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House of Commons Hansard #171 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was water.

Topics

Quarantine ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Tony Clement Conservative Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

Quarantine ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Quarantine Act.

In December 2006 we brought the 2005 Quarantine Act into force. It replaces the previous Quarantine Act, which contained outdated authorities. The new Quarantine Act aims to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases through points of entry into Canada, such as airports and marine ports. It is an essential tool for responding to public health emergencies that may be international in scope.

In December 2006 we also introduced Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Quarantine Act, in the House of Commons. Bill C-42 seeks to amend the wording in section 34 of the 2005 Quarantine Act in order to address certain implementation problems, which relate to the advance notification by operators of conveyances coming into Canada, such as aircraft and ships.

As enacted in May 2005, section 34 requires advance notification by conveyance operators to an authority to be designated by the Minister of Health at the nearest entry point into Canada.

There are implementation issues related to the wording of this section. One issue relates to the need to report at the nearest entry point into Canada. In the event of a public health emergency on board, conveyance operators may be unable to determine which of the many points of entry into Canada was actually the nearest to them at the time of reporting.

Another issue relates to the need to designate an authority who is situated at the nearest entry point. The most appropriate authority to designate, such as a customs or a quarantine officer, is not actually located at every entry point, including all airports and all small ports receiving international traffic. Designating an authority who is at these entry points is therefore not workable.

Bill C-42 addresses all these implementation issues by requiring conveyance operators to notify a quarantine officer before they arrived in Canada if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that: (a) a person or a thing on board could cause the spread of a communicable disease, or (b) a person on board has died.

For land conveyances, this would generally be the first customs officer who they see when they cross the border.

When Bill C-42 was developed, a decision was taken to remove advance notification by land conveyance operators, such as buses and trains, and to focus on air and marine conveyances. Advance notification by land conveyance operators is not required under revised international health regulations. As well, advance notification by land conveyances could be prescribed under regulations at a later date, if a later assessment indicated that it was necessary.

Bill C-42 was debated at second reading and referred to the Standing Committee on Health on March 29. The members of that health committee commented on the issue of advance notification and whether it should also apply to land conveyances, such as buses and trains.

We have heard the views of the committee. We are determined to take every measure possible to get advance notification of potential communicable disease risks from all conveyance operators, including those operating on land. Canadians expect no less.

Under Mr. Clement's leadership, the government—

Quarantine ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I remind the hon. parliamentary secretary that we do not refer to members of ministers by their name but by their title or riding. This is a good opportunity for me to break into his speech and he can ponder that while we move on to statements by members.

Monuments to la FrancophonieStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow at the Orleans Cultural Centre, the third in a series of six monuments will be unveiled as part of Monuments de la Francophonie. I would like to salute the creators, including Richelieu International.

MIFO, the Orleans francophone involvement movement, opened the cultural centre in 1985 because it wanted to make French services available. I was there. Over the years, many programs and organizations got their start thanks to the dedication of the centre's members, volunteers and employees and the francophone and francophile communities.

MIFO's mission is to promote French culture and to meet our artistic, cultural and educational needs. This tool creates new torchbearers.

The monument, which is a huge Franco-Ontarian flag, will be raised on a 25 metre flagpole in a place that celebrates our community's vitality.

Manufacturing IndustryStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Liberal Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is a crisis in the manufacturing industry in Canada. During the past 20 years, Canada has lost more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs as companies downsize, move operations abroad, or simply close due to declining profit. In my region of Niagara alone, we have lost 4,400 jobs during the last five years and more are imminent. Canada's manufacturing sector is in dire need of attention.

This loss poses a major threat to the economy and the future of social programs. Manufacturing jobs generate over $20 million in real taxes that help maintain publicly funded health care, education and our country's infrastructure. More important, it pays mortgages, puts food on the table and clothes on backs.

Our country needs to set short term priorities and a long term plan to strengthen our manufacturing sectors. By focusing on fair trade, investment in research and development, the introduction of innovative technologies and continuous skills upgrading of our workforce, we will create a positive climate within Canada to lead the wave of new global manufacturing strategies, but we must act now.

Longueuil's 350th AnniversaryStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, Longueuil is celebrating its 350th anniversary. It was founded by Sieur Charles Le Moyne, who named his new seigneury after a village in his native Normandy.

Throughout 2007, Longueuil's history will be celebrated in style by citizens, organizations and municipal authorities who have come together to offer people a variety of festive events and highly original activities.

Longueuil is now Quebec's fifth largest city. Now that we are just days away from adjourning the work of Parliament and from celebrating Quebec's national holiday, I would like to highlight this event of national historical significance and offer the people of Longueuil my best wishes for a wonderful summer. I invite them all to take part in the activities commemorating Longueuil's 350th anniversary.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Catherine Bell NDP Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, after 140 years of attempted assimilation, being stripped of their lands, their rights, their hopes and their dignity, we understand the frustration of first nations communities. For too long the Government of Canada has broken its promise to address this injustice.

First nations communities are challenged with high unemployment, inadequate housing and the effects of the residential school system. They are looking forward to the day when the Prime Minister apologizes for residential school tragedies. They are looking forward to signed treaties and the recognition of their languages and history. They are looking for an end to poverty and social injustice.

Next Thursday, June 21, is National Aboriginal Day. On Vancouver Island, first nations people will be celebrating their heritage and culture, and they have much to celebrate. Their roots are strong and their will to succeed is unwavering.

I will be there to celebrate with them, to assure them that the NDP is committed to working to ensure fairness and equality for all first nations in Canada.

Ottawa SenatorsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the Ottawa Senators' great Stanley Cup run ended after a tough series against the Anaheim Ducks. The Sens were led in the trenches and on the bench by 28-year-old right winger Chris Neil.

Chris was born and raised in the town of Flesherton, in my riding of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, and has played for the Senators since 1998. He is a power forward who plays with the heart of a lion.

Chris was an integral part of the Sens run in the 2007 playoffs and made his presence known both on the bench and along the boards.

Chris Neil is a fan favourite, both in Ottawa and in Flesherton. During the Stanley Cup finals, hundreds of fans, including his father Barry and brothers Jeff, Dan and Jason packed the hometown arena to watch their hero. The town of Flesherton was red, covered in ribbons and other decorations to show its support.

Congratulations to Chris Neil on a great season and for being a great ambassador for the riding and the sport of hockey. We are all proud of him.

Medal of BraveryStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is a very proud day for my constituents of Newton—North Delta. One of our finest police officers and one of my constituents, Constable Gerald Proctor, will receive the Medal of Bravery from the Governor General.

He is receiving this medal for rescuing a woman from her car, which plunged into the Fraser River after a collision. Constable Proctor, like so many of the outstanding police officers in our community, did not think twice about putting his own life on the line. He dove into the freezing waters and pulled her to safety.

I am sure I speak for all my constituents and the House when I congratulate Constable Proctor on this well deserved honour. Please join me in congratulating him on this great honour and his contribution as a great Canadian.

Medal of BraveryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow Daniel Peacock from Rimbey, Alberta will be awarded the Governor General's Medal of Bravery.

While camping with his church group last June, 15-year-old Daniel risked his life to save a friend from drowning in the strong current of the Ram River. Daniel reacted instantly when a fellow camper lost his footing and fell into the deep, raging water. Battling the strong undertow with his frightened friend on his shoulders, Daniel swam to the surface and helped the struggling young man back to shore and waiting rescuers.

Daniel's maturity, ingenuity and courageous efforts likely prevented a tragic drowning. He showed his selflessness when he said, “My life is not more important than Jeromy's and I could not live with myself if I watched him drown to death”.

Daniel Peacock is a hero. On behalf of the constituents of Wetaskiwin, I want to thank him for his noble action and congratulate his parents for raising such a remarkable young man.

World Blood Donor DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, since it is World Blood Donor Day, I would like to thank blood donors in Quebec and around the world, but I would particularly like to stress the importance of transfusion safety in universal access to blood donations. The Canadian tainted blood scandal was one of the last century's worst medical tragedies.

In fact, on June 7, the Superior Court of Quebec approved the Settlement Agreement between the Government of Canada and all those infected with hepatitis C before 1986 and after 1990.

This initial legal settlement should be applauded, but it is unfortunately too late for the 500 individuals who were excluded from the Liberals' first compensation package, and who died waiting for one from the Conservatives.

Let us hope that that this settlement will offer some form of relief to their families and to the 5,500 people infected, some of whom have lost everything.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Conservative Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is my great pleasure to rise today to recognize the right hon. Prime Minister's historic announcement Tuesday afternoon in a new and progressive approach to the resolution of specific claims.

We are all aware of the negative fallout from unresolved specific claims, the frustration, the tension, the erosion of the goodwill that exists between first nations and other Canadians. When the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development was appointed to the office, he made it a priority to fix this broken system. With the announcement of this new approach, this government has made a huge step forward.

I extend my congratulations to the Prime Minister, the minister and National Chief Phil Fontaine for this significant accomplishment. It is an impressive example of what can be accomplished when we pledge to work together, governments and first nations, to make a difference in the lives of the first nations people and communities in Canada.

Kurt WaldheimStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, when great contributors to our society and our world pass away, it is important that we recognize them for what they did right.

Kurt Waldheim passed away earlier today at the age of 88. He was the fourth secretary-general of the United Nations, serving from 1972 to 1981. In 1956 he was ambassador to Canada and he returned to the ministry in 1960. Then he became the permanent representative of Austria to the United Nations in 1964.

Beginning in 1968, he was the federal minister of foreign affairs in Austria. Then he returned as permanent representative to the UN in 1970. Waldheim served two terms as UN secretary-general, during which he oversaw disaster relief in Bangladesh, Nicaragua, and Guatemala, as well as peacekeeping missions in Cyprus, the Middle East, Angola and Guinea. He returned to Austria and was elected as president in 1986 and served until 1992.

He contributed greatly to his country and the world as UN secretary-general, and we commend him for that.

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Betty Hinton Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's new government is strongly supportive of veterans and their widows.

Instead of trying to score cheap political points, the member for Pickering—Scarborough East should encourage his Liberal colleagues on the veterans affairs committee to focus on the veterans independence mandate.

The Conservative government has increased spending on veterans by $523 million a year. In contrast, in 1995 and 1998 the old Liberal government cut a collective $69.7 million.

The Conservative government added 12,200 new clients to the veterans independence program. The Liberals cut VIP entitlement to allied vets.

We have introduced the veterans bill of rights. On their watch, the Liberals cut the burial program for veterans.

We have established a veterans ombudsman. The Liberals cut veterans travel rates and treatment benefits.

Canada's new government has invited the official opposition to be a part of the process of improving the veterans independence program at committee. This new government supports and values the men and women who sacrificed and fought for our freedoms. They are our priority. The Liberals--

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Victoria.

Access Health CentreStatements By Members

June 14th, 2007 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about an innovative and valuable project in my riding, the Access Health Centre.

In partnership, AIDS Vancouver Island and the Victoria Cool Aid Society plan to create a comprehensive health centre providing care to the homeless and those affected by HIV-AIDS and hepatitis C, groups that typically face barriers to accessing mainstream medical care.

The centre is designed as part of a preventive health and drug strategy. It will provide effective services while reducing the costs to government and society.

Support for this project crosses all party lines. All MPs in south Vancouver Island recognize its value and its potential in assisting homeless people to rebuild their lives.

This much needed project requires the participation of all levels of government. I urge the Conservative government to collaborate and to commit financial support to make this a reality.

Beth Shalom AnniversaryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to highlight the 50th anniversary celebration of the Congregation Beth Shalom, located in Ottawa-Vanier.

On Sunday, May 27, I was pleased to take part in the kickoff ceremony of these celebrations. On that occasion, a very lively concert entitled “A Musical Odyssey” was presented. It was great fun.

The congregation is very active, dynamic and open to all ages. It brings joy and happiness to many constituents. On its 50th anniversary, I wish to congratulate the congregation.

This congregation has embraced a vision shared by many Canadians that Canada is an open, pluralistic and democratic society. It is an integral part of our social fabric and has contributed in endless ways to Ottawa's development and to our collective Canadian identity.

I extend my most sincere best wishes to the members of the Jewish community and in particular to the Beth Shalom congregation on this joyous occasion.

Palestinian AuthorityStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, by weakening the Palestinian Authority, did the international community not reinforce the position of those who claim that only an armed struggle will free the Palestinian people from their miseries? Instead of taking this opportunity to show the Palestinians that democracy is the best path to take, the international community marginalized those who would have preferred a democratic route.

We can see the results. The Palestinian Authority appears to be losing all control over the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, we are hearing allegations of war crimes committed by the Palestinian parties involved. No one can be happy about this worrisome situation that not only complicates the revival of peace talks, but also makes the security of Israel even more problematic. The Palestinian Authority must be reinforced immediately, while there is still time.

Canada, the first country in the world to cut funding to the Palestinian Authority following the last election, cannot wash its hands of the current situation. The government now has the opportunity to show that it is able to promote peace. The Mecca agreement sent a message of reaching out, and we must respond to it.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, within hours Mr. Din Ahmed could be deported from the United States to Bangladesh, where he faces execution. This follows a trial in absentia that was severely flawed, a trial the member for Mount Royal called “a political trial without due process”.

A number of NGOs, such as Amnesty International, the Catholic bishops, the CFS, the United Church and the Quaker committee, urge Canada to accept Mr. Ahmed to our country, where he would be welcomed by family who live here, including a niece in my riding.

Other MPs, including the member for Halifax, support that call and have worked for his freedom.

Canada is a humanitarian nation that opposes the death penalty and supports due process. It would be unconscionable for Mr. Ahmed to be sent back to Bangladesh to be executed.

If he is sent back, we ask the Government of Canada to monitor Mr. Ahmed, ensure he is not tortured and do everything possible to ensure that the death penalty is not carried out.

His Canadian family and many Canadians across this country ask that Din Ahmed be spared.

Budget 2007 Implementation ActStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals do not recognize the fiscal imbalance, and now they are voting against Bill C-52.

The bill is now before the Senate, which is comprised of a majority of unelected Liberal senators. If the bill is blocked by the Liberals in the Senate, it will result in the loss of more than $4 billion in tax breaks and funding for programs to the end of the 2006 fiscal year, including more than $1 billion to help provinces reduce patient wait times and $1.5 billion for provincial environmental initiatives in support of projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Leader of the Liberal Party should show a bit more leadership by urging irresponsible Liberal senators to make the interests of Canadians their priority, to respect the will of the House of Commons and to vote for bill C-52.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today the Prime Minister would have had a lot of explaining to do concerning his handling of Afghanistan.

Let us start with the Red Cross. Last Monday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs made a number of claims that were contradicted by the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Kabul, who confirmed that the Red Cross is not conducting an inquiry into allegations of torture in Afghanistan.

Will the Prime Minister admit that the only people really investigating allegations of torture in Afghanistan by Afghan authorities are the Afghan authorities?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.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 International Committee of the Red Cross has a right to visit detainees at any time. That right, of course, derives from international law.

I think everybody in the House is now well familiar with our supplementary agreement that we entered into with the government of Afghanistan and which reaffirms within that agreement that role for the Red Cross.

Of course, that agreement, as everybody knows, and it was tabled in the House, sets out quite clearly that the onus is on the government of Afghanistan to advise Canada, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and the Red Cross about any corrective action with regard to complaints about treatment of prisoners.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, so much for the Red Cross and this government's attempts to manipulate the situation. Now let us talk about censorship in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

On April 25, the Prime Minister stated that ministers are not consulted about documents prepared under the Access to Information Act. That is not true. We now know that the famous report on allegations of torture that the minister claims he never saw was, in fact, sent to his office “for review”, and that the government prohibited the public servant who has information about this issue from appearing before the parliamentary committee.

Will the Prime Minister let this person talk? What is he trying to hide?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.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 am sorry to have to say it, but the Liberal Party leader's accusations are totally false.

Everybody knows that the Department of Foreign Affairs reports annually on human rights and they are internal reports intended to help inform policy.

On the question of the redactions, everybody in the House knows and has heard repeatedly that those redactions are done by officials who are charged with that responsibility. It is done without any political interference and that is the case with these reports as well.

There is absolutely no truth to the allegations being levelled by the leader of the Liberal Party right now and he should apologize for them.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there is an easy way to know. We just have to let public servants testify at the committee. This interdiction is showing that there is something to hide.

There is another cover-up. The Prime Minister's own department produced a report last November showing that the Taliban resurgence is so dramatic that the country may split in two. This report has never been published. Instead, the government published a very rosy report last February. Why? To hide the truth is not a way to support our troops or to help Afghanistan.

How could the Prime Minister let his ministers table a report that he knew was false?