House of Commons Hansard #49 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

Taiwan Strait
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, a wise man once said that the true meaning of freedom is not what we are free to do but what we are free from doing. This adage comes to mind as I watch events unfold for my friends with respect to Taiwan Strait issues.

I make these observations with deference, as an interested observer, recognizing that I cannot truly appreciate the values or the personal history as one who lives there.

I took note of the results of the democratic expression of Taiwan's citizens in January, believing it represented the desire to move toward a less confrontational approach to Strait issues.

The world eagerly looks for and respectfully encourages initiatives that will build closer economic and cultural relations across the Taiwan Strait to result in the reduction of tensions.

To that end, may I humbly suggest that my friends on both sides of this vexatious issue consider another adage. If it is desirable not to do something, then it is advisable not to do it.

Certified General Accountants Association of Canada
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, 2008 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada.

CGA Canada represents 68,000 professionals and students and is one of the three accounting designations recognized equally by provincial and territorial statute in Canada.

It is, therefore, perplexing why the Conservative government recently posted a notice of vacancy for the important position of Comptroller General of Canada stating a preference for the single designation of chartered accountant. This implies a bias against not only CGA's members, but certified management accountants as well.

As an equal opportunity employer, I would like to know why the Conservatives are denying thousands of professional accountants fair access to opportunities in the federal public service.

Canadian Rabbinic Caucus
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, visiting Parliament Hill today is the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus. This is the second annual visit by the caucus, which is comprised of rabbis from across Canada, men and women, from all streams of Judaism.

They are visiting Ottawa today to meet with parliamentarians and government officials, representing their various communities and bringing a rabbinical and spiritual point of view.

Noting that terrorism is rampant in the world, the rabbis will repeat their call to the leaders of all faith groups to denounce the killing of innocents in the name of God or of religion.

The Rabbinic Caucus carries the message once more to all Canadians that overseas conflicts and the resultant passionately held views should not be allowed to degenerate into uncivil discourse and antagonisms here at home.

This caucus has embraced a hope shared by many Canadians that Canada, as an open, pluralistic, democratic and diverse society, might aspire to be the country that offers guidance and inspiration to the world in these troubled times.

I hope all members will join me in welcoming the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus to Parliament Hill.

30th Anniversary of Drummondville Sports Organization
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year is the 30th anniversary of the Grands du sport of Drummondville, an organization dedicated to promoting people who have made their mark as volunteer builders in sports.

In honour of the anniversary, the organization's executives decided to create a sports hall of fame in Drummondville, a project that has been in the works for nearly 28 years.

In addition to the traditional evening celebrating excellence in sports, this year's program includes a hockey game at the Centre Marcel Dionne, showcasing hockey legends Guy Lafleur, Yvon Lambert, Stéphane Richer, Marc Bureau, Enrico Ciccone, Sergio Momesso, Gilbert Delorme, Normand Dupont and Serge Boisvert, who thrilled Quebeckers when they played in the NHL.

I would like to wish a happy 30th anniversary to the athletes, teams, trainers, referees, administrators of the various sports federations, and the executives of the Grands du sport.

The Conservative Party
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, the people of Quebec City gave a warm welcome to the Prime Minister of Canada at the Calgary Stampede's western breakfast during Quebec City's Carnaval.

Unlike the leader of the Bloc, who always arrives empty-handed, our Conservative government keeps its promises and gets results.

The Conservative government has kept its promises to provide funding for Quebec City's 400th anniversary, for the congress centre in Lévis, for the Musée national des beaux-arts, for the project office for a science and technology exploration centre, for the Patro de Lévis, for the Chauveau soccer facility, and more.

Here is a piece of advice for the Bloc leader and his followers: forget about the studies; there is no “Quebec City mystery”. The people of Quebec City want members of Parliament who will act in their best interests.

The Bloc team has been on the ice without a puck for 17 years. The people will judge the Bloc's empty words and its powerlessness. In the meantime, the Conservative members from Quebec are taking action and are standing up for Quebec's interests within a united Canada.

Canadian Rabbinic Caucus
Statements By Members

February 12th, 2008 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I too want to acknowledge the presence in Ottawa today of the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus.

Rabbis from across Canada and from all streams of the Jewish faith are meeting today with parliamentarians, government officials and diplomats to discuss three important subjects: support for Canada's withdrawal from Durban II; the importance of the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state as a precondition for Middle East peace; and the threat that Iran poses to Israel, to Middle East stability and to world security.

Iran continues to accelerate its uranium enrichment in defiance of the UN resolutions. The Liberal Party believes that the international community has an obligation to exhaust all appropriate means of solving the Iranian nuclear crisis.

I call upon the government to take the lead internationally by imposing sanctions on Iran through the Special Economic Measures Act, SEMA.

SEMA is a flexible, expedient and efficient way for Canada to respond to threats to international peace and security. It is more than time to put it to use.

Justice
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, he could be in your neighbourhood or he could be in mine.

Violent criminal, Sheldon Kuiack, is on the lose. After shooting his girlfriend in the face in 2004, the sex offender was serving his sentence in a halfway house. CTV Ottawa has learned that two weeks ago today he simply opened the door and slipped off into the night.

Why on earth did the Liberal justice system allow this violent sex offender to serve his time in a halfway house and not in jail?

The Conservative tackling violent crime bill would throw gun criminals, like Kuiack, in the slammer for at least five years on the first offence. Under the bill, he would still be locked up today. However, the Liberal leader is blocking the bill in the Senate.

Residents familiar with Kuiack's whereabouts should immediately call the police as he is extremely dangerous and, for the sake of his victims, the Liberal leader must pass the bill immediately.

Côte-des-Neiges District
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Association des gens d'affaires de Côte-des-Neiges for a project that promotes tourism in their community, which I am very pleased to represent in the House of Commons.

The result of broad community consensus, this project will set up a seasonal information booth in the neighbourhood to promote, on behalf of the residents and local businesses, the important local and international tourist attractions.

The intent is to make Côte-des-Neiges a tourism centre by highlighting its architectural, cultural and religious heritage which include such jewels as St. Joseph's Oratory, the Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts, Université de Montréal and the north entrance to Mount Royal.

In addition, the project encourages cultural exchanges and informs visitors about the multi-ethnic nature of the Côte-des-Neiges district, a Canadian model for welcoming people from all over the world.

Congratulations to the Association des gens d'affaires and to the citizens of our wonderful neighbourhood, who wish to promote Côte-des-Neiges.

Certified General Accountants Association of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada, of which I have been a proud member since 1990, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

CGA-Canada has come a long way in 100 years. Today, it is the fastest growing professional accounting association in Canada. CGA-Canada has 68,000 members and students as well as affiliated associations in Bermuda, the Caribbean and Asia. CGAs work in more than 80 countries and look after the interests of businesses, governments and non-profits.

CGA-Canada has also advised the Parliament of Canada by providing input to important committees such as the Standing Committee on Finance, of which I am a member. These contributions have greatly helped to shape Canadian public policy.

Congratulations to CGA-Canada.

The Budget
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government will table its budget on February 26. The Bloc Québécois would like to remind the government that there is a $10.6 billion surplus for 2007-08, and a $9.9 billion surplus for 2008-09. So, the Conservatives are in a position to consider our proposals.

The government must provide assistance for the economic and social sectors, which are in dire straits. It must improve the current aid plan for the manufacturing and forestry industries, restore the dignity of seniors by awarding them full retroactivity of the guaranteed income supplement, increase transfers for post-secondary education, reinvest in women and social housing, and invest more in culture and the environment.

The government will still be able to pay down the debt, without paying it down entirely. The Conservatives must embark on a major change of direction with significant gains for Quebec if they want the support of the Bloc Québécois.

Kelowna Accord
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, it has been almost a year since Parliament passed Bill C-292, An Act to implement the Kelowna Accord. Since then, the bill has been stalled in the Senate because the Conservative senators have used tactics of delay and diversion. They have done so in spite of the will of Parliament and in spite of their own election promise to honour the terms and objectives of the Kelowna accord.

In so doing, they have turned their backs on aboriginal Canadians. The Conservatives have denied aboriginal Canadians better health care for their children and families. They are denying aboriginal Canadians a better education and housing. The Conservatives are denying the aboriginal people of Canada the hope of a better life.

The Conservatives like to talk an accountability and transparency game but practise exactly the opposite. They said that they would honour the commitments of Kelowna but they have refused to fund the agreement and are using parliamentary tactics to back out of their commitments.

How can they continue to justify turning a blind eye to the needs of the aboriginal people of Canada? Why does the Prime Minister not show some leadership and order his Conservative senators to pass BillC-292?

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, Valentine's is near. For Liberals it is big corporate bucks, not love in the air. Liberals have a sweetheart deal, an Ottawa cocktail party and no holds barred live auction stacked to the roof with lobbyists and corporate bigwigs, looking to buy Liberal love in all the wrong places.

Ad scam netted the Liberals $40 million. This Liberal love note promises corporate sugar daddies “the sky is your limit during this auction”, never mind the Conservatives limited political donations to individuals to a cap of $1,100.

CEOs can bid thousands for golf with a former PM, doubles tennis with the Rae brothers or hockey with the Liberal for York Centre, thousands of corporate bucks through the finance law's five hole.

This is not a third rate romance, low rent rendezvous. Liberals are asking corporations How Deep is Your Love and to prove it with their chequebooks, giving until their Love Hurts.

We might as well face it: Liberals are addicted to corporate love, even if it means breaking all the rules.

Quebec Private Lumber Producers
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Independent

Louise Thibault Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, if I were to mention $400 million in sales, $700 million in payroll, $4 billion in processed products, $500 million in tax revenue, 29,000 jobs and 35,000 producers, you would probably think I was referring to a rapidly expanding key area of economic activity in Canada. But the numbers I just mentioned represent the economic contribution made to the forestry sector by private lumber producers in Quebec.

However, this is becoming a thing of the past, since the Conservative government is ignoring these owners and the impact of the forestry crisis on them. Today, they are on the brink of bankruptcy, facing the inevitable and in despair. In the past two years, they have suffered a total loss of revenue of $70 million and, unfortunately, it is not over.

The government's trust fund should help them continue to develop one of our most precious natural resources, our forests, with their customary respect, professionalism and consideration for sustainable development. But such is not the case. These private lumber producers might as well not even exist as far as the Conservative government is concerned.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today during a press conference in response to mine, the Prime Minister used the word rotation for the first time. That is a happy surprise and an encouraging sign. We thought the Prime Minister did not believe in the rotation principle.

Will he say today that, under the rotation principle, the additional troops that NATO should provide will enable our troops to be replaced in their combat mission, their offensive mission, and allowed to focus on a new security, training and reconstruction mission?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I said that the leadership positions of the mission in Afghanistan rotate. That has been NATO practice since the beginning.

I was very interested to see the new proposals of the leader of the Liberal Party. There is more agreement now between our positions. We will study these positions with a view to achieving a greater consensus. That is what Canadians want.