House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was financial.

Topics

Ocean Ranger
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, thirty years ago tonight a tragedy began to unfold. Thirty years ago a winter's gale spawned itself on the North Atlantic sending sea states to 70 foot waves, pushed up by winds of over 100 knots.

As evening rolled into night, the semi-submersible drill rig, the Ocean Ranger, capsized in the North Atlantic 267 kilometres east of Cape Spear, Newfoundland. Eighty-four souls were lost, taken forever. None were spared.

To remind us of our responsibility to the lost, we still wear the scar of that tragedy even though it was inflicted a generation ago. It was a tragedy that could have been prevented, or so found a royal commission on the sinking.

So, today, as we in this Parliament assemble to discuss what is reasonable, what is responsible and what is needed to live up to the promise we made to those 84 souls, expediency can never be allowed to trump safety; no man, woman or child can ever be lost to a cold calculation of financial efficiency; and, if we fail, we prove that we can be more brutal than the sea could ever prove to be.

Firearms Registry
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to ending the long gun registry. We are moving forward by abolishing this wasteful and ineffective program that has left Canadian taxpayers on the hook for close to $2 billion.

Over the last decade, we have seen that the registry does not stop criminals from committing acts of violence because, as we know, it targets the wrong people. It targets law-abiding Canadians. Since its creation, the long gun registry has unfairly targeted the residents of my riding of Fundy Royal and has done nothing to prevent the serious crimes that have taken place in many of our communities. Instead, it targets hunters, farmers and sports shooters.

Our government is committed to putting the safety of Canadians first with real action on crime that delivers real results. We will continue to fight for safer streets and safer communities and we will do that by targeting real criminals.

Our government has always been clear. We will end the long gun registry and we will focus on real criminals who commit real crimes.

Bathurst Regional Hospital
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to recognize the 40th anniversary of the regional hospital in Bathurst. Over the years, the hospital has expanded and has diversified its services to the public. In 1972, the hospital employed 17 doctors and 525 other staff members. In 2012, it has 103 doctors and 1,077 other staff members, not to mention the volunteers who have provided support to hospital staff over the years.

The Bathurst regional hospital offers a broad range of health care services, including the provincial cochlear implant follow-up program, the bariatric clinic and the surgery program for morbidly obese patients. The hospital is also home to the Joslin Diabetes Center, which is the only clinic of its kind in Canada.

I would like to thank all the employees and volunteers at the Bathurst regional hospital for their dedication to serving the people of Acadia and the Chaleur region.

I Love Me Club
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Patrick Brown Barrie, ON

Mr. Speaker, on January 25, 12-year-old Mackenzie Oliver from my riding of Barrie, Ontario was named as one of the 12 final recipients for the 2011 Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Award out of 176 nominees.

When Mackenzie was just seven years old, she found a grade three student crying in the school washroom. Bullied by other children and called fat, the little girl was trying to force herself to be ill. Mackenzie comforted her and told her there was nothing wrong with her, she was beautiful and she was loved. Mackenzie went home that night and told her mom about the girl and how she wanted to reach out to others being bullied. Her mom suggested starting a club at the school. Therefore, Mackenzie started her own organization and called it the I Love Me Club.

I am proud to announce that the I Love Me Club currently has 621 members in Barrie and since 2007, Mackenzie has raised over $35,000 for local charities. Currently, she has been focusing on fundraising to finance a school in Kenya. It is my pleasure to pay tribute to this remarkable young lady.

Scouting
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Chungsen Leung Willowdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to stand today to welcome Scouts Canada and L' Association des Scouts du Canada which are in Ottawa today on their 100th anniversary.

Scouts is one of Canada's leading youth organizations, offering programs for boys and girls in towns and cities across this great land. Scouts Canada has experienced three successive years of significant growth. Today, Scouts Canada is a highly diverse co-educational organization with over 100,000 members nationwide, representing many faiths and cultures. Scouts offers programming in over 19 languages reflecting Canada's multicultural landscape.

Scouting is both a program and lifestyle that has a positive impact on the lives of thousands of children and youth, focusing on the integrated physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual development of the individual. Scouts Canada has made an enormous contribution to its communities and in the process, its members are learning valuable life skills and becoming better citizens.

I was a scout for eight years, involved in the scouting movement in Taiwan, Japan, Canada and the United States. Scouting has certainly enriched my life.

I ask all parliamentarians to rise today to recognize Scouts Canada and L' Association des Scouts du Canada, their service to our nation, and to remind members of the reception later today.

Poverty
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, more than 20 years ago the House pledged to eradicate poverty among Canadian children by 2000. We are now 12 years past our deadline and one in ten children still live in poverty in Canada. While we have doubled the size of our economy, the income of Canada's poorest families has stayed the same.

Tomorrow I will be tabling a motion, seconded by MPs across party lines, denouncing the shameful failure of the House to fulfill its pledge, due to a cruel and selfish lack of political will for which all members should apologize. There is clear evidence that poverty, particularly child poverty, increases the cost to our health, education and justice systems by a sum greater than the cost of eliminating it. We are all culpable.

Today many of our colleagues are taking part in a discussion about how to address poverty in Canada at an event hosted by the Dignity for All campaign. All members of the House should join in the conversation about how and why we should eliminate child poverty and all poverty as soon as possible.

International Trade
Statements By Members

February 14th, 2012 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, following the Prime Minister's successful trade mission to China, where several agreements were reached, including a foreign investment protection promotion agreement that would deepen the trade and investment ties between Canada and China, the hard-working Minister of International Trade is yet leading another trade visit in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

This visit is part of Canada's interest in joining the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, otherwise known as the TPP. At the same time, Canadian officials are also meeting with their U.S. colleagues in Washington, D.C., regarding the trans-Pacific partnership.

Our government is committed to opening new markets for Canadian businesses in Asia, which we know will sustain and create jobs and prosperity for Canadian workers and their families.

We are increasing Canada's ties in the economies of the Asia-Pacific region through our pro-trade plan in order to bring more jobs and opportunity and greater prosperity to hard-working Canadians in every region of our country.

Ocean Ranger
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, my statement begins with a question. “And whose wish never fails to find my vacant heart on Valentine’s?” That question was written by the great Newfoundland songwriter, Ron Hynes, in his song, Atlantic Blue. The song is a tribute to the 84 men who went down with the Ocean Ranger. It is their wishes that never fail to find vacant hearts on Valentine's.

In the early morning hours of February 15, 30 years ago this evening, the indestructible Ocean Ranger went down off the coast of Newfoundland in a vicious storm. The sinking of the Ocean Ranger resonates to this day among the family and friends of those who were lost among people who were strangers to them.

Marine tragedies are a reality of life for people who live and die by the sea, but the Ocean Ranger is a reminder of the danger of lax regulation, of the danger of assuming the unthinkable could never happen, a reminder of the importance of search and rescue because, 30 years later, needless tragedies continue to mount off our coast.

I end with a quote from another great Canadian songwriter, Gordon Lightfoot, “Does any one know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?”

Canada-U.S. Relations
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, before Christmas travel began this season, our government announced that passengers travelling to the United States would soon be able to use NEXUS cards in order to expedite screening at Canada's eight largest airports.

The Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities announced that, as of tomorrow, Nexus program participants will be able to use their Nexus cards in designated, faster security lines when flying to the United States. This announcement comes as part of the action plan on perimeter security and economic competitiveness announced by the Prime Minister and President Obama.

This agreement will expand competitiveness, reduce hassle and costs and create jobs for Canadians.

We have signed trade agreements with nine different countries. In the next two years we hope to conclude agreements with Europe and India, making us one of the most competitive, free trade environments in the entire world.

Vaclav Havel
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to the heroic memory of Vaclav Havel, an inspirational colleague and friend for over 30 years, the architect of charter 77, the human rights manifesto that inspired not only the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, but the march of democracy in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and more recently, charter 08 of human rights defenders in China, whose words and writings moved and mobilized the powerless as they exposed and brought down the politburos of the powerful, who chaired a dissidents gathering five years ago that inspired prospective dissidents of the Arab awakening, who wrote movingly and compellingly of the responsibility to protect, not only in terms of the responsibility to prevent, but the responsibility to remember, le devoir de memoir, as he wrote recently in the introduction to a book I co-edited, The Responsibility to Protect.

May his memory serve as a blessing for us all.

Member for Papineau
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, the member for Papineau grew up hearing about a strong, united Canada, but just last week he said he would favour Quebec independence. When asked if he would consider it, he said, “oh, yes, absolutely”.

While our Conservative government is committed to keeping Canada strong, united and free, the member opposite is contemplating reasons for Quebec to separate from Canada.

Our country is more united than at any time since the centennial year. We are proud to be Canadians and proud to live in the greatest country in the world.

Since 2006, our government has strengthened national unity by recognizing that the Québécois form a nation within a united Canada, restoring fiscal balance with the provinces and establishing a formal role for Quebec at UNESCO.

Our government will continue to ensure Canada remains strong, united and free.

Will the member opposite clarify his position or recant his support for an independent Quebec nation?

Government Appointments
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Olivia Chow Trinity—Spadina, ON

Mr. Speaker, Valentine's Day came early for Tim O'Connor and Gary Valcour.

Tim, who was the campaign manager for the finance minister's wife, was appointed to the Farm Products Council of Canada. Gary, who is the minister's Conservative riding president, will be heading up the new Oshawa port authority.

In return for these patronage roses, it looks like these Conservative insiders will rubber-stamp the construction and receive $25 million for an ethanol refinery on the Oshawa waterfront. This plan is opposed by local councillors, but the owner of the company, Tim and his brothers, are big Conservative donors.

The people of Oshawa are asking this. How much money does it take to get on the finance minister's valentine's list?

Rewarding friends and political insiders is what the government does best. It is just too bad it does not have more love for the citizens on this special day.

Firearms Registry
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, it may be Valentine's Day, but the NDP really has gone too far with its hug-a-thug ways. It has no problem standing up for criminals while at the same time punishing law-abiding farmers, hunters and rural Canadians in every region of the country who use firearms for legitimate purposes.

The NDP has a chance to vote with its constituents. In fact, the NDP leadership candidates from Churchill and Skeena—Bulkley Valley have a chance to vote with their constituents and vote to scrap the long gun registry, a registry that needlessly and unfairly targets law-abiding Canadians while doing absolutely nothing to reduce crime or strengthen our efforts to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

Since it was created, the long gun registry has done nothing but waste taxpayer dollars. This money could have been used to crack down on real criminals and real crime.

Our government will vote to scrap the long gun registry. The NDP should listen to its constituents and do the same.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, when the cat's away, the mice will play. While the Prime Minister was out of the country, the Minister of Public Safety let it be known that Canada is in the market for information obtained through torture.

Does the Prime Minister realize that the message here is that Canada does not think torture is all that bad?

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have a highly detailed protocol for ensuring the safety of Canadians under any circumstances. That is this government's policy.