House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

The Environment
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, the recent federal budget announced an additional $300 million for the green municipal funds of which I understand half will be targeted to the cleanup of brownfields.

The cleanup of these lands can restore otherwise sterile property for new industrial, commercial or retail development providing jobs and generating realty tax revenues. There is also the potential for residential or recreational uses. All the forgoing help to reduce urban sprawl. The benefits are positive. The difficulty is that such rehabilitation is very expensive.

I hope that some of the many Niagara brownfields, particularly along the Welland Canal in Thorold, Welland and Port Colborne, will benefit from this new funding. In particular, a former industrial site in Welland is a prime area for development, as well as surplus St. Lawrence Seaway lands in Port Colborne that are currently the subject of phase III and IV environmental assessments.

I look forward to hearing more details about these funds and how the communities in my Welland riding can apply. I extend our appreciation to the Ministers of Finance and the Environment for their vision and for providing funding for these initiatives.

Government Appointments
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Charleswood—St. James, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister once stated his commitment to integrity, his belief in changing the way Ottawa works, and his disgust with the democratic deficit. It is obvious how empty those promises were.

Over a year later the government's integrity has sunk to a new low. Ottawa works, as it always has, under Liberal stewardship, and the democratic deficit has become a gaping chasm.

Numerous friends of the Prime Minister have received plumb patronage postings including former Liberal MPs like Manitoba Lieutenant-Governor John Harvard, Allan Rock and others.

Glen Murray, former Liberal star candidate and Liberal convention delegate, is only the latest appointee cozy with the Prime Minister.

The path to success for Liberals is clear: help them out, or better yet, their leader, and they can count on a hearty serving from the patronage stew dollopped out in large scoops by the PMO.

The Prime Minister should respect the wishes of the environment committee and reconsider Mr. Murray's appointment. Let us end the cronyism and let us end it now.

International Aid
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, last fall seven parliamentarians attended the Africa-Canada Parliamentary Policy Dialogue in Kenya.

One thing that struck all of us who were in attendance was the threat posed to workers and to the environment by irresponsible businesses.

The UN's Global Compact enumerates 10 principles for good corporate citizenship. CIDA plans to support African companies through the Canada investment fund for Africa.

It is our belief that this fund should only assist companies that respect the UN Global Compact. I urge the government to take the necessary steps to make it so.

Roland Babin
Statements By Members

March 11th, 2005 / 11 a.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute in the House to one of my constituents, Roland Babin of Caplan.

At the recent gala honouring the region's volunteers, held at Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, Mr. Babin was named 2004's volunteer of the year for Gaspé and the Magdalen Islands.

Despite being 75, Mr. Babin devotes 20 to 35 hours a week to volunteering with youth and seniors in his region. He has also been heavily involved in Caplan's Festi-Neige, where he sold a record number of tickets.

As the member for Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, I want to congratulate him on this honour. I hope he will continue his activities and that his achievements will serve as an example for all those who think that mutual assistance and cooperation no longer have a place in 2005.

Special Olympics Winter Games
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to congratulate Rose MacDonald and Michael Morris, two of my constituents, who have both medalled in the cross-country skiing at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

Rose was a double medal winner, as she won a bronze in the 1 km and won a gold medal in the 500 metre clocking a time of 3 minutes and 49 seconds.

Michael did well also, winning a silver medal in the 500 metre race with a time of 3 minutes and 43 seconds, and won another silver medal in the 4 by 1 km relay freestyle.

I would like to congratulate all the Canadian athletes who took part in the Special Olympics World Winter Games. They did Canada proud.

Festival du Bois
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Forseth New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, French language and culture are alive and well in British Columbia. Festival du Bois, le festival annuel de musique folklorique de Maillardville was celebrated for the 16th year in Coquitlam B.C., February 27 to March 6 this year.

The Flaunt your Frenchness, quelle bonne idée, is a campaign and festival about celebrating whatever one's Frenchness is: language, ancestors, fashion, music or preference for French food. C'est le printemps in my constituency.

I wish to thank the partners that make this happen: the City of Coquitlam, Citysoup.ca, Société Maillardville-Uni, Société de développement économique, Place Maillardville, L'express du Pacific, Alliance Française, Place des Arts, the Coquitlam Heritage Society and the federal and provincial governments.

Flaunt your Frenchness, fièrement francophone. It is good for everyone.

Nunavut Youth Abroad Program
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the successful Nunavut Youth Abroad program. This program allows Nunavut youth aged 16 to 21 to acquire invaluable professional skills and training, and high school credits through a multicultural learning experience in southern Canada and abroad.

The highly acclaimed and heartwarming Road Scholars video, produced by Amberlight Productions, that aired recently on television documented Nunavut youth abroad in Botswana and followed their transformation into mature prospective leaders. The five youths are: Norman Qavvik, Nathan Amarudjuak, Eric Okatsiak, Vicky Gibbons and Charlene Mannik.

The Nunavut Youth Abroad program's main goal is to foster multicultural awareness, individual career goals, and build a sense of international citizenship for the young Nunavummiut. Solid leadership is built through healthy self-confidence and self-esteem by providing truly life changing experiences.

I am very proud of this wonderful program which will build leaders of tomorrow.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Louise Thibault Rimouski—Témiscouata, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to highlight the work of the men and women who produce cash crops in Quebec, whose economic and social contributions have been a factor in the development of Quebec and Canada for 25 years.

In Quebec, the grain industry includes over 11,000 producers, who grow oats, wheat, canola, corn and soybeans on more than 900,000 hectares of land. In 2003, its production amounted to $800 million, coming first in plant production and fourth in agricultural production overall.

Grains are primarily used in animal feed, processing into food products for human consumption and the production of certain fuels. Quebec's producers set an example of good crop management with regard to environmental, agronomic and economic constraints.

This important and prosperous economic sector in Quebec and Canada deserves the full support of the federal government.

Conservative Party
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

David Smith Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, we will soon have further proof that there is only one truly national party in this House.

I would like, therefore, to wish my friends across the way the best of luck, on the eve of an important convention taking place in Montreal in a few days.

The hon. member for Provencher will certainly agree with me that he will need it, after his recent prediction that the Quebec wing of his party would be taking a beating at the convention, because of positions only slightly more moderate.

The Quebec wing of the official opposition is very likely to lose a few feathers when the ideology surrounding its leader reverts to extreme right positions on bilingualism, minority rights, abortion rights, climate change, public morals and service cuts to citizens.

Fisheries and Oceans
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Loyola Hearn St. John's South, NL

Mr. Speaker, the West Coast Vancouver Island Aquatic Management Board has operated for the past three years. It is authorized by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans under the Oceans Act. It is recognized as an innovative governance model for ocean management.

This is what it has become: an innovative group. This board has been able to bring all the stakeholders to the table and the members have been able to work cooperatively to meet the great challenges facing the area. We now see cooperation instead of confrontation.

The mandate of this board ends March 31, 2005. We urge the minister to extend the mandate so that the good work can continue and a model for other areas can be established.

Leader of the Opposition
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the Conservative leader faces a review of his leadership next week, his position on matters of social policy remain unclear. To help answer the puzzle we call Mr. Muzzle, let us review what we do know.

On health care, he never supported the Canada Health Act. Instead he encouraged Alberta to take it on. On the environment, he denies global warming while his members repeatedly describe Kyoto as a communist plot. On child care, he proposes tax credits that would disproportionately benefit the wealthy instead of increasing quality child care options for parents. On improving Canada's communities, he claims a “New deal with municipalities is not a view he would subscribe to”.

With policies like these, it is clear why the word progressive no longer appears in his party's name. It is also clear why that party chose to sit on its hands when it came time to vote on our government's forward looking budget.

Housing
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week there was a disappointing but not surprising report on homelessness in Ottawa.

According to nationally accepted housing standards, families should be able to meet their housing needs on only 30% of their income. However, here in Ottawa, over 65,000 families are paying in excess of 30% of their income on housing, leaving them at serious risk of becoming homeless. In addition, at some point last year over 8,500 people in Ottawa actually were homeless. This is happening here in the Nation's Capital.

Last week's budget did not include the $1.5 billion new money that the Liberals promised for affordable housing. Instead, corporations were handed a $4.6 billion corporate tax break. Liberal priorities are clear: nothing for those who need housing and billions for already profitable corporations.

These are not the values that Canadians voted for last June.

Giani Sant Singh Maskeen
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Gurmant Grewal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the world Sikh community lost a towering figure with the passing of Giani Sant Singh Maskeen.

Maskeen travelled around the globe delivering discourses to religious congregations. An exemplary preacher, Maskeen had a gift to reach and inspire his listeners. For nearly five decades, he dedicated his life to religion and was the undisputed number one interpreter of Gurbani. He authored more than a dozen books on Sikhism and his daily discourses of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji were broadcast worldwide on Indian national TV.

Maskeen had a thorough knowledge of Sikhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism and treated all religions with equal respect. He was down to earth and had a simple and frugal lifestyle. He never hesitated to speak the truth.

Maskeen's death is a great loss to the Sikh community, and Sikhs around the world grieve his passing.

I ask all members to join me in conveying condolences and prayers to Sikhs around the world.

Status of Women
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 6, in my region, five women from Lévis approved the five fundamental principles set out in the historic document adopted in Rwanda on December 10.

Isabelle, age 30, who benefits from the support of the Maison Jonction pour Elle women's shelter, explained how she found peace again after seven years of spousal abuse.

Karine Dubé was there to say that she was happy to show solidarity with the most disadvantaged in society.

Patricia Allard, age 34, a single mother of three, who is benefiting from the support of the Connexion-Emploi movement, described all the efforts she had done to obtain justice.

Louise Foisy, who is involved with women social battles, described in the words of a mother and grandmother her struggle for equality for women.

Finally, Nassiba Hammou, an Algerian who immigrated to Quebec 12 years ago, delivered a vibrant speech on freedom.

The Bloc Québécois promotes the five principles that women in Quebec and around the world hold dear: peace, solidarity, justice, equality and freedom.

Health
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, Ashern, Manitoba is being forced by the shoddy mismanagement of the government to depend on two semi-retired doctors to provide it with all its medical services. This should be done by five doctors according to the local health authority. These doctors want to retire, but the communities using the Lakeshore General Hospital cannot find anyone to replace them.

This hospital services five different first nations reserves. Therefore, the government should share some of the responsibility with Manitoba's NDP.

The Liberal government promised to help foreign trained doctors get certification, and it has failed to do anything on this file. The government has to take the blame for the doctor shortages in our rural communities. It is just another Liberal promise made, Liberal promise broken.

The government has to start helping foreign trained doctors get their accreditation and stop dithering. It needs to get them into rural communities and first nations communities like the ones serviced by the Lakeshore General Hospital in Ashern, Manitoba.

The Liberal government has the responsibility to ensure quality health care services are provided to all rural Canadians, including Canada's first nations.