House of Commons Hansard #59 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was insurance.

Topics

Pope John Paul II
Statements By Members

May 15th, 2009 / 11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the House will agree that Pope John Paul II inspired us all through his selfless example. His contributions will be felt for generations.

He reached out to all faiths with humility and sincerity. In Israel he began his speech with a salutation to his “older brothers”, bridging the understanding between Catholic and older Jewish faiths. He was instrumental in defeating communism and in bringing democracy back not only to his native Poland but to an eastern Europe long held in chains.

He valued youth and created World Youth Day to bring kids of all faiths together in common understanding and common purpose. He was committed to defending the human rights of all faiths, cultures and traditions. That is why he was so admired by Canadians, because he was a champion for all.

I would like to express my full support for the current efforts in Ontario to name every April 2 Pope John Paul II Day in Canada.

International Day Against Homophobia
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize that May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia. This day causes us to celebrate the human rights Canadians enjoy and to reflect on the tremendous challenges facing gay and lesbian people around the world.

The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. In Canada, this is lived out through our Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Few of the world's citizens enjoy the privileges Canadians enjoy living with: equality, dignity and the guarantee of inalienable human rights. In many countries of the world, same sex relationships are forbidden and punishable under law. In Canada, gay and lesbian people still suffer from misunderstanding and discrimination, but human rights have been won incrementally.

Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada, thanks to the tremendous courage, passion and strength of then prime minister Pierre Trudeau.

Let us today commit ourselves to promoting the same human rights throughout the world by continuing to lead by example.

Firearms Registry
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP members do not want some people to have access to guns, but the people they are trying to keep away from guns are hunters and farmers, not urban gang members. Recently, the NDP members were either missing in action when it came time to vote on the long gun registry or fell in line behind their big city leader.

In this place, the member for Thunder Bay—Rainy River said, “for eight years since the turn of the century, my constituents have told me that we need to get rid of the long gun registry”. Then there is the member for Timmins—James Bay, who criticized the registry, saying, “It was never set up to deal with the realities of northern Ontario”. The member for Winnipeg Centre said, “I wouldn't want one more penny to go to that gun registry”. They voted in favour of the registry.

How can members of the NDP say they will vote against something and then sit on their hands or oppose it? How can they say they are standing up for their constituents when they seem to forget where they stand on the gun registry?

Their constituents should see how the NDP members behave when in Ottawa. They want to punish farmers and hunters, not the criminals. However, that is what one does when one is a member of the soft on crime NDP.

General Motors
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we witnessed the closure of the GM truck plant in Oshawa. Canadians mourn the end of almost a century of truck making in the region. Our thoughts and hearts go out to the workers and their families.

The closing of the award-winning facility that produced the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra will affect thousands of workers and their families, further impacting an already devastated industry and the communities. It is a tragic irony that what was originally a Canadian company established by Sam McLaughlin would be taken over by Americans only to have those jobs and production shifted to Mexico.

My NDP colleagues and I will continue to speak up for auto workers and their families in Oshawa, in my community and throughout Canada. We will continue to press the government for immediate, meaningful and long-term action to help preserve a vital Canadian industry.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the years, if not the last few weeks, the Liberal leader has praised Liberal-style taxation. He wants to raise taxes. He wants to increase Liberal-style taxation. The Liberal leader must now answer to legitimate questions from Canadians, as well as my questions.

Which taxes does he want to raise? Does he want to raise income taxes, as well? How does he want to raise them? What portion of the population will bear the brunt of these tax increases?

The more closely we look at the Liberal platform on taxes, the more we find percentages creeping up.

Does he want to raise the GST to 6%, 7%, 8%, 9%, 10%? Are people going to see their entire salary eaten up?

He does not want to answer these questions.

We, the Conservatives, have lowered taxes for Canadians. We are proud of that, and we will never allow the Liberal leader to eliminate the progress we have made.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, the United Kingdom's Royal Philharmonic Society honoured young Montreal conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin with the Young Artists Award, describing him as “one of the most influential personalities in London's musical life”. This organization recognizes the most dazzling performances of classical music.

This distinction is one of many impressive accomplishments for the man who has been the musical director of the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal since 2000. He is currently the principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. This month he will make his debut at New York's Metropolitan Opera and Milan's La Scala.

He has quickly built a solid reputation around the world with his combination of rigour, originality and passion. He does not hesitate to work with popular artists in order to make classical music accessible to the people, as was the case at the 2007 Montreal FrancoFolies with Pierre Lapointe.

The Bloc Québécois warmly congratulates this homegrown conductor who has a truly promising future ahead of him.

Canadian Paraplegic Association
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, how high are the buttons in the elevators on the Hill? Is it possible for one to balance a cup of coffee on one's lap while wheeling from one side of the room to another? How long does it take to get from finance committee in Centre Block to operations and estimates in West Block if one cannot take the stairs or run?

These were the kinds of situations I had to deal with on May 7 when I joined 10 other members and senators for a national awareness day for the Canadian Paraplegic Association. I spent the whole day in a wheelchair.

It was an incredible and eye-opening experience. It was eye opening for those of us in chairs and I hope it was also eye opening for many other observers. Ultimately, we were the lucky ones, able to get back up on our feet at the end of the day.

I would like to express my respect and admiration for all those who cannot walk and who face these challenges every day.

I urge members of the House and Senate from all parties to take part in the day next year, as the Canadian Paraplegic Association aims to have 65 members participate to celebrate its 65th anniversary.

Taxation
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, during the recession when the Conservative government is focused on an economic action plan that will create jobs, the Liberal Party is focused on increasing taxes. The Liberal leader himself said quite bluntly, “We will have to raise taxes”.

The Liberal Party supports a job-killing carbon tax, and members of the Liberal Party said that they would raise the GST. In fact, the leader of the Liberal Party even refers to himself as a tax and spend Liberal.

Raising taxes is the absolute worst thing to do during a recession. The Liberals should come clean and tell Canadians what other taxes they want to increase. They should tell Canadians who is going to pay these taxes and how much they are going to have to pay.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, representatives from Quebec municipalities are currently meeting in Gatineau as part of the annual meeting of the Union des municipalities du Québec, also known as the UMQ. The president of the UMQ and mayor of Maniwaki, Robert Coulombe, was very clear when he said that he has yet to see any major projects started under the emergency infrastructure fund promised to stimulate the economy.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister had the nerve to blame the Quebec government instead of taking responsibility.

What is the government waiting for to get the money flowing and to get people working? Why is the Conservative government penalizing Quebeckers?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Yellowhead
Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Minister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, we are working with the municipalities and the provinces right across the country, including Quebec, on this specific announcement. Some of the provinces are ahead of other provinces. For example, British Columbia has 140 projects, Nova Scotia has 26 projects and Newfoundland and Labrador has 22. They have all been green lighted, are ready to go and some are actually going. The hard hats are on and the digging has begun.

However, the House will find out exactly what is happening in our June report card. I ask my hon. colleague to just wait on that.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, are you familiar with the Pinocchio syndrome? We just witnessed it in action.

The Conservatives should have understood that stimulating the economy means investing and not causing problems. Here are the real reasons. First, the government refuses to finance the infrastructure projects that the Quebec government had already undertaken. Second, the federal government insists on analyzing projects that fall under the sole jurisdiction of the provinces, which is unnecessary. Third, Quebec will have to reimburse the money already spent if the project is not completed by March 31, 2011.

Instead of blaming others and bickering, why does the Prime Minister not order that the money be released immediately?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Yellowhead
Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Minister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, as I said, we are working very closely with the provinces and municipalities right across the country. We will get the job done. My hon. colleague should just relax a little bit while we get this money out at an unprecedented rate right across this country. We need to get Canadians working and good projects actually happening so we can compete internationally and continentally when this is over.

My hon. colleague should wait for the report card in June before he criticizes this government.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, he should tell that to the mayors in the gallery here today. It is unacceptable that they are being told to wait and wait.

Instead of playing the blaming game, the Prime Minister should immediately tell his officials that Quebec is ready and that they should send the money for infrastructure ASAP.

Municipalities want to be full partners and are ready now to be part of the solution against recession. Stimulus means investment, not confrontation.

Will the Prime Minister instruct his minister and his officials to deliver the money for infrastructure in Quebec now?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Yellowhead
Alberta

Conservative

Rob Merrifield Minister of State (Transport)

Mr. Speaker, we have doubled the gas tax. We have advanced that three months earlier. Municipalities right across the country have the ability to get their infrastructure projects working.

We are working very closely with all the provinces to get these up and going and out the door at an unprecedented rate.

It has been 45 days since the budget was passed. My hon. colleague should give us the first 100 days before he starts criticizing.

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, CAE has just announced that it is laying off 700 employees, including 600 in the Montreal area. These layoffs are in addition to the job losses at Bombardier, Pratt & Whitney and other aerospace companies. The Canadian aerospace industry is the fourth largest in the world, and half of that industry is located in Quebec. In fact, the aerospace industry is to Quebec what the auto industry is to Ontario.

What do the Conservatives intend to do for the aerospace sector?