House of Commons Hansard #91 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was burma.

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 Cape Breton—Canso.

Mayor of MiltonStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Carr Liberal Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate and recognize that 2005 marks Milton Mayor Gordon Krantz's 25th year serving the town of Milton as mayor.

Since being elected to Milton council in 1965, Gordon Krantz has helped build the foundations and cornerstones of this community through his involvement in services provided by the Region of Halton, the Niagara Escarpment Commission, Conservation Halton and Milton Hydro.

Elected as mayor in 1980, Gordon Krantz has helped shape Milton's future with significant projects, such as the restoration of the Town Hall facility, the Milton Leisure Centre, the 401 Industrial Park, Mill Pond restoration and Rotary Park redevelopment to name a few.

Mayor Krantz demonstrates leadership, compassion, vision and commitment. He has served his constituents well and has great pride in serving as mayor.

I would like to extend my most sincere gratitude and congratulations to Mayor Gordon Krantz on 25 years of excellence, dedication and commitment.

City of KelownaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Werner Schmidt Conservative Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, may I bring to the attention of the House the 100 birthday of the city of Kelowna.

People from all over the world flock to this beautiful city every year for its mountain skyline, its clear lakes, fine wine and championship golf courses. Others bring their families to stay in the city that offers jobs, good schools, safe streets and a strong sense of community.

From its cattle ranching, grain and orchard growing roots, Kelowna has become the largest city in the interior of British Columbia and the economic and cultural jewel of the Okanagan.

As its member of parliament for more than 11 years, it has been my honour to serve the people of Kelowna. It gives me great pleasure to wish our city and its citizens a happy 100th birthday.

Happy birthday, Kelowna. May growth and prosperity continue to define our future.

Canadian War MuseumStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week our World War II veterans are in Holland to commemorate the 60th anniversary of victory in Europe.

As a tribute to the brave young men and women who served and sacrificed for Canada throughout our history of human conflict, the federal government will officially open the new Canadian War Museum here in the nation's capital.

An architectural delight, the building itself is built on the theme of regeneration, the idea that nature endures the devastation brought on by war and not only survives, but also regenerates and creates new life.

Towering over visitors to the facility, the stunning 24.5 metre arch of the museum faces toward the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill and serves as a symbol that peace is an ideal toward which we must all strive.

On behalf of my constituents of Don Valley East and all Canadians, I would like to express my pride in our veterans with the official opening of the new Canadian War Museum.

Supporting Communities Partnership InitiativeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, there is considerable disappointment and concern among Quebec agencies that work with the homeless. The federal government included nothing in its latest budget on extending and improving the program known as the supporting communities partnership initiative. As a result of this inaction, the continuation and consolidation of services to the most disadvantaged members of our society are at risk.

The budgets allocated under this program made it possible to improve shelters and drop-in centres, the housing and shelter development strategy, and support for street worker projects.

The Bloc Québécois urges the Liberal government to add the necessary funds to SCPI, and to transfer to Quebec full responsibility for housing and the corresponding budget envelopes.

Cadet CorpsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, I want to speak of an outstanding young man in my riding of Nunavut. Cadet Chief Warrant Officer Neil Kigutaq of Arctic Bay has reached National Star level. This is the highest level and honour a cadet can achieve.

Cadets who attain this highest honour must go through the ranks from green, to red, to silver, to gold star and finally National Star level. Candidates must complete a daunting written and fitness exam.

Neil has been with the Arctic Bay cadets for over six years, has obtained the highest rank within the cadet corps, has done his standard first aid, his gold level physical training and is a level three marksman. Neil has also obtained the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Neil is an excellent role model for all young Nunavummiut to follow. I want to congratulate him on this remarkable achievement.

Mental Health Awareness WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Carol Skelton Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, a healthy body goes hand in hand with a healthy mind. This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. It is an excellent opportunity to educate those directly and indirectly affected by mental health issues.

The Canadian Mental Health Association stresses the connection between physical and mental health.

Mental health can be achieved through many ways. A realistic attitude, draw on that optimism, have a sense of perspective and flexibility. Enhance one's self-confidence and self-esteem. Focus on the qualities that make someone a good friend, a valued colleague, a loving parent or family member. Seek emotional support; close ties with family and friends builds support networks and, in turn, helps others. Giving our minds and bodies a workout by engaging in a variety of mental activities, such as reading or puzzles, enhances mental agility and promotes overall wellness.

I encourage all Canadians to take time to assess their mental health and improve it.

National Day of MourningStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the annual National Day of Mourning was held Thursday, April 28. I rise today to commemorate those who have been killed or injured in the workplace.

Every working day in Canada, nearly four people die from work-related accidents or illnesses. Those four people could be members of your family or mine.

The significance of the National Day of Mourning is striking when close to 350,000 people are injured seriously enough to prevent them from reporting to work for at least one day, while the total number of work related injuries and illnesses occurring each year in Canada is close to one million.

Workplace deaths are increasing, and this day serves as an important reminder that much remains to be done.

I ask all hon. members to take the time to remember the workers who have lost their lives or been injured on the job. Let us honour them by putting forth our best efforts to foster safer and healthier workplaces through continued education, awareness and cooperation. Let us prevent these needless tragedies from ever happening again.

Occupational Safety and Health WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to bring to the attention of the House that this is North American Occupational Safety and Health Week. The theme this year is “Equip. Educate. Empower.”

This is an opportunity to stress the importance of Quebec's expertise in occupational health, which is particularly evident in its labour legislation provisions on psychological harassment in the workplace.

This Parliament must correct the current injustice that results in there being two categories of workers in Quebec, those protected from the scourge of psychological harassment by the Quebec legislation, and those who are totally unprotected.

It is my hope that this North American Occupational Safety and Health Week will provide an opportunity for parliamentarians to grasp the full significance of the workplace psychological harassment bill introduced in this House by the Bloc Québécois.

Meritorious Service CrossStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Savoy Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commend the heroic actions of an RCMP officer in my riding of Tobique—Mactaquac. Constable Tony Vienneau will be awarded the Meritorious Service Cross by the Right Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada, later this month.

He is receiving the cross as a result of his life-saving efforts in my hometown of Perth-Andover. In 2002, Constable Vienneau prevented a young man from committing suicide. He was off duty and on his way home when he saw a young man standing near the railing of the Perth-Andover highway bridge. Constable Vienneau called for back-up, then stopped his vehicle, got out and approached the young man. Despite the sub-zero temperature, Constable Vienneau stood on the bridge for almost an hour eventually convincing the young man not to jump and to seek help instead. Constable Vienneau suffered hypothermia as a result.

Constable Vienneau is one of just two recipients of the Meritorious Service Cross nationwide. His heroic actions are a reflection of the dedication of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police across this great country.

Red River Floodway ProjectStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, a major scam similar to the Liberal ad scam is being played out by a Liberal-NDP partnership in Manitoba. The $660 million expansion of the Red River floodway is equally cost shared between Ottawa and Manitoba.

Manitoba construction workers are being forced to pay union dues to the tune of $2.91 per hour even though they are not unionized, adding millions of dollars to union coffers with no benefit to the project or to the taxpayers.

The federal government is standing by silently even when the President of the Treasury Board was approached for assistance in this matter.

The expansion of the Red River floodway is essential to the safety of Winnipegers during a flood. It is shameful that the Liberal-NDP partnership has to put construction companies at risk to do it.

Emergency Preparedness WeekStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the 10th annual Emergency Preparedness Week is taking place this week.

World events have highlighted the value of emergency preparedness at the personal, community, business and national levels. Each year at this time awareness building events in every province and territory promote the importance of planning ahead for potential emergencies. Ultimately, these efforts are making Canada a safer place in which to live.

Emergency Preparedness Week is coordinated nationally by Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada working in cooperation with provincial and territorial emergency management organizations.

The provincial and territorial governments champion activities at the local level.

I would like to ask all hon. members to join me in acknowledging Emergency Preparedness Week and encouraging the public to familiarize themselves with the measures they can take to prepare for emergencies.

Member for Ottawa CentreStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, for 40 years the hon. member for Ottawa Centre has worked passionately and tirelessly to improve life for ordinary Canadians.

During his 15 year political sabbatical, the hon. member continued to pour his heart and soul into building a better world through his university teaching and international human rights work.

His return to active political life will be remembered for many accomplishments, among them electoral reform, the struggle to eliminate child poverty and restoring integrity to public life. His passion for politics is exceeded only by his deep devotion and boundless love for his wife, Lucille.

During all the years they have been together, his wife, a proud francophone, has dedicated herself to improving his accent when he speaks French, but with less than spectacular success.

Throughout Ed's career, Lucille has always supported him and always been there to support progressive causes.

Today as always, the hon. member for Ottawa Centre is there for Lucille. This remarkable couple has the support of everyone who admires them and cares for them deeply.

Our caucus, our party and all Canadians extend to Ed and Lucille our appreciation and our deepest love.

Minister of Citizenship and ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is outrageous when a minister of the crown makes over the top shameful insinuations comparing his political opponents to members of the Ku Klux Klan.

Yesterday the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration tarnished his office and the public image of all politicians. The minister trivializes the Klan, the racism and hatred it represents while looking to score cheap political points. He forgets that he represents the Canadian people who expect leadership and dignity from their government.

As immigration minister he should be combating real racism. He should be taking steps to ensure newcomers become full participants in our economy and are not relegated to menial jobs. He should be focusing upon our broken immigration system that keeps families apart and makes qualified applicants wait years before coming to this great nation.

The Conservative Party understands immigration and is looking for constructive ways to improve the lives of new Canadians. It is time for the minister to resign.

MP for a dayStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to welcome to Parliament Hill today Marie-Pierre Mona Arguin, the winner of the “MP for a Day” contest in the riding of Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher.

Aged 16 and a secondary IV student, Marie-Pierre Mona was the outstanding student in the national history course at the Jacques-Rousseau school in Longueuil.

She is accompanied by her teacher, who has also been the coordinator of the contest for the past six years, Georges Dupuis, whom I also wish to greet.

During her stay in Ottawa, Marie-Pierre Mona will take part in various activities to familiarize herself with the workings of Parliament.

Marie-Pierre Mona, on behalf of my colleagues from the Bloc Québécois, I welcome you to Parliament. I hope this visit will be a profitable one and that you will become more aware of the importance of democratic institutions.

Minister of Citizenship and ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Oda Conservative Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are desperately using any means to cling to power.

If people are against corruption, thievery and lies, then they are the target of extreme name calling and scare tactics. The Liberals have crossed the line. How dare they accuse honest Canadians, Canadians who will not stand for corruption any longer, of anything less than caring about Canada. Let us remember Ernst Zundel ran for the leadership of the Liberal Party.

The record will show Conservatives have done more for minorities in Canada than any other party. Canada cannot have an immigration minister who attacks honest Canadians in his desperation. The Prime Minister must force the immigration minister to apologize and resign as the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Atlantic AccordStatements By Members

May 4th, 2005 / 2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Matthews Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are not being straight with the public in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Conservative MPs have repeatedly demanded that the all important Atlantic accord provisions be severed from the 2005 budget. They are telling anyone who will listen that this will speed up the passage of the accord. Mr. Speaker, you know, I know and even the Conservatives know that this is not the case.

Under the rules of this chamber, the Atlantic accord bill can only be accelerated with the consent of all parties, including the Conservatives' new-found allies, the separatist Bloc Québécois.

The Atlantic accord's shortest route from here to royal assent is for the Conservatives, especially those from Atlantic Canada, to keep their promise, support the budget and support the Atlantic accord.

Will they vote in the best interests of their constituents or will they vote with the Bloc? The decision is theirs. The decision will be that of their constituents real soon.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a top Liberal official has admitted that the Liberal Party rigs the appointment of judges. In fact, Benoît Corbeil says that members of the judicial advisory committee in Quebec actually did the partisan screening process for the Liberal Party.

Having heard these revelations, what steps has the Prime Minister taken to ensure the integrity of Canada's judicial system?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canadians can be very proud of their judiciary and I do not really believe that the Leader of the Opposition should try to bring their integrity into question.

The fact is that there is a longstanding practice, one that has been substantially improved by the government, in terms of seeking the advice of the judiciary of the Canadian bar, and the provincial bar that is involved, to ensure that the appointments that are made to our judiciary are of the highest quality. If one takes a look at our courts, from the Supreme Court through to the provincial courts, one can see that has benefited Canada immensely.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is not this party that has brought this process into disrepute. It is a top official of the Liberal Party of Canada that has done that. A top official, a man in the know, has revealed that the Liberal Party of Canada has corrupted the system of nominating, vetting and appointing judges.

The Prime Minister knew about these allegations two weeks ago, yet he has done absolutely nothing in terms of reacting, according to his answer.

Is this not a perfect example why that party should be removed from office?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Mount Royal Québec

Liberal

Irwin Cotler LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker,--

JusticeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

JusticeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I am sure the minister appreciates the support, but he is rising to answer a question and we have to be able to hear the answer.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I do not think that the Leader of the Opposition is prepared to take yes for an answer. There is an independent peer review process in place. We make appointments on the basis of merit and we will continue to make appointments on the basis of merit. If members of the opposition want any other process, that is their choice. We will base our process on merit.

The BudgetOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a top official in his own party says that process is a fraud and he has done nothing to look into it.

According to the NDP member for Winnipeg Centre, the Liberals are funding their backroom budget deal out of money that has been set aside for first nations. He said:

I've gotten a very clear message from first nations leadership and from Liberal cabinet ministers that the money...has been redirected to form part of the NDP budget. If that's the case, it's even sleazier than I had ever imagined.

If that is how NDPers feel about the budget deal, how are Canadians supposed to feel about it?