House of Commons Hansard #154 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cultural.

Topics

Centenarians
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Lapierre Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell the House about some exceptional people from all walks of life in my riding.

I have the immense privilege of paying tribute to six constituents who are turning 100 years of age this year, including Alphonsine Bolduc-Corriveau of Levis; Juliette Carrier of Levis; Marguerite Santerre of Saint-Michel-de-Bellechasse; Alexina Therrien-Lamontagne of La Durantaye; and Alice Savard of Saint-Gervais, whose birthday is today. Next Monday, Sylvio Godbout of Saint-Damien will be joining the centenarian club.

The Bloc Québécois wants to extend its best wishes of joy, happiness and health to all of them. We salute the exceptional contribution each of them has made to our communities.

Let us hope that the secret of their longevity can be passed on to all our fellow citizens.

National Child Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was National Child Day. First enacted by the Government of Canada in 1993, this day commemorates the unanimous adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Liberal government is working hard to improve opportunities for children and families by building a national early learning and child care program, by supporting social programs and by increasing access to post-secondary education.

Each year the Government of Canada invests more than $13 billion in children, including over $8 billion through the Canada child tax benefit. The child tax benefit is the most significant national social program created since medicare. We have just introduced further tax measures to significantly increase our support for low income families, as well as the families of children with disabilities.

This Liberal government is committed to ensuring that Canada's children have the opportunities that they need to achieve their full potential.

Pearson Airport
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address an important issue for my riding.

Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport is not only the busiest airport in Canada and an international gateway into this country, it is also one of the largest employers for the riding of Dufferin—Caledon.

Recently, however, the citizens of my riding have become increasingly alarmed at the significant fee hikes at Pearson and what this will mean for the airport's national and global competitiveness.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority reports that these fee hikes are necessary because of the federal government's unreasonable rent charges. These landing fees will increase by 6.9% and general terminal charges by 8.9% by 2006.

This is a serious problem for ridings like Dufferin—Caledon. Canada's largest international airport needs to be globally competitive and everyone, from the ground services personnel and ramp crews to the passenger service agents and flight crews, depend on the government to facilitate this. It is time the--

Pearson Airport
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Saint Boniface.

Federal Gas Tax Funding
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the government signed a deal with Manitoba on delivering $167.3 million in federal gas tax funding over five years. Another $29.3 million in public transit funding is set to flow to Manitoba over the next two years.

As Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz stated, “This is a phenomenal first step. I thank everybody for being part of something wonderful”.

I could not agree more. I would like to thank the Prime Minister, the Minister of State for Infrastructure and Communities, the regional minister and our Manitoba caucus for their hard work in ensuring a made in Manitoba approach that builds on national priorities while meeting local infrastructure needs.

This is the 10th gas tax deal signed since April and over 95% of Canada's population now benefits from these agreements.

When it comes to the new deal, our government is demonstrating the leadership to get the job done but, unfortunately, the opposition continues to put partisan pursuits ahead of opportunities for Canada's cities and communities.

Automobile Industry
Statements By Members

November 21st, 2005 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, General Motors announced it would be cutting 30,000 jobs worldwide. Thousands of those lost jobs will be in Oshawa, St. Catharines and Windsor.

Unfortunately, we are witnessing the impact of 12 years of Liberal inaction on auto policy. North American automakers have cut jobs, opened no new production facilities in the last decade and smaller auto plants, like the one in my area, the Fleetwood plant, have closed. It begs the question: Are we ever going to have an auto policy?

During election campaigns and in the lead up to voting, the Liberals certainly promised action. They did so in the elections of 1993, 1997, 2000 and 2004 and we are still waiting.

Twelve years of inaction by the Liberals cannot be fixed with the same old promises days before the next election.

Mayor of Vancouver
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Charleswood—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, today I wish to congratulate my friend, Sam Sullivan, on his election as mayor of Vancouver. I have known Sam for eight years. We both have similar interests in the outdoors, politics and we both happen to be quadriplegics.

Sam made a name for himself when he co-invented equipment that allows people with disabilities to enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking and sailing. He was also a city councillor for 12 years and now he is the first quadriplegic to be mayor of a major Canadian city.

I am very pleased to have gone to Vancouver to help Sam win. Sam Sullivan's victory is great for Vancouver and all of B.C. because, unlike the former mayor who used his mayoral seat to campaign for a Senate seat he now occupies, Sam will put Vancouver first. He is independent, thoughtful and will work with, not against, the upcoming Conservative government for the benefit of Vancouver.

Perhaps one moral of our story is that one should never underestimate the ability of a quadriplegic. I say way to go to Sam. His friends and all Canadians are very proud of his success.

Henri Tranquille
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, we were saddened to learn of the passing, yesterday morning, of Henri Tranquille, a pioneer in Quebec's bookselling world.

A cultural institution in itself, from 1937 to 1975, his library was a stepping stone for many intellectual and literary figures in Quebec.

A freethinker and book enthusiast, he promoted books and reading all his life. He did not hesitate to launch the Refus global manifesto and to give exposure to such avant-garde artists as Alfred Pellan and Marcelle Ferron.

Faithful to the Montreal book fair, he was in attendance last Thursday. Henri Tranquille was truly a lover of books till the very end.

The Bloc Québécois pays tribute to this exceptional man for his generous contribution to Quebec's society and offers its condolences to his family and friends.

Child Care
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Carol Skelton Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, family rallies took place this past weekend from coast to coast. Parents gathered to demand that the Liberals respect the need for choices in child care.

Today some of those same parents who came here on their own money attempted to meet with the Minister of Social Development but he refused.

While the Liberals continue to impose their one size fits all institutional day care scheme, Canadians demand better. Not all families are the same and not all communities are the same. Parents are the child care experts in this country and they are demanding choice. This choice is best achieved through direct universal assistance to all parents, not through a restrictive program that benefits a lucky few.

This next election will offer Canadians clear choice: Conservatives who respect parents and their families and Liberals who do not.

House of Commons
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, an article on the front page of this Saturday's Le Devoir reported on the allowances paid to members of this House to reimburse certain expenses incurred.

In addition to revisiting the impressive travel claim made by the member for Montcalm—but never made public by the Bloc Québécois whip—the article also pointed out that MPs' expenditures reimbursed by this House are exempt from the Access to Information Act.

I would remind hon. members that the member for Repentigny, who admitted in February that he had been living in a hotel for 12 years to avoid having to make his bed in the morning—believes the present rules “comply sufficiently with transparency”. I personally would consider them more elastic than transparent.

It is time for Quebec to be un-Blocked.

Saint-François Forestry Cooperative
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Saint-François Forestry Cooperative of Windsor on its recent achievement. It was given the award of excellence, agricultural or forestry sector, at the 12th environmental awards gala of the Eastern townships environmental foundation.

This well-deserved honour recognizes its environmental activities, in particular integrating wildlife management and environmental protection with conventional forestry practices.

The cooperative successfully exploits forest resources while respecting the need to maintain biodiversity and existing ecological processes. Their environmental commitment is a tribute to the vitality of the community.

Congratulations, and best wishes for continued success in our community.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, high ranking officials at Health Canada have mishandled tens of millions of dollars in public funds in their dealings with the Virginia Fontaine Addictions Foundation.

A former assistant deputy minister of Health Canada, Paul Cochrane, was recently found guilty of fraud and income tax evasion. Last week, a Health Canada director, Patrick Nottingham, was convicted of influence peddling and fraud. One received a fine and served three months of a total one and a half year jail sentence. The other received a two year house arrest. So much for the Liberal promise to severely punish anyone responsible for abusing public funds.

No doubt it makes the government look better for someone else to take the fall but this is not about Liberal image. It is about government officials who put their own greed ahead of a first nations community desperately in need of government support for health programs for its people. It is about a Liberal government that is so steeped in a culture of entitlement, so ethically bankrupt that it cannot see, let alone judge, its own criminal behaviour.

Never has the need been greater for an independent inquiry.

Automobile Industry
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, thousands of Canadian auto workers woke up today to find out that General Motors is cutting thousands of jobs and closing plants in this country. In March of this year, the government poured $200 million into General Motors, assuring us all that it would lead to job increases.

Did the Prime Minister, when he made his $200 million deal with General Motors, get assurances that it would not cut jobs in Canada?

Automobile Industry
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Vancouver Kingsway
B.C.

Liberal

David Emerson Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the Beacon project was in fact a fundamentally important investment made by the government. This is why the GM complex in Oshawa will continue to receive massive investments of over $400 million.

GM announced just last week that it was putting investments in Oshawa of more than $400 million in addition to the Beacon project. The Beacon project is a fundamental reason why there will not be any pink slips given out by General Motors in Canada.

Federal-Provincial Relations
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I guess that is a no.

On another matter, a few days before an election is to be called, the Prime Minister prefers to criticize the leader of the Parti Québécois rather than work with the federalist Premier of Quebec. He is trying to pass himself off as the champion of federalism by citing the Clarity Act.

How can a party that has acted illegally for years now claim to be the guardian of the law in Quebec?