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House of Commons Hansard #116 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was inuit.

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 Elgin—Middlesex—London.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Points of Order

2 p.m.

Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I made a commitment to table copies, in both official languages, of correspondence that was referred to in question period. I would like to now table those copies.

Human Resources CentresStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Human Resources Centre of Canada for students in Brampton and the one in Malton recently opened their doors for the summer. These centres help students find work and help employers find qualified student employees.

These centres provide extensive support services to job seekers. They have fax machines, photocopiers, work space, Internet and computer access, and a great variety of written, video and computer resource materials. Students can find information about opportunities in certain industries and job search techniques.

As the MP for Bramalea—Gore—Malton, I visit employers every year to encourage them to hire students. The money earned with a summer job is what helps pay their tuition.

I would therefore encourage all employers and homeowners in my riding and across Canada to place a job order with a local student employment centre this season.

Crystal MethStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, crystal meth is devastating individuals, families and communities in Yellowhead and across the nation. Fortunately, governments are beginning to wake up to this growing social menace.

Last week, ministers from the western provinces and the territories held a summit to tackle the problem. They are taking action and urging the federal government to do its part.

I have pushed this issue with my own private member's bill, Bill C-349, which would allow the RCMP to lay charges for the possession of crystal meth precursors. This persistence has paid off with the government's announcement on Friday of the proposed changes to the federal drug regulations.

A question that remains is how long will it take for the RCMP to have these tools at their disposal?

We also need tougher sentences for meth possession and trafficking, and minimum sentences so that those who destroy lives serve real time.

We need tougher enforcement and stronger laws. Thousands of lives hang in the balance.

Rock of HonourStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Liberal Middlesex—Kent—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, in August 1945, the second world war ended and Canada welcomed home, with pride and gratitude, the victorious men and women of the armed forces.

In Wallaceburg, Walpole Island, Mitchell's Bay and surrounding areas, the returnees became leaders in business, industry, education, agriculture and other endeavours in the Canadian way of life. They served as volunteers, leaders, coaches and mentors. These men and women developed their country and communities, making Canada a much better place to live.

In the fall of 2000, an idea was born by Gert McClure to create a lasting tribute to recognize the service and sacrifices of these local veterans called the Rock of Honour.

On June 12, I had the privilege to attend the dedication ceremony for the Rock of Honour in Wallaceburg. The names of 1,831 individuals from the area who served in the second world war are now flanked in granite.

The Rock of Honour will remind people about the service and sacrifices made by these individuals and will help to inspire local residents to build a community and a country that these veterans would be proud of.

I congratulate the Rock of Honour committee and all the volunteers who made this vision into a reality.

Hugh ThomsonStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to tell you about a man in my riding of Compton—Stanstead who is 75 years young.

I am talking about Hugh Thomson, who just completed his 20th year as an international volunteer advisor with CESO, just about everywhere in the world.

Thanks to his expertise in business management and marketing, particularly in the steel and aluminum industry, Mr. Thomson is making a contribution in such varied countries as Russia, Slovakia and a number of Central American countries. His latest assignment was in China, at the request of a state company specializing in aluminum smelting that was being privatized.

The Bloc Québécois wishes to extend warm greetings and congratulations to Mr. Thomson on the commitment he has made for the past 20 years.

Balmoral Trout FestivalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, on June 5, I had the great pleasure of attending a breakfast put on by the Balmoral municipal council during the Balmoral trout festival, held in my riding from June 2 to 5.

The Balmoral trout festival was held this year after a group of volunteers decided to revive the event after a 10-year hiatus. The festival was held to raise funds for the Balmoral community centre.

The festival's revival was a resounding success, and I want to congratulate the co-chairs of this event, Jenny Chouinard and Manon Pelletier, and all the volunteers who helped organize it. I am also pleased to say that the organizing committee has announced that this festival will be held again in 2006.

Finally, I want to thank the Balmoral municipal council for inviting me to breakfast.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Mills Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, whether one lives in Ontario, the Fraser Valley, Montreal or any of our big cities, the message is the same. Our air quality is worse now than it has ever been and people are getting sick and suffering chronic diseases because of it.

So far this year Toronto alone has suffered through a record 20 smog days. Our air quality is worse now than it has ever been. The OECD has ranked Canada nearly dead last in environmental integrity. And where is the environment minister in this? On Clean Air Day last week he announced the formation of a website. Now we can sit inside and read about how filthy the air is. The environment minister has no will to see the problem solved.

When will the government finally realize that Canadians depend on immediate and real action, not just talk?

I call on all our colleagues and fellow Canadians to support an effective Conservative plan to clean our air and promote health for generations to come.

Bruce ErskineStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remember Bruce Erskine, a well-respected member of the St. Catharines community, who passed away on June 4, 2005.

Bruce Erskine's life revolved around rowing. Literally thousands of athletes and officials are involved in the amateur sport today because of him. He was motivated by his own positive experience as a young rower. He wanted every young person to share that same experience. His coaching philosophy was not how one placed but how one tried.

Bruce and Sue Erskine met as young teenagers, married and raised four children. Bruce was a supervisor at General Motors and retired in 1992. Bruce was as supportive of young athletes as he was of Sue's political career. He was fully supportive of her successful bid as a St. Catharines city councillor and as deputy mayor.

This kind and unpretentious man left an impact on the lives of everyone that he touched. Bruce did not coach rowing, he coached life. His patience and leadership will always be remembered and appreciated.

It was my privilege to know Bruce Erskine and to call him my friend. I extend heartfelt condolences to Sue and his children, Susan, Kathy, Harry and Jenny and his grandchildren.

Drinking WaterStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Clavet Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to announce to the House the creation of a drinking water research chair at Laval University.

Thanks to a funding agreement with the city of Quebec, this chair will be able to carry out research on water supply, treatment and distribution, as well as developing new tools to improve the management of this vital resource.

I am extremely pleased with this agreement, which will provide Quebec City with local expertise that will allow it to remain on the leading edge of technology and knowledge in all aspects relating to drinking water.

The Bloc Québécois congratulates Quebec City and Laval University for the creation of this research chair, which will once again contribute to making Quebec one of the world's leaders in drinking water management.

Caroline FaucherStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Claude Drouin Liberal Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to have this opportunity to pay tribute to a young woman from Beauce, 19 year-old Caroline Faucher.

At this May's WorldSkills Competition in Finland, she was named the world champion in graphic design technology. This international competition brought together 800 competitors from 42 different countries in 39 different skill areas.

This richly deserved honour is well worth our recognition. The talented Ms. Faucher rose to this challenge with great flair. Beauce and Canada are proud of her.

Congratulations must go not only to Ms. Faucher but also to the great staff of the Centre d'imprimerie de la Chaudière, in Beauceville, where she learned her trade.

This printing centre is operated under the auspices of the Beauce-Etchemin school board and does an excellent job of providing the young people of Beauce with the tools they must have to excel in their chosen trades.

AgricultureStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to give a short history lesson for the benefit of Canadians and the government.

On May 20, 2003, a beef cow in Alberta tested positive for BSE, ultimately closing the border to the export of Canadian beef. Farmers went bankrupt.

After furious pressure from opposition parties, the government finally made a limp attempt to assist cash-starved producers by issuing cheques for a so-called advance payment. This was advertised by the government as an advance on BSE assistance, leaving producers with the definite impression that there was more to come.

More did come, a little in 2004, but in recent weeks Ontario producers have been notified that the money would be clawed back and taken off any future assistance for which they may be eligible. In many cases they are being told to pay the money back immediately.

I have to wonder if the government is using these clawbacks to finance the long overdue release of CAIS deposits. If this was a movie, it would be a bad one and it would be called “The Great Deception”.

City of KingstonStatements By Members

June 15th, 2005 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, our country's heritage is alive and well in the beautiful city of Kingston, Ontario.

Today, the Ontario Lieutenant Governor, James Bartleman, together with Kingstonians will gather for a very special military tattoo: First Capital Day.

On June 15, 1841, Governor General Lord Sydenham, accompanied by the public and a young lawyer by the name of John A. Macdonald, opened the first Parliament of the United Provinces of Canada in Kingston.

One hundred and sixty years later, both the provincial and federal governments have recognized Kingston as the first capital of Canada. Thanks to the hard work of Mr. Ian Milne and Dr. Margaret Angus, the founders of First Capital Day, the event has been marked with much celebration for seven years now.

On behalf of the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Kingston for this wonderful celebration of our nation's heritage.

HousingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week's Time magazine named Raven Thundersky as one of Canada's heroes and most remarkable citizens.

Growing up on Poplar River First Nation, her family did not have much, but they did have an attic full of zonolite insulation. Raven's mother and two sisters died of cancer caused by the insulation. She has led a tireless effort over the past 10 years to bring the issue to the attention of Canadians.

During the 1970s and 1980s, thousands of homes in Canada were insulated with zonolite. The federal government encouraged its use under the CHIP program. The Liberals have said they will remove the dangerous asbestos from military homes, but not from reserve housing or from hundreds of thousands of other homes across Canada.

Raven Thundersky's effort to help people identify zonolite in their homes and to bring it to the public's attention has doubtlessly saved many lives. The same cannot be said of the Liberals who continue to deny there is a problem.

While Raven Thundersky is justly recognized as a hero, the Liberal government should be rightly recognized as the villain, willing to risk the lives of Canadians by ignoring the danger.

ChinaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Conservative Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, earlier this year CSIS sources revealed to the media that the Chinese government was operating a large espionage network in Canada, which spies on Canadian security, economic and political interests.

At the time, I asked the Prime Minister to raise this very serious issue directly with Chinese leaders during his visit to Beijing in January. True to form, he failed to stand up for Canadian sovereignty by never raising the issue during the Beijing summit.

Why? Perhaps it is because the Prime Minister's family profits from using Chinese government subsidized shipyards to build the family fleet overseas rather than here at home.

Now a senior Chinese defector has confirmed that the PRC is operating a network of some 1,000 spies in Canada in an outrageous challenge to our sovereignty and national security.

Will the Prime Minister act by formally protesting this violation of our national interest? Will he tell the Chinese government to send these spies packing from our shores, or will he once again choose family profits over national sovereignty?

Supporting Communities Partnership InitiativeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Simard Bloc Beauport, QC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the 135 agencies throughout Quebec working with the homeless, I want to address the Prime Minister, since his Minister of Housing does not seem to listen to their demands or understand the urgent need to act.

It is imperative that the government to officially announce, this very day, the renewal of the supporting communities partnership initiative, better known as SCPI.

If nothing is done right now, shelters, collective kitchens, drop-in centres, soup kitchens, and homelessness prevention services will close their doors. The poorest of the poor will be driven further into misery.

I am calling on the government to extend and improve the SCPI program immediately until such time as the full responsibility of housing is transferred to the Government of Quebec with the corresponding envelopes.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Lynne Yelich Conservative Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, injustice takes many forms, one being the modern day slavery of human trafficking. The UN estimates that four million people are trafficked each year under the threat of violence, and these numbers are growing.

Canada is far from immune. The RCMP reports about 800 people are smuggled into the country each year and we are a major transit point for trafficking into the United States. Canada's Solicitor General estimates between 8,000 and 16,000 illegal immigrants are forced to work in the sex trade industry.

The cruelty and inhumanity of human trafficking cannot be quantified. Promises of a better life are being used to lure unsuspecting women and children from around the world.

Canada's response to this growing epidemic has been lacklustre. Only a few months ago were the first charges laid under the three-year-old Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Even though the government promised human trafficking legislation over a year ago, it has only just been tabled. It is now time for the government to provide the necessary resources to ensure this legislation can be effectively enforced.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the labour market agreement between the governments of Canada and Jamaica. During the period of 1955, our immigration policies prevented non-white immigration.

One hundred women entered Canada as domestics, even though many were nurses and teachers in their own country: 75 came from Jamaica and 25 from Barbados.

I salute two of these pioneers, Thelma Johnson, a nurse and businesswoman, founder of the Caribbean Pioneer Women of Canada, and Sealen Chang, a former member of the Royal Canadian Air Force and retired teacher. It is these women and many others who, despite the hardships of those early years, have contributed to making Canada a more welcoming and inclusive place to live.

On behalf of all the children they nurtured and shared their values and beliefs with, I wish them and all the residents of Laval—Les Îles well.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Justice Gomery has written to the government demanding that it reverse its deal with Jean Chrétien. Through his lawyer, Justice Gomery says that the arrangement is not in the public interest. In fact, his lawyer says that “the ability of Justice Gomery to complete his work will be put in jeopardy”. He asked the government directly to either expedite Mr. Chrétien's accusations of bias or have them withdrawn.

Will the government end the arrangement with Mr. Chrétien as Justice Gomery demands, yes or no?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no such arrangement. Our position is very clear. There should not be a challenge to the impartiality of Mr. Justice Gomery. There should not be a challenge now and there should not be a challenge later. If there is, we will oppose it.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that is not the arrangement the government made.

While the Prime Minister supports the judge in public, he is making a deal in private to the contrary with Mr. Chrétien. The judge has just asked the government to either deal with Mr. Chrétien's request immediately, or withdraw it so that the judge can do his work in peace.

Will the Prime Minister do what Justice Gomery is asking or not?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this time I will say it in French: there is no agreement. Our position is clear. Justice Gomery's impartiality should not be challenged, not now, not ever. If it is, we will object.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, these answers by the Prime Minister are simply not factually correct. Here is what the Prime Minister is doing. He had an exchange of letters, call it what they will, behind Justice Gomery's back. Justice Gomery was not even informed about this. It was contrary to the undertaking the Attorney General had made.

Now Justice Gomery is demanding, in his correspondence of June 6, very specific action by the government. Is the government willing to take that action or is it going to continue to work hand in hand with Chrétien's lawyers?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have now answered the hon. member's questions twice, but I would like to raise another issue. The deputy leader of the Conservative Party has said that the Leader of the Opposition is going to spend this summer on the barbecue circuit. I understand the dangers of the barbecue circuit and I would therefore like to table this document for the benefit of the Leader of the Opposition this summer. It is a document called The South Beach Diet .

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Vic Toews Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, I do not think--