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House of Commons Hansard #102 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was changes.

Topics

Motions in AmendmentBudget Implementation Act, 2008Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to the member as she spoke about what she claimed was propaganda. I have not heard as much propaganda in as short an amount of time as I have heard from her.

Let me tell members about propaganda. She says the government, by stealth, is bringing in Bill C-50. But just before that she said that we were advertising in newspapers some of the changes we want to bring in. How could we be acting by stealth and advertising in newspapers? I guess that is NDP propaganda.

Also, this member and her party voted against every single budget this government has brought in: budgets that have helped seniors; budgets that have helped homeless people; and budgets that are helping veterans today. She and her party voted against low income Canadians. More than 600,000 low income Canadians have been taken off the federal government tax rolls. Yet, she and her party claim to be for the working class.

Yesterday, we were discussing her leader's bill. I believe it is Bill C-377. People working in the auto industry and people trying to earn a livelihood who work in the auto parts industry in my riding, including the CAW, are fearful of that bill.

We heard from witnesses from that industry at the environment committee who said that bill that her leader is trying to bring in is going to kill their industry, an industry that is already in trouble in our province. It is one of the hugest income generators in our province.

How can she say some of the things she is saying when in some parts of her statements she is arguing against herself? There are words for that, but they are unparliamentary. I would like her to respond.

Motions in AmendmentBudget Implementation Act, 2008Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would be delighted to respond.

Let us just look at what happened. The fact is that this government brought in a budget bill and tried to sneak through significant immigration changes in that bill. For decades, immigration changes would have taken place through an immigration bill.

So, the Conservatives tried to get it through the back door. When the word got out there, people were outraged about what was taking place. If the member has not read the press releases, the letters, the emails and heard the phone calls that have come in, then I would ask him to do a bit of a reality check.

When the information came back in and people understood what was going on, the government then had to react and began its own propaganda advertising campaign. That is the sequence of events that took place. So, my comments are not contradictory at all.

What is contradictory is the fact that this government is trying to make significant changes to our immigration system in a budget bill. That is fundamentally wrong and that should not be allowed.

I would ask the member, why is he supporting such a measure and not allowing a proper examination of changes to our immigration system which should go to the immigration committee?

Motions in AmendmentBudget Implementation Act, 2008Government Orders

11 a.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, earlier, I asked my hon. Liberal colleague if his party was going to follow the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration and vote against part 6 of this bill. I know the NDP has already said it will be voting against it.

Does she know how the Liberals intend to vote? What would she recommend to them?

Motions in AmendmentBudget Implementation Act, 2008Government Orders

11 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, far be it for me to try to advise these guys how they should be getting themselves in line. They have been, now, contradicting themselves so many times by standing and saying that they oppose the budget, opposing the immigration changes, not coming into the House to vote, and not voting in committee. I think they have to get their own act in order and reconcile with the community where it is that they really stand.

We know where we stand on this bill. We know why this bill should be defeated. I think my colleague in the Bloc knows too and his members will vote that way as well.

However, as far as the Liberals, they are just lining up with the Conservative members and allowing this bill to go through, and that is going to be bad for the people of Canada.

Partnership Group for Science and EngineeringStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Ken Epp Conservative Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have long been a regular at the Bacon & Eggheads Breakfast sponsored by the Partnership Group for Science and Engineering, PAGSE for short. I have found these breakfasts to be very educational and inspiring. It is a real pleasure to hear from the brightest and most articulate researchers in our country.

PAGSE is a cooperative association of more than 25 national organizations in science and engineering, representing approximately 50,000 individual members from industry, academia and government. It was formed in 1995 at the invitation of the Academy of Science of the Royal Society of Canada.

Here are just a few of the topics that have been covered in the past: understanding the brain; bionic limbs; preparing for the next pandemic; nanotechnology; fighting cancer with food; building the car of the future, idea by idea; wind power; fuel cell technology; and the list goes on.

I invite members to visit pagse.org for more information. Also, I invite--

Partnership Group for Science and EngineeringStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Royal Galipeau

The hon. member for Cape Breton—Canso.

Arts and CultureStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, last weekend the Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay played host to one of this country's musical treasures. The Amadeus Choir of Toronto, under the direction of Glace Bay's own Dr. Lydia Adams, treated concert goers to an incredible evening of music and entertainment.

There was one tune, however, that struck a sour chord with all in attendance. That was the concern people expressed for the cultural institutions of this country. The cutbacks to CBC Radio 2 and the elimination of the CBC Radio Orchestra are further proof that the Conservative government holds in contempt both the national broadcaster and the Broadcast Act.

Programs like young performers and young composers competitions, which have proven to be crucial to venues for the upcoming artists and composers, have also been cut.

Canadians expect much from their national broadcaster and they want a radio which engages their minds and inspires them to greater thought and creative expression.

It is clear that the government is intent on stifling higher thought and argument in this country and has the CBC clearly in its sights.

Rest assured that the Liberal Party will stand up for this country's institutions and diverse needs of Canadians.

Twenty-four Hour Bike Ride for LeucanStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to commend the efforts of Drummondville's TrioMax club, which, in partnership with other clubs such as Cycliste Drummond, Cyclophiles and VéloCité, has organized a 24-hour bike ride to be held May 31 and June 1, with all proceeds going to Leucan.

The public is invited to sponsor the kilometres that will be covered by any one of the 200 expected participants. In addition, three members of the TrioMax club, Suzanne and Jacinthe Lavallée and Alain Croteau, became the honorary champions of this year's shaved head challenge.

I would also like to say hello to young Annabelle Lizotte-Gauthier from Kingsey Falls, who, at only 12 years old, has agreed to be Leucan's spokesperson for the region of Centre-du-Québec. Annabelle suffered a brain tumour at age three and became very familiar with hospitals very early in life. She is an inspiring young girl who knows the importance of chasing your dreams, despite illness.

The ArcticStatements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington NDP Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, as an observer to the recent international conference on the Arctic Ocean held in Greenland, I was pleased to hear that other Arctic nations have the same view that the NDP has on how to protect the Arctic.

The nations at the conference agreed that the best way to deal with the question of Arctic sovereignty is through cooperation, diplomacy and the international legal system and not through military muscle. This is the same position the NDP has long taken on this issue.

It is unfortunate the Conservatives have chosen the route of military force to deal with Arctic sovereignty. The Conservatives plan to build more military bases and buy a fleet of ineffective slush breakers. Just like their position on climate change, the Conservatives' policy on the Arctic is out of step with the rest of the world.

We in the NDP, and now our Arctic neighbours, believe that the best way to protect the Arctic is through support for civilian enforcement of our laws, diplomacy and improving the lives of northern Canadians.

There is a role for the military in Canada's north through activities like the Canadian Rangers and search and rescue, a need that the Conservatives--

The ArcticStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The hon. member for Fundy Royal.

Luc BourdonStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to offer my sincerest condolences to the family of Luc Bourdon, who died suddenly yesterday.

Luc was a rising star in the NHL who was well respected by his coaches and teammates on the Vancouver Canucks.

Luc also played for Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships in 2006 and 2007, helping Canada win back to back gold medals. At the 2007 tournament in Sweden, Luc scored the third period goal that forced overtime against the U.S. in the semi-final game.

He also played for the Moncton Wildcats. In 2006 the Wildcats won the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League championship and advanced all the way to the Memorial Cup final.

Luc's hometown of Shippagan, New Brunswick is in a state of mourning today.

On behalf of all parliamentarians, I would like to express our deepest and sincerest sympathy to the town of Shippagan, and to the family, friends, coaches and teammates of Luc Bourdon.

24 Sussex DriveStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this month the Auditor General of Canada reported on the state of our official residences, including 24 Sussex Drive. The National Capital Commission estimates that rehabilitating that property would cost about $10 million and would require full access to the residence for up to 15 months. In 50 years there have been no renovations of significance at 24 Sussex, except for some roofing work a few years ago.

As the MP for the riding in which four of our official residences are located, I feel that it is my duty to urge the Prime Minister and his family to consider the NCC recommendations because 24 Sussex Drive belongs to all Canadians.

Now that the Auditor General has made her recommendations, I invite members from all parties to respect and support the Prime Minister and his family should they decide to allow the NCC to carry out the required work. It is not only a question of the proper management of our heritage but also of our national pride.

Shawinigan's Economic DevelopmentStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased to read this morning that things are looking up for Shawinigan, a community that was hard hit by the recent closing of the Belgo mill and the loss of 500 jobs.

With the $1 million recently allocated by Economic Development Canada to diversify the local economy, a veritable entrepreneurial culture is emerging with an unprecedented number of applications to establish or expand companies. To date these projects have generated investments of $18 million and led to the creation or reinforcement of more than 1,000 jobs, twice the number recently lost.

Shawinigan is moving away from the ill-advised and restrictive policies put in place by Jean Chrétien in his own riding. The Liberals should be ashamed of having turned communities such as Shawinigan and many others into one-company towns.

The Bloc is no better. While Shawinigan's economy was faltering, what was the Bloc member for the riding of Saint-Maurice—Champlain doing? Nothing, because his party was, is and will always remain powerless.

Meanwhile, the Conservative government is truly supporting entrepreneurs by recognizing their efforts and helping them with programs that meet local needs and priorities .

Johanne DalyStatements By Members

May 30th, 2008 / 11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, when tragedy struck Johanne Daly in 2001, no one would have guessed that this garage owner from Varennes would find a new passion as strong as her passion for auto mechanics.

But that is precisely what happened. Through adapted sports, she is living her dream and surprising many experts. She excels at every new sport she tries, as was the case with adapted skiing, in which she won gold at the 2006 and 2007 Canadian championships. The same goes for adapted sailing, where she is picking up wins as quickly as she can compete.

But these days, Johanne Daly has much more to be happy about. This dynamic and determined fighter was chosen to carry the Olympic torch on her wheelchair through the Chinese city of Shanghai on May 23, a choice that was applauded by all those who have been following her progress.

Budget Implementation Act, 2008Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, the New Democratic Party is willing to resort to old political games and has announced it will attempt to stonewall Bill C-50 in an effort to prevent it from passing before the summer recess in June.

In doing so, the NDP is knowingly putting $1.5 billion in important federal funding at risk, including $500 million to help improve public transit, $400 million to help recruit new front line police officers, nearly $250 million for carbon capture and storage, $110 million for the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and much more.

These tactics by the NDP could even delay the implementation of the highly touted tax-free savings account that would allow Canadians to save up to $5,000 every year tax free for life.

These cheap political games prove that the NDP's priorities are different from those of most Canadians, again demonstrating why an overwhelming majority of Canadians will never ever take the NDP seriously.

It is time for the NDP to stop its political posturing, start listening to Canadians and help pass Bill C-50 before the summer recess.

Canadian ForcesStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, Canadians from coast to coast will be celebrating Canadian Forces Day, an occasion that allows all of us to pay tribute to the bravery and courage of the men and women serving in the Canadian Forces.

From Haiti to the Sudan, from the Congo to the Golan Heights, and of course, in Afghanistan, our soldiers continue to provide peace and security in some of the most troubled regions of the world.

The importance of these celebrations can never be overstated as we hold close in our thoughts and prayers those who wear our uniform: our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers, our sons and daughters, our friends, who fight for the freedom of the Afghan people and who stand on guard for the security of our own proud nation.

I ask all members of the House to join with me today in celebrating Canadian Forces Day this Sunday, and to thank those who have worn and continue to wear the uniform of the Canadian army, air force and navy. Their sacrifices for our freedoms are their enduring legacy.

Carbon Tax ProposalStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, many of my constituents are concerned about the national carbon tax being proposed by the Liberal leader. They are worried about how this new tax would affect their ability to afford gas, to heat their homes and to keep food on the table.

It is not just my constituents who are worried. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty rejects the federal Liberal contention that a national carbon tax is a good idea. Both the premiers of Saskatchewan and Alberta are concerned that a national consumer based carbon tax would reduce Canada's competitiveness and would kneecap our economy. Even the Liberal finance critic once publicly disagreed with the carbon tax because he felt that it would likely harm the living standards of Canadians.

The Liberal plan would severely impact all Canadians, but especially middle and low income earners. Canadians can rest assured that this government rejects the socially regressive and economically damaging Liberal carbon tax.

Corporate Taxes and SubsidiesStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Dawn Black NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, we know the gap between the rich elites and the rest of us is growing. Recent census figures prove it.

While corporate profits soar, middle class families in B.C. are struggling to get by. Big business makes money hand over fist because of the misguided tax breaks and subsidies they receive from the Conservative government.

Middle class families are bearing the burden of these subsidies. When I meet with folks in my community, they tell me they are working harder and harder for less reward. They are struggling to make ends meet, and once all the bills have been paid, it is a wonder there is any money left at the end of the month.

It is time to join those who are saying this just is not fair. It is not fair for our kids, it is not fair for families and it is not fair for seniors. We are being squeezed because big corporations are getting the breaks.

It is time for the Conservative government to stop doing favours for its friends and insiders. Working families deserve better. They deserve a fair deal. They have earned it.

Human RightsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hype surrounding the Olympic Games is building. Unfortunately, the situation for the people in Tibet is garnering less attention than it merits and the Conservative government has not advocated forcefully enough for the people of Tibet.

Many of my constituents, including John Kittridge, are justifiably calling on Canada's government to keep this issue on the front burner, as the brutal mistreatment of monks and nuns and the use of live ammunition against peaceful protesters must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

Similarly, my constituents want Canada's government to intensify its efforts to protect Mr. Celil and to have him safely released from a Chinese prison.

Human rights everywhere must be protected.

As the great American, Thomas Paine, said, “My country is the world, and my religion is to do good”. A message to the government: do some good for the people of Tibet and Mr. Celil.

Mining OmbudsmanStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, representatives from Development and Peace recently came to Ottawa to deliver a petition to the Prime Minister's Office. This petition, with 190,000 signatures, is calling for the appointment of an independent ombudsman to look into human rights violations and damage to the environment by Canadian mining companies abroad.

The Conservative government still refuses to proceed, even though this recommendation already appeared in a March 2007 report. The Conservatives remain silent in the face of the report's recommendations, which the people who signed this petition find disappointing because the industry and non-governmental organizations agree on the idea of an ombudsman.

The Bloc Québécois is asking this uncaring Conservative government to act in the name of human rights and the environment by immediately appointing a mining ombudsman.

Luc BourdonStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, we were very saddened to learn of the passing of Luc Bourdon, a young defenceman, only 21 years old, from Shippagan. Luc was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in 2005. He was one of the organization's great treasures. On the international stage, he won the gold medal twice at the world junior hockey championships, in 2006 and 2007.

Luc was a very talented player. He had a remarkable career ahead of him. He showed tremendous passion for the game and had become an important member of the Vancouver Canucks team. He was also a role model for the youth of his community, who followed his career with great admiration. His untimely passing has shaken us all. Luc Bourdon will remain an inspiration for all hockey players from Acadia, an example of leadership for his fans and a hero for his family.

On behalf of the Liberal caucus and all members of Parliament, I would like to extend my most sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Leadership Campaign FinancingStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, next week Canadians will be watching to see if Elections Canada will give special treatment to the Liberal leader and other Liberal leadership candidates by extending their loan repayment deadline. The Liberals vying for the party's top job took in millions of dollars in loans from wealthy individuals to finance their campaigns during the latest Liberal leadership race.

Candidates may receive loans during a leadership race. However, the Canada Elections Act states that candidates must pay back the loan within 18 months. The loan becomes an illegal donation if it is not paid back by the deadline. The 18 month deadline is now only four days away. That gives the former Liberal leadership candidates, including the current leader, four days to pay back all their loans.

Will the Liberal leader and other leadership contestants break the law by ignoring the deadline? Will Elections Canada give special treatment to the Liberal Party?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are now over 2,500 international stories about the missing documents, from every continent except for Antarctica. We are now still waiting for the penguins.

We used to be respected as a country. Now we are simply notorious. Given these facts, I wonder, how can the government justify its refusal to call an independent inquiry when we still have absolutely no explanation--no satisfactory explanation--for the seven week gap in reporting missing classified documents?

Foreign AffairsOral 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, the hon. member has heard me refer several times to the fact that there is a review of the matter taking place. It is being conducted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to determine if there are any concerns that remain with regard to the documents that were left in an unsecured location.

Those documents were of course returned to the government and it was recognized that they were the property of the government.

In conducting its review, the Department of Foreign Affairs can of course draw on the other resources of government that it needs, from whatever agencies necessary, to assist it.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister who just answered well knows, and every Canadian well knows, that it is a basic principle of natural law that no one should be a judge in one's own case.

With respect to the Department of Foreign Affairs, we do not know whether officials were involved in not reporting classified documents that were missing. We do not know whether there were officials in the minister's office who were involved in not reporting classified documents.

Surely the minister understands a very simple distinction between an administrative review carried out by officials who may in fact be implicated in some of these questions and an independent inquiry, which in fact has--