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House of Commons Hansard #8 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was lanka.

Topics

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem, led by the hon. member for Brampton West.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Spirit Catcher AwardStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Conservative Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, one of the most prestigious awards in Barrie is the city council Spirit Catcher Award. The spirit catcher stands high above the city's waterfront and symbolizes the city. This year's recipient was Arch Brown, who is no relation, by the way. Arch already holds an incredible array of honours, including the chamber of commerce's hall of fame, honorary colonel of Canadian Forces Base Borden, a senator of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters, the Queen's golden jubilee medal, and the Order of Canada.

Arch has been a tremendous supporter of the MacLaren art gallery in Barrie and Georgian College. His donation to Georgian College resulted in the building of the Helen and Arch Brown Centre for Visual Arts, and Arch's friendship with former premier Bill Davis also played a big role in the development of Georgian College in the 1970s.

Arch has had a distinguished career with Canadian Tire as its national sales director. He introduced the company's groundbreaking cash bonus program, Canadian Tire money, and set up most of their stores across Canada.

Today I salute Arch as Barrie's 2009 Spirit Catcher Award recipient and I salute the work he has done in building Barrie for the better.

Senior CitizensStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Ujjal Dosanjh Liberal Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to you on behalf of the senior citizens of Vancouver South, southeast Vancouver in particular, and on behalf of the Southeast Vancouver Seniors' Arts and Cultural Society and the president, Lorna Gibbs. There is a dire need for a seniors centre in this area of Vancouver. The census indicates that there are 25,000 seniors living in the southeast quadrant of my riding. That is almost a third of the senior citizens living in Vancouver.

There are nine seniors centres in the city of Vancouver, eight of them west of Main, only one east of Main, and none in this area, so there is a significant need.

I can tell you that Vancouver City Council and the Province of British Columbia are trying to find ways of making this a reality for senior citizens. I would urge the federal government to work with the provincial government and the City of Vancouver to make this a reality for the senior citizens of Vancouver, senior citizens who have actually built this country into what it is today.

Quebec Teachers' WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec Teachers' Week takes place from February 1 to 7. Today I would like to pay tribute to the thousands of dedicated teachers in Quebec who play such a skilful role in the transfer of knowledge.

The teaching profession often comes under criticism. However, we must remember that we owe our education and that of our children to teachers. They gave us a wealth of knowledge, values and skills that have made us successful today.

School officials and parents rely on our teachers to meet the challenges inherent in education. Teaching, like learning, is not always easy, but both are essential. It does not matter what subject or what grade is being taught; teachers deserve an A+.

Their work is appreciated. We recognize their abilities and the quality of the work they do to ensure that as many of our youth as possible succeed. They have taught us, they continue to—

Quebec Teachers' WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for New Westminster—Coquitlam.

World Cancer DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Dawn Black NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to highlight World Cancer Day, a day of action against a disease which, as it has with far too many, has touched me personally. Two of my children have battled cancer, one as an infant and one while in university.

In the 1990s I was proud to be an initiator of a parliamentary study on breast cancer, which resulted in the groundbreaking report “Breast Cancer: Unanswered Questions”. These committee hearings were a turning point. Many of the women who testified are leaders today in the fight against cancer.

We have come a long way. Research funding is up. Every province has a breast screening program. Canada led the way on a vaccine for cervical cancer.

But so much more needs to be done. Cancer patients need a catastrophic drug plan so that they can focus on fighting cancer, not on fighting to make ends meet.

Today I join thousands of Canadians across the country in a call for political action and public engagement in the campaign to control cancer and to beat it.

CancerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, today on World Cancer Day, I rise to speak to an issue of great personal significance.

Every week thousands of Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer. Cancer is not discriminatory in who it affects. In September my family and I experienced the tragedy of losing a loved one to cancer, a tragedy many Canadians have also experienced. That is why I am proud to be part of a government that has risen to the challenge of working towards a solution.

We began a Canadian strategy for cancer control in 2006, and this has led to new research and initiatives such as the Canadian partnership for tomorrow project, which began in 2008. It will explore how genetics, environment, lifestyle and behaviour contribute to the development of cancer.

I believe it is important for the millions of Canadians affected by this disease to know their government is working hard on their behalf to help beat this terrible disease.

Saint-Léonard Economic and Community Development Corporation Awards GalaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, on November 12, I had the pleasure of attending the Saint-Léonard economic and community development corporation's awards gala, where Claude Poirier, president and CEO of Magnus Poirier, was honoured as part of the event's “community builders” theme.

The tribute highlighted his contribution to Saint-Léonard's development and his generous social, community and philanthropic involvement.

In addition to being a member of 14 boards of directors and the honorary president of many an event, he distinguished himself by setting up the Quebec branch of Youth Net, a not-for-profit organization working to prevent suicide among young people.

As the member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, I would like to thank Mr. Poirier and offer him my most sincere congratulations for this well-deserved honour. People like Claude Poirier make it possible for us to achieve great and wonderful things.

Donald Jasper SprouleStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Conservative Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, I stand in the House today to remember a dear friend of our community, Mr. Donald Jasper Sproule, who I am sad to say passed away on December 20, 2008.

Don, who was born and raised in Dufferin County, was an outstanding pharmacist, an involved and dedicated citizen and a tremendous father, husband and grandfather.

In his over 30 years as a pharmacist and as owner of Sproule's Drug Store in Orangeville, Don compassionately provided countless residents of our community with sound advice and guidance, and always did so with a smile.

His dedication to our community carried over to his work with the Orangeville Optimist Club. He was a member for 35 years and was known for his infectious enthusiasm. He also served as an energetic board member and volunteer for Hospice Dufferin for several years. His proudest achievement was his family.

Don will be greatly missed, but will always be fondly remembered for his remarkable community service, his dedication to his family and his incredible spirit.

Quebec SovereigntyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, with the support of the Liberal Party, the Conservative government has opted to abandon Quebec. The results are: crass interference in Quebec's areas of jurisdiction; a unilateral change to equalization, to Quebec's detriment; a reduction of Quebec's political weight in the House of Commons; the creation of a Canada-wide securities commission. That is what the federalists have to offer Quebec.

The government prides itself on practising open federalism and claims to recognize the Quebec nation, but these few examples demonstrate once again that Quebec has everything to lose by staying in Canada.

The Canadian parties continue to impose measures on us that are at odds with measures shown to be successful in Quebec. Quebec has the ability to take charge of the economic, political, cultural and social means at its disposal. It is capable of controlling its own destiny.

Quebec sovereignty cannot come soon enough.

Member for Calgary EastStatements By Members

February 4th, 2009 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise today to acknowledge my colleague and friend, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the hon. member for Calgary East.

Last month the President of India bestowed upon the parliamentary secretary the highest honour given to overseas Indians, the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award.

As an Indo-Canadian, the member for Calgary East has displayed a leadership role in the Indian diaspora in Canada and has been tirelessly active in the promotion of Canada-India relations.

Whether during the years of the Liberal government, when our relations with India were foolishly left to the side, or today, when our improved relations with India are blossoming into expanded and mutually profitable trade, the member for Calgary East has been front and centre, helping build the personal and professional links between the countries.

I congratulate my friend on this very prestigious honour, a testament to the value of his continued efforts.

World Cancer DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, today we stand to support the International Union Against Cancer in recognizing World Cancer Day.

Each year a staggering seven million people die from cancer and close to eleven million new cases are diagnosed worldwide. Last year in our country alone, 166,400 people were diagnosed, and 73,000 people died from this disease.

The theme for this year's World Cancer Day is encourage a balanced lifestyle based on a healthy diet and physical activity. This is especially important for parents, who need to encourage their children to eat well, be active and maintain a healthy body weight, for 30% to 35% of all cancers can be prevented by doing this, and we know that the earlier the start, the greater the benefits.

On this World Cancer Day it is vitally important that we encourage children and adults alike to eat well, exercise and not smoke. In this way we can reduce the incidence of cancer and save lives.

ZimbabweStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, recently an agreement for unity government was struck between the parties of Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe. While this is a positive development, the people of Zimbabwe need real change.

Since the signing of the global political agreement on September 16, 2008, Canada's position has been very clear. Effective change in Zimbabwe requires actual political shift by the country's leadership. This extends to the Government of National Unity as well.

Canada has been and will continue to be insistent upon this point. In September, Canada imposed targeted censures against Zimbabwe's ruling elite and associated entities. These censures will remain in effect until Zimbabwe has demonstrated positive shifts in policy that result in improvements in freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Canada continues to stand in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe.

Gaétan RobergeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, Warrant Officer Gaétan Roberge served his country for 28 years. He was known as a soldier's soldier. Roberge showed this quality in his final days when he returned early from a three day break to help his fellow soldiers. It was on that day, December 27, 2008, that Gaétan was killed when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb just outside of Kandahar City.

Gaétan was a soldier in the 2nd Battalion of the Irish Regiment of Canada based out of Sudbury.

His Lieutenant Colonel John Valtonen had this to say about Roberge, “He was the embodiment of a proud, professional Canadian soldier”.

Roberge was not just an exemplary soldier, he was a loving son, dedicated father, caring husband and a fun loving brother. As his father says, “an all around great man”. Gaétan was known to be quick to help and lend a hand. He was a family man through and through and enjoyed skating with his family and taking his children to hockey games.

His service to our community and country will not be forgotten. May he rest in peace.

Thérèse Lavoie-RouxStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, this week, Quebec and Canada lost a distinguished politician, the former Minister of Health of Quebec and Conservative senator, Thérèse Lavoie-Roux.

Born in Rivière-du-Loup, Ms. Lavoie-Roux obtained a degree in social sciences. Her professional life took her to the Montreal Children's Hospital, the school of social work at the Université de Montréal, the school of rehabilitation at the Université de Montréal and the Institut Marguerite-d'Youville. She chaired the Commission des écoles catholiques de Montréal, now the Commission scolaire de Montréal, until she was elected to the National Assembly in the riding of Acadie in 1976.

Under Ms. Lavoie-Roux's leadership, the Commission des écoles catholiques de Montréal supported institutions in disadvantaged areas. The reforms she introduced as minister of health and social services led to greater employee versatility, legalization of the profession of midwifery and decentralization of the health care system.

I would like to express my sincere sympathies to Ms. Lavoie-Roux's family.

Forestry IndustryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week we witnessed a sorry sight. The member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean professed to one and all that the government's hands were tied by the softwood lumber agreement, preventing it from supporting the forestry industry. The member raised the ire of the industry and also of forestry workers in his riding who cannot believe his lack of commitment.

What citizens need to know is that the government does have the right and the ability to take action, for example, by providing loan guarantees to the forestry industry, a measure proposed by the Bloc Québécois a long time ago.

Faced with the forestry crisis that has deeply affected his riding, Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean,and all of Quebec, the member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean preferred once more to ignore it. He has abandoned the workers and families that he had promised to help, choosing instead to spout his party's ideology.

Black History MonthStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, February is a special month for me. Black History Month allows us to celebrate Canada's accomplishments and recognize the remaining challenges.

I was 16 years old when Hon. Lincoln Alexander became the very first black Canadian elected to the House.

I am grateful, beyond measure, that my own daughter witnessed my election in 1997 as the first ever black Quebec MP and that she, at 16, also witnessed the election of the very first black President of the United States.

We still have a long way to go. Right now I am the only black MP sitting in the House. However, it is the capacity of democracies like Canada's to effect fundamental change based upon the belief in equality that brought me to this chamber and my daughter to a world where she, and not the colour of her skin, will choose her future.

AgricultureStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, since 2003, cattle producers in my riding have been unable to export to Jordan as a result of a ban imposed because of BSE.

Yesterday the Canadian government re-secured full access to the Jordanian market for Canadian beef and cattle exports. As a result of this announcement, the value of Canadian beef exports to Jordan will increase.

This news, along with a similar deal with Hong Kong and the signing of several free trade agreements, is proof positive that the government is delivering for livestock producers.

Last month the agriculture minister announced the creation of a market access secretariat to better coordinate government initiatives with producers and industry to aggressively pursue new markets.

As the Prime Minister said yesterday, in regard to the U.S. COOL, “This is the government...that recently got changes to the country of origin labelling”.

In these times of global economic turmoil, the Conservative government is reducing trade barriers, opening new markets for Canadian exporters and standing up for Canadian producers.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, a year ago the Minister of Finance refused any direct support for the auto sector, saying they would not get into the business of picking winners and losers. While the Government of Ontario was trying to keep auto plants open, the minister criticized it for “old-fashioned thinking” and “Band-Aid fixes”.

Because the government allowed ideology to get in the way of action, we now need surgery and not Band-Aids. What does the government and the Prime Minister propose to do to stop the bleed in the auto sector?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the House will know that the difficulties of the auto sector are not just in Canada. They are continent-wide and, in fact, worldwide. Particularly the Detroit Three companies face major challenges.

That is why I have joined with Premier McGuinty and we are working in collaboration with the government of the United States to facilitate the restructuring of this industry, which is going to have to happen, to ensure in the process that we keep our share of this vital industry in this country.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is too late. The auto sector crisis affects workers not only in Ontario, but also in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. It is a national crisis.

All last year, the government refused to take action. Why did the government sit on its hands? Does it believe that the demise of this sector is inevitable, but does not dare say that?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are working in collaboration with the Ontario government and the American administration to restructure this industry, which is so very important for the Canadian economy. I would invite the opposition to work with us for the benefit of this industry and the entire Canadian economy.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, all last fall the government sat by, waiting for the Americans to put together their package. By waiting so long, it may have caused Canadian auto workers their jobs.

What specific measures is the government taking in Washington to ensure that Canada does not lose product mandates, production jobs and assembly line capacity when the U.S. government and U.S. industry finalize the rescue package for their industry?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is a completely integrated continental industry. We cannot fix this problem ourselves. That is why we have acted in full collaboration not just with the government of Ontario here, but with the American administration. Our officials are in touch with their counterparts in treasury and in the U.S. government each and every day. I would be happy to provide the Leader of the Opposition with briefs on that, if he so desires.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is speculation that General Motors may pull out of Canada entirely.

While the industry has struggled to meet his February 20 deadline, the Minister of Industry has been idling. The Detroit Three are working hard. The auto workers are at the table. The U.S. government is on the ball. While Canadian communities remain desperate to retain auto sector jobs, the minister is the flat tire slowing down progress.

When exactly did the minister actually meet with his American counterpart to ensure our Canadian jobs would be protected?