House of Commons Hansard #47 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Leader of the Liberal Party
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, as Canadians have suspected for quite some time, in addition to being a brand that smacks of scandal, the Liberal brand is synonymous with higher taxes.

The Liberal Party leader, the hon. member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore, recently gave us a glimpse of his hidden fiscal agenda.

Not only did he bring back some of the major and secondary players of the sponsorship scandal to advise him on his communications and policies, but he also very clearly said, “We will have to raise taxes”.

Since the public still does not know exactly what the Liberal leader has planned, we have some questions for him. Which taxes will he raise? Who will be affected by these new taxes? How does he plan to go about raising these taxes?

Will he finally come clean with Canadians and Quebeckers, who have had enough of Liberal tax increases?

People want the truth.

Israel
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, Israel is celebrating its 61st anniversary in the headwinds of a gathering storm. Israel and the Jewish people are the only state and people that are the standing targets of genocidal threats, and Israel is the only state grotesquely accused of genocide, an accusation itself used as prologue and justification for its dismantling.

Today we are celebrating our profound and lasting friendship with Israel. We are celebrating its commitment to promote and protect democracy, human rights and the rule of law. We are also celebrating its extraordinary contribution to humanity in the areas of medicine, science, technology, agriculture, health care, education and culture.

I will close by reciting the age old prayer for peace in the aboriginal language of Hebrew:

[Member spoke in Hebrew as follows:]

Oseh Shalom Bimromov, Who Yaaseh Shalom, Alenu V'al Kol Israel, V'imeru, Amen.

As I said in Hebrew: May God, who establishes peace on high, grant peace for us all, Amen.

Workplace Safety
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is the National Day of Mourning. This is why the flags on Parliament Hill are flying at half-mast.

We stand united across party lines as we pay our sincere tribute to the workers and their families who have been permanently affected by workplace tragedies. Last year, there were 78 work-related fatalities in Ontario alone and another 257 from occupational disease. Over 78,000 Canadians were injured seriously enough to miss work.

In a strong nation such as Canada, it is fitting that we pay homage to the men and women who have had their lives tragically cut short, and those injured at work. These men and women have paid the ultimate price while making our nation a better place to live, and they deserve the honour we bestow upon them today.

We must remain committed to making all Canadian work environments as safe as possible to protect employees across Canada.

Let us please give our respects to those workers who have fallen in their line of duty.

Workplace Safety
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to read this statement on behalf of my colleague from Windsor West.

Today marks the 25th National Day of Mourning. Labour unions instituted this day to raise awareness and remember the thousands of workers whose lives have been permanently changed by injury and the hundreds who have died. Federal legislation introduced by NDP MP Rod Murphy in 1990 was passed to formally recognize the day across Canada.

Today the community of Windsor, Ontario will pay special remembrance to Claudio Cardosa, who, sadly, lost his life this past January at his place of work. His wife Veronica and two young sons, Mateo, age four, and Mauricio, age one and a half, will lay a wreath tonight at the Injured Workers Monument to remember their husband and father who was lost to workplace negligence.

On this day of action, I call upon the government to appoint special prosecutors to lay charges against employers when they disregard their own workers' safety and cause injuries or fatalities.

Remembering workers serves to remind us how our actions today can save lives and prevent injuries.

Firefighters
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, communities from across Canada have sent representatives of their firefighter forces to raise issues of public safety here in Ottawa, including two from Barrie, Kevin White and Charlie Gray.

I want to take this opportunity to commend the ongoing valour, courage and commitment to public safety that is expressed on a daily basis by firefighters in this country.

I am particularly proud of the Barrie firefighters. They raised $106,000 in 2008 for Muscular Dystrophy Canada and community projects. They run a scholarship program for aspiring firefighters for education in the name of the late Bill Wilkins, one of Barrie's finest who passed away May 27, 2002 in the line of duty. These two charities are among the many the firefighters happily support.

Their voice is certainly recognized by this government. Two years ago their visit to the Hill resulted in national hazardous material training, which they raised as a Canadian need. This week, that fund was enhanced again by the Minister of Public Safety.

Today, I salute with enthusiasm the dedicated firefighters across this country who protect our families and our communities.

Beau Dommage
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, Quebec's National Assembly will honour a legendary musical group from Quebec, Beau Dommage, on the occasion of its 35th anniversary. This well-known group was formed in 1973 and released its first album in 1974. Beau Dommage achieved instant success with its eponymous record, which included recordings of Ginette, Le picbois, and the legendary La complainte du phoque en Alaska.

Pierre Bertrand, Marie-Michèle Desrosiers, Réal Desrosiers, Michel Hinton, Pierre Huet, Robert Léger and Michel Rivard are also much loved in France, where they toured in 1977. They performed at the legendary Quebec national holiday concert on Mount Royal in 1976. The group broke up in 1978, but reunited several times over the following years to record new albums and play concerts.

The Bloc Québécois salutes Beau Dommage, whose tunes have been hummed by thousands of Quebeckers over the past few decades.

Workplace Safety
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is the National Day of Mourning, remembering Canadians who have been disabled or killed in the workplace, and their families whose lives will never be the same.

Over 1,000 workers were killed last year in workplace incidents and from occupational disease. Thousands more were disabled to such an extent that they had to miss work. On average, four workers are killed each day in Canada due to workplace incidents. Most accidents are preventable and we should be striving to reduce the number of unsafe workplaces.

The government has a role to play in preventing these incidents and assisting those who are disabled due to their occupation. The government should be investigating the health outcomes of occupational incidents on individuals and their families from a social and health related perspective.

I call on members of this House to commit to working toward building a healthier and safer working environment.

Victims of Terror
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the presence of Canadian victims of terror who are here today as part of the events marking National Victims of Crime Awareness Week.

Events such as the reception hosted by the Canadian Coalition Against Terror this evening in Centre Block help raise awareness for terror victims. As Canadians, we can learn from these victims strength and perseverance, which is a model to us all. Their experience reminds us why Canada must remain vigilant in combatting terror.

I would also like to thank C-CAT for its tireless work representing Canadians who have personally and directly experienced the horrific impact of terrorism. C-CAT is an invaluable organization, ensuring that terror victims are heard and helping our government devise policies to protect Canadians from terror and provide necessary support to all of the victims.

Our government looks forward to continuing to work with C-CAT, working towards a future where no Canadian is a victim of terrorism.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is presiding over an unprecedented jobs crisis in Canada. Between October and February, the number of people on employment insurance soared by 22%. February was the worst month for new claims on record, and 610,000 Canadians are now dependent on EI.

What new measures can the Prime Minister offer to help Canadians through this crisis?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as the House knows, the jobs crisis is, of course, a worldwide crisis. This government has taken a number of important measures. We have extended the EI benefits for all recipients. We have hired new people, close to 900 people, to process EI much more quickly. We have seen a 40% increase in the processing of claims. We have 82% of those paying EI receiving benefits. We have also increased the training both for EI and non-EI recipients. We will continue to do whatever is necessary to help the unemployed and prepare them for the jobs of the future.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there is a fundamental problem of eligibility here that the Prime Minister is not addressing. The number of people applying for EI in February was up 19%, but the number who actually received EI was up 8%. So Canadians are losing their jobs, but thousands remain ineligible for EI.

What steps will the Prime Minister take to ensure that these laid-off workers get the help that they are entitled to?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition has to be careful in judging these things from month to month. Over the past year there has been about a 33% increase in both EI beneficiaries and unemployment. The measures we put in place will not only continue to help those who are receiving EI but will in fact lengthen the benefit period for those workers. As well, as we have said, we will train them to make sure they will be ready for the jobs that will come when the recovery comes.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, my question not having been answered, I shall put it again. The number of people applying for EI in January and February was up 19%, but the number who actually received EI over the same period was up only 8%.

What steps will the Prime Minister take to remedy this unfair situation?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the answer remains the same. One cannot judge the situation based on figures from month to month. The percentage of increase in both EI beneficiaries and unemployment has been the same over the past year.

Let me be very clear, I am not sure what exactly now the Leader of the Opposition is proposing, but I can assure him that what we will not be doing is raising EI premiums and other taxes on Canadians.

Health
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is the first time the risk has risen above phase three on the World Health Organization's six-step pandemic alert system since the current scale was adopted.

How much time does the Minister of Health expect will be required for a swine flu vaccine to be created, mass-produced and distributed to Canadians? What specific preventive measures will the minister take to protect the health of Canadians during the time for which no vaccine is available?