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House of Commons Hansard #162 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was adoption.

Topics

Canadian Forces DayStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the courageous men and women of our armed forces past and present as Canadians celebrate Canadian Forces Day this Sunday, June 3.

We are a nation with a proud, distinguished and outstanding military history. From the Battle of Vimy Ridge to Juno Beach to our role in the Korean war, the bravery and dedication of our soldiers has never been doubted.

The importance of these celebrations on Sunday cannot be overstated.

We hold close in our thoughts and prayers those who currently wear our uniform in Afghanistan as they fight for the freedom of the Afghan people and for the security of our own proud nation.

I ask all members of the House to join with me in celebrating Canadian Forces Day this Sunday and to say thank you to those who have worn and continue to wear the uniform of the Canadian army, air force and navy.

Their sacrifices for our freedoms will not be forgotten.

Summit of Francophone and Acadian CommunitiesStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, this weekend I will have the pleasure of representing the Bloc Québécois at the first summit of francophone and Acadian communities. This event, which is being held in Ottawa, is organized by the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada, and over 600 participants are taking part in it. Several speakers will be heard, including the Commissioner of Official Languages, Graham Fraser, the chair of the former court challenges program, Guy Matte, the president and chief executive officer of the Montfort Hospital, Gérald Savoie, and the administrator of the international organization of the francophonie, Clément Duhaime.

Five issues will be discussed: the demographic and identity challenge; the daily lives of francophones in their own language; the strategies for collective organization and mobilization; the political power and the francophonie; and the economic vitality of francophone and Acadian communities.

The Bloc Québécois is joining me in saluting this initiative and in wishing a great summit to all participants.

Summit of Francophone and Acadian CommunitiesStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Liberal Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Summit of Francophone and Acadian Communities will be held this weekend in Ottawa. This initiative by the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada will bring together more than 700 representatives from these communities, to develop a vision for future development.

Francophones in minority situations have been working hard and long to advance their communities and, in spite of the real threat represented by assimilation, enormous progress has been made.

The political, cultural, economic development, communications and education sectors are all evolving very rapidly, and the direction set at this summit will no doubt guide our communities in the years to come.

I wish to congratulate the FCFA and the summit participants, who have clearly understood that networking and the development of a clear and precise plan for the future are essential to the development of their communities.

We are anxiously awaiting the outcome of your proceedings, and rest assured that the Liberal Party will be there to support you, as always.

Canadian Forces DayStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, as a proud supporter of the women and men in uniform in service to their country within the Canadian armed forces and as the member of Parliament for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke whose riding is home to CFB Petawawa, it is my distinct pleasure to recognize the first Sunday in June as Canadian Forces Day.

I wish to extend congratulations to Pat Oland, entertainment chairperson of Legion Branch 517 of Petawawa, in organizing a Red Sunday, featuring 10 bands with local Canadian talent as headliners: Common Ground, the Nick Armitage Band, the Legacy, the Ghost Town Cryers, Freddy Vette and the Flames, the Memphis Mafia, the Demos, Split Decision and Quicksand.

Michelle's School of Dance will have games for the kids and a pie eating contest.

As a member of the House who with all my colleagues voted unanimously to support the motion that resulted in this proclamation, I encourage all Canadians to join in this year's theme of “Celebrating Those Supporting Us” on Sunday, especially to recognize the families of our serving soldiers. We all should get out there on Sunday and show we care.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister said:

When the Leader of the Opposition is able to stand in uniform and serve his country, then I will care about his opinion of the performance of the Minister of National Defence.

This is a truly disturbing remark. It says that the Prime Minister, who, as he said, has never been in uniform, has no right to judge the performance of his own minister. It says the military is beyond the control and direction of the people.

Who has the right to call the shots? Who is calling the shots?

National DefenceOral 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, we are very proud of our military. We are very proud of our Minister of National Defence. We are proud of him because he served this country in uniform for over three decades. He understands the military inside out because he has served on the front lines. As our troops are doing today, he has put himself at risk, and he made the decision to sacrifice the best years of his life in the service of his country. That is something we should all be proud of.

That is why we ask members of the opposition to treat our military with respect, from the Minister of National Defence on down, instead of with the kind of casual smear they love to throw around all the time.

National UnityOral Questions

June 1st, 2007 / 11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, again and again the Prime Minister has tried to decide for all of us who is a real Canadian.

In 1995 the current Leader of the Opposition was in Quebec fighting for the future of this country.

As the deputy leader wrote his books and did his important work, thousands of Canadians reacted with pride.

What were the rest of us, including the Prime Minister, doing at that time?

Millions of Canadians have not spent all their lives in Canada. They grew up in Sri Lanka and Lebanon and brought all their learning here.

They are Canadians, real Canadians. When will the Prime Minister understand that?

National UnityOral 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, on this side of the House we are very proud real Canadians who stand up for what Canadian values are and for what Canadians believe in, everyday, ordinary middle class families, not jet-setters.

We are proud to be engaged in the world and that is important, but we also put our country first. We put Canadian sovereignty first. We put our commitment to the country first.

As for the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore, the only reason one raises his commitment is because of his own words when he speaks of himself almost as American, when he uses phrases like the one in the New York Times of March 14: “As usual we were talking about ourselves, what America is--”

National UnityOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for York Centre.

National UnityOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Once again, Mr. Speaker, it is divide, divide, divide. For 16 months for this Prime Minister, no question matters unless it is a political question. It is all about creating wedges and divides, province against province, group against group, Canadian against Canadian.

It is all about scoring political points, just like he tried to do yesterday: divide, divide, divide. When will the Prime Minister truly understand that he is the prime minister of all Canadians?

National UnityOral 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, every day we sit in this House and we listen to members like that launch this kind of attack against proud Canadians who are standing up for Canadian values, the Canadian values that we believe in, freedom, opportunity and hope, the values that my family came to this country for after they suffered persecution under Soviet rule and after they suffered the kind of fate that people are suffering elsewhere in the world right now under authoritarian regimes.

We are standing up for that kind of freedom because it is the most important Canadian value. We will never stop standing up for freedom.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are not impressed.

Despite the Prime Minister's disgraceful comments about our Leader of the Opposition during yesterday's question period, the fact remains that we still have an incompetent Minister of National Defence who should not be in charge of one of the most important departments. It is all well and good for this little Conservative government to attempt to distract us, but in the matter of funeral expenses—the latest chapter in the saga of mistakes by the Minister of Defence—the minister's behaviour and lack of compassion for the bereaved families is disgraceful and unspeakable.

Will the minister have the decency to present to this House the instructions he claims to have given in this matter, or are they also part of his imaginary world?

National DefenceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale B.C.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, this government cares deeply about our soldiers. Not only has our government adopted a policy that it will compensate them above and beyond the normal funeral costs, but we have set the limit higher than the Liberals did. They set a limit of $4,600. We have repeatedly gone above and beyond that limit to compensate families.

More than that, we have repeatedly demonstrated our support for the military by providing helicopters to increase troop safety and, after years of neglect, we are building up the military and providing our troops with the safety they need to do their job in Afghanistan.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Liberal Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, I understand that he must back up his incompetent minister. But either there are instructions or there are none. It is not complicated. That is what we want to know.

Will the parliamentary secretary show some decency and produce the directives to prove to us, once again, that the minister misled this House? If not he should pass on the message to him and he should tender his resignation on Monday.

National DefenceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale B.C.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, this government has been far more generous with the families than the previous government was. We are going to continue to compensate them and address their concerns.

I want to emphasize that unlike the previous Liberal government, we have invested heavily in our soldiers. We have provided substantial new benefits and we have invested in the care of our returning soldiers. Unlike the previous government, we care about our soldiers.

Option CanadaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in reference to the love-in, the Prime Minister said, “It was attended by Conservatives, Liberals, New Democrats, Canadians who believe in their country and have the right to believe in their country”. Of course Canadians have the right to believe in their country, but they do not have the right to violate Quebec laws. These are not minor issues.

Will the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities apologize for what he said yesterday in this house and acknowledge that it is not a minor issue to violate the Referendum Act to the tune of at least half a million dollars, not counting the cost of the love-in?

Option CanadaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, again, the leader of the Bloc Québécois is talking about something that happened 12 years ago. In the meantime, Quebec and Canada have made positive progress. In our case, this assembly here, including the leader of the Bloc Québécois, has recognized Quebeckers as a nation within Canada. I think that Quebeckers and Canadians, together, are resolutely committed to the future, and that is what is important.

Option CanadaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when the violation of Quebec law was described as a minor issue, that was not 12 years ago; that happened yesterday. In my opinion, the minister should have the decency to apologize and acknowledge that he cannot say such things.

They tell us this happened 12 years ago and yet they are currently investigating polls that were conducted in 1990. An investigation was ordered: we are told that what happened 12 years ago has been investigated.

I want to believe them, but let them table the results of the investigation and let them apologize today, not for what happened 12 years ago, but for what was said yesterday. If they knew the Quebec nation, they would not say that breaking its laws is a “minor issue”.

Option CanadaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, that did indeed happen 12 years ago. I would like to remind the leader of the Bloc Québécois that one of the first things this government did was to finally cut off funding to the Canadian Unity Council, which, as you know, was the impetus to creating Option Canada.

Option Canada no longer exists. If the leader of the Bloc Québécois or his colleagues try to reach Option Canada, the phone will ring for a long time and the message will be that the number they have dialled is no longer in service.

Option CanadaOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister confirmed yesterday that Justice Grenier had the full cooperation of the federal government during his investigation. That is entirely untrue. The federal government sent a lawyer who added numerous interventions specifically to prevent careful examination of federal spending.

Why did the government go to so much trouble to protect the Liberals, Conservatives and the NDP from the investigation? What are they all trying to hide?

Option CanadaOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let us all take a look at what the new Government of Canada has achieved since coming to power. We recognized that Quebeckers form a nation within a united Canada, we resolved the issue of Quebec´s presence at UNESCO, we resolved the fiscal imbalance issue. This concrete and positive action demonstrates very clearly that, together, Quebec and Canada are progressing just fine, thank you.

Option CanadaOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, perhaps we have somewhat different opinions. The Prime Minister keeps saying that everything has been investigated. Well, if everything has been investigated, then he knows who financed the Montreal love-in, and how, and more importantly, why this spending was not reported to the chief electoral officer.

Under the circumstances, he must table the report. It is as simple as that, Mr. Speaker.

Option CanadaOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, once again, we are being attacked by the Bloc Québécois. What does the Bloc Québécois want? The Bloc Québécois wants to rewrite history. It cannot change the fact that, twice now, when Quebeckers were asked, they chose to remain in Canada. They decided to continue to work within the Canadian federation to improve their future. Following the last election in Quebec, not only will there be no referendum, but whoever takes over as leader of the PQ—

Option CanadaOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh.

Corporate TakeoversOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, the foreign takeover steamroller is picking up speed as Canada's last steel company, Stelco, is on the auction block and working families in Hamilton are just the latest with an uncertain future, not just their jobs but also their pensions.

Will the government, for once, stand up for the working families in Hamilton, announce that any foreign takeover of Stelco will have conditions applied that ensure pensions are protected, jobs are safe and, finally, working families are not the only ones who shoulder the burden of foreign takeovers?