House of Commons Hansard #63 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senate.

Topics

Christmas Charity Organization
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Jean-François Larose Repentigny, QC

Madam Speaker, I have always said that volunteers are the heart and soul of our communities. I am pleased to rise in the House today to recognize an organization in my community, Un Noël pour les enfants oubliés, which, for the 18th consecutive year, will distribute gifts to underprivileged children. For most of those children, this will be the only gift they receive all year. The organization was founded in 1993 by Monique Lemay and, in its first year, it distributed about 35 gifts. Times have changed and this year, about 1,000 children will have a present to unwrap. An organization like Un Noël pour les enfants oubliés could never survive without the remarkable work done by its volunteers.

For all their hard work this year and in years to come, I would like to thank the volunteers of that organization, as well as all volunteers across Canada and around the world, for allowing more children to enjoy the magic of Christmas and not be forgotten.

Leeds—Grenville United Way
Statements By Members

December 8th, 2011 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Leeds—Grenville, ON

Madam Speaker, on November 20, in my hometown of Gananoque, I and the United Way of Leeds—Grenville hosted the fifth annual Hockey Night in Leeds—Grenville. This game has been an annual charity event for the United Way.

The game featured former NHL stars, local dignitaries and Conservative members of Parliament, facing off for the enjoyment of hockey fans throughout my riding of Leeds—Grenville.

This year's game featured local NHL star Alyn McCauley of Gananoque as the honorary chair and other players included Olympic women's gold medallist and crowd favourite Jayna Hefford, who scored the most goals in the game.

However, the big winner was the United Way of Leeds—Grenville that received $105,000 as a result of the game.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Alyn McCauley, the town of Gananoque and Mayor Erika Demchuk for donating the ice, as well as all the sponsors and all the players and officials who came out to make this such a huge success for the United Way of Leeds—Grenville.

King of Thailand
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to recognize the 84th birthday of the current monarch of Thailand, His Majesty King Adulyadej. The king's birthday was this past Monday, December 5. He spoke at the ceremonial Grand Palace in Bangkok for about five minutes after being driven from a nearby hospital, where he has been staying for more than two years.

As he spoke to a cheering crowd of well-wishers, the king called for his country to unite in response to the areas worst floods in half a century. He said:

The most important thing is you should not be split or fighting each other. We need to inspire and give each other confidence so that the work we do will be fruitful for the well-being of the people and the stability and security of the country.

Year 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations between Canada and Thailand. Canada is home to approximately 10,000 people from Thailand.

The king has reigned since June 9, 1946, making him the world's longest reigning current monarch and the world's longest serving head of state.

Graham Dennis
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the outpouring of praise and admiration upon the recent passing of Graham Dennis should come as no surprise, as he was a man held in the highest esteem in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Dennis was the publisher of the Chronicle Herald based in Halifax and serving our province. The Chronicle Herald remains Canada's largest independently owned newspaper, a fact that serves as a testament to Mr. Dennis' personal style of business leadership.

Every morning we see the physical proof of Mr. Dennis' passion for his home province and his commitment to family owned business, as on our doorsteps we find a newspaper that is entirely based in the community it serves.

Mr. Dennis ran the Chronicle Herald from the age of 26 until he died at 84. His six decades at the helm of this paper helped cement it as a central part of the cultural fabric of our community.

Graham Dennis' legacy is truly impressive, and it is clear that Haligonians and Nova Scotians have lost a true ambassador and a much beloved friend.

On behalf of the riding of Halifax, I offer my sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones.

Violence Against Women
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada and the world are now marking 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.

Violence against women or girls can happen to anyone, anywhere, regardless of age or income. It could happen in family settings, intimate relationships, with friends or acquaintances, at work or at home. It happens in large cities as well as rural, remote and northern communities. It can happen to a senior, a young woman, a spouse, a mother or a daughter.

A large number of women and girls are affected, taking an enormous toll on families, communities and our economy. Because this toll is so great, let us take these 16 days of activism and be reminded that we need to take action now and throughout the year to end violence against women and girls in all its forms.

Canadian Wheat Board
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Federal Court has ruled that the federal government's actions and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food 's conduct on Bill C-18, the Canadian Wheat Board Act were an affront to the rule of law.

The court accepted arguments from the applicants that the rule of law embodied the principle that law was supreme over officials of the government as well as over private individuals. It is worth recording some of the reasoning behind this ruling.

Under the rule of law, citizens have the right to come to the courts to enforce the law against the executive branch. And the courts have the right to review actions by the executive branch to determine whether they are in compliance with the law and, where warranted, to declare a government action unlawful. This right in the hands of the people is not a threat to democratic governance but its very assertion. Accordingly, the executive branch of government is not its own exclusive arbiter on whether it or its delegate is acting within the limits of the law. The detrimental consequences of the executive branch of government defining for itself...the scope of its lawful power have been revealed, often bloodily, in the tumult of history.

Ballast Water
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, our strict and effective ballast water regulations recognize the environmental and economic importance of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. Since these regulations came into force in 2006, no new exotic species entering from ballast water has been detected in the Great Lakes.

What is more, Canada recently ratified an international agreement on ballast water. However, New York State's unrealistic requirements would have severe economic consequences. A recent study found that closing the St. Lawrence Seaway at the locks within New York's waters could put over 72,000 jobs in jeopardy.

Our Minister of Transport will work hard to protect jobs and the environment in the St. Lawrence.

Heron Emergency Food Centre
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Christmas season is upon us. It is a time of great joy, a celebration of family and of concern for one another.

The Heron Emergency Food Centre has been fighting hunger in my riding of Ottawa South for over 23 years. Working with the Ottawa Food Bank, supported by the city of Ottawa and assisted by the generosity of churches and local residents, the Heron Emergency Food Centre is crucial to our community, distributing over $325,000 worth of food to over 13,000 neighbours each and every year.

I want to recognize and sincerely thank its dedicated team of volunteers, who generously donate their time to meet the needs of so many individuals and families in our area.

I would like to encourage residents of Ottawa South to join me in making a donation of either non-perishable food or money to the Heron Emergency Food Centre this holiday season. I encourage all of my colleagues in the House to do the same to the food centres and distribution centres in their ridings.

Canada-U.S. Border
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Prime Minister announced our action plan on perimeter security and economic competitiveness. Billions of dollars worth of goods and hundreds of thousands of people cross our shared border with the U.S. every day. The action plan is good news for workers and good news for business, especially in border communities like Windsor-Essex. It is good news because it would protect jobs and grow our economy and auto industry.

However, the NDP trade critic, the member for Windsor West, sadly out of step with residents of our region, continues to fearmonger and oppose this deal.

Listen to what Windsor's mayor, Eddie Francis, had to say, “We are all very very pleased with the results that have been announced...because it means now we can get down to business. Now we can allow the economy to grow”.

I could not agree more. It is too bad the NDP does not get it. Its rigid, ideological opposition to trade is yet another example that the NDP is unfit to govern.

Canadian Wheat Board
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, as Chief Justice of Alberta Catherine Fraser said in a ruling earlier this year, “When government does not comply with the law, this is not merely non-compliance with a particular law, it is an affront to the rule of law itself”.

We saw this yesterday when Justice Campbell said in the Wheat Board ruling that the Minister of Agriculture “be held accountable for his disregard for the rule of law”.

This is just the latest in a long list of similar incidents.

In 2006, the Conservatives exceeded their election budget in violation of the Canada Elections Act. They destroyed government files in violation of the Access to Information Act. They gave out private information about veterans in violation of the Privacy Act.

Now the Conservatives have refused to consult with western grain and barley farmers on the future of their livelihood in direct violation of the Canadian Wheat Board Act.

With this arrogant and defensive Conservative government, it is one set of rules for it and one set of rules for everybody else.

John George Diefenbaker
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to one of my predecessors from Prince Albert, a man who was strongly pro-Canadian, a Canadian who was criticized with being concerned too much with the average Canadian, but said “I can't help that, I'm one of them”. He said of this land, “I have one love — Canada; one purpose — Canada's greatness; one aim — Canadian unity from the Atlantic to the Pacific”.

He built upon the legacy of Sir John A. He saw a new Canada, a Canada of the north. In word and deed, he did make us true north, strong and free. At a convention where he became party leader, he said the words that would serve any great Canadian leader, “It is my intention to unite all Canadians from the Atlantic to the Pacific, under the banner of patriotism”.

I am proud that Prince Albert can claim Canada's tenth and longest serving prime minister, the Right Honourable John George Diefenbaker, as our own.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we asked the government simple questions about the new border deal with the United States. We got no answers. Since Parliament will not get to review or debate this agreement, can we at least get some answers about the border deal? For starters, will the government tell Canadians how much it will cost and where the money will come from?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there has been a lot of detail given out on this very material. For example, it is estimated the costs at the border today cost the Canadian economy somewhere around $50 billion a year. I think we have been clear that the costs of implementation of this deal would be less than 1% of that on an ongoing basis.

I understand the NDP has, from day one, always been opposed to free trade with the United States, but this is vital to the Canadian economy, improves our access to the American market and will be good for Canadian jobs, Canadian workers and Canadian families.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is always interesting to get incomplete answers to certain questions on issues that were not even debated in the House.

I will give another example. A lot of personal information will be collected by authorities when people enter and leave the country at the border crossings.

Do Canadians have the right to know how long their personal information will be stored in American databases? Will it be a week? A month? Six months? A year? Five years? Ten years?

Can we have an answer?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the American authorities already have the jurisdiction to collect information when Canadians enter and leave the United States. We are trying to do things that will increase our own accountability, as the Auditor General called for.

Once again, I know full well that the NDP is opposed to international trade with the United States and that it has been opposed to NAFTA from the outset. However, on this side of the House, we are in favour of creating jobs for Canadian families and Canadian workers.