House of Commons Hansard #32 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was municipalities.


Opposition Motion--Federal Excise Tax on GasolineBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.


Michael Chong Conservative Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, after listening to the comments by the member across the way on the infrastructure deficit, I have a question for him. Should some of the blame for the infrastructure deficit in Canada not be placed on the way we have grown our communities in this country over the last 30 years?

Our government has committed a record amount to funding the infrastructure deficit, some $33 billion. Should some of the blame not be focused on the way we have grown our communities?

I look at Statistics Canada's latest 2006 census results. I have a table here from Statistics Canada which says that the city of Toronto has a population density of almost 4,000 persons per square kilometre, while a city like Mississauga has a population density of only 2,300 persons per square kilometre. Montreal has a population density of some 4,500 persons per square kilometre and Vancouver, British Columbia has a population density of over 5,000 persons per square kilometre.

In other words, the ability of a city like Mississauga, built on low density sprawl, to raise property taxes from its population base is less than half of that of Vancouver and only slightly over half of that of a city like Montreal or Toronto.

Is it any wonder why these sprawling suburban regions are having trouble replacing infrastructure that is only 30 years new? Is that not part of the reason that certain communities, not all, are having trouble replacing their infrastructure?

Opposition Motion--Federal Excise Tax on GasolineBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.


Ken Boshcoff Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member's question because it recognizes the historical basis of a country that felt it had unlimited space in which to grow in the urban domain and now is faced with the dilemma where those rural and smaller communities, which are actually supplying the greater metropolitan areas, are facing a much more difficult time with their tax base to support that.

The hon. member mentioned the record cut from $40 billion to $33 billion for infrastructure and the municipalities of all sizes do not need a catch-all program. They need a program that is adapted to their specific needs. Overcoming those issues of congestion, gridlock, urban sprawl, pollution and all of those things, must be dealt with by all three orders of government in conjunction with each other.

When we first brought forward the federal involvement in a major way, one could say that those were also record spendings because they were new programs and a new role for the federal government, at the request of municipal people who had come forward with their case.

Therefore, if there are to be programs, it is important that they be made permanent, accessible and dependable.

Opposition Motion--Federal Excise Tax on GasolineBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.


Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted, both as the member of Parliament for Richmond Hill and as a former president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, to participate in the debate.

If ever there were a more fundamental difference between this side of the House and the government, it would be on this issue. The Liberal Party is the party of cities and communities. It is the party that understood the problems that cities were facing with a shrinking revenue base over the years.

In 1994, when the Liberal government came to power, it implemented the national infrastructure program, which was a program proposed by the FCM in 1983. However, when the Conservatives came to power in 1984, the Mulroney government ignored our cities.

Therefore, it is not surprising that today we see that same lack of understanding and vision when it comes to a very important order of government, the municipal government in Canada.

The Liberal Party is not resting on its laurels for all the work it did with cities for the last 12 years. We got the job done by working with cities. Now we have a seven point program to deal with the crying need to address municipal issues in Canada.

Although, under the Constitution, municipalities, and I hate this phrase, are creatures of the provinces, the reality is that we cannot ignore the fact that 80% of our citizens live in big cities across this country. We need to help as partners. What the FCM and provincial and territorial associations have been asking for, for years, is that they be treated with respect and fairness. They do not expect to come to Ottawa, which happened a couple of weeks ago, to be told to basically keep quiet, to get to work and that the government was not in the pothole business.

We are in the business of working effectively with our provinces.

I am very proud of the Liberal seven point program. I would note that we on this side of the House are addressing the kinds of issues that affect municipal governments. One of these issues is the transfer of the gas tax. This is not something new. It is only new in terms of how we will shape it.

The prime minister in the last government announced a new deal. We understand these issues. In our proposal, we would immediately commit $2 billion in transfers over five years and then we would extend that indefinitely beyond that. We believe it is important for municipal governments to have a source of revenue they can count on. Most municipal governments in Canada depend on property tax, which is antiquated at best. We think it is important to give certainty to municipal leaders across the country.

We are also proposing a transit infrastructure fund. My colleague referenced the fact that many colleagues on this side of the House have municipal experience, which is probably why we understand this issue better than others in the House. The fact is that we would have a transit infrastructure fund of $7 billion, not only to deal with the issue of expansion, but also to deal with the replacement of existing infrastructure, transit in particular. This is very important.

We talk about the environment. We talk about getting people out of their cars and into transit systems but we need capital funding, which is where we are going with this particular recommendation. The motion today addresses this issue. The lack of understanding and lack of vision by members on the other side with respect to this issue is not surprising because they never embraced the infrastructure program that the FCM put forward back in 1983.

The Conservatives have a johnny-come-lately approach. They say that they are doing all of this but all they have done is basically repackaged money in this Canada fund and then they have municipal governments competing for a smaller pot. The $17 billion is recycled money. Probably the only thing on the environment that the government understands is recycling, in particular, Liberal money from the past.

I am very proud of the physical infrastructure fund initiative that the Liberal Party undertook. Again we are talking about $1 billion. We are talking about dealing with waste treatment plants and repairing bridges and roads. We are laying out very clearly not only what we are prepared to do as the government in waiting but also funding it. This is extremely important.

On the social infrastructure fund, our cities are home to 80% of the population. We understand the importance of having vibrant cities, cities that can compete not only on the North American continent but around the world. To do that, we want to support municipal governments across the country and allow them to have access to funding.

The areas of culture, sport and recreation are very important. They are simply not a place where people work, but where the activities of communities take place and people are able to participate in the arts. We want to showcase our arts not just at home but abroad. This is another piece of our platform that we are enunciating very clearly.

With regard to the border infrastructure fund and rural infrastructure, my colleague from Thunder Bay made it very clear that we are not only addressing the large cities and communities, we are addressing rural Canada. We understand better than any party in the House the needs in rural Canada and we want to address those issues.

Regarding infrastructure at the border, we understand the importance of commerce and being able to get across the border. Providing that kind of assistance is absolutely critical if we want to move ahead. Committing $500 million and then $200 million after that is part of the program.

We are also looking at the hub strategy. The Liberals came up with the gateway proposal in British Columbia. We know how important Asia is. We understand the need to move goods across the Pacific. We can look at that kind of hub strategy for other cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Winnipeg.

We also understand partnerships to deal with policy issues. I remember in 1989 when the Conservative government of the day, the Mulroney government, decided to bring in a significant hit for municipal governments without any consultation. Then it decided to give cities a 10% tax cut. That meant the CBC paid 10% less as a federal institution than CTV. Although the same fire services, et cetera, were provided to the CBC building, it paid 10% less than CTV. That is a lack of understanding and vision by the other side.

We point out that we will do active consultation on policies. If the Government of Canada is going to make policy that is going to impact cities and communities, a we are going to have the cities at the table. They are an order of government in our country. We cannot put our heads in the sand and say, “It is somebody else's responsibility. Let the provinces deal with it”.

The other side likes to write cheques to the provinces and let them to take care of the cities across Canada. That is a paternalistic approach which this side of the House does not agree with and will not support. We believe they need to be part of the process. Therefore, policy is extremely important. If a policy issue is going to affect our cities, we are going to have them participate actively. At the end of the day they are consulted and they provide input. That is extremely important.

In 1996, as president of the FCM, I was able to address, for the first time, a joint federal-provincial-territorial meeting on environment and natural resources policy, which affected cities across Canada. Fortunately, the Liberal government of the day understood that and was able to work with the provinces and have the FCM do a presentation. We were not at the table for the whole meeting, but we had the ability to respond to these issues. That is extremely important because we need to consult our partners.

This blueprint, as I said at the beginning, shows stark contrast to the understanding of the Conservative government. Making the gas transfer permanent will give assurances and stability to our cities and communities across the country. The Liberal Party has the cities and communities caucus. We understand their needs and are sensitive to those particular issues. Maybe that is why so many municipal politicians wind up running for federal politics on this side of the House and not elsewhere.

Many of my colleagues from across the country have been part of that discussion over the years. I am sure we will hear some nonsense from the other side, but the reality is the Liberal record is a solid record. Liberals are very proud of the record and the platform that we are presenting Canadians.

Opposition Motion--Federal Excise Tax on GasolineBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am shocked at what I have just heard. The member suggested that all the former municipal politicians are on the Liberal side of the House and that no one else has any wisdom in the area of providing services to municipalities.

I will l quote back for the record what the individual said. He said, speaking of himself and the Liberals, “We understand better than anybody about what the needs of municipalities are”. It is not surprising that Canadians threw the old Liberal government out of office.

I am a former municipal politician. My colleague, the member for Kelowna—Lake Country across from me was a municipal politician for nine years. The Minister for Transportation was in municipal politics for many years. The member for Toronto—Danforth was also in municipal politics. The list goes on and on.

To claim that they have a monopoly on wisdom in the area of providing services to municipalities is absolutely rubbish. How does he justify this kind of nonsense in the House of Commons?

Opposition Motion--Federal Excise Tax on GasolineBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I had a great deal of difficulty hearing the hon. member for Abbotsford. We are a few minutes away from question period. I would ask, for the last two or three minutes, members allow the hon. member for Richmond Hill to answer the question.

Opposition Motion--Federal Excise Tax on GasolineBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am surprised at the member. There is no question he may have some members on the other side who have municipal experience, but not municipal leadership when it comes to that caucus. Where are they on these issues? They need to show leadership. They have been silent. I guess it is part of the gag order that they do not talk about these issues. They pretend, but they do not act.

I make no apologies to that member or anybody else when it comes to what this party has done or for its platform and the policies. We got the job done by working with municipal governments. The Conservatives did nothing for 10 years on the infrastructure program. Now the johnny-come-latelies are saying, “Look at what we are doing”. They are doing nothing.

If in fact they have leadership on that side, where is it? Maybe they have talked about it and the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities have not listened, and that is the problem. Maybe I will give the member credit that they have members over there, but nobody is listening to them, unfortunately.

On this side of the House, our leader and our party are listening to the members on this side, not only to those with municipal experience but to those who understand the social implications and economic issues for cities. They have been able to put together a very important dynamic program. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the provinces and the provincial and territorial associations believe it will address these critical issues facing Canadians across the country.

Opposition Motion--Federal Excise Tax on GasolineBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Richmond Hill will still have two minutes available for questions and comments after question period. Right now we will move on to statements by members.

The hon. member for Prince Edward—Hastings.

Canadian ForcesStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.


Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, with Canadian Forces Base Trenton adjacent to my riding of Prince Edward—Hastings, I come into contact with thousands of Canadian Forces personnel. I am continually thankful and humbled by the work that our men and women in uniform do for our country.

Our government is committed to rebuilding the Canadian Forces, to treat our personnel with respect and to give them the tools they need to get the job done.

Our Canadian Forces do tremendous work every day under the toughest of conditions. Our sailors, soldiers, airmen and women deserve a fair compensation and benefits package throughout the course of their career, wherever they may be posted.

We are standing up for our troops by adding more than $100 million to the DND payroll in order to provide for pay raises of 2%. In fact, the raise is retroactive to April 1 of this year.

Many of our troops will be away from their families this Christmas. Their safety, as well as the concerns their loved ones have for them, will be on the minds of myself and my family during Christmas

As we approach the festive season, let us all give a moment of thanks and reflection for what they sacrifice for our country.

Violence against WomenStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Susan Kadis Liberal Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mark our National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

Violence against women is a significant, persistent social and economic problem in our country. For hundreds of thousands of women from all walks of life, it is a terrifying reality. Statistics Canada reports that 51% of all Canadian women have experienced at least one incident of violence since the age of 16.

There is a strong correlation between equality and violence, but instead of advancing women's equality, the government slashed funding for equality seeking organizations, even unbelievably removing the word “equality” from the mandate of the Status of Women.

In recognition of all Canadian women and girls who are victims of violence on a daily basis, I ask all members of the House to reflect on what we can do to help heal the victims and build a safe and secure tomorrow for all our daughters, wives, sisters and mothers.

Please remember that silence is complicity.

Manufacturing and Forestry IndustriesStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Yvon Lévesque Bloc Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, the ridings of Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou and Abitibi—Témiscamingue are going through an unparalleled crisis in the forestry industry. Bloc members are rising regularly in the House to suggest ways of resolving the situation.

In Chicoutimi—Le Fjord and Jonquière—Alma, sawmills are closing one after the other. In Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, where the Conservative member managed to get elected by promising to deal with the crisis, people watch powerlessly as their regional economy collapses.

Joliette, la Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, the Pontiac, and Beauce are also hard hit. Sawmills, paper mills and factories are closing their gates. The Bloc members condemn the government’s inaction and demand that it do something.

But the government just sits there with folded arms, resting on its surpluses which will amount to more than $69 billion in five years, and preaches free enterprise. In short, the Conservatives simply do not care about Quebec. They would rather please their friends out west, generate surpluses, and allow the crisis in manufacturing and forestry to ravage Quebec.

Manufacturing and Forestry IndustriesStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, since 2004, nearly 2,000 people have lost their jobs in northeastern New Brunswick because plants are shutting down like a string of dominoes.

Even when faced with the closing of Smurfit-Stone and two other mills in Miramichi, the government did nothing to stop jobs from going down the tubes.

This year, the UPM mill in Miramichi announced that its turn had come to close the gates. As if more were needed, the Finnish giant that operates the UPM mill in Miramichi decided to go and process our raw materials in Finland.

But still the Conservative government does nothing to protect our industries.

The decline is continuing. The two Atlantic Fine Yarns mills in Atholville and Pokemouche are on the verge of bankruptcy and AbitibiBowater has announced that it is closing its mill in Dalhousie.

The NDP urges the Conservative government to take immediate action to ensure that northeastern New Brunswick recovers these lost jobs.

British Columbia DragoonsStatements By Members

December 6th, 2007 / 2 p.m.


Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, our Prime Minister has said, “When the cause is just, Canada will always be there to defend our values and to help our fellow human beings”.

On December 15, Okanagan constituents will gather in my riding of Kelowna—Lake Country to support the soldiers and families of the British Columbia Dragoons, who will soon be deployed to Afghanistan. In doing so, they carry on a long and proud tradition.

As the former 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles, the B.C. Dragoons were members of the four Canadian divisions that took Vimy Ridge. Now, with the same vigour and fortitude, they will uphold the values of freedom, democracy and human rights.

It is with mixed emotions and feelings that we watch our soldiers go. I have heard from my constituents and seen within the House of Commons the struggle that falls upon Canadians as they come to terms with Canada at war. Nevertheless, with enthusiasm, we show our support for our men and women in uniform who serve our country voluntarily.

Valour in war and persistence in peace, the B.C. Dragoons continue to make a difference in places around the world. We wish them Godspeed.

Juvenile DiabetesStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, November 14 was World Diabetes Day. It is worth mentioning here because many Canadian children struggle with this terrible disease and many of our fellow citizens are working hard to fight this scourge thanks to the exceptional work of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Over the past 30 years, the foundation's support has led to encouraging research results, such as medical innovation to develop multiple therapies that have the potential to cure the disease. This year alone, the foundation has invested over $34 million in research. These achievements deserve to be recognized in this House.

I have no doubt that my colleagues from all parties will join me in expressing our gratitude and our sincere support for the foundation's remarkable efforts to improve our children's health.

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, December 6 is National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

In 1989, 14 young women lost their lives to an outrageous act of violence at the École polytechnique in Montreal. These young women with a promising future were targeted and killed because of their sex. As we commemorate this tragedy, we remember that we need to keep up our efforts, since violence against women is still a serious problem in Canada today.

This government has adopted measures to fight violence against women. For example, $7 million a year will go to the family violence initiative. In memory of the 14 young women killed in Montreal on December 6, 1989, let us continue our commitment to put an end to violence against women.

Media Fundraising DriveStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the seventh annual Grande Guignolée des médias is being held today, December 6, in support of those less fortunate. Yet the federal government prefers to allocate its $10 billion in surplus to the debt, while poverty continues to increase and the demands continue to grow.

In response to this urgent need, many media outlets and hundreds of volunteers are coming together and taking to the streets of Quebec to collect nonperishable food items and cash donations to be given to various organizations. This outpouring of love and sharing is also supported by loyal partners, such as Groupe Jean-Coutu, Banque Laurentienne, HBC, and the Bay and Zellers stores, which will collect cash and gift donations until December 24.

The Bloc Québécois would like to congratulate the Grande Guignolée des médias organizers, partners and many volunteers, and urges the people of Quebec to give generously.

Halifax ExplosionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Norman Doyle Conservative St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, today we commemorate the 90th anniversary of the devastating Halifax explosion.

At 8:40 a.m. on December 6, 1917, the French munitions vessel Mont-Blanc collided with a Norwegian supply ship. Twenty-five minutes later, at 9:04 a.m., the ship exploded in what was at the time the largest and most shocking detonation in history. Approximately 2,000 people were killed and 9,000 were injured.

While the Halifax explosion is one of the most traumatic events in our nation's history, we must never forget the bravery of the railway dispatcher, Vince Coleman, who stayed at his post to warn incoming trains of the impending danger.

The Boston Red Cross was among the first to respond. Every year the people of Halifax show their thanks by donating a Christmas tree to the city of Boston.

Today we remember the dead, the firefighters, doctors and nurses, and the many people who rebuilt the great city of Halifax.

AsbestosStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Lloyd St. Amand Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, a well-informed Canadian, Lynda Hill, and many others are urging the government to implement a ban on the mining and export of asbestos.

Thousands of Canadians, including Ms. Hill's father, August Kuiack, have been exposed to high levels of asbestos at their work sites. The very high levels of asbestos and the numerous health conditions which workers have developed are well documented.

The science is clear: all forms of asbestos are carcinogenic. More and more industrialized countries are banning asbestos and recognizing that there is no safe level of exposure to it.

Canada has a justified international reputation for upholding human rights and being a global leader in social justice issues, yet the practices of both mining and exporting asbestos represent a gross disregard for human life.

I urge the government to take a leadership role on this issue and ban both the mining and export of asbestos.

Bloc QuébécoisStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois representatives are voting against Quebec again this week. How can they vote against $2.6 billion in tax relief for manufacturers and then claim to defend them? How can they explain to agricultural producers and their new president that they voted against the throne speech, even though it firmly supports supply management? Even worse, how can they deny Quebeckers $12 billion in tax relief, an average of $400 per family, right before Christmas, by voting against the economic statement?

How can the Bloc, which is confined forever to the opposition benches, hurt Quebec like this? In 1991, more than 16 years ago, Lucien Bouchard said: “The shorter our stay, the more successful our mission will be”. Today, he should say: “The longer our stay, the better our pensions will be”.

Fortunately, the Conservative members from Quebec are working very hard for a strong Quebec within a united Canada.

Violence against WomenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Dawn Black NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, on December 6, we not only remember the 14 young women who were murdered at the École polytechnique, we vow to act. We must ensure that no woman, no matter where she lives, the colour of her skin or her race, suffers violence simply because she is a woman.

Sadly, in the years since the massacre, we have made little progress toward ending gender violence. In Canada, nearly two women a week die at the hands of men they loved, the men they shared their lives with. Across the world, women are overwhelmingly the victims of war. Rape is used as a weapon of war to violate and shame women.

We are quick to make a trend out of crimes like gun violence, but so slow to link together spousal abuse and rape and sexual assault to form a pattern of global and endemic violence against women.

Today is not just a day to remember. It is a day to act together to end the horrific abuse of women in Canada and across the world.

Mike GardenerStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Reverend Mike Gardener of Iqaluit on receiving the Order of Canada in recognition of his lifelong work as a missionary and Anglican minister.

Arriving in the early 1950s, Mike travelled throughout the eastern Arctic by dogsled and helped set up the Arctic's first theological college in Panniqtuuq. Unusual for that era, Mike had the unilingual Sunday school teachers use their own resources to teach the children.

Mike and his wife, Margaret, brought up four girls in the Arctic. The family is well known for its tireless community work in all the places the family has lived. Mike is a great example to us all of one who helps his fellow man without expecting anything in return.

Congratulations to Reverend Mike Gardener.

Violence against WomenStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, on December 6, 1989, 14 students, 14 women were gunned down by hate in an act of violence beyond comprehension. Subsequently, Quebec declared, “never again!”

However, with the arrival of the Conservative government, women find themselves in a more precarious position.

At present, 85% of the victims of domestic violence are women. Some 6% of Quebec women aged 18 and over will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetimes, not to mention that about 20 of them will die every year.

The Bloc Québécois vigorously condemns violence against women, inequality of the sexes and the lack of consideration for women demonstrated by the Conservatives.

The Bloc urges the Conservative government to revisit its position on the gun registry, to work towards improving the status of women and to stop sabotaging women's rights.

AbitibiBowaterStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, on November 29, AbitibiBowater announced that it is closing its Dalhousie plant for good.

The people of Dalhousie, Restigouche and my riding are going through an unprecedented human and economic crisis. I indicated to the Conservative government the extent of this crisis a number of times and each time it did nothing about it.

Today we learn that the federal government will grant financial assistance to one of the plants that closed and wants to discuss with AbitibiBowater what happens next.

In the meantime, there is no discussion about the plant, the workers and the families affected by this unbelievable crisis. The people of Restigouche have the right to know why they were not considered in these talks. The people of my riding will never accept this government's attitude toward their future.

Is it because we live in Atlantic Canada? We know how the Prime Minister feels about the people from Atlantic Canada.

The Conservatives should be ashamed to show such lack of compassion for the people of my riding. It is unacceptable.

Liberal Party LeaderStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, did you ever know that you are my hero? Today marks the first anniversary of the Liberal leader declaring himself a hero, and many agree.

For starters, with his heroic plan to hike the GST, the Save the GST Society says that the Liberal leader is the wind beneath their wings.

Convicted criminals also call the Liberal leader their hero, as he and the Liberal Senate are blocking the tackling violent crime act.

The greenhouse gas monster called the Liberal leader his hero as well. When he was environment minister, emissions could fly higher than an eagle.

Ebenezer Scrooge agrees as well. Just as kids are preparing to gather around the Christmas tree, the Liberal leader says, “Bah humbug, I will take away your $1,200”.

While the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore once said that the Liberal leader did not get it done, he now says to his seatmate, “You are everything I would like to be”. Bette Midler could not have said it better herself.

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I invite hon. members to rise and observe a moment of silence to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

[ A moment of silence observed]

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec


Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and today, we remember that horrible day, December 6, 1989, when 14 women were murdered at Montreal's École Polytechnique just because they were women.

At the time, I was teaching a few blocks away, and I will always remember that terrible day. But we must do more than just remember. We must take strong action to stop violence against women in Canada and around the world.

I would now invite the Prime Minister to make his own statement.