February 8, 2008

CPC

Rick Dykstra

Conservative

Mr. Rick Dykstra

Mr. Speaker, the member for Victoria's presence at the hearings in Victoria was appreciated. It is good to know when we travel across the country, that members have the opportunity, such as was provided to her, to sit in, encourage, listen and advise on the state of their communities.

With respect to homelessness, there is not a government that has paid more attention to homelessness and dealing with this issue. As my colleague, the member for Peterborough, stated, we have done more in the last two years than in the previous twenty years to ensure we are committed to addressing the issue of homelessness. For example, in the 2006 budget $800 million in a third party trust account for the provinces and territories.

I know the member would like to take credit for having that in the budget, and she can. However, the fact is the Conservative government put it in the 2006 budget to commit the $800 million for the provinces and territories. It was not only a commitment, but we put the money in a third party trust account. Some provinces still have not accessed those funds to deliver on homelessness. We again acknowledged it as an issue to be dealt with in the 2007, budget by allocating $1.4 billion to address affordable housing and to address homelessness in the country.

We are not only prepared to talk the talk, we are prepared to walk the walk.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   PREBUDGET CONSULTATIONS
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LIB

Wayne Easter

Liberal

Hon. Wayne Easter (Malpeque, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am shocked the member would admit that the government put money into a third party trust. The fact is the Prime Minister when he was in opposition said that he would never put money into trusts because it was unaccountable financing and not transparent.

When money goes into a trust, it is dumped out into a province or whatever with no guidelines attached to it, never targeted to meet the needs that it is supposed to accomplish.

Will the member admit that his leader in the last election and prior to it said that he would never put money into third party trusts, which is being now used to squander federal monies?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   PREBUDGET CONSULTATIONS
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CPC

Rick Dykstra

Conservative

Mr. Rick Dykstra

Mr. Speaker, this is the same member who stands up every day in question period and demands money for farmers. Now, when we put money in for farmers, when we commit to the provinces, and when we commit to the territories, he stands in his place and tells all of us not to give anybody any money because we do not know what they are going to do with it.

The provincial treasurer in Prince Edward Island thinks we are spending money just fine and making the needed investments. Treasurer Wes Sheridan of the new Liberal government had nothing but praise for the Conservative finance minister's mini budget. He said:

It's very exciting. It's tremendous news for Islanders. This is money in our back pockets and that means money to be spent on Island businesses--

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   PREBUDGET CONSULTATIONS
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

I am sorry, but the time allotted for questions and comments has expired, tempting as it is to have the member continue his quotations.

We will now move to statements by members.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   PREBUDGET CONSULTATIONS
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CPC

Gerald Keddy

Conservative

Mr. Gerald Keddy (South Shore—St. Margaret's, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, on May 4, 1783, the first of tens of thousands of United Empire Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution stepped ashore in Port Roseway, now Shelburne, Nova Scotia. This year marks the 225th anniversary of that landing which, at the time, established Shelburne as one of the largest towns in eastern Canada.

Nearby, the United Empire Black Loyalists settled Birchtown, one of the most historically important Black communities in Canada.

This anniversary is being recognized and commemorated with a year-long celebration of historical, multicultural, contemporary and participatory events aptly called “A Celebration to Remember”.

The Loyalist Landing Society, made up of local volunteers, has been working for nearly two years to make this signature event in Nova Scotia truly a celebration to remember. All Canadians should take this opportunity to be among the many thousands of visitors to Shelburne this summer.

We wish to congratulate all the organizers and volunteers. This will truly be a celebration to remember.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Loyalist Landing
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LIB

Gurbax Malhi

Liberal

Hon. Gurbax Malhi (Bramalea—Gore—Malton, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, for the past two years, the government has dramatically failed Canada's cities.

Canadians, from St. John's to Vancouver and from Saskatoon to Toronto, are fed up with how the Prime Minister and his cabinet have stuck their collective heads in the sand on key issues such as handguns, poverty and infrastructure funding.

Given that metropolitan areas are home to almost 70% of Canadians and 90% of our country's population growth, the government must start paying heed to the wishes of Canada's mayors and the citizens they represent.

I call on the Prime Minister to stop ignoring the two-thirds of Canadians who live in metropolitan areas and to make the challenges facing Canadian cities a top priority.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Urban Affairs
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BQ

Nicole Demers

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Nicole Demers (Laval, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, we recently learned that Human Resources and Social Development Canada, the Treasury Board and the Canada Public Service Agency discriminated against medical adjudicators at the Canada Pension Plan.

The medical adjudicators—nurses, 95% of whom are female—earn from $50,000 to $60,000. Medical advisers—doctors, 80% of whom are male—earn twice as much as medical adjudicators. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has stated that both groups do the same job, which is to assess medical fitness to determine eligibility for CPP disability benefits.

It is shameful to see the federal government treat its own employees this way and to claim that there is equality among men and women, when it does not even apply pay equity. The government must set an example and introduce proactive legislation on pay equity, like the legislation in Quebec.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Pay Equity
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NDP

Denise Savoie

New Democratic Party

Ms. Denise Savoie (Victoria, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, it is time to resolve the real fiscal imbalance in Canada that falls on the shoulders of cities.

If the finance minister thinks that cities have only potholes to worry about, he should come in from the burbs for a day.

He might find it challenging to repair antiquated storm sewers, meet increasing transit demand, create new affordable housing units, tackle addiction and mental health issues, keep libraries and community centres open, and retrofit civic buildings to fight climate change, all on eight cents of every tax dollar collected in Canada.

He might find it unfair that our property taxes are going up while corporate taxes for big banks and big oil are going down.

City residents deserve healthy and sustainable communities and it is time that Ottawa did its share.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Municipal Infrastructure
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CPC

David Anderson

Conservative

Mr. David Anderson (Cypress Hills—Grasslands, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, it is easy, as time passes, to forget people who have given their time and energy to our communities. Those of us who are younger can easily forget what and who went before us. Last weekend, I was reminded of that when I heard that Frank Hamilton had died.

Frank was a farmer from Mazenod. He was an airman in World War II who served with distinction. Throughout his life, he was a community-minded person.

He was also the Progressive Conservative member of Parliament for our area from 1972 to 1984, serving again with distinction in agriculture, defence, transportation and veterans affairs.

I did not know Frank, but when I asked about him, I found out some things. He was highly respected by those who knew him. He was a good MP who always worked hard for his constituents. He was a salt of the earth, unassuming man who did not need the limelight to know that he had done well. He and his wife, Wanda, made a great team.

We thank Frank for his many years of service to southwest Saskatchewan.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Frank Hamilton
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LIB

Charles Hubbard

Liberal

Hon. Charles Hubbard (Miramichi, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, last weekend the Rotary Club of Newcastle held its fourth annual pond hockey tournament at French Fort Cove Nature Park. Ninety-seven teams, both men and women, participated on 12 rinks.

The Miramichi welcomed five former NHL players and teams from Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Massachusetts and Illinois.

Base Gagetown was represented by its base commander, Colonel Ken Chadder, and three teams of service personnel.

Everyone enjoyed an exciting and entertaining weekend with thousands of visitors. Rotarians, partnering groups, sponsors and the many volunteers are to be commended.

Plans are now under way for another event next winter. It is a highlight of Miramichi's winter activities and a major fundraiser that supports youth activities and community projects.

People who enjoy hockey and outdoor fun, they should set their sights on February 2009.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Pond Hockey Tournament
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CPC

Randy Kamp

Conservative

Mr. Randy Kamp (Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of the Mission Harbour Authority which operates two small craft harbours at Mission and Whonnock on the Lower Fraser River.

This past year, due to high snow pack levels, there was a very significant flood threat on the Fraser. The Mission Harbour Authority rose to the challenge of not just safeguarding its own harbours but assisting other harbours and the community in general.

For these extraordinary efforts, it was presented with the Special Pacific Achievement Award at the Harbour Authority Association of B.C.'s recent annual conference.

Harbour managers David Barratt and Bick Benedict played a critical role in the Fraser River small craft harbour flood response. They were supported in their efforts by the Harbour Authority Board, made up of Alec Finnson, Shelley Clarkson, Rick LeBlanc, Gerry Chabot, Vic Carrao, Greg Mooney, Rob Chadwick, Bob McKamey and Ernie Catherwood.

I would like to ask all members of the House to join me in thanking these men and women for their outstanding service.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Mission Harbour Authority
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BQ

Claude DeBellefeuille

Bloc Québécois

Mrs. Claude DeBellefeuille (Beauharnois—Salaberry, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of all of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, it is my pleasure to congratulate La Face Cachée de la Pomme, a cidery in Hemmingford in the riding of Beauharnois—Salaberry, which received many gold medals in 2007 for its products, including Neige ice cider.

The cidery has already won more awards in 2008. Spain's Asturian cider foundation recognized La Face Cachée de la Pomme with an award for its contribution to the development of ice cider production and for having led the way in marketing the product in Quebec and around the world.

I would like to congratulate François Pouliot, Stéphanie Beaudouin and their team who have created such good cider from the Quebec terroir for us. Bottled and branded right here at home, their many varieties of cider help promote Quebec culture throughout the world.

I am proud of this pioneering Quebec producer's success, which puts Quebec in the spotlight on the world stage.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   La Face Cachée de la Pomme
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CPC

Sylvie Boucher

Conservative

Mrs. Sylvie Boucher (Beauport—Limoilou, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remind the members that Quebec City's Carnaval kicked off last week and that the party continues this weekend.

This weekend, the Calgary Stampede is paying a visit to its sister city in Quebec. Tomorrow morning, in finest Stampede tradition, there will be a pancake breakfast. The Prime Minister of Canada, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages, the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and many of our western colleagues will be there to flip some of their famous flapjacks.

Tomorrow evening, a huge barbecue organized by the folks from the Stampede will be held in Charlesbourg.

The people of Quebec City are in the mood for a party, and the Quebec region Conservative caucus invites one and all to come celebrate Carnaval, the Stampede, the 400th anniversary, and our national superstar, Bonhomme Carnaval.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Quebec Winter Carnival
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LIB

Nancy Karetak-Lindell

Liberal

Ms. Nancy Karetak-Lindell (Nunavut, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, a giant among pilots in the north, Adolph William Laserich, passed away last November at the age of 75.

Born in Germany in 1932, Willy moved all alone to Canada at the age of 19 in a Norwegian sealing boat.

While getting his pilot licence in Edmonton in 1957, he met Margaret Rose Bruce whom he married the following year.

The day after, the happy couple moved north and the legend of “Willy and the bandits” began. As Mike Bryant said, “Branded an outlaw by the government, adored by the communities he served, there was no pilot quite like Willy Laserich”.

Willy's company, Adlair Aviation, based in Cambridge Bay, is famous for successful medevacs, which is our equivalent of 911.

There are many families whose lives have been enriched by the daring efforts of a man determined to help those around him, including six babies born in the air. Still, in 50 years of flying, Willy maintained a perfect safety record.

Willy is survived by his wife Margaret, two sons, two daughters and four grandchildren.

Nunavut thanks the family for sharing him with us. He was a legend, a hero and a friend, and will be greatly missed.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Adolph Laserich
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CPC

Rick Norlock

Conservative

Mr. Rick Norlock (Northumberland—Quinte West, CPC)

Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, the government put a motion on notice which will ask the Senate to pass the tackling violent crime act by March 1, 2008. The bill has been in the Senate for 72 days, which is almost twice as long as it took to pass through the House of Commons. The senators passed their last pay raise in nine days, so we know they can act quickly.

They have once again demonstrated that they are quick to defend their own interests and, I submit, they should be quick to defend the interests of Canada. Canadians want the tackling violent crime act to become law. Canadians want their democratic will respected.

I urge the leader of the official opposition to show leadership in the Senate, where his senators have a majority. While he is over there, I urge him to demand that his senators give up their unaccountable ways and embrace Senate reform.

This government and this Prime Minister have shown strong leadership. We are making Canadians safer and we are fighting for more democracy in the Senate. The official opposition and its senators are not getting the job done.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Tackling Violent Crime Act
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NDP

Pat Martin

New Democratic Party

Mr. Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, there are at least two things wrong with the $120,000 untendered contract that the Minister of Finance handed over to his buddy from Queen's Park.

The first and most obvious problem is that it is a gross violation of Treasury Board guidelines to give such a contract away without a fair tendering process.

Second, what kind of finance minister, what kind of guardian of the public purse, would squander $120,000 on a single speech? That is two years' salary for the average family of four. It is an obscene, offensive, cavalier waste of money. It is a wildly irresponsible abuse of the taxpayers' money and an abuse of the public trust.

When a Liberal defence minister gave an untendered contract of one-third the size to a former girlfriend, he was dropped from the cabinet and banished to the Senate.

Those guys over there are now gorging themselves on the public purse and running roughshod over all the rules and regulations that we put in place to protect us from the Liberals. The government loses all credibility. If the Minister of Finance is not hauled up on the carpet and disciplined sternly--

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Government Contracts
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

The hon. member for Mississauga—Brampton South.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Government Contracts
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LIB

Navdeep Bains

Liberal

Hon. Navdeep Bains (Mississauga—Brampton South, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, there is a cloud looming over this country, one which this government, led by the Prime Minister, has precipitated.

The state of the economy, in the hands of the minister of fiscal mismanagement, is now akin to the Enron ride of broken dreams.

We need only look at the income trust debacle for proof of the Conservative government's inability to understand the consequences of its actions. Or perhaps the well-being of millions of Canadian retirees does not matter to the Conservative government.

Our internationally renowned health care system is now more than ever in danger of wasting away because of the Conservative government's wilful inaction and disregard for the values espoused by Lester B. Pearson.

Ever since the Conservative government came to power, it claimed accountability, integrity and honesty in government, yet when confronted by truth, it fires, forces out and silences anyone who does not toe this dangerously partisan line.

Has the Prime Minister fooled himself into believing the Canadian public cannot see the truth through the Conservative smog?

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Government Policies
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BQ

Luc Malo

Bloc Québécois

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend the flair for innovation that typifies the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. On February 20, 2008, the orchestra is performing a special concert to pay homage to the legends of the Montreal Canadiens.

Pieces by Strauss and Satie will be featured, but more importantly, the MSO has commissioned an original piece, produced by composer François Dompierre in collaboration with writer Georges-Hébert Germain. The participation of certain of our favourite players, past and present, will give an added dimension to this special event, taking spectators back to some great moments in the history of the Habs.

This daring juxtaposition, which transcends an invisible barrier, serves two purposes. First, it serves to renew interest in classical music among the general public and second, it casts a new light on a sport that is very much a part of our collective psyche. On the eve of the Montreal team's 100th anniversary, this MSO initiative is even more meaningful.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Montreal Symphony Orchestra
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LIB

David McGuinty

Liberal

Mr. David McGuinty (Ottawa South, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise here today to commemorate Black History Month, which serves to celebrate and honour the rights of black Canadians.

There is much to celebrate in terms of the achievements and contributions of black Canadians, who have left their mark on the culture and identity of our country.

Black History Month gives us the opportunity to learn more about their experiences and the vital role they have played in Canada's history. It also allows us to recognize their involvement in the political, economic and cultural fabric of our society.

Black History Month provides an opportunity to honour and celebrate the achievements of black Canadians, including artists, athletes, scientists, politicians and local celebrities, past and present.

We should all be proud of Canada's black community and I ask my fellow colleagues in the House to join me in recognizing the important contributions that this community has made and continues to make to Canadian society.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Black History Month
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February 8, 2008