House of Commons Hansard #89 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was literacy.

Topics

Don Valley West
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

John Carmichael Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the world-class health care facilities and neighbourhood service agencies of which I am so very proud in Don Valley West. My riding is blessed with excellence in health care through the staff and researchers at: Sunnybrook Hospital and K Wing, the largest veterans' centre in Canada; Lyndhurst Centre, a place of excellence providing the best in spinal cord research and rehabilitation therapy services; the Canadian National Institute for the Blind; Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, serving children with disabilities; and Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf, serving the needs of hearing disabled in the GTA.

For community services, I mention with pride Flemingdon and Thorncliffe Neighbourhood organizations, New Circles, Afghan Women's Organization, March of Dimes and Flemingdon Community Legal Services. All of these great organizations are geared to assisting the residents of Don Valley West.

Veterans Affairs
Statements By Members

March 5th, 2012 / 2 p.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by thanking my esteemed colleague from Sackville—Eastern Shore for his unparalleled support of veterans during his time in the House.

Today, the New Democratic Party is calling on the government to shield Veterans Affairs from budget cutbacks. Tomorrow, we are calling for all-party support to ensure that programs and services to all military and RCMP veterans are protected. It would be an affront to ask them to give more.

My family has had a long and proud record of service to Canada, starting with my great-grandfather, Harold Riley, who served in both world wars. Veterans services kept my grandmother in her home with dignity until she passed away in 2010. I will not accept that the same services would not be there for future veterans. I will proudly vote yes to this motion to honour their memories and service to Canada. I call on the government to do the same.

Canadian Armed Forces
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Corneliu Chisu Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize that the City of Pickering in the great riding of Pickering—Scarborough East has unanimously passed a motion thanking and honouring the service of the men and women of the Canadian armed forces and the many civilians in supporting roles who served in the combat mission in Afghanistan that ended in July 2011. Many of those who served were from Durham region. I thank City Councillor David Pickles and Deputy Mayor Doug Dickerson who brought this motion to city council.

Canada's armed forces have made a significant contribution to the stability and rebuilding of Afghanistan over the last decade. One hundred and fifty-eight Canadian soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan. Pickering residents and Royal Canadian Legion Branch 606 members crowded bridges and honoured these men and women as they passed through the city of Pickering on the Highway of Heroes.

Lest we forget, lest we forget.

Jim Green
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Alas, Mr. Speaker, last week Vancouver lost an inspiring advocate for my community. On February 28, former councillor and two-time mayoral candidate Jim Green lost his fight with cancer.

Jim was a well-known progressive force in municipal politics and a key architect of solutions to improve the city. He was a passionate doer, with a fountain of ideas which he implemented in one of Canada's poorest neighbourhoods, the Downtown Eastside. Jim founded BladeRunners, an internationally recognized employment program that provides life skills training for at-risk youth. He founded United We Can, a charity that offers residents of East Hastings jobs to clean the streets of their neighbourhood. The Portland Hotel Society, which provides supported living space for the hardest to house people, owes its existence to Jim, among others.

Less than a week before he died, Jim was awarded Vancouver's highest honour, the Freedom of the City award, for his exemplary citizenship, service and leadership. Jim lived according to the idea that one can actually change the world for the better and enjoy it at the same time. On behalf of the citizens of Vancouver Quadra and Vancouver, I offer my deepest condolences to Jim's family and all those he touched.

2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, Red Deer was proud to host the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Women's curling teams from all across this great nation vied for the Canadian championship. What a show these teams put on. Excellent shot making, thrilling games and heart-stopping action ensured that curling enthusiasts were treated to the best women's curling on the planet.

Host committee chair Sherri Ryckman and her crew of 528 enthusiastic volunteers did a wonderful job of welcoming curling teams and fans to Red Deer. From the unique opening banquet at the Sheraton Hotel, to the great entertainment at the HeartStop Lounge, right through to the final ceremonies at the Westerner's ENMAX Centrium, curling fans were treated to one of the best Scotties ever.

We will now cheer on Team Canada's Heather Nedohin and her Alberta teammates as they compete for the world championship in Lethbridge.

Provincial Powerchair Football Tournament
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Raymond Côté Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, February 25, the second annual provincial powerchair football tournament was held in Quebec City at the Centre communautaire des Chutes in the Beauport area. The local team, the Éclairs du Pivot, hosted the following three teams in a tight competition: the Saint-Jérôme Pitbulls—this year's champions—the Montreal Juni-Sport and the Dragonniers from the Madelaine-Bergeron school in Quebec City.

Powerchair football is soccer for people who use power wheelchairs. The event gave the athletes in attendance the opportunity to excel and compete against participants with disabilities from across Quebec and thereby build mutual respect.

Véronique Denis, honorary chair of the tournament, uses a wheelchair and is a member of the Pivot board of directors. She said, “I believe that all the athletes and organizations like Le Pivot are proving to society that people with disabilities have a place and that it is possible to achieve great things together”.

Ms. Denis, I wholeheartedly agree.

University of Regina
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

David Anderson Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, as an alumnus of the University of Regina, I was very disappointed to hear that my alma mater was experiencing anti-Semitic activities.

Recently, the University of Regina students union passed a one-sided resolution to join the boycott divest and sanction movement against Israel. The motion was passed at the end of the annual meeting when, as the student newspaper reports, “by the time the motion to boycott Israel came up, a lot of people had left and the remaining crowd members were anxious to join them”.

We have the ironic situation where a student organization, while proclaiming its support for political freedom and democratic discussion, did just the opposite.

Calling Israel an apartheid state is abhorrent and insulting to all Israeli citizens, Jewish, Christian and Muslim.

The University of Regina's administration needs to disavow any support for this offensive motion. I do not believe the U of R now supports the suppression of all Israeli academics, that it endorses anti-Semitism or that it sees Israel as an apartheid state. To counter this resolution, President Timmons needs to say so.

Joseph Stalin
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today is the 59th anniversary of the death of the left-wing dictator, Joseph Stalin. During a 30-year reign of terror, show trials, purges, war and religious persecution, Stalin oversaw the death of tens of millions.

Even a partial death toll is almost incomprehensible: 15 million shipped to the Gulag, including my own father; millions of ethnic minorities killed during forced relocations; hundreds of thousands of priests, monks and nuns killed and more than 50,000 churches destroyed; an estimated 10 million Ukrainians starved to death during the Holodomor; millions of Poles sent to labour camps during World War II; and 20,000 Polish prisoners of war massacred at Katyn, all part of a decades-long litany of crimes against the Polish people.

This horror, during a time when Pierre Trudeau sympathetically claimed that the Soviet Union was making “tremendous strides”, reminds us that the beginning of Statism is the end of freedom and that the moral perversions of Marxist theory can only be put into practice at gunpoint.

We must never forget the evil that Stalin represented.

Members of the New Democratic Party
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Robert Aubin Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to highlight the citizen engagement of 160 people in my riding and more than 14,000 others in Quebec. I sincerely thank all these people for taking action to move this country forward. They refused to be intimidated, they accepted the risks associated with taking a stand and, proud of their ideals, they became official members of the New Democratic Party.

They are showing the way for thousands of others who support us, but who have told me that they are afraid that their organizations will suffer if they publicly support a party other than the one holding the purse strings. This is indicative of the unease caused by the Conservatives' style of governing, which appears to favour friends of the government.

Nevertheless, the movement is afoot and, day after day, we will continue to show all Canadians that the NDP is the only party that puts the interests of the people before those of big business. Our party truly listens to all Canadians. It will be 2015 before we know it and, together with all Canadians, we will once again have every reason to be proud to be a part of Canada.

Libya
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I was appalled to learn today that in Libya the graves of Commonwealth troops, including at least one Canadian who fought in Libya during the second world war, were smashed to pieces in the Benghazi war cemetery.

Just a few short months ago, we saw the brave men and women of the Royal Canadian Air Force successfully participating in a UN-mandated, NATO-led mission to protect civilians from the former Gadhafi regime, and today we see the graves of Canadian airmen destroyed by a group of extremists.

I would like to commend the Libyan National Transitional Council for its promise to pursue those who are responsible for destroying the graves of the brave individuals who fought against those who would oppress their fellow man during the second world war.

Most important, I commemorate the great sacrifice of the Canadians who laid down their lives in the defence of freedom and democracy and pay tribute to those who continue to serve around the world to defend these important values today.

We owe them so much and Libya owes them so much. We must never lose our appreciation of service and sacrifice.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, the preservation of language is an essential aspect of cultural heritage. More than 60 first nations languages are spoken from coast to coast to coast in Canada. This unique and fundamental part of Canada's cultural mosaic must be preserved.

What is encouraging is the growing number of young aboriginal activists stepping forward to preserve these languages, working tirelessly across the country to sustain a unique cultural identity. I would like to praise the work of FirstVoices and first nations activists who are leading the way to the revival of first nations cultural heritage. On this side of the House, we salute their efforts.

The full contribution of the first nations, Inuit and Métis people to building Canada has never been fully recognized and honoured. New Democrats are committed to a new partnership to address long-standing neglect and injustice. We are committed to building together a Canada where aboriginal languages, knowledge and culture are respected and reinforced and where first nations communities across the country can stand with hope and pride.

41st General Election
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, last week, West Nova was mysteriously added to the list of alleged calls by Gord MacPherson, the campaign manager for Liberal candidate, Robert Thibault, who said that he had no memory of anyone complaining about calls during an election.

The media quoted Mr. Thibeault himself for remembering the incident. He said, “I had one person call saying that he got repeated calls at odd hours from a caller saying he represented the Liberal Party”.

There it is. The Liberals paid millions of dollars making hundreds of thousands of phone calls in these ridings and they now claim to have received these calls from the opposition.

The opposition's exaggerated allegations demean the millions of voters who cast their votes in the last election.

University Basketball
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to pay tribute today to St. Francis Xavier University basketball coach Steve Konchalski.

Already the “winningest” coach in Canadian university sport history, he reached a new milestone on January 7 with his 800th victory.

As a player, he led Acadia University to a national title in 1965 and was chosen tournament MVP.

Coach K has led the St. FX X-Men to three national championship victories so far, and he has taken Canada's national team to three Olympic games. He has served as assistant coach of the Canadian team for 16 years, and as head coach for four.

He has been inducted into the Acadia Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame and the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame.

He is known as a class act, a man of intelligence and humility, but perhaps the greatest tribute to Steve Konchalski comes from his players who say that he always demanded a lot from them, both in the classroom and on the court.

I invite all members to join me in recognizing Coach Steve Konchalski on his 800 victories.

James Q. Wilson
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, James Q. Wilson, who died last Friday, was one of the quiet giants of our age whose rigorous common sense was an antidote to the intellectual poison of so much of the 25th century academic philosophy.

Wilson will be best remembered for his “broken windows” theory of policing, which held that the failure to police supposedly minor breaches of the social order, such as vandalism, defacement art and graffiti, as well as drug use, undermines a community's sense of security and mutual trust, leading to more broken windows in crime. This insight ran counter to the soft on crime ideology of the sociologists and criminologists of the day. However, whenever policy-makers enacted Wilson's ideas, such as in New York, crime went down and the intellectual bankruptcy of his opponents was exposed.

However, Wilson's legacy is much broader. At a time when moral philosophers were denying the very possibility of truth, Wilson tested their claims against the reality of lived experience and showed them to be hollow.

As an enlightenment empiricist, he reintroduced the moral sense of Aristotle and Adam Smith to a new generation of policy-makers and reminded us that an ounce of--

James Q. Wilson
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for London--Fanshawe.