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House of Commons Hansard #152 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

B.C. Flood MitigationStatements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

Order. The hon. member for Westlock--St. Paul.

Spinal Cord InjuriesStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Conservative Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak about one of the inspirations in my life, and in fact in the lives of all those she touches.

Trina Preusglias was 16 years old when she and her family were involved in a devastating car accident that forever altered the direction of their lives.

Trina suffered from what the doctors described as an injury to her spinal cord at the cervical levels of the fourth, fifth and six vertebrae. Trina never accepted the doctor's analysis that she would not walk again. From that day on she worked tirelessly day in and day out for 10 years toward her goal of walking.

Trina's dedication is an inspiration. Recently she has discovered Project Walk, an organization dedicated to help Trina push as hard as possible to recover as much as possible, however long it takes.

Last weekend I was privileged to attend a community function where I was amazed to see the courage this young lady demonstrated as she stood up and took steps with very little assistance.

I have no doubt that Trina will walk again.

Trina is an inspiration and a source of strength to her family, her friends and her community, and I thank her.

Manufacturing IndustryStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, the loss of manufacturing jobs in Canada is becoming more acute by the day.

It was announced two days ago that Canadian Blue Bird's manufacturing facility, a mainstay in my riding of Brant for almost 50 years, will be closing very soon. In my riding alone, 1,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in the auto sector since 2005.

At Blue Bird, 130 people will lose their jobs when the plant is relocated to the United States. The 130 employees are dedicated and the facility has won several workplace health and safety awards in their field.

To ignore the current manufacturing crisis is to ignore the livelihoods of thousands of Canadians. Instead of idly watching the flow of jobs leaving Canada, the government must step up to the plate and protect workers in the manufacturing sector.

SoccerStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Conservative Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, for a number of years now, the Notre-Dame-de-Foy campus in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures has been hosting activities that have contributed to soccer's rising popularity in Quebec City, Quebec and Canada.

Friendly evening soccer games and tournaments have been regular activities all week long for years now. The average age of the members of the group I want to talk about today is 45. Most of them are imports, immigrants who have taught us about soccer and shown us how to appreciate it. Today, in the Quebec City region, in my city, over 25,000 people play the sport.

It is my pleasure and honour to tell you about Edgardo Sanchez, who is now over 65 years old and still playing. He is the first to arrive—

SoccerStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The hon. member for Compton—Stanstead.

Apéri-Fruits ComptonStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, as you know, I love homegrown Quebec products, and I am always eager to talk about the quality and variety of products from my riding.

To back up my claim, one of our local companies distinguished itself during the Quebec City gastronomy festival, held from April 20 to 22, by living up to the reputation built by products from the Eastern Townships. There are two categories in the “cup of nations” competition: the international category for wines sold by the SAQ, and the local category for wine and cider by Quebec artisan producers. Of the 282 products that were sampled and judged, Apéri-Fruits Compton's black currant aperitif was awarded the silver medal in the flavoured liqueurs category.

I would like to congratulate Yves Cousineau and Marc Boily on their achievement. We knew you produced an excellent aperitif, and now everyone else knows it too.

Official Language Minority CommunitiesStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, Justin Trudeau spoke out against bilingualism and the institutions that support it.

Why do the federal Liberals want to close francophone schools in New Brunswick or Manitoba, and close anglophone schools in Quebec?

The Liberals' arrogance shows that they have no consideration for cultural communities. Mr. Trudeau's desire to get rid of minority language schools compromises what we have worked hard to accomplish together as Canadians.

The essence of bilingualism is to defend the rights of language groups, rather than reduce them to a personal choice. Mr. Trudeau's comments show not only a flagrant lack of respect for the official bilingualism policy and Canada's language communities, but they are also evidence of the Liberals' unilateral approach to programs.

This is proof that the Liberal leader is completely lacking in leadership, and that chaos reigns within the Liberal Party of Canada.

Student EmploymentStatements By Members

May 11th, 2007 / 11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Roger Valley Liberal Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, recent cutbacks to the federal student summer employment program have left organizations in the Kenora riding high and dry. Not for profit organizations that have added to the quality of life in the Kenora riding not to mention provided job opportunities for our youth are being shut out by the Conservative government.

Take the Lake of the Woods Railroad Museum, for example. Ron and Ann Baker of Kenora have been operating this museum for the last 15 years. This museum not only provides the people of Kenora with a glimpse of their history, but it also attracts tourists to the area and helps the local economy. For the last 12 years, the Liberal government recognized the importance of such an initiative and each year the Bakers could hire a summer student. This year, however, they will not receive anything. This operation is at risk of closing and students in Kenora will lose one more opportunity for a job.

I find it shameful that the Conservatives cannot understand the benefit that this funding has provided to small towns and organizations. I urge the government to reconsider its actions.

MS Awareness MonthStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, May is MS Awareness Month. It was great for me to able to meet with victims of MS on May 9 and to accept a red carnation to wear as a symbol of our support to find a cure for this crippling disease.

Most of us know someone with MS. Personally, my sister Mary Lou suffers from MS and friends, Dianne Hepburn and Tammy Graver, have also been diagnosed with MS.

On April 14, it was my pleasure to participate in the MS Walk for Life in Owen Sound and to be a proud member of Mandy Maisonneuve's “Dream Team”. Mandy, a neighbour and a 30-year-old mother of two young boys, has been diagnosed with MS.

For these four young women, all from my hometown of Wiarton, and for all the sufferers of multiple sclerosis, we must keep up the fight to find a cure for this serious and debilitating disease. I ask all my colleagues in the House to join me in this great cause.

Visual Arts AwardsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on May 30, as part of the “Art for Everyone” celebration, the Ottawa School of Art will present the second annual Visual Arts Awards, recognizing artists and art supporters throughout the national capital region.

The Visual Arts Awards are intended to recognize artists and individuals who have made a sustained commitment and a significant difference in the visual arts community in Ottawa through their dedication, creativity and initiative.

Their outstanding successes include mentorship and guidance to members of the visual arts community, breaking new ground and overcoming old barriers and, of course, contributing to the development of a vibrant visual arts community in Ottawa.

It is with great pride that I stand here today representing a riding with a thriving arts community. The achievements of the many dedicated workers and heroes in the visual arts help make our community and nation's capital so culturally expressive.

I commend the Ottawa School of Art for recognizing these achievements and I invite all members of the House to join me on May 30 at Fifth Avenue Court in the Glebe, for an evening of celebration of the visual arts.

Athabasca BasinStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Gary Merasty Liberal Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, last September, the Athabasca Economic Development Training Corporation met with the Saskatchewan Conservative caucus, spelling out their case for an all season road in the Athabasca region.

The province had agreed to fund half of the construction costs and a previous Liberal government had announced it would fund one-third of the costs.

The Saskatchewan Conservative caucus suggested its strong support for this project, but with the arrival of the construction season in the north, we see no movement from the federal government on this important initiative.

This is a quality of life issue. Northerners are paying outrageous prices for basic food necessities, $12 for four litres of milk, $4 for a loaf of bread and so on. This road would inject significant business and economic development opportunities for Saskatchewan and improve the quality of life of all northern people in the Athabasca basin.

Some of us have tried to bring attention to this important issue, and it appears as though the Saskatchewan Conservative MPs are not among this group. I ask the Minister of Indian Affairs to commit to this project and help the people of the Athabasca basin.

Étienne LafortuneStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Raymond Gravel Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, every year, 20 students receive a TD Canada Trust Scholarship for Community Leadership. The scholarships serve to reward students who have shown their consistent concerns for the improvement of their communities. This is the most prestigious post-secondary scholarship program in Canada.

I am pleased to inform the House that a young person from my riding, Étienne Lafortune, a student at the Cégep régional de Lanaudière in L'Assomption, was selected as a recipient of this award for 2007.

Étienne helped establish an environmental committee that led to his school obtaining level one certification in the Cégep vert du Québec program. His idea to develop a sponsorship link with the developing world also led to a project called L'Anse d'Hainault, which, last year, paid the tuition fees for 27 students from a village in Haiti.

Congratulations, Étienne. You are an example to us all. Above all, keep up the good work.

Nelson MandelaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, 13 years ago this week, a man who was incarcerated by a violent segregationist state became the first black president in its history. Nelson Mandela's transition from revolutionary to philosopher, from prisoner to politician, set the tone for the changes South Africa would go through under his leadership and afterwards.

Under a Liberal government, Parliament bestowed honorary citizenship on Nelson Mandela, an act that enriched all Canadians, an act that was a statement of our values to the world. The motion itself almost gained unanimous consent. The Conservative member for Calgary West voted against the motion and against Canada's salute to Mr. Mandela.

By this and other actions we are reminded that the fight against bigotry and intolerance knows no boundaries and must be confronted everywhere, in the House, throughout Canada and around the globe.

On today and every day we salute our fellow Canadian Nelson Mandela.

Dwight WilsonStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week Canada and my constituency of Oshawa lost an incredible man who was a bridge to our past. Dwight Wilson, Canada's second last remaining World War I veteran, passed away at the age of 106.

Up to June 2006, Mr. Wilson resided at Cedarcroft Place nursing home in Oshawa. Mr. Wilson contributed a lot to my riding and was a wonderful supporter of our local servicemen and women, veterans and our legion.

He was one of more than 600,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders who joined the military to fight in the first world war, the war to end all wars. It was a war that cost our country approximately 66,000 brave countrymen and women.

Mr. Wilson will be missed by many in Oshawa. I encourage all parliamentarians and people of Oshawa not to forget him and the others of his generation who gave so much for their country. The sacrifices made and remarkable bravery displayed by Mr. Wilson and his comrades is a lesson for all of us. It has been a great honour for me to have known him.

Thanks, Mr. Wilson. We will miss him.

Public Service of CanadaOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, what we have seen in the last two days is a government ruling by fear and intimidation. The Minister of the Environment admitted yesterday that the bogus arrest of Jeffrey Monaghan would send the right message to public servants.

However, what about the leaks by his own staff and the leaks by Jeffrey Kroeker, now the director of communications for the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs? Where were the handcuffs for him?

Why does the government want to send a chill through the public service?

Public Service of CanadaOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I will not to comment on the specific investigation into the criminal matter to which the member for Kitchener Centre refers. However, I will quote her leader on the general subject of that investigation and he said:

—I will never encourage this kind of behaviour...For the principle, I think civil servants must respect the secrecy of their role.

I would like to know why the member is asking that question when her own leader looks at that kind of behaviour and condemns it as inappropriate. Why can the Liberal Party and the Liberal leader not hold the same position on any issue for more than 24 hours?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, as if muzzling and intimidating public servants was not shameful enough, the government is deliberately trying to hide information from Canadians.

Yesterday, Conservative committee members tried to block a probe into why Foreign Affairs officials heavily censored documents about possible torture of Afghan detainees. These were the same reports that the government said did not exist, that the minister never bothered to read and that the Prime Minister said were left to government lawyers to black out.

Why did the government have the member for Burlington filibuster the committee? What is it trying to hide?

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, the accusation is preposterous. The member knows very well how the Access to Information Act works and who determines what is released and what is not released. She is suggesting that somebody making a speech and then a motion being actually dealt with in the same meeting is a filibuster. They voted in the same meeting.

Let me tell members about filibuster, obstruction and delay. There is a bill called Bill S-4, the Senate term limits bill, introduced almost a year ago and the Liberal Senate has been delaying and obstructing it through every procedural tactic for a year now because they do not want democratic reform. They do not want democracy in—

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The hon. member for Kitchener Centre.

Standing Committee on International TradeOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is not simply hiding the truth; it is afraid of it. In another committee yesterday, the Conservative chair went so far as to halt the testimony by University of Alberta Professor Gordon Laxer. When other members overruled this draconian decision, he abruptly adjourned the meeting. This is unacceptable.

Why did the government have the member for Vegreville—Wainwright halt the testimony of Professor Laxer? Why is it so intent on silencing any voice of dissent?

Standing Committee on International TradeOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

York—Simcoe Ontario

Conservative

Peter Van Loan ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I just cannot believe it. Here we have a situation again where what happens is a person speaking at a committee, not even discussing the subject matter at hand, is asked to return to the subject. That is called obstruction because the person is not testifying on what he came to testify on.

Let me tell members what secrecy and cover up is. That is when the Liberal senators go into secret to hold a little kangaroo court to accuse someone and condemn someone because the person had the temerity to expose wasteful Liberal spending in the Senate, $30,000 junkets to nowhere, to visits that did not mean anything. That is what they spend their time doing, covering up the—

Standing Committee on International TradeOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

Order, please. The hon. member for Honoré-Mercier.

Standing Committee on Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government continues to play hide-and-seek. It continues to make a mockery of democracy.

This week, the conservatives cancelled the meeting of the Standing Committee on Official Languages. They did not wish to discuss the cancellation of the court challenges program. Why? Because they do not want Canadians to know the truth and they prefer to hide the facts. What is even worse is that they resort to intimidation to get what they want, and that is shameful.

Will the government finally unseat the dictator of the Standing Committee on Official Languages? Will it finally get rid of him?

Standing Committee on Official LanguagesOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I understand that the committee is to meet again on Tuesday and that the parliamentarians will be able to examine the issue with a calm and serene attitude—in contrast to the bluster of my hon. colleague.

Ministerial ExpensesOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities is typical of this government. They try to hide the facts, but they get caught every time. The Minister of Labour was caught in the act, as was the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. This is becoming embarrassing.

The Leader of the Government in the House of Commons would like us to believe that they were proactive in disclosing the information. However, their web site tells a very different story.

They hid the facts and got caught. Let them do their homework.