House of Commons Hansard #49 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was regulations.


Human Pathogens and Toxins ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.


Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to address this House on Bill C-11. First, I want to thank Bloc Québécois members for their contribution to the debate on this legislation. They did a lot of work. We proposed many changes to this bill.

We too, like the Bloc, have many issues with this legislation. However, unlike the Bloc, the NDP has proposed some changes. In fact, Bloc members opposed the proposals that we made in committee.

Moreover, we proposed an amendment to this bill, dealing precisely with the issue raised by the Bloc Québécois member today. We proposed an amendment to eliminate human pathogens. That is exactly what we did, but the Bloc said no. That is the only thing that researchers and members of the scientific community asked for. That is precisely what we tried to do, but we did not succeed because of the Bloc's opposition. It is as simple as that.

I want to be absolutely clear. We have some problems with this bill and, like the Bloc, we listened to witnesses and, since they were opposed to this legislation, we proposed amendments to it. Two of our three amendments were accepted by the committee and by all the members of the parties sitting in this House. We accomplished a couple of important things, such as asking that regulations be presented to the House of Commons, for monitoring purposes.

That is something we always ask for regarding any legislation. It is absolutely critical to ask that government regulations be referred to the Standing Committee on Health and to the House of Commons. That is what we accomplished. This is not a Bloc proposal. It is an NDP proposal, and the Bloc supported these amendments. So, this is very important, and it is something that we achieved.

We also dealt with the Bloc's concerns through another amendment that I am going to read. This is precisely the proposal that the Bloc rejected. It reads as follows:

That Bill C-11, in Clause 7, be amended by adding after line 22 on page 5 the following:

(c) any activity involving a micro-organism, nucleic acid or protein that falls into Risk Group 2, if the person who conducts the activity provides the following elements to the Minister:

(i) the location of the places where the activity is conducted and the name of a contact person, and

(ii) a signed document certifying that the activity is conducted in accordance with the Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

This is an amendment that all scientific researchers asked for, in order to eliminate human pathogens that fall into risk group 2, and we made that proposal. Bloc members voted against it and now we have a bill that includes all human pathogens that fall in risk group 2.

It has to be pretty clear about what we do in the House and how we accomplish change. The government's job is to bring forward a bill. Yes, it made many mistakes in this case because it claimed to have done all kinds of consultations and to have done a thorough analysis of this area and the government was prepared to tell us that the whole community supported it. The government did not tell us the truth. It did not do the proper consultations because the minute Bill C-11 was tabled, we were inundated with concerns from scientists and researchers that research in this country would be denied. They were concerned that research would be cut off and would not be undertaken because people would be very concerned that they would fall under this criminal rubric and be subject to all kinds of criminal penalties because of their laboratory work with level 2 pathogens.

We accepted the arguments the researchers and scientists made, which was that there has to be a differentiation between the different levels of toxins and pathogens. Therefore, we proposed an amendment to do just that.

Many of the scientists we heard from said that the work that was done by the government's amendment was a step in the right direction and they also said that the proposition we had made was a good one. Yet the Bloc accepted neither.

Our job is not to do the job of government. Our job is to amend and change the bills it brings before us. We cannot simply say every time we do not like something that we are going to send it back and start all over again.

In this case we heard multiple times from those witnesses. Some of us called them and spoke to them individually apart from the discussions at committee. It was clear that this issue about including level 2 pathogens in this whole umbrella of punitive measures around safety in our laboratories was a major concern and had to be addressed.

Many of them said as we went through the process that they could live with the government's amendment. We did not think that was good enough and we proposed one step further. That was the one that was rejected by the Liberals because they were not part of the discussion at all, but most surprisingly it was rejected by the Bloc members. This actually would have addressed their concerns.

We did our best. We put the proposal on the table and we were turned down. We did our part to try to make this a better bill but it is certainly not our job to hold up everything ad infinitum because we did not get our way. We do our best to work within a minority Parliament. We work to make changes and that is exactly what we did. We accomplished two important changes. We did not get the third change. We will continue to find ways to address the concerns raised by scientists and researchers.

It is very important to note that the NDP's amendment to get all regulations before the House is a significant breakthrough. The Bloc members are quite right when they ask how we can vote for something when we do not know the regulations. We deal with that each and every day. Every time we have a piece of legislation we deal with it.

We did it with Bill C-9. That bill deals with the transportation of dangerous goods. It is a very similar situation to this bill dealing with laboratories handling dangerous toxins and pathogens. We tried through a motion to get the House to amend that bill to ensure that all regulations would go before the committee. Where were the Bloc members on that? Where were the Bloc members on each and every other bill where we were trying to get regulations under the purview of the House and we raised concerns about the discretion of the minister and the latitude he or she may have in terms of implementing a bill and for which we do not know the full consequences? It is a legitimate concern but the normal parliamentary way is to amend a bill so that the regulations go to committee.

Now, all regulations for this bill will come before committee as a result of the NDP amendment before the bill is finally approved. It may not be perfect. It may mean the Conservative government can still try to do some things for which it has no authority and where it is taking advantage of grey areas in the bill, but we have a major role to play in terms of overseeing the regulations before allowing the bill to go any further. I think it is important to note all of that.

I will talk a bit about the bill as a whole and put it in the context of the present swine influenza outbreak because the two are very much connected.

We are talking about the precautionary principle in whatever we do. One of the fundamental principles behind Bill C-11 is that Canadians, health workers and all who come into contact with pathogens and toxins are safe beyond a reasonable doubt. Our first premise in dealing with the bill was to ensure that this safety provision was a part of it, but not in any way that would try to prevent research in important areas. We did not get what we wanted on that bill, but we made a good try.

With respect to the do no harm principle in the current context of the swine influenza outbreak, it is important to note that, because we have such capable and competent individuals in our national laboratories, especially our level 5 laboratory in Winnipeg, the National Microbiology Laboratory, we can feel somewhat confident that scientists are doing their job, ensuring that Canadians are protected in the event of a pandemic and that work in labs for which they have oversight are operating according to the highest principles and standards.

In that context, I want to single out Dr. Frank Plummer. He was the individual to whom Mexicans sent their concerns and samples once this soon-to-be-identified swine influenza broke out in Mexico. Dr. Frank Plummer and his team identified this new strain, which became known as the swine influenza. This laboratory is overseeing much of the work in this area. In fact, it is working very stringently on the development of a vaccine, which could happen, as reports show today, much sooner than actually expected. There could be a vaccine developed within a couple of weeks for the swine influenza, thanks to the work of Dr. Frank Plummer and his whole team of scientists and their collaboration with the CDC in the United States, with public health agencies across the country and with public health officers in every province and territory.

I want to mention the work of Dr. Frank Plummer because he also helped us identify the issue around listeriosis. Through Dr. Frank Plummer, the electronic surveillance system detected the listeriosis outbreak. We were able then to take measures to deal with this very serious pathogen and ensure further containment of it.

Dr. Frank Plummer is known to us all for his work, especially, in the area of HIV and AIDS. He is one of the internationally renowned scientists who have done leading and groundbreaking research in getting to the bottom of HIV and AIDS. He has been recognized for that work in many parts of the world. In fact, as members will know, he was recently appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. Probably more important than anything, he was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada. He has received a grant from the Grand Challenges in Global Health, an initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which continues studies on HIV resistance and work on the HIV vaccine. He was named Canada research chair of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and has been elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, and I could go on.

We are talking about someone who is world renowned, who is providing groundbreaking research on new unidentified pathogens and toxins. He has been behind the developments around listeriosis. Now he has been identified as the key researcher with respect to the swine influenza. He will ensure that we have a vaccine for that latest epidemic in short order.

He is a person with whom we consulted regularly throughout the debate. He took the time to come to our committees, along with Dr. Butler-Jones, the head of the Public Health Agency of Canada. As a result of their efforts, particularly Dr. Frank Plummer's, we were able to get a better handle on the nature of level 2 pathogens versus level 3 and level 4 pathogens and, in fact, begin the process of trying to put in place a modified regime with respect to level 2 pathogens so research would not be stymied and scientists would not feel any encumbrances around their work.

That has been accomplished, in part, thanks to all the scientists who came before us. They were very vigilant in their work at our committee. In fact, I want to mention the efforts by a number of them with respect to this bill, as the Bloc also referred to, and indicate that they were instrumental in our understanding of this whole area.

I hope the government has learned some lessons from Bill C-11, that it must ensure thorough consultations before it proceeds with legislation. I am glad it listened to some of our amendments. I hope it will take seriously our concerns about the regulations and will act quickly and promptly to bring those regulations before the House.

We have the unfortunate example of human reproductive technologies legislation that was passed by the House some five years ago. It still has not been finally approved, nor are the regulations forthcoming. Here is an area where changes are happening every day, by the minute. There are all kinds of concerns about the new groundbreaking innovations in fertility treatments as well as concerns with respect to identity of anonymous sperm donations. Back five or six years ago, our committee tried to address numerous concerns and provide good advice to the government. We are still waiting for those regulations.

We hope the government has learned something from this most recent chapter in its legislative pursuit around protecting Canadians and has learned the lessons from the witnesses we heard at our committee. We hope it will ensure that all legislation brought to the House in the future is done so only after thorough consultation with stakeholders has been provided and with all regard for and taking into account the concerns raised by those people most directly affected by this legislation.

The government has failed to do that in this case and we have ended up with less than perfect legislation.

We are prepared to support the bill in the final analysis. I know Bloc members will go into conniptions over that. We believe we have done our job in trying to improve the bill. We have spoken to the same scientists they mentioned in the debates. We believe we have addressed their concerns, to a large measure, through the amendments to the bill by the government and then by ourselves.

We know it is a less than perfect legislation. There will be concerns identified along the way. We will ensure, through the regulatory process, absolute vigilance and complete oversight to ensure the government is true to its word about bringing forward regulations that meet the specific concerns of the scientists, researchers and laboratory workers.

We will hold the government to account every step of the way to ensure the health and safety of Canadian researchers, laboratory workers and patients are always at the top of the equation and that nothing in the legislation gets in the way of good research and groundbreaking scientific endeavour.

We will continue to raise the need for more government assistance, not less as was the case with the government in the last budget. I think all scientists were shocked by the cutbacks to research. They are crying for the government to pay attention to the need for Canada to be involved in the continuation of groundbreaking research and investigative studies, which will enhance the health and well-being of all Canadians.

Human Pathogens and Toxins ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

I can see that members are coming into the House, but I would ask for a little order.

The hon. member for Kildonan—St. Paul.

Human Pathogens and Toxins ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Winnipeg North for her contribution to the health committee and to this bill. I have to agree with her that Dr. Butler-Jones did astounding work on the committee. I commend his work on the swine flu and the challenges that are there right now. Scientists who came to meetings on Bill C-11 were very helpful in their scientific analysis of the bill.

What does the member for Winnipeg North think would be most important things we need to address very quickly to get Bill C-11 finished and through committee? I know the member has worked very hard on the committee, as all members have, and I value her input.

Human Pathogens and Toxins ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Again, I would ask members for a little order.

The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

Human Pathogens and Toxins ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, besides Dr. Butler-Jones, Frank Plummer and the staff of Health Canada, I also wanted to mention the good work of the other scientists who were so vigorous in their representations before us. They are Professor Greg Matlashewski, Dr. Peter Singer, Professor Marc Ouellette, Dr. Albert Descoteaux and Professor Elaine Gibson. All of them have provided valuable advice. They have asked us to ensure that the regulations are drafted as quickly as possible and that they be involved in the process for the development of those regulations. They have also asked that members of the House and the Senate see those regulatory proposals as soon as possible so we can finalize this project and get on with ensuring that all of our laboratories are operating to the highest standards without encumbering any kind of research or groundbreaking scientific endeavour.

Human Pathogens and Toxins ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.


The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

The hon. member will have seven minutes left after question period to pursue other questions.

Manitoba Premier's Volunteer Service AwardStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.


Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Madam Speaker, last week, the Pilot Mound Millennium Recreation Complex volunteers received the 2009 Manitoba Premier's Volunteer Service Award. Theirs is an amazing story and a testimony to community spirit.

Ten years ago, the people of Pilot Mound purchased an old arena located 1,200 kilometres away. They dismantled it and brought it back to their town piece by piece.

Over the last several years, community members built a new sports complex from the old one. The new facility includes a hockey rink, curling rink, daycare, theatre and gym.

From start to finish, this was a volunteer effort. Everyone contributed in some way to the project, from the very young to the very old.

In the words of Chamber of Commerce president, Carolanne Bayne, “We didn't just build a building we have built community spirit”.

I congratulate the volunteers on receiving the Volunteer Service Award and I commend the citizens of Pilot Mound for their determination to see this project through.

Halifax Chamber of Commerce Person of the YearStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.


Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Madam Speaker, I would like to congratulate Brookes and Fiona Diamond on being named the 2009 Halifax Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year Honorees.

The Diamond's are founders of Brookes Diamond Productions, one of Atlantic Canada's leading entertainment companies. They have managed the careers of some of Canada's most successful artists and produced hundreds of shows worldwide.

They are also the visionaries behind DRUM!, a spectacular musical production featuring musicians, dancers, drummers and singers from Nova Scotia's four principle cultures: aboriginal, black, Celtic and Acadian.

Brookes and Fiona deserve to be recognized for their tireless efforts to nurture and promote N.S. arts and culture.

17th Fundraising Drive for Troubled YouthStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Madam Speaker, the 17th edition of Opération Tirelires takes place today. This year's goal is to raise an impressive $75,000 throughout Quebec. The 31 Auberges du coeur, including Auberge Le Baluchon in my riding, invite the public to give generously to support troubled and homeless youth.

The mission of the Auberges du coeur is to help young people achieve their full potential and contribute to the Quebec of tomorrow, which will have a huge need for their talents. We must do everything we can to help these young people lead meaningful lives again.

I would also like to pay tribute to all the staff members, volunteers and current and former residents of the Auberges du coeur for working so hard to achieve tangible goals that make a difference.

Canada Day FundingStatements By Members

2 p.m.


David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, I am proud of our country and so are my constituents in Hamilton Centre, but that pride is diminished when the Conservative government does not even buy Canadian flag pins that are actually made in Canada.

We can and do make flag pins here but the government screwed up and bought pins made in China. Is the recession over? Suddenly we do not need to support Canadian manufacturing jobs anymore?

Canadians also believe in fairness. However, when it comes to Canada Day, the Conservatives chose to play cheap politics with our national pride.

From federal funding of $3.8 million for July 1st celebrations, they gave $3.2 million to Quebec in an apparent transparent attempt to buy votes. That left a mere $600,000 for the rest of Canada and only $100,000 for Ontario, our most populous province.

This is not complicated. The government should buy Canadian flag pins from Canadian manufacturers and share the celebration funds equally. It must stop shipping our jobs overseas and stop playing politics with our Canada Day.

25th Awards Ceremony of Coalition of BusinesspeopleStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Pierre Lemieux Conservative Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Madam Speaker, I am proud to rise in this House to congratulate the entrepreneurs in my riding, especially the three who were honoured at the 25th awards ceremony of the Regroupement des gens d'affaires in our region.

Among the honorees were Daniel Renaud of Vars, who was named entrepreneur of the year; Alain and Yves Potvin of Potvin Construction in Rockland, who won the award for big business of the year; and Claude Chénier of Cumberland, who was named manager of the year for his work at Heritage College.

I also want to congratulate Stéphane Lalonde of Chamberland Crossing in Rockland, Eric Leblanc of Prescott-Electric Motors in Hawkesbury, Hélène Lauzon of the Jean Coutu Pharmacy in Alexandria and Barney Bangs of Tulmar Safety Systems in Hawkesbury, who were among the finalists.

These entrepreneurs continue to work hard despite the tough economic times, and they provide invaluable services for my riding.

I congratulate them on their success and encourage them to keep up the excellent work.

Mount Pearl 2008 Citizen of the Year AwardStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Siobhan Coady Liberal St. John's South—Mount Pearl, NL

Mr. Speaker, it is my great honour to rise today to congratulate the winner of and nominees for the Mount Pearl 2008 Citizen of the Year Award.

On April 19, 2009, at a ceremony I was fortunate enough to attend, the city recognized: Rosalind Pratt, the award winner, as well as nominees James Bulger, Shirley Ducey, Gary Martin and Gordon Seabright.

Their collective work encompasses numerous organizations in our community, including Mount Pearl soccer and hockey, the special Olympics provincial games, various youth activities, the Scouts and Girl Guides of Canada, the annual frosty festival and the Mount Pearl citizens crime prevention committee, to name a few.

I am proud to count these individuals among my constituents. Their volunteerism and that of many others in our community makes Mount Pearl such a wonderful place to live.

Proud to be Canadian CampaignStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Madam Speaker, as a proud member of Parliament for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, I have always believed that my constituents are the most patriotic in all of Canada. We plan to show that again by winning in the annual Proud to be Canadian campaign this year.

Like in years past, I challenge my colleagues to have their constituents display a Canadian flag in their front windows on July 1. The riding with the most flags on display on Canada Day will be deemed the most patriotic riding in all of Canada.

My riding has had the honour of holding this title for the past couple of years and we are working hard to ensure that the same happens in 2009. Eighteen members have already taken up our challenge and it keeps growing by the day.

Today, I am challenging all my colleagues to hold similar contests in their ridings. Let us get our beautiful flag on display in households from coast to coast to coast and to show our true and patriot love for our country this Canada Day.

Replacement WorkersStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Meili Faille Bloc Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Madam Speaker, the defeat of the motion I tabled forbidding the use of replacement workers by companies that fall under the Canada Labour Code proves that the Liberal Party turns its back shamefully on working people.

All Liberals might have been expected to support this motion, especially after their leader stated last January alongside Michel Arsenault, the president of the FTQ, that he was “against scabs”. But the Liberals could not be consistent on this issue.

If their leader really had workers’ interests at heart, he would have shown some leadership and convinced his troops to unanimously support the motion.

Both the Liberals and Conservatives will use any pretext at all to avoid serving the interests of Quebeckers.

BurmaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Madam Speaker, today we remember the victims of Cyclone Nargis, which struck Burma on May 2, 2008.

Canada was one of the first countries to respond to Cyclone Nargis and contributed more than $25 million to relief efforts. It is estimated that over 150,000 people were killed and a further 2.4 million were affected.

The Government of Burma initially imposed significant restrictions on access to international humanitarian actors. This only improved after sustained high level pressure from international actors.

The Burmese junta continues to rule in a repressive and uncaring fashion. There are estimated to be over 2,100 political prisoners in detention and, since August 2008, there have been over 300 political prisoners sentenced.

Canada calls upon the Burmese regime to immediately release all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi, and to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all the people of Burma.

Madawaska Radio ProgramStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Jean-Claude D'Amours Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure for me to pay tribute to the 800th edition of Votre Soirée Western, a radio program hosted by Claude Bossé and broadcast on CJEM in the Madawaska region.

Over the years it has become an institution, with thousands of Western music fans tuning in every Saturday night.

La Soirée Western has become very popular in the 20 years since it first hit the airwaves and is the occasion for many an enjoyable evening spent with friends listening to its selection of Western music.

Mr. Bossé has made a tremendous effort over the years to provide ever more varied programming for every taste. Fans of Western culture really enjoy this broadcast and the number of listeners is constantly growing.

The people of Madawaska-Restigouche join me in congratulating Claude and thanking him for the entertainment he provides every Saturday night. I hope he makes it to his 1,000th broadcast.

Cadet Instructor CadreStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize the Canadian Forces Cadet Instructor Cadre and its celebration of 100 years of service.

In its early days, the Cadet Instructor Cadre was mostly made up of male public school teachers who led their students through drill exercises and physical training at a number of schools across Canada. Since then, this group has grown into one of the most diverse branches of the Canada Forces and its officers represent the full spectrum of Canadian society.

Today, approximately 7,500 cadet instructors lead over 58,000 of Canada's youth in more than 1,100 communities across Canada. They are our friends, our family and our neighbours.

Cadet instructors are part-time members of the Canadian Forces who give their time and energy as they spend their weekends, evenings and summers with our youth.

The Cadet Instructor Cadre has much to be proud of. On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to thank this exceptional group for their hard work and dedication.

I encourage all hon. members to participate and support their local units and join me in recognizing the Cadet Instructor Cadre as it celebrates 100 years of service. Here is to the next 100.

Automotive IndustryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, many Canadian workers and communities stopped what they were doing today to huddle around the TV to watch President Obama decide their fate. Extraordinary measures were taken to prevent the collapse of the Chrysler Corporation because hedge fund vultures refused to participate in a solution.

Meanwhile, in Canada we once again wait to see a plan. The NDP called for a green car strategy five years ago to produce low emission, fuel efficient vehicles and put Canada on the cutting edge of the new automotive revolution.

Obama's call for these same measures and commitment to provide leadership and a plan is what is missing here in Canada. Canada needs to restart the Canadian auto partnership council, provide low interest loans to Canadians for new vehicle and lease purchases and provide an incentive plan, as the United States, Germany, Britain and others have taken, to kickstart consumers and help communities and workers who are on the brink.

I challenge the government to wake up, put its partisanship aside, stop blaming workers and start working on solutions to ensure our men and women have jobs and our communities are strengthened.

Leader of the Liberal PartyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


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

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader has kept his distance from the press recently. He did not want to repeat the statement he made a few weeks ago, when he said, “We will have to raise taxes.”

Now that part of his fiscal agenda has been brought to light, his new advisors, who have barely left the sponsorship scandal behind them, will be able to put the following questions to him, because we still have heard no answers for the Canadian people.

Which taxes will he raise? How much does he expect the citizens of this country to fork out? Is there another page to his Liberal fiscal agenda that he would like to share with Canadian taxpayers?

Our citizens are not stupid. Taxes and scandalous arrangements between friends of the Liberal Party, that is typically Liberal. The citizens of this country have had it with this Liberal leader's fiscal hypocrisy.

International Workers' DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Luc Desnoyers Bloc Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, May 1, is International Workers' Day, celebrating those who, through their hard work and social commitment, built Quebec.

The economic crisis is causing severe hardship, the worst we have seen since the 1930s. In Quebec, hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs, and the manufacturing and export industries are taking a nose dive.

In order to find a way out, we must target what caused the crisis. It began on Wall Street, in an environment in which deregulation and a lack of government intervention became common practices. As a result, millions of workers are now the victims of this flawed economic approach. In order to recover, we must rethink the economy and start putting people first.

Cadet Instructor CadreStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Scott Andrews Liberal Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, Canadians will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Cadet Instructor Cadre. Currently, these reserve force officers supervise, administer and train over 58,000 Royal Canadian Sea, Army and Air Cadets in over 1,100 communities across Canada. Over the past 100 years, tens of thousands of Canadians have benefited from their leadership and direction.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, our cadet training program is led by 575 men and women, and in my riding of Avalon we have an exciting and challenging cadet program operating in over 18 communities.

Much of the work that is done by these officers is done on a volunteer basis and, through them, the lives of many young people in our communities are enriched with the transformative nature of participation.

Let us all be proud of the service of the Cadet Instructor Cadre. I call on all members of the House to join Canadians in celebrating this 100th anniversary and congratulate the remarkable group of 7,000 men and women of the Canadian Forces reserve officers.

TaxationStatements By Members

April 30th, 2009 / 2:10 p.m.


Blake Richards Conservative Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government has been working hard to help Canadians during these tough economic times. Through our economic action plan, we are delivering for Canadians. We are reducing taxes for Canadian families, creating jobs and helping Canadians who are hardest hit by this global recession.

The Liberals, however, have a different agenda: higher taxes for Canadians. From increasing the GST, to ensuring the end of the universal child care benefit, to imposing a job-killing carbon tax, it is clear that the Liberal Party is out of touch with Canadians.

The Liberal Party recently reaffirmed its economic clumsiness when its leader announced, “We will have to raise taxes”.

Canadians have waited long enough for the details of this tax hike policy. Perhaps this weekend the Liberal leader can finally come clean with Canadians and tell them which taxes he will raise, by much he will raise them, and who will be forced to pay for these higher taxes.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.


Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, Chrysler will be restructured under chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy law. However, President Obama's statement this morning did not indicate whether Chrysler would also be placed under the protection of Canadian courts.

Will Chrysler Canada employees be protected by Canadian courts?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont Alberta


Mike Lake ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, throughout this difficult time in the auto sector, our government's goal is to ensure Canada maintains a 20% production share of a sustainable and viable North American sector.

In December we set some very stringent conditions that Chrysler Canada would have to meet in order to receive any additional support. Chrysler Canada's management, unions and financial institutions have made big sacrifices in order to meet these conditions.

While this is a very difficult situation for everybody, it is the best way forward for the industry and the best way forward for Chrysler, and for the businesses and workers who depend on it.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.


Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would be grateful for an answer to the question, which is whether or not this process is also under Canadian law and Canadian bankruptcy rules or is it only the American law that applies?

It is important for the House to get accurate information. What is the Canadian taxpayer money being put into Chrysler for? It appears to be equity capital, at risk and unsecured. What exactly will Canadians get for it in terms of jobs, plants, product mandates and new technology? What are the guarantees for Canada?