House of Commons Hansard #9 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was justice.

Topics

Indian Residential Schools
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Maurice Vellacott Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, I applaud the Speech from the Throne's reference to an apology by the Prime Minister on behalf of this government to former students of Indian residential schools.

My heart grieves when I think of the conversations I have had with first nations people who recount some of the tragedies and dysfunction created by losing out on those vital formative years with their own family.

Some were driven to alcohol or other addictions to mask the yearning void in their lives, and without proper parenting role models, some perpetuated the cycle. My first nations nephew and niece were born with fetal alcohol syndrome and it impairs their lives to this day.

Our government is committed to achieving a fair and lasting resolution to the sad legacy of the Indian residential school system, a resolution that will ensure former students and Canadians can move together toward healing and reconciliation.

Our government, together with its key partners, has made good on its commitment to deliver what it believes is a fair and lasting resolution of the Indian residential schools legacy.

An apology by the Prime Minister is the right thing to do.

Confederation College
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise today to congratulate an exceptional educational institution in my riding on 40 years of service.

Confederation College opened its doors in October 1967 with 238 full time students. The first classes were held in portable classrooms at Sir Winston Churchill High School and the first regional campus classes were held in a converted school bus.

A lot has changed in four decades. Today, Confederation College hosts 4,000 full time students each year with 30,000 graduates around the world. Students enjoy a 130-acre park-like campus. There are over 50 post-secondary diploma and certificate programs and three centres of excellence. In addition, there are seven regional campuses throughout northwestern Ontario.

Please join me in congratulating President Pat Lang, Board Chair Hartley Multamaki and the entire board and faculty of Confederation College on 40 years of changing lives through learning.

David Adams
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Government of Canada I wish to acknowledge the passing this week of an outstanding Canadian artist and first male principal dancer of the National Ballet of Canada, David Adams.

Mr. Adams was born in Winnipeg in 1928 where he began his training and performing career with one of the founders of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. He had a distinguished career in both England and Canada as a dancer, choreographer and teacher.

Mr. Adams joined the National Ballet as a leading dancer in 1951. In 1966 he was awarded the Festival de l'Opera Gold Medal for his performance of Giselle with Galina Samsova.

Mr. Adams settled in Alberta where he made a huge contribution to dance in western Canada for many years.

Karen Kain, Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Canada, remembered Mr. Adams this week with respect and admiration.

Honoured as an Officer of the Order of Canada, David Adams will be long remembered as a key figure in the early days of ballet in Canada.

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the pilot project extending employment insurance benefits in regions with high unemployment will expire on December 9, 2007. My riding is directly affected, because the unemployment rate in the Argenteuil and Papineau regions is over 10%. The pilot project was launched to try to bridge the spring gap in the EI system. Every year, thousands of seasonal workers in Quebec find themselves in a vulnerable situation.

The employment insurance program remains unfair for workers and the government refuses to make the necessary corrections. The pilot project must therefore be renewed. The only solution is a sweeping reform of the EI system, as recommended by the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities and as proposed in Bill C-269, introduced by the Bloc Québécois.

The bill proposes increasing the eligibility period by five weeks, increasing the rate of benefits and improving access to the program. It also proposes a more equitable eligibility threshold, making it easier for women, young people and workers in vulnerable situations to access benefits.

Riding of Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Denis Lebel Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the recent election campaign, my adversaries maintained that I would not represent the entire riding, but that I would only represent one city, because I was that city's mayor.

Yesterday, I announced the opening of two riding offices: one in Roberval and the other in Dolbeau-Mistassini. I also announced that I had hired four people from all parts of the riding.

Ms. Marjolaine Doucet was born in Saint-Eugène-d'Argentenay, grew up in Dolbeau-Mistassini and lives in Saint-Félicien. Ms. Sarah Drolet was born in Saint-Gédéon, raised in Alma and lives in Saint-Nazaire. Mr. Dominique Genest was born in Albanel, grew up in Normandin and was a municipal councillor in Dolbeau-Mistassini where he lives today. And Mr. Pascal Mailloux lives in Roberval and has solid work experience with citizens from all areas.

With our solid training and extensive experience, we will be present and proactive for the entire population of the riding of Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean. Once again, a member of the Conservative team has turned words into actions. I am the member for the entire riding of Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean.

Arctic Sovereignty
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday I had the privilege of hearing Mary Simon, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, speak at the Canadian Club of Ottawa.

This was the first speech in a Canada-wide tour sponsored by First Air in which Mary Simon addresses, besides misconceptions about Inuit--we do pay income taxes--the challenges we have in our communities, about climate change and mostly about how we can help with sovereignty in our Arctic.

Mary also rightly pays tribute to the incredible adaptability and resilience of Inuit. We have survived much and we will continue to do so.

Mary Simon did make reference to the “use it or lose it” slogan of the Prime Minister in reference to the north. Inuit wonder if the Prime Minister is unaware that we have lived, hunted and provided careful stewardship of the land and wildlife for hundreds of years before he realized we existed.

Investment in Inuit education, quality of life and economic development would be a much better way to show sovereignty of the north as opposed to merely investing in military hardware.

I encourage those who can attend these speeches across Canada to do so, to hear what message Mary has for all Canadians.

Veterans Week
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we prepare to mark Veterans Week this year, we recall one of the most hard-fought battles of the first world war.

In the summer of 1917, the British and the Australians had limited success in capturing the German occupied Belgian coast. Thus, the Canadian Corps was called upon to get the job done.

On October 26, 1917, the Canadians began their assault in the Passchendaele region. On November 10, the Canadians launched their final attack and secured victory for the allies.

However, it came with a very heavy cost. Almost 12,000 brave Canadians were wounded and more than 4,000 lost their lives.

On this day, we pledge to remember those courageous Canadians who served so we can enjoy the freedoms we do. Lest We Forget.

ALS Society of Ontario
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this Saturday. the Peloso family in my riding of Ottawa Centre will organizing the sixth annual fundraiser and awareness night in support of the ALS Society of Ontario. ALS is a fatal disease commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Many Canadians and their families have suffered from the consequences of ALS but they stay strong because of the support of their families and their communities.

The Peloso family had only six weeks to say goodbye to their beloved father from the time when he was diagnosed to the time when he passed away. At the time there was little public awareness of ALS and virtually no community support.

However, the family turned the tragedy into positive energy. They came together to raise awareness, build community and, to date, have raised over $73,000 in support of the ALS Society of Ontario.

On behalf of the residents of Ottawa Centre, I congratulate the Peloso family and the organizers of this event for their hard work.

Canadian Federation of Students
Statements By Members

October 26th, 2007 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I met with representatives of the Canadian Federation of Students from Manitoba who are calling on the government to invest in Canada's students and Canada's future.

The Canadian Federation of Students is asking the government to improve access to post-secondary education and reduce student debt. It also calls on the government to continue to support the post-secondary student support program.

The government's recent Speech from the Throne left students out in the cold and provided no vision for their future. With a surplus of $14 billion, the government has put no measures in place to support students, except for a tax break on textbooks which, for post-secondary students, amounts to about $80 a year. This is shameful.

For Canada to enhance its competitiveness in the world, we must invest in our students and our post-secondary education system. When will the government realize that?

Unemployed Workers
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is national unemployment week and the situation remains worrisome in many regions of Quebec, Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean in particular.

While Quebec's key union leaders are eagerly awaiting a royal recommendation for Bill C-269, thousands of unemployed workers are being unfairly penalized by this government's lack of good will.

In addition to struggling with what little means they have to support hundreds of families affected by unemployment, a number of associations in my region such as ASTUSE, the Coalition des sans-chemise, and the Mouvement action chômage in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean cannot get through to the two Conservative members in my region.

The Bloc Québécois has managed, with help from the opposition parties, to get a bill passed to improve employment insurance. The Conservative government must respect the will of this House and provide better conditions to workers who lose their employment.

Official Languages
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, time passes but nothing changes. I am always amazed at how the Conservatives never stop attacking the official languages of Canada. It seems that cancelling the court challenges program without notice was not enough for this government.

Last spring, the Commissioner of Official Languages made it clear that there is a big difference between what the government says and what the government does when it comes to bilingualism.

It seems the Conservatives wanted to show they could go even further. The newest item on their record is that they are unable to provide bilingual health services in federal institutions such as Veterans Affairs and the RCMP. This is a sad but true representation of the unfortunate situation the linguistic minority populations have to suffer under this government.

It is time for this government to change its approach and show more respect for our linguistic minority communities.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know the so-called leader of the Liberal Party is not a leader. Now we know the Liberal Party stands for nothing, and literally.

On the throne speech, our plan for a better Canada, the Liberals just could not stand and vote. They sat in their seats, including the leader. What happened to their principles? The only Liberal principle left is self-preservation.

The party of health care and education? The Liberals voted against budget 2007 increases.

The party of the environment? This Conservative government adopted the toughest emissions reductions of any country for 2020.

A strong economy? The Liberals voted against all budget 2007 measures to help industry, measures they said that they supported at committee.

The party of national unity? Under the Liberals, support for sovereignty in Quebec it was over 50%. Now, our country is strong and united.

So what do the Liberals stand for? Just their paycheques.

A wise man once said, “You better stand for something or you are going to fall for anything”. He must have been talking about the Liberal Party of Canada.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we learned that Canada's top soldier went to Afghanistan. The Prime Minister's Office apparently had no idea he was there. Then he contradicted the government's statement in the throne speech itself that Afghanistan would be able to defend itself by 2011.

Now the Prime Minister's press secretary has issued a public reprimand to Canada's top soldier, trying to bring him back into line. What is at stake here is the government's competence and its credibility.

When will the government get this mission under control? Who is in charge?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada was quite clear in our recently passed throne speech, passed by the assistance of the opposition on the important issue of Afghanistan.

Building up the capacity of the Afghan people will, obviously, take time. We want them to be able to defend their sovereignty. We know that will not happen overnight but our government does believe it can happen by 2011, the end of the period that is covered in the Afghanistan Compact.

We look forward to receiving the report of the Manley panel, which all parliamentarians will have an opportunity to review and, as we have said many times before, it will be up to this Parliament to decide, in the end, the deployment.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has a long history of bungling this mission. After the detainee fiasco, it had to shuffle its ministers. Then it had to appoint an outside committee to do what ministers should be doing, which is to determine the future course after 2009. Now we learn that General Hillier and the government are at loggerheads.

Our troops deserve better. They deserve competent leadership. When will the Prime Minister start to provide it?