April 29, 2009

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 Kitchener—Conestoga.

[Members sang the national anthem]

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CPC

Ben Lobb

Conservative

Mr. Ben Lobb (Huron—Bruce, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House to recognize one of Canada's greatest tourist destinations.

Huron—Bruce borders on Lake Huron and boasts over 100 kilometres of coastline, with world-class beaches and breathtaking sunsets. From the lighthouse tours stretching from Point Clark north, with stops in Kincardine and Saugeen Shores, and at the century-old Huron Country Playhouse barn, to the historic heritage of Goderich, Huron—Bruce is the ultimate tourist destination offering activities for all four seasons. Tourists can hike the renowned Maitland Trail, golf at the multitude of golf courses, dock at the picturesque Bayfield marina, experience a play at the Blyth Festival, or spend a night at the beautiful Benmiller Inn.

I encourage all members and their constituents to visit Huron—Bruce and experience Ontario's west coast.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Huron--Bruce
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LIB

Yasmin Ratansi

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the country is plunging headfirst into a major recession and yet the government seems to have its head stuck in the sand with regard to those workers who are losing their jobs.

I have a constituent I shall refer to as “Sam”. Sam, unfortunately, lost his job and is informed by EI authorities that he is only entitled to 32 weeks of benefits, but if he lived in other areas outside of Toronto, he would be eligible for a much greater period of benefits.

The government says that the eligibility rules will change with regional unemployment numbers, but that answer does nothing for those caught in the middle.

When will the government take concrete measures, on top of the five-week extension, to help hard-working Canadians survive this economic turmoil? Or is it a matter of the Conservatives just do not care?

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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BQ

Nicolas Dufour

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Nicolas Dufour (Repentigny, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, on April 9, 2009, at Rideau Hall, the Governor General presented Ernest Bourgault with an award for being the only surviving founder of one scout troop. Mr. Bourgault founded the Charlemagne scout troop in 1943.

Originally from Saskatchewan, Mr. Bourgault has been an ardent defender of French language and culture for over half a century. He has written two extensive autobiographies, one of which, Le grand nettoyage canadien, recounts the epic struggle he and his wife, Gilberte Châtelain, had to wage against the Government of Saskatchewan in order to have their family educated in French. A sovereignist at heart, in 1967 he participated in the founding meeting of the Mouvement souveraineté-association, the predecessor of the Parti Québécois.

As the member of Parliament for Repentigny, I would like to personally congratulate Mr. Bourgault on receiving that award. The determination he and his wife have shown serves as an excellent example for francophones outside Quebec and for all sovereignists.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Ernest Bourgault
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NDP

Jean Crowder

New Democratic Party

Ms. Jean Crowder (Nanaimo—Cowichan, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, it has been an unacceptable struggle for many aboriginal mothers to pass status to their children. For over 20 years, Sharon McIvor has fought for the sake of all aboriginal women and their descendants.

As the daughter of a status Indian woman and a non-status Indian man, McIvor's children were not recognized as status. In 1985 the court ruled that this was discriminatory based on gender and contravened international conventions on human rights and the Canadian charter.

This month Justice Groberman found Bill C-31 to be discriminatory as the status was still biased toward patrilineal lines for children born before 1985. Groberman declared section 6(1)(a) and (c) of the Indian Act to be of no force and effect.

The government has one year to address the gender discrimination in the law.

It is time for the current government to take a positive stand for aboriginal women and once and for all end discrimination against women and their children.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Aboriginal Affairs
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CPC

Royal Galipeau

Conservative

Mr. Royal Galipeau (Ottawa—Orléans, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, every day across Canada, thousands of people work behind the scenes to ensure the success of many projects. They deserve our thanks not only during National Volunteer Week, but every day.

Last Wednesday, April 22, I had the honour of hosting Phyllis Mayers and 90 other deserving volunteers from Ottawa—Orléans who gave of themselves in selfless service to others.

They are devoted, passionate and convinced we can make our communities better.

They work in arenas, in libraries, in community centres, in churches, and on soccer fields.

They are coaches, music teachers and our community leaders.

They deserve our recognition, but most of all, they deserve our admiration and our thanks.

I ask my colleagues to join me in paying tribute to these volunteers.

To those who make this country strong, vibrant and free, our hearts of gold.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Volunteerism
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LIB

John McKay

Liberal

Hon. John McKay (Scarborough—Guildwood, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, once in a while in this job, members get to do something that is unambiguously good.

A medical team in Angola, under the direction of Dr. Michael Bentley-Taylor and Dr. Stephen Foster, determined that a little two and a half year old girl needed a heart operation. She qualified for assistance under the Herbie program at the Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. Unfortunately, at the last minute, visa problems arose.

The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, to his great credit, along with his staff member, Kennedy Hong, were exceedingly helpful. My staff, Shawn Boyle and Layla Sharif, worked very hard to ensure that she arrived safe and sound in Toronto.

On April 13, little Royana had her life-saving operation. I am pleased to report to the House that she is making slow and steady progress to full recovery.

I thank the minister, his staff, my staff and our colleagues for their support and timely intervention.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Health
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CPC

Greg Rickford

Conservative

Mr. Greg Rickford (Kenora, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, we have been hearing about the kitchen cabinet the Liberals have formed and here is what we have had a taste of:

Last fall they cooked up a carbon tax and gave Canadians a serious case of election indigestion. It turns out the coalition sandwich was not a hot item on the menu either.

Come budget day, the Liberals got themselves into a real stew when they allowed a distinctly regional flavour to prevail over other important ingredients. One would have thought an opposition could cobble together a recipe to help Canadians.

I guess that is why for dessert the next day the Liberals whipped themselves into a voting frenzy and rightly supported this government's bold economic action plan. Now we know what the main entree is: tax hike à la carte.

GST, carbon tax and personal income tax are available at the Liberals' tax and spend buffet. Frankly, it sounds to me like the only thing being prepared in the Liberal kitchen cabinet is a bunch of baloney sandwiches.

Canadians have placed their order with this government and have asked for a fair slice of the economic action plan. That is what we are delivering.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Liberal Party of Canada
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BQ

Claude Guimond

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Claude Guimond (Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, March 23 marked the opening of the Maison Familiale Rurale du Bas-Saint-Laurent, the fifth of its kind in North America, and the first in our area. It is located in Saint-Clément in the les Basques RCM.

The opening of this rural family centre represents a major turning point in the region and will have a positive impact on the education of young people aged 15 to 18. There are three areas of specialization available; dairy, beef and maple syrup production, as well as A general course for any student with an interest in this novel way of learning.

This new alternative education approach will allow about twenty students to alternate work and school and will most certainly have a positive effect on the drop-out rate.

This developmental project in the les Basques RCM was a joint effort of three school boards: Fleuve-et-des-Lacs, les Phares and Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup. My congratulations to the hardworking team that has worked for many years toward the culmination of this project.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Education
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CPC

Steven Blaney

Conservative

Mr. Steven Blaney (Lévis—Bellechasse, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the cat is out of the bag. Despite his desperate efforts, the Liberal member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore can hide his intentions no longer. He wants to increase the taxation of Canadians during a full-blown economic crisis. He admits to being a free-spending Liberal ready to wring the last drop out of Canadian families' pocketbooks in order to achieve his goals. He has also stated “We will have to raise taxes.”

What taxes does he want to raise? A carbon tax? A crushing tax on businesses? We have no details on this new Liberal policy. What is the truth? What taxes would be raised? Who would be affected? How would he go about raising these taxes?

Fortunately, in these times of economic upheaval, with an economic action plan that has the backing of the Desjardins Movement and the International Monetary Fund, our Conservative government has the best economic team to help Canadian families and to protect them from the Liberals' spending vagaries.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Liberal Party Leader
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LIB

Bonnie Crombie

Liberal

Mrs. Bonnie Crombie (Mississauga—Streetsville, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, on April 18 I was delighted to take part in a tree-planting event at Culham Trail in my riding of Mississauga—Streetsville to recognize Earth Day. We were honoured to have Dave Culham with us, for whom the trail was named. The Sierra Club of Peel, the City of Mississauga, Credit Valley Conservation and the Credit River Anglers Association partnered in making the outing a very successful event.

Over 80 people gathered together and planted 500 trees. We wore our earthiest clothes. We put on gloves and boots. We rolled up our sleeves and went digging in the soil and planted trees. The inspiration was knowing that the fruits of our labour would be rewarded with trees for our children and grandchildren for years to come.

I would like to thank Peter Orphanos of the Sierra Club, Lindsey Jennings of the City of Mississauga, John Kendell of the Credit River Anglers Association, Dave Beaton of Credit Valley Conservation, Mississauga city councillor George Carlson, and all the volunteers for organizing the event. I thank them all for making the day such a success.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Culham Trail
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CPC

John Duncan

Conservative

Mr. John Duncan (Vancouver Island North, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, the NDP member for Western Arctic campaigned against the billion dollar gun registry boondoggle and then last week he forgot to vote against it.

The NDP member for Thunder Bay—Rainy River said, “I am very pleased to tell the House that for eight years, since the turn of the century—

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Firearms Registry
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LIB

Peter Milliken

Liberal

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member knows that he has to refrain from attacks on members by making statements about what they are doing. Party statements are one thing, but this is beyond that. I would urge him to switch. If he has something else to say, fine, but otherwise that is it.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Firearms Registry
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NDP

Peter Julian

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I rise once again today to urge the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to show compassion and issue ministerial relief to one of my constituents, Mikhail Lennikov, who is appealing a deportation order.

The minister has listened to the community outcry and exercised his authority to begin the process to allow Mr. Lennikov's wife, Irina, and his 17 year old son, Dmitri, to apply for permanent residency in Canada. This is commendable. However, the deportation order for Mikhail Lennikov is still in effect and now threatens to tear the family apart. The deep and lasting pain of losing a father and husband would no doubt be devastating on Irina and Dmitri.

In the 11 years that Mr. Lennikov and his family have spent in Canada, they have proven to be nothing but outstanding citizens and a solid part of the community. Mr. Lennikov has never constituted a threat to Canadian security and has never been accused of any crime.

I urge the minister to complete what is fair and just by providing the ministerial relief required to let Mikhail Lennikov stay in Canada with his loved ones, where he belongs.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Citizenship and Immigration
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CPC

Ed Komarnicki

Conservative

Mr. Ed Komarnicki (Souris—Moose Mountain, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, while the Liberal leader tours the country selling and promoting his book, our Conservative government has been working hard at managing the Canadian economy.

With our economic action plan, we are reducing the tax burden on Canadian families, we are creating jobs and we are helping Canadians who are hardest hit by the global economic recession.

The Liberals have a plan, too. Recently the Liberal leader said “We will have to raise taxes”. Raising taxes, imposing a job-killing carbon tax, increasing the GST and doing away with the universal child care benefit, that is the Liberal way. Can we imagine the action plan of the Liberals during tough economic times, discouraging economic growth and taxing Canadian families?

Canadians have a right to know this. What taxes are the Liberal Party going to raise? How much is it going to raise them by? Which Canadians are going to be targeted? Who is going to pay?

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Liberal Party of Canada
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BQ

Pierre Paquette

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Pierre Paquette (Joliette, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, youth members of Amnesty International from École Thérèse-Martin in Joliette are on the Hill today with their teacher, Marcel Lacroix, to call on the Conservative government to repatriate young Omar Khadr, the child soldier who has already spent six years at Guantanamo, where he has been tortured.

The Conservatives are refusing to intervene with the American authorities on Mr. Khadr's behalf because of the judicial process that is underway. But the recent Federal Court ruling rightly points out that Omar Khadr's detention is illegal not only under international law, but also under American law. Consequently, the Canadian government's refusal to comply with the ruling and demand that Mr. Khadr be repatriated is tantamount to condoning illegality.

Despite numerous calls to repatriate Omar Khadr, this government continues to turn a deaf ear and remain insensitive to his plight. I want to pay tribute to the commitment and sensitivity of these young people from my riding, who stand in stark contrast to this government, which is clearly incapable of either commitment or sensitivity.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Omar Khadr
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LIB

Pablo Rodriguez

Liberal

Mr. Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, conventional television is going through a structural crisis. The current economic model, based on advertising revenue, no longer works, and solutions to this problem must be found. But despite the urgency of the situation, the Minister of Canadian Heritage is busier floating trial balloons than finding real solutions.

The same is true of the CBC. Less than 48 hours ago, Hubert Lacroix, CBC president and CEO, told the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage that the status quo was no longer an option and that solutions had to be found soon. This is nothing new. Everyone knows this, including the Minister of Canadian Heritage, who is refusing to budge. Why did he refuse to support the CBC when the corporation came knocking at his door?

Now, 800 jobs have been lost. But Mr. Lacroix was clear that any new decline in revenue will lead to more layoffs. How many jobs will have to be lost before the minister deigns to lift a finger? Two thousand? More? How many?

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   CBC/Radio-Canada
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CPC

Pierre Poilievre

Conservative

Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Nepean—Carleton, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, today we celebrate Israel Independence Day.

Last week I joined the March of the Living at Auschwitz and observed the hideous scene of Nazi crimes. I witnessed there the resilience of the Jewish people, a people that has carved out of the desert one of the freest democracies on earth, in just six decades.

The Jewish state has no better friend than our Conservative Prime Minister, who has reversed the policy of his predecessors.

We were the first nation on earth to cut off aid funds to the Hamas government in Gaza, the first nation to abandon the Durban hate fest, and the only nation to block a proposed Francophonie resolution that singled out Israel.

Where once was barren sand. Now there are trees. Alive is the land. The people are free.

Mazel tov and long live Israel.

Topic:   Statements by Members
Subtopic:   Israel Independence Day
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LIB

Ralph Goodale

Liberal

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Wascana, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, this week's employment insurance numbers are not good. More than 600,000 jobless Canadians had to seek benefits in February, but thousands of others remain ineligible.

The Bank of Canada says that this recession is intensifying, but the government has no contingency plan. The more the Conservatives remain in denial, the more this becomes their Conservative recession.

Would the Prime Minister confirm that an economic update is coming in September to fix, among other things, the current EI rules that exclude too many jobless Canadians?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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CPC

Stephen Harper

Conservative

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, once again, there will be an economic statement in the fall, as there always is. It would be too early to prejudge what will be in that statement. However, I have to take some issue with the hon. member.

Everybody knows we are part of a global recession. This government has responded with the largest stimulus package in Canadian history. We believe it is having a good effect in the Canadian economy. However, no matter how hard the Liberal Party pushes, we will not raise taxes as a solution to anything.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Employment Insurance
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April 29, 2009