House of Commons Hansard #33 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugee.

Topics

Bay of Fundy
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Madam Speaker, the 270 kilometre-long Bay of Fundy between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia is home to the highest tides in the world, where 100 billion tonnes of water flow in and out of the bay twice per day, an amount greater than the combined total of all the world's freshwater rivers.

The Bay of Fundy is the sole Canadian entry remaining among the 28 finalists in the third and final phase of the New7Wonders of Nature contest. Over one billion votes are expected to be cast before voting ends and the winner is announced in November 2011.

Visitors to my home in Cheverie have stared in bewilderment at a bare sea floor, which just hours earlier had been a sea of waves lapping along the shoreline. However, the Bay of Fundy is more than just high tides. It is the home of 300 million year old fossils at sites such as Blue Beach and Joggins. It is one of the world's most diverse marine environments.

I urge all members and all Canadians to cast their votes at www.votemyfundy.com to make the Bay of Fundy one of the New7Wonders of Nature.

Maison de la famille LeMoyne
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Saint-Lambert, QC

Madam Speaker, today I wish to pay tribute to a family support agency in my riding, the Maison de la famille LeMoyne.

On March 31, the Maison de la famille, nestled in the LeMoyne neighbourhood of Longueuil, celebrated its 10th anniversary at its annual fundraising dinner at the Jacques-Rousseau school in Longueuil.

This agency, which has become an essential resource in a neighbourhood where needs are great, puts its faith in the strength of parents and helps them to build their families with dignity and self-esteem.

Through parental support, help with homework, drop-in learning centres and parent-child workshops, the Maison de la famille contributes to the well-being of the people in the community.

I want to congratulate the “Maison” on its excellent work and unparalleled dedication and wish everyone there another wonderful decade of success.

Health
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, Norman Guilbert, a grandfather and retired educator from Elmwood—Transcona, who had never phoned a politician's office in his life, called to inform me that Health Canada announced that beverage companies would now be allowed to add synthetic caffeine to all soft drinks, as much as 75% of that allowed in the most highly caffeinated colas.

Canadians already have concerns over their children drinking coffee and colas because they know caffeine is an addictive stimulant. Soft drinks have been designed and marketed toward children for generations. It is already hard enough for Canadian parents to control the amount of sugar, artificial sweeteners and other additives their children consume. By allowing such amounts of caffeine in all child-marketed soft drinks, Canadian parents will lose further control over protecting their children's health.

It seems the government is willing to follow American deregulation at the sacrifice of the health of children and pregnant women, which goes against what Canadian parents stand for.

National Food Policy
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, rural Canada matters. On an Ontario farm today, the Liberal leader unveiled Canada's first national food policy to link urban and rural Canada and put more homegrown food on our tables. Our national food policy would improve our health and build our economy with five core areas: healthy living, safer foods, sustainable farm incomes, environmental farmland stewardship and global leadership on food promotion.

Our food policy would work with farmers to build new programs from the farm up, introduce new health labelling and create tough standards on trans fats. We would build practical, bankable farm programs to meet the costs of production, stronger environmental farm plans and new market opportunities. We believe in a nation where economic opportunity and high quality of life can be achieved in all regions.

We have also announced a plan to attract doctors and nurses to rural Canada. We give a different choice to Canadians than the current government. By freezing corporate tax cuts, we can invest in deficit reduction and important economic initiatives such as a national food policy.

Buying local is good for our farmers who grow the world's highest quality foods for our families and for the environment.

Canada Foundation for Innovation
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Foundation for Innovation is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The mandate of the CFI is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions to carry out cutting-edge research and technology development that benefits all of Canada.

Our government is pleased to announce that, following an overall performance evaluation and value for money audit of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, an independent international review panel has declared that it is the most successful research funding organization of its kind in the world.

Our government is proud of the CFI's accomplishments. We recognize that in the global economy knowledge, research and innovation are at the heart of economic growth and success. That is why this government has provided over $1.34 billion in funding since 2006.

We congratulate everyone at the CFI and wish it continued success. We congratulate Dr. Eliot Phillipson who has served so well and is retiring as president after six very successful years at the helm.

Infrastructure
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to highlight a recent investment that our government has made in my riding of Niagara West—Glanbrook. In co-operation with the government of Ontario and the YMCA of Niagara, a total investment of $12 million is paving the way for a brand new YMCA in the town of Grimsby.

I was very pleased to attend the groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday and I am look forward to seeing the results and the benefits for our community that this new facility will bring. Continuing in the fine tradition of the Y, I am certain that this new complex will be an important hub for Niagara West—Glanbrook in developing strong kids, strong families and strong communities. Over 80 person years of employment will be generated through its construction and once it is open, it will employ nearly 100 people in full and part-time capacities.

I am proud to be part of a government that is providing funding for projects across the country that are getting shovels in the ground, creating jobs and enabling organizations like the YMCA of Niagara to grow and prosper.

Competition for Disabled Athletes
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pascal-Pierre Paillé Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 27th edition of the Défi sportif will be held this year from April 27 to May 2. With a slogan this year of “Choose to win”, this international sporting event brings together elite athletes with all types of disabilities. More than 3,200 athletes from over 20 countries will face each other with one goal in mind: winning.

There is one major difference this year: for the first time, the Défi will host the World Hockey Championship for Amputee Athletes. Five teams will compete for the gold medal in this tournament. Good luck to all the hockey players and to all the athletes at the Défi sportif, particularly those from Quebec.

I have no doubt that the spokesperson for the event, Chantal Petitclerc, a 14-time gold medallist at the Paralympic Games, will be an inspiration to all of the participants.

We will see them from April 27 to May 2 at the Défi sportif.

Canada-India
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canada-India ties continue to strengthen following the very successful visit to India by a strong delegation led by the Prime Minister last November. Canada is home to a large Indo Canadian community. Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Jains all contribute immensely to further this relationship.

India is the world's largest multicultural democracy. It also has a well established legal process. India today is an example of the fruits that co-operation between communities bring. The Government of Canada and Canadians stand strongly behind efforts to strengthen our relationship and in no way will accept, support or encourage any efforts that undermine a strong, united and multicultural India.

This government strongly condemns the recent threats of violence made by extremists within the Canadian Sikh community. This is unacceptable.

Canada-Vietnam
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to give recognition to the special delegation of the citizens' complaints committee of the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, which is here today on Parliament Hill.

The purpose of its visit is to enhance its understanding about the role of members of Parliament, communications with the constituency and how to resolve citizens' complaints. This occasion also provides parliamentarians with an opportunity to share information, discuss issues of mutual concern and strengthen our bilateral relations.

The Canada-Vietnam Parliamentary Friendship Group continues to play an important role in the development of parliamentary relations and I am pleased that many of my colleagues have attended a number of meetings and discussions. They have learned that “complaints” is a very negative term. We like to use the word “concerns” of constituents. I think it was very useful in the deliberations we have had over the last few days.

Quebec’s Forest Economies
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning my colleague, the Minister of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec announced the establishment of the temporary initiative for the strengthening of Quebec’s forest economies.

This three-year, $100 million measure is intended to support communities affected by the forestry crisis in their efforts to expand and diversify their economic activity.

The initiative will make it possible to assist the industry and its workers by providing funding for local projects that improve the performance of enterprises in communities hit by the crisis in the forest sector.

The Government of Canada is well aware of the magnitude of the forestry crisis in Quebec and of the pressure it is placing on the communities whose economies rely heavily on the industry.

Our government is acting in the interests of local workers and their communities by strengthening the economy in these regions. This is yet another example of a tailored response to the specific problems facing those populations struggling with the crisis in this industry.

Lake Avenue Elementary School
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past Saturday in my riding of Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, my wife and I had the great pleasure of attending a fundraising spaghetti dinner for the Lake Avenue Elementary School's band.

This senior band had just taken home the gold in a local competition. Now the band gets to travel to Ottawa and participate in our capital city's renowned MusicFest competition on May 21.

These young people's achievement is all the more impressive, when we realize the catchment area for Lake Avenue Elementary School is in one of the poorest areas of Hamilton and indeed in the country. Not only that, but when we also know that English is the second language for 85% of this school's student body, that adds other challenges.

My heartfelt congratulations go out to music teacher Matthew Skinner and his very talented students for their wonderful achievement. They have made us all so very proud.

Firearms Registry
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, since the Liberal leader announced his plans to force his MPs to keep the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry, the Liberal member for Avalon has been awfully silent.

The member for Avalon has not said whether he will represent his constituents and oppose the wasteful long gun registry, or if he will ignore his constituents and instead be forced by his Liberal leader to keep the registry.

Even worse, by his silence, the Liberal member for Avalon is condoning the actions of the Liberal leader whose MPs attempted to hijack the public safety committee to prevent Canadians, including officers and police chiefs who are opposed to the long gun registry, from coming forward to speak out.

It is time for the Liberal member for Avalon to come clean. He either listens to his constituents and votes to scrap the long gun registry or he falls in behind his leader and votes to keep the long gun registry. There is no in between on this issue. It is that simple.

Status of Women
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, April 25 was the 70th anniversary of women's suffrage in Quebec. This event should prompt us to reflect on true gender equality.

We have indeed come a long way, but we still have work to do to ensure gender equality in society and politics. Currently, women occupy only 29% of the seats in the National Assembly, 14% of elected positions at the municipal level and 20% of the seats in the House. The mission spearheaded by women like Marie Gérin-Lajoie, Thérèse Casgrain and Claire Kirkland is still in progress.

I urge all women and men to reject the stereotype that women are not interested in politics. We must accept that they have a place here and that they do things differently. To carry out the mission started by these pioneering female politicians, we should nominate women for seats that they have a good chance of winning.

As Élaine Hémond of Groupe Femmes, Politique et Démocratie said, we have to look beyond reassuring projections—

Status of Women
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Etobicoke Centre.

David Freiman
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of David Freiman. Born in what is now Sambir, Ukraine, his story traces a history of both tragedy and triumph.

A lumber foreman before the war, Mr. Freiman's life was overtaken by the horror of the Nazi Holocaust. Of a pre-war population of some 10,000, Mr. Freiman along with Esther, the woman who was to become his wife, were among the less than one hundred miraculous survivors of the murderous evil brought upon Sambir's Jewish community. He lost everything: parents, brothers, sisters, a toddler son. What he never lost was his will to live, to succeed for the future of his new family and of the Jewish people.

That drive brought him to Canada where, through hard work, intelligence and a sterling reputation for ethical conduct, he became a leader in business circles and a stalwart pillar of the Jewish community.

David Freiman's family is here to mark this special day and to honour his exemplary life.

[Member spoke in Hebrew as follows:]

T'he nishmata tsrura bi'tsror ha'chayim.

[English]