House of Commons Hansard #20 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post.

Topics

Youth Criminal Justice Act
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Justice tabled legislation that seeks to establish new measures to protect Canadian communities from young offenders who pose a risk to public safety.

We must do everything we can to prevent at risk young people from falling into the trap of becoming criminal offenders early in life. This new legislation will provide law enforcement and judicial institutions the tools they need to prosecute and hold young offenders accountable.

We fully recognize the importance of rehabilitation, which begins with offenders taking responsibility for their own actions, and the bill promotes such rehabilitation.

In addition to providing meaningful deterrents to the commission of crimes, the new legislation also seeks to establish justice reforms that would teach at risk youth the importance of being accountable for their actions and that there are indeed consequences when they choose crime over the law.

Through this new legislation, Canada's government is fulfilling a commitment that it made to Canadians, a commitment for safer communities and a safer Canada.

Sunset Country Métis
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am privileged to rise and honour the Sunset Country Métis people.

These children of the fur trade carry a proud history in Canadian society, filling many key roles with wisdom, tenacity and quiet confidence as they helped to build the Rainy River district.

From their example, we have learned respect for the environment, a sharing of the harvest, and a caring for others.

I ask members to please join me in thanking the Sunset Country Métis people for their valuable contribution to the prosperity and development of Canada.

I am honoured to call many of them friends and also honoured to be able to represent such great communities in Parliament.

The Environment
Statements By Members

November 20th, 2007 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie is criticizing our government with regard to climate change. Yet since 1990 the Bloc Québécois has been unable to meet the challenges of climate change, because it cannot implement any measures to do so.

The Parti Québécois farm team is lecturing us today, yet 10 years ago the Bloc could not even convince its head office to make a commitment to comply with the Kyoto protocol.

On February 12, 2007, the Conservative government transferred $350 million to Quebec so that it could implement its own plan. That is $350 million more than the Bloc has ever been able to get for environmental initiatives in Quebec.

In short, in just 371 days in power, the Conservative government has done more for climate change in Quebec than the Bloc has in 17 years in Ottawa.

Deceit has its limits. The Bloc's record on climate change is a failure.

National Child Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is National Child Day, a day to celebrate the rights of children.

Sixteen years ago, Canada signed on to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, yet for 16 years Canada has had no one to monitor the well-being of children. It has had no target or action plan to fight child poverty or obesity. It has had no national child care plan.

In fact, it has had no plan for kids at all.

To make matters worse, Conservatives are doing nothing while foreign corporations are trying to buy up child care centres right across Canada. Big box child care centres have a lower quality and higher fees. Worst of all, they make 40% of their revenues from public dollars.

However, there is an answer. The NDP's early learning and child care act returns to Parliament today. I urge all members to vote yes to higher quality, affordable and non-profit child care and yes to Bill C-303.

Our children deserve the best possible head start in life. Let us stand up and be counted and support our children and their working families.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to Stephanie Hermans from Brantford.

In August of this year, Stephanie swam across Lake Ontario, a distance of 30 miles. Many persons attempt the swim, but only one in three succeeds.

Stephanie succeeded in magnificent fashion, completing the swim in only 18 hours. More impressive is the fact that her swim was all about helping others. She raised $7,500 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Stephanie's twin sister Sarah, who suffers from Type 1 diabetes, was present for Stephanie's swim, as were other justifiably proud family members.

Stephanie is a credit to her family, a credit to her community and a credit to her country. As Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”.

I would like to thank Stephanie for what she has given to others.

Universal Children's Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, as part of Universal Children's Day, Initiative 1, 2, 3 GO! Ahuntsic, RePère, the Bureau de coordination des services de garde d'Ahuntsic, the Pacific Path Institute and Centres Jeunesse have brought back a children's advocacy exhibition by an Ahuntsic artist. In 1997, this internationally renowned artist received an honourable mention from the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse du Québec. November 20 marks the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.

The advocacy exhibition by Thérèse André entitled “Tendresse-tendresse” will give my community an opportunity to reflect, in the hope that one day all the children of the world, including ours, will be free from violence, poverty and exploitation.

There are far too many children suffering. Governments must heed the call and take action.

National Child Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year's theme for National Child Day is “The Right to be Active”. Promoting physical activity is essential to children's health. A quarter of Canadian children are either overweight or obese.

One estimate suggests that obesity currently costs the health care system $1.6 billion annually. Without immediate action, we are sacrificing the quality of life of our children and putting them at serious risk for preventable chronic diseases such as diabetes or even death.

Regrettably, the Conservative government's response to the health committee report, “Healthy Weights for Healthy Kids”, shows clearly that it lacks the resolve to develop a comprehensive national plan to fight childhood obesity.

The federal government must provide immediate leadership to ensure that the growing trend of increasing childhood obesity is reversed.

In recognition of National Child Day, I call on the government to adopt the recommendations to combat childhood obesity put forward recently by the Standing Committee on Health.

National Child Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Lynne Yelich Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, today is National Child Day and children and families are a priority of this government. That is why this government has provided all parents with choice in child care by implementing the universal child care benefit. I do not understand why the Liberal leader has said he would take it away.

This government created a new $2,000 child tax credit and provided an additional $250 million to the provinces, which has helped them announce the creation of more than 32,000 spaces.

This government is spending $5.6 billion this year alone on early learning and child care. This is the single largest child care investment in Canadian history, three times more than the previous Liberal government ever spent.

After 13 years of countless broken promises, even the former deputy leader of the Liberal Party, Sheila Copps, had to admit that her government did not create a single child care space.

It is fitting that this year's theme is “The Right to be Active”, because getting active is what this government has done after more than 13 years of Liberal inaction.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the Prime Minister why he misled the House last April about torture in Afghanistan but he refused to answer. Let me try again.

Why did the Prime Minister tell the House on April 30 that there was no evidence to support these allegations when Federal Court documents now prove that last April they did have evidence of torture?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have said repeatedly that there has been no evidence of any abuse involving the transfer of Canadian prisoners until one case recently in the past two weeks.

We do have a process in place with the Afghan government to monitor this and to ensure there is an investigation, and those are the facts.

Frankly, unless the Leader of the Opposition has some concrete evidence of allegations to make against Canadian soldiers, he should either make them, show that evidence or he should apologize.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the facts speak for themselves, against the government but for our soldiers.

The Minister of National Defence himself admitted last Sunday that the government had concealed the truth about torture. Absurdly, he tried to justify this cover-up by citing national security.

Does the Prime Minister agree with his Minister of National Defence that torture should be concealed in the name of national security?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is strange to say “for our soldiers” when he is accusing them of knowing about allegations of torture.

The truth is that our soldiers and military personnel always respect their international obligations. There is an agreement in place with the government of Afghanistan. When there is evidence of such allegations, an investigation is carried out, as is the case right now. If the leader of the Liberal Party would like to make any allegations against our soldiers, he should produce some evidence or apologize to our soldiers.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is pathetic. Court documents show that he misled the House. Court documents told the truth, not the Prime Minister. Court documents show that the government is transferring Afghan children in a system of abuse and torture. Court documents show that the government knew that last June and it is continuing to transfer children.

Today, Universal Children's Day, will the Prime Minister commit to stopping the transfer of children?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canadian Forces in Afghanistan transfer juvenile prisoners separately, according to international agreement. There has not been any evidence of abuse against such juveniles who have been transferred.

The Leader of the Opposition makes these allegations when Canadian heroes are being brought back to this country for burial. He has not a shred of proof and he should apologize to the military for those accusations.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of National Defence claimed that juvenile detainees were held separately from prisoners in Afghanistan.

However, there are two problems here. First, his own officials say that the separation of juveniles from the general prison population “remains an issue in Afghanistan”. Second, international conventions say that we should not be transferring child soldiers in the first place.

Would the Prime Minister confirm today that no juvenile detainees transferred by Canadian soldiers have been harmed or tortured and can he account for every last one of them?