House of Commons Hansard #64 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was representation.

Topics

The Environment
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, rising global greenhouse gas emissions present clear evidence that the fight to prevent dangerous climate change is being lost and we must not let that happen. That is why the stakes are so high at the climate conference in Durban and constructive solutions are so urgently needed. How shameful that the Conservative government has been described as “swinging a wrecking ball through the conference”.

Canada's emissions continue to increase and will fall well short of our required reductions as well as the watered down Conservative targets for 2020.

Under the current government, the oil and gas industry receives $1.3 billion in annual subsidies. In effect, Canadian taxpayers are paying almost $9 for every tonne of CO2 pollution the industry emits. That is backwards. In Europe the polluter pays per tonne of CO2. The result in Germany has been the creation of almost half a million new green energy jobs.

The conference in Durban ends today, but the battle to prevent climate change is far from over. The government must respect the majority of Canadians who want Canada to help construct, not obstruct, solutions.

Foreign Affairs
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to call the attention of the House to the situation in Camp Ashraf which the Iraqi government has demanded be closed by the end of the month.

The camp, which is home to over 3,000 political refugees, has been protected by the U.S. and coalition forces. However, with the U.S. winding down its operation in Iraq, there are concerns that this will displace thousands of people who will have nowhere to go.

Canada encourages the Iraqi government to extend the closure deadline in order to allow remaining residents sufficient time to take the required steps to seek asylum and to allow the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to consider and process applications.

We call on Iraq to meet its obligations under international law and ensure that Camp Ashraf residents are not forcibly transferred to another country where they could suffer.

Canadians, indeed all people, expect no less.

Homelessness
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to a group of individuals. We often see them on the street, but we do everything we can to ignore them. I am talking about homeless people.

Because of the economic crisis and job losses, their numbers are increasing. This summer, shelters were at 90% capacity, which is unheard of. Imagine how full they must be now that winter is here. And this phenomenon is not unique to urban centres; the number of homeless people is on the rise in my riding of Hochelaga, which is about five kilometres from downtown Montreal.

Despite the skyrocketing needs, federal funding is a third of what it should be. Several vital programs have been denied assistance. For instance, Cap Saint-Barnabé in Hochelaga needs more support. The government needs to deal with what is quickly becoming an emergency situation and provide funding to community groups immediately.

Here is my suggestion to government members: the next time they meet a homeless person in the street, they should look that person in the eye. Perhaps then they will understand.

Head Injuries
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to bring awareness to an issue I have championed for years in my role as a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, and that is the prevention of injuries among Canada's youth.

Injury prevention is critical to providing safe environments for Canada's children to grow up healthy and active. Tragically preventable injuries are one of the leading causes of death of Canadian kids.

In my riding of Simcoe—Grey, I was pleased to hold a helmet clinic at Matthew Co-op in Collingwood to highlight to children the importance of wearing helmets.

I am proud to be part of a government that has taken real steps to reduce sports-related head injuries among Canada's youth.

Our government's national injury prevention strategy launched nine months ago is making significant strides in investing in the initiatives to reduce head injuries. Organizations like the Sandbox Project and ThinkFirst are just two of the many organizations that have brought awareness to head injuries and concussions.

I urge all members of this House to encourage young people to stay active, play sports and, most important, play safe by wearing a helmet.

Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, the holiday season is a time for all Canadians to embrace the spirit of Christian love and sharing. However, what are happy memories for some can cause anxiety in others.

As we prepare to offer our families and loved ones tokens of affection, let us go beyond the symbols of consumerism. Let us offer real love and sharing. Let us focus on the real meaning of Christmas. Reach out and lend a hand to someone in need.

In Ottawa—Orléans the best way is to assist the Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre at 613-830-4357.

May we never forget to reach out to those in need. In Ottawa—Orléans, the best way to do so is through the Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre, at 613-741-6025.

Gloria in excelsis Deo.

White Birch Paper
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Raymond Côté Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, today the 600 workers of White Birch Paper in Quebec City, their families, the suppliers, and customers waiting for delivery of their orders continue to be held hostage by investor Peter Brant. Unless Justice Robert Mongeon deems the shutdown illegal and requires the plant to continue operating 24/7, 365 days a year, all these people will be at the mercy of a billionaire's whims, two weeks before Christmas.

The Quebec City mill has a full order book and White Birch Papers has tens of millions of dollars in liquid assets. The current owner is refusing to top up the employees' retirement fund after years of failing to make contributions. This holdup of our industrial gems is tantamount to the despicable abandonment of our honest citizens by vultures who are incapable of contributing to our society.

For too long our government has sacrificed our men, women and children to these criminals masquerading as respectable people. Dealing with these economic crimes is on the NDP's agenda.

Natural Resources
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, not long ago, Canada's natural resource industries were considered the old economy. No more hewing of wood and drawing of water for us, we were all going into that new information economy.

Our natural resource industries have come roaring back and are now the backbone of the Canadian economy. A recent BMO forecast said that economic growth would be the strongest in provinces dominated by the resources sector. The recent 3.5% third quarter increase in Canada's GDP was largely driven by a surge in exports of natural resources from rural Canada.

From mining to energy, from agriculture to forestry, from commercial fishing to trapping and from angling to hunting, these sectors are all carried out in rural Canada. They represent environmentally sound sustainable use at its very best. Interestingly, rural Canada represents about 20% of the Canadian population, but accounts for close to 50% of the value of Canada's exports. Talk about punching above our weight.

I represent a truly rural riding and I am proud of the contribution that rural Canadians and our natural resource industries make to our country.

Human Rights Day
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Alexandrine Latendresse Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, December 10, is Human Rights Day. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created 63 years ago and we have recognized the extraordinary work of those who defend human rights throughout the world every year since then.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has declared the theme for Human Rights Day 2011 to be social media and human rights.

This year, the Arab Spring showed the extraordinary power that social media have to identify and denounce human rights abuses. Human rights defenders from Tunisia to Yemen took to the streets to demand the establishment of true democracy and an end to human rights violations. Through social media, activists throughout the world, from New York to Cairo, are able to engage in discussions and organize peaceful protests that focus on the importance of human rights for everyone.

Respect for human rights is everyone's responsibility. On this important day, I would like to pay tribute, on behalf of the New Democratic Party, to all those who defend human rights.

Status of Women
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Kyle Seeback Brampton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 30th anniversary of Canada's ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. It happens on December 10, Human Rights Day.

Canada was one of the first countries to sign and ratify this convention, which set international standards for eliminating gender discrimination. It provides the basis for realizing equality between women and men in economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights.

Promoting equality for women and their full participation in the social, economic and democratic life of our country is a priority for our government. In line with our treaty obligations under this convention, we continue to take targeted action so women and girls are safer, more secure and much more economically successful.

Robert Rideout
Statements By Members

December 9th, 2011 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour a great Newfoundlander who recently passed away. A great family man, a great soldier and a dear family friend, Robert Rideout, or Bob Rideout as most of us knew him, lived, married and raised his family in the town of Botwood.

In 1942, at only 17 years of age, Bob joined the 166th Field Regiment as a gunner and went to war overseas in Great Britain and Italy. After World War II, Bob devoted decades of service to the Royal Canadian Legion. He was a branch president and became a life member of Branch 12 in Grand Falls—Windsor. He was also commanding officer of the Botwood Sea Cadet Corps. For many years, Bob Rideout spent countless hours visiting veterans all over the province.

In 2005 he was awarded the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation. In 1999 he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

At his funeral, Father Eugene Morris said that Bob Rideout exemplified the term “service”, service to his family, service to his community and, indeed, service to his country.

Religious Freedom
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I commend individuals like Nguyen Van Ly, Gao Zhisheng, Joseph Zen Ze-kiun and others who continue to struggle to promote freedom.

As Canadians, we should bear in mind that the rights we enjoy are not always shared by others around the world. Criminalization for apostasy and blasphemy disproportionately affects the religious minorities.

Regrettably, egregious violations of the right to religious freedom against individuals continue. Some examples include: Baha'is and Sufis facing mistreatment in Iran; Christians being forced out of Iraq; Copts facing attacks by extremists in Egypt; and Ahmadis continuing to face discrimination in Pakistan.

Sadly, places of worship, including churches, mosques, synagogues, shrines and monasteries, have been attacked or vandalized.

Our government will continue to promote freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law around the world.

French as Language of Work
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, I am pleased to rise to defend the French language in this House, but I am also sad because we have yet to see many results.

There are all kinds of concerns about the difficulty of working in French in Quebec, and the best idea the Conservatives could come up with was to create a committee, which we have not heard of since.

It is a non-committee with no mandate, no time frame, no chair, no budget, nothing concrete. Nothing, other than the government's clear attempt to buy time, hoping that the situation will resolve itself. But everyone knows that it will not. Quite the opposite, in fact. Problems continue to multiply, in banks, at Air Canada—with the potential move of 140 employees—and even in the Canadian public service.

I want to commend the work of the NDP, which has done its homework and is proposing practical solutions to problems facing francophone workers.

Once again, I urge the government to accept our offer of help and to work with us to recognize the language rights of francophones.

Canada-U.S. Border
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, this has been a fantastic week for Canada-U.S. relations, our trade relationship and, most important, the Canadian economy.

I thank the Prime Minister, because on Wednesday he travelled to Washington, D.C. to announce the new beyond the border agreement with the President of the United States. Following the announcement, key economic stakeholders from both countries viewed this deal as very favourable. In fact, John Manley, president and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, said that this, “announcement represents a significant and much-needed step forward in Canada-U.S. cooperation, building on the success of the North American Free Trade Agreement”.

Our government has laid out a practical but ambitious plan to create jobs at home by improving the flow of goods and people across the Canadian-U.S. border. Going forward, we will continue to focus on what really matters most to Canadians: creating jobs and strengthening the Canadian economy.

Poverty
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the gap between the rich and the poor in Canada is growing. According to the OECD, 10% of Canadians have an income of less than $10,000. In my riding, homeless shelters are full to overflowing. These people do not have a voice. They are helpless in the face of the government's inaction.

While the big banks are reaping record profits, the poor are becoming increasingly poor. How can the government justify this injustice?

Poverty
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we are pleased with the success our economic action plan has seen over the past few years. Many new jobs have been created.

However, we are well aware that there is still a lot of work to be done. That is why we included measures in the budget to speed up job creation, so that all Canadians can have a good quality of life.

As the federal government, our top priorities will continue to be job creation and economic growth.