House of Commons Hansard #5 of the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senators.

Topics

Flood Relief Efforts in Calgary
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Joan Crockatt Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have never been more proud to call Calgary my home.

In June's floods, the largest natural disaster in Canadian history, the people of Calgary showed incredible spirit and pulled together in the face of overwhelming adversity. They showed the world how friends and strangers help each other.

I want to thank everyone who sacrificed time, money, and effort, including our Prime Minister and his wife, cabinet ministers, and members of Parliament, who helped Calgarians dig out their basements after the floods.

In a record-breaking eight days, cabinet approved federal disaster assistance financing. By sending in military helicopters to help people get rescued from their rooftops, the government was there for Albertans.

Then in the Speech from the Throne we announced the national disaster mitigation program to reduce the impact of natural disasters like this one. This is what people in my riding have been calling for. Bravo.

Campaign for the Right to Literacy
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Mr. Speaker, everyone has the right to literacy, a fundamental skill and the foundation for participating in society, yet far too many Canadians suffer from low literacy.

I am proud to say that a national campaign for the right to literacy has begun in my riding of Dartmouth—Cole Harbour. Led by Lesley Dunn of the Dartmouth Learning Network, the campaign encourages leaders and citizens across Canada to sign a declaration calling for a national framework for literacy. I am also proud to say that the very first person to sign this declaration was the leader of the NDP. Since then it has been signed by politicians of all stripes and all levels of government.

I encourage every member of the House to take this opportunity to show their support and sign the declaration calling for a national framework for literacy.

Grain Shipments by Rail
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, I believe that farmers are the salt of the earth and I am delighted that farming is pretty good right now. Farmers have a lot to be thankful for: cattle prices are high, hog prices are on the rise, and supply management sectors are relatively stable, with new opportunity being opened up with the Canada-EU free trade agreement. This agreement, of course, is good for all sectors.

Grain farmers have produced a huge record crop. When we hear farmers complain about storage shortages or their trucking bill, we know they have a big crop.

While these comments are partly in jest, it is true that grain movement and prices will very much depend on CN and CP rail.

I want to assure farmers that my colleagues and I are aware of the importance of early and heavy grain movement and will be strongly encouraging the railways to get at it. This crop is almost in the bin and much of it is in temporary storage, but it is still a long way from market and is still very vulnerable. We will keep watching out and ensure that this crop gets moved.

Support for Small Businesses
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to talk about the tremendous work our government has done to support the growth of small business as we recognize Small Business Week across Canada.

We are continuing our work to reduce red tape by removing unnecessary and ineffective regulations, allowing businesses to grow and create more jobs.

We are reducing taxes and we are reducing the administrative tax burdens on small businesses by improving CRA's ability to provide quick and effective services.

By extending the hiring credit, we are making it easier for small businesses to expand their workforce and further stimulate economic growth. In addition, we are helping young entrepreneurs become the business leaders of tomorrow by contributing millions of dollars to the Canadian Youth Business Foundation.

We are also investing in research, development, and innovation programs that directly help small businesses with their efficiency and productivity.

It is clear that our government recognizes the critical role played by small businesses in our economy, and we will continue to provide them with our support.

Community Contributions
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Réjean Genest Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to commend the outstanding contributions of two individuals who were awarded the Quebec National Assembly medal last week.

Joanne Ouellette is the executive director of Solidarité ethnique régionale de la Yamaska, an immigration advocacy group. Ms. Ouellette is a visionary, a smart and caring woman.

Serge Tremblay is a businessman who founded the Leucan Shaved Head Challenge and the Leucan 12-Hour Ski Challenge. He is known for his contributions to many causes.

I would also like to recognize Chantal Bossé, CEO of CHABOS, who is the second Canadian woman to win the title of Microsoft PowerPoint MVP for 2013-14, and the only francophone woman among this group of experts.

I wish to personally congratulate Joanne Ouellette, Serge Tremblay and Chantal Bossé on the contributions they make to their communities.

Justice
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Roxanne James Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Omar Ahmed Khadr pleaded guilty to heinous crimes. He pled guilty to the murder of Sergeant First Class Christopher Speer, an American army medic. He also pleaded guilty to providing material support for terrorism, conspiracy and spying.

Last week the courts readily decided that he must continue to serve his sentence in a maximum security federal facility. Too often this serious criminal gets all the attention, especially from his soft-on-crime friends in the NDP and Liberal Party. In fact, the member for Gatineau referred to the “tragedy of Omar Khadr”.

The real tragedy is that on August 6, 2002, Tabitha Speer lost her husband and Taryn and Tanner Speer lost their father.

Rather than focusing on the rights of confessed terrorists like Mr. Khadr, the Liberals and the NDP should join our government in standing up for the rights of the real victims of crime.

Autism
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Dany Morin Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to talk about Autism Awareness Month, which is observed every October in Canada.

It was recently estimated that nearly 1% of Canadians live with autism. My colleagues from Vancouver Kingsway and Sudbury have moved motions regarding autism, and I am proud to say that the NDP has worked very hard to find solutions and help Canadian families who have loved ones with this disorder.

During recent discussions with autism groups, I learned what little compassion the federal government has shown for their realities. It has ignored the practical solutions that have been proposed, such as the creation of national treatment standards to ensure fair access to care for children and adults across the country. The Conservatives also refused to improve surveillance standards, which would have helped us better understand autism.

As deputy health critic for the NDP, I hope that Autism Awareness Month will help Canadians better understand this disorder and understand the need to offer better support to the people with this disorder and to their families.

Canadian Forces College
Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Opitz Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Forces College in Toronto is among the premier centres of military education in the world. The CFC plays a vital role in the professional development of selected Canadian officers and prepares them for senior command positions at the global strategic level.

The CFC includes international military members, RCMP, senior public servants and private sector leaders addressing future strategic responsibilities in a complex global security environment through many programs offered at the CFC.

The National Security Programme is the CFC' s year-long senior course. This week is its annual field study exercise to Ottawa, visiting key federal departments and varied experts. The International cadre are from Brazil, the U.S., Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Trinidad and Tobago, Kenya, the Netherlands and Poland.

As a former graduate and staff member at the CFC, I welcome the Canadian Forces College National Security Programme to Ottawa on its annual field study exercise.

Human Rights
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend I participated in an international conference in Paris in support of the struggle for democracy and human rights in Iran and in remembrance of yet another massacre of 52 Iranian residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq, protected persons under international humanitarian law.

The victims' families and former political prisoners, with whom I met, were particularly pained by what they felt was the silence of the international community in the face of ongoing massive domestic repression in Iran, where hundreds of Iranians have been executed since President Rouhani's election, where Rouhani has appointed a justice minister who is a person directly responsible in the 1988 massacre of 5,000 political prisoners, and where the massacres of Camp Ashraf residents, of which the most recent was the fifth of its kind, continue with impunity, while other residents have disappeared.

It is our responsibility, as they have asked me to convey, to break the silence, to hold the Iranian and Iraqi governments to account, to secure protection for the Ashraf residents and to ensure, as they cautioned me, that nuclear negotiations must not serve as a distraction from the ongoing massive violation of human rights in Iran.

Religious Freedom
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Cypress Hills—Grasslands
Saskatchewan

Conservative

David Anderson Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, this past Sunday we witnessed yet another tragedy in Egypt. Another Coptic church was attacked, killing four people, including two young girls, an 8 year old and a 12 year old. I would like express my sincerest condolences to the family and friends of the victims.

This assault represents the latest attack, targeting the Coptic community in Egypt. Our government condemns this. Places of worship should be places of safety. We call upon the Egyptian authorities to protect Coptic Christians and bring those responsible to justice.

Our government firmly believes that implementing a transparent, democratic system that respects the voices of Egyptians, including the members of all religious communities, is the best way to restore calm. It will give all Egyptians a stake in the future stability and prosperity of their country.

Canada will continue to support the transformation to a pluralist, democratic Egypt that protects the right of all Egyptians, regardless of faith, to live in peace.

International Trade
Statements By Members

October 22nd, 2013 / 2:15 p.m.

NDP

Dan Harris Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives seem to be at their happiest when they are misleading Canadians and spreading falsehoods about the NDP. Yesterday, it was about a trade deal.

Last week, our excellent trade critic sent out a statement saying:

New Democrats welcome progress towards a comprehensive new trade agreement with the European Union. We believe in expanding and diversifying our trade relationships...

Reasonable people would recognize this was a responsible position. In fact, a Conservative minister called the NDP approach “balanced”. Yet the Prime Minister yesterday disregarded the facts and instead started making stuff up. I think he has been reading too much Jeffrey Simpson, or maybe his talking points were inaccurate due to a production deadline.

In reality, the NDP supports greater trade with Europe and we can be trusted to tell the truth and defend the interests of Canadians.

International Trade
Statements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, through the Canada-Europe trade agreement, our government is creating new and historic opportunities in Europe for our agricultural producers. Almost 94% of EU agricultural tariff lines will be duty-free when the Canada-Europe trade agreement comes into force.

Our government has successfully negotiated an outcome that provides our exporters access to 500 million new hungry consumers. Our government is standing up for Canadian farmers and ranchers. In fact, the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance said:

CAFTA fully supports this deal, which we expect will expand agriculture and food exports to the EU by an incredible C$1.5 billion dollars a year.

However, the NDP is an anti-trade party beholden to unions and radical anti-trade activist groups. Union friends of the NDP have already denied the benefits of a Canada-Europe trade agreement and the Leader of the Opposition said last week, “there's going to be a hell of a price to pay” for trade with Europe.

On this side of the House, we support free trade and new jobs and opportunities for Canadians, while the NDP supports no trade and the Liberals support the drug trade.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, does the Prime Minister regret any of his actions? Not Nigel Wright's actions, not Mike Duffy's actions, but does the Prime Minister regret any of his own actions in the Senate scandal?

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, once again, as I have said before, we expect that when people are parliamentarians in either House, they will respect the rules, particularly rules obviously regarding expenditure. If they do not, we expect there to be accountability, and that is what we expect when people make mistakes. We will continue to operate on that basis going forward.

This government, of course, will focus on the real priorities of Canadians, and that is jobs, growth and ensuring we have opportunity for future generations.

Ethics
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont
Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Leader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on June 5, the Prime Minister said that no one else in his office knew about Nigel Wright's $90,000 payment to Mike Duffy. Was that true?