House of Commons Hansard #16 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was arctic.

Topics

Heart Month
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, February is Heart Month and I stand to honour the hard work of all the researchers, health care providers and volunteers who work every day to improve the lives of Canadians with heart disease.

Though we have pushed the yardsticks forward, we still have a long way to go. Every seven minutes a Canadian dies from heart disease or stroke. Every seven minutes another family is thrown into crisis.

These are current statistics, but we can change them. By working together, we can save lives both today and for future generations.

I encourage all Canadians to get involved by educating their friends and colleagues about heart disease, organizing a fundraiser, learning CPR or canvassing their neighbourhoods. United, we can secure a better and healthier future for all Canadians.

Quebec International Peewee Hockey Tournament
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Pascal-Pierre Paillé Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked the end of the 50th Quebec International Peewee Hockey Tournament, which was held from February 11 to 22. It is the biggest minor hockey tournament in the world.

Over the past 50 years, the Carnaval peewees have become a winter-season fixture in the capital. This year, more than 2,300 players aged 11 and 12, from 16 countries, fought for the honour of becoming the world peewee hockey champions. These young players had some unforgettable encounters and, i am sure, left with unforgettable memories.

All of my Bloc Québécois colleagues join me in saluting the work of the organizers, coaches, officials, chaperones and volunteers who spared no effort to make this tournament a spectacular success. I would also like to congratulate the Donnacona—Pont-Rouge Diablos, who were crowned the champions of the C international finals. They gave their all for their coach, Michel Bédard, who is currently fighting cancer.

We are very proud to have hosted the 50th tournament in Quebec City.

Social Assistance
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, my office has been flooded with calls from people who are falling through the cracks. We have seniors living in poverty whose pensions are not adequate and whose homes need repair, yet folks cannot tap into government programs because money is required up front and only part of their expense is reimbursed.

A lot of people who have lost their jobs cannot reach the employment insurance office by phone. They are forced to wait four to six weeks because of the delay.

People are running out of benefits, and the new five-week extension is not applicable to everyone currently receiving assistance.

Immigration backlogs continue to result in family separation, with the very frequent denial of visitor visas. Eligibility for the child tax benefit is often hard to prove to the satisfaction of Revenue Canada. Day care is very hard to secure for young working parents, and students are being punished with the unfairness of student loan programs. Many of our civil servants are overworked and cannot keep up with the increasing demand for help.

It is high time our government found enough resources to ensure that the most vulnerable get the help they need.

Parliamentary Outdoors Caucus
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary outdoors caucus represents the Canadian heritage activities of hunting, fishing, sport shooting and trapping. As the largest federal all-party caucus during the last Parliament, its goal is to preserve and promote these activities, protect them by law and encourage the public to accept them as traditional and environmentally responsible pillars in Canadian culture.

Rural and urban Canadians of all political affiliations, backgrounds, ages and abilities contribute over $10 billion annually to the national economy through these outdoor activities.

I cordially invite all MPs and senators to join us tomorrow, February 24, in the parliamentary restaurant at 7:30 a.m. for our annual breakfast meeting. MPs and senators are sure to enjoy our keynote speaker, Shane Mahoney of Newfoundland, a treasured environmentalist and conservationist.

We are indebted to Phil Morlock, chair of the government affairs committee at the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association, for his advice and hard work in bringing the outdoors community indoors to Parliament Hill. Of course, Mr. Speaker, you are invited too.

Women's Executive Network Top 100 Award
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to an extraordinary entrepreneur in my riding, Neena Kanwar, who is recognized by the Women's Executive Network as one of the top 100 women in Canada for 2008.

Mississauga's Neena Kanwar was chosen as a winner in the entrepreneur category. Neena Kanwar is an amazing trailblazer. Neena and her husband, Vijay Jeet Kanwar, co-founded KMH Cardiology and Diagnostic Centres, headquartered in Mississauga. She is CEO of the company, which employs 150 people and provides nuclear medicine, cardiology and MRI diagnostic services in treating heart-related illnesses.

Each year more than 75,000 patients are referred to KMH for medical tests. Not only is Neena a brilliant innovator in her field, but she is a generous contributor to her community, having donated $5 million to the Credit Valley Hospital to name the ambulatory care centre. As well, she launched the KMH Family Assistance Services foundation, helping people break the cycle of poverty.

I am proud of Neena's accomplishments and delighted that the Women's Executive Network recognized her for her entrepreneurial spirit.

Heart Month
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, February is Heart Month. Today the Heart and Stroke Foundation is hosting a demonstration event on Parliament Hill. As a director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. and Yukon, I am proud to sponsor this event.

Every participant will be given a CPR Anytime training kit, which can be used at home with family and friends to learn these important skills. About 40,000 people experience cardiac arrest every year in Canada. With each passing minute, their probability of survival declines by up to 10%. Using an automated external defibrillator, or AED, combined with CPR within the first few minutes can improve survival rates by up to 50% or more.

One does not have to be a doctor to save a life. We all have the power to restart a heart. By learning CPR and AED skills, we can help save someone when it counts most. MPs, senators and staff are invited to come learn the importance of these vital skills today in room 200 of the West Block at 3:30. Let us put our hearts into it. One day we might just save the life of someone we love.

Alexandre Mallette-Lafrenière
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, young Alexandre Mallette-Lafrenière, who came to symbolize the Shannon tainted water scandal, died in a Quebec City hospital.

The family's nightmare began in September 2007, when Alexandre was diagnosed with brain cancer. At the time, he was given just three months to live. Because of his will to live and his determination, with the help of chemotherapy, he went on to fight the disease for more than 17 months.

Alexandre became a living symbol of the battle the people of Shannon have been fighting for too long: their crusade to force the federal government to do everything in its power to get to the bottom of the link between the incidence of cancer in Shannon and the use of industrial degreasers containing TCE by National Defence and its contractors.

We must not let Alexandre's death be in vain. The federal government must act quickly to acknowledge its responsibility in this scandal and compensate all of the victims.

The members of the Bloc Québécois would like to offer their sincere condolences to the Mallette-Lafrenière family.

Centenary of Powered Flight in Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, 100 years ago today at Baddeck, Nova Scotia, J.A.D. McCurdy slipped the surly bonds of earth in powered flight for the first time in Canada and the British Empire. The Silver Dart flew 800 metres at a dizzying height of 10 metres and the blistering speed of 64 kilometres per hour. That event was the first of countless achievements by Canadian aviators and industry.

Across Canada this year, we celebrate Billy Bishop's courage of the early morning; our pioneering bush pilots; the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan; the companies that built Hurricanes and Halifaxes; Buzz Beurling over Malta; the 10,000 Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice in bomber command; Canadian Sabre pilots over the Yalu River; the world's first jet airliner; the ahead-of-its-time Avro Arrow; the Canadarm; our astronauts, including our own space sailor from Westmount—Ville-Marie; modern-day military and civilian aviators; and all the people who have supported those who danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.

As one who has joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds, I am very proud to salute all those Canadians over the past century who have trod the high, untrespassed sanctity of space, put out their hands and touched the face of God.

Per ardua ad astra.

Olympic Winter Games
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, in just 354 days, Canada will welcome the world's best to Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics. However, as our athletes continue to train for their competition of a lifetime, a bureaucratic competition is set to deliver a devastating blow to one of our country's premiere sport governing bodies.

For the past three Olympic Games, our hockey and sledge teams have worn the Hockey Canada emblem with great pride. The crest is a Canadian branding success story, with sales revenues expected to reach $20 million this Olympic year. Those increased revenues have helped develop young officials, coaches and volunteers and have kept insurance costs down for over half a million young players.

The COC is placing at risk an incredibly successful business plan should it deny Hockey Canada this opportunity. I urge all members of the House, and indeed all Canadians, to ask the COC to reverse its decision and allow our men's and women's hockey teams, our sledge team and, of course, Hockey Canada's business plan to continue their gold medal performances.

Le Québécois Newspaper
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, on the weekend, we learned that Le Québécois, the newspaper headed by Patrick Bourgeois, the man who called for violence in connection with the recreation of the battle of the Plains of Abraham, will no longer be funded by the Parti Québécois.

What is the Bloc leader doing? The PQ and the Bloc change their position according to which way the wind is blowing. When the wind changes direction, they change their minds. One day, they have no connection, and the next day they do. In fact, they do have a connection, because they are funding Patrick Bourgeois and his newspaper.

When will the Bloc leader distance himself from Patrick Bourgeois? Taxpayers' money should not be used to maintain ties with organizations that promote violence or disorder. The Bloc must disassociate itself from Le Québécois and Patrick Bourgeois as quickly as possible and immediately stop buying advertising in the newspaper. I call on the leader of the Bloc to do as the leader of the PQ did and give orders to his troops immediately.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak today on behalf of a group of aboriginal students from my riding. These students are deeply concerned about their future and the futures of all aboriginal students. INAC is currently reviewing programs that provide funding to aboriginal students, and my constituents are worried that their voices are not being heard.

Aboriginal students have made tremendous gains in recent years. They are a growing presence on college and university campuses. Such INAC programs as the post-secondary student support program, which provides grants to aboriginal students, have played an important role in these gains. It is vital that such programs continue to grow.

Today I am calling on the government to ensure that the concerns of aboriginal students are heard and that support for aboriginal students, in particular funding in the form of grants, is maintained and improved.

Infrastructure
Statements By Members

February 23rd, 2009 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to highlight some of the great work the government is doing to support local communities across Ontario. Last week Canada's transportation and infrastructure minister, along with his provincial counterpart, announced more than $1 billion for almost 300 projects across the province of Ontario.

Here is just a sample of what some of the municipalities had to say about this investment.

The mayor of LaSalle, near Windsor, said, “This is the biggest grant in the history of our town. This is a very exciting day”.

Said a city councillor from Port Colborne, “It's a great day. I'm just elated. It's unbelievable. This will mean so much for our community”.

This significant investment will create jobs, stimulate the economy and improve the quality of life for all Ontarians. This is just another example of how all three levels of government can work together positively to get shovels in the ground and get projects started faster.

Member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles has once again shown a flagrant lack of judgment. When asked to explain the absence of any Conservatives at the Québec Horizon Culture event, the member acknowledged the Conservatives' indifference towards artists.

I would remind the House of the full statement made by the member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles. He said: “We are not all that buddy-buddy with artists. That is not what we are about.” And there is more. He went on to spew, and I quote him word for word: “—that is $2 billion spent by you and me, and all workers, so artists can entertain us.”

What scorn. He was true to form, as all Conservatives are. After giving the finger to the Bloc Québécois, which made the annual TV review list, after accusing the Bloc Québécois of being responsible for the riots in Montreal North in the summer of 2008, after showing such scorn towards artists, the spokesperson for the Quebec nation said out loud what Conservatives really think.

Bathurst Phantoms
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, last year the town of Bathurst, New Brunswick lost seven young basketball players in a terrible van crash. One year later the Bathurst High School Phantoms are provincial champions.

These young athletes met incredible loss with incredible strength. They did so in a way that much older athletes could only hope to do.

On behalf of this House I extend our congratulations to the Phantoms of Bathurst for their championship win and for the courage and determination it required. They have done their community and their country very proud.

The courage and determination shown by the Phantoms of Bathurst are a source of inspiration. These young athletes deserve to be congratulated and recognized.

Bathurst Phantoms
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, as we all remember, last year a terrible bus accident took the lives of seven members of the Bathurst Phantoms basketball team as well as the coach's wife.

I would like to inform the House that this past weekend the Bathurst Phantoms won the New Brunswick High School AA Championship with an 82 to 50 victory over the Campobello Vikings.

This team and the community showed remarkable strength in coming together and achieving this success. We want them to know that Canada is very, very proud of what they have accomplished in the face of such tragedy.