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House of Commons Hansard #16 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was problem.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Farm Family AwardsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Conservative Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian agriculture industry is one of the most advanced and competitive in the world. Our producers excel at not only feeding our communities and cities but they have come to be relied upon worldwide.

On November 4, 2007 I had the privilege to attend the Alberta Motor Association and Northlands Farm Family Awards. This event gives recognition to farm families from all over north central Alberta who demonstrate strong values and traditions of the family farm within their rural communities.

Today I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate the two farm families from my riding who received this award. Troy and Jackie Vetsch have operated their family farm with Monty and April Bauer for over 15 years. Both families have not only dedicated much of their spare time to their community, but also to the advancement of their industry.

It is precisely because of the leadership and hard work of people like the Vetsches, Bauers and all the farm family award recipients that the agriculture sector remains the backbone of our great country.

Constable Douglas ScottStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the member of Parliament for Nunavut and I represented the north at the regimental funeral of RCMP Constable Douglas Scott in Brockville.

It was moving to see the thousands of RCMP and supporters from other forces, and thousands of people from Brockville line the streets.

As we listened to the tributes from his friends, family and fellow police officers, we were made aware of a caring young man dedicated to his friends, family and profession, passionate in serving his country as an RCMP officer posted in the north.

It also struck us that the spirit of Constable Scott embodied the essence and legend of the RCMP in Canada's north.

A young man with so much to offer was slain in the line of duty. It is such a tragic loss.

We are well served by Canada's national police force. Its traditions are carried on by the many men and women who serve today.

This dedication is to the memory of officers like Constable Scott, one of our finest. On behalf of all the residents of Canada's north, we thank his friends, family and colleagues for sharing Constable Scott with us. We cherish his memory and grieve with them the loss of a remarkable young man.

World Diabetes DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, a United Nations resolution has declared November 14 World Diabetes Day.

In Quebec, more than 550,000 people are living with diabetes. It is estimated that the life expectancy of a person with diabetes is cut by 5 to 10 years. The World Health Organization is calling it a new international epidemic, since it estimates that the number of people with diabetes will double by 2025. This increase is directly connected to the growth of obesity.

This year's theme is “Diabetes in Children and Adolescents”. It aims to promote awareness and increased prevention among young people and decision makers. Something must be done before it is too late.

The federal government must stop interfering in provincial responsibilities and accumulating surpluses. It must give provinces the financial means to invest in health research. Research is the best approach to discovering a cure for the scourge that is diabetes.

Women's Resource CentresStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Catherine Bell NDP Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government cut funding to Status of Women Canada. This negatively impacted the work done by women's resource centres across the country.

In the Comox Valley, women rely on their centre to provide life skills programs and support groups for single parents and women with disabilities, but reduced hours due to the cuts have left some women with no place to turn.

The Campbell River Women's Resource Society just received $49,000 in specific program funding. While they are happy about that, what they really need is core funding to provide continuity of service and keep the centre open more hours.

The Campbell River Women's Resource Society would like to offer in-house programs that are relevant to the needs of women in our communities. Shelters should not be the only place that women can go to for support.

Funding requirements under Status of Women Canada force women's centres to fund raise and fill out grant applications just to keep their doors open.

I am calling on the Conservative government to implement core funding for women's centres so that they can provide the kind of services that are so necessary in all our North Island communities.

Violent Crime LegislationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have told us they want to see our Conservative government's violent crime act move swiftly through the legislative process and finally become law.

Canadians elected us to move quickly and decisively to tackle crime and make our communities safer. They are fed up with a justice system that puts the rights of criminals ahead of the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Bill C-2, the violent crime act, would impose mandatory jail time for serious gun crime; create tougher bail rules when a gun is used to commit a crime; protect our youth by increasing the age of protection for sexual activity from 14 to 16 years; crack down on drug impaired driving; and ensure that high risk and dangerous offenders face tougher consequences and are monitored more closely after release to prevent them from offending again and again.

All the measures included in the legislation were studied in depth by Parliament in the last session and some were held up for over a year. Canadians believe this is unacceptable and expect prompt passage of these crucial measures.

New Horizons for SeniorsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, the new horizons program has provided much financial assistance to many seniors groups in my riding.

While there is never enough money in this program and while many worthy projects are too often refused funding, the real need is often for infrastructure improvements and renovations of existing community facilities.

In my riding, from Saint-Ignace to Pré d'en Haut, from Dover to Murray Corner, seniors' groups need federal funds to improve their clubs. These community infrastructures must often be improved.

These groups of volunteers give much to our communities, and the federal government must ensure that they are able to modernize their community facilities.

I am asking the government to proceed quickly in approving funding for infrastructure improvements and to be generous with the small rural communities across Canada. More funding is needed to ensure that all seniors groups have fair access to this important program.

World Diabetes DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Conservative Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House that today the Canadian Diabetes Association is celebrating the first United Nations recognition of World Diabetes Day.

November 14 was chosen as World Diabetes Day because it is the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, and to commemorate him and Sir Charles Best, the two doctors who discovered insulin.

Our government continues to invest millions to fund research in order to find a cure for diabetes. Diabetes is a serious public health problem in Canada that affects approximately two million Canadians.

To help fight against diabetes, this government has put in place patient wait time guarantees for diabetes on first nation reserves guaranteeing treatment within acceptable wait times for those who need it. Further, our government is promoting healthy living initiatives through the Canada food guide and the physical activity guide.

This Conservative government is serious about addressing public health issues and we are getting the job done. I ask my colleagues to please join me in wishing all diabetes agencies a successful World Diabetes Day.

National Capital CommissionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the National Capital Commission paid tribute to the infamous Lord Durham as part of its celebration of Ottawa's 150th anniversary as Canada's capital.

It is deeply hurtful to Quebeckers that people are ignoring the fact that Durham recommended that the British government assimilate francophones. Durham described francophones as inferior in all respects to anglophones, a people with no history whose only salvation lay in assimilation to the English majority.

It is scandalous that the Conservatives, who have proclaimed their respect for the Quebec nation, have allowed a person who described Quebeckers as a nationality “destitute of all that can invigorate and elevate a people” to be honoured in this way.

The Bloc Québécois demands an apology from the minister responsible for the National Capital Commission for this insult to the Quebec nation.

Hon. Member for Saint-LambertStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, last Sunday, the Bloc Québécois member for Saint-Lambert announced that he will run for the Parti Québécois in the riding of Bourget. I would like to congratulate my hon. Bloc Québécois colleague, here in this House, on his decision to move to provincial politics. His courage, and above all, his foresight should inspire others, beginning with his leader.

The truth is, support for the Bloc Québécois in Quebec is falling like autumn leaves from a tree. His colleagues should face the facts and admit that Quebec is getting stronger within a strong and united Canada and with the Conservative Party in Ottawa—a party that has the means to take action and achieve concrete, real results in the interest of Quebeckers and Canadians.

Juvenile DiabetesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and young people in Laval—Les Îles, I would like to present the Minister of Health and the Minister of Finance with keys symbolizing my support for efforts to find a cure for diabetes and its complications.

The families of children with juvenile diabetes are calling on our government to make a real, immediate financial commitment in order to step up research to find a cure for juvenile diabetes.

Together, let us open the door to a cure for juvenile diabetes.

Constable Douglas ScottStatements By Members

November 14th, 2007 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, hundreds of police officers and thousands of citizens gathered in Brockville, Ontario, yesterday to pay tribute at a regimental funeral for slain RCMP Constable Doug Scott, who died while on duty last week. It was a sombre occasion and reminds Canadians of the danger each and every police officer faces each and every day.

Twenty year old Constable Scott, Dougie, as he was known to his family, had always wanted to be an RCMP officer. He was described by his brothers as an amazing son and brother who was always willing and able to be counted upon. He lived his life without regret. He was an inspiration to everyone and showed his brothers and his friends that dreams are possible when we work hard to achieve them.

On behalf of all Canadians, I want to acknowledge and pay tribute to the hard work, leadership and sacrifice of Constable Scott and to express our deepest condolences to his parents, Doug and Marla, and his brothers, Chad and Layne, as well as the rest of his family and his many friends and teachers, who will always remember this remarkable, determined young man.

Atlantic AccordStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians still await the federal government's tabling of a clear, binding agreement on the revised offshore resources revenue sharing with Nova Scotia's Conservative government.

In opposition, federal Conservatives championed the Atlantic accord. In government, they tore it up. Now they ask us to trust that their replacement deal will protect the full benefits of the Atlantic accord, but where is any legal document that can hold the government to its promise?

In the last 10 days alone, the government has three times scheduled a briefing of Nova Scotia MPs on the latest deal and three times it has cancelled.

After a year of this reneging on agreements, punishing critics and backroom dealing among the Prime Minister, the Nova Scotia premier and Conservative MPs, Nova Scotians are fed up.

The Atlantic accord was a clear deal with clear benefits. Nova Scotians will accept nothing less. The Conservative deal is not worth the paper it is not even written on. So much for transparency, accountability and integrity in government.

World Diabetes DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, November 14, 2007 marks the first World Diabetes Day recognized by the United Nations.

Recently I had the chance to meet with some constituents who turned their own family's experience with juvenile diabetes into truly inspiring advocacy work.

Lynda, Barry and Jordanna Caine have asked me to personally deliver two keys on behalf of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to the Ministers of Finance and Health to highlight the importance of a long term commitment to fund research to find a cure.

It is my pleasure to deliver those keys on their behalf. I echo their hopes that with sustainable and long term federal funding more research can open the doors to a cure.

GreeceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Bloc Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec's Greek community is a proud community. On Saturday, October 27, despite the rain, thousands of people took part in a rally, here on Parliament Hill, to let the government know that they will never be in agreement with Canada giving the name “Macedonia” to the country run by the Skopje government, as the Conservative government did, in September. Moreover, a large number of demonstrators condemned the introduction of a bill, on May 17, 2007, by a Liberal member, with the support of his party, recognizing the name Macedonia for this new country.

There is a dispute going on between the government in Athens and the Skopje government, regarding the use of the name “Macedonia”. For the Greeks, this name is part of their national identity. Until a negotiated settlement is reached between these two countries, the UN is referring to this new state as the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.

As far as the Bloc Québécois is concerned, it is not up to Canada to rule on a dispute between these two states. Since this dispute is still—

GreeceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca.

World Diabetes DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, today, November 14, is the first World Diabetes Day observed by the United Nations. It is a day to stimulate activism to address these chronic, incapacitating and costly diseases that pose a serious global health threat, affecting 246 million people worldwide.

Each year another seven million people develop either type 1 or type 2 diabetes and 3.8 million deaths occur from diabetes related causes. Both diseases are increasing in frequency, with type 1 being found in ever younger populations.

I call on our government to make a five year, $125 million commitment for research to find a cure for juvenile diabetes through islet cell transplantation, regenerating the body's own beta cells and finding new therapeutics to predict, prevent and reverse complications. We must ensure that patients also have access to the care they need.

Canada discovered insulin. Our scientists are on the verge of finding a cure. Let us support them and drive juvenile diabetes into extinction.

Standing Committee on Procedure and House AffairsStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, yesterday at the procedure and House affairs committee, the opposition parties had a chance to come clean with Canadians, but sadly, minutes before a vote that would have opened up the political financing books for all parties, Liberal members, along with their cohorts in the Bloc and the NDP, literally ran out of the room, thus shutting down the committee.

Canadians expect better of their members of Parliament. This obstruction and this lack of accountability, on the part of all three opposition parties, are preventing Canadians from having the opportunity to learn about the financing practices of all parties.

What do they have to hide? Is there another sponsorship scandal just waiting to be uncovered beneath the surface of the Liberals, the Bloc and the NDP?

As long as the opposition parties continue to shut down this committee by neglecting their duties and leaving the room, Canadians are being deprived of the truth. I call upon all opposition parties to be open with Canadians and to stop hiding the facts on their own spending habits and start being honest with Canadians.

AirbusOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, will the Prime Minister promise Canadians that the public inquiry will include himself, his office and his government and what they have done about the Mulroney affair until the start of the public inquiry?

AirbusOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the terms of reference for the public inquiry will be drafted by an independent third party. I am pleased to announce that Dr. David Johnston, who is the president of the University of Waterloo, the former dean of law at Western and the former principal of McGill, and who has served numerous governments in various public policy capacities, has agreed to be the independent third party.

As I mentioned, Dr. Johnston has served various governments in various public policy capacities and we certainly appreciate his willingness to serve once again in what will be a difficult and challenging job.

AirbusOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, after the new Minister of Justice was appointed in early 2007, the justice department's internal investigation into the $2.1 million in compensation paid to Mr. Mulroney was conveniently blocked.

Why wait for the public inquiry? The Prime Minister should tell us the truth.

What role did he, his Minister of Justice and their respective offices play in blocking this investigation?

AirbusOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, these allegations are completely false and unfounded.

As I just mentioned, Dr. David Johnston, the president of the University of Waterloo and an eminent Canadian, has agreed to conduct the review that will provide the government with a mandate for a public inquiry.

Again, I thank Dr. Johnston for agreeing to serve his country.

AirbusOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we do not want a witch hunt, but we do not want a whitewash either. We want the truth, the full truth. Will the Prime Minister commit to a full public inquiry that includes himself, his office, his government and his Minister of Justice?

AirbusOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have just said that Dr. David Johnston, who is an eminent Canadian, will make proposals on the terms of reference for a public inquiry and the government will follow his recommendations.

Sooner or later, it will dawn even on the Leader of the Opposition that the events in question did not occur under this government but that some of them did in fact occur under the government of which he was a member.

AirbusOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians find it hard to believe that the Prime Minister was kept in the dark about something as sensitive as criminal allegations about a former prime minister and his political mentor, Brian Mulroney, but if that is true, it suggests the Prime Minister deliberately insulated himself from the facts in this matter.

Ignorance is not an excuse. He should have known and he should have demanded to know. Instead, he demanded to be kept in the dark. Why? What is the Prime Minister hiding from?