House of Commons Hansard #113 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Canada Elections Act
Government Orders

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

There are four minutes left for questions and comments on the member's speech, but we must proceed now to statements by members.

Canada Millennium Scholarships
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take the opportunity to recognize three exceptional students from my riding of Lambton--Kent--Middlesex. Each has won a millennium scholarship through the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation.

They are: Danika Teeple, from Arkona, who attends North Lambton Secondary School; Celina Flannery, from Komoka, who attends Medway High School; and Lucy Hinton, from Strathroy, who attends Strathroy District Collegiate Institute.

All have displayed excellence in the classroom and beyond. These young women have been chosen in a nationwide competition for three of only 1,052 scholarships that have been awarded to students across Canada.

The competition is based on outstanding achievement in four key areas: academic performance, community service, leadership, and innovation.

I wish to express congratulations to each of the winners. I wish them the best for a safe and enjoyable summer and a successful and very bright future.

China
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, China is important to Vancouver Quadra, to Canada and to the global economy.

World leaders from France, Britain and Australia get it. Our Prime Minister does not.

As the world's second largest economy, China represents enormous economic opportunities for Canada.

Why, then, does our Prime Minister ignore the importance of our relationship with China? Since he has been in office, he has never once travelled to that country. He has travelled to Europe, to South America and to other regions, yet China is not even on his radar.

Like President Bush, Prime Minister Harper continues to indulge in ideological behaviour that further distances China from North Americans.

I call on the Prime Minister to recognize the importance of China. I call on him to engage, not insult, Chinese leaders and to lead a trade delegation to that country at the soonest possible opportunity for the benefit of Canadians.

China
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I remind hon. members that mentioning other hon. members by name is not in order. I would urge them to comply with the rules in that respect.

The hon. member for Terrebonne—Blainville.

Seniors Community Centre
Statements By Members

June 16th, 2008 / 2 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, our seniors community centre is celebrating 25 years of operation. Congratulations.

Our seniors need assistance, support, information and respect. They often become casualties of excessively fast-paced and hurried lives that leave us with very little time and room for immediate family. Thus, they live in insecurity and isolation. They have given a lot and in return are entitled to receive protection, care and affection.

For them, the Amis de Lamater seniors community centre is a sanctuary. For them, it is a resource. I extend my thanks to the centre's director general, directors, staff, volunteers and users, and wish them all a very happy anniversary. Our community needs them. In Terrebonne, they are a must.

Manufacturing Industry
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, for more than a century Windsor has been the automotive centre of Canada and manufacturing has been the lifeblood of the local economy. Yet since May 2002, the area has lost more than 17,700 manufacturing jobs.

Chrysler, Ford and GM have all announced layoffs and closures. The loss of jobs at these large facilities has meant losses for dozens of smaller manufacturing companies, including Industrialex Manufacturing, Diageo, The Precision Group, Southern Wire Products, Lamb Technicon, Hallmark Tool and Die, Windsor Tool and Die, and Plastex, to name only a few. They have been forced to lay off workers and in many cases to outright close their doors.

These job losses come with very real consequences. In concert with the loss of revenue that employment generates for much needed services comes the very personal cost of layoffs.

There is very little disagreement within the auto sector of what needs to be done, the roles that all the participants in the sector need to play and, in particular, the need for a partnership with the federal government.

The thousands of men, women and children in my community who are facing the negative consequences of the manufacturing crisis deserve more than the government's empty rhetoric that blames the problem on sectoral adjustments or restructuring. They deserve action now.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Lynne Yelich Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, since 2006 we have recognized June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day as a means to promote action against elder abuse.

This year, Ottawa was chosen to host an international conference for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2008. This is recognition of the significant action this government has taken on this issue.

Discussion of the Canadian experience at the conference today and tomorrow will set the stage for further action around the world.

This government is helping to combat all forms of elder abuse: physical, financial, psychological and sexual. In budget 2008, our government announced significant investments to help raise awareness of elder abuse and to assist seniors in dealing with this difficult issue.

As part of this funding, a national awareness campaign will be launched this fall.

Seniors from all walks of life are vulnerable to abuse. It is happening in communities across Canada.

I invite all Canadians to help combat elder abuse by keeping their eyes open and refusing to ignore this problem.

Canada Post
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canada Post is conducting a review of all rural mailboxes in Canada to address safety concerns.

Home mail delivery is an important quality of life issue for rural Canadians. It must be protected.

Losing home delivery can be devastating, particularly for seniors who rely on mail to stay connected but cannot always drive into town to pick up their mail.

I have met with the minister responsible for Canada Post and also with the president of the Canada Post Corporation, Moya Greene. Both have assured me that they will make every effort to save rural home mail delivery.

I have urged Canada Post to work with provincial departments of transportation to address road safety issues. Canada Post has now confirmed that it will make every effort to do so. I urge provincial governments to cooperate fully with Canada Post to save home mail delivery.

Will the government stand up and defend home mail delivery as an essential service for Canadians?

Bloc Québécois
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the Bloc's anniversary.

We all remember the coalition's beginnings. The Bloc leader said that the Bloc's role was to close files. Given the number of files our government has closed, it would appear the Bloc has failed.

The Bloc believed it had power. Eighteen years on, the Bloc has succeeded in changing the names of two ridings.

The Bloc wanted to achieve sovereignty via Ottawa. Now, however, many members of the Bloc fear that they have instead improved federalism.

The Bloc was supposed to build momentum for the sovereignist cause. Now, however, the referendum has been put off indefinitely.

The Bloc was supposed to be very, very temporary. Now, however, Bloc members tell themselves that the longer they stay here, the better their pensions.

Despite its record of failure, the members of the Bloc seem to be quite content to still be in Ottawa. After all, they are contributing to their pension funds, collecting their salaries and taking advantage of their benefits, all without having to make one single decision.

Now that it is 18 years old, I would invite the leader of the Bloc to acknowledge that his party is powerless and utterly empty-handed.

Fernand Ouellette
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Carrier Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, on June 23, in Paris, Mr. Fernand Ouellette, who is one of my constituents, will receive the Grand Prix international de poésie de langue française Léopold-Sédar-Senghor. This award was created in honour of the poet, writer and first president of Senegal.

This is a major recognition for Fernand Ouellette, who is one of Quebec's most prominent poets, and who just published a book of poems written between 1997 and 2002, entitled Présence du large.

This exceptional writer has published some 40 books, and he has received many awards, including the Prix Athanase-David, the Governor General's literary award on three occasions, the prix Ludger-Duvernay, and the prix Gilles-Corbeil of the Fondation Émile-Nelligan.

He also became a Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Québec in 2005.

On behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I congratulate Mr. Fernand Ouellette.

Bloc Québécois
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1990, I remember, the series Les filles de Caleb debuted, and Guy Carbonneau was the captain of the Montreal Canadiens.

At the time, the founder of the Bloc said that his coalition would be temporary, and that it would help improve the winning conditions. Eighteen years later, the times have changed: the PQ is no longer even talking about a referendum, and the Bloc is still trying to justify its presence here in Ottawa.

After playing armchair quarterback for 18 years, what is the Bloc's plan? Asking 4,000 questions without ever getting anything done? Finding 450 different ways to ask about the sponsorship scandal without being able to put an end to it? Making more than 700 empty promises to Quebeckers?

The day the Liberal leader finally takes a stand, Quebeckers will be better able to see the relevance of the Bloc here in Ottawa. The moment of truth is fast approaching.

Gilles Patry
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I want to acknowledge the excellent university presidency of Dr. Gilles Patry, a skilled manager and talented academic.

An outstanding researcher and board member of a number of prestigious agencies, it is as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Ottawa since August 2001 that he made his mark on the university, my alma mater.

Under his stewardship, the University of Ottawa grew from 24,000 to over 35,000 students, added numerous academic programs to its roster, surpassed the $200 million goal for its most recent capital campaign, and is now ranked fifth in the country for research investments.

Gilles Patry has always been an approachable man despite his heavy responsibilities. Under his watch, the ivory tower became a welcoming beacon and Ontario's francophonie is the better for it.

We wish to express our sincere appreciation to Dr. Patry and his wife, Ruby Heaps, and wish them all the very best in the years to come.

Bloc Québécois
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the one-mandate party is celebrating its 18th anniversary. I would have this to say:

The time has come, my dear Bloc Québécois, to accept your powerlessness.

The time has come, my dear Bloc Québécois, to turn to the PQ since that is what you want.

The time has come, my dear Bloc Québécois, to justify your relevance.

The time has come, my dear Bloc Québécois, to explain your empty hands.

The time has come, my dear Bloc Québécois, to justify your empty promises.

The time has come, my dear Bloc Québécois, to explain your inconsistency.

The time has come, my dear Bloc Québécois, to be accountable.

The time is long past, my rich Bloc Québécois friends, for sitting on your salaries and your pensions.

The time will soon come, my dear Bloc Québécois, when Quebeckers will judge you for your inaction.

Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, June is Seniors' Month and I want to take a moment to recognize the incredible work being done by grandmothers across Canada in the fight against HIV-AIDS in Africa.

Over 13 million children in sub-Saharan Africa alone have been orphaned by AIDS. Grandmothers are at the heart of the response to the AIDS pandemic in Africa, as they often care for and bury their own children while parenting their grandchildren as well.

In March 2006 the Stephen Lewis Foundation launched the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, which was designed to raise awareness in Canada about the plight of Africa's grandmothers and to mobilize support.

Today over 200 groups of its kind have sprung up in Canada. These grandmothers campaign tirelessly to raise awareness, build solidarity with their counterparts in Africa and raise the critical funds needed to fight this devastating disease. We recently hosted such an event in my riding of Parkdale--High Park.

African grandmothers are the silent victims of this pandemic, but I am honoured to report that our grandmothers here in Canada have taken up the fight and continue to do all they can to ease this overwhelming burden.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Glen Pearson London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, next month, one of the most accomplished individuals to serve this country overseas is leaving her post as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, a job she has performed with distinction since 2004.

Madam Arbour's international career began in 1996 as the chief prosecutor of war crimes before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and for the former Yugoslavia, in The Hague.

A justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and an advocate of justice around the world, Louise Arbour has served her country in the cause of human rights with courage and dedication.

Sadly, too many have remained silent on the accomplishments of this great Canadian.

Canada owes Madam Arbour a great debt of thanks.

We on this side of the House cannot let this occasion pass without comment. On behalf of the Liberal opposition and all Canadians, let me express congratulations and thanks to Madam Louise Arbour for a life of service to Canada and the world.