House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copenhagen.

Topics

Climate Change
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is a broad scientific consensus not only on the extent of climate change, but on the targets to reach in order to avoid the worst. More and more countries, even the most resistant at first, such as the United States and China, are realizing the urgent need for action.

While Quebec has already made considerable efforts and continues to favour binding measures for fighting climate change, the Canadian government, on behalf of the oil companies, is trying to sabotage negotiations to adopt an ambitious greenhouse gas reduction agreement in Copenhagen.

The Canadian government has done nothing to achieve the Kyoto protocol objectives; on the contrary, greenhouse gas emissions increased by more than 21% between 1990 and 2007.

It is the eleventh hour. We have to get this government to listen to reason. It is embarrassing Quebec on the world stage by scuttling concerted efforts to fight climate change.

We must take action. We must take action now. We must take action to—

Climate Change
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Kitchener—Conestoga.

Jewish Canadians
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, Jewish Canadians know that our government is standing up against anti-Semitism in all its forms.

We created the security infrastructure pilot program, which helps protect synagogues and Jewish community centres from anti-Semitic attacks and vandalism.

We provided $2.5 million to commemorate the St. Louis incident, a sad moment in Canadian history when a previous government under Prime Minister Mackenzie King turned away Jews seeking refuge from the Holocaust.

We joined the international Holocaust task force. This task force was set up when the previous government held office; but inexplicably, it refused to join.

We cut off funding to the anti-Semitic Canadian Arab Federation, over Liberal protests. We led the world in boycotting the anti-Semitic Durban II conference.

Maybe that is why Jewish Canadians are increasingly seeking the Conservative Party as their best hope in the fight against the scourge of anti-Semitism at home and abroad.

Canadian National Institute for the Blind
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind's record of accomplishment for the many Canadians affected by vision loss is extraordinary.

I have personal knowledge of its good work because my aunt, Nancy Hall Field, devoted many years to volunteering with the CNIB, doing so well into her eighties, translating works into Braille and teaching others to do so, and as a draughtswoman and artist who was a driving force behind the tactile program.

It was wonderful to see the CNIB on Parliament Hill this week, raising awareness of its excellent work among parliamentarians and legislators.

I will add that a good number of the CNIB representatives were of the four-legged kind, the seeing eye dogs. They single handedly or, I should say, “single-pawedly” raised the tenor of behaviour and discourse here on Parliament Hill through their hard work, calm, and attention to others and, first and foremost, their respect for their role in helping and protecting others.

I ask my colleagues in the House to join me in congratulating the CNIB for its many decades of contribution and to offer our best wishes for many more.

The Economy
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on the economy and the need to help Canadians. That is why we continue to implement our economic action plan to help combat the effects of the global recession.

Along with provinces, territories and municipalities, we are investing in infrastructure projects, creating jobs and making communities across Canada better places to live, work and raise a family. We have reduced taxes on families and businesses and have implemented measures such as the home renovation tax credit and the first time home buyers' tax credit. In addition, we are helping the unemployed by extending EI benefits. But the global economic recovery remains fragile.

Earlier this week, the Liberal leader once again showed Quebeckers and Canadians that he has a serious lack of judgment. The Liberal Party even voted against a bill that would contribute to the economic recovery. Our government is taking more action for Quebeckers and Canadians than the opposition parties ever will.

Transgender Day of Remembrance
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, around the world and in Canada, in hundreds of cities and towns, people are gathering today to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance, to remember the members of the transsexual and transgendered communities who have died because of transphobic violence.

In the past year, we know of 121 trans people who have died violently around the world. The actual number is much higher. Trans Canadians face violence and harassment, and also discrimination on the job, in housing and health care.

Given this, explicit human rights protection is needed in law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression. Parliament will soon have the opportunity to debate these changes and MPs will be able to speak out and take action.

Recognizing and celebrating the life experiences of trans people today and throughout the year, New Democrats stand in solidarity with the transsexual and transgendered communities and recommit to working to end violence and to establish full human rights for trans Canadians.

Israel
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will begin by quoting the former ambassador of Israel to Canada, Alan Baker: “We're seeing the leaders of opposition parties marching in Montreal under Hezbollah flags—Hezbollah, which is an organization, a terrorist organization, that's been outlawed by Canadian law”. Baker was referring, of course, to the Liberal member for Bourassa.

The Conservative record, by contrast, is one of consistent support for Israel in her fight against her enemies and, therefore, ours. We cut off funding for the anti-Semitic Canadian Arab Federation, even though the Liberals criticized us. We also led the world in boycotting the Durban II conference. Our government stands alone in voting no on the UN Human Rights Council motion singling out Israel for special criticism.

Only the Conservative Party can be counted on to stand up consistently, without hesitation or reservation, for Israel in its fight against the forces of terror and nihilism.

Universal Children's Day
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to remind everyone that today is Universal Children's Day. This year is special, because it also marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Hon. members will recall that 20 years ago, on November 24, the House of Commons adopted a motion that called for completely eliminating child poverty by the year 2000. We all know that successive federal governments have made too little progress to date toward meeting that goal. According to a UNICEF report, child poverty has even risen by 20%, and Canada has the highest rate of juvenile detention among comparable industrialized nations.

I want to recognize the phenomenal work the community organizations in my riding and throughout Quebec are doing, despite extremely limited resources. These organizations certainly understand that children are the greatest treasure the Quebec nation possesses.

National Child Day
Statements by Members

November 20th, 2009 / 11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, today is National Child Day, and today I have shared with my colleagues blue ribbons made by some of the leading advocates for early learning and child care, Pat Hogan and her staff, from my home riding of Dartmouth—Cole Harbour.

Today is also the 20th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states:

In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

The Liberal Party of Canada, through the Leader of the Opposition, fully supports a national early learning and child care program based on the principles of quality, universality, accessibility and affordability.

Today is about children and the need to provide opportunity for all children, too many of whom grow up in an environment where early quality care is simply not available. A strong national child care program will lead to healthier, happier and more productive children, and a stronger economy for us all.

I want to thank all the champions of our children, many of whom, like Pat Hogan, have dedicated much of their lives to quality early learning and child care. Let us reward their lifetime of work and really invest in their cause of early learning and child care.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, while some in the Liberal Party today think of the former Liberal era as the golden age of politics, Canadians got a reminder yesterday of its defining legacy.

Former Liberal minister, David Dingwall, high-priced lobbyist, David Dingwall, Liberal appointee, David Dingwall, and exhibit A for why our Conservative government introduced the Federal Accountability Act, billed the taxpayers of Canada nearly $40,000 to appear at a Commons committee in 2005.

For my Liberal friends who may have forgotten what the former Liberal minister told us, let me remind them of the old Liberal standby. He was ”entitled to his entitlements”.

It is because of the Liberal Party's time in power that this government was elected to clean up the way government did business. We introduced the Federal Accountability Act, which has removed big money from politics and limited the influence of lobbyists.

This Conservative government understands that it is an honour to serve in the House. We will continue to offer Canadians an alternative to those who continue to believe that they are entitled to their entitlements.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the defence minister was out to shoot the messenger, but the more he called Richard Colvin a liar, the more the minister contradicted himself.

After four years of denials, he now admits that he did in fact receive and read at least one of Richard Colvin's reports. He also admits that at least part of Colvin's story has been corroborated by the Red Cross, the Canadian ambassador and the Canadian Forces.

Why will the government not help Canadians get the whole truth in this matter through a full, independent judicial inquiry?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is important to note that in his testimony before the committee earlier this week, Mr. Colvin confirmed that he never witnessed abuse first-hand. His allegations are nothing short of hearsay, sometimes second-hand or even third-hand information, or worse yet, information that came directly from the Taliban. He will not even identify the sources from which he makes these allegations, and that is unfortunate.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the government's reaction is so aggressive, so nasty and so personal it smacks of desperation.

The defence minister slandered Richard Colvin as unbelievable, but in the same breath he says that he eventually acted on Colvin's information. The minister depicts Richard Colvin as naive and irresponsible, but Mr. Colvin continues in Canada's senior intelligence post in Washington.

The contradictions are rife and the government cannot be the sole judge of what is credible and what is not. How can the truth be found without a full inquiry?

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, it is not just the government. I noticed in the news reports this morning that well-respected former diplomat, Paul Chapin, said the following:

I think that what set me back is how serious the allegations are and how flimsy the evidence...It would have been rather more reassuring had [Colvin] been able to provide some of the detail that would give credibility to these very serious allegations.

Afghanistan
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, serious allegations have been made by a high level diplomat with at least some corroboration. Canada's reputation is now at stake. Until those allegations are resolved, Canadians serving in Afghanistan may be at greater risk and Canada's credibility on human rights issues is compromised. Decent democratic governments are not afraid of transparency. They get to the bottom of tough issues.

If a proper inquiry has not been launched by the time the Prime Minister goes to China, what will he say about human rights to President Hu Jintao?