House of Commons Hansard #93 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was grain.

Topics

AbitibiBowater Workers in Dolbeau-Mistassini
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Madam Speaker, today I would like to reiterate my support for the workers of AbitibiBowater in Dolbeau-Mistassini who are currently experiencing hard times. The company has announced that it will close the paper mill for an indefinite period, raising doubts about whether activities will start up again.

On behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I wish to offer my absolute support to these men and women. I am prepared to fight with them to the end in order to save their jobs.

No matter what the member for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean has said in the local papers, his government is most definitely not showing forestry workers the same consideration and respect shown auto sector workers. He should give the rhetoric a rest and ensure that measures are put in place to help the forestry industry and that the employment insurance program is overhauled so that workers in this sector can qualify for benefits.

Cowichan Sweaters
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Madam Speaker, Cowichan tribe has a long and proud history of producing its Cowichan sweaters. When Vancouver won the Winter Olympics bid, knitters saw this as a perfect opportunity to showcase their work and made a bid to provide Canada's Olympians with these iconic sweaters.

An experienced knitter like Jenny Martin can finish a sweater in a day. To prove their worth, Emily Sawyer-Smith knit sweaters with the Olympic rings for the IOC president and Premier Campbell.

VANOC says that sustainable purchasing can help generate growth of businesses in aboriginal communities, but that principle was ignored when the Hudson's Bay Company decided to go with a more expensive imitation of the Cowichan sweater made by a corporation.

Once again, a first nation loses an economic development opportunity while corporate Canada makes a profit on winter games that were supposed to bring economic benefits to all aboriginal peoples in Canada. What went wrong?

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Madam Speaker, yesterday, the Liberal leader was conspicuously absent when an important confidence vote was held in this House, demonstrating once again that he is not concerned about Canadians.

Today, the Liberal leader is saying he is ready to take the risk of raising our taxes. He wants to raise the GST and impose a tax on carbon, on everything in fact. He is completely out of touch with reality.

For weeks, he has done nothing but talk about a pointless election no one wants. Now, he is threatening us with tax hikes people cannot afford.

When is he going to wake up and realize that the nation is going through an economic crisis? When is he going to wake up and realize that our people are suffering? When is he going to wake up, period?

You do not need to have gone to Harvard to understand what is happening in Canada. People cannot have confidence in a Liberal leader.

Toronto International Airport
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, as part of my efforts to give the people of York West a greater voice in the decisions impacting on their community, I recently held a round table in my riding. The focus of the event was the Toronto International Airport and the impact its growth is having on the community.

While residents know the airport is a tool of economic development, tourism and jobs, they have concerns deserving of urgent attention. More flights over homes mean more noise pollution.

It is time for the community to be given a greater role in the future plans of the airport and the recognition of the challenges. The people of York West are calling on the government to make that happen. There must be more community input, more timely and effective communication to residents. We need to see real coordination between neighbourhoods, Nav Canada, Transport Canada and the GTAA.

My constituents know the airport is necessary, but in some cases its growth is causing problems. The people of York West want to help prepare for the future growth of the airport. It is time the government started listening to their concerns.

Community Futures Development Corporations
Statements By Members

October 8th, 2009 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Schellenberger Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the work being done by community futures development corporations. My riding of Perth—Wellington is served by three CFDCs: Perth, Waterloo-Wellington and Saugeen.

Funded by Industry Canada, CFDCs provide business and community economic development services, business and community planning, and access to capital.

Our government recently provided CFDCs across southern Ontario with additional investment funds that can be loaned to entrepreneurs and growing businesses. They have also received funding that will support business planning and research, marketing and export development, training, hiring interns, and community development projects.

I have always been impressed by the knowledgeable and helpful CFDC staff members and their ability to deliver programs in our rural communities and small urban centres. I would like to thank the general managers, staff and board of directors of the Perth, Waterloo-Wellington and Saugeen CFDCs.

Canada Post
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Pomerleau Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, on September 25, Canada Post decided to deprive the citizens of an entire neighbourhood in the new City of Drummondville of the services of a post office. More than 5,000 people learned through a form letter that they will now be forced to travel several kilometres to get to a post office.

Worse yet is that according to the franchisee, the contract signed with the Alain Doucet smoke shop in the Saint-Charles area of Drummondville is valid until October 2010. We have our doubts about Canada Post management's good faith when, on the orders of the minister responsible, they keep trying to cut services, despite the announcement of the Canadian Postal Service Charter on September 12.

Is that how Canada Post has decided to get around the moratorium on closing rural post offices?

Credit Unions
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Canada's credit union system in advance of International Credit Union Day on October 15.

Member owned and democratically controlled, credit unions offer services that are determined by the needs of their entire membership. Credit unions help communities drive economic growth. Despite the economic downturn, they have maintained their strong financial position and continue to seek ways to enhance services to their members. This commitment to service is evident in more than 380 communities across Canada where credit unions are the sole financial institutions.

Outside Quebec, there are 497 credit unions and caisses populaires with over 1,700 locations serving more than five million people and managing assets in excess of $117 billion. When including Quebec caisses populaires, the total rises to 957, with one in three Canadians holding a credit union membership.

I extend my congratulations to all credit unions, vital components of Canada's economic and social life.

Rotary International
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the motto of Rotary International is “Service Above Self”. Its wide-ranging activities include the development of community service projects that address many of today's most critical issues, such as, children at risk, poverty, hunger, the environment, illiteracy and violence. It also promotes ethical behaviour.

One of the most widely quoted statements in business and professional ethics is the Rotary four-way test. The four-way test asks the following four questions: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Today I am honoured to pay tribute to the men and women of Rotary International for their outstanding service and their ethical guidance in Canada and around the world.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to today's headlines, the Liberal leader is ready to take the risk of increasing taxes as part of his hidden agenda, but he is beating a retreat yet again, claiming this was not his intention. Canadians would be taking a big risk, a very big risk, by trusting someone who contradicts himself day after day, and who hastily throws together policies.

The Liberal leader is looking more and more like an armchair quarterback who is playing a game of chicken, but who is unable to actually get up and make a single play.

When will the Liberal leader be “adult” enough to have a serious conversation with Quebeckers and to reveal his hidden agenda concerning massive and devastating tax hikes?

International Plowing Match and Rural Expo
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week 85,000 people visited the village of Earlton in the beautiful riding of Timmins—James Bay. They came to celebrate the 2009 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo. People came from France, the United States, all over southern Ontario and Quebec. They were amazed, of course, by the beauty of the land but in particular by the unique spirit of the people.

The event was a celebration of northern culture and identity. Anglophones, Franco-Ontarians, Quebeckers from Abitibi, first nations people from Quebec and Ontario; when we all work together, we are a force to be reckoned with.

I would like to give a big thanks to Darlene Bowen, Norm Koch, Albert Gauthier, Frank and Yolande Rivard, Jules Gravel, John Vanthof and the thousand-plus volunteers who made this the biggest event in the history of the north.

Taxation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Liberal leader's office launched an adult conversation about higher taxes. This follows the Liberal leader's April statement, “We will have to raise taxes,” and his December 2008 statement, “I'm not going to take a GST hike off the table”. Last month he voted against the Conservative home renovation tax credit.

I respect the Liberal leader as a renowned academic theorist, but he should not turn his nose up at taxpayers.

The Conservative Prime Minister has lowered the GST, dropped income taxes and brought in tax credits for kids' sports, textbooks and tradesmen's tools. We have given child care dollars to parents and helped them invest with a tax-free savings account. We believe in hard work and the freedom to keep the fruits of that work.

Taxpayers are adults. They work hard for their money and do not need his visiting eminence to spend it for them.

Minister of Finance
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, taxpayers should be worried about the award given to the Minister of Finance by Euromoney magazine.

In fact, that same magazine gave its 2005 award for excellence—best investment bank to Lehman Brothers. I would remind the House that that financial institution was one of the main actors behind the subprime mortgage problems that led to the worst economic crisis since the second world war. Just ask its shareholders.

This was the minister who, in the fall of 2008, refused to acknowledge the looming financial crisis and made lots of rosy predictions, claiming that he could still maintain a balanced budget. It was also this minister who underestimated the size of the deficit by 50%, once he finally admitted there would be a deficit.

I would advise the Minister of Finance and Euromoney—rather than boasting about this award—to try out for the Just for Laughs festival.

China
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, at an event in Montreal celebrating the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China on September 28, I was informed by some of my constituents that the embassy had requested permission from the Department of Foreign Affairs to open a general consulate in Montreal over one year ago. No answer has been forthcoming.

There is a very large Chinese community established in the greater Montreal area, close to 100,000 people according to Statistics Canada. It would be a terrible shame should the convenience of a general consulate be denied them.

The current government has been rather ambivalent about this question and it is embarrassing to think that we have not yet been able to respond to such a request from the Chinese embassy.

The Chinese embassy is not merely a small diplomatic office no one has ever heard of. On the contrary, China is now part of the G20 thanks to its dynamic economy.

They are respected members around the table and have a strong and equal voice on the future of our world's financial strength. There are consulate general offices in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. Why are there none in Montreal?

Bill C-25
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Liberal senators gutted Bill C-25, a key piece of anti-crime legislation that seeks to end the practice of reducing criminal sentences at a ratio of 2:1 for time served in pre-trial custody.

We have always known that the Liberal leader was soft on crime and now he has proven it. Despite overwhelming public support, the Liberals gutted the bill by passing an amendment that continues the practice for two for one sentencing.

Bill C-25 was passed unanimously by the House of Commons and this bill is supported by provincial justice ministers from all parties, as well as victims groups and police associations.

Canadians have been clear that they want criminals to be sentenced to reflect the seriousness of their crimes and yet the Liberals gutted this important piece of anti-crime legislation. This proves that the Liberal leader is not sincere in fighting crime. He is not in it for Canadians. He is in it for himself.

Health
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the United States, Australia and China are already vaccinating their populations against the H1N1 flu. Europe and Japan will begin within the next few days. Canada will not begin for another month. The health minister says that this is all according to her plan.

Could the government explain the logic of any plan that deliberately puts Canada behind the rest of the world in protecting citizens against H1N1? What is the logic of that?