House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parents.

Topics

Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate a former Charlottetown mayor, George MacDonald, who recently received the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' highest honour.

George MacDonald was added to the FCM's roll of honour during the annual meeting in St. John's, which brought together over 2,500 delegates from across Canada.

The roll of honour pays tribute to FCM's officers and officials who have served municipal government in Canada with distinction and dedication. Mr. MacDonald has had a long and distinguished career in civic politics in Charlottetown serving five terms as a city councillor and two terms as Charlottetown's mayor.

He is only the third Prince Edward Islander to receive this honour and joins only 56 other Canadians in this achievement.

Congratulations to George MacDonald on this tremendous honour.

Fraser River Bird Habitat
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, there has been a steady erosion of the bird habitat at the mouth of B.C.'s Fraser River.

The river's estuary is an international crossroad of bird migration routes from 20 countries and three continents. Five million waterfowl, shorebirds and songbirds migrate through the estuary. Up to 180,000 ducks and geese fly into the Fraser Delta in a single day. Its coastal lowlands and marshes provide critical feeding opportunities.

However, in the face of growing development, current lands protected in the Alaskan National Wildlife Area and Reifel Bird Sanctuary are inadequate. Naturalists say that 1,400 hectares are needed to ensure the migratory pathway is maintained.

The federal government must buy threatened land and expand the wildlife area and sanctuary to ensure a sustainable future for the estuary. Instead of taking the lead and bringing together all stakeholders, the Liberal government says that it will do nothing until other parties buy in.

Open Doors 2005
Statements By Members

June 14th, 2005 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to encourage residents of Etobicoke—Lakeshore to participate in Open Doors 2005. Open Doors is a wonderful opportunity for older Ontarians and their families to explore the various long term care facilities and residences that operate in the Etobicoke—Lakeshore community and throughout the province of Ontario.

Choosing a future residence is a very personal matter and this is an opportunity to ensure seniors of a potential residence that meets their specific needs.

This Saturday numerous long term care facilities and retirement homes will host seniors and their families in order to have them become familiar with the residences' amenities, staff and atmosphere.

I urge everyone considering retirement to take advantage of visiting some of our local long term residences such as the Versa Care Centre in Rexdale, the Highbourne Lifecare Centre and Lakeshore Lodge.

Congratulations to the sponsors and volunteers for--

Open Doors 2005
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Halifax.

The Budget
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, despite Conservative obstruction, Bill C-48, the NDP's better balanced budget bill, is back in the House for third and final reading. What is the Conservative contribution to delivering much needed investments in every region of our country so far? To delete all the clauses of the bill.

Conservative MPs, including from Nova Scotia, are asking the House not to invest in lower tuition fees in post-secondary education, not to invest in affordable housing, not to invest in public transit or cleaner air, not to invest half a billion dollars more in international aid, despite their own members' voting at the foreign affairs committee to support an NDP motion to increase Canada's ODA to 0.7% of our GDP. What hypocrisy.

Canadians deserve better. Canadians elected a minority Parliament. I am proud to be part of a caucus that has worked relentlessly to make this Parliament work and to deliver the investments Canadians need. It is past time for the official opposition in the same spirit to stop the huffing and puffing, get to work and deliver Bill C-48 to Canadians.

Natural Resources
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, today as we speak, the state of North Dakota is moving forward to divert water from Devils Lake into the Red River, Lake Manitoba, Lake Winnipeg and beyond to Hudson Bay. It will jeopardize the health of Lake Winnipeg and the Manitoba ecosystems.

Once the outlet is opened, there will be a great risk of ecological and economic damage to Manitoba by polluting our waters, not to mention violating international law.

Devils Lake contains high levels of salt, phosphorous and other contaminants and is home to fish parasites which will affect our freshwater resources by introducing foreign marine species and bacteria.

The House is urging the federal government to take immediate action to resolve this issue by referring it to the International Joint Commission and to convince the U.S. administration and the U.S. Senate to make an IJC referral immediately.

These water issues in Manitoba are heating up and the Canadian government is not living up to its responsibilities.

Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Awareness Month
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is spina bifida month.

In Quebec, one baby in a thousand is born with this condition, for which there is no cure as yet.

Spina bifida is a Latin term meaning “open spine”. It refers to a birth defect, the causes of which are still unknown. Spinal damage is irreversible and permanent.

Spina bifida may be accompanied by hydrocephalus, which is an excessive buildup of spinal fluid in the brain. This can result in limited mobility.

The Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Quebec provides information and promotes the use of folic acid, which, if taken during pregnancy, can prevent this condition.

I commend the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of Quebec for their devotion to this cause.

Canadian Forces
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the defence committee rejected the appointment of the government's preferred choice for the new Canadian Forces ombudsman. The ombudsman is supposed to represent the individual against the organization, but based on his career history, committee members felt the government's selection of Yves Côté seemed an inappropriate choice.

No doubt Mr. Côté is a competent lawyer; however, he has a long history of defending the government and many of its branches and organizations. Committee members felt Mr. Côté was not predisposed to making a successful switch to defend the individual against the system.

If history repeats itself, and I am sure it will, the Liberal government will again ignore recommendations of one of its committees and appoint its preferred choice. I urge the government to make the right decision for our men and women in uniform and respect the committee's decision to reject Mr. Côté.

Police Youth Corps
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my distinct pleasure to rise today to congratulate the Thunder Bay Police Youth Corps on its 12th anniversary.

The Thunder Bay Police Youth Corps was created in 1994 with the vision of enhancing the experience of local youth with law enforcement organizations and the community. The youth corps is a non-profit, fully volunteer organization with a chain of command that mirrors the Thunder Bay police service.

The cadets, aged 13 to 19, are introduced to many aspects of a police officer's job, including fingerprinting, radio procedures and parade drill. Their motto of “Lead By Example” is not just a motto but a way of life for anyone involved with the youth corps, which is one of the few remaining police youth corps in Canada.

Please join me in congratulating Commanding Officer Charles Meeking and his fellow officers, the board of directors and the cadets of the Thunder Bay Police Youth Corps.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we now know that the government concluded a secret agreement that would allow Jean Chrétien to prevent Justice Gomery from completing his task. The government's secret agreement puts Justice Gomery “in an extremely difficult position”, to quote his own lawyer.

Knowing that this undermines the work of Justice Gomery, why did the Prime Minister authorize this secret agreement?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there was no secret agreement or secret anything. There was an exchange of correspondence between lawyers, that is all.

We have supported the work of Justice Gomery right from the start and we will continue to support it. I must say that Justice Gomery is not partial, and we will defend him against any allegations to the contrary. Furthermore, we will oppose any attempt to delay the report.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago the Prime Minister did not tell the House the whole truth about the existence of this correspondence. Yesterday and today he again misleads the House about the nature of that deal. Contrary to what he is claiming, Justice Gomery himself says that the secret deal deliberately undermines his work. His lawyer said, “To have...the outstanding possibility that Mr. Chrétien may renew his application...is, simply put, unacceptable”.

Once again, knowing that this exchange of letters, whatever the Prime Minister wants to call the deal, would undermine Justice Gomery, why did the Prime Minister agree to it?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Mount Royal
Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, there was no secret deal. There was no pact and as they say “Honni soit qui mal y pense”. There was no deal and there was no accord.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the minister said the deal was not secret, but when we asked about it, we could not get straightforward answers here in the House of Commons. Yesterday and again today the Prime Minister and the government claim they support the work of Judge Gomery, that he is impartial, and that they stand behind him ferociously.

Can the Prime Minister show us that letter and tell us where anywhere in that letter Justice Gomery is defended?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I defended Judge Gomery in this House yesterday. The government and I have defended Mr. Justice Gomery every single day in this House when he has been attacked by the Leader of the Opposition.

Let me make it unequivocally clear. Judge Gomery has acted impartially and there should be no delay in the issuance of his report. We will defend Judge Gomery against any allegations to the contrary.