House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was opposition.

Topics

Youth
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Barry Devolin Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is a special group of students from my riding here today. They are participating in a program I call a capital experience where two student leaders from each of the seven high schools in my riding come to Ottawa for three days each October to learn about career opportunities and public life.

They visited Parliament, the Korean Embassy, Amnesty International, the Department of Foreign Affairs, CHUM studios, the Prime Minister's Office, the Press Gallery and SUMMA strategies.

I wish to thank those who shared their time with these students and thank the businesses and service clubs who sponsored them.

Today I welcome to Parliament: Natalie Istead and Marguerite White from Crestwood, Ryan Hawkrigg and Brian White from St. Thomas Aquinas, Jake Findeis and Josey Belli from Haliburton, Layne Hinton and Haley Mumby from I.E. Weldon, Kaleigh Clark and Allison Bishop from Brock, Ryan Haney and Emma Joyce from LCVI, Jon McNickle and Phillip Schmidt from Fenelon Falls, and Sefora Cuff from Apsley.

I ask my colleagues to join me in wishing these young people seated in the gallery all the best as they make decisions regarding their future careers.

Acts of Bravery
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Belinda Stronach Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in the House today to pay tribute to Constable Jason Griffiths of the York Regional Police Department. The York Regional Police are based out of my riding of Newmarket—Aurora

This month marks the one year anniversary of Constable Griffiths' heroic act of bravery. Constable Griffiths is a 2006 recipient of the award of excellence presented by the Canadian Professional Police Association.

This award commemorates his courage, professionalism and dedication to his community in the line of duty. Constable Griffiths acted selflessly while being faced with grave danger. His actions saved the life of a fellow officer, while he himself received several stab wounds.

It is the actions of officers like Constable Griffiths that make my riding of Newmarket—Aurora a safer place for its residents and make us all proud to be Canadians.

I ask all members of the House to join me in congratulating Constable Griffiths and I would like to salute the many men and women across our nation who every day risk their lives beyond the call of duty.

Citizens of Beauce and Mégantic—L'Érable
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Christian Paradis Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to join the Conservative member for Beauce and the Minister of Industry in bringing to the House's attention the major flooding caused by heavy rains last Friday night in a number of cities and towns in Beauce, including Saint-Georges, Notre-Dame-des-Pins, Beauceville and Sainte-Marie, as well as in my riding of Mégantic—L'Érable, including Disraeli, Coleraine and Thetford Mines. Over 500 homes and a dozen businesses were flooded.

Residents of Beauce and my riding, Mégantic—L'Érable, demonstrated their typical determination and solidarity by rolling up their sleeves to clean up the huge mess left behind by the Chaudière, Bécancour and Saint-François rivers. With the focus on cleanup, Canada's new government joins us in applauding the courage of the people of Beauce and the citizens of my riding, Mégantic—L'Érable, and wishing them a speedy return to normal.

Afghanistan
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, today in Ottawa the Senlis council documented how the flawed mission in southern Afghanistan is causing a famine, the likes of which are usually seen only in Africa.

Canada must play a role in creating a new balance among humanitarian assistance, comprehensive peace building and security measures. Economic development and humanitarian interventions must be at the core of Canada's Kandahar efforts, addressing people's most basic needs.

Tragically, as Senlis Canadian president Norine MacDonald said today, five years after intervening in Afghanistan there is little to show for reconstruction and development efforts. This failure to deliver is fueling the insurgency, endangering the lives of Canadian troops and killing Afghan citizens.

Once again we call on the government to address the imbalance of this mission, and send immediate food and medical relief to address the deepening crisis in southern Afghanistan.

YMCA Youth Internship Program
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, since 1997 the YMCA has been providing a great service through the federal public sector youth internship program. Established in partnership with the former government, the YMCA is creating the opportunity for thousands of young people to gain valuable employment skills and experience.

The program reaches those who need it most, youth who have not completed high school or those in transition from school to work. This helps break the cycle of no job-no experience, no experience-no job. In my riding 55 young people from Fredericton, Oromocto, New Maryland and Chipman have benefited from this program.

The Minister of Human Resources and Social Development must renew this program today and make a long term commitment, so the YMCA can continue to provide this opportunity for young Canadians for years to come.

I wish to commend the YMCA staff and volunteers for putting the motto “Build Strong Kids, Strong Families and Strong Communities” into practice.

Fight against AIDS
Statements By Members

October 24th, 2006 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, last August, while more than 24,000 people were participating in the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto, the Prime Minister of our country was conspicuously absent. He showed the world that he lacks leadership and compassion when it comes to one of the greatest scourges of our time.

It would have been the perfect opportunity to make up for shortcomings simply by listening to victims, stakeholders and researchers in the areas of AIDS prevention and finding a cure.

The Minister of Health and the Minister of International Cooperation made themselves look ridiculous by cancelling press conferences where they were supposedly going to announce Government of Canada funding.

Now that the dust has settled, the Prime Minister is still slow to take responsibility in the fight against AIDS. AIDS victims deserve better.

Government Programs
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Brent St. Denis Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, thanks to the sound fiscal policies of the previous Liberal government, the Conservatives inherited a budget surplus of over $13 billion.

The Conservatives have, unfortunately, chosen to push their ideological “fend for yourself” policies and have unnecessarily cut funding to programs that promote women's equality, adult literacy, programs that make a difference in aboriginal communities, and regional economic development programs that strengthen economies in areas like northern Ontario, not to mention the earlier cancellation of programs to deal with the world's looming climate change crisis and the cancellation of the GST rebates for visitors to Canada.

I have met with francophone women in my riding and with tourist operators. I have heard from advocates for literacy and those searching for ways to promote greenhouse gas abatement technology. They all decry these cuts which are simply not needed because of Canada's strong financial position.

I support those who strongly urge the minority Conservative government to reinstate funding to these essential programs.

Bloc Québécois
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, since it was established, the powerless party has bandied about projects that it will never be able to bring to fruition. Let us take stock of the Bloc Québécois.

In 13 years, the Bloc Québécois was unable to convince the federal Liberals to recognize the fiscal imbalance. In 13 years, the Bloc Québécois was unable to prevent the federal Liberals from meddling in provincial jurisdictions. In 13 years, the Bloc Québécois was unable to convince the federal Liberals to give Quebec a voice at UNESCO. In 13 years, the Bloc Québécois was never, absolutely never, able to achieve real results for Quebeckers as it has always been and will always be in opposition in Ottawa.

Unlike members of the Bloc, Conservative members from Quebec defend the interests of Quebec in Ottawa. We have achieved what my friends in the Bloc cannot: real and concrete results.

Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is quite ironic that the minister of responsibility and transparency does not sit in this House. Michael Fortier, an unelected minister, responsible for most government spending, a political minister from Montreal, responsible for the lack of assistance for older workers in Montreal, is a Montrealer who refuses to face his electorate.

Why does Mr. Fortier, who ran the Prime Minister's leadership campaign and co-chaired his election campaign, not have the strength to run in the Montreal by-election?

Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Minister Fortier has promised to represent Montreal within cabinet and to run during the next general election. He will keep his promises.

Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we were told that Mr. Fortier would run. We just were not told which way he was going to run. He is running away. Of course, that is in conformity with the Minister of Foreign Affairs as well.

We cannot ask the Minister of Public Works questions in the House of Commons because he is not sitting here. The Prime Minister's closest political adviser was too busy to run in the last election, but he is not too busy to sit at the cabinet table. What makes Michael Fortier so special? Why is he not required to conform to parliamentary precedent and run in the Montreal byelection?

Why does the minister for accountability get to hide from democratic accountability?

Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is quite obvious that the Liberal Party of Canada does not want Montreal to have representation in the federal cabinet.

We promised to ensure significant representation for Montreal and I can say to the Liberal Party that it will have its work cut out for it to find its own candidate for the byelection.

Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I think that was a clear admission from the Prime Minister that Michael Fortier could not win that seat.

This morning senior officials from Public Works, the Treasury Board and Human Resources refused to appear before the government operations committee to speak to government cuts in programs for adult literacy, women, minorities and students.

What is going on? We have a Minister of Public Works who defies all precedent and refuses to run for a seat in the House, and we have senior officials from his department and others who refuse to appear before the democratically elected representatives of Canadians in this House.

Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is entitled to his own opinion, but the Leader of the Opposition is not entitled to his own facts.

In fact, I appeared as President of the Treasury Board before the operations committee, the secretary of the Treasury Board appeared, and the assistant deputy minister of the Treasury Board appeared, all last week.

Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister supposedly appointed Michael Fortier to cabinet to represent Montreal and, yesterday, he had the audacity to say that his minister was doing a good job, this without giving a single solid example.

Given that the Minister of Public Works and Government Services cannot account for his work to the members of this House, will the Prime Minister report to us on the achievements of his minister for Montreal? What exactly has he done for the development of Montreal?