House of Commons Hansard #104 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Mining Research Centre
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Diane Marleau Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Sudbury area is the largest mining site in the world.

For many years, a consortium of government, education and private mining sector players has been working to establish an international mining research centre in greater Sudbury at Laurentian University. Recently the minister responsible for FedNor announced that he would not be going forward with funding for this centre. This is unfortunate, as all other partners have agreed to fund the project together.

While we look to other ministries for funding, I ask the minister responsible for FedNor to reconsider his decision. This important opportunity to innovate should not be missed. I encourage all involved to continue working together to make this project a reality.

Religious Freedom
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bradley Trost Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, one of the most fundamental freedoms is the freedom of religion. Whether and how to worship God freely is a special right. It is a right that touches on man's relationship to his maker. It is the only right that deals with man's relationship with eternity.

Canadians have a long history of standing up for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, which includes freedom of religion. Many immigrants, including some of my own ancestors, have come to Canada, because in Canada everyone is allowed to worship in the way of one's own choosing.

Canadian foreign policy will continue to stress this fundamental right. We must be clear on the world stage. Governments that oppress their religious minorities are morally deficient. They lack moral legitimacy.

Canadians owe it to the oppressed of the world to be their voice, their spokesman, to say that the unalienable right to freedom of religion extends at all times to all people to all cultures everywhere.

Municipality Week
Statements By Members

June 3rd, 2008 / 2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a moment during Quebec's municipality week to pay tribute to two cities in my riding that were finalists in the 4th Ovation Municipale competition.

Thanks to a teaching tool called Quiz'eau, aimed at 3 to 9 year-olds, child care centres and all nursery and primary schools in Terrebonne will play a role in educating youth about responsible use of potable water.

In Blainville, a public safety campaign entitled “Fais ton choix, atteins tes buts” aimed at young people will steer a balanced course between prevention and enforcement of the law when dealing with problems related to juvenile delinquency.

I would like to sincerely thank and congratulate the leaders in these two municipalities for the interest they have shown in improving the quality of life of our citizens and for their innovative approach.

Elections Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Denis Lebel Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party leader has until today to pay back the money he borrowed from wealthy and powerful elites during the Liberal leadership race in 2006.

However, we learned today that he was unable to pay back the debts incurred during the leadership race, which total hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When will he tell Canadians the truth about how much he owes? Who are these wealthy elites to whom he owes the money? Who is calling the shots for the Liberal Party?

The fact that the Liberal leader ran up such astronomical debts shows that he is a weak leader and that he cannot be trusted to manage the nation's finances.

Will Elections Canada grant him a new deadline in order to protect him, given his inability to come up with the money? I call upon the Liberal Party leader to table in this House the agreement he reached with Elections Canada and his debt repayment plan.

Women of Distinction Award
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, the YWCA recently honoured a great community leader in my riding with its Women of Distinction Award.

Seventeen years ago, Susan Keeping and her children were penniless after fleeing an abusive relationship. It was not an easy time. They did not know how to find help. After getting back on her feet, Susan co-founded the Newton Advocacy Group Society. Every year it helps 5,000 less fortunate people access programs that offer financial assistance, housing and mental health services.

We thank Susan for her outstanding commitment to community service and her dedication to social justice. She is an inspiration to all of us working for our communities.

Elections Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, during times of economic uncertainty Canadians want a leader they can trust. This trust clearly cannot be placed in the hands of the Liberal leader.

Today is the deadline for former Liberal leadership candidates to pay off hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans and outstanding debts or face being in violation of Canada's election laws. Media reports today say the Liberal leader will not have all his loans and debts paid off and that he will be looking to Elections Canada for help by extending the deadline.

The Liberal leader cannot find enough supporters to pay down his debt. At least his chief rivals, such as the member for Toronto Centre and the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore, made an effort to pay back their loans.

Will the Liberal leader come clean and show Canadians and this House the agreement he has with Elections Canada to repay his debts due to his fundraising failures or will he break the law by accepting illegal donations?

Automotive Industry
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, a few months ago, the finance minister declared to investors that Ontario is the last place they would want to go to make a new business investment in Canada.

Today General Motors took the finance minister's advice and announced it was going to move thousands of jobs from Oshawa to Mexico. The company has decided to violate not only the two week old collective agreement with the auto workers but also the guaranteed employment levels that ensured the $435 million in government assistance.

As Canada has fallen from fourth to tenth in auto assembly and from auto trade surplus to deficit, the government continues to engage in unfair trade deals that leave our market open to the dumping of foreign-made vehicles while other countries are closed to the Canadian-built ones.

With no auto policy and no manufacturing strategy, is the government going to allow GM to become a corporate criminal by breaking both labour and contract law? Legal obligations to working families and Canadian taxpayers are what we are talking about.

Will the government finally act and force General Motors to follow the rule of law and keep those jobs in Canada?

International Aid
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, “We will not rest until they rest”. That is the pledge sent from Canadian grandmothers to grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa.

In sub-Saharan Africa alone, there are 13 million HIV-AIDS orphans being raised by their grandmothers. What is even more terrible is that their parents could have been saved.

Four years ago under a Liberal government, the Canadian access to medicines regime was passed through Parliament unanimously. However, no retroviral drug has ever been shipped from Canada to Africa.

Complete reform needs to be made. The Conservative government has ignored the pleas of these heroic grandmothers. A loss of life is always tragic, but it is even more tragic when it is preventable.

Canada has a moral obligation to make good on the commitment to provide the retroviral drugs that will save these lives so that the children of sub-Saharan Africa will have not only grandmothers but mothers and fathers as well.

Bill C-484
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, on June 1, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Montreal to condemn Bill C-484, which threatens to reopen the abortion debate.

Nearly 1,500 women and men of all ages from community organizations and various groups that support women's rights joined the march, which began in front of the clinic run by Dr. Morgentaler, a true icon in the fight to decriminalize abortion. My colleague from Laval and I were proud to take part in the march.

The Prime Minister had promised not to reopen the abortion debate. Yet Bill C-484 breaks that promise. These are devious, hypocritical tactics to undermine women's dignity and basic rights.

I invite people to condemn the Conservatives' hidden agenda by taking part in activities to protest Bill C-484 and signing the Bloc Québécois petition.

Government Policies
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, government members need to be on their best behaviour in the coming days. A big cabinet shuffle is coming and there are big rewards for those who are willing to say the ridiculous in defence of the incompetent.

After all, the Prime Minister cannot give every job to the new foreign affairs minister, can he?

The member for South Shore—St. Margaret's is awfully chipper lately. Bob Fife has said that there is a car and a driver in his future, so it must be true.

Alas, this is bad news for the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Yes, she should enjoy her title and her nice office while she can, because they are going to someone else soon.

In fact, there are several members who are going to have to forget their titles and remember the names of their ridings. They might even have to remember that they are representing the needs of all Canadians and not their party's single-minded tactical pursuit of electoral advantage.

What Canadians have received from the government and its ministers in the last few months is a series of gaffes and blunders.

No matter how hard the government tries to shuffle people around, the truth is that they cannot do the job.

Elections Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, if the Liberal leader does not repay his loans by the end of the business day today, in three hours, those loans become illegal donations over the contribution limit. A number of questions follow from that.

First, if the Liberal leader is too weak to manage his own finances, how can he run the country?

Second, if he cannot repay these wealthy elites and powerful insiders, who is pulling the Liberal leader's strings?

Third, how much does he owe these wealthy elites?

Fourth, what have these wealthy elites asked for in return for their money?

Fifth, when will they be paid off?

Sixth, what penalty has Elections Canada applied to this breach?

I call on the Leader of the Opposition to stand now in the House and table the special arrangement that he is seeking with Elections Canada. He can do it right now.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, before it was made public, was the Prime Minister ever told about Madam Couillard's past by any security official, government official, member of his staff or anyone else?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said repeatedly, we do not conduct investigations into private citizens. As the Leader of the Opposition knows, the former minister of foreign affairs informed me about the problem with the documents on Monday and offered his resignation, and that is why I accepted it.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, since I did not get an answer I will try again.

Before this affair became public, was the Prime Minister made aware of Ms. Couillard's past—made aware by a member of security services, a member of the government, an official, a member of his staff or anyone else?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we do not conduct investigations into matters of private lives. The Liberal Party invented a story last week about public safety, CSIS and other agencies. All these rumours are false.