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

Topics

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

May 5th, 2010 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would like to set the record straight in this House once and for all. I demand some respect. I am not a token Quebecker. I was democratically elected and the Bloc Québécois in no way represents me.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on the same point of order.

During the course of question period, the member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, in the course of his questions, stood and named the Quebec members of Parliament as token Quebeckers.

Let me say that as an Albertan I find that offensive. There are no token Quebeckers, no token Albertans and no token anyone in this House.

As a member of the caucus of the Conservative Party, I have stood and I have watched the Quebec members of Parliament represent their constituents, their province and their country. They have come representing them on Canada's economic action plan. They have seen increases to the equalization. They have seen increases in the health transfers. They have seen increases in social transfers.

They are representing their province and their country. I find this type of question offensive.

Mr. Speaker I think, if we are ever going to deal with decorum in this House, it is important that you stand and make a ruling that this is just unacceptable.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, in response to the last two interventions, I would first say to the hon. member for Crowfoot that the translation for the word “token” was never used by our colleague from Marc-Aurèle-Fortin. He used the expression “Québécois de service”. This is further proof that if the Conservatives would agree to appointing bilingual judges to the Supreme Court, it could avoid the kind of misunderstandings that we just saw here.

Second, I would like to respond to the hon. member for Beauport—Limoilou by saying that the expression “Québécois de service” was repeated just last week by the hon. member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, who said he is proud to be a “token Quebecker”. So it can be used intentionally and there should be no problem.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, as you know, I was a member of the bar and I was very active in the Canadian Bar Association, among others, even though I am a sovereignist. When I returned, I often joked that I was the token sovereignist within the Canadian Bar Association. It really makes me chuckle when some people think this is an insult. Can we compare this to someone saying that we support pedophilia and that we think only of defending the rights of violent repeat offenders? We can compare those two insults. This reminds me of the gospel in which there is a beam obstructing their view and they do not move it out of the way to see the straw in the other person's eye. I already learned about and appreciated that straw when I was a lawyer and active in the Canadian Bar Association as a token sovereignist.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Saint-Laurent—Cartierville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I know for certain that the member for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin does not believe what he just said. He knows that it is insulting to call someone a token Quebecker and that such insults have no place in this House. As much as I disagree with my Conservative colleagues' position and share the indignation of my colleagues on this side of the House, I would like everyone here to act respectfully and understand that all Quebeckers in this House stand up for what they believe, whether they believe in a united Canada or an independent Quebec.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is not the first time I have talked about this in the House. I think that we need to respect one another even if we do not share the same ideas. The people we represent do not like what they see on television.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, in short, I think that it is clear from the remarks we have just heard that this is a political issue that should be debated in the House. Some Conservative and Liberal members may feel that “token Quebecker” is an insult, but MPs use plenty of other expressions in the House against the Bloc Québécois and Quebec sovereignists that we find insulting. We do not stand up every time that happens. Perhaps our rear ends are not quite as sensitive as theirs.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I think the Chair has heard sufficient on this matter for the time being. I will look into the expressions used and come back to the House in due course.

Clearly, there is some disagreement, and if it cannot be resolved, I invite the members who object to the use of certain terms in the House to raise the matter before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. The committee may make a recommendation to the House that would enable me to enforce certain rules more strictly. Issues like this always fall within the committee's purview.

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to five petitions

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian Delegation of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association respecting its bilateral visits to Gaborone, Botswana, and Lusaka, Zambia, from February 14 to February 19.

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies Vancouver Kingsway, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-517, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (tax credit for dues paid to veterans' organizations).

Mr. Speaker, I rise this afternoon to introduce a bill that would create a fully refundable tax credit for membership dues paid to veterans' organizations. This bill would provide a tax refund to members of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Army, Navy & Air Force Veterans in Canada association, and other veterans' organizations, for the full cost of their membership dues.

Veterans' organizations have been facing a tough financial time. A tax credit for membership dues would allow them to raise the money they need to operate without putting their members into financial hardship, many of whom are living on a fixed income.

Last October, I introduced a motion that called for property tax breaks for veterans' organizations. The City of Vancouver has recently acquired the authority to grant these exemptions and I urge it to do so swiftly.

These two measures would give our veterans' organizations some important fiscal room they critically need because veterans' organizations do so much valuable work in our communities and their members give countless volunteer hours to local causes. In particular, I want to acknowledge two dedicated volunteers from my riding: Theresa McAuley from the Collingwood Legion and Ken Chamberlin from ANAVETS Unit 26.

I hope all members of the House will support my bill and give financial relief to veterans' organizations and their members.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Fisheries Act
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-518, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act (closed containment aquaculture).

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce a bill that aims to strengthen the Fisheries Act by requiring fish farm operations on B.C.'s west coast to move to close containment. The bill directs the fisheries minister to develop, table and implement a transition plan outlining how fish farm operations would make that move. The plan must ensure that those currently working in the industry would be protected during this transition.

New Democrats believe environmental protection not only can but must coexist with economic prosperity. In fact, British Columbia's well-being, indeed Canada's well-being depends on it.

The idea for this bill came from Thea Block, a 16-year-old student from Glenlyon Norfolk School in Victoria. Her entry was the winner in the hon. member for Victoria's, “Create Your Canada” contest which was held late last year.

Last summer Thea worked on a fish boat with her dad. They run a small fish operation that relies on healthy wild salmon. Thea wants future generations to be able to enjoy wild salmon just like she and so many others have. She does not want it spoiled because we did not take steps to protect B.C.'s wild salmon.

Amending the Fisheries Act and moving to closed containment is a step toward ensuring our wild salmon remain healthy for generations to come. I hope all members of the House will support this bill.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Animal Welfare
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present a petition today on behalf of a number of constituents of mine and people in and around my constituency in the Halifax area, notably Dartmouth--Cole Harbour. They are petitioning the Government of Canada to support a universal declaration on animal welfare.

The petitioners point out that the scientific consensus and public acknowledgement is that animals feel pain and suffer and that all efforts should be made to prevent animal cruelty. They indicate that over one billion people rely on animals every day for their livelihoods.

The petitioners are asking that the Government of Canada support this universal declaration on animal welfare.

Canada Post
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of a number of my constituents, I am pleased to present a petition regarding the possibility that the minister responsible for Canada Post might put an end to the moratorium that is keeping alive—if I may say so—a number of small post offices in various small communities.

Dozens of my constituents, from Belleterre, in Rouyn-Noranda, to Moffet, Latulipe and even Winneway, a very important aboriginal community, are calling on the government to maintain the moratorium. They are urging us to review this bill and to carefully re-examine the potential closure of several post offices in small communities.

Sea Lice
Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am very honoured to table a petition signed by 139 residents of greater Vancouver, many of whom are students at Simon Fraser University and are members of the Simon Fraser University Environmental Science Student Union.

These petitioners are very concerned about the infestation of juvenile salmon with sea lice, especially since sea lice in Nootka Sound have developed resistance to the pesticides used to control them.

The petitioners are also concerned about reports that sea lice have been spread through the outflow pipes in processing plants including one on Quadra Island. They note the negative impact this will have on the survival of wild salmon populations near Nootka Sound, the Discovery Islands and the Fraser River.

They call on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to open a formal investigation into this urgent situation. They also call for urgent spending on scientific investigation into the resistivity of sea lice and the spread of sea lice from processing plant outflow pipes.