House of Commons Hansard #73 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was peoples.

Topics

Budget Implementation Act, 2008
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is always a challenge for social services during a downturn. There is no doubt about it.

Ironically, with this budget the Conservative government is actually reducing what we can get on a return for a charitable donation. Because the Conservatives have tied it to the income tax bracket, what has happened is that the for amount of money we give to charities we are going to get less back this year than we did last year. The government has not decoupled that. Basically what it is going to do to Canadians is that as we give to charity, we are going to get less back, so it is a double whammy.

I can say that when it comes to our city and area we also have been hurt by the thickening of the Canada-U.S. border. We have witnessed a loss in trade for some of the tourism as well as some of the other activities for which Americans came over to Canada. They would visit and partake not only in the lifestyles but also in commerce and social functions. That has actually put other charities at risk. That is a shame.

I have a private member's bill that actually looks at reforming the charitable tax act of Canada. I wish the government would adopt that as opposed to a general corporate tax cut, because that would put more money back in people's pockets and more money into charities and not for profit organizations such as the United Way and the VON, which do good work for Canadians as opposed to having that money sent overseas.

Budget Implementation Act, 2008
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

That will bring to an end the five minute question and comment period and bring us fortuitously to statements by members.

Immigration
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, our ability to attract the best and brightest from around the world is a great advantage for Canada, for our economy, and for our way of life, so I am glad that our government is taking great strides to get more skilled workers here sooner and reunite immigrant families faster.

When the Liberals were in office, Canada's immigration queue went from 50,000 to 800,000 people. Skilled workers and family members who would bring great advantage to Canada were facing a six year wait time and just giving up on Canada.

Again it is a Liberal problem we are going to fix, just like we cut the $975 Liberal landing fee in half and righted the historic wrong of the Chinese head tax.

Our government is acting to help newcomers succeed. We are going to reduce that backlog so more skilled workers and families can build a great future here in Canada.

10,000 Trees for the Rouge
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Lui Temelkovski Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, Sunday, April 27, marks the 19th anniversary of 10,000 Trees for the Rouge, a community initiative to reforest the Rouge Valley.

Covering 47 square kilometres in the eastern part of the greater Toronto area on lands that border the surrounding municipalities, including part of my riding, the Rouge Valley is an important green space in the most urbanized area of Canada. So far, the 10,000 Trees campaign has reforested over 140 acres of land.

Last year, 2,000 people volunteered to preserve the beauty of the Rouge through the planting of 5,000 trees. In previous years, my wife, children and I planted trees alongside many of my constituents.

This being one of the largest single-day tree planting initiatives in Canada, the volunteers for 10,000 Trees deserve our appreciation, recognition and many thanks.

Social Housing
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, after UNESCO, it falls to the Union des municipalités du Québec to denounce the social housing situation. In a news release, UMQ stresses the importance of increasing the amount of affordable housing for families, seniors and people with specific housing needs.

Building community housing not only improves housing conditions, but also, and above all, improves living conditions for low-income families.

The Union des municipalités du Québec points out how urgent it is that we construct this type of housing in urban areas. In urban areas, the less fortunate have more difficulties in finding adequate housing. By supporting social housing, we support the population in small municipalities.

It is imperative that the Conservative government use part of the CMHC surplus to build affordable social housing.

Chuck Bailey
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the most important thing a person can do is make a difference in the life of a child.

Chuck Bailey died on March 20 of this year after a lifetime of making a difference, dedicating more than 50 years to little league baseball as a pioneer of the Whalley Little League.

Chuck built a league that today is famous across the country. Over the years, he coached two Whalley teams to the Little League World Series and helped win 160 championships.

Chuck built more than a league. He built a family. Many of the youth he coached are themselves coaches today. In 2006 Chuck said:

I love the game. It's nice to see the smiles on the kids' faces. And when you see their tears you feel like crying too because they try so hard.

At Chuck's service, people wore their ball caps and jackets and afterward went to the ballpark, sat in the bleachers and ate hamburgers and smokies. How fitting.

I know Chuck will be with us when we throw out the first pitch of the 2008 little league season on Saturday, and we will all tip our hats to him.

Juno Awards
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, last night in Calgary, comedian Russell Peters hosted the 37th annual Juno Awards. This annual event celebrates the best in Canadian music, and do we ever have a lot to celebrate.

Whether an emerging artist or an international superstar, from this year's Hall of Fame inductees, Triumph, to last night's big winners, the artists honoured have one thing in common: they are talent we are proud to call Canadian.

The gathering of all these talented people on the same stage is eloquent testimony to the excellence of their work. The trophies awarded to these artists are undeniable proof of the public's appreciation of them.

I ask members to please join me in congratulating all Juno award winners, nominees and performers. May our Canadian music stars continue to shine brightly both at home and on the international scene.

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, last week the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations made a decision to reinstate David Ahenakew to its senate, in spite of his despicable and hateful remarks about Jews. The Minister of Indian Affairs appropriately expressed disappointment with the federation's decision to reinstate Mr. Ahenakew and stated that the government would be reviewing its funding commitments with the federation. The minister said:

The past comments by this person have been very hurtful and inappropriate and go against absolutely everything that this country stands for.

Past comments by many members of the government have been hateful, inappropriate and go against everything this House stands for, as we saw with one stunning story about the member for Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre regarding hateful comments he made about the gay community in 1991.

On Friday the government House leader said that he believes the matter is closed.

Why is there a double standard? As an article in the Regina Leader-Post put it:

At the end of the day, we must be consistent. We can't cherry pick our principles.

Health
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to stand in the House today to recognize World Health Day. This year's focus is on the adverse effects of climate change on human health.

This government understands that as a northern country Canada is particularly vulnerable to a changing climate. That is why we have invested $85.9 million in our new adaptation on climate change strategy. Under the strategy we will implement several new initiatives that will complement our Turning the Corner action plan that will aggressively combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

For 13 years the previous Liberal government failed every day. Let there be no doubt that on this World Health Day and every day this Conservative government is serious about improving the health and the environment of Canadians. I am proud to say that we are getting the job done.

Quebec Community Credit Network
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Réseau québécois du crédit communautaire is a network of 24 organizations from across Quebec. A good number of its clients are women and people under the age of 35. More than 50% of the clients of the organizations in this network have no jobs and even no income.

Community credit is an innovative way to meet the needs of the unemployed, of people receiving social assistance, and of low-income workers who want to take their place in society. Community credit does not simply fill the gap left by financial institutions. It is primarily a development resource that enables marginalized people to access funding for individual and group business projects, or for self-employment.

The Bloc Québécois would like to acknowledge community credit, which is part of solidarity financing in Quebec and is an indispensable complement to traditional types of financing.

Jake Warren
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour Mr. Jake Warren who passed away last Tuesday, and to recognize his long service to Canada.

Known as “Mr. Trade and Commerce”, Mr. Warren was one of Canada's most important public servants of the past four decades.

Mr. Warren served for our nation in World War II and then as a senior official in the public service. In 1964 Mr. Warren was appointed deputy minister of the Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce. He went on to serve as high commissioner to Britain, ambassador to the United States and as ambassador to the Tokyo round of the world trade negotiations.

Mr. Warren was instrumental in shaping Canada's most important trading partnership, our trade relations with the United States.

He received the Public Service Outstanding Achievement Award in 1975 and was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1982.

In recognition of his important contributions to Canada, I ask that all members of the House join me in paying tribute to this devoted servant of our beloved nation.

Health
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of World Health Day. This year's theme focuses on the protection of global health from the adverse effects of climate change.

The effects of climate change on human health are becoming increasingly clear. More and more people are dying from extreme weather events.

The variation, incidence and spread of diseases are more likely to be affected by changing weather patterns. These impacts disproportionately affect vulnerable populations, including the young, elderly, medically infirm, poor, and isolated people.

I therefore call on the government to become a proactive participant in efforts to address climate change in order to safeguard the health of our citizens.

Quebec City Armoury
Statements By Members

April 7th, 2008 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec City, a UNESCO designated world heritage site, has just suffered a terrible tragedy. Its historic armoury, an architectural jewel and guardian of the military tradition of the Voltigeurs, the oldest French-speaking unit in the Canadian army, was lost to fire during the night of April 4, 2008.

The armoury was built in 1887 and declared a national historic site in 1986. The loss of the armoury is a very serious matter for this government and we believe that heritage remains a key factor in the management of our nation's affairs.

I would like to commend the remarkable work of the brave firefighters who battled the flames and helped the members of the museum's conservation team ensure the safeguarding of over 90% of the artifacts.

This government recognizes the immeasurable value of this historic armoury and remains committed to action, whose ultimate aim will always be the protection and preservation of our national heritage.

Louis Harris
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, on March 22, 2008 at the age of 87 Louis Harris passed away peacefully. Mr. Harris was a proud Canadian who served in World War II with the Essex Scottish Regiment.

During his service in Normandy, Louis was injured when he was struck by shrapnel at multiple parts of his body, but was saved from greater harm as one piece was blocked by the book Jewish Thoughts, which his grandmother had given to him on his departure from home. It was tucked into his breast pocket for safe keeping.

When Louis returned he continued his service to Canada by volunteering all his life. As a member of the Royal Canadian Legion he was a founding member and past president of Branch 578, honorary life member of both the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars and was a recipient of many awards including the prestigious Palm Leaf.

Louis was a loyal member of CAW local 444 working to provide for his family and community.

Louis was married to Mary, née DesRosiers, for 61 years, and the cherished father of Linda, Bonnie, Pam, Wayne, the late David, Gale, Danny, Barbara and Patrick. He is also survived by his 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

My condolences to Mary and all the Harris family. I will miss Louis' smile, laugh and determined resolve to build a better world. He did his part through and true.

Community MicroSkills Development Centre
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Since 1984 the Community MicroSkills Development Centre has provided settlement, training, employment and self-employment services to newcomers with a focus on visible minorities, low income women and youth.

This non-profit charitable organization helps newcomers negotiate the labyrinth of regulations so that they can get their skills recognized. They also encourage people to participate in the community to advance the goals of social and economic equality.

May 22 will mark the 11th anniversary of the MicroSkills Annual Awards Gala which will celebrate women entrepreneurs, corporate partnership and leadership among women and youth.

I encourage all members of the House to join me in recognizing the vital role the MicroSkills organization plays in encouraging newcomers to become active participants and productive contributors to Canadian society.