organization in Canada or offending somebody outside the country? Who makes the final decision, her or the foreign affairs minister?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Centre Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, first let me make it absolutely plain, if any organization in this country carries out any terrorist activity as defined in the Criminal Code, we will proceed against that organization. Let me be absolutely clear about that.

We review on a regular and ongoing basis the possibility of listing organizations. That review process continues.

I take very seriously the input I receive and the risk assessments I receive from organizations such as CSIS and the RCMP.