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House of Commons Hansard #86 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pumps.

Topics

General Jean V. Allard Memorial LibraryStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, I was quite surprised to hear that the General Jean V. Allard Memorial Library at the Saint-Jean Garrison in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu would be closing its doors on December 15.

The Conservative Government that boasted about revitalizing the Royal Military College Saint-Jean does not have much to boast about anymore.

It has decided to close a library, a jewel with 85,000 volumes serving 3,000 students, while the Minister of National Defence has decided to invest $16 billion in F-35s.

With this government, it is not surprising to hear a public affairs officer at the garrison describe a library as something useless.

What about the Official Languages Act? Did the minister shelve it at the library?

It is unacceptable that linguistic works will no longer be accessible to soldiers who are not taking language training.

I am therefore calling on the government to reverse the decision to close the General Jean V. Allard Memorial Library.

Baha'i Community in IranStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada has condemned Iran's continued imprisonment of seven Baha'i community leaders. These individuals appear to have been imprisoned because of their religious beliefs. They should be released unconditionally and reunited with their families as soon as possible.

To quote the Wall Street Journal:

According to human-rights organizations including Amnesty International, executions have increased four-fold since [Ahmadinejad] became president in 2005, and Iran now executes more people per capita than any other country in the world. Iran also lifted its moratorium on stoning since [he] became president.

The Baha'i are a peaceful people who live in harmony with other faiths in countries around the world, including Canada. Our government stands four-square with the Baha'i people in their desire to have their rights respected and their freedoms upheld.

Small Business Week 2010Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, last week, Canadians throughout the country celebrated Small Business Week 2010. The following individuals and businesses in Madawaska-Restigouche were recognized.

In Restigouche: L.C.L. Excavation (2006) Inc., business of the year; Hélène Bernard, community individual; Christine Côté, woman entrepreneur; Corey Jacques, student entrepreneur; Atelier Gérard Beaulieu, innovation award.

In Madawaska: Beaulieu Plumbing & Mechanical Inc., business of the year; Scott Philippe of 3D Innovations, young entrepreneur; Murielle Bourgeois of the Service d'aide à la famille d'Edmundston/Grand-Sault Inc., woman entrepreneur; Marc Francoeur, president of Focus Maintenance Inc., innovation award; Atelier des copains co-op ltée, Bob Connors award; Soucy Brothers Ltd., J.-Aldéric Daigle award; Gérald Dufour of Audiotek, Samuel E. Burpee award.

I congratulate one and all for their ongoing efforts to ensure the success of their business and their community. This is proof of the dynamism of the people of Madawaska—Restigouche. I am proud of them. I hope they will continue their good work.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Cornwall and DistrictStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, this past Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the 37th annual banquet and awards night for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Cornwall and District. Thirty-seven of Cornwall's finest citizens were recognized for their dedicated service to this great organization. Three special awards were also presented.

Cynthia Seguin received the Big Brother and Big Sister Service Award for her great contribution to the organization.

D'Arcy Grant was awarded Big Brother of the Year, the second year in a row that D'Arcy has been honoured with this award. He was also honoured for serving on the board of directors for 10 years and being a big brother for 15 years.

Cindy Latreille was the recipient of the Big Sister of the Year Award. Cindy has been volunteering with Big Brothers and Big Sisters for more than four years now.

It was an honour to be part of this wonderful evening. I congratulate Cynthia, Cindy, D'Arcy and the other volunteers honoured. I thank president Bill Makinson and executive director Amanda Brisson for including me in this great event.

Sainte-Foy Optimist ClubStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Pascal-Pierre Paillé Bloc Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud today to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Club optimiste de Sainte-Foy. I congratulate its members, who have done a great deal for the entire community over the years.

Since it was founded in 1960, the club has injected over $1 million into the community. Year after year, the club has helped more than 50,000 young people through its various activities.

I would also like to congratulate Benoît Morin, a founding member of the Club optimiste de Sainte-Foy. Mr. Morin was honoured this weekend for his outstanding volunteer service and his altruism, which have helped make so many achievements possible.

Thank you to the volunteers, to Mr. Morin, and especially to the Club optimiste de Sainte-Foy, which continues to make a difference.

Italian CampaignStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Greg Kerr Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, this month marks the 66th anniversary of the Italian Campaign. Sixty-six years ago, Canadian troops played a vital role in this bitter and costly conflict, one of the longest and fiercest struggles of World War II. Of the more than 93,000 Canadians who served in this 20-month campaign, nearly 6,000 would lay down their lives.

They fought in Italy's rugged mountains, flooded rivers, and rubble-filled streets. They fought for peace, freedom and justice, the same values our military men and women continue to protect today. The legacy of our veterans lives on in the brave Canadians who are serving today in Afghanistan and other areas of the world.

We honour this legacy by caring for the World War II veterans who are still with us and those who have come after them. We are committed to providing the care and support that veterans and their families need, where and when they need it.

Lest we forget.

Global SIAL D'or AwardStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, today I congratulate Island Abbey Foods of P.E.I. for its Global SIAL D'or award in Paris, France, the largest food trade show in the world.

Island Abbey Foods' Honibe “Honey Drop” beat out 270 products from 30 countries and was named as best new product for 2010 in the “sweet - grocery” category.

Global SIAL is considered the Oscars of the food world. This was a phenomenal achievement for an Island company. Having previously won the “Country Award - Canada” as the highest scoring Canadian product, Island Abbey Foods and the products they produce are a true representation of hard work and innovation.

Founded five years ago by John Rowe and his wife, Island Abbey Foods has now received the most prestigious award in the food industry. Their product, the “Honey Drop”, is the world's first 100% pure dried honey cube. Members should try a little of that Island sweetness.

Congratulations.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Saxton Conservative North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of Finance highlighted in the pre-G20 summit in Korea this week, Canada is leading the world in global economic recovery. This year our deficit is lower than projected and the lowest in the industrialized world.

With an economic and fiscal record that is stronger than other industrialized nations, Canada has responded to the recession with the economic action plan, which created jobs and protected families.

Through the economic action plan we have lowered taxes, invested in infrastructure and training, and boosted support for workers and families. Our action plan is working.

Since July 2009, the Canadian economy has created over 420,000 new jobs. However, the economic recovery is still fragile. There are still too many families struggling to make ends meet.

That is why we will continue to implement the economic action plan to create jobs and to protect Canadian families.

The BellerophonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Malcolm Allen NDP Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was with great sadness and pride that I witnessed the decommissioning and final reunion of Canada's oldest Sea Cadet corps, the Bellerophon, chartered on November 25, 1918.

The Bellerophon has a long-standing history of service in the Welland community. It was an outstanding organization that made valuable contributions to the development of many young Canadians, who now epitomize the meaning of good citizenship.

A local organization both innovative and progressive in nature, Bellerophon, under Horace Cox and Ed Mason, introduced young women into the corps in 1919, even though they received no support or recognition from the Navy League.

This is a time of mixed emotions for Alan O'Neill, chair of the decommissioning committee, whose fond memories and long-lasting friendships are no doubt the silver lining to his noble efforts to save the Bellerophon, memories that include the Bellerophon Drum and Bugle Band, which continues to exist as the only Sea Cadet alumni band in Canada. Since its inception in 1993, the band has contributed over $400,000 to Wellanders.

May the spirit of Bellerophon live on in every shipmate who had the privilege of being part of the oldest Canadian Sea Cadet corps, and may their distinguished history never be forgotten.

Economic Action PlanStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Daniel Petit Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his speech to delegates attending the G20 Seoul pre-summit conference, the Minister of Finance noted that Canada leads the global economic recovery.

Canada leads the recovery because its economic and fiscal situation is stronger than that of most other industrialized countries. Our deficit this year is smaller than anticipated and, in fact, is the lowest in the industrialized world.

Our government responded to the recession by implementing the economic action plan, which created jobs and protected our families. Thanks to this economic action plan, we lowered taxes, invested in infrastructure and training, and increased our support for workers and families.

Since July 2009, the Canadian economy has helped create more than 420,000 new jobs. However, the economic recovery remains fragile, which is why we will continue on with the economic action plan in order to create jobs and protect our families.

Highway 175Statements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Robert Bouchard Bloc Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, on August 22, 2002, the Government of Quebec entered into a historic agreement with the Government of Canada regarding the twinning of Highway 175 between Quebec City and Saguenay. The announcement clearly stated that the cost of the work would be split 50-50.

Now the Conservative government is reneging on that agreement and categorically refusing to pay its share of the cost overruns. For no good reason, the Government of Quebec is being stuck with two-thirds of the bill. This represents quite a windfall for the federal government, which, on top of everything, will collect taxes on the last phase of work on Highway 175.

Not only have Quebec and my region been duped, but the hon. members for Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean and Jonquière—Alma seem quite comfortable with the situation. I wish they would stop their kowtowing and start defending Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean more vigorously.

TaxationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, our low-tax plan has helped create over 420,000 jobs, while experts have said the coalition's high tax plan would kill nearly 400,000 jobs.

Unlike the NDP, we believe in lower taxes and leaving more money in the pockets of hard-working Canadians. That is why, since forming government, we have reduced taxes for families, seniors, small businesses and individuals, lowering the tax bill for the average family by $3,000.

The NDP leader and his party have voted against Canadian families, opposing every sensible tax cut we have introduced, including cutting the GST to 5% on every purchase Canadians make, including home heating.

The opposition coalition are the group of characters who want to raise taxes and hurt Canadian families. We and Canadians disagree with their job-killing tax and spend approach.

United NationsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Glen Pearson Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, states around the world celebrate the leadership role played by the United Nations to promote peace, security, global equality and human rights.

Canadians can be justly proud of the pivotal role Canada has played. From the first draft of the landmark Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 to the creation of the UN peacekeeping forces under Lester Pearson, our presence and contribution have embodied the highest ideals that brought the founding states together more than 60 years ago.

A recent poll showed that 70% of Canadians support the UN. Armed conflicts around the world have dropped by 40% since 1992, largely because of the 17 UN peacekeeping missions.

We all know what the UN means to Canadians, but how the UN sees us is equally important. The United Nations is us. All of us in this chamber today affirm, once more and with fervour, our dedication and support for the United Nations and its founding principles.

Vive les Nations Unies.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

October 25th, 2010 / 2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, I attended a town hall meeting with nurses. They told me that the top priority for Canadian families is help for family caregivers, but the government is not listening.

Why is this government lowering corporate taxes instead of helping Canadian families and nurses?

Government PrioritiesOral 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 understands the huge priority Canadian families put on taking care of their loved ones when they get old and when they get sick. That is why our government has made an unprecedented commitment to health care, committing a 30% increase and delivering on that in just five short years.

There was another way done by a previous government that cut health care by $25 billion. I know how passionately the Liberal member for Toronto Centre spoke out against those cuts. I completely agree with him.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, as usual, the Conservatives are rewriting the historical record. The $40 billion put in by the previous Martin government deserves to be remembered. The Conservatives are still spending it.

The nurses at the town hall on Friday were not very interested in corporate tax cuts. They could not care less about stealth fighter jets or superprisons. They want help for Canadian families. They will get it from the Liberal Party of Canada.

Why are they not getting any help from the Conservative Party?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, our government has constantly reached out to doctors, to nurses, to those providing treatment for cancer, to those providing home care, to those providing prescription drug coverage, to those who cannot afford it, and we have done so respecting provincial jurisdiction by increasing transfers to the provinces and territories by some 30% in five short years. This government has provided unprecedented support for health care.

We are very proud of that. We are committed to continuing that in the years to come.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the federal-provincial health accords will come up for negotiation in the next couple of years, and the question that will have to be faced is: Who do we trust? Do we trust a party whose priorities are stealth fighters, superprisons and corporate tax cuts, or a party whose commitment over 50 years is unquestioned and wants to help that middle class family with home care?

Why has the government got so out of touch with the priorities of ordinary Canadian families?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, if Canadians have to look at who they can trust, they will look at this government's record with great admiration. They see our commitment to front-line health care in every corner of this country.

Maybe the Leader of the Opposition should look back at history. There were years when he was not in Canada when previous Liberal governments cut back health care by $25 billion. That had a devastating effect on health care and health care delivery right across this country. That is something our Prime Minister would never do.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, in September 2007, one week before it closed, the request for proposals for renovation of the West Block north tower was amended and the qualifications needed to bid were dramatically downgraded. Experts in the construction industry have said this would have benefited only one bidder, LM Sauvé.

Who in the minister's office approved this amendment? Why were experienced contractors not required on a building as valuable and historic as the West Block?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada has contracting laws, policies and regulations in place. Public servants are responsible for and manage this entire process, including the contract award.

As I have said repeatedly, if there is any wrongdoing with individuals or contractors, they will face prosecution to the full extent of the law, including under the Federal Accountability Act, and taxpayer money will be recouped.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, I specifically addressed the issue of the West Block North Tower in the House on December 8, 2009, 11 months ago. The minister responsible at the time, who is now the Minister of Natural Resources, said that the opposition was “searching for Elvis in the department” and that “the process used was fair, open and transparent”.

Now that the police are investigating, does the minister still believe that the processes were fair and transparent?

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, the Government of Canada has contracting laws, regulations and policies in place, which must be followed by everyone. Public servants are responsible for and manage this entire process including the contract award. If the member does have further questions, they can be directed to the public servants who will be in front of the committee tomorrow to answer on the substance of this matter.

Public Works and Government ServicesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, while being interviewed by the media a few days ago, the Minister of Natural Resources made some contradictory statements. He repeated that he had done nothing wrong by attending his party's famous fundraising cocktail party in Bourassa, which was also attended by a number of contractors who were awarded Parliament Hill renovation contracts.

If it was all right to attend, why did the Minister of Natural Resources state, in the same interview, that if he had to do it again, he would not attend? It is rather confusing, to say the least. What should we make of it? Can he explain these contradictory statements?

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, after years of Liberal scandals and the sponsorship affair, it was our government that, as a first step, adopted the Federal Accountability Act, the toughest anti-corruption law in the history of Canada. It is absolutely ridiculous to believe that a donation of a few hundred dollars could lead to political interference or could have resulted in the awarding of a government contract. That is absolutely ridiculous.