April 30, 2003

?

The Speaker

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.

[Editor's Note: Members sang the national anthem]

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LIB

Jim Peterson

Liberal

Hon. Jim Peterson (Willowdale, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, on April 13, at Ottawa's National Arts Centre, the winner of the Canadian Improv Games was declared.

This 26th annual championship was contested by 20 high school teams from right across Canada, from St. John's to Victoria.

I salute each one of these teams and the parents, teachers, volunteer coaches and others whose support and generosity made possible this uniquely rewarding experience for so many young Canadians.

They gained self-esteem, life skills, the thrill of teamwork and many new friendships.

I especially salute the winners. They are from Willowdale. Their school is named after a leader who had an enormous impact on both the Catholic church and our community at large. Just a few weeks ago I attended the funeral to honour this great Canadian.

I congratulate Canada's 2003 Improv Games winner, Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts. What a great achievement.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canadian Improv Games
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CA

Cheryl Gallant

Canadian Alliance

Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, May 4 to May 10 has, thanks to this government's handling of SARS, been renamed emergency un-preparedness week.

This year's theme is “Unprepared Now, Never Learn How”. This is with the knowledge that the federal government did not learn any of the lessons from 9/11 when it comes to emergency preparedness.

A more thematic approach is promised, one that will focus on a minister of emergency preparedness who hides at the first sign of an emergency.

Of special interest to the Minister of Canadian Heritage should be Thursday, May 8, mitigation day, for the next time she speaks to the Minister of Health and her caucus colleagues.

Friday, May 9 will be dedicated to explaining why the biological team was moved from Arnprior to an unfinished Ottawa office on April 1 when the federal government should have been providing the World Health Organization timely information about SARS.

The decision to close the Canadian Emergency Preparedness College in Arnprior is an absolutely unnatural disaster.

Being unprepared for SARS should serve as a wake-up call to forget playing politics when people's lives are at risk.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canadian Emergency Preparedness College
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LIB

John Maloney

Liberal

Mr. John Maloney (Erie—Lincoln, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Canada's cadet programs, the Army, Navy and Air Cadet Corps, are community based initiatives for youth who are offered interesting and challenging activities, teach valuable life skills and teamwork, and provide unique opportunities to travel across Canada and around the world.

I commend the Government of Canada and the Minister of National Defence in their support of this program.

Recently it has come to my attention that the cadet program in my riding of Erie—Lincoln is in dire need of increased funding. Several of its projects have either been dismantled or downsized. I understand that this is a chronic problem throughout Canada.

My constituents of Erie--Lincoln support the cadet program as an excellent opportunity for youths and believe it creates many benefits for Canada and Canadians. The importance of cultivating leadership among youth from a military perspective cannot be underestimated.

I urge the Minister of Finance and the Government of Canada to provide additional funding and to take advantage of this opportunity to invest in the bright futures of our youth.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Cadet Program
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LIB

Mauril Bélanger

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I had the honour of attending a ceremony held last week by the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews.

Good Servant medals were awarded to three impressive Ottawa teenagers: Tara Ogaick, Michelle Divon and Lana Ayoub.

As the daughters of an ambassador from Jordan, an ambassador from Israel and a former diplomat in Saudi Arabia, these three young Ashbury College students embarked on a diplomatic mission of their own in the halls and auditoriums of Ottawa high schools.

By sharing their remarkable life stories with other students, Lana, Michelle and Tara promote dialogue and better understanding of different cultures, with a focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Arab-Israeli relations at large.

In a world fraught with conflict and tension, we should be heartened by the efforts of Lana, Michelle and Tara. They show us that the next generation is ready and able to promote dialogue and peace.

As parliamentarians, we should all congratulate and encourage them. I congratulate them and welcome them.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canadian Council of Christians and Jews
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LIB

Anita Neville

Liberal

Ms. Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, this week Canada has seen the death of one of its true pioneers. I speak of Ms. Rosemary Brown, the first black woman elected to a provincial legislature in Canada.

This milestone was achieved in 1972 in British Columbia, but Ms. Brown went on to achieve another milestone regarding women and politics.

In 1975 she was the first woman to run for the leadership of a federal political party. She was truly a trailblazer who showed the way for women in politics at every level.

Ms. Brown never gave up on her goal of equality for women. She moved on from political life to that of academia and became a professor of women's studies. She became known across Canada as a champion of justice and equality for women.

Canadians will miss her commitment, her influence and her voice as a champion of women's equality.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Rosemary Brown
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CA

Deborah Grey

Canadian Alliance

Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the member for LaSalle—Émard is having super-duper delusions of grandeur once again. He is trying to sell himself as the saviour of the military, promising more funding and better relations with the U.S.

If the truth be told, this superhero's heavy baggage keeps him from flying at all. It is not that he has not had superpowers before. He was the finance minister for eight years and could have used his position to aid the military then. He just did not know how to use his powers for good and not for evil.

He neglected our military and slashed its budgets. Now he is acting appalled that his own government has not yet replaced our aging Sea King helicopters.

Seems this former finance minister has amazing powers of denial and deception. He has had almost 10 years to pony up the cash for chopper replacements and he could not be bothered. Holy hypocrisy, Batman.

Captain Whirlybird across the way should hitch up his tights because he is a fallen superhero.

“Wait, it's a bird, it's a plane. No, it's an abysmal failure”.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Member for LaSalle—Émard
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LIB

Judy Sgro

Liberal

Ms. Judy Sgro (York West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to our health care workers in Toronto and across the country who are working long hours under difficult conditions to control and treat SARS.

We in the House are all aware of the enormous pressures that our health care workers have faced over the past six weeks. They have dealt with death and sickness as well as the fear of SARS but through it all their dedication and heroic efforts have protected and reassured us that the health and well-being of Canadians is paramount.

I want to particularly mention the Humber River Regional Hospital in my own riding, the doctors, nurses and administrative personnel who have worked tirelessly to protect my community.

Rueben Devlin, the President and CEO, is on the frontlines beside his staff providing constant support and comfort. Thanks to the combined efforts of governments and medical teams, the disease is now under control.

I ask members of the House to join with me in remembering those families affected by SARS and to congratulate our health care workers and medical staff on a superb job.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Health
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BQ

Diane Bourgeois

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Diane Bourgeois (Terrebonne—Blainville, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, on March 4 of this year, the United Nations expressed severe criticism concerning the status of Canadian women. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women calls on the Canadian government to intervene rapidly to stop the rising tide of discrimination against women in Quebec and Canada.

The United Nations committee spotlights the damaging effects on girls and women of the cuts to social programs over the past decade. They are the first people affected by the Liberal government's slashing of funding.

The UN committee says it is astonished that in a country as rich as Canada, 54% of single mothers, 43% of first nations women, 37% of women of colour, and 48% of new immigrant women are poor.

It is intolerable that women should bear the brunt of government cuts. We in the Bloc Quebecois deplore this government's deliberate weakening of women's living conditions in recent years.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Status of Women
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LIB

Ivan Grose

Liberal

Mr. Ivan Grose (Oshawa, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, this weekend marks the 60th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic, the longest battle of the second world war which lasted six arduous years. I am honoured to be leading a delegation of veterans of this battle to Liverpool for a commemorative ceremonies on May 3 and 4.

From the start of the war in 1939 to May 8, 1945, Canadians battled with their allies fending off the attacks of German U-boats while keeping shipping lanes open across the Atlantic Ocean. The merchant ships' success in reaching the United Kingdom with the vital cargoes of supplies and personnel was essential to liberation of Europe.

Month after month turned to year after year. In a pattern unbroken to the end of the war the convoys sailed. Pride and perseverance pulled the Canadian military forces and Merchant Navy through the Battle of the Atlantic.

We pay tribute to the brave men and women who fought so valiantly to protect our values and way of life.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Battle of the Atlantic
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CA

Monte Solberg

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Monte Solberg (Medicine Hat, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, do not miss the latest episode of Liberal Gilligan's Island . This week, eccentric millionaire shipping magnate, Thurston Howell III, blames the skipper for allowing the ship of state to go adrift and to wash up on the shores of that deserted isle. But the hilarity does not end there.

When the crisis hits the island the skipper goes golfing. And you will bust a gut as the fur flies between Ginger and Mary-Anne, when brassy Ginger publicly criticizes Mary Ann for not doing her job. At the same time, Ginger, Mr. Howell and the hilariously dull professor are all lining up to replace the skipper who has announced his retirement. But because he will not retire for another year, Gilligan, the skipper's little House leader buddy, has his hands full with trying to keep this mad-cap crew from utterly destroying the island.

Mr. Speaker, it is side splitting humour on Liberal Gilligan's Island everyday right here on this channel. Do not miss it.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Gilligan's Island
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LIB

Tom Wappel

Liberal

Mr. Tom Wappel (Scarborough Southwest, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge and congratulate the winners of the Roméo LeBlanc National Awards for Responsible Fishing.

This award recognizes Canadian fishermen who have contributed to the development and promotion of responsible fishing practices from coast to coast. It is individual fishermen who are the most aware of the need to manage fisheries in a responsible manner. This award gives them the recognition they deserve.

The 2003 recipients, who are on Parliament Hill today, are John Carriere, Tim Richards and Ulf Snarby. They have been chosen by their peers for their significant contribution to responsible fisheries and are role models for the next generation of Canadian fishermen.

I wish to extend congratulations to this year's award winners and thank them for their contribution to responsible fisheries, and I ask my colleagues to do likewise.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Responsible Fishing Award
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NDP

Bev Desjarlais

New Democratic Party

Mrs. Bev Desjarlais (Churchill, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to our colleague, the member for Winnipeg Centre, our NDP aboriginal affairs critic. Tirelessly and heroically, he has worked through the aboriginal affairs committee to fight the Liberal government's horrendously prejudiced first nations governance act.

Everyone recognizes that the current Indian Act has not worked. For generations, the Canadian government has dictated to first nations. It has broken our sacred treaties and treated first nations people as subjects rather than partners in this land.

First nations want change, not a repeat of past mistakes. The Liberal government has again refused to listen to first nations people. Of 189 individuals and groups that appeared before the committee, only 10 supported the bill, and that includes the minister and his staff. First nations people oppose this bill. It will force first nations into debt or to sell their land just to meet the basic housing needs and clean drinking water. It will strip them of their self-determination and give control of their lives and communities to Ottawa bureaucrats.

Today the AFN has given our colleague the name of Strong Voice of the Winged One in recognition of the outstanding work he has been doing. On behalf of our caucus and all--

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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The Speaker

The hon. member for Longueuil.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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BQ

Caroline St-Hilaire

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday nearly 50 representatives of the first nations attended—until the wee hours of the morning—the debate on Bill C-7 regarding first nations governance.

In recognition of his convictions and his determination to defend their basic rights, my hon. colleague from Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot was given their highest honour, an eagle feather, presented by the shaman himself.

This great honour is given to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the betterment of the first nations. According to traditional first nations beliefs, the eagle is the messenger of the gods and, from high in the sky, it has a view of the whole world, and of the past, present and future. This bold and visionary bird is a symbol of power and strength for the first nations.

These same attributes could be applied to our hon. colleague from Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot.

The Bloc Quebecois is proud to have among its members a man who values identity and culture so highly.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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LIB

Liza Frulla

Liberal

Ms. Liza Frulla (Verdun—Saint-Henri—Saint-Paul—Pointe Saint-Charles, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to remind the House that Jean Charest officially became the Premier of Quebec yesterday, during a ceremony in the National Assembly's Red Room. The new premier then proceeded to introduce and administer the oath of office to the 25 members of his cabinet.

In the speech he made at the ceremony, he expressed his view that the red wave that swept across Quebec on April 14 signifies a new kind of government for Quebeckers.

In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to see that eight, or one third, of the new cabinet's members were women. This is the highest percentage in Quebec's history. It is not perfect, but it is a good start.

I want to single out Françoise Gauthier, the member for Jonquière, who is the first women in the history of Quebec to be named Minister of Agriculture.

I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating Mr. Charest and his new government and wishing them good luck.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Quebec General Election
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PC

Bill Casey

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Bill Casey (Cumberland—Colchester, PC)

Mr. Speaker, two years ago the Minister for International Trade stated, “It is time to turn toward...free trade in softwood lumber”.

At that time, the minister was clear: no interim measures involving border taxes or quota systems. Now it appears that he has reversed himself at least once or twice. We learned in February that the minister was considering an export tax, but then he stated in the House that he would continue to fight for “unlimited access to the American market for Canadian softwood lumber companies, on the basis of free trade”. Now we learn that he is considering again a quota system to end this dispute.

The government must guarantee that whatever interim measures are considered or implemented, all stakeholders from east to west will be respected and protected. In particular, the Maritimes and the independent remanufacturing industry may now be penalized for this undue delay. I ask the minister to make the concerns of these companies a priority as he comes to a conclusion.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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LIB

Bernard Patry

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, last April 15 to 19 in New York, the National Model United Nations was held; this UN simulation was attended by 3,200 student delegates from the United States and 15 other countries.

Canada was well represented by 325 energetic students. I had the opportunity, as guest speaker, to address the delegates at the NMUN's opening session, as well as the previous evening at a friendly reception hosted by Canada's Ambassador to the UN, Paul Heinbecker.

This year, of the 15 participating Canadian educational institutions, three really stood out, winning NMUN awards in recognition of their delegates' talents and contribution to the debates. They are the Université de Montréal and the University of Victoria, which each received an honourable mention, and the Collège André-Grasset in Montreal, which received the highly coveted distinguished delegation award.

I want to congratulate all our young people who do their country proud and who are working hard to have a positive influence on the world of tomorrow.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Model United Nations
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CA

Dick Harris

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Richard Harris (Prince George—Bulkley Valley, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, there is a new name added to the great names of golf and he is Mike Weir from Bright's Grove, Ontario, Canada.

Weir joins Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and all the other great players of golf who have earned the title Masters Champion. He is the first Canadian and the first left-handed golfer to ever win golf's most revered tournament.

Mike won the Bob Hope Classic and the Nissan Open and made all Canadians proud earlier this year. When he won the Masters he raised that pride to a new level and made Canadian history.

Through grit and determination, Weir won the Masters in a playoff after finishing seven under and safely secured his status as a legend of Canadian golf.

The Canadian Alliance pays tribute to Mike Weir and we wish him continued success. Canada has a new hero and a fine champion. Way to go Mike.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Masters Champion
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CA

Stephen Harper

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, it is reported today that the health minister received a letter from her counterpart in Ontario. He asked for more rigorous screening at Toronto's airports. The request was made April 4, almost three weeks before the World Health Organization issued its travel advisory against Toronto.

Can the health minister confirm that she received this request and if so, why did she choose to ignore it?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Health
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April 30, 2003