House of Commons Hansard #38 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was energy.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Don Valley East.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Terence Young Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, on Parliament Hill, we are honoured by the presence of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs from across Canada, the national voice for fire services. Many of them have travelled great distances to inform members of Parliament of the successes and challenges of the courageous men and women who, when called upon, put their lives on the line to protect our homes and businesses and save lives.

Firefighters increasingly face new dangers, such as new building materials that burn hotter and faster, grow ops with hydro bypasses and meth labs.

Of 108,000 firefighters in Canada, 80,000 in smaller, rural and remote communities are unpaid volunteers. Firefighters demonstrate the pioneer spirit of community that allowed our settlers to battle the dangers of isolation and extreme weather to build this nation.

We salute all of the brave men and women who fight fires from Labrador to Oakville, Ontario, British Columbia and Yukon for their dedication in the greatest tradition of public service and sacrifice.

The Economy
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, with all that is happening in our communities, I am concerned that the Conservative government has failed to act while so many of our constituents are suffering.

In Mississauga—Brampton South, we have already felt the effects of a declining housing market, crumbling infrastructure and a collapsing auto sector. The economic crisis, which continues to worsen under the Conservatives, has made life very tough for my constituents.

Seniors worry if they have enough money to get through the month. Families are having to cut their budgets and young people wonder what the future has in store for them.

Fortunately, there is hope. Canadians everywhere see the Liberal opposition as a compassionate alternative to the cold indifference of the Conservative Party.

We were elected to work for our constituents and build a better country for all. Let us put Canada first and get through these tough times together.

First Nations Education System
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is time for the federal government to review its policy, which puts a 2% limit on the indexing of financing for first nations post-secondary education programs.

Furthermore, not only is post-secondary education under funded, but so is the entire first nations education system. Primary and secondary level programs are also suffering, because their respective funding is not being indexed to the cost of living. The fact that the number of students has increased since 1996 is not helping the situation. This has resulted in the loss of several million dollars over 13 years and the situation cannot continue.

I will be presenting a petition today on behalf of Quebec first nation people who are calling on the government to take action on this. The first nations education system is facing a crisis. It is time for the government to do something about it.

Status of Women
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, who among us was not horrified by the revelations brought to the House by the member for New Westminster—Coquitlam about the Karzai Afghan regime's plans to subordinate and subjugate women? Not only is this deeply disturbing in terms of human rights but also in terms of the lost potential it represents.

By all accounts, when women are empowered, communities can overcome even the worst conditions. As has been said, the rising of the women is the rising of the human race.

I saw this firsthand in Bangladesh on a trip sponsored by Results Canada. I saw with my own eyes how a few dollars in aid can empower women to lift themselves and their families up out of enormous poverty. I saw women at the heart of the microcredit movement building sustainable economic futures.

I thank Chris Dendys and Katy Kydd Wright with Results Canada for leading us on this journey and showing us that poverty can be solved one step at a time when women are empowered to tackle basic issues like clean water, sanitation and TB prevention.

I also thank the member for New Westminster—Coquitlam for her tireless work in this place, empowering women and fighting for a sustainable, peaceful future. I wish her well on her new journey.

Royal Canadian Air Force
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, 85 years ago today, a royal proclamation gave birth to the Royal Canadian Air Force. In its history of excellence, the men, women and machines of the RCAF have chased the wailing winds and topped the sun swept summits with easy grace in the cause of freedom and justice.

Whether in the swirling skies over London, the dark deadly nights over Berlin, the training airfields of the prairies, the hostile skies of Korea, facing off against the Warsaw Pact in Europe, intercepting potential intruders near North American skies or while dazzling millions of fans with the Snowbirds, our Air Force has been on the job, around the clock, around the world for 85 years.

I am proud to represent an integral part of that history in the fighter squadrons and support organizations of 4 Wing Cold Lake and Edmonton Garrison's 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron.

Today I salute the dedication of the men and women of today's Canadian Air Force and the courage and sacrifice of those who preceded them. They have truly taken Canada Per ardua ad astra, through adversity to the stars.

Patro Le Prévost
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Patro Le Prévost, a community organization located in the heart of my riding of Papineau, is celebrating this year its 100th anniversary.

Over the year, numerous activities will be held to celebrate this momentous occasion. For example, starting on April 15, the citizens and friends of Papineau will be invited to take part in the 2009 cultural exhibition “Art over the years”.

The Patro is continuing a long tradition, guided by history and compassion. It welcomes on average nearly 1,000 people per day from all generations and all social and cultural backgrounds.

I want to congratulate the Patro and acknowledge its 100th anniversary. More than just a pool, a library and a series of gymnasiums, the Patro is the epicentre of our community.

An organization like the Patro Le Prévost cannot be successful without the outstanding support of its volunteers, whose efforts and encouragement I salute today.

To the volunteers and to the Patro, we say thanks and happy 100th anniversary.

Parkinson's Awareness Month
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, today marks the launch of Parkinson's Awareness Month across Canada. Over 100,000 Canadians are living with Parkinson's disease today. It is chronic, progressive and results in increasing disability that dramatically impacts individuals, families and communities everywhere in Canada.

Parkinson Society Canada works to educate parliamentarians and policymakers about the needs of Canadians living with brain conditions like Parkinson's. The organization is committed to positioning the brain as a priority health, social and economic issue in Canada, one that warrants increased research and policy investments.

As we launch Parkinson's Awareness Month, I encourage every member of Parliament to think about their constituents living with Parkinson's. This insidious disease affects men and women of every age and they are relying on our leadership to help them live with the highest quality and most productive lives they can.

Finally, I want to pay special tribute to Greg McGinnis of the Barrie Parkinson's Association who has done so much in my region to raise funds and awareness for this important cause.

Women in Afghanistan
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, a controversial new law in Afghanistan would allow men to rape their wives. This law, which was passed to please the Shia minority, would also prevent women from leaving the house without their husband's permission and would do away with their right to have custody of their children in the event of a separation or divorce. This practice has been condemned since 1993 by the UN High Commission for Human Rights, and this new legislation has been criticized by Afghan women parliamentarians and a UN agency for women.

The Conservative government likes to boast that Canada is in Afghanistan to defend women's right to equality and education. It is inconceivable that the government should do nothing to condemn and correct this injustice. This is a serious setback for women in Afghanistan.

The Conservative government should have the courage to stand up in this House and condemn this aberration and send a strong message to the Afghan government that this law violates its obligations regarding women's rights.

Royal Netherlands Army
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to honour Mr. Albert Hartkamp and retired major, Frans Rondel, of the Royal Netherlands Army from the Thank You Canada and Allied Forces group.

The group helps to ensure that the legacy of Canadian and allied forces in the liberation of the Netherlands never fades and that those who lost their lives are never forgotten.

As the son of two immigrants from the Netherlands who both lived through the second world war, it is an honour to recognize these men.

Along with their yearly commemorative events, they are also organizing a special 65th anniversary ceremony for 2010. This special event will incorporate veterans and dignitaries and will be attended by thousands of Canadian students.

The Thank You Canada and Allied Forces group is ensuring that Canadian and Dutch youth will know the shared experiences of sacrifices made.

So, as they organize a big “thank you” to all Canadian veterans, I call on all members of the House to recognize the great work they do in organizing their tribute to remember those who gave their lives for our democracy.

Pauktuutit
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, today marks the 25th anniversary of Pauktuutit, the Inuit Women's Association.

Pauktuutit has worked tirelessly to address a broad range of health and social issues of concern to women in the north. Issues include the elimination of violence and abuse against Inuit women and children, housing, education, and economic development. It is to be congratulated for its success in advocating for Inuit women.

However, today also is the 10th anniversary of Nunavut.

Nunavut, which means “our land” in Inuktitut, has much to offer the world, with its panoramic landscapes, beautiful people and strong cultural traditions.

However, it is a community that continues to face many social challenges. These challenges must be addressed and the federal government must be there to ensure that the people of Nunavut have every opportunity for success.

Nunavut
Statements By Members

April 1st, 2009 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to stand before the House today to commemorate the creation of a new territory.

Today we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Nunavut. This is an occasion to reflect on the hard work and dedication of many people, on the many accomplishments that have been made and the many more that will follow.

Nunavut is vast in size, rich with resources, and has grown rapidly in the last 10 years. Our government and this Prime Minister are committed to ensuring the growth and success of Nunavut and the north.

This government recognizes the importance of the north like no other government has done before. Nunavut is well represented through the hard work of the Minister of Health, and this government has committed over $200 million over two years to social housing, $87 million toward a high-Arctic research station, continued growth in federal health transfers, and much more.

Nunavummiut and all Canadians should be proud of a territory that so perfectly represents the true north strong and free.

B.C. Economy
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, the policies of the B.C. government have had a devastating impact on my province over the past eight years. Hospitals have been closed, emergency room service reduced and ambulance service cut back.

Rural communities have been especially hit hard. Seniors have been shifted around from community to community, often with tragic consequences. Our medical services plan is contracted out to an American corporation, and a once-profitable BC Rail has been sold off to the private sector.

According to Rafe Mair, a former Socred cabinet minister, the Campbell energy plan will mean the end of BC Hydro and the end of hundreds of rivers.

I call the last eight years in B.C. “an experiment”: less government, privatization and deregulation, all part of the global corporate agenda.

Rafe Mair has given his support to Carole James and the NDP in the upcoming provincial election. I urge all citizens of B.C., regardless of political stripe, who wish to stop the systematic devastation of our province to vote NDP on May 12.

Yes, we can.

The Conservative Government
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, we have confidence in Quebeckers. Our government is working for the future of all Quebeckers no matter where they live in the province. We hear from them daily that at least the Conservatives deliver the goods and they urge us to continue doing so.

While the Bloc Québécois is busy voting against everything in Ottawa, our government is working to develop Quebec and build its future. Unlike the Bloc, our government does not feel the need to scare Quebec, to divide it in order to better control it, to mislead it or tell it lies morning, noon and night. Our government is working on building, not tearing down. We are looking to the future, not to the past.

Yes, we, the Quebec Conservatives, have confidence in Quebeckers. We are truly there to serve them. On behalf of the Quebec Conservatives, I have a clear message for the Bloc: recess is over.

Royal 22nd Regiment
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Royal 22nd Regiment is on its way to Afghanistan. It will take over from the Royal Canadian Regiment, which has completed its tour. I had the honour and privilege of training with its members in 2001, then accompanying them to Bosnia. I would like to commend these troops on their professionalism and skill. Quebec can be proud of this regiment. These men and women are completely committed to their mission. Their work and dedication are beyond reproach.

While the Bloc opposes prolonging this mission, it has never doubted these soldiers' bravery. I know that this deployment is hard on their friends and family members, but the cause is noble. I would like to join my Bloc Québécois colleagues and the family and friends of these courageous soldiers in wishing them good luck in their mission.

We admire them. Our hearts are with them. See them soon.