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House of Commons Hansard #80 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was veterans.

Topics

Global Handwashing DayStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles, QC

Mr. Speaker, October 15 marks Global Handwashing Day.

Here in Canada, handwashing is an effective way to protect one's health, but the situation in the developing world is similar to what it was here a century ago: some 3.5 million children under the age of five die of pneumonia and chronic diarrhea, deaths that could be prevented if people had access to clean water.

Handwashing is one of the most effective health interventions for women and children living in poverty. It reduces chronic diarrhea by 50% and respiratory diseases by 25%.

Yet the Conservative government dedicates less than 2% of CIDA's $5 billion budget to building basic sanitary facilities.

On behalf of the Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, I call on the federal government to abide by the 2005 Paris Declaration and increase Canadian investment in the Global Sanitation Fund.

Shipping IndustryStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Rick Dykstra Conservative St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, on October 1, I had the opportunity to kick off the fall season with an announcement from our government for shipbuilding in Canada. The Minister of Finance and I announced tariff relief for new ships.

The new duty remission will lower costs for the industry by waiving the 25% tariff on imports of all general cargo vessels and tankers. Shipowners will be able to reinvest $25 million per year over the next decade. This will help the shipping industry save money, become more competitive and reduce its environmental footprint.

In St. Catharines, this announcement benefits Algoma Central Corporation directly, as it employs 300 people. Algoma Central Corporation is ready, and it is prepared to meet the needs of its industry, expand our economy and take the lead in the shipping industry when it comes to our environment.

The new duty remission framework will ensure a stronger Canadian economy and a brighter future for the marine transportation service sector. With a global competitive advantage, we can ensure Canada's recovery will mean success in the long term.

Nobel Peace PrizeStatements By Members

October 8th, 2010 / 11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Jean Dorion Bloc Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois would like to acknowledge the fact that the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese dissident and non-violent activist for human rights in China.

Mr. Xiaobo became a symbol of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, when he was sent to prison for 20 months without ever being charged. From 1996 to 1999, he served three years in a labour camp for co-signing a letter calling for the removal from office of the then Chinese president and for seeking the release of those jailed in the 1989 movement. In 2009, he was again sentenced to 11 years in prison for having signed Charter 08, which called for an extension of political freedom and the end of communist rule in China.

The Nobel prize committee decided to honour Mr. Xiaobo despite threats of reprisals by Chinese authorities. Because China has become a major economic power, “China's new status must entail increased responsibility”, said the Chair of the Nobel Committee.

The Bloc Québécois commends this courageous activist.

Opposition CoalitionStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, unbelievably, this week we learned that the Liberal-NDP-Bloc Québécois coalition is alive and as strong as ever. The Liberal leader has long been in favour of the coalition and has said he is “prepared to form a coalition government and to lead that government”. Yet now, the leader of the Bloc brags that he is the “driving force” behind it.

The fact that the coalition's policies include introducing massive tax hikes to pay for a 45-day work year and other measures that would put our economy at risk is troubling, but most troubling of all is the fact that the admitted driving force of the coalition is led by a party dedicated to the breakup of Canada.

Thankfully our Conservative government, led by the Prime Minister, is committed to a united Canada and to policies that will protect, not kill, our fragile economic recovery.

Breast Cancer Awareness MonthStatements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remind Canadians that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Canada and around the world.

Although much has been done to combat this dreaded disease, it is estimated that in this year alone more than 23,000 Canadian women and an estimated 180 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 5,000 will die from it.

As a breast cancer survivor, I know only too well the trauma faced by the patients and their families, and I understand the importance of early detection. With early detection, today there is a 98% chance of beating breast cancer. I encourage everybody to talk to their doctors about any concerns they may have and to have a mammogram regularly.

I am sure all members join me in wishing those suffering from the disease a speedy and full recovery, and in praying for the day when breast cancer will be completely eradicated and no longer an issue for women and men everywhere.

Opposition CoalitionStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, in a book published this week, the leader of the Bloc congratulates himself not only for being the driving force behind the coalition, but also for secretly scheming with the NDP to create it before springing it on a shocked nation.

Not only is the Bloc a full coalition partner with the Liberal leader and the NDP, but it also continues to be at its very heart.

The Bloc leader, a key player in the coalition with the Liberal Party and the NDP, will soon be promoting sovereignty around the world. This is surprising coming from the person congratulating himself for being the driving force behind the coalition.

While the driving force behind the coalition, the Bloc leader, is touring abroad to promote his ideological agenda, our Conservative government will be working in Ottawa and looking after the real priorities of Quebeckers and Canadians.

Democratic ReformStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Bruce Hyer NDP Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am dismayed and embarrassed by MPs heckling and catcalling here in the House. Canadians do not like it. It does not have to be this way. Members should listen.

In Scandinavia I have observed firsthand the way in which proportional representation leads to rational discussion and debate, mutual respect, workable compromise and much better governance than we have here. Our constituents are looking to us for statesmanship, leadership and effective government that represents not just regions and factions but all Canadians.

I have an idea that could help us achieve some of that mutual respect and co-operation that is needed so desperately right now. We could choose to change our seating charts and abandon the hockey-bench blocks of seating in the House by party. We could randomize seating here in the House. Some time spent in the House next to members from other parties would lead to recognition of us all as people with whom we can share ideas with more mutual respect.

Our constituents want better. They deserve better. Let us act now to improve our system and our behaviour.

Foreign AffairsStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, 2010 has truly been Canada's international year. Our government's leadership has reinforced Canada's standing as a responsible international partner. We are delivering on our commitments, from securing international agreement on our maternal and child health initiative to our fulfillment of our pledge to double aid to Africa. Canada is a leader around the globe, be it in Afghanistan and Sudan or our incredible support for Haiti and our swift and generous response to the floods in Pakistan.

Next week, Canada is up for election for a seat on the United Nations Security Council. Shockingly, Canada is likely the only country standing for a seat that has one political leader actually rooting against our bid.

With the support of our friends around the world, we will serve the UN in a way that makes Canada proud.

2010 World March of WomenStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Bloc Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, on October 17, thousands of women from across Quebec will meet in Rimouski for the final stage of the 2010 World March of Women.

The Bloc Québécois has nothing but respect and gratitude for this march—gratitude for the commitment to eliminating discrimination against women and violence against women, and gratitude for the work that has been done to achieve equal rights for women and men.

There are six main fields of action this year: work, the common good, violence, peace, demilitarization and the treatment of aboriginal women. Women can count on the support of the Bloc Québécois on these issues, as well as on those related to improving the economic status of women, maintaining the firearms registry, fighting for pay equity, and encouraging women to participate in politics.

The Bloc Québécois will continue to stand up to this retrograde government and to defend women's rights in Ottawa—

2010 World March of WomenStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Hull—Aylmer.

La RevueStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Liberal Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, journalists and the media play a role in political and democratic life. As the hon. member for Hull—Aylmer, I want to acknowledge the 50th anniversary of La Revue and pay tribute to the entire team that oversees its production and publication.

La Revue is owned by Médias Transcontinental and is distributed every week in the greater Gatineau area. It owes its longevity to its professional journalists, its diverse news coverage and its ongoing focus on community affairs.

Over the past 50 years, La Revue has published news about Hull, Gatineau and Aylmer, and information about our community. Today, despite new information technology, La Revue still has a place in the lives of the people of Gatineau.

I want to congratulate the entire team at La Revue, including regional director Jacques Blais, editor Martin Godcher and news director Sylvain Dupras.

Congratulations and long live La Revue.

IsraelStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Dick Harris Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, when the Liberal leader accused Israel of war crimes, Canada's Jewish community knew it had no friend in the Liberal Party.

Yesterday Liberal Party candidate Andrew Lang said Canada needs to stop placating Israel. He said Canada should instead criticize Israel for being insufficiently non-violent.

Israel faces relentless attacks by terrorists who want to drive the Jewish people into the sea. If it were any other country facing that kind of threat, the Liberals would support its right of self-defence. But not Israel. The Liberals want to judge Israel by a different standard, by a harsher standard.

Our government will always defend Israel's right to exist. We will not take a neutral position between democracy and terrorism. We will support our friends and allies. What we will never do, unlike the Liberals, is try to score political points by hectoring it from the sidelines.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends and, above all, to give thanks for the many blessings we share as Canadians.

Today there are over 600,000 family caregivers in this country, and they are no doubt thankful that they still have their ailing loved ones living with them. However, the truth is that many of them wish the government could understand that they need a little help.

When can they expect to get the kind of help that the Liberal family care plan could offer?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the first comment made by the member opposite. We are all very fortunate to call Canada home and to live in this great country.

I think the single biggest thing we can do to support those whose families are experiencing difficult times with respect to their health is to provide a strong health care system.

That is why this government has increased transfers to the provinces by some 30%, recognizing that health care is an important priority. We are going to continue to do that during the next few years.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have said that helping Canadians take care of ailing family members could be “reckless”. The same Conservatives are spending $10 billion to build prisons to house the perpetrators of unreported crimes, $16 billion to buy planes without an open competition, which, as Alan Williams said yesterday, means an incredible $3.2 billion is being wasted. Last June, over $1 billion was spent on a three-day photo op.

How in the face of all this can the Conservatives call a tax credit to care for a sick family member reckless?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the economy is still fragile. We were pleased with the 37,000 net new full-time jobs that were created, as was announced this morning. However, we were disappointed that a number of people lost jobs, particularly part-time jobs.

We remain focused on the economy. The last thing this fragile economy needs is the Liberal plan to raise taxes on job creators. That would kill jobs and do a lot to hurt the Canadian economy.

That is why we are going to continue to have a low-tax jurisdiction in Canada: so that we can have jobs for Canadians and provide good services to people.

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, with January 1 fast approaching, the Conservatives are choosing more corporate tax cuts for the largest companies over the needs of Canadian families.

Instead of telling Canadians to take a vacation day when they need to care for a severely sick relative, why do the Conservatives not join us on the right side of this debate? Why do they not work with us to make the Liberal family care plan a reality before the holiday break, so that 2011 can be a much better year for hundreds of thousands of Canadian families?

Government PrioritiesOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, Canadian families depend on quality health care, and Canadian families can depend on this government to provide financial support to the provinces and territories to provide that health care. Whether we are talking about hospitals, cancer care, home-care services, or long-term care, our transfers to the provinces are providing a lot of hope and opportunity to people who must rely on our publicly funded health care system.

At another time, it was the Liberal Party that cut health care transfers by $25 billion. These families that the member speaks of do not need cuts of that kind.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the employment crisis is continuing in Canada. Workers are being dealt another blow. There have been more job losses, particularly in seasonal industries. After eliminating the pilot project that provided five additional weeks of employment insurance to cover the employment gap of seasonal workers, the Conservatives continue to ignore their plight.

When will the government realize the importance of the Liberals' pilot projects and implement them permanently in order to help workers and, above all, their families?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, we have taken a number of measures to help the unemployed. If the member was championing the unemployed, he should have supported those five extra weeks, like the long-tenured workers project, like the investments in training and job skills. He did not support those.

We can tell the member this. We will look at the pilot projects and make sure that we get the best results from them. We will have an answer for the member in due course.

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, it was the Conservatives in September who cut the five additional weeks, not the Liberals. They must accept responsibility.

These job losses show the urgency of ensuring that the Liberal pilot projects, including the best-weeks provision, are permanently reinstated today.

The Conservatives are subjecting thousands of workers to unnecessary stress by waiting until the last minute to make a decision.

Will the government stop holding all these workers and their families hostage and announce that it will guarantee the continuation of these programs that are so important to both the workers and the industry? Will the Conservatives have some compassion for once?

Employment InsuranceOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Souris—Moose Mountain Saskatchewan

Conservative

Ed Komarnicki ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, we will look after our workers. We will look after them through the difficult times, as we have throughout our program. We ask the member to get behind us and support us in this effort.

We are reviewing the programs to ensure that the best interests of Canadian workers are kept in mind, and that job creators will be there for them.

We will make that announcement in due course. I can assure this House that we will always look after the unemployed during difficult times, unlike the party that would rather put a 45- day work year in place and increase the premiums. That would cause job losses, and we will not do it.

Government ContractsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources told the House that he never spoke about government contracts during the Conservative fundraiser in January 2009. But the event's organizer, Paul Sauvé, is claiming the opposite. Not only did the minister talk about government contracts, but he also congratulated Paul Sauvé for obtaining a $9 million contract with his department at the time, the Department of Public Works.

Will the minister admit that the event organized by Paul Sauvé was nothing more than a high-priced favour in return for having been given that contract?

Government ContractsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the contract in question was signed on May 30, 2008. I became minister of public works on June 25, 2008. The reception in question was held in January 2009. I hope that the opposition knows how to read a calendar. I never talk about contracts with the individuals involved when I am in public. When they tell me that they are doing business with the federal government, I can congratulate them and say good for them. In this case, as in any other case, I never talk about contracts with any individuals involved.

Government ContractsOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Conservative government awarded this contract to Mr. Sauvé. He was a minister in the Conservative cabinet. He should stop making things up.

Paul Sauvé was not the only one who was returning a favour at that fundraising event. At least two other contractors who had received contracts to repair government buildings were there as well: Norman Glouberman and Julia Gersovitz.

Will the minister admit that the government has a system in which it awards contracts in exchange for political donations to the Conservative Party?