House of Commons Hansard #119 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Multiculturalism
Statements By Members

June 20th, 2005 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Michael John Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend I attended the 21st annual Multicultural Festival held in my riding of Dartmouth—Cole Harbour. This festival brings together thousands of people of all races and cultures, people who share their heritage, music and food. Multiculturalism is fundamental to our belief that all citizens are equal. We must continue to ensure that all citizens can keep their identities, take pride in their ancestry and have a sense of belonging here in our shared country.

It was in 1971 that Canada adopted the first multiculturalism policy in the world. In doing so, we affirmed the value and dignity of all Canadians regardless of racial or ethnic origin, language or religious affiliation.

I congratulate Dr. Brig Pachai and everyone at MAN for their success. I especially acknowledge my dear friend Mukhtyar Tomar for years of dedication as chair of the festival committee.

When we celebrate our first nations people and all who have come to Canada from different lands, we celebrate the very best of our country, a nation of diversity, peace and strength.

Eastern Ontario
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party must really have it in for us folks here in eastern Ontario.

First, the Prime Minister shortchanged Ottawa and other Ontario municipalities to pay for an enhanced deal for Toronto. Ottawa, including its suburban and rural communities, should get the same number of infrastructure dollars per capita as Toronto.

Second, the Liberal cabinet refused to give our community hospital control over its own land. The Queensway-Carleton Hospital says that Liberal rent on the land will thwart plans for improved patient care and more family doctors. In fact, it could cost as many as 40 nurses at that hospital. Maybe the government needs the money from the hospital to pay the rent on that empty building owned by a Liberal friend over in Gatineau.

Or maybe we in eastern Ontario have had enough of Liberals taking us for granted. Maybe it is time for a Conservative government.

World Refugee Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has declared June 20 World Refugee Day. I would like to take this opportunity to remark upon the tremendous work the UNHCR has done internationally over the last 50 years.

World Refugee Day is also an opportunity to celebrate the invaluable contribution refugees have made within our borders, choosing Canada as more than a safe haven, choosing Canada as a home.

The UNHCR, since its inception in 1950, has won two Nobel Peace Prizes for its provision of protection and assistance to more than 17 million refugees around the world. World Refugee Day gives all of us a chance to reflect upon all that has been accomplished, the lives that have been saved, the new beginnings, and the open arms that have greeted those with nowhere left to turn in their own lands.

Last year the Government of Canada welcomed more than 15,000 refugees because we know how much they bring to this country. Let me just say how proud we are that they have chosen to call Canada their home.

Financial Services
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, payday lenders and cheque cashers continue to reap profits from Canada's poorest and most vulnerable citizens because of the government's inaction.

In neighbourhoods like Winnipeg's north end, lax rules on banking services have allowed all major banks to simply pull up stakes and leave for more profitable pastures, paving the way for high interest payday lenders to enter.

My constituents are fighters, not victims, however, and are organizing through the Alternative Financial Services Coalition to provide access to non-profit financial services for their community.

The North End Community Renewal Corporation, SEED Winnipeg and Assiniboine Credit Union are all playing a part, as are many volunteers adding their energy and time.

Regrettably, one important contributor to this effort, Nancy Barbour, suddenly passed away last week. In remembering Nancy's contributions, we take time to thank all those who work tirelessly to improve our communities.

I call on the federal government to quit dithering and put its full resources into ensuring equal access to low cost financial services for all Canadians.

Age of Consent
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, the other day I had the honour to be interviewed by Roy Green. He was interested in my private member's bill that would raise the age of consent from 14 to 16 years.

During our interview he mentioned that he had asked the Prime Minister why his government would not support legislation to raise the age of consent. This is how the Prime Minister responded, “Well, this is an...this is an issue that...that, you know, that...that Parliament is in the process of debating. These are...these are very important social issues, and I think that what we've got to do is allow the debate to allow it to unfold. One of the...one of the ways in which the changes I wanted to bring to Parliament is to give the parliamentary committees the ability to go out, to reach out and to discuss all of these issues. And again, the whole question of the parliamentary...you know, the democratic deficit, is something that the House leader is working so hard on”.

That answer is appalling. The Prime Minister was asked a direct question that is of great concern to every Canadian. How dare he ignore it. Sooner or later Canadians will realize that--

Riding of Drummond
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to recognize the involvement and success of my riding's 20 most influential Quebeckers.

They are: Bernard, Laurent and Alain Lemaire of Cascades; Francine Ruest-Jutras, the mayor of Drummondville; José Boisjoli, the head of Bombardier Recreational Products; actress Karine Vanasse; owner of Pétro-T, Léo-Paul Therrien; Martin Dupont, director general of the Société de développement économique de Drummondville; the owners of the giant firm Canimex, Roger Dubois, and of Soucy Holding, Gilles Soucy; the artistic and general director of Mondial des cultures, René Fréchette; veteran comedian, Daniel Lemire; the director general of the Corporation du Centre culturel de Drummondville, Roland Janelle; the humorous quintet Les Trois Accords; and Patrick Sénécal, a novelist known for his bestseller Sur le seuil .

No two ways about it, these people make a huge difference to our community, our culture and our industry.

Burma
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, hundreds of Burmese democracy activists yesterday marked the 60th birthday of their leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's pro-democracy leader and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, who has been under house arrest for more than two years. She is one of thousands who have been arrested by Burma's ruling junta and now languish in jail.

The generals prevent citizens from exercising their basic political rights. The constitution has been suspended since 1988 and there has not been an election since 1990. Human rights abuses include forced labour, torture, the use of rape as a weapon of war, and child soldiers. Millions live without the most basic health care or education. Yet the Liberal government does nothing, waiting for a multilateral solution that will never materialize.

It is time to abandon our sheepish line and take tough action so that the people of Burma may have the chance to freely express their views and be represented by the leaders of their choosing.

Edmundston Jazz and Blues Festival
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, two days from now, the Edmundston jazz and blues festival will swing into its 11th year. The event, which has become a must over the years, draws thousands of spectators each year, who return to move to the rhythms of jazz and blues by local, Canadian and international artists.

The festival has become very popular since it started 11 years ago. It has given people an opportunity to discover jazz and blues and to appreciate their musical complexities.

As the member for Madawaska—Restigouche, I am really happy that such an event can take place in my riding. I want therefore to thank the organizing committee of Edmundston's 11th jazz and blues festival and the volunteers who will be helping out at the event, which takes place from June 22 to 25.

I invite everyone to come and take part and discover the magnificent region of Madawaska—Restigouche.

Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, as with so many Liberal promises, the details and results of the government's child care scheme remain a mystery.

The Minister of Social Development has admitted that $5 billion over five years will not create a system. He further admitted that he does not know how much money it would cost to create a system.

Now that the government has given him several hundred million dollars, could he at least tell us how many more child care spaces parents will see this fall?

Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden Minister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the question is whether the budget bill passes. If the budget bill passes, then there will be $700 million that will pass to the provinces and to the territories. That $700 million will represent an increase of about 30% on all money that is now being spent by the different provinces and territories by all levels of government.

Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we should have known that not passing the budget would not stop announcements but passing it will not guarantee any results.

At best, the minister's plan to give all the money to bureaucrats and advocates will benefit a tiny group of children. It will leave most parents behind, including, obviously, those who work shift work, and those who use non-institutional options.

Why not give at least some of the $5 billion to parents and children themselves, as New Brunswick proposes to do?

Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden Minister of Social Development

Mr. Speaker, I need to remind the hon. member that a year ago, at this particular stage, early learning and child care in this country was fairly static. During the election campaign, the government decided to make a campaign promise of $5 billion over five years.

The party on the other side of the House made a campaign commitment that would result in an increase of about $320 per child per low income family. That is the difference between these two parties.

Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the difference is that parents so far have not seen anything from the government and from this party they would have seen something by now.

Parents and the provinces want to be able to decide which child care system suits them best. With regard to the child care model that the minister wants to impose, Bernard Lord, the Premier of New Brunswick, said that he did not appreciate the federal government dictating what the province had to do.

Why is the minister continuing to ignore the provinces' demands for greater flexibility?

Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Ken Dryden Minister of Social Development

I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, I did not hear the question.

Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, there are over 30,000 children waiting for child care in Quebec. It is clear that Canadian parents simply need more money in order to have choices.

A Conservative government would provide significant cash subsidies, directly, for each Canadian child, no matter how much their parents make. That way, the parents could have the child care services they choose.

When will the Prime Minister recognize that all parents want choice?