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House of Commons Hansard #128 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was documents.

Topics

Opposition Motion—Documents regarding Afghan detaineesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence.

Opposition Motion—Documents regarding Afghan detaineesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Madam Speaker, I never mentioned section 38. What I mentioned was responsibility for doing the right thing for Canadian men and women, the people who count on us to do the right thing for them.

What I was talking about was the responsibility not to divulge information in the House or insist on information being brought to the House which, frankly, would be put at risk by being exposed to as many people and avenues for leakage as it would in the House. We have already seen leakage from committees. We have seen twittering.

It is not in Canada's best interest to have unfettered access to all information in the House. That is simply irresponsible. It is dangerous to the Canadian men and women. It is dangerous to our allies. It is dangerous to Canada's reputation as a strong partner in the world today.

Opposition Motion—Documents regarding Afghan detaineesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, one thing that is important is that Parliament gets all the facts.

Earlier the parliamentary secretary, in questions and answers, asked if we were concerned about one of the prisoners being hit by a shoe. We know the evidence brought forward by the Chief of Defence Staff yesterday. One of our soldiers was able to save one of the prisoners from going to torture.

Does the parliamentary secretary believe in the evidence that was provided by one of our soldiers about torture, or does he think the detainee was just being hit by a shoe as if it was some commonplace thing? Does he believe our soldiers or does he believe his own rhetoric?

Opposition Motion—Documents regarding Afghan detaineesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, of course we believe the Chief of the Defence Staff. He speaks with credibility and integrity. When he gave information to the defence committee on Tuesday, it turned out he made an error in that statement. He corrected that yesterday.

The simple facts are the one case he talked about was the fact that an Afghan detainee was hit by a shoe by the Afghan National Police. The Canadian Forces did the right thing. They rescued him, cleaned up and turned him over to more reliable people to look after him.

Of course we believe the military. The Chief of the Defence Staff, when he corrects information, we believe him. He is operating with the best information possible, just as we are, just as we have always done. Every time we have had proper information, we have acted, have made things better and we will continue to do that.

Opposition Motion—Documents regarding Afghan detaineesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. Pursuant to order made Monday, December 7, the House will now resolve itself in committee of the whole to welcome torchbearers carrying the Olympic flame.

I do now leave the chair for the House to resolve itself into committee of the whole.

(House in committee of the whole to welcome Olympic flame torchbearers, Mr. Peter Milliken in the chair)

Olympic Flame TorchbearersGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. I would like to draw to the attention of all hon. members the presence in the gallery of some of our Canadian Olympic and Paralympic champions: Alexandra Orlando, Angus Mortimer, James Cartwright, Sarah Boudens, Jason Dunkerley, Chelsea Larivière, Karen Cockburn, Curt Harnett, Don Jackson, Sue Holloway, and Alex Baumann.

Olympic Flame TorchbearersGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Olympic Flame TorchbearersGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please.

I also have the pleasure to announce that, for the first time in the history of Canada and of the Olympic Games, in just a few moments, Parliament will welcome the Olympic flame.

The flame was lit on October 22 at the ruins of Olympia in Greece, the ancestral home of the Games. At the original Olympic Stadium in Athens, the flame was handed over to Canadian Olympic organizers.

Since touching Canadian ground in Victoria, British Columbia, on October 30, the Olympic flame has visited many communities across our country. By the end of the relay, it will have covered 45,000 kilometres and touched every Canadian coast and most communities.

Today, we are proud to welcome the Olympic flame and torch here in the House of Commons.

Carrying the Vancouver 2010 Olympic torch is 1948 St. Moritz Olympic gold medal figure skating champion Ms. Barbara Ann Scott.

Accompanying Ms. Scott is the attendant to the flame, Mr. Martie Wyse, from Snuneymuxw First Nation in Nanaimo, British Columbia, and Mr. John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

I now invite them to enter the House.

[And the Olympic torchbearer having entered the chamber:]

Olympic Flame TorchbearersGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Olympic Flame TorchbearersGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

From here, the flame will continue its journey across the country, and on February 12, it will arrive at BC Place Stadium.

On behalf of all members, I offer the Vancouver Organizing Committee our sincere congratulations in these final weeks before the arrival of the world's finest athletes in British Columbia, and our best wishes to our Canadian athletes for success at the 21st Winter Olympic Games, Canada's games.

Thank you very much for being here.

Pursuant to order made on Monday, December 7, the House will now proceed to statements by members.

FirefightersStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Conservative Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to pay tribute to Charles and William Delanoe.

Fifty years ago on December 16, brothers Charles and William Delanoe of Miramichi, New Brunswick, two volunteer firemen, were killed and two others were badly injured when an explosion from within a blazing two-storey concrete building sent most of the front wall hurtling down on them. Both brothers had been active volunteer firefighters for 15 years.

I wish to take this opportunity to remember the fallen firefighters and pay tribute to all the firefighters who put their lives on the line.

Every Christmas, firefighters across this country encourage people to think about fire safety in their homes. May we all have a safe and merry Christmas.

InfrastructureStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, much has been made about the need for a greater degree of physical activity among our youth. If we are to fend off higher instances of heart disease and diabetes, doctors know that our children must set aside video games and fatty foods in favour of a healthier, more active lifestyle.

In the city of Toronto, ice time availability has become an issue of growing concern. As the popularity of girl's hockey increases, coupled with the already large numbers enrolled in boy's and recreational hockey, teams are finding it increasingly difficult to get on the ice.

Despite the rhetoric espoused by the government, it has not been there for the young hockey players in my city. It has been a generation since a new arena has been built in Toronto and the population growth has outstripped ice time availability.

People are wondering why the Prime Minister saw fit to spend millions on partisan advertising but failed to expand Toronto's arenas. By continuing to put its own needs ahead of others, the government is skating on very thin ice.

Olympic Flame in OttawaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pascal-Pierre Paillé Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Olympic flame, the symbol of the Olympic ideal, is on Parliament Hill today. The torch relay, an Olympic Games tradition, represents peace, fraternity and light.

The Bloc Québécois would like to take this opportunity to reiterate its support for the many athletes who, through their perseverance, strength and determination, will be taking part in the 21st Winter Olympic Games.

We would also like to express our support for the letter some of them have written to the Prime Minister to urge him to adopt an ambitious and “aggressive” plan to fight climate change. Global warming is a threat to winter sports.

Best of luck to all the athletes at the Vancouver Olympic Games.

Community TheatreStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes NDP Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House to pay tribute to Sharon Sproule who is a founding member of the Espanola Little Theatre which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.

Sharon is a celebrated actress, having won regional, provincial and international awards for her stage work. She has been a long-serving executive member of the Espanola Little Theatre, Quonta, and was elected to the theatre Ontario board.

With all her accomplishments, it is little wonder she has been named to the wall of fame in Espanola, was a recipient of the Governor General's 125th anniversary commemorative medal, received the theatre Ontario Michael Spence award, was the 1997 Espanola citizen of the year, and was named one of Canada's 100 remarkable women by Chatelaine magazine in 2004.

It is clear that Espanola and northern Ontario are richer for Sharon's contributions and that she deserves the many accolades that have come her way.

World Masters GamesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Conservative Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand here to recognize the outstanding achievement of my constituent, Gurpreet Mann of Calgary Northeast.

In October 2009, a new Canadian, Mr. Mann represented Canada in shot put at the world masters games in Australia as one of 260 team Canada members. Inspired by his family and friends, Mr. Mann earned a silver medal for Canada after competing with over 20 athletes.

On behalf of my family, my constituents, and the whole South Asian community, I congratulate Mr. Mann on his remarkable achievement. I also thank team Canada for being a hard-working and humble inspiration to all Canadians as we prepare for the exciting 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

I now invite all members of this House to join me in applauding Gurpreet Mann and team Canada for their hard work and excellent sportsmanship in representing Canada on the international stage.

Halifax Herald LimitedStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Halifax Herald has kept Nova Scotians well informed for generations. This family-owned newspaper has been a champion for our business community and a voice of the people.

Recently, Sarah Dennis became president and CEO of Halifax Herald Limited and I cannot think of a better person to fill this position.

Sarah's dedication to the paper and to maintaining an independent voice are to be applauded. I wish her and the Herald every success, and I invite colleagues to join me.

ChristmasStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are getting ready for the Christmas festivities. It is time for generosity, giving, and helping the less fortunate.

However, the spirit of the season is often bruised by unnecessary political correctness: attempts are made to ban nativity scenes; holiday trees replace Christmas trees; the 12 days of giving replace the 12 days of Christmas; and reference to God, Christ and the Lord are cast aside, leaving us with just a meaningless, consumer-oriented holiday.

I am a Sikh and I am not offended when Christians celebrate Christmas. Rather, I wish my Christian friends a Merry Christmas and they wish me a Happy Gurpurb or a Happy Vaisakhi.

Cultural tolerance or ethnic equality should never mean diluting someone's faith. It is time we move from tolerance to acceptance. We should accept and respect each others beliefs.

Let us not deprive Christians of Christianity. Let us all celebrate it.

So, merry Christmas to everyone.

International Human Rights DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the chief of defence staff admitted that there has been at least one case of torture involving an Afghan detainee, which is a violation of the Geneva convention concerning the treatment of detainees, yet the government still denies responsibility.

The Conservative government is withholding funding from organizations like KAIROS, which promote human rights in the field. For ideological reasons, the Prime Minister plans to duplicate the work of organizations promoting democracy and good governance. We are hearing about more and more cases involving Canadian citizens, such as child soldier Omar Khadr and Nathalie Morin, whose rights have been trampled on by their own government. These are all reasons why, on this International Human Rights Day, we, the members of the Bloc Québécois, wish to reiterate our determination to put pressure on the government to restore its own credibility here at home and around the world by keeping its promises.

Economic Action PlanStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government's implementation of our remarkable economic action plan proves to what extent we continue to take initiative and listen to the concerns of the people of Quebec.

Again yesterday, we saw the Bloc members express their indignation. Yet the Bloc leader and Bloc members stayed seated in this House throughout the fall, instead of standing up for Quebeckers, which is what the Conservative members have been doing.

All Canadians are calling for action. That is why we are working for the communities, businesses and workers affected by the global economic downturn. The effects are positive and encouraging. Canada's economy is stabilizing and has started to recover. We will forge ahead. Our economic action plan is helping many sectors, and ensuring that Quebec and Canada emerge from the current crisis stronger than ever.

Olympic Winter GamesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, members of Parliament from across Canada were proud to witness the historic occasion of the first ever Olympic flame in the House of Commons. The Olympic flame has a sacred history and symbolizes principles of peace, friendship and respect.

In less than 65 days, visitors from around the world will flock to Vancouver for the experience of a lifetime. After years of hard work by athletes and so many others, Canadians will unite to celebrate sport and excellence at the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The journey to the Olympics started 12 years ago, when the Chrétien Liberal government worked with successive B.C. governments to design a successful 2010 bid and games.

Congratulations to all who have worked so hard in preparation for this historic event.

I particularly salute the courage and dedication of the disabled young people who have worked their way to becoming world-class elite athletes and Paralympians because they, in the words of Winston Churchill, “never, never, never gave up”.

I encourage every Canadian to attend or to tune in to Olympic and Paralympic events and cheer our athletes on.

Go for the gold, Canada.

Automotive IndustryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was this Conservative government that took action to preserve Canada's share of the North American auto industry.

We provided $700 million to the accounts receivable insurance program for auto parts suppliers; $250 million to the automotive innovation fund for research and development; and $12 billion to the Canadian secured credit facility to improve credit access for consumers to purchase and lease new vehicles

Because of these actions, we see a bright future for the auto industry. Statistics Canada tells us that 52,000 jobs have been saved as a direct result of our efforts.

Add another 800 jobs to that total. Today, Toyota announced that it will hire 800 workers at its automotive assembly plant in Woodstock. It is a major shot in the arm for Woodstock and a boost to my riding of Oxford.

I invite the House to join me in applauding the efforts of our government and the Minister of Industry in supporting Canada's auto industry.

Ed LevertStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute today to Ed Levert, a great man who passed away on December 6. Mr. Levert came to Bathurst from Sudbury in 1966 to organize the union at the Nigadoo mine. He had a lifelong passion for the union movement and served as an organizer and staff representative for the steelworkers until he retired.

He also helped establish New Brunswick's current workplace safety and workers' compensation standards and, after his retirement, became a defender of injured workers. Until quite recently, Mr. Levert was president of the New Brunswick Seniors' Council and an activist for seniors' rights. I had the chance to get to know Mr. Levert when I worked at the mine. He always worked to help those who were in need. He was very much admired, and the people of Acadie—Bathurst will remember his many achievements for a long time to come.

On behalf of the NDP, I would like to express my sincere sympathies to his wife, Jackie, and his children.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, last night, the Liberal leader's unelected senators gave drug dealers an early Christmas present. Canadians were shocked to learn that Liberal senators had gutted a bill that imposes tougher sentences on criminals who operate marijuana grow ops and who sell drugs to our children.

In doing so, these Liberals defied the will of this democratically elected House. What is just as shocking is that the NDP MPs had earlier voted to oppose any tougher sentences on the most dangerous and violent drug dealers in the country. Canadians have been demanding stiffer prison sentences for those who sell drugs to our children and who use violence while profiting from drug crime, yet the Liberal leader refuses to listen. We have called upon him to control his senators, but he refuses to act.

Yet again the Liberals have shown that they cannot be trusted to protect Canadians. Yet again the Liberal leader has shown that he is not in it for Canadians; he is just in it for himself.

National Capital CommissionStatements By Members

December 10th, 2009 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in committee, the Conservatives and the NDP showed us once again that recognizing the Quebec nation means nothing at all to them.

The Conservatives and the NDP opposed the proposal that the National Capital Commission consult the Government of Quebec on developing a master plan for the federal capital region, leaving everything to unelected officials. They are refusing to recognize the Government of Quebec's prerogative to manage its own territory. They are refusing to recognize that the Quebec nation has the right to choose what is best for itself. Countless times, Quebec has criticized the NCC's intervention in the Outaouais and the impact of its decisions, which far too often are made without any sort of consultation process.

Like the Conservatives, the NDP is showing us that recognizing the Quebec nation is nothing more than empty words.