House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was marriage.

Topics

Fighting Anti-Semitism Together
Statements By Members

June 28th, 2005 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to salute the initiative of Tony Comper, CEO of BMO Financial Group, and co-founder along with his wife Elizabeth, of the coalition FAST, Fighting anti-Semitism Together. Mr. and Mrs. Comper have joined along with 21 other non-Jewish Canadian business leaders at a most important time, as the year 2004 produced an all-time high of 857 reported incidents of anti-Semitism in Canada.

Further to speaking out against the scourge of anti-Semitism, FAST will also attempt to educate young people about the evils of anti-Semitism and bigotry in general by establishing an educational initiative for 10 to 14-year-olds called “Choose your Voice”.

It is one thing when members of the Jewish community speak out against anti-Semitism and bigotry, but it resonates much more when non-Jews decide to attack the problem. I ask my colleagues in the House to join with me and wish the members of the group well in their initiative and their fight against anti-Semitism.

Marie-Hélène Prémont
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Charlevoix—Montmorency, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to pay tribute to the victory on June 25 of cyclist Marie-Hélène Prémont from Château-Richer in the women's mountain bike world cup, which took place in Mont Sainte-Anne in my riding.

In sweltering heat of nearly 30

o

C, Marie-Hélène Prémont came from behind in the last lap to beat the Olympic champion to the finish, in front of thousands of spectators from the Quebec City area who had come out to cheer her on.

This is her second victory on the world cup circuit. In addition, she ranks second overall.

I salute her courage and her determination, and I wish her the best of luck in her next competition, which will take place in Brazil. Congratulations again to Marie-Hélène for this great win. Good luck during the rest of this season. Côte-de-Beaupré and all of Quebec are behind you.

Northern Ontario
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Valley Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been a year since the government was elected.

This has been an important year for the people of my riding, who have seen progress for which this government is directly responsible. We have seen improvements in our infrastructure through the work of FedNor. Our municipalities and unincorporated areas have benefited from the government's commitment to create a lasting partnership by supporting their initiatives through the reimbursement of the gas tax. The people in northern Ontario will have access to millions of dollars of new money to support their infrastructure.

During the past year I have had a chance to learn more about our remote communities. The potential for these communities is enormous but we must do more to address the unique challenges these communities face. We have made important steps to strengthen our relationship with the aboriginal people. This can be highlighted by the conclusion of the national round table.

I have been fortunate to work with municipal governments, local roads boards, fellow parliamentarians and people in my riding to achieve such positive results. I thank the people of my riding for the opportunity to serve them. I look forward to working with them over the next year.

National Defence
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Chatters Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence assured me personally on three occasions that he would resolve a conflict between his department and Scott Collacutt and his company CEL Surplus. Mr. Collacutt is a resident in my riding of Westlock—St. Paul.

In spite of the minister's commitment to me and months of delay, the minister has failed to use his ministerial authority to resolve this issue fairly. Mr. Collacutt has served his country honourably in the Canadian armed forces and is seeking only fair compensation for his losses caused by the actions of the Department of National Defence and the government.

I want Canadians to know that I am holding the weak-kneed minister personally responsible for the great hardship that this has caused Mr. Collacutt, his family and business. Why will the minister not find some backbone and courage and live up to his promise?

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, this July will mark the 10th anniversary of the massacre in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The memory of those atrocities are still very much alive in the minds and hearts of many of my constituents.

Srebrenica marked the climax of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Red Cross estimated that between 8,000 and 10,000 innocent people were either executed or listed as missing. Throughout the three year war, tens of thousands were deprived of the fundamental democratic principles of peace, stability and safety.

This July let us remember the individuals who suffered because of hatred and intolerance. Let us assure the Canadian-Bosnian community and all communities that aggression, ethnic cleansing, genocide and all such evils be not repeated, and that Canada and Canadians stand ready to uphold democratic principles and the rule of law.

July 11 is a day that all Canadians will remember.

Religious Freedom
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, in a time when religion is predominantly characterized in the media as a conservative force, there is a need to diversify the face of religion in the political realm and to emphasize that there are faith informed progressive perspectives on issues which too often are dealt with as if there is only a debate between faith and non-faith.

In fact, what is often happening is a debate between Canadians of the same faith and/or a debate between conservative faith communities and a secular liberalism that owes its values in large part to our common religious heritage.

People of the same faith arrive at different conclusions about difficult issues and consequently join or support different political parties. This is as it should be.

Religious speech should not be restricted to a few issues, or even worse, seen as inadmissible in debate. Questions of peace and war, the economy and the environment are also moral issues that can be informed by faith.

The task is to discern the appropriate ways of such speaking in a pluralistic world. Dismissing views purely because they are religious throws out the wheat with the chaff. Secular fundamentalism is not the answer either. Thanks be to God, Mr. Speaker.

Gasoline Prices
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Calgary South Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, gas prices are too high and Liberal taxes are to blame. The Prime Minister likes to take credit for reducing the deficit. Canadians reduced the deficit by paying an extra 10¢ a litre excise tax on gasoline. It has been an extra 10¢ a litre since 1995 when the Prime Minister, in his capacity as finance minister, raised the federal excise tax to 10¢ a litre claiming it was a temporary deficit reduction measure.

There is no longer a deficit yet the extra tax remains, gouging Canadians to the tune of $7.8 billion this year, and then there is the GST on top of that. When people fill up at the pump this summer and pay the highest gas prices in Canadian history, they can thank the Liberals.

Elimination of Poverty
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning, the Make Poverty History coalition as well as performers and organizers of the Live 8 concert brought the Prime Minister thousands of postcards with the names of nearly 40,000 Quebeckers and Canadians calling for a world without poverty.

More than 800 million human beings will go to bed hungry tonight and, today, more than 50,000 people will die from poverty related causes.

Increasing and optimizing international aid up to 0.7% of GDP, making trade fair, and continuing debt cancellation for poor countries are all tangible ways of fighting this scourge.

The Bloc Québécois urges the Prime Minister to champion such efforts at the next G-8 summit, at the UN millennium summit in September and at the WTO meeting in December.

Poverty is a hindrance to the development and fulfilment of those who live in it. Canada must act and do its fair share.

Democratic Reform
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, in his first throne speech, the Prime Minister announced that he would restore freedom to MPs by adopting a three line voting system.

Under this system, when a vote is designated as a three line whip, all Liberal MPs have to vote the way they are told. Ministers and parliamentary secretaries are bound by party discipline when it is a two line whip. But not to worry. Under a one line whip, every Liberal MP is in theory free to vote according to conscience.

I say in theory because the government's annual report on democratic reform reveals that not one vote has ever been designated by the Prime Minister as a one line whip. This is significant because a two line whip denies a free vote to all those new cabinet ministers and parliamentary secretaries the PM keeps creating, including both of the ministers for democratic reform.

It means that every member of a cabinet that is expanding like a prize winning pumpkin is bound on every single vote and on every single piece of government business. If the freedom of Liberal MPs is the test of the democratic deficit, the Prime Minister gets an F.

Health
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to commend Health Canada for its recent award presented by the United States Food and Drug Administration to acknowledge the work the department has done to enhance its ability to protect not just the health of Canadians but all North Americans.

The FDA Leveraging/Cooperation award recognizes Health Canada's commitment to addressing health challenges and furthering health goals. Canada's rigorous participation in the Canada-Mexico-U.S.trilateral cooperation charter has proven an asset for the citizens of our continent.

The trilateral group has increased communication and information exchange in the areas of drugs, biologics, medical devices, food safety and nutrition to protect and promote human health in North America.

Health Canada's award is an excellent demonstration of the efforts Canada is making to promote relations with our closest neighbours to the south, the U.S. and Mexico. This award represents our shared important goals: healthy scientific research, healthy citizens and healthy international relations.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I pointed out the government's failures over the past year on Air-India, hepatitis C and the fiscal imbalance.

The Prime Minister said he would fix health care for a generation. Instead, his health minister is fighting with doctors. After more than a decade of mismanagement, Canadians are waiting longer than ever for access to medical care.

Why has the most important action on health care come from the Supreme Court and not from the government?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, although the Supreme Court certainly dealt with the issue of waiting times, it was the government that convened the federal-provincial conference specifically on that issue. It was the government that raised it during the election campaign. It was that opposition party that said it was not a problem during the election campaign.

It was the government that put $41 billion over 10 years into dealing with the issues of waiting times and better health care. It was the government that set up the waiting times reduction fund. The government has assumed its responsibilities despite the blindness of the opposition.

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, what the Supreme Court said was not that the government had dealt with health care, but that it was not dealing with health care adequately in this country.

While we are on courts, yesterday in court the former prime minister and the current Prime Minister were again working together against Justice Gomery. Both lawyers for the government and for Jean Chrétien have ignored a court order to expedite allegations of bias.

Why are the Prime Minister's lawyers still working with Jean Chrétien instead of working with Judge Gomery?

Sponsorship Program
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition's facts are simply wrong.

The government's position, and we have stated it clearly in court and elsewhere, is that Judge Gomery is not biased. We will oppose any moves to obstruct or to slow down his report. We supported Judge Gomery. We put Judge Gomery in place. We created the commission. We have supported him throughout the whole process despite the countless attempts by the opposition to undermine his authority.

Child Care
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the only person who undermined Justice Gomery was the Prime Minister when he praised Jean Chrétien's behaviour in his own caucus.

After another year Canadian families still see no results on child care. Premier Lord of New Brunswick is trying to get an agreement with the government which would give options and results to parents.

Why is the government so inflexible when it comes to dealing with New Brunswick and giving real options to parents?