House of Commons Hansard #155 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Hockey
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend residents of my riding of Thunder Bay—Rainy River beamed with pride as Thunder Bay's own Staal brothers exhibited their superb hockey skills.

Jordan and Eric Staal won the gold medal with Team Canada at the World Hockey Championships in Russia.

The win is a historic one as Jordan and Eric became the first brother combination to ever win gold medals for Canada since our participation in the event began. Jordan is also the youngest Canadian ever to win a gold medal at the tournament.

In the OHL, their younger brother, Marc of the Sudbury Wolves, was awarded the Wayne Gretzky Award as the Most Valuable Player of the Rogers Championship Series.

The youngest sibling, Jared, is anxiously awaiting his chance to join his brothers in the big leagues.

Please join me in recognizing the Staal brothers of Thunder Bay—Rainy River on their superb hockey excellence and in wishing them continued success.

Valleyfield Curling Club
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate John Stewart, Jean-Marc, Denis and Raymond McSween as well as Claude Comeau, the proud representatives of Quebec at the Canadian senior men’s curling championships held in Trois-Rivières from March 18 to 25. The Valleyfield Curling Club represented Quebec magnificently and with honour at these championships. They competed against the best senior teams from other provinces.

This club was established 100 years ago and is known for the quality of its organization, its development of new curlers, and the importance it places on having a club where the well-being of its members is the primary focus.

In addition, this club is a model of social commitment and solidarity in its community as it supports the Special Olympics curling team. The club has showcased these athletes and provides them with tangible encouragement to maintain the excellence of their play.

Once again, bravo and congratulations to the senior athletes of the Valleyfield Curling Club for their participation in this important championship.

Summer Jobs Program
Statements By Members

May 16th, 2007 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, students in my riding are being denied opportunity. The Canada summer jobs initiative has eliminated the chance for hundreds of students to gain work experience.

In my riding of Sydney—Victoria previous governments have assisted thousands of students with summer jobs. Cuts to the Canada summer jobs program mean hundreds of students in my riding are now without work.

This program was supposed to give priority to organizations in areas of high unemployment. Day cares, museums, recreation programs, minor sports leagues, seniors clubs and small retail operations in remote areas all have been denied funding.

The effect this will have on Cape Breton and other areas is devastating. This meanspirited action by the Conservatives is an attack on our economy and our culture. Worst of all, it is a meanspirited attack on our students.

I demand that the minister instruct his officials to immediately restore the jobs that were taken away.

Senate Tenure Legislation
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, Bill S-4, an important government bill on Senate term limits, has been languishing in the Senate for almost a year as the Liberals play procedural games to delay true Senate reform.

Compare that to what happened in the Senate last night. The Liberals rammed their environmental plan, Bill C-288, through a Senate committee in, and wait for it, 43 seconds. This is the same bill that independent analysts Don Drummond, Mark Jaccard and Carl Sonnen said would cause a massive recession with little or no benefit to the environment. This is the same bill that the Liberal leader in the Senate promised Canadians would not be fast-tracked.

That is the Liberal Party for you, Mr. Speaker. It says one thing and does exactly the opposite. In its pursuit of power, the Liberal Party will stoop to the lowest anti-democratic methods it can get away with. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is violating the Official Languages Act, section 88 of which requires the Standing Committee on Official Languages to review the report of the Commissioner of Official Languages.

Will the Prime Minister simply designate a new chair so that the committee can do the work required by the act? Will the Prime Minister do this simple thing and behave responsibly?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, according to my information, the Conservative members on that committee support the hon. member for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry as chair. He is doing good work. The chair and the Conservative members of the committee are ready to get back to work as soon as possible and I hope the Liberal members will do the same.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, will the Prime Minister admit that he killed the court challenges program because he lost a case against the anti-poverty coalition funded by this program, because, thanks to this program, his Minister of the Environment has been unable to close the Montfort Hospital and because, thanks to this program, gay rights have been protected, something that has been criticized by the chief of staff?

Will the Prime Minister stop this personal and vindictive vendetta against minority rights in Canada?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government certainly has nothing to learn from the Liberal Party in the area of rights.

This is the government that dealt with the issue of the Chinese head tax, which the previous government refused to do. This is the government that is trying to get matrimonial property rights for aboriginal women. This is the government that is trying to toughen up laws to protect women and children in Canada.

We have an important bill before the House, Bill C-44, to give aboriginal people, under the Canadian human rights code, equal status for the first time. The Liberal Party should stop blocking it and support it.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, as is far too often the case, the Prime Minister misled the House again yesterday. He falsely claimed that the action plan for official languages, which I had the honour of launching in 2003, had been criticized by the commissioner.

On the contrary, the commissioner said, “The action plan has achieved much of what it set out to do. It has given the new momentum that was so desperately needed to the official languages policy...the federal government must be inspired by the spirit of the action plan...the government has...directly undermined the action plan over the past year”.

When will the Prime Minister stop misleading the House? When will he stop playing politics and live up to his role?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I can cite the report of the former Commissioner of Official Languages, who said, “As was clearly seen in last year’s annual report, political leadership is in a downward spiral and is running out of steam; it lacks the strength to properly undertake the renewal of linguistic duality announced in 2003”.

Those are the words of the former commissioner. This minister has increased funding for linguistic minority programs.

The hon. leader uses the term vindictiveness, talking about the current chair of the official languages committee—

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Etobicoke--Lakeshore.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the official languages commissioner makes it very clear that the government is undermining bilingualism. Government employees cannot work in the language of their choice. Citizens cannot get bilingual services. Contractors do not respect language requirements on federal jobs. The commissioner puts the blame squarely on the shoulders of the government's appalling lack of political will.

When is the Prime Minister going to demonstrate leadership, respect the linguistic duality of this country and start enforcing Canada's bilingualism laws?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the commissioner's report, as it does every year, overviews all the activities of the government, where the government is failing, where it is succeeding and where there is work to be done. We will examine this and we will instruct the federal administration to improve performance in those areas.

Once again, the Leader of the Opposition talked about vindictiveness. I have to tell the deputy leader of the opposition that I do not have to have the executive director of my party defend the chair of the language committee against his own members.

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, there will have to be considerable improvement. This government has shown a flagrant lack of leadership by cutting more than $100 million in funding for the action plan for official languages, a plan created by my colleague.

Will this government commit today to adopting all the commissioner's recommendations, starting with restoring the $100 million cut by this government?

Official Languages
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Louis-Saint-Laurent
Québec

Conservative

Josée Verner Minister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, between 1993 and 1999, the Liberals cut close to $100 million from the budgets of official language communities, which led the commissioner to say in her 2004-05 report, “Past experience often helps to forecast the future.” The changes that the government made when the official language programs were adopted during the 1990s were disastrous.