House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cree.

Topics

Persons with Disabilities
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, this is Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month and it is time to recognize the achievements of persons living with disabilities, especially those with spinal cord injuries and all of their advocates through the Canadian Paraplegic Association now serving over 41,000 Canadians.

The best way to pay tribute to people living with this disability, some of whom are here on the Hill today, is to stop the empty promises and to act. It is time to admit that persons with disabilities are twice as likely to live in poverty. It is time to acknowledge that in an economic recession it is even tougher for persons with disabilities to find financial security.

It is time for the federal government to stop hiding behind the rhetoric and piecemeal tax credits and start investing in what people with disabilities need for self-sufficiency and inclusion. It is time for national leadership, not more rhetoric.

The federal government should start in its own back yard and create employment opportunities and accessible housing instead of huge tax breaks for corporations. Only action can end Canada's shame.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader has a tax program that he continues to update and Canadians are starting to feel scared. They imagine the Liberal leader approaching them and saying, “Your money or your life.”

The Liberal leader has already mentioned on several occasions that he will consider all options including, as we have heard before, higher taxes.

If he is keeping his options open, will he also cut social programs and employment insurance, in addition to hiking taxes?

What unpalatable measures will he force on Canadians—tax hikes or massive cuts to social programs?

He should stand up and tell us right now.

At least on this side of the House we have the decency and the realism to do everything in our power to lighten the tax burden for Canadian citizens in these times of global economic crisis.

AbitibiBowater
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, AbitibiBowater recently applied for court protection because of its massive debt. We have learned that the former executive chairman, John Weaver, will receive a severance package of US$17.5 million. The company also agreed to pay Mr. Weaver's moving expenses.

That is scandalous and shows a lack of respect for AbitibiBowater workers who, for too long, have been feeling the impact of the forestry crisis and the whims of its greedy executives. Given that thousands of workers paid into a pension fund that is now at risk, it is unthinkable that executives would be compensated for creating the company's financial woes.

The priority in the current restructuring of AbitibiBowater is to safeguard its facilities, jobs and pension funds. The workers and the population have the right to say no to such bonuses.

National Hockey League
Statements By Members

May 7th, 2009 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, the air around the city of Hamilton is charged with excitement today in anticipation of the return of the great one. Relax, my Conservative friends, I do not mean Sheila Copps, rather the great one himself, Wayne Gretzky.

In a move that is driven by his great passion for hockey and his deep belief in the potential of southern Ontario, Jim Balsillie is once again trying to bring the NHL to its senses and a team to the region.

Now, being a lifelong Toronto Maple Leafs fan, I really understand the jokes that are coming, such as, if southern Ontario gets an NHL team, then Toronto will want one, too. I think the potential of regional rivalries in a battle of Ontario with a third combatant is great stuff.

I appreciate the league's valiant attempt to grow a fan base in the Arizona desert, but the experiment has been scorched. It is time the NHL recognized the huge potential that exists in southern Ontario and the opportunity to bring into its fold one of this country's most progressive and successful entrepreneurs in Jim Balsillie. I really hope that this transaction is allowed to go forward.

Taxation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Tim Uppal Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, our government's economic action plan is delivering real results for Canadians. Canadians have asked for leadership from their federal government, and that is what we are providing.

At this critical time when families need it most, we are reducing taxes on Canadians, creating jobs and helping Canadians who are hardest hit by this global recession.

This is in stark contrast to the Liberals, who over the weekend reaffirmed their commitment to raising taxes on Canadians. The Liberal leader supported the risky carbon tax scheme during his first leadership race, and the Liberals adopted the carbon tax policy again at their convention. We also know that they want to increase the GST and end the universal child care benefit. As if that were not enough, the leader of the Liberal Party recently said, “We will have to raise taxes”.

The Liberal Party is just reaffirming its economic hopelessness. When will the Liberal leader come clean with Canadians and tell them which taxes will he raise, and by how much will he raise them, and who will be forced to pay these higher taxes?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker--

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, order. The hon. member for Toronto Centre has the floor. We have to be able to hear what the hon. member is going to say.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

I appreciate the expressions of support, Mr. Speaker, as late in the day as they may be.

I would like to ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs a question. Now that the official for the United Nations who is responsible for the travel ban list has stated very clearly that in his opinion there is no barrier to Mr. Abdelrazik's coming back to Canada, in light of the fact that he is on the United Nations list and that this is seen to be such a major aspect of the government's case in court with respect to Mr. Abdelrazik's situation, I wonder if the minister could now explain to us, what is the problem that the government has with allowing this Canadian citizen to come home?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, in the case of Mr. Abdelrazik, he does remain on the 1267 United Nations list of al-Qaeda and Taliban suspected terrorists.

This individual is on that list and the issue is now before the courts. I will refrain from making any additional comments on that issue.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, first the government said and the minister signed letters saying that he is not on an RCMP list and he is not on a CSIS list. Then the government said that if he could get a passport and it agreed to give him a passport, but then the government pulled back from giving him the passport. Then the government said he could get a ticket, and hundreds of people have been prepared to give him a ticket.

He is not on anyone's list except for the travel list. Now the UN official said, “Whether it is Abdelrazik or anybody else, it is up to the state in question”, that is to say, Canada, “whether they want to allow the person to come back or not”.

The minister can no longer hide. There are no second-class citizens in this country. Why is he not taking appropriate action?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this does not change anything. The Government of Canada takes its international obligations very seriously.

In that regard, I reiterate, he is still on the 1267 list. As I mentioned before, this case is before the courts and I will not make any more comments on this issue.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the way the government is treating Mr. Abdelrazik makes no sense. They say that he is a threat to global security, but he is inside the Canadian embassy. What kind of terrorist do they let stay in the embassy? That makes no sense. Why are they doing this? The UN has made it clear that it sees no barriers to transferring Mr. Abdelrazik back to Canada.

What is the problem? There is no problem. When will the minister acknowledge—

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind my hon. colleague that somebody at the United Nations commented on the matter, but that person was not associated with the 1267 committee, which considers the individual in question to have been charged. His name is on the list because he is considered an associate of al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

That being said, I want to make sure that everyone understands that this matter is currently before the courts. I will not comment further on this issue. It is up to the courts to decide.