House of Commons Hansard #78 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was appointments.

Topics

Judges Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I think the member is going to be sad that he asked about democratic procedures and the small little point he is making about an extra speaker when the government has been so bad, anti-democratic and so disastrous in its process.

I recall in the justice committee what a lack of justice there was in the process. Witness after witness would come to committee and say that a bill did not make any sense, that it had no foundation in law, would make Canada a more dangerous place, and yet the government would not even accept any of this advice. We might as well not have had committees.

I do not know if this is because they have a book that explains for their members how to stop committees. In the last couple of weeks, we have had discussions about the Conservatives and how they have cost Canadians hundreds of thousands of dollars. They have been stonewalling committees by going on and on. They have illegally walked out of committees to stop them just so they could not be investigated.

Judges Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member will still have eight minutes left for his questions and comments period.

We will now move on to statements by members. The hon. member for Edmonton East.

Richard Paré
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to honour the life and service of a proud Canadian, Mr. Richard Paré, retired Parliamentary Librarian, who passed away last Thursday at the age of 70.

I join with my fellow members of Parliament to acknowledge what Mr. Paré did to contribute to Canadian parliamentary democracy.

After serving as Associate Parliamentary Librarian for 14 years, Mr. Paré was appointed Parliamentary Librarian by the Prime Minister of Canada in 1994, serving in that position until his retirement in 2005. His extensive expertise in library information systems and services was a benefit to us all. He was the first francophone Chief Parliamentary Librarian, a fact in which he took great pride.

More than just a librarian, Mr. Paré was known throughout Parliament as a true gentleman. Today the library continues to impress with its tremendous services and efficiency, a true testament to Richard Paré's life's work.

Verna Bruce
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, this Friday Verna Bruce, a long serving and well respected federal public servant, will be retiring after 34 years of public service.

Ms. Bruce began her public service career with the government of Prince Edward Island in 1994. Competently rising through the ranks, Ms. Bruce had an impressive career with the provincial government including deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Treasury, Intergovernmental Affairs and Clerk of the Executive Council.

After 24 years with the province, Ms. Bruce joined Veterans Affairs Canada as associate deputy minister and served in the position of acting deputy minister. During the past 10 years, Ms. Bruce has provided impressive leadership to the many challenging and evolving issues facing Canada's veterans. Important veterans' policy issues did not get lost in changes of deputy ministers and ministers as Ms. Bruce provided continuity and leadership in the department.

Along with the demands and commitment required of her public service life, Ms. Bruce always found time to lend her talents to the volunteer community, especially those dedicated to the social welfare of children.

On behalf of all members, I wish to congratulate and thank Ms. Bruce for her dedication and commitment to public service, and wish her every success in her future endeavours.

Clos Saragnat
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Christian Barthomeuf and Louise Dupuis, cider producers from Frelighsburg in my riding.

The Clos Saragnat cider mill tied for this year's prize from Spain's Asturian cider foundation. The award is presented to individuals or businesses whose personal or commercial contribution has contributed to the evolution and promotion of cider in all its forms worldwide.

In 1989, Mr. Barthomeuf created and perfected the process involved in producing ice cider. He also planted the first vineyard in Dunham in 1979, and later those in Sutton and Frelighsburg.

Clos Saragnat decided to pursue an ecological, natural cultivation process, one that is adapted to the soil, environment and climate of the region.

Congratulations to these entrepreneurs from my riding.

Northwest British Columbia
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the northwest of British Columbia is a land of partnership and a deep collective spirit. For millennia people have worked with the environment and continue to hold true to that value today.

A coalition of first nations, commercial fishermen and sport fishermen, municipal and environment groups, and every day citizens joined together to fight the provincial and federal governments' plans for open net fish farms at the mouth of the Skeena. Friends of Wild Salmon fought alongside northerners and we won.

Even as we celebrate this victory, we must turn our attention to another threat. Shell's plans to drill for coal bed methane in the Sacred Headwaters bringing the threat of irreparable damage.

We are a hunting and fishing people. We work to be stewards of the land. Northerners will work with those companies willing to work with us, like Galore Creek and Blue Pearl Mining.

If not, we will unify. We will organize and we will defend our rivers and our way of life for future generations to come.

CFB Trenton
Statements By Members

April 14th, 2008 / 2 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Northumberland--Quinte West is the proud home of Canadian Forces Base Trenton, the hub of Canada's air force. Since the Conservative Party became the government there has been an unprecedented amount of investment at the base in Trenton. The frequent flights of Canada's new C-17s are a visual reminder of this.

Over the next 10 years the government will invest many millions of dollars into the base. The economic spinoffs are and will continue to be an economic boon for the entire region. Contracts have been let to businesses in Cobourg, Colborne, Trenton, Brighton, and there will be more to come.

CFB Trenton is a vital part of the community, and the thousands of military families and support staff are the backbone of our community. I am proud to represent them and all of the people of Northumberland—Quinte West, and proud to be a member of a government that recognizes the importance of protecting our sovereignty. We have placed a priority in rebuilding the Canadian Armed Forces which were shamefully neglected for far too long.

Geoffrey Pearson
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday hundreds of people gathered here in Ottawa to celebrate the life of Geoffrey Pearson.

A career diplomat and recipient of the Order of Canada, Geoffrey Pearson held many key posts at the Department of External Affairs, including ambassador to the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War and special representative for arms control under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

As the son of Nobel prize winning Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, Geoffrey Pearson established his own brand of diplomacy with an ambitious view of the role Canada plays in the international community. He served as the first executive director of the Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security and later as president of the United Nations Association of Canada.

A loving father and grandfather, Geoffrey Pearson leaves behind his wife, retired Senator Landon Pearson, his beloved children and grandchildren and, ultimately, a legacy that serves every Canadian around the world today.

National Victims of Crime Awareness Week
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, today marks the beginning of National Victims of Crime Awareness Week. This year's events revolve around the theme “Finding the Way Together”, a very appropriate theme which acknowledges that it takes the efforts of many people from all walks of life and throughout our communities to address victims issues.

During National Victims of Crime Awareness Week, people in communities across Canada will be getting out the message about what crime does to victims and what all of us can do to help victims more effectively.

Our government is committed to protecting Canada's citizens, but we cannot do it alone. Clearly, all of us must work together to help victims and to prevent crime and that is what National Victims of Crime Awareness Week is all about.

I would also like to recognize that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the first Canadian Statement of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime.

Canadians now have a government that cares about victims issues. This government will continue to stand up for the victims of crime and for their families.

Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday, to undermine opposition efforts to get things moving in the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, the member for Elgin—Middlesex—London finally resigned as chair of the committee.

In his letter of resignation, he goes on at length about a supposed “tyranny of the majority”, which he seems to be confusing with the democratic expression of the will of the majority of elected members of this House.

However, when the Chief Government Whip tells us to buckle under or else the Prime Minister will go to see the Governor General, that is tyranny. When the chair of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights vacates his chair to avoid holding a vote on a motion on the Cadman affair that is embarrassing to the government, that is tyranny. When the chair of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs resigns to avoid calling meetings and prevent us from shedding light on the Conservatives' irregular election spending, that is tyranny. When the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons makes barely veiled threats that “there will be consequences”, that is tyranny.

Bloc Québécois
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc is trying every way possible to take credit for the Conservative government's accomplishments. The Bloc's inconsistency is certainly not in the interest of Quebec. In fact, at 18 years of age, when it should be mature, the Bloc is still going through adolescence: it yells, it contradicts itself and it tries to advance its own agenda when it is in fact at the mercy of its head office. The Bloc would like to prove its relevance here, in Ottawa, but it will never have significant influence.

Our Conservative government recognizes the nation of Quebec within a strong and united Canada. The Conservative caucus of Quebec has been working day after day, month after month, for over two years now, on such things as respect for Quebec, UNESCO, the fiscal imbalance, providing $350 million for Quebec's green plan, resolving the softwood lumber dispute, support for farmers, support for supply management and the reopening of the military college in Saint Jean.

The Bloc Québécois is as powerless as ever on its perpetual opposition benches. In the next election, Quebeckers will choose the winning team: the Conservative team.

Municipal Property Taxes
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, homeowners in Mississauga and around the country are bracing for massive property tax increases as the federal government continues to shortchange the future of Canada's cities.

The latest estimates show that homeowners will pay thousands more in property taxes over the next decade to rebuild roads, transit, waste management, and other municipal infrastructure that are the essential bodily functions of a growing economy.

In Mississauga the bill will work out to $100 per resident per year, adding over $300 to the average property tax bill. This is the end of the road for Canada's cities. Property taxes will have to rise unless the federal government rises to the occasion and finally commits to funding the infrastructure our economy is built on.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party's inability to articulate clear policy on virtually any issue is evident by the number of flip-flops made by the leader and his party.

The Liberals' pattern of behaviour is becoming all too familiar. First, they criticize the government's policy initiatives, and then they turn around and support the good work of our government.

The Liberals have criticized a number of our government's policy initiatives, too many to name, but I will showcase a few.

During the Afghanistan debate on extending the mission, the Liberal leader changed his mind as often as he changed his shirt. On the important issue of the budget, the Liberals attacked it, only to turn around and let it pass. Just recently on immigration reforms, after a few days of criticizing our initiatives, the Liberals voted in favour of them.

With the number of flip-flops reaching close to 100, it is no surprise Canadians are confused about where the Liberals stand.

Our government was elected to stand up for Canada and that is what we are doing.

Homelessness
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Dawn Black New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week the Social Planning and Research Council released the homeless count for metro Vancouver.

To say that the results were devastating is an understatement. Across the Lower Mainland, homelessness increased by 19% over the last three years, in New Westminster, 53%, in the tri-cities, a whopping 157%.

There is something fundamentally wrong with this picture. The numbers have increased in B.C. since 2001 and continue to rise. Not since the Great Depression have we seen a crisis like this.

The Conservative government is failing its people. There was a lot of back-slapping in Ottawa over the announcement of $148,000 for a homelessness strategy. Yet the reality for ordinary folks in B.C. is that this money is less than one-quarter of the cost of a family home in Coquitlam.

We do not need more strategies. We need housing. The government is failing, and we see the results of that failure under every bridge and on every street corner in metro Vancouver.

Louise Arbour
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Omar Alghabra Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour to rise in the House to recognize an extraordinary Canadian. Louise Arbour was the first francophone ever appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal.

Renowned for her courage, she relentlessly pursued justice and dignity as chief prosecutor for both Rwanda's and Yugoslavia's international tribunals.

In 1999 Louise Arbour was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada. In 2004 Ms. Arbour became the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

During her tenure she spoke with clarity about the responsibilities governments have toward their citizens. She has always been a strong advocate for civil and political rights and did not spare despots or democracies when making her point.

Ms. Arbour led the world in exposing problematic practices in Darfur, Zimbabwe, China, Sri Lanka, the Middle East and the United States, to name a few.

Louise Arbour has shown the world the best of what Canada stands for. We hope that we will see even more from her.

On behalf of all Canadians, I want to thank Ms. Arbour for her brilliant record of public service to Canada and the world.