House of Commons Hansard #26 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was illness.

Topics

Opposition Motion--National Suicide Prevention Strategy
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know the member takes quite an interest in veterans affairs and some of the issues that arise out of veterans affairs.

We do keep careful track of those who fall in the service of our country and those who are injured in the service of our country, but we do not necessarily keep track of those in the military or veterans who commit suicide in the course of their subsequent life after their military service.

I am wondering whether people who commit suicide either while in the military or when they come out and become veterans should be classified really as casualties of war.

Opposition Motion--National Suicide Prevention Strategy
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, it is absolutely true that there is a crisis within our veterans community with respect to mental health issues. Of all of the veterans who are receiving benefits under the new veterans charter, 60% of them report at least one mental health condition. That is an alarming statistic.

The specific question asked of me by the member is in terms of tracking casualties and the suggestion put forward is that suicide after release from the forces should be counted as a casualty of war. I believe it is an excellent suggestion. Perhaps tracking in that manner would better help the Department of Veterans Affairs and our Department of National Defence to get a real handle on the magnitude of this problem and better approach strategies for prevention.

Opposition Motion--National Suicide Prevention Strategy
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Ajax—Pickering
Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I think we all thank the member for Charlottetown for touching on the plight of veterans too often affected by post-traumatic stress, as well as serving members of our armed forces returning from Afghanistan and other places. This government has done an enormous amount to meet their needs. We have increased the number of mental health specialists. We have increased the benefits and the monitoring. However, it is clear that there is more we could do and further debate on this issue, perhaps, should do.

Could the member opposite, given everything that he said, highlight for the House what his top suggestion would be? What is the one additional measure or investment he would advise us to make to address this problem of suicide rates among veterans and Canadian Forces members returning from overseas?

Opposition Motion--National Suicide Prevention Strategy
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, a couple of weeks ago, I spent a full hour with a couple of veterans, one of whom was a medical doctor who outlined for me in some detail the difficulty in getting support for mental health issues when one is not discharged as a result of medical reasons. It seems as though, if a person is given a medical discharge, it is much easier to access the support mechanisms. It is a real problem for those who either encounter or own up to mental health issues after they are released.

I believe that what we need is a compilation of best practices and to engage in an exercise like that we should be able to identify those specific strategies that have worked in other jurisdictions and employ them here in Canada.

Opposition Motion--National Suicide Prevention Strategy
Business of Supply
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate my colleague's speech on this issue. It is near and dear to a lot of our hearts. My daughter's young friend passed away by suicide at the age of 13.

Does the hon. member not feel that we need to make better use and ensure that we put in place a national strategy on suicide given the fact that there are so many difficult areas in the spectrum?

Opposition Motion--National Suicide Prevention Strategy
Business of Supply
Government Orders

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Casey Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, I am entirely in agreement with the hon. member. In fact, that is precisely what the motion calls for: We need to have a suicide prevention strategy.

I take it from the question that she is also in support and I would urge her and members of her party to vote in favour of the motion.

North Shore Culinary School
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, across our country, thousands of Canadians spend countless hours of their free time in the service of others. They do this in order to help create a better society for all Canadians.

One such individual is Don Guthro from North Vancouver. Mr. Guthro operates a tuition-free culinary school located in my riding. This program is aimed at teaching homeless and at-risk youth valuable culinary skills that they can then use to find employment and better their lives. The program has been so successful that recently it announced plans to expand.

The North Shore Culinary School offers vulnerable youth an opportunity to gain skills that can help them turn their lives around. The school also helps provide at-risk youth with a sense of pride and personal confidence. The school gives people a chance that they might otherwise not have had. It has truly impacted the lives of hundreds of teenagers and young adults in my riding.

People like Don Guthro make an important contribution to our country and it is important that we take the time to thank them for their hard work. I encourage all Canadians to recognize the people who in their own community work so hard on behalf of others.

Employment
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government likes to tell Canadians that corporate tax cuts help create jobs.

The fact is that no strings attached corporate tax giveaways to profitable corporations are not the solution to Canada's growing unemployment.

We have just witnessed the latest plant closure in Welland. This past Saturday, over 300 workers worked their final shift at Henniges Automotive. Henniges, just like John Deere three years ago, gladly took the millions of dollars in corporate tax breaks that the government gave them, invested the money in Mexico and laid off Canadian workers. It is shameful.

The Conservatives are out of touch with workers, as witnessed by the comments of a Henniges employee who said, referring to politicians, “They need to take off their rose-coloured glasses and see the real world as it is”.

Canadian workers are clearly frustrated by the inaction of the Conservative government. It is time to stand up for working Canadians who ask for no more than a decent paying job to raise their families and build their communities. It is not too much to ask for. We need to get that job done on behalf of Canadian workers.

International Trade
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to discuss the importance of continuing to expand our markets abroad for Canadians.

Our government recently undertook an important step forward in deepening Canada's economic ties with Southeast Asia by adopting a joint declaration of co-operation with ASEAN, the Association of South East Asian Nations.

Our government is opening new markets for Canadian businesses in Asia, which we know will sustain and create jobs and prosperity for hard-working citizens both here and in Asian countries.

Trade accounts for over 60% of Canada's annual GDP and one in five Canadian jobs. When we trade, prices for goods and services go down, wages, salaries and the standard of living go up, and businesses are able to hire more workers.

That is why we continue to expand and diversify our trade markets. That is why our first trade and investment arrangement with ASEAN is another example of our government's job-creating, pro-trade plan.

Canada's ambitious free trade plan is opening new markets and creating opportunities for Canadian businesses and jobs for Canadian workers.

Prince Edward Island Elections
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to congratulate Premier Robert Ghiz and the Liberal Party of Prince Edward Island for their outstanding victory last night in the provincial election.

Electing 22 Liberals out of the 27 seats to foster a second term for Premier Ghiz and his team builds on the progressive and forward-looking policies he established in term one.

The Liberal Party had a strong platform and stuck to their message in the face of negative personal attacks never seen before in Island politics. Improving health care, programs for seniors, early learning and K to 12, bettering post-secondary education, as well as support for our primary industries are part of that positive message.

Interference from the office of the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism was unacceptable but Islanders saw through the political games.

I congratulate all candidates and all leaders for their part in making democracy work. The province is better for it.

World Sight Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand in the House to highlight the launch of World Sight Day 2011 and notably visitors in Ottawa participating in this great occasion, including members of VISION 2020 Canada and Mark DeMontis, a blind hockey player currently en route in-line skating from Halifax to Toronto.

October 13 is World Sight Day, an international day of awareness to focus attention on the right to sight, recognizing the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment, in anticipation of eliminating avoidable causes by the year 2020.

Worldwide, an estimated 39 million people are blind and each year more than 45,000 Canadians lose their vision at a cost of $15.8 billion to Canadian taxpayers, and yet 80% of blindness is avoidable. Positive progress is being made and infectious causes of blindness have greatly reduced over the past 20 years.

I am proud to say the launch of World Sight Day 2011 has members and senators from all parties supporting VISION 2020's goal. I hope both sides can continue this co-operation for Canadians.

Mental Health
Statements By Members

October 4th, 2011 / 2:05 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to recognize Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Nearly six million Canadians are likely to experience a diagnosable mental illness in their lifetime. That is one in five Canadians, and yet the federal and provincial governments have downsized institutional care while not increasing community based services.

My riding is home to British Columbia's primary mental health facility, Riverview Hospital. This nearly 100 year-old facility is home to one of Canada's best arboretums and numerous heritage buildings. Instead of investing in this facility and supporting its development as a mental health sanctuary and residential treatment and diagnostic facility for people with mental illness, the provincial and federal governments have closed many of the buildings and allowed this facility to fall into disrepair.

We know the way forward to combatting the stigma associated with mental illness is providing proper care. We have the ability to make Riverview a centre of excellence in mental health and wellness in this country.

Today, during Mental Illness Awareness Week, I call upon the federal government to commit to mental health, bridge the gap in service for those with severe mental illness and invest in Riverview.

Lacrosse
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Kyle Seeback Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to congratulate the Brampton Excelsiors Senior Men's Lacrosse Team for bringing home the 2011 Mann Cup. This is the Excelsiors' 11th time winning this Canadian national championship title, including three out of the past four years.

On September 12, the Excelsiors claimed the Mann Cup with a 6-3 victory over the Langley Thunder. I know my colleague, the member for Langley, was disappointed, but I understand it was their first time in the championship and I commend them on their effort.

Lacrosse has been known as Canada's national game since 1859, making it a fundamental part of our culture, tradition and heritage. It is wonderful to see lacrosse producing some of the finest athletes in sports today.

I once again applaud the Excelsiors and wish them continued success. I look forward to seeing them bring home many more victories to Brampton.

Go Excelsiors, go!

Forest Industry
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Clarke Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure and honour to announce the reopening of the Big River sawmill by Carrier Forest Products in Big River, Saskatchewan. This mill complex will create over 100 jobs in Big River and the surrounding area, and many more in harvesting, transportation and the reforestation industries.

This is fantastic news. Mills and forestry industries provide jobs and financial growth in my riding in northern Saskatchewan. It heartens me to see that the Big River mill will be up and running and contributing to the financial growth of our Canadian economy. This mill will also have the opportunity to market its products overseas with the many trade agreements our government has brokered.

The forest industry in Saskatchewan and Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River clearly has a bright future ahead.

Star Académie Competition
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise today to acknowledge three young women from my riding who are participating in the Star Académie competition: Kelly Blais from Paquetville, Joannie Benoît from Tracadie-Sheila, and Annabelle Doucet from Nigadoo.

In the first round of auditions, Kelly, Joannie and Annabelle were chosen from more than 5,000 people. Last Thursday, in Montreal, Kelly was selected by the judges and earned a spot among the semifinalists. This week, it is Joannie's turn to go on stage for a chance to become a semifinalist. Annabelle will also have the opportunity to show off her talent and earn one of the 30 spots in the semifinals.

Just like Wilfred LeBouthillier and Annie Blanchard, you are proof that Acadie—Bathurst has talent. Therefore, I would like to wish you the best of luck and tell you that we are all behind you. Your families and friends and our community take great pride in supporting your achievements.