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House of Commons Hansard #39 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was adoption.

Topics

Cancer Screening ProgramsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Liberal Egmont, PE

Mr. Speaker, recently the MP for Cumberland—Colchester credited a free cancer screening clinic here on the Hill for detecting a mole diagnosed as malignant melanoma. He was lucky to have the screening and can now continue to enjoy his life.

The big cancer killers are lung, breast, colon and prostate cancers and, with the exception of breast cancer, there are no adequate screening programs in any province or territory in Canada despite scientific evidence that screening would be an effective tool to reduce both the incidence of cancer and deaths from cancer.

We as a nation continue to spend most of our health dollars treating cancer and very few dollars screening and preventing cancer. This policy has to be reversed. How long can we ignore scientific evidence that screening for cervical, prostate, breast and colorectal cancers saves lives in large numbers?

In rural areas, with the shortage of physicians, these screening programs are becoming a vital necessity. Swift and decisive action must be taken by Ottawa and the provinces to put these programs in place without delay.

Gourmet Food FairStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 26, the Gala des Grands Prix du tourisme québécois was held. This year, 216 regional winners were crowned. One of them, the Abitibi-Témiscamingue and northeast Ontario gourmet food fair, was awarded the gold medal in the category of festivals and tourist events with operating budgets under $1 million.

The food fair offers visitors an opportunity to discover, and most importantly to taste, some of the exceptionally good agrifood products from Abitibi-Témiscamingue and northeast Ontario, at tasting sessions and cooking workshops, and by visiting the producers’ kiosks.

I would like to congratulate and thank the devoted women and men who make the Abitibi-Témiscamingue and northeast Ontario gourmet food fair such a success. Their remarkable work helps to make our region one of the most sought-after tourist destinations.

The next food fair will take place on August 18 and 20. I invite the members of this House and people from all around to come for a visit and give themselves a treat.

Automobile IndustryStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to express concern regarding the negative impact on Canada's important auto industry of a possible free trade agreement between Canada and Korea.

Canada's auto industry already faces some very difficult challenges. It already has lost 10,000 jobs in assembly since 1998 and another 10,000 parts jobs since 2003. The high dollar, a growing flood of offshore imports and structural problems are making matters worse by the month.

Canada already buys $1.7 billion worth of automotive products every year from Korea. In return, we export almost nothing back, with just $11.5 million last year. There are non-trading tariff barriers that are a problem for Canadian manufacturers and deny us access to the market. Korea has promised in the past to remove them, but has yet to do so.

We need to stop this deal. If the government wants to be helpful, what it should do is bring in a national auto policy, one New Democrats have been calling for. It would protect Canadian jobs and assure the future of an auto industry in the technological revolution. It would make sure that we have clean, efficient vehicles on our roads, produced by Canadians and our country.

Stollery Children's Hospital FoundationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to honour an exceptional citizen of the great riding of Yellowhead. Braden Mole was only eight years old when a tumour was discovered in his brain. Since his diagnosis, he has had four brain surgeries and has suffered a stroke, but Braden has persevered.

This weekend, Braden, now 15 years old, is holding his second annual fundraiser to benefit the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation. To date, his efforts have raised over $71,000 for the foundation. This year, his goal is to raise $200,000 to provide the hospital with a rotating x-ray machine.

It is amazing what an individual can achieve with hard work and a positive attitude, whatever his lot in life. Braden's efforts are a testament to his strong character and citizenship. Instead of letting this challenge overcome him, Braden has turned it around and has given the entire community something to look toward.

I extend congratulations for his accomplishments to Braden. I will see him this weekend.

Mon amie la TerreStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, on April 9 I had the honour of attending a play put on by children who attend Les débrouillards child care centre and the Énergiecentre of Val D'Amours in my riding, Madawaska—Restigouche.

The play, entitled Mon amie la Terre, was performed by children who have taken part in a project designed to find techniques for intervening positively with children in order to reduce aggressive behaviour. The name of the project is “Moi, je contrôle mon agressivité”.

This activity provided the children with an opportunity to develop their self-esteem, express their feelings and practise their social skills. This means that the program provided benefits for the children, families, child care staff and schools, and also the community as a whole.

I would like to congratulate the four children who acted in the play: Anthony Maltais in the role of Virgule, Véronic Thibeault in the role of Miranda, Marie-Pier Savoie in the role of Valentine and Jean Eude Maltais in the role of Tifon.

I would also like to salute the work done by all of the organizers and volunteers who contributed to this project: Angéline Gaudet, Jean-Philippe Savoie, Yvette Levesque and Flavie Lagacé, Mona Normandeau, Lise Lurette and Patrick Gaudet.

VolunteerismStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday I had the privilege of attending a spaghetti dinner fundraiser in Clarksburg for Michelle Keeling, a constituent of mine in Simcoe—Grey. I met Michelle three and a half weeks ago, when she told me about her medical mission trip to Africa.

Michelle recently received a bachelor of nursing degree through the University of New Brunswick at Humber College in Toronto. Michelle's commitment to assisting those in need bodes well for her chosen career as a registered nurse.

Everyone likes to make a difference in life. However, nothing is more rewarding than making a difference in the lives of others. Volunteers like Michelle are driven by an inner sense of having to do something about an acute situation, yet volunteer work is much different from paid work. It has its own special qualities. It is an opportunity to care for and work with others to alleviate human suffering.

On behalf of the Government of Canada, I want to commend Michelle for her tremendous commitment and wish her all the best for a very successful trip.

ComptonStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the village of Compton is throwing a year-long party in 2006. Why? Because the people of Compton appreciate the good things in life and they have decided to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Saint-Thomas d'Aquin parish.

In fact, the township was settled earlier than that and the name of Compton had been appearing on maps for a little longer, but the parish was officially founded in 1856.

Compton is one of the friendliest municipalities in the region. This certainly has to do with the varied origins of settlers. During their celebrations, the people of Compton are promoting the sense of celebration, family participation, parish and community life, history as well as local heritage.

Until August, the organizing committee is inviting everyone to come and discover a beautiful village and wonderful people. Welcome all to the 150th anniversary of the Compton parish of Saint-Thomas d'Aquin.

Etchemin River Restoration CommitteeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, after 13 years of efforts to protect and restore the precious heritage of Etchemin River, the Etchemin river restoration committee has succeeded in bringing back Atlantic salmon, which had last been seen in these waters some 200 years ago.

For that achievement, the committee won top honours at the Canadian Environment Awards gala on June 5, 2006, in Vancouver. A major change in people's habits, in terms of environmental behaviour, has been rewarded.

This unique dream of bringing a wildlife species back to its natural habitat after some 200 years was brought to life with the help of many partners, including the municipalities of Bellechasse and Etchemins. Their representatives are with us today. I welcome them here and thank them from the bottom of my heart for this token of hope for future generations.

Bastille DayStatements By Members

June 13th, 2006 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, on July 14 the people of France will celebrate Bastille Day. This national holiday is a date of great significance to the people of France and their friends across the world.

I have always been proud to call myself a friend and supporter of France. Just a few years ago, I was pleased to join with the mayor of Paris in Toronto as we unveiled a plaque at the Exhibition Place grounds on Toronto's waterfront to commemorate the first French fort in Toronto.

As an elected official for over 13 years, I have ensured that each year on Bastille Day the French flag is raised over Toronto City Hall, a tradition that continues to this day.

France is one of the founding peoples of our great country. As the people of France prepare to celebrate this important date, I invite all members of the House to join with me in extending to them our very best wishes on Bastille Day 2006.

Official LanguagesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, at a meeting of the Standing Committee on Official Languages on June 8, the member for Papineau made irresponsible comments about the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The member said that when the minister spoke during the conference in Saint-Boniface, his French was unacceptable and that he should not speak in French at international forums.

I can only point out that my colleagues are making an effort to learn French. As the Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages stated, it is completely demoralizing to pass judgment on the quality of the results when someone has made an effort to speak our language.

The member's insulting remarks reflect a self-centred political party. The Bloc Québécois proved once again that it is intolerant and closed-minded.

The member should rise in this House and apologize.

InfrastructureStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that the B.C. lower mainland is growing. It is harder for people to get to work. The solution is more investment in rapid transit and better planning for greater Vancouver. Instead, we have seen the B.C. provincial government pushing the twinning of the Port Mann bridge.

The marketing meetings that were held around this project were not public consultations but just a superficial effort to sell a non-environmentally sustainable project. The reality is that twinning the Port Mann is not going to lead to better traffic circulation. What it will mean is more rat-running through the streets and neighbourhoods of Burnaby and New Westminster and more pollution.

The provincial government is basing its impact studies on adherence to the livable regions plan, but the twinning betrays the plan. The twinning of the Port Mann will increase traffic and pollution and in three to four years the lineup will be the same. Residents south of the Fraser desperately need more access to rapid transit that will get them to and from work.

Many unanswered questions have been raised by my colleagues in B.C. and in this House. This plan needs to be rethought and real public consultations held.

VolunteerismStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Liberal Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, it started with an e-mail.

The Thornhill Soccer Club has a relationship with the Dagoretti District Primary School in Nairobi, Kenya, one of East Africa's biggest and most impoverished areas.

While on a recent trip to Africa, Thornhill constituent Steve Snowball volunteered as a teacher and soccer coach at Dagoretti primary school. It is a school with 450 children and one soccer ball. Being involved with the Thornhill Soccer Club for years as a player, coach and referee, Steve sent an e-mail request to the Thornhill club for some soccer equipment for the children.

Six weeks later, at the season kickoff last Saturday, boxes of balls, goalie gloves and equipment overflowed the collection boxes. Shipments of the equipment will be shipped out to the Dagoretti primary school and to schools in the surrounding areas, including a girls soccer team in Abuja, Nigeria, thanks to the generous assistance of NGOs like Free the Children.

The message from Thornhill residents and local schools is very clear. Every child should have the right to play.

Guy A. LepageStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, a Quebec television artist was recognized in Banff yesterday for his talent and the consistently high calibre of his work. His name: Guy A. Lepage.

Although he is only 45, Mr. Lepage was honoured as the first francophone to receive the Sir Peter Ustinov Comedy Award, which is presented to a television actor in recognition of his body of work.

For those who are not familiar with the prolific, creative world of Quebec television, Guy A. hosts the program Tout le monde en parle on Radio-Canada and captivated us with cult series such as Rock et Belles Oreilles and Un gars une fille.

This committed artist masterfully combines intelligence, strength, determination, humility and elegance.

The Bloc Québécois salutes Guy A. May he keep on inspiring and challenging Quebec.

Kenneth ThomsonStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Peterson Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, Ken Thomson passed away suddenly yesterday in his 83rd year. His impact on Canada is profound.

When his father died in 1976, he inherited the title of Lord Thomson of Fleet and a business empire. He never sat in the House of Lords, but in just 30 years he grew the business some 40 times, to over $22 billion, making him the richest in Canada and ninth richest in the world.

He took the Globe and Mail national and moved into electronic publishing, never interfering but always nurturing his people.

His donation of some 3,000 works of art plus $70 million to the Art Gallery of Ontario was generous beyond belief.

To his wife Marilyn and children David, Peter and Taylor, we send our heartfelt sympathy.

We give thanks for the life of this humble, frugal, caring man whose leadership and philanthropy have done so much to make Canada better.

We thank you, Ken. He will not be forgotten.

Health CareStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the member for Brampton—Springdale stood in the House and falsely accused this government of failing to reduce health care wait times since taking office four short months ago. As usual, the Liberals' opposition is merely an indictment of their own time in government.

This government is committed to wait times guarantees. A guarantee is a guarantee and this government has demonstrated that we honour our commitment to Canadians.

As the member for Brampton—Springdale knows, wait times doubled during the 13 years of Liberal government in this country. The opposition should refrain from being so critical. This government has accomplished more in 130 days than the previous government did in 13 long years.

If the member is so concerned with reducing wait times for Canadians, perhaps she is in the wrong party. We will deliver a wait times guarantee. This government delivers on its promises.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for many of the reasons we raised in the House some weeks ago, the Prime Minister's rushed and poorly thought out softwood lumber deal is presently unravelling. His comments yesterday that the industry and the provinces support the settlement do not quite square with the facts.

As for the industry, at least 80 Canadian lumber companies have filed suit in the U.S. courts over the last two weeks, and unless they withdraw those actions, the deal is dead on arrival.

I ask the Prime Minister, do his comments yesterday represent an ignorance of the lumber industry, a misunderstanding of the deal that was signed, or ultimately an unconditional capitulation to the lumber interests of the United States of America?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the House will know that an agreement in principle was reached some weeks ago. Considerable work has been done, is being done and will be done to make sure we get a final legal text and operating rules that reflect that agreement in principle. Of course, we are confident that when that happens we will see the same provincial and industry support that we have seen all along.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Let us hope so, Mr. Speaker, but presently the provinces are sounding the alarm over the consequences of the Prime Minister's rush to please the American lumber industry. B.C. is concerned. Ontario and Quebec are concerned as well. Remanufacturers are shut out. The American proposal, as we understand it, rewrites the rules so the Americans can keep illegally collected duties and gut the dispute resolution mechanism which is the very basis of NAFTA.

I ask the Prime Minister again, do his comments yesterday represent an ignorance of the lumber industry, an ignorance of the deal, or an unconditional capitulation to the interests of the United States of America which will threaten the future of free trade between our two countries?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, this government is working hard. We are working with the industry and provinces to finalize the text that we agreed to some weeks ago. We expect all parties can and will abide by the agreements they made. We will reach a final agreement. The only people who will be disappointed are the members opposite who did such a terrible job of managing this file for 13 years.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we will see. In fact, as the hon. member for Wascana pointed out yesterday, the free access to the American market guaranteed by this agreement only remains in effect if the market situation stays the same as it was last April. However, as everyone knows, and as we predicted, the market situation has already changed, putting our industry at a disadvantage.

Is this not proof of the Prime Minister's total capitulation to the American forest industry?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the forest industry, including the Quebec forest industry, rejected the former Liberal government's plan. It wants us to solve this problem. Which is what we are currently doing and which is why we are taking the necessary time to conclude this agreement.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Blair Wilson Liberal West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister of trade filed a letter of recusal with the Ethics Commissioner in which he undertook to abstain from any participation in discussion or decision making which would involve direct dealings with or a significant impact on Canfor Corporation. As the former CEO of Canfor, which now accounts for 25% of Canada's softwood lumber industry, the minister still retains his entitlement to an unregistered pension plan. Yet when it comes to this weak softwood deal, the minister has muddied the file with his own hands.

My question is straightforward. Has the minister recused himself from this file or has he not?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, as usual the hon. member has it wrong. There is a process in place whereby disclosures are made to the Ethics Commissioner. All my colleagues have followed his directions.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Blair Wilson Liberal West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, after taxes and adjusting for the stronger dollar, it is estimated that cash-strapped Canfor will likely receive about half a billion dollars in returned illegal duties. That is a quarter of the total after tax return of all duties our industry has paid should this softwood sellout get rammed through.

Can the minister confirm he has had no direct dealings with Canfor as his own declaration to the Ethics Commissioner states, or does the minister expect Canadians to believe that $500 million does not represent a significant impact on Canfor's balance statement?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I can confirm that the hon. member has followed all the directions of the Ethics Commissioner.