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House of Commons Hansard #128 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Canada GamesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, in February I attended the Canada Games held in Whitehorse and I noted that the young athletes representing Quebec were exceptionally dynamic and energetic and united by an intense sense of solidarity. Their enthusiasm and efforts enabled them to dominate the medal standings: they won 52 gold, 376 silver and 34 bronze, for a total of 122 medals.

Once again they proved that, in sports, Quebec is a nation to be reckoned with and capable of taking responsibility for its own dreams and ambitions. I congratulate all the athletes who defended the Quebec colours so brilliantly and I would like to salute the chef de mission, France Vigneault, as well as all the members of her team who did an outstanding job. I also wish to thank Yukoners for the warm and friendly welcome extended to the competitors and supporters.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, today I welcome Ms. Nazanin Afshin-Jam to Ottawa. She is a singer, songwriter, model and former Miss Canada and most impressively, a human rights advocate.

Recently she successfully led a campaign to free an Iranian teenager who was condemned to death for defending herself and her niece from attempted rape by three men.

Ms. Afshin-Jam is in Ottawa to testify before the Subcommittee on International Human Rights tomorrow. Her testimony is important and Canadians know that our government is diligently working to protect the human rights of Iranians.

Just last week, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration granted asylum to an Iranian jailed for demonstrating against his government.

In light of the efforts and the numerous documented stories of political persecution in Iran, I urge all hon. members to take notice of the mass injustice in Iran and the need for significant change.

Action for Neighbourhood ChangeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, for the past two years, Action for Neighbourhood Change has been supporting the efforts of residents in five Canadian neighbourhoods to improve the quality of life in their community.

The program has been led by the United Way, in partnership with the Caledon Institute, the Tamarack Institute and the National Film Board. The Liberal government recognized the value of this initiative and provided financial support through three federal departments.

Action for Neighbourhood Change has been exploring how citizens can take the lead in revitalizing their neighbourhoods and what kind of investment and support is needed to succeed.

The Simpson-Ogden area in Thunder Bay is one of the participating neighbourhoods and the positive results are clear: a beautification campaign is ongoing; a strong sense of community pride has emerged; and residents have begun projects to inspect substandard housing, to develop anti-crime programs, to expand arts and environmental programs for teens and to enhance after school programs.

This program is too important to let it fade away. I call on the minority government to revisit its budget and help address this vital need for northwestern Ontario.

Canada-U.S. RelationsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the United States is Canada's largest trading partner with over $1.5 billion of trade per day between our two countries. In fact, 40 of the 50 states rely on Canada as their number one buyer of products.

With the objective of promoting a stronger relationship with our southern neighbour, the Canada-United States interparliamentary group hosted today, with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, a meeting with six congressional aides. They work for Senators Collins, Snowe, and Sununu, and Congressmen Michaud, Allen and Lynch. Their names are Carol, Gail, Elizabeth, Rosemary, Dan and James. They are in Ottawa to learn more about Canada-U.S. relations.

As Canadians, we know a significant amount about our southern neighbour and it is great to see U.S. leaders showing an interest in their northern neighbour. It is by sitting down and sharing information that we build strong and lasting friendships and are able to create an even better and more cooperative working environment.

Winter SportsStatements By Members

March 26th, 2007 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, I would like to devote my statement today to the athletes of the Northwest Territories. Though we are few in number, the people of the NWT are strong in heart and our athletes prove it.

Congratulations to Brendan Green of Hay River who won gold at the Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse and who this weekend won gold and silver at the National Biathlon Championships and Sarah Daitch of Fort Smith who, by winning double gold at Haywood Noram/Madshus Sprints, earned a spot on Canada's team to the Nordic World Ski Championships in Sapporo, Japan. These are just two of the NWTs great cross-country skiers who follow in the tradition of Inuvik's Olympians Sharon and Shirley Firth.

Also in cross-country, Thomsen d'Hont and Mike Argue brought back a silver medal to Yellowknife in the 1.2 kilometre team sprint from the Canadian Championships in Quebec City.

In curling I congratulate Jamie Koe's Yellowknife rink for its great showing at the Tim Horton's Brier in Hamilton and particularly Mark Whitehead who took home the Ross Harstone Trophy.

Northerners love our winter sports be they curling, dogsledding, Arctic sports--

Winter SportsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Vancouver Centre.

HousingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the number one priority in my city of Vancouver is housing. Why? Property values have skyrocketed in the last decade. Last year alone they went up 24%. The problem is that incomes did not go up 24%. Low and middle income families cannot afford a home or rent a place in which to bring up their kids. Yet the Conservative government did not even mention the word housing in its recent family orientated budget.

To add insult to injury, B.C. will receive no equalization payments this year or next. Why? We are considered wealthy because we have high property values.

The script could have been written by Monty Python, but it is too tragic.

B.C. Conservative ministers have nothing to say. They have either no influence or they are woefully out of touch with reality.

The new Conservative government certainly does not have the same priorities as most Vancouver families.

European UnionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, it is with great admiration that the Bloc Québécois acknowledges the 50th anniversary of the signing of the treaties of Rome, which served as the basis for the unification of Europe. These 50 years of construction of the European Union, which changed the face of Europe, have banished the spectre of war, and opened up a new dimension of exchange and equality among peoples, regardless of their numbers, culture or language.

We wish Europe long life and the ability to face the many economic and political challenges of the future. As Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, said in her speech yesterday:

The dream of previous generations has come true in the unification of Europe. Our history reminds us that we must protect this for the good of future generations. We must always renew the political shape of Europe in keeping with the times.

Slave Trade AbolitionStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the bicentennial of the abolition of slavery.

The British parliamentary act that abolished the slave trade was the first global human rights legislation impacting the situation of Africans and other enslaved peoples.

Spadina Museum: Historic House & Garden in my riding of St. Paul's regularly hosts events to educate Torontonians and tourists alike about the lives of former slaves who escaped to Canada via the underground railroad. I remember Dawn Roach's moving performance of Mary Pipkin, a former slave who escaped to Canada and came to work with the Austin family at Spadina House in St. Paul's.

The horror and barbarism of the slave trade should never be forgotten. The contributions of former slaves and their descendants in my riding and across the country continue to be celebrated.

Dr. Ofua Cooper, Albert Wiggan, Kim and David Watkins, Clifton Joseph, Starr Jacobs and Reverend Owen MacPherson are a few of the amazing Canadians who will ensure that we never forget.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Conservative Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, on March 22, World Water Day, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development tabled a report in the House that detailed the improvements that have been made to water quality on reserve over the past 12 months.

One year ago, the minister announced a plan of action that would ensure that all first nation communities would have access to clean, safe drinking water.

Twelve months later, the government is very proud to note that the number of high-risk water systems in first nations communities has been reduced from 193 to 97 and of the 21 communities identified as a priority last year, 7 have had their water problems addressed.

Canada's new government recognizes the vital importance of water as a resource to be protected and as a critical component of safe, healthy, sustainable communities. We have made significant progress. We will continue to deliver results on water and on other issues that continue to affect the quality of life for aboriginal people in the country.

Child CareOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the former Liberal government had a plan that it negotiated with all of the provinces to have child care and early childhood learning as a national policy in Canada. It was developed under the leadership of the member for York Centre.

We know now, more than ever because there was a report released by Dr. Mustard, that Canada needs to catch up so much if we compare it with other countries.

Why on earth did the Prime Minister and the Conservative government cut this plan?

Child CareOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this year the government will transfer a record amount to the provinces for early childhood development and early childhood learning and education, as well as additional moneys for the creation of child care spaces.

At the same time, the government is putting $2.5 billion into direct child care payments to Canadian parents. I know that the Leader of the Liberal Party wants to take that away, but that is what we believe should happen.

Child CareOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, only the Prime Minister and the Conservative government think that income support is the equivalent to child care for families. It is only they who think that child care comes from the mailbox.

This being said, we will try to fix the mess they created through a claw back against the poor in the way they framed their system.

The fact is that this year the Conservatives only invested $250 million for child care when we were planning $1 billion. Is the Prime Minister able to increase it to $1 billion to have a real national plan for child care in Canada?

Child CareOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, only the current leader of the Liberal Party could think that taking money away from Canadian parents is a good thing for children. That is what he told the National Post that he wants to do in October. That is wrong. It is wrong for Canadian families, wrong for parents and wrong for children. It is just plain wrong.

Child CareOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government just has to stop the claw back at the expense of the poor families of our country. It is what it is doing with the claw back on child care for the people in need. This is shameful.

Let us now talk about families. In Quebec alone, the Government of Quebec has a $270 million shortfall because it withdrew from the national child care plan, which had been negotiated with the Government of Quebec.

Can he promise to ensure that the Government of Quebec and the other provincial governments will see their commitment honoured when they sign these agreements? These agreements have to be honoured. I am asking for this on behalf of all the provinces.

Child CareOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have created a new universal family allowance for Canadian families. At the same time, we have proposed a solution to the fiscal imbalance.

The Leader of the Opposition is opposed to giving this family allowance to families in Quebec and the rest of Canada. What is more, he is opposed to correcting the fiscal imbalance. This is not a good position to take; it is the centralizing position of his party.

We prefer to correct the fiscal imbalance together with the provinces.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government's budget last week left millions of Canadians in the dust. They are our urban poor, aboriginal Canadians living on reserves, and Canadian families living paycheque to paycheque trying to keep their heads above water.

For these Canadians, it was little or nothing. Why does the government keep putting its own interests ahead of the interests of Canadians? Why has it forgotten the very meaning of fairness?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, if we want to talk about tax fairness in Canada, we do not need any lessons from the party opposite that has made it clear that it will vote against the income trust legislation.

The Liberal Party along with the Leader of the Opposition also made it clear, without reading or even knowing what was in the budget, that when we went after tax havens, they would be in favour of tax havens for Canadian businesses. That is what they know about tax fairness.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, instead of lowering taxes for the less fortunate, the government is increasing them. Instead of creating child care spaces in order to provide a true choice to Canadian families, the government has created none. Instead of helping families who work in order to make ends meet, this government is making minimal investments and claiming victory.

In a time of enormous surpluses, why is this government passing up the chance to help Canada's least fortunate families succeed?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the choice of the Liberal Party is clear. Its choice is to hold on to the family allowance for Canadian families and parents. Our policy is to give money to Canadian families. The Liberal Party wants to withdraw its support from families. That is a bad choice for Canadian families and children.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment raised concerns a few days ago when he said that the Canadian government had no intention of cutting a deal with international markets to buy credits outside of Canada. However, this credit exchange system is recognized as an excellent way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which cause global warming.

Does the Prime Minister understand that this mechanism does not cost taxpayers anything and, furthermore, that it is set out in the Kyoto protocol?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear for quite some time. In October 2006, we revealed to Canadians our intention to regulate industry, not only to reduce greenhouse gases, but also to reduce smog and pollution. Clearly, we will conduct consultations on this policy over the coming weeks to really respond to the need to reduce greenhouse gases.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the Prime Minister likes suggestions. I have an excellent suggestion for him, which he could put in his suggestion box.

Since the Prime Minister refuses to participate in an international carbon exchange market, why does he not introduce absolute reduction targets, which would allow for the creation of a domestic carbon exchange that should be set up in Montreal?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to visit the Montreal stock exchange a few months ago. I learned a great deal from the people working there. We have been very clear. Our goal is to reduce greenhouse gases. It is not our goal to give public money, taxpayers' money, to Russia to buy credits there, where we have never seen any real reductions. Our policy remains unchanged.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the business people who attended the AMERICANA trade show demanded that the federal government set clear, precise targets for greenhouse gas reduction. The people demanding these targets are environmentalists, entrepreneurs, economists and investors.

In light of the economic community's pressing demands, may I suggest that the government forget about its intensity targets and set precise, absolute greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets as soon as possible?