House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was human.

Topics

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the minister. He talked about people who were so dangerous to Canadian society that we should suspend some of the key principles of our criminal justice system in Canada, which would allow things like indefinite detention, secret evidence and even secret trial, and instead deal with these people by seeking their removal from Canada.

However, it seems to me that when we are talking about crimes of terrorism, espionage and plotting against the national security of Canada, we are talking about some of the most serious crimes that could be perpetrated in this country. Yet our response through this law is to seek the removal of those people, not their punishment, not their conviction, but their removal, and thus foist them on some other jurisdiction.

If we believe that these people are this kind of serious criminal, why are we not taking every possible measure to prosecute them criminally, to convict them and to incarcerate them here in Canada?

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I attempted to address that in my earlier remarks. There are two types of proceedings that in fact in their very nature are different from each other.

One is a criminal proceeding whereby we are pursuing people from the point of view of them having violated a law inside our borders and we want the charges seen through to a conviction and then incarceration for the purpose of both punitive and rehabilitative measures.

That is not the case with immigration proceedings. We have immigration proceedings that go on literally through the year by the thousands. As a matter of fact, last year, through immigration proceedings being appealed, and with the rules of immigration proceedings, possibly 12,000 people were removed from the country.

Is the member seriously proposing that there be separate trials set up in terms of inadmissibility to Canada? These are not Canadian citizens we are talking about. In terms of those who have been removed, these are people who came here under the wrong pretenses or who for some reason have come up against the rules and regulations of this country.

Is the member suggesting that there should be 12,000 more cases a year applied to individuals who are already allowed a very generous and extensive review process, sometimes with information that has been acquired with means that, if the information and how we got it were made available, would put our own people at risk and put our own intelligence networks at risk?

Is the hon. member saying to give the benefit of the doubt to somebody of whom a judge has said, and of whom a number of judges have said, that there is significant enough evidence to link this person, let us just say, to a terrorism network, so that person should not be put in some other jurisdiction, as he said, but sent back to their country of origin? He is saying that we should give the benefit of the doubt to the person who has evidence against him or her, certified by a judge, that shows him or her to be a possible imminent danger. He says to give the benefit of the doubt to that person instead of to Canadians who deserve to be protected.

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

I am sorry, but we have reached the time for statements by members. There will be one minute and 50 seconds left to question the Minister of Public Safety when the House returns to the consideration of Bill C-3.

Food Freedom Day
Statements By Members

January 31st, 2008 / 1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to recognize the tireless efforts of Canadian farmers.

Food Freedom Day is designed to raise awareness of the contributions made by Canadian farmers and to also serve as a reminder to Ontarians of the value, safety and quality of Ontario-grown food. Time and time again, farmers across Canada have demonstrated their passion and commitment to providing us with high quality products.

Food Freedom Day, which occurs this year on Sunday, February 3, is a celebration of the average Canadian having earned enough income to pay his or her grocery bills for one year.

Farmers in my riding of Oxford and across Canada should be proud and should celebrate the essential role they play in feeding a growing population with one of the most affordable high quality food supplies in the world.

Canadian Heritage
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure, as co-chair along with the member for Yorkton—Melville, to congratulate the more than 50 senators and members of the House of Commons from all parties who attended last month's outdoor caucus breakfast. This is one of the largest caucuses in Parliament and for good reason.

Over 8 million Canadians from coast to coast to coast, urban and rural, of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, and of both sexes, enjoy our parks, boating, canoeing, camping, hunting, fishing and trapping.

Canadians over the age of 15 who fish outnumber those who play golf and hockey combined. Canadians spend as much on fishing each year as they do on beer.

Their outdoor activity represents a $10 billion boost to the Canadian economy, yet so much that we do could negatively affect the activities of these millions of Canadians.

That is why I commend the over 80 parliamentarians who make up our outdoor caucus for their hard work to ensure that all Canadians can continue to enjoy our national heritage, the great outdoors.

On a sadder note, I would like to express my sympathy and that of my colleagues to the people of the Yellow Quill First Nation community in Saskatchewan on the tragic deaths of three year old Kaydance Pauchay and her one year old sister Santana. We share their sorrow.

Bernard Normand
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Bernard Normand, a man who devoted his life to public education, passed away this January. He wrote his own epitaph and left us with this message, “My life was driven by conviction. Two of those convictions are human dignity and Bonne Justice, as defined by Paul Éluard”. That describes him quite well.

Bernard was a friend and I regret his passing. Some say that when someone like him passes away, they leave a void. Bernard would be surprised to hear that, because he worked his entire life to improve the lives of ordinary people. He was so devoted to them. He has not left a void.

He was a builder his entire life. He was a builder of hope and of the future. He made sure that what he brought to public education would carry on after he left. Naturally, his friends, his wife Odette, his daughters, his grandchildren and his parents will feel the loss. Let us remember him for what he has left us: hope and confidence that the world will become more just from generation to generation.

Thank you, Bernard Normand.

Community Development
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, at every level of government much of our work is dedicated to creating liveable neighbourhoods. A liveable neighbourhood is not just a safe place to live. It is a community where people know one another, look out for their neighbours and work together for common causes.

Across my riding of Surrey North, there are people who have come together in residents' associations and community groups to build liveable neighbourhoods.

These groups participate in neighbourhood cleanups and other environmental restoration projects. They organize block watches and community picnics. This year in my neighbourhood we took great joy in going out Christmas carolling.

Some of the organizations dedicated to building a better Surrey are groups such as Bridgeview, Bolivar Heights, Whalley, Guildford and others. Some even have websites that provide current information around events.

Every day, organizations like these are taking action to improve the quality of life for people living in Surrey, building vibrant and liveable communities and neighbourhoods across our city.

Today, as the member of Parliament for Surrey North, I would like to honour and thank each one of them for their commitment to making Surrey an increasingly better place to live.

Foreign Affairs
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Brenda Martin is a Canadian being held in pre-trial custody in Mexico. Our government is taking this case very seriously, raising it at the highest levels with the Mexican government to ask for a speedy trial.

My heart goes out to Ms. Martin and her family in what is a very difficult time. I have personally raised this matter with the former foreign minister and with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Trade. They have assured me that Canadian consular officials make regular visits to Ms. Martin, ensuring that her rights are respected and that she receives medical attention.

Despite her difficult situation, some members of the House offer nothing more than platitudes and ambulance chasing tactics, such as the member for Pickering—Scarborough East, who will say anything to get his name in the paper. The member knows all too well the extraordinary work consular officials undertake every day, because he used to work with them. Now he attacks them and our government while doing little to actually help.

This government works for and defends all Canadians at home and abroad. We are getting the job done.

Health
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, 26% of Canadian children are overweight. In Atlantic Canada, childhood obesity is much higher. In my home province it is 32%. This is a devastating statistic. Healthy living must become a national priority and solutions will have to come from many areas.

Many provinces, led by Nova Scotia, have created health promotion departments. This is an important step. Organizations, such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation, are doing strong advocacy and educational work as well.

Individuals are also making a difference. Holly Bond of Dartmouth recognized this issue in her own family and this led her to take action. She established a fitness centre for children, Bulldog Interactive Fitness, where physical activity in a safe and youth oriented environment has caught on. She and her husband, James, are true champions of youth fitness and have been establishing franchises across Canada and now into the U.S.

Childhood obesity is devastating children and our health care system. We should commend everybody, governments, organizations, and individuals like Holly, who are taking steps to provide a healthier future for our children, our health care system and our country.

Afghanistan
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, for the second year in a row, I celebrated Christmas in Afghanistan. I spoke with our troops, visited development projects and met some of the Afghan people.

One little girl has stayed in my thoughts. She was about six years old, with her whole life before her. That little girl can go to school, drink clean water, have access to health care, grow up and have a job because Canada is in Afghanistan.

I cannot imagine leaving that little girl to the mercies of the Taliban. If we leave Afghanistan now, the Taliban will return and the gains the Afghan people have made will be lost.

The Manley report has clearly stated that a stable and better governed Afghanistan with a growing economy is an achievable Canadian objective.

We do need help and we are calling on our NATO allies to step up to the plate. We are also calling on the Liberal Party to remember its own proud heritage of standing up for oppressed people, even when the job is tough. It was the former Liberal prime minister who coined the phrase “responsibility to protect at the United Nations”. Those cannot be mere words.

I know our troops will rise to the challenge and I am confident that the Canadian people and my colleagues here in the House will do the same.

Forestry Industry
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, today in Donnacona, 252 workers will lose their jobs because of the crisis in the forestry industry. Despite the demonstration held last Sunday, which I attended, along with the member for Trois-Rivières and 1,500 others, the AbitibiBowater mill will shut down indefinitely. This is one of the consequences of the Conservative government's inaction. Efforts to reopen the mill will continue with the help of a coalition of elected members, community representatives and union members.

The Bloc Québécois is calling on the government to finally take this crisis seriously. We will not let the Conservatives get away with their insufficient aid plan that is conditional on the passage of the budget. It is blackmail. Assistance for the manufacturing and forestry industries is the Bloc's priority. We want the Conservative government to invest $5.5 billion, not a measly $1 billion.

Sustainable Development
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, there are those in life who merely talk and those who take action, like Tree Canada, which has planted more than 75 million trees in 10 years.

That organization helped me calculate the carbon emissions of the activities of the Lévis and Lac-Etchemin constituency offices and our office here on the Hill. We calculated a total of 20 tonnes of CO2 a year. To offset those emissions, I intend to plant 166 trees in cooperation with the Comité de restauration de la rivière Etchemin, thereby becoming, with the certification of Tree Canada, the first carbon-neutral federal MP.

This will be a Canadian first, much like the Canadian plan to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, thanks to binding targets for all large industrial emitters. This is on top of the $2 billion for the ecoenergy program, $1.5 billion for the ecotrust and $2 billion for renewable energy.

As you can see, rather than spouting rhetoric while offering nothing, I am taking concrete, local action, as is our Conservative government, to make Canada a leader in sustainable development.

Youth
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the official opposition, I would like to offer our deepest condolences to the family of Kaydance and Santana Pauchay and to the community of Yellow Quill reservation in Saskatchewan.

I now would like to share the wonderful story of young Jessie Krejcik from NDG. On February 9 and 10, she will attempt to become the youngest person to earn the Coureur des Bois Gold Bar in the Canadian ski marathon.

Young Jessie, who is 13 years old, will cross-country ski 160 kilometres in two days, while carrying a back pack weighing at least five kg and camping outside overnight on February 9.

The individual effort required to complete in such a race is remarkable and that she is doing it to raise money for children's cancer treatment and research is truly commendable.

I am proud to support Jessie's campaign and call on my fellow parliamentarians and all Canadians to make a donation in Jessie's name to a children's hospital of their choice.

Afghanistan
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, today marks the second anniversary of the Afghanistan Compact, a milestone agreement between the United Nations, the government of Afghanistan and the international community.

The Afghanistan Compact provides the framework for the international community's engagement in Afghanistan until 2011.

When it was developed, Canada was there, along with 60 other nations and international organizations, to pledge its full support to the compact. Our country was instrumental in ensuring that the compact included a mechanism to monitor programs and measure progress.

We have joined with the international community to help the people of Afghanistan build a better future. We know many challenges lie ahead but we are encouraged by the significant progress Afghans have been able to achieve since the fall of the Taliban.

Our support for this important agreement is a noble endeavour, that of helping a country devastated by decades of conflict and oppression to get back on its feet.

Outdoor Caucus of Parliament Hill
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the House of Commons one of the greatest caucuses on the Hill, and I am not just talking about the NDP caucus. I am talking about the outdoor caucus, which is organized by the member for Yukon and the member for Yorkton—Melville.

Prior to the break, we were treated to a wonderful reception. We were honoured by the presence of Mr. Bob Izumi, a great sports fishermen who has the greatest life of all: He gets to fish anywhere on the planet. Also present were: Mr. Phil Morlock of Shimano Canada; Mr. Barry Turner of Ducks Unlimited Canada; and Mr. Greg Farrant of the Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters. Mr. Tony Rodgers of the Nova Scotia Wildlife Federation and Mr. Walter Regan of the Sackville Rivers Association were there in spirit.

Those people, along with this caucus, are promoting the great life of outdoors in Canada. It brings tremendous economic opportunity to all Canadians and we would like to preserve the great outdoors for future generations.

Hip, hip, hooray to the outdoor caucus of Parliament Hill.