This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #3 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was opposition.

Topics

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Royal Galipeau

The hon. member for Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher.

Order of the Daughters of IsabellaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in this House to mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Order of the Daughters of Isabella, Marie-Marguerite circle No. 1351 in Longueuil, which will celebrate this event on October 20 with a mass and a dinner.

Through their various civic and charitable activities, the Daughters of Isabella work in unity, friendship and charity. The objectives of the group, for the women who are members, are to get to know one another better, broaden their circle of friends and pool resources so that they are better able to help one another.

On behalf of the people I have the honour of representing, I would like to recognize their spirit of mutual support, their commitment and their dedication within the Church, society and the family. I would like today to thank all these women for their involvement in the Longueuil community, and particularly to thank the regent of the order, Marie-Claire Brazeau, for her many years of dedication to its members.

Canadian ForcesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, recently I had the opportunity to join in the members of Parliament military exchange tour with the men and women of the HMCS Preserver and the men and women of the HMCS Iroquois.

I am here to tell my colleagues in the House of Commons that if they ever have the same opportunity that I did last month, they should take up on it because the men and women on board these two vessels showed an outstanding display of competence, professionalism and sense of duty to their country.

I want to personally congratulate Rear Admiral Dean McFadden of MARLANT for the professionalism on board those two vessels and the rest of the fleet in Halifax. I also congratulate Colonel Bruce Ploughman at Shearwater for the outstanding work of the Sea Kings when they landed and took off on the deck of the Iroquois. The professionalism was simply outstanding. The respect toward women on board the vessels is something the navy can teach us in civilian society of how women should be treated in our country.

I stand here as a proud individual of the House of Commons who took a wonderful opportunity. I encourage all my colleagues to do the same.

Bravo Zulu to the men and women of the HMCS Preserver and the HMCS Iroquois.

BurmaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Williams Conservative Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the House passed a motion to confer honorary Canadian citizenship on Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi for her self-sacrifice, commitment to democracy and for refusing to capitulate to a corrupt dictatorship.

She has been denied the opportunity to lead her people even though she convincingly won the election in 1990. Now the people of Burma are running the gauntlet of beatings, arrests and killings by the dictatorship. What is next? More violence, anarchy or civil war?

One thing is obvious: If people are denied the right to peacefully and democratically choose their government, they will march in the streets. If they are denied the right to march in the streets, violence will follow. If protests are violently suppressed, anarchy or civil war will follow.

There are brave people in Burma and I salute those who accept the dangers of challenging the gun-toting goons of the dictatorship to claim their democratic rights. The people's voice cannot be silenced, it will eventually be heard.

Manufacturing IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to highlight the challenges facing Canada's manufacturing sector. Our country desperately needs a manufacturing strategy that is innovative and robust, and one that helps to protect high-paying jobs in Canada.

Canada needs the kind of innovations that were proposed in the previous parliament, when the User Fees Act, Bill C-212, was enacted and brought into force. In cooperation with Canada’s Chemical Producers, a law was enacted so that federal departments and organizations would take the impact on competition and responsible service standards into account in cost recovery mechanisms.

This so-called new government could learn from the Liberal caucus' approaches to innovation and demonstrate that it is interested in reducing redundant red tape and in providing an optimal investment environment for our manufacturing sector.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to take a moment to commend the Minister of Justice for his campaign to tackle crime.

Today he brought forward our comprehensive tackling violent crimes act. A recent survey has shown that two-thirds of Canadians like the direction our government has taken in fighting crime.

Canadians like the idea of serious jail time for serious gun crimes. They like the idea of tougher bail rules. They want to see children protected from predators. They also like the idea of cracking down on drunk and stoned drivers, and strangely enough, Canadians say they want dangerous offenders to face longer prison sentences.

Now Canadians want to see action. That is exactly what they will get from our Conservative government, but will they see action from the Liberal Party? Will the Liberal leader for once listen to Canadians and vote for our anti-crime strategy? Methinks the only thing the Liberal leader wants to do is save his own skin.

Will the Liberals ever stop being soft on crime?

Manufacturing IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, at a time when the Quebec manufacturing sector is in jeopardy, the government has once again chosen to do nothing. No concrete measure was announced in the Speech from the Throne to assist the manufacturing sector. This true blue government still thinks that the free market can solve everything and that any state intervention can only have negative effects for industry.

All the while that the federal government is telling us that it is doing the right thing by doing nothing, Quebec has been losing more than 60,000 manufacturing jobs, since the Conservatives came to power.

When will this government understand that the new challenges of globalization call for immediate and effective measures to be taken by the federal government? What the Bloc Québécois is asking it to do, instead of trying to minimize the effects of the manufacturing crisis, is to live up to its responsibilities and support the workers and businesses affected by this crisis.

Speech from the ThroneStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, what will it take for the Bloc to support the Speech from the Throne?

Our government is not only supporting supply management and supporting our Quebec farmers in a tangible manner, but is also finally proposing to limit federal spending power in areas of provincial responsibility.

In the October 17 La Presse, André Pratte said that parties that vote against the throne speech would be opposing a measure sought by the Quebec governments for 40 years.

Is that what one would call defending Quebec's best interests?

It does not produce any tangible results, and the Bloc members would be voting against the Quebec governments. How ironic.

One thing is sure: for 20 months, Conservative members in Quebec have been taking action and working tirelessly to make a stronger Quebec within a united Canada. The Bloc can continue to defend its partisan interests; our government will continue to deliver the goods in the interests of Quebeckers and Canadians. That is open federalism.

Infectious DiseasesStatements By Members

October 18th, 2007 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, today marks Infectious Disease Day, a day to promote and advance action on infectious diseases.

Statistics show that infections acquired in health care settings alone kill 8,000 to 12,000 Canadians a year, and one in nine patients, an estimated 250,000 Canadians who are admitted to hospital every year, pick up infections while being treated for another health matter.

Not only does this put enormous unnecessary pressure on our health care system, but it costs the Canadian economy an estimated $15 billion a year.

We need leadership from the government and a commitment to do what is necessary to protect the health and safety of Canadians. We need a Canada-wide strategy to deal with the ailments ranging from flu to deadly hospital-acquired infections and the possibility of a pandemic.

I join the numerous organizations representing the infectious disease sector in urging the government to develop and lead a national infectious disease strategy focusing on everything from proper handwashing to a comprehensive disease surveillance. The government needs to provide necessary funding for health facilities--

Infectious DiseasesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Prince Edward--Hastings.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, nothing is a greater responsibility for any parliamentarian than to provide for the health and safety of our citizens. Sadly, under the former Liberal policy of denial, delay and tough talk but no action, today's crime problems fly in the face of our own constitutional promises of peace, order and good government.

Residents in my riding of Prince Edward—Hastings, and I believe all Canadians, want a government that is tough on crime and reliable on national security.

Clearly, it is past time to protect victims and to focus on criminals. I am proud to be part of a government that stands behind our police officers and our prosecutors as they stand at the front line of Canadian justice every day.

So I say to my opposition colleagues in this House that if they are truly serious about cracking down on crime, then show it by swiftly and unanimously passing Bill C-2, our much-needed, comprehensive violent crime act.

PovertyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday many of us wore white bands joining Canadians to stand up against poverty. This is not a one-day celebration; it is year-round work.

Now our words need action, money and a real plan. With leadership from this House and government, we will move past the empty words in the throne speech. We need a plan with an adequate budget, targets, timelines and accountability. A plan that could unite progressive social democrats and compassionate conservatives. It is working in Ireland where they invested in children and education and built affordable housing. Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador have their plans.

Parliament's human resources committee has passed my motion to study the prosperity gap and make recommendations. This must be a priority. Yesterday on the Hill a banner declared that poverty is a government policy. It is time that fighting poverty becomes government policy.

Jordan AndersonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, at this very moment, the University of Manitoba is awarding a posthumous degree to Jordan Anderson, a Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan earlier this year.

Corporal Anderson, of the Edmonton-based 3rd battalion of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, was killed near Kandahar on July 4, along with five other Canadian soldiers and an Afghan interpreter.

Anderson was a political studies major completing his arts degree through the military support office at the University of Manitoba. I understand this will be the first degree conferred posthumously upon a serving member of the military killed in wartime and I congratulate the U of M for this important initiative.

I would like to recognize Corporal Anderson's wife, Amanda, who will be attending the ceremony along with members of Anderson's military unit who are currently working to set up a scholarship in his name at the university.

I would ask all members of this House to join me in acknowledging the Anderson family's contribution to this country and congratulate them for this well-deserved posthumous degree.

Nobel Peace PrizeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Lussier Bloc Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday, the general council of the Bloc Québécois paid tribute to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of their fight against climate change.

I would like to quote Al Gore:

—as long as our civilization as a whole continues to have a mindset that promotes the domination and exploitation of the natural world solely for short-term profit, the devastation will continue. I am convinced that we must choose one course of action unequivocally: we must make saving the environment the backbone of our civilization. And it is time to think about how that can be accomplished.

It is to be hoped that this great conviction will further this cause with the international community and the Conservative government. The Bloc Québécois continues to nurture that hope.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, today is Persons Day. For the past 78 years, Canadians have celebrated the historic ruling that stated women are persons under the law.

Unfortunately, there is not much to celebrate lately. Since 2006, the Conservative government has consistently attacked women's equality. The Prime Minister has made no attempt to fulfill his 2006 campaign promise to “take concrete and immediate measures, as recommended by the United Nations, to ensure that Canada fully upholds its commitments to women in Canada”.

Was this just another empty promise to get the Conservatives elected? In addition, the Conservative government has made it clear that women's advocacy groups will not be eligible for funding. Several women's equality-seeking groups have either closed their doors or are getting ready to do so.

Normally a day of jubilation, this Persons Day has a dark cloud over it.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-JeanStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Denis Lebel Conservative Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to speak in this House. I want to thank all the people in the electoral district of Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean who placed their trust in me. For the first time in 13 years, they can count on a member who will not be stuck on the opposition benches, but will be able to act in their interests.

The nation of Quebec knows that it is impossible to score when you are a spectator. My victory belongs to the Conservative team and to a certain Albertan who has demonstrated openness and leadership. For the past 20 months, the Prime Minister of Canada has been putting words into action, keeping his word and delivering the goods.

In the Speech from the Throne, we promised to take measures to support workers in the forestry industry and we will keep that promise. The Bloc opposes these measures and even thinks Ottawa is hindering Quebec's development. The opposite is true. The Bloc is a real political catastrophe that is hindering the economic development of the nation of Quebec within a strong and united Canada.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, during the last election campaign, the Conservative Party violated the Canada Elections Act. According to Elections Canada, $1.2 million was diverted. Conservative Party executives knew about and were involved in the scheme. Today some of them are advisers, MPs and ministers.

And what about the Prime Minister? I am asking him in his capacity as the Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister: what did he know and when did he know it?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I guess the Leader of the Opposition did not hear my answers yesterday for some reason. In any event, our election financing activities are entirely legal. They are what the law permits and they are similar to the practices of other political parties.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's closest advisers are implicated in this scheme. How can he pretend and say to Canadians that he was not aware of this unethical and illegal behaviour?

I will give him another chance to answer. What did he know about it and when did he know it?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely nothing to the suggestions of the Leader of the Opposition. I said it before and I will say it again. Our election financing activities are entirely legal. They follow the law. They are similar to those of the other political parties.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have the right to be given an answer by the Prime Minister. That is their right. He cannot remain sitting; he must reply. His advisers knew about it. What did he know? Was he responsible for any decision? Was it his decision to violate the Canada Elections Act?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, we just had an outstanding throne speech that set the course for the future. Apparently that is of no interest to the Liberal Party. It explains why when he became the leader of the Liberal Party, headquarters replaced the sign that said “smile” with the new sign that said “smile anyway”.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government spent the summer sidestepping allegations of election irregularities hoping to avoid parliamentary scrutiny. Not so fast. Their conduct has been called into question by independent organizations. They are under investigation not in one, not in two, but in three separate cases.

Clearly, the party opposite wants to sweep all of this under the rug so Canadians do not get the facts. But is this the real reason why the Prime Minister wants to go into an early election?

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, let me be clear. This party does not want to go into an early election. We wish to govern.

We will be seeking a mandate from this House to govern until October 19, 2009. That is the date we set in law for the next election, and we are confident that this House will give us that mandate next Wednesday.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are presently the subject of three independent investigations for serious ethics breaches. Is that why they want an election? To sweep it all under the rug?