This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #51 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was organizations.

Topics

Criminal CodeGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The member is asking that the vote be postponed to later, perhaps around 2:15 p.m.

SnowbirdsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Ray Boughen Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, May 1, I was fortunate to witness the Snowbirds demonstration team, Squadron 431, performing their acceptance show at 15 Wing Moose Jaw. The next day I was able to see them perform again in celebrations for Canadian Forces Day.

Spectacular. Amazing. Unbelievable. I am not sure that any of these words are strong enough to describe the performance of the Canadian Snowbirds. The show is truly a ballet in the sky, and the skill and expertise of the pilots is something to behold.

The Snowbirds are a Canadian icon. They showcase our armed forces throughout North America in a unique and exciting way. They are ambassadors as well as entertainers.

I encourage all of my colleagues and all Canadians to take in a Snowbirds show. Their schedule can be found on website snowbirds.forces.gc.ca.

I ask all members to join me today in wishing the Snowbirds a great 2009 show season.

Bracelet of HopeStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, I ask the House to join me in congratulating Bracelet of Hope, a humanitarian initiative which began in Guelph. Bracelet of Hope is the idea of local physician, Dr. Anne-Marie Zajdlik, and is raising money to support an HIV-AIDS clinic in Lesotho in Southern Africa.

This group raises money by selling bracelets of hope, one of which I have been wearing for several years, successfully raising $1 million to date. The idea has spread around southwestern Ontario as the organizers work toward seeing a bracelet on the wrist of every Canadian.

I invite hon. members to visit braceleteofhope.ca to learn more about this worthwhile initiative.

I ask the House to join me in thanking everyone who has worked on the Bracelet of Hope campaign to help put an end to AIDS in this African country.

This is the kind of news that makes me proud to be a Canadian and very proud to be from Guelph.

The Outaouais Wild Ball Hockey TeamStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Outaouais Wild, a ball hockey team representing a Gatineau mental health centre called Centre Inter-Section, has come back to the region with a gold medal from a sporting event held in Montreal from April 29 to May 3, the Défi sportif.

This international event is the only one of its kind in the world, and brings together more than 3,000 mentally challenged athletes representing about fifteen countries and thirteen different sports disciplines.

In its eighth appearance at these games, the Gatineau team beat the Montreal Échelon in the finals.

The Bloc Québécois joins with me in congratulating all of the winning ball hockey team, as well as the centre they represent, Centre Inter-Section.

PensionsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Iroquois Falls paper mill has been the jewel in the crown of Abitibi for 100 years. Even as AbitibiBowater totters under bankruptcy protection, this mill continues to turn a profit.

Yet, retirees who have spent their entire lives paying into the pension fund are now finding that their pensions are being cut or suspended altogether.

I spoke today with a man who had 35 years of service before he was let go. Then his severance was cut off which left him with no income whatsoever.

Economic restructuring cannot be done on the backs of workers and retirees. All across Canada our pension plans are under attack, whether its Abitibi, Nortel or Air Canada. On top of that, millions of Canadians have not set aside any pension funds whatsoever despite working hard.

There is a pension crisis in this country and we have a government that is completely asleep at the switch.

We need to reform the federal bankruptcy laws to put workers first and not last. We need an overhaul of the Canada pension plan, and finally, we need a government that is willing to stand up for workers, retirees and seniors citizens in this country.

FisheriesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Conservative Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Miramichi Headwaters Salmon Federation, which has received one of the 2009 National Recreational Fisheries Awards from the honourable Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

The federation has contributed directly to the development of recreational fishing in the Miramichi Headwaters region, much of which lies in the riding of Tobique—Mactaquac. The group helps to protect and improve fish habitat by operating a fish rearing facility and promoting conservation.

The organization is actively involved in recreational fishing issues and the development of fishing through campaigns targeting young anglers, support for other groups, and involvement in habitat restoration and the stabilization of riverbanks.

Its fish rearing facility also enables other associations to stock rivers and streams that develop the sport fishing potential in various waterways in the area.

The Miramichi Headwaters Salmon Federation is very much deserving of this very prestigious national recreational fisheries award, and I sincerely congratulate the group's president, Randy Lutes, his wife Judy, and all the volunteers for this tremendous achievement.

Quebec Entrepreneurship CompetitionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud and pleased to draw attention to the exceptional performance of two organizations from my riding of LaSalle—Émard.

Last month, at the Quebec entrepreneurship awards gala, LaSalle community radio, under the direction of Denis Routhier, was awarded first prize in the social economy category, while second prize in that same category went to the seniors' café at the Centre du Vieux Moulin, under the direction of Hélène Lapierre.

My sincere congratulations to the two prize winners for this fine recognition of their efforts. Their success is indisputable evidence of the value of team work, as well as of the quality of those working untiringly to serve the people of LaSalle—Émard well.

My wholehearted wishes for the best of success in the future.

Sri LankaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, about 10 days ago I had the privilege of meeting with a roomful of Canadians of Tamil origin from my riding of Kitchener Centre.

They were very distressed about events in their homeland with Tamil civilians trapped in conflict by the advancing Sri Lankan army. They were deeply concerned about the mortal peril facing their loved ones.

My heart went out to them and the hearts of all Canadians go out to them.

These Canadians need to know that the Government of Canada has already called on the government of Sri Lanka to declare an immediate ceasefire. They need to know that Canada has already called for unhindered international access for the evacuation of the sick and wounded, and for the delivery of much needed humanitarian assistance to civilians.

Canadians of Tamil origin need to know that our government has millions of dollars in humanitarian assistance ready to go. Canada will keep up the pressure.

Ricardo Alarcón de QuesadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada, president of Cuba's National Assembly since 1993, is visiting Canada.

His resumé is impressive. He earned a doctorate in philosophy and was professor emeritus at the University of Havana before becoming Cuba's representative at the UN, where he was vice-president of the General Assembly, president of the Council of Administration to the United Nations Development Programme, and vice-president of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. He was also Cuba's Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Alarcón dedicated his life as a public servant to denouncing the embargo against Cuba and to forging close ties with other states while expressing the hopes of the Cuban people and defending the inalienable right of peoples to govern themselves.

It is an honour for me, on behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, to wish Mr. Alarcón, one of the great men of this world, an excellent visit to Parliament Hill.

Pork IndustryStatements By Members

May 5th, 2009 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bradley Trost Conservative Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, jobs in my riding depend on the pork industry which is why the Government of Canada is standing up for pork producers on the international stage by encouraging Canadian families to support struggling hog producers by picking up some pork next time they go to the grocery store.

We know that Canadian pork is safe. We appreciate the countries who have acknowledged this fact and kept the borders open and trade flowing. We will do everything we can to fight for our producers and industry.

That is why the Minister of Agriculture, along with the Canadian Pork Council are hosting a barbecue tomorrow. We would like to invite all members, staff and media to a barbecue in the East Block courtyard tomorrow at noon to enjoy some top quality Canadian pork.

We have invited ambassadors from around the world as well so that they will get the message that our Canadian pork is safe. See everyone there tomorrow.

Canadian Red CrossStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and all of my colleagues here in Parliament, I would like to congratulate the Canadian Red Cross on its 100th anniversary.

For 100 years the Canadian Red Cross has been there to provide relief from suffering across our country and around the world. This is thanks to the thousands of dedicated volunteers who work in the organization.

Canada is one of the highest contributors of delegates to the International Committee of the Red Cross which provides protection to civilians and the injured in areas of conflict like Afghanistan, Sudan, Gaza, and provides assistance after earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and famine.

Courage, humanitarianism and sacrifice are the hallmarks of the Canadian Red Cross.

We in this Parliament, and indeed all Canadians, salute the Canadian Red Cross and its members on their centennial anniversary, and give thanks for the sacrifices they make to help relieve the suffering to those in their time of greatest need.

Quebec's Place at UNESCOStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, three years ago today, the governments of Canada and Quebec signed a historic agreement that recognized Quebec's special interest in culture and science and its desire to benefit more from the combined efforts of the federal and provincial governments. As a result, for the first time in history, Quebec has an important voice at UNESCO.

With its policy of open federalism, the federal government recognizes Quebec's unique personality within a united Canada and a flexible federal system. Gone are the traps the Liberals set to strip Quebec of all its ideas and jurisdictions. Gone is the Bloc's extreme polarization, which seeks only to destroy Quebec's history and culture.

Quebec has a real voice at UNESCO. It is not a Liberal or Bloc voice, but a unique, Quebec voice.

Canadian Flag PinsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, the maple leaf is the symbol of our national goals and aspirations. Canadian troops put their lives on the line for the values symbolized by the maple leaf. It speaks to our pride as Canadians.

Today that pride is diminished. In the middle of a manufacturing meltdown, the Conservative government outsourced the production of Canadian flag pins to China. Why is the Prime Minister giving our tax dollars to foreign factories? Why does the Prime Minister not support Canadian jobs?

New Democrats stopped the Liberals from outsourcing our pins in 2005. It is outrageous that we have to do it again.

Canadians simply want some fairness and accountability, but the Conservative government is incapable of delivering.

Of the $3.8 million that the federal government spends on Canada Day celebrations, it is giving $3.2 million to Quebec, leaving a mere $600,000 for the rest of Canada, and only $100,000 for all of Ontario, our most populace province.

Thankfully, my Canada Day barbecue has never needed the government's support, but Ontarians do. They need the support of the government to protect their jobs, both in the manufacturing sector and in the tourism industry.

In the lead up to Canada Day, the government could and should have done both.

Seal HuntStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Conservative South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, despite the European Union's unfortunate and ill-informed vote on the seal hunt, the Government of Canada will remain firmly behind our seal hunters and their right to hunt. We will continue to work on their behalf.

It is unfortunate that while this government laboured on this file, the Liberals continued to undermine Canada's efforts with one Liberal senator, Mac Harb, even introducing a bill to ban the hunt, a bill that one anti-seal hunting group is crediting with helping convince the Europeans to vote against our hunters.

Canadians should know that this Conservative government will not sit back and do nothing, like the Liberal Party. We will not give up this fight and, if we must, we will take action with the World Trade Organization to overturn this wrong, unfair and unjust ruling.

Official LanguagesStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, last night, I took an Air Canada flight from Montreal to Ottawa, which was two hours late. Imagine my surprise when the flight attendant gave me instructions only in English. Given my persistence in asking if she spoke both official languages, she replied, in an arrogant tone, that she also spoke two languages: Chinese and English.

A similar experience was described last week in Le Soleil by someone from my riding who was travelling from Montreal to Quebec City. The flight attendant threatened to cancel the flight if he did not stop causing a disruption, when all he was doing was demanding service in French, just as I was.

If the government were serious about its desire to ensure that the Official Languages Act is respected, it would put more pressure on Air Canada, which is the subject of nearly 25% of all complaints received by the Commissioner of Official Languages. Yet the regulations are clear: services are to be provided in both official languages in airports serving Quebec, among others. We have also seen this same “who cares” attitude towards respecting the French language in the planning of the Vancouver Olympic Games.

Seal HuntStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, we have been warning the Conservative government about it for months, and today it has finally happened. The European Union has voted to ban products of the legal, sustainable, humane, and economically important Canadian seal hunt.

The Conservatives and their patronage appointed fisheries ambassador have failed to stand up for the interests of Canadians. In what other industries will the Conservatives allow the European Union to dictate Canadian policy?

Even as Canadian and EU officials are set to start talks on expanded free trade, the Conservatives have failed the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Quebec's Lower North Shore, the Magdalen Islands, and Atlantic Canada generally.

Who else will the Conservatives sell down the river to Brussels?

TaxationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, last month the Liberal leader said, “We will have to raise taxes”. I congratulate him on ascending to the role of leader of the Liberal opposition. I have some questions for him, though. Which taxes would he raise, by how much and who would be forced to pay?

On Saturday his party answered with a resolution favouring a carbon tax. That is, of course, a tax on home heating and on transporting goods like food. The Liberal leader fathered the idea when, during the 2006 leadership race, he said, “We've also got to have popular, practical, believable policies that may involve some form of carbon tax”.

Instead of denying or running away from his words, we would have advised him to stand behind what his party said at its convention.

Let us have a great Canadian debate. Do we want higher taxes under the Liberal leader, or lower taxes under this Conservative Prime Minister?

Business of the HouseStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there seemed to be a bit of confusion with the point of order and the motion that I presented to the House prior to statements by members, so I would like to read it again and see if we can get unanimous support for it. I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practices of the House, the notice period for a Take Note Debate be waived in order to allow for a take note debate tonight that would take note that the seal hunt is a humane and legitimate economic pursuit, and that the European Parliament's recent decision to ban the importation of seal products is misinformed, inflammatory, counterproductive, and should be rejected.

Because I am seeking unanimous consent for this motion, I would like to further explain that the notwithstanding part of the motion applies to the waiving of notice and the unusual wording in this take note motion and does not set a precedent for future take note debates.

Business of the HouseStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Business of the HouseStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the HouseStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Business of the HouseStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the HouseStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

(Motion agreed to)

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, Rafick-Pierre Sékaly, a world expert on AIDS, is leaving the Université de Montréal to go to the United States. The 25 researchers on his team are all going with him. Dr. Sékaly has said he hopes his departure will sound the alarm.

Has the government heard the alarm bells? Where is this government's strategy to prevent the departure of our best scientists?

Science and TechnologyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Cambridge Ontario

Conservative

Gary Goodyear ConservativeMinister of State (Science and Technology)

Mr. Speaker, the only government that cut funding to HIV-AIDS was the Liberal government in 2005.

What the report fails to tell Canadians is that the Conservative government committed $94 million to HIV-AIDS research this year. We committed $111 million to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for HIV-AIDS, and this research is still getting all that funding from this Conservative government.