House of Commons Hansard #127 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was benefits.

Topics

Conservatives
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr. Speaker, if people believe in Canadian sovereignty from coast to coast to coast and honour our sovereign; if people believe in the value of a dollar and the worth of investing in their community; if people work hard for an honest day's wage and share their earnings to assist those in need and to help individuals help themselves; if assisting a fellow human being is as rewarding as helping oneself; if people pray for humanity rather than prey on it; if people encourage our military and support our veterans when the fighting is done; if people desire clean air to blow, clean water to flow, and green forests to grow; if family is most important and is closely followed by true patriot love; if people believe in personal responsibility and aspire for truth and justice; if people believe in democracy, freedom and hope for a better tomorrow; they are Canadians and together we stand on guard for thee. And which is more, my friends, they are Conservatives.

Canada Summer Jobs
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Sunday, the Minister of Labour gave an interview to the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean Progrès-Dimanche in which he said he was disappointed that he had lost his discretionary power as a member of Parliament to award subsidies in the new Canada summer jobs program.

As the member for Jonquière—Alma, he was very open about criticizing that decision when in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region, but here in Ottawa, the minister is taking a completely different approach by remaining silent on the subject. If he really is that disappointed in his government's decision, it is his duty to express that here in this House just as he did in his riding. Many community organizations are concerned about the choice to centralize decision-making in Montreal and Ottawa, where regional realities are less well understood.

I would therefore urge the Minister of Labour to stop contradicting himself and denounce the Conservative government's decision here in Ottawa.

Zimbabwe
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, Zimbabwe's opposition MPs face the constant threat of physical abuse, beatings or even death at the hands of the police and the gangs used by Robert Mugabe's regime to carry out its dirty work. To protect these MPs, many have been twinned with legislators from other countries.

Sometimes twinning works and sometimes it does not. Several years ago I was twinned with an opposition MP named David Mpala. He was beaten to death by thugs who were never prosecuted.

So I was paired again with a brave young opposition spokesman named Nelson Chamisa. Two weeks ago, he and dozens of others were attacked by police while conducting a peaceful demonstration. And then last Saturday, as Nelson was preparing to fly to Brussels to report on this latest round of abuse, he was beaten by eight thugs in the parking lot of Harare airport.

Today Nelson is hospitalized with a fractured skull, a detached retina and possible kidney damage. As usual, the assailants have vanished without a trace. It is time for the entire civilized world to hold Robert Mugabe personally accountable for his regime's reign of terror.

Distinguished Citizens
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate a number of my constituents who were honoured this week. The Fredericton Chamber of Commerce has recognized four individuals in the annual Distinguished Citizen Awards.

They are: the late Ira Beattie, a founding partner with ADI Group and former head of the University of New Brunswick civil engineering department; family physician and provincial health minister Dr. Russ King; and long time artists Molly and Bruno Bobak. In fact, a street on Fredericton's north side is being dedicated to the Bobaks.

The 16th annual Fredericton Sports Wall of Fame inductees are: former Canadian national team triathlete Elizabeth Seiffert; long time midget hockey coach Kevin Pottle; Minto hockey coach and administrator Bob Deap; and Frank “Mush” Morehouse who is 91 years young, who played senior hockey in Fredericton, Toronto and Quebec from 1931 to 1950.

University of Ottawa quarterback Josh Sacobie has been named Fredericton's athlete of the year.

Commendations to them all.

Cornwall
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, I stand in my place as the very proud member of Parliament for the riding of Stormont--Dundas--South Glengarry. One of the communities in my riding is the city of Cornwall. I want to talk about the residents of this great community.

On March 31, 2006 one of our major industries closed and 1,000 of our best paying jobs were lost. Did the residents of Cornwall roll over and die? Definitely not. We decided to pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and move on, and that is just what we did.

This March we set out to claim the title of Hockeyville. I am proud to say that thanks to the leadership of people like Christine Lefebvre, Lorne Taillon and Gilles Latour of team Cornwall, we came second. That is right. Of all the cities and towns in Canada that wanted to be Hockeyville, Cornwall came within a whisker of claiming the title.

I am very proud of the people of Cornwall and their wonderful attitude. I want the whole country to be proud of them as well.

The Budget
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my constituents in Hamilton Centre watched this week's budget announcement closely, hoping for something, anything, that would alleviate the growing challenges they face every day, but for Hamilton and other municipalities, there was only disappointment.

There was nothing for our public transit system. Improving the HSR is a priority for my hometown of Hamilton, but the government still will not provide long term funding to municipalities and it still will not develop a national transit plan.

There was nothing to help the one-quarter of Hamilton's children who live in poverty, this from a government that only cares about wealthy oil companies and big banks.

There was nothing to meet our Kyoto targets or for the environment, even though Hamilton suffers the equivalent of three weeks of unbreathable air every year.

There was nothing to help build public housing, nothing for post-secondary student debt and nothing to help new Canadians have their professional credentials recognized, another Conservative promise broken.

It is shameful that with a $13 billion surplus, Hamiltonians woke up the day after the budget no better off than they were the day before.

Passports
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Don Bell North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the delays in issuing and renewing passports in Canada has become a national embarrassment.

Across this country thousands of frustrated Canadians have agonized over the possibility that their travel plans would collapse for lack of a passport. A process that should take 20 days now takes up to 60 days or longer. People are waiting for hours in long lineups at passport offices.

Who is responsible for this mess? It is certainly not the overworked passport office employees who are doing their best under difficult conditions to serve the public. No, it is the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the government who had over a year's advance notice of the new requirements for passports who are responsible. They did nothing to prevent this nightmare. There were no staff increases, no process improvements, nothing.

Now the citizens of Canada are paying for the Conservative government's inaction, such as families whose carefully planned holidays have had to be cancelled, often with financial loss or penalty.

Canadians demand and deserve better service from their government. A minister and government who could not or would not plan ahead for a problem they knew was coming is not acceptable.

Salon du livre de l'Outaouais
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, under the honourary presidency of Ms. Pauline Gill, the 28th Salon du livre de l'Outaouais was held March 1 to 4 at the Palais des Congrès in Gatineau.

The theme of this year's edition was the environment. With the slogan “Mon livre, mon uniVERT”, the Outaouais book fair offered its visitors of all ages a number of activities and a variety of events to encourage literacy and promote current literature. Activities included quizzes, comic book quizzes, seminars, book launches, discussions and a series of events called “Tout le salon en parle”, hosted by distinguished guest Richard Petit and his Fou du Salon.

On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to commend the tremendous success of the 28th Salon du livre de l'Outaouais. In spite of harsh winter conditions, the event welcomed over 27,600 visitors. Congratulations to the organizers who contributed once again to carrying on the work of the event's founder, the late Jacques Poirier.

Fisheries
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, fishers in Cardigan and across the country have serious concerns regarding the federal government's proposed new fisheries act, Bill C-45.

The government wants to push this bill through the House of Commons even though it has failed to properly consult with fishermen, the very people who depend on the fishery for their livelihood. The fishery is a common resource property and as such, Canadians from coast to coast deserve to be heard on this new legislation.

The P.E.I. Fishermen's Association supports the Liberal motion to hoist Bill C-45 so that the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans can hold proper hearings across the country.

Fishermen want to be heard. I ask the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to support the Liberal motion so that Bill C-45 can receive proper hearing from the industry and the public itself. Why does the government want to shove this bill down the throats of fishermen without proper consultation?

The Budget
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, all Canadian farmers should be contacting their members of Parliament to tell them to support budget 2007 because our Conservative government is getting the job done for agriculture and the environment.

Budget 2007 includes $2 billion in incentives for renewable fuel production. The results will be a fresh energy supply and new jobs in our growing Canadian renewable fuel sector, including biofuels and cleaner air. This is a big boost for farmers, homegrown biofuels producers and our environment.

This measure will lead to over 20 new world-class biofuels facilities in Canada, create over 14,000 new jobs in rural communities, and provide a new market for over 200 million bushels of Canadian grains and oilseeds.

After 13 years of neglect and denying Canadian farmers, the current government is preparing for the agricultural opportunities of the future

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the defence minister has already had to admit that he misled the House on Afghan detainees and now it appears he has done it again.

This week he claimed his department was not trying to block any inquiry into the treatment of detainees, but a March 13 letter from the Judge Advocate General says just the opposite. It confirms that national defence is actively trying to block the Military Police Complaints Commission.

The minister is obviously incapable of handling his duties or even knowing what they are. When will he resign?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills
Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I have said a number of times in the House that all four investigations that are in transit right now will proceed.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the minister's incompetence is astounding. Yesterday, he affirmed that Canadian troops and the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission were going to supervise detainees in prisons. Yet, the United Nations Secretary-General said, and I quote:

Access remains a problem for the commission.

The minister still does not know all the facts and continues to speak nonsense. When will he resign?

Afghanistan
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, the government is very proud of the excellent work of our Minister of National Defence and I think most Canadians are very proud as well.

We have entered into an agreement that ensures that the independent human rights commission has the opportunity to investigate and report back to us on any reports or any questions on the treatment of detainees.

Of course, the original agreement with the Afghan government ensured that the International Committee of the Red Cross also had the same type of access. As a result, we are satisfied that the protection of detainees is ensured under the Geneva Convention.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Conservative government claimed it was funding the Afghan Human Rights Commission to monitor detainees. Again, that claim is completely false.

The only Canadian money that commission has ever received is $1 million from the Canadian and Liberal government five years ago. The Conservative government has not given the commission a penny.

Will the defence minister do our troops and Canadians a favour and resign?