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House of Commons Hansard #126 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was scotia.

Topics

Opposition Motion--EqualizationBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I will remind my colleague again to use riding names or titles.

Opposition Motion--EqualizationBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

I did in most cases, Mr. Speaker, but I missed a couple.

The article was headlined, “[The Prime Minister] stoops to conquer” and stated:

Jeering from the sidelines were the budget's unlucky trio of obvious losers: Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan. All are now victims of a calculated insult--the effective federal clawback of resource revenues under the new equalization scheme.

It is not just Liberals and New Democrats who are saying that this is a bad deal for Atlantic Canadians. It is everybody in Atlantic Canada, with the exception of a few Conservative MPs. We have seen hints coming. In the last budget document, the Atlantic accord was questioned. It is stated in this document that:

The February 2005 agreements to provide Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador additional fiscal Equalization...were widely criticized as undermining the principles on which...Equalization...is based.

We saw quotes from the Minister of Finance earlier this year, in fact, from Corner Brook on March 8. Corner Brook is a great part of Newfoundland and Labrador, with great representation. The Minister of Finance told reporters, “I can say, as the Prime Minister has said, that we will respect the Atlantic Accords”.

Another Conservative member from Newfoundland said that the Atlantic accord will not be adjusted. Will not be adjusted? The member said that it is written in stone, it is signed, sealed and delivered, and that this is something that the province need not have any fear of. Clearly that is not the case.

Today we heard the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance suggesting that the Atlantic accords were gerrymandered and that previous fiscal arrangements were disjointed and knee-jerk. I can tell the House that in Atlantic Canada no one thinks the Atlantic accords were disjointed and knee-jerk.

We have some good guys representing the Conservative Party in Nova Scotia. I like most of them. The member for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley is a good person. He is a little too far left of his current crew and I think he has been marginalized. He would not tell us that, but I think he feels that way. He does not have any say in this sort of stuff. He got hammered with this.

The member for South Shore—St. Margaret's is married to a cabinet minister in the Rodney MacDonald government, the government that slammed the deals. How did that conversation go Monday night? I have to wonder.

These guys know that they have been betrayed by a government that does not care about Atlantic Canada because we do not have enough seats.

Today, an article in the Globe and Mail has the headline “Budget bashers displaying regional jealousy, says [the Prime Minister]”, suggesting that those who do not like the budget have a regional jealousy, but that is what we are elected to have. We get elected to come here to represent our people. We do not come to Ottawa to bring the message back to the people. We get elected to Ottawa to bring the message here from the people. That is what we are supposed to be doing here. That is our job.

The people of Nova Scotia expect their MPs to represent them here in Ottawa. In the last election, we were bombarded with Conservative ads. Members may recall them. For example, there was a sign and a car going by honking the horn twice, with a beep, beep, meaning “Stand up for Canada”.

That horn is sounding again and the people back home are saying to the MPs from Nova Scotia, “Honk, honk. Stand up for Nova Scotia”. And they should do that.

Opposition Motion--EqualizationBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Nepean—Carleton Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, the member knows very well that we, as a government, honoured the Atlantic accord. He knows that we kept our promise and that we delivered to the people of Atlantic Canada for all the provinces.

What the member is really trying to do is distract from the Liberal Party's hidden agenda. His party would take away the $1,200 choice in child care allowance. His party would raise taxes on families with kids, by taking away these new tax credits we have brought in for young families. His party would put back in the marriage penalty. His party would raise the GST to 7% from 6%. His party would roll back all the efforts we have undertaken to get tough on crime. His party stands foursquare against the middle class working families that work hard, pay their taxes and play by the rules. His party is against all those middle class families that we on this side have fought to defend. He is trying to distract from that fact by making up stories and fantasies regarding the Atlantic accord.

The member knows full well that we have kept our word. The Conservative Party has delivered.

We have delivered on our promises.

We have delivered for Canadians right across the country and that member is trying to distract. He does not want people to know the real agenda of the Liberal Party, which is full scale attack against middle class families.

Opposition Motion--EqualizationBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, that is pretty rich. The member can divert one time, as he tried to do with the member for Cape Breton—Canso who then snookered him. However, to go twice in a row and try to change the subject is something else. The reason is he does not know the difference between the Atlantic accord and a Honda Accord. He does not know what this whole thing is about.

He says that we have a hidden agenda and he thinks he knows what we stand for. I will tell him what we stand for. The Liberal Party stands for aboriginal Canadians. We stand for investing in students, in literacy, in the environment, in child care, in Canadians, not only the Canadians who we expect will vote for us, but all Canadians. That is what a good government does. That is what we did. That is what the Conservatives do not do.

Opposition Motion--EqualizationBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the hon. member if he thinks things have changed for Canada and for Atlantic Canada? When I was young, there were heroes for Atlantic Canada in this place, Allan J. MacEachen, Roméo LeBlanc, and they led.

The chief minister who represents this region does not seem to hear the editorials. He does not seem to hear the rancour, the disappointment and the frustration that Atlantic Canadians have with the government.

The Prime Minister said that we had a culture of defeat in Atlantic Canada. He still believes it.

Opposition Motion--EqualizationBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the most amazing thing about the budget is this. Even though Canadians were betrayed, even though they were lied to, even though Atlantic Canadians were let down, even though their commitments were broken, most of them were not that surprised. There is a history to which the member referred.

People do not have high expectations of the Conservative government in Atlantic Canada, but that does not give it a reason to let them down even further.

The initiatives we put forward when we were on that side of the House, when the Liberals governed the country, took care of Canadians, especially Canadians who needed help. Even when we were fixing the mess the Conservative Party left, we never forgot the people in need. We brought in the child tax benefit. When the Liberal Party lowered taxes, we did it for the lowest income Canadians.

The Liberal government reduced taxes to 15%. The Conservatives brought taxes back up. They did not have the sense to bring them down in this budget to help all Canadians.

Opposition Motion--EqualizationBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, first, I want to correct a small error I made this morning when I said the member for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley had a phobia of the media and was not talking about this. Apparently the media did find him yesterday, and I apologize for that error. I learned, after my speech this morning, that he had talked to the Chronicle Herald yesterday.

It reports this morning that he spoke up in defence of an equalization plan. He said, “ the important thing is that Nova Scotia can choose to keep the accord or opt into the new equalization system”.

That is not what we agreed to when we signed the accord. The members on that side of the House obviously do not understand the accord. It is not about changing equalization; it is about changing the agreement related to offshore royalties. It is about saying that, as agreed originally, these two provinces get to have the primary benefit of their offshore resources. Members over there do not get it. It is like my hon. colleague says, they do not know the difference between the offshore accords and a Honda Accord.

Would my hon. colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, who has been very effective on this issue, comment on that?

Opposition Motion--EqualizationBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is right. I do not know if he has ever build a Honda Accord, but he was one of the architects of the Atlantic accord, along with the Liberal prime minister, our finance minister, Dr. Hamm, Jane Purves and those folks back home, who worked hard on this.

The Liberals brought in the offshore accords so they could be on top of equalization, not instead of equalization. When we enriched equalization, as we did in government, Nova Scotia got more money and kept the Atlantic accords. It was not one or the other. It was not a Faustian choice. It was a sensible choice for a region of the country that deserves better.

FirefightersStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Norman Doyle Conservative St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that the recent federal budget meets a long-standing request from Canadian firefighters. In particular, the budget approved $500,000 per year to assist firefighters in implementing a hazardous material training program.

Since coming to Parliament 10 years ago, I have met with many firefighters from my riding and with representatives of their local and national organizations. These meetings have always focused on ways that the federal government could positively impact the work and the daily lives of Canadian firefighters.

Dealing with fires that contain toxic substances is becoming more and more an occupational hazard, so it is important to set up and maintain a training program in this area. Hopefully, this $500,000 annual commitment will provide for better trained firefighters and help protect the public from the hazardous materials that are all too much a part of our modern world.

Tuberculosis DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I rise in support of Tuberculosis Day.

TB is a disease that kills close to two million people annually. Those with HIV-AIDS are a hundred times more susceptible. TB can be cured for a mere $20. If fully funded and implemented, the TB global plan provides a blueprint for treating 50 million people and saving 14 million lives by the year 2015.

Recently I was in Kenya, where I saw TB's devastating impact first-hand. I visited hospitals and saw TB casualties, the sick and the dying lying head to toe, two to a bed, in overcrowded wards. However, it does not have to be this way. We know that we can cure TB.

Although TB is primarily a disease of poverty, it exists even in the wealthiest of countries, including Canada. Global mobilization is crucial.

The theme of this year's TB Day is “TB anywhere is TB everywhere”. It is time--

Tuberculosis DayStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Repentigny.

Quebec Intellectual Disability WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Raymond Gravel Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week was Quebec intellectual disability week. This week is a special time to remind all Quebeckers of the important contributions made by people with intellectual disabilities.

To highlight this event, in my riding of Repentigny, the Centre de réadaptation Les Filandières along with the Association des Amis de la Déficience Intellectuelle, organized a night of improv. A team of people with intellectual disabilities was pitted against a team of students from the school improv league at Jean-Baptiste-Meilleur de Repentigny school. Édith Cochrane and Vincent Bolduc, from the Ligue Nationale d'Improvisation, were honourary captains for the evening.

The musical group Choc acoustique set the scene and warmed up the audience with their music before the match.

Congratulations to all the volunteers and participants. Thanks to them the evening was a huge success.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the number of homeless in Vancouver has doubled since 2002, yet shelters like the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre are being forced to close their doors because they cannot get funding.

The federal budget completely ignores the housing crisis facing Vancouver. Not a dime was dedicated for desperately needed housing.

Nothing in this budget closes the growing gap between wealth and poverty; nothing for a federal $10 minimum wage; nothing to help the underemployed, highly skilled immigrant Canadians who cannot get their credentials recognized; and nothing on the billions of dollars in EI surplus.

To add insult to injury, a workers' rights bill to ban replacement workers was defeated last night because the Liberals ganged up with the Conservatives to say, no, to fairness for working Canadians. When will the government get it? Workers want a decent wage, families want secure, affordable housing, and we all benefit from fair labour practices.

I am proud to say that 100% of NDP MPs voted yes to the anti-scab bill yesterday.

Arne Paul KnudsenStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

John Cummins Conservative Delta—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, on March 7, a great Canadian, Arne Paul Knudsen, passed away.

Arne was born in May 1909 in Denmark and came to Canada in 1929. His life was a kaleidoscope of adventures. He worked across the country, on farms, in the woods and on construction. He worked on ocean freighters, in China on the construction of the Manchurian railway and in Columbia gold mines.

He served in the Danish Navy and won a bronze medal for swimming in the 1936 Olympics. He fought the fascists in the Spanish Civil War and served with distinction in the Canadian army in World War II. For his heroism, President Truman awarded him the Bronze Star, while King Christian X of Denmark awarded him the Royal Knights Order.

A tireless community worker, Arne served as captain of the North Delta Volunteer Fire Brigade. In 2006 he was presented Delta's Freedom of the Municipality award.

Arne was active politically with the NDP and as a trade unionist with the Operating Engineers.

We shall never forget this most amazing and humble Canadian.

Université de Moncton Blue EaglesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Brian Murphy Liberal Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, Moncton is a hockey town. Today, I would like to recognize the success of the Université de Moncton women's hockey team. The Blue Eagles are the Atlantic university women's hockey champions. They proudly represented Atlantic Canada at the Canadian university championships held in Ottawa a few days ago. Congratulations, ladies. We are proud of you.

Today, the Cavendish Cup, the men's university hockey championships, is underway in Moncton. Good luck to the men's hockey team, the Université de Moncton Blue Eagles. Go, Moncton, go!

Highway 400 Traffic AccidentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Conservative Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, on March 5, 2007 a severe winter storm brought havoc to southern Simcoe County and caused a massive traffic accident on Highway 400 south of Barrie. Many serious injuries were inflicted, but no loss of life occurred. This is a tribute to the many men and women of our fire, police and ambulance services who responded to the scene.

However, there is one other emergency service that responded to the accident that needs tribute as well: tow trucks, big and small, all part of the private sector and all working bravely in terrible conditions to make rescues possible and remove the horrendous mess of crushed vehicles.

Glenn Currie of Currie Heavy Towing deserves a special mention because he was the man at the controls of the biggest, strongest, most versatile heavy wrecker that day.

Glenn Currie made it his mission to be there in the right place at the right time with the perfect equipment to perform a life-saving recovery. He was assisted by others, but his role was central in lifting a tractor trailer off a trapped driver, thereby allowing the fire and ambulance personnel to remove the driver and save his life.

Glenn Currie, like his father Alex, is a humble man who does great things and is an inspiration to all Canadians.

World Water DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Lussier Bloc Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, World Water Day is celebrated each year on March 22. Coping with Water Scarcity is the theme for 2007. Water resources are scarce and it is important to take into account cultural and ethical considerations when addressing equity and the right to have access to water.

Our societies are built on access to water. The goods we buy and sell are all linked, more or less directly, to water. We could not imagine living without the water around us, without humidity in the air, without the power of a current, without water being available from a tap. Water is no longer a sacred trust. It has become a consumer good that we waste. This day should serve to heighten our awareness of the growing impact of the scarcity of water in our world in order to ensure its sustainable management both locally and internationally.

ZimbabweStatements By Members

March 22nd, 2007 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the president of Zambia likened Zimbabwe to a sinking Titanic.

Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a worsening economic and political crisis as a result of the government's disregard for human rights and the rule of law and its destructive economic policies.

On March 11, the Zimbabwean police brutally suppressed a public gathering of opposition leaders. This resulted in two deaths. The Minister of Foreign Affairs immediately condemned the Zimbabwe government's use of violence against protestors and called for the immediate release of more than 100 protestors.

The Government of Canada will continue to call on the Government of Zimbabwe to respect human rights and the rule of law and to encourage a dialogue with all sectors of the Zimbabwean society to find democratic, peaceful solutions to the crisis.

Canada will also work closely with other members of the international community, including countries of the Southern African Development Community, to help resolve the crisis of governance in Zimbabwe.

Tuberculosis DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, today is World Tuberculosis Day. The theme is TB anywhere is TB everywhere. The reason is obvious. TB is spread by breathing, what all humans do every second of every day. In 2005, 1.6 million people died of TB.

We in Canada generally assume that TB is no longer a problem, but it is, and it is particularly true for the world's poorest.

I joined fellow MPs and Results Canada to visit Kenya in January. In the Mukuru slum, we visited TB patients in their eight foot by eight foot homes in communities where open sewage lines the streets and families sleep in shifts in absolute squalor.

It defies logic and violates any code of human decency for the rich nations of the world to allow people to die of TB. The cost of drugs is cheap and the drugs are effective. We know how to diagnose and how to treat. The root cause of course is poverty.

Canada has played an effective role and must play an increased role in eradicating this disease that needlessly kills our fellow human beings and destroys their families.

Queen of the NorthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, today marks the first anniversary of the tragic sinking of the ferry Queen of the North, which ran aground at Gil Island south of Prince Rupert, British Columbia. All but two of the 101 passengers were safely rescued, but sadly, Shirley Rosette and Gerald Foisy of 100 Mile House have never been found. The accident is still under investigation.

Within moments of the mayday call, the citizens of Hartley Bay, a first nations community, sprang into action. Boats raced from their communities to attend the crippled ferry while others rallied to prepare blankets, clothing and meals for the survivors.

Coast Guard vessels Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Point Henry, Ricker, Kitimat II and the Vector took part in the rescue along with two Cormorant helicopters and a Buffalo aircraft from CFB Comox.

I am sure that all members will want to join me in offering our sympathy to the families and friends of the two who were lost, and our gratitude to the citizens of Hartley Bay, the Coast Guard and the SAR team from CFB Comox whose prompt and selfless actions saved the lives of 99 souls in peril at sea.

RacismStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, last week in Winnipeg racism once again reared its ugly head. A high school teacher was targeted with a hateful, threatening, anti-Semitic letter. That teacher, Chuck Duboff, did not stay silent. Chuck has never been silent about racism, no matter who the target, and that has earned him the 2006 Manitoba Human Rights Award.

Last week's incident, along with 20 other anti-Semitic incidents in Winnipeg last year, are deeply disturbing and remind us of the need for constant vigilance and unrelenting personal and collective action against racism. The good news is that Chuck Duboff is not alone in fighting this.

Shaughnessy Park School students have just received a sixth award in the Racism, Stop It! National Video Competition for their video, The Journey. Students at the Maples Collegiate Unity Group recently held their successful Rock Against Racism concert.

These students and others working to end racism in our community are sending an important message: racist acts do not affect only the person they have targeted, but touch all of us and we will respond.

As Gandhi has taught us, evil will flourish when goodness remains silent.

Renewable EnergyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an absolute pleasure to congratulate an excellent environmental company in my riding of Beaches--East York.

Mondial Energy and its founder Alex Winch have been awarded the prestigious European Energy Globe Award. Mondial is being recognized as an innovative renewable energy utility company.

Mondial Energy is the sole winner for Canada in this competition. In 2006 more than 700 projects from 95 countries participated in the Energy Globe Awards competition.

The Energy Globe Awards are an invaluable contribution to help find solutions to and raise awareness of the many obstacles we still have to overcome to help our endangered environment.

Mondial Energy has implemented major solar powered retrofit projects on seniors homes and affordable housing projects throughout Beaches--East York. It is this kind of innovation and move to renewable energy that will make Canada a world leader both in reducing greenhouse gases and in the environmental economy.

I congratulate Alex Winch and Mondial Energy.

Tuberculosis DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, on March 24th, World TB Day will highlight the worldwide fight against tuberculosis with the theme “TB anywhere is TB everywhere”.

This theme reminds us of the ravages of this disease. More than two billion people are carriers of the bacteria and every day 5,000 people die from tuberculosis.

The African continent is particularly affected by TB and this reality is due in part to the fatal synergy that exists between tuberculosis and HIV-AIDS. As a result, inadequate investment in the fight against TB also has a negative impact on the fight against HIV-AIDS.

Canada has long been recognized as a world leader in the fight against TB, in large part because of our expertise in the development of treatments to overcome tuberculosis. However, despite that, contributions by CIDA dropped by $25 million between 2004 and 2006.

World TB Day underlines the urgent need for action and it is imperative for the Conservative government to properly adjust its priorities.

Drug AwarenessStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, T.J. Wiebe would have been 25 years old yesterday. On January 5, 2003, T.J. was brutally murdered just outside Winnipeg, one day before he was scheduled to enter a drug rehabilitation program.

His parents, Floyd and Karen Wiebe, have created the T.J. Wiebe drug awareness fund to provide financial assistance to students participating in programs that promote drug abuse awareness through peer education.

These programs educate young people about the various drugs and their true effects. They help change the attitude that makes it seem cool to use drugs. They help young people feel confident to say no to drug use and to address the social norms that make it seem that it is okay to use drugs.

I have had the privilege of working with the Wiebe family on justice issues and I have developed a great respect and admiration for them. The Wiebe family has turned a horrific tragedy into a positive mission to help other young people who may be in danger of suffering a similar fate.

I encourage all Manitobans to support the T.J.'s Gift Gala evening on May 16, 2007 to raise funds for this worthy cause.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Conservative Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, the Minister of Finance tabled in this House our government’s budget for the year 2007.

By providing $39 billion in additional funding, our government has settled once and for all the problem of fiscal imbalance. This money will enable provinces to achieve their priorities.

All Quebeckers will benefit from this additional funding through improved social programs; a healthier environment thanks to the ecotrust; the modernization of their health care system and promotion of our culture through funding for the Francophonie Summit, which will take place in Quebec City on the occasion of its 400th anniversary.

The Conservative government has proven that open federalism can bring about change. What the previous Liberal government denied for 13 years, our government has recognized and corrected within one year. I am proud to be a member of a team that takes Quebec’s aspirations to heart and has the means to achieve them.

With the Conservatives, Quebec is stronger.