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House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Town Crier ChampionStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Conservative Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, as well as being proud of people like Fergie Jenkins, the baseball hall of famer who visited us two weeks ago, the people of Chatham-Kent—Essex are proud of citizens like George Sims, the award-winning town crier of the Municipality of Chatham--Kent.

George Sims, a long-time educator, has been retired from education since 1995. George has been an active volunteer in many community activities in Chatham-Kent—Essex and was selected as citizen of year in 1996. He received the Centennial Medal in 1967 and was also awarded the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.

He was the North American town crier champion in 1998 and placed second many other times. Currently George is the Ontario town crier champion and placed second in the North American town crier championship of 2006.

I extend congratulations to George Sims on expressing his community involvement as an ambassador for the riding of Chatham-Kent—Essex and I welcome George to Ottawa.

HMCS SackvilleStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, on October 25, HMCS Sackville, Canada's naval memorial, will be brought to Dartmouth to coincide with Eastern Front Theatre's production of Corvette Crossing, a play written by Michael Melski and directed by Hans Böggild, to run from October 25 to November 12. The play tells the story of five young officers who serve on a corvette while escorting merchant ships supplying the allied war effort during the Battle of the Atlantic.

HMCS Sackville is the lone surviving corvette and is a tangible reminder of the challenging life young Canadians from coast to coast endured in the cold North Atlantic. While the Sackville is in Dartmouth, she will be hosting a number of events, from a prayer breakfast for world peace to a number of receptions. I look forward to hosting my colleagues from the House of Commons finance committee before she crosses the harbour.

HMCS Sackville continues to be a symbol of the valiant efforts of our Canadian service people and reminds us of our debt to those who served, some of whom never returned.

I want to thank all those who worked so hard to preserve the Sackville and her legacy. We look forward to having her in Dartmouth and to Corvette Crossing.

Anna PolitkovskayaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Bloc Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 7, Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya was killed. On October 10, one last tribute was paid to the well-known journalist for her critical coverage of the war in Chechnya. She gave up her life fighting for freedom of the press and human rights.

One of the few journalists to cover the second war in Chechnya, she agreed to act as a negotiator during the Moscow theatre hostage takings by pro-Chechnyan forces in October 2002.

Her tragic death emphasizes just how fragile freedom of the press and democracy are in Russia. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based NGO, Russia is the third most dangerous country for journalists after Iraq and Algeria.

The Bloc Québécois would like to convey its sincere condolences to Ms. Politkovskaya's family and friends and hopes that Russia will find the way—

Anna PolitkovskayaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for London—Fanshawe.

Mark Andrew WilsonStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, sadly today one of Canada's dedicated soldiers was laid to rest in London, Ontario. On October 7, trooper Mark Andrew Wilson was killed near Kandahar in Afghanistan when a roadside bomb struck his armoured vehicle. He was 39 years old. He left behind a devoted family, a wife and two sons.

A member of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, Trooper Wilson was an outdoor enthusiast who joined the Canadian Forces later than most, at age 35. He was described by his family as a rock, a caregiver and the type of person everyone loved. He was always smiling.

Trooper Wilson was a dedicated, knowledgeable and energetic soldier who was always looking to increase his skills and abilities. He was viewed as trustworthy and was well respected by his fellow soldiers and supervisors alike.

Trooper Wilson was a courageous and honourable man who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. He will be greatly missed.

I wish to extend my deepest sympathies to his family and friends. My thoughts are with them today.

HealthStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Conservative Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today in the House of Commons to recognize that October 16 to October 20 is Self-Care Week.

This week is about the value of self-care to our health care system and the well-being of Canadians who benefit from the promotion of self-care and the need to support the advancement of self-care policies in Canada.

On October 17, 2006, NDMAC, advancing Canadian self-care, will be hosting the first self-care fall forum to bring greater attention to the significant contribution that self-care can make to the sustainability of the health care system and the health of all Canadians.

NDMAC's self-care fall forum comes at a time when Canada's new government is working hard to control the escalating costs of health care while providing excellent health care to all of our citizens.

I call on members of the House to attend these events and support the future of self-care initiatives.

Citizenship and ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, last week I had the opportunity to visit a family in my riding that is living under very difficult circumstances. The Raza family has sought sanctuary in Crescent Fort Rouge United Church to escape persecution if returned to Pakistan by the immigration department.

The family has lived in Canada for four years and its members have been model citizens. Four of the six children have never been to Pakistan. Two are Canadian citizens.

I have been unsuccessful in my request to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration asking that he allow the family to return to living in the community while the application is processed so the children can attend school.

I have now written the minister asking him to grant landed immigrant status to the family and base his decision on the best interests of the children. The Immigration Act allows the minister to act in a humanitarian and compassionate manner.

Along with many thousands of other Winnipeggers, I urge him to do so and grant the Raza family refuge in Canada.

National Science and Technology WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Christian Paradis Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to encourage my colleagues and all Canadians to celebrate National Science and Technology Week from October 13 to 22, 2006. Natural Resources Canada and other departments involved in the sciences and health have planned a variety of activities and events across the country.

National Science and Technology Week is future-oriented. The new Canadian government wants to show young people how exciting the sciences can be and to encourage them to consider the adventure of a career in science and technology.

My colleagues will no doubt agree that science and technology are very important to our standard of living. For example, Canadian health science researchers have made significant progress that has improved our quality of life and strengthened our communities. They have also made discoveries that help Canadian businesses stay competitive and are making Canada a world leader in technology development.

I would invite all members of this House to join me in celebrating National Science and Technology Week.

Robert RedekerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, Robert Redeker, a philosophy professor in Toulouse, has become famous, unintentionally. Mr. Redeker published an article on Islam and the Koran in the well-known French newspaper Le Figaro. To publish an article, state one's opinion, open the door to discussion—such is the beauty of a democratic society.

The professor, who lives in France, has received death threats from fundamentalists, like those that forced the writer, Salman Rushdie, a resident of England, into hiding for several years. Many writers, artists, intellectuals, politicians and ordinary citizens are calling upon Quebec City and Ottawa to strongly condemn this matter, which is without question very similar to that of Mr. Rushdie.

Regardless of what was written in the article, the death threats received by Mr. Redeker go against the very basis of public life in a democratic state.

The Bloc Québécois is calling upon federal authorities to denounce this type of behaviour by fundamentalists and to send a clear message: these threats will not be tolerated in a democratic country.

Citizenship WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, every year during Canada's Citizenship Week we take time to celebrate the values, rights and responsibilities attached to Canadian citizenship.

Today, October 16, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration officially launched Canada's Citizenship Week in Ottawa, a splendid occasion that I had the personal opportunity to attend.

From October 16 to 22, hundreds of newcomers will take the oath of citizenship at ceremonies across Canada. Thousands of Canadians will also reaffirm their commitment to Canada by reciting the same oath.

Around the world, Canadian citizenship is highly valued. Our society is based on the principles of justice, freedom, equality and respect. Newcomers choose Canada for different reasons, but all come to our country because they see a better life for themselves and their families.

On average, Canadian citizenship is granted to close to 200,000 people every year. Canada is proud to welcome them, with all their talents, dreams and aspirations. New Canadians make a significant social, economic and cultural contribution to the country and they play a crucial role in building a better Canada.

Canada's Citizenship Week is an opportunity for all of us to remember the importance of celebrating and preserving Canadian citizenship.

Bone Marrow ResearchStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mark the 10th anniversary of the Canadian Cure Campaign, which saw a then teenaged Christine Ichim rollerblade across Canada to raise funds for leukemia research.

This week she celebrates with a Hope for Leukemia Awareness Day and is teaming up with the Aplastic Anemia and Myelodysplasia Association of Canada during the association's annual awareness week.

It is estimated that there are more than 1,500 new cases of these bone marrow failure diseases each year alone in Canada. This week is an opportunity to increase awareness and give hope to families faced with these diseases.

I believe I speak for all parliamentarians when I extend our support of these efforts to bring attention to serious bone marrow diseases.

Korean-Canadian Scholarship FoundationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Barry Devolin Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday evening I had the opportunity to attend the Vancouver Korean-Canadian Scholarship Foundation awards dinner. During the evening, more than 50 post-secondary students of Korean ancestry were presented with financial awards to help them achieve their academic and career goals.

For me, it was great to spend the evening in the company of such amazing young people. It was also great to see the tremendous contribution that the Korean-Canadian Scholarship Foundation is making to its community and to Canada.

Earlier last week, the Prime Minister also had the opportunity to meet with many of these scholarship recipients while he was in Vancouver. The Prime Minister's visit was warmly received and many students were delighted that he took the time to meet with them and extend his congratulations.

I want to make special mention of Eunice Oh, chair of the scholarship foundation and main organizer of this annual dinner. I was told that without Mrs. Oh this event would not have become the great success that it is today.

I know that Korean Canadians have made great contributions to Canada in the past, but based on what I saw Saturday evening, I would say that the best is yet to come.

PovertyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday millions of people around the world, including thousands across Canada, stood up to make poverty history in support of the UN millennium development goals.

Today, right now, NDP members stand up to make poverty history. We urge all members of the House to rise with us in saying that Canada must meet its international commitment of 0.7% for development aid.

In 1989 Ed Broadbent got all-party support to end child poverty. In 2005 Parliament unanimously supported an NDP motion to meet Canada's commitment. And we forced the Liberals to include an additional $500 million in the budget for aid. So why do we have budget cuts that hurt the most vulnerable in our society? Why does Canada break its promises?

We stand today for hope, that when political will exists, these goals become real. We stand today because the world's poor are tired and dying of waiting. We stand today for concrete action to make poverty history.

Co-op WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, there are more than 400 co-operatives and credit unions operating in Nova Scotia.

The co-operative movement was started in Cape Breton by a fellow islander, Dr. Moses Coady. It came about mostly because of the struggles that farmers and fishermen were facing in rural areas during the depression.

In 2006 the Cape Breton Co-op stores won the CEO award from Co-op Atlantic in recognition of the best overall improvement in sales, expense controls and overall savings for their membership. Housing cooperatives in my riding of Sydney--Victoria provided good quality, affordable rental housing for almost 50 families.

I had the great experience of being a member of four different co-ops. During my time, I saw at first hand how the co-op not only benefits communities but also brings a sense of unity to the community.

I ask all members of Parliament to join me in recognizing this week as Co-op Week and celebrate the co-ops' accomplishments with them.

Forest IndustryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is crucial that the government do everything in its power to save the forest industry from this catastrophe.

In Abitibi-Témiscamingue, only five mills remain out of the 19 that were operating only a short time ago. More than 2,500 people have lost their jobs. My riding has been battered by this crisis.

We waited four years to see this conflict resolved. Now we have an agreement signed and look where it has left forest workers. It has been a long time; very long, too long. In Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 14 out of 19 are now closed or about to close.

For many municipalities, these mills provided the main, if not the only, economic activity. This is shameful. The government must stop finding excuses for its inaction and immediately get to work for the citizens of Quebec's remote regions.

Leading Hands of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, I recently met with JoAnne Durham and Ron McBride, two individuals involved in Leading Hands of Canada, an organization designed to break down barriers between employers and employees with hearing loss.

In Ontario alone there are at least 85,000 persons with hearing loss. The need to provide training and support programs for such individuals as well as their employers is enormous. Often employers will look the other way from a potential employee with hearing loss because of various misapprehensions about the suitability of persons with hearing loss to maintain gainful employment, a lack of tax incentives for employers, and other factors.

With $17.7 million recently axed from literacy programs, there is a pressing need for the government to take a leadership role in providing educational and training opportunities for those who are without the tools to function at home, in the community and in the workplace.

The right to be treated equally has been sacrificed at the altar of those who can only think in terms of money, those who know the cost and price of everything, but the value of nothing.

I call on the government to reinstate funding for literacy programs--

Leading Hands of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Langley.

Lung DiseaseStatements By Members

October 16th, 2006 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, today the Canadian Lung Association is meeting with MPs to raise awareness of the burden of lung disease in Canada.

The Canadian Lung Association supports this government's efforts to reduce the levels of air pollution and I believe it is looking forward to the introduction of the clean air act.

Like this government, the Lung Association recognizes the importance of reducing air pollution for the sake of our health. Smog and poor air quality continue to cause thousands of deaths each year and hundreds of thousands of severe episodes of asthma and bronchitis, particularly among children and the elderly. It is estimated that six million Canadians suffer from serious lung diseases and unfortunately, these disease rates continue to rise.

This government's approach was developed with the long term health benefits of Canadians in mind. Our approach is achievable and beneficial to our environment. Canada's new government is committed to improving the health of Canadians by cleaning up the air we breathe.

My thanks to the Canadian Lung Association.

LiteracyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, during the parliamentary break week, Liberals were out listening to Canadians. As I met with Canadians in small communities in northern Manitoba, Nunavut and rural Quebec, they told me they did not understand why the Conservative government had it in for our fellow citizens who were most in need.

Over and over again we heard about the Conservative government's cuts to literacy funding, a cruel blow to those adult Canadians who cannot read or write but want to better their lives.

Why is the government picking on those Canadians? Why is the Prime Minister giving the back of his hand to the most vulnerable in our country?

LiteracyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if all these Liberal MPs were out working so hard, we would think they would have come back to the House to tell us exactly what they heard.

The House will know that the government will spend over $80 million on literacy in the next two years. We want to ensure those dollars are spent as effectively as possible.

LiteracyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I wish the Prime Minister would go to Nunavut. There the literacy programs have been decimated; Literacy Partners of Manitoba was cut to pieces; and forget about the Quebeckers who are telling us that they cannot read instruction manuals for their kids' report cards.

Canadians understand that in the 21st century literacy means economic survival. Why is the government destroying hope for those Canadian adults who have serious literacy challenges? How can the government be both so meanspirited and so economically irresponsible?

LiteracyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think the most effective way of dealing with that kind of exaggeration is, once again, simply with the facts. The government will be spending over $80 million a year in the next two years. The government has announced new funding for immigration settlement which will also contribute to literacy programs.

The fact of the matter is that under the previous government, for 13 years, adult illiteracy went up. We are going to ensure we spend effectively so that it goes down.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, are workers affected by mill closings in Quebec exaggerating when they say jobs are being cut?

The Prime Minister gave in to the Americans. This has led to job losses in Quebec. Now, his Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec is making things worse by blaming the job losses on the environmental programs of the Quebec government. This is irresponsible ignorance.

When will the Prime Minister and his Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec do their job and help workers living in regions experiencing difficulties?

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government realizes that the forestry industry is facing major challenges. That is why the budget adopted by this Parliament includes funds for the forestry industry and for older workers.

A softwood lumber agreement is needed to bring stability to the industry. That is why our agreement is supported by the Quebec government, unions and corporations. The Liberal Party should support this agreement.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, more than 1,600 forestry jobs have been lost in Quebec and Ontario in the past week.

The so-called agreement with the Americans on softwood lumber has accomplished nothing. The promised stability is nothing but smoke and mirrors.

Does the Prime Minister concur with the erroneous and simplistic explanation given by his Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, who blames the Coulombe report, the Government of Quebec and environmentalists for the crisis in the forest industry?