As is our practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by the hon. member for Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore.
Mr. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I am rising to pay tribute to the memory and the accomplishments of the honourable Mr. Justice Jules Deschênes, one of the great jurists of our time. His life “in the line of fire”, as the title of his autobiography describes it, encompassed six distinct careers.
He was law professor, renowned legal expert, author of high profile decisions as Chief Justice of the Quebec Superior Court, head of the Commission of Inquiry on War Criminals, international jurist par excellence, and head of various NGOs, both Canadian and international.
Motivated as he was by a passion for justice and the courage of his convictions, most of his life was indeed lived “in the line of fire”.
May his memory and his great merit be a source of inspiration to us all.
Subtopic: Jules Deschênes
Mr. Garry Breitkreuz (Yorkton—Melville, Canadian Alliance)
Mr. Speaker, $300 million is what farmers would save each year if we had a commercial grain handling system. Yet last week the Liberals announced a plan that will continue to control and restrict Canadian farmers.
In their news release the Liberals admit that moving the Canadian Wheat Board out of grain transportation would save farmers money. Why is the government only cutting the board's involvement in grain transportation by 25%? This action proves that the government is more concerned about the Canadian Wheat Board's monopoly than cutting costs for farmers.
The proposed changes to the grain handling system will do nothing to address the congestion of rail cars at the ports. This costs farmers millions each year.
The plan to put $175 million into prairie roads over five years is also a farce. That works out to about $12 million per province per year. That is enough to rebuild about 50 kilometres of secondary roads.
Instead of deregulation, farmers have a system that continues to take money out of their pockets. It is evident the government does not want to give farmers the freedom they deserve.
Subtopic: Grain Transportation
Mr. John McKay (Scarborough East, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, on Sunday I participated in a memorial service for victims of ethnic violence in Indonesia. The struggle for human rights is as ancient as recorded civilization. From time to time, however, we should note signposts of progress.
Three years ago there was a flare up of ethnic violence directed against people of Chinese origin. It was vicious and brutal and the Government of Indonesia did very little to prevent the outbreak.
Representatives of Canadians Concerned about Ethnic Violence in Indonesia asked me and other members for support in their struggle. I am pleased to say that the Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Government of Canada were very responsive to concerns raised by CCEVI.
The Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific, through the minister, was able to confront the evil and change things to support the government of President Wahid. Needless to say, it is far from over, but President Wahid is deleting references to ethnicity in laws and Chinese people have felt free to celebrate their new year for the first time in many years.
Mr. Speaker, it is never over.
Subtopic: Ethnic Violence
Ms. Colleen Beaumier (Brampton West—Mississauga, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to talk about the very serious situation facing our fellow parliamentarians in the Republic of Burma.
May 27 will mark the 10th anniversary of the democratic elections in which 485 representatives were elected to the Burmese parliament.
For 10 years the Burmese military has refused to accept the result and continues to rule without respecting the will of the Burmese people. Last year more than 1,000 political activists were sent to prison. In March of this year 55 members of parliament were incarcerated. Tragically, five MPs have died while in detention.
I urge my hon. colleagues to sign a declaration showing Canadian parliamentary solidarity for our Burmese counterparts. This declaration will be sent to the offices of every member and every senator. I strongly feel that this show of support will help bolster the resolve of persecuted Burmese politicians. It will also pressure the military regime into accepting the democratic result of a decade ago.
Subtopic: Republic Of Burma
Mr. Marcel Proulx (Hull—Aylmer, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, last Monday the City of Hull received some good news about the Laramée Boulevard construction project and full completion of the McConnell-Laramée axial highway.
This project will be carried out with the financial participation of Transports Québec and Transport Canada. It consists in the construction of a four-lane boulevard, with a speed limit of 50 km/hr for heavy truck traffic in the residential area. The boulevard will have European-style traffic circles and another traffic circle will be built at the corner of Montcalm and St-Joseph.
This is excellent news, not only for the cities of Hull and Aylmer, but also for the overall economic development of the Outaouais region.
I wish to take this opportunity to point out that Canadian federalism is an effective way of ensuring the economic development of our regions. This project, in fact, will require the financial participation of both governments. The governments of Quebec and of Canada will provide equal funding for the project, whose cost is estimated at $35 million.
Subtopic: Highway System
Mr. David Chatters (Athabasca, Canadian Alliance)
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to extend my heartiest congratulations to the Fort McMurray Oil Barons, the recently crowned Canadian Royal Bank Junior A Hockey Champions.
As more than 2,100 fans looked on at the Thickwood Arena in Fort McMurray, the Oil Barons triumphed over their formidable opponents, the Rayside Balfour Sabrecats of northern Ontario. The 2:1 victory was not easily won and the Oil Barons' performance in the championship game showed the spirit, skill, sheer determination and courage that has characterized the Oil Barons' entire season.
On behalf of members of the House, the city of Fort McMurray and my riding of Athabasca, I would like to extend my best wishes to the players, coaches and the entire Oil Barons organization, as well as to the organizing committee and hundreds of volunteers who made this championship so successful and memorable. I would also like to congratulate the parents and families who supported the team on the road to victory. They should all be very proud of this marvellous accomplishment.
Subtopic: Fort McMurray Oil Barons
Mr. Brent St. Denis (Algoma—Manitoulin, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, Manitoulin Island in my northern Ontario riding has a total population of about 13,000 people. Approximately half of that population, 6,000, are first nations people.
Ten years ago the mayors, reeves and chiefs of Manitoulin Island signed a friendship accord, which reads:
We pledge... To love and protect this Island and its waters To speak plainly of our hopes and to take time to understand when we cherish different dreams To comfort each other in our times of need To play together as we want To work together as we must To rejoice and respect our differentness To find strength to face our common goals To keep harmony by our respect for each other's ways
I want the House to join me in commending the leaders of Manitoulin Island for showing vision on behalf of their communities.
Subtopic: Manitoulin Island
Ms. Hélène Alarie (Louis-Hébert, BQ)
Mr. Speaker, at the gala of the Grands Prix du tourisme québécois held last Friday at the Convention Centre, in Quebec City, 11 awards were handed out to the greater Quebec City region.
This is to the credit of those involved in the tourist industry who, for a long time now, have been very innovative in showing the multiple facets of our national capital.
Because of our fine restaurants, the works of our artists, songwriters and authors, and the warm hospitality of our residents, Quebec City is a must-see destination.
For almost four centuries, the birthplace of French America, which was built by Champlain, Frontenac, Montmagny, Vaudreuil, Lévis, Salaberry and Bourlamaque, has turned into a beautiful capital we have every reason to be proud of.
I say bravo to those who were nominated, to the winners of the Grands Prix du tourisme and regional gala awards, and to all the stakeholders who, every day, contribute to making Quebec City a prime destination.
Subtopic: Grands Prix Du Tourisme Gala
Mr. Bryon Wilfert (Oak Ridges, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I announce that at 8.10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time this morning, after climbing for 16 hours, Ben Webster of Richmond Hill was the first Canadian this year to reach the top of Mount Everest.
Out of 75 climbers currently on the mountain, Ben and his Canada Everest 2000 teammates, support specialist Mike Drolet, also of Richmond Hill, and Quebec climbers Claude Berubé, Francois Bedard and Benoit Robitaille, are on top of the world today.
It was indeed a proud moment for Ben, who, proudly sporting the Canadian maple leaf on his jacket, noted that being first at the pinnacle could never have happened without the strong Canadian team with him.
No team mounts such an effort on its own. Complete with sponsors from coast to coast to coast, Canada Everest 2000 will go down in history as the first group of climbers to conquer Everest in the new millennium.
My colleagues, join with me in this celebration. Canada is on top of the world.
Subtopic: Canada Everest 2000
Mr. Myron Thompson (Wild Rose, Canadian Alliance)
Mr. Speaker, this week I was given an independent management consultant's report on Grierson prison near Edmonton. This high priced report begins with the phrase:
Grierson Centre should be the happiest little jail in Canada. It isn't. Instead, it is plagued with low staff morale, lack of trust and respect, gossip and rumour, in-fighting and petty disagreements, lack of job satisfaction and a developing syndrome of hopelessness and helplessness.
It spoke of the management style as autocratic, motivated by fear, intimidation, threats of punitive action and manipulation. The most appalling statement was that the staff is being watched by surveillance video cameras and listened to with bugging equipment by management.
For once Correctional Service Canada got a lot for its money because this report could be applicable to any institution in Canada and in particular to national headquarters in Ottawa.
It is ironic that all the punitive measures and intimidation are directed toward staff while the inmates are treated like guests at a hotel.
My lesson for the solicitor general is, you are only as good as the people who work for you.
Subtopic: Correctional Service Canada
Ms. Aileen Carroll (Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I stand today with great news from my riding. The Barrie Colts hockey team is going to the Memorial Cup. The Colts defeated the Plymouth Whalers last night and are now Ontario Hockey League champions.
This is a remarkable achievement for a team that has only been in the league for five years. As well as skill, this victory showcases the character of a remarkable group of players who never looked back.
I am sure that I speak for our community as I extend my congratulations and best wishes to the Colts and their owner Jamie Massie as they head to Halifax this weekend to begin the round robin.
It has been 47 years since a Barrie hockey team brought the Memorial Cup home to this hockey town. It is time to get it back.
Subtopic: The Barrie Colts
Mr. Gordon Earle (Halifax West, NDP)
Mr. Speaker, there are far too many Canadians in desperate need of organ transplants and far too few organs being made available to meet that need. Due to the unavailability of organs for transplant, the wait for a needed transplant is excessively long and results in long periods of suffering and a compromised recovery for transplant recipients.
There is a limited time window for the taking of organs for transplant and many grieving families are unable to cope with the decision of organ donation at the time of the death of their loved one.
An increased availability of organs for transplant would result in a decreased burden on the health care system by decreasing a need for dialysis or specialized medication and shortening the length of hospitalization both pre and post transplant.
The critical shortage of organ donations in Canada as well as the safety system for organ transplantation demand immediate action and decisive leadership.
The government needs to set forth a plan for establishing a national donor registry along with the financial commitment to support hospital based donor teams and strong measures to ensure the safety of organs and tissues.
Let us take charge of our future and make Canada a world leader in organ donation and transplantation.
Subtopic: Organ Donation
Mrs. Monique Guay (Laurentides, BQ)
Mr. Speaker, this week is North American Occupational Health and Safety Week and this year's theme is “Work Safely for a Healthy Future”. But what is the current situation like?
Each year, in Canada, about 800,000 people are injured or contract a disease at work. Out of that number, over 750 die, an average of three deaths for every working day.
It is disturbing to note that, over the last decade, the rate of injuries has increased in federally regulated industries. In 1996, 38 deaths resulting from work related diseases or accidents were reported by these industries.
Bill C-12, which seeks to reform part II of the Canada Labour Code, is currently before a committee. The Bloc Quebecois is proposing progressive and essential amendments to this legislation, to ensure greater health and safety for pregnant and breastfeeding workers, and also a more professional public service.
This is how the Bloc Quebecois wanted to acknowledge—
Subtopic: Occupational Health And Safety Week
The hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester.
Subtopic: Occupational Health And Safety Week
Mr. Bill Casey (Cumberland—Colchester, PC)
Mr. Speaker, recently members of Branch 10 of the Royal Canadian Legion in my riding developed a resolution to make the veterans' independence program more accessible to veterans. The motion proposes to increase the cut-off threshold from approximately $17,000 of income to $25,000, more in line with the poverty level for Canada and only reasonable.
This motion was moved by Mr. Harold Ettinger and seconded by Mr. George Evans. It was signed branch president Peter Lind and branch secretary Virginia Chandler, and has the support of zone commander Les Nash.
A prime supporter on this issue has always been Pastor Harold Higgens who served in many positions in the Legion and is himself a veteran who works tirelessly for veterans.
My office has forwarded the information about this resolution to over 1000 branches of the Royal Canadian Legion across the country asking them to support the motion at the upcoming Dominion Command meeting in Halifax. If it is passed, thousands of veterans will have their lives improved at a small cost to the government.
I ask the Minister of Veterans Affairs to move as quickly as possible once the motion is passed by Dominion Command of the Royal Canadian Legion.
Subtopic: Royal Canadian Legion
Miss Deborah Grey (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance)
Mr. Speaker, the minister most famous for mismanagement and bungling is collecting sensitive information on 33 million Canadians. Tax and employment information, travel details, immigration and ethnicity details, information on families, disabilities, moving patterns and education are now under the control of the biggest bungler in this government.
Why does the government think that it needs to—
Subtopic: Human Resources Development
Subtopic: Human Resources Development
Order, please. I would prefer if we called each other just by our regular titles.
Subtopic: Human Resources Development
Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, here again we have that party trying to scare Canadians.
Let us look at what the privacy commissioner actually did say about the department, and I quote:
I don't question that they had, and they have, good reasons for doing this and that it is useful information in terms of improving the quality of their programs. I am not suggesting either that they've done anything unlawful here. They are complying with the strict letter of the law....
The commissioner goes on to note “the very responsible management that this file is getting right now”.
Subtopic: Human Resources Development