November 7, 2003

LIB

Mauril Bélanger

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, 60 seconds are what we are given to make statements before question period. Some people may think this is too short a time to say or do anything significant. I offer the following as proof to the contrary.

On December 17, 1903 Orville Wright got into the motorized plane he had built with his brother Wilbur and flew for 12 seconds over a distance of 36.5 metres, or about 120 feet. The Wright brothers manned another three flights that morning, the longest one lasting 59 seconds. I dare say that those initial 12 seconds changed the world.

On the offchance that we may not be sitting beyond today and the certainty that we will not be sitting on December 17, I want to take this occasion to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' amazing achievement.

On the100th anniversary of aviation, I hope that the world will underline it as an achievement that has changed the course of human history.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   100th Anniversary of Aviation
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CA

Dave Chatters

Canadian Alliance

Mr. David Chatters (Athabasca, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government's attempts to deceive Canadians have no limits. At every opportunity the Liberals pay lip service to Canadians by saying one thing but doing something quite the opposite.

In 1999 the government voted to support the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others. Within the past few months we have seen it not only reverse this position but to actively campaign against it.

Last week the Liberal government supported our motion unanimously to protect children against child pornography. Bill C-20 is the government's answer to protect children. The bill takes out the outrageous defence of “artistic merit” and replaces it with “the public good” which, given recent court rulings, could mean anything.

The government promised Canadians a sex offender registry but continues to avoid giving us an effective registry.

Is it any wonder that Canadians are losing confidence in government. Canadians deserve better.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Liberal Government Policies
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LIB

Tony Tirabassi

Liberal

Mr. Tony Tirabassi (Niagara Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Debbie Zimmerman, the outgoing chair of the Regional Municipality of Niagara.

Debbie began her political career in 1978 when she was elected to the Grimsby town council where she served until 1989. Debbie then served on regional council and was elected chair of the Regional Municipality of Niagara in 1997 and again in the year 2000.

Debbie has been an active member of a diverse number of corporate committees with the Regional Municipality of Niagara, as well as external committees and panels at the provincial level.

Debbie served as a member of the Team Canada 2001 trade mission to China and led the 2002 Niagara business trade mission to Ireland.

Debbie has been rewarded countless times for her outstanding contribution to the Niagara region.

I want to thank Debbie for her 25 years of exceptional public service and extend my best wishes to her in her future endeavours.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Niagara Municipality
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LIB

Beth Phinney

Liberal

Ms. Beth Phinney (Hamilton Mountain, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, one of the Canadian government's greatest achievements has been its retirement income system for seniors. However, there are still areas of concern.

Seniors who live alone, particularly women, continue to experience higher rates of poverty than other older Canadians.

The current federal support for a senior with no dependants is a maximum of $13,176. However the current income level in Ontario that is used as a marker to measure poverty is $18,849. This is a shortfall of $5,673 annually.

I am asking the seniors in my riding of Hamilton Mountain to fill out a brief anonymous survey indicating the adequacy of their federal financial assistance.

I congratulate the Prime Minister for creating a caucus task force on seniors to assess the federal pensions and the provincial and municipal services to ensure that our seniors are not just getting by, but are living their lives with dignity.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Seniors
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LIB

Gurbax Malhi

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the Sikh community in my riding and around the world is celebrating the 534th birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first guru of the Sikh religion.

The teachings of Guru Nanak are a model to all people. Sikhs believe in non-violence, peace, human equality, justice and democracy. Guru Nanak taught the importance of selfless service, tolerance, compassion, love, equality and well-being for all people.

The goal of a Sikh is not only the spiritual growth of the individual but is also the advancement of every human being regardless of creed, colour or race.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Sikhism
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CA

Deepak Obhrai

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Deepak Obhrai (Calgary East, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, as the official opposition's senior critic for international cooperation, I would like to pledge the Canadian Alliance's support for yesterday's announcement of the federal government's introduction of legislative changes to implement the August 30 agreement on access to medicines for developing countries at the World Trade Organization.

This important step taken by Canada to make a sincere commitment to fight the ravages of the HIV-AIDS pandemic is a great feat in the never ending struggle to combat this horrendous disease.

By supporting this legislation, the Canadian Alliance joins the war against HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other diseases. We owe it to future generations to ensure that diseases such as HIV-AIDS which have ravaged so many countries are brought under control.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   International Cooperation
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LIB

Nancy Karetak-Lindell

Liberal

Ms. Nancy Karetak-Lindell (Nunavut, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, November 1 to 7 is Down Syndrome Awareness Week, an annual event sponsored by the Canadian Down Syndrome Society. At this time we take the opportunity to highlight the unique abilities, strengths and needs of fellow Canadians with Down syndrome.

Now is the time to demonstrate to each other and the rest of the world that Canada is a nation of people committed to ensuring that all individuals have opportunities to succeed and grow. About one person in every 800 is born with Down syndrome. Each one is a person first and a person with Down syndrome second.

Down syndrome presents challenges for a child or adult in all stages of development for the child's parents and family members and for professionals in the fields of health, education and social science. It is vital that these challenges be met to ensure that all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to develop to their full potential.

As Canadians, we celebrate our similarities as well as our differences knowing we are richer as a result.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Down Syndrome
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BQ

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold (Jonquière, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, November 8, will be a very special day at the Résidence Georges-Hébert in Jonquière, where Angèle Malaison will celebrate her 100th birthday. This milestone will be matched by another, equally exceptional event, the 75th anniversary of her marriage to Eddie Lapierre.

Mr. and Mrs. Lapierre are remarkable people and, despite their advanced age, always have a twinkle in their eyes that leaves us in no doubt that they are just as alert and just as much in love as they were 75 years ago.

I want to wish a happy 100th birthday to Angèle Malaison and a happy 75th wedding anniversary to her and her husband. Your love is a shining example, and I wish you both many more years of happiness together.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Angèle Malaison
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LIB

David Pratt

Liberal

Mr. David Pratt (Nepean—Carleton, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, next week on November 11, Canadians will be taking time out to remember the men and women in uniform who for well over a century now have steadfastly stood on guard for their nation and the world in times of peace and in times of war. They will also remember the over 100,000 Canadians who paid the ultimate price.

The call to remembrance was made just that much sharper in recent weeks with the tragic loss of two of our finest in Afghanistan. Their sacrifice was a stark reminder of the risks faced by our brave young men and women in uniform.

Even though the business of maintaining peace and security can be perilous, our Canadian Forces personnel are superb ambassadors for Canada and carry out their duties with courage, dignity and the utmost in professionalism. All Canadians remain so very grateful and proud of the service and sacrifice of the members of the Canadian Forces.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Remembrance Day
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CA

Scott Reid

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Scott Reid (Lanark—Carleton, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, in nearly every small town in Canada many streets are intersected by level rail crossings. Most such lines are used for freight transportation, and from the viewpoint of town residents, they represent a danger and inconvenience with no offsetting benefits.

One particular danger is the inconsistent markings of these crossings. In my hometown of Carleton Place, there are 10 crossings which are marked in three different ways. A motorist entering and leaving the town by different routes will encounter different rail warning markers. This goes a long way toward explaining why small town Canada continues to experience car-train collisions.

However, federal regulators have offloaded much of the cost of changing such markings to the cash-strapped towns and away from the railroads which are the sole beneficiaries of these lines. This amounts to accepting a high level of risk to motorists as an integral component of federal rail policy.

The Minister of Transport has announced a large financial package in aid of Canadian rail. Why not divert some of that money toward consistent marking of rail crossings in order to protect the safety of Canadians?

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Rail Crossings
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LIB

John Godfrey

Liberal

Mr. John Godfrey (Don Valley West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, once again Canadians are seeing the results of the government's wise fiscal management. The unemployment rate fell again to 7.6% and the Canadian economy created over 65,000 jobs last month. This is five times as many jobs as economists were predicting. Most of these jobs are full time jobs.

In particular, we see considerable growth in employment in British Columbia and Quebec. In British Columbia, the unemployment rate dropped from 9.1% to 7.8% in just one month. In Quebec, 26,000 jobs were created last month.

Ten years ago, when the Liberal government came to power, we promised to get Canadians working. Since then, three million jobs have been created. This is three million more Canadians who are working today since the government first took office.

I am sure my colleagues in the House will join me in celebrating the continuing success of the government and the benefits that 10 years of good government have provided for Canadians.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Economy
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PC

Loyola Hearn

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Loyola Hearn (St. John's West, PC)

Mr. Speaker, next week we will remember those who fought and served us in the great world wars. All of them were heroes.

One of the great heroes was a young Newfoundlander, Tommy Ricketts, who lied about his age and at 15 joined the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

In 1916, in Belgium, they came under heavy fire. He and his commander outflanked the German gun. They ran out of ammunition. He circled back, found ammunition, came back to his platoon and they drove back the enemy. He was the youngest soldier ever to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

We owe a debt of gratitude to people like Tommy Ricketts and all those who served. On November 11, let us remember them all for what they have done for us. Let us never forget that great sacrifice they paid for this country.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Remembrance Day
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BQ

Richard Marceau

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Jacques-Cartier, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, November 19 is World Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease Day. According to the Canadian Lung Association, this family of diseases, often known as COPD, affects about 8% of Canadians, or some 2 million people, half a million of them Quebeckers.

In recent years, one of my constituents, Claude Lanthier, who suffers from pulmonary dysfunction himself, has moved heaven and earth to get the government, particularly Revenue Canada, to recognize the disability caused by COPD.

My statement today is intended not only to demonstrate our solidarity with our fellow citizens who suffer from these terrible diseases, but also to pay tribute to those who, like Mr. Lanthier, spare no effort to improve the well-being of others.

I invite all members of this House to find out more about the devastating effects of these diseases and to support current and future medical research initiatives.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
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LIB

Carole-Marie Allard

Liberal

Ms. Carole-Marie Allard (Laval East, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was a big day for the Liberal Party and this government's administration.

Finally the truth comes out. The Superior Court of Quebec made it clear to Bloc Quebecois MPs that they are exaggerating when they accuse the Liberal government of mismanaging the employment insurance fund.

I will quote from the ruling:

—in light of the evidence presented, the court is unable to conclude that the federal government used or appropriated the surplus accumulated pursuant to the legislation illegally. This surplus is still posted to the employment insurance account.

What a victory.

Will the members of the Bloc Quebecois finally understand that the people of Quebec are not stupid and that one day they will be unmasked? This only shows that truth always triumphs.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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NDP

Alexa McDonough

New Democratic Party

Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, today Bill C-45 will gain royal assent.

The Westray bill is a victory for working people across Canada and culminates 11 years of work by New Democrats in solidarity with families of mine disaster victims, Westray survivors, steelworkers and other trade union partners.

This brings us one step closer to ensuring that corporations are held liable for irresponsible working conditions that end up costing workers their lives.

Justice Peter Richard, who presided over the Westray public inquiry, described Westray, as, “a story of incompetence, mismanagement, bureaucratic bungling, deceit, ruthlessness, cover-up, apathy, expedience and cynical indifference”.

Bill C-45 will ensure in future that corporate managers and employers are held criminally responsible for endangering the lives of workers. Let there not be another Westray.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Westray Mine
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LIB

John Bryden

Liberal

Mr. John Bryden (Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, soon Canadians will have the great pleasure of seeing and enjoying 13 late18th century watercolours of exceptional scenes from Quebec City, Montreal and other parts of eastern Canada.

These water-colours by Benjamin Fisher, a British painter and officer of the Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers, had been forgotten for 150 years in the basement of an English university.

Through the collaboration of both the National Archives of Canada and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, and with financial assistance from the Department of Canadian Heritage, these rare and magnificent works will be returned to Canada.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Arts and Culture
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CA

Jay Hill

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George—Peace River, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, in 1917 the Royal Flying Corps constructed a string of 17 purpose-built military aircraft hangars at Camp Borden, north of Toronto.

By the end of the first world war, 1,184 pilots had trained there. Again, during the second world war, this base was used to train not only Canadian pilots, but airmen from allied countries around the world.

Since that time these historic aircraft hangars have been so neglected they have fallen into a complete state of disrepair. Sadly, only eight hangars remain standing today.

Considered the birthplace of the Royal Canadian Air Force, these hangars were designated a national historic site in 1989. Yet the government has done virtually nothing to preserve this national treasure. Unbelievably, the Minister of National Defence has now authorized the destruction of three more hangars.

As usual his timing is impeccable. Despite Remembrance Day next Tuesday, he continues to support the destruction of these irreplaceable military heritage buildings.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Camp Borden
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CA

John Reynolds

Canadian Alliance

Mr. John Reynolds (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, countries on the African continent need help fighting HIV-AIDS. They need medication and they need it now. Cabinet ministers put on a big flashy show yesterday when Bill C-56 was introduced. Now we want action to back up those flashy words.

Will the government commit to passing the bill today at all stages?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   International Aid
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria (Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, several questions were asked on the floor of the House yesterday. This issue has been raised by a number of groups, NGOs, pharmaceutical companies, and a number of them have asked to testify before the parliamentary committee, which would be prepared to grant such a request.

A number of members on all sides of the House and I have had discussions today, and we certainly are prepared to have second reading go through today and to allow witnesses who want to appear before committee to be heard.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   International Aid
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CA

John Reynolds

Canadian Alliance

Mr. John Reynolds (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, Canadian Alliance)

Mr. Speaker, the minister just about wrenched his shoulder yesterday patting himself on the back with regard to the bill, and the government would have us now believe it is still committed to the bill.

When countries are facing a crisis situation, why is the government now dragging its feet on this issue?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   International Aid
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November 7, 2003