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House of Commons Hansard #77 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was authorities.

Topics

Venant CauchyStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, Venant Cauchy, a great Quebecker, a man of the world, an internationally renowned philosopher and an apostle of Quebec sovereignty, died last week at the venerable age of 83.

For many years, we were privileged to be part of his entourage, and to benefit from his friendship, his teachings and his wisdom.

Even when he knew his days were numbered, he kept thinking of the country of which he had always dreamed. I would like to read the last thing he wrote in Laval on March 8: “We would like to extend a cordial invitation to you to be part of Quebec's society, which welcomes all communities that are open to our country. May you find it to be a society that lives and breathes freedom and education. Long live a free Quebec!”

Venant, my Bloc Québécois colleagues and I salute you one last time.

VaisakhiStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Conservative government, I congratulate Sikhs in Canada and around the world on the celebration of Vaisakhi.

In 1699 Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji created Khalsa and gave Sikhs a name, Singh or Kaur, along with a visible identity and the five kakars that are globally recognized as religious symbols. Guru Ji also gave Sikhs a code of conduct and discipline based on equality, justice, peace, courage, hard work, honesty, community service and the universality of the brotherhood.

Creation of Khalsa meant obliteration of all creed or caste based disparities and discriminations and the courage to fight injustice and oppression. His teachings are for all humankind.

During the last century, the Canadian Sikh community has made a significant contribution to the social, cultural and economic prosperity to our great country.

I invite all to celebrate Vaisakhi on Parliament Hill. The very best wishes to all on celebration of Vaisakhi.

Rwandan GenocideStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday the House unanimously adopted a motion commemorating the Rwandan genocide on its 14th anniversary.

During a three month period beginning April 7, 1994, 800,000 Rwandans were killed in an organized genocidal campaign. Nobody can say that we did not know. We knew, but we did not act.

In designating April 7 as a Day of Reflection on the Prevention of Genocide, we will be able to learn about, reflect upon and act upon the unlearned lessons of the Rwandan genocide.

First, the genocide occurred not because of the machinery of death, but because of the state sanctioned incitement of genocide. Second, the genocide was made possible by the indifference and inaction of the international community. Third, the international community must act to prevent genocide to begin with, rather than intervene after the fact when it is too late. Fourth, there is the danger of genocide denial, which constitutes an assault on truth, memory and justice.

It is tragic that while we recall the catastrophic effects of the Rwandan genocide, we have yet to act in the genocide in Darfur.

If Rwanda taught us anything, it is that the time to act is now. Tomorrow will be too late.

ManitobaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Conservative Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, another provincial budget was introduced earlier this week and once again Canadians are seeing good results from our government's fiscal policy.

When Manitoba finance minister Greg Selinger tabled his budget, he listed area after area where Manitobans are benefiting from a positive federal-provincial relationship and strong federal investments. He talked about how federal investments will help Manitobans save more money, improve health care, transition to new jobs, upgrade their skills, increase productivity, build new wastewater infrastructure, hire more police officers and create better public transit. Finally, because of our fiscal policy, Manitoba was able to produce yet another balanced budget. The list goes on and on.

The real question is why the federal NDP cannot see what Premier Doer is doing. Why did the members for Elmwood—Transcona, Winnipeg Centre and Winnipeg North not tell their leader that budget 2008 is good for Manitoba and good for Canada? Why did they let their party vote against it? Is their leader that out of touch, or is he just not listening?

Our CorridorStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Catherine Bell NDP Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to give my support to the Our Corridor campaign, launched to help rebuild Vancouver Island's rail service.

A growing list of citizens, community groups and local politicians are getting on board, hoping to raise $103.8 million for upgrades to ensure viability. It is abundantly clear that this rail service would facilitate many opportunities for our island communities and include both economic and environmental benefits.

Once the rail corridor is upgraded, our businesses will have a seamless competitive advantage for exporting and importing products that is fuel efficient and environmentally friendly. At the present time, it is taking the equivalent of 2,900 large trailer trucks off the roads per year. With the proposed upgrades, this number could rise to almost 18,000 trucks per year.

The proposal supports an integrated transportation system that connects buses to trains, park and ride facilities and the use of bicycle and walking paths along the corridor. All that is needed now is for the federal government to make it to the station and get on board to support our island rail service.

DarfurStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Sunday, April 13, we mark the Global Day for Darfur, a call to action originally conceived by a group of NGOs working on ending Darfur's horrors.

The number of dead from genocidal violence and now starvation, a genocide by attrition, may be approaching half a million. Victims of the conflict continue to be displaced at a rate of 30,000 per month. Two-thirds of Darfur's population of 6.5 million is in desperate need. This year's Global Day for Darfur focuses on the brutalized and starving children, often orphaned.

The Liberal opposition believes Darfur must become an international priority and the Harper government cannot continue sitting on the sidelines--

DarfurStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

DarfurStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

Order. The hon. member for Verchères—Les Patriotes.

Sainte-JulieStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, the residents of Sainte-Julie are happy people. I have often noted this, as my duties take me there regularly. But now we have the relative happiness index confirming that the people of Sainte-Julie are the happiest people in Quebec. This is wonderful.

Its citizens love living there, no doubt because it is children- and family-oriented. It is a wonderfully successful community.

Its new distinction, I am convinced, will have a ripple effect on the entire Lajemmerais RCM and surrounding area. And in fact, while launching Grand Airs, a summer festival that takes over his town, the mayor of Varennes said he hopes his citizens will one day be able to claim the title currently enjoyed by their neighbour.

When presenting the award to Sainte-Julie mayor Suzanne Roy, Pierre Côté said that all the top-ranking cities and towns, including Repentigny, are run by women. Coincidence or not, congratulations to those women of action and to everyone who spreads happiness throughout Quebec.

DarfurStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, on the eve of the Global Day for Darfur, we all need to be aware of the conflict raging in the Darfur region of Sudan.

The region is in the throes of a conflict pitting the Sudanese government against militia groups. But it is civilians whose basic rights have been violated who are suffering the most. Already, more than 300,000 people have died and 2.5 million have been displaced, forced out of their homes with only the clothes on their backs.

Three and a half million Darfuris still depend on international aid to survive. The UN has described the situation in Darfur as the “worst humanitarian crisis in the world today”.

The attacks on Darfur must stop immediately so that aid missions can resume and the suffering can finally end.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, whether it is leading the new NATO consensus on Afghanistan, defending our Arctic sovereignty, not letting foreign big polluting countries jeopardize our made in Canada climate change plans, or protecting Canada's national interest in strategic industries, Canadians can count on the Conservative government to defend our national interests at home and abroad.

Contrast this demonstrated leadership from our Prime Minister and the Conservative Party with the lack of leadership Canadians are seeing from the Liberal Party and its so-called leader. The Liberals have no policy. Just the other day the Liberals' deputy leader was contradicting his boss on what should be the most important priorities for Canadians.

The Liberals have no vision for our country. They have made over 33 reckless spending promises, which would bring the country into over $62.5 billion in debt and deficit. On top of that, they have proposed GST increases that would raise the GST up to 12%.

While the Liberals have no policy, no vision and no leadership, Canadians are happy to see them supporting our policy, our vision, our leader and our party, the Conservative Party of Canada.

MulticulturalismOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to today's Ottawa Citizen, the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism was quoted as saying the following at a party meeting some time ago, and I am quoting from what he is supposed to have said in this conversation, a quote that is directly attributed to him:

Now, this notion that there's somebody tied to the Heritage Front on the executive. How do we know that and how do we know that this isn't overheated Sikhs using the race card, which they so often do when their credentials are being questioned?

My question for the Secretary of State is this: did he in fact use these words in a conversation and does he feel that these comments are appropriate?

MulticulturalismOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question and the opportunity to respond. I did use those remarks in a particular context and I do not think they were appropriate. I expressed regret at the time. I do so again.

I think it is unfortunate that a particular media outlet and now the official opposition are resorting to using eight year old material from Canada's version of the National Enquirer, called Frank magazine, for question period material. I have never seen that happen in the past 10 years here.

However, I will say this. I have devoted much of my time in public life to promoting the active involvement of Canadians from diverse backgrounds in our political institutions. I am proud of my record in that respect.

MulticulturalismOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would just observe that members opposite have used at least 30 year old material against many of us on this side, so I think the minister can hardly complain.

I want to say to the Secretary of State that of course on this side we accept his apology, but I want to ask him if he can explain a pattern that we see, a pattern in which things are said behind closed doors that are very different from what is said in public, a pattern in which things caught on tape or caught on microphone unexpectedly are very different from the public statements that ministers say and do. How can he explain that pattern when it so clearly runs against the stated positions of his government?

MulticulturalismOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, in part by referring to our actions, and I would point out, for instance, that this comment relates to the 2000 election campaign, which I co-chaired. I am proud of the fact that the campaign had more visible minority candidates, more candidates of south Asian origin and indeed more Sikh candidates than did the Liberal Party.

Speaking about off the record remarks, here is one from 1992, when a Liberal organizer told the Toronto Star that while the Sikh community had “the ability to sway nominations in up to 14 Metro ridings, it could have only two candidates”. Perhaps the member could explain why the Liberal Party's actions do not comport with its members' words.

MulticulturalismOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I anticipated a heartfelt response from the minister and what we get is the same old, same old from the Secretary of State for Multiculturalism, in which he uses 16 year old comments to try to match what he himself said.

My question for the secretary of state is very simple. He said, “Now, this notion that there's somebody tied to the Heritage Front on the executive. How do we know that and how do we know that this isn't overheated Sikhs...?”

He spoke about overheated Sikhs and today he is still accusing us. Will—

MulticulturalismOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

I am sorry to have to interrupt the hon. member for Toronto Centre.

The hon. Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity).

MulticulturalismOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Calgary Southeast Alberta

Conservative

Jason Kenney ConservativeSecretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity)

Mr. Speaker, as I said, I have expressed my regret for those comments made eight years ago.

But forget about 17 years ago or 8 years ago. Four years ago, another secretary of state for multiculturalism said the following:

The Chinese community is very different from the Indo-Canadian community. The Chinese community are much more objective. No one can force them, or lure them, or cheat them into signing a membership form.

Who said that? The member for Richmond.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, which is currently studying Bill C-10, declared that the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages told him that she detested the bill in question. She detests it.

Can the minister tell us why she is forced to defend a bill that she detests? Is it simply because she is afraid of her boss?

Canadian HeritageOral 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, I can understand exactly why the minister is frustrated. This is a bill that was initiated originally by a Liberal minister, Sheila Copps. The provisions were then reinstated by subsequent Liberal governments. When it came to a vote in this House, those members over there all supported it and now they say they are adamantly opposed.

It is the exact same pattern as their opposition this week in which they said they were adamantly opposed to our immigration reforms. They were so adamantly opposed to them that they voted for them on Thursday. Thanks very much. I can understand why the minister is frustrated, as Canadians are, by trying to figure out where the Liberal Party stands on any issue.

Canadian HeritageOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is clear now is that the minister has no say on the most important policies affecting Canadian artists and creators. She is there only to enforce the censorship agenda of the Prime Minister's Office.

If the minister hates the policy so much, why is she allowing herself to be used to implement right-wing ideologies? What is she afraid of?

Canadian HeritageOral 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, implementing the right-wing ideology of Sheila Copps and the Liberal Party, who came up with this idea? The reason she came up with this idea, she said, is that Canadians did not want their tax dollars funding pornography and undue violence. She is not the only person who held that view. The member for Markham—Unionville said just last month that he thought it was a very sensible proposal and that is why the Liberals supported it.

Why did the Liberals change their position one more time? Is there any issue on which they will stay in the same place for more than a few days at a time?

Securities industryOral Questions

April 11th, 2008 / 11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in Toronto the Minister of Finance was back on his kick to create a single securities regulator in Canada. That idea, as hon. members know, has been rejected by Quebec and all the other provinces, except Ontario, because it is a costly and inefficient idea that interferes in provincial jurisdictions.

Will the Minister of Finance stop shooting himself in the foot—and shooting us in the foot—by undermining the current system and will he drop his centralist, inefficient plan?

Securities industryOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, again, the Bloc Québécois is desperately trying to create issues where there are none. We are not in the process of invading any jurisdictions of any provinces, including Quebec.

What the Minister of Finance has proposed is to consider whether we should, with a narrow, clear and precise focus, look together at the issues that are of concern to those people. A consultation will indeed be held and we will see what happens from there.

Securities industryOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities knows full well that everyone in the National Assembly is against this plan, including the finance minister, Ms. Jérôme-Forget, who wrote to the Minister of Finance to denounce this plan.

Yesterday was another example of the need for Quebec to have its own regulator. The Autorité des marchés financiers has approved the merger of the Montreal exchange with the Toronto Stock Exchange, but it has imposed conditions and given itself veto rights. If ever there is a single securities regulator in Canada and the Autorité des marchés financiers disappears, the vetos will also disappear and that would allow the Toronto Stock Exchange to take over all the financial activities currently handled by the Montreal exchange.

This seems like very good additional proof—