House of Commons Hansard #71 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pension.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Sackville—Eastern Shore.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Outma Sqilx’w Cultural School
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, much has been said recently of the challenges in some first nations communities, but we must not overlook some of the great success stories of first nations achievement.

This past June, the member for Kenora joined me in my riding of Okanagan—Coquihalla for an important event with Penticton Indian Band Chief Jonathan Kruger. We were joined by elders and youth alike to celebrate the opening of the Outma Sqilx’w Cultural School.

This school represents a $7 million investment in aboriginal education from our government. However, more important is what the school represents to the heritage and the culture of the Penticton Indian Band.

Gone are the decades-old portables left over from previous governments. Replacing them is a state of the art educational and cultural facility that flows from a traditional pit house. The facility instills pride and excitement in the youth of the Penticton Indian Band. Student attendance is now at an all-time high. More importantly, the school is now a place to gather and play sports. It keeps the community engaged and active. That is a success we can all celebrate.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Dennis Bevington Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, in 1996, the federal government, the western provinces, Yukon and the Northwest Territories signed the Mackenzie River Basin Master Agreement. Out of this master agreement a number of bilateral agreements were to be completed, governing the quantity and quality of water moving along the Mackenzie River Basin. Fifteen years later, there are still no agreements.

In Alberta and the Northwest Territories, the lack of a bilateral agreement has meant that the rapid expansion of the oil sands is taking place without proper controls protecting these waters. This lack of control is of great concern to all northerners, particularly aboriginal people, many of whom live along the Mackenzie River.

Alberta and the federal government want to approve more capacity building by quickly approving the gateway pipeline. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Natural Resources want to simplify the environmental process to allow new developments clear sailing through these waters. However, they should assure the people of the north that basic agreements will be in place before the expansion of the oil sands.

Václav Havel
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Dauphin—Swan River—Marquette, MB

Mr. Speaker, on December 18, 2011, former president of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, Václav Havel, passed away.

Havel once said, “I really do inhabit a system in which words are capable of shaking the entire structure of government...”.

Indeed, it was the words of Havel himself that shook the foundations of the corrupt Communist system.

A gifted playwright and philosopher, Havel exposed the lies of Communism. After the Prague Spring of 1968, Havel's work was suppressed. He faced harassment, intimidation and imprisonment.

After the Velvet Revolution, he became Czechoslovakia's first post-Communist president. He oversaw the peaceful division of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Havel proved through his life, words and deeds that moral leadership can be a beacon of light in a world where many reside in darkness. A modest man whose primary focus was the well-being of his people and country, Havel's life should be a model for us all.

Potsta Vatslavo Havlovi.

Black History Month
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, unlike almost any other nation on the planet, Canada is a compassionate and caring country. Canada stands as a testament to the many cultures, languages and faith groups that have, throughout our history, worked together to build and sustain our society.

With this in mind, in 1995, Prime Minister Chrétien designated February as Black History Month. It is a celebration of the numerous cultural and societal contributions made by people of African descent to the Canadian mosaic.

Today marks the launch of the 17th annual Black History Month commemoration. The 2012 theme for this important celebration is “Our Canadian Story: Making Community Engagement A Priority”.

In the upcoming days, I would encourage my colleagues and all Canadians to take a moment to celebrate the many substantial offerings made in our communities by our friends and neighbours of African lineage.

Certainly we are all better off for their work, generosity and spirit of giving.

Israel
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Adler York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Foreign Affairs attended the World Economic Forum's annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland. Today, they are visiting Israel. The ministers are attending a reception co-hosted by the Canadian embassy and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Israel Bureau.

This reception is a celebration of the long-standing friendship between Canada and Israel and the deepening alliance between our two countries. This visit is a reflection of the level of qualitative collaboration and consultation between Canada and Israel. The Prime Minister of Israel has said that there is no better friend to Israel than Canada.

Our government is proud of its unwavering support for Israel, especially at the United Nations. Canada has spoken up against the numerous United Nations resolutions critical solely of Israel. Our government is proud and unapologetic for its support for the only thriving democracy in the Middle East.

I wish the ministers all the best in their meetings in Israel and in their efforts to strengthen the relationship between Canada and Israel. Mazel tov.

Sealing Industry
Statements By Members

February 1st, 2012 / 2:10 p.m.

NDP

Ryan Cleary St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, the market for Canadian seal products has never been as desperate as it is today, under the Conservative government. The province of Newfoundland and Labrador is even considering asking sealers to stockpile seal products this year for lack of market.

Under the Conservative government, the European Union and Russia have imposed bans on Canadian seal products. Russia was the primary market for Canadian seal products, purchasing up to 95%.

The government is supposed to be so focused on trade and the economy, and is supposed to be such a champion of the Canadian seal harvest. Yet the news of the Russian ban only came to light through the International Fund for Animal Welfare, an animal rights group.

What does that say to Canadian sealers about the Conservative government's supposed unwavering commitment to the Canadian seal harvest?

First the EU ban, now Russia. It says that commitment is a joke.

The Economy
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Wai Young Vancouver South, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege for me to wish the people of Vancouver South and the Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean communities across Canada a happy, healthy and prosperous lunar new year, the year of the dragon.

As we ushered in this new year, I heard from my constituents about their continued concern for the fragile global economy and its impact on Canada.

While Canada continues to be in a strong fiscal position, it is clear that my constituents and other Canadians want us to continue our focus on jobs and economic growth.

Last month, I represented the people of Vancouver South in the House at the Asia-Pacific parliamentary forum in Tokyo, Japan. Together, representatives from 23 Asia-Pacific countries met to discuss issues of great importance to Canada and our global partners.

It is clear that Vancouver continues to be a dynamic gateway to diversify our government's efforts to ensure a strong economic recovery for Canada and the world.

As we enter this challenging but exciting year of the dragon, I look forward to working on behalf of the people of Vancouver South to continue to be--

The Economy
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Mississauga--Brampton South.

The Economy
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Eve Adams Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the economic recovery is, and must remain, our government's top priority this year.

Not only is our government proud to have economically outperformed most other industrialized nations, we are even more determined to ensure that Canadians are protected this year and in the years to come.

With achievements such as Forbes magazine ranking Canada as the best place to grow a business, our government is pursuing unprecedented trade agreements with other nations. These trade agreements will strengthen our economy and create jobs and prosperity.

I have been busy with community events over the last month. I engaged in prebudget consultations with workers, job creators, the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, ratepayers' associations, moms, dads, seniors, students and new Canadians. I look forward to continuing these meetings and working to ensure that the economy remains our number one priority in 2012.

Black History Month
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Isabelle Morin Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, every February since 1976 we have proudly celebrated Black History Month. This is an important time to reflect on the struggles of people who have enriched the multicultural character of our country. These struggles were difficult and the fight for women's rights continues. We should take the time to congratulate this country's black women on their successes.

I think about Rosemary Brown, the first black woman to be elected to a parliamentary institution.

I think about Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré, the first black judge in Quebec.

We also can never forget the countless black female artists who make up our communities.

As a woman, I am honoured to be surrounded by such inspiring black women in Canada. The fight for women's equality, for equality for the black community, for equality for everyone, really, is not over. Together we must continue to build a better Canada, where diversity is celebrated with pride and respect. As we celebrate Black History Month, let us remember the achievements of black women and continue making progress.

Black History Month
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Roxanne James Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, every February Canadians celebrate Black History Month by learning about and reflecting upon the legacy and accomplishments of black Canadians.

In conjunction with the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, we are taking a special look this year at the important contributions made by black soldiers to the historic battles that helped define our country.

Many former slaves and black Loyalists fought on the Canadian side during the War of 1812. They settled in places such as Nova Scotia and in my province of Ontario. They and their descendants formed communities that continue to enrich Canada to this very day.

This February, I encourage all Canadians to learn more about how black Canadians have helped contribute to and shape our great country, and to participate in activities in their communities that celebrate this important part of our Canadian heritage.

Black History Month
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, on this day, the first day of Black History Month, 2012, I call on Canadians to join in celebration of the contributions that Canadians of African descent have made in the building of Canada. The contribution of African Canadians did not start with the waves of Caribbean immigrants during the 1960s, nor did it start with those who found refuge here by the grace of the underground railroad. It started with Matthew de Costa, an interpreter and negotiator for Champlain. It is the black Loyalists who fought for King George through the American Revolution and settled as Loyalists in Nova Scotia. It is the settlers of Amber Valley, Saskatchewan; Windsor, Ontario; Salt Spring Island, B.C. It is their brave participation in every battle for Canadian and world freedom.

They are inventors, businessmen, leaders, creators, thinkers, healers, warriors, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and ancestors. The children of Kush have given to Canada even before Canada existed.

However, there is work to be done. Balance and equality are still out of reach. I urge every Canadian to take a moment to discover who their neighbour is, to learn about their journey and to share their own.

Black History Month is not simply about looking back at the past, but using the past to move forward into the future.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Goguen Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, NB

Mr. Speaker, the RCMP is one of Canada's most recognizable symbols. A Mountie dressed in the red serge is central to our Canadian identity. From coast to coast, the RCMP work hard every day keeping our streets and communities safe. That is how we view the RCMP on this side of the House.

Unfortunately, the NDP sees things a little differently. The NDP is now attempting to use Canada's national police force as a political football. It has accused the RCMP commissioner of being muzzled. As Commissioner Paulson said, he has never been muzzled and he doesn't know where that accusation came from.

Shockingly, the member for St. John's East has even called it disturbing that the commissioner is not standing up with his party to persecute law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters with the long gun registry.

The role of the RCMP is to enforce the law, not to decide what the law should be. Commissioner Paulson has stated that himself. Trying to politicize a national police force is not only really disturbing, but also just another example that the NDP is unfit to govern.

B.C. Legislative Assembly Black Rod
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, today I joined High Commissioner Campbell, the former premier of British Columbia, and other dignitaries in an historic celebration of Canadian tradition and heritage. In honour of Her Majesty's diamond jubilee, the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia is creating an usher of the black rod. Tracing back to 14th century England, the black rod deepens B.C.'s connection with our proud roots in the Westminster parliamentary tradition.

Today was part two of three-part ceremony to install symbolic rings on this rod. The first was attached in the House of Lords of the United Kingdom in December, and the final will be attached at the official opening of the B.C. legislative assembly in February.

The mid section of the black rod features a special jade carving by Tsimshian elder, Clifford Bolton, representing the unity and intertwining of B.C.'s diverse cultures and hope for the future.

As a member of parliament from British Columbia, I am honoured to mark the placement of the second ring of the black rod in Ottawa on its journey to Victoria. I congratulate all British Columbians for this symbol and celebration of our important heritage.