House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Budget Implementation Act, 2006
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the member actually listened to what I had to say. I was specifically speaking about on reserve issues. There was not a significant amount of money put in this current budget to deal with on reserve issues.

As well, with regard to the Kelowna accord that was in place, the amount of money that is in the budget falls far short of what was a plan that was developed with broad consultations across this country. It took 18 months to get to the point of that very significant document, which the government has chosen to completely disregard.

I want to assure the member that I also paid very close attention to the budget. The $450 million in the budget over two years falls far short of any of the analysis that has been done on the critical shortage of funding and resources required in first nations communities immediately.

I do not need that member to lecture me on what is available to first nations communities.

Budget Implementation Act, 2006
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for a reasoned and impassioned argument on behalf of our aboriginal peoples.

It is really outrageous that someone would suggest that there is money in a departmental budget. He well knows there are moneys in a variety of budgets to help all Canadians. The reality is that aboriginals are the least among Canadians in so many regards. Anyone who has spent any time on reserve and has seen the conditions there would appreciate that these are areas where extraordinary measures are necessary. I would like to give the member an opportunity to further educate the member about the importance of our aboriginal peoples.

Budget Implementation Act, 2006
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has worked extensively on issues such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. That disorder is just one example of a shortfall in working with first nations communities.

There is significant investment required for indigenous children in care which I did not even begin to speak about. This is a human rights issue. Analysis has been done on indigenous children in care on reserve that suggests there is a $109 million shortfall annually in dealing with the matters that are facing people on reserve. Part of this shortfall is a comparison between what the provinces spend and what the federal government actually invests. The government will tell us that it is putting in $25 million; however, $109 million is required to deal with the children in care issues for children in protection.

Budget Implementation Act, 2006
Government Orders

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Catherine Bell Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Nanaimo--Cowichan for sharing her time with me today.

The government had an opportunity in this budget to make a real difference for ordinary Canadians, but it missed that opportunity. Billions of dollars in surplus could have been invested in the kinds of programs and services that would make a real difference for working families.

People of my riding of Vancouver Island North are looking for investments in our communities. Once vibrant forestry and fishing communities are on the brink of becoming ghost towns. There is a real need for something to be done. Those people are having to struggle to maintain their communities through a very difficult time.

More than 20 different first nations bands in the riding are also struggling. They have a proud history in Vancouver Island North, but it is hard to move forward when the very basic things they need, which most of us take for granted such as adequate housing, clean water, roads and bridges to their communities, are either lacking or they are in serious need of repairs. I will come back to some of that in a minute.

First, I want to talk about the things which all Canadians are concerned about, such as our health care system that is need of serious repair. Waiting lists for surgeries and emergency rooms grow. There are not enough trained health care professionals. With the surplus, the government could have addressed some of those issues, an area that the previous Liberal government cut to the very bones over the past 13 years.

The Romanow report, a comprehensive study on what is needed in our health care system, outlines what Canadians are looking for when it comes to solutions. It says that federal funding to the provinces must be increased by at least 25% to begin to address the serious shortages.

The government could have invested in home care for our seniors. Inadequate home care services and funding impacts our most vulnerable family members. With the shortage of hospital beds, funding for home care would also help alleviate wait times in our hospitals. It would provide dignity for our seniors who helped build our country. Once again we are letting them down.

Another major industry in my riding is the forest industry. It has had its share of difficulties over the past two years, including the illegal softwood lumber tariffs and raw log exports. While the budget mentions $400 million Canada-wide for the forest industry, half of that is to address the pine beetle infestation. Raw log exports are killing our north island communities. It is a serious issue and it is one that must be addressed. While it is important to settle our cross-border disputes, it is shameful that there is less money in this budget for Canada's forest industry than we have left on the table in the softwood lumber deal. There was an opportunity to invest in resource communities. With billions of surplus dollars, a fraction of those would have helped these communities to diversify and grow again.

Another serious crisis is in our fishing industry. We have seen almost a collapse of our wild salmon industry. We were looking for some money for salmon enhancement programs and rebuilding the aging infrastructure of our hatcheries. There was nothing in the budget except another tax credit.

North island is concerned about investment in our communities and in our resource industries.

Earlier in my remarks to one of my hon. colleagues, I talked about the deplorable conditions on first nation reserves. I have had several letters from some very young community members from Kingcome Inlet. I would like to read two more excerpts from these children's letters.

Morgan Brittany, an 11 year old in grade five, has lived in Kingcome Inlet for nine years. Her family has lived there for hundreds of years. She writes:

We need your help because there are accidents in the river. We need a road.

We travel on roads every day and we take that for granted. All they are asking for is a road. She continues:

We have to wait for high tide to go down the river. We have to wait for boats too. Sometimes it is very cold and we can die. It is dangerous for babies and elders. I hope you can help us.

Janessa Voyageur is a 10 year old in grade four. She has lived in Kingcome Inlet for one year. Her family has also lived there for hundreds of years. She writes:

We need your help because we always have floods. When it floods, big logs float down the river and if we are sick and it's flooding we can't even get to the airplane. It costs lots of money to get our groceries up the river. Please give us a road so everything can be easy for us.

With a lack of investment in first nations on reserve communities, to which I think the previous colleague spoke, residents of those communities are facing serious issues. They are already remote and we have made them even more remote.

It is important that we address some of these issues and ensure that there is adequate funding for the first nations across Canada and in my riding of Vancouver Island North. They are struggling day by day to live and not be thought of as second class citizens.

Budget Implementation Act, 2006
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

It being 5:30 p.m., it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings at this time. Pursuant to the order made earlier today the motion is deemed withdrawn.

(Motion withdrawn)

The House resumed from June 1 consideration of the motion.

Opposition Motion—Gasoline Prices
Business of Supply
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Royal Galipeau

Pursuant to order made on Thursday, June 1, 2006, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion of the hon. member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup relating to the business of supply.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #12

Business of Supply
Government Orders

6 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I declare the motion lost.

The House resumed from June 5 consideration of the motion that Bill C-9, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conditional sentence of imprisonment), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

6 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading of Bill C-9.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #13

Criminal Code
Government Orders

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I declare the motion carried.

(Bill read the second time and referred to a committee)

The House resumed from June 5 consideration of the motion.

Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred record division on the motion to concur in the second report of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.