House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was years.

Topics

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for the truthfulness of her remarks.

The issue of OAS and changing the age of eligibility from 65 to 67 is particularly poignant. It was in Guelph that the Prime Minister made the unequivocal promise that he would not change the OAS, would not reduce it and in fact would make it more robust, as if to suggest that 10 years from now people would not need two years of help. The very people, the aging, those who are suffering the most and needing the most help are going to be deprived of that help.

It is not enough to just criticize. I know the hon. member has been involved and engaged very heavily in the creation of an alternative program, the supplementary Canada pension plan, that would be better than changing the OAS. Could she talk about that for a few moments?

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has done an enormous amount of work on behalf of the citizens of Guelph and the citizens of our country.

When we talk about an aging population, I stood in the House and challenged the government to introduce pension legislation and make some changes to the Bankruptcy Act to protect seniors. The idea is to bring in changes to pension regulation that allows those people, those who can do it, to better prepare for their retirement by saving.

The supplementary Canada pension plan is an add-on to the current Canada pension plan. Everyone who has a SIN, social insurance number, can contribute, whether they are a homemaker, a farmer or self-employed. This is the kind of the thing we need to do to prepare for the future and the aging population.

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, giving a speech on Bill C-38, the budget implementation act, is a true honour for me. We are dealing with one of the most substantial budgets in decades and it is extremely important to the future of the country.

Before I get into that, I am very surprised at what I have heard over these last days of debate on the bill. I have heard members say, “That is there, and that may be all right, but there is something hidden, and it is such a big document, we cannot study it”. They say that they do not have enough speaking time, yet the member for Burnaby—New Westminster took 11 hours in a filibuster, which deprived 44 members of a chance to speak to the bill.

What were we to do? Were we to let every member of the House filibuster for 11 hours? We could have been years on the bill. We have to deal with the bill. We hear a lot of nonsense from the members opposite, but quite frankly that nonsense does not cut it. What is in the bill is very significant and important to the future of our country, and it is extremely positive legislation.

I will talk about one part of the legislation, and that is the responsible development strategy. This part of the legislation is truly the most significant change that any government in our country has made in decades. It is extremely important, and I will give hon. members an idea of why I believe that in the 10 minutes I have.

First, we have heard from companies across the country that they want to invest about $500 billion in 500 major projects in the next 10 years. That is a lot of investment. That investment is not just in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. That investment is right across the country. There would be huge investments in Atlantic Canada and in Quebec. In Ontario the ring of fire is a mammoth project. It is almost unimaginable, judging from what we heard from witnesses at our natural resources committee.

This is extremely significant and important legislation, and the part on responsible development is pivotal in the future of the country. It will mean our children and our grandchildren, and even our great grandchildren, will have extremely good, top-notch, top-paying jobs, jobs that are fun to go to every because they are exciting and people can really make things happen. This change in legislation will allow that to happen.

I chair the natural resources committee. We have been hearing from witnesses on various studies, most recently resource development in northern Canada. We did a major study on forestry in Canada. We did a study on the ring of fire in northern Ontario. We have done some fascinating studies and we have heard four main concerns from witnesses on development.

Almost all of them brought forward these concerns. This is not only from business owners and business managers. This is from union leaders who are concerned about future jobs for their members. It is from community leaders. It is from a wide range of people right across the country. They say that these things have to change in order to allow Canada to develop these incredibly good jobs for our children and grandchildren.

From almost all of the witnesses, we heard there was an infrastructure need. Much of that infrastructure the companies themselves are willing to put in place. It is that important to their projects. A lot of resource companies have some cash right now so they are willing to do that. For those who follow, they are willing to make an arrangement so that they pay for the development of infrastructure they put in place.

That includes the obvious things like roads, bridges and that kind of thing. It also includes something else, which is an even bigger problem for many of these natural resources developments, and that is a power supply. They need a relatively small power supply for running a mine, for example, but they need a much larger power supply if they are to add some value right at the site and if they are to refine the ore into one of the end products, or all of the end products. That takes a lot larger electricity supply, and getting that supply is a major infrastructure demand.

Many companies can do that, working with other companies. Some have suggested that maybe there might be some need for either provincial or federal government lending or some such thing, but infrastructure is an important thing.

The second thing almost every witness talked about, and this is not an exaggeration as anybody sitting on the committee would know, is the shortage of skilled workers.

A lot of people think the shortage is only in western Canada. However, that is not the case. The shortage exists in every province and territory in the country. Now it is not in every town. As we know, some communities have very high rates of unemployment. However, that shows another problem that we will start to deal with in the budget implementation act and in our budget. It makes that connection between the areas of relatively high unemployment and the desperate need for skilled workers. I will talk more about how we will do that a little later, but it is a connection that we have gone a long way to make in this budget. We have done some of that over the past few years, but there is more to be done.

As there is an incredible need for skilled workers, we have put more money into post-secondary education, universities, technical schools and community colleges so our kids can get their education closer to home. All of that is helping to solve this problem.

Also, this shortage has become a huge opportunity for first nations across the country. Almost every one of these resource development projects is near or involves a first nation community. We know that in many of these communities there is a high level of unemployment, so this opportunity is there.

Many of our companies across the country are taking advantage of that source of workers by offering not only training but teaching these people how to get into the workplace to get some of the top-notch jobs that are available. That is a benefit of the skilled worker shortage. We are getting first nation people much more involved, sometimes through their own companies and sometimes through working for someone else.

Third, if we are going to have these developments take place in Canada, we have to become more competitive.

Canadians simply are not very competitive. For example, we are not competitive compared to our American neighbours. Therefore, if we want to keep these high wage jobs and if we want to create more, then we have to become more competitive. We have to do that through new innovation, new technology, et cetera. We have a major focus in the budget on exactly that and we will move ahead with it. This third area is of great concern to all companies and we will deal with it along with them, because they often take the lead on that.

Fourth, we need a better regulatory system. These companies have made it very clear that they can either invest their $500 billion in Canada or they can take it anywhere else in the world, and they mean it. They are not married to our country; they can go anywhere. Therefore, we have to ensure we get these projects in Canada and that means improving our regulatory approval system. A lot of the budget is about that. We have to improve the process for not only for large projects, but for small projects as well.

I have heard from municipalities across the country about the difficulty they have when they put a larger culvert in to move water across the road. The cost of doing that is triple in many cases because the regulatory process runs interference.

For large and small projects, we need to have a streamlined regulatory process. Does that mean we will ignore the environment? It is exactly the opposite. Instead, we will have a focused environmental process that will bring together the federal, provincial and local governments, first nations and private business. Together they will go hand in hand sharing information and expertise. The end result will be a better environmental assessment process and there will be more certainly in that process. Therefore, these companies will be willing to invest their money if there is certainty. If they know the government part of the process for a major project will not take more than two years, they can live with that and go ahead with their investment.

I cannot overstate the importance of what is being done through the budget, particularly through the common sense approach to the regulatory process reform. I am proud to stand as a member of the Conservative caucus. I am proud to be a part of what will be the most significant government action taken for generations to come.

Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act
Government Orders

2 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Barry Devolin

Order. The time for government orders has expired. Therefore, the questions for the hon. member for Vegreville—Wainwright will take place when this matter returns before the House.

Motherhood
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Eve Adams Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to pay tribute to those who take on the most difficult, yet most rewarding, responsibility one can ever have: being a mother. These extraordinary women raise their children with love, care and devotion. A mother's wise words guide a child through life's most difficult challenges. A mother's kind heart fills her child's future with hope. Mothers sacrifice, inspire and encourage. They always put their children first.

My own mother, Eva Horvath, did just that. As a Hungarian immigrant, she learned English, established a successful family business and instilled in my brothers and me a deep respect for the importance of education, hard work and loyalty—but above all, family.

Now that I am also a mother, I am raising my son Jeffrey with the same values.

To my mom and all great moms across this amazing country, happy Mother's Day.

Nursing
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is National Nursing Week. It is into the care of Canada's 266,000 nurses that we put ourselves and our families at our most critical and vulnerable moments, at birth and often at death.

My friend and constituent Jane MacIver won The Toronto Star Nightingale Award three years ago. She is tough, often irreverent, but also a deeply caring professional who does nothing short of saving lives. My colleague from Abitibi—Témiscamingue is also a nurse. She serves her constituents like the rest of us, but also in ways that the rest of us cannot: as a nurse. She continues to maintain her skills because it is her calling not just to serve but to heal.

Nurses keep us healthy, heal us and take away pain, and this week we recognize the sacrifices they make for the health of others. Nursing is an emotionally and physically gruelling job. To my friend Jane, to my colleague and to nurses across Canada, this week we celebrate and thank them for their contributions year round.

Air Service Operations
Statements By Members

May 10th, 2012 / 2 p.m.

Conservative

Merv Tweed Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to salute two great Canadian companies that are working together to spur Canada's economic growth and create jobs in this country.

Last week, WestJet Airlines announced that it has selected Montreal-based Bombardier Inc. to supply up to 45 of its Q400 turboprop planes for the launch of its new regional carrier late next year. This partnership is excellent news for Canada's manufacturing sector and economy as a whole. I would also like to congratulate WestJet, which will see the delivery of its 100th aircraft later this year and has just reported record growth.

The launch of WestJet's low-cost regional airline in 2013 will see not only the addition of these new Canadian-built aircraft to the WestJet fleet but also the addition of new destinations to WestJet's service grid.

I have no doubt that Canadian communities will welcome the new routes serviced by Canadian-built planes in the near future.

Two great Canadian companies are helping to build one great country.

Congratulations to WestJet and Bombardier.

Hunger Awareness Week
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I joined many parliamentarians and staff who fasted in solidarity with the millions of Canadians who wake up not knowing where their next meal is coming from. I want to congratulate everyone who participated.

This morning I certainly enjoyed a healthy meal. Regrettably, hundreds of thousands of children across Canada wake up hungry and have to count on food banks for their breakfasts. In my own community, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society deserves kudos for collecting and distributing food for over 25,000 people weekly through 16 food depots and over 100 community agencies.

Let us bring the plight of hungry Canadians into the open. Let us work to reduce the income inequality that shamefully continues to rise in Canada. Let us work to put food banks out of business.

In the meanwhile, I ask all Canadians to join me during Hunger Awareness Week and consider donating food, money or time to help reduce hunger in our communities.

Together, let us make food security a reality for all Canadians.

Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

David Tilson Dufferin—Caledon, ON

Mr. Speaker, from June 1 to June 3 the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. This outstanding and award-winning annual event, which takes place in my riding of Dufferin—Caledon, has been rated one of the top three festivals to attend in Ontario for the past two years running. It has significantly grown from its humble beginnings to a three-day open-air event involving local businesses, organizations and exceptional musicians from the U.S., Europe and Canada, including a wide variety of Juno Award winners.

On behalf of the residents of Dufferin—Caledon, I sincerely congratulate the festival's founder, Larry Kurtz, for bringing his vision of a free Saturday afternoon concert to the community, which is now a premier tourist attraction for Orangeville and surrounding areas. I also congratulate the 165 volunteers and many sponsors who enthusiastically support this event and ensure its success each year.

Hunger Awareness Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is Hunger Awareness Week, and I would like to salute the tremendous and absolutely critical work done by organizations that help society's most vulnerable people get enough to eat.

I would like to thank Moisson Sud-Ouest and Moisson Rive-Sud for supplying 50 food banks in my riding, Beauharnois—Salaberry, including Service alimentaire communautaire, Café des deux pains, Bouffe additionnelle, Sourire sans faim, Un coin chez-nous and Coin du partage, to name but a few.

This past year alone, a total of 302,563 kilos of food worth $1.5 million was distributed to over 94,000 individuals. I urge people to continue to be generous with their gifts of money, food and especially time to these organizations all year long.

We, the NDP, will keep fighting for better living conditions for all Canadian households. We will continue to press for affordable housing for all, better pension plans and child tax benefits, and improved access to employment insurance benefits.

Suicide Prevention
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, the federal framework for suicide prevention act received first reading last September. In the seven months since then, more than 2,000 Canadians have likely died by suicide. Suicide prevention is more than a mental health issue; it is a public health issue that costs our economy an estimated $2.4 billion each year.

The best way to combat suicidal behaviour is through open conversations. I recently participated in a bowlathon organized by the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council, which raised $27,000 for suicide prevention efforts. What is more important than the funds raised, though, is that the 150 bowlers engaged many hundreds of donors in a vital conversation. For too long, we maintained a failed approach of not talking about suicide.

I ask all hon. members to join in a genuine solution and encourage conversations on these sensitive issues in their communities. The most important leadership this House can provide is by example.

Arts and Culture
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, arts and culture play an important role in creating a healthy and strong society. They help bring us together as Canadians, preserve our heritage and create jobs and economic opportunities across Canada.

I am proud ot recognize two important investments in my riding of North Vancouver. Our government has invested $350,000 toward the construction of the Gordon Smith Gallery of Canadian Art.The gallery will showcase works done by some of Canada's finest artists, including Robert Bateman, Bill Reid and Ted Harrison. It will also house an art education facility that will help inspire young Canadian artists. Our government has also invested over $15 million toward the Nat and Flora Bosa Centre for Film and Animation studies at Capilano University in my riding. This state-of-the-art film and animation centre will help train the next generation of Canadian filmmakers.

Our government is committed to supporting Canadian artists from coast to coast to coast. We will continue to invest in projects that support arts and culture and create jobs and economic growth.

Mental Health Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Manon Perreault Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, during this National Mental Health Week, I would like to take the opportunity to remind the House of the contribution made by Dr. Camille Laurin to psychiatry in Quebec. He would have been 90 years old this week.

Dr. Laurin was a long-time activist and an outstanding psychiatrist. He was also a teacher with a desire to change the practice of education. He was responsible for major reforms in teaching and the practice of psychiatry in Quebec. By speaking out against the conditions in psychiatric hospitals, he managed to mobilize an entire generation of psychiatrists and change society's perception. This may have created some waves, but major changes were required to address pressing needs in this area.

He believed that patients with mental illnesses should be treated the same as any other patients. Nevertheless, stigmatization still exists and mental health care is still lacking. We need only think of our soldiers or of female inmates.

I invite my colleagues to think about Dr. Laurin's contribution and about the quality of care and of the systems in place in our country.

New Democratic Party of Canada
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

David Wilks Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP shadow cabinet says a lot about its party and its true beliefs and motives.

The Leader of the Opposition appointed the member for Vancouver Kingsway as the critic for international trade. The member was previously critic of the Immigration portfolio and served as a continual advocate for radical activist groups such as No One Is Illegal. This group is not just another noisy activist group; its members are hard-line anti-Canadian extremists who believe all violent criminals and foreign war criminals have the right to stay in Canada on our streets and in our communities.

The NDP's willingness to associate with such groups may explain why the NDP has strongly opposed our reasonable reforms to the Canadian immigration and refugee system. The leader of the NDP has chosen a team that demonstrates a disturbing willingness to put the interests of a narrow band of activists ahead of the interests of ordinary Canadian families. It is becoming clear that the NDP does not stand for the interests of everyday hard-working Canadian families.

Search and Rescue
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Ryan Cleary St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, there is outrage today in my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador, a long simmering outrage that has reached the boiling point over the latest unbelievable example of how the federal Conservative government is failing our mariners.

News broke Tuesday that medical calls for help from ships off Newfoundland and Labrador, and only off Newfoundland and Labrador, were being routed 5,000 miles away to Italy. The calls were being directed to a Rome-based non-profit organization that has been described as “the soup kitchen of telehelp”.

It was bad enough that the Conservatives closed the marine rescue sub-centre in my riding, directing distress calls to Halifax and Trenton, Ontario, but mainlanders have a hard enough time understanding my people, let alone Italians.

Our search and rescue response times are among the worst in the world. Our mariners have died waiting for help that did not come, and so did 14-year-old Burton Winters of Makkovik, Labrador.

The Conservative government has written off our fishery and now our mariners. The resentment toward the government is turning to distain.