House of Commons Hansard #77 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was port.

Topics

Darfur
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Sunday, April 13, we mark the Global Day for Darfur, a call to action originally conceived by a group of NGOs working on ending Darfur's horrors.

The number of dead from genocidal violence and now starvation, a genocide by attrition, may be approaching half a million. Victims of the conflict continue to be displaced at a rate of 30,000 per month. Two-thirds of Darfur's population of 6.5 million is in desperate need. This year's Global Day for Darfur focuses on the brutalized and starving children, often orphaned.

The Liberal opposition believes Darfur must become an international priority and the Harper government cannot continue sitting on the sidelines--

Darfur
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Darfur
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

Order. The hon. member for Verchères—Les Patriotes.

Sainte-Julie
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, the residents of Sainte-Julie are happy people. I have often noted this, as my duties take me there regularly. But now we have the relative happiness index confirming that the people of Sainte-Julie are the happiest people in Quebec. This is wonderful.

Its citizens love living there, no doubt because it is children- and family-oriented. It is a wonderfully successful community.

Its new distinction, I am convinced, will have a ripple effect on the entire Lajemmerais RCM and surrounding area. And in fact, while launching Grand Airs, a summer festival that takes over his town, the mayor of Varennes said he hopes his citizens will one day be able to claim the title currently enjoyed by their neighbour.

When presenting the award to Sainte-Julie mayor Suzanne Roy, Pierre Côté said that all the top-ranking cities and towns, including Repentigny, are run by women. Coincidence or not, congratulations to those women of action and to everyone who spreads happiness throughout Quebec.

Darfur
Statements By Members

April 11th, 2008 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the eve of the Global Day for Darfur, we all need to be aware of the conflict raging in the Darfur region of Sudan.

The region is in the throes of a conflict pitting the Sudanese government against militia groups. But it is civilians whose basic rights have been violated who are suffering the most. Already, more than 300,000 people have died and 2.5 million have been displaced, forced out of their homes with only the clothes on their backs.

Three and a half million Darfuris still depend on international aid to survive. The UN has described the situation in Darfur as the “worst humanitarian crisis in the world today”.

The attacks on Darfur must stop immediately so that aid missions can resume and the suffering can finally end.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, whether it is leading the new NATO consensus on Afghanistan, defending our Arctic sovereignty, not letting foreign big polluting countries jeopardize our made in Canada climate change plans, or protecting Canada's national interest in strategic industries, Canadians can count on the Conservative government to defend our national interests at home and abroad.

Contrast this demonstrated leadership from our Prime Minister and the Conservative Party with the lack of leadership Canadians are seeing from the Liberal Party and its so-called leader. The Liberals have no policy. Just the other day the Liberals' deputy leader was contradicting his boss on what should be the most important priorities for Canadians.

The Liberals have no vision for our country. They have made over 33 reckless spending promises, which would bring the country into over $62.5 billion in debt and deficit. On top of that, they have proposed GST increases that would raise the GST up to 12%.

While the Liberals have no policy, no vision and no leadership, Canadians are happy to see them supporting our policy, our vision, our leader and our party, the Conservative Party of Canada.

Multiculturalism
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to today's Ottawa Citizen, the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism was quoted as saying the following at a party meeting some time ago, and I am quoting from what he is supposed to have said in this conversation, a quote that is directly attributed to him:

Now, this notion that there's somebody tied to the Heritage Front on the executive. How do we know that and how do we know that this isn't overheated Sikhs using the race card, which they so often do when their credentials are being questioned?

My question for the Secretary of State is this: did he in fact use these words in a conversation and does he feel that these comments are appropriate?

Multiculturalism
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question and the opportunity to respond. I did use those remarks in a particular context and I do not think they were appropriate. I expressed regret at the time. I do so again.

I think it is unfortunate that a particular media outlet and now the official opposition are resorting to using eight year old material from Canada's version of the National Enquirer, called Frank magazine, for question period material. I have never seen that happen in the past 10 years here.

However, I will say this. I have devoted much of my time in public life to promoting the active involvement of Canadians from diverse backgrounds in our political institutions. I am proud of my record in that respect.

Multiculturalism
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would just observe that members opposite have used at least 30 year old material against many of us on this side, so I think the minister can hardly complain.

I want to say to the Secretary of State that of course on this side we accept his apology, but I want to ask him if he can explain a pattern that we see, a pattern in which things are said behind closed doors that are very different from what is said in public, a pattern in which things caught on tape or caught on microphone unexpectedly are very different from the public statements that ministers say and do. How can he explain that pattern when it so clearly runs against the stated positions of his government?

Multiculturalism
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, in part by referring to our actions, and I would point out, for instance, that this comment relates to the 2000 election campaign, which I co-chaired. I am proud of the fact that the campaign had more visible minority candidates, more candidates of south Asian origin and indeed more Sikh candidates than did the Liberal Party.

Speaking about off the record remarks, here is one from 1992, when a Liberal organizer told the Toronto Star that while the Sikh community had “the ability to sway nominations in up to 14 Metro ridings, it could have only two candidates”. Perhaps the member could explain why the Liberal Party's actions do not comport with its members' words.

Multiculturalism
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I anticipated a heartfelt response from the minister and what we get is the same old, same old from the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism, in which he uses 16 year old comments to try to match what he himself said.

My question for the secretary of state is very simple. He said, “Now, this notion that there's somebody tied to the Heritage Front on the executive. How do we know that and how do we know that this isn't overheated Sikhs...?”

He spoke about overheated Sikhs and today he is still accusing us. Will—

Multiculturalism
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

I am sorry to have to interrupt the hon. member for Toronto Centre.

The hon. Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity).

Multiculturalism
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Calgary Southeast
Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, as I said, I have expressed my regret for those comments made eight years ago.

But forget about 17 years ago or 8 years ago. Four years ago, another secretary of state for multiculturalism said the following:

The Chinese community is very different from the Indo-Canadian community. The Chinese community are much more objective. No one can force them, or lure them, or cheat them into signing a membership form.

Who said that? The member for Richmond.

Canadian Heritage
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, which is currently studying Bill C-10, declared that the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages told him that she detested the bill in question. She detests it.

Can the minister tell us why she is forced to defend a bill that she detests? Is it simply because she is afraid of her boss?

Canadian Heritage
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I can understand exactly why the minister is frustrated. This is a bill that was initiated originally by a Liberal minister, Sheila Copps. The provisions were then reinstated by subsequent Liberal governments. When it came to a vote in this House, those members over there all supported it and now they say they are adamantly opposed.

It is the exact same pattern as their opposition this week in which they said they were adamantly opposed to our immigration reforms. They were so adamantly opposed to them that they voted for them on Thursday. Thanks very much. I can understand why the minister is frustrated, as Canadians are, by trying to figure out where the Liberal Party stands on any issue.