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House of Commons Hansard #6 of the 40th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economy.

Topics

Charbonneau FamilyStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Bloc Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to the Charbonneau family of Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines. Recently, the Government of Quebec awarded them first place in the bronze category in its 2008 rankings for the national agricultural order of merit. Their company, Fraisebec, is Canada's largest strawberry producer. Fraisebec's production techniques are among the best in the world, and they make a quality product available almost year-round.

The company owners have also done an admirable job of dealing with human resources management challenges. They employ over 300 berry-pickers. What is more, the company demonstrated innovation by implementing the first pilot project to hire foreign women workers in Canada, and a significant proportion of its workers are women from Guatemala and Mexico.

The members of the Bloc Québécois and I would like to congratulate the Charbonneau family on being awarded this prestigious prize.

Violence against WomenStatements by Members

2 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 1999 the United Nations General Assembly designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

However, we still read daily about death sentences carried out against women by stoning and other cruel and inhumane methods, female genital mutilation, honour killings, spousal abuse, verbal and physical intimidation, and other threats against women in their homes and places of work, against women of all racial and ethnic backgrounds and in all countries in the world, including our own.

I hope all members will join me and my fellow New Democratic Party caucus members in recognizing this important day and in renewing our commitment to ending violence against women at home and abroad once and for all.

Saint John EconomyStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, to be chosen the member of Parliament for Saint John, Canada's oldest incorporated city, is truly an honour. I am humbled by the trust that has been placed in me, and it is a tremendous responsibility that I do not take lightly.

This is an exciting time in Saint John as we are poised to experience a period of unprecedented economic growth. We are seeing years of work and preparation come to fruition with a number of energy projects beginning or already under way.

The construction of an LNG terminal, the refurbishment of the Point Lepreau nuclear generating station, and the planning for the construction of a second oil refinery by Irving Oil are all projects that have led to the increased prosperity that we are seeing.

There are many challenges that our community faces as we enter this phase. However, I am confident that our government has provided the tools that are key for Saint John to continue moving forward.

This has not happened by accident; it was definitely by design. I know that Saint John's future success will be a beacon for our Canadian economy.

Frank DeacyStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Liberal Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, on this first occasion to speak in this honourable House, I see fit to speak honourably of the life of Mr. Frank Deacy.

Mr. Deacy was originally from Galway, Ireland and moved to Newfoundland in 1971. He was a high school teacher and taught at Holy Spirit High in Conception Bay South.

Mr. Deacy was very well-known for his active participation in the founding and promotion of Newfoundland rugby. As a player, coach and builder, he was an inspiration to many players who were fortunate enough to play under his leadership.

Mr. Deacy was a founding member of the two Newfoundland clubs, elected to the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame, a long-standing officer of the Newfoundland rugby union and a director on the Board of Rugby for Canada. Recently he served as treasurer of the CBS Monument of Honour committee.

His life was cut short but his impact on his community, his friends and his family will be with us for a long time. I would like to extend my sincere condolences to his wife, Marie, his daughter, Robyn, and his son, Colin.

HeroismStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to three great Canadians.

On Saturday night, a medevac airplane crashed in northern Manitoba near the community of Gods Lake. The plane was carrying a pilot, a co-pilot and three passengers: a mother, her 10-month-old son and a flight nurse who were on their way to a hospital in Thompson, Manitoba.

Shortly after takeoff, the pilot noticed a fire in the cockpit and he was forced to take the plane down. Miraculously, the crew performed a very skilled crash landing and got all five people out of the plane before it burst into flames.

The heroic actions of the flight crew saved the lives of their passengers. The pilot, co-pilot and nurse on this flight are model Canadian citizens and they deserve both our thanks and praise for their bravery.

Jules ArsenaultStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 20, my riding lost a great visionary, Jules Arsenault.

Born in Gaspésie, Mr. Arsenault chose to make his home in Témiscamingue because he saw our region's potential.

A man who got things done, he was a cornerstone of higher education in his role as rector of the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue. He proved that a region could create a high-quality university that was spread across the region, accessible and responsive to the training and research needs of local businesses and industries. Although he was retired, he continued his enthusiastic involvement in the university over the past few years.

We appreciated his humanity, his openness towards others and his profound belief in public service. The people of Témiscamingue acknowledge the exceptional contribution Jules Arsenault made to our region. He will be greatly missed.

Violence Against WomenStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, too many women throughout the world are victims of violence. Our government continues to take the protection of women and their families very seriously. Last week, the Minister of State (Status of Women) announced that Canada would participate in the UNIFEM campaign to say no to violence, in an attempt to increase the commitment of governments throughout the world to eliminate violence.

As one of the first signatories, Canada is a strong supporter of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. We are determined to address issues of gender equity, including violence against women. We provide desperately needed funding for the family violence initiative and other services for victims of crime.

By amending legislation, including the Canadian Human Rights Act, the Government of Canada is taking concrete steps—

Violence Against WomenStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

SeniorsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 27, organizers at the Centre des aînés du Réseau d’entraide de Saint-Léonard, under the capable direction of Johanne Pitt, and working closely with Marc-André Chabot, the principal at Wilfrid-Bastien school, launched a unique and innovative program. They created a website where grade six students, under the guidance of their teacher, Pierre Poulin, would teach basic computer skills to seniors, in order to help them use the Internet.

Not only did seniors gain new computer skills, but they also formed new friendships with another generation that was sharing its knowledge, and in doing so, they managed to break down some prejudices.

As the member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, I would like to congratulate those responsible for this wonderful initiative. I encourage them to keep up their efforts, which are tremendously beneficial to people of all ages.

Human RightsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, ON

Mr. Speaker, on November 21, the third committee of the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Canadian-led resolution on the human rights situation in Iran. This is an important achievement in defence of universal human rights.

The adoption of this resolution sends a clear signal that the international community is concerned for the human rights of the Iranian people. It sends a message of hope to the victims of human rights violations and to the courageous Iranian human rights defenders who seek to effect positive change in their country.

The resolution also calls on the Government of Iran to respect fully its human rights obligations, in law and in practice.

The resolution was co-sponsored by 42 other member states, along with Canada, and was supported by 70 states in the successful vote.

Canada will continue working with other concerned nations to ensure that the resolution is adopted by the General Assembly at its plenary in December.

Foreign CredentialsStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend, I had the honour of attending the 45th anniversary gala celebration for the Sudbury Multicultural & Folk Arts Association. This event was well attended by many local residents who make up the cultural mosaic that is my great riding of Sudbury. Individuals like Dr. Rayudu Koka, Miho Halmich and Niranjin Mishra demonstrate the valuable work that is accomplished when people from different cultures and heritage work together.

It became very clear, as I met and spoke with a number of people, that there is a great deal of concern in our community about our current government’s immigration policies.

With that being said, I urge the government to accelerate and streamline the recognition of foreign credentials to ensure that many skilled immigrants like doctors, respiratory therapists and even electricians are able to work in their fields of training and rectify the skilled worker shortage we have in many of these sectors.

Access to InformationStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Preston Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadian taxpayers have a right to know how their hard-earned money is being spent. Our Conservative government believes that too. That is why we decided that all crown corporations should be subject to the access to information and privacy process, including the CBC.

Yesterday, the CBC started criticizing other media outlets for reporting on the excessive spending of the CBC management. The CBC said, “How dare they?” All access to information that these media outlets request is confidential. The CBC should not know the identity of the person or persons who are requesting the information.

What the CBC is saying is, therefore, pure speculation and not based on fact. In these tough economic times, as always, the CBC and all crown corporations must be accountable to our hard-working taxpayers.

Violence Against WomenStatements by Members

November 25th, 2008 / 2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Johanne Deschamps Bloc Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, each year on November 25, we commemorate the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Despite all the progress made, the reality is that thousands of women are subjected to violence every day. In fact, more than half of women over the age of 16 will experience sexual, physical or psychological violence at least once in their lives.

With cuts being made to Status of Women Canada, a UN organization is taking Canada to task for its record on defending women's rights and providing protection against discrimination, particularly for aboriginal women. It criticized the lack of shelters for battered women and the absence of wellness criteria to protect these women.

And finally, my thoughts go out to the Congolese women, whose bodies have become, now more than ever before, the weapon of choice for the rebels.

Ray PerraultStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that parliamentarians and Canadians mourn the loss of our colleague and friend Senator Ray Perrault.

Before his 1973 appointment to the Senate, Mr. Perrault served in the British Columbia legislature before entering the Canadian House of Commons as a member of Parliament for Burnaby—Seymour. Mr. Perrault was a man of many accomplishments.

As a senator, he defended many causes, from the environment to economic development. He served with distinction as the Leader of the Government and the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.

I feel a special connection to Mr. Perrault, not only as a fellow parliamentarian, MLA, BC’er and environmentalist, but also because, like the senator, my father suffered from Parkinson’s disease for many years before he passed away 13 years ago.

On behalf of all parliamentarians and Canadians, I offer my condolences to Mr. Perrault's family and friends at this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

The Grey CupStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, in 1948, the Calgary Stampeders won their first Grey Cup and started the tradition that became known as the Grey Cup parade. Today, Calgarians are thrilled that this tradition has once again returned to the city.

As we speak, thousands of Calgarians are rallying in downtown Calgary to celebrate the triumphant return of the Grey Cup champions, the Calgary Stampeders. They have good reason to be proud. They won more games than any other CFL team this season, including 10 out of the 11 last games. They capped it off with a 22 to 14 victory over the Montreal Alouettes in Sunday's Grey Cup championship game in front of over 60,000 fans.

Mr. Speaker, I know that you and the members of the House of Commons will join me in and all Calgarians in congratulating the Calgary Stampeders on a job well done.

Go Stamps Go.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in these difficult economic times, Canadians have every reason to doubt the credibility of a Prime Minister who said one thing on the topic of deficits, and then said the exact opposite, with equal assurance.

A few weeks ago, he said that talking about a deficit in Canada was “stupid” and “ridiculous”. But just last week he said that this was “essential”. What will he say today? WIll he say that a deficit is stupid and ridiculous, or that it is essential?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

We will do what is necessary, Mr. Speaker, to protect Canadian families, individuals and businesses so they have the necessary credit available to them, so they can invest and re-invest and so we can protect the safety and security of Canadian families. We will not artificially engineer a surplus for the next fiscal year. I will have more to say about that on Thursday at 4 p.m.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, appointed by the Prime Minister, has said that the new Conservative deficit is the government's fault. He has said that the Prime Minister should have known about the deficit.

Could the Prime Minister clarify for Canadians when he knew that Canada would run a deficit? What did he hide from Canadians during the last election?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member opposite knows or should know, if he has been paying attention the last 12 weeks or so, we have gone through a period of protracted economic slowdown. This is a global slowdown. It is a serious economic slowdown for the world.

Canada is not an island, but, fortunately, we are well prepared because we took actions from 2006-07, reducing taxes and spending on infrastructure being increased, all of which was voted against by the Leader of the Opposition and those Liberals on the other side.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it certainly did not support the actions of a government that brought Canada into a deficit.

The Prime Minister contradicts himself on deficits. He contradicts himself on recessions as well. He said in September that if we were going to have a recession, it would have happened by now. Now he is forecasting what he calls a “technical” recession. Recessions that are technical, deficits that are structural, recessions are not about semantics. They are about job losses, about Canadians who need help.

Why does the Prime Minister not get it?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

The member opposite, Mr. Speaker, talks about deficits and technical recessions. He ought to take the advice of the expert on deficits in his own caucus, the member for Toronto Centre, who said, “if we have a deficit now, at the federal level, is that going to be the personal fault of the Prime Minister? I don't think so, and I don't think that is a reasonable or an intelligent position to take”.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, during the election the Prime Minister was wrong when he told Canadians there would be no recession. The Prime Minister was wrong again when he told Canadians there would be no deficit. The Prime Minister also told Canadians that he would finally provide a meaningful action plan for the Canadian economy.

Will Thursday's fall economic statement provide real action to help protect Canadian jobs and savings, or will the Prime Minister be proven wrong once again?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there are certain actions that will be announced on Thursday. I am sure the member for Kings—Hants will be here, listening eagerly when we get to that time of the day on Thursday.

Let us remember what has happened before in 2006-07: personal income tax reductions, business tax reductions and a reduction in the GST by two full percentage points. That is an economic stimulus for our country of almost 2% next year, which is more than anyone else in the G7. Those are all measures that the opposition voted against.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, today the OECD forecasts that 300,000 more Canadians will lose their jobs, but it seems that the only jobs the Conservatives are willing to protect is in luxury air travel for their ministers.

Where is the support for hard-working and retired Canadians? Why are they making Canadians wait for a real plan? Is it because those incompetent Conservatives have already spent the cupboard bare during the good times that they are incapable today of helping Canadians during the tough times?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there the member for Kings—Hants goes again, talking down the Canadian economy.

In the OECD report today, what did it say about the future of Canada? It said that Canada would be the country leading the recovery with the strongest growth among G7 countries in 2010.

Why did the member for Kings—Hants not point that out, so Canadians could have confidence and faith in their economy, instead of talking it down?

About travel expenses, I am sure he read about that as he flew business class back to his riding last Friday.