House of Commons Hansard #68 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

2010 Olympic Winter Games
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Madam Speaker, in 252 days, Canada will host the world at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Athletes from all across our nation will have the honour to demonstrate Canada's excellence, talent and courage to the world.

Unfortunately, this extraordinary event will also be an opportunity for women and children to be trafficked across our nation for sexual exploitation.

Recently, Canadians have been inspired to believe.

I believe Canada will win its first gold medal on home soil.

I believe Canadian athletes will own the podium in 2010.

I also believe that Canada has a crucial opportunity to demonstrate to the world its commitment to fight human trafficking.

I believe that Canadians support a national strategy to combat human trafficking.

I believe we have the capability to be the true north, strong and free.

Do others believe?

Veterans Affairs
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Scarborough Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, during question period on Tuesday, the Minister of Veterans Affairs, in my opinion, was not accurate in his response to a question that was posed to him by the member for York West about compensation for widows of veterans who were exposed to agent orange.

The minister stated that the Liberals refused to act. As the former chair of the veterans affairs committee who chaired a special session on agent orange, I say that the minister was not accurate in his response.

I will remind the minister that it was the Liberals who held a special session on agent orange. It was the Liberals who appointed Dr. Dennis Furlong to do the inquiry. It was the Liberals who allowed the minister, then a member of the opposition, to participate in that special committee hearing. Then there was an election.

As we commemorate D-Day and pay tribute to our military, I ask the minister, if he cares for our men and women in uniform, not to politicize this issue but to be accurate with his statements, unlike the Prime Minister who misled Ms. Joyce Carter, a veteran's widow.

Francis Murphy
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, at the closing ceremony of the 88th annual conference of the Quebec union of municipalities held in Gatineau from May 12 to 16, the title of rising star of the year among the new crop of municipal councillors went to Francis Murphy, a young municipal councillor from Val-d'Or and a resident of my riding.

Only 24 years of age, Mr. Murphy has already served four years as a very active councillor. He is also a member of the young people and municipal democracy committee of the Quebec union of municipalities. In this capacity, he recently took part in a tour of young municipal representatives aimed at encouraging young people from all over Quebec to become involved in municipal politics.

We do not yet know whether he will run again in the next elections. I encourage him, however, to do so. Politics at all levels needs dynamic, motivated young people who in turn can motivate others. Congratulations, Mr. Murphy.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements By Members

June 4th, 2009 / 2 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Madam Speaker, niigaaniin, which means “to go forward”, is a culturally appropriate, community-based social assistance program that is making a big difference for the seven communities in the North Shore Tribal Council.

Niigaaniin's successes are many, such as the delivery of adult education in all seven communities. Previously there was no funding for this type of important work. The staff view their role as that of a community office and not a welfare office, turning stigma around and focusing on finding long-term solutions with the ability to deliver short-term help. Niigaaniin is part of a first nations cost of administration and employment supports pilot project.

First nations in Kenora and London are also implementing similar projects that are financed by Ontario Works. Ontario is meant to be reimbursed for these costs at a minimum of 50% from the federal government, as part of the 1965 Indian Welfare Agreement. Sadly, this program's funding is only guaranteed until the end of March 2010. This program might exist for less than four years if funding is not secured.

New Democrats join first nations communities in calling for secure funding agreements that would allow success stories like Niigaaniin to continue forging community-based solutions, working with and for the people by offering a hand up, not a hand out.

TAG Canada
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Madam Speaker, it is in difficult times that technological innovation makes strides, and a firm in Lévis is the proof.

On May 28 in Gatineau, I took part in the launch of the controlled vacuum fare collection system of the Société de transports de l'Outaouais, developed by a firm in Lévis, TAG Canada.

This revolutionary system is used to collect the fares of public transit users. I am extremely proud that the STO turned to a company in Lévis to be at the forefront of world technology in this area.

TAG won two awards at the Lévis chamber of commerce's prestigious Pléiades 2009. It was founded in 1995 and has got off to a promising start.

I would like to congratulate TAG's president, Gilles Tardif and his dynamic team on its innovativeness. With leaders like Mr. Tardif, Canada will come out of these difficult economic times all the stronger.

Children
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac LaSalle—Émard, QC

Madam Speaker, on August 19, 1982, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed June 4 to be the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression. This day reminds us that there are millions of children the world over who are victims of various forms of cruelty and that the need to protect the rights of these children is urgent.

Throughout the world fifty million people have been uprooted. They are refugees who have sought safety in other countries, and more than half of them are children.

Over two million children have been killed in conflicts in the past decade. More than six million other children are believed to have been wounded, and one million of them are orphans. In 87 countries, children play near and around some 60 million landmines.

Knowing of this situation, the government has the duty and responsibility to take specific measures to make the voice of these vulnerable children heard and to come to their defence.

Ducks Unlimited Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Madam Speaker, today is a historic day for Ducks Unlimited Canada, a trusted and respected conservation company.

Senior executives, staff and members of the board of directors have met with parliamentarians throughout the day to educate them about Ducks Unlimited Canada's outstanding 71-year track record.

Ducks Unlimited Canada's partnership with the federal government is best showcased within the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, an international conservation plan signed by Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, in 1986. This plan has invested over $1.5 billion to conserve over four million acres of wetland ecosystems.

Ducks Unlimited has worked with all levels of government, first nations, industry, private landowners and others, to conserve 4.6 million acres, while influencing 33 million more acres through policy and conservation measures.

Ducks Unlimited Canada has 173,000 supporters, an annual budget of $78 million and a core volunteer force of duck hunters and anglers who raise conservation funds in the U.S. and Canada.

World Environment Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, every year, around the world, June 5 marks World Environment Day. In addition to being the occasion for numerous activities, this day is intended chiefly as a promotional tool to educate the population about the major issues we are facing.

Launched in 1972 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, World Environment Day is designed to encourage people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development, so as to ensure a more prosperous future for the generations to come.

The theme for 2009 is “Your Planet Needs You—Unite to Combat Climate Change”. It reflects the urgency for nations to agree on a new deal on the specific subject of climate change, which will be central to the discussions in Copenhagen.

The Bloc Québécois regretfully notes the inertia of this government in recognizing the importance of taking immediate action against climate change.

This is a very sad anniversary.

Poland
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. speaker, 20 years ago today, Poland held the first free parliamentary elections in what was then the communist eastern bloc. The overwhelming winner was the Solidarity free trade union movement. For the first time in four decades, a democratic government came to power. Solidarity's triumph helped to tear down the Iron Curtain and led to the non-violent collapse of communism throughout central and eastern Europe.

Within mere months of this election, nearly all of the communist governments across the region fell. Democracy, for which many Poles and other disenfranchised Europeans had given their lives, finally saw the light of day.

The success of Solidarity, personified in the leadership of Lech Walesa and inspired by Pope John Paul II, is an accomplishment worthy of commemoration. I am proud to stand up today for the recognition of the 20th anniversary of free elections in Poland.

Today, Poland serves as an example to those who are still fighting for freedom and democracy around the world. On this 20th anniversary of the beginning of the end of communism in central and eastern Europe, Canadians should remember its significance and be mindful of the need to always stand up for the values that we hold dear: liberty, human rights, the rule of law and democracy.

National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, after an unprecedented three terms, National Chief Phil Fontaine has decided not to run for re-election next month, thereby ending nine years at the helm of the Assembly of First Nations.

A gifted and highly respected leader, he has been instrumental in bringing about positive change and advancement for first nations people.

A proud member of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba, he was a leading force in the resolution and settlement of claims arising out of the 150-year-old Indian residential school tragedy. As a master negotiator, he helped secure last year's historic residential schools apology.

He has received many awards and honours, including four honorary degrees and membership in the Order of Manitoba. His lifelong dedication to issues facing first nations and to the advancement and self-determination of indigenous people in Canada and around the world is worthy of the House's recognition.

We extend our best wishes to Chief Fontaine as he moves on to a new path in his life's journey.

1989 Tiananmen Square Protest
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, today marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic events in Tiananmen Square. At the time, Canada took a strong, principled stand and unequivocally condemned the communist government's murderous crackdown on its own peaceful citizens.

For this, the government of the day was criticized by some who felt that standing up for human rights in China could jeopardize Canada's investment opportunities in that country.

In addition to the demonstrators, among the heroes of Tiananmen Square are the Chinese government officials, such as Zhao Ziyang, who sympathized with and supported the protestors at great risk to their own personal safety.

That is why, when the world learned of Zhao Ziyang's death in 2005, Canadians were once again proud to see our current Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism visit Zhao's family home to pay his personal respects. Once again, as with our principled stand in 1989, the Minister of Immigration was criticized by some who were concerned that this would damage Canada's commercial interests in China.

History can never be purged of the truth, and memory is more powerful than oppression. We hope that China will use the opportunity to examine the—

1989 Tiananmen Square Protest
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

Filipino Community in Manitoba
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, this is the 50th anniversary of the Filipino community in Manitoba. What a heritage moment and historical milestone. From 1959, when four nurses settled in Winnipeg, there are now almost 50,000 Filipino residents in Manitoba.

Today, more immigrants come to Manitoba from the Philippines than from any other country, with the Filipino community making up a larger percentage of the population in Manitoba than they do in any other province.

They are a formidable force in the economic, social, cultural and spiritual life of my province and a key player in Canada's multicultural mosaic. They are living testimony to just how much immigration is needed to sustain economic development and strengthen respect for cultural diversity in Canada.

The 50th anniversary will be celebrated in conjunction with Philippine Heritage Week, starting with the flag-raising this weekend at the Philippine-Canadian Centre of Manitoba.

[Member spoke in Filipino as follows:]

Mabuhay sa mga Kababayang Pilipino. Maligayang pagbati sa anibersaryo. Salamat po.

History of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Weston West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, west of the Parliament Buildings is a 19th-century building known as the Carbide Building, which reminds us of the inventor Thomas Carbide and other pioneers who created our magnificent country.

Those who walk or run by the building could easily ignore it and ignore our history. On the 65th anniversary of D-Day, I challenge my colleagues in this chamber and Canadians everywhere not to ignore our history.

For the sake of those Canadians who participated in that magnificent yet horrific event, such as Alan Dean, James Mannall, Ernie Renwick and Bob Hubbard, who were all members of the Canadian Legion on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast; for the sake of my uncle, the late Smokey Smith, who was Canada's last surviving Victoria Cross holder; and for the sake of my late father, a World War II prisoner of war, we must not ignore our history.

We must not ignore our historic buildings. Even more importantly, we must not ignore the sacred rights we enjoy today, thanks to the sacrifices of those brave soldiers who changed the world on D-Day. We will remember them.

Pay Equity
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, while this government stubbornly refuses to recognize pay equity, Quebec is taking action. The unanimous passage in the National Assembly of Quebec of Bill 25, which updates the Pay Equity Act, constitutes a historic gain for women working in Quebec.

Gone is the time when traditionally female jobs were avoided because they were less well paid. With all of the new provisions, the right to pay equity can now be deemed a vested right. As of today, it can be said that in the area of employment, Quebec women have the same rights, privileges and opportunities as men.

The only exception we have in Quebec is for women who work in federally regulated undertakings. For them, pay equity continues to be an impossible dream as long as this government is in power.

If the Conservative government ever wants to finally join the 21st century on pay equity, it need only follow the example of Quebec.