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House of Commons Hansard #129 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Order of the Knights of ColumbusStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year, on March 29, the Knights of Columbus will be celebrating their 125th anniversary. The Order of the Knights of Columbus was founded by Father Michael J. McGivney with a group of parishioners in the basement of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut in 1882.

The Knights of Columbus is still true to its founding principles of charity, unity, and fraternity 125 years later. It renders financial aid to members and their families. In addition, mutual aid and assistance are offered to the sick, the disabled and the needy.

The small founding group has grown to become the world's largest lay Catholic organization, with more than 1.7 million members around the world.

I wish a happy anniversary and long life to the Order of the Knights of Columbus, so that it can continue the good work.

Germaine Morin-ProulxStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, on January 29, a great cultural figure was inducted into the Temple de la renommée des affaires in Drummondville. Germaine Morin-Proulx is the 18th person to be honoured by the Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de Drummond for her important contribution to building the economic life of the community.

She founded a ballet school in Drummondville in 1946, seven years before the creation of the Grands Ballets canadiens, as well as a folk troupe in 1947, and the Boutique du danseur in 1976.

Her contribution to the economic, cultural and artistic life of her community, for all the arts, has been considerable. In addition, she has always fought to have the role of women in society recognized.

I am pleased to honour her today and to join the thousands of residents of Drummondville who thank her for her extraordinary contribution to our community.

Congratulations, Mrs. Morin-Proulx.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative budget is getting things done, so much help for so many Canadians, yet the Liberals and NDP oppose our tax relief for hard-working families.

In fact, last week, the Liberal leader was asked on TV whether there was anything in our budget that he could support. He refused to answer the question. What is his secret agenda? Why will he not tell Canadians what he is really thinking? Is it because he does not support a $2,000 tax credit for families with children? Is it because he is against poor families getting over the welfare wall? Or is it because he opposes support for university students?

What does the NDP have against families who want financial security for their disabled children?

By voting against our budget, the Liberals and NDP are voting against helping our seniors. They are voting against tax relief for truck drivers. Above all, they are voting against improved financial support for the brave men and women of our armed forces.

Shame on the Liberals, shame on the NDP.

Public SafetyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to express my disappointment, disappointment because the government forgot Canada's most vulnerable communities in its budget.

Some Canadian communities face a disproportionate risk of being attacked by terrorist organizations or racist groups. For example, every synagogue, community centre, Jewish school and community festival requires continual security presence. Mosques and gurdwaras have been targeted.

The financial implications of this unprecedented level of security are great and the federal government's first priority is to protect Canadians. Members on our side have called on the government to establish a fund to help these communities pay for security costs when Canadian law enforcement agrees that a disproportionate risk exists.

This party's leader endorsed this idea. That government did not. We have a crime prevention action fund. Why do we not have a security fund for at risk communities?

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, by refusing to support the budget, the Liberals and the NDP have once again put their partisan games ahead of hard-working Canadian families.

I will outline just some of the things the Liberals and the NDP seem to be opposed to: the new working income tax benefit that will benefit families up to $1,000; a $2,000 tax credit for children under the age of 18; improvements to the flexibility of the RESP program that will ensure parents can raise money for their children's education; an end to the marriage penalty to help single income families; and a new long term savings plan for parents of children with severe disabilities.

Unlike the elite groups for which the opposition likes to speak, this government is getting real results for real Canadians. The Liberals and the NDP should put aside their partisan politics and do what is right for Canadian families.

Lumber IndustryStatements By Members

March 27th, 2007 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Catherine Bell NDP Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the practice of exporting raw logs from my riding of Vancouver Island North and beyond is costing jobs for our forest dependent communities. The practice is completely unsustainable and is causing deep concern for loggers, mill workers, environmentalists, first nations and local businesses.

The future of our economy is on the line. That is why I introduced Motion No. 301, calling upon the government to drastically curtail the export of raw logs and to promote domestic processing and value added manufacturing of forest products.

The Minister of Natural Resources says that I have his commitment, that he is aggressively pursuing this to keep jobs here. However, his government signed away our capacity to process lumber and sold out forestry workers when it signed the softwood lumber agreement. There is nothing in the 2007 budget to help affected communities. Over 60% of raw logs exported from B.C. come from federally regulated lands.

The bleeding of jobs can and must be stopped. The government must promote value added manufacturing in B.C. Save our logs, save our jobs and save our communities.

Canadian ForcesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to pay tribute to one of my constituents, Mr. Ed Forsyth, a Canadian veteran who served in the 4th Armoured Division during World War II.

Mr. Forsyth is proposing that Canada honour its 116,000 fallen soldiers with the creation of the memorial wall of names that would list all those who served in Canada's armed forces and paid the ultimate price for their country. Although Canadian memorials are scattered across 75 countries around the globe, there is not a single location where Canadians can go to view the names of our fallen soldiers all at once.

I therefore ask all members of the House to provide their support toward the construction of the memorial wall of names to honour Canada's fallen soldiers.

Jean-Paul AuclairStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, 60 years ago, Jean-Paul Auclair, a well-known public figure on the south shore of Montreal, published the first issue of the Courrier du Sud.

Today, the Courrier du Sud is the largest free weekly publication printed in Quebec. In fact, every week, more than 300,000 people on the south shore read the Courrier du Sud for news regarding the municipal, cultural, institutional and economic affairs that directly concern them.

Year after year, this weekly paper has made its mark and has remained indispensable to all major players in the region.

I would like to take this opportunity to commend its founder, Jean-Paul Auclair, who has successfully adapted to his readers over the years. It is often said that the hardest thing in life is to have staying power. Mr. Auclair is an excellent example of perseverance and tenacity.

On behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues from the south shore, I would like to thank Mr. Auclair and his entire team for their commitment to serving and keeping our community informed for the past 60 years.

I wish the Courrier du Sud continued success.

DiabetesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out the importance of volunteers in the Canadian Diabetes Association, who help improve living conditions for more than two million Canadians affected by diabetes.

It is believed that, by the end of the decade, this number will be over three million. We should also remember that quality of life may deteriorate for these individuals and that they are susceptible to complications, mainly heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness and limb amputation.

It is important to listen to the core messages of the Canadian Diabetes Association activists. People with diabetes should have timely access to medication, supplies and medical devices that can improve their immediate quality of life and that may decrease the likelihood of future interventions, which are often more costly and less effective.

People with diabetes have a right to timely, affordable and ongoing diabetes education and comprehensive treatment services provided by qualified professionals wherever they live in Canada.

All Canadians can learn from the dedicated volunteers of the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rahim Jaffer Conservative Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, today in committee I presented a motion to invite three former Liberal ministers of immigration to come to explain why they agreed with our government and could not support Bill C-280. Unfortunately, the opposition voted it down.

It is shameful that the Liberal leader is not only refusing to consult with his party's foremost experts on immigration, but worse yet, he is attempting to silence the members for Eglinton—Lawrence, Bourassa and York West, who have every right to be heard.

To quote from the Liberals former immigration minister and member for York West, bringing the Refugee Appeal Division at this time would:

—simply add more roadblocks and more time to the system, which... would prevent us from helping the very same people we want to help, people who come here genuinely seeking a safe place.

The Liberal leader and caucus should do the right thing. They should listen to their own experts on immigration, reverse their position and vote against Bill C-280.

Quebec ElectionOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the people of Quebec have spoken and we are all pleased to accept their choice. We are pleased with the election of a party, the Liberal Party, that believes in the development of Quebec within Canada.

Nonetheless, we would have preferred a Liberal majority government. We would have preferred the separatist party, the Parti Québécois, not to have benefited at the end of the election campaign from the Prime Minister's interference, which was described as blackmail by all the parties in Quebec.

I am asking the Prime Minister whether he understands the nature of the mistake he made.

Quebec ElectionOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers have made their choice and we respect it. Nonetheless, I must note that we now have in Quebec a government that is against holding another referendum. In Quebec, we have an official opposition that is against holding another referendum. This is the first time we have seen this in almost four decades. I think this is a great result for the government, a great result for Quebeckers and a great result for Canada.

Quebec ElectionOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the result was very close and the Prime Minister is the only one who does not understand that the result would not have been as close without his interference, without his attempt at blackmail.

Since he does not seem to understand, I would like to explain to him the nature of his mistake. The Prime Minister has to stop being manipulative. The Prime Minister has to tell all Canadians the nature of the additional limitations on federal spending power he has in mind. Let him explain himself rather than make this federal spending power—these additional limitations—conditional on how Quebeckers vote. Let him explain today to all Canadians—

Quebec ElectionOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Quebec ElectionOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Talk about missing the big picture, Mr. Speaker. I will just repeat my previous answer, which is simply to say that Quebeckers have made their decision. We respect that decision. I have phoned both Premier Charest and Mr. Dumont to congratulate them on their campaigns.

I see that for the first time in over three decades we have a government opposed to a referendum and an official opposition opposed to a referendum. In my judgment, this is a great result for the government, a great result for Quebeckers and a great result for Canada.

Quebec ElectionOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I am asking the Prime Minister to answer. He is hiding a reform. He made this reform conditional on a vote and has been accused of blackmail, and rightfully so. He has to stop being manipulative and ambiguous and he has to tell Canadians what reform he has in mind. How does he want to further limit the role of the federal government?

Quebec ElectionOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I think that Quebeckers, like other Canadians, are fed up with this bickering between centralists and separatists. They want the things that we have done in the framework of open federalism: recognition of Quebec as a nation, correcting the fiscal imbalance and the agreement on UNESCO. These things are positive for Canada. They are far better than the sponsorship program.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, after promises of a budget that would forever end tensions between the provinces and the federal government, we all woke up to discover that Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and British Columbia all raised substantial objections to the budget. Allegations of betrayal abound.

On top of that, the Prime Minister tried to manipulate the result of the Quebec election.

This is no way to hold our country together. A Prime Minister should unite and not divide. When will the Prime Minister put the national unity of his country ahead of his own blind ambition?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is a good question from an official opposition that has stated as a matter of policy that there is no fiscal imbalance in Canada that needs to be remedied. I do not understand why on earth the deputy leader of that party is asking a question about a fiscal imbalance that, according to his leader, does not exist.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister of the party opposite thinks that Canada is his to manipulate and that our unity is his to gamble with. He is wrong.

When it comes to national unity, we do not play games. We do not roll the dice. We do not try to manipulate provincial elections. Quebec is not a pawn on the Prime Minister's chessboard. Canada is not a game to be played with and possibly lost.

Why does the Prime Minister risk the national unity of our country for no other reason than trying to win the next election?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, that is from a deputy leader of the opposition who has not been in Canada in 35 years. It is no wonder he does not understand that there is a fiscal imbalance in Canada that needs to be remedied.

There is no excuse for the Leader of the Opposition, who actually has been in the country the last 35 years, not to realize that there is a fiscal imbalance that had to be remedied, and it has been, on a principled, predictable, long term basis that will stand the test of time in Canada.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in spite of the fact that votes were split among the three parties represented in the National Assembly, Quebeckers still agree on some things. One of those things is the fiscal imbalance, which still has not been resolved. As recommended in the Séguin report, which everyone in Quebec supports, the permanent transfer of tax fields is the only thing that will really resolve the fiscal imbalance.

Now that the outcome of the election is known, will the Prime Minister resolve the fiscal imbalance permanently by transferring tax fields to Quebec?

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government put forward a solution to the fiscal imbalance in the Minister of Finance's latest budget. This solution will transfer nearly $40 billion to the provinces over the next seven years. I think that is a good solution and I hope that Parliament will pass the budget this afternoon.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the budget puts forward a temporary financial solution, not a permanent fiscal solution.

The three parties in Quebec's National Assembly also agree that the federal government's spending power has to be limited. The Séguin report recommended limiting it.

Will the Prime Minister heed this consensus and introduce a bill to limit his spending power to his own areas of jurisdiction?

TaxationOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has already committed to limiting federal spending power. We have no intention of spending money in exclusively provincial areas of jurisdiction. That has been our policy since the beginning. We have a good solution to the fiscal imbalance. For example, the Government of Quebec got so much money that it can reduce taxes and income taxes for its citizens. I think this is a good budget and I hope that the Bloc will help us pass it this afternoon.