House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was board.

Topics

Opposition Motion--Canadian Wheat Board
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Before I call on the member for Windsor West to resume debate, I should let him know that I will have to interrupt his remarks at the top of the hour for statements by members.

The hon. member for Windsor West.

Opposition Motion--Canadian Wheat Board
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to the motion from the member for Churchill discussing a central principle of democracy, which is people having their rights, especially having their rights respected. It is bound from a tradition of legislation that has been duped by the government and usurped by the people who have the vehicle of the Canadian Wheat Board as part of their conditions of doing business and their investments, not only in terms of their businesses but their families.

It is important to note that Canada's current challenges stem from a lot of different issues related to our massive geography, our disperse population and a very diverse group of individuals and people across this country with different interests. In the 1920s, the farming community felt enough need to band together to create a collective to be able to compete in the open markets with the wheat product they were providing. It is important because there was motivation at that time to do so, which came about from their personal experiences and their understanding that if they could come together as a collective, at times it would be to their advantage.

We do that even to this day in many respects, and we have in this country in many other fora. The credit unions are an example. When it became impossible for the farming community or others to get access to credit that was reasonable and fair, people got together. Still to this day, in cities we have collectives of financing, accounting and services in the banking industry because the profits then go back to the people. They understand that together they do much better than they do alone.

We also do this when we form cities, municipalities and towns. Instead of having independent police or fire departments, everybody understands that if we work as a collective and pay a fee for this, then we will get that service and that insurance. This is about respecting a tradition that was set up in the 1920s.

In 1943, they went to the single-desk marketing. The legislation that was created for the Canadian Wheat Board calls for it to have vote if it wants to dissolve or change the concept that it has now. To be clear, this board does not bring in a profit for itself. It has democratically elected its members, ten of whom come from the farming community and four of whom are appointed by the government, and it chooses a chair. That is critically important because in the legislation from the government, it would not allow the democratically elected farmers to remain on the Canadian Wheat Board. It would appoint its own people to dismantle it and it would not allow the elected farmers to make those difficult choices, even if they did not want to and are forced to have this legislation.

The member for Churchill should be commended for this motion because it goes to an important piece, not only behind the Wheat Board, but understanding that legislation that was a protectiveness chamber, that was here and there are expectations toward it, would be dismantled. That could set a pattern for other legislation. The government is saying that it says that but that it will disregard that altogether.

The member also needs to be commended because there has been a plebiscite with 63% of farmers saying that they would like to keep the Canadian Wheat Board. The farmers have had their vote and they were very clear on that mandate. The Conservatives often talk about having a clear mandate from the Canadian people when they only had 38% of the vote. That is unacceptable. Their 38%, which we hear daily in the House of Commons at question period, ad nauseam, seems to make some type of a mandate for an absolute majority of everything from legislation to discourse that happens not only in this chamber but also in our committees. However, the reality is that Canadian farmers were far louder when they said that they did not want to dismantle the Wheat Board.

When we look at some of the economics of this, with an economy that is fragile right now, world markets in a turmoil and a great deal of uncertainty coming up, why would the government actually do this without an action plan? There has been no study or analysis. We do that as a regular business. Cities and towns do that before making multi-million dollar contracts, awards and services. However, meanwhile, we would have billions of dollars tied up in the future and we are not even seeing an economic analysis presented before us, which is unfortunate because it shows the reckless abandon of ideology that the Conservatives have and the reckless nature of their intent to ram this through as fast as they can. I believe they want to do so because of electoral timing. They want to tear down the Wheat Board and bring in the different changes that will take place before the next election.

Once again, farmers have been out there saying that they would prefer to keep this as the particular option right now. There could be a further debate among farmers about what they want to do. I know in Ontario they had that debate and they had that choice. However, they had that debate first, which was much more effective than what is taking place here.

All the member for Churchill is doing is defending the rights of those individuals who have the system in place that they have invested in. They have invested their families, their money and their lifelong interest into their farms and to have that thrown to the wind without an economic analysis and without the due diligence necessary is completely unacceptable.

It is important to go back to the 63% of people who responded. There has been a debate about the type of plebiscite that took place and the different types of problems that they faced. We should go to the suggestion by the member for Churchill to have that educated, earnest attempt to let farmers understand the consequences of what is going to take place, to know them and to face them in a very strategic way. However, we need to do so in a responsible way before we undermine ourselves, our country and our farmers, especially when they have the right to make the destiny for themselves, not have it imposed on them by others.

Opposition Motion--Canadian Wheat Board
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

The member for Windsor West will have three minutes remaining for his speech and five minutes for questions and comments when the House resumes debate on the motion.

Diwali
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Parm Gill Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is a special day for Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. Tomorrow marks the holy day of Diwali, the Festival of Lights. It is a joyous celebration of good over evil, light over darkness.

The foundation and meanings of Diwali can be shared by Canadians of all faiths. This holy day is often observed with the lighting of an oil lamp, the setting off of fireworks and the generous giving of gifts and sweets. These traditions bring families, friends and loved ones closer together under the values of peace and friendship. Diwali is a time that reminds us all about the incredible contribution toward this great country by Indo-Canadians.

I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of my constituents of Brampton—Springdale, to extend my most sincere best wishes for a happy, healthy and joyous Diwali to all those celebrating around the world.

Status of Women
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Jonathan Genest-Jourdain Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week there was an article in a weekly paper in my riding about the status of women in Fermont. The article confirmed what everyone already knows: violence; verbal, physical and sexual abuse; geographic isolation and distress are commonplace for women in Fermont.

During a recent visit to my riding, I witnessed the extent of the social tragedy currently playing out in Fermont when I met with staff at the shelter that provides assistance to women. This centre has seen a 300% increase in demand for its services over the past year. The cost of living in the region has also increased.

These women have had enough. I am calling on the Minister for Status of Women to come up with a contingency plan and concrete assistance measures for isolated regions experiencing an economic boom, in order to fund projects that provide a safe place and housing for women. The women of Fermont also have a right to health as well as physical and economic safety.

Norman Lalonde
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have some very sad news to tell this House. Cornwall's own “Mr. Canada” has died. Norm Lalonde, who single-handedly began Canada Day festivities in Cornwall, has, unfortunately, passed away.

In the early 1970s, Norm took it upon himself to celebrate Canada's birthday. He gathered together about 200 residents, cooked some hot dogs, let off some fireworks and led everyone in the singing of Canada's national anthem.

From that very humble beginning, Norm grew this event into one of the largest celebrations in eastern Ontario. Today, crowds of 25,000 to 30,000 proud Canadians regularly turn up at Lamoureux Park on July 1 every year to celebrate Canada's birthday.

We owe all this to “Mr. Canada”, as Norm was affectionately known in Cornwall.

Our condolences go out to his wife and greatest supporter, Thérèse, and his children, David, Patricia, Stephen and Norm Jr.

God bless Mr. Canada.

Rick Hansen
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked the kickoff of the 25th Anniversary Relay in honour of the Rick Hansen Man in Motion World Tour. Some 7,000 participants will retrace the Canadian portion of the gruelling journey completed 25 years ago by an extraordinary man who wanted to make the world a better place, inspire Canadians and help people with spinal cord injuries.

This relay will remind us all of the importance of investing in research for effective cures to help improve the lives of thousands upon thousands of Canadians.

Rick Hansen has been an exemplary role model for our society, having inspired so very many of us to surpass ourselves over the past quarter century. It is with profound admiration and gratitude that we recognize today the depth of his contribution to Canada and to medical research around the world. With that in mind, this year, relay participants will proudly carry the Rick Hansen Medal as it makes its way across the country.

I wish everyone involved with the Rick Hansen 25th anniversary relay tremendous success.

Capital Experience
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Barry Devolin Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is a special group of students in Ottawa today participating in a program I call a “Capital Experience”, wherein student leaders from each of the seven high schools in my riding come to Ottawa for three days each year to learn about career opportunities in public life.

They have visited Parliament, the South Korean Embassy, Amnesty International, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the press gallery, the University of Ottawa and Summa Strategies.

I wish to thank those who shared their time with these students and thank the businesses and services clubs that sponsored them.

Today, I welcome to Parliament: Katelyn Lloyd and Iain Sullivan from Brock; Chad Leroux and Matthew Steele from Crestwood; Meredith March and Amber Wilson from Fenelon Falls; Samantha Brixi and Puru Shah from Haliburton; Samantha Thompson, Alec Becking and Dan Lowe from I.E. Weldon; Megan Connell and Mandi Manderson from L.C.V.I.; Courtney Kavanagh, Keira Mann and Robert Ridenaur from St. Thomas Aquinas; and Kali Tucker from Apsley.

I ask my colleagues to join me in wishing these young people all the best as they make decisions regarding their future careers.

Jean-Marc Aubin
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, for over 30 years, Jean-Marc Aubin has been an ardent defender of education rights for francophones and has dedicated himself to developing French-language services.

Mr. Aubin was a founding member of Collège Boréal and president of the Association canadienne-française de l'Ontario. In the 1990s, he was president of the French language section and, under his leadership, that section carved out its own unique place in the region and in the province. Mr. Aubin is currently the chair of the Conseil scolaire public du Grand Nord de l'Ontario. He is always ready to bring forward innovative projects to benefit students and the francophone community.

In November 2010, he was awarded the Jean-Robert Gauthier prize for his outstanding contribution. In May 2011, he was decorated with the Ordre de la Pléiade, an honour bestowed by the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie.

Mr. Aubin continues to focus on and promote the rights of Franco-Ontarians. I am pleased and very proud to rise today to congratulate Jean-Marc Aubin.

Diwali
Statements by Members

October 25th, 2011 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, October 26, 2011, marks the celebration of Diwali, the Festival of Lights, and Bandi Chhorh Divas around the world. A holiday in India, Diwali symbolizes the victory of good over evil.

I would personally like to wish happy Diwali not only to people in India or people of Indian descent but to all Canadians. Canadians of Indian origin would like to thank their parliamentarians for sharing in the celebration of Diwali on Parliament Hill for many years.

This year as we celebrate 2011 as the Year of India in Canada, there is an opportunity to learn more about the richness of Indian culture. As Canada and India continue to forge closer ties economically, we also see the contribution the vibrant Indo-Canadian community has made to the fabric of Canada.

On behalf of the constituents of Calgary Northeast and my family, I wish all of my colleagues a very happy Diwali and Bandi Chhorh Divas.

Hunting Season
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, fall is a special time of the year in Renfrew County. It is a time of traditional heritage activities as the days get shorter and the nights grow longer.

Farmers are finishing up with the fall harvest, loggers are preparing to go into the bush for the winter cut. It is a time for church suppers and getting caught up with neighbours at craft fairs and bazaars as we ready for winter and, best of all, it is hunting season in the Ottawa Valley.

For the first time in over 15 years, law-abiding sportsmen, thanks to our Conservative government, can look forward to doing what they have always done without the heavy, oppressive hand of big government on their shoulders.

There is a new attitude in Ottawa. It is one that respects the rights of individuals to enjoy lawful activities without passing judgment and constantly telling people what they can and cannot do.

In the great riding of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke we value our freedom, and when it is fall, it is hunting season in the Ottawa Valley.

Community Care and Home Care
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today in the House to acknowledge the exemplary work of Aide à la communauté et services à domicile, a community care and home care agency based in my riding of Louis-Saint-Laurent that serves the entire greater Quebec City area.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of this non-profit organization, which in that time has served almost 15,000 people in need by providing them with almost one million hours of care. It has created almost 1,500 jobs, not to mention all the young people it has reintegrated into the workforce. Today I am proud to recognize their contribution to our society.

Community groups play an essential role. To the extraordinary people who are the backbone of our society, people like Linda Couture, the founder and managing director of this care agency, and her entire team of dedicated employees and volunteers, we wish a happy 25th anniversary.

Multiple Sclerosis
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to draw the attention of the House to 20 Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada staff and volunteers who are in Ottawa today to raise awareness on the importance of continued MS research in Canada.

MS affects thousands of Canadians and is a disease for which there is presently no cure. This disease knows no bounds. It affects young and old, male and female alike. It not only affects people living with the disease but also their families and caregivers, health care professionals, researchers and people who fight against MS.

Our government is investing in research such as funding and developing an MS monitoring system, providing new tax support for caregivers, and working closely with provincial and territorial governments, medical associations and the MS Society of Canada.

Close collaboration will help ensure that people living with MS and their caregivers get the support and advice they need to ensure they have the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of life.

I encourage all members of the House to support programs that more directly meet the needs of the people affected by MS today and advance research to help us find a cure for tomorrow.

Diwali
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, Diwali is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the past year, to look forward and plan for the future with renewed optimism. Many people in my riding of Newton—North Delta, including myself, will gather with family and friends to give thanks, to celebrate and to contemplate.

Diwali, the Festival of Lights, celebrates the light within each of us as we welcome the coming new year. It is a time where hearts are filled with joy and minds look forward to the bright new future.

Every Canadian can share in hope for the future. We pride ourselves on our openness and we strive to build an inclusive society.

We are not there yet. We must draw on the good within each of us, to open our hearts and minds, and increase our understanding of one another. At this time, let us all recommit to this goal.

On behalf of my NDP colleagues, Diwali aur naya saal mubarak. Best wishes for Diwali and a happy new year. I wish everyone celebrating this special occasion right around the globe the very best.

World Food Program
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the number of people suffering from chronic hunger and malnutrition grows due to crises resulting from conflicts, natural disasters and poverty, it is even more important than ever to help those in need.

Today, we welcome to Canada Josette Sheeran, executive director of the United Nations World Food Program, and I am proud that Canada is the second-biggest donor to the World Food Program.

For more than a half century, the World Food Program has been on the front lines of major food crises around the world, providing food to those who need it most. Today, the WFP is playing a crucial role in East Africa, using all means available to deliver food to the more than 13 million people affected by drought.

Canada and the WFP are working together to put an end to famine among the most vulnerable populations.