House of Commons Hansard #165 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

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 pages.

[Members sang the national anthem]

St. John Ambulance
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, on May 31, I was pleased to attend the annual general meeting of the Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk branch of St. John Ambulance.

St. John Ambulance is one of Canada's foremost national organizations, providing first aid and emergency response, support and training, as well as providing a therapy dog visitation program for individuals confined to a health care facility.

In Brant, St. John Ambulance has provided 66 years of outstanding community support. In 2006 alone, the Brant County medical response unit, comprised of 18 volunteers, provided almost 5,500 volunteer hours and treated 69 people. They also offered 399 first aid and CPR classes to over 2,000 community residents.

Our community is very fortunate to have such a responsive, compassionate and capable organization looking out for the health and safety of our citizens. I would like to extend a very large vote of thanks to the volunteers and staff of St. John Ambulance.

Trois-Rivières
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, summer is around the corner, and a gateway offering both cultural discovery and natural beauty is in order.

As the Bloc Québécois member of Parliament for Trois-Rivières, let me suggest a choice destination: Trois-Rivières, a town founded in 1634. The St. Lawrence River and our many festivals will no doubt appeal to even the most demanding visitors, and interpretation panels will allow you to bask in the town's well-preserved, nearly four centuries old history.

In the afternoon or evening, you will have the opportunity to explore “De la coupe au livre”, an all-in-one wine bar and bookstore, where you can enjoy a bite to eat with your wine. The decor is up to the minute, and a piano has pride of place in the middle of the room. Bliss guaranteed. The Théâtre des Marguerites is presenting Adieu beauté. Laughter also guaranteed.

Trois-Rivières' title as a city of history and culture is indeed well deserved. It is truly a “must” destination.

CIBC
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday employees and former employees of the CIBC launched a class action lawsuit to recover overtime pay allegedly denied them by the bank. These are tellers and other lower paid bank workers whose right to overtime may have been systematically abused in the bank's relentless drive for profits.

This is a bank that posted $2.6 billion in profits last year. This is a bank whose CEO brings home $6 million every year as a pay package. Talk about a prosperity gap, with a bank CEO making 200 times what a teller makes. And talk about sexual exploitation and systemic discrimination. Most of those affected are women, who in general make only 71% of what men make and occupy three-quarters of the lowest paying full time jobs. They cannot afford to work for free.

How can our chartered banks, which made record profits last year of $19 billion, to be exact, turn around and gouge consumers with ATM fees, shortchange their workers and discriminate against women?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Barry Devolin Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are all hearing more references to local food, a growing trend in food production and selling. As the name implies, local food is all about people buying and eating food produced in their local area.

There are three reasons people give for buying local food.

Number one is quality. Local food tastes better, offers superior nutritional value and is produced under Canada's world class food safety standards.

Number two is local jobs. By keeping food dollars in the local economy, people can support jobs and businesses in their own communities.

Number three is the environment. Consumers know that the more miles food travels, the larger its environmental footprint. Local food minimizes this impact.

The bottom line is that any reason to buy and eat local food is a good reason.

In the coming months, I encourage everyone to visit farmers' markets and stop at farm gate stands. It may take a few minutes, but I predict that everyone will appreciate and enjoy the local food they buy.

I know that local food is not the solution to every problem facing agriculture, but it does offer good opportunities for farmers in many parts of Canada.

Afghanistan
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past Sunday I had the privilege of hosting a town hall, entitled “Measuring Progress in Afghanistan: Improving the Lives of Women and Girls”, with two great Canadian women, human rights activist and journalist Sally Armstrong, and Adeena Niazi, the executive director of the Afghan Women's Organization.

We were inspired by the work these women have undertaken to raise awareness of the denial of basic human rights to Afghan women and girls.

Although there has been some progress, Sally Armstrong stated that without security it is impossible for the Afghan people to properly run their schools and hospitals. Our presence has allowed women and girls to return to school and learn in a safe environment. As stated to Sally by Nema, a young Afghan woman, illiteracy meant that she was blind. She could not see what was going on.

Adeena Niazi reminded us that Afghanistan needs our government to focus less on combat and more on the protection of the rights of the most vulnerable in this fragile time of rebuilding. We need to create a stronger connection between Canadian civil society and Afghan civil society. Our strength is in building relationships.

We thank these great Canadians and our troops in Afghanistan.

Tourism Week
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week we are celebrating Tourism Week.

Tourism is very important not just to the good people of Kitchener—Conestoga but to all regions of Canada. Whether people are visiting the Elmira maple syrup festival or Oktoberfest, the CN tower or the Queen Charlotte Islands, tourism creates hundreds of thousands of jobs all across Canada.

Of course, tourism is also one of the leading ways to help educate Canadians about our rich heritage and culture.

The benefits of tourism are obvious, which is why I am thrilled that Canada's government is investing $75 million in marketing Canada's exciting tourism opportunities through the Canadian Tourism Commission.

This money will fund tourism marketing and research and investments in national parks, historic sites and museums, as well as tourism related infrastructure.

Canada's government is now dedicating time and energy to ensuring that Canada's tourism industry grows and prospers. A vibrant and competitive tourism industry benefits all Canadians.

Plein Soleil School
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, hundreds of children and their parents recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of Plein Soleil school, a public alternative school located in the heart of my riding in Longueuil.

The school was founded by a group of engaged parents and enlightened educators in the Marie-Victorin school board. Plein Soleil primary school is an open concept school focused on the overall development of the child and espousing basic values such as autonomy, interdependence, freedom, accountability, participation and democracy. This school also accords an important place to culture and is completely open, with the support of parents, to community life.

The Bloc Québécois and I would like to congratulate the principal, Nathalie Ouellet, the teaching staff, and parents as well as students, present and past, for this important milestone in the life of Plein Soleil school, and by extension, that of an entire community.

D-Day
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, it was 63 years ago this morning that over 14,000 brave Canadian heroes landed on the beaches of Juno Beach in Normandy.

It was the most important seaborne invasion of all time, with the goal of gaining a landing in Nazi occupied Europe to begin the long campaign to free a continent of Nazi tyranny and begin down the road to victory and the end of the second world war.

Those brave soldiers came from across Canada. They came from farms, towns and cities. They were teachers, masons, police officers and carpenters. They came from all walks of life and all corners of Canada.

Great countries are made by citizens doing extraordinary things for the benefit of others. There is no more extraordinary thing than to serve one's country, to fight for freedom and to risk or lose one's life for others.

On this anniversary of D-Day, the turning point of the second world war, we thank our veterans of that great campaign. The world was forever changed for the better because of their courage, service and sacrifice. We will never forget.

Élizabeth Bruyère
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are some individuals who are so important in the history of a community that they must be commemorated. Mother Élizabeth Bruyère is one such individual.

Mother Bruyère settled in Bytown, as the Canadian capital was called at the time, in 1845, founded the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa and launched in succession a hospital, orphanage, seniors home, and construction of the congregation's mother house.

Following the typhus epidemic of 1847, Mother Bruyère became deeply committed to Bytown, where she remained until her death in 1876.

A lovely ceremony was held on May 30 at Beechwood Cemetery on the occasion of the unveiling of a monument in memory of Mother Élizabeth Bruyère.

I would like to congratulate Anita Bourdeau and her group of volunteers for having undertaken this wonderful project. I would also like to thank the Sisters of Charity for their exemplary generosity since their arrival in Ottawa.

Cancer
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to talk about a cause very close to my heart. Every year, children with cancer must fight this unfair disease.

I have decided to collect money for this cause and to have my head shaved for the fourth Shaved Head Challenge.

Close to 10,000 people from across the province have already shaved their heads for this cause. The event has brought together a number of partners from the business world as well as from the media, arts and sports communities.

Today, in this House, I would like to ask my fellow members and all employees of the House of Commons to make a donation to Leucan.

The Shaved Head Challenge is a show of solidarity with children who have cancer, and who lose their hair during chemotherapy.

I would like to offer my full support to the families dealing with this disease, and particularly to Christine and her family, who will be at the community centre in Saint-Narcisse-de-Beaurivage this Sunday, May 10, to symbolically take on this challenge with me.

Child Labour
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, 24 grades six and seven students from Lochdale Community School in Burnaby wrote to me about their work on human rights and child labour.

An estimated 218 million children aged 5 to 17 are engaged in child labour, over half in hazardous situations.

Children work long hours, often in unhealthy conditions, causing lasting harm. Some are forced into armed conflict as child soldiers, the sex industry, or are trafficked. They are denied education and a normal childhood. These human rights tragedies are faced by children worldwide, some even here in Canada.

The International Labour Organization establishes and supervises international labour standards. ILO convention 138 and recommendation 146 call for the abolition of child labour and raising the minimum age for employment. Sadly, Canada has not yet ratified this key tool against child labour.

World Day Against Child Labour is on June 12. I join the students of Lochdale School to call for an end to child labour in Canada and around the world.

Clean Air Day
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to inform the House that today is Clean Air Day, which is held each year during Canadian Environment Week to celebrate environmental action as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Sadly, on this Clean Air Day, Canadians have little to celebrate. After two ministers and lots of hot air, the Conservative clean air act was dead on arrival in this House.

However, thanks to the hard work of the opposition parties, the clean air act was rewritten and transformed into an aggressive plan to address climate change. The Bloc and the NDP put aside partisanship to agree with the proposals of the Liberal leader and united with the Liberals to amend the flawed government bill.

We look forward to seeing the overhauled clean air act return to the House as soon as possible for debate and a vote. There could be no more appropriate time than today, Clean Air Day, to do just that.

National Transportation Week
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that National Transportation Week runs from June 2 to 9. The event draws attention to the importance of transportation in the economic and social development of Quebec, but it has particular significance this year, as 2007 has been designated road safety year in Quebec.

Every year in Quebec, more than 50,000 people are victims of road accidents. In 2006, 717 people died, a 9% increase over the average for the previous five years. Driver behaviour, not fate, accounts for 80% of accidents. Impairment, excessive speed and dangerous driving are some of the main causes. There are daily reports in the media of fatal accidents, often involving young people who like to drive fast.

It is essential to educate the public about the physical, social and economic consequences of an accident. In Quebec, inadequate road safety costs $4 billion annually in social costs. In this road safety year, we need to make motorists accountable.

D-Day
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, today is the 63rd anniversary of the D-Day invasion. I am privileged to rise in this House to pay tribute to the men and women who served our country with honour and valour.

On June 6, 1944, after the tragedy of Dieppe, Canadians knew the cost of an invasion could be high, but our soldiers were ready to fight for Canada and for freedom.

Today, we remember their sacrifices, their bravery and their accomplishments. We pay tribute to all the soldiers from across Canada who fought on the shores of France.

By the end of D-Day, our soldiers had advanced much farther into occupied France than the other allied armies. Freedom finally won out.

Words cannot properly express our gratitude. We owe them a great debt. We will never forget.