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House of Commons Hansard #7 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

2006 Commonwealth GamesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay a special tribute to a young athlete who lives in my riding of Don Valley East.

Ms. Brittnee Habbib is a senior high performance gymnast who, at the age of 17, has already compiled a long list of impressive accomplishments. Brittnee trains six hours a day, six days a week. In addition to gymnastics, she is equally determined to keep up her independent studies at the Mary Ward Catholic School, one of the two schools in Canada offering this program.

Recently, Brittnee was in Melbourne, Australia, and competed in the 18th Commonwealth Games. Along with her fellow teammates, Brittnee brought home a bronze medal for Canada in the artistic women's gymnast category.

I ask all members of this House to join me in saluting Brittnee Habbib, a true Canadian champion.

Marc ThibaultStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Louise Thibault Bloc Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is with heartfelt emotion that I pay tribute today to Marc Thibault, who passed away on March 13.

For nearly four decades, Marc Thibault was a strong and vocal defender of the journalistic independence of Radio-Canada's news service.

He ran the educational and public affairs broadcast service from 1957 to 1964, and the news service from 1968 to 1981. He served as policy director for French network programming until his retirement in 1985 and he chaired the Conseil de presse du Québec from 1987 to 1991.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues join me in extending our best wishes to Monique, Sophie and Luc following the loss of a man who was exceptional in many ways.

Ekati Diamond MineStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, congratulations on your election.

I rise on an issue of immediate importance to my constituents: the strike by the members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada workers at BHP Billiton's Ekati diamond mine. These 400 workers are fighting for the basic Canadian labour standards of seniority, pay equity and fair wages in their first contract with this huge multinational corporation.

BHP Billiton has responded with delaying tactics and by continuing to make contract proposals that have been rejected time and again by the workers.

I have been informed that BHP Billiton, a multinational with profits in the billions last year, has said it will continue to operate using private contractors who are not part of the union. This decision could lead to a long and difficult dispute.

The people of the Northwest Territories want to see this dispute resolved quickly but fairly. By and large, northerners get very little from the exploitation of their resources, other than some jobs and business opportunities. Northern workers put up with harsh conditions and long absences from their families in order to work at these mines. It is only right that they be treated fairly by their employers.

Because the non-renewable resources of the Northwest Territories are controlled by the government, these workers are regulated under the federal labour code. I ask both the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and the Minister of Human Resources to take an active interest--

Ekati Diamond MineStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Niagara West--Glanbrook.

Vintners AwardsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, as this is the first time that I rise in this the 39th Parliament, I would first like to thank the people of Niagara West--Glanbrook for once again putting their trust in me to be their representative.

I also rise today to congratulate the many vintners who were recently recognized at the Cuvee Wine Awards, where winemakers select the best of the best.

I cannot overstate the importance of the Canadian wine industry to the Canadian economy. Canada has over 240 wineries with a combined retail sales of nearly $1.2 billion.

The industry accounts for up to 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, an estimated $400 million in tourism revenues, over $120 million in federal tax revenues, and another $600 million in provincial revenue.

In addition to the winemakers themselves, more than 600 independent grape growers nationwide also supply the industry.

The efforts of grape growers and vintners have yielded exceptional Canadian wines. These national gems should be shared with the world. To that end, we need to increase their presence on the international market. I encourage Canadians to support their local wineries and their fellow Canadians. I encourage the government to promote the Canadian wine industry, both domestically and abroad.

2006 Winter OlympicsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Liberal Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate the athletes and staff from New Brunswick who represented our province at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy.

We are particularly proud of Russ Howard and the Canadian men's curling team, who captured the gold medal in men's curling. Mr. Howard is the first New Brunswick athlete, and at age 50 the oldest Canadian, to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics.

I also wish to recognize our other athletes who competed: Serge Despres of Cocagne in bobsleigh, Milaine Thériault of Saint-Quentin in cross-country skiing, and Shawn Sawyer of Edmundston in figure skating.

Our coaches, officials and mission staff also contributed to the great showing by our athletes, including: Jay Keddy, Betty Dermer-Norris, Mark Fawcett, Derek Doucette, Stéphane Hachey and Sally Rehorick.

Each member of the Canadian Olympic contingent did a spectacular job. As a country, we should all be very proud of their achievements.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today as the member of Parliament for Langley to express huge thanks to our new Conservative government. Langley and Kwantlen First Nation have just received a federal commitment for up to $2.25 million toward the Bedford Channel and McMillan Island project.

Kwantlen First Nation lives on McMillan Island in the middle of the Fraser River. Its members fish in Bedford Channel. For the last 30 years, Kwantlen has been pleading for help to protect its island. Every year acres have been disappearing into the Fraser River. Tragically, their pleas have fallen on deaf ears, until now.

It was one of my greatest political experiences to see the new Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development work on this project. I am proud of him and our new Conservative government for providing funds based on need, not on a Liberal culture of entitlement.

I would also like to thank the province of B.C., the Township of Langley, WesGroup/ParkLane, and the GVRD. Success happened because Langley stakeholders worked together and this government listened and helped.

The GaspéStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the Gaspé was recently struck by more bad luck. On March 21, 2006, Fruits de mer Gascons decided to remain closed for this crab fishing season, which means job losses for 280 people. Approximately 130 of them could be relocated to two other plants in the area. The others, however, will be forced to find work elsewhere.

Since jobs are few and far between in the Gaspé, the federal government must intervene. Through the Canadian support program for the economy of Gaspé and the Magdalen Islands, the municipality of Port-Daniel-Gascons could hire a commissioner to promote diversification. That individual could then implement a development strategy for the region and perhaps even help former Fruits de mer Gascons employees develop their entrepreneurial skills.

The minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for Quebec Regions must act quickly, because former Fruits de mer Gascons employees will soon be left with no income.

VaisakhiStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Conservative government, I wish to congratulate Sikhs in Canada and around the world on the celebration of Vaisakhi.

In 1699 the 10th Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Sing Ji, created Khalsa. By baptizing or partaking in amrit, he awakened the dormant slumbering spirit of a person who rediscovered his or her divinity, sovereignty and humanity. The Guru Ji gave Sikhs the name Singh or Kaur, a visible identity, and the five Kakars that are globally recognized as religious symbols. He also gave Sikhs a code of conduct and discipline. The creation of Khalsa meant the elimination of all creed or caste based on disparities and discriminations. His teachings are for all humankind.

In the last century, Sikh Canadians have made significant contributions to the social, cultural and economic prosperity of our great nation. I express the very best wishes to all on the celebration of Vaisakhi.

Child CareStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

One thousand, two hundred and three, Mr. Speaker, that is, 1,203 spaces will be eliminated in my region if the Liberal agreements on child care are eliminated.

This underscores the truth of the Conservative plan on child care. It robs choice from Canadians. It steals it from Canadian families. It means less spaces. It means poorer quality child care. It means less accessibility.

This cynical, lazy plan will replace a national system of early childhood development with little more than $3 a day.

I urge the government and all members of this House to stand up for a national child care plan, to stand up and ensure that Canadians have real choice in child care and to support what the previous government has done.

Conservative Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier today, the Conservative government introduced the most comprehensive anti-corruption legislation in Canadian history, the federal accountability act. This groundbreaking legislation is all about moving from the Liberals' culture of entitlement to a culture of accountability.

For example, the act will ban big corporations and big unions from giving one single dollar to political candidates. Donations will be limited to $1,000 from individuals only. These changes will make Canadians feel more confident about the integrity of the democratic process.

On January 23, Canadians sent a clear and resounding message that they wanted a change from Liberal corruption and Liberal scandal. They elected Conservatives to deliver effective and accountable government. With our plan, I am proud to say that this Conservative government is standing up for accountability and standing up for Canada.

Ethics in Public AffairsStatements By Members

April 11th, 2006 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today to pay tribute to a great Canadian. Tonight, Carleton University will present the Kroeger College award for ethics in public affairs to the immensely deserving Stephen Lewis. This award honours those individuals who lead by example through their fundamental commitment to ethics and values in public life.

Stephen Lewis is an inspiration to all Canadians and indeed to people around the world. He has shown us that courage, integrity and dignity are not merely ideals but values that all in public life should reach for.

Through his important humanitarian work as the United Nations special envoy for AIDS in Africa and through the Stephen Lewis Foundation, this Canadian statesman and citizen of the world is drawing attention to the terrible reality of AIDS.

He has dedicated himself heart and soul to educating the world about AIDS, raising funds and obtaining assistance to fight this terrible disease.

I call on all hon. members to join with New Democrats in saluting the work and achievements of Stephen Lewis.

Public TransitStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to urge the Conservative government to support public transit initiatives in Mississauga and Brampton.

The projects will cost an estimated $280 million for the AcceleRide system in Brampton and $270 million for the BRT initiative in Mississauga. These initiatives will make our public transit systems more efficient and attractive to our commuters, which in turn will help drive the local economy.

The Government of Ontario has fulfilled its commitment to upgrade our transit systems by providing Brampton with $95 million and Mississauga with $90 million.

The Liberal government in the previous session showed its support for Ontario by delivering $1.9 billion over five years in gas tax revenues for sustainable funding for our roads, transit and infrastructure.

On behalf of the residents of Mississauga--Brampton South, I would like to urge the Conservative government to include funding for GTA transit in the upcoming budget.

Réal LétourneauStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, last February the Sherbrooke Chamber of Commerce and the Eastern Townships Regional Chamber of Commerce bestowed the title of Grand Estrien on Réal Létourneau. I salute this multi-talented gentleman.

Vice-president of the Eastern Townships with Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, Réal Létourneau is a man of integrity, a visionary who gives of his time and ideas to benefit the community. He deserves much of the credit for introducing Innovalia, the first Quebec forum for innovative companies, to the Eastern Townships.

Réal Létourneau is a source of inspiration who is always encouraging people to seek innovative solutions that will propel his corner of the country to new heights. He recently cochaired a Chamber of Commerce seminar on future directions for Sherbrooke. This seminar resulted in a number of promising projects.

On behalf of the citizens of Sherbrooke and the Eastern Townships, I would like to congratulate Réal Létourneau and thank him for being a model for all of us and a proud spokesperson for Quebec values.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, the people of Canada are very clear about the issue of raising personal income tax. Their message is, “Don't”.

As part of its agenda, the government has plans to raise income taxes in spite of overwhelming opposition to this Conservative idea.

Organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce are urging the government to respect the needs of low and modest income earners. Why will the government not listen to the people? These are voices of rationality and intelligence.

Raising income taxes, as the Conservatives plan to do, will hurt Canadians rather than help them. I ask them to please stop, listen and act rationally.

Conservative Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Fabian Manning Conservative Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, as this is my first opportunity to stand and speak in the House, I want to sincerely thank the wonderful people from the riding of Avalon for what I believe to be an honour and a privilege to represent them and be their voice in this new Conservative Government of Canada.

On January 23 the voters of Avalon joined Canadians from coast to coast and supported our party and its plans for the future of our great country. Those plans include cleaning up government and making it the most open, accountable and transparent government Canada has ever seen.

With the introduction today of the federal accountability act, which will include the most sweeping changes to the access to information law in our history, we will witness Canadian democracy the way it should be done. For 13 years the Liberals were not able to understand the difference between their party and the government. Millions and millions of dollars were hidden in unaccountable foundations and were never opened to public scrutiny.

The proposals we are putting forward today are truly ground-breaking. Once passed, they will change the way business is done in Ottawa forever.

Federal Accountability ActOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, during the election campaign we heard a lot of promises about the legislation introduced today. Where is there something in the bill to stem the flood of Conservative staffers now lobbying their bosses in cabinet? Where is the Prime Minister's pledge to implement the Information Commissioner's recommendations?

Yesterday, the President of the Treasury Board told the House that the government would proceed with all its campaign promises. However this selective accountability act hardly achieves that.

Maybe it is time for the Prime Minister to come clean with the House and tell Canadians that he has no intention whatsoever of living up to those campaign promises.

Federal Accountability ActOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the President of the Treasury Board has just introduced the most sweeping reforms in the history of this Parliament to establish accountability and end corruption. His accountability act would put an end to the influence of big money in federal political parties by banning union and corporate contributions and limiting individual donations. It would stop former ministers, ministerial staffers and senior public servants from becoming lobbyists for five years. It would offer ironclad protection to whistleblowers. It would give the Auditor General the power to follow the money, and hundreds of other recommendations that--

Federal Accountability ActOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Federal Accountability ActOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about sweeping. I must say that during the last election campaign, the Prime Minister said, and I quote, “a Conservative government will implement the Information Commissioner’s recommendations for reform of the Access to Information Act”. There was no ambiguity during the election campaign.

The Prime Minister was never afraid to speak his mind. Today it is clear that he is more about talking than action.

Was it the thirst for power that brought on such a radical change?

Federal Accountability ActOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the bill presented today by the President of the Treasury Board will provide the greatest expansion to the Access to Information Act in the history of this Parliament. This bill is broad and includes the independent officers and senior officials of Parliament and of the major crown corporations, including Canada Post, Via Rail, CBC and several other institutions and foundations. It is important. The last time this Parliament voted on access to information, this hon. member opposed our—

Federal Accountability ActOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

Federal Accountability ActOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we oppose those propositions for exactly the reason that we are upset today. They are totally and utterly inadequate. The Globe and Mail observed today that this commitment to access to information, which was the core of his promise to clean up government, just is not there.

Earlier today the President of the Treasury Board spoke of earning the trust of Canadians. Does the Prime Minister really believe that this failure to live up to the campaign commitments will earn the trust of Canadians?

Federal Accountability ActOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition started out saying that we had not gone far enough on access to information and now he is saying that we have gone too far on access to information. I wish he would get his story straight.

When the member and the party opposite talk about using lobbyists, I just want to point out a press release I have here dated February 10 when the Leader of the Opposition announced his other House officers, his House leader, the chief opposition whip and caucus roles. This press release said that for further information to contact susan@blueskystrategygroup.com. In other words, even in opposition they are still run out of lobby firms.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the Conservatives unveiled their defence platform, their defence critic at the time identified two of his clients that could obtain contracts with the armed forces. Today, as Minister of Defence, he has responsibility for files involving companies he once lobbied for.

Why has the Prime Minister not prohibited this sort of practice in the accountability act?