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House of Commons Hansard #111 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was colombian.

Topics

Second ReadingCanada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Of course not, Mr. Speaker.

The Bloc Québécois has shown—and the NDP has done a good job too—that there have been too many violations of human and environmental rights in Colombia. The Colombian government is not trustworthy and has been involved in a large number of court cases for failure to respect basic human rights. This issue is very complex.

That is why we cannot support this bill. If Canada signs this agreement with Colombia, we will be forced to hang our head in shame on the world stage because Canada and Quebec supposedly respect human and environmental rights. Or at least some members of this House do. Everyone knows what is going on in Copenhagen. Canada cannot sign this kind of agreement.

Second ReadingCanada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Berthier—Maskinongé for his speech. I understand he was a member of the committee that went to Colombia to study the free trade arrangement between Colombia and Canada.

I would like him to tell me about the frustration he felt when the government ignored every one of the committee’s recommendations. In addition, the government signed the free trade agreement between Canada and Colombia before it had even received the report.

Second ReadingCanada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Shefford for his excellent question.

On the first page of the weekend edition of Le Devoir, they say flat out that the Conservative Party has no respect for the rules and processes of Parliament or the work done by committees. The government signed the agreement, but previous to that, it spent money to send some committee members to Colombia to meet people there and improve their understanding of all the effects the agreement would have.

The government ignored the ensuing recommendations and did not even have the time to read the committee’s report. It just signed the agreement with Colombia. There was a lack of transparency here and a lack of respect for the democratic rules of Canada and Quebeckers.

Second ReadingCanada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to know what my colleague thinks of this Reform government, which is in favour of law and order for everything that moves but is currently negotiating an agreement under Bill C-23 with narco-politicians, even though that is totally contrary to its ideology.

Second ReadingCanada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague asks a very good question.

This really is amazing. As she said, several members of the Uribe government are facing charges related to drug trafficking. They also have ties to the paramilitaries and have been linked to the assassination of some union leaders. They connive with particular mining companies and in the displacement of large civilian populations into ghettos and shantytowns so that the mining companies can take over. It is a disgrace.

What kind of a government is this? It is as if the Conservatives said they wanted to do business with a motorcycle gang or a group involved in illegal activities. That is what the agreement is all about. They are signing a free trade agreement with people who show no respect for democratic rules, human rights and the environment in the pursuit of their economic interests.

This bill only encourages our Canadian companies to do the same in Colombia. We are told the agreement will make Colombians wealthier. But when we went into the field in Colombia, all the members of civil society, all the government members and the companies told us not to sign the agreement because it would not help them at all.

Of course the Bloc Québécois will vote against this agreement.

National Association of Friendship CentresStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, today is a historic day for the National Association of Friendship Centres here in Canada. As MPs we all have aboriginal and non-aboriginal constituents who benefit from the services provided by aboriginal friendship centres.

My constituency is served by three centres. There is the Sagitawa Friendship Society, the High Level Native Friendship Centre Society, and the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre.

Being acutely aware of the good work done by friendship centres, I am proud to be co-chair, along with the hon. member for Nanaimo—Cowichan, of the friendship centres all-party caucus to be announced later today.

Friendship centres are Canada's most significant aboriginal service delivery infrastructure. Every region in Canada from sea to sea is served by at least one friendship centre. Championing this good cause will provide all MPs an opportunity to work together for a common cause. I truly hope that colleagues of all parties will join in our efforts.

Birthday CongratulationsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a remarkable woman from Rushoon, a small rural community in Newfoundland and Labrador. On November 5, Mrs. Margaret Moores turned 104.

Mrs. Moores was born, raised and has lived most of her life in Rushoon. She and her husband, Arch, were married for 64 years and raised four children. For the last 18 years she has been living with her daughter, Marie, and her son-in-law, Patrick Cheeseman. She has 12 grandchildren, four of whom are members of the Royal Canadian Forces, and 14 great-grandchildren.

I visited with her recently and was amazed by her recollection of events that have occurred in her 104 years. This is a lady who saw the first car when it arrived in St. John's, Newfoundland. She witnessed the formal unveiling of the National War Memorial in St. John's on July 1, 1924, and she can recall many details of life in Newfoundland, pre-Confederation.

Mrs. Moores is not remarkable just because of her age. She is incredibly active, has a keen mind and memory, and at 104, does not take any medication.

I ask all members of the House to join me in recognizing Mrs. Moores and her 104 years.

Aboriginal Friendship CentresStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, representatives of aboriginal friendship centres are on the Hill today to make the government and elected officials aware of the need to increase the budgets allocated to their activities although the Minister of Canadian Heritage refused to meet with them.

Aboriginal friendship centres are vital to aboriginal Canadians who live in urban areas. The centres provide services that correspond to their specific cultural context and help them find the support they need outside of their communities.

The services offered vary between centres and include early childhood and youth assistance, education, employment, training, social services and health services, just to name a few.

On behalf of the members of the Bloc Québécois, I would like to commend the unique contribution made by aboriginal friendship centres in urban settings throughout Quebec and Canada.

Osteoporosis MonthStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, November is Osteoporosis Month. Osteoporosis can be debilitating, painful and dangerous, especially because many people are unaware they have it until a painful fracture occurs. Osteoporosis Canada has launched an awareness campaign, as over two million Canadians suffer from this disease, including one in four women and one in eight men over the age of 50.

The health care cost of treating osteoporosis and fractures in Canada is estimated to be around $2 billion annually, and it is on the rise along with the aging Canadian population.

Until fairly recently, most people considered osteoporosis and broken bones to be a normal part of aging. This is simply not the case. Julie Foley, the president and CEO of Osteoporosis Canada, states: “Osteoporosis can have significant impact on an individual’s quality of life. Recognizing osteoporosis risk factors and being proactive about them is an important step to a healthier, fracture-free future”.

I would like to remind all Canadians that it is never too late to take steps to slow or stop the onset of osteoporosis.

Fraser River SockeyeStatements By Members

November 17th, 2009 / 2 p.m.

Conservative

John Cummins Conservative Delta—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to compliment the Prime Minister for his announcement of a judicial inquiry into the management of the Fraser River sockeye.

If the government of the day had initiated a judicial inquiry into the management of Atlantic cod when the department's inability to respond to the first signs of the impending disaster became apparent, then perhaps, just perhaps, the collapse of the Atlantic cod might have been prevented.

Fraser River sockeye will not be allowed to go the way of the Atlantic cod because the Prime Minister takes seriously his duty to protect the fishery and all who depend on it. He has called for a judicial inquiry to investigate all aspects of the fishery. The inquiry will have the ability to subpoena witnesses, take testimony under oath and, most important, will have access to all fisheries department records and personnel.

The courage the Prime Minister has shown in calling this inquiry will ensure that sockeye salmon will be there in abundant numbers for future generations.

Canadian Navy MembersStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I wish to thank the Canadian sailors who recently welcomed me and shared their lives and their work with me.

The Canadian Forces Parliamentary Program gave me the opportunity to learn about the activities of the Maritime Forces Pacific during a four-day voyage on the frigate HMCS Regina. I have participated in the program before and each time it has proven to be a useful and rewarding experience. Discovering the day-to-day life of Canadians in the armed forces, whether in the navy or other corps, has enabled me to better understand the living conditions in which they train and to appreciate their professionalism and deep commitment to Canada.

I thank the sailors and in particular the commander of HMCS Regina, Derek Moss, and his crew. They have my full support for the extraordinary work they do in protecting our country and conducting peace missions throughout the world.

Charity Hockey GamesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative team works hard in the House for all Canadians, and we also work hard on the ice to help raise money for our local communities.

Last night I was able to lace up my skates with some of my Conservative colleagues, former NHL players and community leaders to help raise money for the United Way of Leeds—Grenville.

Our Conservative MPs have been part of numerous charity hockey games, spanning the ridings of Edmonton—Leduc and Wild Rose, Alberta to Barrie and Peterborough in Ontario. These games have raised money for local United Ways, the Royal Victoria Hospital, boys and girls clubs and victim assistance funds.

These games have been part of my colleagues' efforts to raise more than half a million dollars for various charities.

This is not going to stop. On this side of the House, we have found another great way to show real leadership and assistance for the very communities we represent.

We lace them up, and in Conservative ridings we are getting it done for local charities.

Grenville CanalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Bloc Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, because of a wording technicality, a petition signed by over 2,700 people, prepared by the committee to save the Grenville Canal, could not be tabled in the House. Allow me to read a few lines:

Whereas the Grenville Canal is a significant historic heritage site for Quebec and Canada;

Whereas the retaining walls and shoreline of the Grenville Canal are currently in a serious state of deterioration that has led to the closure of the canal;

Whereas the federal government, which had assumed ownership and management of the canal for 161 years, is responsible for the country's historic sites and waterways.

For all these reasons, the members of the committee, who are here on the Hill today led by the Mayor of Grenville, Mr. Ronald Tittlit, on behalf of the petitioners, are calling on the federal government to assume the costs of restoring and repairing the shoreline and retaining walls of the Grenville Canal.

Canada-Jordan Free TradeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, our government introduced new legislation to implement the Canada-Jordan Free Trade Agreement.

When this agreement goes into effect, tariffs on 99% of Canadian exports to Jordan will be eliminated and exporters of forest, agriculture and agri-food products will have immediate access to Jordan's markets.

Our Conservative government is working hard to open new markets for our companies. For example, we have entered into free trade agreements with Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Colombia, Peru, Jordan and Panama.

This agreement with Jordan is another example of our government's efforts to provide new trade opportunities for our businesses.

National Association of Friendship CentresStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the National Association of Friendship Centres' president, Vera Pawis Tabobondung, and the negotiating committee chair, Sylvia Maracle, who are in Ottawa today.

I would also like to congratulate the National Association of Friendship Centres on the launch of the federal friendship centre caucus tonight, a group comprised of representatives from all political parties in support of the friendship centre movement.

The National Association of Friendships Centres has been assisting and supporting first nation, Inuit and Métis nation community members for more than 50 years. More and more aboriginal people find themselves living in cities and towns across Canada. For many aboriginal Canadians, friendship centres are the first and only place to turn upon leaving their communities and homes.

Friendship centres continue to dedicate themselves tirelessly to providing necessary services to aboriginal families and children during their difficult transition from rural or remote life to an urban environment.

The Liberal Party recognizes the crucial role that friendship centres play in improving the lives and meeting the needs of aboriginal peoples in urban centres across the country—

National Association of Friendship CentresStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Winnipeg South.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rod Bruinooge Conservative Winnipeg South, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise first to personally welcome delegates from the National Association of Friendship Centres to Parliament Hill. Our government appreciates the hard work and services these centres provide and we remain committed to increasing opportunities for aboriginals across this country.

Second, I am honoured to welcome 14 National Aboriginal Achievement Award recipients. Each year, the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation recognizes the outstanding career accomplishments of aboriginal peoples within Canada. In reviewing the contributions of these award winners, I believe that the goal of providing role models for aboriginal youth is being achieved. The categories for which they are being recognized include health, public service, sports, and lifetime achievement, which was given to Elder William Commanda, who turned 96 on November 11.

As chair of the government's aboriginal caucus, I welcome all of them to Parliament Hill.

National Association of Friendship CentresStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Tony Martin NDP Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, the National Association of Friendship Centres today profiles the good work that friendship centres do from coast to coast to coast and the need for an increase in their budgets.

Friendship centres are Canada's largest aboriginal service delivery infrastructure. They deliver effective, accountable programs and services to first nations, Métis and Inuit people, regardless of status or location. When it comes to urban aboriginal peoples, no other organization, program or policy has as much impact as friendship centres.

The Indian Friendship Centre in Sault Ste. Marie has grown by 50% in the last three years. It offers valuable programs for employment, healing, prevention, youth, families, nutrition, court and much more. The Sault centre needs funding to match its growth. There has been no increase in core funding since 1996. There has been nothing for inflation, population growth or changing demands.

I join with my colleagues on both sides of the House in calling on the government to include additional funding for friendship centres in next year's budget.

International TradeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Holder Conservative London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, today our government introduced legislation to implement the Canada-Jordan free trade agreement. Agricultural exports to Jordan currently face tariffs ranging as high as 180%. When this agreement enters into force, 99% of tariffs on Canadian exports to Jordan will be immediately eliminated.

Not only will Canadian exporters significantly benefit from this agreement, but Canadian consumers will have access to cheaper products at the checkout. This FTA will help create jobs and stimulate Canada's economy. Canadian exporters will benefit from duty-free access to Jordan in forestry, manufacturing and agriculture and agri-food products such as pulses, frozen products and beef.

Canadian farmers know that this Conservative government is working hard to open new international markets to increase their sales. Our free trade agreements with the European Free Trade Association, Colombia, Peru, Jordan and Panama are all proof. I am proud to say that this free trade agreement is another example of what our government is doing to open new doors for Canadian businesses.

Election of a New Member in the Riding of HochelagaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to mention the resounding victory of my new colleague, Daniel Paillé, in the riding of Hochelaga, on Monday, November 9, 2009.

He won 51.2% of the vote, an absolute majority, and the voters of Hochelaga unequivocally chose the only candidate who is able to stand up for Quebec in Ottawa, the only candidate who can defend the interests of his nation, Daniel Paillé. The best the Conservatives could do was 4th place, with a paltry 10.1%.

I would also like to acknowledge the excellent showing of Nancy Gagnon in Montmagny—L'Islet —Kamouraska —Rivière-du-Loup. She put up a good fight throughout the campaign.

Lastly, I would like to thank all of the campaigners who helped out with these two political battles.

My colleagues and I would like to welcome Daniel Paillé to the Bloc Québécois caucus.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, after a long court process, the Supreme Court of Canada indicated that it would not hear the Sharon McIvor case regarding Bill C-31. It is now up to the federal government to reverse the historical injustices that first nations women have faced under the Indian Act.

In 1985, the government attempted to eliminate sex discrimination under the act with Bill C-31. While it solved some issues, there were unintended discriminatory consequences. This time the government must do it right. As Ms. McIvor has stated, “It is unacceptable that sex discrimination in the registration provisions of the Indian Act continue”. Ms. McIvor further stated that the government's “proposed amendment will not extend registration entitlement to everyone who would be entitled if status were determined by the federal government on a totally non-discriminatory basis”.

This must be fixed. it is essential that we as Canadians get this right. It must be done in full consultation with first nations people and most certainly first nations women.

Government PoliciesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

Mr. Speaker, our government remains focused on the economy and on helping Canadians. We continue to implement Canada's economic action plan to help combat the effects of the global recession.

We are working with provinces, territories and municipalities to invest in infrastructure projects that are creating jobs and making communities, big and small, across Canada better places to live, work and raise a family.

We have reduced taxes on families and businesses, and implemented measures such as the home renovation tax credit and the first-time homebuyers' tax credit. We are helping the unemployed by extending EI benefits, making it easier to qualify and expanding EI skills training programs.

However, we know that global economic recovery remains fragile. By calling for tax hikes and by voting against help for the unemployed, it seems clear that the Liberal leader is not in it for Canadians.

Our government will always put Canada first.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for the past four years, this government has been promising Canadians a plan to reduce greenhouse gases. Every time, it pushes back the deadlines.

Today the Minister of the Environment has once again said he will not announce any action plan until the end of 2010. The conference in Copenhagen is three weeks away. How can we protect the environment if the government refuses to take a position?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this government is working constructively with our partners around the world to ensure that we tackle global warming and the challenge of climate change.

What we will not do is make promises that we cannot keep. The Minister of the Environment has worked very hard with the Obama administration in Washington to ensure that we can deliver on meaningful reductions around the world. The Minister of the Environment and this government will continue to play a constructive role in every corner of the world to ensure that we tackle this major problem.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government has been giving that reply for nearly four years. Three plans, three ministers, no action.

The government keeps promising Canadians this plan, but the environment minister reported from Copenhagen today that the government is going to put off all publication of regulations until the end of 2010. The conference in Copenhagen is three weeks away.

How are Canadians supposed to believe that the government is going to defend their interests when the government has no plan whatever?