House of Commons Hansard #104 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

Financial Statement of Minister of Finance
The Budget
Government Orders

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Barry Devolin

Order, please. I regret that I must interrupt the member for Burnaby--New Westminster on his point in order to move to statements by members.

Sports
Statements By Members

April 2nd, 2012 / 2 p.m.

Conservative

Costas Menegakis Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, many families in my riding of Richmond Hill are involved in sport and fitness activities. Whether it is soccer, hockey, gymnastics, baseball or any other sport, our government recognizes the importance of these activities in building healthy and strong communities.

Our government stood up for Richmond Hill families when we brought in the children's fitness tax credit to help parents offset the cost of these programs. We stood up for families when investing in recreational activities and facilities, such as the new artificial field at Crosby Park and the rehabilitation of Elgin Barrow Arena.

Our government continues our support for healthy active living through investments in ParticipACTION, Special Olympics and Own the Podium programs.

This week, as sports groups, like the Richmond Hill Stars, wrap up their season and others, like the Richmond Hill Soccer Club and the Richmond Hill Phoenix Baseball Club, get ready to launch their summer sessions, let us salute all families and sport and fitness activities in Richmond Hill and across the country.

Juno Awards
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, excellence in Canadian musical expression was on display this past weekend in the capital region as it played host to the 2012 Juno Awards. I am certain I speak for my colleagues in recognizing the nominees and congratulating the winners, including veterans Feist and Terri Clark, as well as new-found favourites Dan Mangan and Lindi Ortega to name a few.

Through their creative passions, Canadians come to know themselves and make who we are open to the world. Whether singing in French, English or Urdu, these Canadian ambassadors have shown us why it is important that we support and stabilize Canadian arts and culture in the cultural community.

The legacy left by Pierre Juneau, the award's namesake and a native son of Verdun in my riding, is a forward-thinking cultural vision that saw culture as a pillar of our society. His vision of Canada with its own distinctive voice lives on in those who practise at art everyday. Judging by the crowds, I would say that Canadians have added their voices to our celebrated storytellers.

Let us, as members of this House and of government, commit to investing in our artists and allow them to continue the vision that Pierre Juneau believed in. Why? Because it is good to be Canadian.

Hockeyville
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, West Kelowna is one of our country's newest municipalities. When it entered the Kraft Hockeyville contest, it did so as an underdog, a new municipality without previous decades to establish an identity as a hockey town. The organizing committee was undeterred and worked incredibly hard to put on a first-rate Hockeyville campaign and the citizens of West Kelowna came together in a way like never before. That is what is important for a new municipality.

This past Saturday, we learned, somewhat earlier than expected, that we could congratulate the township of Stirling-Rawdon in winning Kraft Hockeyville for 2012. Faced with the early arrival of this news, what would become of the West Kelowna Hockeyville celebration on Saturday evening? Would anyone show up? However, something amazing happened. The premier arrived, the mayors, the MLAS and, most important, the thousands of citizens from West Kelowna literally jammed the rafters. West Kelowna may not have won Hockeyville 2012 but it did achieve a sense of community pride that is far more important.

I send a special thanks out to organizers Adam and Andrew for making believers of all of us.

Member for Papineau
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday night the political arena moved to the boxing arena—a metaphor that reminds us of the sometimes merciless struggle of political life.

The Conservatives, true to their nature, were confident and attacked their adversary even before the fight began. Their combatant was impetuous, their confidence unshakeable.

The fight began with a solid attack from the man in blue, whose only strategy seemed to be to score a knockout. However, he failed to take account of the Liberal's ability to stand up to repeated blows and come back even stronger.

Like the Liberal spirit, the hon. member for Papineau showed his constancy, patience and perseverance. He came back strongly and showed everyone that brute force, intimidation and a simple strategy may count for something, but training, technique and resilience will always triumph in the end.

Congratulations to my friend and colleague from Papineau. Let this fight be a sign that Liberal strength is returning.

Hockeyville
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daryl Kramp Prince Edward—Hastings, ON

Mr. Speaker, the sport of hockey is one of the cornerstones of our Canadian heritage, and nowhere is it more evident than in our small villages and towns.

I am proud to represent a riding where there have been many successes related to the great game of hockey. This year alone my own community of Centre Hastings won an unprecedented three Ontario minor hockey championships. The village of Stirling-Rawdon added one more to build upon its many past successes.

Only last week I stood here and congratulated the towns of Stirling-Rawdon and Bancroft in my riding on making it to the top 15 communities in the 2012 Kraft Hockeyville competition, with Stirling-Rawdon going on to make it to the top five.

Led by organizers like Cindy Brandt and a great team of volunteers, they continued to demonstrate their community's astonishing spirit and passion for the game of hockey while applauding all who participated.

Now I am absolutely thrilled to congratulate Stirling-Rawdon on the announcement Saturday evening that it had won the Hockeyville competition.

I ask my colleagues in Parliament and all Canadians to join me in congratulating Stirling-Rawdon on being named Hockeyville Canada and representing the ultimate in community spirit and love for the great game of hockey.

Health Care System
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Réjean Genest Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, our health care system is sick. Recently, I had first-hand experience with our inadequate health care system. I went to the Granby hospital with my spouse, who had a persistent cough following a bout of flu. In a waiting room meant for 50 people, there were just 10 or so patients waiting to see a doctor. We waited over five and a half hours to see a doctor, who eventually diagnosed pneumonia.

In its budget, the Conservative government is going ahead with plans to cut health transfers to the provinces and territories despite the fact that Quebeckers and Canadians are asking it to commit to providing stable funding for health care. Given the government's misguided approach, what will happen to the aging Canadian population?

Pope John Paul II
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Wladyslaw Lizon Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, today marks the seventh anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II.

During his papacy, he had a profound impact on people of all faiths and cultures all over the world, who continue to admire and revere him.

Many remember that Pope John Paul II was strongly committed to building understanding between the Catholic church and other faiths. His efforts, whether through his historic visit to the Great Synagogue of Rome or his meetings with the Dalai Lama, are seen as having opened new avenues for positive dialogue.

He played a vital role in inspiring Eastern Europe to resist Communist tyranny, which contributed to the success of the democratic transformation of that region.

As we know, blessed John Paul II is now on the road to sainthood. I would like to take this opportunity to remember the tremendous contributions that he made to the world and to the promotion of values that we as Canadians cherish.

Public Safety
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Eve Adams Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week it came to light that the member for Toronto—Danforth had complained that a sitting judge had an anti-criminal bias.

Rather than realizing what an absolutely ridiculous stance that is and apologizing to Canadians, the member doubled down and said that it was our Conservative government that should apologize.

We have nothing to apologize for. We will not stand for a hug-a-thug rhetoric coming from that party. That is why Canadians gave us a strong mandate to continue our work to crack down and keep our streets and communities safe.

I call on the leader of the NDP to discipline that—

Public Safety
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Public Safety
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek.

Old Age Security
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, the only crisis for OAS is the one the Conservatives have chosen to create.

A review of Canada’s retirement income system by pension experts of the OECD had this to say:

Canada does not face major challenges of financial sustainability with its public pension schemes....Long-term projections show that public retirement-income provision is financially sustainable.

A report from Kevin Page, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, also agrees that OAS is easily sustainable

Prior to the May 2011 election, our leader Jack Layton and I announced the New Democrats’ retirement security for seniors plan. During that election, the New Democrats were clear on pensions. In fact, our very first platform plank was on pensions and increasing the GIS to raise seniors out of poverty.

One would think that if the Prime Minister was considering forcing Canadians to work two extra years before retiring, he just might mention it in an election campaign, unless of course he believed it would cost his party votes.

Human Trafficking
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, our government recognizes that human trafficking is a despicable crime and that anyone who profits from the modern-day slave trade should face serious consequences.

In recognition of this crime, I recently introduced Bill C-310. Our crown attorneys desperately need this tool in order to prosecute human traffickers wherever they commit their crimes. Unfortunately, last Friday NDP members deliberately delayed the passage of Bill C-310. They deliberately threw it to the bottom of the order paper.

This has become a pattern that is very disturbing. When we look at the record, NDP members have already voted against tougher penalties for child predators, against tougher penalties for child kidnappers and against ending house arrest for serious crimes such as sexual assault.

Last Friday the only muscle that was shown was against the innocent victims of this horrendous crime.

Seal Hunt
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Philip Toone Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

Mr. Speaker, this year's seal hunt on the Magdalen Islands is a historic event. In an unforgettable collaborative project with hunters from the Magdalen Islands, the Micmac people of the Gesgapegiag First Nation have been able to rediscover traditional knowledge that had been lost for centuries.

Although their ancestors helped teach non-aboriginals to hunt for harp seals, the Micmac had this part of their culture taken away from them when the reserve system was created. Some 200 years later, the people of the Magdalen Islands were very moved to be able to return the favour and share their expertise on the pack ice.

Accompanied by an Inuit colleague from Nunavut, the Micmac conducted a harvest based on their traditions, combining respect for the animal and nature.

This event marks a new willingness to develop co-operation, dialogue and friendship between the communities of the Magdalen Islands and Gesgapegiag. We can only applaud the courage of the people who organized the event, which was an opportunity for growth between the founding peoples of this country.

Employment
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Williamson New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, our government's top priority is job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity.

Canada's economic action plan highlighted that we will be introducing new ways to further assist Canadians claiming EI to find jobs and help get them back to work.

The opposition is fear-mongering that these changes will force Canadians to uproot and move away to find jobs. This is simply not true.

In fact, we are increasing our efforts to ensure Canadians are made aware of the jobs available in their local areas, as well as providing incentives for taking all available work in their local community.

Our government recognizes that Canadians want to work. We are working to provide families with the tools they need to find gainful and meaningful employment in their communities.