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House of Commons Hansard #88 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was refugees.

Topics

2:05 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 Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine.

[Members sang the national anthem]

Celebrating Seniors AwardsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Andrew Scheer Conservative Regina—Qu'Appelle, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism's Celebrating Seniors Awards were initiated to honour the many senior volunteers in Saskatchewan who remain active and continue to contribute to society.

Nominees are outstanding senior citizens who reside in Saskatchewan and who consistently contribute to the overall quality of life in their communities.

This month, the Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism nominated eight residents from the great riding of Regina—Qu'Appelle: Lorraine Garrett and Alfred Aichinger of Regina; Hummer Bartlett and Eileen Rowbotham of Fort Qu'Appelle; Wes and Judy Bailey of Cupar; and Shirley Bozarth of McLean.

Mae Wesley of Fort Qu'Appelle was the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Her volunteering spirit and dedication throughout her lifetime has improved society and inspired others.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mae and all of the other nominees for their years of selfless service for the many communities in Regina—Qu'Appelle.

Ellen BruceStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, on October 16, 2010, the Gwitch'in people lost their great spiritual leader, Ellen Kyikavichik, at 98 years of age. The Reverend Dr. Ellen Bruce was the first aboriginal woman in the north to be ordained a minister and she dedicated her life to her Lord, her people and her family.

The incredible spirituality of the Gwitch'in people has fortified my faith, and Ellen Bruce was her nation's pillar of that spiritual strength. We only needed to be in her presence and look into those quiet eyes and angelic smile to feel the peace that passeth all understanding.

As her MLA for Old Crow, Darius Elias said, “She loved her people and it showed”. For this lifetime of caring, promotion of the Gwitch'in culture and dedication to the Anglican Church, she received the Order of Canada.

As her eulogy closed, “Grandma, we will remember your smiling eyes, your tender love, your words of wisdom, your sense of humour, warm hugs and beautiful laughter. Though we will miss you dearly, we are happy you are back with your sweetheart”.

Surely she is in the hands of God, amen.

Jean PouliotStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, the riding of Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques is known for its abundant natural resources, but it is also known for its human resources. On September 11, a Rimouski citizen, Jean Pouliot, the CEO of PMI Steel Products became president of the Association de la construction du Québec, the Quebec construction association, which represents some 15,000 businesses and over 100,000 workers.

Mr. Pouliot is a man of action and conviction, as demonstrated by his achievements. His main goal now is to enhance his industry's image. Mr. Pouliot is also very involved in the rebuilding of Haiti, which was ravaged by an earthquake in January. He went to Haiti in April to teach the local people about modern construction techniques.

I am proud of this Rimouski native and of his many contributions. I wish Mr. Pouliot the best of luck as president of the Association de la construction du Québec.

Pay EquityStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, federally regulated women employees have been waiting too long for proactive pay equity legislation.

The previous government stalled on introducing pay equity legislation and the current government, with the support of the official opposition, introduced regressive legislation that has turned back the clock on women's equality.

Human rights do not belong on the bargaining table. Collective bargaining is a process of negotiating and compromising. Human rights are non-negotiable and there must never be a compromise. Women's rights are not a bargaining chip.

The Bilson report unanimously recommended that the best process to achieve pay equity is to separate it from collective bargaining. The report states that using the collective bargaining process to achieve pay equity will not only reinforce the gendered nature of the report, it will undermine pay equity, which is at the heart of our purpose.

New Democrats are furious that the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act will be implemented in the new year and that women in Canada will once again be denied equality in the workplace.

Calgary EastStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, after years of neglect by the Liberals of western Canada's aspirations, I am delighted to see that federal funding is finally flowing into western Canadian communities.

Thanks to this Conservative government, my riding of Calgary East has seen its fair share of federal grants, kick-starting new projects and giving hope to the riding's residents during these tough economic times.

Our government has contributed funds to the Parks Foundation Calgary for the construction of 13 playgrounds and recreation facilities. Our government is supporting the youth possibilities program, which will help youth facing employment barriers to develop job skills to ease their transition to work or return to school. We have provided funding to help persons with mental health disabilities to become self-employed.

Funding alone does not achieve results. Our people make the real difference. I wish to recognize all the volunteers who have worked tirelessly to improve their community.

I congratulate the people of Calgary East for supporting these worthy projects.

Homeless YouthStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Justin Trudeau Liberal Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to speak today to support the RE*Generation movement, which was created to raise awareness about the problem of youth homelessness in Canada.

The RE*Generation movement aims to raise awareness of youth homelessness, as well as to encourage better engagement between Canadians and organizations who work tirelessly to combat youth homelessness.

Earlier today, Sir Richard Branson visited Eva's Phoenix, a Toronto youth shelter, to help serve breakfast and raise awareness of Canada's youth homelessness problem. He was joined at this event by, among others, my colleague, the member for St. Paul's, and Vancouver indie rock band, Mother Mother.

The member for St. Paul's has moved Motion No. 504 to declare November 17 National Youth Homelessness Awareness Day. Our homeless youth must not be invisible to Canadians any longer.

I encourage all members of this House to do the right thing and declare November 17 National Youth Homelessness Awareness Day.

Bill OtwayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

John Cummins Conservative Delta—Richmond East, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that I inform the House of the passing of Bill Otway.

British Columbia wildlife enthusiasts and recreational fishermen have lost a consummate warrior and friend.

Bill spent a lifetime at the forefront of the fight for the best in management practices for fish and wildlife and was the single most vocal proponent of the right of recreational anglers to fish.

Always available to provide advice and, yes, even criticism, Bill never wavered in his convictions for the sake of popularity.

A former executive director of the B.C. Wildlife Federation and a sports fishing adviser to the federal government, Bill was the recipient of many awards, including a national Recreational Fisheries Award from DFO.

Bill had all the ingredients to carry the burdens he did. He was a smart, stubborn, fearless and thoroughly decent man.

In Bill's passing, British Columbia and, indeed, Canada lost someone it could ill afford to lose: a real conservationist and wise man who said what had to be said.

Our hearts go out to his wife Carol and the rest of his family.

H.E.R.O.S ProgramStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 7, the first H.E.R.O.S. program in Quebec was launched at Sophie-Barat school in partnership with the Ahuntsic Braves. This program actively offers the chance for 25 youth, 5 girls and 20 boys, to play hockey for free, including coaching, ice time and equipment.

The mission of H.E.R.O.S. is to use the game of hockey as a catalyst to attract less fortunate youth to a program that offers support for education while building their self-esteem, team spirit and life skills, all in a fun, safe environment in which every child is considered to be a hero.

Willie O'Ree, the first black player in the National Hockey League, attended the ceremony. His mere presence was living proof to everyone that you can always overcome obstacles, even obstacles that seem insurmountable at first.

Congratulations to Sophie-Barat school and the Ahuntsic Braves for this initiative.

Hats off to our heroes and we wish the H.E.R.O.S. program continued success in Quebec.

Aerospace IndustryStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Conservative Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, today, addressing a group of Canada's leading aerospace companies, the industry minister drew a stark contrast between our government's unequivocal support for the over 80,000 people who work in the industry, and the Liberals' promise to cancel the F-35 program, jeopardizing all the jobs that depend on it.

The F-35 program is a win-win for the Canadian Forces and the Canadian economy. The forces will be replacing an aircraft that has reached the end of its lifespan. Canada's aerospace industry will benefit from opportunities that will create highly skilled and well-paying jobs for years to come.

However, there are some in Parliament who are playing political games by threatening to cancel the F-35 program and, along with it, all of the opportunities it brings for the aerospace industry in Canada.

We will not allow the coalition to jeopardize tens of thousands of Canadians jobs. Our government strongly supports these 80,000 Canadians and their families.

Avalon PeninsulaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Andrews Liberal Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, with its quaint fishing villages and breathtaking scenery, the Avalon Peninsula has once again caught the attention of many around the world.

The November issue of the National Geographic Traveller magazine has selected our region as the number one coastal destination in the world, beating out other notable destinations such as the fjords in Chile and Broome, Australia.

This comes as no surprise to residents and the thousands of tourists that flock to our shores each year to hike, kayak and experience the local culture; from fishing off of Cape St. Mary's to kissing a cod on the Baccalieu Trail.

My colleague from St. John's South—Mount Pearl and I already know that the Avalon Peninsula is the best place to live, and now it is known as the best coastal destination in the world.

I encourage all Canadians to experience the natural beauty of the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland and Labrador, the number one coastal destination in the world.

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Tilly O'Neill-Gordon Conservative Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the member opposite stood and alleged that our government was turning its back on Miramichi. This could not be further from the truth. I am so proud to stand in the House representing the constituents of Miramichi to correct the record.

Despite the attempts at fearmongering by the member for Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe, abolishing the wasteful and ineffective long gun registry would affect 10 to 50 employees, not nearly 200 as was wrongly suggested yesterday.

However, leave it to the Liberals to try to ignore and distract from the positive initiatives our government is putting into this region, like the 550 new jobs announced by the Prime Minister. These are new, permanent jobs that will be in and directly benefit the Miramichi community. As promised, we will do more.

Our government has responded to the recession. Canadians know this. Furthermore, the good, hard-working—

Firearms RegistryStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Windsor—Tecumseh.

Veterans AffairsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin NDP Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, this November our veterans should be honoured for their service and sacrifices to our nation. Instead, on November 6, across the country veterans and their supporters will be gathering for a national day of protest. They will be asking for the reinstatement of pensions relating to injuries they have sustained in the service of Canada. They will also be seeking the reinstatement of Colonel Pat Stogran as the veterans ombudsman.

New Democrats have long been fighting for fairness and practical results for veterans and their families. Among our accomplishments are: passing a veterans first motion; calling for expanded access to veterans' hospital care; extending VIP home care; and calling for a public inquiry into the violation of the privacy of veterans.

I am proud of the work of our veterans critic, the member for Sackville—Eastern Shore. He recently received the Veterans Ombudsman's Commendation Award for his tireless efforts on their behalf.

I call on all members of Parliament and all Canadians to get out on November 6 for the protest and to support our veterans.

The EconomyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, it is clear that Canada's economic action plan is getting results for Canadians. While other countries continue to lose jobs, Canada has created net new jobs. The OECD and the IMF are projecting Canada to have the strongest growth in the G7 in both 2010 and 2011.

Our investment in 23,000 projects has created over 420,000 jobs. Canadians are working. Our government is showing leadership and because of that leadership, Canada is leading the recovery with an economic and fiscal record that is stronger than other industrialized nations.

Canada's economic action plan is protecting the interests of Canadians and their families.

Ports of Sept-Îles and Baie-ComeauStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Bloc

Gérard Asselin Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I am proud to be able to say that, thanks to the Bloc Québécois, the Manicouagan region has managed to collect a portion of the funds to which it is entitled.

In September, the strong will and hard work of the community leaders, stakeholders and elected officials resulted in a $7 million investment for phase two of the La Relance terminal in Sept-Îles. A few days later, Baie-Comeau received $4 million to consolidate the hospitality infrastructure at its international cruise ship terminal.

The Bloc Québécois is standing up for the regions of Quebec.

I congratulate all the stakeholders whose determination and hard work are enabling the North Shore to play its part in the economy by bringing major investments to the region.

Long-Term Disability BenefitsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michelle Simson Liberal Scarborough Southwest, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to draw the attention of the House to Bill S-216, which is currently in the Senate and must be passed by Christmas in order to prevent 400 sick, disabled and dying Canadians from having their long-term disability benefits cut off.

Josée Marin, a former Nortel employee who will lose all her benefits, says, “the passage of Bill S-216 will mean the difference between living in my home and dying in my car”.

The Prime Minister had the power to appoint 32 senators with full benefits and a pension for life. He also has the power to fast track the bill through the Senate and protect the benefits of hundreds of Canadians.

Will the Prime Minister use this power and fast track this bill to protect Canadian pensioners, or will he sit on his hands and force Canadians like Josée to fend for themselves?

We only have until Christmas. Let us get this done.

Aerospace IndustryStatements By Members

October 27th, 2010 / 2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are promising to abolish the F-35 program and thus jeopardize all related jobs. However, the Minister of Industry today reaffirmed the unequivocal support of our government for more than the 80,000 men and women working in this industry.

This investment will benefit the Canadian Forces as well as the Canadian economy. The Canadian Forces will be able to replace an aircraft that is approaching the end of its useful life, and the Canadian aerospace industry will benefit from the spinoffs, enabling it to create very specialized and well-paid jobs for Quebeckers and Canadians for years to come.

Investments in the F-35 program will result in significant spinoffs, including contracts of more than $350 million for Canadian corporations, research laboratories and universities. Tens of thousands of workers in the aerospace sector—

Aerospace IndustryStatements By Members

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order. It is time for oral question period. The hon. Leader of the Opposition.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General slammed the government's incompetence and wastefulness regarding its decision to purchase the Chinook helicopters without a bidding process, and the government is making the same mistake with the fighter jets.

Why will the Prime Minister not listen to the Auditor General, cancel the contract and launch an open, competitive and transparent process to replace the CF-18s?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have seen the Auditor General's report. She made some recommendations concerning the helicopter purchase and future transactions. Of course the government will act on those recommendations. At the same time, a process to purchase the fighter jets has been in place for quite some time, and the government will proceed in order to ensure the best aircraft for our air force personnel.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the problem is that there was no competitive process to prove that that is the best aircraft.

First it was the Chinooks. Now it is F-35s. The Auditor General is telling Canadians that the procurement policy of the government is an incompetent mess.

Will the Prime Minister listen to the Auditor General, cancel the contract and open up a free, competitive and transparent bid to replace Canada's CF-18s?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government is reviewing and will implement recommendations by the Auditor General.

However, the reason there are problems with the helicopters is that 17 years ago the Liberal government cancelled the helicopter contract, paid $1 billion to get no helicopters at all and subsequent governments had to deal with that decision.

We will not make the same mistake when it comes to replacing the CF-18s. We are going to buy the best equipment for the Canadian Forces. We already have work going to the aviation sector across the country, which the coalition will put in jeopardy, but this government will not.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Etobicoke—Lakeshore Ontario

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, there is a pattern in the government of refusing to take responsibility. The Conservatives lose the Security Council vote and they blame someone else. They mess up the helicopter deal and they blame the previous government. When is the government going to take responsibility for its own action?

The Auditor General is clear. These mistakes happened on the Conservatives' watch. They have a chance to correct it by getting the F-35 deal right with an open, transparent and competitive bid process. When will they listen to her?

National DefenceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government does listen to the Auditor General. We have the right process when it comes to the CF-18s and F-35s. They are not the same file, which the opposition does not seem to understand.

However, let me tell everyone about the responsibilities we have. We have a responsibility to replace fighter aircraft and not play politics with the lives of our men and women in uniform. We have a responsibility, when it is National Aviation Day, to ensure we protect the people, the men and women who work in that industry, against the irresponsible behaviour of the Leader of the Opposition and his coalition. That is what we will do.