House of Commons Hansard #25 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was afghan.

Topics

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

As is our practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by the hon. member for Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Sarnia Building Trades
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I recently had the honour to attend a very special graduation ceremony in my riding, a ceremony that does not occur anywhere else in the province of Ontario.

The Sarnia Construction Association and the Sarnia Building Trades Council worked together to honour 88 graduates of the apprenticeship program. There were graduate electricians, pipefitters, plumbers, millwrights, boilermakers, bricklayers, sheet metal workers, carpenters, labourers, and operating engineers.

As well as honouring these graduates, the two groups have worked diligently to have training provided at our local community college. As a result, those seeking training as steamfitters, carpenters and electricians can now access that training locally, thus keeping our local youth in the community.

This is a huge success story in my riding. I am proud to pay tribute on a job well done to the graduating apprentices, the Sarnia Construction Association and the Sarnia Building Trades Council.

Canadian Forces
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to speak on behalf of one of my constituents, Master Warrant Officer James Tolmie, who has served this country for the past 33 years as a member of the Canadian Forces.

Mr. Tolmie has expressed his sadness and disappointment in the government's decision not to fly the flags at half-mast for the fallen soldiers in Afghanistan. He feels as though our government owes this gesture of respect to all the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty while serving our country. I would agree.

I would like to recognize all the members of the Canadian Forces who have served and who are presently serving our country and to let them know that this House honours their commitment and respects the great contributions that they have made at home and abroad.

We are grateful and we are indebted to them.

Sister Annette Bellavance
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge Sister Annette Bellavance of the Congregation of Notre-Dame, who was principal of Collège Regina Assumpta for 35 years. This educational institution is located in the heart of my riding, Ahuntsic.

As the members may recall, in March 2005, Sister Annette received an eloquent tribute during a ceremony organized by the Ahuntsic Cartierville Business People's Association, which also gave her an award for her community involvement.

On May 21, she will participate in the closing ceremonies of Collège Regina Assumpta's 50th anniversary celebration during a reunion of the college's alumni, teachers and staff members.

I would like to wish Sister Annette a happy reunion and to thank her for her devotion.

Pay Equity
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise in the House today to congratulate our sisters and brothers in the Communications, Energy & Paperworkers Union of Canada on their historic pay equity settlement with Bell Canada. These 4,700 telephone operators, dining service and house service workers, almost all women, bravely and patiently brought pay equity to the forefront of the struggle for equality for women workers in Canada.

CEP took on this fight in 1992, when women earned 30% less than their male counterparts. This victory, a $104 million pay equity settlement, is a victory for all women in this country, but let us not forget that two years ago the former Liberal government released a pay equity report recommending new legislation to protect equal pay for work of equal value. Yet nothing has been done.

The NDP joins in solidarity with our sisters in CEP and the women across Canada to call on this government to immediately implement the recommendations of the pay equity task force. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Afghanistan
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, today Parliament will debate and vote on extending our mission in Afghanistan. With that in mind, I am pleased to congratulate a Calgary constituent on the release of his heroic documentary highlighting the value of Canada's efforts in Afghanistan and the progress that is being made every day. After nearly three decades of reporting on Afghanistan, journalist Arthur Kent has returned to document Canada's military mission in the war-ravaged country.

Recently I was fortunate to attend a screening of his new film, Afghanistan: Peacemaking In Progress. The documentary, independently financed and produced by this Emmy award winning filmmaker, takes audiences on patrol with Canadian General David Fraser and his troops. Kent also reunites with Afghans he filmed during the Soviet occupation in the 1980s, including two inspiring individuals now serving in President Hamid Karzai's cabinet.

The film serves as a testament to Canadians deployed in Afghanistan and a tribute and inspiration to the people of Afghanistan and those brave Canadians who serve to restore their freedom.

Poverty
Statements By Members

May 17th, 2006 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, a recent Statistics Canada report contains some very good news for Canadians. That news was contained in some typically technical statistics that measure poverty and for the most part seems to have gone unnoticed by this House and the public. I should give some credit to the Globe and Mail for shining some light on this in an editorial.

First, the number of children living in poor families declined between 1996 and 2004 from 1.3 million to 865,000, a huge reduction of 33%.

Second, the proportion of families living below the poverty line has declined from 12.1% to 8.5% over the same period.

These huge improvements are the result of a strong economy, more jobs and increased transfer payments from governments. There is still poverty and there is still much more work to do, but this is still real progress that all Canadians, all parties in this House and anti-poverty advocates can celebrate.

This shows that government can make a big difference in improving the lives of Canadians, just as this House was seeking when it passed its resolution on the subject in 1990.

Conservative Government
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been roughly 100 days since the Prime Minister and this Conservative government took office. We came into office promising to clean up government, to do things differently in Ottawa, respect Canadians and deliver real results for them.

In 100 days we have cut the GST by 1% and delivered a budget with tax relief for all Canadians. We have given parents the choice in child care through a universal benefit for all families. We introduced legislation that will finally get tough on criminals. We introduced the federal accountability act, a landmark document that will give Canadians a clean government. We are the first government to take a hard line on Hamas. We have given Quebec a greater voice within our Confederation. We have settled the softwood lumber dispute and negotiated a new long term agreement.

We have accomplished more in 100 short days than the previous government did in 13 long years, and we will continue to deliver for all Canadians.

Seal Hunt
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, last Friday I had the opportunity to participate in a meeting in Paris of the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and the seal hunt was on the agenda.

Several of the European MPs were against it, and I found that their opinions were based on false information. The Conservative government must rectify this situation before it is too late.

That said, in light of the importance of this industry for communities of the Magdalen Islands, the North Shore and Newfoundland and Labrador, why did the federal government not send a representative to this significant meeting? Despite the fact that this industry could lead to a boycott by European countries, the federal government did not send a delegate. This is unacceptable.

If the Conservative government supports Quebec and Canada's seal industry, it should send a representative to the next meeting of the committee on June 9 in Paris.

Honda Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand up today on behalf of Canada's new government to help celebrate Honda Canada's announcement of investing $154 million for a new engine plant in Alliston located in my riding of Simcoe—Grey. The investment will create 340 new jobs, as well as many additional spinoff jobs and other economic benefits. This is tremendous news not only for Alliston and New Tecumseth, but for Canada and the entire Canadian automotive industry and its dedicated workers.

Honda has been a tremendous corporate citizen, enjoying a worldwide reputation for tremendous quality and continuous innovation. 2006 marks the 20th anniversary of Honda vehicle production in Canada. I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the anniversary than for Honda to announce a new engine plant, new investment and new jobs in Alliston.

Today's great news is a strong sign of competence in Canada and in Canadian workers. With the recent budget delivered by Canada's new government, we are showing that Canada is open for business and ready to compete on the global market.

MusicFest Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, I would like to welcome to our nation's capital both the Regina High School Jazz Band and the Herdman Collegiate Stage Band. These young men and women from Corner Brook, Newfoundland are participating in the 34th annual MusicFest Canada program here in Ottawa.

The Regina High School Stage Band earned this special honour by its performance at the Atlantic Band Festival in Halifax, and having already performed here in Ottawa, has been awarded a gold standard performance by MusicFest Canada organizers.

The Herdman Collegiate Jazz Band attended the provincial competition in St. John's some time ago and was awarded a gold placement as well, which qualified the band to participate in MusicFest 2006. It too is up to the challenge of a gold standard performance here in Ottawa.

Congratulations to music directors Mr. Floyd Thomas and Mr. Darren White and to both of these very talented bands that they direct. I am very proud of their accomplishments.

Government Appointments
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we witnessed the sad spectacle of the opposition parties turning a parliamentary committee into a kangaroo court to shamefully slur the reputation of Canada's most respected business leader. Gwyn Morgan recently retired as head of EnCana, one of Canada's largest and most successful companies, where he capped off a sterling 35 year professional record by being voted Canada's top CEO by his peers.

Universally lauded for his integrity and community service, Mr. Morgan had agreed to serve as the founding chairman of the Public Appointments Commission for $1 a year to help depoliticize the government appointment process. But the opposition did not want Canada's top CEO offering his services for $1 a year and the Liberals certainly did not like the idea of a transparent professional appointment process, so they organized a sordid lynching of Mr. Morgan's reputation, outrageously contorting two lines from one speech in a 40 year career to imply that Mr. Morgan was a “racist”.

This odious drive-by smear was used to justify the opposition's predetermined outcome. It says a lot more about the opposition than it does about Gwyn Morgan.

Child Care
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in Victoria hundreds of people gathered in front of the legislature. On a weekday afternoon, parents, child care workers and dedicated citizens took time from their work and busy lives to show their frustration and disappointment with the Conservative government.

Their message was plain: The Conservative plan for child care is empty and unrealistic. Their signs said it all: “Mr. Harper, I have $100. Will you care for my child?”

Child Care
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member knows that she cannot refer to hon. members by name. I am sure that the hon. member was referring to the Prime Minister, I would judge from the sound of the name.

Child Care
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, I apologize.

“Mr. Prime Minister, I have $100. Will you care for my child?” “Find me safe child care for 70¢ an hour”. “Quality child care builds quality citizens”. “One hundred dollars buys a month of child care--in 1986”.

My constituents are--