House of Commons Hansard #113 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rail.

Topics

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for York South—Weston.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Anaphylaxis
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I had the pleasure of hosting a working luncheon to discuss anaphylaxis with a group of colleagues from across party lines.

A growing number of Canadians face daily the potential of life threatening allergic reactions whether it be to a food product, medication, insect bite or other triggers. For the 1.3 million Canadians who suffer from anaphylaxis, especially for parents of young children with the condition, this means living with constant worry and anxiety as they try to avoid coming into contact with a substance that could lead to a fatal reaction.

While there is no known cure for anaphylaxis, the good news is that with education and awareness, collective steps can be taken by society that can greatly reduce the risk of anaphylaxis reactions and allow sufferers and their families to lead more normal lives.

Thanks to all the stakeholders who helped organize and present the luncheon and to all the members who attended.

I look forward to my colleagues for the support of my motion on anaphylaxis, Motion No. 546, when it comes before the House next year.

John Richardson
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, a commerce graduate, educator, military leader and former member of Parliament for Perth—Wellington—Waterloo and Perth—Middlesex, John Richardson recently passed away at the age of 77.

John served with the Princess Patricia's Light Infantry and the Queen's Own Rifles in Germany with NATO and continued his military life even after he became a teacher, vice-principal and superintendent of instruction for the Perth County District School Board. John eventually rose to the rank of Brigadier General.

John Richardson was first elected in 1993 and retired in 2002. His dedication to and experience with the military led him to serve as parliamentary secretary for Veterans Affairs and National Defence.

Those in the House who knew John Richardson had the honour to serve with a member who truly reflected all that is exemplary of our Canadian values: dignity, compassion and devotion to public service.

I am certain all members will join with me in extending our condolences to his five daughters, Cindy, Paula, Anne-Louise, Judith and Jacqueline, as well as his many friends and extended family.

Multi-ethnic Centre in Quebec City
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Centre multiethnique de Québec is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and I would like to highlight the important work that the people behind the centre and its volunteers do every day for immigrants in the Quebec City region.

The centre has strong roots in the community and helps welcome and integrate thousands of newcomers by offering services—such as housing searches, information workshops and linguistic and cultural interpretation services—adapted to the many needs of a varied clientele. The centre also helps develop innovative services, promote intercultural dialogue and raise public awareness of the realities facing refugees and immigrants.

Immigration plays a huge role in the development of Quebec City, and the centre is an important resource that provides solidarity and support for newcomers. I want to thank all those who have worked for this organization in my riding.

Congratulations to the Centre multiethnique de Québec. I wish you all the best in the future.

Cellphone Towers
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, constituents in my riding are deeply concerned about cellphone towers popping up in our neighbourhoods, especially in Hastings-Sunrise and Grandview-Woodlands.

Residents are very worried that cellphone towers in residential areas make people sick. The Vancouver School Board was so concerned about the impact on children's health it passed a regulation that they not be built within 350 metres of a school. Yet towers are being placed within a few metres of residential buildings where children live.

The Standing Committee on Health issued a report recommending the government research the long-term health effects of exposure to radiation from these towers, particularly its effects on children. I urge the government to follow its recommendations.

I call upon the government to also immediately put rules in place that require telecom companies to consult and seek the approval of the community and local municipalities before they place these towers. We cannot let telecoms invade our communities and jeopardize the health of people.

Correctional Service Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dona Cadman Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about new dimensions in corrections.

Many of our opposition colleagues have characterized our government as one dimensional, concerned only with building jails. However, there is much more going on behind the scenes. Correctional Service Canada has a program called “Restorative Justice”, bringing together offender and victims in a healing process.

It is hard to over estimate the capabilities of a genuine apology to those who have been wronged. For offenders wishing to take responsibility for their actions, this can be a major step forward in their rehabilitation. For victims, it can close the door on debilitating anger and hatred that preclude a healthy future.

This year my family participated in this program. After 18 years, we received answers to persistent painful questions. Was it worth it? “You bet”.

I commend all those involved in this program. I extend my thanks to Angie Gates and Sandi Bergen.

Volunteerism
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, the small communities in my riding of Random—Burin—St. George's remain vibrant because of the many dedicated volunteers who get involved in ensuring our community, our province and our country are better places to live.

I rise today to honour one of those fine individuals. Harold Wells has spent much of his lifetime helping both the towns of Stephenville Crossing and Stephenville. Mr. Wells was recently bestowed a lifetime membership by the board of directors of the International Association of Lions Clubs in acknowledgement of more than half a century of selfless work for others.

Since joining the Lions Club in 1956, Mr. Wells has held every position within the local Stephenville Crossing and Stephenville clubs as well as positions at the district level. Over the years, Mr. Wells has received several awards in recognition of his dedication to Lionism, his community and all residents of Stephenville and Stephenville Crossing.

I ask all members to join me in saluting Harold Wells, a shining example of the best that volunteerism has to offer.

Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

Mr. Speaker, in 2001, Her Majesty the Queen approved the design of a special bar to be worn with military decorations to be known as the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation.

The honour is awarded to individuals who have performed commendable service to the veteran community and individuals who represent commendable role models for their fellow veterans. This perfectly described my friend and constituent, Margaret Kury, and I was pleased to be there when she received her commendation at a ceremony in Ottawa last month.

A retired Canadian Forces veteran, she has been an active member of the Royal Canadian Legion since 1976, having received many legion honours for her service there. She is also an active member of the Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association and charter member of the Ridge Meadows Ex-service Women's Club.

Margaret serves in many other volunteer capacities because she loves Maple Ridge and the feeling is mutual.

I congratulate Margaret on her latest honour. Once again, she has done us proud.

Lionel Girault
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Carrier Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 22, a resident of my riding was awarded the Governor General's Medal of Bravery. Constable Lionel Girault, a Montreal police officer, risked his life to apprehend an armed bank robber.

Constable Girault and two other officers rushed towards the scene of the crime after hearing that a police officer had been shot. The officers followed the suspect and blocked his escape as he tried to flee in a taxi. The suspect then ran to another taxi and held a gun to the driver's head. Fearing for the taxi driver’s life, Constable Girault and his colleagues fired at the suspect, who eventually dropped his weapon and gave himself up.

The Bloc Québécois and I congratulate Constable Lionel Girault for his act of bravery.

Violence Against Women
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, Monday was the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and we solemnly remembered the 14 young women who were murdered on December 6, 1989. On this 21st anniversary, we must take note that we must not only remember, but we must also act.

Today violence against women and young girls continues across our nation and throughout our globe. Prostitution is a serious form of violence against women and girls in Canada, especially impacting first nations women. Our government has taken this issue seriously and has committed to upholding the Criminal Code provisions that were struck down in Ontario.

In addition, I would encourage all members of the House to support changes that would vigorously target the purchasers of sexual services and not the women who are prostituted and to provide support for those who wish to escape prostitution.

Volunteerism
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, we can continue to take pride in the contribution of more than 12.5 million Canadians who volunteer throughout our country. New research released today by Volunteer Canada in partnership with Manulife Financial focused on youth, families, baby boomers and employer-supported volunteers and found significant gaps between what Canadian volunteers were looking for and how organizations were involving volunteers.

The results show that fostering volunteer engagement in Canada is not just a capacity issue, but also a strategic one.

Volunteers fight poverty, lead the environmental movement, keep our democratic system strong, stand on the front lines of disaster relief and keep the arts and cultural scene thriving.

I call on my colleagues in the House today to take a close look at this research and to support volunteer organizations in our communities.

Status of Women
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, sexual assault is a serious and an all too common form of violence that continues to victimize thousands of women and girls every year.

Our government introduced legislation to bring the age of consent for sexual activity from 14 to 16. We also introduced legislation to impose stricter conditions on repeat offenders. This would protect young people from sexual exploitation by adult predators.

We promote personal safety and empowerment through the women's program of Status of Women of Canada by funding important community projects aimed at eliminating violence against women and girls across the country.

During the 16 days of activism on violence against women, we must remember the countless women and girls worldwide who suffer or lose their life because of violence.

Let us raise our voices and call an end to sexual assault and all forms of violence against women.

Former Leader of the B.C. New Democratic Party
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, today I want to salute Carole James' major contribution to the province of British Columbia and to our shared community of Victoria.

She has dedicated her life to solidarity, social justice and the protection of children and families. From her winning fight for an independent children's commissioner to her ongoing work with first nations, from her school board leadership to her leadership of the B.C. NDP, Carole has embodied the spirit of public service.

She has also faced the toughest challenges with dignity and courage.

She has inspired me, through these qualities she has brought to public life. I look forward to continuing to serve our constituents together in the years ahead.

I thank Carole for her exemplary commitment to community.

Justice
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, while our government is working to make our streets and communities safer, the Liberal-led coalition has a different priority: the need for bilingual judges.

Why is that the Liberals' priority when there is so much to get done?

Because of Liberal stalling, victims continue to wait for legislation that would eliminate pardons for dangerous offenders, put in place mandatory minimum sentences for drug offences, eliminate the faint hope clause, stop Clifford Olson from collecting cheques from taxpayers and end house arrest for serious crime.

I call on all opposition parties to stand with this government to finally put victims first and support our efforts to make our streets safer.

Finance
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has been telling taxpayers over and over that belts will have to be tightened so that the government can get its fiscal house in order now that the deficit has reached a record $55.6 billion. Yet we recently learned that he himself overspent his own ministerial office operating budget by more than $430,000.

How are we supposed to believe that he can bring down the deficit and stick to his own budget policies when he cannot even stay within his ministerial budget? Instead of leading by example, the minister utterly lacks credibility when he tells taxpayers that spending has to be cut.

He is not the only one to have overspent his budget. The Minister of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean did the same thing.

The Conservatives need to do their own part before telling taxpayers there will have to be cuts when they are already being stretched thinner and thinner.