House of Commons Hansard #142 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was immigration.

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 Winnipeg North.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Owen Sound
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to highlight an important infrastructure project in my riding of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound.

Stimulus money is helping to erect a regional recreation centre that will serve the city of Owen Sound and surrounding communities. This state of the art facility will house two NHL-sized ice pads, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a running-walking track, a gymnasium, fitness centre and seniors facilities.

The Owen Sound and Area Family YMCA will now have a new facility to call home. I applaud the work that it does to promote healthy lifestyles in our community.

This fall I, along with the YMCA and the OHL west division leading Owen Sound Attack, will host the Conservative hockey team in a benefit hockey challenge to raise funds to help complete this terrific facility.

The new Owen Sound Regional Recreation Centre is a great example of how the stimulus package in our economic action plan is working to help communities like Owen Sound build important infrastructure that will be enjoyed and used for generations to come.

Holocaust Memorial Centre
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize and pay tribute to the Government of Macedonia and the Jewish community and Holocaust fund of the Republic of Macedonia for their joint initiative, under the patronage of President Dr. Gjorge Ivanov, in inaugurating today a Holocaust Memorial Centre.

This centre will serve as a lasting memory to the 7,148 Jews from Macedonia who perished in the Shoah, onto each person there will be a name, an identity, reminding us that if someone saves a single life, it is as if he or she has saved an entire universe.

The Holocaust Memorial Centre will also bear witness to the long history of Macedonian and Balkan Jewry while promoting inter-religious and inter-ethnic understanding and co-operation in the region and beyond.

So, we members of this House join with them a common pledge: that never again will we be indifferent to racism and anti-Semitism; never again will we be silent in the face of evil; that we are each, wherever we are, in Macedonia or Canada, the guarantors of each other's destiny.

Chibougamau-Chapais Red Cross
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Yvon Lévesque Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, QC

Mr. Speaker, in honour of Red Cross Month, I would like to highlight the work of the team of volunteers at the Chibougamau-Chapais chapter in my riding, which has once again received an honour.

The team in Chibougamau-Chapais was awarded the 2010 Mention Or award for dedication by the Quebec division. This is the second year in a row that the chapter has won this particular award. Of the 97 local chapters in Quebec, the Chibougamau-Chapais chapter has been one of the most active thanks to the continued support of its volunteers. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all the people in my riding, and also across Quebec and Canada, to invest in their communities and to work together for the common good.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues and I congratulate the Chibougamau-Chapais chapter of the Red Cross on its commitment and exemplary dedication.

Anti-Bullying Event
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be part of an anti-bullying flash mob event performed by students from my former high school, Lasalle Secondary School, led by teachers Camille Dupuis and Heather Boychuk.

The event was part of the “Pink Shirt Day” events taking place across Canada which encourage people to wear pink to show that we will not tolerate bullying in our schools or workplaces.

Unfortunately, far too many people in Canada are still victims of bullying. However, the fact that these students from Sudbury and thousands of others across the country are willing to stand up and say that enough is enough should give us all hope.

I would like to personally thank the organizations that helped to arrange the event: OPSEU locals 666 and 668, the Children's Aid Society, the Children's Community Network, the Children and Family Centre and, of course, the teachers and students at Lasalle who made this event so successful.

Together we can make bullying a thing of the past.

Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I inform the House that this weekend, my home community of Warkworth, Ontario will be celebrating the 25th annual Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival.

We would not have this festival without George and Alice Potter, the owners of Sandy Flat Sugar Bush and producers of some of the world's finest maple sugar products this side of heaven.

There is so much to do and see. There is free parking and free transportation to the sugar bush. There is even an indoor mini-putt, antique show, plank races, nature walks, a petting zoo, log sawing contest, free taffy tasting and much more.

The village also offers speciality shopping, an experience people will be hard pressed to find anywhere else, and some of the finest art, artisans and crafts in this country will be on display this weekend.

The pièce de résistance is, of course, a mouth-watering pancake meal of locally produced pork sausage, topped off with fresh creamy butter and the Potter's award-winning maple syrup.

Members are all invited to attend the 25th anniversary of the Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival this weekend.

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gerard Kennedy Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to request that all members here take note of the plight of Tibetan environmental philanthropist Karma Samdrup.

Mr. Samdrup is imprisoned by the Chinese government in Tibet on what Human Rights Watch says are dated and “trumped up charges”. Mr. Samdrup defended his brothers and was jailed when they challenged local officials in an environmental dispute. There are credible reports that Mr. Samdrup has been tortured during his imprisonment.

In 2006, Mr. Samdrup was CCTV's philanthropist of the year in China and today he is one of several cases of human rights abuse that concern Tibetan Canadians who tomorrow are marking the 52nd anniversary of Tibetan Uprising Day when they lost their independence.

Members of Mr. Samdrup's family, who live in Toronto, are among the many people looking to us. It is vital that we as parliamentarians are vigilant and remain consistent in our support of human rights no matter where they are threatened. We call on China to treat Mr. Samdrup with all the respect his human rights deserve.

Income Splitting
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, in a few weeks, the House will be debating my private member's motion on income splitting, Motion No. 638.

Our government has cut taxes for families by an average of almost $3,000 annually but taxes are still the biggest single expense families face. I am proposing that, as our budget comes back into balance, the government give priority to income splitting for families with children. Income splitting would ensure fairness for families, as all families earning the same income would pay the same tax, regardless of the individual spousal income. Research estimates that income splitting will save 2.3 million Canadian families over $1,000 annually. That is more money Canadians can use for children's sports, summer camps and to save for post-secondary education.

I believe providing families with greater financial freedom through income splitting would create a brighter and more prosperous future for our nation. Canadians can learn more at my website www.familyincomesplitting.com.

Former Public Sector Integrity Commissioner
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates has learned more about how former public sector integrity commissioner Christiane Ouimet was hired, about her shoddy work and about the golden parachute she was given.

First, the Conservative government outright rejected 12 candidates for the position in favour of someone with ties to the Privy Council Office. By proceeding in this way, the government simply carried on the Liberal tradition of hiring close friends while ensuring that the commissioner would not get the Conservatives into trouble.

When she was hired in 2007, Ms. Ouimet was well aware of her mandate under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act. But once she became the commissioner, she also became the government's puppet and abandoned more than 200 public servants who had filed complaints and were waiting for justice.

Finally, the $500,000 golden parachute is nothing more than a Conservative government thank you to Ms. Ouimet for her sabotage.

Haiti
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Allen Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of International Cooperation announced $30 million in aid for 15 development projects in Haiti.

One of the education projects put forth was by the Association Québecoise pour l'avancement des Nations-Unies. The project will build a vocational school in memory of New Brunswick RCMP sergeant, Mark Gallagher, who was killed in the Haiti earthquake.

While AQANU along with les Petites Soeurs de Sainte-Thérèse were the applicants, this effort would not have happened without the vision of Woodstock High School teacher, Richard Blaquiere, and the support of a strong local committee comprised of co-chair John Slipp and representatives from the riding of Tobique—Mactaquac, including the local RCMP, school district, New Brunswick Teachers' Federation, the Rotary Club, politicians of all stripes and, of course, Mark's family.

I want to thank the local committee for its vision and perseverance as we have worked together toward this milestone. While Mark Gallagher may have left this world, through this school his legacy of sacrifice above self will live on in our hearts for many years to come.

Israeli Apartheid Week
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is Israeli Apartheid Week. Universities are great places to discuss, debate and criticize and yet Israeli Apartheid Week often is not about discussion and debate. It is about intimidation and hate, where one voice overpowers and silences others and cuts them off.

Israel is not an apartheid state and yet if there is anything we have learned from the great slayer of South African apartheid, Nelson Mandela, conflict cannot be resolved with hate, because even if people do win they must live with one another. Living with one another is not just about talking, but listening; not just about knowing, but learning; not just about being right, but creating something better.

Our students have 60 or more years of their lives ahead of them. They will change Canada. They will create the global world of the future. It is time for students involved in Israeli Apartheid Week to move on to something worthy of all that is in them, something worthy of the future.

The really sad part of Israeli Apartheid Week is that our students and our universities can do much better.

Nutrition North Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, this morning in Iqaluit the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and the Minister of Health announced important adjustments to the nutrition north Canada program.

This government has listened to northerners, and we have taken action to ensure the successful transition to the nutrition north Canada program.

In order to ensure that northerners continue to have access to fresh, healthy and affordable foods, all food, as well as certain non-food items, will be temporarily returned to the list of products eligible for retail subsidy effective April 1. These adjustments to the nutrition north Canada program will be in place until the fall of 2012. During this transition period, our government will continue to work with the Nutrition North Canada External Advisory Board to address the concerns of northerners.

Our government is also continuing to explore ways to work with retailers and suppliers in transitioning to the new program. We look forward to the support and continued input of northerners.

Access to Medicines
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, women and girls continue to be affected disproportionately by HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Better access to life-saving medicines would greatly benefit mothers and children living with HIV and AIDS, as well as help family members, particularly grandmothers caring for their grandchildren.

Bill C-393 proposes a one-licence solution that would greatly simplify the licensing process to export lower-cost generic medicines to developing countries.

I would like to recognize the support of this bill by the strong national network of grandmothers groups which seek to build solidarity, raise awareness and mobilize support in Canada for Africa's grandmothers. These women have built a strong two-way relationship that has proven to be a powerful challenge to a pharmaceutical industry that prioritizes profits over human rights, health, social and economic justice.

I hope that the actions of these grandmothers and of all women and girls working in solidarity with each other around the world will inspire the members of this House to pass Bill C-393.

Bloc Québécois
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the hypocrisy displayed by the Bloc Québécois is appalling. The Bloc leader himself is the founding father of the tactic he is criticizing us for using.

Here is just one example: on July 15, 2004, before we were elected, the Bloc Québécois transferred $17,071.20 to the candidate for Québec. Just a few hours later, on July 16, 2004, that same candidate transferred $17,071.20 to the Bloc Québécois. What a coincidence. The money came in, then it went out.

Basically, the Bloc Québécois leader is trying desperately to trigger an election. While our economy is slowly recovering and Quebeckers in all regions are thinking about job creation and the economy, the Bloc leader wants an election at all costs.

Fortunately, the Quebec Conservatives are here to represent all regions of Quebec, not just Plateau Mont-Royal.

Amnesty International
Statements By Members

March 9th, 2011 / 2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year, Amnesty International is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

This organization is dedicated to defending human rights around the world and today has 3 million members in more than 150 countries and territories on five continents.

During the first international meeting, delegates from Europe and the United States decided to found a permanent international movement in defence of freedom of opinion and religion. The organization's activities have expanded since then.

In 1977, Amnesty International was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for having contributed to securing the ground for freedom, for justice, and thereby also for peace in the world. Amnesty International also pushed for the creation of a permanent international criminal court, the principle of which was adopted by the United Nations in 1998.

I also want to commend the work done by the Amnesty International group at the Thérèse-Martin secondary school in Joliette to campaign for the repatriation of young Khadr. This agency's list of human rights initiatives is impressive and, by all accounts, the coming years will be just as busy.

The Bloc Québécois wishes Amnesty International a happy 50th anniversary.