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House of Commons Hansard #102 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was french.

Topics

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

It being Wednesday, we will now have the singing of the national anthem led by the hon. member for London North Centre.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Small Business WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Casson Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, last week was Small Business Week in Canada, an opportunity to recognize and offer appreciation to all small and medium size businesses, the very backbone of our Canadian economy and a major source of jobs across the country.

Operating a successful business requires focused commitment to effort and quality service. Across my southern Alberta riding, peer-to-peer award recognition was held in many communities including Lethbridge, where the Chamber of Commerce acknowledged 10 hard-working Lethbridge business operators and their staff with business of the year awards.

Mr. Speaker, I know you will join me in extending congratulations to the following businesses: Galko Homes, Canadian Pacific Railway, Davis Pontiac Buick GMC, Flair Travel Planners, Reiter Computer Associates, Pro Plant Care, D.A. Electric, Marble Slab Creamery, Kenegdo Day Spa and Enviro Foam Insulation, who also received the BDC Alberta young entrepreneur award.

On behalf of all southern Albertans, I extend gratitude to these entrepreneurs who have turned the past year's economic hard times into opportunities, providing economic stability to our country. I congratulate them on a job well done.

Spirit Born People, Defending the WorldStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my great pleasure to stand here today and mark the inauguration of the “Spirit Born People, Defending the World” exhibition, which honours the forgotten heroes of the world wars.

Today's event highlights the role and contributions made by Sikhs and Indian nationals during the world wars. The Indian regiment, with its 2.5 million soldiers, bravely answered the call to arms and fought alongside the British Imperial forces.

The sacrifice made by these soldiers in the world wars is largely a story that is untold to the rest of the world. However, over 169,000 soldiers of the Indian army, comprising approximately 83,000 Sikhs, 43,000 Muslims and 42,000 Hindus and Gurkhas, willingly gave their lives in order to protect the liberty of nations.

I would ask all members of Parliament to join me today between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Room 200 West Block to remember those who courageously fought—

Spirit Born People, Defending the WorldStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Compton--Stanstead.

Frédéric NiemeyerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to highlight the stellar achievements of an athlete from my riding, an athlete who makes our region proud as he competes in this country and around the world.

Frédéric Niemeyer is an outstanding tennis player who got his start at the Rock Forest recreation centre with coach François Lefebvre.

In 2003, Frédéric Niemeyer beat the 17th-ranked player in the world, Spaniard Felix Mantilla, to reach the second round of the prestigious Wimbledon tournament.

But he has always been number one in the Eastern Townships. In March of this year, he won the Sherbrooke National Bank Futures tournament in front of his fans, friends and family.

Frédéric has announced that he will retire from competition this fall, and we want to congratulate him on his exceptional career, and wish him a happy retirement with his family.

Bravo, Frédéric.

Vietnamese CanadiansStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I stand to pay tribute to one of the most dynamic and impressive cultures in Canada: the Vietnamese community. Vietnamese Canadians are building successful businesses in every field. They are organizing social, cultural and charitable events of every kind. They are making their mark in every profession, occupation and endeavour.

The recent devastation experienced by the people of Vietnam caused by typhoon Ketsana makes this recognition particularly important. The Vietnamese community is organizing functions all across Canada to help deal with the damage and injury suffered by their sisters and brothers. In fact, I will be attending one such event this Friday, organized by Vietnamese Overseas Television 1 and Love Across the Ocean.

They deserve our admiration and support. Canadians of Vietnamese origin have endured hardships that are almost unspeakable. They were forced to flee their homeland, leaving family members and possessions. They came to our shores with little but their dreams, faith and energy. Through their hard work and commitment to excellence, the Vietnamese community has found success and achievement.

Through their commitment to the principles of freedom, democracy and human rights, Vietnamese Canadians remind us all how to be better citizens.

Flavour Gone CampaignStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, this government delivered on its promise with the royal assent of Bill C-32, criminalizing the manufacturing and retail of sweet additives to all tobacco products.

Bill C-32 is about our youth. The youth-led Flavour Gone campaign was the real champion behind this bill as flavoured tobacco is widely viewed as a major reason kids get hooked on tobacco. Constituents from the great Kenora riding played a key role in the Flavour Gone campaign.

Sam McKibbon and Caitlin Bousfield from Dryden and peer leader Catherine Kiewning from Red Lake were instrumental in raising national awareness, including by testifying at the health committee, that it was time to butt out flavoured tobacco products.

I puffed on Popeye candy cigarettes as a child, and still today one can buy gum and candy in packages that resemble those of tobacco products. There is still more work to be done, but Bill C-32 is a major step forward. We applaud Canada's youth, who made tobacco companies' plans for sweet-flavoured tobacco go up in smoke.

Arts and CultureStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to an exceptional teacher and community leader in Surrey.

For more than two decades, Sullivan Heights' Marc Pelech has helped develop young artists across Surrey and build a more liveable community through public art projects. His students discover the context of art by partnering and creating art with purpose. The skills they learn put them years ahead of their peers.

Marc and his students are creating a positive identity on the fresh canvas of our young city.

I congratulate Marc for his leadership and for receiving a certificate of excellence from the Prime Minister.

Grande PrairieStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, today I rise in the House to pay a special tribute to the city of Grande Prairie.

This past week the city was recognized as the second best city in all of Canada for small business to succeed.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses lauded the city's pro business environment in its annual survey of best places in the country to do business.

We all know that small businesses are the engine of our economy and we know that our economic recovery is conditional on the speed by which our small businesses grow, hire people and succeed.

I want to congratulate all the small business owners in Grande Prairie who have proven to be innovative, focused and resilient in the face of our economic uncertainty. I also want to pay a special tribute to the city of Grande Prairie for fostering the conditions for entrepreneurs to succeed.

Grande Prairie, and the whole Peace country, really is a great place to work, play and raise a family.

Canada PostStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, since June 2008 the people of Domaine Saint-Sulpice in my riding have not had access to postal services near their homes because the private business that was providing these services closed. People with reduced mobility, including seniors and people with disabilities, have been very negatively affected by this service interruption.

Because of certain conditions that Canada Post imposes, it has not yet found a new business partner in Domaine Saint-Sulpice. My region's community economic development corporation has spoken to Canada Post about considering various possible solutions, such as having a postal outlet in a non-commercial space. Why not put it in a community space used for cultural, sports or social activities?

The fact that Canada Post cannot find partners to provide postal services close to people means that it is unable to adapt its criteria to specific situations. Therefore, Canada Post should be responsible for providing these services in Domaine Saint-Sulpice itself and must stop thumbing its nose at the public.

Victims of CrimeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Conservative Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, our government is doing what the Liberals failed to do for years. We are reaching out to victims and giving serious criminals what victims have been demanding for years, serious federal time that fits the crime.

When we formed government, we made it a priority to establish the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime.

In fact, in 2000 a special committee reviewing the Corrections and Conditional Release Act recommended the creation of the victims ombudsman, and for five years the Liberals did nothing.

Our Conservative government has established a four year, $52 million boost to programs, services and funding for victims. Our government is committed to ensuring that victims have a greater voice in the criminal justice system because victims and their families expect and deserve no less.

Canadians can count on our government and our Prime Minister to stand up for the rights of victims and law-abiding Canadians.

Arts and CultureStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Newfoundland's own Ambrose Price Jr., a rising star in the television world.

Ambrose hosts The Decorating Adventures of Ambrose Price on HGTV and last week he received a Gemini Award for Best Host in a Lifestyle/Practical Information, or Performing Arts Program or Series.

Ambrose, who is from Fortune in my riding of Random--Burin--St. George's, is the son of Ambrose and the late Greta Price. He is an ambitious and charismatic young man who, despite his success, remains in touch with his small town roots.

Despite having no formal training in television arts, Ambrose is proving to be a natural in front of the camera. He will be continuing his adventures in New York where he is now on contract to do a program for HGTV. I have no doubt that Ambrose will have a long and successful career.

I ask all members of the House to join me in congratulating this remarkable young man on his Gemini Award and wishing him good luck with his new program.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rob Clarke Conservative Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, tonight the House will debate the private member's bill proposed by the member for Portage—Lisgar to scrap the long gun registry and on November 4 we will have an important vote on the bill.

It is time for this billion dollar boondoggle to end. Tonight's debate and the vote on November 4 are important steps toward repealing the wasteful, ineffective long gun registry.

We know that the Liberal leader and the leader of the NDP support this waste of taxpayers' money. However, we know there are opposition MPs who tell their constituents that they will stand up to their political bosses in Ottawa and vote to protect the local way of life for their constituents.

Across this country concerned gun owners, sports enthusiasts and farmers have expressed their discontent with the Liberal boondoggle.

We call on those opposition MPs to support the views of their constituents tonight in the debate, and to stand up to their political leaders on November 4 and vote to scrap this Liberal boondoggle once and for all.

Decorum in the chamberStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadians elect members to this House to represent their values of cooperation and mutual respect. However, we regularly see members behaving badly, in a manner that undermines the trust our constituents have placed in us.

During question period we have been witnessing undeniably sexist heckling from members of the government side. This abuse is growing hotter, it is growing more frequent, and there is more bullying. I can hear some of it now, except in this case it is not targeting women as it all too often does in this chamber. It targets women representing opposition parties, all the opposition parties in the House.

Sexist bullying is completely unacceptable in Canada and can in no way be tolerated in our Parliament.

As a parliamentarian, as a man, a father, a grandfather, I call on the government's leadership to really get a grip on its members and set a higher standard.

JusticeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, our government is reaching out to victims and giving them what they have been calling for for years, that is, appropriate sentencing for criminals.

When we came to power, one of our priorities was to establish the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims Of Crime. In 2000, a special committee had examined the Corrections and Conditional Release Regulations and recommended the creation of a victims' ombudsman, but the Liberals did nothing about it.

This Conservative government has earmarked several million dollars to support programs, services and funding for victims. We are making sure that victims are heard and that they are given a larger role in our judicial system. This is what victims and their families want, and Canadians deserve no less.

Canadians can count on this government to defend the rights of victims and—

JusticeStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Abitibi—Témiscamingue.

Abitibi—Témiscamingue Emerging Music FestivalStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Monday at the ADISQ Autre Gala, the Abitibi—Témiscamingue Emerging Music Festival won the Félix award for event of the year.

The mission of the festival, which was founded in 2003, is to promote music by emerging artists outside major centres and to showcase highly talented artists, while providing the community with entertainment and culture.

In addition to being a key engine of regional economic growth, the Emerging Music Festival shows that it is possible to produce top-notch, original, cultural activities that are enjoyed by the public in the outlying regions. This type of event owes its success to volunteers, the local business community and the government's financial support.

My colleagues and I wish to congratulate the entire team at the Abitibi—Témiscamingue Emerging Music Festival.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Volpe Liberal Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, things have not been this bad in Canada since the last time the Conservatives were in power.

The government's misguided, blundering economic and fiscal policies have taken the country to a point that we now have a $60 billion deficit.

If your wallet seems a little bit lighter, Mr. Speaker, it is because that incompetence represents a $2,000 tax on every man, woman and child in the country. What do we have to show for it?

Let us ask the Minister of National Defence. He convinced the government to give his riding $101 million in infrastructure funds. Every man, woman and child in the constituency of Eglinton—Lawrence was involuntarily taxed $1,000 in order to keep him happy. What makes the Minister of National Defence so special, they ask? Why does the Prime Minister treat Torontonians with such disdain as second class citizens?

Liberal Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Rodney Weston Conservative Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, this fall the Liberal leader has been trying to force an unnecessary and opportunistic election at every turn.

He and his opposition throw mud, make baseless accusations, and present false information in their attempt to force an election, but they are getting nowhere. They even voted against the important recession-fighting measures such as the home renovation tax credit.

Rather than finally accept that Canadians do not want an election, the Liberals continue to flail about, making baseless accusations that are proving to be absolutely false.

Canadians know this government is helping their communities and their families to get through the global economic recession. It is also clear to them that the Liberal Party and its leader have done nothing but launch smears and baseless accusations.

Canadians know that the Liberal leader is not in it for Canadians. He is just in it for himself.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, people across the country are worried about H1N1.

The government should have given Canadians, well in advance, the information they need to make informed decisions. Instead, the government has spent $60 million to promote itself and a fraction of that to promote public health.

Can the Prime Minister explain to the House why he made those decisions?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has spent over half a billion dollars on the information campaign on influenza AH1N1.

Clearly, it is important that everyone receives this vaccine. That is what the Chief Public Health Officer has stated. The provincial chief public health officers are saying the same thing. We encourage everyone to get this vaccination.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the question was about public information. Canadian families are worried and uncertain about what information to believe.

The government's public information campaign has been negligent. The government spent more than $60 million on self-promotion, a fraction of that on promotion of public health information and now Canadians do not know what to believe.

Why did the Prime Minister make these choices and how can he justify them to the Canadian public?

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, there is no contradiction in informing the public about the economic action plan and also informing them about H1N1. Information on this has been and continues to be widely available to the public through ourselves, the provinces, the federal and provincial health officers across the country and, of course, local medical officials.

A vaccination campaign is under way and all Canadians are encouraged to take precautions, to take measures of prevention and to take measures of treatment where necessary.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the member for St. Paul's rose in this House and asked a serious question about H1N1. She was greeted with jeers and catcalls from the other side.

Could the Prime Minister explain how this disgraceful scene occurred, and is he now prepared to apologize?

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I did not see things that way and I was here.

The fact is that yesterday questions were posed about adjuvanted or unadjuvanted vaccine for pregnant women. As the Minister of Health said clearly, both are considered safe by the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.