As is our custom on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by our colleague, the fabulous tenor from Perth—Middlesex.
Mr. Yvon Charbonneau (Anjou—Rivière-des-Prairies, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my colleagues and all Canadians that June is seniors' month pretty well across Canada.
It is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the positive aspects of population aging and to recognize the contribution seniors make to the life of the family, the community and society in general.
The role seniors play is irreplaceable. Within the family, they provide care and support. They provide advice. They provide a continuity and pass on knowledge and values from one generation to another.
Also, many seniors volunteer their fine efforts to good causes. In fact, seniors represent the age group that spends the most time volunteering. Next year will be another opportune time to pay them tribute, since 2001 has been declared the International Year of Volunteers.
It is in this context that I invite Canadians to pay tribute to seniors throughout the month of June.
Subtopic: Seniors' Month
Mr. Philip Mayfield (Cariboo—Chilcotin, Canadian Alliance)
Mr. Speaker, six months ago we sat in the House vigorously debating the Nisga'a Final Agreement.
My party argued that the Nisga'a treaty was poor public policy, that it would be a flawed model for the more than 50 treaties still to be signed in British Columbia, and that the final cost would be beyond reason and beyond the capacity of Canadian taxpayers.
Regrettably, these predictions are already coming true. Last week we learned that the Sechelt Band in British Columbia is reneging on its treaty agreement in principle, believing it can obtain more now that Nisga'a has set the standard. Other bands will legitimately wish to reopen treaty agreements to obtain what Nisga'a promises.
After seven years in power this government has demonstrated no competence to deal with aboriginal issues. A Canadian Alliance government would provide aboriginals with the same rights as other Canadians, including private ownership of property, democratic accountability for finances and transparency in treaty negotiations.
Subtopic: Aboriginal Affairs
Ms. Paddy Torsney (Burlington, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, today marks Clean Air Day 2000 in the middle of Canada's Environment Week.
Under this year's theme, “Community Action on Clean Air and Climate Change”, Canadians across the country are doing their bit for cleaner air and to reduce climate change.
Today 18 communities joined Canada's “Commuter Challenges”. They are adopting healthy and environmentally sustainable transportation alternatives to the single passenger car and reducing harmful air emissions. They are walking, cycling, telecommuting, carpooling, using public transit and making a huge difference.
More than 61 transit companies are involved in the campaign and it culminates today with activities to encourage the use of public transit.
Just think, one busload of passengers takes 40 vehicles off the road during rush hour, saves 70,000 litres of fuel and avoids 175 tonnes of emissions a year.
Congratulations to all those who are participating today and to Canada's Minister of the Environment for delivering on our Speech from the Throne commitment for action on environmental issues.
Subtopic: The Environment
Mr. Walt Lastewka (St. Catharines, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I have the privilege and pleasure today to honour a young Canadian entrepreneur who is making a difference in the world of high technology.
Mr. Paul Atkinson is a local St. Catharines boy who, at the age of 35, has just sold Solect Technology Group Inc. for $1.15 billion, making it the largest acquisition of a technology related private company in Canadian history.
Paul Atkinson has become a local hero and respected entrepreneur in a region where economic success has been achieved by utilizing our human capital: the dedicated business people, entrepreneurs, educators, investors and government officials who work together to make things happen.
These same people got together last week to honour Paul Atkinson and to launch the Atkinson Centre for Entrepreneurship. The centre will be chaired by Mr. Atkinson and will focus on enhancing opportunities for e-commerce and Internet centred businesses. It will be a major boost for high tech and e-commerce entrepreneurs in Niagara, and a welcome addition to our small business infrastructure.
Congratulations to Paul Atkinson on his successes to date and on the continuation of his work and dedication.
Subtopic: Paul Atkinson
Mr. Guy St-Julien (Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, by increasing from 13 to 14 the number of hours a truck driver is at the wheel, the governments of Canada and Quebec are putting people squarely at risk.
The governments are agreeing to lengthening rest time to 10 hours, but are also lengthening the work period to 14 hours.
Most accidents charged to truck drivers occur after 12 hours of driving. In the case of Canada's major trucking firms, the period is 12 hours of work that includes a rest break of two hours.
The governments will have to listen carefully to the recommendations by the truckers and by Canadian and Quebec unions. For a trucker to drive 14 hours a day is too much.
Mr. Jim Hart (Okanagan—Coquihalla, Canadian Alliance)
Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the people of Okanagan—Coquihalla who are concerned about the state of our health care system.
Recently the people of Princeton were told they would lose eight acute care beds at the Princeton Regional Hospital. That is a 45% reduction while demand is increasing.
A nursing shortage means the hospital is unable to carry out its caregiving activities. Acute care patients will now have to travel at least an hour and a half to receive the medical attention they need.
The crisis facing the hospital is clearly the result of a health care system reeling from $21 billion in federal Liberal government cuts since 1993. The Liberal government's token effort in the budget to increase funding over five years is only a fraction of what is actually needed.
It is time the Liberals stopped playing with the health and welfare of Canadians and restored full funding to the health care system.
Mrs. Brenda Chamberlain (Guelph—Wellington, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, Montreal can have its jazz festival and Ottawa can keep the tulips, because Guelph—Wellington knows how to throw a party.
This weekend I will be attending the Guelph Multicultural Festival 2000 as well as Destination Guelph. Both festivals proudly celebrate the multicultural mosaic of Canada.
As well, I am always proud to be a part of the spring festival in Guelph and the jazz festival. These festivals, along with spectacular venues, make Guelph—Wellington the greatest community in the world.
Mr. Speaker, I invite you and all of my hon. colleagues to visit me in Guelph—Wellington and help me celebrate the summer.
Mrs. Pauline Picard (Drummond, BQ)
Mr. Speaker, a true fight against poverty absolutely must include stable and consistent funding, restoration of social transfers to their 1994-95 levels, construction of new social housing units and an indepth reform of the employment insurance program.
On behalf of Quebec children and their families, the Bloc Quebecois is urging the Prime Minister to make the fight against poverty a priority, so that Quebec children can have the necessary resources to achieve their potential; so that Quebec children living in families where unemployment is common can still have the necessary resources to ensure their physical and psychological well-being; so that Quebec children and their families can live in good health; so that Quebec children and their families can live in housing units that their low income will allow them to pay.
Subtopic: Fight Against Poverty
Mr. Denis Paradis (Brome—Missisquoi, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I want to salute long distance swimmer Yuko Matsuzaki who, at the international crossing of Lake Memphremagog, will attempt a double crossing, over 80 kilometres, an achievement which could take from 28 to 32 hours. If successful, that 80 kilometre swim will be certified in the Guinness Book of Records .
Allow me to salute the courage and the determination of this athlete, who will take part in a swimming event where the cold, the waves, the weather, the physical effort and the loneliness are among the obstacles that she will have to face.
Behind this great challenge, there is also a great dream: Yuko has long wanted to take part in an ultra-marathon to raise money to help sick children in the region of Magog.
Thank you, Yuko, on behalf of our population of Magog and particularly on behalf of our children who dream to recover their health.
You are not only a swimmer blessed with exceptional endurance, but you are also a great person whose generosity and humanity are an example for us all.
Subtopic: Yuko Matsuzaki
Mr. Eric Lowther (Calgary Centre, Canadian Alliance)
Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are so busy giving out public money for fountains and golf courses that they cannot find the plug for the brain drain.
The U.S. Congress recently introduced legislation to increase the number of foreign high tech workers fast tracked into the U.S., which means we will lose more of our brightest.
There is global competition for high tech workers, and the Liberal tax and spend policies keep us out of the game.
We can be the most connected nation in the world, but if we cannot keep our skilled workers or encourage entrepreneurs, Canada will never reach its potential.
The Canadian Alliance's solution 17 is a uniquely competitive tax structure, which experts say would make us a magnet for the new economy jobs.
The Liberal refusal to accept that high taxes hurt high tech is a demonstration of their brain drain.
With the Canadian Alliance solution 17 tax plan, brain drain will turn into brain gain.
We have the potential in Canada and there is a growing alliance of Canadians who are determined to capture it.
Subtopic: High Tech Brain Drain
Ms. Aileen Carroll (Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, it is my great pleasure to congratulate our colleague, the hon. member for Parkdale—High Park, who has been selected by Soroptimist International of Toronto for its Women of Distinction Award.
The Women of Distinction Recognition Program began in 1974 as the Making a Difference for Women Program. Its purpose is to reinforce the advancement of the status of women by honouring those women in the community who have done the most to help other women.
The hon. member has been selected to receive the 2000 Women of Distinction Award in the area of economic and social development for her significant and ongoing contributions to the political system in Canada, to the arts in Canada, to women's issues, to the Latvian community in Canada, and to women entrepreneurs in Canada.
Mr. Speaker, friends in the House, please join me in congratulating our hon. colleague.
Subtopic: The Hon. Member For Parkdale—High Park
Mr. Gordon Earle (Halifax West, NDP)
Mr. Speaker, the Nova Scotia Ecology Action Centre is the oldest environmental organization in my home province. Every year its Environment and Development Committee searches the province to find a community or community organization that has shown leadership and commitment to the principles of sustainable development.
Former recipients of the award are the Mi'Kmaq Fish and Wildlife Commission and the community of Sambro. These communities and this year's recipient have been recognized for their work in creating healthy communities with a vision of a balanced environmental, economic, social and cultural well-being.
It is with great pride and honour that I stand today to report to my colleagues that the community of Spryfield, where my constituency office is located, is this year's recipient of the Ecology Action Centre's Sustainable Communities Award.
There are a number of community based groups which, working together and on separate projects, have made Spryfield the active, vibrant, well organized and now recognized as the environmentally conscious community that it is today. According to the Ecology Action Centre, such work has helped to address local environmental concerns, create a positive and cohesive community atmosphere and promote local economic development.
Subtopic: Nova Scotia Ecology Action Centre
Mr. Odina Desrochers (Lotbinière, BQ)
Mr. Speaker, Richard Verreau, our great tenor, has conquered several generations of Quebecers and has also made his mark on the international scene.
Mr. Verreau was recently made an officer of the Ordre national du Québec in the National Assembly's red room, at the annual ceremony presided by the Premier of Quebec, Lucien Bouchard.
Richard Verreau is now living in Saint-Antoine-de-Tilly, a charming town in the riding of Lotbinière, located along the majestic St. Lawrence River, of which he has become a staunch protector by advocating the cleaning up and maintenance of its shores.
Richard Verreau, all Quebecers are proud of you. Congratulations.
Subtopic: Richard Verreau
Mr. Larry McCormick (Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, this is National Hire-a-Student Week. I am taking the occasion to point out the success of this HRDC program.
Last year, for instance, more than 447,000 young Canadians received job search assistance, or they found employment through the HRDC offices for students.
Students who have had the experience of job searching are on the staff of the HRDC offices to make the search easier for fellow students. They provide information on programs especially designed to help in the job search. They organize career planning sessions. They assist in developing resumes and cover letters. They offer advice on job interview techniques.
The riding I represent, Hastings—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, is an example of the success of this program. More than 200 students have been placed in jobs in the riding already this year.
Sarah Doran and Murray Maracle in the HRDC office in Napanee and Kathy Barkley in the Bancroft office are examples of the outstanding student leaders across Canada helping others.
Employers in my riding and in ridings across Canada benefit greatly from the National Hire-a-Student Week sponsored by HRDC.
Subtopic: National Hire-A-Student Week
Mr. John Herron (Fundy—Royal, PC)
Mr. Speaker, Hampton, New Brunswick in my constituency is the hometown of John Peters Humphrey, the principal architect of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
His life's work has made a significant impact on our community and our youth. Local schools have entrenched the study of human rights in their curriculum in the hopes of building a better and more tolerant generation of Canadians.
This month the students and staff of Hampton High School launched a human rights art exhibit entitled “Between the Lines” at the New Brunswick Museum. The show is a unique display of the ties our community has to the legacy of our town's most famous son. In dynamic and creative fashion, these students used their artwork to espouse the ideals of human dignity and freedom that John Peters Humphrey dedicated his life to promoting.
Mr. Gordon Fairweather, a colleague with whom you served, Mr. Speaker, the first Canadian Human Rights Commissioner and a former member of parliament for Fundy—Royal, opened the exhibit.
Congratulations to the students and teachers of Hampton High and, in particular, Alex Pearson, his fellow students and John Murphy for their commitment to this worthy venture.
Subtopic: Hampton High School
Mr. Hec Clouthier (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, as a Liberal I believe my community is bigger than Petawawa, bigger than the great riding of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, bigger than Canada. The world is my community.
A Liberal always looks ahead to the future and welcomes new ideas and new people without rigid reaction, recognizing the value of dissent and daring, and greeting each controversy as a hallmark to healthy change.
A Liberal cares about the people, cares about their health, cares about their housing, cares about their schooling, cares about their jobs, and cares about their civil rights and their civil liberties.
A Liberal believes that we must not be burdened by old antagonisms and old conflicts of race against race, language against language, region against region and ego against ego.
We must call on the strong Liberal values of hope and confidence, compassion and decency, understanding and compromise. Then, and only then, will we build a free, fair, just and responsible society.
Subtopic: Liberal Values
Miss Deborah Grey (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance)
Mr. Speaker, it just takes your breath away, does it not? The HRD minister continually claims that she is being really open about the disaster that she is responsible for. The facts do not lie. The executive summary of the billion dollar bungle audit, dated last August 9, funnily enough states: “An additional 29 transitional jobs fund files were reviewed bringing the total TJF files to 49” but “only 20 were included in order not to skew the global results”.
I would like to know just how bad were those files that removing them from the billion dollar bungle would look good.
Subtopic: Human Resources Development
Hon. Jane Stewart (Minister of Human Resources Development, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I guess we are going to have to review some details here. Indeed, if the hon. member would take the time to understand what the internal audit was all about, it was not just about one program. It was about seven different programs.
What we found was that in all of those we had administrative failings. What we were looking at was the work of all the grants and contributions in the department. What we found was that we had to do a better job. We made it public and we are improving the system.
Subtopic: Human Resources Development
Miss Deborah Grey (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance)
Mr. Speaker, doing a better job does not mean that you can just simply exclude 29 files. Obviously the worst news of all was just simply excluded from that audit.
It seems to me that 29 files were removed from the audit report because they would “skew the global results”. That comes right out of the document. Is it not something that the taxpayer is always the one to get skewed? Surely the minister would not have us believe that these were good news stories that she had left off.
Subtopic: Human Resources Development