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House of Commons Hansard #120 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Crowfoot.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Hershey CompanyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, last week the Hershey Company announced that it would be closing its plant in Smiths Falls.

It is hard to overstate the impact of this decision. Five hundred factory jobs will be lost. A market for 1,000 litres of Ontario milk every day will vanish. The Hershey chocolate shop, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, will no longer draw tourists.

But these are not the only reasons why I today call on Hershey to reverse its decision.

The decision is a spinoff of what the company calls a global supply chain transformation, a process which, by its nature, tends to miss out on local profit centres. While no one can deny that wages in Mexico may be lower than in Smiths Falls, it is equally clear that some things cannot be globalized.

The decision makers in Pennsylvania may simply be overlooking the high quality of Canadian milk, which will be difficult to duplicate abroad. And shutting down the hugely profitable chocolate shop makes no sense, since it caters to a domestic market.

In years past, Milton Hershey understood the link between community and profit. I call upon his successors to live up to his example.

ZimbabweStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Liberal Egmont, PE

Mr. Speaker, today Zimbabwe is a graveyard.

One of the worst humanitarian catastrophes in recent history is happening in Zimbabwe, a catastrophe said to be 10 times worse than Darfur. And the UN said it would not happen again.

President Robert Mugabe has ruined one of the most prosperous, productive nations on the African continent. Its population has been decimated by government-induced famine and disease. The economy has collapsed and an estimated 1.2 million Zimbabweans have fled.

Zimbabwe currently has an estimated 1.3 million orphans; an 80% unemployment rate; millions of people missing; 42,000 women who died in childbirth last year compared to 1,000 a decade ago; an average life expectancy that has dropped by 30 years since 1990, from 67 years to 37 years; and one in five adults is infected with HIV-AIDS.

In the midst of all this suffering, Robert Mugabe held an elaborate party to celebrate his own birthday. It cost over $300 million Zimbabwean dollars. He threw a party at a funeral, Zimbabwe's funeral.

I ask the Parliament of Canada to support the people of Zimbabwe.

Quebec GamesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Raymond Gravel Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, from March 2 to 10, thousands of young Quebeckers, along with their coaches and chaperones, will gather in the RCM of L'Assomption for the 42nd Quebec Games Final.

For over a year, hundreds of people have been working hard to give the youth a memorable welcome and to plan a seamless event, with the steadfast support of the municipal authorities of Charlemagne, L'Assomption, L'Épiphanie—city and parish— Repentigny and Saint-Sulpice, as well as a number of partners and sponsors.

I would like to congratulate and thank all those involved in this event, which will no doubt be a great success, and in particular the board of directors of the 42nd games, chaired by Dany Bergeron.

I invite one and all to attend the sporting events, participate in the activities, and join our mascot Tison for a fantastic time at these 42nd Quebec Games.

International Women's DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy NDP Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, each year on March 8 we celebrate International Women's Day. This day began to mark the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, where 146 working women lost their lives because the door of the factory was locked.

Today, almost 100 years later, we remember how far we have come and realize how much farther we have to go.

Too many women continue to suffer under harsh working conditions. Too many women are living in poverty. Too many women cannot find or afford adequate child care. Too many women face violence in their homes and communities. Too many women are not receiving equal pay for work of equal value.

March 8 is a day that brings women together to celebrate our power and our potential. I would like to wish all the women of this House, women in my community of Surrey and women across Canada a happy International Women's Day.

University of ManitobaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Conservative Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to mark the 130th birthday of one of the finest educational institutions in the country, the University of Manitoba, which is located in my riding of Winnipeg South.

Established in 1877, western Canada's first university has touched thousands of lives. Today the university is the province's most valuable intellectual asset, contributing immeasurably to Manitoba's economic and cultural success, raising our profile around the world, and fostering leadership. I have often called the U of M the jewel of Winnipeg South.

The university has a strong reputation for academics and research. Its 170,000 graduates include Rhodes scholars, champion athletes, community leaders, world class researchers and academic experts. Several members in this chamber graduated from this fine institution, and the University of Manitoba is my alma mater as well.

The University of Manitoba provides a world class education and continues to have a global impact as a centre of research where scientists, scholars and students seek innovative ways to address the most significant challenges facing Canada and the world in the 21st century.

I hope all members will join me in commemorating this very special day.

Judicial AppointmentsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Chan Liberal Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, by the Prime Minister's own admission, judges will be chosen based on his own objectives and agenda.

I have grave concerns about Conservative attacks on judicial independence and the separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary.

I am deeply concerned about the government's intentions, as it has already eliminated the Law Commission of Canada and the court challenges program.

Judicial independence is a cornerstone of Canadian democracy. Now even the Canadian Judicial Council has spoken out against the government's attacks. The former and current chief justices have stated that the government “is trying to interfere with the sentencing process” and that the Conservative government is putting judicial independence “in peril”.

I call upon the government to stop attacking the independence of the judiciary.

Royal Manitoba Winter FairStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring attention to a milestone event in my riding of Brandon--Souris. The 100th Royal Manitoba Winter Fair will take place in Brandon on March 26 through 31.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II honoured the fair with her attendance in 1970 and officially declared it a royal event. The Royal Manitoba Winter Fair is one of just three fairs in the entire world to have the royal designation and is renowned as one of Canada's largest agricultural events.

Activities at the fair include equestrian events, heavy horse competition, livestock displays and sales, awareness programs, entertainment, and over 300 commercial and agricultural exhibits.

This year's event will highlight our region's rich heritage and history as the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair celebrates a century of agricultural excellence in the western Manitoba region.

Mr. Speaker, I want to invite you and all Canadians to visit the 100th Royal Manitoba Winter Fair in Brandon, Manitoba, from March 26 to 31. Everyone should plan to be there.

Republic of GuineaStatements By Members

February 28th, 2007 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, the situation in Guinea is very disturbing. Last week, a number of Quebec and Canadian organizations, including NGOs, unions, women's groups and human rights groups, asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs to use every diplomatic means available to convince the Guinean president to put an end to all forms of repression—over 100 people have died, including several young persons—and to end the state of siege. Canada did not do anything, while the international community has quickly rallied.

On Monday, the situation returned to normal when president Lansana Conté agreed to appoint as prime minister a coalition candidate, diplomat Lansana Kouyaté.

However, it is a fragile peace. The population has shown that it is fed up with the president's authoritarianism and with the corruption of his regime. The crisis has an impact on the economy. The president is clinging to power. The international community must remain vigilant.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party of Canada is standing up for victims of crime and getting the job done to help prevent future victims.

We delivered the legislation to make our streets and communities safer.

We have brought forward bills to end conditional sentences for violent offences; increase mandatory minimum sentences for using a gun in a crime; raise the age of protection for sexual activity from 14 to 16 years; crack down on street racing; get tough with repeat offenders and impaired driving; and reverse the onus at bail hearings. We even have a bill to deal with the proceeds of crime.

There is more. We delivered the legislation providing tougher sentences and more effective management of individuals convicted of sexual or violent offences.

Canadians want stricter conditions on repeat offenders. The opposition parties will answer to voters for stalling and for reversing the positions they held on these criminal justice files during the last election.

Our government is making the criminal justice changes that Canadians voted for and that the Liberals refused to deliver, the changes that make Canadians safer.

CitizenshipStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, during the defence committee yesterday, the Conservative member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke made reference to France and the so-called caveats. She also made reference to the Leader of the Opposition and his so-called dual citizenship, with no relevancy to the subject matter.

What was she insinuating? That because his mother is French that makes him less of a Canadian than she or anyone else is? Is she implying that I as a Greek Canadian am less of a Canadian than she or anyone else is? Or that because one has dual heritage one should be labelled a second class citizen?

I would ask this member and all Canadians, aside from our first nations people, to look at their family tree and realize that at some time we all came from another country.

However, I am not surprised, for that party is typically known for its divisive tactics, for pitting one Canadian against another. Who knows? Maybe its next step is to kick out all those who have dual citizenship. Nothing would surprise me.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, some experts interviewed during the television program Le Point confirmed that, as regards the environment, the former Liberal government merely used nice rhetoric and empty promises when it claimed to want to reduce CO2 emissions by 6%, compared to the 1990 level.

Claude Villeneuve, a professor at the department of basic sciences at the Université du Québec in Chicoutimi, said, “Canada's position...was to shoot itself in the foot, by setting such an objective without first examining the constraints that it would bring”.

Moreover, Jean-Thomas Bernard, a professor at Université Laval's department of economy, added, “reducing emissions to such a degree over such a short period of time is totally unrealistic. The Canadian economy, as we know it, could not generate such reductions”.

We also learned that even if we stopped the development of tar sands in Alberta and shut down coal-fired generating stations in Ontario, the Dion gap would still be of 216 tonnes of CO2 over the 1990 level.

While the Bloc is simply noticing the Liberal government's irresponsibility—

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh

Windsor Border CrossingStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week we learned that the Liberal provincial government was continuing in the shameful tradition of its federal predecessors, a tradition of ignoring the will of Windsorites.

In an internal newsletter sent to government insiders, the views of residents attending an open house on the new border crossing were grossly misrepresented. The transportation communications staff who drafted the newsletter characterized their position as being opposed to tunnelling on the route leading to a new border crossing.

Nothing could be further from the truth. My colleague from Windsor West and I have heard from literally thousands of concerned constituents on this issue. An overwhelming majority of them favour tunnelling to take the trucks off our city streets and reduce the congestion and smog from idling vehicles.

I call upon the Conservative government to do what the provincial government seems to be unable to do, listen to the community, take action and get on with building a new border crossing for Windsor.

Dorval Golf CourseStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform you that later today, I will be giving the Minister of Transport a petition signed by more than 20,000 individuals from Quebec and elsewhere who want to protect the Dorval golf course. These people are concerned about the Montreal airport's plans for expansion, which they say will lead to the destruction of the golf course green space.

As the member of Parliament for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, a riding which includes Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and the city of Dorval, I would urge the Minister of Transport to give due consideration to this issue and to respond to this petition in a timely manner.

Heart MonthStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, February is Heart Month, and I would like to use this opportunity to emphasize the importance of exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. Whether we are young or old, regular physical activity contributes to our general well-being. It keeps our hearts strong, improves our bone density and reduces the incidence of cancer, obesity and diabetes, as well as stress levels and anxiety.

According to the World Heart Federation, over 60% of the world's population is not active enough. The World Health Organization says that a sedentary lifestyle is one of the major causes of death and disability worldwide. Keeping your heart young by being physically active is the key to a long and healthy life. I would like to congratulate people who, like Josette Gravier, director of a seniors' activity group in Boucherville, are speaking out about this important issue.

Project PorchlightStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to inform the House today that many communities across the country are reducing their energy use by drawing inspiration from a project that started in my own riding of Ottawa South.

In recent weeks, Project Porchlight has spread to new municipalities such as Guelph and Thunder Bay, and it is also inspiring communities in Canada's north. Last week, 2,000 energy-efficient light bulbs were distributed in the Yukon. Cold, snow and wind did not deter the volunteers, who distributed the light bulbs by dogsled.

Project Porchlight is enlightening Canadians by showing them that it is easy to make energy-saving choices and reduce their energy use and, consequently, greenhouse gas emissions. I extend my thanks to the residents of Ottawa South for showing what a community can accomplish.

Anti-terrorism ActStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night the opposition parties voted against extending the two special emergency provisions of the Anti-terrorism Act.

As a member of the subcommittee on the Anti-terrorism Act, I am saddened that the Liberal members of that committee, the members for Ajax—Pickering, Vaughan and Richmond, who previously endorsed the view that the provisions were necessary for the safety and security of Canadians, decided to play politics and voted against the motion last night.

They, along with other members who flip-flopped, ignored the sound advice of their colleagues, such as Bob Rae, Anne McLellan and John Manley.

For the past few weeks, numerous groups, including family members of the Air-India victims, wrote letters pleading for support for the renewal of these provisions. What a shame that Liberals chose to ignore their pleas.

We on this side are still dedicated to protecting Canadians from the threat of terror.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister uses fiscal policy to enforce his neo-conservative ideology. He attacks women's equality. He attacks funding for literacy. He attacks the poor and vulnerable and he restricts their access to the courts, all by slashing their budgets.

Will the Prime Minister stop his campaign of intimidation against decent Canadians or will we see more of the same unfair treatment in the next budget?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is the party that brought in new tax benefits for senior citizens. The Liberal Party opposed those measures.

This is the party that brought in new benefits for families with children at all income levels. The party opposite opposed those measures.

This is the party that proposes human rights protections for aboriginal people and matrimonial property rights for aboriginal women. The party opposite opposes those measures.

The Liberal Party is the party that yesterday voted against the families of the victims of the Air-India disaster. That is the party that called the victims of the terror attacks on 9/11 a sideshow. I say shame on the Liberal Party.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, shame on the Conservative Party that increased income taxes for all Canadians.

It has taken $3.5 billion away from families looking for child care spaces. It is taking $3.5 billion away from working people who desperately need to upgrade their skills and their vocational training. It is taking $2.7 billion away from students who want to get a post-secondary education.

Why is this government so unfeeling, so narrow-minded, so devoid of social justice?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what the leader of the Liberal Party is saying is completely false. The leader of the Liberal Party is quoting Liberal promises made during the election campaign, promises that were broken for 13 long years. This government has kept its promises. It is the Liberal Party that has broken the promises it made to the public.

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the truth hurts for the Prime Minister. Those are budget cuts made by him, at the expense of Canadians. There is no better evidence of the dishonesty, the fiscal incompetence, of this government than the mess it has made on the question of income trusts. The Prime Minister had made a solemn promise to Canadians. He has reneged on his promise. He has caused a loss of $25 billion, a disastrous loss for the retirement savings of hundreds of thousands of Canadians.

How can the Prime Minister still look at himself in the mirror after that betrayal, which has ruined the hopes of hundreds of thousands of Canadians?

Government ProgramsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the leader of the Liberal Party were serious, he would have done his job when he was in government, but he did not.

He did not do these things when he was in government. If he is not going to support the things we are doing, he at least could get out of the way and allow progress to happen.

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, nothing--