House of Commons Hansard #65 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was prorogation.

Topics

Cupids 400
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Wetaskiwin.

Retirement Wishes
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, members all know the value of excellent staff who assist us daily in our duties as MPs. Staff come and go, but every so often one stands out and gives his or her all in supporting the MP.

Today I rise to salute the career of one such employee. Maureen Laffin O'Brien has worked on Parliament Hill for almost 30 years as a legislative assistant.

In 1981 she began her career working with Howard Crosby from Nova Scotia and remained with him for 12 years.

In 1993 newly elected Dale Johnston was in need of a guiding hand and hired Maureen to get his Ottawa office up and running. It did not take Dale long to realize that Maureen was a keeper, knowing the ins and outs of Ottawa. She stayed with Dale, serving for his entire 12 years as a member, forging a lasting friendship along the way.

In 2006 Maureen joined my office. She showed remarkable patience as I learned the ropes and has been a true friend and confidante since I arrived.

I want to thank Maureen for her tireless work, keen political advice and years of loyal service. Her talent, wisdom and positive demeanour will be greatly missed on the Hill. Twenty-nine years with three MPs is remarkable.

On behalf of all the staff, past and present, and everyone Maureen touched here on Parliament Hill, I would like to wish her good health and a happy and well-deserved retirement.

Maureen Forrester
Statements By Members

June 17th, 2010 / 2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, star contralto Maureen Forrester died yesterday. Born in Montreal in 1930, she began her career in church choirs.

She gave her debut concert in 1953 with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, but it was not until a 1956 Carnegie Hall performance that her international career took off. She headlined in the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, France, England, Germany, Spain, Argentina, and many other countries. She was known for her perfect mastery of German pronunciation. She excelled in several musical styles, including classical, opera, musical comedy, burlesque and popular song.

She also taught at the University of Toronto and chaired the vocal arts department of the Philadelphia Music Academy. She chaired the Canada Council for the Arts from 1983 to 1988.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues and I extend our sincere condolences to her five children, her family and her friends.

Agriculture
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, farmers in my riding of Prince Albert and all across Saskatchewan are facing the worst flooding in decades. Up to 30% of the farmland may be left unseeded and farmers need help to get through these difficult times.

Our government, working with the province, has extended agri-insurance deadlines twice to give farmers as much time as possible to get their crops in. If they cannot, crop insurance will pay out as soon as farmers make a claim.

Greg Marshall, the president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, or APAS, has praised this program saying, “We are pleased crop insurance is being flexible and extending these deadlines to help address the needs of producers”.

Additionally, our second line of defence, agri-stability, will allow farmers to take out cash advances to help weather this storm.

I would like to thank our Conservative government's Minister of Agriculture for travelling to Saskatchewan yesterday in order to make sure our programs give farmers the support they need.

Public Safety
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative chair of the public safety committee was forced to apologize for denigrating Canada's 450 chiefs of police after calling them “a cult”, and the Conservative assault on the integrity of our police forces continues.

The Conservative MP for Saint Boniface unequivocally stated in committee, “There were officers who suffered consequences at the hands of chiefs like Mr. Blair, who transferred them when they spoke out...”.

Absolutely no evidence to substantiate this serious allegation of witness intimidation and workplace harassment was ever provided by that MP, yet she refuses to retract or apologize for making this ruinous allegation.

Parliamentary privilege is a tool to get at the truth of issues. However, when abused, it provides cover to the abuser, allowing the member for Saint Boniface to savage the good reputation of the chief.

Does the Minister of Public Safety condone this attack on the chiefs of police or will he apologize to Toronto Chief of Police William Blair, who has an exemplary 33 year record of serving and protecting our citizenry?

Bloc Québécois
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, here is “The Bloc and the Quebecker”:

Having spent its time
Sitting on its thumbs,
The Bloc was glum
Now that summer had come.
Not one vote for Quebeckers
From this opportunistic, simplistic party.
When asked to explain
their raison d'être and justify their existence
Until the new session,
I'll tell you by August, said the Bloc,
Disinformation and pie in the sky,
That is what the Bloc lives by.
But the Quebecker is no fool,
That's what makes him so cool.
What did you do all that time?
He said to these freeloaders.
Week in and week out
We talked round about.
You talked? said the Quebecker to the Bloc.
Well, now start dancing!

Bombing of Air India Flight 182
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, next week will mark the 25th anniversary of the tragic Air India bombing in 1985 that killed 331 innocent men, women and children.

Sadly, Canadians are still waiting for justice to be served, and the families of victims are still repairing deep emotional wounds and fractured home lives.

Throughout almost two decades of stonewalling by the government, the victims' families have shown tremendous endurance, strength and courage. The onus is now on the federal government to ensure that a tragedy like this will never happen again.

We hope the report brings peace and closure to the victims' families. We hope the guilty face justice. However, it will require government agencies to co-operate and share their information. Most importantly, this report must be scrutinized by Parliament and implemented as a priority to ensure that the government can prevent future attacks.

I urge all Canadians to take a moment and reflect once again on one of Canada's most horrendous acts of violence. We join the families in support and solidarity as they continue to grieve and mourn the loss of their loved ones.

The Economy
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, despite opposition mudslinging and attempts to score cheap political points, our government remains focused on the economy.

Canada's strong economic performance is a testament to the leadership of our Prime Minister and our Conservative government. Since July of last year, Canada has created almost 310,000 new jobs. With numbers like this, it is not surprising that the influential magazine, The Economist, recently called Canada “an economic star”.

It is encouraging to see Canada's economy on the right track, thanks to our government's actions. Nonetheless the global recovery remains fragile. That is why we need to fully implement Canada's economic action plan.

While our plan is helping Canada lead the way on jobs and growth, the Liberal leader's plan to raise taxes would halt our recovery in its tracks and kill almost 400,000 jobs.

Education for All
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2000, 189 countries signed the Dakar Declaration and committed to achieving education for all by 2015. Taking advantage of this year's World Cup, UNESCO, supported by FIFA, has launched a campaign to rally public opinion on the importance of education.

In Quebec, the Montreal Impact and the Institut de coopération pour l'éducation des adultes are running the 1GOAL: Education for All campaign. People all over the world must have access to education, which is why it is so important for the federal government to achieve its target of 0.7% of GDP for official development assistance. That is why I urge the people of Quebec to sign the petition: “Sign your name for those who can't”.

I would also like to highlight the remarkable contribution of Pierre Martin, who passed away earlier this week. Mr. Martin took on a number of roles in Quebec's education department under Paul Gérin-Lajoie, and helped create Quebec's university network, which was designed to improve access to a university education.

Robert Middlemiss
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I want to honour the memory of a former Liberal member of the National Assembly of Quebec, Robert Middlemiss.

Robert was a McGill University graduate and a geotechnical engineering consultant. He began his career in politics as a municipal councillor for the former city of Aylmer from 1970 to 1979.

“Bob” was the MNA for Pontiac from 1981 to 2003. He served as the parliamentary assistant to the minister of the environment and to the minister of health and social services, later becoming minister responsible for agriculture, the fisheries, food, transport and public safety.

We will miss his generosity, his dedication and his love for our region. We want to acknowledge his vision and his great determination to develop McConnell-Laramée Boulevard, which is now Allumettières Boulevard.

I offer my deepest condolences to his wife Lorraine and his family.

Bob, we thank you and we salute you.

Firearms Registry
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, the summer break is almost here and it is important to highlight that there are 20 opposition MPs who will have one very important question posed to them this summer by their constituents: How will they vote on Bill C-391?

I encourage the eight Liberal and 12 NDP members of Parliament to spend their time away from Ottawa listening to their constituents, and when they return, to vote in favour of Bill C-391.

Once again, I also ask that both the Liberal and NDP leaders do the right thing and allow all of their MPs to vote freely on this issue and have the ability to truly reflect their own beliefs and that of their constituents.

It is time to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry. Canadians know this. They also know the choice is clear. Members should either vote to keep the long gun registry or vote to scrap it, as they did at second reading. It is that simple.

The people they represent deserve to be heard.

Air India
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Prime Minister about the Air India inquiry.

First, I want to say very clearly that we commend the Government of Canada for having commissioned this inquiry and we commend the commissioner for his extraordinary work and his great diligence, and I am sure all Canadians stand in solidarity with the Air India families.

But the question remains, and it is a difficult question for the Prime Minister. In his report, Commissioner Major criticized the complacent attitude of the agencies, even in speaking to the commission, concerning the problems that have not yet been resolved.

What does the Prime Minister

Air India
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The right hon. Prime Minister.

Air India
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to thank the commissioner, Justice Major, for his report and for his dedication to a project that is so important to our country. The government launched this inquiry in order to get at the truth. Several aspects of the truth are very disturbing, and the government will take the appropriate action.

Air India
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, on page 146 of his report, the commissioner clearly states that there are still problems, even with some of the agencies' testimony before the commission. He discovered a sunny attitude that was not based on the facts or the reality. He clearly said that the commission took issue with that sunny attitude.

What will the Prime Minister do to ensure that the attitude of those agencies changes—