House of Commons Hansard #149 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was quebec.

Topics

Nowruz
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

John Weston West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, norouz mubarak. I am very pleased to commemorate the Persian New Year, a wonderful tradition that dates back more than 3,000 years.

It is my honour to be the first ever government liaison to the Persian and Iranian communities and I have deep appreciation for the Nowruz festivals that I attend in my riding. These celebrations are vivid proof that the Canadian Iranian community continues to make great contributions to Canada's economic health and cultural richness.

Canadians love Nowruz's symbols of positive change, from cold, rain and darkness toward brightness, blossoming, sunshine and love. Celebrating these things in Canada will have echoes in Iran.

Today we join with Iranians the world over in seeking the return of spring and, with it, democracy and justice.

[Member spoke in Farsi]

[English]

Purple Day
Statements By Members

March 25th, 2011 / 11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, March 26, is Purple Day, a day to raise international awareness about epilepsy, which affects 300,000 Canadians and 50 million people worldwide.

Thanks to the ongoing efforts of Cassidy Megan, who lives in my riding of Halifax West, Purple Day was launched in 2008 and is now being celebrated in more than 35 countries. She was nine when it was launched. Hopefully we will soon see a UN declaration that will help build global support for people with epilepsy.

I would like to encourage my colleagues to wear purple in support of this special event tomorrow.

I know all members will join me in extending our thanks to Cassidy for her leadership and courage in the fight to raise epilepsy awareness.

Youth Conference
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize youth from across Canada, as well as seven members from the great Kenora riding, visiting Ottawa for the Town Youth Participation Strategies Conference.

Since 1993, youth from across Canada have been researching and developing programs to reduce behaviours that put youth at risk. Their conferences and workshops held nation-wide are helping bring youth community groups together to discuss issues like drug use, suicide prevention and bullying.

TYPS focuses on issues that are critical to all Canadian communities. Initiatives such as their teen anti-smoking videos, after-school recreational programs and youth centre science clubs have received federal and provincial support.

This year's conference is being held in Ottawa with workshops dedicated to stress management, teen homelessness and substance abuse.

I ask all members of this House to join me in recognizing the courageous work being done by these future community leaders. These kids are just another example of what makes the Kenora riding so great.

Copyright
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, in a letter published in the newspaper Le Quotidien, Ms. Russel-Aurore Bouchard, a historian and writer from Chicoutimi, spoke from the heart condemning Bill C-32 on copyright, which would deprive artists of $74 million in revenue.

Ms. Bouchard chastised the government, saying that the bill is terrible and completely unacceptable. She said that, despite a career devoted to community service in which she has published close to 70 historical works, her gross income this year will be $6,700. To make matters worse, under the current version of Bill C-32, the federal government would deprive her of half of her income. This is a major attack on our artists' dignity.

Bill C-32 is a blatant example of the Conservatives' disregard for artists, a disregard that was confirmed once again in the 2011 budget, which does not meet Quebec's cultural development needs.

The Budget
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, during December and January, I travelled across my constituency from Westlock to Morinville, St. Paul to Cold Lake, to consult with my constituents on what was important to them for budget 2011. They discussed important issues, such as helping our most vulnerable seniors and our volunteer firefighters, and finding a way to get more Canadian doctors and nurses into our rural communities. Budget 2011 does this.

These were the priorities of Albertans, not a wasteful and unwanted election.

Mayors and reeves across my riding have thanked our government for the efficient roll-out of Canada's economic action plan and asked that we enshrine the gas tax dollars in legislation. Budget 2011 does this, as well as increase transfers to the provinces.

While our farmers are finally going through some profitable times and we have men and women of the Canadian Forces deployed in such regions as Afghanistan and Libya, this is the time for stability and not an unnecessary and unwanted election.

The Budget
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Newton—North Delta, BC

I will begin by praising you, Mr. Speaker, and other retiring members of Parliament for your collective contributions to Canadian democracy. Democracy forms no part, however, of this now dying Conservative government.

The budget had nothing for families, very little for seniors, crumbs for students, tax cuts for mega corporations and, most importantly, no new ideas. It hides the real cost of prisons and jets. By not giving this information and these figures to Canadians, the government has shown arrogance and ethical breaches.

Canadians will decide a better way: a true north, strong and free, government on this side.

The Budget
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Dean Del Mastro Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday our government presented the next phase of our economic action plan, a low tax plan for jobs and growth.

Shockingly, the opposition coalition of the Liberals, the NDP, and the Bloc Québécois did not even bother to read it before rejecting it. No wonder those guys cannot get a number straight.

In rejecting the next phase of our economic action plan, the opposition parties are rejecting the needs of families, seniors, and all Canadians, including the hard-working people of Peterborough.

Let us be clear: this is their election. Their reckless coalition is threatening our economic recovery with their unnecessary election. They will do it all by hiding their true intentions. Shame on every one of them.

It has been said there are two doors in this election, but even you know, Mr. Speaker, that lurking behind that red door are socialists and separatists plotting for cabinet seats.

Frank Howard
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Frank Howard, who passed away recently on March 23.

Frank was first elected to the provincial and federal governments in 1957 and served this place for 17 years as the representative for Skeena.

He was a logger and a trade unionist. He fought as a lead advocate for modernizing Canada's divorce laws. Equally as important, he fought to bring the vote to first nations people in this country for the first time.

He believed that average, ordinary working Canadians could achieve the highest levels of office and effect change. He believed in the courage of one's convictions, and that a smart intellect and a strong principled character could make change happen in this country.

He was a courageous man and offered me advice from time to time that I greatly appreciated.

We will all miss Frank Howard. He was a great man and a great parliamentarian.

The Economy
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canada has faced the worst economic downturn since the Second World War and has recovered the earliest and the strongest of all the developed countries.

We are proud of what we have been able to do as a nation. However, our economic recovery is still fragile and there are problems around the world that we are not immune to.

The reckless coalition thinks that now is the time to force an unnecessary and opportunistic election that will put our recovery at risk.

Our government believes that now is not the time. Canadians want to see the next phase of Canada's economic action plan implemented.

If the Liberal leader is going to force an election on Canadians, he needs to be honest. He needs to tell them he has a coalition with the separatist Bloc Québécois and the socialist NDP.

The Budget
Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, if an election is triggered today, there will be only one party responsible: the Conservative Party. Instead of trying to work together with the other political parties when developing the budget, instead of listening, the Conservatives simply did as they pleased.

Since the budget contains nothing about the payment of the $2.2 billion for sales tax harmonization, nothing to settle any other financial disputes between Quebec and Ottawa, nothing for the forestry industry, nothing about a complete overhaul of the employment insurance system, in short, nothing for Quebec, they should not be surprised that the members of the Bloc Québécois, who are here every day to defend the interests of Quebec, will rise to vote against this budget.

They did not hesitate to spend $26 million of public money to finance their pre-election campaign. It is clear: the Conservatives made up their mind about an election a long time ago.

Government Accountability
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, this government no longer has the confidence of the official opposition. The Conservatives have broken the fundamental rules of democracy and can no longer remain in power. This Parliament does not give blank cheques and we, as elected representatives, have the right to know how the government plans to spend taxpayers' money.

For four months, this House and the Canadian people were stonewalled by the government, when we demanded to know how much Canadian taxpayers were being asked to pay for fighter jets, for prisons and for corporate tax breaks.

The Prime Minister will go down in the history books as the head of the only government that was found in contempt by the House of Commons for concealing the information MPs needed to hold the government accountable to the people of Canada.

After five years of Conservative government, it is time to say enough is enough. Enough politics of fear. Enough politics of division. Enough politics of personal destruction. Enough abuse of power.

Opposition Parties
Statements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Lévis—Bellechasse, QC

Mr. Speaker, today the opposition parties will show their true colours. The Liberals, Bloc Québécois and NDP will reunite their makeshift coalition to defeat a responsible Conservative government that listens to all of Quebec's regions.

The makeshift coalition has but one objective: to seize power in order to put us further in debt, raise taxes, kill our fragile economic recovery and serve their own partisan interests rather than thinking about the people in the regions of Quebec.

Our Conservative government has tabled a serious, credible plan, a budget for 2011, that is widely supported by all levels of Quebec society.

We want to help our families, our most vulnerable seniors—whom they are abandoning—and our communities.

One last time, I ask the parties and members of that makeshift coalition to stand up and support our budget, and to put aside their own partisan interests.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, for the first time in Canadian history a government stands on the verge of being found in contempt by Parliament.

For four months the government has refused to tell Canadians the true cost of its jets, its jails, and its corporate tax giveaways. The Prime Minister, in effect, demanded a blank cheque from the House and this afternoon the House will give its answer.

How can Canadians trust a government that is so out of touch and so out of control?

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, that is not the case. That information has been tabled not just in committee but also in this place.

The leader of the Liberal Party wants to talk about contempt. It is the Liberal Party that is demonstrating contempt for the Canadian electorate. It has said that it will not accept the results of the next election and it wants to form a coalition government with the NDP and the Bloc. The worst part of that contempt is that those members will not be open, honest and transparent with the Canadian people. Shame on them.

Government Accountability
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore
Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that is completely absurd. I would never reject the results of a democratic election. I personally support the principles of democracy; they are the ones who are demonstrating contempt. It did not need to go this far. The Conservatives could have listened to families. The Conservatives could have listened to Parliament. They chose not to. Instead, they chose fighter jets, mega-jails and gifts to corporations. Instead of an election, the Prime Minister would rather—