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House of Commons Hansard #16 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was arctic.

Topics

Heart MonthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, February is Heart Month. Today the Heart and Stroke Foundation is hosting a demonstration event on Parliament Hill. As a director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. and Yukon, I am proud to sponsor this event.

Every participant will be given a CPR Anytime training kit, which can be used at home with family and friends to learn these important skills. About 40,000 people experience cardiac arrest every year in Canada. With each passing minute, their probability of survival declines by up to 10%. Using an automated external defibrillator, or AED, combined with CPR within the first few minutes can improve survival rates by up to 50% or more.

One does not have to be a doctor to save a life. We all have the power to restart a heart. By learning CPR and AED skills, we can help save someone when it counts most. MPs, senators and staff are invited to come learn the importance of these vital skills today in room 200 of the West Block at 3:30. Let us put our hearts into it. One day we might just save the life of someone we love.

Alexandre Mallette-LafrenièreStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Saturday, young Alexandre Mallette-Lafrenière, who came to symbolize the Shannon tainted water scandal, died in a Quebec City hospital.

The family's nightmare began in September 2007, when Alexandre was diagnosed with brain cancer. At the time, he was given just three months to live. Because of his will to live and his determination, with the help of chemotherapy, he went on to fight the disease for more than 17 months.

Alexandre became a living symbol of the battle the people of Shannon have been fighting for too long: their crusade to force the federal government to do everything in its power to get to the bottom of the link between the incidence of cancer in Shannon and the use of industrial degreasers containing TCE by National Defence and its contractors.

We must not let Alexandre's death be in vain. The federal government must act quickly to acknowledge its responsibility in this scandal and compensate all of the victims.

The members of the Bloc Québécois would like to offer their sincere condolences to the Mallette-Lafrenière family.

Centenary of Powered Flight in CanadaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, 100 years ago today at Baddeck, Nova Scotia, J.A.D. McCurdy slipped the surly bonds of earth in powered flight for the first time in Canada and the British Empire. The Silver Dart flew 800 metres at a dizzying height of 10 metres and the blistering speed of 64 kilometres per hour. That event was the first of countless achievements by Canadian aviators and industry.

Across Canada this year, we celebrate Billy Bishop's courage of the early morning; our pioneering bush pilots; the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan; the companies that built Hurricanes and Halifaxes; Buzz Beurling over Malta; the 10,000 Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice in bomber command; Canadian Sabre pilots over the Yalu River; the world's first jet airliner; the ahead-of-its-time Avro Arrow; the Canadarm; our astronauts, including our own space sailor from Westmount—Ville-Marie; modern-day military and civilian aviators; and all the people who have supported those who danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.

As one who has joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds, I am very proud to salute all those Canadians over the past century who have trod the high, untrespassed sanctity of space, put out their hands and touched the face of God.

Per ardua ad astra.

Olympic Winter GamesStatements By Members

February 23rd, 2009 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, in just 354 days, Canada will welcome the world's best to Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics. However, as our athletes continue to train for their competition of a lifetime, a bureaucratic competition is set to deliver a devastating blow to one of our country's premiere sport governing bodies.

For the past three Olympic Games, our hockey and sledge teams have worn the Hockey Canada emblem with great pride. The crest is a Canadian branding success story, with sales revenues expected to reach $20 million this Olympic year. Those increased revenues have helped develop young officials, coaches and volunteers and have kept insurance costs down for over half a million young players.

The COC is placing at risk an incredibly successful business plan should it deny Hockey Canada this opportunity. I urge all members of the House, and indeed all Canadians, to ask the COC to reverse its decision and allow our men's and women's hockey teams, our sledge team and, of course, Hockey Canada's business plan to continue their gold medal performances.

Le Québécois NewspaperStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, on the weekend, we learned that Le Québécois, the newspaper headed by Patrick Bourgeois, the man who called for violence in connection with the recreation of the battle of the Plains of Abraham, will no longer be funded by the Parti Québécois.

What is the Bloc leader doing? The PQ and the Bloc change their position according to which way the wind is blowing. When the wind changes direction, they change their minds. One day, they have no connection, and the next day they do. In fact, they do have a connection, because they are funding Patrick Bourgeois and his newspaper.

When will the Bloc leader distance himself from Patrick Bourgeois? Taxpayers' money should not be used to maintain ties with organizations that promote violence or disorder. The Bloc must disassociate itself from Le Québécois and Patrick Bourgeois as quickly as possible and immediately stop buying advertising in the newspaper. I call on the leader of the Bloc to do as the leader of the PQ did and give orders to his troops immediately.

Aboriginal AffairsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty NDP Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak today on behalf of a group of aboriginal students from my riding. These students are deeply concerned about their future and the futures of all aboriginal students. INAC is currently reviewing programs that provide funding to aboriginal students, and my constituents are worried that their voices are not being heard.

Aboriginal students have made tremendous gains in recent years. They are a growing presence on college and university campuses. Such INAC programs as the post-secondary student support program, which provides grants to aboriginal students, have played an important role in these gains. It is vital that such programs continue to grow.

Today I am calling on the government to ensure that the concerns of aboriginal students are heard and that support for aboriginal students, in particular funding in the form of grants, is maintained and improved.

InfrastructureStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Paul Calandra Conservative Oak Ridges—Markham, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to highlight some of the great work the government is doing to support local communities across Ontario. Last week Canada's transportation and infrastructure minister, along with his provincial counterpart, announced more than $1 billion for almost 300 projects across the province of Ontario.

Here is just a sample of what some of the municipalities had to say about this investment.

The mayor of LaSalle, near Windsor, said, “This is the biggest grant in the history of our town. This is a very exciting day”.

Said a city councillor from Port Colborne, “It's a great day. I'm just elated. It's unbelievable. This will mean so much for our community”.

This significant investment will create jobs, stimulate the economy and improve the quality of life for all Ontarians. This is just another example of how all three levels of government can work together positively to get shovels in the ground and get projects started faster.

Member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-CharlesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles has once again shown a flagrant lack of judgment. When asked to explain the absence of any Conservatives at the Québec Horizon Culture event, the member acknowledged the Conservatives' indifference towards artists.

I would remind the House of the full statement made by the member for Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles. He said: “We are not all that buddy-buddy with artists. That is not what we are about.” And there is more. He went on to spew, and I quote him word for word: “—that is $2 billion spent by you and me, and all workers, so artists can entertain us.”

What scorn. He was true to form, as all Conservatives are. After giving the finger to the Bloc Québécois, which made the annual TV review list, after accusing the Bloc Québécois of being responsible for the riots in Montreal North in the summer of 2008, after showing such scorn towards artists, the spokesperson for the Quebec nation said out loud what Conservatives really think.

Bathurst PhantomsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Dominic LeBlanc Liberal Beauséjour, NB

Mr. Speaker, last year the town of Bathurst, New Brunswick lost seven young basketball players in a terrible van crash. One year later the Bathurst High School Phantoms are provincial champions.

These young athletes met incredible loss with incredible strength. They did so in a way that much older athletes could only hope to do.

On behalf of this House I extend our congratulations to the Phantoms of Bathurst for their championship win and for the courage and determination it required. They have done their community and their country very proud.

The courage and determination shown by the Phantoms of Bathurst are a source of inspiration. These young athletes deserve to be congratulated and recognized.

Bathurst PhantomsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Conservative Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, as we all remember, last year a terrible bus accident took the lives of seven members of the Bathurst Phantoms basketball team as well as the coach's wife.

I would like to inform the House that this past weekend the Bathurst Phantoms won the New Brunswick High School AA Championship with an 82 to 50 victory over the Campobello Vikings.

This team and the community showed remarkable strength in coming together and achieving this success. We want them to know that Canada is very, very proud of what they have accomplished in the face of such tragedy.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, first, it was the unemployment numbers, then record bankruptcies, collapsing housing starts, and soaring trade deficit figures. Now, it is retail sales. They fell 5.4% in December, the largest drop in 15 years. Bad news seems to be overwhelming the government's strategy.

So, the question is, is it going to revise this strategy as the situation worsens? The Prime Minister said one thing; the Minister of Finance said another. What is the government's position?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister and I have been clear that what needs to happen is that Canada's economic action plan, the major stimulus to our economy that is contained in budget 2009, needs to be implemented. To be implemented, of course, it has to be passed by this House and go to the Senate. It is good news that some members on the finance committee, including some members of the official opposition on the committee, have expressed the view that the bill should be passed as soon as possible. I look forward to appearing before the committee this afternoon.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the minister did not answer the question. Everybody on this side of the House wants these measures to be passed rapidly. The question is whether the situation is changing in such a way that the minister already has additional measures in view.

Will he answer that question?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in the budget, we were very conservative in our fiscal estimates for this year. In fact, our prognostications are below the predictions by the private sector forecasters.

Unfortunately, we are seeing continuing economic deterioration in the United States and around the world. We are in the midst of a synchronized global recession. Regrettably, we were obliged to plan on that basis, which we have. Let us get the stimulus out and working in the Canadian economy.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, not just in Ontario but across this country Canadians are losing their jobs in the automotive industry. The Minister of Industry said that if companies in this industry went bankrupt, the Canadian government would not be providing bail outs for workers' pensions and benefits.

What will the government say if these companies do tumble into bankruptcy? Tough luck?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, contrary to what the hon. member is professing, the doomsaying scenario which he seems to luxuriate in, I can tell the House that we are working very closely with the sector, of course, with Premier McGuinty and the Government of Ontario, and with the Obama administration, to ensure that we have a vibrant car industry, not only for the present but for the future as well. That is what we are focused on, on this side of the House.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, in Quebec, retail sales plummeted 4.4% in December alone. Three years with this Conservative government have meant three years with decreases in this sector, and we are expecting another decrease in 2009.

Can the Prime Minister explain why, despite his so-called expertise in economics, the numbers show that his policies are failing one after the other?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member opposite will know, President Obama visited last week and praised the efforts that had been made by Canada, by the Canadian government, with respect to our economic stimulus. Canada, quite frankly, is a leading light in the world and is being used as a model in the G20, with respect to the way to handle the financial system and the way to regulate. Canadians can be proud of our financial sector.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, what we are talking about here, what really matters, are the people those numbers represent. Decreased retail sales in December mean people out of work in January. As we know, women will be particularly hard hit as they are overrepresented in the retail sector, they are overrepresented in part-time jobs, and they are underrepresented as EI recipients.

What will the Conservatives do now to make up for their pathetic paralysis since the crisis first hit months ago?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I do not know where the hon. member has been. Four weeks ago tomorrow, we introduced Canada's economic action plan in this very House.

The budget implementation act is before the House. It contains massive stimulus to the Canadian economy and major innovations with respect to employment insurance, including extending it, and work-sharing, all of the measures that are necessary to help Canadians who are losing their jobs.

I hope the hon. member will help expedite the legislation.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his joint press conference with the U.S. president, the Prime Minister said, “You say we have intensity, they have absolute -- but the truth is these are just two different ways of measuring the same thing.” But with intensity targets, there is no guarantee that greenhouse gases will be reduced globally, while with absolute targets come real greenhouse gas reductions.

With such comments, is the Prime Minister not engaging in a dialogue with the U.S. president on the wrong basis, by allowing big oil to continue polluting?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is incorrect. We disagree with the hon. member. Our plan is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, which is a much more stringent target than that of the U.S.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is very clear. Absolute greenhouse gas reduction targets are based on the polluter-pay principle, whereas intensity targets are based on a polluter-paid approach. Worse yet, intensity targets would cast aside Quebec's GHG reduction efforts while allowing Alberta and Saskatchewan to continue polluting.

Will the Prime Minister recognize that his so-called green policies are nothing more than window dressing and that his government is continuing to serve big oil?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we disagree. The Bloc Québécois has to put partisanship aside and work with the government.

We are working with the United States on a North American approach based on new technologies and the development of clean energy sources like hydroelectricity, for instance.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in an Obama-Biden document entitled “New Energy for America”, the American president's position on combating greenhouse gases is now clear: establishing absolute targets and using 1990 as the reference year.

Will the government acknowledge that any productive discussion or partnership with the United States to fight global warming depends on those two factors?