House of Commons Hansard #84 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was trade.

Topics

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Marie-Claude Morin Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Madam Speaker, last week I met 13 secondary IV students in the sports program at Fadette secondary school in Saint-Hyacinthe. These students are worried and unhappy, and they shared with me their concerns and questions about the government's inaction on climate change.

I left their classroom with letters addressed to the Minister of the Environment. In these letters, the students express their strong opposition to Canada's withdrawal from the Kyoto protocol. Their concerns about the environment are shared by millions of Canadians. Their teacher, Émilie Ferland, has done a fantastic job of guiding them through this project.

It is crucial to raise awareness among our youth, no matter what their age, of the importance of citizens' opinions in our country's decision-making process. These students, who are just 15 or 16 years old, understand this and are asking the government to make more responsible decisions.

Religious Freedom
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Bob Dechert Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Madam Speaker, as the democratic process continues in Egypt, our government continues to be worried about the mistreatment of the Coptic community.

The violence against the Coptic community must stop. Tensions have led to violence and, most recently, forcible home evictions. I share the concerns of the Canadian Coptic community that is worried to hear about the recent reports that several Coptic families have been forcibly evicted from a village in northern Egypt.

I urge the Egyptian authorities to take the necessary steps to ensure a peaceful democratic transition. There should be no place in the new Egypt for repressive and violent acts on members of religious minorities. Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right and a vital building block for healthy democracies. People of faith must be able to practice and worship in peace and security.

Canada continues to support the ongoing democratic transition in Egypt and urges those writing the country's new constitution to safeguard the principles of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law for all Egyptians.

Public Transit
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Madam Speaker, the greater Toronto area is home to 5.5 million people, 17% of the Canadian population, 40% of corporate head offices and one-fifth of Canada's GDP.

In other words, what happens in Toronto and how it happens matters except, it seems, to the Conservative government.

The GTA loses $6 billion a year due to gridlock and yet the government will not endorse the NDP's national transit strategy. What is worse, it has not come up with its own plan.

In the midst of an affordable housing crisis, the government will not endorse the NDP's national housing strategy. What is worse, it has not come up with its own plan.

When it comes to confusing voters about which polling station they should go to at election time, in that case the Conservatives come up with their own plan.

The NDP has come up with our own plans for housing and transit. Will Canadians have to wait until 2015 and an NDP government before they see real leadership for cities like Toronto?

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, Christian congregations in the great Kenora riding are extremely distressed regarding the unjust persecution of Pastor Nadarkhani and are united in prayer on his behalf.

Indeed, our government is deeply concerned by reports that the Iranian authorities may imminently execute Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani on charges of apostasy.

Freedom of religion or belief is a fundamental right recognized by the international community. Pastor Nadarkhani's case is another example of the regime's utter disregard for human rights and its failure to meet the internationally recognized norms. Iran consistently violates the human rights of religious and other minority groups.

We call on Iran to release prisoners, such as Pastor Nadarkhani, who face execution for charges contrary to Iran's own laws and constitution, and to reverse its current course and meet its international human rights obligations.

Short Circuit Dream
Statements By Members

February 27th, 2012 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize a remarkable young man from Marystown in my riding of Random—Burin—St. George's.

Now 19 years old, at the age of 14, William Short wanted to lift the spirits of terminally ill children so he formed the charity, Short Circuit Dream, to raise funds to grant them a dream. To date, the charity has granted 12 dreams that included TV sets, video games and computers to a bedroom makeover.

William's kindness has been recognized with various awards, including the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award, the Knight of the Year Award, the URock Volunteer Award, the finalist for TD Canada Trust Community Leadership Scholarship, the Loran Award national finalist and the Knights of Columbus state scholarship.

Last year he received the Newfoundland and Labrador Knights of Columbus Award and was selected as one of the 10 provincial finalists for the Experience Genie title, finishing in an impressive third place.

William is currently a student at Memorial University in St. John's.

I ask all members of the House to join me in saluting William Short whose thoughtfulness has made a difference in the lives of terminally ill children.

Italian Campaign
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, Saturday marked the 67th anniversary of the end of Canada's involvement in the Italian campaign. It is important to recall the courage of the Canadians and the sacrifices they made in defence of our rights and freedoms.

Canadian troops played a crucial role in one of the longest battles of World War II. Of the 93,000 Canadians who fought on the front lines of that long campaign, almost 6,000 made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of world freedom.

They fought in the rugged mountains, flooded rivers and rubble filled streets of Sicily from July 10 to August 6, 1943. On September 3, they landed on the Italian mainland. Canadians fought a bitter battle until February 25, 1945, when the major Canadian presence in the Italian theatre ended.

We honour this legacy by caring for the World War II veterans who are still with us and those who have come after them. We stand with the veterans and their families when they need it. They can count on our care and support.

Lest we forget.

Conservative Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, The Conservatives were elected on a promise to clean up the Liberal style scandals of the past. There is the first election fraud. Then they got caught trying to buy an election with a big money shell game. In fact, not four months ago, the Prime Minister's Conservative Party had to plead guilty to election fraud. That is twice.

Now Canadians see they have been at it again. Misleading voters about their polling station is shameful. It is wrong and it is illegal. This is also election fraud.

Canadians demand answers. They deserve better than another five year runaround by the Prime Minister before their next inevitable guilty plea.

The Prime Minister has it within his power to get to the bottom of this today, to identify the guilty parties and to ensure that they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Or, the Prime Minister will have proven that in no time at all he has become exactly that which he used to loathe.

Via Rail
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Wallace Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the member of Parliament for Burlington and on behalf of all Canadians, our government offers our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the three VIA employees who died when a VIA Rail passenger train derailed in Burlington yesterday: Ken Simmonds, 56 years old, and Peter Snarr, 52 years old, both from Toronto and both with more than 30 years of service as locomotive engineers with CN and VIA. The third individual was Patrick Robinson, 40 years old, of Cornwall, Ontario, a new VIA employee who was on board as an observer as part of his training program.

One accident is one too many. We wish a speedy recovery to all VIA passengers who were injured.

I thank the first responders to the scene yesterday who clearly did their very best to address the immediate needs of those involved. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by this tragic accident.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, thousands of Canadians received fraudulent telephone calls during the last election from individuals claiming to be from Elections Canada, telling people to vote at the wrong place. There were even people who got phone calls in the middle of the night. The government must take action.

What is the Prime Minister going to do to prevent these fraudulent tactics? What is he really going to do to restore people's confidence and increase, rather than decrease, the voter turnout? That is the issue: people's confidence in the election process.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party of Canada has denied and still denies such allegations. When we become aware of such information, we pass it on to Elections Canada. I encourage the opposition to do the same if it has this sort of information.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, voters want more than that. They want to know that the government is going to protect them from election fraud.

Even the Prime Minister's riding association uses the services of RackNine, one of the firms involved in this affair, so it is understandable that people have doubts about the process.

Is the Prime Minister prepared to force byelections to restore voter confidence?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, we do not have such information. If the NDP has this sort of information—and I am not certain that it does—then it must pass that information on to Elections Canada.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Hull—Aylmer
Québec

NDP

Nycole Turmel Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this whole thing is about trying to stop people from voting, whatever the technology.

Call centre employees have now confirmed that they read scripts to misinform voters on behalf of the Conservative Party. Fixing elections means that byelections could be called. People could end up in jail.

The Prime Minister must be tough on crime. Will he commit all the necessary resources to investigate and prosecute and put an end to vote suppression?

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the calls in question are calls the Conservative Party of Canada placed to its own supporters.

If the NDP has any information that inappropriate calls were placed, and we certainly have information in some cases, which we have given to Elections Canada, then I challenge that party to produce that information and give it to Elections Canada.

41st General Election
Oral Questions

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is more in sadness than anger that Canadians watch what could be the most comprehensive election fraud in Canadian history and there is not a person in the country that is buying the theory of a lone gunman on the sixth floor of the book depository. This took big money and sophistication to execute.

What is the relationship between the government and the company called Campaign Research and its principals Nick Kouvalis and Richard Ciano? What is the extent of their relationship? What contracts were signed? When were they signed? What were they for?