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House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

Budget Implementation Act, 2006, No. 2Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Budget Implementation Act, 2006, No. 2Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Budget Implementation Act, 2006, No. 2Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Budget Implementation Act, 2006, No. 2Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

An hon. member

On division.

Budget Implementation Act, 2006, No. 2Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

(Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed)

Susan MalcolmStatements By Members

December 11th, 2006 / 1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Susan Malcolm from Brantford, a terrific woman who was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident recently.

To know Susan was to like her. Indeed, if a person did not like Susan Malcolm, then that person was incapable of liking a fellow human being.

Susan tremendously enjoyed the life which she shared with her husband, Scott. Together, they raised three children of whom they were justifiably very proud, Hunter, Emily and Robert.

Susan was a highly respected teacher and positively touched the lives of thousands of students who came into contact with her during her lengthy teaching career. She was always positive, never cynical, always looked for and spoke of the good in other persons and was not judgmental.

About her, it can sincerely and truthfully be said: “Let us be grateful for people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom”.

Susan Malcolm brought happiness to the lives of many, particularly her family, and made many souls blossom. She fought the good fight and is gone to her just reward.

Salvation Army KettleStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Betty Hinton Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, next Saturday, I will do my annual shift for the Salvation Army Kettle. I invite all Canadians to honour the true meaning of Christmas through the charity of their choice.

There are many children right here in Canada who need our help over this time of year. These children will not share in the joy of waking up on Christmas morning to a gift under the tree without our help. Whether we add one more gift to our shopping list or donate an extra $5 to the Salvation Army Kettle, it will mean so much to a child. Please give generously to our less fortunate children.

Let me also take this opportunity to wish you, Mr. Speaker, the constituents of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo and all members in the House a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

International Human Rights DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Yesterday was International Human Rights Day. In 1950, the General Assembly of the United Nations invited all states and international organizations to observe International Human Rights Day on December 10 of each year.

I would like to take this opportunity to quote from article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages”.

I call on the Conservative government to reverse its decision to slash the budget for literacy organizations in light of the fact that many people in Quebec have a great deal of difficulty reading and writing.

The Bloc Québécois believes that this decision indicates a lack of respect for the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Cochlear Implant ProgramStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Sick Children's Hospital, in particular its cochlear implant program, which is second to none in the world and which has been doing miracles for children across the country.

My oldest daughter has a severe hearing loss. She has fought her whole life just to be able to participate in the most casual of conversations. When she was 17, she came home from school and said, “Dad, I don't want to be deaf any more”. She went online and learned about the cochlear implant program. She contacted the hospital herself. Within three hours of her email being sent, we received a phone call.

From that moment on, Dr. Papsin, Patricia Fuller and Mary-Lynn Feness kicked into action. She was quickly assessed, she received her operation and she went through phenomenal post-op care. That operation has turned her life around.

All too often we hear from the enemies of public health care, but Sick Kids is a symbol for which we need to fight. The cochlear implant program is based on the principle that any child, no matter what the ability of their parents to pay, has the right to the best health care in this world.

I want to thank them very much.

Government of OntarioStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Conservative Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, a recent report from the Rotman School of Management has concluded that the Ontario economy is slowing down because the McGuinty government is failing to implement sound economic strategies. In contrast, the report recognizes that the Prime Minister and the finance minister are committed to improving the productivity and prosperity of Canadians.

Sadly, and contrary to the report recommendations, it would appear that Premier Dalton McGuinty has decided to follow the blueprint designed by former premier Bob Rae.

Premier McGuinty inherited the hottest economy in the G-8 and has rendered it the fourth best economy in Canada. While the era of accountability has officially begun in Ottawa, lavish, wasteful, ad hoc spending is quickly becoming the trademark of the tax and spend McGuinty government.

If Premier McGuinty wants to bring back the Rae days, it would appear he is on track. If he wants to restore the economy, I would suggest he listen to the Rotman School of Management and read “Advantage Canada”.

Cité-des-Jeunes A.M. Sormany SchoolStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, on November 14, I met with a group of students from Cité-des-Jeunes A.M. Sormany high school in Edmundston to talk about my role as member of Parliament and also about the government's role.

I always find these meetings enjoyable as they are an opportunity to talk to students about issues of interest to them and also to share with them my experience as a parliamentarian.

The questions asked by these students were extremely relevant and I am convinced that such meetings should take place more often in order to increase the interest of our Canadian students in politics.

I was also pleased to see the level of opposition to the recent cuts announced by the Conservative government. The students want to take action and be heard in order to prevent the elimination of programs important to them.

These students are the leaders of the future and that is why I take every possible opportunity to meet such groups in our schools.

Before this House, I would like to thank all the students as well as the teacher, Sylvie Cyr, for inviting me to their class. I hope the experience was as rewarding for them as it was for me.

Davison SchoolStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, each Christmas Eve, the children of Holten, a community in the Netherlands, place candles on the graves of Canadian soldiers who died in that country. After hearing of the Dutch children's display of kindness toward Canada, Mr. Randy Albers, a teacher at Davison School in Melville, Saskatchewan, coordinated a project to say “thank you” to the children of Holland.

Following much planning and fundraising, the Davison School students have created medallions made of specially minted 2005 nickels commemorating the victory of 1945 and the liberation of Europe. Through our Canadian foreign affairs department, I ensured that the necklaces would be in the hands of the Canadian embassy in the Hague in time to be presented to the children of Holten before this year's Christmas Eve ceremony.

On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to commend and congratulate Randy Albers, the Davison School students, staff and volunteers for reaching across borders and oceans to say “thank you”.

Food PricesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Yvon Lévesque Bloc Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, a recently released study comparing the cost of food in northern and southern Quebec found that there is a dramatic difference: a $1 food item in the south costs $1.57 in the north.

Costs are too high for the Inuit. Foods that are part of a healthy diet, such as milk, flour and potatoes, cost twice as much as they do in the south.

The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs is currently financing a pilot project in conjunction with the food mail program. This pilot project reduces the cost of mailing healthful perishable foods from 80¢ to 30¢ per kilo. However, only three northern communities currently benefit from this pilot project.

This program has proven its worth because, in addition to reducing the cost of food, it improves the quality and variety of food available.

The Conservative government must make the necessary resources available to make this pilot project permanent and offer it to all 145 northern communities. The Inuit have the right to a healthy diet, which is essential for good health.

Lung Association Christmas Seal CampaignStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that December is the Lung Association's Christmas seal campaign month.

In Canada, over three million people suffer from serious lung conditions. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which chronically restricts the supply of air to the lungs, is the fourth leading cause of death in Canada.

Our clean air act will help prevent lung diseases.

Our government is concerned about how lung diseases affect Canadians and has been collaborating with the Lung Association on various programs for a long time. We intend to keep working with them to reach our common goal: improving pulmonary health.

I therefore urge all of my colleagues to support the 2006 Christmas seals campaign during the month of December.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and merry Christmas.

Energy EfficiencyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize two outstanding organizations in Beaches—East York. Alex Winch of Mondial Energy has teamed up with Neighbourhood Link and Senior Link to build the city of Toronto's largest array of solar panels at a seniors housing complex on Coatsworth Crescent.

The solar panels, which powered up on November 25, will provide much of the hot water for the building, providing major savings and reducing greenhouse gases.

Winch's Mondial Energy Inc. will earn steady profits for investors, while at the same time reducing an estimated 40 tonnes of hydrocarbon emissions from the atmosphere each year.

The Coatsworth project is the biggest in Toronto so far and two more Neighbourhood Link projects are also in the early stages in the Beaches.

I congratulate Alex Winch, Mondial Energy, Neighbourhood Link and Senior Link and for their leadership in assisting with the cost of housing in Toronto and their effort to help reduce greenhouse gases. Their work is truly commendable.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Conservative Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to note today the recent initialling of two landmark final agreements with first nations in British Columbia.

Like the Nisga'a treaty before them, these agreements set the foundation for economic growth and prosperity for first nations and for neighbouring communities as well. These agreements are real, tangible proof that the process is working and that with patience, determination and compromise, we can reach agreements that benefit not only first nations but all Canadians.

I would like to congratulate the federal, provincial and first nations negotiators on these remarkable achievements. Once these agreements are ratified, they will balance the first nations' rights with the interests of third parties and all Canadians. The treaties will provide clarity about the aboriginal rights of the first nations and provide certainty over ownership and use of land and resources in the province of British Columbia.

I am looking forward to the conclusion of more agreements with first nations in British Columbia and, indeed, all across this nation. It is through initiatives such as these, working with our provincial and first nations partners, we can ensure a brighter future for first nations and a more prosperous future for Canadians.

RCMPStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, while last week's resignation of Commissioner Zaccardelli helped to remove some of the tarnish on the RCMP's image, it did little to put the matter of the Arar affair to rest and little to address the concerns of the other three Canadians falsely deported and tortured.

On the eve of the release of Justice O'Connor's second report, will the new government act to address this issue?

I earlier asked the commissioner to conduct investigations into the leaks but that they be done by independent persons. He refused to do that. We call once again on the government to initiate those independent investigations to get to the bottom of the leaks that so damaged Mr. Arar.

The government must act to create a parliamentary committee to oversee our security intelligence activities. We continue to hear of anecdotal evidence of people being detained improperly based on false accusations, some of which are coming from our intelligence agencies. We must ensure that what happened to Messrs. Arar, Almalki, El Maati and Nureddin does not happen to other Canadians.

The new government should do what the previous Liberal government failed to do, issue an apology to Mr. Arar and--

RCMPStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River.

Canadian Charter of Rights and FreedomsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Merasty Liberal Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canada is the home of the just society, a noble vision that affirms the rights of Canadians, including the rights of minorities and the most vulnerable.

We have seen the terrible cost of ignoring basic human rights, such as the internment of Ukrainian Canadians in World War I, and the injustices of the residential school system.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is an enduring solemn oath to Canada. These historical abuses and shames must never happen again. The courts safeguarded these charter rights and freedoms, which are sacred to all Canadians.

The charter and the courts have protected many, including in Eldridge where deaf Canadians were found to have a right to sign language interpretation to avoid medical misdiagnosis; in Wu, which determined that imprisonment should not result simply because someone is too poor to pay a fine; in Williams, which found that an accused has a right to be judged free of racial bias; and in Mills, which asserted that victims of sexual assault have a right to maintain their privacy.

All court affirmed charter rights promote the vision of the just society and it is our duty as members of Parliament to respect diversity and maintain the rule of law.

Augusto PinochetStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Carrier Bloc Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean dictator, died yesterday. He overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973, in a coup d'état. His 17 years in power were marked by a merciless battle against the democratic aspirations of Chile, resulting in over 3,000 political assassinations and 1,000 disappearances.

During those difficult years, Quebec welcomed many Chilean exiles. We supported our South American companions who fought for greater social justice, democracy and respect for human rights.

Pinochet died without justice being served. We regret that he was not judged for his past actions.

The Bloc Québécois is not shedding any tears over Pinochet's death and, on this day, we would like to say that we grieve for all the victims of that regime.

Grammy AwardsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week, the 49th annual Grammy Award nominees were announced in Hollywood, California. Nominated for best country song and song of the year was Jesus, Take the Wheel, co-written by Gordie Sampson of Big Pond, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

The song was inspired by the tragic death of an acquaintance of Gordie's who died in a car accident back in Nova Scotia. Sung by Carrie Underwood, it spent six weeks on top of the Billboard music charts and has won a long list of awards, including song of the year from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, and song of the year from the Academy of Country Music Awards.

An accomplished singer, songwriter and producer with a shelf full of awards from the CCMA and the ECMA, Gordie has written for many of the most accomplished country and folk singers from both sides of the border, including Faith Hill, Keith Urban, LeAnn Rimes and Great Big Sea.

On February 11 in Hollywood, the Grammy winners will be announced, but no matter what the outcome, Gordie has demonstrated immense talent and has made all Cape Bretoners, Nova Scotians and, indeed, Canadians proud of his achievements. I wish Gordie good luck.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, December 10, we celebrated International Human Rights Day. I will remind the House that December 10 also marks the 25th anniversary of Canada's ratification of the UN Convention on Discrimination Against Women.

Since our government took office, the fight on discrimination against women has been ramped up. Our Minister of Indian Affairs is fighting for aboriginal women by dealing with matrimonial property rights. Our Minister of Health has introduced wait times for prenatal aboriginal women. Our Minister of Justice is protecting our young women from sexual predators.

Our Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is protecting victims of human trafficking. Overseas, our Minister of International Cooperation is dedicating $45 million to UNICEF to provide medical treatment to mothers and their children in Bangladesh.

Finally, our Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women is putting $5 million more into women's programming in 2007.

That is how our government fights discrimination against women.

RCMP CommissionerOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Prime Minister said he did not know in advance that the commissioner was going to change his story. However, we know that the government had a letter from the commissioner dated November 2.

We know that the commissioner has said he spoke about this in advance with the Minister of Public Safety.

And now, the government has prohibited two senior officials close to the Prime Minister from testifying before the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.

When did the Prime Minister learn that the Commissioner of the RCMP would be changing his story?

What is the Prime Minister trying to hide?

RCMP CommissionerOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has already answered these questions and has not prohibited anyone from testifying before the parliamentary committee.

RCMP CommissionerOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I would like the Prime Minister to answer the question: when did he learn of the change in the version of the facts? He is avoiding the question all the time.

These two senior officials are very close to him. They briefed the commissioner before his testimony in September. Now these two officials are refusing to appear before the standing committee. We need to know what the Prime Minister is trying to hide.