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House of Commons Hansard #72 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was artists.

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 Pages of the House of Commons.

[Members sang the national anthem]

OrléansStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Conservative Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, next year, Orléans will celebrate its sesquicentenary. Last week, the government made a lasting contribution to the heart of Orléans. In partnership with the Government of Ontario and the City of Ottawa, we announced that $2.5 million would be put towards construction on St. Joseph Boulevard.

This is an important artery in our region. Frankly, it is the spine of Orléans. It bridges together Cumberland and North Gloucester. It flows along the communities of Fallingbrook, Queenswood Heights and Convent Glen.

It brings communities and people together.

This boulevard, rich in history, will now more properly wear its name.

This is just another example of people working together. I salute our MPP, Phil McNeely, and councillors Rainer Bloess, Bob Monette and Rob Jellett. Teamwork does produce results. With our economic action plan, we get things done.

Medical IsotopesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the head of the Ontario Association of Nuclear Medicine says that many of Canada's hospitals will run out of medical isotopes by Thursday or Friday. This uncertainty will force hospitals to reschedule treatments and diagnoses of patients with cancer and heart and bone disease. Hospitals have been told not to expect shipments from South Africa and the Netherlands in time.

The Chalk River facility produces approximately 40% of the world's supply of medical isotopes and it will be out of commission for at least three months. The government has no credible plan and has not implemented any measures to ease the concerns of patients as we head into a global isotope shortfall.

The minister said that the situation is “sexy”, but we know that Canadian cancer patients are worried more about their health than the minister's inaction and poor judgment.

Michel ChoinièreStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to the outstanding contribution that Michel Choinière, a citizen and businessman from my riding, has made to improve the lives of persons with disabilities.

Mr. Choinière just received the Hommage bénévolat-Québec award for volunteerism for the Montérégie region at the annual ceremony held in Quebec City to honour the men and women who dedicate themselves to others.

Mr. Choinière is a visionary, but he is also the president of a charitable foundation. He was the president of the southwest chapter of Special Olympics Québec, and eight people with intellectual disabilities work for his company under the supervision of a special-education teacher.

Mr. Choinière was president of the Moulin de la source organization for 10 years, and is now the head of a fundraising committee. With the help of the money raised, people have been able to travel, dream, sing and dance, all while using adapted facilities and equipment.

We thank Mr. Choinière for his dedication and congratulate him on his community involvement.

Marion DewarStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to pay tribute to the life of a remarkable parliamentarian, Marion Dewar, who passed away last year.

As mayor of Ottawa, she demonstrated enormous compassion when, in 1979, she brought 4,000 immigrants from Vietnam to Ottawa. Project 4000 created a ripple of goodwill all across the country.

Marion had friends all over the place, in Ottawa and across Canada. She was an extraordinary activist and served her community with passion.

On June 17, the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization will create the Marion Dewar scholarship fund for refugee and immigrant high school students. I cannot think of a more appropriate way to celebrate the life of this great Canadian.

Marion's four children, including our very own member for Ottawa Centre, carry on her legacy of public service and social justice. I hope all will join Marion's family and me in this tribute to a passionate wife, mother, grandmother and dedicated activist who touched us all.

Marie-Michèle QuirionStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Conservative Beauce, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute in this House to an athlete from Beauce, who embodies determination and hard work.

Marie-Michèle Quirion is 18 and already has an illustrious record. She has been training for archery competitions in the compound division for nine years.

Last fall, in Turkey, she was a member of the junior women's team that won the first medal for Canada in the team compound division. She also has two gold medals won at the world competitions held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in addition to many other medals.

It is very difficult to balance a career, studies and competition. I encourage Marie-Michèle to follow her dream and I congratulate her on her accomplishments. Bravo Marie-Michèle.

Collège Beaubois StudentsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to highlight the international solidarity initiative of the students of Collège Beaubois, a primary and secondary school in my riding of Pierrefonds—Dollard.

In March 2009, as in alternate years since 2005, twenty students from Collège Beaubois participated in a cooperation project in Senegal. This initiative makes young people more aware of the reality in a developing country and allows them to help Senegalese youth learn. With the money collected, Collège Beaubois students built a kindergarten class and washrooms for the children, as well as a classroom for secondary students on Dionewar Island that has been named the Beaubois Room.

The young people at Collège Beaubois deserve to be commended by this House for their sense of solidarity and for what they are doing in Senegal. This has made each one of them ambassadors of our country's values and ideals while helping them to become responsible citizens committed to improving the lives of those around them.

Digital MediaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Schellenberger Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House to recognize the Canada 3.0 Forum which was recently held in my riding to discuss digital media and its importance for our global economy. This conference was part of the newly created University of Waterloo Stratford Institute.

Over 500 government, academic and business leaders attended, including Co-CEO of Research in Motion Mike Lazaridis, CRTC Chairman Konrad von Finckenstein, Open Text Chairman Tom Jenkins, and my colleagues, the Minister of State for Science and Technology and the Minister of Industry.

This conference provided an opportunity for attendees to create a digital media action plan and define Canada's future so that we can continue to be a leader in the digital economy.

I would like to congratulate the conference organizers.

The University of Waterloo's Stratford Institute is establishing Canada's place in the world as a true leader of our digital future.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, 265 members of Parliament, including the man who is now the Liberal leader, rose in this House on November 27, 2006 in formal recognition of the Quebec nation. Nothing at all has come of it since.

Last week, Liberals and Conservatives alike opposed the Bloc Québécois bill to apply the Charter of the French language to all businesses everywhere in Quebec, including banks, ports and airports. Not only was the Liberal leader absent during that fateful vote, but he has gone one step further from abstention to a slap in the face. On June 5, the office of the Leader of the Opposition sent an English-only reply to a person in my riding, despite the fact that the incoming letter was in French.

This is a perfect illustration of the who-cares attitude of the federal Liberals and their new leader toward the Quebec nation and the language of its people. May we soon celebrate a free and francophone Quebec.

Lobster IndustryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, for 13 years the Liberal government ignored and refused the requests of fishers for rationalization support. Their request for a capital gains exemption was refused. Their request for more harbour funding was refused. When it came to Liberal support for fishers, it is clear that it just was not there.

This morning my colleague, the hon. Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced that our government has delivered for the lobster industry.

Today's investment of an additional $65 million will improve the sustainability of this fishery that is so vital to Atlantic Canada and Quebec. This investment will see the lobster industry emerge from the global economic downturn in fighting shape.

During these tough economic times, this Conservative government is putting Canadians first and getting the job done.

Search and RescueStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour today to rise and speak of the courage, professionalism and honour of the soldiers of our search and rescue personnel.

Newfoundland and Labrador is proud of its own squadron, and that is 103 Search and Rescue in Gander. Its motto is “Seek and Save”.

Recently, I attended the change of command where Major Stephen Reid had this to say about the troops and support staff of search and rescue: “Rarely is it the case that mother nature gives us a break. It must be recognized that we, too, are human. We are deeply affected when a mission proves unsuccessful, but we soldier on knowing that every Canadian is counting on us to bring necessary closure sometimes during the worst imaginable circumstances”.

The nickname for those of 103 Search and Rescue is the “Outcasts”. That may sound negative to most of us, but in our province, the “Outcasts” are truly our heroes.

BiofuelsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, today is a significant day for the advancement of biofuels in Canada. For one month, starting today, regular gasoline purchases at the Shell service station on Merivale Road here in Ottawa will contain 10% cellulosic ethanol, ethanol made and pioneered in Canada at iogen's world-leading demonstration plant.

Also this month, Iogen begins consultations in my riding on a proposed cellulosic ethanol biorefinery to be located at the former Prince Albert mill site.

This however is much bigger than just one plant. This is the dawn of a new, advanced biofuel chapter in Canada's role as an energy provider and pioneer. None of this would have taken place if it were not for our Prime Minister's $2 billion renewable fuels commitment in 2007, of which $500 million was dedicated to the development and construction of next generation biofuel plants.

The Prime Minister took action in 2007 and now we are witnessing the harvest of the seeds that were planted two years ago by iogen, Shell and this government.

Nova Scotia Provincial ElectionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the federal New Democratic caucus, I am very pleased to extend my congratulations to the Nova Scotia New Democrats for their landslide victory in the provincial election.

The NDP victory in Nova Scotia is a first—the first time in history that our party has been in government east of Ontario. The possibilities for the future are better than ever.

I look forward to working with the new Premier, Darrell Dexter, and his team, to get the best results for Nova Scotia's families through the current economic crisis and beyond.

I also want to acknowledge the special role of Alexa McDonough, having given so many years in this building process, and the thousands of volunteers, candidates and donors who focused, year after year, on building our dream.

I wish Darrell and all the province's new MLAs all the best as they move forward in creating real change and real opportunities for the people of Nova Scotia.

QuebecStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, in recent days the members across the way have started showing their true colours. Considering that the Bloc Québécois has just had a new game plan imposed upon it by its real leader, these have surely not been easy days for “Pauline's puppet”.

The purpose of that game plan is not to protect Quebec from the present economic crisis. Nor is it to build a better future for the children of Quebec. The purpose of the plan is to drag Quebec 30 years back in time. A time when Pauline's puppet backed the communists. In truth, it suits him fine. We all know, my Quebecois friends, that the plan has but one purpose: to break up Canada.

The truth is that, in this House, only the Conservatives truly have the best interests of the Quebec nation at heart. We, the Quebec Conservatives, will never agree to a plan written with such a hypocritical pen. Never.

Oil SandsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Alberta sent a message stating that it now sees the Liberal leader as a greater champion of the oil sands industry than his Conservative counterpart because the leader of the Liberal Party rushed to defend the industry when National Geographic published a scathing report about it. Apparently, he did a better job than the Prime Minister himself.

That is in direct conflict with the interests of Quebec, which would benefit from the implementation of the Kyoto protocol. We believe—and Quebeckers believe—that a Liberal government headed up by the member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore would have the same attitude and be even more eager to please oil companies than the current government.

For the Bloc Québécois, the oil sands are not about Canada's national unity. They are one more reason to choose sovereignty.

CBC/Radio-CanadaStatements By Members

June 10th, 2009 / 2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, “I am, we are for quality public broadcasting”.

Today I wish to join with the many public figures who have launched an awareness campaign with that slogan to denounce the Conservatives' efforts to undermine CBC/Radio-Canada.

People from every walk of life are raising their voices to denounce the ideological opportunism shown by the Conservatives in this file. Since the time of the Lincoln report, when they were still showing their true colours as Reform demagogues, we have all known how the Conservatives feel about CBC/Radio-Canada. We also know their negative intentions for the corporation.

CBC/Radio-Canada should be a reflection of who we are as a society, as Canadians.

To carry out this mission, CBC/Radio-Canada must have the necessary resources, if we want to see it survive. Unfortunately, that is not the direction taken by the Conservative government, which saw the economic crisis as an opportunity to gradually stifle CBC/Radio-Canada.

They will not succeed, however, because we will be standing in their way, side by side with Canadians.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the leader of the Liberal Party is out of touch with Canadians. His understanding of Canadians and their needs is questionable at best.

Through our economic action plan, our Conservative government has been providing tax relief to Canadian families, creating jobs and helping those most in need.

In response to our strong leadership, the Liberal leader has promised to raise taxes. He wants to increase the GST, impose a job-killing carbon tax, and eliminate the universal child care benefit.

He has been away from Canada for 34 years. He called himself an American. He called our Canadian flag a pale imitation of a beer label. The Liberal leader thinks Canada is the laughingstock of the world.

Yet, the Secretary General of the OECD said that Canada will be one of the first to come out of the recession. That is a record that we on this side of the House are very proud of.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the long predicted crisis is now upon us. Hospitals in smaller communities will run out of isotopes in the next 48 hours. The chief of nuclear medicine in Hamilton says “that deaths could occur” if supplies fall much further.

The Prime Minister claims that the government has acted on this issue since the last shutdown on its watch in November 2007.

After 18 months of this, is this all the Conservatives have to offer, a national health care crisis?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, what I can indicate to the House today is the following. We have been in contact with industry with respect to the supply of medical isotopes.

I can tell the House that it has been indicated that hospitals will receive next week over 50% of their orders which is markedly up from what they had anticipated. As well, we have been working with the global network of nuclear reactors with respect to supplying even more.

OPAL has also indicated that it will be able to come on line sooner, as long as we continue to help it, which we have been doing.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, with respect, there is a dispute over the facts here.

The Conservatives keep pretending that there is an alternative supply of isotopes, but we have spoken to the Dutch and the Australians. They say yes, they can ramp up production, but they cannot make up the shortfall. They cannot say how many isotopes will actually end up in Canadian hospitals.

So where is the credibility in the minister's assurances to those Canadians whose tests are currently being cancelled?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as I just indicated to the House, indeed we do have an indication of what amount of isotopes will be available next week to the Canadian public. That is what is important to get into the hands of the medical establishment, so that it can utilize the contingency plans that have been worked on with the Minister of Health.

Indeed, we continue to work with the reactors and, in fact, upon Canada's leadership there is a high level meeting of nuclear energy agencies. That is exactly what is going to be discussed in terms of scheduling.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this public health care crisis is getting worse, and we cannot count on the minister's assurances.

Yesterday, François Lamoureux, the president of Quebec's association of nuclear medicine specialists, said, “The government does not seem to realize how catastrophic this is for patients...Patients are being held hostage”.

When will Canadians be able to get their diagnostic tests done?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I share the concerns of Canadians regarding this shortage. That is why we have taken swift action. It is a stressful time for many Canadians, but I can reassure the House and members that we are taking all steps necessary to address this shortage.

We have identified alternatives to the medical community while we are dealing with the shortage of medical isotopes. That list of alternatives was provided by the medical experts on medical isotopes which we acted on. Those alternatives are available right now to the provinces and territories.

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, in January, questions about heavy water leaks and effects on isotope production at Chalk River were dismissed by the minister as fearmongering. Then, she repeatedly claimed that isotope production was reliable.

At the Ottawa Hospital, 180 patients, 60% of whom have cancer, are now being told that their scheduled diagnostic treatments over the next few days are at serious risk.

Would the minister now explain to those patients and their families why she refused to take this crisis seriously, and can she now advise them exactly what it is they should do?

Medical IsotopesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the reliability of the NRU in terms of producing medical isotopes, I can inform the House that the facts are that it has had over 90% reliability for a 50-year old reactor to produce the medical isotopes in the last year. It had been doing so at an increasingly larger rate last fall when we were supplying the world.

Now it is time for the world to help us. It is doing so. Australia is shortening its time for commissioning from approximately five months down to a few weeks, and indeed contrary to what has been said by the hon. member opposite, Australia's reactor can provide 20% of the global supply.