House of Commons Hansard #44 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was judges.

Topics

New Democratic Party of Canada
Statements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, there was disunity in the NDP ranks again yesterday as the NDP leadership hopeful and member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou distanced himself from the NDP's stance towards a hypothetical sovereign Quebec.

While the NDP is contradicting itself on hypothetical constitutional matters, our Conservative government remains focused on the top priority of Quebeckers and all Canadians, jobs and economic growth. This is yet another worrying example of the NDP and its priorities and policies.

Now that the NDP has set a precedent by punishing two of their MPs who refused to follow the orders of their leader on the Conservative government's bid to end the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry, will the MP for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou suffer the same fate? There seems to be a real democratic deficit over there. The NPD is not allowing MPs to vote their conscience.

City of Rimouski
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Guy Caron Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, a recent study by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business—the CFIB—entitled “Communities in Boom” ranks Rimouski in 11th place among Canadian cities and second in Quebec when it comes to entrepreneurial vision.

There is no denying that small and medium-sized businesses are what drive the economic development of the Lower St. Lawrence and, as the vice-president and chief economist of the CFIB said, “...independent businesses and start-ups are vital sources of energy on which communities grow and flourish”.

In a press release, the mayor of Rimouski, Éric Forest, highlighted the hard work of Chantal Pilon and the Société de promotion économique de Rimouski. She and her team work with entrepreneurs every day to promote the economic and social well-being of their community.

Positive results can be achieved when we work hard and work together. That is why I would like to increase our efforts to promote unity among the socio-economic players in my riding, so that the other communities in my region can experience the same optimism, confidence and success. May they keep up the good work.

Asbestos
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

François Lapointe Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday, a number of Conservative MPs took the moral high ground and chose not to vote against the NDP motion, and I commend them for that today. The hon. members for Sarnia—Lambton, Ottawa—Orléans, Lethbridge, Edmonton—Leduc and London West chose not to spread disease among thousands of workers, not to prevent the creation of an assistance plan for the asbestos regions and not to tarnish the reputation of the House or of Canada.

The same cannot be said about the vast majority of Conservative caucus members, who turned a deaf ear to the colleges of physicians, which insisted that protecting health must come before political interests.

It is time for this government to face the facts and change its position on asbestos.

Remembrance Day
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the next number of days Canadians will pause to remember. Lest we forget.

I rise today to honour Canada's veterans and salute those who help us remember.

Cambridge artist Dave Sopha wanted our soldiers' sacrifice in Afghanistan to be remembered. After two and a half years and 6,500 hours of work, the portraits of honour was completed in May of this year. One hundred and fifty-seven of our soldiers will each be remembered larger than life in intimate detail on a 40-foot by 10-foot mural.

Thanks to the support of Kin Canada, hundreds of thousands of Canadians have taken the time to view and to remember. We will remember them as individual heroes with families, thanks to Dave Sopha's creation.

I ask all Canadians to join me in celebrating Dave Sopha and the tens of thousands of veterans, volunteers and sponsors who organize remembrance events in communities across Canada.

Lest we forget.

Innovative Wood Construction Awards
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, last night was a very special night for northwestern Ontario at the Ontario Wood WORKS! gala for innovative wood construction.

FedNor sponsored Wood WORKS! recognizes excellence in the cutting-edge use of wood products in commercial and community projects designed and made in Ontario. Plenty of great projects were recognized all across Ontario, and I congratulate them all, but in the end it was the great Kenora riding's time to shine, taking home not one, not two, but three awards: the Institutional Wood Design Award under $10 million for the Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre, the Northern Ontario Excellence Award for the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre, and the best overall architect award to Nelson Architecture of Kenora.

Forestry is a critical part of northwestern Ontario's past, present and future. We are just plain good with wood.

I want to thank the Wood WORKS! program for helping to raise the profile of our wood design and production excellence. Northwestern Ontario wood works, and our achievements last night are further examples of what is so great about the great Kenora riding.

Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very honoured to stand again to say how proud I am that two teachers in my riding of Scarborough Southwest are recipients of this year's prestigious Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence.

The second teacher I would like to recognize is Al Baigent, a teacher at Neil McNeil Catholic Secondary School.

The award-winning leadership program that Mr. Baigent has developed is an asset to his students, their families and our community as a whole. Students in his program are developing critical leadership skills that prepare them for the future.

In addition to his incredible work in the classroom, Mr. Baigent is also very involved in extracurricular sports activities, organizing local cross-country running events as well as helping to coordinate province-wide track meets. Mr. Baigent also leads many school trips locally and abroad and shares his expertise with new and interested teachers. Our community is truly privileged to have such a passionate, creative and dedicated teacher working in our schools.

I want to extend my sincere congratulations to Mr. Baigent on receiving this year's Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence and thank him for the commitment he demonstrates on a daily basis to the students at Neil McNeil.

Polish Independence Day
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Polish Independence Day will be celebrated on November 11 by Poles around the world.

Ninety-three years have passed since Poland regained its independence as a free and democratic state. All Polish people are rightly proud of this achievement and have guarded that hard-fought independence throughout the 20th century.

Two years after its re-establishment in 1920, the fledgling Polish state faced its greatest challenge when the Soviet Red Army invaded Poland. Against all odds, the Polish military repelled the Red Army, thereby saving western Europe from a Communist fate. This resolute commitment to freedom has always defined the Polish spirit.

This year's commemoration marks the end of another era in the history of Poland's fight for the cause of freedom with the passing of Brigadier-General Tadeusz Sawicz, who had lived in Canada since 1957 and was the last known Polish veteran of the Battle of Britain.

A week from now, when we commemorate Remembrance Day and Poland celebrates its Independence Day, let us remember the invaluable contributions of those soldiers who fought for their freedom and ours.

Abitibi-Témiscamingue International Film Festival
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Christine Moore Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the 30th international film festival in Abitibi-Témiscamingue closed yesterday evening. This festival proves that culture is alive and well in the remote regions. Every year, this festival showcases outstanding animated, short and feature films and everything in between .

I would like to point out that two hon. members from this House contributed to these films. We can hear the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay singing and providing commentary in the documentary by Richard Desjardins and Robert Monderie called Trou Story or The Hole Story which paints a picture of the mining industry in Canada. The hon. member for Manicouagan plays a role in the fictional feature film Mesnak, the first such film directed by a member of the first nations, namely Yves Sioui Durand, who does a fine job paying tribute to first nations peoples. This year, the Grand Prix Hydro-Québec went to director Philippe Falardeau for his film Monsieur Lazhar.

In closing, I would like to congratulate the three co-founders of the festival, Mr. Matte, Mr. Dallaire and Mr. Parent, on receiving the Quebec National Assembly medal. Congratulations, gentlemen, on your accomplishments.

Immigration
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday our Conservative government announced that it is planning to welcome more federal skilled workers in 2012. In fact, it plans to welcome over 55,000 federal skilled workers in 2012, up from 47,000 last year.

I am also proud to inform the House that, after the previous Liberal government left us with a massive backlog of applications and very long wait times, our government took actions that are showing great results.

Despite opposition from both the NDP and the Liberals, our government has cut the backlog left by the Liberals in half, which is two years earlier than expected. Now skilled workers are waiting only months, not years, to have their files processed.

Our Conservative government's number one priority remains the economy. We recognize the importance of immigration to our economy and we value the contributions of skilled immigrants who add to our international competitiveness in the global economy. Our government remains committed to attracting the best and brightest to our country.

Michel Bilodeau
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I wish to pay tribute to the success of a passionate man who has put his heart and soul into the collective well-being of our children. His career is winding down, at least for now. Michel Bilodeau will be retiring this week, after five years at the helm of CHEO, the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. This marks the end of a 34-year career in the health care sector. Earlier in his career, he was the CEO of health services at the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa. In recognition of his work, he was named personality of the week by the newspaper Le Droit.

A fellow of the Canadian College of Health Leaders, Michel has always been very involved in Canada's health care sector, including sitting on boards for a number of organizations, including the Ontario Hospital Association and the Ontario Council of Teaching Hospitals.

I wish you, Michel, and your wife Jocelyne a wonderful retirement that is just busy enough. Thank you for everything, Michel. We hope you enjoy both your retirement and a few good bottles of wine.

Veterans
Statements by Members

November 4th, 2011 / 11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, in 1939 the world was again at war. Canada again answered the call. From the Battle of the Atlantic, to the Pacific theatre, to Juno Beach, and of course the liberation of the Netherlands, we fought above our weight.

Over a million Canadians and Newfoundlanders left to serve our country and more than 45,000 did not return, a truly remarkable sacrifice for a young nation with a population of only 11 million people.

These courageous men and women brought honour and respect to our country. It is our duty to preserve the legacy they handed to us and to ensure that their selfless dedication is never forgotten.

This Veterans' Week we will honour the generations of Canadians who bravely served this country and those who wear the Canadian uniform with pride today. Lest we forget.

Helicopter Crash
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Carol Hughes Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, ON

Mr. Speaker, Wednesday's helicopter crash south of Kapuskasing, near Clear Lake, which took the lives of three northern Ontario residents, will echo through the communities along the Highway 11 corridor and North Bay for a long time.

What should have been just another day at work for the pilot, Greg Sawyer of North Bay and his two passengers, Tembec employees Dan Simis of Val Rita and Chad McQuade of Kapuskasing, ended in the worst way possible: they were killed in the prime of their lives. A tragedy like this affects the victims' families, friends, colleagues and employers, and hits these tightly woven communities in northern Ontario hard.

This reminds us just how precious life is and that nothing should be taken for granted. I ask the members of this House to join me, my provincial counterpart Gilles Bison, the mayor of Kapuskasing and the people of Tembec in offering our deepest sympathies and sincere condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of these men.

Veterans
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, Nellie McClung once said, “People must know the past to understand the present and to face the future”.

As we approach Veterans' Week, I would like to take a moment to reflect on the important role of women in Canada's proud military tradition.

As members of the armed forces, whether serving in air, on land or on sea or as civilians providing support roles, the contribution of women to Canada's military history has been as diverse as the women themselves.

They kept the home fires burning, nursed injured soldiers and served in conflicts around the world. They have fought and died to defend and protect Canadian values. No matter what challenges and dangers they faced, Canadian women answered the call.

We will remember them.

Employment
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, New Democrats have been pointing out daily that the Conservatives have no jobs plan. With the devastating job loss numbers announced today, maybe now the government will finally listen. Unemployment is once again on the rise. Canada lost 72,000 jobs in October alone, most of them from the high-value-added manufacturing sector.

When will the Conservatives change their course of action and make job creation the priority? Where is the plan?

Employment
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, job creation and economic growth have been and will continue to be our number one priority as a government.

We are pleased with the 600,000 jobs that have been created since the bottom of the recession in July 2009, but we deeply sympathize with anyone who lost their job this past month. As we have said all along, Canada is not immune from the global economic turbulence in the United States and Europe, but the House can be assured that this government will maintain its focus on jobs and economic growth.