September 26, 2001

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The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre.

Editor's Note: Members sang the national anthem]

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LIB

Gurbax Malhi

Liberal

Mr. Gurbax Malhi (Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, a headline in the Globe and Mail on Friday said “Tide of hate crimes rising in Canada”. Some people in their anger lash out against those who because of their dress, culture or religion remind them of the terrorists who did the evil act which must be condemned and punished in no uncertain terms.

Our government is saddened by the fact that the terrorist attacks provoked actions against Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus in Canada. Every Canadian must affirm the values of multiculturalism and tolerance that are so much a part of Canada and make Canada respected throughout the world.

I call upon the media to play a role in educating Canadians about the values of multiculturalism and tolerance. The media reach many people each day. Let them reach people with a message of decency and tolerance.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Multiculturalism
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CA

Rob Anders

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Rob Anders (Calgary West, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, last weekend I was talking to some of our border guards south of Montreal. I asked them what they needed to intercept incoming terrorists, criminals and drug smugglers. To my surprise they informed me that for the eight border crossings in Quebec we only have one sniffer dog, no extra manpower and no ion scanners to detect illicit substances.

Instead of a quick verification by a sniffer dog, our border guards have to laboriously hand search each suspicious vehicle. They are hampered because they do not have the staff.

This is a disturbing trend. The ministers say everything is fine but our people on the frontlines are crying out for help. Is it too much to ask for some cuddly new sniffer dogs for our boys on the border?

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Security
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LIB

Diane St-Jacques

Liberal

Ms. Diane St-Jacques (Shefford, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, on September 22 and 23, the finals of the Festival international de la chanson de Granby were held.

This was the 33rd edition of the song festival, which has developed over the years into the most important and prestigious event for French song in Canada. For the participants, this may be the first step toward making their dreams come true, as Marie-Denise Pelletier and Lynda Lemay, among others, have discovered.

The purpose of the festival is to encourage the development of our cultural industry by sustaining the influence of the francophonie on the international scene. Winnipeg's Edouard Lamontagne, one of the finalists, was awarded the opportunity to study at Astafford, France, where he will take part in workshops run by Francis Cabrel.

Congratulations to the winners: Pierre Lapointe of Gatineau, in the author-composer-performer category, and Martin Roy of Cowansville, in the performer category. These rising stars treated us to dynamic and inspired performances.

Congratulations to all those who contributed to the success of the 33rd festival.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Festival international de la chanson de Granby
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LIB

Rodger Cuzner

Liberal

Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Bras d'Or—Cape Breton, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the citizens of Bras d'Or--Cape Breton it gives me great pleasure to welcome to our island our newest corporate citizen. Stream International Incorporated, with the co-operation and support of various federal and provincial agencies, and in particular HRDC, Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation and the Cape Breton Growth Fund, recently announced the construction of a state of the art facility and 900 call centre jobs for Glace Bay.

Stream International provides technical support and customer service for some of the biggest companies in the IT and e-business sectors. Identifying an immediate access to a highly educated and motivated workforce and the development of an excellent working relationship with our community college, Stream believes the Glace Bay operation has the potential to emerge as its flagship centre in its international operation.

This is a good news story for the 900 new employees of Stream, for the community and for all of Cape Breton Island.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Stream International
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LIB

Paddy Torsney

Liberal

Ms. Paddy Torsney (Burlington, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday hundreds of Burlington residents from all walks of life, all cultural and religious backgrounds came together at the Halton Mosque to send a very strong message to the world and to all Canadians.

Muslims in Burlington and throughout Canada were equally shocked by the recent acts of terrorism. Islam is a religion of love and care for all human beings. The destruction and mass murder in New York City and Washington D.C.have no place in religion.

As a community Burlington residents reject terrorism. Our gathering demonstrated that our values as Canadians, our respect for diversity and our fellow citizens cannot be shattered like those buildings in the United States. Terrorists have no place in our communities or in our country.

All of us as individual Canadians and as members of the House must work hard to protect our diversity and to nurture our freedom and respect for others. As citizens of a civilized nation we have all been tested. Sunday's gathering in Burlington is evidence that we can meet that challenge. Burlington residents can be very proud.

As the member of parliament for Burlington I extend my congratulations to the Halton Islamic Society.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Burlington
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CA

David Anderson

Canadian Alliance

Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, we are nearing the end of summer. Many areas continue to be plagued by one of the most severe droughts in recent history. Canadian producers, and particularly producers in Saskatchewan and Alberta have not had enough rain this summer.

The prairie grass has burned off. Dugouts and springs have gone dry. Ranchers have no choice but to haul water and feed to maintain their herds. Many ranchers are being forced to sell off their cattle. Ranchers have not asked for large government intervention but they are asking for consistency.

Normally under these circumstances producers would be able to work with the PFRA to find new water sources or to install pipelines. However because the budget of the PFRA was emptied four days into the new fiscal year there are up to 500 of these projects on hold in Saskatchewan alone.

The situation is desperate. When will the government act by reallocating money to the PFRA so that ranchers can get access to the most basic of resources, water?

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Agriculture
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LIB

Bernard Patry

Liberal

Mr. Bernard Patry (Pierrefonds—Dollard, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, whereas the U.S. government, which is generally disinclined to provide government assistance to the private sector, has provided substantial support to its airline industry;

Whereas Canadian airlines have been substantially affected by the tragic events in New York and Washington;

Whereas air transportation in Canada is essential to the population, in remote regions in particular, and to our businesses; and

Whereas the over 50% reduction in the activities of Canada's airlines is jeopardizing financial stability throughout our economy,

Therefore, I invite my colleagues in the House of Commons, the Senate and in the government to provide assistance similar to the assistance provided by the U.S. government to its industry, both to preserve a Canadian infrastructure and to reassure the public in general and the workers in this industry in particular.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Air Transportation
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BQ

Pierrette Venne

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Pierrette Venne (Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, every year since 1998, the last Sunday of September is recognized as the Police and Peace Officers' National Memorial Day.

Next Sunday, on Parliament Hill, officers from all regions will meet to pay tribute to their colleagues killed while carrying out their duties.

Last year, on August 28, following a robbery at the Caisse populaire in Laflèche, Constable Alain Forget of Saint-Hubert and his partner attempted to stop a suspicious vehicle by blocking the highway with their patrol car.

Unfortunately, after their car was hit head-on by the oncoming car, Constable Forget did not have enough time to get out of the way, and was fatally hit by the patrol car.

On the occasion of this National Memorial Day, I would like to pay tribute to Constable Forget as well as all others who have sacrificed their lives for the safety of their communities.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Alain Forget
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LIB

Eugène Bellemare

Liberal

Mr. Eugène Bellemare (Ottawa—Orléans, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we celebrated the 26th anniversary of the Franco-Ontarian flag, which was first unveiled on September 25, 1977.

Made up of the fleur-de-lys and the trillium, this flag is an emblem of Ontario's francophone community. It is a symbol that demonstrates the solidarity and cohesion that its members share.

In Canada, after Quebec, Ontario is the province with the largest number of francophones. This pool of francophones is unquestionably one of this country's treasures.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Franco-Ontarian flag
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CA

John Duncan

Canadian Alliance

Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, disrupting international trade in North America would be a victory for terrorism. Last week the U.S. trade representative wrote an article entitled “Countering Terrorism With Trade” in which he calls on U.S. leadership to promote international economic and trading systems.

Free trade in lumber and maintenance of our just in time cross-border delivery system for much of our exports helps Canadians and U.S. economies, both of which are fragile at this time.

The Minister of International Trade and the Prime Minister have another opportunity to benefit both countries by pursuing free trade and easing cross-border concerns with immediate anti-terrorist changes to national security.

Yesterday the U.S. attorney general described the Canadian border as a transit point for terrorists and ordered tightened border security. The Canadian government must immediately implement specific anti-terrorist measures.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Security
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LIB

Mauril Bélanger

Liberal

Mr. Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa—Vanier, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, last week the premier of Ontario and his minister of health and long term care issued a challenge to the rights of companies to patent individual human genes. I had many occasions to disagree with decisions of the government of Ontario but on this one I have to state my agreement.

Getting a patent for a diagnostic test or process deriving from the applications of genes is fine, but to actually patent individual human genes and prohibit others from carrying research on those genes is not acceptable.

It is tantamount to allowing companies to seek and obtain a patent on individual elements of the periodic table such as oxygen or hydrogen, and it is not a tenable situation.

I urge our government to embark on a fight to disallow the individual companies around the country and anywhere else in the world to obtain patents on individual human genes. That is not the way of sharing information worldwide. The human genome belongs to everyone, not to individual companies.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Health
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NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis

New Democratic Party

Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, this week marks a victory for tax fairness. The loophole case is finally being heard before the federal court after five years of Liberal obstruction and appeals.

In 1991 a Revenue Canada ruling allowed one of Canada's wealthiest families to avoid a $700 million tax bill by transferring $2 billion out of the country. The member for Winnipeg--Transcona began raising this issue then, and we in the NDP will not stop until justice is done.

The Liberals clearly wish this issue would just go away, that a 10 year agreement with the family in question would run out and that they would be unable to collect the taxes owed. They have fought George Harris of Winnipeg every step of the way in his legal challenge on behalf of all Canadians.

They promised legislation in 1996 to close the loophole, and here it is 2001 and only another revised draft of legislation has been released for comment.

I urge the government to finally put these rules into law. Canada's tax system should treat all Canadians the same way. Let justice and fairness prevail.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Taxation
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BQ

Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral (Laval Centre, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, it is with emotion and relief that on September 4, I welcomed Haroun M'Barek at Mirabel Airport.

As members will recall, this is the Tunisian student who had been denied refugee status. In spite of the support of many groups, including Amnesty International, the Association des droits de la personne du Maghreb and Université Laval's support committee, Haroun M'Barek was deported to Tunisia on January 6, 2001. Upon landing there, he was arrested, jailed and tortured.

Mr. M'Barek's return to Quebec is certainly a happy moment. The recent events that are jeopardizing international peace give their full meaning to the values that underlie the convention on the status of refugees and the convention against torture.

We are convinced that, in the future, the lessons learned from Mr. M'Barek's tragedy will help the decision-making process regarding refugee claimants, because our attachment to democracy is measured by the notions of justice, fairness and compassion.

We wish courage, and good luck to Mr. M'Barek.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Haroun M'Barek
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LIB

Raymonde Folco

Liberal

Ms. Raymonde Folco (Laval West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, for Jews around the world, today's sunset marks the beginning of the celebrations of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

Yom Kippur is a time for contemplation, reflection and meditation, and it is also one of the most important dates on the Hebraic calendar.

On this Yom Kippur, 2001, I extend my warmest wishes to all those Canadians celebrating a day of prayer.

It is at a time like this, following the tragic events in the United States, that Canadians can truly appreciate the need for reflection and renewal that is fundamental to the Yom Kippur celebrations.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Yom Kippur
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PC

Norman E. Doyle

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Norman Doyle (St. John's East, PC/DR)

Mr. Speaker, Canada's current equalization program dictates that the lion's share of Atlantic Canada's resource revenues is claimed by the federal government under the current equalization clawback arrangement.

The Minister of Finance knows the political importance of reducing the equalization clawback because he never fails to raise the issue when he is on the campaign trail. This summer the minister toured the Atlantic provinces in preparation for his leadership bid and he again raised the prospect of reducing the equalization clawback.

Instead of just raising the subject to obtain delegates or votes, I challenge the minister to bring the equalization issue to the floor of the House where we can actually make changes instead of just talking about them. Atlantic Canada needs more than just rhetoric on equalization. We need action.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Finance
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CA

Stockwell Day

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Stockwell Day (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, in Washington when reporters asked the Prime Minister if the president had asked about border security the Prime Minister replied that there was no expression of dissatisfaction with what we were doing.

The very next day the attorney general of the United States said that the Canadian border had become a transit point for several individuals involved in terrorism and that the United States was planning to toughen border security.

Did the president not mention the border to the Prime Minister because the president already knew that U.S. security agencies were planning their own immediate crackdown on the Canadian border?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Security
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we discussed the border. The president and I expressed the desire to make sure that the present problem did not cause difficulties for the many trucks that travel south from Canada and north from the United States because they are very important for our economies.

On the question of people crossing the border who cause problems, as I said to the president, half of the people who come to Canada and are rejected as refugees come from the United States. We probably do the same thing to them.

Of course we have to work together with them because if they did not come from the United States to us we would not have to reject them and if they did not go from Canada to them they would not have to reject them.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Security
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CA

Stockwell Day

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Stockwell Day (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance)

That is a tough one to figure out, Mr. Speaker. The U.S. ambassador to Canada, the former ambassador to the United Nations and other U.S. officials have raised the prospect of a Canada-U.S. security perimeter. In that way both countries would enforce security and screening standards and the entire continent would be better protected.

However the Prime Minister has said that he would follow his own go slow approach and not feel pressured to change any of these things to address continental concerns.

Will the Prime Minister abandon his go slow approach and move quickly to protect Canadians and to protect the billion dollars worth of trade a day that moves back and forth?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Security
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LIB

Jean Chrétien

Liberal

Right Hon. Jean Chrétien (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice has replied to this question many times. We already have some bills in front of the House of Commons that will improve the situation. There will probably be a need to have other legislation and we are working on that.

I said to the president that yes, we have to make sure that the terrorists do not come to the United States or Canada. We will do our job in Canada. They will do their job in the United States, but the laws of Canada will be passed by the Parliament of Canada.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Security
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September 26, 2001