House of Commons Hansard #42 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Tibet
Statements by Members

November 2nd, 2011 / 2:05 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, as a member of Parliament, I rise with pride today and with solemnity on the occasion of marking a vigil that is taking place outside these doors. Canadian Tibetans are in vigil in solidarity with so many Tibetans who are experiencing oppression due to the Chinese government policies toward Tibet.

The desperation of these people has now led to self-immolation acts, an act of desperation for anyone who understands Buddhist religion and culture. This is the sign that things have become a crisis for those in Tibet. In the words of his holiness, the Dalai Lama, “We must find a peaceful way forward”.

The European parliament, just days ago, on October 27, passed a resolution calling on China to act. I would urge all hon. members to join with the European Union and help protect religious rights in Tibet.

Random Act of Kindness Day
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, eight years ago, Freedom House, a church and ministry centre in Brantford, began a mission called “The Kindness Project” to see if a city could be transformed by good into good by using simple but strategic acts of kindness.

In these eight years, among other things, roughly 20,000 hamburgers have been given away; a free winter carnival, Frosty Fest, is hosted; a school curriculum is in the works; affordable housing has been provided for those in need; and a local superhero, Captain Kindness, has emerged and taken control of the city. This Friday, November 4, will be the second annual Random Act of Kindness Day in Brantford.

The Kindness Project seeks to uncover the untapped level of synergy in the community as a collective commitment to serving each other. It is people helping people with what we all have in our hands to give.

We hope, together, to make Brantford known as the kindest city in Canada.

Tibet
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, Tibetans and supporters from around the world are gathering to take part in a global day of action. From Zurich, to San Diego, to Vancouver, to right outside our doors, people are coming together to seek justice for the people of Tibet.

Ten young Tibetans have set themselves on fire in eastern Tibet since March 2011, in fact, eight since September. These unprecedented and truly desperate acts are a cry to the outside world for help. China has intensified its violent crackdown in Ngaba and across Tibet. Tibetan monasteries continue to be sacked and monks continue to be sentenced without fair trial.

It is time for the government to act. It is time for the Government of Canada to take a lead in coordinating an international response to condemn the Chinese government's repressive measures against the Tibetans. Canada should also work to ensure that the United Nations immediately sends a fact-finding team to Ngaba to assess the situation.

We cannot afford to waste another day.

Citizenship and Immigration
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, Iran continues to support terrorism, defiantly pursues nuclear weapons, calls for the end of the state of Israel and systematically tramples the rights of innocent Iranians.

The former head of Iran's state owned bank, Mahmoud Reza Khavari, is reported to be living in Toronto. According to media, he was able to obtain Canadian citizenship in 2005. A second man connected to Iran's state owned bank has also reportedly taken refuge in Canada. Mehregan Amirkhosravi is in Montreal.

Their presence in Canada is a cause for concern because Canada, our allies and the United Nations have all stated that Bank Melli is tied to funding Iran's nuclear program, as well as terrorist groups throughout the Middle East. Bank Melli has funneled money to Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

These men must not be allowed to brazenly defy and abuse our generous immigration system and action must be taken.

I implore the government to pursue all legal grounds to revoke Khavari's reported citizenship and investigate their involvement in crimes against humanity, funding nuclear weapons, supporting terrorism and committing fraud.

Tibet
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, 10 young Tibetans have set themselves ablaze, a set of unprecedented and desperate actions, to protest the Chinese repression of Tibetan rights and assaults on the monks and nuns of Tibetan monasteries.

Accordingly, we call on the Chinese authorities to release those imprisoned simply because they exercised their right to freedom of religion and expression, to cease and desist from their assaults on the Tibetan people, and to enter into dialogue with the Tibetan leadership.

We call on the Canadian government, in concert with world leaders, on this global day of action, to stand in solidarity with the Tibetan people, to condemn the repression by Chinese authorities and to nurture dialogue with the Tibetan leadership with a view to protecting the human security of the Tibetan people.

Operation Hero
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, a group of local Barrie business and community leaders launched Operation Hero last year. Operation Hero is a scholarship campaign to help fund students of military families to attend Georgian College.

Fundraising commenced in April 2010, with a goal of reaching $1 million. Those who have already generously donated $1,000 or more have been receiving framed commemorative flags that are now scattered across the riding in homes, schools, offices and businesses.

On October 23, CFB Borden held a 5k, 10k and half marathon in support of this great cause. I was very proud to participate with 1,000 other runners. I am happy to report that donations to Operation Hero have now surpassed an astonishing $700,000.

Operation Hero's scholarships are helping so many young people better realize their full potential through post-secondary education.

I would like to send special thanks to the key organizers: honorary colonel for CFB Borden, Jamie Massie; base commander, Colonel Louis Meloche; and Georgian College president, Brian Tamblyn.

For more information, I ask everyone to visit operationhero.ca.

Homelessness
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, today, I congratulate the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness and the many volunteers from my riding who made Homelessness Action Week a resounding success.

Victorians came together to share information, provide services to our homeless population and distribute more than 600 survival packs of hats and gloves to the homeless.

I participated in Project Connect and listened to stories from Victorians experiencing homelessness and poverty. Many are unemployed because of the recession or living in poverty because they have disabilities. An increasing number of Victoria seniors are resorting to food banks.

Homelessness is a particularly disturbing aspect of poverty because it could so easily be eliminated. I urge the House to come together to make homelessness a thing of the past. We can, if we want to, make Canada a better place for all.

Tibet
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, Tibetans and supporters have gathered outside this very building in a desperate cry to stop the crackdown of religious freedom in their region.

Canada has expressed its serious concerns about the human rights situation in China, including continuing restrictions on the freedoms of expression, association, religion and belief of ethnic Tibetans. We remain concerned about the arbitrary detention and treatment of political prisoners in Tibet and have raised the issue of Tibetans and other religious minorities in China in bilateral meetings and on the international stage, including at the United Nations General Assembly.

Our government takes the issue of religious freedom in China and around the world very seriously. The freedoms of religious belief and practice are at the heart of our principled foreign policy.

We do not hesitate to raise such issues as part of mutually respectful, mature dialogue between our two countries and encourage substantive dialogue between Chinese leaders and religious minorities.

Wilfrid Laurier University
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, last weekend, Wilfrid Laurier University in my riding celebrated its 100th anniversary.

For the last century, WLU has provided education excellence and developed and inspired the leaders who have shaped our country and made a positive difference in the world.

From its official opening in 1911 as the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary of Canada to the present day, Wilfrid Laurier has grown, evolved and continues to reach new heights. Today, it is one of Canada's top universities, with over 15,000 students leading undergraduate and graduate programs and expanding international initiatives.

This anniversary commemorates the historic achievements of this university and inspires a new vision of progress and optimism for the future.

I ask members to join me in congratulating Wilfrid Laurier University on this significant milestone and wishing it all the best in the coming century.

India
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jasbir Sandhu Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is with great sorrow that I extend my sympathies on the 27th anniversary of the tragic events of 1984 that targeted Sikh men, women and children.

The New Democratic Party of Canada stands in solidarity with the Sikh community, demands justice for the survivors and an explanation for why and how this community was targeted by organized mobs.

The victims and survivors of 1984 cannot sit idly by waiting for the government to recognize their plight and frustration.

Rehabilitation support for the broken families, especially the trauma the widows and children experienced, must be prioritized. The negligence of the police must be examined. The truth and those guilty must be brought to justice. These are not demands. These are the obligations of a democratic government to its citizens.

Remembrance is the tie that binds us to our past as it guides us for the challenges of the future.

Lest we forget.

Remembrance Day
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, from Vimy Ridge to Juno Beach, Kap Yong to Kandahar, Canada has always punched above its weight. At home and abroad, our men and women in uniform have always represented and defended Canadian values.

Brave soldiers, like one of my constituents, Mr. Edward Carter-Edwards, who is on the Hill today, was a prisoner of war in the Second World War.

The courage, honour and valour shown by the Canadian military throughout our country's history is overwhelming. Canada has consistently stood by its friends in their time of need and our military personnel have proudly led the way. In doing so, many have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

I encourage all my colleagues to take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by these heroes.

In the words of Laurence Binyon from his famous poem, “For the Fallen”:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Louise Gratton
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Jacob Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to highlight the exceptional work of a biologist who works for an organization in my riding called Appalachian Corridor, whose mission is to protect natural areas. Louise Gratton was the recipient of the Pierre Dansereau award, presented on Thursday by the Association des biologistes du Québec. This award, which was created in 2001, is handed out every year by this organization in recognition of the exceptional contribution of a biologist through research, teaching or communication on biological diversity.

Over the years, Ms. Gratton has acquired a significant amount of expertise in protecting and conserving natural areas, botany and environmental management. In addition, her commitment as volunteer has been outstanding. The Pierre Dansereau award just is one of many awards that she has received. I congratulate this scientist for working to protect Quebec's natural heritage.

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I want to recognize a special event that will be taking place at the National Arts Centre.

The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, or ITK, will be hosting a gala event on November 3 to celebrate its efforts over the past four decades to advance Inuit issues as a national representative organization.

To help commemorate this important milestone, the National Film Board, in collaboration with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, is launching a one of a kind collection of Inuit films.

This collection will give Inuit a lasting record of their vibrant culture and provide all Canadians the opportunity to appreciate how Inuit continue to shape and enrich our country.

ITK is a valued partner of the Government of Canada in our efforts to build a prosperous north and improve the well-being of aboriginal peoples.

I encourage all members of the House to attend the gala on November 3.

Take Our Kids to Work
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, every year on the first Wednesday of November, thousands of grade 9 students participate in the Take Our Kids to Work program. Now in its 17th year, this program sees over 200,000 students take part in a day-long job-shadowing experience at approximately 75,000 businesses and organizations in Canada.

As part of this year's event, the Learning Partnership, with the support of the Scotiabank Group, held the Ultimate Dream Job contest. The national online photo contest ran six weeks and was chosen by public voting.

I am pleased to announce that Jacob Halloran, a grade 9 student from Guysborough in my riding, has been selected this year's winner.

Jacob will meet today with His Excellency the Right Hon. David Johnston and our very own distinguished Speaker of the House.

More than 40,000 people nationally and internationally participated in this year's contest. Jacob's dream is to become a musician. Jacob's sincerity, creativity, determination and inspiration obviously made an impression.

Take Our Kids to Work is the Learning Partnership's signature program. It connects young people with work. The goal is to give as many young Canadians as possible the opportunity to explore career options and interests.

I would like to commend the Learning Partnership and Scotiabank Group for their continued support--