House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was countries.

Topics

Health
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to share with the House the heroic efforts of the citizens of Castlegar, B.C.

Not long ago they learned that the only ultrasound machine in our health centre was scheduled for permanent removal to another location at the end of the month.

With the closure of the Castlegar Hospital a few years ago by the IHA still fresh in their memories, this was the straw that broke the camel's back. They were absolutely determined to reject any further erosion of their medical services.

Two days ago, more than 300 concerned and angry citizens, seniors, youth, medical professionals, elected officials and many others, marched down the main street of Castlegar to deliver a strong message to the provincial government.

Many also worked tirelessly to convince the IHA to suspend the removal of the ultrasound equipment until a full community consultation has taken place.

Hopefully the IHA and the provincial government will work with our community not only to retain the ultrasound machine but also to expand and improve hospital services in Castlegar.

I thank the citizens of Castlegar and congratulate them.

Immigration
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday our Conservative government listened to 55% of Canadians who think human smuggling is unacceptable. Our action will ensure Canada's immigration laws are respected and that criminals are sentenced properly.

The proposed bill to prevent human smugglers from abusing Canada's generosity will make it easier to prosecute human smugglers and will implement mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of this serious offence.

The proposed reforms reflect our government's strong commitment to fight the scourge of human smuggling through stronger criminal laws.

The bill has received glowing praise from cultural groups across the country. The United Macedonian Diaspora stated yesterday that they were pleased to see the government taking strong action to deter human smugglers from coming to Canada's shores and abusing Canada's generosity.

Our government is sending a clear message to human smugglers: the abuse of our immigration system will not be tolerated.

Employment Insurance
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, when a person wants to have a dog put down they say the dog was violent. When a government does not want to vote for a bill, it exaggerates the economic impact. That is what the government did with the Bloc Québécois' Bill C-308, which it estimated would cost $7 billion.

Last year, the Liberals and the Conservatives set up a puppet committee to restore the 360-hour threshold for employment insurance eligibility. At the first opportunity to vote in favour of this measure included in Bill C-308, they turned their backs on the workers.

Today, we are debating Bill C-280, which would fill in some of the gaps that Bill C-308 sought to remedy. That is why the Bloc Québécois is voting in favour of the bill. We hope the Conservatives and the Liberals will follow suit and that they will not use cost as an excuse again, because the costs, which are estimated at $2 billion—

Employment Insurance
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Westmount—Ville-Marie.

Infrastructure
Statements by Members

October 22nd, 2010 / 11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are being stubborn and irresponsible with the March 31 deadline.

This policy is causing major problems. It is artificially inflating the cost of many projects, and is jeopardizing a ton of others, for example, 2-22, the flagship building of Montreal's Quartier des spectacles.

Let us look at a riding like Compton—Stanstead, where major PRECO projects are in jeopardy in East Angus, Weedon and Martinville, not to mention the Pat Burns Arena, which the Prime Minister himself announced.

According to the Fédération québécoise des municipalités, one-third of the projects are in jeopardy because of this ill-advised policy. That is why the Quebec National Assembly has unanimously called on the federal government to finance the projects that have been announced, regardless of their completion date.

The Conservatives must reconsider this decision and stop being so ridiculously stubborn.

Immigration
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, our government has a long and proud tradition of welcoming newcomers. Last year alone we welcomed almost one-quarter million new immigrants to this country.

Through the Balanced Refugee Reform Act introduced last year, we committed to resettle 2,500 more refugees and increased their funding by 20%. It is obvious that Canada is a generous and compassionate country, but Canadians are not naive and are not pushovers.

Yesterday our government introduced the preventing newcomers from abusing Canada's generosity bill. This tough but fair bill would give law enforcement officials the tools they need to crack down on human smugglers and ensure the safety and security of Canadians.

The Peel Tamil Community Centre released a statement yesterday congratulating our government on this bill stating, “We are pleased to see the Government taking...action to deter human smugglers”.

Cultural groups across the country are congratulating and thanking our government for introducing this important bill. Why are the opposition parties so quick to criticize what so many Canadians think is an important and necessary policy?

Potash Industry
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, to the notion of selling off Canada's vital potash industry, putting half of the world's reserves into the hands of a single foreign company, the Premier of Saskatchewan has been very clear. The answer is no.

Even before the government heard the premier's advice, the Prime Minister tainted the process. He maligned Potash Corporation as non-Canadian.

How can anyone now believe the federal regulatory process will be fair when the Prime Minister, who brags about making all the rules, is so blatantly biased?

Potash Industry
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I say to my friend from Wascana that the Prime Minister just pointed out the fact that some 51% of the shares of this company are held by non-Canadians.

The government is undertaking a very rigorous review process, and I will commit that the government will only approve the deal if it is of net benefit to Canada.

Potash Industry
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, 53% of the world's richest reserves of potash are in Saskatchewan. This strategic resource is crucial to farmers, to food production and feeding a hungry world. Its value has only begun to rise.

“This is not a normal market transaction”, says the Premier of Saskatchewan.

Never before in history has a takeover bid involved so much of something as strategic as potash. Why is the government so dismissive of what is so important to Saskatchewan?

Potash Industry
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the government has taken the issue incredibly seriously. There is a rigorous review under way. As I said, we will commit that we will only approve the deal if it is of net benefit to Canada.

As for the people of Saskatchewan, they can count on a very strong team of Saskatchewan members of Parliament forcefully representing them in the government caucus.

Potash Industry
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the industry minister says he is neither the head waiter to Saskatchewan nor the butler for BHP, but we do know that he is the handmaiden to the Prime Minister and he will do what he is told.

The Prime Minister's taint and bias are unmistakable. He will impose his opinion on Saskatchewan, no matter what, and the premier says that puts jobs, investment and public revenues at risk, $5.7 billion.

When this deal goes sideways, who will pay the bills for a bad decision these Conservatives pushed down Saskatchewan's throat?

Potash Industry
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the last time the people of Saskatchewan were asked who they wanted to be Prime Minister, I think they spoke very favourably to the custodianship of this Prime Minister.

Let me say this to the member for Wascana. The government is undertaking a rigorous review of this request, and we will only approve it if it is of net benefit to Canada.

The House and the people of Saskatchewan can count on this government always doing what is best for Canada.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a choice: megaprisons even though crime rates are dropping and fighter jets without a bidding process but with sky-rocketing costs, as we know now, or the Liberals' choice to help Canadian families.

How can the minister look Canadian families in the eye and defend his choices?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Proudly, Mr. Speaker, because we have made sure that Canadian families have jobs. That is the most important thing to Canadians. If they do not have a job, they cannot support their family. It is that plain and it is that simple.

There are 420,000 Canadians who now have jobs who did not in July 2009. That speaks volumes.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Martha Hall Findlay Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Governor of the Bank of Canada has confirmed that household debt is one of the biggest challenges facing the Canadian economy.

One of the biggest contributors to household debt is the cost to families of home care and of looking after our elderly and our sick.

Why is the government choosing to spend money on megaprisons and on unaffordable tax cuts instead of helping Canadian families with the burden of home care and of helping look after our elderly and our sick?