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House of Commons Hansard #18 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was billion.

Topics

University of Prince Edward IslandStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, on May 13, the University of Prince Edward Island will host its 37th annual convocation. I would like at this time to extend my congratulations to the graduates and wish them continued success. I have no doubt that they will continue on to accomplish many great things.

As well, five honorary degrees will be awarded to outstanding members of the community. These individuals serve as excellent role models to the students and to societies. The recipients will be Elaine Campbell, Suzanne Lévesque, Fen Watkin, Pat Webster and David Rodd.

In addition, David Rodd is also being recognized through a new scholarship in his honour. UPEI's “David W. Rodd Scholarship in Tourism and Hospitality” acknowledges David's contributions to his community. He is a highly respected entrepreneur and admired leader in the hospitality industry. He is also an active citizen serving in key roles in several organizations.

I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating David, the honorary degree recipients and the newest graduates of UPEI.

Bloc Québécois SupportersStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, voters in a majority of ridings in Quebec selected the Bloc Québécois to represent them in the fifth consecutive federal election.

We owe this victory in large measure to the hard work and determination of generous volunteers, people of all ages, all walks of life and all backgrounds. The diversity of these people, who are defending ideas that reflect their experiences and their beliefs, enables the Bloc Québécois and its parliamentary wing to better defend the interests of Quebeckers. I pay tribute to them for their invaluable work.

I thank them for their involvement and their generosity and specifically I thank the extraordinary group of supporters from my riding, whom we welcome to Parliament Hill today.

We are honoured by your presence and encouraged by your enthusiasm. Thank for not sparing your time or your energy in your efforts to make Quebec a sovereign country.

Aeronautics ActStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to express my support for my constituents. I had the opportunity to speak with a number of them this past weekend on different matters affecting the House. One in particular was the issue relating to the Aeronautics Act.

In speaking with people who, in particular, are part of the general aviation community, they take great interest in the government's work in advancing aeronautical safety, especially in light of the different environment of those who work in the visual flight rules and general aviation community, and the kinds of safety measures that this will bring.

World Red Cross Red And Crescent DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy NDP Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, today, May 8, is the day that the international Red Cross and Red Crescent movement pays tribute to the 90 million volunteers who provide vital assistance worldwide. These humanitarian heroes, who sometimes risk their lives in order to help others, deserve the international community's thanks and recognition for their devotion and tireless efforts.

Around the world Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are active in a diverse range of activities, from alerting the public to the danger of landmines in Afghanistan, to fighting the stigma and discrimination related to HIV-AIDS in southern Africa. They also regularly come to the aid of millions of people affected by natural and man-made disasters, such as the Pakistan earthquake, the Darfur crisis and hurricanes in the Americas, while providing ongoing support to the survivors of the Asia tsunami.

Today and every day we honour those volunteers who make considerable personal sacrifices to help others.

Winnipeg SouthStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Conservative Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, as a proud citizen of Winnipeg, I would like to highlight the recent visits of the Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages to our city's historical francophone communities.

Manitoba is home to numerous and long-standing French populations, many of which were founded by the coureurs des bois, or voyageurs, who were fur traders who bartered with local aboriginal nations, forming a unique community. During her visit, the minister spent her time witnessing the vibrant contribution made by these founding cultures.

I was also very proud to accompany the minister as she viewed important historical documents of Manitoba's Métis nation, cared for by the Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre. The hard work of institutions like this will help ensure the preservation of our country's most treasured heritage. They deserve our heartfelt acknowledgement and thanks.

Saint-Joseph de Madawaska SchoolStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I will take time today to talk about a group of young students in my riding.

On March 27, I was invited to talk to a class at the Saint-Joseph de Madawaska school about the duties and responsibilities of a member of Parliament. In our discussions, the students were particularly interested in Canadian politics and the parliamentary system in general. I must say I answered a lot of interesting questions and came to understand through this opportunity that we must take the time to talk with our society's young people, as they are its future.

I would like to thank Jessica Bernier, Brenda Bossé, Stacey Bossé, Stéphanie Bossé, Beverlie Boucher, Kaven Lagacé, Pierre Landry, Jonathan Levesque, Mélanie Levesque, Vincent Michaud, Amélie Morin, Pénélope Morin, Dominic Nadeau, Chloé Ouellet, Frédéric Plourde, Vincent Sirois-Turgeon and Frédéric Thériault for welcoming me into their social studies class. My thanks as well to their teacher, Martine Martin.

National Mining WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, from May 8 to 14, I invite all Canadians to celebrate National Mining week. This year's theme is “Canada’s Mining Industry: Contributing to Economic Development at Home and Abroad”.

Mining is one of the Canadian economy’s key engines of growth. From 2003 to 2004, total production value increased from $50 billion to $60 billion and it continues to increase. What is more, in just a few years' time, Canada has worked its way up to third place among diamond mining countries.

Mining is also one of our main tools for the socio-economic development of aboriginal peoples. In Canada, more than 1,200 aboriginal communities are located within a 200 kilometre radius of operating mines.

Positive effects of mining—jobs, training and benefits to the communities—are felt in every corner of Canada.

Our mining industry creates opportunities for the people and communities touched by its activities.

I invite all Canadians to join me in celebrating this important Canadian industry during National Mining Week.

World Red Cross and Red And Crescent DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day .

Since 1863, the Red Cross has been working to improve conditions for vulnerable people locally and globally.

In Quebec, nearly 10,000 volunteers operate more than 700 interventions annually to help disaster victims.

The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, working under the Fundamental Principle of neutrality, enters conflict areas to promote and reinforce international humanitarian law and principles.

Over the past decade, 160 of their delegates were killed in the performance of their duties. In 1979, Jean Pictet, former ICRC vice-president, said, “For the Red Cross there is no just war and no unjust war - there are only victims in need of help”.

I want to commend and thank the Red Cross and the Red Crescent for their tireless dedication.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I had the honour of being present on March 22 when the League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith Canada publicly released its 2005 audit of anti-Semitic incidents, an annual study on patterns of prejudice against Jews in our country. The audit is internationally recognized as the single-most credible source on anti-Semitism in Canada.

In total, 829 anti-Semitic incidents were reported to the league in 2005. This number marks the second highest total in the 23-year history of the audit. Since 2001, the total number of incidents has increased almost threefold in Canada. The explosion of hate on the Internet, which amounts to a global invasion, is a priority concern also documented in the audit.

Anti-Semitism has many faces, its expressions are both subtle and overt and no one segment of Canada's Jewish community is immune from it.

After commemorating Yom HaShoah, the systematic slaughter of six million Jews in the second world war, we must remember never to be complacent. I join all my colleagues and the government in recommitting ourselves to fighting the scourge of anti-Semitism here and throughout the world in all its forms.

Mining IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week is Mining Week in Canada, a time to celebrate and highlight the many accomplishments of the mining industry and the contribution that this sector makes to Canada.

This industry employs more than 370,000 Canadians in rural and urban areas and is a world leader in sustainable mining technologies. It accounts for 4% of our gross domestic product and is the largest employer of aboriginal Canadians in the private sector.

While there are many positive things of which to speak, there are also challenges. The industry requires investment in geosciences and support for a geological mapping strategy. It also faces a growing labour shortage as the industry will require up to 81,000 new people in the next 10 years.

The recent Conservative budget failed to address these concerns.

A new Liberal government would meet these challenges head on and ensure that our very important mining industry in Canada continues to grow and prosper.

WineriesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier today I stood in the House to speak to the strengths of the budget announced by the hon. Minister of Finance last week, a budget that will give all Canadians the kind of tax relief that they so richly deserve.

While there are many things to be thankful for in this budget, let me mention one of particular interest and importance to many of my constituents.

This budget has announced the elimination of excise tax on the first 500,000 litres of 100% VQA Canadian wine produced by each winery. This single decision will assist small and medium sized wineries to be more competitive, both domestically and internationally. It will also help them to grow their businesses, strengthen the economy and, ultimately, put Canadian wines on the world stage.

On behalf of the Canadian wineries and vintners, not only in my riding but across the country, let me thank the hon. Minister of Finance and this government for helping to build a brighter future for Canadians and for Canadian businesses.

John AtkinsonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I rise today to pay tribute to Constable John Atkinson, a Windsor police service constable who, on Friday afternoon in the process of intervening to stop a crime, was fatally shot.

This tragic incident has my community reeling with shock and sorrow. The city of Windsor is collectively mourning the loss of this dedicated and committed public servant, father and husband, a community-minded individual who, over his 14 years of service as a member of the Windsor Police, received 35 letters of recognition and 6 divisional commendations for his excellent work, a true testament to the type of man and officer he was.

The outpouring of love and sympathy, not only from local residents but from throughout the province and, in fact, the whole country, is recognition of Constable Atkinson's courage and heroism.

On behalf of myself, the member for Windsor West, members of this House and all the people of Windsor I express my deepest condolences to his family, particularly to his wife Shelly, his son Mitchell and his daughter Nicole. We mourn with them. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

World Red Cross Red Crescent DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, today is World Red Cross Red Crescent Day. Every year on May 8 the international community recognizes the contribution made by the Red Cross movement to humanity.

The International Committee of the Red Cross was founded in 1863 by a Swiss businessperson named Henry Dunant after he had witnessed the terrible suffering of the war-wounded at the battle of Solferino in 1859.

From a small committee based in Geneva, the Red Cross movement has grown and expanded its activities to the point where there are national societies in 183 countries, 100 million volunteers and 300,000 staff members worldwide. It is the largest humanitarian organization in the world.

The mission of the Red Cross is to mobilize the power of humankind to help the most vulnerable. The growth of the Red Cross shows the power of an idea and the impact one person can have on the course of events.

Member for PapineauStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 3, the member for Papineau was awarded the Ordre de la Pléiade in recognition of her contribution to promoting francophone culture around the world.

Born in Haiti, the member for Papineau chose Quebec as her home in 1967, the year Montreal hosted the world exposition.

Senghor said: “The words of the French language shine with a thousand lights, like the diamonds of the Pleiades”. The member for Papineau embodies this deep attachment to the French language, and she has fought for a better world in this language she holds so dear.

In 2002, in an impassioned plea, she said that to resist meant organizing our action around alternatives, around ways that will let us put the welfare of our people and the planet on every world leader's agenda.

We are honoured to have her fighting with us for an independent Quebec.

John AtkinsonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Friday afternoon, Constable John Atkinson, a veteran officer with the Windsor Police, was tragically shot and killed in the line of duty.

John Atkinson, a plain-clothes officer, a husband and father of two, had loyally served the citizens of Windsor for 14 years. At this time of sorrow and grief, our thoughts and prayers are with Constable Atkinson's family, his friends and his loved ones.

Constable Atkinson's example of a career dedicated to upholding the law strengthens the resolve of all Canadians to combat violence in our communities.

We now join together, representatives of all parties, today in this chamber to honour the memory of Constable John Atkinson, a true Canadian hero.

AgricultureStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party of Canada stands up for Canadian agricultural producers. Our budget invests $1.5 billion directly to our farmers in the current fiscal year, tripling our original commitment of $500 million.

Only the Liberals could be angry about help for Canadian farmers.

The hon. member for Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, a former Liberal cabinet minister, made national news criticizing a federal budget that helps farmers. He complained, “If you are a western Canadian farmer, you just hit pay dirt”.

This demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the challenges Canadian farmers in all regions are facing.

For 13 years the Liberals dithered when it came to support for our farmers. Now we have some Liberals saying that we have helped too much. Their support for agriculture continues to be confused and contradictory.

We recognize the difficulties Canadian farmers face and we are taking action. We are standing up for our farmers. We are standing up for our industry.

JusticeOral Questions

May 8th, 2006 / 2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are the envy of the world because we live in a country governed by laws, laws that are consistently and fairly applied by a competent, capable and independent judiciary.

For years the Conservatives, who do not like our democratically adopted laws, have been attacking our judges, but this weekend the member for Saskatoon—Wanuskewin went too far. “Ridiculous,” he said, “the judges think they are divine”, and accused the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of believing she has mystical powers.

What does the Prime Minister intend to do to stop these absurd and politically motivated attacks on our Canadian judiciary?

JusticeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. Leader of the Opposition should be aware that the member for Saskatoon—Wanuskewin has already said that these are his own personal views and that they do not represent the position of the government. They certainly do not represent the position of the government.

JusticeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is his personal view that judges are trying to play the position of God and then he accuses the Chief Justices of Canada, when they step into this role, that suddenly some kind of mystical power comes over them?

This is not just from the member but it is from the party that so famously gave us, “To heck with the courts”.

Seriously, what action has the Prime Minister taken to rein in this embarrassing member and has he apologized to the chief justice and members of all the courts of our country?

JusticeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, the member for Saskatoon—Wanuskewin has already said that his statements do not represent the position of the government.

The member for Mississauga East—Cooksville said the following, “One man one vote has been replaced by one judge one vote. Sadly, the concept of justice is drowning in the courts”.

The member is the critic for citizenship and immigration so I am curious as to whether that represents the views of the Liberal Party.

JusticeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that is just hot air. Worse still, this is the same member who supported the people who abandoned an aboriginal man on the road one winter night when it was -25 degrees Celsius, and whom the Prime Minister appointed chair of the House Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.

Out of respect for our judges and our aboriginal peoples who founded this country, will the Prime Minister demand that the chair of that committee resign?

JusticeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, as the member himself said, his position does not reflect that of either the Conservative Party or the Conservative government.

But what is the Liberal Party's stance on this issue?

If I may quote the hon. member for Scarborough—Guildwood:

That member said, “We apparently have judge made law in this country and we are just here for decoration”. The Leader of the Opposition named that member as the critic for crown corporations. Once again, what is the position of the Liberal Party on that statement?

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, the member for Saskatoon—Wanuskewin recently made inappropriate statements concerning the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada. These statements by the fiercely pro-life member lead us to wonder whether he intended to intimidate the courts into not defending women's rights.

Does the Prime Minister intend to take disciplinary action against the member to stop him from attacking judicial independence?

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has already indicated that he does not speak for the government. I should let the House know something that we have known on this side for quite some time. The government has the greatest respect for all those who serve in the judiciary, including all those who serve their country by sitting on the Supreme Court of Canada.

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is news to me, because during the last election campaign, that is not what the Prime Minister said as leader of the official opposition. Despite his serious error in judgment, the member in question still seems to have the confidence of the Prime Minister, who appointed him Chair of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.

After making such virulent statements about the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, does the member still have the Prime Minister's confidence?