House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Special Olympics Soccer
Statements By Members

December 10th, 2007 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize Team Canada for winning Canada's first gold model in soccer at the Shanghai Special Olympics.

I applaud: Marc Theriault; Jay Laitar; Derek Tomm; Rick Bussey; Steven Dew; Glen McIntyre; Ben Felling; Bryce Schaufelberger; Hank Vielvoye; and Mandy Manzardo. They have shown all Canadians how to triumph over adversity.

I invite all my colleagues to join me in congratulating the team, their parents and their coaches on the gold medal win. They have made us all proud.

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, on November 13, the Conservative government refused to support the Bloc Québécois motion to save thousands of jobs in the manufacturing sector in Quebec. Since the beginning of this session, the Conservatives have been ignoring the calls from Quebec, despite the huge budgetary surplus that could reach $69 billion in five years.

The only thing that matters to the Conservatives is not to touch the surplus, but in the meantime, thousands of workers do not have access to employment insurance.

The government will not touch the surplus and it is also denying seniors full retroactivity for the guaranteed income supplement; students will see the budget for summer jobs cut in half; and manufacturing and forestry businesses will close their doors one after the other.

The Conservatives are so focused on their surplus that they do not even see the glaring problems that have to be resolved right now, not three months from now.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, food sovereignty is an extremely important issue for Canadians.

In Nelson, B.C., a conference was held recently to discuss the future of food.

The National Farmers Union convention this year focused on the issue of food security and democracy.

A few weeks ago, I attended an event in Russell, Ontario, where we learned that a strategy is being developed for food sovereignty in Quebec.

The president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture said we must take action or Canada will lose its food self-sufficiency.

The report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food recommends that a national food policy be established that will help guarantee long-term food safety.

The response often given by government officials to food sovereignty is that our hands are tied because of trade obligations.

Other countries are putting the needs of their citizens first. It is time for Canada to develop a food policy that puts Canadian farmers and all Canadians ahead of any WTO, NAFTA or other trade obligations.

Infrastructure
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, recently the Government of British Columbia signed on to our government's building Canada plan, the largest investment in infrastructure since the second world war.

British Columbia became the first province in Canada to sign on to our plan, which means that projects will move ahead, infrastructure will be built, and B.C. will see our tax dollars put to work addressing our needs.

This plan provides more funding over a longer period of time than any previous federal infrastructure program, and B.C. will receive our fair share of tax dollars, invested in our communities.

At the signing ceremony with the Prime Minister, Premier Campbell said,“I thank [the] Prime Minister...for working with us to make British Columbia the first province to sign onto the Building Canada Fund that will help meet the needs of a growing population and a strong economy”.

For too long, British Columbians have watched in frustration as our tax dollars went to Ottawa and never seemed to come back. Those days are over.

By working together, putting in place the building Canada plan and putting commitments into action, British Columbia will be made stronger and more prosperous. When it comes to B.C. issues, we are getting the job done. Our government is serving the people of British Columbia.

Infrastructure
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, across Canada there is a massive infrastructure deficit that is impacting the everyday lives of Canadians.

The Canadian Federation of Municipalities estimates our national infrastructure deficit has reached $123 billion and, of this, $40 billion is for community, recreational, cultural and social infrastructure.

Recreational facilities, many of which were built as memorial projects and centennial projects, need reinvestment or replacement now. The infrastructure deficit has become a significant health and safety issue.

Community projects, such as the East Hants Sportsplex, Glooscap District Arena, Brooklin Fire Hall and Community Centre and the Windsor Curling Club, all deserve investment now. Tax credits for hockey equipment will not matter if there are no rinks for people to actually play hockey in.

The government's responsibility is, first and foremost, to work with municipalities and the provinces to help provide social infrastructure and ensure that these facilities continue to exist.

The Government of Canada needs to provide meaningful support to its communities now.

Riding of Macleod
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to share with the House good news from my beautiful riding of Macleod.

When the good people of Macleod requested help from the government, this government listened and our government delivered: from High River to Coleman; from the South County Fair to the Empress Theatre Society; from Western Biodiesel to the Claresholm & District Museum. They have all gained from this government's commitment to invest in the prosperity of its citizens.

These significant investments will assist in the development of both the economy and the culture of the riding of Macleod. It is proof of this government's commitment to supporting all facilities that enrich the lives of our communities.

For years the Liberals talked about these kinds of investments. What matters is what one does, not what one says.

This government has answered the requests of the citizens of Macleod, and though I have never believed it was possible to improve on perfection, it seems that with this government's strong leadership and generosity today, my riding of Macleod is more prosperous and more beautiful than I could ever have imagined.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my constituents and all Canadians from coast to coast to coast a safe and happy holiday season.

Human Rights Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, today we celebrate Human Rights Day, which is an opportunity for the international community to reaffirm its commitment to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its desire to eliminate torture once and for all.

This year's theme is “End torture now!” The Bloc Québécois is very concerned about the Conservative government's attitude towards human rights, particularly when it comes to Afghan prisoners. It originally denied allegations of torture, then it hid reports, and in the end, it reluctantly admitted that there was a possibility the prisoners were tortured.

In November, Amnesty International actually expressed its doubts about Canada's willingness to get to the bottom of these allegations of torture. On top of that, this government will not call for a moratorium on the death penalty at the UN.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues and I are very worried.

Quebec Union of Agricultural Producers
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to congratulate Christian Lacasse, the new president of the UPA, Quebec's union of agricultural producers, who was elected on December 6.

With his ability to unify people and promote agriculture, Christian Lacasse intends to focus on food sovereignty and supply management to set a course for the future.

This fall, during the UPA's open house days, I had the privilege of visiting his dairy farm in Saint-Vallier de Bellechasse, the Gendron-Lacasse farm, which he manages with his wife, Sylvie, and his three sons. I discovered the man's passion for agriculture and his desire to protect and promote the interests of Quebec's agricultural and forestry producers.

Mr. Lacasse is taking over from Laurent Pellerin, who was the organization's dedicated and passionate president for 14 years. Mr. Lacasse is a leader in the communities of Lévis, Bellechasse and Les Etchemins. His appointment honours agricultural businesses in my riding and in all of Quebec.

On behalf of all of my colleagues, I wish him a successful and productive mandate.

Lester B. Pearson
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, 50 years ago, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Lester B. Pearson.

The Nobel selection committee said that Pearson had “saved the world” when he diffused the Suez crisis through the creation of the United Nations Emergency Force.

The concept of peacekeeping changed the world and Canada's role in it forever.

For Lester Pearson, the Nobel was only the beginning of a lifetime of contribution and achievement.

As prime minister, Pearson operated strictly within the confines of a minority government and yet he changed this nation too: the Canadian pension plan, loans for students, a new flag, a bilingual nation and health care for all.

Known to history as Lester, beloved by a nation as Mike, Pearson shall be forever known as one of the most influential Canadians of the last century.

On this day, I invite my colleagues in the House to proudly remember the contribution and the legacy of Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.

Human Rights Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize a historic anniversary. Fifty-nine years ago, on December 10, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations. John Peters Humphrey, who was born in my riding, in the town of Hampton, New Brunswick, was a principal drafter of the declaration.

The year 2007 also marks the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which inspired a vision for Canada in which all individuals should have an opportunity equal with other individuals to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have, free from discrimination. One of my predecessors in the riding of Fundy Royal, MP Gordon Fairweather, was the first chief commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Every year this day reminds us of persisting challenges in our communities and all over the world. Human rights are our common heritage and their protection requires our unwavering attention. We believe that a world where freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law are paramount will ensure a better world for us all.

On the anniversary of Human Rights Day, we wish for all of us, who live in our country of compassion, a renewed vigilance and commitment to the cause of human rights.

Infrastructure
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is leaving Canada's cities to crumble.

Last month, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities told the government that cities and communities across the country desperately needed better infrastructure funding. What did the Minister of Finance say? He said that the federal government was “not in the pothole business”. That was an outrageous response to a serious issue.

My community of Surrey North is among those in need of help. We urgently need $20 million to upgrade the Fraser Highway, a critical transportation route. We need $800 million to build better commuter transit along the King George and Fraser Highways. As one of the fastest growing communities in Canada, we need $10 million each year to upgrade its roadways.

The Conservatives say that they are not in the business of fixing potholes but the federal government must be an active partner in building Canadian cities.

On behalf of the city of Surrey, I call on the Conservatives to do the right thing: give Canadian cities the support they need to maintain a good--

Infrastructure
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Madawaska—Restigouche.

Manufacturing Industry
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, my riding was rocked by devastating announcements again today. We had already heard announcements from Atlantic Yarn in Atholville, AbitibiBowater in Dalhousie, and WHK Woven Label in Edmundston, and we have just learned about the closure of two Shermag plants in Edmundston and St-François, leaving 213 employees out of work.

Despite this very serious crisis, the Conservative government says nothing, does nothing and remains silent. With the holiday season just around the corner, this crisis is affecting our workers and their families right now.

For months now, my colleagues and I have been warning the Conservative government about this crisis. During all this time, the Conservatives have always given answers that are not good enough for our workers.

Why does the Conservative government do nothing, when it accumulated a surplus of $11.6 billion in the first six months of the year?

Now—not in the next budget—is the time to help workers. I would like to make something very clear to the Conservatives. If they are not capable of helping workers, well, they might as well stay at home during the next federal election.

Aboriginal Communities in Quebec
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Yvon Lévesque Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, on December 10, 1948, the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In this 60th anniversary year, poverty is still both the cause and the result of human rights violations.

In Quebec, first nations still live in disgraceful conditions, too often in poverty. That poverty has an impact on the entire aboriginal population, but especially on young people, who make up 50% of that population.

Today, the chiefs of the first nations of Quebec are on the Hill to propose tangible measures to eliminate poverty in their communities. It is an opportunity for the members of this House to meet with them and find out more about the “10,000 possibilities” plan they have for solving their problems.

The Bloc Québécois commends this initiative, which is bringing nations closer together and, we hope, will lead to real solutions to eradicate poverty in Quebec's aboriginal communities.

Human Rights Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, today is International Human Rights Day, starting a year long commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The theme for 2008, “Dignity and Justice for All of Us”, reinforces the vision of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UDHR is not a luxury or a wish list. It is a commitment to universal dignity and justice.

Adopted in 1948, the declaration continues to be a source of inspiration for national and international efforts to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Sixty years on, we pay tribute to the extraordinary vision of the declaration's original drafters and to the many human rights defenders around the world who have struggled to make their vision a reality.

I would like to quote the UN home page as it reads today. It states:

The Declaration belongs to each and every one of us--read it, learn it, promote it and claim it as your own.