House of Commons Hansard #107 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was gender.

Topics

Rights and Freedoms
Statements by Members

April 5th, 2012 / 11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Michael Chong Wellington—Halton Hills, ON

Mr. Speaker, April 17 marks the 30th anniversary of the Constitution Act, 1982, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which entrenched in the Constitution of Canada the rights and freedoms necessary for a free and democratic society. For 30 years, the charter has regulated interactions between the state and its citizens.

For 30 years, the Charter has spurred change.

As a 10 year old, I remember watching the broadcast of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Parliament Hill, who proclaimed the Constitution Act 1982, which brought the charter into force.

The Charter has had a fundamental effect: it has made Canadian citizenship the cornerstone of our society.

It enforces the idea that all citizens, regardless of their ethnicity or creed, share a common set of rights and responsibilities. The charter serves as a common thread in the fabric of Canada and is what makes us uniquely Canadian.

Rio Tinto Alcan Workers
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Claude Patry Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday, March 31, 2012, in the town of Alma in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, people marched in solidarity with the locked out Rio Tinto Alcan workers. Members of the public and unions from around the world came to participate in this tremendous show of solidarity.

Unions from Quebec and Canada—CSN, FTQ, CEP, CAW and the Steelworkers—as well as Australian, French and English unions and many other labour organizations came in support of the locked-out workers. I want to thank them for participating in the rally.

It is important to condemn the behaviour of Rio Tinto Alcan, which is getting rich by taking advantage of our natural resources and our hydroelectric dams. Rio Tinto Alcan has been holding the region hostage with its lockout since December 31, 2011. Rio Tinto Alcan must negotiate in good faith with the union and the employees and must ensure that the people of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean receive their fair share of the collective wealth. Rio Tinto Alcan must offer good jobs with good salaries and not create two classes of workers, thereby impoverishing the region.

Long live solidarity. Long live the workers.

Yorkton Film Festival
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House today to give special tribute to the Yorkton Film Festival, which will be celebrating 65 years of film in May in my constituency of Yorkton—Melville, Saskatchewan.

The first of its kind in North America, the festival was established in the city of Yorkton back in 1947 by the Yorkton Film Council and local volunteers.

The Yorkton Film Festival has evolved over the years to showcase the best of Canadian short films and videos. The four day event includes workshops, showings and social events like street dances, ethnic food and live entertainment. Its grand prize, the Golden Sheaf award, is inspired by the wheat fields that surround this vibrant city and province.

I wish the organizers and participants of the 2012 Yorkton Film Festival, the longest running film festival in North America, the best of success as they celebrate the best of Canada's film industry.

National Volunteer Week
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Gary Schellenberger Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, from April 15 to 21, Canadians will come together to celebrate National Volunteer Week.

I would like to thank the more than 13.3 million Canadians who contribute to the 2.1 billion hours of volunteer work completed in Canada each year.

Our government recognizes the considerable impact that volunteers alone can make within communities across Canada, each and every day. All Canadians can volunteer, all Canadians can make a difference.

Everyone has a the right and responsibility to be engaged. Our government knows that Canadians do not want to sit on the sidelines and wait for someone else to enact every change they want to see in their community.

I am pleased to have this opportunity today to thank volunteers across Canada for their selfless dedication and to encourage those who have not yet had the enriching experience of volunteer work to engage in this act, which is truly a reflection of our strong Canadian values.

Horeb Saint-Jacques
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Manon Perreault Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to draw the attention of the House to the social and community-minded services that Horeb Saint-Jacques provides to the people of Montcalm and the Lanaudière region in general.

Horeb Saint-Jacques owes its exceptional influence to its many commitments within the community, as demonstrated by its wealth of programming focused on personal healing, personal growth and all forms of spirituality.

Its activities benefit people of all ages, including couples and families, rich and poor. Horeb Saint-Jacques is a welcoming place where anyone in need can meet others, find accommodation and get some support.

I invite all of my colleagues in the House to go and visit Horeb Saint-Jacques. It is a restful and very peaceful place where human beings come first, without any prejudices.

Battle of Vimy Ridge
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, next Monday Canadians will commemorate the 95th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Together with students from St. Peter Catholic High School we will remember Canada's victory, which was the successful capture of Vimy Ridge in a struggle for peace, liberty and hope.

Today we remember the more than 650,000 brave Canadians who served during World War I and the more than 66,000 who lost their lives.

The Canadians who were about to capture the ridge at dawn on that Easter Monday simply had to face that challenge.

At 5:30 that morning, the first wave of Canadian soldiers, each shouldering up to 70 pounds of equipment, pushed up the ridge through snow and sleet.

These were young men who, until then, had their whole future stretching out ahead of them.

It is the responsibility of each of us to remember.

Be proud of our Canadian Forces because they continue to make Canada a great country and a trusted ally.

We will remember them.

National Volunteer Week
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, April 15 to 21 is National Volunteer Week. This is a unique opportunity to celebrate the dedication of those who serve others.

During this difficult time, as the state distances itself from its social responsibilities, our volunteers are more precious than ever. Every year, over 13.3 million volunteers contribute close to 2.1 billion hours to building a better society in Canada and around the world.

Today, I would like to highlight the exceptional contribution of one of my Hull—Aylmer constituents, Robert Saucier, who is the president of Logement intégré de Hull inc. and the Regroupement des associations de personnes handicapées de l'Outaouais. Mr. Saucier has dedicated his life to helping people with disabilities.

On behalf of my party, I would like to tell Mr. Saucier and the millions of other Canadians who volunteer how grateful we are for their work.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Katyn Memorial Day
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, April 13 marks Katyn Memorial Day.

The Katyn massacre of 1940 was perpetrated by the murderous Soviet NKVD, on the orders of Stalin, with the intention of wiping out the best and brightest of the Polish nation.

Over 20,000 Polish officers who had been taken prisoner by the Red Army were brutally executed, most in the forests of Katyn. For decades, communist authorities denied this responsibility for their war crime until the Soviets finally admitted to it in 1990.

This memorial day was made even more painful two years ago, when, on April 10, the airplane carrying the Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, and dozens of high-ranking Polish officials tragically crashed at Smolensk en route to the Katyn commemoration ceremonies.

Over the next week, Polish Canadians will gather to commemorate both tragedies. I ask all of my parliamentary colleagues to join with Polish Canadians in mourning these terrible events in history.

National Day of Reflection on the Prevention of Genocide
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, Parliament unanimously declared April 7 as the National Day of Reflection on the Prevention of Genocide, where we remember and reflect on the 18th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide that in less than 100 days, beginning on April 7, 1994, one million Rwandans, mostly ethnic Tutsis, were slaughtered, victims of a government-orchestrated campaign of incendiary incitement and unspeakable violence.

However, what makes this genocide so unspeakable is that it was preventable. No one can say that we did not know. We knew, but we did not act. As the Security Council and the international community dithered and delayed, Rwandans were murdered.

Indeed, the great tragedy is not so much how many Rwandans were murdered, but how so few intervened to save them.

And so, we promise: never again will we be indifferent to racism and hate; never again will we be silent in the face of evil; never again will we indulge mass atrocities. But we will speak and we will act to combat impunity, to promote international justice and to ensure that Canada does not become base and sanctuary for these great perpetrators of genocide. Never again.

We remember.

Firearms Registry
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

David Wilks Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to report that yesterday the Senate passed the ending of the long gun registry. For years now, the opposition has been fear-mongering and misrepresenting the long gun registry in order to maintain its vanity project intact. Right until the bitter end of this wasteful and ineffective 17-year debacle, the Liberals have ignored the will of Canadians to push their misguided agenda to treat law-abiding hunters, farmers and sport shooters like criminals.

Rest assured, by this afternoon, the bill will become law and Canadians will no longer have to register their hunting rifles or shotguns.

Our government promised to end the long gun registry once and for all. That is exactly what we have done: promise made, promise kept.

Firearms Registry
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning, because of the Conservative government's uncompromising and uncooperative attitude, the Province of Quebec has gone to court to obtain an injunction to preserve firearms registry data pertaining to the Province of Quebec.

However, the minister of public peril is so obsessed with destroying the data in the registry that his obsession will end up costing Canadian taxpayers dearly.

This ideological government could not care less about what Quebec wants, what chiefs of police want or, most importantly, what victims want. The government has absolutely no respect for anyone who believes in this registry.

The provinces have the right to access the data in the registry to create their own registries. The Conservatives do not have the right to destroy the data. We will not let them off easily. The NDP will not hesitate to fight for the safety of Canadians, unlike the three Liberal senators who voted with the Conservatives and unlike all the senators from Quebec who were conspicuously absent during a vote of such importance to Quebec.

Member for Sherbrooke
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, following the vote in the House on the excellent 2012 economic action plan, the hon. member for Sherbrooke announced that he was pleased to have voted against the budget, as he said, on behalf of the people of Sherbrooke.

By his logic, what he said last evening on Twitter is that on behalf of the people of Sherbrooke, he voted against a plan that has already helped create more than 690,000 jobs since June 2009.

On behalf of the people of Sherbrooke, he voted against the hiring credit for small business and against increased investment in research and innovation.

On behalf of the people of Sherbrooke, he even voted against eliminating wasteful spending within the government and against a sustainable old age security system.

On this side of the House, we will continue to get things done on behalf of all Quebeckers and all Canadians.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General has identified a never-ending litany of problems with the F-35 program: Ministers failed to be accountable and key departments failed at their jobs.

This morning, the Auditor General said that the responsibility for the misleading information that came to this House about the cost laid directly in the cabinet of the Conservative government.

Will the Prime Minister stand today in this House and tell us whether in fact the cabinet knew what the true costs were going to be for the F-35s?

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, the government has not actually purchased any airplanes. The government plans to do that some years hence, and we will set up an independent committee to supervise that process.

What the Auditor General in fact did say is that, in terms of his report, the government is taking steps in the right direction. Of course, he also confirms that no money has been spent on this acquisition.

National Defence
Oral Questions

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, is that not typical, again no responsibility and no true information coming to this House.

The government is dumping it over to an F-35 office, and it has already been found by the Auditor General that those people did not do due diligence.

What the Canadian people want is value for money. They want a plane where the specifications have not been rigged in advance. They want a government that actually takes responsibility for its failure.

What is wrong with having a competition? Why will the government not hold a simple, open competition to replace the F-18s?