House of Commons Hansard #72 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was years.

Topics

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, as we commemorate the death of Martin Luther King Jr., we remember. “I have a dream”, he said.

At a time when many people prefer to focus on what sets us apart instead of what brings us together, at a time when many people are being left out in the cold not because they lack qualifications, but because they are the wrong colour or have the wrong name, we need to keep Martin Luther King's dream alive for the good of our country.

Access to work commensurate with a person's qualifications is vital to the development of our society and our country. We all have a personal responsibility to help make this happen.

Mr. Speaker, I too have a dream.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. As a political leader, he formed a lesson for us all, of what it is to have a dream and to sacrifice on behalf of that dream.

During the course of his political life, Dr. King was firebombed, stabbed, threatened, harassed by his own government and eventually tragically assassinated. We must all learn to act against injustice wherever we see it. We must, as political leaders, have the courage of our convictions and fight on behalf of others, not ourselves.

King's legacy was that we all must bring our nation together and not separate it along lines of region, race or religion. To quote Dr. King:

If physical death is the price I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from the permanent death of the spirit, then nothing could be more redemptive.

We all owe Dr. King a great honour.

Israel
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, today a Canadian delegation, including constituents of mine, was the target of deliberate sniper fire while visiting Sderot, an Israeli town that I recently visited, which has endured seven years of relentless rocket attacks, targeting schools, synagogues, playgrounds and day care centres, with the objective of killing Jews because they are Jews.

Indeed, more than 1,000 rockets have been launched in the first three months of this year alone, a double war crime whereby Palestinian terrorists deliberately target Israeli civilians while shielding themselves behind Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Sderot is the only community in the world today that is a standing target of relentless terrorist attacks. As a mother told me, a child learns “red alert”, the alarm notice, before even the words “mommy” or “daddy”. Why should anybody anywhere have to live under this terrorism and trauma?

Tragically, the international community remains indifferent and silent. Why has there not been one single condemnation by any international UN agency of these daily war crimes?

We know the surest way to ensure that evil will triumph in the world is for enough good people to do nothing. Let Parliament speak, the international community act and let this culture of impugnity end.

2009 Memorial Cup
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I join with my colleague, the Bloc Québécois candidate in the riding of Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, Claude Guimond, and all my fellow MPs in congratulating the City of Rimouski on being selected to host the 2009 Memorial Cup tournament.

Hockey is recognized the world over as Quebec's national sport. Men and women, boys and girls of all ages are involved in it and passionate about it.

We also want to congratulate the Quebec cities of Shawinigan and Saguenay for being selected as candidates to host the prestigious Memorial Cup tournament.

The Bloc Québécois wishes the City of Rimouski and all the organizers and participants good luck.

Parkinson's Awareness Month
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, April is Parkinson's Awareness Month, a time to join together to raise awareness and funds to help fight this debilitating disease.

Parkinson's disease affects more than 100,000 Canadians and, by association, another half million, their loved ones.

Over the next 20 years, it is projected that the number of people diagnosed with Parkinson's will increase twofold.

We must do everything in our power to better understand this terrible disease by supporting research efforts and helping those who are suffering, and those who are taking care of them, through support services and awareness campaigns.

We must also acknowledge the tireless efforts of researchers who are working so hard to determine the cause of Parkinson's and who are working toward a cure.

I encourage all members of the House and all Canadians to support their local awareness campaigns not only this month, but whenever possible, in the hopes of finding a cure for this devastating disease.

Sponsorship Program
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians will not easily forget the biggest scandal in Canada's history, the Liberal sponsorship scandal. They will not forget the money that was taken from them. Canadians elect public officials with the understanding that they will manage taxpayer money with the utmost care.

As much as the Liberals hope that this will just quietly go away, this affair is not over. This issue will not go away until those who took advantage of their position of power for their personal and partisan benefit have been held accountable for their shameful actions.

Today, the media reports that Canadian taxpayers will be getting some of their money back. Eric Lafleur, son of Jean Lafleur and a former ad man whose company received $10 million in sponsorship subcontracts, is being forced to pay back $150,000. That is good news, but this is just a small portion.

When will Canadians see the rest of the money that was taken from them? Why has the Liberal leader not encouraged those who received sponsorship money to pay it back to the taxpayers? When will we find out what happened to the $40 million.

Human Rights
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the hateful, offensive words of the member for Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre demonstrate a prejudice that is unacceptable for an officer of the House of Commons.

Will the Prime Minister show leadership and relieve the member of his responsibility as parliamentary secretary to the government House leader?

Human Rights
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, the comments that were made on the tape 17 years ago, which came to light yesterday, were unacceptable and inappropriate. We had from the parliamentary secretary involved a very genuine, heartfelt and sincere apology yesterday and a further one just before we began members' statements today in the House.

We accept that the apology is genuine and it is sincere. It is clear that the member does not hold those views, and we believe the matter at this point is closed.

Human Rights
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the hateful and offensive comments were unacceptable for an officer of this House.

Will the Prime Minister show some leadership and relieve the member of his responsibilities as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons?

Human Rights
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, there is no room in our country for intolerant comments of the type that were reflected in the statement as seen on the tape. This is certainly the view of this government, that such comments are unacceptable. This is also the view of the parliamentary secretary in a very forthcoming, full and genuine apology that he has offered to the House, to members of the gay and lesbian community and to all Canadians.

We believe that the apology is sincere and genuine. We are satisfied that the member does not hold those views. As a result, we believe this matter is closed.

Human Rights
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the member was 40 years old when he made these hateful remarks. Allowing the member to remain an officer of the House of Commons debases this institution.

Does the Prime Minister realize that his tepid response to these hateful remarks against gays and Canadians suffering from AIDS tells Canadians that hate, bigotry and prejudice are just fine in his Canada?

Human Rights
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, quite clearly those kinds of comments are inappropriate and unacceptable, even in the social context where they occurred. Even 17 years ago they were unacceptable. That is something the parliamentary secretary himself spoke to today in his apology and indicated that this would be no justification or excuse whatsoever.

We believe they are inappropriate, and I think all members of the House share those sentiments.

Human Rights
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, when Reform whip Bob Ringma said that he believed employers should be able to fire gays and visible minorities, he was kicked out.

When Reform MP David Chatters said that gays should not be allowed to teach in schools, he was shown the door.

When Alliance MP Larry Spencer wished for a bill making homosexuality illegal, out he went.

Will the Prime Minister admit that his new party's standards are now lower than both the Reform Party and the Canadian Alliance?

Human Rights
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, the parliamentary secretary in question made a quick, complete, unequivocal apology for his remarks. He has recognized that they are unacceptable and inappropriate.

Human Rights
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the comments by the member for Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre are not more acceptable because they were made years ago. When the Prime Minister wanted to get rid of Alan Riddell, he brought out a photo of Mr. Riddell dressed up as a Nazi officer. The photo had been taken 25 years earlier.

Will the Prime Minister acknowledge that he and his party will always be influenced by intolerance?