House of Commons Hansard #130 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was co-operatives.

Topics

Agriculture and Agri-food
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, nearly 300 people have just lost their jobs with the closing of the Levinoff-Colbex slaughterhouse in Saint-Cyrille-de-Wendover.

The federal government has never wanted to admit that it is harming slaughterhouses by imposing slaughtering standards that are more stringent and more costly than those in place south of the border. The Conservatives' inaction is now having consequences that are devastating for these hundreds of employees. Beef producers and the Quebec government are currently working on setting up a co-op.

Will the Minister of Agriculture commit to meeting with the Fédération des producteurs de bovins du Québec in order to explore all possible avenues to save the slaughterhouse and the jobs it provides?

Agriculture and Agri-food
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, it is well known that, historically, our government has always provided solid support to the Levinoff-Colbex slaughterhouse. Its closing is of course a business decision, and our thoughts are with the employees and the families affected.

However, I would like to point out that we provided the company with $4.6 million in funding to help it cope with the negative impact of the difference between its costs and U.S. costs. Our door is always open to working with producers to examine issues of competitiveness.

At the time, large amounts of money had been earmarked in the budgets, which could have gone to help the slaughterhouse, but which the Bloc voted against, I remember.

Agriculture and Agri-food
Oral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

That concludes question period for today. The Chair has notices of two points of order. I will take them in the order in which I was made aware of them.

The hon. member for Calgary Centre.

Resignation of Member
Oral Questions

3:10 p.m.

Conservative

Lee Richardson Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House to inform you of my resignation as the member for Calgary Centre.

Serving in this House on two different occasions in two different centuries has been the greatest honour of my life.

From 1988 to 1993, I was privileged to serve as the member of Parliament for Calgary Southeast in the government of prime minister Brian Mulroney, whose achievements included the free trade agreement and the acid rain accord, two landmark agreements between Canada and the United States.

Since 2004, I have been equally privileged to serve as the member for Calgary Centre and since 2006, in the government of Canada's 22nd Prime Minister, the right hon. member for Calgary Southwest.

To both prime ministers, I thank them for the honour of serving in their caucus. Each has remarkable listening skills when it comes to leading a united caucus, the most important leadership attribute in our parliamentary system.

This Prime Minister has reunited our party and brought it from political wilderness to government, where he leads our country with great distinction. As a Calgarian, I think all Calgarians take great pride that our country is led by one of our own. I am proud to have served in his government and am grateful for his friendship and support. I am equally proud of Laureen Harper, a wonderful chatelaine of 24 Sussex and ambassador for Canada.

I first sat in the members' gallery, and some members will recall me saying not long ago, 40 years ago, as executive assistant to the Right Hon. John Diefenbaker, Canada's 13th prime minister. He was no longer leader of the Progressive Conservative Party at that time, but he was still master of this House, the greatest parliamentarian of his time. It was a privilege to have known him and to have worked with him on his memoirs, One Canada. There was never a more partisan figure in this House than Mr. Diefenbaker, but he was, above all, a man of this House.

If I could share one thought with colleagues, it would be this. While we advocate for different ideas of Canada, we are all Canadians and we all love our country. I think we would all do well to remember that and leave the partisan furies at the water's edge.

There are many people I would like to thank, many people to be thanked, beginning with the voters of my two ridings who sent me here in five elections.

I would like to thank the volunteers and supporters in my Calgary association, and my dedicated staff who have served me so well over the years.

In particular, I want to thank Lynda MacKay, my executive assistant, who is now the longest serving staffer on Parliament Hill. Just last week she received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for her decades of unbroken service.

I am leaving to take up a new opportunity as principal secretary to the Premier of Alberta, Alison Redford. This is an exciting challenge at a moment when Alberta's new premier is claiming Alberta's leadership role in the Canadian federation in a way that only Peter Lougheed, among her predecessors, has done.

To my friends here, I say goodbye for now. I hope to see all of you at the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede this July. It has been an honour to be in your company.

Resignation of Member
Oral Questions

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I await my call from the Premier of Alberta, but it is a long time in coming.

As my friend receives salutations and congratulations from many of our colleagues around the House, he can look at the blues later for my comments. I consider him a friend, and do so much because of the way he just responded and told us about his life and experience here.

I thank him for his many invitations to the Calgary Stampede. We now all have one for the centennial, which is great.

I also must commend him. This life and work are not often kind to us, and for somebody who can reflect back to days with former prime minister John Diefenbaker, I must say the time has been remarkably good to my friend from Calgary Centre. He is looking great. We wish him the very best from the New Democratic Party of Canada and from all the citizens we represent.

Resignation of Member
Oral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, these events are somewhat like Tom Sawyer's funeral, where he had the benefit of attending so he could hear the eulogies. The hon. member for Calgary Centre is in exactly that position.

I simply say as somebody who I suspect has been hanging around the House of Commons perhaps even a little longer than he has, what a great privilege it has been to serve with him in this House.

His words to us were well expressed and are a worthy reminder of how important a very simple word like “civility” really is. Civility does not just apply to whether or not we are polite with one another. Civility also applies to how the House itself is run. All of us who have had a chance to work with the member for Calgary Centre, whether on committee where he has served as a very effective and fair-minded chair, whether in the House itself where his interventions have always been singularly well-spoken, positive and thoughtful, or in private conversations, it can be said that he is someone who is constantly reaching out to all sides of the House not only to establish political relationships but also to establish personal relationships.

On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada, I offer our best wishes to our friend, the member for Calgary Centre, as he starts his new position. I do not think there is anyone more qualified than him for this job, not only for the Province of Alberta and its premier, but also for all of Canada.

I know the hon. member served a similar role at the time of the premiership of Peter Lougheed. I can think of no one in the country who is more qualified to serve the Premier of Alberta who, I must say, contrary to what has been said by the House leader of the official opposition, has certainly always returned my phone calls without any difficulty. Maybe he has the wrong number.

I cannot think of anybody more qualified, not only to serve her and the people of Alberta, but also to serve the people of Canada. We wish him well.

Resignation of Member
Oral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to join the other parliamentarians in paying tribute to my colleague, since I had the honour and pleasure of sitting with him from 1988 to 1993.

I was already in Parliament when he arrived in 1988. I sat with him and we were in the same party at the time—the Progressive Conservative Party. I think that, like him, I belonged to the progressive side. I very much admired his vast knowledge of politics and his diplomacy.

I would particularly like to thank the member for rising during the famous debate on the Meech Lake accord and showing his love for his country, Canada, but he always wanted to accommodate Quebec by being a great defender of the Meech Lake accords. I thank him for that. It demonstrated his generous spirit and his vision for the future with a very important place for Quebec. Unfortunately things did not turn out that way, but his efforts were noticed. I would like to thank him and wish him well in his new career.

Resignation of Member
Oral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was very emotional as my dear friend, the member for Calgary Centre, stood to announce his resignation. As some may know, I worked as senior policy adviser to the federal minister of the environment in the Mulroney government, and one of the luckiest breaks I ever got was when the hon. member for Calgary Centre, who worked in the prime minister's office, took the time to help advance an issue and make sure that the great environmental goals of that government were achieved.

It has been one of the greatest pleasures for me to serve in Parliament with an old and dear friend. But he is not that old. I want to clear something up. He first worked with John Diefenbaker when he was only four or five years old. I do not know what use he possibly was to the prime minister in that era, but it speaks well of Progressive Conservative policies for child labour that we still have the hon. member for Calgary Centre among us. We will miss him very much.

I wish him the best of luck in his position with the Alberta government.

Oral Questions
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order arising out of question period today.

The member for Okanagan—Coquihalla raised a point about a bill that he has been moving through the House. We have made offers to the Conservative Party to switch his bill to allow it to pass before the summer. I am unclear as to which part of yes the Conservatives cannot take for an answer. We have offered everything we can do to move the bill through expeditiously. That is what would happen if the hon. member would agree. I do not understand why the government is continuing to disrupt the hopes and dreams of winemakers right across this country and those who enjoy it. No one shall say that New Democrats do not like wine as much as the next party.

Use of an Unparliamentary Expression
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:20 p.m.

NDP

Claude Patry Jonquière—Alma, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday evening in the House, during my speech on Bill C-39, I used an English word that anglophones define a certain way. I will not repeat it in the House. As a francophone, to me that word means “to be taken for a ride” or “to be had”.

Since we are in the House of Commons and some of my colleagues were offended, I would like to withdraw the word and apologize to all of my fellow MPs.

Use of an Unparliamentary Expression
Points of Order
Oral Questions

3:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I thank the hon. member for addressing that situation.

Public Safety
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Provencher
Manitoba

Conservative

Vic Toews Minister of Public Safety

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 2011 annual report on the RCMP's use of the law enforcement justification provisions, as per sections 25.1 to 25.4 of the Criminal Code.

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

May 30th, 2012 / 3:25 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to six petitions.

Interparliamentary Delegations
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canadian delegation of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group respecting its participation at the National Governors Association winter meeting held in Washington, D.C., February 24 to 27, 2012.

Canadian Heritage
Committees of the House
Routine Proceedings

3:25 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Moore Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage in relation to its study on the main estimates, 2012-13.