House of Commons Hansard #100 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

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 Cariboo—Prince George.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Khilafat Jubilee
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to express my best wishes to the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Canada on the occasion of its Centenary Khilafat Jubilee celebrations this week.

As Ahmadis celebrate 100 years of Khilafat, or religious succession, we should take pride in the important contributions they have made and continue to make to our society.

Numbering almost 10,000 in Canada, people will find these Canadians making positive contributions in every sphere, from volunteerism to broadcasting.

I am pleased to be part of the opening of the new Baitun Nur Mosque in Calgary on July 5.

Our government considers cultural diversity to be one of this country's greatest strengths. May all Canadians take this opportunity to learn more about the diversity of religious communities in Canada.

Rae Austin
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, my community lost a special man this past week. Rae Austin died on May 22 after a short illness.

Rae was born in Tuft's Cove in 1936, was a graduate of Dartmouth High and StFX and began working for CMHC, which took him and his family to Toronto, Ottawa and Thunder Bay.

He returned to Nova Scotia and continued his career as a public servant serving under the dynamic and progressive minister of housing, Scott McNutt, in the reforming government of Gerald Regan. He became a very successful businessman and a well-known developer.

He enjoyed politics and ran for federal political office in 1980 when he came very close to wresting the federal seat from long-time MP and senator, Mike Forestall.

Most important, was Rae's dedication to his family. He leaves behind his wife of 47 years, Joan, as well as his daughters, Raeanne, Catherine, Corrine and Sarah.

Last night in Dartmouth we remembered a dedicated citizen, a reforming public servant, a man with a big smile and a bigger heart. Nova Scotia lost one of the best in Rae Austin.

Parliament Hill Workers
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, as members know, Parliament is the ultimate forum for democracy, the place where the representatives of the people assemble to make decisions about our collective destiny.

Our demanding work would be even more difficult if not for the invaluable contribution of the House of Commons employees. We rarely have an opportunity to thank these people who support us day after day. They work behind the scenes to help ensure our democracy runs smoothly.

The Bloc Québécois and I would like to pay tribute to those Hill workers who are celebrating 25 years of service. I would particularly like to honour and thank Marguerite Charlebois, a hostess at the Parliamentary Restaurant, who has always had a warm smile and kind words for us all.

National Day of Action
Statements By Members

May 28th, 2008 / 2:05 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, May 29, Canadians will once again stand in solidarity with first nations people on the National Day of Action. My NDP colleagues and I are proud to express our support.

Together, we are calling for action that will guarantee fairness in funding for first nations education, action that will put an end to the shameful living conditions that exist in first nations communities across Canada, conditions like overcrowded and unsafe housing and dangerous drinking water, and action for a fully funded child welfare system and full implementation of Jordan's principle, which passed unanimously in the House last December.

The Minister of Health and the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development both speak of their support for a child first principle and yet the needs of first nations children, like Jacob Trout, are not being met.

The National Day of Action is a united call for the government to put an end to the suffering of aboriginal families in this country. It is an opportunity for the government to do the right thing and act now.

Wedding Jubilees
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, an old proverb states that he who finds a wife finds a good thing. Last week, Lakeshore, Ontario, in my riding celebrated many good things.

Conceived of by former mayor Bob Croft and organized by a dedicated team of community volunteers, the town of Lakeshore, with its partners, the Woodslee Credit Union and the Belle River Knights of Columbus, paid honour to local couples who have been married for at least 50 years.

This was no one night spectacular, though. It took four nights to celebrate 141 couples married from 50 to 70 years, with a heritage of over 650 children, nearly 1,400 grandchildren and almost 400 great grandchildren, and still counting.

In a culture of shifting relationships and poor role models, these living examples bear witness to my generation that one man and one woman can indeed stay committed in true love for life. It has been said a good man gives an inheritance to his children's children. To all, from my grandparents' generation, I receive their gift with thanks and wish them many more years of wedded bliss together.

Ron Wallace
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, Haligonians bid a fond farewell last weekend to a remarkable man known for his tolerance, compassion and a deep love of his port city. Ron Wallace, former optometrist and member of the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia passed away in his 91st year.

He will be fondly remembered as Halifax's longest serving mayor, a job he loved, and as a dedicated family man.

There are many who will never forget his quirky comments and entertaining remarks.

The Halifax Herald described the former mayor as a lean, pipe-smoking guy with a good sense of humour and penchant for gardening. It also mentioned that he was a champion boxer as a young man.

I ask the House to join me in offering our condolences to Ron Wallace's family and our thanks to a man who made a great city even better.

Heroism
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge a local Regina hero, Tina Trombley.

Tina was out with her sisters on July 17, 2005, when she twice stepped in to help a stranger who was being seriously beaten outside a Regina bar. Tina was cradling the unconscious stranger in her lap when a drunken woman inexplicably drove a vehicle into the crowd. Tina was run over and dragged down the street, caught underneath the vehicle. She spent six weeks in the hospital and had to undergo extensive physical therapy.

Because of her selfless bravery, Tina will be awarded the prestigious decoration for bravery this year by our Governor General, an award that she truly deserves.

It is also worth mentioning that she will be the first person from Saskatchewan to receive the award. The example that she has set in her display of bravery and selflessness and the willingness to step in when a fellow human being was in danger should inspire us all.

I ask all members to join me in congratulating Tina for her courageous actions and for the community of Regina and especially the workers at Sasktel who provided support for Tina as she recovered from her injuries.

Michel Sleiman
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Sunday Lebanon elected a new president of the republic. When he was sworn in, Michel Sleiman made a remarkable appeal for national unity. The President of Lebanon is right to say that his people have paid dearly for national unity and that the Lebanese must protect it hand-in-hand.

A new era where “the interests of the country will have priority over partisan and religious interests” will only unfold if Lebanese people of all persuasions focus on the national interest and guard against the influence peddling of foreign countries.

Michel Sleiman is recognized for his great tenacity in resolving conflicts. His success will be a victory for the cause of peace in Lebanon and the entire Middle East.

On behalf of the Bloc Quebecois and myself, I hope that the new President of Lebanon will go down in history as a peace builder. I would also like to acknowledge the members of my Lebanese support committee in the gallery.

Women's Institutes
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, Emily Carr once said, “I believe that never was a country better adapted to produce a great race of women than this great Canada of ours”.

The Women's Institutes was created in 1919 with the objective of providing leadership within all Canadian communities and to develop responsible citizens by studying issues of national and international importance.

With over 18,000 members, 1,257 branches in 10 provinces, this invaluable institution contains committees on various factions of Canadian life: agriculture, industry, citizenship, education, health and international affairs.

Among the many chapters in my riding this year, three will be celebrating their 100th anniversary: Wellington, Mountain View and Prince Edward county.

With their motto, “For Home and Country”, these ladies have served not only the communities of Prince Edward--Hastings but also around this country with their emphasis on education and resourcefulness.

I thank the ladies very much. They are the bedrock of our society and I wish them another 100 productive years.

Taste of Asia Street Festival
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year, the sixth annual Taste of Asia Street Festival will take place in Markham, Ontario on June 28 and 29 on my riding boundary.

This annual event is co-hosted by the Federation of Chinese Canadians in Markham, the town of Markham, the Association of Progressive Muslims of Ontario and with the cooperation of the Canadian Federation of Intercultural Friendship.

Last year, the event was attended by over 50,000 persons over two days and this year they are expecting an even bigger crowd. Activities during the festival will include cultural performances, food offerings, sports, community displays and outreach.

Right here on Parliament Hill, all members of the House are cordially invited to attend the Ottawa launch of the sixth annual Taste of Asia this afternoon in room 237-C in the Centre Block. This large and growing South Asia Week event is honoured to share its pride and vitality with Ottawa and Canadians on Parliament Hill.

We look forward to seeing everyone there as we help kick off this remarkable event.

Carbon Tax Proposal
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, over the past number of weeks, our suspicions have confirmed that rather than fulfilling their responsibilities here in the House, the Liberals have mistakenly understood their role as one of being in opposition to Canadian taxpayers.

In their most vigorous attack against Canadians so far, the Liberals have launched their carbon tax plan, effectively discriminating against Canadians, the most vulnerable industries and citizens in Canada.

If the Liberals ever get to implement their plan, we may as well say goodbye to our lumber industry and so long to our farmers. Manufacturers may not survive, truckers may as well park their trucks, and shopkeepers should just turn off the heat.

No matter what weasel words the Liberals use to sell their plan, their hidden agenda is to make Canadians pay like they never have before. Unfortunately the people who can least afford to pay for this will be hurt the most. Our seniors will pay. Low income families will pay. Our young families will pay.

This regressive tax proposal is one that will hurt the hard-working residents in far northern communities the most. The people in the Peace country should know that I will never support such a regressive and discriminatory carbon tax.

Cluster Munitions
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, delegates from over 100 countries are meeting in Dublin to finalize a treaty to ban cluster bombs.

Tiny bomblets left behind from cluster bombs pose a mortal threat to innocent civilians, especially children, long after conflicts end.

The cluster munitions ban treaty builds on the Ottawa treaty banning land mines on which Canadian peace organizations, concerned citizens, civil society and progressive politicians worked together across party lines.

Regrettably, the Conservative government today is threatening the integrity of the cluster munitions treaty. Shamefully, the U.S. is boycotting the negotiations. And to our shame, Canada is playing hardball on a provision to allow cluster munitions in joint operations with non-signatory states. That means the U.S. What a dereliction of moral duty.

It is time for Canada to show independent leadership, stop serving as a U.S. lapdog and support a total ban on those inhumane, cowardly, immoral weapons.

Cluster Munitions
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, I stand in the House today to recognize the important events currently taking place at the Dublin diplomatic conference on cluster munitions.

Canada took the lead with the land mine ban treaty, also known as the Ottawa convention, in 1997. This week there are new negotiations taking place. The cluster munitions treaty being discussed hopes to ban the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions and place obligations on countries to clear affected areas, assist victims and destroy stockpiles.

Cluster munitions stand out as the weapon that poses the greatest danger to civilians since anti-personnel land mines, yet there currently is no provision in international law to specifically address problems caused by them.

Please join me today in continuing Canada's support against land mines and cluster munitions by supporting the new international treaty on cluster bombs.

Member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, during the Quebec bar association's convention, which begins on Thursday, our colleague and member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, who is also the Bloc Québécois public safety critic, will not only be speaking at the “Droit et politique” workshop, but will also be receiving the distinction “advocatus emeritus” for his outstanding contribution to the advancement of law and of Quebec society as a whole. This prestigious distinction was created by the bar to honour its most exemplary members.

Since obtaining his degree in 1965, our colleague has distinguished himself as president of the bar, as well as holding important positions within the Quebec government, including that of Minister of Public Security from 1994 to 1996 and from 1998 to 2003.

My colleagues and I would like to extend our sincere congratulations to the member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin on being selected to receive the Quebec bar's “advocatus emeritus” award.