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House of Commons Hansard #102 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was identification.

Topics

Government ProgramsStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to stand with post-secondary students not only in my riding, from Brock University and Niagara College, but from across the country.

The Conservative government has cut the $55.4 million summer career placement program. This program was designed so students could gain the work experience required to obtain full time employment after they completed their post-secondary education, while providing non-profit and charitable organizations, municipalities and the private sector with clever and industrious youth employees.

On average, 50,000 students across Canada are hired every year through the summer career placement program. The loss of this program means that students will graduate with less work experience, but will also be saddled with more student debt. In the short term it will make it very difficult for students to find jobs this summer.

It is not clear why the Conservative government has decided to gamble with the future of the youth in our country. I call on all members of the House to join with me and our college and university students in opposing these cuts. To gamble with the future of Canada's youth is to jeopardize the future of Canada.

Canadian Television FundStatements By Members

February 2nd, 2007 / 11 a.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Television Fund is in crisis. The minister's meeting with broadcasters this week resulted in a great deal of dissatisfaction because no solutions seem to be forthcoming. Cable companies feel that the minister wants to let the fund die.

The Canadian Television Fund was established to promote the production of Canadian and Quebec content. Producers and artists who are creating, writing and filming series here have the right to know what is going on. Telling them would at least show a modicum of respect for them.

When will the minister have the decency to tell us what is happening and how she plans to deal with this crisis?

The survival of our television culture and thousands of jobs depend on it.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the effects of dangerous greenhouse gases are being felt in every region of Canada, and my riding in the northwestern corner of British Columbia is no exception. The devastation of the pine beetle is possibly the most tangible example of how global warming is impacting our day to day lives.

The people of Skeena—Bulkley Valley are demanding action and they are demanding it immediately. Last week I had the opportunity to tour across my riding, showing An Inconvenient Truth. Over 500 people came out to watch this film, discuss the issues and stayed to find out from where the solutions were to come.

Time and again I heard them tell me that we, as national leaders, cannot sit idly by. They insisted that we act and act quickly. They are committed to doing their bit and making personal choices that will help, but they are also insisting that government and industry also pull their weight.

On a day in Europe, when the international community is gathered to release the most condemning report ever issued by the world scientists, we as leaders in this country must act. On a day when it is reported that the biggest oil company is earning more than $40 billion, regulations must come in to prevent the biggest polluters from continuing their harmful ways.

Black History MonthStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, every February we celebrate Black History Month. Yesterday the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism announced $77,000 in funding for the round table on Black History Month.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade by the British Empire in 1807. Many African Canadians, including Black Loyalists, worked toward that historic step forward.

This is a time to celebrate many achievements and contributions of black Canadians who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation we know today. It is also an opportunity for the majority of Canadians to learn about the experiences of black Canadians in our society and the vital role this community has played throughout our shared history.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite all members to join the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and I in a celebration on the Hill to mark this important occasion in the next few weeks.

Economic DevelopmentStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. speaker, I rise to bring attention to the lack of long term federal investment in rural southern Ontario.

Across Canada programs such as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the northern Ontario development program and the western diversification program are making a meaningful difference to the citizens of those areas.

Southern Ontario is the only part of Canada where rural economic development funding does not exist.

Despite what many policy makers believe, southern Ontario does face a significant amount of economic challenges. The declining farm, manufacturing and tourism industries are combining to cause financial distress to many communities.

In my riding of Brant, many families, businesses and individuals are finding it difficult to survive under these conditions.

I call on the government to recognize the need for a southern Ontario regional economic development initiative and to increase opportunities for citizens of Brant and all of rural southern Ontario.

Lifetime Achievement AwardStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my distinct pleasure to rise today and join the Upper Ottawa Valley Chamber of Commerce in honouring Pembroke businessman Mr. Charles Butler, who received the chamber's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for more than 40 years in the automotive business.

Charlie, as he is known to his friends and business associates, has been operating in the Pembroke area since 1963. Originally from the Maritimes 44 years ago, Charlie was a tank commander stationed at CFB Petawawa. With a wife and four children, after 12 years in the military, Charlie decided it was time to try something new.

Charlie proved to be an astute businessman. He built an automotive franchise from nothing to the success it is today, employing 80 people. That success has allowed Charlie to give back to the community.

While our community sees the large donations, like $500,000 to the Pembroke Regional Hospital, Charlie has a soft spot for others in our area, be it the families of former employees or the solders who are currently serving at CFB Petawawa.

On behalf of his friends, family and community, we congratulate Charlie on his many contributions to the Upper Ottawa Valley.

Restorative JusticeStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, restorative justice is a concept of justice in which shared values and community participation are crucial. Many peoples practise restorative justice or have practised it sometime over the course of history.

The primary objective of restorative justice is to build a safer, healthier society by promoting the reintegration of an offender through a process of reintegration into a community group. Restorative justice always takes a humanistic approach, providing support for victims, allowing offenders to take responsibility for their misconduct and, above all, tackling the underlying causes of crime.

I would like to emphasize that the Bloc Québécois supports this principle of justice, especially in the current political context, since the government believes that imposing harsher prison sentences and sending more people to prison is the best way to reduce crime and delinquency.

Black History MonthStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, Elijah McCoy was born in Colchester township to runaway slaves who fled Kentucky via the underground railroad. He studied mechanical engineering in Scotland, but racial discrimination denied him the opportunity to be a railroad engineer. Instead, he became a fireman-oiler with the Michigan Central Railway. Here he set about to remedy the poor on-time performance of railways from the need to stop to oil joints.

At his home machine shop, Elijah invented an automatic lubricator, receiving a US patent in 1872. His “Improvement for Steam Engines” allowed trains to run faster with less maintenance, allowing for the first time reliable scheduling and paving the way for our modern economy, a feat which changed the world as they knew it.

His genius for the automatic lubricator was most imitated but never equalled, leading businesses in search of his authentic article to ask for “the real McCoy”.

Today, during Black History Month, we not only celebrate a gifted African Canadian inventor, but I call upon the House to support me in having Elijah McCoy named a national historic figure.

Black History MonthStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 1995, the Parliament of Canada officially designated February as Black History Month to celebrate the unique contributions of Afro-Canadians to our cultural heritage.

Consider, for example, William Peyton Hubbard, who was the first black person to serve as a mayor, when he served as acting mayor of Toronto between 1894 and 1913.

For those who came from around the world, choosing to settle in Canada in order to build a better life for themselves and their family, the Afro-Canadian culture fully contributes to the wealth and vitality of our country's traditions.

We recently paid tribute to Martin Luther King, who so eloquently shared his dream with the world. We too have a dream, one that is realized every day around us.

I am pleased to extend my best wishes to all Canadians for Black History Month.

Senate Tenure LegislationStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is Groundhog Day. Yes, today Canada's own Wiarton Willie climbed out of his burrow. He did not see his shadow, so spring is just around the corner.

We also know Groundhog Day is a popular movie. It is a tale of a man who gets caught in an endless repeat of the same day, Groundhog Day. Every day he wakes up to the same characters, the same routine, day after day after day.

It seems the unelected Liberal majority in the Senate has been caught in their own version of Groundhog Day this week. On Tuesday, the Liberal senators stood up, they saw their shadow and adjourned the debate on the Senate tenure bill. On Wednesday, the Liberal senators stood up, saw their shadow and adjourned the debate on the Senate tenure bill. Yesterday, the Liberal senators stood up, saw their shadow and adjourned the debate on the Senate tenure bill.

Today is Groundhog Day. Willie did not see his shadow, neither should the Liberal senators. Why do they not pass Bill S-4 and limit Senate tenure?

JusticeStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Bill Siksay NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, Mahmoud Jaballah, Mohammad Mahjoub and Hassan Almrei have been indefinitely detained on security certificates for over five or six years without charge or conviction and with no knowledge of the evidence against them. They are currently incarcerated at the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre, where they have been on a hunger strike for over two months, seeking resolution of grievances regarding the conditions of their detention.

There is very serious concern for their health. Ten days ago a group of health care professionals released a statement noting the very serious health issues these men now face. They called for an immediate examination by an independent physician and daily monitoring.

The Minister of Public Safety and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration must take significant measures to seek an end to this situation immediately. One potential solution would be to urgently appoint the Correctional Investigator of Canada to investigate the situation, speak to the men and make recommendations about a resolution. There is not much time to avoid very serious consequences. Action is required today.

Bobby ClowStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to honour the life of and pay tribute to one of Prince Edward Island's favourite sons, Bobby Clow.

Since 1964, Bobby and his wife Verna operated Clows Red & White in Hampshire, PEI, one of the island's best known country stores.

Bobby was one of a kind, with a passion for and immense pride in his community. He was an active volunteer in too many activities to name. But it was with his humour and fun-loving ribbing that he left a lasting impression on everyone he met. As one friend put it, “If laughter is the best medicine, then he dished out an awful lot of medicine”. As another said, “Kids just loved him, not one didn't idolize him”.

Yes, Bobby Clow was one of a kind, a true character, a true citizen of his community and Canada. Passed from this life much too soon, the world needs more Bobby Clows.

We wish the best for his family and thank them for sharing Bobby with us.

Status of WomenStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Yesterday, the provincial and territorial status of women ministers met to prepare an action plan to convince the federal minister that she needs to reverse her decision to slash the budget of Status of Women Canada, because the cuts will have a dramatic impact on women.

During the last election campaign, the Prime Minister proclaimed, “If elected, I will take concrete and immediate measures, as recommended by the United Nations, to ensure that Canada fully upholds its commitments to women in Canada”.

Women's groups were hopeful, but the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women has eliminated or modified programs that are crucial to meeting that goal, changing funding criteria, prohibiting advocacy activity, cutting 43% of the budget of Status of Women Canada, closing 12 of its 16 offices, abolishing the court challenges program and refusing to adopt improved pay equity legislation.

We must denounce this backward step and demand that the minister reconsider her decision, which is undermining women's equality and rights.

Minority Francophone CommunitiesStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

When he was the leader of the official opposition, the Prime Minister signed a solemn commitment that read in part as follows:

—I acknowledge that linguistic duality is one of the foundations of Canadian society and that the official language communities, and more particularly, the francophone and Acadian communities, are one of the pillars of this duality and consequently of Canada. By doing so, I agree to take every means necessary for the Government of Canada to promote their continued development.

When he became Prime Minister, he quickly set to work, and minority communities have been suffering ever since: $5 million in cuts to status of women; $6 million in cuts to the court challenges program; $18 million in cuts to literacy programs; and closure of nine centres in Manitoba.

On Tuesday, at the Standing Committee on Official Languages, we learned that another program was threatened.

The Réseau Santé en français, which is extremely successful, is very concerned that its funding will not be renewed for 2007-08.

The Prime Minister must reverse this decision and finally honour his solemn commitment to minority francophone communities.

Oil SandsStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Conservative Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Liberals finally unleashed their winning platform for Alberta. They want to shut down the oil sands.

Yes, yesterday the Liberal natural resources critic, the member for Ajax—Pickering, said that his party would intrude on provincial jurisdiction and bring 10% of Canada's GDP to a crashing thud.

I understand that the Liberals do not care much about the west and will always pit regional interests against each other instead of building a united country, so why do I not put this in terms that the member might actually understand?

Sixteen per cent of oil sands related jobs are in Ontario. By 2004, the oil sands resulted in activity worth $102 billion for Ontario. That is energy, manufacturing, service and investment wealth, all based upon the oil sands.

Is he telling companies and workers in his own riding that because his leader does not have a plan to balance energy production with environmental responsibility they should lose their jobs?

That is not a real plan for Canada's energy sector or its environment.

The Liberals had their chance and they did not get it done.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians take pride today that Sheila Watt-Cloutier, past president of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in waking up the world to global climate change.

While she was sounding the alarm, the Prime Minister was actually raising money to fight Kyoto. In a speech at a fundraising dinner in 2002, he said: “As economic policy the Kyoto accord is a disaster. As environmental policy it is a fraud”.

Will the Conservatives now admit that they were irresponsible in their efforts to undermine Kyoto and the world international consensus on climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, obviously this is an issue that the former government tried to tackle and it did it in an unsuccessful way.

We are very pleased to see that action is being taken. Maybe it might be worthwhile to remind hon. colleagues in this House that “We didn't get it done”, said the hon. member a couple of months ago.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is the government's job to get it done now. It has no plan to get it done.

This Prime Minister hosted a fundraiser against Kyoto during which he talked about the “so-called greenhouse gas phenomenon” and described it as simply a hypothesis.

After years of opposing Kyoto and Canada's participation in this international effort, what is this government's current position on Canada's participation in the Kyoto process?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague just said a number of things, and one is that we are doing nothing. Well, nothing is when something has not been done. I think we could very well look at the inaction of the opposition.

In the past month we have invested over $2 billion in various initiatives to reduce greenhouse gases. As far as the issue of climate change is concerned, this is a real file and we intend to address it and get things done.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the scientists gathered in Paris all agree that climate change is caused by human activity, but the new Minister of the Environment said in Paris that he was surprised that warming is the result of human activity.

If he is surprised, will the minister be surprised when all the world's scientists mock him for maintaining this ridiculous position?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I have to say that the only mockery in this House is that engendered by my hon. colleague's friends, the members of the previous government.

Our colleague, the Minister of the Environment, recognizes and accepts the efforts that have been made. That is why he is in Paris today. He is meeting with people and he will read the report. These things have to be done and I invite our colleagues to work together with us to decrease greenhouse gases.

Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 1997 the Liberal government created the position of environment commissioner to provide sound, independent advice to Parliament about protecting Canada's environment and working toward sustainable development, but after this past week it appears that the environment commissioner is not as independent as Parliament had originally thought she would be.

Will the Prime Minister support a motion to establish an independent environment commissioner as an officer of Parliament?

Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we will look at all options, but in mentioning the environment commissioner, let us listen to what the commissioner said in the 2001 report: “The continued upward trend in Canada's emissions demonstrates that the government”, which refers to the Liberal government, “has not transformed its promises into results”.

The Liberals could not get it done. In 2002 the federal government's sustainable development deficit was growing. They could not get it done in 2003. There is a gap between what that government said it would do and what it was actually doing. Good intentions are not enough. The Liberals did not get it done.

Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I fear my hon. colleague has missed the point of my question. I will repeat it.

Rumours that the dismissal of the environment commissioner is related to a report that she presented last September will simply not go away. We on this side of the House have always believed in the importance of having a true, non-partisan defender of the environment who reports to Parliament.

Would the Prime Minister ensure that the next environment commissioner has the ability to advocate on behalf of the environment? Will he also agree that only Parliament should be able to dismiss the commissioner from her position?

Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we do appreciate the hard work of the commissioner and the Auditor General. In 2004, the commissioner went on to say in her report:

Why is progress so slow? After all, the mandates and commitments are there, the knowledge of what to do and how to do it is there, and we know it can be done--some of our findings show that. I am left to conclude that the reasons are lack of leadership, lack of priority, and lack of will.

The Liberals did not get it done.