House of Commons Hansard #88 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was food.

Topics

Housing
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate members of Faith in Action in Victoria for organizing one of 80 silent protests throughout B.C. last Saturday to raise awareness about the crisis of homelessness and inadequate housing in our country. They call for action by all levels of government.

Despite the urgent and critical problems of housing affordability, the 2008 federal budget was virtually silent about extending existing programs.

Churches and other organizations can play a role, but they do not have sufficient resources to solve this crisis. It is clear the marketplace will not house the poor either.

Only the federal government has the ability to make the policy changes to end homelessness and make affordable housing a reality across Canada.

Victoria residents call on the government to establish a national social housing policy in Canada.

Battle of the Atlantic
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, this month marks the 65th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic during the second world war.

It was not until May 1943, after receiving more training, air cover, special intelligence and better equipment, that the tide turned in favour of the Allies.

The Battle of the Atlantic is further proof of the determination and resilience of our Canadian heroes. This battle would last six long years. Six long years of repeated enemy attacks and severe conditions.

However, the men and women of the Royal Canadian Navy, the Merchant Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force protected Allied convoys and our own coastline and prevailed. Sadly, more than 4,600 brave men and women lost their lives at sea.

We pledge to remember for all time the bravery and courage of our veterans and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, so that we might enjoy a country blessed with peace and freedom.

National Elizabeth Fry Week
Statements By Members

May 5th, 2008 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is National Elizabeth Fry Week, celebrated each year by the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies.

The goal is to enhance public awareness and education regarding the circumstances of victimized and criminalized women involved in the justice system.

The majority of women who are imprisoned in Canada are mothers; most of them the sole supporters of theirs families at the time they were incarcerated. When mothers are sentenced to prison, their children are sentenced to separation. So, attention is drawn to this reality by ending Elizabeth Fry Week on mother's day each year.

This week gives us a chance to consider the work being done by the Elizabeth Fry Society. It is challenging all Canadians to reach behind the walls and bring women into our communities, so that they may take responsibility and account for their actions in ways that make sense to them and to us.

Mental Health
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, mental health week is upon us. I am pleased to take this opportunity to update the House on Canada's new mental health commission.

It was just last year that this Conservative government, led by this Prime Minister, established the mental health commission to bring forward real action and solutions to the issues facing Canadians. In budget 2007, we committed $55 million to the commission itself and then this past February, we announced an additional $110 million for five regional projects.

These projects will undertake activities in three areas: facilitating the development of the national mental health strategy, fostering knowledge exchange, and undertaking public education and public awareness activities to combat the stigma associated with mental illness. The new mental health commission will develop these projects and implement them in five cities across Canada: Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Moncton.

Mental health is a significant public health issue. I applaud the government, mental health agencies and groups across Canada for their passionate and committed work. Canadians have asked their government to get involved, and that is exactly what this government has done.

Quebec First Nations
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, a large delegation from Quebec's first nations participated in a UN session on aboriginal issues. Richard Desjardins' documentary, The Invisible Nation, was screened to show the living conditions in some communities.

But everyone knows that there is a need for huge investments in these communities. I remind the government that the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador presented an action plan, proposing that 10,000 jobs be created, that 10,000 young people get their diploma, and that 10,000 housing units be created over 10 years. It has not received a response from the Conservative government since it presented this action plan over a year and a half ago.

The Bloc Québécois supports these measures, and urges the government to take action. The survival of many first nations communities is at stake.

Automotive Industry
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal circus continued its big-tent tour last week of Houdini-style magic, trying to erase its record on the auto industry.

Disappearing acts cannot hide the Liberals' record of inaction on the Windsor-Detroit border, layoffs of over 3,500 employees, and bloopers and blunders on the major competitiveness issues. No acrobatics can undo their leader's approach to the big three, when he said that if the big three automakers focused on developing fuel-efficient vehicles instead of gas-guzzling SUVs, they would not be experiencing the current downsizing.

Their trick of “roll over and play dead” will not cause Canadians to forget that their policies will cost Canadians about $2.00 per litre at the pumps.

The Liberal record is one of broken-down beaters and flat tires. That is why Canadians voted for this Conservative government that is getting results for our auto industry and its workers.

Arthur Mutambara
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise to honour Arthur Mutambara, a World Economic Forum young global leader, who has fought courageously for freedom and democracy in Zimbabwe.

As a student, Mr. Mutambara led anti-government protests for which he was arrested and imprisoned. After establishing himself as a leading scientist at Oxford, MIT and NASA, he returned to Africa to continue his efforts for democracy in Zimbabwe.

As leader of one of Zimbabwe's two MDC formations, Mr. Mutambara has been harassed, injured and imprisoned without charges by state authorities. Despite the risks, he remains a strong voice for unity and cooperation in Zimbabwe's pro-democracy effort.

I urge Canada and the entire global community to recognize and support his efforts.

We must condemn ZANU-PF's campaign of terror against opposition supporters. We must support democratic efforts in Zimbabwe, so that peace and security may be enjoyed by all Zimbabweans, regardless of their racial, tribal or political background.

Bloc Québécois
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, after 18 years in the House of Commons, the Bloc introduced its 250th private member's bill, knowing full well that, for the 248th time, it will accomplish nothing.

In 18 years in Ottawa, the Bloc has had only two of its private member's bills passed, and they served only to change the names of two ridings. Bloc members cannot do anything about the major legislative priorities of their voters.

Fortunately, the Conservative government is present in Quebec, and has the desire and the means to act in Quebec's interest here in Ottawa: open federalism, fiscal balance, $350 million for Quebec's green plan, funding for the Quebec City airport, the program for the sale of property in Mirabel, air force expansion in Quebec and the reopening of the military college in Saint Jean.

Instead of always making empty promises to Quebeckers through press releases and bills, the Bloc Québécois should admit that it is empty- handed.

Ottawa's Asian Community
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I support the Asian community in Ottawa, building Chinatown's gateway on Somerset Street West. The gateway will pay tribute to Ottawa's vibrant Asian community and its cultural heritage.

To date, organizers have raised $150,000 to support the building of the gateway. Our community is calling on the Government of Canada to support this worthwhile project. It will be an invaluable investment in the culture of our nation's capital. I invite all members of Parliament, particularly those from Ottawa, to join me in seeking federal support for this community project.

I congratulate the people behind this endeavour, members of the Ottawa Chinese gateway committee, particularly those like acting chair, Peter Yeung, co-chair Larry Lee and the executive director of Somerset BIA, Grace Xin . I want to thank Dr. David Lai, the builder of Victoria's Chinese gateway for his advice on this project.

I wish them all the best in the building of this cultural landmark to celebrate our Asian community in Ottawa.

Saint Boniface
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, the parish of St. Boniface will celebrate its bicentennial in 2018. Its colourful history will be well celebrated, I have no doubt, and we will acknowledge the significant contributions of Louis Riel, the church, voyageurs and, among others, the aboriginal, French, Irish, Scottish and Métis people.

This year, we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Saint Boniface. Festivities have already started with the enthusiastic launch of Célébrations 2008 and last Friday's incredible ball.

The co-chairs of Célébrations 2008, Mariette Mulaire and Normand Gousseau, assure us that this is just the start of festivities and that Manitobans will have the opportunity to celebrate this special anniversary throughout the year. The mayor of Saint Boniface at the time, Joseph Bleau—yes, I did say Jos Bleau—has resurfaced and is helping to recreate the political and cultural life of this beautiful city in 1908.

I congratulate all those volunteering at the many events and I am very proud to recognize the contribution of the City of Saint Boniface to the development of Winnipeg, Manitoba and Canada.

Broadcasting and Telecommunications
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, to recognize the nation of Quebec is also to recognize the importance of telecommunications for this francophone nation in North America. That is one of the reasons I have introduced a bill to transfer authority for regulating broadcasting and telecommunications within Quebec to Quebec. Quebec could then have its own broadcasting and telecommunications commission. This new Quebec communications regulatory body would make it easier to broadcast regional content such as local news, because it would take into account the needs and realities of every region in Quebec. To the CRTC, Quebec is a region like any other.

Given the impact telecommunications and broadcasting have on promoting Quebec culture, the Bloc Québécois believes that this important sector needs to be regulated by Quebec.

Charles Caccia
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I rise today to acknowledge the passing of a dear friend and former Liberal member of Parliament, the Hon. Charles Caccia.

Mr. Caccia was first elected to the House of Commons in 1968 to represent the riding of Davenport and was subsequently re-elected nine times, where he served as minister of labour, minister of the environment and Liberal opposition critic on environmental issues.

After leaving Parliament, he went on to serve as Senior Fellow at the Institute of the Environment at the University of Ottawa.

Mr. Caccia was more than a respected member of Parliament. He co-founded COSTI, Canada's largest immigrant service agency and was cherished and respected by his community. He was a great Liberal who dedicated his life to building a better Canada. His many accomplishments and his longstanding commitment to the people he served as an MP will not be forgotten. His passion for environmental and social justice issues was a great inspiration to all.

On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and our caucus, I wish to extend my sincerest sympathies to Mr. Caccia's family and friends. He will be missed.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, as our government continues to focus on a strong economy I thought it was time to review what the Liberal leader would do if he were in charge.

Here are his top five expenditures.

Number five, would be to spend $1 billion on project green, a program that would do nothing for national objectives, but it would cost a fortune.

Number four, would be to spend $5 billion on a wasteful daycare program, not on child care spaces, but on a bloated bureaucracy and interest groups.

Number three, would be to spend $5 billion on implementing the Kyoto accord. That is how much it would cost today because they did not get it done 13 years ago.

Number two, would be to increase the GST from 5% to 7%, over $12 billion in new taxes.

Number one, would be a new gas tax, billions of new taxes at the pumps so each and every one of us will have to pay 60% more than we are paying now.

These billions equal one thing, a Liberal deficit. One person wants to bring our country and our economy to its knees. Who is that? The person who is about to stand up.

Access to Information
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on the eve of World Press Freedom Day, the government took another step to limit transparency and accountability. It quietly killed the CAIRS, which allowed everyone to know what information Canadians had requested about their government through access to information.

Why did the government shut down the registry? What does it have to hide?

Access to Information
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

In fact, Mr. Speaker, this is a government that has actually widened access to information. The database in question was created by the previous Liberal government. It was called the product of a political system in which centralized control was an obsession. That is why the government got rid of it.