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House of Commons Hansard #53 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was americans.

Topics

Dalai LamaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, His Holiness the Dalai Lama described himself as just a simple Buddhist monk, no more, no less.

Modest words for a man who has repeatedly been a shining example for peace and compassion and has worked tirelessly all his life in promoting positive values around the world, regardless of being a refugee in exile.

The Dalai Lama has been honoured with peace awards and doctorate degrees in recognition of his writings in philosophy, leadership, human rights and global environmental problems.

In 1989 the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and received worldwide praise.

On Saturday, September 9, the Dalai Lama was personally awarded an honorary Canadian citizenship in Vancouver, only the third one in history.

As a member of the Canadian Parliament. I would like to congratulate His Holiness in being recognized as a world leader in peace, kindness and mutual understanding. I am very proud to say that His Holiness the Dalai Lama, like me, is now a Canadian citizen.

Lionel GrenierStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the optimist movement and the residents of Terrebonne are in mourning.

Mr. Lionel Grenier, former president of Optimist International, has passed away. A chapter in the history of Terrebonne, and indeed in the history of the optimist movement, has ended.

For many of us, Mr. Grenier was a model of perseverance, dedication, optimism and success.

He was known for his social and community involvement. Founder of the Terrebonne optimist club, he worked his way up the ladder of the larger optimist movement and became the first francophone president of the international organization.

To his wife and children, to my friends in the Terrebonne optimist club, of which I am a member, I would like to extend my condolences on behalf of the members of the Bloc Québécois and the citizens of Terrebonne—Blainville.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Conservatives killed the First Nations and Inuit tobacco control program. Overall, 25% of Canadians smoke but that jumps to 40% for first nations and 60% among Inuit.

People have e-mailed my office to say how the anti-smoking posters in the small communities in Nunavut are taken seriously and do help people quit. This pilot to develop best practices in a few communities and then take those programs nationally is lost. Where is the value for money there?

The long term health effects of smoking, lung cancer and heart disease are known to everyone it seems but the Conservatives. Each person who stops smoking saves health care dollars and that is true value for money.

Other cuts include those to the public diplomacy program and this will scuttle chances for Métis representatives to travel to Washington for negotiations around the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

There has been no consultation and no debate, another sign as to just how controlling the Prime Minister is.

Adam AngelStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay posthumous tribute to Kootenay—Columbia customs officer Adam Angel, who tragically died on October 17, 2004 while working alone at the Port of Roosville. During the midnight shift he was found in distress and, in spite of all efforts to assist him, emergency personnel pronounced him dead shortly after their arrival.

It is imperative for our customs officers to be safe at all times while protecting our Canadian borders. Every day we are reminded of the dangers our frontline workers face. They confront the most dangerous conditions putting their lives on the line to protect ours.

I am proud to say that the new Canadian government has responded with initiatives to strengthen our border security. We have committed $101 million over the next two years to provide arms to all officers, proper training and abolition of work-alone conditions like that of Officer Angel.

We believe in secure, efficient borders and we thank these men and women for their courage, bravery and hard work protecting our communities.

Old Age SecurityStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the World Peace Forum, held this past summer in Vancouver, called for the elimination of the 10 year residence requirement for old age security benefits.

Forum participants expressed concern that seniors from some countries have to wait for 10 years before they are entitled to receive OAS benefits. The forum passed a resolution advocating for equal access to services such as health care and pensions for all Canadians, regardless of race or country of origin.

I call upon the Government of Canada to take an in-depth look at the income situations of some elderly immigrants and their families in Canada.

Finally, I would strongly urge the Minister of Human Resources and Social Development to review the latest rulings by the courts on this subject.

HockeyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bill Casey Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to tell the House about a special group of people who have put the community of Salmon River, Nova Scotia, on the hockey map.

Webb Deuville, builder and owner of the Salmon River arena, and Ellery Deuville, leader of the Salmon River Hockeyville committee, along with many more community members, showcased the town's great hockey spirit and were voted Hockeyville as part of a promotion by CBC and Kraft Canada in June.

Last night the community got to taste victory watching Montreal defeat Ottawa seven to three in an NHL pre-season game in the neighbouring Colchester Legion Stadium in Truro. The game was the culmination of a great weekend of excitement in the community as townspeople got the opportunity to see the Stanley Cup and get autographs from the Habs and the Sens.

Hats off to Webb Deuville and the team for years of volunteer efforts and contributions to hockey in Salmon River.

Maude-Aimée LeblancStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Bloc Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Maude-Aimée Leblanc, from Windsor, who won the national junior girls golf championship this summer in New Brunswick.

Ms. Leblanc, who represents the Asbestos golf club, delivered a brilliant performance, finishing seven strokes ahead of her nearest competitor with a score of 288 after four rounds.

The 2006 season was very rewarding for Ms. Leblanc: she also won the Quebec junior championship and participated in the Canadian professional golfers' association women's championship.

I would also like to point out that she was awarded a bursary from Purdue University in Indiana, where she intends to continue her studies.

Maude-Aimée Leblanc, the new champion among girls under 18, has shown tremendous determination and I wish her all the best in her quest for success.

Safia Ama janStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, Ms. Safia Ama Jan, an active proponent of women's rights and education in Afghanistan, was gunned down on Monday by Taliban gunmen. Safia, a teacher for more than three decades, ran successful vocational schools for women and served as a provincial director of the ministry of women's affairs. She dedicated her life's work to empower young Afghan women to participate in their government, as well as civil society.

Last week four of our soldiers were murdered when they stopped to give candy to children. This weekend terrorists killed Safia Ama Jan. If ever there was an example of exactly why are our brave troops are fighting in Kandahar, this would be it.

I call upon the House to remember Ms. Amajan for her tremendous spirit, her optimism and, most important, her vision. A fitting tribute should be the least we can do to honour her sacrifice. By working for peace and prosperity, Safia truly exemplified the courage of the best of Afghan society.

Petitcodiac RiverStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the current state of the Petitcodiac River.

The river deserves the immediate attention of all public office holders. However, the former Conservative government in New Brunswick and the current federal minority government have failed in their duties by choosing to ignore the plight of this once mighty river.

The construction of the causeway has had a negative impact on the Petitcodiac River. Fish have been disappearing, there has been flooding, and the tidal bore is no more. This has resulted in a loss of tourism and commercial revenue exceeding $50 million.

The former Liberal government in Ottawa had offered up to $27 million of the final cost of the project. That offer was promptly rescinded by the incoming minority Conservative government.

I urge the federal government to restore this vital resource and act promptly on the 2005 EIA. Any delay will compromise the condition of our community's environmental and economic health and show that the government does not care about the environment.

Government ProgramsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, in budget 2006 Canada's new government promised to review all government programs. This ensures taxpayers' dollars are spent wisely on priorities for all Canadians.

Yesterday our government announced $1 billion in savings, identified through our government expenditure review. The measures announced yesterday demonstrate our commitment to accountable spending. They reflect the prudent reallocation of money from programs that are either undersubscribed or have lapsed funds in the past budget years.

However, it is important to note, the programs that saw reductions still have sufficient funds to meet their mandates. The decisions made on these restraint measures represent sound fiscal management and leadership.

Our government is committed to using tax dollars efficiently and effectively. We promised Canadians that we would bring accountability and transparency back to Ottawa. Once again the government delivered on a promise made to the taxpayers of Canada. This is what Canadians expect from their government. This is what they deserve.

Border Service OfficersStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in the House the Liberal member for Scarborough—Rouge River made an appalling comment when he referred to our brave men and women who guard our borders as “wimps”.

His derogatory slur just displayed his ignorance to the fact that 17% of these workers are either veterans of the military or the police forces of this land. They have defended our country, protected our communities, and stand watch at our borders, continuing to put their lives on the line every day to enforce the laws of this nation.

To have from this chamber, the place where those laws are created, a member disparage and disrespect those charged with enforcing those laws is a disgrace and a shame brought on this House. He must apologize and admit he was wrong.

The fact that he has repeated his outburst brings into question his understanding that our borders are understaffed and our guards are not armed. We need more recruits and more training now, and not an interim plan. We need to have a long term solution. This 10 year delay is nonsense.

The Liberal leadership and the member must apologize for not only his outrageous attack but his own government's neglect and inaction on this file.

Youth Internship ProgramStatements By Members

September 26th, 2006 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, since 1997 the YMCA has been providing a great service to young people with the federal public sector youth internship program.

Delivered in partnership with the Government of Canada, the YMCA is creating the opportunity for thousands of young people to gain valuable employment skills, training and internship experiences.

This program targets the people who need it most: young dropouts and people transitioning from school—either high school or university—to the labour market.

Ten young people from Etobicoke benefited from this program and can see the path to a more secure future for themselves and their families. Without this program, they might still be struggling to find their way.

The Minister of Human Resources and Social Development must renew this program today so the YMCA can continue to provide this opportunity to our young people for years to come.

Safia Ama JanStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, it was with great sorrow that we learned of the death of Ms. Safia Ama Jan, educator and provincial head of the Women's Affairs Ministry in Afghanistan.

Known as an advocate for the rights of women and their education under the Taliban regime, Safia Ama Jan helped open six vocational schools and other institutions for Afghan women. Safia Ama Jan believed in the reconstruction of her country. She was assassinated in front of her home yesterday morning.

Leaving home to go to work seems perfectly innocuous, yet it was the last thing Safia Ama Jan did. Violent interruptions to daily activities cause complete confusion. This is why my Bloc Québécois colleagues and I support all efforts leading to lasting peace in Afghanistan.

We would like to express our sincere condolences to Ms. Safia Ama Jan's family and the Afghan people.

Atlantic CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Liberal Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, Atlantic Canadians take exception with the government's decision to cut $7.7 million in ACOA's funding for not for profit organizations, credit unions, co-operatives and community economic development organizations.

The economy is not limited to private enterprise. These groups contribute to the economy just like private sector companies.

The government is cutting seed loan programs that provide direct funding for youth entrepreneurship. These are a successful mechanism for organizations to provide that first job and work experience for youth across the country.

Yesterday's cuts highlight the Conservatives' lack of creativity and understanding of this reality.

The elimination of $20 million aid package for New Brunswick's aquaculture industry is shameful. These cuts verify what we have said all along, that the fisheries money was clearly budgeted and that Canada's new government simply let New Brunswick down once again.

Border Service OfficersStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday during question period the member for Scarborough—Rouge River criticized Sunday's job action by border service officers in my riding. He called these constituents of mine, “a bunch of wimps”. His remarks are incredibly offensive to the brave men and women of our border services whose own personal safety is often put at risk in defence of Canada's national security.

Our border service officers do not suffer from any form of cowardice. The officers seize more than a thousand firearms every year. That is an average of three per day and they do it unarmed because of the negligence of the previous Liberal government.

Canada's new Conservative government is spending an additional $101 million to fix the problem. We will train and arm our officers and eliminate work-alone posts.

The member should be ashamed of himself. I hope that he will personally find the courage to apologize to our front line officers.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the vindictive, meanspirited cuts targeted at the weak, the needy, the vulnerable and the marginalized in Canada could only have been dreamt up by the insider group of Conservative Mike Harris holdover ministers in the government. Conservatives have continued their them versus us mentality. People without money or clout get clobbered by them.

How in a country as blessed as ours does the Prime Minister justify cuts to funding for immigrant youth, aboriginal women, adults with literacy problems, housing for the disabled and vulnerable workers?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member asserts, for example, that we are cutting funding to immigrant youth, and of course no such thing is true.

The government has reviewed government expenditures to ensure we get value for money and that we fulfill the commitments we made in the budget to reduce expenditures and bring the growth of expenditures under control.

The previous government did that in its last several budgets and did not deliver. This government has delivered.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, when this party inherited the Government of Canada, we had a $42 billion deficit that we managed for the people of our country. That party has a $13 billion surplus that it is squandering. It will not give a cent to poor people.

Why on earth is the Prime Minister eliminating research on the health of visible minorities, child abuse, trafficking in women, support for voluntary groups for soup kitchens and training for Canadians with disabilities? Are they not Canadians too? Do they not deserve value for their money?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in spite of all the sound and fury over there, all of the groups that the Leader of the Opposition mentioned will still have substantial and good programs delivered by the Government of Canada.

We are ensuring that we deliver money and deliver programs in a way that is effective. When we have to control expenditures in this government, what we do not do is slash $25 billion from health care.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, affordable housing for our seniors—cut; the rights of minority communities—abolished; training for older workers—terminated; employment assistance for young immigrants—forget all that; equality of gays and lesbians—that is in the past.

Why is this government so set against the most vulnerable Canadians? Considering all the money they have received from Canadian taxpayers, do the Conservatives have no consideration for the human condition of Canadians?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the false statements and exaggerations of the Leader of the Opposition do nothing for the Liberal Party's image of being fiscally irresponsible.

I have listened to the comments of the leader of the Liberal Party and his members for the past two weeks. Their only priority for government expenditures is obtaining more money for the Liberal leadership convention in Montreal. This is not the priority of Canadians or of this government.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the cuts by this minority government show its lack of awareness of social issues and reveal its true nature. We now see the real values of the Conservatives. They have chosen to abandon women, youth, aboriginal peoples, minority groups, and those who fight illiteracy and crime.

Why has the Prime Minister chosen to abandon those Canadians who need their government, when there was no reason to do so?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, we believe as a government that we have a very important responsibility to ensure that every taxpayer dollar is spent effectively, is spent responsibly and is spent accountably.

The real concern is that the priorities of the previous Liberal government, the previous defeated Liberal minority government, were not being addressed. That is why this government in our budget has chosen to make new investments into health care, new investments into making communities safer, and new investments to ensure that we provide tax relief to seniors on pensions.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada would be quite a different country without the invaluable contribution of thousands of volunteers.

The minority Conservative government cuts have hit the voluntary and community sector with full force. Obviously the social values of the government are not the same as those of Canadians.

What does the Prime Minister have against those who give of their time and energy to build a better Canada?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I think all of us would agree that the Government of Canada and all parliamentarians support the good work that volunteers do in our communities, but it is important that we look at the priorities of Canadian families, the priorities of health care, the priorities of ensuring that our communities are safe, the priorities of ensuring that there is really meaningful tax relief for senior citizens and working families throughout this country.

The previous prime minister, the member for LaSalle—Émard said, “Do I think it is possible to make cuts in spending? Yes. Do I intend to make cuts in spending? Yes. Do I believe that we can hold spending as a percentage of GDP? Yes”. Did the Liberals do that? No.