House of Commons Hansard #50 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was forces.

Topics

Free Trade Agreements
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, following today's historic address by Mexican president, Felipe Calderón, I rise in the House today to reaffirm the importance of NAFTA to the flourishing trading relationship on the North American continent.

Since NAFTA's implementation, merchandise trade between Canada, Mexico and the United States has more than tripled, reaching $946 billion U.S. in 2008. Today, Canada, the U.S. and Mexico trade roughly $2.6 billion U.S. in merchandise on a daily basis. That is about $108 million U.S. per hour.

NAFTA has proven that liberalizing trade is an important tool in promoting transparency, economic growth and economic stability. It has been such a success to the North American continent that countries, such as Colombia, now also want to open their own markets to benefit from the economic prosperity on the North American continent.

I call upon parliamentarians to do what is right for Canada and for Colombia and to pass the Canada-Colombia free trade agreement. Colombia is more than just its past civil injustices. It is time that those opposed to this agreement stop focusing on--

Free Trade Agreements
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Davenport.

Portuguese Fishermen
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, on this day in 1955, the Portuguese ship, Gil Eannes, sailed into the port of St. John's, Newfoundland.

Four thousand Portuguese fishermen in beautiful costumes carried a statue of Our Lady of Fatima up the hill to the Basilica of St. John the Baptist where it was erected as a gift to the people of St. John's from the fishermen of Portugal in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the Basilica.

Those beautiful days in 1955 were a celebration of the close relationships that saw St. John's filled with Portuguese vessels and fishermen for six months each year for over 400 years.

The Portuguese fishing fleets and Portuguese fishermen who travelled across the Atlantic each year will continue to echo through history ever reminding the people of Newfoundland and all Canadians of this special period in their history and of their friends who lived just across the sea.

Denis Gougeon
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, in celebration of the world expo, the Presences Festival International Composition Competition held the final concert in its three-year international competition in Shanghai, China. Granby native Denis Gougeon won first prize with his piece entitled Toy (Music Box). Mr. Gougeon is a composer and an associate professor of instrumental composition at University of Montreal.

The competition required that the composer interpret a folk melody with traditional Chinese instruments. Candidates were judged on their ability to blend these elements into a new piece of music. A Chinese melody, Wuxi jing, performed on bamboo flutes, was woven into Mr. Gougeon's composition.

I am pleased to congratulate Mr. Gougeon for his composition, which won the international prize on May 4. The Bloc is proud to highlight amazing artistic performances by Quebeckers on the international scene.

Aboriginal History Month
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, last year, this House voted unanimously to declare June as National Aboriginal History Month.

A declaration without action to back it up would be an empty promise, so I followed up on the NDP motion by contacting relevant federal departments and asking how they would observe Aboriginal History Month.

Indian and Northern Affairs is promoting the month on its website and at National Aboriginal Day events and promises to further develop new initiatives for June 2011.

Parks Canada already had a strategic plan to increase the representation of aboriginal history subjects in its national commemoration program of people, places and events of historical significance. Three of those subjects are the following: designation of the Similkameen Spirit Trail in B.C., the Abenaki migration to New France, and finally, Chief Peguis' role in the Selkirk settlement. Those are three subjects I think very few Canadians know about.

This is the start of a national project to bring aboriginal history to the forefront in Canada. I encourage all members of the House to celebrate Aboriginal History Month in their ridings.

Asbestos
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Terence Young Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to provide notice to victims of mesothelioma and their families who have not yet received compensation through provincial or corporate authorities.

This rare form of lung cancer attacks the lining of the lungs and sometimes the abdomen. Exposure could come from insulation in workplaces, in wall board and floor tiles at home, and even from the brakes of cars and trucks.

Those without compensation should know they are not alone. Canadian victims and their families have an additional potential recourse because the harmful products containing asbestos in Canada were manufactured in the United States. Thirty billion dollars are available for asbestos victims, even those deceased years ago, through U.S. settlement trusts.

Inquiries can be made by calling Health Canada at 1-800-433-0395.

Sathya Sai School of Canada
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Michelle Simson Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the people of the Sathya Sai School of Canada who have joined us here today and are celebrating their 10th anniversary. This is the only school of its kind in North America and I am very proud that it is located in Scarborough, Ontario.

On Sunday, May 30, I will be participating in the eighth annual Walk for Values organized by the school. I will join thousands of participants in the GTA to walk in the name of peace, non-violence, right conduct, truth and love. Since the walk's inception in Scarborough eight years ago, it has grown and this year will take place in nine Canadian cities. In addition, walks will take place in 60 other countries around the world.

I would like to congratulate and thank the Sathya Sai School of Canada for its efforts in reinforcing these values, not only here in Canada but around the world.

June 6 Walk for Values takes place here in Ottawa. I encourage all members to join me at this important event.

Against the Odds
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to an extraordinary constituent of mine, Al Trotter. Al is a retired lieutenant colonel with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He completed 44 missions in Germany, was then struck down, interrogated, sent to a German POW camp and eventually came home.

Through perseverance and pure determination, Al made it out of Germany alive and after more than 40 years he has finally told his story. His book, Against the Odds, which he co-wrote with his daughter, Leslie, has been published and is a must read for those wanting to learn more about what our veterans sacrificed and accomplished for Canada.

In Al's own words, “for our veterans, our gravest concern is that we don't want to be forgotten. 17,700 young men lost their lives in the Air Force in World War II”.

I want to thank Al for taking the time to write this important book. His story will ensure that our veterans will never be forgotten and it is a great legacy for generations to come.

Cycling Tragedy in Rougemont
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Josée Beaudin Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 14, a tragic accident on Highway 112 in Rougemont shattered the lives of several families in an instant. Six members of the Saint-Lambert triathlon team were on their way to Sherbrooke for a training session when they were hit by a truck.

Christine Deschamps, Lyn Duhamel and Sandra De La Garza Aguilar were killed. All three were experienced members of the Saint-Lambert triathlon club, where they were training for Ironman events coming up this summer.

On behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues and myself, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the families of the victims. Our thoughts are with them in this terrible time.

In closing, I would encourage motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to be careful and vigilant on our roads.

G8 and G20 Summits
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, in just under a month, Canada will be hosting the world's most influential leaders at the G8 and G20 summits. Canada hosting two major summits back to back is unprecedented and we are honoured to host the world leaders and showcase Canada on the world stage.

We are on track to host secure G8 and G20 summits. We have a comprehensive security plan developed by Canada's best experts in the field, but what does the Liberal leader say? He said that he was “kind of ashamed” of Canada.

I can assure all members that on this side of the House we are not ashamed of our country. In fact, we are proud of Canada and I look forward to this unique opportunity to continue our leadership on the world stage.

This is an opportunity that all Canadians, even the opposition Liberals, can be proud of.

Darfur
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, today, members of the Canadian Jewish Congress Darfur Action Committee are in Ottawa to highlight the ongoing crisis in Darfur.

In the tradition of the Jewish concept of “tikkun olam”, “to repair the world”, CJC is joining with STAND Canada, The Darfur/Sudan Peace Network and the SubSahara Centre to advocate for the people of Darfur.

Mindful of international indifference to the plight of Jews in the Holocaust, these volunteers from across Canada are dedicated to making a difference and call upon Canada to take a high-level role in the diplomatic resolution to the conflict, and on this Parliament to create a committee for the prevention of genocide and other crimes against humanity. They further request that Canada take a leadership role in strengthening the friends of the UN assistance mission in Darfur, at the UN, where much remains to be done.

As the architect of the “responsibility to protect”, Canada can and must provide greater leadership on Darfur.

Justice
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that Bill C-13, An Act to amend the Employment Insurance Act, unanimously passed in committee yesterday.

This bill will allow Canadian Forces members, who serve our country with pride, to spend time with their new child when they return from a mission.

Major Duquette, who originally brought this matter to the attention of the hon. member for Nepean—Carleton, said yesterday that getting this bill to pass has been the greatest achievement of his military career because it will have a significant impact on military families.

I call on all parties to help pass this bill quickly, so that military families can access the benefits they so rightly deserve.

Government Expenditures
Statements by Members

May 27th, 2010 / 2:15 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, using over $1 billion to host the G20 and G8 summits is so outrageous, it borders on indecency.

Let us a look at what $1 billion of Canadians' hard-earned money can buy. Some money could be used to compensate the small businesses and vendors who will lose their shirts because of the security lockdown. With Roy Halladay not being able to play and the CN tower shut down, surely the tourism industry will need some support.

Three percent of that $1 billion would provide all Canadian children with a nutritious and healthy breakfast or snacks every day. We could lift all seniors out of poverty by increasing the guaranteed income supplement. Canada could pay one-third of the costs of the millennium development goal and save the lives of over 10 million women and children by 2015.

The Conservative government has completely missed its target by such a ridiculous amount it should be fired on the spot.

Hispanic Canadian Awards
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canada recognizes the important geographic, social, political and economic ties between Canada and the Americas.

Our Prime Minister has been clear that a cornerstone of our foreign policy is a commitment to increased engagement in our hemisphere. Our history and our future require us to build and sustain solid bridges among our neighbours.

Today we were honoured to welcome President Calderón of Mexico and were privileged to hear his address to the Parliament. Here at home, the Latin American community is an impressive group. It is hard-working and energetic. Its music, art, food and culture enrich our diversity.

As chair of FIPA, I am pleased to congratulate and welcome here today a group of outstanding individuals, the winners of the Influential Hispanic Canadian awards. The calibre and diversity of their achievements is a reflection of the incredible contribution of the Hispanic community here in Canada.

I hope that many members can join me this afternoon between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. at 131 Queen Street, room 851, where there will be an opportunity to speak and meet these talented individuals.

Conservative Record in Quebec
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, it is no coincidence that the Bloc Québécois wins federal elections in Quebec election after election. The Bloc Québécois is the only party that defends the interests of Quebec in the House.

The recognition of the Quebec nation by the Conservatives has turned out to be nothing but an empty gesture. The proof is that they are trying to reduce the weight of our nation in the House. They are denying the consensus of the National Assembly of Quebec, both against creating a Canada-wide securities commission and in favour of maintaining the firearms registry in its entirety. Quebec's voice at UNESCO is nothing but a sham with Quebec sitting on a folding chair and having to sing in harmony with the federal Conservative government. The government turns a blind eye to Quebec's troubled forestry industry, but has no problem giving the automobile industry $9.7 billion in assistance.

The Bloc Québécois is clearly the only party that represents the interests of Quebec in this House. That is what Quebec voters have been reaffirming in every election for the past 20 years and will do again in the next election.