House of Commons Hansard #72 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

Barnraiser Award
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, before taking office as Canada's 28th Governor General, His Excellency the Right Hon. David Johnston proposed 10 steps that Waterloo region should take in becoming Canada's knowledge capital. Among those was to better recognize and celebrate our community leaders.

This year my friend, Ron Schlegel, was named the fourth recipient of Waterloo region's Barnraiser award. From sponsorship of sports teams to the building of neighbourhoods, to funding research to improve the lives of seniors, Ron Schlegel's involvement across Waterloo region make him an outstanding choice as Barnraiser of the year. Ron brings together people from government, business, academia and the not-for-profit sector in pursuit of his goal of a better, stronger Canada. He uses his resources to benefit his community and his country.

God bless Ron for his good work. I congratulate him on this well-deserved recognition.

Quebec City Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Denis Blanchette Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec City Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a well-known organization on both the north and south shores of the greater Quebec City region, has just celebrated its 165th anniversary. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul has been helping less fortunate individuals and families since before Canada was even a country. In a society like ours, the gap between rich and poor should be smaller by now. None of our fellow citizens, particularly children and the elderly, should live in poverty. Unfortunately, nothing has changed.

In 2010, the Quebec City Society of St. Vincent de Paul helped 80,000 people through its used clothing and furniture shops and its food banks. Frédéric Ozanam, founder of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, wanted to offer people a network of charity and support. I would like to thank the 800 or so volunteers for their commendable efforts on behalf of an organization that has worked tirelessly for the past 165 years in Quebec City to fulfill its mission: alleviating poverty.

Genesis Centre
Statements By Members

February 2nd, 2012 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Devinder Shory Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, January 14 marked the grand opening of the world-class Genesis Centre in Calgary Northeast. It is a place to share for young people, families and seniors from all backgrounds.

Before being elected to this House, I was honoured to work with incredible people like Greg and Carol Steiner, Jim Stevenson, Kelly Jones, Terry-Lyn Martin, Khalil Karbani, Romi Sidhu, Krishan Murti Goll, members of the Ahmediyya community and many more to move this project forward.

My constituents are very thankful to our Conservative government for investing $15 million in this centre through the enhancing accessibility fund.

Despite the aggressive Liberal opposition, thousands of people, many organizations and all three levels of government came together and turned the dream into reality for what I like to call the hardest working constituency in Canada, Calgary Northeast.

Future Leaders
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Oshawa, ON

Mr. Speaker, I can say with confidence that Oshawa's future is in good hands.

Over the past several weeks I witnessed the future leaders of Oshawa and Canada. For example, on January 14, at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, I met many brilliant young students who were passionate about robotics and technology. After spending some time listening to them and seeing their passion for science and technology, I have no doubt that they will be tomorrow's leaders and innovators.

I also met Sarah Bennett from Oshawa's Stephen G. Saywell Public School. After placing a 48 hour pay it forward challenge to her schoolmates, Sarah raised $1,323.80 for Denise House, a local women's shelter in Oshawa. Sarah's strong sense of community engagement and charity is an inspiration to all of us.

I am proud of these young individuals. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sarah for her passion and desire to make Oshawa a better place and to all the science students I met at UOIT.

Thanks to them, Oshawa's future does indeed look bright.

Duncan
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, March 4 marks the city of Duncan's centennial year. Duncan has a vision to become one of the most livable small towns in Canada by building strong community ties and committing to environmental stewardship.

As a reflection of its vibrant community, Duncan is proud to have more artists and performers per capita than anywhere in Canada. The Cowichan people's influence on our shared cultural heritage contributes to the region's promising future.

Duncan, known as the city of totems, continues to revitalize itself. The dynamic city square is an appealing destination for people from across the island to come and enjoy the city's vibrant farmers' market, shops and restaurants.

I invite Canadians to come and celebrate with us. Everyone can be part of the festivities which include a year-long geocaching event, a seniors' dance, a 100 kilometre motorcycle ride and a marathon.

I look forward to participating in the Guinness World Records challenge for the world's largest fitness circuit workout.

Happy 100th birthday to the city of Duncan.

Curling Championships
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, visiting the parliamentary precinct today is the Yukon junior men's curling team. The team will be competing at the 2012 M&M Meat Shops Canadian Junior Curling Championships, February 4 to 12, in Napanee, Ontario.

The team comprises: Thomas Scoffin, skip; Mitchell Young, third; David Aho, second; Will Mahoney, lead; and Wade Scoffin, coach.

Thomas was also the skip of the bronze medal mixed curling team at the 2012 Youth Olympic Games held in Innsbruck, Austria. The members of that team were Thomas Scoffin from Yukon, Corryn Brown from B.C., Derek Oryniak from Manitoba, Emily Gray from P.E.I. and Helen Radford from Nova Scotia.

I ask all members of this House to join me in congratulating our young Canadian bronze medallists and wishing all the teams competing at the national championships the best of luck. Go Yukon.

Stephen Perry
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Claude Gravelle Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, communities in the region of Nickel Belt and Sudbury are mourning the tragic death of Vale miner, Stephen Perry. Mr. Perry was a development miner working in the main ore body at the 4,200 foot level at Coleman mine when he was killed on Sunday. He has been described as generous, skilled, experienced and highly respected by his colleagues. Mr. Perry was from Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador. He had a large family of 15 siblings and a daughter. He had been in Sudbury for the last 16 years.

As a former employee of Vale and Coleman mine, I know first-hand how dangerous it is to work underground. At the end of the day, all a miner wants to do is earn a good living and go home to his family. My heart goes out to his family and his co-workers.

Today, I am also thinking of Jason Chenier and Jordan Fram, who were killed underground only seven months ago in Sudbury. These are tragedies felt by the entire community.

On behalf of all members here, and my colleagues from Sudbury, St. John's East and St. John's South--Mount Pearl, I offer our prayers, condolences and deepest sympathies to the Perry family.

Sealing Industry
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, fishing and seal hunting have been an integral part of the way of life of coastal and aboriginal communities in Canada, including the Magdalen Islands, for hundreds of years. This industry is a symbol of Canadians' work ethic and our rich rural history. It is also a legitimate economic activity that utilizes a very abundant resource and helps fishers and coastal communities support themselves.

The sealing industry clearly deserves our support. However, why the opposition refuses to provide its support is not clear. The member for St. John's South—Mount Pearl said that the sealing industry was destined for failure. At the same time, the very voluble Liberal senator is saying that this industry is dead.

While the Liberals and the NDP plot to destroy the sealing industry, our Conservative government will continue to support the hard-working sealers who are defending a legitimate and sustainable industry.

Jean Pigott
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, Jean Pigott, one of the grandes dames of Ottawa, died earlier this year. Many already miss her sage advice, me included.

An Officer of the Order of Canada, Jean Pigott paved the way for future generations of Canadian women in business and politics. In the 1970s she served as CEO of Morrison Lamothe Bakery, one of only a handful of female CEOs in Canada at the time. In 1976, she was elected as a federal member of Parliament under the Progressive Conservative banner.

A positive force for change in the nation's capital, she headed the National Capital Commission from 1985 to 1992. In that role she became a highly visible champion of the capital as a place of symbols, history and pride. As a passionate and visionary community leader, she strived to make the nation's capital a second home for all Canadians.

The memory of Jean Pigott and the impact she had live on and will continue to do so for a long time yet. I want to thank her husband Arthur and the rest of her family for loving her, caring for her, and sharing her with Ottawa for so many wonderful years.

Merci, Jean.

Pensions
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, today the NDP put forward a misleading motion on old age security. NDP members continue to deceive Canadians on the facts.

The NDP members choose to recklessly ignore our aging population and allow old age security to become unsustainable. The fact is that seniors currently receiving benefits will not lose a cent. Unlike the opposition, we will not put retirement income at risk for Canadians. Our government is acting to ensure that this important and necessary program is available and sustainable today and for future generations.

The director of Rotman International Centre for Pension Management said yesterday, “They have to make changes. You can't put your head in the sand.” He added that proposals should include looking at raising the retirement age.

Even the National Post and The Globe and Mail agree.

The NDP is reckless and fear-mongering. It has proved yet again it is not fit to govern.

Government Priorities
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Ève Péclet La Pointe-de-l'Île, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has said that he does not want to reopen the abortion debate, but that is exactly what the member for Saskatoon—Humboldt is doing. The Prime Minister has also said that he does not want to reopen the debate on the death penalty but, just yesterday, a Conservative senator did exactly the opposite. If the Prime Minister really wants to reopen debates, here are a few suggestions: seniors living in poverty; large corporations that accept indiscriminate tax cuts, lock out their employees and do not even create jobs in Canada; and old age pensions. There is no shortage of topics on which the government could reopen debate, debates that Canadians really want to hear in this House.

Unlike this government, whose policies are completely unrealistic and out of touch, the NDP has Canadians' interests at heart.

New Democratic Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member for Burnaby—New Westminster might now be thinking he is having a Bill Murray-like Groundhog Day. That is because the NDP continues to mislead Canadians. Yesterday he cited false numbers on our crime agenda and the F-35 program.

The cost of fighting crime represents only a fraction of the cost of crime for victims. We have committed $540 million a year to fight crime, whereas the cost of crime for victims is over $99 billion a year.

Prison costs are based on a projected prison population that is failing to materialize. As a result, we will not build a single prison cell more than we need to keep Canadians safe.

The member and the hug-a-thug NDP should learn the facts and stop citing incorrect figures. The NDP's willingness to distort the facts to mislead Canadians is further proof that its policies are dangerous for the Canadian economy.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, rumours of cuts to old age security benefits are causing widespread concern. That is to be expected, because the Prime Minister is beating around the bush. His government experts say that the system is viable.

Does the Prime Minister agree? Or will he make people wait until they turn 67 before they can receive their benefits if these cuts are not made?

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I have said repeatedly that, in our budget, we will protect programs for seniors and those nearing retirement. At the same time, we will ensure that the system remains viable for future generations. That is our commitment not only to today's seniors, but also to future generations.

Pensions
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, if viability is the issue, the Conservatives' own study and report, coming from the government, concludes on the pension, “Long-term projections show that public retirement-income provision is financially sustainable”. That is a direct quote from that report. It adds that the “OAS and GIS ensure universal coverage and form a very effective safety-net for the old-age incomes”.

The Prime Minister has yet to answer the question. I am giving him the opportunity again today. Will he rise in his seat and say to the country that the age of eligibility for OAS will not be raised to age 67, yes or no?