House of Commons Hansard #111 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was report.

Topics

Citizenship and Immigration
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were shocked and saddened this week by the passage of the Conservative government's immigration law. The new law will abolish any guarantee of fairness in the system. It will not help reunite families and it will not end the backlog of almost a million applications. Instead, it will shift the focus to temporary workers who have no opportunity to put down Canadian roots. It will allow the Conservative minister to make totally arbitrary decisions about who stays and who goes.

We needed real reforms. We need to clear that application backlog. We need to bring families together.

The Conservatives could not bring in this awful law alone. They needed help and they got it. The Conservatives' new best friends, the Liberal caucus, sat by and watched the law pass. They could have stopped it. They should have stopped it, but they did not. Thousands of families will suffer as a result of the Liberals' self-serving refusal to simply say no.

Brain Injury Awareness Month
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, June is Brain Injury Awareness Month.

Traumatic head injury is the leading cause of death or disability in young men. A shocking 30% of children and youth who participate in sport sustain a head injury. There are more than 100,000 brain injuries a year in Canada.

The good news is the majority of these sport related injuries are preventable. A helmet that conforms to Canadian Standards Association standards can protect precious brains from injuries that kill, disable or permanently rob a life of its potential. The only sport helmets that currently conform to standards are hockey and lacrosse helmets.

In March 2007, I tabled Bill C-412 that would amend the Hazardous Products Act to prohibit the sale, import or advertising of substandard recreational snow sport helmets.

As it stands, my bill will not soon come to the House for debate, but the Minister of Health could make this amendment through governor in council. He has not been willing to do so, choosing instead to support industry. I urge him to do it now, this month, before more young lives are destroyed.

Carbon Tax
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Denis Lebel Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Liberal Party is determined to impose his famous carbon tax on Canadians, plunging them into a spiral of reckless spending.

We will not let the Liberals do this, because they are hiding what they really have planned for Canadians, which is to create a new permanent tax to fund reckless spending.

Canadians know when someone is trying to put one over on them by tying up plans with a pretty green ribbon, in the form of strict emissions management. When politicians use vague terms such as “green shift”, Canadians can be sure that taxes will go in one direction only, and that is up.

Canadians understand what the real impact on their buying power will be. The carbon tax is nothing but a new permanent tax that will kill jobs and raise the cost of gasoline, electricity and everything Canadians buy.

Canadians know they cannot trust the Liberal leader.

Gilles Carle
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, last night, at the same time that we were given the good news that four of his films will be available on DVD this fall, the Association des propriétaires de cinémas et cinéparcs du Québec was awarding the Bobine d'Or to Gilles Carle in recognition of his significant contribution to the Quebec film industry.

Throughout his prolific career, this pioneer of our national film industry viewed his fellow Quebeckers from a unique but never sentimental perspective. He received many national and international honours attesting to his genius for depicting our strengths and our weaknesses—both in documentaries and fiction. As a director, he shone the spotlight on the talented performers and craftspeople whose love of movie-making he inspired.

Although the passage of time is taking its toll on the man himself, his works will remain forever powerful.

On behalf of all my colleagues, I salute you, Gilles Carle.

Carbon Tax Proposal
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, my constituents will not be tricked by the Liberals' carbon tax.

My constituents know that the Liberal leader has a serious spending problem. He has already made billions of dollars in spending promises to various special interest groups. Now the Liberals are trying to pay for all this irresponsible spending by tricking Canadians into paying a permanent new carbon tax. The Liberals' carbon tax would destroy jobs and drive up the cost of gas, electricity and everything else. We know it is bad when the Liberal environment critic cannot even convince his own brother, the Ontario premier, that it is a good plan.

Our Conservative government will stand up for rural Canada, for the farmers, for young families, for small business, seniors and shift workers. We will stand up against this Liberal carbon tax. In the rural areas of my riding, families have to travel a long distance. Fuel is a major input cost on every farm.

Even today in the finance committee, Liberals endorsed fuel tax increases. Why are the Liberals intent on hurting rural Canada, rural Canadians, seniors and those living on fixed incomes?

Human Rights
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Frederick Couchie, father of Marianna Couchie, Chief of Nipissing No. 10 reserve. Fred Couchie was sent to Garnier Indian residential school at the age of nine. His name was taken from him and in its place, he was given the number 76. Away from his family and community he was robbed of his culture, his language and his dignity. Consequently, throughout his life Fred suffered from both physical and psychological health problems.

The residential school system existed because one group of people thought that they were better than another and believed that they had the right to impose their language, culture and beliefs on the first nations people.

I wish to remind Canadians of the atrocities that are committed when one group thinks itself as superior. Race, gender, culture, religion, and sexual orientation are but a few of the excuses humans use to subjugate others.

Today I call on all Canadians to study our history, understand the consequences of discrimination and avoid repeating historic blunders so that thousands of people like Fred Couchie did not suffer in vain.

Chi-meegwetch.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Clarke Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, tansi, delangete, yesterday was truly a historic day. A sincere and meaningful apology for the sad legacy of residential schools was given by this government.

Although the apology was significant and necessary, this government is pleased to be putting our words into actions by following through with compensation to former students of residential schools, and most important, getting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission up and running.

Under the leadership of the chief commissioner, Justice Harry LaForme, the commission will play an important role leading to a better understanding of the history and the impact residential schools had on aboriginal communities.

I am pleased that the work of the commission began on June 1 and that this government is following through on its commitments to Canada's aboriginal communities.

As a friend of many survivors of residential schools, yesterday's apology was a significant step in a new direction.

It is an honour to serve as a member of this Conservative government that has kept its promise.

Iraq
Statements by Members

June 12th, 2008 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, on June 3 of this year, the House adopted a motion to allow those American soldiers opposed to the Iraq war to stay in Canada. Some Canadians, including some members of the House, opposed this initiative, mainly on the grounds that these young people voluntarily chose to enlist.

I am reading a book by Joshua Key, one of the war resisters in Canada, called The Deserter's Tale, which outlines how a poor Oklahoma boy from a dysfunctional family was lured into the U.S. Army with promises of health insurance and higher education.

It is important for all of us to clearly understand how poor American kids are targeted into enlisting and how many are lied to.

Joshua Key was explicitly told on a number of occasions that he would be building bridges in the U.S. as an engineer and not fighting in Iraq. However, he ended up in Iraq, taking part in house raids where U.S. soldiers abducted the men of the families, terrified women and children and pillaged their homes.

We need to understand the nature of this war and its effect. As an immediate humanitarian gesture, I urge the minister to cancel the deportation of another war resister, Corey Glass, who faces a prison sentence and criminal record because of his opposition to the illegal war.

Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, Conservative members truly distinguished themselves at Tuesday's late night meeting of the ethics committee. Whereas members from all opposition parties came to the meeting in a spirit of compromise and cooperation, the Conservative members of the committee had three items on their agenda: delay, disruption and disrespect.

One member introduced a motion that said Elections Canada, the organization that certified his election as a member of Parliament, was biased and incompetent.

Conservative members of the committee actually voted against amendments they themselves had proposed. Later they argued in favour of amendments that they had tried to have ruled out of order.

The government members went on to engage in bitter, personal and unacceptable attacks against the chair of the committee. A particular member led this attack, an attack on common decency and respect. I can only assume he was preparing for his radio appearance the next day.

It was a shameful display of the government's propensity to always, always race to the bottom.

Raymond Laliberté
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, it was with much sadness that we learned of the passing of Raymond Laliberté. This great man was one of the pillars of the union movement in Quebec's educational sector during the pivotal time of the Quiet Revolution. He was a person of strong conviction and dedication and left a lasting mark on the Centrale des syndicats du Québec.

From 1965 to 1970, he was head of the Corporation générale des instituteurs et institutrices catholiques du Québec, which became the Centrale de l'enseignement du Québec and then the Centrale des syndicats du Québec. He oversaw the process to make this organization non-denominational and bring it more in line with the entire Quebec labour movement.

Raymond Laliberté was a genuine pedagogue, a progressive man and a remarkable humanitarian. Known for his discretion and humility, this trailblazer nonetheless laid the groundwork for the modern, educated society that is Quebec today.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Derek Lee Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, one of the Conservative members opposite is the Prime Minister's point man on the Conservative election financing scandal and a parliamentary secretary who covers for a number of cabinet ministers.

Why then, on the national day of apology to residential school survivors, did the member engage in inexcusably hurtful and demeaning remarks toward aboriginal Canadians?

The member publicly complained about compensation to residential school survivors saying:

Some of us are starting to ask, are we really getting value for all of this money and is money really going to solve the problem?

He went on to say:

—we need to engender the values of hard work and independence and self reliance.

Aboriginal Canadians have always been independent and self-reliant for thousands of years and they could teach that member the meaning of hard work and what it is like to get his hands dirty in order to feed his family.

The member should recognize this and should apologize.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to offer a full apology to aboriginal people, to the House and to all Canadians.

Yesterday, on a day when the House and all Canadians were celebrating a new beginning, I made remarks that were hurtful and wrong.

I accept responsibility for them, and I apologize.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday leaders in the House formally apologized for the legacy of residential schools. We must now move forward toward truth and reconciliation.

Will the Prime Minister give his words weight by, for example, honouring his election promise to compensate the victims of schools who have been left out of the settlement, such as Île-à-la-Crosse in Saskatchewan?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the Leader of the Opposition knows, there were a number of schools similar to Indian residential schools that were run by provincial governments. They were not covered by the settlement, which was ultimately negotiated with the Assembly of First Nations. We understand these are unresolved issues and I know the minister, I and others have spoken about the need for governments to address these issues.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Except, Mr. Speaker, that during the election the Prime Minister did not say “a government”. He said “his government” would solve this issue—