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House of Commons Hansard #127 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was table.

Topics

2:05 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 Perth—Wellington.

[Members sang the national anthem]

FinanceCommittees of the House

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I wish to inform the House that pursuant to order made on Monday, December 7, 2009, the Standing Committee on Finance deposited its fifth report with the Clerk of the House on Tuesday, December 8, 2009, at 10:03 p.m.

The committee considered Bill C-62, an Act to amend the Excise Tax Act and reported it without amendment.

Hockeyville 2010Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

David Sweet Conservative Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure today to rise on behalf of the great hockey-loving people of Dundas, Ontario, in support of their bid to become Kraft Hockeyville for 2010.

Dundas has a long and proud history of hockey and is most deserving of this honour. After all, the J.L. Grightmire Arena in Dundas has a reputation as the best small town arena in Ontario. For over six decades, it has been home to minor hockey leagues, junior hockey teams, women's hockey and two senior triple-A hockey teams, the Dundas Blues and the Dundas Real McCoys.

Among the dignitaries who have put Dundas on the hockey map are the NHL's New York Rangers who played an exhibition game there in 1956, and Canadian Olympic gold medallist Barbara Ann Scott who cut the official ribbon to open the arena in 1950.

Dundasians have voted with their ice skates in showing their dedication to hockey. In fact the arena is the oldest and most used arena in the Hamilton area.

To emulate the slogan for one of the brands for which Kraft is well known, the people of Dundas are saying in unison, “It's gotta be Dundas”. I proudly add my voice to this campaign for 2010 Hockeyville.

Temporary Foreign WorkersStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton, ON

Mr. Speaker, a report released last month by the Auditor General on Canada's immigration system, in particular, the temporary foreign worker program, has shown that major oversights by the federal government have resulted in the abuse of foreign workers employed in Canada.

It appears that this government is blindly changing and implementing new policies without assessing or understanding the potential consequences.

In particular, immigration responsibilities are increasingly being shifted to the provinces, but specific oversight measures required to monitor and ensure the safety of foreign workers and to identify fraud and abuses have largely remained unemployed.

Our country stands by the firm belief of protecting and upholding human rights. Therefore, I call upon the minister and the government to act immediately to stop the abuses that are taking place right under our roof.

Gisèle ViauStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Yves Lessard Bloc Chambly—Borduas, QC

Mr. Speaker, in October 2009, Gisèle Viau, a fifth grade teacher at École Le Tournesol in Béloeil, was awarded a certificate of achievement for teaching excellence.

This teacher has done a remarkable job integrating technology into her teaching and into the daily lives of her students, to whom she is extremely committed.

Ms. Viau paired her students with others from around the globe, taking them on a virtual around the world tour, through which her students learned to apply copyright principles, to hold an international videoconference, to participate in national projects, and so much more.

She has developed a living environment that promotes children's well-being and has shown them the possibilities afforded by modern technology.

On behalf of my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I would like to congratulate this exceptional teacher.

The EnvironmentStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, this past year, the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development was privileged to hear testimony from many leading Canadian scientists on the impact of oil sands operations on water resources.

Federal officials and industry witnesses defended their monitoring programs, including the industry funded RAMP, reporting no evidence of contamination in the Athabasca watershed and asserting that the majority of contaminants were from natural sources and posed no risk to human health or the environment.

Testimony by university and independent scientists offered a contrary view and serious concerns with government and industry-led monitoring. A peer review of RAMP showed it lacked scientific oversight, transparency and scientific veracity. We were advised a peer reviewed study was imminent.

This report, now published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and co-authored by the lead scientist, Dr. David Schindler, provides clear evidence that the oil sands operations are emitting, and have been emitting, levels of contaminants that put the Athabasca River and tributaries at serious risk.

The results pose serious questions about the failed assertion of federal environmental powers today and—

The EnvironmentStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Beauport—Limoilou.

Plan NaguaStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to Plan Nagua, an organization in my riding, for the outstanding work it does.

Plan Nagua was created 40 years ago as a result of a project that eight students carried out in the Dominican Republic. Today it has nearly 30 employees, two overseas offices and a social economy enterprise, CAFÉ Nagua.

Plan Nagua focuses on four areas: international cooperation, educating Quebeckers about the reality of developing countries, international internships and equitable tourism, and fair trade.

This year marks the organization's 40th anniversary, and 2009 has been filled with activities to recognize everyone who has contributed in any way to the organization's success.

I congratulate you on all your wonderful projects and great accomplishments. You always have my support. Happy 40th anniversary.

Easter Seals Christmas PartyStatements by Members

December 9th, 2009 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to the Streetsville Rotary Club for all the tremendous work it does for our community. The club, along with the Mississauga West Club and, this year, the Credit Valley, Airport Road and Dixie Rotaries, organized the annual Easter Seals Christmas party.

The Christmas party is the highlight of the year for 170 Easter Seals kids and 70 members of their families in Mississauga.

As well as including a light lunch for the kids and parents, the event has clowns, face painting, animated costume characters, singalongs and, of course, a picture and a loot bag from Santa Claus.

The hit of the party was the Nerf ball snowball fight with Peel Regional Police, who take time away from their busy duties every year for this event.

Immediately following the party, the families moved up to Queen Street to a reserved spot to watch the annual Santa Claus parade in Streetsville.

I want to thank especially Bob Marr, Brian Atchison, Duncan Willock, Doug Gerrard and all the volunteers for their hard work.

Mr. Speaker, I wish my constituents and all of my colleagues on both sides of the House and you a Merry Christmas and peace—

Easter Seals Christmas PartyStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for St. Catharines.

Temporary Foreign WorkersStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak about Canada's temporary foreign worker program and the workers and employers who participate in it.

High labour intensity agriculture in Canada depends on the use of temporary foreign workers and many workers and their families from overseas depend on seasonal jobs here in Canada.

I have been meeting with employers in Ontario and from around the country to discuss the need that this program fills. Employers, from my region of Niagara to the east and west coasts, are united around the economic necessity of the temporary foreign worker program.

Temporary foreign workers support Canadian jobs and Canadian companies, as well as their families in their home countries. That is why we should welcome them and support the program that allows them to come here.

This is a made in Canada foreign aid program and it is happening right here in our country.

Canada PostStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Carole Freeman Bloc Châteauguay—Saint-Constant, QC

Mr. Speaker, for several weeks now, officials in several small municipalities in my riding—Delson, Saint-Mathieu, Sainte-Catherine, Saint-Constant, Saint-Isidore, Mercier and Kahnawake—have been concerned about the survival of their postal service. The postmasters and the people in those communities are worried as well.

The Canadian Postal Service Charter issued on September 12 announced that the moratorium on closures of rural post offices would be maintained. Yet that same document also explains the procedure for closing post offices. Pardon me for doubting this government's sincerity.

Closing rural post offices would create division between urban and rural dwellers and could lead to greater isolation of people with reduced mobility and seniors. This public service is necessary for communities' economic viability and social identity.

That is why more than 3,000 people in my riding signed a petition that I have presented on two occasions in the House, calling on the government to maintain the moratorium on—

Canada PostStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière.

Bloc QuébécoisStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc leader knows that he has not produced results and has remained seated during the votes far too often. So this morning, he got out his club in an attempt to defend himself and put on a bit of a show. Having achieved nothing for Quebeckers in 2009, the Bloc is once again trying to justify its presence in Ottawa.

I cannot understand that attitude. We all remember the many times when Bloc members have stayed in their seats instead of standing up to support Quebeckers. The Bloc talks and talks, but it does not stand up.

The government is taking action. Implementing our economic action plan is still the priority.

Everyone—communities, businesses and workers affected by the global economic slowdown—is benefiting. One of the major facets of the economic action plan, the work-sharing program, is enabling workers in Canada and Quebec to keep their jobs during periods of economic slowdown. This is good for employers and employees, and it helps prevent layoffs.

Unlike the Bloc, our Conservative government is taking action.

Rural Postal ServiceStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Rota Liberal Nipissing—Timiskaming, ON

Mr. Speaker, mail delivery in our communities is very important to Canadians.

Seniors in particular are suffering because of the Conservative government's approach to this issue. This government is responsible for cancelling service to some 55,000 mailboxes and closing 42 post offices across Canada.

Rural Canadians are telling us that they want this to stop, and we, the Liberals, are protecting their interests and universal postal services across Canada.

In many regions, people have been told that many post offices will not be reopened. That is no way to treat rural Canadians.

People living in rural regions are the backbone of this nation, and universal service is one of the elements keeping this country united.

The Conservative government says that it is a friend to rural regions, but its actions say otherwise.

Consumer Product Safety LegislationStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have a big decision to make today. The choice they will make is whether to vote for or against the amendments that would significantly weaken our consumer protection bill.

Led by their leader, Liberal senators banded together last week to add these amendments that would create so much red tape that Canadians would be denied the protection they deserve.

The health and safety of our citizens is the very reason our government tabled this bill. Members of this House fully agreed that it was much needed and voted unanimously to pass it without the cumbersome amendments.

Does the Liberal leader not realize that they bring no real benefits to Canadians or to industry?

The Liberal leader must instruct Liberal senators to vote against the amendments this afternoon. He must show good faith to Canadian consumers, to whom he is accountable, and who want and deserve the very best protection for their families.

The Liberal leader must assert his leadership and show Canadians that he has heard their message.

Museums Labour DisputeStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, as members are no doubt aware, 420 workers at the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the War Museum have been on strike since September 21. That is 80 long days; 80 days during which the union has worked tirelessly to achieve a fair and just collective agreement; 80 days during which management has stonewalled and piled up budget savings on the backs of its workers.

These employees are the only federal museum workers in Ottawa-Gatineau with no job security whatsoever and no recognition of their years of service in a number of critical areas, including career advancement. Their salaries are the lowest among all federal museum workers in the national capital region.

This is a female-dominated workplace. I would like to remind members of this House that women working in precarious or part-time employment are consistently at high risk of poverty, especially women with children.

This impasse is not going to end on its own. The Minister of Labour has to act and she has to act now. The 420 of the country's best public servants deserve nothing less.

Economic Action PlanStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's economic action plan is working. It is protecting and creating jobs for Canadians.

As part of our plan, our Conservative government enhanced the work-sharing program. The work-sharing program is a win-win for Canadian workers and businesses. It means Canadians keep working, and employers avoid layoffs and expensive re-hiring and re-training costs.

In my province of British Columbia, there are over 1,100 work-sharing agreements, protecting the jobs of over 18,000 workers. One of these agreements is with True North Furniture Co. As a result, 15 employees have kept their jobs and are able to continue to provide for their families.

In fact, the work-sharing program is currently protecting the jobs of close to 167,000 Canadians, and over 225,000 workers have benefited since February. The work-sharing program is an example of how our economic action plan is protecting jobs and making a positive difference in the lives of Canadian families.

The EnvironmentStatements by Members

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, after four years in power, the Conservatives refuse to tackle the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions with dignity. Blinded by the interests of the oil companies, they still have no concrete plan to fight climate change.

Four years have been lost, four years of hypocrisy, during which this government did not take responsibility, something that has already won them three fossil of the day awards at the Copenhagen conference.

Meanwhile, Quebec has made significant efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. Some sectors, like the aluminum sector, have reduced greenhouse gases by 20% since 1990, while the fossil fuel industry in Alberta has increased them by 30%. Be failing to recognize the achievements Quebec industries made before 2006, the Conservatives are directly jeopardizing the Quebec economy.

Without the government's ideologies, Quebec—

The EnvironmentStatements by Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Sydney—Victoria.

James DeloreyStatements by Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, hope turned to tragedy yesterday when seven-year-old James Delorey of South Bar, Cape Breton, succumbed to hypothermia after a heroic rescue.

James wandered off into the woods with his dog Chance just before a major snowstorm. Hundreds of volunteers from across Nova Scotia went out to look for James. People from all over Cape Breton volunteered to help with the search. They provided food and they provided their prayers.

Search and rescue volunteers poured their hearts and souls into finding James and they found him. Police, fire and armed forces brought their expertise into the effort. Medical staff did their best to save James. These people did everything they could but, like so many other tragedies, it was not enough to keep James with us.

To his friends at Harbourside Elementary School and to his family, we in the House offer our condolences. God bless James.

Government PoliciesStatements by Members

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, it has been quite a year in Canadian politics. The year 2009 has seen the extraordinary support for our economic action plan. We have made smart investments in infrastructure and supported thousands of families and communities right across this country.

Our plan is working and no amount of Liberal mudslinging can take away from the jobs that we have created for Canadians. While we have worked hard for Canadians, the Liberal leader has fumbled. He was with us and then he was against us. He tried everything to force an unnecessary election. His party even voted against our home renovation tax credit.

When it comes to justice, we got tough on crime by passing laws to put victims first and protect families from violent offenders. We will continue our work while the Liberal leader continues his soft on crime approach.

However, last week was the most telling tale of 2009. While our Prime Minister was showing leadership on the international stage and talking about trade, Liberals were huddled in corners looking to trade their international leader.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this morning, General Natynczyk confirmed that in June 2006 at least one detainee transferred by the Canadian Forces was subjected to abuse in Afghanistan.

Military personnel in Afghanistan helped the detainee. They did the right thing. General Natynczyk did the right thing.

Now, it is up to the government to do the right thing. It must launch an independent, judicial, public inquiry.

Why does it still refuse to do so?

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, General Natynczyk said what the government has been saying all along. When there is evidence of abuse, the Canadian Forces and our diplomats act with the utmost integrity. They did the right thing in this case.

AfghanistanOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, when General Natynczyk corrected his account this morning, he did so, he said, in order to restore trust in his office and in his institution. The issue here is trust. We cannot trust this government. We cannot trust a word that comes out of the mouth of this minister.

When will the Prime Minister fire him and call a full independent public inquiry?