House of Commons Hansard #35 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was safety.

Topics

Agriculture
Statements By Members

December 11th, 2007 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Steckle Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, as most members will recall, the past several years have been difficult times for our grains and oilseeds producers. Simply put, our farmers experienced a massive and nearly unprecedented drop in commodity prices while, at the same time, input costs rose to a record high.

Unfortunately, that same kind of challenge is now looming on the horizon for Canada's beef and pork sectors. The beef industry is still recovering from the events surrounding the BSE crisis. Now, while still financially diminished, our beef and pork sectors are facing an impending financial crisis which could spell disaster for these cornerstones of the Canadian agricultural economy.

As agriculture is the second largest employer in Canada and a mainstay in our national economy, I would urge the government to take immediate and decisive action to assist our farmers to move beyond crisis management to preserving their industries for the future. Time is of the essence. Our farmers need action now.

Algeria
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have just learned the sad news of two horrific terrorist attacks that took place this morning in Algiers. More than 60 people are believed dead and many injured, including employees of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

While Algeria is recovering from a long decade of civil war that claimed over 150,000 lives, it is particularly appalling that terrorist elements, probably linked to al-Qaeda, launched these deadly attacks against innocent victims and members of the UN staff who are working for the good of the Algerian people.

Over the past few years, Algeria has put forth considerable effort in the fight against terrorism and in establishing peace and reconciliation within its borders.

The Government of Canada strongly condemns these terrorist attacks, which are aimed solely at undermining the foundations of democracy and destabilizing Algeria.

Quebec Farmers' Union
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois would like to congratulate Christian Lacasse, a dairy farmer from Saint-Vallier de Bellechasse and the new president of the Union des producteurs agricoles. We also congratulate the vice presidents, Pierre Lemieux and Denis Bilodeau. I would also like to acknowledge the tremendous contribution to Quebec's agricultural community made by Laurent Pellerin, president of the UPA for 14 years, and Martine Mercier, the first female vice president.

Upon his election, the new president of the UPA said, and I quote:

We will pull together to help our fellow members, those who are having difficulty in the forestry, pork, beef and grain sectors. Government support is needed, providing emergency assistance in order to get through this crisis. If nothing is done, there will be some closures.

His message fell on deaf ears, since the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food did not announce any assistance for farmers at the UPA convention. He refused to answer their questions. He must listen to them, however, since the Bloc Québécois will continue to defend the interests of Quebec farmers.

The Economy
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada plays an important and dynamic role in the global economy. This Conservative government has strengthened our economic foundations, set a long term vision, and Canadians are reaping the benefits: a robust economy and record employment.

We are working with Canadian businesses to improve investment conditions, boost innovation and increase global trade, but this Conservative government will ensure that the rules are fair and that our national interests are protected.

That is why the Minister of Industry moved to protect Canada from state owned enterprises that are not transparent when taking over a Canadian business. There are no guarantees that their interests are strictly commercial and they often answer to their home governments.

We are ensuring the Canadian workers are not left to the mercies of a foreign government. SOEs will be required to prove that their investments are in our national interest.

The message is clear: This government will protect our Canadian workers and our national interests.

Canada is open for business, but we are certainly not for sale. We are making sure our economy, like Canada itself, will always be strong and free.

Mount Allison University
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I rise today to salute Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick.

Mount Allison has been named the top undergraduate university in Maclean's magazine's 17th annual survey.

This year Mount Allison tied with Acadia University. For 12 of the past 17 years, Mount Allison was ranked number one and second for another five years, a fantastic record of achievement for a world class university.

Dr. Robert Campbell, Mount Allison's president, said it well:

The Maclean's university rankings tell the world about Mount Allison's strengths, from our award-winning faculty teaching and small class sizes to our innovative residence system, which includes a sustainable residence, and a myriad of extracurricular activities...the Mount Allison experience gives the students more than a degree and prepares them to become engaged citizens of the world--

Congratulations to the students, staff and teachers at Mount Allison University.

Manufacturing and Forestry Industries
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, on December 7, our Prime Minister went to Rivière-du-Loup and Rimouski, where he met with a number of constituents from the Lower St. Lawrence region, who gave him a warm welcome. For one of the few times in 14 years, economic players in the region were able to share their concerns directly with a federal elected representative who is not stuck on the opposition benches and who has the means to act.

As usual, the Prime Minister talked about the real challenges, such as the situation in the manufacturing and forestry industries, which have to operate in a demanding economic environment. Our government, which has a strong presence in Quebec, has taken steps to support these industries, the communities where they are located and their workers. Our government will do more for these industries in the new year and in the next budget, because it is in the interests of Quebeckers and Canadians.

During that time, the member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup can continue to listen and ask questions.

Seniors
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, our senior citizens deserve much better treatment from our government. Seniors work hard. They have paid into their pensions. They deserve security in their retirement, but more and more they find themselves done out of their own money. They do not get their GIS automatically. Some who qualify are missing disability pensions. Some have to go to court to fight for basic CPP. Now a five year miscalculation of the inflation rate means seniors lose again.

When I publicized this in my riding, the Secretary of State for Seniors issued a release within hours. Will the government fix the problem? No. It blamed the Liberal government for the mistake and said that other western countries also kept money from inflated mistakes.

We teach our children not to hide behind other's actions when they make a mistake. Why not our government? It can instantly get out a press release, defending not doing the right thing, but cannot act fast enough for seniors. Actions do speak louder than words. Give the seniors their money.

The Aga Khan
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, this Thursday, December 13, marks the 71st birthday of His Highness The Aga Khan.

His Highness is an important spiritual leader to millions of Ismailis around the world. An even wider audience knows him as the head of the Aga Khan Development Network, one of the world's largest private foundations dedicated to the eradication of poverty, hunger, illiteracy and diseases in the developing world.

His selfless philanthropy has been recognized worldwide, as has his commitment to pluralism. Canada conferred on him the Companion of the Order of Canada.

The Aga Khan is establishing the Global Centre for Pluralism, to be headquartered in Ottawa. The centre will engage in research and promote dialogue about ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity, with a view to helping foster pluralistic values worldwide.

I ask all members of the House to join me in wishing best wishes to His Highness The Aga Khan for his continued success in bringing light to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable.

Women's Employment Organization
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the organization Partance was established in Drummondville in 1982 to help women deal with the difficulties of integrating into the job market.

Twenty-five years later, the job market has been transformed, but many obstacles remain for women who wish to realize their professional objectives. Almost 4,000 women have used the services of Partance, which has come to symbolize a beginning, a jumping off point, a door to the future.

On the occasion of this anniversary, tribute was paid to the winners of the “women of influence” contest: Berthe Tessier of the Association des retraitées et retraités de l'enseignement du Québec, Drummondville region; Francine Ruest Jutras, mayor of Drummondville; Mariette Saint-Laurent, founder of La Rose des vents; Micheline Locas, President and CEO of Association des clubs d'entrepreneurs étudiants; and Paula Provencher, President of AFEAS, central Quebec chapter.

They bear witness to the place occupied by women in Drummondville. They have paved the way for others. I congratulate all of them.

Canada Post
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, the government has dealt a serious blow to the rural mail delivery in my riding of Cardigan and across Prince Edward Island.

Canada Post has its officials ordering people to use superboxes in areas on very busy highways, which is very dangerous. An incident already occurred on the Trans-Canada Highway in my riding last week, where someone picking up their mail had an accident while leaving the site.

Canada Post has installed these superboxes in areas with no concern for the safety of the public and without adequate room for people to safely stop and pick up their mail. This is unacceptable and it must stop.

My message is simple. Stop this situation where islanders are being placed at risk just to pick up their mail. If the government allows this to continue, this will be the end of rural mail delivery across Canada, which will have a direct effect on seniors in rural areas.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to hypocrisy on climate change, the Liberal Party is hands down the winner.

In recognition of its complete failure over 13 years to fight climate change, we are happy to continue awarding a special Liberal with the hypocrite of the day award during the course of the current United Nations Conference on Climate Change taking place in Indonesia.

Today's award goes to the Liberal member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore who said, “We'll clean up Kazakhstan, but we won't clean up downtown Toronto”. And who can forget when he infamously called out the Liberal leader on his failed environmental record and said, “We didn't get it done”.

When it comes to fighting climate change on the world stage, there is only one party that is serious about getting things done and getting all major emitters like China, India and the United States on board. That party, my friends, is the Conservative Party of Canada.

Chalk River Nuclear Facilities
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has broken its embargo on the legislation to deal with the mess it has made of the isotopes crisis. Therefore, let me ask the Prime Minister about the legislation.

Why does the nuclear regulator have no role in assessing whether the Chalk River reactor is safe during the 120 day period? Why does the government believe AECL, which was in flagrant violation of its licence, is competent to decide whether the reactor is safe to operate?

Chalk River Nuclear Facilities
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has independent advice indicating there is no safety concern with the reactor.

On the contrary, what we do know is the continuing actions of the Liberal appointed Nuclear Safety Commission will jeopardize the health and safety and lives of tens of thousands of Canadians.

We do not have the authority to act as an executive, but we do have the responsibility to demand that Parliament step in and fix this situation before the health of more people is put in jeopardy.

Chalk River Nuclear Facilities
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, attacking the regulator, taking him out of the process, is going to make the problem worse.

In a speech in June 2006 at Chalk River, the Minister of Natural Resources said “we're getting our house in order”. The house is not in order. AECL is a crown corporation. Its board is named by the government. The government should have known it was violating the terms of its licence.

Why did the minister sit here for 18 months doing nothing?

Chalk River Nuclear Facilities
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, both AECL and the CNSC operate independently of the government.

That said, the actions of the regulator, while within its legislative authority, are clearly, in the eyes of this government, not in the public interest. It is in the public interest to get this reactor back online and get these medical radioisotopes produced. There is no threat to nuclear safety at all. There is a threat to human health.

The Liberals should stop protecting their appointee and get on with getting these medical isotopes produced.