House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

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 Crowfoot.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Hershey Company
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the Hershey Company announced that it would be closing its plant in Smiths Falls.

It is hard to overstate the impact of this decision. Five hundred factory jobs will be lost. A market for 1,000 litres of Ontario milk every day will vanish. The Hershey chocolate shop, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, will no longer draw tourists.

But these are not the only reasons why I today call on Hershey to reverse its decision.

The decision is a spinoff of what the company calls a global supply chain transformation, a process which, by its nature, tends to miss out on local profit centres. While no one can deny that wages in Mexico may be lower than in Smiths Falls, it is equally clear that some things cannot be globalized.

The decision makers in Pennsylvania may simply be overlooking the high quality of Canadian milk, which will be difficult to duplicate abroad. And shutting down the hugely profitable chocolate shop makes no sense, since it caters to a domestic market.

In years past, Milton Hershey understood the link between community and profit. I call upon his successors to live up to his example.

Zimbabwe
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Egmont, PE

Mr. Speaker, today Zimbabwe is a graveyard.

One of the worst humanitarian catastrophes in recent history is happening in Zimbabwe, a catastrophe said to be 10 times worse than Darfur. And the UN said it would not happen again.

President Robert Mugabe has ruined one of the most prosperous, productive nations on the African continent. Its population has been decimated by government-induced famine and disease. The economy has collapsed and an estimated 1.2 million Zimbabweans have fled.

Zimbabwe currently has an estimated 1.3 million orphans; an 80% unemployment rate; millions of people missing; 42,000 women who died in childbirth last year compared to 1,000 a decade ago; an average life expectancy that has dropped by 30 years since 1990, from 67 years to 37 years; and one in five adults is infected with HIV-AIDS.

In the midst of all this suffering, Robert Mugabe held an elaborate party to celebrate his own birthday. It cost over $300 million Zimbabwean dollars. He threw a party at a funeral, Zimbabwe's funeral.

I ask the Parliament of Canada to support the people of Zimbabwe.

Quebec Games
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Raymond Gravel Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, from March 2 to 10, thousands of young Quebeckers, along with their coaches and chaperones, will gather in the RCM of L'Assomption for the 42nd Quebec Games Final.

For over a year, hundreds of people have been working hard to give the youth a memorable welcome and to plan a seamless event, with the steadfast support of the municipal authorities of Charlemagne, L'Assomption, L'Épiphanie—city and parish— Repentigny and Saint-Sulpice, as well as a number of partners and sponsors.

I would like to congratulate and thank all those involved in this event, which will no doubt be a great success, and in particular the board of directors of the 42nd games, chaired by Dany Bergeron.

I invite one and all to attend the sporting events, participate in the activities, and join our mascot Tison for a fantastic time at these 42nd Quebec Games.

International Women's Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, each year on March 8 we celebrate International Women's Day. This day began to mark the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, where 146 working women lost their lives because the door of the factory was locked.

Today, almost 100 years later, we remember how far we have come and realize how much farther we have to go.

Too many women continue to suffer under harsh working conditions. Too many women are living in poverty. Too many women cannot find or afford adequate child care. Too many women face violence in their homes and communities. Too many women are not receiving equal pay for work of equal value.

March 8 is a day that brings women together to celebrate our power and our potential. I would like to wish all the women of this House, women in my community of Surrey and women across Canada a happy International Women's Day.

University of Manitoba
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to mark the 130th birthday of one of the finest educational institutions in the country, the University of Manitoba, which is located in my riding of Winnipeg South.

Established in 1877, western Canada's first university has touched thousands of lives. Today the university is the province's most valuable intellectual asset, contributing immeasurably to Manitoba's economic and cultural success, raising our profile around the world, and fostering leadership. I have often called the U of M the jewel of Winnipeg South.

The university has a strong reputation for academics and research. Its 170,000 graduates include Rhodes scholars, champion athletes, community leaders, world class researchers and academic experts. Several members in this chamber graduated from this fine institution, and the University of Manitoba is my alma mater as well.

The University of Manitoba provides a world class education and continues to have a global impact as a centre of research where scientists, scholars and students seek innovative ways to address the most significant challenges facing Canada and the world in the 21st century.

I hope all members will join me in commemorating this very special day.

Judicial Appointments
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Chan Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, by the Prime Minister's own admission, judges will be chosen based on his own objectives and agenda.

I have grave concerns about Conservative attacks on judicial independence and the separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary.

I am deeply concerned about the government's intentions, as it has already eliminated the Law Commission of Canada and the court challenges program.

Judicial independence is a cornerstone of Canadian democracy. Now even the Canadian Judicial Council has spoken out against the government's attacks. The former and current chief justices have stated that the government “is trying to interfere with the sentencing process” and that the Conservative government is putting judicial independence “in peril”.

I call upon the government to stop attacking the independence of the judiciary.

Royal Manitoba Winter Fair
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring attention to a milestone event in my riding of Brandon--Souris. The 100th Royal Manitoba Winter Fair will take place in Brandon on March 26 through 31.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II honoured the fair with her attendance in 1970 and officially declared it a royal event. The Royal Manitoba Winter Fair is one of just three fairs in the entire world to have the royal designation and is renowned as one of Canada's largest agricultural events.

Activities at the fair include equestrian events, heavy horse competition, livestock displays and sales, awareness programs, entertainment, and over 300 commercial and agricultural exhibits.

This year's event will highlight our region's rich heritage and history as the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair celebrates a century of agricultural excellence in the western Manitoba region.

Mr. Speaker, I want to invite you and all Canadians to visit the 100th Royal Manitoba Winter Fair in Brandon, Manitoba, from March 26 to 31. Everyone should plan to be there.

Republic of Guinea
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, the situation in Guinea is very disturbing. Last week, a number of Quebec and Canadian organizations, including NGOs, unions, women's groups and human rights groups, asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs to use every diplomatic means available to convince the Guinean president to put an end to all forms of repression—over 100 people have died, including several young persons—and to end the state of siege. Canada did not do anything, while the international community has quickly rallied.

On Monday, the situation returned to normal when president Lansana Conté agreed to appoint as prime minister a coalition candidate, diplomat Lansana Kouyaté.

However, it is a fragile peace. The population has shown that it is fed up with the president's authoritarianism and with the corruption of his regime. The crisis has an impact on the economy. The president is clinging to power. The international community must remain vigilant.

Justice
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party of Canada is standing up for victims of crime and getting the job done to help prevent future victims.

We delivered the legislation to make our streets and communities safer.

We have brought forward bills to end conditional sentences for violent offences; increase mandatory minimum sentences for using a gun in a crime; raise the age of protection for sexual activity from 14 to 16 years; crack down on street racing; get tough with repeat offenders and impaired driving; and reverse the onus at bail hearings. We even have a bill to deal with the proceeds of crime.

There is more. We delivered the legislation providing tougher sentences and more effective management of individuals convicted of sexual or violent offences.

Canadians want stricter conditions on repeat offenders. The opposition parties will answer to voters for stalling and for reversing the positions they held on these criminal justice files during the last election.

Our government is making the criminal justice changes that Canadians voted for and that the Liberals refused to deliver, the changes that make Canadians safer.

Citizenship
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, during the defence committee yesterday, the Conservative member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke made reference to France and the so-called caveats. She also made reference to the Leader of the Opposition and his so-called dual citizenship, with no relevancy to the subject matter.

What was she insinuating? That because his mother is French that makes him less of a Canadian than she or anyone else is? Is she implying that I as a Greek Canadian am less of a Canadian than she or anyone else is? Or that because one has dual heritage one should be labelled a second class citizen?

I would ask this member and all Canadians, aside from our first nations people, to look at their family tree and realize that at some time we all came from another country.

However, I am not surprised, for that party is typically known for its divisive tactics, for pitting one Canadian against another. Who knows? Maybe its next step is to kick out all those who have dual citizenship. Nothing would surprise me.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, some experts interviewed during the television program Le Point confirmed that, as regards the environment, the former Liberal government merely used nice rhetoric and empty promises when it claimed to want to reduce CO2 emissions by 6%, compared to the 1990 level.

Claude Villeneuve, a professor at the department of basic sciences at the Université du Québec in Chicoutimi, said, “Canada's position...was to shoot itself in the foot, by setting such an objective without first examining the constraints that it would bring”.

Moreover, Jean-Thomas Bernard, a professor at Université Laval's department of economy, added, “reducing emissions to such a degree over such a short period of time is totally unrealistic. The Canadian economy, as we know it, could not generate such reductions”.

We also learned that even if we stopped the development of tar sands in Alberta and shut down coal-fired generating stations in Ontario, the Dion gap would still be of 216 tonnes of CO2 over the 1990 level.

While the Bloc is simply noticing the Liberal government's irresponsibility—

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh

Windsor Border Crossing
Statements By Members

February 28th, 2007 / 2:15 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week we learned that the Liberal provincial government was continuing in the shameful tradition of its federal predecessors, a tradition of ignoring the will of Windsorites.

In an internal newsletter sent to government insiders, the views of residents attending an open house on the new border crossing were grossly misrepresented. The transportation communications staff who drafted the newsletter characterized their position as being opposed to tunnelling on the route leading to a new border crossing.

Nothing could be further from the truth. My colleague from Windsor West and I have heard from literally thousands of concerned constituents on this issue. An overwhelming majority of them favour tunnelling to take the trucks off our city streets and reduce the congestion and smog from idling vehicles.

I call upon the Conservative government to do what the provincial government seems to be unable to do, listen to the community, take action and get on with building a new border crossing for Windsor.

Dorval Golf Course
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform you that later today, I will be giving the Minister of Transport a petition signed by more than 20,000 individuals from Quebec and elsewhere who want to protect the Dorval golf course. These people are concerned about the Montreal airport's plans for expansion, which they say will lead to the destruction of the golf course green space.

As the member of Parliament for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, a riding which includes Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and the city of Dorval, I would urge the Minister of Transport to give due consideration to this issue and to respond to this petition in a timely manner.