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38th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • NUMBER 074

CONTENTS

Thursday, March 24, 2005




1000
V Routines Proceedings
V     Canadian Human Rights Commission
V         The Speaker

1005
V     Committees of the House
V         Foreign Affairs and International Trade
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)
V      Estimates -- Part III
V         Hon. Reg Alcock (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Lib.)
V     Letter of Thanks
V         Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
V     Government Response to Petitions
V         Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
V     Budget Implementation Act, 2005
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V          (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)
V      Transportation Amendment Act
V         Hon. Jean Lapierre (Minister of Transport, Lib.)
V          (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

1010
V     Committees of the House
V         Environment and Sustainable Development
V         Mr. Alan Tonks (York South—Weston, Lib.)
V         Citizenship and Immigration
V         Hon. Andrew Telegdi (Kitchener—Waterloo, Lib.)
V     Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act
V         Mr. Peter Stoffer (Sackville—Eastern Shore, NDP)
V         (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)
V         Mr. Peter Stoffer
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)

1015
V     PETITIONS
V         Marriage
V         Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC)
V         Citizenship
V         Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC)
V         Assisted Suicide
V         Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC)
V         Marriage
V         Mrs. Carol Skelton (Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, CPC)
V         Autism
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl (Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, CPC)
V         Marriage
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl (Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, CPC)
V         Ambassador to UNESCO
V         Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC)
V         Marriage
V         Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC)

1020

1025
V          Older Workers Assistance
V         Mr. Alain Boire (Beauharnois—Salaberry, BQ)
V         Foreign Affairs
V         Mr. Bill Siksay (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP)
V         Marriage
V         Mr. Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, Lib.)
V         Mr. Ed Komarnicki (Souris—Moose Mountain, CPC)
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)
V         Ms. Helena Guergis (Simcoe—Grey, CPC)
V         Age of Consent
V         Ms. Helena Guergis (Simcoe—Grey, CPC)
V         Marriage
V         Mr. Leon Benoit (Vegreville—Wainwright, CPC)
V         Hon. Gurbax Malhi (Bramalea—Gore—Malton, Lib.)

1030
V     Questions on the Order Paper
V         Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
V     Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
V         Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
V         Hon. Dominic LeBlanc
V         Mr. Jay Hill
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)
V         Mr. Jay Hill
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)
V Government Orders
V     Civil Marriage Act
V         Mr. Mark Holland (Ajax—Pickering, Lib.)

1035
V         Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North, NDP)

1040

1045

1050
V         Hon. Gurbax Malhi (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Lib.)

1055
V         Mr. Dean Allison (Niagara West—Glanbrook, CPC)

1100

1105
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)
V         Mr. Maurice Vellacott
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)

1110
V         Mr. Dean Allison
V         Hon. Marlene Jennings (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Canada—U.S.), Lib.)
V         Mrs. Joy Smith

1115
V         The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)
V         Hon. Marlene Jennings

1120

1125
V         Mr. Vic Toews (Provencher, CPC)

1130

1135
V         Mr. John Cannis (Scarborough Centre, Lib.)

1140

1145
V         Mr. Russ Hiebert (South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, CPC)

1150

1155
V         Mr. Bernard Patry (Pierrefonds—Dollard, Lib.)

1200

1205
V         Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

1210

1215
V         Mr. Brent St. Denis (Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, Lib.)

1220

1225
V         Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC)

1230

1235
V         Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP)

1240

1245
V         Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia (Lac-Saint-Louis, Lib.)

1250

1255
V         Mr. Bob Mills (Red Deer, CPC)

1300

1305
V         Hon. Karen Redman (Kitchener Centre, Lib.)
V         The Deputy Speaker
V         (Motion agreed to)
V         Hon. Sarmite Bulte (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.)

1310

1315

1320
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, CPC)

1325

1330
V         Hon. Paul DeVillers (Simcoe North, Lib.)

1335

1340
V         Mr. Randy Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, CPC)

1345

1350
V         Hon. Tony Ianno (Minister of State (Families and Caregivers), Lib.)

1355
V STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS
V     Marriage
V         Hon. Paul DeVillers (Simcoe North, Lib.)

1400
V     Haldimand--Norfolk
V         Ms. Diane Finley (Haldimand—Norfolk, CPC)
V     Alderney Landing
V         Mr. Michael Savage (Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, Lib.)
V     Course de la banquise Portneuf-Alcoa
V         Mr. Guy Côté (Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, BQ)
V     Charlottetown
V         Hon. Shawn Murphy (Charlottetown, Lib.)
V     Liberal Party of Canada
V         Mr. Randy Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, CPC)

1405
V     Paul Brideau
V         Mr. Lloyd St. Amand (Brant, Lib.)
V     Student Strike in Quebec
V         Mrs. Carole Lavallée (Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, BQ)
V     Greek Day of Independence
V         Hon. Eleni Bakopanos (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Social Development (Social Economy), Lib.)
V     Solar Vehicle Team
V         Mr. Colin Carrie (Oshawa, CPC)

1410
V     George Hull Centre
V         Hon. Jean Augustine (Etobicoke—Lakeshore, Lib.)
V      Oscar Romero
V         Hon. Bill Blaikie (Elmwood—Transcona, NDP)
V     Greek Day of Independence
V         Ms. Bev Oda (Durham, CPC)
V      Centre de réadaptation Lisette-Dupras in Lachine
V         Ms. Nicole Demers (Laval, BQ)
V     Conservative Party of Canada
V         Mr. Mark Holland (Ajax—Pickering, Lib.)
V         The Speaker

1415
V         Mr. Mark Holland
V     Tory Tornados
V         Mr. Monte Solberg (Medicine Hat, CPC)
V         The Speaker
V ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
V     Air-India
V         Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)
V         Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.)
V     The Environment
V         Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)
V         Hon. Stéphane Dion (Minister of the Environment, Lib.)
V     The Senate
V         Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

1420
V         Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.)
V         Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC)
V         Hon. Mauril Bélanger (Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for Official Languages, Minister responsible for Democratic Reform and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V         Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC)
V         Hon. Mauril Bélanger (Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for Official Languages, Minister responsible for Democratic Reform and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V     Sponsorship Program
V         Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ)
V         Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.)

1425
V         Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)
V         Mr. Michel Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, BQ)
V         Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)
V         Mr. Michel Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, BQ)
V         Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)
V     Canada-U.S. Relations
V         Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP)
V         Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.)
V         Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP)

1430
V         Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.)
V     Public Safety
V         Mr. Peter MacKay (Central Nova, CPC)
V         Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.)
V         Mr. Peter MacKay (Central Nova, CPC)
V         Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.)
V     Sponsorship Program
V         Mr. Vic Toews (Provencher, CPC)
V         Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)
V         Mr. Russ Hiebert (South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, CPC)

1435
V         Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)
V     Border Security
V         Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, BQ)
V         Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.)
V         Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, BQ)
V         Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.)
V     Cultural Diversity
V         Mr. Maka Kotto (Saint-Lambert, BQ)
V         Hon. Liza Frulla (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women, Lib.)
V         Mr. Maka Kotto (Saint-Lambert, BQ)
V         Hon. Liza Frulla (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women, Lib.)

1440
V     Sponsorship Program
V         Ms. Helena Guergis (Simcoe—Grey, CPC)
V         Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)
V         Mr. James Bezan (Selkirk—Interlake, CPC)
V         Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)
V         Mr. Guy Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, CPC)
V         Hon. Stephen Owen (Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport), Lib.)
V         Mr. Monte Solberg (Medicine Hat, CPC)
V         Hon. Stephen Owen (Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport), Lib.)

1445
V     Forestry
V         Mr. Brent St. Denis (Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. David Emerson (Minister of Industry, Lib.)
V     Labour
V         Mr. David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre, NDP)
V         Hon. Joe Fontana (Minister of Labour and Housing, Lib.)
V     The Environment
V         Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP)
V         Hon. Stéphane Dion (Minister of the Environment, Lib.)
V     Government Appointments
V         Mr. Tom Lukiwski (Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, CPC)

1450
V         Hon. Stéphane Dion (Minister of the Environment, Lib.)
V     Fisheries
V         Mr. Randy Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, CPC)
V         Hon. Geoff Regan (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.)
V     Airline Industry
V         Mr. Dave Batters (Palliser, CPC)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V     Justice
V         Mr. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, CPC)
V         Hon. Irwin Cotler (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.)
V     Older Workers
V         Mr. Yves Lessard (Chambly—Borduas, BQ)
V         Hon. Lucienne Robillard (President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Lib.)
V         Mr. Alain Boire (Beauharnois—Salaberry, BQ)

1455
V         Hon. Lucienne Robillard (President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Lib.)
V     Foreign Affairs
V         Mr. Stockwell Day (Okanagan—Coquihalla, CPC)
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)
V         Mr. Stockwell Day (Okanagan—Coquihalla, CPC)
V         Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)
V     Housing
V         Ms. Ruby Dhalla (Brampton—Springdale, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V         Ms. Ruby Dhalla
V         Hon. Joe Fontana (Minister of Labour and Housing, Lib.)

1500
V     Citizenship and Immigration
V         Mr. Gary Goodyear (Cambridge, CPC)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Hedy Fry (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V     Aboriginal Affairs
V         Mr. Jeremy Harrison (Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, CPC)
V         Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.)
V     National Defence
V         Mr. Robert Bouchard (Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, BQ)
V         The Speaker
V         Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of National Defence, Lib.)
V     Agriculture
V         Mrs. Rose-Marie Ur (Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, Lib.)
V         Hon. Andy Mitchell (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.)

1505
V     Citizenship and Immigration
V         Mrs. Carolyn Parrish (Mississauga—Erindale, Ind.)
V         Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.)
V     Business of the House
V         Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George—Peace River, CPC)
V         Hon. Tony Valeri (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)
V Government Orders
V     Civil Marriage Act
V         Mr. Tony Martin (Sault Ste. Marie, NDP)

1510

1515
V     Business of the House
V         Hon. Karen Redman (Kitchener Centre, Lib.)
V         The Speaker
V         (Motion agreed to)
V     Civil Marriage Act
V         Mr. Charles Hubbard (Miramichi, Lib.)

1520

1525
V         Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, CPC)

1530

1535
V         Hon. Hedy Fry (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.)

1540

1545
V         Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC)

1550

1555
V         The Deputy Speaker
V         Mrs. Nina Grewal (Fleetwood—Port Kells, CPC)

1600

1605
V         Mr. Rick Casson (Lethbridge, CPC)

1610

1615
V         Mr. Stockwell Day (Okanagan—Coquihalla, CPC)

1620

1625
V         Ms. Diane Finley (Haldimand—Norfolk, CPC)

1630
V         The Deputy Speaker
V Private Members' Business
V     Ukrainian Canadian Restitution Act
V         Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC)

1635
V         Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, BQ)

1640

1645
V         Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Centre, Lib.)

1650
V         Mrs. Joy Smith (Kildonan—St. Paul, CPC)

1655

1700
V         Hon. Paddy Torsney (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation, Lib.)

1705

1710
V         Mr. James Bezan (Selkirk—Interlake, CPC)

1715
V         Mr. Lloyd St. Amand (Brant, Lib.)

1720
V         Mr. Inky Mark (Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, CPC)

1725
V         The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine)
V         (Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and referred to a committee)
V Adjournment Proceedings

1730
V         Aboriginal Affairs
V         Mr. Bernard Cleary (Louis-Saint-Laurent, BQ)
V         Hon. Walt Lastewka (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)

1735
V         Mr. Bernard Cleary
V         Hon. Walt Lastewka
V         Sponsorship Program
V         Mr. Joe Preston (Elgin—Middlesex—London, CPC)

1740
V         Hon. Walt Lastewka (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.)
V         Mr. Joe Preston

1745
V         Hon. Walt Lastewka
V         The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine)






CANADA

House of Commons Debates


VOLUME 140 
NUMBER 074 
1st SESSION 
38th PARLIAMENT 

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Speaker: The Honourable Peter Milliken

    The House met at 10 a.m.


Prayers



+Routines Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

*   *   *

  +(1000)  

[English]

+Canadian Human Rights Commission

+

    The Speaker: I have the honour to lay upon the table the 2004 Annual Report of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

[Translation]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(e), this document is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

*   *   *

  +-(1005)  

+-Committees of the House

+Foreign Affairs and International Trade

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to the report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade entitled: “Exploring Canada's Relations with the Countries of the Muslim World”.

*   *   *

[English]

+- Estimates -- Part III

+-

    Hon. Reg Alcock (President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, on behalf of my colleagues, part III of the estimates consisting of 90 departmental reports on plans and priorities. These documents will be distributed to members of the standing committees to assist in their consideration of the spending authorities already sought in part II of the estimates.

*   *   *

+-Letter of Thanks

+-

    Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, pursuant to a request the Deputy Prime Minister received from the family of the late RCMP constable Brock Myrol, I am pleased to table, in both official languages, a letter the family has asked us to share with all Canadians expressing appreciation and gratitude for the sorrow shown to them during this very difficult time.

*   *   *

+-Government Response to Petitions

+-

    Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure to present, in both official languages, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) the government's response to 12 petitions.

*   *   *

+-Budget Implementation Act, 2005

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.) moved for leave to introduce Bill C-43, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 23, 2005.

     (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

*   *   *

+- Transportation Amendment Act

+-

    Hon. Jean Lapierre (Minister of Transport, Lib.) moved for leave to introduce Bill C-44, an act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and the Railway Safety Act, to enact the VIA Rail Canada Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts.

     (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

*   *   *

  +-(1010)  

[Translation]

+-Committees of the House

+-Environment and Sustainable Development

+-

    Mr. Alan Tonks (York South—Weston, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Citizenship and Immigration

+-

    Hon. Andrew Telegdi (Kitchener—Waterloo, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the seventh report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on the remaining 2,000 stateless Vietnamese refugees in the Philippines; the eighth report on the motion regarding temporary resident permits issued by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration from January 1, 2003 to the present; and the ninth report on a motion regarding the process for determining immigration targets at overseas missions of visas at each immigration post.

*   *   *

+-Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act

+-

    Mr. Peter Stoffer (Sackville—Eastern Shore, NDP) moved, seconded by the member for Dartmouth--Cole Harbour, for leave to introduce Bill C-356, an act to change the name of the electoral district of Sackville--Eastern Shore.

    He said: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise today on a very straightforward bill to change the electoral district of Sackville--Eastern Shore, which I now represent, to include the community of Preston. The riding name would then be formally known as Sackville--Preston--Eastern Shore.

    I am proud to have my colleague from the Liberal Party, the member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, second the bill. For those who may know, his parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. John Savage, John being the former premier of Nova Scotia, were great advocates of the people of Preston and we think it would be an honour, not only to their memory but to the people of Preston, to include that great community in the federal riding of Sackville--Preston--Eastern Shore.

    (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

+-

    Mr. Peter Stoffer: Mr. Speaker, if I may indulge upon yourself and the members of the House of Commons, if I could seek unanimous consent to immediately send the bill to third reading it would be greatly appreciated by not only the people of my riding but the people of Canada as well.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx): Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.

*   *   *

  +-(1015)  

+-PETITIONS

+-Marriage

+-

    Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC): Mr. Speaker, my first petition is from a number of Canadians who call upon Parliament to support the traditional historic definition of marriage. I have tabled numerous petitions on this issue in recent months.

*   *   *

+-Citizenship

+-

    Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC): Mr. Speaker, my second petition is from a number of people from Prince Edward Island who call upon the government to return to the previous policy of allowing holy books to be made available to new citizens at citizenship ceremonies around the country.

    Last year a citizenship judge terminated this policy alleging that the policy discriminated against non-religious immigrants. Up to last year holy books were simply displayed on tables at the back of the hall free for new citizens to take. The new citizens were not handed the books and they were not forced on them. The judge produced no evidence to justify his inappropriate decision to ban the availability of holy books at citizenship ceremonies.

    The petitioners ask for the citizenship commission to return to the previous policy which has served our multicultural nation so very well.

*   *   *

+-Assisted Suicide

+-

    Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC): Mr. Speaker, my third petition is from a number of my constituents who call upon Parliament to retain section 241 of the Criminal Code without changes in order to maintain Parliament's opposition to assisted suicide. Section 241 makes it an indictable offence to counsel a person to commit suicide and to aide or abet a person committing suicide.

    The petitioners ask for the retention of section 241 of the Criminal Code.

*   *   *

+-Marriage

+-

    Mrs. Carol Skelton (Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure today to introduce nine petitions to the House of Commons from hundreds of Canadians who ask the government to preserve and protect the current traditional definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman.

*   *   *

+-Autism

+-

    Mr. Chuck Strahl (Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions. The first petition calls upon the government to amend the Canada Health Act relating to the issue of children with autism.

    The petitioners want to have the act and the corresponding regulations changed to recognize that autism requires medically necessary treatment. They also want the creation of academic chairs at a university level in each province to teach intensive behavioural intervention and applied behavioural analysis.

*   *   *

+-Marriage

+-

    Mr. Chuck Strahl (Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the next two petitions are from petitioners in my riding dealing with the issue of marriage. They pray that Parliament pass legislation to recognize the institution of marriage in federal law as being a lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

*   *   *

+-Ambassador to UNESCO

+-

    Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise pursuant to Standing Order 36(6) to present several petitions.

    First, I would like to present a petition on behalf of 45 residents of Quebec who bring to the attention of the House the appointment of Mr. Yvon Charbonneau as Canada's ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO.

    The petitioners point out that Mr. Charbonneau is a man who has expressed anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli and anti-American views and they believe that Parliament should therefore urge the Prime Minister to immediately withdraw Mr. Charbonneau's appointment as our ambassador to UNESCO and to articulate a clean and unambiguous message that anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-U.S. comments do not reflect the policies or the views of the Government of Canada.

    I would also like to table a petition signed by some 42 residents of Ontario calling upon the government to withdraw Yvon Charbonneau from his position as the ambassador to UNESCO because of his record of anti-American, anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli comments.

    I would further like to table a petition signed by some 42 residents of Toronto calling upon the government to withdraw Mr. Charbonneau from his position as ambassador to UNESCO for the same reasons.

    I have another petition signed by some 40 residents of Alberta calling upon the government to withdraw the appointment of Mr. Charbonneau to UNESCO because of his outrageous and odious remarks.

*   *   *

+-Marriage

+-

    Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC): Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(6), I have another petition to table, which includes the signatures of some 180 residents of Calgary, principally from my constituency, who call upon the House to defend, using all necessary means, the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. They point out that the House adopted a motion reflective of that sentiment in 1999 and they call upon the House to reaffirm the traditional definition of marriage.

    I have a further petition from some 100 signatories of principally Brampton, Ontario, calling upon the House of Commons to recognize that the majority of Canadians believe that fundamental matters of social policy should be decided by elected members of Parliament and that the majority of Canadians support the current legal definition of marriage as a voluntary union of a single man and a single woman.

    I have another petition to table that comes from over 100 residents of Brantford, Norwich and Brampton, Ontario. They, too, call upon the House to use all possible legislative and administrative measures, including the invocation of section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, if necessary, to preserve and protect the current definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

    I have a further petition to table, signed by over 100 residents of Ontario, including Campbellville, Freelton and Millgrove. They, too, ask that the House maintain the traditional definition of marriage, which they point out is recognized in every country in the world through all of human history, save Belgian today.

    Further, I have a petition signed by over 100 residents of Ontario, including Bowmanville and Kingston, who remind the House that it is the duty of Parliament to ensure that marriage is defined as Canadians wish it to be defined. They pray that Parliament maintain the current and longstanding definition of marriage.

  +-(1020)  

    I have another petition signed by over 100 residents of Alberta, principally from Grande Prairie and Dixonville, and residents from Martensville. This is a petition in a different form with a similar effect. It asks that Parliament retain the traditional definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman. They do so on the grounds that this is an institution which pre-existed the establishment of Canada as a state and point out that it is not within the appropriate jurisdiction of the Government of Canada or its courts to redefine the meaning of an institution of civil society.

    Further, I have a petition signed by over 100 residents of the communities of Sylvan Lake and Red Deer in Alberta, principally, but there are also signatories from British Columbia. They too ask that Parliament maintain the current legal definition of marriage as the voluntary union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

    Pursuant to Standing Order 36(6), I have the pleasure to introduce a petition signed by over 100 residents of the province of Alberta, principally from the communities of Slave Lake, who seek to remind Parliament that through all of human history marriage has been understood as the union between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. They wish to bring that to our attention.

    I would also like to table a petition of over 100 signators principally from the communities of Slave Lake and High River, Alberta. They too remind us that it should be members of Parliament, not an unelected judiciary, who determine social policy on critical issues such as marriage. They ask us to use all legislative means necessary to protect the definition of marriage, as this House decided to do in 1999.

    Finally, I am pleased to table a petition signed by over 100 residents of Saskatchewan and Alberta, from such communities as Medstead and Canyon Creek, who ask that the House use all necessary means to maintain the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

*   *   *

  +-(1025)  

[Translation]

+- Older Workers Assistance

+-

    Mr. Alain Boire (Beauharnois—Salaberry, BQ): Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today to table, in both official languages, a petition bearing the signatures of 5,300 people of the region of Huntingdon, situated in my riding of Beauharnois—Salaberry.

    The petitioners are calling on the federal government to implement an assistance program for older workers who are hard hit by the crisis in the textile industry, so that they can retire with dignity and respect.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Foreign Affairs

+-

    Mr. Bill Siksay (Burnaby—Douglas, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition this morning signed by many people from my riding of Burnaby—Douglas in the lower mainland of British Columbia. They outline their support for human rights around the world and for Canada's commitment to ensure those rights and an end to torture and they call on Parliament to negotiate with the Iranian government for the immediate release of Ms. Haleh Sahba, who was unfortunately deported from Canada last December, and to ensure her safe return to Canada.

*   *   *

+-Marriage

+-

    Mr. Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition on the subject of marriage prepared by a number of Canadians including petitioners from my riding of Mississauga South. The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that the majority of Canadians believe that the fundamental matters of social policy should be decided by elected members of Parliament, not by the unelected judiciary. They therefore call upon Parliament to use all necessary legislative and administrative measures, including the invocation of section 33 of the charter, commonly known as the notwithstanding clause, to preserve and protect the current definition of marriage being the legal union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

+-

    Mr. Ed Komarnicki (Souris—Moose Mountain, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I also present a petition with respect to the subject of marriage. I have a series of petitions from within my constituency, covering the areas of North Portal, Estevan, Weyburn, Midale, Creelman, Stoughton, Maryfield, Bellegarde, Redvers,Antler, Fairlight, Wauchope, Oxbow, Lampman, and Storthoaks, which is a great representation throughout the constituency. The petition indicates that marriage is the best foundation for families and the raising of children and the petitioners wish Parliament to use all possible legislative and administrative measures to preserve and protect the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx): I want to inform the House that we have three minutes left in the petition period, so I will ask members to please be brief so that other colleagues will be allowed to table petitions.

+-

    Ms. Helena Guergis (Simcoe—Grey, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today to present two petitions, one with over 425 names on it from people in my riding of Simcoe—Grey. The petitioners call upon the government to maintain the definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

*   *   *

+-Age of Consent

+-

    Ms. Helena Guergis (Simcoe—Grey, CPC): Mr. Speaker, my second petition has over 820 signatures from people in the riding of Simcoe—Grey. The petitioners call upon the government to raise the age of consent from 14 to 16 years of age.

*   *   *

+-Marriage

+-

    Mr. Leon Benoit (Vegreville—Wainwright, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I am proud to present this very important petition today from constituents who say that on fundamental matters of social policy the decision should be made by Parliament, not by the courts, on those issues, and that whereas a majority of Canadians support the definition of marriage as the voluntary union of a single unmarried male and female, it is the duty of Parliament to ensure that marriage is defined by Canadians as Canadians wish it to be defined. Therefore, they petition Parliament to use all legislative and administrative measures, including invoking section 33 of the charter, to ensure that marriage does remain the union of one man and one woman.

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx): We have only 30 seconds left for presenting petitions.

+-

    Hon. Gurbax Malhi (Bramalea—Gore—Malton, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the following petition. The petitioners call upon Parliament to enact legislation against redefining marriage. They would like to express their view that marriage should be protected and remain as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

*   *   *

  +-(1030)  

+-Questions on the Order Paper

+-

    Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the following question will be answered today: No. 85.

[Text]

Question No. 85--
Mr. Bill Casey:

    With regard to Social Development Canada's Social Development Partnerships Program SDPP, since its introduction: (a) what is the total amount of SDPP funding that has been allocated to Nova Scotia in comparison with other provinces and territories; (b) by fiscal year, what is the percentage of total national funding that has been allocated to Nova Scotia; (c) how many applications for SDPP funding have been received from Nova Scotia organizations; and (d) how many of these applications have been approved?

Hon. Ken Dryden (Minister of Social Development, Lib.):

    Mr. Speaker, the answer is as follows: a) Since its inception, the SDPP has provided $3,909,050.00 of funding to organizations located in Nova Scotia. In comparison to other provinces:

1 Ontario $85,882,001.91
2 Manitoba $9,433,020.00
3 British Columbia $6,390,708.60
4 Quebec $5,216,992.86
5 Nova Scotia $3,909,050.00
6 New Brunswick $2,231,101.00
7 Alberta $1,704,254.07
8 Saskatchewan $1,419,830.37
9 Newfoundland & Labrador $753,996.31
10 Prince Edward Island $585,692.11
11 Northwest Territories & Nunavut $361,653.00
12 Yukon $239,824.00

    Nova Scotia, which ranks 7th in terms of population amongst the provinces and territories of Canada, ranks 5th in the amount of funding received under the SDPP.

    While interpreting these results please be aware that the terms and conditions of the SDPP require that: “preference be given to projects that have national relevance” during the assessment of proposals for contribution funding; and that successful grant applicants be “national in reach (that is operate or have affiliates in a minimum of three of the following five regions--Pacific, Prairie, Central, Atlantic, North)”.

    Some provinces received more funding per resident than others because the distribution of organizations which are eligible for funding from this program does not match the distribution of the population of Canada.

    In particular, the figures for Ontario are skewed by the many national organizations which are headquartered in Ottawa or Toronto; Nova Scotia, ranks proportionally higher than other Atlantic provinces because a large number of organizations serving the entire Atlantic region are located in Halifax or Sydney.

    b) The percentage of SDPP funding provided to organizations in Nova Scotia by fiscal year is as follows:

    1998/1999 -- 6.63%

    1999/2000 -- 5.22%

    2000/2001 -- 3.73%

    2001/2002 -- 2.29%

    2002/2003 -- 3.51%

    2003/2004 -- 1.87%

    2004/2005 -- 2.57%

    Note: This program provides funding to National organizations. National organizations of ten conduct projects in, or redistribute funding to affiliates in other provinces. These organizations may have redistributed some of the funding that they received to affiliates in Nova Scotia; those transfers are not captured in the figures above.

    c) & d) Since april 2001, the SDPP has received 21 applications for project funding from organizations in Nova Scotia; 16 have been approved.

    In 1998/1999 and 1999/2000, 13 projects were approved with organizations in Nova scotia. Under current practices, unsuccessful proposals are kept on file for a period of 5 years. Prior to April 2001, the last call for proposals was held in 1998 and as a result, information on unsuccessful proposals is no longer available.

    There are currently 5 applications from Nova Scotia that were received in response to the call for proposals in December 2004. The assessment of these proposals is not yet complete.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Questions Passed as Orders for Returns

+-

    Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, if Question No. 80 could be made an order for return, the return would be tabled immediately.

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx): Is that agreed?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

[Text]

Question No. 80--
Mrs. Carol Skelton:

    Did the government fund any irrigation related projects in Saskatchewan and, if so, what were they, what was their cost, who were the recipients, what was their purpose, what are the related studies to be completed and, if any, when are they expected to be completed?

    (Return tabled)

[English]

+-

    Hon. Dominic LeBlanc: Mr. Speaker, I would ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx): Is that agreed?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

+-

    Mr. Jay Hill: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I wonder if you would seek consent to return to petitions if there is still time remaining out of the 15 minutes so that I could present some petitions.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx): I have to inform you that the 15 minute time slot allowed for petitions has expired. However, if you can obtain unanimous consent to return to petitions, we will go back to petitions.

+-

    Mr. Jay Hill: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. With respect, I would ask that you seek unanimous consent of the House to do that.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx): Does the hon. member have unanimous consent?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    Some hon. members: No.


+-Government Orders

[Government Orders]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Civil Marriage Act

    The House resumed from March 21 consideration of the motion that Bill C-38, an act respecting certain aspects of legal capacity for marriage for civil purposes, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.

+-

    Mr. Mark Holland (Ajax—Pickering, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I will pick up where I left off and assume that those in the House and those watching listened carefully to my earlier comments. I said earlier that I felt that this bill protects religious freedoms as enshrined under subsection 2(a) of the charter. I felt that very strongly. I also said in my previous comments that the debate needs to be respectful.

    That moves me to the main reason why I am supporting this bill: the principle of equality. I think that there very much is an issue of equality and human rights with respect to this bill, which must be addressed.

    I have had the opportunity to talk with many young people who are gay and lesbian, to listen to their experiences and to hear about the incredible difficulty of being a young person growing up gay or lesbian. I try to imagine being in their shoes, being in a situation where I could not look forward in my life to marrying the person I love, where I could not have my relationship recognized by the state, where I would be denied that. I would be denied that not because it would ruin someone else's marriage, but because people did not feel that I should have it.

    This brings me to my aunt. My aunt is a lesbian. My aunt is someone who has fought very hard in this country against hate, with different hate crimes divisions and also in a lot of different work she has done as a journalist. She is someone I am deeply proud of and someone I care for very deeply. Why should she not have the right to marry the person she loves? Why should that right be denied her? How is my relationship with my wife and my three children hurt by my aunt having the opportunity to share her life with someone?

    The reality is that it is not. In fact, I would submit that my relationship is strengthened by my aunt having the ability to marry the person she loves. Marriage is not hurt by monogamous committed relationships. Marriage is not destroyed by love. My family is made stronger by my aunt being able to share her life with the person she chooses to share with, the person she cares for.

    People can say, “Well, she can have that”. They say that she can have that but we just cannot use the word “marriage”. She can have all of those other things we have, but she cannot have the word “marriage”.

    It would be akin to me being elected to this House and not being allowed to use the term “member of Parliament”. All of my colleagues would have the term “member of Parliament”, but the term “federally elected representative” would be bestowed on me.

    Words carry power in that they bestow upon those individuals legitimacy. Therein lies the heart of the effort to deny gays and lesbians the right to marry, to say that their relationship is not equal, that their relationship is not legitimate. It is not the role of the state to choose whose relationship is right and whose relationship is wrong, who has the right to love whom and who does not. Somebody is in a committed monogamous relationship.

    We all need somebody to love. We all need somebody at the end of the day to go to and say, “I had a tough day. I need to talk. I need support tonight because I have had a difficult day”. We all need that person to turn to.

    The question is, where does this lead? If we allow this, where does it lead?

    It leads to equality.

    Society is not static. Things do not simply remain the same in perpetuity. Let me give many examples in that regard. Slavery was a tradition across all the epoch of history. When it changed it did not lead to the disaster that some forecast. It was quite the opposite. It led to equality.

    Let us deal with racism and the progression away from racism toward equality. Some said that the end of discrimination would lead to problems. It did not. It led to equality.

    When we talk about sexism, which we are still fighting, along with racism, we see that its progression toward equality has only met strength and that those changes have been powerful.

    Let us take a look at other words, words that have changed, traditional words. How about the word “person”? The word “person” has transformed. Can members think of a more fundamental thing than the definition of a person? It is almost impossible to imagine that within the context of the last century women were not considered people, that fellow citizens today who sit in this House who are women and who are minorities were not considered people. Those were traditions. They must change.

  +-(1035)  

    What of marriage? Is marriage this unchangeable union, this union that has never seen change? Absolutely not. In fact, the religious definition of marriage, the idea of marriage being a religious ceremony, did not come into being until the 16th century. It was in the 14th century that the clergy began to get involved in religious ceremonies performed by the state because the clergy was literate, so we undertook a change then.

    At one point marriage was really an exchange of a woman into the ownership of a man, because a woman was not a person. She was transferred from ownership by the parent to the husband. So too have we changed our views on divorce and other matters as we have moved forward as a society and as we have made decisions.

    However, when I look at this, the fundamental issue for me is that I have been given the privilege and honour of sharing my life with Aerlyn, the woman who I have spent 13 years with and who I love dearly. As I have been given the honour of sharing my life with her, so too should gays and lesbians be given the right to share their lives in a rich and meaningful way. The state must not say to them that it passes moral judgment, that their relationships are not legitimate. That is the worst type of discrimination. It is institutional discrimination. The state is passing moral judgment on the equality of a relationship. I will not stand for it and I am proud to support this legislation.

    

+-

    Ms. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to stand in the House today to give my unequivocal support for the civil marriage act. I am glad to have the opportunity to say, without qualification, that I strongly support the bill and believe in the legislation to extend the legal capacity for marriage for civil purposes to same sex couples while respecting religious freedom.

    I am proud to take this position for a number of reasons. I want to briefly describe my background and how I came to the position of strong support for recognition of same sex marriages. I want to start, as other speakers have, by talking a bit about my own marital situation.

    I have been happily married to the same man for what will be 34 years this summer. Some people may wonder how this could be possible given the kind of person I am, so busy and involved in my job and emotionally engaged all the time. How could anybody live with someone like me for that long? It is a fact. It has happened. My husband, Ron, and I have two children. Like all relationships, we struggle with our compatibility and the difficult issues that all of us deal with on a day to day basis.

    I bring that perspective to the debate with a question. Since marriage has meant so much to me all of my life, why is it not possible for it to be the same for gays or lesbians in society today? How can I be so proud of the institution of marriage and talk about its benefits and then turn around and deny that right to those who have long-standing, committed relationships? How can I not ensure the same benefit is present for my colleague from Burnaby—Douglas? He has not been in a relationship as long as mine of 34 years, but he has had a relationship for 24 years with his partner. Why can he not enjoy the benefits of marriage and show the world what his relationship means?

    That is one aspect of my background which I bring to the debate.

    The second is that I come to this debate as a practising Christian, as a long-standing member and activist in my own church, the United Church of Canada, a church I have been a member of all my life, first in the village I grew up in, the Conestoga United Church, and now in Winnipeg at the Kildonan United Church. I say that because so often in this debate those of us who support same sex marriage are accused of being without principles, morals or religious underpinnings.

    It is important to put on record just how much this is a part of all of us who are practising Christians or who are religious and have a faith, whatever denomination.

    In my case, the United Church has been absolutely consistent over the years with its perspective and vigilance in the pursuit of justice and equality. The message of the United Church is the message I bring to the House today. The message of the Christian church at its best has always been a message of inclusive love, to love others as we love ourselves. The ministry of Jesus powerfully demonstrated that this inclusive love of God challenged cultural norms and questioned the limits of who was truly faithful. As my church has said, I believe a vote for same sex marriage would express what Christian love demands for our times.

  +-(1040)  

    Like my own church, I am not willing to support the use of Holy Scripture in any argument against same sex marriage. I suggest those who are so using these verses are abusing its authority in the same way the Holy Scripture has been abused to justify slavery, resist equal rights for women and to purport to justify the divine right of kings against the will of elected Parliaments.

    I bring to the debate a strong faith and belief in the church. I also bring to the debate a lifelong involvement in the fight for equal rights. This is not a last minute decision. This has been a part of who I am from the day I chose to get involved in political life in Canada. That goes back to over 20 years ago when we were dealing with a similar issue in the Manitoba legislature in 1987.

    At that time, when I was the Manitoba New Democratic Party representative for the constituency of St. Johns in Winnipeg and a minister of the crown, serving as the minister for culture, heritage, recreation, status of women and multiculturalism, we debated the Manitoba human rights legislation. I can remember to this day, the spring of 1987, standing up in the Manitoba legislature and making the same kind of speech that I am making today. I can remember hearing the same arguments, the same opposition, the same cries that we were bringing society down to its knees and that we were leading toward the destruction of the basic moral fabric of our society today.

    At that time, we were debating the inclusion of sexual orientation in the non-discrimination clause of the Manitoba human rights legislation. Exactly the same arguments I am hearing today, I heard 20 years ago. I heard the same fearmongering, the same threats and the same personal attacks.

    The New Democratic Party government persisted despite the opposition of the Conservatives in Manitoba. We persisted despite huge outcries from well organized campaigns. Interestingly, today it is really a non-issue. From what I hear from the Conservatives, they accept non-discrimination based on sexual orientation. They say that they accept the inclusion of sexual orientation in the charter, but they will not take it the next step.

    I am here to say we did that. We proved to society that it did not bring an end to everything that was good about our society. We strengthened society by ensuring that our notion of equality was extended to all peoples. Today we are here, a very proud moment in our history, taking one more step of ensuring that we permit and encourage those in same sex relationships, if they so choose, to express that in the institution of marriage. How can we resist that cry, that call, that fundamental issue of justice and equality?

    I am here today to simply say this is something we must do from the point of view of recognition of marriage as a union of two people committed to one another, wanting to be in a loving relationship, to share their lives. That is what they are saying. How can we say no to that?

    We are also here because we know that the overriding issue is equality. It is not how we in our individual social traditions view marriage. This is an important battle for everyone facing less than equal status in our society today. It is an important battle for minorities of whatever type. We are all in some respect in a minority position.

  +-(1045)  

    The rock, the foundation of our justice system has been our legal right to be treated equally. It has taken us a long time to approach that ideal. This issue is yet one more step toward making that ideal a reality. That national commitment to equality across all boundaries and divisions in our society is the core of the tolerance and social peace that makes Canada the envy of the world. It cannot be compromised.

  +-(1050)  

+-

    Hon. Gurbax Malhi (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the majority of Canadians of all faiths are united against the concept of same sex marriage. I have received thousands of letters, phone calls, e-mails and visits from Canadians opposed to same sex marriage. My mailbox is overflowing with mail from Canadians who are opposed to same sex marriage.

    The same sex marriage debate is not divided along purely generational lines, with seniors opposed and youth in favour. I recently received a large thank you message signed by dozens of young people ranging from 10 to 20 years of age. All of them thanked me for my stand on this issue. They included Neil, age 12; Heather, age 16; Dave, age 15; Tammy, age 20; Michelle, age 24; Tanya, age 13; and Ryan, age 12.

    Most major religions in Canada believe that marriage is the relationship of a man and a woman. This has been central to the teachings of these religions since their origins and reflects human history.

    The Interfaith Coalition on Marriage and the Family includes Roman Catholics, Muslims and Sikhs. Members include the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Islamic Society of North America, the B.C. Muslim Association, the B.C. Council of Sikhs, the Ontario Council of Sikhs, the Ontario Gurdwara Committee, and many other organizations across Canada.

    The Association for Marriage and the Family in Ontario is a coalition of concerned pro-family organizations including Focus on the Family (Canada) Association, the Canada Family Action Coalition, and REAL Women of Canada. A majority of the main religions in Canada are against changing the definition of marriage.

    Same sex marriage is not considered as a human right according to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. Just because differences exist in society, it does not mean that inequality and discrimination exist. Consider for example, that a woman is not entitled to use the men's washroom. This is not a case of her being discriminated against. It is because she does not meet the criterion of someone to whom the washroom is assigned. Likewise, if a same sex couple is not entitled to marry, it is not that those individuals are being discriminated against or that their equal rights are being violated. It is that they do not meet the criterion of a couple to whom that institution is assigned.

    The proposed redefinition of marriage clashes with the faith and practice of many Canadians. It also has enormous civil and social implications for everyone. The Asian businessmen and professionals association of Canada recently argued against equating same sex unions with marriage. As Canadians they see the institution of marriage as the union of one man and one woman for mutual support and for procreation of children. They see it as essential to the well-being of society.

    The natural law of marriage, the good of the couple and the procreation and education of children is present in men and women. It stands as the natural dimension of the union.

    It is biologically obvious that only a male and female of the species are able to form what other animals call a breeding pair and what we call marriage. Such male-female pair bondings are a biological fact of life. They are not a social construct which can be shaped according to the fashion of the day. That is because no other social task can compare with the creation and nurturing of the next generation.

  +-(1055)  

    Males and females complement each other. Children need the warmth and comfort of the mother and the playful rough and tumble as well as the protection of the father. The law of the land should not deny children the possibility of having both a mother and a father. The great circle of life is male and female.

    This even applies to the world of man-made objects. A table is not complete without a chair. A picture needs the support of a frame. Opposites come together and complete the circle of life. We need a key to open a door lock. Wheels are needed to drive a car. Likewise, men and women need each other to complete the circle of life. Marriage is an expression of natural and divine law.

    Consider the contribution made to our society by marriage and the typical family. Marriage as the union of a man and a woman has been known and celebrated in all civilizations in recorded history. People then and now need mutual support in the form of the family for the procreation of the species.

    Major religions of the world have made marriage a central concern. For most religions, marriage has three essential aspects: the mutual care of the couple; the openness to procreation; and the special grace granted by the ceremony of marriage. All three aspects, mutual support, openness to procreation and public commitment, are essential to a full definition of marriage.

    Canadians support the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others. This definition merely reflects the reality of what has existed in society for 6,000 years.

    There is ample evidence that marriage results in durable and lasting relationships in the majority of cases. It is also the most stable setting for the rearing of children. It provides role models for both sexes as well as economic and social security.

    Is it possible to change the practice and mindset of 6,000 years by simply changing the legal definition of a word? As legislators we need to be very prudent. Many religious organizations have expressed anger over the government's position on same sex marriage.

    I would simply ask that we preserve the current definition of marriage since it is wholesome for the common good, in keeping with the natural law and in conformity with God's design for the world.

+-

    Mr. Dean Allison (Niagara West—Glanbrook, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I am deeply aware of both the privilege and the responsibility that I have as the representative of the diverse communities and residents that compose the riding of Niagara West—Glanbrook.

    All my fellow members of Parliament and I have a duty to reflect the values and concerns of our constituents. I will be voting against this legislation that would change the definition of marriage, confident that I am faithfully taking the direction that has been so clearly expressed by the people of Niagara West—Glanbrook.

    More than any other item on the government's agenda, which has been incredibly lacking when it comes to effectively responding to the real concerns of Canadians, the issue of same sex marriage has evoked an outpouring of commentary.

    Sometimes I wonder if the real reason the Liberal government is focusing so much energy on same sex marriage is to detract media and public attention from the fact that it has no vision, no focus and no direction for the future. That is one of the frequent comments I have been hearing from the residents of Niagara West—Glanbrook.

    It certainly is odd that a government that dithers on practically every decision is so determined on changing the definition of marriage. The fact that the government has embraced this legislation as the centrepiece of the Prime Minister's legacy shows how out of touch the government has really become.

    The same sex marriage bill has inspired tremendous debate and consideration throughout all segments of my community. I received feedback from more than 10,000 individuals from my constituency and thousands more from coast to coast on the definition of marriage. Even as I speak, I know my office staff are opening more letters and e-mails and answering more phone calls opposing the same sex marriage issue. Overwhelmingly, the residents of the communities of Niagara West—Glanbrook have indicated support for maintaining the current definition of marriage.

    I agree with the majority of public views I have received that marriage is the union between one man and one woman. During the election campaign, I promised I would vote in support of this definition. Promise made, promise kept. I will respect my constituents' wishes.

    I solicited the views of my constituents by asking them in a newsletter what they thought. I would like to share that response with members of Parliament. Almost 90% are against changing the meaning of marriage; 9% support changing it, and the remainder have no opinion.

    Contrary to the claims of the Prime Minister with regard to anyone who does not support this legislation, the residents of my riding are in fact Canadian. They do believe in Canadian values. They believe in democracy and they believe in the protection of individual rights and freedoms. They are Canadians who expect to have their voices heard in Parliament.

    I remind all members that their constituents similarly want to have their voices heard, but is the governing party listening? Are individual Liberal MPs representing their constituents?

    The truth is that when it comes to democratic values, the Liberal Party is intolerant of any position that does not agree with its position. The evidence is that cabinet ministers and parliamentary secretaries in the government have been clearly told that they must vote to change the meaning of marriage if they want to keep their job. It does not matter if their constituents disagree with their vote. They have no voice. Only the Prime Minister's voice matters. The collective will of Parliament is being ignored because of the Prime Minister's smug confidence that he knows best.

    In 1999 the Parliament of Canada passed a motion in support of the traditional definition of marriage. The vote was 216 in favour and 55 opposed. A clear majority of members of Parliament, responsible and accountable to Canadians who elected them as MPs across Canada, had their say and now it is being ignored.

    The commitments made by individual Liberal MPs and cabinet ministers again have also become worthless. The former Liberal minister of justice and current Deputy Prime Minister said, “I support the motion for maintaining the clear legal definition of marriage in Canada as the union of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others”. I guess the Deputy Prime Minister wants to keep her fancy car and driver.

  +-(1100)  

    Before he became a cabinet minister, the government House leader was firm in his principles and beliefs. To quote from a letter he wrote in February 2001: “I strongly concur with your view that the sanctity of marriage must be upheld in Canadian society”. He explained that he voted in support of the motion to preserve the definition of marriage and said that he would continue to do so. Perhaps he forgot to add, “Until I get a cabinet appointment and my marching orders from the Prime Minister”.

    I urge these ministers, along with other Liberal members who are uncomfortable with the Prime Minister muzzling their constituents, to break rank and to represent their constituents, not their party leader and Prime Minister.

    This past weekend CTV had a poll that indicated some of the least desirable or least trustworthy professions, careers and jobs. It is no wonder that politicians were at the end of the list as not being well respected, along with car salesmen.

    It is insulting to see the Prime Minister wrap himself in the Canadian flag claiming that marriage must be changed and attack any opponents as trampling on human rights. The Prime Minister's arguments are weak and cannot be trusted. The Prime Minister talked about rights and freedoms of Canadians, yet is the first to attack individuals who support the traditional definition of marriage as being religious zealots. The proposed legislation opens up a Pandora's box of problems, particularly in the areas of religious freedom.

    Will churches be allowed to teach their beliefs related to marriage? Will religious leaders be forced to set aside their beliefs or even face persecution if they refuse to perform same sex marriages? Will religious schools be able to hire staff who respect and follow their doctrines and practices? Will the charitable status of religious organizations be threatened? Will marriage commissioners be penalized or lose their job if they refuse to perform marriages that are not in accordance to their religious belief?

    Despite the assurances of the Prime Minister, the legislation contains no such protection. A few words in the preamble, not the actual text of the legislation, do not carry the legal weight to offer any kind of guarantee. There are simple ways to ensure that religious freedoms are protected. Do not change the definition of marriage.

    The clear message I have heard from my constituents is that they do not want this fundamental institution changed. They overwhelmingly believe that marriage is the union between one man and one woman. The Prime Minister has suggested that anyone opposed to his scheme of redefining marriage is somehow going against Canadian values of fairness and equality. I want to be clear that the constituents of my riding are not being discriminatory. Canadians have had the good sense to know that maintaining the traditional definition of marriage is not contrary to same sex couples also having rights to equality within our society.

    The law can and should continue to recognize the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. Canadians belong to a long tradition--

  +-(1105)  

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx): On a point of order, the member for Saskatoon—Wanuskewin.

+-

    Mr. Maurice Vellacott: Mr. Speaker, there does not appear to be a quorum in the House.

    And the count having been taken:

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx): Call in the members.

    And the bells having rung:

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx): Resuming debate, the hon. member for Niagara West—Glanbrook has two minutes left.

  +-(1110)  

+-

    Mr. Dean Allison: Mr. Speaker, Canadians belong to a long tradition of democracy, of deciding on core values that are most important to them and creating laws to reflect those values. If an important social institution that affects every Canadian regardless of race, ethnic origin or religious background is to be changed, it must only be changed according to the collective will and wisdom of all Canadians.

    The Prime Minister and the Liberal Party did not include changing the definition of marriage as a plank in their campaign platform during the election. There has been no broad consultation with Canadians. The cabinet is not free to vote according to their constituents' wishes. The Prime Minister knows that this legislation does not reflect Canadian principles. Instead of listening to communities across this country, the Liberal government is declaring that Canadians cannot be trusted to do what is right.

    When I vote against this unnecessary and unwanted legislation, I will be voting in support of two core beliefs that society is built upon. The first principle is that marriage is the unique relationship between a man and a woman. The other principle is that Canadians expect their elected officials to represent them with openness and accountability.

+-

    Hon. Marlene Jennings (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Canada—U.S.), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, some 31 years ago I sat down with my father to inform him that I had made a decision to be married. I had actually proposed to my fiancé, who became my husband. My father asked me if I had thought seriously about it, and I asked him why? My father said to me, “The young man you want to marry is white. Have you thought about the consequences of an interracial marriage in this day and age?” I am talking about the end of 1973.

    I said it was not a problem. There was not really any discrimination against interracial couples, but it started me thinking. It became a defining moment in my life because my parents were an interracial couple. My mother, who was deceased at that time, was white. She was French Canadian from Manitoba, the daughter of a Belgian woman who had come to Canada with her family under the Homestead Act and a francophone Manitoban whose original roots were in Quebec.

    It amazed me that my father, who was an African-American born in Alabama, raised under Jim Crow laws, emigrated to Canada in the mid 1940s when Jim Crow laws--

+-

    Mrs. Joy Smith: Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, it is the government's responsibility to have quorum in the House of Commons. There are not enough members in the House right now to conduct business properly. Can this be addressed and could the members be called in, please?

  +-(1115)  

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx): Before we call the members in, we will have a mathematical verification of the quorum.

    And the count having been taken:

    The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx): Call in the members.

    And the bells having rung:

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Marlene Jennings: Mr. Speaker, it is regrettable that the members of the Conservative Party are not interested in hearing any points of view that might differ from their own on Bill C-38. I am, however, pleased that a few Liberals and Bloc members are.

[English]

    I was at the point of talking about how my parents were an interracial couple. My father asked me whether I had thought carefully and deeply about the fact of wanting to marry a white man. That brought home to me the kind of discrimination that my parents would have faced through their years of marriage until my mother's death.

    It also brought home to me the fact there was discrimination and discrimination not just based on an individual's race, but that the discrimination could be against a couple either because they did not share religious background or because they did not share the same ethnic or racial origin, in some cases even because they did not share the same linguistic heritage.

    It was the first time in my life, and I was 22 years old at the time, that I realized the kind of pain that my parents must have experienced as an interracial couple in Canada in the Montreal area throughout their years of courtship, then marriage and raising a family of eight children.

    I married my husband. We will be celebrating 31 years of marriage this June. I must say that in the first years of our marriage we did in fact encounter some barriers because we were an interracial couple. It was quite astonishing that it happened in the area of rental property. I went to seek an apartment and informed the owner that I was married and that my husband was not available to come to look at it. That was not a problem, it was available, it was open. I was told to come back that evening with my husband and we could sign the lease. When I showed up with my white husband, all of a sudden the apartment was rented. They had no problem with renting to another couple of another race as long as both members of the couple were of the same race.

    The reason why I bring this up is because I want to speak to Canadians who are listening. I am not even going to talk to the members in the House because I believe that all of the members of the House have done their homework and have made up their minds whether to support or not to support Bill C-38. However, there are many Canadians who are watching who may not have made up their minds. Some have, but some have not.

    I want Canadians to think about the impact of discrimination and exclusion on the life of an individual and on the life of a couple. I want to read two letters before I go to my main speech. The first letter was published in the National Post on Tuesday, March 8. It states:

    I wonder if those fighting so hard against same-sex marriage ever consider how much it means to gays. They don't know what it's like to be a teenager -- when the pressure to conform is so great -- and you experience the horror of realizing that you are gay. They can't understand what it's like to listen to your friends talk about how they hate queers and how they wish they were dead. You consider suicide, because you never want anyone to find out the truth about yourself; your shame is too great to bear.

    And these people can't understand the hope that filled my soul when I first found out that Canada was considering allowing same-sex marriage. This legislation goes so far beyond marriage. It is a symbol. It represents the hopes and dreams of gays for a better world. Now that I'm 18, I can finally admit to myself that I am gay and no longer feel the shame that almost drew me suicide. At least now I have hope. What I can't understand is how people like Father de Souza, who are supposed to be in the business of giving people hope, are so determined to crush it.

    Jason Reede, Toronto.

    I have another letter which is addressed to me. It is from one of my constituents. It states:

    Do you realize how much traditional marriage means to so many Canadians? Do you realize how much your decision affects our future? As a 17yr old Canadian Citizen, I urge you to support traditional marriage and listen to your conscience. VOTE NO!

    Sincerely,

    Andrea Cowie.

    As have many members of the House, I have received thousands of e-mails, faxes, letters, and telephone calls on both sides of issue. Yes, I am going to vote with my conscience and I am going to vote in favour of Bill C-38.

  +-(1120)  

[Translation]

    Even if this House has heard some speeches, arguments and heartfelt personal opinions, both for and against same sex marriage, we have very little factual information on this subject, and there is a reason for that.

    Until very recently, our society marginalized same sex partners to such an extent that they often lived secret and almost invisible lives. That does not mean that they did not exist in Canada and elsewhere. Gays and lesbians, and same sex couples are an integral party of our history, but since they were not socially accepted, particularly from the Victorian era on, an atmosphere was created that was so hostile as to force many gays and lesbians to keep a very low profile.

    Fortunately, society's attitudes toward gays and lesbians are changing, here in Canada especially. What is more, many Canadian gays and lesbians are of such strong character that they are prepared to acknowledge their sexual orientation publicly. I would like to point out, in fact, that there is probably not a single member of this House who has not at some point been touched and impressed by the courage of a family member, friend, colleague or neighbour who has publicly acknowledged his or her sexual orientation publicly and the desire to be accepted as a person,and even as a member of a couple.

    Not that long ago, being gay or lesbian was considered a shameful secret that had to be concealed from one's parents, relatives and friends. The fact that a son or daughter, brother or sister was gay had to be kept from family and friends.

[English]

    The previous discrimination, some of which still exists today, of exclusion for gays and lesbians was not accepted. Happily, our society has a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Under this Charter of Rights and Freedoms, our courts have said that the traditional definition of marriage goes against our charter. It is the civil definition of marriage. We are not talking about religious marriage.

    I would urge the members of the House to vote in favour of Bill C-38 and to let our gays and lesbians of Canada know that the institution of civil marriage is as open to them as it is to heterosexual Canadians.

  +-(1125)  

+-

    Mr. Vic Toews (Provencher, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to speak today to the matter off Bill C-38. I have made it clear in the course of debate that I personally support the traditional definition of marriage as being one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

    Heterosexual marriage has a unique social purpose that other relationships simply do not share. This statement is based on information that the justice committee heard last year, describing the functions of marriage as a heterosexual institution in various contexts, legal, economic, social anthropological and historical. To fundamentally alter the nature and the function of heterosexual marriage is something that is simply not supported by the evidence.

    We can all agree that the societal shifts that will results from the statutory recognition of marriage between two people of the same sex are potentially enormous. Even the most strident proponents of same sex marriage have acknowledged as much. As McGill scholar, Dr. Daniel Cere said in his committee testimony:

    The proposal to delete heterosexuality from the definition of marriage will change the internal meaning of this institution...will inevitably affect the identity of those who are shaped and sustained by this institution.

    Dr. Cere cautioned the committee in proceeding with the legislation for several reasons, but as an academic, Dr. Cere made the following point:

    It seems odd for jurists to be forging ahead with legal reconfigurations of marriage at such an early stage of debate. In the academy there has been little in the way of substantive response to this new body of argumentation and advocacy. Critical evaluation will eventually come, but perhaps too late as courts and legislatures are pushed to move.

    Recent polling numbers from multiple national polling firms suggest that two-thirds of Canadians do not support redefining traditional marriage. The same Canadians however do, for the most part, support the legal recognition of same sex unions. This is precisely the reasonable compromise position that the Leader of the Opposition and the Conservative Party have taken. Yet the Prime Minister continues to attack our leader and our party, suggesting that somehow our refusal to endorse the government position is un-Canadian.

    The current Liberal argument that this is purely a matter of human rights is, at best, one side of a legal opinion and, at worst, a cynical attempt to intimidate Canadians into supporting the government's legislation. For some to imply that those who believe otherwise are somehow not worthy of participating in the debate is an insult to Canadians and to Canadian values.

    By refusing to appeal the lower court decisions on same sex marriage, the Liberal government irresponsibly set up the stage for the domino effect of the subsequent lower court rulings and the patchwork of laws currently in place across the country.

    The strategy of the Prime Minister was clear. His strategy was simply to get the marriage question off the agenda during last year's election. However, his secondary strategy of asking the appointed judiciary to determine the future of marriage in Canada and therefore allow the Liberal Party to escape political responsibility for their policy choice in this respect was a decided failure.

    Last December, the issue of marriage was unceremoniously dumped back into the lap of the government. The Supreme Court of Canada refused to be played for a political fool on this issue and refused to declare the traditional definition of marriage unconstitutional. While Liberal MPs continue to perpetuate the myth that the Supreme Court has ruled on the constitutionality of traditional marriage, it quite clearly has done no such thing.

    Because the Supreme Court of Canada has not ruled that the traditional definition of marriage is unconstitutional, there is no need to use the notwithstanding clause to override any such decision. Therefore, the Conservative Party intends to legislate, for the first time, the traditional definition of marriage and, at the same time, move to provide legal recognition for those in same sex unions. This will be done on the basis of a free vote, unlike the broken promise of the Prime Minister.

  +-(1130)  

    However, what if there is a majority of members in the House who mistakenly vote to change the definition of marriage? We in the Conservative Party are committed to bringing forward amendments to protect religious freedom insofar as it is possible from the perspective of federal legislation.

    One issue that must be addressed is the fact that the Minister of Justice has simply recycled an unconstitutional provision to protect religious freedom. Let me be perfectly clear. There are absolutely no legal protections in the bill for freedom of religion or freedom of conscience. Whether this provision was intended to be simply declaratory or not, the one thing that the Supreme Court of Canada has been absolutely clear about in the reference is that the provision that the Liberals are putting into the bill is unconstitutional beyond the jurisdiction of the federal government to enact.

    The Prime Minister continues to promise that he will invoke the notwithstanding clause to protect religious freedom for clergy. The notwithstanding clause cannot be used to give the federal government authority to legislate in provincial matters where it has no such authority. Again, another empty promise by the Prime Minister.

    On three counts, the government has sought to mislead Canadian citizens. First, that the Supreme Court of Canada has in fact determined the definition of marriage when it has done no such thing. Second, it has also misled Canadians on the fact that the provision on religious freedom protects religious freedoms. Third, the Prime Minister has misled Canadians in saying that he will use the notwithstanding clause to protect religious freedoms when he in fact knows that it is beyond his jurisdiction to do that.

    This is all in the context of the Deputy Prime Minister along with the Prime Minister, the former prime minister, the former minister of justice who initiated this legislation and the majority of the Liberal caucus all voted in 1999 in favour of taking all necessary steps to retain the traditional definition of marriage. Yet they did not even take the minimum steps necessary to appeal the decision. They have broken their word to Canadians in the past and there is no reason to believe on their past record that they will take any steps to protect religious freedom in this country.

    As I have stated before on previous occasions, while there are individual exceptions, there has been a consistent pattern of equality rights prevailing over the rights of religious freedom and conscience, both in charter cases and cases brought before human rights tribunals. Furthermore, this proposed change is continuing to have a chilling effect on the exercise of religious freedom in the country.

    Last month I received an e-mail from a person who conducts a marriage class as part of a church organization. This person was frightened to put the course on because if she advertised the course in the community as a course on marriage, given that the church's position was in support of the traditional definition of marriage, she feared the church would be brought in front of the Human Rights Commission if the course did not admit a homosexual couple. Given the current human rights decisions in this country, she is absolutely right in her concern.

    Provided that the exercise of religious freedom remains within the four corners of the church and its immediate membership, then we could have religious freedom in the country, that is if we remain in a religious ghetto. However, if there is a broader appeal to the community, then we are in danger of running afoul of our human rights laws.

    For the government to suggest that somehow, as its ministers have done, that those with religious beliefs or that religious organizations have no place in social policy debates, reflects a disturbing trend that is not dissimilar from the totalitarian regimes that many Canadians and their families fled in coming to this country.

  +-(1135)  

    I recall specifically the statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs who basically said that there was no place for the church and religious organizations in the public debate on same sex marriage. This is simply unacceptable. The concept of the separation of church and state is to protect religion, not to allow the state to coerce religious organizations.

    I ask members to think very clearly and carefully about this bill that poses so many dangers and risks to the real practice of freedom and real human rights in this country.

+-

    Mr. John Cannis (Scarborough Centre, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to stand today and talk to Bill C-38.

    Before I get into my comments I want to begin by thanking the residents of Scarborough Centre who, a year and a half ago, responded to a questionnaire I sent out which asked them for their views on this most important issue and whether they agreed or disagreed. It is not every day that a member of Parliament has this most unique opportunity to express the views of his or her constituents. Therefore, when we vote on this bill, either in favour or not, it will not simply be our view, it will be the view of those constituents.

    I would like to give those statistics that came into my office that were compiled September 8, 2003: 94.3% were against redefining the traditional term of marriage and 5.7% were in favour. When we do surveys or polls, it is said that 500 is a substantial number, 600 is very good but 800 is even better. Well, this was 1,050 responses and that does not include the hundreds of e-mails, telephone calls, letters, et cetera.

    What am I driving at? When we have this most unique opportunity on a free vote, as the Prime Minister committed to and kept his word, I believe that if each member of Parliament had approached it in a similar way, they would have then truly expressed the wishes of their constituents and, indeed, the vast majority of Canadians. Unfortunately, that has not been done.

    I would like to refer to what was said earlier today when the previous member and the member from Niagara West—Glanbrook spoke. What I do not like about the debate that is unfolding is the fact that instead of pointing out the pros and cons, the merits or demerits of this, they consistently attacked the Prime Minister and ministers.

    Let us put everything into perspective. The government does not have a majority in numbers. Let me say for the record what the numbers are in the House today. The Liberals have 133 members. The Conservative Party has 99 members. The Bloc Québécois has 54 members. The NDP has 19. We have two independents and one vacancy. If my math serves me correctly, the opposition side has 175 members. Therefore, if they chose to defeat this bill they could do it. However all I heard today was how only the Prime Minister's voice matters. That is just not true and it is being intellectually dishonest. The Prime Minister committed to a free vote and that is what we are having.

    What does the member of the Conservative Party have to say about his colleagues who will be voting in favour of this bill, unlike members of other parties, for example, who have insisted that it is mandatory to support this legislation?

    I will take a moment to express some of my concerns with the legislation. When I was approached after the 1993 election, I was asked for my personal view on marriage and I said that I supported the traditional term of marriage as that between a man and woman to the exclusion of all others. However I did not go out and persistently try to change people's minds. I told them that we would win when the issue came to the floor, that we would have an open and transparent debate and that everybody would have their say. Here we are today.

  +-(1140)  

    What happened back in that mandate? We brought forth legislation to avoid discrimination based on sexual orientation, which was good legislation. However, leading up to that debate I can recall the member from Burnaby, Mr. Robinson, saying that was all they wanted, some protection. After that vote was successfully achieved, they were out there saying that it was just a beginning, which was when I started to have concerns.

    Let us fast-forward down the road to today where we are saying that we should simply pass Bill C-38 given that the Supreme Court of Canada put it in our court. My concern about this is that the vote has not even unfolded yet and we are hearing the member for Vancouver East, who is concerned about adoption, saying:

    It would seem to me to be obvious that if you recognize their right to marry, then on what basis do we deny people the right to adopt children?

    Yukon's adoption laws are ambiguous, while gay couples are denied adoption rights in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nunavut. Other jurisdictions have various interpretations. My concern is that adoption rights will be the next step.

    I also am not convinced that religious groups will be protected. Let us assume for a moment that they are protected in legislation. We know the legislation has been contested. I am concerned that if a religious group denies a request to perform a service then another challenge will come and we begin again.

    The attorney general of British Columbia also had some concerns. An article in the Vancouver Sun on February 3, 2005, states:

    Polygamy law vulnerable to legal challenge: Plant: B.C.'s attorney-general....

    The article goes on to state, “'Canada's law prohibiting polygamy is vulnerable to a legal challenge and could be struck down because of conflicts with religious freedoms', says B.C. Attorney General Geoff Plant”.

    Today we are bringing forth legislation to defend, under the charter, minority rights. What is to stop anybody in the future from saying that his or her rights are being infringed upon? And, of course, we will have a challenge.

    If we were to look back 15, 20, 30 years ago we would see that certain initiatives were against the law. It was against the law In the United States to be a homosexual or a lesbian. Who can say that down the road this again will be challenged in the courts and somehow a different ruling will be brought forward?

    We do want to protect all Canadians. I am very proud of the Prime Minister for having given us a free vote. However the numbers on the Liberal side are not enough to pass the legislation. I therefore send a challenge to the other parties, the Conservative Party, the Bloc Québécois and the NDP, to canvas their constituents, especially if we are here to represent our constituents on such issues where there is a free vote, and no matter what the response, yea or nay, they should then stand and be the voice of their constituents, whether they agree or disagree. Unfortunately, that has not happened.

    I wanted to go on record to express my views, as I have in the past, and I wanted to bring these statistics forward. I encourage members of the Conservative Party to stop attacking the Prime Minister or the government on this issue. I encourage them to bring forward their views, their suggestions, their positions and to stick to that. This is not sparring across the floor. This is probably one of the most important issues that we have faced and that I have faced since I was first elected in 1993.

  +-(1145)  

    I am glad today that I am not expressing my view and my opinion only. I will be expressing the views and the opinions of the vast majority of the constituents of Scarborough Centre.

+-

    Mr. Russ Hiebert (South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, CPC): Mr. Speaker, for years the Liberals have misled Canadians on the definition of marriage, in the same way they have misled Canadians on the purpose of the sponsorship program. Just as ad scam used national unity as a cover, same sex marriage advocates have used the false cover of equality to mask their agenda.

    Despite years of hearings and millions spent by the Liberal government to gain an excuse from the courts to redefine marriage, the Liberals still lack a mandate to proceed.

    No one would debate that the Supreme Court of Canada has set itself up as the defender of minority rights in this country. If this issue was really a question about the fundamental human rights, as the Prime Minister claims, then why did the high court not say so.

    The government asked the high court a direct question: Is there a constitutional requirement to redefine marriage? The court refused to answer. It said that it was merely a political question for Parliament to decide.

    Why is this government pursuing this? Let us take a look at the history of this issue.

    In the House of Commons and in the courts the government took the public position until June 2003 that marriage was the union of one man and one woman. Suddenly, just days after the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that marriage should be redefined to include any two persons, the government reversed course 180 degrees. It completely flip-flopped on this all important issue.

    What happened? Did the government have a remarkable conversion experience? Did it have a revelation of a brand new human right than on other national or international court of justice or even the UN commission on human rights has ever recognized? What changed in the course of literally a few days to suddenly convince the Liberal government of this new right?

    Is there another explanation? Did the government decide long before this issue ever made it to the courts to pursue the redefinition of marriage in law? Did the government in fact have a hidden agenda all along, a hidden agenda that was first exposed publicly in June 2003, a hidden agenda that had to remain hidden for years because too many Liberal MPs in the backbenches would not tolerate it without the courts taking the lead?

    There is evidence to support this proposition. First, the federal government has given same sex marriage advocates, Egale, hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to support their litigation.

    Second, the Liberals have given millions more to the court challenges program which has funded numerous other intervenors in these court cases. The court challenges program even funded the litigation strategy meetings that led to marriage being challenged in the courts in the first place.

    Third, there is the extremely tight relationship between Egale and past and present prime ministers and justice ministers. According to a National Post editorial of March 1, 2000, the former justice minister, now Deputy Prime Minister, “Already agreed with Egale to consult them before deciding whether or not to seek leave to appeal. Egale simply told the minister what to do and she did it. Her secretive collusion with Egale, with whom she pretends to have an adversarial relationship in court, raises more than political questions. It raises questions of ministerial ethics as well”.

    There are no legal reasons for redefining marriage but are there even legitimate political reasons for doing so?

    First, there is no significant petition before this House demanding same sex marriage but there are hundreds of thousands of signatures opposing it. This is not a trivial point. The reason Egale and its supporters cannot generate a significant petition is that there is no support for their position, even in the gay community. This is supported by the evidence offered by provincial governments that only a few thousand same sex couples have married in the two years since provincial appeal courts redefined marriage.

    Statistics Canada has been collecting census data on same sex couples who cohabit and yet we know that merely a few per cent of such couples have taken advantage of this situation. We have clear evidence that there is little interest in same sex marriage in the gay community.

    On the other side of the coin, we have clear evidence from the general public of a desire to maintain the traditional definition of marriage. I have already mentioned petitions. I know other members have already spoken to the thousands of communications they have received in support of a one man and one woman marriage, and my riding is no different.

  +-(1150)  

    I am hard-pressed to find any serious political justification for redefining marriage either. This is not a values neutral question. Redefining marriage will have serious consequences for Canadian society. In fact there is hard evidence of some of these consequences already.

    First, let us consider the impact on children. According to the social science research, children do best in the home of a married mother and father. The courts are required to consider the best interests of children. If the definition of marriage is redefined, same sex adoption and fostering will forever legally deny some children a mother and a father.

    It is not speculation that this will be the reality. I note the New Brunswick Minister of Family and Community Services told the CBC on February 8 that his province will move to allow homosexual adoption:

    Once Ottawa passes this bill, if they do, then as a provincial government we have to adhere to the federal laws, and if the federal definition of marriage includes same-sex couples, then we will have to look at that legislation.

    Minister Tony Huntjens maintains that the province would not make the change if Bill C-38 were defeated.

    Second, the educational curriculum in the public schools looks set to change as a result of this bill as well. A school board in my riding fought a case all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada in recent years for the right to a curriculum that represents the values and concerns of parents. The parents won that case, but as a result of the B.C. appeal court decision redefining marriage, the province of B.C. is already being sued by activists who want to force same sex marriage into the public school curriculum. If Parliament passes Bill C-38, the rights of these parents to a curriculum that reflects their values will be extinguished.

    Third, we are also seeing the rights of faith based groups threatened by the redefinition of marriage. I note the case of the Knights of Columbus Hall in Port Coquitlam, B.C. This church organization faces prosecution for refusing a same sex wedding celebration.

    Fourth, we are seeing the rights of marriage commissioners violated by the provinces. Marriage commissioners have been forced out of their jobs because of their religious beliefs. That is wrong and a violation of their human rights.

    This case bears special mention because the government has inserted a clause in Bill C-38 that fraudulently purports to protect the religious freedoms of clergy, but as one Liberal MP said, it is a hoax. The Supreme Court has already pointed out that the clause is outside the powers of the federal government and can have no legal effect. Indeed only the provinces can protect marriage commissioners through legislation, as we have already seen, and as we have already seen, they are doing exactly the opposite. The provinces are currently violating commissioners' rights and are being publicly applauded, I should add, by the government's deputy House leader.

    This is a very disturbing trend developing here with respect to the rights of Canadians of faith to speak publicly and act on their beliefs. Canadians of faith are being ordered by the Liberals to leave the public square. Recently the Minister of Foreign Affairs had no trouble telling the church not to comment on this issue, that it had no business addressing affairs of state, but of course this issue directly impacts the church. The Knights of Columbus Hall in B.C. is likely only the first of many such cases pitting the rights of religious institutions against this proposed new sexual licence.

    That situation has caused a chilling effect already. I spoke with a church administrator in my riding who stated that the church has been given legal advice to break its ties with a government sponsored program that benefits the community because of the implications of this legislation. They are worried that cooperating with government would make them vulnerable to religious persecution.

    It is time that those opposed to faith based views ended their religious discrimination and extended the courtesy of tolerance to the over 90% of Canadians who claim to hold religious convictions and allowed them full access to the public square. That includes the Prime Minister as well. He is violating the religious convictions of many of his own cabinet ministers by forcing them to vote for this bill. If the Prime Minister does not respect the consciences and religious convictions of his own friends and allies, then what hope do ordinary Canadians have of seeing their freedoms protected?

    Without religious freedom, there would be no democracy. Religious freedom is ultimately the freedom to express one's most deeply held beliefs with the full protection of the law. From pure religious freedom springs forth all the democratic freedoms, including the freedoms of speech, press, association, assembly and the right to vote.

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    In summation, I support the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. Bill C-38 is neither constitutionally required nor publically desired. It will negatively impact children, their parents and teachers. It will negatively impact religious institutions and faith leaders. It is bad public policy and it must be defeated.

[Translation]

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    Mr. Bernard Patry (Pierrefonds—Dollard, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, there are times when certain issues in society reach through to the heart of our duties as parliamentarians, requiring us to do our best as citizens and human beings.

    It is my firm conviction that this debate on Bill C-38 is the embodiment of a fundamental issue, which, at its heart, affects the lives of many Canadians, and constitutes one of those moments when we must elevate ourselves to a level of dignity and calm, which govern our conduct and the tone of our speeches. And we owe this to our constituents, who are expecting every member of Parliament to rise above prejudice and demagoguery to better seek the common good.

    This essential dimension of our duty as members is, in fact, related to the primary meaning and the ultimate purpose of public commitment, the diversity of ideological and political options represented in this House aside, should guide all of us. In other words, we must do everything in our power to improve the living conditions of the people of our country, and in particular to diminish any kind of exclusion, so that every person in Canada can, in terms of who they are and they rights they enjoy, achieve their potential as human beings.

    The bill calls upon us, deeply and forcefully, to remember that as legislators we must promote and protect fundamental rights. As a result, whenever some people are found to enjoy fewer rights than others because of prejudice against their ethnic origins, social status, moral and religious convictions or sexual orientation, then it is our duty to pass laws that guarantee them access to the same rights as others.

    It is a duty laid upon this Parliament to work to make our country's laws consistent.

    In this way, our fellow citizens would be justified in doubting the relevance of our role if they found that, while we espouse attachment to fundamental rights, we retreat when it comes time to adopt legislation to formally guarantee these same rights. Such inconsistency distances us from the sense of honour and the moral and political courage that the voters expect of us, no matter how diverse their opinions on this and other issues.

    This bill also reminds us of our duty to advocate in our daily lives the very value that sets our country apart, and that is tolerance. It may be hard to show tolerance, but it is a value that shows our true character. It requires us to let go of our fears and our feelings of insecurity about what makes us different and it forces us to understand one another, people who are different, and to accept the reality of an individual's personal identity.

    Tolerance does not mean having to give up individual values. In fact, it gives them more meaning. All of us in this House have ethical, religious, political and social convictions that define us as humans or public figures and that also reflect the wealth and diversity of our country. Every individual in our country is free to promote and defend their convictions and express them without fear of being persecuted or ostracized.

    Some people with strong conservative values, whose Christian faith is deep and meaningful, have understood this. We should be inspired by their stance.

    I am thinking specifically of the late U.S. senator, Barry Goldwater, champion of renewing conservative values in the United States, who courageously defended the rights of gays and lesbians. For him, a right became real only if it was accessible to all, which proves his unwavering dedication to what he saw as sacred individual freedoms.

    I can also quote former Conservative member of this House, and devout Christian, Reginald Stackhouse. In the Globe and Mail on December 17, Mr. Stackhouse wrote, in support of this bill:

[English]

    As a Canadian, I don't have to agree with gays and lesbians. I don't have to approve their marrying, I just have to respect their right to do it and live their lives in a peaceful, open way. Showing that respect is something I should do for the common good, not just for the right of gay and lesbian individuals. This country is a better place to live for all of us when we acknowledge we can be different without fighting about it.

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[Translation]

    Mr. Stackhouse's comments inspire a great deal of respect, because they are full of respect for the rights and dignity of others. They speak of freedom fully embraced, the incarnation of the pluralism in which all of us in this House claim to share.

    It consists in the recognition of the right of others, as well, to be who they really are. Pluralism is enhanced through this bill with the formal recognition of each individual's right to live according to their personal beliefs enjoy respect for their identity and dignity as human beings. If we lack the courage to commit to fully recognizing this, we can talk about our attachment to pluralism and rights until the cows come home, but our words will not ring true, because they will fly in the face of our actions.

    If, in Canada, we enjoy a level of freedom envied the world over, it is because we have been able to reach a social consensus around the idea that the guarantee of individual freedoms is based on respect for those of others. Consequently, my freedoms and rights cannot be protected if I use them to deny the freedoms and rights of others.

    Rights exist and are extended to all or none. Consequently, we cannot allow one group of individuals to be denied rights enjoyed by their fellow citizens. As soon as we identify such a denial, we have the responsibility as legislators to resolutely and courageously remedy it.

    Finally, I want to speak in my capacity as a doctor. This profession has taught me a great deal about human suffering and distress. I am happy to say that it has taught me to be constantly aware of people's general well-being, which enriches my political commitment.

    As a result, I have been able to see that a number of the health problems many experience arise from profound distress and suffering, often the result of being rejected because of prejudices about their innermost and inalienable identity. Too often in our society this is so hurtful that it drives some, an alarming number of our young people in particular, to suicide because they feel they are being held in contempt, ostracized and harassed for the simple reason that they were born with a sexual orientation that differs from that of the majority. Each such case is another human tragedy, a tragedy that casts a shadow on our own dignity, as it is a sign that we are still not capable of rising to the level of human values that would allow every individual to feel accepted and recognized just as they are.

    That is why I invite each of us to examine his or her conscience.

    Can we allow such suffering to continue? Must we continue to tolerate people being so wounded, fatally even, by hatred and prejudice? Is it fair for some people to have rights, while others are denied those rights? Are we doing everything in our power to make our society more welcoming of those who suffer the consequences of exclusion?

    It is up to each and every one of us to reflect on this very seriously, and to be aware of the consequences of the important responsibility we have for one category of citizens of our county, for their very lives even.

    Undeniably, we still have a long way to go before all consciences are won over to tolerance of others and respect of their differences. It is therefore true that this bill will not solve all problems relating to exclusion of this kind, but it will go a long way toward improving the well-being of one category of citizens. We must recognize that they are entitled to the rights enjoyed by the majority so that they will feel, and will in fact be, less excluded, less rejected, thus relieving some of their suffering and distress.

    This is not something that elected representatives often have the power to legislate.Today all of us here have that opportunity. Will we have enough courage and humanity to take advantage of that opportunity?

    I support this bill because it speaks to our purpose in being here: to improve the lives of those living in Canada, a task that goes hand in hand with the duty to do away with exclusion. I also support it because I believe that my own dignity suffers when the dignity of others who are different from me is compromised.

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[English]

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    Mr. Brian Pallister (Portage—Lisgar, CPC): Mr. Speaker, to discriminate has a meaning that is a pejorative one and is in common usage, but there is also another use for the word, which means to distinguish, to pay due attention to important distinctions. The word indiscriminate, widely used as the opposite of discriminate, means confused, done with no attention. Those are two important differences.

    The question here is to be indiscriminate or to discriminate, which is the appropriate use of those words. We all discriminate. In our purchases, in our associations, in our attitudes, each of us to some degree are discriminators. The charter itself is a discriminatory document in the sense that it chooses certain rights and freedoms for which it stands and it chooses others for which it does not. In that sense it is distinguishing and therefore it is discriminating.

    The underlying question is not whether the charter is perfect, few would make that claim. The question also is not whether marriage is perfect. I do not know of anyone who would make that claim. The question is not whether we discriminate. Of course we all do, and both of them do. The question is whether that discrimination is justified or not.

    The 2002 Gage Canadian Dictionary defines marriage as the union of husband and wife. Other dictionaries define marriage differently. The bill proposes to change the traditional definition of marriages and it proposes to do so on the basis that a same sex union should be treated as equal to an opposite sex union and that the differences therefore are unimportant.

    Opponents of the bill would argue, however, that there are differences which are important. They would argue that by ignoring or denying these differences, the government is acting in a confused and indiscriminate manner, and I believe they would be correct.

    The Liberal government has said that it will protect the religious freedoms of Canadians. That claim simply does not hold up, given the consistent Supreme Court record of individual rights trumping group rights. It does not hold up, given the fact that the jurisdiction of provincial governments negates federal ability to do so, to protect religious freedoms. A case in point would be the recent forced resignations of marriage commissioners in my home province of Manitoba and Saskatchewan as well on the basis that they refused to perform same sex marriages on religious grounds. The federal government cannot keep the promises it is making in the preamble to the legislation.

    A local pastor and friend of mine commented to me recently that it was good that homosexual people were coming out of the closets because those closets would be needed very soon for Christians. That is a fear that many, not solely Christians, in Canadian society have.

    Given the government's labelling of defenders of traditional marriage as intolerant, its ministers' attacks on church involvement in the debate, its threats of audits or revocation of charitable status of faith based charities that oppose its initiatives, words about protecting religious freedoms truly ring hollow. They ring as hollow as the Prime Minister's commitment to addressing the democratic deficit, while at the same time, forcing the members of his cabinet to vote for the bill and in so doing, denying their personal consciences and ignoring the wishes, therefore, of their constituents.

    The tactics used by the Prime Minister in the debate are self-defeating. One does not defend minorities by attacking majorities. One does not enhance individual rights by attacking the individual rights of parliamentarians in one's own caucus. One does not protect religious freedoms by dismissing those who oppose the bill on religious grounds as irrelevant or worse, as un-Canadian.

    Respect is nothing if it is not mutual. Where is the compromise here that allows for mutual respect? The Conservative position best accommodates that mutual respect by maintaining traditional marriage and by legally recognizing same sex partnerships. We offer a balance that is respectful and that truly reflects the values of Canadians.

    Members may recall 1960s philosophers Lennon and McCartney, who claimed Love is all you need. Love is defined as a deep feeling of fondness or selfless kindness. Everyone wants to be loved. Everyone wants to love. I can appreciate the point of view of someone who supports the bill on the assumption that it is more loving to allow all couples to claim marriage as their own. If we go at this issue solely from an adult perspective, that attitude is understandable.

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    What of a child's perspective? If we support the bill, we believe that the institution of marriage is primarily for the benefit of adult partners and only secondarily for the children born into it. We believe in the abolition of the societal norm that says children have the right to be reared by their mother and their father and to know them.

    By making heterosexuality optional rather than axiomatic, the bill would disconnect marriage from procreation. The bill contradicts the findings of the United Nations Human Rights Commission which in 2002 decided that the international covenant on civil and political rights did not confer the right to marry on same sex couples. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes the child's right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.

    Society is not bound to treat all relationships equally. We should regard all persons as equal, but we should not regard all sexual or social activity as equal. This is why marriage has been endorsed as an institution in the past throughout the world because it cultivates the necessary conditions for human flourishing.

    Those who support the bill, however well intentioned, are advocating a significant social experiment. It is an experiment which has been rejected virtually everywhere else in the world where it has been under consideration. It is an experiment the impact of which could be incredibly far-reaching and long lasting. It is an experiment which the government has not studied, has not researched and has not investigated. No evidence of the impact of same sex marriage has been presented by the government to the House.

    The burden of proof as to why Canadian society should be so changed surely lies with those advocating the change. Yet apart from the facile and specious argument that marriage needs more couples who actually want it or that marriage should be for everyone, there is a vacuum of consideration for the consequences of this change.

    Ultimately, Lennon and McCartney were wrong. Love is not all we need. We need wisdom too.

    Let us not underestimate the magnitude of the change we are considering with Bill C-38. We are not just talking about modifying marriage. We are talking about a fundamental change in its meaning.

    Let me talk about chess for a second. Someone claims chess is discriminatory because the pieces move differently. This is a clear case of unequal rights. This is a clear case of discrimination. The solution is that all pieces must now move in exactly the same manner. They can no longer be described differently. However, then we would no longer have chess. We would be left with a bizarre game of checkers with different looking pieces. The essence or the inherent qualities of chess would be gone.

    Marriage has had at its core the characteristics of permanence, procreativity and child-centredness. It is a symbol of interdependence between men and women. If we decide that marriage is to become nothing other than a form of intimacy between consenting adults, it will represent a paradigm shift and a fundamental reinterpretation of the core social purpose of marriage.

    Some argue that our position of supporting two institutions, marriage and civil partnerships for gay couples, is separate but equal and that separate cannot be equal. This would be true only if one believed that the two entities are the same. If one believes that a same sex couple is the same as an opposite sex couple, the differential description of their union would be discrimination. However, different but equal is not discrimination. Women, provided they are treated as equal to men, are not second class citizens when recognized and described as women.

    Nellie McClung, who was raised in my riding of Portage--Lisgar and is a celebrated Canadian citizen and a champion of equal rights, would have abhorred the thought that the price for attaining equal suffrage was the loss of her distinct status as a woman. Women do not need to be recognized as men to be equal citizens with men. Similarly, same sex unions do not require the possession of the word “marriage” to be equal citizens in Canadian society. By denying differences, we do not strengthen equality and we do not enhance tolerance.

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    My wife and I have two daughters. We love them equally, just as all parents love their children equally, but they are not the same. Our daughters are different and denying those differences would make us less responsible and effective as parents. An outside observer might remark we treat our children differently and unequally or even that we discriminate against them. That would be right. We discriminate for the good of our children, for ourselves and our family. That is true with this issue as well. We must learn to treat those we love equally in different ways.

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    Mr. Brent St. Denis (Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join this debate on Bill C-38, a bill to redefine marriage. I listened very carefully to my colleague across the way, the member for Portage—Lisgar. He and I and others on both sides of the House each come to this debate from different perspectives. We are for the most part well experienced in life, with good levels of education. This debate proves that well-meaning people on both sides can come to different conclusions. For me, this underlines the importance of continuing to have respect for each other's position.

    I have come to a very different conclusion on Bill C-38, which I plan to support and have planned to do so for quite a long time, since the courts made it very clear that this was a matter of the Charter of Rights and respecting rights in our country. I understand that there are different views and that we have come to our conclusions differently. For me, it is about tolerance and recognizing that our friends, neighbours and sometimes even family members who may be homosexual are equal citizens in our society and that we have a Charter of Rights which is a model for the world. I would hope that other countries would look at our Charter of Rights and be prepared to adopt it. If they can improve it, so much the better. Certainly, it stands now as a model for the world.

    I would like to take my few minutes in the chamber to discuss some of the issues raised by my constituents, and I respect all of them. Many have written letters and I am in the process of responding to each and every one of them. One of the questions that comes up often is, are the courts deciding for Parliament what we should be doing as parliamentarians? My immediate answer to that is, no. It was Parliament that adopted the Charter of Rights. We expect the courts to interpret the various laws of the country, whether it is at the federal or provincial level. In the case of the Charter of Rights, we have asked our courts to do, in this case and in many others, the work of interpreting that for us as real life situations come forward.

    The courts in eight of the provinces and territories have come to the conclusion that to deny access to a civil marriage for same sex couples is contrary to the intent and spirit of the Charter of Rights. It is incumbent upon the Parliament of Canada to avoid balkanization of laws with respect to the definition of marriage and to act so from sea to sea to sea there is a consistency of definition.

    The courts are not deciding for us. They have helped us in this case and other cases in interpreting the Charter of Rights. It is now for us to respond appropriately, and the government through Bill C-38 is doing that.

    Many of my constituents say that they do not have a problem with same sex unions, but why call it marriage. The courts have made it very clear, and I agree, that marriage has a certain definition in society, whether it takes place in front of a justice of the peace or a ship's captain or whether it is in front of a religious official. To the two people being married, marriage has a certain important connotation. It usually and should imply a very romantic and loving relationship between the two people involved. I know sometimes marriages take place for convenience or for the purpose of assembling property. That has happened throughout history and it may happen from time to time even now. However, for the most part, people look to the institution of marriage as a reflection of their romantic and loving commitment.

    I say to my constituents that we must distinguish that the institution of marriage belongs to society. It has been part of humankind's history from time immemorial. In fact, the churches were not always involved in the administration of the contracts and marriages between two people.

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    Let us distinguish between marriage which takes place in civil society at large and marriage which takes place in the churches. In fact, here in Ontario and in Canada generally, church officials are licensed by the provinces to actually administer the legal aspects of marriage.

    For me, marriage is an institution owned by all of society. There will be those for their personal reasons who will choose to be married within a civil context by a justice of the peace or public official. I do not think it is proper to say that one group of society, that heterosexual couples only have access to an institution which by its nature belongs to all of society and that same sex couples can only have something called a union, because by definition marriage has come to have an important connotation in our society.

    To those who would say that marriage is traditionally known as an institution involving opposite sex persons, traditions evolve. Churches evolve. My own church has evolved tremendously over decades and centuries, and I expect that it will continue to evolve. Maybe even some day there will be married priests or women priests. I think many Catholics look forward to that day, quite frankly, but others may not. It is in the nature of organizations that there are different points of view. Different points of view can easily exist under the same roof or within the same tent.

    Traditions should not tie our hands. They should be sources of celebration. Traditions should allow for the expression of respect within a family, within a community even though within that community there may be differences of opinion. Just think of how the traditions of Christmas 50 or 100 years ago were celebrated compared to how they are celebrated today. I do not know that the traditions of Christmas now, which, sadly, include a lot of shopping, were the case 50 years ago, but some would argue that is part of the traditions of Christmas. It is not a tradition of Christmas that I look forward to quite frankly, but some people do.

    Traditions are things that reflect society's evolving habits and attitudes toward things that go on around us. That because something is traditional it should not change, to me is a very weak argument. We have to look beyond simply preserving something only because it is a tradition.

    We have to look at whether overall society is getting better because we are opening ourselves up to a broader application of rights and a greater degree of tolerance. I believe that in so doing, in being more tolerant and open in society, we are making our society better not only for ourselves but for our children and grandchildren as well.

    Interestingly enough, I have four adult children and none of the four has any problem with this issue whatsoever, but there would be other members of my family, more of my age or older, who might disagree with my position on this. That does not change the good relations in our family. It is a reflection of our country that we are able to have this disagreement on an important issue of rights. When the bill is passed, which I hope we will have done by June, we will continue to deal with the other important issues of the country as we are doing now, including this one. We will continue to take care of the very important business of the nation.

    My friend from Portage—Lisgar mentioned that some church officials are worried about losing their right to choose whom they marry. It is a fact now that religious officials of the churches and their communities decide whom they marry. I know in the Catholic church for example, the church will not marry divorced Catholics. I am not aware of the Catholic church ever being forced to marry a divorced Catholic and I do not foresee, whether the bill passes or not, or had the issue been before us or not, that would ever change.

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    I do not believe the passage of Bill C-38 changes that piece of the paradigm whatsoever. In my opinion, the right of churches to choose whom they marry will continue indefinitely. In fact, it is that same Charter of Rights which guarantees that the churches can in their realms choose certain activities which in civil society may be seen as discriminatory. We have designed a Charter of Rights which allows the churches to decide whom they marry, whom they ordain and so on, whereas in civil society we do not allow ourselves quite that same degree of flexibility.

    I look forward to others participating in this debate and the bill being resolved in a timely fashion and with continued great respect.

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    Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to Bill C-38, the same sex marriage act, and in support of a Canada in which liberties are safeguarded, rights are protected and the people of this land are treated as equals under the law.

    As the representative for the people of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, I am proud to be their voice in a debate which tears at the very fabric that binds Canadian society, the traditional definition of marriage.

    I have been accused of opposing the Liberal Party plan to change the traditional definition of marriage because it is a popular position to take. This is not about being popular. This is about protecting religious freedoms and the ability to speak without the fear of persecution.

    Opposition to this latest attempt by the Liberal Party to undermine the family is so strong in my riding that even some Liberal Party supporters are ashamed to admit they ever supported the party. In fact, because of this latest attempt at social engineering they are confiding in me that never again will they support a party that has so little respect for democracy.

    I congratulate my leader, the hon. member for Calgary Southwest, for his thoughtful and well-informed remarks on this attempt by the Liberal Party to change the definition of family in Canada. I can confirm that I have heard nothing but praise for his speech, as opposed to the rambling, incoherent comments made by Prime Minister Dithers.

    Dithering between that which is a right and that which is a privilege has been a hallmark of the Liberal administration. Make no doubt that the people of Canada know the difference and recognize a confused ditherer when they see one.

    The traditional definition of marriage, that is, the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, is being debated today. It is one that I am honour bound to represent my constituents in their wishes.

    Most Canadians by now are tired of this debate. Indeed, they are asking why we are having this debate at all. Is it that important that the Prime Minister is prepared to threaten members of his own party with an election or be fired from cabinet, rather than allow the merits of the issue argue the Prime Minister's position?

    It really says something when it is only by threat that support for the destruction of the traditional definition of marriage, and by extension the definition of family as we know it, is obtained in the government caucus.

    If anything demonstrates the weakness of the Liberal Party argument in bringing forth this legislation, it has to be in characterizing this bill as minority rights. The Prime Minister, or as he is known internationally in such prestigious publications as The Economist and Jane's Defence Weekly as Mr. Dithers, has been quoted as saying that one cannot pick and choose the minority rights or the fundamental rights that one is going to defend.

    I have heard the argument and it has been repeated to me that in the case of same sex marriage, members of Parliament should ignore the majority of their constituents, that they should vote against an institution that has been a pillar of society for thousands of years in order to placate less than 1% of the population. That is the figure provided by StatsCanada as not being heterosexual. This is also assuming that all gays and lesbians aspire to some type of union, legal or otherwise, which is clearly not the case. Rights are rights.

    Time does not permit me to cover all the points on why this legislation should be defeated. I will leave it to my colleagues on all sides of this House to articulate to Canadians why this attempt to redefine the family is a desperate attempt by a desperate ditherer who has nothing of substance to offer Canadians in the way of new ideas or a vision for the future.

    I intend to focus my remarks on a reference made by my leader in regard to the absolute insincerity of the Liberal Party position when it comes to minority rights and how Prime Minister Dithers and his party have ignored the equality rights of minority religious groups and education in the province of Ontario, even after international tribunals have demanded action.

    I have a letter that was sent by the president of Civil Rights in Public Education, Mr. Renton Patterson, to the Minister of Justice when the government bill to change the traditional definition of family was introduced. I read parts of this letter into the record from the position of neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the contents:

    A great deal has been said and written about same-sex marriage. Of note, word from the Liberal government, the Prime Minister and yourself in particular, has expounded on the human rights aspect of the legislation and its necessity for adoption because the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms demands it.

    In particular, you were heard to say on CBC news, to the effect that: “...the bill is a vindication of the Charter rights of tolerance, respect and equality of all Canadians and minorities, not only gays and lesbians.” We both know, however, that the Charter does not protect the “equality of all Canadians” because your government apparently condones religious discrimination practiced by the Ontario government...

    Greg Weston of Sun Media reported on February 2nd that: “the Liberal bumpf passed around yesterday (proclaims): “This government represents the rights of all Canadians equally, and will not treat some Canadians as second-class citizens.” “Rights are rights--none of us can, nor should we, pick and choose the minorities whose rights we will defend and those whose rights we will ignore.”

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    You are also quoted as saying: “It is the responsibility of Parliament to ensure these minority rights are uniform across the country.”

    It follows that all of these same arguments you and your government are using to protect the rights of gays and lesbians to marry can be applied to what must surely be your next crusade, the one to remove...discriminatory public funding...[in] the school system.

    The Jewish community is a perfect example of a minority religious community. Through Arieh Waldman, a Jewish parent, the United Nations Human Rights Committee found Canada in violation of article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 2.2 of the Covenant demands that: “...each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take the necessary steps, in accordance with its constitutional processes and with the provisions of the present Covenant, to adopt such legislative or other measures as may be necessary to give effect to the rights recognized by the present Covenant.”

    If statements made by you and your government have any truth in them, it will be acknowledged that the Jewish community in Ontario is no less a minority with regards to treatment in religious schooling than gays and lesbians in Ontario are a minority with regard to the right to marry. It is therefore incumbent on your Ministry to immediately institute the process required by article 2.2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to ensure that: “This government represents the rights of all Canadians equally, and will not treat some Canadians as second-class citizens.”

     In the above context, failure on the part of the federal government, and your Ministry of Justice, to take action to correct the two-tier citizenship of Ontarians will quite properly be taken as an anti-Semitic act.... As you have said: “It is the responsibility of Parliament to ensure these minority rights are uniform across the country.”

     In light of all that has been strongly-argued by your government, your Ministry and your government have no option but to take all measures necessary to abide by the direction given to you by the United Nations Human Rights Committee decision in Waldman...

    What measures will you take to ensure religious equality in Ontario and what is the timetable for these measures to take effect?

    So far Mr. Patterson has been answered by the government only by a deafening roar of silence. So much for defending minority rights.

    The following are extracts from more letters Mr. Patterson has written to the Prime Minister. While some of the content I am not in agreement with, I believe they illustrate the growing disillusionment which all Canadians have with the Prime Minister and his failure as a leader, as recently confirmed to the world in the prestigious international magazine The Economist:

    “Dear Prime Minister: On December 29, 2003, I wrote you a letter, copy attached. The letter was answered by L. Kingston, an executive correspondence officer. A copy of this letter is also attached. I was not happy with the answer I received. As you can read, I was brushed off by the writer saying, 'the matter you have raised does not fall within the jurisdiction of the federal government'. For clarification, the 'matter...raised' involves your statements concerning the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the separation of church and state. The charter is part of the Constitution of Canada and the matter of the entanglement of church and state is evident in section 93 of the Constitution and section 29 of the charter”.

    Mr. Patterson wrote: “I beg to differ with L. Kingston, but the Constitution is 'within the jurisdiction of the federal government'. At a time when you are faced with the sponsorship scandal, you have pleaded with the public to be believed. You said you had no knowledge about corruption in the sponsorship scandal. You said: 'When the charter speaks, we've got to listen', and you said: 'I certainly believe in the separation of church and state'. I happen to believe that when you say you believe something, that you are open to measures that can bring that belief into reality. I have merely pointed out an instance which is anathema to your beliefs. It is my belief, then, that as a statesman, you will be open to measures which can rectify wrongs in this country and see your beliefs become reality. L. Kingston has painted you, to me, as one who will take no suggestions or criticism”.

    Mr. Patterson further wrote: “I live in Pembroke, one of our streets is Paul Martin Drive named after your father, and I truly believe that when we residents see that street sign, we think of integrity, we think of honesty, and we think of statesmanship. I believe that the Prime Minister I know will not take lightly the fact that the country he now leads is in violation of a human rights covenant Canada has pledged to uphold, and will have the integrity to take measures to remove the violation. As previously stated, I have listened to you and I believe you”.

    These letters represent a minority view that the Prime Minister has chosen to ignore. He cannot have it both ways. Remember it was the Prime Minister who said rights are rights. The Prime Minister is being insincere, disingenuous and he is wrong. The shallow attempt by the Prime Minister to hide behind the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is recognized by thoughtful Canadians for what it is. It is a crass attempt to deflect attention away from the worst scandal ridden administration in living history.

  +-(1235)  

    I am proud to stand in this place on behalf of the overwhelming consensus of the constituents of my riding and their desire to see the traditional definition of marriage preserved; that is, the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others as expressed in our traditional common law.

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    Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak to the legislation that is before us. It is legislation that has been brought forward in an atmosphere of great controversy. It would establish the right of gays and lesbians in this country to be married and to have access to civil marriage on an equal basis with all other citizens.

    I want to say at the outset that the New Democratic Party, as a matter of official policy, adopted at our nationwide convention the equality of marriage. My caucus colleagues are very much in agreement with that designation of equality for gay and lesbian citizens.

    I must say that I have found the divisiveness of this debate to be deeply distressing. I think Canadians generally looking on have found it to be a worrisome thing that an issue that is so fundamentally one of dealing with human rights could arouse such animosity and such deep divisions both within Parliament and in many communities across the country.

    To some extent there is an onus on us to make it very clear to Canadians that some of the excessive claims, the exaggerated predictions of the dreadful things, that can be seen to flow from granting equality of marriage to all citizens are really something that need to be dealt with.

    It is regrettable that some of that arises from an unwillingness to acknowledge what precisely the Supreme Court had to say on this matter when it referred it back to Parliament.

    First of all, it needs to be acknowledged that 87% of Canadians today already have access to equal marriage rights. The judges in seven provinces and one territory have already established equal marriage and have also established that no faith group, organization or institution shall be required against its religious beliefs or practices or traditions to perform same sex marriage.

    The exaggerated notion, the simply wrong-headed notion, that this somehow treads upon the religious freedoms of individual citizens or religious institutions in this country is simply false and needs to be laid to rest.

    Members of the House have had many opportunities to address this issue. I think what now is more important than ever is that we respond thoughtfully to the advances that have been made, the approaches that have been made, to us as members of Parliament to deal with this matter in a responsible way.

    I want to begin by quoting briefly from some correspondence that I have received. There is no member of the House who has not received a great deal of correspondence. I appreciate the fact that some of the correspondence that I have received, letters, e-mails, personal approaches and phone calls have taken the opposite position from what I have set out personally and what my party embraces, namely that all citizens should have the right to equal marriage. Some of those who have taken the opposite position have done so in a respectful way, recognizing that this is a complicated issue for many Canadians to deal with. I appreciate the fact that they have done so.

  +-(1240)  

    There are clergy who have written to me expressing the opposite point of view. There are elderly people who say that this is something very difficult for them in their eighties or nineties to begin to get their heads around because the notion of sexual orientation being a grounds for inclusion in the Human Rights Act, for example, or in the charter is something that is just utterly an anathema to them, something that simply did not exist in their earlier lives.

    However, what has impressed me most is those people who have clearly struggled with trying to understand the opposing points of view put forward. They have really tried to put themselves in the shoes of people who want to enter into the solemnity of a marriage, who want to make the commitment that goes with being married, of a lasting and loving relationship, with the rights and obligations that go with it. And from there, try to honestly address the question of why one would chose not to allow any two people who want to enter into that relationship to have the full benefits of civil marriage.

    I must say, of all the arguments that I find difficult to deal with, it is the argument that somehow this destroys marriage, that somehow this is disrespectful of the tradition of marriage. It seems to me, for those who keep talking about being pro-marriage and pro-family, that they would be among those who should most welcome the fact that we are ensuring that as many people as would want in our society to enter into a marriage relationship, a long term, sustaining, loving relationship, are to be welcomed. Those who understand the importance of family, understand the importance of marriage, should understand that we are better off as a society if more people embrace the tradition of marriage and want to live within marital relationships.

    Let me quote briefly from a woman, unknown to me but in my own province of Nova Scotia, who wrote as follows in the early weeks of this debate getting underway in Parliament:

    I am the grandmother of 18, great-grandmother of 5. Are any of them homosexual or lesbian? I have no idea--nor do I care. I love them regardless. Do I think a same sex marriage would in some way degrade the morals or sanctity of my own marriage? Of course not, how silly. How could love and caring and compassion and happiness in any way take from my own marriage? If the Lord made humans, animals and mammals homosexuals how can we judge His actions? Surely there are more admonitions in the Bible to love one another than there are to judge one another. I pray you vote “yes”.

    Here is a second message which comes to me from someone in my own community:

    The purpose of this e-mail is to express my gratitude for your support of the upcoming debate and vote on the legislation concerning same sex marriage rights. I grew up in your riding, both provincially and federally...I was politicized early in life, and have always been pro-socialist.

As a fellow Nova Scotian, I am proud to be living in one of the provinces whose supreme court ruled to allow marriage rights for gays and lesbians. My partner and I are having a civil ceremony next month on the occasion of our eleventh anniversary together. We are thrilled that this option exists for us, and are also very glad that you will be supporting the notion that this is a right all of Canada's same sex community deserves. The passage of this bill will make Canada one of the most progressive and accepting societies in the world.

    I want to use the last moment to express my appreciation for those who have been the trailblazers in putting themselves on the front lines of this battle at a time when it was not easy for people to declare publicly that they were not only gay or lesbian but that they were going to participate in the struggle to ensure that all gays and lesbians in Canada enjoyed the same rights as all other people in Canada.

  +-(1245)  

    I think we owe them a special vote of thanks. We owe our heartfelt appreciation. However, we also understand that they fought the battle, not just for their own benefit but because they know that gays and lesbians in our society would enjoy the benefits of equal treatment and that the whole of society would benefit from our being a more tolerant, more inclusive society that can be proud of the fact that we have extended equal marriage to all of our citizens.

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    Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia (Lac-Saint-Louis, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I will not be supporting the present bill to alter the existing definition of marriage. I assure my colleagues and constituents that I did not take this decision lightly. My reasons are secular and philosophically liberal.

    I favour equal legal and fiduciary rights and obligations for same sex couples but, like most Canadians, I believe opposite sex marriage has distinguishing features that make it worthy of its own designation. The word marriage, in my view, benefits from a sort of copyright, albeit not a legal one, but at the very least a cultural one.

    The Supreme Court, in the Nesbit case, alluded to this copyright when it stated that marriage is firmly anchored in specific realities, and that while “it would be possible to legally redefine marriage...this would not change the biological and social realities that underlie the traditional marriage”.

[Translation]

    My decision not to support Bill C-38 is based on a concept of liberalism that has caused me great reservations both about the substance of the bill and the process that produced it.

    As a liberal, my political actions are inspired by certain fundamental principles, including three which are extremely pertinent to this case.

  +-(1250)  

[English]

    The first need to ensure equality in matters of public policy. Second, as a liberal, I believe that a healthy democracy depends on civil discourse in a free marketplace of ideas. By civil discourse, I do not mean polite discourse, per se. I refer instead to discourse, however vigorous, that has as its ultimate aim to seek out consensus. The key to civil discourse is the recognition of the merits of the views of the other. It is based on the idea that one's opponent in debate is sincere and motivated by the same intellectual honesty we are.

[Translation]

    I read with great interest the opinions of those who favour a redefinition of marriage, including the opinions of the courts and of some of my constituents and close friends. I am not indifferent to their arguments.

    Similarly, I believe that those who support same sex marriage must recognize that the traditional concept of marriage is based on a solid, valid philosophical point of view which is both universal and longstanding.

    The third principle that guides me in the current debate is related to the role of the state in a modern, liberal society.

[English]

    Individuals in liberal society, as opposed to those in early monarchies, for example, are not subjects of the state. They are sovereign. The state is subservient to, and depends for its legitimacy, on the citizenry. The state's right to interfere in civil life and culture is therefore limited. The liberal state and its representatives, whether legal, bureaucratic or legislative, lack the authority to proactively redefine society's most basic cultural norms in the absence of an obvious democratic demand to do so.

    It is worth mentioning in this regard the distinction between political liberalism and doctrinal liberalism. The latter, to which I do not subscribe, grants the state greater latitude in refashioning the common culture.

    Political liberalism was born of the recognition that the state could accommodate the different conceptions of religion that began to emerge in the 16th and 17th centuries only by stepping back from the conflict and refusing to enshrine one particular view.

    The secular debate over marriage has an intensity common to matters of religion. This is not surprising, for, to quote the Halpern decision, “the decision of whether or not to marry can...be one of the most personal decisions an individual will ever make...as personal as a choice regarding, for instance...one's religion”.

    John Rawls, the seminal philosopher of the modern liberal tradition, has updated political liberalism for our time. In his view, modern political liberalism must strive to remain impartial as a way of respecting a diversity of secular core values as well as religious ones.

    In other words, when deep disagreements over secular core values emerge, it is not the role of the liberal state to impose a particular solution. Any attempt to legally impose a particular ideology damages civic life, distorts liberalism, undermines constitutional consensus and places communities holding different views in permanent tension with the law. We can observe all these phenomena in the present debate over marriage.

    The state may have overstepped its bounds on the marriage issue. Bill C-38 refashions the meaning of marriage in Canadian culture. On a symbolic level, Bill C-38 reduces marriage to a vehicle for the affirmation of mutual romantic and sexual feeling and commitment between two individuals. Marriage's profound role of linking the generations and bridging the gender gap is no longer central to the institution.

    By putting its imprimatur on one particular conception of marriage over another, the state has marginalized adherents of opposite sex marriage, whose views are mainstream in an historical and global context. The state has done so in a well-meaning attempt to further enhance the status of gay and lesbian Canadians, who have too long suffered from the ravages of discrimination that in some cases has ruined lives. But the state has at the same time in effect told those Canadians who are deeply attached to the symbolism of the word “marriage” in our culture, a group that arguably comprises at least 50% of the country's population, if not more, that their views on marriage are at best mistaken or at worst immoral, since those views are inconsistent with the law of the land. I cannot in good conscience accept a solution to the marriage issue that sends such a message.

    Some would say that we are at a watershed moment in the history of the relationship of the state to marriage. In the 17th century, the founding liberal philosopher, John Locke, recognized that the state could not resolve fundamental conflicts over religion. He concluded that the liberal state thus had to get out of the sanctuaries of the nation.

    Because of irresolvable division over the definition of marriage, the day may have arrived to follow through to its logical conclusion Pierre Trudeau's prophetic statement that the state should withdraw from the bedrooms of the nation.

    I favour engaging Canadians in a serious examination of a proposal that achieves both equality for gay and lesbian Canadians and state neutrality in dealing with marriage. The government should consider an approach raised by the Law Reform Commission of Canada: to create a neutral civil registry at the federal level, equally accessible to same sex or opposite sex couples, for the purposes of claiming federal benefits for individuals involved in formal conjugal relationships.

    Following a two step process similar to France's, where a couple must first visit city hall before being married in a religious ceremony, under a Canadian civil registry system, a couple, after registering federally and partaking in a civil union ceremony in provincial jurisdiction, could be united in a same sex or opposite sex, religious or non-religious, privately sponsored ceremony of their choosing in as public a way as the couple chooses. Some would choose religious ceremonies. Others would use private facilitators to help write vows and perform a ceremony in a non-religious location of their choice. Marriage, thus cut loose from the state, would be allowed to settle back into civil culture and community.

    A civil registry system succeeds on ground of equality. It recognizes that the state has an interest in providing a legal framework for the civil effects of interdependent relationships, but may not have a legitimate interest in defining the deeper meaning or significance of marriage. Parliament was in the process of exploring the civil registry option, among others, when the Ontario Court of Appeal effectively cancelled its work.

  +-(1255)  

    

[Translation]

    In January 2003, the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights undertook hearings across Canada on the issue of same sex marriage. It even drafted a report which was to have been tabled a few days later, when the Ontario Court of Appeal handed down its decision. Since that decision had legal force immediately, the committee felt it had to wrap up its work.

    The committee's report, which was never made public, could have been a springboard for discussion of the civil registry option.

[English]

    I will thus not be supporting Bill C-38, among other reasons to provide an opportunity, if the bill is defeated, for Parliament to begin a serious examination of the civil registry option. I am not suggesting that this option is perfect. I have my own strong reservations about it. Canadians would need to be asked how deeply they value state sanctioned marriage or whether the imprimatur of the state is judged by the majority to be of little consequence to the meaning they and their community give to their conjugal relationship.

    I have raised the civil registry option and the view of liberalism on which it rests in order to highlight that, in fashioning a new definition of marriage, the state is not acting in a neutral way. It is imposing a particular ideology on a cultural institution that has developed organically, acquired its legitimacy slowly and taken root firmly over centuries and millennia, without state intervention, but rather with the state's quiet and respectful acquiescence.

    I lament the semantic distinction being drawn in this debate between “religious” marriage and “civil marriage”, as if there are two separate meanings of marriage. Civil marriage, between a man and a woman, means as much to some as religious marriage, between a man and a woman, does to others. Marriage is marriage.

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    Mr. Bob Mills (Red Deer, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have this opportunity to address the House on a very difficult moral issue. Everyone, including those who are married, those who have chosen not to marry and those who have not taken the opportunity to choose, has an opinion on this issue. Those opinions are based on people's own experiences as well as their values and beliefs. This is a complex public issue that will impact Canadians long into the future.

    Let me begin by saying that preserving the traditional definition of marriage does not imply the denial of same sex rights. All the benefits and obligations granted to married couples under provincial and territorial laws and programs are granted equally to common law couples of the same sex and of the opposite sex in the majority of provinces.

    We want to affirm equality rights while also upholding marriage as a heterosexual institution. Neither is this debate about jeopardizing the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. With the Public Sector Pension Investment Board Act of 1999 and the Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act of 2000, Parliament has already extended to same sex couples the constitutional guarantees of equality and dignity. The current Deputy Prime Minister confirmed this when she said:

    The definition of marriage in law in Canada is already the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. It is not necessary to pass such legislation as in legal terms it would not add to or clarify the present state of the law in Canada.

    The protection of human dignity has been the courts' basic function since the adoption of the charter in 1982. Once the requirements of dignity and equality are satisfied, the courts should not arbitrate between the possible acceptable solutions but leave it to Parliament. The decision of whether or not to use the word “marriage” depends on factors other than the charter.

    A brief history shows that the Liberals are really breaking their promises to Canadian people on the issue of maintaining traditional marriage. Let us consider the following examples. In 1999, by a vote of 216 to 55, the House of Commons adopted an opposition motion which stated:

--it is necessary, in light of public debate around recent court decisions, to state that marriage is and should remain the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, and that Parliament will take all necessary steps to preserve this definition of marriage in Canada.

    The motion was supported by the Prime Minister, then finance minister, and by the Deputy Prime Minister, then justice minister.

    In 2000 an interpretive clause was added to the Modernization of Benefits and Obligations Act stating that nothing in the act altered the existing meaning of marriage as “the lawful union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others”.

    Speaking on this act, the Deputy Prime Minister said:

     This definition of marriage, which has been consistently applied in Canada and which was reaffirmed last year through a resolution of the House, dates back to 1866. It has served us well and will not change. We recognize that marriage is a fundamental value and important to Canadians.

    On September 16, 2003, an opposition motion identical to that of June 1999, expressing Parliament's support for the opposite sex definition of marriage, was defeated in the House of Commons by a narrow vote of 137 to 132, yet key Liberals voted in favour of that motion. Does this mean that these members do not believe in the same human rights that the Prime Minister claims this debate is all about?

    These examples show that Liberals constantly change their positions on social issues. It also underscores the fact that this debate is not only about equality.

    Of course, the Supreme Court came down with its ruling on November 9. When it issued its ruling, its findings were that the provision in the draft bill authorizing same sex marriage is within Parliament's exclusive legislative authority over legal capacity for civil marriage under subsection 91(26) of the Constitution Act, 1867. The provision is consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and, in the circumstances giving rise to the draft bill, flows from it. So we go on with that court decision, which basically puts it back into our purview to make that decision.

  +-(1300)  

    I believe, after talking to Canadians across the country, that they would much rather us deal with the issues of the country, and I could list all of those as opposed to this subject. Yet the Liberal government brings forward this legislation and pushes it on the country.

    There are legal issues around same sex marriage legislation. The bill extends equal access to civil marriage to same sex couples while respecting religious freedom. That is if we trust the government to do what it says. I have given a number of examples of where it said one thing and then did another. We are very used to that having been in the House this long. I really question whether the government really means it.

    The government claims that it is equally committed to upholding religious freedom and that nothing in the bill will affect the existing charter guarantee. The problem is that the Liberals cannot credibly guarantee that Bill C-38 will protect religious freedoms because the right to marry falls under provincial jurisdiction.

    Bill C-38 offers no protection for provincial marriage commissioners who refuse to conduct same sex civil ceremonies for personal religious reasons. In fact, marriage commissioners in B.C., Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland have already lost their jobs. There is also some concern that organizations may lose charitable status if they do not permit same sex marriage celebrations on their property. This would put those churches that refuse to perform these marriages out of business.

    The government is curtailing public debate by not considering the civil union option even though the court has not rule on the specific definition of marriage.

    We get into the moral and religious issues that the debate about same sex marriage is not only about rights. Marriage is also a core social institution that predates all modern constitutions.

    Many Canadians believe that marriage is fundamental to our society and that its primary function is to create a stable and supportive foundation for procreation. Many studies show that traditional marriage is best for children and recent statistics also show that traditional families are declining.

    Many religions have their own requirements for marriage and may impose additional requirements on the perspective marriage partners. For example, Judaism will not marry a previously married woman unless she has received a get. Governments have no rights to force a mosque, temple or church to marry a couple who do not conform to their religious beliefs. The current draft legislation does not protect against such action in the future.

    Comments made by the foreign affairs minister that “churches and religious organizations have no place in the public debate on same sex marriage” betrays the commitment of the Liberals on defending religious freedom. Because it cannot guarantee religious freedom, Bill C-38 may have the long term effect of stigmatizing faith in public forums and may reduce the diversity of religious beliefs.

    As far as the political issue is concerned, we feel the majority of Canadians are opposed to the bill. In the area that I come from, there is an overwhelming opposition to it.

    We have offered a reasonable compromise. We want to ensure that gay couples will have all the dignity and equality that the charter guarantees while also preserving religious freedom and defending the sanctity of marriage. Civil unions fulfill those requirements.

    The Liberal caucus is divided on the issue of same sex marriage. This suggests that same sex is not only about equality rights and the charter, as the Prime Minister has framed it. The record of the Liberals on same sex is discomforting. They have been inconsistent.

    In 1999 they were for the traditional definition of marriage. Now most are against it. How can we explain this sudden change of heart? Did the debate all of a sudden become an equal rights issue, political pressure, insecure nomination or blackmail by the Prime Minister?

    Much more could be said. What we need to do now is simply encourage Canadians to contact the offices of the Prime Minister's office and Minister of Justice to let them know exactly what they feel. Most people would rather be talking about health care, the environment and the critical issues in the country. Look how many days are occupied with this debate.

  +-(1305)  

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    Hon. Karen Redman (Kitchener Centre, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Conversations have occurred among the parties and I believe you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

    That at any time, on or before April 11, when second reading of Bill C-38 is under consideration, when no member rises to speak on the amendment, or subamendment, all questions necessary to dispose of the said amendment to second reading of Bill C-38 be deemed put, a recorded division requested and deferred until the end of government orders on Tuesday, April 12.

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    The Deputy Speaker: Does the House give unanimous consent for the whip to put the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    The Deputy Speaker: The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    (Motion agreed to)

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    Hon. Sarmite Bulte (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to unequivocally support Bill C-38, the civil marriage act, and to urge colleagues in the House of Commons to attend to the swift passage of the bill to create uniformity of the current law with respect to marriage across Canada.

    It is trite to say that the current legal definition in Ontario, the province which I come from, is the voluntary union for life of two persons. This definition was confirmed by the Ontario Court of Appeal on June 20, 2003, when it upheld the lower court's decision in Halpern v, Canada, Attorney General, et al. The then existing common law definition of marriage, the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, was found not only to violate the dignity of persons in same sex relationships, it was also found to violate equality rights on the basis of sexual orientation under subsection 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    Courts in seven other jurisdictions have already found that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms requires that civil marriage be available to same sex couples as well as opposite sex couples. Moreover, last December the Supreme Court of Canada said and we agree, that it was preferable that Parliament create uniformity of the law across Canada. We believe that the federal legislation is the best way to provide a clear Canada-wide approach, and the government will not allow the balkanization of marriage.

    For many Canadians and many parliamentarians, acknowledging and accepting this new definition of marriage is a difficult issue. I too acknowledge that this new definition represents a very significant change to a long-standing social tradition and institution. However, long-standing customs and traditions are not reason alone for our laws not to evolve and reflect the reality of our society as our society evolves.

    Let me begin to explain by first looking at what the history of the definition of marriage is and where it came from. The definition of marriage has its roots in the common law and the statutory marriage laws of England. It is generally understood that in common law, the definition that is routinely referred to is found in a statement of Lord Penzance in 1866 English case of Hyde v. Hyde and Woodmansee. That definitional statement of Lord Penzance reads as follows:

    I conceive that marriage is understood in Christendom, may for this purpose be defined as the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

    Let us stop here for a second. It is very important to remember that this definition of marriage dates back over 139 years ago to 1866. I am sure that there is not a person in the House that would not agree with me that our Canadian society has evolved significantly over the last 139 years. In fact, neither the law of our land nor our society has remained static.

    It is also important to note that when the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its decision in the reference on the legal capacity for marriage for civil purposes, the court specifically reviewed the 1866 definition of marriage and noted its reference to “Christendom”. In doing so, the Supreme Court of Canada commented as follows:

    The reference to “Christendom” is telling. Hyde spoke to a society of shared social values where marriage and religion were thought to be inseparable. This is no longer the case. Canada is a pluralistic society. Marriage, from the perspective of the state, is a civil institution. The “frozen concepts” reasoning runs contrary to one of the most fundamental principles of Canadian constitutional interpretation: that our Constitution is a living tree which, by way of progressive interpretation, accommodates and addresses the realities of modern life. In the 1920s, for example, a controversy arose as to whether women as well as men were capable of being considered “qualified persons” eligible for appointment to the Senate of Canada. Legal precedent stretching back to Roman Law was cited for the proposition that women had always been considered “unqualified” for public office, and it was argued that this common understanding in 1867 was incorporated in s. 24 of the Constitution Act, 1867 and should continue to govern Canadians in succeeding ages.

  +-(1310)  

    It was indeed that famous persons case, to wit, the case known as Henrietta Muir Edwards and others versus the Attorney General for Canada and others, that in 1930 the House of Lords held that the British North America Act planted in Canada a living tree capable of growing and expansion within its natural limits.

    It was also in that same decision the court did not accept the argument that because certain customs had been in existence at a time when a law had been passed, that those customs now precluded a different interpretation of the law.

    The Attorney General had argued, when the law regarding persons was passed at common law, a woman was incapable of serving a public office. However, the House of Lords noted:

    The fact that no woman had served or has claimed to serve such an office is not of great weight when it is remembered that custom would have been prevented the claim being made or the point being contested.

    The House of Lords then went on to say:

    Customs are apt to develop into traditions which are stronger than law and remain unchallenged after the reason for them has disappeared.

    The court concluded, by saying:

    The appeal to history--in this particular matter is not conclusive.

    I would respectfully submit that these arguments are equally applicable to those individuals who would invoke the notwithstanding clause to enforce the old common law definition of marriage. Customs and traditions are challengeable and the appeal to history is not only not a conclusive argument but one that does not take into account the evolution of our society or the realities of today's society.

    There is no doubt that change from traditions and customs always invokes debate. In fact, there is historical evidence to that effect. I suppose it would be trite to say that history often repeats itself.

    In preparing for my intervention today, I went back to read the debates that occurred in 1918, when the House of Commons debated women's suffrage and whether women should be entitled to vote.

    Although those debates occurred almost 100 years ago, the arguments made in 1918 are almost the same arguments that are being made today. In fact, I would very respectfully submit that the arguments being made today against Bill C-38 are similar to the ones made against women's suffrage. Many are made on very emotional, passionate grounds, but without any evidentiary proof whatsoever of alleged consequences.

    I would like to quickly share with members, because I know my time is limited, what Mr. Fournier said in 1918, with respect to women's suffrage:

This bill, with respect to woman suffrage, which is now under our consideration, is only one of the forms of feminism which are now spreading throughout the world. The question may be asked whether all the laws which have opened the liberal professions to women and which conferred upon them the right to vote, or to be elected to Parliament, have had any beneficial results on the progress of civilization, or have advanced the happiness of humanity. It is our urgent duty as law-markers to examine this bill with the greatest care, and not to accept as necessary a radical reform, the advantages of which of which have not been clearly demonstrated. I for one say that it will be a great error if, on the pretext of giving a transitory liberty to a class, we should bring down women from their throne at the fireside, where natural law has placed them to fulfil a divine mission. If the consequences of this moment to take women from the home and to lead them into the public arena where men are disputing great questions, are good, it is evident that we must vote in favour of this bill; but if, on the other hand, it can be proved that those consequences would be evil for the country and regrettable for the home, it is our duty to vote against it.

    I would submit that the debate speaks for itself.

    To conclude, it has always been my belief that to deny same sex couples the right to marry is to deny them access to one of the fundamental institutions of our society. The new statutory definition of marriage does not create new rights. It simply ensures equality before the law.

  +-(1315)  

    Amending the old common law definition of marriage is not only about acknowledging how our society has evolved over the last 139 years, but also reflects the fundamental Canadian values of fairness, equality and non-discrimination. As the Prime Minister has noted, this legislation is about the kind of nation we are today and the kind of nation we want to be.

    I know and I believe, as the Prime Minister said, that there are times when we as parliamentarians can feel the gaze of history upon us. They felt it in the days of Pearson; they felt it in the days of Trudeau. We, the 308 men and women elected to represent one of the most inclusive, just and respectful countries on the face of the earth, feel it today.

    I feel privileged to have the honour to be part of this momentous period of Canadian history which confirms our charter and our values as a Canadian society. I know that my decision to uphold the charter and minority rights is the right decision. It is also a decision which I know my children, David, Lara and Alex, will always be proud of.

  +-(1320)  

+-

    Mr. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to stand on behalf of the people of Yellowhead and contribute to this amendment debate on a very important issue.

    This is a crucial issue for millions of Canadians, including many of my constituents who treasure the institution of marriage. It is a significant issue, not only for those who are seized by it but also for all Canadians. Marriage is a foundation of our society. A redefinition of marriage will have important long term consequences for the institution of marriage, for children, for religious freedoms and for society.

    It is appropriate that this issue be debated in this House; however, it is unfortunate that the government has allowed for the courts to drive the agenda on this matter. It is troubling for Liberal cabinet ministers who have gone back on their solemn words and their votes to affirm the traditional definition of marriage. It is also worrisome for a democracy where a Prime Minister is forcing his cabinet to ignore their consciences and constituents by forcing through this piece of legislation.

    I have listened closely to the views of my constituents on this issue, and with me, a great majority of them affirm the traditionally received definition of marriage as a lifelong union between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others. In my remarks today, I want to speak in defence of marriage and I will raise a number of concerns about the Prime Minister's plan to redefine marriage.

    What is marriage? Marriage is an exclusive union between a man and a woman, and it has been recognized for thousands of years. It is an institution that pre-dates modern states and it was recognized by most of the world's cultures and religions. The received definition of marriage serves as a bond between a man and a woman and between generations. It unites men and women and provides an environment for children to grow and flourish.

    Marriage between a man and a woman is a vital, integrated force in our society. It is the basis of family, long recognized as a fundamental social unit in our society. We do grave disservice to marriage when we reduce it to a matter of contract and rights. To reduce marriage to a contract between two adults is to neuter the definition of its real meaning. Intrinsic to marriage is the unity of male and female. If male and female no longer matter, then why should other aspects of marriage really matter, such as an exclusive, lifelong commitment? Why does the government consider some aspects of marriage intrinsic but others not? It is on very weak ground.

    Marriage is about more than just numbers of partners involved. Marriage is about more than a modern notion of romantic love. It is about more than equality. Marriage is not an issue of fundamental human rights, but basic human rights include freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of association and equality under the law.

    Same sex marriage is not a human right. No country in this world recognizes same sex marriage as a human right, not even Belgium or the Netherlands, the only two other countries that have same sex legislation on marriage. Marriage is a gift. It is a treasure. It is not a prize to be won through court rulings or a change in the law.

    Marriage is a union between a man and a woman, and it has stood the test of time and place. Many Canadians are willing to extend benefits to other kinds of domestic partnerships, but they recognize that marriage is something distinct, a unique bond or a covenant between a man and a women.

    With the majority of my constituents, I too affirm the traditional definition of marriage, and I will oppose this bill with everything I have. I also oppose this bill because the redefinition of marriage threatens freedom of religion, itself a fundamental right recognized in the charter. I am especially concerned about the implications of this bill for religious officials and religious institutions. Religious freedoms are already under attack in this country. A series of court decisions and rulings by human rights tribunals have determined that religious freedoms of a number of individuals and institutions have been challenged. I would like to give a couple of examples.

    Toronto printer Scott Brockie was fined $5,000 by the Ontario Human Rights Commission for refusing, on religious grounds, to print material for a Toronto lesbian and gay archives.

    There is another case. A Catholic high school in Ontario was forced to allow a gay couple to attend a high school prom, a clear violation of the Catholic teaching. All too often, when so-called equal rights push up against religious freedom, it is the latter that is cast aside.

  +-(1325)  

    The bill before us carries us further down the road of marginalizing religious freedom and expression in this country. The government says that religious officials will not be compelled to perform same sex marriage ceremonies. That is very generous of them, is it not? This is only one of the many possible impacts oN religious freedom flowing from the redefinition of marriage. It is the law of unintentional consequences.

    We are already seeing marriage commissioners in a number of our provinces, including Newfoundland, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, being compelled to affirm same sex marriages or lose their licence. The bill does not protect these officials. It does not protect them because it cannot. The solemnization of marriage falls under provincial jurisdiction.

    The government's deputy House leader thinks that is just fine, that it is not a problem with them losing their jobs. We do not. What else can we expect from this legislation? Churches or temples may be forced to rent out their halls for same sex marriage receptions. In fact, there is already a pending case in British Columbia where a branch of the Knights of Columbus are under fire for legitimately refusing to have its hall used for a same sex wedding reception. It will be interesting to see how that ruling comes out.

    The charitable status of religious institutions which oppose same sex marriage may be revoked. Religious schools and charities may be forced to hire or retain employees who are in same sex marriages. Last, but not least, is the concern of religious officials that they may one day be ordered by the courts to sanction same sex marriages or allow them to be performed in their churches, mosques or temples.

    The bill includes a declaration claiming that officials of religious groups are free to refuse to perform marriages that are not in accordance with their religious beliefs. However, the declaration carries no legal weight because the solemnization of marriage is a provincial jurisdiction.

    The Supreme Court says that the guarantee of religious freedoms under subsection 2(a) of the charter is broad enough to protect religious officials from being compelled by the state to perform civil unions and religious same sex marriages that are contrary to their religious beliefs. However, the court does not exclude the possibility of the unique circumstances which would override this guarantee.

    Given the tendency of the judges to view the charter as a flexible document in which the rights can be read in, and given the pattern of so-called equality rights trumping religious rights, there is a legitimate cause for concern.

    It is the freedom of religion in conscience that most other rights depend on. The redefinition of marriage bill is yet another threat to religious freedom in Canada. Marriage commissioners are already being fired in some jurisdictions. The charitable status of religious institutions could be taken away, and the outlook for religious officials and institutions to maintain their teaching and practices on marriage remains uncertain. For these reasons too I oppose the redefinition of marriage and this bill.

    The Supreme Court has not ruled on the traditional definition of marriage. The court handed it back to this Parliament. The Prime Minister and the justice minister have turned their backs on marriage. We will not.

    Our amendment to the main motion seeks to preserve the traditional definition of marriage and to extend to civil unions, especially under law of the provinces, the same rights, benefits and obligations as married couples have. We are also seeking substantive protection for religious officials and institutions in the context of federal law. Our position seeks a reasonable compromise, one that would be accepted by most Canadians in this country.

    Marriage, as the union of a man and a woman, is a cherished institution in Canada and around the world. Not all marriages are perfect of course, but on balance marriage is an institution that richly benefits men, women, children and society. We tamper with marriage at our peril.

    Redefining marriage will have numerous consequences. Some of those are already with us. Others, to be sure, will emerge in the passage of time. Among those is likely to be the ongoing erosion of religious freedom in Canada.

    Australia went through the same situation a year ago. There was a groundswell of support against changing the law. Defence for the traditional definition of marriage swelled up in that society and so it backed off. This is what I would advise the government to do in this case as well.

  +-(1330)  

    I urge all members of Parliament to carefully consider what is at stake. I urge my colleagues not to rush ahead. I urge the Prime Minister to show true respect and allow his cabinet ministers to vote their consciences and for their constituents. I urge Parliament to affirm marriage and protect the freedom of religion in Canada.

+-

    Hon. Paul DeVillers (Simcoe North, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to take part in this debate today on Bill C-38, the civil marriage act.

    This is clearly an issue of equality of minority rights under the charter. I have been very clear and consistent with my constituents on this issue. It is an issue that was around prior to the last election. In the course of that campaign, at all candidate meetings and other meetings that I specifically arranged, such as with the Knights of Columbus in my home town of Penetanguishene, I made sure I explained to them, prior to casting their votes, that I would be supporting any legislation that came forward after the Supreme Court reference dealing with this issue and treating it strictly as an equality issue and minority rights issue in defence of our charter.

    First, I would like to go over a bit of the history of the charter and how it came to pass. We often hear concern that the courts are governing the country through judicial activism. In fact, the courts are only exercising the authority given to them by Parliament to interpret certain provisions of the charter. We have to remember that and consider it as a basic exercise in democratic will when the Parliament of Canada passes a charter and then puts in a strong independent judiciary to protect basic freedoms and rights from the whims of partisan politics.

    As time passes, parties come and go with different perspectives, but our basic fundamental rights and freedoms remain. They need to be protected in an independent fashion and that was the thinking of Parliament at the time the charter was passed.

    We now have a manifestation of the implementation of the charter. It states that every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination. On the issue of same sex marriages from the civil perspective, that is what this legislation is intending to do.

    The reference to the Supreme Court that I mentioned previously also had a question dealing with another provision of the charter, that being freedom of religion. The reference, in the opinion of the Supreme Court, does in fact confirm that the churches will remain and retain the right to marry couples that are in conformity with their religious beliefs and would not be compelled in a religious ceremony to marry couples that they feel is not appropriate for religious purposes.

    We hear concerns being expressed from time to time about the sanctity of marriage being put in issue by having a law that civilly recognizes same sex marriages. I suggest that it is very clear that the sanctity of marriage is that which comes from the religious ceremony and religious perspective and the churches are being fully protected in making those decisions.

    We hear concern about the fact that churches will not be protected, that they will be obliged to perform ceremonies with which they disagree. All I can do is refer to my church, the Roman Catholic church, which had and still has the policy of non-ordination of women. We know that women have been declared equal in every facet of our society. The equality provisions of the charter apply fully to women, yet no one has ever brought a court application to compel the Roman Catholic church or any other church that does not ordain women because of section 2 of the charter which says that under the freedom of religion provisions it is in the domain of churches to make the decision as to who they ordain and who they do not.

  +-(1335)  

    That was an example of the assurances people should have. The courts will recognize the freedom of religion provisions in the charter and ensure they can function in conformity with their religious beliefs.

    The civil side is another matter. The charter and the courts have interpreted that to mean that our society must allow complete equality and not a separate category of civil union.

    When I speak with my constituents I frequently refer to the civil remedy of divorce. If we are concerned about the institution of marriage, then we should be concerned about the real threat to marriage, which is the civil remedy of divorce, which has existed for quite some time. It is recognized by some churches but not by others. Some churches will remarry divorced people and other churches will not and yet society has found a way to function. People have the opportunity to belong to the church that conforms with their personal view vis-à-vis the civil remedy of divorce. I equate that to civil marriage as opposed to religious marriage. It is up to the individual to seek the type of marriage, whether it is a civil marriage or a religious marriage, in accordance with their personal beliefs.

    Some people have proposed that the notwithstanding clause be used to overturn the court decisions that have found it unconstitutional or against the charter to deny civil marriage to same sex couples. The notwithstanding clause is there to protect rights. I agree with the Prime Minister when he said that the notwithstanding clause was something that he would consider using to protect the churches' right to refuse to marry same sex couples if ever the courts were to determine that they should be forced to marry them but that it should never be used to remove the rights of same sex couples to have access to our civil institutions like everyone else.

    I have another concern.

[Translation]

    I am a member of the franco-Ontarian linguistic minority. If we can successfully make the argument to set aside the charter on the issue of civil marriage because it is a moral rather than a legal question then, in the case of minority language rights, we could suggest dropping official languages policies in this country because they are too expensive. It is a question of savings. That is the risk.

    I believe it is very important always to defend the charter since it is there to defend everyone in our society. That is the issue.

  +-(1340)  

[English]

    One of the reasons I ran for Parliament was that I could see the challenges to the charter coming. During the vote on the opposition day motion in 1999, I was one of the 55 members of Parliament who voted against the preservation of the traditional definition of marriage. I saw it then and I see it now as an attack on the charter.

    For those reasons I am pleased to say that I will be supporting Bill C-38.

+-

    Mr. Randy Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, CPC): Mr. Speaker, as the representative of the people of Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, I am pleased to rise to defend marriage as the union of one man and one woman and to explain why we will not be supporting Bill C-38.

    For many, the most compelling reason to support the government's legislation to expand marriage to include same sex couples is the belief that it is a matter of human rights. In fact, according to some, including the government, it is a matter of fundamental human rights.

    We all share the desire to be a nation that recognizes and promotes human rights and fundamental freedoms but is same sex marriage one of them? If it is, then it is clear that I and all Canadians should support this initiative. But is it? That is the question before us today.

    To answer this question, one might start with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which, in its preamble, declares that “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”. These are noble sentiments with which all of us agree.

    One could consider the more recent United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The covenant is composed of 53 articles that cover much of human experience. The sixth article, for example, states that every human being has the inherent right to life. Another, article 9, affirms that everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. Clearly, these are fundamental human rights. However does the declaration or the covenant include marriage as a human right? In fact, they do. Article 23 of the covenant affirms, “The right of men and women of marriageable age and to found a family shall be recognized”.

    The declaration of human rights also adds that men and women, without limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family.

    According to this, it would not be discriminatory for the state to disallow a marriage because an individual has not reached full age, while it would be discriminatory to disallow a marriage because of race, nationality or religion.

    What about on the basis of gender? Although gender is not explicitly mentioned, would it not be reasonable to interpret the article to mean that it would also be discriminatory to disallow a marriage between two individuals simply because they are of the same sex? In my opinion, no. Let me explain why.

    First, if we read both the covenant and the declaration, we will notice that every other article that relates to persons uses words like “everyone” or “no one”. Only in these marriage articles will we find the gender specific words “men and women”. By any accepted principles of interpretation, that distinction must be considered significant.

    Further, the article also says that these men and women have the right to marry and found a family, clearly something that was considered the outcome of a heterosexual union at the time of the writing of the declaration and covenant. Skeptics might disagree with that interpretation and argue that it could still mean two men or two women, because partners in same sex relationships can and do found families.

    However, that is not how the United Nations Human Rights Commission itself interprets it. In the now well-known Quilter case in 2002, the commission received a complaint when the New Zealand court of appeal denied that the prohibition in New Zealand's bill of rights against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation implied a right to same sex marriage. The appellants argued that the New Zealand high court decision was a violation of the international covenant on civil and political rights. What was the outcome of that case? The Human Rights Commission rejected the complaint.

    Clearly, it was not a matter of fundamental human rights to the one body on earth whose raison d'être is their preservation.

    Frankly, I can understand the argument of the Liberals that this is so clearly about human rights if it had not been so unclear to them just a few years ago. In 1999, during a debate on this issue, the Deputy Prime Minister, then the minister of justice, made the following unequivocal statement:

    Let me state again for the record that the government has no intention of changing the definition of marriage or of legislating same sex marriages.

    I fundamentally do not believe that it is necessary to change the definition of marriage in order to accommodate the equality issues around same sex partners which now face us as Canadians.

    I support the motion for maintaining the clear legal definition of marriage in Canada as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

  +-(1345)  

    Members of Parliament on both sides of the House of Commons overwhelmingly supported the traditional definition of marriage. If it is a matter of fundamental human rights, then that day in 1999 this chamber was filled with human rights abusers.

    Some will counter that times change and Canada's Supreme Court has decided that refusing marriage to same sex couples is discriminatory and a violation of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but has the court made that ruling? In fact it has not.

    It is true that courts in several provinces have reached that decision but they had also previously reached contrary decisions indicating that the matter is not as black and white as some assume. However because the federal government decided not to appeal, those lower court rulings were never tested by the Supreme Court.

    One might ask, did the Supreme Court just last December not rule that the traditional definition of marriage contravenes the charter? No, it did not. First of all, it was only a reference, not a ruling. Second, although the government specifically asked for an opinion on whether the opposite sex definition of marriage was a violation of the charter, the court declined to answer, leaving the matter instead to Parliament.

    That is not to say however, that the Supreme Court has never offered a judgment on the definition of marriage. It has. Its most recent ruling is in Egan in 1995 when Justice La Forest concluded:

    Marriage has from time immemorial been firmly grounded in our legal tradition, one that is itself a reflection of long-standing philosophical and religious traditions. But its ultimate raison d'être transcends all of these and is firmly anchored in the biological and social realities that heterosexual couples have the unique ability to procreate, that most children are the product of these relationships, and that they are generally cared for and nurtured by those who live in that relationship. In this sense, marriage is by nature heterosexual. It would be possible to legally define marriage to include homosexual couples, but this would not change the biological and social realities that underlie the traditional marriage.

    Justice La Forest has identified the crux of the debate. If marriage is inherently a heterosexual union, then it cannot be considered discriminatory to exclude same sex couples from it.

    It is my conclusion then that inclusion of same sex couples in the institution of marriage is not required as a matter of fundamental human rights or because it is discriminatory not to do so. However, although not required, would it not be possible, as Justice La Forest said, to legally define marriage to include homosexual couples? Yes, it is possible if as a society we choose to do so, but that decision will need to be based on criteria other than human rights.

    Some will base their decision on their religious world view and in a pluralistic country I cannot see how that is inappropriate. The fact of the matter is there are religious people on both sides of this debate, as there are irreligious people. Others will base their decision on their personal experience within their own family and circle of friends. Still others have grown tired of the debate and just do not care, but that is not an approach that I can responsibly take.

    While it is appropriate and helpful to consider the issue from a variety of other viewpoints, I also need to look at the legislation from a public policy perspective. In fact I believe that members of Parliament are negligent in their role as policy makers if they do not do so. Let me elaborate.

    The debate is not about human rights. It is about marriage. It is not just about redefining the word marriage. It is about reconstructing a historically heterosexual social institution that has served as the cornerstone of human society for millennia.

    The key question then is whether this is good social policy or not. Actually I ask the same questions of this legislation that I ask of any other. Will this be good for Canada? Will this make Canada a better country? Has this initiative been sufficiently studied to be confident that there will be no unintended consequences? Is there broad public support for this initiative?

    After reflecting on these questions for months, I am not convinced that this will be good for Canada. It is not just enough to say that nothing will change as the government is saying. Can we change a fundamental social institution without significant consequences? Apparently the government thinks we can, but many social scientists disagree.

    The debate before us is not about human rights. It is not about one's opinion of homosexuality. It is not about traditionalism versus modernism. It is not about religion versus secularism. It is about marriage and what we want it to become.

  +-(1350)  

    Instead of continuing down this pathway that leads to an uncertain destination, let us strengthen our resolve to respect the fundamental dignity of all human beings regardless of sexual orientation, while at the same time working to support and nurture the historic institution of marriage between one man and one woman. We can do both. In my opinion, we must do both.

+-

    Hon. Tony Ianno (Minister of State (Families and Caregivers), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have this opportunity to participate in this debate as the member of Parliament for Trinity—Spadina and the Minister of State for Families and Caregivers.

    In my view, we are not just debating civil marriage. We are helping to determine the nature of civil society, because how this issue is resolved will have an important impact on the place of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Canadian life. The charter is a reflection of the commitment that all Canadians made to each other, a commitment built over many generations. It is a clear statement of Canadian values shaped over this country's history. Hopefully there are fewer and fewer opportunities in the life of a nation when people must stand up for issues of basic human rights.

    I was moved early in life by injustices displayed on daily television screens and in the media; by the days when blacks in the United States and unfortunately many immigrants in Canada faced unimaginable barriers in their daily lives; when books like Black Like Me expressed the life of discrimination; when laws were justified as being equal but separate; and when inspirational leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. were standing up to fight against bigots who wanted to keep white supremacy alive.

    Our society has evolved. Respect for human rights has grown and the charter is an important part of that. Today civil marriage for gays and lesbians is the law in seven provinces and one territory, constituting roughly 85% of Canadians. Bill C-38 will ensure that all Canadians have the same rights across the land. The bill will also reconfirm that religious institutions have the right to practise their beliefs with freedom.

    My constituency is no different from others in Canada. Many of my constituents and supporters support same sex marriage. Many do not. Many Canadians may have difficulty in accepting homosexuality but do have faith in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Support for the charter is overwhelming. It is a common denominator for Canadians. By talking to people about the issue from that perspective, I have had success in changing the way they look at it.

    Once they realize the Charter of Rights and Freedoms allows for freedom of religion and that churches, mosques, synagogues and all other religious institutions will be allowed to practise their faiths freely, they understand. A civil marriage is applied for at city hall. A religious marriage is applied for in one's church, synagogue, mosque or individual religious institution.

    Religious institutions determine the parameters for religious marriages. In a pluralistic society the parameters of civil marriages are determined by Parliament and legislatures, along with our courts, to ensure equality, fairness and justice for all citizens.

    The charter is there to ensure that minorities, the weakest in our society, are protected. Extending rights to others in no way takes rights away from anyone. When the majority can decide for the minority without regard to the charter, it creates a dangerous situation. If the decision is made to use the notwithstanding clause, which is the only way to change the law in those eight jurisdictions, it sets a dangerous precedent which allows for a slippery slope. It could then be used by the majority whenever it wanted to suspend what is right and just, whenever the majority decided it was expedient. All minorities in our country would become vulnerable.

    Our nation has come a long way in its growth. As a respected centre of human rights, Canada has evolved from the days when Chinese people were charged outrageous fees, the head tax, to come to Canada for the privilege to work, and when their spouses or family for many years thereafter were not allowed to immigrate.

    We are all too familiar with the time when women were not persons, were add-ons and not able to vote, never mind sit as parliamentarians; when Canada showed no compassion in 1914 and did not let a ship of Sikhs land; when in 1939 over 900 Jews aboard the SS St. Louis, fleeing the Nazis, were turned away from our country, condemning many of them to the Holocaust.

    We choose many examples of a way of thinking of the past we would sooner forget. That is not the nation we are now proud of and take pride in. We believe that Canada is the best nation in the world. In our pluralistic society our Canadian values of humanity, tolerance of diversity, opportunity, compassion and decency are a way of life.

  +-(1355)  

    The Charter of Rights and Freedoms helps perpetuate these values. It protects the traditional institutions in a way that makes us proud. If it were not for the charter, someone who wears a turban could be denied the opportunity to serve in one of our most treasured institutions, the RCMP, because tradition dictated otherwise.

    The charter is one of the reasons that Canada is globally respected for the ability to shape a national partnership in which we all can participate. I can testify to that respect. I accompanied former prime minister Jean Chrétien to Portugal when that country was the head of the European Union. Many leaders of other nations were present. They asked how it is that Canada works with so much immigrant diversity while in their own countries, despite relatively little immigration, the Europeans were having such difficulty with discrimination. I was introduced by the then prime minister who explained that I, as a first generation Canadian, was a prime example of our Canada. I pointed out what I believe is one of the bedrock reasons for Canada's achievement. For us, diversity is not a liability; it is an asset.

    Overwhelmingly, Canadians recognize the value of bringing together people of many backgrounds, beliefs and lifestyles, and giving each of them the opportunity to contribute to their own unique strengths. It is our very diversity that breeds harmony. We learn from each other. We build on each other's strengths. We love the nature of our country and we are committed to making it work. We encourage citizenship, education and participation in the political process. That, I explained to people from other countries, is Canada's underlying strength: our celebration of diversity and respect for one another.

    That is a wonderful legacy to inherit and one on which we have an obligation to build. That is why, as long as I am able to, I will always stand for the weakest in society. I will always work to ensure that no one is left behind and that every Canadian, no matter their background, colour or creed have all the rights that each of us wants for ourselves and our loved ones.

    This brings me to Bill C-38. This bill does not take anything away from anyone. Rights do not become less precious when they are shared. The bill ensures that all Canadians receive the rights they deserve from a nation that is respectful, tolerant and compassionate. It ensures that we treat all Canadians as we want to be treated, as we would want our children to be treated. Perhaps that is the best way to look at it.

    Imagine how we would react if it were one of our children seeking respect for their rights. If one of my four children came home one day and said to me, “Daddy, I am gay”, I would want to look him or her in the eye and say, “I love you and support you without reservation and will do everything I can to make sure that you are accepted as an equal member of our society”. I would want my children to know that I took the opportunity on the day that I could be counted, in the highest institution of the land, to stand up for our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    Remember, Mr. Speaker, that today you may be part of the majority, but one day you too might be part of the minority. It is very important that we protect all in our society. In voting for Bill C-38 I will be voting to ensure the charter's place for all Canadians.


+-STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[S. O. 31]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Marriage

+-

    Hon. Paul DeVillers (Simcoe North, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, over 10,000 Canadians have expressed their support for human rights and the right of same sex couples to marry in an electronically gathered petition presented to my office.

    This petition, showing strong support by Canadians for what seven provinces and one territory have already deemed as a human rights issue, granting same sex couples the right to marry, was headed up by Ms. Ann Stephenson, a constituent of my neighbouring riding of Barrie.

    Ms. Stephenson's incredible effort to gather over 10,000 names from across Canada was driven by the fact that her own provincial member of Parliament for Barrie-Simcoe-Bradford, when asked, refused to recognize the views of his constituents that showed their support for same sex marriage, all the while gathering support for his own petition that denies human rights to same sex couples.

    Ms. Stephenson's efforts are commendable and should not go unnoticed. As parliamentarians we need to acknowledge the fact that there are many Canadians who strongly support the right of same sex couples to marry.

*   *   *

  +-(1400)  

+-Haldimand--Norfolk

+-

    Ms. Diane Finley (Haldimand—Norfolk, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to some special people in my riding of Haldimand—Norfolk, who have recently been recognized for making our communities a better place.

    Congratulations to Cindy Huitema and Ian Van Osch, Haldimand's farm woman and farmer of the year.

    Ditto to Norfolk's Annie Zaluski, a retired strawberry farmer.

    A toast to Port Dover's Walt Long, my hometown's citizen of the year.

    In Delhi, hats off to pharmacist and friend John Stanczyk and student Jeremy Wittet.

    Congratulations to Hagersville's Heather Peart, a future farm leader, and to Hewitt's Dairy for being named Haldimand's business of the year.

    Kudos to Caledonia's Barry Snyder and Jim Martin, as well as to Simcoe Composite School principal Bob Foster and Lynda Bain of Dunnville.

    I wish to thank them all for their selfless dedication to our communities.

*   *   *

+-Alderney Landing

+-

    Mr. Michael Savage (Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, arts and culture reflect the soul of a community and contribute greatly to its economic well-being. This is especially true in my riding of Dartmouth—Cole Harbour.

    Alderney Landing is a hub of activity related to arts and culture. It is the home of Eastern Front Theatre where local writers such as former MP Wendy Lill use their creative talents to write and produce plays.

    Alderney Landing is home to the annual Atlantic Writing Awards, one of the best municipal writing awards in Canada started in 1999.

    Alderney Landing is also a focal point for community groups and school productions, including the Black Music Awards. It houses an art gallery that highlights local artists and is the home of the great multicultural festival of Nova Scotia.

    Next week I will be attending the opening night production of the play Satchmo, written and directed by Hans Boggild.

    I want to congratulate the Alderney Landing Board and its chair, Paul Robinson, and the staff, Bea MacGregor, and the rest, for their dedication and support of arts and culture which is so important in maintaining a vibrant community.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Course de la banquise Portneuf-Alcoa

+-

    Mr. Guy Côté (Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the second annual Course de la banquise Portneuf-Alcoa, an ice canoe race, took place on February 12.

    Nearly 200 canoeists in 35 teams in the competition category and 6 recreation teams put their skills, endurance and willpower to the test to cross the ice-covered St. Lawrence between the Portneuf marina and Pointe-au-Platon, in Lotbinière.

    Over 2,000 spectators came out to encourage their favourites and support this event, which promotes athletic performance, the great outdoors, our traditions and recreational tourism.

    Such an event would be impossible without the support of volunteers, the municipality of Portneuf, the excellent work of the dedicated organizing committee and its visionary general director, Pierre de Savoye.

    Congratulations to all the teams and, of course, the winners deserve a special mention: Croisières Lachance as best recreational team; Choix du Président-Solnat as best women's team; Ciment-Québec won the company challenge award; and Château Laurier-Junex won in the competition category.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Charlottetown

+-

    Hon. Shawn Murphy (Charlottetown, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate my hometown of Charlottetown for being one of the seven national winners in the Winterlights Celebrations.

    The Winterlights Celebrations encourage civic pride, neighbourhood and heritage awareness, and beautification through a national competition. These celebrations are a winter version of the communities in bloom program held each and every summer.

    Volunteer judges evaluated the cities on the decoration of public, private and commercial properties for festive celebrations, winter activities and visual presentation.

    A major attraction in Charlottetown this year was the first annual Jack Frost Children's Winterfest. Volunteer involvement and projects like turkey drives, the work of the food bank, and toys for tots also contributed to Charlottetown's win.

    Charlottetown placed first in the category for cities with a population between 20,000 and 50,000. In 2002-03 Charlottetown won in the capital cities category.

    I would like to offer my congratulations to the people of Charlottetown.

*   *   *

+-Liberal Party of Canada

+-

    Mr. Randy Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, CPC): Mr. Speaker, in the most recent Leger marketing poll, politicians were once again ranked as the least trusted of all occupations, even below lawyers.

    I probably should not have been surprised to receive a letter from a constituent in which he called me a “thief and a liar”. Unaware of having stolen anything or lied, I asked him to explain what he meant. He wrote back to say that “thief” and “liar” are just synonyms for “politician”. I think he had me confused with a Liberal.

    Yesterday the hon. member for Thornhill said that at our convention the Conservative Party was debating issues that the Liberal Party had decided upon decades ago. She is right.

    While Conservatives made a commitment to do what is in the best interests of Canadians, the Liberal Party decades ago decided that it would do what is in its best interests. While Conservatives made a commitment to spending taxpayers' money as prudently as if it were our own, decades ago the Liberal Party decided that the money was its own and it is not about to give it back.

    Heaven help us all if the Liberal Party of today is the party of tomorrow.

*   *   *

  +-(1405)  

+-Paul Brideau

+-

    Mr. Lloyd St. Amand (Brant, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to pay tribute to a very brave young man who died two years ago today at the young age of 20.

    Paul Brideau of Miramichi, New Brunswick, was the son of Ronald and Monique, and was the brother of Danielle and Chantal. Paul was a son and brother who made his family very proud. He was a fine athlete and was gifted with ambition and intelligence. All of those who came into contact with him were greatly impressed by him. He had a winning personality. It was not possible to dislike him.

    Paul was diagnosed with thymus cancer in July 2002. He remained positive and upbeat and fought with valour the ravages of cancer. Our country was diminished on March 24, 2003, when he lost his battle.

    Paul Brideau achieved what we all aspire to do. He made a significant difference to his family and his community. He will never be forgotten.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Student Strike in Quebec

+-

    Mrs. Carole Lavallée (Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, BQ): Mr. Speaker, Quebec students are demanding the Quebec government cancel the conversion of $103 million in grants to loans, which penalizes the poorest students.

    The Bloc Québécois supports this protest, because we believe in a quality education system accessible to all.

    Education is obviously under Quebec jurisdiction. However, the decisions made in Ottawa have a clear influence on education as well as on Quebec's other priorities.

    The Bloc Québécois condemns the fiscal imbalance, which is affecting Quebec's ability to respond to the demands of Quebeckers. The federal government must accept the consensus of the National Assembly and Quebec society and resolve this issue.

    The educational system in Quebec is different from that in the Canadian provinces, and Quebec fully intends to preserve it. Ottawa's refusal to recognize the fiscal imbalance demonstrates a profound lack of understanding of Quebec's priorities.

*   *   *

+-Greek Day of Independence

+-

    Hon. Eleni Bakopanos (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Social Development (Social Economy), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, March 25, 2005, we will celebrate the 184th anniversary of Greece's independence. I invite all members of this House to join with the more than 300,000 Canadians of Greek origin this weekend at celebrations in their own ridings.

[English]

    March 25, 1821, marks one of the most important days of Greece's history, as well as the most influential moment of western civilization. I am as proud of my Hellenic heritage as I am of being Canadian because here in Canada, my second “patrida”, we have always upheld the very same ideals born in Greece. We have maintained the tradition of democratic principles and rights, and with wisdom and courage have contributed to the promotion of peace and the fight against injustice worldwide.

    Canada is indeed a prime example of a nation devoted to the ideals of Hellenism, democracy, human rights, freedom and justice.

[Translation]

    On March 25, I invite all my colleagues in the House to wish all Canadians of Hellenic origin:

    [The member spoke in Greek and proposed the following translation:]

    [Translation]

    Long live Greece. Long live Canada.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Solar Vehicle Team

+-

    Mr. Colin Carrie (Oshawa, CPC): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the sun quite literally shone down on Oshawa.

    Today I rise to pay tribute to the president, founders and sponsors of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology's first ever solar vehicle team.

    Led by Mr. Samveg Saxena, its student president and founder, the team launched its program in Oshawa yesterday morning, a first of its kind in Durham region. In only two years these students have recruited a design team and begun raising money to cover the project cost, some $200,000.

    The team hopes to build a race ready car by 2006 which will compete at major solar events around the world. This program will educate students and Canadians on renewable energy and environmental sustainability. This is a fine example of how industry and academia can accomplish great things by working together.

    I am honoured to add my personal support to Samveg's team and ask all members to join me in recognizing the spirit and enthusiasm of UOIT's first solar vehicle team.

*   *   *

  +-(1410)  

+-George Hull Centre

+-

    Hon. Jean Augustine (Etobicoke—Lakeshore, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to welcome a few of my young constituents and staff of the George Hull Centre for Children and Families of Etobicoke. They are: Shakib Gharibzada, Zachary Sobel, Brett Philp, Arthur Gallant, James Vivieros, Richard Gillingham and Stefan Naumouski.

    I commend these young men for the great strides that they have made for themselves. I wish them continued success and all the best in their future endeavours. I would also like to congratulate the staff of the George Hull Centre for their continued dedication and involvement in the community.

    To all of the people at the George Hull Centre, staff, volunteers, parents, keep up the good work. Our young people need your support.

*   *   *

+- Oscar Romero

+-

    Hon. Bill Blaikie (Elmwood—Transcona, NDP): Mr. Speaker, 25 years ago today Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador was gunned down by a hired assassin while saying mass for a community of nuns. Archbishop Romero had developed a reputation for the faith and the courage to criticize El Salvador's American backed military for various murders and disappearances.

    For defending his people and for engaging in such biblically prophetic activity, he paid the price that sometimes tragically befalls those who speak the truth to brutal power. Indeed, there were many Christians, and particularly Catholic clergy and activists, who suffered a similar fate for their commitment to social and economic justice in Central America.

    At this time the NDP joins all those in El Salvador, and the tens of thousands of Salvadorans in Canada, who celebrate the memory and sacrifice of this great disciple of Jesus Christ. He continues to be an inspiration to all who seek justice and resist evil.

*   *   *

+-Greek Day of Independence

+-

    Ms. Bev Oda (Durham, CPC): Mr. Speaker, on the occasion of Greek Day of Independence, the Conservative Party of Canada wishes to extend its warmest congratulations to the Greek community across Canada.

    My colleagues in the official opposition join with me in recognizing the rich significance of this day. It commemorates the emancipation of an oppressed people and their joyful return to democratic principles in a free and just society.

    I know that today they will be partaking in cultural festivities and events, which honour their ancestors and celebrate the history and accomplishments of the Greek people.

    I am pleased to pay tribute to many members of the Greek community in Canada. I salute them for their tremendous contributions to the economic and cultural vitality of this wonderful country.

    Our warmest greetings from the entire Conservative caucus on this Independence Day of Greece.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+- Centre de réadaptation Lisette-Dupras in Lachine

+-

    Ms. Nicole Demers (Laval, BQ): Mr. Speaker, last year during Quebec's intellectual disability week, the leader of the Bloc Québécois visited an exhibition presented by the Centre de réadaptation Lisette-Dupras in Lachine. The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie was so impressed by what artists with intellectual disabilities could achieve, that he invited them to come to the House of Commons and show us their works.

    The readaptation centre not only helps to integrate these people into society but also helps them develop independence and skills, while providing them with an opportunity to explore the world of aestheticism.

    The Bloc Québécois invites all members of this House to visit this magnificent exhibition entitled “Imagination without Borders”, presented in collaboration with the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, in room 215 of the Wellington Building until 5 p.m. today. This is a unique opportunity to listen to these artists tell us about their works.

    Congratulations to all of them.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Conservative Party of Canada

+-

    Mr. Mark Holland (Ajax—Pickering, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, one week ago today Conservatives met to have their opinions silenced at their convention. As I look across the floor, I see a divided Conservative Party in disarray, out of touch with Canadians.

    I see a Conservative Party that will threaten progress on social issues, while Liberals defend health care and work toward a national child care program. I see a Conservative Party that--

    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

+-

    The Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for Ajax--Pickering has the floor and I cannot hear a word he is saying because there is so much noise. We need a little order in the House. The hon. member for Ajax--Pickering.

  +-(1415)  

+-

    Mr. Mark Holland: Mr. Speaker, I see a Conservative Party that, at any cost, wants to cut taxes while the Liberals have made Canada the only G-7 nation that is debt free. Will that party do that at any cost?

    I also see a Conservative Party that wants to roll back minority rights, while the Liberals move forward with a progressive and inclusive social agenda.

    As I look at a divided and backward Conservative Party and I contrast it against Liberal accomplishments, I have never been more proud to be Liberal. The Conservatives can keep kicking their chairs in frustration while they still have them to kick.

*   *   *

+-Tory Tornados

+-

    Mr. Monte Solberg (Medicine Hat, CPC): Mr. Speaker, in hockey, players get two minutes for charging. Jean Lafleur was charging the sponsorship program like crazy and got $12 million. There is never a ref around when we need one. However last night the Tory Tornados House of Commons hockey team administered a little hockey justice on behalf of taxpayers everywhere.

    We opened a big can of whup ass on the Liberal sponsorships outscoring them 5 to 2.

    The rivalries in hockey are tough but seldom do they end in the crushing body checks and sharp elbows we saw last night. Last night was a war between two determined teams of highly skilled athletes played out before 15 cheering fans at the Bell Sensplex.

    The victorious Tories were led by our fearless first line centre, young Ben Harper with his three assists, who captured the hearts of all the fans when he led the team around the arena with the trophy.

    Could this be a sign of things to come, Mr. Speaker?

    Perhaps a sign for the next election, when we will be led by Ben's father, this man right here, to victory.

+-

    The Speaker: I hesitate to list the number of rules broken on that one. I always thought the member for Medicine Hat would want to set a good example.

    We will proceed now with oral questions if members are properly dressed.


+-ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

[Oral Questions]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Air-India

+-

    Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC): Mr. Speaker, previously sealed Air-India documents have just been released. These documents were not heard in court. They raise more questions about the investigation.

    A growing number of Canadians, including members of the Prime Minister's own cabinet, want answers.

    Will the Prime Minister overrule his Deputy Prime Minister and commit to a full public inquiry so that we know all the facts if there is no successful prosecution in this case?

+-

    Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member knows, the Deputy Prime Minister has not only offered to meet with the families but she has asked to do so in order to identify with the families, those who are most concerned, what the fundamental questions are that they, as well as the government, feel ought to be addressed. She wants to do this. What we really should do is determine what the questions are and then we should go about answering them.

*   *   *

+-The Environment

+-

    Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC): Mr. Speaker, in fairness to the Prime Minister, I think after 20 years the families know what questions they want answered. They just want some action.

    I also want to raise questions about the budget implementation act that was tabled today. We have several concerns on this, most notably the amendments that would give the government unlimited power to implement Kyoto without ever bringing a plan to Parliament. This is a back door manoeuvre to give the government a blank cheque. It is a dangerous way of proceeding. It will certainly not have the support of this party.

    If the government has a Kyoto plan, why does it refuse to present it to Canadians?

[Translation]

+-

    Hon. Stéphane Dion (Minister of the Environment, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Kyoto plan will be made public shortly. It will be a very credible plan, which will help the Canadian economy become stronger so that the environment may be respected and greenhouse gas emissions reduced considerably for the good of our country and the planet.

*   *   *

[English]

+-The Senate

+-

    Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC): Mr. Speaker, if the government has a plan, it will table it and get support for it in this House, not try to slip it in the back door through budget implementation legislation.

    Today, the Prime Minister gave us another example of a promise made, promise broken. His first Senate appointments include three from Alberta, Albertans, none of whom were chosen democratically by the people of Alberta.

    Why does the Prime Minister not just come clean, treat people as if they had some intelligence, admit that he has never had and has no intention of ever bringing about meaningful Senate reform?

  +-(1420)  

+-

    Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, first, I want to say that those who have been appointed to the Senate are outstanding Canadians. They are outstanding Canadians who, in the Senate, will represent both the government and the opposition parties. I think that is incumbent upon us in that way.

    In terms of Senate reform, I have stated time and again that I believe in Senate reform but I do not believe that it should be done in a piecemeal way. It should be done in a comprehensive way, dealing not only with the method of choosing senators, but also dealing with the equality provisions that are required.

+-

    Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC): Mr. Speaker, today's Senate appointments show that the Prime Minister cannot be trusted. It is clear that his promises to fix the democratic deficit were a pathetic sham, as he continues the same old Liberal patronage racket, showing contempt for the democratic process. Today he appointed three hand-picked senators from Alberta, deliberately ignoring the three elected candidates who were elected by the people of Alberta to represent them.

    Why is this Prime Minister so arrogant that he thinks he knows better than the people of Alberta who should represent them in this Parliament?

+-

    Hon. Mauril Bélanger (Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for Official Languages, Minister responsible for Democratic Reform and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the government has stated time and again that it is quite open to Senate reform, but we will do this in a manner that addresses all of the reform needs of the Senate.

    Currently the provinces are engaged, through the Council of the Federation, in a discussion among themselves. I believe we should allow the provinces to come to a consensus, and if indeed they do, the government is quite prepared to look at that consensus in order to proceed with Senate reform that is not a piecemeal approach to the Senate.

+-

    Mr. Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, CPC): Mr. Speaker, what is it about democracy that the Prime Minister does not understand? The Senate does not belong to the Prime Minister. It does not belong to the Liberal Party of Canada. The Senate belongs to the people of Canada and should be filled with their elected representatives. That is why hundreds of thousands of Albertans went to the polls and chose their representatives for the Senate.

    Why does the Prime Minister have such complete contempt for Albertans and for all Canadians that he puts Liberal patronage ahead of democratic reform?

+-

    Hon. Mauril Bélanger (Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for Official Languages, Minister responsible for Democratic Reform and Associate Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, members of that party should understand that the provinces are engaged in this. We do not understand their problem with allowing the provinces to have a say in Senate reform. If we are ever going to achieve it, the provinces must be included. They are currently engaged in that.

    In terms of appointments, one-third of the appointments made today were made to the opposition benches of the Senate. These members should be welcoming their new members with open arms, just as we will welcome ours with open arms.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Sponsorship Program

+-

    Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ): Mr. Speaker, Groupaction had a third party pay $11,556 in dirty money to Jacques Roy, a Liberal organizer in the Montreal area. The causal link was so obvious that, less than a week after this disturbing revelation, the Liberal Party cancelled Jacques Roy's contract without waiting for the Gomery commission to finish its work.

    Since it was possible to take action without delay in the case of Jacques Roy, why does the Prime Minister not insist on having the Liberal Party pay back this dirty money immediately?

+-

    Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, first, the leader of the Bloc Québécois must know that the Liberal government set up the Gomery commission. We did so because we wanted answers and we are going to get them.

    Second, we have said from the beginning that any inappropriately received money would be paid back. That is that.

  +-(1425)  

+-

    Mr. Gilles Duceppe (Laurier—Sainte-Marie, BQ): Mr. Speaker, before setting up the Gomery commission, the Liberal Party set up the whole dirty money machine. That is what it did.

    Before the election, the Minister of Transport was in a much bigger hurry. On March 3, 2004, he said, and I quote, “We want to know about all the contributions we might have had from those people”. His first reaction was, again I quote, “to deposit an equivalent amount in a special account”, immediately, so as not to take any chances, because according to him, “the Liberal Party cannot run an election campaign with dirty money”, which it did anyway—

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. Minister of Public Works and Government Services.

+-

    Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister deserves our respect for his courageous actions. He put an end to the sponsorship program, he set up the Gomery commission, he instituted proceedings to recover the money. The Prime Minister promised to take action. He made that promise, he kept that promise and he will continue to keep his promises.

+-

    Mr. Michel Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, BQ): Mr. Speaker, when the Minister of Transport decided that campaign contributions from agencies involved in the sponsorship scandal should be repaid to taxpayers, he wanted to open a special account, saying, “I am inclined to put the government's legal counsel in charge of this”.

    Now that the government knows full well that sponsorship funds were paid to the Liberal Party, why, pending the repayment of these funds to taxpayers, does the government not set up a special account for this dirty money, to prevent the government from going to the polls for a fourth time in a row?

+-

    Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, these are allegations, not facts. It would not be responsible of the government or the party to take action based on allegations. We must wait for all the facts before acting. That is the promise we made and we intend to keep it.

+-

    Mr. Michel Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, BQ): Mr. Speaker, there is no guarantee there will not be another election before the Gomery commission can table its report. As a result, there is no guarantee that the government would not run another campaign on dirty sponsorship money.

    Will the government admit that the only honourable solution is to open a special account for the sponsorship funds pending the tabling of the Gomery report?

+-

    Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has made himself clear. The party has made itself clear. If the party received funds from agencies or individuals who are found guilty, the party has volunteered to repay taxpayers. However, this is not possible until all the facts are known.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Canada-U.S. Relations

+-

    Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

    The Prime Minister goes to Texas and comes back with nothing on BSE, nothing on softwood and nothing on Devils Lake. Instead we have the pursuit of the hidden deep integration strategy with George Bush, although it is not actually that hidden. John Manley is very clear about it. He thinks Canada has too much sovereignty and we should pursue deep integration.

    Mr. Manley was the first choice of the Prime Minister to be the ambassador to the United States to supervise the whole project. Did the Prime Minister know the views of Mr. Manley before he offered him the job?

+-

    Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, three sovereign nations came together a decade ago to sign NAFTA and it has been of enormous benefit to Canada. Given the evolution of the world's economy, the rise of China and India, it is perfectly understandable that those same three sovereign nations would want to make North America stronger and more competitive, providing better jobs and a higher quality of life to their citizens.

    It is beyond me why the leader of the NDP, instead of engaging in a serious debate on this matter, continues to go over the top.

+-

    Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP): Mr. Speaker, we know that the Prime Minister has never been a great defender of Canadian sovereignty. We have not seen that in his past practices and it is clear once again in his pursuit with George Bush of discussions of deep integration.

    He never promised Canadians that he would pursue the George Bush agenda for North America. In fact, he left precisely the opposite impression with Canadians throughout the election. Why would the Prime Minister have offered a job to Mr. Manley to negotiate deep integration if he did not believe in it?

  +-(1430)  

+-

    Right Hon. Paul Martin (Prime Minister, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this is a serious debate. It is one that ought to be carried on by serious people about the future of our economy and the role we are going to play in the world. I would ask the leader of the NDP to approach it in that way instead of simply pursuing straw men. I would ask that he sit down in the House or in committee or anywhere and debate the real issues. The future of Canadian generations to come will depend on just how competitive our economy is and on the kinds of programs we build in to build this country.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Public Safety

+-

    Mr. Peter MacKay (Central Nova, CPC): Mr. Speaker, last night Quebeckers were sad because they were going to lose track of the Bougon family for several months. But today they have some consolation: Correctional Services Canada has also lost track of its Bougons and refuses to publish photos of the escapees, who nonetheless continue to receive government cheques.

    When will the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness put an end to this ridiculous farce?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I apologize to the hon. member, but I am not exactly sure what the question was about. If he is talking about the fact that there are those who are at large in a province such as Quebec and about what we do to help local police forces identify them, we do provide pictures.

    I think there was an assertion somewhere in the press today that we do not provide pictures. We do in fact provide photographs of those people to the local police and then it is up to the local police to decide what they do with those pictures.

+-

    Mr. Peter MacKay (Central Nova, CPC): Mr. Speaker, in an outrageous demonstration of Liberal values, the Correctional Service of Canada is refusing to publicize photos or information about prison escapees, including convicted murders, because that would be an invasion of their privacy.

    To add insult to injury, the government's obsessive coddling of criminals has enabled other government departments to send cheques to escapees living under false names, sending taxpayers' dollars to freewheeling fugitives.

    When will the government end this perverse practice of allowing prisoners' privacy rights to trump the safety of Canadians and their cash and catch the crooks and clean up this stupid system?

+-

    Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me be clear. This has nothing to do with privacy rights. If the hon. member is talking about the situation where we have escapees from federal prison institutions, we in fact do provide pictures. We provide pictures to local police forces. Those pictures are then displayed or not, made public or not, on the decision of local police forces involved in the question.

    I can assure the hon. member that as it relates to the disclosing of the identity of these people, local police forces have the right to do that.

*   *   *

+-Sponsorship Program

+-

    Mr. Vic Toews (Provencher, CPC): Mr. Speaker, Lafleur Communications received millions of tax dollars in a money for nothing contract scheme under the sponsorship program. Lafleur then kicked back $97,000 of that money to the Liberal Party of Canada.

    This is not a difficult issue. The money trail is clear. A lawsuit could be helpful, but why would the Prime Minister not simply pick up the phone and ask his friends in the Liberal Party to give the money back to Canadian taxpayers?

+-

    Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, first of all, we have pursued action to recover funds for the Canadian taxpayer. While we have pursued action, we do not have a verdict. Furthermore, Justice Gomery has not completed his work.

    We cannot act on allegations. We act as a responsible government, based on facts, and we expect the party to do so, but let us be clear. The party has said absolutely that any funds attained inappropriately will be returned to the Canadian taxpayer. That is the right thing to do. That is a promise made. That will be a promise kept.

+-

    Mr. Russ Hiebert (South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, CPC): Mr. Speaker, Groupaction received over $34 million in money for nothing contracts from the ad scam while the Liberal Party got ads for free, money for nothing ads for free. Groupaction kicked back over $200,000 of that money to the Liberal Party. How dare the Liberal Party use taxpayers' funds to re-elect themselves?

    Justice Gomery cannot recover these funds. Will the Prime Minister take immediate action right now and recover the money from the Liberal Party of Canada?

  +-(1435)  

+-

    Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this Prime Minister has demonstrated real action. He has demonstrated real leadership and courage by setting up the Gomery commission. Canadians recognize the Prime Minister's openness and his commitment to the truth.

    Today's Globe and Mail in fact says that the Prime Minister “chose another option. He took the high road”. The opposition should take the example from the Prime Minister and take the high road as well and wait for Justice Gomery to complete his work.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Border Security

+-

    Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, BQ): Mr. Speaker, closing RCMP detachments in Quebec is a poor decision which negates the goal of increasing security, especially in border regions. Everyone has opposed this decision.

    How can the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness refuse to shoulder her responsibilities and listen to a unanimous request by the 54 Bloc MPs and, according to the hon. member for Brome—Missisquoi, the 21 Liberal members from Quebec who are asking her to review this poor decision?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as I have said many times in the House, the number of Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers serving as part of the national police force in the province of Quebec remains identical to the number serving before the redeployment.

    The reason the redeployment took place was in fact to ensure greater efficiency and effectiveness in the RCMP's national policing role in the province of Quebec. Those decisions were made in consultation with others, including the Sûreté du Québec.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Richard Marceau (Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is back from a meeting with the presidents of the United States and Mexico, during which border security was discussed.

    How can the Prime Minister imagine he has any credibility at all in talks about security when his government refuses to deploy the minimum resources necessary at the borders, closes RCMP detachments in border regions and is rapidly making the border as watertight as a sieve?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in fact the RCMP officers have not been removed from the regions. They have been redeployed in ways that increase their effectiveness and efficiency, especially in fighting organized crime, the trafficking of illegal drugs, illegal guns and the smuggling of people, be it along the border between Quebec and the United States or elsewhere in our country.

    I would also reassure the hon. member, if he is interested in reassurance, that the Minister of Finance has just provided another $433 million to the Canada Border Services Agency so it can put more men and women on the border to ensure our collective security.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Cultural Diversity

+-

    Mr. Maka Kotto (Saint-Lambert, BQ): Mr. Speaker, discussions around the UNESCO convention on cultural diversity are continuing. Discussions will be held on May 23 to determine whether this convention will protect culture against the liberalization of trade, which is being negotiated concurrently at the WTO. Canada has not yet taken a position on this matter.

    Can the minister tell us what position the government intends to defend with respect to the legal status of the UNESCO convention and the mechanisms her government deems necessary to ensure its effectiveness?

+-

    Hon. Liza Frulla (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, as my colleague has said, we are working very hard with the provinces, Quebec included. We did so, moreover, for two weeks in late January and early February, in order to come up with a document. We then held discussions with all stakeholders, the European community included, precisely with a view to ending up with a convention with some teeth in it, which will protect culture as an element essential to the identity of each country.

+-

    Mr. Maka Kotto (Saint-Lambert, BQ): Mr. Speaker, the UNESCO convention must protect culture from the usual trade regulations. That is the purpose of the discussions. The European Union has made what some consider a worthwhile proposal, but Canada has come up with nothing.

    Why is the minister not getting her act together and playing the active role that the cultural communities expect of her?

+-

    Hon. Liza Frulla (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this is not a matter to be used for political points, first of all.

    Second, Canada initiated the UNESCO action.

    Third, what the hon. member has said is totally wrong. We have worked extremely hard to have a document that does protect culture, and excludes it from the WTO.

    Fourth, we have the support of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and of the Minister of International Trade as well.

    We have played a lead role—period—whether they like it or not.

*   *   *

  +-(1440)  

[English]

+-Sponsorship Program

+-

    Ms. Helena Guergis (Simcoe—Grey, CPC): Mr. Speaker, Groupe Everest received tens of thousands of sponsorship dollars. The company's president then donated thousands back to the Liberal Party of Canada.

    My question is really very simple. Will the Prime Minister take immediate action to recover this dirty money from the Liberal Party of Canada and return it to taxpayers?

+-

    Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the fact is, I have already answered that question. The Liberal Party has been clear that any money that was gained inappropriately will be returned, but I want to make a point here. For decades good people in Quebec have done important work on behalf of the federalist cause. A lot of these people have had their integrity unfairly tarnished by what has happened here, and we have a responsibility as a government and as a party to get to the bottom of this such that we can defend the integrity of all Quebec Liberals, of all Quebec federalists.

    This Prime Minister takes that responsibility very seriously and we are going to get the job done.

+-

    Mr. James Bezan (Selkirk—Interlake, CPC): Mr. Speaker, we know, contrary to what the minister just said, that the Liberal Party is ethically and morally bankrupt and may now be financially bankrupt.

    Coffin Communications has received millions of tax dollars and money for nothing contracts from the sponsorship program. The Liberal Party of Canada enjoyed huge kickbacks from Coffin.

    I have a very simple question for the Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party. Will he take immediate action to recover the dirty money and give it back to Canadians immediately, with interest?

+-

    Hon. Scott Brison (Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, again, this Prime Minister has taken significant action and has demonstrated real leadership by appointing Justice Gomery to do his work and by putting Mr. Gauthier in a position where we as a government are going after these funds to ensure that they come back to the taxpayer.

    Furthermore, the party has been clear that any funds gained inappropriately will be returned to the Canadian people.

    Let us be clear. There are thousands, tens of thousands, of Quebec Liberals, good federalists who have worked for decades to try to keep this country together. I personally resent that kind of slander from individuals like that attacking good federalists in Quebec who are working hard to keep the country together.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Guy Lauzon (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the “15% club” continues to keep people talking.

    Recently, administrators of the World Aquatic Championships in Montreal contributed to corporations such as Via Rail and Canada Post and received commissions.

    Can the Minister of Revenue claim that Serge Savard, Francis Fox or Yvon Desrochers have never received anything in this new round of sponsorships?

+-

    Hon. Stephen Owen (Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we have fulfilled all our obligations toward Montreal 2005.

[English]

    We are very proud of the world aquatic championships, which will take place in Montreal in July. These will be a great success. We are fully in step with the mayor of Montreal. Mayor Tremblay has shown great leadership in assuring that these games will go on.

    The Government of Canada is the major public contributor to those games. These games will be a great success for Montreal, for Quebec and for all Canada.

+-

    Mr. Monte Solberg (Medicine Hat, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the minister really misses the point. We want to talk about the scandal surrounding the Montreal aquatic games. Some officials of the aquatic games in Montreal were still receiving their 15% on advertising and sponsorships.

    Could the Minister of State for Sport assure the House that no government contributions to the Montreal aquatic games have resulted in commissions for Serge Savard, Yvon Desrochers or any other Liberal organizer?

+-

    Hon. Stephen Owen (Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport), Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we can be assured that the aquatic games will be run in the most forthright and transparent way. The Government of Canada, since difficulties occurred in the fall, has demanded that the board be fully reconstituted, that there be a full review of payments to Mr. Desrochers and his companies and that there is written confirmation that all financial documents are in place. There is the adoption of a conflict of interest code. We have withheld any further federal funds until the situation is cleared up to our satisfaction.

    All that needs to be done is being done to ensure the successful completion of these games in July

*   *   *

  +-(1445)  

+-Forestry

+-

    Mr. Brent St. Denis (Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Industry. As hon. members know, the mountain pine beetle is devastating the forests of British Columbia and the infestation has now moved into the province of Alberta. The Minister of Industry has recently promised to start delivering results on this issue within 90 days.

    The member for Cariboo—Prince George has wrongly accused the minister of breaking this promise and being unable to deliver on this commitment.

    I would like to ask an important question on behalf of all Canadians, especially those in British Columbia and Alberta. Would the minister please inform the House as to measures--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. Minister of Industry.

+-

    Hon. David Emerson (Minister of Industry, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for reminding me about the verbal diarrhea that came from certain members opposite, accusing me and this government of not keeping our promises.

    I am very happy to announce today that the government is putting another $100 million into fighting the pine beetle in British Columbia. This comes on top of $30 million put in, in 2002. We care about resource based communities in the country, and the B.C. caucus fought hard for this. Promise made, promise kept.

*   *   *

+-Labour

+-

    Mr. David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, when Canada ratifies international treaties, we have an obligation to enforce them. The leadership of UFCW, NUPGE and the Canadian Labour Congress today have pointed out that Canada is a signatory to the United Nations international labour organization.

    We have ratified ILO conventions that promise to allow freedom of association and the collective bargaining process. The Minister of Labour has refused to intervene in Wal-Mart's attack on its unionized workers.

    How will the government meet Canada's international treaty obligations in the face of Wal-Mart's abusive actions?

+-

    Hon. Joe Fontana (Minister of Labour and Housing, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this country takes no back seat in terms of supporting workers' rights around the world. We are working and have adopted five of the eight international labour organizations. We are moving with the provinces to ratify those workers' rights protocols. We are doing everything possible to ensure workers' rights are protected.

    As for Wal-Mart, that is a provincial jurisdiction. In the provinces of Quebec and Saskatchewan, the provincial ministers are working on those issues right now.

*   *   *

+-The Environment

+-

    Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP): Mr. Speaker, that was an answer skilled at passing the buck.

    It has been eight years since we signed on to Kyoto and we still have no plan. Now the Liberals have introduced budget legislation that threatens key environmental acts. It is a desperate attempt to manage cabinet bickering over Kyoto by creating legislation on the fly.

    We need solid, stand alone legislation to meet our Kyoto obligations, with no more excuses, no more weeks and no more months. When will the minister get over his performance anxiety and just give us the dates?

+-

    Hon. Stéphane Dion (Minister of the Environment, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, obviously the climate change plan is not in the budget bill. In the budget we have all the commitments by the Minister of Finance that give Canada the greenest budget since Confederation. This includes a system for large final emitters, a technology fund and a climate fund that will powerfully help Canada reach its Kyoto targets.

*   *   *

+-Government Appointments

+-

    Mr. Tom Lukiwski (Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it has taken only a few short months for the Prime Minister to break his word. He promised parliamentary overview and a return of democracy. Despite the overwhelming rejection by the environment committee of Glen Murray, the Prime Minister continues to defend this obvious patronage appointment. Now he has his own deputy whip running around saying that rejecting Mr. Murray's appointment may be, “outside of legal authority”.

    Why is the Prime Minister allowing one of his parliamentary secretaries to try to undermine one of his key campaign promises, or is this just another case of, promise made, promise broken?

  +-(1450)  

+-

    Hon. Stéphane Dion (Minister of the Environment, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me read the editorial from yesterday in the Winnipeg Free Press. It said:

Mr. Murray...has a long record of interest in environmental issues and enough experience, through one and one-half terms as mayor of Winnipeg, to lead a national effort at consensus building in a difficult policy area....Mr. Murray became a target for opposition objections because he is a defeated Liberal candidate....

*   *   *

+-Fisheries

+-

    Mr. Randy Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, CPC): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans continued to chant the DFO mantra that it is warm water and climate change that killed the missing fish during the 2004 Fraser River sockeye salmon fishery. I guess he missed the part of our report that said, “Everything points back to problems with the management of the fishery”.

    If he believes that water temperatures were dangerously high, is he admitting that DFO made a mistake in not closing the fishery and in the future will he finally show some political backbone and do whatever is necessary to save this valuable resource?

+-

    Hon. Geoff Regan (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, conservation of Pacific salmon is very important to the government and is taken very seriously. In recent months I launched a post-season panel review of last fall's salmon fishery in the Fraser River. It is ongoing, and I am looking forward to that report.

    I take the report of the committee very seriously, as well. I will respond to that committee's report once I have the time to give it the consideration it properly deserves.

*   *   *

+-Airline Industry

+-

    Mr. Dave Batters (Palliser, CPC): Mr. Speaker, this week El Al, the Israeli airline, and dozens of other carriers, warned that skyrocketing airport rents threaten their abilities to serve Canada.

    Foreign carriers like El Al bring tourists and business to Canada and they act as a vital link back to their home countries for expatriates. El Al warns that Canada risks becoming an island onto itself if rent is not addressed.

    The Liberal government continues to gouge Pearson Airport, and ultimately passengers, to the tune of $145 million this year. Why does the government continue to increase airport rent when it threatens to kill our gateways to the world?

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the hon. gentleman keeps asking the same question and the answer remains the same. This is an issue that the government proposes to address. The next increase in the rents is not scheduled until January 1 of next year, and the issue will be dealt with long before that.

*   *   *

+-Justice

+-

    Mr. Rob Merrifield (Yellowhead, CPC): Mr. Speaker, marijuana grow ops are a major problem not only in my riding but across the country. The convicted growers are not doing the jail time. In British Columbia only one in seven went to prison. In Calgary it was one in ten. The justice minister seems to think that is okay but Canadians are just fed up.

    Will the government support minimum sentences for grow op criminals?

+-

    Hon. Irwin Cotler (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we have said before that the combatting of grow ops is a priority and we have a comprehensive strategy in place to do so. However, minimum penalties are not the way to do it because they have been shown to be neither effective nor a deterrent.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-Older Workers

+-

    Mr. Yves Lessard (Chambly—Borduas, BQ): Mr. Speaker, in 1997, the current Prime Minister abolished the program for older worker adjustment or POWA, which gave workers aged 55 and up access to benefits until the age of retirement.

    The Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development voted on February 8 against a Bloc motion to help textile workers. Quebec, however, has unanimously recognized the need for a POWA. If the minister does not intend to help these workers, what is she waiting for to transfer the necessary funds so that Quebec can implement its own POWA?

+-

    Hon. Lucienne Robillard (President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, first of all, the old POWA became obsolete a long time ago. Workers have not wanted passive measures for a long time now. For a long time now, people aged 55 who are still in good health and who want to continue working.

    Second, this is why we initiated all the pilot projects for older workers currently underway. Over $21 million has been allocated to Quebec for this purpose. We are working with Quebec on future initiatives to ensure that older workers continue to receive assistance.

+-

    Mr. Alain Boire (Beauharnois—Salaberry, BQ): Mr. Speaker, one quarter of all workers in the region of Huntingdon are over the age of 55 and do not have a high school diploma.

    Does the minister understand that training and outplacement assistance are insufficient, and that what these workers need is a broader social support program, such as a POWA?

  +-(1455)  

+-

    Hon. Lucienne Robillard (President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, can the Bloc member understand that people aged 55 and up, even those with limited education, want to continue working? They do not want to sit at home and get a cheque. They want to continue, they want to take advantage of active return to work measures.

    Does the Bloc member realize that responsibility for the workforce was transferred to Quebec a long time ago? So, we are currently working with the Quebec government to help workers.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Foreign Affairs

+-

    Mr. Stockwell Day (Okanagan—Coquihalla, CPC): Mr. Speaker, by the time we return from the Easter break it is estimated another 5,000 people will have died in the Darfur region of Sudan, mainly at the hands of the Janjaweed militia.

    This weekend, while Canadian children are looking for hidden Easter eggs, orphaned children in the Darfur region will be foraging for food and looking for places to hide.

    We know the government has committed money into Sudan, but the UN has done a Rwanda style pullout of the Sudan region. Will the government commit to pulling together a force that will go into that region and protect those people?

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we are monitoring very closely the situation in Sudan and in particular the region of Darfur. We are very concerned and preoccupied with this region.

    Yesterday we had a thorough discussion with Secretary Condoleeza Rice about precisely what the Security Council would be deciding today. Our government, along with the government of other major countries of the Security Council, will act as determinedly as we can because we understand this is a very important situation.

+-

    Mr. Stockwell Day (Okanagan—Coquihalla, CPC): Mr. Speaker, at the Security Council, China continues to veto any kind of force going in to help the African Union. China's own deplorable record on human rights domestically is a subject of attention this week in Geneva at the international meeting on human rights.

    Will Canada be willing to co-sponsor a resolution which denounces and decries China's human rights records? We have shied away from doing that with other democracies before. Will Canada be willing to do that this week?

+-

    Hon. Pierre Pettigrew (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I was in Geneva at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. I told the commission exactly what the position of Canada was.

    We support Kofi Annan's great efforts in wanting to renew the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. We believe there is a better way of dealing with these situations. We really want to support Kofi Annan and the United Nations reform in the next few weeks.

*   *   *

+-Housing

+-

    Ms. Ruby Dhalla (Brampton—Springdale, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, if you can believe it, the opposition has posed a total of 242 questions in relation to individual testimony that has been given at the Gomery commission just in 2005. However--

    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

+-

    The Speaker: Order. The hon. member for Brampton--Springdale has the floor.

+-

    Ms. Ruby Dhalla: Mr. Speaker, if the opposition would have cared to listen, Canadians are also interested in a whole range of other issues that actually affect their lives. One of those issues is housing.

    The delivery of affordable housing has been slow in some of the provinces and territories and many Canadians are having difficulty in accessing a place that is safe and affordable.

    Could the Minister of Labour and Housing tell us what he is doing to address this critical issue?

+-

    Hon. Joe Fontana (Minister of Labour and Housing, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, let me thank the member, our caucus and the cabinet for making housing a priority in this country.

    Yesterday we announced that rent supplement agreements will now be part of the affordable housing initiative. This will allow provinces and municipalities to get on with helping those people find vacant units in cities and so on. We are determined to house Canadians. We are determined to help those most in need in society as opposed to that party over there that could care less.

[Translation]

    We will do more for Quebec and the other provinces.

*   *   *

  +-(1500)  

[English]

+-Citizenship and Immigration

+-

    Mr. Gary Goodyear (Cambridge, CPC): Mr. Speaker, imagine, the Liberals are now blaming us for their corruption.

    A constituent in my riding of Cambridge was required to send personal documents, including her social insurance number, to get a copy of her immigration records. When she got her package back, it contained the records of someone else. In an age of identity theft and terrorism, she is concerned that her private information has fallen into the wrong hands due to the bungling of the government.

    How many innocent Canadians has the minister exposed to identity theft because of--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

+-

    Hon. Hedy Fry (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I can understand the concern of the hon. member and it is a reasonable one.

    In the large system that we have each year with the number of immigrants and refugees who are processed, it is not unusual to have one or two pieces of human error occur.

    As the member well knows, the department has taken a great deal of care on questions in the House to keep the privacy and confidentiality of its clients safe. The House has often tried to get that information from us and we have not provided it.

    We are sorry about the human error. We will make an--

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. member for Desnethé--Missinippi--Churchill River.

*   *   *

+-Aboriginal Affairs

+-

    Mr. Jeremy Harrison (Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has spent $125 million on a flawed ADR process that has brought neither closure nor meaningful compensation to residential school survivors.

    Today the aboriginal affairs standing committee passed a report recommending the dismantling of this flawed process and the establishment of a fair and comprehensive settlement.

    Will the government now admit its own program has been a disaster and move to implement a new court approved settlement process, yes or no?

+-

    Hon. Anne McLellan (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we have no intention of dismantling the ADR process. What we do have an intention of doing is what we are doing. We are working with the AFN and its recommendations and talking to other interested parties in this matter. What we want is a process that is fair to everybody and is effective for everybody. That is what we are working on. That is what we are going to deliver.

*   *   *

[Translation]

+-National Defence

+-

    Mr. Robert Bouchard (Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, BQ): Mr. Speaker, on March 2, the Minister of National Defence and two other federal ministers took a trip to announce a $10 million investment in the Goose Bay military base. Yet the base at Bagotville, in the Saguenay, is in a terrible state and greatly in need of improvements.

    Does the Minister of National Defence intend to go to Bagotville in the near future in order to announce investments that would confirm that the base is also of concern to him and that he intends to maintain it, thereby putting an end to all the rumours of reduced activities—

+-

    The Speaker: The hon. Minister of National Defence.

+-

    Hon. Bill Graham (Minister of National Defence, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I have already assured the hon. member and the House that it is, obviously, a concern of the Canadian Forces to have as efficient an organization as possible. No decision about Bagotville—the organization of Bagotville—has been reached that would threaten the number of jobs there in any way.

    I hope that the hon. member will not call into question our activities in other parts of the country, where investments are necessary in order to ensure the protection and security of Canadians.

*   *   *

[English]

+-Agriculture

+-

    Mrs. Rose-Marie Ur (Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

    The question is regarding the Farm Income and Marketing Cooperatives Loans Act program which has had declining registration rates over the last decade. That being said, could the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food tell the House what plans there are for this program, and what effect it might have on loans that are currently registered?

+-

    Hon. Andy Mitchell (Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, providing access to capital to our producers is indeed important. As the member mentioned, the FIMCLA program has seen a decline in its use. It is really important over the coming months that, working with producers, we design a new, modern program that will allow for increased access to capital. In the meantime, the Government of Canada will continue to accept loans under the FIMCLA program. Of course, all guarantees will remain in force for the term of the loan.

*   *   *

  +-(1505)  

+-Citizenship and Immigration

+-

    Mrs. Carolyn Parrish (Mississauga—Erindale, Ind.): Mr. Speaker, in my years as parliamentary secretary I was called upon to answer questions in question period. I was repeatedly cautioned it was question period, not answer period. This advice appears to be holding true with the current administration.

    Again I would like to ask the Minister of Finance on behalf of the immigrants and taxpayers of Ontario if he will commit to undertake a study of the actual settlement needs and costs for immigrants coming to Canada, regardless of the province in which they choose to live.

+-

    Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in response to the former minister of immigration and the minister of immigration before that, indeed the discussion is already under way. That led to the first step which was taken in the budget a number of days ago, and that is $300 million to increase the resources available for immigration settlement across the country. A very significant portion of that will flow to Ontario because that is where the majority of immigrants go. Obviously in the future we have very much in mind accelerating our rate of investment in immigration settlement.

*   *   *

+-Business of the House

[Business of the House]
+-

    Mr. Jay Hill (Prince George—Peace River, CPC): Mr. Speaker, as the House knows, today we will rise for the Easter break to allow members of Parliament the opportunity to return to their ridings. Certainly we are interested in knowing what the government has planned for business the following week, the week of April 4 to 8.

    Specifically, yesterday we debated report stage of Bill C-30 which deals with the MPs' compensation. I have been asking for some four months for the government to bring forward its legislation dealing with the judges' remuneration. I wonder when we can expect that particular piece of legislation from the government.

+-

    Hon. Tony Valeri (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this afternoon we will continue debate on Bill C-38, which is the civil marriage bill. We will resume this debate when we return from the Easter adjournment.

    We will also want to deal that week with third reading of Bill C-30, which is the parliamentarians' compensation bill, to which my hon. colleague was referring. The Judges Act will certainly come forward in the fullness of time.

    We will also return to Bills C-23 and C-22, the human resources and social development departmental legislation.

    We also that week hope to debate report stage and third reading of Bill C-26, the border services bill, and Bill C-9, the Quebec economic development bill.

[Translation]

    Thursday, April 7, shall be an allotted day.

[English]

    I know that the House is also very eager to begin debate on the budget implementation bill that was introduced earlier today. However, in keeping with commitments made to the opposition members to give them adequate time to study and discuss in caucus this new legislation, I will call second reading debate on that bill early in the week of April 11.

    While I am on my feet, I would like to wish a very happy Easter to all members in the House and officers of the House.


+-Government Orders

[Government Orders]

*   *   *

[English]

+-Civil Marriage Act

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-38, an act respecting certain aspects of legal capacity for marriage for civil purposes, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.

+-

    Mr. Tony Martin (Sault Ste. Marie, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I am grateful to have the opportunity to participate in the debate on Bill C-38, the civil marriage act, that proposes to legalize same sex marriages in Canada.

    I believe there are defining moments in the life of a Parliament and the lives of members of Parliament, moments that help define who we are and who we want to be as a country, what we believe and what we will stand up for. I believe this legislation is one of those moments.

    I, along with my party, will support the bill. This is not a decision I take lightly nor is it an easy one. I welcome the debate in the House and in our country. I welcome the participation of religious leaders. There are people of goodwill and strong faith conviction on both sides.

    My own Catholic bishops have invited all married Catholics to participate in this debate. I welcome that invitation. I myself am celebrating the 22nd anniversary of my marriage this year. I want to go on record with three essential statements about my position.

    First, it has been said by some in my own community and elsewhere that my position contradicts my Catholic faith, when in fact my faith very much shapes and determines my support for the legislation, and I want to say something about that.

    Second, I also want to be clear, contrary to the statements of some in my riding that I am not listening to my constituents, I am here today speaking for constituents in my riding. It may not be all of them. It may not in fact be a majority, but they are my constituents and I want to give voice to their words too.

    I believe that the demands of justice and human rights are ultimately the deciding factor in my discernment. However, I assure the people of Sault Ste. Marie that I listen very carefully to all my constituents.

    Third, I hope by contributing here and elsewhere to a respectful dialogue on this issue together we can make happen here what did not happen with similar legislation in the Ontario legislature when I served as a member. It was about 10 years ago on a fateful day where I saw the betrayal of a group of people from the gay and lesbian community looking for affirmation of their rights and equality before the law. That did not happen then. I can never forget how destructive that was for them, how wrong it was for that legislature at that time and how upset I felt. This Parliament has to lead and not let the courts do our work for us.

    I recognize we are not going to satisfy everyone. When I think back to where public opinion, laws and mindsets were as little as 10 years ago, we have come a long way.

    In some media stories, reporting my position on the bill, it has been stated that I would be voting in favour despite my personal Roman Catholic beliefs. I believe same sex marriage for civil society is a justice issue, but I want it clarified that I believe this is so because of my personal Roman Catholic convictions, not in spite of them.

    I have not dissociated myself from the church. I cannot because it is that same church, whose leadership disagrees with me today, that inspires me to say this. It is the right thing to do. It was the spirit of Vatican II that challenged me to inform my conscience and that informed conscience says that we must reach out to Bill, Scott, Libby and Réal and all members of the gay and lesbian community and say that they are as whole and as wholesome as all humanity and worthy of all the gifts life has to offer, particularly the gift to love and to be loved and to be creators and co-creators of life in all its forms. They know this already. Their communities know this. It is time that the law proclaims this reality.

    I respect my church. I respect it and I love it enough to be able to tell its leaders when I think they are wrong. I know there are other good and faithful Catholics who think the same. I have done everything asked of me by my faith in giving great weight to its teaching, reflected on my lived experience, prayed and thus informed my conscience. I believe, as my church expects, that I am being morally coherent and not separating my spiritual life and my political life.

  +-(1510)  

    It has been important for me to recognize the balance in the legislation that upholds human rights for same sex couples and that pays great attention to the principle of religious freedom. We must do everything to work with the provincial authorities responsible for marriages to enshrine and protect this principle of religious freedom. I believe we have ensured that we will not have our churches dictating their views on marriage to the rest of the community and that community not interfering with the teaching, beliefs and practices of our religious communities.

    Recently a Sault senior citizen asked me if I meant that the bill changed nothing about what the church could teach, believe or practise. I assured him that this was the case.

    This issue is not about me. The most powerful moment in my almost 15 years at Queen's Park was when the government, of which I was part, brought forward a bill to extend benefits to gay and lesbian couples. I remember the sense of betrayal that day in the legislature when that bill did not pass. The gay, lesbian and bisexual community believed that they had rights, that they belonged. How disappointing for them. I do not ever again want to experience another day in Parliament like that day.

    I believe we all have grown in our understanding of people who are perhaps different from ourselves in all kinds of ways. That is a hallmark of the tolerance that characterizes Canadians and Canada. We are not finished with this journey toward tolerance. We hope that we and our children move from labels, hateful language or stereotyping to putting names and positive experiences on people different but equal to ourselves.

    The media in my home town has been filled with many legitimate views opposed to my position, but there are others. I heard from a young man from my riding named Andy who wrote:

So please, help me to grow my future family. You are the person that will dictate whether or not this will happen...Think of the love that you will be granting to the thousands of people who only ask to be normal like others and to be left alone.

    I heard from parents of a gay son and a lesbian daughter, happy that their gay children might be on an equal footing with their heterosexual brothers or sisters. They do not want the orientation of either to bar their children from normal occupations, promotions or pensions.

    Some believe a compromise on this contentious issue might be a civil union option for same sex couples. The Leader of the Opposition, with others, offers something sort of like marriage, except that it would not be marriage, no symbolism, no tradition, no social stamp of approval and acceptance. Courts have dismissed the separate but equal argument.

    The question is this. What is the right thing to do in 2005 for human rights and for our society? How do we do this well, to move people and society along and not polarize one another? I see the progress people have made in their thinking on this in the past 10 years and I do not want it lost. I believe that access to civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples will add to the stability of Canadian families and Canadian society.

    This is a world that needs more people who are willing to make loving, lifelong commitments to each other and who are willing to take full responsibility for their relationships. In a matter for all society, the Charter of Rights does matter. We cannot have two classes of people.

*   *   *

  +-(1515)  

+-Business of the House

+-

    Hon. Karen Redman (Kitchener Centre, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, discussions have taken place between all parties with respect to today's sitting, and I believe you would find unanimous consent for the following motion:

    Notwithstanding any Standing or Special Order, government orders shall end today at 4:30 p.m., immediately followed by private members' business. At the conclusion of private members' business today, the House shall begin adjournment proceedings pursuant to Standing Order 38.

+-

    The Speaker: Does the hon. chief government whip have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    The Speaker: The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    (Motion agreed to)

*   *   *

+-Civil Marriage Act

    The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-38, an act respecting certain aspects of legal capacity for marriage for civil purposes, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.

+-

    Mr. Charles Hubbard (Miramichi, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Bill C-38 creates a major change in the social and cultural values of our nation. It redefines marriage. It challenges the religious and moral beliefs of our religious organizations.

    As legislators, we are attempting not only to change laws, but to rewrite dictionaries. The Collins Concise Dictionary & Thesaurus, for example, describes marriage as “the state or relationship of being husband and wife”, or “the legal union or contract made by a man and a woman to live as husband and wife, or the religious or legal ceremony formalizing the union”.

    The British North America Act 1867 that structured Canadian laws, states in section 91, subsection 26, that marriage and divorce are the exclusive legislative authority of the Parliament of Canada. However, section 92, subsection 12 states that each province may exclusively make laws dealing with the solemnization of marriage.

    The question is who can define marriage?

    In 1982 the Canadian government adopted a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Section 15(1) states:

     Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

    The interpretation of this section has been a matter of contention both in the debates to place it in the charter and since 1982 in demanding rights and benefits. It should be pointed out that most of these terms describe very public and highly visible characteristics that could be the subject of discrimination.

    Such is not the case with the new arguments based on sexual orientation. The architects of the British North America Act and the legislators in 1982 did not acknowledge this concept. In fact, for many years after 1867, same sex activities were perceived as unnatural and sometimes and often illegal.

    Today we have a more understanding attitude toward those who favour or love people of the same sex. Nevertheless, one's sexual preferences are not necessarily a discernible characteristic and we have no justification or reason to intrude into one's private behaviour. Yet we have people of the same sex desiring to undertake legal contracts which they describe as marriage.

    The case of Egan v. Canada was decided in 1995 by a very close vote of the Supreme Court, by a vote of 5 to 4. Through this decision the Supreme Court declared that spousal benefits under the old age security legislation should be extended to people of the same sex.

    Since 1995, same sex relationships have benefited from this ruling. Pension benefits, compassionate leaves and health care arrangements have been extended to those who have same sex relationships.

    At the same time, Egale and others have demanded a formal recognition of these relationships and nothing short of the term of marriage has been deemed acceptable by this group. Through its efforts, three judges from Toronto decided that two people of the same sex could be married. Ontario and six other provinces have supported the concept of same sex marriage.

    As legislators, we must be disappointed that these three judges showed contempt for Parliament as they ignored the fact that this Parliament, through the work of the Standing Committee on Justice, was conducting extensive hearings and was preparing a report to this House on marriage and relationships. They also ignored a very important motion that was accepted by the House in 1999 that defined marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. Many who voted to support this concept in 1999 are yet members of the House.

    What is marriage? To many Canadians it is a sacrament. This bill transcends the understanding that our society and that from most corners of the globe has on marriage. It casts aside moral and social values that have existed for centuries.

    Does this justification of this new definition infringe on our religious groups who have traditionally been responsible? Is our state infringing on the domain of our religious leaders? Many would reply in the affirmative.

    From the volume of petitions, letters, cards, e-mails and telephone calls, we must recognize that many Canadians, probably a majority, are very upset with this legislation.

  +-(1520)  

    Each of us must answer very specific questions: What is marriage? What is its purpose? Who can or cannot become married?

    Parliament reviewed the conditions of marriage in 1990. The parliamentary secretary referred to this when he offered scientific and genetic reasons that prohibited certain marriages between a man and his sister or a father and his daughter.

    Bill C-38 explains that persons related lineally or as brother or sister should not and could not be married. Is this section of the bill reflecting scientific or moral judgments? It would appear to be the latter as there is little chance for persons of the same sex producing children from their own relationship.

    On one hand, the drafters of this legislation had little concern for morality in planning for a new concept of marriage. However they had strong objections to other relationships that could be established for benefit purposes.

    Marriage has been a time-honoured institution, with specific responsibilities, benefits, obligations and possible outcomes. Those who enter into this contract do so in a very legalized arrangement that demands a concern for the other's welfare and a responsibility to and for the children who could result from this physical union.

    It is my belief that our Parliament should not alter the definition of marriage. If we are to redefine marriage, if we are to destroy this centuries old concept, we should adopt a form of civil union that would enable any two people, regardless of gender, with or without physical sex, to enter contractual arrangements to enable the signatories to rely on one another for responsibilities and benefits.

    Bill C-38 would do little to enhance our society or to promote the values that strengthens its culture. I would urge all members to reject this bill and would encourage, also, those who are concerned with its outcome, to continue their efforts to see that they get their required result of this particular legislation.

  +-(1525)  

+-

    Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Miramichi for his strong defence of traditional marriage. We have heard a number of speeches in the House about that and appreciate him taking a stand on that.

    Before we get into the issue at hand, I would like to talk a bit about something that happened today, and that is the Senate appointments that have been made. Once again we have seen the Prime Minister dither for months. We have had multiple announcements that he was about to make these appointments and he has finally done that. Today he has truly buried the promise that was made that he would be the person to bring in reform. We see another promise made and another promise broken by the Liberal government.

    Basically the appointments today are a slap in the face for Canadians who have stood up for fairness. We are used to hearing the term with regard to some of these appointments as being hacks, flacks and quacks. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister has turned to old political cronies and those kinds of people rather than listening to the democratic will of the people.

    Alberta MPs and the people of Alberta in particular are the ones who should be upset because they held elections and committed themselves to the process of trying to pick their senators fairly. The Prime Minister has said that he will absolutely refuse to abide by those results, which is an insult to Albertans and an insult to all Canadians who have a concern about this.

    In my own province of Saskatchewan we thought it was interesting that as the MPs sat down to discuss the two appointments that were made, none of us had ever heard of these folks before. Apparently one of them was a campaigner in that extremely successful Liberal campaign in Saskatchewan in 2004 when the Liberals lost virtually all the ground they had and were only able to keep the finance minister's seat. I guess this is a reward for working for him, but we will try to make sure that campaign is even less successful next time than it was this time.

    I wanted to make that comment. It is important we talk about the fact that democracy has once again been subverted by the Prime Minister and that yet again we see a promise made and a promise broken.

    With regard to Bill C-38, I want to make a point of thanking the folks across the nation who have been defending marriage. In particular I think of the Defend Marriage Coalition that has been put together and which has been very strong in its defence of traditional marriage. It is probably no surprise to anyone to hear that I will be supporting the traditional definition of marriage.

    I will read a statement made by an MP made because I think he states fairly well the position that is important. He stated:

    Moreover, many MPs, reflecting the commonly held view of the vast majority of their constituents, maintain that marriage cannot be treated like any other invention or program of government. Marriage serves as the basis for social organization; it is not a consequence of it. Marriage signifies a particular relationship among the many unions that individuals freely enter; it's the one between a man and a woman that has two obvious goals: mutual support and procreation of children (barring a medical anomaly or will). No other type of relationship, by definition, can fulfill both goals without the direct or indirect involvement of a third party.

    I would back that up and I wish the member who said it would back it up because he is currently the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, who has completely changed his position.

    One of the frustrations for me is to see the Liberal leadership flipping and flopping on this issue. Many of the members held the position fairly strongly just a few years ago that they would support the traditional definition of marriage and protect it but we see now that they have completely flopped.

    I would like to read a few comments that were made by some of the present Liberal cabinet ministers to point out how inconsistent they actually are. I have a further comment by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration who now says that he will oppose the traditional definition of marriage. In July 2003 he said that the majority of the Liberal caucus members supported the traditional definition of marriage.

    In March 2005 he said, “The court decided that the definition of marriage should be changed, wrongly in my view. I need to have your support”. I think he was talking to a church group at the time saying that he needed to have the group's support to ensure the error would not continue. Some time between March and now he has changed his mind.

    He also told churchgoers in 2003 that the court judgment legalizing same sex marriage was an error that he needed help to correct. He also pointed out, and the Supreme Court actually also noted this, that in not appealing the Ontario Court of Appeal decision the Prime Minister broke his covenant with the House and the Liberal caucus. I would agree with him. I believe the court also said that the government had abdicated its responsibility when it did not appeal the decisions that were made early on.

  +-(1530)  

    Other Liberal cabinet ministers have made some of the same points. I want to read something which the present Deputy Prime Minister wrote in 1998. It is pretty definite. She stated, “No marriage can exist between two persons of the same sex. For us and this government, marriage is a unique institution.

    She went on to say, “The definition of marriage is already clear in the law in Canada as the union of two persons of the opposition sex. Counsels from my department have successfully defended and will continue to defend this concept of marriage in court“. Obviously she has not kept her word because the government has not done that.

    In March 2000 she said, “For us in this government, marriage is a unique institution; it is one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others”. Unfortunately, today she does not take that same position.

    In 1999 she said, “The institution of marriage is of great importance to large numbers of Canadians, and the definition of marriage as found in the hon. member's motion is clear in law”.

    She was referring to a motion that was made then and backed up the idea that traditional marriage should be defended and needed to be defended.

    In another statement, which I am sure we have all heard, but probably her most definitive statement, she said, “Let me state again for the record that the government has no intention of changing the definition of marriage or of legislating same sex marriage”.

    We have seen a poll in the last few days that ranks our profession as one of the lowest, if not the lowest, in Canada in terms of credibility with the public. It is when statements like that are made and then people completely change their positions that cause people to wonder why they should believe anything a politician says. It is a good question and actually an accurate one when someone has completely flip-flopped on an issue like this.

    Other members of the government have also changed their positions. However if I were to go into all of that we would be here for a lot longer than 10 minutes The question is whether those people can be trusted. The answer is obviously no.

    It has been more than just the ministers. The Prime Minister himself has dithered and flip-flopped on the issue. When he finally decided which way he would go he decided to make this an issue of human rights. It is interesting. If it were an issue of human rights, one would think that he would force his entire caucus to vote with him or else free them to vote their conscience. However he has not done that so it cannot be that big an issue of rights. It may be that it is a half issue of rights because he is only holding the cabinet captive and apparently freeing the backbench. However when they see how the cabinet votes they will know which way to vote if they want to protect their careers.

    There really is no freedom over there. We are glad to have it over here and are able to vote according to our constituents' wishes.

    I just heard a member of the NDP say that the majority of his constituents were not with him but that it did not matter because he was going to vote against them anyway. Hopefully they will show that kind of enthusiasm for him at the next election by carrying that out to its logical conclusion.

    One of the things that really concerned me were the comments that were made by the foreign affairs minister in late December when he basically told the churches and the people of faith that they should completely butt out of this debate. I have to very vociferously disagree with him. The quote was that the separation of church and state is a beautiful invention, but he completely misunderstood what he was talking about. The separation of church and state of course means that the state will not establish a specific church as the state religion. It does not mean that people of faith cannot have opinions and cannot come into the public forum and discuss those opinions.

    I was also concerned when I heard the Liberal deputy government House leader make the statement that if marriage commissioners did not fulfill their duties they should be sanctioned and disciplined. I have great concerns with the government's attitude toward religious freedoms. It talks a lot about this being an issue of human rights but on the other hand it does not seem to be all that interested in protecting religious freedoms.

    I wish I had longer to speak today but I will conclude with the words that Justice La Forest read in the Egan decision. He said:

    Marriage has from time immemorial been firmly grounded in our legal tradition, one that is itself a reflection of long-standing philosophical and religious traditions. But its ultimate raison d'être transcends all of these and is firmly anchored in the biological and social realities that heterosexual couples have the unique ability to procreate, that most children are the product of these relationships, and that they are generally cared for and nurtured by those who live in that relationship. In this sense, marriage is by nature heterosexual. It would be possible to legally define marriage to include homosexual couples, but this would not change the biological and social realities that underlie the traditional marriage.

    Because of its importance, legal marriage may properly be viewed as fundamental to the stability and well-being of the family and, as such...Parliament may quite properly give special support to the institution of marriage.

  +-(1535)  

    We can only pray that this misguided and wandering Liberal government will finally hear and apply these words.

+-

    Hon. Hedy Fry (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased and honoured to stand here today and speak in favour of Bill C-38. I can understand, however, the concerns of many here in the House, which I consider to be emotional concerns with regard to marriage and the aspect of civil marriage which we are discussing here today.

    If we look at marriage carefully, we can see that it is made up of four components. There is of course the legal concept of marriage. Then there are the social and traditional concepts of marriage, and of course we have the religious concept of marriage. These are the four pieces.

    Today many of us have friends who have participated in only one of those parts of marriage, the legal part. In the old days we used to call it the town hall wedding. People were married in a town hall. They have never had a church wedding but they are considered to be married. We know that in fact this has been so for a long time for many people.

    Why they wanted to get married, if they did not wish to take the religious ceremony, was that they believed in the social and the traditional concepts of marriage, where they tell their families and their friends and society at large that they consider that bond between themselves to be one that they want to contract for life in the hopes that they would cement their relationship. At the same time, they were therefore able to get all the legal considerations pertaining to marriage.

    Therefore, we know that marriage can exist in this country and in other countries around the world where only one component is taken, that being the purely legal component of marriage. I would like to say that this is what we are talking about here today. Let us look at the legal concept of marriage.

    Historians have told us that as far back as 2 B.C. and 1 B.C., under Roman law, marriage was a purely contractual relationship between two people, a man and a woman. Marriage was only undertaken among very wealthy families and contracts ensured that property and lands stayed in the family and that there was an understanding of that division.

    Marriage also ensured that any heirs of those two people would get those lands and property when those two people passed on, because as we know, in those days many children were not legally of the two people. They did not want bastard children, as they were called in those days, seeking to get those lands and inheritances. It was a purely legal contract.

    We also know that in 1 B.C., 100 years later, within civil Roman law, there were homosexual couples who were also allowed to participate in that selfsame marital contract.

    I want to move on to this fact that the legal concept of marriage began as purely legal thing. Later on, if we want to go into the religious concept of marriage, we can look at the Council of Trent. Those who are religious scholars would know that the Council of Trent was made up of 24 councils or more and went on between 1545 and 1563. At the 24th Council of Trent, the religious component of marriage was formalized. That council suggested that the marriage would have to be a religious union between a man and a woman. This was only at the 24th Council of Trent.

    However, I want to talk about the legal institution of marriage because that is what we are discussing here today. We see it as a separate concept. In fact, the legal institution of marriage saw its greatest evolution in the 19th and 20th centuries. For our purposes, let us look at the evolution of legal marriage nowhere else but in Canada.

    The first marriage act in 1793 came out of the Anglican church. It was therefore extended only to Anglican priests to marry people. It was in 1798 that the Presbyterians and Calvinists were allowed to marry. At the same time, however, aboriginal people were considered unchristian so they were not allowed to participate. In 1929 marriage extended to other religious denominations. However, it was only in 1871 that Jews were legally allowed to marry in Ontario under the auspices of a rabbi or in other ways.

    In 1882 Parliament again debated the legal institution of marriage. The debate then was whether a man could marry his deceased wife's sister. I would like to draw members' attention to those arguments.

    The bishop of Nova Scotia of course cited many biblical texts and then said that if a man was allowed to marry his deceased wife's sister, that would lead to polygamy because he would want to marry all of her sisters eventually.

  +-(1540)  

    We heard this in 1882 and 200 years later they are still making the same arguments and we are listening to the same thing. Nothing that was promised in 1882 by a man marrying his deceased wife's sister has come to pass.

    In 1925 only a man could get a divorce on the basis of adultery, with no proof whatsoever. A woman had to have proof. We can see that even then marriage was an unequal contract.

    In 1950 marriage became purely a civil ceremony performed by judges and other officers. That ended the religious monopoly on marriage in Ontario.

    In 1970 it was still legal for a husband to rape his wife in a legal marriage.

    Thus, we are talking about the evolution of the laws of marriage. What I am saying is that those laws evolved because they were responding to inequities in the system at the time. They continue to do so.

    In fact, let us look at the United States, where there were miscegenation laws. In 1967 the first state to change this was Virginia, in Loving v. Virginia, which said that two people of a different race could get married. I think members would be surprised to know that the very last state that made these laws illegal was Alabama in 2000. Prior to that, in Alabama a mixed race couple could not legally get married.

    I want to bring to the House this progression of thought to the point that what we are talking about here is righting inequalities that have been going on for two centuries in the whole concept of a legal marriage. We are now seeking to suggest that under our charter, in its complexity, the beauty of the charter is that it has tried to balance the concept of equality under the law with understanding things like religious feeling, tradition, et cetera.

    The charter was written so that the legal component of marriage could be extended as part of our equality rights for minority groups in this country while still allowing religions to continue to have their own law, their own dogma and their own decision to do so.

    As I said and as I will refer to again for members, the fact is that I have a lot of friends, as I am sure members have, who had a town hall wedding and never did have a religious wedding. This is what we are talking about.

    The churches will decide who they wish to choose to enter into that ceremony, that solemnization, and the state is saying that it cannot, under equality provisions in our charter, suggest that any minority group, whether we like the minority group or do not like the minority group, should be excluded from due process under the law to a major legal, social and traditional institution.

    That is the basis of what we are talking about here, so it is about minority rights. We do know that in fact the Chinese Canadian National Council, which is supporting same sex marriage, is supporting it on that simple basis. As a minority group, its members fear that if we start suggesting we can discriminate against one minority group, we can start the process of discriminating against other minority groups.

    Our history has shown us that in the past we have denied due process of law and access to legal institutions in this country to certain minority groups for various reasons. We only have to go back 50 years ago to the Chinese being unable to bring their wives here and marry or to the fact that we put away Japanese and Ukrainians in internment camps without due process of law.

    We are talking here about changing the process of law. That is what we are talking about here: access to the legal institutions of this country, which should not be denied to a minority group.

    I will end with one quick thought. There is a group that nobody has talked very much about except to say that marriage is about children. Indeed, marriage is about children. I am here to tell the House that today we know that gays and lesbians can have children because of artificial insemination. I have delivered lesbian women who became pregnant, went to full term and delivered a baby just like a heterosexual woman. We know that heterosexual couples use the same technology to have children if they are unable to have children otherwise.

    I am saying that by denying same sex couples with children access to marriage, we are creating a second class of children in this country. We have done away with the old days when we had illegal children, bastard children who had no rights. What we are now creating is another group of children. The children of a same sex couple will not be equal under the law to the children of a heterosexual couple because their parents cannot get married even though both couples used the same reproductive technology in order to have those children.

  +-(1545)  

    I am just saying that it is about fairness and it is about equality under the law. I want to speak very strongly in favour of this. I think people who think and who care about equality will in fact agree with me on this one.

+-

    Mr. Maurice Vellacott (Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, CPC): Mr. Speaker, this is indeed a great privilege. I wish we were not here today having to debate what we thought was something so very obvious even just a few short years ago in terms of the definition of marriage as being that between a man and a woman. It was so basic as to not even be entered into in terms of the kind of discussion we have here today.

    As many others are, I will be stating some very definitive, very profound and very far-reaching kinds of reasons for my support of that definition, because this bill means we are not just looking over the ends of our noses but down through the years ahead and beyond for the good of society. We cannot use society as a gigantic social laboratory.

    First and foremost, I will be supporting traditional heterosexual marriage. As the member just inferred and as is the case with many others here, I will be supporting it for the sake of the children, because they are the most vulnerable members of society. We need to keep them uppermost in our minds as we engage in a debate like this. They need both parents, both the mom and the dad, the male and the female, the man and the woman, to care for them and to be role models for them.

    The United Nations convention on the rights of the child says in article 7 that it is the right of a child “to know and be cared for by his or her parents”. In that part of the United Nations convention, article 7 is very obviously a reference to a man and a woman, a male and a female, and the normal understanding of parenting. It is the right of a child “to know and to be cared for by his or her parents”.

    Neither the United Nations human rights commission nor the European convention on human rights has decreed that homosexual marriage is a human right. We need to debunk that. We need to be very emphatic in stating that it is not a human right. The supreme courts in other countries have not found it to be a human right and none of the countries that have entered into same sex marriage scenarios have. No country in the world has had the gall to say that homosexual marriage is a human right. It is in the nature of a social public policy, if one were to be honest about it, and in my view, a very bad one at that.

    Only the Canadian government, only the Liberal government, has used the goofy argument that it is a human right. No one else in this world has made this kind of ridiculous assertion. However, I have digressed just a bit.

    Article 3 of the same United Nations convention on the rights of the child states:

    In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

    More than 10,000 studies have concluded that children's best interests are met when they are raised by loving and committed mothers and fathers, the biological parents, those who brought them into existence and into this world. One can argue about artificial insemination and assisted reproduction and so on, but it takes a man and a woman, a sperm and an egg, to bring children into being. All the studies demonstrate very clearly that a child's best interests are met when they are raised by those who have brought them into this world.

    After spending 20 years researching the effects of family structure on children, University of Wisconsin professors McLanahan and Sandefur concluded in their very exhaustive work, entitled “Growing Up with a Single Parent: What are the Costs?”, that if they were asked to design a system for making sure that a child's basic needs were met, if they could draw it up from scratch and design it from a blank slate, so to speak, they would come up with the heterosexual two-parent ideal. They state:

    The fact that both parents have a biological connection to the child would increase the likelihood that the parents would identify with the child and be willing to sacrifice for that child....

    The child is their blood. It is their flesh. It is out of that very union. As a result, they have a greater interest, or a greater vested interest if we will, in the care and upbringing of that child.

    Again we can go to the United Nations convention on the rights of the child. In article 7 it states that it is the right of a child “to know and be cared for by his or her parents”.

    Dr. Margaret Somerville, professor of ethics, states:

--I believe that a child needs both a mother and a father and, unless there are good reasons to the contrary, to be raised by its own biological mother and father. We can see the deep human need to be connected to our origins through the intense desire of adopted children to find their birth parents and, more recently, those born from donated sperm or ova.

    They go to great lengths to find their birth parents, or in other words, their biological parents.

    Defining the institution of marriage as the union between a man and a woman is our recognition as a society of those inborn, innate needs of children and our means of trying to ensure that they are fulfilled.

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    According to a new report, marriage is dying in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Noted author Stanley Kurtz reviewed trends in marriage and divorce and child rearing in those three Scandinavian states. He concluded that the institution of marriage is being abandoned in favour of cohabitation and various other diverse family forms. He said, “The rise of fragile families based on cohabitation and out of wedlock child-bearing means that during the nineties, the total rate of family dissolution in Scandinavia significantly increased”.

    As out of wedlock births skyrocket and alternate family forms become normative, marriage declines steadily. Stanley Kurtz posits that these countries' acceptance of same sex marriage is perhaps the clearest symbol of the death of marriage because it serves to “reinforce the...cultural separation between marriage and parenthood”. The three nations of Denmark, Norway and Sweden legalized de facto gay marriage between 1980 and 1994. Kurtz concludes that the evidence from the Scandinavian experiment demonstrates that redefining marriage to include same sex couples definitely undermines marriage.

    We must support firmly traditional and heterosexual marriage for the sake of the children, because that is the future. That is what we all are here for. It is why as a society we do all the things that we do. I guess we could say it is for the sake of the next generation, for the children in the days ahead but also for the sake of free speech.

    A minister of the crown attacked churches for speaking out on the marriage bill and talked about the wonderful thing that separation of church and state is, which it is, but in baleful ignorance of where that concept even derived from. It came out of the United States of America when Thomas Jefferson was responding to individuals, Baptists at that, who were asking if the Congregationalists were going to be endorsed as the state church in the U.S.A.

    Jefferson responded to them that on the federal level there would be no endorsement of the Congregationalists over any other particular church group or sect in that country. He was trying to assure them that there would not be an imposition of the state on the church. It was in no way a reference to the fact that the church or individuals in the church could not weigh in and enter into the discourse of ideas, the public square. Rather, it was a one way valve stopping the government from imposing on the individuals and upon the churches.

    The minister, as a minister of the crown, showed rather a great ignorance, as do others, either wilfully or perhaps by skewing the facts to his particular intent.

    The justice minister also mused about legislation that would prevent someone from out of country weighing in on this present marriage debate. Again the government is trying to stifle free speech in the present debate before us.

    With the legalization of homosexual marriage it is my deep concern that every public school in the nation will be required to teach that homosexual coupling is the moral equivalent of traditional marriage between a man and a woman. We have seen it already. A good example would be the pressures being faced in your own home province, Mr. Speaker. The schools in Surrey, British Columbia were faced with that pressure in a fight that took them a long route through the courts in respect to curriculum on this very issue. The schools were forced and coerced to have textbooks in the public system depicting a man-man and woman-woman relationship as synonymous with a heterosexual marriage relationship. Stories written for children as young as elementary school and kindergarten may have to give equal space and emphasis to those particular arrangements, those homosexual couplings as equivalent to marriage. It is for that reason as well, for the sake of free speech, for the sake of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.

    Do we honestly believe as Canadians that the Liberal government will protect those rights of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience when only a few years ago the Deputy Prime Minister and the Prime Minister assured Canadians that they had no intention of changing the definition? In fact they have done that very thing. They have broken that promise. Promise made, promise broken.

    I have much more to say, but I would say it is not only for the sake of freedom of religion and freedom of conscience but it is also for the sake of integrity and honesty in public figures. Members of the government, the Deputy Prime Minister in particular and others have made outrageous contradictory and hypocritical statements on the record. They have said they will protect traditional heterosexual marriages and then have reversed their positions 180° where they now say that does not matter, that was then, this is now and they are going to undermine it directly.

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    For those reasons, we need to affirm traditional marriage and uphold heterosexual marriage for the good of society in future years.

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    The Deputy Speaker: Order. It is my duty pursuant to Standing Order 38 to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent, Aboriginal affairs; the hon. member for Elgin—Middlesex—London, Sponsorship program.

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    Mrs. Nina Grewal (Fleetwood—Port Kells, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today on behalf of the constituents of Fleetwood—Port Kells to participate in the debate on Bill C-38, the civil marriage act.

    First, allow me to say that I am proud to be a member of a party that allows a member to vote how his or her conscience dictates, not how his or her party leader or whip orders him or her to vote. My party will have a free vote on this very important bill.

    I think it is unacceptable in a parliamentary democracy for a Prime Minister to force members of his cabinet to vote for a measure they might not approve of. All MPs must be allowed to vote according to the dictates of their own conscience or the wishes of their constituents on this very important issue. I call on the right hon. gentleman to remove the whip, unmuzzle his cabinet members and allow them the dignity of voting as they believe.

    Personally, I will vote against Bill C-38, the so-called same sex marriage bill. The Prime Minister has had an eleventh hour conversion to the cause of same sex marriage. Many Canadians will remember that in 1999 the government supported a Reform Party motion that stated marriage would remain the lawful union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. That motion easily passed by a vote of 216 to 55. The overwhelming majority of Liberal MPs, including Jean Chrétien and the current Prime Minister, voted in favour. So did today's Deputy Prime Minister, who assured Canadians that the government had no intention of changing the definition of marriage or of legislating same sex marriage. How quickly they forget their promises.

    Instead of taking a stand for or against same sex marriage from the start and dealing with it in Parliament, where it should have been decided after a broad public debate, the Liberals have ducked at every turn and thus handed the issue by default back to the courts. That of course is the Liberal way.

    The courts have provided a convenient refuge for Liberals to avoid controversial issues. They delay and delay considering issues until the courts have resolved them. The Liberals then turn around and blame judges for forcing them to pass controversial legislative changes.

    In a genuine democracy, the courts do not legislate. Enacting laws is a legislative function that is properly exercised only by elected representatives of the people.

    The Liberals claim the courts have left them with no other choice than to introduce same sex marriage legislation. This is nonsense. On this issue the Supreme Court refused to be used as a political tool and to play the Liberal game. It left the decision of whether to legalize gay marriage up to Parliament. The court validated what the Conservative Party has been saying all along. It is Parliament that should be making the decisions on such fundamental matters of social policy.

    Extending legal recognition to same sex marriage has absolutely nothing to do with the Charter of Rights. It has everything to do with debasing or diluting the traditional values of a sacred religious sacrament or covenant.

    The debate is about family values, religious institutions, family units and procreation. Marriage is a voluntary union between one man and one woman. It has as its foundation, love, mutual satisfaction and procreation. The union of one man and one woman is mankind's most enduring institution.

    I will not stand in the way of two adults of the same sex who choose to live together as partners. I do vigorously oppose calling this union a marriage. It is not a marriage. It is a union, legal or otherwise, of two consenting adults, no more, no less.

    The Liberal government has decided to make it a priority to change the traditional definition of marriage. To attempt to alter the meaning of marriage is to undermine the family, which is already under great pressure in our society.

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    Marriage has four basic prohibitions which are pretty much universal and timeless. We can only marry one person at a time, only someone of the opposite sex, never someone beneath a certain age, and not a close blood relative. These prohibitions have been grounded in morality and law. We need this stabilization in an ever changing world, but the Liberals want to take it away from us.

    The government wants Canadians to believe that there are two different types of marriages, civil marriage and religious marriage. They are being intellectually dishonest. Marriage is marriage, regardless of the adjective one places in front of it. Whether someone gets married by a priest or by a judge, it does not change what we mean by marriage.

    The government is now trying to change marriage for everyone. No longer will it symbolize the basic procreative relationship between one man and one woman. It will now merely be the recognition of a loving and committed relationship between two people. This begs the question, why not just keep marriage the same as it has always been and create another institution for relationships that have nothing to do with procreation?

    This would be the Canadian way, the middle road between two extremes. It is also a solution that has been embraced by other countries in the world, including by France's socialist government.

    The Conservative Party believes that an alternative to marriage is an appropriate solution. Civil unions would allow the state to recognize relationships between two partners, be they homosexual or heterosexual, while at the same time maintaining marriage as it has been for hundreds of years the world over. This is also a solution that is agreeable to a majority of Canadians.

    I hold little faith in Liberal claims that this legislation will in no way affect religious freedoms, and not just because the Supreme Court has already said the federal government has no control over the matter. It is, after all, the same government that five years ago promised to uphold traditional marriage. The government is obviously swayed by the flavour of the month, putting little stock in traditional beliefs and values.

    The Liberals have shown little interest in protecting religious rights. In 2003 they refused to support amendments to hate crime legislation designed to protect religious expression. Last spring the Liberals tested how effective religious bigotry would play as an election strategy, polling Canadians on whether they would be more or less likely to vote for the Conservatives if they knew they had been taken over by evangelical Christians.

    Recently the foreign affairs minister said that churches should butt out of the same sex marriage debate. Consider the Prime Minister's arguments and his accusations against those who support traditional marriage. He claims we are intolerant and bigoted. If he is being sincere and not simply playing dirty politics, he must therefore see religious institutions as enclaves of intolerance.

    How long will it take for the courts and the Liberals to attempt to force change upon these institutions? It does not take a big leap to imagine churches in the near future being prosecuted for being anti-homosexual and being forced to marry gays.

    We may see tremendous pressure to take away the tax exempt status of churches and denominations and organizations that refuse to fully affirm and accept the homosexual lifestyle. Already a lesbian couple has a case before the B.C. Human Rights Commission claiming discrimination because a Catholic Knights of Columbus hall cancelled their wedding reception.

    The ball is rolling and we must put a stop to it now before it becomes unstoppable. That is why Parliament must immediately take steps to protect and affirm freedom of religion in Canada.

    My constituents in Fleetwood—Port Kells have made it clear how they want me to vote on Bill C-38. One Monday morning I logged on to my office computer and there were more than 1,400 e-mail messages regarding same sex marriage. Only three or four e-mails were in support. All the rest opposed the legislation. This was on just one day.

    I have also held town hall meetings to discuss this issue, conducted surveys and made it clear where I stood on marriage during the 2004 election campaign. I believe that the unique character and institution of marriage should be strongly respected and legally recognized.

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    I will therefore be voting to retain the traditional definition of marriage because it is our party's policy. It is what my constituents want and I believe it is the right thing to do.

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    Mr. Rick Casson (Lethbridge, CPC): Mr. Speaker, after serving my constituents for eight years and rising in this distinguished place literally hundreds of times on many issues, I consider the issue we are dealing with today, Bill C-38, to be extremely important, if not the most important issue I have dealt with. It is also the issue, in my experience, that has created the highest number of responses from my constituents and from Canadians right across the country. I certainly appreciate the opportunity to present my comments and my thoughts.

    The legislation the Prime Minister and the Liberal minority government have brought forward to change the traditional definition of marriage from the union of one man and one woman to two persons, in my mind, if passed without amendment will fundamentally change one of the basic pillars of our society, that being the traditional family.

    The very act of tabling this legislation has caused problems, both within families and within communities. I want to relate a couple of incidents that I have been part of that will help expand on why I say that this proposed legislation is creating these problems, and outline what I and many others feel is a better way to proceed.

    I have made it clear during my tenure as the member of Parliament for Lethbridge that I support the traditional definition of marriage as being the union of a man and a woman. However, I also believe people who choose a different path have rights as well. Problems begin to rise when interests at opposite ends of the issue become polarized and are unable to find middle ground.

    The way the government is determined to proceed only exacerbates the situation because of its unwillingness to compromise. I believe the majority of Canadians prefer a moderate solution and not the hard line and inflexible position the Liberals are pushing.

    The first personal experience I want to relate occurred about a year ago, shortly after I had put out a householder in my riding with comments outlining my support for traditional families and marriage. This release prompted a number of gay couples and individuals to come to my office to discuss my position and to relay concerns they had regarding some of my comments.

    A number of these people were personal friends I have known for many years and have active roles in the community. Others I met for the first time. They explained to me the issues they had with some of my comments and wanted me to know they could be used in a harmful way. I assured them that causing anyone harm was not my intention.

    They also wanted to inform me that they had meaningful relationships. They knew I would not change my stance on the definition of marriage, but felt obligated to give me their views. We were able to have a meaningful, frank, and at the same time respectful dialogue. Hopefully, we all went away with a better understanding of each other's views. I know I did.

    The other incident I would like to refer to took place in my home at our kitchen table. In southern Alberta, as I am sure it is in most areas of Canada, many important discussions are held around the kitchen table.

    A male friend of mine whom I have known most of my life, a successful businessman, a strong supporter of community activities, a husband, a father, grandfather, and devout Christian, phoned to say he would like to stop in at our home with some thoughts on how to stop the Liberals from changing the traditional definition of marriage. He came over and we discussed possible scenarios that could be used to improve the legislation or defeat it.

    During his comments, he paused for a moment, a tear came to his eye, and he started to relate how his family was being tormented by this issue. One of his children had decided to support same sex marriage and he was struggling to understand why. He broke down and was unable to continue. He could not understand why the Prime Minister and the Liberal government were doing this to his family.

    He, along with most Canadians, feels very strongly that the definition of marriage should be the union of one man and one woman, but he holds no animosity toward same sex couples. However, he does not understand why the Liberals are so intent on pursuing this issue when there are so many other important issues that need Parliament's attention. He could not understand why a compromise could not be reached that would satisfy the majority of Canadians.

    These are just two examples of divergent beliefs that exist side by side in Canada that I, along with every member in the House I would think, have been exposed to over the past number of months.

    For all the people I have heard from who are polarized on this issue, and for all those Canadians who are seeking a moderate solution, I am asking members of Parliament to please consider the amendments brought forward by the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. If we must go down this road, then let us do it with a reasonable compromise and in a manner that places no one at a disadvantage.

    Parliament is fully within its right to pass such amendments because the Supreme Court not only declined to answer on the constitutionality of traditional marriage but made it clear that it was up to Parliament to decide on this important matter.

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    The justice minister and Prime Minister are misleading Canadians when they promise to protect religious freedoms, knowing full well that the Supreme Court has already ruled that the provisions in the draft legislation pertaining to the right of religious officials to refuse to perform marriage is outside the jurisdiction of the federal Parliament, even so far as federal common law and federal statutes are concerned.

    The federal justice minister has had several months to draft amendments to protect religious freedoms in relation to income tax and charitable status. He has chosen not to do this. There are no such protections in this bill. This is one area where the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada has indicated our plan to move such amendments if this legislation survives second reading.

    Importantly as well, the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada is allowing a free vote for our entire caucus, something the so-called democratic deficit fighter, the Prime Minister, is not allowing in the Liberal Party, nor are the leaders of the Bloc or the NDP for that matter.

    The Leader of the Opposition has taken a reasonable, moderate approach to this issue that is in accord with the views of the vast majority of Canadians. The option we present to retain the traditional definition of marriage as well as recognize that same sex partnerships have equivalent rights and benefits represents the middle ground the majority of Canadians occupy. As I indicated, we intend to amend the government's legislation to present this reasonable position to preserve the traditional definition while maintaining legal rights and privileges for same sex partnerships and to protect religious freedom.

    The use of the notwithstanding clause, which is mentioned often in the speeches from across the way, is not an issue in this debate and is simply not necessary. The only legal opinion that is relevant here is that of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has never ruled on the traditional definition of marriage. It has handed the issue back to Parliament to legislate. The court has never ruled on legislation of the type the Conservative Party of Canada is proposing, which would ensure equal rights and privileges for same sex partnerships while affirming the traditional definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman.

    I am confident that ensuring equal rights is the way, along with legislation to define the traditional definition of marriage, something that we do not presently have, that represents a reasonable compromise, a firm expression of Parliament's will, a democratic will that the courts would respect. That is the moderate position that we represent and it is where most Canadians' beliefs are on the issue. They firmly believe in equal rights, but they also want to preserve the traditional definition of marriage.

    As was pointed out by the Leader of the Opposition when he led off the debate for the Conservative Party of Canada on this bill, the definition of marriage is a question of social policy as opposed to a rights issue, and it is therefore for Parliament to decide. Respecting the traditional definition of marriage is not an infringement on anyone's rights. If we put into legislation the traditional definition along with equal rights and benefits for same sex partners, we will have the reasonable compromise that reflects the broad consensus of Canadians.

    It is not up to the Prime Minister to decide if same sex marriage is a fundamental right. The Supreme Court refused to answer the question on whether the traditional definition of marriage is constitutional. In doing so, the court indicated that this was a matter for Parliament, the elected representatives of the people, to decide.

    In closing, let me ask the members of the House to do what is right and to reach the reasonable compromise by accepting the amendments that will allow the retention of the definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman, while extending to other civil unions established under the laws of a province the same rights, benefits and obligations as married persons.

    Let us do the reasonable thing. Let us reach the position that the vast majority of Canadians are seeking, so families that are being torn apart can once again be whole, and those who are living in traditional marriages or civil unions can live in peace.

    If I could get off topic just for a second, I would like to mention a few of the members of the House who have not been with us in the last little while: the member for Surrey North, the member for Westlock--St. Paul, the member for Okanagan-Shuswap, and of course our own Sergeant-at-Arms. These four people are struggling with issues of their own and I would just like to let them know that we are thinking of them.

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    Mr. Stockwell Day (Okanagan—Coquihalla, CPC): Mr. Speaker, to be constrained by parliamentary rules to only 10 minutes to speak about a law intending to alter a social definition, marriage, that has existed since time immemorial is a challenge indeed, but one which I will try to meet.

    A far more serious defect in the debate is the disturbing act of tyranny on the part of the Prime Minister and the leader of the NDP who are muzzling their MPs and forcing them to vote a certain way on such an important topic.

    On the issue itself, first allow me to give a historic overview. Discussions on marriage certainly are not new. In the historically reputable journals of a Jewish physician by the name of Luke, almost 2,000 years ago, he recorded a debate between Jesus and various religious and community leaders. It is clear in their discussions that the monogamous nature of marriage was accepted as the norm despite the fact that the Hebrew culture had embraced polygamy during an earlier time in its social development.

    Jesus used that opportunity to underline the fact that the earliest writings of Mosaic tradition, notably the Pentateuch account, made it clear that the God of the Hebrew people intended that marriage would be between one man and one woman exclusively.

    For the two millennia following Christ's teaching on the matter, right up until this day, that has been the western world view. Even during the post reformation period of the enlightenment and the development of rationalism, there was never any serious consideration given at any time in western society to change the definition itself. Therefore, though marriage is rooted in the religious base of the Judeo-Christian construct, and other religions, even philosophical and social commentators who were not theistic never suggested a change in the meaning of marriage itself.

    This is also true in Greek, Roman and other western eras when homosexuality was accepted and practised somewhat freely and openly. At no time was there a group of activists demanding a definitional change of marriage itself.

    Today, our legal system derives significantly from the pillars of the Judeo-Christian concepts. In the development of common law from its British, American and Canadian precedents, even those who rejected the concept of nature's God still drew heavily from the concept of nature's laws.

    Simply put, this is the belief that certain facts of the nature of the universe, including human nature itself are so obvious that they are deemed to be self-evident. Therefore, by extension, human laws were drawn up to be in harmony with the self-evident laws of human nature and the universe around us.

    Some people accept a divine creator, God, behind these laws of nature. Others still accept natural law and common law but without acknowledging a divine intelligence behind them. The fact still remains that until a very few short years ago, neither group felt intellectually, philosophically or religiously compelled to alter a millennia old definition that actually predates governments and even predates the church, synagogue and mosque.

    A very few years ago a tiny group of militant homosexuals suggested, and then demanded, that they had a right to appropriate the term marriage to describe their unions. That group of course has grown to encompass other advocates. They continue to demand this despite the fact that many homosexuals themselves do not support a change in the definition of marriage and despite the fact that their conjugal relationships enjoy the full range of equality benefits that are available to heterosexual couples.

    It should also be acknowledged that just because a person or a group demands a certain right, or says that a right exists, does not mean that the right exists either in relative or absolute terms just because they demand it. There is no absolute right for instance to freedom of speech.

    One cannot go onto an airplane and shout, “hijack”. The person would find out that there is a limit on freedom of speech. Even a taxpaying citizen does not have the right to stand in the parliamentary galleries above us and give a speech. The individual will be stopped, as a woman was right here only a few weeks ago.

    Marriage is not an absolute right either. I cannot marry my sister, or my brother for that matter. I am sure they will be relieved to hear that today. I cannot marry my grandmother. I cannot marry my neighbour's wife. She is already married. I cannot marry a 14 year old. So, simply declaring a right to be human or absolute does not make it so.

    Our national media refuses to report that even the Supreme Court did not say marriage was a human right in all cases nor did it say that the heterosexual definition violated anyone's right or that the heterosexual definition of marriage was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court itself did not say that nor did it command us in Parliament to change the definition. The court did say that if change was to occur, it is Parliament's role to make that change, not the courts, and I concur with that.

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    If a poster misleadingly asks Canadians if homosexuals should have their rights denied by not allowing them to take the word “marriage”, many Canadians being fair minded would say, no, not to take away their rights. If the pollster asks the constitutionally accurate question, should the definition of marriage remain with a man and a woman as long as homosexual couples still have equality when it comes to benefits, most Canadians will say to leave the definition of marriage alone and let homosexuals have equal and beneficial unions also.

    As we seem to be close to altering the definition, we must be prepared to ask the tough questions relating to the consequences of such a monumental change. Now some people get enraged when these questions even are raised. I would say to those people once their anger has dissipated, would they still answer the following questions.

    Among the majority of my constituents who believe we should live and let live, including letting the heterosexual definition of marriage live, many have asked me to search out the following questions for them so that they can more fully understand the consequences of the Liberals' legislation and then decide if they like it or not. I therefore submit these questions for consideration along with responses I have received to date from the appropriate authorities whom I have already asked.

    First, if the Liberals' law is passed, will sex education in the schools, including elementary grades, include the same portrayals of sexual activity which presently exist in heterosexual instruction? Will there be the same presentation of homosexual activity? Of course there will.

    Second, will we see changes in terminology in our systems of public registration, for instance, in the use of words like “husband”, “wife”, “father”, “mother”, et cetera? Of course, these terms will gradually dissipate and fall into disuse. It is already happening in Ontario in the registration systems.

    Third, is it true that Scandinavian countries which expanded the marriage term have statistically reported depreciation, that is a lessening of appreciation, for heterosexual commitment to marriage? Yes, in those jurisdictions the social indices themselves are clear. Fewer heterosexuals feel legally compelled to officially marry and more children are born outside of marriage's traditional terms. Some people may say that is a good thing. Some may say that it is not. That is simply a fact and it is tragic that the notion of what is best for children gets so little discussion in this debate.

    Fourth, following the move for marriage to include homosexual, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender relationships, will polygamists demand to be included also? Of course they will. They already are asking to be included. Even non-religious polygamist groups in Canada are asking as well as those who are polygamists within their religions. As a matter of note, the few polygamists and bigamists whom I personally know are kind, caring and loving toward their children and their multiple partners. I am sure there are also abusive polygamists just as there are abusive homosexual and heterosexual couples. However, being kind does not translate into having the right to call oneself married any more than the two elderly sisters who are raising an orphaned nephew can call themselves married, even though they have a full right to all of the social and financial supports that were available to the married heterosexual parents.

    Fifth, will religious freedoms be protected and respected? No, they will not be. These freedoms are already disappearing. Marriage commissioners who choose not to marry homosexuals are being fired. A Knights of Columbus chapter in British Columbia is in court because it chooses not allow a lesbian group to use its facility for marriage ceremonies. The list goes on. Even the Supreme Court would not guarantee religious freedoms, so let us not lure people into thinking that the religious factor will be protected. It will not.

    These are only a few of the undisputed consequences of embracing a change in the definition of marriage. There are many more. If this is the brave new world that members want, then by all means vote for the change. If members want the definition to stay as it is, while still respecting the rights and choices of others, then vote against the legislation.

    The point of respect is very important here. I dedicate my remarks today to my mother and to my recently deceased father who brought me up understanding and respecting a few things. First, is to respect marriage itself. My parents did not have a perfect marriage. I was pretty good, but it was not perfect. My marriage is not perfect. My wife is, but I happen to be imperfect. However, that does not discount the fact that the definition of marriage must be defended and protected.

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    As all human beings are, in my view, creatures of God's design, we must respect all other human beings. That does not mean I have to agree with their choices or agree with their opinions, but indeed I respect them as human beings.

    I hope we can keep these things in mind as we continue this debate.

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    Ms. Diane Finley (Haldimand—Norfolk, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address an issue that is of extreme importance to our country, our families and our children.

    For many in my riding of Haldimand—Norfolk, this issue is the most fundamental issue before our Parliament. In fact, my recent polling indicates that well over 90% of my constituents are committed to preserving the traditional definition of marriage as that being between one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others.

    However, before I go on, I want to take this opportunity to state for the record how absolutely disgusted I am at the Liberal government's attempts to portray anyone who is in favour of the traditional definition of marriage as being either stupid or homophobic. The Liberal Party's slogan of “It's the charter, stupid” and the foreign affairs minister's recent comments that the church should stay out of the debate on same sex marriage are both degrading and shameful. They underline the Liberal government's intolerance of anyone who contests the Liberal government's dogma that people are entitled to their own opinions, as long as those opinions are the same as the government's.

    This blatant attempt to stigmatize those who are against this proposed legislation is typical of this arrogant Liberal government. This arrogance continually attempts to stifle legitimate debate whenever it is confronted with an opinion that is contrary to its own.

    As Rex Murphy recently said:

    If same-sex marriage is a fundamental issue, it deserves a full debate. And the voices and interests of those who view the march toward same-sex marriage as carrying deep and negative consequences have every right to a full and honest hearing of their concerns.

    However, even more concerning than all of this Liberal arrogance and disdain is the fundamental Liberal disregard for the democratic process. The Prime Minister pinned his leadership of the Liberal Party on addressing the democratic deficit. His refusal to allow a true free vote on this issue is the height of his hypocrisy.

    If the Prime Minister were truly serious about addressing the democratic deficit, he would allow all members of the caucus, including his cabinet ministers and parliamentary secretaries, to vote freely on this legislation. To force his cabinet and parliamentary secretaries to vote in favour of this legislation is an assault on the democratic process and a violation of members' rights to vote according to their conscience or to the democratic will of their constituents.

    On such a fundamental and historic issue as the definition of marriage, I urge all members of the Liberal caucus to consider seriously, regardless of the Prime Minister's threat, that they remain free to choose how they will vote in this House on this issue.

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    The Deputy Speaker: It being 4:30 p.m., pursuant to order made earlier today, the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's order paper.


+-Private Members' Business

[Private Members' Business]

*   *   *

[English]

-Ukrainian Canadian Restitution Act

    The House resumed from December 7, 2004, consideration of the motion that Bill C-331, an act to recognize the injustice that was done to persons of Ukrainian descent and other Europeans who were interned at the time of the First World War and to provide for public commemoration and for restitution which is to be devoted to public education and the promotion of tolerance, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

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    Hon. Stephen Harper (Leader of the Opposition, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the House for allowing me to speak first on the debate this afternoon as I have a busy schedule. I also want to thank in particular the member for Kildonan—St. Paul who gave up her slot to allow me to speak first. I know she has done a lot of work on the bill and with the Ukrainian community and we are very much appreciative of her efforts.

    I rise today to address an important and unfortunate chapter in Canadian history. I am pleased to give my support as a consequence to Bill C-331.

    Bill C-331 is an act to recognize he injustice that was done to persons of Ukrainian descent and other Europeans who were interned at the time of the first world war. The bill would provide for public commemoration and for redress devoted to public education and the promotion of tolerance.

    Allow me to begin by first recognizing the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association and in particular Professor Lubomyr Luciuk for their tireless efforts to promote awareness of the internment of Ukrainian Canadians during the first world war. Without their efforts, we would likely not be having this kind of debate in Parliament today. Unfortunately, without their advocacy this chapter of Canadian history would already have been largely forgotten.

    I would like to thank my colleague, the Conservative member for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, for presenting this bill and for bearing the torch for a long time for redress of this historic wrong. His leadership has been critical in working to finally close this painful chapter of Canadian history for the descendants of those Canadians who were unjustly interned several decades ago.

    Between 1914 and 1920 Canada witnessed its first internment operations under the War Measures Act. Thousands of loyal Canadians were systematically arrested and interned in 24 camps throughout the country simply because of their national origin. Nearly 9,000 Canadians were interned, the vast majority of Ukrainian origin.

    At the outset of the first world war, western Ukraine was occupied by the Austro-Hungarian empire and Canada was of course at war with Austria-Hungary. In the midst of wartime hysteria, everyone with a connection to Austria-Hungary was deemed a threat to our country. Often of course this was simply incorrect. Ironically, in this case many thousands of Ukrainian Canadians had actually fled the occupying power in their homeland. A knowledgeable assessment of the situation could have led to only one conclusion: these refugees of Canada's wartime enemy were not enemies of Canada. They were new, loyal British subjects and allies of our wartime cause.

    In fact, in 1915, I should mention that the British foreign office twice instructed Ottawa to grant Ukrainians “preferential treatment”, arguing that they were to be considered “friendly aliens” rather than “enemy aliens”. Yet the federal government of the time simply would not listen and would not change course.

    Moreover, many of those interned were not just naturalized British subjects. They were truly Canadians. They were born in Canada, but bearing the wrong last name or the wrong parentage because in this case even children were interned.

    Throughout the internment operation the civilian internees were transported to Canada's frontier hinterlands where they were forced to perform hard labour under trying circumstances. Some sites that we all know well today, including Banff and Jasper national parks and the experimental farms at Kapuskasing, were first developed by this pool of forced labour. Again ironically, as Ukrainian Canadians were being interned for having been unfortunate enough to enter this country with Austro-Hungarian passports, other Ukrainian Canadians who had entered Canada on different foreign documents were serving Canada loyally in overseas battle.

    Let us not forget Ukrainian-Canadian war veteran Philip Konowal, who was awarded the Victoria Cross by King George V for his brave wartime service. He was a Ukrainian Canadian honoured, while at the very same time his fellow neighbours and descendants of Ukraine were wondering why they had chosen Canada to be their new home while they were being interned.

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    We know we cannot rewrite history. That is not the exercise today. We cannot change the fact that an injustice occurred. Frankly, only those who carried out an injustice can truly be held accountable. Only those who themselves suffered injustice can ever properly be compensated.

    However as heirs of our society and its institutions we can acknowledge injustice. We can appreciate the lessons of history and we can make amends where appropriate in our own time. It is in my judgment time to make amends.

    If Bill C-331 is allowed to pass, it will be the first official acknowledgement that Canada's treatment of Ukrainian Canadians during the first world war was wrong. It will be the first time that a promise made many times by many Canadian political leaders will be kept.

    Former prime minister, Jean Chrétien, had repeatedly promised to officially recognize the internment operations but he failed to deliver while in office.

    Former heritage minister, Sheila Copps, made a similar promise to give official recognition to this historical injustice but also failed to act once elected to the government benches. It is time to simply put this matter to rest.

    By passing Bill C-331, we will finally take a step to acknowledge the injustice of the past, an injustice that would never be allowed to be committed today in this great country which reveres our freedoms and the rule of law.

    So far the Ukrainian Canadian community has placed memorial plaques at almost all of the internment sites except for five to remind Canadians of what happened at these locations so that this sad chapter of our history may never be repeated.

    Many official documents and archival files were destroyed in the early 1950s but slowly material has been researched and is resurfacing once again. We give thanks to many academics of Ukrainian Canadian heritage who have resolved to keep alive our collective memory of these historical events.

    However we should go further. We should officially recognize these events as a historical wrong.

    The last remaining survivor of these internment operations, Mary Haskett, is still alive. She will be turning 97 this summer. I sincerely hope that she will live to see an official reconciliation of this past injustice.

    On behalf of the member for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette and all members of the Conservative Party, I certainly urge my colleagues in the House to join me in support of Bill C-331.

[Translation]

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    Mr. Bernard Bigras (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, BQ): Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise today to speak on Bill C-331, which is intended to redress an intolerable injustice done to a community which, over the years, has contributed to Canada's cultural, social and economic development.

    This is a bill to recognize the injustice that was done to persons of Ukrainian descent and other Europeans who were interned at the time of the First World War and to provide for public commemoration and for restitution which is to be devoted to public education and the promotion of tolerance.

    It is important we remember today that this is not the first time this House has discussed the importance of recognition and restitution for the Ukrainian community. I would remind the House that in September 1991 this Parliament debated a motion made by the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands, who wanted to recognize that internment, removal of the right to vote, and other repressive measures taken against Ukrainian-Canadians between 1914 and 1920 were unjustified and contrary to the principles of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Moreover, that motion proposed to direct Parks Canada to erect commemorative plaques in each of the 26 concentration camps where Ukrainians were interned.

    The purpose of this bill, therefore, is to go beyond that. Canada must acknowledge this major historical error, but not just with simple commemorative plaques in public places. These events, which are intolerable and unacceptable to us all, must be properly acknowledged. We must also dare to go still further by providing for a compensation package so that the public can come to know of these events and their consequences, which in today's context would have been contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    People need to understand, to feel, to consider that these people, who came here and were welcomed with open arms 10 or 20 years before World War I, were treated unfairly and inhumanely, not just during the war years, but up until 1920. How could we allow that? These people—more than 5,000 of them—had come to Canada to escape the unbearable situation in which they had been living. They came here in search of a breath of fresh air and respect for their rights. They were interned in more than 26 labour camps, where they were treated, purely and simply, like animals. They were considered enemies, aliens, because two Ukrainian territories were under the Austro-Hungarian empire. Is that any way to treat a people? Because Canada considered Austria an enemy at that time, these people were penalized, and their freedom was not respected.

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    Today we are considering a bill that would mark the events experienced by this community and set up—we hope—a plan for restitution that would help better inform the public.

    In addition to imprisoning these people in inhumane conditions, where forced labour, curfews, confinement and internment were the norm, and rather than give them the freedom they were entitled to and came looking for in Canada, we forced them to live in unacceptable living conditions.

    This was not limited to these imprisoned individuals. In fact, more than 88,000 Ukrainians who were not imprisoned had to report to the police. They had to follow a certain number of directives such as reporting regularly, as in a true police state.

    In a democracy, this type of approach is totally unacceptable. Individuals' right to freedom was denied at the time. Today this Parliament, by taking matters further than in the motion tabled in 1991, is offering restitution through a legislative measure and a bill, which we are proud to support.

    Why were these people imprisoned? Were they a threat to national security? No. Because the land of these people was unfortunately part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, their freedom was violated, nothing less.

    Today, we must unequivocally support this bill to correct a past mistake.

    I will conclude by saying that Canada, today, has to live up to the ideals it defends. It has to be able to recognize when it has made mistakes that go against these ideals. History must be given every opportunity to not repeat itself. We have a fine opportunity here today. It is a start. Recognizing past mistakes is a way of facing the future in all fairness and serenity.

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[English]

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    Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Centre, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I rise today to speak to Bill C-331, a private member's bill that seeks to recognize the injustices that were done to persons of Ukrainian descent at the time of the first world war.

    Let me begin by congratulating the member for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette for the work he has done to bring the issue of internment of Ukrainian Canadians to the House. The bill underscores the need to publicly commemorate this tragic event through public education initiatives so as to lead to an atonement.

    I love Canada and believe that Canada is unique internationally. The Canada that I have known for the last number of decades has been a shining example of multiculturalism. We do not just tolerate our differences; we celebrate the people and cultures that make up our national mosaic.

    I mentioned that I rose with a heavy heart. It is because I also know that to make our Canada an even greater country, we must have the courage to acknowledge the dark episodes of our country's past.

    While some would have preferred to sweep the tragic episode of the internment operations from 1914 to 1920 into the dustbin of history, the Ukrainian Canadian community remembers, and through public acknowledgement by the government seeks to bring closure to a painful episode in our common history.

    We should congratulate the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association in their determination to make sure that there is a proper acknowledgement.

    In the decades following Canada's Confederation, thousands of Ukrainians were encouraged to leave their homeland and embark on an arduous journey that took them to some of the most remote parts of western Canada. These settlers faced very harsh living conditions under isolated circumstances with little in the way of support. Yet their desire for freedom and a better future for their children and grandchildren sustained them during these very difficult pioneering years.

    Out of the wilderness of Canada's west they carved golden wheat fields as far as the eyes could see. Yet despite having built Canada's west and despite having been a counterbalance to the expansionist intents of settlers from the United States, Ukrainian Canadians experienced prejudice and racism in their new homeland.

    With the outbreak of World War I, this prejudice and racism was fanned into xenophobia culminating in the implementation of the War Measures Act as a result of an order in council by the Canadian government. Some 8,579 so-called enemy aliens, of which over 5,000 were Ukrainians who had emigrated to Canada from the Austro-Hungarian empire, were interned.

    These internees, which in many cases included women and children, were not only disenfranchised, but their homes and homesteads were taken away from them. They were sent to processing centres for internment and then sent to work camps to live behind barbed wires.

    In addition to this internment, some 80,000 Canadian citizens, of which the vast majority were Ukrainian, were obliged to register as enemy aliens and then required to report to local authorities on a regular basis.

    Meanwhile, the internees were used as forced labourers to develop our nation's infrastructure. They were used to build Banff National Park, the logging industry in northern Ontario and Quebec, the steel mills in Ontario and Nova Scotia and the mines in British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia. This infrastructure development program benefited Canadian corporations to such a degree that even after the end of World War I, for two more years the Canadian government carried on the internment and the forced labour.

    From 1914 to 1920, a breaking of the trust between the government and its own citizens took place in Canada. It was called internment. Politicians and leading Canadians took an active role in its justification by feeding the dark side of human nature: fear of different cultures, prejudice and xenophobia.

    In this tragic case, the victims were pioneers who were encouraged to leave their homeland to help build Canada. It is an example of the terrible human cost paid when xenophobia and racism are fuelled by international threats and are unchecked by legislation.

    Today, notwithstanding the existence of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, processes such as denaturalization and deportation show the vulnerability of individual rights when government succumbs to ignorance and fear.

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    As the grandson and son of Ukrainian immigrants, I have a particular appreciation for the significance of the member's bill. I view the bill as part of the process to ensure that this historical wrong is righted through an honourable acknowledgement.

    After 85 years it is high time that the internment operations against Ukrainian Canadians be properly addressed by the instalment and maintenance of 24 memorial plaques at 24 internment camps across Canada, and by the establishment of a permanent museum at the site of the internment camp in Banff National Park. This museum should provide educational information on the operation of the internment camps across Canada and the role of Ukrainian Canadians as one of western Canada's founding peoples.

    As well, the minister responsible for Canada Post should engage the corporation to issue a set of stamps to commemorate the contribution of Ukrainian Canadians in building this great country.

    Finally, resources should be set aside to establish educational projects. Such projects should be agreed to by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Government of Canada.

    I believe that there now is the will in the House for a reconciliation to which the bill speaks. I am optimistic and look forward to the day when the Government of Canada and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress begin the negotiation process so that present and future generations of Canadians will be afforded the opportunity to learn from this tragic episode in our history.

    May a complete knowledge of our past help this and future generations in our collective enterprise of building an even stronger multicultural Canada, a celebratory mosaic of peoples which the rest of the world will look to as an example of what a society can achieve.

    It is and always has been my firm belief that a few friendly amendments to the wording of Bill C-331 would ensure that this long overdue legislation can and will be supported unanimously by all parties and all members of the House. I look forward to working hard to achieve this goal with the Ukrainian Canadian community and the bill's author, whom I would like to congratulate once again on his determination in bringing the bill forward.

    The time for a reconciliation has arrived.

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    Mrs. Joy Smith (Kildonan—St. Paul, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour to rise in the House of Commons to speak to Bill C-331, the Ukrainian Canadian recognition and restitution act. This bill has been brought forth due to the determination and the stick-to-it-iveness of the member for Dauphin--Swan River--Marquette.

    Sometimes in our history mistakes are made. Dare I say we cannot rewrite history, as the leader of the official opposition just pointed out, but what we can do is recognize a wrongdoing and give it the kind of recognition it deserves.

    From 1997 to 2001 the member for Dauphin--Swan River--Marquette consulted on this bill. As the previous speakers have said, the purpose of this enactment is to provide for redress for the injustice done to persons of Ukrainian descent and other Europeans during the first world war, to commemorate this sad event in Canadian history, and to provide for restitution. Restitution is to be devoted to educational materials dealing with Canada's past internment policies and activities and to promote tolerance and the role of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    On April 1, 2001 this bill was introduced by the member for Dauphin--Swan River--Marquette. In the course of time the bill died on the order paper, but the member for Dauphin--Swan River--Marquette had so much conviction about what should be done that it was reintroduced on November 18, 2002. Once again this very important bill died on the order paper. What had happened to Ukrainian Canadians was something that really touched the heart of the member for Dauphin--Swan River--Marquette, so once again on October 12, 2004 the bill was reintroduced.

    We have to note it is seldom that a member of Parliament takes so much time and makes so much of a commitment to reintroduce a bill. However, the member has done so because he has so much conviction that the Ukrainian Canadian people need to have redress on this particular issue.

    As members have said before me, with the outbreak of World War I, the War Measures Act in 1914 was implemented through an order in council by the Canadian government. This resulted in the internment of 8,579 people. They were termed enemy aliens. They included over 5,000 Ukrainians who had immigrated to Canada from territories under the control of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

    The internees were used as forced labourers to develop Canadian infrastructure. They were used to develop Banff National Park, the logging industry in northern Ontario and Quebec, the steel mills in Ontario and Nova Scotia and the mines in British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia. The infrastructure development program benefited Canadian corporations. There was no doubt about it. The terrible thing about this was that the internment was carried on for two years after the end of World War I. This was a sad day in our Canadian history.

    The member for Dauphin--Swan River--Marquette was determined to make sure that the Ukrainian Canadian family of people who immigrated to our country was recognized not only for their contributions but also that the internment was something that should never have happened.

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    These wonderful people, who have been a foundation of our country and who have done many things to help Canada, should not have had to endure this internment. As other members have said, we cannot redo history. It happened and and it is time to address it and recognize the people of Ukrainian extraction, the people who helped build this country.

    The Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association have done much to bring this issue to the forefront. In fact, to some degree the Mulroney government made promises of support. Even as early as 1993 the leader of the opposition, Jean Chrétien, said that he would do something to address this issue. It has been 11 years since that promise was made and Ukrainian Canadians are still waiting for acknowledgment of these injustices.

    I am proud to stand in the House of Commons today to bring recognition and honour to the member for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette because this is what our Canadian Parliament is all about. He has been a champion for Ukrainian Canadians. He has also been a member of Parliament who has really touched the hearts of all Canadians because all Canadians now at this time, years after this happened, feel that this is a sad day in Canadian history.

    The Government of Canada during that time unjustly confiscated money and property from Ukrainians and other Europeans, money that was never returned.

    In Bill C-331, the member for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette asks that the contemporary value be applied to various educational and commemorative projects for the benefit of all Canadians. No restitution will be made to individuals but rather the money will be put to laying the foundation of history so something like this can never happen again on Canadian soil.

    Memorial plaques have been and are being installed in the 24 concentration camps in which persons of Ukrainian or eastern European descent were interned during World War I. Some still do not have such plaques but these plaques describe the events of the time and the regrets of present day Canadians, written in Ukrainian, English and French. In our country all can read this, all can remember and all can learn from this sad day in history.

    The member for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette also wanted to ensure that all memorial plaques at the concentration camp sites would be properly maintained. A lot of thought, a lot of stick-to-it-iveness and a lot of dedication has gone into the advent of this very important bill here in the House of Commons.

    The bill also asks for the establishment of a permanent museum in Banff National Park at the site of the camp established there, again with signage in Ukrainian, English and French. This will provide information on the operation of all the concentration camps established in Canada at the time of World War I and the role that Ukrainian Canadians have played in the building of Canada since that time.

    We have gone through a memorable year where the people of Ukraine have become the heroes of the world with their vote on December 26, 2004. We know the member for Etobicoke Centre was a real champion in that election. I think we need to acknowledge the heroes of our country. I have to give honour to the member for Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette and thank him for his perseverance.

    I know members on all sides of the House will put Bill C-331 through to honour and commemorate this event.

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    Hon. Paddy Torsney (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation, Lib.): Madam Speaker, as a country, Canada represents a coming together of many peoples. As such, we have learned over time to respect and mutually accept each other. It is this fact that separates us from others and puts Canada on the world stage.

    We have established a legal foundation, enshrined in our Constitution, that is aimed at ensuring Canadians are protected from racism and discrimination. We will continue, as a government, to work on these issues so that all Canadians have the opportunity to participate to their fullest potential. In fact, that is what this House has been debating all week.

    At the same time, we are working to strengthen the bonds of shared citizenship to ensure the continuance of the strong and cohesive Canadian society that we have today.

    The Government of Canada recognizes there have been dark moments in the history of this country. We have recognized that presenting a complete history is important in understanding who we are as Canadians, even if the history we have to tell includes times when we have strayed from our shared commitment to human justice.

    The internment of Ukrainian Canadians and other Europeans during the first world war is one of those chapters in Canadian history that we as a people, as Canadians, are not proud of, even though the actions of the government of that day were legal at that time.

    Our commitment as a government is to strengthen the fabric of Canada's multicultural society. We are committed to learning from the past. We are committed to acknowledging and commemorating the significant contributions to Canada made by our rich and various ethnoracial and ethnocultural groups, including of course Ukrainians.

    The Department of Canadian Heritage and the cultural agencies in the Canadian Heritage portfolio have made considerable efforts to ensure that the story of Ukrainians in Canada is known to all Canadians.

    For example, Parks Canada, as one of the members opposite mentioned, while working under the heritage portfolio, worked closely with national and local Ukrainian Canadian groups to develop interpretive exhibits at Banff National Park, an exhibit I have seen, and at Yoho National Park and Mount Revelstoke National Park. The exhibits help visitors and all Canadians understand the experiences, hardships and contributions of Ukrainian internees.

    The Department of Canadian Heritage is providing funding to Ukrainian Canadian organizations to assist in documenting the experiences of Ukrainian internees and to underline the contribution of the Ukrainian community to our country.

    Since the 1890s, when waves of Ukrainians helped to settle this vast land, Ukrainians have played an important role in Canada. An incredible number of Canadians of Ukrainian heritage have made extraordinary contributions to Canada, contributions of which all Canadians are very proud.

    Wayne Gretzky, of course, is a star and international sports hero. Ed Werenich is a world champion in curling.

    In the cultural sphere, all of us have adored artist William Kurelek's paintings and the work of violinist Steven Staryk.

    In public life, Ramon Hnatyshyn and Roy Romanow have made us all proud.

    Canada's first woman in space is Roberta Bondar. I was saying to one of my colleagues that I did not know she was of Ukrainian heritage.

    To think of Ukrainian Canadians is also to recall Canada's war hero, Peter Dmytruk, who died for all of us on the battlefields of France in World War II.

    As Canadians, we are proud to live in a country that recognizes the importance of diversity.

    In the October 2004 Speech from the Throne, the government pledged to pursue its objectives, “in a manner that recognizes Canada's diversity as a source of strength and innovation”. We pledged “to be a steadfast advocate of inclusion” and “to demand equality of opportunity so that prosperity can be shared by all Canadians”.

    In line with these commitments, the government is now advancing a number of multicultural and anti-racism initiatives designed to cultivate an even more equitable and inclusive society. Bills like Bill C-38.

    In our recent budget, we provided $5 million per year to the multiculturalism program to enhance its contributions to equality for all.

    A comprehensive and effective multiculturalism program is important in our increasingly diverse country where by the year 2016 the proportion of visible minorities is expected to reach 20%.

    In the October 2004 Speech from the Throne, the government said that it would “strengthen Canada's ability to combat racism, hate speech and hate crimes”.

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    We will achieve that plan by investing $56 million over the next fives years to implement Canada's action plan against racism. Canada's action plan, which the government announced on March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, a day that all of us celebrated, will reinforce the government's ongoing commitment to eliminating racist behaviours and attitudes. It will strengthen partnerships between the Government of Canada and community organizations to combat racism and will advance our international and domestic objectives.

    A society looking to its future cannot do so without acknowledging troubling events from Canada's past. Budget 2005 provided $25 million over the next three years for commemorative and educational initiatives to highlight the contributions that Ukrainians and other ethnocultural groups have made to our Canadian society and to help build a better understanding among all Canadians of the strength of Canadian diversity.

    With this funding the government is responding to demands from the community in a way that respects both the concerns of the communities and the government's 1994 policy on this issue.

    Bill C-331 looks to the past for a solution. As a government we are looking to the future for all Canadians.

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    Mr. James Bezan (Selkirk—Interlake, CPC): Madam Speaker, I am glad to address Bill C-331. I want to thank my hon. colleague from Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette for the great work that he has been doing in presenting this bill. He has a large constituency with Ukrainian Canadians, as I do. I am a person of Ukrainian descent and quite proud of my heritage.

    I wish to give members a bit of background. During World War I the War Measures Act of 1914 was implemented which, by order in council, took over 8,500 enemy aliens and 5,000 of those were Canadians and stuck them into concentration camps. Essentially, these interns were turned into forced labourers, used in logging camps and in the development of our national transportation system, and were spread right across the country.

    Many of these Ukrainian immigrants came from the area of Bukovyna in Ukraine that was being occupied at the time by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was a very unfortunate event because these people had their property and cash assets all confiscated by the Government of Canada, along with some of these other Europeans, and never had those moneys and properties returned to them. It was a grave injustice that through this bill we now have the opportunity to correct.

    In 1993 the former Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien, when he was leader of the official opposition, promised to rectify the situation. It has been over 12 years since that promise was made. It is just another example of a Liberal promise made, Liberal promise broken. This is a great opportunity for us to address it.

    I must say that our family was quite fortunate. My grandparents emigrated from Bukovyna actually as two separate families. My grandmother was only nine years old when she emigrated to Canada from Ukraine and my grandfather was a young man who came a few years later. They came in the early 1900s. Luckily, for whatever reasons, my grandfather immigrated in 1907 and was not put in one of these forced labour camps. He was not put into a concentration camp nor had his property confiscated. Luckily, the Ukrainian community where I grew up was untouched.

    My father told me it was not until he was a young man that he even realized that this had happened because our community, for whatever reason even though the immigrants came from Bukovyna which was under the Austria-Hungarian Empire rule, seemed to have gone untouched. However, certain Ukrainian descent Canadians were forced into these camps which is very unfortunate.

    I like the way this bill is being proposed by my hon. colleague. Essentially, we are not talking about restitution to families, but we are talking about taking a hard look at putting in place the proper memorials and recognition of the suffering that was unjustly caused by the Government of Canada.

    There were 24 concentration camps across Canada. We want to ensure that there are plaques, memorials and cairns erected at those sites, particularly the ones that possibly have not been recognized yet. We do not want to just erect plaques and cairns, but we wish to maintain them. So often in rural Canada we have cairns set up, but no one bothers to take care of them after we get them erected. Pretty soon the flags are tattered and no one is there maintaining the sites. This is actually taking a long term approach at this proposal of recognizing the injustice and maintaining those sites.

    The other great part is that it will set up a permanent museum in Banff National Park, the location of one of these concentration camps. Banff is such a high volume visitor area. It will give us an opportunity to show that in the past Canadians have made mistakes. It will give us an opportunity to tell about the injustice, to educate people about how the concentration camps operated, and to talk about what a great contribution those people made to the nation.

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    Through their forced labour, they helped develop our logging industry. They helped develop our transportation system. They worked hard on behalf of Canada. Amazingly, they came out of the concentration camps and became very functional people within our society, and made a huge contribution after the fact.

    This is a general recognition of all Ukrainians in Canada in developing farming in the west, particularly with the mass immigration during the very early parts of the century, which of course included my ancestors. My great grandfather and my grandfather, with their families, started farming and that of course was a major contribution in ensuring that the Prairies were productive.

    The other part of the bill is to ensure that there are proper ceremonies to recognize the opening of the museum, the erection of the different cairns and plaques, and to have those formal ceremonies. We also want to ensure the production of the educational materials, so that at the cairns, when they are having their ceremonies in the schools in the areas where these cairns are erected and of course in the main museum that is going to be established in Banff National Park, they will be able to tell the story.

    One of the suggestions in the bill that I really like, which my hon. colleague has brought forward, is the issuance of a stamp or series of stamps to point out this unfortunate event in our history.

    Finally, the part of the bill which is very important proposes that a review of the emergency act that we have be carried out by the department that is responsible for it. We must also review how that report comes to Parliament and how we ensure that an atrocity like this never happens again.

    The great thing about history is that we can always learn from it. We can look at our past and learn about some of the shortfalls that have happened and about the mistakes that we have made to ensure that we put in place the proper corrective measures, so that we never do it again. This is a great chance for us to do that. The bill creates the initiative to ensure that we do it.

    Finally, the bill is directly in line with the policies of the Conservative Party of Canada. Our party policy states that we will recognize and resolve the outstanding redress issues of the Ukrainian Canadian and Chinese Canadian communities. That particular policy can be attributed to the hard work of my colleague from Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette.

    This is a great opportunity to correct this injustice. It is good work. Duzhe dobre.

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    Mr. Lloyd St. Amand (Brant, Lib.): Madam Speaker, Canada's experience with diversity distinguishes it from most other countries. Our 30 million inhabitants reflect a cultural, ethnic and linguistic makeup found nowhere else on earth. Over 200,000 immigrants annually from all parts of the globe continue to choose Canada, drawn by its quality of life and its reputation as an open, peaceful, and caring society that welcomes newcomers and values diversity.

    Over time Canadian governments have reflected society's increasing willingness to accept differences within the population, specifically the legitimacy of the rights of all minorities to maintain their culture and traditions. Through our history, however, there have been instances of laws that would be considered regressive today.

    Canada, in the years prior to World War I, witnessed a heavy immigration from eastern Europe. When war broke out, the country faced a serious problem: what to do with recent immigrants who were citizens of the very countries with which Canada was at war? This problem became most acute in 1914 when German and Austro-Hungarian nationals, resident in Canada, were called upon by their respective governments to return home to honour their military draft obligations.

    According to some historians, over 8,000 individuals were interned in approximately two dozen camps under orders made pursuant to the War Measures Act. The internees were composed of a mix of nationalities, including Turkish, Bulgarian, German and Austro-Hungarian. The largest number were from Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which included Croatians, Czechs, Poles, Serbians and other Europeans. The numbers also included approximately 5,000 Ukrainians out of an estimated population of about 171,000 of Ukrainian origin in Canada at that time.

    From the beginning, internees were treated as prisoners of war and, in keeping with the terms of the Hague Convention of 1907, received the same standards of food, clothing and accommodations as Canadian soldiers. It is estimated that by the end of the war, in 1918, there were only three internment camps remaining in operation, the last of which officially closed in February 1920.

    In 1994 the hon. Sheila Finestone, then minister of state for multiculturalism and status of women, stated in this very House:

--as Canadians we are proud that our citizens trace their origins to every part of the world. Together we have built this country on the principles of fairness, generosity and compassion. Our history records the remarkable success we have achieved by applying those principles.

    Our history also records that at times we have strayed from them. There have been episodes that have caused suffering to people.

    In the crisis atmosphere of war, some Canadian ethnocultural communities found their loyalty questioned, their freedom restrained and their lives disrupted.

     Canadians wish those episodes had never happened. We wish those practices had never occurred.

    We can and we must learn from the past. We must ensure that future generations do not repeat the errors of the past.

    We believe our obligation lies in acting to prevent these wrongs from recurring.

    Canada in 2005 is a very different Canada. Tremendous steps have been taken toward making our country a better place. We have worked and will continue working with Ukrainian Canadians and other communities to document their history and experiences through a range of commemorative projects, including films, books and exhibits, that enable them to tell their stories to other Canadians.

  +-(1720)  

    Finally, the Ukrainian community has helped to shape the strong multicultural society we are today. I and all members of Parliament honour the contribution that individuals of Ukrainian descent have made in the building of Canada. I recognize that this contribution was made even in the face of dark moments and great hardship. We need to find an acceptable way to highlight and educate Canadians about this valuable contribution.

+-

    Mr. Inky Mark (Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, CPC): Madam Speaker, it is a great honour to stand and thank all members who spoke on Bill C-331, both at the first hour of reading as well as this evening at the second hour.

    I thank members of the Bloc as well as members of the NDP for their continued support as well as the leader of the official opposition for his intervention this evening. I also thank the Ukrainian community for the 20 years of commitment it has given to ensuring that redress continues. In essence, this is their bill.

    Bill C-331 was crafted in consultation with both the Ukrainian-Canadian Congress as well as the Ukrainian-Canadian Civil Liberties Association. My intervention has been very brief. It has only been about seven years and their's has been over two decades. Hopefully, this is the year that we will all bring this to fruition.

    I begin by briefly stating that there are two targets to the principle of the bill. First is to acknowledge the internment component of our Canadian history, which is totally missing in Canada's history. It has been hidden all these years. It is long overdue. Canada cannot be shameful of its past. It must learn from its past, but first it has to acknowledge its past. It has to acknowledge the hurt and the harm it created for the people who suffered.

    This occurred, as mentioned a number of times this evening, during the First World War, between 1914 and 1920, when over 5,000 Ukrainian-Canadians were interned. Internment is a kind word for prison camp. Over 80,000 Ukrainian-Canadians were asked to register like common criminals and report monthly to the police. It is almost unbelievable that an event of this nature would have happened in this country, a country that promotes freedom of speech and democracy, yet we treated our pioneers of Ukrainian descent in that manner. It is shameful. That is why their story has to be told.

    That is in essence the purpose of Bill C-331, and there are two purposes. The first is to acknowledge the event. The second target of the bill is to ask the Liberal government of the day to sit down with the Ukrainian community and work out a resolution. As I said, this has gone on for over 20 years. There is no shortage of effort by many people in the country who want to resolve the issue.

    The former prime minister, Jean Chrétien, made a promise before he even became the prime minister. He said that he would deal with it. He has come and gone and the issue is not resolved. I am sure members of the current Liberal government have been lobbied over the last 10 years and the issue is still here. I know, Madam Speaker, that you made interventions and had a part to play in trying to resolve the issue and it did not happen. We have progressed somewhat but still have a long way to go.

    Let me just make a couple of comments about the speaker's ruling on the bill. He stated that clause 3 would require a royal recommendation. That is not a problem. Let me also say that I met with the secretary of state to the minister responsible for multiculturalism and his staff. I also met with the legislative assistant for the minister of heritage to talk about how we can all help to get the bill through the House. I know Liberal members opposite are just as interested in being helpful rather than not being helpful, and I agree.

  +-(1725)  

    My position has been that too many of us for too long have waited. We need to work together to ensure that the bill gets through the House. That is why I encourage the members of the Liberal Party to vote for the bill when we return after the break, the first week of April.

    My intent is to ensure that the bill will be streamlined so it will be acceptable to all members of the House. We all have big hearts and we need to deal with the issue today, not tomorrow.

+-

    The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine): It being 5:30 p.m., the time provided for debate has expired. Accordingly the question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

    Some hon. members: Agreed.

    The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine): Accordingly the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.

    (Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and referred to a committee)


-Adjournment Proceedings

[Adjournment Proceedings]

*   *   *

    A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

*   *   *

  +-(1730)  

[Translation]

+-Aboriginal Affairs

+-

    Mr. Bernard Cleary (Louis-Saint-Laurent, BQ): Madam Speaker, on February 7 this year, I had the pleasure of acknowledging in this House the third anniversary of the peace of the braves agreement, signed on February 7, 2002, between the Cree Nation and the Government of Quebec.

    The goal of the agreement was to establish a new relationship between the Quebec and Cree nations that is based on cooperation, partnership and mutual respect. It implemented structures that allow the Cree to work with Quebeckers in a spirit of cooperation.

    The peace of the braves is still the most progressive agreement to date between a government and an aboriginal nation.

    This agreement precludes any legal proceedings, and the Cree, who were looking to enter into a similar agreement with Ottawa, are noticing that the federal negotiator is still without a mandate, which might derail the introduction of a new and more exciting social project with Quebecers.

    What is the federal government waiting for to show its good will and give its negotiator a clear mandate? I hope that this time we will have some clear answers.

    The Cree play a major role in Quebec and deserve encouragement.

[English]

+-

    Hon. Walt Lastewka (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Madam Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, I am pleased to respond to the question posed by the hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent concerning the negotiations between the Government of Canada and the Cree of northern Quebec.

    During the question period on February 7, the hon. member expressed concern that the government's chief negotiator had not been granted a formal mandate. The member for Louis-Saint-Laurent argued that the negotiating process might falter unless the federal government's representative was provided with a clear direction without delay.

    Work to conclude an agreement between the Government of Canada and the Cree of northern Quebec continues. Indeed, for a number of months, representatives of the Cree and the federal government have been examining various issues in an effort to reduce the time it will take to conclude an agreement.

    For instance, Mr. Chrétien met with Cree representatives and concluded a statement of intent that sets out the objectives of the formal agreement. The statement proposes a final agreement founded on three core elements: a new regional Cree government; transfers of federal James Bay northern Quebec agreement functions to this new Cree government; and a funding package to support the new government and the transfers of functions and remove from the courts most, if not all, pre-litigation against Canada.

    Using the statement of intent as a clear guideline, both parties continued to discuss many important issues and the minister has held extensive consultations with cabinet colleagues and members of Parliament. I too have met with the minister and had discussions with the minister as late as this past week.

    I am the first to admit that much work remains to be done, but clear progress has been made. Important milestones have been reached. Great strides toward a final agreement have been taken. I can assure the House that we will continue to do everything possible to remain on target to reach the final agreement.

  +-(1735)  

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Bernard Cleary: Madam Speaker, there is something I do not understand. I talked to Cree representatives today to find out whether things had been happening according to plan. I was told that absolutely nothing had happened.

    How can they talk to me about negotiating with the Cree when in reality they are not in discussions, and the Cree negotiator has not received any mandate?

[English]

+-

    Hon. Walt Lastewka: Madam Speaker, I have great confidence in the minister to ensure that the statement of intent and the set of objectives in the formal agreement as set out are met and that negotiations will proceed and proceed on time.

    I remind members that the statement proposes a final agreement founded on the three core elements. The statement also ensures that it be done by a certain date. I have great confidence that the minister, who has been through many consultations and is a very concerned minister, will ensure that when we sign agreements of intent that the final result will be made clear and as soon as possible.

*   *   *

-Sponsorship Program

+-

    Mr. Joe Preston (Elgin—Middlesex—London, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise in the House tonight to further discuss an issue that was raised on March 8. In his reply to my previous question, the Minister of Public Works erred on more than one account.

    First, he stated that this issue was not “of real importance to Canadians”. If the minister thinks that a government under investigation for corruption and a Liberal Party full of cronies and ad agencies funnelling and laundering dirty money to the Liberal Party of Canada are not of real importance to Canadians, then I invite him to Elgin—Middlesex—London for a little walkabout. The constituents of my riding sent me here in great part because there was a need to bring accountability back to government.

    Second, the minister suggested quite wrongly that I did not write my own questions, and that without questions about testimony at a judicial inquiry, which, by the way, this government had to call to ferret out the slimy behaviour of the public works department, we would not have other issues to discuss. Of course we would love to be asking questions on other areas of this government's failures, but we must give accountability back to the Canadian taxpayers.

    The minister just does not get it. The citizens of Canada do not agree with his mantra of non-discussion of testimony. We need transparency, not cover-up. In this section of testimony alone we have learned how the Liberal Party has benefited in questionable donations and under the table payments from the same agencies being paid by Canadians to do a job. Canadian taxpayers do not think hard-earned money they send to Ottawa should be dirtied in this way.

    Third, they do not think their money should go to the members of this government benefiting from gifts, or should I say that the spoils of this sponsorship mess upset Canadians even more: fishing trips with decision makers, expensive tackle purchased for party hacks and extravagant Grand Prix passes for those who are connected enough to get invited. This was no isolated incident. The taxpayers of Elgin—Middlesex—London do not work hard all year to send money here for that behaviour.

    We must return this country to a time when elected officials could be trusted to do the right thing and stand in defence of citizens against corruption. We must return this country to a time when accountability was assumed, not a slogan for what this government will try to do, and where openness was displayed because there was nothing to hide.

    This government actually has to sue its own friends to get our money back. What has happened to its friends? Will they not just send a cheque if the government calls and asks?

    Finally, the worst part: the Liberal Party. Is it not nice that the Minister of Public Works volunteers to get the Liberal Party of Canada to give back the dirty money to the taxpayers of this great land?

    Should we all now just say thanks for getting our own money back? I think not.

  +-(1740)  

+-

    Hon. Walt Lastewka (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Lib.): Madam Speaker, to respond to the hon. member for Elgin—Middlesex—London, I welcome the fact that he has asked for an adjournment debate on this question. It is important that members of the House and Canadians as a whole understand how determined the Prime Minister and the government are to get to the bottom of the matter.

    I find the member's opening remarks totally wrong. Let me remind the House that the Prime Minister's first act following his appointment in December 2003 was to cancel the sponsorship program. In other words, the Prime Minister acted quickly and decisively to eliminate any possibility of a recurrence of sponsorship related problems.

    The government announced the establishment of an independent commission of public inquiry, headed by Justice John Gomery. The commission has been given full authority to examine past behaviour in the sponsorship and advertising programs with a view to developing recommendations to prevent any such abuses or mismanagement in the future.

    The Prime Minister announced on February 10, 2004, the appointment of André Gauthier as special counsel for financial recovery. His mandate was to pursue all possible avenues, including civil litigation, to recover funds that were improperly received by certain parties involved in the delivery of the now cancelled sponsorship program.

    On March 11, the Government of Canada filed a statement of claim for $40.8 million in the Superior Court of Quebec against 19 defendants, firms, businesses and individuals. This is further evidence of the government's desire to get to the bottom of the matter in which sponsorship funds were used. As well, the statement of claim may be amended should additional evidence become available which would support such a change.

    Our government also announced in February 2004 that we would introduce whistleblower legislation to protect those who come forward to report mismanagement in the public sector, a commitment that has since been fulfilled with the introduction of Bill C-11. The bill is now before committee. We are confident it will be approved by Parliament and come into force in the near future. I welcome the member to participate in the discussion of Bill C-11.

    As well, in February 2004 we announced that reviews would be undertaken on possible changes to the governance of crown corporations and to the Financial Administration Act on the accountabilities of ministers and public servants, as well as measures to strengthen the audit committees for crown corporations and to consider extending the Access to Information Act to all corporations.

    On February 17, the President of the Treasury Board tabled his review on crown corporations and governance. As a result, the Access to Information Act will be extended to 18 crown corporations.

    I am sure members will agree with these various measures that demonstrate our commitment to get to the truth and to ensure public confidence in the ability of both the government and the Department of Public Works and Government Services to manage taxpayers' dollars.

    The Prime Minister and the government have been completely clear: if funds have been received inappropriately those funds will be returned to the government. The fact is that we will not be able to address these issues until Justice Gomery reports. I await Mr. Justice Gomery's report. Hopefully there will be no interference from the opposition.

+-

    Mr. Joe Preston: Madam Speaker, I am happy to hear that we are determined to get to the bottom of this, but how many years later are we determined to get to the bottom of this?

    The Prime Minister acting to stop the sponsorship program as soon as he was appointed is an awful lot like what we say back home: closing the barn door after the horse is already out. The money has gone missing. The friends have been paid. The Liberal Party has run two or three elections with the dirty money now, but now we have closed that barn door as tight as we can.

    On the matter of the civil litigation to get our money back from the Liberals' friends, these are the same companies and friends who just had to pick up the phone to get the government to send them money on some cheap sponsorship deal for putting logos on trains or names on golf balls. They had only to pick up the phone for that to happen.

    Now we have to sue them in order to get the money back. What happened to these friends? Are they no longer close? Do we have to beg through the courts now to get the money back?

    The member mentioned Bill C-11, the whistleblower legislation. A fine attempt is being made to do that and in committee we are working hard at it.

  -(1745)  

+-

    Hon. Walt Lastewka: Madam Speaker, the government is committed to getting to the bottom of the matter. It introduced a comprehensive set of measures to deal with the sponsorship program. Let me repeat them. There is an independent commission of inquiry, a commission of inquiry that needs to do its work and come out with its final report to be tabled in the House. There is a special counsel for financial recovery. There are ongoing investigations by the RCMP. There is whistleblower legislation. There is the extension of the Access to Information Act to crown corporations. There are measures to strengthen the audit committees for crown corporations. There are reviews on changes to the governance of crown corporations, on changes to the Financial Administration Act and on the accountability of ministers and the public service.

    I would also remind members that the commission of inquiry was put in place very quickly after the auditor's report. I am hoping that the opposition will await the release of the recommendations by the public inquiry.

[Translation]

-

    The Acting Speaker (Hon. Jean Augustine): The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, this House stands adjourned until Monday, April 4, 2005, at 11 a.m. pursuant to Standing Orders 28(2) and 24(1).

    (The House adjourned at 5:46 p.m.)

APPENDIX

Alphabetical List of Members with their
Constituencies, Province of Constituency
and Political Affiliations;
Committees of the House,
the Ministry and Parliamentary Secretary


Chair Occupants

 

The Speaker

Hon. Peter Milliken

 

The Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole

Mr. Chuck Strahl

 

The Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole

Mr. Marcel Proulx

 

The Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole

Hon. Jean Augustine

 


Board Of Internal Economy

Hon. Peter Milliken

Hon. Mauril Bélanger

Ms. Libby Davies

Mr. Michel Guimond

Mr. Jay Hill

Hon. Walt Lastewka

Hon. Rob Nicholson

Hon. Karen Redman

Hon. Tony Valeri


Alphabetical list of Members of the House of Commons

First Session--Thirty Eight Parliament

Name of Member Constituency Province of Constituency Political Affiliation
Abbott, Jim Kootenay—Columbia British Columbia CPC
Ablonczy, Diane Calgary—Nose Hill Alberta CPC
Adams, Hon. Peter, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal Peterborough Ontario Lib.
Alcock, Hon. Reg, President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board Winnipeg South Manitoba Lib.
Allison, Dean Niagara West—Glanbrook Ontario CPC
Ambrose, Rona Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta CPC
Anders, Rob Calgary West Alberta CPC
Anderson, David Cypress Hills—Grasslands Saskatchewan CPC
Anderson, Hon. David Victoria British Columbia Lib.
André, Guy Berthier—Maskinongé Quebec BQ
Angus, Charlie Timmins—James Bay Ontario NDP
Asselin, Gérard Manicouagan Quebec BQ
Augustine, Hon. Jean, Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario Lib.
Bachand, Claude Saint-Jean Quebec BQ
Bagnell, Hon. Larry, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources Yukon Yukon Lib.
Bains, Navdeep Mississauga—Brampton South Ontario Lib.
Bakopanos, Hon. Eleni, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Social Development (Social Economy) Ahuntsic Quebec Lib.
Barnes, Hon. Sue, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians London West Ontario Lib.
Batters, Dave Palliser Saskatchewan CPC
Beaumier, Colleen Brampton West Ontario Lib.
Bélanger, Hon. Mauril, Minister for Internal Trade, Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for Official Languages and Associate Minister of National Defence Ottawa—Vanier Ontario Lib.
Bell, Don North Vancouver British Columbia Lib.
Bellavance, André Richmond—Arthabaska Quebec BQ
Bennett, Hon. Carolyn, Minister of State (Public Health) St. Paul's Ontario Lib.
Benoit, Leon Vegreville—Wainwright Alberta CPC
Bergeron, Stéphane Verchères—Les Patriotes Quebec BQ
Bevilacqua, Hon. Maurizio Vaughan Ontario Lib.
Bezan, James Selkirk—Interlake Manitoba CPC
Bigras, Bernard Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie Quebec BQ
Blaikie, Hon. Bill Elmwood—Transcona Manitoba NDP
Blais, Raynald Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine Quebec BQ
Blondin-Andrew, Hon. Ethel, Minister of State (Northern Development) Western Arctic Northwest Territories Lib.
Boire, Alain Beauharnois—Salaberry Quebec BQ
Boivin, Françoise Gatineau Quebec Lib.
Bonin, Raymond Nickel Belt Ontario Lib.
Bonsant, France Compton—Stanstead Quebec BQ
Boshcoff, Ken Thunder Bay—Rainy River Ontario Lib.
Bouchard, Robert Chicoutimi—Le Fjord Quebec BQ
Boudria, Hon. Don Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario Lib.
Boulianne, Marc Mégantic—L'Érable Quebec BQ
Bourgeois, Diane Terrebonne—Blainville Quebec BQ
Bradshaw, Hon. Claudette, Minister of State (Human Resources Development) Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick Lib.
Breitkreuz, Garry Yorkton—Melville Saskatchewan CPC
Brison, Hon. Scott, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Kings—Hants Nova Scotia Lib.
Broadbent, Hon. Ed Ottawa Centre Ontario NDP
Brown, Bonnie Oakville Ontario Lib.
Brown, Gord Leeds—Grenville Ontario CPC
Brunelle, Paule Trois-Rivières Quebec BQ
Bulte, Hon. Sarmite, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage Parkdale—High Park Ontario Lib.
Byrne, Hon. Gerry, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Newfoundland and Labrador Lib.
Cadman, Chuck Surrey North British Columbia Ind.
Cannis, John Scarborough Centre Ontario Lib.
Cardin, Serge Sherbrooke Quebec BQ
Carr, Gary Halton Ontario Lib.
Carrie, Colin Oshawa Ontario CPC
Carrier, Robert Alfred-Pellan Quebec BQ
Carroll, Hon. Aileen, Minister of International Cooperation Barrie Ontario Lib.
Casey, Bill Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley Nova Scotia CPC
Casson, Rick Lethbridge Alberta CPC
Catterall, Marlene Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario Lib.
Chamberlain, Hon. Brenda Guelph Ontario Lib.
Chan, Hon. Raymond, Minister of State (Multiculturalism) Richmond British Columbia Lib.
Chatters, David Westlock—St. Paul Alberta CPC
Chong, Michael Wellington—Halton Hills Ontario CPC
Christopherson, David Hamilton Centre Ontario NDP
Clavet, Roger Louis-Hébert Quebec BQ
Cleary, Bernard Louis-Saint-Laurent Quebec BQ
Coderre, Hon. Denis Bourassa Quebec Lib.
Comartin, Joe Windsor—Tecumseh Ontario NDP
Comuzzi, Hon. Joe Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario Lib.
Côté, Guy Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier Quebec BQ
Cotler, Hon. Irwin, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Mount Royal Quebec Lib.
Crête, Paul Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup Quebec BQ
Crowder, Jean Nanaimo—Cowichan British Columbia NDP
Cullen, Nathan Skeena—Bulkley Valley British Columbia NDP
Cullen, Hon. Roy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Etobicoke North Ontario Lib.
Cummins, John Delta—Richmond East British Columbia CPC
Cuzner, Rodger Cape Breton—Canso Nova Scotia Lib.
D'Amours, Jean-Claude Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick Lib.
Davies, Libby Vancouver East British Columbia NDP
Day, Stockwell Okanagan—Coquihalla British Columbia CPC
Demers, Nicole Laval Quebec BQ
Deschamps, Johanne Laurentides—Labelle Quebec BQ
Desjarlais, Bev Churchill Manitoba NDP
Desrochers, Odina Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Quebec BQ
DeVillers, Hon. Paul, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister Simcoe North Ontario Lib.
Devolin, Barry Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock Ontario CPC
Dhalla, Ruby Brampton—Springdale Ontario Lib.
Dion, Hon. Stéphane, Minister of the Environment Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Quebec Lib.
Dosanjh, Hon. Ujjal, Minister of Health Vancouver South British Columbia Lib.
Doyle, Norman St. John's East Newfoundland and Labrador CPC
Drouin, Hon. Claude, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Rural Communities) Beauce Quebec Lib.
Dryden, Hon. Ken, Minister of Social Development York Centre Ontario Lib.
Duceppe, Gilles Laurier—Sainte-Marie Quebec BQ
Duncan, John Vancouver Island North British Columbia CPC
Easter, Hon. Wayne, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Rural Development) Malpeque Prince Edward Island Lib.
Efford, Hon. R. John, Minister of Natural Resources Avalon Newfoundland and Labrador Lib.
Emerson, Hon. David, Minister of Industry Vancouver Kingsway British Columbia Lib.
Epp, Ken Edmonton—Sherwood Park Alberta CPC
Eyking, Hon. Mark, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade (Emerging Markets) Sydney—Victoria Nova Scotia Lib.
Faille, Meili Vaudreuil-Soulanges Quebec BQ
Finley, Diane Haldimand—Norfolk Ontario CPC
Fitzpatrick, Brian Prince Albert Saskatchewan CPC
Fletcher, Steven Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba CPC
Folco, Raymonde Laval—Les Îles Quebec Lib.
Fontana, Hon. Joe, Minister of Labour and Housing London North Centre Ontario Lib.
Forseth, Paul New Westminster—Coquitlam British Columbia CPC
Frulla, Hon. Liza, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women Jeanne-Le Ber Quebec Lib.
Fry, Hon. Hedy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Vancouver Centre British Columbia Lib.
Gagnon, Christiane Québec Quebec BQ
Gagnon, Marcel Saint-Maurice—Champlain Quebec BQ
Gagnon, Sébastien Jonquière—Alma Quebec BQ
Gallant, Cheryl Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke Ontario CPC
Gallaway, Hon. Roger Sarnia—Lambton Ontario Lib.
Gaudet, Roger Montcalm Quebec BQ
Gauthier, Michel Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Quebec BQ
Godbout, Marc Ottawa—Orléans Ontario Lib.
Godfrey, Hon. John, Minister of State (Infrastructure and Communities) Don Valley West Ontario Lib.
Godin, Yvon Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick NDP
Goldring, Peter Edmonton East Alberta CPC
Goodale, Hon. Ralph, Minister of Finance Wascana Saskatchewan Lib.
Goodyear, Gary Cambridge Ontario CPC
Gouk, Jim British Columbia Southern Interior British Columbia CPC
Graham, Hon. Bill, Minister of National Defence Toronto Centre Ontario Lib.
Grewal, Gurmant Newton—North Delta British Columbia CPC
Grewal, Nina Fleetwood—Port Kells British Columbia CPC
Guarnieri, Hon. Albina, Minister of Veterans Affairs Mississauga East—Cooksville Ontario Lib.
Guay, Monique Rivière-du-Nord Quebec BQ
Guergis, Helena Simcoe—Grey Ontario CPC
Guimond, Michel Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord Quebec BQ
Hanger, Art Calgary Northeast Alberta CPC
Harper, Hon. Stephen Calgary Southwest Alberta CPC
Harris, Richard Cariboo—Prince George British Columbia CPC
Harrison, Jeremy Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River Saskatchewan CPC
Hearn, Loyola St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland and Labrador CPC
Hiebert, Russ South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale British Columbia CPC
Hill, Jay Prince George—Peace River British Columbia CPC
Hinton, Betty Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo British Columbia CPC
Holland, Mark Ajax—Pickering Ontario Lib.
Hubbard, Charles Miramichi New Brunswick Lib.
Ianno, Hon. Tony, Minister of State (Families and Caregivers) Trinity—Spadina Ontario Lib.
Jaffer, Rahim Edmonton—Strathcona Alberta CPC
Jean, Brian Fort McMurray—Athabasca Alberta CPC
Jennings, Hon. Marlene, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Canada—U.S.) Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine Quebec Lib.
Johnston, Dale Wetaskiwin Alberta CPC
Julian, Peter Burnaby—New Westminster British Columbia NDP
Kadis, Susan Thornhill Ontario Lib.
Kamp, Randy Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission British Columbia CPC
Karetak-Lindell, Nancy Nunavut Nunavut Lib.
Karygiannis, Hon. Jim, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport Scarborough—Agincourt Ontario Lib.
Keddy, Gerald South Shore—St. Margaret's Nova Scotia CPC
Kenney, Jason Calgary Southeast Alberta CPC
Khan, Wajid Mississauga—Streetsville Ontario Lib.
Kilgour, Hon. David Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta Lib.
Komarnicki, Ed Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan CPC
Kotto, Maka Saint-Lambert Quebec BQ
Kramp, Daryl Prince Edward—Hastings Ontario CPC
Laframboise, Mario Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel Quebec BQ
Lalonde, Francine La Pointe-de-l'Île Quebec BQ
Lapierre, Hon. Jean, Minister of Transport Outremont Quebec Lib.
Lapierre, Réal Lévis—Bellechasse Quebec BQ
Lastewka, Hon. Walt, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services St. Catharines Ontario Lib.
Lauzon, Guy Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry Ontario CPC
Lavallée, Carole Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert Quebec BQ
Layton, Hon. Jack Toronto—Danforth Ontario NDP
LeBlanc, Hon. Dominic, Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Beauséjour New Brunswick Lib.
Lee, Derek Scarborough—Rouge River Ontario Lib.
Lemay, Marc Abitibi—Témiscamingue Quebec BQ
Lessard, Yves Chambly—Borduas Quebec BQ
Lévesque, Yvon Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou Quebec BQ
Longfield, Hon. Judi, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and Housing Whitby—Oshawa Ontario Lib.
Loubier, Yvan Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot Quebec BQ
Lukiwski, Tom Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan CPC
Lunn, Gary Saanich—Gulf Islands British Columbia CPC
Lunney, James Nanaimo—Alberni British Columbia CPC
MacAulay, Hon. Lawrence Cardigan Prince Edward Island Lib.
MacKay, Peter Central Nova Nova Scotia CPC
MacKenzie, Dave Oxford Ontario CPC
Macklin, Hon. Paul Harold, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Northumberland—Quinte West Ontario Lib.
Malhi, Hon. Gurbax, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal Bramalea—Gore—Malton Ontario Lib.
Maloney, John Welland Ontario Lib.
Marceau, Richard Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles Quebec BQ
Mark, Inky Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette Manitoba CPC
Marleau, Hon. Diane, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board Sudbury Ontario Lib.
Martin, Hon. Keith, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca British Columbia Lib.
Martin, Pat Winnipeg Centre Manitoba NDP
Martin, Right Hon. Paul, Prime Minister LaSalle—Émard Quebec Lib.
Martin, Tony Sault Ste. Marie Ontario NDP
Masse, Brian Windsor West Ontario NDP
Matthews, Bill Random—Burin—St. George's Newfoundland and Labrador Lib.
McCallum, Hon. John, Minister of National Revenue Markham—Unionville Ontario Lib.
McDonough, Alexa Halifax Nova Scotia NDP
McGuinty, David Ottawa South Ontario Lib.
McGuire, Hon. Joe, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Egmont Prince Edward Island Lib.
McKay, Hon. John, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance Scarborough—Guildwood Ontario Lib.
McLellan, Hon. Anne, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Edmonton Centre Alberta Lib.
McTeague, Hon. Dan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Pickering—Scarborough East Ontario Lib.
Ménard, Réal Hochelaga Quebec BQ
Ménard, Serge Marc-Aurèle-Fortin Quebec BQ
Menzies, Ted Macleod Alberta CPC
Merrifield, Rob Yellowhead Alberta CPC
Miller, Larry Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound Ontario CPC
Milliken, Hon. Peter, Speaker Kingston and the Islands Ontario Lib.
Mills, Bob Red Deer Alberta CPC
Minna, Hon. Maria Beaches—East York Ontario Lib.
Mitchell, Hon. Andy, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario) Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario Lib.
Moore, James Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam British Columbia CPC
Moore, Rob Fundy Royal New Brunswick CPC
Murphy, Hon. Shawn, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Charlottetown Prince Edward Island Lib.
Myers, Lynn Kitchener—Conestoga Ontario Lib.
Neville, Anita Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba Lib.
Nicholson, Hon. Rob Niagara Falls Ontario CPC
O'Brien, Pat London—Fanshawe Ontario Lib.
O'Connor, Gordon Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario CPC
Obhrai, Deepak Calgary East Alberta CPC
Oda, Bev Durham Ontario CPC
Owen, Hon. Stephen, Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport) Vancouver Quadra British Columbia Lib.
Pacetti, Massimo Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Quebec Lib.
Pallister, Brian Portage—Lisgar Manitoba CPC
Paquette, Pierre Joliette Quebec BQ
Paradis, Hon. Denis Brome—Missisquoi Quebec Lib.
Parrish, Carolyn Mississauga—Erindale Ontario Ind.
Patry, Bernard Pierrefonds—Dollard Quebec Lib.
Penson, Charlie Peace River Alberta CPC
Perron, Gilles-A. Rivière-des-Mille-Îles Quebec BQ
Peterson, Hon. Jim, Minister of International Trade Willowdale Ontario Lib.
Pettigrew, Hon. Pierre, Minister of Foreign Affairs Papineau Quebec Lib.
Phinney, Beth Hamilton Mountain Ontario Lib.
Picard, Pauline Drummond Quebec BQ
Pickard, Hon. Jerry, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry Chatham-Kent—Essex Ontario Lib.
Plamondon, Louis Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour Quebec BQ
Poilievre, Pierre Nepean—Carleton Ontario CPC
Poirier-Rivard, Denise Châteauguay—Saint-Constant Quebec BQ
Powers, Russ Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale Ontario Lib.
Prentice, Jim Calgary Centre-North Alberta CPC
Preston, Joe Elgin—Middlesex—London Ontario CPC
Proulx, Marcel, Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole Hull—Aylmer Quebec Lib.
Rajotte, James Edmonton—Leduc Alberta CPC
Ratansi, Yasmin Don Valley East Ontario Lib.
Redman, Hon. Karen Kitchener Centre Ontario Lib.
Regan, Hon. Geoff, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Halifax West Nova Scotia Lib.
Reid, Scott Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington Ontario CPC
Reynolds, John West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country British Columbia CPC
Richardson, Lee Calgary Centre Alberta CPC
Ritz, Gerry Battlefords—Lloydminster Saskatchewan CPC
Robillard, Hon. Lucienne, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Westmount—Ville-Marie Quebec Lib.
Rodriguez, Pablo Honoré-Mercier Quebec Lib.
Rota, Anthony Nipissing—Timiskaming Ontario Lib.
Roy, Jean-Yves Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia Quebec BQ
Saada, Hon. Jacques, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister responsible for the Francophonie Brossard—La Prairie Quebec Lib.
Sauvageau, Benoît Repentigny Quebec BQ
Savage, Michael Dartmouth—Cole Harbour Nova Scotia Lib.
Savoy, Andy Tobique—Mactaquac New Brunswick Lib.
Scarpaleggia, Francis Lac-Saint-Louis Quebec Lib.
Scheer, Andrew Regina—Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan CPC
Schellenberger, Gary Perth—Wellington Ontario CPC
Schmidt, Werner Kelowna—Lake Country British Columbia CPC
Scott, Hon. Andy, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians Fredericton New Brunswick Lib.
Sgro, Hon. Judy York West Ontario Lib.
Siksay, Bill Burnaby—Douglas British Columbia NDP
Silva, Mario Davenport Ontario Lib.
Simard, Christian Beauport—Limoilou Quebec BQ
Simard, Hon. Raymond, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Internal Trade, Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Official Languages Saint Boniface Manitoba Lib.
Simms, Scott Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor Newfoundland and Labrador Lib.
Skelton, Carol Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar Saskatchewan CPC
Smith, David Pontiac Quebec Lib.
Smith, Joy Kildonan—St. Paul Manitoba CPC
Solberg, Monte Medicine Hat Alberta CPC
Sorenson, Kevin Crowfoot Alberta CPC
St-Hilaire, Caroline Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher Quebec BQ
St. Amand, Lloyd Brant Ontario Lib.
St. Denis, Brent Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing Ontario Lib.
Steckle, Paul Huron—Bruce Ontario Lib.
Stinson, Darrel Okanagan—Shuswap British Columbia CPC
Stoffer, Peter Sackville—Eastern Shore Nova Scotia NDP
Strahl, Chuck, Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon British Columbia CPC
Stronach, Hon. Belinda, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal Newmarket—Aurora Ontario CPC
Szabo, Paul Mississauga South Ontario Lib.
Telegdi, Hon. Andrew Kitchener—Waterloo Ontario Lib.
Temelkovski, Lui Oak Ridges—Markham Ontario Lib.
Thibault, Louise Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques Quebec BQ
Thibault, Hon. Robert, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health West Nova Nova Scotia Lib.
Thompson, Greg New Brunswick Southwest New Brunswick CPC
Thompson, Myron Wild Rose Alberta CPC
Tilson, David Dufferin—Caledon Ontario CPC
Toews, Vic Provencher Manitoba CPC
Tonks, Alan York South—Weston Ontario Lib.
Torsney, Hon. Paddy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation Burlington Ontario Lib.
Trost, Bradley Saskatoon—Humboldt Saskatchewan CPC
Tweed, Merv Brandon—Souris Manitoba CPC
Ur, Rose-Marie Lambton—Kent—Middlesex Ontario Lib.
Valeri, Hon. Tony, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Ontario Lib.
Valley, Roger Kenora Ontario Lib.
Van Loan, Peter York—Simcoe Ontario CPC
Vellacott, Maurice Saskatoon—Wanuskewin Saskatchewan CPC
Vincent, Robert Shefford Quebec BQ
Volpe, Hon. Joseph, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario Lib.
Wappel, Tom Scarborough Southwest Ontario Lib.
Warawa, Mark Langley British Columbia CPC
Wasylycia-Leis, Judy Winnipeg North Manitoba NDP
Watson, Jeff Essex Ontario CPC
White, Randy Abbotsford British Columbia CPC
Wilfert, Hon. Bryon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment Richmond Hill Ontario Lib.
Williams, John Edmonton—St. Albert Alberta CPC
Wrzesnewskyj, Borys Etobicoke Centre Ontario Lib.
Yelich, Lynne Blackstrap Saskatchewan CPC
Zed, Paul Saint John New Brunswick Lib.

Alphabetical list of Members of the House of Commons by Province

First Session--Thirty Eight Parliament

Name of Member Constituency Political Affiliation

Alberta (28)
Ablonczy, Diane Calgary—Nose Hill CPC
Ambrose, Rona Edmonton—Spruce Grove CPC
Anders, Rob Calgary West CPC
Benoit, Leon Vegreville—Wainwright CPC
Casson, Rick Lethbridge CPC
Chatters, David Westlock—St. Paul CPC
Epp, Ken Edmonton—Sherwood Park CPC
Goldring, Peter Edmonton East CPC
Hanger, Art Calgary Northeast CPC
Harper, Hon. Stephen Calgary Southwest CPC
Jaffer, Rahim Edmonton—Strathcona CPC
Jean, Brian Fort McMurray—Athabasca CPC
Johnston, Dale Wetaskiwin CPC
Kenney, Jason Calgary Southeast CPC
Kilgour, Hon. David Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Lib.
McLellan, Hon. Anne, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Edmonton Centre Lib.
Menzies, Ted Macleod CPC
Merrifield, Rob Yellowhead CPC
Mills, Bob Red Deer CPC
Obhrai, Deepak Calgary East CPC
Penson, Charlie Peace River CPC
Prentice, Jim Calgary Centre-North CPC
Rajotte, James Edmonton—Leduc CPC
Richardson, Lee Calgary Centre CPC
Solberg, Monte Medicine Hat CPC
Sorenson, Kevin Crowfoot CPC
Thompson, Myron Wild Rose CPC
Williams, John Edmonton—St. Albert CPC

British Columbia (35)
Abbott, Jim Kootenay—Columbia CPC
Anderson, Hon. David Victoria Lib.
Bell, Don North Vancouver Lib.
Cadman, Chuck Surrey North Ind.
Chan, Hon. Raymond, Minister of State (Multiculturalism) Richmond Lib.
Crowder, Jean Nanaimo—Cowichan NDP
Cullen, Nathan Skeena—Bulkley Valley NDP
Cummins, John Delta—Richmond East CPC
Davies, Libby Vancouver East NDP
Day, Stockwell Okanagan—Coquihalla CPC
Dosanjh, Hon. Ujjal, Minister of Health Vancouver South Lib.
Duncan, John Vancouver Island North CPC
Emerson, Hon. David, Minister of Industry Vancouver Kingsway Lib.
Forseth, Paul New Westminster—Coquitlam CPC
Fry, Hon. Hedy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Vancouver Centre Lib.
Gouk, Jim British Columbia Southern Interior CPC
Grewal, Gurmant Newton—North Delta CPC
Grewal, Nina Fleetwood—Port Kells CPC
Harris, Richard Cariboo—Prince George CPC
Hiebert, Russ South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale CPC
Hill, Jay Prince George—Peace River CPC
Hinton, Betty Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo CPC
Julian, Peter Burnaby—New Westminster NDP
Kamp, Randy Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission CPC
Lunn, Gary Saanich—Gulf Islands CPC
Lunney, James Nanaimo—Alberni CPC
Martin, Hon. Keith, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca Lib.
Moore, James Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam CPC
Owen, Hon. Stephen, Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport) Vancouver Quadra Lib.
Reynolds, John West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country CPC
Schmidt, Werner Kelowna—Lake Country CPC
Siksay, Bill Burnaby—Douglas NDP
Stinson, Darrel Okanagan—Shuswap CPC
Strahl, Chuck, Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon CPC
Warawa, Mark Langley CPC
White, Randy Abbotsford CPC

Manitoba (14)
Alcock, Hon. Reg, President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board Winnipeg South Lib.
Bezan, James Selkirk—Interlake CPC
Blaikie, Hon. Bill Elmwood—Transcona NDP
Desjarlais, Bev Churchill NDP
Fletcher, Steven Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia CPC
Mark, Inky Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette CPC
Martin, Pat Winnipeg Centre NDP
Neville, Anita Winnipeg South Centre Lib.
Pallister, Brian Portage—Lisgar CPC
Simard, Hon. Raymond, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Internal Trade, Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister responsible for Official Languages Saint Boniface Lib.
Smith, Joy Kildonan—St. Paul CPC
Toews, Vic Provencher CPC
Tweed, Merv Brandon—Souris CPC
Wasylycia-Leis, Judy Winnipeg North NDP

New Brunswick (10)
Bradshaw, Hon. Claudette, Minister of State (Human Resources Development) Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe Lib.
D'Amours, Jean-Claude Madawaska—Restigouche Lib.
Godin, Yvon Acadie—Bathurst NDP
Hubbard, Charles Miramichi Lib.
LeBlanc, Hon. Dominic, Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Beauséjour Lib.
Moore, Rob Fundy Royal CPC
Savoy, Andy Tobique—Mactaquac Lib.
Scott, Hon. Andy, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians Fredericton Lib.
Thompson, Greg New Brunswick Southwest CPC
Zed, Paul Saint John Lib.

Newfoundland and Labrador (7)
Byrne, Hon. Gerry, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte Lib.
Doyle, Norman St. John's East CPC
Efford, Hon. R. John, Minister of Natural Resources Avalon Lib.
Hearn, Loyola St. John's South—Mount Pearl CPC
Matthews, Bill Random—Burin—St. George's Lib.
Simms, Scott Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor Lib.

Northwest Territories (1)
Blondin-Andrew, Hon. Ethel, Minister of State (Northern Development) Western Arctic Lib.

Nova Scotia (11)
Brison, Hon. Scott, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Kings—Hants Lib.
Casey, Bill Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley CPC
Cuzner, Rodger Cape Breton—Canso Lib.
Eyking, Hon. Mark, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade (Emerging Markets) Sydney—Victoria Lib.
Keddy, Gerald South Shore—St. Margaret's CPC
MacKay, Peter Central Nova CPC
McDonough, Alexa Halifax NDP
Regan, Hon. Geoff, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Halifax West Lib.
Savage, Michael Dartmouth—Cole Harbour Lib.
Stoffer, Peter Sackville—Eastern Shore NDP
Thibault, Hon. Robert, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health West Nova Lib.

Nunavut (1)
Karetak-Lindell, Nancy Nunavut Lib.

Ontario (106)
Adams, Hon. Peter, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal Peterborough Lib.
Allison, Dean Niagara West—Glanbrook CPC
Angus, Charlie Timmins—James Bay NDP
Augustine, Hon. Jean, Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole Etobicoke—Lakeshore Lib.
Bains, Navdeep Mississauga—Brampton South Lib.
Barnes, Hon. Sue, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians London West Lib.
Beaumier, Colleen Brampton West Lib.
Bélanger, Hon. Mauril, Minister for Internal Trade, Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for Official Languages and Associate Minister of National Defence Ottawa—Vanier Lib.
Bennett, Hon. Carolyn, Minister of State (Public Health) St. Paul's Lib.
Bevilacqua, Hon. Maurizio Vaughan Lib.
Bonin, Raymond Nickel Belt Lib.
Boshcoff, Ken Thunder Bay—Rainy River Lib.
Boudria, Hon. Don Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Lib.
Broadbent, Hon. Ed Ottawa Centre NDP
Brown, Bonnie Oakville Lib.
Brown, Gord Leeds—Grenville CPC
Bulte, Hon. Sarmite, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage Parkdale—High Park Lib.
Cannis, John Scarborough Centre Lib.
Carr, Gary Halton Lib.
Carrie, Colin Oshawa CPC
Carroll, Hon. Aileen, Minister of International Cooperation Barrie Lib.
Catterall, Marlene Ottawa West—Nepean Lib.
Chamberlain, Hon. Brenda Guelph Lib.
Chong, Michael Wellington—Halton Hills CPC
Christopherson, David Hamilton Centre NDP
Comartin, Joe Windsor—Tecumseh NDP
Comuzzi, Hon. Joe Thunder Bay—Superior North Lib.
Cullen, Hon. Roy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Etobicoke North Lib.
DeVillers, Hon. Paul, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister Simcoe North Lib.
Devolin, Barry Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock CPC
Dhalla, Ruby Brampton—Springdale Lib.
Dryden, Hon. Ken, Minister of Social Development York Centre Lib.
Finley, Diane Haldimand—Norfolk CPC
Fontana, Hon. Joe, Minister of Labour and Housing London North Centre Lib.
Gallant, Cheryl Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke CPC
Gallaway, Hon. Roger Sarnia—Lambton Lib.
Godbout, Marc Ottawa—Orléans Lib.
Godfrey, Hon. John, Minister of State (Infrastructure and Communities) Don Valley West Lib.
Goodyear, Gary Cambridge CPC
Graham, Hon. Bill, Minister of National Defence Toronto Centre Lib.
Guarnieri, Hon. Albina, Minister of Veterans Affairs Mississauga East—Cooksville Lib.
Guergis, Helena Simcoe—Grey CPC
Holland, Mark Ajax—Pickering Lib.
Ianno, Hon. Tony, Minister of State (Families and Caregivers) Trinity—Spadina Lib.
Kadis, Susan Thornhill Lib.
Karygiannis, Hon. Jim, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport Scarborough—Agincourt Lib.
Khan, Wajid Mississauga—Streetsville Lib.
Kramp, Daryl Prince Edward—Hastings CPC
Lastewka, Hon. Walt, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services St. Catharines Lib.
Lauzon, Guy Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry CPC
Layton, Hon. Jack Toronto—Danforth NDP
Lee, Derek Scarborough—Rouge River Lib.
Longfield, Hon. Judi, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and Housing Whitby—Oshawa Lib.
MacKenzie, Dave Oxford CPC
Macklin, Hon. Paul Harold, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Northumberland—Quinte West Lib.
Malhi, Hon. Gurbax, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal Bramalea—Gore—Malton Lib.
Maloney, John Welland Lib.
Marleau, Hon. Diane, Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board Sudbury Lib.
Martin, Tony Sault Ste. Marie NDP
Masse, Brian Windsor West NDP
McCallum, Hon. John, Minister of National Revenue Markham—Unionville Lib.
McGuinty, David Ottawa South Lib.
McKay, Hon. John, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance Scarborough—Guildwood Lib.
McTeague, Hon. Dan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Pickering—Scarborough East Lib.
Miller, Larry Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound CPC
Milliken, Hon. Peter, Speaker Kingston and the Islands Lib.
Minna, Hon. Maria Beaches—East York Lib.
Mitchell, Hon. Andy, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario) Parry Sound—Muskoka Lib.
Myers, Lynn Kitchener—Conestoga Lib.
Nicholson, Hon. Rob Niagara Falls CPC
O'Brien, Pat London—Fanshawe Lib.
O'Connor, Gordon Carleton—Mississippi Mills CPC
Oda, Bev Durham CPC
Parrish, Carolyn Mississauga—Erindale Ind.
Peterson, Hon. Jim, Minister of International Trade Willowdale Lib.
Phinney, Beth Hamilton Mountain Lib.
Pickard, Hon. Jerry, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry Chatham-Kent—Essex Lib.
Poilievre, Pierre Nepean—Carleton CPC
Powers, Russ Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale Lib.
Preston, Joe Elgin—Middlesex—London CPC
Ratansi, Yasmin Don Valley East Lib.
Redman, Hon. Karen Kitchener Centre Lib.
Reid, Scott Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington CPC
Rota, Anthony Nipissing—Timiskaming Lib.
Schellenberger, Gary Perth—Wellington CPC
Sgro, Hon. Judy York West Lib.
Silva, Mario Davenport Lib.
St. Amand, Lloyd Brant Lib.
St. Denis, Brent Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing Lib.
Steckle, Paul Huron—Bruce Lib.
Stronach, Hon. Belinda, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal Newmarket—Aurora CPC
Szabo, Paul Mississauga South Lib.
Telegdi, Hon. Andrew Kitchener—Waterloo Lib.
Temelkovski, Lui Oak Ridges—Markham Lib.
Tilson, David Dufferin—Caledon CPC
Tonks, Alan York South—Weston Lib.
Torsney, Hon. Paddy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation Burlington Lib.
Ur, Rose-Marie Lambton—Kent—Middlesex Lib.
Valeri, Hon. Tony, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Hamilton East—Stoney Creek Lib.
Valley, Roger Kenora Lib.
Van Loan, Peter York—Simcoe CPC
Volpe, Hon. Joseph, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Eglinton—Lawrence Lib.
Wappel, Tom Scarborough Southwest Lib.
Watson, Jeff Essex CPC
Wilfert, Hon. Bryon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment Richmond Hill Lib.
Wrzesnewskyj, Borys Etobicoke Centre Lib.

Prince Edward Island (4)
Easter, Hon. Wayne, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Rural Development) Malpeque Lib.
MacAulay, Hon. Lawrence Cardigan Lib.
McGuire, Hon. Joe, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Egmont Lib.
Murphy, Hon. Shawn, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Charlottetown Lib.

Quebec (75)
André, Guy Berthier—Maskinongé BQ
Asselin, Gérard Manicouagan BQ
Bachand, Claude Saint-Jean BQ
Bakopanos, Hon. Eleni, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Social Development (Social Economy) Ahuntsic Lib.
Bellavance, André Richmond—Arthabaska BQ
Bergeron, Stéphane Verchères—Les Patriotes BQ
Bigras, Bernard Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie BQ
Blais, Raynald Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine BQ
Boire, Alain Beauharnois—Salaberry BQ
Boivin, Françoise Gatineau Lib.
Bonsant, France Compton—Stanstead BQ
Bouchard, Robert Chicoutimi—Le Fjord BQ
Boulianne, Marc Mégantic—L'Érable BQ
Bourgeois, Diane Terrebonne—Blainville BQ
Brunelle, Paule Trois-Rivières BQ
Cardin, Serge Sherbrooke BQ
Carrier, Robert Alfred-Pellan BQ
Clavet, Roger Louis-Hébert BQ
Cleary, Bernard Louis-Saint-Laurent BQ
Coderre, Hon. Denis Bourassa Lib.
Côté, Guy Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier BQ
Cotler, Hon. Irwin, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Mount Royal Lib.
Crête, Paul Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup BQ
Demers, Nicole Laval BQ
Deschamps, Johanne Laurentides—Labelle BQ
Desrochers, Odina Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière BQ
Dion, Hon. Stéphane, Minister of the Environment Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Lib.
Drouin, Hon. Claude, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Rural Communities) Beauce Lib.
Duceppe, Gilles Laurier—Sainte-Marie BQ
Faille, Meili Vaudreuil-Soulanges BQ
Folco, Raymonde Laval—Les Îles Lib.
Frulla, Hon. Liza, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women Jeanne-Le Ber Lib.
Gagnon, Christiane Québec BQ
Gagnon, Marcel Saint-Maurice—Champlain BQ
Gagnon, Sébastien Jonquière—Alma BQ
Gaudet, Roger Montcalm BQ
Gauthier, Michel Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean BQ
Guay, Monique Rivière-du-Nord BQ
Guimond, Michel Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord BQ
Jennings, Hon. Marlene, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Canada—U.S.) Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine Lib.
Kotto, Maka Saint-Lambert BQ
Laframboise, Mario Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel BQ
Lalonde, Francine La Pointe-de-l'Île BQ
Lapierre, Hon. Jean, Minister of Transport Outremont Lib.
Lapierre, Réal Lévis—Bellechasse BQ
Lavallée, Carole Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert BQ
Lemay, Marc Abitibi—Témiscamingue BQ
Lessard, Yves Chambly—Borduas BQ
Lévesque, Yvon Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou BQ
Loubier, Yvan Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot BQ
Marceau, Richard Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles BQ
Martin, Right Hon. Paul, Prime Minister LaSalle—Émard Lib.
Ménard, Réal Hochelaga BQ
Ménard, Serge Marc-Aurèle-Fortin BQ
Pacetti, Massimo Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel Lib.
Paquette, Pierre Joliette BQ
Paradis, Hon. Denis Brome—Missisquoi Lib.
Patry, Bernard Pierrefonds—Dollard Lib.
Perron, Gilles-A. Rivière-des-Mille-Îles BQ
Pettigrew, Hon. Pierre, Minister of Foreign Affairs Papineau Lib.
Picard, Pauline Drummond BQ
Plamondon, Louis Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour BQ
Poirier-Rivard, Denise Châteauguay—Saint-Constant BQ
Proulx, Marcel, Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole Hull—Aylmer Lib.
Robillard, Hon. Lucienne, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Westmount—Ville-Marie Lib.
Rodriguez, Pablo Honoré-Mercier Lib.
Roy, Jean-Yves Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia BQ
Saada, Hon. Jacques, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister responsible for the Francophonie Brossard—La Prairie Lib.
Sauvageau, Benoît Repentigny BQ
Scarpaleggia, Francis Lac-Saint-Louis Lib.
Simard, Christian Beauport—Limoilou BQ
Smith, David Pontiac Lib.
St-Hilaire, Caroline Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher BQ
Thibault, Louise Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques BQ
Vincent, Robert Shefford BQ

Saskatchewan (14)
Anderson, David Cypress Hills—Grasslands CPC
Batters, Dave Palliser CPC
Breitkreuz, Garry Yorkton—Melville CPC
Fitzpatrick, Brian Prince Albert CPC
Goodale, Hon. Ralph, Minister of Finance Wascana Lib.
Harrison, Jeremy Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River CPC
Komarnicki, Ed Souris—Moose Mountain CPC
Lukiwski, Tom Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre CPC
Ritz, Gerry Battlefords—Lloydminster CPC
Scheer, Andrew Regina—Qu'Appelle CPC
Skelton, Carol Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar CPC
Trost, Bradley Saskatoon—Humboldt CPC
Vellacott, Maurice Saskatoon—Wanuskewin CPC
Yelich, Lynne Blackstrap CPC

Yukon (1)
Bagnell, Hon. Larry, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources Yukon Lib.

LIST OF STANDING AND SUB-COMMITTEES

(As of March 24, 2005 — 1st Session, 38th Parliament)

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
Chair:
Nancy Karetak-Lindell
Vice-Chairs:
Bernard Cleary
Jeremy Harrison
Sue Barnes
André Bellavance
Gary Lunn
Pat Martin
Jim Prentice
Carol Skelton
David Smith
Lloyd St. Amand
Roger Valley
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Charlie Angus
Gérard Asselin
Larry Bagnell
Dave Batters
Leon Benoit
James Bezan
Garry Breitkreuz
Gord Brown
Colin Carrie
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Michael Chong
Jean Crowder
Nathan Cullen
John Cummins
Rodger Cuzner
Stockwell Day
Bev Desjarlais
Paul DeVillers
Barry Devolin
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Paul Forseth
Hedy Fry
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Charles Hubbard
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Dale Johnston
Randy Kamp
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Guy Lauzon
Marc Lemay
Yvon Lévesque
Tom Lukiwski
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
Inky Mark
Tony Martin
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
James Moore
Rob Moore
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Pierre Poilievre
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Belinda Stronach
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Mark Warawa
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics
Chair:
David Chatters
Vice-Chairs:
Ed Broadbent
Derek Lee
Navdeep Bains
Marc Boulianne
Ken Epp
Russ Hiebert
Marlene Jennings
Mario Laframboise
Russ Powers
David Tilson
Paul Zed
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Dave Batters
Leon Benoit
James Bezan
Garry Breitkreuz
Gord Brown
Colin Carrie
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
Michael Chong
Joe Comartin
Paul Crête
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Barry Devolin
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Michel Gauthier
Yvon Godin
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Michel Guimond
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Dale Johnston
Randy Kamp
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Guy Lauzon
Jack Layton
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
Inky Mark
Pat Martin
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
James Moore
Rob Moore
Anita Neville
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Pauline Picard
Pierre Poilievre
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Belinda Stronach
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Tom Wappel
Mark Warawa
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Chair:
Paul Steckle
Vice-Chairs:
Denise Poirier-Rivard
Gerry Ritz
David Anderson
Charlie Angus
James Bezan
Claude Drouin
Wayne Easter
Roger Gaudet
David Kilgour
Larry Miller
Rose-Marie Ur
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Peter Adams
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
Dave Batters
André Bellavance
Leon Benoit
Garry Breitkreuz
Gord Brown
Colin Carrie
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Michael Chong
Joe Comartin
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Johanne Deschamps
Bev Desjarlais
Barry Devolin
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Mark Eyking
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Yvon Godin
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Charles Hubbard
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Dale Johnston
Randy Kamp
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Guy Lauzon
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
John Maloney
Inky Mark
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Bob Mills
James Moore
Rob Moore
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Brian Pallister
Pierre Paquette
Charlie Penson
Pierre Poilievre
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Andy Savoy
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Peter Stoffer
Belinda Stronach
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Mark Warawa
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Canadian Heritage
Chair:
Marlene Catterall
Vice-Chairs:
Maka Kotto
Gary Schellenberger
Charlie Angus
Gord Brown
Sarmite Bulte
Marc Lemay
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Mario Silva
Scott Simms
David Smith
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Guy André
Dave Batters
Don Bell
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
James Bezan
Garry Breitkreuz
Colin Carrie
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Michael Chong
Jean Crowder
Nathan Cullen
John Cummins
Rodger Cuzner
Jean-Claude D'Amours
Libby Davies
Stockwell Day
Barry Devolin
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Marc Godbout
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Dale Johnston
Randy Kamp
Nancy Karetak-Lindell
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
David Kilgour
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Guy Lauzon
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
Inky Mark
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
James Moore
Rob Moore
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Louis Plamondon
Pierre Poilievre
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Pablo Rodriguez
Michael Savage
Francis Scarpaleggia
Andrew Scheer
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Peter Stoffer
Belinda Stronach
Lui Temelkovski
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Mark Warawa
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Citizenship and Immigration
Chair:
Andrew Telegdi
Vice-Chairs:
Meili Faille
Inky Mark
Diane Ablonczy
David Anderson
Colleen Beaumier
Roger Clavet
Hedy Fry
Helena Guergis
Rahim Jaffer
Bill Siksay
Lui Temelkovski
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Guy André
Jean Augustine
Eleni Bakopanos
Dave Batters
Don Bell
Leon Benoit
James Bezan
Diane Bourgeois
Garry Breitkreuz
Gord Brown
Gary Carr
Colin Carrie
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Michael Chong
David Christopherson
Joe Comartin
John Cummins
Libby Davies
Stockwell Day
Odina Desrochers
Barry Devolin
Norman Doyle
Claude Drouin
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Raymonde Folco
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Brian Jean
Dale Johnston
Peter Julian
Randy Kamp
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Wajid Khan
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Francine Lalonde
Guy Lauzon
Jack Layton
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
Pat Martin
Brian Masse
David McGuinty
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
James Moore
Rob Moore
Anita Neville
Rob Nicholson
Pat O'Brien
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Beth Phinney
Pierre Poilievre
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Mario Silva
Carol Skelton
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Belinda Stronach
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Mark Warawa
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Environment and Sustainable Development
Chair:
Alan Tonks
Vice-Chairs:
Bernard Bigras
Lee Richardson
Nathan Cullen
Brian Jean
David McGuinty
Bob Mills
Denis Paradis
Yasmin Ratansi
Christian Simard
Jeff Watson
Bryon Wilfert
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Gérard Asselin
Dave Batters
Leon Benoit
James Bezan
Ken Boshcoff
Marc Boulianne
Garry Breitkreuz
Gord Brown
Serge Cardin
Colin Carrie
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
Marlene Catterall
David Chatters
Michael Chong
Joe Comartin
Paul Crête
Jean Crowder
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Barry Devolin
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Raymonde Folco
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Mark Holland
Charles Hubbard
Rahim Jaffer
Dale Johnston
Peter Julian
Randy Kamp
Nancy Karetak-Lindell
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Guy Lauzon
Jack Layton
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
John Maloney
Inky Mark
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Maria Minna
James Moore
Rob Moore
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Pierre Poilievre
Russ Powers
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Gerry Ritz
Pablo Rodriguez
Andy Savoy
Francis Scarpaleggia
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Mario Silva
Carol Skelton
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Lloyd St. Amand
Darrel Stinson
Peter Stoffer
Belinda Stronach
Paul Szabo
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Roger Valley
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Mark Warawa
Randy White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Finance
Chair:
Massimo Pacetti
Vice-Chairs:
Yvan Loubier
Charlie Penson
Rona Ambrose
Don Bell
Guy Côté
Charles Hubbard
John McKay
Maria Minna
Brian Pallister
Monte Solberg
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Dean Allison
Rob Anders
David Anderson
David Anderson
Navdeep Bains
Dave Batters
Leon Benoit
James Bezan
Robert Bouchard
Garry Breitkreuz
Bonnie Brown
Gord Brown
Colin Carrie
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Michael Chong
David Christopherson
Jean Crowder
Roy Cullen
John Cummins
Rodger Cuzner
Stockwell Day
Johanne Deschamps
Bev Desjarlais
Barry Devolin
Ruby Dhalla
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Marlene Jennings
Dale Johnston
Peter Julian
Randy Kamp
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Wajid Khan
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Mario Laframboise
Réal Lapierre
Guy Lauzon
Jack Layton
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
John Maloney
Inky Mark
David McGuinty
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
James Moore
Rob Moore
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Pierre Paquette
Pierre Poilievre
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Anthony Rota
Benoît Sauvageau
Michael Savage
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Judy Sgro
Bill Siksay
Carol Skelton
Joy Smith
Kevin Sorenson
Brent St. Denis
Darrel Stinson
Belinda Stronach
Paul Szabo
Robert Thibault
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Mark Warawa
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams
Borys Wrzesnewskyj
Lynne Yelich

Subcommittee on Fiscal Imbalance
Chair:
Yvan Loubier
Vice-Chair:

Rona Ambrose
Don Bell
Guy Côté
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Total: (5)

Fisheries and Oceans
Chair:
Tom Wappel
Vice-Chairs:
Gerald Keddy
Peter Stoffer
Raynald Blais
John Cummins
Rodger Cuzner
Loyola Hearn
Randy Kamp
Bill Matthews
Shawn Murphy
Jean-Yves Roy
Scott Simms
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Gérard Asselin
Dave Batters
Leon Benoit
James Bezan
Marc Boulianne
Garry Breitkreuz
Gord Brown
Gerry Byrne
Serge Cardin
Colin Carrie
Robert Carrier
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Michael Chong
Paul Crête
Jean Crowder
Nathan Cullen
Stockwell Day
Barry Devolin
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Wayne Easter
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Yvon Godin
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Dale Johnston
Nancy Karetak-Lindell
Jason Kenney
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Guy Lauzon
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
Inky Mark
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
James Moore
Rob Moore
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Pierre Poilievre
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Caroline St-Hilaire
Paul Steckle
Darrel Stinson
Belinda Stronach
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Mark Warawa
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Chair:
Bernard Patry
Vice-Chairs:
Francine Lalonde
Kevin Sorenson
Maurizio Bevilacqua
Stockwell Day
Lawrence MacAulay
Alexa McDonough
Dan McTeague
Ted Menzies
Pierre Paquette
Beth Phinney
Belinda Stronach
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
David Anderson
Guy André
Claude Bachand
Larry Bagnell
Navdeep Bains
Dave Batters
Colleen Beaumier
Don Bell
André Bellavance
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
James Bezan
Raymond Bonin
Don Boudria
Diane Bourgeois
Garry Breitkreuz
Ed Broadbent
Bonnie Brown
Gord Brown
Sarmite Bulte
John Cannis
Gary Carr
Colin Carrie
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
Marlene Catterall
David Chatters
Michael Chong
Roger Clavet
Denis Coderre
John Cummins
Johanne Deschamps
Bev Desjarlais
Odina Desrochers
Barry Devolin
Ruby Dhalla
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Wayne Easter
Ken Epp
Mark Eyking
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Raymonde Folco
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Marc Godbout
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Mark Holland
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Marlene Jennings
Dale Johnston
Peter Julian
Randy Kamp
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Wajid Khan
David Kilgour
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Guy Lauzon
Jack Layton
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
John Maloney
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Brian Masse
David McGuinty
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
Maria Minna
James Moore
Rob Moore
Anita Neville
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Brian Pallister
Denis Paradis
Charlie Penson
Pierre Poilievre
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Pablo Rodriguez
Anthony Rota
Michael Savage
Andy Savoy
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Mario Silva
Carol Skelton
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Brent St. Denis
Darrel Stinson
Robert Thibault
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Alan Tonks
Paddy Torsney
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Roger Valley
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Mark Warawa
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams
Borys Wrzesnewskyj
Lynne Yelich
Paul Zed

Subcommittee on International Trade, Trade Disputes and Investment
Chair:
John Cannis
Vice-Chair:
Ted Menzies
Mark Eyking
Marlene Jennings
Peter Julian
Pierre Paquette
Belinda Stronach
Total: (7)

Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Development
Chair:
David Kilgour
Vice-Chair:
Stockwell Day
Navdeep Bains
Diane Bourgeois
Ed Broadbent
Peter Goldring
Paddy Torsney
Total: (7)

Government Operations and Estimates
Chair:
Leon Benoit
Vice-Chairs:
Pat Martin
Paul Szabo
Ken Boshcoff
Marcel Gagnon
Marc Godbout
Guy Lauzon
Diane Marleau
Joe Preston
Francis Scarpaleggia
Louise Thibault
Randy White
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Dave Batters
Stéphane Bergeron
James Bezan
Françoise Boivin
Garry Breitkreuz
Gord Brown
Colin Carrie
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Michael Chong
David Christopherson
Guy Côté
Roy Cullen
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Bev Desjarlais
Barry Devolin
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Roger Gallaway
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Dale Johnston
Peter Julian
Randy Kamp
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Walt Lastewka
Derek Lee
Yvan Loubier
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
Inky Mark
David McGuinty
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
James Moore
Rob Moore
Rob Nicholson
Pat O'Brien
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Massimo Pacetti
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Pierre Poilievre
Jim Prentice
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Benoît Sauvageau
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Belinda Stronach
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Mark Warawa
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Jeff Watson
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Health
Chair:
Bonnie Brown
Vice-Chairs:
Réal Ménard
Rob Merrifield
Colin Carrie
Brenda Chamberlain
Jean Crowder
Nicole Demers
Ruby Dhalla
Steven Fletcher
James Lunney
Michael Savage
Robert Thibault
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Dave Batters
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
James Bezan
Bill Blaikie
Don Boudria
Garry Breitkreuz
Gord Brown
Paule Brunelle
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Michael Chong
Guy Côté
Nathan Cullen
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Barry Devolin
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Raymonde Folco
Paul Forseth
Hedy Fry
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Dale Johnston
Peter Julian
Susan Kadis
Randy Kamp
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Wajid Khan
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Guy Lauzon
Jack Layton
Yvan Loubier
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
John Maloney
Inky Mark
Keith Martin
Brian Masse
Alexa McDonough
Ted Menzies
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
James Moore
Rob Moore
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Pierre Poilievre
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Belinda Stronach
Paul Szabo
Lui Temelkovski
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Mark Warawa
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Human Resources, Skills Development, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities
Chair:
Raymonde Folco
Vice-Chairs:
Paul Forseth
Christiane Gagnon
Peter Adams
Eleni Bakopanos
Jean-Claude D'Amours
Barry Devolin
Ed Komarnicki
Yves Lessard
Tony Martin
Yasmin Ratansi
Peter Van Loan
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Dave Batters
Don Bell
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
James Bezan
Alain Boire
France Bonsant
Ken Boshcoff
Garry Breitkreuz
Ed Broadbent
Gord Brown
Paule Brunelle
Colin Carrie
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Michael Chong
David Christopherson
Denis Coderre
Jean Crowder
Nathan Cullen
John Cummins
Rodger Cuzner
Libby Davies
Stockwell Day
Nicole Demers
Ruby Dhalla
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Hedy Fry
Marcel Gagnon
Cheryl Gallant
Marc Godbout
Yvon Godin
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Dale Johnston
Peter Julian
Susan Kadis
Randy Kamp
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Daryl Kramp
Guy Lauzon
Carole Lavallée
Judi Longfield
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Lawrence MacAulay
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
Gurbax Malhi
Inky Mark
Alexa McDonough
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
James Moore
Rob Moore
Anita Neville
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Pierre Poilievre
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Christian Simard
Carol Skelton
David Smith
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Belinda Stronach
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Maurice Vellacott
Robert Vincent
Mark Warawa
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Subcommittee on the Status of Persons with Disabilities
Chair:
Ken Boshcoff
Vice-Chair:
Carol Skelton
Ruby Dhalla
Peter Julian
Robert Vincent
Total: (5)

Subcommittee on the Employment Insurance Funds
Chair:
Rodger Cuzner
Vice-Chair:

Jean-Claude D'Amours
Yvon Godin
Yves Lessard
Peter Van Loan
Total: (5)

Industry, Natural Resources, Science and Technology
Chair:
Brent St. Denis
Vice-Chairs:
Paul Crête
Werner Schmidt
Serge Cardin
Michael Chong
Denis Coderre
John Duncan
Brian Masse
Lynn Myers
Jerry Pickard
Andy Savoy
Bradley Trost
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Gérard Asselin
Larry Bagnell
Navdeep Bains
Dave Batters
Don Bell
Leon Benoit
Maurizio Bevilacqua
James Bezan
Bernard Bigras
Raymond Bonin
Ken Boshcoff
Marc Boulianne
Garry Breitkreuz
Gord Brown
Sarmite Bulte
Colin Carrie
Robert Carrier
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
Marlene Catterall
David Chatters
David Christopherson
Guy Côté
Jean Crowder
John Cummins
Libby Davies
Stockwell Day
Barry Devolin
Norman Doyle
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Paul Forseth
Hedy Fry
Sébastien Gagnon
Cheryl Gallant
Yvon Godin
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Mark Holland
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Marlene Jennings
Dale Johnston
Peter Julian
Randy Kamp
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Mario Laframboise
Réal Lapierre
Guy Lauzon
Jack Layton
Yvon Lévesque
Yvan Loubier
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
John Maloney
Inky Mark
Tony Martin
David McGuinty
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
James Moore
Rob Moore
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Massimo Pacetti
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Beth Phinney
Pierre Poilievre
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Yasmin Ratansi
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Anthony Rota
Francis Scarpaleggia
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Bill Siksay
Scott Simms
Carol Skelton
David Smith
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Caroline St-Hilaire
Darrel Stinson
Peter Stoffer
Belinda Stronach
Robert Thibault
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Paddy Torsney
Merv Tweed
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Mark Warawa
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Chair:
Paul DeVillers
Vice-Chairs:
Garry Breitkreuz
Richard Marceau
Diane Bourgeois
Joe Comartin
Roy Cullen
Paul Harold Macklin
John Maloney
Anita Neville
Myron Thompson
Vic Toews
Mark Warawa
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Jean Augustine
Dave Batters
Leon Benoit
James Bezan
Bill Blaikie
Gord Brown
Paule Brunelle
Colin Carrie
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Michael Chong
John Cummins
Libby Davies
Stockwell Day
Barry Devolin
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Paul Forseth
Hedy Fry
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Marlene Jennings
Dale Johnston
Randy Kamp
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Mario Laframboise
Guy Lauzon
Derek Lee
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
Inky Mark
David McGuinty
Serge Ménard
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
James Moore
Rob Moore
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Pierre Poilievre
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Bill Siksay
Carol Skelton
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Lloyd St. Amand
Darrel Stinson
Belinda Stronach
Greg Thompson
David Tilson
Paddy Torsney
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Tom Wappel
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich
Paul Zed

Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws
Chair:
John Maloney
Vice-Chair:
Libby Davies
Paule Brunelle
Hedy Fry
Art Hanger
Total: (5)

Subcommittee on Public Safety and National Security
Chair:
Paul Zed
Vice-Chairs:
Serge Ménard
Kevin Sorenson
Joe Comartin
Roy Cullen
Peter MacKay
Tom Wappel
Total: (7)

Liaison
Chair:
Bonnie Brown
Vice-Chair:
Roger Gallaway
Leon Benoit
Don Boudria
Marlene Catterall
David Chatters
Paul DeVillers
Raymonde Folco
Gurmant Grewal
Susan Kadis
Nancy Karetak-Lindell
Anita Neville
Pat O'Brien
Massimo Pacetti
Bernard Patry
Pablo Rodriguez
Brent St. Denis
Paul Steckle
Andrew Telegdi
Alan Tonks
Tom Wappel
John Williams
Total: (22)
Associate Members
Claude Bachand
Bernard Bigras
Garry Breitkreuz
Ed Broadbent
Rick Casson
Bernard Cleary
Paul Crête
Jean Crowder
Meili Faille
Paul Forseth
Christiane Gagnon
Yvon Godin
Jim Gouk
Nina Grewal
Monique Guay
Michel Guimond
Jeremy Harrison
Mark Holland
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Maka Kotto
Francine Lalonde
Derek Lee
Yvan Loubier
Richard Marceau
Inky Mark
Pat Martin
Réal Ménard
Rob Merrifield
Lynn Myers
Charlie Penson
Pierre Poilievre
Denise Poirier-Rivard
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Benoît Sauvageau
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Kevin Sorenson
Caroline St-Hilaire
Peter Stoffer
Paul Szabo

Subcommittee on Committee Budgets
Chair:
Bonnie Brown
Vice-Chair:
John Williams
Marlene Catterall
Gurmant Grewal
Pat O'Brien
Bernard Patry
Andrew Telegdi
Total: (7)

National Defence and Veterans Affairs
Chair:
Pat O'Brien
Vice-Chairs:
Claude Bachand
Rick Casson
Larry Bagnell
Bill Blaikie
Betty Hinton
Judi Longfield
Dave MacKenzie
Keith Martin
Gordon O'Connor
Gilles-A. Perron
Anthony Rota
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Dave Batters
Leon Benoit
James Bezan
Bernard Bigras
Garry Breitkreuz
Gord Brown
Colin Carrie
Robert Carrier
Bill Casey
David Chatters
Michael Chong
Roger Clavet
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Odina Desrochers
Barry Devolin
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Dale Johnston
Peter Julian
Randy Kamp
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Wajid Khan
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Francine Lalonde
Guy Lauzon
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
John Maloney
Inky Mark
Dan McTeague
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
James Moore
Rob Moore
Anita Neville
Rob Nicholson
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Pierre Poilievre
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
Marcel Proulx
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Scott Simms
Carol Skelton
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Caroline St-Hilaire
Darrel Stinson
Peter Stoffer
Belinda Stronach
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Rose-Marie Ur
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Mark Warawa
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs
Chair:
Anthony Rota
Vice-Chair:
Betty Hinton
Larry Bagnell
Gordon O'Connor
Gilles-A. Perron
Peter Stoffer
Rose-Marie Ur
Total: (7)

Official Languages
Chair:
Pablo Rodriguez
Vice-Chairs:
Yvon Godin
Pierre Poilievre
Guy André
Françoise Boivin
Jean-Claude D'Amours
Odina Desrochers
Marc Godbout
Guy Lauzon
Andrew Scheer
Raymond Simard
Maurice Vellacott
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Dave Batters
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
James Bezan
Don Boudria
Garry Breitkreuz
Ed Broadbent
Gord Brown
Colin Carrie
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Michael Chong
Joe Comartin
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Barry Devolin
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Dale Johnston
Peter Julian
Randy Kamp
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Ed Komarnicki
Maka Kotto
Daryl Kramp
Jack Layton
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
Inky Mark
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
James Moore
Rob Moore
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Belinda Stronach
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Peter Van Loan
Mark Warawa
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Procedure and House Affairs
Chair:
Don Boudria
Vice-Chairs:
Michel Guimond
Dale Johnston
Françoise Boivin
Bill Casey
Yvon Godin
Jay Hill
Dominic LeBlanc
Judi Longfield
Pauline Picard
Karen Redman
Scott Reid
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Peter Adams
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Dave Batters
Leon Benoit
Stéphane Bergeron
James Bezan
Ken Boshcoff
Garry Breitkreuz
Ed Broadbent
Gord Brown
Gary Carr
Colin Carrie
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Michael Chong
Joe Comartin
Jean Crowder
John Cummins
Rodger Cuzner
Libby Davies
Stockwell Day
Barry Devolin
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Michel Gauthier
Marc Godbout
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Monique Guay
Helena Guergis
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Randy Kamp
Nancy Karetak-Lindell
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Mario Laframboise
Guy Lauzon
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
Richard Marceau
Inky Mark
Réal Ménard
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
James Moore
Rob Moore
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Brian Pallister
Carolyn Parrish
Charlie Penson
Pierre Poilievre
Russ Powers
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
Marcel Proulx
James Rajotte
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Mario Silva
Raymond Simard
Carol Skelton
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Belinda Stronach
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Rose-Marie Ur
Roger Valley
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Mark Warawa
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich
Paul Zed

Subcommittee on the Disclosure Statement under the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons
Chair:
Judi Longfield
Vice-Chair:

Yvon Godin
Mario Laframboise
Scott Reid
Total: (4)

Subcommittee on Private Members' Business
Chair:
Gary Carr
Vice-Chair:

Bill Casey
Rodger Cuzner
Yvon Godin
Pauline Picard
Total: (5)

Subcommittee on Parliamentary Privilege
Chair:
Judi Longfield
Vice-Chair:

Françoise Boivin
Yvon Godin
Michel Guimond
John Reynolds
Total: (5)

Public Accounts
Chair:
John Williams
Vice-Chairs:
Mark Holland
Benoît Sauvageau
Dean Allison
Gary Carr
David Christopherson
Brian Fitzpatrick
Sébastien Gagnon
Daryl Kramp
Walt Lastewka
Shawn Murphy
Borys Wrzesnewskyj
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Dave Batters
Leon Benoit
James Bezan
Robert Bouchard
Garry Breitkreuz
Gord Brown
Colin Carrie
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Michael Chong
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Bev Desjarlais
Barry Devolin
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Steven Fletcher
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Dale Johnston
Peter Julian
Randy Kamp
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
David Kilgour
Ed Komarnicki
Guy Lauzon
Jack Layton
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
Inky Mark
Diane Marleau
Pat Martin
David McGuinty
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
James Moore
Rob Moore
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Pierre Poilievre
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Belinda Stronach
Louise Thibault
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Mark Warawa
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Jeff Watson
Randy White
Lynne Yelich

Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs
Chair:

Vice-Chair:



Total:

Status of Women
Chair:
Anita Neville
Vice-Chairs:
Jean Crowder
Nina Grewal
France Bonsant
Paule Brunelle
Sarmite Bulte
Helena Guergis
Susan Kadis
Russ Powers
Joy Smith
Paddy Torsney
Lynne Yelich
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Jean Augustine
Dave Batters
Don Bell
Leon Benoit
James Bezan
Diane Bourgeois
Garry Breitkreuz
Gord Brown
Colin Carrie
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Michael Chong
John Cummins
Libby Davies
Stockwell Day
Nicole Demers
Bev Desjarlais
Barry Devolin
Ruby Dhalla
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Paul Forseth
Christiane Gagnon
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Dale Johnston
Randy Kamp
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Guy Lauzon
Jack Layton
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
Inky Mark
Alexa McDonough
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
Maria Minna
James Moore
Rob Moore
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Pierre Poilievre
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Belinda Stronach
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Mark Warawa
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams

Transport
Chair:
Roger Gallaway
Vice-Chairs:
Jim Gouk
Caroline St-Hilaire
Dave Batters
Raymond Bonin
Robert Carrier
Bev Desjarlais
Jim Karygiannis
James Moore
Francis Scarpaleggia
Andrew Scheer
Borys Wrzesnewskyj
Total: (12)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Colleen Beaumier
Don Bell
Leon Benoit
James Bezan
Bernard Bigras
Françoise Boivin
Marc Boulianne
Garry Breitkreuz
Gord Brown
Colin Carrie
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Michael Chong
Joe Comartin
Paul Crête
John Cummins
Jean-Claude D'Amours
Stockwell Day
Barry Devolin
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Charles Hubbard
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Dale Johnston
Randy Kamp
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Mario Laframboise
Réal Lapierre
Guy Lauzon
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
John Maloney
Inky Mark
Brian Masse
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
Rob Moore
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Pierre Poilievre
Russ Powers
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Yasmin Ratansi
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Christian Simard
Carol Skelton
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Peter Stoffer
Belinda Stronach
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Alan Tonks
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Mark Warawa
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

STANDING JOINT COMMITTEES

Library of Parliament
Joint Chairs:
Susan Kadis
Marilyn Trenholme Counsell
Joint Vice-Chair:
Maurice Vellacott
Representing the Senate:The Honourable SenatorsJean Lapointe
Marjory LeBreton
Vivienne Poy
Terrance Stratton
Representing the House of Commons:Charlie Angus
Marc Boulianne
Gerry Byrne
Mark Eyking
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Réal Lapierre
Dominic LeBlanc
Raymond Simard
Darrel Stinson
Total: (17)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
Rob Anders
David Anderson
Guy André
Jean Augustine
Dave Batters
Leon Benoit
James Bezan
Garry Breitkreuz
Gord Brown
Colin Carrie
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Michael Chong
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Barry Devolin
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Paul Forseth
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Gurmant Grewal
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Art Hanger
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Dale Johnston
Randy Kamp
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Guy Lauzon
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Lawrence MacAulay
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
Inky Mark
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
James Moore
Rob Moore
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Louis Plamondon
Pierre Poilievre
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Belinda Stronach
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Peter Van Loan
Mark Warawa
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

Scrutiny of Regulations
Joint Chairs:
John Bryden
Gurmant Grewal
Joint Vice-Chairs:
Lynn Myers
Judy Wasylycia-Leis
Representing the Senate:The Honourable SenatorsGeorge Baker
Michel Biron
Céline Hervieux-Payette
James Kelleher
John Lynch-Staunton
Wilfred Moore
Pierre Claude Nolin
Representing the House of Commons:Rob Anders
Robert Bouchard
Monique Guay
Art Hanger
Randy Kamp
Derek Lee
Paul Harold Macklin
Lloyd St. Amand
Tom Wappel
Total: (20)
Associate Members
Jim Abbott
Diane Ablonczy
Dean Allison
Rona Ambrose
David Anderson
Dave Batters
Leon Benoit
James Bezan
Garry Breitkreuz
Gord Brown
Colin Carrie
Bill Casey
Rick Casson
David Chatters
Michael Chong
John Cummins
Stockwell Day
Barry Devolin
Norman Doyle
John Duncan
Ken Epp
Diane Finley
Brian Fitzpatrick
Steven Fletcher
Paul Forseth
Cheryl Gallant
Peter Goldring
Gary Goodyear
Jim Gouk
Nina Grewal
Helena Guergis
Stephen Harper
Richard Harris
Jeremy Harrison
Loyola Hearn
Russ Hiebert
Jay Hill
Betty Hinton
Rahim Jaffer
Brian Jean
Dale Johnston
Gerald Keddy
Jason Kenney
Ed Komarnicki
Daryl Kramp
Mario Laframboise
Guy Lauzon
Tom Lukiwski
Gary Lunn
James Lunney
Peter MacKay
Dave MacKenzie
Richard Marceau
Inky Mark
Serge Ménard
Ted Menzies
Rob Merrifield
Larry Miller
Bob Mills
James Moore
Rob Moore
Rob Nicholson
Gordon O'Connor
Deepak Obhrai
Bev Oda
Brian Pallister
Charlie Penson
Pierre Poilievre
Jim Prentice
Joe Preston
James Rajotte
Scott Reid
John Reynolds
Lee Richardson
Gerry Ritz
Andrew Scheer
Gary Schellenberger
Werner Schmidt
Carol Skelton
Joy Smith
Monte Solberg
Kevin Sorenson
Darrel Stinson
Belinda Stronach
Greg Thompson
Myron Thompson
David Tilson
Vic Toews
Bradley Trost
Merv Tweed
Peter Van Loan
Maurice Vellacott
Mark Warawa
Jeff Watson
Randy White
John Williams
Lynne Yelich

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEES

Bill C-38
Chair:
Marcel Proulx
Vice-Chair:

Rona Ambrose
Françoise Boivin
Don Boudria
Gord Brown
Paul Harold Macklin
Richard Marceau
Réal Ménard
Rob Moore
Anita Neville
Michael Savage
Bill Siksay
Vic Toews
Total: (13)


Panel of Chairs of Legislative Committees

The Speaker

Hon. Peter Milliken

 

The Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole

Mr. Chuck Strahl

 

The Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole

Mr. Marcel Proulx

 

The Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole

Hon. Jean Augustine

 


THE MINISTRY

According to precedence

Right Hon. Paul Martin Prime Minister
Hon. Jacob Austin Leader of the Government in the Senate
Hon. Jean Lapierre Minister of Transport
Hon. Ralph Goodale Minister of Finance
Hon. Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Hon. Lucienne Robillard President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
Hon. Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment
Hon. Pierre Pettigrew Minister of Foreign Affairs
Hon. Andy Scott Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians
Hon. Jim Peterson Minister of International Trade
Hon. Andy Mitchell Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)
Hon. Bill Graham Minister of National Defence
Hon. Albina Guarnieri Minister of Veterans Affairs
Hon. Reg Alcock President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board
Hon. Geoff Regan Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
Hon. Tony Valeri Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Hon. Aileen Carroll Minister of International Cooperation
Hon. Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Hon. R. John Efford Minister of Natural Resources
Hon. Liza Frulla Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women
Hon. Joseph Volpe Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Hon. Joe Fontana Minister of Labour and Housing
Hon. Scott Brison Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Hon. Ujjal Dosanjh Minister of Health
Hon. Ken Dryden Minister of Social Development
Hon. David Emerson Minister of Industry
Hon. Ethel Blondin-Andrew Minister of State (Northern Development)
Hon. Raymond Chan Minister of State (Multiculturalism)
Hon. Claudette Bradshaw Minister of State (Human Resources Development)
Hon. John McCallum Minister of National Revenue
Hon. Stephen Owen Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Minister of State (Sport)
Hon. Joe McGuire Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Hon. Joe Comuzzi
Hon. Mauril Bélanger Minister for Internal Trade, Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for Official Languages and Associate Minister of National Defence
Hon. Carolyn Bennett Minister of State (Public Health)
Hon. Jacques Saada Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister responsible for the Francophonie
Hon. John Godfrey Minister of State (Infrastructure and Communities)
Hon. Tony Ianno Minister of State (Families and Caregivers)

PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIES

Hon. Claude Drouin to the Prime Minister (Rural Communities)
Hon. Marlene Jennings to the Prime Minister (Canada—U.S.)
Hon. Jim Karygiannis to the Minister of Transport
Hon. John McKay to the Minister of Finance
Hon. Roy Cullen to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Hon. Gerry Byrne to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
Hon. Peter Adams to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
Hon. Gurbax Malhi to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
Hon. Bryon Wilfert to the Minister of the Environment
Hon. Dan McTeague to the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Hon. Sue Barnes to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians
Hon. Mark Eyking to the Minister of International Trade (Emerging Markets)
Hon. Wayne Easter to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (Rural Development)
Hon. Keith Martin to the Minister of National Defence
Hon. Diane Marleau to the President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board
Hon. Shawn Murphy to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
Hon. Dominic LeBlanc to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Hon. Paddy Torsney to the Minister of International Cooperation
Hon. Paul Harold Macklin to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Hon. Larry Bagnell to the Minister of Natural Resources
Hon. Sarmite Bulte to the Minister of Canadian Heritage
Hon. Hedy Fry to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Hon. Judi Longfield to the Minister of Labour and Housing
Hon. Walt Lastewka to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Hon. Robert Thibault to the Minister of Health
Hon. Eleni Bakopanos to the Minister of Social Development (Social Economy)
Hon. Jerry Pickard to the Minister of Industry
Hon. Raymond Simard to the Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister responsible for Official Languages and Minister responsible for Democratic Reform
ParlVU