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House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 40th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economic.

Topics

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Colin Mayes Conservative Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that we do not have our previous Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to tell the good news about what we did in the last Parliament, which was to fund skills training for those who have been laid off in the forestry sector and to fund retooling for factories that have been shut down.

It is interesting that no province in this country took more advantage of the moneys and programs put forward by the government than did Quebec. It was great to see people who had been in the forest industry being retrained, having the opportunity to go into, for instance, the aerospace industry, and actually finding better-paying jobs after they were retrained with those new skills.

I see this also in my own constituency, where a glass factory shut down on November 1. All those people have the opportunity to be retrained for other jobs in the sectors that are growing in British Columbia.

It is the same in Quebec, where we see so many good things happening in the aerospace industry. Those developments are a credit to Quebec and to that industry. They are innovative and aggressive. They are world leaders in that sector, which will make more opportunities for people who are looking for jobs.

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, congratulations on your election. As this is the first opportunity I have had to speak in this honourable House, I would like to thank the voters of Halifax.

The hon. member referenced his time in the gold mines in the Yukon. He actually used the phrase, “the buck starts here”. I am originally from a gold mining town in northern Ontario called Kirkland Lake. The irony is there is no lake. The lake is filled with mine tailings. We have poisoned lakes and rivers. Workers are living in poverty. Hundreds of miners have died underground. This is the kind of legacy the government wants to see, bucks made at the expense of health, safety and the environment.

How can the hon. member talk about doing our part for the environment when the Speech from the Throne is silent on mining regulations, silent on the impacts of resource extraction and silent on the impacts on our environment?

Resumption of Debate on Address in ReplySpeech from the Throne

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Colin Mayes Conservative Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, things have changed. The regulations in place for the mining industry are actually some of the toughest regulations in the world. If anything, they have become a bit of an economic challenge for those who want to develop new ore bodies.

It is good that those regulations are in place to protect the environment. We definitely want wealth creation. We want to see these resources developed. We also recognize the need to assure Canadians that the environment is protected.

Sea CadetsStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Bruce Stanton Conservative Simcoe North, ON

Mr. Speaker, on October 4, Bonnie Rourke, a constituent of mine, released a historic compilation of her memories of growing up at the Queen Elizabeth and Princess Alice sea cadet camps on Minicoganashene Island. The book is called The Sea Cadet Years on Georgian Bay.

From 1943 to 1953, Bonnie lived at the cadet camps with her family. From these recollections, her father’s journal, Navy League documents and the stories of former sea cadets, Bonnie has made a profound contribution to the history of Canada’s Sea Cadet program and our Navy League.

Gary Garnett, National President of the Navy League, has praised her work, noting that, “The fertile ground of Minicoganashene grew much more than blueberries. For a time, it served to grow our country”.

Please join me in congratulating Bonnie and Canada’s Sea Cadets, past and present, who helped create this tremendous and historic work.

Bennett CampbellStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Mr. Speaker, I rise in this chamber today to pay tribute to a great Canadian who passed away on September 11, 2008. I speak of the Hon. Bennett Campbell, a former member of the House and minister of veterans affairs for Canada. Mr. Campbell was also a former premier of Prince Edward Island and held cabinet positions in the Prince Edward Island legislature. Mr. Campbell was also an educator for 10 years before he entered politics.

Since leaving public office, Bennett worked tirelessly for his community, serving on many boards and committees. He was chair of his village commission and an active member of the local funeral co-op. Bennett loved politics. Bennett loved people. He was happiest serving his community and his neighbours. Bennett Campbell will be sorely missed by all whose lives he touched. I wish to offer my condolences to his wife, Shirley, and his family.

Filter marsh at Fitch BayStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Compton—Stanstead, two businesses—La Sagesse de l’eau and the Fitch Bay marina—decided to revitalize a beach on Fitch Bay in Memphrémagog Lake.

This beach had problems with blue-green algae and odours. Thanks to various measures, including a filter marsh made up of new varieties of plants provided by La Sagesse de l’eau as well as management of plants encircling the beach area, the Township of Stanstead was able to meet its goal of reducing blue-green algae in the water.

In addition, this project placed second among the entrants for the Awards for Innovation in Infrastructure from Quebec's Ministère des Affaires municipales et des Régions. I would like to pay tribute to Stéphane and José Pouliot and their businesses, which developed this innovative project.

Shipbuilding IndustryStatements By Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, especially the people of Marystown and the Burin Peninsula, were shocked to hear in late August, just a few days before the election was called, that the Conservative government decided to suspend the plan to build joint supply ships for the Canadian navy needed to provide at-sea support to naval task groups and sealift, and support to deploy forces ashore.

The Marystown yard was on the shortlist of two and was seen as the leading contender for the 25 year contract to build and maintain these vessels. It is a significant opportunity to create a stable employment future for a skilled workforce hit hard by the fishery collapse and now forced to travel away for work. The fear is that this opportunity has slipped from its grasp and the government will look offshore. We need a commitment from the government to proceed with this project in Canada, the sooner the better. Canadians have already spent $28 million on the bidding process and it should be concluded with the shortlisted yards.

This is a necessary project for the country and would provide vital economic stimulus in these uncertain times.

World War IStatements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, this year during Veterans Week I had the honour and privilege of being part of the official Government of Canada delegation travelling in France and Belgium to mark the 90th anniversary of the end of the first world war.

In my speech at Vimy Ridge, I called for a renewed commitment to remembrance. We honour those who stood together, fighting shoulder to shoulder, some in villages in which they were born and raised, others in foreign lands far, far from home.

Residents came out in droves to pay their respects to the Canadians who fought for their freedom. Everyone I met knew about the contributions of our Canadian troops. They knew it was Canadians who liberated the city of Mons. They remembered. They told me that what Canada did for France and Belgium in the first world war was unforgettable.

It was a highly emotional experience touring places where Canadian troops were buried.

I know all members of the House had the opportunity to remember the sacrifice of our Canadian veterans last week on Remembrance Day. I hope that all of us will make a renewed commitment to remember them throughout the year.

Lest we forget.

Democratic Republic of the CongoStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the worst mass slaughter of civilians since World War II continues unabated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. One thousand innocent people are dying every single day, adding to the more than seven million who have perished in the last decade. The international community says “never again” to mass murder, yet blithely ignores Congo's agony.

Despite Canada's being the leading driver of the responsibility to protect, our government's response has been pathetic.

I call on our government to provide resources for the new 3,000-person increase in peacekeeping forces, to facilitate a multilateral response to dismantle the ex-Interahamwe groups, and to encourage a Congolese-led grassroots conflict resolution process to resolve long-standing grievances over land and resources.

We cannot continue to stand by in cowardice and ignorance as mass murder continues. We must back up our responsibility to protect with an obligation to act.

Restorative JusticeStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my thanks to the people of Kitchener Centre for giving me the honour of representing them in Canada's Parliament. I intend to work hard to justify the trust they have placed in me. In coming to Ottawa, I carry the people of Kitchener in my heart.

I also want to express my love and gratitude to my wife, Sharon, and our children for their support of all my efforts.

This week Kitchener is hosting the restorative justice conference and celebrating the birth in Kitchener of the Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program now adopted across Canada.

I am pleased to have this opportunity to congratulate Mark Yantzi, retired judge Gordon McConnell, and the other pioneers of restorative justice on receiving the Ron Wiebe award this week. Their efforts are an example of original social innovation at its finest and part of what makes me so very proud of my community.

Public ServiceStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the latest Speech from the Throne, the Conservative Government decided to ignore the bargaining rules in negotiations with its own public servants.

The Bloc Québécois has always thought it best for labour contracts with the public service to be negotiated to the satisfaction of the parties, but now the President of the Treasury Board wants to introduce a bill to impose his final offer without going to the bargaining table. That is unacceptable.

The Conservative government would rather go on investing more in the military than respect the members of the Professional Institute of the Public Service and the Public Service Alliance by negotiating in good faith.

The Conservative government would be crazy to privatize part of the public service, but that is what it wants to do. This would allow the government to divest itself of its responsibility to provide Canadians with the best public service possible through public servants in their communities.

Violence Against WomenStatements By Members

November 21st, 2008 / 11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, violence against women is an affliction that affects too many women around the world. One in three girls is sexually assaulted before the age of 18. Women are more likely than men to be the victims of the most severe forms of spousal assault, as well as spousal homicide, sexual assault and criminal harassment. Protecting women and their families is something that this government takes very seriously.

I am proud that Canada is participating in UNIFEM's efforts to achieve worldwide political commitment to ending violence against women. That is why, yesterday, the Minister of State (Status of Women) announced that the government will sign on to UNIFEM's campaign to end violence against women around the world.

Surrey Business Excellence AwardsStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was honoured to attend the 10th Annual Business Excellence Awards gala held by the Surrey Board of Trade.

I would like to recognize the following winners: Tracy Bell of La Belle Fleur Floral Boutique; Kultar Thiara, Sucha Padda and Harpal Sooch of the Grand Taj Banquet Hall; Helen Dolmat and Kimberly Daw of F.U.E.L. Catering; Mary Pichette of the Servants Anonymous Society; Susan Keeping of the Newton Advocacy Group Society; Glen Chua, student entrepreneur of the year; and 29-year-old Dale Regehr, business person of the year.

I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating these winners.

Road SafetyStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to extend my sympathies to all Canadians who have lost loved ones in road collisions. Earlier this week, Canada celebrated the first National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims. We reflect on the lives lost and renew our resolve to improve the safety of Canadian roads.

On average, eight Canadians are killed in road collisions every day. Many more are impacted. Family members, friends and other loved ones are left grieving.

We all have a part to play in keeping our roads safe. That is why our government took action and toughened the laws meant to deter impaired driving, while giving police better tools to keep offenders in jail. This is just a start.

Most of the deaths caused by road collisions are preventable and avoidable. Whether it is observing speed limits, wearing a seat belt or abstaining from driving while impaired or fatigued, let us work together to prevent these tragedies. Let that be the legacy of the victims we remember today.

HousingStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, November 22 marks National Housing Day in Canada and tomorrow we will have little cause to celebrate.

Over 30 years ago Canada signed the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights saying out loud to the world that there is a right to housing in Canada, but three million Canadians do not have access to affordable housing.

We need a national housing strategy, especially now in these tough economic times ahead. There is no better time than now to build, as economists are urging infrastructure spending to boost the economy. Building new, energy efficient housing and fixing up the existing stock would create jobs, fight climate change, and ensure truly affordable housing for people living in poverty.

In these tough economic times let us not lose sight of who makes up the real economy, of what needs to be done, who we are and who we represent.

Calgary StampedersStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Anders Conservative Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, let me tell the House why Calgary should receive the Grey Cup this weekend.

Sure, the Montreal Alouettes settled the banks of the St. Lawrence hundreds of years ago, but there is a new, fresh pioneer spirit in the west. Alberta is the most valuable player of all the provinces.

Our Stampeders are cowboys who tackled the national energy program and lived to tell the tale. They huddle in the most conservative, pro-business turf in the country. They have defended a can-do business attitude from the rookie fumbling hands of Stéphane Dion.

At this rodeo, we are going to horn in the Liberal--

Calgary StampedersStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Calgary StampedersStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Calgary West is an experienced member. He knows very well he cannot use another member's name and I heard him mention one. He will want to comply with the rules in every respect in the course of his statement.

Calgary StampedersStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Rob Anders Conservative Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, it was in light of the hon. member not being with us for much longer.

At this rodeo we are going to horn in the Liberal carbon tax and steer the country in the right direction.

They make yards being my hometown and the ultimate touchdown.

They are the team for Canada's back-to-back elected, trusted and savvy Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Go Stamps go.

Calgary StampedersStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member was cautioned once and did it twice. I am shocked. He will have to recant.

The hon. member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.

Official LanguagesStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Desnoyers Bloc Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, in November 2007, the Bloc Québécois introduced Bill C-482 to amend the Official Languages Act and the Canada Labour Code. The amendments proposed by the Bloc Québécois would have forced the federal government to recognize the primacy of Bill 101 in Quebec and required private companies under federal jurisdiction to respect French as the language of work. This would have allowed the workers of such businesses to work in French in Quebec.

Quebeckers form a nation; this House has recognized that fact. It is time to put those words into action. So that all workers in Quebec may work in French, the Bloc Québécois will introduce another bill to ensure that the Charter of the French Language applies to all businesses in Quebec, including those under federal jurisdiction.

Affordable HousingStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, over the past 18 months, in my travels throughout my riding of Papineau, I heard time and time again how access to affordable housing is a major challenge for Canadian families.

High housing costs mean young people and new Canadians cannot buy homes, which leads to increased pressure on existing affordable housing.

November 22, 2008, is National Housing Day. In this period of economic uncertainty, Canadians have the right to demand that their government make access to affordable, safe housing a priority.

In this respect, the throne speech was disappointing. This government has frozen funding for affordable housing and combating homelessness, while also ignoring the housing crises in first nations, Métis and Inuit communities.

National Housing Day is a reminder that we must ensure that all Canadians are able to access affordable, safe housing and maintain their dignity.

Montreal AlouettesStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, November 23, many football fans will set aside all their commitments to watch the game everyone is waiting for—the Grey Cup game between the Montreal Alouettes and the Calgary Stampeders.

Those lucky enough to be in Montreal will be in the company of more than 60,000 spectators. What more could the Alouettes ask for than to play the final match in their hometown? To win the 96th Grey Cup, of course.

On behalf of all Quebeckers and Montreal Alouettes fans across Canada, I wish them the best of luck. And as a true fan of the Alouettes, I say: Go, Alouettes, Go!

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government set aside a contingency reserve to be used in case of economic crisis, an emergency fund to avoid running a deficit and to ensure the government's capacity to help Canadians.

Why did the Conservatives do away with our capacity to help vulnerable Canadians now during the bad times?

The EconomyOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first of all, let me welcome you back to the chair. I think it was a wise choice by those who supported you, Mr. Speaker. We are glad to have you back, looking after this wonderful establishment that we call our home during the week.

In answer to the question, this fictional contingency fund that the hon. member speaks of was never legislated. It was on the backs of taxpayers. Once again, Liberals think that tax dollars are their money. They are not. They are Canadians' money.