House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was hospital.

Topics

Gasoline Prices
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Oda Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, this summer I saw how gas tax prices were affecting those in my riding.

Recently the De Young family, a large chicken producer, told me that last year their fuel costs were $90,000 and this year they would almost be $120,000.

In Durham we need to drive to work and we need to drive for work. Seniors on fixed incomes, already challenged with the rising costs, are limiting their activities that require driving. In rural areas of Canada there are no public transit alternatives.

We call on the Liberals to immediately end charging GST on top of fuel taxes at the pump. This measure would effectively recognize the level of one's use and the need for fuel in the daily lives of those in rural communities.

While the government dithers and studies its options, I say that the government has an obvious option for today. We will continue to press for the stopping of fuel tax on gasoline.

CP Rail
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, on August 1, 2005, Canadian Pacific Railway issued a memo that indicated that all truck drivers must wear a hard hat when entering CP Rail property or else face suspension.

This zero tolerance policy affects hundreds of Sikh truck drivers who have worked without a hard hat for many years. By requiring Sikh men to wear a hard hat, CP Rail is asking them to remove an essential article of their faith, the turban.

CP Rail is attempting to implement a safety policy where safety concerns are minimal and I believe this policy is in violation of the freedom of religion.

Under Canadian law there has been a well developed history of charter cases which has established that any violation of a person's freedom of religion must be balanced, proportionate and justifiable. In this case, CP Rail's zero tolerance policy on hard hats is not balanced, not proportionate and definitely not justifiable.

Justice
Oral Question Period

September 27th, 2005 / 2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I told the Prime Minister that the families of the four slain RCMP officers were in Ottawa to make a passionate plea for criminal justice reform. The Prime Minister told the House in response that he had “met the families and had long discussions”.

The families told us afterwards that no such discussions took place; they were in the gallery. I am wondering why the Prime Minister would mislead the families and mislead the House in this fashion.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition knows he cannot suggest that a member misled the House.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

An hon. member

He did not say “deliberately”.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

I am aware that he did not say “deliberately”. I am well aware of that, but in asking a question of this sort I think it is even less discreet. I see the Prime Minister is rising to answer, so we will treat the question as referring to the family and not to the House.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I said that I was in Alberta. I was there for the memorial. I met with each of the families at that time. I met with them individually and discussed this.

This was a terrible, terrible event and, as I said yesterday, it was one that was very, very emotional, certainly for me and for everyone else. I did have discussions with each family in Alberta at that time. That is a matter of public record.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a brief condolence at a reception does not constitute a long and serious discussion. I can tell the Prime Minister that the families certainly do not consider that they have had any such kind of meeting or discussion with the Prime Minister.

Regardless of how we choose to phrase it, I can assure the Prime Minister that these families are deeply upset and feel deeply misled. Will he apologize to them?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I really do not believe that it is appropriate for the hon. member to try to make this kind of political gamesmanship on such an emotional event. I am prepared to meet with the families again. I would be more than happy to sit down with any member of any one of the four families who would like to discuss this with me.

If I had known that they were here and wanted to meet with me yesterday, I would have been delighted to do so. I would be delighted to do so today, but surely to heaven this is not the kind of issue that the hon. member ought to try to play politics with.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I can assure you that the families have told us they want us to raise this in the House today and I am proud to do it on their behalf.

I am told also that the Prime Minister was asked to meet with the families yesterday and chose not to do that, but I will at least ask the Prime Minister this question. Is he at least prepared to listen to the families and make the changes to the law they want to have made by this government?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the families asked to meet with me yesterday, I was not aware of it. I am more than happy to meet with the families. I will meet with them today if they are still here or I will meet with them at a future time at their convenience. The fact is that I would be delighted to sit down with them individually.

This was a terrible event and a terribly moving ceremony. I think that at this point what we really ought to understand is the necessity to deal with the fundamental issues in place, and I believe the government is in the process of discussing that very thing, but for heaven's sake, do not play politics with this.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is not about politics. I just got off the phone with one of the families. I was with the families yesterday all day long. I brought them to question period and they sat in the gallery. They heard the Prime Minister say that he met with them at their most difficult hour and had long discussions with them. He did not have any long discussions with them.

Yesterday the families were very hurt by the Prime Minister's words. Will the Prime Minister apologize to the families?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, when we think of what these families went through and we think of the tremendous loss, obviously anything I could do to reach out to these people, whether it is an apology on my own behalf or anything I could do to make them understand our deep concern as a people, I would be more than delighted to do.

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, the families came to Ottawa for action and change and they should be commended for their passion and commitment to the memory of their murdered sons. They came here full of first-hand experience and ideas to share with Parliament, the Prime Minister and Canadians.

What specific action is the Prime Minister taking to help prevent this type of tragedy from happening again?

Justice
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton Centre
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, I want to assure everyone in this House that I have indeed talked to the families, but in particular Reverend Schiemann. Reverend Schiemann came to my office in Edmonton a month ago. He and I spent well over an hour together, talking about the work the families are in fact doing.

I have talked to my colleague, the Minister of Justice, about the concerns raised by Reverend Schiemann on behalf of the families. I have given my assurance and the assurance of the Attorney General that we will sit down with the families and we will work together with them to see how we can make sure this tragedy does not happen again.