House of Commons Hansard #58 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was first.

Topics

Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Madam Speaker, it is up to first nations to identify gaps in laws. This bill would take away from the grassroots action, which is happening now.

Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Yvon Lévesque Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Madam Speaker, allow me to point out that this morning we had the opportunity to meet with a first nations community which, for the first time since I was elected, underscored the fact that the negotiations between the government and their nation are being conducted in good faith. You had to see the satisfaction of these people and how pleased they were to accept this agreement. They do not think it is perfect; however, they were consulted and they contributed to the agreement. With this agreement, good faith and collaboration with the government they will achieve autonomy.

I am certain that we are seeing this approach for the first time. Unfortunately, it has already fallen by the wayside. We see this from studying the bill before us this morning. In this bill, the government has gone back to its old habits. It is developing something for the first nations that they do not want. They want to collaborate, to be consulted and to contribute to this agreement.

With Bill C-8, the government is making the same mistakes it made in the past. In January 2004, we debated Bill C-44, the forerunner to Bill C-21. Although it wanted section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act to be repealed, the Bloc Québécois declared that it felt that the government had not sufficiently consulted the first nations about the impact of the repeal on the communities.

The Bloc was supported by the Assembly of First Nations and the Native Women's Association of Canada.

Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker Denise Savoie

I regret to have to interrupt the hon. member.

He will have the floor for approximately 17 minutes when the debate resumes.

March for Life
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Winnipeg South, MB

Madam Speaker, today an estimated 10,000 Canadians from across the country have gathered on Parliament Hill. These individuals will participate in the Hill's largest annual issue-driven rally. This rally attracts people from all nationalities, ethnicities and political stripes. Despite differences in age, religious beliefs and world views, this group is united by one common belief: that all life has value, including the life of an unborn child.

The March for Life is an annual event that works to increase the understanding and demonstrate widespread support for all life. As chair of the multi-party pro-life caucus, I would like to thank the March for Life organizers and welcome everyone who is travelling to Ottawa for this important event. Keep up the good work.

Sri Lanka
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Madam Speaker, the Liberal opposition continues to demand action by the Canadian government to address the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka. The escalating violence has resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians.

The Liberal Party is calling for the creation of a humanitarian corridor for the delivery of aid and the safe evacuation of the affected population, as well as fast-tracking new and existing visa applications for those wishing to escape the violence and join their immediate family members in Canada.

Canada must insist that the government of Sri Lanka commit to an immediate and permanent ceasefire.

Citizen Advocacy
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to a citizen advocacy organization that is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Parrainage civique Basses-Laurentides is part of a Quebec-wide citizen advocacy coalition that has been in existence since 1985. Its main mission is social integration.

In the lower Laurentians region, this organization provides a support program by twinning a volunteer and a person who has been marginalized because he or she is different. The goal is to return them to a normal life and get them more involved socially.

The numerous services provided are aimed at helping the individual develop his full potential, learn new skills and connect with others in the community, thereby demystifying intellectual disability.

My thanks to the staff and volunteers of Parrainage civique Basses-Laurentides for all they do with and for the young people of Terrebonne—Blainville. Happy anniversary.

Government of Manitoba
Statements By Members

May 14th, 2009 / 2 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Madam Speaker, 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the election of the first NDP government in the province of Manitoba. The NDP has been the most successful and progressive social democratic government in all of North America.

Manitoba was the first government in North America to introduce public auto insurance and the guaranteed annual income. It was the first government to have a province-wide pharmacare program. It was the first province to eliminate medical premiums. It was the first province to become North America's leading hydroelectric power.

Our party was based on the principle that our society must change from one based on competition to one based on co-operation. In that vein, I would like to recognize and pay tribute to the first NDP Premier of Manitoba, the Hon. Ed Schreyer, followed by the Hon. Howard Pawley. We now are pleased to announce the third majority victory for the current Premier of Manitoba, the Hon. Gary Doer, who is leading the province with the lowest unemployment rate in the country and zero small business tax. Hydro dams are now being built with full ownership by aboriginal—

Government of Manitoba
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Brant.

Brantford Golden Eagles
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would ask members of Parliament to join me in congratulating the Brantford Golden Eagles.

Twelve days ago, this hard-working hockey team of high-flying Eagles swooped to victory over the Stoney Creek Warriors, eliminating the team 4-1 in games, capturing the Sutherland Cup as Ontario Junior B Champions.

Hanging in the dressing room at the Brantford Civic Centre are these words: “The will to win is worthless if you do not have the will to prepare”, and prepare they did. These young men played their hearts out and have brought pride to our community. The players, coaches, owners and support staff did it: Well done.

Fisheries and Oceans
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, Liberals took it upon themselves today to do what the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans refuses to do herself.

Today in Ottawa, at the request of this side of the House, we met with industry leaders and heads of organizations from Atlantic Canadian fishing industry interests. Last week, the FFAW, the Maritime Fishermen's Union, the PEIFA, and Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du sud de la Gaspésie, among others, called for an emergency meeting with the federal fisheries minister to discuss the crisis in the fishing industry, in particular the lobster industry.

So far, the minister has refused. She has refused to show leadership. She has refused to do her job. She has refused to stand up for this $1 billion industry. Lobster prices are at all-time lows, markets are marginalized and thousands of families are without income and facing bleak prospects in the future.

Will the minister meet with those fishing organizations and will she do it now?

Fisheries and Oceans
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I would remind the hon. member for Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte of my statements about personal attacks in Standing Order 31 statements and I would urge him to have a look at that before he makes his next statement.

The hon. member for Burlington.

Burlington Citizen of the Year
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, Burlington's Civic Recognition Awards will take place this evening. The awards bring recognition to Burlington residents who, through devoted and energetic volunteer service, help make Burlington a great community.

I would like to extend congratulations to Mina Wahidi, who is the recipient of Burlington's most prestigious award, Citizen of the Year. Mrs. Wahidi is being recognized for her determination in making a difference in our community.

As a true champion of the needy, she helped start an agency, the Compassion Society. The Compassion Society actually had very humble beginnings. It started in 2001 when Mina offered clothing from her basement to those in need. She had one rack of clothing and one volunteer. Although the society has grown, one thing has not changed and that is Mina and her dream of helping others in need.

I congratulate Mina Wahidi, Burlington's Citizen of the Year.

Tax Havens
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Carrier Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, while a number of states are experiencing chronic deficits, the world's richest citizens are siphoning off their profits to places where they can stash them away and shelter them from taxes. This increases the tax burden on the middle class and low wage earners. There are more than 72 places where this tax evasion is possible: the Caribbean, Jersey, Ghana, to name but a few. As a result states are being deprived of large amounts of revenue which could have been invested to improve the well-being of their population.

While $11,000 billion is safely tucked away in these tax havens, the UN is calling for $50 billion over five years to eradicate world poverty. That amount is the equivalent of a scant 0.5% of those hidden billions. This special treatment of the most fortunate must stop. It is high time that this government followed the example of the Obama administration and passed legislation to effectively deal with the use of tax havens.

Pakistan
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tim Uppal Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, the heavy clashes in northwestern Pakistan between security forces and Taliban militants have forced up to 360,000 people to flee their homes. A further one million people could be displaced in the coming months as the military offensive continues.

Minorities, including Christians, Sikhs and Hindus, have been discriminated against and persecuted by the Taliban. Recently, a Sikh community in the Swat Valley had to flee and about 2,000 have taken refuge in a Sikh temple, Gurdwara Panja Sahib, in Hasan Abdal. Sikhs in the nearby Orakzai province have also fled after Taliban militants demanded they pay a poll tax imposed on all non-Muslims. Many of their houses have been destroyed by the Taliban in response to the non-payment of the protection money tax.

While Canada is closely monitoring the situation and we remain concerned about all civilians in the conflict affected areas, we call upon the government of Pakistan to ensure the security and safety of all its citizens, including religious minorities.

Vimala Sadashiv Dhavale
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured today to pay tribute to Mrs. Vimala Sadashiv Dhavale, a respected member of my community of Ottawa South, who passed away on January 14, 2009.

Mrs. Dhavale was born in Wardha in the Maharashtra state in India on October 10, 1920. Vimala was a good student who excelled in academic life. Inspired by this love of learning, she attained a post-secondary degree in education, and became a teacher. For over two decades in India she taught senior high school students English, history and math.

During her tenure as a teacher, Mrs. Dhavale also developed a devotion to the daily practice of therapeutic yoga after finding it had cured her of chronic asthma. She committed herself to a lifelong advocacy of the benefits of yoga, becoming a yoga teacher, giving seminars and authoring several books on the practice.

After retiring from teaching, she immigrated to Canada in 1978, obtained her nursing degree from Algonquin College and worked at Glebe Centre. There she brought her love of yoga to Ottawa's seniors community, offering classes across the city. Her dedication to seniors continued over decades. Mrs. Dhavale continued her good works until just weeks before her passing.

On behalf of the House of Commons, I offer our condolences to her sons, Vijay, Vishwas and Vivek Dhavale. Through her devotion to her family, her students, her patients and her community, she made them exceptionally proud.