House of Commons Hansard #7 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was speech.

Topics

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply
Speech from the Throne

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

John Weston West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Madam Speaker, this throne speech talked about staying the course. We are staying the course in terms of our commitment to the environment. We have a minister who has made robust commitments, achievable commitments, a minister who went to Copenhagen and came back. One of the first countries that signed that agreement was Canada and it made all Canadians proud.

We are not a government that is going to make commitments to unrealistic targets, but to specific and achievable targets with mandated penalties for those who fail to apply and comply to those targets.

I am proud to be a Canadian, to be in a country that leads in the environment and is not just blowing hot air.

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply
Speech from the Throne

1:45 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Madam Speaker, the hon. member talked about two things. The first one was fiscal responsibility and the second was foreign aid.

I would like to make a couple of comments about them, and then perhaps the hon. member could make his comments or response on any one or all of the things that I mention.

First, there is fiscal responsibility. There has been a $13 million increase in the Prime Minister's Office budget. That does not sound like fiscal responsibility. There are $1,000 doorbells and plants, and using government jets when commercial airlines are just fine. On foreign aid, no one seems to know how much or if any of the money from CIDA has been released to help in relief in Haiti.

I wonder if the member would like to comment on any or all of those particular issues.

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply
Speech from the Throne

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

John Weston West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Madam Speaker, if there is one thing that this Conservative government stands for it is for accountability. We have seen that accountability in terms of the fiscal stimulus projects. Some 16,000 projects across Canada to stimulate the economy, all driven by local priorities, and very clear criteria not by vested interests. It is money that has been spent well and accounted for.

In terms of foreign aid, none other than Bill Clinton complimented Canada for our quick and effective response to the crisis in Haiti, something that made all Canadians proud and raised eyebrows around the world for our excellent response.

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply
Speech from the Throne

1:45 p.m.

Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Colin Carrie Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Madam Speaker, I want to thank the member for his excellent speech. I also want to thank him for all the good work he did during the Olympics, and how he represented his constituents and country. He did an excellent job.

I have been sitting here and listening to the different speeches from the opposition. I listened to my colleague's speech.

I was wondering if he could do a quick comparison for everyone, comparing the leadership shown by our government and our Prime Minister on the economy, foreign aid and tough on crime legislation to the vacuous speech that I heard from the Leader of the Opposition, that non-existent vision fixed with billions of dollars in promises and, I was entirely surprised, there was no plan for economic responsibility. How is he going to pay for these things?

Does the member have any ideas how the members of the opposition would pay for all of these billions of dollars in promises?

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply
Speech from the Throne

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

John Weston West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Madam Speaker, it is great to talk about dreams, but it is crazy to dream about talk. The difference between the two is huge.

Our government stands for specific goals. We have specific accountability. We are moving this country forward. That is why our country is at the top of the G7 in rebounding from the global recession. That is why, in terms of GDP ratios, our debt is the lowest of all the western countries. Meanwhile, the Leader of the Opposition has no specifics to offer us.

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply
Speech from the Throne

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Madam Speaker, I will start by saying that I will share my time with the member for Beauharnois—Salaberry.

I am particularly happy to speak today to criticize the throne speech, and I will try to use my 10 minutes to do so. It is clear that this throne speech has virtually no environmental commitments, but, quite the opposite, that it is setting us back considerably in a number of areas, which I will try to talk about today.

First, members should know that this government's plan is to multiply Canadian oil and gas projects while eliminating the environmental safety net that should be an essential part of a sustainable development strategy.

Let us take this example from page 21 of the throne speech, where the government said, “[the government] has pursued a balanced approach to emissions reduction—”.

But at the same time, it is saying that it plans:

—to support responsible development of Canada’s energy and mineral resources, our Government will untangle the daunting maze of regulations that needlessly complicates project approvals, replacing it with simpler, clearer processes that offer improved environmental protection and greater certainty to industry.

What does that really mean? It became clear the following day, when the budget was presented. The government announced that oil projects, among other things, would no longer be assessed by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, but would be assessed by Canada's National Energy Board, which will have ramifications on the Department of Natural Resources and financial ramifications on the government. There is every indication that the government is preparing for some rapid, major development of oil and energy resources in the west, at the expense of an environmental safety net.

If the government plans on forgetting about this environmental protection, it must understand that it will have to deal with opposition from the Bloc Québécois. Quebec created the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement. We believe that projects should be done in consultation with communities. We believe that projects should be assessed in accordance with certain environmental regulations. There is no question of weakening environmental regulations or assessments.

Second, the government is singing its own praises in the throne speech. It says it will “continue to take steps to fight climate change by leading the world in clean electricity generation”. That is a bare-faced lie. Not only has the government the gall to step out before the world and renege on its 1997 commitments with respect to the Kyoto accord, but it holds out to the world a throne speech that dares to call Canada a world leader in clean energy. That is totally unacceptable.

The government, on the contrary, intends to increase the production of oil from the tar sands, and, to do so, it will invest in nuclear energy. It announced $300 million in its budget for the development of nuclear power. We are not talking about $300 million to develop medical isotopes. It is for developing more energy in order to produce more oil from the tar sands. This does not come from us.

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited—AECL—has signed an agreement with Energy Alberta Corporation to develop ways to use Candu reactors to provide the steam needed to extract the oil from the tar sands and thus produce more. This is from AECL's website. So the opposition is not talking gibberish. Quite the contrary. The government's economic policy and strategy are focused in essence on the interests of the west, to the detriment of Quebec.

Third, this government tells us that it intends to protect the environment. And yet, what did we see in the budget? We saw a government that has refused to renew funding for research on climate. We must remember that, some 10 years ago, the federal government created the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, which funded research centres at the University of Sherbrooke, in the riding of my colleague from Sherbrooke, and at the University of Quebec in Montreal. Should the government not know it, it is called the ESCER centre. Essentially, the foundation's budget funded young researchers working in the fight against climate change and developing a climate model so as to be better able to reach our greenhouse gas reduction objectives.

What did the government do? It decided to cut the project and not renew it. Why? Does it surprise us? No. The member for Beauce had said three weeks earlier in an open letter that he did not believe in climate change or in any scientific basis linking increased greenhouse gas emissions with human activity.

The member for Beauce thus paved the way for the government's announcement in its throne speech and budget statement as well. The effect of this will be very serious, because, at international conferences on climate change, Canada will be unable to present national reports making it possible to evaluate the impact of climate change on the various regions of Canada. This is tantamount to denying the existence of climate change.

If a government refuses to give researchers the means to develop scientific proof of the existence of climate change, we have to assume that it does not believe in climate change.

It is not surprising, because we heard the Prime Minister say at the Copenhagen conference that, basically, he did not believe in the Kyoto accord, that he did not believe 1990 should be the reference year, when developing countries, Europe and all those supporting the Kyoto accord believed that 1990 should be used as the reference year.

Our Prime Minister went to Copenhagen and refused, before the international community, to set out Canada's positions. Why? Because this government has always denied the existence of climate change. Since 1997, it has made economic choices favouring the west, its interests, its electoral base and the development of the oil industry in Canada. All that, when Quebec made a totally different choice. Since 1997, Quebec has opted for the Kyoto accord and renewable energy.

Once again, the throne speech and the budget show that Canada has two faces, but only one vision focused on the west.

Resumption of debate on Address in Reply
Speech from the Throne

2 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Chair Denise Savoie

The hon. member will have five minutes for questions and comments following oral question period.

Olympic Athletes
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Holder London West, ON

Madam Speaker, London, Ontario is Canada's golden city. Long after the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, the golden glow continues in our community. Londoners are exceptionally proud of our local Olympians.

We sent six athletes from our London region to compete in three sports and every single one of them came home with a gold medal. This bears repeating. Every single Londoner who competed in the Olympics is a gold medallist, and while communities across our country lay various claims to our Olympians, London's claim is no less strong.

Congratulations to Christine Nesbitt, Scott Moir, Tessa Virtue, Drew Doughty, Corey Perry and Joe Thornton. Hockey players Rick Nash and Pat Kane, along with Corey, were part of the legendary London Knights and did our city proud.

To our Olympians I say that their results were the best in the world and they had us cheering louder than they could ever imagine. While we shared in their dream, we know they did the work. They made the commitment. They won the gold, and for that they deserve every accolade they receive. I thank them for making London Canada's golden city.

Azeri Community
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise here today to ask the House to join me and the Azeri community in commemorating the Khojaly tragedy, which took place 18 years ago on February 25 and 26.

I know those date has passed.

However, I think it is important for Canada, as a global nation, home to people from different countries who came here to find new beginnings, to recognize the tragedies that once marred their lives and mourn with them, however briefly.

The tragedy of lost human life is still too common in a world plagued by civil strife. Canada, through democracy and rule of law, has found peaceful resolution to our own civil disagreements. By remembering tragedies such as Khojaly, we can hopefully help our new citizens to remember the past while beginning anew to embrace values of peaceful coexistence here in Canada.

Jacques Hétu
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, on February 9, 2010, Jacques Hétu, a composer and musician from Trois-Rivières, passed away at the age of 71.

The composer most frequently performed abroad, and considered Quebec's greatest composer ever, he also enjoyed a brilliant career teaching music at Université Laval, Université de Montréal and Université du Québec à Montréal.

Jacques Hétu was made a member of the Royal Society of Canada in 1989, an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001 and officer of the Ordre national du Québec in 2007. Just a few days before his death, he received the Opus homage award from the Conseil québécois de la musique for his life's work.

He has left us with a remarkable body of work, including five symphonies and several chamber music compositions. In 2008, Jacques Hétu was inducted into the Panthéon de la musique classique in Trois-Rivières, where a music school was named in his honour in 1999.

On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I wish to extend sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Ukrainian Voice
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, this month we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ukrainian Voice, the oldest Ukrainian language newspaper in Canada.

In 1909, Ukrainian public school teachers in Manitoba saw the need for an independent weekly paper to reflect the common experience of the growing number of Ukrainians immigrating to Canada. They formed a publishing company and on March 16, 1910, the first issue of Ukrainian Voice hit the streets. It quickly became the glue holding the fast-growing community together. It became not only a news carrier but a voice for the pride of Ukrainian immigrants who brought their strong work ethic and other cultural values to the harsh task of Canadian nation-building.

Ukrainian Voice has maintained that critical role now for 100 years and continues to play a vital role in the dynamic Ukrainian community of the 21st century. Let us today celebrate this great contribution to Canada's cultural heritage.

[Member spoke in Ukrainian]

Taxation
Statements By Members

March 11th, 2010 / 2 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, mere days before Christmas 1995, Canadian retirees collecting U.S. social security got a massive 70% tax hike from the Liberal government, devastating their retirements. Thousands banded together to fight, led by the now late Olive Smith of Essex, forming Canadians Asking for Social Security Equality. Sadly, the Liberal government did not right its wrong. It fought these seniors for a decade hoping they would lose heart, or worse, that it would outlast these seniors and their outrage.

Budget 2010, thanks to this government, restores tax fairness to these retired Canadian seniors.

I extend congratulations to CASSE. I extend thanks to Bill Thrasher and other seniors who never gave up, to the member for Calgary Southeast who, before me, led this fight for seven years in this House, to our finance minister and our Prime Minister.

Olive Smith and her fellow seniors departed can finally rest in peace.

Volunteerism
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to extend congratulations to Mr. George Katsarov, a resident of York South—Weston and a volunteer with Canadian Executive Service Organization. Mr. Katsarov completed an assignment to Sevastopol, Ukraine to address the recycling of domestic and industrial waste. The city of Yalta was also experiencing a lack of local waste disposal sites. Mr. Katsarov was asked to advise on ways to minimize environmental pollution and reduce the cost of transporting and recycling waste.

Since 1967, highly skilled volunteers like Mr. Katsarov have been using their professional expertise and experience to help others achieve their goals. Thanks to Canadian Executive Service Organization, volunteers like Mr. Katsarov have put a human face on Canada through their assignments abroad.

I invite the members of the House to join me in congratulating Mr. Katsarov and Canadian Executive Service Organization for volunteerism and a job well done.

Delta Community Leader
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

John Cummins Delta—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, recently the Delta Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 100th anniversary. Edgar Dunning was in attendance at the gala. A friend chatted with Edgar after the event, then noted that Edgar jumped in his car and drove home. Nothing unusual about that, except that Edgar was 100 years old on January 7.

Edgar's mother published the Delta Optimist and some of his fondest memories are of that early newsroom. He spent his working life at the paper as a reporter, editor, photographer and publisher. He still writes a weekly column for the Optimist.

I look forward to Edgar's company at community events as much for his interesting recollections as for his insightful comments about current events and his great sense of humour.

Throughout his long life, Edgar has served his community, his province and his country. He is a recipient of the Queen's Golden Jubilee medal, the Order of British Columbia, the Delta Chamber of Commerce Good Citizen of the Year award and others too numerous to mention. Truly it can be said that it is community leaders like Edgar Dunning who make our country great.

Jasey-Jay Anderson
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec athletes distinguished themselves through their magnificent performances at the Olympic games in Vancouver.

Today I would like to salute Jasey-Jay Anderson, who is from Val-Morin. He is a fantastic athlete who topped off his career by winning the gold medal in the parallel giant slalom snowboarding.

A four-time world champion and winner of innumerable victories and podium finishes, this young family man should be proud of his truly memorable performance.

Throughout his career, Mr. Anderson has demonstrated determination, perseverance and tenacity. He never lost sight of his dream of reaching the highest step on the podium and saw his efforts crowned with a gold medal.

This snowboarder is a model of dedication and motivation for all young Quebeckers.

I join with my colleagues in the Bloc Québécois in congratulating Jasey-Jay Anderson and wishing him all the best in the future.