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House of Commons Hansard #49 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was hunting.

Topics

2:05 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 Timmins—James Bay.

[Members sang the national anthem]

AfghanistanStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to express my gratitude, on behalf of the citizens of Prince Edward—Hastings, to Corporal Mathew Belear, a brave young soldier, and to his family.

Mathew, a member of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment, was serving his second deployment in Afghanistan when he was injured in a mortar attack during the recent Canadian-led Operation Medusa. I spoke with his mom, Demetra, earlier this week in Belleville. Thankfully, Mathew is home and well.

Just as we remember the courage and sacrifice of young soldiers like Mathew, let us too not forget their families. They suffer as well from stress, anxiety and sleepless nights, worrying about the safety of their young son or daughter.

Despite everything this family has been put through, Mathew's father Bob had this to say in the Belleville Intelligencer about the mission:

We should all show our support for the troops in Afghanistan no matter what our politics are, or whether or not we think Canadians should be there.

It is sentiment I could not agree with more strongly.

I have the utmost respect for what our troops are accomplishing. For the sacrifices they and their families make, we must say thanks.

Cycle for SpiritStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, on April 24, three young Canadians set off on bikes from Victoria, B.C. to raise money for children's charities. Steve Fidler of Vancouver, Adrian Pusiak of Toronto and Jeremy Cummings of St. John's are all employees of The Keg Steakhouse who finished their cross country “Cycle for Spirit” on August 4.

They started this journey with a fundraising goal of $150,000 and finished their trek with a total of over $184,000. One hundred per cent of funds raised will go to children's charities through The Keg Spirit Foundation, which has donated more than $2 million to children's charities since its inception in 2001.

I had the pleasure of meeting these amazing young men as they came through Thunder Bay, and I congratulate them and their Keg co-workers across the country for supporting the many children's charities that will benefit from this adventure.

Émilie MondorStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 9, Émilie Mondor, a young athlete with dreams of going to the Olympic Games in Beijing, died in a car accident.

The Mascouche native began to make a name for herself in cross-country running nearly 10 years ago. In 2003, she became the first Canadian woman to run 5,000 metres in under 15 minutes. Over the past two years, she faced many challenges and even considered early retirement. Nevertheless, she went back to competition in April, and in July 2006, she announced her intention to focus on marathon running.

Émilie Mondor will continue to inspire us because of the endurance, courage and integrity she brought to her discipline.

On behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to her family and friends.

Pay EquityStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday my office received the government's response to a report from the status of women committee, which outlined the need for proactive pay equity legislation in Canada. The government is ignoring the committee's recommendations and is flat out stating that there will be no new pay equity legislation.

The need for this legislation is clear. In May 2004, after three years of research and consultation with over 200 stakeholder groups, the Department of Justice called for the government to replace the current complaints based model with proactive legislation.

The Liberals failed to act on this report, and now the Conservatives are also refusing to draft legislation.

With national women's organizations shutting down due to stalled funding, it is becoming clear that the Conservatives want to take Canada back 25 years. Women who have full time jobs still only earn 71¢ for every dollar earned by a man. This is clearly not equality. This is an embarrassment.

Atlantic CanadaStatements By Members

September 20th, 2006 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Conservative South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, at yesterday's historic vote on the softwood lumber agreement, I was shocked when members of the Liberal and NDP abandoned Atlantic Canada. We should expect no less in the future.

Look at the Liberal and the NDP record. Remember that the member for Halifax and the member for Sackville—Eastern Shore voted against our Canadian Forces in Afghanistan, thus supporting the human rights abuses of the Taliban and endangering our soldiers.

The same Liberal members who voted against softwood lumber yesterday were only a few months ago trying to sell a disastrous deal that would have caused Atlantic Canada to lose every gain we have made on softwood lumber in the past 30 years.

Continue to watch them when the fisheries capital gains exemption comes before the House. We will witness once again the Liberal and the NDP saying one thing and doing another.

Conservative Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Don Bell Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the current minority government is going to extremes in its efforts to turn the public service into a Conservative Party propaganda arm.

A long time federal government scientist was directed by the office of the Minister of Natural Resources to use the words “Canada's New Government” in all departmental communications, instead of the neutral “Government of Canada”.

When the scientist refused, he was fired. He was ultimately reinstated in his non-paying post after the Conservatives were embarrassed by the media reports.

The fact remains that this little old minority government is simply pretending to be a brand new dictatorship.

Great Lakes Cancer RideStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a rare and special opportunity when we as members of this place have the occasion to speak of achievements of great magnitude.

It is with admiration that I honour a constituent of Elgin—Middlesex—London who today completed a journey of a lifetime. Steve Darley of Malahide, Ontario ended a 3,066 kilometre Great Lakes Cancer Ride that saw him raise over $35,000 for cancer research.

Steve was inspired by Lance Armstrong, but decided to make his ride truly Canadian and local. The bike trip saw Steve travel from Thunder Bay to Niagara Falls and concluded in Ottawa this morning, symbolically at the Terry Fox statue outside the Parliament Buildings. Mr. Darley was assisted by his friends and family along the way.

It is the efforts of people like Steve Darley who remind us all what defines us as Canadians. Thanks, Steve.

Lise CôtéStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to a pastoral worker in the Saint-Louis-de-France parish in Terrebonne.

For eight years, Ms. Lise Côté has been involved in various parish and community projects, bringing her legendary smile to the elderly and the infirm and spending countless hours organizing baptisms and weddings.

A born missionary, she trained five choirmasters now working with children at an institution run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Haiti's Jérémie diocese. Thanks to a nutrition program supported by Terrebonne residents, they are also helping improve living conditions for many Haitian children.

Ms. Côté, on behalf of the entire community of Terrebonne—Blainville, I honour your devotion and thank you with all my heart.

Dalai LamaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 9, 2006, His Holiness the Dalai Lama became an honory Canadian citizen in Vancouver. The Dalai Lama exemplifies peace and compassion, which he has always transmitted through his message of dialogue and non-violence.

As a parliamentarian and Tibet supporter, I would like to congratulate His Holiness on this honour, which highlights his global contribution to peace, benevolence and mutual understanding among one another. I am extremely proud that the Dalai Lama is now, like me, a Canadian citizen. This also fills me with hope for a better future for our country and the rest of the world.

Government AccountabilityStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians were not impressed yesterday with the antics of the President of the Treasury Board.

The holier than thou minister was caught at the trough last spring, forking out a fat cheque to the Prime Minister's friend, Marie-Josée Lapointe, of all things for PR on his so-called accountability act.

Not to worry, Mr. Accountability told the House, the contract was cancelled. However, Canadians found out yesterday he did not quite bother to also cancel the cheque to the PM's friend, and paid her the $13,000 anyway.

So long accountability, hello hypocrisy, with the added pleasure of another sermon from a minister under pressure.

Maybe today, instead of another arrogant lecture, the minister will cancel the cheque to the Prime Minister's friend and repay all the misgotten money to Canadian taxpayers.

Mayor of MortlachStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, Major Ron Locke is the mayor of Mortlach, Saskatchewan, population 240. He cares about his community, but his commitment goes far beyond southwest Saskatchewan.

He is the commander of 734 Communication Squadron and the head of the Civil Military Cooperation detachment. He has served his country well and has just returned from seven months service in Afghanistan.

There are those who oppose our presence in Afghanistan, who are willing to allow the Taliban to return. However, Mr. Locke and his fellow soldiers have worked hard to make Afghanis' lives better. They have put their lives on the line to help rebuild a devastated country.

In their time there, they provided a water supply for the university, reconstructed schools, equipped hospitals, built roads and assisted the Afghani police.

I want to recognize Mr. Locke, but he asked me not to forget his colleagues, especially Captain Trevor Green, who continues to recover from injuries, and Lieutenant Bill Turner, who lost his life in the efforts of reconstruction.

A country is being rebuilt. The work is essential. Let us remember and acknowledge these modern day heroes.

HousingStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Dawn Black NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, victims of the leaky condo disaster in B.C.'s Lower Mainland have been waiting for years for leadership from the federal government to get to the bottom of this fiasco that has tens of thousands of victims, has cost billions of dollars and has negatively affected the health of many.

The cities of Coquitlam and Port Moody have both passed motions demanding that the federal government conduct a review into the role of CMHC in the leaky condo crisis, and I support this call.

The Prime Minister made a commitment during the election campaign to review this situation and said that he would consider compensation. The government has failed to deliver and the Minister of Human Resources has backed away from the Prime Minister's campaign commitments.

On behalf of leaky condo owners in New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Moody and all affected communities, and on behalf of leaky housing co-ops, I call upon the Prime Minister to fulfill his election promise and call an inquiry into CMHC and its possible role in the thousand--

HousingStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Laval—Les Îles.

The Globe and MailStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, a journalist with The Globe and Mail, Jan Wong, wrote a particularly nasty article in last Saturday's paper. Ms. Wong's article suggests that the tragedies that took place at the École polytechnique, Concordia University and recently at Dawson College, all in Montreal, can be explained by the marginalization of anglophones and immigrants in Quebec as a result of that province's language laws. As a Canadian and a Quebecker, this type of ignorant, intolerant remark infuriates me.

Those acts of violence were committed by sick people. Quebec is no more and no less responsible for those individuals acts than any other society. Ms. Wong's reasoning is not based on any verifiable fact.

The Globe and Mail should be ashamed of publishing such nonsense.

I demand a public apology from the newspaper's management for all Quebeckers, particularly those who were affected by the recent tragedy at Dawson College.

LiteracyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, literacy groups are furious. The Minister of Human Resources and Social Development is asking them to carry out the third study in three years on literacy.

The minister has stated that she is not very familiar with the previous studies and the solutions proposed. On February 21, 2006, the minister was questioned about this. Seven months later, she has not even deigned to look at these reports. Yet the solution is quite simple: fix the fiscal imbalance.

The minister must now go beyond the speech she gave on September 8 on the occasion of National Literacy Day. Literacy groups are fed up with having consultation after consultation and preparing report after report. Concrete action is needed.

Since Quebec has jurisdiction over education, the only concrete action that the minister can take is to immediately transfer the necessary amounts of money to Quebec so that the province can improve its programs.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Omar Alghabra Liberal Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted that Mr. Arar received his well-deserved resounding exoneration. Mr. Arar and his family were victims of severe systemic flaws.

The Prime Minister has said that he will not apologize to Mr. Arar but rather leave it to the courts. However, when Mr. Arar was first arrested in 2002 the Prime Minister had no hesitation in jumping to conclusions and repeating the unfounded accusations about Mr. Arar. He and his party not only believed the allegations against Mr. Arar but they also criticized the previous government for trying to get him released.

At that time the Prime Minister called Mr. Arar a suspected terrorist citing that the government was hitting the snooze button on security. The member for Calgary—Nose Hill at the time attacked the government for failing to pick up on Mr. Arar's quote, “al-Qaeda linked sooner”.

It gets worse. The current Minister of Public Safety went further by calling for a public inquiry into why the government--

JusticeStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Essex.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Which party has no ethics at all?

Mirror, mirror thought, then declared,
“The last Liberal government from which we've been spared”.

“But don't take my word”, Mirror, mirror did speak,
“I'm only agreeing with what a Liberal report said last week”.

Liberals admitted they set the ethics bar low,
Then rushed to see just how low Liberals could go.

Liberals let Dingwall have an illegal lobbying commission,
Then Liberals offered him handsome severance in addition;

Grants for a wharf to a Liberal's brother-in-law;
Frulla's home makeover without a Liberal pshaw.

Liberal appointees attending a Liberal convention;
Ethics lapses never Liberal bones of contention.

Millions granted by Liberals to family ships,
Only proves how far Liberal ethics have slipped.

Liberal fur coats bought on the taxpayer dime;
Ad scam Liberals should be charged and convicted of crimes.

Admitting they're ethically bankrupt is weak;
To their Liberal senators instead they must speak.

Stop dragging their unelected Liberal Senate feet.
Pass the accountability act now so there's no Liberal ethical repeat.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on June 30 the Prime Minister told reporters that all laws had been obeyed with regard to the $1.7 million of donations to his party. Yesterday, the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada forcefully rejected the arguments put forward by the Prime Minister and his Conservative Party operatives.

In light of the evidence we have today, will the government now admit that the Prime Minister's statement that all laws were obeyed is totally inaccurate and totally indefensible in the House?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

No, Mr. Speaker, we will not make such a false admission. What we will do is ask the Liberal Party why it is that it expects the taxpayers of Canada to subsidize its political conventions by using the tax credit to subsidize delegate fees for its party convention. That is not the practice of this party. We believe that delegates should pay their fees, not the taxpayers of Canada. That has been our consistent position.

If the Chief Electoral Officer decides to change his long-standing interpretation of the law, we of course will abide by the new interpretation, although we stand for the interests of taxpayers.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, maybe the parliamentary secretary can respond to this.

On June 30 the Prime Minister was also asked by reporters if the Conservative Party intended to turn over all documents requested by Elections Canada. The Prime Minister at the time said “we already have”. Those were his words. Once again, the Prime Minister was contradicted by the Chief Electoral Officer who said that the Conservatives had not turned over the essential evidence he required, which are their convention books.

Why did the Prime Minister make misleading statements about Conservative Party donations and possible illegal fundraising practices that the parliamentary secretary cannot possibly defend in the House?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am advised that the Conservative Party has provided the Chief Electoral Officer and the Commissioner of Canada Elections with all the specific information that has been requested and it will continue to comply completely with both of those officers.

Let us be clear about what is at issue here. It is a long-standing practice of the Liberal Party which believes that tax dollars belong to the Liberal Party. That is why we had ad scam and innumerable scandals. That is why we have a Liberal Party that is once again insisting that taxpayers, through the political tax credit, subsidize the conventions of political parties. We do not operate like that because we believe that taxpayers should keep their hard-earned tax dollars.

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yet this government, which talks non-stop about its programs in this House, flouts Canada's election laws day after day. The mastermind of this Conservative ploy, who is now under investigation, is today the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Ian Brodie.

How will the Prime Minister reprimand his chief of staff, who the chief electoral officer clearly indicated had come close to violating this country's election laws?

Political FinancingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the statements by the Leader of the Opposition are totally false. The Conservative Party and all the officers of the Conservative Party have cooperated and worked with the Commissioner of Elections, and we will continue to do so.

The Leader of the Opposition wants to conceal the fact that the Liberal Party wants taxpayers to subsidize Liberal Party conventions through tax credits.

Our position is that our party's delegates must pay their own expenses, because we respect Canadian taxpayers.