House of Commons Hansard #107 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Société Alzheimer de Lanaudière
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, June 5, I will have the privilege of being the honorary chair of the Société Alzheimer de Lanaudière's memory walk.

A memory walk is held each year in various communities to raise money to help people suffering from this terrible disease and support programs, services and research.

I invite everyone to come out and walk with us on Sunday, June 5, in Joliette. I also want to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers of this organization, and I thank them on behalf of everyone suffering from this disease and their families.

Congratulations to Ms. Claudine Goulet, chair of the Société Alzheimer de Lanaudière board, and the organization's coordinator, Ms. Andrée Brousseau. Happy walking to all.

UJA Federation
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Sunday marked the 35th anniversary of the UJA Federation walk with Israel. This year more than 15,000 people from across the greater Toronto area came out to celebrate Israel.

The event was highly successful. As we walked through downtown Toronto, we were greeted with Israeli food, songs and dancing. Fun was had by all. The walk raised approximately $350,000 which will go toward the annual UJA Federation campaign which last year raised over $55 million worldwide.

The UJA Federation is a very important organization that strives to ensure the survival and growth of the Jewish community through fundraising, planning and providing programs and services. The Federation's credo is compassion, commitment and generosity. Its tremendous work exemplifies the concept of tzedakah or charity.

The UJA Federation is committed to the community. In partnership with other groups, it supports our most vulnerable, welcomes newcomers and strengthens a sense of cultural pride through its numerous projects.

I want to commend all those who participated and put in countless hours of work for the UJA Federation and everyone who came out to have a wonderful walk for Israel.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gurmant Grewal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, do you remember the 1993 election? The Liberals won because they promised to eliminate GST and do away with free trade, but they reneged.

Instead, they raised taxes and increased spending. In the process, their misplaced priorities damaged our health care, defence and agriculture. They bought votes with taxpayer money.

Then came the scandals: Somalia, tainted blood, the HRDC $1 billion boondoggle, the gun registry fiasco, the list goes on, and damaging Auditor General's reports, one after another. Meanwhile, western alienation has gone from bad to worse.

The Gomery inquiry brought the corruption in the Liberal government to light. The Liberals put tax dollars into the party's coffers.

They made deals with the NDP on the budget to prop themselves up.

Then came the new low: the Prime Minister's office buying MPs' votes to save non-confidence votes.

It is little wonder Canadians are losing confidence in the Liberals.

Arts and Culture
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to commend photographer, Michael Semak, a native of Welland, Ontario, for his contributions to Canadian photography and culture.

Mr. Semak is a self-taught photographer whose world renowned photographs have been exhibited in over 300 solo and group exhibitions. Michael Semak's work has been recognized by numerous grants and awards and presented in publications like National Geographic and Time magazines. His photographs can be found in many private and public collections, among them the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Public Archives of Canada.

Michael Semak's work is currently being exhibited until November 13, 2005 here in Ottawa at the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography.

Mr. Semak has travelled the world capturing intense images. His work presents a tension between beauty and social commitment but does not suggest any type of social change. His photographs simply capture the raw moments of life.

Many anticipate Michael Semak's next project, which will portray the wine-making industry in Niagara. I congratulate Mr. Semak for his many accomplishments. Welland is justly proud of its native son.

Status of Women
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois supports the recommendations in the third report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women, which was tabled in the House of Commons on May 20.

The committee recommends that the federal government increase funding to the women’s program at Status of Women Canada by at least 25% for investments in women’s groups and equality seeking organizations. The present amount is far from sufficient, as it represents less than 60¢ per woman per year.

The committee recommends that the government heed the unanimous call from equality seeking organizations for core funding to allow them some financial stability. In addition, there will have to be some project funding to meet new challenges.

The organizations in Quebec are in desperate need. This is why the Liberal government must act promptly and transfer this funding to Quebec to enable it to continue promoting equality for women.

Brant Waterways Foundation
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to acknowledge the Brant Waterways Foundation. This non-profit, charitable foundation was established in 1988 to provide funding assistance to projects that preserve, protect, restore and improve the Grand River and its related bodies of water and adjacent lands.

The foundation has contributed $3 million in assistance toward projects that have been of tremendous benefit to the citizens of Brant.

I would like to congratulate, in particular, Mary Welsh, a citizen of Brant who has been the driving force behind the foundation. She has been tireless in her devotion to this and other causes in the riding of Brant and the result of her efforts has been outstanding. The walking and biking trails which are maintained by the foundation have been enjoyed by thousands, both by residents of Brant and visitors alike.

To Mary Welsh and to all who support the Brant Waterways Foundation, I send my sincere congratulations.

Border Security
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have relied too long on luck to avoid a terrorist attack. Canada's security net is full of holes.

Most of Canada's 160 border crossings are staffed by one person and there are 225 unguarded cross-border roads. Airport security is so lax that missing security badges and uniforms turn up on eBay. Computer checks on incoming travellers at the border are flawed or non-existent. Sixteen hundred cars were reported speeding past the border without stopping in 2004. Unarmed guards must rely on police officers to respond to border incidents. An airport accepts international passengers without on-site immigration checks. Finally, a marine border unit does not even have a boat.

Securing our border is vital. If the government cares about the safety of Canadians and customs officers and in stopping smuggling, it would staff ports properly and provide the proper tools for law enforcement.

Justice
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Don Bell North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to speak out against a hate crime that took place in my province last week.

A 17-year-old Canadian Sikh boy was walking through an elementary school field when he was cowardly and callously attacked by five young men. They approached the boy and made several racial slurs before they assaulted him several times. One of the suspects apparently even went so far as to remove the victim's turban and proceeded to cut his hair off with an exacto knife. Cutting his hair with a knife was not only a serious physical assault, but also a very serious insult to and attack on the cultural and religious beliefs of the victim.

This attack has all the ingredients of a hate crime. This type of action does not represent the type of Canada we are trying to build. Canada is an open and tolerant society that celebrates differences and does not accept hatred.

I hope that community representatives everywhere will speak out against such acts.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals once again announced a new day for the victims of abuse in residential schools. Sixty years of abuse, several royal commissions to study the problem, a dispute resolution system that paid billions to lawyers and almost nothing to victims, and what now? Another delay, another adviser who will report back by next March.

The Liberals refuse to acknowledge that the residential school system was a government attempt over three generations to extinguish native culture. It allowed the physical, sexual and mental abuse of aboriginal children.

The Liberals have made a tradition of delaying compensation for residential school survivors. Lawyers and public officials have made millions while the survivors grow old and die fighting to prove their case. Survivors in my riding do not accept another promise. They have heard Liberal promises for years and they have seen them broken.

The Prime Minister should show true leadership now. He should authorize immediate lump sum payments to sick and elderly survivors so they receive compensation now. There is no reason to delay unless the Prime Minister is playing more games. He needs to show some integrity and--

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for British Columbia Southern Interior.

Marriage
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Gouk Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, the question on redefining marriage is extremely divisive, but Canadians are fair minded and reasonable. Most do not oppose a recognized union between same sex couples. They simply object to those couples using the same name for their union that traditional families around the world have used throughout history.

Recognition of the union of same sex couples is a new consideration and as such should have a new name to better describe this newly recognized relationship.

If the Prime Minister is not sure whether Canadians support his proposal to expand the traditional definition of marriage, I suggest he put his trust in the good judgment of the Canadian people and hold a referendum on the issue of definition of marriage. I have done this on a number of issues in my riding and, on occasion, I have voted contrary to the position of my party and even my own personally held beliefs when directed by those I represent.

Collectively, we are sent here to represent all Canadians and they should all have a say when considering such a major change to a defining aspect of Canadian life.

Children
Statements by Members

June 2nd, 2005 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, June 4 will be the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression. This day was created by the United Nations in 1982.

There is nothing more precious in our societies than our children. Their well-being is of primary concern to all humanity. They are the leaders of tomorrow. Every effort must be made to protect them from potential aggression and to help them when they fall victim to it.

These innocent victims include not only the child victims of war. They also include the victims of sex crimes, of extortion by bullies, of physical violence, of marginalization.

Let us hope that by sharing her story with the public Nathalie Simard will have helped the rest of us to break the silence and made us more watchful over defenceless children.

Justice
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Lynne Yelich Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canadians travel overseas for many different reasons, some for business, some for vacation, but alarmingly some travel for the sole purpose of engaging in sexual activity with children.

Yesterday the first Canadian to be charged with sex tourism crimes pleaded guilty to sadistic sex acts involving Cambodian girls as young as the age of seven.

Sex tourism exploits children worldwide and it is something that absolutely no child should ever have to endure.

Experts estimate that more than a million children are lured or sold into the sex trade each year. Federal law now allows for the prosecution of sex offences committed by a Canadian in a foreign country. It is expected that pedophile Don Bakker will likely serve a mere 10 years in prison. Innocent children will live a life sentence that is unimaginable.

I hope our justice system continues to prosecute these sex tourists and at the same time ensures that pedophiles and violent offenders are never given access to the pornographic material known to be circulated throughout our federal prisons and counterproductive to successful rehabilitation.

Seniors
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government is committed to giving families a helping hand at all stages of life. I stand today in the House to urge all members to support budget 2005 which contains important initiatives for Canada's seniors.

Whether it is health care, income security, retirement savings or help for caregivers, the 2005 budget includes financial provisions for seniors. Our goal is to improve the quality of life of all our seniors, particularly those who are the least well-off.

Tax cuts are planned, which will take 240,000 seniors off the tax rolls.

Budget 2005 also increases support for low income seniors and provides additional resources for the highly successful new horizons program to keep seniors active. In addition, the budget will provide $13 million over five years to establish a new national seniors' secretariat.

Please support Canadian seniors by supporting budget 2005.

Global Workplace Health and Safety
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Ed Broadbent Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today in a British Columbia court a historic judgment will take place. For the first time a Canadian citizen will be sentenced under the provisions of the Criminal Code for predatory sexual behaviour with children outside of Canada.

Yesterday, before a committee of the House, we heard three credible witnesses refer to the fact that a number of Canadian mining companies had been involved in the violation of human rights and health provisions of workers in Africa, Asia and South America.

The NDP believes that just as we should protect children in foreign lands from sexual predators, so too should we protect their parents from predatory companies.

As a first step, we call upon the government to amend to so-called Westray law and extend its protective provisions to apply to workers of Canadian companies anywhere in the world.