House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreement.

Topics

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week Canadians celebrate the elegance and beauty of Canada's environment in tribute to the landscapes that lend definition and character to our great nation.

Canadians are blessed with a rich natural heritage that inspires and helps define the image of our country.

Sky, land, water and wildlife all form the natural legacy that we are entrusted to preserve for the next generation.

Our government is working hard to protect and preserve our rich and vast ecological landscapes. To date, over 100 million hectares of land, roughly 10% of Canada's land mass, and three million hectares of ocean waters have been protected.

Canada's Environment Week is an opportunity to focus on our impact on the environment, our communities and the quality of life that we treasure here in Canada.

Let us celebrate all that is unique about Canada's vast environmental heritage. The natural treasures of our land should be cared for and appreciated all year long.

Seniors
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently a gentleman from a prominent seniors organization came up to me and said that seniors “feel invisible to this government”.

In my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, almost 17% of our seniors live in poverty, well over twice the national average of about 7%.

As reported in The Globe and Mail today, 75% of private sector workers have no pension plan at all and many of the existing defined benefit plans are facing significant shortfalls.

That is why I have been touring the country, listening to the stories of seniors, and finding out what they need from their representatives in Ottawa. After my tour I will report their stories and their concerns to our leader, Jack Layton, and they will form the basis of the NDP's national seniors strategy.

I want all Canadian seniors to know that we are here. We see them and hear them. We will not stop fighting for seniors until each and every one of them is able to live in the dignity that all of them deserve.

Seniors
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member knows he must be careful not to mention other hon. members by name in his statements. He will want to refrain from such conduct.

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday our Prime Minister was honoured with not one but two awards recognizing his strong leadership and decisive actions in defending human rights at home and abroad.

He received the Canadian Jewish Congress Saul Hayes Human Rights Award, the first serving prime minister to ever receive this award, and also the Simon Wiesenthal International Leadership Award.

Since forming government, our Prime Minister has led Canada in a new era of principled foreign policy based on Canadian values, taking bold positions on the world stage regardless of how popular they were at the time. Canada was the first country to cut off funding to the Hamas government and the first to pull out of the Durban hatefest.

Here in Canada, our Prime Minister has acted to protect the rights and safety of communities at risk through creating the security infrastructure pilot program. Just yesterday, he announced that our government will table legislation that would allow victims of terror to sue those foreign entities responsible for the attacks.

It is great to see our Prime Minister acknowledged for his leadership and conviction in advancing human rights. Canada and the world are better for it.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Statements By Members

June 1st, 2009 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, at a time when the CBC is having to make drastic cuts that will result in the loss of more than 800 jobs, a group of private citizens have come together to get recognition of the cultural and social importance of the crown corporation. SOS Radio-Canada also hopes to convince politicians to permanently increase public funding for the institution, something the Bloc Québécois naturally supports.

SOS Radio-Canada will have its work cut out for it, because not only is the Conservative government completely uninterested in the public broadcaster and culture in general, but the Liberal Party's record is no better, even though it claims otherwise. It was the Liberals who, in the 1990s, contributed in part to slashing $400 million from the CBC's annual budget and preferred investing in flags rather than culture, depriving many festivals and cultural events of their funding.

It is therefore important that as many people as possible join the movement to support the CBC.

Member for Nepean--Carleton
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the Prime Minister's hand-picked parliamentary secretary twice used the expression “tar baby”.

As a child, I was taunted with this name by people who wished to demean me and make me feel inferior. The mountain of correspondence I have received in the last few days shows my experience among black children was not unique.

The parliamentary secretary has stated he was unaware the term is also a pejorative description of blacks. I accept his explanation. I am concerned, however, at that MP's tendency to make hurtful statements. One year ago this week, he was forced to apologize for his offensive comments toward first nations people, and now this.

Now that he knows the negative connotation of this expression for blacks, black Canadians hope he will publicly pledge to remove this pejorative term from his vocabulary, and we hope all Canadians will do so as well.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is keeping quiet and no longer wants to talk to Canadians about his hidden tax agenda. Who will pay for the tax increases the Liberals want to bring in? Our poorest citizens? Unemployed workers? Women? Who? Canadians are still waiting for an answer.

He is always ready to make sweeping statements and probably still believes that Quebec's nationalism is blind, that Quebeckers do not speak the kind of French he can understand and, more importantly, that Quebeckers are simply North Americans who speak French.

But does he really understand Quebec? No. For him, Quebeckers are simply Frenchies.

This Liberal leader is disappointing Quebeckers. They are disappointed by the attitude of this man who is trying to pass off his true ideas on Quebec—

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. We will now proceed to oral question period.

The hon. member for Ottawa South.

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the situation concerning medical isotopes is critical.

Every day, 5,000 Canadians and 60,000 patients around the world depend on Chalk River. Some 18 months ago, when the first of the three unplanned shutdowns happened, the minister called it a matter of life and death. The Prime Minister said more or less the same thing when he called it a threat to human health.

When will the production of medical isotopes resume in Chalk River, if it ever does?

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, AECL is informing the public and ourselves on an updated basis as to its inspection of what has happened at Chalk River and what possible repairs may take place there. It is updating us both on its website and in daily reports to us. It is the same as we reported last week, which is that AECL expects that Chalk River will not be in operation for at least three months.

In the meantime, we are working with our global partners to increase the supply of isotopes.

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, 2 million procedures in Canada every year rely on medical isotopes, 80% of which come from Chalk River.

Dr. Jean-Luc Urbain, president of the Canadian Association of Nuclear Medicine, describes the situation as a real catastrophe.

The Prime Minister has no one left to blame and no one left to fire.

Since the government does not know when its own reactor will be back on line, could the Prime Minister tell us when and from where supplies of medical isotopes will be secured? Will every Canadian who needs diagnostic tests and cancer and heart treatments get them, yes or no?

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Nunavut
Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the isotope shortage is concerning but Canadians can have confidence that this government is taking short-term measures and looking at long-term solutions.

I have been in contact with my provincial and territorial counterparts, as well as the medical community and experts in the field. Natural Resources is working on the supply issue.

We are also using levers, such as the special access programme and clinical trials, to provide alternatives to Canadians. I will continue to work with the territories and provinces to address the issue.

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, just 18 months ago, the Prime Minister's position was that getting back a reactor online was a matter of life or death.

MDS Nordion stated today that the government has no long-term plan for the supply of medical isotopes.

Dr. Christopher O'Brien, of the Ontario Association of Nuclear Medicine, states, “There just aren't enough reactors out there that can take the place of Chalk River”.

Clearly, isotope supply will not meet demand in Canada or elsewhere. If this is a matter of life or death, where will the required isotopes come from and, if there are not enough, which patients will suffer and who gets to decide?

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Halton
Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we take this matter very seriously and that is why--

Medical Isotopes
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!