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House of Commons Hansard #45 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-2.

Topics

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

As is our practice on Wednesday we will now sing O Canada, and we will be led by the hon. member for Kitchener Centre.

[Members sang the national anthem]

ROV TechnologyStatements by Members

June 21st, 2006 / 2 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert Conservative South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to commend the White Rock ROV Chix. This group of enterprising young ladies built a remote operated vehicle to compete in the marine advanced technology competition in Seattle in May. Their hard work and ingenuity paid off as they took first prize in the Pacific Northwest regional competition. The team of Madeleine Gawthrop, Lindsey Gorman, Caroline Dearden, Rebekah Pickard and Jessica O'Sullivan beat eight other teams.

The Chix now have the honour of representing their region at the world championships being held in Houston, Texas, at the NASA space center. These home-schoolers demonstrated innovation and rugged determination and stand as fine examples to all young Canadians.

I would also like to congratulate the White Rock Heritage Christian School team of Peter Zielke, Guido Worthman, Kye Seo Hwang and Matthew Stevens for its impressive third place finish.

All the best to the Chix in Houston. We are rooting for them.

National Aboriginal DayStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Valley Liberal Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, National Aboriginal Day is a day that Canadians celebrate the contributions of first nations, Métis and Inuit Canadians.

Today I would like to recognize the tremendous contributions made by the people of the Kenora riding. I would like to recognize Grand Chief Arnold Gardner for his tireless work on behalf of the Treaty 3 communities. He continues to highlight the obstacles that his people face to achieve equal standing in our community. He is a dedicated and well-respected leader.

I would also like to recognize Grand Chief Stan Beardy, who represents communities within Treaty 9 that have particular challenges with remoteness. He has fought to have their voices heard in Ottawa and he has persevered to achieve the results for his people.

I have been fortunate to have their guidance and, as such, I have gained a greater understanding of what we as a nation must strive for: respect, trust and above all equality.

I represent members of 41 first nations and Métis communities, and I would like to offer my best wishes for their celebrations.

MultinaStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to a large company in the riding of Drummond. Multina specializes in manufacturing seats for recreational vehicles, components for public transit vehicles, and foam and composite products.

A recent KPMG/Ipsos Reid survey of 250 of Canada's most visible business leaders showed that Multina is among Quebec's most respected businesses.

In addition, the company received an industry achievement award from the Réseau industriel Drummond for its contribution to the region's economic development.

Multina is a marvellous example of how dynamic businesses in the Drummond riding can be, and I am proud to have the opportunity to talk about it today.

Congratulations to the company, its management team and all of its employees on their excellent work.

National Aboriginal DayStatements by Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy NDP Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, today we honour 10 years of celebrating National Aboriginal Day in this country and celebrating aboriginal people.

Yesterday the government announced the appointment of Wendy Grant-John, a special representative for the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. That is a positive message to first nations.

Ms. Grant-John has been a strong voice for aboriginal people and particularly for women. Aboriginal women have made progress in our country, but there is a very long way to go.

The Government of Canada has a role to play. Aboriginal women are still disproportionately victims of spousal abuse. Far more than many women in other parts of the country, women of all ages in the aboriginal community live below the poverty line.

They are forced to raise their families in crowded homes and unsafe conditions, often as many as 21 people in one house. They lack even the basics, like safe drinking water.

Aboriginal people are owed the resources and capacity for women to raise families in safe, healthy environments, and to take their place at the decision making tables. Canada's New Democrats will stand beside aboriginal people in their struggle for equality.

National Aboriginal DayStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, today marks Canada's 10th National Aboriginal Day. From sea to sea, from north to south, many celebrations are underway.

Right here in the nation's capital, there is a gathering of some 300 first nations, Inuit and Métis, pastors, leaders and community members. The First People's Summit is an assembly of leaders who desire to see the spiritual well-being and the moral integrity of Canada preserved, enhanced and promoted.

These original and host people are praying for and working quietly with determination to see progress in biblically based reconciliation. Their desire is to see healing and unity in Canada between all people, nations, churches and governments, and to cultivate true peace and prosperity throughout our land.

Today representatives from first nations, Inuit and Métis communities will sign a historic document entitled the “Covenant of the First Peoples of Canada”.

Inscribed on the Peace Tower are the words, “Where there is no vision, the people perish”.

I wish to draw this event to the attention of all members and commend the participants in this historic gathering for their vision and commitment to bring blessing, reconciliation and spiritual renewal to Canada. It is National Aboriginal Day. We have a reason to celebrate.

National Aboriginal DayStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, today is the 10th anniversary of National Aboriginal Day, a day when Canadians from sea to sea to sea celebrate the culture and achievements of Canada's aboriginal people: Inuit, first nations and Métis.

As I look back and see how far Nunavut has come since April 1, 1999, I am so proud of my territory and the people.

However, it is imperative that the federal government act on the Berger report regarding the Nunavut land claim implementation and the Kelowna accord.

The federal government must act on the housing crisis facing Inuit as well as health and education issues. By not doing so, Canada fails in its very real obligations to Inuit and puts the honour of the Crown at stake. The failure to act by the federal government fails not only Inuit but all Canadians.

I wish all Canadians a very happy National Aboriginal Day, a wonderful Canada Day, and a safe and enjoyable summer.

National Aboriginal DayStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Conservative Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, aboriginal people have played vital roles in the defence, economic prosperity, and the cultural richness of our nation, both before and after Confederation.

As fur trade partners aboriginal Canadians helped build Canada's first economic engine in Montreal and helped generate the wealth that led to the establishment of Canada's first bank.

All Canadians should be proud of their accomplishments and acknowledge how important they remain to the economic, social and cultural well-being of Canada's future.

Today is June 21, the summer solstice, a day aboriginal people have long celebrated. It is also the 10th anniversary of its official designation as National Aboriginal Day.

I encourage all Canadians to participate in activities taking place this day from sea to sea to sea in celebration of the important place aboriginal people hold within the fabric of our society and of this land.

Let us share in the celebration.

Quebec film industryStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1996 the federal government created the Canadian Television Fund to provide financial assistance to the television and feature film industry and to support production in Canada and Quebec.

On the heels of unprecedented growth in the film industry in Quebec within Canada, the federal government slashed the fund. In 2005, it was cut by $37 million despite its recognized importance and effectiveness.

In light of the fact that its performance has exceeded all expectations, it is vital that Quebec receive its fair share of the funds allocated to the industry. The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women must ensure this and take action to increase the limits on funds available to francophones.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women is meeting with the Quebec coalition today. Let us hope she finds some political courage and takes advantage of this opportunity to take concrete action in line with the federal government's stated policy of openness. To do otherwise would be to show that there is no place for the Quebec film industry in Canada.

Member for Edmonton--Mill Woods--BeaumontStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday night I went to an Oilers game at Rexall Place, something I had done literally hundreds of times over the past 10 years working for the team.

This night was special though as it was game six of the Stanley Cup finals. I stood beside the Prime Minister and, with a choir of 17,000, sang a spine-tingling version of O Canada.

The Oilers played the best game I had ever witnessed them play, winning 4-0, and I commented to wife that it was one of the most remarkable nights of my life.

However, the absolute highlight, the one thing I will always remember, came when we pulled up to the house and I saw my seven year old speck of a daughter jumping up and down for joy in the front window, because her daddy was home. I tucked her and her 10 year old brother into bed, and got to spend about seven more hours with them on Father's Day before climbing on a plane to come back here for the eighth time out of the past nine weeks.

As parliamentarians we are blessed with the opportunity to represent Canadians and to make decisions that will shape the nation. We all work extremely hard and are able to do so because of the sacrifice of the families we leave back home.

Today I want to recognize and thank my wife Debi, son Jaden and daughter Jenae, along with the family members of every one of my colleagues on either side of the House.

National Aboriginal DayStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, in recognition of National Aboriginal Day I wish to take this opportunity to remind the Conservative government of its moral obligation to the first nations in this country and to uphold the historic Kelowna accord that was reached last fall between our aboriginal people and 14 governments across Canada.

Unfortunately, this Conservative government and the current Prime Minister have chosen to turn their backs on the first nations by failing to uphold the Kelowna accord.

The former Prime Minister, the right hon. member for LaSalle—Émard, has taken the unprecedented step of introducing a private member's bill in this House in order to keep hope alive for our aboriginal people. The Kelowna accord is a comprehensive 10 year $5.1 billion plan to achieve a clear set of goals and targets.

The Conservatives inherited a very healthy fiscal balance sheet from the previous Liberal government. There is simply no excuse in this day and age to deliberately ignore the plight of our aboriginal people.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is June. School is out and it is report card time. It is only fitting then to deliver a report card on the Liberal's first semester in opposition.

In math, the Liberals get an F for failing to understand that slashing the GST plus tax credits equals $20 billion more in the pockets of Canadians.

In geography, the Liberals get an F for forgetting where Afghanistan and our courageous troops are.

In history, the Liberals get an F for repeatedly forgetting their 13 year record of waste, mismanagement and corruption.

In science, the Liberals get an F for greenhouse gas emissions that are 35% above 1990 levels, not 6% below as the Liberals promised.

For attendance, the Liberals get an F. Apparently 11 Liberal leadership wannabes and their minions prefer playing hooky to representing their constituents here.

For attention, the Liberals get another F. It seems Liberal MPs just cannot resist their daytime naps in QP.

No wonder Canadians keep telling the Liberals to go stand in the corner.

Forestry IndustryStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Catherine Bell NDP Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, today I will be delivering more than 800 postcards to the Prime Minister's Office from the residents of Alberni Valley on Vancouver Island.

Their message is clear. Logging practices in the Alberni Valley are completely unsustainable and are causing deep concern to loggers, mill workers, environmentalists, first nations and local business. The future of our economy is on the line.

We are asking the Prime Minister to preserve and strengthen the surplus test on export of raw logs from lands in B.C.

Approximately 1 million cubic meters of wood provide 790 full time processing jobs. With 2.5 million cubic meters of logs exported last year from private lands in B.C., the federal government allowed approximately 2,000 jobs to disappear. Many communities in my riding are also suffering as truckload after truckload of raw logs is exported.

That is why I am pleased to support the Save Our Valley Alliance as we work together to ban raw log exports and keep jobs in Canada.

National Aboriginal DayStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, on this 10th annual National Aboriginal Day, I would like to draw the attention of the House to a first nations community in New Brunswick, the community of Elsibogtog, which sorely lacks adequate housing.

In fact, Susan Levi-Peters, Chief of the Elsibogtog Nation, wrote to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. She asked him for 500 new houses but will receive only five.

We know that aboriginal housing is not a priority for this government. The funding promised in the Conservative budget is simply an allocation and totals $1 billion less than what would have been invested under the Kelowna accord.

This is an insult to aboriginal Canadians.

National Aboriginal DayStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, June 21 marks the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and more importantly, National Aboriginal Day.

I am pleased to remind the House that the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples recommended a National Aboriginal Day in 1995. In 1996, June 21 was declared the first National Aboriginal Day.

For the past 10 years, we have been celebrating the important contributions made by first nations peoples. For decades, even centuries, we have benefited from their assistance in our everyday lives. June 21 offers an opportunity to acknowledge the exceptional contributions made by the first nations, Inuit and Métis to Quebec and Canadian society.

Aboriginal nations have a place of honour in our history and the Bloc Québécois would like to emphasize the importance of their contribution to our society.

Enjoy the festivities, my dear friends.

National Aboriginal DayStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, National Aboriginal Day is the perfect time to underline the key role the aboriginal people and the Aboriginal Pipeline Group must play in any development of the Mackenzie Valley pipeline.

The government must take necessary steps to ensure aboriginal people are fully consulted and included in all aspects of the development and management of the project. Areas such as skilled trades training and post-secondary education will be particularly important to create high value, sustainable employment opportunities for aboriginal peoples.

Forty percent of the Mackenzie Valley project traverses the Deh Cho lands. Recently they rightly expressed disappointment and frustration with the latest land claim offer made by the federal government.

Canada must remove impediments from the development process and negotiate in good faith a settlement acceptable to all parties. Regrettably, the Mackenzie Valley project is on hold while industry reassesses its cost projections upward from $7.5 billion.

We look forward to the day when this project can be implemented and the benefits fully shared with Canada's aboriginal peoples in the north.

Air-IndiaStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, today Supreme Court Justice John Major launched the commission of inquiry into the investigation of the bombing of Air-India flight 182.

This bombing was the worst terrorist attack in Canadian history. The families of the victims have a right to answers about this senseless slaughter. Canada must demonstrate that, as a nation, we have learned from our past mistakes and that we will work to identify terrorist threats before more Canadians become innocent victims.

The government will leave no stone unturned in the search for justice for the Canadians who have suffered as a result of this terrorist attack. The inquiry reflects the government's commitment to fighting terrorism at home and abroad.

On behalf of the Conservative government, I welcome to Ottawa today the families of the bombing of Air-India flight 182.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, when the Prime Minister was on this side of the House, he repeatedly called on our government to respect the will of Parliament. “This is a minority Parliament”, he lectured us. The government must listen to all parties in the House.

Yesterday, Parliament clearly and forcefully expressed the will of the Canadian people. It wants the Conservative government to honour Canada's commitment to our aboriginal people, as agreed to in the Kelowna accord.

On this National Aboriginal Day, is the Prime Minister's idea of respect for the will of the House and for our aboriginal people to turn his back on the most significant opportunity for progress in our lifetime?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. The government is proceeding with aboriginal people to address their priorities.

Let us compare 13 weeks of Conservative government action to 13 years of Liberal empty promises. Drinking water standards, the Liberals dodged it, we did it. The Indian residential schools compensation, they delayed it, we did it. A claims offer to the Deh Cho, they ducked it, we did it. The process of matrimonial property, they would not proceed, they ducked it, we did it. That is what we are going to see from the Conservative government.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that response is totally in keeping with the government's lack of respect for anybody other than itself. It is not the hallmark of its thing.

The Kelowna agreement was a solemn pledge on behalf of the people of Canada, on behalf of our aboriginal people. It was not a political accord. It was not a partisan electoral issue. It was a response to an enormously important problem in our country. To break this pledge is to dishonour Canada and to add to our first nations peoples sense of betrayal in the country.

In the absence of the Prime Minister, will the minister please, in the name of all that is just, honour Canada's obligations enunciated in our fully funded aboriginal Kelowna accord?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, let us carry on with the comparison: $300 million for northern housing, they did not, we did; $300 million for off reserve housing, they would not, we did; $500 million for the Mackenzie Valley socio-economic fund, they would not, we did. I could go on.

The Liberals 13 year record is one that is appalling, shameful and devastating.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I think the minister is hard of hearing.

The Kelowna accord represented a consensus. The governments representing all political parties in this House signed the accord. All the parties represented, even the Conservatives in the provinces, signed the accord. Furthermore, this accord resulted from a number of consultations, when we listened to the solutions coming from aboriginal Canadians.

Rhyming off a list like the minister did is not worthy of this House. It is not worthy of a government that is proud to have an aboriginal population that wants respect and support.

Where is the $5 million we promised to our first nations peoples in this country?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, we do not have any lessons in morality to learn from the Liberals.

We will take action against aboriginal poverty. We will take steps with regard to the systematic funding needed to improve the quality of life of aboriginals.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is National Aboriginal Day. And, yet, this government is providing very little reason for the first nations communities to celebrate.

While age-old diseases are making a comeback within certain aboriginal communities—I am talking about the cases of tuberculosis in Garden Hill, Manitoba—the consequences of the negative actions by this government are worse than if it had done nothing at all.

Why did this government renounce the signature of the previous government at the bottom of the Kelowna accord, which allocated $1.3 billion to prevent situations like the comeback of tuberculosis in Garden Hill?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, that is not what the budget says. The budget of this Conservative government indicates that $300 million is earmarked for housing in the North and that $300 million is earmarked for off-reserve housing. The budget also allocates an additional $150,000. That is $1.75 billion in all. That is what we have done.