House of Commons Hansard #82 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

The Economy
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is squarely focused on what matters to Canadians: supporting jobs and economic growth.

We are working hard to implement Canada's economic action plan and its job creating measures as we also prepare for the economic action plan for 2012. In my riding, people are happy to see our Conservative government working on the priorities of GTA families and all Canadians.

Recently, the International Monetary Fund forecasted Canada's economy will have the strongest economic growth in the G7 in the years ahead and Canada has created 610,000 net new jobs since July 2009, the best job growth in the G7.

However, the global recovery is fragile and Canada is not immune. There are still far too many Canadians out of work.

We are staying focused on the economy and supporting long-term economic growth, job creation and prosperity for Canadian families.

Human Trafficking
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, five years ago, on February 22, 2007, the House unanimously condemned modern day forms of slavery and called for a national strategy to combat human trafficking.

Today, our government is developing a national action plan to combat human trafficking and provide much needed support for victims. However, eliminating this horrific abuse of human rights will require every Canadian to take action.

That is why I am pleased to introduce Motion No. 317, which calls for February 22 to be declared national human trafficking awareness day. This would encourage Canadians to raise awareness of the magnitude of modern day slavery in Canada and abroad and to take steps to combat human trafficking in their communities.

This year, on February 22, I urge all hon. members and all Canadians to take a moment to learn about how to help eradicate modern day slavery. By working together, we can abolish slavery.

Firearms Registry
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Rathika Sitsabaiesan Scarborough—Rouge River, ON

Mr. Speaker, since the beginning of this year, there have been four shootings in Scarborough. Three of these shootings occurred in my riding in the community of Malvern, the neighbourhood that I call home. These four shootings resulted in the deaths of two young men. That is two families and our entire community mourning the loss of their loved ones.

One of these victims was Chris Thompson. Chrissy, as we all lovingly referred to him, was a beloved local barber. He was the father of two and was an active community guy. He will be greatly missed.

The government says that it is tough on crime but is doing nothing to prevent crimes from being committed. It is doing nothing to engage and empower our youth. It is doing nothing to help those who think they have no other option.

Shamefully, as we saw last night, the members opposite celebrated the loss of one of our most effective gun violence prevention tools. The government's only crime prevention strategy is building megaprisons to house our youth.

The government can build all the prisons in the world but the victims of violence and their families would prefer that the violence did not happen in the first place.

Bob Williamson and John Sperry
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured today to pay tribute to two remarkable gentlemen who passed away in Nunavut last weekend.

Bob Williamson and John Sperry were both men who lived in their unique way and played critical roles in the development of the north and Nunavut. They both lived in Nunavut for many years and were considered true friends of the Inuit. Their commitment and dedication was truly inspiring. Their passing will leave a large void, not only in the hearts of their families and friends but in the hearts of the Inuit as well.

On behalf of the member for Nunavut and myself, I extend my sincere condolences to the Williamson and Sperry families who shared these remarkable men with the larger Inuit and northern families they loved so much.

Valcourt Grand Prix
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Réjean Genest Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Valcourt Grand Prix is Canada's premier professional snowmobile snocross event. One of the goals of our event is to ensure economic benefit for the Eastern Townships, Quebec and Canada.

In 2008, over 28,000 spectators descended on Valcourt, and the event generated over $2.5 million in economic activity. Canada Economic Development recommended $50,000 in funding for the event. Unfortunately, the government refused to support the event, a decision that may jeopardize the future of the Valcourt Grand Prix.

In light of the current tough economic times, the Valcourt Grand Prix needs financial support from the Canadian government to carry out its mission. I called, but I was told that it was none of my business.

Swan Lake First Nation
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I stand today to congratulate Swan Lake First Nation located in my riding of Portage—Lisgar.

Earlier this week, Swan Lake won the gold award in the municipal services category, beating municipalities from across Canada. These awards are distributed by the Institute of Public Administration of Canada and Deloitte. This award recognizes the community's initiative and success in overcoming significant levels of debt to become one of Manitoba's most successful first nations and one of Canada's most economically dynamic aboriginal communities.

In addition to getting out of its debt, it has renovated nearly every house and the band has helped to build a new health centre, band office and school. The band is currently working on building a wind farm on the reserve.

The success of Swan Lake demonstrates what can happen when first nations engage in strong leadership, accountable governance and responsible financial management.

I sincerely congratulate the Swan Lake First Nation.

The Vancouver Sun
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, on February 12, 100 years ago, The Vancouver Sun wrote out its first edition. It has been delivering the news to British Columbians ever since.

Founders, “Black Jack” McConnell and Robert Ford, both Liberals, ran their paper to never “adversely criticize, condemn, or oppose in sprit” the Liberal Party and to counter The Province, a Vancouver Tory newspaper in those days.

The Vancouver Sun evolved, providing British Columbians with intelligent, informative, often controversial but never bland reporting from iconic journalists like Jack Wasserman, Al Fotheringham and Marjorie Nichols.

The Vancouver Sun was one of the first newspapers in Canada to give women hard news to cover and there are tales of female reporters packing guns in their purses as they covered organized crime and the docks in the old days. I do not think Kim Bolan, Barbara Yaffe or Daphne Brahaman do that anymore, though they still do not shy away from the tough stories.

As Stephen Hume, a The Vancouver Sun columnist, wrote:

...a newspaper is, a community having a collective public conversation with and about itself, sometimes an argument, sometimes a commiseration, but always the discourse that is community life.

I congratulate the The Vancouver Sun--

The Vancouver Sun
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière.

Hooked on School Days
Statements By Members

February 16th, 2012 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, today I am proud to wear this green and white ribbon in honour of Quebec's Hooked on School Days from February 13 to 17.

I want to acknowledge all young adults and students who have the courage and determination to go back to school or upgrade their education.

I would also like to acknowledge and congratulate Catherine Jasmin, a young woman who dropped out at 14 and, later, as a mother of two, decided to pursue her education and go to university.

We know that staying in school is not always easy for young people, who face many challenges at home and at school. Nevertheless, I urge everyone here to take an interest during Hooked on School Days and congratulate our children, our friends or even an adult. People who are proud of themselves and have big dreams make our society better and more dynamic.

Government Priorities
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I had the opportunity to talk to more than 12,000 people from the riding of Saint-Maurice—Champlain during an interactive public meeting. I was with my colleague, the hon. member for Berthier—Maskinongé, and the Leader of the Opposition.

The people of Saint-Maurice—Champlain had a very clear message for the Prime Minister: the government is on the wrong track. It is on the wrong track with its attacks against old age security, which families depend on, and it is on the wrong track with its determination to buy fighter jets that do not meet our needs. The list of bad decisions is so long that I will stop there.

The people of Saint-Maurice—Champlain are more determined than ever to get rid of this government that has turned its back on families. They are more determined than ever to elect an NDP government that takes the interests of Quebec to heart. The NDP will continue to fight every day for families that are being abandoned by this government in the riding of Saint-Maurice—Champlain and in every riding in the country. Together, we will beat this government.

West Bank Tragedy
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very saddened to report that tragically today in the West Bank a school bus carrying up to 50 children as young as four years old overturned and burst into flames. More than 40 children have been injured and there are fears that at least 8 children may have been killed.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those children. On behalf of all members of the House, we offer our hope for a full and speedy recovery to the families of those injured in this tragic incident.

In the face of tragedy such as this, people rise beyond their differences for the common cause of humanity. We commend the sincere gestures made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.

We stand united with those affected during this most difficult time and we wish them solace in the face of grief.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, people are worried about their retirement. They are planning their retirement now. Will there be changes to the old age security program?

Canadians are really worried about their retirement. They need to know now. Will the age of eligibility for OAS be increased to 67? Is it happening or not, yes or no?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has been very clear that it is not contemplating any changes for those who are retired or those nearing retirement. At the same time, we have also been clear that we are concerned about the long-term sustainability of old age security, and we are looking to take action to ensure that for future generations.

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, talking of broken promises, it is disappointing to see the Conservatives break their word on refugees as well.

During the minority, government and the opposition worked together and came up with a balanced bill on refugee reform. That is what Canadians wanted us to do, work together and do the right thing. Why destroy all the good non-partisan work that was done on refugee reform?

Citizenship and Immigration
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not agree at all with what the Leader of the NDP has said. Canadians expect us to maintain a just and generous refugee determination system, which we have, but one also that is not subject to abuse, where we do not see, and continue to see, thousands of people coming from safe democratic countries making refugee claims in this country. That is not acceptable to Canadians.

Some changes were made in the last Parliament that have been helpful, but are clearly not sufficient to deal with this issue. The government is prepared to ensure that we act on the wishes of Canadians.