House of Commons Hansard #75 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendment.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for York South—Weston.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Hockeyville 2008
Statements By Members

April 9th, 2008 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Denis Lebel Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the town of Roberval became the—

Hockeyville 2008
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member is not appropriately dressed. He must wear something else.

Now that is better. The hon. member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean.

Hockeyville 2008
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Denis Lebel Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the town of Roberval became the first town in Quebec to claim the title of Hockeyville in Canada.

This contest, organized by Kraft and the CBC, recognizes the country's best hockey town every year.

I would first like to congratulate the four other finalists and their organizing committees. But I would especially like to commend the town of Roberval, the wonderful team involved in the town on ice, the promoter of the town's bid, and all the volunteers.

Thanks to these remarkable men and women, who were undaunted by any challenges and unstinting with their time, the town on ice was successful in creating a sense of belonging and pride in community.

This is also a victory for the people of the Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean riding—my riding—and the entire Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean area. Thank you to everyone who voted for the town on ice.

I am proud that Roberval is now part of Canadian hockey history.

Vaisakhi
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday Kwantlen Park Secondary School held its annual Vaisakhi Mela and it was a pleasure to see all the families and friends, both young and old, who came out for this event.

This evening, the Surrey Board of Trade is holding its Catch the Spirit Vaisakhi event, which will also bring our community together for this special celebration.

Both lead to the biggest celebration of all, Surrey's Vaisakhi parade. More than 100,000 people are expected to line the streets of our community for the parade. They come to celebrate Canadian values: peace, tolerance, diversity, and respect for others.

I congratulate all the volunteers and community leaders. Year in and year out, they have made these celebrations the great success they are. It makes me proud to say that this is my community. Their dedication and their community spirit are truly an inspiration.

Senegalese Women
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the foreign affairs critic for Africa and Latin America and the deputy critic for the status of women, I rise today in this House to speak about the day of action against impunity for perpetrators of violence against women.

This year, women's groups are paying particular attention to Senegal, a western African country where women continue to be victims of a system that trivializes physical, sexual, psychological and economic abuse.

In a society where more than one-third of little girls are excised even today, the work for gender equality is far from over.

On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to applaud the work of women's groups which, despite constant attacks by the Conservative government, continue in their vital work towards gender equality.

Public Safety
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, last night the RCMP in Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories, peacefully ended an armed standoff.

If this had happened in the community of Gameti, Northwest Territories, there would have been no police to respond.

The reason there are no police in Gameti, Colville Lake, Wrigley or Sachs Harbour is that Ottawa does not provide fair funding based on the real cost of government programs and services in the north.

The Conservatives are continuing this tradition. In the NWT, the so-called police officers recruitment fund covers about 75% of the cost of one constable, three-quarters of a crime fighter.

The NWT's solicitor general says, “We're actually kind of disappointed at the allocation because it's based on a per capita, with just a small top-up to the territories”.

It should have been clear that more funding is needed after two officers were killed in the north. Just like the Liberals, the Conservatives talk a great line on the north but they will not walk the walk.

National Wildlife Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week is National Wildlife Week in Canada, a week to celebrate the diverse wildlife and beautiful landscapes in Canada from coast to coast to coast.

The Conservative government's dedication to the preservation and conservation of wildlife and protected areas is clear.

We have massively expanded the beautiful Nahanni National Park Reserve, created the Lake Superior national marine conservation area, and committed $30 million to protect the Great Bear rainforest, $3 million for the restoration of Stanley Park and $225 million for the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

This week, along with the Sahtu Dene First Nation, we announced a massive land withdrawal one and a half times the size of P.E.I., the Naats'ihch'oh National Park Reserve, at the headlands of the South Nahanni watershed.

Protecting and conserving our special places is a key cornerstone of the government's environmental policy. I encourage all Canadians to visit our magnificent spaces in the protected areas across our great nation.

Vimy Ridge
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was a year ago that Canada paused to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the triumphant yet tragic battle of Vimy Ridge.

Canadian schoolchildren at the Vimy Memorial in France witnessed the scale of the magnificently restored tribute and felt the scale of the sacrifice it represents. Here at home, at memorials across the country, the memory of those who fought at Vimy continues to bring pride, tears and inspiration even after four generations.

The mission Canadians accomplished at Vimy was more than the capture of a key summit. It captivated the nation and captured the respect of the world. Those who rose from the trenches 91 years ago today will forever rise in the memory of a grateful nation.

Vimy Ridge
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, 91 years ago today more than 27,000 Canadians went over the top and did what armies from other nations had failed to do, and that was to take Vimy Ridge from a determined enemy.

Thirty-six hundred Canadians paid the ultimate price in the four day battle and four Victoria Crosses for valour in the face of the enemy were awarded, two of them posthumously. On that day, it is said, Canada as a nation was born. It was born through the courage and sacrifice of our men in uniform.

In 91 years, many things have changed. What has not changed is the quality of the Canadian soldier, man and woman.

Today, another nation is being reborn, and that is the nation of Afghanistan. It is being reborn through the courage and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform. Let us all celebrate this significant date in Canada's proud history as a nation.

Whether on the muddy slopes of Vimy Ridge or in the searing dust of Kandahar, we and the world owe them so much. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, last night, the majority of the House adopted the motion of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women calling on the government to endorse the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on September 13, 2007. This declaration recognizes the right to self-determination of aboriginal peoples and their territorial rights to hunting and natural resources.

It was with the utmost respect for aboriginal peoples that my colleagues in the Bloc Québécois and I voted in favour of the motion. The only problem is that the Conservatives refuse to respect the will of the United Nations, thereby making Canada one of the only countries refusing to sign the declaration.

We are calling on the government to respect the will of the House and finally ratify the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Member for Bourassa
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, one of the members of this House, the Liberal member for Bourassa, once claimed to have seen a UFO. Interviewed on Radio-Canada, the member for Bourassa said that he had no doubt that he had seen a UFO.

He said, “One evening, I was out observing and an object appeared, floating in the air. The object was moving, but all of a sudden, it stopped...When it stopped, it stopped right in front of me, then it sped off in another direction. That is when I realized that it was an unidentified object.”

These days, every time a Quebecker sees a federal Liberal MP, they too think they have seen an unidentified object.

Sudan
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Glen Pearson London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this month I had the opportunity to travel across the country and meet with many Canadians to discuss the crisis in Sudan. I was touched by the incredible response that was shown and by the tremendous spirit of activism that exists in this country.

The Darfur conflict has changed radically in the past year, and not for the better. Violence is again increasing, access for humanitarian agencies is decreasing, international peacekeeping is not yet effective, and a political settlement remains far off.

By stepping up to the plate, my colleagues and friends from Halifax, Winnipeg, Whitehorse, Surrey and Vancouver were able to bring this issue forward and, with the incredible support of the university students' group STAND, were able to educate, motivate and inspire people to get angry and to get involved.

To all those who attended and lent their ears and voices, I humbly say thanks. I look forward to more successful forums on this in the near future.

Citizenship and Immigration
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition continues to fearmonger and play politics, this time on the issue of immigration.

Perhaps he should heed the words of his own deputy leader, who said, “...but I think I have to admit...that we did not get it done on immigration”.

That member is correct, because when his party was in office, it allowed the immigration backlog to balloon from 50,000 to over 800,000.

This backlog is unacceptable. It is not fair to immigrants who want to come to our country, nor to their families waiting for loved ones to join them, nor to the employers who want to hire skilled workers.

The government has allocated $109 million over five years to help reduce the backlog.

Last year, Canada welcomed close to 430,000 newcomers, the highest number in our history and the largest number of immigrants since 1911.

No leadership, no results to stand on and pro-backlog, that is the Liberal position. Leadership, results and pro-immigration, that is the Conservative position.

Native Women's Association of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting Beverley Jacobs, the head of the Native Women's Association of Canada.

Young indigenous women in Canada are five times more likely than all other women to die as the result of violence.

Racist and sexist stereotypes, poverty and the failure of police forces to understand and respect first nations communities have all contributed to the problem.

However, government studies recommending concrete measures to improve the lives of indigenous women gather dust on the shelves.

The Sisters in Spirit initiative is raising awareness and calling for measures to reduce violence against indigenous women.

Our government can act immediately to ensure that police thoroughly investigate all reports of missing women and girls and to provide adequate, stable funding to the front line organizations that provide services to help indigenous women and girls.

When will the government act to ensure the safety of indigenous women?