October 18, 2004

BQ

Michel Guimond

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw attention to the 75th anniversary of the farm weekly La terre de chez nous , which has a circulation of over 100,000. This publication dedicated to the rural cause was founded in 1929, and for a long time was the only publication delivered to rural Quebec. Over the years, this indispensable and popular weekly has become the preferred source of information for people in the agricultural and forestry sectors of Quebec, who find in its pages shared concerns, aspirations and expertise.

The impact of this publication on Quebec agriculture is concrete evidence of its importance, and now it has its own web site as well. This new tool, which is updated daily, provides Quebeckers with a host of useful information on current events and issues that shape agriculture.

My congratulations to all those who have had a hand in its success, and my wishes for a long life to both La terre de chez nous and its target sectors, agriculture and forestry.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   La Terre de chez nous
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LIB

Alan Tonks

Liberal

Mr. Alan Tonks (York South—Weston, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize Dr. Jane Goodall. Dr. Goodall is in Ottawa today to receive the lifetime achievement award from the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Fascinated by wild animals since she was a child, Dr. Goodall first formally worked with them in Kenya in 1957. There, she worked with famed anthropologist and paleontologist, Dr. Louis Leakey, researching the work of chimpanzees.

Soon thereafter, she returned to Tanzania to continue research. In fact, she was the first to observe chimps using twigs as tools, an observation that changed the way we understood the distinction between primates and humans.

She established the Jane Goodall Institute in 1977. The institute supports research across the world to protect chimpanzees and other animals in their African habitats.

Today, Dr. Goodall continues to share her message of hope for the future and to encourage youth to make a difference in their world.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Lifetime Achievement Award
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CPC

Betty Hinton

Conservative

Mrs. Betty Hinton (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise today and share my thoughts about the community I am honoured to represent.

The constituents of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo never cease to amaze with the kindness and caring they show to others. Recently more than 1,000 people gathered at the local university to hear retired Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire speak about human rights and how we as a country and as individuals can effect change around the world.

Every day residents prove that philosophy with action. This year Ken Woodcock and Donna Greenlay of Kamloops are again, as in years past, behind the drive to send backpacks and shoeboxes filled with essentials and treats to Russian street kids and orphans.

As we speak, Charlene and Pete Nightly are preparing to leave the comforts of their home and community to start up an orphanage in Angola. They will be taking along their four children who range in age from nine to fifteen. I want to thank them and everyone else who remembers there is a whole world out there to care for. They make me proud.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Foreign Aid
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LIB

Tom Wappel

Liberal

Mr. Tom Wappel (Scarborough Southwest, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, in this statement, the second in my series examining whether the courts are protecting our children, I want to bring to the House's attention a recent case.

A 58 year old dentist, Dr. Leslie Griesdorf, was charged with possession of child pornography. Police said that he had the largest private collection of child pornography in Canada. He pleaded guilty. Justice Robert Bigelow sentenced him to an 18 month conditional sentence, meaning no jail time, unbelievably with the crown's consent.

Justice Bigelow and the crown should have been thinking not about Griesdorf but about the protection of our children. They should have been thinking about denunciation and deterrence. They should have been thinking that Parliament and Canadians view the possession of child pornography so seriously that the maximum sentence for such possession is five years in prison.

Next time, Justice Bigelow and the crown should think seriously about protecting our children from sexual exploitation.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Child Pornography
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NDP

Peter Stoffer

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peter Stoffer (Sackville—Eastern Shore, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday representatives from the Navy League will be hear to tell all members of Parliament about Naval Appreciation Day.

On behalf of the New Democratic Party federally and provincially across the country and for that matter, all members of the House of Commons from all parties, I would like to extend special congratulations to all the current members of our navy, the past members of our navy and those in the Navy League.

For over 90 years the men and women of our navy have served Canada extremely well by serving in various conflicts and wars around the world.

We as parliamentarians have the ultimate responsibility to ensure that those who sign up and have the ultimate liability have their needs met.

They will be here on Wednesday. I encourage all members of Parliament to take the time to offer our congratulations to the brave men and women of our navy. They do a great job and, coming from the garrison city of Halifax, I must say that we are very proud to be the east coast home of Canada's navy.

A bravo zulu to all members of the Canadian navy.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Naval Appreciation Day
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CPC

Loyola Hearn

Conservative

Mr. Loyola Hearn (St. John's South—Mount Pearl, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, ever since the Hibernia offshore project began pumping oil, a large portion of the revenues flowing from the project have been clawed back by the federal government.

During the recent election campaign, the leader of the Conservative Party committed in writing to give the province of Newfoundland and Labrador 100% of the revenues from non-renewable resources with no clawback.

Under severe pressure and after a sleepless night, the Prime Minister made a similar commitment in an early morning phone call to Premier Williams. At a recent health summit, the Prime Minister committed to having the deal done by October 25, a week from now, and before the meetings on equalization.

This deal must be outside the equalization process. This deal must confirm that 100% of the revenues go to Newfoundland and Labrador. This deal must not be subject to clawback. This is what was promised and this is what must be delivered.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Hibernia Project
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BQ

Richard Marceau

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, in 1959, China invaded Tibet and the result was catastrophic. More than a million Tibetans, or one-sixth of that small country's population, have died as a direct result of the Chinese occupation.

More than 6,000 monasteries have been pillaged and destroyed. It is important to mention the atrocities suffered by the Tibetans who have been imprisoned and tortured for peacefully protesting the occupation by continuing to practice their religion.

It is still illegal in Tibet to own a picture of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Many Tibetan political prisoners are under 18, including the Panchen Lama, Tibet's second-ranking spiritual leader. The Panchen Lama was kidnapped at age six and has been missing ever since.

To stop this intolerable situation, I urge my colleagues who have not yet done so to sign the letter written by the Canada Tibet Committee calling on Canada to actively contribute to the non-violent resolution of the Tibet issue by promoting negotiations between Tibet and China.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Tibet
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CPC

John Duncan

Conservative

Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, last week the fisheries minister stated brilliantly that fog horns on the west coast would be silenced because there was not as much fog on the west coast as there was on the east coast. Maybe he thought this because there are fewer Liberals on the west coast.

Why fog even rolled in as far as Kelowna from the coast recently during a visit by the industry minister when he assured B.C. municipal leaders their concerns would be acted on. They then put this to the test by stating unanimously that they wanted to retain the fog horns that had just been disconnected by DFO. The fisheries minister's defence of shutting down the horns completely undercuts the statements by the industry minister.

Now the fisheries minister is attempting to justify incomprehensible DFO actions, but his feeble words “foggle” the mind. The horns should be reconnected today.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Fisheries and Oceans
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LIB

Susan Kadis

Liberal

Mrs. Susan Kadis (Thornhill, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, in Thornhill today I had the distinct pleasure of attending the official unveiling ceremony for the first public statue of former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

Over two years of hard work and dedication went into the completion of this statue, with Mario G. Racco, MPP for Thornhill riding being the driving force.

I had the privilege of bringing greetings from the Prime Minister, which were greeted very enthusiastically. I was also able to listen to many of my constituents who shared their thoughts and memories about our much beloved former prime minister.

It was clear that the site of the statue, which stands almost two metres tall, combined with the warm thoughts of everyone today, truly honoured the legacy of an important and distinguished figure in our history.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Historic Sites and Monuments
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Prime Minister more questions about the sub debacle.

Last week the defence minister insisted in the House that the Chicoutimi was ready before it left port. On the weekend the Liberal chair of the House of Commons defence committee, which is about to begin hearings, contradicted the minister when he said that obviously the Chicoutimi was not seaworthy.

Can the Prime Minister tell us, was the Chicoutimi seaworthy, was it not seaworthy, or is he just not sure?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Defence
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LIB

Paul Martin

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, there is an inquiry on the whole issue involving the Chicoutimi . It is obviously clear that we should await the results of that inquiry before making any further comment or drawing any conclusions.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Defence
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, that answer is not good enough.

One of the Prime Minister's own ministers stood and told us that the Chicoutimi was seaworthy. His committee chairman contradicts that.

Can the Prime Minister tell us, is he standing behind his minister's comment or not?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Defence
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LIB

Bill Graham

Liberal

Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I can certainly inform the hon. member that I am standing behind my comment. It was appropriate in the circumstances.

The Prime Minister has said that an inquiry is taking place around all the circumstances about the Chicoutimi putting to sea.

I told the House that the Chicoutimi had had extensive trials and it was the judgment of the navy that it was fit to make the voyage back to Canada and that it was seaworthy for that purpose. That is what the navy has told us. That is the correct position in respect of the Chicoutimi 's voyage to Canada.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Defence
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I am glad to hear the minister stands by his own comment. He may want to check after question period to see whether his leader is prepared to stand by his comment.

When the Prime Minister was finance minister, he cut defence spending by 30%. Then he said he would increase spending. On the weekend the revenue minister said he was looking for another 5% cut, or over half a billion dollars.

When it comes to spending cuts, why does the Prime Minister always target our men and women in uniform?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Defence
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LIB

Paul Martin

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the government has announced over $7 billion in new military equipment.

What the hon. member would like to do is to go back to the reductions in budgets that were made in 1995. They were made as a result of a declining economy and an increasing deficit.

May I remind the hon. member that his party, in fact, advocated substantially more cuts, but we refused to engage in the scorched earth policy that was recommended by his party.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Defence
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CPC

Gordon O'Connor

Conservative

Mr. Gordon O'Connor (Carleton—Mississippi Mills, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister, as finance minister, took over $20 billion from the military.

We now have the unconscionable situation where the government is considering taking between $300 million and $800 million from the underfunded forces.

The revenue minister, who is in charge of this activity, said when he was Minister of National Defence that the forces need more money simply to keep operating.

Will the Minister of National Revenue provide the House with a justification now for taking money from the cash strapped forces?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Defence
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LIB

John McCallum

Liberal

Hon. John McCallum (Minister of National Revenue, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the forces need more money. As the Prime Minister and the defence minister have said, they have received billions of dollars in the very recent past.

My job as chair of the expenditure review committee is to solicit 5% of the lowest priority items in the budget of every department, from the PCO to the Governor General to every department in government. Then the committee will examine these offerings and will find ways to improve efficiencies and improve services to Canada across the board.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Defence
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CPC

Gordon O'Connor

Conservative

Mr. Gordon O'Connor (Carleton—Mississippi Mills, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the government's action in this case demonstrates the real attitude toward the armed forces. It is prepared to have a military as long as it does not have to pay for it. The government has said it will increase the defence budget and at the same time it continues with the expenditure review. The government is sucking and blowing at the same time.

Would the Minister of National Defence explain to the House why he is not defending the Canadian Forces from this ill-conceived and unjustified tax grab?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Defence
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LIB

Bill Graham

Liberal

Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rose in the House on Friday and on Thursday to respond to exactly the same convoluted accusation.

The fact of the matter is, every single military organization in the world today is going through a process of evaluating what equipment it has, what personnel it has, what needs to be done to change to meet new strategies.

We are no different. This government will insist that we choose the right priorities. We will do that through our defence review. I am confident the military will come out of this enriched, both by increasing what we get and by getting rid of things we should not maintain.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   National Defence
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BQ

Gilles Duceppe

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, a study conducted by Luc Godbout, of the Université de Sherbrooke, revealed that, over the last decade, federal transfers to Quebec increased by only 2.7%, as compared to 34.4% for the Canadian provinces.

On the basis of these figures, will the Prime Minister admit that the fiscal imbalance is penalizing Quebec, and that it is in fact penalizing Quebec more than the Canadian provinces?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Taxation
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October 18, 2004