House of Commons Hansard #163 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches Region
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches information and referral centre is working to make a 2-1-1 line available in the region. This would enable people to quickly access information on community organizations that provide services directly to the public. Similar lines exist elsewhere in North America. Unfortunately, the project has been delayed, primarily for want of a financial commitment from the federal government.

For over a year now, the project organizers have been trying unsuccessfully to present the project to Conservative members from the Quebec region with a view to receiving federal funding like that provided to 2-1-1 services in Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary.

Their inertia and unwillingness to help are deplorable and harmful to the region's interests. I therefore invite them to acknowledge their responsibilities, to meet with their constituents and to move projects like this one forward, projects that contribute to the development of the Quebec region.

Concession Street Business Improvement Association
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, in my riding there is an eclectic group of 120 shops and services located on the top of the Niagara Escarpment above the centre of Hamilton. Together, they are the Concession Street Business Improvement Association, the oldest business community on the Mountain.

At its physical centre are the Henderson Hospital and the Juravinski Cancer Centre, whose amazing health care professionals, staff and volunteers make a profound contribution to the quality of life in our city.

However, at the heart of the street are the small business owners and their employees who have created a strong commercial district with a very special touch that gives it a small town feel and makes it a place where neighbours meet.

One cannot live on the Mountain and not know about Streetfest and Cornfest. This year marks Concession Street's 100th anniversary and, thanks to the BIA and the Hamilton Mountain Heritage Society, the centennial was marked with a historically based theatrical production by Ronald MacDonald.

I had the privilege of seeing the play and loved it. Based on a book by Robert Williamson, we took a trip down memory lane that connected our past to the present and reconfirmed our commitment to build Concession Street for generations yet to come.

I thank the board, members of the BIA and all the family and friends of the Concession Street community for creating this memorable centenary celebration. Everyone knows that small businesses are the engine of our economy but on the Mountain they define our very sense of community.

Tiananmen Square
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, June 4, marks the 18th anniversary of the tragedy that took place on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China.

On this sad anniversary, we would like to renew our sympathies for the families of those who lost their lives fighting for openness, accountability and freedom in Tiananmen Square.

While there has been some improvement in the human rights situation in China since that time, Canada remains seriously concerned about continued restrictions on civil and political rights, including freedom of expression, association and spiritual belief. The treatment of ethnic minorities, poor respect for the rule of law, the lack of transparency of legal proceedings in China and the continued detention of prisoners based on their political beliefs remain a concern for this government.

Working to achieve human rights improvements in China is among Canada's central foreign policy goals. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of International Trade both recently raised Canada's human rights concerns with their Chinese counterparts. The Canadian government will continue to call on the Chinese government to ensure that international standards of human rights are available to all Chinese citizens.

On behalf of my constituents, let it be known that Canadians from coast to coast remember the bravery and the courage of those Chinese students who stood up for the most powerful idea known to humankind: freedom.

New Brunswick Provincial Judo Championship
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, New Brunswick's provincial judo championship took place in Clair on June 2 and 3.

Today, I would like to highlight the performance of the athletes and coaches who participated in the championship. I was very pleased to be in Clair for the medal ceremony.

I would also like to highlight the athletes' sportsmanship and the hard work they had to put in to get to the provincial judo championship. Sport is often synonymous with competition, but we must remember that, for today's athletes and those of tomorrow, friendship, cooperation and compassion are valued even beyond competition.

Lastly, I would like to thank the organizing committee and all of the volunteers who helped make this event happen. Without these people, the championship would not have been the success it was.

On behalf of the people of Madawaska—Restigouche, I would like to thank them sincerely and to congratulate the athletes, the coaches and the organizing committee.

Festivals and Special Events
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government promised $60 million over two years for festivals and special events.

Last week, however, we learned that the minister was rejecting the unanimous request from Quebec's National Assembly to transfer the funding earmarked for Quebec. The minister also informed us that festivals would not be receiving any money before they were held this summer. This is yet more proof that, to the Conservatives, the nation of Quebec is a nice idea on paper, but should not mean more money or power.

Is the minister aware that her stubbornness could threaten events this summer in Quebec? In my riding, the third Festival international de théâtre de Mont-Laurier is in danger.

After neglecting our forest industry, now the Conservative government is attacking our cultural and tourist events. What a fine mess, minister.

Canadian Forces Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, the nation saluted our brave military men and women on Canadian Forces Day.

Every day, Canadian Forces members carry out their duties with valour and bravery, often in the face of great adversity. We should be particularly proud of our mission in Afghanistan where our soldiers are putting their lives at risk to help rebuild a country that has been devastated by decades of war and terror.

This year the theme for Canadian Forces Day was “The Canadian Forces Family--Celebrating those supporting us”. Canada's military families provide vital support to our sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen, sustaining them while they carry out their important duties. Military families are also making many personal sacrifices so that their forces member can serve other Canadians.

On behalf of all Canadians, I want to thank our forces and their families for their commitment, their sacrifices and their defence of our freedoms.

Tuberculosis
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, reports of an airline passenger with a case of extremely drug resistant TB have blanketed the media this past week.

XDR TB, as it is known, is a health emergency that demands attention.

Instead of singling out this one case, it is important that we remember the most meaningful way to curb drug resistant TB is to stop TB before it reaches this more dangerous form.

There are 1.6 million people who die every year from basic TB, a third of those in Africa. TB is the leading killer of people with HIV.

I was able to witness the extent of this tragedy firsthand during my visit to Kenya in January with RESULTS Canada and other parliamentarians. I met TB patients in overcrowded hospitals lying head to toe, two to a bed.

It does not need to be this way. TB, in its basic form, can be treated for about $20 Canadian. There is no need for the world's poorest to die of a disease like TB that can be managed and treated.

Canada must continue the fight against TB. The senseless deaths must be stopped.

National Cancer Survivors Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that June 3 marked the 20th anniversary of National Cancer Survivors Day. This day is set aside for Canadians to recognize the lives that have been touched by cancer. Cancer is predicted to be Canada's number one killer.

Due to research, better screening and prevention, more and more people are surviving cancer. Effective cancer control is complex and requires the collaborative effort of the entire cancer community across the country.

That is why Canada's new government recently committed $260 million over five years to coordinate Canada's fight against cancer. The Prime Minister also announced the creation of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, an arm's length, not for profit organization that will implement the Canadian strategy for cancer control. The partnership brings together patient survivors, cancer experts and government representatives from across the country.

Canada's new government's approach to cancer is proactive and will help revolutionize the way our society deals with chronic and deadly diseases.

Health
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, health and addiction professionals across Canada are bracing themselves for the worst, when the Conservative government reveals its so-called new drug strategy that will sacrifice the success of harm reduction and a balanced approach to drug use for a heavy-handed U.S. style enforcement regime.

Time and again, empirical evidence has proven that harm reduction works. Programs like needle exchanges and Vancouver's safe injection site, Insite, are reducing the transmission of HIV-AIDS and hepatitis C and increasing the number of people accessing treatment.

I am alarmed, despite this evidence, that the government is accelerating the criminalization of drug users.

The 2007 budget quietly removed harm reduction from Canada's drug strategy. It now reads like a carbon copy of George Bush's war on drugs, which has seen drug use rise along with skyrocketing social and economic costs of incarceration.

In 2006 the Conservatives refused to renew the exemption that would allow Insite to keep its doors open until pressure from the community forced them to grant a temporary extension.

We know the health minister and the RCMP are now resorting to propaganda tactics to try to close Insite. Attacking Insite and adopting U.S. drug—

Health
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Welland.

Gasoline Prices
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, the issue of gas prices is affecting all Canadians, whether it is fuel for vehicles or home heating. The public is asking that governments take action to alleviate the wild fluctuations in prices forced on consumers without reasonable justification or transparency.

The previous Liberal government attempted to combat this problem by providing a direct monetary benefit to low income families and seniors, providing more funding for long term home heating conservation measures, investing more resources in the Competition Bureau to help investigate possible collusion among the oil companies and speeding up funding for money for public transit. Despite the cries of all the citizens of the country, this program has had its entire budget cut, all $500 million.

I call upon the Conservative government to reverse its decision to cut funding that helps both the poor and the environment, to commence an inquiry on these inflated prices and to rigorously prosecute violations of the Competition Act.

Summit of Francophone and Acadian Communities
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend, the first Summit of Francophone and Acadian Communities was held, bringing together more than 700 representatives of 33 organizations to discuss the future of these communities.

Unfortunately, the Conservative government pays very little attention to francophone and Acadian communities, as demonstrated by the fact that the Prime Minister did not attend this event. As well, even though the Standing Committee on Official Languages held consultations in the fall of 2006 and in May released a report containing 39 serious recommendations about official languages and linguistic duality, the government has announced that the Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages will hold a consultation on this same subject in the fall, which proves how little it listens to these communities.

To help francophone and Acadian communities, this government needs to stop reinventing the wheel and immediately restore the court challenges program, which it abolished, as well as taking the necessary steps to comply with the Official Languages Act.

Summit of Francophone and Acadian Communities
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, on June 1 to 3, the francophone and Acadian communities of this country gathered at the University of Ottawa.

First of all, I would like to congratulate the organizers of the summit, particularly Lise Routhier-Boudreau, chair of the steering committee, for their excellent work.

More than 750 participants in the Summit of Francophone and Acadian Communities developed and adopted a collective vision for five key issues to be focussed on over the next ten years.

All governments must do more than just consult these communities; they must work together toward their development.

The Leader of the Opposition has promised to renew and improve the action plan for official languages. He has also promised to fully reinstate the court challenges program and to double its funding.

The summit's theme, “a million points of view; one vision”, reflects the determination and vision of its participants. As Antonine Maillet would say, it was attended by a great number of wonderful people and not many who were pessimistic about the francophonie. The future is very promising!

Yvon Fradette
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the riding of Louis-Hébert there lives a man who has exercised the noble trade of shoe shiner for over 25 years in Place Laurier. I am referring to the legendary Fred le cireur, Yvon Fradette, the only shoe shiner in North America who has worked for so long in the same place.

Countless distinguished individuals have sat in his chair. Mr. Fradette told me that one of them, former prime minister Brian Mulroney, started talking to him about politics while his shoes were being polished. Mr. Fradette interrupted him to say that women and automobiles were the only topics of discussion in his chair, which elicited a burst of laughter.

Mr. Fradette has been at his chair six days out of seven for 25 years. We wish to acknowledge the perseverance he has demonstrated for all these years in the riding of Louis-Hébert.

The Environment
Oral Questions

June 4th, 2007 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week, the world's most industrialized nations will take up the challenge of climate change or choose complacency and abandonment. Canada should be ensuring that failure is not an option, but the Prime Minister is working to make sure failure is the only option.

The science is clear. Action is urgently needed. Why is this government choosing abandonment rather than leadership?