November 27, 2006

LIB

Andrew Telegdi

Liberal

Hon. Andrew Telegdi (Kitchener—Waterloo, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the government's motion to recognize the Québécois as a nation within a united Canada is ill-defined, divisive and sets up an acrimonious debate that is not in the best interest of our country.

Why must we declare the Québécois a nation so precipitously? Can we not listen to Canadian and Quebec voices before we rush recklessly into this new departure from our Canadian path?

What of our first nations? Have we not learned the lessons of Meech Lake?

I will not support this resolution because first, the House of Commons has not had adequate time to debate what it means; second, its most vigorous proponents are uncertain of its meaning; and third, this fundamental change to the definition of what Canada means is thrust upon Canadians who have had no chance to respond to this fundamental change in the way Canada defines itself.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Québécois
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BQ

Michel Guimond

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Michel Guimond (Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, on November 18, Laval University's Rouge et Or earned its third trip in four years to the Vanier Cup by routing the Acadia University Axemen 57 to 10 in the Uteck Bowl.

This win put the Rouge et Or in line for the challenge they had been waiting for all year, defeating the Huskies, their tough and tenacious rivals, at Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon.

On Saturday, the dream came true in a brilliant 13 to 8 victory, the result of sustained effort, hard work and admirable and indomitable team spirit.

With this win, the Rouge et Or have contributed greatly to the national pride of Quebeckers and thrilled their ardent fans not only in the greater Quebec City area but throughout Quebec as well.

Congratulations to all who contributed to this great moment in university sports.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Laval University's Rouge et Or
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NDP

Pat Martin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, nobody should be able to buy an election in this country or a politician for that matter. Our election finance laws were designed to get big money out of politics. Well, big money is still buying influence in Canadian politics through the loophole that allows huge so-called loans to politicians and their organizations.

When is a loan not a loan? Well, if it never has to be paid back it is not a loan, it is a donation. Even if it is paid back, it is still “who you know” politics. If one candidate can borrow millions and the other candidate can only borrow peanuts, it is easy to see the one with the rich sponsors will have an unfair advantage.

These massive Liberal leadership loans are tantamount to donations. They undermine the principles of equal opportunity and our election laws and they should not be allowed. If the Conservative government were sincere about getting big money out of politics, it would plug this last remaining loophole so that nobody could buy an election in this country ever again.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Canada Elections Act
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CPC

Luc Harvey

Conservative

Mr. Luc Harvey (Louis-Hébert, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, it is with pride that I mention today the Laval University's Rouge et Or football team victory on Saturday.

I would like to congratulate all the players and the coaching staff led by Glen Constantin, who contributed to their victory, and especially the players who will not be returning next year.

These players include pass receiver Nicolas Bisaillon, who is completing his degree in psychology, and defensive halfback Alexandre Vendette, who is completing his masters' in administration.

Laval University played the Saskatchewan Huskies in the prestigious Vanier Cup. Eastern and western Canada both have excellent university football programs.

The Vanier Cup is the Canadian university football championship and this is the fourth title for the Rouge et Or since 1999. Such success would not be possible without the exceptional support of Mr. Jacques Tanguay.

This victory is a great source of pride for all residents of Louis-Hébert and the greater Quebec City area.

We sympathize with our friends from Saskatchewan.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Laval University's Rouge et Or
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LIB

Shawn Murphy

Liberal

Hon. Shawn Murphy (Charlottetown, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, last week the University of Prince Edward Island's president delivered an address on the state of his institution. It is my pleasure to highlight some of the achievements that UPEI has seen over the past few years.

In terms of attracting high quality talent from all around the world, UPEI is beating the odds. Today more than 4,000 students from 50 countries and every region in this country attend the university. This represents a 35% increase in enrolment since 1999. These world-class students are attracted by the recent growth of facilities and cutting edge research. A flourish of construction has covered the campus over the last several years, including a new National Research Council facility, a $32 million expansion of the prestigious Atlantic Veterinary College and a new school of business.

In 2000, UPEI sat in 18th place on the Macleans ranking of primarily undergraduate universities. Today, as a result of these and many more achievements, UPEI now sits among the top five undergraduate universities in this country.

I ask all members to please join me in congratulating President Wade MacLaughlan and all students, faculty and staff of this great little university.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   University of Prince Edward Island
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CPC

Diane Ablonczy

Conservative

Ms. Diane Ablonczy (Calgary—Nose Hill, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I have some good news to share with the House today.

The Terry Fox Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons to recognize the outstanding achievements of Canadians with disabilities. It therefore gives me great pleasure to congratulate the newest member of the Terry Fox Hall of Fame.

This individual made history when he became the first quadriplegic member of Parliament. As a member of Parliament, his efforts for hepatitis C victims helped win them long overdue financial compensation. This man's advocacy also led to a commitment to fully fund the Canadian strategy for cancer control. This individual is widely respected for his determination, passion and integrity. He has refused to let his disability define him.

For those reasons and more, I congratulate a very special person on the honour of being welcomed into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame. I ask all members to please join me in a salute to a great Canadian and our colleague, the hon. member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Terry Fox Hall of Fame
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BQ

Luc Malo

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Luc Malo (Verchères—Les Patriotes, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Quebec announced last week that it would provide temporary assistance for producers in Saint-Amable affected by the golden nematode. Meanwhile, even though he has been advised by a group of experts that the solution for Saint-Amable is to destroy all the potato stocks, the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food keeps saying that producers who are destroying crops are doing so on a voluntary basis, without adequate financial compensation. The existing federal program cannot provide the necessary assistance, contrary to what the minister is claiming.

The producers in Saint-Amable are in an extremely precarious situation that is getting worse every day. If things do not change, they are doomed to bankruptcy because of the quarantine of their lands. The distress messages sent to my office leave no doubt as to the depth of producers' despair.

For four months, this government has done nothing, preferring to take a wait and see attitude.The Bloc Québécois demands that the government do its job and introduce a specific measure to address this critical situation.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Agriculture and Agri-Food
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CPC

Ron Cannan

Conservative

Mr. Ron Cannan (Kelowna—Lake Country, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, today, as we kick off AIDS Awareness Week, we stand in solidarity with those facing HIV-AIDS and remember its many victims.

It is a week where we can shed light on the true nature of this disease and dispel the many stigmas and false perceptions that stop us from taking meaningful action. Many of us, including my constituents, can speak personally of the destructive nature of HIV-AIDS. That is why the residents of Kelowna--Lake Country are committed to the cause, raising thousands of dollars for local HIV-AIDS services and supporting our local Rotary Clubs in their international efforts in Africa.

We cannot be complacent. In Canada, rising infection rates among youth and females show that we are not doing enough. Only 50% of grade nine students know that HIV-AIDS has no cure. We need to do better. We must educate our children and our peers to stop the growth of this epidemic.

This week let the red ribbon symbolize our perseverance. We can and we must continue to fight against HIV-AIDS in Canada and around the world.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   HIV-AIDS
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LIB

Yasmin Ratansi

Liberal

Ms. Yasmin Ratansi (Don Valley East, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the national Liberal women's caucus has long served as an active and passionate voice for Canadian women. This morning we were proud to launch volume one of The Pink Book: A Framework for Canada's Future.

The policy recommendations contained in the pink book are a comprehensive strategy to repair the damage done by the Conservatives, including the reinstatement of the child care and early learning program, reversing budget cuts to social programs and the launch of a proposed national caretaker program.

A shocking 71% of spousal homicides involved rifles and shotguns and yet the Conservatives recently announced the removal of seven million long guns from the national firearms registry.

As November 25 marked the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, I ask all Canadians to pause and reflect on the Conservatives' deliberate attack on the rights of Canadian women and question why the Conservative Party wants to turn back the clock on 40 years of social progress.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Status of Women
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CPC

Gord Brown

Conservative

Mr. Gord Brown (Leeds—Grenville, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, George Marcello received a liver transplant in 1995. Soon after he received this precious gift, he devoted his life to helping improve the rate of organ and tissue donations in Canada by walking to raise awareness of the urgent need for donors.

After nine years, 15,000 kilometres, 500 communities, 4,000 events, many media stories and even a second liver transplant, George has been relentless in helping raise Canada's poor rate of organ and tissue donations.

His ultimate goal is to see Canada save everyone; over 4,000 Canadians who need these live-saving gifts. Recently he completed a 500 kilometre walk from Toronto to Ottawa and now he is prepared to once again walk across Canada for organ and tissue donation awareness.

On March 26, from St. John's, Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia, George Marcello will undertake his campaign called “S.O.S. 4 000--One more time, with a little help from my friends”.

Let us all wish George luck and success in his quest to bring this perennially important issue to the attention of all Canadians.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Organ and Tissue Donations
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NDP

Wayne Marston

New Democratic Party

Mr. Wayne Marston (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, this week Canadians will don red ribbons to remind us all of the continuing fight against HIV-AIDS in our communities and around the world. December 1 is Global HIV-AIDS Awareness Day.

As we look at fighting the HIV-AIDS pandemic, we must not ignore the need to protect the human rights of people living with HIV. To respond effectively to the HIV epidemic, we must respect and protect the rights of those who are most affected and most at risk.

The Canadian government must find a way to more effectively ensure drug treatments are flowing from Canada to the developing world. This includes fixing the fundamentally flawed legislation allowing the export of generic drugs and meeting our dollar commitments to the global fund in the fight against HIV-AIDS.

Fellow Canadian Stephen Lewis is approaching the end of his term as United Nations special envoy on HIV-AIDS. I would ask all members of this House to join me in expressing our deepest gratitude for his incredible efforts to increase awareness of the HIV-AIDS issues here at home and abroad.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   HIV-AIDS
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LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

Hon. Geoff Regan (Halifax West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the YMCA is an integral part of community life in Canada, serving people of all ages.

For nine years, in partnership with the Government of Canada, the YMCA has administered the federal public sector youth internship program.

Since 1997, over 9,000 young people have benefited from this program, including almost 300 in Nova Scotia, people like Chantel, a single mom who acquired new skills that helped her build a better life.

It was a shock to learn that future funding for the federal public sector youth internship program is now uncertain.

I strongly urge the minority Conservative government to commit to long term funding for this program today so the YMCA can help thousands more young people become prouder, more productive Canadians.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Youth Internship Program
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BQ

Caroline St-Hilaire

Bloc Québécois

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

Mr. Speaker, the Longueuil municipal retirees association is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week.

The association's more than 260 members work to ensure retirees' well-being by offering help and organizing various activities to improve their quality of life.

Those of us living in large cities too often forget that there are many people devoted to improving their communities and promoting their municipalities. Without their invaluable contribution, our society would be significantly poorer.

Today I would like to pay tribute to all of the people who have watched Longueuil grow, who have contributed to its success and who have served its population for many years.

I would like to thank them for their commitment over the years and say how proud I am to represent them in the House of Commons.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Longueuil Municipal Retirees
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LIB

Dominic LeBlanc

Liberal

Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Beauséjour, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, Moncton lost an exceptional citizen when Henry Murphy, 85, died. A member of Parliament under Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent and a long-serving provincial court judge, he will be greatly missed.

Proud of his Irish heritage and rural roots in Melrose, New Brunswick, as a young man he joined the merchant marines, was a miner in northern Ontario and served in the army during World War II before settling on law.

He met his “Irish rose”, Joan Barry of Saint John, and had four children, including Michael Barry Murphy, the current provincial health minister in New Brunswick.

As a judge for over 35 years, he was harsh when needed, and compassionate when it was best for the community. Respected by prosecutors, judges and defence lawyers, he was the ilk of judge the current government should learn to respect.

“He was a fair man”, said crown prosecutor Anthony Allman. “He always looked out for the average person and he was a champion of the little man”, said defence lawyer Wendell Maxwell.

May the rain fall soft upon Henry's fields and may the wind be always at his back.

May he rest in peace.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Henry Murphy
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CPC

Jeff Watson

Conservative

Mr. Jeff Watson (Essex, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, recently Liberal Tom Axworthy, the man charged with leading Liberal Party renewal, revealed that the Liberals have been hiding a dirty little secret--get this everyone--that Liberals could not keep their promises to Canadians. That is like a flasher admitting to his victims that he is not wearing any briefs. No shock here.

Canadians figured out the Liberals back on January 23. It only took Mr. Axworthy 10 months and an impending Liberal convention to finally admit that Liberals are promise breakers. What does he propose the Liberal Party do? Make more promises of course.

Before they get caught up in their self-congratulatory lovefest and collective amnesia at their convention, let us remember what the Liberals will try desperately to forget this week. The Liberals promised to fix health care for a generation, and then did not. The Liberals promised to scrap the GST, and then did not. The Liberals promised to tear up NAFTA, and then did not. The Liberals promised a new era of ethics, Gomery. Then Canadians told them they did not.

It is no secret why Canadians kicked the Liberals to the opposition curb.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Liberal Party of Canada
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LIB

Bill Graham

Liberal

Hon. Bill Graham (Leader of the Opposition, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the government is getting a reputation for being economical with the truth. The Prime Minister claims internationally that he supports Kyoto while he winks at home to his friends as he kills programs to stop climate change.

This weekend the head of the UN environment program stated that Canada's step back from Kyoto was deeply regrettable and even dangerous. Having already killed 15 climate change programs this spring, why is the government now putting the boot to five key climate change programs for agriculture and then cynically demanding that public servants take the fall for the ending of the programs?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition represents a government that had a record of putting Canada 35% above Kyoto targets and rising. The report of the environment commissioner suggested that it would even worsen over the next few years.

Our government has moved quickly to try to reverse that trend and to make sure that the money we spend on environmental programs, and we are spending a great deal, is spent effectively in the future.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Environment
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LIB

Bill Graham

Liberal

Hon. Bill Graham (Leader of the Opposition, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the government is actually acting to plunge us deeper into the hole, not take us out of it. That is crazy.

While the Prime Minister has Canadians wondering about their environmental future, the finance minister is engaged in an exercise of bafflegab about the economy never before seen in our country.

The minister has made up something he now calls the national net debt, but there is no financial voice in the country that takes this malarkey seriously. The problem is that his deliberate confusion is not helpful for our citizens and it is not helpful for our capital markets.

Why will the government not be honest on the most basic facts about the economy? When will we get the truth from the finance minister, flim-flam Flaherty?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Economy
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

The Leader of the Opposition surely does not need lessons from the Speaker on using members' names in the House. He knows that he has got to refer to them by title. The rest of the stuff we have to do without. The right hon. Prime Minister.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Economy
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what the Leader of the Opposition is talking about. I can tell him as an economist that the definition of net debt is gross debt minus financial assets. That is what net debt is.

There is an OECD standard for that. The Minister of Finance has indicated that according to that OECD standard this government's target will be to have total government net debt disappear by the year 2021.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   The Economy
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November 27, 2006