House of Commons Hansard #153 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

HAGI Community Services for Independence
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House to extend congratulations to HAGI Community Services for Independence on the occasion of its 30th anniversary.

HAGI Community Services for Independence is recognized as a leading community service agency in Canada. Under the direction of its members and consumers of its services, the organization offers a broad range of programs to persons with disabilities, including transportation, housing, independent living services as well as enrichment activities.

Please join me in wishing Executive Director Al Buchan and the board of directors every success as they continue to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities.

Special Events
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the year 2005 has been a special year in Canada. In conjunction with the 60th anniversary of the victories in Europe and the Pacific that ended the second world war, 2005 was named the Year of the Veteran, giving Canadians an entire year to say thanks to those who fought and still fight for our freedom.

This year also saw centennial celebrations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, marking 100 years since these two great provinces joined Confederation. Thousands of centennial medals were presented to hardworking Albertans. The Queen even stopped by for a visit and helped us celebrate our western heritage, and our place in Canada.

In response to these two special events and wanting a permanent reminder of the year, the Alberta government has renamed two of our highways. Highway 2, running north and south through Edmonton, Red Deer and Calgary has been renamed the Queen Elizabeth II Highway, while Highway 36, running north from Warner, through Taber, Brooks, Hanna and points north has been renamed the Veterans Highway.

Now we have permanent reminders of this special year and these historic events.

FedNor
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to emphasize the importance of regional development programs such as FedNor. Constituents in my riding and throughout northern Ontario have benefited greatly from the stable, long term investment that FedNor provides.

While the opposition has made it clear that it would scrap regional development programs such as FedNor, the federal Liberals have demonstrated time and time again their commitment to FedNor. In budget 2005, the Government of Canada reiterated this commitment by increasing FedNor's base budget to almost $52 million.

FedNor funding has gone toward many worthwhile projects in my riding, including a new retirement facility in New Liskeard, waterfront development in North Bay, a feasibility study for a new observatory in Powassan, and a feasibility study on wind power generation in the Temagami area, to mention a few.

Regional development programs such as FedNor are vital to the economic growth and prosperity of northern Ontario, and by supporting this program, the federal Liberal government remains committed to the people of northern Ontario.

Port Saguenay Oil Handling Facility
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the construction of an oil facility at the port of Saguenay is a priority for our region and will lead to the future economic development of the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region.

To date, three partners, including the Quebec government, have confirmed their participation in this project. However, the federal government is still refusing to do its share, even to the point of refusing to allocate $420,000 for preliminary design studies.

The people of Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean are urging the Minister of Transport to be receptive and open-minded and announce today that his government will do its share and help fund these studies for this important project for this region.

Inuit Land Claims
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, after 12 long years the Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement negotiations have been successfully concluded and all the outstanding Inuit land claims in Canada have now been concluded.

I would like to congratulate Makivik Corporation, which represents some 10,000 Nunavik Inuit, the government of Nunavut, and the Government of Canada for initialling this unique and modern treaty which resolves all outstanding aboriginal claims of the Nunavik Inuit of northern Quebec.

They now have certainty to the area offshore Quebec, northern Labrador and an area offshore Labrador. This provides them with clearly defined land and resource rights, and important overlap arrangements with other aboriginal groups. We can now say there is certainty to the Nunavik marine region.

Congratulations to Pita Aatami, President of Makivik Corporation, and the Nunavik Inuit for a job well done.

Illicit Drugs
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize and applaud the efforts of the city of Leduc in uniting to address challenges posed by drug use and drug trafficking in its community.

Concerned citizens have come together to form a community drug action committee. I met with some committee members last week in Mayor Greg Krischke's office. They asked that the federal government do the following: first, institute mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug trafficking; second, empower our police men and women to fight the growing problem of crystal meth by enabling them to deal with the materials that are the precursors of this harmful drug; third, institute mandatory treatment for a minimum of three months as a part of sentencing; fourth, withdraw the legislation dealing with marijuana currently before Parliament; and fifth, provide adequate resources for policing in communities like Leduc to properly deal with the problems caused by illicit drugs.

On their behalf, I call upon the federal government to take their concerns and their suggestions seriously and to work with them to fulfill their vision of making Leduc a drug aware and drug resistant community.

West Island Women's Centre
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the West Island Women's Centre, a non-profit organization in my riding whose countless volunteers have worked tirelessly since 1975 to improve the quality of life of women living in the West Island of Montreal.

Each year the centre supports hundreds of women through courses, seminars, fitness training, wellness clinics, support groups and special events. The centre acts as a resource for mothers with young children, women with part time or full time jobs outside the home, seniors, and women in financial difficulty. The centre also provides free day care for women participating in its many day classes.

The West Island Women's Centre has greatly expanded and changed over the past 30 years, but it has always remained true to its fundamental and intrinsically Canadian values: everyone deserves to be treated with respect and have equal access to essential programs.

One of the keys of the centre's success is that every woman who is a member is also a volunteer. The organization is therefore predicated on the principle that communities are strongest when each of us gives something back.

AlimenTerre Cooperative
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Guy Côté Portneuf, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to pay tribute to the initiative shown by a group of producers and consumers who have started a food co-op called AlimenTerre cooperative.

Taking place in Pont-Rouge, this initiative is extremely innovative—and the first of its kind within the Portneuf RCM.

Members of this new co-op share a set of values, including, of course, solidarity, but also a concern for environmental protection and the promotion of local resources and products.

Members can obtain various local products at the co-op, thereby helping to sell new agricultural products from the beautiful Portneuf region.

The Bloc Québécois congratulates all the founding members of AlimenTerre. We wish it every success.

Dartmouth
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Michael John Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, Dartmouth is known as the city of lakes. Those of us privileged to grow up in that community cherish our lakes for aesthetic, environmental, recreational and economic reasons. Above all, they are part of our natural surroundings that are open to all without a membership card or an entry fee.

Dartmouth is also home to a vibrant community that welcomes prudent development and economic growth, but that development must recognize above all else the importance of our lakes and the importance of protecting them.

Today much development is occurring close to our valued lakes and it is imperative that all of us in public office ensure that appropriate protection be part of any planned development prior to development, and not after mistakes are made when apologies and fines will do no good.

Many community organizations made up of concerned and informed residents are taking a leadership role in ensuring the protection of our lakes, and governments should follow their lead. This applies, of course, to lakes along the Shubenacadie system, to Russell Lake where there is an active residents association, to Morris Lake and any of the lakes under threat.

Dartmouth prides itself as the city of lakes. Let us give them the protection they deserve.

Veterans Villa Southgate
Statements By Members

November 18th, 2005 / 11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, one week ago today many of us were back home honouring our veterans and the sacrifices they made on the field of battle. While many of our vets faced their greatest challenges in foreign lands, for some veterans in my riding, their greatest challenge lies ahead of them.

On Remembrance Day the Veterans Villa Southgate in my riding of Edmonton—Strathcona caught fire causing smoke and water damage to many of the apartments. The fire also killed war veteran Walter Grocholski and left many more homeless.

Fortunately for many of the residents, Rocky Hanson and Brad Smith, both visiting relatives living in the building, did their best to pull residents out of the fire and save as many lives as possible. However, many of these residents are now without a home. I have instructed my office to take all the steps necessary to help these residents with any problems they may be experiencing, find them temporary housing and any other difficulties along the way.

On behalf of my constituents of Edmonton—Strathcona and the official opposition, I want to honour the memory of Walter, and thank Rocky and Brad for their heroic efforts. Without heroes like these men, where would Canada be on days like November 11?

Status of Women
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the chair of the Liberal women's caucus, I am pleased to report on a number of measures taken by our government with a view to fostering gender equality in Canada.

Among these are: extension of parental leave to one year; a national child care and early childhood education system which will see 250,000 spaces created by 2009; ongoing improvements to the Canada child tax benefit, which, by 2007, will have increased by over 100% since its inception in 1996.

Each year, with a view to counteracting violence against women, the government devotes $32 million to the national crime prevention initiative and $7 million to the family violence initiative. As well, the government recently approved the allocation of $5 million to the Native Women's Association of Canada to combat violence toward aboriginal women.

Women's health is one of this government's priorities. The government has created five centres of excellence for women's health, as well as the Institute of Gender and Health.

These are just some of the initiatives taken by the government in favour of women. It is therefore obvious that—

Status of Women
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Ottawa Centre.

Concert Hall Proposal
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the city of Ottawa is already the proud home of the world's largest chamber music festival. It now has the opportunity to become the home to a splendid new concert hall.

This hall has been proposed by the Ottawa Chamber Music Society and has been endorsed by the City of Ottawa which has committed $6.5 million in funding. The project is dependent, however, on both the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada matching this amount.

Many of us in Ottawa are excited at the prospect of a badly needed new concert hall. Ottawa is the only capital city in the western world without such a facility. It would be a major benefit for the cultural life of the citizens of Ottawa and for all those thousands of tourists who make Ottawa their destination.

I urge the government to decide in the coming week to provide the Ottawa Chamber Music Society with the matching $6.5 million which is essential for this important project.

Canadian Heritage
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Bev Oda Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, the heritage committee met with the CBC president and its senior management to discuss the impact of the seven week lockout on Canadians.

In response, my motion asking the government to establish an independent task force to review the mandate, role and services of CBC-SRC was passed by the committee. The Conservatives in this House support Canada's public broadcasters.

Last week the government's heritage minister was against a similar motion for review of the CBC by Liberals in Quebec. Will she not support the CBC, listen to Quebeckers or the heritage committee?

She also claims the opposition does not support the UNESCO declaration for cultural diversity. We support UNESCO's declaration. The minister is misleading Canadians and our cultural industries.

Is the minister so out of touch with Canadians and even her own party in Quebec? How can Canadians have faith in the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the government when in desperation they mislead and deceive?

Liberia
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to draw to the House's attention one more victory for democracy and a return to peace for the millions of citizens of Liberia.

Last week marked the second round of balloting in the first democratic election held in over 15 years in Liberia. The turnout was 74%.

This poor west African country has endured more than 14 years of civil war, which left more than 300,000 dead and forced many thousands more into exile.

Not only was this democratic election a historical event, but it was also proof that things are changing for the better in that part of the world, as evidenced by the victory of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the first black woman to be elected to such a position in Africa.

The Bloc Québécois salutes the women and men of Liberia for their determination to open the door to democracy, and extends its best wishes to the new president as she assumes her duties.