House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rights.

Topics

2 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 Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Safer Internet Day
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday and today, dozens of countries around the world are recognizing Safer Internet Day.

Safer Internet Day is a chance to raise awareness about the dangers that lurk on-line and encourage all parents and guardians to protect their children from them.

The need has never been greater. A new study has found that more than 42% of children as young as 10, who are using the Internet, have recently been exposed to pornography. Just this morning we read a news story about a child porn ring that may include more than 100 Canadian offenders.

As a government, we are taking steps to protect children, trying to increase penalties for child luring and raise the age of sexual consent but parents are always the first line of defence. Websites, like the Kids' Internet Safety Alliance, are an excellent resource if they are looking for help.

On this Safer Internet Day, let us encourage everyone who cares for a child to educate themselves and then their children on how to stay safe on-line.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Valley Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to recognize two members of the Wabaseemoong First Nation First Nation. Chief Eric Fisher and Councillor Waylon Scott are two men who have worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life in their community.

The Wabaseemoong First Nation, or, as it is commonly referred to, Whitedog, is located just over 100 kilometres north of the city of Kenora. Wabaseemoong is an example of how hard-working community leaders can achieve great things for their communities. However, Wabaseemoong is also an example of the government's inaction on aboriginal issues. This community would have benefited greatly from the initiatives outlined in the Kelowna accord but the government decided not to ratify it.

Chief Fisher and Councillor Scott have traveled to Ottawa this week to bring to the minister's attention the unnecessary delay in the construction of their school. The condition of the current school is such that the community had to order it closed for a period of two weeks as the community could not ensure the safety of the students.

The Conservative government has delayed the start of a new school. The parliamentary secretary to the minister comes in to the riding and does not announce a date for starting the school. The students of Wabaseemoong need a chance at an education. The community of Wabaseemoong needs a new school.

Sherbrooke Summit
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, on January 19, I was very proud to participate in the pre-summit forum for the Sherbrooke summit to be held on May 16.

I would like to thank the 280 people who attended the pre-summit forum. The large number of participants from all sectors showed their interest in bringing about positive development for Sherbrooke's future.

During the forum, the following vision was adopted: “In 2012, Sherbrooke will be recognized in Quebec, in Canada and internationally as a major centre for social and economic innovation in a community that offers exceptional quality of life”.

The Sherbrooke summit is a local initiative that showcases local people's exceptional dynamism and highlights their interest in regional development. On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to wish all participants a successful Sherbrooke summit on May 16.

Status of Women
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, my NDP colleagues in Hamilton and I hosted a community forum to discuss the local impact of the cuts imposed by the Conservative government. What we learned was disheartening and shocking. The government is failing the most vulnerable in our communities and it must stop.

Poverty in Hamilton is real. Nearly one in five Hamiltonians live at or below the poverty line. On any given night, 399 people seek emergency shelter, twice the number who did in 1995.

That situation is most grim, however, for the women in my community. In Hamilton, women make up 52% of the population but 59% of the adults living in poverty. Among seniors over 75, the poverty rate for women is 36%, double that of men and, for single mothers with preschool-age children, the poverty rate is an astounding 81%.

Instead of addressing these issues, the Conservatives have abandoned support for child care, affordable housing, pay equity, literacy programs, women's shelters and even the very notion of equality for women by gutting Status of Women Canada. However, they did find $1 billion to give to the oil and gas industries.

My Canada includes more than their wealthy friends. It includes ordinary citizens who deserve their government's support.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, our new government is committed to real improvements in our transit system and our environment, not just empty promises like the previous Liberal government, but genuine action and real commitment.

I want to tell the House about the $23 million investment this new government made in the GO transit system in my community on December 20 of last year. This work includes a new and additional third track and the widening and extending of the platforms at all three of our Burlington GO train stations.

We are investing in environmentally sound transportation such as commuter rail. This will help ease traffic congestion, combat smog and reduce greenhouse gases.

In my community, our new government has done more for transit and the fight against GHGs in one year than the Liberals did in 10 years. We set priorities and we get things done. Canadians cannot afford to go back.

Len Hopkins
Statements By Members

February 7th, 2007 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jim Peterson Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my sad duty to mark the death of Len Hopkins, Liberal member of Parliament.

Len represented his people from 1965 to 1997, an incredible 32 years and nine victories as the undefeated political champion of the Ottawa Valley. He worked unstintingly for his people, saying, “Once you hang your shingle out, you're like the old time country doctor, on duty seven days a week, 365 days a year”.

Len was best known for his strong support for Canada's military and for championing CFB Petawawa. He was AECL's undisputed champion and was ahead of his time in pushing for renewable energy such as biomass.

In retirement he led the charge to have the Ottawa River designated a Canadian heritage river. We will continue this fight in his name.

Asked about his legacy, Len said, “I would like to think I left some decency in the political system”, and indeed he did, and what a difference he made for his constituents, for Canadians and for all of us.

I ask members to join me in giving thanks for Len Hopkins and condolences to his wonderful wife Lois and all members of the Hopkins family.

Quebec Winter Carnival
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending the first Quebec winter carnival night parade as it went through my riding, Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles.

I am proud that our Prime Minister, the member for Calgary Southwest, was in Quebec City for the opening of the 53rd Quebec winter carnival. This was the first time a Prime Minister of Canada attended the opening of the Quebec winter carnival, and it is all the more significant given the fact that Calgary and Quebec City have been twinned since 1956.

For many years now, both cities have participated together in the Quebec winter carnival and the Calgary stampede. This sets a great example of cooperation for all regions of the country.

I would like to invite my colleagues to participate in the second Quebec winter carnival night parade next Saturday, February 10. Welcome everyone!

Georges Filion
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the Valley of Saint-Sauveur lost one of its builders, Georges Filion, to leukemia at 67.

Georges Filion was mayor of the municipality of Saint-Sauveur for more than 32 years, from 1973 to 2005. He was also warden of the Pays-d'en-Haut RCM and vice-president of the Union des municipalités régionales de comté du Québec.

This dedicated man played a leading role in the introduction of RCMs by the Government of Quebec in the 1970s.

On the eve of the 2005 municipal election, he announced that he was leaving politics in order to spend more time being with his family, doing volunteer work and enjoying his land.

On September 10, he was awarded the Quebec National Assembly medal.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues join me in extending our sympathies to his wife, Ginette, his family, his friends and the people of the Valley of Saint-Sauveur.

Canadian Wheat Board
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canada's new government believes western grain farmers should have the choice on how they market their grain, while preserving a strong, viable, yet voluntary Wheat Board.

Farmers have told us that they want to be consulted on this issue, and that is exactly what we are delivering. It is my great pleasure to remind members of the House that the voting period for the barley plebiscite begins today. The three questions are clear, simple and to the point.

Canada's new government is committed to providing western wheat and barley producers with the freedom to choose how they market their grain. Canada's new government looks forward to what farmers have to say on this issue.

Farmers are the ones taking all the risks and making all the investments. They should not be punished or jailed for pursuing opportunities outside the Wheat Board if that makes good business sense to them. Whether selling to the Wheat Board or outside of it, why should farmers not be allowed the opportunity to seek out the best price possible for their products?

This vote is about asking farmers in a clear and honest way what they really want. Therefore, let us allow barley farmers to have their say. I encourage all those eligible to make their votes count.

Government Programs
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Maurizio Bevilacqua Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Finance prepares his budget, the residents of Vaughan are crystal clear about their priorities. There is a consensus among my constituents. They want a balanced approach in the next budget, one that places people first.

They want the government to invest in key areas such as health care, education, environment, research and development and infrastructure, including the extension of the Spadina subway line, as well as cut taxes and reduce the national debt.

The focus should be on growing a globally competitive, productive and sustainable economy, one that will improve Canadians' standard of living and quality of life.

The residents of Vaughan have been active participants in the prebudget consultation process. They expect the Conservative government to listen and act.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to address some disturbing comments from the member for Ajax—Pickering. The new critic for natural resources recently revealed how far he and the leader of the Liberal Party could go to restrict development of Alberta's oil sands.

Quoting Charles Adler:

—he appeared...Dave Rutherford’s program and was asked whether a [Leader of the Opposition] government would consider nationalizing oil companies if they didn’t meet Kyoto standards. [The member for Ajax—Pickering] replied, “If they refuse to work with us….there will be consequences."

Reckless talk like this is insulting and frankly irresponsible, considering the importance of a strong oil and gas sector to both Alberta's and Canada's economic well-being.

I am glad Canada's new government has the courage to tackle important environmental issues, without throwing around immature and reckless threats. I hope the Leader of the Opposition recognizes the inappropriateness of his attack dog's comments and has the courage to discipline him for his bad behaviour.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the environment, everyday Canadians are way ahead of this country's business and political elites. The rest of us are ready to move from a polluting economy to a sustainable one. Daily I hear from constituents who truly worry that our children will not have clean air to breathe or water to drink.

The Conservatives want Canadians to believe they are getting serious about the environment. They have a new minister and a new legislative committee to fix their flawed bill.

The Prime Minister has an opportunity today to back up his words with action. He can make a real impact in Hamilton by funding two important local environmental initiatives.

For the year since they took power, I have called on the Conservative government to fund the cogeneration project at Stelco. It would improve emissions and air quality in Hamilton.

The mayor of Hamilton is here today to ask the Prime Minister to fund the clean up of Randle Reef. Local activists and representatives like myself have been calling on the federal government to fund this important port rehabilitation project for years.

The time to act on Hamilton's solutions is now. An important reminder, act locally, think globally, must be reflected in this—

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for West Nova.

Post-secondary Education
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, in an increasingly competitive global economy, our country must bank on the future to maintain Canadians' prosperity and quality of life.

Now more than ever, the government has to promote access to higher education. Our country's future is being played out every day on its college and university campuses. The students attending these institutions today will be supporting the government's social and economic programs in the not-so-distant future. That is why we have to do our part to make sure they have all the tools they need to take on the challenges that lie ahead.

The 21st-century economy requires a 21st-century education system. That is the message the demonstrators outside this House are sending us.

We have understood that message, and we will give our unconditional support to a policy designed to increase the federal government's role in supporting our students financially.