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House of Commons Hansard #23 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was justice.

Topics

Special Olympics MonthStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to recognize the importance of support for people with an intellectual disability by supporting the declaration of November 2007 as Special Olympics Month by Special Olympics Canada.

There are more than 800,000 Canadians with an intellectual disability. Special Olympics Canada is a national not for profit grassroots organization that seeks to enrich lives by providing sports training and competition opportunities to 31,000 athletes. They are supported by more than 10,000 volunteers.

In the spirit of Special Olympics Month, I call upon all Canadians to set aside some time to think about their families and communities and how they can make a difference in the lives of persons with an intellectual disability.

DiabetesStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Lui Temelkovski Liberal Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, November 14 marked World Diabetes Day. Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Canada launched a campaign across Canada to urge the federal government to commit to funding for type 1 diabetes research in the budget of 2008.

After meeting with several constituents regarding diabetes, I was surprised to learn that globally, Canada has the third highest occurrence rate of type 1 diabetes in children 14 years or younger.

Because diagnosis often occurs in childhood and adolescence, type 1 and other forms of diabetes threaten to place a heavy burden on Canada's health care system.

In one of those meetings, I was presented with two keys to deliver to the Minister of Health and Minister of Finance signifying my support for the foundation's funding initiative.

I believe Canada has the potential to play a role in the treatment of type 1 diabetes.

BangladeshStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Marcel Lussier Bloc Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada has contributed more than $86 million in development aid to Bangladesh, according to CIDA statistics for 2005-06.

After tropical cyclone Sidr, which has left thousands dead, Canada has promised to donate up to $3 million in humanitarian aid. With the damages caused by the hurricane, there will be a lot of rebuilding to do. Canada must commit to increasing its development aid to Bangladesh.

In light of the current political situation in Bangladesh, which needs political, electoral and institutional reform, it is essential for Canada to ensure that the donated money will contribute to reducing poverty and not to supporting the current interim regime.

The release of political prisoners is the first step toward democracy in Bangladesh.

Omar KhadrStatements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, for more than five years, Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen, has been languishing in the U.S. military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. He was captured and detained at the age of 15 and remains the only detainee from a western country not to be repatriated.

The United Nations has launched a formal protest to the U.S. over Mr. Khadr's continued detainment. Members of the European Union and the international community have spoken out on his detention, and Mr. Khadr's military lawyers have gone to Britain to help secure his release to Canada.

All the while the Government of Canada has refused to involve itself. We have a responsibility as a government to protect our citizens, whether they are here in Canada or in other countries. However ,we see this government reversing the decades-long policy of seeking clemency for Canadians facing the death penalty, failing to make representations on behalf of Canadians detained abroad, and allowing children to languish in solitary confinement in a U.S. military prison. It begs the question: Why?

Ottawa Book of EverythingStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Conservative South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, I encourage every member of this House and all listening to get a copy of the Ottawa Book of Everything, written by Arthur Montague and published by John MacIntyre, a resident of Lunenburg in the constituency of South Shore--St. Margaret's.

This book gives an in-depth look at the city of Ottawa, covering a wide variety of topics, past and present, such as culture, crime, the economy, politics and weather. This book is interesting, entertaining and informative.

Following the success in 2005 of the Nova Scotia Book of Everything, John MacIntyre decided to branch out and cover other provinces and larger cities in Canada. In 2006 his company, MacIntyre Purcell Publishing Inc., launched two more books, one for New Brunswick and one for Newfoundland and Labrador. This fall, along with the release of the Ottawa Book of Everything, there are books being released about P.E.I., Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatchewan.

Mr. Speaker, you and any of my colleagues who do not have a copy of this book need one.

BangladeshStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my condolences to the family members and individuals who lost loved ones in a recent cyclone that struck Bangladesh. This devastation has left more than 3,000 people dead and destroyed over 500,000 homes.

The Red Cross and Red Crescent are doing great work to raise money to send to the devastated region.

As a former minister, I have dealt with major natural disasters around the world and understand the importance of immediate assistance in order to prevent further deaths as a result of the spread of disease.

I urge the government to ensure that all assistance is given to the people who need it most. I request the Government of Canada to expedite immigration applications already filed in order to achieve family reunification more quickly.

On behalf of the thousands of Bengalis in my riding and across the country, I stand with them in this time of sadness. I extend to them my most sincere condolences and offer any assistance I can in helping to reunite family members.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against WomenStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, November 25 has been declared International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Violence against women affects every one of us. It destroys families and communities and weakens our social fabric. It knows no bounds: age, race, income, geographic location or social status. Who among us has never been affected by violence against women in some way?

On the eve of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, let our thoughts go out to these girls and women, too many to count, who throughout history and still today, in Canada and in the rest of the world, are victims of this terrible sickness plaguing our society.

Let us vow to take tangible action, in our personal lives and in our communities, to put and end to all forms of violence against women, girls, and young girls in particular, once and for all.

Forestry IndustryStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean and spokesperson for the forestry file in Quebec recently gave some encouragement to workers at AbitibiBowater in Dolbeau-Mistassini, promising them some assistance. Unfortunately, by voting against the Bloc Québécois motion to resolve the forestry and manufacturing crisis, he ignored the workers' demands.

Over the weekend, the president of the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean FTQ, the president of the AbitibiBowater sawmill union and the warden of the Domaine-du-Roy RCM all denounced the double talk being spouted by the member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean.

The forestry sector cannot sustain the Conservative government's laissez-faire attitude much longer.

The member must admit that he was wrong to vote against the Bloc Québécois motion to help the forestry sector. He should now join us in pressuring his government.

The Grey CupStatements By Members

November 23rd, 2007 / 11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Dave Batters Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, Sunday is the 95th Grey Cup, featuring the green machine, Saskatchewan's beloved Roughriders versus the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

In the heart of the CFL, Rider pride has never been stronger. Today is Green Day and the Rider nation is descending upon Toronto for a prairie party to remember and for a victory that all Rider fans will cherish forever.

Last night our QB Kerry Joseph was named the CFL's outstanding player. He will triumph over a young Dinwiddie who will be dominated by the big rider D and have to watch Scott Schultz's Moose Jaw Stomp all day long.

On behalf of all Saskatchewanians and the entire Rider nation, congratulations to everyone in the Roughriders organization on a very successful 2007 campaign. We cannot wait to see the cup paraded through Regina by Gainer the Gopher and the whole team next week.

To Bomber fans, thanks for coming out. Go Riders go!

Canadian Executive Service OrganizationStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the volunteer efforts of a constituent of Don Valley East, Mr. Jaan Arro, who served with the Canadian Executive Service Organization in Belgrade, Serbia.

During his assignment, Mr. Arro used his experience as a human resource professional to assist the development of a local company that is emerging in a struggling economy.

This year Canadian Executive Service Organization is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Since 1967, highly skilled Canadian volunteers have been using their professional expertise and experience to help others achieve their goals.

Volunteers like Jaan place Canada highly on the international stage. Mr. Arro and his fellow volunteers have truly earned Canada a reputation as a caring and compassionate country.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Conservative Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, from December 3 to 14, 2008, Bali will host the international climate change conference. Once again, our government will reaffirm the leadership role it intends to play in guiding all nations towards a global solution.

Canadians will recall the leadership shown by the Prime Minister during the Berlin conference. One of the main topics of that meeting was the need to reach an agreement concerning the reduction of greenhouse gases among all large emitters, particularly China, India and the United States.

Yesterday, the Minister of the Environment met with the Indonesian special envoy for climate change and confirmed that Canada strongly feels that any future agreement must establish binding commitments for all greenhouse gas emitting countries.

Our government remains committed to the interests of Canadians, in contrast to the negligence of the Liberals and the impotence of the Bloc Québécois.

Social HousingStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, in Burnaby--New Westminster and across the lower mainland the lack of affordable housing is causing a crisis.

Across Canada hundreds of thousands of Canadians are without homes and many more families are in a precarious state where keeping a roof over their heads is becoming a greater and greater challenge.

Given that two-thirds of Canadian families have lost income since 1989, the housing crisis is inextricably linked to the income crisis that Canadians are experiencing.

Canada needs a strong federal housing program; sufficient investment for social and cooperative housing, which would help people meet their basic needs; sufficient healthy food; clean and safe housing; and footwear and clothing for each season.

Affordable housing is a human right. It is a right of all Canadians. It is time the government stopped shovelling money at corporate CEOs and started providing housing and hope to Canadians.

Atlantic AccordStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday after weeks of cancellations parliamentarians finally got a Department of Finance briefing. The topic was just how much the government has gutted the Atlantic accord.

The meeting started at four o'clock. By 4:02 it was clear why the minister wanted the meeting cancelled all month. One thing became crystal clear. The deal with Nova Scotia is not the Atlantic accord.

The Conservatives can spin it, they can flip it, they can flop it, they can do whatever they want with it, but no matter how hard they try, they cannot turn it into the Atlantic accord.

The parliamentary secretary deferred to finance officials who squirmed in their seats during heated questioning from caucus colleagues. They could not explain why the deal is being applied to the 2005 equalization formula and not today's equalization as the original accord specified.

The people of Nova Scotia have been clear on this. Honour the Atlantic accord. Why change it at all? The only defence the government could muster was that there are many interpretations to the accord.

The government will soon find out which interpretation the people of Atlantic Canada will choose.

Manufacturing and Forestry SectorsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Wednesday, before a group of Quebec engineers, the member for Lévis—Bellechasse stated that the situation facing the manufacturing industry is alarming. The Conservative member said that action must be taken immediately and that the situation is such that we cannot delay.

Yet, the Minister of Finance continues to say that we must wait until the next budget for measures to support the manufacturing and forestry industry. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the Conservatives have said one thing and done the opposite. The Conservative members from Quebec voted in favour of the budget statement, which contains no measures for the forestry industry. What is worse, on November 14, the Conservative members from Quebec voted against the Bloc Québécois motion calling for immediate action.

I urge the Conservative members from Quebec to stop being hypocrites and to take the same stand in the House as they do outside. Either they adopt the minister's jovial attitude everywhere in Quebec or they vote with the Bloc Québécois when it is time to defend Quebec's industries.

FootballStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week has seen Manitoba in a football frenzy on its way to claiming supremacy in Canadian football.

The University of Manitoba Bisons and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers each have their respective league championships this weekend in Toronto.

Winnipeg fans will be taking the city by storm with their usual prairie flair. The blue and gold will take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the ultimate banjo bowl for an all prairie Grey Cup and the feisty U of M Bisons will be taking on the University of St. Mary's Huskies looking for their first championship since 1970.

As one Winnipeg fan said, “The Bombers and the Bisons on the same weekend, it's hard to believe that it could get any better than that”.

Manitobans across the country will gather to cheer the Bombers and the Bisons from coast to coast. We hope the best is yet to come this weekend when they bring both cups home to Manitoba.

Go Manitoba go!

Liberal Members from British ColumbiaStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, Liberals have some explaining to do. British Columbia is the most underrepresented province in the country. Our MPs represent 15,000 more constituents than do MPs from other provinces. That is unacceptable.

We have acted after 13 long years of Liberal inaction. This week we introduced a law which increases the number of B.C. MPs by seven. Finally, British Columbia gets it fair share of seats. And the response has been overwhelming.

Premier Gordon Campbell praised our efforts by saying, “This is a non-partisan measure that strengthens democracy, and I hope all parties will support it”.

Yet, the federal Liberals, under their mad professor, are playing politics again. They oppose this legislation.

Where are B.C.'s federal Liberal MPs? Where are the MPs for Vancouver South, North Vancouver and Vancouver Centre? Nowhere to be seen. Why have B.C.'s Liberal MPs abandoned British Columbia? Weak leadership? Or because they put their own interests ahead of Canadians?

British Columbians can rest assured that our government puts their interests first. We are getting it done.

JusticeOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, the foundational principle underlying the abolition of the death penalty is the sanctity of human life.

Does the Justice Minister 's new case by case review policy mean that some lives are more sacrosanct than others?

How can the government justify a policy in which all Canadians are not afforded equal protection and where the state is not only the executioner but the arbiter of who gets executed?

JusticeOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we indicated yesterday and in previous days that an individual who gets convicted of multiple murders, or a mass murderer, can no longer count on the Canadian government to necessarily intervene where an individual has been tried in a democracy that adheres to the rule of law.

I think we have been very clear on that and we will look at each case.

JusticeOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada said no to the death penalty, no to the death penalty internationally, and our Supreme Court has determined that it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, even in the case of multiple murderers.

The government said it will not intervene because the U.S. is a democracy with the rule of law.

Why do the Conservatives not give credence to our democracy, to our rule of law, to our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and to our Supreme Court decisions?

JusticeOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, we are actually sticking up for a lot of people who are not always heard.

I noticed yesterday that the Leader of the Opposition said that he had written a letter to the governor of Montana about this double murder. I just ask this question of the hon. member: Was there any discussion about writing a letter to the victims of crime over there? I hear what members opposite are saying. That did not make the cut.

I am proud to serve with a group of people who are quite worried about the innocent victims of crime. I am very proud to stand with them.

JusticeOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is an answer by dissembling.

The Minister of Justice is no doubt aware that wrongful convictions occur and that people on death row, even in Canada, have later been exonerated. There is no appeal from capital punishment.

Is the minister willing to accept that the government's determination in a specific case could send an innocent person to death? What about those instances of victims' rights?

JusticeOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member talks about victims' rights. I have heard very little of it come from the Liberal Party of Canada.

You heard them, Mr. Speaker. Those members started guffawing when I asked an innocent question: Had they written a letter to the victims of this individual's crimes?

We have instituted the first federal ombudsman for victims of crime. We are introducing legislation that takes into consideration law-abiding Canadians and the honest victims of crime.

JusticeOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, it would be nice to have the minister actually address the question he is being asked for a change.

Could the Minister of Justice explain how the death penalty is justified in democracies?

JusticeOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I think I have indicated to the hon. member that a decision has been taken in this country with respect to the death penalty and there are no plans to change the law.

JusticeOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I wish the minister could hear himself and the things he has been saying this morning. For a trained lawyer, the leaps in his logic are remarkable.

Just consider the illustrious group of democracies that have the death penalty: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Indonesia. It is quite a club.

Or is it all about the U.S. for this minister? Is it simply that he is enamoured with the U.S. legal system, a system that has executed over 20 innocent people, and since 1976, at least 30 mentally challenged people?