May 5, 2004

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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 Edmonton North.

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

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LIB

Charles Caccia

Liberal

Hon. Charles Caccia (Davenport, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, researchers at Harvard University and the American Public Health Association report that smog and carbon dioxide are affecting respiratory health.

In less than 20 years the rate of childhood asthma in Canada has risen from 2.5% to 11.2%. In the case of adults, 14% of Canadians are diagnosed with asthma.

The high concentration of carbon dioxide can affect asthma in several ways. Research shows that cities are under a dome of carbon dioxide created by the burning of fossil fuels such as gasoline, coal and natural gas. Carbon dioxide does not disperse. It reaches high concentration and alters the climate of cities underneath, thus affecting human health.

Christine Rogers, of the Harvard School of Public Health, refers to asthmatic children as being hit “with a powerful one-two punch: exposure to the worst air quality problems and allergen exposure arising from global warming”. Kyoto opponents may want to reflect on these findings.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CA

Stockwell Day

Canadian Alliance

Mr. Stockwell Day (Okanagan—Coquihalla, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, just a few days ago I met with people who had just returned from Sudan. In gruesome detail they documented the killing of children, the mass execution of civilians, systematic rape, wholesale destruction of villages and the displacement of thousands of people.

Yesterday the United Nations compounded months of inaction by allowing the election of Sudan to its commission on human rights. One country walked out of that charade in disgust. Canada sat there silently.

It is not too late for Canada to save its reputation and, more important, to possibly save lives.

I have requested, in a motion before our committee on human rights, that our government announce it will immediately dispatch to Sudan a monitoring team, including MPs, to join other countries in an international effort to possibly stem the tide of this genocide.

The question now is not why did Canada not act yesterday, but will the Government of Canada act today?

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Sudan
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LIB

Sophia Leung

Liberal

Ms. Sophia Leung (Vancouver Kingsway, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the strength of diversity has become the strength of our country. We now celebrate our diversity on many occasions. May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada.

In December 2001, a motion was introduced by Senator Vivienne Poy and passed by the Senate of Canada. Throughout the month of May we will celebrate and honour the heritage of Canadians of Asian descent.

Asian Canadians have made and are making a huge contribution to every aspect of Canadian life, in arts and culture, in science, in medicine, in business, in education and in politics.

It is my hope that through Asian Heritage Month activities, members of all communities across Canada will continue to develop a deeper insight into Asian cultures and a greater appreciation for our rich multicultural heritage and for one another.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Asian Heritage Month
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LIB

Gilbert Barrette

Liberal

Mr. Gilbert Barrette (Témiscamingue, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, this past April 24 and 25, a spaghetti festival was held to raise funds for Project Jeunesse Saint-Michel in Rouyn-Noranda.

In a friendly competition with my provincial counterpart, Daniel Bernard, more than 6,000 servings of spaghetti were sold with the help of 154 volunteers.

My thanks to all the volunteers and all those who attended over the two days of the fundraiser in support of this youth organization.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Projet Jeunesse Saint-Michel
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LIB

Nancy Karetak-Lindell

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, in early April, 15 Canadian Rangers and 9 members of the Canadian Forces journeyed through the north to reinforce Canadian sovereignty. This was the longest sovereignty patrol of its kind ever conducted by the Canadian Forces.

The group travelled to Canadian Forces Station Alert, which is the northernmost outpost in Canada on Ellesmere Island, placing three cairns along the way and both the Canadian flag and the Canadian Ranger flag was flown.

The 1,300 kilometre trek started in Resolute on the south coast of Cornwallis Island. Travelling across Devon Island, with some of the harshest terrain, the team endured long snowmobile rides while contending with severe ice, weather conditions, injuries and damage to their equipment.

I applaud the efforts and the daily courage exhibited by those Nunavummiut and Canadian Forces personnel as they made their way to CFS Alert.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canadian Rangers
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CA

Deborah Grey

Canadian Alliance

Miss Deborah Grey (Edmonton North, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, on this day in history, May 5, 1986, the TV series The Love Boat docked for the very last time, but it seems the Liberal government is working on its sequel.

Let us see. Well, we certainly have the pleasure boat. Canada Steamship Lines is riding high, collecting a reported $161 million of taxpayer money.

Prime minister, Captain Stubing, is making Canadians seasick with his toing and froing about when to call the election.

Meanwhile, the always friendly ship's crew is busying handing out freebies to Liberal passengers on the Earnscliffe deck.

And health minister, Doc Bricker, with all that hair, might just be more charming than effective. From day to day his health care policies range all the way from port to starboard.

Oh look, it is time for a $100 million sponsorship break.

And now we are back. All aboard. Our good ship Liberal lollipop seems headed for rough electoral waters.

Whoa. It looks like the member from Hamilton is our first woman overboard. Was she pushed by the captain? Surely not. Anchors away.

It seems this Liberal love boat has run aground on fantasy island.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Love Boat
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LIB

Sarmite Bulte

Liberal

Ms. Sarmite Bulte (Parkdale—High Park, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate our colleague from Whitby—Ajax on her appointment as the new chair of the Canadian section on the Canada-United States Permanent Joint Board of Defence.

Created by Canada and the United States in 1940, the Permanent Joint Board on Defence is a senior advisory body on continental defence. It is composed of military and diplomatic representatives from both nations. For 64 years, the Permanent Joint Board on Defence has served as a strategic level institution charged with considering issues affecting the defence of the northern half of the western hemisphere.

Our colleague from Whitby—Ajax was first elected to Parliament in 1997. She has served on the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs and is currently the chair of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities.

I invite all my colleagues in the House of Commons to join me in congratulating our colleague from Whitby—Ajax on her new and additional responsibilities.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Permanent Joint Board on Defence
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BQ

Serge Cardin

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Serge Cardin (Sherbrooke, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, on a spring morning fifty years ago, on May 4, 1954, the tree of knowledge took root in Sherbrooke, with the opening of the Université de Sherbrooke. This, the first francophone university in an outlying region of Quebec, was born from the daring and vision of its founders and has since met the academic needs of tens of thousands of students from Quebec and other parts of the world.

Yesterday, I attended the 50th anniversary gala, which celebrated 50 examples of brave and innovative actions, each of which has opened up new perspectives, new fields of action, and new approaches, and has broadened our horizons.

As it has expanded, the Université de Sherbrooke has acquired an international reputation, not only for the quality of its programs but also for the people-friendly campus its 100,000 or so graduates have been able to enjoy.

The Université de Sherbrooke is an excellent example of what can be accomplished if one dares take the first step. Once again, my wishes for a happy 50th birthday to the Université de Sherbrooke, one of the jewels of the Eastern Townships.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Université de Sherbrooke
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LIB

Eleni Bakopanos

Liberal

Hon. Eleni Bakopanos (Ahuntsic, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, on May 3, I had the pleasure of attending FuturTex 2004, the ninth annual conference of the Textiles Human Resources Council, with my colleague, the hon. Minister of Health, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister responsible for Official Languages. Textile and apparel industries are a strong presence in a number of ridings, including mine, Ahuntsic, and that of the hon. member for Papineau—Saint-Denis.

I congratulate the organizers for their successful event.

The Canadian apparel and textile industries are a vital part of the Canadian economy and our government remains dedicated to the support of these industries.

We will continue to build on the $60 million measures announced in February by our colleague, the hon. Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec.

These measures will assist the Canadian apparel and textile industries in promoting their competitiveness as well as ensuring that they continue to excel in an increasing global marketplace.

I look forward to further collaboration with this industry as do other colleagues in the House, and our government.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canadian Apparel and Textile Industries
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CA

Carol Skelton

Canadian Alliance

Mrs. Carol Skelton (Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, across Canada there are seniors who are struggling to meet the rising costs of basics. Groceries, housing, taxes and general necessities are quickly eroding their limited budgets.

Canada's seniors do not expect the government to keep them in the lap of luxury, but they are expecting to be kept out of poverty.

The Liberal government has been quick to reward its friends, hands out bonuses to almost everyone and wastes money at every turn.

Let us ensure our seniors can live out their lives in dignity within a safe and friendly Canada that they worked to develop. They did not work for a Canada whose social programs are scaled back at the very same time as their income.

How long does the Liberal government expect our seniors to continue doing more and more with less and less?

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Senior Citizens
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LIB

Yvon Charbonneau

Liberal

Hon. Yvon Charbonneau (Anjou—Rivière-des-Prairies, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Emergency Preparedness Week runs from May 2 to May 8, 2004. Under the theme “Prepare now!”, Canadians can learn how the Government of Canada is working with provincial and territorial governments to promote national awareness to emergency preparedness and to the need to be prepared for any emergency.

If we have learned anything over the last few years, it is to expect the unexpected. To mark this important week, events and activities across the country will stress the importance of being prepared and of increasing our overall level of civil preparedness.

This week also provides an opportunity to find out about the progress made to ensure that Canada is an even safer place. All levels of government are increasing their ability to deal with emergencies and their effectiveness in this regard.

I encourage all Canadians to take time during Emergency Preparedness Week to learn what they can do to prepare themselves for a possible emergency.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada
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NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal attempt to deny the problems confronting Canadian women as it charts its course to corporate Nirvana keeps running aground on the rocks of real life issues.

Ignoring Canada's glaring gender inequality in the Liberal throne speech and budget ran into more rough water today when the pay equity task force called for a complete change from the government's laissez-faire approach that has left women's wages stagnating 30% behind men's.

Unions and women's advocates have called for proactive laws for decades, but the Liberals have refused, just as they have refused action on growing economic inequality that has been today cited by campaign 2000 as the root cause of our outrageous child poverty levels and poverty of families headed by women on their own. Equally disturbing was the report just released by the National Council of Welfare entitled, “Income for Living?”

Women in Canada are being left behind on the shore because this government and its corporate friends want low wages, no benefits and high profits, keeping women's priorities off their agenda.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Status of Women
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BQ

Diane Bourgeois

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Diane Bourgeois (Terrebonne—Blainville, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, on Thursday, Canadian Heritage dismissed one of its employees, Edith Gendron, who had just become the president of a sovereignist group in the Outaouais called “Le Québec, un pays”.

This measure by the federal government squarely violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, considering there was nothing wrong with the work performed by Ms. Gendron. Moreover, as a federal public servant, she has political rights recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada.

It is also strange and ironic, to say the least, that one of the members of the committee that made the decision to dismiss Ms. Gendron is none other than Guylain Thorne, a well-known Liberal and former chief of staff of the member for Bourassa.

By refusing to get involved, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, who is also a Quebecker, becomes an accomplice in the taking of a partisan, undemocratic and totally discriminatory measure. Such are the true Liberal values.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Public Service
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LIB

Andrew Telegdi

Liberal

Hon. Andrew Telegdi (Kitchener—Waterloo, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday evening Louise MacCallum and Michael Barnstijn announced a joint $2.5 million donation to the Centre for International Governance Innovation in my riding of Kitchener--Waterloo.

Louise and Michael are former software engineers at Research in Motion who worked on developing the BlackBerry. Over the past four years they have given more than $30 million to worthy organizations, including a children's museum, a nature reserve, the University of Waterloo School of Architecture, the Theatre & Company in Kitchener, and the Canadian War Museum.

This latest donation to CIGI will make a real difference to all of humanity by supporting research on strengthening and reforming the United Nations.

To this end, Paul Heinbecker, Canada's former ambassador to the UN, is studying if multilateral organizations such as the G-20 can help the UN displace unilateralism and war as a way of resolving conflict.

On behalf of the people of Kitchener--Waterloo and all Canadians, I want to thank Michael and Louise for their generosity in support of this important work.

This is what Canada is all about.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Centre for International Governance Innovation
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CA

Diane Ablonczy

Canadian Alliance

Mrs. Diane Ablonczy (Calgary—Nose Hill, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, today I have the pleasure of giving parliamentary recognition to 24 outstanding athletes who represented the Calgary area with great distinction as national level competitors in winter sports at the Special Olympics.

Their disciplined training, hard work and determination were the keys to solid performances at the games. Their pride, their passion and their power exemplified the best in sport and sportsmanship at the Special Olympics. These 24 excellent competitors represented their city and their province in a dignified and professional manner, making everyone proud of them and of their achievements.

I have in my hand the names of these 24 special Olympians and their coaches for alpine skiing, figure skating, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and speed skating. They are: Alpine Skiing: Brenda Hill, head coach; Shaun Johnson, Erin Kotte, Andreas Walther, Alyssa Hatton, Wade Watson; Figure Skating: Barb Prystai, head coach; Kyla Scoville, coach; Rick Pettifor, Corrie Ennis, Sarah Ekman, Erin LeBlanc; Nordic Skiing: Bob Oldridge, head coach; Mary Riddell, Dick Cooke and Patti Fairhart Jones, coaches; Donelda Wood and Walter May, monitoring coaches; Sarah McCarthy, Erica Manson, Trevor Boardman, Anthony Hodgetts, Jennifer Riddell, Jeffery Riddell, Nadia Abbadi, Paul Oldridge, Heather Harrold; Snowshoeing: Kelly Zachodnik, head coach; Martha McCormack, coach; Peter Arsenault, Jody St. Onge, Charlene Stevenson, Fern Bremault; Speed Skating: Jodi Flanagan, team manager; Kimberly Evanochko, Peter Scott.

I sincerely thank all members of the House for honouring these exceptional Canadians in recognition of their participation in the Special Olympics.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Special Olympics Winter Sports
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CA

Stephen Harper

Canadian Alliance

Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, in a letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Prime Minister does not admit that there is a fiscal imbalance. Instead, he invites the provinces to increase taxes even further so that they can fulfil their responsibilities in areas such as health. This is the same Prime Minister who had enough money for the sponsorship scandal, the HRDC boondoggle and the gun registry fiasco.

Yes or no, does the Prime Minister admit that there is a fiscal imbalance between the federal government and the provinces?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Taxation
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LIB

Paul Martin

Liberal

Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is a shame when the leader of the opposition reads a letter and does not read the whole thing. Perhaps I should tell the House what I said, which was that the Government of Canada recognizes the financial pressures the provinces are under and is working closely with them in several key areas such as health.

I went on to say that this summer we plan to discuss a long-term action plan for health. This demonstrates the Government of Canada's commitment.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Taxation
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CA

Stephen Harper

Canadian Alliance

Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party can say, without hesitation, that there is a fiscal imbalance, and we are going to correct it.

On another subject, the Prime Minister said that no stone would be left unturned in getting to the truth of the sponsorship scandal. Yesterday, he even claimed that he wanted to hear from all the witnesses before the public accounts committee.

Will the Prime Minister guarantee that the committee will hear all 72 of the witnesses that it wants to hear from?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Sponsorship Program
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LIB

Paul Martin

Liberal

Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, from the very beginning, members of the Liberal Party have asked to have more witnesses, they have asked to go into greater depth in the questioning and they have asked to work longer and work harder. The problem is that unfortunately the Alliance Conservatives seem to work a three day week and do not want to do the job. That is what has happened.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Sponsorship Program
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May 5, 2004