House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was discrimination.

Topics

New Brunswick 4-H Communications Competition
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Madam Speaker, this past weekend, I had the honour to serve as a judge at the New Brunswick 4-H Communications Competition held in Woodstock.

Close to 40 young people from across New Brunswick took part in the event, each winners of their respective regional competitions. It was impressive to watch these fine young citizens get up in front of a large audience, present their ideas clearly and convincingly, including in the Clover Bud category of seven and eight year olds.

I want to congratulate the local organizing committee headed by Allie and Linda Porter; president of the NB 4-H Council, Kelly Power; and all the volunteers who gave of their time to support this important event.

I also want to congratulate category winners Shaughnessy Riordon, Barry Riordon, Emma Allen, Isaac Gilbert, Emily Gregory, Valerie Guilbault, Shaylee Neal, Falyn Coates, Devlyn Hooper, Kyle Kirby, Rachael Merritt and senior speech winner, Audrey Eastwood, who will be our representative at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair this fall.

All the participants did well. They are all winners and our province and country are all the better off as a result of the 4-H program.

Menuhin International Competition
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Madam Speaker, Kerson Leong, an Ottawa—Vanier musical prodigy, just won first prize in the prestigious Menuhin International Competition held every two years in Oslo, Norway, for violinist under the age of 22, and he is only 13.

While attending Ashbury college, Kerson studied at Tutti Muzic, a private school run by his mother.

Twice I was fortunate to have Kerson, his older brother, Stanley, and their mother perform a mini-concert at my swearing-in ceremony here on the Hill. Both times they were phenomenal and they held the crowd spellbound. I have also had the pleasure of attending other concerts and they keep getting better.

Now they are taking the music world by storm and prevailing. I want to congratulate Kerson and, indeed, his entire family for making us proud and demonstrating that perseverance and talent are a formidable combination anywhere in the world.

Justice
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

Madam Speaker, this government falsely claims it is tackling crime, yet it is doing nothing about the need to introduce an effective, balanced bill to facilitate police investigations involving the Internet, particularly in cases of sexual assault on minors.

We in the Bloc Québécois are not the only ones calling for such a bill. The Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime and police forces have been calling for such legislation for over 10 years.

On April 20, in committee, the ombudsman said that the longer we wait to give police the tools to enforce the law, the more children will be abused, which I believe makes everyone angry. He added that if he were Prime Minister, the Internet would be his top priority.

How many more children who could have been spared will have to be assaulted before the Prime Minister finally decides to act? He must introduce an effective bill immediately to facilitate criminal investigations on the Internet and respect individual rights and freedoms.

Public Safety Officer Compensation Fund
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Madam Speaker, today on Parliament Hill, Canada's firefighters are here for the 16th consecutive year asking for a public safety officer compensation fund to take care of their families. Last week, police officers were here doing exactly the same thing.

However, Parliament has already voted to put this important benefit into place. In 2005, Parliament adopted my Motion No. 153 that called for the establishment of a public safety officer compensation benefit. For four and a half years the Conservative government has steadfastly ignored our brave firefighters and police officers by refusing to implement this benefit.

While widows, widowers and children of fallen firefighters and police officers are forced sometimes to sell their homes and give up school and they live financial hardship, nothing has been done.

The government should apologize for the disrespect it has shown to Canada's fallen and their families. It should immediately put into place the supports for the families of those who lost their lives while protecting the lives of Canadians. It should do it now.

Firefighters
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Barrie, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to firefighters across Canada. Firefighters are not only on the front lines of emergency services in our community, but they give us peace of mind. They ensure public safety in some of the most challenging environments and have been incredible supporters of charitable causes.

Barrie firefighters have raised $1 million in their annual boot drive and over $790,000 over the years have gone to benefit charitable organizations, such as Muscular Dystrophy Canada. Barrie has raised the most funds out of all its peers in Canada for firefighters.

The Barrie Firefighter Union executive is comprised of Len Mitchell, Kevin White, Cory Mainprize, Brad Conrad and Rob Taylor. I also want to thank Fire Chief Lynn for encouraging this public service and charitable work among his firefighting team. They also run a scholarship fund in the name of Bill Wilkins who perished in the line of duty, sadly, on May 27, 2002. This scholarship is for worthy students from the pre-fire service program at Georgian College.

Firefighters around Canada and Barrier firefighters continue to be pillars of our community, excellent local citizens and an example of generosity.

Friends of Mohamed
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Charlottetown, PE

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to acknowledge the work, dedication, and energy of a small group of individuals from the Charlottetown area known as the Friends of Mohamed.

Mohamed Mara is a young man who came to Prince Edward Island in 2005 as a refugee from Sierra Leone. In the midst of the civil war, rebel forces killed his family. Mohamed escaped but was caught later by the rebels, who cut off both his hands.

Friends of Mohamed organized and engaged the community, and raised $65,000 necessary to fit and install state-of-the-art myo-electric hands.

I would like to publicly thank all businesses, groups and individuals who generously donated to this cause. I also want to thank all members of that very special group, Friends of Mohamed, especially Catherine Ronahan, who gave so much of her time and very much played a leadership role.

Mohamed's new hands have been fitted and are operating. He has received the necessary training and he is back in the community. He is doing very well.

On behalf of the House, we wish him all the best.

Audrey Paterson
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Alice Wong Richmond, BC

Madam Speaker, I rise in the House today to honour the late Audrey Paterson, founder of the Canadian Women Voters Congress and the Western Businesswomen's Association. She passed away in Vancouver last week at the age of 82.

My condolences go out to her husband, Ron Castner, her six children, her fourteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Audrey Paterson was a former journalist and editor. She will be remembered by her tireless efforts as a crusader for advancing women in business and politics. She also established the non-partisan Women's Campaign School, of which I am a proud graduate.

Her vision, her hard work, and her persistence in creating equal opportunities for women has inspired and will continue to inspire us all. Her legacy will live on.

Normand Roussy
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, we were saddened to learn of the tragic death this week of a lobster fisher, 62-year-old Mr. Normand Roussy. Mr. Roussy had gone out into Chaleur Bay, early Saturday morning, together with other members of his crew. Unfortunately, while fishing, Mr. Roussy lost his balance and fell off his boat into the water.

The Sûreté du Québec were called at around 9:45 a.m. and went to the dock where his fellow fishers had taken Mr. Roussy. He was taken to the Centre hospitalier de Chandler, where he was pronounced dead.

This is another tragic event that reminds us of the dangers of fishers' work and the courage required of the thousands of workers who take to the sea every morning to earn a living.

The members of the Bloc Québécois and I wish to extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, as well as to the entire community that has been touched by this tragedy.

Quebec's Forest Economies
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, our government announced the establishment of the temporary initiative for the strengthening of Quebec’s forest economies, a three-year, $100 million measure to support communities affected by the forestry crisis.

The mayor of Dolbeau-Mistassini, Georges Simard, has said that this announcement is very good news. And the vice-president of operations at AbitibiBowater, Gilbert Demers, has said that it is exciting news that can help people who have new ideas.

The member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord has not held back in criticizing this initiative. But everyone knows that the Bloc Québécois is against anything that makes sense. That is nothing new.

The Bloc voted against the forestry industry in Quebec. This proves, once again, that the Bloc does not defend the interests of Quebeckers. Quebeckers can count on our Conservative government. We are taking action in the interests of workers and communities by strengthening the economy in the regions. I can assure you that we will not let the Bloc keep taking Quebeckers for fools.

Official Languages
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives want Canadians to believe that they care about and respect our official languages. When it is time for grandstanding, they show up; but as for everything else, that is debatable, as demonstrated by these few lines from a document sent to French-speaking citizens. I have left them in French, because they are unintelligible, as I will explain.

A partir des dernières années, répondants à l'enquête requis à répondre à L'enquête sur les établissements de soins pour bénéficiaires internes utilisant un système électronique au Internet. Nous vous prière d'annoncer que cette est maintenant possible. [...] Access à la nouveau système de questionnaire électronique est facile et vite. De la line d'adresse au votre Internet [...]. Veuillez inclure votre identifier l'enquête q'il est trouver juste en haute de votre nom d'établissements dans l'adresse.

My hon. colleagues should not worry if they did not understand any of that, because as I said, it is unintelligible. Imagine how hard it was for those who were supposed to understand this machine translation. This is how the Conservatives show their respect for official language communities.

Automotive Industry
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Wednesday Canadians were pleased to hear General Motors' announcement that it had repaid its loan to the governments of Canada, Ontario and the United States. Today, I would like to announce that General Motors will invest more than $200 million at its engine plant in my riding of St. Catharines, Ontario, for the next generation of small block engines.

Now the St. Catharines plant will not only invest in making highly fuel-efficient engines but, in addition, will continue to assemble small block engines. This means the preservation of 400 jobs in St. Catharines. This, along with the new front-wheel assembly transmission expansion in 2012, shows that we are on track in St. Catharines.

In our government's economic action plan, we provided support to help create and protect jobs in communities and industries in our country that have been most affected by this downturn. This included the manufacturing sector.

This shows that the investments our government has made are working not only in St. Catharines but across this country.

Public Education
Statements By Members

April 27th, 2010 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak on the vital importance of public education in British Columbia and to bring to the House's attention the current crisis facing public schools in my province.

Due to chronic underfunding by the provincial government, schools boards across British Columbia are facing budget shortfalls of millions of dollars. Because of provincial legislation that prohibits school boards from running deficits, they are being forced to slash vital services to children in B.C. This is both bitterly ironic and wrong.

Not only is the Liberal government of Gordon Campbell running a deficit approaching $2 billion, four times what he claimed it was last election, but it was his government that promised to make education in British Columbia a world-class system, a betrayed promise.

Now our students are facing the loss of special needs teachers, music and athletic programs, ESL teachers, multicultural support workers, enriched curricula, teacher librarians, administrators and teachers themselves. Some school boards are even cancelling school days to save money.

I hope all MPs will join me in the House to condemn this shortsighted and appalling abdication of responsibility to our children and to urge the B.C. government to provide all funds necessary to ensure our public school system is property funded.

I also want to congratulate school boards across—

Public Education
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake.

Firearms Registry
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, since the Liberal leader announced his plans to force his MPs to support the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry, the Liberal member for Yukon has been sending mixed messages about what he will do.

Last week, the member for Yukon was quoted as saying he, “may not have a choice” to support the long gun registry and, “I would certainly prefer that it was a free vote”. However, the member for Yukon said on the weekend through his spokesman that the Liberal leaders's plan to force MPs like himself to support the wasteful long gun registry is “excellent”.

This kind of flip-flopping by the member for Yukon is totally unacceptable. His choice is clear: he votes to keep the long gun registry or he does the right thing and votes to scrap the long gun registry. It is that simple.

The Liberal member for Yukon should do the right thing. He should listen to his constituents and vote to eliminate the long gun registry once and for all.

2010 UQAM Awards
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, last evening I attended the 2010 UQAM Prix Reconnaissance gala.

Among the award winners were: Jocelyne Blouin, meteorologist at Radio-Canada; Élaine Hémond, founder of Femmes, politique et démocratie; Jean-Marc Eustache, from tour operator Transat A.T. Inc.; Louise Richer, director general of and teacher at the École nationale de l'humour; Manon Barbeau, filmmaker; Yolande Brunelle, principal of Saint-Zotique school; lawyer Johanne Doyon and the honourable Dominique Larochelle, as well as David Altmejd, sculptor.

This gala wraps up UQAM's 40th anniversary celebrations. The goal of UQAM's founders was to make higher education more accessible and to democratize the education system. UQAM has remained true to their vision: bold and open to the world. it is a powerful symbol of innovation and one of the top institutions of learning in Quebec.

On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I want to congratulate these remarkable people who have used their exceptional talents to make a contribution to our society.