House of Commons Hansard #50 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pension.

Topics

Recognition of Service
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I am doubly proud to congratulate two gentlemen from the riding of Prince Edward—Hastings who have recently been awarded prestigious honours for their service to Canadians.

On November 4, Dr. Robert McMurtry of Picton became a member of the Order of Canada.

Dr. McMurtry, an orthopedic surgeon, created Canada's first trauma unit at Sunnybrook Hospital and has been instrumental in strengthening health care delivery in Canada and making a positive difference in the lives of others.

As well, Mr. Martin Vermeer, a retired Canadian Forces veteran, recently received the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation. Throughout his lifetime Mr. Vermeer served the community of veterans with distinction and dedication.

On behalf of my constituents from Prince Edward—Hastings and all Canadians, I say congratulations to Dr. McMurtry and Mr. Vermeer.

Attawapiskat State of Emergency
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, it has been three weeks since the Attawapiskat First Nation declared a state of emergency, and in those three weeks, not a single federal or provincial official has even bothered to visit the community. Not a single aid agency has stepped forward with logistical support, but in Attawapiskat, conditions have gone from bad to worse.

Temperatures have dropped 20 degrees. They are likely to drop another 20 degrees in the coming weeks. Families in non-insulated tents and families in makeshift sheds without water or electricity are facing immediate risk. “Immediate risk” is the language being used by medical officials in the community, meaning immediate risk from infection, from disease and from fire.

There are children who are using a bucket for a toilet. This is unacceptable in Canada, and it is unacceptable that although their territory holds the richest diamond mine in the western world, those royalties go to Queen's Park and Ottawa, and nothing comes back to help this community get on its feet.

Where is the action plan to help the people of Attawapiskat?

Recognition of Service
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to give tribute to an honoured Canadian, the Reverend Sandy Scott.

Reverend Scott will be awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by His Excellency the Governor General this coming January.

Sandy served with a team of six Canadian chaplains in Kandahar, Afghanistan, from the fall of 2009 to the spring of 2010.

In October Captain Scott was promoted to major, following his appointment as the deputy area chaplain of Land Forces Western Areas. He also recently received an award of merit from the City of Prince Albert during its 43rd Armistice Day Ball.

Sandy continues to serve in Prince Albert as Reverend Scott of St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, as padre for the Royal Canadian Legion and as the Prince Albert Police Service chaplain.

On behalf of all colleagues in the House of Commons, I thank Sandy for his service to Canada, his service to our soldiers and his continued service to our community.

Buckam Singh
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Eve Adams Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to pay tribute to a great Canadian and one of the true heroes of the Sikh community in my riding of Mississauga—Brampton South.

Private Buckam Singh is one of only ten Sikh Canadian soldiers to have fought with a Canadian regiment during the First World War.

Private Singh's story had been forgotten over time, until his victory medal was discovered in a thrift shop by Sandeep Singh Brar of Brampton.

Through hard work, Mr. Brar was able to help piece together Private Singh's story and trace it to his gravesite in Kitchener, where he is the only known Sikh Canadian soldier from either the First or Second World War to be buried on Canadian soil.

Private Singh has rightfully become part of our Canadian military history, and his story should be told as yet another example of the courageous women and men in our armed forces who stood up to defend the freedoms Canadians are so blessed to have.

I hope everyone in the House today will join with me in saluting Private Singh and his sacrifice and bravery.

Lest we forget.

White Birch Paper
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Raymond Côté Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Wednesday, the 600 workers at White Birch Paper learned that the Quebec City mill, located in my riding, will be temporarily shut down two weeks before Christmas. This mill is running at full capacity with three shifts and a full order book.

Brant Industries, which owns White Birch Paper, is being sued in the United States by creditors of a paper mill for imposing astronomical management fees.

The receiver, Ernst & Young, has indicated that White Birch Papers has $53 million in cash assets.

When will we stop tolerating the behaviour of the Gordon Gekkos of the world? Just like the famous character in the movie Wall Street, Peter Brant has no regard for the interests of thousands of workers, retirees and people who do business with White Birch Papers. This anti-social behaviour is unacceptable. We cannot put up with these thousands of human tragedies caused by the whims of a single man.

On May 2, Canadians were vocal about their distaste for the repeated abuses and the reprehensible complicity we have seen from government.

This must stop.

Canadian Wheat Board
Statements By Members

November 21st, 2011 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, it has been my honour to be part of the legislative committee tasked with focusing on the marketing freedom for western farmers act.

When implemented, this legislation will allow western Canadian grain farmers, including those in the B.C. Peace River region, the opportunity to finally decide when, where and how they sell their product.

We are not killing the Canadian Wheat Board, but quite the opposite: we are allowing it to compete in an open market.

I think David Wuthrich, president of the BC Grain Producers Association, said it best in a local news article:

We want choice, it's not that we want them to disappear. This is their opportunity to show they are the best option, and so far they haven't done that.

I personally agree with Mr. Wuthrich, but we do have a long way to go and a short time to get there. I am proud to say this freight train of freedom is coming soon to western Canadian wheat farmers near us.

Poverty
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, I find the continued existence of and the increase in poverty in Canada extremely worrisome.

According to the Hunger Count 2011 Report, released on November 16 by Banques alimentaires Québec, the use of food banks has increased by 22% in Quebec since 2008. What is more, 15.6% of people used a food bank for the first time. Nearly three times as many seniors are using food banks and nearly half of the households asking for help are families with children. This situation is very troubling.

In my riding, unemployment is high and the population is aging. These factors obviously affect the need for food aid. The Louiseville organization called Le Noël du pauvre has noticed an increase in requests for help.

I feel it is our duty, as elected members, to work to implement measures that will fight poverty in Canada. I am committed to doing just that, as are my NDP colleagues, and I urge the government to do the same.

Trade
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the NDP opposes creating jobs and attacks Canada abroad. The anti-trade NDP has a long history of attacking Canadian jobs, whether it is mining, the seal industry, forestry, automobile manufacturing, long haul trucking, GM food producers or the nuclear or oil and gas segments of the energy sector. All were opposed.

The NDP pretends to be mainstream but it is clear that the NDP is just a political front for the narrow interests of public sector union bosses and radical activists.

The fact that the NDP is focused on special interest groups and anti-Canadian activists tells us everything we need to know. The NDP opposes creating jobs. Worse, in this time of global economic uncertainty, it is actively attacking Canada abroad. The NDP members should be ashamed of themselves. It is obvious that they are not fit to govern.

Our Conservative government is focused on job creation and economic growth. While the NDP tries to hurt Canada, our Conservative government stands with Canadians for the best interests of Canada.

Stephen Turner Memorial Fund
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in the House to recognize the Stephen Turner Memorial Fund. Stephen Turner was a UPEI and Holland College graduate, a community leader, a great Liberal and a friend to all whose life was taken far too soon in his youth.

Stephen gave so much of himself to his community that it seems only right that he continue to give even in his passing. Stephen's friends and family have made sure that his memory and character stay alive by encouraging the values of leadership, political participation and academic success of youth on Prince Edward Island.

The memorial fund in his name in the form of a scholarship will be awarded annually to a student who attends an Island post-secondary institution and who has shown interest within and commitment to the political process and community organizations on P.E.I.

On behalf of Islanders and this House, I thank Stephen's friends and family who so kindly created this memorial fund so that Stephen's legacy as a community leader could live on.

Crime
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, every man, woman and child has the right to respect, dignity and pride. Every year, innocent people are the victims of heinous crimes. These crimes have a serious impact on their lives, their loved ones and our entire society.

I would like to commend Senator Boisvenu for all the hard work he has done to inform Canadians about the real purpose and scope of Bill C-10. Like dozens of organizations, Senator Boisvenu truly cares about the safety of our young people and vulnerable populations. He wants to protect them from drug problems and prevent repeat sexual offences at all costs. We have the power and the duty to act, and we encourage all organizations to join our fight to prevent what cannot be undone.

Conservative Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, when in opposition, the Conservatives were outraged by an arrogant government that hid from the opposition by invoking closure. Now they have done it nine times since the election.

The Minister of Public Safety once said:

For the government to bring in closure and time allocation is wrong. It sends out the wrong message to the people of Canada. It tells the people of Canada that the government is afraid....

The Minister of Canadian Heritage decried, “...the arrogance of the government in invoking closure again”.

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration once called it, “...yet more unfortunate evidence of the government's growing arrogance...”.

I have one more quote by the Prime Minister who said, “...the government is simply increasingly embarrassed by the state of the debate and it needs to move on”.

Those out of touch Conservatives came here to change Ottawa. Instead, Ottawa changed them. In six short years they have become everything they used to oppose.

Justice
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Nina Grewal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Mr. Speaker, recently there have been several troubling cases of dangerous individuals being released into our communities.

When it comes to keeping the most serious violent offenders off our streets, Canadians can count on this government. We introduced and passed the Tackling Violent Crime Act which strengthened provisions against repeat violent and sexual offenders.

With the introduction of the safe streets and communities bill, our government is taking further steps to ensure that the most serious violent offenders are kept off our streets. This important legislation would give the Parole Board of Canada new powers to keep Canada's most dangerous offenders behind bars where they belong.

The NDP, on the other hand, have tabled amendments that would mean lighter sentences for those who import hard drugs. It is time for the opposition to put an end to its delaying tactics and support our efforts.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian economy faces many challenges, and one of them is the infrastructure deficit.

New federal rules, like the waste water regulations, are being imposed on municipalities without any new investments. This is an opportunity right now to inject new money into the economy and fix some major infrastructure problems. Municipalities cannot do it on their own.

Why not stimulate the economy by helping municipalities to meet new water standards?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, waste water regulations are being put forward and designed to ensure that Canadians have safe water when and where they need it. Those regulations are responsible in the way in which we are doing it.

The Leader of the Opposition is right in the sense that these regulations need to be twinned with investment with regard to infrastructure for water. The problem is that the NDP has voted against every dime of new investment that we have made to ensure that water gets to Canadians safely.

It is true that we need to have effective regulations. We do have to have responsible regulations. It would be nice if the NDP offered solutions and supported both.

Cost of Federal Measures
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' strategy to implement measures and make others pay for them is not a sustainable strategy. For example, employment insurance eligibility criteria that are too stringent are forcing people to seek provincial social assistance. The waste water treatment regulations are forcing municipalities to buy equipment that they cannot afford. The Conservative crime strategy is to force the provinces to build prisons.

When will the government foot the bill for its own ambitions?