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House of Commons Hansard #95 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was communities.

Topics

2:05 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 Timmins--James Bay.

[Members sang the national anthem]

ALS Society of CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge volunteers present from the ALS Society of Canada.

The ALS Society of Canada, founded in 1977, is the only national voluntary health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Three thousand Canadians suffer from ALS and two to three Canadians with ALS die every day.

I have been personally affected by this disease as my father succumbed to ALS a number of years ago, and, in 2005, I introduced a private member's bill that would ensure that June of every year in Canada would be known as ALS month.

There is no effective treatment for ALS and no known cure. Volunteers and staff of the ALS Society participate in annual fundraising events throughout the country to create public awareness about the disease and raise funds to find a cure.

I urge all Canadians to donate to their provincial ALS societies so that the dream of finding a cure can soon become a reality.

Retirement CongratulationsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Roy Cullen Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, a tireless community worker, Ms. Delia Dyke, has recently announced her retirement.

Delia has been a diligent worker, a committed volunteer and a true friend of the residents of Etobicoke North.

She began her career at the Willowridge apartment complex and, while there, Delia helped set up a day care centre, Willowridge Training Wheels and Welcome Baby, as well as many other neighbourhood programs.

In 1997, Minister Marc Lalonde appointed Delia to the National Council on Welfare.

Delia then began working at Albion Neighbourhood Services in 1988 as an information counsellor and, later, as the manager of its access program.

Delia's wry sense of humour as well as her reputation for assisting Etobicoke North residents with their income tax preparation will be missed. She was also a very able and hard-working Commissioner of Oaths.

Letters of congratulation to Delia have been pouring in over the years from mayors, MPs, MPPs and city councillors. The letters that touched Delia the most were from the residents she has helped over the years.

We wish Delia the very best that life can offer in her well-deserved retirement.

Gatineau OlympiquesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is with considerable joy that I acknowledge the great triumph of the Gatineau Olympiques in winning the President's Cup, the top trophy in the Quebec major junior hockey league.

The Olympiques beat the tough Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in five games in the final round. This is the fifth time the Olympiques have won the President's Cup since 1995. Such a record is a testament to the solid organization of Gatineau's hockey team and the talent of its players.

On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I want to congratulate the Olympiques. We are behind the Olympiques 110% as they head to the grand finale of major junior hockey, the Memorial Cup, which is starting this week.

Go Olympiques go.

Hamilton Police ServiceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure today to pay tribute to the Hamilton Police Service, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary.

It was on March 11, 1833 that the newly elected board of police in Hamilton took the momentous step of hiring John Ryckman as Hamilton's first paid law enforcement official. There is an unbroken line leading to today's Hamilton Police Service, a lineage unparalleled by any other police agency in Canada.

It is particularly fitting that in this anniversary year, the Hamilton Police Service received its Grant of Arms and Flag from the Queen. Last Monday night's anniversary celebration included the unveiling of the Grant of Arms and the consecration of the flag as an official police colour.

However, as the only women MP from Hamilton, I want to acknowledge another special milestone within the Hamilton Police Service. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the hiring of the first female police officers. Today, there are 148.

As female officers, they face many of the same challenges as other women do in their workplaces. However, if last December's fundraiser is any indication, their courage, determination and support for each other cannot help but ensure continued advances for women in law enforcement.

I salute the women and, indeed, all members of the Hamilton Police Service.

Forestry DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to welcome stakeholders in Canada's forest industry to Ottawa today for Forestry Day on the Hill.

Yesterday, the Minister of Natural Resources co-hosted a very productive round table discussion with forest industry stakeholders to discuss how we can create a prosperous future for Canada's forest sector.

While our forest sector faces challenges, we heard that Canada was well-equipped to meet them with groundbreaking innovations and responsible environmental stewardship. That is why our government invested new money in the 2008 budget to promote Canada's forest sector in international markets as a model for environmental innovation and sustainability.

Canadians should truly be proud of our environmental management of our forests, which is why we have invested so heavily in innovation through our forest industry long term competitiveness initiative.

With the full support of the Canadian government, the forest sector in Canada has a bright future indeed.

Nurses WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to rise in the House today to recognize Nurses Week in appreciation of the men and women who work on the front lines of patient care. The 270,000-plus registered nurses in Canada constitute this country's largest group of health care professionals, representing one-third of all workers.

Unfortunately, we have a major nursing shortage in this country, a shortage that is only getting worse. If we continue down this path, Canada will be short 78,000 nurses by 2011 and 113,000 by 2016.

The shortage of nurses is tied to the fact that education seats in nursing were cut, the nursing workforce is aging and a large percentage of the workforce is not employed full time.

In addition, men only make up 6% of nurses in Canada. If we are to solve the lack of nurses, we must work with the Canadian Men in Nursing Group to encourage young men to consider this most noble of professions.

TerrorismStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the citizens of Jaipur, India became the victims of terrorism when several bombs detonated in a crowded marketplace. Nearly 300 people were targeted, 80 of whom have died.

These terrorist attacks against innocent civilians are a gross violation of human decency and a tragedy for all peace-loving people.

The affects of terrorism transcend borders. Although India was the target of these recent attacks, my family here in Canada has been profoundly affected by the possibility that our family members in Jaipur were in harm's way. Thankfully, our family was not harmed but these attacks have shattered the lives of several hundred people.

We must be vigilant in our efforts to end such acts of terrorism. Canada must stand firm in condemning individuals who spew an ideology of hatred and those people and organizations that finance it. They have innocent blood on their hands.

International Federation of Human Rights LeaguesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues, or IFHRL, is a non-governmental organization that defends human rights.

Created in 1922, today the organization has 155 leagues in 100 states, including the Montreal-based Ligue des droits et libertés.

At the 36th IFHRL conference held on April 23 and 24, 2007, in Lisbon Portugal, the IFHRL took a momentous decision and for the first time elected a woman, Souhayr Belhassen, as president.

Ms. Belhassen is an Arab and the first woman to hold this position. She sees her election as the culmination of a long journey. An Arab Muslim woman becoming president of the IFHRL is an extremely significant step in recognizing women in the Arab world, where culture and tradition are sometimes used to muzzle women and curb their emancipation.

On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I want to commend this exceptional woman who is visiting Parliament Hill today.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Conservative Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, this past Monday, Winnipeg mayor, Sam Katz. told us how he really feels about the Liberal's soft on crime agenda. He said:

The last time the federal government took some initiatives, they were stalled in the [Liberal] senate for a long time.

Mayor Katz, however, is not the only Manitoban fed up with the Liberals. Gord Mackintosh, former minister of justice, said:

I was through enough years with Liberals in Ottawa to know that I always find it amusing when a Liberal asks a question about getting serious on crime.

For 13 years, why were sensible measures not taken to reduce crime?

Who can Manitobans count on for their safety? The member for Winnipeg South Centre, who sat on her hands for 13 years of Liberal inaction? No. The member for Saint Boniface, who flip-flopped and voted against our government's efforts to restrict the use of conditional sentences for serious offenders? No.

Manitobans cannot count on anyone but the Conservative government because when it comes to safety we will not take no for an answer.

ALS Society of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, the ALS Society is a leading not for profit health organization working nationwide to fund ALS research and work to improve the quality of life for Canadians affected by the disease.

Can anyone Imagine not being able to walk, write, smile, talk, eat and sometimes breathe on one's own and yet the mind remains usually intact and the senses unaffected? This is what it is like for 3,000 ALS victims across the country. Along with ALS, neurodegenerative diseases include Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's disease.

According to the World Health Organization, neurodegenerative diseases are predicted to surpass cancer as the leading cause of death in Canada by 2040. There is no effective treatment for ALS and no known cure, yet. Eighty per cent of people diagnosed with ALS die within two to five years. It is a disease that bankrupts families emotionally, physically and financially.

Volunteers and staff of the ALS Society participate in annual fundraising events, such as the Walk for ALS to create public awareness. Let us get behind ALS across this country and find a cure.

Federal ElectionStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, constituents in the riding of Central Nova were quite surprised when they learned about the red-green alliance between the Liberals and the Greens, when the leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May, was chosen as the de facto Liberal candidate in that riding.

Now we learn of another alliance the Green Party leader is looking to form. This time it is with the Bloc in Quebec.

Yesterday, Elizabeth May said she was “open to any alliances”. She would not hesitate to enter into strategic alliances with the Bloc Québécois. I wonder if she will encourage Liberals in Quebec to collaborate with the Bloc, like her.

Does the Liberal leader agree with his star candidate that she should collaborate with the Bloc in the next federal election? Will that be his plan for Liberals in Quebec?

Nav CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy NDP Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, over the past few months many people in the Guildford area of Surrey North have raised concerns about airplane noise over their neighbourhoods. The decision to reroute flight paths over Surrey communities was made without consultation in an attempt to reduce fuel costs for airlines.

This is a serious problem. Low-flying planes disrupt peaceful neighbourhoods. They cause air pollution and lead to lower property values. There are also safety concerns about planes flying so close to the ground over residential neighbourhoods.

None of us would want to live under a low flying zone. It is a constant disruption that causes a great deal of stress to people.

I recently met with Nav Canada. Its answer: more consultation, noise monitoring and studies. All of this is unnecessary when the answer is simple. Nav Canada should immediately restore flight paths that were in place before the changes last spring.

Today I am calling on the Minister of Transport to intervene. Saving a few dollars for the big airline companies is not worth the cost to my neighbours.

Memorial CupStatements By Members

May 14th, 2008 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the Gatineau Olympiques, under the expert guidance of head coach Benoît Groulx, won the President's Cup for the seventh time in their history, a record in the Quebec major junior hockey league. This famous trophy, their third in six years, means the team will proudly represent Quebec at the Memorial Cup.

The 90th Memorial Cup, to be held May 16 to 25, will bring together the country's best junior hockey players. Loyal Gatineau Olympiques fans will turn their attention to Kitchener, which is hosting the 2008 Mastercard Memorial Cup. Naturally, I do not doubt for a moment that this team, from my riding, will be successful in the tournament.

I invite my colleagues in this House to join me in wishing all the players, and especially the Gatineau Olympiques, every success in this 90th Memorial Cup.

Richard ParéStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to a man who touched the lives of many parliamentarians in this room. Richard Paré, the Parliamentary Librarian, passed away in April at the age of 70.

After serving as Associate Parliamentary Librarian for 14 years, Mr. Paré was appointed Parliamentary Librarian by the Prime Minister of Canada in 1994. Mr. Paré, who was from Côte-de-Beaupré, in my riding, was the first francophone to occupy the position. He had extensive experience in library science, and in his more than 20 years in this career, he focused particularly on systems and services.

On behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues and the citizens of Château-Richer and Saint-Joachim, I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to his family and friends.

Meritorious ServiceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire holds the Order of Canada, the Order of Military Merit, the Ordre national du Québec, the Meritorious Service Cross, and the Canadian Forces decorations. The Secretary of State for Multiculturalism does not.

General Dallaire graduated with a bachelor of science from the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean and was commissioned into the Canadian armed forces. The Secretary of State did not earn a degree and did not serve in the Canadian armed forces.

General Dallaire commanded the 5e Régiment d'Artillerie Légère du Canada and the 5th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. The Secretary of State did not.

General Dallaire has a school named after him in Winnipeg and a street named after him in Calgary. The Secretary of State does not.

General Dallaire holds the Pearson Peace Medal. The Secretary of State does not.

General Dallaire is an officer of the highest American military decoration for foreigners, the Legion of Merit of the United States. The Secretary of State is not.

Lieutenant-General--

Meritorious ServiceStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Nepean—Carleton.

TerrorismStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, Omar Khadr, believed terrorist and Taliban fighter, is charged with throwing a grenade and killing a medic. Fighting alongside the same Taliban terrorists that are killing our troops is an attack against us all.

Now the Liberals want to bring Khadr to Canada. Yesterday a Liberal senator compared the Canadian government to al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The secretary of state did not.

He also suggested that Canada's refusal to bring Khadr to this country is just as bad as strapping explosives onto a handicapped girl and sending her to blow up civilians.

This is the kind of scorching rhetoric that one would expect from the Khadr family. To see it adopted by a Liberal senator is truly shocking. Following this outburst, Canadians want to know where the Liberal leader stands. Will he rise now and call on his senator to apologize?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canada was a founding nation of the United Nations. A Canadian wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A prime minister of this country won the Nobel Peace Prize for creating UN peacekeeping. Since then, Canada remained a leader at the United Nations.

Yet in two years, the Prime Minister has diminished our place at the United Nations. When the Prime Minister said “Canada is back”, did he mean Canada is turning its back on the world?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

This, Mr. Speaker, is from a leader whose idea of foreign policy is asking questions about somebody's girlfriend.

Canada continues to play a leading role in the world.

Whether it is a leading role in the United Nations mandated mission in Afghanistan, or in Haiti, or as a contributor in Darfur as the second largest donor to the World Food Programme, this government does not just make bold declarations: this government actually acts on them.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canada led the charge for the International Criminal Court and for the international treaty banning land mines. Canada has championed multilateralism at the United Nations. Canadians do not want to see their influence in the world eroded because of this Prime Minister and his narrow-minded ideology.

Will the Prime Minister campaign to ensure that Canada gets a seat on the United Nations Security Council or not?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, cabinet has not yet made a decision about a campaign, and it is premature to talk about it.

However, I can say that Canada is a leader on several United Nations missions: in Afghanistan, Haiti and Darfur. We have taken action against tyranny in Burma by applying the strictest sanctions in the world. Moreover, we got a resolution on Iran's human rights record passed in the United Nations.

We do not just make declarations; we act on them.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Canada has had a seat on the United Nations Security Council more often than any country other than the permanent members. Every time Canada asked for a seat, we got one. However, the Conservative government has tarnished our international reputation to the point that the Prime Minister is afraid that for the first time in our history, we will be refused a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

He said that he is taking action, so will he act now, or will he admit that he is not campaigning for a seat because he is afraid of rejection?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government is not campaigning. We are working on major international issues. For example, this week, while the Leader of the Opposition was asking questions about girlfriends, the Minister of Foreign Affairs was taking action on issues in China and Burma.

That party does nothing but make empty declarations. This government, in contrast, is taking action.

International AidOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami in 2004, the previous government, the Liberal government, committed over $40 million to relief aid. As the crisis grew, that sum increased to $425 million.

In the aftermath of the cyclone in Burma, the government has committed $2 million. By international comparison, Australia has committed $25 million, the British $10 million, and the Japanese $11 million.

Why are we not giving more when we can clearly do so? Where is the leadership from Canada?