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House of Commons Hansard #35 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was review.

Topics

Wood in Federal BuildingsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel ConservativeMinister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

Mr. Speaker, this morning the president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada in Baie-Comeau—and I believe Baie-Comeau is in the riding of the member who just spoke—said he is not worried about the forced holiday, but he is anxious to see the market recover. It was the president of the plant's union saying that.

We must respect the softwood lumber agreement in everything we do, which is what we will continue to do.

Wood in Federal BuildingsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

That will bring to a conclusion our question period for today.

I believe there is agreement among all parties that we hear now from five hon. members. I call upon the hon. member for Winnipeg North.

Resignation of MemberOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, this is not an easy day to say goodbye after all these years in this place. It has been 13 years since I was first elected and 34 years since I started in political life as a parliamentary intern.

This has been my home away from home. It has been the place where my kids have grown up. Many members may remember my younger son at the age of 8 terrorizing the halls of Centre Block. That holy terror Joe is now a young man at the age of 21. He is here with his father today, and I want to thank him.

I want to thank my husband of 38 years, who has been there through thick and thin, supporting me every step of the way. I want the House to know that contrary to popular opinion, he did not lose his hair because of me.

I want to thank our special son Nick, who has taught me every step of the way why it is important to be in political life and about our responsibility to keep working to ensure that society does not ditch its responsibilities to the aged, the frail and people living with disabilities.

I want to, of course, mention my mom and dad who are watching right now as we speak, Harry and Klazina Wasylycia, who are 91 and 87 years old respectively, and who told me that I was the perfect child until I started to talk. My dad is a proud veteran who met my mother in World War II in Holland, and next week they will together mark the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Holland by Canadians with great celebration and pride.

This is a day of very mixed emotions. I have to say goodbye to my NDP family and to our tenacious and courageous leader who has actually changed politics in this country to the point where we are now just about on the verge of a three-way race.

I have to thank all of my colleagues who are here today and those who came before, and another leader, Alexa McDonough, with whom I started politics in 1997.

I want to thank my staff, especially those who have been with me from the beginning: Chuck Brabazon, who is here today, Jim Thompson in the riding, as well as Adam Moore, Judy Burns and Margaret Platte.

I want to thank all of my colleagues whom I consider to be friends. We are all here for noble reasons, because we want to build a better world. We just may have some different ideas about what that world looks like or how we get there, but we are all on a noble pursuit to fight for what is right and to preserve democracy.

Sometimes this place can be dysfunctional. Sometimes there can be a bit too much heckling, not by me though. But we know when it works, when we work together. When we collaborate and co-operate, it can be magic.

I think about the unity we all had and showed when we adopted unanimously the bill to create the national Holocaust Remembrance Day. I think about everyone in this House wearing blue to mark Prostate Cancer Awareness Day. I think about the cheering in this place when we celebrated and welcomed our Olympians and Paralympians. These are wonderful moments. They are magical moments. We should never lose them or let go of them. There is so much more to be done.

I would like to thank everyone who makes it possible for us to do our jobs, including the political staff of course, but also the clerks, the interpretation staff, bus drivers, technicians, security, the cooks and their staff, the Serjeant-at-Arms, editors, translators and of course the pages. I would also like to thank the press gallery staff and our friends, the journalists.

It has been an enormous privilege for me to stand in this House and to speak on issues of national importance, making a bit of difference on matters for which Canadians are deeply concerned, especially in the area of health care where I am proud to have stood in this House, time and time again, fighting for and standing up for a single payer, universally accessible, non-profit, quality health care system. One thing is for sure. Our fight, our work to defend, preserve, protect and strengthen medicare is not over and we must continue that battle.

The greatest of all privileges I have had here over 13 years has been to serve the people of Winnipeg North, a remarkable, resilient people who have had so many challenges and have worked so hard to overcome them. We have seen, over and over again, the people of Winnipeg North overcoming adversity, working together, building on the strength of our diversity to translate that into acceptance and celebration of our differences, working together when the big banks left us virtually without any branches, to create alternative financial services, and when small convenience and hardware stores left the north end, working together to create the amazing Pollock Hardware Co-op, which is doing a remarkable, record-breaking business.

It is with great sadness that I must say goodbye to some of this work and say goodbye to my friends. However, before I say my goodbyes, I should mention one more thing about Winnipeg. I must tell the member for Ottawa Centre that we have the longest skating rink in the history of the world.

Lastly, I want thank the people of Winnipeg North for their support and, who knows, maybe one day I will be representing them again in the future.

Resignation of MemberOral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to pay tribute to the member for Winnipeg North and congratulate her on her decision to retire.

The hon. member has spent the last 20 years of her life serving the people of Winnipeg North, the people of Manitoba and, indeed, the people of Canada. The member has served in cabinet in the Government of Manitoba as the minister of culture, heritage and recreation, and she has taken leading roles within her federal party. She has served as finance critic, health critic and caucus chair.

She was the first and only graduate of the intern program to be elected as a federal MP. I am sure that with her comments today she would like to see that change and continue to grow.

While serving in opposition, she has fought for and succeeded in putting the fetal alcohol syndrome warning labels on alcohol bottles. She has worked hard in approving safety standards and has been a strong proponent of the rights of persons living with disabilities, as well as presenting and pursuing elderly and caregiver issues. She has also played a tremendous role in the anti-smoking campaign and educating youth to stay away.

Many, including myself, know the member as dedicated, hard-working and tireless in her efforts to improve the lives of Canadians. I will also remember her for her contagious laugh, her generosity in praise and concern for all around her. I will also remember her, and with the interesting articles in the paper, for speaking with a voice and looking with intent.

I had the pleasure of travelling with the hon. member and her husband, Ron, a few years ago and the two things that stand out are her tremendous sense of humour and her devotion to her family.

We on this side of the House wish the member for Winnipeg North, Judy, her husband, Ron, and their sons, Joe and Nick, good health, much happiness and best wishes in her retirement.

Resignation of MemberOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I too rise today to pay tribute to my colleague, the hon. member for Winnipeg North, who has had a long and distinguished career of public service. The hon. member has always been a strong and feisty voice for Manitoba, first as an MLA, then as Manitoba minister for culture, heritage and recreation and, as of 1997, a member of Parliament.

She has been an effective voice for women, previously serving as the NDP critic for the status of women and, before her federal election in 1997, she played important roles as a coordinator of the women's directorate in the Manitoba government and as co-chair of Choices, Manitoba's social justice coalition.

In her current role as the NDP critic for health and persons with disabilities, the hon. member has been a vigorous defender of our public health care system. She has also pushed for reform of Canada's access to medicines regime so that lifesaving drugs are more readily available to developing countries.

The hon. member has also been a strong advocate for Israel and has stood alongside many other parliamentarians to denounce anti-Semitism. I had the honour of working with her to establish the Holocaust Remembrance Day on Parliament Hill in 2000 and, more recently, served with her on the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism. More recently, we travelled together to Poland with the friends of Simon Wiesenthal to visit the many sites preserving the physical remains of the Holocaust.

As she moves on to her next challenge, we know that she will continue to be a strong spokesperson for the community she serves. We wish her well, we wish her family well and we wish her bonne chance.

Resignation of MemberOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, many members of the Bloc Québécois caucus were quite surprised to learn that the member for Winnipeg North was resigning the seat she has held since 1997. She has always been so eager to engage in parliamentary debates and to express her ideas.

The member held a number of positions within her caucus. She made a major contribution to parliamentary debate and repartee, I must say.

I worked with the member for Winnipeg North for several years on the Standing Committee on Finance, which gave me an opportunity to appreciate her uncommon ability to balance rigour and empathy. The member was always well prepared for committee meetings. She brought stacks of newspaper clippings with her to support her positions. She also cared deeply about helping society's most vulnerable and those left behind socially and economically.

Even though we did not agree on the constitutional future of Canada and Quebec, I believe that we shared the same vision of the future of society, a future moulded on the principles of social democracy.

In my previous life, I was very interested in the birth of the social democracy movement in Europe at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. I must confess that often, when the member for Winnipeg North let fly with her polished oratory and her fiery and heartfelt arguments, I was reminded of an early 20th century German social democratic activist, Rosa Luxemburg. I had no trouble seeing her in that role.

Riopelle paid tribute to Rosa Luxemburg in one of his paintings. Unfortunately, he cannot do the same for the member for Winnipeg North, but I believe that he would have been pleased to do so.

Naturally, I wish her all the best in her future endeavours. I may not be as naive as some. I do not get the sense that she will end up spending much time with her family, no matter how much they want her to.

We wish her all the best in her future endeavours. On behalf of the Bloc Québécois and myself, I would like to thank her for all of her hard work.

Resignation of MemberOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, It is with all sorts of emotions that we rise to pay tribute to the member for Winnipeg North, who made a tremendous contribution to our caucus.

On behalf of our caucus, our former and current MPs who worked with Judy, as well as our tens of thousands of members across Canada, I thank Judy Wasylycia-Leis for all her work and efforts, and I thank her family as well.

It is with mixed emotions, naturally, that all of us in the NDP caucus are taking this time to celebrate a great parliamentarian because there is no question that we will miss her in so many different ways. However, this is an opportunity to thank the hon. member for Winnipeg North for the contribution she has made since well before she was a member of Parliament. In fact, she started out as a parliamentary intern many years ago. I will not say how many years ago but it was over 30 years ago in this place.

I will just say that she was noticed by a new leader of our party at that time for her enthusiasm, her rather direct way of speaking about the issues, particularly about the importance of women in politics, about feminism and about creating a more equal world. That newly elected leader was Ed Broadbent. He said, “Look, I had better see if I can draw this enthusiastic person into our family here”. He reached out and she was brought on as the first women's outreach coordinator for our party, at which point she began to create somewhat of a revolution within the New Democratic Party of Canada, working with her sisters to the point where, and I will not go through the long history, we ended up with a caucus in the last election, in the previous House, where 43% of our caucus members were women. A lot of that was because of the member's tireless work.

There are so many things to celebrate. We wish the member well in the future work that lies before her. I thank the House for all the tributes the members have shared today.

Resignation of MemberOral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

All hon. members wish the hon. member for Winnipeg North well.

Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast AsiaRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, with leave of the House and pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), I would like to table, in both official languages, the treaty known as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, signed at Denpasar, Bali, on February 24, 1976; the Protocol Amending the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, signed at Manilla on December 15, 1987; and the Second Protocol Amending the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, signed at Manilla on July 25, 1998.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 27 petitions.

Political Loans Accountability ActRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher ConservativeMinister of State (Democratic Reform)

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-19, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (accountability with respect to political loans).

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Correction to Newspaper ArticlePoints of OrderRoutine Proceedings

April 28th, 2010 / 3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Siobhan Coady Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, on Monday, I referenced, in a preamble to a question, a particular point in an article dated November 2009 in the Investment Executive, Canada's newspaper for financial advisers.

Later that same day, the article was changed online to remove reference to a particular point that was raised. I also received a letter from the Bankers Association stating that the assertion in that article was not correct.

Therefore, I want to ensure, out of respect for my colleagues and, in particular, the Conservative finance services caucus and the chair of the Commons finance committee, that the record was corrected based on this new information.

I apologize for any difficulties that this mistaken information may have caused. I am happy to table both articles as well as the letter from the Bankers Association if that is the will of the House.

Use of House Resources for Commercial PurposesPoints of OrderRoutine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I recently learned about an ad found on the Facebook page of the member for Lévis—Bellechasse.

This ad, entitled “Come visit the national capital and meet your MP”, says:

—member for Lévis—Bellechasse and Les Etchemins, in collaboration with Voyages Paradis in Lévis, is pleased to invite you to take part in the 2010 trip to Ottawa on May 12 and 13.

We are talking about a trip in a luxury coach, lodging at a hotel and a continental breakfast. The ad indicates that this price includes everything, except the dinner on May 12 and the lunch on May 13. The ad, which I will be tabling shortly, also states:

—all this for just $200 for double occupancy and $265 for single occupancy, payable at the time of reservation, and including all applicable taxes.

I should have said that at the top of the ad are the House of Commons logo and a picture of a coach. At the bottom, it says that for information and reservations, people can contact Christiane Tanguay, the member's executive assistant. A telephone number, a fax number and an email address are also given. On the other side, people are asked to contact Ms. Nolin of Voyages Paradis Inc.

Page 236 of O'Brien-Bosc states:

The By-laws were first enacted by the Board of Internal Economy in 1993 and are a series of guidelines regulating the use of parliamentary resources made available to Members to help them perform their parliamentary functions. The term “parliamentary functions” is defined as “duties and activities related to the position of Member of the House of Commons wherever performed and includes public and official business and partisan matters”.

Moreover, section 1 of by-law 102, the general limitation and application by-law, stipulates that:

The funds, goods, services and premises provided pursuant to the by-laws are to be used for the carrying out of Members’ parliamentary functions or for matters which are essential or incidental thereto.

This ad raises a number of questions. Why did the member for Lévis—Bellechasse decide to promote the commercial interests of Voyages Paradis over other carriers? What about the other companies that cannot use the resources of the House and the member to serve their clients?

By using publicly funded resources—telephone lines, the fax machine in his riding office and a parliamentary email address—and by designating one of his employees paid for by taxpayers to provide information to and take reservations from clients of Voyages Paradis, in short, by running a travel agency out of his riding office, did the member for Lévis—Bellechasse follow the rules concerning the use of the resources made available to members to help them perform their parliamentary functions? I am asking you, Mr. Speaker. Is organizing a trip on behalf of a private company a parliamentary function? Did the member for Lévis—Bellechasse use the House's resources for commercial purposes?

Before deciding whether I should refer this matter to the Board of Internal Economy, I would like to have the opinion of the Chair.

In conclusion, I ask for the unanimous consent of the House to table the ad in question.

Use of House Resources for Commercial PurposesPoints of OrderRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak. I would like to thank the member for showing that it is important to me to make the House of Commons, the Parliament of all Canadians and Quebeckers, accessible to everyone.

If, in my enthusiasm to share just how wonderful Canada's parliamentary system is and how Canada's Parliament benefits Quebeckers and the people in my riding, I violated any rules, I offer you my full cooperation to guide you in your rulings, Mr. Speaker.

You can count on my cooperation and that of my entire team to help you shed some light on what we have done, because we feel it is important that Quebeckers have access to the Canadian Parliament. I am at your service.

Use of House Resources for Commercial PurposesPoints of OrderRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord will, no doubt, take this up with the Board of Internal Economy, if necessary. The board will no doubt render a decision on the point he has raised.

Public AccountsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today to present, in both official languages, the following reports of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts: the 10th report on the Public Accounts of Canada for the fiscal period ending March 31, 2009; the 11th report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Chapter 7, Emergency Management, Public Safety Canada, of the 2009 Fall Report of the Auditor General of Canada; and finally, the 12th report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Chapter 3, Income Tax Legislation, of the 2009 Fall Report of the Auditor General of Canada.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests the government table a comprehensive response to all three reports.

Library of ParliamentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Anders Conservative Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the first report of the Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament, presented to the House yesterday, be concurred in.

Library of ParliamentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member for Calgary West have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Library of ParliamentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Library of ParliamentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:35 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?

Library of ParliamentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Library of ParliamentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

(Motion agreed to)

Freedom of Expression by Elected OfficialsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties in the House and I believe if you were to seek it you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That all members of this House stand united in condemning any form of extremism that incites violence in Canadian society, and re-affirm the rights of elected officials to freely express their views without fear of personal intimidation.

Freedom of Expression by Elected OfficialsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. member for Ottawa—Vanier have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Freedom of Expression by Elected OfficialsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.