House of Commons Hansard #107 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was health.

Topics

Public Accounts of Canada
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to table today, in both official languages, the Public Accounts of Canada, 2009.

The Government of Canada is committed to sound financial management and reporting. I am pleased to note that for the 11th consecutive year the Auditor General of Canada has provided an unqualified audit opinion of the Government of Canada's financial statements. I have the documents here.

Individual Member's Expenditures
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. I have the honour to lay upon the table a document entitled “Individual Member's Expenditures” for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009.

Civil Aviation Safety
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, with leave of the House and pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I would like to table, in both official languages, a treaty entitled “Agreement on Civil Aviation Safety between Canada and the European Community” signed in Prague on May 6, 2009.

Pacific Coast Albacore Tuna Vessels and Port Privileges
Routine Proceedings

November 4th, 2009 / 3:15 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to table a document entitled “Exchange of Notes between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America concluding amendments to the Treaty between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America on Pacific Coast Albacore Tuna Vessels and Port Privileges”, done at Washington on June 12, 2009.

Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, lastly, I would like to table a document entitled “Framework Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America for Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes” done at Washington on September 9, 2009.

Roméo LeBlanc
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, this past summer, the remarkable life of Roméo LeBlanc came to an end. It is fitting that the House now has an opportunity to record our collective appreciation for the life and remarkable public service of a great Canadian, a former member of the House, a minister of the Crown, a Speaker of the Senate, Canada's 25th Governor General and Canada's first ever Acadian Governor General.

All of these accomplishments notwithstanding, Roméo LeBlanc was, first and foremost, a son of the Acadian community. It was fitting that his state funeral was held at St. Thomas church in Memramcook, New Brunswick.

He was a man of great personal character, great decency, dedication and strong loyalty to family, friends and country. Community mattered to Roméo LeBlanc and his service to the people of his home community was the greatest. His establishment of the Governor General's Caring Canadian Awards is testimony to the high value he attached to the strengthening of communities through volunteering and caregiving.

He championed the telling of Canada's greatest stories through the teaching of history and artistic expression. As Her Majesty's representative, he touched the lives of all Canadians he met during his hundreds of events across Canada.

At the time of his passing, there was a great outpouring of affection for Monsieur LeBlanc. In fact, I noticed one of the comments on a CBC website, where a Canadian wrote in anonymously and said, “I was very sad to learn about Monsieur LeBlanc's passing. He signed the Nunavut charter and I was there, a teenager, witnessing a page in Inuit political history. He was an astounding human being”.

The fact that his dedication to public service was cut short only by the rapid progression of Alzheimer disease goes to show the strength of the values that inspired him to help others in need.

We salute the Right Hon. Roméo LeBlanc and thank him for his service to Canada. We also thank his family and his community for having given him the opportunity to make his outstanding mark on Canada's history.

I would like to say to my good friend, the member for Beauséjour, that I am sorry for his loss. The LeBlanc name will live on with pride in the House of Commons through him.

Roméo LeBlanc
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I rise to join in the tributes to a great Canadian, a member of the House, a member of the other place and a devoted servant of Canada, the Right Hon. Roméo LeBlanc.

Roméo LeBlanc was always a proud Acadian, a leader and a beacon for his community, especially as the 25th Governor General of Canada and the first Acadian to bear that title. At every stage of his long and impressive career, Roméo LeBlanc was dedicated to the service of his country.

He was an incredible fisheries minister, at home with everyone on the wharf. The bond he developed with everyone on the wharf and in the whole fishing industry was legendary. He held the post for eight years. I think he was the distinguished Canadian to hold that post the longest. We remember his service to the fishing industry and the fisheries with affection and respect.

As a senator and then Governor General, Roméo LeBlanc was a tireless advocate of education, volunteerism and teaching the history of Canada. He also championed the cause of improving living conditions for the first nations.

We want to publicly offer our most sincere condolences to the LeBlanc family, especially to our colleague and friend the hon. member for Beauséjour, his son, and to his daughter Geneviève.

Today, in the place that he served, we pay tribute to Roméo LeBlanc's career. We remember him as a consummate public servant and a staunch believer in Canada and the Canadian people.

While we mourn the loss of a great Canadian, we also celebrate his life and his place in the history of a country that he loved with a passion.

If I could conclude in a personal way, I think anyone who attended the funeral service in that little church in Memramcook will never forget the deep affection and love that was expressed for him by the crowd outside and the crowd inside.

And when we all sang that beautifully melancholic song, Partons la mer est belle, we felt the affection and respect that everyone at that ceremony, everyone in that small town felt for a very great Canadian who will be sorely missed.

Roméo LeBlanc
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, this past summer, Acadia lost one of its most illustrious native sons, Roméo Leblanc, at the age of 81. During his long career, Mr. Leblanc left a lasting impression on us all. We will remember him for many different reasons.

He was very proud of what he was. He took pride in his origins, his roots. He was also proud of being Acadian and francophone. Born in 1927 in Memramcook to a father who worked for the railway, he had nothing in his background that destined him for the career he would have.

Mr. Leblanc left a long list of achievements. He began his career as a teacher and journalist and was then elected to Parliament as the member for the riding of Westmorland—Kent in New Brunswick. He served as a minister and a senator and later as Governor General, becoming the first Acadian to hold this position. I believe that he did as much for Acadian culture as the greatest figures in the history of his people.

Roméo Leblanc was a simple man who led an extraordinary life. He was a man of the people, a hands-on kind of man who was close to people. He had a big heart and understood the importance of working for the development and enhancement of his community. He always stood up for his people and for the values he cherished.

In his village, in his corner of the country in New Brunswick, Roméo Leblanc was considered a leading figure. Everyone appreciated his genuineness and generosity. His high office never prevented him from remaining close to people, which is remarkable. He never hesitated to go down to the wharves and meet people. It is no surprise that he came to be known as the “fishermen's minister”.

Roméo Leblanc created the Caring Canadian Award, which recognizes individuals and groups whose unpaid, voluntary contributions provide extraordinary help or care to people in the community. It is also thanks to him that we recognize the contribution of aboriginal peoples every year on June 21, National Aboriginal Day. Lastly, I think of the very important work he did to defend and promote Canada's francophone community. That shows what kind of man Roméo Leblanc was. He was committed and dedicated. That is why he was a true model and a great source of inspiration for Acadians.

In closing, on behalf of the leader of the Bloc Québécois, the member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie, and all the members of the Bloc Québécois caucus, I would like to express our sincere sympathies to our colleague, the member for Beauséjour, on the loss of the man who was much more than his model in politics, the man who was his father, Roméo Leblanc.

Roméo LeBlanc
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to speak today on behalf of the NDP to pay tribute to Roméo LeBlanc, who was considered by all in my community and by myself to be a great politician. The work he did during his career as a member of Parliament, fisheries minister, senator and Governor General had a lasting impact on New Brunswick, Acadia and Canada as a whole.

During his time as fisheries minister, or, as Jean Chrétien put it, minister of fishers, Mr. LeBlanc helped fishers in his region and across the country tremendously. He made great strides forward during his mandate because he was close to the people, close to fishers. He was like one of their own and he knew how to listen to their concerns.

He loved his work and our beautiful country passionately, and he wanted people to care more about politics. My colleague, Bill Blaikie, who had a chance to work with Mr. LeBlanc, told me about what a simple, fair and down-to-earth guy he was, how he liked talking to people and listening to what others had to say to him. I think that many people in politics now could have learned a lot from spending time with Mr. LeBlanc.

He was the first Acadian to be appointed Governor General, and was a great defender of la francophonie in Canada and throughout the world, but many other causes were close to his heart, including volunteerism.

In 1996, to honour everyday heroes who help others and ask for nothing in return, he created the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award.

He wanted the qualities of openness and compassion that he so admired in Canadians to be applied to solving the problems that divided aboriginal and non-aboriginal people in Canada. He declared June 21 National Aboriginal Day, to pay tribute to the first nations, their culture, their history and their contribution to the development of our country. In doing so, he showed us, yet again, how much respect he had for Canadians, and how much he wanted us all to be equal.

I will conclude with something Mr. LeBlanc said in his installation speech in February 1995:

If I am to be known for anything, I would like it to be for encouraging Canadians, for knowing a little bit about their daily, extraordinary courage. And for wanting that courage to be recognized.

I think that his wish came true, because that is exactly how many Canadians, myself included, will remember him, as a man who believed in his country and its people, and also as a man who was close to people, who respected them, and who profoundly touched the lives of many Canadians. Mr. LeBlanc's family, including the member for Beauséjour, have every reason to be proud of their father's accomplishments.

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present, in both official languages, three reports: the report of the Canadian Parliamentary Delegation of the Canadian Group of Interparliamentary Union, concerning its participation at the eighth workshop of parliamentary scholars and parliamentarians, Wroxton College, Wroxton, United Kingdom, July 26 to 27, 2008; the 17th session of the Steering Committee of the Parliamentary Conference on the World Trade Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, April 3 to 4, 2008; and the meeting of the Asia-Pacific working group of the Interparliamentary Union, Beijing, China, March 20.

Use of Props in the House
Points of Order
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order arising from question period.

Government members en masse contravened one of the Standing Orders by using a prop at the start of question period. What is truly offensive about the contravention is this. Upon inspection of the mittens that were used, which I checked out because I thought for sure there would be a place to cut the connector string that many on the other side would require, or even a trace of an “L” on one and an “R” on the other, on the inside, where we would have expected to see the Canada action plan signage, we saw a sign that said “made in China”.

The government members were very forceful today, saying that they stood up for Canadian jobs. We talked about the jobs that had gone to Wisconsin with the train contract. The Conservatives should apologize to Canadian workers for waving their mittens, which were made in China.

Use of Props in the House
Points of Order
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the gloves that people were wearing here, showing enthusiastic support for Canadian athletes, was a private sector initiative designed to support Canadian athletes. We on this side ensured that they were all paid for. People can buy them at $10 a piece and help support our athletes. That would be the right Olympic spirit and a great show of pride in Canada.

Use of Props in the House
Points of Order
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I imagine that you do not intend to respond immediately from your chair to the point of order raised by my colleague, the Liberal Party whip. However, I refer you to a decision you made following, I believe, the Nagano Olympic Games, where one party made extensive use of props—I cannot think of the French term—that is, accessories or objects.

Before you give your ruling, I would like you to examine the decision pertaining to the Nagano Olympic Games and I believe you will be in a position to enlighten us as to how to proceed in this similar matter.

It was obvious that all Conservative Party members were attempting to impress us with their show of mittens. But if the mitten fits—

Use of Props in the House
Points of Order
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, on the same point of order, I know the Conservatives are very much into optics these days. Now we find out that the Liberals suddenly have a new-found love for made in Canada. We will vote on a bill tonight about made in Canada, so maybe members of the House could think about what they will do in terms of that vote. There is an opportunity to support made in Canada.

I also point out that the mittens, which are made in China, are also not union made. If we truly believe in what we stand for, then let us get away from the optics and vote tonight for the bill on made in Canada.

Use of Props in the House
Points of Order
Routine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I am not sure that where the mits are made is of any relevance to the Chair in this mini debate, but what is of importance is the use of props in the House. I was shocked that so many members were using props, with which we know we have trouble.

Members have raised points before about various buttons on occasion, certainly ribbons and other things such as scarves and other items like that, which have been raised in the past. I think these mittens fall in the same category. I hope we will not see a repeat of this. If it continues, obviously the competition could become intense and we may see all kinds of different things appear, which may not be entirely in the best interests of the House.

I would urge hon. members to show proper restraint in this regard.

Does the hon. member for Jeanne-Le Ber also wish to raise a point of order?