House of Commons Hansard #152 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Canada Elections Act
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I talked about Bill C-54. I said that the Bloc was in favour of this bill, which is designed to correct the problem of loans.

As for the Conservative member's question—it is always the same question, written in advance—I cannot answer. But I can give a few examples of partisan appointments. In accusing the Liberals of not being transparent, the Conservatives seem to be taking a “My dad is stronger than your dad” stance.

In my opinion, the Conservatives have not proven that they are as pure as the driven snow, as they claim to be. On April 12, 2006, it was announced that a friend of the government, former Conservative member Jim Gouk, had been named to the board of NAV CANADA. The government controls three seats on that board. On April 21, 2006, Gwyn Morgan, a Conservative backer, was appointed chair of the new Public Appointments Commission. The appointment was blocked by a parliamentary committee dominated by the opposition. On June 27, 2006, Kevin Gaudet, a Conservative organizer who had worked on the Prime Minister's leadership bid in 2004, was appointed to a part-time job at the Canada Pension Plan Review Tribunal that would have paid him $250 per sitting day. The Conservative government eventually backed down on this. On June 27, 2006, Brian Richard Bell, a Conservative organizer from New Brunswick, was appointed to the Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick. On September 18, 2006, Jacques Léger, interim president of the Progressive Conservative Party, was given a judgeship in the Superior Court of Quebec for the district of Montreal. On October 31, 2006, Raminder Gill, a former Conservative candidate who was defeated in Mississauga, was appointed as a citizenship judge. He was a former Progressive Conservative Party member in Ontario. His appointment made room for the floor crosser, the member for Mississauga—Streetsville. On November 1, 2006, Howard Bruce, the Conservative candidate in Portneuf in 2004 and—

Canada Elections Act
Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

Order, please.

I am sorry, but we need time for other questions and comments.

The hon. member for Pickering—Scarborough East.

Canada Elections Act
Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the hon. member who just spoke.

I heard the hon. member for Abbotsford make a few statements on certain candidates who ran in our party's leadership race.

Perhaps I could ask the hon. member if she would want to ask, in regard to the 2005 convention which the Conservative Party refused to declare, or in regard to the leadership supporters of the Prime Minister, whether or not she believes this bill should be expanded and indeed made retroactive. We would then catch what happened with the Conservative Party when it in fact used $2 million that should have been declared and should have been considered an election expense.

Does the hon. member believe that? In terms of making this a situation that the member for Abbotsford would like as a trap for the Liberal Party, maybe she would want to ask for full disclosure from the governing party for who in fact contributed to them and, more importantly, whether or not the 2005 convention should in fact be part of that retroactive net that we want to put in place.

Canada Elections Act
Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, in response to the question by the hon. member from the Liberal Party, I would say I agree that this should be made retroactive. I have denounced the fact that the governments, whether Liberal or Conservative, try to be squeaky clean during the election campaign, but once in power the same thing always happens.

The Bloc Québécois is in favour of Bill C-54 because it will put an end to certain practices, which will allow greater transparency. What I have denounced are the flaws in the accountability act, Bill C-2. There are major shortcomings that need to be corrected.

Canada Elections Act
Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to give a few opinions on and discuss further some of the implications with respect to the legislation.

I will preface my comments. Coming from York South—Weston, I come from a riding that is very working class. It is an immigrants' turnstile type of riding. According to usual indicators, it is one of the less wealthy ridings in Ontario. In fact, it is second last in terms of those indicators. Most of the housing stock was built before 1950. Most of the people, about 60%, live in multiple occupancy high-rise buildings. There are a lot of issues that come along with this in terms of people coming here with hopes of being part of the mainstream of life in Canada.

One of those hopes is to be a fully empowered member of Canadian society, with the right to vote equally and equitably. I think this House stands for those values and works toward that objective so that we do not let down past, present and future generations with respect to their ability to become part of the mainstream of Canadian life, which is what they come to this country for.

Against that background, when I am looking at equity I think that we should not place one class of citizens aside and stereotype them with respect to having less rights. It always bothers me when I see a preamble to legislation couched in these kinds of terms: we will create “an airtight system of political financing that will eliminate, once and for all, the influence of rich, wealthy individuals from the political process”.

I never knew that one of the standard values of this country was that we should stereotype wealthy people and make them scapegoats for other inequities that may exist in society. In fact, our Income Tax Act makes it very clear that in order to be equitable we will take that wealth from those wealthy people and redistribute it to those who are less fortunate. We hope there will be many wealthy people and we will take that wealth and redistribute it. That is the objective of our Income Tax Act.

Nobody has ever said that this is a very tenuous and unclear objective or mechanism. It is like what we say about equalization in this country, which is that we disagree in terms of how we go about it and we disagree from time to time about those who are being advantaged or not, but we stand for equity. We stand for redistribution wealth on a federal level also.

When we come to an Elections Act, I hope that we are driven by that same objective, which is to be fair and even-handed with respect to making the Elections Act accountable. Accountability is the key. If this legislation does that, then there will not be and should not be one person in the House who would oppose it.

I know there is not an elected member in this House who would deny how very exhaustive the processes under the Elections Act are, to the extent that it is very difficult to even find lay people in our ridings who are up to the tremendous pressure and up to participating to the extent to which they want, to be agents and to be involved in our campaigns at the financial level. The checks and balances on accountability are now so weighted that it is getting to the point where one has to be a professional, such as an auditor or an accountant or whatever, to be able to carry on that role.

In my riding, if I did not have someone like my friend, Gunter Kujat, who has been loyal to being partisan, I do not know what I would do. I trust him. I have faith in him. I am sure there are similar examples in ridings throughout our country .

When legislation is layered on top of existing legislation and it has some inherent inequities in terms of treatment, it behooves us to understand whether what we are doing is counterproductive to the objective of bringing more people into the elections process. I am going to speak about three parts of this legislation that do that. The first that I believe is overly heavy-handed beyond the terms of the Canada Elections Act--

Canada Elections Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

Order. I am sorry, but the hon. member will have to make those three points later on because we have come to the time for statements by members. The member will have 13 minutes and 45 seconds left in his time.

Spokeman Tour
Statements By Members

May 11th, 2007 / 10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Myron Thompson Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to a young man from my riding by the name of Tim Harriman.

Tim is a 19-year-old cancer survivor. His goal is to cycle across Canada to raise awareness for childhood cancer and to increase donations toward finding a cure that will put an end to this disease. Tim will work to raise this money by cycling through all 10 provinces visiting many of the 17 children's hospitals and cancer treatment centres along the way.

Tim's cycle will begin on June 4 in Victoria, B.C. and will end in mid-August in St. John's, Newfoundland. The trip will take approximately 81 days, will cover 7,738 kilometres and will take an estimated 412 hours of riding.

In order to watch Tim on his journey or make a donation, please visit his website at www.spokemantour.com. Tim vowed that as soon as he finished his cancer treatments, his next challenge would be to cross this country spreading the word on behalf of kids who are fighting cancer. I know with his determination he will fulfill his dream and beat his goal of raising $100,000.

Best wishes to Tim Harriman.

Canada Winter Games
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, for the first time in Canada Winter Games history Nunavut won a medal. Our very own Nunavutian, Eugene Dederick, age 15 became the first athlete to win a medal as a judo competitor and therefore made history.

It was very fitting and very northern as the Canada Winter Games were held in the north for the first time when Whitehorse, Yukon hosted the games and did a fabulous job.

I congratulate Eugene and his coach for their hard work and dedication along with the rest of their team and Sport Nunavut . I also acknowledge Eugene's family who have supported him along the way.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the other participants, the artists, the athletes and the volunteers who made these games so special.

Not only did Eugene win a bronze medal, he is the very first to participate in judo at the Canada Winter Games from my territory. He has made all of Nunavut very proud.

Le Monde Community Newspaper
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, on April 18, the Quebec community newspaper association presented three awards to Le Monde, a community newspaper in the riding of Papineau, which I represent.

The first award presented by the nine-member panel was in the best report category for an article by Guillaume Dandurand in February 2006, on the problem of pawnbrokers.

The second award was for best feature story for Luigi Spadari's article on the integration of visible minorities in Quebec society, which appeared in the March 2006 issue.

The third award, in the best opinion piece category, went to Pierre Brassard for an editorial in April 2006, on the impact of globalization on the clothing industry.

Allow me to offer my sincere congratulations to Le Monde and its journalists, who are so good at portraying life in our riding.

B.C. Flood Mitigation
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Dawn Black New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, B.C. residents who live near the Fraser River are facing a potential crisis. Our snow pack is 50% higher than normal and just a few days of heavy melting could cause massive flooding throughout the Fraser basin, overflowing dykes and creating a disaster.

Since 1995 the federal government has not funded maintenance of flood controls on the Fraser. This has been left to local municipalities which have been unable to cope with the huge capital costs.

The federal government has been more than willing to ensure significant assistance to other parts of the country to help with flood controls but not for B.C.

The Conservative government recently offset only half of what the B.C. government had already allocated. This is too little, too late for a disaster that could be only weeks away.

The Fraser River Basin Council has said that direct flood costs could add up to $6 billion. This does not take into account the human suffering. A massive flood on the Fraser this spring could destroy farmers' fields, submerge the Trans-Canada Highway and--

B.C. Flood Mitigation
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

Order. The hon. member for Westlock--St. Paul.

Spinal Cord Injuries
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak about one of the inspirations in my life, and in fact in the lives of all those she touches.

Trina Preusglias was 16 years old when she and her family were involved in a devastating car accident that forever altered the direction of their lives.

Trina suffered from what the doctors described as an injury to her spinal cord at the cervical levels of the fourth, fifth and six vertebrae. Trina never accepted the doctor's analysis that she would not walk again. From that day on she worked tirelessly day in and day out for 10 years toward her goal of walking.

Trina's dedication is an inspiration. Recently she has discovered Project Walk, an organization dedicated to help Trina push as hard as possible to recover as much as possible, however long it takes.

Last weekend I was privileged to attend a community function where I was amazed to see the courage this young lady demonstrated as she stood up and took steps with very little assistance.

I have no doubt that Trina will walk again.

Trina is an inspiration and a source of strength to her family, her friends and her community, and I thank her.

Manufacturing Industry
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, the loss of manufacturing jobs in Canada is becoming more acute by the day.

It was announced two days ago that Canadian Blue Bird's manufacturing facility, a mainstay in my riding of Brant for almost 50 years, will be closing very soon. In my riding alone, 1,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the auto sector since 2005.

At Blue Bird, 130 people will lose their jobs when the plant is relocated to the United States. The 130 employees are dedicated and the facility has won several workplace health and safety awards in their field.

To ignore the current manufacturing crisis is to ignore the livelihoods of thousands of Canadians. Instead of idly watching the flow of jobs leaving Canada, the government must step up to the plate and protect workers in the manufacturing sector.

Soccer
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, for a number of years now, the Notre-Dame-de-Foy campus in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures has been hosting activities that have contributed to soccer's rising popularity in Quebec City, Quebec and Canada.

Friendly evening soccer games and tournaments have been regular activities all week long for years now. The average age of the members of the group I want to talk about today is 45. Most of them are imports, immigrants who have taught us about soccer and shown us how to appreciate it. Today, in the Quebec City region, in my city, over 25,000 people play the sport.

It is my pleasure and honour to tell you about Edgardo Sanchez, who is now over 65 years old and still playing. He is the first to arrive—

Soccer
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

The hon. member for Compton—Stanstead.