House of Commons Hansard #106 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was lenses.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for Papineau.

[Members sang the national anthem]

The Budget
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-François Fortin Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Mr. Speaker, it comes as no surprise that the government did not take the opposition's legitimate objections into account and that it will pass its budget without amendment. This cold and heartless budget will have tragic effects on the lives of thousands of Quebeckers in the coming weeks.

Starting today, devoted workers will find out that they no longer have jobs. People in the regions will feel the effects of cuts to Canada Economic Development. Unemployed workers will lose five weeks of employment insurance benefits. People in the forestry industry will see cuts to foreign market development. CBC and Telefilm will have to make tough choices.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives will be patting each other on the back and celebrating this fiasco. What a sorry spectacle.

North York General Hospital
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I send congratulations to a notable institution in my riding of Don Valley East, the North York General Hospital. It has recently been evaluated by Accreditation Canada and has been given an exemplary standing, a 100% rating, the highest rating it can possibly receive from Accreditation Canada. It must be noted that this kind of designation is very rare for hospitals or any other service provider.

This achievement is emblematic of how the highly qualified staff of North York General Hospital acts with professionalism and is committed to its patients. Those who need the services of the North York General Hospital can come in with confidence. Their needs will be looked after by some of the most professional staff in the world with the most modern and sophisticated medical technology.

Once again, I congratulate the North York General Hospital for its outstanding achievement.

Refugee Rights Day in Canada
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, as the daughter of refugees, I am delighted to celebrate Refugee Rights Day in Canada. On this day in 1985, the Supreme Court recognized that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms also protects the fundamental rights of refugee claimants.

Unfortunately, 27 years later, the federal government is trying to take away these rights by politicizing the refugee selection process, which must be fair, independent and equitable. Bill C-31 will discriminate against some refugees by revoking their right to appeal.

Not only will this government be engaging in discriminatory practices, but it may even deport refugees who have become permanent residents. In 2012, this is cruel and makes no sense. I believe that I am a good example of how refugees can integrate well into life in Canada.

I invite my Conservative colleagues to abandon their divisive politics. They should instead recognize and celebrate the socio-cultural and economic contributions of thousands of refugees living in this country, like my parents, who have helped build the Canada that we know today.

Yukon Native Hockey Tournament
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ryan Leef Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, the Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, the largest hockey tournament in the Yukon, celebrated its 35th anniversary this past weekend in Whitehorse. Forty-two teams and more than six hundred players from across the Yukon, Northwest Territories and British Columbia, as well as their family and friends, caught up, had some fun and watched some great hockey.

This tournament is an opportunity to promote aboriginal hockey for all ages and provides the opportunity for Yukon first nations athletes to compete with other Canadian provinces and territories in the sport. It is a commitment to hockey for all ages in the spirit of friendship and goodwill on a local, regional and national level. This tournament is the biggest and best native hockey tournament north of 60.

Thanks go to the sponsors, volunteers and organizers. Congratulations go to all the teams and to 35 fantastic years.

Montague Intermediate School
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, on March 28, Megan Morrison's grade eight class at Montague Intermediate School in my riding won the Canada's Coolest School Trip Contest.

This contest had classes submit videos that recreated a significant Canadian moment. It was sponsored by Parks Canada. Ms. Morrison's class finished first out of 69 entries from across the country, and won a class trip to Banff, Alberta. The winning video was called The Charlottetown Conference of 1864. It featured the class playing the Fathers of Confederation as they met at Province House in Charlottetown to discuss the birth of our nation. It is inspiring to see our youth become so passionate about the history of our great country. It reflects on the wonderful community of teachers and students at Montague Intermediate.

I want to send Ms. Morrison and all of her grade 8 class who worked so hard on this video heartfelt congratulations from me and every member of this House of Commons.

Palliser
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ray Boughen Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to announce two leadership changes in Palliser.

First, I would like to congratulate the new commanding officer of the Saskatchewan Dragoons, Major Chris Hunter, and to thank the outgoing officer, Major Brad Hrycyna.

Second, I would like to congratulate the new honorary colonel Jim Hunter at 15 Wing Moose Jaw and thank the outgoing honorary colonel, Yvette Moore. Jim Hunter began his aviation career by training as a pilot at 15 Wing Moose Jaw, later served as wing commander and currently is the president and CEO of the Regina Airport Authority. Yvette Moore is a Saskatchewan entrepreneur, well known for her naturalistic portraits of prairie landscapes.

Thanks again to Major Hrycyna and Yvette Moore for their service. Best wishes to Major Chris Hunter and Honorary Colonel Jim Hunter.

Komagata Maru
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Jasbir Sandhu Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, April 4, 1914 was the ill-fated date the Komagata Maru departed from Hong Kong and reached Vancouver's Burrard Inlet on May 23. For two months the Komagata Maru remained in Burrard Inlet and passengers were denied basic necessities like food and water. The discriminatory continuous journey regulation prevented the passengers from disembarking.

The tragedy of Komagata Maru marks a dark chapter in Canadian history. The federal government must provide closure for the trauma this has caused the South Asian community so that the process of healing and reconciliation can begin. That is why I have put forward a motion demanding that the Prime Minister formally apologize in the House of Commons.

I urge the Prime Minister to finally steer the Komagata Maru to shore after 98 years and offer a dignified, respectful official apology for the Komagata Maru tragedy.

Great Northern Ride
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, 13 years ago 13 businessmen from Brantford set out on their snowmobiles to raise $35,000 for children with special needs. Thirteen years later, that adventure has evolved into the annual cross-country snowmobile trek known as the Great Northern Ride, having raised over $1.3 million.

The driving force behind the ride is a good friend, Bob Caissie, a larger than life personality. Riders have covered almost 15,000 kilometres of terrain from Cold Lake, Alberta to Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula. They are an exceptional group of individuals who like to work hard, play harder and share a commitment to improving children's lives.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”. Great northern riders have done just that, charting their own path, leaving behind not just a trail of snow but a trail of very special kids whose lives will never be the same.

Thanks to Bob and thanks to Great Northern Riders.

Burma
Statements By Members

April 4th, 2012 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, the nation of Burma has just held a set of byelections and early results are in. Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy party, has won a seat in parliament. We are pleased that reports indicate voting was conducted without violence or overt intimidation. Burma appears to be making progress toward democracy once more. We hope this progress continues.

Despite these gains, we are concerned, however, about the protection of individual rights of Burmese citizens. We call on the Government of Burma to respect the fundamental rights and freedoms all people should enjoy. Those freedoms include freedom of the press, of expression and of religion. We also call on the Burmese government to seek peace in Kachin State and to put a stop to the abuses, such as the recent burning of Christian churches and destruction of villages which have been reported there. We continue to call on the government to respect the lives and property of the Kachin, Karen, Mon, Karenni, Chin, Shan and other ethnic and religious minorities.

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, on behalf of my NDP colleagues, I moved a motion in the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development to hear from witness Dan Wicklum, the chief executive of Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance.

“Loaning” this senior Environment Canada official to an oil industry lobby raises serious ethical questions. How can someone be on the payroll of a regulatory agency one day and on the payroll of Shell, BP, Imperial Oil and Suncor the next, only to resume his position at Environment Canada as though it were no big deal?

Instead of adopting my original motion, the committee instead decided to study “the positive environmental impacts” of the oil sands lobby.

It is clear that the Conservatives are more interested in spreading big oil propaganda than in shedding light on this blatant conflict of interest. It is shameful.

French Language World Forum
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, French is much more than just a language. In addition to being one of our official languages—spoken by over 9.5 million Canadians—French is an essential element of our history and our heritage.

Yesterday, my colleague, the hon. Minister of State for La Francophonie, announced $950,000 in funding for the French Language World Forum, which will be held from July 4 to 6, 2012.

Canada is proud to contribute to this first French Language World Forum, which will take place in Quebec City, the very birthplace of our francophone heritage in North America. Our government is firmly committed to promoting the French language and linguistic duality. That is why we are committed to promoting French at home and abroad by participating in activities like this one. And I am very pleased that this first forum is being held in Quebec City.

The Budget
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative budget does not meet the needs of the women in Gatineau, in Quebec or in Canada.

It is obvious that no gender-based analysis was done during its preparation.

No gender-based analysis was done during the preparation of this budget. Raising the minimum age for old age security benefits will have a disproportionate effect on women because 53% of them depend on the program to ensure a decent income.

The proposed tax cuts will not help low-income women who cannot take advantage of them. In Gatineau, the public service cuts will have a greater impact on women, who account for 55.2% of public servants. This budget does very little for women. In fact, many women from across the country contact me every day to express their disappointment.

I strongly encourage the Minister for Status of Women, whose organization was ignored in the budget, to do her job and make sure that the measures in the budget are adjusted to reflect the gender equality that this government so often claims to champion.

Canadian Grain Commission
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

LaVar Payne Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, since 1912, a hundred years ago, the Canadian Grain Commission has been helping to establish Canada's reputation as a consistent supplier of high quality grain.

Our Conservative government has always supported the Grain Commission. Last week's budget provided $44 million in new funding to help the commission modernize and make sure that the next hundred years are as successful as the past century.

Our government will continue to introduce legislation that will modernize the commission and ensure its continued success. Indeed, the CGC will continue to play an important role in an open market when farmers get marketing freedom on August 1.

Mr. Speaker, I invite you and all parliamentarians to a reception tonight at the government conference centre to congratulate the grain commission on its historic past, serving farmers, grain companies and our international customers.

Intergovernmental Affairs
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Calgary Centre-North, AB

Mr. Speaker, economic action plan 2012 is providing support to families and communities. Federal transfers to provinces and territories continue to be at a record levels, and Alberta will continue to receive significant support through major federal transfers.

For Alberta, major transfers will total close to $3.6 billion in 2012-13. This long-term growing support will help to ensure that Alberta has the resources required to provide essential public services, and contributes to shared national objectives, including health care, post-secondary education, and key components of Canada's social programs, as well as infrastructure.

This support includes almost $2.3 billion through the Canada health transfer, an increase of $646 million since 2005, and over $1.3 billion through the Canada social transfer, an increase of $717 million since 2005, as well as continued support through the gas tax transfer fund.

While the opposition is making false accusations about our support for transfers to the provinces and territories, our government is continuing to provide growing support to these partners.