House of Commons Hansard #166 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was atlantic.

Topics

Retirement Congratulations
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in the House today to congratulate and pay tribute to Mr. Mike Campbell who is retiring this month from his position as chief executive officer of the Charlottetown Airport Authority.

Mike Campbell has been the manager of the Charlottetown airport for many years now. In the late 1990s, the Charlottetown airport was transferred from the Government of Canada to the Charlottetown Airport Authority and Mike at the time stayed on as general manager.

Since the transfer, Mike has guided the activities of the Charlottetown airport as it has expanded its facilities, welcomed new domestic and international carriers and increased traffic.

He will continue to serve the industry as a member of the board of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. The Charlottetown airport is a vital component to the economy of Prince Edward Island and Mr. Campbell always understood this very clearly.

Mike is retiring this month and on behalf of all residents living on Prince Edward Island I want to thank him for his many years of service and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

Abdelkader Belaouni
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, for a year and a half, Abdelkader Belaouni has lived in a church in the Pointe-Saint-Charles area of Montreal. He is an Algerian national and he never leaves the church, for fear of being arrested and deported from Canada.

Mr. Belaouni, who is diabetic and has been blind since 1992, fled Algeria during the civil war, to live in the United States. In 2003, after being discriminated against in the wake of the September 11 attacks, he applied for permanent refugee status in Canada. Unfortunately, he still has not been successful in obtaining such status.

Mr. Belaouni is very well integrated into Quebec society. He has enough support to guarantee that he will never be a burden on society.

Having myself been a refugee in the Argentinian embassy in Haiti for nearly two years, I am particularly aware of what Mr. Belaouni is going through.

I appeal to the compassion of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and urge her to meet with Mr. Belaouni, as he has requested, and grant him permanent refugee status for humanitarian reasons.

Jean Gauvin
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I am very sad to rise today in this House to mark the passing of the hon. Jean Gauvin at the age of 61.

Mr. Gauvin was the fisheries minister in the New Brunswick government of Richard Hatfield. He represented the riding of Shippagan-les-Îles from 1978 to 1987 and again from 1991 to 1995. In all, he fought nine election campaigns at the provincial and federal levels and was elected three times.

Mr. Gauvin earned the nickname “Vroom-Vroom” because of his choice of official vehicle. He was an ardent defender of francophone rights and campaigned fiercely against allowing former members of the anti-francophone Confederation of Regions Party back into the Conservative Party.

Mr. Gauvin left his mark on New Brunswick as an MLA and a minister, but he was also known for his involvement in his community.

I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to Mr. Gauvin's family and friends.

Thank you, Jean.

Infrastructure
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Norman Doyle St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the federal Minister of Transport and the provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs for Newfoundland and Labrador, the hon. Jack Byrne.

Last week, Minister Byrne and I, on behalf of the Minister of Transport, announced a $10 million road project in my riding of St. John's East in the provincial district of Cape St. Francis.

The Torbay bypass road was a long awaited road project for the area. It was on the drawing board back when I was provincial minister of transportation in the 1980s.

At present, Torbay Road is the major artery for traffic in and out of the city of St. John's and the entire northeast Avalon region. During rush hours, traffic congestion on this road is terrible and the bypass road will go a long way toward alleviating these problems.

Again, I congratulate all those involved in this $10 million project. It is an excellent example of federal-provincial cooperation for the common good.

Jean Pedneault
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, New Brunswickers were very saddened to learn of the passing of Jean Pedneault on Tuesday evening, at the age of 67.

Mr. Pedneault was a great humanitarian and worked in the journalism industry for more than 30 years, in particular, for the weekly Edmunston newspaper Le Madawaska and, more recently, as a columnist for the daily newspaper L'Acadie Nouvelle.

A dedicated journalist, Mr. Pedneault was actively interested in international development, politics and social justice. Personally, I always held Jean Pedneault in the highest esteem.

Mr. Pedneault received an award from Pope John Paul II for service to the church and was named Knight of the Order of the Pleiade of the International Association of French-speaking Parliamentarians in 1989. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate in communication from the Université de Moncton in May 2001 and received the Louis-Napoléon-Dugal award in 2003 for his dedication to the French and Acadian cause in Madawaska.

Mr. Pedneault marked all of our lives in some way, and we owe him one last tribute to thank him for his active contribution to our community. I would like to extend my sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Death of Two Laval University Students
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to your attention the tragedy that has struck a family from Lévis.

You are undoubtedly aware of the unfortunate accident that caused the death of two Laval University students on May 28 in Bolivia. The young women were on field training for an agricultural economics course and decided to end their stay with a vacation in a small community. The hotel where they decided to spend the night they died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a faulty heating system.

One of these students, Andréanne Lacroix-Pelletier, was the daughter of Hélène Lacroix and Clarence Pelletier, a lung specialist at Hôtel-Dieu Hospital in Lévis. In a cruel twist of fate, these same parents lost their older daughter in January in an automobile accident. They had only these two children.

The spirit of human solidarity makes it impossible to pass over such circumstances in silence. I wish to extend, on behalf of my colleagues and myself, sincere sympathy and support to these bereaved families.

François Beauchemin
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate first-time Stanley Cup champions, the Anaheim Ducks.

Outstanding defenceman François Beauchemin, of Sorel-Tracy, was one of the team's most noted and valuable players. François played minor hockey in Sorel-Tracy before getting into the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the American Hockey League. Drafted by the Montreal Canadiens, he moved on to Columbus before joining the Ducks, where he became an integral part of the team and one of the best defencemen in the National Hockey League.

His exceptional talent, hard work, determination and desire for constant improvement enabled him to play at the highest level.

I would like to join his parents, his partner, his friends and everyone from Bas-Richelieu in offering my sincere congratulations and wishing him a long career in the National Hockey League.

Thank you, François, for being such a good ambassador for Quebec. You are a role model for our young people.

Status of Women
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, once again we are still learning about Liberal incompetence.

The Liberals commissioned a report surrounding Status of Women Canada's role. The report was conducted by an independent research group and, after several interviews and surveys with Status of Women Canada officials, the report concluded there was a lack of political will and leadership and that Status of Women Canada could no longer go forward with the status quo.

While the Liberals were happy to allow this 30 year old agency to become, as its own officials described it, a relic of the past, it took a Conservative government to modernize the agency, inject new money into programming for women and prioritize areas of concern.

This is true political leadership from a government that knows how to make a difference, a real change from Liberals who are still scratching their heads and telling Canadians, “Do you think it's easy to make priorities?”

The truth is out. They were out of touch with women. They could not deliver results but we did. Canadian women deserve better and now they know the truth.

Northern Youth Leadership Program
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Merasty Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Saskatchewan Association of Northern Communities, better known as New North, has recently launched an ambitious program aimed at empowering youth, aged 13 to 29, in my riding.

The Northern Youth Leadership Program is designed to allow young people to play an active role with their local village and town councils.

Ten communities in my riding, La Ronge, Beauval, Buffalo Narrows, Cumberland House, Île-à-la-Crosse, La Loche, Pinehouse Lake, Sandy Bay, Stony Rapids and Black Lake are involved in the project so far.

The program allows first nations, Métis and non-aboriginal young people to participate in elected youth councils that run parallel to the local councils and report to them once a month. The goal of the program is to engage a generation of young people in civic issues so that they may encourage their peers to reject crime, substance abuse, vandalism and violence. Some of the project ideas in the various communities include the creation of a youth centre, a skate park and working more closely with elders.

The Northern Youth Leadership Program aims to provide practical, hands on experience for tomorrow's generation of leaders. I ask my colleagues to join me in wishing them success.

Senate Tenure Legislation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, the first part of our plan to strengthen accountability through democratic reform was a Senate term limits bill. This simple, three clause bill was introduced on May 30, 2006 and for over a year it has languished in the unaccountable, unelected Liberal dominated Senate. We introduced this Senate reform bill for one simple reason: the Senate must change.

The 45 year terms for unelected, unaccountable politicians are simply not acceptable. Remarkably, yesterday the Senate committee recommended that the Senate not consider this bill at third reading until the government refers it to the Supreme Court, even though the Senate has no constitutional authority to do so.

These obstruction tactics are a dangerous grasp at power by the Liberal dominated Senate and simply offer more proof that the opposition leader is powerless within his own party and that the Senate must change.

Our Conservative government is leading the charge to end the practice of 45 year terms for unelected, unaccountable politicians.

Rail Transportation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Blaikie Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on a matter that I have raised before in this House and that is the growing length of trains and the subsequent length of time the trains take to clear a crossing.

Waits of 10 to 15 minutes are not uncommon. This is a problem in many constituencies but it is particularly acute in Transcona where constituents report that some crossings are tied up for close to half an hour because of switching in and out of the nearby yard.

I urge the Rail Safety Task Force, headed by former transport minister, Doug Lewis, to look into the effect that these 10,000 or 11,000 foot, or two mile trains, are having on public safety and community access to emergency services. Otherwise, it may be only a matter of time before someone in an emergency situation is sacrificed to a railway bottom line.

Environment Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in honour of Environment Week. Unfortunately, this year Environment Week is a reminder that the Conservative government celebrated its return to power by slashing over $5.6 billion in environmental spending.

Following a strategy of deny, delay and deceive, the government released a climate change plan rejected by 9 of 10 provinces and not endorsed by any independent third party. True to form, it allows emissions to increase well past 2010 and contains gaping loopholes for the oil sands.

After rewriting the clean air act, Bill C-30 has been suppressed and debate around it censored. Just an hour ago, at the environment committee, we confirmed that the Minister of the Environment misled all Canadians by claiming that his ecotrust funding had been delivered.

After all the photo ops, after all the gimmicks and after all the bravado, now we learn that his department cannot confirm the status of $1.5 billion while the Prime Minister works to weaken G-8 commitments abroad.

It is Environment Week. How unfortunate that Canada has been tossed into complete uncertainty about its environmental future.

Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine Region
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, the people of Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine are highlighting the fact that they live in such a beautiful and great region by dressing in blue, the colour of the sea and rivers so characteristic of the region.

This initiative from the Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine youth commission is part of its promotional campaign to make the public aware of the growing number of young people who have decided to settle in the region, and of their involvement in developing their community.

I would like to take this beautiful blue day to invite all of you to come visit the wonderful region of Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine. I am sure you will enjoy experiencing island life with the panorama of sky and sea in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, and that you too will fall in love with the Gaspe Peninsula.

Age of Protection Legislation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to denounce Conservative duplicity. Last week, the government made a number of patently false statements about the opposition in this House. The government House leader claimed that we had held up Bill C-22, the age of protection bill, in committee.

This is clear disinformation when in fact the committee dealt with the bill in six productive meetings for a total of six hours. He also neglected to say that his own reckless government MPs voted against Bill C-22 when it came time for third reading. If it were not for the Liberals, that bill would not be in the Senate at this time.

This proves once again that the Tories simply will not let facts stand in the way of a good smear. I say shame on the Tories, shame on the Conservatives.

Asia-Pacific Gateway
Statements By Members

June 7th, 2007 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week we read that the deputy leader of the Liberal Party, Elizabeth May, is calling for the federal government to withdraw the $1 billion in funding that our government has committed to the Asia-Pacific Gateway and corridors initiative.

This is one of the most important initiatives in British Columbia's history and it is crucial to addressing our infrastructure needs in western Canada. The policy proposed by Ms. May would jeopardize infrastructure plans in Vancouver, Surrey, Port Coquitlam, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Delta, Saskatoon, Banff, Richmond and Coquitlam.

This Conservative government backs the Asia-Pacific Gateway. We believe in creating Canadian jobs through world sales. We believe in opening new markets and opportunities for Canadians. We stand with the premiers of all four western provinces in support of the Asia-Pacific Gateway.

We want to ensure the Liberal leader will actually show some courage and speak out and tell Elizabeth May that she is wrong in jeopardizing $1 billion that this Conservative government has committed to western Canada for our economic future.