House of Commons Hansard #37 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senate.

Topics

Seniors
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois has always recognized the contributions made by community organizations. National Volunteer Week, which was held from April 18 to 24 this year, gave us a chance to hear about the work and the achievements of these groups.

I would like to congratulate the Grand Rassemblement des Aînés de Vaudreuil et Soulanges, better known as G.R.A.V.E.S., on its publication of the anthology, Raconte-moi-ton histoire. This project enabled G.R.A.V.E.S., its volunteers, artists from Traitdartiste, from the Centre d'histoire La Presqu'île, from Les Hebdos du Suroît and from the Saint-Lazare library to pool their knowledge and expertise.

The participants had nothing but admiration for G.R.A.V.E.S. and its associates. Seniors deserve our full respect, and that is why the work of organizations like G.R.A.V.E.S. must be supported.

In honour of National Volunteer Week, my Bloc Québécois colleagues and I congratulate G.R.A.V.E.S. and acknowledge the contribution it has made.

Community Health Centres
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is Community Health Day in Ottawa. This declaration by the City of Ottawa gives me an opportunity to pay tribute to the community health and resource centres in Ottawa and across the land.

The people who work in our community health centres provide services to many people. They help strengthen our communities. Community health centres provide basic health services to citizens. They help new Canadians settle in our communities. They are leaders in preventive health care, such as nutrition, harm reduction and seniors' care. They understand the key determinants of health like affordable housing, maternal care and proper education for all. Their vision that everyone matters is a vision we should all share.

I thank all of those who work in our community health centres. They make our communities stronger. They make our country stronger. Today we salute them.

Bay of Fundy
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Greg Kerr West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, as most of us are now aware, the Bay of Fundy, which is located between two of our provinces, has been named as a finalist in the running for one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

The New Seven Wonders of Nature campaign started with over 440 entries representing over 220 countries. Today, the Bay of Fundy is one of the 28 entries remaining and the only entry left representing Canada.

I am very pleased that our government is supporting this wonderful initiative and has committed federal funding toward the Bay's campaign.

This is an exciting time for the residents in the area. Terri McCulloch of Bay of Fundy Tourism has worked hard on this endeavour and often repeats that we must take maximum advantage of the worldwide exposure and tourism potential this contest provides.

I am asking all members of the House to support this initiative and encourage their constituents to vote for the Bay of Fundy. The contest continues through the year and the winner will be announced in 2011.

Take the time to vote online at votemyfundy.com. A vote for the Bay is a vote for Canada.

Beaconsfield Library
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday I had the honour of being at Beaconsfield Library with Mayor David Pollock, MNA Geoff Kelley, councillors Roy Baird and Michael Montagano, retired long-time councillor Dr. Jimmy Hasegawa, Head Librarian Beverley Gilbertson, her staff and the Friends of the Beaconsfield Library to celebrate the library's 60th anniversary.

In 1949, some Beaconsfield parents became concerned about the lack of books for their children.

The next year, Kay Betts and her committee began canvassing door-to-door for books for a library and the Beaurepaire Children's Library was born in a broom closet in the basement of a local school.

Next, the library launched a bookmobile to visit local neighbourhoods. Today the library occupies its own modern pavilion and offers innovative programs including a children's summer reading program and a mother-and-daughter book club.

That pretty much sums up the Beaconsfield spirit. Pinpoint a need, bring some volunteers together, create a vision and get it done.

On the 100th anniversary of Beaconsfield, please join me in congratulating the library on its 60th anniversary.

Firearms Registry
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, once again the Liberal leader is proving how out of touch he is with Canadians. He is turning his back on rural Canadians by clearly stating that he still supports the wasteful Liberal long gun registry.

In an act of desperation, he is ignoring the wishes of his own caucus and enforcing a whipped vote on Bill C-391.

I know it is hard for the Liberals to admit they have ever made a mistake, but it is clear to everyone that this billion dollar boondoggle has done nothing whatsoever to prevent crime. Instead it has made criminals out of law-abiding citizens like duck hunters and farmers.

Eight Liberals voted in favour of the bill. The question is now what they will do. The member for Labrador clearly stated that he will “vote subsequently to scrap the long gun registry”. Another Liberal went so far as to call the registry disgusting.

I call upon the Liberal eight as well as my colleague from Wascana to stand up for their constituents and vote for their wishes and vote to end the long gun registry.

Firearms Registry
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, because of the support of 8 Liberal and 12 NDP members, the Conservative Bill C-391, which provides for the dismantling of the firearms registry, has not yet been defeated. Quebec Liberals are now trying to save face by attacking the Bloc Québécois, whose membership voted in favour of keeping the registry intact.

Rather than falling prey to partisanship, if they wished to act responsibly, the Quebec Liberal members should attempt to convince the dissenting Liberal members so that these eight members will support maintaining the gun registry at the next vote.

Until then, the different points of view should be heard in committee. When it comes time to vote, we shall see who the true supporters of the registry are. We hope that all Liberal and NDP members will join the Bloc Québécois in defeating the Conservative Bill C-391.

Cancer Awareness Month
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as all hon. members know, April is daffodil month, otherwise known as Cancer Awareness Month.

I encourage all Canadians to join in the fight against cancer. We can all take action to reduce the risk by working to have a healthy lifestyle.

I am proud to say that our government is committed to working in partnership to fight cancer. Our support for the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, in which we invested $260 million, is leading the tangible actions that will benefit all Canadians in the prevention and the control of cancer.

In addition to this, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research provided $138 million for cancer research funding.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers and caregivers for their support to patients and organizations that fundraise to help find a cure.

Everyone in the House has been touched by cancer in some way. Let us all work together to eliminate cancer.

Bernard Derome
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to take a moment to commend and congratulate one of the greatest journalists and news anchors of our time, Bernard Derome.

Last night, Mr. Derome won the Hyman Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism.

Canadians across the country will remember all the years Bernard Derome spent behind the desk of Radio-Canada's Téléjournal and his coverage of the most pivotal events of the past few decades.

And how can we forget election nights, being glued to our sets watching Bernard Derome, hanging on his every word and waiting for that fateful moment to hear him say what he said every election night, “Radio-Canada predicts that, if the voting trend continues, the next government will be formed by—”. Then we would hear cries of joy or sorrow, depending on the results announced.

Bernard Derome has always been the epitome of journalistic integrity, professionalism and discipline. We all see him as a role model for anyone aspiring to a career in journalism.

Congratulations and thanks to Bernard.

Taxation
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, on this the tax filing deadline, Canadian families are reaping the rewards of our government's commitment to lower taxes. Our government believes that low taxes fuel job creation and economic growth.

Since taking office, we have cut taxes for families, seniors, students and individuals, thereby reducing the overall tax burden to its lowest level in nearly 50 years. Total savings now exceed, for an average family, $3,000 a year.

According to the Liberals, Canadian families are not paying enough taxes. That is evidenced by the fact that they are still promising to raise taxes, which would kill jobs and stop our economic recovery.

We, however, will make sure that Canadians keep their money in their pockets and their bank accounts, where it belongs.

Royal Newfoundland Regiment
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, of which all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are very proud and which is celebrating the 215th anniversary of its roots in 1795. New colours were presented by Princess Anne, the honorary Colonel-in-Chief, last Saturday.

The Newfoundlanders were part of General Brock's forces defending Canada in the War of 1812, long before Confederation and even longer before Newfoundland and Labrador joined Canada in 1949.

During World War I, the regiment earned many battle honours and its members were the only North Americans in Gallipoli in 1915. The most famous battle was at Beaumont Hamel in France on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, where the bravery and sacrifice of the soldiers were extraordinary. The event is seared on the national memory of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who mark July 1 as Memorial Day.

Their courage, ability and determination in battle earned them praise as better than the best, and the designation "Royal" was conferred during World War I. The regiment's proud history of more than two centuries continues to this day, with many of its members serving in Afghanistan. They deserve our praise and congratulations.

Firearms Registry
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca has now made it clear that he will ignore his constituents. He is going to allow his vote to be dictated to him by the Liberal leader, and he will be forced to support the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

What is even more confusing is that the member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca said on Friday that witnesses had already appeared on the long gun registry bill. This is strange, because the public safety committee has yet to hear witnesses on Bill C-391.

If the member really wants to talk to police about the long gun registry, he should talk to Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson or Evan Bray from the Saskatchewan Federation of Police Officers or even the four Conservative members of Parliament who served their country as police officers themselves.

The member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca has a choice. He can vote to keep the ineffective Liberal long gun registry or he can vote to scrap it. We know his constituents want him to scrap it.

International Workers' Day
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, May 1, is International Workers' Day.

Quebec has been celebrating this day since 1972, as a day for the union movement and workers to reaffirm their beliefs and to remember their contribution to our society.

This year's theme, “for a fair Quebec”, serves as a reminder of our values of fairness and social justice in Quebec. It is clear that we cannot count on the Conservative government for that.

This is the government that made pay equity a negotiable right, that is refusing anti-scab legislation, and that refuses to improve the employment insurance system. Fairness for workers is far from being a concern of this government.

On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I salute the workers of Quebec, and my party and I commit to continuing to work towards a fair Quebec, in spite of this government.

Ethics
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, had it not been for media reports and a private investigator, Rahim Jaffer would still be lobbying his old cronies in the Conservative cabinet. He would still be using his wife's parliamentary email account, and senior Conservative ministers would still be taking his calls, bullying bureaucrats and never reporting any of it to anyone.

The Conservatives only handed over any documents after the lobbying commissioner and the RCMP were already investigating. Documents only started appearing after Liberals filed a complaint with the lobbying commissioner and after Liberals tabled motions at committee ordering ministers to come clean.

It is not transparency once one has been caught red-handed. What is more, we still cannot be sure that none of Mr. Jaffer's projects did not get funding because we still do not have all the documents. Why have we seen nothing from the natural resources minister, who was responsible for most of the green funds?

Canadians can see through these games. We have had enough of the catch-me-if-you-can Conservatives. It is time to end the Conservative culture of deceit.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party in its infinite wisdom has sent the member for Papineau into Lethbridge, Alberta, this weekend to teach Liberals how to win. You heard me right, Mr. Speaker. The son of Pierre Elliott, the creator of the national energy program, is off to Alberta to teach Liberals how to win. That is like sending Colonel Sanders to an animal rights convention to lecture about the rights of chickens.

Just what will the member for Papineau preach to Albertans? Will he tell us more about the Liberals' plan for a culture war? Will he promote the Liberals' support for the long gun registry? Will he preach the virtues of a Liberal carbon tax? Will he tell Albertans about the Liberals' shutting the door forever to unilingual Canadians from serving their country on the Supreme Court? We would not be surprised. The member for Papineau already thinks unilingual Canadians are lazy.

Albertans and Canadians know that the Liberal Party just does not speak for them. That is because Liberals are not in it for Canadians; they are just in it for themselves.

Ethics
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are trying to distance themselves from Mr. Jaffer and his wife, the former minister. They are claiming that the government did nothing wrong. But I have this question for them.

Is it legal for a public office holder like a parliamentary secretary to discuss funding with a lobbyist and allow that lobbyist, a friend, to promote his personal interests? Is it legal, yes or no?