House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

University of Calgary
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Calgary Centre-North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the University of Calgary is a vibrant, comprehensive research university that produces an economic impact of $1 billion in the Calgary area alone.

I would like to congratulate the University of Calgary on its new strategic vision entitled, “Eyes High”, as well as on the opening of the Taylor Family Digital Library, a new state-of-the-art learning and research facility. The building houses a library, archive and art gallery, and features unique technologies like editing suites, touch tables and a wall-size visualization screen.

This exceptional facility, one which our government is proud to have supported, fosters research and innovation, integrates art and culture, and is focused on enhancing the student experience.

In addition, it has received the prestigious gold leadership in energy and environmental design certification, meaning it operates with a focus on limiting its impact on our environment.

I congratulate the University of Calgary on opening this cutting-edge facility, as well as on the launch of its collaborative and ambitious “Eyes High” vision.

Bahrain
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, the situation in Bahrain has hit a new low.

After months of crackdowns on legitimate protests, courts are now handing out ridiculous sentences to doctors who have treated protestors. In fact, some 20 doctors have been sentenced to up to 20 years in jail; their supposed crimes: doing their jobs, their duty under the Hippocratic oath. These rulings are unacceptable and fly in the face of international human rights law and Canadian values.

I call on all hon. members to join me in condemning these outrages, in calling for clemency for these Bahraini doctors and in supporting the democratic ambitions of all Bahrainis.

Passenger Rail Service
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Bruce Hyer Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week I had the pleasure of reintroducing my motion to return passenger rail service to Thunder Bay and the spectacular north shore of Lake Superior. This line was cut by the Mulroney Conservative government despite being VIA's busiest route.

Today rail has been experiencing a renaissance, because it is environmentally friendly, energy efficient and a great way to travel. This is one small but very important step toward getting Canada back on track with a national transit strategy.

Returning passenger rail service to one of the most scenic routes in our country, through Marathon, Terrace Bay, Schreiber, Nipigon and Thunder Bay, will be a huge boost to those communities and to rail tourism as well.

I call upon the Minister of Transport and all parties in this House to support my motion to renew passenger rail in Canada.

Judge Advocate General
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Chris Alexander Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of the appointment of Canada's first Judge Advocate General.

On October 1, 1911, Colonel Henry Smith was appointed Judge Advocate General. This marked the first time that a Canadian officer was responsible for the provision of legal services to the Canadian Forces. For 100 years now, military lawyers have served with distinction, both in Canada and around the world.

The JAG is legal adviser in matters of military law to the Governor General, the Minister and Department of National Defence, and the Canadian armed forces. The JAG also superintends the administration of military justice in the Canadian Forces.

Today 208 regular and reserve force military lawyers provide legal advice to Canadian military contingents in Afghanistan, the Gulf, north and central Africa, Europe and the United States. Nearly 100 legal officers were deployed to Afghanistan, ensuring that our military efforts there were in accordance with the rule of law.

Canadians can take great pride in the achievements of their military lawyers. I congratulate the current Judge Advocate General, Brigadier-General Blaise Cathcart, and his entire team on the 100th anniversary of this great institution.

Toronto Air-Rail Link
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, one would think communities living near the building of a major transportation infrastructure should be able to participate in some of the gain instead of all of the pain.

In the case of the air-rail link being built from Pearson airport to Union Station, the very folks who through their taxes are helping to pay for this service have to live through the disruptions of it being built, and have to live with the health consequences of the decisions of the Ontario Liberal government, with money from the federal Conservative government, to use diesel trains instead of electric trains.

Toronto will be the only major city in the world to be running an air-rail link using diesel. Diesel exhaust is a known carcinogen that is particularly dangerous to children and the elderly.

Hundreds of thousands of people live within a kilometre of this line in Toronto, including many in my riding of Davenport. The people in my riding are hard-working, progressive and honest folks. They know we need better and more mass public transit, but they want it built right the first time and they want it accessible to their community. And when they get on one of these trains, they want that train to be an electric train.

Seniors
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today in the House to mark Canada's first National Seniors Day, which will happen this Saturday.

I am pleased to rise here today to mark National Seniors Day this Saturday.

It is important to celebrate what seniors have done and continue to do for our country. They deserve our gratitude and recognition. That is why we passed a bill last year to officially establish October 1 as an annual celebration of seniors. This coincides with the UN International Day of Older Persons. It is an occasion for all Canadians to show their appreciation for our older generation.

Today we recognize the many contributions seniors have made and continue to make as mentors and leaders in strengthening our families, communities and workplaces. I invite everyone to join me in thanking Canada's seniors for making a positive difference in all our lives. Together we will recognize that many seniors who give so generously of themselves make this country a better place to live in the world.

This October 1, let us celebrate National Seniors Day.

National Geographic World Championship
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, three young Canadians did us proud last summer at the 2011 National Geographic World Championship held in California.

Alexander Cohen, a student at Ashbury College in Ottawa—Vanier, and his teammates, Aoife O'Leary of Surrey, B.C. and Alejandro Torres-Lopez of North Vancouver, won the silver medal to Russia's gold and Vietnam's bronze.

The National Geographic World Championship, hosted by Alex Trebek, is a two-day international geography competition held every two years. Seventeen teams of geography students from around the globe met to take part in this tournament. After three years of being in the top three of the Great Canadian Geography Challenge, Alexander placed first this year and made the Canadian team for the championship.

Today Alex turns 16. I wish him a happy birthday. May his gift this year be to win the gold for Canada. We are proud of him.

Public Safety
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government received a strong mandate to keep our streets and communities safe. Part of that means ensuring we have a correctional system that actually corrects criminal behaviour.

The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security, at the urging of our government, has undertaken a study on how illegal drugs that get into our prisons impact the safety and effectiveness of our correctional system. However, yesterday the NDP member for Châteauguay—Saint-Constant shockingly said that taking drugs out of prisons makes them less safe. That is unbelievable. That is the same party that has consistently voted against our tough-on-crime measures.

Our Conservative government believes in delivering on our campaign commitment to establish drug-free prisons. Canadians expect no less. I call on the NDP to finally stop putting the rights of criminals ahead of the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Housing
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Marie-Claude Morin Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1985, the United Nations General Assembly declared the first Monday of October every year World Habitat Day.

As our housing critic, I particularly wanted to mark this day, which will be on Monday, October 3, this year.

The right to housing is recognized by the UN as a basic human right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The right to housing also appears in most constitutions around the world, which recognize every individual's right to decent, safe and affordable housing.

I would therefore like to draw the House's attention to the exceptional work being done by non-profit organizations dedicated to protecting tenants' rights.

In closing, I would like to point out to the government that their demands are not unreasonable; they simply want the government to maintain the current number of affordable housing units and build new units so that all Canadian families can have access to affordable, adequate and safe housing.

Taxation
Statements by Members

September 30th, 2011 / 11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, while our Conservative government is focused on helping create jobs and growing the economy with our job-creating pro-trade and low-tax plan, the NDP is publicly demanding higher taxes.

Yesterday, the NDP MPs also publicly attacked our Conservative government's reduction of the GST from 7% to 5%, bemoaning the fact that Canadian families were keeping more of their own hard-earned money and not big government. NDP members have stated that cutting the GST was probably the worst measure that this government could have adopted. The member for Beauport—Limoilou said that reducing the GST was a serious problem. Now the NDP finance critic has demanded Canadians and Canadian job creators be forced to pay yet another new tax, this time on daily financial transactions.

Our ambitious pro-trade low-tax plan to create jobs and economic growth is working. Meanwhile, the NDP's anti-trade high-tax job-killing plan is reckless. The NDP's anti-trade high-tax plan is yet another worrying example that the NDP is not fit to govern.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Parliamentary Budget Officer reported that the government's fiscal plan is unsustainable. Its ill-conceived corporate tax cuts are responsible for the fiasco we are facing.

The cuts, which amount to $15 billion a year in lost revenue, are almost exactly the same amount as the PBO's estimate for the structural deficit. That is further evidence of the Conservative government's mismanagement of the economy.

When will the Conservatives listen to reason and cancel the next gift to profitable corporations?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's facts are very deceiving. In fact, the low-tax plan that the government has put in place is actually addressing the issue he is talking about.

The long recognized aging population issue will impact Canadians, as would the $10 billion hike in taxes that the NDP would need.

Our low-tax plan will help seniors prepare for retirement.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government's priorities are quite clear. It wants to give $60 billion in tax cuts to mostly large, profitable corporations. As we have just heard, it is using the bogus argument that this will result in jobs for Canadians. At the same time, the government is imposing a $16 million EI tax hike on the payrolls of small businesses and the paycheques of workers.

It is rewarding corporations for non-performance and is overcharging Canadians for an employment insurance program that the Conservatives are using as a deficit-fighting tool.

When will the government put middle-class Canadian families first?

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Minister of State (Finance)

Mr. Speaker, the last three budgets that the NDP voted against included plans to help ordinary Canadians. In fact, the tax reductions we have put in place provide a Canadian family of four over $3,000 in additional moneys, leaving it in that family's pockets where it should be.

That is what helps Canadians, not a $10 billion tax hike.

The Economy
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, two million Canadians are unemployed and will be for a long time because the Conservatives' economic inaction plan is a disaster. This particularly holds true for young people. There are approximately 200,000 more unemployed youth than there were before the last recession. This is mortgaging the future of our country, but the Conservatives are satisfied.

Why do the Conservatives refuse to admit that their policy is not working? Why not invest in people?