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House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was countries.

Topics

SclerodermaStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, during the month of June, thousands of Canadians hope to draw attention to a little known but devastating disease called scleroderma. According to some medical experts, it is now more prevalent than multiple sclerosis or muscular dystrophy.

While more has been learned about this disease in the past decade than in the previous century, more needs to be done to end the suffering of thousands of Canadians. Sadly, almost 80% of the sufferers are women, often diagnosed before the age of 50.

In the past my family has had to deal with the devastating effects of scleroderma. This dreaded disease took my mother and now threatens to take the life of many of my friends within the scleroderma-stricken community.

I call on my parliamentary colleagues and all Canadians to assist the Scleroderma Societies of Canada and the provinces by raising awareness in our communities, particularly now in June, as this is National Scleroderma Awareness Month.

We look forward to the day when a cure is finally found for this terrible and ultimately fatal disease.

Arts and CultureStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, for over 50 years Uncle Jim Anderson has documented life in Makkovik on Labrador's north coast. He is a self-taught photographer and videographer who has captured changing ways in his hometown over the decades.

Uncle Jim's work was recently showcased in an exhibit by The Rooms provincial art gallery and the Labrador Interpretation Centre, bringing his talents to a new and broader audience.

Just last month, Uncle Jim received the Rogers Arts Achievement Award presented by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, recognizing his lifetime of creation through his camera's lens and his vision. Not only is he an inspired visual artist, he is inspiring others.

On behalf of all Labradorians and my Liberal colleagues, I congratulate Uncle Jim Anderson on his many achievements.

Ariane MoffattStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge today the career of a Quebec artist who has received two prestigious awards during the first half of 2009. I am referring to Ariane Moffatt.

In March, at the 38th Annual Juno Awards, Ariane Moffatt took the honours for francophone album of the year for Tous les sens. In July, at the Francofolies de Spa, she will be officially presented with the Rapsat-Lelièvre prize for the same album. This prize is awarded each year by a jury of experts from Quebec and Belgium. It comes with a cash award and financial assistance from both governments.

This singer-songwriter-composer has a solid musical background. Her first album, Aquanaute, released in 2002, enchanted the francophone public. Then, with her second album, Le coeur dans la tête, we saw a more sensitive side of her. Tous les sens, her latest album, released in 2008, has been called a luminous album enchanting once again the Francophonie. An album representative of Ariane Moffatt.

My colleagues from the Bloc Québécois and myself acknowledge Ariane's exceptional talent. May all her dreams come true in the future.

Buy LocalStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, food is a vital part of our lives, and what we put into our bodies is not only reflected back to us in our personal health, but also in the health of our communities.

If we support local farmers, businesses and crafts people with our daily purchases, we will be ensuring the long-term vitality and viability of our communities.

We have all become accustomed to instant satisfaction, so what I am suggesting is that we each take a step back and follow the chain behind our purchases and ask: Where does the product we are purchasing come from? Where does our money end up? Does the chain end up in another country or a farmer's field just outside our town?

In the Welland constituency we have three fantastic farmers' markets that serve our communities with fresh healthy produce and meats every week, every year.

I encourage all constituents to take the time to check out what the farmers' markets have to offer. People should remember, that if they ate today, they should thank a farmer, and remember to buy local or it could be bye, bye local.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, in May 2008, Craig Oliver asked the Liberal leader, “Do you still believe in a carbon tax? Of course you do”. The Liberal leader replied, “I do, Craig”. Of course he does; he invented the Liberal carbon tax. Now he claims he knows nothing about it.

When the Liberal leader is in America, he is an American. When he is in Britain, he is British. When he is in B.C., he opposes loans to the auto company. When he is in Ontario, he thinks those loans should be bigger.

He condemns the economic action plan that he voted for, while demanding billions in spending that would make the deficit bigger. He says the coalition he signed on for would break up Canada, and now he wants to put that coalition back together.

If we do not like the Liberal leader's positions on the issues, we should wait five minutes and he will change them for us.

Graduate Scholarship AwardStatements By Members

June 1st, 2009 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a young man from Winterland, a small community on the Burin Peninsula in the riding of Random--Burin--St. George's in Newfoundland and Labrador. Gaetan Kenway has been awarded the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship valued at $70,000.

The criteria for the scholarship points to Gaetan's exceptional talents. The award is based on academic excellence and research potential, plus communication, interpersonal and leadership abilities.

Gaetan is an amazing young man. After graduating from Marystown Central High School in 2003, he completed a Bachelor of Science in engineering physics at Queen's University and then entered the Master of Applied Science program at the University of Toronto. A year later he was fast-tracked into the Ph.D. program at the school's Institute for Aerospace Studies. Gaetan is currently studying in the multidisciplinary optimization of aircraft systems program.

His parents, Nancy and Morley Kenway, are teachers. They are justifiably proud of their son's accomplishments.

I ask the House to join me in congratulating Gaetan Kenway and wishing him continued success.

Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow SocietyStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Weston Conservative West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, the backbone of Canada, what makes this country great, is our communities and neighbourhoods which work together in thousands of different ways, behind the scenes and unreported by the media. We can all tell stories of the unnamed heroes who volunteer, who coach sports teams, who offer support in hospitals and who raise money for charitable causes.

On Friday, May 15 in Powell River, B.C., I had the great pleasure to attend the launch of a cookbook assembled by the Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society, an organization dedicated to raising money for bone marrow transplants. The organization was inspired by the life and untimely death of Bruce Denniston, an RCMP officer who died of leukemia.

The Powell River community is famous for its spirit of volunteerism and many people turned out for the book launch. Busy hands prepared almost 50 different dishes based on recipes in the cookbook. The Minister of Natural Resources attended in person, adding to an event which resounded with unity and hard work for a good cause. It was a classically Canadian event.

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pascal-Pierre Paillé Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, this House has twice supported implementing a refugee appeal division. The first time, Bill C-280, introduced by the Bloc Québécois, went through all the stages in the House and the Senate, but died when this government made an early election call. Reintroduced barely a month ago, Bill C-291, sponsored by my colleague from Jeanne-Le Ber, once again received the support of the House.

Yet even though they supported Bill C-291 during the vote at second reading, the Liberals are now working with the Conservatives to block the bill in committee. The Liberals claim to stand up for refugees, but in fact, they are in bed with the Conservatives.

It is pathetic that the Liberals, who claim to support Bill C-291, should be playing the government's game.

Clearly, the Liberal leader's new strategy is to talk out of both sides of his mouth in order to fool the public, especially refugees, whose status is precarious.

Tobacco ProductsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Conservative Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked World No Tobacco Day.

World No Tobacco Day is celebrated around the world every year on May 31. This yearly celebration informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco and what people around the world can do to claim their health. The member states of the World Health Organization created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes.

I had the pleasure of celebrating World No Tobacco Day at the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit with Dr. Charles Gardner and a group of students led by Kari Merriott in Barrie on Friday.

I think we can all be very proud this year of the progress our government has made in combatting the dangers of tobacco. The proposed changes to the Tobacco Act by our health minister will make significant progress as we work to prevent the targeting of children and teen smokers through prohibiting candy flavoured cigarettes, cigarillos and blunts.

It is great progress for our country and our children.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to the last census, the proportion of Canadians born outside the country is at its highest level in 75 years. In fact, two-thirds of our population growth comes from immigration.

In my hometown of Mississauga, 52% of the population is foreign born, the third highest among Canadian municipalities. Many of these people are permanent residents waiting to receive their citizenship, but for some odd reason living in Mississauga means unprecedented wait times. Many residents wait four to six months after their files are transferred simply to get their test dates. Had these residents moved to other parts of the country or even neighbouring cities, their files would have been processed much more quickly. This is simply unacceptable.

The Conservatives do not like it when people who already have a Canadian passport spend too much time abroad, but I would hope that they could find it in their hearts to help future Canadians achieve the dream of citizenship.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week Canadians celebrate the elegance and beauty of Canada's environment in tribute to the landscapes that lend definition and character to our great nation.

Canadians are blessed with a rich natural heritage that inspires and helps define the image of our country.

Sky, land, water and wildlife all form the natural legacy that we are entrusted to preserve for the next generation.

Our government is working hard to protect and preserve our rich and vast ecological landscapes. To date, over 100 million hectares of land, roughly 10% of Canada's land mass, and three million hectares of ocean waters have been protected.

Canada's Environment Week is an opportunity to focus on our impact on the environment, our communities and the quality of life that we treasure here in Canada.

Let us celebrate all that is unique about Canada's vast environmental heritage. The natural treasures of our land should be cared for and appreciated all year long.

SeniorsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, recently a gentleman from a prominent seniors organization came up to me and said that seniors “feel invisible to this government”.

In my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, almost 17% of our seniors live in poverty, well over twice the national average of about 7%.

As reported in The Globe and Mail today, 75% of private sector workers have no pension plan at all and many of the existing defined benefit plans are facing significant shortfalls.

That is why I have been touring the country, listening to the stories of seniors, and finding out what they need from their representatives in Ottawa. After my tour I will report their stories and their concerns to our leader, Jack Layton, and they will form the basis of the NDP's national seniors strategy.

I want all Canadian seniors to know that we are here. We see them and hear them. We will not stop fighting for seniors until each and every one of them is able to live in the dignity that all of them deserve.

SeniorsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member knows he must be careful not to mention other hon. members by name in his statements. He will want to refrain from such conduct.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday our Prime Minister was honoured with not one but two awards recognizing his strong leadership and decisive actions in defending human rights at home and abroad.

He received the Canadian Jewish Congress Saul Hayes Human Rights Award, the first serving prime minister to ever receive this award, and also the Simon Wiesenthal International Leadership Award.

Since forming government, our Prime Minister has led Canada in a new era of principled foreign policy based on Canadian values, taking bold positions on the world stage regardless of how popular they were at the time. Canada was the first country to cut off funding to the Hamas government and the first to pull out of the Durban hatefest.

Here in Canada, our Prime Minister has acted to protect the rights and safety of communities at risk through creating the security infrastructure pilot program. Just yesterday, he announced that our government will table legislation that would allow victims of terror to sue those foreign entities responsible for the attacks.

It is great to see our Prime Minister acknowledged for his leadership and conviction in advancing human rights. Canada and the world are better for it.

Canadian Broadcasting CorporationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, at a time when the CBC is having to make drastic cuts that will result in the loss of more than 800 jobs, a group of private citizens have come together to get recognition of the cultural and social importance of the crown corporation. SOS Radio-Canada also hopes to convince politicians to permanently increase public funding for the institution, something the Bloc Québécois naturally supports.

SOS Radio-Canada will have its work cut out for it, because not only is the Conservative government completely uninterested in the public broadcaster and culture in general, but the Liberal Party's record is no better, even though it claims otherwise. It was the Liberals who, in the 1990s, contributed in part to slashing $400 million from the CBC's annual budget and preferred investing in flags rather than culture, depriving many festivals and cultural events of their funding.

It is therefore important that as many people as possible join the movement to support the CBC.

Member for Nepean--CarletonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the Prime Minister's hand-picked parliamentary secretary twice used the expression “tar baby”.

As a child, I was taunted with this name by people who wished to demean me and make me feel inferior. The mountain of correspondence I have received in the last few days shows my experience among black children was not unique.

The parliamentary secretary has stated he was unaware the term is also a pejorative description of blacks. I accept his explanation. I am concerned, however, at that MP's tendency to make hurtful statements. One year ago this week, he was forced to apologize for his offensive comments toward first nations people, and now this.

Now that he knows the negative connotation of this expression for blacks, black Canadians hope he will publicly pledge to remove this pejorative term from his vocabulary, and we hope all Canadians will do so as well.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is keeping quiet and no longer wants to talk to Canadians about his hidden tax agenda. Who will pay for the tax increases the Liberals want to bring in? Our poorest citizens? Unemployed workers? Women? Who? Canadians are still waiting for an answer.

He is always ready to make sweeping statements and probably still believes that Quebec's nationalism is blind, that Quebeckers do not speak the kind of French he can understand and, more importantly, that Quebeckers are simply North Americans who speak French.

But does he really understand Quebec? No. For him, Quebeckers are simply Frenchies.

This Liberal leader is disappointing Quebeckers. They are disappointed by the attitude of this man who is trying to pass off his true ideas on Quebec—

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. We will now proceed to oral question period.

The hon. member for Ottawa South.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the situation concerning medical isotopes is critical.

Every day, 5,000 Canadians and 60,000 patients around the world depend on Chalk River. Some 18 months ago, when the first of the three unplanned shutdowns happened, the minister called it a matter of life and death. The Prime Minister said more or less the same thing when he called it a threat to human health.

When will the production of medical isotopes resume in Chalk River, if it ever does?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, AECL is informing the public and ourselves on an updated basis as to its inspection of what has happened at Chalk River and what possible repairs may take place there. It is updating us both on its website and in daily reports to us. It is the same as we reported last week, which is that AECL expects that Chalk River will not be in operation for at least three months.

In the meantime, we are working with our global partners to increase the supply of isotopes.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, 2 million procedures in Canada every year rely on medical isotopes, 80% of which come from Chalk River.

Dr. Jean-Luc Urbain, president of the Canadian Association of Nuclear Medicine, describes the situation as a real catastrophe.

The Prime Minister has no one left to blame and no one left to fire.

Since the government does not know when its own reactor will be back on line, could the Prime Minister tell us when and from where supplies of medical isotopes will be secured? Will every Canadian who needs diagnostic tests and cancer and heart treatments get them, yes or no?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the isotope shortage is concerning but Canadians can have confidence that this government is taking short-term measures and looking at long-term solutions.

I have been in contact with my provincial and territorial counterparts, as well as the medical community and experts in the field. Natural Resources is working on the supply issue.

We are also using levers, such as the special access programme and clinical trials, to provide alternatives to Canadians. I will continue to work with the territories and provinces to address the issue.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, just 18 months ago, the Prime Minister's position was that getting back a reactor online was a matter of life or death.

MDS Nordion stated today that the government has no long-term plan for the supply of medical isotopes.

Dr. Christopher O'Brien, of the Ontario Association of Nuclear Medicine, states, “There just aren't enough reactors out there that can take the place of Chalk River”.

Clearly, isotope supply will not meet demand in Canada or elsewhere. If this is a matter of life or death, where will the required isotopes come from and, if there are not enough, which patients will suffer and who gets to decide?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we take this matter very seriously and that is why--

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!