May 13, 2008

BQ

Réal Ménard

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Réal Ménard (Hochelaga, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to sincerely congratulate the Mouvement d'éducation et de défense des actionnaires, a shareholder advocacy group, and its president, Yves Michaud, on winning the opening round against the very powerful Power Corporation.

Recently, the Superior Court of Quebec ruled in Mr. Michaud's favour, stating that shareholders of a company have the right to be informed not only of that company's financial details, but also of those of the company's subsidiaries and other corporate entities. According to the decision, each company must keep these records at its headquarters and make them available to all shareholders.

The lawsuit began in May 2006 when Mr. Michaud asked Power Corporation for permission to consult Gesca's financial statements. When the company refused to disclose the information, Mr. Michaud took the matter to court. Last Friday, he attended Power Corporation's annual general meeting to learn more, but to no avail.

I know Mr. Michaud, and I know that he will continue the fight. Congratulations on this first victory.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Yves Michaud
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NDP

Peggy Nash

New Democratic Party

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

Mr. Speaker, in the city of Toronto, swimming pools are threatened with closure because of a lack of school board funding. I have joined with the community to protest because we cannot sit by and let this happen.

Our parents and grandparents built these pools in much leaner times and it defies logic that, when our country is wealthier than ever, we cannot find the funds to maintain them.

The Canadian Ministry of Health website recommends swimming as an excellent activity for health promotion. We know it develops coordination, fitness and confidence. It helps prevent obesity and is therapeutic for seniors. Knowing how to swim saves lives. A swim program is a better crime prevention tool than the law and order crackdown by the government.

We need more than a website to promote public health. We need federal funding. Rather than reduce our fiscal capacity with tax cuts to very profitable corporations, we need to invest in our people and communities.

I have introduced a motion calling for federal funds for sports infrastructure, such as soccer fields, cycling paths, and swimming pools. Let us use our common sense as a country to invest in the resources that will help our children develop to the best of their ability and help everyone stay fit and healthy.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Health
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CPC

Mike Allen

Conservative

Mr. Mike Allen (Tobique—Mactaquac, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, during the last few weeks, I had the privilege of attending events honouring the service of volunteer firefighters in my riding. The ceremonies for Keswick Ridge and Bath fire departments highlight why volunteerism is a fundamental part of healthy communities.

These firefighters give much of their time in order to help our families in times of need. They take training courses so they can deliver better quality service in any emergency situation.

This contribution is shared by volunteer members and their families who support the many hours of effort it takes to be the best they can be.

I want to take this opportunity to thank Chief LeBlanc of Keswick Ridge and Chief Armour of Bath and all the fire chiefs in the region for their leadership. I also want to congratulate Clarence Coffey and Greg Gilmore for their long service to the Keswick Ridge Department and to Roy Demerchant of Bath for his 46 years of service before retirement.

On behalf of the good people of Tobique--Mactaquac, I would like to thank the firefighters for undertaking the very important work that makes our rural communities a safer place to live, work and raise a family.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Volunteer Firefighters
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LIB

Larry Bagnell

Liberal

Hon. Larry Bagnell (Yukon, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, great Canadians Rich Hanson and Terry Fox embarked on epic cross-Canada fundraising journeys. On April 12, a third young Canadian hero, Ramesh Ferris, legs crippled with polio, started his cross-Canada crusade.

Millions of children around the world, and shockingly 11% of Canadians, are not vaccinated and could be crippled for life if we stand by and do nothing.

For only 60¢, the cost of a quarter cup of coffee, we could prevent a life of misery for a child in Nigeria, India, Pakistan or Afghanistan. We could help wretched souls, who have had to crawl around in the dirt and mud for their entire lives, to now stand and walk for the first time.

This is why this courageous young man started from Whitehorse and Victoria to a hero's welcome. This is why I want all members to welcome him with a hero's welcome when he arrives in their community and give generously to cycletowalk.com to eradicate polio from the face of the earth.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Cycle to Walk
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CPC

Betty Hinton

Conservative

Mrs. Betty Hinton (Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Mr. John Babcock, our last known first world war veteran, became a Canadian citizen today at a ceremony at his home in Spokane, Washington. This is in recognition of his military service to Canada and his expressed desire, at age 107, to become a citizen of the country where he was born. The hon. Minister of Veterans Affairs is in Spokane today to witness Mr. Babcock taking his oath of citizenship.

Mr. Babcock's contribution to our collective understanding of the first world war experience is immeasurable. He is well known across Canada and the United States for his humour, his storytelling and his energy, which he credits to his training in the army.

He has shared his experience with youth in schools to ensure that the contribution of those who served their country is remembered for all time. Mr. Babcock is our last personal connection to a remarkable generation of Canadian heroes. As he said this morning, “I was born in Canada and now I am a Canadian. This completes the circle of my life”.

Welcome back, Mr. Babcock.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Veterans
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BQ

Pierre Paquette

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Pierre Paquette (Joliette, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to inform the House that a former member, the current mayor of Joliette, René Laurin, was awarded the Quebec National Assembly medal.

Mr. Laurin received this recognition for his achievements as mayor of Joliette. Those achievements include the opening of the Rina-Lasnier library, and the redevelopment of the downtown area and Manseau Boulevard, the city's main artery. He also does an outstanding job in his role at the regional level, and his leadership and dynamic nature are positively infectious. He was chosen as the 2007 personality of the year by the Lanaudière newspaper L'Action.

He is known for his love of arts and culture, and under his initiative, the city of Joliette has forged partnerships with the major institutions of our region, including the Joliette art museum and the International Festival of Lanaudière.

René Laurin served as the member for Joliette in the House of Commons from 1993 to 2000 in the Bloc Québécois caucus. He is a patriot in every sense of the word and, in my own name and on behalf of my colleagues, I would like to congratulate him on this well-deserved honour.

Bravo, René.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   René Laurin
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CPC

Peter Goldring

Conservative

Mr. Peter Goldring (Edmonton East, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, today I pay tribute to a remarkable woman who touched the lives of over 2,500 people while unselfishly risking her own. At the age of 98 Irena Sendler passed away yesterday in Warsaw, Poland.

During World War II Irena led an underground Polish group that rescued 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto during the Holocaust. She was honoured for her bravery as the 2003 winner of the Jan Karski award for valour and courage and then was nominated for the Nobel peace prize.

Last month the Prime Minister visited Auschwitz. In the museum's book of remembrance he wrote:

We are witness here to the vestiges of unspeakable cruelty, horror and death. Let us never forget these things and work always to prevent their repetition.

On behalf of the Government of Canada, I offer my deepest condolences to Irena Sendler's family and to all who were forever impacted by her generosity and selflessness.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Irena Sendler
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LIB

Lawrence MacAulay

Liberal

Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (Cardigan, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise in this chamber today to commend five students from the province of Prince Edward Island on their accomplishments in the field of science. Brandon Doyle, Daniel Larson, Emily Ross, Simon Trivett and Rebecca Wolfe are in Ottawa this week participating in the Canada-wide science fair.

This national fair, presented by the Youth Science Foundation Canada, is a showcase of our nation's brightest young minds. This fair will focus attention on the commitment of our nation's young people to science and technology and as such, it is an opportunity for us to celebrate the imagination and innovation of Canadian youth.

I would like to congratulate these five young Islanders, as well as all participants from across the country, for their accomplishments.

I would ask all members of Parliament to join me in saluting this group of young students from across the nation as they are the next generation of great thinkers and trailblazers of science in Canada.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Science Fair
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CPC

Steven Blaney

Conservative

Mr. Steven Blaney (Lévis—Bellechasse, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, what will Canada be like in 2050? What policies would improve our society so that it reflects our highest aspirations?

Young people in Lévis, Bellechasse and Les Etchemins entered the “Ton Canada en 2050” contest and answered these fascinating questions.

The members of the jury were impressed by the creativity and energy of these secondary students and the teachers who got involved.

Today, we welcome to the Hill more than 70 students from École Marcelle-Mallette in Lévis who entered the contest. They include Clara Turcotte, whose entry focuses on social commitment, Justine Bernier-Blanchette, who talks about research and development, and Josée Turmel, who wants to eliminate the use of plastic bags.

I want to congratulate all of the students and thank them for taking part in the contest. I am very proud of them. With young people like them, who may one day take our place, Canada is in good hands.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   “Your Canada in 2050” Contest
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NDP

Chris Charlton

New Democratic Party

Ms. Chris Charlton (Hamilton Mountain, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, no issue in recent memory has risen as dramatically in the public's consciousness as food security. Literally, within a matter of weeks, Canadians everywhere have started to talk anxiously about the world food crisis. And it is indeed a crisis.

The issues that are affecting the supply, and hence the cost, of food right now are creating the perfect storm. The rising oil prices, collapse in food stocks, price increases driven by speculators, market concentration within the food system, climate change, the world's population increase, and the new emphasis on biofuels, all have combined to create global food scarcity.

Many of these problems are systemic and they will not go away unless we, as politicians, turn our minds to addressing the fundamentals. We just recently had one such opportunity when enabling legislation for biofuels was before this House. Only the NDP voted against the bill, not because we do not support energy alternatives to petroleum but because the legislation gives the government a blank cheque to feed cars instead of people.

The bill will come back to the House for a final vote. I urge members to reconsider their support. The world food crisis should give all of us food for thought.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   World Food Crisis
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LIB

Karen Redman

Liberal

Hon. Karen Redman (Kitchener Centre, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Canada's junior hockey fans are turning their attention to Kitchener for the Canadian Hockey League's 2008 Memorial Cup.

The 90th edition of the MasterCard Memorial Cup will take place May 16th through to the 25th. The cup arrives in Kitchener on Thursday and we can be sure that the Kitchener Rangers, who captured the Ontario Hockey League championship last night, will make us proud in their quest to keep the cup in Kitchener.

The 90th anniversary Memorial Cup championship features the best hockey currently played on Canadian soil. As well, the Canadian Forces will be featured prominently.

The Memorial Cup was donated to the Ontario Hockey Association in 1919 as a memorial to the Canadians who fought and died in the first world war. Current military personnel and veterans will be honoured for their service this year.

Volunteers, community sponsors and the entire city have been working tirelessly to ensure that the 90th anniversary of the Memorial Cup is a fitting tribute to junior hockey in Canada. I ask this House to join me in wishing all players, the members of the Rangers' team, and all people in Kitchener the very best.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Memorial Cup
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BQ

Mario Laframboise

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, on this day after the byelections that were held in three Quebec ridings, I want, on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, to congratulate the three candidates from the Parti Québécois for their excellent campaign.

The people in the ridings of Bourget and Pointe-aux-Trembles reiterated their confidence in the Parti Québécois by electing our former colleague, Maka Kotto and former minister Nicole Léger, who is returning to politics.

I also want to acknowledge the impressive performance by the Parti Québécois candidate for Hull, Dr. Gilles Aubé, who gained an impressive increase in support for his party over the previous election.

The results of these three byelections are a tremendous testament to the fact that under Pauline Marois' leadership, the Parti Québécois has earned the trust of a increasing proportion of the Quebec electorate.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Quebec Byelections
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LIB

Geoff Regan

Liberal

Hon. Geoff Regan (Halifax West, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are starting to get used to this government's arrogant attitude. When the Conservatives have problems, which is increasingly the case, their strategy is to fire at all targets: the provinces, the media, Elections Canada, the nuclear regulator, the RCMP. The list of enemies is long.

Their hypocrisy knows no bounds. The Kelowna accord is just one example. Their most inane argument about Kelowna is that it was not written on paper, so imagine my surprise when the PM made a $30 billion defence strategy announcement that is not written down on paper. Was there a briefing note? No. Was there a background document? No. Were there any specific details at all? No.

For $30 billion, Canadians expect the kind of detailed, comprehensive plan they normally get from the Department of National Defence, not just a smokescreen.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Conservative Government
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CPC

Rob Anders

Conservative

Mr. Rob Anders (Calgary West, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, recently, the members for Toronto Centre, Willowdale and Vancouver Quadra asked voters to send them to Ottawa to represent their interests in the House of Commons.

Last night, these three Liberal MPs abstained on a matter of confidence on the economy. Even though they were elected just weeks ago, already they are refusing to do their job to stand and vote. Who will stand for Toronto Centre, Willowdale and Vancouver Quadra if not their MPs?

Canadians expect that those to whom they give that privilege will carry out the duties and responsibilities of elected members of Parliament, the simplest of which is the duty and responsibility to vote. It is clear that these Liberal MPs are more interested in scheming to regain power than representing their constituents in the House of Commons.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Members of Parliament
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LIB

Stéphane Dion

Liberal

Hon. Stéphane Dion (Leader of the Opposition, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the government still refuses to tell Canadians what security checks, if any, were followed with respect to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and his spouse.

Over the last six days, many security experts have said this is a valid question because of the risk to national security. Will the Prime Minister tell Canadians what security checks were followed?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Security
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, that question is really trying to legitimize a transparent attempt to ask about what are purely private matters, although I will treat the question with the seriousness it deserves.

Of course, as leader I really do wish that I would know more about the dates of my caucus members. I certainly encourage them to bring them around to my office so I can at least meet them and to assure me that they will be able to be in question period the next day.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Security
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LIB

Stéphane Dion

Liberal

Hon. Stéphane Dion (Leader of the Opposition, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, over the past six days, some experts have not found the question to be amusing and have said that it is a serious security concern. They include Chris Mathers, former RCMP secret agent, Michel Juneau-Katsuya, former intelligence and security officer, Wesley Wark, intelligence and security expert with the University of Toronto, and many others, including the Minister of Public Works who said that, if he were in opposition, he would have asked the question.

The Prime Minister cannot evade the question. He has to tell Canadians what security measures, if any, were taken.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Security
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CPC

Peter Van Loan

Conservative

Hon. Peter Van Loan (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I think I told this House already that this government would not put national security at risk. However, we know that is not what this is about. This is about a Liberal leader with no policies, no vision, but he sure has a taste for salacious gossip and he does not mind seeing his party lowered to personal attacks. It is very different from what he said back on April 5, 2007, when he said, “I would be very pleased to see less personal attacks, less low politics”. Well, he certainly has changed.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Security
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LIB

Stéphane Dion

Liberal

Hon. Stéphane Dion (Leader of the Opposition, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, by refusing to answer, the Prime Ministeris needlessly prolonging his minister's agony. He is keeping Canadians in the dark about a security matter of concern to them and is leading us to believe, once again, that he has something to hide.

Is he refusing to answer because no security measure was taken and he does not want to admit that to Canadians?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Security
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CPC

Peter Van Loan

Conservative

Hon. Peter Van Loan (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, Canadians believe that private lives should be private lives and be respected as such.

We see a Liberal Party and a Liberal leader that feel very differently. It is different, though, from what he used to say. He said, “I won't be playing the smear game. I will be playing the high road,” back on March 5, 2007.

Apparently the only high road he is willing to play is the road to higher taxes, a higher GST, higher gas taxes, higher fuel taxes. That is his high road.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   National Security
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May 13, 2008