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House of Commons Hansard #86 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was report.

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 Sackville--Eastern Shore.

National Volunteer WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, National Volunteer Week, April 17 to April 23, honours and recognizes Canadians who volunteer.

First celebrated in 1943 to honour the contribution of women volunteers to the war effort, National Volunteer Week now pays tribute to all community volunteers.

In my riding of Bramalea—Gore—Malton, volunteers help many organizations and lend strength to our community. Volunteers serve on boards and committees, act as mentors, organize cultural activities, support seniors, offer shelter, work with youth, read to the blind, coach teams and so much more. Without volunteers, many key services could not be offered.

I ask all members to please join me in paying special tribute to Canada's 6.5 million volunteers whose time and energy make life better for others. Let us show our Canadian volunteers that we care.

Hepatitis CStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Conservative Charleswood—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, tonight the House will vote on my motion calling on the government to immediately compensate all those infected with hepatitis C through tainted blood, as recommended by the Krever inquiry.

All opposition parties support my motion and I hope the Liberals do too. The last time the House voted on this issue, all the Liberals voted against compensation. Since then they have filibustered at the health committee, delayed debate in the House, all to prevent the vote from happening, but now they can delay no longer.

If the government votes against my motion, then it must explain why it is against compassion. If it votes for my motion, thus admitting that it has been wrong for eight years, it should apologize for the pain and suffering it has caused so many.

I sincerely hope the government will follow Parliament's wishes and immediately compensate all victims.

End the delays. End the excuses. Compassion is needed now. Compensate the victims now.

Beef IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Savoy Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, some of Canada's best beef is produced in my riding of Tobique—Mactaquac.

Last week, businesses and organizations throughout New Brunswick had an opportunity to purchase this prime beef on the hoof at the Carleton county spring show and sale.

This annual event is an opportunity for the St. John River Valley's beef producers and 4-H'ers to bring their steers to market and raise the profile of their industry.

This year's show and sale saw 58 steers sold for a grand total of $130,547.30. I was pleased to be able to purchase a steer myself from Andrew and Tracey McIntosh.

I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to the board of directors of the Carleton county spring show and sale, particularly president Jack Smith, for another successful event. I would also like to congratulate Kristina Parkinson who earned the title of grand champion and 4-H champion.

I must also applaud Valley Equipment, Valley Honda and Connell Chrysler, buyers of this year's charity steer which raised $6,612.50 for the Alzheimer Society of New Brunswick.

2005 Canadian National Broomball ChampionshipsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to pay tribute to some one hundred young broomball players from Quebec for their outstanding victories at the 2005 Canadian National Broomball Championships, in Leduc, Alberta, and Prince George, British Columbia.

In the juvenile boys division, L'Assomption college won the gold medal. In the juvenile girls division, the Panthères took the silver. In the ladies A division, the Huskies claimed gold and Quest, the bronze. In the mens A division, team Frost won the gold and the Dragons, the bronze.

Congratulations to all the coaches, the fans and all the athletes, particularly the following eight young women from my riding: Marie-Noëlle Beaulieu, Joanie Charlebois, Cynthia Bourgon-Touchette, Marie-Pierre St-Denis, Laurie Robichaud, Julie Chevrier, Alexandra Chevrier and Myriam Chevrier.

The Bloc Québécois is proud of these young Quebeckers and their amazing wins. Bravo, Quebec.

Thunder Bay Law AssociationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I rise in the House to extend congratulations to the Thunder Bay Law Association on the occasion of its 100th anniversary.

As the association marks law day, it is worthy to note its efforts to serve not only its members but the broader community by providing continuing legal education, maintaining a reference law library, providing a forum for communication, discussion and advocacy of paralegal issues, as well as promoting other activities of a non-profit nature.

If the legal profession in general is known for its sense of collegiality, congeniality and camaraderie, then this sentiment may be an accurate description of the Thunder Bay Law Association. May it continue to grow and prosper over the next 100 years.

Parks CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Myron Thompson Conservative Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, everyone remembers back in the 1990s when the federal Liberals cut the budget to Parks Canada. Ten years later, Banff National Park is facing a backlog of repairs for its decaying facilities.

In a recent federal government audit only 3% of Banff's facilities were considered to be in good condition. The rest were rated fair or poor.

To counter this problem, Parks Canada decided to implement a second fee increase in the last six months for those entering Banff with more fee increases to come. The Liberals feel that fee increases are the best way to clean up their mess. What they do not realize is the collection of park fees is a pittance of what is needed to maintain a world-class tourist destination.

The people who use the park, particularly our seniors, are being punished for the Liberals' lack of planning. Small business owners are telling me that people will not stop in Banff anymore simply because it costs too much.

In order for Banff to stay competitive, the Liberals should not be creating a disincentive for visitors.

It is time the government realized the park is for Canadian people to enjoy, not to be maintained by a never-ending range of service fees and charges.

National Volunteer WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Beth Phinney Liberal Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague just stated, it is National Volunteer Week in Canada. This is an annual event to pay tribute to Canada's 6.5 million volunteers. It is estimated that the value of their work is over $14 billion a year. This contribution by Canadians of all ages is enormous, whether in sports, cultural activities or in helping each other in tough situations.

Volunteers are the backbone of a compassionate society. I challenge all Canadians to become involved in some voluntary activity. Whether big or small, their contribution will not go unnoticed and the philanthropic spirit of this country will grow.

This week we thank our volunteers for their contribution to the continued health and prosperity of our society.

VolunteerismStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Boulianne Bloc Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday, the Centre d'action bénévole du Granit held its annual meeting to honour its volunteers.

Over 100 volunteers were honoured and presented with certificates. I congratulate them, particularly Gérard Fluet, who was named volunteer of the year for his dedication in the field of health.

I also want to mention the hard work done by all the volunteers in my riding; these skilled and dedicated workers make a remarkable contribution to our community.

Volunteer work is a unique way for people to help shape our community. Without the thousands of volunteers who work each day in the various cultural and social sectors, our society might be quite different. They have our thanks.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring to the attention of colleagues the report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women that was tabled in the House of Commons yesterday.

The report, “Gender-Based Analysis: Building Blocks for Success”, is the culmination of intense consultations with equality seeking organizations from across the country, as well as government departments and agencies.

The report's main recommendation calls on the government to do things differently, indeed to legislate the systematic application of gender based analysis of all federal policies and programs.

It includes stronger accountability measures for government agencies and departments and strengthened reporting mechanisms to determine progress in incorporating gender considerations for all Canadians.

This report is a major step forward in closing the equality gap that exists between Canadian men and women. I wish to thank committee members and to acknowledge their hard work and dedication on this issue. I also want to thank members of my own Liberal women's caucus for their doggedness and support in advancing this effort.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has added dithers to the great Canadian parliamentary lexicon.

In the face of irrefutable, overwhelming revelations of systemic Liberal Party corruption and with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, he has no choice now but to dither and duck. It is the new Liberal disco, foxtrot, rumba, tango, shuffle, dance: dither and duck.

The Liberal government has resorted to daily announcements in an attempt to hide from its own corruption. The Liberals avoid at all costs the prospect of facing the opposition in the House. What do they do? They dither and duck.

Unbelievably, the House leader for the Prime Minister cancelled an opposition day motion because he did not like the wording or intent of the motion because it would, of all things, hold the government accountable.

Yesterday, two days in a row, facing the largest political scandal in Canadian history, unbelievably, the Prime Minister was absent from the House. It is a new Liberal dance. It is the dither and duck, dither and duck, dither and duck.

All good Liberals grab a partner and do the Liberal shuffle, dither and duck.

The Armenian PeopleStatements By Members

April 20th, 2005 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Liberal Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me today to draw attention to the first anniversary of the recognition by this House of the Armenian genocide, in which 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottomans.

The 20th century has seen two world wars and numerous historic conflicts. In spite of this, crimes against humanity are not a thing of the past but continue, unfortunately, to be daily occurrences in many countries.

We witness the persecution of minorities on the basis of their political opinion, race and religion. Some are well-known, such as the Armenian genocide, others, such as the 1922 genocide of the Pontian Greeks, are not so well-known.

In recognizing this historical event as a crime against humanity, as genocide, Canadian parliamentarians have affirmed that crimes of genocide, both past and present, will not be tolerated nor will they be forgotten.

I thank all members of Parliament who supported the motion last year. I invite them to join the Canada-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group and members of the Canadian Armenian Society this afternoon to mark this anniversary.

Long live their memory. We will never forget.

National Day of MourningStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, three Canadian workers will be killed today while just doing their jobs. That is why in 1991 NDP MP Bob Rae introduced legislation to proclaim April 28 as the National Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job.

Started in Canada, it is now commemorated in more than 70 countries worldwide.

While statistics may highlight the violent deaths of men, women are no less at risk from violence and injury. In 2003, 110,000 Canadian women were injured and 37 Canadian women were killed while at work.

Our health care workers, most of them women, are especially vulnerable to injuries largely because of the lifting they are required to do, with injury rates higher than any other group of workers.

On April 28 I ask everyone to please join me in remembering those Canadians injured or killed in the line of work but, more important, every day honour the memory of those who have died on the job by committing to prevent work related injury and illness.

Rotary InternationalStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Werner Schmidt Conservative Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, Rotary International is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, an organization dedicated to supporting local, national and international communities through humanitarian, educational and cultural programs.

I am proud to be wearing the official Rotary International tie in commemoration.

Rotarians live by a simple philosophy and given the current political state of affairs, it is a philosophy to which the Prime Minister and his party might well pay particular attention.

Of the things we say or do: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Truth, fairness, goodwill and working for the benefit of all. These are the keys to Rotary International success and longevity.

I congratulate Rotary International on its 100th birthday.

La planète Terre réinventée

Authors ofStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, Earth Day will be celebrated this week on April 22, and so I would like to read a brief excerpt from La planète Terre réinventée . This is a book written by a number of 10 to 12 year-olds in the Quebec City area.

I met four of the young authors at the Salon du livre de Québec: Sabrina Germain, Raphaël D. Rhéaume, Ann-Sophie Lachance and Mikhaël Couture-Picard. These are the words of Sabrina, who is 11 years old:

Today I was made queen of the world. I think that life could be a lot better than it is, so I decided to reinvent the planet. That requires magic powers, and I have the right to those powers because I am queen.

—I add some colour and I improve people's lives. I invent peace and make war disappear.

The earth I want must have no pollution, so that the animals that live in the water will have a good place to live.

The fact that these young writers are so sensitive to all these issues augurs well for the future. Congratulations to all the contributors to La planète Terre réinventée .

Almonte, OntarioStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today in the House of Commons to congratulate the town of Almonte, Ontario in my riding of Carleton—Mississippi Mills upon celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

The town was named after Mexican diplomat and military leader, General Juan Almonte, whom the Scot and Irish settlers admired for his fierce loyalty in the defence of his homeland.

On September 25, 1880, Almonte was incorporated as a town. Almonte is the birthplace of famous sons Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball; and Robert Tait Mackenzie, the sculptor and surgeon.

Almonte is an outstanding community that is recognized for its natural and architectural beauty, lively cultural scene, high quality of life and respect for its heritage and environment. It is a friendly town and its people embrace the true sense of community spirit. I feel very privileged to represent such a welcoming place.

I congratulate the citizens of Almonte on their 125th anniversary.

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, shortly the Minister of Veterans Affairs will be introducing a new veterans charter in the House. I rise today to pay tribute to the veterans organizations that have brought some of their members from across the country to take part in this memorable day.

They are: Mary Ann Burdett, Dominion President, the Royal Canadian Legion; Pierre Allard, Director, Service Bureau, the Royal Canadian Legion; Ken Henderson, Dominion President, the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada; Lorne McCartney, Secretary-Treasurer, the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada; Brian Forbes, Honorary Secretary-General, the National Council of Veterans Associations; Cliff Chadderton, Chairman of the National Council of Veterans Associations and also the Dean of the heads of veterans organizations; Bob McKinnon, past National President of Gulf War Veterans Association; Dave Munro, National President, Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association; Harold Leduc, past National President, Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association; Gaètan Martel, National President, Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping; and Don Ethell, past National President, Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Harper Conservative Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Minister of Transport an extremely serious question.

A former minister revealed that the Minister of Transport had done some lobbying without telling him that Mr. Cossette was one of his clients and without even being registered as a lobbyist. Is this true? If so, has the Minister of Transport submitted his resignation to the Prime Minister?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the allegations made by Mr. Gagliano are pathetic. These are comments made by a man who, I would say, is in a sorry state at this time.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there are many people in the country who have an unfavourable opinion of Alfonso Gagliano. That said, he has made some specific allegations and I want to know whether the minister is actually refuting them.

We already know the minister lobbied the Bloc Québécois MPs on behalf of Cossette. Did he have a meeting as described by Mr. Gagliano? Did he meet on behalf of Cossette with the minister and was Cossette one of his clients?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Jean Lapierre LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, over the past few months, no one on that side of the House gave much credibility to the words of Mr. Gagliano. I do not see why his word has now become golden.

However, I can tell the Leader of the Opposition that I have never been paid for any lobbying whatsoever.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am going to turn this over to the Prime Minister because this is the kind of answer the minister was giving yesterday, that he might not have paid for that.

The question is this. Was Cossette Communications one of his clients and did he lobby a minister on behalf of that client, yes or no? Did the Prime Minister know this when he was appointed to cabinet?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

First, Mr. Speaker, the minister answered the Leader of the Opposition's question quite directly. He said, “no”, and that no means no.

Second, as with all ministers, an examination of their background, skills and experience was undertaken both by the government and by the RCMP. I have to say that no one has ever questioned the integrity of the Minister of Transport.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, these are very serious allegations. Did the Minister of Transport meet with Cossette Communication and Alfonso Gagliano to discuss the $100 million contract with Cossette Communication, yes or no?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Kings—Hants Nova Scotia

Liberal

Scott Brison LiberalMinister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, the minister answered that question. However, we know that the Conservatives like to selectively choose commentary on individual testimony to suit their own purposes.

Since the leader of the Conservatives follows testimony so closely, he ought to be aware that his star candidate in Quebec was named during testimony at the Gomery commission when Jean Brault was on the stand.

Further, Mr. Cannon and his company, AmeriContact, received $25,000 in sponsorship money in 2001 after contact with Alfonso Gagliano's office. Perhaps in fairness to Mr. Cannon's reputation we should all wait for Justice Gomery's report.