House of Commons Hansard #129 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was workers.

Topics

Fort Severn First Nation
Statements By Members

February 11th, 2011 / 11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge Fort Severn First Nation from the great Kenora riding.

For six years, Fort Severn First Nation has worked in collaboration with the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Research Institute and faculty members from Lakehead University. It led an ongoing research project on the preservation of polar bears and our cohabitation with them, as both have shared the land together on the shores of Hudson's Bay since time immemorial.

Two years ago, Fort Severn's work was recognized by then Minister of the Environment, Jim Prentice, and took its rightful place at the Polar Bear Forum in Winnipeg to present its key findings. In January, Chief Matthew Kakekaspan of Fort Severn was invited to speak at the Polar Worlds International Conference in Paris, France.

I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating Fort Severn First Nation on this great achievement and recognition of Cree knowledge by the international community for its valuable research. It is just another example of what is so great about the great Kenora riding.

Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day. Every day, women and men of all ages contract sexually transmitted diseases because of lack of education and, above all, insufficient resources, programs and services.

In Canada, we need only think about our aboriginal sisters. According to the Canadian Women’s Health Network, aboriginal women account for approximately 50% of all HIV-positive test reports among aboriginal people, compared with only 16% of their non-aboriginal counterparts.

Unfortunately, the Conservative government has offered very few concrete solutions to improve this situation. Its failure to act is not overly surprising, though, given that this is the same government that, for ideological reasons, refused to subsidize abortion services under the G8 maternal and child health plan. Thousands of women's lives would have been saved.

Canada Winter Games
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Greg Kerr West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, this evening the Prime Minister will join many other Canadians in the city of Halifax and the wonderful province of Nova Scotia in celebrating the opening ceremonies of the Canada Winter Games.

One year ago, the curtain rose on the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Over the coming days, our next generation of world-class athletes will be competing in my home province.

The Olympics spread excitement and pride right across our country. From coast to coast to coast, Canadians allowed themselves to be inspired by our athletes, whose commitment, determination and spirit demonstrated that the pursuit of excellence is in fact a very Canadian trait.

I look forward to the next generation of Canadian athletes who will be pursuing excellence at the Canada Winter Games and some day will be wearing our nation's colours at other major sporting events. Congratulations to the organizers and the volunteers, and best of luck to all athletes at the games.

Child Soldiers
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition that tomorrow, February 12, is International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers or Red Hand Day. This day serves to commemorate those children who have been coerced into the conflict of war, and it is a global peace initiative.

On February 12, 2002, the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict came into force as an addition to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. By failing to recognize the horrific plight of child soldiers, such as in the case of Omar Khadr, the government has failed to live up to Canada's international obligations.

Liberal Senator Roméo Dallaire has worked tirelessly to stop the abuse of children as soldiers. He says that Khadr's situation is, “--dead against the [Geneva] Conventions we have agreed to.... We’ve been tested with one of our own, and we have failed flagrantly--”.

The government should listen to the message of this day, it should hear the cries of children used by adults in war, and should lead the world in protecting the young. Even one child soldier is too many.

Taxation
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals recently unveiled their plan to hike taxes and kill jobs. The Liberal leader calls himself a proud “tax and spend” Liberal. Now the Liberals are shockingly trying to convince Canadians that small businesses actually want to pay higher taxes. Of course they are wrong, as they so often are.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is against Liberal tax hikes. In fact, the head of the CFIB had this to say: “I'd just like to clarify that the corporate income tax reductions are not exclusively a big business issue...our very competitive corporate tax climate...has already brought investment to Canada and naturally that's a win for everyone--all business and also for the creation of employment”.

The Liberal tax plan is worrying more and more Canadian businesses. It is clear that Liberal tax hikes will kill jobs, will hurt the economy, is bad for business and bad for families. Why will the Liberals not join with me and the member for Surrey North and protect small businesses?

Protection of Workers
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Bruce Hyer Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to address a very serious issue in Thunder Bay—Superior North and across Canada.

Recently, hundreds of forestry sector workers in northwestern Ontario lost their severance and termination pay, which they had earned through many years of hard work. Many are out tens of thousands of dollars because bankrupted companies are not held accountable to ensure that pensions, severances or back wages are protected. We have even seen companies or parent companies raid their workers' pay for their assets. Many people have lost their homes, small businesses, marriages and some have even lost their lives to suicide.

There is legislation before the House that will start to fix these wrongs. I seconded Bill C-501, introduced by the member for Thunder Bay—Rainy River, after seeing the damage done to communities when owners and bankers come before workers. We must protect workers and their families and pass Bill C-501.

The Economy
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government's top priority is the economy in all regions of Canada and Quebec. Unlike the Bloc Québécois, our government does not want to embark on a costly election campaign when we know that the economic recovery remains fragile. It is not surprising that the Bloc Québécois and its leader are making unreasonable demands for the next budget.

This is nothing more than an attempt to trigger an unnecessary election that no one wants. The Conservative government is listening to Quebeckers in the regions. Canada's economic action plan was developed in consultation with Quebeckers and Canadians from all regions. That plan is what enabled Canada to come out of the global recession. Unfortunately, the Bloc Québécois voted against that plan, just as it always votes against the initiatives that are good for our regions.

Fortunately, Ottawa has a Conservative government that defends the real interests of Quebeckers in all regions of Quebec.

Child Soldiers
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, February 12 is International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers. There are an estimated 300,000 child soldiers around the world. One-third are young girls whom militias have kidnapped to use as maids, cooks and sex slaves, but also as killers. A taboo subject, these girls have a hard time reintegrating into their community when they are released.

The signatories to the optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including Canada, are called on to treat soldiers under the age of 18 as victims and to ensure their full social reintegration and their full physical and psychological recovery.

Omar Khadr was a child solider who was enlisted by his father and arrested in Afghanistan at age 15 and who has been held in the U.S. prison in Guantanamo ever since. Canada has completely abandoned Mr. Khadr and trampled on his rights, creating a dangerous precedent according to UNICEF.

This Conservative government encourages other countries to reintegrate their child soldiers; perhaps it should clean its own house first.

Canada Games
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party is proud to support all Canadian athletes. In the next two weeks, thousands of young athletes from across Canada will be competing in the hope of reaching the podium at the Canada Games.

As the largest multi-sport competition in Canada for young athletes, these games represent an important step on the road to becoming future Canadian Olympic champions. These talented athletes, who have dedicated themselves to their sport for years, are role models for all young Canadians and an inspiration to everyone.

They certainly deserve our support. However, the Conservatives have frozen the athletes assistance program fund for top competitors at 2004 levels. That means these young people are less and less able to manage the costs of training and competition. They have asked the government to close this growing support gap, to no avail.

Canadian athletes are struggling while large profitable corporations are getting yet another tax holiday. Please give our future champions a break.

Hockey Day in Canada
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow the community of Oakville will be celebrating Hockey Day in Canada.

The annual CBC special broadcast has chosen to feature the arena in Oakville as one of its remote locations when it celebrates Hockey Day in Canada this weekend.

Scotiabank will be working with the Oakville Hornets Girls Hockey Association to create a Scotiabank girls hockeyfest. The girls will have an opportunity learn from female Olympians on and off the ice throughout the day.

The footage of the festivities in Oakville tomorrow will be highlighted as we celebrate this nation's winter sport. This year Hockey Day in Canada's main event will be held in Whitehorse.

I would like to wish the communities of Oakville, Whitehorse, and all others taking part the best as they prepare for this special event.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are fed up with supporting the Conservatives, who are borrowing $6 billion to offer tax breaks that do not benefit 95% of our businesses, and at the same time, making cuts to the arts, culture and assistance for newcomers, to name just a few areas.

Canadians are fed up with the Conservatives, who want to build megaprisons but refuse to say how much that will cost.

Do the Conservatives understand that Canadians do not share their priorities?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, here is what we do understand.

We understand that the Canadian economy has created 460,000 net new jobs. We understand that a lot of Canadians are still looking for work and we must remain focused on job creation in the economy. We believe that a competitive environment for Canadian business will be very important to that job creation.

We are making Canada a magnet for jobs, for investment, and for opportunity. That is why Catherine Swift, the president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, supports our economic plan on taxes.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are looking at a $56 billion deficit, yet Conservatives want to borrow another $6 billion just to give Canada's wealthiest corporations a tax break they obviously do not need because tax rates are already low.

Meanwhile, small businesses, those who employ more than half of all Canadians, get hammered with higher payroll taxes. Not a single child care space gets created and Canadians caring for ailing loved ones are told to go it alone.

Can the Conservatives not see that Canadians are fed up with their misguided priorities?

Government Spending
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, these tax policies have already been legislated by this Parliament. Who supported those tax policies? The Liberal Party of Canada.

Let me be very clear. We are going to do everything we can to create jobs, hope and opportunity. That is why a competitive tax structure is so important.

Something is going on in Canada that is simply not happening in other parts of the world. That is why Canada is creating so many jobs, but the work is not done. We must remain focused. The very best social program for Canadians is full-time employment. That is why we are staying focused.

Government Spending
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, we know that the government would rather spend our money on prisons and punishment instead of on policing and prevention, on an irresponsible purchase of jets to please the Pentagon and on tax breaks for large corporations, while they raise taxes for SMEs.

When will this government understand that Canadians need us to invest in them and that good social policy is at the heart of good economic policy?