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House of Commons Hansard #170 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendments.

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 Kitchener—Conestoga.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Broadcasting RequirementsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians benefit from a competitive media in all markets.

Since 1961 the city of Pembroke has operated a licensed television station, first as CHOV, a CBC affiliate, later as CHRO, a CTV affiliate, and currently as A-Channel Ottawa, a Citytv member.

Each time the Pembroke TV station has been sold, local viewers have experienced declining local content and there have been severe job losses. CRTC requirements for local broadcasting have been routinely abandoned or discarded.

There has been an abdication of the responsibility of the local Pembroke station to serve the market that its licence is intended to serve. This has occurred despite conditions that have been put on the Pembroke licence renewal in the past to protect local community content and jobs.

It is our hope that future programming plans and commitments will be effective in ensuring that Pembroke's A-Channel will focus and keep its orientation on Renfrew County and the upper Ottawa Valley before any sale is finalized.

The residents of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke are calling upon the CRTC to return A-Channel to its roots in Pembroke, where it belongs.

Wheels in MotionStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was just 20 years ago when a young man captured the hearts of Bramptonians and Canadians.

Rick Hansen, a paraplegic, wheeled around the world to raise money for spinal cord research. His incredible journey also helped teach Canadians about the day to day difficulties faced by people in wheelchairs.

On June 10, the fifth annual Wheels in Motion event took place in Brampton. This event was very successful and raised about $8,000 for the Blazers, a local wheelchair youth group. The money from the event will send some members of the Blazers to a summer camp that is wheelchair accessible.

In the future, Wheels in Motion wants to raise funds for wheelchair accessible picnic tables in Chinguacousy Park. I strongly commend Wheels in Motion for its efforts to help others.

Entrepreneurship AwardStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Roy Bloc Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, Matane's adapted work centre, Les Ateliers Léopold-Desrosiers, recently won one of the Desjardins entrepreneurship awards for financial and social performance at a seminar entitled “Les grands enjeux de SECOR/Les Affaires”.

The purpose of this award is to highlight the excellence of companies that contribute to advancing our society and enriching the community.

This company, which has been around for 24 years, has adapted its work stations and equipment in order to provide employment to persons with disabilities.

In addition to its remarkable social commitment, Les Ateliers Léopold-Desrosiers uses mainly recycled materials, thus demonstrating a commitment to recycling.

I would like to warmly congratulate the management and staff of Les Ateliers Léopold-Desrosiers, who are deserving of this honour. This is a great example of the accomplishments and contribution to the community of one of our very own companies.

Aboriginal WomenStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week the family of Kelly Morrisseau was heartened to hear that the Assembly of First Nations was increasing the reward for information on the murder of their daughter, mother, sister, aunt and cousin.

Aboriginal women in Canada are at least five times more likely than all other women to die as a result of violence. Indigenous women's organizations such as NWAC are working to raise the public consciousness through its Sisters in Spirit initiative.

Canadians need to be aware of the alarmingly high rates of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada. These tragedies must be averted in the future.

In the last two years, other murders of young women were accompanied by timely press coverage, including regular press conferences. Kelly Morrisseau deserves no less.

We should not have different values for different lives. Any woman's death should get the same attention. We should not let their stories fade from the headlines and our memories.

Daines Ranch RodeoStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Mills Conservative Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to stand today in the House and pay tribute to a true, hard-working Albertan from my riding.

Jack Daines is a 70 year old cowboy who runs the Innisfail Auction, which was started by his father Snowden in 1955. Jack, one of seven brothers, has played a huge role in central Alberta and everyone in all of Alberta recognizes his distinct voice and his leadership.

This week, the Daines Ranch Rodeo runs for five days. This rodeo, which was started in 1961, has run without government grants and has grown to be one of the major events in our provinces.

By his own admission, Jack always tells it like it is. He is a tireless worker in his business and community life. As he says: “Sometimes I see guys not doing a good enough job and I have to step in and get things done the right way. I guess I lead by example”.

Our community is proud of Jack and his son Duane, who have always led by example, and it is my honour to recognize Jack and his family today in the House.

Sri LankaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, after a year during which the Sri Lankan army killed humanitarian workers and bombed civilians, we learned last week that Tamil civilians had been driven out of the capital at gunpoint.

When international groups protested these mass expulsions, the Sri Lankan defence secretary accused the international community, especially the U.K. and European nations, of bullying his country over human rights.

Meanwhile, the Government of Canada has remained relatively silent, and has not followed the lead of Great Britain, Germany and the United states by cutting off aid to Sri Lanka.

It is time for Canada to finally suspend aid and trade until the Sri Lankan government starts respecting the human rights of Tamil civilians.

Paul ThomassinStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Harvey Conservative Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to draw your attention to the fact that an illustrious Conservative, whom we in the riding of Louis-Hébert consider to be the party's living memory, is here in Ottawa.

Paul Thomassin, whose involvement in politics goes back to the time of the illustrious Right Hon. John Diefenbaker, is a model of commitment and devotion to the men and women of today who are deeply committed to protecting Canadian values.

I wish to express my gratitude to this 83-year-old activist and his long line of Conservative predecessors for their role in preserving the party memory and the basic values for which we have always fought.

The health of a democracy is inextricably linked to the vitality of the parties within it, and the Thomassin family's legendary political involvement in the Canadian federation helped re-establish a stable democratic changeover when our country needed it most.

I wish my friend, Paul Thomassin, good health and long life.

Saint-Lambert SesquicentennialStatements By Members

June 13th, 2007 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, on July 1, 2007, the municipality of Saint-Lambert will celebrate its 150th anniversary.

Everyone, including the 22,000 residents of the municipality, is invited to participate in various events organized by the Saint-Lambert 150th anniversary committee, a group of volunteers who have spent the last several months organizing the festivities.

Among the upcoming events of note, I would like to highlight the publication of Saint-Lambert au fil des ans / Saint- Lambert Through the Years, edited by the Mouillepied Historical Society, which recounts the great events in the lives of residents of Saint-Lambert since 1857.

The Bloc Québécois and I would like to congratulate the Saint-Lambert municipal authorities and all of the artisans who will be taking part in the 150th anniversary celebration for their contribution to this vibrant display of our collective memory.

Stephen Leacock Memorial MedalStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was my great privilege on the weekend to attend the 60th annual Stephen Leacock medal for humour presentation at Geneva Park, near Orillia, Ontario.

Each year the Stephen Leacock Association announces the winner of the Leacock medal for humour for the book judged to be the most humourous one published in Canada the previous year. It has done so since 1946, granting this prestigious medal to such literary icons and notable Canadians as Pierre Berton, W.O. Mitchell, Farley Mowat and Mordecai Richler.

This year the associates have awarded the medal and its $10,000 prize, courtesy of TD Bank Financial Group, to author and CBC personality Stuart McLean for his book Secrets from the Vinyl Cafe. I would like to congratulate Mr. McLean for winning this award for a third time.

I would like to thank the Stephen Leacock Association for its ongoing promotion of Canadian literature.

McCain FoodsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Zed Liberal Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the 50th anniversary of McCain Foods, a family business and world giant built on quality and on loyalty to Florenceville, New Brunswick.

Launched by brothers Harrison and Wallace McCain in 1957, the family business has been growing potatoes in New Brunswick since 1910.

McCain Foods is a Canadian multinational success story. As the largest processor of frozen potatoes in the world, it operates in 110 countries on six continents with 20,000 employees and has diversified its french fry business to include pizzas, juice and appetizers.

The McCain family continues to be one of Canada's foremost philanthropic families, donating millions of dollars toward worthy causes everywhere.

I salute the McCain Foods founders, the late Harrison McCain and of course our friend Wallace, whose heart is still in Florenceville and who remains one of Canada's leading business leaders, as well as late brothers Andrew and Robert and Andrew's son Allison, who is the current chairman.

I extend congratulations to them on their 50 years in business. On behalf of all Canadians, I wish them continued success in the next 50 years.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers are concerned about the Senate's wish to delay the budget vote, thereby compromising certain programs. Why did the Liberals and the NDP say no to restoring the fiscal balance that will allow Quebec to provide better services and improved infrastructure?

Why did they say no to giving Quebec farmers $90 million to help deal with rising production costs?

Why did they say no to a tax break that will allow Quebec parents to save nearly $300 million?

Why did they say no to the $350 million to help Quebec reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution?

The House of Commons passed a budget that is good for Quebeckers and Canadians. The Senate must pass it before the end of the month. I would ask my hon. colleague from Westmount—Ville-Marie to urge the Liberal senators to support the budget, since she acknowledged that “it is a budget that should please federalists in Quebec”.

Rachelle LeostStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, tragedy struck in Winnipeg last month when Rachelle Leost was killed by a drunk, underage driver of a stolen van, robbing Manitoba's Métis community of an active member and her three children of a caring mother.

We mourn the loss of Rachelle and all those who are victims of gun crimes, gang violence and car hijackings, crimes that can be prevented if the government would only move beyond its “get tough” rhetoric.

We need answers, not negligence and broken promises. Why has the government not kept its election promise of 2,500 more police on patrol? Why have crime prevention dollars not been fully spent? Why is it not supporting good ideas like the Winnipeg's North End Community Ambassadors program and the work Ndinawe does with the aboriginal community to help at-risk young people?

As the young students at Norquay School in my constituency said to the Governor General on her recent visit, “we want to walk around in our neighbourhood and feel confident”. They deserve nothing less.

Order of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise in the chamber today to pay tribute to an exceptional man who lives in my riding, well-known agriculturalist, Mr. Charles “Charlie” Scranton of Hazelbrook, Prince Edward Island.

Mr. Scranton was cited for outstanding service over three decades with Agriculture Canada's Poultry Division and developed one of Canada's leading herds of Hereford cattle. Over the years, Charlie was an avid supporter of the Easter Beef Show and Sale.

As well, Mr. Scranton worked for many years with Youth Outreach as part of his long involvement with the First Baptist Church in Charlottetown.

Once again, I would like to congratulate Mr. Charles Scranton of Hazelbrook, Prince Edward Island, for being named to the Order of Canada for his accomplishments in the industry, commerce and business category.

Walid EïdoStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Walid Eïdo, a Lebanese politician, was killed today in a bombing in Beirut, along with his son and six other people. Mr. Eïdo, who was in his sixties, was a member of the parliamentary majority led by Saad Hariri. This attack is strangely reminiscent of the tragic death of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was killed in February 2005, and the assassinations of MP Gebran Tuéni and Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel.

Several countries have already condemned these acts of violence, including France and the United States. On behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Mr. Eïdo's family, to the families of the other victims and to the people of Lebanon.

Freedom and justice are not achieved through violence, nor will they be stifled by violence.

Alberta ByelectionStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, the Alberta Progressive Conservatives lost a precious piece of political real estate last night. The seat held by former premier Ralph Klein went to Liberal Craig Cheffins in a byelection yesterday.

The loss of Calgary--Elbow should be considered both a symbolic and a political blow to the six-month-old Stelmach government. The PCs held this seat since they took it in 1971. Clearly, this would be a concern for Premier Ed Stelmach who is the only Conservative premier in Canada who is still on speaking terms with the Prime Minister.

Perhaps even more telling is the fact that part of Calgary--Elbow is in the Prime Minister's own riding, a Prime Minister who helped cause the defeat by his broken promise on income trusts.

On behalf of Liberals all across the country, I would like to extend our congratulations to Mr. Cheffins and Alberta Liberal leader Kevin Taft.

Maybe the winds that brought us Liberal governments in P.E.I. and New Brunswick are Alberta bound.

The BudgetStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Conservative Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night, this democratically elected House of Commons overwhelmingly passed a budget that delivers tax relief for families and businesses: $1.5 billion to support clean air and climate change projects; $800 million more in predictable long term funding for post-secondary education; $250 million for the creation of child care spaces; $300 million to protect girls and women from cancer of the cervix; $612 million to implement wait time guarantees; and much more.

However, today, in the unelected Liberal dominated Senate, a Liberal senator is promising that he and his colleagues will delay the passage of this federal budget. Even the Liberal finance critic says that the Liberals will continue to fight the budget, presumably in the Senate.

The Leader of the Opposition, however, indicates that the Senate should respect the will of the House of Commons. Who is speaking for the Liberal Party? Is it an unelected Liberal senator? Is it the Liberal finance critic? Maybe it is the Leader of the Opposition but no one seems to ever listen to him.

Atlantic AccordOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, too often, the Prime Minister has broken his election promises without apology. Today, I am giving him the opportunity to do the honourable thing and apologize for his broken promises, starting with the promise he made to two Atlantic provinces and Saskatchewan to honour the Atlantic accord and exclude 100% of natural resource revenues from equalization, a promise that was clearly broken in the latest budget.

Will the Prime Minister do the honourable thing and apologize to these three provinces?

Atlantic AccordOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have kept our promises regarding the Atlantic accord. These two provinces are getting the same amounts under the accords as before the budget. That is this party's commitment.

At the same time, thanks to a new equalization formula, Nova Scotia has gained another $95 million. In addition, the new formula excludes 100% of natural resource revenues, just as we promised.

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, with his broken promise, the Prime Minister made such a mess that Saskatchewan is now suing him.

Let us try it with income trusts now. The Prime Minister promised in his platform in the last election to “preserve income trusts by not imposing any new taxes on them”. Once in power, he brought in the punitive 31% tax. Thousands of citizens, especially seniors, lost billions of dollars.

Will the Prime Minister do the right thing and apologize to these citizens?

Income TrustsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we brought that policy to the House of Commons and we explained the reasons we had to do it. The House of Commons supported that measure and it also supported measures to help senior citizens who may have been adversely impacted, measures which the party opposite voted against.

The hypocrisy over there knows no bounds. I have a whole series of quotes here of the Leader of the Opposition opposing even signing the Atlantic accord in the first place. Therefore, I was not surprised when we improved equalization that they voted against that as well.

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, no apology to the provinces or to senior citizens. Will the Prime Minister at least apologize to our veterans' widows?

In June 2005, he promised in writing to Joyce Carter of Nova Scotia, to:

...immediately extend Veterans Independence Program services to the widows of all Second World War and Korean War veterans....

After 16 months in power and two budgets, he did nothing. This is another broken promise.

Will the Prime Minister apologize to Joyce Carter and to our veterans' widows?

Veterans AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government is well aware of its platform commitments and other commitments to Canadian veterans and we intend to act on those commitments.

I would point out that there were measures in this most recent budget to improve the lives of veterans, some important investments, and once again the Liberal Party voted against those benefits for veterans.

Equalization FormulaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, for months the finance minister has told Canadians, “no province will be worse off in Canada as a result of the new equalization scheme”.

A study released today by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council proves that the government is wrong. Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador will lose $1.4 billion. New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island will also lose under this formula.

When will the Prime Minister and his Minister of Finance finally stop misleading Canadians?

Equalization FormulaOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, there is a difference between getting less money than they wanted and actually getting less money.

The fact is that under the new formula every equalization receiving province is receiving more money because the formula is an enriched formula. The only thing that can really change that in the future is if the economic circumstances of those provinces improve such that they move closer to the national average. That would be a good thing for all Canadians.