House of Commons Hansard #138 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firefighters.

Topics

Pay Equity
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the drafting of pay equity legislation, as announced by the government on October 7, is an important step in progress toward economic equality for women.

Pay equity legislation will ensure that women's work is not undervalued and will put all employers subject to federal legislation on equal footing. The aim of these provisions is to clarify the situation and replace the current adversarial system, based on the filing of complaints, which often leads to long and costly litigation.

Women are watching this issue closely. They encourage the government to act without further delay. We believe that, in addition to being a fundamental human right, pay equity will directly stimulate the economy thanks to the increase in women's purchasing power. Pay equity will also allow women to improve their training and skills.

Although pay equity is a complex matter that requires us to proceed with great caution, I strongly encourage the government to continue its efforts, so as to provide women with another means with which to obtain equal pay for equal work without further delay.

Tsunami Relief
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Maurice Vellacott Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, Asian tsunami victims continue to report failures in the distribution of relief funds.

Canada eventually announced a comparatively small commitment of $425 million for tsunami relief aid. As of September 2, 2005 the federal government has only disbursed 40%, or $166 million of that.

Canadians also need an accounting of that money in light of reports that this aid is not reaching the people who need it most.

In Sri Lanka relief workers on the ground report that storehouses are full in government controlled areas, but that no aid has been reaching the worst hit areas in the north where the Tamil people are, nor in the south eastern regions.

Tamil tsunami victims continue to suffer in Sri Lanka because aid is not reaching them. What is the Liberal government doing to ensure that Canadian relief to Sri Lanka is reaching those Tamil people who need help the most?

Charity Fundraising
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past summer Mr. Vince Molinaro, who serves as the vice-chair of the St. Clair Business Improvement Association, was moved by the work of the Children's Wish Foundation of Canada. He and the members of the St. Clair Business Improvement Association decided to raise funds for this wonderful organization which helps kids with serious illnesses to make their dreams come true.

During the past summer the members of the St. Clair Business Improvement Association raised more than $2,000 for the foundation. They did this by holding a silent auction during the annual street festival.

I commend the St. Clair Business Improvement Association and Mr. Vince Molinaro for their efforts on behalf of the Children's Wish Foundation of Canada.

Future of Farming
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Lapierre Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week I had the opportunity to meet with the farmers of Bellechasse and to hear their concerns about the future of farming.

From 1996 to 2001, the number of farms in Quebec has decreased by 10% and their profitability continues to drop. What is more, the federal government's lack of conviction in defending supply management is penalizing young farmers.

As a result, a number of farm operations are being reluctantly closed down because the younger generation is not interested in carrying on.

The federal government must stop pulling the rug out from under our farmers. I call upon it to follow the lead proposed by the Bloc Québécois in motion M-225 and encourage young people to go into farming.

The Union des producteurs agricoles and the farmers are anxiously awaiting these measures, which will not cost all that much compared to the value of the agriculture heritage being lost. The future of agriculture in Quebec depends on it.

Éco de la Pointe-aux-Prairies
Statements By Members

October 20th, 2005 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the exceptional work being done by Éco de la Pointe-aux-Prairies, a organization based in my riding but having an impact on a large portion of eastern Montreal.

This organization, with its passionate leader, Robert Beaulieu, works with energy and conviction to promote and protect the environment. Éco de la Pointe-aux-Prairies designs, creates and implements innovative projects to inform the public and raise awareness and, more important still, encourage them to take concrete actions for the environment.

Thanks to the genius and dedication of its members, the organization is active on a number of fronts: recycling, composting and responsible consumption in particular.

The members of Éco de la Pointe-aux-Prairies want to make a difference, and indeed they are doing so. They are keenly aware of the urgency of the situation. The organization informs us, summons us to action, encourages us to question our usual ways of doing things, and most importantly keeps on reminding us of something we must never forget: concern for the environment is no longer an option, but an obligation for—

Éco de la Pointe-aux-Prairies
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Medicine Hat.

Co-op Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, this week Canadians are celebrating National Co-op Week and Credit Union Day. This year's theme is “The Power of Co-operation--Innovation, Community, Commitment, Success”. It really highlights the role of co-operatives as agents for economic and social development.

I know first hand the importance of co-ops and credit unions to communities. Over one in three Canadians belong to a co-operative. Co-ops employ over 155,000 people across the country.

In my riding of Medicine Hat, co-ops and credit unions are more than a place to go to get groceries or cash a cheque. They are a community meeting place.

On behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada, I say congratulations and thanks to Canadian co-operatives and credit unions as they celebrate another year of innovation, community, commitment and success.

Miss Canada Galaxy
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my constituents and colleagues, I rise to congratulate Sherylynn Butt of Labrador, who was crowned Miss Canada Galaxy last week.

In 2003 Sherylynn was named Miss Newfoundland and Labrador. She has since participated in other competitions and will represent Canada in the international Miss Galaxy pageant next year.

Sherylynn, a flight attendant with Provincial Airlines, has a degree in sociology and physical anthropology and is pursuing a degree in education. Bilingual in English and French, with some Russian thrown in for good measure, she is active in charity work.

She has achieved many things since her days at home in Red Bay, population 250, and her grandparents' home in L'anse au Loup, but she has never forgotten her roots on the coast of Labrador.

Sherylynn is an articulate young woman of poise and inner beauty who is a role model and an outstanding ambassador for Labrador and now Canada. I join with her family, friends, colleagues, the people of Red Bay and all of Labrador in sending Sherylynn our very best wishes for her success.

Co-op Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mark Credit Union Day, celebrated during Co-op Week 2005. Credit unions give people more control over there financial services.

As a social democratic party the NDP has a natural affinity with the co-operative movement. We share the vision of greater power for Canadians over their economic lives. The 9,500 co-ops and credit unions in Canada are worth over $175 billion and employ over 150,000 people. Yet this sector does not receive the attention it deserves from the federal government.

For example, the co-operative development initiative will provide $15 million over five years. That is only $3 million a year for a sector that serves 10 million Canadians.

It is time for the federal government to give this important sector the attention it deserves and create a ministry for co-ops and community economic development. The power of cooperation is strong in Canada and I ask all members of the House to join with me in celebrating Co-op Week.

Diwali
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, once again I, along with the India Canada Association of Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto, will hold the sixth annual Diwali today, which is properly known as the festival of lights celebration.

This annual event has now become a community driven event and is now held on Parliament Hill on behalf of all Indo-Canadians across our nation. Diwali is celebrated all across the world because of its message of good triumphing over evil. This day is celebrated by lighting one's house, praying and the sharing of sweets with others.

I want to take this opportunity to thank fellow members, including the leaders of all parties, for their support of this event. Their support has made this event a huge success and all Indo-Canadians express their thanks. It is a matter of pride that we in Canada were the first to celebrate Diwali at a national level. Now others are following, including the White House.

To all Canadians, happy Diwali, and to my fellow members, please join me at 200 West Block starting at 6:30 p.m. today.

Homelessness
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Simard Beauport, QC

Mr. Speaker, this Friday, October 21, some 17 towns in Quebec will hold homelessness awareness night activities.

The main purpose of the event is to gain social recognition for the homeless and financial recognition for aid agencies.

In Quebec and Canada there are more than 150,000 homeless people who need help from the government if they are to have any chance of improving their lot. Yet, the government still has not renewed the SCPI program, which funds agencies working with the homeless. Unless prompt action is taken, the homeless will have no more service after March 31, 2006.

That is why I call on the Prime Minister to join me in taking part in the awareness raising activities on the night of the homeless. Perhaps that experience will inspire him, at last, to call a cabinet meeting in the wee hours of October 22 to take action against poverty and eradicate homelessness.

National Highway System
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, on October 18 the Government of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada announced that Highway 103, spanning from Halifax to Yarmouth, would become part of Canada's national highway program.

This very important step recognizes both the national strategic importance of the Highway 103 system and its regional significance for the movement of goods and services. In the past six years alone, the federal Liberals have collected more than $800 million in gas taxes from Nova Scotia drivers. Only a paltry portion of that amount, $31 million to be exact, has actually been spent on Nova Scotia highways.

The Government of Nova Scotia is calling for a significant long term federal highway funding program. The Highway 103 committee has lobbied for years for that very same thing. This can only be accomplished if the federal government stops playing politics with Nova Scotia's gas tax.

David Hamilton
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge David Hamilton.

Mr. Hamilton is a true hero. On August 22 without regard for his own safety and against the advice of others, Mr. Hamilton entered the frigid waters of the Bay of Fundy off Morden in order to rescue a woman trapped by the tide. Mr. Hamilton's selfless act rescued this woman.

As a local fisherman from Morden, Mr. Hamilton is very familiar with the area. Due to nightfall and foggy conditions, his knowledge of the tides was invaluable.

I want to commend Mr. Hamilton for his act of bravery. His selfless act of courage deserves our recognition. The word hero is much overused, but when a person risks his life to save a stranger, that is a true act of heroism.

Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, every day, this government launches a new attack against the Government of Quebec. Yesterday it was the Minister of Transport, the co-founder of the Bloc Québécois, who insulted a minister, Benoît Pelletier.

Will the Prime Minister remind the Minister of Transport that he is no longer in the Bloc Québécois and that it is no longer his role to attack the federalist government in Quebec?

Intergovernmental Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the position of our government, as expressed by the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, the Minister of Transport, and all the other ministers, including ministers from Quebec and the other provinces, is that we respect provincial jurisdictions. Furthermore, we want to work together.

We know full well that if we continue to work together, we will achieve great things. That is what Canadians and all Quebeckers want.