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House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was taxes.

Topics

Forestry IndustryStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am outraged to see that the Conservative government is complete irresponsible. What is this Conservative government waiting for before it helps communities, like mine, that are especially hard hit by the crisis in the forestry industry?

This government's failure to act is threatening the economic survival of the regions in Quebec. The economic situation in my region can be summarized as follows: eight plants have closed in the Antoine-Labelle RCM and five plants in the surrounding area; 1,785 jobs directly related to forestry development have been lost, in a population of 35,000. For the federal government, this means a loss of $27.6 million in revenues.

It is well past time for this government to come to its senses and take action to ensure that the people of Mont-Laurier, Maniwaki, Roberval and all the regions of Quebec are treated as full citizens.

Student DebtStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government is continuing on in the long and dismal Liberal tradition of abandoning Canada's greatest resource, which is our educated young. There was nothing in the throne speech to deal with rising university and college debt, nothing from the massive surplus, and yet university students are facing higher and higher levels of debt, an estimated deficit now that is upward of $20 billion. It is a policy that is shortsighted, both economically and socially.

Let us take the economy in northern Ontario, for example, where our economy is continually being held back by high levels of youth out-migration.

If young people from Timmins, Kirkland Lake or Cochrane goes south to get an education, what chance will they have to come back and be a prime mover in the new economy when they are left with high levels of debt at $40,000 and $50,000? The situation is simply unacceptable.

The NDP is proposing three clear, simple solutions. First, we need to increase the transfer payments to freeze or lower student debt. Second, we need to set up a national needs based grant system. Third, let us deal with the problem of the student loan system.

Violent CrimeStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, in my time in Parliament, no issue has been raised more frequently by my constituents than the issue of crime.

Constituents in Anmore and Belcarra have raised the problem of marijuana grow-ops and the need for action.

In Port Moody, gun crimes have shaken our sense of public safety. A neighbour in my building was shot in the head this summer. A neighbour across the street was struck in the face with a stray bullet from a drug deal gone bad, and a women, escaping an abusive spouse, was shot in the back on a sidewalk.

In Coquitlam, property crime has caused doors to be double locked and tension between neighbours. In Port Coquitlam, a 32-year-old constituent of mine was walking her dog this weekend and was tackled and assaulted by a man with a knife.

Crime is a serious and growing problem in my community. The quality of life of our constituents is the most important responsibility we have as members of Parliament to safeguard.

Our Conservative government is taking the steps necessary to help remedy the problem. We are hiring more police officers, holding criminals accountable, tackling gun crimes with mandatory jail time, criminalizing street racing, fighting auto theft and property crime, and protecting our kids from sexual predators.

I say to my constituents that I have heard their calls for action to fight crime and our Conservative government is getting the job done.

Member for Mount RoyalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Steckle Liberal Huron—Bruce, ON

Mr. Speaker, on October 28, 2004, in response to a submission for a ministerial review, the member for Mount Royal, who was then the minister of justice, concluded that Steven Truscott had likely suffered a miscarriage of justice. The case was then referred to the Ontario Court of Appeal, a process which eventually led to the acquittal of Mr. Truscott, hence righting an injustice that had spanned nearly five decades.

I am on my feet now, with the benefit of hindsight, to compliment the member for Mount Royal for his foresight and astuteness with respect to the process that was to be undertaken. While did not fully appreciate it then, I know now that the decision was the right one. I would like to extend my appreciation, on behalf of Steven and Marlene Truscott and their entire support network, to my colleague from Mount Royal.

While it is true that the member has a renowned international reputation on human rights and law, I would like to point out to all members of the House that, in my opinion, and in the opinion of the Truscott family, that reputation is most certainly deserved and well earned.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ken Epp Conservative Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I bring attention to the great work the Conservative government is doing to assure the safe handling of chemicals.

Last year our Ministers of Health and of the Environment introduced the chemical management plan that has begun to review some 23,000 substances that were approved for use in Canada before modern testing methods were available. The plan is the first of its kind in the industrialized world, and that shows that we are a world leader.

Our government is working with groups, like the Canadian Chemical Producers' Association, that are a part of the solution. They have created the responsible care program, a unique ethic for the safe and environmentally sound management of chemicals.

The government is taking action where previous Liberal governments failed. Our chemical management plan is a tough, aggressive action plan that will protect our environment and improve the health of all Canadians.

Louisiana-PacificStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, Louisiana-Pacific is closing its waferboard plant in Saint-Michel-des-Saints, in my riding, for good. Two hundred people worked at the plant before operations were suspended in August 2006. Not only will those who worked there lose their jobs but so will those who were employed indirectly due to the economic activity generated by this industry.

Dozens of families are affected and nothing is being done by the Conservative government to help them. Not just an industry but an entire community is affected. Families in search of work and decent incomes are leaving regions such as northern Lanaudière.

The government refuses to put in place the measures suggested by the Bloc Québécois and no concrete measures were announced in the throne speech in support of the workers, communities and families affected by this crisis.

The citizens of Saint-Michel-des-Saints and Saint-Zénon can rest assured that the Bloc Québécois will continue to defend the workers abandoned by this heartless Conservative government.

Handling SpecialtyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to salute Handling Specialty, a manufacturing company headquartered in my riding of Niagara West—Glanbrook.

Handling Specialty continues to be a profitable, forward thinking company in times of rapid change in the manufacturing sector. It has built a solid reputation for providing unique, custom engineered products in many sectors, including automotive, aerospace, entertainment, transportation and metal processing industries.

A notable example of Handling Specialty's technical prowess is in the Bellagio Theater's underwater stage lift system, which has achieved world record standing. The company also supplies wing assembly platforms for the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft.

On the heels of Small Business Week in Canada, I commend the Grimsby based company for its accomplishments. Its successes recently garnered it national media attention as a role model in Canadian manufacturing.

I congratulate Handling Specialty on its achievements in manufacturing and on the media recognition it has received.

Child CareStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Chan Liberal Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, when will the Conservative government stop deceiving Canadians?

The Conservatives did it again in the throne speech when they said that families now had a real choice in child care. This is false. As the advocacy group Code Blue for Child Care says:

Any parent knows that a $100 monthly voucher doesn’t create child care and without child care there is no choice. [This] claim is particularly misleading given that the [Conservatives] have not delivered a single one of the 125,000 child care spaces they promised.

They did it again in the throne speech when they said:

Canadians now have a government committed to helping them get the medical care they need more quickly.

This statement was made the same day that the Fraser Institute announced that “wait times for Canadians needing surgery hit an all time high of more than 18 weeks in 2007”.

A Globe and Mail editorial said, “there is nothing to these wait time guarantees....How stupid does the government think voters are?”

They are lying all the time.

Remembrance DayStatements By Members

October 25th, 2007 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, as November 11 is fast approaching, I would like to take this opportunity to once again pay tribute to our veterans.

Over the years hundreds of thousands of brave men and women have served their country by joining the armed forces and risking their lives to protect our freedom and to promote peace and liberty around the world.

From the first world war to the current mission in Afghanistan, our armed forces have shown the world that Canada is prepared to do its part to fight tyranny and oppression wherever it rears its head and also to defend our allies and ourselves when we come under fire.

So many men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice. When their country called, they answered. They fought to defend our way of life.

Across Canada Canadian legions will host Remembrance Day ceremonies. These events allow Canadians to pause and reflect on the sacrifice that our veterans have given on our behalf.

I urge all Canadians to participate in Remembrance Day in whatever way they are able. Attending a Remembrance Day ceremony is a great way to stand with our veterans, to pray for those who died in service and to show our thanks for all that veterans have done for us.

Post-Secondary EducationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, average undergraduate fees broke the $5,000 mark last year. This year they are up another $184, more than double the measly textbook tax credit.

Every hike in tuition fees widens the gap between kids from wealthy families and everyone else. Low and middle income families pay significantly more through student loan interest than those who can afford to pay up front.

The Canadian Federation of Students is our country's primary voice for post-secondary students, with 700,000 members and over 25 years of action.

Many of the members live in my riding of Parkdale—High Park. They are on Parliament Hill this week to tell Conservative and Liberal MPs what the NDP already knows: that students need lower fees and a national system of need based grants to replace the expiring millennium foundation.

A fraction of the $14 billion surplus could restore the affordability and quality of Canada's public universities and colleges. Ottawa's debt to its students is long overdue and the government needs to start repaying it.

OneVoice MovementStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour of informing this House that on October 18, here in Ottawa, in front of the Peace Tower, the OneVoice Movement's Canadian section, which was recently created by University of Ottawa students, organized a multipartite meeting to call for an end to the conflict that has gone on for too long between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.

OneVoice is an NGO that calls on the leaders of the international community to work steadily and without further delay to find a fair and equitable solution to this conflict. The members of OneVoice have promised to keep going until the only victory that matters to them—the victory of peace, reason and humanity—is fully achieved.

May even more Canadians work actively for peace in the Middle East. That is my fondest wish and the hope of Canadians.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Lussier Bloc Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in France, the last phase of what has been dubbed the “green revolution summit”, will be held on October 24 and 25. In French the summit is called “Grenelle de l'environnement”, in reference to the historic Grenelle agreements stemming from the May 68 movement. This final phase of the summit ends four months of unprecedented debate on a broad range of issues linking economic constraints with protection of the planet and the climate.

In that vein, the French president delivered a speech today on the environmental and sustainable development policy, while Al Gore and Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, talked about the dangers threatening the planet and the measures that need to be taken.

We are calling on the Canadian government to use this road map as an example at the 13th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Indonesia from December 3 to 14.

Jordan's PrincipleStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, this past Monday, October 22, the family and the community of Norway House Cree nation commemorated the life of one of their children. His short life of four years has had a profound impact and meaning for all first nations children and families in Canada. His name was Jordan. Jordan's principle is a child-first principle to ensure first nation children living on reserve have access to the same health services as other Canadian children.

The federal government has not implemented Jordan's principle and this means that first nation children with complex medical needs and disabled children living on reserve do not have access to health services that they require. It has been decades of jurisdictional wrangling. In my riding hundreds of children are in need.

Jordan was two years old when his family was informed that he could go home from the hospital and he would require health services on reserve. The jurisdictional and departmental squabbling continued right up until Jordan's passing two years later and he never got to go home because of it.

I praise Jordan's family for its courage in moving forward with Jordan's story, and I call on the government to implement Jordan's principle.

Speech from the ThroneStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, by voting against the Speech from the Throne yesterday, the Bloc Québécois proved to the Quebec nation that the party is all talk and no action in Ottawa. What is more, it does not want the Conservative government to act in the best interest of Quebeckers and Canadians.

Why is the Bloc opposed to doing something to fight violent crime, including sexual assault?

Why is the Bloc opposed to ensuring that voters show their faces before voting? Did the Bloc not table a bill about that?

Why is the Bloc opposed to reducing the tax burden on individuals, businesses and families?

Why is the Bloc opposed to implementing an infrastructure program that will promote growth in Quebec?

Why is the Bloc opposed to helping the forestry and manufacturing industries?

Why is the Bloc opposed to setting up a carbon exchange?

The Bloc can continue to oppose everything in an effort to stay relevant. We, however, will continue to act in the interest of the Quebec nation within a united Canada.

Members Elected in 1993Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would like to point out to the hon. members that today is an important date.

Today is of course a significant anniversary date for the largest group in the House of Commons, the class of 1993. I want to salute all members of the class of 1993 on this very happy anniversary of their first election.

Members Elected in 1993Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, Elections Canada has ruled that the Conservatives broke Canada's election law. They transferred federal money to ridings and then recycled it back again into their own coffers. It is called “in and out” and it is a scam.

Instead of owning up, they are taking Elections Canada to court and Canadian taxpayers are being asked to foot the bill. Will the minister tell the House how much it is going to cost Elections Canada to defend itself against a frivolous Conservative court action?

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, if the Liberal leader actually believed the wild accusations he has been making, if he really thought this was a scandal, he would have voted last night to have an election. He did not. It was his choice to give us a mandate to govern.

Actions speak louder than words. That is why nobody believes the Liberal leader or his party on this issue.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, not only did the Conservatives overspend their campaign limit by about $1 million, they are now bilking taxpayers for $780,000 worth of rebates they have no right to claim.

Then, to make matters worse, they are sticking Elections Canada with their legal tab. This is ludicrous: fleecing Canadians not once but twice for the same scam.

Why will the government not admit it is wrong, drop the lawsuit and save taxpayers the bill?

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, last night the Liberal leader and party chose to give the Conservative Party a mandate to govern. The leader did this because he knows that what we have been saying in the House is true. Our campaign financing activities are entirely legal. That is why he did not have the courage to go outside the House and repeat the kinds of personal accusations that have been made in the House.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, in committee, the Conservatives did everything they could to prevent having their election spending examined. In the House, they have done everything they can not to answer our questions.

When will the Conservative government do everything it can to tell the truth in this House?

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, the Liberal leader had an option yesterday. If he really believed his wild accusations, he would have voted yesterday in a fashion consistent with that and we would be in an election.

He had an option, Sir, and he chose to give this government a mandate to govern. Why? Because he himself does not believe the accusations he is making.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Chief Electoral Officer has uncovered two parts to the in-and-out scam dogging the government.

First, the Conservatives pretended advertising was bought for and by local candidates when that was not true, but by claiming it was local and eligible for a cash rebate from the government, those candidates were lining up to grab more taxpayer money. Elections Canada says this advertising was “not an expense of the candidates who claimed it”.

That is very clear.

What is the Minister of Justice doing to enforce 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, it is very difficult to take these questions seriously because the members of that party clearly do not take them seriously themselves.

They determined yesterday that this party deserved a mandate to govern. They endorsed our throne speech. We are going to proceed with that agenda to make Canada better for all Canadians.

Elections CanadaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, this House needs to be in session to investigate the Conservatives' scam. Their silence in this House confirms what their local candidates have already admitted: this was a financing scam.

Here is the other part of it. When the Conservative Party submitted its national expenses to Elections Canada, it did not include any of that local phony advertising. That $1.2 million has to be added on to the total of its national expenses and that means the Conservatives blew right by the lawful limit.

Will the Minister of Justice get tough on this kind of crime?