House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

Violence Against Women
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, December 6 marked the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. It was also the sad anniversary of the terrible massacre of 14 young women who lost their lives at the École Polytechnique in Montreal.

On this occasion, I want to congratulate agencies such as Bouclier d'Athéna, which provides family services specializing in intervention in domestic violence cases, as well as Arrêt-Source and Transit 24, agencies in my riding that provide help, support and companionship to women who are victims of violence.

Their work and dedication enable us to make progress in the fight against this scourge.

In our days and in today's society, violence against women still exists. Until we break this vicious cycle, every day will be December 6.

Citizenship and Immigration
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, a constituent in my riding of Cambridge had to pay $24,000 in order to get his sister-in-law into our great country. Her three and a half year old child is still waiting to get in. Clearly his sister-in-law did not work on the immigration minister's campaign.

This person is a certified surgical nurse in her former country, but she lost that specialized job when her employers found out she was a single mother. For that reason she decided to join us here in Canada. Health care workers are needed in Cambridge, yet this professional is not certified to work here. This nurse will not quit. She wrote her nursing exams for Ontario this week. Her dream is to help Canadians, to build a better life for herself in Canada and to get her child here as soon as possible, a little girl she has not seen for over two years.

My constituent wonders why Liberal campaign workers are more important than nurses. He also wonders why priorities are put on stripper programs rather than reuniting mothers with their toddlers, and nurses with patients.

Yee Hong Seniors Centres
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, on November 28 the fourth Yee Hong seniors residence officially opened in Scarborough. The Yee Hong family of seniors residences began in Scarborough over 15 years ago. With new centres in Mississauga and Markham, it is now a Canadian leader in culturally appropriate senior care.

These centres do not just provide accommodation. They also serve the broader community with meals on wheels, palliative care, counselling, seniors activities and skill teaching for caregivers using highly skilled and motivated volunteers and professional staff.

Firmly based in and supported by the Chinese Canadian community, Yee Hong serves seniors of all cultures, with residential options for Japanese, South Asian and Filipino Canadians. Professionals from around the world visit Yee Hong to see their operations.

Congratulations to Dr. Joseph Wong, the board, the donors, their great staff and all the volunteers who make Yee Hong such a success.

Automobile Industry
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, on November 2 the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council tabled its report, “A Call for Action: A Canadian Auto Strategy”.

Once the report was made public, I asked the Minister of Industry when he would act on recommendations. He stated, “Over the next couple of weeks we will be putting together the final touches on an automotive strategy for Canada”.

Nearly another month passed when I again pressed the minister about inaction and he said, “In terms of cabinet consideration I don't know the degree to which I can be open about that, but I would like to think that we can get feedback before Christmas”.

For the record, all I want for Christmas is a Canadian auto policy.

The CAPC report was more than two years in the making and had significant government involvement. The recommendations, therefore, are no surprise. We need to move on investment opportunities like the GM Beacon project so we do not lose more investment.

It is time to move on the CAPC recommendations; fight back against international subsidies that steal Canadian jobs; question markets that are closed to Canadian automobile sales, yet sell in our markets; and take this opportunity to be the pioneers of the manufacture, design and assembly of a new wave of environmentally friendly vehicles that Canadians manufacture and assemble and have those jobs.

Youth at Risk
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Lynne Yelich Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago Delores Bird was found dead in Saskatoon following a night of drinking and taking pills. Alone and wandering the street, she was looking for a place to sleep. Delores had dropped out of school. Her mother was out of town. She was left to fend for herself. She was a child. She was 11 years old.

This is by no means an isolated case. In Saskatoon alone it is estimated there are 1,000 other children like Delores Bird, out of school and on the streets. Every one of them is at risk.

Delores's death must not go unnoticed in this House and in our communities. The tragedy of her case must not be lost in jurisdictional wrangling.

I urge all parliamentarians to raise their voice in outrage and to act in order to ensure that no other Canadian child dies like Delores did.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, December 10 is Human Rights Day. On the initiative of René Cassin, the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in New York.

We must make every effort to uphold the rights of women, protect refugees, give human rights priority in economic matters, promote respect for the fundamental rights of aboriginal peoples and reinforce human rights legislation and international institutions.

It is the duty of each parliamentarian here and elsewhere throughout the world to ensure that democracy is central to the political agenda.

To all those who, on a daily basis, serve humanity by fighting for freedom, we give our thanks.

Esteem Team
Statements By Members

December 10th, 2004 / 11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Darrel Stinson North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commend the Esteem Team program, a national not for profit organization that leaves a great impact on youth with their message and challenge for them to be the best they can be.

Esteem's vision is to inspire young people in grades 4 through 12 in the schools, community centres and sports clubs. High performance athletes from this program spark imagination, thought, dialogue and help youth understand and accept triumph as well as failure.

Over the last dozen years, Okanagan Landing school in my riding of Okanagan—Shuswap has had the good fortune of hosting a member of this great team of sports people and communicators.

I support this program as it can make a difference in young people's lives.

Roy Overfors
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to add my sentiments to those of the hon. members for Laval, Sackville—Eastern Shore, and Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca in expressing our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Sergeant Roy Overfors.

Roy served with the House of Commons security service for 24 years ensuring the safety and protection of MPs, employees and thousands of visitors to the Parliament Buildings.

Roy was a loving husband and father. It was no secret to his friends on Parliament Hill that Roy loved the game of softball, both as a player and an umpire in many leagues.

For 10 years Roy was captain of Happy Hour Gang, a championship team that played in many exciting finals and won the Parliament Hill Softball League trophy in 1999.

His friends and fellow players are therefore proud to name the championship trophy the Roy Overfors Memorial Cup to honour the memory of a great sportsman and dear friend.

Poverty
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the report “One Million Too Many: Implementing Solutions to Child Poverty in Canada” was presented on November 24 by Campaign 2000. It comes 15 years after the government made a commitment to eliminate poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000.

This report clearly demonstrates that more and more people are using food banks and are victims of social exclusion. I am outraged; it is disgraceful. More than one million children live in poverty.

The report proposes concrete solutions: increase the availability of decently paid jobs, raise child benefits, create an adequate system of child care based on the Quebec model, expand affordable housing and increase the Canada social transfer.

The government needs only the courage to implement these recommendations because it clearly has the means.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the immigration minister refused again to say how many ministerial permits she issued during the campaign. She did state, “I referred the issue in question to the Ethics Commissioner”. We know that is not true. The Ethics Commissioner confirmed that the only issue referred to him was the awarding of one permit to her campaign worker, which occurred after she got caught. The minister herself said it had the appearance of breaking the rules.

The minister has abused her position, ducks accountability, refuses to answer questions, and now misleads the House. Having lost public confidence, will she now resign her post?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Vancouver Centre
B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, the minister has been appointed to do a job. We have heard in the House about issues dealing with a refugee review. This is being worked on by the minister. The minister is also working on a citizenship act. She is ready to look at the issues that everyone has been complaining about with regard to visas. The minister is busy. She has a job to do and she is getting on with it.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, as we speak, public confidence continues to wain. The case of preferential ministerial treatment for a campaign worker has snowballed into Liberal staff visiting strippers on immigration business, application files being discussed in campaign offices, questionable expenses, threats to ministers and members of Parliament, and now cash for permits.

The Prime Minister's continued defence of the minister's mounting ethical breaches confirms the old adage “who do you know in the PMO” is alive and well.

The Ethics Commissioner has given the green light. Will the Prime Minister do away with his well deserved reputation for dithering and simply fire the minister?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, nobody is dithering. As soon as this item was raised, the matter was referred to the Ethics Commissioner. We want to wait for this independent officer of Parliament to issue his report. It is pretty obvious that this is the appropriate course of action here.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Ethics Commissioner is there to investigate, not act as a shield for ministers. The National Post has called editorially for the minister to resign. The Ottawa Citizen questions her remaining as minister. Even the Liberal bible, the Toronto Star , says the minister should go. Internationally, there have been stories in the American media, the London Times and the Irish Telegraph .

If the minister will not listen to the House or the media, will she listen to the calls from Canadians who are asking her to restore confidence and competence in her system? Will she stop making a mockery of herself and her department, and simply resign before being shuffled over the Christmas holidays?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Question Period

11:20 a.m.

Vancouver Centre
B.C.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I always find this very interesting. The House asked for an independent ethics counsellor. Members went on and on about an independent ethics counsellor. We now have an independent ethics counsellor, but they are second-guessing the counsellor. They do not want him to finish his job and do what he is supposed to do because they want to second-guess him. We just cannot take seriously anything being said by the group across the way.