House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pension.

Topics

Alzheimer's Awareness Month
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, January is Alzheimer's Awareness Month. Five hundred thousand Canadians live with this progressive degenerative disease that destroys brain cells. The number of Canadians suffering from Alzheimer's is expected to double in the next 20 years.

Groundbreaking research is being done by organizations like Baycrest in Toronto in an attempt to understand the underlying causes of Alzheimer's and how to delay its onset.

It is important to recognize the early signs of Alzheimer's, including personality change, mood change, disorientation of time and place, and difficulty performing familiar tasks. Early identification of Alzheimer's is critical to delay its onset.

Alzheimer's puts enormous emotional stress on millions of Canadian families. It costs our health care system billions of dollars a year. If we could delay the onset for as little as two years we could save the system $219 billion over 30 years.

Investing in research and prevention would not only give us savings, but it would improve the quality of lives for many individuals and families in Canada.

Skin Cancer
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, this Saturday is World Cancer Day.

Fifty-five hundred Canadians are diagnosed with melanoma every year and 950 will die from it. An additional 74,000 cases of non-melanoma skin cancers are expected annually, of which 270 Canadians will die.

To escape the winter, many Canadians are heading south to sunny destinations. I urge them to protect their skin, their body's biggest organ. They should stay in the shade when outdoors, cover up, and use sunscreen.

Many Canadians will also crawl into tanning beds to get their base tans. I cannot stress enough how harmful this equipment is. The World Health Organization has moved tanning beds to the highest cancer risk category, carcinogenic to humans.

I recently tabled a private member's bill to tackle the health risks caused by tanning salons. Among other restrictions, my bill would prohibit anyone under the age of 18 years from using tanning beds. Studies have shown that using tanning beds at a young age increases the risk of skin cancer by over 75%.

I encourage all members to support my bill to restrict the use of tanning beds and increase public awareness about skin cancer prevention.

Search and Rescue
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Jonathan Tremblay Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the closure of the search and rescue centre in Quebec City is unacceptable for the Quebec City area and for the people in my riding.

The centre opened 30 years ago for two main reasons: first, to put in place staff who know the local region, which is crucial in deploying appropriate resources and guiding them effectively on the ground, and second, to provide efficient service in French.

As mentioned by a Coast Guard officer, hostile conditions make it very difficult for shipwrecked individuals to clearly express the details of the dangers they face.

Damaged equipment, shouting and violent winds require staff to be fully fluent in French.

The St. Lawrence is considered to be one of the most complex waterways in the world. Losing this expertise is unthinkable.

All Quebeckers from eastern Quebec to Trois-Rivières are worried. This was a budgetary decision that will put many lives in danger on both shores of the St. Lawrence.

Law Enforcement Officers
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in the House to remind Canadians of the courageous men and women who serve as law enforcement officers across our great country. This was brought to mind in my riding of Wetaskiwin on December 4, 2011, when two members of the RCMP emergency response team were wounded after exchanging gunfire in a standoff at a remote rural house near Breton, Alberta. This is just another example of the risks that law enforcement officers face on the front lines every day.

Peace officers of all jurisdictions from across the country provide an invaluable service to all Canadians. These officers have dedicated their lives to uphold the law and protect those who are threatened by criminals, and every day their families wait anxiously for the safe return of their loved ones once work is done.

Our government is committed to ensuring criminals are held fully accountable for their actions and that the safety and security of law-abiding citizens and victims come first in Canada's justice system, but it is our law enforcement officers who are on the front line, standing courageously between law-abiding citizens and those who would pose a danger. It takes a special kind of person to do that.

I know all members in the House today will join me in thanking these brave officers who were wounded, Corporal Peter King and Staff Sergeant Patrick McIsaac, and wish them a speedy and full recovery.

Don Blenkarn
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Stella Ambler Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, with profound sadness, I learned this morning of the passing of Don Blenkarn, who served for 16 years as the Conservative member of Parliament in Mississauga from 1972 to 1974 and 1979 to 1993.

Don was a friend and mentor to me in my political efforts and I have cherished his advice on how to be a good MP for the people of Mississauga South. He advised me to work hard, knock on lots of doors and never forget the people we serve. Not known for his subtlety, Don was known for his laugh, his caring big heart, sense of fun, and his somewhat controversial statements.

My thoughts and prayers are with Don's wife, Marguerite, and his family. Don's life was filled with the love of a devoted family, the camaraderie of many friends, and the gratitude of the thousands of people he served.

Donald Alex Blenkarn, Q.C., was a true community leader, a true parliamentarian and a true friend. May he rest in peace.

The ROMEOs
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to share with you a wonderful example of community in my riding. There is a group of retired veterans who call themselves the ROMEOs, retired old men eating out. They meet every Wednesday morning at the Scotian Isle and are graciously hosted by Pat, John and Joseph McDonald.

The ROMEOs served together in the Canadian Forces in the 1950s. This is how they keep in touch, how they look out for one another, and keep up the friendships they established while serving Canada. I meet with the ROMEOs whenever possible. The conversation is always enlightening and the men, as everyone may have expected, are profoundly charming. I get to hear their stories, their struggles and their triumphs. I come away from these breakfasts with a sense of how important community is to our veterans and our seniors. It is community that enriches our lives and gives us security when we need it most.

Thanks to the ROMEOs and thanks to the Scotian Isle.

Quebec Winter Carnival
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, I would like you to come and meet one of the greatest ambassadors for Quebeckers' joie de vivre. He is the symbol of a festival he has represented since 1955. Many members will have guessed that I am speaking about the Quebec winter carnival's Bonhomme Carnaval.

I invite my colleagues to attend the 58th Quebec winter carnival. Activities are already under way, and you will not want to miss the night parades on February 4 and 11, for which our oldest Quebec carnival is renowned.

This spectacular event includes floats, dance troops and bands, among other things.

Young and old festival goers can choose from no fewer than 250 activities and events.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the president and his entire team.

I invite everyone to enjoy this outdoor festival by participating in some of the activities that will be held until February 12.

Jean Bosco Centre in Maniwaki
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Mathieu Ravignat Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, clearly the Conservatives do not care about the ridings that did not vote for them. This heartless government abandoned a very important project in the Pontiac riding. The Jean Bosco centre in Maniwaki, a social and occupational integration centre for people with disabilities, was promised assistance prior to the 2011 election, only to be punished when the riding did not vote for the right party. The centre has been rebuffed by this arrogant government.

The Jean Bosco centre meets all the criteria. The community raised over a million dollars and invested a great deal of time in the project. Since five projects have been selected—none of which are in Quebec and three of which are in Conservative ridings—and there are still program funds remaining, I am asking the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, who has been completely ignoring our letters and questions, to rise above partisanship and agree to this request. We are talking about people with disabilities and a centre that serves more than 18 municipalities in the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau.

Frankly, the minister and this government should be ashamed of themselves.

Iran
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, today our government announced expanded sanctions against Iran in an effort to further apply pressure to a regime that both undermines regional and global security and regularly turns a blind eye to its international human rights obligations.

We are deeply concerned by reports of an increase in arrests and death sentences in Iran, including that of Iranian citizen Saeed Malekpour, who now faces imminent execution on the sham charges of spreading corruption. Sadly, Saeed's case is but one example of the regime's utter disregard for human rights and its failure to meet internationally recognized norms of due process and transparency.

Canada will hold Iran accountable for Mr. Malekpour's treatment. We have been actively speaking out and raising his case with the Iranian authorities.

We call on Iran to reverse its current course, meet its international human rights obligations and release prisoners such as Saeed Malekpour and others who have failed to receive fair and transparent legal treatment.

Children's Breakfast Club
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is the beginning of Black History Month, recognizing the innumerable achievements and contributions of black Canadians who have helped build our country.

To mark this occasion, some 50 awesome children from the Children's Breakfast Club, which serves 4,000 meals a week in Toronto, are visiting Parliament Hill. The club was formed to ensure that children leave for school feeling good about themselves and enable them to be successful at school.

The group is accompanied by prominent members from the community who have made valuable contributions to Toronto, Ontario and Canada, including our former colleague, the Hon. Jean Augustine, Ontario's Fairness Commissioner, and Richard Gosling, the president and founder of the Children's Breakfast Club.

I ask my colleagues to join us for a reception with these terrific children, our future, at the Government Conference Centre, at 3:15 p.m., and celebrate our culture, heroes and history.

Afghanistan
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, recently there have been reports that a young woman in Afghanistan was murdered by her own family simply for giving birth to a baby girl.

All too often, the women in Afghanistan pay a severe price simply for being women. Their most basic rights are overlooked, neglected and abused.

That is why Canada supports a range of projects in Afghanistan. We want to strengthen the rights of women and girls, make it easier for them to access education and health care, encourage their political involvement and enhance the economic opportunities available to them.

On behalf of all Canadians, this government is maintaining our commitment to make a difference in the lives of women and girls in Afghanistan.

The Conservative Government
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Parliament just resumed yesterday and already the Conservatives' bad political choices have emerged: closure motions, massive cuts to public services, a complete lack of transparency and threats to seniors who now fear losing their entire life savings.

For six years now, the Conservatives have been promising that they will change how things are done in Ottawa, but instead Canadians are treated to ministers who waste taxpayers' money as though it were Monopoly money and ministers who sell out to oil lobbyists and call anyone who dares to speak out a radical.

Canadians deserve better. They want a government that listens, a government that stops rewarding large corporations that do not create jobs here in Canada. They want a government that takes action on climate change, a government that protects pension plans and works with the provinces to improve health care.

Canadians and Quebeckers have put their trust in the NDP to force the Conservatives to be accountable. The economic situation remains fragile. It is high time this government pulled its head out of the sand and protected people who lose their job.

Pensions
Statements By Members

January 31st, 2012 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Wai Young Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, while the member for Burnaby—New Westminster is criticizing government, I must remind the House that even he, the NDP's temporary finance critic, acknowledged pressures on the viability of OAS. Events around the world and our aging population make it clear that governments need to make responsible decisions to ensure social programs remain sustainable.

Our government is reviewing measures to protect Canadian pensions in the long term. We will implement any changes fairly, allowing lots of time for notice and time to adjust.

We have made it clear to Canadians that people currently receiving OAS will not lose one penny. In fact, the National Post gets it with its front page headline today, “Tories on the right side of pension reform”.

The real trouble lies with the NDP and the Liberal plans for reckless spending and higher taxes. Their plans will kill jobs and threaten Canadians' future retirement pensions.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I just met with National Chief Shawn Atleo as a follow-up to the crown-first nations gathering held exactly one week ago.

Could the Prime Minister inform the House of the specific steps his government will take to honour commitments made to first nations last week? Would he provide us a timeline for implementation of those commitments? Also, will there be action in the upcoming budget for first nations?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, first, I thought the crown-first nations gathering, which was historic, was a very successful gathering. I certainly congratulate the national chief for his vision which brought that gathering about.

At the same time, coming out of that gathering was a statement put out by the government and by the Assembly of First Nations on an action plan regarding economic development, education and a number of other matters. I would draw the attention of the leader of the NDP to that action plan.

In the meantime, in all budgets, we have done things for aboriginal peoples. This time I would hope the NDP would actually vote for them instead of against them.