House of Commons Hansard #56 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was officers.

Topics

International Day Against Homophobia
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Réal Ménard Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 17, Fondation Émergence will be marking this year's International Day against Homophobia around the theme “Homosexuality knows no borders”.

Homosexuality is universal and knows no geographical borders. The purpose of the 2009 campaign is to raise public awareness, particularly among all ethnocultural communities, regardless of origin, to the realities of homosexuality and sexual diversity. These communities make invaluable contributions to our society, but some of their members come from countries where homosexuality is illegal. We need to make them aware that what was illegal in their country is allowed, and protected by law, in their host society.

Fondation Émergence marked the occasion as well by presenting its 2009 Fight Against Homophobia Award to Dany Turcotte, television host and comedian. My warmest congratulations to him.

May this day remind all of us that homophobia is always present and that we must fight against it.

Canada's Motto
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate and thank the Liberal leader for supporting my motion to change Canada's motto to truly reflect the geographic reality of our Arctic nation.

Canada's motto is an important symbol, which should describe Canada extremely well. Motion No. 110 is a motion I have tabled in the House several times.

This morning I wrote to both the Liberal leader and the Prime Minister. I asked the Liberal leader whether he could formally support Motion No. 110 by becoming a seconder. I asked the Prime Minister for his support to move this initiative forward.

I call on all members of the House from coast to coast to coast to support amending the motto. Not only is it a symbol of Canada's Arctic sovereignty, it is a symbol of how the House can put aside partisanship and co-operate with each other.

Agriculture
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, there is a belief among those who live and work on the Prairies that the NDP and its leaders are out of touch with the realities and values of rural Canada.

It is now clear that this belief is a definite reality. One only has to look at the recent NDP mail-out to my riding in which farmers are labelled as seasonal employees. That is amazing.

As a farmer myself, I can say without reservation that farmers across the country take offence to the NDP's obvious ignorance of the farmgate. There is nothing seasonal about farming. Farmers are among the hardest working entrepreneurs in our country. They work year-round to ensure that their business assets operate at peak performance, from seeding in the spring to harvesting in the fall.

I now understand why the party of Tommy Douglas has not won a seat in my home province in the last three elections. Quite simply, the NDP has become nothing more than an urban protest party that has dismissed its rural soul. The NDP now stands for nothing and opposes absolutely everything.

Ottawa School of Art
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, we all acknowledge the importance of art in our life and in our respective communities. In Ottawa, we are fortunate to have had the benefit for the last 130 years of the Ottawa School of Art.

The Ottawa School of Art plays a lead role in visual arts education and is also well known for its dynamism and innovative programs.

Her Excellency the Right Hon. Michaëlle Jean has continued a viceregal tradition dating back to the 19th century by becoming the school's honorary patron, for which we thank her.

Like all institutions, its vitality depends on the people involved. The students, staff and numerous volunteers at the Ottawa School of Art are the reasons behind its decades long tradition of excellence.

I wish the Ottawa School of Art a happy 130th anniversary.

I wish the school many more years of excellence.

Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian small business sector is a vital part of our economy, employing well over half the population. It creates jobs in good times and in recessionary periods like the present.

In a world of constant change, small business owners stay ahead of the curve. They are innovators, risk takers and job creators. They take pride in their products and services, and they contribute to our local communities.

For nearly 40 years, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business has represented the interests of Canada's small business sector and fought to improve the conditions of entrepreneurship.

Today, the CFIB represents over 105,000 businesses, in part as a result of dedicated regional representatives like those who are visiting Ottawa today. These representatives are here to have meetings with federal MPs to discuss issues relevant to this vital sector of our economy.

I would like all members to join me in thanking them for their tireless efforts and their service on behalf of our national prosperity.

Henri Massé
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 9, 2009, Henri Massé was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

Originally from the La Sarre region in Abitibi, Mr. Massé served as the president of the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec from 1998 to 2007. He has also been the president of the board of directors and executive committee of the QFL Solidarity Fund, a member of the executive committee of the Canadian Labour Congress and of the executive board of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.

The Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue wanted to pay tribute to Mr. Massé's contributions in the area of labour relations. He has worked hard to improve not only conditions for workers, but also employer-employee relations.

On behalf of my colleagues, I would like to extend to Mr. Massé our sincere congratulations on this well-deserved honour.

Families
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week, Quebec is celebrating family week. Quebeckers and Canadians alike value families.

Our government recognizes the importance of families. That is why we are helping parents by giving them $100 per month for every child under the age of six and by giving them tax credits for such things as school supplies, physical activity and the arts.

Recently, the member for Kildonan—St. Paul offered parents a bill to protect our children from sexual predators by imposing a mandatory minimum sentence. Conservative, Liberal and New Democrat members of Parliament all rose above partisan politics to vote in favour of this bill to protect our children, who are, after all, our future.

Unfortunately, for its own low-minded, ideological reasons, the Bloc voted against protecting our children. And they say that they are the only ones defending Quebec values.

The Bloc's behaviour is shameful.

Earthquake in China
Statements by Members

May 12th, 2009 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, today marks the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck the Sichuan province of China.

This earthquake claimed more than 69,000 lives, injured over 370,000, and it left 18,000 people missing.

This was an incredible human tragedy that touched us all, and as they often do in times of tragedy, Canadians donated generously.

Incredibly, only three months later, China and its people rallied to host the world at an exceptional Olympic Games in Beijing.

Over the past year, more than 5,000 homes have been rebuilt, 6,000 have been repaired, and almost all roads and telecommunications have been restored. The strength and resilience of the Chinese people during and in the aftermath of this tragedy was nothing short of inspirational.

I am sure I speak for all members of the House when I say our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who are still missing and those who lost their lives one year ago today.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Brent Rathgeber Edmonton—St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, these days we Conservatives are busy managing the economy and helping families deal with the global recession. Meanwhile, the Liberal leader is touring the country selling his book. With our economic action plan, we are reducing the tax burden on Canadian families, creating jobs, and helping Canadians who are hardest hit by the global recession.

Recently the Liberal leader announced that he “will have to raise taxes”. Raising taxes, imposing a job-killing carbon tax, increasing the GST, and ending the universal child care benefit are part of the Liberal plan during tough economic times to discourage economic growth and tax Canadian families.

The Liberals refuse to come clean with Canadians and explain the full details of their new economic policy. The Liberal leader should rise in the House today and tell Canadians which taxes he would raise, by how much he would raise them, and who would be forced to pay these higher taxes.

Stand Up for Mental Health
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, many people might say one would have to be nuts to do stand-up comedy. Stand Up for Mental Health does just that, for good therapeutic reasons. It raises awareness about mental illness and breaks down prejudice, stigma and discrimination.

Stand Up for Mental Health helps those living with mental illness to turn their experiences into comedy. It helps people move from despair to hope and empowerment, and it puts a human face on mental illness.

Stand Up for Mental Health founder David Granirer says:

There's something incredibly healing about telling a roomful of people exactly who you are and having them laugh and cheer.

Mental illness touches people from all backgrounds, age and socio-economic status.

This evening we have the opportunity to confront our prejudices and learn more about mental illness while having fun at the same time. Stand Up for Mental Health comics will be giving a performance in room 200, West Block. I encourage all members and staff to come at 6 p.m., offer their support to these brave comics and enjoy a great evening of comedy.

Leader of the Liberal Party
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader has some strange ideas about Quebec, as though his vision of Quebec were stuck in the 1970s, when he left the country.

Does the Liberal leader still believe that Quebec nationalism is the expression of a schizoid, undeveloped society that takes the form of very simplistic dualities? Does he really believe what he wrote when he said that Quebeckers are just North Americans who speak a strange, overly regional form of French? Does he really reject the Quebec accent, compared to the French accent and French from France? Lastly, does he really believe that Quebec is behind the times?

Whether the Liberal leader likes it or not, the Quebec Conservatives love modern Quebec, with all its contradictions, and we are proud of our accent, we are proud to be taking real action for Quebec, and we are proud of what Quebec society is becoming.

Cancer
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is an immense privilege to accept the invitation extended by Leucan Montérégie and to serve as honourary chair of the 2009 head shaving challenge for the Vaudreuil-Soulanges sector. The commitment of individuals shows tremendous solidarity with children who have cancer and, for the most part, lose their hair during chemotherapy and face the enormous challenge of fighting this illness.

For 30 years, Leucan's mission has been to promote the well-being, healing and recovery of these children and to support their families. Amounts raised by the head shaving challenge help fund the research clinic and provide many services to children suffering from cancer and their families, such as support services and massage therapy.

On June 7, in more than 25 Quebec cities, the general public is invited to take the challenge and to shave their heads to raise donations.

Congratulations to all participants, organizers and generous donors. Together, we will win the battle.

National Police Week
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of National Police Week.

As a former member of the Durham Regional Police Services Board, as a member of Parliament and now in my role as Liberal public safety critic, I have the pleasure of working with police officers and chiefs and know their passion for serving our communities.

Unlike the government, police forces know what it will take to stop crime. They understand that jails are not substitutes for hospitals and that while longer sentences have their place, the lasting solution to crime lies in working with communities, investing in education, health care, our police and in skills training.

The Liberal Party stands with our police. We will continue to oppose the Conservative attempts to gut the gun registry. We will fight their attempt to pay RCMP officers less than other police and deny them the same democratic rights as other forces. We will continue to hold Conservatives accountable for their broken promise of 2,500 new officers. And we will fight for the families of officers who fall in the line of duty.

In National Police Week and in every week, we in the Liberal Party stand together with these brave men and women who risk their lives every day to keep our families and communities safe.

Taxation
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada's Conservative government is focused on an economic action plan that is creating jobs and reducing taxes.

The Liberal Party, on the other hand, is focused on increasing taxes. In fact, the most notable policy resolution that came from the recent Liberal Party convention was a reaffirmation of its tax on everything, job killing carbon tax. That is right. Liberals want a carbon tax. This is the same tax the Liberal leader pushed for in his first leadership race in 2006 and it is the same tax the Liberals had front and centre in their platform in 2008, which was soundly rejected by Canadians. The Liberal leader said himself, quite bluntly, “We will have to raise taxes”.

Now raising taxes is absolutely the worst thing to do during a recession. The Liberals should come clean with Canadians. Besides the carbon tax, what other taxes do they plan to increase? Who is going to pay these new taxes? How much will they be?

Canadians deserve to know.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in a report released yesterday, the OECD says that the economic recovery will be slower in Canada than in other countries. One reason is likely this government's inexplicable slowness. Our municipalities are still waiting for the infrastructure funding promised in the budget three months ago.

Is the Prime Minister aware that these inexplicable delays are slowing Canada's economic recovery?