House of Commons Hansard #77 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was students.


1:55 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 Halton.

Pope John Paul II
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.


Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my constituents of Don Valley East, I rise in this House to pay tribute to the extraordinary life of Pope John Paul II.

The Pope reached out and touched the lives of millions of people, not only as the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church for 26 years but as a simple human being who lived through remarkable times. In his youth, the Pope challenged Nazi fascism during the occupation of his beloved homeland of Poland, and later he played a key role in the fall of communism in that country with his support for the Solidarity movement.

In Toronto the Pope inspired the ecumenical work of the Scarborough Mission to reach out to people of all faiths and cultures. As one of those involved in the ecumenical work of the mission, I can attest to the fact that these efforts of the Pope have been quite successful locally.

I am certain that all members of the House, along with all Canadians, wish to extend our condolences to the Vatican, to Catholics and to people all over the world.

Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, at a time when Parliament should be looking at ways to get people off drugs and crack down on drug dealers and drug producers, the government is pushing ahead with legislation that will lead to more drug use and an increase in drug related crime.

I am referring to the Liberal government's Bill C-17 to decriminalize the possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana or roughly 45 to 60 joints. The intent of this legislation obviously is to decriminalize the occasional use of marijuana. I do not know what the government is smoking but 30 grams of marijuana is a little more than occasional use.

Decriminalization sends the wrong message to young people; that is, marijuana is not so bad and it is okay to experiment with this so-called soft drug.

I am afraid that if the bill passes it will lead to both an increase in demand and production of marijuana and criminal activity. If grow ops are a problem now, just wait and see what happens if Bill C-17 becomes law, assuming of course the government lasts long enough to bring the bill to a final vote.

World Amputee Olympic Games 2006
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Andy Savoy Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to tell the House about a young man from my riding of Tobique—Mactaquac, a young man who overcame tremendous odds to represent his country at the sport he loves.

Two years ago, Eric Watson of Debec was in a horrific snowmobile accident late at night. He spent that night, one of the coldest of the year, outdoors, and suffered severe frostbite and hypothermia as a result.

Doctors questioned whether he would survive. He did not just survive, he thrived.

The road to survival was not easy. Mr. Watson, an avid hockey player, had to have his right leg amputated at 10 inches below the knee. Even as he recovered in the hospital, he told doctors he would play hockey again.

He is not just playing hockey, he is excelling at hockey. Mr. Watson recently earned a spot on Canada's National Amputee men's hockey team and will travel with Team Canada to Italy for the World Amputee Olympic Games in 2006.

I want to congratulate Eric Watson for turning a tragic event into a great achievement for himself and our country.

Yvon Paré
Statements By Members

April 6th, 2005 / 2:05 p.m.


André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the community of Warwick and the Bois-Francs region was immensely saddened to learn of the passing of Yvon Paré, a man who was very involved in his community.

During nearly 30 years, he worked for the sports service at the CEGEP in Victoriaville. This former football player with a heart of gold was an icon on the local sports scene.

He was committed to the development of young people and wanted as many student athletes as possible to be able to pursue their sports dreams.

Mr. Paré was also active in the union of non teaching professionals at the Victoriaville CEGEP.

Retired for a mere 18 months, he had continued his community involvement with many groups, including the Vulkins and Vicas football teams, the Warwick golf club, the recreation issue table of the Arthabaska RCM and the sports and recreation regional unit for the Centre-du-Québec region, to name but a few.

The Bloc Québécois extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Yvon Paré. Goodbye and thank you, Yvon.

Qarmartalik School
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Nancy Karetak-Lindell Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Tuesday, April 5, I had the pleasure of meeting with a group of students from Qarmartalik School of Resolute Bay who were down here on an exchange trip with Akwesasne Reserve students.

These students from my riding of Nunavut travelled thousands of miles from above the Arctic Circle to visit southern Canada.

The students from both communities were thrilled by the Parliament Hill tour, and I appreciated the opportunity to showcase to them the wonderful building and institution in which I have the honour to work.

Student exchange programs are important tools for students to learn about Canada and about each other's culture. We northerners love to share the beautiful part of the country in which we live.

The students of Akwesasne will soon go up to Resolute Bay to learn first-hand about Inuit and a chance to be in the Land of the Midnight Sun.

This exchange is an experience of a lifetime for both groups and I know they will treasure the memories for the rest of their lives.

Canadian Real Estate Association
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Dick Harris Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, he entered the real estate business in 1977 in northern British Columbia. In 1979 he became a director of the Northwest B.C. Real Estate Board. In 1992 he became the director of the Cariboo Real Estate Association and president in 1995. He became president of the B.C. Real Estate Association in 1998 and honoured as Realtor of the Year in the year 2000.

I am talking about my constituent and friend, Gerry Thiessen of Vanderhoof, B.C., a small town of just 4,000 people in the riding of Cariboo—Prince George.

On Saturday, April 9, Gerry Thiessen will become the new president of the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Congratulations, Gerry. His hard work, honesty, dedication and integrity has been recognized by his peers and I know he will serve them very well in his new role as president of the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Friendship Group
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce that the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Friendship Group recently elected a new executive, including the members from Thornhill, Nanaimo—Alberni and Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles as vice-chairs and myself as chair.

This unique forum allows parliamentarians of all parties to join together in their common support for Israel, a fellow democracy and the strongest Canadian ally in the region.

Our purpose is to foster better relations between Canada and Israel by focussing on our shared values, our common interests and the undeniable benefits gained from sharing and cooperating together.

We are working together as a group to build an exciting agenda for this coming year, and I invite all members of the House and the other House to participate in our activities. I welcome all members to join this non-partisan group, the Canada-Israel Interparliamentary Friendship Group.

Quebec Adult Learners Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.


France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week has been designated Adult Learners Week in Quebec. This is the third edition of this event designed to instill in Quebeckers a love for lifelong learning and to develop learning opportunities for them.

Extensive activities are scheduled as part of this week of recognition, the success of which will be ensured by 17 regional issue tables bringing together hundreds of partners.

In Quebec, 1.5 million adults are striving to pursue continuous training or working on furthering their education. The importance of the Quebec Adult Learners Week rests in acknowledging their efforts.

In the current context of plant closures, manpower retraining is paramount, and Quebec wants the emphasis to be on continuous training.

Let us now hope that the federal government willfollow suit by moving forward with the transfer to the provinces for manpower training.

Lazare Gionet
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.


David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to pay tribute in the House today to Lazare Gionet, who passed away last Friday, just four months short of his 109th birthday.

Mr. Gionet was born in St. Paul, Middle Caraquet, New Brunswick. He followed in his father's footsteps, farming and fishing until he joined the army at the age of 20. After the war, Mr. Gionet married Lauza Hébert, with whom he had nine children. One of them, Armand, was killed during the second world war.

Remembrance Day was always extremely important to Mr. Gionet, who attended the ceremonies each November 11 until he turned 101. In 1998, he also took part in a trip to mark the 80th anniversary of the war to end all wars.

On behalf of all the hon. members and all Canadians, I extend my sincere condolences, in this Year of the Veteran, to the family and friends of Mr. Gionet. He will not be forgotten.

Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Helena Guergis Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, on March 9 a team of 11 people from the Collingwood Church of God went to a small village in Paraguay to put the finishing touches on an orphanage that they helped build over the past year.

The team leader, Dan Miller, has led a number of these trips to help those in need in very impoverished areas. The team of five adults and six teenage girls raised the funds for their trip and were very involved in all aspects of the construction.

In addition to helping to build the orphanage, the team helped replace the roof on a local church and ran a one day youth camp for the local children.

While their trip lasted 14 days, the efforts made in Paraguay will have a lasting impression on the orphans for the rest of their lives.

It is with great pride that I recognize Dan Miller, Jason and Sarah Burt, Nathan and Amanda Westendorp, Alexandra Foster, Erica Jones, Jillian Grant, Amanda Cramer, Erin Wiley and Laura McGill for making such a tremendous difference.

It is incredible to see our youth with such a healthy approach to serving the community both locally and globally.

Forum for Young Canadians
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Lloyd St. Amand Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to acknowledge five exceptional students from my riding of Brant.

Throughout March and April, high school students from across Canada will participate in the Forum for Young Canadians. It is with admiration that I acknowledge those selected from Brant.

The event, which takes place on Parliament Hill, is an excellent opportunity for senior high school students from across Canada to study firsthand the roles and processes of government in Canada. The event is also an outstanding opportunity for younger Canadians to socialize with their peers and gain knowledge of the unique and varied aspects of Canada.

I would like to ask all hon. members to join me in congratulating all those involved in this educational and meaningful event.

World Health Day
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Ed Broadbent Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is World Health Day. The theme this year is “Make Every Mother and Child Count”.

The global reality for women and children is that issues concerning their health are a low priority and Canada's Liberal government is no exception.

In a recent UNICEF report on child poverty, Canada ranked a shameful 19 out of 26. This confirmed what we already know; that the government has completely failed to live up to its 15-year-old commitment to eliminate child poverty.

Another report by the United Nations reveals that in the past decade the number of women living in poverty continues to increase.

Poverty is the number one determinate of ill health. If mothers are living in poverty then their children are living in poverty. It is that simple.

We call on the Liberal government to bring forward progressive legislation that will make a real difference in the lives of the thousands of mothers and their children who are now living in poverty. Let us get on with it.

International Aid
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Belinda Stronach Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon, Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University and John McArthur of the United Nations will share their views on eliminating global poverty with the foreign affairs committee.

This is a timely opportunity to remind the government of the commitment made over 25 years ago to achieving the level of 0.7% of Canada's gross national income on development assistance.

Canadians proved once again that they are ahead of government when responding to the tsunami crisis both in compassion and in generosity. Canadians would want their government to be showing moral global leadership in the face of 1.1 billion fellow human beings living in extreme poverty.

Tony Blair has shown that leadership pressed by the British people. Germany is expected to announce soon a commitment to reach 0.7%.

The government wastes enough money in its operations to be able to afford this and development assistance has now evolved to be very effective and accountable.

The government should honour its commitment to 0.7% now with a set timetable.

Daffodil Month
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Réal Ménard Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the years, the daffodil has become the symbol of the Canadian Cancer Society's cancer awareness campaign. This flower, symbolizing life and hope, will be on sale during the month of April to raise funds to fight cancer.

In addition to helping fund cancer prevention activities, the money raised will help fund important research for all types of cancer, provide comprehensive information about cancer care and treatment, support people living with cancer and their families, provide training and education for volunteers and promote healthy lifestyles and strategies for preventing this terrible disease.

If we all work together, cancer can be beaten.