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House of Commons Hansard #89 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was application.

Topics

Charles CacciaStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, I, too, would like to honour Charles Caccia.

[Member spoke in Italian and provided the following translation:]

He was an accomplished Parliamentarian and former Minister of Labour and the Environment. My heartfelt condolences are extended to his family, his friends, but above all to the community.

As a student, I involved myself in his first federal campaigns. At the time, he, like no other, succeeded in personally expressing the collective character and personality of the people he represented, people from other countries, with abundant energy and resources adaptable to the creation of a new and “just society”; as it was defined by the new Prime Minister of the period.

We, Italian Canadians, saw him as a vehicle for change, and integration into a society that emphasized civic responsibility and concerns for one’s neighbours.

In Davenport, his dedication became iconic and for new arrivals, a role model. Thanks Charles.

South Shore Volunteer CentreStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise in this House today to mark the 30th anniversary of the Centre de bénévolat de la Rive-Sud. This organization has been promoting volunteerism in various spheres of activity since 1978.

Thirty years of experience, 30 years of providing support, 30 years of helping others—that is worth celebrating.

With a dedicated professional staff, quality services, exceptional guidance and the contribution of over 900 volunteers at the ready, the Centre de bénévolat de la Rive-Sud helps meet the needs of families, children, seniors, the disabled and the most disadvantaged.

It is no secret: volunteerism represents the cornerstone of community action. In addition, this real economic engine contributed $70 billion to Quebec and Canada and more than 500,000 full-time positions in 2000.

A big thank you to all the volunteers, stakeholders and administrators of the Centre de bénévolat de la Rive-Sud for their commitment, which is a true sign of the region's vitality.

ImmigrationStatements by Members

May 6th, 2008 / 2 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, I represent the area of Burnaby—New Westminster which is the centre of the Canadian mosaic and the most diverse community on earth. Over 100 languages are spoken in our small area and all faiths are represented here. The population is made up of substantially new Canadians, people who have come to make a difference and help build this great country of Canada.

The changes to immigration proposed by the Conservative government will negatively impact new Canadians. Brought in with the tacit support of the Liberal leader and his caucus, these changes are designed to bring in cheap labour and temporary workers rather than put the focus of immigration on community building.

The NDP will continue our push for the recognition of credentials, so that doctors, nurses and engineers who come to Canada can practice their professions rather than do low-skill work. We will continue to push for adequate immigration funding so that new Canadians can be reunited with their families.

The NDP will fight the unfair changes. We will fight this discrimination and we will firmly stand up as the only voice for new Canadians in the House of Commons.

Gordon BellStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Mayes Conservative Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, driving west through beautiful British Columbia, along the Trans-Canada Highway, beyond the majestic Canadian Rockies, are the Three Valley Lake Chateau and Three Valley Gap Heritage Ghost Town.

As breathtaking as these facilities and site are, what is more amazing is that they were all built by one man and his family. That man was Gordon Bell. He was a visionary, craftsman and entrepreneur.

Fifty years ago, Gordon came across this site. Others would have observed it as 27 acres of mud and marsh, but Gordon envisioned a place where he could build a dream. He began with a little coffee shop, then developed a motel, restaurant, hotel, and frontier theme park.

Gordon and his family, over the past 50 years, have been building this dream. When Gordon was asked how one man could undertake such a project, he would always say, as he put his arm around his bride of 50 years, “First you have to start with a good woman”.

Gordon Bell died earlier this year. He left an impressive tourist attraction, but more than that he left a close-knit family that is carrying on his legacy and dream.

CBC Radio OrchestraStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Don Bell Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, Thursday, March 27, was a dark day for the Vancouver-based CBC Radio Orchestra, when it was announced that its funding would be cancelled. Over one-third of the musicians in the orchestra are residents of my riding of North Vancouver. On April 20, I attended what may unfortunately have been one of orchestra's final scheduled concerts.

I urge the government to ensure that adequate funding is available to allow CBC Radio to continue its mandate to play an important role in showcasing Canadian talent and enriching our cultural heritage.

I also join with Canadians across the country to ask the government and CBC Radio management to confirm the heritage value and status of our 70-year-old CBC Radio Orchestra, and to ensure that it is able to continue to contribute to the cultural enrichment of Canadians.

Royal Bank Cup Hockey TournamentStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Camrose Kodiaks, under the direction of Coach Boris Rybalka, are now at the top of the Royal Bank Cup Hockey Tournament with two wins and no losses.

The people in my riding back home have high hopes for our Camrose Kodiaks. We are proud that our Camrose Kodiaks have a winning tradition that dates back to the 2001 national championship. They were silver medallists in the national championship in 2003 and again in 2005. The Camrose Kodiaks were the AJHL champions in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2008. The Kodiaks have been the Doyle Cup champions five times since 2001.

The Kodiaks have been providing the most exciting hockey in my riding for many years. We are proud of our players who have gone on to the NHL. Eight current Kodiak players have already signed hockey scholarships. These young Canadians are making a contribution to our community and setting standards to which all young Canadians can aspire.

Please join me as we cheer, “Go, Kodiaks, go”.

Quebec City's 400th Anniversary CelebrationsStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's decision to send the Governor General to kick off Quebec City's 400th anniversary celebrations is an insult to the Quebec nation. Not only does the Governor General of Canada represent a vestige of British colonialism, but she also lacks the legitimacy to represent Quebeckers at this event.

This insulting decision is a perfect example of the federal government's desire to usurp the 400th anniversary celebrations for the purposes of Canadian nation building. In fact, the federal website for the 400th anniversary has a distorted view of historic events, for example, claiming that the founding of Quebec City was the start of the history of Canada, instead of the history of the Quebec nation.

This is yet more proof that the recognition of the Quebec nation by this House was simply a ploy, and that there is no desire here to follow through.

Emergency PreparednessStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all the first responders and volunteers who have worked so hard to deal with the flooding in New Brunswick, and for the Prime Minister's welcome visit and show of support to our province during this time.

This is Emergency Preparedness Week. Under the theme “72 hours -- Is your family prepared?” the Government of Canada is encouraging Canadians to prepare for emergencies. To launch this week, the Minister of Public Safety, yesterday, announced that $5 million would be going to the provinces and territories to support emergency preparedness through the joint emergency preparedness program. This program is used to enhance and strengthen local emergency preparedness, and to work with our local partners to help keep Canadians safe.

All levels of government are working together to improve our nation's readiness. This week demonstrates that emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility. I encourage all Canadians to take time during emergency preparedness week to make a plan and prepare an emergency kit. Emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere. Being prepared can make a world of difference.

Real Estate IndustryStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Liberal Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, new regulations affecting the real estate industry take effect this June 23 with regard to anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing.

Realtors have consistently supported the federal government's efforts to monitor, document and report known suspicious and illegal activity, and have been meeting regularly with officials to develop clear implementation protocols for the new requirements.

However, it would seem that neither the government, the industry, nor the public is prepared for the June implementation deadline. There are still huge loopholes in the legislation, and interpretations and guidelines remain incomplete.

The new rules would force salespeople into a law enforcement role. The industry needs time to prepare in order to partner with government in combating criminal activity. Realtors are further asking the government to initiate a campaign to educate the general public.

Will the government act or will it again demonstrate its incompetence?

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Liberals have missed a perfect opportunity to keep quiet. Recently, the former executive director of the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party of Canada was arrested and charged with fraud. The old sponsorship scandal ghosts continue to haunt them and remind us of that party's dubious ethical practices.

However, the Liberals keep spewing invective and pretending that they are indignant at the Conservative government's actions. They are trying to teach us all a lesson, but they seem to have forgotten that they wasted Canadian taxpayers' money on bogus contracts and partisan advertising. What happened to the $40 million that came from Canadian taxpayers' wallets?

The official opposition is having a hard time hiding its inaction and its many scandals. The Liberals are just sitting on their hands, while we are taking vigorous, transparent action on behalf of all of the people of Canada.

Forestry IndustryStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, another day and another thousand jobs gone from the forestry industry on Vancouver Island.

It is obvious that the forestry industry is in crisis and the federal government's response is silence. Employment insurance benefits are being exhausted and this government's response, again, is silence.

No more silence. It is time for action. Action that will ensure workers and families get the support they need, action for communities that are being devastated, and action for an industry that has been the lifeblood of Vancouver Island for decades.

This is not about partisanship. It is about people's lives. It is about communities and an industry in crisis. When will this government act?

Marine AtlanticStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Liberal Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to announce to this House, and to every Canadian veteran as well as every member of the Canadian armed forces, that Marine Atlantic will be offering free, unlimited travel to and from Newfoundland for an extended period of time during the summer of 2009.

For several weeks, I have been working to have Marine Atlantic, a federally-owned crown transportation company, offer our veterans and soldiers the same benefits being offered to them by VIA Rail this summer.

VIA Rail is providing free, unlimited travel to every veteran and all military personnel for the entire month of July, plus 50% off the ticket price for up to five of their immediate family members. Bravo, VIA Rail. Regrettably, VIA Rail does not extend into Newfoundland, but Marine Atlantic does.

As a result of my efforts, the acting president and CEO confirmed to me Marine Atlantic's intention to act on my request and to offer a similar gesture of thanks to our soldiers and veterans in 2009, when proper planning and promotion can occur.

I made this announcement yesterday in the province and now announce it to all Canadians through this House.

Omar KhadrStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, some students from my riding, Joliette, and a number of human rights advocates met on Parliament Hill today to call on the government to bring Omar Khadr back to Canada. These young people from my riding came to see me and gave me some one thousand post cards, all calling for this child solder, who has been wrongfully accused of war crimes, to be brought back to Canada.

These young people feel that Omar Khadr's rights have never been recognized, that he has been subjected to numerous interrogations without the benefit of legal counsel and that there has been no investigation into the allegations of the torture and mistreatment he has endured.

Despite the many requests made by Amnesty International, those of many advocates for Omar Khadr's repatriation and those of the Bloc Québécois, this government refuses to listen. That is why students from the Polyvalente Thérèse-Martin in Joliette are reaching out and calling for Omar Khadr to be brought back to Canada.

I would like to personally commend the initiative of the students and their teacher, Marcel Lacroix, as they demonstrate a social conscience that this government clearly lacks.

BurmaStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, even before the terrible cyclone, there was a huge humanitarian crisis brewing on the Thai-Burma border. Shortly, 140,000 refugees, including thousands of children, the elderly, and pregnant women, could be facing malnutrition, if not starvation.

The Thai-Burma border consortium, through CIDA and Inter Pares, delivers food rations to those Burmese refugees.

However, since I visited those refugees in January, rice prices have tripled and there is a $6 million shortfall. People will have to be cut from the 2,000 calories a day needed to survive to less than 1,000 calories. Their diet of rice, beans, fishpaste, oil, salt, sugar and flour will have to be reduced to just rice and salt.

Could members imagine going home every day and at every meal eating only rice and salt, and half enough, at that?

Canadians, it would be shameful if we stood by and let this disaster occur. CIDA needs to give an extra $1 million each year to inspire other donor countries and prevent a humanitarian disaster.

For Prime Minister in exile Sein Win, who is in Ottawa today, we ask that the Canadian government please act.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to send the following message to the Liberal leader.

My constituents in Kelowna—Lake Country are not interested in his alleged fiscal plan. We do not need his higher gas tax nor his massive hikes to the GST. We sure do not need the $63 billion in deficit spending that would pile on that national debt.

Fortunately, we have what we need: a government that believes that taxpayer money should be used to provide the programs and services that will benefit Canadians; a government that believes in providing nearly $200 billion in tax relief that will help families meet the challenges of rising prices and stimulate the economy; and, further, a government that cares about the next generation and believes it has a responsibility to pay down Canada's national debt.

That is the kind of prudent fiscal plan Canadians want and need.

As for the Liberal tax and spend plan, sorry but hard-working Canadians just cannot afford it.

Sister Germaine Belles-IslesStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Independent

Louise Thibault Independent Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, May 6, 2008, Sister Germaine Belles-Isles of the Ursuline community in Rimouski celebrates her 107th birthday. The most senior member of the congregation in Quebec, Sister Belles-Isles is known for her vitality and cordiality. She is an active member of her community and often its heart and soul.

Sister Belles-Isles' memories span an entire century, making her invaluable to her community and richly deserving of the tributes and affection she receives.

I pay tribute to her dedication and hope she will continue to brighten her companions' days.

I thank her for devoting her life to helping, guiding and advising the people around her.

I wish her many more years of shared joy and happiness.

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Prime Minister of the most secretive government in our history misled the House once again. He twisted the words of Professor Roberts to justify his decision to kill the CAIRS registry.

What Professor Roberts said yesterday was that he always wanted to “make the entire thing publicly accessible”.

Will the Prime Minister admit that he misled the House and restore the registry?

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the registry, as brought in by the previous government, was to centralize and control access to information calls. In fact, in 1997 there was an article in Canadian Business Technology where Mitchell Sharp virtually admitted that.

On the contrary, what this government has done is it has opened up access to information. Atomic Energy of Canada, the Canada Post Corporation, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Export Development Corporation, the National Arts Centre, VIA Rail, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and about 60 other organizations are all subject to access to information, organizations that the Liberals wanted to keep in the dark.

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it was not only Professor Roberts who criticized the government for killing the registry. Everyone has, including the deputy information commissioner who said, “We told the government it was not a good idea”.

Will the Prime Minister reinstate the CAIRS registry or will he attack the Information Commissioner as he has attacked the Elections Commissioner and anyone else who contradicts him?

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, the Liberals had a purpose for the registry.

The objective was to centralize and control access to information. This government's objective is quite the opposite.Thanks to our efforts, more than 70 federal institutions now fall under the Access to Information Act, including Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., Canada Post Corporation, Export Development Canada and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. It was the Liberal Party that was opposed to access to information.

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, still more secrets and cover-ups. This Prime Minister wants to censor communications between independent entities and the public. It is eliminating the Military Police Complaints Commission. It is handcuffing parliamentary committees and hiding scientific reports. Now it wants to prevent the public from finding out about access to information requests filed with the government.

Why is the Prime Minister acting this way? Is he obsessed with secrecy, afraid of transparency or both?

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is our party that increased access to information contrary to what the Liberal Party of Canada wanted to do.

I must say that this is a perfect example of the difference in philosophy.

When it came to crime, instead of fighting crime, the Liberals created a centralized gun registry, whose costs were running out of control, rather than creating a centralized access to information registry, whose costs also were running out of control.

This government instead just opened up access to information.

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, no government that I can think of has done more to centralize and control information than the present one.

The present government blacks out its own human rights reports. It muzzles scientific experts. It withholds information on detainee transfers in Afghanistan and it tries to control independent officers of Parliament. Now it has shut a database used by Canadians to seek information about their government.

This is a consistent story of suppression and secrecy. Will the Prime Minister reverse--

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. President of the Treasury Board.

Access to InformationOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Provencher Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, I want to tell the House how the Liberal scam worked in respect of CAIRS.

If anyone made a request that was considered sensitive, the request was shipped to the appropriate Liberal minister. At that point, the Liberal minister would manage, control or delay the request. That was the purpose of the system.

The Liberals had a pretty convenient system but it is not one this government will continue with.