House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provisions.


2:05 p.m.


The Speaker Peter Milliken

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Steven Fletcher Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, MB

Mr. Speaker, by any measure, Canada is the best country in the world. Canada's many blessings are not here by accident, but have been earned by the hard work of previous generations.

I wish to take a moment to acknowledge one of my constituents who exemplifies the many sacrifices necessary to ensure Canada remains strong and free.

Mr. George Waters was born on Dominion Day, July 1, 1919. He signed up to serve his country in April of 1941 and did so proudly as a Flight Lieutenant with the Royal Canadian Air Force Bomber Command. He served his country and community again for almost twenty years as a school board trustee. Mr. Waters is the only person I know who votes in elections in a school named after himself.

The kids at George Waters Middle School and every other school in the country owe the seniors of Canada their every today and their every tomorrow. To the seniors of Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia and seniors right across the country, let me express very heartfelt and humble thanks.

Donald C. MacDonald
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great affection and respect that I rise today to honour Donald C. MacDonald, who passed away recently at the age of 94.

Donald MacDonald was an elected member of the Ontario legislature for nearly 30 years and led the provincial CCF party through its early evolution to become the New Democratic Party of Ontario. As leader of the NDP, he focused his generosity and intelligence toward the formation of grassroots community organizations of health, social well-being and education.

Donald was the guiding spirit for indispensable multi-service agencies such as the Learning Enrichment Foundation and York Community Services, which support new immigrants, the disadvantaged and a more inclusive society.

There is not much any of us can do about death. However, we are all given the opportunity to do something with life. Donald will be remembered for living long, living well and living to better the lives of others.

I am confident that all in this House will join me in sending our condolences to Donald's wife, Simone, and his three children and six grandchildren as we celebrate the life of Donald MacDonald.

Marc-Antoine Latulippe
Statements By Members

April 16th, 2008 / 2:05 p.m.


Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, on April 7, when he was riding his bicycle near the Rivière Noire, Marc-Antoine Latulippe, an 11-year-old from Roxton Falls, disappeared after he presumably fell into the water. Yesterday we learned that the body of the young boy had been found, bringing over a week of tireless searches to an end for his parents, friends and loved ones. Although it must be a relief to have an end to this nightmare, we can only imagine the immense pain that has taken its place.

I would like to say that my thoughts, and those of my colleagues and fellow citizens, are with the parents and friends of Marc-Antoine Latulippe, and we are thinking of you during this difficult time. I would also like to thank all the police officers and volunteers who helped with searches.

On behalf of myself and my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I offer my sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Marc-Antoine.

Equality Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow we will celebrate Equality Day. Equality Day marks the coming into force of the equality provisions in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on April 17, 1985.

Thousands of women, including NDP MPs Pauline Jewett and Margaret Mitchell, fought for women's inclusion in the charter.

The equality provision, section 15, sets out four kinds of protection: equality before and under the law, and equal benefit and protection of the law, on seven grounds, including sex.

While women in Canada may have achieved equality in law, they still have not achieved equality in practice. After 23 years, women deserve better.

The Conservative government is irreversibly changing the course of women's equality in Canada. The NDP has put forward a Fairness for Women Action Plan. I would ask the government to adopt these recommendations so that women will achieve equality once and for all.

Chief of the Defence Staff
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, on the occasion of his retirement I want to honour General Rick Hillier for his tireless work in rebuilding our armed forces, his fearless dedication to the men and women in uniform, the pride he has helped instill in all Canadians, and his eternal optimism as a Leafs fan.

General Hillier is a soldier's soldier first and foremost. I know that the men and the women of the forces will miss him. He spoke out for the needs of every soldier on the line and worked tirelessly with our government to ensure those soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen were equipped with the tools they so badly needed after, as he so accurately put it, “a decade of darkness”.

Today, the level of respect and pride our citizens have for the Canadian Forces and the recognition for excellence around the world are in no small part due to General Hillier's revitalization of our military and the dignity of those who choose to serve.

That the overpasses along Highway 401 in Ontario are filled with ordinary people standing there just to pay their respects to our fallen soldiers is an incredible testament to the place of honour our military has today.

General Hillier, for your dedication and leadership, your country and this airman thank you.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Tina Keeper Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, last weekend I visited Cecilia Begg of the KI6, the imprisoned leaders of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug. The five men are in a Thunder Bay jail and she is in a Kenora jail.

Cecilia is peaceful and brave and feels that this protest is integral to her role as a mother and grandmother and as a steward for future generations. She believes her community must have a decision making capacity in its traditional territory.

Chief Morris said: “We want the right to say yes or no to development. That's what the treaty relationship is all about. We're seeking to correct that“.

Grand Chief Stan Beardy of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation stated: “This nation to nation relationship has become completely inequitable. There is no benefit for first nations in these federal budgets. That is inequitable. We too want a positive future. Our ancestors did not sign treaties to have their children and grandchildren live as dependants and in dire poverty”.

The federal government is neglecting its role in the duty to consult. The government cannot off-load it to third parties.

I was honoured to meet Cecilia Begg, who said: “I'm not alone. I have the prayers of the people with me”.

Milad al-Nabiy
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Rahim Jaffer Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, recently Muslims around the world celebrated Milad al-Nabiy, the anniversary of the birth of the prophet Muhammad, which is one of the largest celebrations of the Islamic calendar.

Muslims celebrate the prophet's birth, life and teachings with prayers, readings from the Quran, feasts, good deeds and compassion toward the poor.

To mark this celebration, the Ismaili community of Ottawa is hosting an event featuring Dr. Ali Mazrui, who is the Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghampton University.

Dr. Mazrui has been involved in a number of UN projects and is also internationally consulted on Islamic history and culture.

Dr. Mazrui's keynote address, entitled “Prophet Muhammad as the Founder of a New Civilization”, will highlight the rich history and tradition around this world celebration.

On behalf of the Government of Canada and all members of this House, I would like to welcome Dr. Mazrui to Canada and extend best wishes to my brothers and sisters celebrating Milad al-Nabiy.

Pierre Lapointe
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we were saddened to hear of the passing of Pierre Lapointe. He died of cancer on Saturday. A city councillor in Montreal, Pierre Lapointe left his mark as a man who was committed to his community and concerned about the quality of life of his fellow citizens.

Mr. Lapointe, a former diplomat and former chairman of the Immigration and Refugee Board, made the switch to municipal politics in 1997. He had been working with Gérald Tremblay's team since 2003. He was also a member of the board of directors for both the Société de transport de Montréal and Ahuntsic-Cartierville's Corporation de développement économique communautaire. According to his colleagues, this community builder always made every decision with compassion.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues and I offer our sincere condolences to his sister, Lisette Lapointe, to his partner, Sylvie Lamothe as well as to all his friends and colleagues.

Government Policies
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.


David Tilson Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians work hard. They pay their taxes and they play by the rules. They have real issues they care about and they expect their government to take real action.

Our Prime Minister and our Conservative government get that, and Canadian families are seeing real results from our leadership.

Our government is making day to day life more affordable for Canadians through tax refunds to individuals and families.

We are acting to keep our communities safe by passing the most comprehensive anti-crime bill in Canada's history: the tackling violent crime act.

We are acting to protect Canadians' health and well-being.

Let us contrast this with the lack of leadership Canadians see when they look at the so-called official opposition. That party and its leader take a stand and then back down. The Liberals criticize and complain and then support our government. The Liberals have no policy on issues that matter the most to ordinary Canadians.

Instead, the Liberals focus on imaginary scandals and phony controversy. Canadians are not fooled.

Member for Nepean--Carleton
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has become obvious that not only the opposition parties have become ashamed of the behaviour of the member for Nepean—Carleton.

Last week, he recklessly blamed the Liberals in the Senate for delaying Bill S-225 on terrorism, but let us hear what others have to say.

Here is one quote: “It is entirely incorrect and inappropriate for that member in the other place to claim that the Liberal-dominated opposition was blocking” Bill S-225.

A further quote states: “The workings of this chamber are not always understood by others, including parliamentarians who should check their facts before speaking on procedural matters”.

Yet a further quote states: “I repeat that there was no undue delay on this bill, regardless of whatever knee-jerk reactions may have been seen in the other place”.

Who am I quoting? Who offered such a scathing indictment of the member for Nepean—Carleton? No less than the deputy leader of the Conservative government in the Senate.

The Bloc Québécois
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Luc Harvey Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Bloc is going through an existential crisis. Some members of the party are leaving to rejoin the Parti Québécois, and others are wondering what good they can do as members of a party that will always be in opposition. Despite that, the member for Québec continues to claim that she is improving Canadian federalism.

First it was PQ militants from Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, and now it is writer and ardent sovereignist Victor-Lévy Beaulieu's turn to beg members of the Bloc Québécois, especially their leader, to return home.

More and more Quebeckers are wondering about the Bloc Québécois' record over the past 18 years—yes, it has been 18 years. As it turns out, the Bloc's record is basically a blank page, because the PQ no longer dares mention a referendum, and because under the Conservatives, the country is united and Quebec is getting stronger.

I invite the members of the Bloc to recognize that just being here is not enough and that the words “take action” will never be part of their vocabulary.

Bill Dance
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Bill Blaikie Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, last week was a sad week for Transcona and the larger community of railroaders in Winnipeg and across Canada. Hundreds of people gathered last Friday to mourn the sudden passing and to celebrate the life of Bill Dance, who died one day after his 55th birthday and only a short time before he was to receive his first pension cheque, after 39 years of service as a conductor.

Bill was the treasurer of UTU Local 1874 for 30 years, served on numerous committees and, as the auditor for Canada of the UTU for CN and CP, was very helpful to many locals across the country. He was a great friend and supporter of the cause of working people, and I personally will cherish many fond memories of working with him on issues of mutual concern and in various election campaigns.

To his fellow railroaders, to his wife Pat and his children, Leila, Twila and Corey, and particularly to his grandson, Braeden, who was with him when this tragedy occurred, I offer the hope that the memory of a good and faithful life that many will always be grateful for will be of comfort in the days and years ahead.

The Prime Minister
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Brian Murphy Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday's RCMP raid on the Conservative Party was not the first time the Prime Minister has had trouble with election laws.

In 2005 the Prime Minister broke election rules by donating more money than was legally allowed to the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party had to refund the money to the Prime Minister so he could avoid prosecution.

What is it about this country's election laws that the Conservatives cannot live with? The Prime Minister has never found an election law that he did not want to change, circumvent or ignore.

Years ago he launched a legal action against the nation of Canada to help right wing groups get around election laws. Now he is doing it again and the taxpayers of Canada are paying to defend Elections Canada.

Instead of going to war against election laws and the people who enforce them, why does the Prime Minister not just try playing by the rules like everyone else?

The Quebec Nation
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.


Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to recognizing the Quebec nation, the Conservatives have shown that they have no political will to go beyond recognition on paper. That is why the Bloc Québécois is launching a huge campaign throughout Quebec to increase pressure on the Conservatives, raise public awareness and thus produce real benefits for the Quebec nation.

We demand that the government respect the French language and comply with Bill 101 by amending the Official Languages Act and the Canada Labour Code, which contradicts the Charter of the French Language.

We demand that the government respect Quebec's culture, because efforts to promote our culture conflict daily with the federal government's determination to impose a cultural policy that does not recognize Quebec's culture.

We demand that the government respect Quebec's identity, which is the antithesis of multiculturalism, a concept that rejects the idea of a common culture and promotes the coexistence of many segmented, ghettoized cultures.

If these demands are not met, Quebeckers will understand that the Prime Minister's open federalism and his recognition of the Quebec nation are nothing but duplicity and hypocrisy.