House of Commons Hansard #151 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was companies.

Topics

Human Rights
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Father Thaddeus Nguyen Van Ly is a Roman Catholic priest and prominent Vietnamese citizen involved in many pro-democracy movements and activities in support of greater religious freedom in Vietnam.

Father Ly was arrested early on the morning of the 17th of May, 2001 in his church as he prepared to celebrate mass. Father Ly's peaceful activities in support of his religious and political views date back many years. For his ongoing imprisonment and continuous non-violent protests, Amnesty International has adopted Father Ly as a prisoner of conscience.

At a trial on March 30, 2007 where no lawyers were present and Father Ly was forcibly not allowed to speak, his support for a pro-democracy movement has led to him being sentenced to an additional eight years in prison.

Let me be very clear. I am calling on the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to demand and secure Father Ly's immediate and unconditional release.

Gilles Villeneuve
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week we are marking the 25th anniversary of the passing of the famous Quebec Formula 1 driver, Gilles Villeneuve, who lost his life in a tragic accident during the Belgian Grand Prix trials.

From a young age, Gilles Villeneuve had a real passion for automobile racing. With his great determination and immense talent, he quickly made a name for himself and climbed up the ranks of automobile racing before finally being hired by the most prestigious of the Formula 1 teams: Ferrari. His spectacular driving, daring and memorable passing manoeuvres made him a formidable competitor who was widely admired.

I would like to thank all the organizers and volunteers associated with the Gilles Villeneuve museum in Berthierville who, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his death, have staged an outstanding exhibition recalling the talent and achievements of this great Quebec race car driver.

Child Care
Statements by Members

May 10th, 2007 / 2 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we will conclude our study of the NDP's early learning and child care act. I thank my colleagues for their support.

Strong child care legislation is the step the Liberals did not take and the Conservatives refuse to take.

A recent letter I received from a constituent in Toronto said:

The issue for our family isn't so much the money, but the availability of safe, flexible, stimulating daycare. What's money if there's nothing to buy?

There is nothing to buy. There are no spaces for everyday families to feel secure knowing their children are being cared for in high quality, affordable early learning and child care centres. Our country is failing its children.

A recent international Save the Children report indicates that Canada has fallen from fifth to 25th on its indicator. Poor early learning and child care services are to blame for our abysmal showing.

This Mother's Day, I urge the Prime Minister to turn the landmark bill into law so Canada will finally achieve a national child care program.

Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, members of Brandon's Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum welcomed American Ambassador Mr. David Wilkins, who unveiled a plaque in honour of the American airmen who trained, fought and died with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the second world war.

At the beginning of the war, Canada had 4,000 people in the RCAF. At the peak of the war, Canada had the fourth largest air force in the world with 253,000 members.

Brandon's Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, which is located at the Brandon airport, contains the best collection of artifacts, and captures and highlights much of this period of our history. There are also a number of World War II airplanes displayed that are still in working condition and are used on special occasions.

I could not end my comments without mentioning veterans like Archie Londry and Reg Forbes who, along with many others, continue to provide leadership in what is becoming a world-class museum.

I invite all my colleagues to visit this impressive museum the next time they are in western Manitoba.

Mental Health
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week marks mental health awareness week, a week to open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness.

Mental illness affects more than six million, or one in five Canadians. Of the 10 leading causes of disabilities worldwide, five are mental disorders. Close to 4,000 Canadians commit suicide each year and it is the most common cause of death for people 15 to 24 years of age.

For too long, Canadians who suffer from mental illness have lived in the shadows. Too few Canadians realize what a heavy burden mental illness imposes on society and too few people who suffer from it seek our help in times of need.

We call upon the government to get the mental health commission running as soon as possible. There is important work to do to reduce the negative stigma about mental illness among the general population and health care professionals, and to promote the positive effects of best practice in prevention, diagnosis and medical treatment.

Wilma Downing
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the late Wilma Downing, a renowned high school teacher in my riding of Palliser.

Ms. Downing taught English, health and physical education at Sheldon-Williams Collegiate in Regina from 1956 until 1990. During those 34 years, she attended any athletic event featuring her beloved Spartans. She was also famous for baking cookies for her students and fellow staff members.

Besides being caring and conscientious with her students and colleagues, Ms. Downing helped lead the Spartans to 25 city track championships and nine girls' city basketball championships.

Even after her retirement, Ms. Downing continued her important role in Regina's athletic community. In 2004 she was inducted into the Regina Sports Hall of Fame to recognize her tireless voluntary work.

I was pleased to meet Ms. Downing last fall after the Sheldon football team won the provincial championship.

Sadly, Ms. Downing passed away earlier this year from cancer. I am proud to give thanks for her life and her contribution to our community and to wish her family all the best.

2/3 Walk
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow May 11, La Marche 2/3 will be held in Montreal. This walk was instituted in 1970 by the CLUB 2/3, an educational and international cooperation organization in Quebec that works with young people in Quebec, Canada and countries in the southern hemisphere.

The theme of this 37th edition of the walk has to do with changing the world. Taking part in the walk will be thousands of young people who are very concerned about this cause and dedicated to it.

The walk is an opportunity not only to celebrate their dedication and what they do to promote a fair, equitable world in which people show solidarity with one another but also to peacefully denounce the injustices of the world economy and demand a fair distribution of the wealth of this world.

La Marche 2/3 is an appeal for citizen involvement. The message that these young people are sending through this walk for international solidarity should be seen as an appeal for us to join forces with them. The government should therefore seize upon this message and direct the necessary efforts and resources into making significant strides toward achieving the millennium objective of eradicating extreme poverty in the world.

Mental Health
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to inform the House and all Canadians that the week of May 7 to 13 marks the 56th anniversary of National Mental Health Week in Canada.

The Canadian Mental Health Association's message for this week is to achieve a better work-life balance. Some of the ways to achieve this balance include: schedule brief breaks throughout the day; create a buffer between work and home; and participate in daily exercise activities. Individuals can empower themselves by researching the programs, policies and benefits at their workplace. These are just some of the ways in which a better work-life balance can be achieved.

Canada's new government has made significant investments to reach out in practical and compassionate ways to promote mental health and to assist those who have mental illness to recover and live full and productive lives.

Please join me in wishing all those who work for mental health a very successful week.

Hershey Plant Closure
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, today is a very sad day for the workers at the Dartmouth Hershey plant. It was announced yesterday that Hershey will close operations resulting in the loss of almost 600 jobs as part of an international restructuring plan.

Each of us can imagine the effect this will have on families in our community. Employees, many of whom dedicated their entire working life to Hershey and Moirs, now find themselves looking for work.

This is a time for our community to come together and help. I will work with the union and management to ensure fairness for workers. I will work with other elected officials from all parties to provide a common effort and work with government departments like Service Canada to ensure the transition for the workers is as smooth as possible.

I offer my heartfelt sympathies to the workers being displaced, some of whom I know. I know my colleagues in the House from the Dartmouth-Halifax region feel the same way.

Let us all do everything possible to work for a positive outcome for the loyal workers of the Hershey Moirs plant in Dartmouth.

Saint-Hubert Airport
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, for several weeks the Bloc members have taken a keen interest in the upgrading of the Saint-Hubert airport. This is nevertheless a very recent interest. Why is the Bloc being opportunistic by suddenly taking an interest in the future of this airport?

Until very recently, the Bloc members only talked about Mirabel airport. In fact, no mention was made of the Saint-Hubert airport in their platform. Even in 2004, the regional platform of Bloc candidates in the Montérégie region, including the member for Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, made no mention of this airport.

Does the Bloc's new position now favour the development of the Saint-Hubert airport over that of Mirabel?

The eternal opposition can ask questions and write press releases but it will never be able to do anything to upgrade a single airport in Quebec, much less ensure the development of the aerospace industry.

The Environment
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, Toronto has just suffered through two consecutive smog days that are severely affecting the health of Torontonians.

Toronto Public Health estimates that 1,700 Toronto residents die prematurely each year due to air pollution but the Conservatives have announced a plan that will not get the job done on smog and climate change. This plan is no match for the breakthrough Bill C-30 as rewritten by the NDP-led all party committee.

Last week our leader called on all opposition parties to unite to force the new clean air and climate change act to a vote in the House. However, instead of using their opposition day today to achieve real results on smog and climate change, the Liberals have decided it is more important to protect their corporate friends.

In my party, we walk the talk. Next week the NDP will use its opposition day to call on the government to bring forward the clean air and climate change act to Parliament for debate and a vote.

Thirteen years of Liberal inaction is not an excuse for falling further behind. Toronto families and all Canadians are counting on us to finally get the job done.

Canadian Executive Service Organization
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 40th anniversary of a unique Canadian organization.

Since 1967, the Canadian Executive Service Organization, CESO, has successfully completed over 40,000 projects in 50 different countries, including Canada's aboriginal communities. CESO volunteer advisers are Canadians who share their professional experiences with those in need to strengthen the economies and build more self-sufficient communities.

I am, therefore, proud to report that one of my constituents, Mr. Charles Scott, recently returned from Sri Lanka where he helped train 32 people in the management of a large dairy operation that has been facing problems with sales and distribution.

A dedicated professional and a true volunteer, Mr. Scott and many Canadians like him have made a positive impression throughout the world ensuring that Canada is a respected member of the international community.

I ask all members of the House to recognize the important contribution that Mr. Scott and his fellow CESO volunteers are making on behalf of Canada.

Gasoline Prices
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, the price of gas has again reached record heights. In addition to hurting several sectors of the Quebec economy, including manufacturing, the price of gas has a direct impact on consumers' budgets.

On May 8, the House of Commons voted in favour of the Bloc Québécois motion to give more power to the commissioner of Competition to conduct thorough investigations of fluctuations in the price of gas and to establish a petroleum monitoring agency. We hope that the government will respect the will of the House.

Perhaps this time the Conservatives will set aside their incredible arrogance, shelve their demagoguery, and show respect for democracy by moving forward with the motion adopted. Otherwise, Quebeckers will remember this government's indifference towards the decision of the majority of members on this important matter.

Dwight Wilson
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Glen Pearson London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in honour and humility to pay tribute to a World War I veteran, Dwight Wilson, who passed away yesterday at the age of 106.

Mr. Wilson personified the spirit and courage of all Canadians when he volunteered for our armed forces in 1916. Being a minor, Mr. Wilson was twice discharged from active duty but his determination is representative of all the young men who fought for Canada in the Great War.

As our country sadly loses our last veterans of World War I, it becomes vital that we not let the memory of their ultimate sacrifice be forgotten and that we honour the hundreds of thousands of brave Canadians and Newfoundlanders who fought in World War I.

On behalf of all parliamentarians in this room, I wish to pay our respects to Dwight Wilson and express our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones.

We shall never forget.

Canada Elections Act
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, scarcely a year ago, the Liberal Party was led by a man who vowed to end the tyranny of “who do you know in the PMO”. In a way, that dream has come true for in the Liberal Party today it is no longer “who you know”, but “who you owe”.

Candidates for the recent Liberal leadership are in hock to the tune of $2.6 million, almost all of it owed to titans such as Rod Bryden, Stephen Bronfman and John Rae. That is five times what the entire Liberal Party raised in the first three months of this year.

However, relief is on the way, not for the indebted Liberals, but rather for future candidates. Canada's new government has introduced legislation that will end the practice of using loans to evade, yes, evade, contribution limits.

Never again will a party leader start his new job accompanied by a briefcase full of IOUs and his own personal collection agent. The accountability with respect to the loans bill will close this last loophole in our election financing laws, ushering in a modern era of clean politics.