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House of Commons Hansard #83 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreements.

Topics

2 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 Don Valley East.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Minor HockeyStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Rickford Conservative Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge Doug Novak from Kenora.

For the past 21 years, Doug has coached Pee Wee hockey, teaching kids how to play Canada's game and giving them important transferrable skills like team playing and leadership along the way. Philadelphia Flyer team captain Mike Richards is but one example.

Doug lives and breathes hockey. He never thinks twice about volunteering countless hours of his time to Kenora minor hockey.

Recently, in the RBC's annual local hockey leaders program, Doug was one of 14 people chosen from hundreds of nominations for his volunteer service and dedication to the sport of hockey. A photo of Doug was unveiled in a permanent display honouring Canada's unsung hockey heroes at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, and $10,000 will be donated to Kenora minor hockey in Doug's name.

I ask my colleagues to join me in thanking Doug for his many years of service and commitment to families and minor hockey in Kenora. Doug is just another example of what is so great about the great Kenora riding.

InfrastructureStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sukh Dhaliwal Liberal Newton—North Delta, BC

Mr. Speaker, when the Pacific gateway project was introduced under the previous Liberal government, my constituents of Newton—North Delta were relieved that truck and container traffic would no longer clog their community.

Now I have learned that the South Fraser Perimeter Road is short on funding. A first-class freeway is now being downgraded to a highway with an unsafe level of traffic lights. The upgrades were supposed to stop trucks idling at intersections. Local governments are calling this plan a recipe for disaster.

I urge the government to commit to the residents of Delta proper funding for this project to allow for a safe, efficient and environmentally friendly flow of traffic.

Jacques MassonStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

France Bonsant Bloc Compton—Stanstead, QC

Mr. Speaker, in September, Jacques Masson announced that he was stepping down as president of the Union des producteurs agricoles de Coaticook after 32 years of involvement.

As the Bloc Québécois deputy critic for agriculture and agri-food, I would like to highlight his commitment to farmers in the region. His dedication helped keep the Union des producteurs agricoles de Coaticook financially healthy, and allowed the organization to work on a number of important issues.

For example, the Union des producteurs agricoles de Coaticook got involved in the issue of access to high-speed Internet in rural areas and in an environmental project to plant trees to protect fields and waterways, for which the organization won the Jean-Paul Raymond award last year.

I wish Mr. Masson and his family the best of luck in sustaining their farm.

Spirit DayStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I am wearing purple because it is Spirit Day. New Democrats stand in solidarity with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual youth to honour those youth who recently committed suicide due to bullying and harassment.

Some of the Canadian and American youth we remember are: Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase, Asher Brown, Cody J. Barker, Harrison Chase Brown, Caleb Nolt, Billy Lucas, Jeanine Blanchette and Chantal Dube.

We must act now to end bullying and discrimination against GLBTT youth and stand in solidarity with them, their friends and their families.

I would like to acknowledge an organization in my riding that has been a supporter of the GLBTT community since day one, Sudbury Pride. It is important to stand in solidarity with GLBTT youth and recognize the work of organizations like Sudbury Pride and the steps they take to ensure that GLBTT youth know that life gets better.

Responsible CareStatements By Members

October 20th, 2010 / 2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Patricia Davidson Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada on the 25th anniversary of Responsible Care.

Responsible Care was launched in 1975 to address the chemistry industry's concerns for the environment and the health of Canadians.

Twenty-five years later, the Canadian Responsible Care model has been adopted by more than 50 countries around the world and has been recognized by the United Nations Environment Programme for its contributions to sustainable development.

Responsible Care companies have made great strides in reducing emissions and report their progress in a transparent way to the public each year. In my riding of Sarnia—Lambton, member companies of the CAER program have also been on the forefront of emergency response.

I would like to congratulate members of the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada for showing a quarter century of environmental leadership through Responsible Care.

Government SpendingStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, this government wasted $1.2 billion on the G8 and G20 meetings held in Canada. That money was spent recklessly. For example, the government built a fake lake and many other completely useless things. It also impacted the lives of thousands of Torontonians. This government is incapable of managing a nation's economy.

My constituents believe that a better way to spend money, create jobs and help the environment would be to invest in the extension of the overburdened and incomplete rail system that serves the vast majority of Torontonians.

Why does the government shy away from funding projects that will create jobs and have a lasting benefit to hundreds of thousands of Canadians instead of wasting taxpayer dollars?

Charitable ContributionsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ted Menzies Conservative Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to announce that the Government of Canada and the Tim Horton Children's Foundation celebrated a significant charitable donation made on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.

A total of $300,000 was contributed to three separate charities, focusing on supporting youth, families and Canadian military personnel. One hundred thousand dollars of this donation will go toward expanding the horsemanship program at the Tim Horton Children's Ranch in the beautiful Kananaskis Valley in the riding of Macleod. This 150 acre ranch provides children from all over the country with the unique experience of living in the Rockies and enjoying many outdoor activities.

These donations are an acknowledgement of each charity's hard work and selfless service in promoting the well-being of Canadians and will help build stronger families and provide a better future for Canadians.

Contaminated Water in ShannonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, the federal government has never acknowledged its responsibility for contaminated water in Shannon, nor has it compensated the victims. It has employed all kinds of delay tactics and unusual procedures in order to hinder legal action taken by the victims. In particular, it has attempted to prevent a class action lawsuit and force each plaintiff to file an individual suit against the Department of National Defence. At present, the federal government is again holding up their case by not providing documents that they need to prepare their suit and imposing unreasonable fees for providing them.

If his government is not responsible for the environmental and human disaster in Shannon, as he claims, what does the defence department have to hide? If he is not willing to acknowledge the harm caused by the department and compensate the victims, he should at least demonstrate good faith, transparency and justice and provide the victims' lawyer with the documents requested.

Human SmugglingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, human smuggling is a despicable crime and any attempts to abuse Canada's generosity for financial gain is utterly unacceptable. Our government will crack down on human smugglers and those who seek to abuse our immigration system. We will not allow human smugglers to dock their boats on our shores with impugnity.

We will send a message that Canada opens its doors to those who work hard and play by the rules, while cracking down on those who seek to take advantage of our generosity and abuse our fair and welcoming immigration system.

I would encourage members from all parties to recognize the problem posed by human smugglers and recognize it is growing and must be stopped.

Our government will take action and stand up for those immigrants who work hard and play by the rules for the opportunity to live, work and raise a family in our great country.

York Lions ClubStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am certain that members of the House can attest to the incredible contribution that service clubs make to community life in their ridings.

In my community of York South—Weston, the York Lions Club is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Like many clubs in both rural and urban areas, under the mantra of “we serve”, the York Lions Club has made life better for youth, seniors and the disadvantaged.

Milestones in the 75 years of the York Lions Club include: the winning of the North America drum and bugle championships under the direction of the late Lion, Doug Saunders; the York Lions Steel Band under the direction of Lions Mike and Gail Stacey; and the ongoing support for the leader dog program to assist the visually impaired.

Lions Clubs throughout our country have contributed to hospitals, community centres and arenas and through their service have served as an inspiration for generations of Canadians. I know members of the House will join with me in celebrating and saluting Lions International and the York Lions Club on achieving 75 years of dedication to its motto “we serve”.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government will not stand idly by while Canada becomes a target for criminals aiming to profit from this country's generosity.

Canada is proud to be an open and generous society. Each year, we welcome hundreds of thousands of immigrants from around the world. These people work hard and play by the rules in order to live, make a living and raise their families in our beautiful country.

Unfortunately, our immigration system is the target of human smugglers who treat our country like a doormat to wipe their feet on. We need to fix this problem once and for all because it continues to grow.

Yesterday, our Conservative government informed Parliament of its intention to introduce a law that would keep human smugglers from abusing Canada's immigration system. I encourage members from all parties to acknowledge the fact that the problem of human smuggling is growing and needs to be stopped.

Julie MasonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of the NDP caucus and staff, past and present, to express sadness and grief for the loss of a great friend and colleague, Julie Mason.

As the former director of communications and then as the chief of staff to NDP leader Alexa McDonough, Julie was innovative, strategic and fierce. She always brought her commitment to social justice to every aspect of her work. Julie was a role model for women as one of the few top female political players at a time when that was difficult and rare.

Whether it was her work on Parliament Hill, or with Oxfam Canada and the Children's Bridge Foundation, or her insightful and refreshingly clear writings on living with cancer, Julie's contributions have made a positive and lasting mark.

We send our love and gratitude for sharing so much of Julie with us to Don McGregor, Julie's husband, and her sons, Glen and Brian, her family and her grandchildren whom she loved so much.

The NDP is forever thankful for the commitment and generosity of Julie Mason and the life she lived to the fullest.

TradeStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government is always working to expand opportunities for Canadian farmers.

Our government's free trade agenda includes talks with close to 50 countries, in addition to the eight countries with which we have already signed trade agreements. We are also working to improve the mere three trade agreements signed under the previous government.

Our top trade initiative is our negotiations with the European Union which are progressing very well. Canadian farmers are speaking up in support of a deal with the EU.

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association has said that an agreement could be the biggest single opportunity for the Canadian cattle and beef industry since the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.

The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance said that opening the European market for Canadian agriculture and food products is critical.

It is clear that only the Conservative government can be counted on to support free trade and open markets for Canadian workers, businesses and farmers. We are getting this done for Canadians, opening jobs and creating hope and opportunity for all Canadians.

CensusStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Richard Nadeau Bloc Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, today the OECD is celebrating United Nations World Statistics Day. The event serves as a reminder that government officials need good data to make informed, evidence-based decisions.

The Conservatives' decision to scrap the mandatory long form census is sabotaging its scientific nature and distorting the truth so they can manipulate it to suit their reality. They are playing up the threat of jail time for people who do not fill out the census form. Yet all opposition parties agree that that measure should be eliminated. It is important to note that no one has ever received jail time since the census became mandatory.

Over 300 organizations and municipalities, including the City of Gatineau, oppose the Conservatives' unscientific approach that will deprive them of statistics essential to the well-being of their citizens.

This dogmatic Conservative government needs to listen to reason and reinstate the mandatory long form census once and for all.

SeniorsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I have spoken with many seniors who face the difficult choice of having food to eat or the medication they need, and seniors who spend their days in the mall keeping warm because they cannot afford to heat their homes.

Last week I learned of a 93-year-old being evicted from her apartment that she has lived in for decades so the landlord could raise the rent. I spoke with a senior recently who received an increase in his old age security, the first since 2008, and it was just $1.55 a month.

The seniors resource centre in my riding cannot fund its operations. It cut the grocery bus, Friday friendship and other programs.

Today may be World Statistics Day, but here in Canada, the Conservatives have decided to eliminate the long form census, which means less information about our struggling seniors and the services they need.

The government has to act now to help seniors. They built our country. Now the country needs to be there for them.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Conservative Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we heard more praise for Canada's principled foreign policy.

Today's Wall Street Journal praises the foreign policy positions taken by our government under the Prime Minister. The Wall Street Journal states that under the leadership of our Prime Minister:

Canada has avoided the worst of the global recession and emerged with a vibrant banking system and strong currency (now trading near parity to the U.S. dollar).

It also states:

The courage of its soldiers in Afghanistan, and in other missions, is testament to a nation that honors its commitments.

We agree with the Wall Street Journal and we make no apologies for our principled decisions. In fact, we have said all along that we are proud of our principled foreign policy positions.

Our government makes policy decisions based on what is right, not on what is popular, and we will continue to do so.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, on Monday at Our Lady of Lourdes high school in Guelph, a young student named Diane asked me a question, “We are caring for my grandmother at home. If elected, what would you do to help people who are caring for the sick and elderly at home?” I replied to Diane, “Our answer is the family care plan”. The Conservatives' answer is, “Use your vacation time”.

How can the Prime Minister justify tax breaks for profitable corporations instead of helping families like Diane's?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the real question of course is why the leader of the Liberal Party thinks he can pull off, for the fifth time, a promise which his party has broken four previous times to the Canadian public, which is of course his home care plan, part of the $75 billion in promises the Liberals have made for the next election campaign.

The Liberals cannot justify it by then turning around and saying they will pay for it all by raising taxes on the Canadian economy during a recession. As economists across the country have said, that is a recipe for disaster. High taxes, high spending; that is why we must make sure the Liberal coalition does not get into office.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the government is saying it can afford $6 billion in tax cuts for corporations and it cannot help Diane's family. That is what it amounts to. The elastic on that Canadian family is stretched tight. They owe $1.47 for every dollar they earn. They need help. They need help with family care and daycare. They need help.

Instead of getting care from this government, instead of getting help, it is giving a tax break to corporations. How does it justify this set of priorities to those hard-pressed Canadian families?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what this government says of course is that we have brought in tax reductions across the board for families, for consumers, and yes, for business as well, in order to strengthen the Canadian economy. That is one of the reasons we have one of the strongest economies in the developed world.

When we make promises to Canadians, we deliver them. We do not cut health care. We do not cut education. We do not cut employment insurance. And we do not raise taxes like the Liberals did.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, instead of offering to help Canadian families who are suffering and tightening their belts, the government is prepared to give a $6 billion gift to already-profitable corporations.

How does the government explain its choices to hard-pressed Canadian families?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that corporate tax rates were set a long time ago. Now the Liberal Party is proposing to increase taxes for this country's major employers. The vice-president of the Montreal Economic Institute said that one of the measures proposed by the official opposition, increasing taxes for major employers, will be disastrous for Canadian workers and the economic recovery.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, for months the government has been saying, “Don't worry, be happy. Middle class families do not need any support; they can just fend for themselves”. But yesterday and today, the Bank of Canada shot the government's story full of holes. In fact, the Canadian economy has just suffered its worst quarter in months and faces serious risks from a global currency war to massive household debt.

The government's numbers about recovery are a fiction. How will the minister reconcile his hocus-pocus with hard facts from the Bank of Canada?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in fact the forecasts of the Bank of Canada mirror very closely those of the government, because our forecasts are based on private sector analysis, but not the Bank of Canada.

There is not a single credible economic voice in the country that is backing the advocacy of higher tax rates that the Leader of the Opposition and the Liberal Party are proposing.