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House of Commons Hansard #135 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

2 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 Cambridge.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Arthur Kroeger College AwardsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Schellenberger Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize this year's recipients of the Arthur Kroeger College Awards for Public Affairs.

These awards recognize excellence in Canadian democracy and our society as a whole. They are meant to showcase to all Canadians individual and collective efforts in pursuit of the public good.

This year's winners, who will be honoured at tomorrow evening's awards ceremony, are: Lieutenant Governor James Bartleman, for ethics; the Cable Public Affairs Channel, CPAC, for public disclosure; Campaign 2000, for policy leadership; Jean Swanson, for citizenship and community affairs; and the B.C. Women's Hospital and Health Centre, for management.

I know that all hon. members will join me in honouring these worthy recipients.

Vietnamese CanadiansStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, a significant number of Vietnamese Canadians have chosen to make this great country their new home. The Vietnamese Canadian community has made substantial contributions to our cultural, religious, political and business life.

Many Vietnamese Canadians embrace their symbolic yellow and red striped heritage and freedom flag as the symbol of the Vietnamese Canadian community. This yellow flag with three red stripes is widely embraced because of its long history as a symbol of resilience, freedom and democracy, both in Vietnam itself and in our local Vietnamese Canadian communities throughout Toronto and the rest of Canada.

Each year on April 30, the Vietnamese community celebrates freedom and honours its symbolic flag. I am delighted to wish this exceptional community great success for its celebrations next weekend.

Les Grands Prix du tourisme de la MontérégieStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to congratulate six businesses in my riding that won prizes at the 22nd Grands Prix du tourisme de la Montérégie. The Droulers-Tsiionhiakwatha archaeological site in Saint-Anicet, Parc Safari in Hemmingford, Tourisme Suroît, La Face Cachée de la Pomme in Hemmingford, the Chez Émile restaurant in Napierville and the Jardins-de-Napierville CLD were all awarded tourism prizes.

These awards illustrate the vitality and creativity of those businesses, which help to publicize the attractions in the Suroît region.

I invite you to plan a visit to the riding of Beauharnois—Salaberry this summer. Come and see the remains of the largest Iroquois village yet uncovered in Quebec, at the Droulers site; quench your thirst with a glass of ice cider at La Face Cachée de la Pomme, or enjoy a fine meal at the Chez Émile restaurant, and bring the family for a day of fun at Parc Safari in Hemmingford or on the heritage trail of the Circuit du Paysan.

This is an invitation that is not to be missed. Members will be delighted with what they discover.

Isabel McNeill HouseStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government recently announced the closure of Canada's only minimum security prison for women.

The Isabel McNeill House provides a transitional environment for incarcerated women offenders. It provides training to enhance their employment skills, making it more possible for them to have opportunities to participate successfully in society.

I understand that the facility is old and no longer financially viable, but an alternative facility should be located before closing the only minimum security prison available to women.

The inmates at the prison had to take the government to court and challenge the closure under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

This is an equality issue and another example of the government's disregard for the welfare of women.

David GreensladeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Zed Liberal Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour the memory of Private David Robert Greenslade from Saint John, New Brunswick, who died tragically on Easter Sunday while on duty in Afghanistan.

Words cannot express the pain that we all feel in our hearts for his parents Laurie and Donnie Greenslade, who have been shining examples of poise and dignity in the face of this tragic loss.

David enjoyed spending time with his family and friends and his dog Colby. He enjoyed golfing, which he learned from his grandfather David, and he amazed his friends with his abilities and his zest for life.

His friend Pat LeBlanc said, “I've never seen a guy that skinny hit a ball that far”.

David was always entertaining his friends with his sense of humour.

A Saint John High School graduate in 2004, he will be fondly remembered by his own “Band of Brothers” in the 2nd Royal Canadian Regiment and 1st Royal New Brunswick Regiment.

David gave his last full measure of devotion at the age of 20 and his was a worthwhile life that will always live on.

On behalf of the citizens of Saint John, New Brunswick, and of Canada, I offer our deepest sympathies to the family of David Greenslade. Our prayers are with them at this difficult time.

Child Sexual ExploitationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Goodyear Conservative Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, at a recent breakfast hosted here on the Hill, I was shown a picture, a photograph, the image of which has haunted me to this day. In that picture, I see a man looking out into the crowd gathered in front of him. Perched on his arm is a young female child.

What appears to be a father protecting his cherished young daughter is actually a man negotiating the sale of this child. I am told that she can fetch as much $600 U.S. if she is a virgin, but unbelievably she is not, and so she might fetch 30 bucks.

This photograph is a picture of a silent nightmare and it is happening right here in this country and all around the world.

Budget 2007 has provided funding to help protect children from sexual exploitation and trafficking. This is a good step, but until our trade partners, our global neighbours and our UN counterparts work with us to purge this planet of these violations, none of us will be free of this silent nightmare.

Holocaust Memorial DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ken Epp Conservative Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, this past Sunday was a very emotional day for my wife Betty and me as we attended the annual Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony in Edmonton. It was a heartbreaking, gut-wrenching reminder of one of the worst atrocities ever in the history of the human race.

I was particularly moved by the reading of the names and ages of children who were brutally murdered. They included children whose ages were identical to those of each of our five grandchildren. As I personalized this part of the ceremony, I could not help but think: how can anyone bring himself to kill innocent children in cold blood? It is beyond belief.

I honour the survivors of the Holocaust and their families. I thank them for keeping this important lesson of history alive in our minds and hearts.

As Canadians joined with our allies to rid the world of Hitler, so we must continue to stand between present-day depraved, heartless killers and their victims.

We must remember them. We must do all we can to prevent this from happening again.

Joseph-Armand BombardierStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, these days, when we are looking to innovation as a possible solution to the many jobs lost in the manufacturing sector in Quebec, we can look back fondly to Joseph-Armand Bombardier, the great vanquisher of winter, who was born in 1907.

In 1937, after years of effort, he produced a seven-passenger transporter, the B-7, and obtained a patent for his tracked drive system that henceforth equipped most of his vehicles. In 1959, the Ski-Doo snowmobile began to be produced and marketed.

The Bloc Québécois pays tribute to all of Joseph-Armand Bombardier's descendants and colleagues. May we all be inspired by the boldness and most importantly the perseverance exhibited by this inventor, whose work was so effective despite the limited resources available at the time. We can still find innovative solutions to create stimulating jobs.

Holocaust Memorial DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday we had a moment of silence in the House. We stood in reflection, recognizing Holocaust Memorial Day and remembering modern history's most infamous genocide.

The fanatic rhetoric of President Ahmadinejad of Iran, who declares his commitment to destroy Israel and the Jewish people, demonstrates that the spirit of anti-Semitism is very active in the world once more.

Just last Sunday in Richmond, B.C., the Beth Tikvah Synagogue was spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti, swastikas and profanity. This follows a similar incident at the office of a prominent Jewish doctor in the same community.

These incidents remind us of the reason we have hate crime laws in this country. They remind us of the reason we have committed to assist in funding security upgrades to facilities associated with communities at risk.

Beth Tikvah means “house of hope”. I know all members will want to stand with me in affirming our hope and our commitment to see all elements of Canadian society live in peace and mutual respect, accepting differences and condemning all acts of hatred and intolerance.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

April 18th, 2007 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Merasty Liberal Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, the false bravado of the Minister of Indian Affairs on caring for first nations water quality and education has been exposed.

Not only did the government not commit any new funding for these critical services, but any funding to date has actually come from existing services. In effect, he is compromising the safety of students in on reserve schools and those in the child welfare system.

In Deschambault Lake, Saskatchewan, a school burned down and the department is refusing to rebuild nearly three years later. Students are crammed into facilities, putting them at risk of dropping out. Their personal safety is at risk. Teachers are overworked. The community is angry.

In Pelican Narrows, Saskatchewan, air quality tests have determined that the air poses safety risks. This situation has been known to exist for at least five years and still the department does nothing.

These two issues were set to be addressed this year, but the minister has decided to bump them because he is using this funding, supposedly, for water quality issues.

I say commit to water quality funding and stop putting children's safety at risk.

ToxiaideStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Conservative Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the riding of Louis-Hébert, there is a facility for addicts called Toxiaide.

Toxiaide is a not-for-profit agency headed by Mr. Jean-Marie Landry, who for more than 30 years has devoted himself to helping his fellow citizens living with addiction problems: drug dependence, alcohol dependence and gambling dependence. Sometimes these people also suffer from a mental illness or intellectual disability.

As an expert in facilitating social adjustment, Mr. Landry deserves to be much admired. I am proud to pay tribute to his dedication and constant efforts to improve the lives and assist the integration of people who are experiencing difficulties.

It is an honour for me to congratulate and especially thank Mr. Jean-Marie Landry for being such a fine citizen. We are very appreciative of all he has done for us in the riding of Louis-Hébert.

Algoma Residential Community HospiceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Algoma Residential Community Hospice is a dream becoming a reality. This 10 bed hospice will be an end of life facility providing comfort, dignity and the affirmation of life to dying persons and their families in Sault Ste. Marie and district.

The fundraising campaign has raised close to $2 million, but it needs another $1 million to $1.5 million to be complete.

Janet Napper of the Hospice Association of Ontario said, “Every day across Ontario miracles happen. These miracles are not the variety that change destiny or influence the outcome of world events. Instead they are the kind that touch hearts, bring families together and help people with terminal illness to live as fully and as comfortably as possible for as long as possible”.

Our hospital and group health centre see this project as an essential part of health care delivery. The hospice will be a sanctuary caring for people's physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs.

Let us help build a residential hospice this year.

Holocaust Memorial DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, Holocaust Memorial Day is an important time to commemorate, remember and bear witness. It is a time:

Of remembrance of a Nazi genocidal war against the Jews, in which not all victims were Jewish, but all Jews were intended victims.

Of remembrance of the fact that every victim had a name;

Of remembrance of the danger posed by hate mongering, anti-semitism and genocide carried out or encouraged by state authorities;

Of witness to the dangers of indifference and inaction, which led us down the road to the unspeakable, the preventable genocide in Rwanda and the genocide by attrition in Darfur.

Of remembrance, with the promise that “never again” will we remain indifferent to racism and hate, never again will we remain silent in the face of evil, and wherever we are, we are responsible for the lives of all those around us.

Gaétan DuchesneStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec and hockey fans were stunned and saddened on Monday to learn of the death of one our most illustrious hockey players and coaches, Gaétan Duchesne.

Originally from Quebec City, Gaétan Duchesne played in NHL teams from Washington, Minnesota, Quebec City, San Jose and Florida between 1981 and 1995. He played in 1,028 games and had a career record of 179 goals and 254 assists. As a supporter of the Quebec Nordiques, I have an indelible memory of Gaétan as a solid, hard-working player and keen competitor.

Beyond his sporting achievements, his family, friends and colleagues have lost a warm, honest and devoted person. We think of them today and offer to them our most sincere condolences.

Today, all of Quebec salutes Gaétan Duchesne and gives thanks for his career and his generous heart. On behalf of all supporters of the former Quebec Nordiques, thank you Number 14, Gaétan Duchesne.

Vimy Ridge CommemorationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, at last week's ceremony marking the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, I was delighted to see thousands of high school students from across Canada. I was particularly proud to see Etobicoke students from Michael Power St. Joseph Catholic Secondary High School and Bishop Allen Academy. I salute the teachers and students who contributed so much to an unforgettable commemoration.

I want to pay special tribute today to Dave Robinson, a teacher from Port Perry High School, whose idea it was to bring the next generation of Canadian leaders to see what our ancestors sacrificed and achieved at Vimy. Thanks to his efforts, all those present last week are confident that pride and respect for our military tradition have been passed from one generation to the next.

I wish to thank Mr. Robinson for this great initiative.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to mention the top five reasons why democracy is dying in the Liberal Party.

The fifth reason is that since the Liberal Party chose its new leader, 14 Liberal members have announced that they are not running for him in the next federal election.

The fourth reason is that the leader of the Liberal Party punted the member for Thunder Bay—Superior North out of his caucus because the member supported the federal budget.

The third reason is that the leader of the Liberal Party is starting his own red green comedy show and is not running a candidate in Central Nova as a result of his backroom deal with the Green Party.

The second reason is that a number of Liberal candidates want to run for the Liberal Party in the riding of Westmount—Ville-Marie, but the Liberal leader has said no to democracy and is appointing his own hand-picked candidate and, Mr. Speaker, in at least four other ridings in Quebec, you guessed it, they are hand picked.

But the number one reason that democracy is dying in the Liberal Party is that in the riding of Niagara Falls, the only candidate the Liberals could find to run against our beloved justice minister will not be nominated after all because he was arrested and charged with fraud.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, because of the government's misguided budget, Canadian companies will no longer be able to tax deduct interest on loans to finance foreign acquisitions. Our companies will be less able to grow and more likely to be taken over by foreigners.

After I denounced that policy last Monday, the Minister of Finance said, “I'm going to spend some time on it now”. Will the Prime Minister help his minister spend some time on it now?

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we are committed to tax fairness. We are committed to tax fairness for corporations. Unlike the Liberal Party opposite, we will not give a favoured tax treatment to income trusts. We believe that all Canadians should pay their fair share of taxes.

Unlike the Leader of the Opposition, we do not believe that Canadian corporations and multinational corporations should be able to avoid paying Canadian taxes by the use of tax havens like the Barbados.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

No, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has that wrong. It is the United States, Japan, Europe that have this rule and our companies will not have that any more. He should spend some more time on it now.

If that was the extent of it! But there is more: income trusts, the Canadian Wheat Board, higher income taxes, softwood lumber, interest deductibility, untendered contracts. The list of broken promises, of failed policies and bad decisions grows longer day by day.

Before we sink into the bad management of the Mulroney and Harris administrations, will the Prime Minister spend some time on these matters?

Will he spend some time on it now?

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

You know, Mr. Speaker--

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The Minister of Finance has the floor. We will have a little order. I could not possibly hear his response and neither will the Leader of the Opposition be able to hear it if we do not have some order.

The Minister of Finance has the floor.

TaxationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Conservative Whitby—Oshawa, ON

You know, Mr. Speaker, this issue of interest deductibility and tax havens has been discussed here for many years, by the Auditor General in 1992 and 2002. I am sure the Leader of the Opposition can remember because he was a member of cabinet in 1997 when the Mintz committee was appointed by his government, which recommended this change, but the Liberals did not get the job done. They permitted the tax havens like the Barbados to continue.

Even then the member for Kings—Hants said under the Liberal government that the Mintz report had collected a lot of dust and the government would do well to implement its recommendations.

Softwood LumberOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

He should spend more time on it now, Mr. Speaker.

What about the softwood deal? There was $1 billion stolen from Canadian forestry companies to buy a seven year truce. Now we learn that we may not even get seven months. We warned the government against that. We said that the U.S. may revisit two issues: the level of the export tax and the extent of the export support. Unfortunately, that is what is happening.

Will the Prime Minister admit his mistake? Will he spend some time on it now?