House of Commons Hansard #181 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was nation.

Topics

Motions in Amendment
First Nations Financial Transparency Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Charmaine Borg Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-27, which requires every first nations community to provide the following: annual consolidated financial statements; a separate schedule of annual remuneration paid by the first nation, and by any entity controlled by the first nation, to its chief and each of its councillors in their professional and personal capacities; the auditor's written report respecting the consolidated financial statements; and the auditor's report respecting the schedule of remuneration.

The Conservatives are trying to teach the first nations a lesson about transparency. He who can, does; he who cannot, teaches. That saying is quite appropriate in my opinion because the government is very closed and not transparent and does not even want to provide crucial information to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, who needs it in order to be transparent with Canadians and tell them what the federal government is spending taxpayers' money on. The Conservatives are not even doing this much and they are asking first nations to do more. The first nations already have to submit more than 200 reports to the federal government, which is huge.

One of the most troubling aspects of this bill is that it directly affects the first nations. As an MP, when working on a bill that affects a certain group, I will consult that group. However, this is something that the government does not seem to understand. What does it mean to consult someone? It is not just listening to witnesses in committee, who do not speak for very long. It means going to see the groups, the first nations, before drafting a bill. In that way, they can say what they would like to see in the bill, what measures do not work and what will disadvantage first nations communities.

Consequently, we are very disappointed because first nations should be consulted and especially because consultations are mandatory under a UN declaration ratified by Canada. It is important that we honour our commitments. It is not just a matter of will; it is about meeting our legal obligations.

Another paradox is that the government wants to reduce the paper burden. Huge cuts were made because the government wants to eliminate red tape and increase efficiency. However, all those measures that the government wants to implement will require huge resources and result in a waste of time and money.

Right now, in our own country, people are living in crises and in appalling conditions. I am thinking of communities such as Attawapiskat, which the hon. member for Timmins—James Bay is defending so well in the House. These communities do not have schools, and they do not have safe housing. It is cold in northern Ontario and people are freezing in houses that are totally inadequate.

The government should tackle these issues instead. It should ensure that every young person—and I emphasize the term “every” because we are aware of the current situation—living in a first nation community can attend school. Going to school is a basic and essential need. Why are we not debating this issue? It is because this government's first bill on first nations seeks to impose transparency measures on them, without consulting them, without consulting those who will be most affected. The government is not dealing with critical issues such as drinking water and food. Incidentally, food is not available at an affordable price in northern rural communities. People must pay exorbitant prices for fresh food.

The government says it wants to eliminate red tape to increase efficiency. However, when other governments already have to file 200 reports and will have to produce more, the Conservatives do not even take into consideration the fact that this may impair these governments' ability to provide direct services to citizens who really need them.

My time is up. I will continue later.

Motions in Amendment
First Nations Financial Transparency Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Barry Devolin

The time provided for debate has expired. The hon. member for Terrebonne—Blainville has five minutes left.

We will now proceed to Statements by Members. The hon. member for Etobicoke—Lakeshore.

Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Bernard Trottier Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to celebrate the contributions of four individuals from Etobicoke—Lakeshore in making our community, our country and the world a better place.

First, I wish to recognize Leah Houston. Leah is the artistic director of MABELLEarts in Etobicoke. She has been cultivating a community-based arts practice for over eight years, incorporating visual arts, theatre and performance. She brings together people of all ages and backgrounds to creatively transform the Mabelle community.

Second, I wish to recognize Toronto police inspector Tim Crone. In 2011, Tim signed up to serve with the RCMP mission to train and mentor Afghan National Police officers. He left family and home for one year to help build a secure future for the people of Afghanistan. We salute his courage and dedication.

Last, I wish to recognize Liz and Carl Porritt. Liz and Carl are the owner-operators of Porritt Real Estate in Long Branch. Their volunteer activities include serving on the board of the Long Branch Business Improvement Area and organizing the Etobicoke Lakeshore Christmas Parade, recognized as one of the best parades in Ontario.

For their contributions, these individuals have been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Employment
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, with Bill C-38, new employment insurance measures were implemented and we had to deal with the definition of "real job search".

The Conservative government lacked transparency by failing to inform the public of the real effect that these new rules would have. It is disrespectful to inform people of new requirements as they receive their cheques—that is, when they get one. This government takes people for dishonest slackers when it asks them for actual proof of interviews with potential employers. The Conservatives discredit workers, treat them like children and humiliate them. They must prove they are looking for work, not to mention that someone from Forestville must now report for an interview in Baie-Comeau, an hour's drive away.

There is no real job creation solution. At the end of the race in the regions, we will be seeing an exodus of skilled workers. The Conservatives are jeopardizing the efforts of the economic players in those regions. The minister can see that for herself if she comes to Haute-Côte-Nord or Charlevoix. For the seasonal industry back home, winter is winter.

Birthday Congratulations
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to recognize a very special milestone for Caledon's senior statesman, Alex Raeburn, who will celebrate his 100th birthday on November 26, 2012.

This long-time resident in my riding of Dufferin—Caledon has made countless contributions to our community through his many years of public service to various municipal and provincial bodies and organizations. He has dedicated his life to educating his fellow citizens on the natural beauty and rich heritage of Caledon.

Alex's countless contributions have made our community a better place to live, work and play. In appreciation for his exceptional efforts, he was honoured with a spot on the Caledon Walk of Fame in 2008.

I encourage everyone to join me in wishing Alex Raeburn a very happy 100th birthday.

National Child Day
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, today is National Child Day. On November 20 of every year, we commemorate and celebrate Canada’s signing of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

With its 193 signatory states, it is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history, proof that the problems of children transcend political opportunism. Many of those countries have implemented the Convention on the Rights of the Child with the aid of a commissioner for children, and nine of Canada's 10 provinces have advocates for children and youth.

On December 5, I hope that members of all sides of the House agree on the importance of putting our children ahead of our politics and vote for Bill C-420. With this, we can continue working toward establishing a federal commissioner for children and young people in Canada, making Canada a global beacon for children's rights.

Horticulture Industry
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, this month I had the pleasure of making an announcement in Beamsville, Ontario, calling for new funding for the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre. This investment includes $382,000 to cultivate new international market opportunities, as well as to invest in biocontrol research. This promising announcement reaffirms the government's commitment to the Canadian horticulture industry and the small and mid-size businesses it supports.

The funding will be spent on a number of projects and initiatives to increase innovation and boost profits. One of the investments will assist the Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance in developing innovative strategies for the flower, nursery and landscape sectors.

A second project with the Vineland Centre is to develop an innovative grape-drying process that concentrates flavours. This innovative process will help Canadian growers and processors break into new wine markets and strengthen Canada's wine industry. These projects will advance the productivity, profitability and competition of the Canadian horticultural industry.

This is one more example of our government's commitment to the horticulture sector, small and mid-size businesses, and the positive impact it is making on businesses and on the lives of Canadians.

Honoré-Mercier
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Paulina Ayala Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with many people in my riding.

How can I forget the wonderful bowling fundraiser for those in need hosted by the Association Marie-Reine d'Anjou? In Rivière-des-Prairies, I met with two youth organizations. The first meeting was held as part of the Carrefour jeunesse-emploi's anniversary and the second took place at the Maison des jeunes de Rivière-des-Prairies.

I would like to thank the workers, parents and teachers for their work and for making young people their focus. These adults listen to young people and use their life experience to show young people that they can make their dreams come true.

However, reality is not always easy to deal with. The director of the Centre de la famille haïtienne et interculturel de Rivière-des-Prairies is well aware of this fact. This year, she lost one of her staff members as a result of budget cuts, something we are all familiar with. She shared with us her concerns about the deterioration of the services for newcomers and their families.

The work being done by the Table des élus de l'Est is thus more important than ever. We represent all parties at all levels of government. Together, we are trying to find ways to solve the problems facing eastern Montreal. We met last week.

Carbon Tax
Statements By Members

November 20th, 2012 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, the NDP is proposing a carbon tax that would cost $21 billion. President Obama rejects a carbon tax. White House press secretary, Jay Carney, rejects a carbon tax. The Fort St. John & District Chamber of Commerce rejects a carbon tax. The BC Grain Producers Association rejects a carbon tax. The Fort Nelson Chamber of Commerce rejects a carbon tax. The BC Fruit Growers' Association rejects a carbon tax. Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform rejects a carbon tax. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation rejects a carbon tax.

A carbon tax kills jobs. A carbon tax kills investment. A carbon tax kills growth. Reject the NDP carbon tax.

Retirement Congratulations
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to celebrate a great Edmontonian who has served our city and raised Edmonton's national and international presence by leaps and bounds over the past two decades.

Mr. Martin Salloum has served for 18 years as president and CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and has announced that he will leaving this position, unfortunately, in March 2013.

During his time as president of the chamber, Martin has transformed the organization from a struggling association to what is today the largest chamber in the country. The Edmonton chamber is nationally recognized as one of the most effective and influential business organizations in Canada. He has served over 30 years promoting business and working with chambers at both the municipal and provincial level in Alberta.

Martin is in Ottawa today as part of the Edmonton Chamber's EEDC annual delegation to Parliament Hill. I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of all my colleagues, especially those from Edmonton, to thank Martin for his 18 years of vision and leadership for the city of Edmonton. I wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

Transgender Day of Remembrance
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, today I rise to recognize November 20 as Transgender Day of Remembrance. People in communities across Canada and around the world will gather today to remember victims of transphobic violence and to dedicate themselves to working to end discrimination against transgender, transsexual and gender variant people.

Last year, more than 265 transpeople were murdered and countless others were victims of violence and discrimination. Not only are transCanadians more likely to be victims of hate crimes, those hate crimes are more than twice as likely to be violent. This year, the list of those murdered includes the tragic loss of January Marie Lapuz, a transwoman in B.C.

However, in Canada, we are beginning to turn this tide. Consideration of Bill C-279, which would protect transgender rights in Canada, begins in the justice committee today. As well, legislation was just introduced this morning in the Nova Scotia legislature that will add Nova Scotia to the Northwest Territories, Ontario and Manitoba as jurisdictions where transrights are explicitly protected. We should all be proud to see Canada assuming a leadership role on this issue of equal rights.

On this Transgender Day of Remembrance let us continue to make progress in ensuring that in Canada transrights are human rights.

Wedding Anniversary Congratulations
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I invite members to unite in one voice to offer best wishes and the heartiest of congratulations to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh on their 65th wedding anniversary. I wish them long life and continued happiness.

As they celebrate their life together, may they know that they are held warmly in the hearts of Canadians across this land.

Trans Day of Remembrance
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Dany Morin Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, November 20, is the Trans Day of Remembrance when transgender and transsexual people, and their supporters, gather to commemorate the victims of transphobic violence. It is important to remember that trans people are subject to much more discrimination than the rest of the population.

In the case of young trans people, the numbers are staggering. According to a recent study by Egale, 74% of trans students say they are harassed because of their gender expression, and 47% of them were physically attacked.

I truly hope that, as a society, we become more tolerant towards one another, look beyond our differences and accept others for who they really are. Resorting to violence, whether physical or psychological, is unacceptable. We are not animals. We must treat our fellow men with kindness, not hatred.

It is very appropriate that this week we will be voting on my national bullying prevention strategy. Neither adults nor children should engage in bullying, regardless of their victim's difference.

I hope my colleagues in the House will think about that when they vote.

Figure Skating
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Susan Truppe London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in March 2013, all eyes will be on London, Ontario, as we welcome the world's best figure skaters at Budweiser Gardens located in my riding of London North Centre.

The World Figure Skating Championships will bring together top figure skaters from around the world to compete for the world championships and, with that, comes a boost to London's economy.

Our government is the single largest contributor to sport in this country and is proud to support and host international sporting events in Canada as they leave long-lasting economic sport and infrastructure legacies for Canadians.

Who could forget Joannie Rochette's inspirational bronze medal performance at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, or London's very own Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir's gold medal winning performance, or Patrick Chan's consistent brilliance on the ice earning him two world championships?

I have no doubt that these Canadian icons will once again make us proud at the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships. I am proud of my city of London and encourage everyone to visit our city to watch this great event.

Go Canada Go.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Sir Wilfrid Laurier was born on this day, November 21, 1841. When Sir John A. Macdonald passed away, the most eloquent eulogy came from his political opponent, Sir Wilfrid, who said, “...he was also endowed with those inner, subtle, undefinable graces of soul which win and keep the hearts of men”. We can say that Laurier had these same qualities.

Like Macdonald before him, Laurier was a great prime minister and a great party leader. He cared deeply about the country's nature and identity, and he never let divisive regional, racial, religious or partisan policies prevent him from making difficult decisions.

Laurier's eloquence will long be remembered. He reminded us that faith is stronger than doubt and love is stronger than hate. His political motto was always “Canada first, Canada last, Canada always”. A good motto for all of us.

He was, of course, a great Liberal but, above all, he was a fine human being and a passionate Canadian. It is only right that on this occasion we should praise this worthy and famous man.