House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebeckers.

Topics

Étienne Cousineau
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Carrier Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, Étienne Cousineau, a young sopranist from my riding, earned top honours at his first participation at the international operetta and musical theatre contest, which is organized each year by the City of Marseille. Fifty participants from a large number of countries took part in that contest, including three Quebeckers.

Étienne is also actively involved in a number of Laval organizations, including Les Pieds légers, the Maison de ballet-théâtre Reflet, the Théâtre d'art lyrique de Laval, the Opéra bouffe du Québec and Fantasia. He also created his own theatre company, the Productions Belle Lurette, of which he is the musical director, director and choreographer.

Étienne Cousineau definitely deserves our admiration, and my Bloc Québécois colleagues are joining me in congratulating him.

Windsor Spitfires
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is once again my pleasure to rise in the House to congratulate the Windsor Spitfires for successfully defending their 2009 OHL championship by sweeping the Barrie Colts out of the playoffs last week, thereby earning the title of 2010 OHL champs.

Now the Spits are back-to-back Robertson Cup champions and they have earned the right to return to the Memorial Cup, where they will have an opportunity to defend their 2009 Memorial Cup championship. This rare feat is the result of a collective effort that has galvanized the community behind a tremendous ownership group whose intelligence, vision and commitment has inspired us all. This team has overcome too many obstacles to list here, but its achievements are nothing short of remarkable.

I want to congratulate the entire Spits organization for representing our community with distinction. I wish them all the best of luck in their ongoing battle to repeat as Canada's junior hockey champions at the Memorial Cup. Go Spits go.

Ukrainian Constitution
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 300th anniversary of the Ukrainian Constitution, written in 1710 by Pylyp Orlyk, diplomat, Hetman in exile and protector of Ukraine. This constitution was the first document in the world to establish a democratic standard for the separation of powers in government between the legislative, executive and judiciary branches.

This constitution also limited the executive authority and established a Cossack parliament called the General Council that was democratically elected every three years. Predating the American constitution of 1777 by over 65 years, the Orlyk constitution testifies to the long-standing traditions of democracy in Ukraine. This constitution is filled with a democratic spirit that makes it one of the most interesting documents of political thought.

I invite all members of the House to join me and the Ukrainian ambassador tonight at 6:30 in the Speaker's salon to celebrate this important anniversary.

Volunteerism
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to bring to the attention of this House the volunteer work of Ms. Vera Sherlock, a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Chapter 212 of LaSalle.

Ms. Vera Sherlock has dedicated her talent and energy to better the lives of our Canadian war veterans for over 35 years. Members of the LaSalle Legion are amazed by her never-ending will to make a difference in the lives of our Canadian veterans.

Every month she makes her anticipated visit at Ste. Anne's Hospital. She brings hospitalized veterans all kinds of little surprises and warm affection that puts smiles on their faces, and brings out a little sunshine in their lives.

She organizes parties and entertains them during special holidays. December must be her favourite month because she goes all out for a special Christmas party for the veterans to bring them the special joy of the season at a time of year that is especially difficult for them.

On behalf of my constituents of LaSalle--Émard, I want to thank Vera for her involvement with our veterans who have given so much to our country.

Down's Syndrome
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bradley Trost Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, this weekend Saskatchewan will welcome the Canadian Down Syndrome Society's national conference to Regina. The Canadian Down Syndrome Society works to ensure equitable treatment for the 35,000 Canadians who have Down's syndrome.

Today, Canadians with Down's syndrome work, receive post-secondary education, pay taxes, and get married. Yet unfortunately, certain negative perceptions of Canadians with Down's syndrome still exist.

Some parents are told “our school doesn't do Down's” when they try to enrol their child. Some doctors assume that no family would want a child with Down's when they outline medical options to perspective parents.

That these discriminatory attitudes are still publicly voiced disturbs me, and should disturb all Canadians.

Canadians with Down's syndrome face more medical challenges than most other Canadians, but discrimination against them and their families should not be tolerated.

We as a society, as individuals, organizations, and governments need to do what we can to educate our fellow Canadians about Down's syndrome, and to encourage policies that provide support to Canadians who deal with this medical challenge.

Jeune Chambre de commerce de Rimouski
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Guimond Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am rising today to acknowledge the exceptional work of the Jeune Chambre de commerce de Rimouski which, year after year, contributes to the region's economic and social development.

I particularly want to highlight the determination of its board of directors and the indomitable will of its chairman, Jérôme Dufour Gallant. The support that these young people provide to the community is very much appreciated.

I am also taking this opportunity to express my heartfelt congratulations to Jean-François Ouellet who, on Saturday, won the Jeune Chambre de Rimouski's young personality award for professionals. Mr. Ouellet, who is the director of investments at Desjardins Capital de risque, is actively involved in regional and community development, which is certainly to his credit. In addition to Mr. Ouellet, I should mention the nominations of Étienne Bélanger, Annick Dionne, Jonathan Proulx and Karl-Hugo Pelletier, who also help making our region a more thriving and prosperous community.

Bloc Québécois
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have recently seen how much contempt the members of the Bloc have for federalist Quebeckers. The expression “token Quebeckers“ shows contempt for more than 60% of Quebeckers.

After being in this House for 20 years, aside from being disrespectful to Quebeckers, I really wonder what the Bloc has done to defend Quebec. One thing is certain, since the dawn of time, the Bloc has voted against all the initiatives that would move Quebec forward.

The Bloc Québécois can be disrespectful to us, but the truth is that the elected Conservatives from Quebec are serving Quebeckers.

Quebeckers can count on our Conservative government to deliver the goods. I am proud to be both a Quebecker and a federalist, and I am no less a Quebecker because of that.

Automotive Industry
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, eight months since the Toyota recalls began, Canadians are still looking for action from the Conservative government.

While the U.S. is acting swiftly to punish offences and rectify legislative shortcomings, the Minister of Transport has not even left the starting gate.

Worse, the U.S. action against Toyota relied in part on Canadian documentation, which our government does not seem able to obtain.

A paper trail from Transport Canada confirms that as the minister was publicly praising Toyota, his departmental employees were pleading for action against the company. They also reveal that Transport Canada received dozens of sudden acceleration complaints but investigated only a few.

In Canada, the Minister of Transport's wilfully negligent approach allows for potential property damage and personal injuries to accumulate.

Perhaps the Minister of Transport should spend less time practising his question period performances and a bit more time focusing on his responsibilities to protect Canadian drivers.

Justice
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I bring a matter of grave concern to the attention of the House. The Liberal public safety critic, the member for Ajax—Pickering, has suggested that a future Liberal government might dramatically reduce criminal sentences. He refused to rule out revisiting our Conservative government's decision to end the ridiculous practice of giving criminals double, or sometimes triple, credit for time served in pre-trial custody.

When will the Liberal Party come clean on its plans? Either it continually stands with criminals instead of standing behind victims. It should start listening to Canadians who thought this practice was wrong. In fact, the provinces and the police supported our efforts to end credit for time served.

We stand with victims and Canadians who are concerned about crime. The Liberals continue to demonstrate that they are not serious about getting tough on crime. They are not in it for Canadians; they are in it for themselves.

Bertha Allen
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to honour the memory of an outstanding woman, Bertha Allen of Inuvik.

Bertha Allen died Friday, at the age of 76, a respected northern leader, a Gwich'in, who balanced so well modern and traditional society. Born in Old Crow, Yukon, Allen lived most of her life in the Mackenzie Delta.

Last year, the Governor General awarded her the northern medal for her leadership in support of equality for aboriginal and northern women. Allen was named to the Order of Canada in 2007. In the late 1970s, she helped found the Native Women's Association of the Northwest Territories and became its first president.

She later served as president of the Native Women's Association of Canada. She was also president of the advisory council for the NWT Status of Women Council, and she encouraged many women to get into politics.

Bertha was a dear friend to so many people, myself included. Her spirit and her wisdom will be missed.

Pardons for Serious Crimes
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is continuing to put public safety and the rights of victims before those of criminals. The pardon of Graham James illustrated that more must be done to safeguard the public and the integrity of the pardon system.

The current system of pardons implies that serious crimes are somehow forgiven and that the harm done by offenders somehow disappears.

Victims disagree. So does our government and we have acted.

Earlier today, the eliminating pardons for serious crimes act was tabled in this House. These changes would ensure that the National Parole Board has the tools and discretion it needs to ensure that public safety and compassion for victims are always placed first. Most important, no longer would those convicted of serious sexual offences against our children be excused by a pardon.

I call on all members of this House to support Bill C-23.

Quebec Family Week
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to recognize Quebec Family Week and honour the extraordinary dedication of parents.

With the theme “Pour un Québec Famille”, which means “for a family oriented Quebec”, this week highlights the importance and support we must give families. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate us, Quebeckers, for having the best family policies in North America.

The family is at the heart of our lives. It is our wealth and our future. To all organizations, teachers, educators, doctors, as well as all other professionals and volunteers who support and promote our families, thank you.

I encourage all the people of the riding of Saint-Lambert to participate in the activities related to the International Day of Families, on May 15, especially by participating in the activity “Attention! Family in Action!” in Longueuil, an activity meant to recognize and promote precious family time.

Government Programs
Statements By Members

May 11th, 2010 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, two years ago, the Conservatives' decision to slash funding for culture was diametrically opposed to Quebec values. This week they are starting all over again by cutting $1.5 million in funding for the FrancoFolies de Montreal festival.

They must really not understand Quebec at all if they are making cuts to FrancoFolies, an international gathering with extensive spinoffs that helps promote Quebec's culture internationally. It also encourages artistic exchanges among francophones from around the world. It is by far the largest francophone music festival in North America, and that is what they are cutting.

The same day, the Conservatives also cut funding for Toronto's Gay Pride Festival. The week before, they cut funding to women's groups.

No one is safe from Conservative strong-arm tactics.

The Prime Minister is attacking our artists, our festivals, francophones, women and the gay community. One cannot help but wonder who will be next.

The Economy
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, our government firmly believes that low taxes fuel job creation and economic growth. That is why, since forming government, we have cut taxes for families, seniors, students and businesses.

Canada's economic action plan is working. Last week, Statistics Canada reported that a record 108,700 new jobs were created in April. This is the largest monthly job gain on record.

In fact, since July of last year, Canada has created some 285,000 new jobs. No wonder the latest edition of The Economist magazine calls Canada “an economic star”.

While jobs and growth remain our government's top priority, the Liberal leader is intent on stopping Canada's recovery in its tracks with a hike to job-killing business taxes, a higher GST, and the introduction of a carbon tax.

Simply put, Canada cannot afford the Liberal leader's tax and spend approach, a plan that will kill jobs, put the brakes on our economic recovery, and set Canadians back.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has expedited the processing of Beaufort Sea exploration licences. In response, the oil companies involved asked the government for an environmental protection plan that has yet to be developed. BP and Imperial Oil have recognized that it was crucial that Canadian standards not be weakened. Unlike the United States, Canada does not require any environmental assessment to be carried out at the exploration and licensing stages.

Why do the Conservatives keep refusing to produce an environmental protection plan?