House of Commons Hansard #22 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

Arts and Culture
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to bring to the attention of the House an important milestone in my riding of Kelowna—Lake Country. The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of maestro Rosemary Thomson, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

I had an opportunity, with my wife, to attend its performance on Friday night. It was just spectacular. This is marking its place as a cornerstone of the arts community in the Okanagan.

Our Conservative government is supporting the symphony and other arts organizations in our riding, through the endowment incentives component of the Canada cultural investment fund, which matches donations from individuals, companies and community groups, and ensures a long-term future for the arts across Canada.

Congratulations to the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra on reaching this milestone and congratulations to the many donors, volunteers and patrons in Kelowna—Lake Country who continue to support and nurture an appreciation for the arts in our community.

World Autism Awareness Day
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to bring to the attention of this House that tomorrow, April 2, is World Autism Awareness Day.

Autism is a pervasive disorder which affects one person in 110, and millions of people around the world, including thousands of Canadians.

We need a national strategy in this country to help those who are living with autism and their families, a strategy to address the challenges brought on by autism, with child, adolescent and adult supports. We know this will not solve autism. However, if we can make people aware of the importance of early diagnosis and early intervention, maybe we can make lives a little easier.

The importance of World Autism Awareness Day is to give a voice to all those undiagnosed, misunderstood and looking for help. Children and persons with autism must be given the opportunity to lead full and meaningful lives.

Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, for 150 years, the Institut Nazareth et Louis-Braille has been the sole rehabilitation centre specializing in vision loss in Quebec.

It provides services to children, youth, adults and seniors. Seniors have access to a program that helps them adapt and readjust to an active lifestyle at home and within society. The program has two multidisciplinary teams, partly made up of volunteers, whose work is very important in the provision of services at the institute.

My father, Paul Guay, lost 80% of his vision a few years ago. As a result, he also lost his driver's licence, and, most importantly, his pride in being independent. Thanks to the seniors' program, he is keeping up with his volunteer work, at the age of 80, and remains active and healthy.

The institute's work helps people like my father maintain their dignity and be proud of actively contributing to society.

Universities and Colleges
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, as the member of Parliament for Edmonton—Strathcona, I am privileged to have three university campuses in my constituency: the University of Alberta main campus, Campus Saint-Jean, and King's University.

Faculty, students and their families have shared their concerns that advanced education is becoming increasingly unaffordable.

At the U of A, on top of rising tuition fees, students must pay new fees, and faculty must take 8 to 13 days of unpaid leave.

Market modifiers, or higher tuition fees, have been imposed for professional faculties, assuming they will earn more after graduation. This hurts those least able to pay, and increases an already high debt burden. Few law graduates can consider a public interest career.

This week, I met with U of A medical students concerned that as medical fees increase, access will be denied to many at a time when we have a need for more doctors.

There is no better investment than the education of young Canadians and to ensure accessibility for more than the privileged few. I am sure members will agree with Dr. Paul Capon, that education and learning are at the heart of a democratic society.

Should our federal government not be contributing more?

Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery
Statements By Members

April 1st, 2010 / 2 p.m.

Conservative

Ray Boughen Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 18th Battery of the 10th Field Regiment, RRCA Saskatchewan.

First activated in Regina as the 26th Field Battery, 100 years ago today, this is the longest continuously serving Canadian artillery unit in the province of Saskatchewan.

In 1920 the independent 26th Field Battery became the 10th Field Brigade, a part of which was the 18th Field Battery. After World War II, they grew to become known as the 10th Field Regiment.

Gunners of the 18th Battery, 10th Field Regiment, have served us bravely for a century, in two great wars, in Korea, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and they continue to serve us today.

I ask all members to rise with me to salute these men and women. These dedicated regular and reserve volunteers have placed themselves in harm's way, so that we in Canada might never feel the pain of war in our own country.

Daffodil Month
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the great honour to rise today to mark the start of Daffodil Month. This month, volunteers across Canada will spread awareness and raise money to fight cancer.

Based on current incidence rates, two in five Canadians will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. Few will be untouched by this disease. However, an ounce of prevention, primary prevention, is worth a pound of cure. We are saddened that the government has denied funding to environmental and occupational cancer prevention projects.

We implore the government to implement a PET imaging strategy that would provide earlier diagnosis and more appropriate treatment. Many cancers are being found too late.

It is time for the government to do more. We need better data, better research, and better tools to implement preventative measures, find it earlier and provide better care for Canadians with cancer and their families.

World Autism Awareness Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is the third World Autism Awareness Day. Twelve years ago today, my son Jaden was diagnosed with autism. For the last two years on this day, I have shared Jaden's story, but this time I want to focus on his 10-year-old sister, Jenae.

As with many siblings of people with autism, our family's attention often seems to be on someone else and yet Jenae never complains. She sees the good in her brother, often pointing out, for example, that Jaden never fights with her like her friends' brothers do. When she was five, she described their relationship this way: “I'm Jaden's little sister, but sometimes I'm like his big sister”.

She is Jaden's guardian, his helper, his teacher and his friend. Jenae's name is Hebrew for “God has replied” and there are countless others all across this country just like her: people like Josh Bortolotti, Jeanette Holden and the member for Sydney—Victoria.

They are answers to prayers both spoken and unspoken. We thank God for them today on behalf of those who may not be able to say it themselves.

Daffodil Month
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Nicolas Dufour Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, April is the month that brings good weather, but it is also the month when we are reminded that we must never give up in our fight against cancer.

Daffodil Month begins today, and that is why I invite everyone to support the volunteers who will be spending the coming month raising money and making their community aware of the fight against this terrible disease, which affects two in five people.

The money raised by the sale of daffodils, which symbolize hope and courage, will be used to fund research projects, distribute information about cancer and provide support for people who have been or will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.

I would also like to invite all my colleagues to wear a daffodil for the month of April to show their support for all those touched by cancer.

Democratic Representation
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, this morning, the Minister of State for Democratic Reform tabled Bill C-12, An Act to amend the Constitution Act, 1867, our government's commitment to restore the democratic principle of representation by population right here in the House of Commons.

This legislation will update the current formula that was designed in 1985 and will restore fair representation in the House to all Canadians, regardless of the province in which they live. That is because we believe that each Canadian's vote should carry equal weight.

Over time, representation of Canadians from the provinces of Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia was underrepresented. Our government has taken a principled approach that strikes a balance between restoring fair representation for faster-growing provinces while protecting the seat counts of slower-growth provinces.

We believe that all Canadians deserve to be represented in the people's House, this House of Commons. This bill is about giving the new Canada a new voice for the millions of new Canadians who have entered these three new provinces.

Midget AAA Hockey
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, March 21, the Charlottetown OK Tire Abbies won the Atlantic provinces midget AAA hockey championship. Teams from Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island participated in this Atlantic tournament. The Abbies went undefeated during the tournament and won the championship for the second straight year.

The Abbies defeated their hosts, the Summerside Hemphill GM Capitals, in a 5 to 3 victory in the championship game. Their victory on Sunday marks the end of a very successful season. The team dominated the Atlantic midget AAA hockey circuit, winning the Monctonian, the Sherwood-Parkdale Early Bird, the Charlottetown Spud and the Prince Edward Island midget AAA tournaments. The Abbies were capably coached by Mark White, Mike White and Steve Ramsay, and were managed by Jerry MacKenna and Kevin Ramsay.

I would like all members of the House to join me in congratulating the Charlottetown AAA midget Abbies for their tournament win and their very successful season. Every member of this team has every reason to be proud and I do want to wish them all the best in their future endeavours.

Infrastructure
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, as part of Canada's economic action plan, our government is making unprecedented investments in infrastructure projects. To date, almost 16,000 projects are completed or under way in every corner of this country. Roads and bridges, college and university campuses, arenas and recreation centres, and water treatment facilities are being built, upgraded and renewed, thanks to our investments.

These stimulus projects are creating jobs and hope in the largest cities and smallest towns from coast to coast to coast. According to the Conference Board of Canada, infrastructure spending provides a larger stimulus to the economy during a recession, and “provides a bigger bang for the buck”.

The Conference Board of Canada finds that every dollar spent on infrastructure increases real gross domestic product by as much as $1.20, and with Statistics Canada reporting yesterday that Canada's economy grew for the fifth straight month, it is clear that Canada's economic action plan is working.

Jobs and economy remain our government's top priority.

Manufacturing Industry
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, workers in Hamilton are still reeling after the abrupt announcement by Siemens that it will be closing its doors, putting 550 people out of work.

The province lost a “competitive process” to Charlotte, North Carolina, a state that will not only get our current jobs but a $130 million expansion as well.

It is disgraceful, but at least the province was at the table. Where was the federal government in this process? Apparently AWOL again. When we asked about the Siemens closure in this House, the Minister of Industry replied that what he was doing for Hamilton was bringing new jobs in the health service field to our community. Say what?

Clearly, the Conservative government has no industrial strategy for creating and protecting manufacturing jobs, and no green energy strategy that could support the Siemens plant here. We cannot win a fight if we are not even in it.

This issue is about the future of Canada's manufacturing sector and the future of family sustaining jobs, without which the government will not have the money to make more health care announcements.

When will the government start to care about more than big banks and the oil patch? The Siemens plant is not closing until July of next year. There is still time to act, but the clock is ticking and the time to act is now.

Justice
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, we recently learned, and were surprised to learn, that murderers sentenced to life imprisonment receive a monthly old age security pension. It was even more surprising to hear the leader of the Bloc publicly defending criminals' rights and demanding that a killer who savagely murdered 11 children still receive his old age pension.

Although this notorious criminal is serving a life sentence for horrible crimes against children and adolescents, the Bloc leader thinks that he should still receive his federal government pension to help his rehabilitation. This is a slap in the face to any family who has had a loved one murdered. I am outraged.

The Bloc should stop blocking Conservative government initiatives to fight crime and rehabilitate their victims. The leader of the Bloc claims to stand up for Quebec, but it seems he is actually standing up for criminals.

Aboriginal Healing Foundation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is a dark day for thousands of aboriginals in Quebec and Canada. Because of funding cuts to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 134 community services will no longer be available to them.

One of the victims, the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal, lost one-third of its budget. This morning, three women stayed home because they no longer have jobs. The shelter, which helps over 200 aboriginal women and their children every year, no longer has the means to offer workshops on such topics as violence, surviving rape and self-esteem. It has also lost the services of a psychologist.

This government is simply not aware of the negative impact of its decisions on aboriginal peoples. In the 2010 budget speech, the government said that it would continue to offer a helping hand to those who need it. This is not a helping hand. This is yet another slap in the face for aboriginal peoples.

Crime
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, I wish to pay tribute to the greatest crime solvers in our nation. Police admit it is not themselves, but families and communities.

On February 26 hard-working and transplanted Newfoundlander, Donna O'Reilly, was abducted without trace outside her place of work in Moncton. The family offered a $25,000 reward and spread word in the community. The RCMP worked the file hard, St. Bernards held vigils, and a whole community took note.

Then 27 days later, she escaped her captor. On March 24 a Purolator truck driver, made aware by the campaigns, recognized her running up St. George Boulevard and took her to police. The police then picked up the captor, who has been remanded.

Donna O'Reilly, husband Harold and daughters Amy and Karen are the heroes we all want to be. We should all remember that saving society is not up to government and police alone, but also families and communities like the O'Reilly's in Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe.

It was through a strong woman's will, a vibrant community's vigilance, and a tight family's love that Donna O'Reilly is alive today.