House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was regions.

Topics

French at the 2010 Winter Games
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of recent incidents involving this government are reinforcing our concerns about the future of the French language in this country. First there were the cuts to international cooperation in five francophone African countries. Then the government's refusal to support the CBC forced the crown corporation to sacrifice some of the high quality services it provides for francophones. And now, before the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games have even begun, the Olympic committee has made a serious blunder at the expense of the Canadian francophone population. There were no francophone artists at an official event to begin the countdown in February 2009.

How is it that in this supposedly bilingual country we have to remind the Canadian Olympic Committee that Rule 24.1 of the Olympic Charter stipulates that, “The official languages of the IOC are French and English”?

The Bloc Québécois is calling on the Vancouver Olympic Committee, and by the same token, we also call on this government, to do whatever it takes to ensure that French is given the respect it deserves.

Manitoba Flood Preparations
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the many volunteers who are helping out with sandbagging in various communities and properties in Manitoba and my riding of Elmwood—Transcona.

The anticipated high water levels present challenges to all Manitobans, but especially in the communities along the Red River and other major rivers and streams throughout the province.

While the city of Winnipeg has the protection of the Winnipeg floodway, for which significant upgrading has just been completed, there are still some properties within the city limits that require additional protection.

While at home this weekend, I dropped by one such sandbagging effort behind the historic La Salle Hotel in my riding. The efforts of all the volunteers were obvious, but significant work is still needed to protect against the anticipated flood crest.

While I am on my feet, I would like to offer congratulations to Bill Blaikie, who won a byelection last Tuesday to become the new member of the legislature for Elmwood in Winnipeg. Bill was a member of this House for 29 years and Deputy Speaker in the last Parliament.

On behalf of all members, I would like to wish Bill well in his new career.

Women of Excellence Awards
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Holder London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, London, Ontario has produced many notable Canadians over time and the tradition continues.

This year the YMCA of Western Ontario is honouring several remarkable Londoners with Women of Excellence Awards. Each of these women has given of herself for the betterment of others in our London community in specific fields.

They include: Joy Warkentin for education, training and development; Karen Pincombe for arts, culture and heritage; Marlene McGrath for business professions and trades; Jean Wright for community, volunteerism and humanity; Sandra Cooper-Ryder for sport, fitness and recreation; and Dr. Sugantha Ganapathy for health, science and technology. Nicole Seymour was recognized as a young woman of excellence and Joan Francolini was awarded a lifetime achievement award.

These women make a positive difference in the lives of thousands of Londoners every day. To these women, on behalf of all Londoners whose lives they have touched and from the House of Commons, I sincerely thank them and congratulate them on their achievements. I thank them for caring.

Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the hon. House of an award received by a remarkable woman in my riding. Joyce Samms of Port aux Basques has been presented with the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation award.

Mrs. Samms served in the women's Royal naval service in England during the second world war. She moved with her family to Newfoundland in 1952 and a few years later became a member of the Royal Canadian Legion. She was the only female member at Branch 11 at the time.

Mrs. Samms served in a variety of roles for many years, including president, secretary, chair of the poppy campaign, and honours and awards chair. She is currently membership chair. Mrs. Samms was the first woman to be elected as district commander and 10 years later became the first woman in Canada to be elected provincial president.

Mrs. Samms has received the Meritorious Service Medal and the Palm Leaf, the legion's highest honour. She is a life member of the legion and a recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal.

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to tell you about such an outstanding woman from the riding of Random—Burin—St. George's.

Top Cadet Musician
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Mayes Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Army Cadet League of Canada has named the top cadet musician in Canada to be Cadet Master Warrant Officer Blythe Heywood of the 1705 British Columbia Dragoons Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps of Vernon for her accomplishments on the violin and the French horn.

Originally a member of the Enderby Cadets, Heywood later joined the Vernon squadron where she has performed in numerous band competitions. She was 1 out of 1,600 cadet musicians from cadet bands in 70 B.C. communities to join the 50-member group.

Heywood trained at the Vernon army camp for three summers and has spent two years in Quebec playing in the advanced band at the Eastern Region Cadet School of Music. She will be presented the Lieutenant General J.W. Quinn award at a later date. In addition to the trophy, there is a $250 cash award and a $500 award toward her cadet corps' music program.

On behalf of the constituents of Okanagan—Shuswap and my colleagues in the House, I congratulate Cadet Master Warrant Officer Heywood.

Joannie Rochette
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Quebecker Joannie Rochette, who won the silver medal in the women's singles event at the world figure skating championships in Los Angeles. This is a great achievement by this young woman from Île Dupas, a municipality in the riding of Berthier—Maskinongé.

Her prowess and success are an inspiration and an example. Thank you to her parents, her family, her friends and the local businesses that have always supported and encouraged her in her career.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues join me in congratulating Ms. Rochette on doing Quebec proud on the international sports scene with her determination, her discipline and her great talent.

Dalits
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, recently the issue of the treatment of the Dalit people of India was raised in the House. Untouchability has been a social evil for centuries in India. However, since independence, India has seen its leaders make great progress in fighting this evil.

Last week on Parliament Hill, there was a celebration of the 632nd birth anniversary of Shri Guru Ravidas, the religious leader who fought for Dalit rights.

Today, India has taken affirmative action that reserves seats for Dalits in all government institutions, including parliament. A Dalit has occupied the highest office of the president of India. The present chief justice of India is a Dalit. Finally, it is a criminal offence to discriminate against Dalits.

Although great progress has been made worldwide in confronting discrimination, still there is much to be accomplished.

Carson Marcoux
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I had the honour of participating in a fundraising activity for an Olympic hopeful in my riding. Carson Marcoux, 17 years old, of Balmoral, is attempting to qualify as a member of the national fencing team for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

A resident of a town with a population of approximately 1,800 located in northern New Brunswick, Carson has decided to live with his family in his region while competing around the world.

Carson is also a pianist and devoted to his community. He has proven to everyone that although he lives in a rural area where fencing is not the sport of choice, it is possible to be one of the best.

Carson was one of two young Canadians who participated in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Youth Camp. Madawaska—Restigouche supports he has in himself his Olympic dream and we are proud of the faith you have in yourself.

We thank you to the village of Balmoral, the volunteer firefighters and especially to his family, who is behind him all the way in his search for an Olympic dream.

Marcel Aubut
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, as chair of the Quebec Conservative caucus and on behalf of my colleagues, I would like to congratulate Marcel Aubut on being named president of the Canadian Olympic Committee. He is the first Quebecker to hold that position, and we are very proud of him.

Mr. Aubut, a lawyer and skilled businessman, dedicated much of his time and energy to supporting and developing sport at both professional and amateur levels. Who could forget the extraordinary saga of the Quebec Nordiques, with which he was closely associated? His work and dedication breathed new life into amateur sport and enabled athletes to benefit from the resources they need to succeed.

We believe that he will continue to dedicate himself passionately to athletes. It is therefore my great pleasure today to wish Mr. Aubut the best of luck in his new role as president of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

Carmelita Sideco
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House to pay a heartfelt personal tribute to a dear friend of many years, Mrs. Carmelita Sideco, or Tita Lita to the community. The wife of Dr. Edgardo Sideco and mother of four exceptional sons, Eric, Ian, Neil and Arne, she will be sadly missed by all of her friends and family, and those of us who have had the privilege to work with her over the years.

The many notices and articles that have been written in both the press of the Philippine community, of which she was such a beloved leader, and in the national media speak of her role as teacher, volunteer, patron of the arts and activist, but that would not in and of itself explain the overflowing crowd at the Annunciation of Our Lady Church who were there to say goodbye.

There was a unique quality about Carmelita. She never got angry no matter how difficult the issue. She always used her skill and experience to bring people together, not to divide. She was a true peacemaker and she will be truly missed.

Salamat po, Tita Lita.

Automotive Industry
Statements By Members

March 30th, 2009 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's auto industry directly employs over 150,000 Canadians and another 340,000 indirectly. It is our largest industry within the manufacturing sector. It represents 14% of our manufacturing output and 23% of our manufactured exports. In fact, half a million Canadians and their families depend on the health and viability of this industry and are looking to their leaders to ensure that Canada remains a strong part of the North American automotive industry through these economic times.

That is why it is absolutely shameful the Leader of the Opposition has turned up his nose to auto sector workers by saying, “No voter in B.C. wants to throw money into the auto sector and neither do I”. I wonder if he would repeat the same sentiment at a town hall meeting in Ontario. I am sure he has more savvy than that. He has shown time and time again that he is more than willing to flip-flop on the content of his message to suit whatever audience he is speaking to, whether it be in Saanich, St. Catharines or at his home in Harvard.

Jutra Awards
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 11th Jutra awards ceremony, a celebration of Quebec cinema, was held yesterday.

The winners included Borderline, a film by Lyne Charlebois, which won for best production. Benoît Pilon's The Necessities of Life won for best screenplay and film of the year. I would also like to congratulate Isabelle Blais and Natar Ungalaaq, chosen the year's best actors.

I would mention in passing the remarks by Patricio Henriquez, who won the award for best documentary for Under the Hood, a Voyage into the World of Torture. He criticized Ottawa's obscurantism, saying that Quebec culture was threatened and that a sort of war had been declared on it. He said the federal government today opposes everything that Quebec represents as a progressive society.

It is hard to ignore such statements in the present context of this government's attempt to gag cultural workers by making cuts to culture and, now, denying the CBC an advance on funding.

Jutra and Juno Awards
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, last evening, the Jutra awards gala celebrated the incredible diversity and boundless talent of our creative craftspeople in Quebec. In Vancouver, music was in the spotlight at the Juno awards. The harvest in both was abundant, celebrating the beauty and diversity of Quebec cinema and Canadian song.

One of the evening's most honoured films, The Necessities of Life, was recognized for its powerful illustration of the cultural differences between the Inuit of Nunavik and the rest of Quebec society. In addition, Luc Picard has delighted Quebeckers by taking the tales of Fred Pellerin to the big screen.

At the other end of the country, it was Nickelback's night, as the rockers from Alberta stole the show at the Juno awards, while Ariane Moffatt took the honours for francophone album of the year.

Congratulations to all the artists honoured yesterday.

Automotive Industry
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, with the government's announcement today that we are putting further pressure on GM and Chrysler to effectively restructure while providing conditional interim loans and working effectively with our provincial and American counterparts, it is clearer than ever that we are getting the job done for Canada's manufacturing sector.

On January 24 the Guelph Mercury reported that according to the Liberal leader, his party cut the auto critic position because “the goal of the auto critic position had essentially been completed with [the] industry minister's announcement of loans to automakers”.

The Liberals fired their auto critic because we are getting the job done. The only remaining question is, how long will it take the Liberal leader to fire his justice, finance, trade, industry, foreign affairs and environment critics?

The Liberal leader is realizing what Canadians know, that strong leadership and decisive vision mean that we are better off with this Prime Minister. Even the Liberal leader cannot deny that we are getting the job done.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, President Obama's announcement about the U.S. auto sector leaves Canadians wondering who is defending the Canadian industry.

The minister says he supports the American plan, but where is the coordinated strategy to save the North American industry as a whole? This crisis has been gathering for years.

Why has the government waited for three years, so that Washington can decide the fate of our workers and our industry?