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House of Commons Hansard #92 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was industry.

Topics

Cluster BombsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 19, 2008, the international community will gather in Dublin in order to adopt a declaration to ban cluster bombs.

Cluster bombs are known for being dangerous and they endanger the lives of civilians across the globe. According to Handicap International, 98% of victims are civilians.

While dozens of countries will attend this international meeting, this government is not even sending the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the conference. Instead, it is sending junior representatives who can only take notes and who will not even be able to offer real financial support.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs has the opportunity to show his support for the security and protection of millions of civilians and set an example for China, Russia and the United States. He must take advantage of this opportunity.

Budget Implementation Act, 2008Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is time to pass Bill C-50, this year's first budget implementation bill. Every day constituents are calling and writing asking when Parliament will approve this important legislation.

Constituents know that included in this bill are measures to implement the landmark tax-free savings account. While some politicians might think the best place for taxpayers' hard-earned money is in government coffers, this Conservative government believes that it is better to stay where it belongs, and that is in the hands of hard-working Canadians.

The tax-free savings account would allow Canadians to place $5,000 into a sheltered account and then watch their money grow tax free without the tax collector ever being able to put his hands on it again. Simply put, this is the best thing that has happened to the tax system since the RRSP.

Canadians want Parliament to act before summer. I am asking all members of Parliament to support the important measures in this bill. Let us make Parliament work and give Canadians the tax-free savings account before summer.

ZimbabweStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, Cathy Buckle is a Canadian in Zimbabwe who is witnessing the atrocities in that country. Her words are very powerful. I would like to read an excerpt from a recent posting:

What a disgraceful insult these 2008 elections have become to the people of Zimbabwe who have suffered so much....

Every day the reports of horror continue to emerge. Youngsters in uniform going door to door in villages at night; men with guns; beatings, house burnings and torture....Listed amongst the people murdered is a five year old boy.... This little boy, too young to read or write and a complete innocent in this month of hell, burnt to death in a house set on fire during the rampage of political vengeance that is tearing our country apart.

As each day has passed since the elections, Zimbabwe has drawn quieter and quieter - silenced by fear. No one knows who to trust, who they can talk to or who might be listening....

The world has learned the lesson of staying silent when human rights are trampled. The people of Zimbabwe need Canada and the world to listen to their voices and to take action now.

Bloc QuébécoisStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, if the success of the Bloc can be measured by the brevity of its mandate in Parliament, as Lucien Bouchard so aptly put it, clearly, after 18 years, those members have really failed. Yet they have cost Canadian taxpayers $300 million. Their ineffectiveness is well known, since nearly half of the 116 members elected for that party have never introduced a single bill. Among such members are the members for Laurier—Sainte-Marie and Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour.

Since the Conservative government won the confidence of Canadians, the Bloc has introduced only 29 private members' bills. Not one of them has received royal assent. This negligence is a stark contrast to the results obtained by this government.

To be present means to be in a position to take real action, solve problems and deliver the goods. To be absent means being a Bloc Québécois member in Ottawa.

International Red Cross and Red Crescent MovementStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. With the dedication of up to 97 million volunteers worldwide, Red Cross and Red Crescent have honoured their mandate to protect human life and health, ensure respect for human beings and prevent human suffering. The movement has provided its services to every corner of the world without discrimination.

The current crisis in Burma reminds us of the importance of this movement. Organizations like the International Red Cross and Red Crescent have already been able to provide aid to those affected by this devastating cyclone.

Yesterday we celebrated World Red Cross Red Crescent Day in the House with words; today we call for action. Canadians from coast to coast to coast want our government to finally meet its international commitment to dedicate the equivalent of .7% of our GDP to aid so that organizations like the Red Cross can contribute to do their important work.

Public TransitStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the annual reports of the Toronto Transit Commission prove that the government's non-refundable tax credit for transit passes is a total failure when it comes to increasing ridership and protecting the environment. The TTC results reveal that ridership trends did not change at all after the transit pass plan was launched; no more riders, no less pollution.

The government's tedious tax credit plan was supposed to pay for two free months of public transit, but as the TTC says, there is “The Better Way”. The government could work with the provinces and use the same money to deliver free public transit for two months every year: no receipts, no accountants, just a free ride for all who can get out of their cars, get a break from gridlock and get a breath of fresh air.

Frontaliers de Coaticook Hockey TeamStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, hockey fever has taken over Quebec. In Coaticook, fans were riveted by the performance of their new Junior AA hockey team.

In their first year, the Frontaliers de Coaticook accomplished a remarkable feat, winning the Estrie-Maruricie Junior AA Hockey League championship. This win gives them the opportunity to represent our region in the Dodge Cup.

In this symbolic tournament for junior hockey in Quebec, the Frontaliers wiped out their competition, but they unfortunately lost in the final game. This was not insignificant, considering that there are 77 of the most competitive teams in Quebec in the Junior AA Hockey League.

I would like to pay tribute to this team, which had an extraordinary season. I would also like to highlight the dedication and commitment of their president, Michel Philibert, who helped bring the wonderful world of Junior AA hockey to Coaticook.

Conservative Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, I came to Ottawa to work on public policy, but unfortunately the Conservative government has mainly served up scandal to chew on.

Last week when the Conservatives were reeling under their election financing scandal, they must have said, “First Mulroney-Schreiber, then the Cadman bribe, then NAFTA-gate, then the finance minister's juicy contracts”. By last Friday they surely felt that at least it could not get worse. They were so wrong. How they must long for those delicious days when all they had to worry about was the Prime Minister's voice on an audio tape describing how agents in his party were authorized to offer a bribe to a dying man; or Brian Mulroney, they must miss those happy times when the ethical scandals were centred on Mr. Mulroney and all they had to do was stonewall an inquiry. It turns out it is a lot more difficult to stonewall an RCMP raid.

As Conservative MPs head home for the weekend, I wish them well. Perhaps next week, policy rather than a banquet of Conservative ethical problems will be on the House menu.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government has permanently implemented the gas tax and the GST rebate to all Canadian municipalities for infrastructure.

Recently, I had the opportunity to present display cheques to 13 municipalities in my riding of Lambton—Kent—Middlesex that represented approximately $28 million they are receiving from the federal government, and next year, the gas tax portion will double.

Under the Liberals, Canadians would experience a much different scenario. In fact, Canadians would again pay much higher taxes in order to pay for over $62 billion in new spending.

The GST would shoot back up to at least 7% and Canadians would pay approximately another 50¢ to 60¢ a litre for gas because of the new carbon tax the Leader of the Opposition recently promised to implement.

High taxes and extravagant spending, that is the kind of Canada that the Liberals want back but it is not what Canadians want and it is sure not the kind of Canada this Conservative government provides.

BurmaStatements By Members

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, I rise on a point of order. I ask at this time, notwithstanding any Standing Orders of the House, to seek the unanimous approval of the House to consider and approve the following motion. I move:

That the House:

(a) denounce the Burmese military regime's deplorable response to the crisis following cyclone Nargis;

(b) condemn the unprecedented seizure of international aid shipments by the military regime;

(c) urge the Burmese regime to allow full and unrestricted access to international aid agencies and non-governmental organizations; and

(d) reaffirms its support for the Burmese people during this tragic period in their history.

BurmaStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is there unanimous consent to put the motion?

BurmaStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

BurmaStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

BurmaStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

BurmaStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

(Motion agreed to)

National SecurityOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the government House leader.

After the exchanges yesterday, a number of security experts, including Professor Wark, the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, have indicated that there are some legitimate questions that need to be answered with respect to the situation facing the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

If the government House leader would simply respond in the affirmative that the government has every intention of ensuring that there is no security problem or security issue with respect to the situation facing the Minister of Foreign Affairs, I am sure that would go a long way to satisfying members of the House that the appropriate steps have been taken.

National SecurityOral 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, this government takes very seriously national security issues. We do not see that asking questions about the private lives of ministers in the fashion that the opposition has fits that bill.

We are surprised that the hon. member for Toronto Centre, after we thought he was too classy to ask these questions, would.

However, we would point out that if that party were at all concerned about national security in a serious way, its members would not have stood in this House on Wednesday asking us to fly back, at taxpayer expense, someone suspected of terrorist links, against the United Nations rules, who happens to be on a no-fly list. That is hardly a party that is concerned about national security.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I really do regret that the minister has missed an opportunity here to take advantage of what was a very practical approach to what I think most people would see as a problem.

However, I would like to ask the minister another question on another subject having to do with the comments that were made yesterday by the Prime Minister on the radio in Toronto.

The Prime Minister is quoted as saying that “anti-Israeli sentiment, really just as a thinly disguised veil for good old-fashioned anti-Semitism”. He then went on to say, “I am disturbed that there are some elements in our political system, there are even some members of Parliament…that were willing to cater to that kind of opinion”.

Perhaps the minister will understand the sensitivity that all of us feel as members of Parliament. Could he perhaps tell us who exactly the anti-Semites are that the Prime Minister is talking about?

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, I know the member for Toronto Centre takes these issues seriously and supports strongly, as does this government, the right of the state of Israel to exist and the right of that state to coexist in peaceful security with its neighbours. We know that we have to stay vigilant in that support of Israel.

I know the member himself has, in his own leadership campaign, experienced the kind of anti-Semitism, of which the Prime Minister spoke, and the damage and corrosive impact that it can have. He knows full well that does continue to exist as a force in our society and it is something that we must fight against at every opportunity.

BurmaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, with great respect for the minister, this is not about me. This is about a statement made by the Prime Minister. I do hope that when he comes back next week he will be able to clarify the situation.

My third question is also for the minister and has to do with Burma.

The United Nations Security Council adopted the responsibility to protect doctrine. Given the resolution that we have just adopted here, does the minister agree with the Liberal Party that the time has come for Canada to contact its allies—France, the United States, the United Kingdom and others—to talk about the need to invoke the doctrine of responsibility that we, as citizens of the world, have to save people's lives—

BurmaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The hon. Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

BurmaOral 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, Canada has been a leader on the world stage in standing up for the rights of the Burmese people and standing up for democracy and freedom in Burma. We are a leader right now in the efforts to ensure there is proper and adequate aid for the people of Burma.

We are very troubled, as is the hon. member, with the situation that we encountered. We worked with our partners through the United Nations. As the hon. member knows full well, the United Nations has a special envoy who has been dealing with a very difficult regime that resists any kind of foreign intervention. That special envoy has been most successful but he himself has experienced considerable difficulties. I know when I met him--

BurmaOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The hon. member for London West.

TerrorismOral Questions

May 9th, 2008 / 11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes Liberal London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister labels people who question his government's judgment. When we asked about the Afghanistan mission, he called us Taliban sympathizers.

The government House leader has accused the opposition of backing two terrorists, implying Mr. Khadr and Mr. Abdelrazik. No one in the House backs terrorism but we do believe in legal rights and due process.

When will the government bring Mr. Khadr and Mr. Abdelrazik to Canada so they can be dealt with here in compliance with Canadian justice and due process?

TerrorismOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Calgary East Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has said that these are complicated issues. These people have been charged and accused of terrorism. The government is taking this issue very seriously. We will give it attention and work in the best interests of Canada.