House of Commons Hansard #140 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was yea.

Topics

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led today by the hon. member for Thunder Bay—Superior North.

[Members sang the national anthem]

The Environment
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I had the enormous honour earlier today to meet with Bonnie and Gord Johnston of Sundre, Alberta. They came to Ottawa to plead with members of Parliament to remember that when a pipeline leaks it is not just the environment that is devastated, it is families and it is lives.

Gord Johnston grew up on the 23 hectares where his family lives on the banks of the Red Deer River. Their beautiful river became a flood of oil that has now contaminated their entire property. Bonnie and Gord were in tears as they pleaded with members of Parliament to bear in mind what happens when environmental regulations are weakened.

In their own words, and they asked me to convey this today, they said, “Please, Mr. Prime Minister, you need to stop and think. The environment is where we live”.

Cellular Towers
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Terence Young Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, cellular telephones and cellular telephone antennae emit radio frequency, electromagnetic radiation that the World Health Organization has classified as possibly carcinogenic. That is why Apple and RIM warn their customers to not touch BlackBerrys and iPhones during a call and to keep these devices at least 15 millimetres from their bodies. Health Canada tells parents to reduce children's EMR exposure with shorter telephone calls, hands-free devices and text messaging because children are more sensitive.

The people of Oakville do not want cellular antennae that broadcast electromagnetic radiation located near their homes, schools, day care centres or health care facilities. We have good coverage for phone calls and do not need cellular towers everywhere to broadcast hockey games to hand-held devices in every room.

Rogers and Telus are working with local residents but Bell Canada has placed powerful antennae 11 metres from a child's bedroom and over the heads of our firefighters and refuses to move them. This is intolerable. I would tell the president of Bell Canada, Mr. George Cope, to tear down those antennae.

Les Grands Rangs Co-operative
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Annick Papillon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, Thursday, June 14 will mark the official opening of the grocery and deli of the Les Grands Rangs co-operative on Saint-Joseph Street, in the heart of the Saint-Roch neighbourhood, in the riding of Québec.

The original idea was to create a model for building bridges between rural and urban areas, and between producers and consumers. The co-operative's mission is to bring together various artisan producers of local agri-food and agroforestry products from the greater Quebec City region and other surrounding regions.

The new co-operative will allow for knowledge transfer among generations, thus helping to preserve heritage and ensure the future of farming. This networking between producers, users and the public will contribute to socio-economic development, while respecting sustainable development, equity and local traditions, as well as ties to the territory and community.

Les Grands Rangs co-operative is a powerful symbol for building a local, collective, united economy that respects our environment. Let us celebrate the knowledge of our producers and put some Quebec on your plate.

Canada-Russia Relations
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Adler York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday marked the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and Russia. It was also the 22nd anniversary of Russia Day when the declaration declaring Russia state sovereignty was signed in 1990.

I am proud to speak to the enormous contributions Russians have made to our country. Over half a million Russians have chosen Canada as their home. As the representative of the riding with the largest number of Russian speaking people in Canada, I have had the privilege to participate in the richness, complexity and beauty of the Russian culture first-hand.

On the commercial front, our bilateral relationship means jobs for Canadians. Just last wee, our Minister of International Trade led a successful trade mission to Moscow and St. Petersburg with a delegation of Canadian companies with an eye to increasing the $2.7 billion worth of bilateral trade that currently exists between our two countries.

We all know that trade means jobs, growth and long-term prosperity, which we on this side of the House are committed to. I wish our Russian friends Pozdravliau S Dnem Nezavisimosti.

International Year of Co-operatives
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, Corporate Knights is a respected quarterly magazine which, for 11 years, has been publishing the list of best 50 corporate citizens of Canada. To do so, it uses 11 indicators that measure social and environmental performance and corporate governance.

The top three companies this year are: Le Groupe Desjardins, Vancouver City Savings Credit Union and the Co-operators Group. It is fitting that in this, the International Year of Co-operatives, the three leading corporate citizens in Canada are co-ops.

Monique Leroux, the chair of the board, president and CEO of Le Groupe Desjardins, had this to say, “This speaks volumes about our 'cooperative DNA'. As organizations, we’re rooted in our communities, dedicated to our people and the environment, and managed with a view to long-term development.”

As well, all three companies are led by women: Monique Leroux for Desjardins; Tamara Vrooman, CEO of Vancity; and Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of the Co-operators Group Limited.

Here also, the co-ops are truly leading the way.

Personal Achievements
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge the achievements of two remarkable constituents from my riding of Etobicoke Centre. The first is Johanne Fisch, who has, for the past 30 years, planted a tree in Broadacres Park on Earth Day. In 2004, he incorporated his organization, Open Flag Planet Earth, whose objectives are to educate the public on the preserving the environment and to host an open house in green space annually.

I admire and I congratulate Johanne on his commitment to the environment.

I also congratulate Brittany MacLean, a grade 12 student in Etobicoke Centre. On March 27, Brittany competed in Canada's Olympic trials and won the 400-metre freestyle event. Her time of 4 minutes and 6.8 seconds not only broke her personal best but also beat the Canadian record which has stood since 2005. Most remarkably, her win qualified her for the London Olympics. I look forward to cheering her on this summer.

I congratulate both Johanne and Brittany on their personal achievements. I am proud of the exceptional residents who call Etobicoke Centre their home and who I have the honour to represent.

Citizenship and Immigration
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know there are skill shortages in this country and yet the government has hit the delete button on about 300,000 skilled worker applications. It is shoddy public administration, economic mismanagement and is callous.

It has also prompted a number of visits to my office from constituents, including one whose sister and family have been in the queue since 2006. She wrote to me stating, “As a landed immigrant and now a proud Canadian Citizen, I am absolutely devastated to hear about the proposal of handing back my sister's application...[along] with their future dreams and opportunities of a better life for themselves and their children in Canada.

“I cannot believe it has come to this...this is not the Canada we immigrated to. I am left with a heavy heart and an emptiness in the pit of my stomach, and the deep sadness for why I chose to come to Canada and call it home. This is not what Canada stands for”.

Indeed, it is not.

Child Health Initiatives
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today to speak to an important organization that helps raise awareness for the health of Canadian children and youth, the sandbox project.

The main goal of this charity is to make Canada the healthiest place on earth for a child to grow up in. With a focus on anti-obesity strategies, injury prevention, children's mental health and the environment, the Sandbox project's ambitious but achievable goal is to make measurable progress against these health issues through collaboration.

In an effort to raise awareness about the importance of child health initiatives, today this organization has the world's largest sandbox here in Ottawa. Elementary school students from across Ottawa were joined by ministers, members of Parliament, NGOs, as well as industry, media and academic leaders to participate in sandcastle building. It was a great event. I especially thank my fellow members of this House who came out and generously gave of their time to participate in this event.

I encourage every member to learn more about this organization at sandboxproject.ca. I know the health and well-being of Canada's children and youth is an important priority for every member of Parliament as this generation represents our future.

Trinidad and Tobago
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I stand before this House to congratulate the nation of Trinidad and Tobago on its 50th anniversary of independence. Trinidad and Tobago over the years has developed a great relationship with Canada.

Recently, our Governor General, His Excellency David Johnston, was in Trinidad and Tobago to officially convey good wishes on behalf of the people of Canada. While he was there, he shared his great wisdom by addressing the faculty of the University of the West Indies.

Canada is privileged to have a community of people who are from Trinidadian descent, some of whom live in my riding of Don Valley East. I am also pleased to say that my riding of Don Valley East has benefited from their hard work, dedication and contributions to Canada.

I ask all members of this House to join me in congratulating His Excellency Phillip Buxo, the high commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago, and his delegation on this 50th anniversary. May the future bring growth and prosperity to the people of Trinidad and Tobago.

Bill C-38
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Jasbir Sandhu Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, today all members of this House will begin voting on amendments put forward by New Democrat colleagues and other opposition members of this House to delete sections from and to attempt to stop this grossly undemocratic Conservative Trojan Horse budget bill.

People from across this country and in my riding of Surrey North are outraged that the Conservatives are trying to sneak through hundreds of sweeping changes, including cutting OAS, environmental assessment and fish habitat protection.

This is an attack on democracy that is masquerading as a budget bill. I know people are outraged because, unlike the Conservatives, the New Democrats went out and listened to the concerns of the Canadians and they are speaking out in incredible numbers against this bill. We are fighting on their behalf inside and outside of the House.

Today I am asking Conservative members to do the right thing and vote to respect the will of Canadians and the basic principles of democracy.

Foreign Affairs
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada strongly condemns the attacks Sunday on churches in Plateau and Borno states, Nigeria, where at least six people were killed and many more were injured. The terrorist group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for both attacks. We are deeply saddened to see that Nigerians gathering to practise their faith have again become the target of terrorist acts.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs recently met with his Nigerian counterpart to reaffirm that Canada stands in solidarity with the government and people of Nigeria in their fight against terrorism. Canada urges all people in Nigeria to work with the Nigerian government to counter extremism and terrorism, and bring to justice those responsible for these reprehensible crimes.

Last, we pray for the safety of all innocent Nigerian women, men and children. God bless Nigeria and God bless Canada.

Pay Equity
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Djaouida Sellah Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, as chair of the NDP women's caucus, today, I would like to express our deep indignation over the disastrous consequences that Bill C-38, a real Trojan Horse, will have in many areas of gender equality in Canada.

Cuts to old age security and employment insurance and the elimination of the Canadian Women's Health Network and the National Aboriginal Health Organization will have a greater impact on women than on men.

Equality is not a priority for this government. Clause 602 of Bill C-38 eliminates federal contractors' obligation to respect pay equity. This will have serious consequences for women's access to employment.

I am proud that the NDP continues to work for Canadian women so that gender equality is not just wishful thinking but a reality.

New Democratic Party of Canada
Statements By Members

June 13th, 2012 / 2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, our government has a plan to keep Canada's economic recovery on track. Unfortunately, the NDP has opposed and attempted to delay that plan at every turn. Sadly, this comes as no surprise from a party that is anti-jobs, anti-trade and anti-economic growth.

NDP members have opposed our pro-trade plan by voting against free trade agreements that we have brought before this House. They also, shamefully, sent an anti-trade delegation to the U.S. to advocate against Canadian jobs. The NDP's anti-jobs and anti-growth views were further revealed when the NDP leader called Canada's resource industries a disease.

When will the NDP members realize that they should be standing with us to support jobs and economic growth instead of against Canadian jobs?

Religious Freedom
Statements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise to commend the National Assembly of Quebec on its unanimous motion commemorating the 180th anniversary of a law.

This law, which was passed unanimously, granted Jews equality and complete political and religious emancipation.

This move to grant Quebec Jews full civil and political equality was one of the first of its kind, arising out the case of Ezekiel Hart, a Jew from Trois-Rivières elected to l'Assemblée nationale, but twice prevented from sitting solely because of his faith.

We must always remember our history, our heritage and the fight for equality.

The 1832 emancipation of Quebec's Jews was a landmark step in the struggle for freedom and justice for all.

This was a significant milestone in the fight for minority and human rights.

I invite all members of the House to join me in celebrating his most historic occasion.

We remember.