House of Commons Hansard #67 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was equality.

Topics

Zimbabwe
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada is concerned that conditions on the ground in Zimbabwe will not allow for free and fair elections that respect fundamental human rights at the upcoming national election on March 29.

We note the lack of a free media, state imposed restrictions on the freedom of speech, assembly and association, and the use of force by the police against the political opposition.

At the last minute Zimbabwe invited some countries and international organizations to observe and monitor the elections, but only those that were expected to provide a positive assessment. Canada was not invited, nor was any international organization of which Canada is a member.

Canada is concerned about the prospect for violence in Zimbabwe during the period surrounding the election. Canada calls on the government of Zimbabwe to ensure that all human rights are respected.

St. Patrick's Day
Statements by Members

March 14th, 2008 / 11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, traditionally March 17 is St. Patrick's Day, a day to recognize the contribution of the Irish community to Quebec's development, among other things. The traditional St. Patrick's Day parade through the streets of Montreal will be held on the eve of St. Patrick's Day, on March 16. The parade will go on rain or shine or whatever mother nature brings. Year after year, this parade all in the colour of Ireland, green, draws large crowds. The second largest parade in Quebec will be held in Rawdon, in my riding, which is home to a large Irish community.

As we know, during the 19th century, the Irish massively fled Ireland, which was devastated by famine and disease, to start their lives over. Many of them settled in Montreal. They have greatly contributed to the development of that city with their vitality, courage, joie de vivre and traditions.

This is why I encourage everyone to come out and take part in any of the various activities scheduled across Quebec to mark St. Patrick's Day.

Government Policies
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we rise today, after a productive winter session, it is worth recapping the many accomplishments of this government under the strong leadership of our Prime Minister.

Canadian families are safer today, thanks to the Tackling Violent Crime Act, an act that imposes mandatory minimum sentences on gun criminals, will keep repeat violent and sexual offenders behind bars and protect children by raising the age of sexual consent from 14 to 16 years of age. This passed with the help of the Leader of the Opposition and the Liberals.

The Canadian economy is now on a responsible and prudent course, as budget 2008 has passed and we have a balanced budget that pays down more than $10 billion of debt and which provides Canadians with a powerful new way to save through tax-free savings accounts. This budget passed, thanks to the help of the Leader of the Opposition and the Liberals.

The Canadian Forces serving in Afghanistan now have the clear support of Parliament. A consensus motion extending the military mission in Afghanistan to 2011 was passed last night, thanks to the help of the Leader of the Opposition and the Liberals.

The Conservative government announced a real greenhouse gas reduction plan, the first to ever include mandatory emission reduction targets, and an NDP environmental motion declaring non-confidence in the Conservative government was defeated with the help--

Government Policies
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Hull--Aylmer.

André Manseau
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today with sadness to mark the tragic death of André Manseau, a young volunteer firefighter in Val-des-Monts.

André Manseau had dreamed since childhood of becoming a firefighter. He had been with the municipal fire department for barely six months. Although he was just 18 years old, André Manseau was very mature for his age. He died tragically, doing what he had always wanted to do, which was help others.

The people of the Outaouais are in mourning. We have lost a member of our rescue team, the people we count on and place our greatest trust in. We respect and admire these people for their courage and determination.

I invite all my colleagues to join me in extending our heartfelt sympathies to the family, colleagues and friends of young firefighter André Manseau, who died in the line of duty. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

Tackling Violent Crime Act
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we prepare to rise, after an extremely productive winter session, I would like to take a moment to reflect on one of the very significant things we have accomplished for Canadians.

As my colleague has stated, Canadian families are now safer due to the passage of the Tackling Violent Crime Act. This Conservative act will impose mandatory minimum sentences on gun criminals, keep repeat violent and sexual offenders behind bars, and protect children by raising the age of sexual consent from 14 to 16 years old, is now law.

Kitchener--Conestoga residents asked me to represent them on these very issues and it is gratifying to see that results were delivered on their behalf, with the help of the Liberals and the Senate who helped pass this Conservative act.

The Conservative government wants to wish all Canadians a safe and happy Easter break.

Queen Street Community in Toronto
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, this month alone, the Conservative government has taken the wrong direction on climate change, extended the war in Afghanistan and offered no solution for the doctor shortage or help for our cities to prosper.

However, despite the depressing scene on Parliament Hill, Torontonians are working together and taking action. On February 20, a massive six-alarm blaze destroyed 14 addresses in a historic part of Queen Street West in downtown Toronto. Some 20 families were made homeless, dozens made unemployed and shops, some in business since 1914, were destroyed.

However, Toronto's spirit of generosity and our engaged community came together to raise money, put on benefits, donate clothing and furniture, and help the people affected by this devastating fire.

The Queen Street community's unique spirit, dynamic activism, diversity and talent is what makes it so special. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers and the local councillors in making the rebuilding of people's lives and these historic buildings possible.

I want to urge all members to help out and--

Queen Street Community in Toronto
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Beauséjour.

National Francophonie Week
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, I invite all my colleagues to join me in celebrating national francophonie week.

Our country was founded on two great international languages and French is in the spotlight this week.

The French language is more than just a tool of daily communication for us; it is our link to millions of francophones throughout the world. Our ideals of peace, justice and prosperity are strengthened by our membership in this great global francophone family.

Across the country, particularly in Acadia, a region I proudly represent in this House, francophones are inviting their fellow citizens to celebrate the French language with them. This is especially true in schools, where the Association canadienne d'éducation de langue française has developed a variety of activities for teachers to present to their students.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful national francophonie week.

Ottawa Film Festival
Statements by Members

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Ottawa film festival will be held from March 14 to 21, 2008, chaired by Lucie Laurier. Some 50 films from 17 countries will be showcased during the festival.

Things will kick off with a screening of Caramel, a dramatic comedy by Nadine Labaki. The festival's founder, Didier Farré, has selected Florent Emilio Siri's drama, L'ennemi intime/Intimate Enemies, to close the festival.

A gala celebrating the festival's 10th anniversary will begin with a screening of The Counterfeiters, which won the Oscar for best foreign film. The Quebec film industry will be in the spotlight with Continental, a film without guns , Tout est parfait/Everything is Fine, Les 3 p'tits cochons and many other films.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues and I congratulate the organizers and volunteers, and we invite everyone to come out and participate.

Long live the Ottawa film festival!

Ethics
Statements by Members

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, in just two years, the Conservative Party has gone from rhetoric and bluster about accountability to stories of shadowy Conservative operatives working on behalf of the Prime Minister, offering financial inducements to a man suffering from terminal cancer so that he would overturn a democratically elected government.

I cannot help but look across the aisle at my colleagues from the Conservative Party and wonder where it all went wrong. It must be disheartening to those sitting on the government benches.

So much for ideals and so much for promises they made to their constituents. Instead, they watch and listen every day to the changing story of the Prime Minister, the same Prime Minister whose voice was recorded, the same Prime Minister who said that financial considerations were on the table.

Mulroney had Fred, the Prime Minister has Flanagan and Finley, all F's, not very good grades, not good at all.

Government of Ontario
Statements by Members

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, Dalton McGuinty did two things upon taking office. First, he hammered the middle class with the biggest tax increase in Ontario history, the McGuinty health tax. Second, he raised taxes on Ontario businesses, targeting them and making them less competitive.

Because of McGuinty's regime in this province, Ontario has the highest tax on new business investment anywhere in the developed world.

Dalton McGuinty never met a tax he did not hike and, make no mistake, these high taxes kill Ontario jobs.

However, it is never too late to do the right thing. Mr. McGuinty has a budget coming up this month and we would encourage him to do what we have done at the federal level, which is cut taxes for investors, entrepreneurs and their workers. I ask him to liberate our economy, let the eagle out of the bird cage and let us build our economy on low tax and high competitiveness.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister again tried to dodge that damaging tape that caught him talking knowledgeably about an offer to Chuck Cadman. He has admitted in the House that it was indeed his voice mentioning the offer to Chuck to replace financial considerations by people legitimately representing the party.

However, yesterday, for the first time, the Prime Minister claimed that the tape had been tampered with. If that is true, why did it take over two weeks to say so, and will he table the complete unedited tape in the House right now?

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals keep changing their story but the facts remain the same.

First, the Liberals said that there was a meeting on May 17, 2005. They were wrong. The Liberals said that we offered Chuck Cadman a $1 million life insurance policy and that was false. The Liberals said that Chuck Cadman was not going to run again and that was false. The Liberals asserted that I was somehow involved in organizing a meeting and that was, of course, false.

The Liberals claim outrage but they have had this story for well over a year and yet they continue to ask questions. If they were really sincere about their outrage, they would have asked these questions long ago.

As the Prime Minister has said, when this issue goes to court all the facts will be on the table and the Liberal Party will be sorry for it.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary answers everything but the question.

The tape is from author Tom Zytaruk. He made it public. Dona Cadman and her family stand by their statements that Conservatives did make an offer to deal with their financial insecurity. That is consistent with the tape.

If it is all false, why is the Prime Minister not suing the source of the allegations, Mr. Zytaruk and the Cadmans? Is it not true that his political lawsuit against the official opposition and now this tale about a tampered tape are all a desperate dodge to avoid confronting the Prime Minister's very own words?