House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Sackville—Eastern Shore.

[Members sang the national anthem]

International Volunteer Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to pay tribute to International Volunteer Day, which takes place each year on December 5. International Volunteer Day is officially recognized by the United Nations as a day on which volunteers around the world are recognized and celebrated for their dedication.

Canadians make an enormous contribution of time to make life better in our communities. Almost 12 million Canadians volunteer with charities or organizations and contribute close to 2 billion volunteer hours.

However, there is always room for more. In terms of the whole Canadian population, 11% of Canadians contribute 77% of all volunteer hours. This means that 1.3 million volunteers provide 1.5 billion hours, an average of 1,000 hours each.

Volunteer Canada encourages Canadians to join in and be the positive change in their communities.

To all the volunteers and volunteer organizations across the country, and especially those in my riding of Kelowna--Lake Country, I express my thanks for making the effort and taking the time to make life better for all of us.

International Volunteer Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is indeed International Volunteer Day and, in particular, I want to draw attention to those Canadians who are serving overseas as volunteers.

At any time, over 3,300 Canadians are volunteering internationally, working to fight poverty, increasing access to water and sanitation, teaching classes, providing health care, working to strengthen democracy and improve governance, and helping accelerate small business development.

Since the creation of Canada's aid program more than 35 years ago, more than 75,000 Canadians have volunteered overseas.

Canada is fortunate to have volunteer organizations with the expertise to make sure our volunteers have a lasting impact. These agencies are attracting international attention for their innovation and ability to work together effectively.

All Canadians can and must be proud of the contributions of Canadian volunteers overseas. I ask all members of the House to join me in saluting the 75,000 Canadians who have served overseas to build a better world.

Claude Le Sauteur
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to a great Quebecker, artist Claude Le Sauteur, an impressive landscape painter who passed away on November 29, at the age of 81.

Welcomed and inspired by Charlevoix for more than 30 years, Claude Le Sauteur left a mark on his time with his talent. He has charmed us with his works, of course, but also as a committed, genuine, daring, hard-working, generous and touching man.

Made a member of the Order of Canada in 2000, knight of the National Order of Quebec the same year, and a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1989, Le Sauteur received the Alphonse-Desjardins medal in 1984 and the Quebec Lieutenant Governor medal in 1950.

Claude Le Sauteur's world-famous luminous landscapes and lively, colourful figures enable us to share the imagination of this artist whom we have loved so much and will continue to love forever.

Thank you, Claude Le Sauteur!

Firefighters
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, recently I had the honour to attend the Winnipeg Fire Fighters Annual Charity Ball.

I would like to congratulate Mr. Alex Forrest, president of the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg, Local 867, on a successful evening and extend my thanks and the gratitude of my constituents for the work that firefighters and paramedics do every day.

When others are rushing out away from danger, they are rushing in to protect, to rescue and sometimes to die in the line of duty.

Tragically, this was the case for two Winnipeg firefighters this last year, so the event was also an opportunity to honour and thank the families of Captain Harold Lessard and Captain Tom Nichols.

I would also like to commend Mr. Martin Johnson, a constituent of mine, for his leadership over the years in regard to the Fire Fighters Burn Fund. It has been an honour to work with and for such people.

Norval Morrisseau
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, it was with great sadness that we learned of the death of the great Anishinabe painter, Norval Morrisseau.

Known as Copper Thunderbird, Mr. Morrisseau was the first artist to depict the rich legends and history of the Ojibwa, and he was an inspiration to several generations of aboriginal artists.

Appointed to the Order of Canada in 1978 in recognition of his distinctive body of work, Mr. Morrisseau is the only first nations artist to have a major solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada.

The government joins with people around the world in extending deepest sympathy to the friends and family of Norval Morrisseau.

George Knox
Statements By Members

December 5th, 2007 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the sad duty to report to the House the passing of George Knox.

A squadron flight lieutenant during World War II, George's spirit of selflessness followed him home. He served on many boards and was a tireless volunteer, a steward at Greenborough Community Church, founding president of York Community Services, and the deserving recipient of the Queen's Jubilee Medal for Senior Citizen of the Year.

There is a long list of those who loved him and those who, like myself, had the honour of calling him a dear friend.

The list of those who benefited from his charitable works is endless.

George lived an incredible life. He served his country and then his community and was forever striving to benefit his fellow man. While some strove for recognition or accolades, George was content to lead a life of quiet heroism.

George was a wonderful, caring, kind, capable and courageous man. Our community will miss him, as will I.

I would like to call on my hon. colleagues in this House to applaud the life and legacy of a D-Day veteran, a community champion and a truly great Canadian, George Arthur Knox.

Ken Gorman
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to rise today to pay tribute to one of the finest teachers I have ever known.

Mr. Ken Gorman taught at Immaculata High School here in Ottawa for the past 26 years, having retired just recently in the spring to pursue his own interests, including songwriting and literature.

Few teachers were able to make the English language come to life like Mr. Gorman could. Hundreds of former Immaculata students are able to rhyme off Shakespeare's verses thanks to his efforts to instill in us a love of the Bard's works.

I will always remember playing name that tune, the candle of inspiration, the wall of fame and all his other techniques to connect with students and to make learning fun.

Sadly, Mr. Gorman was not able to enjoy his well-deserved retirement. Last week, at the all too young age of 56, Mr. Gorman succumbed to cancer.

To his wife Anne and his children Michelle, Marie and Sean, I would like to pass along my deepest condolences. On behalf of the class of 1998, I would like to say to his family that we will keep them in our prayers, and from Henry IV, act 5, scene 4, we say, “Adieu, and take thy praise with thee to heaven!”

Bill C-411
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow will be a critical day for businesses. Indeed, this will be the second hour of debate on Bill C-411, which I introduced in this House, on March 2.

This legislation is very important, because it provides, at last, anti-dumping measures that are in compliance with those recognized internationally, and that will allow businesses to protect themselves against the flood of subsidized imports, particularly from so-called “emerging” economies.

All the parties will have the opportunity to support businesses by voting in favour of a better imports control system. The Bloc Québécois feels that it is urgent to put in place means to help our businesses, which must deal with a strong dollar and face unfair trade practices.

Tomorrow, we will see which federalist parties defend, like the Bloc Québécois, jobs in Quebec.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the Liberals issued yet another empty press release on agriculture It is not a surprise coming from a Liberal leader who has admitted that he is “not an expert on agriculture”.

Instead of more empty talk, our government is putting farmers first and we are taking real action. In less than two years, we have negotiated agreements with the provincial and territorial governments to create AgriInvest, AgriStability and AgriRecovery, which replace the failed Liberal CAIS program.

We have taken a strong and balanced approach to international negotiations by standing up for supply management and pushing for increased market access for Canadian exports.

We are also taking real action for both our environment and our farm families by providing strong support for the biofuel industry.

Canadian farmers are maximizing tremendous opportunities in agriculture, but our government understands and recognizes that some sectors are struggling. That is why we are working with industry leaders and provincial governments to deliver real help to livestock producers and to build long term solutions.

While the opposition talks, this government will continue to take real action for Canadian farm families across the country.

Norval Morrisseau
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the official opposition, I too wish to pay tribute today to an extraordinary Canadian artist, Norval Morrisseau, who died yesterday at the age of 75.

Mr. Morrisseau, a self-taught artist who signed most of his work with his Ojibwa name, Copper Thunderbird, received the Order of Canada in 1978 and is holder of the eagle feather, which is the highest honour awarded by the Assembly of First Nations.

He invented a style used by generations of aboriginal artists and called the pictographic style.

In 1966, Norval, along with fellow native artist Carl Ray, created a large mural for the native people of Canada pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal.

Last year, the National Gallery of Canada organized a retrospective of his work, the first time the gallery dedicated a solo exposition to a native artist.

I would like to congratulate the National Gallery of Canada on that.

Mr. Morrisseau has been called the “Picasso of the North” by many. It is a well-deserved title. We thank him for his legacy.

Status of Women
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are not fooled by the empty Liberal rhetoric. For more than a dozen years, that party failed to address the pressing issues facing women. Its time in office represented lost years for the advancement of women as successive Liberal governments undermined women's safety and opportunity for economic advancement.

Whether it is the fight against violent crime, protection of the environment or elimination of poverty, the Liberals did not get it done.

On that side of the House, things have not improved. Under the current Liberal leader, high profile female MPs are leaving politics. Others are demoted in favour of men. Prominent female candidates have been pushed aside and the Liberals continue to hold annual “no women allowed” parties.

Actions speak louder than words. Liberals make promises but they never deliver. Canadian women are not buying what Liberals are selling.

Asbestos
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, asbestos is the greatest industrial killer the world has ever know and yet Canada remains one of the largest producers of asbestos in the world, dumping 220,000 tonnes per year into developing nations.

Most developed nations have banned asbestos in all of its forms: the entire European Union, Japan, Australia and many other countries.

On October 4, the United States Senate unanimously passed bill 742, the ban asbestos in America bill.

However, Canada continues to allow asbestos to be used in construction materials, textile products and even, unbelievably, children's toys, and it spends millions of dollars subsidizing the asbestos industry and blocking international efforts to curb its use.

Canada should ban asbestos in all its forms, institute a just transition program for workers who may be displaced, end all government subsidies of asbestos in both Canada and abroad, and stop blocking international health and safety conventions designed to protect workers from asbestos, like the Rotterdam convention.

Exhibition Transportation Services Program
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, galleries and museums across the country are outraged at the cancellation of the exhibition transportation services program by the Minister of Canadian Heritage .

The exhibition transportation services program allows museums and galleries access to art and exhibits that would otherwise be too expensive to ship.

The Thunder Bay Museum, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and the Fort Frances Museum are concerned with the dramatically increased shipping costs that they will face when this service expires in April.

There is also very real concern that shipping services to remote areas, such as northwestern Ontario, will be unavailable without this government-run program, leaving our museums and galleries without any travelling exhibits to draw patrons.

Arts and heritage programming is too vital to our communities to be put in such jeopardy. The Minister of Heritage must immediately renew the exhibition transportation services program.

International Volunteer Day
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is International Volunteer Day, and I am very proud to salute the extraordinary work that volunteers from Quebec do all over the world. On the ground, each one is a ray of hope for hundreds of people. Their caring and know-how enable them to make a solid contribution to improving the daily lives of the most vulnerable. They are the very incarnation of peace, social justice and democracy, values that Quebeckers hold dear.

I want to highlight the work of Claudette and Jean-Guy Bourbonnais, two volunteers in my riding, who share their expertise in organizational development and management with Oxfam-Québec partners in the Congo.

I would like to thank all people who, like them, are helping people in need both at home and abroad. As Christmas draws near, their dedication is an inestimable source of comfort.