House of Commons Hansard #117 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was athletes.

Topics

Foreign Affairs
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, February 19 the Minister of Foreign Affairs issued a statement condemning the act of terrorism which saw two bombs explode aboard the Samjhauta Express, a train bound from India to Pakistan. Canada considers this attack to be a deplorable act of violence against innocent civilians and extends its sympathies to the families of the victims.

We are pleased that the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan met as scheduled in New Delhi on February 21, showing that the peace process would not be derailed by terrorist attacks of this kind. We believe sustained action is necessary to undermine militants who wish to derail the peace process and use violence to advance their political goals.

The South Asian region is a priority sector for Canada's new Conservative government. I will spend the next three weeks in Pakistan and India and I look forward to working toward strengthening our political and economic relations.

Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to join my voice to the chorus of people from across the country and around the world over the human rights violations in Guantanamo Bay. This prison has operated outside the scope of international conventions, outside the supervision of the courts, and in violation of international human rights law for over five years.

With the prospect of indefinite detention without a fair trial in such conditions, the potential psychological impact upon those held and their loved ones is a major concern.

Our society was founded on basic principles of freedom and due process. The actions of the American administration in establishing and maintaining Guantanamo Bay not only run counter to the foundations upon which western society stands, but represents a victory for those who would see us abandon our values and our way of life.

I join with the United Nations and former prime minister Joe Clark in calling for this facility to be closed immediately. I call upon the Conservative government to take a lead role in making this happen.

Quebec City Area Cadet Games
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to announce that the 7th Quebec City area cadet games will be held in my riding of Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, at the Polyvalente de Charlesbourg, on March 2, 3 and 4, 2007.

These games will bring together more than 600 male and female cadets and nearly 100 staff members from 23 units in the greater Quebec City area.

During this weekend of competitions, the cadets will compete in various events.

The cadet program, nearly 2,000 strong in the Quebec City area, is designed to develop in youth attributes of leadership, team spirit and physical fitness.

I am inviting everyone to come and cheer for our cadets, for the continuation of this program and the delight of the many young people enrolled in it.

I look forward to seeing you at the 7th cadet games, in Charlesbourg, on March 2, 3 and 4.

Railway Operations
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to declare my solidarity in support of the United Transportation Union in its struggle to win fair working conditions, fair wages and a fair collective agreement. These CN workers want to return to work. Introducing back to work legislation at this point is redundant and counterproductive.

New Democrats and, I believe, all Canadians want to see a solution to this labour dispute that is acceptable to both sides. A federal mediator was assigned to do this job. My question is, why is the federal government trying to claw back labour rights? This dispute can be settled without this undemocratic back to work legislation. It is the mediator's job to find a resolution and the bullying tactics of CN are not helping the situation.

There are serious issues facing rail workers. There are very real safety and security issues that need to be addressed so that ordinary Canadians can remain confident in our rail system so that these workers are not forced to put their lives on the line.

Diana Palmer
Statements By Members

February 23rd, 2007 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, Diana Palmer of Fredericton died on February 7, 2007. Born in Havana, she never lost her love of Cuba. Schooled at Havergal in Toronto and nursing in Hamilton, Ontario, she met the love of her life, Dr. Marven Palmer, of Douglas Harbour, New Brunswick in Montreal in 1955. Moving to Fredericton later, she was a pillar of the community and a close confidante of progressive Premier Richard Hatfield.

The proud mother of two daughters—one a kindergarten teacher and cultural activist, and the other a renowned director—and a son who became a physician, she was among the most progressive people in her province. Her daughter-in-law and world renowned author, Anne-Marie Macdonald, stated in her eulogy:

This tropical flower, this English rose, this bird of paradise became a Canadian. Many waters cannot guard love. Love never dies. Marven and Diana are a love story; more than half a century of a romance partnership fanned out through us all.

Diana Palmer lived an immigrant's dream with respect for all, a model to all parliamentarians and Canadians.

Centre Espoir Rosalie
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the 15th anniversary of the founding of the Centre Espoir Rosalie in Gatineau.

Inspired by the charity work of Rosalie Cadron-Jetté, Sister Claire Ranger officially founded the Centre Espoir Rosalie on January 15, 1992, with the help of three single mothers.

The organization aims to help low-income single mothers, and specifically unwed mothers, develop the means and resources to take control of their lives from a financial, parenting, personal and social point of view. The goal of the Centre Espoir Rosalie is to break the isolation of families and promote parenting skills, while making mothers aware of their rights and helping them to assert them, all with respect and understanding.

The Bloc Québécois is happy to acknowledge the 15th anniversary of the Centre Espoir Rosalie, and proudly recognizes all its volunteers.

Canadian Writers' Foundation
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to pay tribute to the Canadian Writers' Foundation as it marks its 75th anniversary.

The foundation is Canada's premier organization helping our authors who at some point in their lives may require financial assistance to meet everyday needs. Some of Canada's better writers, including E.J. Pratt, Alfred Desrochers, Milton Acorn, Roger Brien, Dorothy Livesay and Norman Levine, have called upon this body for assistance.

I believe that writers, including poets, are important for the well-being of our society. I therefore applaud the dedication of the Canadian Writers' Foundation.

On behalf of my fellow parliamentarians, I would like to congratulate the foundation and the volunteers who give of their time day after day.

Leader of the Opposition
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has unearthed an inconvenient truth about the new Leader of the Opposition. Not only is it not easy for him to set priorities, apparently he loathes environmentally friendly modes of transportation. In fact, while serving as minister of the environment, the Leader of the Opposition took 98 separate posh limousine rides between Ottawa and Montreal in just 17 months.

While the environmental cost of providing a comfy commute for the Leader of the Opposition demonstrates his extreme hypocrisy, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation proclaims this is unfair to the taxpayers of Canada. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation was disturbed to learn the Leader of the Opposition billed the taxpayers $14,255 for commuting in stretch comfort as opposed to choosing a less expensive greener commuting option.

While it is clear the Leader of the Opposition did not get it done as minister of the environment, it is even clearer that when it comes to the environment his message is, “do as I say, not as I do”.

Security Certificates
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the last election, the Prime Minister promised the Canadian Arab Federation that he would review the anti-terrorism laws to get a better balance between security and human rights and this promise, in my view, has been broken. He promised changes to the security certificates and did nothing for a year. Now the Supreme Court has said that we must change the security certificate regime.

When will the government begin to take its responsibilities seriously and start to fix Canada's anti-terrorism and immigration laws?

Security Certificates
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, Canada's new government takes very seriously the public security of Canadians. That is our number one priority.

With regard to today's decision, Canada's new government thanks the Supreme Court for its decision on security certificates. We have just received the new decision. The security certificate process has been in place for many decades and it was put in place to protect Canadians.

We will be reviewing that decision and, if we are confident we can, we will look for a way to reconcile the need to protect the security of Canadians with the directions to Parliament from the court to review this matter.

Security Certificates
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that during the last election campaign, the Conservatives promised changes to the security certificate regime. They knew very well that changes were needed, yet they did nothing.

Now that the Supreme Court has asked for an overhaul of the security certificate regime, will the Conservative government keep its promise, or will it flip-flop yet again?

Security Certificates
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, in my opinion, it was the Liberal government that did nothing. Canada's new government thanks the Supreme Court of Canada for its ruling on security certificates. We have just learned the details of the decision. We will examine it closely.

Several decades ago, the security certificate process was brought in to protect Canadians from security threats.

The opposition parties are soft on terrorism and security. Our government remains focused on ensuring national security, collaborating with its partners to ensure the security of their—

Security Certificates
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore.

Security Certificates
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, this side of the House is not soft on terrorism. During the last election campaign, the Prime Minister promised to “create a good balance between measures that will ensure public safety and measures that ensure respect for the rights and freedoms of Canadian citizens”. That is what the Prime Minister said.

Why did the Conservative government change the balanced position it promised during the last election?

Security Certificates
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, how ironic to hear what the Liberal Party member is saying today.

In fact, his position has always been very much to the contrary. He has actually been a believer, unlike his leader, in the importance of protecting Canadians and their public security. I would encourage him to speak to his leader about that.

For example, at Royal Military College in 2001, he said:

Some people are arguing that we have not exhausted all such means, and it is important to be aware of something that has been forgotten in all the debate about 11 September. We must remind ourselves that normal tools of law and order — police investigation and prosecution of terror suspects — have been used and found wanting.