House of Commons Hansard #61 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

International Cooperation
Oral Questions

11:55 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, after women's groups and international cooperation organizations like KAIROS and Match International, it is now the Canadian Council for International Cooperation's turn to be hit by ideological and retaliatory cuts made by this government. The president of the Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale, Mr. Brian Barton, is calling for more transparent funding criteria and asking that CCIC's funding be maintained.

Will the government heed this call?

International Cooperation
Oral Questions

Noon

Kootenay—Columbia
B.C.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, the government is very proud of the work that it has been doing with respect to these kinds of organizations. As the applications are received, they are duly considered and the minister is currently considering.

Manitoba Overland Flooding
Oral Questions

Noon

NDP

Jim Maloway Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the overland flooding caused by extraordinary rainfall in Manitoba two weeks ago wreaked havoc in some areas in my own riding such as south Transcona, as well as other parts of Winnipeg, Brandon and communities across the province. Following the substantial rainfall, the provincial government immediately announced it would provide assistance to homeowners affected by this natural disaster, but there still has been no word from the federal government.

Will the Conservatives provide federal support to these families in need?

Manitoba Overland Flooding
Oral Questions

Noon

Oxford
Ontario

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite should know that there is a plan in place. Federal-provincial agreements are in place and when all of those agreements are followed, then certainly the federal government is involved. We do not get involved without the province taking on its responsibility first and then dealing with the federal government.

Israel
Oral Questions

Noon

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, the NDP House leader has stated in an interview that she believes the Israeli occupation began in 1948. That is the same date as the creation of the state of Israel. She also has said that she supports the campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against the state of Israel.

Warren Kinsella, a senior Liberal, says he believes there is not much that divides a Liberal-NDP coalition.

Would the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister please respond to these outrageous statements?

Israel
Oral Questions

Noon

Nepean—Carleton
Ontario

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

Mr. Speaker, members of Parliament, both on the government side and on the coalition side, should condemn in the strongest of terms these despicable remarks.

It was our government under the leadership of this Prime Minister that was the first in the world to cut off international aid to the Hamas regime in Gaza. It was the first to announce it would not participate in the Durban hate festival. Other countries later followed. This government was the first to march out on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech at the United Nations. We were the only country to stand up to an unbalanced Francophonie resolution targeting Israel.

This Prime Minister is prepared to stand for what is right, even when it means standing alone.

Canada's Engagement in Afghanistan—Quarterly Report to Parliament for the Period of January 1 to March 31, 2010
Routine Proceedings

Noon

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, a report entitled “Canada's Engagement in Afghanistan—Quarterly Report to Parliament for the Period of January 1 to March 31, 2010”.

Indian Residential Schools
Routine Proceedings

June 11th, 2010 / noon

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to once again give honour and pay tribute, on behalf of the Government of Canada, to the tens of thousands of aboriginal children who were isolated from their families, traditions and cultures by the Indian residential school system on this the second anniversary of the Prime Minister's truly historic apology. That apology stands as one of the pivotal moments in the journey to reconciliation between aboriginals and other Canadians.

The story of the residential schools tells of an education policy gone badly wrong. However, going forward, our government is working with all willing partners to strengthen and reform education and to support student success and provide greater hope and opportunity.

Next week, I will attend the first of seven national events being held by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As noted recently by Mary Simon, president of ITK:

The only way you can have reconciliation between aboriginal peoples and other Canadians is to understand each other's cultures.

This first event of the TRC, and the ones to follow, represents significant opportunities in that journey toward reconciliation. I would strongly encourage all Canadians to take part in this and other initiatives being held across our country as we move forward together on reconciliation.

To quote the Prime Minister:

The burden of this experience has been on your shoulders for far too long. The burden is properly ours as a Government, and as a country.

Thankfully the era of positive change is upon us. The federal government is working in close partnership and collaboration with first nations, Métis and Inuit to help forge a new strengthened relationship between aboriginal people and other Canadians.

On this the anniversary, the historic statement of apology to former students of Indian residential schools, we must commit ourselves anew, that in word and deed we are not simply making up for past wrongs; we are going to make sure, and we are making sure, that the future is bright for all Canadians.

Indian Residential Schools
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Todd Russell Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour all the grandmothers and grandfathers, the young and the old, to acknowledge the pain and struggle of generations of my indigenous brothers and sisters.

I rise today to honour the apology, which thousands across our great country witnessed two years ago. We honour this occasion with openness and honesty.

While I appreciate the minister's statement today, to my ears and to many others it rings hollow.

It rings hollow because this year the government ended funding for the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. It did so despite the fact that the funding provided valuable services to residential school survivors.

It rings hollow because the educational funding gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal students is still an obstacle to overcoming the residential schools legacy. We, as a country, cannot afford to lose even one student in this generation, or waste any opportunity to plant the seed of education in a mind, in a community, and in a nation.

It rings hollow because the government has not kept its promise to address the issues surrounding those schools which were similar to the Indian residential schools. The Prime Minister himself made a promise to Ile-a-la Crosse in Saskatchewan. He has yet to honour those words. In Labrador former boarding school students have had to resort to a class action suit to have their voices heard and obtain justice.

It rings hollow when more than 8,000 aboriginal children are in care and the government will not listen to their pleas for more help.

It rings hollow when hundreds of aboriginal women and girls have gone missing or murdered and the outcry is little more than a whimper.

The apology was historic, it was moving, it was overdue. Unfortunately, the sincerity of the government has been in question in the days and months since. Whether through the hurtful words of a government member two years ago, or through the actions and inactions since, the words spoken in this chamber are in doubt.

The apology was significant, but it must be imbued with a true sense of reconciliation and real change.

Indian Residential Schools
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Yves Laforest Saint-Maurice—Champlain, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to highlight the second anniversary of the Prime Minister's official apology to the 150,000 former residential school students. It is important that we all remember what happened and take the necessary steps to ensure that it never happens again. Let us not forget that the policy was designed to kill the Indian in the child. Children were made to wear European-style clothing, and their hair was cut as soon as they arrived at school. That first symbolic stage was designed to humiliate and assimilate.

Two years ago, the Bloc Québécois leader recognized that an apology was necessary. Necessary, but not sufficient. When he endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Prime Minister had an opportunity to show aboriginal peoples that he had learned from the mistakes of the past and was prepared to make a solemn promise to the victims that their children and grandchildren will be treated with respect and dignity.

Two years have since passed. Canada has not yet signed the declaration; it has merely stated that it would ratify the declaration with some restrictions and is still compromising the future of young people. Aboriginal education is still underfunded. For example, education funding was capped at 2% in 1996 despite a quickly growing population. The education funding formula, which dates back to 1988, is out of touch with reality. School infrastructure on reserve is not up to provincial standards. Thousands of young aboriginals do not have access to post-secondary education.

The government's attempts at reconciliation must begin with the unconditional ratification of the United Nations declaration and more funding for aboriginal education to ensure a better future for them.

Indian Residential Schools
Routine Proceedings

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I believe the social conditions of Canada's indigenous people are the greatest failure of a great country and it is important to acknowledge the significant role the Indian residential schools played in shaping these conditions.

Today we mark the second anniversary of the Prime Minister's apology, on behalf of all Canadians, for the lasting and damaging impact this policy had on aboriginal culture, heritage and language and for failing to protect generations of children from abuse and neglect.

The apology of June 11, 2008, was genuine and sincere, and I was proud of the government as it was delivered. However, it was also a moment that raised expectations. For an apology to have meaning and weight, it must be offered, accepted and include efforts made to remedy the offence that gave rise to the apology to the greatest extent possible.

It now falls upon us to ensure that we meet those expectations by putting meat on the bare bones of the apology of two years ago. We must commit ourselves to concrete actions so the next generation of Canadians does not have to apologize for the failure of this one to provide equal opportunity and a better quality of life to first nation, Métis and Inuit people.

Next week the healing process takes another historic step, as former students of the residential schools are invited to have their stories heard at the Truth and Reconciliation hearings in Winnipeg. This will be difficult and painful and will take great strength and courage. Our best wishes and support go out to all those who participate, as both sides will surely benefit from this open and honest process.

In the words of the Prime Minister, there is no place in Canada for the attitudes that inspired the Indian residential schools to ever again prevail.

Citizenship and Immigration
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Federal Courts Act. The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House, with amendments.

Environment and Sustainable Development
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development in relation to the order amending schedule 2 to the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act, together with a report to Parliament, “Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site”. It is my intention to seek unanimous consent of the House to concur in this report later today.

Income Tax Act
Routine Proceedings

12:10 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-534, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (in-home care of relative).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to introduce legislation that was first brought to my attention by good friend, Judy Wasylycia-Leis, the former MP for Winnipeg North, who, along with her adviser, Chuck Brabazon, did all the heavy lifting to make the bill's tabling possible today.

I am proud to stand on their shoulders and sponsor this initiative through the legislative process because it will make a profoundly positive difference for the thousands of Canadians who are the primary caregivers for their spouses.

Let us look at the bill. My bill would bolster the family income of persons living with disabilities by extending the caregiver tax credit to the spouses of persons with disabilities. It is outrageous that spouses are excluded from a tax credit for which almost every conceivable relative of a person living with disabilities can apply, including a child, grandchild, brother, sister, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, parent or grandparent. Not included is the one person who is most likely to provide care on an ongoing basis, the spouse. That is patently unfair and undervalues the caregiving that spouses provide every day of every week of every year.

A quarter of Canadians provide informal care to a family member or friend with a serious health problem every year. More than 75% of these caregivers are women. The Canadian Caregivers Association estimates that caregivers contribute $5 billion of unpaid labour per year to the health care system, which represents an enormous savings to federal and provincial governments.

Making spouses eligible for the caregiver amount is a small step forward. It will send a strong signal that the federal government recognizes the exceptional contribution that spouses make as caregivers and provide a new support for them to help a loved one who is in need of care to live with dignity and as much independence as possible.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Environment and Sustainable Development
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations and I believe you would find unanimous consent of the House to concur in the second report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development tabled earlier today.