House of Commons Hansard #48 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was national.

Topics

Victoria Hall
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to inform the House of the 150th anniversary of Victoria Hall in the town of Cobourg. Victoria Hall is a heritage legacy in the town of Cobourg. Once considered as a site for the centre of our government, it now serves as a cultural, historical, artistic and educational landmark.

The first cornerstone was laid in 1856, followed by the official opening of the hall in 1860. This week, we are excited to celebrate the 150th anniversary. During the week, commemorative activities will include a traditional ball, walking tours, historical presentations, and musical performances by local artists. To help with these celebrations, Victoria Hall has received over $10,000 through the community historical anniversaries program under Heritage Canada.

Congratulations to Victoria Hall on this momentous anniversary. Thanks to all the community members and volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this week a success.

Acts of Bravery
Statements By Members

May 25th, 2010 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize my constituent, Tom Muench, for his selfless and heroic act in assisting Toronto police officers in their efforts to catch a fleeing criminal.

Last fall, while Tom was visiting his mother, he suddenly saw a man running through the garden, being chased by a police officer. Without hesitation, Tom intervened and began pursuing this man through the North York neighbourhood. Despite being held at knifepoint, he even tackled the man twice.

On top of this, he was also calling 911 to inform the dispatchers of the suspect's whereabouts. Ultimately, Tom's brave act led the police toward key evidence, which included two knives, a large sum of cash and drugs.

A month ago today, William Blair, chief of police, presented Tom with an award of honour for his outstanding contribution to the Toronto Police Service and the community. This incident is not unique for Tom as he also stopped a criminal from a daytime burglary back when he was a teenager.

As such, Tom is a prime example of what it means to be a good Samaritan and a community leader. Thanks to our local hero.

Souris School
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to offer my congratulations on the 100th birthday of the Souris School in Weyburn, Saskatchewan and to pay tribute to all the students, teachers, principals, parents and volunteers who had a part to play in shaping the history of the school.

The celebration that I attended on Friday, May 21, was about more than the three-storey brick building, although it embodies the school's rich history. While throughout the years the school faced its fair share of challenges, these were all looked at with fondness.

Indeed, this celebration was about fond memories, friends reminiscing, sharing a statement like: “Mrs. Sprout taught me how to read”, “Mrs. Jenkins taught me how to write”, and “Mrs. M.J. was my all round favourite”.

We were reminded of the satisfaction of teachers having a hand in the development of young minds and that is the bottom line. As Oliver W. Holmes once said, “Once the mind has been stretched by a new idea, it will never again return to its original size”.

Congratulations to Souris School on reaching 100 years. What a remarkable achievement.

Canada Post
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canada Post is planning to close its postal outlet in Saint-Mathieu-de-La-Prairie, a vibrant rural community in my riding.

In January, the crown corporation unilaterally decided to cut the postal outlet operator's pay. As a result, that person can no longer afford to provide this essential service. Canada Post has even refused to inform local elected officials of the new operating conditions it wishes to impose to maintain the service.

Canada Post has been making a profit for the past 15 years, yet it is constantly chiseling away at rural postal services despite the 2009 moratorium on closing rural post offices. Whatever happened to transparency?

Maintaining public postal services is essential to the economic viability and social identity of rural communities, but Canada Post's service cuts are exacerbating rural-urban inequalities. Canada Post needs to understand that once and for all.

Air India Memorial Monument
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, this June marks the 25th anniversary of Canada's worst act of terrorism, the Air India attack of 1985. On June 23, Canadians across the country remember this terrible act on Canada's National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism. Events are being planned across Canada, as well as in Ireland, to honour the hundreds of people killed during this act of terrorism.

Last week, we were deeply disturbed to hear that the Toronto monument to these victims had been vandalized.

In 2007 the Prime Minister and other leaders joined Air India families to unveil this important memorial where the names of the 329 victims are etched. The Toronto memorial faces the memorial in Ahakista, Ireland where the plane went down.

We are very pleased to hear that the monument will be restored in time to mark next month's anniversary. I believe I speak on behalf of all parties and all Canadians when I condemn the vandalism of this monument.

Argentina
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, May 25, marks Argentina's bicentennial, the anniversary of the sequence of events that led to Argentina's independence.

I was born in Argentina and lived there before I was forced to leave the country with my family for political reasons, like so many other Argentinians. Argentina has gone through glorious times as well as more difficult days.

But today Argentina has turned a page, and I think of it as I see it now: a great nation with a rich and vibrant culture, a nation open to the world.

When we think of Argentina, the first things that come to mind are the tango, Evita, soccer, Maradona. But Argentina is also a very beautiful country that is home to a proud and determined people.

I join my colleagues in wishing Argentina and the Argentine people a happy bicentennial. And since the world cup of soccer starts in a few weeks, I would like to take this opportunity to wish Argentina the best of luck.

¡Que viva Argentina!

Justice
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, today our government announced measures to enhance the safety and security of the online marketplace.

Amendments to the legislation protecting the personal information of Canadians and the reintroduction of anti-spam legislation in the House of Commons are important steps towards positioning Canada as a leader in the digital economy.

These measures will empower and better protect consumers while ensuring that Canadian businesses can continue to compete in the global online marketplace.

Our government believes Canadian shoppers should feel just as confident in the electronic marketplace as they do at the corner store.

Personal information should be no less secure when shared online than anywhere else. That is why our government is taking steps to ensure it is better protected.

With the bills being introduced today, we are working toward creating a more secure online environment for both consumers and businesses.

Memorial Cup Championship
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I proudly stand in the House wearing a jersey that I am honoured to display in my parliamentary office, a jersey that has come to be synonymous with greatness.

It is with the pride of my entire community that I am once again afforded the opportunity to acknowledge the stunning accomplishments of the Windsor Spitfires. Just this past Sunday, the Spits secured its second consecutive Memorial Cup trophy, a feat rarely accomplished, solidifying its place as one of the greatest teams in the history of Canadian junior hockey.

After overcoming a 3-0 series deficit against the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL conference semi-finals, the Spits were dominant the rest of the way, successfully defending its 2009 Memorial Cup Championship and repeating as CHL champions.

I congratulate the excellent ownership group including Warren Rychel, Peter Dobrich and Bob Boughner who have led the club back to prominence, and of course all our dedicated players and families for their victory.

Thanks for giving us something to cheer for, and go get 'em in 2011. Go, Spits, go.

Firearms Registry
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians across the country have been speaking out against the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

It not only unfairly targets innocent hunters and farmers, but it does nothing to deal with serious gun crime in our neighbourhoods and on our streets.

One Canadian who opposes the registry is the Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Alberta, Alison Redford. In a letter to the member for Portage—Lisgar, Minister Redford stated, “The Government of Alberta has long opposed the long-gun registry as both an infringement on provincial jurisdiction and a waste of money; money that could have been used more effectively in other ways to combat serious and violent crime”.

Opposition MPs from all parties should listen to the minister's recommendations, take her advice, do the right thing, and vote to scrap the wasteful long gun registry. It is simply—

Firearms Registry
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Ahuntsic.

International Missing Children's Day
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, to have a child go missing is perhaps the most tragic thing that can happen to a family. According to the RCMP, every year in Canada about 100 children go missing and are still missing a year later. This situation is unacceptable.

Some of these children are missing because they have run away or because of accidents, but many are abducted by parents or strangers.

While a tough-on-crime approach may be the most appealing, prevention is definitely more effective. That is why the Bloc Québécois wants to tackle the underlying causes of this kind of crime and give the police the tools they need to investigate, as well as bring in balanced, effective and realistic legislation. Supporting organizations that work on prevention with families and in schools is crucial.

On this International Missing Children's Day, I invite everyone to light a candle for 24 hours in order to light the way home for all missing children.

Former Prime Minister of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I am sure all members of the House will want to join me in saluting a great Canadian and a master of this chamber, Jean Chrétien.

When Mr. Chrétien became prime minister in 1993, Canada was in crisis. Our economy was stalled, our finances were in deficit, and threats to our national unity loomed.

Ten years later, Jean Chrétien left Canada united, with the best public finances and the best economy in the G7. Thanks to him, we are a more equal and just society. This is a truly great record.

Today we are saluting the “little guy from Shawinigan” who served his country so well for 40 years.

Jean and Aline, welcome back to Parliament Hill. On behalf of all hon. members and all Canadians, we thank them both for everything they have done for Canada.

Committees of the House
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Kenora, ON

More good news, Mr. Speaker. Today the government reaffirmed our commitment to ministerial accountability. Just because a committee can call on staff to appear before committee does not mean they ought to.

In the Canadian political system virtually all departmental activity is carried out in the name of the minister and Parliament holds him or her personally responsible for it.

A strong system where ministers are accountable and answerable to Parliament for the actions of their officials and department, including their own political staff, helps to ensure that taxpayer dollars are well spent and the public trust is not abused.

However, today, and for the second time, the opposition dismissed a minister from committee without allowing him to fully take part in the meeting. What does this prove? It proves the opposition is playing games and those members are prepared to politicize anything they think will score points, even abusing their privileges by calling ministerial staff in front of committees. The opposition is not interested in accountability or the truth. It is just interested in opportunistic grandstanding.

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, we are in the midst of a sovereign debt crisis that is spreading throughout the world and getting worse by the day. The Canadian economy remains fragile with a high unemployment rate, an unprecedented level of household debt, and a $54 billion deficit.

Rather than protecting Canada's workers, the government is borrowing money to lower taxes for corporations that are already profitable. Why?

The Economy
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to see that the Leader of the Opposition is finally focusing on the real issue, the economy. As I have stated a number of times, the world economy remains fragile and that is why it is our focus. Our debt levels are much lower than those of other countries and our taxes are going down. That is essential in order to be competitive.