House of Commons Hansard #98 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Marine Industry
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we are celebrating Canada Marine Day here in Ottawa and across the country.

The marine industry has played a vital role in the development and growth of Canada. Whether moving goods or people across the sea or through the Great Lakes, we have grown and prospered along our waterways, and the marine industry was and continues to be the lifeblood of many communities.

Canada Marine Day celebrates our glorious marine history, but more important, it recognizes the industry's future in our great country. Whether it is getting our agricultural products from the west to their markets in Asia, shipping raw materials across the Atlantic, or moving manufactured goods through the Great Lakes, the marine industry continues to be a leading industry in Canada.

The marine industry will continue to be an efficient, effective and environmentally safe mode of transportation for many generations to come.

Let us celebrate Canada Marine Day. It is our past. It is our present. It is our future.

Community Living
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, May is Community Living Month in Ontario, an opportunity to celebrate those with an intellectual disability and to acknowledge their accomplishments at work, in school and in the community.

Events throughout the month have been planned to recognize the accomplishments of people with intellectual disabilities in Etobicoke, Toronto and indeed across Canada, and to commemorate those volunteers who make it possible for the successes in this important area.

The more than 465 community living associations across Canada are essential to support the choices of persons with intellectual disabilities regarding where they live, work, learn and play.

Community Living Toronto should be congratulated for its 60 years of work in offering these opportunities to the over 6,000 individuals of all ages with intellectual disabilities and their families. This organization has the important responsibility to provide the resources for these men and women to realize their full potential and achieve their dreams.

Laurent Martineau
Statements By Members

May 26th, 2008 / 2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I pay tribute to Laurent Martineau, who was named February personality of the month by the Chambre de commerce et d'industrie Thérèse-De Blainville.

Twice he has won the title of executive of the year in his native region of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, and he is currently the head of community relations and special projects for Hydro-Québec in the Laurentians. He is also active in the Lower Laurentians, particularly in Blainville, as a member of its Scout council.

Over the past 20 years he has worked as a manager responsible for networking and negotiating partnerships, distribution networks, client services, crisis management, computer financing and management control for Hydro-Québec. He also sits on the board of directors for the Centre d'expérimentation des véhicules électriques du Québec.

The Bloc Québécois members and I would like to offer hearty congratulations to Laurent Martineau, February personality of the month.

Poverty
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, a recent Statistics Canada report shows that the spectre of poverty continues to haunt Hamilton families.

From 2001 to 2006, while the Liberal Party held government, we saw almost no change in the number of children living in poverty. In 2001, 24% of our kids lived below the poverty line; in 2006, that had only dropped to 23.6%. At that rate, it will take about 295 years to end child poverty in Hamilton.

Almost 90,000 Hamiltonians live in poverty. Children, seniors, aboriginals, the disabled and new Canadians are most likely to be impacted. Even worse, those at the bottom of the income list are getting poorer.

The NDP has offered solutions: fix the EI system; create a real child care plan; bring in real income security for seniors and persons with disabilities; offer training for immigrants; and restart our cherished national housing program.

The Liberals had three consecutive majority governments to fight poverty and it only got worse. And the Conservatives? They are not even trying.

We have to take action. We have to fight poverty and we have to do it now.

Food Labelling Initiative
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past Wednesday, my riding of Niagara West—Glanbrook was honoured to welcome the Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture as they made an important announcement that will benefit all Canadians.

In the past, the labels “Made in Canada” and “Product of Canada” have had such lenient criteria that they could be applied to products that were produced elsewhere and only packaged here. This meant that despite the label on a bottle of apple juice, the apples could have been grown in China, or despite the label on a box of salmon, the contents could be from Russia. This will no longer be the case. These new rules will ensure that Canadian consumers who wish to buy Canadian products will now be able to trust the label when it says “Product of Canada”.

This announcement has been embraced by Canadians from coast to coast and by agricultural groups, including the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, the Chicken Farmers of Canada, the wine council, the agriculture alliance and the horticulture council. They all agree that this initiative is long overdue and that this government is standing up for farmers and indeed is standing up for all Canadians.

Flooding in New Brunswick
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to acknowledge the outstanding work of emergency workers during the recent flooding in the Madawaska region.

Hundreds of volunteers, including volunteer firefighters, Red Cross workers, and search and rescue teams worked together to help the disaster victims.

Natural disasters are unfortunately not predictable or controllable. However, the assistance provided by emergency personnel enables disaster victims to get the care and services they need.

Emergency volunteers also have to make sacrifices when it comes to their own families. Many workers were prepared to dedicate themselves to helping the disaster victims in addition to taking care of their own family's needs.

I would like to recognize the work these volunteers continue to do for the public. I would also like to thank the volunteers for their help and courage during the flooding in the Madawaska region this spring.

Their dedication is much appreciated.

National Day of Healing and Reconciliation
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, today across Canada many aboriginal people will celebrate the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation.

Created by Native Counselling Services of Alberta, this annual event is a grassroots movement which focuses on healing by addressing issues resulting from past injustices based on culture, religion, or race.

The goal of the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation is to move forward by educating Canadians and engaging collectively within families and communities for the purposes of healing and reconciliation.

Throughout the day, cultural ceremonies, church services, community walks, feasts and sharing circles are taking place in communities right across our country. These events celebrate a positive and collective healing and reconciliation movement. Last year it is estimated that over 100,000 people participated in events nationwide.

On behalf of our government, I wish to thank the organizers of the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation for their efforts in planning this wonderful event, and reaffirm that the government shares their commitment to healing and reconciliation and a renewed relationship with aboriginal people across Canada.

Quebec Homelessness Network
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to tell the House about the tremendous work done by Quebec's Réseau Solidarité Itinérance, which held a national forum entitled “Droit de cité” in Montreal on May 15 and 16, in which I participated.

The forum brought together nearly 200 people who use services for the homeless, outreach workers and other stakeholders. Topics included health, homelessness policy, stabilization successes, and pressing needs in the fight against poverty.

Homelessness affects between 30,000 and 40,000 people every year in Quebec alone, and more and more of them are children, women and families. They are victims of poverty, housing shortages, isolation and psychological distress.

How can the government keep ignoring these vulnerable people? The Bloc Québécois is defending the interests of the victims of poverty, victims the Conservatives do not see.

Ukraine
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, it was a great honour to listen to the President of Ukraine as he addressed the Canadian Parliament this morning.

As the chair for the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group, I would like to express our deep gratitude for his visit to Canada. His presence and heartfelt words remind us of the strong ties and special friendship that our countries share.

While in Ukraine during the historic Orange Revolution, I personally witnessed the powerful expressions of Ukrainian people seeking freedom, democracy and human rights.

The Remembrance Flame arriving today on Parliament Hill symbolizes another powerful expression of grief and commemoration marking the 75th anniversary of the holodomor genocide.

We will also remember events in Canada's own past, such as the unjust internment of Ukrainians during World War I.

Let us never forget that by acknowledging the violations of human rights like the holodomor genocide and the Ukrainian internment, we restore the dignity of victims and help avoid similar tragedies in the future.

Anna Maria De Souza Centre
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend the Brazilian Carnival Ball took place in Toronto, as it has for the past 42 years.

As chair of the Canada-Brazil Parliamentary Association, I am proud to have been part of the 2008 Brazilian Carnival Ball. This event began in 1966 in the basement of a church by the remarkable Anna Maria De Souza. This event has raised over $46 million for charity since its inception. This year's proceeds of $7 million will benefit the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation.

Two weeks ago, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced funding of $15 million for the creation of the Anna Maria De Souza Centre at Princess Margaret Hospital in recognition of her extensive charitable work.

I am gratified that my motion recognizing September as Ovarian Cancer Month was recently passed unanimously by Parliament, for it was in September 2007 that we lost Anna Maria De Souza to this terrible disease.

Anna Maria De Souza's motto was “live, love and laugh”. She certainly did all three in her lifetime and helped others to do so as well. Her beloved husband Ivan De Souza continues her work, ensuring that her message of hope and charity lives on.

The Economy
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Denis Lebel Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, global uncertainty is no longer an intellectual conceit or clever academic theory. It is a reality. Rising oil prices, competition from emerging economies and the limited size of certain international markets are all affecting our economies.

Our government has long taken this reality into account in its policy planning, which means we are able to manage our economy effectively at this time, despite the problems facing some of our regions.

I therefore urge my Bloc Québécois colleagues to be more realistic in how they plan their virtual budget. Canadians want more than just political strategies like the Bloc's demands for $15.3 billion from the last budget; rather, they want their affairs to be managed in a serious manner.

Our government is recognized for its sound management of this country. It will continue to ensure balanced budgets and will never be swayed by vote-seeking schemes that lead only to deficits.

Afghanistan
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, serious concerns continue to be raised about Canada's prisoner transfers in Afghanistan. The Canadian military transfers child soldiers taken prisoner to Afghan authorities in Kandahar and, in particular, to the Afghan National Directorate of Security, or secret police. The secret police is known for its involvement in torture.

Canada must cease this practice immediately. Child soldiers must be handled in strict compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and its optional protocols.

Instead of turning them over to known torturers, Canada should be ensuring they become part of demobilization and reintegration programs operated by the United Nations through UNICEF. Such a program exists in Kandahar. Canada has supported similar programs in other countries. Yet when its own military is confronted with child soldiers as prisoners, it abandons its commitments.

Canada must also release information about these children taken prisoner, where they are currently being held, and assume responsibility for their well-being. Canada must not abandon its moral responsibilities in a time of war.

Health Care
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, in countless communities across Canada, access to quality mental health care is diminishing. Growing need is being met with underfunding and neglect.

In my own riding of Ajax—Pickering, this is manifest in the loss of all in-patient mental health beds, a bad decision that risks the health and well-being of those who call west Durham home.

The booming communities of Ajax—Pickering and Whitby, more than 300,000 strong, deserve a full service hospital and those afflicted with mental health issues desperately need treatment and care in the supportive environment of their home community.

We require true leadership on mental health, leadership from the government that develops a national strategy to deal with mental health and works with our provinces to provide targeted funding so mental health services grow and succeed in our communities, not disappear.

After waiting a year and a half, the simple establishment of a Mental Health Commission is woefully inadequate. We need national action now to protect mental health services in our communities.

Science in Society Journalism Awards
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Lussier Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Science Writers' Association presented its Science in Society Journalism Awards on May 24, 2007.

Quebec journalist Dominique Forget received the award for best Canadian general audience book for her essay Perdre le Nord? This essay deals with the environmental, economic, legal, political and human impact of the disappearing polar ice cap in the Arctic and the opening up of the Northwest Passage.

The Radio-Canada program Les années-lumière won in the category “best documentary over 30 minutes” for Spoutnik 1; 50 ans d'exploration spatiale, hosted by Yanick Villedieu and produced by Dominique Lapointe. This broadcast focused on humankind's space adventure, with guest astronomer Robert Lamontagne from the Université de Montreal.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues and I are very proud to congratulate these talented Quebeckers for winning these prestigious awards.

Memorial Cup
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I ask the House to join me in extending congratulations to the Kitchener Memorial Cup organizers and volunteers. The 10 day Canadian Hockey League championships wrapped up in Kitchener at the auditorium yesterday.

Congratulations to the cup winners, the Spokane Chiefs, who will be taking the Memorial Cup south of the border for the first time in 10 years. The Chiefs defeated the Kitchener Rangers, hometown favourites and Ontario Hockey League champions, to go on to win the tournament. While it was a disappointing loss, the Kitchener Rangers had a fantastic season, and I know everyone in Kitchener is extremely proud of their 2008 successes.

My colleague from Hull—Aylmer was extremely pleased to be on hand to cheer on his Gatineau Olympiques, who showed outstanding sportsmanship.

Hosting the Memorial Cup is an enormous undertaking and Kitchener met and exceeded expectations. Through the hard work and dedication of 600 volunteers, Kitchener was able to showcase junior hockey in Canada. Thanks to all those involved for making it such a wonderful success.