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House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was bankruptcy.

Topics

2 p.m.

The Speaker

As is our practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by the hon. member for Essex.

World Teachers' DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is World Teachers' Day and I would like to take this opportunity to join parents and communities around the world in recognizing the pivotal role that teachers play in providing quality education to our children. Through their daily work, teachers make a tremendous contribution to sustainable development by building its human foundation, developing a child's capacity and desire to learn.

Teachers are important to the overall development of their students' character and minds. They are understanding individuals and greatly affect how the next generation views the world and its citizens.

To the teachers of Beaches—East York, indeed all teachers in Canada, I wish to say thanks. It is because of their devotion that our children know that no door is closed and that no dream is too distant to achieve.

Home Heating PricesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday after pressure from the opposition, the government announced that it would be introducing a program to help low income Canadians and seniors with the high cost of heating their homes this winter. The minister said that the package is heavily geared toward helping the most vulnerable within society.

The last time the Liberals tried such a rebate program it was slammed by the Auditor General because some 16,000 prisoners, dead people, and Canadians living outside Canada received the cheques.

According to the minister, this time the rebate program will be tied to individuals who are eligible for child benefits and seniors who qualify for the GIS. According to a report issued this week by the National Advisory Council on Aging, we know that there are in excess of 300,000 seniors in Canada who are eligible for the GIS who do not receive it. How will they get the rebate?

In addition, there are thousands of low income Canadians who live alone and do not receive any child benefits. How will they get the rebate? The fact is that none of these rebates will reach the Canadians who need it most and they will be forced in many cases to choose this winter between eating or staying warm.

Eastern Montreal Chamber of Commerce and IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Eastern Montreal Chamber of Commerce and Industry is doing a wonderful job for the economic development of our region.

I have had the chance to work with several of its leaders on many issues, including soil decontamination and the creation of a niche in environmental technologies.

More recently, we have worked together on the issue of a commuter train for eastern Montreal. This initiative is a top priority for our region, which is suffering from a chronic lack of transportation infrastructure and from the absence of an adequate public transit system.

It is clear that a commuter train servicing eastern Montreal would greatly facilitate the movement of the working population while at the same time stimulating the competitiveness of businesses. This initiative would promote the use of public transportation, in direct keeping with our Kyoto objectives.

The chamber of commerce is made up of leaders, entrepreneurs, men and women who are passionately devoted to the economic development of eastern Montreal. I want to tell them that they have had and will always have my support and cooperation.

Maison des Grands-Parents de Sainte-FoyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Clavet Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 11, the Maison des Grands-Parents de Sainte-Foy hosted a big gathering of past and present volunteers to celebrate the fifth anniversary of its official opening.

The Maison des Grands-Parents is an organization of seniors who, when the time came to take a well-deserved retirement, decided to get involved with elementary school children, and especially those in difficulty. They are dedicated to providing these children with presence, support and unconditional love in helping them do their homework, which has meant some retraining for many of the seniors.

I pay tribute to these 75 or so women and men of great generosity who have understood that their loving presence can make a world of difference in a child's life.

The Bloc Québécois recognizes the exceptional contribution of the volunteers at the Maison des Grands-Parents de Sainte-Foy to the life of their community, and we wish them health and energy to continue fulfilling their mission for many more years.

Teddy Roosevelt Conservation AwardStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, recently, I was invited to speak at the Teddy Roosevelt conservation awards ceremony in Vermont. This award is given to an organization or individuals who play a key role in environmental conservation.

I am proud to announce that this prestigious award was bestowed on an organization in my riding. I congratulate Conservation Baie Missisquoi, its president, Pierre Leduc and his entire team. I had the pleasure of working with them on the Lake Champlain issue. They did an exceptional job. This is also a wonderful example of cooperation between Canada and the United States. I want to acknowledge the Governor of Vermont, Jim Douglas, and the Lieutenant Governor of Vermont, Brian Dubie, for being so involved in this issue.

A big thank you also to the International Joint Commission, which brought us all together on this.

May we continue to work together to protect our environment.

Search and RescueStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Anders Conservative Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, if the hurricanes in the southern United States have taught us anything, it is that being properly prepared will save lives, property and money.

Unfortunately, the Liberal government is ignoring this hard learned lesson. Heavy urban search and rescue, or HUSAR teams, are an integral part of emergency preparedness. These teams, headquartered in major cities, do the dirty work during an emergency.

These teams pull people out of collapsed buildings and out of fast flowing water. They are the only ones who keep damaged buildings standing and take care of the victims of disasters. The government has acknowledged the importance of these teams and has announced millions of dollars of funding. Sadly, the government has not put its money where its mouth is.

With the federal government squabbling with itself and unable to deliver all the promised funds, the team in Calgary had to cancel training. Halifax has not even got off the ground and Toronto has had to rely on provincial funding. This is unacceptable.

Emergency preparedness deserves better. Canadians deserve better. When the money was announced, the government stated that disasters can strike anywhere.

Mental Illness Awareness WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is Mental Illness Awareness Week. It is a public campaign to better inform Canadians about the issues surrounding mental illness. This year's theme, Face Mental Illness, is designed to help break down the stigma associated with this illness and to put a human face on mental illness by featuring the stories of people who have been diagnosed.

Approximately 20% of Canadians will be diagnosed with a disorder during their lifetime and the remaining 80% will be affected by the illness of a loved one.

I wish to congratulate the individuals who have courageously told their stories of struggles and triumphs. I wish to commend the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and the Mental Health Association, along with the Lakeshore Area Multiservice Project and the Family Association for Mental Health Everywhere.

They are organizations in my riding who are doing significant work in bettering the lives of many individuals. I have special congratulations for the hon. Ujjal Dosanjh who was honoured today as this year's champion for mental health. Congratulations minister.

Mental Illness Awareness WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore knows she must refer to members, not by their name but by their title. I am sure she meant the Minister of Health.

The hon. member for Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert.

Centre d'action bénévole Les p'tits bonheursStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, something major is happening in the riding of Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert.

The former Les p'tits bonheurs volunteer action centre in Saint-Bruno was demolished on Saturday so work could begin on a new, modern and larger building. Obviously, it was a very emotional time for everyone in the community.

Next spring, Les p'tits bonheurs volunteer action centre will re-open on the same site in order to continue its mission. In the meantime, services will be provided at the community centre and the clothing bank will be relocated to the former train station.

This project would not have been possible without the $170,000 raised by the organization. Only another $30,000 is needed.

I want to highlight the work done by these men and women, under Gaby Bouvrette, who, day after day, help those in need.

Spruce GroveStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, on October 1 I had the pleasure of participating in the city of Spruce Grove's Jubilee Celebration, marking its 50th year of incorporation as a municipality.

The village was originally settled in 1891 by French and Scottish families and was named for the groves of spruce trees that surrounded the area. The community became a grain trading centre when the railroad was established in 1908 and in 1955 it was incorporated as a village.

By 1971 Spruce Grove was a town and in 1986 it became a city. Spruce Grove's population is currently estimated at 18,000 plus and is considered one of western Canada's fastest growing communities. The jubilee celebration included a fun-filled day with a free pancake breakfast, a celebration at the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre and a children's nickel carnival.

I would like to congratulate Mayor Ken Scott, as well as Spruce Grove's council and the team of dedicated organizers for putting on such a wonderful celebration. Finally, I would like to congratulate the citizens and the city of Spruce Grove on its 50th birthday.

Human Resources and Skills DevelopmentStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to thank the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development for the thoroughness and openness in which her department responded to the 20 recommendations of the standing committee's sixth report, examining the new directives governing contribution agreements for selected programs delivered on behalf of her department.

Even before the response was tabled on September 26, several corrective actions dealing with how proposals are submitted by the voluntary sector have been instituted in a spirit of true partnership.

Our government has committed to creating a relationship of trust with all our partners who provide employment programs and other related programs and services throughout the country.

Congratulations on a job well done.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

October 5th, 2005 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Wajid Khan Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and this government have been very active in developing relationships between Canada and South Asia. Our visitors from the riding of Papineau will also know that Canadians of South Asian origin play a critical role in the development of our relations with South Asia.

Let me give just a few examples of our government's commitments.

Last week our foreign minister met with his Indian counterpart to commit ourselves to building a broad and enduring partnership.

Canada has reaffirmed its role in Afghanistan with the deployment of its PRT in Kandahar.

The Deputy Prime Minister has just returned from a successful visit to Pakistan, where cooperation in security matters was discussed.

Canadians can be proud of the significant assistance we are providing Sri Lanka to help bring about peace and of our substantial contributions made to the development of Bangladesh.

This is only the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with this very vital part of the world.

Breast CancerStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to praise the tireless efforts of thousands of Canadians across this country and their work and dedication on the Run for the Cure to fight breast cancer.

This year alone, more than 21,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and tragically, more than 5,000 will succumb to this disease.

I also rise to acknowledge the courage and love of the families facing the devastating impacts of breast cancer.

Finally, I rise to bring home the message to this ineffective Liberal government that its inaction, lack of vision and misaligned priorities are putting women at risk in this country. We are the air that we breathe. We are the water that we drink. This government has created more dirty air and more polluted water than ever before.

I call upon the government to use whatever is left of its sad mandate to finally show some leadership, take seriously the impacts of environmental degradation on Canadians' health and make the tough decisions necessary to address it. Canadian women deserve action, not more empty words.

Child PornographyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Art Hanger Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on an issue that should concern all of us: the sexual exploitation and abuse of our children relating to the production and trafficking of pornographic images and distribution over the Internet.

Recently a young girl in Calgary was filmed as she was being sexually molested. This heinous crime was broadcast over the Internet via a webcam. The perpetrator was picked up and charged, but later was released on $2,000 bail.

In her mother's words, this crime has robbed their family of so very much, and the man charged with molesting her daughter is still walking our streets.

I ask everyone in this House to consider what they have done to prevent children from being abused like this. For years, some of us have called for tougher laws and sentences for pedophiles and sexual predators, to draw a line in the sand and say that crimes against children will not be tolerated and to strive for a justice system that reflects the serious impact of violent crime.

I therefore call upon this House to support Bill C-286, Carrie's guardian angel law, which is designed to crack down on predators.

François-J. LessardStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, François-J. Lessard, dubbed “the stubborn old tiger of Saint-Jacques Street” by the staff of Le Devoir back in 1994, passed away on September 25.

A man of commitment, he worked for 45 years in the heart of Montreal's financial sector. More than once he engaged in spectacular battles against a group of stockbrokers who fomented fear among Quebec's francophones in order to deny them access to the financial community.

He was the initiator and principal founder of the first cooperative mutual fund company in Quebec: Placements collectifs inc., and also founded his own securities brokerage firm, Lessard et Associés.

There was really only one battle he was engaged in throughout his entire life: the battle for Quebec independence. The Bloc Québécois honours his sense of duty and his successes. Our condolences to his family and friends.

François, we thank you for the wonderful legacy you have left us.

Gasoline PricesStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Lanark, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the summer and especially over the last several weekends when I visited with constituents at local fairs, I heard how gas tax prices were affecting people in my riding.

My riding of Carleton—Mississippi Mills is a mix of suburban and rural communities where individuals are often required to travel long distances in their daily lives, whether it is to drive to work, get to class, attend doctor's appointments or plow a field. As a result, the cost of fuel has a very direct impact on their lives.

Gasoline taxes account for an average 40% of the pump price. GST is charged on the pump price, gasoline taxes included. It is a tax on tax. As the pump price increases, so does the GST.

On Monday I tabled a petition signed by over 2,000 of my constituents who are calling on the government to immediately reduce fuel taxes. Today, with the Leader of the Opposition, I repeat this call.

While the Liberals dither, my colleagues in the Conservative Party, along with Canadians from coast to coast to coast, will continue to press for a reduction of fuel tax on gasoline.

Mental Illness Awareness WeekStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is Mental Illness Awareness Week. Twenty per cent of all Canadians are likely to be affected by mental illness at some time in their lives. My family has been one of those families. It has been devastating for our family member and for us as a family.

By the year 2020, depressive illness will be the leading cause of disease burden in Canada.

People suffering from schizophrenia occupy one in twelve hospital beds in Canada, second only to cardiovascular disease, yet only 10% of research funding is allocated to mental illness compared to other major illnesses.

There is too little research and there is too little understanding. It is time to put aside these stigmas. It is time to put aside these stereotypes and get off to a good start. I urge all members to support Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government can justify hundreds of thousands of dollars for David Dingwall, but nothing for everyday Canadians who are struggling with the high cost of fuel.

Despite the so-called big announcement on rebate cheques, farmers, taxi drivers, truckers and the vast majority of consumers will not get a single cent from this government.

Why is the government so insensitive to the needs and concerns of everyday middle-class Canadians?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is because the government is so concerned with the everyday needs of Canadians that under the aegis of the Minister of Finance the government will be introducing legislation to this effect.

I want to congratulate the Minister of Finance, but I also want to congratulate the other ministers and the other departments. They have worked very hard on this very comprehensive package. I also want to congratulate our caucus, including the member for Pickering, who has also worked very hard on this. This is indeed a comprehensive plan.

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, once again the government can confirm that this great announcement on fuel prices is not going to put any cheques in the mail for truckers, taxi drivers, and farmers, or for the majority of consumers.

Why is this government so insensitive to the concerns of the middle class?

Gasoline PricesOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this plan is readily understood. It will help workers and the least well off. It is a response to the need to conserve energy. It is not the work of a single minister. Other ministers and our caucus worked on it as well. They are the ones who are the true sponsors of this plan, of which we are very proud.

David DingwallOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

We will wait and see, Mr. Speaker, but the CTF says we have been waiting for 10 years, and $9.5 billion later, for some help on gas taxes.

Despite the Prime Minister's silence, no one believes that taxpayers have a legal obligation to give David Dingwall a gold plated severance. Half of his own caucus does not even believe it.

Canadians know they cannot quit their jobs and then demand severance.

Will the Prime Minister table the legal opinion that proves he owes David Dingwall a severance?

David DingwallOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Markham—Unionville Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as I explained several times, the government has taken legal advice from the Privy Council Office. I cited--

David DingwallOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!