November 8, 2006

LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem, led by the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.

[Members sang the national anthem]

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CPC

Ken Epp

Conservative

Mr. Ken Epp (Edmonton—Sherwood Park, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, this coming Saturday will be the 14th time that I, as a member of Parliament, will have the privilege of laying a wreath at the local cenotaph in honour of our veterans.

This annual ceremony allows us to focus on the dedication and commitment that our armed forces members, past and present, have for freedom and peace in our country and around the world.

The ranks of World War I and World War II veterans are decreasing every year. Many of them have carried the marks of the war for their whole lives. We appreciate them and thank them from the bottom of our hearts.

We focus, of course, on those who gave their lives in the wars, some 105,000 of them. During the six years of the second world war, for example, we lost an average of 42 soldiers, airmen and navy personnel every day. What a tremendous sacrifice they made. What dedication and courage.

To all of them and their families we pledge that we will not forget. To those who are serving us now and to their families, we pledge our ongoing support and gratitude.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Remembrance Day
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LIB

Charles Hubbard

Liberal

Hon. Charles Hubbard (Miramichi, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians across the country are feeling the pain of the minority government's about-face on income trusts. The Minister of Finance's apology does little for investors who saw their life savings vanish before their eyes.

Our offices have been bombarded with emails and phone calls from pensioners who saw their life savings decrease by nearly 20% on the stock market. For example, Mr. and Mrs. Barker from Miramichi wrote to me, saying, “The Conservatives lied” and “in this instance their lie has cost millions of Canadians dearly...Canadians have lost billions never to be regained...”.

For example, nearly 20,000 Atlantic Canadians who had participated in Aliant shares, most of them pensioners from Atlantic Canadian telephone companies, are extremely upset. Many people invested last summer on the basis of the Conservative promise not to tax income trusts.

It is sad that when it comes to trust, Canadians have little trust in the government.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Income Trusts
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BQ

Caroline St-Hilaire

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Caroline St-Hilaire (Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow there will be three major events taking place in Quebec that address the issues of global poverty and promises for development in the new millennium.

The goal of the Quebec International Solidarity Days, which will continue until November 19, is to promote solidarity and commitment to a more just world among the public.

A highlight of this 10th annual event will be the launch of the first États généraux de la coopération et de la solidarité internationales in Quebec, which will provide an opportunity to examine what has been done and think about what remains to be done, and most importantly how to do it.

Montreal will also host the Millennium Promise Conference, an international event that will bring together people from all walks of life who share the objective of improving the lives of children and of people living in extreme poverty.

I will be taking part in this important conference and I would like to take this opportunity to urge the Minister of International Cooperation and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages to demonstrate a sense of humanity and do something concrete for the most disadvantaged members of our society. The federal government must immediately stand up and be counted, by significantly increasing the development assistance budget.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Quebec International Solidarity Days
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NDP

Alexa McDonough

New Democratic Party

Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, next week in Halifax, 2,000 delegates, including Nobel peace prize laureate Muhammad Yunus, will assemble for the Global Microcredit Summit.

This will be a crucial moment in a campaign using micro loans to lift half a billion people out of extreme poverty by 2015, fulfilling the UN millennium development goal of cutting in half the number of people living on less than $1 a day.

At the world AIDS conference, grandmothers identified microcredit as a literal lifeline to survival for women raising 13 million AIDS orphans. I look forward to chairing the summit's session on how microcredit contributes to gender equality.

I urge the foreign affairs minister to seize tomorrow's news conference with the director of the microcredit summit campaign as the ideal opportunity for Canada to reverse its shameful 50% decrease over the past five years in CIDA funding for microcredit.

With microcredit reaching more than 110 million people worldwide, 82 million of them the poorest of the poor, it is time for Canada to invest more than a mere 1% of its official ODA on this proven poverty reduction tool.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Global Microcredit Summit
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CPC

Patricia Davidson

Conservative

Mrs. Patricia Davidson (Sarnia—Lambton, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Medical Radiation Technologists Week is being celebrated across Canada from November 5 to 10. Medical radiation technologists are highly trained health professionals with specialized skills, knowledge and competencies, who carry out diagnostic imaging in a number of treatment procedures in hospitals and private medical clinics.

The profession is composed of four disciplines: the radiological technologist, the radiation therapist, the nuclear medicine technologist, and the magnetic resonance technologist. These dedicated practitioners function as patient advocates, educators, health care researchers, technical and therapy specialists and interdisciplinary consultants.

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the vital contribution of these key members of our health care system and their ongoing commitment to provide optimal patient care to all Canadians.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Medical Radiation Technology
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LIB

Hedy Fry

Liberal

Hon. Hedy Fry (Vancouver Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the minority Conservative government's stunning betrayal on income trusts is having a devastating effect on families across this country.

Let us listen to Noel Chaney of Courtenay, B.C., who said in an email to MPs: “Our family lost” almost “$80,000 on our income trust investments today alone. My wife has medical conditions” that require “$12,000 a year in uninsured prescription medications, so our costs are...higher than most people our age”. We do not have a lot of money to live on, he says, but “we thought we had things under control with our investment strategy”. We believed the promises of the Conservative government “to leave income trusts alone, until today”, he says.

Mr. Cheney is stunned by the betrayal of the finance minister and the support this plan is getting from other opposition parties. “We are...upset,” he says, “by the broken promise of Stephen Harper and Monte Solberg to not change the trust tax structure”. These promises--

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Income Trusts
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Vancouver Centre knows that in the House she must refer to members by their titles, not by their names.

The hon. member for Tobique--Mactaquac.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Income Trusts
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CPC

Mike Allen

Conservative

Mr. Mike Allen (Tobique—Mactaquac, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, as Canada marches ahead into the 21st century, we continue to celebrate the stories of our past. The theme for Veterans' Week 2006 is “Share the Story”.

Canadians across this country will see the Veterans' Week poster, which depicts the coming together of generations. A young man is trying on his second world war uniform as a veteran looks on. As the poster suggests, Veterans' Week has become a time for veterans and young people to come together and grow together.

Let us learn more about our veterans' experiences. Above all, let us encourage our young to pay homage to our past and honour its stories.

I encourage all of us to ask questions of those who helped create such a prosperous nation, those who fought to preserve the values and privileges we treasure today, because for all good things in this country, we can thank our veterans.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Veterans' Week
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BQ

Monique Guay

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Monique Guay (Rivière-du-Nord, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, today I have the pleasure of welcoming journalists from LE NORD, the Journal de Prévost, Le Sentier and CIME-FM, the radio station of the Laurentians, who are proud representatives of the media in my riding, Rivière-du-Nord.

This day is part of a long tradition initiated by my constituency office to introduce the people we deal with on a daily basis, as elected representatives, to another aspect of the job of member of Parliament, and at the same time to thank them for the mutual trust we have enjoyed throughout our years of cooperation.

The journalists in my region, who enjoy a special vantage point for observing what we do every day, play an important role in our democracy and are committed to delivering clear information that the public can use to make informed choices.

Today I would like to recognize the work they do, their intellectual discipline, their ethics and their determination to preserve their freedom of expression.

My colleagues in the Bloc Québécois join with me in giving them a very warm welcome to Parliament Hill, and hope that they enjoy their time with us.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Rivière-du-Nord Media
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CPC

Steven Fletcher

Conservative

Mr. Steven Fletcher (Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to inform the House that November is Diabetes Month.

Diabetes is a serious public health problem in Canada. Diabetes currently affects about two million Canadians and costs our economy $1.6 billion each year.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 90% of diabetes cases in Canada. In most cases, type 2 diabetes can be prevented through physical activity, healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight.

Canada's new government is providing $18 million this fiscal year to the renewed Canadian diabetes strategy, which has set the foundation for moving forward on diabetes prevention in Canada. Our government is working with the Canadian Diabetes Association and other partners on the future direction of this strategy.

In addition, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research will continue to provide funding for research to address both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Canada's new government also has an aboriginal diabetes initiative, which will grow to $55 million annually at maturity.

I would like to ask all members of the House to wish the Diabetes Association a very successful Diabetes Month.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Diabetes Month
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LIB

Stephen Owen

Liberal

Hon. Stephen Owen (Vancouver Quadra, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the emails and phone calls continue to pour into MPs' offices from financially devastated Canadians following the government's broken election promise on income trusts. Let us take, for example, Mr. David Taylor of Vancouver, who writes under the title “A damaged Canadian”, and says:

A significant percentage of my portfolio was lost today, with further destruction still to come. My monthly income is now in serious jeopardy, since by the new rules income trusts will have to lower their distributions to account for the new tax. I will have to sell my house as my new lower income will not support the mortgage. I wish I only had myself to blame, but this is entirely the fault of a callous and indifferent politician who has lied and now cheated me of my retirement.

Unfortunately, Mr. Taylor is not the only one in this predicament. Thousands of Canadians have lost billions of dollars overnight because of the government's broken promise--

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Income Trusts
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

Order, please. Hon. members cannot do indirectly what they cannot do directly. Using language that is unparliamentary because they are quoting somebody is not satisfactory. We will not have these quotes read this way.

The hon. member for St. Catharines.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Income Trusts
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CPC

Rick Dykstra

Conservative

Mr. Rick Dykstra (St. Catharines, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I have heard from seniors in my riding of St. Catharines and across Canada. These seniors receive pension income resulting from the years they spent contributing to Canadian society.

Canada's new government has introduced a tax fairness plan to assist all senior couples who receive pension income. This plan helps seniors in two ways.

First, it reduces taxes for low income and middle income seniors by increasing the age credit amount by $1,000, retroactive to January 1 of this year. Second, effective January 1, 2007, senior couples will be allowed to split all pension income that is currently eligible for the pension income credit.

Pension income splitting is here after a 40 year wait. Our tax fairness plan is an important step in improving the quality of life that Canadian seniors enjoy, especially after the amount of time and effort they have given to this country.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Taxation
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NDP

Peggy Nash

New Democratic Party

Ms. Peggy Nash (Parkdale—High Park, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to salute Canada's veterans. This past Sunday I laid a wreath by the cenotaph at Swansea Legion Branch 46 in Toronto. Next Saturday I will join in other ceremonies in my riding, including at the Queen's Own Rifles Branch 344 on Lakeshore Boulevard.

This latter event will be especially meaningful for me as it was here that my father, Harry Nash, applied to the Navy in 1941 at age 17. He was called up the next year and served on the corvette HMCS Kitchener K225 in the North Atlantic and later became a chief petty officer on the minesweeper HMCS Bayfield, including at Omaha Beach on D-Day.

We owe my father and his generation deep gratitude. My dad, at age 82, will celebrate Remembrance Day at Legion Branch 31 in Mount Dennis, Ontario.

I also want to thank my party for the NDP's veterans first motion, ensuring that veterans, their families and Canadian Forces personnel who fought to protect our country will not have to fight to receive a fair pension and live in dignity.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Remembrance Day
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LIB

Raymonde Folco

Liberal

Ms. Raymonde Folco (Laval—Les Îles, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the minority Conservative government's recent decision about income trusts was a massive attack that cost Canadian investors billions of dollars.

Jacques Dompierre from the Ottawa region wrote: “I think that...the changes proposed by [the Minister of Finance] are a serious mistake”.

Mr. Dompierre thinks that he should never have had to take such huge losses because of his government and he added, “It is clear that Ottawa must reconsider the proposed changes and try to undo this week's carnage”.

Many Canadians agree. They invested their money in income trusts because they believed the Conservatives' election promise.

Mr. Speaker, there is no justification for the Conservatives' about-face.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Income Trusts
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BQ

Michel Gauthier

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Gauthier (Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the anglophone members of this House gave a hero's welcome to Don Cherry, a CBC commentator whose disparaging comments about francophones have already raised questions here in the House of Commons.

This morning, everyone in Quebec is asking questions about the tribute paid to Don Cherry. Clearly, it does not take much to be a hero in English Canada.

Don Cherry was accompanied in the gallery by none other than the Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole. We cannot understand why you yourself, Mr. Speaker, bent the rules of the House, a set of rules you helped establish.

I have trouble understanding how you could demonstrate such enthusiasm for a francophone-bashing clown. Maybe it was because the member for Kingston and the Islands temporarily supplanted the Speaker.

The attitude demonstrated in this House was hurtful, and we will learn from this experience.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Don Cherry
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LIB

Omar Alghabra

Liberal

Mr. Omar Alghabra (Mississauga—Erindale, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have learned the hard way what it means to put their trust in the minority Conservative government's word.

Investors in income trusts have lost billions of dollars of their hard-earned money, which they planned on using in their retirement years. For the government to betray them by imposing a tax that it promised would not come has left them angry and jaded. Who can blame them?

Take the example of Albertan Gerry Collard. In an email sent to MPs entitled “The evaporation of my retirement fund”, Mr. Collard writes:

In appreciation of my vote, you and the Conservatives caused $170,000 of my life savings to evaporate overnight. In exchange of my $170,000 you give me seniors income splitting, I am still looking for the humour in this.

He concludes by saying, “I invested my entire life's savings in Income Trusts after you promised they would not be taxed”.

The Conservative government--

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Income Trusts
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LIB
CPC

Christian Paradis

Conservative

Mr. Christian Paradis (Mégantic—L'Érable, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, our government is addressing the issue of safety in our communities with strength and determination.

On Monday, Canada's new government took concrete measures in order to ensure the safety of Quebec's communities by injecting $10 million to face challenges related to crime and street gangs, through the National Crime Prevention Centre in particular. This funding will allow Canada's new government to work together with Quebec and non-governmental organizations in order to prevent crime.

This is another good example of the productive relationship Canada's new government maintains with the Government of Quebec and the community organizations of that province.

The Bloc Québécois, the party in eternal opposition, will never produce results since it is powerless in Ottawa—powerless is the word.

The Liberals lost the confidence of Quebeckers a long time ago. Fortunately, Canada's new government is taking tangible measures and meeting the needs of the people in order to ensure the safety of Quebec's streets and communities. In the meantime, the Leader of the Bloc is happy just to toss out some ideas.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Public Safety
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November 8, 2006