House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fednor.

Topics

2 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem, led by the Hon. member for Sackville—Eastern Shore.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Black History Month
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, February marks Black History Month in my riding of St. Catharines.

At the Parkway hotel, I had the opportunity to recognize the achievements of Fergie Jenkins and celebrate the launch of the official Fergie Jenkins stamp.

As we mark Black History Month and the launch of the Fergie Jenkins and Carrie Best commemorative stamps, I was not three kilometres from the Salem Chapel on Geneva Street, a stop on the Underground Railroad, where the legendary and courageous Harriet Tubman led American slaves to freedom here in Canada.

In honouring Fergie Jenkins and journalist Carrie Best, Canada Post is recognizing the valuable contributions they have made to our country. Whether we celebrate a black Canadian athlete in the Hall of Fame or a journalist who stood up on behalf of the black community and said what was right and what we needed to do, those are two people who made a difference in the lives of others and in our country.

Employment Insurance
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, in Atlantic Canada, the economy is made up of a large number of seasonal industries and in the off season workers rely on employment insurance benefits until the next season. Workers who have been laid off are having difficulty getting employment insurance claims processed in a timely manner.

In my area, the claims processing centre is reducing a number of CR-3 individuals. My constituency office gets daily calls from individuals in the riding who have to wait long periods of time to receive their benefits while their bills are piling up. This is unfair to the people who are out of work and unfair to the remaining staff who are left to deal with the growing demand of service. Cutting services on the backs of individuals is certainly not what the rural areas of this country deserve.

I ask the government to stop cutting services to rural Canadians and reinstate the much-needed CR-3 positions.

Honorius Thériault
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Guy André Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to the commitment of an extraordinary volunteer: Honorius Thériault, from the famous little town of Saint-Élie-de-Caxton. Mr. Thériault, who will turn 80 on March 8, is and has been involved in fundraising for many charitable causes, including the Red Cross, childhood diseases, multiple sclerosis, the Canadian Cancer Society, Opération Enfant Soleil, Operation Red Nose and Noël du pauvre. This big-hearted man has put all of his energy into generously and willingly helping his neighbours.

This tireless volunteer was also the founder of the Saint-Élie-de-Caxton optimist club, the first rural optimist club in the movement. Mr. Thériault is also dedicated to the sovereignist cause. He has been involved in the Quebec nation's quest for freedom since the founding of the RIN.

Mr. Thériault, you are a role model and an exceptional man, which is rare these days, and I admire that. You should be proud.

Search and Rescue
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, search and rescue is an important role for our military. It is important in the Arctic, on the west coast, the Great Lakes, in the Maritimes, off the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador and on the great land mass of Canada. SAR service responds to over 6,000 incidents a year, saving thousands of lives, but why do we lag behind the rest of the world on response times?

In Norway, its air force gets rescue choppers in the air in 15 minutes around the clock. In Australia and in the United States, the response time is 30 minutes around the clock, seven days a week. Canada has a response standard of 30 minutes but only from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays when less than 20% of incidents occur. Otherwise, it is two hours. Lives are lost.

The defence committee heard from a survivor of a sunken fishing vessel who watched two others drown 15 minutes before a Canadian Forces helicopter arrived, which had left one hour and twenty minutes after being tasked. This must change. We can do better. We deserve better.

Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, for some time, Canadians have wondered about the Liberal secret agenda on fighting crime. This week, the its real agenda was revealed.

The Liberal leader shocked Canadians by announcing that his MPs would not support our bill to impose tough new prison terms on serious drug traffickers and gangsters. He followed that up by obstructing our efforts to abolish a law that had allowed serious white-collar criminals to apply for day parole after serving only one-sixth of their sentences.

Earlier, the Liberal justice critic promised that a future Liberal government would overturn our decision to eliminate the faint hope clause under which murderers had been able to apply for parole after only 15 years in prison.

Time and time again the Liberal leader has promised to protect Canadians against crime, only to flip-flop and abandon victims and law-abiding citizens.

Now that the Liberal agenda on crime is out, we know that the Liberal leader is not in it for Canadians. He is just in it for himself.

We Welcome the World Centres
Statements By Members

February 16th, 2011 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Dhalla Brampton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, thousands of residents in my riding of Brampton—Springdale will be left to suffer due to the decision by the Conservative government to cut $53 million in essential funding for programs and services to help new immigrants, this despite the fact that Brampton is home to some of the largest numbers of immigrants in Canada. The Conservative government has cut $53 million in funding for language, counselling, training and mentorship programs to integrate new Canadians.

One organization in particular that has been impacted is the We Welcome the World Centres which operates in schools in conjunction with the Peel District School Board. This centre has helped over 4,400 families in its first 18 months of opening. Despite it helping new Canadians, it has lost almost half of its operating budget.

On behalf of all Bramptonians and my constituents in Brampton—Springdale, we urge the Conservative government to reverse these cuts because Brampton families want to have families as a priority, not prisons, planes and photo ops.

Taxation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am privileged to rise today on behalf of the people of Ottawa—Orléans, people who are paying $3,000 less tax in 2011 thanks to the work of this government over the past five years.

We cut the GST twice from 7% to 6% to 5%. We introduced pension income splitting. We established the tax free savings account and the first-time homebuyer's tax credit. The average tax burden is now lighter by $3,000.

This government has consistently stood on the side of the people of Ottawa–Orléans and all Canadians. We remain committed to helping them keep more of their hard-earned money.

Recently I hosted seven tax seminars led by specialists from the Canada Revenue Agency. Hundreds of people came to find out how they could get all that they have earned when filling out their tax return.

I thank the CRA staff for its dedication and professionalism.

Medal of Bravery
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, on February 8, at the Citadel in Quebec City, two people from my riding, Daisy Flamand of Manawan and Marjorie Jean-Baptiste of Saint-Charles-Borromée, received the Medal of Bravery, which is awarded every year by the Governor General to individuals who have risked their lives to save or protect another person.

Daisy Flamand did not hesitate to rush into a burning house to save her grandmother, niece and baby, even though thick smoke made it difficult to breathe. The police had to restrain her from re-entering the burning house to help two other family members, who unfortunately did not survive.

Marjorie Jean-Baptiste risked her life to save seven children from the fire that engulfed their house in Rivière-des-Prairies. Despite thick black smoke that was building up, Marjorie kept calm and gathered her children in her bedroom, then broke the window and dropped them one at a time into the snow.

I congratulate the two recipients on their courage and determination.

The Economy
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, while our Conservative government delivered jobs and economic recovery for Windsor, the NDP MPs for Windsor West and Windsor—Tecumseh vote against jobs and prosperity.

When our government helped save 500,000 auto jobs and Windsor's largest employer, Chrysler, the NDP MPs voted against it.

When our government invested the highest per capita infrastructure stimulus to create jobs and reposition Windsor's economy during the recession, the two NDP MPs voted against it.

When our government invested millions to start a new aerospace MRO industry and up to 700 jobs, the two NDP MPs voted against it.

When we budgeted for the new DRIC bridge and the Windsor-Essex Parkway in 2006 and 2007, and the 30,000 jobs that go with it, those NDP MPs voted no.

The NDP MPs for Windsor West and Windsor—Tecumseh have voted against thousands of jobs and economic recovery for Windsor.

It is time Windsorites vote Conservative not NDP.

Judiciary
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is a basic principle of Canadian democracy and a foundational principle of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms that citizens have a right to petition government for redress of grievance, that they are allowed to criticize their government without fear of reprisal and that the independence and integrity of the courts warrant respect from us all.

Yet, these past few days we have witnessed a minister impugning the decision-making of the federal judiciary, and the member for Oak Ridges—Markham attacking a University of Ottawa law professor, Amir Attaran, for exercising his rights under law, for making representations to the court and for using the democratic process.

This conduct of targeting a person who has otherwise critiqued government policy, who exercises his free speech rights and due process rights, can have a chilling effect on free speech, let alone the undue interference in matters before the courts.

This is not the way a democracy should work. This is not the way to respect the independence of the judiciary and to respect the integrity of processes before the courts.

Arthur Meighen
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gary Schellenberger Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I am honoured to pay tribute to Canada's ninth prime minister, the Right Hon. Arthur Meighen.

Born after Confederation in the village of Anderson, near St. Marys, Ontario, Arthur Meighen would go on to serve our country on two separate occasions as prime minister.

During his political career, Meighen served as solicitor general, minister of the interior and secretary of state of Canada. While he spent 10 years in the Senate, it was in this very chamber that Mr. Meighen, representing a riding in Manitoba, distinguished himself as the greatest orator of his generation.

Today, 51 years after his death, Prime Minister Meighen's portrait will be officially unveiled.

Perth—Wellington is proud to have Arthur Meighen as its son. I know all hon. members will join me in paying tribute to this great Canadian.

Status of Women
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan Edmonton—Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, on this Monday, Valentine's Day, men and women took to the streets of Edmonton for the sixth annual Memorial March for all the Missing and Murdered Women. The march was led by aboriginal drummers. Families carried pictures of the loved ones they had lost.

Danielle Boudreau organized the Edmonton march following the murder of two friends, Rachel Quinney and Ellie May Meyer, whose bodies were found on the outskirts of our city.

Project KARE, a joint task force of the RCMP and Edmonton Police Service, continues to investigate more than 20 cases of Edmonton women killed or missing since 1983. As in other Canadian cities, a disproportionate number of the missing and murdered women are from our aboriginal community.

As National Chief Shawn Atleo has said, “It is time to raise a national action plan that will address the seriousness and scope of violence and discrimination facing indigenous women in a coordinated, effective fashion”.

If we make communities safe for our most vulnerable, they are made safe for all of us.

Taxes
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party leader's plan is clear: he wants to raise taxes. He has clearly and concisely said that he wants to increase taxes by $6 billion. He is not talking about freezing taxes, but increasing them.

The Liberal Party leader wants higher taxes to be included in the next budget. If we do not increase taxes, he will vote against the budget and force an election. This is an irresponsible demand that will slow down the economic recovery, which is currently on the right track, and it will also hurt job creation in all regions of Quebec. No one is surprised that he calls himself a tax and spend Liberal.

Border Crossings
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec municipal officials and local stakeholders are here on the Hill today. They are joining with the Bloc Québécois to denounce the Conservative government's announcement that services will be reduced at certain border crossings and customs offices, and they are calling on the government to reverse its decision.

I met with the president of the Canada Border Services Agency about this on February 8. He seemed very interested in our proposed solutions, but his hands are tied.

Bill Owens, a congressman for the state of New York, supports our position and is proposing effective solutions such as sharing infrastructure at the Churubusco crossing. That proposal is being backed by Canada's Customs and Immigration Union.

There is no reason for the Conservative government not to listen to us and consider our proposed solutions, particularly since it is secretly negotiating a common security perimeter with the United States. Our solutions are reasonable and are widely supported.