House of Commons Hansard #97 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was treaty.

Topics

Quebec Booksellers Awards
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, Rawi Hage, an author of Lebanese descent, won the Quebec Booksellers Award in the “Quebec novel” category for his book Parfum de poussière.

Philippe Claudel won in the “novel from outside Quebec” category for Le rapport de Brodeck.

These awards, presented by the Quebec Booksellers Association, pay tribute to exceptional literary works as well as promoting literature and culture.

Each year for the past 15 years, the Quebec Booksellers Association has presented awards in two categories, “Quebec novel” and “novel from outside Quebec”, to authors whose works have impressed booksellers with their originality and literary qualities.

More than 200 booksellers participate in this competition, organized in part to uncover new talent.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues and I wish to offer our sincere congratulations to the winners, Rawi Hage and Philippe Claudel.

The Economy
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Clarke Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, why do Liberal members opposite believe that higher taxes are a good idea?

I personally believe that my constituents can spend their own money better than any government can, so why is it, when the economy is at the front of many people's minds, that the Liberals want to increase the GST?

Some of my constituents are paying $2.27 per litre for gas. Why is it that when gas prices are at record highs, that the Liberal leader wants to charge even more with a new tax? A massive Liberal gas tax would force Canadians to choose between filling their fridges, heating their homes or filling their gas tanks.

Under the Conservative government, inflation and interest rates remain low and stable. Disposable income has been rising steadily. The national unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since 1975. The Prime Minister committed to reducing the GST and he kept his promise.

The choice between the Prime Minister and the Liberal leader is clear. The Prime Minister and the Conservative government are delivering real leadership and real results for Canadians.

Commonwealth Scholarship Program
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, like many Canadians, I and my constituents were disappointed to learn that the British government was discontinuing its Commonwealth scholarship program for students from Canada.

The Commonwealth scholarship plan was created in 1960 to enable promising students to study in Commonwealth countries other than their own, so that they might better contribute to their own countries while fostering mutual understanding within the Commonwealth.

Past Canadian recipients who have studied in the U.K. include several presidents of universities, the governor of the Bank of Canada and countless other distinguished Canadians. In justifying its decision, the U.K. government said it wanted to focus scholarships on countries that are more aligned to its foreign policy goals, such as India and China.

Given the tremendously important and longstanding political and social links between our two countries, I find that statement particularly disappointing. It is my sincere hope that the Canadian government will lodge its objections to this move with the U.K. administration and will ask it to restore funding to this important program.

Portrait Gallery
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, since the announcement of the portrait gallery in November, many cities have expressed publicly their interest and excitement at the opportunity in seeing this magnificent institution in their city.

Yet, the Liberals have not been listening to Canadians, and in the other place a bill has been introduced that would put into law the location of the portrait gallery before the request for proposals process is even over.

However, a municipal councillor in Winnipeg spoke out against the idea that the only city able to host the museum was Ottawa. Also, a municipal councillor in Quebec City said:

—I completely agree with your position and that of your government concerning the selection process for the Canadian city to host the Canadian portrait gallery... I disagree with Bill S-233, which would automatically designate the federal national capital as the host region.

Are the Liberals trying to tell these cities that they just are not good enough?

Great Glebe Garage Sale
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, May 24, people in Ottawa will gather for one of the most exciting days in our community, the great Glebe garage sale.

Since its inception in 1986, every year people in the Glebe have come together to put on a massive garage sale whose reputation goes beyond the borders of this country. They raise money for the Ottawa Food Bank. They encourage reusing to help the environment and they nourish the spirit of volunteerism in our youth.

I know that people from other communities actually spend the night before the great Glebe garage sale with their friends in the Glebe so that in the morning they are the first to hit the streets. This is the spirit of the Glebe. This is the spirit of the people of my riding of Ottawa Centre.

I congratulate the board members of the Glebe Community Association, the largest community association in Canada, for their 12 years of organizing the great Glebe garage sale.

International Aid
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, Myanmar is in a race against time. Lives hang in the balance. Millions of people could die as a result of infectious diseases and malnutrition unless food and medication get to them as soon as possible.

In the first 11 days, our government gave a pathetic $2 million to this disaster. In the first 12 days of the tsunami in 2004, the Liberal government gave $425 million. In Zimbabwe, torture and murder are rampant. People are crying for help, and what does the government do? It wrings its hands.

Now we are seeing that Canada is one of just six countries in the world on the UN Human Rights Council that is withholding support for an emergency right to food meeting amid the global food crisis. Lastly, the government is refusing to even give Canada the opportunity to sit on the Security Council, where we could have real influence.

Is this the Prime Minister's version of his new ability to have Canada playing a greater part on the world stage?

National Patriots Day
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Raymond Gravel Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, next Monday, Quebeckers will celebrate National Patriots Day, a day that commemorates the dedication and sacrifice of the patriots of 1837-38. The Rassemblement pour un pays souverain, a Quebec sovereignty coalition, organizes the annual Gala des patriotes, which will be held on May 16 in Montreal and on May 19 in Quebec City. Prizes awarded during the gala highlight the contributions of individuals who have helped advance the sovereignty movement.

The Montreal gala will honour activist Umberto Di Genova and singer Paul Piché. The Quebec City event will honour Lise Payette, who will be receiving the Marie Victoire Félix Dumouchel prize, and the former premier of Quebec, René Lévesque, who will be awarded the Louis Joseph Papineau prize posthumously.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues and I wish to congratulate the honourees, and we want them all to know that we are here for Quebec.

Conservative Members
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we head into a long weekend, we are all preparing to return to our ridings and answer to our constituents. I would recommend to my Conservative colleagues that they prepare some credible answers to certain embarrassing questions, as opposed to what they answered here in the House.

They will have to explain what the Prime Minister meant when he talked about “financial considerations” offered to Chuck Cadman to try to buy his vote. They will have to explain why the Minister of Finance absolutely had to hire his little buddy, paying him over $300,000 and ignoring Treasury Board rules. They will have to explain why the Prime Minister is about to commit nearly $100 billion in new defence spending.

Yes, Mr. Speaker, if I were one of their constituents, I would be extremely interested in these questions.

Elections Canada
Statements By Members

May 16th, 2008 / 11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, when financing their leadership campaigns, the Liberal leader and his opponents received millions of dollars from wealthy and powerful individuals.

The Canada Elections Act clearly stated that loans taken out during the leadership race must be paid back within 18 months or they become illegal donations over the donation limit. The June 3 deadline is fast approaching. Some have speculated Elections Canada may extend the period to repay the loans.

According to Duff Conacher, "Elections Canada will be acting unethically and undemocratically if it lets any of the Liberal leadership candidates extend their loans past the 18-month deadline”.

Will the Liberal leadership contestants skirt contribution limits, thus breaking the law, through massive personal loans from wealthy, powerful individuals by not repaying their loans on time? Will Elections Canada give special treatment to the Liberal Party by extending the deadline?

National Security
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is Friday so I get to ask a question, and I would like to ask the minister a simple question. I have been asking for some time now, in I think a very civil way, whether the government would not think it wise to conduct a security review with respect to the conduct of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, advise the House that such a review has taken place and assure the House that there are no concerns about national security.

The minister will be aware of additional facts that have now come to light with respect to the minister's partner. I wonder if the minister or the government would reconsider the decision--

National Security
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. government House leader.

National Security
Oral Questions

11:15 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, I am surprised that after anxiously awaiting his first opportunity to ask the first question, the member has instead chosen to ask about people's private and personal lives.

National Security
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Laval—Les Îles, QC

Stop insulting people.

National Security
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Van Loan York—Simcoe, ON

The hon. member opposite says I should stop insulting people, but that is the line of questioning we are receiving from the Liberal Party right now, which is not just insulting people but inquiring into their private and personal lives.

We have made it clear that this government would not put national security at risk.

However, wrapping questions around some false pretense of that nature does not justify the kind of gossip mongering we get from across the way.

National Security
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, many national security experts do not share the minister's views, since the partner of the Minister of Foreign Affairs played not only a private role, but a public role as well. That must be recognized.

I am frankly astounded that the minister and the government are continuing to defend the position that this has nothing to do with the public interest. Do they still believe that?