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House of Commons Hansard #167 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

World Ocean DayStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, today is World Ocean Day. Created in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, World Ocean Day is an opportunity to celebrate the life-giving role of oceans worldwide. This year's theme is “Oceans...only a river away!”

Our oceans shape every aspect of our lives, where we live, work and play, what we eat and the climate conditions we experience.

Our oceans and coastal and marine waters confront us all with serious challenges: habitat loss, water quality and quantity issues, the threat of invasive species, and of course, climate change.

On this World Ocean Day let us all remember the immeasurable value the world's oceans bring to us and think about what we can do to protect them.

In this spirit, I call on the Conservative government to give up its climate change denial stance and take some real action to protect our environment and to defend our oceans.

SeniorsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, imagine my surprise recently at hearing the Bloc members for Repentigny and Sherbrooke express concern about seniors in the Eastern Townships. This is ironic because the Bloc is a powerless party forever relegated to the opposition benches. Let us examine the facts.

Since 1990, the Bloc has introduced 234 private members' bills; only two of them were passed, and neither one was about seniors. That is one bill every eight years. Those are the facts. The Bloc's record is pathetic.

Since coming to power, our government has given over $1 billion in tax relief to seniors and pensioners. We created the National Seniors Council. We announced measures to ensure that the Canada pension plan and old age security meet the needs of Canadians today and in the future.

While the—

SeniorsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The hon. member for Laval.

Nancy GirgisStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 25, 2007, Nancy Girgis, a journalist with The Chomedey News, won two awards at the 26th annual convention of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

Ms. Girgis was awarded first prize in the “best environmental story” category for her article on contamination of Laval pools. The judges said the article was well written, educational and, most importantly, it guided the reader through the available information, explaining the complexity of environmental sciences.

She also won third prize in the “best business story” category, with her article on the labour shortage facing local employers.

Bravo, Nancy. Your professionalism and integrity as a journalist are unmistakable. Thank you for putting your talents to work for the people of Laval.

Jean GauvinStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Jean Gauvin who passed away on Wednesday evening at the age of 61.

Mr. Gauvin served the province of New Brunswick as a member of the legislative assembly from 1978 to 1987 and again from 1991 to 1995. He will be fondly remembered for his heartfelt concern for fishing issues, which he championed while serving in the Hatfield government as fisheries minister.

In 2000, Jean and I were both candidates in the federal election when I ran in Fundy Royal and Jean ran in Acadie--Bathurst. I witnessed firsthand his continued commitment to improving the lives of New Brunswickers and in fact all Canadians.

On behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada, I extend my sympathy to his family and his friends at this difficult time.

Official LanguagesStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the action plan for official languages, which was created by the Liberal government, will expire in 2008. Francophone groups across Canada and anglophones in Quebec have repeatedly told us how crucial this program has been to the development of their communities. They are concerned about the plan's survival and wondering whether the Conservative government plans to extend it. The Prime Minister recently stated: “The new government is committed to supporting bilingualism and linguistic minorities across the country”. Is this another empty promise?

As the Commissioner of Official Languages said: “The government’s message has been very positive. Unfortunately, the actions this government has taken in the past year do not reflect this message”.

The Leader of the Opposition promises francophone and Acadian communities that he will implement an even stronger action plan than the one he put in place in 2003, when he was Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Douglas JungStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, 50 years ago on June 10, 1957, Canada's first Asian Canadian was elected to Parliament. As a Conservative, Douglas Jung was nicknamed the “Giant Killer” when he took out the Liberal minister of defence in that election. It was just one milestone in his notable career in Canadian public life.

Born in Victoria in 1924, the two term MP was the first Chinese Canadian to argue a case before the B.C. Court of Appeal and serve Canada at the United Nations. Despite not being recognized as an official citizen of Canada, Douglas Jung enlisted in the Canadian Forces in World War II.

The patriotism that he and his fellow Chinese veterans displayed ultimately paved the way for the repeal of the Chinese exclusion act, and to full citizenship rights for Chinese Canadians. Chinese Canadians continue to be leaders in many fields of Canadian life.

I call on members of the House to join me in celebrating the achievements of Mr. Jung in this place five decades ago.

Crime PreventionStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to expose the Conservative crime plan as an attempt to import a failed American style justice system into Canada. What has not worked in the U.S. is not going to work in Canada either.

The reality is that the Conservative scheme is simplistic and costly because the government refuses to use the most effective crime prevention tools. Using those tools means fewer victims.

When the Conservatives say “tough on crime”, they mean funneling taxpayer dollars solely into incarceration, not prevention. The truth is that for every dollar invested in crime prevention, six dollars are saved in policing and incarceration costs and there are far fewer victims.

Instead of just being tough on crime, we need to be smart on crime. The NDP wants to see tough penalties for violent offenders, but even more important, we want to invest to ensure that crimes are never committed in the first place.

We need to cut crime at the roots. The solutions are to fight poverty and addiction, invest in education, support our youth, build stronger communities and strengthen our police forces. That is being smart on crime.

Child CareStatements By Members

June 8th, 2007 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the status of women committee has recently completed a study on the economic security of women. Women from across the country repeatedly spoke about the need for quality child care so that they could go to school or go to work and know that their children were safe and cared for.

In Winnipeg South Centre there are more children on wait lists than enrolled in child care centres. Eighty per cent of the centres have lengthy wait lists.

The Conservatives' 2006 platform said that the Conservatives believe in freedom of choice in child care. Where is the choice?

In 2005 the Liberal government offered a national plan and signed the first early learning and child care agreement with Manitoba worth $176 million over five years. Now they get $9 million. Instead, the government shamelessly cancelled the agreement.

Wait lists and a small taxable allowance are not choice in child care. Families in Canada deserve better from the government.

Philippe AumontStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the city of Gatineau is home to an 18-year-old pitcher, a major league baseball prospect. His dream has come true. Yesterday, Philippe Aumont was selected by the Seattle Mariners.

According to experts, Philippe Aumont was very likely to be chosen in the first round. He was in fact the seventh pitcher chosen. Only two other Canadians have been selected higher than Philippe: Adam Loewen by Baltimore and Jeff Francis by Colorado.

Thank you to his family and to the Gatineau amateur baseball association for the support they have given Philippe.

The Bloc Québécois joins me in saying to Philippe Aumont that we are proud of his rise to the major leagues. We wish him the best in his career. Philippe is a role model for young Quebeckers who also play their favourite sport.

Sidewalk ArtStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, it was with great pleasure that I took part, on June 1, in the 12th annual Fleurs de macadam happening.

This is a great community event that stimulates imagination, creativity and joie de vivre in thousands of children and adults.

More than 3,500 children from nursery, primary and secondary schools in the area gathered together in Aylmer. Everywhere I went, coloured chalk drawings transformed the grey sidewalks into a giant outdoor art gallery.

The Optimist Club of Aylmer served lunch to over 3,000 students, parents and teachers who took part in this unique cultural activity.

I would like to congratulate the president of the Optimist Club of Aylmer, Marcel Rainville, and his entire team for their dedication and excellent work. Tomorrow the club is celebrating its 35th anniversary of serving youth in the Aylmer community.

Congratulations and long life to the Optimist Club of Aylmer.

Senate Tenure LegislationStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Barry Devolin Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian public still awaits a public display of leadership by the Liberal leader regarding term limits for senators.

In May 2006 he expressed his support for term limits by saying that the best way to deal with Senate reform would be to “require Senators to agree to sign an agreement promising to step down after six years”. Later that same month he said, “senators should be placed on fixed terms of six to 10 years”.

In December he said, “I'm not against the idea to have a mandate for senators between eight and 12 years”. In February he declared that the Liberal Party supported term limits and said “a term limit is a good idea if it's not too short”.

Quite simply, the Senate must change and everyone knows it, including the Liberal leader. When will he put an end to privileged Liberal entitlements and tell his senators to pass the bill to limit the terms of senators and finally, for once, show some real leadership on this important issue?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Bush administration says it feels vindicated today after G-8 countries chose to endorse its go slow approach to climate change: no firm targets; no clear limits; no real action.

It did not have to be this way. The Prime Minister could have rallied his G-8 partners around the German chancellor's original goals. He could have held up Parliament's clean air and climate change act to the world as a model for real action on the environment. Instead, he helped to build a bridge to nowhere. Why did this Prime Minister fail the world?

The EnvironmentOral 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 the contrary. The G-8 meeting was, I think, a great victory for Canada, where the G-8 declaration actually holds out Canada as a model to the world of where to go on climate change. That was something endorsed by all the G-8 leaders.

I read in the media today that there are positive reports. The Montreal Gazette states:

[The Prime Minister] looked quite sure-footed this week...[the summit declaration] has Canada's fingerprints all over it. [For the Prime Minister] it's a leadership moment, one in which he has reclaimed Canada's modest but sensible role as honest broker in the single most important club in the world.

It is a great success for Canada. We are showing leadership again for a change.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Some model, Mr. Speaker. A model toy train, perhaps, but nothing serious for the planet.

This Prime Minister failed the G-8 summit leadership test. He refused to adopt absolute emissions reduction targets, deciding that he would rather promote a resolution that will do nothing more than “seriously consider”—maybe, someday—a world greenhouse gas reduction target.

Seriously, what is there to be considered?

The EnvironmentOral 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, thanks to our government's plan, we now have the credibility we need to play a leadership role on a global scale.

I would like to quote Jean Lapierre, who was a minister in the previous Liberal government. This morning, he said that this is not a failure, it is a success because it is realistic, a success because the European Union recognizes the role of the United Nations in the fight against climate change, a success because we can finally create a true global plan.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister even refused to support the simplest measures, such as improving energy efficiency by 20%.

All of the Prime Minister's photo ops and the Minister of the Environment's self-congratulatory attitude cannot hide the fact that the Prime Minister let down both Canada and the world at the G-8 summit: no targets, no limits, no action. Canada should have been a leader at the summit.

Why did the Prime Minister choose to promote the George Bush-Republican Party plan?

The EnvironmentOral 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, according to the statement released by the G-8 leaders, Canada is a leader in environmental issues.

We are cited as a leader. Canada is seen as a model of what should be followed. We have been able to work toward the real step for long term climate change improvement: that of bringing in the big emitter countries like China, the United States and India.

That is why Angela Merkel, president of the G-8 for this meeting, declared it a big success. No one can escape this political declaration. It is an enormous step forward. We have very great progress and an excellent result.

I know the opposition does not want to believe the head of the G-8 and the head of the European Union. But guess what? We think that is a pretty good vote of--

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The hon. member for Kitchener Centre.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the science is clear: allowing the Earth's temperature to rise more than 2° C will spell disaster. It will mean severe heat waves, floods, droughts and hurricanes. However, Canada fought to ditch any reference to these 2° which was a major goal of this G-8 meeting. Canada fought the science.

Why does the government reject science which tells us what must be done?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 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 the contrary. There is absolutely no effort to fight the science. In fact, one of the accomplishments by Canada at the G-8 declaration and with the EU has been to be able to have all the parties agree on the science, agree to look at the intergovernmental panel on climate change as an example of why this is a matter of concern, and to agree that when it comes to science, science means achieving real reductions.

That is why Canada's plan and Canada's approach is a real model for real reductions in climate change. It is held out in the G-8 declaration as something that will produce real results for the environment.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the Prime Minister's race to the basement he has even poured cold water on the next round of global climate change talks in Bali. The Prime Minister simply does not get it.

There is only one approach to combating climate change and that is aggressive, ambitious, early action which is guided by clear limits and firm targets. The government refuses to do that. Its own plan allows emissions to continue to rise beyond 2020.

Why did the Prime Minister even bother getting on the plane? Clearly the Bush administration could easily have represented this Conservative government on the world stage.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 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 Liberal Party made Canada irrelevant on the environment when it allowed our emissions to go up 33%. Now it is making itself irrelevant by being incapable of comprehending our plan which actually for the first time ever produces real reductions in greenhouse gases.

It is a good plan. Do not believe me, believe Hans Verolme, director of the environmental group World Wildlife Federation, who said:

The support by the EU, Japan and Canada to cut carbon pollution 50 per cent by 2050 means we are a step closer to taking real action for the world’s climate.

Believe the WWF. Do not believe those guys.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister will no doubt return from the G-8 claiming to have succeeded in getting across his climate change views. His only success will have been lowering the bar. Even if he claims to have fought for real, mandatory targets, what we are looking at is a failure, because the final declaration of the G-8 did nothing but pay lip service and offered no real, binding commitments for the future.

Will the government admit that we are far from playing the role of mediator that the Prime Minister sought and that, at best, he was nothing more than George Bush's pawn?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 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, it is true that there is a lot of work to be done. It is a problem for everyone, and the biggest problem is the absence of the major emitting countries, major polluters such as China, the United States and India. We now have a solution, a process in place to attract the major polluters and to deliver real results for the environment. This is a big success.