House of Commons Hansard #58 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nations.

Topics

Parliamentarian of the Year
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we gathered for Maclean's annual Parliamentarians of the Year awards.

Winners and runners-up were drawn from all parties and I congratulate all of them. However, the most coveted prize, Parliamentarian of the Year, was awarded to a Conservative, the member for Calgary Southeast, our own Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

Since being elected in 1997, the minister has devoted his energies and his passion to advancing Canada's role as a champion of human dignity, human rights, equality of opportunity and the rule of law. He has also promoted Parliament as a forum for a clash of values and ideas about how the country should be governed. He has also shown throughout his career that no matter what their party allegiances, parliamentarians can disagree without being disagreeable.

The minister is well known for his work ethic, his love of debate and of politics for its own sake, his sense of humour, his laugh that can be heard throughout this chamber, as well as his belief that friendships can and must cross party lines.

I congratulate the minister on this achievement.

Create Your Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my hon. colleague from Windsor on winning the Most Knowledgeable MP in the House award for the second year running, which is very nice.

Last night three New Democrat bills were passed and sent to committee, two of which would help protect consumers and one which would stop the unfair clawbacks on the pensions of our military and police officers.

On June 1 I will be hosting four young Canadians from the northwest of British Columbia who are the first winners of my contest called, “Create Your Canada”.

New Democrats believe that no one has a lock on the solutions that we need for the future and that we must show in action our commitment to our youth.

I ask the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Natural Resources to meet with these young people and listen to their hopes for future generations.

New Democrats support the aspirations of our youth. Let us hope the government is willing to do the same.

City of Lévis
Statements By Members

May 14th, 2009 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, during this time of economic uncertainty, we have to be able to count on solid, serious partners who will make infrastructure investments with us, partners like Quebec municipalities.

Today, I would like to talk about our exceptional partnership with the City of Lévis, whose representatives are here in the House. They helped build the Centre de congrès et d’expositions de Lévis, and they supported the reopening of the Davie shipyard and the water treatment plant. With partners like the City of Lévis and its whole team, including the mayor, Quebec and Canada will achieve even more.

Abortion Rights
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, May 14, 2009, marks an important victory in the fight for women's rights. It is the 40th anniversary of the amendment of section 251 of the Criminal Code, which made abortion a crime.

On May 14, 1969, women won the right, the freedom, the choice to have an abortion. Forty years later, despite these amendments to the Criminal Code, women must still fight for their rights. Since that historic day, some right-wing, anti-choice groups and some members of Parliament have tried repeatedly to take that right away.

Today, we are telling them, loud and clear, that a woman's uterus belongs neither to the church, nor to members of Parliament, nor to their sexual partners. This often difficult choice is theirs, and theirs alone, to make. With them and for them, we will take a stand and continue to oppose any bill that could threaten this most basic of women's rights.

Immigration
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, 1.5 million Canadians are unemployed, 130,000 Canadians have declared bankruptcy within the last 12 months, and 342,000 Canadians have lost their jobs since October. The only response from the Conservative Prime Minister is personal attack ads.

The Prime Minister suggests in these ads that anyone who has spent a portion of their life outside Canada is less committed to this country. This shows his ignorance of what Canada represents.

Canada is a nation of immigrants. Within the next decade all of our net growth will come from immigration.

Is the Prime Minister saying that these new Canadians who have spent part of their lives outside Canada do not really love this country or are less Canadian than others?

These personal attack ads are not just an attack on the Leader of the Opposition but are an attack on all Canadians. The Conservatives should be ashamed of what they have done.

Taxation
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is day 30 since the Liberal leader said, “We will have to raise taxes”, 30 days in which he has not denied making the statement, 30 days with no retraction of the statement and, most important, 30 days without an explanation of which taxes he would raise, by how much he would raise them and who would have to pay.

This is the same Liberal leader who describes himself as a “tax and spend Pearsonian-Trudeau Liberal”. He fathered the Liberal carbon tax. He said, “We have also got to have popular, practical, believable policies that may involve some form of carbon tax”. He is also considering a hike in the GST, saying, “I am not going to take a GST hike off the table”. These are not my words, but they do concern me.

After a month of silence, can the Liberal leader set the record straight once and for all and tell the House which taxes he would raise, by how much he would raise them and who would have to pay?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, a third of a million Canadians have lost their jobs under the Conservative government.

Tens of thousands cannot get the employment insurance they paid for, because Conservatives insist on eligibility rules designed for the beginning of a boom. But the boom has gone bust. The C.D. Howe Institute, the Conference Board, and the TD Bank are not socialist organizations, and they all say the Conservatives are wrong on EI.

Why will the Prime Minister not help all the jobless workers who are suffering through his recession, regardless of where they live?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, as members will have heard from our social development minister as well, we have a generous system of EI in this country. It has been in place for a while. We actually made it better under budget 2009 by extending work sharing and by extending the program itself by five weeks. It is driven by market demands. It is there for times of economic difficulty, and 80% of those who pay in get money out of the system.

We will not be in favour of a system that drives higher payroll taxes, which will not be to the benefit of workers and not to the benefit of businesses.

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. The previous Liberal government slashed EI premiums 12 consecutive times. That is a cut of more than 40%, and now premiums are frozen at that lower Liberal level.

EI rates will only go up if these Conservatives put them up. So do not blame the Liberals and do not blame the innocent victims who are trashed by a Conservative recession.

The Prime Minister thinks EI benefits are too generous. The minister says they are too lucrative. Will they not just admit the only thing stopping them from fixing EI is their own archaic reform party ideology?

Employment Insurance
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I see the member for Kings—Hants applauding his House leader there.

Here is what the hon. member for Kings—Hants said at a more sensible time in his life. He said, “Payroll taxes, especially EI taxes, are a tax on jobs”.

That is what he said then. He was right then. We are right now. We will not forsake the workers. We will not forsake Canadian businesses. We believe in lower payroll taxes.

We believe in lower taxes, whereas his leader said, one month ago today, “We will have to raise taxes”.

That is not good enough.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, the economic crisis is also hitting lobster fishers. Lobster prices have collapsed. Fishers in Quebec and Atlantic Canada are literally on the brink of bankruptcy. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans does not seem too worried about this. She does not even have time to meet with representatives of the fishers. They are trying to reach her, but “There is no service at the number you have dialed.”

What will the Conservatives do to help the people of Gaspé, the Magdalen Islands and Atlantic Canada who make a living from the lobster fishery? Will the government buy back their licences, or will it let them go hungry?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission
B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, it is true that the lobster industry is facing some serious challenges. It is in crisis, like many industries are.

This is not a time to grandstand; this is a time to work together. That is what we have done. Our minister has had numerous conversations with her provincial counterparts. All are engaged in this throughout the Atlantic region. She is having a meeting tomorrow with industry and provincial leaders in Moncton, and we expect some good solutions to come out of that meeting.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, will the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans indicate to the House that the Government of Canada will establish a rationalization program for the fisheries in Eastern Canada with appropriate federal funding?

Also, the minister and the government received an EI proposal from the fishing industry that would allow people in eastern Canada involved in the fishing industry to draw EI this winter. Will the minister stand in her place today and confirm that these changes are forthcoming?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission
B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, this question is a little premature. As I just mentioned, she has a meeting tomorrow with all her provincial counterparts and all the main industry leaders from Prince Edward Island, his province, and the other provinces as well.

We will see what comes out of that meeting. We expect some solutions to come.

Lobster Industry
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, day after day, as industry after Canadian industry hit the wall and Canadian workers hit the streets, all we have seen from the Minister of Human Resources is standing regurgitating talking points. She is like the ShamWow salesman and Canadians are not buying it.

What we see in Atlantic Canada is a pending crisis in the Atlantic lobster fishery. What is the minister willing to do to help these people and spare us the sales pitch?