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 #68 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was sentence.

Topics

ChildrenStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lise Zarac Liberal LaSalle—Émard, QC

Madam Speaker, on August 19, 1982, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed June 4 to be the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression. This day reminds us that there are millions of children the world over who are victims of various forms of cruelty and that the need to protect the rights of these children is urgent.

Throughout the world fifty million people have been uprooted. They are refugees who have sought safety in other countries, and more than half of them are children.

Over two million children have been killed in conflicts in the past decade. More than six million other children are believed to have been wounded, and one million of them are orphans. In 87 countries, children play near and around some 60 million landmines.

Knowing of this situation, the government has the duty and responsibility to take specific measures to make the voice of these vulnerable children heard and to come to their defence.

Ducks Unlimited CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Madam Speaker, today is a historic day for Ducks Unlimited Canada, a trusted and respected conservation company.

Senior executives, staff and members of the board of directors have met with parliamentarians throughout the day to educate them about Ducks Unlimited Canada's outstanding 71-year track record.

Ducks Unlimited Canada's partnership with the federal government is best showcased within the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, an international conservation plan signed by Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, in 1986. This plan has invested over $1.5 billion to conserve over four million acres of wetland ecosystems.

Ducks Unlimited has worked with all levels of government, first nations, industry, private landowners and others, to conserve 4.6 million acres, while influencing 33 million more acres through policy and conservation measures.

Ducks Unlimited Canada has 173,000 supporters, an annual budget of $78 million and a core volunteer force of duck hunters and anglers who raise conservation funds in the U.S. and Canada.

World Environment DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, every year, around the world, June 5 marks World Environment Day. In addition to being the occasion for numerous activities, this day is intended chiefly as a promotional tool to educate the population about the major issues we are facing.

Launched in 1972 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, World Environment Day is designed to encourage people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development, so as to ensure a more prosperous future for the generations to come.

The theme for 2009 is “Your Planet Needs You—Unite to Combat Climate Change”. It reflects the urgency for nations to agree on a new deal on the specific subject of climate change, which will be central to the discussions in Copenhagen.

The Bloc Québécois regretfully notes the inertia of this government in recognizing the importance of taking immediate action against climate change.

This is a very sad anniversary.

PolandStatements By Members

June 4th, 2009 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Conservative Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. speaker, 20 years ago today, Poland held the first free parliamentary elections in what was then the communist eastern bloc. The overwhelming winner was the Solidarity free trade union movement. For the first time in four decades, a democratic government came to power. Solidarity's triumph helped to tear down the Iron Curtain and led to the non-violent collapse of communism throughout central and eastern Europe.

Within mere months of this election, nearly all of the communist governments across the region fell. Democracy, for which many Poles and other disenfranchised Europeans had given their lives, finally saw the light of day.

The success of Solidarity, personified in the leadership of Lech Walesa and inspired by Pope John Paul II, is an accomplishment worthy of commemoration. I am proud to stand up today for the recognition of the 20th anniversary of free elections in Poland.

Today, Poland serves as an example to those who are still fighting for freedom and democracy around the world. On this 20th anniversary of the beginning of the end of communism in central and eastern Europe, Canadians should remember its significance and be mindful of the need to always stand up for the values that we hold dear: liberty, human rights, the rule of law and democracy.

National Chief of the Assembly of First NationsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, after an unprecedented three terms, National Chief Phil Fontaine has decided not to run for re-election next month, thereby ending nine years at the helm of the Assembly of First Nations.

A gifted and highly respected leader, he has been instrumental in bringing about positive change and advancement for first nations people.

A proud member of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba, he was a leading force in the resolution and settlement of claims arising out of the 150-year-old Indian residential school tragedy. As a master negotiator, he helped secure last year's historic residential schools apology.

He has received many awards and honours, including four honorary degrees and membership in the Order of Manitoba. His lifelong dedication to issues facing first nations and to the advancement and self-determination of indigenous people in Canada and around the world is worthy of the House's recognition.

We extend our best wishes to Chief Fontaine as he moves on to a new path in his life's journey.

1989 Tiananmen Square ProtestStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, today marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic events in Tiananmen Square. At the time, Canada took a strong, principled stand and unequivocally condemned the communist government's murderous crackdown on its own peaceful citizens.

For this, the government of the day was criticized by some who felt that standing up for human rights in China could jeopardize Canada's investment opportunities in that country.

In addition to the demonstrators, among the heroes of Tiananmen Square are the Chinese government officials, such as Zhao Ziyang, who sympathized with and supported the protestors at great risk to their own personal safety.

That is why, when the world learned of Zhao Ziyang's death in 2005, Canadians were once again proud to see our current Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism visit Zhao's family home to pay his personal respects. Once again, as with our principled stand in 1989, the Minister of Immigration was criticized by some who were concerned that this would damage Canada's commercial interests in China.

History can never be purged of the truth, and memory is more powerful than oppression. We hope that China will use the opportunity to examine the—

1989 Tiananmen Square ProtestStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

Filipino Community in ManitobaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, this is the 50th anniversary of the Filipino community in Manitoba. What a heritage moment and historical milestone. From 1959, when four nurses settled in Winnipeg, there are now almost 50,000 Filipino residents in Manitoba.

Today, more immigrants come to Manitoba from the Philippines than from any other country, with the Filipino community making up a larger percentage of the population in Manitoba than they do in any other province.

They are a formidable force in the economic, social, cultural and spiritual life of my province and a key player in Canada's multicultural mosaic. They are living testimony to just how much immigration is needed to sustain economic development and strengthen respect for cultural diversity in Canada.

The 50th anniversary will be celebrated in conjunction with Philippine Heritage Week, starting with the flag-raising this weekend at the Philippine-Canadian Centre of Manitoba.

[Member spoke in Filipino as follows:]

Mabuhay sa mga Kababayang Pilipino. Maligayang pagbati sa anibersaryo. Salamat po.

History of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, west of the Parliament Buildings is a 19th-century building known as the Carbide Building, which reminds us of the inventor Thomas Carbide and other pioneers who created our magnificent country.

Those who walk or run by the building could easily ignore it and ignore our history. On the 65th anniversary of D-Day, I challenge my colleagues in this chamber and Canadians everywhere not to ignore our history.

For the sake of those Canadians who participated in that magnificent yet horrific event, such as Alan Dean, James Mannall, Ernie Renwick and Bob Hubbard, who were all members of the Canadian Legion on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast; for the sake of my uncle, the late Smokey Smith, who was Canada's last surviving Victoria Cross holder; and for the sake of my late father, a World War II prisoner of war, we must not ignore our history.

We must not ignore our historic buildings. Even more importantly, we must not ignore the sacred rights we enjoy today, thanks to the sacrifices of those brave soldiers who changed the world on D-Day. We will remember them.

Pay EquityStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, while this government stubbornly refuses to recognize pay equity, Quebec is taking action. The unanimous passage in the National Assembly of Quebec of Bill 25, which updates the Pay Equity Act, constitutes a historic gain for women working in Quebec.

Gone is the time when traditionally female jobs were avoided because they were less well paid. With all of the new provisions, the right to pay equity can now be deemed a vested right. As of today, it can be said that in the area of employment, Quebec women have the same rights, privileges and opportunities as men.

The only exception we have in Quebec is for women who work in federally regulated undertakings. For them, pay equity continues to be an impossible dream as long as this government is in power.

If the Conservative government ever wants to finally join the 21st century on pay equity, it need only follow the example of Quebec.

Human RightsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this month marks the 25th anniversary of the Indian army intervention at the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

As we express our empathy with our fellow Sikh Canadians who are commemorating this solemn event, we also reach out to all those who have been the victims of violence in India and beyond. These terrible events include the Air India bombing and recent attacks in Mumbai and Lahore.

They remind us of the futility and the destruction of violence, and the resilience of the human spirit in overcoming it. They also remind us of our solidarity with all the people of South Asia, of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

We are in the world, and the world is in us. In this Parliament, we stand together for justice, democracy, peace and respect for pluralism and human rights at home and everywhere.

Leader of the Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, despite the cries, the insults, the indignation from the members of the official opposition, Canadians need to know what the Liberal leader thinks of Canada and Canada's taxation system.

If he thinks that politics is just a way of having feelings one would not otherwise have, or if he thinks that the way to go is to tell Ontarians he is one of them, and to tell Quebeckers he is one of us, we have nothing here but a weather vane disguised as a politician .

Canada needs a strong economy in these hard times. It needs someone who will direct this country with a single voice, not someone who will say one thing, and then turn around and say the very opposite.

The Liberal leader has answered not one of our questions. Who will foot the bill for all the Liberal tax hikes? Who?

This Conservative government will not let him carry out his Liberal plan. In particular, we will not start going in reverse.

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have several questions for the Prime Minister.

Were the lost secret documents the minister's personal copy with handwritten annotations? When did she realize she had lost them? Did she inform her deputy minister of this, and if so, when? What secret information did these documents contain and what commercial impact was there? Finally, what legal proceedings has the government undertaken against the television network involved?

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday, the minister had reasonable expectations that these documents would be kept secret. The minister has taken the necessary measures and I support the minister and the measures she has taken.

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, secret documents are those that “could reasonably be expected to cause serious injury to the national interest”.

We are told these documents contain information on AECL's financial status, indebtedness, contractual undertakings, obligations, lawsuits and details surrounding its bid for the supply of nuclear power in Ontario. They also deal with the critical issue of medical isotopes for medical testing.

Can the Prime Minister explain how the release of this information could not be reasonably expected to cause serious injury to the national interest?

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government and the minister have already been very clear that these documents should have been kept secret. That was not the case. The minister has taken the appropriate action, and as I have said, I have supported that action.

Let me quote for the member opposite the editorial today in the Toronto Star, which says:

[The minister] offered her resignation and [the Prime Minister] rightly refused to accept it. Time for the opposition to move on to more substantive issues.

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us move on and take stock: three shutdowns, four radioactive leaks in 18 months, $600 million in undisclosed cost overruns, a fraction spent of the $351 million for Chalk River isotopes, a $1.6 billion lawsuit, dozens of hospitals and thousands of Canadians waiting for their medical tests now forced to settle for 20th century medicine in 2009, and a minister's secret materials left behind in a national newsroom.

Would the Prime Minister explain, please, why the decision not to accept the minister's resignation?

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to update the House today on progress that we have made with respect to medical isotopes.

As we have mentioned before, this is a global issue that is going to be dealt with in a global manner. Through Canada's leadership we have been successful in having our co-operative partners in The Netherlands, Petten, increase their medical isotope supply by at least 50%. The Australians are coming on line much more quickly than they had expected for commissioning. As well, tomorrow we have a very important bilateral meeting in Washington dealing with the matter.

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

He will no doubt know that the Federal Court has ruled this morning in a very emphatic judgment that there is a serious question of the federal government's adherence to the rule of law, and the court has said very clearly that Mr. Abdelrazik should have been granted a passport. He was not. He should be allowed to come back to Canada. So far he is not.

I would like to ask the minister a very simple question. Will he now change the decision of the Government of Canada and recognize that, as a citizen of Canada--

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Justice.

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, a very lengthy decision of the Federal Court was handed down this morning. Inasmuch as I have never been a member of the NDP, we will actually read the decision before taking a decision on it.

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the Minister of Justice does not take the court ruling seriously. It is a pity that he does not take a Supreme Court ruling seriously. We have read it, it is available. It is out there as a public document. One can take the time to read it.

I have a very simple question to ask the minister. The ruling says that the government's interpretation leads to a nonsensical result.

I would like to know what the minister is going to do to ensure that the laws of Canada are respected by the Government of Canada , since this is certainly not the case at the present time.

JusticeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the decision is over 100 pages and because we do take it seriously, we will read it very carefully before taking any course of action.

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has defended his Minister of Natural Resources by stating that it was not her fault if secret documents were left behind at a television station. He preferred to lay the blame on the minister's press secretary. Yet the government's code of ethics states that the Prime Minister holds ministers personally accountable for the security of their documents.

If the Prime Minister is to be consistent, he must respect the rules of his own code of ethics. Why then does he not accept the resignation of his Minister of Natural Resources?

Minister of Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as indicated yesterday, this is a serious matter. There are clear procedures in place in our offices. Those procedures were not followed. Corrective action has been taken. I offered my resignation to the Prime Minister. He did not accept it. A member of my staff offered her resignation and I did accept it.