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House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was religious.

Topics

AgricultureStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Casson Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada's BSE crisis is into its third year and the Liberal government continues to be content wandering around the outfield while the U.S. protectionist group R-CALF stands at the plate taking swing after swing at Canada's livestock industry.

R-CALF, already granted a temporary injunction against our live cattle, will be seeking to make that injunction permanent and seeking to add boxed beef. The case will be heard in Billings, Montana on July 27 and the Liberal government will not even be in the ballpark.

With the unwillingness of the tired government to go to bat for our producers and with our food safety protocols under attack, Conservative parliamentarians, in an unprecedented ruling, will be the de facto government in a foreign court. Yes, it will be the official opposition presenting an amicus brief in Billings on behalf of Canada's livestock industry.

While the government is stuck in the seventh inning stretch, content with its peanuts and Cracker Jacks, the Conservative team will be on the mound hopefully delivering the strike-out pitch.

ForestryStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Michael John Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday a fire hit the eastern shore of the Halifax regional municipality. The fire was fueled by leftover debris from hurricane Juan, debris that cannot be transported due to the quarantine zone that was established in 2000 by the CFIA as a result of the brown spruce longhorn beetle.

We were lucky yesterday. No lives were lost and damage was limited. Yesterday was a warning of what could happen if solutions are not found to the huge problem that exists for woodlot owners and residents inside that zone.

I have raised this issue in the House. It is imperative that all levels of government work together to solve this issue immediately. I have seen the damage firsthand and it is devastating. On top of the financial hardship, there is the danger of this debris as well. Broken branches, tree stumps and logs litter these properties, providing a hazard to everybody, especially children.

We must ensure that this problem is not compounded by personal tragedy such as a major fire. We need to get the wood out of the quarantine zone. We need to do it immediately. We all play a part.

World Police and Fire GamesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, from last Sunday until July 5, Quebec City is hosting the 2005 World Police and Fire Games.

A total of 9,500 athletes from some 60 countries will compete in 62 disciplines. There will be over 24,000 visitors to Quebec City during the 10 days of competition.

With economic spinoffs of approximately $50 million, it is hard to understand why the contribution from the federal government has been only half that of the Quebec government, particularly since Ottawa will benefit tremendously from this international event.

The Bloc Québécois congratulates the organizers and the 4,200 volunteers who will ensure the success of the World Police and Fire Games and solidify Quebec's reputation as a tourism destination.

We wish all the competitors good luck at the games.

New MediaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to boast.

The Gastown and Yaletown districts in my riding form the hub of an innovative, rapidly growing sector called new media, an industry that bridges culture and technology using emerging, interactive, digital media to entertain, educate and inform.

B.C.'s new media industry includes 700 companies. Three-quarters export globally and predict a 25% growth next year. The industry employs 15,000 workers, 95% of whom have a technical, college or university degree, making B.C. Canada's largest new media hub.

Vancouver is home to the world's number one electronic games software company, Electronic Arts. Together with 150 other companies, including Radical, Sony, Disney and Vivendi, they make B.C. the North American hub for video game development.

Futurist Richard Florida postulates that today's highly educated, mobile, IT workers carry their intellectual property with them. They choose where they live, though their workplace is global. Because of its lotus land image, multicultural lifestyle and superior quality of life, they are choosing B.C.

HealthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Conservative Charleswood—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, last fall the health minister promised tainted blood victims that come June he would give them answers. Well, June has nearly ended and we have heard nothing.

Victims have been phoning my office every day because they cannot get answers from the minister's office. They deserve to know today if they will be justly compensated for their suffering. It is disgraceful that victims have had to wait at all.

What is worse is the government misleads victims by implying that moneys are forthcoming and then does not provide compensation. This is a typical Liberal tactic, to make promises and commitments for political gain and then quietly do nothing, assuming the media will not follow up. The Conservative Party will follow up and it will not let these victims be forgotten.

The government's inaction on this issue is abhorrent. The Liberals should hang their heads in shame while these victims suffer. A Conservative government would have shown compassion to these victims from the start.

It is the end of June. For heaven's sake, compensate these people now.

Fighting Anti-Semitism TogetherStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to salute the initiative of Tony Comper, CEO of BMO Financial Group, and co-founder along with his wife Elizabeth, of the coalition FAST, Fighting anti-Semitism Together. Mr. and Mrs. Comper have joined along with 21 other non-Jewish Canadian business leaders at a most important time, as the year 2004 produced an all-time high of 857 reported incidents of anti-Semitism in Canada.

Further to speaking out against the scourge of anti-Semitism, FAST will also attempt to educate young people about the evils of anti-Semitism and bigotry in general by establishing an educational initiative for 10 to 14-year-olds called “Choose your Voice”.

It is one thing when members of the Jewish community speak out against anti-Semitism and bigotry, but it resonates much more when non-Jews decide to attack the problem. I ask my colleagues in the House to join with me and wish the members of the group well in their initiative and their fight against anti-Semitism.

Marie-Hélène PrémontStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to pay tribute to the victory on June 25 of cyclist Marie-Hélène Prémont from Château-Richer in the women's mountain bike world cup, which took place in Mont Sainte-Anne in my riding.

In sweltering heat of nearly 30

o

C, Marie-Hélène Prémont came from behind in the last lap to beat the Olympic champion to the finish, in front of thousands of spectators from the Quebec City area who had come out to cheer her on.

This is her second victory on the world cup circuit. In addition, she ranks second overall.

I salute her courage and her determination, and I wish her the best of luck in her next competition, which will take place in Brazil. Congratulations again to Marie-Hélène for this great win. Good luck during the rest of this season. Côte-de-Beaupré and all of Quebec are behind you.

Northern OntarioStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Valley Liberal Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been a year since the government was elected.

This has been an important year for the people of my riding, who have seen progress for which this government is directly responsible. We have seen improvements in our infrastructure through the work of FedNor. Our municipalities and unincorporated areas have benefited from the government's commitment to create a lasting partnership by supporting their initiatives through the reimbursement of the gas tax. The people in northern Ontario will have access to millions of dollars of new money to support their infrastructure.

During the past year I have had a chance to learn more about our remote communities. The potential for these communities is enormous but we must do more to address the unique challenges these communities face. We have made important steps to strengthen our relationship with the aboriginal people. This can be highlighted by the conclusion of the national round table.

I have been fortunate to work with municipal governments, local roads boards, fellow parliamentarians and people in my riding to achieve such positive results. I thank the people of my riding for the opportunity to serve them. I look forward to working with them over the next year.

National DefenceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Chatters Conservative Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence assured me personally on three occasions that he would resolve a conflict between his department and Scott Collacutt and his company CEL Surplus. Mr. Collacutt is a resident in my riding of Westlock—St. Paul.

In spite of the minister's commitment to me and months of delay, the minister has failed to use his ministerial authority to resolve this issue fairly. Mr. Collacutt has served his country honourably in the Canadian armed forces and is seeking only fair compensation for his losses caused by the actions of the Department of National Defence and the government.

I want Canadians to know that I am holding the weak-kneed minister personally responsible for the great hardship that this has caused Mr. Collacutt, his family and business. Why will the minister not find some backbone and courage and live up to his promise?

Bosnia and HerzegovinaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, this July will mark the 10th anniversary of the massacre in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The memory of those atrocities are still very much alive in the minds and hearts of many of my constituents.

Srebrenica marked the climax of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Red Cross estimated that between 8,000 and 10,000 innocent people were either executed or listed as missing. Throughout the three year war, tens of thousands were deprived of the fundamental democratic principles of peace, stability and safety.

This July let us remember the individuals who suffered because of hatred and intolerance. Let us assure the Canadian-Bosnian community and all communities that aggression, ethnic cleansing, genocide and all such evils be not repeated, and that Canada and Canadians stand ready to uphold democratic principles and the rule of law.

July 11 is a day that all Canadians will remember.

Religious FreedomStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, in a time when religion is predominantly characterized in the media as a conservative force, there is a need to diversify the face of religion in the political realm and to emphasize that there are faith informed progressive perspectives on issues which too often are dealt with as if there is only a debate between faith and non-faith.

In fact, what is often happening is a debate between Canadians of the same faith and/or a debate between conservative faith communities and a secular liberalism that owes its values in large part to our common religious heritage.

People of the same faith arrive at different conclusions about difficult issues and consequently join or support different political parties. This is as it should be.

Religious speech should not be restricted to a few issues, or even worse, seen as inadmissible in debate. Questions of peace and war, the economy and the environment are also moral issues that can be informed by faith.

The task is to discern the appropriate ways of such speaking in a pluralistic world. Dismissing views purely because they are religious throws out the wheat with the chaff. Secular fundamentalism is not the answer either. Thanks be to God, Mr. Speaker.

Gasoline PricesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Conservative Calgary South Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, gas prices are too high and Liberal taxes are to blame. The Prime Minister likes to take credit for reducing the deficit. Canadians reduced the deficit by paying an extra 10¢ a litre excise tax on gasoline. It has been an extra 10¢ a litre since 1995 when the Prime Minister, in his capacity as finance minister, raised the federal excise tax to 10¢ a litre claiming it was a temporary deficit reduction measure.

There is no longer a deficit yet the extra tax remains, gouging Canadians to the tune of $7.8 billion this year, and then there is the GST on top of that. When people fill up at the pump this summer and pay the highest gas prices in Canadian history, they can thank the Liberals.

Elimination of PovertyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning, the Make Poverty History coalition as well as performers and organizers of the Live 8 concert brought the Prime Minister thousands of postcards with the names of nearly 40,000 Quebeckers and Canadians calling for a world without poverty.

More than 800 million human beings will go to bed hungry tonight and, today, more than 50,000 people will die from poverty related causes.

Increasing and optimizing international aid up to 0.7% of GDP, making trade fair, and continuing debt cancellation for poor countries are all tangible ways of fighting this scourge.

The Bloc Québécois urges the Prime Minister to champion such efforts at the next G-8 summit, at the UN millennium summit in September and at the WTO meeting in December.

Poverty is a hindrance to the development and fulfilment of those who live in it. Canada must act and do its fair share.

Democratic ReformStatements By Members

June 28th, 2005 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, in his first throne speech, the Prime Minister announced that he would restore freedom to MPs by adopting a three line voting system.

Under this system, when a vote is designated as a three line whip, all Liberal MPs have to vote the way they are told. Ministers and parliamentary secretaries are bound by party discipline when it is a two line whip. But not to worry. Under a one line whip, every Liberal MP is in theory free to vote according to conscience.

I say in theory because the government's annual report on democratic reform reveals that not one vote has ever been designated by the Prime Minister as a one line whip. This is significant because a two line whip denies a free vote to all those new cabinet ministers and parliamentary secretaries the PM keeps creating, including both of the ministers for democratic reform.

It means that every member of a cabinet that is expanding like a prize winning pumpkin is bound on every single vote and on every single piece of government business. If the freedom of Liberal MPs is the test of the democratic deficit, the Prime Minister gets an F.

HealthStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to commend Health Canada for its recent award presented by the United States Food and Drug Administration to acknowledge the work the department has done to enhance its ability to protect not just the health of Canadians but all North Americans.

The FDA Leveraging/Cooperation award recognizes Health Canada's commitment to addressing health challenges and furthering health goals. Canada's rigorous participation in the Canada-Mexico-U.S.trilateral cooperation charter has proven an asset for the citizens of our continent.

The trilateral group has increased communication and information exchange in the areas of drugs, biologics, medical devices, food safety and nutrition to protect and promote human health in North America.

Health Canada's award is an excellent demonstration of the efforts Canada is making to promote relations with our closest neighbours to the south, the U.S. and Mexico. This award represents our shared important goals: healthy scientific research, healthy citizens and healthy international relations.

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I pointed out the government's failures over the past year on Air-India, hepatitis C and the fiscal imbalance.

The Prime Minister said he would fix health care for a generation. Instead, his health minister is fighting with doctors. After more than a decade of mismanagement, Canadians are waiting longer than ever for access to medical care.

Why has the most important action on health care come from the Supreme Court and not from the government?

HealthOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, although the Supreme Court certainly dealt with the issue of waiting times, it was the government that convened the federal-provincial conference specifically on that issue. It was the government that raised it during the election campaign. It was that opposition party that said it was not a problem during the election campaign.

It was the government that put $41 billion over 10 years into dealing with the issues of waiting times and better health care. It was the government that set up the waiting times reduction fund. The government has assumed its responsibilities despite the blindness of the opposition.

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, what the Supreme Court said was not that the government had dealt with health care, but that it was not dealing with health care adequately in this country.

While we are on courts, yesterday in court the former prime minister and the current Prime Minister were again working together against Justice Gomery. Both lawyers for the government and for Jean Chrétien have ignored a court order to expedite allegations of bias.

Why are the Prime Minister's lawyers still working with Jean Chrétien instead of working with Judge Gomery?

Sponsorship ProgramOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition's facts are simply wrong.

The government's position, and we have stated it clearly in court and elsewhere, is that Judge Gomery is not biased. We will oppose any moves to obstruct or to slow down his report. We supported Judge Gomery. We put Judge Gomery in place. We created the commission. We have supported him throughout the whole process despite the countless attempts by the opposition to undermine his authority.

Child CareOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the only person who undermined Justice Gomery was the Prime Minister when he praised Jean Chrétien's behaviour in his own caucus.

After another year Canadian families still see no results on child care. Premier Lord of New Brunswick is trying to get an agreement with the government which would give options and results to parents.

Why is the government so inflexible when it comes to dealing with New Brunswick and giving real options to parents?

Child CareOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden LiberalMinister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago we were on the verge of signing an agreement in principle with the Government of New Brunswick. We had an agreement among officials. We are still looking forward to finalizing something with New Brunswick which would represent something quite significant to people in rural and remote areas in New Brunswick, in particular, an increase of about 130% on what is currently being spent on child care in that province.

Child CareOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Premier of New Brunswick wants to give his share of the federal child care money to parents, so they can have a choice in child care, but the Minister of Social Development refused to listen and said that federal money will only go to trained child care experts.

When will the Minister of Social Development understand that these billions should be going to the real child care experts in this country? Maybe he has heard of them. They are called mom and dad.

Child CareOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

York Centre Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden LiberalMinister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I might remind the party opposite that 13 months ago in terms of child care in this country things were stalled. In the midst of the campaign, the party opposite decided to make a campaign promise and that promise would represent $320 for a low income family.

Child CareOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Child CareOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

They are applauding. That is less than $1 a day. That is a real triumph. Congratulations.