House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was taxes.

Topics

Opposition Motion--The Economy
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, in commenting on the last question that was asked of the Bloc member from his own colleague, it is very obvious that this report was only issued last February or March, and that the government responded very favourably to the 22 recommendations that were listed in the report. The minister has come back very favourably on 21 of the recommendations. The throne speech did address many of those recommendations in a very positive way.

Canadians across the country, especially those living in Quebec, agree that Canada needs to have a priority in infrastructure and modernized infrastructure. Does the Bloc member not understand the importance of the $37 billion investment in the throne speech, which he voted against, much of which would go to his own province of Quebec?

Opposition Motion--The Economy
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

The honourable member for Shefford has one minute left.

Opposition Motion--The Economy
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, this just proves what I said earlier about the government suffering from Alzheimer's. It took not one of the 22 recommendations. When the budget came up, the government took into account half of a recommendation. That is Alzheimer's.

Furthermore, there are two things the government did not even address in the throne speech. They said they would think about it. It is not even clear; I do not know what will happen. And today they are on their high horse saying that the Conservative government will support the manufacturing sector, but they are abandoning it.

The manufacturing sector is very important to Quebec. If the Conservatives do not understand that, they should take another look at the report. Maybe then they will understand.

This report was unanimously adopted. If they did not understand, they should come and see me and I will explain it.

Violent Crime
Statements By Members

October 25th, 2007 / 2 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, my constituents are pleased that our Conservative government is introducing comprehensive legislation to tackle violent crime. This issue is a very serious concern in my riding of Palliser.

Regina has once against been named the murder capital of Canada. This week, a 94-year-old Regina resident was attacked in his River Heights home by an unknown assailant.

Last week, a 16-year-old student from Sheldon-Williams Collegiate was shot in her Regina home. A 16-year-old male has been charged with attempted murder.

Unlike the NDP and Liberal opposition, the Conservative government is committed to getting tough on crime. We will take further steps to tackle youth crime. We want to amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act to send a clear message that these heinous acts will not be tolerated in our society.

Tackling crime is a top priority for our Conservative government all the time, not just at election time. We are taking action to make communities safer across Canada.

Macedonia
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Karygiannis Scarborough—Agincourt, ON

Mr. Speaker, on September 20, 2007, the Conservative government decided to recognize the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as the Republic of Macedonia.

The dispute over the use of the name “Macedonia” has been referred to the United Nations. All UN member states have agreed to accept the final agreement resulting from negotiations between Greece and FYROM.

The Prime Minister's decision to unilaterally bypass the process of negotiation endorsed by the UN was done with no consultations in Canada and it threatens to unnecessarily divide Canadians. It is no surprise that the government has not even publicly announced the change. Canadians had to hear about it from a foreign government.

On Saturday, October 27, 2007, thousands of Canadians will rally on Parliament Hill to express their displeasure at this decision. I am issuing an invitation to the Prime Minister to come to the rally and explain his rationale for this misguided decision.

Once again, the Prime Minister is demonstrating his total lack of understanding of international affairs and is pitting one Canadian against another.

Forestry Industry
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am outraged to see that the Conservative government is complete irresponsible. What is this Conservative government waiting for before it helps communities, like mine, that are especially hard hit by the crisis in the forestry industry?

This government's failure to act is threatening the economic survival of the regions in Quebec. The economic situation in my region can be summarized as follows: eight plants have closed in the Antoine-Labelle RCM and five plants in the surrounding area; 1,785 jobs directly related to forestry development have been lost, in a population of 35,000. For the federal government, this means a loss of $27.6 million in revenues.

It is well past time for this government to come to its senses and take action to ensure that the people of Mont-Laurier, Maniwaki, Roberval and all the regions of Quebec are treated as full citizens.

Student Debt
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is continuing on in the long and dismal Liberal tradition of abandoning Canada's greatest resource, which is our educated young. There was nothing in the throne speech to deal with rising university and college debt, nothing from the massive surplus, and yet university students are facing higher and higher levels of debt, an estimated deficit now that is upward of $20 billion. It is a policy that is shortsighted, both economically and socially.

Let us take the economy in northern Ontario, for example, where our economy is continually being held back by high levels of youth out-migration.

If young people from Timmins, Kirkland Lake or Cochrane goes south to get an education, what chance will they have to come back and be a prime mover in the new economy when they are left with high levels of debt at $40,000 and $50,000? The situation is simply unacceptable.

The NDP is proposing three clear, simple solutions. First, we need to increase the transfer payments to freeze or lower student debt. Second, we need to set up a national needs based grant system. Third, let us deal with the problem of the student loan system.

Violent Crime
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, in my time in Parliament, no issue has been raised more frequently by my constituents than the issue of crime.

Constituents in Anmore and Belcarra have raised the problem of marijuana grow-ops and the need for action.

In Port Moody, gun crimes have shaken our sense of public safety. A neighbour in my building was shot in the head this summer. A neighbour across the street was struck in the face with a stray bullet from a drug deal gone bad, and a women, escaping an abusive spouse, was shot in the back on a sidewalk.

In Coquitlam, property crime has caused doors to be double locked and tension between neighbours. In Port Coquitlam, a 32-year-old constituent of mine was walking her dog this weekend and was tackled and assaulted by a man with a knife.

Crime is a serious and growing problem in my community. The quality of life of our constituents is the most important responsibility we have as members of Parliament to safeguard.

Our Conservative government is taking the steps necessary to help remedy the problem. We are hiring more police officers, holding criminals accountable, tackling gun crimes with mandatory jail time, criminalizing street racing, fighting auto theft and property crime, and protecting our kids from sexual predators.

I say to my constituents that I have heard their calls for action to fight crime and our Conservative government is getting the job done.

Member for Mount Royal
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Steckle Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, on October 28, 2004, in response to a submission for a ministerial review, the member for Mount Royal, who was then the minister of justice, concluded that Steven Truscott had likely suffered a miscarriage of justice. The case was then referred to the Ontario Court of Appeal, a process which eventually led to the acquittal of Mr. Truscott, hence righting an injustice that had spanned nearly five decades.

I am on my feet now, with the benefit of hindsight, to compliment the member for Mount Royal for his foresight and astuteness with respect to the process that was to be undertaken. While did not fully appreciate it then, I know now that the decision was the right one. I would like to extend my appreciation, on behalf of Steven and Marlene Truscott and their entire support network, to my colleague from Mount Royal.

While it is true that the member has a renowned international reputation on human rights and law, I would like to point out to all members of the House that, in my opinion, and in the opinion of the Truscott family, that reputation is most certainly deserved and well earned.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ken Epp Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I bring attention to the great work the Conservative government is doing to assure the safe handling of chemicals.

Last year our Ministers of Health and of the Environment introduced the chemical management plan that has begun to review some 23,000 substances that were approved for use in Canada before modern testing methods were available. The plan is the first of its kind in the industrialized world, and that shows that we are a world leader.

Our government is working with groups, like the Canadian Chemical Producers' Association, that are a part of the solution. They have created the responsible care program, a unique ethic for the safe and environmentally sound management of chemicals.

The government is taking action where previous Liberal governments failed. Our chemical management plan is a tough, aggressive action plan that will protect our environment and improve the health of all Canadians.

Louisiana-Pacific
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, Louisiana-Pacific is closing its waferboard plant in Saint-Michel-des-Saints, in my riding, for good. Two hundred people worked at the plant before operations were suspended in August 2006. Not only will those who worked there lose their jobs but so will those who were employed indirectly due to the economic activity generated by this industry.

Dozens of families are affected and nothing is being done by the Conservative government to help them. Not just an industry but an entire community is affected. Families in search of work and decent incomes are leaving regions such as northern Lanaudière.

The government refuses to put in place the measures suggested by the Bloc Québécois and no concrete measures were announced in the throne speech in support of the workers, communities and families affected by this crisis.

The citizens of Saint-Michel-des-Saints and Saint-Zénon can rest assured that the Bloc Québécois will continue to defend the workers abandoned by this heartless Conservative government.

Handling Specialty
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to salute Handling Specialty, a manufacturing company headquartered in my riding of Niagara West—Glanbrook.

Handling Specialty continues to be a profitable, forward thinking company in times of rapid change in the manufacturing sector. It has built a solid reputation for providing unique, custom engineered products in many sectors, including automotive, aerospace, entertainment, transportation and metal processing industries.

A notable example of Handling Specialty's technical prowess is in the Bellagio Theater's underwater stage lift system, which has achieved world record standing. The company also supplies wing assembly platforms for the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft.

On the heels of Small Business Week in Canada, I commend the Grimsby based company for its accomplishments. Its successes recently garnered it national media attention as a role model in Canadian manufacturing.

I congratulate Handling Specialty on its achievements in manufacturing and on the media recognition it has received.

Child Care
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Chan Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, when will the Conservative government stop deceiving Canadians?

The Conservatives did it again in the throne speech when they said that families now had a real choice in child care. This is false. As the advocacy group Code Blue for Child Care says:

Any parent knows that a $100 monthly voucher doesn’t create child care and without child care there is no choice. [This] claim is particularly misleading given that the [Conservatives] have not delivered a single one of the 125,000 child care spaces they promised.

They did it again in the throne speech when they said:

Canadians now have a government committed to helping them get the medical care they need more quickly.

This statement was made the same day that the Fraser Institute announced that “wait times for Canadians needing surgery hit an all time high of more than 18 weeks in 2007”.

A Globe and Mail editorial said, “there is nothing to these wait time guarantees....How stupid does the government think voters are?”

They are lying all the time.

Remembrance Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, as November 11 is fast approaching, I would like to take this opportunity to once again pay tribute to our veterans.

Over the years hundreds of thousands of brave men and women have served their country by joining the armed forces and risking their lives to protect our freedom and to promote peace and liberty around the world.

From the first world war to the current mission in Afghanistan, our armed forces have shown the world that Canada is prepared to do its part to fight tyranny and oppression wherever it rears its head and also to defend our allies and ourselves when we come under fire.

So many men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice. When their country called, they answered. They fought to defend our way of life.

Across Canada Canadian legions will host Remembrance Day ceremonies. These events allow Canadians to pause and reflect on the sacrifice that our veterans have given on our behalf.

I urge all Canadians to participate in Remembrance Day in whatever way they are able. Attending a Remembrance Day ceremony is a great way to stand with our veterans, to pray for those who died in service and to show our thanks for all that veterans have done for us.

Post-Secondary Education
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, average undergraduate fees broke the $5,000 mark last year. This year they are up another $184, more than double the measly textbook tax credit.

Every hike in tuition fees widens the gap between kids from wealthy families and everyone else. Low and middle income families pay significantly more through student loan interest than those who can afford to pay up front.

The Canadian Federation of Students is our country's primary voice for post-secondary students, with 700,000 members and over 25 years of action.

Many of the members live in my riding of Parkdale—High Park. They are on Parliament Hill this week to tell Conservative and Liberal MPs what the NDP already knows: that students need lower fees and a national system of need based grants to replace the expiring millennium foundation.

A fraction of the $14 billion surplus could restore the affordability and quality of Canada's public universities and colleges. Ottawa's debt to its students is long overdue and the government needs to start repaying it.