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House of Commons Hansard #105 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pandemic.

Topics

Human RightsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, today Sikhs across the country and around the globe are celebrating the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of the Sikh religion, who teaches us that all humanity is one. However, let us also take note of another date 25 years ago, when pogroms targeting Sikh homes and businesses began in Delhi.

India has come a long way since then. Yet, for all of us who care about human rights around the world, let us be reminded that we must remain vigilant in regard to human rights violations. In a world more connected than ever before, we can stand together and ensure that such acts will remain a thing of the past.

31st ADISQ GalaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, last night, the ADISQ honoured Quebec music artists at its 31st gala, brilliantly hosted by comedian Louis-José Houde.

There was something for every taste and every generation. The group Mes Aïeux won the Félix for group of the year and album of the year, in the contemporary folk category; Coeur de Pirate was named best new artist of the year; Pierre Lapointe's album, Sentiments humains won him the Félix for album of the year in the pop-rock category; Yann Perreau won the Félix for songwriter or composer of the year; the Félix for show of the year in the songwriter-composer-performer category was awarded to the group Karkwa; and what can I say about the moving Renée Martel, who won the Félix for show of the year in the performer category?

While Nicola Ciccone was deemed people's choice male performer of the year, the big winner of the night was no doubt the astonishing, engaging Ginette Reno, who took home three Félix awards for her song Fais-moi la tendresse.

On behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I would like to congratulate all the artists who make us proud, here and abroad, and who so creatively express the culture and values of the Quebec nation.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston NDP Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Internet is a wonderful tool that allows us to gather information from around the world to better inform our lives, but at times it is abused by mischief-makers or worse.

Today, there is an email travelling the web stating that immigrants receive more money from our government than pensioners receive in pension income. This is absolutely untrue. This racism-based email has also appeared in other countries, in each case making the same claims for that country and showing the same text and dollar amounts used in Canada.

Immigrants to Canada are required to have sponsors who are financially responsible for them for 10 years. The federal government does not provide them any income support. Refugees, on the other hand, do receive modest income support for one year only, which is about the same amount as that received by those on social assistance.

I would refer the members to the media section of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website at www.cic.gc.ca for their official response to these abusive, xenophobic emails.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Garry Breitkreuz Conservative Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, responsible firearms owners in Canada are delighted that their time has finally come. Just two days from now, members of Parliament will have the golden opportunity to start dismantling the useless long gun registry by voting in favour of private member's Bill C-391.

The registry has not saved a single life beyond the political lives of a select few who pretend the registry is effective. It has escalated to costing 500 times the amount originally estimated, which makes the cost of this registry the most excessive program overrun in the history of Canada. It is a tangled mess of unnecessary red tape for hunters, farmers and sport shooters.

This week, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation said:

The long-gun registry has been a wasteful fiasco from inception through execution.

We could not agree more. On November 4, we urge all MPs to gaze boldly at the big picture and support Bill C-391.

2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic GamesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Liberal Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the honour of accompanying the Minister of State for Sport and the Canadian delegation to Greece to bring the Olympic flame for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games to Vancouver.

I must say that one of my proudest moments as a member of Parliament was joining the Canadian delegation and returning to my place of birth, Greece, for such a historic moment: to bring the Olympic flame to Vancouver and our country for the 21st Winter Olympiad.

While in Greece, I had the honour of taking part in the official handover ceremony, in which representatives of VANOC accepted the flame during a traditional ceremony at the Panathenian Stadium in Athens, Greece.

This signals not only the countdown to the games but also the start of the 2010 Olympic torch relay, which offers the unforgettable opportunity to thousands of Canadian torchbearers to live the flame's journey right across our country.

I know that the 21st Winter Olympiad will be the best Olympiad ever. On behalf of all Canadians, I congratulate the organizing committee and our athletes. I wish them all good luck et bonne chance.

2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic GamesStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Conservative Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to stand in the House and celebrate the 100 day countdown to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Vancouver. The games will showcase some of the best athletes Canada has to offer.

Next year, we will share in their highs and their lows, but we know that the years of training to get there are just as important. Our government is proud to support amateur sport in Canada, not just at the Olympics but during the crucial developmental years.

Our athletes also find support in programs like Team Visa that provide long-term support to aspiring Canadian Olympians and Paralympians. This commitment is crucial to develop and prepare our athletes for success. They provide support and mentorship with former Olympic competitors in, between and during the games to prepare athletes for one of the greatest challenges of their lives.

With glowing hearts, we salute our athletes and those who help them be faster, higher and stronger.

Prince Charles' Visit to CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, we live in a parliamentary monarchy. Our head of state is not the Prime Minister, but rather the Queen of England.

Accordingly, a representative of the British monarchy, Prince Charles, will be visiting Canada from November 2 to 12, at the expense of Canadian taxpayers, of course.

We in the Bloc Québécois feel this is an archaic political system that forces us to swear allegiance to the Queen, instead of to the people, and that means that all the legislation we vote on here must be approved by the Queen's representative in Canada, the Governor General.

We think this form of political organization is undemocratic and politically outdated. Like 86% of Quebeckers, the Bloc Québécois refuses to support this regime, which is why we will not take part in the activities surrounding Prince Charles' visit to Canada.

Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, our government's economic action plan proves to what extent we continue to take initiative and listen to the public's concerns. Quebeckers and Canadians are calling for action and we are taking action, nothing less.

During these difficult times, the introduction of Bill C-50 on employment insurance is a response to the concerns of workers who fear for their jobs. Our government has developed this temporary measure as well as other assistance measures to improve the daily lives of our workers and their families.

In opposing this bill, the Bloc Québécois and Liberal members do not realize how many workers who have had the same job or worked in the same industry their entire lives could end up having to go back to square one.

Our government is presenting concrete solutions and defending the interests of Canadian workers and their families.

Media Literacy WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is Media Literacy Week.

Digitalization, with its profuse social networking, is now the most used, watched and participatory medium in history. Twenty-first century media in all of its forms is a most powerful influencer, so educating the public to understand the nature, techniques and impacts of media messaging is imperative.

Media messaging is not pure. It is influenced by commercial interests, competition for viewership and ideology. Images and comments vie for attention daily and manipulating the image and the message is tempting. Time limitations that demand simplistic sound bites for complex messages can lead to stereotyping.

The power of the media is evidenced by many young women who measure themselves by an anorexic and unreal media image of beauty, and social networking among youth can sometimes be used to destroy reputations in perpetuity.

The media is an important cultural and informative tool. Media literacy can help us probe, analyze and develop the critical thinking skills necessary to interpret and appropriately value media's social, cultural and political implications.

Royal VisitStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, today, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will arrive in St. John's for a 12-community, 4-province tour of Canada.

Their Royal Highnesses will make stops in communities as small as Brigus in Newfoundland and Labrador and as large as Toronto and Vancouver.

The royal couple will tour Hamilton's historic Dundurn Castle, view the Olympic and Paralympic village in Vancouver, visit Biodôme in Montreal and participate in the national Remembrance Day ceremony here in Ottawa.

This royal visit will allow Canadians, particularly young people, to learn more about our constitutional monarchy, one of the pillars upon which our country is founded.

The royal visit is an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about their tradition, history and institutions.

This tour is a celebration of Canadian innovation, national pride and of our presence on the world stage. By sharing our stories, history and traditions, Canadian identity is strengthened.

I hope all members will join me in welcoming their Royal Highnesses to Canada on behalf of all Canadians.

Governor General's Literary AwardsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Denise Savoie NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate Victoria's 2009 nominees for the Governor General's Literary Awards: short story writer, Deborah Willis; children's author, Robin Stevenson; illustrator, Rachel Berman; and playwright, Joan MacLeod.

Victoria also has its own awards for adult and children's literature, won deservedly this year by Patrick Lane and Penny Draper.

My riding is home to an extraordinary community of writers from every genre, including Michael Prince, whose Absent Citizens is a superb account of disability politics and policy in Canada; and Katherine Gibson, biographer of artist Ted Harrison.

I am deeply grateful for these artists' contribution to Victoria and Canada's cultural fabric but I am concerned that the cost of living threatens the livelihood of many. I ask the government to make the arts an integral part of Canada's social and economic policy.

Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is focused on what matters: helping Canadians and their families weather the global economic storm.

We have taken responsive and responsible action to help unemployed Canadians through unprecedented investments in skills training, by introducing legislation to provide extra support to long-tenured workers who have worked hard and paid premiums for years, and by protecting over 165,000 Canadians' jobs through work sharing.

Our Conservative government remains committed to helping Canadian parents balance work and responsibilities.

I am proud that we will be keeping our commitment to provide self-employed Canadians access to benefits so they no longer need to choose between their family and their business.

The Liberal leader wants an unnecessary election that would harm our economic recovery. We will not let that happen.

When it comes to following through on commitments and standing up for workers and their families, Canadians know there is only one party in this House they can trust and that is our Conservative government.

Quebec Municipal ElectionsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, municipal elections were held in Quebec yesterday. In fact, for the second time in Quebec, 1,104 municipalities and cities simultaneously held elections in order to fill some 8,000 councillor, RCM reeve and mayor positions.

These elections were hotly contested in some municipalities and cities. Some opted for continuity, others opted for change. We should note that many women were elected and they form a majority on some municipal councils.

The Bloc Québécois would like to congratulate these men and women who have the courage of their convictions and decided to run for office. We would also like to congratulate the winners who, starting today, will be tackling the task of governing their municipality or city.

We wish each and every one a collaborative and most successful term of office.

ADISQ GalaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the most important event of the year in the Quebec music industry was held yesterday in Montreal. Of course, I am talking about the 31st ADISQ Gala, where the Felix awards were handed out.

No thanks to the Conservatives, Quebec's music industry continues to impress, as the Liberal Party leader, who mingled with the crowd at the St. Denis theatre yesterday evening, can confirm.

Ginette Reno—known country-wide for her powerful voice—was honoured for her tremendous talent and went home with several statuettes.

The roots revival group Mes Aïeux was also amply rewarded for its folk tunes that take us all back to the bygone days of our shared history.

The next generation is also very promising. Performances by Coeur de pirate, Yann Perreau and Pierre Lapointe said it all.

Long live our music.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, on November 4, my private member's bill, Bill C-391, which would end the long gun registry, will be voted on here in the House of Commons.

I believe Canadians should know the facts regarding the bill, as opposed to half-truths and myths. Bill C-391 would only end the long gun registry, nothing more and nothing less. Defenders of the long gun registry want Canadians to think my bill would end licensing requirements. This is completely false and misleading.

Under Bill C-391, any individual who wishes to own a firearm would still require a complete safety course and background check, which would include any history of violence, and the police would have immediate access to who has a licence and where they live.

I do want to thank my colleagues from across the floor who have publicly supported ending the registry. They are listening to their constituents.

On Wednesday, my hope is that we will all listen to the voice of Canadians, pass Bill C-391 and finally bring an end to the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

HealthOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the federal government has two clear responsibilities. The first is to ensure a steady and reliable supply of vaccines for H1N1. The second is to provide leadership and information on a coherent pandemic response.

I would like to ask the government a very simple question: How could it have failed so miserably to execute these two critical responsibilities?

HealthOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, our two primary concerns have been to ensure that we have a safe vaccine and that we have an effective vaccine. We are pleased to say that six million doses of H1N1 vaccine have been delivered to our partners in the provinces and territories. We will see even more delivered this week. The vaccine is being distributed as quickly as possible.

I am very pleased to report that on a per capita basis, Canada has more H1N1 vaccine than any country in the world. We will continue to work with our partners.

HealthOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the same minister did not even say on Friday that there had been significant reductions in the supplies of vaccines across the country. He did not report that to the House.

In August, the health minister said that no matter what happened this fall, they were well prepared.

If they are well prepared, why is there clearly not a sufficient supply of vaccines, no coherent information and absolutely no clear leadership on this important issue for Canadians?

HealthOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we have seen significant leadership demonstrated by the Minister of Health. We have seen significant leadership demonstrated by Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Butler-Jones. We are working constructively with the provinces and territories and with public health nurses.

I am pleased to say that more than six million doses are already available to the provinces and territories. Let me confirm that there will be sufficient H1N1 vaccine available in Canada for everyone who wants to be immunized. This government will not leave a single Canadian behind.

HealthOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister had an opportunity to tell the House on Friday because he must have been aware that there were significant reduction in supplies to the provinces. He chose not to share that information with the House of Commons on Friday when he was fully aware of it. Those are the facts.

On the weekend, the Minister of Health was blaming the provinces. She was blaming the drug company. She was taking no responsibility herself for what took place. Why will the government not take responsibility for the files and the issues that are clearly right in front of it? Why will it not take that responsibility?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let me indicate to the member opposite that I do not accept the premise of his question. We have seen the Minister of Health together with the Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Butler-Jones have an unprecedented amount of cooperation and partnership with the provinces and territories and with public health officials in every corner of the country.

We are pleased to report a number of things. One is that six million doses are now available. More will come this week. There will be a dose for every single Canadian who wants one. We are pleased to say that there are more vaccines available in Canada on a per capita basis than in any other country in the world. That is because of the partnerships with the provinces and the territories and the hard work of the minister and the Chief Public Health Officer.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, weeks ago when I spoke with public health officials across the country, they said they needed clear information on when the vaccine was coming and how much would come each week. They never received that information which they needed to plan. Now there are huge lineups at vaccination clinics. Clinics are short of vaccine. People are being turned away and clinics are being cancelled. Private for-profit clinics are getting the vaccine; thousands of needy Canadians are not.

When is the minister going to take some responsibility for these failures?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, for the last eight months we have been very transparent in the rollout of this vaccine. We have communicated with provinces and territories, including the critics. Six million doses were produced ahead of schedule. As soon as they were available and authorized, they were transferred to the provinces and territories for their rollout. We will see thousands more this week and one million more next week. We will continue to transfer them to the provinces and territories. They will be rolling out their vaccine programs by jurisdiction.

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, they needed the security of the date they would get the vaccine and how much each week. They have not gotten that.

These delays and the absence of vaccines could have been prevented. What Canadians need now is for the government to take responsibility. Rather than putting the health of Canadians first, the Conservatives chose to make partisan ads their $100 million priority for the summer.

The government is blaming the provinces and blaming the drug companies. Canadians want reliable leadership. Why do they not get it from the minister?

HealthOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Nunavut Nunavut

Conservative

Leona Aglukkaq ConservativeMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, the Chief Public Health Officer and I have stated time and time again that we wanted to produce a safe and effective vaccine for Canadians. That was our number one priority, that it was safe and effective.

As soon as the authorization was issued, October 26, the provinces and territories were able to start the process of rolling out the vaccine. We had pre-positioned them in the provinces and territories so that they could respond quickly.

We are two weeks ahead of schedule. I will continue to work with the provinces and territories in the rollout of the vaccine.