House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-48.

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 Sackville—Eastern Shore.

Milton Farmers' MarketStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Carr Liberal Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in the House to recognize a unique and long-standing tradition in my riding of Halton. Operating weekly for over 33 years, the Milton Farmers' Market has been bringing traditional homestyle baking and farm fresh crops to the constituents of Halton. With family fun and locally grown fruits and vegetables, the streets come alive with vendors.

The Milton Chamber of Commerce operates the weekly Saturday morning event from May through October. With over 40 vendors, this certainly is one of Ontario's best outdoor farmers' markets.

I encourage all members of the House and residents of Halton and Milton to come to the Milton Farmers' Market for a wonderful experience. Try a mouth-watering bacon on a bun, my favourite, a crisp locally grown apple or purchase a beautiful handmade craft.

I ask everyone to show their Canadian spirit and Halton pride and come visit Milton Farmers' Market.

VeteransStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, in conflicts from World War I to Afghanistan, Canada's veterans have risked their lives in the defence of our country, the freedom of Europe and Asia and for liberty itself.

Last year thousands of our veterans passed away with insufficient recognition from the government. Not one of the caskets of the heroes who departed this world in 2004 was covered with a flag provided by the Government of Canada.

The governments of many other countries provide flags for the caskets of their departed veterans. This practice would do honour both to our fallen heroes and to the flag itself.

In 2005, the Year of the Veteran, I call upon the government to give long overdue recognition to the heroes who still walk among us by immediately initiating a program to bestow upon each of them a Canadian flag as a symbol of the appreciation of a grateful nation.

Brain Injury Awareness MonthStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the fine work of the Four Counties Brain Injury Association based in Peterborough which had a fundraiser last weekend. This is an organization which works with those who have brain injuries, their families and caregivers. They raise awareness of the implications of brain injury in our communities, focusing strongly on injury prevention.

One of its major projects year round, especially in Brain Injury Awareness Month, is promoting the use of helmets for people using bikes, scooters, roller blades and skateboards. The association conducts helmet clinics through which children learn the value of helmets and how to wear them properly.

I thank all those associated with this fine association and all the sponsors and volunteers who assist the Brain Injury Association in its fine work.

Sports in CommunitiesStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Denise Poirier-Rivard Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, from July 3 to 30, some 30 young francophones, anglophones and Mohawks from the region near Châteauguay will take part in an extraordinary athletic and cultural experience.

On the heels of the Jeux de l'Amitié in May, which sought to promote exchanges among these young people so they could learn more about each other, sports will once again bring together the various communities in my region.

For almost an entire month, these 30 amateur cyclists will travel almost 1,500 km across Quebec, from Kahnawake to Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean.

This athletic and cultural event will strengthen their organizational, leadership, listening and sharing skills. I will be eagerly watching them bike together to build a future in their style: fair, mutually supportive and Québécois.

Protest by Taxi and Limousine DriversStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, taxi and limousine drivers at Pearson International Airport in my riding are requesting that the Greater Toronto Airports Authority issue licences to individual drivers on the basis of seniority. Despite their fair share recommendation, however, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority continues to only hand out licences to three limousine companies.

In today's Toronto Star , drivers complain that these companies are “little more than middlemen who profit off the backs of drivers by leasing the licence while offering little or no service”.

While drivers regret that the public has been affected this week by their legal protest at the airport, they promise to continue to fight for justice on behalf of the longest serving drivers among them. I would encourage all MPs in the GTA to listen to the concerns of drivers and to lend them their support.

Due to this situation's impact on travellers and concerned citizens in the GTA and across Ontario, I would strongly urge the Minister of Transport to--

Nickolaus MeyersStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 1936, General Franco installed a Fascist dictatorship in Spain, overturning the democratically elected Spanish Republic.

While Fascist Germany and Italy sent massive military aid to supply Franco's forces, western democracies failed to officially support the Spanish loyalists.

However, over 1,300 brave Canadians left their families and friends to travel halfway across the world to fight in the International Brigades against Franco for the causes of freedom and democracy.

If records did exist in Spain about the war, we would come across the following name: Captain Nickolaus Meyers, a Canadian whose real name was Nickolaus Myroniuk but, like many others, had to travel under an assumed name because of the opposition of their government to the war. Captain Meyers, my great uncle Nick, recently passed away, on January 21, at the age of 89.

Today I am rising in the House to pay tribute to my uncle who understood that evil cannot be escaped by ignoring it. My uncle and the many other Canadians who volunteered in an inspiring story of courage, conviction and determination, pressed forward and made sacrifices for freedom and liberty.

Vera LooseStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, the city of Brantford is a lesser place today as I rise to pay tribute to a great lady, Vera Loose, who died yesterday in her 79th year.

Vera was the loving and devoted wife of Paul and together they raised children who benefited tremendously from their caring nature and thoughtful ways. Six young persons had the privilege of calling Vera their loving grandmother.

Her taste in unimportant matters was ordinary. She wanted comfort, not luxury. She was drawn to genuine substance, not transparent style. However, she was anything but ordinary in matters that count. Rather, she was extraordinarily kind, uncommonly generous and exceptionally decent.

Vera was a person of very strong faith and achieved what we all aspire to do. She made a profound difference in the lives of her family and her community.

As the philosopher Proust said, “Let us be grateful for people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom”.

Vera Loose brought happiness to the lives of many, particularly her family, and made many souls blossom. She fought the good fight and has gone to her just reward.

Lactic AcidosisStatements by Members

June 22nd, 2005 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, for a number of years now, one of my constituents has been battling a hereditary disease that is quite prevalent in our region. I am talking about Pierre Lavoie, the president of the Association de l'acidose lactique du Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean.

Mr. Lavoie is working hard to raise awareness of lactic acidosis, encourage research, and involve our young people. The Pierre Lavoie challenge was held last week for this very purpose.

Since May, over 25 schools in my region and over 5,000 students have taken part in the inter-school challenge. Last weekend, the Pierre Lavoie challenge reached its apex, thanks to massive public support, with the collection of over $280,000.

The Bloc Québécois congratulates this courageous athlete for his perseverance, along with my entire riding, which is supporting him in his fight against this terrible disease.

Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-BritanniqueStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate the Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique on its 60th year of existence.

Francophones have been an integral part of the economic, social and cultural fabric of British Columbia since 1793. There are over 60,000 of them, living in 37 communities in our province.

The federation has been so successful in keeping these communities in contact with each other and in preserving their vitality and influence that British Columbia now ranks second only to Quebec in the number of students taking French as a second language.

I have had the pleasure of working in close collaboration with the federation for the past 12 years, on the Canada-communities agreement, the new francophone affairs office of Simon Fraser University, and RésoSanté, a health service for francophone immigrants.

As our commercial links with the Asia-Pacific region expand to the francophone countries of Asia, the strong francophone presence in British Columbia will become an even more valuable asset.

Alberta FloodsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Conservative Calgary South Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, in the past two weeks, Calgary and southern Alberta were hammered by torrents of rain, with creeks and rivers rising to levels not seen in decades.

Thankfully, the worst seems to be behind us and the efforts of countless volunteers and emergency workers helped to reduce the damaging impact.

With both the Bow and Elbow Rivers flowing through my riding of Calgary Centre, I saw firsthand the risk that the rising waters posed. A state of emergency was declared.

True to our western heritage, these challenging times also brought out the true spirit of Calgarians. It was truly inspiring to see neighbour helping neighbour, pulling together to lend a hand.

As a Calgarian, I offer my sincere thanks to all those who volunteered their services, as well as the numerous city officials, Mayor Dave Bronconnier, Alberta Emergency Measures and Premier Klein, for their leadership and support throughout.

Ontario's Francophone CommunityStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Godbout Liberal Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, as part of the City of Ottawa's 150th anniversary celebrations, the Société franco-ontarienne d'histoire et de généalogie and its partners will be unveiling a plaque to commemorate the contribution of francophones to the growth and development of Ottawa.

The plaque will be permanently displayed at the Institut canadien-français, which is located at York and Dalhousie streets in the Byward Market. The unveiling ceremony will be held on Friday, June 24, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, celebrated by all French Canadians. Representatives of all sectors of activity in the francophone community will be in attendance.

On behalf of all the Franco-Ontarians of Ottawa-Orléans, I wish to commend this initiative to immortalize more than 150 years of francophone presence in Ottawa. We are immensely proud.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was National Aboriginal Day. It served as a reminder that every day we must continue to speak up on social and economic issues faced by aboriginal people.

Earlier this month, the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development tabled a report about on reserve matrimonial real property. There are strong recommendations in the report for action on behalf of aboriginal women from coast to coast to coast.

The report calls for the government to immediately draft stand-alone legislation dealing with matrimonial property and that this be done in partnership with the Native Women's Association of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations.

The NDP supports the report. This issue and other issues that impact the lives of aboriginal women in this country have been studied over and over. It is time for action, action on rights for aboriginal women when it comes to matrimonial property, action on violence against women and action on access to health services.

Rebecca Bruce, Raven Thunder Sky's sister, died today. Where is the action on issues like Zonolite? These are real issues that affect aboriginal women and their families and we need action now. It is time for the government to deliver.

Crystal MethStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals must have heard by now the urgent cries of Canadians who want the government to take action to combat crystal meth.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities and western ministers met recently to discuss this problem. They have made strong recommendations to the federal government to take action.

Municipalities and provinces are serious about fighting this deadly drug, but the federal government only says that it will look into it in the fall.

The Conservative Party, however, is committed to fighting crystal meth and has formed a crystal meth task force, of which I am the chair. I have submitted a motion calling on the government to develop a nation crystal meth strategy. The member for Palliser and I are working on a bill to move crystal meth from schedule III to schedule I, something we have been calling on the government to do for months. The member for Yellowhead has introduced a private member's bill to restrict access to precursors.

The Conservative Party will continue to pressure the government to take action against this drug. Every day that goes by is another day that crystal meth traps another Canadian in its deadly grip.

Citizenship and ImmigrationStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, Sergio Loreto first came to Quebec in 1987, and has worked as a machinist at Pratt & Whitney for 16 years. Last September, he was living in Saint Hubert with his wife and three children, who are all Canadian citizens, when he received a deportation order for allegedly being an accomplice to war crimes in Guatemala.

Sergio Loreto says he did not commit any war crime or even take part in the civil war.

His CAW friends will tell you that he is a model employee who lives an exemplary life and that he has settled well into Canadian society.

Recently, leaders of the Saint Hubert community asked the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to use section 25 of the Immigration Act to lift the deportation order and grant Mr. Loreto permanent resident status on humanitarian grounds. This would allow him to leave his sanctuary in Toronto and return to live freely in Saint Hubert with his family, who need him very much.

Foreign AffairsStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Stockwell Day Conservative Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, members on this side of the House have been adamant in insisting that the Government of Canada demand that Syria get out of Lebanon and permit the democratic process to proceed.

As usual, we have seen foot dragging and reluctance on that score. Nevertheless, the Syrian armies are out and the people of Lebanon are now choosing a new parliament. The process of forming a government is far from complete, however, and it appears that the Syrian dictators are still convinced that Lebanon belongs to them and not to the Lebanese people.

In this morning's papers we read of yet another assassination of an eminent politician in Lebanon.

I am asking the Minister of Foreign Affairs if he is supporting the demand of the elected leaders in Lebanon that the mandate of the UN team investigating this and earlier assassinations be expanded and accelerated.

I am asking the Minister of Foreign Affairs if he is taking other measures to let the people of Lebanon know that we stand with them in their desire to at last rid themselves of state sponsored assassinations and terror.

It is time for Canada's government to speak out in every forum and at every opportunity to let Syria know they need--

Foreign AffairsStatements by Members

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Pontiac.

The BudgetStatements by Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

David Smith Liberal Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, at the signing of the new deal for cities and municipalities, the Premier of Quebec called on the support of Quebec MPs. Premier Charest urged Bloc Québécois MPs to support the budget bill that we will soon be called to vote on. He said:

They have a responsibility that goes beyond party lines: to make sure funding is available. The current government made a promise to make it available. Now it is up to Quebec MPs to act in the interest of Quebeckers and vote in favour of the budget to make the funding available.

Upon leaving the House yesterday, the leader of the Bloc Québécois said he could not support the bill because of some other provisions. In other words, the Bloc opposes the additional $4.6 million investment in education, the environment and housing.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Ethics Commissioner's shady grey report on the former minister of immigration is black and white about one thing: issuing of temporary resident permits by the former minister during the election campaign was a clear violation of the conflict of interest code.

The commissioner writes that “the permits themselves seemed available...to the relatives and associates of those who were assisting the re-election campaign”.

Manipulating the process is the Liberal way. Why has this ethically challenged government allowed our immigration system to be abused in such a crass and partisan political way?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I reject outright that there was any partisan political intervention. I gave an indication yesterday that over 1.1 million decisions are made every year. At this time of year, there are many more requests.

The minister responds to the constituent's requirements in the context of 1.1 million decisions made by the department. If the member opposite is telling us that 76 interventions by a minister in the context of 1.1 million is an undesirable action, then he has a--

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Central Nova.

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, let us look at the facts. Prior to the election, the former minister vowed she would never use temporary resident permits for election purposes. Au contraire: it comes to light that during the campaign 128 permits were granted by the minister, 74 of 76 were supported by Liberal MPs, 43 were authorized in the last week of the federal campaign alone, and four of those permits were issued to friends of the minister's campaign worker.

Why, I ask again, did the government so blatantly abuse the ministerial permit process for partisan purposes during the last campaign? Why?

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe LiberalMinister of Citizenship and Immigration

Mr. Speaker, I guess those of us who actually serve our constituents are going to be accused of doing things for partisan purposes.

The fact of the matter is, and the member would know, that there are many parts around the country that are looking for an enhanced immigration service. This is part of an entire system where we are looking at the large range of people who we are going to take into the country and looking at both the quantum and the quality of immigrants who are coming in. Ministers who do their--

Citizenship and ImmigrationOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Central Nova.

EthicsOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Peter MacKay Conservative Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, Andrew Stark, a University of Toronto professor and noted expert on conflict of interest, said it was puzzling that the Ethics Commissioner was not investigating the Prime Minister's chief of staff for his involvement in MP vote buying for rewards.

Mr. Stark noted that the commissioner has just completed a report that investigated both the minister and her ministerial staff and that his refusal to investigate PMO chief of staff Tim Murphy is “inconsistent with what he's just done”.

Given the latest ethics report on Liberal wrongdoings, can the Prime Minister clarify whether he and his staff are subject to the conflict of interest code, and if so, why are they not being investigated? Why the special treatment? More who you know in the PMO?