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House of Commons Hansard #22 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

InfrastructureStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Schellenberger Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, municipalities in my riding are looking forward to the roll out of the building Canada fund.

Unfortunately, most municipalities in my riding of Perth—Wellington did not benefit from COMRIF, created by the previous Liberal government. Most municipalities applied to all three rounds and received nothing. In the meantime, important projects have been put on hold.

Funding from our new building Canada fund along with significant investments in the gas tax fund will help our municipalities upgrade and renew their infrastructure. Our $33 billion of infrastructure funding over the next seven years is the largest single federal commitment to public infrastructure in 50 years.

I look forward to working with the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and his team in support of our municipalities.

InfrastructureStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, the federal government plays a critical role in the health of Canadians across the country. Recognizing such and to commemorate our country's Centennial in 1967, a previous Liberal government established a program to assist municipalities, large and small, to build recreational facilities such as community pools, libraries, seniors centres, ice rinks and baseball diamonds, just to name a few.

After 40 years of intensive and enjoyable use by children and adults alike, our country's deteriorating recreational infrastructure is in need of immediate attention. We must ensure that quality recreational facilities will continue to be available for our citizens of all ages to contribute to a positive lifestyle and, more important, their health.

Our towns and cities are in fiscal crisis and need financial federal assistance to address the compelling need. I urge the government, in partnership with the provincial and local governments, to immediately create a new infrastructure program dedicated to replacing our crumbling recreational facilities.

I say this to the Prime Minister. Yes, our municipalities are important.

World Peace WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Vivian Barbot Bloc Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, from November 17 to 24, YMCA World Peace Week will focus attention on the commitment of individuals and groups who work for peace. It is an opportunity for us to think about peace and especially our own ability to resolve conflicts around the world.

Since 2006, the situation in Darfur has steadily worsened; thousands have died, and people have been displaced, raped, starved and subjected to daily violence.

To restore peace in Darfur, the Bloc Québécois urges the federal government to increase humanitarian aid, continue to support the International Criminal Court and provide greater financial and logistical assistance to the African Union and the UN, in additional to engaging in diplomatic efforts.

Peace is not just the absence of war. It is also the creation of an environment conducive to the well-being and development of all human beings.

End Exclusion 2007Statements By Members

November 22nd, 2007 / 2 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, End Exclusion 2007 is an extraordinary gathering taking place in Ottawa today.

More than 300 delegates, representing over 90 organizations from across Canada, seeking meaningful equality for persons with disabilities are here working out a plan of action to convert their vision of an inclusive and accessible Canada into a new and vibrant reality.

They have a message for all of us: enough with the studies, enough with the promises, it is time for action now, time for the federal government to build a Canada where all people living with disabilities have the supports necessary to fully access and benefit from all that Canada has to offer, where we work together to remove barriers and ensure that active citizenship and full inclusion of Canadians with disabilities is a reality.

We have reached a turning point. It is time for the federal government to show leadership and improve the daily lives of the 12% or more of Canadians living with disabilities. It is time to get to work building a Canada where all citizens can enjoy full citizenship and where we base our values on equality, self-determination and accessibility. It is time for us to act so all generations will look on this moment with pride.

AfghanistanStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Mayes Conservative Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, this past summer there was outpouring support from my constituents, who signed a nine metre long banner for our troops in Afghanistan.

This was one part of a major effort led by Vernon, B.C. based HevyD's Old Fashioned Kettle Korn. HevyD's has also dispatched 2,600 commemorative bags of fresh kettle korn to the troops in Afghanistan, bearing messages from school children and cadets.

Copies of “We Salute Our Heroes” CD and DVD packages will also be sent. The goal is to raise $100,000 for “We Salute Our Heroes Foundation”. This is an effort to support injured troops and their families.

Actions such as these reassure our troops of our support and that they are always in our hearts.

I salute HevyD's Old Fashioned Kettle Korn and all the volunteers for their efforts to support our troops.

Eid ul-FitrStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Dan McTeague Liberal Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, a major festival in Islam is Eid ul-Fitr, which is celebrated at the end of Ramadan, the month where Muslims fast from sunrise to sundown.

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. The month is also marked by prayer and charity. It is also an opportunity for Muslims in countries around the world to interact and develop a better understanding of each other's heritage.

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the organizations involved, I extend an invitation to you and to all colleagues in the House and in the other place to attend the 13th annual Eid ul-Fitr celebration on Parliament Hill tonight, in Room 200 of the West Block, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Once again, this event promises to be an evening of celebration of all faiths and recognizing the important contribution the Muslim community makes to Canada.

On behalf of this House, I wish all Canadian Muslims a Happy Eid Mubarak.

Winnipeg Blue BombersStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I am speaking today to recognize the pride of Manitoba, my hometown team, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. With a rich history of 25 Grey Cup appearances and 10 Grey Cup wins dating all the way back to 1935, the blue and gold are truly one of the CFL's finest.

I would like all Manitobans and Blue Bomber fans from coast to coast to coast to echo these rousing words when they take on and crush the not so rough Roughriders. Like the Blue Bomber victory march says:

We'll shout as you go charging by,
We'll send up our cheers to the sky,
Behind you we'll stand,
You're best in the land.
And we'll shout out our praise on high.
Fight! Fight!

Quebec's EconomyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the beginning of this session, the Bloc Québécois has been trying to get the Conservative government to listen to reason and understand the need to take immediate action in the forestry and manufacturing crisis. The Minister of Finance and the Minister of Industry have said in this House that everything is just fine. The economic reality is not fine: an oil boom in Alberta, based on developing the tar sands, and a major crisis in the forestry and manufacturing sectors in Quebec.

The Forest Products Association of Canada, the Quebec manufacturers and exporters association and the Réseau des ingénieurs du Québec have recently thanked the Bloc Québécois for their position on the forestry and manufacturing economy. My colleagues and I share their concern for their future.

The Conservative government is having trouble recognizing the catastrophic situation Quebec's economy is in right now. The Bloc Québécois has solutions to propose. The urgency of the situation demands that the government take action.

Hobbema CadetsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, today marks the second anniversary of the Hobbema Community Cadet Corps.

With over 970 participants, this remarkable cadet corps is the largest native cadet program in Alberta and perhaps the world.

Under the direction of RCMP Constable Richard Huculiak and Sergeant Mark Linnell, the program emphasizes native culture, sports, a healthy lifestyle and requires cadets to stay in school. It has proven to be such an effective crime prevention initiative that in two short years school attendance is up and there are fewer bullying issues, fights or other complaints.

So amazing are these cadets, that they received a standing ovation at the 2007 “Models of Excellence for Youth” Provincial Congress in Toronto, following the screening of the documentary Shades of Blue that tracked their remarkable progress.

The Hobbema cadets are discovering that there is an alternative to gangs, drugs and violence. With new found confidence, they are on the road to becoming responsible, future leaders who will ensure the traditions and values of their heritage are upheld in a safe and vibrant community.

I encourage the four Hobbema bands and the community to invest in their young people by continuing to support this most worthwhile initiative.

HealthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the untimely death of Ashley Smith, an 18-year-old inmate at the Grand Valley Institution for Women, has everyone talking about the care provided to inmates with mental health issues, everyone, that is, except the government.

Ashley Smith began her six year sentence as a young offender and it ended tragically four years later when she suffocated herself just weeks before she was to be released. This mentally unstable teenager had spent most of her sentence in segregation.

Canada's correctional investigator has been telling us for several years that Canada's penitentiaries are becoming warehouses for the mentally ill. Yet our prisons remain ill-equipped to treat those who suffer with mental health issues. Segregation should not be confused with treatment.

I call on the government to make it a priority to implement the mental health strategy that has been languishing since 2004, to ensure that no future inmate will end up sadly as Ashley Smith has.

AfghanistanStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to reaffirm my unwavering support for our troops deployed in Afghanistan.

In addition, I offer my condolences to the families of Corporal Nicolas Raymond Beauchamp and Private Michel Lévesque, who were both stationed at Valcartier and who died in Afghanistan last week. I also offer my condolences to the family of Private Frédéric Couture, who died last week as well.

I pay tribute to the lives of these brave soldiers, who did not die in vain. They went to Afghanistan in an effort to restore hope to a people facing terrible difficulties and turmoil. They were there to support rebuilding efforts at the request of the government of Afghanistan, as part of a UN-sanctioned mission led by NATO. They believed in that mission. They were following their dream. Like their comrades, they did everything they could to protect the values we hold dear as Canadians.

I thank these soldiers for their courage. They have done us proud.

Forestry IndustryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, well, it will be a bitter Christmas for the 400 laid off workers at Norboard and Tembec in Cochrane. It is the same story across northern Ontario. Tembec and Timmins are down. Grant is down. Wawa is down. Dryden is down. Kenora is down.

We had a motion in the House to help the forestry sector and the manufacturing sector at a time of crisis, and what happened? The Liberals allowed that motion to be killed. They sat on their hands.

Now that people back home are finding out, the Liberals are scrambling to come up with excuses. Get this: They claim that if they stood up for the forestry families in northern Ontario, there could have been an election and they would have lost seats. What a pitiful response. They chose saving their own political skins over fighting for the hard-working families in northern Ontario.

If the Liberals are going to take a dive every time there is a vote in the House, they should go home, stop collecting their pay and leave the work of opposing the government to us.

Vancouver Airport Taser DeathStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Don Bell Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, like many North Vancouver residents who have contacted me, I was shocked and appalled last week by news and television accounts of the treatment and taser death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski.

How could Mr. Dziekanski have been ignored, left alone and confused in a secure area of the airport for over 10 hours?

How could his mother, who had travelled all the way from Kamloops to greet her son, apparently be offered no assistance or compassion when Robert did not emerge as anticipated, even hours after his plane was known to have arrived?

Why was a sincere effort not made to confirm her son's location before she was allowed to return to Kamloops without her son, who in fact had arrived and was only a few hundred feet away, frustrated and confused?

Also, why did the RCMP who responded at the airport make what appears on video to be an almost immediate and unnecessary use of a taser, without visible consideration of any other procedures or methods of responding to Mr. Dziekanski's behaviour?

Airport, immigration and border services staff and the RCMP must provide answers.

Paul Vallée SawmillStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the very day that the government rejected the Bloc Québécois motion to help the manufacturing and forestry sectors, news arrived of another mill closing down because of Conservative negligence.

The Paul Vallée sawmill in my riding announced that it would be closing its doors temporarily because of problems related to softwood lumber and the rising dollar. The Bloc Québécois introduced its motion precisely to address these problems.

This sawmill is a major employer in the small municipality of Saint-Isidore-de-Clifton. A whole community will be affected by the Conservatives' refusal to act.

The Conservative government has the means to help the manufacturing industry, but it opposed the Bloc's motion on November 14. This is further proof that the Bloc Québécois is the only party that is willing to stand up for the interests of Quebeckers.

Family PhysiciansStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week is Family Medicine Week and parliamentarians are honoured to have members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada visiting with us here in Ottawa.

The College strives to improve the health of Canadians by promoting high standards of medical education and care in family practice, by contributing to public understanding of healthful living, by supporting ready access to services, and by encouraging research and disseminating knowledge about family medicine.

The college has two goals: first, for 95% of Canadians to have a family doctor by the year 2012; and second, that every Canadian should have access to a personal family physician, a registered nurse and/or nurse practitioner.

Today, 4.5 million Canadians do not have a family doctor. I believe they are the real have nots in our health care system.

I am asking the government what it is doing to ensure that every Canadian has a family doctor to call his or her own.

Democratic RepresentationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, in the last election we promised to give British Columbia more seats, its fair share of seats, in the House of Commons. We have kept our promise and tabled legislation to give B.C. seven more seats in Parliament.

Equal representation is good for Canada. Premier Campbell said it best, “This is a non-partisan measure that strengthens our democracy. This legislation recognizes B.C.'s growing population and the increasingly important role of the west in the federation's future”.

The Liberals are opposing this bill. This is not surprising. The Liberals voted against the gateway funding. They voted against B.C.'s forest industry by opposing the softwood lumber agreement. They voted against dredging on the Fraser River and a number of other B.C. issues.

By opposing British Columbia's fair share of seats in Parliament, the Liberal MPs from British Columbia are ignoring their responsibility to defend the province's future and its equal say in Canada's future.

Shame on them for ignoring their constituents. Shame on them for turning their backs on the future of British Columbia.

JusticeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canada abolished the death penalty 31 years ago. Previous governments have constantly upheld this principle for Canadians abroad. That is why I have written to the governor of Montana today asking that he commute the death sentence against a Canadian there.

Will the government do the same and demand that the state of Montana not use the death penalty against a Canadian citizen?

JusticeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the government has been very clear on what its position is with respect to this matter, but I have to note the new-found enthusiasm of the Leader of the Opposition on justice issues.

I can only tell you, Mr. Speaker, I wish there had been some of that enthusiasm last spring when we had bills that were going to protect law-abiding Canadians. I wish he could have written to some of his friends in the Senate last spring. He could have been helpful back then.

JusticeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are against the death penalty because it violates fundamental principles of justice. The government cannot pretend to oppose the death penalty here while allowing such sentences to be carried out elsewhere. That is unjustifiable. The government should oppose the death penalty wherever it is still in use. No half measures.

In the name of justice and humanity, I urge the government to officially oppose the use of the death penalty on this Canadian citizen.

JusticeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Certainly, Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is a newcomer to this issue. When he was asked by one of the Toronto newspapers to put together a pseudo speech from the throne, there was not one single word that talked about the protection of law-abiding Canadians, not one single word on the justice issue.

The member can do as he pleases, but I would like to get his support for the criminal law legislation that we have introduced in this Parliament.

JusticeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if the government truly believed the death penalty was ethically and morally wrong, as Canadians do, it would intervene in Montana, but it is silent. Despite the laws of the land, despite the Charter of Rights, despite the Supreme Court of Canada, the government is silent and its silence speaks volumes.

I ask again, will the government demand that the state of Montana not use the death penalty against a Canadian citizen?

JusticeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Again, Mr. Speaker, we did not get any help whatsoever when we were trying to bring in mandatory prison terms for people who commit serious offences with guns.

One of the things that disappointed me the most that did not get done last spring was when there was a bill to better protect 14 and 15 year olds from sexual predators. That bill died in the Senate. I wish he could have written to his friends there and given us a hand on that one.

JusticeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, every international human rights organization, Amnesty, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Council of Europe, has denounced the Conservative government policy on the death penalty. Canada is not back; it has walked off the stage.

Why is the government hell-bent on sacrificing an international reputation on human rights that was won by Liberals like Pierre Trudeau and Conservatives like Joe Clark?

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the deputy leader has certainly written some interesting things about the death penalty in the past, but I can tell you there are no plans to change the laws of this country and we will continue to seek assurances on extradition matters.

We have indicated that individuals who commit multiple murders or mass murders abroad in a democratic country that adheres to the rule of law cannot necessarily count on the Canadian government to claim clemency and patriation back to this country.

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, for over 30 years, Canada has been a leader in the international campaign against the death penalty. Now Canada is refusing to ask for clemency for a Canadian citizen condemned to death in Montana. Canada is no longer sponsoring UN motions against capital punishment.

Why is the Conservative government destroying our international reputation as a defender of human rights?