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House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was land.

Topics

Brome—MissisquoiStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Paradis Liberal Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago, almost 100 representatives of organizations from Brome—Missisquoi and surrounding areas had an opportunity to speak at regional meetings I organized in Orford with colleagues from this House and the other place.

I want to thank all the organizations and businesses that took part. I will mention a few: Abattoir Campbell, Conservation Baie Missisquoi, Conservation Memphrémagog, Iwanna Farm, Brome Fair, Brome-Missisquoi RCM, the Magog revitalization committee, the Bedford business association, the Memphrémagog CLD, Tourism Eastern Townships, the Magog-Orford Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Cowansville Chamber of Commerce, the Kirkland and Venise beaches, the municipality of Venise-en-Québec, the textile workers, the CSD, the CSN, the roundtable on homelessness, the Maison des jeunes de Sutton, the Corporation Jeunesse Memphrémagog, Découvertes de la chanson de Magog, Festiv'Art and the Saint-Armand world film festival.

To all those who came and told us about their needs and concerns, I say that I stand behind them.

Taste of AutumnStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, October 21 the Rotary Clubs of Orangeville are holding their 11th annual fundraiser “A Taste of Autumn”. This event takes place at the Hockley Valley Resort and features a terrific seven course dinner prepared by chefs from some of the finest restaurants in Dufferin—Caledon. These restaurants include the Mono Cliff's Inn, the Millcroft Inn, the Cataract Inn, One 99 Restaurant, Hockley Valley Resort and Whitefield Farm.

A silent auction will be held throughout the evening and a live auction will take place around 9 p.m. These auctions have helped raised over $1 million in support of local community projects and international charitable programs. Headwaters Health Care Centre and Rotary's Centennial Project, as well as other Orangeville and Shelburne area causes, are just some of the organizations that have benefited from “A Taste of Autumn”.

For a sensational evening in Dufferin—Caledon this October 21, the place to be is “A Taste of Autumn”.

Evangelos HadjisStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Eleni Bakopanos Liberal Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, we were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Evangelos Hadjis on September 10. His death is a loss for me and the Hellenic community in Montreal, and for everyone in Quebec society, for we have lost one of our most distinguished and respected members.

Evangelos Hadjis was an exemplary brother, husband, father and friend.

Since coming to Canada in 1955, Evangelos was both a mentor and a protector. A member of the Bar of Quebec, Evangelos distinguished himself as a lawyer. He was widely respected by his colleagues in the legal community, yielding great influence through his keen sense of justice, power of negotiation and generosity of spirit.

Ever mindful of his roots, Evangelos served his fellow Greeks and their various organizations for over 40 years with dedication, dignity and humility. He was recognized as a leader and pillar of strength by one and all. No less genuine was his pride in being Canadian. This was exemplified by both word and deed in moments of national debate.

[Member spoke in Greek and provided the following translation:]

[Translation]

May your memory be eternal, dear friend, and may the ground that covers you be light.

250th Anniversary of the Deportation of the AcadiansStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Stéphane Bergeron Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, this past July 28, monuments were unveiled, and the Acadian tricolour flag with its star was lowered to half mast in Acadia, Quebec, Louisiana and Canada to commemorate the 250th anniversary of a tragic event, the deportation of the Acadians.

I feel it is essential as Parliament resumes to invite my colleagues to pay solemn tribute to the victims of that historic tragedy, and to their brave descendants who, by their mere presence and their vitality, are a moving reminder of that first Acadia, which no longer exists because of the rivalries and greed of the colonial powers.

The deportation of the Acadians had but one goal: the disappearance of this courageous and ingenious people with its vibrant culture. That culture is, however, still alive and flourishing today, far beyond the confines of the now defunct Acadia.

The only thing that remains to be done is for the British Crown to take the noble step of acknowledging these undeniable facts, so that this tragic page in the history of the Acadian people can at last be turned.

Simon WiesenthalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently the world lost a truly great man with the passing of Simon Wiesenthal. Simon Wiesenthal was responsible for bringing to justice over 1,100 war criminals who might otherwise have avoided being brought to account for their crimes.

This past summer I had the opportunity to visit the Yad Vashem memorial to those who died in the Holocaust. One has only to spend a brief moment at the Yad Vashem memorial to understand just how important Simon Wiesenthal's work was to the world.

As a Holocaust survivor himself, Simon Wiesenthal ensured that the memory of those who died was honoured by his efforts to hold those responsible to account. His work, as well as the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, will continue to live on as a tribute to his remarkable life.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gurmant Grewal Conservative Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday, I was joined by the member for Fleetwood--Port Kells and thousands of others in a candlelight vigil in memory of 82-year-old Mewa Singh Bains and 76-year-old Shingara Singh Thandi, two men who died in separate attacks while visiting Bear Creek Park in Surrey.

Apparently the seniors were beaten with a baseball bat by two young offenders, aged 13 and 15.

Those gathered Saturday night demanded justice and tough penalties for the guilty.

The Liberal government has done nothing to cut crime in our community. Our streets, parks and homes are not safe. We need minimum mandatory sentences for violent crimes, truth in sentencing and more resources for law enforcement. Hate crimes resulting from ignorance must be eliminated through proper education.

These heinous crimes should serve as a wake-up call for the Liberals. The government must stop pressing the snooze button and protect our senior citizens and other citizens now.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to add my voice to the many Canadians who deplore the lengthy lockout that has deprived them of their cherished CBC radio and television programs.

I have heard loud and clear that my constituents want this lockout settled.

I too miss my favourites such as Metro Morning, Cross Country Checkup, As it Happens, The National and of course, politics and the House.

At a time like this it is also instructive to appreciate the importance of the CBC and why it fills such a critical need in our country's culture. It is a lifeline enabling our cultural stories and ideas to be conveyed from coast to coast to coast.

I call upon the CBC management and the guild to reach an agreement and quickly resume the services that Canadians so greatly miss.

This lockout is not just another labour dispute. It is about an essential service that Canadians want and need.

Michel CussonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am particularly proud to bring to your attention the prolific talent of Quebec and Drummondville's own composer, Michel Cusson.

He has seen his dream of composing film scores come true, starting with L'Automne sauvage in 1992, and now has worked on 16 feature films and 13 television series.

After writing the score for Séraphin: Heart of Stone , Michel Cusson composed some twenty original musical pieces for the soundtrack of Aurore .

He was also responsible for the music used in the film on the life of Maurice Richard.

He has done a lot of travelling back and forth between Quebec and China recently. In fact, the music accompanying the performance of the Shanghai Circus—premiering today, incidentally—is also his work.

Michel, the Bloc Québécois is impressed by the broad scope and the high calibre of your work and hope it will continue to brighten our lives for many years to come.

Hiv-AidsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jean Augustine Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this month, I was joined by many of my hon. colleagues of the House and Senate as part of a Canadian delegation to Senegal.

We took part in the third policy dialogue organized by the Parliamentary Centre with African and Canadian parliamentarians. The focus was on the issue of HIV-AIDS, especially the issue of generic drugs and medication.

We had a very successful exchange in which we discussed best practices and the methods to engage civil society.

African parliamentarians expressed their support for the manufacturing and distribution of generic antiretroviral drugs.

Let me remind the House that as Canadian parliamentarians we need to ensure that the Jean Chrétien pledge to Africa is implemented so that we can help alleviate the unnecessary suffering and loss of lives as a result of the carnage of HIV-AIDS.

AgricultureStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, recently the Leader of the Conservative Party travelled to the heart of the massive pine beetle disaster in British Columbia to announce a $1 billion federal aid package that would allow the province to fully implement its 10 year pine beetle action plan.

He did that because he recognizes the disaster that has hit the forest industry and communities in B.C. He did that because he recognizes the importance of the forest industry of B.C. and the rest of the country. He did that because he recognizes the importance of the province of B.C. to the rest of Canada. He announced a $1 billion pine beetle package and under a Conservative government that will be delivered.

British Columbians have long grown tired of ambivalence that the Prime Minister and his Liberal government have continually showed to them. They are tired of the federal Liberals demonstrating that B.C. just is not on their agenda.

B.C. is ready for a Conservative government and a new Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.

AgricultureStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Cariboo—Prince George is an experienced member and he knows that he has to refer to other hon. members by their title. I am sure he meant the Leader of the Opposition and I am sure he regrets not having said that.

The hon. member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.

Franco-Ontarian FlagStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Don Boudria Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Sunday, Franco-Ontarians celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Franco-Ontarian flag. This emblem of our French-speaking community was officially unveiled on September 25, 1975, at Laurentian University. Since then, it has been proudly flown throughout the province.

In 2001, artists in my riding officially launched the song, “Mon beau drapeau”, a tribute to the Franco-Ontarian community and its flag. This week, throughout my riding, students will join together to proudly sing these optimistic verses.

Je te chante, mon beau drapeau Des Français de l'Ontario,Je te lève, brandi bien haut,Pour que vous voyiez bienQue je suis Franco-Ontarien

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, seven weeks ago, CBC management unilaterally pulled the plug on the Canadian conversation. In doing so, they have undermined the credibility of the CBC, they have gambled recklessly with their audience base and they have reopened the debate about whether we need a national broadcaster at all.

Where is the heritage minister been on this file? She has been missing in action.

This is not about a labour battle. It is about a cultural policy adrift. This past summer, for example, the CRTC satellite radio decision overturned the fundamental principles of Cancon.

The minister and cabinet had the power to act but they did nothing while the airwaves were handed over to Nashville and Los Angeles. For God's sake, someone get the defibrillators. Our nation's cultural policy is on life support and an IV drip of Liberal platitudes will not bring the patient back.

Year of the VeteranStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, I had the extraordinary privilege of hosting a reception in honour of 16 remarkable women at the Royal Canadian Legion in the town Lancaster in my riding of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry.

These women are all war veterans and incredibly all 16 live in the small community of South Glengarry. They served in World War II, both at home and abroad, in all three services, army, navy and air force. They performed a wide variety of roles, including some that broke new ground for women of that era.

All of Canada is indebted to these women for the sacrifices they made, the service they provided and the hardship they endured. They overcame the greatest challenges in our history and forged a brighter future for Canadian women and for Canada as a whole.

I was humbled and deeply grateful to be able to pay tribute to these heroic women in this the Year of the Veteran. Let us never forget the sacrifices that our veterans have made and may we never have to relive them.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, protecting the environment is a real priority for Quebeckers. The same cannot be said of ministers in Ottawa.

How can the Minister of the Environment preach about fighting pollution, when departmental chauffeurs needlessly leave the motor running in front of the Parliament buildings? How can he ask people to do more than what he demands of the biggest industrial polluters and federal ministers?

Leaving cars idling is a waste of fuel, and it creates more pollution, all because the Liberal ministers want to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

The ministers should lead by example. There should be strict rules about idling, including for departmental cars.

Gasoline PricesStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Bev Oda Conservative Clarington—Scugog—Uxbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, this summer I saw how gas tax prices were affecting those in my riding.

Recently the De Young family, a large chicken producer, told me that last year their fuel costs were $90,000 and this year they would almost be $120,000.

In Durham we need to drive to work and we need to drive for work. Seniors on fixed incomes, already challenged with the rising costs, are limiting their activities that require driving. In rural areas of Canada there are no public transit alternatives.

We call on the Liberals to immediately end charging GST on top of fuel taxes at the pump. This measure would effectively recognize the level of one's use and the need for fuel in the daily lives of those in rural communities.

While the government dithers and studies its options, I say that the government has an obvious option for today. We will continue to press for the stopping of fuel tax on gasoline.

CP RailStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, on August 1, 2005, Canadian Pacific Railway issued a memo that indicated that all truck drivers must wear a hard hat when entering CP Rail property or else face suspension.

This zero tolerance policy affects hundreds of Sikh truck drivers who have worked without a hard hat for many years. By requiring Sikh men to wear a hard hat, CP Rail is asking them to remove an essential article of their faith, the turban.

CP Rail is attempting to implement a safety policy where safety concerns are minimal and I believe this policy is in violation of the freedom of religion.

Under Canadian law there has been a well developed history of charter cases which has established that any violation of a person's freedom of religion must be balanced, proportionate and justifiable. In this case, CP Rail's zero tolerance policy on hard hats is not balanced, not proportionate and definitely not justifiable.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I told the Prime Minister that the families of the four slain RCMP officers were in Ottawa to make a passionate plea for criminal justice reform. The Prime Minister told the House in response that he had “met the families and had long discussions”.

The families told us afterwards that no such discussions took place; they were in the gallery. I am wondering why the Prime Minister would mislead the families and mislead the House in this fashion.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Leader of the Opposition knows he cannot suggest that a member misled the House.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

An hon. member

He did not say “deliberately”.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

I am aware that he did not say “deliberately”. I am well aware of that, but in asking a question of this sort I think it is even less discreet. I see the Prime Minister is rising to answer, so we will treat the question as referring to the family and not to the House.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I said that I was in Alberta. I was there for the memorial. I met with each of the families at that time. I met with them individually and discussed this.

This was a terrible, terrible event and, as I said yesterday, it was one that was very, very emotional, certainly for me and for everyone else. I did have discussions with each family in Alberta at that time. That is a matter of public record.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a brief condolence at a reception does not constitute a long and serious discussion. I can tell the Prime Minister that the families certainly do not consider that they have had any such kind of meeting or discussion with the Prime Minister.

Regardless of how we choose to phrase it, I can assure the Prime Minister that these families are deeply upset and feel deeply misled. Will he apologize to them?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I really do not believe that it is appropriate for the hon. member to try to make this kind of political gamesmanship on such an emotional event. I am prepared to meet with the families again. I would be more than happy to sit down with any member of any one of the four families who would like to discuss this with me.

If I had known that they were here and wanted to meet with me yesterday, I would have been delighted to do so. I would be delighted to do so today, but surely to heaven this is not the kind of issue that the hon. member ought to try to play politics with.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativeLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I can assure you that the families have told us they want us to raise this in the House today and I am proud to do it on their behalf.

I am told also that the Prime Minister was asked to meet with the families yesterday and chose not to do that, but I will at least ask the Prime Minister this question. Is he at least prepared to listen to the families and make the changes to the law they want to have made by this government?