House of Commons Hansard #16 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was bridge.

Topics

2:05 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 Halifax.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Elmira Maple Syrup Festival
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to thank the volunteers who will make this weekend's Elmira Maple Syrup Festival another huge success.

Since 1965, this small community has hosted visitors from around the world to celebrate one of our most Canadian symbols, maple syrup.

Over the years, the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival has grown to become the world's largest one-day maple syrup festival. Over 40,000 people will crowd this town of only 12,000 this Saturday.

One of the highlights of the festival is its pancake flipping contest. This year I will be entering a team comprised entirely of hon. members of the House. The members from Kitchener Centre, Kitchener—Waterloo, Okanagan—Shuswap and the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism will all join in the fun.

I look forward to welcoming my teammates to the best riding in Canada and, on behalf of the Government of Canada, I extend my gratitude to the festival's organizers and volunteers. I also extend a heartfelt invitation to all Canadians to attend the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival on Saturday.

Organ and Tissue Donation
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate University of Guelph students for an extraordinary campaign to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation.

With support from the Trillium Gift of Life, University of Guelph students are partnering with staff and faculty and with high school students in the broader community to ask 1,000 people to show their support tomorrow for this important cause.

Each supporter has signed a pledge that they will speak to 10 people about organ and tissue donation and direct them to join the movement on the website, recycleme.org.

Because of efforts like those, last year in Ontario almost 700 lives were saved because of 218 organ donations, an increase of 17% from 2008, and yet there are still 1,600 people in Ontario who are waiting for a transplant.

I hope the House will join me in congratulating those in the community of Guelph who have dedicated their time and energy to this very worthy cause. I ask other members to raise awareness of this pressing issue in their own communities.

Climate Challenge
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the cement factory in Joliette has once again taken on the Défi Climat challenge this year. The 209 employees of Holcim who are voluntarily participating in the challenge this year are taking practical steps to reduce their environmental footprint.

This year's theme is “every action counts”, and over the span of just over a month, these employees will have the opportunity to help protect the environment, for example, by changing to more eco-responsible modes of transportation, managing their waste at home and at work in an environmentally friendly manner, and buying local.

Holcim is not the only company in my region to be participating in the Défi Climat, which is being held from March 10 to April 30. The employees of Bridgestone will also participate, as will the CEGEP and the City of Joliette.

To set an example, the staff of my constituency office in Joliette and I will participate in the challenge this year, focusing on active leisure.

I wish everyone well during the Défi Climat, because every action does count.

Agnes Macphail
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, today marks the 120th anniversary of the birth of Agnes Macphail.

Agnes was the first woman to be elected to the House of Commons in the very first election in which women had the right to vote. She later became one of the first two women elected to the Ontario legislature and the first to be seated.

Agnes Macphail was recognized for her commitment and advocacy for women's rights, fairness to seniors, prison reform, peace and disarmament, housing, health care and education. One of her major achievements occurred in 1951 when she championed pay equity in Ontario.

In honour of her life-long contributions, Ontario honoured Agnes by proclaiming March 24 Agnes Macphail Day. No such honour has followed at the federal level.

At first that surprised me, but on reading the damning report to the UN about the record of successive Liberal and Conservative governments on women's issues, it was clearly too hypocritical to contemplate. So it falls to New Democrats to honour Agnes Macphail by continuing her fight for equality.

We share her belief that Canadian women deserve fairness, affordability, opportunity, equal pay for work of equal value, a decent standard of living and the freedom to live without fear. For us, every day is Agnes Macphail Day.

Children's Events
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently I had the wonderful opportunity of participating in a number of children's events throughout my riding.

Oscar Peterson Public School, in my home town of Stouffville, raised over $5,000 for Haiti earthquake relief through their “Helping Hands” initiative. Then, the York Region Catholic School Board students raised over $170,000 for Haitian earthquake relief.

Brother André Catholic High School, which put on a band-aid fundraising event for the Markham Stouffville Hospital's campaign for expansion, raised over $5,000 in one night.

The fourth annual Biennale Portrait Competition, which is a worldwide children's art exhibition held in Greece, had over 141,000 children from over 141 countries participating. I would like to commend Nobleton Junior Public School students, Ashley Keown and Sam Walker, for their first place finish, and, not to be outdone, Nathan Cameron, Tyler Cameron and Carly Panneton, who won second place in this competition, which is another reason that I am so proud to represent the good people of Oak Ridges--Markham.

World TB Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is World TB Day, an international call to action, to mobilize political commitment to reduce the burden of tuberculosis. Yet, today, TB is Canada's forgotten disease.

Aboriginal people in Canada face a third world risk of the disease. The tuberculosis rate among status Indians is 31 times higher than that of non-aboriginal Canadians. The rate among Inuit is 186 times that of Canadian born non-aboriginals, equivalent to the rate in sub-Saharan Africa.

This information from the Public Health Agency of Canada comes as the Prime Minister is preparing to make child and maternal health in the developing world a priority at the G8 summit this year.

The rate of tuberculosis among Canada's aboriginal peoples is an embarrassment that demands a real government strategy, the what, by when and how and resources.

We call upon the Prime Minister to take immediate action on this 100% preventable disease.

Student Artists
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I welcome to Parliament Hill six exceptional student artists from Ottawa—Orléans.

I am constantly trying to support the arts in Ottawa—Orléans, and I am following your example, Mr. Speaker.

I distribute to every household an annual calendar with pen and ink drawings of local landmarks and hidden treasures. The 2010 calendar features the work of six wonderful artists, so I acknowledge the talent and creativity of Bethany Angel, Erika Lévesque, Amy Gabrielli, Hamza Hassan and Lindsay Rees, all of Gloucester High School, and Melissa Wong of St. Peter Catholic High School.

Also, I salute the dedication of Mrs. Linda Kennedy, a passionate educator at Gloucester High who organized her students' participation.

Without their hard work, this project would never have happened.

I thank them and I look forward to continuing to work with them to support the arts in Ottawa and in every corner of Canada.

Maternal and Child Health
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Liberals became Conservative accomplices by shooting themselves in the foot when it came time to have their motion passed. The motion would have forced the government to recognize the importance of contraception in improving maternal health in developing countries.

The Liberals were not even able to ensure that their own motion passed. This is definitely not a step forward for women and maternal health.

We certainly could not count on the Conservatives, who, with their misogyny and Reform ideologies on women's rights, deny that contraception can save lives.

The Bloc Québécois is in favour of a maternal and child health initiative that includes, for women in developing countries, every family planning option, including contraception and abortion as a last resort. We will keep repeating this until it is included in the policy that the government intends to defend at the next G8 summit.

World TB Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate World Tuberculosis Day. We have a government-wide approach to this issue. From a health perspective, we recently passed Bill C-32, a bill that would curb smoking, particularly with our youth.

Healthy eating is an area that is vital to the prevention of this disease. Our initiative regarding healthy foods will encourage better eating habits, particularly in northern communities. This will keep tuberculosis at lower levels.

Our government has invested almost $10 million already this year in aboriginal communities. Housing, poverty and clean water are priorities for our government. We are continuing to enhance clean drinking water monitoring in first nations communities while monitoring waterborne illness threats on reserve.

I would like to commend the doctors, nurses, researchers and community workers in Canada and abroad who are involved in the global fight against tuberculosis.

World Schools Debating Championships
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, last month, for the first time in 22 years, Canada's national high school debating team won the world championships.

This was a true team Canada with members from across the country: from Halifax, Lyle Dobbin, Andrew Morrison and Vinayak Mishra; from Winnipeg, Sarah Levy; from Calgary, Veenu Goswami and Keenan MacNeal; and from Vancouver, Iqbal Kassam, Jonathan Carson and Sophie Bird.

In fact, I recently was a judge at the provincial championship debates where Iqbal and Jonathan did an incredible and outstanding job. The national team, despite being separated by thousands of kilometres, prepared over Skype and email before arriving in Doha, Qatar for the World Schools Debating Championships, the Olympics of debating. They bested the best debaters from 57 countries before beating team England on an 8 to 3 decision in the championship round.

I congratulate every member of the team and Coach Tracey Lee. They have done Canada proud.

Leader of the Bloc Québécois
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Généreux Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc leader sank to new hypocritical lows when he proudly laid out his investment strategy in last Saturday's La Presse.

According to BRANCHEZ-VOUS.com, his investments in Helios include investments in the oil sands. The leader of the resistance did not deny this fact yesterday.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with investing in a company involved in the oil industry, but when one is the leader of a political party that never misses an opportunity to criticize oil sands exploitation, such activity is disgustingly hypocritical, particularly since, as recently as last year, this particular leader said that “Supporting oil sands exploitation is contrary to Quebec's interests”.

Does that mean that the Bloc leader's interests are contrary to those of Quebec? How can the Bloc leader justify benefiting from an industry that he has so roundly criticized? Clearly, when it comes to his own financial interests, the Bloc leader is somewhat less scrupulous.

Brian McInnis
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am rising today to commemorate the life of a very special Canadian, Brian McInnis, who passed away a couple of days ago while with his family in my riding.

He was a great contributor to this country. In fact, he worked for my father when he was chairman of the Progressive Conservative caucus. He worked in the research office of the Conservative Party here, serving his country, trying to build it and make it strong.

In my riding, he chose to work in the community, and work with me and our riding. Brian was the sort of fellow who never sought out praise. In fact, he always reached out to others to see how he could encourage them to develop and contribute to making the country that we have so wonderful. He is a real loss.

On behalf of my dad, with whom Brian is now communing I have no doubt, and all the residents and, if I may say, the members of the House, we are passing our condolences to his wife Minerva and family, and thank them for Brian's life.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank those Liberal members who voted for the estimates last night. For a moment, it looked like they had come to understand what Canadians already know, that our economic action plan is protecting the jobs of today while creating the jobs of tomorrow.

Alas, that moment faded when the Liberals voted again, but this time against jobs and growth.

The confusion is clearly coming from the Liberal leader. Last week, he prorogued himself to go on a tax and spend road show and missed his party's motion.

Yesterday, we told the Liberal leader that his motion was divisive, and we were right. He divided his caucus. While some stood against him, even more chose to sit out the Liberal leader's motion. One Liberal MP even told the media it was “clown city”.

Maybe the MPs the Liberal leader locked out of his spenders conference have caught on to what we have been saying, “The Liberal leader is not in it for Canadians; he is only in it for himself”.

Le Devoir
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Le Devoir, which celebrated its 100th anniversary on January 10, 2010.

In his first editorial on January 10, 1910, Henri Bourassa wrote that “Le Devoir will support honest folk and denounce scoundrels”. This sentence is not devoid of meaning. From the beginning, the newspaper has always defended the interests of the public. With a slogan of “Libre de penser”—free to think—for its 100th anniversary, this daily expresses the independent nature of the Quebec nation.

These are times of great change for the print media, and Le Devoir has successfully maintained its authenticity while using new platforms like the Internet.

On behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I would like to warmly congratulate the staff at Le Devoir for their rigour and their professionalism, which contribute to the tremendous success of this wonderful adventure that began when the first edition of Le Devoir was published 100 years ago. The Bloc Québécois and the Quebec nation wish the newspaper another century of freedom of expression.