House of Commons Hansard #145 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Timmins--James Bay.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Patrick MacDonald
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Patrick MacDonald, a defensive lineman and long snapper for the University of Alberta Golden Bears football team.

After coming off an impressive season with the Golden Bears, Patrick has been offered a three year deal with the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League, making him only the second Golden Bear in its history to sign with an NFL franchise.

Patrick's accomplishment does not only exemplify the hard work and dedication he brings to the football field, but also the outstanding football program the University of Alberta has to offer.

Once again, I would like to congratulate Patrick MacDonald for this outstanding achievement and wish him all the best as he prepares to attend rookie camp in the coming weeks.

I am confident that the talented rush end will crack the Saints' roster for the upcoming season, and will show the entire league what the University of Alberta and the city of champions are made of.

Jess Larochelle
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Private Jess Larochelle, a Canadian Forces soldier from my riding who will be decorated with the Star of Military Valour for distinguished and valiant service in the presence of the enemy for his actions during an intense firefight in the Panjwai district of Afghanistan last October.

Private Larochelle was manning an observation post while serving with Charles Company of the First Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment, when more than 20 insurgents launched a surprise attack.

His observation post was hit by a rocket propelled grenade and Private Larochelle, who was under substantial enemy fire and in an exposed position, aggressively returned fire, providing cover for his company's flank, which otherwise would have been unprotected. Private Larochelle's courageous actions helped save the lives of many members of his company.

On behalf of all hon. members, I would like to thank Private Jess Larochelle for his heroism and courage, and salute him on being decorated with the Star of Military Valour, Canada's highest military honour next to the Victoria Cross. We are proud of Jess.

Quebec Manufacturing Sector
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, since 2003, more than 100,000 jobs have been lost in the Quebec manufacturing sector, including 35,000 in 2006 alone with the arrival of this new government. The year 2007 is proving to be even worse, since in the first two months, Quebec has already lost 28,000 manufacturing jobs.

What more does this government need to be convinced that its economic laissez-faire approach is not the solution to the many challenges facing our manufacturing companies, including those in the Quebec furniture industry? What is it waiting for? Is it waiting for our manufacturing companies to become just the museums of a bygone industrial age?

Instead of watching these jobs being lost one after another without doing a thing, the government should be proactive by investing, for example, in research and development to promote modernization and innovation.

Pay Equity
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the Pay Equity Network that is here in Ottawa today.

It has been three years since the release of the pay equity task force report and still no action from the government or the previous government. The NDP has been fighting for proactive pay equity legislation for more than 20 years.

Equal pay for equal work is a fundamental right. Although pay equity is protected in Canada under the Canadian Human Rights Act, it is not a reality for Canadians. In fact, today, women earn only 72¢ for every dollar earned by their male colleagues.

Yet, the government thinks that the status quo is adequate. It is not.

Pay inequity has wide ranging social consequences for all women and their families. It makes women and children more vulnerable to poverty, especially for households headed by women.

It is time that the government acted on the recommendations of the pay equity task force to ensure basic equality and human rights.

Zimbabwe
Statements by Members

May 2nd, 2007 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Williams Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, in April, as the chair of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, I attended the Global Forum V anti-corruption conference in Johannesburg and spoke out in support of the parliamentarians and others who have been beaten, imprisoned and intimidated by the government of Zimbabwe.

It is time that each and every one of us who believe in good governance and the rule of law stood up in support of the people of Zimbabwe who are now in considerable danger because they are exercising their democratic right to speak out against their government. For some, free speech can come at a great price.

I called on the African countries to lead an international effort to plan now for the rebuilding of the institutions of Parliament, the judiciary and the government in Zimbabwe to ensure that the current tyranny by Mr. Mugabe does not continue, or continue with his successor.

Strong leaders who are not constrained by strong institutions are dictators. We have seen it in Zimbabwe and we have seen it elsewhere. We have seen enough to know that lack of accountable governance destroys lives, destroys prosperity and destroys nations.

Young People from Madawaska—Restigouche
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to meet with a number of student groups from my riding who actively participate in community life.

I met with two student groups that participated in the Forum for Young Canadians: two classes studying political, economic and legal institutions and a group of students who participated in the Adventure in Citizenship program.

I always enjoy these meetings because they allow me to talk about subjects that matter to these young people and to share with them my experience as a parliamentarian. I was pleased to see how interested the students were in the machinery of government and in national politics. These are young people who actively participate in community life and who have a particular interest in the socio-economic, cultural and political challenges that shape their surroundings.

Let these young people be an inspiration to other young people to make a significant contribution as members of the community and as citizens. These programs help foster the integration of young people, improve their quality of life and contribute to the development of their full potential. I want to commend the young people in my riding.

Volunteerism
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to draw the attention of the House to two of my constituents who have recently been recognized for their outstanding community service.

Tom Meier was recently named citizen of the year by the Maple Ridge Community Foundation. Tom's long history of volunteer contributions include past service as vice president of the Ridge Meadows Hospice Society, president of the Pitt Meadows Airport Society, and president of the Chamber of Commerce, to name just a few.

In Mission, Abe Neufeld received the district's highest honour when he was named a Freeman of the District of Mission. Abe has served the community in a number of volunteer and elected positions including regional district area director and Mission councillor. In 2001, he was elected as Mission's mayor where he served until he retired in 2005.

I know that all members will join with me in congratulating Abe and Tom for their tireless efforts on behalf of the people of my riding. We thank them for making our community and country a better place.

Science Centre
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the opening, on Monday last, of the project office for a science and technology exploration centre is great news for the Quebec City and the Chaudières-Appalaches area. In spite of the promise made by Conservative candidates in the Quebec City area, I had to call on the federal government on many occasions to get it to finally deliver on its commitment and provide financial support for the project office, an essential step in establishing the science centre.

The federal government's involvement must not stop there, however. It will be expected to help pay for the science centre, with costs estimated at more than $30 million. The Bloc Québécois will make it an important issue.

We espouse the regional consensus and mobilization in support of the establishment of such an infrastructure in our region. This is why I will keep on asking that the government financially support the execution of the project.

Afghanistan
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Wajid Khan Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am dismayed by the accusations and innuendoes of the opposition parties about our mission in Afghanistan. It is time for them to stop using this mission for their own political purposes.

The situation in Afghanistan is far more complex than is generally understood. The government is taking a realistic, multidimensional approach.

We are supporting Canada's effort to save lives through de-mining operations, to improve quality of life through development, to bring hope through microcredit programs, to bring freedom through education, and to stabilize the country that has known only turmoil for so long.

We owe a debt of gratitude to our troops and to our development teams. They are carrying out this mission with honour, dedication and professionalism. They are enhancing Canada's reputation as a country that values freedom, democracy and human rights.

Under the Liberals the funding for this mission was set to decline annually until 2009. We must give credit to the Prime Minister for increasing the aid dollars, evidenced by an additional $200 million announced recently.

Coast Guard
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for the Coast Guard has attacked MPs like myself for speaking out against the redeployment of the icebreakers from Dartmouth to his riding.

This move, preceded by no discussion with union workers or regional management, will have a devastating impact on loyal Coast Guard workers. The local community is rising up against this cynical, political move.

We see countless current and former officials publicly questioning this decision: a captain of one of the vessels, Coast Guard alumni, and other officials and workers. In fact, it seems that everybody beyond the muzzle of the government not only opposes the move but questions who in the Conservative government is standing up for Nova Scotia. The move was not mentioned in the new Coast Guard business plan dated April 1 of this year.

If the minister is so assured that his decision is above board, show us the evidence. Show us the file. Show us the business case.

Until then, I and others will continue to defend the Coast Guard workers against what appears to be a politically driven decision. The Coast Guard employees who have worked so hard defending our coastline deserve better, and they deserve it now.

Liberal Party Candidate
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been two weeks now since Farhan Mujahid Chak's notorious views have come to light and the Liberal leader still refuses to send him packing.

Among other things, Mr. Chak diminishes the Israeli state by accusing it of murder and rape. He believes and sympathizes with suicide bombers. He suggests the terrorist attacks in France were actually the work of the French government. Oh yes, and he failed to disclose that he was charged in a nightclub shooting. And he is still considered the best Liberal candidate for Edmonton--Mill Woods--Beaumont.

Yesterday, the B'nai Brith condemned Mr. Chak's views and called upon the Liberal leader to do the right thing and remove Mr. Chak as a Liberal candidate. The Liberal leader's response was silence. Canadians deserve a lot better than that. Fresh from the spectacle of the Liberal leader's best friend, Elizabeth May, diminishing the Holocaust for cheap political points, he should show a little courage and kick them both out of the Liberal Party.

Child Care
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I recently visited a wonderful parents and tots program in my Halifax riding. The Lions Club, supported by the United Way and municipal government, has created a space in the Spryfield Recreation Centre where preschoolers can play together in a safe, spacious setting while moms and dads can share parenting tips and support one another. That is the good news.

The bad news is that the majority of these families have been desperately seeking accessible, affordable, quality early learning and child care opportunities and such spaces are virtually non-existent in their community. Why? Because of broken promises, first by the Liberals and now by the Conservatives.

That is why it is vitally important to enact Bill C-303, the New Democrat early learning and child care act. Every child deserves that chance. Every family deserves that choice, whether home based or community based.

As with every vital social program, from medicare to employment insurance to public pensions, federal legislation is needed, resources are required and standards must be set that will allow each province and territory to apply those standards and allocate those resources for the benefit of children and families needing child care.

Fisheries
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, we have all seen the television images in the past few weeks showing ice conditions off Labrador and northern Newfoundland. These are the worst spring ice conditions in decades. Not only has the ice damaged or destroyed fishing vessels with many sealers left with no income, it has delayed the opening of several important fisheries.

This delay means an even longer gap than usual between the expiry of seasonal EI benefits and the resumption of employment income for fishers and plant workers in coastal communities. While income is no longer coming in, the bills have not stopped.

Bearing in mind the extraordinary conditions experienced this spring, I call upon the government to take immediate steps to extend emergency EI benefits, or take other similar measures to assist the many affected families in their time of need.

Jean-Marie Cossette
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Raymond Gravel Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec is in mourning, along with Montreal's Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste, sovereignists everywhere in Quebec, and the people in the riding of Repentigny. Jean-Marie Cossette has passed away.

An ardent supporter of Quebec sovereignty and the French language, and a long-time nationalist activist, Mr. Cossette served four terms as president of Montreal's Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste and was awarded numerous prizes. He was such an expert on the subject of Quebec and so knowledgeable that he could hold his own with any expert on the subject. As the founder of Fondation nos Racines, he helped new immigrants integrate into French-speaking society.

Proud of his nationalistic dreams, he became a member of the Rassemblement pour l'indépendance nationale. In October 1970, Jean-Marie Cossette became a victim of Trudeau's repression and was imprisoned along with 500 other patriots. He was released 21 days later. No charges were ever brought against him.

On behalf of the entire sovereignist family, I would like to offer my condolences to Louisette Grimard, his family and the people—