House of Commons Hansard #111 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

Star of Military Valour
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, Sergeant Patrick Tower, who served at CFB Wainwright, will become one of the first ever recipients of Canada's Star of Military Valour.

In true soldier fashion, Sergeant Tower insists that he was just doing his job when he led two of his comrades through 150 metres of enemy fire to help a group of Canadian soldiers who were pinned down and had suffered heavy casualities.

Later that day Sergeant Tower learned that four soldiers, including his best friend, were killed during the battle. His courage and selfless devotion to duty figured significantly in the survival of the remaining platoon members.

A soldier since the age of 17, Sergeant Tower is proud of his troops, his country and his mission and he humbly points to those who did not come home as the true heroes.

However, when heroes do manage to come home, like Sergeant Tower, it is a privilege to recognize and thank them for their service to Canada, to peace and to democracy, and I am humbled to do so today.

Thanks and well done Sergeant Tower.

Making Kenora Home
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Valley Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to recognize the Making Kenora Home organization. Mike Aiken, Nan Norman, Selen Alpay and the Harbour Town Centre have worked tireless to bring awareness to the poverty issues in the Kenora area.

This week has been deemed Poverty Week in Kenora, where individual community organizations and businesses have come together to raise money and educate about poverty and homelessness.

Yesterday marked the Wear Red for Poverty Awareness Day, where people all over the city wore red to make the statement that we must find solutions to help these people who are living with these challenges.

I congratulate the Making Kenora Home organization for its efforts and I applaud everyone who participated in these events.

Michaël Boissonneault
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, it gives me pleasure today to welcome Michaël Boissonneault, the winner of the first “MP for a Day” contest for political science students at the Cégep de Victoriaville.

As part of the Canada-Quebec politics course, participants were asked to examine Quebec’s traditional demands vis-à-vis the federal government. Michaël submitted the best presentation on this topic, taking care to give equal weight to all demands.

This non-partisan contest is intended to encourage young people to consider a career in politics and helps make them aware of the realities of parliamentary life, as well as enhancing the image of politicians and politics in general, all the while, of course, leaving young people to form their own opinions.

I would like to thank Jean-François Léonard, professor of political science and geography at the Cégep de Victoriaville, with whom I launched this contest. I also want to thank la Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste du Centre-du-Québec and La Capitale Centre-du-Québec for their contributions to a scholarship of $550, which was awarded to Michaël, a young man with a promising future.

Adventurer of the Year Award
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Catherine Bell Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate two extraordinary individuals from my riding. Colin Angus and Julie Wafaei have been awarded the National Geographic 2006 Adventurer of the Year Award for their two year human powered world circumnavigation.The team used zero emissions travel to highlight issues of global warming and to inspire others to use non-motorized transportation.

Colin and Julie completed the expedition last May, 720 days of travel. Colin travelled 43,000 kilometres by rowboat, bicycle, canoe, ski and on foot, a journey that voyaged across three continents, two oceans and seventeen countries.

Julie travelled with him for most of that expedition, including rowing 10,000 kilometres unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean, making her the first woman to row across the Atlantic from mainland to mainland and the first Canadian woman to row across any ocean.

Congratulations Colin and Julie on receiving this award and on highlighting the issue of climate change.

Academy Awards
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Oscar nominee, Ms. Torill Kove. Born and raised in Norway, Ms. Kove moved to Canada in 1982.

The Danish Poet, Torill's latest film, is a co-production by the National Film Board and Norway's MikroFilm. It is Miss Kove's second Oscar nomination and the 69th nomination for the National Film Board of Canada. This week the film won a Genie for best animated short film.

Torill's first professional film, My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts, co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada and Studio Magica of Oslo, won numerous international awards and was nominated for an Oscar as well.

Other Canadian Oscar nominees are: Ryan Gosling, best actor; Paul Haggis, best original screenplay; Paul Massey for sound mixing; and Water, a film by Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta as best foreign film.

Congratulations and good luck on Oscar night.

Ocean Ranger
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate a sad anniversary.

Twenty-five years ago today, 84 lives were lost at sea after the Ocean Ranger capsized in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. February 15, 1982, will be a day long remembered by all Canadians and particularly by Newfoundlands and Labradorians as this happened on the southern Grand Banks just off our coast.

Tragedies at seas are not something new to my province. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians for over 500 years have been making a living from the resources of the ocean. The Ocean Ranger tragedy and the men whose lives were lost on that fateful night will be forever etched in our memory.

By remembering those who lost their lives, we honour both their courage and their families' pain. In the wake of this tragedy, advances in technology and training have helped us reduce the risks taken by those who venture into our oceans, but there will always be danger and there will always be brave men and women willing to meet it.

I invite my colleagues to honour the crew of the Ocean Ranger with our thoughts and prayers and to pledge vigilance for those who today follow their passion and seek their livelihood on the high seas.

Ocean Ranger
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Fabian Manning Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, 25 years ago today, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada were awakened to the tragic news of the worst offshore accident in Canadian history.

In the early hours on February 15, 1982, during a major storm that brought 100 knot winds and 65 foot waves, the offshore drilling rig the Ocean Ranger sank beneath the waves. All 84 crew members lost their lives that fateful morning and the families and friends and communities of our province were changed forever. It was indeed a dark, sombre day in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Today we stand in the House, from coast to coast to coast, and remember those brave pioneers of our oil and gas industry and express our sympathies and prayers to the loved ones who were left behind. Brave men is what they were, those who faced the icy winds, knowing as they left those sheltered coves that they may never return again.

May their souls rest in peace.

Maher Arar and Monia Mazigh
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Lussier Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Quebeckers and Canadians of the Muslim faith or of Arab origin reaffirmed their commitment to creating a better society by contributing to its sociocultural and economic development.

The community paid tribute to Maher Arar and to his wife, Monia Mazigh, as part of a parliamentary evening to recognize their struggle to obtain justice and reparation from the Government of Canada.

In recent years, a number of disturbing events have created situations that we can unfortunately associate with terms such as “Islamophobia” or “Arabophobia.” The members of the Arab and Muslim communities of Quebec and Canada declare their firm resolve to promote peace and to contribute to building a society based on the values of solidarity and social, economic and cultural prosperity.

The Bloc Québécois joins with the Muslim and Arab communities in paying tribute to Maher Arar and to Monia Mazigh.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, recent actions by the Liberal Party have Canadians questioning Liberal motives: 261 days wasted by the Liberal dominated Senate on a bill limiting Senate terms, a principle the Liberal leaders stated his agreement with; continued obstruction of common sense crime legislation that the Liberals claimed to support during the last election campaign; and now an extremely disconcerting turnabout on the Anti-terrorism Act, a move that has been questioned by prominent Liberals like Anne McLellan, John Manley and even their current human rights critic.

The Liberal Party, in its desperation, has developed a strategy not of principled opposition but of obstruction and confusion. It is like a streaker at a sporting event, running around in no particular direction with no purpose other than to distract the public from the action on the field, drawing attention to itself with no awareness of its own glaring inadequacies.

I am a little nervous about taking this analogy any further, so I will conclude by pleading with the Liberal members to stop flopping around and start cooperating, at least on the issues that they have professed to support.

Quebec Federation of Labour
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Fédération des travailleurs du Québec, or FTQ, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week.

Since its creation in 1957 under the impetus of Gustave Francq, it has been and remains today the largest labour union in Quebec. The FTQ has always defended the rights of individual workers fighting for social justice, in the interest of promoting the values that we are proud to share.

I am delighted to stand behind this progressive organization and its 500,000 members. Together, we will continue to defend the social, economic, cultural and political rights of workers in Quebec, who contribute to the prosperity and dynamic nature of our economy.

As the official labour critic, and on behalf of the Leader of the Opposition and the Liberal Party of Canada, I would like to congratulate the FTQ and its president, Henri Massé, on reaching this important milestone.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, today's opposition motion really serves as a scathing indictment of the 13 years of Liberal government.

The Liberals ratified the Kyoto protocol knowing full well that Canada would not be able to meet the Kyoto targets.

In their first red book, the Liberals promised to create a national childcare program. They delivered nothing in 13 years.

As for judicial appointments, Benoît Corbeil, former president of the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party, stated that anyone who aspired to a judgeship or any other plum position had to be friends with the members of the Liberal Party of Canada.

The motion presented by the hon. member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore bears witness to the desperation of the Liberal Party, which is completely out of new ideas and innovative solutions.

The federal Liberals refused to act. The Bloc Québécois will never be able to act. We, on the other hand, are taking action.

Justice
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, last month I joined the member for Toronto—Danforth in Surrey to announce the NDP strategy for getting smart on crime.

Some crime is down in Canada, but violent crime is increasing at an alarming rate. It is time for a new approach. Hard-working families in Surrey deserve to feel safe on their streets and in their homes.

Getting smart on crime means focusing on the three Ps: prevention, policing and punishment.

Prevention is important to stop crime in the first place. It costs a few hundred dollars to help a youth in Surrey get a summer job. It costs $150,000 a year if that same youth gets involved in a gang instead and gets sent to prison.

Adequate policing is crucial. We need to ensure that the Surrey RCMP has the people and the resources it needs to keep our street safe When a person commits a crime, there should be appropriate punishment. This guiding principle is needed to protect our community from those who would prey upon it.

Many politicians talk about getting tough on crime, and I agree, but not with oversimplified answers to complex questions.

I am proud to be working toward real solutions for making Surrey safer for everyone.

National Flag Day
Statements By Members

February 15th, 2007 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, with great pride I rise to mark the National Flag Day of Canada. Chosen by Parliament in the time of Lester B. Pearson, today is the 42nd anniversary of the first hoist of the maple leaf emblem over the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill.

This moment in our rise from colony to nation is one in which all Canadians take pride. Around the world the maple leaf is a symbol of justice and hope because Canada is a new nation, an immigrant nation, where peoples of all national origins have united in a peaceful and tolerant society.

For our soldiers killed in action, the ultimate symbol of respect is to half-mast our national flag. On this Flag Day, when we have cause to reflect on a year of sacrifice, I call on the Conservative government to reverse its disturbing decision to cease this practice.

To honour all fallen Canadian soldiers, the government must obey the dictates of decency and honour and order the flag half-masted whenever one of our own is killed in action.

Quebec Film Festival
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, in February 2007, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois, a festival which supports and promotes Quebec film in Quebec, Canada and throughout the world.

Over the past 25 years, we have discovered and enjoyed the quality and diversity of a truly national film industry in Quebec which has produced shorts, feature films, documentaries, animated movies and art and experimental films.

On behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I would like to pay tribute to those who work in this vibrant industry.

This major Quebec film festival takes place at a time when we are exploring new avenues for the financing and development of the Quebec film industry. We expect the federal government to do its share and to show a real interest in this industry, which is an important component of our culture and an incomparable tool for promoting it worldwide.

Chinese Canadians
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Chan Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, as elected officials we must endeavour to always provide Canadians with accurate information so they can make informed decisions. We may have differences of opinion, but we must always speak the truth.

Sadly, it has been recorded that the Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity) has more than once misled the House and Canadians.

He has misled the Chinese Canadian community by stating that I was not telling the truth about the legal advice given by the department on the head tax question and that I opposed the head tax apology even after the fact.

The Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity) must come clean and apologize to the House, to Canadians and in particular to the Chinese-Canadian community for misleading them.