House of Commons Hansard #106 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Canadian Forces
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, one year ago, Palliser residents voted for a government that would get things done for Canadians.

As the home to 15-Wing, the people of Moose Jaw know that they now have a federal government that will support our armed forces and ensure that the men and women of our military have the equipment they need to get the job done.

Since being elected last year, our government has made a major commitment to strengthening the Canadian armed forces.

Our $17.1 billion “Canada First” procurements to date include: $5 billion for strategic and tactical aircraft; $2 billion for medium to heavy-lift helicopters; $1.1 billion for medium sized logistics trucks; and, $2.1 billion for three supply ships.

Our commitment to protect Canadians, defend our sovereignty and strengthen our role in the world is good news for Canadians and for Palliser.

Our Conservative government is committed to Canada's Snowbirds and to funding the NATO flight training in Canada program until 2021.

With our new military investments, we will continue to deliver real results for Canadians.

Richard Couture
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2001, Richard Couture's two sons, who were barely 20 years old, died in a terrible car accident when one of them fell asleep at the wheel.

Since then, the Saint-Hubert resident has campaigned to make our roads safer. Thanks to him, rumble strips have been installed along several highways in Montérégie and guardrail design has been improved.

This business leader has worked closely with the Quebec ministry of transport and the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec to implement these measures all over Quebec, which is no small task. Nevertheless, his remarkable determination and hard work are making a big difference and have elicited the respect and admiration of all. He has even been awarded the medal of the National Assembly.

This is road safety year in Quebec, so I would like to highlight Richard Couture's courage, devotion and determination to make Quebec's roads safer and save lives.

National Blind Curling Championship
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to recognize Dean Martell, Sandy Neddow, Frank Costello, Bob and Barbara Comba and Janet Dyck who are in Ottawa for the National Blind Championship bonspiel.

These individuals have represented Kelowna, British Columbia and Canada with distinction and class.

They have won the national bonspiel the past two years and are returning to defend their title once again. I am proud to call them my constituents and to celebrate their accomplishments.

This bonspiel, organized by the Canadian Council of the Blind, is one of the premier events of White Cane Week, a week dedicated to celebrating the equal talents and abilities of the blind and visually impaired community.

Events, such as this national bonspiel, demonstrate the self-sufficiency and determination of the blind and visually impaired and their commitment to maintaining an active lifestyle.

I would like to congratulate the Kelowna team on its past victories and on its 8-0 record at this year's championship bonspiel. We wish them the best of luck as they defend their title and go for a “three-pete”.

Volunteerism
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, more than 12 million Canadians provide $2 billion worth of voluntary work annually and approximately 45% of Canadians use their spare time to volunteer and serve the community.

However, in the draconian cuts announced by the so-called new government of Canada last September, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women announced that she was eliminating federal funding to the Canada Volunteerism Initiative. This makes no sense. The Conservatives inherited a $13 billion surplus and yet they feel it necessary to eliminate this essential service.

What was the rationale for these cuts? Were they based on any form of evaluation? Did anyone bother to look at whether the goals of the program were being met before making this decision?

I understand that the minister, after four months, has still not met with Volunteer Canada to discuss these drastic cuts.

Why has the mean-spirited government targeted volunteers and why will the minister not make herself accountable to Canadians?

Status of Women
Statements By Members

February 8th, 2007 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, in recent months, there has been quite a bit of misinformation in the media about Status of Women Canada.

We have succeeded in making administrative savings of $5 million at Status of Women Canada. This means $5 million more for women, in addition to many other measures this government has taken for Canadian women and their families.

An independent assessment has revealed that when the Liberals were in power, it cost 31 cents to provide one dollar in funding for women. This is unacceptable both for women and for taxpayers in general.

We are investing in supporting women, not in creating more bureaucracy.

I am happy to announce that the first grant under the new conditions, worth $49,140, has been awarded to an agency that will provide sex trade workers with tools to help them quit the industry.

On this side of the House, we are all working for the well-being of Canadian women.

Slave Trade
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, last night, thanks to the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, members of Parliament were given an opportunity to preview the movie Amazing Grace, which tells the story of British MP William Wilberforce's long fight to abolish slavery. This superb movie was produced to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire.

At a time when human slavery is making a comeback illicitly, in a way that calls for concerted international action, it is important to remember that before 1807 slavery was a legal and an integral part of the imperial economy. Wilberforce had to contend with arguments that the abolition of slavery would make Britain less competitive, that it would advantage Britain's enemies, that it would eliminate jobs and that government revenues would be affected.

Wilberforce contended not only with the sugar barons and profiteers, but against an embedded economic system that contradicted God's will for human equality. He insisted that the moral thing to do was the best thing to do and that the example would catch on as ultimately it did. Surely we would do well to heed this insight when dealing with the issues of our own time.

Official Languages
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, 40 years after the Laurendeau-Dunton report, a CROP poll has found that 81% of Canadians want Canada to remain a bilingual country. Yet there is very little access to provincial services in the minority language.

Under the Dion action plan, the Liberal government earmarked $786.3 million over five years for official languages. The Liberal opposition is asking the Conservative government to maintain that Liberal commitment and take action to correct the huge disparities faced by linguistic minorities in Canada.

Canada cannot be a bilingual country on paper only. Canadians are clearly highly motivated to learn the other official language.

I invite the federal, provincial and territorial governments to work together to find ways of expanding second language instruction from early childhood on.

Suicide Prevention Week
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, in every region of Quebec, there are hundreds of individuals who are working tirelessly day after day to ensure that suicide is no longer the primary cause of death among men between the ages of 20 and 40.

As this is Suicide Prevention Week, I want to stress the significance of this cause of death, and particularly what we should all do to prevent such deaths.

The hon. Michael Sheehan, a Quebec court judge, himself deeply afflicted by the loss of a son, recently gave a conference that left no one indifferent. In the past ten years, 12,000 Quebeckers have taken their own lives; this happens to be the exact number of people living in La Tuque, where we attended this conference.

It is important that all the citizens of Quebec realize that there are effective ways of fighting this terrible affliction. Suicide prevention centres are in great need of support, which we should really provide them. It is a matter of life.

Heritage Day
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, on February 18, St. Mary's Anglican Church, built in 1872, the same year Richmond Hill was incorporated, is being honoured during Heritage Day in a celebration of historic places across Canada.

The Hon. Jean Chrétien, the minister responsible at the time of the foundation's creation, said:

Maturity may be recognized in a nation when its people take thought for their past: take thought... in the dynamic sense of knowing the past as a key to understanding the present and future.

Heritage Day is an important opportunity to celebrate the architectural heritage and historic places of Canada. The Heritage Canada Foundation promotes the third Monday in February each year as Heritage Day.

A Victorian tea will be held at St. Mary's Anglican Church and the archives committee will put on a display of historic artifacts. This will include a presentation and historic photographs of area churches from the Richmond Hill Public Library's unique collection. Church architecture in the region from 1850 to 1900 will be the topic of conversation.

It is hoped that the residents of Richmond Hill will join in celebrating national Heritage Day in the beautiful and historic chapel.

Alberta Oil Sands
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, a Liberal rookie has slipped up and given Canadians a glimpse of the Liberals' secret agenda.

The member for Ajax—Pickering made a direct attack on a success story of our nation's economy that just so happens to be located in a region the Liberals have written off for the next election.

The member let it out of the bag that a future Liberal government would be ordering oil energy companies to simply stop it, that they could put their plans on hold because if it cost too much energy to get it out of the ground, to get it out of the oil sands, then so be it. In fact the member said that if the energy companies did not cooperate, there would be consequences.

Bullying, threats, pitting one region against the other in a shallow trade-off for votes is the Liberal way.

However, Canadians know that the strength of one is the strength of all and the whole is important. Our government wants all sectors of Canada's economy to grow and prosper for the benefit of all Canadians.

Middle East
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are still waiting for the report that the hon. member for Mississauga—Streetsville and special advisor to the Prime Minister on Middle Eastern affairs had promised to make public. I have a very simple question for the Prime Minister and, for once, I would like him to be upfront.

Did he receive a written report from the hon. member for Mississauga—Streetsville on his trip to the Middle East, yes or no?

Middle East
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have already said that I received the report from the hon. member for Mississauga—Streetsville after his trip abroad a number of months ago. I am honoured that the hon. member for Mississauga—Streetsville was prepared to serve not just this country, but also the new Government of Canada.

Middle East
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I asked the Prime Minister if the report was a written one. He did not answer that. He needs to clarify if it is a written report, and if it is not, he needs to make public the notes made by the foreign affairs officials who were travelling with the member about where they went and what they did.

Will he release the written report? Where are the notes that the foreign affairs officials wrote while travelling on taxpayers' money?

Middle East
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Mississauga—Streetsville was asked to go on a trip and to prepare a report for me. He did prepare a written report; I have had it for some time. This is advice I asked him to give the Prime Minister. He has given that advice to the Prime Minister. I intend to keep it in confidence as I would with any member. He will go on future trips and we will follow a similar procedure.

Middle East
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a commitment was made by the member for Mississauga—Streetsville to release the report. The Prime Minister is keeping the report. He is not willing to release either the report or the notes made by the foreign affairs officials. I guess there is something there that the Prime Minister does not want to release to the Canadian people. We need to know what it is.

Will the Prime Minister now ask the Auditor General for a value for money audit on these trips?