House of Commons Hansard #30 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was public.

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 Winnipeg North.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Kickballs for Kids
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, Chris Thompson of Stonewall, Manitoba is an example of what young Canadians can do to improve the lives of others.

After a 14-year career with his local soccer team, Stonewall United, Chris decided to bring the joy of playing soccer to children in the poorest regions of Africa. Last year he started his own charity called Kickballs for Kids, which donates soccer balls to kids in African countries who cannot afford them. He is completing a tour of several African nations where he has distributed the soccer balls paid for from funds he has raised.

While a $10 soccer ball might not seem like a big investment for the average Canadian, it is a luxury for many in the developing world. Chris has sent home countless stories of the joy experienced by children and their communities started by a game of soccer made possible with one of his soccer balls.

Chris Thompson has demonstrated what a young Canadian can do to help those in need. More importantly, he has shown that the joy of sport can bring a community together, whether one lives on the Manitoba prairie or on the African savannah.

I encourage all Canadians to help Chris in this endeavour. They can find out more by visiting Kickballs for Kids on Facebook. I congratulate Chris.

Administrative Professionals
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it would be inappropriate if not outright dishonest if this House did not underline the fact that today is international Administrative Professionals Day.

Too often, secretaries and administrative assistants are overlooked and their important work taken for granted. As I am sure all my colleagues know, administrative professionals often form the backbone of an office, literally holding it together. Without them, most organizations would simply not function.

Administrative Professionals Day provides the House of Commons with the opportunity to acknowledge the vital support provided by these employees to MPs and also to society in general.

In the contemporary economy, where services are omnipresent and information evolves rapidly, administrative professionals are vital to the proper functioning of society.

It is therefore appropriate to acknowledge their work, which all too often is still taken for granted. A very big thank you to the administrative professionals of Canada.

Victims of Crime
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, to no one's surprise, the Conservative government has announced that it will vote against Bill C-343, which provides real, tangible financial assistance to the families of victims of crime.

The government, which loudly proclaims that it defends victims and their families, is instead creating a diversion by holding Victims of Crime Awareness Week. We cannot oppose virtue. However, this gesture is simply a smokescreen for the Conservatives' inaction and indifference towards the financial needs of victims' families. The truth is that it is the awareness of this government's members that needs to be raised.

If the Conservatives truly were concerned by the fate of victims and their families, they would vote for Bill C-343on April 28.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to two outstanding women who have contributed immensely to British Columbia and Canada.

Madeleine Dion Stout has been a towering presence in the area of health care for decades. She has served as president of the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada and is an inaugural board member of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. She helped build the PHSA indigenous cultural competency program and the B.C. Women's Hospital's aboriginal health program. She is a director of the Women's Health Research Institute and just joined the First Nations Health Society as a board member.

Ms. Stout has just won a 2010 National Aboriginal Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions to aboriginal health and a strong public health system, an award she justly deserves.

Gladys Radek is a woman who is a passionate and tenacious voice for the missing and murdered women of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and across British Colombia. She has organized marches, raised funds and is a powerful advocate for the need to remember these women and obtain justice for each and every one of them. Her work has been so effective that this government recognized the group, Sisters in Spirit, in its throne speech.

I ask all members to join me in honouring these incredible women.

MS Walk
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, on April 25, the 5th annual MS Walk in Chaudière—Appalaches will be held in Lévis. The purpose of this walk is to raise money for research to find a cure for multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis is the most predominant neurological disease in young adults in our country and it has an impact on families, friends and the community. It is unpredictable and affects vision, hearing, memory, balance and mobility. Its physical, emotional and financial effects last a lifetime.

Every day, three new cases are diagnosed in Canada and women are three times more likely than men to develop this insidious disease in the prime of their lives.

I encourage each and every one of us to take part in one of the 160 walks being held across the country and I invite everyone here to join us this Sunday at 10 a.m. at the congress centre in Lévis.

Together we can beat multiple sclerosis.

Afghanistan
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us consider accountability on the Afghan detainee issue.

When allegations were made, the government attacked those who gave evidence. Is that the reaction we would expect from someone who has nothing to hide?

When parliamentarians raised concerns, they were accused of being unpatriotic. Does that mean we must ignore our international obligations in order to be patriotic?

When documents were requested by Parliament, the government hired a former judge to do a study instead of finding a solution compatible with the powers of Parliament.

Delay, denial and deception are incompatible with accountability. It is time for the government to be accountable by agreeing to a resolution which ensures both compliance with international law and full protection of our military. Now, that is patriotic.

The Economy
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, today the IMF forecasted that Canada will lead the G7 in growth this year and next. This follows an OECD report which also said that Canada will lead the G7 in growth. What is more, since July 2009 Canada has created almost 180,000 new jobs. All of this is proof that Canada's economic action plan is working.

However, the global economic recovery remains fragile and our top priority must be to stay the course.

What is the Liberals' top priority? It is to kill jobs with a GST hike, a new carbon tax and increase business taxes. In case the Liberals' agenda was unclear, the Liberal finance critic cleared up any confusion when he said, “The era of tax cuts is over”.

While the Liberals plot new tax hikes, our Conservative government will continue to lower taxes and create jobs.

Use of Wood in Federal Buildings
Statements By Members

April 21st, 2010 / 2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, members of the House of Commons will be voting on Bill C-429 on the use of wood in the construction and renovation of federal buildings.

A number of countries such as France, Norway and Sweden have implemented similar measures to promote the use of wood in public buildings. Quebec and British Columbia also have policies to that effect. Yesterday, the National Assembly unanimously adopted a motion in support of Bill C-429.

A number of Quebec and Canadian associations representing thousands of groups have also expressed their support for the bill, including the Forest Products Association of Canada, the Quebec Wood Export Bureau and the Québec Forest Industry Council.

We have the means to move forward with this type of measure. That is why I hope we can count on the support of all hon. members in this House.

National Volunteer Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today in celebration of National Volunteer Week. I would particularly like to highlight the invaluable contribution of young volunteers in Quebec and across Canada.

Every year, more than 12 million Canadians collectively volunteer more than 2 billion hours to make their communities and our country a better place to live.

What is remarkable is that young people, aged 15 to 24, have the highest rate of volunteerism. The Conservative government is very appreciative of the contribution of young volunteers. That is why Canada's economic action plan includes grants for the YMCA and other organizations, to place youth in internships with not-for-profit organizations. We also decided to create the Prime Minister's award for volunteerism.

Whether these young people are teaching computer basics to seniors, coaching kids' sports or planting trees in our communities, Canadians and Quebeckers appreciate their contribution.

We thank everyone who volunteers their time.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, today a group of representatives from the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation have come to the Hill in the hope of meeting with the Prime Minister or the Minister of Indian Affairs , who have refused to meet with them in the past.

The Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation is located principally in western Quebec and eastern Ontario. Members of that nation were the first inhabitants of the land on which we built our national Parliament, the very land on which we stand today.

Over the years, we have learned to live together on this earth, and it is simply unacceptable that the government is refusing to even listen to what these aboriginal representatives have to say. It will therefore be up to parliamentarians to meet with them and give them the opportunity to be heard that they are entitled to expect.

These people legitimately represent our constituents, and the Conservatives' behaviour is quite simply disrespectful.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, guess who is at it again, calling for higher taxes? That is right, it is the Liberal leader and his right-hand man, the member for Markham—Unionville. Yesterday he told the media he wanted to end tax cuts. Translation: If people and their families want less money in their pockets and want to pay higher and higher taxes, the Liberal leader is their man.

Whether it is touting a carbon tax, GST hikes or job-killing business taxes, the Liberal leader and his party have never met a tax they did not like. He even wants to tax iPods.

While Conservatives work to deliver lower taxes for Canadians, the Liberal leader continues to find new ways to increase taxes.

Canadians know that higher taxes kill jobs. Once again, the Liberal leader is not in it for Canadians. He is just in it for himself.

Earthquake in China
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Alice Wong Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, on April 14, an earthquake of 7.1 magnitude struck Yushu, a town in the Qinghai province of China. As of today, the death toll has climbed to 2,183 and 84 people are still missing. A week after the devastating quake, the Chinese government has designated today a national day of mourning for earthquake victims.

On behalf of Richmond, I express my deepest condolences to the victims and their families during this difficult time. China is a strong nation and has responded to this disaster quickly and effectively. The country's relief efforts have demonstrated its fine tradition of offering help to those in need.

We sincerely hope that those affected by the earthquake can overcome the tragedy quickly and rebuild their hometowns. Our officials in Beijing continue to contact appropriate Chinese authorities to assess the assistance that is required.

Armenia
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, 95 years ago, the world remained silent as over 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children were murdered. Just a few years ago, the House passed a motion clearly stating the truth and condemning this act as a crime against humanity.

The New Democrats stand in solidarity with the Armenian community in its desire to acknowledge and commemorate one of the most terrible chapters in world history. Hitler's infamous words, "Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" remind us of our duty to remember and to insist that these historic realities be recognized for what they were; otherwise, these horrors could be repeated elsewhere.

We also acknowledge the relentless courage of the Armenian people which, generations later, finally led to the creation of a free and democratic country. This country works with its neighbours to create a future of peace and reconciliation.

Armenia
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, 95 years ago the Armenian people were victims of the first genocide of the 20th century. More than a million people were murdered.

Even though many countries have recognized the facts, the descendants of victims of this tragic event are still waiting for all nations to acknowledge this act of evil.

As we have seen numerous times over the years, Armenians must continue to fight and defend themselves against false accusations which are perpetuated in order to avoid accepting the truth about this genocide.

That is why we, the Bloc Québécois, continue to stand by them in their quest for justice.

[Member spoke in Armenian.]