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House of Commons Hansard #47 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was elections.

Topics

Stormont—Dundas—South GlengarryStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, I stand in the House today as a member of Parliament representing the most patriotic riding in this great country called Canada.

On Canada's 139th birthday, celebrated this past July 1, the riding of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry had 15,084 homes displaying the Canadian flag. More than one in every three homes located in my riding very proudly displayed our most treasured national emblem on Canada Day. Virtually every one of these 15,084 flags was hand-delivered by over 300 volunteers during our “Proud to be Canadian” campaign.

That is why I declare to the House and to every member of Parliament that the riding of Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry is the most patriotic riding in Canada, and I challenge all 307 of my colleagues to surpass our achievement in their respective ridings.

2015 World ExpoStatements By Members

September 18th, 2006 / 2:05 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my strong support for Toronto's bid to host the 2015 World Expo.

Hosting the world fair will mean large scale infrastructure investment, cultural legacies and growth in tourism, tax revenues and jobs for Toronto. The World Expo is also a tremendous opportunity to accelerate the revitalization of the waterfront and expand transit.

Toronto city council, Mayor David Miller and the people of Toronto are overwhelmingly behind this bid. So what is missing? Canada's federal government.

As a national endeavour, only the federal government can officially bid on the fair on behalf of Toronto. November 3 is the deadline and time is running out.

I call on the Prime Minister to formally back Toronto's Expo bid. The world fair will showcase our incredible diversity as a city and as a country. With the support of the federal government, we can make a 2015 World Expo bid a reality.

MyanmarStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lui Temelkovski Liberal Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, a number of my constituents, particularly an Amnesty International group in my riding, are concerned about the human rights situation in Myanmar, previously Burma.

Human rights abuses, violence against women, the holding of political prisoners and military rule are only a few of the main concerns.

Just this spring, the opposition leader's house arrest was extended by a year. The military regime is so desperate to hang on to power that it is even now cracking down on stand-up comics who poke fun at it.

I know Parliament has expressed its concern in the past. I call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to keep Canada active on this file.

I have added my name to a letter from the Canadian Friends of Burma to Kofi Annan calling on him to seek a resolution to the crisis. We must do what we can to promote the establishment of an open and transparent democracy that respects and enshrines human rights.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Art Hanger Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on an issue that should concern all of us: the growing acts of violence that take place in communities and neighbourhoods across the country.

On the morning of July 22, 2006 a vicious unprovoked attack took place in my constituency. A young man was brutally stabbed while walking from his home to a convenience store because he refused to buy drugs from a group of thugs trying to intimidate him. As a result, Tarek Williams quickly became another victim of the increasing gang problem.

Tarek was determined to attend the Canada Bible College, but the assault left him unable to work and save for his tuition. Almost immediately the community and its volunteers came forward and set a goal to raise the required funds to pay for his tuition in hopes that this young man would not have to put his academic ambitions on hold because of this terrible offence. I am pleased to say that thanks to great volunteers and the staff of my Calgary office we are only $440 away from reaching our goal.

On behalf of Tarek and his family, I thank Calgary for its generosity.

Benoît SauvageauStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bloc Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, we cannot start off this session of Parliament without paying tribute to our colleague Benoît Sauvageau. Benôit left us so suddenly that we are still in shock. This brave man made a huge contribution to parliamentary life here in Ottawa and to his riding of Repentigny.

Benoît was elected for the first time in 1993. He was critic for sport, international trade, Treasury Board, infrastructure and public accounts as well as the Francophonie and Official Languages. His extensive parliamentary experience together with his integrity, work ethic and jovial nature made him popular among all his Bloc Québécois colleagues as well as with all those who worked with him on the Hill.

Benoît was also a great friend. His sunny disposition and his laughter were contagious. We must now say goodbye to our dear friend, Benoît.

Terry Fox RunStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend thousands of Canadians from coast to coast participated in Terry Fox runs to raise funds for cancer research.

In the 26 years since Terry ended his run on September 1, 1980, $400 million has been raised to fight cancer through Terry Fox runs. His Marathon of Hope captured the hearts of Canadians when a young man with an artificial leg ran with a double step and a hop for 42 kilometres a day for several months.

Terry may have never reached the Pacific but his Marathon of Hope continues on. Across the street from Parliament Hill is a statue of Terry running westward. It reminds people of the difference that just one Canadian can make in this world.

On behalf of all British Columbians I proudly call Terry Fox a British Columbian and a Canadian hero.

Robin Cameron and Marc BourdagesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Merasty Liberal Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, in July a terrible tragedy occurred when RCMP Constables Robin Cameron and Marc Bourdages were killed in the line of duty in their service to Canada.

Robin and Marc were truly inspirational people and touched the lives of many. Robin was a dedicated officer and in doing so became a leader of her first nations community, a hero to her family including her daughter Shayne. Marc was a proud father and husband who reached out to the communities he served, including my hometown of Pelican Narrows.

It was with great sadness that we said goodbye to these brave officers but we can still find inspiration despite this tragedy. We can find it in the resolve of the Cameron and Bourdages families who touched Canadians with their heartfelt tributes. We can find it in Spiritwood, a town that overcame fear and joined together in an emotional and spiritual healing ceremony. We can find it in the RCMP whose officers selflessly and courageously serve and protect Canadians every day.

I ask everyone to join me in applauding the families, the community of Spiritwood, and the RCMP for their strength and resolve.

Softwood LumberStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bill Casey Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that Liberal opposition MPs from Atlantic Canada are playing politics with the softwood lumber agreement by refusing to support the deal.

The agreement reached by our government will result in the return of almost $5 billion to the lumber industry and will finally bring an end to this ongoing dispute.

By far, most of the lumber industry supports the agreement. The Maritime Lumber Bureau surely strongly supports the softwood deal. New Brunswick Liberal leader Shawn Graham supports it and even the Liberal member for Beauséjour has recently praised the deal by stating, “so as an Atlantic Canadian, I'm certainly pleased that this agreement protects the rights we have fought hard to ensure are protected”.

Canada's new government has supported Atlantic Canada 100% and has ensured that our interests are protected. Why are the Liberals choosing to ignore the industry, the provinces, and even their own MPs when they call for support for the deal? How can the Liberals not support an agreement that is obviously in the best interests of Atlantic Canada?

Sokol Polish Folk EnsembleStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, who among us has not come back to this place steeped in the diverse heritage of our country, more aware than ever of our rich multicultural mosaic, and perhaps a few pounds heavier from a summer of folklorama, pavilions and ethnocultural feasts?

Just this weekend we celebrated something extraordinary. We celebrated the 100th anniversary of Sokol Winnipeg, a cornerstone of the Polish community in Manitoba and Canada since 1906. Its origins date back to 1862 when it was set up to promote fitness, protect the language, and preserve the culture of Polish youth.

I wish to congratulate the past and present members of the Polish Gymnastic Association and the Polish Folk Ensemble and in particular, the work of Marian Jaworski under whose leadership this centennial celebration took place and who epitomizes the courage, commitment and compassion of Polish pioneers.

Above all, I want to salute the important contribution of Polish Canadians everywhere, the hundreds of thousands of Polish immigrants and their descendants whose numbers are now fast approaching a million.

I thank them. Congratulations and Sto Lat.

IranStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to turn the attention of the House to Iran's refusal to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency in connection with its nuclear program.

On July 31, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1696 that:

Demands, in this context, that Iran shall suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the IAEA.

It gave it one month to do so or face the possibility of economic and diplomatic sanctions. Instead of allaying fears that it seeks to develop nuclear weapons, Tehran responded with sabre-rattling and on August 19 launched extensive military exercises to intimidate the international community.

On September 14, IAEA issued a report stating that Iran had not suspended its enrichment related activities. In accordance with Security Council resolution 1696, the time has come to consider serious economic sanctions to show Tehran that the world will not be intimidated by its intransigence.

AfghanistanStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois deplores the deaths of four soldiers killed this morning in a suicide bombing that hit a NATO patrol in Kandahar province.

This tragedy reminds us yet again of the danger and the difficult conditions to which soldiers and diplomats working to establish peace, social justice and democracy in Afghanistan are exposed. I hope that their sacrifices will not have been in vain.

On behalf of myself and the Bloc Québécois, I wish to offer my condolences to their families, friends and colleagues in the Armed Forces.

Dawson CollegeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Wednesday, we were all saddened by the tragedy that hit Dawson College in my riding,Westmount—Ville-Marie.

On behalf of the Liberal Party caucus, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the family of the young woman who was killed. I also hope for a speedy recovery for all of the people who were hospitalized because of this unjustifiable and incomprehensible act.

I would also like to pay tribute to all involved in saving lives and helping those affected. The police officers, ambulance technicians on the scene, hospital staff, faculty, students, the student union of Dawson College, and the people of Concordia University lent a hand to the people of Dawson College in their time of need.

We hope and pray that those affected by the tragedy, as well as the Dawson community, will be able to find peace and harmony in the wake of this difficult event.

Conservative GovernmentStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, while it seems the opposition was sleeping over the summer, Canada's new government was hard at work getting things done and delivering on promises.

Canada's new government delivered on child care. Starting in July parents have been receiving a monthly universal child care cheque of $100 per child under six.

Canada's new government delivers on hepatitis C victims. Our government recently announced a $1 billion settlement fund to provide compensation to all hepatitis C victims.

Canada's new government delivers on border security. The public safety minister announced that the government is keeping its promise to strengthen Canada's borders by hiring more border officers and arming them with side arms.

Finally, last week Canada's new government delivered on softwood lumber. The trade minister signed an agreement which will see the return of almost $5 billion to Canada's lumber industry.

These are just a few examples of how Canada's new government is delivering on its promises and getting things done for Canadians.

Dawson CollegeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Following discussions among representatives of all parties in the House, I understand that there is an agreement to observe a moment of silence for the victims of the tragic events at Dawson College in Montreal last week.

I ask all hon. members to rise to observe a moment of silence.

[A moment of silence observed]

Sergeant-at-ArmsStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I wish to invite all hon. members to join me in welcoming our new Sergeant-at-Arms, Mr. Kevin Vickers, who is with us in the chamber today for the first time.

I know that all hon. members wish him much success in his new role.

Sergeant-at-ArmsStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Sergeant-at-ArmsStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

We will now move on to oral question period. The hon. leader of the official opposition.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Official Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the moment of silence we have just observed illustrates that today is a day of mourning for us all.

As the hon. member for Westmount—Ville-Marie said, our thoughts go out to the families and victims of the tragedy at Dawson College. Sadly, this tragedy has shown us that our country cannot tolerate complacency toward firearms in Canada.

The Prime Minister is getting ready to abolish our gun control system, but he says now is not the time to talk about it. Today the Prime Minister must talk about it. He must explain to us how his proposal to weaken our gun laws will better protect Canadians.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first I want to express my condolences and those of the government to the victims and families of the event that occurred in Montreal. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are still in hospital. Our thoughts go out to all the victims and the entire student body shaken by these events.

This government is determined to have more effective legislation that will prevent such a tragedy and such an act from occurring in the future. I call on the opposition to support our bill in order to implement mandatory sentences for crimes committed with firearms.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is all very well to talk about having more effective laws, but 5,000 times every day law enforcement officers in Canada use the very system that the Conservatives want to destroy. The police themselves tell us they need that system to protect lives and increase public safety.

Does the tragedy of Dawson College not prove to the Prime Minister and his colleagues the need to strengthen and improve our gun laws rather than abolish them in the name of a false efficiency?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the events at Dawson College tell us precisely that, that today's laws did not protect us. We take no pleasure on this side of the House from having warned the previous government repeatedly over the past decade that the gun registry would not prevent this kind of occurrence.

I spoke to the acting commissioner and the deputy commissioner of the RCMP today. I asked them to accumulate all the facts and to bring them to the Minister of Public Safety, so that the government can strengthen its future actions to ensure that we reduce all possibility of obviously unstable individuals such as this getting a hold of firearms.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we on this side of the House are all in favour of strengthening that what we can do to control arms, but we need to be using every last tool available to save lives. We should be strengthening rules. We should not be tossing some of them out.

The Prime Minister's right to bear arms constituency is blinding him to a very important tool that protects our kids from being shot.

Will the Prime Minister finally listen to Premier Charest and the millions of other Canadians who want him to revise his position on gun control, bring in other laws if he wishes, but keep an important tool that has been proven by the police that it works and can help the public safety of Canadians?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry that the Leader of the Opposition feels the necessity of justifying a decade of wrong approaches and wasted effort in terms of a gun control policy that does not work.

The government will not repeat those mistakes. We will pursue new policies that will reduce the possibility of crime and these types of actions.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers, through their premier, Jean Charest, the Fédération des policiers municipaux du Québec and women's groups such as the Fédération des femmes du Québec are calling for the gun registry to be maintained intact.

Why is this Prime Minister, who heads a minority government, turning a deaf ear to Quebeckers' legitimate requests?

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativeMinister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the Premier of Quebec, Mr. Charest, and everyone who is concerned by this situation that we are going to maintain the registry system. A police officer will be able to check whether a person owns a gun. As well, this information will remain available in the information system, for use by police. People who want to keep and buy guns will still have to register them. We are going to keep the system's strengths.