House of Commons Hansard #150 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was loans.

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. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Ferguson Jenkins
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, among other things, Chatham is known as the maple city. It is the site of the 1812 Battle of the Thames where the brave Chief Tecumseh died, and the end of the underground railroad. It is also the hometown of Fergie Jenkins.

Fergie pitched for several teams, including the Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs. Over his lengthy career, he played 664 games and reached the 20-win mark 7 times. He is the first Canadian to be inducted into the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Last Friday I was privileged to attend a ceremony at Rideau Hall where Fergie Jenkins was honoured by the Governor General, Michaëlle Jean, with the Order of Canada.

The people of Chatham are proud of their city and the people of Chatham are especially proud of their hometown hero, Fergie Jenkins.

Nova Scotia Liberal Party
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, on April 28, the Nova Scotia Liberal Party elected a new leader: Mr. Stephen McNeil, MLA for the riding of Annapolis.

Over 1,400 delegates gathered in Dartmouth and showed Nova Scotians that the Liberal Party is alive and well, and ready to tackle the challenges of forming a strong, united alternative to the Conservatives.

Our party was fortunate to have three other strong contenders in the race: Diana Whalen, Mike Smith and Kenzie MacKinnon. These individuals should be commended for their strong performance and their commitment to the party and their province.

Stephen McNeil has stated that he is ready to support the work of our Nova Scotia MPs and stand up to this federal government to ensure that the people of Nova Scotia are provided with the same opportunities to meet their potential as other provinces and territories.

I wish to congratulate my friend Stephen McNeil and look forward to working with him in the future.

Richard Fortier
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am extremely pleased to highlight the work and exemplary community involvement of one of my constituents, Richard Fortier. He was named 2007 man of the year by the Salaberry-de-Valleyfield chamber of commerce on April 28.

Mr. Fortier was involved in the March 2007 Special Olympics in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, and was also the honourary president of the 2007 fundraising campaign for the Fondation cardio-vasculaire. He has chaired the boards of directors of Carrefour jeunesse emploi, the Association du diabète and the Régates internationales de Valleyfield for seven years. The regatta is a very important event in our region, and is always a great success.

When Mr. Fortier gets involved in an organization, success is guaranteed. I would like to congratulate him on all his successes, but I also want to thank him for his time and dedication and for sharing his considerable talents with our community.

National Elizabeth Fry Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week marks National Elizabeth Fry Week. It is intended to enhance public awareness about the circumstances of victimized and criminalized women in the criminal justice system. Because the majority of women who are in our prison system are mothers, this week always precedes Mother's Day.

Almost three-quarters of women serving federal sentences in Canada have a history of physical abuse and over half, sexual abuse. Aboriginal women represent 29% of the female prisoners despite making up only 2% of the greater population.

Many women in prisons have low literacy skill and 79% do not have a high school diploma. Globally, women are the fastest growing prison population.

This Mother's Day, I encourage everyone to think of the women across this great country who, due to sad circumstances, will not be with their families.

Multiple Sclerosis
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable and, at times, disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord which affects Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

May is MS Awareness Month. I am honoured to kick off the 31st annual MS carnation campaign this year. Today, volunteers from the MS Society, and MPs representing each political party and I have been pinning carnations on members of Parliament to help raise awareness of MS for this campaign. It is a tradition that has been followed on Parliament Hill for many years now.

This weekend, volunteers in over 280 communities across Canada will be selling carnations to raise money for MS research and services for people with MS. In the past 31 years, the program has raised more than $45 million for MS research and services.

I encourage all members of the House and all Canadians to join in supporting the MS Society to help make a difference for individuals and families living with this disease. Together, we can end it.

Seniors
Statements By Members

May 9th, 2007 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hard work, vision and commitment of our seniors has formed the foundation of our country and has contributed to our social fabric. The time has come for us to right a wrong that impacts thousands of seniors from immigrant groups.

Seniors who come to Canada from certain countries are eligible to receive old age security after three years, while seniors from other countries have to wait for a 10 year period, despite the fact that these benefits are not related to contributions. The Old Age Benefits Forum, the Chinese Canadian National Council, and many other senior groups have advocated in the interest of fairness and equality. Seniors belonging to different communities and nationalities, irrespective of their country of origin, must be given fairness and equality in terms of their treatment.

In 2005, the hon. Senator Terry Stratton, the then deputy leader of the opposition stated, “discrimination still exists”. We as parliamentarians must put an end to this inequality and support Bill C-362, which will amend the Old Age Security Act to reduce the residency requirement from 10 years to 3 years.

National Nursing Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, this week is National Nursing Week in Canada. Across the country medical professionals, as well as governments, are holding celebrations to honour the contributions that nurses are making to the health of Canadians.

This year the Canadian Nurses Association has chosen to celebrate National Nursing Week with the theme, “Think you know nursing? Take a closer look”. This theme explores the depth of the nursing profession, including the role of nurses serving in the military.

As chairman of the Standing Committee on Health, I have had the opportunity to work with nurses who provide health care and I have benefited from the perspectives of nurses on public policy development and legislation.

In particular, I would like to extend a special appreciation to the Canadian Forces nurses who are courageously serving in Afghanistan and contributing to the global effort to bring peace, stability and development to this region.

On the occasion of National Nursing Week, I salute Canada's 260,000 registered nurses.

Municipality of L'Ange-Gardien
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to highlight, here in this House, the importance of Quebec's heritage. Take, for example, the municipality of L'Ange-Gardien.

Founded in 1633, the municipality is the third largest of the oldest parishes in Côte-de-Beaupré. For more than 370 years, the municipality's built heritage has been heavily influenced by the agricultural and forestry activities of its brave, warm and proud people. Visitors to the area will find buildings that tell the story of L'Ange-Gardien and the people who built it from the era of New France to the first world war, as well as the area's religious heritage in the form of two of the most magnificent processional chapels in Quebec, both of which have been classified as historic monuments.

Signs of Quebeckers' rich history abound in this municipality, signs that must be protected for future generations to help us better understand the present and shape our future.

I would like to thank the residents of L'Ange-Gardien for protecting our rich culture and heritage.

Official Languages
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, I am proud to emphasize our government's steadfast commitment to linguistic duality and official language minority communities.

In November 2005, we voted for amendments to the Official Languages Act. The Bloc voted against those amendments. French and English have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Parliament and Government of Canada. We have produced a practical, innovative guide to help all 200 or so of these institutions fulfill their responsibilities with respect to the implementation of Part VII of the act. We want to highlight this initiative.

Now, more than ever, our government is committed to promoting the development of linguistic duality in a strong, prosperous, united Canada.

Canada-U.S. Border
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, the American government has unilaterally announced that it would not implement a much anticipated land pre-clearance pilot project at the Peace Bridge between Buffalo, New York and Fort Erie, Ontario after two years of high level discussions. The measure was a key part of the security and prosperity partnership to keep borders open to trade but closed to terrorists.

The shared border management pilot would have seen U.S. customs and immigration operations move to the Canadian side of the Peace Bridge. While these kinds of pre-clearance activities already take place with American officials working in Canadian airports, the Peace Bridge pilot would have been a first and significant step to ease congestion at land border crossings.

A successful pilot project would have been expanded to other crossings, easing traffic snarls that cost Canada some $8 billion each year. The Peace Bridge is a major port of entry, with 1.3 million trucks and six million cars crossing annually. The expansion of this key international border crossing is long overdue and much hinged on a border pre-clearance agreement.

I implore the government to urge the United States to immediately reconsider its negative position. Shared border management is critical for U.S.-Canada commerce and, indeed, the entire North American economy.

Dwight Wilson
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Betty Hinton Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, today we mourn the loss of the remarkable veteran, Dwight Wilson.

Mr. Wilson was one of more than 600,000 brave Canadians who volunteered to serve our country during the first world war. At 106 years of age, he was also one of the only two known surviving Canadian veterans from World War I.

Dwight Wilson was only 15 years old when, like many of his peers, he doctored his age in an overwhelming desire to serve his country. This determination to defend the values we all cherish, to protect freedom, democracy and the rule of law, illustrates why his generation has been called Canada's greatest generation.

We must never forget such courage or the great sacrifices and achievements of all the brave men and women in uniform.

Today we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Dwight Wilson. We will always remember and honour a man who throughout his life remained as dedicated to Canada as when he wore his uniform.

Gasoline Prices
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, one would think that the government would be concerned by the recent spike in gas prices. One would also think that the government would want to get to the bottom of the price gouging of consumers.

Yesterday, however, the Conservatives backtracked on the support they once gave to a committee report calling for these items and voted against a motion to investigate gas prices and to create a monitoring agency to ensure Canadians would know exactly why gas prices increase when they do.

Oil and gas companies are enjoying immense profits but consumers are facing increasing and volatile prices at the pump. Canadians deserve answers.

We know that reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, such as gasoline, and providing incentives to manufacturers and consumers to buy more fuel efficient cars, for example, is necessary. However, regardless of our aim to reduce our ecological footprint, just as we know why and how phone companies justify price increases, Canadians have a right to know the reasons for gas price increases.

Consumers are getting gouged and it is time for the government to get to the bottom of it.

City of North Vancouver
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Don Bell North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to recognize the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of North Vancouver in British Columbia.

The city is one of two municipalities in my riding of North Vancouver and was incorporated on May 13, 1907. Covering an area of approximately five square miles, this modern city is today the vibrant home to over 50,000 residents, plus thriving businesses and commercial, film and television and waterfront port industries. It is the northern terminus of the SeaBus that daily ferries thousands of commuters and tourists between Vancouver and the North Shore.

I give recognition to all the former mayors and city councils whose vision helped create this great community as it is today. I congratulate the current mayor, Darrell Mussatto; his council members, Barbara Perrault, Bob Fearnley, Craig Keating, Bob Heywood, Pam Bookham and Sam Schechter; plus city manager, Ken Tollstam; and the city staff for providing their dedication and leadership as they begin the second century of the history of this beautiful City of North Vancouver.

André Boisclair
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, we of the Bloc Québécois were very sad and overcome by emotion when we heard the news about André Boisclair's resignation as leader of the Parti Québécois. We commend the courage it must have taken to make such a decision.

As he stepped down, André Boisclair reaffirmed his love for Quebec and his commitment to the Parti Québécois, of which there can be no doubt. He devoted all his energy and his immense talent to the party. Everyone recognizes the remarkable nature of his political career, which he began at a very young age.

With both rigour and determination, in times of hardship and success, he took on the responsibilities of the president of the PQ youth council, those of elected member and minister, accumulating many portfolios, as well as the role of leader of the official opposition and, finally, party leader. He is still the elected member for Pointe-aux-Trembles.

We in the Bloc Québécois are convinced that André Boisclair will remain an important asset to achieving Quebec sovereignty, or in his own words—