House of Commons Hansard #54 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Davenport.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Catholic Archdiocese of Regina
Statements By Members

June 2nd, 2010 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, this weekend Catholic Archdiocese of Regina is celebrating its 100th anniversary. For a century now, the Archdiocese has united individuals and families in their spirituality and in their commitment to the community.

The Catholic faithful in Regina offer services to the entire community, including outreach for the poor and homeless, family services, education, and of course spiritual guidance. As its centennial song states, “They toiled and laboured, in field and factory, to work God's creation and make it bear fruit, their joy was unbounded as God blessed their efforts and smiled on their labours, a great faith took root”.

I hope all members of the House will join me in wishing the Catholic Archdiocese of Regina a happy 100th.

I am proud to live in a country that welcomes the contribution of all faith communities. There was a time when belonging to certain religions was grounds for exclusion from public office. As I join in the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Regina, I am grateful that those times are over.

Sydney Harbour
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to bring attention to a rally for the dredging of Sydney Harbour. The rally will take place tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. next to the big fiddle on Sydney's waterfront. Cape Bretoners will rally for their harbour to have it dredged one way or another.

Shovels in hand, young and old alike will be there to support the greatest economic opportunity of a generation for Cape Breton, an opportunity that can only occur with the support of the federal and provincial governments, the kind of support that will allow Cape Breton to fly on its own.

The dredging of Sydney Harbour would allow our island to live up to its potential, to provide jobs and opportunities for our young people.

I encourage everyone to come out, shovels in hand, in support of dredging the Sydney Harbour. Let us show Ottawa and Halifax that Cape Bretoners are shovel ready.

I strongly recommend that the members of the government pay attention and if they may, come down and bring us a cheque.

Dr. Réjean Hébert
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to highlight the exceptional career of a doctor in my riding, Dr. Réjean Hébert. Dr. Hébert, the dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the Université de Sherbrooke, is a man of many accomplishments.

Since he took over the faculty seven years ago, the number of professors and graduates has doubled. The applied cancer research pavilion will soon open, and the faculty is now known around the world as a result of his work in Uruguay, Mali and now Haiti.

In September, Dr. Hébert will leave the Eastern Townships to work for the Caisse nationale de solidarité pour l'autonomie des personnes âgées et des personnes handicapées in France for one year. On behalf of my constituents in Compton—Stanstead, I wish him the best of luck in his new position. My fellow constituents and I know that France can only stand to gain from the remarkable expertise of Dr. Hébert.

Health
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' so-called patient wait times guarantee is failing Canadians.

Just last week, in my hometown of Hamilton, we learned that cancer care is failing to meet key targets. Waits for treatment are too long, too few people get radiation therapy, the number of patients in clinical trials is shockingly low, too many die in hospital and not enough are screened for early detection of cancer.

The Conservatives have abdicated responsibility for the problem by recommending that patients take their health care providers to task, but that is passing the buck.

There is a direct link between poor health outcomes and the government's poor record on health care reform. We know that poverty and disease are closely linked, yet the government has done nothing to fight poverty. Research funding is crucial to support clinical trials, but the government is not paying its fair share. There is a serious shortage of oncologists, nurses and technologists, and yet there is insufficient funding. Families want end-of-life care for their loved ones, but palliative care and pain management are not even on the government's radar.

Excellence in health care requires all of us to work together. The federal government must lead by enforcing the Canada Health Act and ensuring that our health care system is universal, accessible, portable, comprehensive and publicly administered.

Cancer patients and their families deserve nothing less.

Tour de Beauce Bike Race
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 25th annual Tour de Beauce will take place from June 15 to 20. Since 1986, this sporting event has continued to gain recognition and increase in popularity. The Tour de Beauce now attracts top cyclists from the four corners of the globe.

During this event, cycling enthusiasts of all ages will have the opportunity to watch numerous talented Canadian cyclists compete against hundreds of other cyclists from around the world. I am proud that my government has helped fund the Tour de Beauce.

I would also like to thank the Canadian Cycling Association, the organizers and the numerous volunteers who, year after year, work tirelessly to set up this major international race. Thanks to their efforts, Beauce has earned a prominent spot on the international cycling circuit.

I would like to welcome all those who will be coming to visit Beauce and attend the cycling event.

ALS Awareness Month
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, June is ALS Awareness Month, recognizing people living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, and their supportive families.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and severely impacting voluntary muscle action. ALS causes difficulty in speaking, increased muscle weakness and total paralysis in its later stages. Approximately 3,000 Canadians currently live with this devastating disease. Sadly there is no cure.

We need a national brain strategy to address not only ALS, but also other chronic brain diseases. We must raise awareness, ensure caregiver support and increase research dollars to improve the quality of life of those living with these diseases and to find new treatments and cures.

Together we can provide hope to individuals who bravely battle brain disease and to their families that lovingly support them.

Steel Industry
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the steel industry is critical to Canada's economy and indeed our entire manufacturing sector, given its sheer magnitude and strategic importance.

Steel is a $14 billion industry in the country, generating some 30,000 direct and 120,000 indirect jobs. It is also essential to our transportation, construction, industrial, natural resources and energy sectors.

As chair of the steel caucus, which is comprised of fellow MPs from all parties, it is my pleasure to recognize representatives of the Canadian Steel Producers Association who are on the Hill this week speaking about new steel. We are using technology to produce steel that is thinner, lighter and stronger, innovations that help make Canada's steel producers more globally competitive.

Another key advantage is a highly skilled workforce. I was pleased to announce a couple of weeks ago in Hamilton that the Government of Canada would provide support for worker retraining and new apprenticeships through the workforce development initiative of the Canadian Steel Trade and Employment Congress: New steel, new jobs, new opportunities and a great economic future.

Foreign Affairs
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, we were saddened to hear that nine people were killed and more than thirty injured during an Israeli military operation in international waters against a convoy sailing from Cyprus to bring humanitarian aid to distressed residents of Gaza. We wish to convey our sincere condolences to the families of those who died and to their countries, especially Turkey.

The Bloc Québécois condemns the Israeli army's action and is calling for an impartial investigation. We strongly condemn the Conservative government's failure to express clear support for the United Nations Security Council's declaration calling for an impartial and transparent investigation conforming to international standards, particularly given Canada's bid for a seat on the Security Council. Are we to understand that Canada would not have voted in favour of such a declaration had it been a member of the Security Council?

Let us hope that justice will soon be done and that civilian populations in that part of the world will no longer suffer.

Democratic Reform
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have been strangely quiet when it comes to ensuring Canadians get fair representation in the House of Commons. It turns out they have been working on a secret plan to take seats away from some provinces to give them to others.

The member for Scarborough—Rouge River took time out from his lobbying activities to spill the beans in an email to supporters earlier this week. The Liberal plan is to take seats away from five provinces: one from Newfoundland and Labrador; two from Nova Scotia; three from New Brunswick; three from Manitoba; and four from Saskatchewan.

Contrast this with our government's plan that brings Canada's fast growing provinces closer to representation by population that respects the seat counts of slower growing provinces.

I call on all members of the House to oppose the Liberal plan to diminish the representation of my province and so many others.

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to condemn the attacks in Lahore, Pakistan last week against the Ahmadi Muslims in that country. The attacks, which occurred during Friday prayers, show the absolute cruelty and extremism of the Taliban attackers. Members of the Ahmadi Muslim faith have endured more than 30 years of persecution in Pakistan.

In 1973, Ahmadi Muslims were declared non-Muslims in Pakistan and since 1984, the law prohibits them from identifying themselves as Muslims. Ahmadi Muslims have been confronted by angry crowds and have been attacked many times in the past, but they had never been subjected to such coordinated, malicious attacks as those of last Friday.

I stand with the Ahmadiyya Muslims in my community and all around the world in condemning this brutal, cruel attack and share their concerns for the safety and well-being of their fellow worshippers. This type of intolerance and extremism has no place in our society and I encourage all--

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles.

Bloc Québécois
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, when it is time to stop violent criminals from attacking our families, Bloc Québécois members simply sit on their hands. We have seen proof of this on many occasions.

For the Bloc leader and his colleagues, it is much easier to simply side with criminals than to stand up for victims and their families. The Bloc's laxity when it comes to justice is quite disconcerting and does not serve the interests of victims in Quebec. For the Bloc Québécois, it is much easier to criticize our justice initiatives than to take concrete action for the welfare of victims of crime.

We in the Conservative Party are the only ones who really care about the victims of crime and the future of our children.

Canada Excellence Research Chairs
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, in so many ways, women face inequality in our country today. Nowhere is this more evident than in the recent awarding of the 19 Canada Excellence Research Chairs, a new and prestigious honour given to 19 men and not one woman.

While the minister stated that he was shocked, and certain questions were asked, the answers have been inadequate and the action plan to do better non-existent.

The failure to recognize women as Canada Excellence Research Chairs is the end result of an ideology put forward by the Conservative government to interfere in and sideline broader research. It is also a result of the government's damaging view that gender equality is not important. The glass ceiling is as strong as ever and the government is a fan of the old boys' club.

We need leadership and an innovative agenda when it comes to post-secondary education and the funding for research. A guiding principle for us in the NDP is that both women and men ought to be not just equal participants, but leaders too.

Eliminating Entitlements for Prisoners
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have yet again shown that they care more about criminals than about victims or taxpayers.

Yesterday, the Liberal MP for Ajax—Pickering shamefully defended prisoners getting taxpayer funded old age security benefits. The Liberals should listen to Canadians like the president of Families Against Crime and Trauma, the B.C. government, the chief constable of the Vancouver Police Department and the almost 50,000 Canadians who signed the Canadian Taxpayers Federation petition to end entitlements to prisoners.

He should also listen to Ray King or Sharon Rosenfeldt, both of whose sons were murdered by Clifford Olson. Yesterday, Ms. Rosenfeldt stated:

It’s great to see that this government is putting victims and taxpayers first ahead of criminals. The suspension of OAS benefit payments to inmates does just that.

The Liberals should stop listening to prisoners and instead listen to Canadians who want this bill to pass.