House of Commons Hansard #5 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was parents.

Topics

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply
Speech from the Throne

10:50 a.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, allow me to congratulate you on your election. I would also like to thank the constituents of Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine for putting their trust in me and the Bloc Québécois for the second time in a row.

I have listened carefully to my colleague's remarks. To me, it sounded like he was listing accomplishments. But the Conservative government came to power just a few months ago. At this point, they can really talk only of intentions, not actions.

I would also like to remind the members opposite that they were elected to form a minority government. As a result, they will be under scrutiny. All parliamentarians are under scrutiny, of course, but government members more intensely so.

The member's comments verge on arrogance. He was practically reading a record of results. He went on and on about the past, blaming the Liberals for everything and promising that things will be different now. I simply want to say that this government will be judged by the decisions it makes and the actions it takes.

As such, I would recommend that the member pay closer attention to what is actually going on and frame his statements more as intentions. I would suggest that he be more careful about what he says.

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply
Speech from the Throne

10:50 a.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, this is the fifth day of sittings of this Chamber and we are very fortunate and very blessed to have been entrusted with this great honour by Canadians. This is a record that is just going to build. We are going to build our report card and it is one that Canadians are going to be proud of.

We on this side of the House look forward to the scrutiny of the opposition parties because our record is one that we are going to be proud of. This is going to be a record of honesty, integrity and accountability, and it is just going to continue to build. This is why our first order of business is going to be this monumental piece of legislation, the federal accountability act, which is going to change the way that this place functions forever. This is a nice way to begin what is going to be an excellent report card for this Prime Minister and members on this side of the House.

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply
Speech from the Throne

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, I can see by the time that I will not be finishing my speech before question period.

I would like to begin like many others have here today by sincerely thanking my constituents for their overwhelming show of support during the election campaign. It is an honour that I do not take lightly, and it is a great responsibility that they have bestowed upon me. I recognize that I represent all of my constituents, not only those who voted for me, and I will work as hard as I can on behalf of all my constituents when they come to me. I will work with them to build a better Canada, which is what this Conservative government is here to do.

I would like to talk a bit about the Speech from the Throne. The Liberals have been criticizing us by saying that our whole agenda is boiled down to five points. It is much better to have five specific points to work on and to actually do them, then to have 30, 40 or 50 pages of rhetoric out of which nothing comes. That is what we have seen for the last 13 years since I came here as a member of the opposition. We have focused government and we will continue to do that.

The Speech from the Throne is this government's agenda for what is going to happen in the House in terms of legislation for this first period of time. It is not our agenda for the whole Parliament. Our election platform is our agenda. It is what we intend to accomplish in this mandate, and we will work on that. Given a chance, by all members in the House, we will deliver our entire election platform. That is what we intend to do. For this first session in the House we are going to focus on this throne speech.

There are five parts to our throne speech and many people already know this. The federal accountability act, the first part of our throne speech, will be the first piece of legislation we will deal with. We will cut the GST by 1%, bringing it down from 7% to 6% and then we will continue to bring it down to 5%.

We will get tough on crime, especially on those who commit violent crimes and those who use weapons in committing crimes. The $1,200 a year child care allowance is part of our plan. We will be working with business and communities by creating 125,000 child care spaces. We will work with the provinces to put in place firm wait time guarantees for health care delivery. That is our throne speech.

Members opposite criticize that as being a light agenda. Accomplishing any one of these things will be a wonderful accomplishment, more than the Liberal government certainly did in the last Parliament. We fully intend, with their help and with the cooperation of the House, to accomplish all of these.

I want to focus today on the federal accountability act and on our sixth priority which is not in the throne speech but is certainly a priority of this caucus. We saw this priority last night when so many members of this caucus were here for the take note debate on agriculture. Our sixth priority is working on behalf of farmers to make things better for them and for the agriculture industry. That is a focus of our caucus and it has been a focus for the last 13 years. It is a good thing we have been here in opposition in the past to focus the government on that or there would have been little to no focus on that at all. Now that we are in government we are going to be working hard on agriculture as well.

Why is the federal accountability act so important? This bill would be the toughest anti-corruption law in Canadian history. I see, Mr. Speaker, that you are about to cut me off so I will finish my presentation after question period.

Resumption of Debate on Address in Reply
Speech from the Throne

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Vegreville--Wainwright will have a good five minutes to complete his remarks when the debate resumes on this important matter.

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a tremendous honour to rise today to address this chamber. As a new member I look forward to learning from each of my hon. colleagues.

The people of Kitchener—Conestoga have honoured me by providing me the opportunity to serve. I thank them for the trust they have shown in me. I want to thank my family for the support they have given me, especially my wife, Betty, and my children.

I want to speak to an issue that has recently taken on a new urgency. Last week I was meeting with a family of a young man in my riding. The young man, full of hopes, dreams and ambitions, had those dreams cut short when he was murdered by a young offender last month.

The young offender is currently out on bail. If convicted he will be out on the street, likely before his 20th birthday.

Many young offenders realize the current Youth Criminal Justice Act has little to do with justice. They continue their criminal activities fully aware that they will also continue to enjoy their freedom. Canadians deserve better.

I look forward to working with my hon. colleagues on both sides of the House to restore justice to this great land.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Lui Temelkovski Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the constituents of my riding of Oak Ridges—Markham for placing their trust in me to represent them in Parliament once again. I look forward to the challenge and to ensuring that their views are expressed here in Ottawa.

On April 21 Queen Elizabeth II will mark her 80th birthday. My office is pleased to have launched a very successful initiative to mark this important milestone. I sent out hundreds of birthday cards for constituents to fill out for the Queen. We distributed more than 500 photographs of the Queen to constituents, and also organized a series of coffee and cake receptions throughout the riding.

I want to thank the people of Nobleton, King City Seniors' Centre, the Royal Canadian Legion in Stouffville and the Markham Seniors Activity Centre for helping my office to organize these receptions.

On behalf of Oak Ridges—Markham, I extend a heartfelt birthday wish to Queen Elizabeth. God save the Queen.

Saint-Hubert Citizen Advocacy
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the mandate of the Parrainage civique Saint-Hubert community agency is to help adolescents with mental and physical disabilities become socially active in the community. The agency does this by pairing adult volunteers with young people who are having a hard time integrating socially due to a temporary or permanent disability. In other words, they match a dedicated adult with a young person in need.

Adults devote a few hours of their time, around the same time every week, to an adolescent who may be experiencing difficulty due to a physical or mental disability.

Every summer, Parrainage civique Saint-Hubert also organizes day camps for such young people, thus giving their parents a well-deserved rest.

Next week, April 9 to 15, is citizen advocacy week in Quebec. Thus, now is the perfect time to highlight the extraordinary work of this agency and, particularly, its president, Richard Rioux, its general manager, Yvette Leblanc, and their collaborators, Marianne Veilleux-Poulin, Jacinthe Barabé and Benoît Renaud.

Tuition Fees
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago, I met with students at Selkirk College in Castlegar. They presented me with more than 400 cards, representing half the students at the college, and asked that we take action to reduce tuition fees.

In 2005, B.C. students paid an average tuition fee of $4,874, up from $2,592 in 2001. High tuition fees are the most significant barrier to education.

These students are asking that the $1.5 billion allocated for post-secondary education in the last budget be used exclusively to reduce tuition fees.

It is clearly unacceptable for our young college graduates to have a debt of anywhere from $20,000 up to $60,000.

We must act. The future of our country is at stake.

Curling
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, on February 24, ordinary life drew to a halt across Newfoundland and Labrador. All eyes were focused on Pinerolo, Italy and the curling rink of Brad Gushue, Jamie Korab, Russ Howard, and from my riding, Mark Nichols and Mike Adam. Not only the best in Canada, this rink proved that they are the best in the world, winning the gold medal for Canada in the 2006 Winter Olympics in a spectacular final.

Gushue and Korab from Newfoundland and Nichols and Adam from Labrador became heroes to the entire province. With the addition of Ontario and New Brunswick's curling statesman, Russ Howard, they became the pride of all of Canada.

My constituents and I have since had the pleasure of meeting members of the Gushue rink at the recent Labrador Winter Games and at events in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Wabush and Labrador City. We are proud of their historic accomplishment. We admire their exemplary sportsmanship. We wish them continued excellence in the sport of curling.

Riding of Burlington
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today. I would like to take this moment to thank all those who helped me out in my campaign during the last election.

It was a very tough campaign over the Christmas break, but we came together as a team and we worked very hard. I am very honoured to represent all of the constituents of the riding of Burlington.

Battle of Vimy Ridge
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Betty Hinton Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by thanking the constituents of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo for re-electing me for the third time as their voice in Ottawa.

Today I pay tribute to those who have made a difference in this great country. Sunday, April 9 will mark the 89th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the battle that forged Canada as a nation.

It is difficult to visualize 20,000 soldiers under enemy fire trudging through muddy trenches in driving rain while carrying a load of heavy equipment, but that is exactly what they did. We lost more than 3,500 Canadian soldiers during the battle, and of those who returned home, only three remain.

There were four Victoria Crosses awarded for bravery and courage.

Vimy Ridge is a proud part of our history and our heritage. When called upon, Canadians have always risen to the occasion to ensure peace and democracy in the world. Our proud military history continues today.

On Sunday, say a prayer of thanks to those proud warriors of Vimy Ridge.

Éric Bédard
Statements By Members

April 7th, 2006 / 11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to congratulate Éric Bédard, a short track speed skater from Sainte-Thècle in my riding, on winning a silver medal at the Winter Olympics in Turin.

His achievement is the result of thousands of hours of training and hard work. Since he began competing in this sport, Éric Bédard has won three other Olympic medals, as well as many national and international titles, including the world cup and the world championships.

A high-calibre athlete, he is without question a true model of perseverance and determination for our youth and for all Quebeckers.

The Bloc Québécois salutes and applauds Éric Bédard's remarkable performance. Quebeckers are proud of you, and we wish you every success in your future competitions. Congratulations, Éric.

Rwanda
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Parliament declared April 7 as a day of remembrance for the victims of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The Rwandan genocide is a reminder to all of us that we in the international community have an obligation to protect civilians from genocides, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

It is beholden to the people of the world to band together to ensure that we no longer go down the path of genocide. Our history has too many genocides. It is not a proud legacy to humankind.

In September at the 2005 World Summit, responsibility to protect principles were given global endorsement.

Over the past 12 years Rwandans have courageously taken steps to achieve national reconciliation and rebuild their country. Canada encourages Rwanda to pursue these efforts.

Rwanda
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, 12 years ago the world watched with horror as the Rwandan genocide unfolded and over 800,000 Rwandans were murdered.

We must be prepared as a nation to prevent such things from ever happening again.

Canada takes pride that the responsibility to protect has now been given express international global recognition and endorsement. This was the centrepiece of the Liberal government's international commitment to peace and security.

May we never, ever let evil triumph again.

Federalism
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week we have once again witnessed members of the Liberal Party, including the member for Malpeque, and the member for Eglinton—Lawrence who supposedly aspires to lead his party, display arrogant views on the role of federalism Quebec.

Even the deputy leader of the opposition has tried to distance herself from these comments.

After the Liberals' sponsorship program led to a public inquiry that investigated in part the Liberals' abuse of trust and public money, the Liberal Party continues with tired rhetoric and harmful antics.

Justice Gomery noted that key members of the Liberal Party put their partisan interests ahead of the interests of federalism. He found that such attitudes are “difficult to reconcile with basic democratic values”.

While Liberals continue to display arrogance and disregard, this Conservative government is moving ahead on an agenda of respect for federalism and fairness for all provinces, including Quebec.