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House of Commons Hansard #61 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was colombia.

Topics

Dr. Jacques CorbinStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to highlight the work of Dr. Jacques Corbin who, on May 28, was awarded the Dr. Garfield Moffatt Medal. This medal recognizes excellence of health care provided by a New Brunswick doctor.

It is awarded to an individual who demonstrates an interest in professional development in medicine, education of patients and health care team members, and leadership and service to his community, in addition to focusing on quality of family life.

We are proud that this medal has been awarded to one of our doctors. A native of Edmundston, Dr. Corbin has accomplished a great deal in the health field. He was awarded this medal—and has had a successful career—because of his belief that the patient always comes first.

Dr. Corbin, on behalf of the citizens of Madawaska—Restigouche, we congratulate him on this medal and, most of all, we thank him for everything he has done for our community. Once again, Dr. Corbin, congratulations on behalf of all the citizens of the riding of Madawaska—Restigouche.

AfghanistanStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, after spending last week in Afghanistan, I rise today to pay tribute to the men and women of the Canadian Forces, the RCMP, members of the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Canadian International Development Agency, Canada Border Services Agency, Correctional Service Canada, and others who are doing tremendous work and are delivering results under very difficult circumstances.

I want to take this opportunity to remind all members of the House to appreciate the efforts and dedication of the members of our whole of government team who are doing a tremendous job and are making Canada proud in a difficult land on the far side of the world.

Our people are doing terrific work and are making a real difference in the lives of the Afghan people. Just the other night, a revered CBC sports commentator said that the one thing soldiers always say to him is that the message they want to put to politicians and the people is, hey, be more worried about them, the guys who do it, than the Taliban who are trying to blow them up.

Grapes gets it. Our government gets it. The Canadian people get it, and in the words of Don Cherry, I say amen to that.

Government SpendingStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Carrier Bloc Alfred-Pellan, QC

Mr. Speaker, welcome to Harperland, built for the modest sum of $2 million in taxpayers' money. This fake resort comes complete with a fake lake—even though the location is on the shore of Lake Ontario—and some comfy lakeside chairs where you can watch bucolic scenes on a giant screen.

The goal is to recreate Huntsville, in the riding of the Minister of Industry, a place you will not actually be able to see during the G8 and G20 summits. To be able to visit these facilities, you must be an accredited journalist, because this marketing pavilion is for you, and only you—whom the Conservative government is hoping to manipulate with this propaganda, because you are certainly not there to report on the facts.

And what does the rest of the world think about this? Who cares if the French foreign affairs minister, Bernard Kouchner, thinks that Harperland is costing too much money? All the Conservative government wants is to control the message as much as possible, at the expense of access to information.

AfghanistanStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, media reports indicate that recently, as part of their ongoing intimidation campaign in Afghanistan, Taliban insurgents systematically executed a seven-year-old boy they accused of being a spy. If these reports are true, it is horrific, disgusting, and shocking beyond words and says more about the Taliban and its disregard for human life than virtually anything we have seen or heard yet.

These are the people we are battling in Afghanistan. These are the people who are killing our brave Canadian men and women in uniform.

Canada's continuing objective is to help Afghans build a stable and secure country based on the fundamental values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

Let us never forget who the real enemy is in Afghanistan, and may our courageous soldiers know that this government and all Canadians stand behind them every step of the way.

BeaconsfieldStatements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the City of Beaconsfield, a magnificent community on the shores of the St. Lawrence River in Montreal's West Island.

The year started with great pomp and circumstance when young Ben Mumme carried the Olympic flame to Centennial Park, where it lit up the crowd and the winter night in anticipation of future Canadian Olympic glory.

Last Friday I had the honour of riding in Beaconsfield's 100th anniversary parade with Mayor David Pollock; his council; MNA Geoffrey Kelley; former mayor Ed Briggs; former councillors Ernie Dahl and Jim Hasegawa; Beaconsfield's first mayor, Joseph Perron, personified by Christian Habel in 1910 period costume; Danièle Bouchard-Serhan, chair of the Beaconsfield 100 committee; Judith Clark, coordinator of the evening's celebration; and Michèle Janis, the city's irrepressible cultural director.

Beaconsfield is known for those values that make a community strong: citizen engagement, caring for others through volunteerism, respect for difference, and concern for the environment.

I would like to invite all of the members to join with me in wishing a very happy 100th anniversary to the City of Beaconsfield.

Quebec City ArmouryStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are known for keeping their promises to Quebec, and the Quebec City region is no exception.

The Quebec City armoury is the most recent example in a long list of Conservative government achievements for the people in the beautiful Quebec City region.

Once again, the Conservatives have kept their word and honoured the promise made by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs following the fire at the armoury. They committed to preserving this precious piece of Quebec military heritage, which is located in the heart of Quebec City.

This morning, after considerable preliminary efforts, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs announced the Conservative government's plan to rebuild the Quebec City armoury.

Quebeckers know that only our Conservative government keeps its promises to Quebec and the people in the Quebec City region, thanks to strong leadership from our Prime Minister.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Paul Dewar NDP Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is the second anniversary of the government's historic apology to first nations. Our country was deeply moved by the authenticity of that nation to nation exchange. However, an apology without action is empty rhetoric.

The promise of the government to sign on to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has yet to be honoured. With the stroke of a pen, that could be changed today.

Nationally, we must take action on those rights to improve the lives of first nations, Inuit, and aboriginal peoples. Here, on Algonquin territory, we must join the call for the establishment of a national aboriginal centre on Ottawa's Victoria Island, just metres away from this place. This is a joint vision by elder William Commanda and the renowned architect Douglas Cardinal.

Reconciliation requires acknowledgement. Acknowledgement requires action.

We have acknowledged. Now it is time to act.

Meegwetch.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, two years ago today, the Prime Minister stood in this House and asked forgiveness of the aboriginal peoples of this country for Canada's role in the Indian residential school system. That historic event paved the way for a new era of reconciliation and a repairing of relationships with the aboriginal peoples of Canada. An understanding of the legacy of Indian residential schools and a desire to work together in a spirit of renewed faith and partnership is building a better foundation and a promising future.

Since the apology, acts of reconciliation by individuals, communities, and churches have been taking place across our country. Another such summit is taking place this very weekend as thousands of first nations, Inuit, and Métis participants gather in Ottawa to respond to the official apology.

We still have a long way to go. We are learning to walk together, and we are committed to achieving a better future, a future of hope and opportunity for all Canadians.

Transparency and Access to InformationStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Vincent Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the Conservatives came to power, democracy, transparency and access to information have taken a beating.

Access to information requests are taking much longer to process, and that is when they are not blocked outright by political interference. Ministers either refuse to answer journalists' questions or are forbidden from doing so, as are government officials. Journalists' access to events is being increasingly restricted, which makes it impossible for them to provide balanced, impartial reports. The Conservative Prime Minister prefers to supply photos and videos produced by his own people so that he can control the tone and image conveyed.

This way of doing things is akin to propaganda and information manipulation. The outcome is that people do not have access to the facts or to clear, accurate information. We condemn this kind of excessive control and lack of transparency, which constitute a threat to democracy.

Daniel Richer, known as La FlècheStatements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

For fear of usurping your privileges, Mr. Speaker, I will not cry out “Oyez, oyez, oyez!”

Today, I ask my colleagues to acknowledge the great Canadian crier and storyteller Daniel Richer, known as La Flèche.

Armed with a background in theatre and singing, Daniel Richer has been crying his art all over America and at numerous international events. His instrument, a 110 decibel voice, has allowed him to practice his art for over 29 years.

The history of town criers goes back to the antiquity, and criers were very popular during the Middle Ages. Nowadays, criers are primarily called upon for protocolar or tourist events.

Daniel has won several international town crier titles, including that of best dressed international town crier, and that of best ambassador.

Daniel will be taking part in the World Town Crier Tournament, in Chester, England, from June 13 to 20. He will be one of eight Canadians participating in this tournament, and our only French-speaking representative.

We wish Daniel the best of luck.

Opposition CoalitionStatements by Members

June 11th, 2010 / 11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians know that the Liberals and the NDP share many of the same policies. As former Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella has recently said, “When you look at the fundamentals, what divides us on the policy side, it's actually not a lot”.

That is why recently, in a Helen Thomas moment, the position of the coalition became clear. In an interview with the NDP House leader, she said that she believed the Israeli occupation actually began in 1948, essentially with the creation of the state of Israel. She also said that she supported the boycott, divestment, and sanctions against the Israeli state as well.

These comments by the member of the Liberal-NDP coalition are shocking and inappropriate. I call on the Liberal leader now to join me in demanding an apology from the Liberals' NDP partners over there.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, nine professional organizations representing the most important Canadian journalists have criticized this government's obsessive and maniacal control of information. They accuse the government of censorship, muzzling sources and manipulating public opinion. There is no better example than the grandiose expenditures on the G8 and G20 meetings.

I will ask the question again: what are the real costs?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have an important responsibility to communicate with Canadians to ensure they are aware of government operations, initiatives, policies, programs and services that are available to them.

We are also working hard to welcome the world to the G8 summit and to ensure that Canada's best face is put forward. We look forward to welcoming the thousands and thousands of delegates from around the world to the G20 summit.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives will not disclose the total cost of their G8-G20 boondoggle because it is horrendous and it is ludicrous: fake lakes, fake lighthouses, sunken boats, gazebos in vacant lots and a million bucks for signs and wallpaper. It is grandiose and self-indulgent, all to feed the Prime Minister's tender ego.

While Canadian families struggle with the heaviest household debt loads in the western world, how can the government squander such a massive amount of money on a three-day orgy of excess?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I do not think we will take lessons on spending from the Liberal Party.

Let us look at an article I read in the Ottawa Sun today. The Liberal Party has rented the Taj Mahal of portable toilets, with granite countertops, wood panelling and, if we look at the photo, it is using fruity-fresh almond-scented soap.

That may sell in the south of France or at Harvard but it does not sell with Canadians.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, no amount of red herrings from the minister will divert us from the course.

This session of Parliament began with the disgrace of an illegitimate prorogation, plus the government's suppression of documents about torture, plus its tampering with witnesses in parliamentary committees, plus the intimidation of anyone, KAIROS, CCIC, women's advocates, who dared to try to tell the truth, and now this G8-G20 boondoggle, blowing more than a billion bucks on a vacuous three-day photo op.

How will such utter waste and manipulation help Canadian families pay for their kids' education?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, again the Liberals want us to follow their example. Let us look at the Liberal caucus.

One Liberal member is pocketing tens of thousands of dollars by bilking taxpayers for her taxpayer-subsidized home. Another one is being criminally charged for refusing to take a breathalyzer. Another one is pimping himself out on the Internet to try to lobby the government with foreign interests. Now we find out the Liberal leader is forcing taxpayers to pay for his fruity-fresh almond-scented soap.

We have no lessons to take about from the Liberal Party.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, fake lakes, fake lighthouses, fake chairs, fake canoes, even fake ducks, but most troubling is the fake answers from the arrogant, wasteful and inefficient Conservative government.

It knows this billion dollar weekend is indefensible, outrageous and completely out of control. Even if the Conservatives know it, they hear it from their constituents and it makes them squirm in their seats.

For once, why will the government not listen to its own nervous backbenchers? At the very least, why will it not stand up and apologize to Canadians for this billion dollar boondoggle?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as we have indicated in the House, a majority of the costs that are associated with the holding of both summits that will be taking place in June are costs associated with security. These costs were given to us by a number of consultants.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

How much did you pay for the consultants?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

John Baird Conservative Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

How much did you pay for the almond-scented soap?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Conservative Pontiac, QC

They have been deemed to be in line with the cost of summits.

Maybe the member for Wascana, instead of yapping as he is doing, should be listening to the answers then he would not ask ridiculous questions.

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Michael Savage Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government has such disregard for taxpayer money that another billion dollars does not phase it a bit. It is just like water off a fake duck's back. That billion dollars could pay the full cost of four full years of post-secondary education for 23,376 low-income students.

Does the government believe that the 72-hour spendapalooza, fakes lakes, lighthouses and choosing wallpaper that would make Martha Stewart blush is a better use of our money than investing in the future of Canadian students?

G8 and G20 SummitsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, both the G8 and the G20 are excellent opportunities to showcase Canada's strengths to the world, to attract investment and, obviously, create jobs.

We are leading by example. As members know, we have the lowest taxes on new businesses and new business investment of any major economy. We have the lowest debt of any major economy. We have the strongest economic growth of any major economy, including from 2010 to 2011 to 2012. All of this is according to the IMF. We are getting the job done.

Access to InformationOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, in an open letter, journalists from all the media and all parts of Quebec and Canada condemn the Prime Minister's information control. They say—these are their own words—this is designed to manipulate public opinion.

Will the Prime Minister admit that the set-up for journalists at the G20, complete with a fake lake and virtual and cardboard decorations, is another illustration of his obsession with controlling the message at the expense of the public's right to information?