House of Commons Hansard #48 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was aboriginal.

Topics

Foreign Credential Recognition
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, thousands of Canadians still face challenges in having their foreign qualifications recognized, and I have promised my constituents that I will not let this issue die.

While many Canadians struggle to navigate confusing recognition pathways, life goes on. Hard-working foreign-trained professionals do what needs to be done: they drive cabs, clean offices, or work in warehouses, but many get stuck.

Now some people say that the safest place to have a heart attack in Canada might be the back seat of a taxi; the chances are that it is a doctor driving.

The foreign-trained professionals I have spoken with are thankful that our Conservative government is taking the lead in exploring new ways to shorten the qualifications recognition process. They are also encouraged to see all levels of government working co-operatively under the pan-Canadian framework to find ways to shorten and expedite the process.

Poverty
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Alain Giguère Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am sad to say that there has been a sharp increase in poverty in the riding of Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, mainly due to the Conservatives' inaction. In fact, they have not acted decisively to counter job losses, especially in the industrial sector, where 350,000 jobs have been eliminated and replaced only by precarious, poorly paid and, often, part-time jobs.

At present, in my riding of Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, too many people have to use food banks and turn to social housing to have a roof over their heads at a reasonable cost.

There are people in my riding who run food banks, provide meals on wheels and work in community kitchens. They are much more compassionate than the members of the Conservative Party.

Salvation Army
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to congratulate Salvation Army Commissioner Brian Peddle, and his wife, commissioner Rosalie Peddle, on their appointment as the territorial commander for Canada and Bermuda, and territorial president of women's ministries, respectively.

The Salvation Army is the largest non-governmental provider of social services in Canada. Last year, in 400 communities across our nation, the Salvation Army assisted over 1.6 million people in need, through addiction programs, homeless and street youth programs, palliative care and emergency disaster relief.

The Salvation Army has also been at the forefront of national and international efforts to end modern day slavery by raising awareness in communities and providing invaluable shelter and rehabilitation to survivors.

I want to congratulate Commissioners Brian and Rosalie Peddle on their appointments and commend the Salvation Army for its commitment to the hope and dignity of all people.

Holodomor Memorial Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, on November 26 I encourage everyone to commemorate the victims of the Ukrainian genocide of 1932-33. In 2008, this day was enshrined in legislation as Holodomor Memorial Day after a bill was introduced by my distinguished colleague from Selkirk—Interlake.

The Holodomor represents a period when Stalin's communist regime engineered a famine. Stalin's government imposed exorbitant grain quotas—in some cases confiscating supplies down to the last seed.

Soviet armed units surrounded the Ukrainian population in the Kuban region and in Ukraine, and prevented people from obtaining food in the neighbouring Soviet regions. The result was the death of millions, in what can only be described as one of the most horrific genocides in history.

As chair of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group, I respectfully urge all members to take a few moments to remember the men, women and children who lost their lives in the Holodomor genocide.

World Prematurity Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, to mark the first World Prematurity Day, parents of premature babies and the staff from Edmonton neonatal intensive care units are today launching a campaign for extended parental leave to ensure proper care for infants born prematurely or with serious illnesses.

Some babies spend weeks to months in the intensive care unit. Some require multiple surgeries. Of necessity, the majority of paid parental leave is spent in hospital with the infants. As a result, the parents lose their usual one year at home with their healthy, well-developing child.

Doctors advise that parental participation in infant care is essential in intensive care. Yet many families face ongoing challenges once home. These parents need and deserve additional time with their children before returning to work.

On behalf of these children and their families, I call on the government to extend the allowed one year of paid parental leave for any parents caring for premature infants.

National Field Lacrosse Championship
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Eastern Townships received some great news when the Gaiters of Bishop's University in Lennoxville won the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association's national championship.

The tournament was held in London, Ontario, on November 10.

Bishop's University defeated the Brock Badgers 11 to 6 in the finals. With a lead of 4 to 0, the Bishop's Gaiters prevented the Brock Badgers from scoring four consecutive times. Bishop's won the game with five unanswered goals in the last 25 minutes. The Gaiters' defence helped lead the team to its first national title.

I would like to congratulate this Quebec team of student athletes on its impressive victory in Canada's national summer sport.

Go Gaiters, go!

National Transit Strategy
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jinny Sims Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address an urgent issue in my community of Newton—North Delta and in many cities across this country. The lack of public transit for hard-working Canadian families is abysmal. Challenging economic times make affordable, accessible transit all the more important. My community has grown at an astounding rate for the past two decades, yet investment in infrastructure has lagged.

Our party is calling for a national transit strategy, a permanent investment plan for environmentally-responsible, quality transportation right across the country. Canada should be a leader on this issue. Instead, we are falling behind. Canada is the only country in the G8 without a national transit strategy.

I want to take this opportunity to urge the House to work with all levels of government to establish a national transit strategy that would benefit all hard-working Canadians.

Religious Freedom
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week His Holiness Pope Shenouda III celebrated the 40th anniversary of his ordination as Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Anniversary celebrations recently took place in Egypt.

I would like to congratulate Pope Shenouda and his followers, many of whom live in my riding, on this very special occasion.

Our government remains very concerned about the recent violence in Egypt. Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. I am so proud to see that our government is following through on its promise to create an office of religious freedom. While still in its planning stages, the process of establishing this office is well under way.

I am also pleased to highlight that last week our government communicated directly to the UN Secretary-General the motion which was unanimously adopted by the House and that called for an investigation into the recent violence. Canada has been clear that the violence must stop.

Our government will continue to advocate on behalf of all people of faith around the world in order that they may be able to worship in peace and security.

Tom Kent and Fraser Mustard
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night, Canada lost two of its most creative progressive thinkers with the passing of Tom Kent and Fraser Mustard.

Tom Kent served all Canadians in his many roles as journalist, editor, public servant and author, but his greatest legacy was his role in working on the groundbreaking social innovations that characterized the Pearson administration, including our national medicare system and the Canada Pension Plan.

Tom never tired from his crusade, working later in Cape Breton, and authoring solutions for social reforms well into his eighties. I can tell members that he never shrunk from challenging the leaders of today when he felt they were not doing enough to advance the cause of progress.

I also want to mark the passing of another great social reformer, and a good friend, Dr. Fraser Mustard who sadly also left us last night.

Fraser helped to build McMaster's medical school, was an pioneer in occupational health, the development of centres of excellence, and can really be called the father of early childhood development in Canada. He advised governments in Canada and around the world and was a tireless worker for better policy and better lives.

All Canadians owe Tom Kent and Dr. Fraser Mustard a debt of gratitude for their pivotal roles in shaping our nation.

Let us all resolve to take up the torch of these two great men and resolve to strive to make Canada an even more equitable, more just and more progressive nation.

Yukon
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the honour of being in my wonderful riding of Yukon. During the busy week, I was pleased to announce $900,000 in federal government funding to Yukon College for geoscience and geohydro technology programs. This will help Yukon students and workers gain certification for highly skilled work in the mining industry. An additional $1.3 million for training simulators were given to the Yukon Mine Training Association, both were through CanNor.

While the member for Western Arctic criticizes CanNor, votes against the Dempster highway extension from Inuvik to Tukoyaktuk and refrains from standing to vote for his constituents to end the long gun registry, our government, our Prime Minister and this member of Parliament is making the north and the people there a priority.

Campaign Financing
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Ève Péclet La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party pleaded guilty to election fraud in the amount of $1.3 million. The party had to pay a $52,000 fine. And yet the Conservatives referred to this as a victory. Really? A victory? Certainly, the fine is not that big a deal for a party that kept $187,000 in illegal rebates from Canadian taxpayers.

The hon. member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands' campaign received $1,900 in illegal rebates. The hon. member still owes Canadians this money. The hon. member for Beauce's campaign owes Canadian taxpayers $3,000. The campaign of the hon. member for Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière and that of the Minister of Veterans Affairs each owe Canadian taxpayers $14,000.

Taxpayers should never have to foot the bill for politics. The Prime Minister must ensure that every penny that was taken from taxpayers is given back to them immediately.

New Democratic Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Clarke Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, the anti-trade NDP is at it again. With its anti-Canada campaign in Washington, the NDP continues to attack the Canadian economy and good jobs. Members of the NDP do not just want to put hundreds of thousands of Canadians who work directly in the oil sands out of work, but they also want to shut down a further seven major industries, including Canada's mining sector, the seal industry, the forestry sector in B.C., auto manufacturing, the trucking industry, the nuclear sector and the GM food sector. The NDP opposed creating jobs and it is actively attacking Canada abroad.

Ironically, even the private-sector union bosses disagree with the NDP and its job-killing stance against the oil sands. Unions representing hundreds of thousands of engineers, electrical workers, pipe-fitters and other trades are lining up against the NDP attacks on their jobs.

Undermining the economy and attacking Canadian jobs are yet more worrying examples that the ineffective, disunited NDP is unfit to govern.

Pensions
Oral Questions

November 17th, 2011 / 2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, day after day Canadian families sit and watch as their private savings evaporate on the stock market. Hard-hit families do not know how they will pay the bills, let alone how they will afford to retire.

Instead of taking practical steps to strengthen the guaranteed CPP and QPP, the government wants them to roll the dice with even more of their retirement savings.

Why is the out-of-touch Prime Minister forcing Canadians to play retirement roulette on the tumbling TSX?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have absolutely no idea what the Leader of the Opposition is talking about.

What I do know is that today the government announced another step forward on the pooled registered retirement savings plan, something that has been welcomed by pension experts and the small business community across the country. Canadians are looking for options. Canadians are not looking for a hike in their CPP premiums, as advocated by the NDP.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the facts speak for themselves. In the last quarter alone, the CPP outperformed the markets ten to one.

The markets are tanking around the world, but the Conservatives want Canadians to invest even more of their hard-earned money in those markets without any guarantee that doing so will pay off one day.

What is the government's plan for families who are bogged down in debt and do not even have any money to save? What does the government suggest they do? Should they never retire?