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 #20 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was post.

Topics

Universal Children's DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, as part of Universal Children's Day, Initiative 1, 2, 3 GO! Ahuntsic, RePère, the Bureau de coordination des services de garde d'Ahuntsic, the Pacific Path Institute and Centres Jeunesse have brought back a children's advocacy exhibition by an Ahuntsic artist. In 1997, this internationally renowned artist received an honourable mention from the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse du Québec. November 20 marks the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.

The advocacy exhibition by Thérèse André entitled “Tendresse-tendresse” will give my community an opportunity to reflect, in the hope that one day all the children of the world, including ours, will be free from violence, poverty and exploitation.

There are far too many children suffering. Governments must heed the call and take action.

National Child DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Liberal Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year's theme for National Child Day is “The Right to be Active”. Promoting physical activity is essential to children's health. A quarter of Canadian children are either overweight or obese.

One estimate suggests that obesity currently costs the health care system $1.6 billion annually. Without immediate action, we are sacrificing the quality of life of our children and putting them at serious risk for preventable chronic diseases such as diabetes or even death.

Regrettably, the Conservative government's response to the health committee report, “Healthy Weights for Healthy Kids”, shows clearly that it lacks the resolve to develop a comprehensive national plan to fight childhood obesity.

The federal government must provide immediate leadership to ensure that the growing trend of increasing childhood obesity is reversed.

In recognition of National Child Day, I call on the government to adopt the recommendations to combat childhood obesity put forward recently by the Standing Committee on Health.

National Child DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Lynne Yelich Conservative Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, today is National Child Day and children and families are a priority of this government. That is why this government has provided all parents with choice in child care by implementing the universal child care benefit. I do not understand why the Liberal leader has said he would take it away.

This government created a new $2,000 child tax credit and provided an additional $250 million to the provinces, which has helped them announce the creation of more than 32,000 spaces.

This government is spending $5.6 billion this year alone on early learning and child care. This is the single largest child care investment in Canadian history, three times more than the previous Liberal government ever spent.

After 13 years of countless broken promises, even the former deputy leader of the Liberal Party, Sheila Copps, had to admit that her government did not create a single child care space.

It is fitting that this year's theme is “The Right to be Active”, because getting active is what this government has done after more than 13 years of Liberal inaction.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the Prime Minister why he misled the House last April about torture in Afghanistan but he refused to answer. Let me try again.

Why did the Prime Minister tell the House on April 30 that there was no evidence to support these allegations when Federal Court documents now prove that last April they did have evidence of torture?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have said repeatedly that there has been no evidence of any abuse involving the transfer of Canadian prisoners until one case recently in the past two weeks.

We do have a process in place with the Afghan government to monitor this and to ensure there is an investigation, and those are the facts.

Frankly, unless the Leader of the Opposition has some concrete evidence of allegations to make against Canadian soldiers, he should either make them, show that evidence or he should apologize.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the facts speak for themselves, against the government but for our soldiers.

The Minister of National Defence himself admitted last Sunday that the government had concealed the truth about torture. Absurdly, he tried to justify this cover-up by citing national security.

Does the Prime Minister agree with his Minister of National Defence that torture should be concealed in the name of national security?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is strange to say “for our soldiers” when he is accusing them of knowing about allegations of torture.

The truth is that our soldiers and military personnel always respect their international obligations. There is an agreement in place with the government of Afghanistan. When there is evidence of such allegations, an investigation is carried out, as is the case right now. If the leader of the Liberal Party would like to make any allegations against our soldiers, he should produce some evidence or apologize to our soldiers.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is pathetic. Court documents show that he misled the House. Court documents told the truth, not the Prime Minister. Court documents show that the government is transferring Afghan children in a system of abuse and torture. Court documents show that the government knew that last June and it is continuing to transfer children.

Today, Universal Children's Day, will the Prime Minister commit to stopping the transfer of children?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Canadian Forces in Afghanistan transfer juvenile prisoners separately, according to international agreement. There has not been any evidence of abuse against such juveniles who have been transferred.

The Leader of the Opposition makes these allegations when Canadian heroes are being brought back to this country for burial. He has not a shred of proof and he should apologize to the military for those accusations.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of National Defence claimed that juvenile detainees were held separately from prisoners in Afghanistan.

However, there are two problems here. First, his own officials say that the separation of juveniles from the general prison population “remains an issue in Afghanistan”. Second, international conventions say that we should not be transferring child soldiers in the first place.

Would the Prime Minister confirm today that no juvenile detainees transferred by Canadian soldiers have been harmed or tortured and can he account for every last one of them?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I just said that there was no evidence to support such allegations. The government has been clear on that.

Canadian soldiers and Canadian officials are very conscious of our responsibilities under international law.

The Leader of the Opposition made a contrary accusation, fabricated an allegation and, if he is not prepared to apologize, his deputy leader should apologize for him.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will make no such apology. I am doing my job and it is time the government did its job.

International conventions require us to help child soldiers, not detain them.

Why are they transferred to a system in which the government cannot guarantee their safety?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, clearly, it is the Liberal Party's job to cook up these allegations against Canadian soldiers. Our job here is to defend and protect our Canadian soldiers, as they themselves are defending our interests.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, a few years ago, the Bloc Québécois launched a major campaign to inform seniors of the guaranteed income supplement program. At the time, 68,000 Quebec seniors were entitled to the guaranteed income supplement but were not receiving it. Today, 40,000 Quebec seniors continue to go without these benefits. The Bloc has continued its awareness campaign and is demanding full, retroactive payment of these benefits, which the government has refused despite the $11 billion surplus forecast for this year.

Why does the Prime Minister refuse to help seniors by making fully retroactive payments of the guaranteed income supplement when he has the means to do so?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as a result of this government's actions, seniors only have to apply once for the guaranteed income supplement and no longer have to fill out an application year after year. We also have dynamic information campaigns aimed at contacting seniors and informing them of the benefits to which they are entitled. That is what this government is doing.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when this Prime Minister and his party were in opposition they voted in favour of the Bloc Québécois motion calling not just for retroactivity but for full retroactivity. Now that they are in power they are refusing.

Does the Prime Minister realize that he has reached the heights of hypocrisy by refusing to keep the promise made when in opposition?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has kept its election promises. Seniors have benefited from these initiatives.

I find it strange, nonetheless, because if the Bloc Québécois were to achieve its objectives, Quebeckers would not enjoy any of the benefits of federal programs.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Raymond Gravel Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, just to make it to the poverty line seniors need an additional $110, not the current $18. The government should be embarrassed to refuse this indexation when it was so quick to allocate over $14 billion in surplus to the debt.

What is the government waiting for to show some compassion and dig into its own pockets to truly index this program for seniors who desperately need it?

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the fact is this government has put in place a minister dedicated solely to seniors' issues. We put in place a National Seniors Council. We are fighting elder abuse. We have expanded the new horizon program. We have improved benefits for seniors. We have reduced their taxes. We have done more in 21 months than the previous government did in 13 years.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Raymond Gravel Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, instead of treating the oil companies to tax cuts, the government could index the guaranteed income supplement in order to help seniors who truly need it. Tax credits will only help the oil companies increase their already obscene profits. Shell alone will save $59 million; Imperial Oil, $107 million; and Talisman Energy, $80 million.

Will the government acknowledge that in its last economic statement, it chose to help oil companies over seniors who are living below the poverty line? The government should be ashamed of itself.

Guaranteed Income SupplementOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Medicine Hat Alberta

Conservative

Monte Solberg ConservativeMinister of Human Resources and Social Development

Mr. Speaker, the member is obviously not paying attention.

This government has moved aggressively to improve benefits for seniors. We have put in place a National Seniors Council so it could reflect the views of seniors across this country and ensure we had that important input.

The member speaks of taxes. Under the leadership of the finance minister, we reduced income taxes so that 385,000 low income Canadians, many of them seniors, will no longer pay any income tax at all.

Municipal InfrastructureOral Questions

November 20th, 2007 / 2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, years of Liberal negligence have created a massive municipal infrastructure deficit. The mini-budget did nothing to remedy the situation. Taxes and service fees are on the rise across the country.

For example, in Sudbury, user fees were increased by 8%.

In North Bay, service fees are up. In Owen Sound and all over the place, sewer and water fees are up. Ice rental fees in Chatham are up 25%.

Will the Prime Minister fix his Liberal supported mini-budget blunder and start investing in our cities and communities so we can start to get--

Municipal InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Municipal InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, since coming to office, this government has announced record amounts of spending and record new programs for dealing with infrastructure in Canada. In fact, they amount to an additional $33 billion over the next seven years. This covers everything from national down to certain types of municipal and local infrastructure.

The NDP voted against all of those initiatives but this party voted for them.

Municipal InfrastructureOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, they make announcements but there is no delivery. Where is the money?

The fact is that the government chose a $14 billion corporate tax cut instead of investing in cities and communities. It is homeowners that are having to pay the price.

In Waterloo, Toronto, Victoria, Oshawa, Mississauga, Gatineau and Vancouver property taxes are way up to pay for infrastructure. Homeowners in Edmonton and Abbotsford are facing double-digit tax increases. In Brampton, it could go as high as 30%.

Why should homeowners pay while corporations get big tax cuts and their cities fall apart?