House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was grain.

Topics

Canada Grain Act
Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Speaker, I appreciated the well-researched remarks by the member for British Columbia Southern Interior.

I agree with him when he stated that the government moves rapidly in areas such as trying to destroy the Canadian Wheat Board, which it is attempting to do, in terms of trying to weaken the Canadian Grain Commission, and now the minister's ridiculous announcement to do away with KVD by August 1, which industry, the Canadian Wheat Board, nearly everybody in the system, except the right-wing friends of the parliamentary secretary over there, claim should not be done until 2010 or it will completely disrupt the industry. It will in fact put Canada at risk in terms of supplying the quality grain it has a reputation of supplying around the world.

When it comes to responding to the beef and hog crisis, the government is absolutely missing in action. Why can it not move rapidly in that area?

Let me turn to the specific bill we are talking about, Bill C-39, on the Canadian Grain Commission.

We see that the Conservative government is undermining the authority of farmers. The original Canadian Grain Act has in the mandate that it is in the interests of producers. The new bill takes that out. That crowd on the other side is not really interested in doing anything in the interests of producers and it shows. The Conservatives are undermining them with the Canadian Wheat Board. They are undermining them with the Canadian Grain Commission. They are missing in action on hogs and beef. The Conservatives are turning over the authority of the Canadian Grain Commission to the interests of industry rather than producers. I would like to ask the hon. member his point of view on that.

There are other problems with the bill. The Conservatives are taking away the appeals tribunal. There were 2,000 appeals last year. There is nothing about reporting to Parliament in this bill. That right is being taken away and Parliament will not know what is going on with the Canadian Grain Commission and the Canadian Grain Act. They are taking away the necessity of grain companies having to post a bond to protect producer interests.

I would like to get the member's comments on that critique of the bill and certainly the critique of a government that is missing in action when it comes to developing real solutions for farmers in this country.

The Conservatives like to say that they put farmers first, but everything they are doing is putting farmers absolutely last.

Canada Grain Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to emphasize that sometimes the member is criticized because he is from Prince Edward Island, but I would like to assure the House that the member as a past president of the National Farmers Union and also as an MP has criss-crossed the country probably hundreds of times and he understands the agriculture situation in this country.

I agree with what he is saying. This is a flawed bill. It is a flawed process that will gradually take power away from farmers. We have to look at it very carefully.

With regard to missing in action, the government could get back into action by consulting with all groups in this country, not just with its friends, not just with the ones who support its particular ideological point of view.

As parliamentarians sometimes we have to rise above our ideological differences. We all have them; that is why we belong to different political parties. We have to look at the interests of farmers. Maybe the minister and the government could have another consultation with all groups, not just the government's friends, but groups such as the National Farmers Union and others, just to see what farmers are saying.

The letters that we get are not form letters. They are from people who are concerned. Sometimes I get the feeling that the minister and the government just are not paying attention. We certainly get that feeling in regard to the pork and cattle industry where, to this very day, there are people who are not getting the assistance that they need.

Certified General Accountants Association of Canada
Statements by Members

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada.

I have been a member of this association since 1987. The association is known throughout Canada and the world for offering professional development to its members and students as well as for advancing the accounting profession.

CGAs are heralded for their excellent professional standards, as well as the integrity and ethics they provide all sectors of Canada's economy, including industry, commerce and government, both as employees and as practitioners.

CGA-Canada representatives play leading roles in developing solutions to important domestic and international issues, including productivity, sustainability and trade, among others.

I am very proud to hold a CGA designation. I know all my colleagues in the House will join me in congratulating CGA-Canada on achieving this very important milestone.

ByTowne Cinema
Statements by Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is in the heart of our community on Rideau Street a cultural institution called the ByTowne Cinema, which has carved for itself an enviable and well-deserved reputation.

At this time of year when film awards loom, we will often see lineups outside the ByTowne. Why? Because more often than not, the ByTowne has found those pearls the public loves and the cinema chains have neglected. This is due mostly to the cinematic flair of Bruce White, the ByTowne owner whom I wish to congratulate.

I would like to thank Mr. White for the happy mix of indies, foreign and Canadian productions. I would also like to thank him for Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulin, March of the Penguins, Volver, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and for this year's Persepolis, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Away from Her, La vie en rose and 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.

The next time the ByTowne features The Rocky Horror Picture Show, members should go. It is worth the price of admission and then some.

Seniors
Statements by Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Raymond Gravel Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I delivered nearly 10,000 postcards to the Prime Minister criticizing the government's refusal to make full retroactive payments of the guaranteed income supplement. My colleague from Alfred-Pellan and I also tabled a bill to obtain this full retroactivity and an increase in the guaranteed income supplement.

Our demands are being supported by organizations that can see that seniors are also facing a crisis. They know it and are not fooled. Their memories are not gone and they will remember this government that gave them hope and then abandoned them. They will remember this government that has the means to give back the money it took away from them, this Conservative government that stubbornly refuses to return what was stolen from them.

This is yet another battle, like the one to help our industries, that the Bloc Québécois will fight for seniors.

Canadian Breast Cancer Network
Statements by Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Breast Cancer Network is a survivor directed national network of organizations and individuals.

Sadly, over 5,000 Canadian families will lose a loved one this year due to breast cancer, while 22,000 more women will be diagnosed.

We as a country have to do everything we can and use all the tools at our disposal to make cancer history.

While I welcome the government's change of heart to reverse its decision in regard to the cuts by the current government and the previous government to the Canadian Breast Cancer Network, I and the women affected by breast cancer across this country must have a guarantee that the Canadian Breast Cancer Network will have cash in hand on April 1.

This organization has faced cutback after cutback and cannot wait at the government's pleasure for funding that was needed yesterday to help women and their families affected by breast cancer.

Ukraine
Statements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada was very disappointed by the recent statements made by Russian leaders, including President Putin, stating that they would aim nuclear weapons at Ukraine if it joined NATO and allowed U.S. missile defence assets on its territory. Such statements are a source of preoccupation in Canada as well as with the Euro-Atlantic community.

Even if couched in hypothetical terms, the threat gives us cause for considerable concern. As a matter of fundamental principle, the use of such threats is unacceptable. Moreover, it is not consistent with the positive relationships we have been striving to develop in the post-cold war environment.

Our response is firm: the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine are not to be questioned. Ukraine is free and must remain free to choose the foreign policy course that suits its aspirations. In this respect, it can count on Canada's unquestionable support.

Post-Secondary Education
Statements by Members

February 15th, 2008 / 11 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is hard to take the government seriously on post-secondary education. After it cleaned up the mess of the last Conservative government, the Liberal government invested in students through millennium scholarships, Canada access grants, learning bonds, graduate scholarships and more.

The Conservative government throws some money to the provinces and then gives an $80 tax credit to students. Wow.

How about Canada student loans? The minister says he has something in the budget. He should look at the recommendations of Julian Benedict and the Coalition for Student Loan Fairness. He should reduce the rate of interest, make the system more open and accessible, and better meet the needs both of our students and the productivity of the nation. And he should stop collecting loans from the families of the dead.

What is the minister hiding on income contingent loans? Why did he block an ATIP for 11 months and then refuse to release the information? What could he be hiding?

The government does not listen to students, does not understand students and does not seem to care much about them either. The government promises everything and delivers nothing and students are not hopeful that will change any time soon.

Automotive Industry
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, coming from Oshawa I realize the automotive sector is very important to me and my constituents. I am very proud that our government continues to work very hard with this very important sector.

I rise in the House today with some good news for Canadians and our very important auto sector. China was not abiding by its commitment to provide non-discriminatory access for the imports of their auto parts, leading to high and unnecessary tariffs, costing our automotive sector hundreds of millions of dollars. Our government took action.

We joined forces with the United States and the European Union and together we filed a complaint against China with the WTO. Today the initial ruling was delivered and the WTO agrees with us. As our Minister of International Trade said yesterday, this is a move in the right direction.

This is another way that our government is getting things done for Canadians and for our Canadian auto sector.

Léo Koby Véro
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is Black History Month, and I want to tell you about a cause that Léo Koby Véro, a South Shore resident, is fighting for.

Mr. Véro has always fought a number of fights to promote his community, and currently, he is trying to gain recognition for a great black artist of the 18th century whom history has forgotten, black classical composer Joseph Bologne de Saint-Georges, also known as the Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Mr. Véro is the founding president of the Circle of the Chevalier de Saint-Georges.

In addition to being a phenomenal violinist, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges was a talented composer of music for string quartets, symphonies and quatuor concertants. In addition to being a composer, he was also a conductor.

Some have called him the “black Mozart”, while others prefer to call Mozart the “white Saint-Georges”. Regardless, Saint-Georges will take his rightful place in black history thanks to the tenacity of the members of the Circle of the Chevalier de Saint-Georges.

National Flag of Canada
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, on this day 43 years ago, the red and white maple leaf flag was first raised on Parliament Hill, across Canada and at Canadian embassies around the world.

The bright maple leaf that adorns our flag is surely its more remarkable element.

Today, our red and white maple leaf flag is beloved by all Canadians and admired around the world because it is a symbol of freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and human rights.

Recognizing and celebrating Canada's significant events and symbols is integral to the foundation of our historical memory and contributes to the identity, cohesion and sense of belonging of Canadians.

I encourage Canadians to join together to celebrate this treasured symbol. National Flag of Canada Day is a perfect opportunity to embrace our shared identity and to reflect on our good fortune to live in the greatest country in the world.

National Flag of Canada
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, today Canadians celebrate National Flag of Canada Day. Forty-three years ago the maple leaf flew for the first time over this Parliament and the nation it represents.

Today presents an opportunity for all Canadians to reflect on what our flag represents.

As we all share this iconic symbol, the national treasures and common values it signifies are shared with all of us. We all feel the respect and friendship the maple leaf attracts when we travel abroad. We all cherish the universal education and health systems that we share at home. And we all honour the current and future veterans whose sacrifice gives future generations the freedom and privilege that comes with life under the maple leaf.

On this National Flag of Canada Day, I ask all my colleagues to join me in celebrating our past achievements, as well as looking ahead toward an exciting future that we will share under our common flag.

Tackling Violent Crime Act
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, 78 days ago the tackling violent crime act was sent to the Senate for consideration. Ever since it arrived in the Liberal dominated Senate, it has been held up from passage.

As a father I am concerned about the delay tactics that may jeopardize the passage of these important measures that will better protect my family.

This week, while opposing the tackling violent crime act, Liberal Senator Sharon Carstairs expressed her desire to legalize youth prostitution. I would like to remind the Liberal senator that youth prostitution is already illegal. The age of consent is 18 years where sexual activity involves exploitative activity such as prostitution.

Our bill is about protecting children from the most vile and horrific crimes that can be committed. As a father I call on the Liberal senators to stop their delay and to quickly pass this piece of legislation that will help protect the children of Canada.

Health Care
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Tony Martin Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, public health care is in crisis. There is a shortage of staff and beds, and millions of Canadians are without doctors.

In Sault Ste. Marie, 12 emergency physicians have warned they will withdraw their services as of April 1, citing unsafe patient conditions and too few doctors. The hospital CEO calls it the worst situation he has seen. This is happening coast to coast to coast.

Our party has campaigned for long term care and home care programs to help alleviate this hospital crisis. We have called for innovative solutions: a health care training fund to add 16,000 practitioners as quickly as possible; a national tracking and assessment authority; multidisciplinary teams, including nurse practitioners; retaining health care professionals; accommodating foreign trained workers; and helping students with financial relief.

Let us stop giving big business the corporate tax breaks that do not help Canadians and let us spend the money on health care.

Government Policies
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, my constituents of Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca have a few questions for the Conservative government.

Why have the Conservatives not implemented a national plan to address our health care workforce crisis, implement a national head start day care program for children, or roll out a plan to protect Canadian jobs and our economy from the storm clouds ahead?

Why has the government massively overspent, bringing our country to the edge of a deficit? Why has it shafted our navy, robbed pensioners of their hard-earned savings through the income trust fiasco, which is causing a massive sell-off of Canadian firms to foreign buyers?

Where is its plan to address substance abuse, or tackle organized crime, or remove interprovincial trade barriers, or in my riding provide the resources for the E&N Railway to run effectively, or for Victoria to have a light rail transit system?

Why has the new Conservative dictatorship trampled on the pillars of our democracy in Canada?

My electors in Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, indeed all Canadians, want to know.