House of Commons Hansard #137 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was communities.

Topics

John Roberts
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour John Roberts, who lived the life of an academic, diplomat and member of Parliament. Mr. Roberts passed away last week at the age of 73.

Born in Hamilton and later a resident of Toronto, John Roberts had a passion for the arts and the environment and was truly ahead of his time. He was both elected and defeated in the ridings of York—Simcoe and St. Paul's on three separate occasions. Whether in victory or defeat, his approach toward a sustainable environment and his support for a vibrant cultural community was the bedrock of his every campaign.

During the repatriation of our Constitution, the hon. John Roberts was an irreplaceable colleague to Prime Minister Trudeau. He lobbied British parliamentarians on the idea of a Canadian constitution and briefed the prime minister on how it could be achieved. As minister of the environment, he successfully drew the Americans into the battle against acid rain.

I am sure that this House will join me in saluting a remarkable Canadian, a great parliamentarian and a man who led a truly extraordinary life. Our friend and colleague John Roberts was kind, and one of a kind. He will be greatly missed.

Yvon Ménard
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend the extraordinary dedication shown by Mr. Yvon Ménard to his community of East Angus.

Mr. Ménard has been a volunteer for over half a century, contributing to the growth of his community. He has been particularly devoted to the golf club and to the revival of the Lions club of East Angus. He chaired the local chamber of commerce, sat on the city's health committee and, since 2006, has been a municipal councillor.

A Quebec pioneer in the use of sawdust in hydroponics, Mr. Ménard also won the Gilles-Bordeleau award of merit for his work within the federation of Quebec greenhouse producers.

Mr. Ménard said it best himself: he may be retired from a payroll, but not from an active life. This full-time volunteer is an invaluable asset to the community of Haut-Saint-François.

Congratulations, Mr. Ménard. Your remarkable contribution serves an example for everyone.

Workers' Rights
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the first bill I introduced in the House was the workers first bill, an act to protect workers' wages and pensions in cases of corporate bankruptcies. Such legislation is desperately needed in my hometown of Hamilton where Hamilton Specialty Bar is but the latest company to face the threat of bankruptcy.

Although the last Parliament did pass the wage earner protection program act, which would protect at least the wage portion of moneys owed to workers, the Liberals failed to proclaim that act into law. They hoped no one would notice, but of course everyone in the labour movement did.

The NDP has redoubled its efforts to ensure that this act will come into force. The only thing standing between the protection of workers' rights and the requisite legislation is the political will to get this initiative passed. Workers know that New Democrats have that will. Workers know who is on their side when it comes to back to work legislation and anti-scab legislation.

It is time to approve this essential piece of legislation to defend workers' earnings. I urge all members of the House to support the speedy passage of bankruptcy protection for Canadian workers. I pledge my party's support.

Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the Harvie family for its contribution to the new Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park. The park will encompass over 3,000 acres and 14 kilometres of the Bow River shoreline.

The Harvie family sold this land to the government of Alberta at much less than market value to establish this park. This land will provide a legacy of conservation, education and recreation opportunities for Albertans. Tim Harvie, a constituent of Macleod, has been custodian of this land with his sister Katie and it has been in the family for more than 70 years.

The park presents a showcase of the natural grasslands and unique ecological attributes of the Alberta landscape and will protect Calgary's water supply and all water users downstream on the Bow River.

Ecological entrepreneurs such as Tim, Katie and the rest of the Harvie family are taking action to demonstrate the importance of conserving our land and preserving it for future generations. Please join me in acknowledging the Harvie family for its contribution.

Manufacturing Industry
Statements By Members

April 20th, 2007 / 11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, over 200 hard-working, reliable employees in my riding of Brant recently lost their jobs when GenFast Manufacturing declared bankruptcy and closed its doors. This is only the latest blow to the manufacturing sector in Brant. GenFast has had roots in Brantford since 1910. Its closing has devastated the lives of its employees and their families.

I have heard from many who have not received benefits, severance, wages and vacation pay. Workers' rights have been put in jeopardy and the government must immediately take steps to ensure that money owed to workers is the first priority of any company and the government.

The nature of manufacturing is changing. Many Canadian workers are at great risk of encountering a similar fate as GenFast workers. Over the past few years over 200,000 jobs have been lost in the manufacturing sector.

It is imperative that the government take a leadership role to promote the future sustainability of the manufacturing industry and protect the jobs and the rights of its workers.

Sudan
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada is committed to helping to achieve a lasting peace for the people of Darfur. Canada welcome's Sudan's recent acceptance of the full heavy support package of UN assistance to the African Union mission.

Given Sudan's record of stalling international efforts to achieve peace in Darfur, Canada is calling on the Sudanese government to demonstrate that it is a full partner in this process. We must now focus on ensuring that the next step, a hybrid AU-UN mission, is in place as soon as possible.

Canada is part of a concerted international effort to bring about a just and lasting peace throughout all of Sudan. Since 2004 Canada has spent over $368 million working to improve the human rights and the humanitarian situation in Sudan. This includes support for urgently needed humanitarian aid, diplomatic efforts to achieve peace and of course our support as a principal donor to the African Union's peacekeeping mission in Darfur.

Rita Trépanier
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, on April 17, 2007, the Outaouais lost a dedicated volunteer, Ms. Rita Trépanier, who passed away after several months of battling cancer.

Rita was a spirited woman, who was always there to help those around her and who was convinced that Quebec would one day be a country. Treasurer of the Bloc Québécois, member of the Société nationale des Québécois et des Québécoises de l'Outaouais, she was an active participant in election campaigns, in addition to volunteering for the hot air balloon festival, meals on wheels, the tax clinic and Operation Red Nose. In fact, that is where I saw her for the last time, last December. She was a woman of many talents.

I would like to tell her family and friends, and her sovereignist family, that our hearts are with them. A few days before her death, she said the first thing she would do in the afterlife would be to say hello to René Lévesque. Believe me, this woman of action will hasten to do so.

National Volunteer Week
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, to give and share is to pass on something of oneself. This is National Volunteer Week, which turns the spotlight on Canadian volunteers. I want to pay tribute to the volunteers across Canada, who work to better their community and the quality of life of their fellow Canadians.

Volunteerism is a way to meet people's needs and getting them involved in good causes, wherever those causes may be. Canadians do more than 2 billion hours of volunteer work a year. As an important side benefit, volunteerism gives us a better understanding of people and their differences.

I want to mention the wonderful work being done in my riding, Beauport—Limoilou, by the ROSCB, the Little Brothers of the Poor, La Bouchée Généreuse, Maison Agapè and the Centre d’action bénévole Aide 23.

I pay tribute to these men and women who find a purpose for their lives in volunteering and who, by giving of their time and listening to others, give dignity to those who need it.

Christopher Stannix
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, on Easter Sunday, Master Corporal Christopher Stannix and five others were killed while serving their country in Afghanistan. His bravery and commitment live on in his family, his friends and his community who all mourn his loss of life.

Last Friday I was proud to be at Auburn Drive High School when his bravery and memory were acknowledged by the students of the school, which he attended only a few years ago. During a moving tribute to this young man, every student stood at attention, fought tears and honoured the achievements of his short life.

In a letter to the Halifax Herald this week, his sister Lesley spoke of Christopher and his colleagues by saying, “Soldiers have a strength of character, a courage in their convictions and a true bravery”.

Master Corporal Christopher Paul Stannix of the Princess Louise Fusiliers will be buried this afternoon at CFB Stadacona.

To his parents Ken and Kathy, his sisters Meaghan and Lesley, and his fiancée Candice, we offer our support, prayers and thanks as we honour another fallen hero.

Afghanistan
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Bradley Trost Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in this House we debated the future of Canada's role in Afghanistan.

While many in Canada understand very well the necessity for international assistance to the democratic Afghan government, others do not. The critics seem to feel that we in the west somehow provoke the extremists, that it is somehow our fault and that we can find an accommodation with these extremists. Considering that the extremists cite the independence of East Timor and the conquest of Andalusia in the 15th century as two rationale for their terror, reasonable people must understand there is no assuaging them. They will find any excuse for their hate.

We are in Afghanistan for two reasons. First, we are there out of compassion to provide peace and humanitarian relief for that country. Second, we are there to make sure that Afghanistan never again becomes a place for extremists who hate our way of life.

Ultimately, Canadian Forces are in Afghanistan to protect what we hold most dear: life; life in Canada and life in Afghanistan.

Terminator Seed Technology
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, terminator is a technology that is being developed by multinational seed companies to make seeds sterile after first harvest. The goal is to prevent farmers from saving and reusing their own seeds, thereby forcing them to buy seed from corporations every year.

Currently there is an international moratorium being upheld on terminator at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. Incredibly, we have a government, like the Liberal government before it, that is seeking to undermine this moratorium by considering approval of this technology on a case by case basis.

Despite the fact that leading scientists condemn taking this completely irresponsible position, they are willing to take this enormous risk.

My office is flooded with letters every day, over 700 so far, from Canadians expressing deep concern about the dangers of this technology which cannot be prevented from cross-pollinating with other plants. I have personally written to each of these people and informed them that I will be forwarding their letters to the minister's office and asking him to justify his position to them directly.

I urge each of my colleagues to forward each and every letter they get--

Terminator Seed Technology
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Mount Royal.

Israel
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are on the eve of the 59th anniversary of the state of Israel.

Israel is not simply a CNN clip or what passes for the Internet image of the day. Rather, it should be seen and understood as the embodiment of Jewish survival and self-determination, the reconstitution of an ancient people in its ancestral homeland.

In a word, the Jewish people still inhabit the same land, embrace the same religion, study the same Bible, hearken to the same prophets, speak the same aboriginal language and bear the same aboriginal name as they did 3,500 years ago, and whose abiding hope and dream is to live in peace with the other indigenous nations and peoples of the Middle East.

May I conclude with the age old Hebrew prayer for peace in the original Hebrew language:

[Member spoke in Hebrew as follows:]

Oseh Shalom Bimromov, Who Yaaseh Shalom, Alenu V'al Kol Israel, V'imeru, Amen.

[English]

May God who establishes peace on high, grant peace for us all, Amen.

May this 59th anniversary usher in a real, just, and lasting peace for all peoples of the Middle East.

Bill C-327
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, we are debating Bill C-327, which I am sponsoring in the House of Commons and which aims to reduce violence on television.

Eight years ago today, on April 20, 1999, the Columbine shooting took place. Closer to home, we also remember the tragic events at Dawson College on September 16, 2006, and the massacre this week at Virginia Tech University. Such events remind us of the importance of reducing violence in our society and especially on television.

A recent study by the communications department at Virginia Tech shows that someone who is exposed to violent programs and movies for a certain number of hours could decide to commit acts of violence to settle disagreements with others. It is therefore our duty as parliamentarians, citizens and parents to make sure our children can live in an environment where violence—which realistically cannot be completely eliminated— is better monitored and less accessible to children.

I invite my colleagues to vote in favour of Bill C-327.

21st Awards Ceremony of Coalition of National Capital Region Businesspeople
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be able to congratulate those honoured at the 21st awards ceremony of the Regroupement des gens d'affaires de la Capitale nationale held on April 14.

The award recipients, in order of presentation, are as follows: the Prix Coup de Coeur 2007 for outstanding service, Jocelyne Beauchamp and Mireille Campeau, co-owners of Cora's Ottawa Saint-Laurent; manager of the year, private sector, Patrice Basille, executive vice-president, Brookstreet Hotel; manager of the year, parapublic sector, Victoria Henry, director of the Art Bank of the Canada Council for the Arts—particularly special considering it is the 50th anniversary of the Canada Council; SME of the year, Le Nordik - Nature Spa; self-employed worker of the year, Jimmy Blackburn, president of Rebuts Débarras Québec; micro-business of the year, Oproma Inc.; big business of the year, S&S Bolton Electric and its president Robert Sanscartier, who has also received previous awards from the RGA; and lastly entrepreneur of the year, Jacques Bertrand from La Relance Outaouais.

Congratulations to all the award winners. I hope that the RGA will continue its great work for years to come.