House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

Gasoline Prices
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member for Don Valley West, in supporting a carbon tax, says we cannot fight climate change and have cheap gas. That is easy to say for someone who had the good fortune to attend both Upper Canada College and Oxford University, someone who worked as the editor of the Financial Post, and served in the federal cabinet. But this demonstrates just how elitist and out of touch the Liberal Party has become.

The Liberal Party may believe that high gas prices are a good thing, but they eat away at the standard of living of ordinary Canadians: the trucker, the farmer, the commuter, the small business owner, all of whom depend on driving for their livelihood.

Many rural residents in my riding depend on buses to transport their children to and from school daily. Without question, this proposed Liberal tax will impact even education costs. It is an insult that the party of privilege would support a sweeping and regressive tax that would disproportionately negatively impact ordinary Canadians.

Shame.

Health
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend in St. Vital I participated in two extremely important events to raise funds and awareness for two very different but very devastating diseases.

The first was a community barbecue to raise money for Crohn's and colitis. This disease is particularly devastating because it hits at a very young age; mostly in the teens. It affects the digestive system and causes the intestinal tissue to become inflamed, form sores and bleed easily.

The second event was a walk for lupus at St. Vital Park. Lupus is an autoimmune disease where something goes wrong with the immune system so that it makes antibiotics attack the person's own tissues. Women develop lupus up to 10 times more than men and it occurs in women between the ages of 15 and 45.

I would like to congratulate all the wonderful volunteers who got involved to put a dent in these life altering diseases. I would also like to thank Crohn's victims Jason Brown and René DeMoissac for their insight and courageous work. It was also great walking with Kendra Gaede, a lupus victim with remarkable determination.

We can all make a difference and we should all be doing everything in our power to annihilate these crippling diseases.

Bloc Québécois
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, one year ago today we might have thought that the Bloc leader finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel when he promised to return to the fold in order to “kick the PQ's butt”. He was rejected by headquarters and before he could even get to Trois-Rivières he was already back in Ottawa. The Ottawa-Quebec City return trip has never been so quick.

The leader of the Bloc decided to keep collecting his federal pay, and what did the Quebec nation get? Nothing.

For 18 years, Bloc MPs have been doing nothing but talk. They do not present legislative measures that become law. They do not draft any budgets. They do not make any investments. The Bloc struts about Quebec empty handed, simply to create division, with the sole purpose of justifying its presence in Ottawa.

Today, the permanent leader of the Bloc will rise to ask questions on an imaginary scandal, to try to tarnish this government, because the Bloc has no leadership, no consistent policy and no reason to be in Ottawa.

Arthur Kroeger
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we mourn the passing of a dedicated public servant and great Canadian. Arthur Kroeger passed away last Friday surrounded by his loved ones.

In 1958, following studies at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, Mr. Kroeger joined the Department of External Affairs, thus beginning a public service career that spanned five decades.

From 1993 until 2002, he served as the Chancellor of Carleton University, which is now home to the Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs; a tribute to his enduring efforts to promote the ideals of civic involvement in young Canadians.

Known as the “dean of deputies”, he always remained true to his pledge of public service.

In 2006, he wrote Hard Passage: A Mennonite Family's Long Journey from Russia to Canada , a book that helps understand the formidable strength of character that forever inhabited Arthur Kroeger.

Our country has lost an outstanding citizen.

I know all members of this House will join me in offering our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, one thing we can agree on in this House is that anti-Semitism must be stopped because it is an attack on all Jews and it is a barometer of hatred against all minorities.

We are united in our opposition to anti-Semitism and we need to be united in our efforts to stop it.

The last thing we need is a Prime Minister who alleges anti-Semitism among members of Parliament. What we really need is leadership, the kind that addresses growing anti-Semitism in Canada, which is up 11% this year.

We need the kind of leadership shown by citizens of Israel, whose pride in their 60th anniversary and confidence in their right to exist as a state does not prevent differences of opinion about their government or the peace process.

We need the kind of leadership that governments used to build from our strength not divide on the basis of any elements that seek to destroy our society.

Chrysotile
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is joining the Chrysotile Institute, the United Steelworkers and Quebec's Mouvement PROChrysotile to denounce the NDP position on banning chrysotile.

This position does not take into account recent studies on the safe use of chrysotile. The NDP does not have the necessary expertise to take the place of the expert committee set up by Health Canada. Union representatives believe that the NDP did not take into account the work of the Chrysotile Institute and the worker's movement to respect the Geneva Convention and promote the safe use of chrysotile. The NDP has simply dismissed the jobs related to this industry. The Bloc Québécois is asking the government to implement the unanimous report of the international trade subcommittee recommending that it adopt a chrysotile policy based on information, promotion and safe use.

That is another example of how only the Bloc Québécois understands and is defending the interests of hundreds of workers in the Asbestos and Thetford Mines regions.

Atlantic Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence are in Halifax today.

Now those are two guys with a long history and a lot to answer for in Atlantic Canada.

A “culture of defeat” is the way the Prime Minister described Atlantic Canada and Atlantic Canadians.

However, Atlantic Canadians are not being defeated by the Prime Minister. Let us take the member for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley who stood up to the Prime Minister and showed hm that Atlantic Canadians were not as easily defeated as the Prime Minister would like.

Tracy Parsons, soon to be our Liberal candidate in that riding, would agree. She is yet another former Progressive Conservative who sees nothing progressive about the Conservatives.

The governing Conservatives do not understand Atlantic Canada, as highlighted by the trashing of the Atlantic accord and the frantic cover-up, trying to convince Nova Scotians that this deal was as good as the Atlantic accord.

We want what we had: the Atlantic accord. In fact, when the next election rolls around, the words “culture of defeat” may only apply to Conservative candidates in Atlantic Canada.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

May 12th, 2008 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently the member for Ottawa South said that his party's internal debate over biofuels was over and that the Liberals would vote in favour of Bill C-33, but then, on the same day, his colleague from Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca said that the measure should be defeated.

Canadians are mystified about the Liberals' inability to take a stand on the renewable fuels industry.

Our Conservative Party is the only party that stands for renewable fuels, even though during the last campaign everyone was for it.

Biofuels are good for farmers, good for the rural economy, good for the environment and good for Canadians. When people, such as farmers, truckers, and ordinary Canadians, are struggling with high fuel costs, the Liberals are only interested in taxing fuel another 50¢ or 60¢ a litre.

High taxes, extravagant spending and pulling its support for agriculture is the culture and the opposition's strategy but it is certainly not what Conservatives believe in.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, under previous governments, Canada invented and promoted the doctrine of the responsibility to protect at the United Nations. That doctrine holds that when a country is unable or unwilling to protect its own people, other countries have a responsibility to step in.

I have a simple question for the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Does the government still support the doctrine of the responsibility to protect and does it believe that it commits Canada to action on Burma?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, Canada has been taking a leadership role on Burma, both before the recent disaster and subsequent to the recent disaster.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs has been in touch with the United Nations Security Council to impress upon it the need for collective action by the United Nations Security Council to ensure there is access for aid workers with aid from around the world who are seeking to get into Burma to help those people who are very much in need. Canada has taken a leadership role and will continue to do so.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I did not get an answer to my question. The question was in two parts. The question about Burma had some kind of answer but I heard no answer on the question of principle, which is whether the government continues to support the crucial principle of the responsibility to protect, which would commit Canada to specific action in Burma.

Does the government support the responsibility to protect?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.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 government has committed to specific action with regard to Burma in the past. We committed to specific action in the form of sanctions, the toughest sanctions in the world, on a regime that has oppressed its people and kept their freedom from them.

With regard to the current disaster, we have committed to specific actions in the form of $2 million worth of aid. DART, the disaster assistance response team, is available to enter the country. We are working together with our allies, as is the appropriate way with the United Nations and other concerned countries, to gain the access that is urgent to help out the Burmese people in this great time of need.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will take that as a no to my question of whether the government supports the responsibility to protect.

But in Burma, the military regime continues to deny entry to humanitarian experts and to hijack supplies meant for the victims. Tyranny is winning out over compassion. That is unacceptable. When a country refuses to help its own people, it is the responsibility of other countries to take action.

What is the minister doing with the UN or anyone else to demonstrate this leadership they have been talking about and to require Burma to open its borders to humanitarian aid?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we are still urging the Burmese government to stop playing games and to let international aid workers into the country during this time.

We have committed up to $2 million in humanitarian aid. But the regime must allow the NGOs to enter the country. It must stop delaying the issuing of entry visas for international aid workers. We are asking it to allow entry to the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team, which is waiting in Bangkok.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, in Listowel, 500 jobs lost; in Ottawa, 1,100 jobs lost; and in Oshawa, 900 jobs lost. This morning the finance minister was in Toronto misleading Canadians again and claiming that the government has done such a great job with the economy.

Unfortunately, also this morning, General Motors announced the loss of another 1,400 jobs in Windsor.

Instead of pretending that the economy is rosy, when will the government wake up and smell the coffee and actually start doing something?