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House of Commons Hansard #30 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nations.

Topics

Ed SchellenbergStatements By Members

December 4th, 2007 / 1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, seven weeks ago, Canadians were shocked by the murders of six men in Surrey, B.C. One of the dead was Ed Schellenberg, an innocent bystander who was simply fixing a gas fireplace for a customer.

Ed was from my community of Abbotsford. A man of deep faith, Ed was loved by his family and by many friends and he loved in turn. He was honest, dependable and always quick to help a neighbour in need. He was the quintessential Canadian.

He did not deserve this fate. Like many others, Ed was the innocent victim of escalating drug, gang and gun violence in our communities.

Our most important job as MPs is to protect Canadians. For 22 months, tackling violent crime has been our Conservative government's number one priority and yet the Liberal an NDP opposition has obstructed and opposed our efforts.

The time for partisanship is over. Ed Schellenberg's death is a wake-up call to all of us. It is my hope that his death will not be in vain.

HanukkahStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, Hanukkah, la Fête de la Liberté, la Fête des lumières, la Fête de l'espoir, is important not only for the Jewish people but has universal resonance.

First, Hanukkah signifies the importance of religious liberty in general and freedom from religious persecution in particular, for the oppressors of the day sought not only to discriminate against Jews but to extinguish the Jewish religion.

Second, Hanukkah, as the festival of lights, is the victory of the forces of light over the forces of darkness, of the rights of minorities everywhere, indeed, peoples everywhere, to live in peace and dignity.

Third, Hanukkah is a holiday of hope, that those who persevere in the struggle for human rights will ultimately prevail over those who seek to repress human rights.

May this festival of lights enlighten us and inspire us, here in the House in our deliberations, and in our lives beyond it.

Community Support in the Riding of Berthier—MaskinongéStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to highlight in this House a wonderful example of community support in my riding of Berthier—Maskinongé.

An entire community came together to help out Martine Savard-Gauthier, a young mother of three who lost her feet and her fingertips after contracting flesh-eating disease.

In response to this terrible situation, the community of Saint-Boniface did everything it could to help Ms. Savard-Gauthier. I would like to thank the municipality of Saint-Boniface, the Optimist Club, business owners, organizations, the students of Collège Laflèche and the entire community for helping Ms. Savard-Gauthier move into a new house better adapted to her needs.

Thank you for compassion as a community.

Britannia Secondary SchoolStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to applaud the staff and students, present and past, of Britannia Secondary School in my riding of Vancouver East.

This year, Britannia Secondary celebrates an incredible 100 years of serving the Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood. This diverse and vibrant school has been a role model of inclusiveness, tolerance and respect for students, staff and parents alike. It continues to set and meet high standards for all the important ingredients that create a healthy and strong community. The contribution that the staff and students of Britannia have made to our community are immeasurable.

As the oldest remaining secondary school in Vancouver, Britannia has been graduating responsible, productive and engaged citizens and members of our community since 1908 and I hope will continue to do so for many years.

I am delighted to wish Britannia Secondary School a hearty congratulations on its 100 year anniversary. Go Bruins.

Parliamentary Outdoors CaucusStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, today is a very special day on Parliament Hill.

MPs and senators were treated this morning to an informative meeting of the all party parliamentary outdoors caucus. We were delighted to hear guest speaker, Bob Izumi, discuss the importance of uniting Canada's decision makers with Canadians who enjoy our traditional heritage activities.

Bob Izumi is a well-known TV host of Real Fishing and the creator and chair of Fishing Forever, the non-profit foundation dedicated to the protection and conservation of sport fisheries in Ontario. We thank Bob Izumi for bringing the great outdoors indoors today and helping to remind MPs and senators about their crucial role in creating laws that protect outdoor activities.

Millions of Canadians invest about $10 billion annually in hunting, fishing, trapping and sport shooting, and the outdoors caucus is their voice in Ottawa.

I encourage all MPs and senators to join this important caucus to represent those who seek to preserve Canada's rare natural beauty.

International Human Rights DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, next Monday, on International Human Rights Day, Canada will, ironically, be deporting Laibar Singh.

Mr. Singh, a refugee claimant, unfortunately had an aneurysm and became paralyzed while awaiting a decision. He needs constant care and attention. This deportation puts his health in serious jeopardy. Surely Canada does not deport the physically challenged. As a country, I think we are better than that.

The minister has already been assured by the community that it will provide the support needed to maintain Mr. Singh's dignity and independence. He will not be a burden on taxpayers.

Canadians hold the words “humanitarian” and “compassionate” as part of their core values. Here is an opportunity for the government to reaffirm them. Why can the minister not just do the right thing?

Portage--LisgarStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Pallister Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, this past summer the constituents in my riding of Portage—Lisgar were asked to nominate the most inspirational places in the riding, the seven wonders of Portage--Lisgar, and did they ever respond. We had over 5,000 responses.

Today, I am very excited to announce the final seven wonders of Portage—Lisgar: the Thresherman's Reunion, in Austin, Manitoba; a celebration of the artistic community, the Van Gogh painting in Altona; the second largest wildlife waterfall staging area in the world, the Delta Marsh, at the south end of Lake Manitoba; the natural wonders of the Spruce Woods Provincial Park; the energy efficient windmills of St. Leon; the Fossil Discovery Centre at Morden, Manitoba; and the celebration of our veterans and the sacrifices they made, the Darlingford War Memorial.

I want to thank all those who responded and participated. I want to encourage all Canadians, and certainly all my colleagues here in the House of Commons, to visit our beautiful riding and to enjoy the spectacular beauty of these many wonders.

Quebec Village of YesteryearStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, this season has been one of the most memorable ever for the Quebec Village of Yesteryear, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. For the first time in its history, the site saw a record-breaking increase in attendance and revenues of some 30%.

A major attraction in the Centre-du-Québec region, the Quebec Village of Yesteryear alone generated some $7 million in revenue for Drummondville and Quebec, creating 150 seasonal jobs and about a dozen permanent jobs.

The Quebec Village of Yesteryear offered many on-site activities again this year, for which it earned a Napoléon award in the recreation-tourist category at the 25th business gala of the Drummond chamber of commerce and industry.

I would like to congratulate the current executive director of the site, Pierre Derouin. Given the success of this tourist destination, I urge the government to become actively involved and to help establish new activities and new infrastructures.

MalaysiaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, in recent days there have been large-scale demonstrations in the streets of Malaysia. Two protests are of particular note.

The first, on November 10, was a demonstration organized by BERSIH, meaning “clean” in Malay. BERSIH is a coalition of opposition parties and civil society groups. The second demonstration, on November 25, was organized by the Hindu Rights Action Force.

We note with concern the response of the authorities in Malaysia to these demonstrations.

As Canadians, we appreciate the value of debating diverse viewpoints. Peaceful demonstrations are not foreign to the steps of Parliament Hill. As Canadians, we understand and respect the right to express differing views.

So, today, we would like to take this opportunity to remind and encourage the Malaysian government to respect the right to peaceful assembly in accordance with democratic principles, to respect the right to non-violent demonstrations, and non-violent expressions of opposition.

Cluster BombsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Ottawa treaty, an agreement signed by 156 countries around the world to ban the use of anti-personnel landmines. It is a ruthless tool of war, unable to distinguish between the footsteps of an enemy soldier and a child playing in an empty field.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy, Canada was instrumental in the promotion and negotiation of this landmark treaty.

Today, our energies focus on the elimination of cluster bombs. Cluster munitions post the same dangers to civilian populations that landmines do, with the additional characteristics that they are easily delivered and distributed over broad expanses of land.

Too often in post-conflict regions, farmers ploughing their fields lose life and limb while trying to put food on the table. Whole regions have been made inhospitable due to their use.

On this 10th anniversary of the Ottawa treaty, let us redouble our efforts to ban the use of a barbaric tool of war: cluster bombs.

HanukkahStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, tonight, families across the world will light candles to celebrate the first day of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights.

Every year at this time, in the lunar calendar, the eight day festival of lights celebrates the rededication of the second temple. These special days remind us of a miracle that occurred over 2,000 years ago when the people of Israel drove out the Seleucid invaders from Jerusalem, only to find the holy temple in ruins.

There was only enough consecrated oil to fuel the eternal flame in the temple for one day. But, miraculously, the oil burned for eight days; thereby, becoming a symbol to the Jewish people of hope in the face of tyranny.

Hanukkah is not only a celebration of Jewish national survival, but also a reminder to all the nations of the central place that religious freedom holds in our civilization.

I wish all members of this House and all Canadians a joyous and happy Hanukkah.

TradeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, like so many communities across our country, Hamilton is being devastated by unfair trade and rampant globalization. The government's trade policies are killing good paying domestic jobs, exploiting cheap labour overseas, and putting the health of our families at risk.

Toxic imports from countries like China are making their way into Canada at breakneck speed. These countries have low or no health and environmental standards, and Canada's broken trade and regulatory system is failing to protect our families.

Children are paying a high price for cheap imports. Lead painted wooden trains, tainted toothpaste, toxic teethers, and lead laced vinyl bibs are putting our children at risk. Mattel alone has had to recall over 10 million toys.

Our trade policies should prevent these problems, not invite them. Contrary to the Conservative agenda, this is not the time to expand trade with countries like Colombia and South Korea. This is the time to toughen our trade laws and bring into force meaningful product safety regulations.

Kudos to the steelworkers for urging the Prime Minister to get the lead out.

LandminesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are celebrating the anniversary of a major accomplishment to which Canada contributed: the convention banning the use of anti-personnel mines.

Canada brought nations together to make our world less violent and to make peace possible. This is the role traditionally adopted by Canada over the decades and it is this role that has earned us international respect.

However, we must continue our efforts. Much remains to be done. For example, cluster bombs are another type of barbaric weapon in the same class as anti-personnel mines.

On the anniversary of the convention banning anti-personnel mines, why do we not take up the challenge of banning cluster bombs? That is a challenge that Canadians can meet.

Régis LabeaumeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Sunday, Quebec City elected Régis Labeaume as its 37th mayor with an overwhelming majority.

His leadership, initiative and love of a challenge were in clear evidence at the summer festival and the Fondation de l'entrepreneurship, which he founded. The 400th anniversary of Quebec City represents a significant challenge for this new major. He promises to deliver. He is already involved in Quebec City's economy, culture and sports and now he wants to breathe new life into the city by making it more attractive and more open to immigration, and by making economic development a priority.

He garnered considerable public support and earned the trust of the voters in the national capital. The Bloc Québécois offers him its sincere congratulations on his election.

LandminesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, 10 years ago on December 3, 1997, Canada led the world as the first government to sign the Mine Ban Treaty, or as it is also known, the Ottawa convention.

This treaty is the international agreement that bans completely all anti-personnel landmines. It is the most comprehensive international instrument for ridding the world of the scourge of anti-personnel landmines. It deals with everything from mine use, production and trade, to victim assistance, mine clearance, and stockpile destruction.

As of 2007, the treaty has been signed by 156 countries that have agreed to ban anti-personnel landmines.

As we reach the 10th anniversary of this treaty, Canada should be very proud to have led the way on this important issue.

We should also be reminded that there is still much work to do. Let us not weaken our resolve. We must continue to work together to rid the world of anti-personnel landmines.

Member for Chicoutimi—Le FjordStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Denis Lebel Conservative Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, a member of the perpetual opposition party, the Bloc Québécois, will celebrate the second anniversary of his re-election to Parliament on January 23. For several years now, he has been trying to move into the limelight, knowing that he has no hope of influencing decisions made here.

His inaction and inability to make progress on issues affecting our region have given our Prime Minister and our government the opportunity to rethink policies that will enable our region's economy to recover and adapt to international market conditions and strong competition from developing nations.

I would like to remind my colleague and his fellow Bloc Québécois members that my party is all about taking action. We promised to work hard to meet the needs of Canadians. We will do exactly that, because our government has always delivered the goods.

Tribute to VolunteersStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Independent

Louise Thibault Independent Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, two million people in Quebec enrich our society by spending 300 million hours volunteering for aid agencies. I want to thank all these people who selflessly commit to a cause and improve the lives of countless others.

What sets these people apart is that they give of their time and energy without expecting anything in return. The only thing they get out of volunteering is the feeling of being uplifted as human beings.

Every time a volunteer serves a bowl of soup to a homeless person, listens to a victim of abuse or helps someone else, people come together a little more. Every time a volunteer makes a difference in someone's life, humankind as a whole benefits.

I salute the volunteers in my riding, in Quebec and across Canada. I pay tribute to them because they often make the difference between despair and hope.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that the government was hiding a foreign affairs report on the seriousness of climate change.

Today we learn that the government is hiding another report, this time from Natural Resources Canada. Here is another report about the disastrous impact of climate change on Canada and the world. Even the authors of the report want to know why it has not been released.

Why is the Prime Minister hiding this information from the Canadian people?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, no such thing is true. The government is not hiding any particular reports. The government is more than aware of the problem of climate change and the government has laid out in the throne speech the very precise actions and positions it is going to take to combat climate change, both here and internationally.

I do not know why the Leader of the Opposition complains about that position because, quite frankly, he let it pass here in the House of Commons.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, as I was not given an answer, I will ask the question again.

Yesterday, we learned that the government hid a foreign affairs report on the seriousness of climate change. Today, we learned that another report, this time from Natural Resources Canada, was also hidden by the government.

Why is the Prime Minister hiding this information? Is it because of his aversion to transparency, his aversion to the fight against climate change, or both?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition's claims are unfounded. There is no conspiracy here. The government position on climate change was clearly stated in the throne speech and the leader of the Liberal Party voted for the throne speech.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government is hiding reports on the seriousness of climate change. The government is sticking to a so-called climate change plan that is so weak that it is rejected in Canada and abroad. The government is telling the world that it will do nothing unless everyone does something. This is a recipe for disaster.

Will the Prime Minister finally admit that he does not believe in the science of climate change and he wants Bali to fail?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has been very clear. We are the first government establishing mandatory emission reduction targets for Canadian industry. We are also taking a clear position that we need an effective international protocol in which all polluters participate.

Once again, the Leader of the Opposition knew this. The government spelled this out for him in the Speech from the Throne. He voted for it here. He should not go around the world and complain about it abroad.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the Commonwealth was seeking consensus on climate change, our Prime Minister was setting up roadblocks. While the Australian prime minister was ratifying Kyoto, our Prime Minister kept saying Kyoto was a mistake. While the British prime minister called for “common but differentiated responsibilities” on climate change, our Prime Minister refuses to sign anything unless everyone does.

Why has the Prime Minister set the course for failure at Bali?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think if the deputy leader of the Liberal Party looks at the declaration from the Commonwealth, it speaks of the necessity of all countries doing something and also speaks of differentiated responsibilities. So, if he actually reads the declaration, he will see that it is exactly the consensus document that was reached by all countries of the Commonwealth.