House of Commons Hansard #113 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

Terrorism
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Wajid Khan Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to condemn the actions of terrorists who blew up the train in northern India killing at least 66 innocent people. These terrorists who seek to kill and to destroy must be brought to justice.

As Canadians, we condemn this act of terrorism and the loss of human life. I wish to extend condolences to the families of the victims. I trust the governments of India and Pakistan will conduct a full investigation.

This attack is an obvious attempt to undermine the improving relationship between the neighbouring countries. This train, known as the Samjhauta Express, the friendship train, is seen as a symbol of the budding peace process.

In this globalized age, there is an increased danger of transnational elements who have the ability to transport terrorism.

By now it must be obvious to all parties that we must remain vigilant and continue to safeguard our security and protect our citizens.

Jutra Awards
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, the ninth annual Jutra awards gala was held yesterday in Montreal. Every year, these awards showcase the creations of Quebec's film industry.

Our government wishes to congratulate the artists working in Quebec's film industry for their outstanding contribution to the development of Canadian cinema and its presence around the world. This year, a number of feature films were nominated in various categories.

The Government of Canada salutes all of the winners honoured during yesterday evening's ceremony, especially the artists who created Congorama, which took home the Jutra for best picture of 2006.

We are proud of Quebec's film industry and we hope it will continue to flourish as it showcases our country's creative talent and cultural diversity at home and around the world.

Once again, congratulations to all of the artists and winners honoured last night at the Jutra awards.

Older Workers
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the Conservative government says, not all workers over 55 can find new employment after the plant they worked at has closed.

We have a delegation of such workers on Parliament Hill today. In December 2005, the Olymel plant in Magog shut down. Seventy out of the 450 employees were over 55. All have undergone retraining over several months. Yet, 48 of these 70 have been unable to find new jobs, for lack of job offers. That is the reality.

There are textile factories in Cowansville and Magog where more than one third of the workers are 55 and over. Imagine what would happen to them if these factories were to shut down.

Terrorism
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, today the Canadian Coalition Against Terror called on all MPs to support the extension of two critical anti-terrorism measures. They state:

We are deeply dismayed that Canadian MPs are talking about significantly diminishing Canada's capacity for fighting terrorism by removing critical provisions from Canada's Anti-terrorism Act.

We urge all MPs to approach this vote with the security of Canadians in mind.

They go on to state, “We hope that federal MPs will join fellow Liberals, such as the members for Mount Royal, Etobicoke North and Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, in supporting such an extension”.

Our government is concerned with maintaining the safety and security of all Canadians. It is unfortunate that the Liberal leader has stated his opposition to extending these measures despite the advice of his colleagues. Perhaps he will heed the advice of those Canadian victims of terror.

Heritage
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are marking Heritage Day, a national celebration created by the Heritage Canada Foundation and observed on the third Monday of every February.

Heritage Day brings attention to some of the neighbourhoods and landscapes that reflect Canada's rich cultural heritage, for instance, in urban places like The Main in Montreal, or the Byward Market and St. Brigid's Roman Catholic Church in Ottawa—Vanier, the riding I have the honour of representing, or in rural places like Tilting on Fogo Island in Newfoundland, and the Ukrainian Four Corner Settlement in Gardenton, Manitoba.

In response to the government's cancellation this past September of the commercial heritage properties incentive fund, the Heritage Canada Foundation and its partners are calling for federal financial incentives for rehabilitation that would help Canadians protect their built heritage landmarks instead of seeing them end up as landfill.

Terrorism
Statements By Members

February 19th, 2007 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Air-India Victims Families Association is asking the Liberals to support their own legislation. They demand that Parliament extend the Anti-terrorism Act, that the Liberals stop their political gamesmanship and that the Liberals once again support the Anti-terrorism Act for another three years.

The victims say:

We believe that Prime Minister...is doing the right thing for the security of Canadians by attempting to extend this act.

If Parliament decides not to grant an extension to the Anti-terrorism Act, [we worry] that the federal government will lack the teeth to catch suspected terrorists and stop future attacks. This will also seriously impact the ongoing Air India investigation”.

We speak from first hand experience that Canada is not immune from terrorist attacks.

If the Liberals will not listen to the government, will they respond to a collective of over 200 victims family members who lost 329 loved ones in an act of terror?

Automobile Industry
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, in what has become an all too common occurrence in the auto sector, DaimlerChrysler announced massive job cuts. These layoffs will affect thousands of workers and their families, further impacting an already devastated sector and community.

The Windsor region now has the highest unemployment rate of any major region in Canada and faces a very uncertain future.

Sadly, when we abandoned the auto pact we started to see jobs disappear. Now, for the first time in 18 years, Canada has an auto trade deficit and there is a real possibility that we could be on the verge of losing our auto sector.

Despite this possibility and the disappearance of more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs in both Ontario and Quebec in the last two years, there does not seem to be any sense of urgency on the part of the Conservative government.

Instead of pursuing free trade with such low cost countries as South Korea, the federal government should be negotiating sectoral trade deals.

I call on the government to live up to its rhetoric of action and do what the previous Liberal government failed to do: Implement an industrial strategy to address the problems facing the automotive sector.

Jutra Awards
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the Jutra awards gala last night, the Outaouais region was in the limelight, which thoroughly pleased my hon. colleague from Hull—Aylmer. Winning the award confirmed the triumph of Congorama , a film written for screen and directed by Philippe Falardeau.

Nominated in six categories, Mr. Falardeau's film eventually took away five Jutra awards. Best film, best director, best screenplay, all achievements Mr. Falardeau can be proud of today. Clearly, he knows how to pick his cast, with two of members of the cast taking home best actor and best supporting actor respectively.

On the downside, demerit points ought to be given to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

The minister reminded us of a certain Kim Campbell when she stated that this evening honouring Quebec cinema was not an appropriate time to discuss the funding crisis it is facing, a crisis for which she is directly responsible. Sadly, one always wonders whether she has seen any of the nominated films.

Jutra Awards
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, cinema, with its many forms of expression, represents a fundamental affirmation of Quebec's cultural identity. It allows us to organize ourselves and develop as a people. It is the essential aspect of our feeling of belonging to a shared homeland.

An event last night served as a wonderful reminder of this, as members of the Quebec film family came together to underscore the excellence of its work, for the Jutra tribute awards. The Bloc Québécois would like to heartily commend the creative genius of those artists and artisans who were honoured at the gala.

The gala was also the perfect opportunity for a few articulate individuals to denounce the inaction of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, which has been a major obstacle to the development of Quebec cinema.

However, Pierre Curzi made an especially relevant comment and I would like to repeat his message here today. He said that, for a society to fulfill itself, it must be a reflection of the nation, a reflection of Quebec—proud, free and sovereign.

East Coast Music Awards
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, this weekend, Nova Scotia, more specifically Halifax, was the scene of the 19th annual East Coast Music Awards.

For the benefit of the foreign affairs and ACOA minister, it took place in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia was one of the first provinces in Canada and our capital is Halifax, not Toronto.

The East Coast Music Awards honour some of the country's most talented individuals who just happen to come from the great east coast.

There is no place like the east coast as a hotbed of musical talent and diverse is the word that best describes the leading winners at Sunday night's award show as country singer, George Canyon; traditional artist, JP Cormier; and the alternative rock bands, In-Flight Safety and the great Joel Plaskett Emergency, each took home three awards.

The night also paid tribute to three icons of the east coast scene: Dutchie Mason, the prime minister of the blues; Denny Doherty and our good friend, John Allan Cameron, all who were lost this last year, and, over the weekend, Dermot O'Reilly of Ryan's Fancy who also passed away.

Though Satan won no prizes, Halifax had a devilishly good time recognizing the greatest array of musical talent on this planet.

Anti-terrorism Act
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is opposed to extending the two anti-terrorism measures his own government brought in. He is still having trouble picking priorities.

A long list of Liberals, such as Anne McLellan, John Manley, and the Liberal human rights critic, the member for Mount Royal, all say that preventive arrests and investigative hearings are important tools for law enforcement and prosecutors.

Steve Sullivan, president of the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime said, “If these provisions are not extended and more Canadians are murdered by terrorists, someone will have to explain to them why Canada did not do everything we could to prevent such an attack. Before you vote on this issue in Parliament, I urge you to think about how you will answer that question”.

I urge the Leader of the Opposition to rethink his decision and make the safety of Canadians a top priority.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, more than 60 days have gone by since the accountability act received royal assent, but the Prime Minister has still not acted to deliver on its key provisions: restrictions on lobbying, not yet in force; conflicts of interest rules, not yet in force; a public appointments commission, promised, but nowhere to be seen. We have here on accountability the illusion of action, but Canadians want something real.

Why is the Prime Minister failing to deliver on his party's number one election promise?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as members know, the accountability act received royal asset just before Christmas. The government and the President of the Treasury Board have been moving quickly to implement its provisions. We hope to have most of them in force by around April 1.

I would say that this is certainly a positive change on behalf of the Liberal Party, which fought this for nine months, which dragged it out, which resisted a public appointments commission and which, of course, delayed passage of the Federal Accountability Act to make sure that new fundraising limits would not apply in the last fiscal year.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister well knows we tried to improve the legislation consistently.

We want to know why, if it was such a priority, the government cannot get it enacted until April 1. If accountability was such a priority, if it was so important, will the Prime Minister explain why he continues to drag his feet on public appointments, on the lobbying ban? Why is he still dragging his feet?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, our government is very proud of the Federal Accountability Act. Indeed, I had an opportunity to speak with the NDP member of Parliament for Winnipeg Centre, whom I briefed on the issue. He assures me he is concerned about the act coming into force. I have indicated to him that I look forward to hearing input from him.

We would be proud to sit down with members of the Liberal caucus to actually show them how the implementation is occurring. We are very proud of what is happening, as opposed to the delaying and foot dragging that occurred on the other side.