As is our practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by the hon. member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.
Mr. Lloyd St. Amand (Brant, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a truly exceptional young woman. Tragically, Dr. Jacqueline Perry was killed on September 6 by a bear in Missinaibi Lake Provincial Park. Her husband, Mark Jordan, fought heroically for her, but ultimately was unable to save her from the wounds.
Dr. Perry was born and raised in Brantford, Ontario, and later attended McMaster University in Hamilton, where she received a bachelor of science degree. After three years at McMaster, Dr. Perry pursued medical studies at the University of Toronto and went on to operate a very successful medical practice in Cambridge, Ontario, while also working part time in the emergency room at Brantford General Hospital.
Dr. Perry garnered much respect, both from her colleagues in the hospital and from the patients she treated. She will be remembered as a dedicated and brilliant doctor, a thoughtful and caring community volunteer, and a warm and loving daughter, sister and wife. My deepest condolences go to her family, including her parents, Ralph and Brenda Perry, and her husband Mark Jordan.
Subtopic: Jacqueline Perry
Mr. Greg Thompson (New Brunswick Southwest, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, today along with other members of the House and parents of autistic children, I attended a rally on Parliament Hill urging the federal government to provide financial support to cover the cost of treatment for every child diagnosed with autism.
Autism rates are on the rise in Canada. This neurological disorder affects 1 in every 195 of our children.
Therapy which has been credited in helping children overcome the effects of autism can cost a family up to $60,000 a year. These families and children need our support and I urge the federal government to take the steps necessary to address this important issue.
Mr. Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the highly successful young Liberals' convention held in Trois-Rivières, which brought together more than 300 participants from all the regions of Quebec.
Believe me, it feels great to see 300 young federal Liberals from Quebec coming together to discuss politics and share their hopes, challenges and vision for the future.
While not always in agreement with its youth wing, a political party has a duty to listen and pay attention to what it has to say, because parties that close the door to young members cut themselves off from their own future. That is something the Liberal Party has understood for a long time, and that is why it values its young members as it does.
Young people have important things to say and share. They are in the best position to identify the problems and challenges facing them. They also have a different outlook on the challenges of our times.
Let us not forget that, when we in this House talk about building the Canada of tomorrow, we are talking about their future, and we ought to listen to them.
Subtopic: Young Liberals' Convention
Ms. Nicole Demers (Laval, BQ)
Mr. Speaker, Anne-Marie Alonzo, a playwright, poet, novelist, and founder of Les Éditions Trois and the Festival de Trois, passed away in June.
A woman of commitment, she made a significant contribution to Quebec literature. Her wide-ranging poetry contrasted with the physical restrictions she lived with following a 1966 car accident which, in her own words, stopped her body from beating.
She also played a leadership role in the Quebec women's movement. Her feminist involvement was reflected in her editorial choices as well as in La vie en rose and the Gazette des femmes .
Anne-Marie loved beauty and life. She has left life and beauty, but she has left words and ideas behind.
Anne-Marie, you transcended your limitations and gave profound meaning to a life too short. Thank you for having lived so intensely and for your wonderful legacy.
Subtopic: Anne-Marie Alonzo
Ms. Yasmin Ratansi (Don Valley East, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, this month marks the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the polio vaccine. Polio was a disease that spread across North America during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. It resulted in death for some and left tens of thousands of other individuals permanently paralyzed or with disabilities.
At its peak, polio was one of the most feared and studied diseases of the first half of the 20th century. It was not until 1955 that Dr. Jonas Salk discovered a miracle vaccine that eradicated the disease in North America.
Unfortunately, polio still lurks in other parts of the world and that is why the Ontario March of Dimes, Polio Canada and the federal government have joined the World Health Organization to address ongoing vaccine development and post-polio syndrome, which affects 125,000 Canadians today.
Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, the government seems to delight in tormenting agricultural producers. Farmers had a program called NISA that was working for most of them, so the Liberals gutted it. They replaced it with CAIS, a program that has been wrapped in controversy right from the beginning. It is just not working for most producers.
Let me give an example. The government had a September 30 deadline for 2004 CAIS applications. It actually wanted farmers to get off the combine at harvest time and go home to do book work.
Today, under pressure from Conservative members, producers and accountants, the government has finally extended the deadline until farmers get out of the fields and are able to do their book work.
That is not enough to fix the program. Producers are still waiting for 2003 payments and some have been told it will be months. Others cannot qualify for payments, and more and more questions are being asked about the structure of the entire program. As one farm economist told me, this program is “a subsidy for the chronically profitable”.
This government has no effective plan for agriculture. It really is time for a change.
Hon. Hedy Fry (Vancouver Centre, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring to the attention of members a little known disease that carries a high fatality rate: ovarian cancer.
Every three and a half hours a woman in Canada is diagnosed with ovarian cancer and in fact most of them die. The reason is that ovarian cancer is not diagnosed early enough and the reason is that the symptoms are so vague women ignore them.
It is important for women to be able to know their family history, as ovarian cancer is genetic, and to be able to report vague symptoms when they occur over a long period of time.
Ovarian Cancer Canada provides a support network for women with this disease and their families. I applaud it for bringing attention to this problem that is little known but one that women must be made aware of.
Subtopic: Ovarian Cancer
Mr. Marc Lemay (Abitibi—Témiscamingue, BQ)
Mr. Speaker, it is my great pleasure to inform the House that the finals of the 41st Quebec summer games, held in Amos, in the heart of my riding, from August 5 to 13, were a resounding success.
The Amos region, which boasts a population of approximately 25,000, hosted nearly 4,000 athletes, 800 attendants, 400 officials, 250 heads of delegations, approximately 250 missionaries and over 12,000 visitors. This celebration of sports participation for our young athletes was made possible thanks to 3,900 volunteers who devoted their skills, know-how and time to ensuring the success of each competition and cultural event.
On behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I want to congratulate the athletes and send a special thank you to the organizing committee, which mobilized everyone in our community and proved that success is possible in the regions.
Subtopic: 41st Quebec Summer Games
Mr. Jean-Claude D'Amours (Madawaska—Restigouche, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, during the recent meeting of Canadian ministers responsible for transportation, we learned that the ministers had agreed to expand our national highway system.
Three highways in New Brunswick, including routes 11 and 17, which run through my riding of Madawaska—Restigouche, were added to the national highway system.
I want to highlight the importance of this decision, since it will greatly facilitate the upgrading of these two highway routes, which are essential to the economy of Madawaska—Restigouche and all of New Brunswick.
I am hopeful that New Brunswick will recognize the vital importance of these highways to the province, so that upgrading of routes 11 and 17 can begin as soon as possible, to ensure the safety of those travelling on them.
I am very happy to have made every effort, along with some of my colleagues, to ensure the inclusion of these highways in the national highway system.
Subtopic: National Highway System
Mr. Dean Allison (Niagara West—Glanbrook, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, there is an uneasy nervousness, especially among seniors, regarding the current shadow hanging over income trusts. It is solely based on the government's recent decision. Or should I say “indecision”?
Seniors draw regularly from their investments to supplement their retirement and when the value of their investments drops so does their retirement income. In a recent email, a St. Catharines senior writes:
I am retired and depend on distributions from income trusts to supplement my pension. The remarks by the Finance Minister have confused the situation...At the present time, finances of individuals in my position are in limbo.
The finance minister's reckless move to avoid making a decision on new income trusts has had a detrimental impact on the nest eggs of seniors and ordinary Canadians saving for retirement. Let us call it what it really is: another Liberal tax grab.
With energy costs continuing to soar and winter fast approaching, this government has done nothing but offer the double whammy to our seniors: higher energy costs and higher taxes. It is time we stopped penalizing our seniors and started to give them the respect they so richly deserve.
Subtopic: Income Trusts
Mr. Andy Savoy (Tobique—Mactaquac, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to thank the hundreds of volunteers and my colleagues in the House who helped raise more than $125,000 at the Hands Across the Border charity barbecue held here today on Parliament Hill.
In less than 10 days, volunteers and corporate sponsors made burgers appear and helped bring more than 4,000 people together to show our support for our American neighbours.
The Prime Minister and all party leaders made this event a great success by flipping burgers alongside the volunteers.
Canadians have now raised over $15 million for hurricane relief. Today all parliamentarians helped carry on Canada's tradition of caring and sharing.
Subtopic: Charity Barbecue
Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North, NDP)
Mr. Speaker, today I rise to offer the congratulations of New Democrats from coast to coast to coast on the installation of our 27th Governor General the Right Hon. Michaëlle Jean.
We welcome a courageous and powerful voice for women's rights on to our national stage. It is my hope and that of my colleagues that Madam Jean's deep conviction in the important and unique role women have in Canadian society can reach beyond the walls of Government House and into every facet of Canadians' daily lives.
We were moved yesterday by the unique ceremony which marked the beginning of our new Governor General's term. The standard protocol and stuffiness was replaced by glorious music representing the rich diversity of our land. We can only hope the sounds of music fill these usually staid, sedate halls more often.
In her moving speech yesterday, Madam Jean said, “I am determined that the position I occupy as of today will be more than ever a place where citizens' words will be heard, where the values of respect, tolerance, and sharing that are so essential to me and to all Canadians will prevail”.
We echo Madam Jean's call, and we stand behind her ready to promote the values of tolerance, respect and sharing.
Subtopic: Governor General of Canada
Mr. Myron Thompson (Wild Rose, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, does anyone remember back to the eve of the federal election of 2000 in which the Liberal government promised Canadians some form of rebate to offset soaring home heating costs? Rumour has it this vote-buying boondoggle is about to be repeated.
Do I have to remind Canadians that the last time the Liberals tried this, among the first to receive their cheques were 13,000 residents of prisons and cemeteries. I understand why the Liberals would send cheques to the inmates since they give them the right to vote, but I am not quite sure why they mailed them to the dead. Perhaps they had a plan for them as well.
Even worse, the Auditor General reported that up to 80% of the $1.4 billion of taxpayers' money disbursed went to people who do not pay heating bills. Don Drummond, the chief economist with TD Bank, dismissed the program as “a joke. It's political, I guess; economically it doesn't make any sense”. I think Mr. Drummond is right on the mark. It is no coincidence that these rebate cheques will arrive at winter's end and just before the planned spring election.
I beg Canadians not to be fooled again and not to let the Liberals bribe them with their own money.
Subtopic: Home Heating Costs
Ms. France Bonsant (Compton—Stanstead, BQ)
Mr. Speaker, I am sure you are aware that the cause of women and children is very close to my heart. I was recently extremely touched to have been made “godmother” of a project in Stanstead called “Des outils pour la vie”.
This project provides support for ten young single mothers in my region. It provides these young mothers, some of whom have several children, with support to enable them to finish secondary school, join the work force and contribute to their community.
Thanks to their determination and the help of the community, these young mothers and their children are enriching their personal and working lives.
The Bloc Québécois salutes these young mothers and congratulates them on their courage and determination in taking control of their lives. Good for you!
Subtopic: Des outils pour la vie Project
Mr. Jeff Watson (Essex, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, Liberals say they feel Canadians' pain at the pumps, yet plot to stick it to Canadians by pumping up the government's gas tax revenues instead. Conservatives are fighting to cut gas taxes to help seniors lower their coming heating costs now.
The environment minister tells them to “get on their bikes and ride”. Conservatives are fighting for gas tax relief for farmers who will not get their costs back. Environment Canada reports that Liberals really want them to pay $1.40 a litre.
Conservatives are fighting for small businesses that have to eat high gas taxes on the bottom line. The industry minister barks, “get used to it”.
Conservatives are fighting for Canadian families hurt by high gas taxes. The former natural resources minister lectures them, “squeeze into a wee bitty car”.
Conservatives are fighting to cut gas taxes for all Canadians. The Liberal member for Ajax—Pickering says Canadians should “look on the bright side”. The only thing colder for Liberals than the coming winter is the shoulder Canadians will give them at the polls.
Subtopic: Gasoline Taxes
Hon. Raymond Simard (Saint Boniface, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to extend my congratulations to the City of Coquitlam, which has won two Marketing Canada awards from the Economic Developers Association of Canada. Its “Fièrement francophone” or “Flaunt your Frenchness” campaign earned one award for tourism marketing and the other for promotional campaigns.
Last spring, with a view to celebrating the rich francophone heritage and culture of Coquitlam, its mayor encouraged his fellow citizens to show their francophone pride within the framework of a new tourism campaign created by Barb Stegemann, the city's director of tourism.
The purpose of the campaign was to focus on the dynamic nature of British Columbia's francophone community and its rich culture.
“Fièrement francophone” encourages people to flaunt their Frenchness, whether it be their language, their French ancestors, French fashions or a love for French cuisine.
Given our government's attachment to guaranteeing linguistic duality in Canada, I am very proud to have this opportunity to congratulate the City of Coquitlam in the House today.
Subtopic: Coquitlam's Flaunt Your Frenchness campaign
Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, I understand that David Dingwall, another Liberal appointee and head of the Mint, resigned today over the misuse of taxpayer dollars. However, this action takes place only after evidence of this waste and abuse was exposed by the opposition through access to information and reported by the media.
Can the Prime Minister tell us why this Liberal culture of waste and scandal is only stopped once it is actually exposed publicly?
Subtopic: David Dingwall
Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Dingwall has dedicated most of his life to public service. He has been a member of Parliament. He has been a cabinet minister in the Government of Canada and he has been the head of the Mint. May I just simply say that under his tutelage at the Mint, the Mint has now been returned to profit.
The fact is that I have accepted his resignation, but let me just say that he gave the reasons for his resignation. Among them was that he does not want any distraction at the Mint while he replies to that kind of an allegation.
Subtopic: David Dingwall
Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)
Mr. Speaker, on another matter, I was glad to hear that the Prime Minister did call the representatives of the families of the murdered RCMP officers yesterday to apologize.
I do want to return though to the substance of the question. The police families generally have been demanding mandatory minimum prison sentences. The Minister of Justice said after the tragedy in Mayerthorpe, “We have said before and I will repeat again that...mandatory minimums serve neither as a deterrent nor an effect.”
Will the Prime Minister take some action and impose mandatory prison sentences for serious, violent and repeat crimes?