December 2, 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 British Columbia Southern Interior.

[Members sang the national anthem]

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CPC

Colin Mayes

Conservative

Mr. Colin Mayes (Okanagan—Shuswap, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, every community has its pioneer families who have contributed to the spirit in the community in which they live.

In the city of Salmon Arm, in the riding of Okanagan--Shuswap, the family I wish to celebrate today is the Askew family. Lloyd and Dorothy Askew founded a meat shop and later expanded it to a supermarket.

Their legacy in the community of Salmon Arm is not only the great business they and their children operate but it is their generous support to every community event and project undertaken to build the great community of Salmon Arm.

Lloyd passed away some time ago and Dorothy died on November 2 of this year, but today, through their children, this legacy still continues.

On behalf of the citizens of Salmon Arm, I thank the Askew family and their staff for all that they have contributed to the community in making it a better place to live. They are truly a shining example to all of us as to the essence of community spirit.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Community Spirit
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LIB

Alan Tonks

Liberal

Mr. Alan Tonks (York South—Weston, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to extend my congratulations to the George S. Syme Seniors' Centre of York, better known today as the Syme 55+ Centre, as it celebrates 25 years of service to the York South--Weston community.

The Syme 55+ Centre is a charitable, non-profit community-based agency. Since its inception it has been engaged in a mandate where the priority is to improve the lifestyle of seniors by improving their quality of life and by providing opportunities that encourage individuals to achieve their maximum potential.

Throughout the years the centre has continued to bring forward programs and services that have added value to its members, and has shown a dedication and commitment that has changed the lives of many.

I invite the House to join me in honouring the staff and volunteers of the Syme 55+ Centre for 25 years of wonderful service to our community.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Syme 55+ Centre
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BQ

Johanne Deschamps

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Johanne Deschamps (Laurentides—Labelle, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, today, the “Make your mark, change the world!” petition, signed by more than 55,000 people, was presented to the Canadian government.

The purpose of this protest campaign is to urge the governments of rich countries to adopt measures to decrease their greenhouse gas emissions and work together to reach an agreement that is fair to developing countries and takes the needs of vulnerable populations into account.

Climate change largely affects the poor in southern countries, and they will increasingly be forced to make changes in their way of life.

The Canadian government must make financial commitments to support initiatives to fight climate change in poor countries, and, before leaving for Copenhagen, the Prime Minister must agree to support a binding agreement on climate change.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Climate Change
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NDP

Nathan Cullen

New Democratic Party

Mr. Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour today to rise to pay tribute to the great Nelson Leeson who passed from our presence some time ago.

Nelson was elected president of the Nisga'a Lisims government. He was also the co-chair of the land claims agreement coalition. Nelson was a living symbol of what true leadership and courage in politics looks like. He is a lesson to all of us who seek elected office in speaking on behalf of his people with courage and conviction.

Nelson was a rare man indeed. He had compassion for those who suffered most. He was a bridge always between the first nations and non-first nations of this country. He was always dignified in his actions.

Nelson was also a true friend and mentor to me. He revealed to me the rich and complex culture and history of the Nisga'a people. He guided me through the politics of first nations government and the treaty process.

Nelson Leeson's passing is a true and great loss for his family, for the Nisga'a people, and for the people of this country.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Nelson Leeson
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CPC

Ed Holder

Conservative

Mr. Ed Holder (London West, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to recognize Lindsay Sleeth, a fourth year health sciences student from London's University of Western Ontario.

Each year a student at Western receives the Bruno DaSilva community service memorial award, a major scholarship given to recognize a student who leads and understands what it means to give back while carrying a full academic workload. It was my privilege to make this presentation.

The award is given to honour the memory of a young man who died 13 years ago. Bruno inspired, even at his young age, those around him. He was a leader.

Lindsay Sleeth is amazing. In addition to her studies, she is a student mentor and volunteers at Parkwood Hospital with stroke patients. She also heads the health sciences dream team, a student-run group that raises money for the southwestern Ontario chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Congratulations Lindsay. Lindsay embodies the spirit of the Bruno DaSilva award in every way. Bruno's mom, sister and I miss him every day.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Bruno DaSilva Community Service Memorial Award
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LIB

Bernard Patry

Liberal

Mr. Bernard Patry (Pierrefonds—Dollard, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to convey my sincere congratulations to the Association des amis Égypte-Canada, a friendship organization, on the success of its fifth Egyptian festival in Canada, which was held in Montreal from November 4 to 15, 2009.

The festival gives Canadians an opportunity to experience the richness of Egyptian art and culture. This year, Reda, an exceptionally talented international folk performance ensemble, wowed the audience.

It goes without saying that organizing this kind of activity involves a lot of work and planning.

The festival organizers, Nancy Youssef and Adel Iskander, spared no effort. The event was a huge success. They received financial support from the Egyptian ministry of culture thanks to minister Farouk Hosni, whose support for Canadian multiculturalism has been unwavering.

What a wonderful example of co-operation. Thank you all, my friends, and I wish you great success in the future.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Egypt
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CPC

Patrick Brown

Conservative

Mr. Patrick Brown (Barrie, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, today I rise in the House to pay respect to my local United Way branch that is celebrating 50 years in Barrie and Simcoe county. In late 1959, the Barrie united appeal was incorporated into the United Way and from day one it has been an indispensable asset to the greater Simcoe county area.

Dennis Terry and honorary chair Jennifer Robinson have taken the vision and passion from that first campaign in 1960 and inspired a new passion to succeed in our community.

This year, the United Way of greater Simcoe county has funded 22 agencies and will help over 150,000 residents. Community groups such as the David Busby Street Centre, the Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Elizabeth Fry Society are just a few of the organizations that have tremendously benefited. They will be working with a focus on reducing poverty, ending the cycle of abuse, and living with independence and dignity through healthy and stable communities.

On November 26 our United Way celebrated its 50th anniversary of public service. It gives me great pleasure to honour its service and to express my sincere gratitude to all the volunteers and donors of our United Way chapter.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   United Way
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BQ

Monique Guay

Bloc Québécois

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

Mr. Speaker, this December, the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts will exhibit works by 27 Canadian artists at the Carrousel du Musée du Louvre, and its jury has chosen a work by Quebec artist Diane Couët.

Diane Couët, a professional watercolourist who lives in Prévost in my riding, will exhibit one of her paintings, entitled Les blues de l'Himalaya at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris from December 10 to 13.

After studying plastic arts in the 1970s, she received an attestation of collegial studies in advertising layout a few years later. She publishes her drawings of the Laurentian flora in the Saint-Hippolyte community newspaper, Le Sentier. Diane Couët is one of the few Quebec artists who has illustrated French wine bottle labels. In 1991, she received the award of excellence from the Société canadienne de l'aquarelle. Today, her paintings are held in public and private collections in North America and Europe.

I am proud to draw the attention of the House to the outstanding talent of Diane Couët, and I wish her a future as bright as her paintings.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Diane Couët
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CPC

Bernard Généreux

Conservative

Mr. Bernard Généreux (Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, today the Minister of Finance presented our government's fourth report on the implementation of Canada's economic action plan.

Faced with this unprecedented crisis, Quebeckers and Canadians wanted a government that takes action. That is what we have done.

We have helped boost the economy, create jobs and protect Quebeckers and Canadians affected by the crisis.

Unlike the Bloc Québécois members who sit on their hands when Quebeckers are in need, we are taking action. Our government is determined to see this through. We will continue to work hard to ensure a lasting economic recovery for all Canadians.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Economic Action Plan
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LIB

Marlene Jennings

Liberal

Hon. Marlene Jennings (Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to point out that today marks the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.

The abolition of slavery represents more than just freedom for millions of people. It also represents the fight against poverty, illiteracy and violence against women and children.

Unfortunately, this system of slavery, thought to have been entirely eradicated, still exists in our world today. Slavery continues in Benin, Chad, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan and Togo, to name just a few countries.

Today should be a celebration marking the end of oppression, which unfortunately still exists, and the beginning of a new world in which all people can live without fear of discrimination, and with the enjoyment of equal human rights.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
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CPC

Russ Hiebert

Conservative

Mr. Russ Hiebert (South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, a year ago we learned that the Liberals would do anything to take power, including forming a coalition that would give a blank cheque to the NDP and a veto on legislation to the Bloc. When Canadians made it clear they did not support such a blatant lunge for power, the Liberal Party moved to politicize everything.

In the last week alone we have seen the Liberals politicize our soldiers to fundraise and attack a sombre celebration ceremony to promote their gun registry.

Today the Liberals' plan to politicize the Olympics has been discovered. The Liberal member for Vancouver Quadra wrote, “The Liberal Party must capitalize on the positive publicity, excitement and feel-good attitude surrounding the...Games”.

Below that, the member encourages her colleagues to raise concerns about the games when asked by the media, noting her office would provide talking points.

We have the only talking points they need. We are proud of our athletes and we wish each and every one of them well.

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

Jack Layton

New Democratic Party

Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, today marks the 20th anniversary of the election of the first female leader of a federal party in Canada. On December 2, 1989, Audrey McLaughlin was elected leader of the New Democratic Party.

Audrey inspired women both within and outside our party to believe that they could play an important role in politics.

Sadly, there has not been enough change since then. Women still only represent 22% of the members of this place.

A great deal of work remains to be done if we want to achieve gender parity in the House of Commons. This is an important goal for advancing women's equality in this country.

Without parity, issues affecting women time and time again get shunted aside, issues such as child care, pay equity, violence against women.

Women deserve better.

Today we want to congratulate Audrey McLaughlin on her pioneering achievement, and we simply want to say, we need more leaders like Audrey.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Status of Women
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CPC

Candice Bergen

Conservative

Ms. Candice Hoeppner (Portage—Lisgar, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the opposition members for Laval and Winnipeg South Centre embarrassed themselves by politicizing a sombre non-partisan event. During their shameful smearing of the ceremony that remembered the victims of the December 6 tragedy in 1989, the opposition members chose the politics of the long gun registry over respect and honour.

We will not let the Liberal attack stop us from holding important ceremonies. We will not allow the Liberals' calculated callousness to stop us from being a strong caucus of Conservative women.

How can we tell our sisters, daughters and nieces to get involved in politics when the members opposite wilfully attack a woman MP for attending a ceremony dedicated to stopping violence against women?

My constituents and I believe the ineffective and wasteful Liberal long gun registry must come to an end, but I would never hijack a ceremony of remembrance to promote my view. The opposition should be ashamed for doing just that.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Firearms Registry
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BQ

Meili Faille

Bloc Québécois

Ms. Meili Faille (Vaudreuil-Soulanges, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to invite my colleagues to support the Charter for a World without Violence, drafted for those who wish to spread a message of peace and who feel that it is necessary to reach beyond their borders and raise the global social conscience in order to encourage a culture of non-violence.

The charter calls for an end to war, the non proliferation of nuclear weapons, the destruction of stockpiles, respect for the rule of law, the abolishment of all forms of violence—including physical, economic, racial, religious, cultural, sexual and psychological violence—and it implores its adherents to share these ideals.

It is an honour for me to welcome today on the Hill the international delegation of the World March: Pierre Hennico, from Belgium, Emilia Giorgetti, from Italy, and Miguel Angel Fernandez, from Spain, as well as Anne Farrell, from Vaudreuil-Soulanges, who coordinates the francophone section of the World March. Welcome to them all.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   Charter for a World without Violence
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LIB

Michael Ignatieff

Liberal

Mr. Michael Ignatieff (Etobicoke—Lakeshore, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and the 20th anniversary of the massacre at the École polytechnique de Montréal.

On the 20th anniversary of the Montreal massacre, we remember not only the 14 women who were murdered that day, but also the 500 aboriginal women who are missing or murdered and the tens of thousands of Canadian women who are victims of domestic violence.

Twenty years ago we watched events unfold in mute horror, but these events have taught us to reaffirm that a crime against women is always a crime against everyone else and that all Canadians must stand against these acts of violence to ensure there is justice and security for all our citizens.

In remembrance of that day of horror and suffering 20 years ago, we all rededicate ourselves to the equality and dignity of women both in Canada and abroad.

We must take immediate action to ensure dignity and security for all our citizens.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
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CPC

Joy Smith

Conservative

Mrs. Joy Smith (Kildonan—St. Paul, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, today the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance delivered our government's latest economic report to Canadians.

Canada's economic action plan is a plan to stimulate the economy, create jobs for Canadians and protect those hit hardest by the economic downturn.

Just 10 months into our two-year plan, our government has already committed 97% of our plan, adding up to 12,000 projects across the country. Eight thousand have already begun. Our efforts are having a positive effect and communities across the land are seeing the benefits.

The OECD recently projected that Canada will have the second strongest economic growth among G7 countries in 2010 and the strongest G7 growth in 2011.

While our economy is recovering, it does remain fragile. However, we will stay the course and fully implement Canada's economic action plan. Doing anything else would be reckless and irresponsible.

Topic:   Statements By Members
Subtopic:   The Economy
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LIB

Michael Ignatieff

Liberal

Mr. Michael Ignatieff (Leader of the Opposition, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, President Obama told Americans that there will be intensification of combat in Afghanistan. That will affect our forces and Canada's strategy in the region.

Can the government tell us whether Canada's strategy on the ground will change? When will Canadians be informed?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Afghanistan
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CPC

Peter MacKay

Conservative

Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, there will be no change, per se, on the ground in Afghanistan. However, what we have seen is an endorsement of the good work being done by the Canadian Forces in this mission.

What we have seen, and the Leader of the Opposition will acknowledge, is an endorsement of the model which has been employed by Canadian Forces and this is confidence in their commanders and in the good work of the Canadian Forces. I know the hon. member will want to join me in congratulating that work.

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Afghanistan
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LIB

Michael Ignatieff

Liberal

Mr. Michael Ignatieff (Leader of the Opposition, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, this side of the House will always congratulate the good work done by Canadian Forces. However, there has been a change not only in intensification of combat but an intensification of diplomatic activity. We cannot bring security to Afghanistan without a mixed and balanced approach that combines diplomatic and political activity with military activity.

Given President Obama's new approach, why does the government still refuse to appoint a high-level Canadian envoy to give us leverage in the political—

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Afghanistan
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December 2, 2009