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House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was passengers.

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 pages of the House of Commons.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Samuel de ChamplainStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, today marks the 395th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain's first visit to Ottawa.

Morris Bishop wrote in his book Champlain: The Life of Fortitude that on this day in 1613, “he admired the superb fall of the Rideau throwing its waters forward, clear of the cliff, to make a curtain (Rideau). The Indians passed behind the waterfall for amusement, barely wetting themselves. Champlain was captivated by this beautiful spot, where one day was to rise the towered capital of all his realm”.

It is Champlain who gave us the name for the Rideau Falls and the river of the same name and, indirectly, for Rideau Street and the city wards of Rideau, Rideau-Vanier and Rideau-Rockcliffe.

Champlain also inspired the naming of Rideau Hall, the Rideau Centre and the former Rideau Township.

Millennium Excellence AwardStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Andy Scott Liberal Fredericton, NB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to pay tribute to six outstanding students from my riding who are recipients of the 2008-09 Millennium Excellence Award.

This program is one of Canada's most prestigious national scholarship initiatives. The Millennium Excellence Award, directed at Canadians preparing to enter college or university for the first time, plays a crucial role in the recognition and encouragement of excellence in the classroom and beyond.

Congratulations to Melinda Jacobs of Varde Gymnasium, Michelle Bendrich from Leo Hayes High School, and Joanne Delaney, Joshua Clark, Boshen Gao and Bushi Zhang from Fredericton High School. These bright young people have made their families, schools and community proud.

Saint-Bruno-de-MontarvilleStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Sunday the mayor of Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Claude Benjamin, invited the public to the annual order of merit ceremony, which recognizes the outstanding contribution of Saint-Bruno citizens to their community.

The following recipients were honoured: Marcelle Gaudette, for her tireless work with the Montarville AFEAS; François Poliquin, for his significant involvement in the Saint-Bruno figure skating club, as well as his dedication to minor hockey; Muriel Martin, for her continuing dedication to the Royal Victoria Hospital Auxiliary, the Club 55 program, the Royal Canadian Legion, St. Michael's Mission and Madeleine House.

The gold medal of merit—the city of Saint-Bruno's highest honour—was awarded to Dr. Maurice Falardeau for his involvement and leadership in numerous organizations in Saint-Bruno, notably the Minta rally, the social justice committee and a coalition of community organizations.

He has made an extremely important contribution, earning the recognition and admiration—

Saint-Bruno-de-MontarvilleStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Hamilton Mountain.

Elder AbuseStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, last November the government released the first report of its National Seniors Council. Importantly, the council chose elder abuse as its first priority.

Elder abuse can come in the form of neglect and physical, sexual, psychological or financial abuse. It can take place at home, in an institutional setting, or in the community. It affects our parents and grandparents, and yet, it often goes unreported. It is for this reason that raising awareness is a crucial component of preventing the abuse and neglect of older adults. In fact, the council recommended that the government “build on the awareness generated by World Elder Abuse Awareness Day”.

I have been raising this issue since before the council was even established. I have asked the government to support the commitment made under the UN's international plan of action by proclaiming June 15 elder abuse awareness day here in Canada. I have made the request in a statement and a motion in this House, in correspondence, and in a meeting with the minister. Yet another year has passed and the government still has not acted.

If the government wants the National Seniors Council to be taken seriously, then it has to take its recommendations seriously. With June 15 just a few days away, the time to act is now.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to celebrate Canada's Environment Week and Clean Air Day.

Every year Environment Week is a call to action to all Canadians to adopt a greener lifestyle.

Our government supports Environment Week and is committed to ensuring Canada's environmental health standards are among the highest on earth. Our investments under eco-action are a testament to that.

In the last 12 months our government has taken real action to protect vast amounts of wilderness land in the north. We have invested almost $100 million to help clean up environmental hot spots in the Great Lakes. We have taken action in Lake Simcoe and Lake Winnipeg to stop the spread of blue-green algae.

Environment Week is also about individuals, communities and organizations working together to preserve and protect our environment by helping to change Canadian attitudes in favour of a greener lifestyle. The protection of our environment is everyone's responsibility.

I welcome everyone to join me in celebrating Canada's Environment Week and Clean Air Day.

Earthquake in ChinaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Susan Kadis Liberal Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the recent earthquake in Sichuan province, thousands of people have perished, been injured and been displaced. Canadians are standing in solidarity with the victims, offering their support to help alleviate the suffering and provide a lifeline of hope.

Last week I was proud to stand with Dr. Ken Ng, chair of the Federation of Chinese Canadians in Markham, as together we launched a campaign to raise funds to help families to rebuild their lives.

I would like to acknowledge the exceptional efforts of our colleague, the member for Richmond, who is on his way to China now on behalf of the Ice Breaking Care Society and Health Partners International Canada with critical medical supplies for local hospitals.

This massive heartbreaking disaster will require our continued long term support in helping to rebuild shattered lives.

We are all connected as part of the human family. I call on the government now to increase Canada's aid to Sichuan province in our long-standing proud tradition of compassion and humanitarian assistance.

Cadman AffairStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, this morning, we discovered that the Liberals used a doctored audio tape as the basis for their accusations against the Prime Minister. Scientific analysis conducted by two leading North American audio experts confirmed that the recording used by the Liberal Party is incomplete and had been changed and tampered with before it was released.

The legal evidence is clear: the recording was altered; specifically, a “fabricated sound bite” was inserted. Why did the Liberals base their accusations on a recording that was falsified?

The RCMP has found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the Prime Minister or the Conservative Party in the Cadman affair, yet the Liberal Party has kept trying to score political points with this issue. The Liberals should be red-faced over this.

We deserve answers to a number of questions. Who doctored the tape? When was it doctored? And why was it doctored?

30-Hour Cycling ChallengeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate 23 students from École polyvalente Nicolas-Gatineau, in my riding. On June 5 and 6, 13 girls and 10 boys will be cycling as part of the 18th edition of the 30-hour cycling challenge for the school's senior students.

This is a huge personal challenge. These young cyclists have worked very hard to get in shape, and they have logged hundreds of kilometres on their bikes to prepare for this activity. I would like to congratulate and thank the organizer, François Allard. This is his last time around the track; he will be retiring from teaching at the end of this school year.

The Bloc Québécois and I want to congratulate all of these young athletes and wish them a great ride.

Leadership Campaign FinancingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, the deadline has now passed. Yesterday was the last day for the Liberal leader to pay off his leadership race loans, which figure in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, or else face being in violation of Canada's election laws.

Canadians want to know the truth. Who are the wealthy and powerful elites who lent him the money? Who is really pulling the Liberal leader's strings? Whose puppet is he? When will he come clean with Canadians and tell us how much he really owes?

By running up such enormous debts and failing to find enough support to pay them off, the Liberal leader is demonstrating that he is a weak leader who cannot be trusted with the nation's finances. How can Canadians trust him to manage their dollars when he cannot even manage his own?

I call on the Liberal leader to immediately table the agreement he is seeking with Elections Canada, along with his debt repayment plan.

My constituents want to know, all Canadians want to know, and they want to know today.

Clean Air DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is Clean Air Day, a celebration of environmentally-friendly activities that promote clean air and good health across Canada.

The three opposition parties worked hard to improve and strengthen the provisions of the Conservative clean air act, but the Conservative Party refused to accept the amendments proposed by the opposition, which, incidentally, holds the majority of seats in this House.

Canadians deserve to be protected from pollution, but the Conservative government continues to ignore the problem.

The Conservative government should accept the measures proposed by the opposition and reintroduce the bill as amended in committee.

Today represents an excellent opportunity to make environmentally-friendly choices and improve air quality. It is high time the government did something.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party has been using a false, edited and doctored audiotape of an interview with the Prime Minister to make false criminal accusations.

According to Tom Owen and Alan Gough, two foremost forensic audio experts, the tape is incomplete, the tape has been doctored, including the insertion of a fabricated soundbite, and the doctoring occurred a number of times.

In his affidavit before the Ontario Superior Court, Mr. Owen said, “This tape has been edited and doctored to misrepresent the event as it actually occurred”.

We have said from the beginning that nothing inappropriate happened here. Dona Cadman has said that the Prime Minister's versions of the event are the truth. We have said as well that Chuck Cadman himself said that no inappropriate offer was made.

The Liberal Party has been caught using a doctored tape to make false criminal accusations against the Prime Minister of this country. It is time for the Liberals to come clean on what they know about the tape.

Member for HalifaxStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, every so often our lives are touched by someone whose political contribution is so profound and unique, and whose political intentions are so pure and selfless, that we cannot adequately express our gratitude.

Nowhere is that more true than when it comes to the member for Halifax.

On behalf of our federal NDP caucus, and especially our federal NDP women's caucus, I want to express our feelings of gratitude, which defy description.

How do we thank someone for more than 30 years in public life? How do we thank someone who was the first woman ever elected leader of a major political party, who served as the only New Democrat and only woman in the Nova Scotia legislature for four long years, who was the second woman to lead the federal New Democratic Party in Canada, who was a mentor and a role model who broke down the barriers for women everywhere, showed us the way and worked for equality in politics and in every aspect of life?

She endured criticism with grace and accepted praise with humility. We know her work is not done and her struggle will carry on, we hope on the world stage.

One thing we know for sure is that she will not just stick to her knitting.

Richard (Steve) LearyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd St. Amand Liberal Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, Captain Richard (Steve) Leary of Brantford was killed yesterday in Afghanistan.

Captain Leary was the son of Richard and Gail Leary, husband of Rachel and brother of Brandi.

He was much loved and admired by all who knew him.

He is described as a very good man, a person who wanted to make a difference and who wanted to make people feel safe.

He surely succeeded. He died making the people of Afghanistan feel much safer and much freer.

Allow me to say in Captain Leary's honour and memory what Winston Churchill said in this chamber in 1944 in describing the courage and the heroism of Canada's soldiers: “you did your duty--you were magnificent”.

Bill C-490Statements By Members

June 4th, 2008 / 2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Raymond Gravel Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, June 4, members of the House are invited to vote on the bill introduced by the Bloc Québécois, Bill C-490, at second reading. The bill calls on the government to correct the terrible injustice to seniors who have been cheated by the guaranteed income supplement or GIS program, and improve the lives of those most vulnerable.

Introduced in December 2007 by my colleague, the hon. member for Alfred-Pellan, this bill has four components: automatic registration; an increase of $110 a month; full retroactivity for seniors entitled to the GIS; and a six-month compassionate measure for seniors who have lost their spouse.

With this bill, we will really find out if the Conservative members are willing to respond to the appeals of the many seniors' associations that have shown their support.

Since this is Seniors Month, I urge all members to vote unanimously in favour of Bill C-490. It is a matter of justice and dignity for all seniors in Quebec.

Conservative Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are watching in disbelief as a desperate PMO is resorting to pitbull tactics to cover up scandals within its own caucus.

The member for Nepean—Carleton seems to be the Conservative point man to sweep under the carpet 125 instances where Conservative Party candidates received loans for their campaigns in the last election.

There are 19 Conservative candidates who still have loans outstanding from the last election.

According to Elections Canada, three Conservatives had donations exceeding the limit of $5,400 per donor.

Talk about hypocrisy: the Conservatives take the cake on hypocrisy.

I suggest that the member for Nepean—Carleton ask why the PMO is hanging him out to dry by asking him to support the violations of his Conservative colleagues.

Leadership Campaign FinancingStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader has now missed the deadline to pay off his leadership debts, which means that they are now illegal donations, unless, that is, Elections Canada has provided a special exemption. This raises questions.

If the Liberal leader is too weak to manage his own finances, how could he possibly manage the country's finances?

Second, if he cannot repay these wealthy elites and powerful insiders, who is pulling the Liberal leader's strings?

Third, how much does he owe these wealthy elites?

Fourth, who are these wealthy elites and what have they asked for in exchange for their money?

Fifth, when will they be paid off?

Today we call on the Liberal leader to table in the House of Commons the special arrangement he is seeking with Elections Canada. If he has nothing to hide, why will he not just table those documents right now?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, our thoughts are with the thousands of workers who are losing their jobs in Oshawa. Their plight speaks to the real economic challenges facing our country, notably our manufacturing sector. The latest numbers show that in the first quarter of 2008 Canada had the worst-performing economy in the G-7.

When will the Prime Minister admit that his finance minister's rosy words are wrong and Canada's economy is in trouble? When will the Prime Minister wake up and smell the coffee?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance is of course correct. If we actually look at all of the numbers, the truth of the matter is that in spite of a couple of one time events, the reality is that the Canadian economy continues to create jobs and the Canadian economy continues to see income growth, notwithstanding that there are certain problems we should address.

Having talked to virtually all of our G-8 leaders last week, I can tell the House that they would love to have an economy like Canada's. It is such a disappointment that all the opposition does is run down our country.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is his Minister of Finance who is bringing this country down.

The Prime Minister allowed his foreign affairs minister to make gaffe after gaffe before he decided to fire him.

Will he learn from his mistakes and dismiss his Minister of Finance immediately before he jeopardizes our automobile and manufacturing industries even further?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the international economic organization said that Canada was going to avoid a recession and that the health of its economy had improved thanks to the actions and tax cuts made by the Minister of Finance.

Rest assured that no one in the world is calling on the government to impose new taxes on the Canadian economy. That is the opposition leader's idea.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

The Prime Minister has no credibility about that because he gave his support to the green shift in British Columbia.

The finance minister told the world not to invest in Ontario, calling the province of Ontario “the last place you will go”. Unfortunately, General Motors took his advice and the workers and their families are paying the price.

Any finance minister who discourages investment and job growth is not fit to be finance minister. Will the Prime Minister give Ontario some good economic news and fire his finance minister?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we know that General Motors is experiencing worldwide problems. At the same time, we know that yesterday the Ford Motor Company, with the Minister of Industry, announced some investments in this country.

The reality is that the fundamentals of the Canadian economy are strong due to the actions of the Minister of Finance, especially his actions in cutting taxes, in cutting taxes early and deep before there was a recession.

The Leader of the Opposition wants to impose new taxes that would put this economy into recession. That is why he is not fit to be Prime Minister of this country.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister declared that Ontario was “the last place” to invest and he does not seem to care that General Motors took him at his word.

It is not just the 2,600 jobs lost at Oshawa. It is the 12,000 jobs at risk as the cuts move through the supply chain throughout central Canada. Ontario workers need a helping hand, not a cold shoulder. When will the minister stop tearing Ontario down and start helping it to come back?