House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was colombia.

Topics

Deaths of Soldiers in Afghanistan
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay my respects for the courage and commitment of the soldiers who recently died while carrying out their duties in Afghanistan.

People were deeply saddened to hear of the deaths of Major Yannick Pépin and Corporal Jean-François Drouin, both of the 5th Regiment of Combat Engineers based in Valcartier, and of Patrick Lormand, member of the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment from Valcartier.

This terrible situation reminds us once again of the risks our soldiers are exposed to every day.

On behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I offer my sincerest condolences to the families, loved ones and colleagues of these men killed in action. I hope you will find the strength and courage needed to get through the grief you are feeling right now.

The Economy
Statements By Members

September 14th, 2009 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the World Economic Forum once again confirmed Canada's position as home to the world's soundest banks, backing what we have been saying all along: Canada is a model for the rest of the world. It also ranked Canada as having the ninth most competitive economy in world, a big jump from fourteenth under the previous Liberal government.

The world is taking notice. France's finance minister gushed with praise for Canada's economic stability at a recent G20 finance ministers meeting when she said:

I think...we can be inspired by...the Canadian situation. There were some people who said “I want to be Canadian.”

Canadians should be proud that during these trying times other countries are looking at us with envy and admiration.

The government wants to fight the recession. The Leader of the Opposition wants to fight the recovery. This just proves that he is not in it for Canadians; he is in it for himself.

Jerry Yanover
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, this summer Canadians lost a parliamentary treasure with the passing of Mr. Jerry Yanover.

For four decades, Jerry served as a trusted adviser to every Liberal leader and caucus. His expertise in the rules and traditions of the House, his encyclopedic knowledge of politics, his brilliant approach to strategy earned him not only the deep gratitude of Liberals, but also the genuine respect of all political parties, House officials, public servants, the media, academics and many others.

Jerry loved our system of government, respected its values and institutions and dedicated his life to making this place function at its best.

Always focused on the future, he built himself a living legacy in all the young people he encouraged to become engaged in the governance of their country.

An extraordinary mind, a tower of strength, Jerry Yanover is gone too soon. The Parliament of Canada will deeply miss one of its finest advocates.

Canadian Flag
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, like many Canadians, I was shocked to see the Liberal Party's latest attack on the Canadian flag.

The message that Canadians should not be proud of our flag, the symbol of our nation and our sovereignty, has no place in this country's political system. What is perhaps even more shocking is that the Liberal Party is using hard-earned tax dollars to send this offensive literature around.

Despite what some in the Liberal Party may think, Canadians still go abroad wearing our Canadian flag with pride. In fact, over 2,500 Canadian men and women are abroad in Afghanistan risking their lives daily. No wonder military families at CFB Gagetown are outraged at receiving this anti-flag postcard.

It is disrespectful to the families of these men and women to imply that their lived ones should be anything but proud wearing our Canadian flag abroad, although we should not be surprised, considering the Liberal leader once referred to our Canadian flag as “a pale imitation of a beer label”.

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the summer, constituents from my community and others from across Canada shared with me how the government's employment insurance program was failing them.

With as many as 60% of unemployed workers not qualifying for EI, in particular thousands of women, part-time and short-term employees also not meeting the qualifying criteria, it is left to the municipalities and the local community to provide a social safety net.

In communities like Windsor—Tecumseh that safety net is strained to the breaking point by the weight of the government's failed employment policies, employment policies, by the way, that have resulted in my community suffering an official unemployment rate over 15% and a real unemployment rate approaching 20%.

My community calls upon the government to take immediate action to help those unemployed and to alleviate that human suffering.

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, the Leader of the Opposition wants to trigger an election in the middle of a recession. The Liberal leader is prepared to jeopardize the economic recovery just to advance his own interests. The Liberal leader is thinking only of his political career. What a lack of wisdom. It is not surprising that the member for Papineau also thinks that his leader is lacking the necessary clarity and wisdom.

The member for Papineau said out loud what a number of his colleagues are thinking.

On this side of the House, we are rarely in agreement with the member for Papineau, but this is one exception.

The Leader of the Opposition absolutely does not have the necessary wisdom to lead Canada.

Festival of Words
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, this weekend, on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City, an event known as Moulin à paroles was held to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Biz and Batlam of Loco Lacass and Brigitte Haentjens organized the event to share their perspectives on the consequences of the historic battle.

As Ms. Haentjens said, “For five centuries, words have been spoken, shouted and whispered [...] We will give those words new life; we will sing them once again”. Poet and singer Raôul Duguay described the momentous gathering as “—a victory for words. There would be no show, no rock'n'roll, without words”.

While some detractors predicted that things would get out of hand, this “literary marathon” attracted the enthusiastic participation of members of the public and everyone, both audience members and presenters, enjoyed the event. It brought people together to learn about the history and consequences of the conquest of 1759 while celebrating Quebec's literary heritage.

Thank you, and congratulations on this wonderful event.

Conservative Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadians have learned over the past four years that if they want to know the Prime Minister's real agenda, they have to listen to what he says behind closed doors.

In public, his comments are an inconsistent mess. First, it was no recession and no deficit. Now we know he has the biggest deficit in the history of this country. However, in private, when the Prime Minister knows the cameras are not rolling, or thinks they are not rolling, he is completely consistent. Recent video has exposed his real agenda.

He needs absolute power so he can teach his enemies a lesson, and he makes it clear just who his enemies are: women, minorities, anyone who dares to fight to protect their charter rights.

Regarding the courts, the Prime Minister had the audacity to characterize one of the most independent and impartial judiciaries in the world as “left-wing ideologues”: Conservative Party in public, Reform Party in private.

Liberals will stop accusing Conservatives of having a hidden agenda when Conservatives stop talking about it behind closed doors.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bradley Trost Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, Canadians do not want an election. They want politicians to put their differences aside and focus on economic recovery. Two recent polls make that point very clear.

A Canadian Press Harris/Decima survey shows 73% of Canadians are against having an election. An EKOS poll shows more than 70% of Canadians are against a fall election, yet the Leader of the Opposition is intent on forcing one.

Our economic action plan is working and forcing an election would interrupt our work on the economy. We cannot risk our progress and our recovery with an unnecessary election now. The international consensus is that no country should get sidetracked on its stimulus plans.

The government wants to fight the recession. The Leader of the Opposition wants to fight the recovery. This just proves that he is not in it for Canadians. He is in it for himself.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, today we pay tribute to Pte. Patrick Lormand, who was killed in Afghanistan yesterday. We pay tribute to his sacrifice.

Last week, behind closed doors, the Prime Minister stated that if there were an election, he would like to teach Canadians a lesson. Those are his own words.

After four years of failure, after a record deficit, a record unemployment rate and a record bankruptcy rate, does he really feel he is in a position to teach Canadians a lesson?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition began by mentioning the death of a Canadian soldier in Afghanistan.

These soldiers are doing a great job for us. They are protecting our values and our world from great dangers. Our prayers and our thoughts are with their families and comrades.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I find it curious that after weeks of berating the idea of a coalition, the Prime Minister seems to be hard at work forming one himself and with people whom he referred to, until this morning, as socialists.

I am just wondering whether the Prime Minister could confirm his new-found love for socialism and does he not think it prudent to change his attack ads?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is flailing around trying to invent reasons why Canadians should have another election in less than a year, four elections in five years.

The fact of the matter is that Canadians do not want an election, Canada does not need an election and an election is not in this country's best interest. We have important economic measures before Parliament. All the parties in Parliament should be focused on those measures and on the economy. The Leader of the Opposition should focus on our country's best interests.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, just a year ago, the Prime Minister promised Canada five years of surplus and then told us that his recession would be a great buying opportunity. He then slapped Canada with a $32 billion deficit. Whoops, that went to $50 billion and now it is $56 billion and he will make Canadians pay for it with higher payroll taxes.

How can Canadians trust a government with this record? The problem of instability, Mr. Prime Minister, is you.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer

The Leader of the Opposition knows not to make direct references to other colleagues.

The right hon. Prime Minister.