House of Commons Hansard #3 of the 40th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economy.

Topics

Polio Awareness
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, last April, I informed the House of the plans of polio survivor and Yukon resident, Ramesh Ferris, to undertake an inspirational cross-Canada trek to raise awareness of polio.

I am very pleased to announce that on October 1 he completed his 7,110 kilometre hand-cycle journey when the front wheels of his bicycle touched the Atlantic ocean in St. John's, Newfoundland. Canadians gave him over $300,000 to help the fight against polio. He is now currently in India with Rotary International working to eradicate polio.

We can still assist Ramesh and Rotary in the success of their work. For as little as 60¢ a day, we can prevent a life of misery for children affected by polio. I aks everyone to take a moment to visit the Ramesh Ferris website, www.cycletowalk.com, and help this worthy cause.

Canadians can now add the name of Ramesh Ferris beside those of Rick Hanson and Terry Fox when they think of Canadians who embarked upon epic cross-Canada fundraising journeys and truly helped to make a difference.

Convention on the Rights of the Child
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, today commemorates the adoption by the United Nations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. What an excellent opportunity, the day after the Speech from the Throne, to remind the government that nearly 800,000 children in Canada are living in poverty.

In times of economic slowdown, without a doubt the first victims will be the children, who will have to bear the brunt of their parents' loss of work and income. Hence the urgency to implement measures such as social and affordable housing and improvements to employment insurance.

May I take this opportunity to thank the community organizations in my riding of Saint-Lambert for their efforts in gaining recognition for children's rights.

Thanks to community activists such as these, today Quebec is the only place in Canada where there has been a constant decrease in child poverty for the past 10 years.

Transgender Day of Remembrance
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, today is a Trans Day of Remembrance, the day when here in Canada and around the world, members of the transsexual and transgender communities and their families, friends, co-workers and allies remember victims of transphobic violence and recommit to ensuring the full humanity and full human rights of trans people.

Trans people have too often faced violence, even to the point of death, discrimination in the workplace, in housing and in the provision of identity documents, and the denial of appropriate health care.

We celebrate the life experience of trans people and the new perspectives on gender they bring to our understanding of human diversity. To that end, the Canadian Human Rights Act must be amended to explicitly include protection from discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression. The Criminal Code must be amended so that hate crimes against trans Canadians can be prosecuted and so that judges can consider transphobic violence in sentencing.

New Democrats stand in solidarity with transsexual and transgender Canadians on this important day.

British Columbia
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, on November 19, 1858, at Fort Langley, Governor James Douglas issued a proclamation on behalf of Queen Victoria creating the new colony of British Columbia.

Yesterday we celebrated the 150th anniversary of this historic occasion. My riding of Langley is the birthplace of B.C. and for 150 years British Columbia has been an integral part of our Confederation.

From the early days of the gold rush and maritime trade with the Orient, to the present day Asia-Pacific gateway, British Columbia continues to be an economic engine.

British Columbia has produced Nobel laureates such as Michael Smith, noted writers and artists such as Emily Carr, and two Stanley Cup champions in 1915 and 1925.

I congratulate British Columbia on its past contributions and look forward to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. We will be cheering on our athletes as they bring Canada a gold rush on the ice and on the snow.

National Child Day
Statements by Members

November 20th, 2008 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, today is National Child Day, a day when Canadians acknowledge the 19th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states:

In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

One of those key interests for our children is quality accessible child care, such as the plan introduced by the previous Liberal government and shelved by the Conservative government, much to the disappointment of hundreds of thousands of Canadian families.

Today, we acknowledge the thousands of child care workers, people who work so hard to help children and their families, often for little compensation and little recognition.

Members of the Liberal caucus are wearing blue ribbons today, the symbol of child care in Canada. For the second year a not-for-profit child care organization in my riding, the Dartmouth Preschool, led by Pat Hogan, has prepared these ribbons in honour of National Child Day. We wish to thank her and all child care workers for their commitment to children in our country and throughout the world.

ATHENA Oakville Award
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Terence Young Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I stand in the House today first to thank the voters of Oakville for the honour of sending me to represent them in Ottawa.

My first words in the House are made with much civic pride, to congratulate the nominees and winner of the 2008 ATHENA Oakville Award. This year five distinguished and dedicated women were nominated for their achievements in mentoring others: C.J. Martin promotes talented local artists and writers; Elka Ruth Enola is a leader in women's advocacy; Jane Thomas Yager supports cancer patients and mentors countless students; Alison Thomas mentors many individuals in the nursing profession; and Wendy Perkins, this year's winner, was recognized for her dedicated work as the co-founder and executive director of Home Suite Hope, a model organization devoted to helping the homeless by providing affordable housing and assisting them to develop new skills.

These five women exemplify caring leadership. Their accomplishments have helped build our local community and our national community, and we salute them.

Football
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pascal-Pierre Paillé Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will start with warm thanks to the voters of Louis-Hébert for the confidence they have shown me in the October 14 election.

I would also like to draw attention to three major sporting events that have taken place in recent days. First of all, two triumphs by football teams from the Quebec City area. Last Saturday, the Collège François-Xavier-Garneau Élans were the winners of the AAA collegiate football finals, the Bol d'or, while the Rouge et Or defeated the University of Calgary for the Uteck Cup.

My congratulations also go to the Montreal Alouettes for their win over the Edmonton Eskimos on November 16, before more than 40,000 fans.

Bravo to the players and coaching staff of these three top-notch teams. And good luck in the games coming up: the Vanier Cup game for the Rouge et Or and the Grey Cup game for the Montreal Alouettes.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I read a troubling news story this week regarding excessive and, frankly, irresponsible spending habits regarding a top CBC executive's expense account: $10,000 for dinner tickets to a fundraiser in Montreal; $6,000 for lunches and dinners with other CBC managers; $7,500 on trips to Paris; $2,300 worth of beer, wine and snacks for a reception in March for CBC employees. And the CBC said that this type of spending was totally in line with its corporate policy.

In this time of fiscal restraint, such practices do not sit well with Canadians. The Minister of Canadian Heritage is right to call for the CBC to rein in its lavish spending.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier Day
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to highlight an important occasion—Sir Wilfrid Laurier Day. This is an excellent opportunity for us to remember the optimistic vision Sir Wilfrid Laurier offered Canada at the start of the 20th century and the leadership to make that vision a reality.

Under Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Canada experienced an period of unequalled wealth and significant economic growth, which established Canada as an unavoidable economic force on the international scene. As a francophone prime minister, he played a crucial role as a peacemaker between English and French Canada.

I would ask my colleagues to recognize the valuable contribution of Sir Wilfrid Laurier who, more than 100 years ago, was among those who created the country we are proud to live in today.

National Security
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to thank the people of Leeds—Grenville for their support and their renewed confidence in me, and congratulate you on your re-election as Speaker.

As the government, our first duty is the safety and security of Canadians. Canada is not immune to threats to our national security.

In the Speech from the Throne we committed to tabling a national security statement, which will explain how we intend to combat threats to our national security. We will balance this with the need for accountability and the protection of civil liberties.

The national security statement is another step in a series of security reforms and investments that include a new Emergency Management Act, a Canada first defence strategy and investment in intelligence and cyber defence capacities.

National security is about preserving our economic prosperity, our core values and our quality of life.

Financial Institutions
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, “it's only another 5% interest hike” said the big credit card companies. “So what if it is 5% above the 18% interest rate? It's just another increase in the interchange fees every time you use your card”.

Credit card companies sucked in more than $4.5 billion in hidden fees last year alone and increased them four times this year, yet the throne speech did nothing to address these crazy fees.

The Conservative government is happy to help banks with billions, but offers nothing to regular consumers. Canadians cannot take getting squeezed any more and neither can small businesses.

Together they started a campaign called “StopStickingItToUs.com”. They demand that government stop the credit card companies with their outrageous and unjustified charges. People cannot afford it any more.

It is time to stop credit card companies from sticking it to all of us.

The Economy
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, I thank the people of Saint John for allowing me to represent their interests in this House.

At times like these, Canadians families review their finances to make sure they are spending prudently and they demand government do the same. That is why we ended the uncontrolled spending and wasting of taxpayer dollars that took place under the Liberals. That is why we introduced an expenditure management system to review every cent that government spends.

In the Speech from the Throne, we pledge to roll up our sleeves to further build on this work and to continue to find efficiencies in government spending.

We will review public sector compensation, ensure equalization grows in line with the economy and remains sustainable and affordable and examine corporate assets to ensure they are still performing a useful function.

Difficult but necessary decisions will be made to keep federal government spending prudent. Canadians expect no less from our government. Our government will review spending with a focus on results and ensure that every dollar spent is in the best interest of Canadians.

Tax Credit for New Graduates
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the previous Parliament, Bill C-207, which I introduced, reached third reading. The bill proposed a tax credit of up to $8,000 for new graduates working in economically troubled regions.

All members of the previous Parliament, except for the Conservatives, supported this measure designed to stem the exodus of young people and to help bring skilled workers back to the regions.

This bill will be a priority for the Bloc Québécois in the coming session. That is why I am once again asking all members of the House for their support. In particular, I am asking the Conservative members from my region to set aside their party's ideology and put the interests of young people and their region first by supporting this measure. Conservatives cannot keep ignoring the regions of Quebec.

The Economy
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago in the midst of a federal election campaign the Prime Minister swore that his Conservative government would never run a federal deficit. In spite of a $16 billion surplus that the Conservatives inherited from Liberals in 2005, it now seems that the Prime Minister is poised to break his first campaign promise in less than a month.

The official excuse from the PMO will be the downturn in the global economy, but the reality is this is a deficit manufactured by the Conservatives. Despite the advice of leading economists from across the country, the Conservatives went ahead with ill-conceived economic policies that cost the federal treasury $11 billion a year. Couple this with the largest federal spending spree in Canadian history and we have a made in Canada fiscal disaster courtesy of the Conservative government.

It is said that history repeats itself, and once again the Liberal Party will eventually inherit a financial mess and will have to clean it up.

Riding of Lévis—Bellechasse
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the people of Lévis—Bellechasse and Les Etchemins for their vote of confidence, renewed on October 14, 2008.

Together, we have made considerable progress with the Davie Shipyard, which has grown from three to 1,000 employees, the new congress centre—which some Conservative caucus members visited—the Patro de Lévis, as well as investment projects in Buckland, Sainte-Justine and Saint-Anselme, to name a few.

We will continue to work on recreational and tourism projects in our region, such as the Massif du Sud project and ferry services.

Many supporters and volunteers, along with some of my family members, are here on the Hill today for this new session. I would like to sincerely thank them for their support, and assure them of my commitment and my affection for them.

In this period of global economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever to spend money responsibly. I urge all members to cooperate with our government and review all expenditures to ensure that our taxpayers' dollars are being used responsibly.

The Conservatives are maintaining a steady course towards sustainability and prosperity for all Canadians.