House of Commons Hansard #141 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was afghanistan.

Topics

National Day of Mourning
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Edmonton Centre.

Kids with Cancer
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday, five young heroes battling cancer lived their dreams and became pilots and chefs for a day.

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Kids with Cancer event allowed these brave youngsters to soar above Edmonton with instructors from the NAIT aviation school and the Edmonton Flying Club and also take a spatula spin with some of Edmonton's new culinary masters at NAIT's chef program.

Putting on my old flight suit and flying helmet for these brave kids was an honour and a privilege. I had the thrill of strapping on a Cessna 172 with a new 17 year old flying buddy named Eduardo Rodrigues. Eduardo was a natural and I felt safe throughout the flight.

Despite our medical advances, cancer still destroys lives and affects millions of others. Every day, brave kids, like Eduardo Rodrigues, Teran Gollan-Boyko, Juan Duque, Nevada Green, Matthew Bryan and their families, climb above their problems and fight to live and live well.

Their battle inspires me and every Canadian who has been affected by cancer. I salute these young heroes who slipped the surly bonds of Earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings, even if just for an hour. I salute them and all Canadians battling cancer.

Passport Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Chan Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, almost a year ago I called upon the government to address the imminent passport problems. The Minister of Foreign Affairs assured us that steps were being taken and that the level of service would be maintained.

It is now painfully obvious that the Conservatives' steps failed miserably. Day long queues now stretch around passport offices and it takes over three months to process an application. Even Passport Canada's help line is overburdened with 124,000 additional calls per week.

Canadians are frustrated and so am I. I receive countless calls for help from constituents forced to cancel business trips, family vacations and pay thousands of dollars in re-booking penalties because of the Conservatives' incompetence.

The minister says that we should be patient. I say that he has mismanaged this file, failed Canadians and he should resign.

Arts and Culture
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Fabian Manning Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, last night, the professional theatre company, Rising Tide Theatre, from Newfoundland and Labrador, presented its play No Man's Land at the Canadian War Museum.

Written by well-known author, Kevin Major, and directed by Donna Butt, artistic director of Rising Tide Theatre, No Man's Land demonstrates Newfoundland and Labrador's remembrance of July 1, 1916, the day the best and the brightest of a generation were virtually wiped out on the battlefields of France during the Battle of the Somme in World War I.

With three more performances to take place over the next few days here in Ottawa, I encourage everyone, young and old alike, to take the opportunity to go see this highly successful and critically acclaimed play.

I want to pass on my congratulations to Rising Tide Theatre. No Man's Land is not only an amazing, touching, enlightening and heartfelt production, but its existence will ensure the immeasurable loss of that day will never be forgotten.

42nd Quebec Games
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Raymond Gravel Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, March 10 marked the closing of the 42nd Quebec Games in my riding.

Today, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone who helped make this event such a great success.

The legendary hospitality and cooperation of the people in the regional county municipality of L'Assomption showed the thousands of athletes, coaches and chaperones that we know how to host an event.

Dany Bergeron, who headed the organizing committee, made the games memorable for the participants from all over Quebec.

I want to thank the municipal authorities from Charlemagne, L'Assomption, Repentigny, Saint-Sulpice and the town and parish of L'Épiphanie for their support. I also want to express my appreciation to the many partners and sponsors.

The various agencies involved, the sponsors and the organizing committee can congratulate themselves on a job well done. They showed the participants from all over Quebec a fantastic time at these unforgettable games.

Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, last year, the residents in my riding of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry displayed 15,095 Canadian flags at their residences on July 1, Canada's 139th birthday. They did this to indicate to the rest of Canada and to the whole world that our riding was the most patriotic riding in all of Canada.

I was very proud to stand in my place last September and officially declare the riding of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry the most patriotic riding from sea to sea to sea.

I am proud to rise again today to declare to this House that we in the riding of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry plan to again claim the title of the most patriotic riding in Canada on Canada's 140th birthday. I hereby challenge each and every member of this House and their constituents to compete with us for this most prestigious title.

Children's Mental Health Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, May 7 to May 13 is designated as Children's Mental Health Week in Canada. In my home province of Ontario, one in five children is believed to struggle with some form of common mental illness, such as depression, anxiety disorder or bullying.

The chair of the Senate committee on social affairs, Michael Kirby, has described children's mental health services as the “most neglected piece” of the Canadian health care system.

The average cost of treating children's mental health problems in community based agencies is less than $2,500 per child.

When children with mental health disorders are not effectively treated, they become more vulnerable and less resilient as they approach adulthood, which may result in adult mental disorders, involvement with the law and homelessness.

I raise this important issue today so that we may do our share in combating the stigma associated with mental illness and all work toward a national strategy to address the needs of our most susceptible youth.

Defence Science
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, today I stand to recognize the 60th anniversary of defence science in Canada.

In April 1947, the Defence Research Board was established as a single civilian research body within National Defence. The Defence Research Board evolved to become Defence R&D Canada, the research and development agency of the Department of National Defence.

After 60 years, the work of Defence R&D Canada continues to ensure the safety of our soldiers and the security of our nation.

Canadians directly benefit from the defence science and technology.

Our defence scientists created the “Bombsniffer”, used to chemically sniff out hidden explosives. They invented the “Franks Flying Suit”, the world's first anti-gravity suit to prevent pilot blackouts. In 1985, Canadian defence scientists were at the forefront of an incredible technology when they were the first to open an Internet gateway in Canada.

Today I am proud to pay tribute to the 60th anniversary of defence science in Canada.

RCMP Pension Fund
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, recent testimony in the RCMP pension scandal has included contradictory allegations of theft and harassment, whistleblowers being reassigned, and cover-ups on top of cover-ups. The whistleblowers range from staff sergeants to a chief superintendent, all veteran police officers.

A full inquiry would have the power to subpoena witnesses and evidence; this investigator will not. If someone does not want to testify, they do not have to and, if they do appear, they will not be testifying under oath. Witnesses will not even be protected from being sued for slander or charged under the Privacy Act. How can whistleblowers come forward if they are not protected?

In fact, the public accounts committee formally rejected the government's ad hoc investigation. Even the Conservative members on the committee chose to abstain rather than support their minister's plan.

I would say to the Minister of Public Safety today that he should not take this shortcut to failure. He should call for a full inquiry and he should stand up for the RCMP, stand up for due process and stand up for getting to the truth.

Bill C-278
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to recognize and offer congratulations to a friend and colleague, the hon. member for Sydney—Victoria. Through his private member's bill, Bill C-278, an act to amend employment insurance sick benefits, he was able to bring attention to an issue that impacts on a significant number of Canadians.

All members of this House have heard the stories of Canadians living normal lives, raising families and contributing to their communities until their world is forever changed by cancer, a heart attack or a stroke.

As these brave individuals summon up the courage and energy to fight for what might be their life, they should not be burdened by the additional stress of not being able to provide for their families. Personal financial devastation should not be a side effect of cancer.

This bill was inspired by my colleague's staff, two of whom have waged their own personal battles with a serious illness, and was supported by all opposition members.

I congratulate my colleague from Sydney--Victoria and I call upon the government to find the heart to allow this bill to go forward.

Intellectual Property
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to manufacturers and exporters, copyright infringement costs between $20 billion and $30 billion annually in losses. In my riding, Polyform Foam Plastics Inc. holds a patent for an insulating foam, and its innovation has been copied by another company. Obtaining a patent is expensive, but defending it in court costs even more.

Today, in the context of World Intellectual Property Day, I once again call on the Minister of Industry to implement the recommendation of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. The recommendation aims to eliminate this scourge by amending Canada's Copyright Act. I also call on the minister to put in place the necessary measures to eliminate the proliferation of copyright infringement and pirating.

This government's failure to act is distressing. It is about time the government acted on this, instead of attacking the Bloc Québécois' work.

Canada Foundation for Innovation
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to highlight the 10th anniversary of the Canada Foundation for Innovation. In fact, it was on yesterday's date, in 1997, that Parliament passed legislation to create this independent public agency responsible for providing money for research infrastructure, free from all partisan or political interference.

Since that day, the CFI has transformed the research landscape in Canada by investing some $3.65 billion in more than 5,000 projects led in 129 institutions across the country. These investments create jobs and draw researchers from around the globe.

In one decade, the achievements of the CFI have aroused unprecedented enthusiasm and optimism in the Canadian research community. On the international stage, Canada is increasingly admired and recognized as a prominent player in the field of sciences.

The Environment
Statements By Members

April 26th, 2007 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Bloc Québécois no longer knows what to say to justify the presence of the Bloc in Ottawa. Recently he incorrectly stated that the Conservative members from Quebec were not defending their province's environmental interests. The criticism from the leader of the Bloc is even more surprising and contradictory given that in just 14 months, the Conservative government has given $349.9 million to Quebec to help it meet the goals of its 2006-12 climate change plan.

With this $349.9 million, provided as part of the Canada ecotrust program, Quebec will now be able to meet its Kyoto objectives, which was recently confirmed by Quebec's new environment minister. This is $22 million more than the Bloc was asking for, and $350 million more than what the Bloc could ever get for Quebec.

We, the 10 Conservatives from Quebec, say what we do and do what we say.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in a parliamentary committee, less than one hour after question period, the Minister of National Defence proclaimed that he had made an agreement giving our military access to Afghan detainees.

Later, he was a little more forthcoming in an elevator, and even later still in a press release.

Was the Prime Minister aware of this agreement before his Minister of National Defence announced it in such an impromptu and confused manner, and is this a verbal or written agreement?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have said several times this week that the Leader of the Opposition should get his facts straight before speaking.

Canadian government officials consulted their counterparts in the Afghan government. The latter did not block access to prisons, as claimed by the Leader of the Opposition. That is a false and irresponsible allegation. He should apologize to the Canadian military.