House of Commons Hansard #123 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was information.

Topics

National Suicide Prevention Week
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, during Quebec's 21st suicide prevention week, we must remember that most suicides can be prevented, and that one of the most effective tools in the fight against this scourge is to pay attention to any signs of psychological distress shown by our loved ones.

In 2009, 1,069 people committed suicide in Quebec, which is a 3% decrease compared to 2008. The rate has been dropping steadily over the past 10 years, especially among young people, which shows the effectiveness of prevention efforts.

However, it is unacceptable that there are still too many seniors who see suicide as the solution to their suffering: 41% of those who took their own lives in 2009 were aged 50 and over.

To prevent such tragedies, we must always be attentive to our senior citizens, especially when there is a major upheaval in their private lives or social networks. We must always remember that “suicide is not an option”, as the 2011 campaign slogan so aptly states.

Dubai
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians are facing problems with travel and work in the United Arab Emirates, especially Dubai, due to the incompetence of the government.

Dubai is the economic hub of the Middle East and a gateway to Africa and Asia. It was, until recently, a strategic ally. Canada needs to get this relationship back on track.

Instead of diplomacy, the Prime Minister escalated a dispute, which has impacted Canada's economic and security interests.

In 2009 Canadian companies exported $1.3 billion in goods to the Emirates, giving Canada a $1.1 billion trade surplus. Over 200 Canadian companies operate in Dubai. Alberta, Nova Scotia and Ontario have all led trade missions to Dubai. Direct foreign investment by the Emirates in Canada amounted to $4.4 billion, making it the 12th largest investor.

Canada is losing opportunities for a positive, constructive relationship and it is high time the Prime Minister looked after the interest of all Canadians.

The Economy
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, our government's focus on jobs and the economy is producing results for Canadians.

Last summer the Prime Minister announced the creation of a federal pay centre in Miramichi, New Brunswick. Today I am happy to report that hiring is under way for the first 146 of the 550 jobs created for this initiative. Constituents are extremely happy with this good news.

With these new jobs, the pay centre is turning a tide in our community. It is no wonder that even the Liberal leaders calls this pay centre a fantastic idea. Miramichi mayor, Gerry Cormier, got it right when he said, “I truly believe the next few years are going to be good years in the city of Miramichi”.

Ours is a party getting things done for Miramichi and all Canadians.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

February 3rd, 2011 / 2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for months the government has been negotiating a secret perimeter security deal with the Americans. For weeks we have been trying to figure out, asking it over and over again, what this means for Canadian sovereignty and our rights as citizens.

Why the secrecy? Why is it that the government is talking about fundamental issues of Canadian sovereignty and Canadian freedoms with the Americans without talking to Canadians first?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as members are aware, our government always puts Canada's interests first. Since we took office we have been focused on creating jobs and economic growth through free, open and secure borders. That means keeping our shared borders open to trade investment but closed to security and terrorist threats. More than $1.6 billion crosses the border every day, creating jobs and opportunities for Canada and Canadians all across the country.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government and the minister are dancing around the issue once more. They refuse to even say the words “perimeter security” and yet they are holding secret negotiations with the Americans on this very issue, which poses a serious threat to our country's sovereignty and the rights of its citizens.

Why are these negotiations secret? Why do they refuse to clearly state what they are discussing with the Americans in Washington?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, as you are well aware, our government has always put the interests of Canadians and Canada first. Our government defends these interests. Since we came into office, this has been one of our main objectives, whether it involved resolving the softwood lumber dispute or resolving issues passed on by the previous government. We have been doing everything we can to develop Canada's economy and we continue to do so.

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, first we have the Minister of Public Safety telling us that he does not know anything about the security side, then we have the trade minister saying that he does not know anything about the trade side and now we have the Minister of Foreign Affairs saying that he knows nothing about anything.

This is becoming a stealth deal and a bad stealth deal at that. Bad stealth deals are bad for Canadian democracy.

Why is the Prime Minister and the government refusing to tell Canadians what they are negotiating behind our backs?

Canada-U.S. Relations
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I will once again reassure my hon. colleague with a quote:

Yes, the usual critics will bellyache. But let’s remember that they complained when the historic free-trade agreement was being negotiated between [Canada and the United States] in the 1980s.

Do members know who said that? That was from an op-ed written by five previous Canadian ambassadors to the U.S,. including Raymond Chrétien, Michael Kergin and Frank McKenna, all of them Liberal political appointees.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of National Defence is quick to question my patriotism. I will go up against him any day on patriotism. I do not just dress up like a soldier. I actually serve my country.

The minister also likes his little Star Trek analogies, so I will take him where no Conservative has gone before, to fiscal competence and balanced budgets.

Why will he not hold an open competition, get the best aircraft for our needs, guarantee industrial benefits and save Canadians billions of dollars?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we will do. In fact, I regret not having had the opportunity to serve my country in uniform. I serve my country in a different way.

Canadians can always count on this government to do the right thing when it comes to giving the best equipment to the best citizens, the members of the Canadian Forces. They can always count on this government as well to look out for the interests of taxpayers and our aerospace industry.

Why is it that the member from a region of Montreal is demonstrating contempt for the aerospace industry in his own region? He should explain that to his constituents.

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Spoken like a space cadet in training, Mr. Speaker.

We have learned that the fighter jets will be part of the secret agreement signed by the Prime Minister and the American government.

Is it surprising that Robert Gates came here last week to say that we have to purchase the F-35? Can we not choose our own military equipment? Why is the Prime Minister letting Washington make our decisions for us?

National Defence
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we need to separate fact from fiction and maybe elevate the debate a bit.

This is a $9 billion project. We are committed to giving the Canadian Forces the best aircraft available to ensure mission success and to protect them. Let us look at what this aircraft will do. In addition to the $9 billion for the aircraft, it comes with supporting infrastructure, initial spares, training simulators, contingency funds and weapon systems, all at projected operating costs.

This is the best deal for the air force, for the aerospace industry and for Canadian taxpayers.

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Obama administration and the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, were very clear: a transition of power in Egypt is necessary and must take place immediately. The violence of recent days shows the extent to which the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak is hindering all democratic efforts and, consequently, is detrimental to peace.

What is the government waiting for before it toughens its stance, like the U.S., and formally demands that President Mubarak step down as a condition for restoring peace in Egypt?

Foreign Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Pontiac
Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear since this conflict and the widespread protests began. It is extremely important to be able to proceed with an orderly transition that will result in democratic institutional reforms as well as free elections under the supervision of international observers.