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House of Commons Hansard #84 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was provinces.

Topics

Credit UnionsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Rajotte Conservative Edmonton—Leduc, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Canada's credit union system. Member-owned and democratically controlled, credit unions take deposits and offer loans, but they also make very lasting contributions to our communities through financial literacy and by serving the underserved.

First formed in Lévis, Quebec, in 1901, credit unions continue to be a Canadian success story. Despite the economic downturn, they have maintained a strong financial position and are supportive partners of small businesses. Their commitment to service is evident in the 382 communities across Canada where the credit union is the sole financial institution.

Outside of Quebec and the territories, there are 406 credit unions and caisses populaires, with over 1,700 locations, serving more than five million members. Including Quebec's caisses populaires, one in three Canadians are credit union members.

To mark International Credit Union Day, I join all members in extending my congratulations to Canada's credit unions, their members and communities.

Tribute Gala for Female Farmers in Val-JeanStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of all my Bloc Québécois colleagues, I would like to congratulate Monique Boileau, a farmer in Havelock, which is in the riding of Beauharnois—Salaberry, for having been named female agricultural entrepreneur of 2010 at the tribute gala organized by female farmers in Val-Jean. The winner has run an apple orchard for more than 40 years. She cultivates 30,000 dwarf and semi-dwarf apple trees, among other things.

I am proud to pay tribute to her for the role she has played as ambassador for her industry. Ms. Boileau's strength of character, courage and passion are an example to be followed. Her incredible entrepreneurial skills have been an inspiration to us all, and especially to women.

I would also like to take this opportunity to mention the work of Nathalie Maisonneuve, from Saint-Chrysostome, who produces medicinal herbs and organic berries. During this same tribute gala, Ms. Maisonneuve received the student in training award.

I applaud their determination and encourage them to follow their dreams.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, today the Minister of Public Safety and the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism announced that our government is delivering on its commitment to crack down on human smugglers and those who seek to abuse Canada's immigration system. We are taking fair, reasonable and tough action to prevent the abuse of Canada's immigration system by human smugglers.

The legislation introduced today will send a clear message: while Canada will open its doors to those who work hard and play by the rules, we will crack down on those who seek to take advantage of our generosity and abuse our fair and welcoming immigration system. We will ensure that law enforcement officers have the tools they need to crack down on human smugglers, help ensure the safety and security of Canadian communities, and deter illegal immigrants from using human smugglers to come to Canada.

The measures introduced today will send a clear message to human smugglers who are planning to come to Canada: do not do it.

Citizenship WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is with pride that I draw the attention of the House to Citizenship Week 2010, a celebration of our rights as well as an acknowledgement of our responsibilities. This week gives us an opportunity to reflect on and talk about both the practical and symbolic implications of living under the protection of the maple leaf.

Historically, the people who come to our country and become citizens are among the proudest Canadians. So, we must not celebrate only those who were born here, but also those who chose to call Canada home.

However, issues around citizenship continue to offer challenges to the House. It was only in 2009 that many Canadian women gained equal rights with regard to the citizenship of their children and we still need to acknowledge our lost Canadians and work toward rectifying the failings in our current legislation.

This week should serve to remind us that being citizens of this dynamic and promising nation is indeed a great honour, but one that we must never take for granted.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

October 21st, 2010 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, today the Minister of Public Safety and the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism announced that our government is delivering on its commitment to crack down on human smugglers who seek to abuse Canada's immigration system.

Our Conservative government will take fair and reasonable, but strict action to prevent the abuse of our immigration system.

The bill introduced today will send a clear message: 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.

The measures introduced today send a clear message to individuals thinking about smuggling people and to those thinking about using human smugglers: do not do it.

Credit UnionsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, today we celebrate the accomplishments of the credit union movement in Canada.

Credit unions began in Germany in the 1850s. In North America, it was Alphonse Desjardins who, in 1901, on the corner of his kitchen table in Lévis, adopted this idea and created an alternative to the existing financial services. Seven years later, this new system had grown and had already spread to the United States. Today, one Canadian in three is a member-owner of their own local credit union. The popularity of credit unions is not waning.

In August of this year, Synovate handed out its 2010 awards for best banking services in Canada. The results were striking. In almost every category, from customer service to ATMs, from online service to telephone banking service, from financial planning to advice, credit unions were at the top.

We in this House who make policy would do well to note that according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, most small businesses choose credit unions.

Canadian Forces Station St. John'sStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Conservative South Shore—St. Margaret's, NS

Mr. Speaker, before getting to my statement, I would like to again congratulate all Canadians who responded in the aftermath of hurricane Igor.

Our government is supporting the Canadian Forces and the communities they live in.

Today the Prime Minister announced a $118 million contract to improve the facilities for the Canadian military at Canadian Forces Station St. John's. The new facility will replace 16 buildings, some constructed 60 years ago, that are located across St. John's and will provide our Canadian Forces with improved space for maintenance, training and operations.

Construction will create approximately 630 direct employment opportunities over the course of the work. This is a win-win for the Canadian Forces and the city of St. John's.

Our government's Canada first defence strategy commits to updating and replacing national defence infrastructure to maintain a first-class modern military ready to take on the challenges asked of them.

Women in PoliticsStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Guimond Bloc Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, as part of the festivities surrounding the World March of Women, including the large gathering in Rimouski, three women received the National Assembly medal for their exceptional commitment as members of Parliament.

I too would like to pay tribute to Monique Vézina, member of Parliament from 1984 to 1993, Suzanne Tremblay, member of Parliament from 1993 to 2004, and Solange Charest, member of the National Assembly from 1994 to 2007. They left their mark on the political landscape of Bas-Saint-Laurent and distinguished themselves on the national and federal levels. I mostly want to pay tribute to them for their important contribution to the advancement of women in politics.

I agree with what Irvin Pelletier, a member of the National Assembly, said and hope that the journey of these pioneers will inspire future generations of women to become involved in politics and bring us closer to the much desired gender parity.

Hincks-Dellcrest CentreStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago I visited the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre in my riding. Among other things, the centre offers programs for children with suspected mental health problems and their parents. I sat around with some of the mothers and asked them why they were there.

Most of them are new to Canada, their own mothers live far away, no family and no mentors around, and this is their first child. Those 10 new things that happen every day in a child's life, why? Is this normal? Is this a problem? What should they do? They learn from the staff and they learn from each other. They have made friends. Their children have made friends. They feel comfortable. They feel at home.

If anyone ever for a moment wonders why governments can matter, why taxes can matter, why cutting is not the answer to everything; if anybody ever for a moment wants to know why multiculturalism in some countries struggles and why this multiculture of Canada works, go to Hincks-Dellcrest. It is inspiring.

Employment InsuranceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow we will debate yet another coalition EI bill. Bill C-280 would provide a year's worth of employment insurance after only 45 days of work. This is offensive to hard-working Canadians.

In total, the Liberal-Bloc-NDP coalition EI plans would cost Canadians $7 billion per year and would permanently increase EI premiums by a whopping 35%. In other words, the coalition EI plans would cost billions of dollars, result in massive permanent increases in premiums, kill jobs and harm our economic recovery.

Our Conservative government is the only party in the House that is standing up for hard-working Canadians and job-creating small businesses and voting against the bill. We will continue to fight against these costly and irresponsible coalition EI plans.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday when the Prime Minister was asked about the possible sale of Potash Corporation, he basically shrugged his shoulders and said “Australia, America, who cares?” He does not get it. This would be the largest resource takeover in Canadian history. It would have huge implications if Canada were to lose control of a key natural resource. It would have an impact on headquarters location, an impact on jobs and an impact on provincial revenue.

When will the government stand up and say no to this deal with Potash Corporation?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, what the Prime Minister said yesterday was completely accurate.

The Minister of Industry will continue to follow all of his obligations under the Canada Investment Act. We will only approve any takeover that is in the best interest of Canada. That is something we take very seriously.

This country can depend on the Prime Minister standing up and doing the right thing.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, that is precisely the problem. The problem is the record of the government on foreign takeovers. We just have to mention Nortel, Inco and Stelco. That is a record of indifference and incompetence.

The Conservative government stood by while Nortel sold off intellectual property. The government stood by while companies made undertakings to communities and workers and then walked away from them. Now we have the Potash story.

When will the government stand up and say no to the Potash deal?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this government will continue to do the right thing. In fact, we are the only government in living memory that had the courage of its convictions to stand up for Canada when it came to one foreign takeover and that was one more that we did not approve that the previous Liberal government did approve.

The Leader of the Opposition should know that during the 13 long years the Liberals were in power, they never once, not once ever, refused a foreign takeover.

We have a good record on this. We will continue to stand up for Canada and do the right thing.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, it is precisely the government's record that we are talking about: Nortel, Inco, Stelco. The Conservative government has failed to carry out its duty. Now, we have the Potash Corporation story. The Prime Minister said he does not care whether it is American or Australian. He is wrong. Canadians believe it is very important to maintain control over our natural resources.

When will the Canadian government carry out its duty?

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

As I said, Mr. Speaker, this government will only approve such takeovers where there is a net benefit to Canada.

I am pleased to talk about the Liberals' record on foreign takeovers. I think they had a foreign takeover of the Liberal Party just last year.

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Potash IndustryOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. The hon. member for Kings--Hants.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, just seven months ago, on March 4, the finance minister said he would “increase restraint on government spending”. Since then he remembered the increase but he forgot the restraint, because he has committed $10 billion to U.S.-style prisons, $16 billion to untendered stealth jets, and he blew $1 billion on the G20 photo op. Today the Parliamentary Budget Officer called the government's restraint plan “weak”.

Does the minister have any plan whatsoever to restrain his out of control borrowing and spending?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the plan that all Canadians know about is Canada's economic action plan. Let me share with all hon. members some of the results of that economic action plan that was put in place for two years. Since July 2009, 420,000 net new jobs have been created in this country.

That is what Canadians want to hear. They want a government that stands up for them, protects the jobs that they have and creates an environment so companies can rehire and create more jobs. That is what has put us ahead of the pack in the rest of the world.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, on March 4 the minister also said that his deficit would be temporary. In fact, the borrow and spend finance minister has missed every deficit target that he has ever set. Two years ago the minister said there would not be a deficit and since then he has given Canadians the biggest deficit in Canadian history.

Does Canada not deserve better than a finance minister who cannot add and a Prime Minister who can only divide?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Macleod Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, it is always sad when we hear the opposition cheering on someone talking down the Canadian economy, an economy that is growing and an economy that is the envy of the world.

Aggressive debt repayment is what put Canada in the position it was in to be able to stand a short-term deficit. We have a plan in place to pay down that deficit, to balance the books and to go back to where we were, which is focused on paying down the debt and ensuring Canada stays in its leadership role.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is not just in the riding of Bourassa that businesses—at least seven of them—were awarded contracts from the government and returned the favour by contributing to the Conservative Party fund. In the riding of Mégantic—L'Érable, of the then Minister of Public Works, two Multivesco officials each gave $1,000 and, a few months later, got a $300 million contract from the federal government.

Will the Minister of Natural Resources admit that, with at least eight such cases proven, this clearly looks like a scheme?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, those allegations are quite ridiculous.

We need to be very clear. The first action this government took upon taking office was to finally eliminate the role and influence of big money in Canadian politics; no more union contributions, no more corporate contributions, and we significantly reduced the amount that individuals could contribute.

We reported to the House just yesterday that Bloc Québécois members of Parliament had been given campaign donations and then acted within five months in support of those same companies. We do find it interesting that they would continue to pursue this line of attack.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons should not try to change the channel: it is his government that awards contracts, and we have yet another proof of that.

There is a disturbing fact in this story. There was no call for tenders when Multivesco, a few months after making contributions in the riding of Mégantic—L'Érable, was awarded a $300 million contract—again, this is not peanuts—for the construction of a federal building.

Will the Minister of Natural Resources and Quebec Conservative lieutenant admit that this is a system under which contracts are awarded and partisan contributions to the Conservative Party are expected?