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

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 Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale.

Grantham Masonic LodgeStatements By Members

June 1st, 2005 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House of Commons today to recognize the hard work of the Grantham Masonic Lodge No. 697 in St. Catharines.

It was an honour and privilege for me to attend a special gala dinner to recognize the 150th anniversary of the Grand Lodge of Canada. This gala celebration raised over $4,600 for Women's Place of St. Catharines and North Niagara.

I would like to take this opportunity to praise the charity work of the Masons in the Niagara district who have also raised thousands of dollars for hearing aids for children in our region as part of the help to hear program.

The Shriners of the Masonic family do wonderful work in their hospitals for children in 22 cities across North America. I commend the hard work of worshipful master Leslie Pirbus and worshipful brother Norman Pemberton, and all brethren of Grantham Masonic Lodge No. 697 for devoting so much time to help others in our community.

On behalf of the people of St. Catharines, I thank the Masonic family whose dedicated efforts have helped to ensure the well-being of countless individuals.

Brian “Frosty” ForstStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Forseth Conservative New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to radio broadcaster Brian “Frosty” Forst, host of the CKNW morning show. He retired last week from New Westminster's station, the giant 98. He was a reliable favourite that kept the station as top dog and the most listened to station in British Columbia.

Frosty started at CKNW in 1963 and soon made the rolling home show a must for every driver. He became host of the morning show in 1973. His irreverent style and razor sharp wit started a new era in Vancouver area radio and made him the most highly rated morning host in British Columbia.

I want to recognize the significant contribution that Frosty made to the success of CKNW and to the quality of life of the thousands who came to rely on him. I thank him for bringing levity and humour to the morning show for over 40 years. He was the one who could make my day.

Brian “Frosty” Forst, host of the CKNW morning show says goodbye. Farewell Frosty and happy retirement.

Operation Blue StarStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was 21 years ago, in the first week of June 1984, that the attack on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab and 39 other historic places of worship took place and led to the deaths of thousands of innocent men, women and children.

Known as Operation Blue Star, the storming of the Golden Temple violated the basic right to religious freedom. Fortunately, here in Canada the right to worship remains protected.

I would invite my colleagues to take a moment to reflect on the many lives lost during the attack on the Golden Temple. We must never forget what happened in 1984 in Amritsar, Punjab. We must work to ensure that no such tragedy is ever repeated again.

Gala des MercuriadesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the Gala des Mercuriades, Marcel Baril Ltée, a well-known company in my riding, won the Mercure award in the distribution and trade category.

Located in Rouyn-Noranda, Marcel Baril Ltée specializes in distribution and serves 60% of the Quebec market in very diverse sectors. This dynamic family business is well known for its logistics excellence and original methods of ensuring customer satisfaction.

The directors of Marcel Baril Ltée are bold entrepreneurs. They have made their hopes and dreams come true, while respecting their clients and their employees.

I want to congratulate the entire staff of Marcel Baril Ltée for the outstanding achievements of their company whose success has benefited the entire Abitibi-Témiscamingue region.

Carcinoid CancerStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring awareness to carcinoid cancer.

Carcinoid is a neuroendocrine cancer which is usually slow growing, and often overlooked and misdiagnosed. Many people with carcinoid have no symptoms, or the symptoms are attributed to other more common conditions. Many times carcinoid can be diagnosed with a simple blood or urine test; however, because of the rarity of the cancer, no prognosis can be given.

Because the disease is so rare, there is little research being done and very few funds being devoted to this cause. Dr. Walter Kocha at the London hospital is now devoting his entire practice to carcinoid patients. Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital has just set up a carcinoid cancer foundation. More money for research is desperately needed.

I salute those who are doing everything they can to raise awareness and help fight this terrible disease. I wish to say to the Binkley family in my riding that our prayers are with them. Keep strong and remember, cancer can be beaten.

CambridgeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Conservative Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has no real solutions to the problems that matter to the residents of my riding of Cambridge.

I am pleased to see that the hospitals in the Liberal ridings north of us received millions of dollars but Cambridge barely got enough to pay a month's hydro.

I was pleased to hear that of the billions promised for affordable housing, the Cambridge Legion Branch 272 has a very slim shot at a measly $10,000 to study affordable housing.

I want to thank, though, the Liberals who keep coming into the riding of Cambridge without so much as a courtesy call to announce, re-announce, then call a press conference to announce once again and then later have other Liberal members covertly sneak in, sometimes at night, to announce yet again what was announced just before.

When the members opposite find the member with the chequebook and not the verbal diarrhea, I would be happy to give them a proper tour of Cambridge.

International Biology OlympiadStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Godbout Liberal Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, Ottawa—Orléans can claim the honour of having one of Canada's brightest young scientific minds.

Seventeen-year-old Andrew Holt, a grade 11 student at St. Matthews Catholic High School in Orléans, is one of the four students from across the country and the only one from the city of Ottawa who has qualified to represent Canada at the 16th International Biology Olympiad that will be held in Beijing, China, from July 10 to 17, 2005.

The International Biology Olympiad is an annual event for the top secondary biology students from around the world. It provides young people an opportunity to explore science as a career choice, as well as to promote the importance of biology in the world.

On behalf of the Ottawa—Orléans community, I congratulate and wish Andrew good luck. We will all be rooting for him.

Terrebonne Stage of the Tour du Grand MontréalStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, today was the Terrebonne stage of the Tour du Grand Montréal, considered one of the most important women's cycling events in North America.

Along with our champions, Lyne Bessette and Geneviève Jeanson, over 150 young students from des Affluents school district took part in the Terrebonne stage of the Tour du Grand Montréal. It was an opportunity to compete alongside the greatest female cyclists in Quebec.

I want to congratulate the 175 volunteers who dedicated their time and energy today. Under the supervision of the Terrebonne police force and Vélo Terrebonne, this stage of the Tour du Grand Montréal winds through the magnificent scenery of Île-des-Moulins. For four years now, this event has made Terrebonne one of the top sports cities in Quebec. For one entire day, Terrebonne is the sports capital of Quebec.

The Bloc Québécois congratulates the organizers of this event in the riding of Terrebonne—Blainville.

Cadet MovementStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael John Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend, I was honoured to be the reviewing officer for the annual inspection of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps 24 Magnificent located in Dartmouth--Cole Harbour.

The Cadet Movement is one of the finest youth organizations in Canada and provided at no charge to parents. It allows young people to learn, to lead, to travel, to make new friends and to learn about their citizenship.

Whatever career choice these young men and women make, they will benefit from the leadership training with the cadets.

I want to pay particular tribute to two individuals who were highlighted this past weekend. Cadet CPO 2 Krista Raffel was awarded the Lord Strathcona Medal of Excellence for her above average leadership and personal commitment to her program and her fellow cadets. In addition, she was awarded a $1,000 scholarship. Chief Petty Officer First Class Scott Latham of the Royal Canada Sea Cadets 339 Iroquois Corps was named Sea Cadet of the Year by the Navy League of Canada, an award given for his dedication, enthusiasm, high academic achievement and volunteer spirit.

I congratulate all the cadets for their hard work, creative minds and love of country.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Conservative Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, a psychopath charged with 164 crimes, convicted of 34, one for shooting a policeman in the back of the head, was released by a failed judiciary back into the public.

This psychopath then subhumanly brutalized 64-year-old Dougald Miller of Edmonton, rendering him incapable of ever caring for himself again.

Dougald still has mind and eye movement that, assisted by new technology, will allow him to speak again. The cost for this and the $1,500 per month for therapy not covered by health care were unconscionably left up to his wife, Leslie, to financially bear alone.

Edmontonians have generously stepped forward to give help when the government would not to bring the magic of technology to give Dougald a voice once again.

I congratulate all who generously helped. We will now learn of his experiences and Dougald's eyes will tell us his story.

National Day Against HomophobiaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, today is National Day Against Homophobia, the first time this day has been celebrated outside of Quebec. I therefore stand with pride as a member of a government responsible for removing, within all areas of federal law, discrimination and hate against persons because of their sexual orientation.

One area of discrimination still exists and Bill C-38 would ensure that the legal institution of marriage will be available to same sex couples in Canada. Yet de jure action against discrimination is not enough. We need to ensure that programs are put into place to address de facto discrimination.

In a report released yesterday by West Enders Against Violence Everywhere, 120 Vancouver residents reported that they had been victims of gay bashing. We must redouble our efforts to raise public awareness of the challenges that homosexuals face within their communities and their workplace.

As an MP, I will continue to work for all Canadians to feel welcome and respected in our society regardless of their differences. I urge all to participate actively in an effort to end de facto homophobia.

Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, Liberal cuts to the EI program in 1996 hurt women workers more than men. Studies show that cuts to EI benefits have made a significant contribution to poverty among women and their families.

Human Resources Canada knows its policies are unfair. Its 2004 assessment report said that women exhaust benefits in higher proportions than men and that since women are more likely to work part time hours they establish claims with fewer hours of work than men resulting in fewer weeks of benefits.

Although women who work part time pay EI premiums on every paycheque, they often do not qualify for maternity benefits because they simply cannot qualify under the 600 hour rule. This injustice has to end.

Across the country only 33% of women workers who apply for EI are deemed eligible and are able to access the fund when they need it the most.

Tomorrow, through the NDP opposition motion, all members of the House will have the opportunity to make the system work better for Canadian women. This is about making the system fair for all Canadians and ending the discrimination that exists in the current federal program.

Emergency Response WorkersStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend, a vital link between Canada and the United States was closed for several hours as a result of what was thought to be a spill of hazardous material. The good news is that it only turned out to be mace.

This effectively shut down the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls on one of the busiest weekends for border crossings and traffic had to be rerouted to other crossings. The bridge was closed for over five hours.

Niagara firefighters were one of the first on the scene followed by hazardous material cleanup teams. Four people were decontaminated as a precautionary measure before they were taken to hospital and emergency workers checked out 34 others.

In her most recent report, the Auditor General raised a concern regarding the lack of appropriate training for first line responders to emergency situations such as this.

This weekend's event is just one example as to why the government must adequately fund first line responders. These individuals risk their lives on a daily basis to protect all Canadians. We must be proactive to ensure Canadians receive the best protection possible by supporting our first line responders.

National Day Against HomophobiaStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is the national day against homophobia. Its theme is "this concerns all of us".

GRIS Québec and a number of other groups in Quebec have organized numerous activities for the day in order to remind us that difference and diversity must be accepted if every human being is to be respected.

Since this concerns all of us, I am today wearing a pink triangle, the official symbol of the day against homophobia.

In the concentration camps homosexuals, who were systematically discriminated against, were identified with the pink triangle. The celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the end of the second world war offered an opportunity for us to remember all the victims of that war, including the thousands who suffered the most terrible atrocities because of their sexual orientation.

To break the silence and ensure that such things never happen again, I invite my colleagues to wear this symbol with pride on this day.

Amyotrophic Lateral SclerosisStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently I introduced a private member's bill that would designate the month of June as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis month. This is also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. The bill would ensure that throughout Canada, in each and every year, the month of June shall be officially be known as ALS month.

Approximately 2,000 Canadians currently live with ALS. Two or three Canadians lose their battle to this devastating disease every day. With improved knowledge about ALS, health care providers and families can help those living with this disease live life more fully.

The ALS Society of Canada recognizes the involvement of volunteers at all levels of the organization as a vital component to achieving its mission of helping people living with ALS and raising funds for ALS research.

Throughout the month of June, ALS societies across Canada will be raising money for research through a variety of ways, one of which is through the sale of cornflowers. Members should show their support for ALS research and buy a cornflower.

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister told the House, “At no time...did I ever say that I would meet with the hon. member”, meaning the member for Newton—North Delta, and yet the tapes show the Prime Minister's chief of staff saying quite clearly that the Prime Minister was “prepared to talk to you directly, both by phone and in person”.

Why did the Prime Minister tell the House that he was unwilling to meet the member for Newton--North Delta when clearly he was?

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the member for Newton--North Delta called to say that he was interested in crossing the floor. I essentially said to members of the government and my staff that they could pursue discussions but that under no circumstances could any offer be made, and no offer was made.

Clearly, if the hon. member had indicated that he was prepared to cross the floor under those conditions, obviously anybody would meet with somebody who was interested in crossing the floor.

The fundamental fact is that no offer was made, no request was accepted and under those circumstances--

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is shifting his story. Now he admits that he did authorize his senior people to engage in discussions.

Yesterday in the House, I repeat, the Prime Minister said, “At no time, however, did I ever say that I would meet with the hon. member”, and yet his health minister is on tape saying, “I talked to the Prime Minister moments ago. He will be happy to talk to you over the phone or in person”.

Why did the Prime Minister not tell the truth in the House of Commons?

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are dealing with serious matters here. The fact is for the Leader of the Opposition to deliberately misconstrue what was said, for the Leader of the Opposition to cast that kind of aspersion, is certainly not the level of stability and the kind of debate that Canadians are looking for.

I made it very clear that I would not meet with the hon. member unless it was under conditions that said he would cross the floor with no request being accepted and no offers being made.

Under those circumstances and unless those were there I was not prepared to meet with him.

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is another story. The Prime Minister said that he would never meet with him. Now he says that he would meet with him under certain conditions.

When the government was courting the member for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, the President of the Treasury Board said, “Only the Prime Minister has the authority to make an offer”.

Is not the reason the Prime Minister wanted to meet the member for Newton—North Delta so that he could make him an offer, just as he did in several other cases that we are aware of?

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister gave his chief of staff one instruction, not to make any offers, and that was the case.

The Prime Minister has been very clear about this. He was aware that his office had been approached and that the member wanted to cross the floor. The member of Parliament did not cross the floor and there was no meeting set up with the Prime Minister.

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board has said that only the Prime Minister has the authority to buy off opposition members.

The Minister of Health says that talking to the chief of staff is like talking to the Prime Minister.

Published tapes now reveal that the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Tim Murphy, made offers to the Conservative member for Newton—North Delta.

Does the Prime Minister now admit that he made an offer and that his chief of staff was doing the big boss's bidding and acting on his instruction?

Member for Newton—North DeltaOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister gave his chief of staff an instruction and that was not to make any offers. That instruction was followed.

Mr. Kalia, a friend of the member for Newton—North Delta, confirmed that in his statement yesterday, “they said they cannot offer anything.

Frankly, there are serious questions being raised about the accuracy of the tapes and the transcripts. Let us be clear that if there is any credibility on this particular issue it lies solely with the member for Newton—North Delta.