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House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was offenders.

Topics

Strengthening Canada's Corrections System ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the summary of the bill it states that one of the objectives is to clarify that protection of society is the paramount consideration, et cetera, and the bill itself shows at clause 3.1 that, “The protection of society is the paramount consideration for the Service in the corrections process”.

It then goes on, under the title, “Purpose and Principles” for the Correctional Services, to lay out the various considerations that might be taken into account with regard to how the Correctional Services will deal with a certain principle. What is not here is the whole aspect of mental health of the offender, because there was a recent report that 39% of the people incarcerated in the province of Ontario suffer from mental health issues.

If the bill, as it exists and will be amended, starts to make a list of things that will be considered, something must be left out, otherwise it would say that it “takes into account all relevant considerations in dealing with offenders”.

Does the member believe the mental health state of an offender is appropriately taken into consideration in discharging the responsibilities at Correctional Service Canada?

Strengthening Canada's Corrections System ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, the member's question is extremely important. I suppose at committee we will need to ask questions to determine what the government's commitment is to mental health treatment. I am not surprised at the statistics the member cites, that 39% of inmates suffer from mental health conditions. Warehousing mental health patients in prisons and expecting they will come out and not reoffend after not giving them the type of treatment they need, is a terrible way to operate a prison sentence.

One of the top considerations of the government should be dealing with the whole area of mental health treatment for people who are incarcerated in the prison system.

Strengthening Canada's Corrections System ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, although we are on opposing sides of the House, I absolutely agree with what the member said.

Bill C-43 takes the absolute wrong approach and does not promote public safety. At first glance, the changes proposed by Bill C-43 do not seem too harsh but the bill removes the least restrictive language and changes to the standard in the CCRA to measures that are limited to what is necessary and proportionate to the objective for which they are imposed.

This change opens the door to more severe treatment of offenders in the absence of any evidence that the least restrictive language is hindering the ability of the CSC to fulfill its mandate. I would like to hear the member's opinion on that and talk about how that will change the prison systems for the worse.

Strengthening Canada's Corrections System ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Jim Maloway NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, I think that has more to do with the Conservatives' tough on crime advertising program than anything else. It shows that they have signaled that they will follow the American system. They are fixated on the American system, a system that all statistics show does not work.

I challenge any of the government members to come up with statistics from California or Texas that prove that what they are doing actually works. I know they cannot do that because the people in Texas and in California are saying that their system does not work, that it is broken. Do they need to tell the Canadian Parliament not to follow their system, or can we not just figure that out for ourselves?

AbbotsfordStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I never grow tired of extolling the virtues of the city of Abbotsford. The farming capital of B.C., Abbotsford and its airport are home to a vibrant aerospace industry.

Our city has been named the best place in western Canada to do business and has one of Canada's fastest growing economies.

Despite a modest population of 135,000, Abbotsford has produced no less than four Canadian Idol finalists, a tribute to our city's flourishing arts environment. Indeed, Abbotsford has even produced Glen Fast, who now serves as the conductor of the symphony orchestra of Kingston, the hometown of our Speaker.

But what really distinguishes my city from many others is that Abbotsford is ranked by Statistics Canada as Canada's most generous community.

As a city of volunteers and home to many charities and places of worship, my community truly cares about the welfare of others and the residents regularly open their hearts and wallets to those less fortunate.

I am privileged to represent the residents of Abbotsford, and look forward to continuing to serve them as their Conservative member of Parliament.

Genetic DiscriminationStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Michelle Simson Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier this month I participated in the launch of the Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness whose mandate is to secure legislation to ban genetic discrimination in Canada.

Genetic discrimination is when people are treated unfairly because of an actual or perceived difference in their genetic information that may cause or increase the risk to develop a disorder or disease. It is unfair to use genetic information to determine which individuals will be employed or insured. It is not only unjust but it is devastating to those affected.

Many other countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, have already taken steps to protect their citizens from genetic discrimination. In Canada there is no such protection. Without it Canadians will continue to be subjected to discriminatory treatment.

I urge all members to support legislation that would protect all Canadians from this unethical and immoral practice.

Florence LachapelleStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Roger Gaudet Bloc Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to my mother, Mrs. Florence Lachapelle, who will be turning 100 years old on October 30.

My mother was born into a farming family in Saint-Liguori and she married a farmer. She gave birth to and raised 12 children. Her courage and determination are an inspiration to all of us. I am very proud of my mother, who remains strong, independent and in relatively good health notwithstanding her age.

To be 100 years old also means to be acquainted with 100 years of history. It means having witnessed the arrival of electricity and computer technology. It means being familiar with World War I as well as the conflict in Afghanistan. It means having lived through the Great Depression as well as the current recession. My mother was both an actor and participant in all the major events of the past century.

On behalf of your sons, daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren, I would like to thank you mother for all the love and attention you have given us over the years.

Happy 100th birthday.

Veterans AffairsStatements by Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to draw attention to a very serious issue.

Under the elections act, we as politicians have the right to campaign in any publicly accessible space, such as malls, stores and banks. Meanwhile, Canadian veterans, proud men and women who have risked their lives and have watched brothers, sisters and friends die for the democratic rights some take for granted, do not have the same access.

Recently, veterans and their poppy boxes have been turned away from community businesses. Sadly, veterans in my riding of Sudbury have received similar treatment.

Derald Balson, the poppy chairman for the last nine years for Branch 76 of the Royal Canadian Legion, was asked to leave a storefront since the manager did not want beggars in the area.

Veterans and their families deserve our deepest gratitude and respect for their contributions to our country and for protecting the freedoms we hold so dear. The least we can do is make sure they receive the support they have earned.

I urge all parliamentarians, all Canadians, to support the poppy campaign so we may honour the living and remember the fallen.

Honouring VeteransStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, as Remembrance Day approaches, we all start thinking about our veterans and their service to our country.

I had the pleasure recently to attend the ninth annual Honouring Our Local Veterans event at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 6 in Owen Sound.

This year nine veterans representing the army and air force were honoured. Today I want to again pay tribute to: Bob Alexander; Trooper Frank Ball from Chesley; Corporal Isavela Baskerville; Eldred Crawford; Bombardier Clarence Furness; Pilot Officer Andrew Haggins; Murray Slumskie; Flight Lieutenant Alec McMillan; and Murray Jolley.

The event was organized and sponsored by the Billy Bishop Home and Museum in Owen Sound.

I want to thank them and indeed all of our veterans who have served our country. They all deserve our utmost respect and admiration.

This Remembrance Day I want to encourage all Canadians to take the time to attend a service and to reflect, respect and remember the efforts of our veterans past and present.

St. Fidelis Golden Age ClubStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to extend congratulations to the St. Fidelis Golden Age Club, which celebrated its 25th anniversary on October 18, 2009.

As part of the celebrations, a standard reflecting the principles of the club was designed and prepared. The standard was blessed at St. Fidelis Church at a mass on October 18 and on that day all the original members of the club who are still active were presented with their 25-year pin.

In 1984 the St. Fidelis Golden Age Club began with the help of a new horizons grant. This program for seniors provides funding to non-profit and other organizations and helps to ensure that seniors can benefit from and contribute to the quality of life in their communities through active living and participation in social activities.

As members can see, a grant distributed 25 years ago is still bearing fruit. From humble beginnings, it now boasts over 270 members. I invite the House to join me in congratulating the St. Fidelis Golden Age Club for 25 wonderful years.

House of Commons Security ServicesStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Chris Warkentin Conservative Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon I stand in the House to pay tribute to some of the often overlooked heroes in this place.

Every day we as members of Parliament come to work knowing that we are safe because here on Parliament Hill, we are protected by a well-trained security team that takes pride in the work that it does.

This past Monday, however, three members of this team were injured while securing the public gallery which had been overwhelmed by a group of protesters. Roger Maisonneuve, Paul Arcand and Justin Young are the names of the three guys that were injured while doing their job. We wish them all a speedy recovery.

This event reminds each one of us what we should do more often. First, we should denounce those who would resort to violence in this place. Second, we should thank the men and women who willingly serve to protect each one of us in this place.

Today I would encourage all members when they are outside to thank the members who serve in our security detail. I would ask that all members stand with me and show our appreciation.

Salut, Bonjour! Television ShowStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Lavallée Bloc Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, this morning, TVA viewers caught the 5,000th episode of Salut, Bonjour!, now in its 21st year. To celebrate, executive producer Daniel Picard invited some famous past hosts to the set.

Of course, Guy Mongrain, who hosted the show for 13 years, will be there tomorrow, as will Paul Rivard and Annick Dumontet.

Salut, Bonjour!, a daily show, is a fixture on Quebec television. On average, nearly 418,700 people watch Salut, Bonjour! for their entertainment and news every morning.

The show took to the airwaves in 1988 with co-hosts Mathias Rioux and Anne Poliquin. Gino Chouinard now hosts during the week, and Pénélope McQuade takes over on the weekend.

My Bloc Québécois colleagues and I would like to congratulate the hosts, of course, and the entire crew—producers, directors, researchers and cameramen—of Salut, Bonjour!

JusticeStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, in April 2009, our government introduced Bill C-26 to tackle the crime of auto theft, which causes losses of over $1 billion a year.

For the past four months, Liberal senators have been delaying this bill.

Yet this bill will facilitate investigations and prosecution in cases of auto theft, and will also increase sentences for serious crimes.

Canadians want action. This bill comes in addition to the measures already put in place by our government to fight organized crime.

We urge the Liberals to listen to Canadians, as we did, and to stop playing partisan politics on the backs of victims.

When will the Liberal leader tell his colleagues in the Senate to pass this important bill?

Our government is the only party that can protect victims.

Amyotrophic Lateral SclerosisStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, the ALS Society of Canada is a leading not-for-profit health organization working nationwide to fund ALS research and to improve the quality of life for Canadians affected by the disease.

Can anyone imagine not being able to walk, write, smile, talk, eat and sometimes even breathe on one's own? Yet the mind remains usually intact and the senses unaffected. This is what it is like for 3,000 ALS victims across the country.

Along with ALS, neurodegenerative diseases include Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's disease. According to the World Health Organization, neurodegenerative diseases are predicted to surpass cancer as the leading cause of death in Canada by 2040.

There is no effective treatment for ALS and no known cure. Eighty per cent of people diagnosed with ALS die within two to five years. It is a disease that bankrupts families emotionally, physically and financially. It is high time the government and the public committed sustainable funding for research.

Freedom of the PressStatements by Members

October 29th, 2009 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Tim Uppal Conservative Edmonton—Sherwood Park, AB

Mr. Speaker, freedom of the press was under siege last Friday evening as a prominent Canadian journalist was physically attacked outside his newspaper's offices.

Jagdish Grewal, editor of the Punjabi Post, has been a powerful champion of non-violence and respect for the rule of law. Our government absolutely condemns the attack that took place on Friday evening. We stand shoulder to shoulder with Jagdish in his defence of basic Canadian values like the freedom of the press. This attack was not only a serious attack on an individual, but an attack on our Canadian values and rights.

Jagdish has been cited as an excellent reporter, who has earned the trust of his readers and listeners.

I know the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration regularly sees Jagdish at important events and round tables for the Indo-Canadian community and recently, along with myself, called Jagdish to wish him a speedy recovery.

Our entire Conservative caucus condemns this attack and wishes Jagdish Grewal a full and timely recovery.

Rosemary ThompsonStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, how will all of us remember Rosemary Thompson, CTV's deputy bureau chief? For her big smile, her huge laugh and for reaching out to politicians of every political party.

She has covered some of the biggest stories of our generation. She was on the referendum bus in 1995. She was outside the White House on the morning of September 11. However, the stories that Rosemary really liked covering were stories about humanity, about the human heart.

An idealist, she always believed that by shining a light on human suffering, the public and by extension Parliament might act.

She did this for the surviving Dionne quintuplets and for children with autism. Most recently, she reached past the microphones and engaged politicians of all parties to help orphaned children in Asia and Africa. She did it by organizing the Parliament Hill Goat Challenge for the Children's Bridge Foundation.

She will not be going very far, though, as she takes over as one of the workers over at the National Arts Centre, but she will miss this place because she has travelled the world and knows how great Canada is and that Parliament, at its best, is magic.

We thank her husband, Pierre, and her children, Louis and Jasmine, for sharing Rosemary with us. On behalf of all parliamentarians, I thank her and say God bless.

Auto TheftStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the best way to fight gangs and organized crime is to disrupt the criminal enterprises they depend on.

Auto theft significantly impacts individual Canadians and businesses, with an estimated cost of more than $1 billion each year.

While my constituents in North Vancouver, and all Canadians, suffer the financial and emotional impacts of this crime, organized crime profits. This is why our government is committed to cracking down on auto theft.

We have legislation which has been held up in the Senate for months to add new penalties in the area of property theft and, more specifically, the serious crime of auto theft. My message to the Liberal leader is simple: Pass this legislation.

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

Quebec BridgeStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Pascal-Pierre Paillé Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, 15 years ago, at its annual general meeting, the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Québec passed a resolution to:

[Ask] the governments of Canada and Quebec, which own and use the Quebec Bridge, to come to an agreement and take necessary measures to fully restore the bridge as soon as possible before it is too late.

Exactly 15 years ago today, in the Le Soleil newspaper, the president of the Quebec bridge coalition called on the authorities to do the right thing and urged politicians to manage our heritage structures responsibly.

It is high time the government remedied this injustice. In the coming weeks, it will have an opportunity to support the Bloc Québécois motion on the Quebec Bridge. I hope that parliamentarians will unanimously decide to put an end to this saga that has unfortunately gone on too long already.

British Columbia Resource SectorsStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, the resource sectors in British Columbia continue to be hit hard by the recession.

In forestry, mills are closing and workers are losing their jobs. Places like MacKenzie and Gold River are now ghost towns. The recession is the latest blow to the forestry sector, on top of the mountain pine beetle, forest fires and the softwood lumber dispute. This industry, which employs one in five British Columbians, is in trouble.

In 2006 the Conservative government promised $400 million for pine beetle related issues. Where is the money? We are still waiting.

At-risk communities have been asking for funds for a fire prevention strategy for years. There is no response.

Conservatives consistently neglect these vital issues to British Columbians.

Nine million sockeye salmon left the lakes this year and disappeared before they reached Georgia Strait.

British Columbian resource sectors continue to suffer, while Conservatives say nothing and do nothing.

InfrastructureStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Conservative Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on the economy, creating jobs, and providing economic stimulus, which is exactly what Canadians want and expect.

In co-operation with the provinces, territories and municipalities, we are making unparalleled infrastructure investments from coast to coast to coast. We are repairing highways, roads and bridges. We are upgrading community infrastructure, such as sewer and water treatment facilities. We are enhancing the quality of life in communities by investing in recreational facilities in the smallest towns and biggest cities.

In fact, with our funding partners, we have committed to more than 5,000 infrastructure projects nationwide. In the infrastructure stimulus fund alone 70% of all projects slated to begin in 2009 are already underway as of September 1.

Canadians can count on this government to get the job done and to ensure that Canada emerges--

InfrastructureStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Oral questions, the hon. member for Toronto Centre.

HealthOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the minister responsible for public health and for H1N1.

It is very clear that there was a delay in the decision of the federal government to order the vaccine. It is very clear that there has been a delay in the distribution of the vaccine.

I would like to ask the minister, in light of these two clear facts that are delineated by the evidence, does she not understand that these delays have cost and will cost lives?

HealthOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, our Minister of Health has been working with the Chief Public Health Officer and has been working assiduously with the provinces and territories across this land to deliver the vaccine.

There are approximately six million doses that will have been delivered by the end of day tomorrow. By the end of next week there will be an additional three million doses, for a total of nine million doses for Canadians.

We are acting to ensure that the health and safety of Canadians is our number one priority.

HealthOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the facts are clear. The government's decision to order the vaccine was delayed considerably. It is also clear that the distribution and availability of the vaccine were also seriously delayed.

I have a simple question for the minister. Does he not understand that those delays have cost and will continue to cost people's lives?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, there has been no delay. Every week, the provinces are receiving approximately 2 million doses. The total is now 6 million doses. Next week, another 3 million doses will be made available for Canadians and their health.

We are working with the provinces and the territories. Let me say that our health care workers, our nurses, our doctors, and our public health officials are working 24/7, and they deserve all of our support.