November 19, 2004

CPC

Myron Thompson

Conservative

Mr. Myron Thompson (Wild Rose, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to John Morgan, better known as “Mike from Canmore” on Royal Canadian Air Farce . As everyone remembers, “Mike from Canmore” was the thoughtful Albertan in the Calgary Flames cap.

He made his first appearance during a taping of the radio show in front of a live audience in Banff. The skit featured Mike, who called in to a radio show and seemed incapable of saying anything other than his own name and hometown. It was an instant hit and became a recurring feature on the radio and later the TV show.

In 1992 the Air Farce team became the first Canadian inductees into the International Humour Hall of Fame. Morgan was also known for co-creating the CBC radio series Funny You Should Say That and wrote the pilot of the popular series King of Kensington .

Morgan retired from Air Farce in 2001, telling everyone that after 35 years of writing comedy it was finally time to step down. He was described as eccentric, talented, prolific and very funny, a performer with whom audiences loved to laugh. John Morgan will be greatly missed. May he rest in peace.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   John Morgan
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BQ

André Bellavance

Bloc Québécois

Mr. André Bellavance (Richmond—Arthabaska, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Arthabaska Red Cross distinguished itself at a provincial convention by winning the award of excellence in intervention.

Moreover, the organization, which is actively involved in 24 municipalities in my riding, received 34 citations for the commitment of its volunteers on the “flood” team, six certificates and merit badges, and a medal for dedicated services.

These awards were won in connection with the floods that hit the Bois-Francs region, on August 4, 2003. At the time, torrential rain forced 500 residents to temporarily abandon their homes and necessitated the evacuation of 150 people.

An award of distinction was also given to Sylvie Côté, publisher of the newspapers La Nouvelle , L'Union and L'Avenir de l'Érable . Together with Arthabaska Red Cross, she organized a fundraising campaign, and $280,000 was collected to help the victims.

Congratulations to the whole team of the Arthabaska Red Cross and to Sylvie Côté for their dedication.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Arthabaska Red Cross
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CPC

Ken Epp

Conservative

Mr. Ken Epp (Edmonton—Sherwood Park, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, to the Prime Minister, western alienation is just a vague concept, but to westerners, it is a cold, brutal reality. We love this country and we are proud to be part of it, but we just do not seem to count when we run into a crunch.

We have hundreds of ranchers and farmers who are in dire straits. Unfortunately, all we can get out of this Liberal government is announcement after announcement. We just never seem to get the cash that is being announced.

The Prime Minister claims that he cannot appoint Alberta senators because it is piecemeal. No, Mr. Speaker, he will still be appointing senators, just like always. We are simply asking that he choose the first choices of Albertans instead of his own Liberal bagmen. What would be wrong with that? Why does “Mr. Democratic Deficit” not understand that?

I challenge the Prime Minister to stop being so chicken. Let him step out on a limb and do what is right for the west for a change.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Senate
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LIB

Marlene Catterall

Liberal

Ms. Marlene Catterall (Ottawa West—Nepean, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, November 20, marks National Child Day and the 15th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

This year's theme, “A Canada Fit for Children”, highlights the basic human rights that all children are entitled to, from the fundamental right to be protected from abuse, to their entitlement to grow into fully participating members of society.

In Ottawa, the multi-faith community will host the First Annual Manger Meal, paying tribute to those who work for a better life for children and especially to men who are role models for other men and for boys.

A place will be set for an “unknown child” to remind us of the many forgotten children who are victims of conflict, war, crimes and suffering. To quote Senator Landon Pearson:

We like to say 'a child is born into our world'. Let us also understand that in each child a world is born.

May we all work for a better world for all our children.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Child Day
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NDP

Ed Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Hon. Ed Broadbent (Ottawa Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians honour their children on National Child Day. It is also a day to emphasize their rights as found in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

All children have the inherent right to live and grow with dignity as human beings. For example, children have rights to adequate food, clothes, housing and education. While other countries have virtually abolished child poverty, here in Canada, under the Liberals, we still have over one million children at the poverty level. That is an increase since this House unanimously passed a motion in 1989 calling for the eradication of child poverty.

The demand at food banks has doubled in the past 10 years and almost 40% of those who depend on food banks are under 18. We must be serious. We must invest in childhood education, child care, national housing and an innovative job program. These are needed, and needed now.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Child Day
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CPC

John Reynolds

Conservative

Mr. John Reynolds (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the immigration minister's conduct during the election was clearly unethical. The minister claims she has referred the mess to the ethics commissioner.

The ethics commissioner's office has stated that it does not know what to investigate because it has not received any information. Why is the minister adding to her woes by misleading the House?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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LIB

Judy Sgro

Liberal

Hon. Judy Sgro (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, let me assure the member that all the information was forwarded on to the ethics commissioner.

I find it really interesting when we hear the opposition members. They hollered for so many years that they had to have an ethics commissioner. Now that we have one, they are trying to prejudge, in a lot of the their own comments, as to what the outcome is going to be.

Wait for the ethics commissioner's report, and I will be glad to share it all with them.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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CPC

John Reynolds

Conservative

Mr. John Reynolds (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the minister and the Prime Minister for days have told the House that the ethics commissioner was investigating this matter. Let me quote Micheline Rondeau-Parent from the ethics commissioner's office. She said:

--the Ethics Commissioner doesn't know what he is supposed to be investigating yet because he hasn't received any information from [the minister's department]....So he will have to look at whatever she presents to him, OK. At this stage she hasn't done that...I'm not even sure it is an investigation per se, but he will provide advice [when we receive information].

Why would the ethics commissioner's office tell us that yesterday, if the minister said that he already was investigating over the last three days? He is not investigating--

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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?

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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LIB

Judy Sgro

Liberal

Hon. Judy Sgro (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as I indicated earlier, I contacted the ethics commissioner myself, personally, and asked him to give me some advice. He has the full file, and we will wait for his assurance when it comes back. I will share it with the hon. member.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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CPC

John Reynolds

Conservative

Mr. John Reynolds (West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, it would be nice to know when he got the file because yesterday he said that he did not have it.

The immigration minister's conduct during the election was clearly unethical. She has misled the House over the days telling us a different story. Will she step aside while the ethics commissioner reviews this file?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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LIB

Judy Sgro

Liberal

Hon. Judy Sgro (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of the work that I am doing as the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. I exercise my responsibility under humanitarian and compassionate grounds all the time in response to many, including the hon. member who asked me the question and who asked me a couple of days ago to intervene on a file for him.

I will continue to do my job based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds because that is the way we do things on this side of the House.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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CPC

Pierre Poilievre

Conservative

Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Nepean—Carleton, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government likes to play politics in provincial jurisdictions and neglect its own responsibilities. The Minister of Transport himself has made this clear. Today he is the one endangering the main rail access to the port of Montreal by encouraging construction of a hospital next to the tracks.

Is the minister attempting to change the decision already announced by the Quebec health department—yes or no?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

Jean Lapierre

Liberal

Hon. Jean Lapierre (Minister of Transport, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I believe the hon. member may be familiar with the French language but he knows absolutely nothing about what is happening in Quebec. I invite him to look at the files.

The Outremont yard issue has been around for 20 years or so, and many scenarios have been proposed: residential development, university development, or a hospital, perhaps the CHUM. We do not know what the end use of this land will be.

One thing is certain; the hon. member is completely ignorant about the situation in Montreal. He should get the facts straight before asking questions.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CPC

Pierre Poilievre

Conservative

Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Nepean—Carleton, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Quebec has definitely removed the Bellechasse site from consideration for the new hospital because of its poor location, contaminated soil and the movement of dangerous goods nearby.

How does the minister explain that he is ready to spend $25 million to locate it 500 metres away, along the same tracks, in his riding?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

Jean Lapierre

Liberal

Hon. Jean Lapierre (Minister of Transport, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the file is not as far along as the hon. member claims. Discussions are going on.

He should know that former premier Daniel Johnson and his own former leader, Mr. Mulroney, have been given the mandate to examine some sites. Now they have been asked to look at the Outremont site, all under provincial prerogatives.

We have nothing to do with the site selection, and the hon. member ought to read the newspapers, not just the headlines. This issue has been around for years. The health minister will announce a decision when the time is right, and if I can encourage the establishment—

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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?

The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Rivière-du-Nord.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   The Environment
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BQ

Monique Guay

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Monique Guay (Rivière-du-Nord, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, during his budget statement, minister Séguin reaffirmed that the federal government's treatment of Quebec was unfair. Mr. Séguin used the example of Saskatchewan, which has benefited from a special agreement whereby it does not have to repay the equalization overpayment, while Quebec was offered a 10-year period to pay back $2.4 billion.

How does the government explain offering Saskatchewan a write-off and Quebec only an installment plan?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Taxation
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LIB

John McKay

Liberal

Hon. John McKay (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, there has never been a fiscal imbalance. There never can be a fiscal imbalance. There is still not a fiscal imbalance. Every sub-national government has exactly the same access to exactly the same revenues as the federal government does. In fact, they have more access in some instances. It is completely an intellectual conceit to say anything other than the federation is completely balanced fiscally.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Taxation
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BQ

Monique Guay

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Monique Guay (Rivière-du-Nord, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, does the government realize that the special agreement writing off Saskatchewan's repayment of $580 million would amount, in the case of Quebec, given its population, to a write-off of $4.4 billion in equalization payments?

How does the minister explain this double standard?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Taxation
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November 19, 2004