House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Economic Development
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of State.

Economic Development
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Cambridge
Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Minister of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)

Mr. Speaker, the member can yell all he wants. Here is a quote: “It's clear that we're on the right track and our approach is transforming the economy of this region and FedDev Ontario will play a critical role...”.

The rhetoric is up and loud by members of that party, whose intent is to go to an election to find a job for themselves.

This government is focused on creating jobs for Canadians, supporting Canadian businesses in southern Ontario and every community in between, regardless of their selfish priorities.

Taxation
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has decided to stimulate the economy by having families and consumers pay more taxes. The Liberals are also in favour of harmonizing the sales tax. That means that gas, heating and even funerals will cost more. People living in northern Ontario and British Columbia do not want tax increases.

Why is the minister intent on raising taxes?

Taxation
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member ought to look at the last generation in Canadian history and go back to when the previous governments worked with the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador when they decided to harmonize their taxes, more recently with the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia, and the province of Quebec may as well at one time.

There are other provinces that have not made the decision to harmonize. As I have said repeatedly, this is a decision for the provincial governments, not for the Government of Canada.

Taxation
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government does not understand the extent of the problem in northern Ontario. The Constance Lake First Nation lost its post office in November 2008. People have to travel 80 kilometres to mail a letter or pick up their GST rebate. With another gas tax, it will cost more. Furthermore, there is no public transportation for this community.

Are remote and first nations communities not entitled to the same services as all other communities?

Taxation
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, we have a very ambitious plan and a very good budget allocation that came out of Canada's action plan because we care very much that first nations have the same opportunities as every other Canadian.

The member calling for rapid transit in these isolated communities is not part of the answer. What is important are the things we are working on: education reform, housing allocations, water and waste water action plans. Those are the sorts of things that mean something in aboriginal communities, and that is why we have money to make that investment and to make it happen.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, last year Canadian producers exported high-quality beef to more than 55 countries. Unfortunately, many countries continue to close their doors to Canadian beef despite Canada's cutting-edge animal health care systems.

Can the Minister of International Trade tell this House what the Conservative government is doing to stand up for Canadian producers?

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla
B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I acknowledge how my colleague stands up for producers in her own constituency.

On the ban on beef from Colombia alone, in fact if we did not have that ban in place right now, we would have about a $6 million access for our producers. I wish the opposition parties would stop their grandstanding and help us move along the Colombia free trade agreement.

On the issue of Colombia's ban, the Minister of Agriculture and I have continually pursued this issue. I am pleased to announce that the country of Colombia has announced today that it is lifting that ban on beef.

Agriculture and Agri-Food
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. That will bring to a conclusion our question period for today.

The hon. member for Hochelaga, on a point of order.

Resignation of Member
Routine Proceedings

September 16th, 2009 / 3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform the House that I will be leaving my position as a member of Parliament and that my resignation will be effective today. I could not leave without saying that I have loved my work here in Parliament. As parliamentarians, we have chosen to transform our communities, our society and our world through ideas, and of course, through debate.

I would like to thank the people of Hochelaga, who placed their trust in me six times. Of course I would like to thank my assistants. Working with them has been a pleasure. I would like to thank Benoît Demuy, in my constituency, and Mario Lalancette, who has been with me for 13 years, which makes him practically a saint, I know. I would also like to thank my riding assistant, Denis Bourgeois, my riding association president, Maxime Bellerose, and my colleagues. I would like to thank my leader, who always gave me responsibilities that made my work here in Parliament a pleasure. I would also like to thank my party whip, who has always been so understanding and has so graciously fulfilled his duties. I leave this House knowing that I have friends in all the parties. It has been a pleasure to serve democracy and the people of Hochelaga.

Resignation of Member
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles
Québec

Conservative

Daniel Petit Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Mr. Speaker, I have the distinct honour of paying tribute to the hon. member for Hochelaga, who has decided to leave the House to pursue a political career at another level of government.

I should point out that, when I first came to the House of Commons nearly four years ago, the member for Hochelaga was the first Bloc member with whom I crossed swords.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to appreciate his work, even if we did not always agree on the basis of the various pieces of legislation that we introduced. Representing his party on the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, he was remarkably eloquent, as many can confirm, and he always found the right words to set out his party's ideas.

On many occasions, he defused conflicts between his party and the others represented on the committee because of how good he was at playing with words and paying each of us compliments to smooth things over.

This member, alongside whom I have worked for nearly four years, impressed us all in this House. Whenever he spoke, he did so from his heart, without a written speech in hand. His speeches were very well structured and gently led us to his desired conclusion.

We have appreciated the melodious voice with which he would manage to enchant us while putting his point across. He was and will remain one of the great parliamentarians I have worked with these past few years.

The people of Hochelaga put their trust in this fiery parliamentary orator for many years.

Personally and on behalf of my party, I want to thank him for his great contribution to Canadian federalism because, over the course of all these years, he has made Canada better through his work.

I would also like to wish him equal success at the municipal level. I think that the City of Montreal will be the better for his involvement.

Farewell, Réal.

Resignation of Member
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I do not know whether "smarmy" is unparliamentary, but my colleague's speech seemed rather funereal. We will be a little gentler.

I want to talk about the contribution of the member for Hochelaga. We have known one another for many years. We have had some epic battles, but we were able to be adversaries and still respect each other. It has always been conducted in good taste.

When I think of him I will remember his exceptional contribution to respect for diversity. He has never been afraid of his sexual orientation and has been an advocate and a defender of his group. All to his credit, in my opinion.

There is something else I found exceptional. We had a very unfortunate occurrence in Montreal. It was the death of young Daniel Desrochers. Members will recall that a bomb exploded during the war between the Rock Machines and the Hells Angels. I know that the member for Hochelaga worked extremely hard to make us aware of this matter in order to help us carry out our role as legislators fully.

We obviously do not share the same opinion on what Quebec's role should be, but I have always respected those who work full-time in the interest of their constituents.

The member for Hochelaga was always learning. He studied at the University of Ottawa, where he got his law degree. I have done an MBA while I have been a member, and I know that one has to work doubly hard. I think his sense of sacrifice and his commitment to lifelong learning round him out as a person.

I wish him good luck. It is unfortunate that I am a lad from Montreal North and that I am not in Hochelaga, because I cannot tell him I will help him. I wish him good luck even though we may not support the same candidate for mayor.

There is one thing I know, however, and that is that he has always served his constituents well. Each time he speaks, he will speak the truth and will speak truly in support of the interests of his neighbourhood.

Good luck, sir.

Resignation of Member
Routine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am very honoured to rise, as the NDP House leader, on behalf of New Democrats, our caucus here in the House, and to express our sadness that the member for Hochelaga is resigning. We have come to appreciate his very fine work as a member of Parliament and his great sense of humour. I cannot remember how many times I have sat in the House and listened to his great debates and how he would sometimes turn around 360 ° as he would look all around the chamber to ensure everybody was listening.

Since I was elected in 1997, I have come to appreciate the member's work and his fine sense of humour. Our justice critic, the member for Windsor—Tecumseh, says that he now will not have anyone to tease at the justice committee.

However, if truth be told, I know that at the justice committee and on many issues the member for Hochelaga and our members have worked very closely. I have sometimes worked with the member on very difficult issues dealing with justice and human rights. I am particularly proud of the fact that when we had the debate in the House, sometimes a very difficult debate on the same sex marriage bill, we formed a very small pink triangle caucus. The member for Hochelaga, the member for Burnaby—Douglas and myself wrote a letter to all the leaders of the parties expressing our concerns about the impact and tone of that debate. It was great evidence of the kind of cross-party alliance, solidarity and interest that we have sometimes managed to find in the House.

I have always known the member for Hochelaga to be a member who reaches out beyond partisan lines. I know he has been a fine member of his own caucus and well respected. All of us in the House, and particularly us as New Democrats, have the greatest respect for all that he has done. As he now enters a new era of his political dedication and activism, I hope he will serve his new constituents well. We wish him all the best in his new endeavour and his election, because he has much to offer the people of his community.

I thank the member for Hochelaga for all his work.

Resignation of Member
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Hochelaga, who was my MP for a number of years. The Montreal ridings change boundaries with nearly every election. He was an excellent MP. I was born in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. It is my part of the country. The member for Hochelaga was continually involved with all of the community and economic development associations in Montreal east. He was very present there and he was very present here in the House of Commons as well. He liked the role of MP, and I am sure he will enjoy public life in the future, but at another level.

He was responsible for a number of files within the Bloc, but in recent years, in particular, he looked after justice and health. He did so rigorously, and he gave the same attention to human rights, as colleagues have pointed out.

I would like to point out another aspect of his work, that of promoting the role of private members over these many years, by insisting that greater importance be given here to private members' bills and by working as well with the parliamentary associations. He is one of the founding members of the Quebec-Palestine association. He has performed all aspects of the work of a parliamentarian rigorously, with great skill and with great ability.

I will close by saying that he is an ardent sovereignist who has shown the rest of Canada what sovereignists want and what sort of country they want to live in. This he has done in friendship with the rest of Canada. The speeches we have heard make this amply clear. I thank him deeply. I was lucky to have such an MP in our caucus.

Resignation of Member
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I would like to add my comments regarding the hon. member. I take this opportunity too to congratulate him. The other members will doubtless be sorry he has reached this decision. We will miss him in the House. I wish him well and hope that he will come back to visit us.