House of Commons Hansard #143 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was conservative.

Topics

Official Languages
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, usually we would celebrate International Day of La Francophonie on March 20. Unfortunately, the Canadian Francophonie does not have a lot to celebrate.

Since it came to power, the Conservative government has been determined to restructure our public service. And it is doing so without any concern for the impact these changes will have on official language communities. The Conservative government has wreaked havoc on Service Canada and is leading us in the wrong direction.

How can the Conservative government designate the Atlantic administrative region as unilingual when it includes the only officially bilingual province in Canada and when more than 450,000 people in Atlantic Canada speak French?

We see the Conservatives blocking Bill C-232 in the Senate. Yet it was democratically passed by the elected representatives in Parliament. The Conservatives are against the idea of bilingual Supreme Court justices, which means that the communities are being denied fairer treatment.

Language rights must be protected and respected, period.

I would like to thank the francophone and anglophone organizations that fight to ensure that the official languages are respected.

Citizen Awards
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to two outstanding citizens in my riding, Tamara Miyanaga of Taber and Alexandra Wilson of Brooks.

Tamara was named 2010 Taber Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. She serves as a member of both the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Taber Food Bank Society.

Tamara was instrumental in the organization of Taber's Olympic Torch Relay event that brought people from our region together to celebrate the Olympic spirit and support of our Canadian athletes.

Alexandra Wilson is one of the two winners of the Historica-Dominion Institute's Canadian Citizenship Challenge. Alex took the challenge at St. Joseph's Collegiate in Brooks as part of a class project. She received a perfect score after studying the history and applying the values of our government's Discover Canada study guide. For her efforts, Alex won a trip to Ottawa to tour Parliament where I was pleased to meet and congratulate her.

I congratulate both Tamara and Alex on their well-deserved awards. Both of these individuals embody the civic spirit that continues to make the Medicine Hat constituency a great place to live.

Egypt
Statements By Members

March 10th, 2011 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, as Egypt attempts to restore stability and affirm its commitments to democratic reform and religious freedoms, there are forces at work within the nation that view this time of transition as an opportunity to fan the flames of intolerance, persecution and sectarian violence.

What began on Saturday, March 5, when a mob of nearly 4,000 attacked the homes of Coptic Christians and razed the Church of St. Mina and St. George just 30 kilometres south of Cairo, has now claimed 13 lives as violence continues in the city. Most troubling is that the police and the armed forces, who have done so much to keep the peace and protect the innocent throughout Egypt, were reported as standing by, letting the violence against Christians occur unchecked.

I call on our Prime Minister and the government to speak out and to work through all our diplomatic channels to demand that safety and security be restored for all Egyptians immediately.

For the lives of loved ones, friends and family of Coptic Christians here in Canada and, indeed, for all Canadians, we must act now.

Anti-Semitism
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Alice Wong Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, on the night of March 4, a school in my riding of Richmond, Gilmore Elementary School, was vandalized with racist graffiti. The graffiti included anti-Semitic symbols and racist phrases. I find this deeply disturbing and troubling.

The RCMP has been quick to begin investigating this matter. The actions of those responsible for this disgusting crime cannot be tolerated in Richmond or anywhere in Canada.

Canada enjoys a harmonious society that embraces diversity. Those who seek to disrupt the multicultural nature of our society through bigotry and intolerance must be denounced.

I stand today in solidarity for our Jewish community and all those who are affected by the racist and anti-Semitic actions of these cowardly individuals.

Tibet
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to say that I participated today in the commemoration of the 52nd anniversary of the uprising of the Tibetan people in Lhasa, organized by the association Students for a Free Tibet. Those events in Lhasa were followed by China's repressive measures, forcing the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and political leader of Tibetans, to seek exile in India. According to the Tibetan government in exile, these events resulted in the deaths of 87,000 Tibetans who were victims of their religious convictions and their national pride.

For 52 years now, Tibet has tried unsuccessfully to regain some measure of autonomy. The cultural fabric of the “roof of the world” is weakening. Tibet's history books have been rewritten and the Tibetan language is no longer taught in secondary schools.

It is time to adopt a comprehensive approach that takes into account the interests of all parties involved, rather than taking one side or the other, so that Tibet may achieve real autonomy within China, as requested by the Dalai Lama.

Israeli Apartheid Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week, some Canadian universities are taking part in what is shamefully called Israeli Apartheid Week.

An editorial in The Prince Arthur Herald recently put it this way:

In Israel, all citizens, 20% of whom are Arab, vote in elections, participate in government and serve in the army--opportunities that were not afforded to non-whites in South Africa under apartheid.

Israel is not above criticism. As a pluralistic, democratic state, there is abundant legitimate criticism and debate, both domestically and abroad.

This year, some students launched their own Israel peace week, drawing attention to Israel's peace efforts and to the state's commitment to democracy and human rights, and to Israel's remarkable record of innovation and accomplishment, despite persistent threats to its existence from determined antagonists.

There are multiple and vexing challenges to bringing about a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

If the end is to promote peace, university and civil agencies must embrace respectful debate and active listening, as opposed to heated, hurtful and distorted rhetoric.

Canadian Jewish Congress
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, as a former president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, I am delighted to pay tribute to one of the oldest and most distinguished of human rights NGOs, founded in March 1919 as the “Parliament of Canadian Jewry”. Its founding charter was inspired by a vision of equality and emancipation for Canadian and world Jewry, and indeed for all peoples and minorities, including a national homeland for the Jewish people.

Inspired later by Holocaust survivors, it fought against racism and anti-Semitism, for Holocaust remembrance and human rights, and for social justice and immigration reform.

The congress has been an ardent defender of bilingualism, the rights of minorities, multiculturalism and constitutionalism.

It played a historic role in the adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, while its vision of a human rights foreign policy found expression in its heroic role in the struggle for Soviet Jewry, one of the great human rights movements of the second half of the 20th century.

Mr. Speaker, through you, I say to the Congress, kol hakavod and félicitations.

The Budget
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, members of the government have said repeatedly that our government does not want an unnecessary election. We want to focus on the economy. We want Canadians to keep their jobs and we want the fruits of their labour to stay in their pockets.

Our government believes that the opposition is being unethical by refusing to at least look at the budget. I am certain that many Canadians, including the people of my riding of Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, think it is unreasonable that the opposition refuses to wait and see what is in the budget before deciding how to vote on it.

If the trend continues, the Bloc will do what it does best: vote against the interests of Quebeckers. The Liberal leader, with all his deep-thinking ideas, has also decided to vote against it.

Our government still believes that working together for our country is the best way to defend the interests of Quebeckers and Canadians.

Liberal Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader is looking for an excuse for an election as he thinks now is his last chance to become Prime Minister.

He is flinging baseless rumours and innuendo to justify the opportunistic election he so desperately wants. Unfortunately for him, examples of Liberal hypocrisy are everywhere.

Will he launch an investigation into the ethical breaches plaguing his own caucus, or is his feigned moral outrage just a shallow attempt to run from the economy and hide from the budget that is less than two weeks away?

Our government is focused on what really matters, jobs and the economy. Now, as the economy recovers, we remain on track, keeping taxes low and fighting coalition plans to hike taxes and kill jobs.

The Liberal leader's $6 billion tax hike and increases to EI premiums are the wrong plan.

Our plan is to create jobs, continue the recovery, and improve the financial security for Canadian families, but the Liberals are determined to undo that good work.

Canadian Jewish Congress
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to assist in commemorating the achievements of the Canadian Jewish Congress and to remind this House of the determining role the Jewish community in Canada has played in our society.

The history of Canada's Jewish community began 250 years ago. This community fought to build a place for itself: from the election of Ezekiel Hart to the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada in 1807 and his subsequent expulsion, through the law sponsored by Louis-Joseph Papineau in 1831 granting full equivalent political rights to Jews, to the election in 1872 of Henry Nathan Jr., the first Jewish member of the House of Commons.

In 1919, it was time to begin turning the idea of uniting the entire community into a reality.

The CJC has participated in all aspects of Canadian life since that time, and provided crucial input into Canadian policy-making on education, religious freedoms and other human rights issues.

I join my colleagues in congratulating the Canadian Jewish Congress and wishing the congress many more years of formidable participation in Canadian life.

Quebec's Anglophone Minority
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, according to a Senate report, the federal government is not fulfilling its responsibility to protect the rights of Quebec's anglophone minority who claim that there are disparities in access to service and in its participation in collective decision making.

Nevertheless, Quebec is internationally known for the guarantees and protection it offers to this community. In fact, passing Bill 101 in Quebec made it possible to confirm that the common public language is French and thus ensure that the rights of the anglophone minority will always be respected and protected. Anglophones are an integral part of the Quebec nation. According to the Political Affairs Committee of the Council of Europe, “[t]he anglophone minority in Quebec [is] an excellent example of protection of rights of a linguistic minority.”

Unfortunately, we cannot say the same thing about the guarantees made to Acadians and Franco-Canadians. Senators are clearly out of touch with reality.

Conduct of the Government
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Brossard—La Prairie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, two rulings on contempt shed light on the attacks by the Harper government against democracy. This is an unprecedented situation in which a government has been found guilty of contempt of Parliament three times in one year. The Conservative government is acting as though it were above the law and the rules.

Now we know why the Conservatives hid the real cost of the F-35s from Parliament and in the same breath duped Canadians: because these planes will cost the unacceptable sum of $30 billion and not the $16 billion they had previously stated.

Their stubbornness in refusing to issue a call for tenders for the procurement of fighter jets does not reflect the values or priorities of Canadians.

The Speaker's rulings are clear. The Conservatives have abused their power. They still have not disclosed information vital to the credibility of the budget. They still have not fired the minister who misled Parliament. They still have not repaid Canadians the stolen money from the in and out scam. They still have not removed people in the Prime Minister's inner circle from positions of power even though they face jail time.

Canadians are seeing this regime for what it really is.

Canadian Jewish Congress
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Monday the Minister of the Environment will be in Montreal to unveil a plaque commemorating the founding of the Canadian Jewish Congress. The plaque reads as follows:

In March 1919, more than 200 delegates elected by an estimated 25,000 Jews from across Canada met here at the Monument-National to participate in the first pan-Canadian Jewish assembly. This democratic exercise marked the birth of the Canadian Jewish Congress, an organization that was at the forefront of the struggle for equality, civil and human rights, and immigration reform in this country. Regarded by many as the “Parliament of Canadian Jewry”, the Congress continues to provide a voice for the Canadian Jewish community both nationally and internationally.

The Canadian Jewish Congress has also been a strong and consistent voice and advocate for the civil rights of individuals from all races and religions.

I congratulate the congress on this important milestone.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, your rulings yesterday should not have been necessary. A decent government would have complied with the rules of democracy without being forced to, but this is not a decent government. This is not the first time, not the second time, but the third time the government has been forced to respect the rulings and orders of the House. Now the game is up.

If the government actually respects the rulings of the Speaker, will it deliver the documents to the House and will it fire that minister?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we have tremendous respect for you, your office and your ruling yesterday.

We had considered the information that we had provided to the House and believed that it responded in substance to the request that had been made by the House. Let me assure you, Mr. Speaker, that we will make every effort to comply with your ruling. That is our commitment.