House of Commons Hansard #132 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was rights.

Topics

Armenia
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, May 28 is a significant date for Armenians in Canada, Armenia and around the world. On that date in 1918, the first Republic of Armenia declared its independence following the horrors of the Armenian genocide. Although the new republic was forcibly annexed by the Soviet Union in 1920, even 94 years later May 28, 1918, remains an important date for all Armenians.

The Republic of Armenia is again an independent country after declaring its independence on September 21, 1991. I had the honour to visit Armenia in 2010 and saw first-hand Armenia's functioning democracy and vibrant culture.

This past Monday here on Parliament Hill, members of Parliament and Senators commemorated this 94th anniversary with members of Canada's Armenian community. His Excellency Armen Yeganian, Armenia's ambassador to Canada, addressed the group.

I am honoured to serve as chair of the Canada-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group and to have shared in this historic commemoration.

The Budget
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

François Pilon Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, two weeks ago, in the course of my duties, I had the opportunity to visit two western Canadian provinces. Even there, people were appalled by the Conservatives' mammoth Bill C-38.

Last week in my riding, people were even angrier. This bill amends or repeals laws that directly impact my Laval—Les Îles constituents: old age security, cuts to environmental agencies and changes to the Employment Insurance Act, to name but a few.

My constituents are furious. Day after day, they tell me that, when the next general election comes around in 2015, they will elect a government that listens to workers, Canadian families and all Canadians. In October 2015, they will elect an NDP government because we are fit to govern.

National Brain Injury Awareness Month
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday I had the privilege of attending a gala to honour brain injury survivors in my riding of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo. I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to them by reminding everyone that today marks the first day of National Brain Injury Awareness Month, as designated by the Brain Injury Association of Canada. The goal this month is to highlight the effects and causes of acquired brain injury and its prevention.

Brain injury is the number one killer and disabler of people under the age of 44. Statistics further indicate that incidences are two times greater within the male population. Recognizing the challenges associated with brain injuries, our government recently announced $100 million for the Canada brain research fund.

I would like to encourage all members of this House to become involved with grassroots brain injury associations in their ridings. They should take the time to listen to survivors and family members speak out about the support and guidance they have received. Their courage and determination are truly inspiring.

Aerospace Industry
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, 17 pages of the Conservatives' Trojan Horse budget bill were devoted to speaking about innovation. However, when it came to funding made-in-Canada satellite technology, the budget was silent. I will not be.

The RADARSAT Constellation mission is the leading edge of Canada's innovation in space. Once launched, it will be able to detect oil spills both at sea and from pipelines and it will monitor the Northwest Passage as well as ice floes and icebergs in the Atlantic. It can track forest fires and flooding to protect Canadians from natural and even man-made threats.

The government's refusal to extend funding is precipitating a brain drain of highly skilled engineers and scientists who are packing their bags and leaving Canada to go and work for the competition.

In Brampton, 100 jobs have already been lost, and 150 more are at risk in Richmond, Montreal and Brampton. These are the people who built the Canadarms.

The project is due to run out of funds by the end of August, and it is time for Conservatives to stop playing games and fund RADARSAT.

Canadian Forces Day
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, this Sunday, Canadians will celebrate Canadian Forces Day. Our brave men and women in uniform serve their country with pride at home and abroad. Their dedication to protecting our freedom and sovereignty is treasured by every Canadian. Canadians show their pride and appreciation by wearing red on Fridays.

Later today, the streets of our nation's capital will be awash in red as thousands take part in a walk/run in red event. It is through events like this and the personal gestures of millions of Canadians who wear red every Friday that we can continue to thank them.

On behalf of my constituents, this House and all Canadians, I want to thank the members of our Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force for their extraordinary and brave service.

Aboriginal Affairs
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak of the alarming suicide rate in first nations communities and, in particular, the plight of Pikangikum First Nation, home to not only the highest suicide rate in Canada but, shockingly, the highest suicide rate in the world. Equally shocking is that 90% of residents are unemployed, which combined with inadequate housing, lack of access to education and pervasive poverty lead inevitably to problems of violence and addiction.

While it was welcome news this week that Ontario's Chief Coroner will hold a joint inquest into the deaths of seven first nations teenagers, including one from Pikangikum, more must be done to address and prevent deaths in first nations communities, including suicides, particularly among the young.

Parliament must make this an issue of the highest priority, alongside the shocking incidents of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls as well as the redressing of past wrongs, as raised in my meeting this week with the chiefs of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. They report that of the hundreds, if not thousands, of indigenous children who died in residential schools, many of their parents were never notified, their graves are unmarked and their identities may be lost forever.

We can and must do better, lest we learn nothing from the tragedy of Pikangikum or the sad legacy of residential schools or murdered aboriginal women and continue to allow first nations communities to suffer such unspeakable horrors.

New Democratic Party of Canada
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the NDP's energy and natural resources critic is at it again. We all know he has led the NDP charge on nearly every trade treaty deal that has come before the House during his time here. He opposes trade deals with countries on several continents and even supported the U.S. in its buy American policy, which unfairly discriminates against Canadian exports. He should be ashamed of himself.

This weekend, he is taking it a step further. Attacking the natural resources sector, he is attending a Council of Canadians conference that actually opposes the mining industry and Canadian companies around the world. The member for Burnaby—New Westminster is spending his weekend attacking trade and our resource sector.

We know the NDP members think that natural resources are a disease, but such positions will cost Canadian families jobs and prosperity at a time when they are needed most. He and his anti-oil-sands party and leader should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.

Conservative Government
Statements by Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

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

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives were propelled into power by surfing the wave of the sponsorship scandal, promising major democratic reforms and a more transparent and accountable government.

Six years later, what is left of those promises? Nothing more than a sour taste in our mouths.

They have already begun sabotaging their own law on ethics by eliminating the Public Appointments Commission. They are disregarding the most basic parliamentary principles by hiding all kinds of irresponsible measures in their Trojan Horse budget bill. They support an unelected Senate and have stacked it with their cronies. They do not hesitate to violate fundamental rights with their back-to-work legislation and they muzzle their backbench MPs. The Conservatives have become everything they once scorned, everything they condemned in the election campaign.

Soon, however, in 2015, Canadian voters will remind them that, in a democracy, when a party does not keep its promises, it does not remain in power.

Restoring Rail Service Legislation
Statements by Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week our government took swift action to protect the Canadian economy by passing back-to-work legislation for CP Rail. CP Rail, a company whose trains carry over $540 million in goods per week for the Canadian economy, went on strike for a week. Our government pulled out all the stops to protect thousands of Canadian jobs and the economy, like those at Honda in my riding of Simcoe—Grey. We were pleased to see the bill receive royal assent last night and to get the trains running again.

Unfortunately, the NDP members continue to ignore the best interests of Canadians and stand up only for their big union bosses, and the Liberals tried to delay the legislation because they would rather put thousands of Canadian jobs at risk and damage the Canadian economy than act in the interests of the public.

Our government will continue to stand up for the best interests of Canadians and create jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. Why does the opposition not ever support any of these actions?

The Environment
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Medical Association is worried about the impact of air pollution on our seniors.

People aged 65 and older face a greater risk of suffering from cardiac problems than youth or adults. With our aging population, this proportion will only continue to increase.

Cuts to environmental programs go against the interests of seniors. The Conservatives also want to cut old age security. Can they at least spare the health of our seniors?

The Environment
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, obviously the health of Canada's seniors remains a top priority for the Government of Canada.

Despite a $50 billion deficit just a few short years ago, the government has honoured our commitment to the health care system in this country like no other government in Canadian history. Despite difficult economic times, we have increased the transfers to the provinces and territories by 6% a year, every single year since the government came to power.

The first thing we did in looking for savings and reductions was to exempt the transfer for health care to the provinces. That is an unparalleled commitment to our seniors and to Canada's publicly funded health care system.

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I will try another one. In an open letter to the Prime Minister, four former federal fisheries ministers, two of them Conservatives, raise serious concerns about the Fisheries Act changes that the Conservatives are trying to sneak through in their budget bill. They are “....especially alarmed about any possible diminution of the statutory protection on fish habitat...”.

This is not about misguided attacks that take 25-year-old comments out of context. It is about today's changes. It is about communities, experts and even former fisheries ministers who are raising the alarm.

Why will the Conservatives not stand down the attacks and listen?

Fisheries and Oceans
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, let us look at what the government is doing. We are introducing changes that will focus our fish and fish habitat protection rules on fisheries, not on farmers. The current rules do not distinguish between vital waterways, lakes and rivers that support local fisheries, and drainage ditches, man-made reservoirs and irrigation channels that are not even home to fish.

What we are doing is trying to focus fisheries protection on fish habitat, not on farmers' fields.

The Budget
Oral Questions

June 1st, 2012 / 11:15 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I understand I was missed Wednesday at the Trojan horse subcommittee hearings.

However, while I was working on my file, do members know who was missing in action at the hearings? The Minister of the Environment, the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Conservative ministers are not too keen to come back to committee and explain why they are killing environmental assessments, gutting the Fisheries Act and muzzling scientists.

I will be back at committee next week. The question is, will they?

The Budget
Oral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I, like all members of the House, did miss the participation of the deputy leader of the New Democratic Party. I am so thrilled to see her back in her place today.

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of the Environment appeared before the committee, as ministers always do when budgets are presented. They have appeared in this House each and every day, they or their parliamentary secretaries, to be accountable, to be responsive to members of this House.

What we want to focus on, though, is not process. We want to focus on building long-term prosperity for this great country. We are pleased with the economic growth of 1.9% we saw in the first quarter. More work remains to be done. Let us focus, like a laser, on job creation and on economic growth.