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House of Commons Hansard #138 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

National Victims of Crime Awareness WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, the tragic events of last week should guide our reflection during National Victims of Crime Awareness Week. A number of activities have been organized with the theme “It's time to listen”.

Taking this opportunity to adopt and carry out a recent suggestion from the leader of the Bloc Québécois, the government has announced the creation of the position of ombudsman for victims of crime. This is great. Unfortunately, like Mr. Boisvenu, the president of the Murdered or Missing Persons' Families' Association, the MMPFA, we are sorry to hear that the first person to occupy this important position is a unilingual anglophone. Listening is good, understanding is better.

Mr. Boisvenu should be congratulated, as should the numerous volunteers in this association who inspire him to keep going, for the support they provide to families that have been caught up in the effects of murder. He can always count on the support of the Bloc.

This is the time to listen, to pay attention and to understand their demands in order to better direct our actions towards a better future—

National Victims of Crime Awareness WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Royal Galipeau

The hon. member for New Westminster—Coquitlam.

SudanStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Dawn Black NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the coming weeks, STAND Canada, Students Taking Action Now: Darfur, will be asking politicians to take action on what is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, essentially a genocide.

The struggle for peace in Darfur has been long and fraught with real difficulties. For far too long the international community failed to act while the people of Darfur watched their area burn.

An opportunity for Canada to take a leading role in bringing stability to war-torn Darfur has now emerged. The government of Sudan will consent to the deployment of 3,000 UN troops, plus equipment, to support the AU force in the region.

Canada must seize this opportunity and be at the forefront of the international response to this positive announcement. I urge the government to demonstrate Canada's commitment to the people of Darfur by contributing to the UN heavy support package and through renewed long term diplomatic initiatives encouraging the stable political environment required for meaningful and inclusive peace negotiations.

St. Clare SchoolStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Art Hanger Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, not long ago I challenged the grade six students of St. Clare School in Calgary Northeast to write about the responsibilities of Canadians to their country. The students in Mr. Benvin's and Ms. Quartararo's classes responded with 30 excellent essays.

I am proud to announce that Amberlyn Aguilar is the winner of the essay contest. She wrote in part:

As young Canadians, we have important responsibilities.

We can never get in trouble with the law if we don't steal, murder, do vandalism, or commit abuse. To make our school, community and homes a better place, we can respect the property of others, respect elders, stop prejudice and follow Jesus' moral teachings to love and forgive everyone. To prepare ourselves for responsible adulthood, we must learn to get involved in our community, make a difference in the world, stand up for what we believe in and vote for who we know will be a good government.

I express congratulations to Amberlyn and to all the students who participated. I ask them to always remember that they are never too young to make a difference.

Davenport Community Builders AwardsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to six outstanding community builders who are all recipients of the first annual Davenport community builders awards. They were selected from among many persons in my riding who were nominated.

Father Fernando Couto was chosen for his work with youth, immigrants, the elderly and the less fortunate.

Andrea Dawber was chosen for her park improvements and work on green initiatives such as Trees Davenport.

Felicidade Macedo Rodrigues was chosen for her lifelong work on immigrant and refugee issues through the Working Women Community Centre.

Dyan Marie was chosen for her efforts to bring schools, artists and community groups together to help build a more livable and vibrant neighbourhood.

Jutta Mason was chosen for her work with Dufferin Grove Park, making it a great community institution and a model for other neighbourhoods.

Wolfgang Vachon was chosen for his commitment to helping youth at the Dufferin Mall Youth Services, which enhances the lives of so many people in our community.

On behalf of all residents of Davenport, I ask all members of Parliament to join me in congratulating these outstanding community leaders. Their dedication is what makes Davenport and Toronto such a vibrant and beautiful community.

Global Road Safety WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, in order to highlight the importance of reducing the 1.2 million fatalities and 50 million serious injuries and disabilities occurring each year on the world's roads, April 23 to 29 has been designated Global Road Safety Week by the United Nations.

Young road users are the focus of the first ever Global Road Safety Week.

Canada's national road safety program, Road Safety Vision 2010, has the goal of having the safest roads in the world.

Canada has a great deal to offer to low and middle income nations in dealing with their growing road safety challenges.

Canada has sent eight young people with an active interest in road safety and injury prevention to Geneva to participate in the UN's World Youth Assembly for Road Safety on April 23 and 24.

I express congratulations to all involved. I am proud that these young Canadians have heard the call to action and invite all Canadians to join them in being part of the solution.

Earth DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in Montreal, we celebrated Earth Day. More than 25,000 people joined in the “Kyoto, pour l'espoir” march to show their dissatisfaction with the Conservative government's inaction and fearmongering on climate change and the Kyoto protocol.

This march, which was organized by the Coalition Québec-Vert-Kyoto, shows once again that the people want the government to meet the Kyoto targets. The government must take appropriate action now to reduce Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. The time for talk is over. It is time for action.

The success of the march proves that people are ready for action and that the Government of Canada needs to stop trying to scare people with its apocalyptic report, take action and meet the Kyoto targets.

National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Conservative Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to inform the members of the House and all Canadians that April 22 to April 29 is National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week.

Every day in Canada, organs and tissues are used in transplantation procedures to improve both the duration and quality of life of many.

There is a significant shortfall between the number of organ or tissue donations and the need. As Canada's population ages, the shortfall is likely to increase.

To ensure a strong Canadian system for organ and tissue donations, I urge each of my colleagues here in the House of Commons and all Canadians to sign donor cards that will allow for the posthumous donation of their organs and tissues and to inform their family members of their wish to donate.

Thousands of Canadian adults and children are counting on our generosity.

Fredericton Climate Change SummitStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Liberal Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, Climate Change Summit 2007 was held in my riding on April 10 as a lead-up to the launch of Fredericton's planned city-wide greenhouse gas reduction campaign in May.

More than 150 participants attended. Summit attendees watched a dynamic presentation that included the science and impact of climate change, an outline of the city's own current and future GHG reduction initiatives, and details of the status of key GHG emission sources across the city.

It was encouraging to see individuals and groups come together and express themselves on how citizens can help find a solution. Fredericton's plan is to be the first municipality in Canada to achieve Kyoto targets. The campaign will target a 6% community reduction and a 20% corporate reduction in GHGs by 2010.

I am proud of my community and its citizens.

National Victims of Crime Awareness WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second National Victims of Crime Awareness Week will take place from April 22 to 28. Throughout the week, communities across Canada will distribute information about the impact crime has on its victims.

The Murdered or Missing Persons' Families' Association is launching an orange ribbon campaign. The ribbons are a mark of support for the families of murdered or missing persons.

The theme for this year's event is “It's Time to Listen”. This government believes that it is time not only to listen to victims of crime but also to act in their best interests.

Last month this government committed $52 million to increase services for victims of crime. The money will assist provinces and territories to develop and deliver new services, such as offsetting the costs victims incur to attend sentencing hearings and to present victim impact statements.

I ask the House to join me in recognizing National Victims of Crime Awareness Week and to acknowledge victims and those who help them.

Labelling of Alcoholic BeveragesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, exactly six years ago today the House passed my motion to require alcohol warning labels against drinking while pregnant as part of an effective FASD prevention strategy. The vote was an overwhelming 217 to 11 for labels on all alcohol beverage containers.

Six years later, we have no follow-through, no action and no labels. It has been six years and there have been five health ministers, four of them Liberal, who have shamelessly bowed to the alcohol industry and thumbed their noses at Parliament by putting this motion on the shelf, where they hoped no one would notice.

Canadians do notice. Thousands still sign petitions. Groups like the Canadian Paediatric Society, the Canadian Medical Association and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have called for labelling. More than 20 countries, from the United States in 1989 to Finland this year, use labelling as part of their prevention arsenal to stop FAS, a preventable tragedy.

Canadians want action. It is time for the government to end six years of shame.

ZimbabweStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, why has the Government of Canada forsaken the people of Zimbabwe?

President Robert Mugabe is terrorizing his citizens through the use of torture, gang rape and murder. He is starving his people to death. He has kicked out the NGOs, which has resulted in a critical shortage of medications. The result is that a Zimbabwean woman can expect to live a paltry 32 years and a man 37 years, which are the lowest life expectancies in the world. The people are so desperate that they are wiping out their wildlife just to be able to eat.

What has Canada's government done? It has cut CIDA's funding to Zimbabwe for human rights organizations and relief organizations. This is an unconscionable act. Enough is enough.

I call on the government to increase aid from $4 million to $20 million for food and other essentials; to expel the Zimbabwean ambassador to Canada; to appoint a special Canadian envoy for the crisis; and to pressure the UN Security Council to sanction Robert Mugabe and bring him before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Act now and save Zimbabwe: that is what the government should be doing.

World Book and Copyright DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, today we are celebrating the 12th annual World Book and Copyright Day. This day is rightfully among our priorities, but is not among those of this government, which considers the fate of our authors and their survival to be least of its concerns.

Our authors are key players in the survival of our respective cultural identities, architects of our “collective and individual selves”. Through their creative talent, they allow us to transcend ourselves, to structure ourselves and to build ourselves. They help us to think for ourselves and to understand the world in order that we may make a positive contribution to its transformation.

The Bloc Québécois invites everyone to salute the genius of our authors by taking the time to read and it reiterates its commitment to work tirelessly to defend the rights of our creative talent. It is a matter of principle.

Centraide OutaouaisStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, on April 11 I was very pleased to attend the seventh annual Bouquet of Thanks recognition gala put on by Centraide Outaouais.

Tribute was paid to those who unceasingly work to improve the well being of their fellow citizens.

The recipients of the 2007 Bouquet of Thanks awards are: Gérard (Ti-Lou) Parent and Suzanne Lauzon, Louise Jeanvenne, Ginette Robitaille, Pierre Archambault, Donald W. Farley, the Patro de Fort-Coulonge/Mansfield, Hydro-Québec, the City of Gatineau, the Energy and Paperworkers' Union of Canada Domtar Local 33, Pageau Morel and associates, CIMA+, IP Monitor, the Centre de santé et de services sociaux du Pontiac and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

Congratulations to all these people and companies. Their generosity and consideration toward the community are remarkable. By giving we can do even more.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc members participated in Earth Day with the ecologists, acting as though they are protecting the planet. However, for 13 years, Quebec has shown no leadership within Canada, which lost control of its greenhouse gas emissions under the former government.

Fortunately, in the past year, our government, along with the Conservative members from Quebec, has put an end to this inaction and is taking concrete measures: yes to the Quebec sustainable development plan, with $300 million—more than the Bloc, relegated to the opposition benches, is asking for—;yes to public transportation; yes to innovative solutions; no to accelerated capital cost allowance for oil sands; and yes to recycling, renewable energy and biofuels.

Industrial representatives from these sectors are here from Bellechasse today, on an economic mission for action, and I salute them.

The days of delays and lip service from the Bloc are gone in Ottawa. Today, the Conservatives of Quebec are taking action for the environment.

AfghanistanOral Questions

April 23rd, 2007 / 2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today's Globe and Mail raises shocking allegations about the treatment of Canada's Afghan detainees, including savage beatings, electrocution and extreme cold.

Before the Prime Minister smears those who dare raise questions about our mission in Afghanistan, he might consider the simple question on the minds of Canadians today: Are these detainees being tortured?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, obviously we are aware of these allegations. In fact, very recently, as the Leader of the Opposition knows, the government signed a new detainee transfer agreement with the government of Afghanistan, with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

Obviously, officials of our government will be following up these allegations with officials of the government of Afghanistan. What we will not do is what the Leader of Opposition suggested earlier, that we bring Taliban prisoners to Canada. That will not be the position of this government.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will certainly say that, as things stand at present, we cannot turn detainees over to the Afghan authorities. Even the chair of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has said that his agency is unable to monitor the treatment of Afghan detainees.

How can the Prime Minister be sure the local authorities will honour the Geneva convention?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, we recently signed a new detainee transfer agreement with the Afghan government. We are going to hold talks with the Afghan authorities to monitor progress and make sure the new standards are met.

At the same time, we are not going to consider the proposal made by the leader of the Liberal Party to bring Taliban prisoners here to Canada.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in that case, we will have to keep them under our control in Afghanistan. The Prime Minister cannot tell Canadians that he will continue to turn human beings over to the Afghan government as things stand now.

As for his Minister of National Defence, first he tells us that the Red Cross will monitor the treatment of detainees. Then, he tells us that the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission will do the monitoring. But the commission says that it is unable to do so. And now, despite these statements, there are more and more signs that detainees are being tortured.

Will the Prime Minister demand that his Minister of National Defence resign?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, these are serious allegations, and the government takes them seriously.

Once again, we take such allegations seriously. That is why we have concluded an agreement with the Afghan government. It is why we will be in discussions with them to pursue this matter and to ensure that they have the capacity to undertake their terms of the agreement.

At the same time, I am not sure precisely what the Leader of the Opposition is suggesting. We are not going to bring Taliban prisoners to Canada.

As for the Minister of National Defence, his job is to make sure our forces in Afghanistan have the tools needed to do their job, and he is doing that job.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, first the Minister of National Defence said that the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission would guarantee the treatment of detainees. The minister must have known that the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has no capacity to do any such thing. Then the House leader said that the government had given the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission $1 million to carry out its duties. The government had done no such thing and CIDA had to contradict them.

This is just one part of a staggering picture of misinformation and mismanagement. What is being done now to get the situation under control?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

In fact, Mr. Speaker, as the deputy leader of the Liberal Party knows, the government has signed a new agreement.

The previous Liberal government had an agreement in place that has proven to be inadequate despite the Liberals' assurance, and despite what the deputy leader of the Liberal Party himself said last year. He said:

I have been in places of Afghan detention myself and have seen the work that the International Committee of the Red Cross does, and I believe it is the best guarantee of their safety and freedom from abuse.

He gave that assurance himself.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have been in Afghan places of detention and I have no confidence in the capacity of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission to protect prisoners.

They were beaten, whipped, starved, frozen, choked, electrocuted. These are very serious allegations, and Canada's honour is at stake.

When will the Prime Minister replace his incompetent Minister of National Defence with a minister who can make sure our allies and Canada itself respect the Geneva convention?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Carleton—Mississippi Mills Ontario

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor ConservativeMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, everyone knows that our forces in Afghanistan treat the detainees with proper care. They follow all the rules.

We have made a recent agreement with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and it has guaranteed that it will report to us any abuses of any detainees we transfer. I have the personal assurance of the leader of the human rights commission in Kandahar and the national level.