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House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Vancouver Island North.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Taste of AutumnStatements By Members

October 18th, 2006 / 2 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, October 27, the Rotary Clubs of Orangeville are holding their 12th annual fundraiser, A Taste of Autumn. This event takes place at the Hockley Valley Resort and features a terrific six course dinner prepared by chefs from some of the finest restaurants in Dufferin—Caledon.

These restaurants include the Hockley Valley Resort, White Truffle Inn, Mono Cliffs Inn, Greystones Inn, Millcroft Inn and the Train Station. A silent auction will be held throughout the evening and a live auction will take place around 9 p.m.

These auctions have helped raise over $1.25 million in support of local community projects and international charitable programs. Many organizations in Orangeville, Shelburne and Caledon have benefited from A Taste of Autumn.

For a sensational evening in Dufferin—Caledon, this October 27 the place to be is A Taste of Autumn.

Jannick Lecavalier-RodrigueStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is with pride that I draw attention today to the merit of a young 15-year-old student from my riding, Jannick Lecavalier-Rodrigue. Jannick is a brilliant and exemplary student who is working hard to succeed in school and to develop all his skills.

He was selected as the only Canadian participant at the 2006 Pacific Rim International Camp that took place in Japan August last. Each of the 11 countries at the camp is represented by a single teenager and Jannick was selected as the representative from Canada.

The purpose of the Pacific Rim International Camp is to promote cultural appreciation and international friendship through mutual understanding, allowing the young participants to experience both traditional and modern Japan.

My congratulations go to Jannick Lecavalier-Rodrigue, whom I commend for preparing himself to become a young Canadian citizen open to the world and able to spread, at home and abroad, the human and social values unique to the citizens of this country.

MirabelStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, Statistics Canada recently published its report on population growth in the various regions of Canada between 2004 and 2005. This report shows that Mirabel saw the strongest population growth in Canada over that timeframe. The city-RCM of Mirabel had a net migration rate of 37.1 per 1,000 population. By comparison, Calgary's net migration rate is 21.1 per 1,000 population, and Alberta is experiencing an economic boom.

According to a 2003 study by the Institut de la statistique du Québec, there is every indication that Mirabel's population will have grown by 43% by 2026; that is the highest rate of growth in Quebec.

I would like to congratulate the City of Mirabel for the outstanding job it is doing promoting its jurisdiction. Mirabel is a model as a region that took charge and turned things around following the tragedy of expropriation for the purpose of constructing an airport and the shock of its closure. Mirabel has become a symbol of success for Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel and Quebec as a whole, and I am very proud of that.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Catherine Bell NDP Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, today is the anniversary of the day that women became persons in this country.

Today, women across Canada are holding vigils and celebrations, including tea with the Famous Five, to mark this historic occasion and I celebrate with them.

However, only nine months after committing to take concrete and immediate action to increase women's equality in this country, the Conservative government slashed the budget of the Status of Women, removed any reference to the word “equality” from its mandate and disallowed advocacy on the part of groups who receive federal funds through the department.

This giant leap backward effectively silences the voices of the most vulnerable women in our society.

Today, the Governor General is honouring women for their great work in the struggle for women's equality but, ironically, one of these groups receiving the award has had its funding gutted by the government.

One can only conclude that the attitude of the government is “You've come far enough baby”.

Firearms StorageStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, year after year, the Liberals keep proposing one costly, ineffective gun control measure after the next leaving real public safety for the Conservatives to deal with.

Last week, one of the Liberal MPs from Toronto proposed that hundreds of thousands of legally owned and safely stored firearms should all be moved to a central storage facility. It was a silly idea in 1991 when the leader of the NDP first proposed it and it is still a foolish idea today.

The Liberals must be campaigning for the criminal vote because criminals are the only people who would benefit from having all the lawful guns stored in one place.

We should ask ourselves one question. Would criminals rather break into houses at random hoping there was a gun in there that they could steal from a gun safe, or would criminals rather just sit around the city's firearms storage building and wait for law-abiding gun owners to get into their cars with their firearms?

I guess the Liberals really are in favour of one stop shopping. Talk about making shopping for guns more convenient for criminals.

Government ProgramsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, in less than 10 days, over 3,400 people have added their voiceS to the Canadian wave of protest in light of unacceptable Conservative cuts. These cuts will have a direct impact on all Canadians: minority groups, women, aboriginals. Everyone is affected.

Among those condemning these harsh cuts, over 20 New Brunswick groups have united to demand that the court challenges program, literacy measures and status of women measures, as well as other programs, be reinstated.

Today I join with over 3,400 citizens in New Brunswick who have asked the Conservative minority government to come to its senses and reconsider the cuts to these essential services.

We say no to these cuts.

Persons DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, earlier today I had the honour of attending the 2006 Governor General Awards with the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women.

We were all inspired by the courageous Famous Five who challenged the existing status of women by creating legal history in women's rights by contesting the notion that legal definitions of persons excluded females.

We continue to honour the Famous Five today through the Governor General's Awards in commemoration of the Persons Case.

This year's award recipients are strong, dynamic and diverse women. They include: Joyce Hancock, Maureen Kempston Darkes, Doreen McKenzie-Sanders, Jan Reimer, Charlotte Thibault and Semma Shah.

I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations again to each of the winners and thank them for being Canadian leaders.

Breast Cancer Awareness MonthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. In 2006, 22,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. That is an increase of nearly 400 cases compared to 2005. Of those 22,000 women, 5,300 will die of the disease.

As a former victim of breast cancer, I know how devastating it can be, how it makes its victims feel powerless and discouraged, and how painful it is for the victims, their families and their friends.

Correcting the fiscal imbalance is critical to ensuring the provinces have more money to prevent, diagnose and treat breast cancer.

The federal government must also invest more money in research and refuse to issue licences for silicone gel breast implants, which can contribute to causing cancer.

I invite my colleagues to support this cause and the thousands of women who have breast cancer.

International TradeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Helena Guergis Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Liberal members of the international trade committee demanded the release of the government's negotiating positions for the Central America Four free trade negotiations. The Liberals have irresponsibly flip-flopped on their long held position.

When in power, the Liberal government never revealed its negotiating stance. Now the Liberals want Canada to completely compromise its negotiating position by revealing it partway through trade talks.

Based on the actions of the Liberal members, it is obvious that they are not interested in Canada's government getting the best for all Canadians.

I hope the Liberal leadership candidates do not share their colleagues' total disregard for Canada's economic future.

In order to prosper in the global economy of the 21st century, we need to build and strengthen our trade relationships. This requires aggressive pursuit of new trade agreements. We can ill afford to toss away our ability to negotiate effectively.

Unlike the members opposite, the Conservative government puts the prosperity of Canadians first.

Government ProgramsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, we continue to learn of more programs that have lost their funding due to the meanspirited cuts by the heartless Conservative government.

Sadly, the Prime Minister has cut funding that was used by labour unions to operate apprenticeship programs that helped youth at risk learn construction trades. These programs were model examples of a hand up, not a handout.

Developing skills for youth and aboriginals at risk both helps fill Canada's desperate need for skilled workers and provides these young people with abilities that they can use throughout their working careers. Canada needs more skilled workers, not less, to build our great country.

The Conservatives inherited from the Liberals the strongest economy and the best fiscal situation that any newly elected government in the history of Canada has ever received.

It is unconscionable that the ruthless minority Conservative government, despite being in such a strong fiscal position, continues to cut programs that were providing concrete help to Canadians.

Co-operativesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to recognize the importance of co-operatives in Canada's social and economic fabric. October 15 to 21 is Co-op Week.

Co-operatives are businesses owned and created by their members, individuals who want to join forces to meet their common needs. Canada has over 9,000 co-operatives run by some 70,000 volunteers and 150,000 employees.

The new Government of Canada has decided to make a one time investment of $1 million within the framework of the Co-operative Development Initiative to help individuals, groups and communities form co-operatives in order to seize opportunities that come up in the biofuel sector and other value added industry sectors.

The biofuel industry has the potential to stimulate rural economies by creating jobs and by stimulating economic development. It goes without saying that the co-operative model is the tool of choice to achieve this potential.

The new Government of Canada is pleased with its partnership with the co-operative sector and hopes it will continue to benefit all Canadians.

Toronto Port AuthorityStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities has received the Roger Tassé review of the Toronto Port Authority's shady dealings, yet he has chosen not to release the report or take any action.

The port authority once again demonstrated its incompetence. Its new ferry to the island airport crashed on its very first run, but the minister has not even suspended operations and has given the green light for flights at the island airport next Monday. The lobbyists must have got to the Conservatives.

The ferry crash was a total farce, but could have easily been a tragedy. We can afford neither farce nor tragedy with airplanes in the heart of Toronto. Public safety is at stake. We need an international air safety audit, and to return the port authority back to the hands of Torontonians now so we can have a clean green waterfront.

Canada's Citizenship WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity during Canada's Citizenship Week to welcome and congratulate all new Canadians.

Canada's Citizenship Week is a national annual celebration to recognize the value of citizenship and the privileges, rights and responsibilities that go with it.

My thoughts go out to the new citizens in the riding of Laval—Les Îles.

Every year, roughly 150,000 people acquire Canadian citizenship.

Every year new Canadians affirm their commitment and dedication to Canada's laws, our democratic process, rights and freedoms. Economically, socially and culturally, new Canadians are playing an important role in building a better Canada.

As the official opposition critic for citizenship and immigration, I am calling on the current government never to make a distinction between natural-born citizens and naturalized citizens.

Wilbert CoffinStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Bloc Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, 50 years have passed since Mr. Wilbert Coffin was hanged, convicted of the murders of three American hunters in Gaspésie. Mr. Coffin's family has maintained his innocence since that time, pointing out that the Crown never produced any direct evidence during the trial and that political interference was a factor.

After many years of waiting, the federal justice minister has finally examined the Coffin family's legitimate request to re-open the file.

Mary Coffin-Stewart—Wilbert Coffin's sister—, Jim Coffin—Wilbert Coffin's son—and many other family members are here in Ottawa today. I would like to assure them that they are not alone in their quest for justice. They are very honourable and courageous for taking on this important challenge.

The Bloc Québécois is proud and honoured to support the Coffin family in its request for a judicial review concerning Wilbert Coffin.

Persons DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Liberal Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we celebrate Persons Day, an important day for women in Canada. It was on this day that the British privy council in 1929 decided that women were persons under the law, thus opening the way for them to be appointed to the Senate.

Unfortunately, Persons Day this year comes on the heels of devastating cuts to Status of Women Canada and the exclusion of “equality” as one of the goals of the women's program. Advocacy and lobbying activities are also prohibited under the new laws.

It seems that the spirit of Persons Day is lost on the government, which has made it clear that women's equality is not a priority. The government is not only living in the past, but is actively allowing the clock to be turned back on women's rights.

Persons DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Lynne Yelich Conservative Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby and Nellie McClung: today we honour the Famous Five and their landmark achievement in the Persons Case Day.

I rise to join the Government of Canada in recognizing the remarkable contribution these Canadian women have made. In 1929 they won the right for women to be recognized as persons. Overcoming countless obstacles, their extraordinary achievement benefited all Canadians who came after them. Women throughout our history have made, and continue to make, exceptional contributions to Canada.

Nellie McClung once said, “Women who set a low value on themselves make life hard for all women”.

Like the Famous Five, I believe that valuing oneself goes hand in hand with valuing others.

Another of the Famous Five, Louise McKinney, said it best when she said:

The purpose of a woman's life is just the same as the purpose of man's life—that she may make the best possible contribution to the generation in which she is living.

On behalf of the new Government of Canada, I invite all Canadians to celebrate this landmark achievement.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. It is about farmers and their families. It is about democracy. It is about the rule of law.

In 1998 Parliament voted to give control of the Wheat Board to farmers. They have a right to vote on changes to their board. The Prime Minister is ignoring the law and their rights by trying to destroy the Wheat Board without a proper, open and democratic vote among all producers.

Will the Prime Minister reverse his anti-democratic actions and permit a fair vote among producers on the future of our Canadian Wheat Board?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the premise of the hon. member's question is that we are or are going to do something and it is going to violate the law. Nothing could be further from the truth. What we in this party are going to do is defend the rights of western Canadian farmers, something which that party has never stood for in its entire history.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, as one Conservative member of the House learned today, the Prime Minister just cannot cope with anyone who disagrees with him, constructively or not, and that includes Canadian farmers.

Will the Prime Minister stop the gag orders on anyone in the Wheat Board who disagrees with him? Will he stop trying to cook the voters list? Will he allow farmers who do not share his ideology to vote? Will the Prime Minister uphold the rule of law, uphold democracy, and put this issue to a fair vote among all producers and not just those who agree with him?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, years ago the Liberal Party took away from western Canadian farmers the right to market their own wheat. Then a leader of the Liberal Party came along, having monopolized that privilege, and said “Why should we sell your wheat for you?” We in this party are going to make sure that our farmers are never subject to that kind of arbitrary behaviour by a future Liberal government.

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

That is all well and good, Mr. Speaker, but this government has shown that it does not care about farmers and their preferences.

In the west, our farmers chose the Canadian Wheat Board. In Quebec and across the country, they chose the supply management system. The Prime Minister, however, chose to impose his ideology at the expense of our farmers' well-being.

Why does the Prime Minister insist on attacking the choices of our farming communities?

Canadian Wheat BoardOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government defends the decision of farmers who chose supply management. We defended this decision here and internationally.

Western Canadian wheat farmers do not have supply management. They are looking for options. This government will always respect their choices and make sure the choices are available to our farmers.

Gun ControlOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative minority government is once again ignoring the consensus in Quebec. A few weeks ago, a young student at Dawson College asked the Prime Minister to strengthen gun control. Yesterday, the parents of young Anastasia sent the same message.

After the tragedy, the Prime Minister stated in this House that he wants to look at the situation and make it harder to have access to firearms. Now, four weeks later, can he tell us how he intends to control firearms in Canada?

Gun ControlOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, we want a system that is more effective than the one that was in place under the former Liberal government. This is why we have asked for all the facts. We are now engaged in a consultation process with the Quebec provincial minister and with the ministers from the other provinces to improve the process, so as to have a system that is effective and that will prevent tragedies such as the one that occurred at Dawson College.